Sunday, June 30, 2013

Another Countdown!

Awhile back, I had a post titled Countdown! and it was about my baby Nick heading off to Washington D.C. with his classmates and a large contingency of parents and teachers.  I realize I didn't post any updates as to his activities back there.  Overall I think they had a great time.  Nick is not one of those kids that talks a lot, too much like us, his parents.  Sometimes I may type a lot, but I don't usually talk a lot and I don't like using phones much at all.  

They had a very full schedule, and the week they were back there was quite warm and according to the weather sites was stormy, but they only got hit a couple of times with rain, and when they traveled to Williamsburg, the hotel's power was out but the restaurant they got 'dressed up' for was fine.  He brought us back a souvenir: a black coffee mug with "NCIS" on it.  I thought that was pretty funny - yeah, we enjoy the NCIS series and re-runs ad nauseum :)  

After the group returned and while we were at the airport still awaiting baggage to fall down onto the carousel, Jay's mom (Nick's friend and his mother were part of the group) told me that part of the group almost didn't make the flight.   I later found out Nick was one of those that almost didn't make it.  For the size of group they had, they had cut really close the timing between their last event and getting back to Dulles for their flight out.  As it was, Nick said he was one of the last to board and that was occurring about five minutes after the scheduled departure time.  AND one person didn't make the flight....the school principal!  Fortunately he was able to get a later flight that at least got him back to this state and then the next morning another flight from that location to the home airport where his wife picked him up.

Now we have a new countdown!  And departure is only a couple of days away.  On Wednesday morning, bright and early, we (Nick & I) will be pulling out of the driveway to head north to the wet land I call my real earthly home - there's a difference between that and my real eternal home :)  Right now though, the wet land is not so wet and is going through a hot spell only about 10 degrees per day lower than our hot spell, and yesterday we had a high of 105.  Today reached 102 before a cloud layer rolled in and let things cool off, and it's presently just a little over 90.  But the trend is for cooling, if even only a little.  In my book, anything over 80 is always too hot no matter where it is.  65 - 75 degrees constant would be ideal for me.  Throw in some occasional rain, some clouds and I'm good to go.

Marty nearly always stays home because 'vacation' is largely just hanging out with family who live there and I've known my entire life and Marty hasn't and he isn't very social and would rather be out hiking or taking landscape photos - he doesn't do people/gatherings well - so when he has come up, it's only been for a couple of days either by plane and return, or on a driving trip with one of his buddies where they camp and photograph their way around the country.  This year, he has no plans other than to work in my quilt room, but I do hope he's able to get away for a weekend at some point.  His outings usually are in the winter when he can go to the mountains and get impressive snow shots.  He misses us when we're gone, and we miss him, but this works for us and has for probably the last 10 years we've been doing it this way.  I think in part, he and I both spent too many years as single adults so doing things independent of each other isn't an issue, mostly, though some times it can be.

June NewFO Update

Technically, I suppose I started two NewFOs in June, though neither were assigned specific project numbers.  Both are foundations with either strings or crumbs. The first, I wrote about before, right here.

String Quilt
 The status of the string quilt has not changed from what is shown in the photo above other than being removed from the design wall and placed in the stash closet.  I  like the strings, and it will eventually be finished once I decide how I want to actually set them, whether with sashing or something else.

The second, I also wrote briefly of here.  This is how they looked then:

And this is how they look now:

They are only laid out on some muslin on my ironing board to better distinguish the very busy blocks.  They're a mish-mash of whatever shape & size was grabbed.  They measure 4.5" raw cut, so not huge.  You can see that I used some very tiny pieces in them, perhaps too tiny.  I've not decided what I'll do with them, however, for me, I spent way too much time on something that just isn't that appealing to me, so they may sit in the closet for quite awhile.  Or, as I may have previously mentioned, they'll be sewn together for a couple of cat mats.

Cat Patches is showing us what other NewFos are popping up around town the globe, so make sure you check those out.  Barbara's giving away a needle nanny in a draw later in July - a cute little bird - for those who link up with their June NewFO.  

My July NewFOs (yes, plural) promise to be far more interesting as I'll be working on them while at quilt camp near Sisters, OR in less than two weeks :) and I'm really looking forward to it.  Hopefully I'll remember to take photos, lol!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Bloglovin? or Blog Loving?

Follow">">Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Well, I hope I have this correct.  I'm not really up on all this change from Google Reader to Bloglovin and claiming your blog, but I'm trying to follow the instructions and hopefully it's all well.  The way I was following/reading my favorite blogs was to link them into the sidebar and that worked for me, so not sure how this will change things.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sleep Deprived?

Well, I don't know if I'm sleep deprived or just getting old and forgetful, or that I've just been trying to work on too many projects all at the same time. 

For the last couple days I've been putting away fabric that I'd pulled out for a project I'm going to start at quilt camp, having cut out all that I needed.  I have another project I was thinking of taking too and had cut it out awhile back, but then when I looked at it the other day I started thinking I needed to still cut the background fabric, and in the bin found only a small string of that background fabric, so I went on the hunt for it.  Mind you, all my fabric was all put away at this point and re-organize nice, neat, & tidy, but I couldn't find that 2 yard piece of black fabric anywhere. And I had only a vague recollection of at least thinking I used in something, but in what? I checked all my UFO kits - nothing! I even checked in the laundry room!  I finally gave up and decided I'd choose something else from my stash for the background and pulled out a 3 yard piece of a Debbie Mumm/South Seas Imports butternut (?) crackled print, not what I wanted but interesting still for this scrappy project.

I then looked in my bin of previously cut & kitted pieces for this project and realized, doh!, I had already cut all of the 2" squares I needed and had set them together with each set but they were on the bottoms of each set and I didn't see them (these are bow ties).  Yikes! And that's where the 2 yard piece of black went!

In the meantime however, I had already cut off 1 yard from the Mumm fabric, starched it and cut it into 2" wide strips and had cut a couple of those strips into 2" squares before having looked in the bin.  So, what does one do at that point?  One stops cutting, and takes those squares and aligns those strips and rolls it all up jelly roll fashion to await a future project requiring 2" squares or strips.

And you tie it off with a thin strip of the same fabric along with a postable note so that you don't forget what it was all about.  And since it's been starched (the cut parts) I'll put it in a zippered bag, because I know starch draws bugs, and I know this house with it's old carpet, has bugs, but then I wonder, why bother, we starch clothes and I don't seal the quilts-in-progress in bags and have never seen bugs in my fabric or the quilt boxes.  I'm a proponent of using things like moth balls and Cedar Magic, and have lined the floor of my stash closet with cedar closet strips, yep, used it as flooring figuring by keeping it raw my shoes would scuff it enough to keep from having to occasionally rough it up with sand paper :)  

That's today's quilting adventure. In other news:

Nick wanted to take golf camp again this year, we missed last year, so he gets to go for three days because we were late getting around to registering him, and because 5 days is just way too expensive.  I hope he makes it.  After day one, and with temps today in the mid-90s and going even hotter over the next couple days, he came home with very painful wrists, so I have him soaking his wrists in Epsom salts, and will have him resume taking his Voltaren.  I hope he grows out of this wrist pain, but frankly, I think it's from too much computer gaming time.  Piano doesn't bother him much.  As skinny as he is, he's not been an athletically active child and doesn't do any ongoing physical labor and what's an only child to do, so I imagine that all plays part in his wrist problems.  The doctor has considered he may need cortisone injections, ugh.  I think he'd like to do golf more frequently, but it's very expensive, as is really any activity he might be interested in.  I think he'd be really good with swimming, but again, expensive because we have no pool of our own. 

I suppose I have a better appreciation for my parents having always said 'no' to our activity requests when I was a child seeing that there were five of us and far less money than Marty & I even have available...we were flat out dirt poor to the point of receiving government cheese for a time.  But living on the ranch (care-takers), we did have pasture for horses and that provided an activity for us, along with the hard work that was needed on the ranch feeding cattle, tending garden, fencing, working in the fields to get money for school clothes.  The 50s and 60s were a different time.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Holding My Breath

Why? might you ask?  Because a week or so ago Marty told me that while I'm gone on my trip to the wet land, (I leave in eight days), he thought he might work on my quilt room.  Note that there is nothing going on with our kitchen, and I'll say no more about that!  But if he wants to work on my quilt room, great!

My little quilt room, which is where I also spend most of my sit-down time for genealogy, computer, TV, cutting fabric, etc, measures all of about 9.5' x 10', not a huge space for all that I'd like to be doing in here and to set it up for.  Part of me would like to switch this room with the guest room as it has at least an additional foot in both directions to work with, but it would need to have better lighting (no ceiling light in it) and would need to be wired with cable for the TV and the computer, and Marty might rebel against that, especially since I've already done the closet in this room for my fabric stash :)

Following are the pictures of how it is now, please excuse the utterly huge mess - I do a lot in here...just not much housekeeping lately, lol:

 Pic 1-below: This is the view from the doorway.  My design wall is at my left out of view.  The window is 6' wide so only half of its width is showing.  My TV is sitting on some shelves I acquired free from the neighborhood on trash day many years ago, and I'd be just as happy to get rid of them.  The desk was also acquired free from the neighborhood and the only thing I like about it is it 'works' and I love the size of the desk top and would like to keep the laminated top - yeah, I know, a bit hard to see - standard office size!  The two boxes are the kitties nap spots when I'm in here and are sitting on two 2-drawer file cabinets.  The printer in the back corner is also sitting on a 2-drawer file cabinet and is used a lot.  My laptop sits on a wood tray that Marty fixed up for me to sit over an open desk drawer.  Those boxes along the back wall? Those are just a few of my genealogy files from which I work regularly and have been working on for a couple years.  No end to papers there!  At the end of the desk is another genealogy file box - several more are in other locations throughout the house too, they rival my fabric stash. Oh and there's just an accumulation of stuff  clutter that I haven't put away in their designated spots if there are any, oh wait, those areas need to be cleaned too.  Those meds were from my back issue at the first of the year, sometimes still needed to ward off a recurrence. Not sure why I have the window cleaner in here, haven't washed this window in, well, I don't remember when it was last washed.  Maybe I'll hire a window washer when I get back from the wet land.  The stash closet is to the left in the wall facing the window.

Pic. 2 - below:  This is the right side of the room, beneath the window on the back wall, and my design wall there on that right wall.  What this is showing is the 20+ year old carpet where those file cabinets use to sit before we had the leak in the bathroom and subsequently remodeled the bathrooms.  The black mark in the carpet is where Marty's mother's portable (though heavy enough to be a boat anchor) sewing machine was sitting in it's black case.  The leak, either from the bathroom which is on the opposite side of the right wall, or from the window was unbeknownst to us for quite awhile and hence the carpet was wet beneath the file cabinets and of course, they rusted.  Marty plans to remove all the carpet, down to the, I'm sure asbestos-laden, floor tiles from 1966.  Doesn't bother me, I grew up with them, and a whole lot of other asbestos-laden items, and while the problems of asbestos can be real, the likelihood of such from these applications is minimal.  When I return, we'll decide what to put on the floor...I even suggested to just paint and varnish it ;p Marty suggested linoleum, ever mindful of what he considers not worth spending money on.

 Pic 3-below:  Shows the popcorn ceiling...where we had a leak every time it would rain and no matter how many times Marty went to the roof to patch spots he thought it might be coming from, and crawling into the attic area to try to see where the water run began, he never quite got the right one until the winter before last.  Marty plans to remove this too and maybe call in a guy to spray it with a knock-down/orange peel type ceiling to match the downstairs and our stairwell, which have already been done.  I would like to see a ceiling fan with lights installed as this room gets quite warm in the morning all day in the summer - east wall in the a.m. and south wall in the p.m. - and NO insulation in those walls.  I'd like Marty to remove the drywall and put in that nice pink insulation on those two walls but he says drywall is not his forte'...uh, it isn't THAT hard - I use to help my dad when I was a kid and could probably do it myself, except for the lifting.  Now if it was the ceiling, that of course would be harder.  Walls, not so tough.  Since this room warms up so early in the day, the A/C doesn't kick in (normally set to 78) unless I manually change it because the other room has the sensor for the zoned controller and it doesn't get warm until late afternoon.

 Pic 4-below.  This is the east wall, directly to the back of my desk, where I've already patched up some of the holes and uneven spots in the wall.  My original plan, and what I'd still like to do since this is a solid wall floor to ceiling, side to side, is put in cabinetry and a small desk (I already have the desk - another neighborhood acquisition) so that I can put all the office / genealogy supplies, sewing supplies, etc. in the cabinets / drawers and use the desk area for my desk top computer that Marty got me for Christmas - still sitting downstairs because there's no room up here at present.

Pic 5-below: This is the small wall space between the entry door, on left, and the stash closet behind that closed door.   The wall is 3-tone because the original paint color, from when Marty bought the house in 1992 (?) was/is Navajo White - blech.  The white color is the excess primer from the roller when I painted inside the closet as is the gray/green color, the latter being the same color the room will be painted in when ready to paint.

In order for Marty to work on this room while I'm gone, I have to have everything packed up and moved elsewhere...and that's the big sigh.  It's a big chore with not a lot of other places to put things, and since I'm still using certain things, so some of it can't be done until right before I leave on my trip. 

Ultimately, the big question is, if I go to all the trouble of packing all this stuff up, leaving only the furniture pieces in the room for Marty to move, will the carpet get removed and the ceiling get done?  I sure hope so!  I'll be terribly disappointed if it doesn't.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Stash Report Week 25

I went shopping this week out of project necessity, and it added to my stash.  Though I only needed a 2.5" - 5" strip of each fabric, I purchased a 1/2 yard piece of each, except for one which was a fat quarter.

You can find the details about my purchase here (about 6 paragraphs down), but in a nutshell, I needed more light fabrics in 1800s repros for the project I'll be taking to quilt camp 7/10. The pattern is a scrappy Tessellating Ts.  I've decided to cut out twice as many pieces as I needed because I'm not sure but I may want to make the quilt larger than the pattern which is 58.5 x 72, or I will make two quilts if I find that size is to my liking.

Used This Week: 0 yards
Used Year to Date: 10.25 yards
Added This Week: 5.25 yards
Added Year to Date: 28.875 yards
Net Used for 2013: -18.625 yards 

Linking up at Patchwork Times.

Friday, June 21, 2013

My Week In Review

This may be the norm for my blog for the next month or so, we'll see.  I'd like to be posting more frequently, but I'm preparing for my vacation trip to the north, which begins on 3 July and I'll be gone for the better part of July.

I'll begin with last Friday, having completely been caught unprepared that it was Flag Day!  When I was in elementary school, our local American Legion provided the school with a list of Flag rules which we students were to memorize and then pass a little quiz, and once passing it, we were than awarded a little cardboard certificate honoring our accomplishment.  We were taught loyalty to our country and to our flag.  The flag was to be honored and not disrespected.  It always bothers me to see our flag disrespected by rabble-rousers.  If they think our country and our flag are so bad, I'll gladly give them boot and send them somewhere else.   Frankly, I don't think they'd find ANY country to their liking as the only like causing mayhem and angst :)

I went to Costco last Friday; I hadn't been in quite awhile.  Didn't spend a lot but there were things we needed that I typically only buy there.  I hadn't been wearing shoes at home because I feel so very hot in the summer when I have to wear shoes and socks.  By the time I got to the check out, my feet were cramping and that continued until I was almost home.  I could feel the muscles contract too.  Later in the day I also did my Walmart shopping, so more on my feet in shoes time, and those dogs were not happy.  I know, it's probably bad form to show feet pictures, but this is what my toes do these days when my feet decide they need to cramp up on me.  

See how those two toes next to the big toe pull down?  I couldn't intentionally do that if I tried, and they feel really weird when it happens.  I had just taken my shoes & socks off so the tops of my feet still have the sock imprint too.  I think in part, I had them laced too tight which cuts off circulation resulting in cramps.

We'll now jump to Monday, and my excitement for that day was this,

You know how sometimes there's just a little bit of something in a bottle in the fridge and you want to be able to get it out of said bottle so you grab bottle and swing it down so that the force flings the sauce to the opening?  Well, someone didn't put the lid on tight and I didn't check it and I ended up with barbecue sauce everywhere but on the country pork ribs that I wanted it on.  So I the spent the next half hour or so cleaning cupboard doors, walls, refrigerator, cat bowls, and obviously, the floor.  So God has a sense of humor in making me do something I hadn't gotten to in a long while, cleaning floors.  They really need a deep scrub with bleach - the grout is supposed to be cream, not brown!   But then, the grout would also have to be re-sealed and I'm just not into that right now.  Besides, that tile was destined to come out with the kitchen remodel that may never get done until we decide if we're ever selling this house, lol.

Now these, this is what that barbecue sauce was supposed to go on, and thankfully I had a full, unopened bottle in the pantry.  They look almost burnt, but they weren't.  Marty thought they were a little tough, but I used a knife with my fork and didn't find them to be tough at all. All I did with these was place them on that foil lined pan in my large toaster oven, season with a little S & P and baked at 250 for 90 min.  After that, I basted them about every 1/2 hour for the next 4 hours or so, turning each time.  

And sauteed mushrooms make a good accompaniment to ribs in my book.  Along with a nice potato salad, which I didn't get a picture of but referred to as mashed potato salad as I managed to overcook the potatoes just a bit and add too much dressing made from mayo, pickle juice, mustard and spices.

Earlier in the day, I had also pulled all fabrics of a certain type for the project I want to take to quilt camp in mid-July.  In so doing, I realized I had very few lights and needed an equal number of those, so on Tuesday, I first checked the only two places in town that carry any fabric at all.  One is Joann's - and well, I really dislike our Joann's, it's old, not well maintained though better than it was a decade ago, and they just didn't have a single piece of anything I was looking for.  So I went to the other place, and they only had three fabrics I was happy with.  I came home again, and just was not satisfied that the three plus the ones I had were enough, so I decided I'd travel to a couple stores out of town, about a 20 - 25 mile one-way trip, ugh!  I found four more pieces I was satisfied with at the first place and was surprised they didn't have more as they're a huge place, but they tend to be heavier on batiks and a good sampling of all others but minimal on 1800's, so I drove even further on to the other place that I knew had a lot of 1800s repros and found six more pieces.  This is the project and some of the fabrics from my existing stash, I didn't take any pics of my purchases:

 I can't give a week's worth of updates without at least one kitty pic.  Here, from Wednesday is laser cat, revealing why her name is Flame, who was caught studying for her piano practice recital.  The pink striped mousie in the background is Raven's.  It's funny how the cats have chosen completely different toys to play with and call their own.  And they don't take each others!

Also on Wednesday, well, to be more exact Tuesday night, but they had it all day on Wednesday, my car went to the car doctor for it's annual check up which included oil change, new drive belts, timing belt (eek, that one's expensive), and a bunch of other stuff.  So yesterday, after getting my car back Wednesday afternoon, I drove Nick to his piano lesson and on the return stopped at Petsmart to get cat food & litter (can't have Marty run out of that while Nick & I are gone).  When we got back into the car, those three lights came on, and stayed on.  So why are they on just one day after getting my car back from the spa?  I drove on home without incident, and looked them up in the manual "Take vehicle to Toyota Service Dealer", ok, so I call and arrange to take the car back this morning, which I did, all the while with these lights glaring at me.  I also had to get up early to do this, no happy camper here!

I reached the dealership, stopped the car and turned the ignition off.  The assistant service manager, who had processed my car a couple days before, came out, I started the car back up, NO IDIOT LIGHTSWhat?!! So the dude tells me there's no way of knowing what caused it, but it 'self-corrected'.  And, IF, they come back on, bring the car back.  When the lights go off, the car's diagnostic computer resets/erases whatever info was indicating a problem.  He insisted it must've been the gas cap and even opened the gas door and further tightened the cap for emphasis.  Wrong!  I've been there/done that and none of those are the lights that come on when the gas cap hasn't been put on correctly, and besides, the gas cap hadn't been touched in 209.7 miles since I'd filled up over a week ago.  Surely the light would've come on before this, and certainly only one light, not three different ones!  Now I'm a bit worried about having a problem on my 900+ mile drive in a couple of weeks.  If there is a real problem, hopefully those lights come back on before then, and I'll go straight to the car shop!

Over these last few days, I've been starching, pressing & cutting all those fabrics so that when I get to quilt camp all I'll have to do is sew, sew, sew and be happy.  As I'm cutting, this is adding just that much more to my scrap bins, and of course having had to make new purchases, also added to my stash. 

I'll be back on Sunday for sure with my stash report numbers....headed in the wrong direction, hehe.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day - A Contrast in Fathers

Holidays like this can be an exercise in being dutiful for me.  My family, from childhood, has never been one to excel at celebrating any occasion.  In fact, childhood was just plain rough in so many ways, yet mixed in with all of that, there were good times and good memories.

That social media site today is inundated with all these posts by friends, and some extended family, wishing a Happy Father's Day to their dads whether living or passed on, and there's much here in blog land that is the same.  I have called my step-dad to do my duty, and truly, it is more than duty, he's been my 'dad' since I was 3 or 4, but having had a rough childhood himself, including several years in an orphanage beginning at the age of 5 after being abandoned by his parents, he has a lot of detachment type issues.  He's a 'nice' guy, not into any bad behaviors like drinking, drugs, smoking or criminal activity-type things that guys could have with similar backgrounds, but there has never been a closeness that I see in other family relationships.  So when I see those posts, my heart aches a bit.  I have tried over the years to reach out towards that emotional closeness place, but it just isn't there.  He provided as well as he was able to for us and the children from his first marriage - between the yours, mine, ours there are 8 of us now adult children.  

I remember once when I was probably about 19 or 20, I'd flown home and when he took me back to the airport to leave, he wouldn't go beyond a certain point within the terminal, and I went to give him a goodbye hug and you'd have thought I was a rattlesnake the way he recoiled.  While I'd been away from home I'd grown accustomed to people who were emotionally "well" and so I was doing what I'd since learned was ok to do, but had forgotten that that wasn't the way of my own family.  I care a great deal for my 'dad' (Leroy), we always called him by his name, as did his own flesh & blood children which is his preference, and I think maybe that contributes to the emotional distance.  He may not be perfect, he may not have gotten all things right, he may not have had right done to him as a child either, but he is my dad, and I respect him for that and for sticking with us when things weren't fun, which was often, or when he'd had enough, so for an earthly father, he gets a great big Happy Father's Day.

My birth dad, D.R., now he's another story.  He is deceased, having passed in 1998.  He's part of what made childhood less than happy.  He was a womanizer, and out of the home by the time I was 3, and ultimately having been married 4 or 5 times and having had countless other 'significant others'.  I have at least one sibling of which I know only is male and he'd be about 47 yrs old now, and a sister that I located a decade or so ago.  D.R., especially as he got older, liked young women, some might even only be considered girls.  And that's as far as I'll go on that.  He was always significantly behind in child support, and his own father occasionally paid some of it for him.  For a time in my life, when I was still young and naive, I felt he was getting a bad rap by those who put him down and chastised his behavior and when I was 18 I left home in the wet land and moved to live with him for a few months here in this dry land.  It wasn't until years later though that I did finally see the reality of the legitimacy of the negatives spoken about him, and ultimately came to have very little to do with him up until he passed.  He produced children.  He was not a father.  I don't know what made him go the way he did but for the evil in this world being too much of a temptation.  He had the most wonderful, loving parents - my grandparents, who I loved dearly and miss greatly.

There's one Father though that deserves the utmost accolades, and that's my Heavenly Father.  He has known me from the Beginning and knows every joy and pain I have ever experienced in this life, and will experience in the future.  He has me in the palm of His hand, and will let no one snatch me from it.  He is eternally loving, faithful and true.  He will correct me when I need it, He will guide as I listen to Him.  He will allow me to go through only what is needful to bring me to His perfect will for my life.  I praise Him today, and say Happy FATHER'S Day to my Abba Father.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Vacation Thinking Begins

In a little over two weeks, Nick & I leave to head north for our annual vacation in the wet land, though we usually don't get too much wet when we're there.  We'd love it if we did seeing as how little, if any, we ever get during the summer here in the dry land.  However, those who live in the wet land full time would like to have some dry weather.  While wet is good for growing crops, it can also be problematic for crops and grain and hay if received at the wrong time. 

I'm looking forward to my time up there.  Several family members are all over 80 and well, when one reaches that stage of life, we can only pray they'll still be around the next time we arrive for a visit.  The health of one in particular is a little more iffy than the others, but really, even younger ones could pass without warning, so I appreciate every opportunity I have to be able to be around my family - even the cantankerous ones, hehe, and there's always some of those aren't there?  Makes every family interesting :)

Recently I came across a blogger that lives in a house that I lived in during my last two years of high school.   Well actually her daughter does and she and her husband built a new house next to it, so one of my plans, as she emailed back after I made a comment on her blog, is to stop by and introduce myself and try to remember what I can about the place. I'll have to find some photos too. The old farm house was built in the late 1800's.  A Victorian style, but without all the fancy stuff on the outside.  I hope they restore it.  I thought it was really neat at the time, and that was 40+ years ago.  I'm sure it'll look a whole lot smaller to me now than it did then.  And I wonder if anything has been remodeled or restructured on the inside during that time.  She said before they purchased it just a couple years ago that it had sat vacant for two years.

Nick should be in the air right now; their flight was scheduled to depart at 5:05 east coast time, so a little over four hours from now, he should be home.  I've missed that young man!  I'm sure he's tired of traveling and being on the go, but he loves going to the wet land, and will be all rested by the time we leave here on 7/3.  I haven't set a specific return date.  My end-of-a-decade, or is it beginning-a-new-decade, birthday is the end of July and I haven't decided if I want to spend it there or here, but I don't particularly want to be traveling on that day.  Will have to decide eventually, no hurry.

I need to decide what project(s) I want to take with me to quilt camp at Suttle Lake while I'm there.  I'm really looking forward to that since it will also be with my aunt, her daughter-in-law and d-i-l's mom.  It should make it a whole lot of fun :)  I love spending time with my Aunt Irene and family.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

After the sleeplessness of several nights over sending Nick off to D.C. I've been a bit off-kilter the last day or two.  Yesterday was the worst to the point of wondering if I had a slight bug as my tummy was a bit icky and when it came to chores for the day, I did nothing except fix dinner.  I did however work on sewing together some crumbs and short strings.  This is a pile of them turned into all manner of misshapen partial blocks.  I haven't thought through what I'm constructing, only that I'm sewing those bits and pieces together into something bigger than they were. 

On Monday, I sorted the entire bin into color-related piles and whatever didn't fit neatly into one color grouping or another, I tossed back into a large pan, and that's what makes up this pile.  I'll probably square them up when I can get a good 6" or so square out of them.  And what will it be when it's done?  Who knows.  Maybe a placemat or two or three, or table topper, or a cat bed maybe.  It will become something and not be in the landfill or the compost bin.  Yep, I put those way-too-small-to-do-anything-with bits and thread out in my compost bin - 100% cotton breaks down well.  I just don't know if I should be concerned with the dyes though.  I'm sure if we were to locate some rat's nest, we'd probably find it quite cozy, don't you?

Crumbs becoming "something".

And then there's this, well, actually, this is almost gone, as is the mint chip, and the cookie dough which is definitely gone :(  Back just after Easter I had found this flavor at the local Super Walmart and thought I'd give it a try.  This is the second container, or maybe third.  It's quite yummy and has bits of carrot cake in it.  To me the nutmeg is a bit strong, but nutmeg always stands out for me more than the average person.  It's a good thing I like nutmeg, for the most part.

Blue Bunny 24 Karat Carrot Cake Ice Cream!
I'm thinking I need to get to the store tomorrow so that Nick will have his mint and/or cookie dough ice cream available when he returns.  Do you have a favorite ice cream?  The ones I've mentioned are all top of my list these days, but sometimes I just want plain old vanilla and top it with some homemade strawberry freezer jam, or blueberry pie filling.  But maybe my most favorite ice cream is Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia - that's a treat!  This Blue Bunny brand had a Burgundy Cherry with chocolate in amaretto vanilla, or something like that, and I have to say, I went through it pretty quickly and it just might beat out Cherry Garcia, especially when combined with a little bit of Cookie Dough ;p   

Tomorrow and Friday will be some grocery shopping days.  Walmart or local grocer for the ice cream, and bread.  Costco for some other needed items.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Design Wall Monday

I may be getting to this late in the day but it is still Monday, at least here in the West :)

On my wall today is the string quilt I'm working on; the latest picture:

I'm liking what I'm seeing, and this is only 12 of the blocks. I have more but didn't have room for them on the wall with the spools still on there.  This may or may not be the final layout, and I haven't decided if I want to simply sew the blocks together or use a sashing in between, and if I go with the sashing, I haven't yet thought about whether to go scrappy in the same color family, or use a single fabric.  I have a dark blue 'ugly' floral fabric I could use, but haven't given it the road test yet.  If you haven't already checked in over at Patchwork Times, go spend some time there looking at the beauties others are posting.

In other news, we were all up at 4:00 a.m. this morning so that Nick could be out the door with Marty by 5:00 in order to be at the airport by 6:00 for the 8:00 a.m. flight time.  The group made it to D.C. without incident at the expected time and Nick called to let me know shortly after they landed.  He then called back later in the evening and chatted for awhile.  The got caught in a pretty good rain at the Washington Memorial and he said he got quite wet.  Their dinner was at a seafood buffet and he ate three plates of food: the first was crab legs, 2nd was popcorn shrimp and 3rd was mahi-mahi...he didn't mention a single vegetable, and he doesn't eat salad, but he did say he had ice cream.  They'll be awakened at 6:30 a.m. for another very full day of events, and I expect that by the time he gets home at 7:00 p.m. Saturday night, he's going to be quite the tired young man as every day is absolutely go-go-go!  What a time to remember though, and I hope he does remember in the future and look back at this special opportunity with great joy.  I continue to pray for him and the entire group.

Taken at 5:00 a.m. this morning just before they walked out the door!
I miss this boy <3 br="">

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Stash Report, Week 23, 2013

Well, I haven't added, nor have I taken away, so no change is at least not 'bad' right?  I wasn't sure I should even post & link up with Patchwork Times, but when you don't link, others don't look, so here I go:

Used This Week: 0 yards
Used Year to Date: 10.25 yards
Added This Week: 0 yards
Added Year to Date: 23.625 yards
Net Used for 2013: -13.375 yards 

Besides, I can post on a few other things.

I have one of these:  

Needle strawberry...oh, and see how its stem has been peeled back? uh huh
It's independent of the pin tomato and it's just been laying around on the sewing table, and I'd occasionally find it on the floor, hmmm, guess a furr-ball thinks it's her toy...but which furr-ball?  The other day, I caught the little Klepto in the act and it was this one...

FLAME!!!   Huh? What? Who? ME??
Little stinker!  What's really funny is I recently bought them some new mousie toys and this really neat, from my totally human perspective, Cardinal-looking bird, also red like the strawberry.  Neither furr-ball will play with the mice :(  and the bird?  I'm utterly perplexed:  

Chirping cardinal
It's cute right? Looks like a bird, somewhat? Has feathers, beak, wings. It CHIRPS, or more accurately, "CHIPS" and when it "CHIPS", both cats run and HIDE!  They are both afraid of that just ain't right, right?  I'd like to know why it scares them; they're fine until they hear it.  And it's sound isn't a whole lot different than the "chip-chip" the Twohy makes as it bobs along our patio while the kitties give their rapt attention to it through the screen...just feet away.  Go figure.


It's count down time for Nick!  Tomorrow morning, Marty will take him to the airport where he will meet up with 36 of his classmates and another 27 parents/teachers - I'm glad there's a large adult contingency going!  From the airport to his destination, a non-stop flight is a very long way away.  They're going to Washington D.C.  This is part of their year-end 8th grade activities.  He's very unemotional about the whole thing.  Of course, he's never been a big talker so I wouldn't know if he's excited at all or not.  He is like his dad! and in my book...well, that's frustrating.  I've been fussing and feathering (like most moms) for quite awhile to make sure he has everything he needs to take along according to the supplied list.  After we got home from church this morning, I got out the suitcase, the list and took them to his room and was ready to get him packing...him? meh, not so much!  His comment?  "I'll pack tonight."  :S  OK, then. Well, at least I have all his laundry done, and gathered up his necessaries.  And I guess he'll pack tonight.  Good grief, what's the hurry Mom, right?

As this count down ticks off the minutes, I get more and more anxious, and pray more and more.  My BABY has never been gone from me this long - SIX DAYS!! - nor so far, by surface from our town to D.C. one route is 2667.97 miles ...two thousand six hundred miles... he may as well be going to the moon.  How can he go so far away from his Mama?  I woke up this morning with my stomach in knots.  He's going to be gone without Mom and Dad.  For 6 days.  Far away. 

I've discovered as I get older that I get these little fearful anxiety-producing moments, this is one of them.  I envision all manner of horrible things that could happen and I won't be there to protect him, as if I could at this stage of the game.  But he's my BABY, and I'm his MAMA, and that's how MAMA's feel, isn't it?

Even so, I will trust in the Lord, and not be afraid. I will continue to pray that way until, and after, he returns.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Today's Conclusion

Today my thoughts wandered to what I'd do if I had my house all to myself (not that I'm planning on that, mind you, I rather prefer to keep my husband and son!).

I would dedicate one room, where my computer, printer, desk and a television are, to just my genealogy work.  OK, I might have to include my daily paperwork/records stuff into that location as well, but that wouldn't take up much space.

Of course, there would be my kitchen, but by myself, I likely wouldn't do a lot of cooking; I'm not above eating straight from a can to avoid having to wash a dish.  I admit, I try to get out of that cooking chore fairly frequently even though I enjoy cooking now and then, just not as much as I used to.

And bathrooms, well, they're for all that we know them to be there for, and nothing would change about that except I wouldn't have to clean them nearly as much as I do now (you know how it is with guys), and since there are three of them (bathrooms), one might be converted to just the cat's toilet room and I'd convert to using flushable cat litter!  Hate that nasty scooping job!

The rest of the house?  Well, at first I'd probably have to get one of those pods set up next to the house and then go through every room and ruthlessly decide what I'd really want to keep and temporarily put those things into the pod, and what could go, then I'd throw the doors wide open and have a big in-house sale for as many days as necessary.  Then I'd paint all the walls, oh mercy do they ever need it!, determine where I wanted sewing machines and tables and design walls, yes plural all around, and that way I could have projects going in quite a few rooms and not have to play the shuffle game.  I'd have a dining room, three bedrooms, a living room and a computer room freed up for quilting. 

What do you think, sound like a plan?  Maybe, maybe not, but that's what crossed my mind today as I was pinning some blocks on my design wall and ran out of space because I still had components of another project on it, all the while, scootching around file cabinets and a few other things - stuff!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wednesday (W)rambling

Do you have those times when you just don't feel settled enough to stick to any one thing for any length of time?  I do, and I don't like it, and wish I weren't that way.  But I am, so it is what it is. 

I see it's been several days since I last posted; just can't figure out how that happens.  Re-read first paragraph. 

I've been staying up late entering genealogy information into my Family Tree Maker software database.  It's time consuming, and I research at the same time over at and several other sites depending on what information I'm trying to uncover.  I'm simultaneously adding to my tree at  The FTM software, I believe, has the ability to allow me to work in one and it's entered in both locations, though I could be mistaken, but there is some information on some folks that is best left to just my eyes and not to be seen by those out in the who-knows-where parts of Creation, so I enter the data separately.

And, because I've been staying up late, I've been sleeping in as Nick is now out of school for the summer.  Tomorrow however, I'm expecting the A/C man at 8:00 a.m. so I need to be up and ready for the day before he gets here, so that means to bed at a decent time tonight.  Our A/C is keeping us plenty cool, but the problem is that we have three zones controlled by three controllers and it seems a damper motor has stopped working as one of the two upstairs zone's controller, when activated, is cooling not only the rooms it's supposed to cool, but the entire downstairs as well, which is a single zone.  It gets way too cold downstairs when all one is trying to do is cool 1/2 the upstairs.

Raven decided this morning was a very good morning to play fetch again.  And she was a very good girl at it too.   She happily ran off chasing that green-striped stuffed mouse and trotted head held high to bring it back squarely to be dropped at my feet.  It's been awhile since she's been so obliging.  Oh, she's still played, but would only bring the mouse half-way so I'd have to go get it, or she just wouldn't bring it back at all, or she'd come in and mewl like she wanted to play, but not have the mouse, or the puff-puff, with which to play.  

What she's really saying is "please! let me down! I don't want to be held! ever!" She doesn't like to be held and always turns away from anyone trying to hold her
What do you do when you have this who-knows-how-old fabric, that looks, and feels like sheets from the 1960s?

A ruler added to show size of those blue roses.

This is what you do: you cut it into big squares and use it as foundations for a string quilt :)

The squares from each piece.

Leaving a strip of the original fabric showing in each block.  These blocks will be further cut and moved around before being rejoined.
Before sewing any strings onto the foundations, I sorted through my string bin and pulled what I thought would work for the look I was going for, both color-wise and print-wise.  The two different fabrics have different string fabrics for the most part.  And do you know, the bin seems to have no less in it now than when I started plus the fabrics I pulled from the bin seem to still fill the two containers I'd set aside for them.  How does that happen?  So, one of the things I've been trying to figure out is, how do I whittle that down even more?  Guess I'll be pulling some more ugly fabrics for foundation squares, and I may make the foundation strip not show at all or be skinnier at least.

I also have Nick's Washington DC trip on my mind.  He leaves early Monday morning.  He's never been away from us, nor we from him, for this long, nor this far before.  I guess this Mama is just a wee bit nervous about that long air flight even though there are about 27 adults going along with 35 or so students and one is the mom of Nick's best friend, and she's my friend as well so I know she'll watch over him like a hawk.

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