If you are interested in seeing my customer's quilts go to: http://www.miriamsquilts.blogspot.com/

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Santa and babies

Photo: Santa is a little scary, but not if I can keep ahold of Dad.
Little Man:  Santa is okay if viewed from the safety of Daddy's lap.

Elizabeth:  Not in the mood for the Christmas season at all.Photo: Elizabeth was not in the mood for Christmas spirit .

Monday, November 18, 2013

A picture paints a thousand words.

Some fun recent pictures that have warmed my heart.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Life as I know it

Life continues to be busy, craft show is over and who knows if it was worth the effort since I was just advertising my LA quilting.  Blake and I might do wood crafts next year, I'm actually thinking about turning one of my store rooms downstairs into a wood working area like I've had in a couple of other houses, someplace where I can cut wood without being out in a cold/dark garage most of the year.  I'm seeing all kinds of wood things I'd like to do -- it's been a long time.

Quilting is crazy busy right now, as is typical for this time of year.  I'm glad of it or something would be wrong with my business!!

I've been called as the compassionate service leader in our ward (me and another lovely lady.)  Just turned in the last 3 missionary plaques and all my ordering information to the new people who will be doing it in our two wards (we were just divided).  I've taken care of that for about 9 years, it seems kind of strange to hand it over to others.  Someone else is doing the Sunday bulletin now as well.  It will be interesting to see how this ward functions -- I kind of had a few issues with the way callings were filled in the previous ward. 

Above are the piano lesson prizes my students have earned for September and October.  They have to practice 5 days a week for the month to get that month's prize.  It's not easy for me to get these made each month, I'm very busy, so I expect them to really have earned them. (It's amazingly difficult for students to accomplish that....you would think it would be a given/expected, you take piano lessons, you practice 1/2 an hour every day.) They have one more week to earn November's prize and I'm already wondering how in the world I'm going to get those made up.  But I enjoy doing things differently than other teachers and trying to make piano lessons a bit fun if possible. 

Our new rental (the twin home) is finally fixed up and rented.  We've already had to go back and fix a roof leak and the floor drain into the laundry room started backing up when they installed their washing machine.  Had a plumber over to fix that.  Eventually we'll get all the bugs worked out of this little place.  We knew going in there was a lot to fix on this place, but I think we've almost got it done until next summer when we will fix the yard. 

Our old house finally got the rest of the front landscaping rocks brought in.  Seems like it took all summer to get that project completed.  Looks really nice - I need to take a picture.  We still need to simplify the back yard there so it is easy to maintain...another project for next summer. 

Dave has had his annual Fall cough.  Ever since he had both lungs fill up with fluid after his surgery a few years ago this has turned into an annual thing for him.  Takes forever for him to get over it - don't think his lungs will ever be the same. 

Plan to help out at Ashley's with the other girls when Addie has her surgery.  Our sweet little Addison, hope this finally gets her feeling good.  Still keeping our fingers crossed that Little Man becomes a permanent member of our family without any complications.  Spencer tried to amputate his thumb a few months back (a bit of an exaggeration...but just a bit!)  Last I heard it wasn't healing as well as it should, hopefully that's old news and it's doing better.  Blake and Sarah have driven to our place 3 weeks in a row to help us with the new rental...what good sports.  Finally they had a weekend to stay home and they've all had the flu.  Bummer. 

Well, I must go and work on something -- it's a toss up, do the bills or finish a quilt.  Hmmmmmm. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New addition downstairs

We finally found something to sit Dad's new TV into.  It was delivered yesterday.  It's still sitting out from the wall so this weekend when some of you are here we'll need help moving it back.  Also, with this purchase we were able to buy a ping pong table for a real deal, so we got one.  It is still sitting in the box and weighs a TON!  After moving this entertainment center, if someone wants the fun of assembling the game table, go for it!  Our big empty room is finally filling up.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Salt Sugar Fat

I usually don't write about a book I've read until after I've finished it....I'm currently on page xiii (still in the prologue!), and find myself wanting to start marking the things I'm reading in the book.  (Drats - I thought I was being so smart to wait for it at the library and save myself the cost of the book.)  My guess is that I'm going to find many things that I want to share with people I love.  How to do it without preaching?  Especially since I eat as badly as everyone else in the country, and I've done enough digging to know better.  When you are in a hurry it's just so much easier to eat fast, prepared food.  So, I'll just post things that hit me between the eyes, if you want to read and learn along with me - great!  I really hope you do.  If not, then I'm not forcing anything on you.

"General Mills was dominating in the dairy aisle, showing the rest of the industry just how easy it was to influence America's eating habits.  The company's Yoplait brand had already transformed traditional unsweetened breakfast yogurt into a dessert-like snack.  It now had twice as much sugar per serving as Lucky Charms, the company's cloyingly sweet, marshmallow-filled cereal.  And yet, because of yogurt's well-tended image as a wholesome, life-giving snack, sales of Yoplait were soaring, with annual revenue topping $5000 million.  Emboldened by the success, General Mills'  development wing pushed even harder, inventing a yogurt that came in a squeezable tube -- perfect for kids -- eliminating the need for a spoon.  They called it Go-Gurt."

Thursday, October 10, 2013

My life

1.  Rental:  painting over at the new rental.  Currently trying to get the first white coat on to cover 4 rooms that have very dark walls.  Took paint samples over to the hardware store and we now have matching paint to paint the outside of the house - but the weather has been either rainy or too cold, so the paint is waiting.  Got the carpets cleaned, as well as the refrigerator.  Found a heavy duty weed whacker to borrow, hope to hack down the weeds next week.

2.  Quilts:  I can feel my busy season starting.  Already have a back log and of course I had someone come in with one that needs to be done right now.  She is a good friend, so I try to accommodate.

3.  Grandbabies birthdays:  Have 2 this month having their first birthdays.  Received a request for quiet books - which are super time consuming.  So, I wake up about 5:00 a.m. each morning and work on those before I start my day.  If all goes as planned I hope to finish them up today. 

4.  I had an insane urg to apply for a booth at our local Holly Fair.  And wouldn't you know -- I managed to get one.  Not sure if I'm happy or mad about it!!!  A friend offered to share it with me, so hopefully she'll do most of the stuff to sell and I can just advertise my quilting business, which was the whole idea to begin with.  Still have some things that I need to prepare for it,  not sure how I'm going to get it all done, but with the quiet books finished now maybe I'll work on this at 5:00 am!

5.  Our ward was divided the week before conference.  I kept expecting to get a call and given an assignment, but so far - nada.  Not complaining - not sure how I could handle trying to deal with a new calling right now.  This sunday will be interesting, though, since we are in the new ward and there will be lots of people we don't know and lots of sustainings going on!

6.  Piano lessons:  still going strong.  I'm still struggling with how to organize myself, trying to instigate new programs for sight reading, composing, playing by ear, playing lead sheets, theory games, ensemble playing on digital pianos, monthly incentive activities (what have I forgotten?).  Just finished Sept and made about 8 music themed light switch cover plates.  Never done anything like that before and it took me awhile but they turned out pretty neat, kids seemed to like them.  Have October's practice incentive game up and running, and trying to think ahead to Nov and Dec.  My head is just buzzing. 

7.  House cleaning and cooking - not happening.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

#3 of 3 videos of interior of duplex

#2 of 3 videos of the interior of duplex

#1 of 3 videos of duplex interior

Having problems getting these videos to down load.  I have 3 of them and so far this first one is the only one I've gotten to go through.  So I'll go ahead and post it and keep trying on the others. 
The video ran out and I didn't realize it....so you don't get to see the lovely dark brown bathroom, with a really gross tub.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Our newest project

 It really is a bit of a mess -- do we have "stupid" stamped on our foreheads?  Just you wait, this is going to be a great rental property when we get it fixed up.  Hopefully most of it will just be elbow grease. 
 I think half of the light bulbs inside are burned out, it was pretty dark in there, so I'll take pictures in there at another time.  The entire thing will have to be repainted, cleaned, etc.  And the back yard....oh a must see, the discarded washing machine back there is the highlight I think. 
 The other side of the duplex was purchased recently by people we know for rental property as well.  They had a real mess to clean up on that end also, but now have it rented to a nice young couple.  I'm sure they, as well as the rest of the neighborhood, will be delighted to have our side cleaned up. 
We spent a little while this evening, before it got too dark, cutting down enough weeds so it's possible to get through the front gate without having to push them aside.  We set out the garbage can (which was thoughtfully left by the previous people....full, and sitting in the garage with additional bags of garbage sitting around it) delightful.  I actually get a kick out of turning yucky into nice.  Unfortunately this is my busy time of year for quilting, so I would have preferred not to be doing this right now, but ya do what ya have to do.  We'll just need to be super organized to keep up with everything - some of our kids have said they'll come in a few weekends to help, so I think we have a good shot at meeting our goal.  Let the fun begin :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Piano Blog Open

I finally got my new piano blog up and running.  It's just bare bones right now and I just picked one of the easy blogger backgrounds, just something to get it going - it'll be tweaked as time goes on.  Anyone interested in taking a look:  miriamspianostudio.blogspot.com

This is my new effort to keep parents informed of what's going on and to highlight achievements of my students.  I hope it works the way I envision it.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Photos of our newest addition

"Little Man", as Tom and Chelsea call him, is our newest grandson (not legally yet, but that doesn't matter to us!  -- though we'll be happy when all the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed.)  We will all get to meet him in October and are so very excited for that.  Tom and Chelsea have waited a long time to have a little person in their family, and this little guy is a keeper!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Fun Halloween Decoration

I ran across this fun Halloween decoration idea today.  Wouldn't this be fun to sit out on an end table or shelf during October??  This person bought these this way, but I think I'll hit D.I. and find some old books and paint them up.  I'm lovin' it. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Piano Lessons Renewed

I have taught piano lessons for years...and years (perhaps 30ish).  I took a break when we moved to Roosevelt, I was burned out.  Decided to start a new endeavor and learned how to longarm quilt.  I've been doing that about 5 years now, and I've gotten to the point that I don't have to think so hard any more to put out a nice quilt for a customer.  When a friend approached me about teaching her daughter piano lessons; instead of groaning inside, it sounded fun again.  A good indication that I could return to it.  The past 2 years I've casually taught just a few students, I decided to just keep things easy and uncomplicated.  (I have a very bad habit of thinking outside of the box and turning little endeavors into massive projects.)
 Here I am again, turning something nice and easy into a massive project :)  I just can't help myself.  Google is the devil!  I was online a few months ago just flitting around, and decided to see if Pinterest had anything fun with piano lesson ideas.  They do!  But the best part was that I found a piano teaching site that has changed how I want to teach this next year.  I've spent the past 2 months in every spare minute I had reading all their past posts, and searching other sites and googling hundreds of piano teaching topics, I'm going to be the FUNNEST PIANO TEACHER IN THE STATE!!!  We're talking lead sheets, composing original compositions, games galore, monthly incentive programs, a studio blog (I hope, haven't gotten that part done yet), mash-ups, fun sight reading, silly things in my front yard each week to welcome students, interesting performance ideas, goofy practice ideas each lesson.  The list goes on and on.  I'm still trying to organize my massive piles of notes.  I've just pulled out a bunch of my teaching aides that I haven't looked at in almost 10 years to remind me what I have and reorganize them.
These photos don't even show the stuff that is in by my piano or downstairs in the storage room that I haven't gone through yet.  I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed, but I will get it up and running and it is going to be sooo cool.  I wish I'd had a teacher like me when I was taking lessons :)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Yard updates.

 We spent several hours at our old house/rental today.  The cement edging was put in a week ago and it looks good.  We had to go and clean up the sod that was cut away in the prep for the cement. 
 I always regret it when I let a contractor do something when I'm not there.  Overall, it is good, but there are two spots that he didn't do it like I wanted it.  In the above photo he curved in behind two above ground sprinkler heads.  We'll be putting grass in along the rest of the fence there and with it the way it is you would have to mow and trim around those two sprinklers.  Not what I told him.  We planted 6 plants to fill in areas where we'd taken out plants that were creating a mess.  You can see a couple here.  They look small and inadequate now, but when they grow it'll be pretty.
 The bush on the right is another new addition.  After speaking to the renters they started watering the lawn better and it was looking quite nice a few weeks ago....today it's looking dry again.  We're going to do things differently with the next renters.  Live and learn. 
 I'm going to move 3 large boulders that are in another area of the yard and put them in front of this tree to fill in that area a bit better.  The next step is to lay down weed fabric and have our local landscaper bring in rock to cover all the dirt in the planting bed areas.  Try to get this to look nice, but keep it easy so that it takes little effort for renters (or us) to maintain it. 
 My mother asked about how my flowers were doing at our home.  They FINALLY started to grow and fill in.  Still not terrific...I think I need to add some more stuff to the soil.  They sat and did nothing for weeks and weeks, the center island and around the post on the left still aren't really great, but it's better than it was.  I had such visions for this and it's been a bit disappointing that it hasn't lived up to them, .... next year :)  I didn't get to it this year but plan to put in artificial plants in the two planter boxes (under the window on the left, and under the fake shutters above the garage).  That will look nifty. 
I've been amazed how much these new bushes have grown just this summer, especially those bright green ones in the back.  I love to have splashes of red here and there, in my yard as well as decorating in the house. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Land Barons

 Tongue-in-cheek :)  But we do have 1 rental home as well as take care of my mother's rental.  Seems like this past summer we've spent quite a few weekends (and weekdays) at one or the other fixing something.  The above photos are from the front yard of our rental - we have a very nice young family living there right now, but the yard has just gotten away from them.  It is a hard yard - I struggled with it when we lived in the house.  The above photos show that a few of the trees are suffering from bores (or so our local nursery thinks), and you can see in the top photo that the plant/shrub areas of the yard have gone pretty wild. 
 We sprayed Round Up on things a few weeks ago and last night went over there and pulled, chopped, raked, and sawed until it was pretty cleaned up.
We are far from finished.  Need to get the stump guys over to grind up the stumps of dead or removed trees.  Then the cement edger guy over to lay edging down so the grass stays in it's own area.  Then lay down weed barrier and haul in rock to make things look nice and neat and it is easier for renters to keep the yard crisp and clean.  Next year we plan to start the same process in the back yard.
 We finally got renters in at my mother's rental. When we went over today we were happy to see that the lawn was all nicely mowed....a good sign.   We finally are getting around to replacing some broken boards on the gate to the back yard.  We also needed to trim the bottom of all the gate boards so they didn't scrape on the cement.  That gate has bothered me since we bought the house.  Finally fixed :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wedding Anniversary


(Well, actually this was taken last year when we were in Logan for my Dad's burial)

Today is our 39th wedding anniversary.  We've been together twice as long as we weren't together, does that make sense?  So many things in those 39 years, and we now find ourselves in the "golden years" - those words actually make sense now.  Other than losing parents they really are pretty golden, much easier than earlier ones.  As life would have it, we're spending the day apart - Dave has a bank meeting out of town and I have such a backlog of quilts with upcoming deadlines that I felt pressured to stay home and keep working. It's okay, we'll do something this weekend, part of being together long enough you get over fussing about the little things.

We are so grateful for 4 wonderful children who continue to make us proud, as well as their spouses and our grandchildren - the legacy we'll leave behind.  They are the gold in our lives.  

On to year 40!  We're already talking about an Alaska Cruise :) 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Book: Unwind by Neal Shusterman

I admit that I read weird books.  This one was extra weird.  I liked it, but its one of those stories that sticks with you for days afterwards.  I found myself dreaming about it while up camping in the woods -- not sure that's what I was really looking for.  It has some holes in the logic of the story, my initial thought was that it was dumb - nobody would ever really do this - but then when you think about what normal people actually do, how they justify horrendous actions, maybe they might.  It's easy to see what the author is pointing out, interesting. Gets you thinking.

"The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights.  The chilling resolution:  Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen.  Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end.  Connor is too difficult for his parents to control.  Risa, a ward of the state, is not talented enough to be kept alive.  And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound.  Together, they may have a chance to escape -- and to survive."

Chapter 61 was the part that really got me....the process of a teenager actually going through the process of being unwound.  Chilling.

This is a stand alone book.  Unusual these days of multiple sequels.  Despite everything, I did like it -- had a hard time putting it down.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Book: "The Selection" by Kiera Cass

I'm surprised I like this book...I mainly checked it out because of the cover, what a fun dress that would be to wear!  (Lame, I know!)  It's a tad juvenile, kind of predictable, and has a real flavor of the TV shows "The Bachelor or Bachelorette" which I don't watch because they drive me nuts.  But regardless of all that, it was a fun read!  I'm surprised. 

"For 35 girls the Selection is the chance of a lifetime.  The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth.  To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare.  It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her.  Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want.  Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks. 

Then America meets Prince Maxon.  Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself -- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined."

It is the first book of three, and yes, I'm going to go and look for the next one. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Manti Miracle Pagent

We drove to Provo and picked up Blake, Sarah and Elizabeth then took off for Manti to meet up with Tara's family and see the pageant.  The Parkers were coming in from a fun vacation to California and they were running, way, behind and didn't get there until at least half way through the show - so I didn't get any pictures of them.  Spencer wasn't feeling well and he opted for staying in their motel.

 This is only the second time we've been to this pageant and the last time Blake was just a little kid...I'm thinking Chelsea was on her mission.  So it was almost like seeing it for the first time, really didn't remember very much about it except vague impressions.  Lots of people, fun and wonderful atmosphere.  Can't imagine setting up all these chairs!
 I can't figure out how to control where the pictures choose to download themselves here, and don't have the time right now to mess with it.  So you get what you get.  We mowed the lawn for the first time this past Thursday (we were told to wait 3 weeks - it got pretty long!)  Looks so pretty.
 We've been watching for a sofa to put in the basement.  When Diana decided she wanted me to buy her out on the longarm I ended up using the money I was saving for a sofa to give to her.  With some other expenses coming up I had pretty much decided that the sofa just wasn't going to happen this year.  Blake found another discount place in Provo and took us there this weekend, we found this set for less than half what we had found other places....I decided to get it.  You some times just need to go with the deals when you find them. 
All set up to watch the 'big screen'. 
Okay, back to the pagent.

 Our beautiful little Elizabeth....she slept through the whole thing, the best baby ever! 
Evidently I have relatives buried in the cemetery just off the temple grounds.  Daniel Henrie and others who were very instrumental in the pioneer history of the area.  Mom told me there was a large tomb stone with multiple family members buried in the area.  Couldn't find any since we didn't know where to look.  Tried to check out all the larger monuments, but came up zero.  What a beautiful place to wait for the 2nd coming and resurrection. 

Neglected to get photos the next day when Parkers finally met up with us at Blake's for a BBQ on Saturday evening.  Spencer ended up at a hospital for most of the day, not getting a whole lot of help, and still feeling cruddy.  At least we did get to see everyone for a little while before we all had to take off.  We felt badly that the end of Tara's family's big trip ended up the way it did, but for us it was a very nice weekend. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Books: Inside Out and Outside In by Maria V. Snyder

Another good book set, Inside out is the first one and then Outside In is the second.  Just finished the 2nd and though I really liked both books, and it did end well - it left questions that I'm thinking.....what?  And as far as I can tell, it seems like there will just be the 2 books.  So I'm not happy about that, but it was a good story. 
I really need to get down stairs and get quilting on a large quilt with a quickly upcoming deadline, so I'm just going to do this fast.  It's a society that lives in a sealed container....out in space....they don't know it.  The original parameters of the endeavor have been forgotten over the many years and records were destroyed.  The society is quite sophisticated in some ways, and a bit behind in others. Someone figures out that things aren't as they seem, and of course there are others who don't want anyone figuring that out. There's a love story in there -- wouldn't be a good story without one. Even though the issue of leaving unanswered questions at the end isn't the best thing, I would read it again if I hadn't already.