Monday, March 30, 2009


I decided last night that this job wouldn't be too bad - at least 20 hours a week and no homework. Well, today was interesting! They want us to work 40 hours a week and this week I do have homework (which I get paid to do). Evidently they don't have enough employees????! My homework is now done and my timesheet has been transmitted.

Ray survived his admin day just fine - all of the forms and getting fingerprinted. I am one day ahead and got my new handheld computer today. It is cool! I love the fingerprint password! (Although I have had some trouble getting in and have been locked out once! - remember I'm at a slight disadvantage with only 9 good fingers) Can't wait to use the built-in GPS. I will be verifying addresses and updating maps. I think that is all I can tell you without killing you!

I'm working with some interesting people - I know of at least two others that are after Medicare quarters just like Ray and I are.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Finally going to work...

Ray and I are both going to training tomorrow for the Census Bureau. Ray will go to Lanark, IL and I am going to Forreston, IL. We just got the calls late Saturday telling us when and where to report.

Overall, it was nice to be home last week. We had time to visit my mom. We enjoyed entertaining family yesterday - Ron (Ray's brother from Iowa), Carli, Bruce, Madalyn, Spencer (niece and family from Iowa), Ray's parents, and Brent, Emily, and Mack. Emily grabbed my camera and took lots of pictures.

Spencer gave himself that black eye!

Mack and Madalyn found a quiet spot for talking!

My cold is gone (hurray)! My finger is healing and the wound is getting smaller - the finger is "closing up". I have some phantom pain otherwise it only hurts when the end is touched.

So we are setting an alarm for early tomorrow morning...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Do I really have a job????

I did have training last Tuesday, March 17 and I was to have training all of this week. Then we were backed up to begin on Tuesday. Then we were to start on Thursday. I just got a call saying that there would be no training at all this week! Not sure when it will be! Oh well, my cold is pretty much gone and this gives my finger more time to heal...

And believe this, Ray has been called to work for the Census Bureau! He is to start training on Monday...

Monday, March 23, 2009


I am a klutz!!! This morning I had a couple of extra minutes so I decided to cut some photos apart. I had printed them a couple of days ago. So I went upstairs to my cutting table, got one of my old rotary cutters that I use for paper, and started cutting. I'm not sure what I was doing besides hurrying but all of a sudden - pain! I managed to cut off the very tip of the middle finger of my left hand and the fingernail. Ouch! Ray put a compression bandage on it to stop the bleeding. It bled some during the day and when I got home, I decided to remove the bandage and see how bad it was - big mistake. I now have a big compression bandage on it and it still throbs! I wonder what would have happened if I'd been using a rotary cutter with a good blade???

I'm looking into Kevlar gloves...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Easter mini wall hangings are done!

I enjoy having the seasonal mini wallhangings. Thought I'd better get the Easter ones done! They are each about 11 X 13 inches.

Red/white/blue tote is finished!

The red/white/blue tote is done! I just got the charm pack last Monday so it went really fast! The inside is red with blue pockets.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wind Turbines

When we went past our first group of 67 wind turbines this morning at 9 AM, 9 of them had been turned on and were working. On the way home this afternoon at about 3:30 PM, 10 turbines were working. So this group is in the final stretch.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The pillow sham

The pillow sham is really bright and 'summery' looking! The back is bright orange. This sits on a navy blue bean bag chair most of the time and I wanted color. I think I got it!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Quilt Camp

What a wonderful day for Quilt Camp in Pecatonica, IL. We had a great time and I got a lot done!!! Pictures will come soon...I have the top pieced for a pillow sham. And I have a summer baby quilt pieced! It was a beautiful day and a fun day at camp! Two of three husbands were busy tonight so we 3 quilter friends went out to eat on our way home - one should never cook on a camp day!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Project update

The Woodland table runner is done! It is very simple but I really like the fabrics. They remind me of the time we spend in the Rocky Mountains.

The Blue Red White Tan Quilt has one of four sides on and quilted! So I am making some progress there.

The Special Project is complete. It will be unveiled in a few weeks.

And one of the baby quilts is basted and ready to quilt!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Really going to work!

I need to make $4360 this year to get 4 Social Security quarters. For those of you that don't know, teachers in Illinois in our era did not pay Social Security taxes. Since neither of us paid in 40 quarters, neither of us qualify for Social Security (which we can't collect anyway because of our Illinois pension) nor for Medicare. Now the problem is - when we reach Medicare age, our health insurance is going to triple in cost if we don't have Medicare. So...we need to get our 40 quarters. Once one of us has them, the other will also be covered. In the meantime, we both have to work toward getting the quarters. This year $1090 in earnings constitute one quarter and you can only accumulate 4 quarters in 1 year.

So, I begin with the Census Bureau on Tuesday, March 17 - guess I should wear green! And today I was just offered a job scoring math tests for Pearson testing. It is a short intense job - only 100 hours or so over about 3 weeks. I think I might make enough in my 14 weeks with the Census Bureau but just to be sure, I think I'll try test scoring too ... I think that during the three weeks that overlap, I'll really be working!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

HCC Basketball

We saw some great basketball tonight and some history being made. Highland Community College hosted 2 inter-regional play-off games tonight. The Lady Cougars won by two points and are on their way (for the first time ever) to the National play-offs in Salina, KS! Then the Cougars took the floor and also won - they are headed to the National play-offs in Hutchison, KS (I think for the 5th time)! It was great seeing both teams win and on their way to Nationals. Both games were close and fun to watch.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Birthday calculator

After reading our post The #1 song on your important day, my neighbor Mick sent me this link: Birthday Calculator

Enter the day you were born and it tells you how many hours and how many seconds you have been alive on this earth and when you were probably conceived. After you've finished reading everything, click again and see what the moon looked like the night you were born.

Try it for yourself, your significant other, your kids, and your grandkids... It's fun!

Thanks Mick!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Last couple of days

Friday morning we visited my mom and found her doing pretty good. Then we (two of my brothers, their wives, Ray, and I) had a scheduled meeting about my mom at her facility. After the meeting, we all went out for a long lunch. It was nice to just sit and visit. Ray and I spent the rest of the day catching up on shopping. We went out to dinner with everyone else in Rockford that evening. (I can't believe how packed the restaurants are in that city!)

We spent the night in a motel and got up to rain Saturday morning. As we ate breakfast at the motel, we visited with a family from Ontario. Their children were about the same ages as our two oldest grandchildren and they were on their way to Oma's. I think their father said it was a 2200 mile trip! After stopping at Target (one last errand) and Quilter's Haven (a favorite quilt shop), we stopped to visit mom. She was actually doing quite well.

Then we were off to the Polar Plunge. We met up with Emily and Mack and eventually with Brent. Their were lots of people so it was hard to see but I did get a glimpse of Brent going into the water - he said later that it was cold enough to take his breath away. We got soaked (from the rain) and quite muddy from the dirt and sand (and holding Mack - he needed to see too!).

These photos were taken in the tent before the Plunge.

After getting home and cleaning up, we headed for the Apple River Stagecoach Event Center (for the 3rd Saturday night in a row!). We had a good dinner - pulled pork and more. Then the Gamemaster Show began. Harris Kal was there.
We had a great time: we competed with others as we played games at our table - the Millionaire Game, making lists, and Family Feud. We had more active games: Brett and Krista
did the Electric Slide, Wayne and Brett did a Disco dance, Francis played the air guitar, Ray and I did a swing dance, Brett did the "musical chairs" contest,
Ray was sexy, our whole team did the chicken dance, and more! Overall, our team came in third (out of maybe 25) and most of us didn't even have to make big fools of ourselves! Our MVP was definitely 'Stripes'.

Now the time has changed and we way overslept this morning - glad that my brother called or we may have slept until noon! Think I'll make cookies this afternoon.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The #1 song on your important day...

Do you know the #1 song the day you were born?

Go to:

On the day I was born, the #1 song was "A Tree in the Meadow" by Margaret Whiting.
On the day Ray was born, the #1 song was "Twelfth Street Rag" by Pee Wee Hunt.

Piles of Rain

Yesterday we heard each of our grandchildren. Grace said she was coloring, was going to have poptarts for lunch (Brad thought not!), and then was going to play with her baby dolls. Jackson told us about the piles of rain (puddles) that he could see out the window. He counted four. Colter said "bye" to us - such a soft little voice. A while later I got to hear Mack say rain - he kind of clears his throat and growls when he says it.

I think Jackson's piles of rain have now changed to piles of snow - a rare event for their area in NC but it has happened twice this winter!


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