Wednesday, January 31, 2007

January matches will probably arrive on Thursday...

So, the rumor sites have been abuzz all day today with indication that the January batch of matches were mailed from China on Tuesday and should begin arriving here tomorrow. Once our agency gets the package, they carefully review and translate all the paperwork. The director and her husband, as well as one other member of the staff are Chinese, and luckily, this goes quickly. And then the fun begins as they start calling waiting families with the good news!

The rumors online are pointing to a cutoff date of at least 10/14/05, but not as late as 10/17/05. No one seems to be sure about 10/15 and 10/16, but those dates fell on a weekend in 2005, so there are probably only a few applications on those dates.

Our log in date (LID) is 10/26/05. This means that THERE IS A CHANCE WE COULD BE IN THE NEXT BATCH!!!! If the rumors of getting to at least 10/14/05 are true, there's a shot. In another week or so, the rumor sites will do an analysis of the number of matched families this month and project a target for next month. I think we'll be on the cusp...if we miss it, it will only be by a few days. If we make it, we'll just make it.

I really think the next 4-6 weeks could be the toughest part of the wait for me. It's the not knowing that will be torture. Add to that the uncertainty around the release of the next batch because of Chinese New Years. There is likely to be at least a one week delay, possibly two.

Will post more tomorrow if the rumors about the cutoff date are verified!

Beautiful foursome of squares

These beautiful quilt squares come from K's Uncle H and Aunt B in CT. Aunt B is another accomplished quilter. She said that these four squares have a story:

  1. Life is a patchwork of events and we all live this adventure.
  2. The star at night guides us along our path in life.
  3. Flowers along this path bring us joy and are a celebration of new life.
  4. The heart is the center of a loving home, one with great love to give.

What a beautiful contribution to the quilt! Thank you so much!

Four from the Cape

Today I received four squares from our close friends, the K family, on Cape Cod. I met HK (then HG) about 8 or 9 years ago when we worked together. We quickly became good friends and have been ever since. We don't get to see each other quite as much since they've moved to the Cape and we're both busy with kids, but we do get together once or twice a year...most recently on Turkey Day when the whole K clan piled in the minivan and made the trip to have dinner with us. And when I say clan, I mean ALL 6 OF THEM!! Let's see, I found out I was pregnant with EJ on the day H and D got married. A year later, she was pregnant with son D...and they have since outpaced us with daughter E, and twin sons R and A!

Here's a peek at their fabrics. From H, a cell phone print, since we both worked for a telecom software company when we met. Who knew they made all these wild and crazy fabrics?!?! And, apparently, as H went out shopping for the fabric, hubby D teased her about getting something "Montana-ish" for him. Little did he know that she would be successful in her quest. D is on a mission to own property in Montana someday so he can hunt and fish to his heart's content (yes, he's originally a western-PA boy)!

From daughter E...more princesses! All the little girls contributing to the quilt seem to find this fabric - this is the third time we've seen this one! But it's just so darn cute... And son D was disappointed that there was no Star Wars fabric, so he contributed this beach print in honor of their location.

Thank you so much!!!!

Lots of squares today...

The post office probably wonders what we're up to in this house, getting all these stuffed envelopes each day. But, of course, we all know that postal workers aren't gossiping about our mail, right Dad?

The first square is from my friend from church, W.P. and her family--husband B, son A, and daughter A. W. is another member of a close group of supportive friends. Thanks for all of you support over the years!

The next two squares are from another FLC member, E.M. and her husband B. E is apparently the seamstress in her family, and the dog print is some fabric left from some material used to decorate the room of her grandsons (also FLC members). The yellow floral fabric is leftover from some curtains she made for an office in a church where she pastored in CT. E is a retired pastor. She is also a knitter, and EJ remembers her as the nice lady who taught her to knit at the church knitting group. EJ picked it up much quicker than I did!

And finally, one more print from fellow FLC members C. and S. S. Thank you all so much for your help with the quilt!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Another PA square

Today, this heart-covered square arrived from C. and C. A. in PA. C. and C. are my brother's in-laws and have been good family friends for what, about 20 years now? She says that the hearts in the material are for welcoming a new family member in our hearts and home. Thank you! We hope to introduce you to the new family member in the next few months!

More squares from EJ

You may remember from this post that EJ is very into Harry Potter this year. We started reading the first book in early June, and we're almost done with book 4. I got hooked a few years ago and have kept up with the series as the books are released. I won't let EJ watch the movie until we've read the book...when she knows what's coming, it doesn't seem to scare her! Our goal is to finish the 5th book before that movie comes out this summer. I'd like to be able to zip through books 5 and 6 so that we're ready to read book 7 together when it is released this summer, but that's pretty aggressive since we get through about 20 pages every other night.

Forgot about this quilt...

Today, I did think of one other "quilt" that I made this past fall, but it's a small one - maybe 2.5 feet wide and 3 feet high. Doesn't really count, since it's a wall hanging, but at least it was some recent practice sewing squares.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

From my bro's family...

These two squares are from my brother, T. and his family - his wife P. and daughter H. T and P chose this cute cat print. They have two cats, Hershey and ... Hmmm, can't remember the new guy's name.

Cutie patooty super-niece H. selected this watery-blue fabric because she LOVES to swim and is very good at it. She is on her local swim team and did quite well last year. She is also a budding rock star - perhaps the next Hannah Montana?!? H and EJ are only a few months apart in age, and it's too bad we don't live a little closer to each other, as they like playing together. I'm going to buy you something cute from China - how about one of those beautiful Mulan-like silk dresses? E says she wants a bright pink one with dragons on it trimmed in gold. What color would you like?

And, H and mom P included these poems with their fabrics! Thanks a bunch - we love ya!

And speaking of Aunt C...

She and Uncle L. sent these squares today from her quilting stash! She said to let her know if I needed more, that she has plenty!

She also sent this square, which is one that was used to make E's baby quilt!

Just a few more were tucked in her card. These squares were used to make a quilt for one of her grandson's quilt. P is 3.5 and lives nearby with his mom, C (my cousin) and her husband F. Thanks so much!

More about our quilts...

In a previous post, I mentioned that I would post pictures of two other quilts we have. The first is the Snowball pattern, made by my Aunt C. as our wedding gift:

The other is the Sunbonnet Sue that K's mom put together. The appliqued squares were done by E's great-grandma H in the 1960s. K's mom kept them after Grandma H passed away in 1988, and about 15 years later, they became this quilt:

Girls Night Out

Last night was my company's annual post-holiday party, so E had a girls night out with one of her favorite babysitters, the fabulous Miss J. Miss J was E's teacher in the 4 year old room at preschool. Anyway, Miss J picked her up from dance class and took her out for dinner. What an adventure, to go out with someone other than Mom and Dad! EJ had a great time. Thanks, Miss J...are you up for babysitting two soon?

More squares from yesterday

I received so many quilt squares yesterday that I didn't have time to post them all! This group of squares comes from one of my best friends from high school days, S.P. and her family. We get to see each other every year or so when we visit PA. Let's see if I get all of these fabrics right...first up are fabrics from S and her husband, G. Hmmm...can you tell who gave which one?

Next are the fabrics from sons G (5th grade) and V (2nd grade). G has been a Thomas fan for as long as I remember, and V is such a Steelers fan that he has dressed up as Ben Roethlisberger (did I spell that right?) for the last two years.

Finally, here are the fabrics from daughters I (kindergarten) and R (age 2). I. picked her favorite Disney princess, Belle from Beauty and Beast, and R picked the same princess print that E selected. Thank you so much! Hope to see you this summer...maybe?

Friday, January 26, 2007

Okay, I'm getting emotional...

I've been doing so good with these quilt squares. It's been so much fun getting the mail every day to see what has arrived. And then today, it happened. I cried. And it's all my aunt's fault! She sent her square along with a nice note, but then there was another square tucked in there that she said was from my Grandma S's home. She thinks it was once a curtain in the hallway between Grandma's dining room and one of the bedrooms. It was very touching, and I'm so happy you sent it (even if I got all teary-eyed over it)!

Now that my eyes are dry, Aunt N. and Uncle J. also sent this fabric. Apparently, she is the "Queen Mum" of the local Red Hat Society, so she thought this was fitting!

She also included a square from my cousin (her daughter), P. and her family, husband P. and son E. This is so cool! It is a square of Buchanan plaid, which was the kilt plaid that P wore in their wedding, one of several plaids he is entitled to wear by virtue of his Scottish lineage on his father's side of the family.

And here is a picture of P modeling that plaid kilt!

And finally, while I was digging through files to find that picture, I came across this one of EJ at their wedding. She thought she was a real princess that day, and she certainly looked like one! It's hard to believe how much she's grown in three years!

Thursday, January 25, 2007


As more people find out that I'm making a 100 Good Wishes Quilt, they ask how long I've been quilting. The truth is that quilting is not my hobby. I've only ever made one quilt before, a strip or quick quilt in a pattern called Around the World. A friend did a "Quilt in a Day" class, so a few of us decided to give it a try. Not bad, but it did take me more than a day! Maybe a long weekend just to put the top together, and then another week or two to edge, back, and tie it. I uncovered this quilt while cleaning out the attic two weekends ago, so we decided to put it on the bed. Here's a pic:

This quilt replaced a beautiful colonial blue, tan, and white quilt that my aunt C made for us as a wedding gift. I believe it's the Snowball pattern, which she selected because we were living in Florida at the time! Aunt C is a terrific quilter, and she has made quilts for all of the cousins on my dad's side of the family - 10 of us! K and I have asked her where the anniversary quilts are...we thought she should make us a new one every 5 years or so! She didn't think that was funny.

When EJ was born, she made this quilt for her nursery. It's an applique quilt...I've never tried one of those!

EJ was the lucky recipient of another beautiful quilt upon her birth, from Grandma H. It's another applique quilt:

I'll try to take a pick of the Snowball quilt soon. Also, Grandma H made a very unique Sunbonnet Sue quilt for EJ's 4th birthday. The appliqued squares were done in the 60s by K's Grandma H. After she passed away in 1988, K's mom found and saved the squares, and then assembled them and quilted them. I'll try to post that one soon, too.


Today's square arrived from Dr. G. and Mrs. J. R. in PA. The Rs are friends of K's parents. In fact, K's dad and Dr. R taught together at the same university for years, and K's family lived just down the road from the Rs in a beautiful lakeside community in PA. We have many fond memories of time spent at the R house with their daughter, L, a good friend of K's.

Mrs. R is an accomplished quilter - too bad she doesn't live a closer! I may need a consultation. And Mr. R has interesting hobbies, too. He builds wooden boats and plays the accordian!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Four more from PA

K's junior high school French teacher-turned-friend, M.D.. sent us these fabrics today. Unless I met M. when K and I first starting dating, I don't really remember her, but her legacy lives on in a story about her taking K and all of his friends to a Billy Joel concert. And anyone who is a fan of Billy's is okay by me. Thanks, M!

Beautiful florals

A new co-worker and friend, L.K., gave me these three fabrics today. She has three kids, and she said that these fabrics were used to make her daughter some things when she was younger! Thank you so much - they're beautiful!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Interesting article on Chinese adoptions

Here is an article from today's NY Times that speculates on why adoptions from China are moving so slowly. The general perception is that China is overwhelmed with orphaned children, and most recent visitors to orphanages report the same thing, but the CCAA (China Center for Adoption Affairs) says that the babies aren't "paper ready". Of course, for those of us waiting, that's a frustrating answer. I mean, why don't they just work a little overtime and hire some temporary help if needed to get the paperwork in line and get these kids into families who are anxious to love and care for them?

What we tend to forget is...that's an American response to the problem, not theirs. Our ways, cultures, and solutions would seem just as foreign, incomprehensible, and frustrating to them.

To keep my PA friends and family happy...

...I ordered this fabric. Yes, there are two football teams in my life, the Steelers and the Patriots. I won't even bother trying to explain that you really can be a fan of two different teams, because I know that most people believe it's just not possible. And for my own safety, I choose not to comment if one of the teams might have a slight advantage! Let's just say that for the last few years, life has been good as a dual fan...I've been lucky enough for at least one of my teams to get to the Super Bowl. Sadly, this was not one of those years.

Let's just say that being a Steelers fan in Pittsburgh is just like being a Red Sox fan in Boston. It's not even optional; you are born with black and gold in your veins. I grew up going to Steelers training camp in the summer and have photos with all the great players - Terry Bradshaw, Mean Joe Green, Lynn Swan, Jack Lambert, and Jack Ham. Even photos of my mom with Coach Noll and Rocky Blier (who was a sportscaster at the time). We used to stay on the St. Vincents College campus after practice ended and hang out at the dining hall, where we could watch all the players drive up in their pimped-out rides and get all the autographs and photos. Lots of great memories. My brother is the biggest Steelers fan I know...he has a shrine/museum of photos and autographs at his new house.

I know they didn't do too well this year, so I'll just pack away my Terrible Towel for until next season. Go Stillers! (That's how you say it in Pittsburghese!)

More cute baby blocks!

Baby blocks must be popular this week. I received this cute square today from fellow FLC member, K.W. Thank you so much, K, for helping us with this project!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Referral rumors starting to swirl...

A few days ago, my favorite rumor site reported that the next round of referrals might go through about 10/10/05. Today, they are reporting that it's possible the cut-off date could be as late as 10/15 or 10/17! Remember that our LID is 10/26/05.

We know that we will NOT be in this next round of matches, but if the CCAA would match everyone with LIDs through about 10/14 or 10/15, I think there's a shot that we could make the following round, the timing of which could be disrupted by Chinese New Year in mid-February.

Two squares today

Wow - two more quilt squares arrived in my office at work today! The first is from a wild and crazy gal, our VP of Product Management, A.M. If you know A. at all, you'll understand why she picked this Tigger and Pooh fabric. She kinda has, um, a little habit of showing up at work in costume every once in a while. Yeah, you read that right...the VP wears a costume. Gotta love casual work environments, huh?

My first encounter with Tigger was only a few months into my job. I had my office door closed and was on the phone with a job candidate I was hoping would come work for us (she fact, her square is the other one featured in today's post!). In the middle of the call, I saw someone outside my door trying to slide some paperwork under the office door. I looked up and saw that TIGGER was standing outside my door. Of course, I didn't recognize that it was A.M. at the time, so I had to go asking around for a few minutes to see who it was. ("Um, yeah, I just saw Tigger sliding some papers under my didn't happen to see who it was? Yeah, you know, Tigger? Really. At my door. Sliding papers. Oh, never mind...")

If you haven't seen her dressed as Tigger or a clown or a socialite from the Red Hat Society, you've surely noticed her holiday sweater collection. And just wait until St. Patrick's Day when the pointy-toed leprechaun shoes come out! Thanks, A.M., for the fabric and for making me laugh a lot at work!

The second piece of fabric is from L.H., a super friend and colleague who did accept one of the first full-time positions in our department, despite the fact that I claimed to see Tigger during a recruiting conversation. I'm sure she wondered what she was getting herself into!

L. picked out this cute and colorful print with hearts and blocks, which she said represent all the writing we do! Thank you, L., for the fabric and for being my sounding board at work so often. Who else could I brainstorm my crazy ideas with? It's a true pleasure!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

And one from my cousin

My cousin J.K., his wife J, and kids D and T sent this square today. J's family lives in PA and he has a small "hobby" farm where they raise chickens, turkeys, and goats, so you can see where he got the inspiration for their quilt square! The next time we're in PA, we should try to stop by, as E would love to see the animals and meet your kids. Thank you so much for thinking of us!

More fabric from us...

Here are some more fabrics that we picked up for the quilt. First up are two prints that I thought would be fun...chopsticks and fortune cookies. The fortune cookies have cute sayings, like "Don't be afraid to show your enthusiasm", "The beauty in your heart is there for all to see", and "A mysterious stranger will bring you good news."

The next piece of fabric is in honor of tomorrow's AFC championship game between the Patriots and the Colts. Don't worry, PA readers, I've ordered some fabric with that other football team on it too.

And finally, check out this fabric that is covered in pearls, selected in honor of the name of our blog. While in China, one of the field trips that we'll most likely go on will be to a pearl market, where I plan to buy MANY strands, bangles, earrings, and rings for me and the girls. Apparently, they are a terrific bargain in China. One of the Chinese adoption sites that I follow had several posts about shopping and bargaining in China last week, where people said you can buy a dozen strands of pearls for about $250 TOTAL! The shopoholic in me is salivating for pearls and jade at bargain prices (just don't tell K)!

K's fabric

Here is a quilt square from super dad, K., who will soon be caught up in being wrapped around the fingers of two daughters! "Girl Power!" as E likes to say. Honestly, he will thoroughly enjoy every second of it.

As most of you know, we have a small camper that we like to use (but not nearly enough!) in the summer. We have a favorite campground on Lake Ossipee (in NH) where we usually keep the camper from Memorial Day through the 4th of July for easy weekend use. Other semi-regular destinations are Camden, Maine for their Windjammer Weekend over Labor Day, and Savoy MA, for easy access to the Berkshires and southern Vermont. Hopefully, the baby will enjoy camping as much as E has.

This fabric didn't seem to have any New England states on it, so I scanned a section that includes Florida, since we lived there for 7 years before moving here.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady

A story in Thursday's Boston Globe compared Peyton Manning's and Tom Brady's endorsement deals. According to E-Poll, Manning has more name recognition (46% to 27%) and face recognition (31% to 26%), but only 18% would call him handsome. Tom was considered handsome by 41% of respondents, which leads me to believe the other 59% of respondents must have been men.

And this story says that Manning was chosen as the quarterback American women would "most like to see up close in HDTV" in a survey conducted by Sony. Manning had 20% of the vote, while Brady had only 11%. My guess is that the women in the HDTV survey don't know anything about either guy and went on that higher name recognition...

Our New Yankee Workshop

Well I finally did it. I bought a decent table saw. A Powermatic contractors saw with left tilt. A big upgrade from my grandfather's trusty ol' Rockwell. It has served me well but it was time to move on. I am getting ready to undertake my first serious project-a desk for E. I also bought a biscuit joiner and came across an old drill press from a friend. (Unfortunately the drill press needs a new motor.) I think the only major thing I am missing is a ban saw. Of course I could always use a bigger router and more clamps!

Tool wall (L to R)Jointer/planer, table saw, power miter saw, drill press, router table in rear, shaper, and biscuit joiner.

Is that Norm who stopped by to help me with my shop layout?

My newer tool bench and I already have it covered!