My mother’s birthday wish to me

Today is my 50th birthday. It felt really good until I read this. It then felt wonderful.

From my mother:

I remember that day so well.  I was hot and humid and no air conditioning in the trailer.  I had a backache all afternoon and finally went to the hospital.  They put me to sleep (something they don’t do now), so when you were born you were very sleepy but I remember you well. So tiny and helpless.  As a single mother of two, I had no idea what the future would hold.  It has been an amazing fifty years with lots of ups and downs along the way.

There was no way then that I could picture you as your are now–beautiful, successful, kindhearted and loving with a wonderful family.  I am so proud of you. Happy birthday daughter.  It is my prayer that you will have many more happy and successful years and that all your dreams come true.

With all my love.


The Black Widow

One of the very first things I did today was kill a black widow.

I’m not a fan of killing living creatures, so the first thought that crossed my mind was to leave it be. The spider had a nice, safe position under the workout bench in our garage. If I were to leave it be, it’s possible this little guy could hide in that bench and bite someone later. I couldn’t live with that thought because I’m not the only one who uses our garage gym.

So I resorted to handling the problem as best I could. I retrieved a can of Super 77 from the cabinet and sprayed the guy until he could no longer move. I then scraped the frozen mess, using a paint scraper, into a huge pile of paper towels which I discarded into the trash can.

Problem solved.

However…is the spider really dead? Or will she come back to haunt me with frozen, sticky legs and wide goopey eyes, teeth sharp and chomping?

This could be a book.

Fourth of July Table Runner

Easy to make, no pattern needed.

Step 1. Find four or five different fabrics IMG_0999that go nicely together.

Step 2. Measure the length of your table and add the desired amount to hang over each edge. Width of table + hang over amount (x2). This is your finished length.

Select the preferred width for your table runner. The width and length are your finished dimensions.

Step 3. Cut each piece of fabric to the unfinished size. This is the dimension plus seam allowance. On non-pattern projects, I use 1/2″ seams…math is just easier this way. Remember to add your seam allowance to each side. For example, a middle section may be 10″ by 13″ (13″ is the table runner width in this example). Cut your fabric to 11″ by 14″.

IMG_0990 Step 4. Stitch the inside pieces together, using 1/2″ seam and a large stitch width. You want to end up with one long piece of fabric with outside edges unfinished. Press the seams open or to one side if following step 5 below.

Step 5. (Optional) For a more finished look, top stitch the outside of the fabric along the inside seam lines with a contrasting thread.

Step 6. Cut a piece of fabric for the backing. I used Muslin. You can use any similar weight material, or get creative to make a different pattern on the back side. This will make your table runner reversible.

IMG_0992Step 7. With right sides together, pin the front multi-fabric piece to the back piece on the long edges, leaving a gap to turn the fabric (the length of the gap will depend on the thickness of your fabric). Mark the gap with safety pins so you don’t forget and stitch through it.

Step 8. Make a v-shaped pattern for the ends that drop over the edge of the table. Make sure to include 1/2″ for seam allowance. Place the pattern on top of each fabric end and cut around the edge.

StepIMG_0993 9. Stitch around the entire outside perimeter of the fabric, using a 1/2″ seam allowance and leaving the gap on one long edge open.

Turn the fabric right side out though the gap left open on the edge. Press the seams flat.


Pin the gap opening together and top stitch along the outside edge, closing the gap with a top stitch. If you prefer not to use top-stitching, hand sew the gap together.

Step 10. Finish the table runner by adding buttons or other embellishments as desired on the top side of the runner.




I can’t wait to make one of these for Christmas!