Category Archives: Miscellaneous

I’m not complaining 

Published / by Mary / 13 Comments on I’m not complaining 

Are you a morning person? Or a night owl like me? Unfortunately for me, Finn is a morning person – an EARLY, 6 am kind of morning person. When Keith is home we split dog walking/watching duties but when he’s gone, it’s all me and while I have no problem taking him out between 12-1 am, it’s really hard to get up at 6 am and face an energetic puppy who wants to eat, play, and walk!

Chesty learned over the years that when dad wasn’t home breakfast became brunch and he would sleep in late with me. Of course if Keith was home as soon as he twitched in the morning, Chesty was all over him asking for his breakfast but he would let me sleep in – such a good boy! I’m hoping over time Finn will also learn to accommodate the fact that while Keith is an early riser, I prefer to start my day at 10 am rather than 6 am!!


Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Vices

I admit I love playing slot machines although I probably only do it every 5-6 years … Keith thought it might be fun for me to get out and play some slots to celebrate my birthday. We didn’t go out last night because I ended up not feeling well enough but we did go out for a few hours this afternoon to the Hard Rock Casino. 

Of course it didn’t take long to lose my money but I had fun. I sat down to feed the last 3 dollars in the machine and won $10 … moved on to another machine and won a little more …. picked a 3rd machine and ended up winning a little more – I won $43 with that last $3. Enough to buy Adam a Hard Rock Tampa shirt!

Veteran Quilts

Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Veteran Quilts

Alycia is spreading inspiration by having a link up party and I thought I’d join in. I try to do a couple veteran quilts each year and I’m a little behind (no surprise). One of the fun things about my quilt photos is that I can place the quilts in a specific time frame just by where they’ve been photographed. We’re coming up on our 2nd anniversary here in the Tampa house the end of June and  in that time, 4 tops have been pieced but only one has been finished and sent off for donation. I hope to have at least a couple quilted this summer at Big Canoe and who knows #4 might just get done in December – we’ll be spending Christmas at Big Canoe since the new baby is due in December. 

So you’ve seen these all before but maybe they’ll inspire you to make and gift a quilt to a veteran. 

My Double 4 patch is the one that’s been finished and donated. 

The next two were inspired by vintage quilts. The RWB rectangles. 

The Chevron Rail Fence

and my 3rd Patriotic Rail Fence – this one with Ohio Stars. 

If none of these inspire you, maybe one of the others on my website will. Take a look at these quilts for veterans. 

Virtual quilting

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Virtual quilting

I like big block quilts – a star where one block plus some borders becomes the entire quilt. In this case, I started with this block.

I put 4 together and added borders to make it throw size. Did you notice I change the bottom right corner to make a square in a square block where they all came together?

I love this little vintage friendship star and nine patch from eBay too … I’m saving it for inspiration.

Lost days

Published / by Mary / 11 Comments on Lost days

In case you were wondering why it’s been so quiet here, I’ve been sick. It started as a simple cold but for some reason knocked me on my butt! After 5 days I think I’m finally starting to feel a little better. There’s been a little activity around here between naps … I finished pin basting the small rectangle top and am ready to start quilting it, some knitting, some hand quilting but mostly just quiet activities … genealogy research, photo organization, reading, and cuddling with Finn. 

Remembering our Dads

Published / by Mary / 2 Comments on Remembering our Dads

Both my Dad and Keith’s Dad served in the military and we remember them and all those who served today. 

My dad, Patrick Joseph McLaughlin, served in the Navy right out of high school which was during the Korean War – luckily he was on a ship in the Mediterranean.

Kevin, Mom, and I visited Dad’s grave a couple weeks ago. He died 28 years ago. 

Keith’s dad, Bruce Alan Johnson, also entered the military right out of high school. 

He served in the Marines in Korea during the war, in the Army in Vietnam during the war, and remained in the Army until he was eligible for retirement. He’s interred at Arlington National Cemetery along with Keith’s Mom. We haven’t been to Arlington to visit since Shirl’s funeral in July 2015 but my nephew Ben who lives in the D.C. Area sent us a photo last year and this year after visiting the site. Bruce died 12 years ago. 

Stella Lighting Coupon

Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on Stella Lighting Coupon

So after I gave my feedback on the Stella Two light I was given the opportunity to offer a coupon code to my blog readers. If you’re interested you can get $25 off ANY light and free shipping just by using the coupon code ”stash“. Click the link below to go to the website.

I’ve only used the Stella Two light but I’m really liking it. I finished pinning the gray quilt and was thinking I might want to hand quilt it using the big stitch method when I remembered I’ve got one in progress that I hadn’t touched in months so I pulled it out today and worked on it for about an hour under the Stella Two light.  I had more of it left to do than I remembered but maybe I’ll get it finished up now that I’m back to work on it. 

Before I finished up for the day, I started pin basting another top – I’ll finish basting this one and quilt it while I decide whether I’m going to hand or machine quilt the gray one. 

I’m also knitting another washcloth and got my walk in too. It was a full day!

As I walked along the bay, I thought about how lucky I am to be surrounded by water. 

It’s one of the things I loved about our Hatteras vacation … the ocean on one side …

And the Sound on the other … and just an easy two block walk between them! Can you tell I’m a water baby!!

Finn’s home!

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Finn’s home!

I don’t know who was happier when I went to pick him up this morning – he was quite excited to come home and after greeting Keith, ran right to his toys. 

I had the groomer scheduled to come so while he was being cleaned up and trimmed, I prepped and started pinning one of the small tops waiting for quilting. 

The light in the corner is new, a Stella Two that I was offered in exchange for giving some feedback to the company. I thought I’d also share my impression here. I really, really like this light. I’ve got several OTT lights but this one is my new favorite. I like how long the light arm is and how easy it is to adjust. The light can be dimmed and the light temperature can be warm or cool or a combination – I’m using this in my sewing room but with the ability to dim and change the light temperature to warm, it would make a great light for beside my chair for reading and stitching. My one little issue with it is that the controls are a little hard to see on the base so I found myself fumbling around a bit trying to find the right one to turn the light on.  Once you’ve used the light a bit you know which one is which and it’s not a problem. 

Once Finn’s grooming was done, I took a break to walk him to the park. He came back tired and ready for a nap so I’m going to try and crochet a washcloth while he rests.

Happy early birthday to me!

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Happy early birthday to me!

You might have noticed last week that I went kayaking just about every day of our vacation – I love kayaking! I’ve always borrowed or rented one but after this vacation I decided I needed to buy one for myself. I really liked Ann’s and was able to find it online so Keith agreed I could get it for an early birthday present. Chris is going to pick it up for me and for now I’m thinking I’ll keep it in GA to use at Big Canoe but with the bay so close I’m tempted to bring it back here after the summer or maybe I need two 🙂

I bought a life vest while we were in Hatteras so now I’m all set if I can wait until July to use it. 

Chris has also agreed to bring it to Hatteras next year for me – yep, we’ve already reserved the same house for next year. 

Could there be any better way to celebrate Mother’s Day?! Love you Mom!!!