"Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning." Psalm 30:5

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Leaving on a jet plane . . .

After celebrating Christmas with Janet and Nick on Friday night, I drove to Houston on Saturday and spent the night at my sister, Ardell's, in Kingwood.

Arc de Triumph in the fog!
Don't travel with me!  Monday, December 20th, three friends and I were scheduled to leave IAH for Dublin, Ireland through Paris.  This is my third plane trip of the year and, once again, there was a major delay.  Our plane left Houston three hours late - not so bad but it caused us to miss our connection to Dublin.  Charles deGaulle Airport has been closed off and on for most of the week.  The earliest flight we could get was Wednesday evening.  Air France gave us food and a room voucher which was great!  We took a taxi into Paris Tuesday evening and walked down the Avenue Champ Elysees and saw a few sights.

Most famous street in Paris.
  We walked by the Arc d'Triumph and saw the Eiffel Tower through the fog.  After roaming through the kiosks set up along the street for Christmas, we had onion soup before heading back to the hotel.  Wednesday morning we slept late and headed to the airport for our flight.  They had told us to be there at 3:00 pm for our 6:00 p.m. flight.  It finally took off at midnight!!!!  Nine hours sitting around the airport is exhausting.   Diana and I passed a few of those hours playing cards with a couple of young Irish children.  We arrived at our hotel in Dublin about 2:30 a.m Thursday morning.  Needless to say, we slept late Thursday morning.

French Onion Soup - the real deal:)

Too bad I had already bought
Doug's Christmas present.
The snow in Dublin is amazing - more than they have seen in almost sixty years!  They do not have the manpower or equipment to keep it cleared.  We just bundle up in our long underwear, etc., etc, etc. and head out:)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wishing all my friends and blog readers a very Joyful and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Over the next few weeks I will not have internet access so will catch you up with my latest adventures after the first of the year.

Be safe,

A Skirt & a Pocket

Yeah!  My daughter-in law, Leigh Anne has a finished skirt:)  Leigh Anne and I both will be in Houston this weekend and need to be at IAH about the same time on Monday.   I hope to make a "special delivery".  This is Nancy Erickson's 1964 skirt pattern that I have sewn many times.  It is a keeper!!  I made this from a remnant I bought at High Fashion Fabrics several years ago.  It is lined with a faced waistline and is a "test" skirt to see how it fits and if Leigh Anne likes the pattern.  She wanted it short so she can wear it with tights and boots.

The Pocket:):)  While I was in NYC, Leigh Anne and I were stuffing our pockets so we wouldn't have to carry purses.  Doug showed us the nifty pocket he has in his overcoat which gave me an idea - dangerous, I know.  I sewed a pocket into my new coat so that I could put my case with my passport, credit cards, etc. in it and avoid carrying a purse while I am sight seeing.  I'll report on how well it works later.  For my friends making coats, definitely consider this!!!  Doug's coat has a really nice welt pocket that is really deep.   His mother's coat has a handstitched patch pocket because (1) I'm lazy and (2) I waited until today to do this!!  I made the pocket big/deep enough to hold my passport case and hand stitched it to the lining of my coat.  It would have been better to machine stitch but I didn't have time to undo the lining, etc, etc.  Procrastination:):)  My purse will be filled with the heavy stuff  that can be left behind most of the time.

Thanks to all who left comments about Chessie.  I really appreciate your kindness.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010




If it should be that I grow frail and weak,
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then you must do what must be done
For this, the last battle, can't be won.

For this day more than the rest,
Your love and friendship stand the test.
We've had so many good years,
What is to come can hold no fear.
You'd not want me to suffer, so,
When the time comes, please let me go.

Take me where my needs they'll tend,
Only stay with me to the end.
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time that you will see
It is a kindness you do for me.

Don't grieve that it should be you who decides,
We've been a close family all these years,
Don't let your heart hold the tears.
But smile, for we walked together for awhile.

Author Unknown

Our family adopted Chessie and Sissie seventeen years ago when they were tiny, six week old kittens.  Chessie has been ill for several months - the vet thinks she may have had a form of feline cancer.  The vet was very kind and I was able to hold her the whole time.  But, its been one of those really tough days.

Thanks to my friend, Peggy K, for sharing the above poem.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Celebrating the Holidays

Costumes of the era!
This weekend was the annual Dickens of a Christmas celebration in Franklin.  Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate but I braved it for a little while.  When I got there, it was just sprinkling but soon started raining so I cut my time short.  There were lots of people in costumes of the era and even Scrooge was in attendance.

Some people enjoyed carriage rides around the square.  I walked around and looked at the booths; burned my tongue on the hottest hot chocolate ever; and then headed for home to get out of the rain.  I am glad I braved it Saturday because Sunday it snowed.

Sunday, Janet met me and we went to Opryland to see the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular.  It was still snowing!  Janet needed to drive back to Huntsville after the show so we left at the intermission to give her time to get home safely.  The weather in Nashville is predicted to be below freezing until Wednesday or Thursday with more snow tomorrow.  Janet called to reassure me that she made it home safely:)  Worried mother syndrome:)

Snowing at my house (early afternoon - we got more!)

Snow at Opryland

Opryland - site of the Rockettes Spectacular

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Social Butterfly Sews - Or Tries To:)

I have had a couple of fun social activities this week.  Tuesday was the annual Christmas Party/Luncheon for the Cumberland Valley Quilters Guild that I joined the first week I moved to Franklin.  I wore a skirt that I made a couple years ago.  It is a FSG 1960 pencil skirt in a tweed with some metallic threads - apparently it was sparkling in the light.  Wednesday night I wore the shirt I made and blogged about last month to a Bunco Group - my first time ever.  Don't know what happened to beginner's luck!    It was nice to get compliments on both of my garments, though.

The reason I am telling you this is because I needed those pats on the back!!!  Honestly, I have been sewing since junior high but there are times I still manage to mess up royally.   This time not only did I sew my two piece sleeves together incorrectly but also serged them and zig-zagged elastic to shirr the sleeves before I figured out my mistake.  After watching mindless tv while I tried to pick out all the stitches, I decided to see if the sleeves would fit if I cut those seams off and started over.  Yeah for skinny arms:):)  Honestly, this knit tunic would have ended up a wadder if didn't already have pants to go with it (and new boots)  Onward and upward!!!  So the answer to that sewing question "when do you stop making stupid mistakes?" is NEVER in my case:)  I did finish the top and really like it - especially the sleeves:)  Funny, back in the 60's I wore dresses this length:)  It is hemmed fingertip length!!!
Sandra Betzina Tunic
Next project is to finish a pencil skirt for Leigh Anne.  It is that same FSG 1960 pattern!  She tried it on when I was in NYC last week so, hopefully, it will fit when she gets the finished skirt.

On my Kindle:  "Decisions" by George Bush
                            Readers' Digest Magazine

Monday, December 6, 2010

Homeward Bound

Sunday morning Doug fixed a great breakfast - his special pancakes.  Then it was time for me to try and figure out how to get my stuff packed.  I ended up carrying my boots and new coat in a shopping bag so was loaded down.  About 11:30 I headed to the subway station for the trip home.  Subways and trains don't run as often on Sunday so I am glad I allowed plenty of time.  By the time I got to Newark, it was time to check in for my flight.  My new Kindle was charged and ready for reading!!  I enjoyed it on the plane ride:)

After a stop at Trader Joe's in Nashville to pick up some of the favorites Doug and Leigh Anne told me about, I headed for home.  I had a great time in NYC!!!!  Doug and Leigh Anne's apartment is wonderful and they are having so much fun getting to know the city.  I'm looking forward to a return visit.

Nick and Janet had been by to check on the cats so all was well at home.

The Big Apple -Day Four

When I sleep until 9:30, you know I must have been really tired!!  I can't remember the last time I slept that late.    Doug did some research and found a great place for brunch - The Popover Cafe.  It was delicious and we all ordered different things so we could share - corn beef hash, an omelette, and french toast:)  But first, they bring you homemade popovers!

Inside Macy's
Macy's Window Watchers

After we finished brunch, we took the subway over to Macy's to do some Christmas shopping and to see the windows.  Nightmare!!!  None of us lasted very long:)  The crowds were just amazing - wall to wall people!!  We stayed long enough for me to take a few pictures and to see the front windows - the theme this year is "Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus" and buy a little something for Doug's stocking.  I needed some help (from Doug) picking out his gift so we went to a nice men's shop that he likes.  Much nicer shopping experience and he found just what he wanted!!!  I learned long ago not to buy items of apparel without approval:)

 Leigh Anne and I saw some little girls with American Girl shopping bags and thought it would be fun to walk through the store.   I used to love to sew for Janet and Sarah (and my) dolls.  When we got there, the line was about three blocks long just to get in!  We decided to save that for another visit.  During the afternoon, we did some more shopping,  walked over to see where Doug's office is located, and stopped for coffee.  We walked through Central Park back to their neighborhood so I could experience Doug's daily walk to work.

Skaters in Central Park

Dinner was at the Shake Shack - hamburgers, cheese fries and a shared shake.  Doug and Leigh Anne discovered this place last summer and told me about it several times.  My turn!   We stopped for two different chocolate chip cookies on the way home - needed to do a "taste test"!!
Leigh Anne & Doug - bundled up for the cold!!!  Shake Shake in the background.

Leigh Anne with her camera.
Stocking time!!
We were planning to open Christmas presents Sunday morning, but Doug couldn't stand it anymore!!  We opened presents and played with our gifts Saturday night!!!  Great fun.  Doug and Leigh Anne surprised me with a Kindle - and I do mean surprised me.  I love it!!!! I had time to get it charged and ready for my flight home.

My New KINDLE!!!!

The Big Apple - Day Three

NY Cheesecake
Corned Beef on Rye
Today Sara S (a friend of my children who recently moved to NYC) met me to explore the city some more.  We walked around the Times Square area and then met Leigh Anne for lunch at the Stage Deli.  What can I say???  Leigh Anne and I shared a corned beef or rye and NY Cheesecake!!!  Yum:):)  Sara's roast been looked pretty good, too!!!

Sara at the deli.

After Leigh Anne went back to work, Sara and I started walking towards Bloomingdale's and saw some sidewalk performers.  They were great - until they wanted TEN DOLLARS:)  Bloomingdales and the other stores in the area were fun for  window shopping and to see the Christmas decorations.  There was also a very weird stock room tour at CVS sometime:)  We had coffee and then headed back to the apartment to rest (I think it was me that needed to rest).  When Leigh Anne got home, the three of us headed out shopping again in the area.  Success!!!  They helped me find a really nice coat.  By that time,  Doug was able to meet us at a great Thai restaurant for dinner with a stop at a bakery on the way home.  Surely I walked enough today to erase all those calories.

Doug's Christmas ornaments which were MIA were found in my storage so I shipped them to NYC.   The tree definitely has a sports theme at the moment.

A fun day!

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Big Apple - Day Two

Thursday morning I headed to the Fashion District to visit some fabric stores.  The first one I stopped at was Paron's.  There was another lady from Pattern Review there and we visited a bit.  We both had Metro Fabrics on our list so walked over there together.    Kashi was as nice as everyone says!  He shipped the fabrics I bought from him and Paron's home for me.  Next up was B&J fabrics for coat lining.   It was fun just walking around browsing in the different shops.

Shop at Bryant Park
At lunch time, I headed over to Bryant Park and shopped and ate.  There are lots of little kiosks set up for the Christmas season with fun things to see and buy.  I bought a few stocking stuffers.

Hot chocolate at Jacques

When Leigh Anne came home from work, we headed out for a great evening.  She showed me around their neighborhood and we stopped for hot chocolate at one of their favorite little shops.   I am on the prowl for a new winter coat so we looked in some stores but didn't find the perfect one.  But we did find more boots!!!!

 After dinner we headed to Rockefeller center to see the tree and decorations.  The tree is huge and so beautiful and there are decorations everywhere.

In front of the tree at Rockefeller Ctr

 There was also a light show on the Saks Fifth Avenue building - Bubbles and Snowflakes.  I loved walking by all the store windows decorated for the holidays.  It was a great evening.

Leigh Anne did her magic and found us a cab for the trip home.  Doug is working on a big project and didn't get home until long after I was in bed:)

A great day - and only one blister:)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New York City!!!!

Yesterday I flew to New York City to spend a few days with Doug and Leigh Anne and see their apartment in Upper Manhatten.  What a trip!!!!  My flight was supposed to leave at 9:50 a.m.   I arrived at the Nashville Airport about 8:30 in case there were any security night mares.  Security took a little longer because everyone had coats and sweaters, etc. to deal with but I didn't get scanned or patted down:)  After I had a cup of coffee, I arrived at the gate to the announcement that there was a weather delay at Newark.  A couple of hours later they had us line up to board and then said "sorry" another weather delay.  We finally left Nashville with its gorgeous weather about 3:45!!!   When we got to Newark, there was another delay as planes were lined up waiting for a gate to unload passengers  This was all kind of  deja vu for me - when several friends and I came to NYC several years ago we sat in Atlanta for hours because of the weather in NYC.

After finally getting off the plane, I took the train into Penn Station and then the subway to the stop near Doug and Leigh Anne.  Great directions from Leigh Anne on the subway.  They did get an SOS text when I got off the subway to "come get me".  By then it was 9:00 p.m. so after dropping off my luggage, we went out for dinner.  A great spot just a couple blocks from their apartment.  They live in the neighborhood where "You've Got Mail" was filmed if you saw that movie.

Needless to say, I was exhausted and had no trouble sleeping last night!  But this flight still doesn't hold a candle to my Alaska flight last January:)  My "on time" flight status is not good this year!!