Monday, March 26, 2012

Design Wall Monday

I don't have anything on my design wall anymore. Not that there isn't stuff that should be there, nor stuff that isn't in some phase of progression, but with the demo and re-construction activities, and the over abundance of dust, I decided it's best to put most of my quilty stuff 'on hold'. Bummer. I had such high hopes for this year. I made progress in Jan and Feb even though I didn't finish, but here in March, it's been nada, nothing, zip, not a thing, except a very small fabric purchase. And since I have nothing to show for DWM, I won't link it to Judy's blog. But I'm sure you might want to take a look at what others are working on so here's her link.

We're only in the upper 40's here and my construction crew is keeping the door open a lot so I'm keeping the furnace off....brrrrr.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fina-Lee Friday

Umhum, Friday again.
  • I'll just get the traffic rant out of the way first...this afternoon's traffic was just about enough to make me go postal. and that's all I'm saying about that!
  • Construction-wise, today was quiet with only an hour and half visit from the contractor to go over a few things to determine the cabinet arrangements and lighting arrangements...and he brought the permit to put in the window. Now we're officially 'legit".
  • My 4-month-late-getting-potted bulbs are looking so beautiful. And the fragrance is so nice, especially from the hyacinth. When I smelled the traditional looking all-yellow daffodil, it brought back a fragrance memory gone for decades as I'm never up north when they bloom, there aren't very many down here and store bought ones seem to have no fragrance at all.

I'm enjoying my floral pretties. Aren't they lovely?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Abundance Craziness (aka Construction Update)

I know, weird title, eh? But that's how my thoughts went yesterday after spending just ONE hour at a local (national chain) appliance store (Pacific Sales). The abundance of choices just for style of faucets and such is astounding. Add the finish selection, wondering which brand is best, or at least acceptable based on a budget that is only governed by "reasonable cost", wondering if we buy such and such faucet today, what sink will look best and/or fit, and then that has to tie into the counter material, backsplash, flooring, wall color. You know what? I am OVERWHELMED. I don't handle too many choices very well. Give me option A, option B and maybe option C and I can handle it much better than having all these other options. Add to that the over-eager salesperson hovering over my shoulder and yakking, and yep, I was feeling a little 'crazy' last night. I was ready to say cancel all contracts, and we'll live with these torn up walls and a porta potty and haul hot water from the stove to a plastic tub for bathing. OK, deep breath, breathe! Actually, I did do the hot water from the stove thing once for about a month when I lived in a mobile home and the hot water tank went out! And my grandmother always did that in the one house before she remarried and moved.

Marty did sit down with me after he went to the gym, and we looked through the catalogs and the photos I'd take while at the store, and narrowed it down to one that we both liked. I don't think with that many choices, there's any more of a 'perfect' one than if there were only three, it just made it harder. A part of one choice may be preferred but it would have a part we didn't like. So it'll be what it is, and we will be happy with it.

I have today, and tomorrow in which to purchase the shower valves (and faucets) and same for the sink. Those components come first before other work can progress. Mr. Contractor would like them available should he be ready (as planning to be) on Monday to install them.

While at that store, I also took the opportunity to quickly browse through the kitchen appliances, the toilets, the sinks (bath & kitchen). I was blown away at costs. It was a rude awakening to say the least! I don't care for stainless steel, too institutional for my personal taste. SS was the first kitchen sinks we saw as we rounded the corner and I glanced at the cost: $1703.00 WHAT!?! Seriously??? Oh my, maybe I should start looking for a JOB outside the home!

This sink is a possibility.

But I like this one better, and this one is shown with the faucets we like, only we would get brushed nickel instead of the oiled bronze look. Brushed nickel supposedly 'hides' water spotting better, and we have very hard water here with lots of spotting factor! We're buying for two bathrooms, so maybe we'll get both sinks.

And as of about an hour ago this is how the two bathrooms looked
Downstairs: the bright area is where the newly framed in window will go, and the left side of that black-lined area is where there was formerly a narrow exterior door (prior owners had an above-ground pool so we suspect they had installed the door). And you can see the initial framing for where the all-new-to-this-bathroom shower will go :)

and, upstairs - this shows where the tub was, attempting to show where the water traveled underneath. It seems pretty spread out and Mr. Contractor 100% believes it was all due to the breakdown of the grout between the tiles allowing water to go through (even though there didn't appear to be gaps or holes, it was loose) and saturating the WRONG TYPE of wallboard that had been used behind the tiles to the point of being like a sponge. I was also going through a case of "buyer's remorse" last night as to the whole project. We're spending thousands of dollars (more like 10s of) all because of a 'leak' issue, setting aside the fact that the house needed to be upgraded from it's primarily 1966 workmanship (tract home, slapped up quickly from my understanding). Had we been able to figure out that the leak was simply from tile/grout issues and opted just for repair, it would have been a whole lot less expensive!

On the bright side of all this, and helping to ease my concerns of cost over runs, NO MOLD was found, and even the plywood beneath the tub was still intact and not showing signs of rot so will not have to be removed or cut and no other structural damage (not included in contract) was needed to be remedied. Praise the Lord for that huge favor!

Off to other things...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

And Monday It Is !!

The weekend is over, we signed the remodel contract on Friday, I went to a quilt show on Saturday - and had a wonderful time I might add! - 'attended' church via the internet again, it was a 'guest' pastor but one who's on staff, Marty took a few hours Sunday afternoon to head to an area of higher altitude to try to get some snow shots - we'd had rain here and the mountains had snow. During the times I was home over the weekend, I emptied everything out of the bathrooms to be ready for the contractor demo today.

Back to the quilt show. I'll cover purchases today. I got these two bits of fabric; the blue/brown stripe is 1 1/3 yards, the other is a stack of 42, 5" squares. I have a gift project in mind for them. The colors are right in the 5" squares, but the florals won't work, so I'll save them for something else, and if I need more I'll shop in my stash.

This was an 'ahem' somewhat costly purchase because I bought it ONLY for one block.

The block I use, will be either this one, the rooster in the middle:

or this one, but I'm thinking I'm leaning towards that first one but I may adjust the comb, it doesn't seem quite big enough for a rooster. I'll have to think about that. It'll be for my rooster quilt which is in my 2012 UFO Challenge list. I'm very happy to have found this, I've been looking for just the right rooster, in just the right size, for the longest time. I will probably flip it too, as I want the rooster to be looking to the left. Looking to the right just doesn't set with me. It must be a brain thing.

And I saw this nice cross pattern but needed to buy the pattern which had the special acrylic templates to make it. I don't know why Blogger rotated the latter photo-I did not take it that direction and it doesn't show that way on the memory stick :S

And then this one just looked interesting in the form of a flag that was on the vendor's wall.
It's by Donna Poster and she looked VERY familiar. Maybe I saw her years ago on Alex Anderson's show, or maybe she's even been a guest speaker at our guild...I just don't remember. It's a very forgiving pattern if you have trouble with that 1/4" seem, but does use a wee bit more fabric than the traditional method, but that's countered by an almost 3-D effect because of the folds. She has the flag pattern - free - on her website.

I also bought another pattern along with some embellishment items, but I won't show it as it will be a gift item also, but not for the same person as the aforementioned fabric.

And those are my 'conservative' purchases. I spent about the same as the limit my friend had set for herself. Hehee, I won't say what she spent but it was more than her self-imposed limit.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Stash Report - Week 12

I went to a quilt show yesterday, thus the wee addition to my stash. 1 1/3 yards of a "there is no more" bargain, and a packet of charm squares which equals about 2/3 yard. I'll post more on the show later in the week.

Used this Week: 0 yards
Used year to Date: 0 yards
Added this Week: 2 yards
Added Year to Date: 2 yards
Net Used for 2012: -2 yards

Find more successes and damages ;) over at Patchwork Times.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fina-Lee Friday

Did anyone else think this week just flew by? Wow, I sure do.
  • I won't rant about this week's traffic, but I have to wonder why the driver in the far left lane, when realizing he/she needed or wanted to be making a right-hand turn at the last moment, couldn't just turn left, turn around and go back straight through the intersection instead of stopping and making all the rest of the traffic in three lanes stop so said driver could make that right turn. I scratch my head in wonderment :S
  • I was clearly reminded of how imperfect I am last night, and how easily distracted I can be. You see, I was fixing dinner and had put some items in the oven and set my watch timer before heading back upstairs to finish yesterday's post. I had also placed a pan of frozen corn on the burner (ok, no lectures on leaving a pot unattended on the stove with fire under it - though well-deserved) with only a small amount of water but with a lid. Here's the result, because I didn't realize I must have had the fire higher than usual, and because I forgot about the corn and didn't go back down to the kitchen until my timer went off - halfway down the stairs I was asking "uh, oh, what am I burning!?" OK, and don't laugh but we ate it anyway and it only had a slight 'smoky' flavor, not unlike campfire food ;)
  • The kitties are curled up, each in their respective identical boxes. Usually, they're bouncing around like crazy in the morning, but it's pretty chilly today. I'd like to be curled up nice and toasty in my bed as well!
  • One of the meds Marty is taking for his shingles, he refers to as a muscle relaxant, and he says it makes him fell loopy. He DID sleep in this morning!
  • I'll be headed to the Glendale Quilt Show tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Shingles Are Not On The Roof

On Saturday, Marty went out photographing with a friend of his. He came home and took off his cap and there was a big old red bump on his bald head just above the forehead. I thought he'd bumped himself, as he often does without realizing it. He said he thought it was just from the cap.

Within a couple days, he had a few more splotches on his face. And on his eyelid and and in the corner of his eye and it was puffing up. He doesn't think much of it at first as he's had rosacea for years and thought it was just a bad outbreak. But today, he decided he'd better get it checked by the doctor and trotted off to our favorite urgent care center (aka our primary doctor's habitat).

My phone rings; he's still at the doctor's, but said "It's shingles!" and then he says "And I have to go to the ophthalmologist RIGHT AWAY". He also says "I don't know when I can go back to's contagious, especially to pregnant women." So he's on two oral meds and 1 eye drops and has to go back to the doctor on Sunday ...I love that our primary doctor aka urgent care center... is open on Sunday, and the ophthalmologist on Monday. If not treated promptly, shingles can cause blindness and/or scarring of the eye requiring remedial surgery.

Marty will be working from home tomorrow (Fri) and Mon, maybe even Tuesday. Have I said I'm one of those women that doesn't like having my hubby home during the work day? I don't know why I'm like that, but even if all he does is sit in his desk chair all just bothers me. And that leads me into wondering how well I will again cope with workers in my house all day long for 5 weeks or more. I surely need grace...just do NOT pray for me to have patience!! because that usually incurs reasons to use patience!! The A/C-Furnace guys were here for several weeks a few years ago and that tested me quite a bit too! And when we get to the kitchen...oh my...that could be months. Maybe I should ask my doctor for some tranquilizers.

Under Construction...Almost :)

The decision has been made. We selected a contractor for the bathrooms. For us, the selection wasn't between a slue of contenders. We had two. Contractor-1 (henceforth C-1) has been on the board at Nick's school, has constructed a couple of the buildings and other work at the school, remodeled the kitchen of a woman at the school whom I spoke with a couple years ago and was quite pleased with his work. Did some work also for the mom of Nick's friend Tino. C-1 seemed eager to listen to and interact with us even while discussing the future of our kitchen remodel. He was pleasant and answered all questions....even if he did have a tendency to talk a lot :) C-1 met with us within a couple days of our initial call and had two proposals, one for each bath, in less than a week, came back and reviewed it with us line by line. He was here for two hours at each of the two visits. At the end of the week he called to check on whether we'd made a decision yet. We asked for a couple more days.

Contractor-2 (henceforth C-2) also met with us within a day of our initial call. C-2 was referred to me by a very good friend at church. She was my maid-of-honor, so I think I trust her :). She does a lot of decorating for folks at the church and has a working relationship with C-2 and had his phone # on her cell phone. C-2 had also done work for our tax man who is also a member of our church and who, along with his wife, hosted the bible study Marty and I use to attend long before we even had an interest in each other. So from their home, I was familiar with the quality of work that had been done. C-2 was here less than 30 minutes. Unlike C-1, he didn't bother with measurements. Our appointment was for 5:30 and he called around 4:45 to let us know he would be late as he was coming from an area a distance away and was caught up in heavy traffic. He arrived, shook our hands, but didn't seem overly friendly nor enthusiastic, very cut and dry. I excused it because I know when Marty contends with traffic it can set one askew. So we rushed through what our thoughts were, yada yada, and he said he needed to be off as he still needed to get home and showered and back to the church for the Shepherd's Conference. He actually lives within about a mile or so from us. That was last Wednesday night. We have yet to hear from him. That's 8 proposal. And before you ask, yes, we have tried to call him, several times, both from Marty's work cell phone, and from our land line. The phone just rings and never gets answered, nor does it go to voice mail. The last call, earlier today, was finally met with a recording to enter our pass code or something like that. Huh?

We were told C-2 was a perfectionist, well, I'm not seeing much perfection. I'll try not to make a judgement, maybe something critical has happened in his life. And I know I'm not a patient person. But between C-1 and C-2, C-1 is shining brightly, so we made the call today. He'll be meeting with us tomorrow to sign the contract! Yay!!!!! I think, I hope, I pray. But I'm NOT looking forward to 3 people using 1 bathroom for a minimum of 5 weeks while the other two are under construction. We're so spoiled. Growing up, we only had 1 bathroom for 7 people! But then, we only took a weekly bath with quickie sponge baths/hair washes in between. And if the bathroom was occupied, well 4 of those 7 were male, and well, you know how easy the guys have it...and we lived out in the country without visible neighbors (ah, those were the days) ;)

Sometimes, I have to wonder when one thing just doesn't move along as it should, if that isn't God saying "No" while saying "Yes" to the other. C-1 seemed to be a bit of a perfectionist too, maybe a little 'higher end' than we planned, but I think it'll be ok. We won't be going into debt, and that's an added blessing, we just may not have as much for retirement, but then, it'll be invested in a nice home which, hopefully, will at some point gain even more equity over time.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring Is Busting Out All Over

That title is a take off of a song from one of my favorite musicals "Carousel". The song is "June is Busting Out All Over" and I've linked it to a video on youtube. My aunt Irene would take my sister and I to see a movie when we were little. And since this came out in 1956, I'd have had to have been awfully little, but still remember going to it. But then, by the time movies made it to our area, it might have been a couple years later! She also took me to see "Oklahoma". I don't know what it is about that one, but I have never been able to watch it without falling asleep, even when it's come on television in recent years.

Here's what's busting out here at our house:These violets have been blooming for quite awhile; I think I've already posted about them once, but I just love them, they're happy little blossoms.
And I posted at one point about not getting my bulbs planted in a timely manner, but they're coming up great guns now and with buds! So I'm happy!
There are daffodils, tulips, and hyacinth poking up. Then, over in our terraced area are some freesia. They've never grown with strong stems, and the ants love them too much for me to be able to cut and bring into the house, but they sure are pretty. Ignore all those dead leaves, Marty likes to refer to them as mulch. um, yeah, ok. And I haven't gone out and tried to rake up the even bigger pile of leaves that sits in a corner all winter and'll be there yet in May or June.

And driving around town, trees are blooming and leafing, lawns are even greener and growing, and birds are singing ... a lot... and loudly... and it's a joy to hear them :) I've seen the Western Blue Bird, some little finches in the gold finch line, others I haven't taken the time to identify and the Phoebe. (And I don't know what I did to make this last paragraph show up underlined and in blue! Gotta love my relationship with Blogger ;) of course it probably won't show when I actually post this and I'll feel silly, but it shows as I type and when I look at preview.)

Design Wall Monday

Nearly 100 folks have posted over at Patchwork Times, as to the projects on their design walls.
I'm posting this there too, but I haven't had any progress in several weeks. I'm considering four items as being on my 'wall' and I've worked on none, but they are: Jan UFO, Feb UFO, Mar UFO, and small guild quilt . At least the latter (shown below) IS still under the needle at the sewing machine.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Fina-Lee Friday

Today is a beautiful sunny day and is expected to be over 80. Sunday will have a mid-60s high. That's our March weather volatility, lol.
  • We had a second contractor come in on Wed night to get another estimate. He hasn't provided the figures yet, will probably take a few days. He was referred to me by a friend at church, and she praises him and his work highly. But should I take into account that he was wearing a jacket from my husband's cross-town college rival? He was also in a hurry as he got caught in traffic making him quite late for our appointment and then he had to rush to get home to shower and head back to church for the Shepherd's Conference. Marty and I haven't discussed it much more. In the meantime, contractor #1 is waiting for an answer, and I'm waiting to get this started so it can be over. I am not a patient person.
  • Nick missed Tuesday's bowling because of a dental appointment. Dentist told him to lay off sodas. Huh? He only gets one or two on a weekend! I took him to the bowling alley to make up his games (league) on Thursday. His first game, he bowled his new high score of 242. He then proceeded to bowl a 191 followed by a 204. That just may be his new high scratch series as well. Woooohooooo...I'm proud of my boy and the God-given abilities he's gained. The teams have only two players each, and he and his teammate are in first place.
  • FINALLY made it to a quilt guild meeting...and stayed for the whole thing last night. I'm still not comfortable leaving Nick home alone after dark even though he's 13. The speaker was ok, entertaining at times and her quilts were nice, gave me some ideas if I can remember them past a day or two- I didn't have my camera. I still want to know why so many women insist on continuing to hold their conversations - not even in a whisper - once the Pres and other committee chairs take the mike. Flat-out rudeness & disrespect in my book. Honestly, I've seen pre-school groups behave better. Of course, I was running late and had to sit in the back whereas I prefer sitting in the first couple rows, so maybe I picked up more on it for that reason.
  • It seems my body's been trying to fight off something all week. Very dry eyes & light sensitivity for several days, stomach/abdomen troubles reminiscent of pre-gall-bladder removal, and a not-so-nice headache today. Some of it could be spring-related allergies, it's dry and windy and the local flora are blooming and leafing out.
  • Why do people let their untethered dogs ride in cars with the window all the way down? Do they not realize how dangerous that is to the fur-baby? I have first hand experience on that...back in the mid-70s I had a collie/shepherd mix boy that loved to ride in the car. He was in the back and I had the front driver side window open and came to just a normal stop at a light and he'd had his head out, but at the stop it was apparently enough momentum that he went right out that window! and ran across four lanes of busy street traffic. Fortunately he wasn't hurt or hit and I only had to open my door and he came flying right back in. We BOTH learned lessons that day. So it scares me whenever I see a pooch standing with his front legs on the window frame with any opening big enough to go through, in a car speeding down the road.
  • Quilting. Well, still no progress for March.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I just received my DNA (genetic ethnicity) results from My genetic heritage: 63% Scandinavian (Norway/Sweden etc) - no surprise, 26% British Isles - no surprise, 11% Eastern Europe - surprise - of sorts, as this did NOT include Germany but instead Poland/Belarus/Ukraine/Romania and also Greece! All my German ancestors must have migrated to Germany from either the north, or from the east, maybe a mixture of both as, on paper, my German heritage is over 25% of my ancestors. Hmmm, a lot of Greek art depicts men with really curly hair...must be how Nick came by his pencil-width tight ringlets! This also puts to rest the mistaken idea, based on some of our physical features, of having any Native American ancestry.

Does this mean I have to study historical migration routes and reasons for migrations?

I was hoping to be able to 'connect' with some additional cousins, but the closest any of these results revealed were connections from 5th - 8th cousins possibility based on genetic ethnicity. Had the results shown 3rd cousin or closer, the likelihood of an actual cousin would be more sure. These are early test results (of those submitted) so there's the possibility of more closely related kinship being revealed in the future

Usually this test is very expensive, but had a $9.95 special towards the end of last year so I jumped at it. I don't recall if we were limited to one individual's test samples, but I'm also (now) wishing I had done Marty's too. Maybe they'll have another special rate some day.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

T-T-T-Tuesday, memories and stuff

Not again! How'd I get so far behind here on the blog? Guess I've either been busy, playing elsewhere, or just not had a lot to say. Decided to change my header photo again. This is an old farmhouse we lived in two different times; once when I was in the 2nd grade, the other when I was in the 4th grade. This picture was taken back in the early 80's and the house has been added onto since then. We used to take jars and catch grasshoppers in that field. We had a horse name Fury, he was a pony actually. He liked to eat chili. We had another horse named Passion, she was my mom's horse and I don't remember ever riding her. Before these we had a dappled brown Welsh pony named Cocoa and she was the first horse I remember we had, but my grandma had two plow horses which she used to do farm work back in the 50s. They were Mike and Molly (funny, there's now a TV show by that name) and I remember sitting on their backs holding on to the brass knobs that stuck up on their harness collars. I was barely walking age in the pictures, but I remember it. I remember trying Neopolitan ice cream here. Playing with garter snakes, playing 100 dots on the blackboard in one upper room, my brother falling and breaking his arm and then keeping us all behind him going up the stairs when he'd hold his casted arm out, a big oak tree falling right in front of my parent's car as they drove up the road between the two bridges during the Columbus Day storm (1962), a babysitter that slapped me in the face because she was looking out the window and thought I was sassing at her, the day the new pastor came by inviting kids to a Sunday School he and his wife were starting just down the road, stepping on a dead bee in the living room and still getting stung, watching the movie Zot or Zots...I've never seen it since...being on the back of my dad's friend Vernon's motorcycle driving up and down the long driveway and getting burned on the muffler, and many other memories from here. But it was just one of many houses we lived in during the 50s and 60s up this valley where the ranch is that I call 'home'. The ranch owner died recently. His son and family still live there and I think he'll be keeping the ranch. I babysat him once when he was a baby and his parents went out for the evening. They were only on the ranch on weekends at that time. The house in this photo is the only one of the one's in the valley I lived in, still standing. After I graduated high school and moved away from home, my parents built two more houses at different times but I only stayed at one for about a month before moving to this dry land.

After a couple really warm, almost hot days, we're back into the 50's as a high today with some cloudiness. Low to be 35, brrr, but I love it. No rain though in the forecast for at least a week and then only 'showers' which may or may not materialize.

A second contractor will be coming over tomorrow evening to take a look at things. Sure wish we could've been on the ball enough to have had them out around the SAME time for estimates so the first one wouldn't be kept waiting. I'm tired of always dragging our feet on everything. I'm ready to get this show on the road! I've even packed up everything out of the one bathroom and am ready to do the same in the other. For that matter, I'm ready to pack up the whole kitchen too. We wait too long and I may even just pack up everything and move out! Not really, but it IS tempting, especially when I get frustrated with the fears and procrastination from my better half. If money were no object, I'd have the whole house gutted and rebuilt. Please, a girl can dream can't she? You have to remember, my only choice in living in the house was because I married a man who already had it and the market in '96 was such that it was in an upside-down mortgage and made no sense to sell at a loss and look elsewhere. I just didn't know it would take so long to do remodeling. We've done some things like put in retrofit dual-pane windows, copper repipe, installed A/C and replaced furnace, retextured the ceilings on the first level and stairwell, and tiled the kitchen/dining (that was out of necessity along with the repipe as we'd had a pipe break and flood the whole floor). We've also replaced the garage doors, the front door and repainted the exterior, and some of the interior - once and it needs it again inside. So we have done a lot, but the crucial, and most expensive, areas haven't been touched. Home ownership is not an inexpensive venture, is it?

Nick came home Friday night from an overnight school-related ministry out in the desert at a church ranch. The kids all did grunt-work. He was pretty sore after swinging a pick-axe for several hours - that's the most manual labor he's done in a long time! He also had a nasty rug burn on the top of one foot. I guess they were playing a game where you had to get the other person's sock off using only your feet.

I came across a website that had some info on my great-great-grandfather in Germany. I've had a copy of a couple of the pictures for quite some time, but the site has more info than I had. The biggest problem, is that it's in German, and Google translator only does a so-so job at getting the meaning of what's written. Within the site, when I do a search on Voltmer, I get two pages of links where the name is mentioned and/or expanded on. Now, to try to figure out who, and how, all the other Voltmer names are connected - that's where it gets confusing. Accurate translations are very expensive. I had his will translated a couple of years ago, which gave me his full name and the names of his wife and children.

I've done nothing quilting all week. Quilt guild meeting is Thursday night; will I at least have that community quilt done?...probably not :(
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