Mar 3, 2015

checking in

We are currently in a "warm up to rain" pattern so it is intermittently raining or mistiy rain. mooshy underfoot.  The mail and newspaper people are leaving muddy ruts which can't be helped.  Word is, that late Wednesday-early Thursday the temps are going to drop like a rock and my area is at risk for freezing rain/ice, depending on the temperature at the time.  I guess we'll see.

Meanwhile I need to get my challenge quilt dealt with!  Jane, Aline and I met up on Friday to pin two tops and then went out to lumch at Panera Bread.  We had planned on doing it sometime this week but the sew-in they had planned on going to in Attalla was cancelled due to the weather.  (Etowah County, just north of us got more snow and ice in the last weather event.  Some places up closer to the Tennessee Valley reported 10 to 12 inches so it could have been way worse for us but the kids still missed a day of school and another delayed start on Friday.)  So the pinning was done but I elected NOT to quilt it quite yet as I had the guild newsletter to deal with instead.  I set the forward and side tables up and swapped out machines but that was far as it got.

It was warm enough for Oscar to be out but too wet to remain out there long.  I really don't want to have to clean up red dirt paw prints.  He was cooperating by sleeping a good bit on the couch and had his belly band on so I snuck in the sewing room.  "Do a line, check on the dog,  Repeat."  LOL  The blocks are "locked in" as my friend Joy called it and I did one block just to see about how long it would take--approx. 5-7 minutes.  There are 34 left to do.   I may go back in there after I get Oscar to bed tonight as there is nothing I care to watch on TV tonight.  This must be done by the 14th!  Time's a wastin'

Shown is Oscar and his stuff.  He hauls it all out of his bed each morning.  I don't think he likes these new Milk Bone biscuits as he still has not eaten his "good boy" biscuit.   Food normally does not last long around him!

Skyler wanted in the sewing room in the worst way!  Actually he had come in and immediately was goobering up a dangling string from the quilt backing.  I nipped that action in the bud and then he wanted to park up on the quilting tables and the quilt.  Nope, you are not welcome to stay.  I closed the door and moved his water bowl to the master bedroom.  He hangs out on his perches but has always liked the one in my room best.  Sewing is off limits for the time being, Skyler Lee!

I see we are to change the clocks come Sunday.  I realize that I already messed up which direction they need to be turned too.   DJ would be getting a big kick out of that as he teased me about not keeping it straight just about every year, for years! The kitchen clock battery had died and I replaced it thinking it is only a few more days before I would have to hop on the chair again to chance the clock.  I've moved it back an hour----and it should have gone forward.   It took me whole day to realize that too and it is still "wrong"  We lose an hour of sleep, right?  I wish we would just pick a time and leave the stinkin' clocks there!   GRRRRR  I also changed the battery in the smoke detector after I did the clock so one up there.

Last night's "goof up" was the bulb went out on the night light but it sort of sparked when it did.  I shut the switch off at night so it is not so bright in the hallway and disturb my rest but I had needed something from the medicine cabinet.  That's when it sparked.  OH OH.  I tossed the bulb, replaced it with another and it still didn't work. I went back to sleep.  At 4:30 in the morning it dawns on me that I had probably tripped the circuit breaker as the lights and receptacles in that part of the house were off.  Oscar was whining to go out so I got that dealt with though it means going out off the carport to the utility room.   Thankfully, I went back to sleep though not right a way.

I've got groceries on hand in case we cannot get out due to icing for a few days.   Laundry is caught up but I could stand to vacuum and dust---again.  Thought about doing some baking but talked myself out of that.  Usual stuff.   My sister Janet is flying in from Colorado to see me next month for a few days so that is something to look forward to!

and sew it goes------

Feb 25, 2015

snow day

 The weather dudes predicted rain switching over to snow.  Oscar and I did one of our lane walkies a little after 11 and it was beginning to rain then but had kind of an icy sound to it.  Not the normal water hitting grass (albeit it dormant) sound.

I walked him around outside around 1 pm but just the periphery of the car port and front walk because it was raining but not snowing yet.

I was doing a bit of sewing in the kitchen and looked up from my work to the window flanking the fireplace to see white---at 2 p.m.  Big fat fluffy flakes of it.  Obviously took the camera out to get some pictures.

 It doesn't really look to be sticking on the lane but my old parking spot (above)  looks a little icy.  The driveway looks clear but kind of pebbled and crunchy underfoot.  It did not take long to cover what passes for a lawn but not enough of it to cover that dratted dry nettle that has taken over the front and side yard, big time.

It has slowed down a bit now but Calhoun County was kind of split as to whether it might be 2-3 inches or 1-2 with the winter weather warnings up till midnight.  I guess we shall see what happens.  I just hope the power stays on and the winds stay down.   I need to go look for my snow shoes as that might be a better choice than my tennis shoes for taking Oscar out.  The back yard is not a good idea as he crawls under the kitchen tip out and gets his paws all red dirt muddy and then tracks into my laminate flooring.

I had been out there pulling weeds from around the nandina bushes but there is a lot more to do.  I hate those spreading out all over pinwheel weeds.  The nettle is popping up a bit in the rocks too.  My fingers were getting a little icy doing it and Oscar was pulling at the leash.  He is always wanting to get behind the holly bushes as that is where the nieghborhood cats head but super muddy back there and they call that needle leaf holly for a reason!

Yesterday was the Belles meeting and we had planned to sew using 2 1/2 inch strips of some sort.   Tuesday we were under travel risks due to the possibility of freezing rain overnight.  The schools postponed the start of their class day by three hours so I had suggested that we meet just a bit later.  Thankfully, the precipitation did not arrive and we could go ahead with sewing and potluck.  There were just 6 of us and we had a good time.  I drug out the Fiddlesticks blocks from last year.  Jane grabbed a pile of the same style that were leftover from stack of fabrics and a top that Donna and Valera had teamed up to make.  Aline was working on strip sets from her stash while Lois, Bev and Teresa were making strip components for another top.  Lois had made one prior to the meeting using a pattern called Ribbon something.  Maybe the time the girls are ready to combine their homework I will get the proper name.

I had 6 rows joined and had completed up to row 9 by the time we packed up about 2:45.  As I said I set up in the kitchen to complete the assembly today.  Since I had used 11 fabrics I didn't use near the strips I had cut.  I probably made another 10 blocks and ended up with 11 rows and only 1 leftover block.  I have also seamed a back for it and sewed the binding strips.  I ended up using the cream colored Mirage yardage that I had sort of cut for the challenge quilt but had to add a bit to the bottom as the top is 42 x 66, a little extra length for an older kid.

Look what Norma sent me on her recent trip to AZ!
Dog fabric that looks like dachshund and a dachsund pattern.  Pretty cool!  The runner pattern she picked up a quilters garage sale type deal for 25 cents and it is from our fav designer Terry Atkinson of Atkinson Designs.  THX again, Norma!

Here's Lily a couple weeks ago all dressed up for Valentine's Day.  Her Nana was taking her up to see her great grandparents and over to see her Mommy at the school where she teaches either 3rd or 4th grade.  I can never remember which one, LOL.  Diane keeps me in pictures, last night's it looked like she had lipstick on but it was beet juice!

Lily was to have an estimated 6 hr surgery tomorrow, revisiting what she just had done in late December this week. After further consultation amongst her various doctors, it has been cancelled in favor of monitoring the remaining tumor near the tail bone and allowing her to heal.  We feel like a prayer has been answered as she and her parents won't have to go through that, not now anyway.

Guess that's it for now.  Stay warm and stay safe---------

Feb 18, 2015

Some progress

Bear with me if you have already seen these on facebook.  I took these pictures of the critters yesterday.  Oscar is modeling his belly band but I had to put him up on the master bed as he is a little vertically challenged.  Skyler was NOT happy about this as he treats the bed as HIS including that blue wool throw that Oscar is using.  Actually we could use that here in the living room as I find out just why DJ was always cuddled up with it here in the corner of the living room near the windows and fireplace and losing heat up the vaulted ceiling!

I think he ws trying to figure out if he could jump down.

This is my first quilt on the bed.  It is huge, heavy and silly me didn't think about how blocks SHARE sashing.  He wanted browns and I wanted blue so the quilt is a mix of both.  Hand quilted, quilt as you go.  The red hearts says "Linda Loves Darel" in embroidery.  My mom sewed the section together and quilted the borders for me or this quilt would have NEVER been finished--seven years in the making.

Here is what I had been working on.  Just the top half when I snapped the picture.  The other three rows are now done and waiting for me.  BQ2 by Maple Island Quilts.  The fabric is much brighter than it appears here.   I decided it needs a small border of the background.  The backing needs to be seamed and the binding prepared.  I already cut that stuff out after I finished sewing Tuesday afternoon.

So today being Wednesday and the week between Bama Belles meeting (we meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays) Jane, Aline and I decided to go over to Pell City for small group meeting, dragging our machines and such.  After some FB messaging and phone calls, we decided to meet up and carpool a bit earlier than  usual and go out to Cracker Barrel first.  Good plan!  When we got to the center, no one was there.  HUH?  I had not heard that it was cancelled and I'm the one who usually sends out the emails at the prez requests.  All was not lost though as the quilt shop some 20 miles away was having a 35% off sale on selected fabrics.  I needed some backing fabric unless I wanted to use the light colored background fabric. Jane and Aline found some things they wanted as well.  While there, we ran into 3 gals from Jacksonville, two of them come to Belles.  They went on to lunch but we had a good breakfast.  I was home about noon and Oscar could get sprung from "jail".

It was down in the low 20's overnight but we are heading for single digits tonight.  It is mid 30's now but the wind will tear right through you.  I heard wind chills tomorrow will be like -5 or 0 as the wind is expected to continue.   I am debating about running some errands or setting up the machine and completing my quilt top.    Oscar is curled up next to me on the couch, under the blue wool throw and I hate to make him get back in his crate if I have to leave the house.  He had enough of that this morning---potty, eat, back in his bed 4 1/2 hrs.  I guess I decided to stay here, LOL. 

Feb 16, 2015

Rainy days and Mondays

It has been a wet, wet day of it here in NE Central Alabama, raining in varying degrees.  BUT that is sort of a good thing as initially they were saying most of the upper third of the state above the 1-20 corridor had the possibility of sleet-snow-ice etc.  The temps have stayed up in the 40's so far.  Later in the week, Thursday morning I think, we are supposed to be down in the low teens.   My dog is going to be way more than out.

See how Skyler was spending his morning?  He loves clean laundry and thinking he is hiding.

Meanwhile, Oscar basically went back to bed after a walk, potty break, breakfast and going bananas about some perceived invader.  He was barking and snarling at something and it was NOT Skyler.  When I opened the gate to let him out this morning, he would not get away from the floor register.  A mouse or something???  I have not seen any evidence..... and I hope not.  He seems to have forgotten about it now. Mostly these wet days disrupt our walking and his trips outside.

I did my bulk cooking jobs and a couple loads of laundry yesterday. (You might spot the plate of brownies there on the table---mix,  not scratch for that need for chocolate!)  All my errands were run ahead of the possible winter weather so time to sew on my challenge quilt for guild.  I had snuck in the sewing room last week and got the strip set components of the BQ 2 done.  Other than sub-cutting the sections the project had progressed no further.

 I do NOT like sewing in the kitchen but I knew that is the only way I would get anything done today.   Since I finally got my sewing room all set up the way I want it, I want to use it, of course.  Not on rainy days when I need to keep an eye on Oscar.   As of about 30 minutes ago, all 35 of the blocks are assembled.  BQ stands for Big Quilt so the pattern has 18 inch blocks as well as 13.5 inch ones.  I've scaled it down even further so mine will be 8 inch finished.  35 blocks will get a quilt about 40 x 57 which is good.

I think tomorrow's forecast is a repeat of today so I left the machine set up in there and will finish the top.  Good thing I only need to reheat the spaghetti sauce I made yesterday and boil some pasta, right?   It is a bit messy and congested in there but I can still get to the stove, fridge and sink, in a roundabout manner.

I went to the guild meeting on Saturday but Jane and Terri had other plans and Aline could not get away.  It was a pretty day so it was nice to get out of the house for a little while anyway.  Valentine's Day was no biggie around here once we had an anniversary to celebrate instead.  I did look at the Valentine's card he got me last year that I found when I emptied out his dresser, unsigned.  I'm sure he picked it out when he got the anniversary card and flowers.  The message still touches me.

Guess that's about it---just hanging in.