Best Trip Ever!

April 24th, 2013

It’s that time again! The weeks seem to go so quickly with this FOLK Journal Challenge! Here’s this week’s prompt:

It’s time to start planning those Summer vacations! What has been your favorite trip of all time? What did you enjoy most about the trip?

FOLK sharemystory

The good thing is that the question doesn’t ask what this year’s vacations will be. We are hoping to head to the Washington Coast for a few days, but with our oldest son’s school and summer internship coming up, we are not sure if we will be able to get us all together for it.  We really do NEED a vacation though this year because we weren’t able to take one of ANY sort last year.  Luckily in Spring of 2011 we made it to Disneyland, even though we really couldn’t afford it then. But in hindsight, it is a good thing we took that trip because a trip like that is going to be even longer away at the moment as we try to recover from our financially “less-than” year of 2012.   But I digress… usual….

Back to the question.  My favorite vacation? It is a bit difficult in one sense because I just so love traveling. Even our trips to the beach are just splendid to me. Linda and I have gone twice to the southern Washington Coast just the two of us. Once for our honeymoon, and once for our 20th anniversary three and a half years ago.  And we have gone to the Central/North Washington Coast with the kids many times, but not in the last 3 years I think. And before the kids, Linda and I took some camping road trips to Yellowstone and Montana. And I find all of those trips so relaxing.  Just writing about it reminds me how much we need another vacation.

And I absolutely have been loving my trips to Quilt Markets (all Spring ones so far, I think this fall may be my first time to Fall Market in Houston….so excited for that!) I love the freedom of traveling alone even while I am very much missing my family at the same time. But with Markets, I get to see all my quilting peeps that I normally only talk to electronically in one form or another.  I treasure those trips and those friendships so much!

But my FAVORITE trip has got to be my very first trip to Disneyland in October 2007.  We completely surprised the kids with it.  Here is a video we took of waking them up for the big day!  The kids were so surprised! And they will be mortified that I am sharing their wake-up on the blog, but oh well…..

disney 4x6

That trip was so much fun.  The kids had never ever been on an airplane before and they and I had NEVER been to Disneyland, and I was over 40 already! I felt like a little kid.  We had beautiful weather…in fact HOT…80 degrees in October. The picture above is the only one I can find, but it sure shows how delighted we all were.  I loved how there was music everywhere….and CLEAN? wow, it was so clean there!  The boys loved the Haunted Mansion, we all LOVED Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  We drug the kids through It’s a Small World at least once….it doesn’t have the same meaning for them as it does for Linda and me. The fireworks and parades were just incredible! I really can’t tell you how much I loved that trip. I still get goosebumps thinking about it.

We went again in 2011 and it was very rainy and stormy for a great deal of our trip that time.  Not as much fun. I was very disappointed in that aspect of it, because I was thinking about the money I spent for it, and it just wasn’t as nice…..but that was probably not the best way to look at it.  On that second trip, we did get to eat at the Blue Bayou restaurant which was REALLY expensive, but the service and atmosphere was so superb, the kids really, really enjoyed that special treat so much!  And we went to Universal Studios that time too, Linda and I were thrilled to see the “real” Hollywood sign after so many years of seeing it in movies and such!

Anyway, that is just a little bit about my favorite trip so far….I really can’t wait to go again! Don’t know when that will be, but I know I will be just as excited for that trip too!  As for now, I have a lot of sewing to get done for Quilt Market….so I better get to it….

How about you? What was your favorite vacation? or is it a dream vacation for the future??

Mr. Memento……

February 11th, 2013

Yup, it’s time for another 2013 FOLK Journal Challenge prompt.  Here’s the question to ponder:

What family memento do you cherish? Why?

This week’s prompt was pretty hard to nail down because, well, our house is FULL of family mementos that I cherish….really full….(when we are gone, the kids and their spouses are going to have a HUGE estate sale, okay?)  See Linda and I would rather have something that means something to us even if it isn’t perfect. Linda is better at editing some of those things than I am, but still between the two of us we have a lot of old stuff…

Anyway I am rambling here….Back to the topic. I ended up picking two things to mention in this post. One from each side of my family. The first one is the one I thought of first, only because I have very few mementos from my Dad’s side of my family.  This ring is from a tin that was in Mom and Dad’s drawer when I was little and it included a bunch of 1920 silver dollars and other jewelry bits that I assume were from his side of the family too. This ring was from one of my Dad’s aunt’s beau’s.  I think the beau left her, but she kept the ring and somehow my Dad got it.  To be honest, Dad’s stories are not always clear to me, and I am not positive that his remembrance is always that accurate.  I don’t even remember how I came into possession of the ring either. I do remember that I gave it to my wife as a promise ring the December before we were engaged. She wore it as a pendant until that May.  The box is not original to the ring. I think the box came from my Grandma Roggendorf  because of the Milwaukee address, but I could have picked it up in a thrift shop years ago.  I know that I have had the two together for over 25 years now. Why do I cherish this? I think because my heart always felt bad for the aunt who the beau jilted, and I thought that maybe I could do a little better? I wear the ring sometimes now as a pinkie ring just because I like it.  I also cherish it because it comes from the past and to me represents some of the craftsmanship of the past.  Living on the West Coast, nothing really seems to be very “old” compared to the rest of the world.

Dad's ring

As I was looking around the many, many mementos, I spotted this wooden clock bank  from my Mother’s youth. I don’t remember using it as a bank as I don’t think it ever had it’s “top”.  But I do remember carting it all over my travels when I grew up and moved away. I always have cherished this because I felt a connection to my Mom.  Her Mom was the “fun” Grandma, and though I could never really imagine Mom as a little girl, I heard many stories about growing up in Wisconsin, and it seemed like such a different world then.  She remembers being a teen and going over to the neighbors to watch TV!! This little clock reminds me of time in a much different way than it was originally intended to do.

Mom's Bank

So what about you? do you have some mementos that you cherish? Would love to hear about them!

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 24th, 2011

As part of the O Thank Cuteness! Week at Generation Q this week, I have a post over there today as well sharing some of what I am thankful for.  I have been blessed with a lot.  The only things I really lack are more time and money, but don’t we all?

Here at the Blue Nickel today, I  just wanted to share a few more things of thanks…and just a brief moment of sadness, but I will try to make that as brief as possible.

The sadness is that today is my brother’s  birthday, he would be 39 today….but he took his own life back in January ‘97 right after Christmas and New Year’s.  He had turned 24 that Thanksgiving.  I know that everything is supposed to be all nicey—happy in blogland, but the truth is that there is pain in life, and sometimes we just need to deal with it.  So today is just a tiny bit of me dealing with it.   My brother Ty was  a pain in the side often to me….

....but he was also awfully cute when he was little.  I think though that he just couldn’t find himself as he grew up.  And it makes me very sad, because I meet people now who would be his age, even have good friends who are the age he would be, and I think to myself, I wish he had given life more of a chance.   We could be the friends  I always wanted to be…..  Here are some pictures of him when he was in high school.


He grew to be a young man mostly while I was away at college.  He always seem to be bit awkward socially, so I never quite could figure out where he was coming from.  I do miss him.  But life does have to go on, doesn’t it?

So that being said, my post over at Generation Q pretty much covers my thankfulness for my wonderful wife Linda,  and the three kids God has blessed us with.  I just wanted to throw in a few more pics of the kids here, and I also wanted to say Thanks to all of YOU! my readers and friends.  I have made so many wonderful friends in the quilty world!  The quilt top that is pictured above was a Round Robin quilt that I did with friends back in the late 90’s early 00’s.  I did the center (the turkeys are a Country Threads pattern I think), and my friends, Lisa, Sharon, and Nikki all did a round on it.  I haven’t seen these ladies in years (well in September, Nikki showed up in a class I was teaching and that was great fun!) I just recently re-found this top….I need to get it quilted, huh?



I hope that your Thanksgiving (if you celebrate it) is wonderful (I was reminded this morning that we are in the Minority celebrating Thanksgiving in the overall worldview picture) and even if you don’t celebrate it, may you be thankful for all you have been blessed with.

303: Life in the Country…..

July 29th, 2011

Not everything went well in the country once the Country Mouse, Timmy Willie, from Beatrix Potter’s beloved story returned home to the country….Or his cousin Ralph the pack rat…..

Here’s the story of what happened at our house the Sunday before last…if  you were around on Twitter that day, then you know what happened…if not….you already met the first player in the scene….the victim ….

now meet the instigator of the Sunday ER visit…..

And here is the Damsel in distress…..Mimi Pure Heart  (for this episode at least)

And here is the story…...

Mimi was sitting in the living room drawing  and lamenting her last day with her BFF  (said BFF moved to Missouri of all places) when she looked out the window and saw one of the cats with the above small pack rat (we looked it up in the past, so that’s what we think it is…feel free to comment otherwise) in a more living state…Mimi rushed out to save the rat….she successfully got the rat away from the cat, but the rat wasn’t so keen on being held by something BIGGER than it’s former assassin, and retaliated with a sharp bite to  Mimi’s index finger.  At this point I had heard Noel,  my oldest yelling at Mimi to leave the mole alone…(I have got to get these kids up on their Rodentia lessons)...and came down to see Mimi bleeding profusely from the wound….

I rushed her to the sink to keep running cold water over it….and then rushed back to tell the boys to let the cats finish the job, but to not let them take their dead play-toy back into the woods….(BTW they normally don’t….they usually just leave their toys lying in front of the main door as trophies…..or in Death Corner as Linda calls it under the picnic table on the porch.)  So while the boys were watching the cats play hot potato with the rat…(okay maybe a field mouse now in hindsight) I bandaged up Mimi with a little Neosporin and a bandage, and I called the nurse hotline.   They say to get her to ER…so I took her and the rat (who is now dead in a plastic fruit container—duct-taped shut just in case of this) to the hospital.     They tell me there that rats/mice don’t normally have rabies, she had recently had her tetanus booster (Linda had the foresight to send Mimi’s immunization card with me), so  they sent me on my way for antibiotic to possibly ward off a rare woodland creature disease….(that’ll be $150 please….)

That was my Sunday afternoon two weeks back…..I had planned on taking a nap…..

Mimi was very happy that she didn’t have her hand cut off   (she was really scared of what might happen….I wasn’t too sure either….but I knew she’d like keep her digits….) she has vowed to let the cats carry out their genocide campaign around the yard and not rescue any more rodents….but she says she’ll still try to save birds….what diseases do those creatures carry??

Anyway…that’s that story….

Since then these are the other reasons I have been absent from the Blue Nickel Blog:

Besides the day job, and working on getting patterns written up, and working up a fun surprise for October for you with some friends, and the book.....I have a new job over here at Generation Q Magazine.  It is the start-up sequel to Quilter’s Home by said magazine’s former editors, Jake and Melissa and Megan....and I got asked to come along for the fun…at the moment, this is a labor of  love for all of us, but things are progressing fast, so we’re pretty excited about going to print and having a real income out of it.   We’ll have contests and giveaways often…so make sure you check by daily just to make sure….and we’ll have interesting articles that’s for sure…in fact…check this one out and make sure you get your entry in by Monday the 1st.

And don’t forget to try your hand at my coloring contest!!  I haven’t seen ANY entries yet, so if you send yours in,  you have such great odds at winning!

one last note….this was our breakfast today….SO scrumptious!!


Tomorrow I will post pictures of the TeaHouse that is rising from the never fully finished playhouse that I built for Mimi 5-6 years ago or so….It is looking SO cool!!



291: Happy Anniversary, Baby….

May 5th, 2011

22 years ago this day …..

May 5th 1989….

I asked this girl to marry me….


and she did….

(this shot from our 20th anniversary trip back in 2009)


I asked her yesterday if she would say yes again…

it took awhile….

but she said,    sure…I guess…..

I love that girl!

284: What I won’t do for my kids…..

March 25th, 2011

Or perhaps a better title would be …..”be careful what you say in front of  your kids” .....or  “my inner Gene Simmons” .....”paint your eyes like an Egyptian

So the story goes briefly something like this….my 13 year old daughter wanted to do my wife’s eyes in some new makeup techniques for practice, and Linda didn’t want to that night, but I piped up … “oh you can do my eyes some time, honey”  which I didn’t actually do that night, but thought “what harm can it do?” and “just to entertain my daughter”   and I think the beginning of this video is so cool (if you watch  this video, really watch the lead singer’s eyes closely  at 00:52 to see my favorite part of this video!)

Anyway here is her handiwork….and a very silly me…...

Not my usual post, huh?

All of the things I previously promised relating more to my usual Blue Nickel posts are still forthcoming.   We just got back from Disneyland,  so I also have a bunch of pictures to post from that as well….but I thought I would pop out this quick post just so you wouldn’t forget me….my March postings have been minimal, and I am, as usual, behind in almost every area of my real and virtual life…

Also here is more info on Modern Relief quilt (or quilts as it may turn out) will be viewed on line sometime in May I believe….I will keep you posted!!

For the rest of my day today I am working on my second Moda Bake Shop recipe which is extremely overdue (and I have two more waiting in the wings!) amongst other things….so hope you enjoyed today’s silliness…..

Rock on,


279: 18 years ago

February 17th, 2011

My little boy Noel Valentine…...


All growed up…..He’s 18 on the 18th….I am so proud of the fine man he is becoming…...



Ain’t he a handsome kid?  You can say it, I know you want to….  


Happy Birthday Noel, I love you so much!


273: Shangri La Snow……

January 23rd, 2011

I thought this quilt would never get published…..there is such a long time between when I send a quilt to a magazine and when they are actually published.  I remember working on this in the heat of summer….well, what little heat we had this summer.   So anyhoo… is  my friend Paula Prass’s  Woodland Delight  line in my quilt “Shangri La Snowflake”      I designed and made it for Quilter’s Newsletter December/January issue....(I apologize for blogging so late about it, I didn’t  realize the issue had been out for awhile when I got the quilt back…)    

 What is kind of funny is that the magazine peeps are the ones who write up the directions there, and they decided to simplify my design to the blue version shown here.       

And then my version showed up on the back page of the instructions.   I was happy to have my quilt in the magagine, but I was a little sad that my original didn’t get a bigger photo. ....  but that is how things go sometimes, you know?!


I wish I had time to chat a little longer today, but I my mind is swirling with all that I have to do…..

......  and I am feeling bad, as I just finished a none too fun Fatherly lecture complete with yelling and crying…..and that was just me…..I know sometimes in blogs, there is a pressure to have everything all nicey-nicey…..but well….sometimese life if not that formulaic……yeah….it wasn’t the best morning here at the Blue Nickel…I am sure things will be okay….but the morning just wasn’t much fun….


In fact, already my kids have forgiven me for the yelling bit….see that is leftover from my upbringing….and unfortunately I haven’t fully overcome that aspect.

Probably more info than anyone really wanted here, but what’s done is done…and like I said things are alreay getting better…..

If only I could find some minions now, to help with all of the rest of my to do list…..

Peace out,


Hope your day is going well….thanks for stopping by….I promise I will keep the next few posts all Nicey-nice, ust for putting up with this one.   :)

223: Turn around and he’s 17….

May 1st, 2010

What follows is a brief montage of my oldest child’s 17th birthday back in February ( If I don’t get it posted soon, I’ll turn around and he’ll be 25 or something)  Noel wanted an “all-meat” pizza, and then he gave Linda a list of what meats that included:








Linda was very concerned of a grease fire in the oven, but the cheese, besides seeming to glue this concoction all together, also seemed to keep the spraying grease confined to the pizza’s internal core.  It was a most interesting meal that is for sure.  I knew we should have fed him more than just hot dogs the year he was 3!!  


Here is my little boy’s first day on the planet….. 


And here is my little 6’5” boy now….it is so weird putting my head on HIS shoulder.  He is so wonderful though. Recently he did not get a summer internship at Microsoft that he had been hoping for.  He was pretty devastated at first, but you know what he said, after he calmed down a bit?  He told Linda, “you know Mom, there’s that verse in the Bible about all things working for good for those who love God…...I know there is a reason it didn’t work out”  When I was his age, I would have been upset for weeks I am sure….took him a few hours…


I guess we did something right in the last 17 years….(this of course, does NOT mean that he can’t be a butt-head at times, but Generally he seems to be doing okay)........looking forward to see what other wonders await us….Parenting, it’s not just a job, it’s an adventure!

Until next time, my friends,

Peace out!!

216: My Girl’s Project Runway!

March 23rd, 2010

Hey there…I know it’s been awhile since I posted..I have been working on a lot of deadlines and was already Twittering more than I had time for…let alone getting in here to Blogland…but tonite I wanted to share with you my daughter’s fashion show that I got to go to today (uh…that seems like too many to’s…but whatever)....and I was LATE!!  I was so upset with myself and the truck in front of me….I got to see the tail end of the show, but I didn’t get to see this great scene take place….Linda was there taking pictures…so I got to see this…but I have to tell you this….Mimi and the one boy in class had the best designs…the other “creations” didn’t look unique or even “designed” so I think I missed the best part…. but I thought you all would love to see my creative daughter’s inspiration, and I invited her back to be a guest blogger here again at the Blue Nickel….so without further adieu….the fabulous Mimi Hansen brings you her Spring 2010 creation…...

   Hi guys! it’s been awhile! how are you all doing? good? anyhoo… these are my designs….(i was embarrassed cuz i had to fill out this form and since my hand writing was so bad Alex, the announcer person, messed up .. oh well…what’s done is done) well i guess i should start from the top.  My top is made with crepe fabric, with purple lining. with my new invention PEEK-A-BOO SLEEVES!!  well, i think they’re new…dunno. TELL ME IF THEY’RE NOT!! well, next comes the skirt, it’s made with lightweight cotton and cute deer and poodle fabric that my dad bought for himself but, i stole it (not really….) then i just wore black tights under it with my leg warmers i made…. if you look closely you can see the squirrels! then my shoes are from rocket dog, they have polka-dots and cherries on the tips super cute right? one of the cherries fell off….that made me sad but, i think i can fix it! yeah! it was really fun! my friend tabitha was really scared, and i told her i wasn’t but, when i got on stage i was all like “oh snap…. I AM scared…...snap…what’ll i do? my heart is racing!” but, i think i did well. just so you know at my school i’m probably the most…...eccentric one there….. like….. i have this kitty hat and i have a puppy eared hair band….. and lots of other things i told myself (when i dressed like everyone else) “i’m going to be cool this year! dye my hair! be a trend setter! gonna be a total remix of my old self!” and that ’s what i did!  i think my dad posted one of my outfits before  right? it was a pink/purple tutu with a purple top leggings, and my kitty hat and polka-dot socks i where that one all the time i like anime alot so i cosplay alot! (cosplay=costume play) my dad feels bad about missing the first part but, i don’t hold him accountable! i mean he was there in the end right?so why does it matter? at least he tried! this is Amelia Hansen of Shattered Glass ( my “company”) signing off! i hope you enjoyed this little blog thingy! hope to see you next time Byebye!

Okay so that’s my girl….(actually I did go in there and do some cleanup of spelling and puncuation….it’s the English major in me…I can’t help myself….)  She has big dreams, and I am very proud of her for becoming her own person…she is a beautiful girl….

Tomorrow I may have some snippets from one of the projects that had me busy these last two weeks…later my friends…

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