Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Nancy's Sewing Weekend: 2017

GUESS WHAT?? MARY AND I have been invited to present our ALL NEW MIDWEST YA YA SISTER SHOW at the Nancy's 2017 Sewing Weekend in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. I AM SOO EXCITED!!


It will be here before you know it -- so you should start making your plans. May 4-6, in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. They don't have our picture up on the website (yet) -- but I'm sure WE'RE GOING TO BE THERE.

It's the BEST GIRLFRIEND WEEKEND you can imagine!!
It is such a wonderful event!!  I absolutely love going to Beaver Dam, Wisconsin for Nancy's Sewing Weekend. 
They hang a wonderful quilt show.
Mary is coming on Thursday -- and we'll go shopping with the TMBC for some new projects and ideas.
The best part of Sewing Weekend is that they OPEN THE WAREHOUSE!!
The last time we did our presentation in Beaver Dam, Judy and Chris (the Ya Ya Stalkers) came all the way from Portland, Oregon!!
Mary is coming to Iowa this week -- and we will be building our ALL NEW SEMINAR...
Although -- I ALREADY KNOW WHAT I'M GONNA DO...and I'll be posting about that later in the week...
I pick Mary up at the Madison airport -- and then we drive the scenic hour to Beaver Dam.
We are looking forward to hanging out with Mike...
And doing some WAREHOUSE shopping of our own!!
John makes sure everybody gets on the buses -- to be taken all around town to the various locations...
GO FOR IT!! YOU DESERVE IT! Sewing, laughing, learning, visiting with your old friends -- making some new ones. IT JUST DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS, PEOPLE..!!

LET THE FUN BEGIN...!

Nancy's 2017 Sewing Weekend in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Life Is Not A Dress Size

The good news is that I'm still hanging in there. I've changed my eating habits and I'm MOVING MORE...getting back on my treadmill and going to the Y two or three times a week for Swimfit class...

Hummm, actually -- there is no bad news.

But it took me a long time to get this fat -- and it's going to take a long time to lose all that weight...
And I'm okay with that. I'm just glad I took that first step...
I weigh myself once a week -- MONDAY MORNING -- and I make myself write down the number. Here. On this blog. Just that one time. Then, I mostly get on with my week...

Because I really don't want this to be about the number. I'm that girl -- remember? "LIFE IS NOT A DRESS SIZE" is my mantra. The credo of my life...

So I don't have daily conversations with my friends and family about what I'm eating or how much I weigh.

BECAUSE I WANT MY LIFE TO BE ABOUT SOMETHING MORE THAN THAT...

But many of you have been very supportive...and CURIOUS. So -- these self-indulgent Monday blog posts are about this particular journey -- and what's working for me. Because, honestly -- if I can lose weight -- ANYBODY CAN DO IT.

When I signed up for Fat Camp, I was 67 years old and weighed 300 pounds. As you get older, it's harder to lose weight. Mostly because your metabolism slows down, and for many reasons you're not so good at the moving anymore...Conn (my ex-Marine trainer) told me I was not his fattest client, nor his oldest client...but, if there was an algorithm putting those two numbers together, I would be at the top of his list. (the list titled, "Least Likely To Succeed")

Yet -- here I am. I've lost over 30 pounds. I have completely changed my eating habits and I'm exercising.
 
For many years, I used this quote, "We are all a product of our habits, be they good or bad." 

But when I tried to look it up -- I can't find either the quote or the source. So maybe I was the first person to actually think that thought or say those words?? I dunno...but I believe the words are true...and nowadays I am all about changing my habits.

A former bad habit: I'd wake up at 8 am, make a pot of coffee, then get on my computer. For hours. I always skipped breakfast, and often didn't eat until 3:00 or so.

My New HABIT: I get out of bed and EAT BREAKFAST with my first cup of coffee. An egg muffin sandwich, oatmeal or yogurt and fresh blueberries...and I enjoy every bite. So delicious!!

The point is that I make choices, every single day. And those daily choices become my habits. And I am a product of my habits -- be they good or bad.

I'm enjoying my new habits...And I am very grateful.

Buying spaghetti squash is a new habit. I love it!!

Today: 265.2.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Warren is FOUR!!

On January 1, 2013, Warren was the first baby born in Clinton County Iowa. That distinction got him a picture in the local newspaper, and a few gift certificates from local businesses. They used the one from Pizza Hut...
I remember seeing him in the hospital, and thinking..."you are a very important person in my life now...I wonder who you are?"
HOW FAST THE TIME GOES!! I cannot believe that baby is four years old already. He's no baby anymore. He's a little boy...who is a very big part of my life.
But having a birthday on New Year's Day pretty much sucks...it will ALWAYS be overshadowed by the holiday...
Which is why this picture is so perfect, eh?
Every year, I make the Farro Family Birthday Cake. Chocolate cake with peanut butter icing...
Lilly made some special cupcakes for Warren this year. (his favorite color is blue).
His first four years have gone pretty well...and here's what we know about Warren so far. He is the sweetest little boy -- who lights up a room with his smile. He doesn't have one bit of temper...in any situation. He doesn't get impatient or angry...he just lays back and smells his "B" blanket if things are going badly...
Uncle Ross was determined he should have a really special birthday gift.
Which, of course, required some assembly...
Fast forward...two hours later....Ross was still assembling...Warren was being very patient...he stayed right in the area and kept trying to encourage Uncle Ross....
At the end -- Warren LOVED THE RACETRACK. And it was a lesson...let's see. "Anything worthwhile takes time?" Patience pays off? Uncle Ross must really love me...
You are the sunshine, buddy...

Friday, January 20, 2017

GREAT Television

Television is a big part of my life. I LOVE WATCHING TELEVISION.  In the interest of full-disclosure -- I watch the Real Housewives of just-about-any-town. I enjoy many crappy TLC shows -- including Sister Wives. When my friend Nancy was sick, I told her to watch a Naked and Afraid marathon...And I've seen every episode of Dance Mom's.

So -- now that you fully understand how low my television entertainment bar is -- you may or may not take this advice seriously...

BUT YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING "THIS IS US" ON NBC. (Tuesday Nights -- 8:00 CST.)

This is the best show on television right now. Actually - it's the best show I've watched IN A LONG TIME. It's right up there with M.A.S.H...West Wing...the Sopranos....Mad Men....or the early days of E.R. Oh, my...Remember the good old days when you couldn't wait for Tuesday nights -- because that's when NYPD Blue came on? THIS IS LIKE THAT...

Really good television tells a story about people you care about.  AND THIS IS THAT.  

But here's the thing. YOU CAN'T JUST START TO WATCH IT...

You have to go back and start with Episode #1. Thank God for ON DEMAND...because that's how you have to watch this show. EVERY EPISODE IN ORDER...

Only then will you be able to appreciate the genius of this show...

I can't write another word about it - or I risk spoiling it.


You will thank me later... And keep a careful eye on the wonderful Chrissy Metz.

But I've got to quit talking now...

WATCH IT.  SEE FOR YOURSELF....!!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Every Month, A BIG EVENT!!

Here's the thing. A happy, fulfilling life doesn't just happen. YOU HAVE TO DO ACTUAL THINGS TO MAKE IT HAPPEN!! Whatever you enjoy doing, you need to DO MORE OF IT. Sounds simple, eh?

Not always. But -- in the spirit of Elvis -- I don't leave these things to chance.

Thinking about Elvis's three points of happiness...

#1: Someone to love. I am very fortunate to have people in my life that I love. A lot. When there are disappointments or problems, I think, "these are my people." Then, I forgive them -- or ask them to forgive me -- and we move on. Loving people is easy. Accepting and forgiving is the hard part...

#2: Something to do. NO PROBLEM. Taking care of all the people in #1 takes a lot of time...and I have so many hobbies that I LOVE....I always, always have something to do.

Which brings me to #3: Something to look forward to...This is so much fun. Because, I LOVE TO PLAN EVENTS. I like to have one major wonderful event happening every month.

Brilliant, eh??

So, to kick off 2017 -- here's what's happening (so far):

JANUARY: Mary Mulari is coming to Iowa!
Mary is coming for a visit -- and I AM PLANNING EVERY MINUTE!!

FEBRUARY: My cousin Jackie, is coming from North Carolina for a visit!
It's always great when Jackie comes home. With birthdays only 3 months apart, we grew up together and spending time with her makes me feel like a kid again. (I can almost get into those pink pants!!)

MARCH: Lilly and I have our birthdays. This year, I am taking her to NEW YORK CITY!!
Last year, I took Lilly to CHICAGO. She got to meet Mary Fons and we had a wonderful time. This year? NEW YORK CITY!! I am soo excited. I've been working out, getting in shape -- and am confident that I'll be able to keep up with her!

APRIL:
To Be Determined. Hummm...I have so many choices...what to do? what to do??


We will DEFINITELY have a Sister's Sewing Weekend again this year!!
How about a Featherweight Workshop in Minnesota?? Hey -- that could happen!!
Maybe I'll go to Canada to see Marion's new house...no, wait, she's probably still in Florida...

A TMBC Road trip? Maybe an overnight in Wisconsin??
May:

In May, Mary and I will be doing our brand new Midwest YA YA Sister act at Nancy's Sewing Weekend in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin!!
June: Whatever doesn't happen in April is going to happen in June...

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Computer Problems Vs. Real Problems

Dearest Readers,

I AM FINE. Thanks for your concern...Lorraine, Nancy, Mary, Linda, Julie, Pat, Virginia, Bonnie, Jan, Chris, Barb...I'm so sorry there was a break in my blogging action!! But it was very nice to know I was missed!!

The good news is that I HAVE MY LAPTOP BACK...and it's working fine.

I am very happy to be getting back into my blogging-groove!!

The bad news is that my computer was attacked by Ransomware...ugh....Hackers come into your computer (they probably live in Russia) -- and they encrypt your files. After they've encrypted all your data -- your computer screen goes blank, and they tell you how you CAN PAY MONEY to get the key that will DE-crypt your data.

Bastards.

Anyway...I'm dealing with my new reality.

I think it's going to be kind of like having a fire at your house. At first, you're just happy nobody was hurt. But as time goes on, you'll miss things you didn't even know you cared about.

I am sad that some things are gone forever especially some of my pictures. But, at the end of the day -- hey -- this doesn't even register as a REAL problem!!

LIFE GOES ON...and I am anxious to get-to-blogging about it. AGAIN.

THANKS for missing me!!

Love,
rita

P.S. I lost another pound last week. I weigh 267. Sooo happy!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Splendid Sampler™

The Splendid Sampler™ Wednesday
(...skip this part if you're not new here...)

The Splendid Sampler™ is an internet sew-a-long created by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson. It is an EPIC sew along...
  • 83 fabric designers have created specific blocks that feature different quilting techniques. (paper piecing, fused applique, etc.).
  • The blocks will be released each week, and are FREE to participants until March 2017. (at that time, they'll use the designs to publish a book).
  • You can use whatever fabric you like.
  • There will be pictures on their Facebook page, etc.
The new block designs come out twice a week....on Sunday morning and Thursday morning. I'm doing this with my TMBC...and, therefore, it is my pleasure to BLOG ABOUT IT every Wednesday. *******************
To be honest, after the holidays --it has been difficult to get BACK INTO THE SWING of our normal lives! It seems like we have taken down the Christmas decorations...and that's a first step, eh? The kids are back in school, so things are settling down. Right??

Now -- WHERE WERE WE??
Sandy is playing catch-up...
But the ever-energetic over achiever, Linda Phillips -- was WORKING IT!!
Sometimes, her two blocks are the same...

But, more often -- they're a bit different.
Yes, I know -- THE TMBC ROCKS...