Sunday, September 29, 2013

Stash Report Week 39, 2013

It seems I haven't updated my stash report since Week 32, but that's a good thing, at least from the stand-point of purchases, as I've not made any...and I likely won't for a very long time after reviewing what I've spent on quilting-related purchases in the last 12 months, fabric and other items!

Now, to get busy using that stash and make a bit more headway in the used column stats.

Judy at Patchwork Times shows how the stats of others are going.

Used This Week: 0 yards 
Used Year to Date: 10.25 yards  
Added This Week: 0 yards  
Added Year to Date: 46.375 yards  
Net Used for 2013: -36.125 yards

Friday, September 27, 2013

An Adventure In Commuting

On Tuesday, or maybe it was Wednesday, might even have been Monday...some days run together like that, but whatever day, I was taking Nick to school and as I'm driving our normal route, I reached a point where I could see all manner of flashing blue lights, the kind on top of police vehicles.  As I neared, I could see it was across the median on the opposing traffic side.  At the first set of lights, I could see a black pickup truck that had been loaded onto a flat-bed truck, obviously having succumbed to an accident.  Further observation revealed a large light/utility pole that was awkwardly bending over next to a twig of tree that had also sustained a similar bend.  Continuing to drive, I noticed more and more sets of those flashing blue lights at intersections where they had to cut off traffic from traveling along that route, in fact, for several miles back from where the accident was.

I kept in mind that because of this, I would need to take a different route home.  There were two options.  Opt 1 would take me back along that road amidst the very heavy traffic backup in order to turn a direction further away from my route in order to parallel that route and return to the road I needed to get to.  Or, opt 2, which took me around another part of town that's only slightly more distant but one I've taken on occasion for similar reasons.  It's good to have alternate routes.  I opted for option 2.  As I travel along that route, I'm thinking to myself, "wow, sure is a lot of traffic this direction too" and wondering if just that many people had the same idea I did.  At that point there were no other alternatives, so I continued on.  

Just before I reached the location to where I needed to make a turn, traffic narrowed down to one lane for our direction.  Oh dear!! A youngster in an itty bitty car about took off my front bumper cutting in front of me.  It was not a day for good traffic.  Then, along the side of the road was all that remained of a burned out something that appeared to take up the space of a motor home, but not even the framework was there, just the burnt debris about 6" or more deep.  And as I turned where I needed to I then remembered "road construction", yep, the same construction area I encountered back on my return from the wet land at the end of July.  This part of the city is putting in a round-a-bout and it's taking a toll on traffic, but wait! it gets better.  I'm in the left lane and approaching are firetrucks, spaced out from each other, not one, not two, but three, and in between one and two, a car decides to come up along my driver's side hoping for a left turn and was only inches from my door as she tried to get out of the way of the trucks.

Then I came to where I needed to make a left turn and did so without incident, but after driving another distance, again someone thought they needed to be in my lane, right in front of me, right that minute, and again, a narrow brush of nearly having my bumper removed.

I was never so glad to get home as I was then.  Oh, but then there was the return trip later that afternoon to pick Nick up from school.  Yep, where the wreck had been early that morning, the road for the same distance was still closed to traffic as they had to replace the utility pole and possibly reconnect some electrical lines, so that time coming back we took opt. 1, which was better than the morning, but still not ideal.  There are days like this that make me wish I'd stayed in bed and out of traffic.  Even though the Lord kept me/us safe and secure, the frustrations of the drive sorely tested my patience and grace towards other drivers.  Even so, I prayed that the drivers of the accident vehicles were not harmed, at least not badly.  I will never know.  

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Marty Update

Marty is still in need of prayer for finding a job.  He did not get the job that he'd interviewed for with three interviews, it's still not out of the question, but hiring has been put off for five months.  He also did not get another one that he interviewed on; that was ok, he wasn't gung-ho about it anyway.  He has a second interview with the company that's 46 miles away, on Monday afternoon.

Today, Marty went under the knife for an out-patient surgery that has a short healing time.  He's on pain-meds and icing the wound for at least the next couple of days.  He's not to lift anything and returns to the doctor in two weeks.

It was a wacky day with getting Marty to the surgery, that part went ok, but then the timing of his getting out of surgery and my need to get to Nick's school to pick him up and take him to his piano lesson became an issue.  This factor was not discussed with me in advance :( of scheduling the surgery.

Long story short, it did NOT go according to how I would have liked or needed it to go, but in retrospect, God set everything in the right sequence, and I was able to pick Marty up when the surgery center needed me to by calling upon my friend whose son no longer goes to Nick's school and finding out her son didn't have school today so was able to pick Nick up, and which gave the boys some time together - it had been awhile - and I was able to reschedule the piano lesson to Friday because it couldn't be done today with the timing...the instructor actually had a Friday cancellation.  How cool is that.  Oh, and did I mention that I had already been en-route to pick Nick up when the surgery call came in and I didn't handle it very well?  That's right, I had a real mental panic session and really didn't respond very well and later apologized to the nurse I nearly went ballistic on (I'd tried to work out the timing to no avail before leaving Marty there).  This was one more incident where I should have realized I needed to just stop and pray...only after the fact, when I could see how God arranged my friend's availability and the lesson schedule change did I recognize that.  So then I had to bring that to the Lord too.  I can sure be a knot-head sometimes.

Some of the Progress

Oh dear me, it's Thursday, already!  I've been busy and making slow progress with trying to re-configure where to put what in my craft room.  It is very nice to be back in here, even if things aren't perfect.  
=^v^= Why yes, I AM a bookend =^v^=
I had told myself that as I put things back in here, that I'd sort through and toss some of the clutter.  Well, all good intentions are mostly not happening, though I have been able to toss about a 2" worth stack of papers.  It's a start.  The hardest for me is to not have drawers, as the desk is no longer a desk since we only retained the desk top and it's setting atop two 2-drawer file cabinets which already had plenty of stuff in them.  I lightly perused that stuff, but didn't toss much.  Some day a lot of it will have to go.  
desktop on file cabinets

Raven, what!?! how'd you get in here? Mom, come pet my belly in the guest room. Hah! never, I'll attack when you try!

One whole drawer is committed to geographic locations I've been to back when I did a lot of camping and backpacking...I doubt I'll be doing much of either in the future, though sometimes I think I'd like to get out and camp again.  Another drawer holds folders of BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) class notes and lessons from years past, ahem, many years past! Yet another drawer has old files of Marty's that haven't been gone through in the 17 years we've been married; some of it pertained to care for his mom, she had some deep health issues off and on over the years, and passed back around 2002.  A 4th drawer holds files of receipts and such, don't ask, I have my areas of OCD, or maybe it's just because I always worked in a detail environment when I had paying jobs and that carries into my personal life.  That leaves me with two empty drawers, so I'll have to determine how best to use them, and/or find containers that will fit within for items that I formerly had in desk drawers which are shallower. 
Inspector Raven, uh Mom, where's the drawer?
I also pulled one of two plastic rolling carts with drawers out of the stash closet which I will probably keep near the 'desk'.  I emptied the cut squares, rectangles and triangles out of it and jammed them into the other one's drawers - a temporary measure. 
Handy cart for all those small desk-drawer type things....and thread.

My desktop is overly cluttered with things I've been sorting through so there has been neither quilt-work nor genealogy-work since returning to my space on Saturday afternoon.  Soon, very soon, my hands are itching to do something besides sorting through things.
I'm keeping my eyes on you, well, trying to anyway.
Of the pictures I post, keep in mind that little of what you see will remain where it is once we are able to finally get the cabinets.  And, my mind and memory want to keep doing things the way I did prior to the room remodel, which will change. 

While I refer to this room more often than not as my quilt room, it really IS my sanctuary.  It's here I'll be sewing, where I'll be working on my genealogy, where I'll be working on Bible study and prayer, where I'll watch TV or talk on the phone, and likely where I'll spend most of my time when I'm not doing necessary homemaking, wife and mom duties. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Looking Up

Indeed, looking UP is what should always be part of my daily ongoing activities.  This morning before church, I found it necessary to take a Benadryl capsule due to wind-driven sinus allergies and nearly fell asleep mid-service, and found I wasn't looking UP very often.  The message was by one of our younger, but very gifted, associate pastors and I always appreciate his messages.

This week, we met with our financial planner and he seems to think we're doing "OK", so Marty shouldn't be worrying so much about finding a job right this minute.  The F.P. is a new one for us, well-regarded in our area and holds our same spiritual beliefs.  We'll have several more meetings getting to know each other and figure out how best to place our finances to make the best gains and least risk, since our years are less than if we were younger.  We've been lazy and have just left our investments where they were 15+ years ago, which has probably not been for the best, but at least we have something, and we praise God for that.

Marty was hoping to hear back from one company with which he's had three interviews but they still haven't decided.  Part of the delay is that they're putting together a team, all new hires to work together, so are trying to get the right mix with the right skills.  It's not to be discounted yet.  He also had an interview on Friday at a place about 46 miles from home.  Yes, 46 miles! It's right up his alley and he said he felt confident he could be getting an offer from them, but he's not quite sure what to do about the commute.  Although, he's already thinking we can MOVE closer to it.  Whoa, wait, what?  If I move, I don't want it to be just 46 miles away, I want it be 846 or more.  He says to me, "It'll be cooler there, you know, temperature-wise."  No, if I have to stay in this state, I like where I friends are here, my doctors and dentists are here, everything I'm familiar with is here and the same for Nick.  I don't want to change that and then change again if we ever do move to that wet land I long for.  Well, when it comes down to it, it's not my decision; I can voice all my oppositions if I want, but the final decision is his.  There is an employee of that company who lives here in our town so perhaps they can carpool.  That company also does not have an option of telecommuting at all.  He has yet another interview on Monday taking up the entire morning and it's about 25 miles away.  That's about the same as the distance he was driving at his previous employment.  I'm thankful that many possibilities have been coming his way which is encouraging to a man who tends to see thinks from the worst negatives possible.  Great pair aren't we?

Washing the outside of the window.
Yesterday, we spent a lot of time doing some of the remaining items for the quilt room.  All of the cabinets are on hold though, so I'm making do with what I have on hand for now.  Marty washed the outside of the window, having to climb the ladder and get onto the patio roof to do so.  While there, he trimmed the overhanging tree branch which doubles as an ant freeway to the house.  He also swept the roof of all the dead leaf debris from the past year, and crud from when he threw the old wall board out via the window in July (rather than drag the mess all through the house, hmmm, why couldn't I tell that from how the house looked with all the dust and mess?).  
Marking the placement for the blind holders.

The mini-blinds have been off this whole time, so I had him take them out and hang from nails under the patio to wash them, and when dry, he re-installed them.

We then took the three 2-drawer file cabinets and readied them to return to the room.  Two of them required being turned over and having the rust, from way back prior to the bathrooms remodel, sanded off and a spritz of new paint and then some of those felt pads stuck on so that the new flooring doesn't get scuffed up when they need to be moved.  My TV is back in and sitting on one of those cabinets and is operational.  
TV on file cabinet.  The big blank wall is where the design wall will be reattached.

Using the other two file cabinets, we cleaned off the Formica desktop that was saved from the dilapidated metal desk which was junked, and placed it atop them to serve as my cutting table and work surface.  

Ultimately, it will be attached to kitchen height drawer cabinets beneath it so that I can have an ergonomic height cutting table and it will be placed along the wall under the window rather than in the middle of the room where it is now.  I didn't take a picture of it.
Freebie desk presently holding printer and laptop.  Oh, look! Flame has a hidey bag :)

We moved the cheapo freebie 36" x  20" wheeled 'desk' up from the downstairs hallway where it was biding its time, and making use of it.  A much better typing height than the other work surface or the kitchen table.  It barely qualifies as a desk as you can see.  It would be better if the shelves were on the other side, and it looks like maybe they could be put there.  It's clearly one of those put-it-together-yourself things, but with no instructions, I don't want to dis-assemble it and try to get it to fit back together.  Maybe down the road.
Just getting started at putting my books back on it. Ignore that construction mess still sitting out in the hallway, and  the disarray of the stash closet, both are temporary.
I cleaned off and wiped down a bookshelf that had also been biding its time in the upstairs hallway.  It was once in this room but I'd taken it out years ago when I first started thinking about re-doing the room and it hung out there ever since, having moved from one end to the other.  Now, it's back in the room where it belongs and I'm unpacking boxes and a bag of quilt books and magazines and getting them back on the shelves where they belong.   I also brought my SewEzi portable sewing table up, but I'm not sure when I'll set it up.  The design wall still needs to be re-attached too. 

I'm starting to feel 'back home' with having my little sanctuary room back.  It's far from done, but it's my space, and I'm liking it, and I'm loving the newly painted walls and the fresh new ceiling, as well as a new, easy clean floor.  Even with the current 'furniture' in here, it still is quite echo-y so may still add a room rug, maybe 5'x7' or 4'x6', but will wait until the permanent cabinets get brought in after Marty regains employment.  Much will remain in boxes, but at least I have my basic workspace back, a place where I can go and not bother anyone else, and where no one will be bothering me...much ;)

Definitely, Looking UP!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Better Day Ramblings

It's been a better day for the most part.  My joy is not fully returned, but it's closer.  I know what I need to do, but I don't always do it until I've grumbled a lot both inside and out.  That's how a rebellious spirit tends to be.  I heard recently that telling our troubles to others is called grumbling; telling our troubles to Jesus is called prayer.  So more prayer needs to be offered because I find myself grumbling way too much.

Marty had a 3rd interview today with one particular company.  They have 3 positions to fill and have 6 interviewees, I believe, 2 for each position as they're creating a team.  So we shall see.  Things are warming up some for him as he's also getting other phone and Skype interviews.  One is a long drive but do-able, and apparently there is another employee who lives roughly in our area, so maybe carpool some of the time. 

Horrible, and sad happenings in the eastern part of the country again.  I pray for the families of the victims.  I'm sure this'll create another spate of pushing to ban guns for those who oppose them.  No weapon is ever the problem.  The problem is the person holding the weapon and a society that does all it can to progress hedonism in every way possible, while squelching all that is righteous and holy.  

I thought it interesting in light of the D.C. issue today, that the network news stations went about business as usual, not reporting on it until their regularly scheduled news broadcasts.  Fox and one local station covered it for quite awhile during that time.  Interesting too was the absence of coverage on our president's economy speech.  Again Fox aired it, at least for about the first three minutes and then they went back to the shooting.

On the way to pick up Nick from school, I had another one of those moments where I had to really wonder if my white Highland with headlights on was completely invisible.  I was tempted to find out by sideswiping a car.  Along a section of a very busy street, 3 lanes each direction with shopping/strip malls on either side, I saw a boy, probably 11 or 12 carrying a school backpack jay-walking across the street.  As I and other cars, I was at the back of the pack, began approaching and going past him, he suddenly darts out from the median strip where he'd stopped without looking in my direction and proceeds to cross the rest of the street.  I should've laid on my horn to scare the tar out of him...and his mom who appeared to be waiting at the exit of the strip mall in her car!!! I could be wrong, may not have been her, but he seemed headed to that car!  Had I been just a little bit closer, I wouldn't have been able to stop as easily.

Marty also commented today that he thinks he should curtail any 'frivolous' spending until he gets a job.  He further stated he didn't think we should get the cabinets for the craft room, and 'what do you (me) think?' was his statement.  Um,  well, whatever.  Yep, what-ever.  Seriously, WHAT-EVER! Actually, I told him I could probably find enough other furniture pieces I could rig up in there for now.  Or just keep boxes stacked all over.  Then my self-talk takes over, and my mind goes to mean and rotten places, then I think more rotten things, and then I pray and keep my thoughts to myself, or share a few here.

Today would've been my bio-dad's 85th birthday.  He died in 1998.  I wish I could say I miss him.  

Design Wall Monday

In spite of my grumpy feelings this week, or maybe because of them, I set back to work on the Tumbler project.  I'd been getting somewhat bored with it.  It is very repetitive even if the fabrics themselves are greatly variant.  I put in about 13.5 hours on it over the last four days.  The individual rows are now done with the exception of determining the ends, which I may remove one tumbler of each alternating row only to re-add it to the opposite end of the other alternating rows for a zig-zag edge.  Make sense?  Sure, ok.  

As the design wall is not yet up in the in process, re-vamped craft room, I have once again taped a sampling of the rows as they currently are to my dining room wall.  The sampling is of the first 11 rows I grabbed out of the 40+ rows I made, which is more than I actually need.  I'll worry about the excess later.  Even with the rather boring process of putting this together, it's still exciting to see a quilt begin to emerge.  With scrappy quilts, it's also nice to see fabrics that I've used in other projects, as well as fabrics that maybe came from a friend or were just small pieces I picked up from a quilt shop or show outing.

Heading to Patchwork Times to see what all the other busy quilters have been up to, won't you join me? :)

Friday, September 13, 2013


No, I'm not doing a post on a member of the Seven Dwarfs.  And, if you're curious as to whether that should be dwarfs or dwarves, you can find an essay on it here.  I'm not convinced one way or the other.

I am grumpy!  I also typed up a big ol' post yesterday that was clearly infused with my grumpiness, but I have decided not to post it, at least not yet, and probably not without a lot of revision.

Why am I grumpy?  I don't like this current new "normal"; there's nothing normal about it and change is very difficult for me.   MY space has been invaded, even if it wasn't intentional.  MY craft room is not yet occupy-able.  MY ideas get poo-poo'd.  MY timing is not other's timing.  I'M still needing to do all the things that I used to do but now I feel compelled to be extra-considerate of the other adult occupant of our home because he's the one studying and looking for a new job, and doing things in his timing and in his way.  And I am having a really difficult time trying to be positive when he's negative, patient when he decides RIGHT NOW is when something needs to be done, or when it isn't.  There's a whole lot of  MY and I in there isn't there.  Just know, that I've been keeping MY mouth shut a lot too.

Base trim has been added to the quilt room, except for the wall which the cabinets will go on.  I washed the big window in the room on the inside.  The outside will either require use of ladders, one on the inside and one on the outside to transition to the roof of the patio which is below the window, or a ladder to get up onto the roof to get to the window.  I'm in no hurry to get on any type of ladder again after the incident of breaking my foot 13 months ago.  Now Marty says he's not ready to get, or put the cabinets in until he prepares the doors and trim and paints them.  It's his project, not mine.  His ideas, his ways supercede mine all the while he's saying he's doing this room to make me happy - I haven't reminded him that it wasn't MY idea to do it.  That's how it is today and most days.

Yesterday, I was able to get in about 45 minutes of quilt work on the Tumbler quilt.  My enthusiasm isn't in it right now, but I forged ahead.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Time to Pray

It's been just a couple days over a month since Marty lost his job.  In that time, he has gone through the initial shock of no longer working and bringing home a pay check, updating his resume and submitting it, maneuvering the unemployment system processes, contacting 'recruiters', passing an initial phone interview, fretting and stewing about whether he is still 'viable' as a member in the workforce, being 59 DOES make these times more uncertain.  

Today, in just under 20 minutes (@9:30 a.m. PDT) he has the face-to-face interview for the position of which he previously had the telephone interview.  He's nervous, on-edge, fearful....and yet knows God is in control.  And while he may not get an answer today, an answer will come.  He's had a couple other contacts as well.  I too know God is faithful and cares for His children, and will provide for our need in His time.

Prayer is needed though for Marty to have a calmness in this interview, an assurance in what he knows, the ability to convey that he would be a good fit for the position even if he doesn't immediately have all the specified qualifications...he can be a good learner, especially when it comes to software coding languages.

Your prayers are greatly appreciated.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Before and After

Since I'm sitting home alone due to my back pain, awaiting the 10:30 internet broadcast of our church service, I thought I'd share about Nick's hair.  This boy has some serious hair issues.  When he was born, he just had wisps of hair, blonde and with just a wee bit of curl to it.  As he got older, it darkened and had some waves to it and it was a bit coarse.  Well, then he hit puberty and now we constantly get asked where he got his hair from.  We have NO CLUE.  Marty's hair, what little he has hehe, is straight and dishwater blonde, mine is slightly wavy with some natural curl, super fine, and now silver where it once was dark brown.  Nick's also has strong red highlights that can be seen out in the sun.  But those uber-tight curls are a mystery to us.  Even looking at old ancestral photos, there's no one with curls like this.

But anyway, he would love to let his shaggy hair grow, but the school we have him at has hair code requirements of no longer than the middle of the ear, and can't be touching the collar of a collared shirt, no tees here.  His last hair cut was in mid-August of 2012.  He started this school year on August 20th without having his hair cut, he wanted to wait until actually getting cited for being out of code.  OK, so Mom here was ok with this one small act of 'rebellion' - this is a GOOD kid, no rebellious attitudes at all at this stage of the game and he'll soon be 15.  Finally, this past Tuesday, he was cited, so on Wednesday, we headed to the barber.  Not a bad deal, one hair cut every 13 months!  

Here's a couple of the before: 
Really isn't bad, ok at ear and border-line at collar. This pic taken on 8/20.

But here, right before we went in to get it cut, by the end of the day, it relaxes a little, and it gets really floppy and wild, and that was more a problem than the length.  It was considered too unruly.

And the after.  It was scissor-cut rather than clippers like last year, so not as evenly symmetrical, but it is clearly shorter and tamer.  Nick would prefer to have his hair back, but complies with the rules for now.
If Marty doesn't find employment in the next couple months, we will transfer Nick to the local public school.  There, he won't be bound by the same rules, and can probably grow his hair as long as he wants, or as long as we'll let him get away with.  I must say, I like his floppy tight curls, but I sure don't want to have dread-locks showing up and I'm afraid that's what these would turn into since he can't, won't put, a comb through them.  Wash and wear hair.  I'm also hoping that with that mop off his forehead that some of his acne will clear up.  He's even using a medication from the doctor but it doesn't seem to be helping much.

Sunday Morning

I've only spent a couple of hours this week on the Tumbler quilt, sorry but no pictures of it today.  And there's no fabric in, nor is there fabric out, so no link up to Patchwork Times.

But on the "quilting" front, of sorts, a wee bit of progress has been made in my quilt room, and I may be able to start getting back into it this week, hopefully. 

My original thought, and thinking it would be the inexpensive route to go, was to get a remnant piece of linoleum/sheet vinyl.  However, there were only a few pre-cut options available at the local stores, and I didn't care for them as they had "grout lines" and I was looking at an all-over pattern.  This apparently isn't a popular product in this neck of the woods.  The one I really liked was this one:  Armstrong Eagle's Nest-Snow Fall  It was white, and I loved the faint leaves in the design.  We located a place that could order it, well, actually only something similar to the tune of nearly $400 plus the long drive to get there to pick it up and decided we'd go back to a product we had looked at at Home Depot a couple weeks ago.  It isn't white, but it looks good, and it isn't sheet vinyl or linoleum but installed really easily, so looks almost like a solid piece of flooring.

This is plank flooring by Allure.  It is a vinyl product. You might be able to see a couple planks in there with their adhesive strips.  Those adhesive strips are all that holds the floor together as it is a 'floating' floor.  There is no other adhesive used underneath it attaching it to the subfloor, no nails either.  The planks overlap end to end and side to side on those adhesive strips.  If one of the planks had been turned upside down, you'd be able to see the adhesive strip on the backside that overlaps the adhesive strip on the top side.  It took Marty only a couple of hours to cover the 9'4" x 10' of floor space including using that L-shaped metal ruler and a box-cutter knife to cut some of them to fit and give the proper spacing for the alternate rows.  This particular pattern/color was simply called "Oak".

Marty prepared the floor trim yesterday as well but as he was painting in the garage, realized that the paint wasn't quite looking as it should.  He was using semi-gloss, but it was going onto the boards looking like flat paint, which just would not work, so he'll have to see if he has a glossier paint or if he'll have to go buy some.  To me, it looked like there was a 5-gallon bucket of shiny white stuff out there, but I'll let him do the 'dirty' work of digging it out and opening it.

Right now, I can't do much lifting, or anything else as my lower back is acting up again.  It isn't quite as bad as earlier in the year, but it's bad enough that there is no comfortable position sitting, standing or laying, and any painkiller type meds I may have around here, don't help a lot.  So time, probably a good couple weeks or more, is what it'll take for it to settle down to where I can do a little more.  In the meantime, I do what I can knowing that any step, or twist or turn could, and often does, cause a stab of pain that nearly knocks me to my knees, so I'm very cautious and careful about my movements.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Another Year Older...

...for someone special in our family.  Marty's birthday is today.  Our tradition, as a family, is to go out to dinner to celebrate at the restaurant of choice for the birthday person.  This year, we had to give that a great deal of consideration given that it could mean a couple bags of groceries, or a tank of gas, or could be needed to go towards the mortgage or utilities somewhere down the road.  We decided to go ahead and go out and enjoyed a nice meal at Macaroni's Grill.  If you don't have them in your area, they're an Italian style restaurant.  We hadn't been there in several years, and I have to say it was nice going on a Tuesday evening :)  No waiting!  

The birthday boy had a grilled salmon plate while Nick and I each had "Penne Rustica" which is penne pasta with prosciutto, shrimp, chicken in a nice creamy sauce with some Parmesan grated on top, yum, that's what I always have when I go there and I brought half home for tomorrow's lunch.  Marty enjoyed his salmon as well as his individual chocolate cake served with a side of whipped cream sprinkled with nuts and a small pot of chocolate to dip it in, or I suppose you could pour it over the top.  They also sang happy birthday in Italian.  The singers had wonderful, harmonized, well-trained voices which was awesome because I wouldn't have expected those voices to come from the two singers.  The female had a speech impediment that I had to listen to very carefully to catch her words when we were chatting, and the gent, a thin young man of Asian descent, came out with a wonderful deep rich voice that I would have expected from a classic portly Italian tenor. Just goes to show, never judge a book by its cover, and you'd think I'd have learned that by now.

Tomorrow is the day Marty has a "weeding out" phone interview with a prospective employer.  Pray that this turns into a belated birthday gift by turning into a full-time job.  It's hard keeping him encouraged.  I know many out there are struggling finding jobs, and have been unemployed longer than Marty, and for those I would offer a prayer for relief too.  Marty has never been unemployed since his college days, so he's learning a whole new ball game, so to speak.  And since college, he's only worked for two agencies, one a university, the other an internet start-up.  There is a huge diversity of skills required in any given company looking for software developers/computer programmers, so while he may have many of the skills they're looking for, he may not have all their requirements.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Tonight's Dinner

Last night I took out a package of pork country ribs thinking I'd do BBQ ribs in the crockpot.  I'm clearly not thinking well these days, because by morning with those puppies in the fridge all night, they weren't much more thawed than had I taken them straight out of the freezer.

And then it was mid-afternoon and I'm thinking, what am I going to fix for dinner?  Dinner planning can be such a chore some times. 

I thought about burgers, grilled in a pan rather than on the outdoor grill - they were frozen too, but at least can be cooked from frozen, but I had no buns.  What to do, what to do?  Make a grilled cheese hamburger!!  I had our favorite cracked wheat sourdough bread (San Luis Bakeries) and lots of sliced cheese.  Yum.

Grilled Cheese Hamburger :)
But a hamburger didn't seem like enough, so I threw together a pot of beef soup too.  I sauteed some onion, celery, and carrot in a little bit of olive oil, added three cans of beef broth and the liquid from the can of roast beef (from Costco), brought it to a boil and added some farfalline pasta and when it was cooked, added the roast beef and a cup of frozen roasted corn.  I rarely add salt while I'm cooking, so at the table sprinkled on some Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning - love that stuff - to my individual bowl. 

"Pantry" Beef Soup
The picture is of the leftovers.  It'll be great for lunch tomorrow...especially now that I have to take lunches into account with Marty still unemployed. I made four Grilled Cheese Hamburgers thinking Nick would eat two, he's a growing teenage boy you know, but he'd eaten lunch late and wasn't that hungry.  He also didn't try the soup, so Marty and I can split the 'burger and have a bowl of soup for lunch tomorrow.  And if those pork ribs thaw, they'll end up in the crockpot with BBQ sauce for tomorrow's dinner :)

And to put a cap on the day, in cleaning the kitchen, the trash bag needed to be taken out and on my way I saw what remained of what must have been a very nice sunset.  For some reason this turned out very dark, but that streak of color was quite vivid, and to top that off, there was a bat flying around.  I can't tell you how long it's been since I've noticed a bat around here, but the humidity has been up and hanging around for the last couple of weeks, so I'm sure Mr(?) Bat was finding lots of dinner too!

Design Wall Monday

I hope everyone's having an enjoyable (U.S.) holiday weekend, and staying safe.  Frankly, I've never really understood Labor Day.  I did go over and read about it on Wikipedia.  As my son would say, "Meh".  For the most part, at this stage of the game, it seems to be not much of a celebration other than having become a marker of sorts for the end of summer, though that doesn't officially end until later in the month.  And it tends to mark the beginning of a new school year, though even that is changing in many places.  Our son's school has always started the third week of August and locally, the public schools even started a week earlier than that this year.  I suppose there are some sales abounding out there, though I haven't watched enough network TV to see if there have been ads for sales, and since I'm watching pennies far more closely these days, that's just as well.  And, while Marty may be off from 'laboring', I still have my chores so I've 'labored' plenty this weekend, while he's done his thing, which hasn't done much to better my mood.  Well, even that's a choice, so I'll get over it.

On to the purpose of this post!! It's Design Wall Monday over at Patchwork Times where we all link up to show what we're working on, and if I don't hurry up, Monday will be done and over with.

On my 'design wall TABLE' (yeah, no progress on that quilt room since I last mentioned it) is the same project I've been working on for my August NewFO, which is the beginnings of my Tumbler quilt.

I now have about half of the twosies sewn into sets of foursies, next will be eightsies, and then, well, you get the idea.  Are those even words?

Now, since I have no pattern to follow, I see I will have to do something to fix the ends of each row, when I get that far.  The tumblers need to alternate and so I need an opposing single tumbler to add to each alternating row, and then I need to determine how to handle what will become a slight zigzag when I do that.  As I put this together, I'm just reaching in and grabbing the next set and only tossing it back if the set includes the same fabric as what I'll be connecting it to, or if their isn't much contrast between the ones next to each other.  And I already see that one set on the bottom, has two that don't give much contrast.  Maybe I'll take off that tan basket-weave and use it as an end on the other side, hmmmm.
Well, back to my labors, I need to finish cleaning up the kitchen from having made dinner.
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