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When it Rains, it Pours….


yep, this is how I’ve been feeling–just not myself. I don’t know if it’s all the rain (we’ve had six inches this month); is it that summer is over? and that it went way too fast; is it the fact that our Wendy took ill, was hospitalized and had surgery? she’s our rock — she’s not supposed to get sick! or is it my impending hand surgery next week? I just started a different job on campus–it’s going well, just very hectic. Could it be menopause? Seems I’m just angry with everyone…maybe it’s the fibromyalgia or the rheumatoid arthritis–can’t even close my hands in the morning now. Maybe it’s that Bruce has been letting the puppies sleep in our bed recently…and our bed is barely big enough for the two of us! Or, is it just this time of year–when my mom died–it was a very rainy fall day when she was buried. I always get a little weepy this time of the year.

So, what will lift my spirits? I’d like to start walking at night, just a little. I’ve been working on my scarves and practicing quite a bit with hand dyeing the silk. I don’t know what I’ll be able to do once my surgery is complete–I can take up to six weeks off from work but I really want to be back in three weeks or so. My doctor is fusing the bone joint of my right thumb; my thumb will be immobile for six weeks. No quilting or cross stitch for a while…hoping to be able to create some scarves with my left hand! please….make recommendations for any good books or movies–I expect I’ll be a might lazy the next few weeks.

All of the Patocka “men” have been very busy and I don’t see any of them much. Hard to believe that Travis will be 19 in about 5 weeks. How the time has flown…


The Month Flew By…

Well, I can hardly believe that nearly a month has gone by since I posted on this blog. Hope you’re not disappointed in me!Let’s see…what’s happened since then? Well, last weekend, we adopted two–yep, TWO–golden retriever puppies! We went for one and ended up with two (long story)…here’s a picture of Bruce at Seneca Lake on a very rare sunny day!

Bruce with (Cap’n) Morgan (left), Mia (right), and Maddie

They’ve been very good, actually…they sleep from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m.  They will run to the door and scratch it to go out–and they’re only 9 weeks old.  I think that’s a good sign.  They spent some time Saturday afternoon by themselves in their crate as we attended my niece’s graduation party here in Horseheads.  My niece, Korryn, along with my brother, Ken and sister-in-law Kathy live in southern Maryland.

Korryn Paige Whited

I start my three-day work week next week…and Travis graduates from high school on Saturday (if he passes Physics!)  Brad will be heading to Florida to visit a friend who”s birthday is the same as his–they both turn 21 this Friday!  I couldn’t believe he would be going away for his 21st birthday but he told me that he hasn’t missed sharing his birthday with Justin since 8th grade….I casually reminded him that I was there at his birth and every year since!

I”m looking forward to getting back to my sewing–I have done a smidge of cross-stitch, and I’ve worked a bit on organizing my stash.  I’ll post more pictures soon.   By this time last year, we had spent a huge amount of time at Seneca Lake.  The rain just won’t go away!  I’m hoping we’ll get up there this weekend.  Bruce’s friend, John, is planning a party for Bruce this Saturday late afternoon…and, of course, Father’s Day is Sunday.   What a busy summer ahead!


A very busy Sunday for me with all my favorite things:

*Family:  I had a baby shower to attend in the afternoon–it was for my niece, Katie.  It’s her first baby–presumably a boy named Mason.  His dad, John, was a big baby–10 lbs, 11 oz–and so far, Mason is about 1-1/2 lbs. heavier than most babies at this stage in their mommy’s tummies.  Good Luck, Katie!  It was nice to see many of the relatives that I haven’t seen in awhile, even though they nagged me about not making trips up to Waneta Lake, where everyone hangs out!  I promise this year, Bruce and I will make it there more often!  My niece, Amy, was there with her little girls (my great-nieces, good lord!)–Audrey and Hannah.  Just beautiful little girls–made me long for a granddaughter–but not yet!

Katie & John, Myrtle Beach, 2010

*Food: I made a pot of Spanish Rice for Bruce to eat while I was out–knew he’d keep an eye on the pot simmering while napping during watching the Daytona race!  And he did (watched the pot and napped!)….it was a new recipe, and he loved it!

*Florida: I love Florida, love the Daytona race–but would never move there.  I love the changing seasons in the Northeast too much!  And, I just loved it that the rookie, Trevor Bayne, won the Daytona 500!  Isn’t he cute????

Trevor Bayne, 2011 Daytona 500 winner

It was a bittersweet day because it was the 10th anniversary of the death of Dale Earnhardt Sr.–Bruce’s all-time hero.  It doesn’t seem possible that it’s been ten years!

and of course, my favorite, favorite thing!~~

*Fabric: when I got home from the baby shower, I worked on cutting out strips for a quick wall-hanging that I want to do for my kitchen–it’s called, “Neighborly Welcome”.  I’ve always loved log cabin quilts, and I like the “earthy tones” in this quilt.  Here’s a few photos to give you an idea:

Neighborly Welcome, by

Neighborly Welcome, close-up of the colors

Neighborly Welcome, Log Cabin Block

I’m very excited about this quilted wallhanging and I’m anxious to have it completed!  Most of the quilts I make are very involved–pieced and appliqued, usually–so it’s nice to see the results a little faster.  And I found a local long-arm quilter–Laurie’s Long Arm Quilting in Elmira Heights–and I was quite impressed with her work.  I think I’ll have her start with the wall hanging, then move on to the Mystery Quilt, if I’m pleased.

Well, better go start dinner….we’ll talk soon!


Snowy-Blowy Saturday

Ahhhh…….winter! What a strange weekend! Saturday was very windy….we were supposed to have a Romantic Night out with our friends, heading to Nichols NY for dinner and then off to the casinos nearby! We’ve never been there, Bruce and I, but thought we’d see if we could raise some racing funds (or quilt shop dollars, in my case!)

My friend texted me that they had snow-covered roads and high winds, with the Weather Channel advising no unnecessary travel! Our roads were clear…BUT two hours later *whoa*the snow was blowing sideways and building up fast!

So our plans were canceled….Bruce and I decided to travel out, just far enough locally for dinner, then home. I knew he’d have to get up early in the morning to plow and salt the parking lots (that’s what his business does in the winter months).

Both of the boys were away (can you say q*u*i*e*t?)–Brad at a friend’s house and Travis visiting a friend in Arizona for a week. Lucky me, it gave me plenty of time to quilt!

Here’s my pieced New Year’s Day Mystery Quilt; the pattern is from Janet on If you’ve not seen a mystery quilt, basically, you’re given the directions step-by-step throughout the day with no concept or image as to how this quilt will turn out!

New Year’s Day Mystery Quilt 2011,

The colors (red, gold, black, sage and tan) would not be what I would typically put together, but I kinda like it. We’ll see when it’s all quilted. It’s a twin-size quilt, so I’m not certain where I’ll put it yet.

I used a lot of Jo Morton fabrics (my favorite), including a REALLY old fabric that I’ve had in my stash for a very, very long time, just waiting for the right opportunity to use that lovely rose border! What do you think?

Here’s a close-up of the blocks, basically two easy blocks:

Love those Jo Morton fabrics!

As much as I’m sick of winter, there’s nothing better than having a clean house, a nice hot cup of tea, and time to spend in my quilt room. Ahhhh…..I love this life!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hoping your day is everything you’re wishing for! We had a “Spend the Day with Someone You Love…Your Co-Workers!” party today at lunch hour–SO MANY DESSERTS! too much food, but oh so good!

I don’t expect much tonight…Travis is working, not sure what’s on Brad’s agenda, and my poor husband has a stomach flu!  As we’ve been together nearly 28 years, we don’t do a lot for Valentine’s Day anymore, just a card for each other and a nice dinner sometime other than a holiday!

It was a very weird weekend…lots of ups and downs! We’re mid-way through the phases of the moon–new moon was February 2nd and full moon is February 18th–so that wasn’t it! (I blame everything weird on the phases of the moon!)

Bruce went to Fulton for a Vintage Snowmobile Show (The Great Whiteout) and boy! was it ever! (They display restored snowmobiles from the 60s, 70s & 80s, sort of like a classic car show).  It snowed so much that he couldn’t keep it off the sleds.  He was a bit disappointed but he came home with lots of trophies! So, all in all, not a bad day, just cold and blustery! (A little bit of UPs and DOWNs)

I went to brunch with an old friend of mine at the local Hilton (an UP for the weekend!)–just as we were sitting there finishing up, an elderly lady drove into the side of my Tahoe SUV, then drove off! Long story short, I ran through the parking lot and down the road and got her license plate number (I couldn’t catch her!). She also hit the only nearby car. The police tracked her down and got insurance information. No one was hurt, fortunately, but it was very interesting! Lost a lot of quilting time that day, dealing with the police and the insurance company.

Nevertheless, I did work the rest of the day trying to finish up my New Year’s Eve Mystery Quilt–and spent part of Sunday, too! I had to cut the borders three times because I kept cutting them incorrectly…ugh! (Definitely a DOWN for the weekend!)

I am never too sure when it’s a Mystery Quilt project what it will look like when it’s done, but I think I’m going to like this one. I used all Jo Morton fabrics: gold, red, black, sage green, navy and maroon. It’s going to be a twin-size, so maybe I’ll repaint my quilt room and keep it there; I’ll post pictures later this week.

Bruce had made plans to go snowmobiling on Sunday with some friends, riding just locally on Connecticut Hill (Again, an UP for the weekend!)  He only got about 8 miles and the sled broke, so he was home early (and again, a DOWN for the weekend!)  That was okay, he needed the rest, and he spent most of the day dozing on the couch.  It had been a long week.  That gave me some time to do laundry and work on my quilt.  I also baked cookies for home and for work and made a casserole for the boys.

I spent some time at work last week during my lunch hours cross-stitching my “Houses of Hawk Run Hollow” by Carriage House Samplings. It’s very detailed so it’s easier for me to make those little x’s in the daylight, in my nice spot at the end of the hallway. Here’s a shot of Block 1 and part of Block 2 and what it will look like when it’s completed:

Block 1 & 2, Houses of Hawk Run Hollow

Completed Houses of Hawk Run Hollow, Carriage House Samplings

Once that’s completed, I’d like to tackle “Shores of Hawk Run Hollow”.  What do you think?

Shores of Hawk Run Hollow, Carriage House Samplings

Saint Eileen?

Yes, it’s time again for me to be sainted….or so my friends say, as I’m off to Boonville Thursday night to watch my husband’s race team, Clark Motorsports Racing, compete at the Vintage Snowmobile races.

If you’re not aware, and many are not, there is a segment of our population that likes to take 30-year-old snowmobiles, fix ’em up, then race them in a circle on ice, with speeds up to 90 mph….in the cold weather, no less.  I traveled with Bruce for almost the first ten years of our marriage to the races, then gave it up when our eldest son was born. Of course, they weren’t “vintage” sleds back then, just race sleds!

So he’s rekindled his interest in all of this and has a team from the Midwest–two young guys and one, um, not-so-young guy racing for him. No, Bruce doesn’t race, just sponsors the team and oversees it, kind of like a Nascar crew chief/team owner. It’s exciting for him, and I do my best to support him. It’s what he’s always wanted–to own a famous racing team–so why not?

Usually, I stay at home and “tend the fires”, but I did go to a race in Minnesota last year–the guys were great–they set me up with a spot in the trailer, next to the heater, with a window to watch the races, and a chair for me to sit in and sew! They’re the best! That’s where I worked on my “Molly’s Meadow” hand applique! (gotta take advantage of every spare moment!)

Here I am, all bundled up, in Grey Eagle, MN (03/2010)

Think I’ll just drag along a good book this time (and maybe hide a little cross-stitch in the luggage!)

Our friend, Dave, on the right (Eagle River 2010)

Clark Motorsports Racing, 2011

Bzzzz….Bzzzzz…..Busy as a Bee?

Yes, I’ve been very busy, as always….I’ve made a few new scarves, and I like to think I’m improving!  What do you think?

Kris, wearing "Wild Roses" scarf (black silk, teal wool, colored roving & trims)

My friend, Kris, is modeling…and my friend, Karen, wore it all day yesterday at work, thereby “advertising” for me!  I’m letting everyone know that I’m taking orders for Valentine’s Day!  I love making these but they’re very time-consuming…