Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Another busy day

Published / by Mary / Leave a Comment

More tying, more laughter, more quilts finished and ready for donation. 

I loved tying this top Rebecca made for our Rainbow Strings project. Normally I use a single thread color but I matched up my colors to the colors in her quilt. 

Rebecca is always my binding buddy … once the tops are tied someone need to sew the binding and since I don’t have a machine with me, I depend on others. ( Jackie has also helped out with binding – nice for me and Rebecca!)


Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on Inspiration

I always come back from Maine with ideas for new quilts. I’ve made several half square triangle string quilts but my strings always run parallel to the seam.

Ann’s working with blocks that run perpendicular to the seam and has set them two different ways. Love it with the black and brights …

But the zigzag is fun too!

Tying quilts

Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Tying quilts

When I stop talking I make some progress on my tying! Bev had my corner all set up for me and I’m working hard on catching up with everyone and tying quilts. 

We’ve already got a big stack of quilts to donate because we brought some finished quilts with us. 

I’ve got 4 tied and Jackie and Rebecca are binding them. Look at the soft Minkee backing donated by Shannon Fabrics.  This quilt is one going to a local home for veterans. 

We also have lots of backings made and sent by Tish – some left over from previous years and some newly sent but it’s great to pull a top for tying and find a matching back. You can see I have my work cut out for me … the tops waiting are in front and the backings we’re pulling from are in the back. 

I feel so fortunate to be able to come and work with this group of HeartStrings quilters!

In my happy place!

Published / by Mary / 11 Comments on In my happy place!

When it was time to decide where we were going to move after Keith’s Mom died, it came down to two places – Maine or Tampa – how different could we get? (Both however are surrounded by water which is probably why they made the final two). In the end Tampa worked best for proximity to family and the ease of travel so important to Keith’s job and while I don’t regret the decision, I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to travel to Maine once or twice a year. Last year I missed my trip and Hurricane Irma tried to mess me up this year but I’m here and I’m happy!

I’ve talked a lot about diet the last few weeks but I’m going to be upfront – I never had any intention of sticking to any diet this week! I wonder how many lobster rolls I’ll manage to eat?!

Let the quilting (or rather tying) begin! I’ve got 4 days to work with my HeartStrings group and then Keith will join me for a few days. 

Dietary changes

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Dietary changes

I don’t eat at typical meal times so whether you call this breakfast, lunch, or snack – it’s a quick bite and all allowed on the low FODMAP diet. The crackers are gluten free, the egg fixed in the Instant Pot the other night along with several others so they’re ready in the fridge when I want to grab something to eat. 

I won’t continue to bore you much longer with the low FODMAP stuff but right now I’m spending a lot of time trying to figure out how to accommodate it in my life. I can tell you I won’t be following it strictly but I’ve learned that I can eliminate a lot of problem foods without too much pain …. others will be more challenging!

I’m tired!

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on I’m tired!

I’m still feeling the effects of the last couple weeks … stress makes me tired!

I spent time today helping clean up the common area – lots of down branches and palm fronds. The city will pick up debris but we have to get it to the curb. 

Finn was also groomed today and since they come to the house I spent that time in the sewing room.  I had the strips paired up for my spools blocks and that was the easiest thing to work on. I’m procrastinating on assembling the schoolhouses and actually have some more nine patch cornerstones still to piece too but it’s not coming off the design wall until it’s a finished top!

I also spent some time knitting and listening to a new audiobook – a biography on Sally Ride. I’ve found I’ve learned to like audiobooks but just when I’m knitting and they need to be history or biography. I tried a mystery a few weeks ago but didn’t last 10 minutes…. and mysteries are my favorite books to read. Funny how that works! I think it’s because I listened to the History channel for so many years when I was binding or knitting when I sat down with Keith in the evenings. 

What’s for dinner?!

Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on What’s for dinner?!

After sleeping today, I was ready to fix a home cooked meal for us tonight. 

You know I’m in love with my Instant Pot and Air Fryer … and I didn’t even have to turn on the stove tonight. 

On the menu – BBQ Chicken, coleslaw, and fries

I used the Instant Pot for the BBQ Chicken – no photo unfortunately!

2 boneless breasts seasoned with salt and pepper added to the Instant Pot with about 8 oz of Diet Coke. Cooked for 20 minutes, shredded with a fork and we used Stubbs original BBQ sauce. You could fix your own but I didn’t. 

The coleslaw was precut in the package and we use Marzetti slaw dressing. I have to limit this to 1/2 a cup due to the low FODMOP diet and before someone comments … I know that the BBQ sauce and dressing would be ‘safer’ if I made my own but it’s a compromise for me. I’m trying to decrease the FODMAPS in my diet to feel better but there’s a limit to my willingness to turn my life upside down to accommodate this diet. 

Let me say that I would LOVE to eat the BBQ chicken and coleslaw on a bun but we didn’t – that darn diet again! I offered the bun to Keith but he was happy to eat it without too. 

Last, the airfryer fries … I photographed my potatoes for Chris as we’d been discussing how I fixed them.

Two medium potatoes were scrubbed and sliced – this is just one of them 

Then subcut into fries … these were soaked in water for 30 minutes as recommended in many recipes. 

I sprayed lightly with olive oil and cooked them 20 minutes on 360 degrees in my airfryer. I toss them in the basket every 5-7 minutes and these could have been tossed one more time and maybe been cooked a minute or two less ( I got slightly distracted) but they were tasty anyway.

I like some pepper on mine, Keith follows a low sodium diet and likes them plain. 

All of this took about an hour to fix but I had time to sit in the library and sip a glass of wine with Keith for about 20 minutes while the chicken was cooking and the potatoes were soaking. My idea of a perfect meal!


Published / by Mary / 10 Comments on Standstill 

Thank you all – those that have written to check on and encourage and those who have offered prayers during the days leading up to and after Hurricane Irma’s threat to Florida and Georgia. We are incredibly blessed. 

I’ll admit I’m exhausted in body and mind after the last week and a half but I’m home and my house is intact without any damage that we’ve found so far. We have power and water here although surprising, Big Canoe took a big hit from the storm and the handyman who helps me out there hasn’t yet been able to get to the condo to check on it. Power and water is out there and they estimate that there are 500-700 downed trees in the community, many of them blocking roads and they estimate it will take at least 3 days before all the roads are passable. 

As with everything else with this storm, we debated when to head home. We knew traffic would be terrible no matter when we decided to head back but with my trip to Maine looming, I knew I needed to get back sooner rather than later if I was still going to be able to go so we climbed in the car at 6:30 pm last night and arrived home at 7:30 am this morning. TRAFFIC was HORRIFIC on interstate 75 the entire way. 

We worried about gas being available as many stations were out of gas in south GA and in FL but Becky told me about an app called Gas Buddy and the Subaru gets really, really good gas mileage so we stopped at 3 stations along the way, one didn’t have gas and the other two were madhouses but we were able to keep the tank full – I don’t think we ever got much below 3/4’s of a tank. 

Let me just say that Finn was wonderful – not a single whimper in 13 hours. I gave him his Bonine and he slept a good bit, no apparent nausea, no vomiting. I did most of the driving last night and Keith managed some naps here and there so he stayed up with Finn when we got home and I collapsed into bed. I’m up now and after lots of cuddles, he’s settled down to nap beside me in the chair.  We are SO blessed … he’s a wonderful puppy and has been very adaptable. 

I will spend some time in the sewing room over the next few days but I’m saving the schoolhouses until I get back from Maine, I’ll work on the spool blocks – starting tomorrow. Today is for relaxing and maybe a little knitting.