Thursday, March 1, 2012

Indiana Women's Prison Charity Quilts

I know it has been a very long time since I've written anything. It's funny how things we're initially so passionate about wind up going by the wayside. All of you that know me personally know what a hectic life I lead. The title "The Wanderlust Girl" is full of meaning! It seems I've married a gypsy and we're never in one place for very long. Amazingly enough we've actually been here in Eastern Colorado for more than a year now. A true record for us, believe me.

I've also been hit with some pretty debilitating medical problems in the past 18 months, but am determined to not give in and give up! I just go a lot slower these days and take frequent rest!!! So~ read on and find out what I've been up to lately. It has been a wonderful and enriching experience. It is certainly helping to keep the "I feel sorry for myself" blues away.

I've been busy the past few months making quilts for the Indiana Women's Prison nursery program. I was watching a show on TLC about babies born in prison and allowed to stay with their mothers for up to 18 months. At first, I was very judgemental and skeptical. By the end of the program I was so touched that I knew I just had to do something to make it an even more positive experience for the babies as well as the mothers.

Well, being a crafty kind of gal I decided that I would make the babies their very own quilts that they could take with them when they left with their moms. I just thought about my daughter, Julie, and how she still has her "blankie" and she's now 28!

So, I got on google, found the prison, contacted public relations and the rest is history. I've been busy making quilts for them ever since. It has been a little slow going but so rewarding. My fibro and auto-immune issues have really been acting up but I'm determined that everyone of those babies is going to have their own quilt. My ultimate goal is to wind up with the prison having a surplus so as the babies come along the moms can just pick out whatever quilt they like.

There are only 10 moms/babies at a time on the unit, but I've been told that the turnover can be quite rapid sometimes. I've been working with a wonderful woman at the prison, Tammy Atwood. In fact, she recently forwarded some handmade thank you cards from the women. What a wonderful surprise. I was soooo touched. They were so genuine and thoughtful.

So, here are a few of the quilts that have gone out so far~

Oh... and before I forget! I need to give a huge thank you to my quilting family at  for their incredible generosity! I posted that I was making these quilts and asked for any scraps that they might have that would help me make baby quilts and I can't even begin to describe the outpouring of donations that came my way! So thank you EVERYONE!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Flowers, Birthdays and Packing!

Yesterday was my 50th birthday! I still can't believe it. I guess I'm officially an adult...well, maybe not. The best part of the day was receiving this beautiful basket of flowers from my daughter, sister and nephew. Aren't they glorious?

Now, you might be thinking I had a great big birthday bash or even a nice romantic dinner out with DH and you would be dead wrong! Yesterday was the culmination of an incredibly hectic and weird few weeks.

It started with a road trip with Julie to San Diego and ended with me spending my B-day unpacking all the moving boxes I had spent the last week packing! I'm tired!

It all started like this...

I'm planning a road trip to San Diego to visit my Mother who is in Hospice. This is around the beginning of February. Julie and I decide to leave on her birthday. Several days prior to our leaving Corky is partially laid off at work. No one saw this coming! But we decide to go through with the trip as Mom is very ill.

Julie and I leave for San Diego on February 19th (her B-day) to visit my Mother whom I hadn't seen in over 10 years. Once we got to San Diego, Julie realized that she wanted to move back and attend school for music production. Great news. Lee-Ann, my sister, offered her the spare bedroom with open arms. Wonderful! Let's plan the return trip.

We head back home to Colorado on the 25th. On the way home, Corky calls me on the cell and tells me his job is gone. That's right, no more work! Bad! So, I continue on home with my mind just whirling.

Once home, we decide that we will move back to Washington and stay with friends until we can regroup. Our Colorado home is a virtual ghost town. Everyone is gone. The oil fields are done! Nothing left for us here. We'll just pack up and leave. But first, we need to bring Julie back to San Diego.

So, with Julie's help we pack up the house and get it ready to go. We bring Roo to our friend Andrea's; Corky, Julie and I head to San Diego. We leave on March 3rd and drive straight through, 14 and 1/2 hours! I'm dying! We visit for one day and leave on the 5th to return home. Can't even think at this point.

We get home on the evening of the 6th after picking Roo up. We spend all day on the 7th finishing the packing and picking up a car dolly to tow my car. This is now Saturday evening. At 10 pm the phone rings...who could it be this late?

Well, it is a job offer for Corky! I can't believe my ears. A wonderful job offer no less. Truck boss, company truck, credit cards, expense accounts. I see the gleam in his eyes! All of the things he's wanted dropped right in his lap. We discuss and discuss. I'm thinking I'll have to unload and unpack all of this stuff!!! What should we do?

Well, of course, he had to take it. Do we continue on our way to Washington, to no jobs and no home? Do we stay in Colorado in our own home with a great job? A no brainer...especially in this time of horrible job prospects.

So, to get back to my B-day story. I spent my 50th birthday unpacking my moving boxes, eating take-out pizza and thanking God for a wonderful day!

My First Loaf of ABin5

Bread, bread, glorious bread! I love bread that has a crispy crust and a soft chewy crumb and I've found it in ABin5. ABin5 stands for Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. This is a great book and I recommend it to anyone who loves bread.

I was raised by a mother who loves the breads from her childhood. This is the bread that came from the local Italian and Jewish bakeries where she grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She has passed this passion on to her children.

I have found this type of bread almost impossible to find. There was one bakery in San Diego where you could buy authentic Italian breads, rolls and cookies, but that was about it. Now, that I live in a rural part of Colorado on the Western Slope it is an impossible task.

Then one day I came across an article in Mother Earth News that outlined how to make delicious artisan bread in five minutes a day without having to allow time for rising or kneading. I thought it couldn't be that easy, but it was! I made my first loaf and couldn't believe the results. The smell, the crunch and the taste were fabulous and all from my own oven! Even factoring in the altitude issues here the result was great.

The biggest surprise of all was DH's response. This is a guy whose idea of good bread is Wonder! I was sure he would hate the crisp crust and the chewiness of the interior, but boy was I wrong. I'm asked almost everyday if I've made anymore of that! I even started making it in a loaf pan vs. free-form to make "neater" sandwiches for the big guy.

It also makes great pizza. I make a traditional thin crust for myself and Julie and a thicker Sicilian style for Corky. Everybody is happy!

Now, I just came across another method similar to this one to make an organic, no yeast /no knead sourdough bread. This is also a wet dough that has endless possibilities. I found this recipe in my favorite magazine MaryJanesFarm ( This is a magazine devoted to organic gardening, cooking and living. I just love it and recommend you check it out!

Well, that's probably enough "waxing poetic" about bread for one day. Besides, I have a loaf of bread to bake!

Friday, January 16, 2009


This post is long over due. I actually sent these hats off to Save The Children's Knit One, Save One drive back in December. I was so proud of myself and just making this contribution gave me such a lift. What a wonderful holiday project. I did include a letter to President-Elect Obama and I hope that the flood of letters he will be receiving really can make a positive impact. Seems to me we can spend our dollars on better things than sending our sons and daughters off to be slaughtered!

Anyway, no preaching here. I'm just so glad that I had the chance to contribute something so much larger than myself! I hope that there's an opportunity to continue to make these type of charity drives possible.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Julie's Coming Home Today!!

Just a quick note. Julie's coming home today. We're on our way to Denver to fetch her. I'm soooo excited. She's coming home for good and we couldn't be happier.

This will be the first Thanksgiving and Christmas in 6 years that we get to spend together. There couldn't be a better Christmas present under the sun!

Tony and Mauss were supposed to come along, but after much agonizing and soul searching it was decided that Mauss should be adopted out. It was just too much to try and get her on a plane. Poor kitty... I know that it is better this way. So, Tony is going to find her a new home and then he'll be on his way too! We should all be together for Christmas! I can't wait. Corky is so excited!

Well, I had better get myself in gear. We're stopping to see some friends outside of Denver then it is off to DIA... We've about a 4 hour drive ahead of us and then have to turn right around and come home. A long day, but more than worth it!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Knit One, Save One

I just taught myself how to knit! I have been searching for a new "passion" since having to give up Counted Cross Stitch due to a severe lack of cooperation from aging eyes! I have dabbled a little bit in Scrapbooking, and while I enjoyed it I just didn't get that "feeling" one gets when they're doing something they love.

I loved Cross Stitch. It was relaxing. I made beautiful gifts for people. It made me feel creative and was certainly time well spent. Well, guess what? I get the same feeling from knitting! I love it! I'm always thinking of what I want to make next. I'm addicted to yarn, much the same way I was to floss! It just feels right.

Now for the icing on the cake.... I found the perfect charity to knit for this season! It lets me contribute even though I lack any real skill at knitting just yet. It is through and is called "Knit One, Save One". We're all knitting hats for new born babies in third world countries that will be included in kits given out to new mothers. This small gift gives these babies a fighting chance at survival. All donations are going to a central donation center (Brooklyn, New York) with a gift tag attached to each hate. We're also including a letter to President-Elect Obama. This is a wonderful, non-partisan cause, that is inexpensive, easy to do and has the potential to save a life!!

I made my first hat for this project and was so surprised at how easy it was. I hope anyone who can knit or crochet will give donating to this cause some serious thought! I know that I will be making many more of these little hats and sending them on their way to warm those tiny little ones who need all the help they can get.