Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Comin' 'round

Some of you may remember the picture I posted a while back of the beginning of my Round Robin quilt. Well, here's the finished product ... almost finished. I just need to back it. But it turned out amazing! In my opinion, it was the best out of the 10 quilts this round.

The black fabric with what looks like little white dots is actually Kanji, Japanese writing. I should've done some closeups of the fabric people used. Maybe later ...

Part V

"Thank you, Phoebe, I think we can take it from here," Marie Irving told the plump, young maid after she had set the tea pot and cups on the table. After a quick smile & nod toward her employer, Phoebe headed back to her previous task.

Marie had invited her good friend Jeanie over for afternoon tea & to catch up on each others' latest news.

"It feels like we haven't done this for ages," Jeanie commented as she mixed sugar in her tea.

"Yes, it has. We've been so busy, I would welcome a lull in our schedule anytime. By the way, how's your mother?" Marie questioned knowing that Jeanie's mother had a weak immune system and took ill more than was common (LOL).

"She's doing a little better. Dr. Arlington came a few days ago and said that she seems to be much stronger. It was just a slight cold and she should be up and about in another week." Jeanie stopped and took a sip of her tea, then continued. (Hers was thirsty!) "She has been getting restless being confided to bed, but I try to keep her occupied."

"And how are you doing? I know that when Henry's mother was sick, I had many nights where I got very few hours of sleep. I don't know what kept me going, but I functioned." Marie said, speaking of her mother-in-law who had died from a lung disease two years before.

"I'm doing pretty well, and I usually get a fair amount of sleep each night. however, I do miss doing things like sewing and reading and I haven't been out in my garden in ages. Even though I usually look after them, Carlos (hehe) is doing a good job at keeping up my sunflowers," she said speaking of her law boy. (LOL)

"Mrs. Irving, I'm sorry to interrupt you but someone is here to see you. A woman by the name of Lezlie Wildwood (enter the Roziers!!) is here." The two women looked up to see that the Irving's butler had come to stand right inside the door of the green room. "Shall I tell her you're occupied?"

"Lezlie Wildwood?" Marie sat thinking of the unfamiliar name for a moment. "Oh, that must be the family who is moving in next door. I knew that name sounded familiar. I was going to pay them a visit but I never have had a chance. No, Tobias, that's okay. Show her in."

When Lezlie Wildwood entered the huge parlor she let her eyes roam over the features of the room. Against one wall was a gigantic painting of the house she was in. underneath it was a plaque that read, "Brier Wood 1874." The next wall held a wonderful bay window that overlooked the Irving's courtyard. The walls were painted in a hunter green and the rugs were made with many designs filled with different shades of green and touches of maroon. Across from the beautiful fireplace that held a warm, crackling fire that chased away the early March chill, sat a lovely couch made of a lighter green fabric with dark green designs on it. On either side of the couch were two identical chairs and foot stools covered in the same print. (Geez! Have an adjective! I hope you now have a good idea of what the place looks like!)

Sitting on the couch were two women. One had bright red curly hair and lovely blue eyes that were early to spot even from across the room. She wore a dress that matched the color of her hair and a lovely flower hat with many shades of reds and pinks. The other woman looked about the same age with dark brown hair and beautiful light yellow day dress. (What the crap is a day dress?)

"Mrs. Wildwood, please come and sit down." The dark haired woman was now standing to greet her guest. "I'm so glad you came. I saw that your family was moving in next door and I wanted to come and see you, but time hasn't allowed. I am Marie Irving and this is my friend Jeanie Haltom."

"It's nice to meet you Mrs. Irving, Mrs. Haltom." Lezlie shook each lady's hand politely before she took a seat in one of the empty chairs.

"Please call us Marie & Jeanie," Jeanie responded, taking in Lezlie's southern accent. "Where have you moved from?"

"We lived in Laurel, Mississippi (A real place??) for 15 years. My husband, Thomas, is a pastor. We have some friends who live here that just lost the pastor of their church to the mission field, so they were in need of another one. After much praying, we felt like that was where God was calling us to." (WOW! Lots of info for just "Where did you move from?")

"That's wonderful! How do you like it here so far?" Marie asked, and then remembered her manners. "Oh, I'm sorry, where are my manners? Would you care for some tea?"

"Yes, thank you. We love it so far. Our home is beautiful and North Carolina doesn't have the intense heat as Mississippi does." Lezlie took the cup of tea offered by her hostess with a quiet thanks.

"Just wait until summer comes, it can get pretty hot (ignorant cow!). Do you have any children?" Marie asked.

"Yes. Sarah Jane is our oldest at 15 (who talks like that??) and then our twins, Samuel & Rebekah (HAHAH!) are 11."

"Twins! I bet you have your hands full." Jeanie responded. "I have two boys. Ashley is 21 and Christopher just turned 19."

"What about you Marie? You have children don't you? I thought I'd seen a young lady coming from the house yesterday." Lezlie inquired.

"Yes, I do, two girls actually. Michal' and Anne are 17 and 18 (respectively ...)."

"Wonderful! (That's the most amazing thing EVER!!) We must get together soon with our girls," Lezlie said flashing a smile. The grandfather clock in the corner sounded to say it was 4 o'clock. "Oh, look at the time. I didn't intend to stay half as long as I did! (15 minutes??) I must be getting home."

All three women stood and Marie thanked her guests for coming while walking them to the door.

"It was lovely meeting you, Lezlie. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to come see you soon and meet your family," Marie said as the women gathered their coats.

"Yes, I'd like that. Come whenever you can."

The women bid their final good byes and Jeanie and Lezlie left for their homes while Marie turned to go back inside, her thoughts on the afternoon. (I was wondering what her thoughts were on ...) Being very involved in the running of her house, Marie was headed to the kitchen to see how the dinner preparations were going when she saw her husband come out of his study.

"Hello," she said as he came to stand in front of her.

He smiled at her and dropped a kiss on her cheek before answer, "Hi. How was your afternoon?"

"Very nice. Lezlie Wildwood, our new neighbor dropped by and had tea with Jeanie and me. She seems to be very nice (everything is SO very nice!) and her husband is a pastor."

"Really?" he said taking her hand and walking with her toward the kitchen. "Where are they from?"

"Mississippi. We should have them over before the month is up. Are you finished with your paper work?" She questioned, changing the subject (duh!).

"Almost. I just came out to stretch my legs. What are you getting ready to do?"

"I was on my way to see how dinner was coming."

"Alright then, I'll leave you to it and get back to my papers." Before he left, he put an arm around her shoulders and gave her a quick kiss. Although they had been married 22 years, no on could have guessed it to look at them. For their eyes still twinkled when they saw each other and they were still as much in love as the day they were married.

(What the crap happened to dinner with David??)

To be continued ...

I'm a horrible blogger!

So I went like a week without posting any more of my story because I just plain forgot. It seems like nobody really had a problem with that though due to the lack of "Where's the rest of the story!" comments. Se la vie!

I'll go ahead & post the rest for Charis & Sarah who I know are on the edge of their seats to see how this puppy ends.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Part IV

Chapter 2 - 2 weeks later

"Okay, Michal', which dress?" Anne had just entered the elaborate Irving library where Michal' was sitting at a table putting together a puzzle. Michal' glanced up from her work to look at the two dresses Anne was holding up for her inspection.

"Either one," Michal' casually responded.

"Michal', really, which one?"

"You look nice in both of them," she replied, then thought for a second. "Wear the blue one."

Anne looked at the light blue dress with delicate lace at the neck and wrists, then looked at the other one. it was a cream color with tiny pink and yellow flowers printed all over it.

"No, I think I'm going to wear this one," she said holding out the cream dress.

"Okay, What's the occasion anyway," Michal' questioned, putting her eyes back on her puzzle.

"You don't remember? David is coming to dinner tonight," Anne said taking the chair across from Michal' and inspecting her progress on the puzzle.

"Okay, Anne, it's the middle of the afternoon. Why are you worrying about all of this now?"

"For your information, I want everything to be perfect. daddy is really making an effort to get to know David and I think he's finally getting used to the idea that his girls are growing up. I Just think everything should be just right." Anne got up to let Michal' get back to her work. "And, by the way," Anne had gotten to the door and turned around to face her sister. "I want you to be serious tonight, none of your stories or jokes, please."

"Alright, but," Michal' said pointing her finger in Anne's direction. "He'll find out sooner or later the 'true' me, so don't think I'm going to put on an act for long just to make you happy."

Anne knew Michal' was only kidding and, no matter what Anne said, it probably wouldn't make any difference. But she did it anyway. (Did what anyway??)

"I know, and I want you to be yourself. Just minus the stories and smart remarks, at least for tonight." With that, Anne was off before Michal' had a chance to reply.

To be continued ...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Part III

"Elaine, you do look beautiful tonight." Christopher went though the act of complimenting one of his many dance partners of the night. "The green in that dress brings out the color of your eyes." (I've no clue what this story is about!!)

His partner smiled shyly and glanced down at her dancing feet for a moment. Christopher Haltom was one of the most handsome men at the party, and a real lady's man. He had almost mastered the art of sweet talking and wooing women, without getting himself attached.

"I haven't ever taken you riding before?!" Chris was questioning. (Doesn't really sound like a question ...)

"No," the young lady answered shyly.

"Well, we shall have to remedy that. Sometime this week perhaps?!"

Ashley was leaning against the end table drinking his glass of champagne. He had been watching his brothers' progress around the dance floor. He could almost hear the words Christopher was saying to the young girl he was with. The same thing he said to all of them, 'You look lovely tonight,' 'We must go riding soon,' 'Did I mention you look beautiful?'. It almost made Ashley sick to his stomach.

No two brothers could be as different as Ashley and Christopher Haltom, in looks or personality. Ashley was tall and slender, with a slightly muscular frame, dark hair and broad shoulders. (I'm making myself sick a little bit.) Ashely was also very loyal and committed. He possessed a quiet and observant nature that his brother did not have. Christopher, on the other hand, was very social. He went to almost every party that was held in town, went on outings with friends many times a week and was more content to see several ladies at one time than just one. He was on the shorter side, quite muscular and had the smile and intriguing eyes that could charm any woman. He could strike up a conversation with just about anyone whether he knew them well or not. He was also a good listener. However, they did share two common features; their brown hair and gray eyes.

"That's quite a face." Ashley looked up to see that his fiance, Pamela, had come to stand beside him.

"I was just thinking," Ashley replied being pulled out of his thoughts.

"Oh. Care to share?"

"I was just wondering how long Chris' next relationship will last," Ashley answering nodding toward his brother on the dance floor.

Neither spoke for a moment as the waltz ended and Christopher bent to kiss the hand of the young lady he had been dancing with before leading her off the dance floor.

Ashley broke the silence by saying, "It's getting pretty late. Are you ready to go?"

Pamela tried to cover up a yawn and nodded. Ashley laughed at her response then took her hand to lead her to the door. Before they got there they were met by Ashley's father.

"Are you taking Pamela home, son," Mac Haltom asked his oldest child.

"Yes, she's getting tired."

"Your mother and I are about to leave ourselves. Good night, Pamela," he said turning to the young woman. "I trust you had a nice evening."

"Yes, a very nice evening, thank you," Pamela responded politely.

"Ashley, I'll see you tomorrow then?" Mac addressed his son again.

"Probably not. You forget I leave for Nova Scotia (of course!) first thing," he reminded his father. Ashley was a land surveyor and traveled to many places, including Canada and Europe, on business.

"Oh that's right. I'll see you when you return then."

"Oh course. Good night, dad, kiss mother for me." Ashley was tired and was ready to get back to his apartment in town before he had to leave again.

"Why don't you kiss her yourself?" Ashley turned to see his mother, a beaming smile on her face with her bright red hair and light purple evening dress, coming toward him. After a quick conversation and a kiss on the cheek, Ashley and Pamela continued to make their way to the door.

"Sweetheart, did you have a nice night?" Henry Irving asked his oldest daughter after all the guests had left. Anne had slipped into her parents' bedroom to say good night before turning in.

"It was absolutely wonderful!" she exclaimed with a leftover dreamy look from the hours before.

"Did you get to spend much time with David?" her mother questioned.

"Not as much as I would have liked," she admitted. "In fact, I was going to ask you tomorrow if, maybe we could have him over for dinner one night soon."

"I think we could manage that," her mother replied. "Why don't' you ask him in couple weeks. That will give us time to recover from the party some." (I'm not sure if the setting is the wild west, on the prairie or Victorian England!?!?)

"Okay, thank yo so much!" After giving her parents a quick kiss, she hurriedly thanked them again and retired to bed (why am I talking like that???). However, she knew sleep was nowhere near with her head still spinning with the excitement of the evening.

To be continued ...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

An Aside ...

Just an FYI, on Part II of the story (tune in tomorrow for that!) I started interjecting my thoughts when I was reading it. You'll find those in parentheses throughout the story.

Just so you know, that's not actually part of the story. It's just my adult brain responding to my kid brain.

Part II

Skirts rustled together as three young ladies made their way to the retiring room. once inside they checked their hair and dresses while making pleasant conversation.

"I say, I don't know what I'm going to do at my coming out," Michal' exclaimed while running a comb though the dark auburn hair hanging down her back. "I haven't danced nearly as much as Anne has and I am exhausted."

"It's really not all that bad. The excitement of the night overpowers the aching of your body," Carol replied settling herself onto a bench to wait for the younger girls.

"That's easy for you to say, Carol, now that it's all over with," Josephine commented.

"True," Carol said smiling, thinking six years back to her special night that she wished could go on forever.

The ladies continued walking through the crowded room (When did they leave the bathroom???) Carol admired the decorations and elegance of the Irving house. Then we went on to think about the people who lived there.

Henry Irving and his wife Marie (Are these names sounding familiar??) were one of the more regarded people in Rose Hill. Marie had grown up there and met Henry when he moved to North Carolina to start his own law firm. Marie's mother said it was love at first sight. The first time she witnessed the love in Marie's eyes when she saw her daughter looking at the tall, blond haired, blue eyed, Henry, she knew marriage was in their future (Huh??). After they married, Henry met Mac Haltom, another young lawyer who had come out east to start a new life with his family. It was the beginning of a close knit friendship between the two familiar. (What does that have to do with anything??) Two years later Henry and Marie's first child, Anne Margaret, was born. Anne had ended up with the dark hair and eyes of her mother. At 18, she had grown into the spitting image of her graceful mother and her mother's mother before her. Always the lady, she had a gentle presence and timid smile. Almost a year and a half later, Michal' Elizabeth was born. Adventurous and outgoing, Michal' became the exact opposite of her sister. While Anne enjoyed reading a book or doing stitch work, Michal' could usually be found outside riding horses or walking by the large lake not far from the house. She was now 17, reddish hair and hazel eyes that were full of life and that lit with enthusiasm when she laughed. Her tomboyishness (Apparently I made up words.) had worn off, however her sense for adventure and wild ideas still kept everyone guessing what she would come up with next.

"Carol, did you want some punch?" Michal' asked interrupting her thoughts. Being pulled out of her thoughts, Carol noticed that they had made their way to the refreshment table & Michal' was holding a cup filled with a peach colored drink.

"No, thank you. In fact I think I'm going to go find Parrish (Oh brother!!), it's getting late & his mother is keeping the boys."

"Alright, tell them hi for me," Michal' said referring to Carol's three young sons.

Paul, 5, Michael, 3, and Matthew, just over a year were adorable little boys sporting their father's handsome Spanish good looks but as rambuncuous as three brothers could be.

"I will. Good night."

"Bye," the two girls said in unison. Michal' watched Carol walk away and thought of the day almost seven years ago when Carol came back from an extended trip to Spain with her family to announce her engagement. While there, she had met Parrish Diego (There are no words ...), a tall Spaniard with dark hair and piercing blue eyes. At first, she detested the sight of him, but he was determined to win her heart. After much work, he had.

Jo (huh? Where'd she come from?) and Michal' were standing close to the dance floor trying to blend in so they wouldn't get asked to dance. They needed a moment to rest their feet. It didn't work. In just a few minutes, Jo's fiance, Randall, had claimed her for another dance. Michal' was left drinking her punch, grateful that it wasn't her that had been chosen for yet another dance.

To be continued ...

Part 1: The Story Begins

Chapter 1

As Anne was once again swept up into the arms of another partner on the dance floor she thought, again, of David. This was the most important night of her light & she'd only gotten to dance with him once. She chanced a glance at him standing outside the dance floor, drinking his punch & talking with an older gentleman.

"Have I mentioned how lovely you look tonight, Miss. Irving?" Her dance partner interrupted her thoughts.

"Why thank you very much," Anne politely replied, trying not to sound too eager for the dance to end.

Her partner was opening his mouth to say something else when Anne's good friend Roger Augusta came up behind him.

"Excuse me, sir, but seeing as the night is almost over, and I haven't gotten a chance to dance with our guest of honor, I knew you wouldn't mind me cutting in."

The older gentleman nodded & stepped aside while Roger took Anne's hand and they began moving gracefully once again around the dance floor.

Roger had moved to Rose Hill, North Carolina to live with his brother & sister-in-law while he went to a nearby university. Since only a few years separated Anne & he, they became fast friends.

"So, how is the night going so far?" Roger asked Anne as she began to relax in the arms of a familiar face.

"Wonderful!" she exclaimed, a smile in place. "Also tiring & scary & disappointing."

"Disappointing?" Roger questioned, raising an eyebrow.

"Yes, my dance card has been filled with old men just looking for a youthful wife that will look good on their arm that I've only danced with David one." Her lovely brow wrinkled with a frown & Roger made no attempt to hold back his laughter at the face she made.

"Well, I know he's thinking the same thing." Roger smiled & nodded to the young man watching their progress across the floor. Anne smiled to herself at the picture.

To be continued ...

Monday, May 16, 2011


While rummaging though my cedar chest the other day, looking for old Air Force paraphernalia, I ran across a story I'd written when I was a kid. I must've been about 12 when I decided I'd write a story & use the names & places of people I know for my characters.

Now, 17 years later (AHHHH!), I pull it out & start reading. All I can say is ... What was I thinking??? I thought it'd be fun to share my juvenile creativity with friends & family ~ some of whom you may recognize as you continue to read.

Starting tomorrow, I'll be posting new parts every day, so check back to keep up with the saga!