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Quilt Extravaganza

After two years the Pennsylvania Quilt Extravaganza was back at Oaks last week and we went. Although it was scaled back form shows in the past, it was good to be there and see these works of art. There weren’t as many vendors as in years past and the number of quilts on display was smaller than before. However, it still felt good to be there.

There were more artsy quilts than usual. The number of traditional quilts was definitely in the minority. There were several quilt challenges as well. That is where I will start.

For years Kathy and I would watch Bob Ross on our local PBS station. I was always amazed at what he could turn out in 30 minutes. I have no artistic talent, but I enjoyed seeing what he did. One of the challenges at the show this year was a Bob Ross challenge. As in other years it was sponsored by Cherrywood fabrics.

Although there were many quilts, I focused on just a few. I thought the detail in the eyes was neat.

In this one, the squirrel in the middle caught my attention. Can you imagine cutting all those pieces and then putting them back together again in a mosaic pattern?

In this next set, I would swear they are paintings if I weren’t at a quilt show.

Here are a few more examples of what was on display at this special exhibit.

Now let’s look at some other quilts. I have always been a fan of the card trick block and I just like these colors.

This Baltimore album quilt just reminds me of how skilled some quilters are with applique.

This one fascinated me. Although not colorful, look at all of those tine squares and rectangles. Note the close up in the second picture. Someone sure had lots of time on her hands.

This one I just found the colors to be relaxing. I know I could curl up under it.

Although Fall begins tomorrow, I thought I would finish this post with signs of spring.

Nest week we will look at a few more quilts form the show.


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Disappearing Words

“Heavens to murgatroyd” what’s happening? We all know that English is a changing or living language. Each year new words are added to our language. But as new words are added some words seem to disappear. This week I thought I would hop into my old “jalopy” and take a trip down memory lane with some words and phrases that are seldom, if ever, heard anymore. You young’uns out there might have no idea what I am talking about. Ask your parents or grandparents. Now, “don’t touch that dial” because we are about to get started.

When I was a kid I admit that there were times I could and would whine about something I just had to have. I was often told that I “sound like a broken record”. “Gee whillikers!” I never thought I was that bad. “Heavens to Betsy” all of my friends already had what I wanted. Why couldn’t I get one too? Looking back, I guess I really didn’t need what I was harping about. After all. things were good and we were “living the life of Riley”.

As a child I was labeled a finicky eater by my family. “Jumping Jehoshaphat”. Just because I would not eat liver and onions “for all the tea in China”. I tried to get support from my brothers and sister because they weren’t wild about it either, but they “hung out to dry”. “Fiddlesticks!”

One time when I did something I wasn’t suppose to do, OK, more than one time, I was told to “straighten up and fly right”. Just because I happened to not change from my Sunday clothes into play clothes before going out and playing with my friends. Whether we were playing tag, climbing trees, or just walking some dirt roads, I always managed to get my clothes dirty. I would look at myself before going home and think to myself, “This is a fine kettle of fish” I’ve gotten myself into. “Holy Moley!”

There are so many other words and phrases that have gone along the wayside. In fact, I am sure there are “more than Carter has liver pills”. But I am “hunky dory” with that. Phrases such as “Don’t be a monkey’s uncle”, “I’ll see you in the funny papers”, and “Wake up and smell the roses” are seldom, if ever, heard any more. Pity.

I will just leave you with one thought. As you ponder words and phrases from when you were “knee high to a grasshopper” that now are obsolete, just remember, “Don’t take any wooden nickels.”


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Good Morning – Good Night

Good Morning.
The sun greets the day
Spreading warmth 
Enticing sleepy eyes to open
and experience whatever wonders the day holds.

After hours of basking in the sunshine of the day
Eyes begin to droop
Coolness sets in
The sun begins to depart.
Good Night.


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“In 300 feet turn right onto park drive. Rerouting. In 200feet turn right.”

“Huh. I’m backing out of my driveway. How could I have made a mistake when I didn’t leave my property yet?

Luckily I know how to get onto the road from my driveway so I didn’t need this voice from nowhere telling me where to go.

A little later…

“In 500 feet turn right and then make a sharp left.”

“I don’t want to. I am going straight for a mile and then making a left. It gets me to the same place and it is safer.”

I pass where I was told to turn and hear…


Is it me? Am I the only one who talks to me GPS. Don’t get me wrong. I love the GPS and have relied on it many times. It always gets me where I need to be. However, I sometimes wonder if this woman talking to me through my car is as smart as she thinks she is.

To get from my house to the interstate I always take take the same route. It is the fastest and most direct. Why then does my GPS want to send me on some roundabout way? Isn’t she smart enough to realize that I take the same road every time? Shouldn’t she file that away in her memory bank?

Another time we were traveling on route 22. GPS was running. I hear…

“In 200 feet turn left.”

“Lady. Are you serious? How can I turn left? First of all, there is no road off to the left. Secondly, there are Jersey barriers all along this section of the road.”

I pass the 200 feet.

“Rerouting. In 500 feet turn left.”


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The Reception

After a ceremony joining a man and woman as husband and wife what better way to celebrate this union of love but at a joyful reception.

We left the church in Malvern and drove to Norristown for the reception.

On entering the reception we were welcomed by this sign.

The tables were elegantly set.

Of course, there was a special table reserved for the bride and groom.

We chose a table in the back so that we would be out of the way. How happy we were to see that Vanessa, who adopted us as her aunt and uncle, and her one year old daughter were sitting there as well.

As more people came in and picked places to sit were were also joined by Foster and Gift, our niece’s parents.

Also joining us were my brother and sister-in-law, Len and Carol.

While appetizers were being served and before the wedding party arrived Kathy and I decided to have our picture taken in front of the main table.

The wedding part arrived and the DJ introduced then telling them to enter the room “hot”. First up was the matron of honor.

Followed by bridesmaids and groomsmen.

Finally, the bride and groom.

While we were waiting for our table to be called to go to the buffet, our niece came over. It has been two years since we last saw her. Her husband, our nephew, is finishing up his residency program out in Vegas.

After some dancing it was time to cut the cake.


In feeding the bride, the groom was told to be “nice”. He fork fed her a piece of cake.

In feeding the groom, the bride was told to be “naughty” so he go to wear some icing on his nose.

It was a wedding so of course you know there has to be a picture of this.

Around 10:00 Kathy and I decided it was time for us to go. We still had a two hour drive to get home. We said our good byes to everyone but couldn’t leave without one last picture with our niece.


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A Wedding

On Saturday Kathy and I attended a wedding. The wedding was beautiful, as weddings are, but what was important for us was the fact that we got to see family members we haven’t seen in over a year and a half.

To put things in perspective, the bride is the daughter of the cousin of our niece-in-law’s father. In African tradition, that makes us all family and we couldn’t be more honored.

This post is mostly pictures taking you through the ceremony.

Let’s start with the groom and some groomsmen waiting at the front of the church. The one in the middle is our nephew, Shad.

The mothers of the bride and groom each light a candle representing their family. Bride’s mother is on the left.

The matron of honor leads in the ringbearer and flower girl.

Here comes the bride on her father’s arm.

The bride says her vows.

The groom repeats his vows.

Two flames become one.

Presenting Mr. and Mrs. Moreno. Congratulations Luyando and Angelo.

Now, off to the reception. What a party that was. Will save that for next week.


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Celebration Week

It is hard to believe that tomorrow I will be starting a new decade of my life. Where has the time gone? Well, I am not going to dwell on what is past but concentrate on what is ahead. This week is a cause to celebrate and it has starte3d already.

On Friday I received a text from a friend. She and her husband were going to the Grantville Fireman’s carnival to hear Pentagon. She asked Kathy and me to meet them there if we felt like it. Now, Pentagon is an oldies group. The four of us had seen them when Kathy and I were still dating, 41 years ago. We decided to go. It was a great evening. The guy with the long white hair is the only original member of the group we saw way back when.

One good thing about the beginning of August is that I get lots of coupons for birthday freebies. Tomorrow we will use at least one of them. Kathy has to have some blood work done tomorrow. I happen to have a coupon for a free meal (up to $11.00) at Ruby Tuesday’s. An guesses as to where we will be having lunch?

After a trip to Wal Mart to pick up some things we need who knows. Maybe we will go for a free ice cream at Dairy Queen or a free Italian Ice at Rita’s.

I also have a free meal coming from Houlihan’s. This needs to be used before the 11th. I think that can be managed.

Even though my birthday isn’t until tomorrow, I decided to make myself a birthday cake a day early. Thought I would go with something I had never made before, a raspberry ribbon cake with raspberry cream frosting. The wonky center is due to the fact that the icing stuck to the top of the container.

The cake sure smelled good as it was baking so I hoped it would taste just as good. It did. Yes, I couldn’t wait until tomorrow to cut it and try it.

Didn’t need a big slice, just a taste.

I will say that I share this cake with Kathy since her birthday is next Monday. We will celebrate her big day with dinner at the Harvest at the Hershey hotel. Haven’t been there in over a year and am really looking forward to their good food and a chocolate martini.

So, with all these free meals and desserts to think about who has time to think about turning 70?


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Balloons or Ducks?

We all make decisions everyday. They affect our future, our family, or the course our life will take. Some we agonize over hoping we make the right decision. Other we make on the spur of the moment.

Many times one decision is based on a previous decision which was based on a decision prior to that. Sometimes our decision is based on what what someone else decides.

If you are wondering where this all is leading let me just say that I am facing a decision in the next two weeks and have not yet made up my mind.

Last week I received an email from a member of our African family. How would we feel about attending a wedding? If we think we would like to attend she will send us an invitation. Decision 1: Should we go. After discussing it Kathy and I replied we would love to attend.

The invitation came. The ceremony will be at 3:00 with a reception following at 6:00. This will take place in the Philadelphia area.

Decision 2: This is Kathy’s decision. What will she wear? Over the past year she has lost weight and is a smaller size. Dresses she has no longer fit well. Yesterday it was off to dress shop. She ended up buying two, one brown and one blue that both fit well and look nice. Now she needs to decide which one to wear.

That brings me to decision 3: What will I wear? I have both blue and brown jackets so whichever dress she picks I will go with the same color family. Not a big decision.

Decision 4: What tie will I wear? This, for me , is a tough one to make. As someone who wore a jacket and tie 98% of the time I was in a classroom I have a rack full of ties to choose from.

If I go with blue I can go with balloons.

If I go with brown I have ducks.

But wait, this is an afternoon wedding with an evening reception in a ritzy venue. Is either of these ties really appropriate? Maybe I should rethink.

I could go with a patterned blue tie.

For brown I could wear, as my students would call it, my hypnotizing tie.

Wait, maybe these aren’t the right kind of tie for an evening affair. I can always pull out a more conservative tie.

Whoever thought picking a simple tie would be such a tough decision? Dang it! Maybe I just go with a gray jacket instead.


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Sounds in the Night

I am not a light sleeper. In fact, when I close my eyes and settle in for the night there is little that wakes me. OK, a 2 A.M. call of nature will get me out of bed. Back in bed I am engulfed in sweet dreams in no time at all. Occasionally, though, there are those nights when after a trip to the bathroom I find it difficult to get back to sleep. I lie there staring in the darkness seeing nothing.

Hoverer, though I see nothing, there is lots to hear.

From the bottom of the bed there comes a sound.
A rumble of thunder? A jet flying by?
No, it's Molly.  Sound asleep and snoring.

From outside a car goes by.
Soon another and another.
Where can they be headed to or returning from at this time of night?

From the kitchen a sound starts.
a rumble getting louder.
The refrigerator is cycling.

A rhythmic ticking from the non-digital clock
counts off minutes I lie awake
Instead of getting the sleep I need.

From the dining room comes a familiar sound.
A rasping hacking sound demanding action.
Dustin just delivered a furball.

Guess I gotta get up!


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To me there is a certain kind of sadness that is brought about by seeing a once busy place abandoned by those who once took pleasure hanging out there. Not seeing the daily activity makes me feel like there is something missing in my day.

This is so true now when I look out the window in our dining area. Once a flurry of activity with birds and the occasional squirrel, the feeder outside outside our window sits empty. It is not because I have no seed to put in it. It is not because I don’t want to feed the birds. It is because we have been asked not to feed them.

Perhaps you have seen in the paper or heard on the news that people have been finding dead birds on their lawn. Thankfully, we have not had that happen here. No one seems to know what is going on with them. City Wildlife has informed people to take down feeders and birdbaths to help curb the infection that seems to be spreading through the bird population.

Although I haven’t taken down the feeders, I no longer fill them. Because of that birds have stopped coming to our window. An occasional one will sometimes fly to the feeder and sit on it looking for something to eat,. I swear that it sometimes looks in the window at me as if asking, “Where’s the food?” It makes me sad that I don’t give them anything. Hopefully the time will soon come when we are told we can start refilling feeders and the birds will be back. Until then I just look at the abandoned feeder and sigh.

Unfilled and unused
Happiness and joy are gone
When will life return?


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