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I took the online quilting class and learned some solid, basic information.  We worked with just squares of fabric, so nothing fancy.  I learned that pieces can be “chained” which means you do not backstitch at all, and you simply stop when one piece is done, raise the presser foot without cutting off the last piece, and then start the next one.  The result is a “chain” of sewn together pieces that you can then cut apart.  Chaining is nice because it is fast and it keeps all your sets in order.

But, I got a bit bored working in miniature with normal blocks.  I will be working full scale with just blocks on a quilt for my brother (I just need to get a little more fabric), but I thought it would be neat to learn how to do more complex blocks.  I found a series of bog posts that teaches some classic blocks, and I got started!

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It’s not a very good picture, but I did the Friendship Star and Shoofly patterns as 12 inch blocks, the Yankee Puzzle as a 6 inch block, and the Bear Claw as 3 inch blocks.  There’s a whole lot more to learn, but I’m excited at how these have turned out!

This morning when I decided to try a new recipe, I had no intention of writing about it.  However, now that it is all said and done, I feel like I need to.  (This post contains no pictures since I didn’t plan to write it in the first place.)

After I worked out this morning, I wanted to try a smoothie recipe that I found on Pintrest.  I was especially intrigued because the blog post claimed that this smoothie (with a tooooooon of spinach in it) would not taste healthy, but, instead, rather delicious.  I had prepped by putting my banana in the freezer a night or two earlier, so I was ready to give this one a whirl.  

I will say that this smoothie does not taste like spinach, but it also does taste healthy.  My banana was a bit green (OK, fairly green) when I sliced it, so the flavor from that was a bit off.  Just a tablespoon of peanut butter really does infuse the whole thing with an after taste of the peanut butter, but, overall, I was unimpressed.  While I did not feel like I was drinking a spinach smoothie, I also did not find the resulting flavor as anything I would call tasty.  My husband made a face when I put the glass down next to him and demanded he try it.  “You didn’t make this for me, did you?” he asked.  I shook my head no.  “Good.  I think it is awful.”  

I am going to give this a try again tomorrow without the peanut butter (but still the banana) and some frozen berries.  Perhaps the (now ripe) banana and some berry goodness with help make it into something I  would want to drink again.  I will say, though, that the recipe makes a LOT,  I filled two glasses and did not alter the recipe at all.  If this was something I wanted to drink I would be impressed by all I could have for the (relatively) small caloric intake.

Some of my best friends are people I have never met, nor ever can.  They are characters in novels and movies and histories.  Some writers have a gift that brings people to life from the confines an an individual’s imagination and allows them to frolic in the world of the reader.  The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is teeming with characters that I feel like I know.  They are real people-dynamic, flawed, confusing; and they deal with real problems that are both universal and individual.

In the simplest and least spoiler way, here is a plot overview.  Sixteen year old Hazel Grace has cancer.  Ever since she has been diagnosed she has know she is going to die.  At a support group meeting she meets Augustus Waters who also has cancer-a type that takes your leg but might not take your life.  The relationship that ensues revolves around all the things that any good relationship centers around-literature, learning that it is OK to be yourself, grand romantic gestures, awkward moments, and determining whether you should do what you want to do or what you think you should do.

Here’s the publisher’s trailer:

As I read I started to write down lines that were just “so perfect.”  Eventually, though, I was mostly transcribing the book.  This book made me cry real and ugly tears and then laugh as the streamed down my face.  I simply can’t tell you how much I love this book until you have also read it.

And If I can’t convince you, perhaps the enthusiasm and sheer likability of John Green will do the trick (with bonus tidbit about The Great Gatsby):

Seriously-read this book.  As soon as you stop crying, give me a call.  We’ll go out for coffee and get to work on our transcriptions.

Soon we will hopefully be updating more and adding a podcast. Stay tuned!

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