Monday, October 30, 2006

A Quilt for Michelle

Marta has a lovely and charming friend named Michelle. Marta and Michelle used to work in the same company until Michelle’s husband got a new job requiring that they move to another state. Now Michelle is pregnant with her first baby coming soon. When Marta asked me to make a quilt for Michelle’s baby, I was very happy to do so, especially since Michelle’s family is far away in South Africa.

The baby is going to be a girl, so I chose pink printed fabric with complementary colors. Then I used the scraps to make a coordinating soft fabric ball. The ball is composed of twelve equilateral pentagons sewn together in a ball shape, and then stuffed with batting. (Making this toy was taught to me by one of my students, who since has moved to Japan.) This is a great toy for a small baby because it is easy to hold and fun to catch. I like to think about Michelle’s baby sitting on the quilt and playing with the ball, maybe just a few months from now.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Yesterday was cold and cloudy with light snow falling much of the day. I was hungry for something sweet and warm, so I got out my cookbooks, looking for something to bake. In 1965 when I was newly married, I bought a copy of the Betty Crocker Cookbook, and have used it regularly ever since. Now the covers are off and the pages are dog eared. I haven’t taken it out for awhile, but last night I found the recipe for a favorite cookie, and here it is:


1 cup margarine

1 ½ cups sugar

2 eggs

2 ¾ cups flour

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon soda

¼ teaspoon salt.

Mix above ingredients together well. Roll into small balls. Then roll into a mixture of 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Place on baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in 400 degree oven.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

An Autumn Weekend at the Lake

Last weekend we went to Tom and Kelly's lake house near Eldred, New York, in the Pocono Mountains. The weather was cold but sunny and the leaves were in full color.
In the first picture you can see Tom preparing the dock for winter. He had a little surprise when he lifted the boat on the right side of the picture.

Here is an early morning picture I took on the lake side of the house.

Saturday we stopped at a state park which would have been a very busy place during the summer months but now was empty except for us. Here are Tom and Kelly on the beach; Tom had his camera and was getting ready to take pictures.

Sunday we took a drive to the site of the Erie Canal and along the Delaware River; years ago this waterway was central to the logging industry. Trees were cut down and then the logs were transported to the lumber mills downriver by floating along on the water.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A Beautiful Baby
Please meet Chisola Sophie, a very small and new American who is about to take her first airplane flight and move to Japan on Tuesday. Her parents, Ted and Mina, have been my students and friends, and are finished with their working assignment here. We will miss them! It was my great pleasure to meet Chisola. There is nothing better than spending time with a baby. Doesn't she have the most remarkable hair? Isn't she beautiful?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sad to Say Goodbye
In the picture you can see my beautiful student and friend Izumi and her daughter Yukina. In less than a week they are moving maybe an hour and a half's drive from here. I usually saw them once a week; often I began our lesson with reading a children's book to Yukina. She soon became my little friend. I am finding that now I come across as "grandma" with many little children. I really enjoy this because I can get down on the floor to play, read books, and enjoy talking . Good luck to Izumi and Yukina.

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Lovely Weekend

Steve, Marta, and Gabriel came Friday evening, bringing their friend Gustavo who works with Steve and recently moved to Michigan from Argentina. Gustavo is working to improve his English fluency, so I enjoyed talking with him and finding out his experiences as a new arrival here. To look at our lives through the eyes of a newcomer is very interesting.

Saturday morning the adult visitors left for a day of shopping; Tony and I enjoyed our time with Gabriel. Saturday’s weather was less than

perfect; a little rainy and cold; but we bundled up and went to the park. Our purpose was to show Gabriel the locomotive on display in the park, but Gabriel enjoyed more the many ducks, pigeons, and even a swan that he could see there. Gabriel is an animal lover, just like his Mom.

Sunday’s weather was much better with sunshine and warmer temperatures. We enjoyed some shopping together. The pictures here show us at the park, Gabriel on his bike (which he can ride very well), and at the dinner table Saturday evening.