Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Fourth of July, Fireworks and Firetrucks

 I love fireworks. This year I went to the fireworks with a fireman in a firetruck. Some want a knight in shining armor, not me,      
 I want the Big Red Truck.  This was the first time in 10 years that I got to ride in the fire truck.  I know why the children of the firemen love riding  in firetrucks now. You are way up and it feels like a giant rocking horse. 

     There have to be two firemen at the station at all times day and night.
Some of the shifts are 24 hours on, 24 hours off week in week out irregardless of holidays. The station is manned by at least 3 shifts that follow the 24 hour shift and a regular work week. Firemen are required to attend training sessions once a month, attend weekly drills and take courses yearly to update their training and participate in at least 80% of all calls. The ranks of the regular salaried employees are supplemented by a core of dedicated volunteers that take the same kind of training courses.
     Even though my county is very small, there are some major manufacturing sites like the Hartsville Oil Company and Nucor. Several years ago the Hartsville Oil Co which process peanuts for peanut oil caught on fire.     
   After ten days of 24 hour vigilance and effort, the fires finally stopped erupting and the fire was out. The Fire Department saved a multi-million dollar operation.

The Fire company is very family oriented. Even the Annual Fire - Rescue Conference at Myrtle Beach stresses this very important precept of family should be first. The classes are over early in the afternoon and activities for the afternoon include events that the children and wives can attend like the Fire Fighters' Competitions.  Here is a link for free fire fighter games I tried playing and my airplane sunk in the water.
     The Fire Departments are also on call to neighboring counties. When the fires engulfed the wooded areas on the Grand Strand, Fire companies from all over the state sent 2 men on a daily basis to help. This is the creed of the Firemen, the brotherhood of family.
    This July 4th, I spent in the company of the Fire Department who were on call at the local country club to monitor the dried drought stricken wooded areas around where the fire works were being displayed.
Besides the regular employees, there were several volunteers there as well as employees who were not on the regular schedule.
   This is Earl B.  who continues to make every fire and has been a working fireman for over 5O years. Mike's daughter-in Law is married to fireman and has gone on many rescues with the local Rescue Squad. She is the one I would want to help me in a crisis.
Mike and Pat are discussing what needs to be done to protect the city and surrounding areas from the grass fires that are starting from the fireworks.    
 Mike is Pat's Father and actually the third generation of fire fighters, Mike's grandson has just started as a volunteer fireman in addition to his regular job.
    At about dark we went over several firetrucks and cars filled with kids, wives and friends to watch the fireworks.

We had about 6 boys of all ages watching the fireworks.

The Country Club was playing Patriotic Music during the display. One of the selections was Kate Smith singing God Bless America .  Kate Smith enjoyed a second career late in life as the singing mascot for the Philadelphia Flyers. The video is of Kate Smith singing the Anthem at the Stanly Cup Hockey game vs. the Canadians in 1976. Whenever there was a super important game, Kate Smith showed up and personally sang and everyone knew the Flyers would win.  It was a simpler time in those days where playing a National Anthem would win the day.

I really love fireworks and this was a special evening for me.
This was the picture of the fireworks that a friend sent me. At over $400.00 they must have had a big time.  How was your 4th, what memories did it invoke for you?

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Princess has a Friend Staying Over

For those of you that don't know this is my Dog Princess
 Princess has a friend staying with her for the next week.  At least I thought she was Princess's friend until I found this email posted on my computer from Scout to her mother.

Dear dog don mom,

      What ever were you thinking when you left me with THAT woman.
I don't like complaining, but realllllllly, you are kidding.
     Let me tell you about her sleeping habits. Truthfully I have trained you well and we do go to bed at a reasonable time like 9:00 pm. I have given her all kind of hints like lying on top of her    when she is watching TV and not baseball games - I could understand baseball which is based on chasing a ball, but Something I believe is called FASHOLE POLICE - doesn't even have sirens. Last night I thought she was finally ready for bed           
I stared for over 30 minutes,
 , the woman is dense

 and guess what she did till 2:00 in the morning, she went in the back room and used the machinery. Finally we went to bed, and then it started. She wouldn't let me under the covers - Can you Imagine that? What is she thinking? What were you Thinking leaving me with woman who clearly doesn't understand the first thing about my needs?
       Ha, she thought she made it clear. I waited till she was asleep and got right under the pillow under her legs or next to her back for the rest of the night. She kept moving around in her sleep. I am hopeful that she got so tired that we will go to sleep at a reasonable time tonight.
      There are some plus sides. She feeds me freshly cooked stew in the morning, but it is the barbecue chicken in the evening that truly makes me howl for joy. You have just got to get her recipe. Also I know she suspects that I am the one eating the food, however, I hate to break it to her, it is the White Trash Dog Princess that sneaks about and eats my food!!!
Just wait, Princess will get her just desserts and it wont be chicken either.
         She also did one other good thing this morning. She took out my little rubber baseball and threw it across her big yard until I had enough. Really, did she really think I would do it more then 20 times, 17 was more then sufficient. If she thinks it will tire me out, fat chance. I just decided to smell the cat smells on the porch near the front door.
     I know you communicate with this woman, would you please try and do something about this situation?

Yours in Faith.
Scout the dog

This is the text of the email that was sent to Scout and  I intercepted from Scout's Mother who left Scout with me.

Oh, dear Scouty, I am so sorry you are having SUCH a rough time. I mean, beef stew and BBQ chicken on the same day. It is a good thing you did your exercises afterwards! About the sleeping....she will wear out eventually and spend all day in bed and won't realize you are in there with her, I promise...she is VERY forgetful and tires easily as you saw by the 17 ball throws. Try to hang in there doggie dearest and we will rescue you ASAP.

Are her grandies still coming to stay with you? If so be nice, they like that trash dog Princess so keep YOUR mouth shut about her!
Dog Mama

Sunday, July 3, 2011

May is for M Month, M is for Mother's Day on the 3-G Network

Mother's Day Weekend 2011 was an special event for me.

I got to go to my Daughter's home and we celebrated a variety of very special events. First my oldest granddaughter (G-1) attended her 8th grade prom. 

This is my 6th grade Graduation and Prom Dress - Styles have changed- haven't they?
I tried to find a picture of my daughter's prom dress. It was this beautiful white dress of yards of lace with a petticoat hoop - and she spent weeks sewing hundreds of pearls on it. It was gorgeous.
My Granddaugter (G-1)  also selected and invited her father to be a chaperon at the dance. This is her dad's outfit. the wall behind him is really pink however the glow from his outfit turned green. He is a big Celtics fan if you haven't noticed. 
(G-1)  enjoying his Celtics suit and of course lest we overlook the green feathered hat.

 My granddaughter (G-1)  has an amazing sense of the ridiculous and humor, she was non-plused by his outfit and loved him all the more for it. When he got to the dance, the principal of her school put him at the door so everyone was greeted by his green amazingness.

My youngest granddaughter (G-3) showed off all her wall of swimming trophies to me. She is quite the swimmer. My nickname for her is Little Mermaid. She is the state champion in points in her age group.
She is perpetually cold.She had taken to wearing a hat all the time. You would not believe how cold the water is and she gets up every morning to swim with her coach.
May is also my middle granddaughter's birthday (G-2). We attended her birthday party at the gym where she is a Competition Cheerleader.

As my daughter so aptly puts it...." The Girls had a big Time"!!!!!!
Here are some pictures from the Tumbling Party at the Gym.

The Birthday Cake was amazing. It looked like it was ordered from Cake Boss.

The girls played a game - there were 3 calls:
1. Monkeys in a tree - climb up on your partner's back
2. Lovers Lane  seen above
3. Surf Board.   you get up on your partner's back who is lying on the floor.

The final event of the weekend was the lovely musical concert from my Granddaughter's school. She plays the flute. The performances were doubly amazing as this was the first year they had band. They have a dedicated music teacher that made this possible.

The musical pieces and vocals were outstanding. The setting of the beautiful church made a lovely backdrop for the classical musical and show tunes and Bell choir.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Sister Quilters - 2011 Swamp Fox Quilters Show

Sister Quilters - 2011 Swamp Fox Quilter's Show
9 Patch Challenge
A Nine Patch must  be a 3 x 3 Square with Nine Equal Squares and variations of that basic square.
June 2nd, 2011
Hartsville Museum, Hartsville SC

Two friends and a doll Teacher.
Karen on the right and Mama Kautsie on the left aka Ethel are my bested Quilting Buddies.

I have a special place in my heart for Karen Preston, Doll Teacher Extraordinaire who taught me to make my Avatar Doll.

This is Donna's beautiful Quilt and a closeup of the many Nine Patches in her quilt.  

Karen's Amazingly Beautiful Quilt Sunshine On My Shoulders took top honors of Best in Show, Best Machine Quilting and Best Applique.

Closeup of the Trapunto Quilting in Karen's Quilt

Two Videos on Trapunto Quilting

Quilters are among the most sharing of Crafts persons. We have a third Thursday of the month Workday and our quilters are sharing their knowledge, expertise and love of quilting with the rest of the guild members.   Karen will be demonstrating the Trapunto Technique shown in the close up above; I have already done a workshop on the Origami Flowers and Rita whose award winning quilts are below will be doing a Workshop on Fractured Flowers.
This is the Fractured Flower Technique that Rita S. will be teaching us in September at the Swamp Fox Quilters Workday. Rita S. taught me how to do Paper Piecing at a workday two years ago and I have been paper piecing ever since.  She is a great teacher, patient and makes it easier for quilters to learn new techniques.

Rita S. also won for best use of theme in her quilt entitled Slumber Party. Now I am a beginner doll maker and I fell in love with this sweet and adorable quilt. Each doll is dimensional and peeks out from each individual Nine Patch quilt.

Rita S. won Two Awards . One for Best Use of theme in Slumber Party and one for applique.

Me, Ethel, or aka Mama Maustie actually won a ribbon too, A second place for Origami Springtime.  I have already done my workshop on this technique and some beautiful quilted postcards made by members of the guild were the result.

Each of the flowers is a folded fabric origami flower. I learned this technique from a book entitled: Fantastic Fabric Folding by Rebbecca Wat.
For a website on folding fabric techniques try this one:

There are two more photos I would like to share with you.

This is Carolyn B's beautiful and moving art quilt entitled Community
Carolyn B's quilt was a nine patch and each of the symbols represents the  the community spirit in symbols.
Finally the last quilt was Ed V's quilt entitled Isabella. This lacy pink quilt will be an October Birthday present for his granddaugther.  The President of QSC attended our show and banquet and awarded Ed a special ribbon for best First Time Entry.
    I am on a mission to improve my quilting techniques. So this is what I have learned. It is important to wash your fabric in luke-warm water because it removes the formaldehyde, a carcinogen that causes cancer. I know about that because my mother had to sterilize pillow and quilts in New York City using that chemical for many years. My mother died of breast cancer.
   To keep your fabric from fraying into a tangle mess of warp threads, clip the corners and your fabric will not knot up.
The third thing I found out is that once you wash the fabric you then need to starch and press it using an up and down motion. When you go to fabric stores to test out machines they always give you a white piece of cotton that is starched and the stitches look wonderful.  I found that in a book called Teach Yourself Machine Piecing and Quilting by Debra Wagner.

The final thing I want to say is to ask forgiveness from Ethel and Lucy for forsaking blogging for a sake of worthless cause.