Sunday, April 22, 2018

Week(s) In Review - March 24 - April 22, 2018

ALERT!!! Very long blog!!!

Hi everyone,

Long Time No Blog - Been VERY busy! So here are the highlights from the last 4 weeks!

I am starting with Palm Sunday because it was an out of this world kind of experience. We concluded our Lent tour of the area churches with St. Ann's in Cedar Grove, NJ. It's a RC Melkite Church. If you have never heard of the Melkites, do not feel bad, neither did we until that day. 
In a nutshell, they are Roman Catholics from the Middle East, more particularly from Syria. Though they follow RC rituals, they also borrowed a lot from the Greek Orthodox Church. Our palm Sunday experience ended up to be a 2 hour service, complete with figure 8 processions, Brioche bread dipped in wine not to mention a fantastic and oh, so worthy exposure to a different type of service as it was both in Syrian and English. It was very interesting and well worth our time. 

St. Ann's is also the home of the shrine of Our Lady of the Americas
This icon is entirely made of silver and gemstones donated by the parish. 

The priest officiates services within this small chamber under the dome and
facing away from the parish...That's the way it used to be when I grew up.

Look at that dome ceiling! Just wow!
So since I last blogged, I had mentioned we were awaiting a truck to deliver some heirloom stuff from our family in Ohio. The truck arrived on March 26 and the house, well at least the first floor, was upside down for a couple of days.

The major piece was this Eastlake Style Gentleman's dresser which belonged to Scott's Great-Great Grandfather. Ca. 1864. 

I did a bit of research and found out two interesting things about it.

1. It was made prior to the invention of the circular saw for commercial use. I know that because none of the pieces of wood in the back or underside show the circular grit from the saw...So it was probably made prior to the use of commercial circular saws, somewhere around 1864 or it was made using wood that had been cut prior to 1864. Which leads to #2.

2. I later found out that Great-Great Grandpa James apparently made his own furniture. My father-in-law has a secretarial desk at home that was made by James. So after extensive research and close inspection of the work done on this piece, in particular the dove tails and other joining, we are now concluding that Yes! Indeed, Great Great Grandpa probably made this one too! How about that!

I did spend some time reviving it a bit, not that it needed much care, Grandma Martha takes excellent care of her stuff.  You can watch this video for more details about our new treasure:

In addition to the Victorian dresser, we received a dining room table which needs to be sanded and re-stained, Great Grandpa's toddler rocking chair and a lot of linen and fabric, including a full collection of Irish Linen Tea Towels....Projects ideas are popping left and right in my head...So many projects, so little time!

So that week leading into Easter was pretty much spent cleaning and reorganizing things, moving furniture around and what not. 

Easter weekend was spent at home as we also celebrated Scott's 51st Birthday! 

He's enjoying a glass of Courvoisier Cognac VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) in the wrong type of glass...So yes, I am looking for Cognac glasses now. 

I made some oven baked chicken with tomatoes, herbs and onions.

That's the uncooked version

We enjoyed some Sushi on one of those nights when we got pounded with another 8 inches worth of snow! And a friend dropped off a traditional Easter cake which lasted about 6 hours before only crumbs remained. 

Quilted a lot...This is the quilt I am gifting to my Mother in Law.

Ready for quilt sandwich - a real chore if you ask me!

And I am still working on the Quilt Along with Pat Sloan - In the Summer Time Quilt. (8/20 completed), this one is for my sister. 

On April 8 we went to On The Border (A Tex-Mex restaurant - not sure if it is a chain). To be honest I am not a fan of Mexican or Tex-Mex type food (aside from Scott's elusive Burritos), I usually stick with boring grilled chicken over salad. It is one of those things that is an acquired taste. We did not have Mexican restaurants when I grew up and was in my late 20's when I first had it...I was not really impressed but the kids love it.

This boy of mine had me in tears for years as he was not eating anything...
look at him now!

And that is why I do not stress over this one's similar lack of appetite, he will
get there too! 

So the main event this month was a visit from Scott's parents. We had two occasions to celebrate: Edward's 16th Birthday and his concert at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. We had a really good time, but after 5 days of cooking fresh dinners, driving around and visiting local attractions, I am ready to say I am too old for this! So Kuddos to Grandpa and Grandma for coming over and doing all this type of activities well into their 70's! 

Here are some highlights:

I am the Hostess with the Mostess!

Homemade Fritata / which is basically an oven baked omelette

And since I already mentioned I am not a fan of Mexican food, I made Blueberry Scones too!

Brunch at my house.

We visited the Millville, NJ Air Army Museum.

Edward helped the museum Curator fold the flag at the end of the day.

Here you go - three generations!

And my big red quilt was finally gifted to my Mother in Law! (she loved it!)

You can find the pattern for this quilt in the magazine below (actually it's the one on the cover)

Click HERE for the pattern

This is the back....some puckering but overall it turned out ok.

I hand stitched the binding

Details of the meandering quilting throughout the top

Some machine quilting to finish off the squares

Monday and Tuesday I took Scott's parents shopping at various spots they do not have in their area including And That! by the Christmas Tree Shops. It really is a fun store if you are looking for theme decorating.

Here is my handsome ones, I have the googly eyes non stop with these two!

Concert at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Newark, NJ was spectacular. 

You can count on Scott for keeping it serious at all times!

6'2'', 5'9'', 5'2'' and Edward is not even standing straight!

He is a heart breaker!

So needless to say, there has been no video recording for the YouTube channel in the past few weeks. I shall resume next weekend but I am also taking classes every Saturday until June to renew my LCADC Licence. So I am not sure if there will be a lot of YouTube going on for the next few weeks.
It does not help that I am highly invested into finishing my sister's quilt on time for her Birthday.

And one more row completed - two more rows to go!

I hope you have enjoyed spending some time reading along and getting to know us a bit more. Life at the house is never a dull moment that's for sure...And it's about to change even more as we are now officially looking for a cat! So yes, expect another James Bond Villain in the near future, who will it be? Fiona Volpe or Emilio Largo?

Thank you all for your continued support of my Channel. 


  1. Wonderful!! So glad to see you & your wonderful family living life to it's fullest! Miss seeing you frequently on You Tube but your life is MUCH more important. Your sons will be grown before you know it. Enjoy every moment!!!! Love Ya, Luella

  2. Awesome recap. It looks like you have found your calling in quilting!

  3. Love it! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Loved reading about your adventures! So interesting!

  5. Sophia, I could listen to you talk on your videos all day long! I find I can almost hear you reading this blog entry out loud as I read along. You have such a wonderful presence! I feel almost like I know you from reading your blog and watching your videos. I hope you never stop sharing your life and world with us as I find you very inspiring. I only wish I had half your confidence and energy! Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. We had a really good time, but after 5 days of cooking fresh dinners, driving around and visiting local attractions. Electrical Services Perth are very important in case of an emergency.

  7. You have certainly been busy. But that seems to be normal for your family.

    Thank you for sharing all your photos. There are some beautiful sites to see in your area. One of my favorite things while visiting Europe was spending time in the churches.

  8. Oh my i can see why youre eyeing those chairs I want one toooo.Perfect for a reading nook. Best wishes to your family.

  9. Informative and interesting Blog! Beautifully written, as usual, I like the post. Thank you so much for nice sharing with us. Keep posting!
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I welcome your feedback and comments. If you have a question or a specific request, do not hesitate, I am here to help! Thanks, S.

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