Monday, January 30, 2012
Puzzler has still been the object of attention this week. All borders are on, but I've yet to get to the backing and layering for quilting.
Raven has decided she likes it. Isn't she turning into just the most statuesque, elegant kitty? The vet said her right eye's 'squinting' look is from a birth defect where the eyelid didn't complete form. I'm supposed to get eye drops for her; have yet to pick them up. She also wanted to check out this little quilt. I did not make this one. It's a community service project from my quilt guild that I brought home, oh so long ago that I'm embarrassed to say just how long (have you seen a pattern in how long it takes me to do things?). It's a baby/crib quilt and needs only to be quilted & bound. I did get it layered shortly after I brought it home, but then set it aside in favor of other projects.
These are the two things on my 'design wall' as of today.
Judy's friends are reporting on their design wall beauties here. Enjoy!
Nothing IN, Nothing OUT, NO changes ;)
Sunday, January 29, 2012
We have two bathrooms upstairs, the master and a second one. They back up to each other with the pipes/faucets in the common wall. The second bath is your typical one of bathtub width with the toilet right next to it. Over the last several weeks, it's been evident to Nick and I (Marty uses the master one so wouldn't know if we didn't tell him) that something's very wrong! The floor in front of the toilet, and perpendicular to the bathtub has had a bulge developing...as if a 2x4 were beginning to protrude. Yesterday, we decided it was time to determine why. I had/have all these horror images from a recent episode of "Disaster House" where the tub falls through the floor to the bathroom below. Also of note, is that when standing in certain areas of the tub, it's begun to squeak when you move around - this can't be a good sign.
Marty grabbed his tools and first thing removed the toilet, setting out into the hallway (with it's 20+ year old carpet-I'll come back to this) and then started pulling up the linoleum. This is how it looks. The faucet end of the tub is at the right, and toilet location is obvious. I had him cut the linoleum straight across from the edge of the sink cabinet. That's plain old ordinary plywood that was under that linoleum, and it's wet, very wet. Yeah, probably a bit of mold too but I don't panic over such things. Under the plywood, is the original (1966) ?asbestos?-laden tiles. Marty removed the bit of plywood that was around the toilet area and has ruled out any leaking from the toilet. So....where else could the water be coming from? A) the pipes in the bathrooms' common wall could be leaking and seeping under the tub. The floor does slant just a little so would be pooling on that left side. B) the bathtub drain could be eroded and leaking. The floor was still too wet this morning before Nick & I showered to determine if any new water added to the area after we showered...but interestingly, right along the side of the tub for a very evenly spaced 6-or-so inches it is wetter than when you get out further...but it's like someone set a ruler down and drew a line - straight across! C) on the other side of the left wall is my craft room. The back/exterior wall has a ~5' window 4' from the floor. It has leaked in the rain since we had vinyl windows put in 10? years ago, but I didn't think it ran down the wall...until last year when we had really heavy rains and I moved Marty's mom's old sewing machine (in it's carrier) and it was stuck to the carpet and underneath all black. We didn't investigate that further, just pulled the machine away and used towels at the window to sop up the water until Marty could go out and see if the window needed some caulking. With that in mind, did more water pour in some how within the walls and find it's path through to and under the tub? Seems a little much for me to think possible. There has also been two 2-drawer file cabinets in that corner of the craft room and moisture has been under them. I've moved them out of the corner and this is what I find.
(I don't know why Blogger turned this sideways :S ) If you tilt your head to the left, that would be the correct orientation with the common wall with the bathroom on your right. Or you can pretend you're looking over my desk and the common wall is to the back/top of the pic. Only in the very corner is there still some dampness. The black stain is where the old sewing machine had been. It may not be mold, but the black color of the cabinet dye that has leached off.
If it's the C option, then there's also the possibility that from wherever the water is entering to get into my craft room it's entering and traveling both down the exterior wall, and across the ceiling exiting near the ceiling light causing that ceiling leak! Hmmmm, perhaps we've narrowed the long-pursued ceiling leak cause. Would sure hate to tear out all the bathroom tile, tub etc, to find out it's a roof-related issue.
I wonder if any/all of this should be an insurance issue? And if we can't figure out where it's coming from, who do we call? A plumber? Roofer? I'm clueless at this point. We will likely have to remove the wallboard from the craft room side (so long design wall - for now) as it would be the least expensive for of 'de-struction' for now. We would at least be able to see if the water's from the exterior side, or from the bathroom side.
Oh, I almost forgot. That toilet having been set on the carpet in the hallway...well, Marty had flushed it prior to removing it and after turning the valve off, but it still had quite a bit of water in the tank, so having sat on the carpet, that water drained into the bowl and then drained onto the carpet, so the carpet was very wet, and there's a toilet-base shape from the gunk around the bottom of the toilet - nope, no one thought to protect the carpet. Good thing the carpet is so old I don't care, but ... even so...
Friday, January 27, 2012
- It rained again Sunday night through Monday...makes me smile as we need it, especially up in the mountains.
- The ceiling in my craft room....still leaks!
- Marty had taken off early last Friday evening with one of his photog buddies to head for the mountains for some photography and wasn't supposed to be back until late Sunday. He got back a day early as the weather cleared and they were wanting to shoot stormy/snowy weather.
- Nick went to Tino's for a sleepover last Friday night, so it was just me and the kittens ~~ it was a nice quiet evening.
- I discovered that I'm 25+ years older than one of the mom's of one of Nick's classmates. Now I really feel old. My daughter is closer to her age! I was 45 when I gave birth to Nick, and physically and mentally I often wonder "What was I thinking?". But he's a true gift from God and we are blessed to have him and I wouldn't change it for the world.
- Medical billing/statements...WHO invented these ridiculous programs??? and why can't they get the info correct??? Please go back to: charge, paid, balance in date order and stop mixing/splitting apples and oranges! (Yes, I'm ranting!)
- The kittens had checkups on Wed. Our vet thinks Raven has herpes. She said about 80% of cats do. That's why Raven sneezes a lot (and I thought it was all the dust from my bad housekeeping), and her lymph nodes are still enlarged so prescribed a stronger antibiotic and recommended an additive to the food that would help prevent 'outbreaks'. This is apparently an animal herpes and doesn't cross species so no fear in us humans getting it. If left untreated I guess she could get really snotty with her sneezes. Eewww. Otherwise, they're fine and healthy :) and both are now micro-chipped should they ever decided to go outside and explore (I intend them to be indoor kitties! at least until/if we can build a caged area for them to go out into for some sunshine, bug chasing or whatever.)
- I'm way behind in updating Quicken. I sorted all the receipts in order to enter them more efficiently, went to the computer the program is on and...the keyboard isn't working! And Marty isn't answering my i.m. I checked the connection, it's ok. So the problem is something else. Marty recently upgraded that machine to Windows 7, so maybe something went wonky because of that, but it has worked since that time. It seems there's been something every time I've attempted to update lately. A week or so ago I had entered some, and then stopped only to have that computer 'catch a virus' even when no one was using it...grrr. Glad I have Marty to fix those frustrating things because I'd never be able to.
- God provided this glorious scene on Tuesday night:
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Marty told me he had no clean underwear. He did. There was a pair in his travel bag. So I washed underwear today. I hate handling underwear...it's just gross. I won't go further than that. So, I put the load in the washer this morning and forgot about it. A little while ago I was reading Judy's (Patchwork Times) blog and she mentioned laundry, which jogged my memory to go put the shorts and socks in the dryer. I made a comment about it as I walked down the stairs and Marty said he could wear cold shorts. But wet? Ewww, I don't think he'd want to wear cold wet shorts even clean ones! I'm putting them into the dryer and my mind starts running on about underwear. In fact, on changing underwear. On what if you skip your shower, does underwear need to be changed? 'Mother' always says 'change your underwear, what if you were in an accident & had to go to the doctor'...what, he's going to see my underwear if I break my arm? Maybe. Then I thought, well, why get grossed out if you have to put your dirty underwear back on if you have no clean ones, unless you tossed them to the floor and the floor's filthy, which then led to why don't we change our underwear every time we use the toilet? Is that any different than taking them off to shower, other than they don't get cold when still at your knees or ankles? Or, why wear underwear at all? Or, maybe wear peel off underwear that has layers of protection in 'just the right areas' that you can flush along with everything else or at least toss in a trashcan. And what about when you go camping - you know, the roughin'-it kind of camping or backpacking. Every ounce counts when you go backpacking! Makes me wonder too what other countries/cultures do about underwear. Ug, Me Tarzan, You Jane comes to mind ;).
OK, am I now totally certifiable. What I really want to know is, where'd all this laundry come from? I thought I was caught up!
Monday, January 23, 2012
N: Mom, there's a huge spider on the wall.
Me: I know, it was there earlier; you can name it if you want.
He didn't, but I am.
Here's Waldo, or Murphy, or whatever you want to call him, or her. I made it drop to the floor where Flame chased it out of the bathroom and into the hall to the library where it found shelter under a bookcase. So now, where's Waldo? or Murphy? or Whomever? Maybe he'll make it to Nick's bed and he'll wake me from my sleep...again. Because he's 13. And that's old enough to still wake Mom to take care of the spiders in the house.
These gals keep me company while I'm at my computer and/or trim scraps. Raven on the left, Flame on the right. They don't always sleep like this (Flame woke just enough for the pic), and often wrestle in this box but they get a bit wild so I place them on the floor, where they'll do silly baby kitty things like this...
Too cute playing with the plastic tub in between as they try to catch each others' toes. It's so fun having little kitties in the house again, but we sure miss Fanner still.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
My daughter, using Shutterfly, created one of those personalized books of my grandson. It's a monthly pictorial of his first year, and is just the best late Christmas gift I could get since I've only been able to go visit them once (1100 miles away!) to see and cuddle and snuggle that little angel. There are lots of pictures, not a lot of words. I wish I could show some pictures, but my daughter and son-in-law don't want my grandson's picture out on the internet and I respect their wishes. But I will say, he has the cutest dimples in his cheeks, deep brown eyes and not a whole lot of hair yet but it's more than when he was born :)
We both (my daughter & I) now have Kinect for our Wii gaming systems, so we could have a visual conversation that way and I could watch my grandson, but we haven't done it yet. Nick has to help me on this end, and timing has to be right on her end. We don't have a computer in the house with camera. I once enjoyed all the technologies, but it seems in recent years, they've come at me too fast to keep up with my slowing brain!
Monday, January 16, 2012
On my design wall is my Puzzler quilt for the UFO challenge, but I haven't made any progress on it ... yet! I'll just say, that all the cat issues have kept me sidetracked, but our cat-family is now complete and while we'll all be adjusting to this new family for awhile, I plan on getting busy on this quilt.
For the beautiful projects of others, head on over to Judy's Patchwork Times
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Used this Week: 0 yards
Used year to Date: 0 yards
Added this Week: 0 yards
Added Year to Date: 0 yards
Net Used for 2012: 0 yards
You can find stats from others at Patchwork Times.
Flaming Star/Flamingstar "Flame"
We adopted this little darling early this afternoon. She's about 10-12 wks old, exactly what we were looking for. She's already had shots, tests, micro-chip, spaying, etc. from the shelter we acquired her from. They had called her Dylan - somehow that just doesn't fit, and Nick has read the entire "Warriors" cat clan series of books - the only books he'll read that aren't assigned school projects! I can see it now, 30 years in the future, he's a cat hoarder or runs a cat sanctuary or something along those lines. Guaranteed he won't be a vet - he doesn't enjoy school and thinks it's 'dumb' even though his 2nd quarter grades were all A's and 1 B.
Raven is surprisingly hissy. Amazing what just a few weeks of age in a kitten brings. When Fanner was still here, Raven never once hissed and only wanted to snuggle and play and Fanner would have nothing doing. Now Raven hisses and spits and lashes out...even at ME when she smells my shirt where Flame was held! Oy!
They should settle down in a few days, weeks, hopefully not months! For now, they will only be together when they can be supervised. Flame needs to get accustomed to her new home, so we'll start with a small area as we did when Raven first came to us.
Friday, January 13, 2012
We are in the process of looking for a 2nd 'kitten'...did you know there's a 'season' for kittens? I suppose in the back of my mind I did too, but it escaped me. I expected to be able to go to our local shelter and find several to choose from...not ONE!! and only a few adult cats. I then went to another about 30 miles away and goodness, I'd have had to wait over an hour and a half just to ask questions about adopting one of a couple we might've been interested in. Oh, and it was late in the day and I had only my prescription sunglasses for driving. Guess who didn't wait! We've since looked at photos of several kitties of various kitten/young ages that are up for adoption through rescue places. One in particular caught our attention, but we're 2nd in line and won't know until the 1st in line meets her on Sat. Raven clearly needs another cat to keep her company. I tried to update our Quicken data - impossible with this little monkey! So we played fetch on the stairs to tire her out a little and I think I have her down for a nap (sounds like I have a baby, huh?). She loves to be curled up on Nick's uber-soft bathrobe for her nap. She thinks it's 'mama' and tries to suckle and knead on it. Clearly she was removed from mama to soon, but no choice from the story of how we got her.
I was going to upload a video of Raven but discovered Blogger's max. is 100mb and mine is 285mb. So does that mean I just make a shorter version? So much to learn....still, lol.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
It took me several days to get to the point of being able to clean up her litter area. I forgot to mention in Friday's post, that one of her troubles was bladder stones. We had them surgically removed Dec. 2009 & they re-formed by July '10 which caused the urinary problems. The ones removed in '09 were the size of my little finger nail, so not small and presumably painful. Needless to say, this problem along with the others made for quite a messy litter station because she'd step in whatever she did, it'd stick to her feet...you can guess the rest if you have animals. I was using those dog training pads but there were still areas where wet tracks were found. I also finally switched to a pellet type litter which helped...wish I'd thought of it a LOT sooner; kitty sand everywhere isn't fun.
I baked the clay paw print that the vet gave us on the day of her demise. The vet & staff are very compassionate.
We have also started looking for another kitten now to keep Raven company. We checked our local shelter yesterday, but alas, no kittens - only big cats and sorry, but I don't want to bring in an adult cat. Did you know that this isn't kitten season? March/April would be better. We even checked County-wide via their online site and not too many kittens. There were a couple posted and we'll drive up there today (about an hour away) after school, but there's no guarantee it'll still be there. Otherwise, we may be forced to hold off a couple months until babies are born/old enough to wean. I was also surprised at the cost of adopting from both the shelter and Petsmart. $90 and $120 respectively. But then, I guess that includes their first rounds of shots, etc. The shelter also microchips as a matter of course. I think looking is helping Nick as well. I told him he also needs to talk about Fanner to help work through his grief. So we have been able to do that at times...without blubbering!
Raven is quite the personable cat. She's grown a lot since the end of Nov. She has confidence in her running, jumping, leaping, pouncing and does them all too well, lol. She likes to jump onto my chair and then onto my shoulder where she'll drape herself or chew on my hair and try to re-pierce my ear. She's quite rambunctious and clearly looking like she may have Oriental Shorthair genetics. She's very affectionate too and purrs a lot. I need to try to capture on video, her fetching ability. I'll throw the pompom down the stairs while I sit at the top and she'll chase after it, pick it up, bring it back, set it down and lay down until I pick it up and throw it again...no, she really isn't a dog, but she does behave a bit like one including following me around constantly, except when she's getting her cat-naps.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Many years ago.
Being held by Marty.
This is NOT a Friday I was finally glad to see. We, no, scratch that, I finally made the decision that not one of us wanted to make to have Fanner put to rest. I detest having to make such decisions. I would lay in bed at night and ask the Lord to take her so that I wouldn't have to make that decision. And the hard part was, she would seem 'OK' quite a bit, but I've watched her for months, years even, and knew she wasn't. She'd growl, huff when you'd pick her up, clearly painful. Her breathing was changing as was her litter using abilities. It was time, but it's still very painful.
She was so special. She was 'Nick's' kitty (even though he didn't take care of her), one he was supposed to grow up with for many more years. She was oh-so-soft, like rabbit fur, and a good lap kitty. But she had a lot of medical problems and the first time we almost lost her (and had the decision of her living or not) was when she was only 6 mos or so old. It took years to find out what was really wrong. At first we discovered she was allergic to fish. If you're a cat owner that feeds canned food, check the labels, fish-less food is not that easy to find. In Friskies, there's maybe 3 flavors that don't have fish in them. Fish in dry food didn't seem to bother her, maybe they use a different part of the fish.
But then she started having seizures too. And we almost lost her again when her first vet decided to give all of her necessary shots at one time, after that...no more vaccines for anything. We were referred to a new vet. She determined, even without the other uber-expensive testings recommended by ER vet when she was ~6 mos., that she had a condition known as liver shunts. More common in dogs than cats, but she was 'lucky' - hah! Actually, she was lucky: to have us to love and care for her for 7 3/4 yrs, and a vet who knew what to look for & how to treat her and keep her comfortable and who would work with us.
One time she escaped the house and a neighbor came over and asked if we knew anyone in the neighborhood who'd lost a cat with big feet (Fanner was polydactyl). She had opened her door & Fanner rushed in, likely thinking it was her own house as she'd never been out before. We didn't realize Fanner has scooted out our door when we answered it for a door-to-door salesperson after dark. Another time she escaped the back yard. I should mention here, that with her special needs, she also didn't have hind-quarter muscular strength and could barely jump up onto the bed let alone scale any 6' walls, and she had become 'blind' with maybe only being able to distinguish light and dark. This one time, a gate was slightly ajar and she got out. She was gone nearly 48 hours and Nick & I were especially fearful and heartbroken, we put flyers on light standards and people's doorsteps, took them to local vets in case she'd been hit by a car, and checked the pound, and we prayed for her return. Then one afternoon the phone rang, and the guy asked if we'd lost a cat saying he found one in his backyard by the pool just before he let his pit bull out (scary) - he had seen the flyer with our phone #. Turned out, he lived across the street, one house down. We knew each other minimally as neighbors here do, and incidentally, he's the one we acquired our new kitten Raven from at the end of November!
Fanner would sleep with either Nick or I. One time when she was with me I woke in the middle of the night and was scared witless. It seemed she wasn't breathing, she was limp like a dishcloth and for what seemed like an eternity, I nearly pounded on her to get her to wake up. She finally did, much to my relief, I truly thought she'd died then. This became a frequent event, and I learned not to panic. She just slept so soundly, that she was nearly comatose. We'd eventually laugh at how limp she'd be, but I'd always fear we'd accidentally break her neck or something. The one photo above is one of those times.
Fanner ~ we miss you! You will always be remembered.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
I don't have any new pictures of anything today. My camera promptly informed me that the memory card was full and I thought I had a backup one, but can't seem to find it, so it looks like I'll have to go buy one, but I haven't given up looking yet.
I saw the dr. for my wrist today since PT is over. We decided not to do the cortisone shot nor surgery for now, but to rather give it a few months and see how it feels. It is better and only occasionally yelps at me, like the other night when I attempted to use the rotary cutter for the first time (mostly) in nearly 5 months. It only yelped briefly so I went ahead and cut up some scraps for quite awhile. It was a little achy when done but I let it be. The next day and evening, I did some more and didn't hear/feel it yelp at all, so I think I can finally get back to being quilt-productive.
Housework has fallen behind with using my wrist as an excuse too, so I guess I'll have to pick up the ball on that as well. Sure wish I could be like Jeanie or Samantha (remember back to those 1960s shows?) and just cross my arms, nod my head, or wiggle my nose and have everything clean, sparkling and in place - with the knowledge of where everything is! just once, that's all, just once. I promise to try to keep it that way. Well, it was a nice dream. At best I could probably hire a maid service for a week or so, but I don't think that'd solve my personal-negligence issues. So that said, I guess I'd better scoot, I still have the last of the Christmas decs to put away and set in the garage for Marty & Nick to put back up into the storage loft.
Have a terrific day and thanks for stopping by.
Monday, January 2, 2012
Yay! But hey, it's the same one I showed yesterday for the start of the 2012 UFO Challenge, and I'll show it again, just a different image. I haven't made any progress since yesterday aside from taking it's box off the shelf and looking to see exactly what is left to do. One strip segment still needs to be added to one of the borders and then the borders are ready to add to the top (unless I need to adjust for an accurate fit, I haven't checked that yet). I'm open to suggestions for how to quilt it. Keep in mind, I've taken only one class in free-motion quilting and haven't perfected it by any means, so would like to keep it simple - unless I practice more.
You can see some more wonderful works in process here at Judy's Patchwork Times.
Since I haven't really done anything quilty since before last summer's vacation (due to the wrist injury) I sat last night and trimmed scraps as per Quiltville's Bonnie Hunter's methods. The wrist is ok but yes, I know I was using it with that rotary cutter - I feel it!
I had been doing this manner of cutting to some degree even before finding her method, but will 'change my ways' as to how many sizes of blocks and strips, etc. Nothing will go to waste even if the slimmest of trimmings are kept for a long time to be stuffing for a dog or cat pad! After reading one of the string foundation methods on the testimonials there, I finally know how I will use some of the 'ugly' fabric pieces I likely would not use otherwise: they can become the foundation pieces using a portion of them to still show through along with the other strings - too cool!
I love the great ideas we can find out in blog-land, thank you to everyone for sharing...and for commenting :)
Sunday, January 1, 2012
First up, since it's Sunday, which means it's Stash Report Sunday (thank you Judy), I start with zip, isn't that fun? nothing in, nothing out (yet)!
Used this Week: 0 yards
Used year to Date: 0 yards
Added this Week: 0 yards
Added Year to Date: 0 yards
Net Used for 2012: 0 yards
Next, Judy has chosen our UFO Challenge project for January. #5 . That means I'll be working on The Puzzler, a project from the Nov. '05 issue of Quilters' Newsletter. I think that's a good choice. It makes me happy. I have the piecing done and just need to sew the pieced border to the main pieced top, then layer, quilt and bind. It's expected to measure 70"x89" when done, and 'quilting' is still a bit intimidating unless I do just straight lines, lol.
This shows the main piecing of the quilt, very scrappy, and each block a sample of different blocks within.
Here it is laid on a bed with the side pieced borders laid next to it. Once the borders are on all the way around, I'll need to decide how I want to quilt it...for me, that's the real challenge, I think even moreso than actually quilting.
So, let's get rolling into 2012.