Hanging out with John Quinones

John Quinones, Cindy Smith

I just returned from the TxDLA conference and our opening keynote was John Quinones http://abcnews.go.com/WhatWouldYouDo/. John arrived the evening before he was to speak and came by the opening reception in the vendor hall. We asked if he would come by a social I was having for the Board. To our surprise, he did! And what a nice guy. He said a lot of people say, “we were poor and we didn’t know it” but he said, “we were poor and we knew it!”

John was a great guy who seems to genuinely care about people. The conference was great as always and the setting was beautiful at Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas. My room was upgraded by the hotel to a room with an adjoining parlor. . . sweet!





I returned home just in time to enjoy Easter with the family. A tradition started many years ago by my mother-in-law Jo Nell Smith, is ham dressing at Easter. She taught me how to make and I have been continuing the tradition now for 24 years.

Easter, Jim and Cindy smith

Easter dinner

I wish I had set up the tripod and got a picture of everyone (or at least have taken a better picture) but I think the food was enjoyed by all.

What did you have for Easter dinner?

Posted in Family, holidays, TxDLA | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

New Day

One day you wake up and your babies are toddlers. Then you turn around and they are in college, they are working, and they are having families of their own. You feel like your heart is going to burst because then they give you grandchildren! While raising your family, you do many things without thinking; you are planting a garden, canning, cleaning house, sewing, having a baby, washing clothes, helping with homework and starting school but something else has also changed. You are getting older.

You assume this will happen, heck, we hope this will happen but I know I didn’t think about what the reality would be. My new goal of running is making me open my eyes to what has been going on for the last forty years. It sounds cliche but where has the time gone? And if I am asking rhetorical questions, where did these flabby arms come from?

One day, you are in okay shape and then “BAM” it happened. You assume you would never change but it doesn’t work like that. You have to make a conscience effort to do the things that previously were just a part of your life. With no garden to tend, now I have to do squats. I can’t chase my children and pick them up and throw them in the air. Number one, I couldn’t catch them and two – they are too big. Now I need to lift weights and exercise.

As a new mom, I always wished children came with an instruction manual. Yes, there were books out that let you know what to expect when they are 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, etc., but nothing to tell you what to tell them what to do so they will believe in themselves, be the awesome individual you knew they were and have great memories of growing up. Nothing, to tell you how to handle those tough decisions that parents have to make. My decisions were often made by prayer and gut feelings. I’m sure my choices were not always the right one but now they get to make those same decisions for their family. Hopefully, they now understand better what me and their dad went through.

When my life made a turn (that I didn’t realized was even in motion), I sure could have used a book to wake me up. Hey, when you turn 30, better start laying off the fried foods. Okay, now you are 40, better start lifting weights. 50 – start those pre-menopausal vitamins and make a workout schedule and stick to it! That would have prepared me better for what I face now…that I have missed some precious years and now have to practice “catch up” time. But I am determined. It’s like competing in a race and always getting beat but in this race, the person beating you is you. I have bought books on running, have the best shoes for running and the appropriate spandex attire but what it boils down to is this is something I will have to work at. It is not going to come easy for me because there were many years that I was way too sedentary and frankly indifferent to maintenance. So why not give up? Because what would that book say at age 60, age 65, age 70? Do I want to still have this 25 year old image in my mind and not be able to run across the yard? Do I want to be too old to go and do everything I want to do? Yeah, I don’t think so. It sucks that now I will have to work at something that was so natural before but that is what it is. Time is speeding by me and I want to continue enjoying them. For me to enjoy the next 20, 30, 40 years, I have to stop taking things for granted.

Okay, I know I have been rambling. I think I am determined and scared. Scared that I may talk myself out of quitting again. I stink at running. I’m not stopping now but I know that it would be way too easy to stop for just a little while. What the 25 year old in me wants is to consider this a new day and start new habits that will stay with me for the next 25 years.

Here are workout songs on my playlist, don’t judge remember I have a 25 year old struggling to get out 🙂

  • Thrift Shop
  • Don’t Stop the Party
  • Shoop
  • Air Force Ones
  • Break Your Heart
  • Right Round
Posted in Exercising | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Weekend Update


Meet Mr. Little

This is just a short post to introduce you to the newest member of the Smith household (thankfully not this Smith household!)



Wes is five. WOW. No more babies in the family.

I think all of the kids had a great time with the bounce house, pinata, merry-go-round, pizza and cupcakes.








Addi made biscuits Sunday morning.

Yep…making memories.

Hope your week is great!

Posted in Baking, Birthday, Family | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

Quilt Con 2013!

Just a few of the quilts…

We have a lot of opportunities available to us. Some say our students act like they are entitled but don’t we all? Don’t we expect 24/7 movies, shows and news? Don’t we expect resources, tutorials and inspiration from the internet? I read or see awesome chances to expand my horizon. Normally, my reaction is thinking, “yeah, I should do that.” It reminds me of when I was younger and would offer an excuse for not doing something and the response to me would be yeah, well…”woulda, coulda, shoulda.”

When Quilt Con was announced, I mumbled I should go and a friend, Jana, said, “Yes you should!” Not really thinking about it seriously, I thought why not so I quickly registered before I could change my mind.


I’m glad I went.

Here is me and Natalie at the Moda BakeShop booth. Don’t you love the signs!







At Robert Kaufman’s booth, we decorated conference bags! Not exactly a work of art but lots of fun visiting with others attending the show. Quilters are the friendliest folks I have ever met.


Overall, the show was smaller than I had imagined but this is the first year. The quilting was pretty (don’t ask me about the f*** quilts) but not the first thing you tend to look at. It was the quilting, amazing skills and one name was repeated numerous times in the attributes…Quilted by Angela Walters (http://www.quiltingismytherapy.com/). I have signed up for one of her classes with Craftsy and am super excited to start. Oh, the Craftsy booth gave us all a free class!

I love being at home and working in the yard or sewing or piddling. I love my job (or did until last week) but it’s the easy way. It’s comfortable. It’s familiar and it doesn’t always require makeup. As the old saying goes, Life is Short so do I always want the easy way?

Sometimes it takes just a little effort to do something that will impact you or bring you inspiration or make the life for you and others around you richer.

Maybe I need to start reevaluating my excuses and adopt the would-could-should motto!

Posted in Quilts | Tagged , | Leave a comment

It’s a Scrappy Trip

The Smith Group


Wow, it is already February and I haven’t posted in weeks. I know you are thinking that that is the regular schedule around here but hey, let’s don’t be picky. The picture above was from Christmas at Mom’s. Adorable bunch, huh?

Just in case you are interested, here are a few things going on for me.

All over the blogosphere, everyone is doing Bonnie Hunter’s Scrappy Trip Around the World. I couldn’t resist so this has become my new week-end project.

Scrappy Trip Around the World

I will need 36 blocks and currently have 11 made so that leaves a butt load lots more to make.

Exercise News

How about that? I actually have exercise news. I have completed three weeks of the Couch to 5 K program. In December, the university had a Jingle Jog and I participated. What a loser. I was huffing and puffing and that was before I started to run. So, posting on the blog makes it official because now you are going to demand updates and I couldn’t let you down.

Boy that’s scary. I bet I could go back and delete this post, NO, I want to do this!

Running/walking is hard enough but I have found that if I have upbeat music blaring in my ears, I do a lot better. Let me set the scene for you. Not being a seasoned runner, I am already testing the true strengths of spandex. I don’t glisten when I work out like the young co-eds whizzing past me. I sweat and turn red. It’s not a pretty sight so the last thing I need is for me to keep shoving the ear buds back in my ears while keeping the cord from flapping all over the place.

But no more. I am the proud owner of the Motorola S10-HD Headphones. So, if the friction from my thighs don’t start a fire, I should be good to go!

Next up:

I am going to QuiltCon!

QuiltCon is the first modern quilt show and happens February 21 – 24, 2013. I plan on going early Friday and return home late Saturday. I didn’t register in time for classes but that’s okay. This is my first big quilt show and I can’t wait to see all of the amazing quilts and visit with the vendors. Yep, pretty excited about those vendors.

I am wrapping up this post by sharing some pictures. Let me know what’s going on with you!

IMG_0168 100_2254 100_2279 100_2266  100_2251

Posted in crafts, holidays | Tagged | 4 Comments

It’s Susie Sunshine

It’s a great day!

The weather is not too cold and not too hot. I’m not sick. My family’s not sick and we all still have our jobs. My mom always said you can wake up in the morning and tell yourself you are going to have a great day or you can wake up and tell yourself, man, I feel awful; this days stinks and you will be right.

I choose to be happy today. Of course, it is still early but right now I am having a good day. Of course, if someone is having a bad day, I will blurt out a “bless your heart” but you are allowed to have a bad day ever so often but have you looked at yourself lately to see who’s fault that is? It doesn’t even have to take a lot to start your day off right. Have you ever received a compliment and it immediately made you stand up a little taller or walk a little straighter? What about just a friendly “good morning” from an acquaintance? Why not challenge yourself to give someone, anyone, one complement a day? You could feel good for giving the complement and you could, just change the course of someone’s day.

Here is a list to start your day:

  • Appreciate your day
  • Practice random acts of kindness
  • Get some exercise
  • Eat healthy
  • Pray
  • Don’t hold a grudge
  • Find at least one thing nice about everyone you meet
  • Choose to not listen to the news
  • Listen to a song that makes you tap your foot
  • Be patient
  • Remember stress is a motivator
  • Everyone was not raised as you were

If all of these don’t help, hold a pencil between your teeth. Your body will think it was smiling.

This is Suzie Sunshine signing off.

Have a great day!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

If the ox is in the ditch

Ginny Daniel

My mom was 83 this week and is a remarkable woman. She and my dad raised five kids and provided us with everything we needed. Notice, I didn’t say want but we had everything we needed. Mom made all of my clothes until I got into high school and asked for “store bought” clothes. This hurt her feelings terribly and for that I am sorry.

Mom has the most amazing memory. Growing up, mom used to use many phrases but “if the ox is in the ditch?” was one that seemed to come up pretty regular. Most of the time, it occurred on Sunday. We all knew that the sabbath day was a time of rest but if something unexpected happened, she would just look at us and say “Well, if the ox is in the ditch?” which all of us knew that sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that won’t wait and God would forgive you for working on His day.

For those of you that weren’t lucky enough to grow up in east Texas, the phrase means if you have something you have to do, well…you better get it done. No excuses.

It seems I am always pulling that ox out of the ditch.

Market Bag/Cindy Smith

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fall Leadership workshop for TxDLA starts tomorrow and I wanted to make a few “homemade” gifts for  some folks that really helped me with the conference.

I made strawberry fig preserves on Friday.

Saturday, I needed to go pick up pecans. While at Sister and Charles’s (aunt and uncle), I took a break and worked the cows. They were being sold to someone in Oklahoma and needed to be sorted: heifers, steers, babies and bulls. I loved seeing the spirit of those Brahmas. The gate would be opened for them to return to pasture and they would take off and get to the opening and kick sideways and backwards, kinda like saying, “yeah, you know better than to mess with me.”

I have a few bags made, a couple of aprons and a market bag now made.

Hopefully, the workshop will be great and my friends will like their gifts and all will be good until that ox gets back in the ditch.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments