My quiltsMy 2001 Grant ProjectSociety for the Protection and Preservation of Fruitcake

Monday, December 31, 2001  
And my last post of the year 2001, a view of my ice luminaria on this oh so cold last night of the year.

Peace to all who enter here, on this last night of the old year.

Written at: 12/31/2001 11:54:00 PM

First, a flashback to Christmas:

Who are these green guys and why were they easily the most exciting present of the holiday season?

Written at: 12/31/2001 11:47:00 PM

Sunday, December 30, 2001  
And now for something completely different. Over dinner we had a brief conversation about the purposes of baby talk - you know what I mean. Hand a totally polished and professional person or a grandmother a wee baby and suddenly, what comes out of the grown up's mouth is baby talk! I did a google search and found that, as we suspected, this is rather universal!


Helping Children Grow


Written at: 12/30/2001 09:22:00 PM

It's that time of year again - So what will YOUR New Year's Resolution be? I'm mulling this over myself.

Written at: 12/30/2001 11:32:00 AM

I often tell people, "if you don't get an email response from me within a day, DO try again." Here's someone else who's a believer in quick response and good use of email. I have to admit it's hard to understand why tech companies do so much fed ex'ing.

Written at: 12/30/2001 02:28:00 AM

Saturday, December 29, 2001  
Seen in the end of year post at Coffee Ring, this is worth a look. Interesting summing up of the developments of 2001. (Don't try to link the small photos with the text though - the web designer was on crack or too much eggnog that day.)

Written at: 12/29/2001 12:46:00 PM

Glad that Blogger is back up and runnning. Some ne'er do wells have way too much time on their hands!

Busy week on the work front and I finally bit the bullet and started a project at home that is way overdue. And of course, as you might predict, since I'm now under the gun, everything that COULD go wrong certainly did and is. Hate that. And I even gave up and bought a book about the project and that didn't work either. Yes I did follow the simple sounding instructions and No, it didn't work at all better than it had previously. And then it took my whole program down and apparently trashed the mostly done document with it.

Now there's under-the-gun angst for you. Mind you, the actual document that I need to go to the printer is 95% done and it's fine. So what am I agonizing over? I'm trying to get a document from WordPerfect (yeah yeah yeah, I know) which is a classic application, to any OS X application. My plan is to format it to match the original and then to "print to PDF" so that I can skip the html nightmare of getting the document into web format. uh huh. sounds simple and let me just say, so far it ain't. So the time saving, at least this time around is long gone. I was hoping though if I could bring this long-standing project into a more modern software that next year it would be smooth sailing. A girl can hope, can't she?

Work was busy and constant for the most part. The really nasty last minute shoppers didn't seem to come back the day after Christmas as I feared. Maybe they were too exhausted from last minute shopping and then all-night wrapping?

OK, back to work now for awhile on this fool's mission.

Written at: 12/29/2001 10:43:00 AM

Tuesday, December 25, 2001  

I hope you all had a lovely day, because we sure did. First off, I stayed up way late last night doing the "Sandy Claws" thing for the kitties. I made 8 felt mice each with a gold cord tail, lovely little ears and stuffed with catnip. I let them sit in the catnip bag for the rest of the night and tossed them out this morning, much to the joy of all the cats. Little Gus in particular is fond of playing with this sort of toy, pitching it up over and over again.

On to my parents house for the holiday doings. A quick breakfast and then Mike, Peg, Kate and Andy arrived and the gift opening began. Some fabulous prezzies. The boxes I opened included this prize, a match to last year's Monkey Bowl. It was indeed - an amphibian, dressed in period clothing, playing a musical instrument. Who knew?

My brother enjoyed his special present from me - a maple syrup jug packed full of new hankies. That was fun to watch being opened. Although this gift wasn't in the same league as the amphibii, Mike seemed to enjoy this addition to their household.

After an afternoon break (including a rare nap for me) we re-gathered, waiting for Ron to come so we could open more presents and have dinner. Ron's gifts included a mate to the amphibian, so we are blessed with a pair! Kate and Andy relaxed as well. Peg tried out her new digital camera.

A good time was had by all.

Written at: 12/25/2001 11:20:00 PM

I'm giving a small calendar with images taken in the last year as gifts this year and this is part of the enclosed note:
In the last year, Iíve become more sure that itís important to take notice of whatís around us. Iím glad for what I see each day, no matter if itís sunny or rainy.
Iím grateful for the people who are in my life, in each day or in my memories; those who share my passions, those who share their own with me; those who are near and dear and those who share only a brief hello on the way to daily work. Thank you all for being a part of my life!

Written at: 12/25/2001 01:00:00 AM

Monday, December 24, 2001  
Grey rainy Christmas Eve. I think my ice luminaria have reverted to puddles. Better ask Santa for a cold night or two for New Year's luminaria.

Had my interview with Ottawa radio about fruitcake -- John Lacharity was very nice and the interview should air on Thursday.

Here's an article about shoppers and the retail workers. I are one of those now, remember!

Happy last minute shopping everyone, and may all your fruitcake and eggnog be good.

Written at: 12/24/2001 09:49:00 AM

So I made a couple batches of cookies, but nowhere near the variety as I have in the past. Alas, time has run out for cookie making.... Still and all, they're pretty tasty! Peanut butter, gingersnaps, a no-name cookie that's baked in two successive layers, and quite possibly the best Sandies recipe in the whole world. Actually I think all of these cookies are the best in their class, so pull up a glass of milk and have one or two of each.

Other than that, it's been one big wrapping night. I'm closing in on done, but I think there will be a few to do tomorrow night as well. Well I better be off to bed - big interview with John Lacharity tomorrow morning for Ottawa Morning on CBC radio! It's still all about the fruitcake!

Written at: 12/24/2001 12:02:00 AM

Sunday, December 23, 2001  
A brief break from fruitcake - Truffles from the Bread, Coffee, Chocolate, Yoga website. LOL as I typed that I kept inserting "fruitcake" like Bread, Coffee, Fruitcake.....

Written at: 12/23/2001 10:24:00 AM

Saturday, December 22, 2001  
Bookmark this for all your holiday needs.

Written at: 12/22/2001 06:53:00 PM

Wednesday, December 19, 2001  
I posted a montage of gus-the-kitten photos at photographica.

Ron's birthday card read: We wish you a merry kitten, We wish you a merry kitten, We wish you a merry kitten and a happy birthday. And many more (birthdays and kittens!)

Written at: 12/19/2001 12:01:00 AM

Tuesday, December 18, 2001  
Happy Birthday Ron!

Yesterday's interview with the Saskatchewan radio station went very well. John Gormley is a fruitcake FAN as were most of the people who called in. Feel the power of fruitcake!

I think I'm only in need of some small gifts and my shopping is done. I hope to get a chunk of wrapping done tonight. First things first though - feed the cats, take a shower, don comfy clothes and find something to DRINK. darn. I should have picked up some egg nog.

Written at: 12/18/2001 07:38:00 PM

Monday, December 17, 2001  

Welcome Fruitcake Lovers!

Written at: 12/17/2001 02:10:00 AM

I've been strolling down memory lane as it were at the Apple Museum site. I always enjoy the think different ad (here's the text, over at the Apple site) Here's a page from the first Mac ad. Sort of says it all - even today.
Above left - the first mac Ron and I owned, a 512kE. He got a deal through the college he worked for at the time, but I remember thinking then it was still a LOT of money. Note, please, the processor speed was a whopping 8 mHz!
This is my current laptop, a "pismo" G3 400 mHz powerbook. It has been tweaked so it has a 20 G hard drive and 640 of RAM.
In between those two points we used one of these a PowerMac 6100. That's the machine (with a new processor) that my parents currently use.

Oh wait, and here's that iPod - 5 Gigs.
Now, how much bigger is that HD than the one in the 512KE? Good thing macs come with calculator software, eh? hee hee - trick question - the 512KE had no hard drive..... On the next machine, the Mac Plus there was an optional HD -- all of 40 MB
Now for total grins - check out the cheery adolescent in this shot.
Class dismissed.

Written at: 12/17/2001 01:38:00 AM

Sunday, December 16, 2001  
Grocery shopping is not so bad normally, but with iPod, it was pretty interesting. Tried not to boogie in the aisles! Ran into a quilt guild friend and showed her the iPod, talked about her well troubles (she had a cart of jugs o'water) and about retail hours.

Now to unpack and store it all. And then - hmmmmmm - baked chicken for dinner and time to make the cookies!

Written at: 12/16/2001 02:49:00 PM

I've added a link above to the Society for the Protection and Preservation of Fruitcake homepage.

Let's face it. It's all about fruitcake these couple-few weeks.

I have to go now and get my act together - grocery shopping, gift wrapping, sewing, finishing the grant quilts. ack. WAY too much to do and WAY not enough energy, let alone hours to do it in. We will prevail one way or another though. Oh yes, and make the cookies!

Written at: 12/16/2001 10:49:00 AM

Friday, December 14, 2001  
Yet another fruitcake society reference - this time from South Jersey

Written at: 12/14/2001 11:19:00 PM

How a Grief Ritual is Born. from the NYTimes.

Written at: 12/14/2001 11:05:00 PM

I came home from a long day of toils at the Apple Store. Ron said - "you had a phone call. The caller said 'I'm from Saskatchawan' and I said 'This must be about fruitcake!'" LOL - and it was. Looks like I'll be in a "call in" show for a Canadian radio station. Very funny.

Hey - gotta take your notoriety where you find it. If it's in the fruitcake so be it.

Written at: 12/14/2001 10:10:00 PM

Wednesday, December 12, 2001  
For your reading pleasure, another site linked to the fruitcake page:

Our gift from [your aunt and uncle] is the perennial fruitcake. apparently it was ordered in August and we haven't seen it. It may be lodged in the Post Office in D.C. with the mail of the millions from the anthrax scare.
[Your aunt and uncle] also ordered a fruit cake and it was delivered to their house while they were away. It was dumped at the top of the stairs and sat. some animal came along and ate part of the box and fruitcake and slobbered over the rest.
[Your cousin] said to [your aunt and uncle] "If the raccoon wouldn't eat it why would you send it to someone as a gift.?" Well ,we wait for the fruitcake.
I hope to high heaven that this dormant fruitcake gene remains hidden in me for at least a little while longer - each year, my dad lets the fruitcake "marinate" in the pantry, and breaks it out in March. I recommend the perennial chocolates from the other side of the family much more.†

Written at: 12/12/2001 10:24:00 PM

Too funny. First the Memphis newspaper interview by email. Then I found links to this site via my referral stats.:
Our Most Recently Added Bad Songs:
Christmas Medley
by John "Bowtie" Barstow Christmas
Torture Factor = 10
This is my personal Christmas gift to WOTW fans everywhere. John "Bowtie" Barstow has created some of the most injurious Christmas recordings ever to grace the ears of humans and I have lovingly made this "Bowtie" Christmas medley just for you. It will fill you with more holiday spirit than a year old fruitcake and leave you drunk wih joy. Merry Christmas and God Bless!

Written at: 12/12/2001 08:38:00 PM

Tuesday, December 11, 2001  
We remember September 11, 2001

Today was the three month anniversary of September 11th. Seems like yesterday and forever, doesn't it? After my MD appointment, I went in to get a coffee at a local Stewarts shop and they had lettered "We remember September 11, 2001" on the small white boards that usually advertise donuts and breakfast specials. That really touched me. No flag waving, no hoopla. I thanked the young girl behind the register for that.

I had been thinking about this for several days, and I was feeling pretty together actually until 8:46 when NPR joined stations and governments and schools and others across the nation and world in playing the US national anthem. They chose a wonderfully non-military/ballpark/parade version. That started the tears. I was glad I pulled into the parking lot at work a little early so I could gather myself for the day ahead.

Hear the NPR report here scroll to the bottom of the page for the real audio link.

Written at: 12/11/2001 08:45:00 PM

OK first off, let's just get it over with -- the iPod is like the coolest thing going since the first walkman. I don't even feel the least bit guilty having plopped down a chunk o' change for something that's hmmmmm a bit frivolous. I used it this morning and I also listened to it at lunch time. Can't say my legs are any less tired, but it sure made me feel peppier after lunch.

After not much sleep last night, I got up this morning way too early and got to the doctor's office. Dr. Z was actually quite nice to me I thought. I just laid there after he injected the two spot sites with lidocaine -"this will really sting" - YIKES. But after that, the entire procedure was totally painfree. Since I was lying there, and he was working, we didn't chat much. Earlier though he had mentioned that when he cooks he tends to destroy the kitchen. Good results, but big mess. Well! When I sat up again after all was done, the entire little room was covered with bits of wrappers, gauze etc. What a hoot. And he made sure every thing was MUCH tidier before letting any staff members in. Very funny.

Gotta say though that the lido was a great anesthetic.

Did a bit of shopping at lunch time and after work. Bought an inexpensive little belt case for the iPod just to get it out of my pocket. Now I better feed them cats and give Bill his evening shot.

Then what?

Written at: 12/11/2001 08:34:00 PM

Monday, December 10, 2001  

(yes it arrived today!)

Written at: 12/10/2001 09:18:00 PM

Sunday, December 09, 2001  
Not wildly productive today, although we did have an exciting trip to the True Value store. Ron needed a battery. I browsed. I found - MUCHO excitement here - half gallon jars. I am the owner of some, now down to five of them. Very perfect for storing soup or red stuff etc in the frig or for storing a lot of flour or sugar etc. I hadn't seen them in eons, had thought about this recently, and now here they were. And 6 cost about the same as a dozen quart jars. Go figure. It's like Mason/Ball charges by volume rather than type or size. And these are wide mouthed jars. Can you tell I bought both boxes they had out? Yes, I'm a happy camper.

I also got two new bird feeders. Hopefully the birdies will return tomorrow.

Tonight I made some spicy lentil soup with rice - sort of a tomato-y base. And I made a double batch of ginger snaps.

Tomorrow - a small sign up sheet that starts off:
pot∑luck - Pronunciation: 'pšt-'l&k, 1b also -"l&k
Function: noun Date: 1592
1 a : the regular meal available to a guest for whom no special preparations have been made b : a communal meal to which people bring food to share -- usually used attributively -- a potluck supper--
2 : whatever is offered or available in given circumstances or at a given time

Written at: 12/09/2001 09:55:00 PM

From the very first, when browsers were new, I have enjoyed the true essence of web-surfing. Going from one page to another to another to another via the links on each page. From recipes to physics to high school social pressure to 12 step to crafts to new babies to old cars. It's all out there and if you're lucky you can find it in one long continuous string of links.

With that in mind -- found on another's web site, this link.

Is it perfomance art? literature? a superlative example of shockwave and java scripting?

Be prepared to spend hours. Use your mouse pointer idly and with purpose. And whatever you do, don't miss this part of it:.

Keep the light on.

Written at: 12/09/2001 04:47:00 PM

Sleighbells ring, are you listening?
In the lane, snow is glistening...
A beautiful sight
we're happy tonight
walking in a winter wonderland......

Written at: 12/09/2001 02:32:00 PM

It's SNOWING! YEAH - first of the year that's amounting to more than a few flakes. Just looked outside and everything is covered with snow. Wonder how much there will be in the morning???? Off to bed now.

Oh the weather outside is frightful
but the fire is so delightful.
And since we've no place to go......
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Written at: 12/09/2001 12:41:00 AM

Saturday, December 08, 2001  
Yes I went to the mall today. First my mother and I helped Naomi pin baste a quilt for machine quilting. THEN it was off to the mall. First to the apple store of course. Then to Macy's. Then a few other places. I got a few doodads. Ack. Crossing the road that runs around the mall to get to my car was taking my life into my own hands. yikes!

Now I'm home. OK. I did buy a few things for myself. A second pair of jeans for work. And while I was there, a bright chartreusey sort of green jacket/shirt/sweater. Double breasted no less. I think wearing black every day at work is starting to get to me!

Written at: 12/08/2001 05:18:00 PM

Friday, December 07, 2001  
I had been interviewed about fruitcake recently - here's the article! Thanks Marty.

WHY did I get interviewed? Let's just say, I'm the founder of The Society for the Protection and Preservation of Fruitcake.

Written at: 12/07/2001 11:04:00 PM

Happy birthday email! (Free registration at NYTimes required)

Written at: 12/07/2001 01:27:00 AM

For those who still are looking at photos of 9-11-01 and wondering what it was all about, here's a wonderfully handled montage of photos. Painful, hard to look at, astonishing, horrifying, not for the weak of heart. Requires shockwave plug-in.

I'm not sure how you're doing, gentle reader, but I'm still processing all this. Sometimes I don't want to think about it at all. Sometimes it rises within me like a power I can't control. I reassure myself that all these things, including my fatigue are normal.

Yesterday my 9-11 quilt returned from Houston where it was part of the special exhibit at the big quilt show there. I'm hoping we'll be able to arrange for a showing of a group of these quilts at NYQuilts! in June 2002. [Quick aside about NYQ! - tonight I launched the newly-redone and still developing site. Still pretty simple but easy to navigate.]

Written at: 12/07/2001 12:36:00 AM

Wednesday, December 05, 2001  
If I were a work of art, I would be Edgar Degas' Dance Class.
I appear soft and gentle, but hide a core of rigid structure and discipline. I work hard and follow orders, because I am determined to succeed, but remain attached to displays of frivolity and maintaining my appearance.

Which work of art would you be? The Art Test

Written at: 12/05/2001 01:29:00 AM

Tuesday, December 04, 2001  
A totally busy day:

if you have any young teen age girls - the members of O-town were in the Crossgates Apple store today. They looked like they must be "someone" mainly because they had handlers/managers with them. And because they were really interested in dropping money. I talked to one at great length - the one with dreadlocks - about digital cameras and he bought a good camera and an ipod etc etc.

The second guy I rang up also had a strange zipcode, so I asked where that zip was from. Florida. Hmmmm. OK, you're all from Tampa and you seem to be in a band, so what band? Oh, O-Town - I know about that one. They looked relieved that SOMEone there knew about them. This is the boyband that was put together by Lou Pearlman and was the subject of the somewhat strange reality show "The Making of the Band."

I left for lunch and they were still in the store. I figured a run on the store wouldn't be a bad thing, but do you think I could find a stinking adolescent girl? nope - all safely in school. One of my fav co-workers later told me I was totally lame to know about the band AND the TV show. But he was just jealous, I'm sure, LOL. I couldn't believe we didn't take a single photo or get an autograph. Geesh.

I guess the boy band was opening for britney tonight in Albany. whoooohooooo.

Then we had a quasi-anthrax scare where two folks decided that some white powdery stuff by the mp3 players was anthrax. uh huh. Someone else (gratefully not me) asked wasn't it more likely to be powdered sugar, since people are always coming in with cookies, donuts etc? Nope. They finally had to call "the authorities" and as I'm standing there thinking this is pretty silly to close a store over powdered sugar...... a mall security guard appears. He walks in, all decked out in his wanna-be-a-state-trooper uniform, walks over to the infected area, and is back out of the store in literally 30 seconds! Guess those wanna-be cops really know their powdered donuts, I mean SUGAR!

So very silly. Not to make light of the anthrax deal but really. Like ANY cop could tell what it was by looking at it.

Fine. Just fine.

Then I came home and popped an eggplant in the oven to bake. And went upstairs to sew the block of the month that's due tomorrow night. It's a nice block but lots of things to cut and sew. I keep getting whiffs of something cooking and wondered what it was. Well folks, if you leave an eggplant in the oven for 2 plus hours, there's nothing left but the skin. Luckily it didn't explode.

More luckily, I had back up plans. So I made a cheddar cheese spread - equal parts shredded cheddar and cottage cheese mixed with some finely minced fresh parsley and celery. Little pepper and paprika. Takes very parsley and celery-ish, which is nice I think. You can either spread this cold or put it on melbas and broil it a bit.

Spread number two was cream cheese with olives. I really enjoy this as a treat. I minced the olives rather finely for this since it will be easier to spread, and put some more olives sliced on top. So that's it for that. I'll bring an assortment of crackers and a plate.

I'm also bringing a dozen rather simply made christmas stockings which we'll be donating to a thrift store that distributes a lot of stuff for families for the holidays. Apparently they need about 700 and their annual source dried up. I know my mom made 20, and I made 12 and another woman made about 50. People were talking about doing pieced and quilted stockings, but you know - in this case more is better! I cut out 12 layers of one fabric that I had more of, a black background with a "plaid" of lines of holly or something red, and then 12 layers total of a bunch of other green/red/holiday-ish fabrics. I had some short lengths of green and red grosgrain ribbon from doing pot holders and that was that. They turned out very nice. They're a nice size too - not too big and none too small.

Written at: 12/04/2001 01:07:00 AM

Monday, December 03, 2001  
If Em from "Hope Without Pay V.2" is reading this -- I know you got knocked off the air with the closedown of @home -- let me know your new address so we can start getting the word out about where you can be found!

Written at: 12/03/2001 08:34:00 PM

Sunday, December 02, 2001  
From the Virtual Union Square: Some thoughts

In the category of doing small acts of good in the world:

I'm taking a break from other quilting-related work tonight and tomorrow to prepare for Tuesday's holiday party at East Side Quilters. We make quilts during the year to give away to organizations, usually shelters and other social service groups in need of either quilts for their clients or for fundraising. But this time of year we do something smaller. For a few years it was making placemats for meals on wheels. This year, a member brought to our attention a need for empty christmas stockings. Somehow, this local thrift shop/pantry had in the past come up annually with about 700 stockings, but this year there was no supplier. We're a small group so 700 isn't likely to happen but we can do our best and supply some.

I have a dozen stockings that are at the last stage of sewing and then need pressing. They're simple - printed green and red fabrics, with a green or red loop to hang from. Front and back fabrics are different. I think they look quite ok actually. And they're big enough to hold more than an orange! The assorted fabrics are holiday colors but no santas etc.

[Here I have to say that our own childhood christmas stockings were pretty big. And they were made, by my mother of an interesting early 60's fabric - pale blue background with white and touches of pink puppies and kitties. The edges were finished in blue or pink bias binding. Mine is the pink one. Yes we still use them! They have carefully crafted loops at each side so they hang very nicely from my folks' coffee table handles. Hey - what can I say - at our house, Santa used the front door!]

Getting back to my quilt guild, we also collect hats and mittens for this same place to distribute, so I hope that some folks will have some nice things in their stockings this year.

Written at: 12/02/2001 11:26:00 PM

Given the Mid-East events of the last couple days, perhaps we all need to meditate on the words below for awhile:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction... The chain reaction of evil -- hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars -- must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the darkness of annihilation. - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Written at: 12/02/2001 05:21:00 PM

Saturday, December 01, 2001  
There is no end
There is no beginning.
There is only the infinite passion of life
-- Federico Fellini --

Written at: 12/01/2001 10:03:00 PM

In today's NYTimes was a memorial to Christoffer M. Carstenjen, one of the many killed on 9/11/01. Chris was one of two from the English/Morris dance communities killed. He was on UA flight 175 enroute to join a group of bikers for a ride up the California coast. His web site included this advice:

Best of all.....

Keep healthy, wealthy and wise. Your job is important, but don't live for just your job! Keep active and an open mind. Practice random acts of kindness. Complement someone each day. Listen to all sides of a story before making a decision. Don't be afraid to admitting on being wrong. Learn the meaning of Life. Try, please try, to live within your means. Don't worry about saving money for your kids' college costs, it means lots more if they pay their own way. Save at least 15% of what you make for retirement. Try to meet someone new everyday. Ann Landers really means well. Plan for the future. Listen and surround yourself with positive people and speakers. Don't let the turkeys get you down. Write when you get work.. :-)

Take care,

aka Sir Sword Boy , The Porch Guy, and Mr. Wonderful

Written at: 12/01/2001 06:36:00 PM

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