Friday, July 29, 2011

Día de los Muertos

Day of the Dead or Día de los Muertos is primarily a Mexican holiday. The holiday focuses on gatherings to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died and takes place on November 1st and 2nd. Of course, like most other ethnic holidays, we all like to get in on the celebration.

Recently the hubster and I got this new CD by "Los Lonely Boys" ~ we are both fans and we loved the artwork on the cover. He liked it so much he asked me if I had any fabric similar to that to make him a new wallet. Did I tell you he really will only use my wallets anymore? He loves the funky look and the fact that they are much less bulky than a regular wallet.
Anyway I was happy to go on a quest to find just the right fabric. Julz and I actually found 3. There was a small, medium and large print so I got a yard of each. Made Richard his wallet and then decided I would see how much else I could get out of those three yards.
I got 6 wallets, 4 snappy bags, 2 clutch bags, a busy book, a travel pillow case, a children's screen bag and an adult screen bag ~ phew! And now they are all in my Etsy Shop.  Hop on over and check out the individual pics.

I had fun making them and I hope you will have fun using them. November 2nd is right around the corner ~ but if you are like me you'll use them anytime for year round fun!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summer Reading List

Here is my summer reading list:

"Spider Web" by Earlene Fowler ~ another in the Bennie Harper murder mysteries.  Always a winner.  There have been at least a dozen of these all named after quilt block patterns but you really don't have to be a quilter to enjoy them.
They are set in the ranch country of So Calif.  Great set of characters you will become attached to. She's also done a few other books and I really have loved every one. 

"The Help" by Kathryn Stocket ~ This is the only one I have finished so far.  It had been suggested to me by my friend Carolyn in Ft. Lauderdale and I finally got around to picking it up.  I really did love it.  It takes place in the south in the 60's.  And the help are the black maids of the white southern women and the relationships (both good and bad) between them.  It's actually being made into a movie which I will most likely see as well.  There was one part that was a bit over the top but all in all a good read.

"A Single Thread" and "A Thread of Truth" both  by Marie Bostwick ~ She's a new to me author although I think she's done 4 or 5 books already.  I got to meet her a few months back at a quilt show.  She's somewhat local and such a nice person.  We talked for quite some time and I really wanted to get all the books in the series so far. I'm looking forward to reading these.

"The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society"
      by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows ~ Another recommendation, this time from Donna in NC (hey Batman).  Looks like something I would enjoy.

"The Secret Life of Damien Spinelli"  as told to Diane Miller by Carolyn Hennesy ~ okay so here is where I geek out on you.  Damien Spinelli is a character on the soap "General Hospital."  Diane Miller is also a character on GH as well as "Cougar Town."  The actress who plays her is Carolyn Hennesy who actually did write the book.   Anyway... I got it for the novelty and eventually I will read it.  I will say it's pretty much on the bottom of my list.

"Star Island" by Carl Hiaasen ~ Another favorite author.  A south Florida native, I've read almost everything he has written including his young adult books.  He is witty and sarcastic and the things that happen in his books are completely outrageous unless you happen to have lived in South Florida and then trust me, you'll know these crazy people really exist.

"I still Dream About You" by Fannie Flagg ~ Another author I would read anything she's written.  In case the name seems familiar she wrote "Fried Green  Tomatoes" and while the move was wonderful  ~ the book was even better.  I believe I've read everything she's ever written and I'm about half way through this one.  So far, so good.

Well that's my list to get through ~  What's on your list?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Time with Miss Charlie

I've been missing my little Smoosh something awful. I hadn't gotten to see her since Easter which in Grammy years is an eternity.
Jen and I Skype which is nice but resulted in Charlie thinking her grandmother lives in the computer. So you can only imagine how thrilled I was to get to spend 9 whole days with the most adorable baby on the planet!

Mind you, some of those days were so very sad, yet in the saddest of moments, she made us all smile. We just couldn't help ourselves, she's just so damn cute!

She loved getting to play with her second cousins
And have Auntie Julz at her beck and call.

Lots of time playing with Grammy (and my stretchy bracelets) in the hotel and chillin' with all of us

I got to go to her Baby Gym class which was so unbelievably cute

Had an outing at Marineland where we saw lots of dolphins

Even had some one on one time while mommy and daddy went out on a date.  They clean up nice, don't they?

So have I gotten my fill of this little girl? Not even close.... August can't get here fast enough!

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Importance of Cousins

I didn't grow up with my cousins. Joey and I lived in Florida ~ most of them lived in New York. She and I did stay with them a couple of summers. There were a few rare visits here and there but it was funny ~ I still felt a connection to them. Thanks to our cousin Linda and email and now Facebook, we've all started reconnecting. So, when I had the chance to go see a lot of them last month I jumped at it.
There are a lot of us Granger cousins. Our parents were seven brothers and sisters resulting in 17 of us. Here are 7 of us (missing the other 10) at my cousin Jimmy's house in Jersey. I got to meet a lot of their kids for he first time and our kids made friends. It really was wonderful.  Now that we live in No. Va I'm hoping to see them all much more often. Here is one I do get to see more regularly.. My cousin Nate lives 10 minutes from me now so I also got to see his sister Susan for the first time in 11 yrs.

And now comes a new generation of cousins. This is my niece Danielle with her Abbi, my niece Trish with her Maddie, my daughter Julianne and my daughter Jen with her Charlie. Again these girls didn't really grow up together but thanks to Facebook are really close. I was so happy to have them all together and to see how naturally they just clicked. They have vowed to get together much more often ~ which won't be easy seeing as how they live in Alabama, Texas, Virginia and soon to be Maryland ~ but I'm betting they'll make it work... After all ~

they are cousins. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Last Words I Said

Two weeks ago today I held my sister's hand as her heart beat for the last time. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. One thing that makes her death a bit bearable were knowing the last words I said to her. I talked to her on the phone about a week before her death. She called me on her dinner break from work and we chatted, mostly just family stuff. But I know without any doubt that the last words I said to her were "I love you." It's how we always ended our conversations. It's a lesson I learned years ago. If you love someone, you should always end with those words. You never know when they will be your last.
She just turned 60 this year.  Waaay too young  to be gone.  It was a cerebral hemorrhage.  It was fast and she never knew what happened.   Needless to say we have all been devastated by this.  Most especially her daughter Danielle and her husband Dick.  When Danielle called to tell me they were bringing her in to the hospital, I called Richard at work and within an hour we were in the car and on the way to Alabama.  My Jen and Charlie jumped in their car and arrived in Alabama minutes before us.  Also my sister Terry and niece Trish (and her little Maddie)  drove in from Texas.  Amazing how families come together at times like this.   It was the best of times at the worst of times.  I do wish Danielle lived closer ~ leaving her was so hard.  Thank goodness for technology ~ we not only talk, we text and we chat on facebook several times a day.

Joey was born in April of 1951 and we share the same birth parents ~ a rarity in our family.   Being 5 yrs older than me and having a divorced working mom, she was my primary caregiver.  I'm sure it was a pain for her to have to have me tagging along with her where ever she went but eventually we became great friends.
We even worked at the same company for close to 5 years and lived together in my first apartment away from home.  And actually years later when Jen was little and I was divorced, we lived together once more ~ even after she had her little girl.  We were our own unique little family.

Time passed, I married Richard...She married her husband ~ also a Richard (but called Dick).  I moved to Raleigh.  She moved to Alabama.   We still managed to get together when we could and chatted often as well.

She will leave a huge hole in my life and I will miss her dearly.  But she leaves behind a legacy of love and friendship which I will hold in my heart always. 

Good bye my sister ~ I love you!