Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dinner with old friends

Debbie and Me

Dave (Debbie's husband) and my husband Kevin

Debbie was my best friend all through middle and high school.  We lost touch as we got older and for the last 10 years we have not kept in touch.  I would call her and she would call me and there would always be some reason why we could not get together.  But tonight, everything changed.  We got together and had a great dinner and sat for three hours laughing and having a a good time. 

Kevin had not ever met Debbie as we have only been together for 8 years.  He enjoyed meeting them and hearing our old stories.  Debbie shared the story that my mom probably doesn't know.....when we were in middle school I had to make a cake before I could go out with Debbie.  We made it so fast and iced it that when we came back the top half of the circle cake was on the floor.  The icing had melted and had top half fell off.  We picked up the cake off the floor and put it back onto and fixed the icing.  No one was the wiser.  We served it the next day and played innocent.  That was just one of the stories she remembered. 

I remembered camping out back in the winter because he father was a big camper.  I remember camping in Skyline Drive and all the bears we would see.  We had lots of fun times and shared them all.  Kevin and Dave talked to each other and about cars.  There are many fun times in our future.  I will be looking forward to spending more time with them and NOT losing touch again. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Welcome to Wednesday Weigh-In Week 10

Welcome to our Wednesday Weigh-In Week 10
All are welcome to join us!

Last week the group lost a total of 6.8 lbs!
That totals 131 lbs in 9 weeks!

Here are the results this week: (updated as comments arrive)

Me -1.5; -7 lbs total weight loss
Kevin -1 lb; -6 lbs total
Chris -5 lbs total
JulieQ -1 lb; -5 lbs total
Deanna -0 lbs; -8 lbs total
Pat -7 lbs total
Cathy -6.5 lbs total
Helen  -0 lbs; -8.5 lbs total
Kim D -0.4 lbs; -5.6 total
Barb -11.2 lbs total
Micki -18 lbs total    (see this member's profile here!)
Jamie K -4.5 lbs total
Linda B -5.5 lbs total
Dobco -0 lbs total
Katie Q - 1 lb; - 2 lbs total
Tonya -6 lbs total
Barb (DD) -1 lb total
Marianne -1.6 lbs; -12 lbs total
Diane -7 lbs; -13.4 lbs total  (see this member's profile below)
Judy -4 lbs total
Linda P -5 lbs total
Bunny -1 lb; -1 lb total
Laura - 1.5 lbs; - 5 lbs total  (Welcome out newest member!)

Let me know your weekly totals and I will update the post with this weeks numbers.
So far we have lost  15 lbs this week! That totals 146 lbs in 10 weeks! WOW!


Tell me about your family (married, kids, pets)

My husband and I are approaching our 20th anniversary in a little more than a month. We have two daughters, 15 & 13 and our current challenge is teaching the oldest to drive. Our dog Sassy, a medium sized poodle/ lhasapoo mix rounds out the family.

Where did you grow up and where do live now?

I grew up in a small town (pop 3000) in northern California, Weaverville, located west of Redding. My mother had lived there most her life and my father taught at the elementary school so everyone knew me even if I didn't know them, which was rare. Weaverville is the county seat as well as the largest town in the county, which if memory serves almost 90% is national forest and there is still not a stop light in the entire county.

My husband and I lived in the SF East Bay area for 15 years and then lived in Redding, CA for almost two years before moving to Texas where we have been for 7 years the end of this month. We live in a town called Flower Mound, north of Dallas, and there really is a mound! Weaverville was in the middle of the Trinity Alps in CA, and now I live next to a mound!

How long have you been blogging and what made you decide to do it?

I started blogging about a year ago. I had recently quit my job as a Technical Project Manager at BofA (a job I have quit and returned and quit again 3 times so far:) ) and had started sewing some bags for myself. Searching for online patterns and info led me to blogs, which rekindled my interest in quilting. After lurking for a couple months I decided it would be fun to have my own and that is how I started!

What is your crafty talent? When did you start doing your craft?

Diane's Fourth of July quilt

I have always done crafts and hand work since childhood. I sewed a lot of dresses & skirts while in school and my grandmother and I made a couple quilts when I was in high school and hand quilted them. I continued making quilt tops early in my marriage, and made my girls dresses when they were little. When we moved to Texas I just never unpacked the stuff. After being here 5 years I got out the scrapbooking and when redoing the 'playroom' for my craft space I decided to include the sewing stuff just in case I ever wanted to get it out. One thing led to another and last summer I started unpacking the 10 boxes of fabrics I had moved and never opened.

Bricks and Waves by Diane

Tell us a little about your weight changes and why you joined the WWI group.
I was always skinny with wide hips and a round butt in school, but gained the requisite 15+ while in college, then when I started working and was on my own I did not eat healthy, establishing bad habits. I was still happy with my weight when I got married, but I was pretty much over the ideal at that time. I didn't exercise, so the weight came on slow but steady, then the kids come and with that 20+ additional lbs (each). I lost some, about 35 lbs using Weight Watchers after my first child, but after that could never lose more than 20 and could never keep it off. Since moving to Texas I gained another 30, what I call the 'no one knows me or will know the difference' lbs. Lots of aborted attempts, but nothing stuck till this year.

I am not sure what clicked, but I decided to try Medi Weight Loss, a MD supervised program based on a low carb diet. I started the end of March and had lost 20 lbs by the end of May. Early June I had a pretty sever allergic reaction to something and the emergency room MD suggested it was some of the supplements from Medi, so I played around with them for a couple weeks but decided to stop them all together to try to get rid of the residual rash I still had. I needed to get rid of that before traveling to Honduras or I would be miserable. This slowed the weight loss, mostly because the accountability of paying weekly at Medi was no longer an incentive, but I did continue to lose. About the time I stopped Medi, I saw Stephanie's WWI and thought that could be a way to gain accountability. The opportunity to share success as well as failure has helped keep me on track.

I have broken my weight goals down and named them as follows:
25 - crud, I moved to Texas and ate everything in site
15 - child 2
15 - child 1
15 - have a hubby so I can let it slide (all the married women know what I mean)

I go back to Medi this week and if my scale is correct I should be very close to 40 lbs total loss since the end of March!

Tell us about your trip to Honduras and what lead you to go there.
Honduras, wow! We traveled there for a week this summer with Unashamed Missions and Med-Missions, organizations operated by guys we go to church with. My husband had gone on a like trip last year and made it back, so this year we went as a family (except Sassy). The trip was an opportunity to support the activities of local Honduran evangelical Christians who have been sharing the gospel in remote areas.
The group consisted of 24 North Americans including a RN, RN practitioner, dentist and an emergency room MD. We worked with a Honduran organization that coordinated nationals, both laborers as well as medical professionals. We split into two groups daily and completed a church building of cement block, and got a good start on a second (second group of youth came in as we were leaving to get it done). In addition we worked 5 medical brigades including doctor consultations, dental and optometry. The sites were all remote villages in north Honduras and one day into Guatemala. We cut through the rain forest the day we went there. Every day it was questionable as to if we would get to the sites due to the roads and the rain. Got stuck one day and had to cart the materials in about a mile which was not my favorite time of the trip. I worked optometry most of the time, but also did dental, sterilizing instruments and all that. Dental was hard core with extractions being the main event.

The villages we went to consisted of homes constructed from big sticks with adobe stuck on it and tin roofs. (1498) This shows a residence in the for ground and the building we built in the background.
One village the homes were sticks with black plastic. (1460) (1480)

The town that served as our base of operations is the site of one of the best preserved Mayan ruins, so we had the opportunity to tour those. We stayed in a motel that was clean and had running water and provided breakfast and dinner. Wish I had gotten a picture of the facilities as it was an open air kitchen with a fridge, stove and an adobe wood stove where the meat and tortillas were cooked daily. All the things that go with traveling to a third world country applied here. Lots of shots before hand, malaria medication that we are still taking, power grid failed in entire town nightly, not a lot of hot water (I never got any) and having to remember to keep your mouth closed in the shower.

Tell us your favorite, daily blog reads.

Well, I have too many so I have a system where I capture sites that catch my eye in my favorites, organized by day of the week. Each day had about 15-20 blogs so every Monday I look at the same 15, Tuesday another 15 and so forth. A Ditchin' Time is on my Wednesday list now so I don't forget WWI! I also try to participate in Sew and Tell and almost always visit all the posts listed on Fridays even if I didn't complete anything and post myself.

Tell us anything else you would like to share!

Goodness, I think that is quite enough don't you? Thanks Stephanie for letting me share! ***

Well, I am happy to feature Diane and share her story so the group can get to know her better.  She has a very interesting life going on right now! I wish I could have this experience.  Until next week, take care and loose some weight! STEPH

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My son puts some color inside his GTI

This is my son Jimmy's GTI
He is MY baby but this is HIS baby!

He is going to WVU in the Fall to start college and study
Mechanical Engineering
Obviously because of his love for cars

His love for this car will show here in these pictures:
Jimmy covered the roof of his GTI with a plaid.   I think he wishes he had been born in Europe.  He loves the German Engineering cars and hopes to work for one of them one day.  He had to work the plaid in and around all the corners and moldings.  I was completely impressed.  He said he went through 4 cans of 3M adhesive spray!  Take a look at the great job he did with the sun roof.  He used black ultrasuede to create the look he was trying to accomplish. 

A hidden piece of plaid set into the seat belt holder is a nice addition.  He could ONLY get this talent from me.  I don't know how he learned all of this but he did teach himself.  The only thing I did was let him use my "fabric only" scissors.  I asked him how did he go around corners and how did he keep things so neat?  He told me he cut darts.  WOW!  He cut darts, like I do when I sew or applique.  I told him he would be a good quilter but I have not convinced him of that yet.  I will work on him. 

MEANWHILE.....I just hit over 20,000 views on my blog this weekend.  I have only been blogging since last September.  Not even a year yet.  I am so pleased to have such a great group of blogging friends out there!  Thanks for all the great comments and all the support.  


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Coffee Bags Recycled

Coffee Bags Recycled

This bag took one bag for the front and one for the back.  I used a third bag for the sides and bottom. 

I lined the purse with a waverly print and added straps and pockets.
I used a magnetic clasp for the closure

I am have been saving coffee bags now for a few months.  Friends and family are saving them too.  I wanted to make something with them.  I decided to make a few purses.  Above was the first one I made and the coffee bag was the bag.  Then I decided to embellish the coffee bags on top of a purse and below is the results of that one. 

Side one of the purse

Side two of the purse

Side view of the purse

Close up view of the embellishments

I placed some labels from the bag on the straps, see above and below.

Lined with purple fabric with a firm bottom and pockets

Have a great weekend everyone!
Check back tomorrow. 
My son Jimmy
 has a surprise to share
I think he gets his talent from his mommy,

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-In WEEK 9

Welcome to our Wednesday Weigh-In Week 9
All are welcome to join us!

Last week the group lost a total of 11 lbs!
That totals 121.2 lbs in 8 weeks!

Here are the results this week: (updated as comments arrive)

Me -0 lbs; -5 lbs total weight loss
Kevin -5 lbs total
Chris -0 lbs;  -5 lbs total
JulieQ - 0 lbs; -4 lbs total
Deanna - 0 lbs; -8 lbs total
Pat -0 lbs; -7 lbs total
Cathy -6.5 lbs total
Helen -8.5 lbs total
Kim D -4.4 total
Barb -1 lb; -11.2 lbs total
Micki -1.5 lbs; -18 lbs total !!!!! See my member spotlight below!
Jamie K -4.5 lbs total
Linda B -5.5 lbs total
Dobco -0 lbs total
Katie Q - 1 lb total
Tonya -6 lbs total
Barb (DD) -1 lb total
Marianne -3.5 lbs; -12.7 lbs total
Diane -6.4 lbs totalJudy -4 lbs total
Linda P  -5 lbs total
Bunny -1 lb; -1 lb total

Let me know your weekly totals and I will update the post with this weeks numbers!
So far we have lost 6.8 lbs this week! That totals 131 lbs in 9 weeks! WOW!


Micki and her husband Joe
Dunfanaghy in County Donegal, Ireland

Welcome to my weekly member spotlight. This week I asked Micki if she would be the first one to be interviewed and she agreed.  I find her story fascinating and she is a talented artist. Here are her answers to my questions.

Tell me about your family (married, kids, pets)
I am honored to be the first one to be interviewed by Stephanie, and I am happy to answer the questions that she sent me. I am married to an Irishman named Joe. We both rescued our two dogs Rufus and Charlie. Rufus is a border collie who was badly abused and Charlie was abandoned and was living on the streets. They have been with us now for 10+ years and we consider them our kids. They both have given us so much!

Where did you grow up and where do live now?

I grew up in Philadelphia, and I graduated from Temple University as an English teacher. I later obtained my Master's Degrees as a Reading Specialist, and then in Clinical Psychology. I then went into counseling for a few years. Primarily I was working with the criminally insane at a mental hospital, but I also later worked with abused children. I eventually went back to teaching and I was so glad that I did. I continued working with the really difficult students in the intercity schools. I was very successful with them and that was very satisfying.

When I was in Camden NJ, I miraculously met Joe. People always ask me how I met Joe when he was thousands of miles away in Ireland. Well, I assigned my students a writing assignment. I found a pen pal agency for them where they could choose a country and a person to write to. They said that they would do it if I would also do it, so I chose Ireland. Joe had once put his name on this site, and that day when I wrote a letter and submitted it into the site, he decided for some unknown reason to go to that site, and he read my letter that day. The rest was history. On New Years' Day we talked to each other for the first time, and then after thousands of emails and several months later, Joe came to Philadelphia and we met. We had fallen in love with each other while we wrote the many letters to each other, and we knew by the time that we had met that we were soul mates. We got married in Philadelphia in 1997 and honeymooned in the PA Dutch Country. I quit my teaching position in Camden and moved to Ireland. My students thought it was a fairy tale story and so did I. That was 13 years ago and we are now residing in a cottage in the lovely seacoast village of Dunfanaghy, in County Donegal Ireland. Joe took me camping when I arrived in Ireland so I could see the whole country. One day we camped in Donegal County and we both fell in love with it and moved here. It is the most beautiful part of Ireland and we are so happy to be living here.

How long have you been blogging and what made you decide to do it?

As far as blogging, I started two years ago. I guess that I began my blog as I was interested in meeting quilters from all over the world. It still amazes me how small the world has become to me because of my blog. I called my blog Irish Muses and you can see it at this link: I have made some good friends over the two years that I have been blogging. It has been a wonderful journey for me. I love writing and so it was only natural that I write about my life here in Donegal and the hobbies that I enjoy. I share all of that with so many incredible bloggers.

What is your crafty talent? When did you start doing your craft?

I love my crafting but I can say that I am a quilter first. I started sewing when I was a little girl. My mom was a dressmaker and she taught me how to sew my own clothes. Later, my parents opened up a fabric store. My dad built the store from the basement of our home and it turned out to be a success. My parents were holocaust survivors and it was amazing what they achieved over the years. I grew up with fabric and sewing and I was hooked with it all. How did I get into quilting? I used to go to my favorite spot in PA to the PA Dutch Country. I was amazed with the quilting in Dutch Country. I knew that one day I wanted to make a quilt. After marrying Joe I was finally retired. I had all the time in the world for the first time in my life so I bought the Eleanor Burns' book called Log Cabin Quilt in a Day. I made my first quilt and I just loved it. I made more and more quilts. I would have to say that I developed a real love for appliqué quilts and paper piecing, but I enjoy the machine piecing, and just loved the whole process of making a quilt. I think that the quilts that I enjoyed doing the most were the Sylvia Bridal Sampler and the Carnival quilt. It took me four months each and every day to complete the Sylvia Bridal Sampler, but it was a wonderful learning journey for me. I had read the Elm Creek books, and that quilt was in one of the books, (which by the way was written by Jennifer Chiaverini), and I then had to make the quilt. Each and every block that I made taught me so much! The Carnival Quilt, which was a pattern by Deb Karasik was all paper pieced and it was a difficult pattern. I was proud that I had finished it. Most of everything that I learned about paper piecing I attribute to Carol Doaks, because I bought each and every one of her books. In retirement, I also got back into painting. I mostly do watercolor painting and then I discovered Tim Holtz and have gotten into making journals. I am in the process of ordering supplies to make a Twilight journal. I also enjoy crocheting and have done a lot of machine embroidery.

Micki's Sylvia Bridal Sampler

Micki's Carnival Quilt

Tell us a little about your weight changes and why you joined the WWI group.

I joined Stephanie's weight club as I had already started to lose weight on my own, but I decided that joining a group would be so much more fun. My goal is to get down to 10 stones, and I am on a low fat, low carb diet, which I have found is working for me. Joe got me into walking when I first married him, so now we walk at least 5 miles a day. I find walking outside with this beautiful scenery as a backdrop is so much easier than getting on a treadmill, which I have always found very tedious. I want to lose the excess weight as my knees are not that good and also just because I want to be healthier. I hope that in a few months, I can accomplish this.

Why do you love Twilight so much and who is your favorite actor/actress in the movies?

As for Twilight, I read Stephanie Meyer’s entire book collection and loved them all. I have always loved fantasy books. The Shannara Series by Terry Porter; The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by Tolkien and Terry Prachett's Discworld. When I read Twilight, I just became mesmerized by the story. I loved reading about vampires but the love story between Bella and Edward really drew me in. I have always loved to read love stories. The love story in Twilight may not have been as good as when I read about Heathcliffe and Catherine in Wuthering Heights, or Edward and Jane in Jane Eyre, but it still kept me enthralled. I was so sad when I finished the last book for the Twilight series called Breaking Dawn, but I always feel that way when I finish any book series that I love. I am a Twilight Addict for sure, thus I am making a Twilight journal using tons of Tim Holtz products....that is I will when all of the rest of the supplies come in which will be by Thursday.

Tell us your favorite, daily blog reads:

"I can't really say which blogs I like the best. I enjoy the ones that talk a lot about quilting and ones that inspire me with wonderful projects that I then want to make. I get very excited to meet all of the talented quilters out there. I also love to see the artists out there who are creating incredible art journals and the people who are making crocheted items. I just love to see all the talent out there in blog land. I love them all!"

Tell us anything else you would like to share!

As for any other info about me, I am also a radio operator and my call sign here in Ireland is EI5JU. Communicating through the radio is just another way to make contact with wonderful people from all over the world. Funny enough, I have been a gamer also since I was a little girl and in America I owned a lot of the gaming systems like Playstation, XBOX and Nintendo. Now in Ireland, I own the Wii and the Nintendo XL which is a handheld system. I guess that I am a kid at heart. I enjoy gardening and sitting in the garden reading wonderful books. Besides fantasy books, I am pretty eclectic with my taste and love mysteries and any good book that I can get a hold of. I enjoy all kinds of music, but really love Tom Waits, Johnny Cash, and I really got into Irish music, and thus also enjoy The Dubliners, The Chieftains, Christy Moore, etc. I most of all love my time with Joe and my life with him in Donegal. I am very lucky in so many ways.

Well, I am happy to feature Micki and share her story so the group can get to know her better.  Her story is a love story in itself.  She is an amazing woman and one I hope to meet someday!  Until next week, take care and loose some weight!  STEPH

Sunday, July 18, 2010

BOGO Weekend

Here I am taking it easy under the tree shade!

Enjoyed a weekend away with my husband in Pennsylania at a BOGO rally.  You ask me what is a BOGO?  Let me tell you.....It is the "Brotherhood/Babes Of Grabber Orange" Mustangs.  I had no idea how many grabber orange mustangs there were around.  I don't see many in our travels around town on a daily basis.  Ford made mustangs in this color in 1979 and did a remake 2007 thru 2009.  The Grabber Blue in 2010.  There is no data from Ford how many they made in these colors, but they were a limited edition.  The CJ Pony Parts Company sponsored the show.  Kevin belongs to a social networking site for the BOGO's called  He has become online friends with many of the BOGO's.  This was a way for Kevin to meet some of the fellow members of the website, very much me meeting some of you someday.  The weekend involved meals Friday night through Sunday morning, the car show on Saturday at CJ Pony Parts and a party each night in the hotel we were all staying.  Below are some of the pictures from the car show. 

This picture was taken across the street from our hotel

CJ Pony Parts sponsored the rally

Adam, from Pocono Lake PA, won best of show with his three daughters.  They were absolutely adorable.  His car was pretty sweet too! 

39 Grabber Orange Mustangs in total

Here is Kevin's car, behind the Adam's car the Grabber Orange Roush, we wanted to trade cars Adam but he wouldn't agree!

Here is my Kevin, enjoying the shade under a tree and the nice breeze.

Grabber Blue Mustangs 2010, first year for this color since the 1970 originals. We had 7 at the show!

Driving in the CONGA line to dinner

Breakfeast Sunday morning before leaving
Friends from Ohio, New York, PA, Virginia, West Va and MD

Brenda (from New York) and Sanie (from Ohio)

Sandie (second place) and Brenda (first place) win in their catagory!

Had lots of fun!  I am now ready to have a great 6 weeks of nothing but a normal day work schedule like the rest of the world.  Quilting, here I come! 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Welcome to week 8 of our Wednesday Weigh-In Group!
All are welcome to join!

Last week the group of ladies below lost a total of 19.5 pounds for a grand total of 110.2 pounds in only 7 weeks!  We are doing great!  WE HIT THE BIG ONE!!!!!  Wooooooo Hooooooo!!!

Here are the results this week: (updated as comments arrive)

Me -0 lbs; -5 lbs total weight loss
Kevin -2 lbs; -5 lbs total
Chris -0 lbs; -5 lbs total  (-1.5 inches!!!)
JulieQ -0 lbs; -4 lbs total
Deanna -2 lbs; -8 lbs total
Pat -2 lbs; -7 lbs total
Cathy -0 lbs; -6.5 lbs total
Helen -0 lbs; -8.5 lbs total
Kim D -0 lbs; -4.4 total
Barb -1 lbs; -10.2 lbs total 
Micki -1.5 lbs; -16.5 lbs total !!!!!
Jamie K -4.5 lbs total
Linda B -2 lbs; -5.5 lbs total
Dobco -0 lbs total
Katie Q -0 lbs; - 1 lb total
Tonya -6 lbs total
Barb (DD) -1 lb total
Marianne -0.5 lbs; -9.2 lbs total
Diane -6.4 lbs total
Judy -4 lbs total
Linda P - 0 lbs; -5 lbs total
Bunny ~ Welcome our newest member!!!

Let me know your weekly totals and I will update the post with this weeks numbers!
So far we have lost 11 lbs this week!  That totals 121.2 lbs in 7 weeks!  WOW!


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