Jun 29, 2014

Sunday check-in

Yep, it has been a week since I posted and a dear friend gently inquired via email if everything was okay.  She assumed I was since she had seen a couple comments on facebook but no blog update.  <VBG>  Message received.

Seriously though, this week has been a bit of a blur.  There were a couple days where I did not feel too red hot and I will not get into the whats and where for's but thankfully it seems to be behind me now.  Just plain busy.  If it is not outside work, then it is stuff inside the house.  Outside work means more sweaty, smelling laundry to do.  I could/should be out raking dead grass away from the fence so I can see if I need to spray inside it for weed control.  Michael is not able to mow for another week or so and he is the one that weed whacks in there.  Three weed whackers and I don't know how to operate any of them.  Nor can I start my push mower by myself.  Pretty pathetic, right?

Neighbor Robert told me to open up the back gate and he would mow inside the back yard.  Only thing is there are low lying branches on the Rose of Sharon Bush that were making that a little difficult to get around.  He got out the loppers from the container he has mounted on the back of the mower.  When I saw what he was doing, I started gathering up the cutaways and dragging them down to the burn pile.  Two shower day as I recall that day.

 Now I am in the process of whacking down the half dead gardenia bush.  Robert will not be able to get the endloader in there to yank up the stumps but we can trim it down. I figured I would do what I could to make that happen.   Friday night, two wheel barrowsful of brush. Saturday morning, three more.  I was making good headway with just the pruner and lopper thing DJ had though I am wondering if I can operate the alligator lopper if I read the owner manual first.  BUT there is a bird's nest in there.  OH OH!  That came to a screeching halt when I saw something that looked a might furry on top.  Later it was quite apparent from the kitchen window view that there are like, 4 babies in there and that bird that had been squawking from the house gutters must be the mama bird.  Don't ask me about the variety of bird.  I honestly don't know but it is not one indigenous to Illinois.  Common down here though.   I'll ask the neighbors since they are all Alabama natives.There is one that hangs around the front of the house that dive bombs Kit Kit but I have since heard from Miss Katherine that the cat is climbing up in the trees and no doubt that is another protective mama coming after her.  She just sits down flat on the ground and moves once the bird goes up in the upward arc.

I honestly don't know where the week went.  On days like the one I had yesterday I am beat and aching by 10 a.m. and ready for Motrin, jammies and bed.  I don't do it but man, do I feel like!   On  I am lucky to make it to 8-8:30 before doing all three of those things though I am usually reading for awhile first.  The days are filled, I'm exhausted and you would think sleep would come easy.  I'll tell a little story on myself to show you just how jumbled up the week was.  I went into Subway the other day and told the counterman "I''ll have today's special, the 6 inch BMT on Parmesan Oregano"   He looks at the wall and says "Ma'am, today's special is tuna and this is Friday."  OOPS!  By golly it was but that is my second choice of fav sandwich from there so it still worked out.  He was kind about it but color me confused.

Tuesday was Bama Belles day.  Just 6 of us as it seems like either some of our members are dealing with their own health issues or that of their families.  It is also summer so there is a lot of things going on.  Bev was working on binding and handed in this BQ 1 quilt.  Perfect for a boy!   I forgot my camera and I lost my #1 Quilt Holder so I will apologize in advance for the lousy picture of it.  I could go take a shot outdoors if I think about it and run a curtain rod and clips out with me.  I left a couple of command hooks on the back of the shed.  DJ said "what are those white things?" but he didn't tell me to take them down.

Aline, Lois, Donna, Valera and I were working on strip sets for a Fiddlesticks  quilt.  You may recall, if you are follower/frequent reader, that I had cut up a bunch of donation fabric, mostly fat quarters and background strips from yardage on my shelf at the meeting two weeks ago for this purpose.  The pattern is from Deidre K. Brown of Teacher's Pet and on her "quickies" page .  She has a lot of cool ideas but this variation of Rail Fence blocks was a good way to use some of our donation stuff up in a slightly different twist.  I had essentially three stacks of print fabrics----a blue bunch, a purple/green bunch as it had 5 coordinating fat quarters in the bundle plus some other stuff that sorta, kinda went together and finally, a tan/rust/rosy/burgundy bunch only with the muslin like stuff.  Aline had cut her own version.  Lois grabbed the blues but also had some strips from her own stash.  Valera and Donna teamed up with the purple/green bunch and I had the third grouping.

This is today---and I finally got back to sewing 5 days later.  Of course, it became very obvious that we did not have enough of the background strips, even though they were 60 wide and I had started with  just shy of 4.5 yds of it. Even with piecing muslin end to end from the strip cutaways it was clear by lunch time that I had to make a fabric run if we were to get any further with the project.   Wilson's Fabric did not have muslin, and the lady was pointing me to their 90 wide sheeting.  Nope, that was not it but I knew I could not match it anyway since I had no clue what or where that yardage had even come from.  Off to Hobby Lobby----90 wide permanent press very close to the right color and I grabbed the rest of the bolt.  I only got through sewing just one strip to all 11 colors in my bunch.  Valera pressed them for me while I cut up another 6 yards of strips.  I split the yardage in half and then cut using the approximation nose to arm length.  Later in the week, Valera said she needed about 4 more strips so I met her at a rendevous point to deliver them, LOL.  I have heard that Lois has her top together with just the blue colors.  Can't wait to see it especially since mine is lagging.   Oh, the Wrap Them in Love suggested size of 40 x 60 will take 2 yards of background and 70 blocks without borders.  FYI, LOL.

I've got more strips cut but only did one pass through with the 11 strips and since they were fat quarters in some cases, we sewed them end to end.   I want to see just how many squares I can get from one strip set before I start sewing all willy nilly and wind up with a bunch left over.  Yeah, I know nothing ever really goes to waste in donation quilts but who really needs more orphan blocks??  I'll have an answer to that question once I press and cut that bunch you see above.  Some strips may end up in a more traditional rail fence manner.

Oh, I have other things I could be sewing.  Always do.  Sewing-wise,  I am signed up for the "See You in September" blog hop and must get three items done and one of them must include Riley Blake gingham.  I know what I am doing but have not gotten started yet.  The fabric is on hand.   Still have family items that are due in July and August and not started.  I might get the guild challenge top done but not quilted, not in time, in other words.  For now, the little bag I had started is on hold till I get the Singer back from the service person.  I developed some big time tension issues when I was sewing a bit last Sunday.  I tried everything I knew to do---change the needle, re-thread, different spool of thread, new bobbin, clean the lint out the best I could.  Time for a service call.  Mr. Haynes works out of his home and we arranged to meet either Wednesday or Thursday when he would be coming to "town".  He took the Singer and my Janome Jem which had not been in for servicing for years but then I don't use it near as much as the others.

I am getting to use the "new to me" New Home though.  I try to do a whole project on the same machine, start to finish, if I can remember which one I used, that is, LOL.   I appropriated the 1/4 inch snap on foot from the Jem though.  The New Home HF 3000 is a computerized machine and the needle position can be changed.  Some machines like my Kenmore slant-o-matic cannot (as I recall) so sometimes that influences my choice of which one to pull out.  I do like to rotate them but man, I do love that old Singer model.   Not a featherweight but I still love it!  It had belonged to Lois' mom and Lois is always happy to know that it is being used.

What else??  See, this is why I should and usually do, post more often.

  •  I've not done any major closet cleaning other than a few odds and ends in the linen closet area but still need to finish up what I started in the master bedroom.  It has waited this long but the clutter bothers me.  I need to deal with his bathroom as well.  
  •  I forgot how to put in a hallow wall anchor and now have a large hole to patch in the living room but for now put the picture back up over it.   There are some other spots that need dry wall compound and all that so it is project for, say, winter!  
  •  I now know how to change the vacuum cleaner bag----DJ always did that but then he vacuumed more than me to begin with.  
  • A friend reminded me that I could grate up all that zucchini that some how made it way to my house after the meeting and use it for bread later when I despaired having so much to try to use up.  I still baked up one batch yesterday though.  
  • I also have a guild newsletter to write up but still waiting for articles.  
  •  I have been asked to do a little project for the guild Christmas in August sew-in.  I probably wasted 3 hours looking at patterns in craftsy for inspiration and still need to look at pinterest. 
  •  However, I did come up with a new way of doing an existing block that might be the way to go for my presentation.  Blocks go together quickly, would work well for a donation quilt, I think.
  •  I need to get a galvanized tub to put the dog in to give him a bath as the bathtub thing does not hold water in the tub.  I keep forgetting but it has been broken for years and neither DJ and I ever felt compelled to soak in the tub.  Our frequent houseguest did so two guesses who is responsible.  
Piddly stuff?  Maybe but it fills the days.

Speaking of Oscar.  He did the cutest thing the other night.  I had the back door open (there is a storm door) and I was folding some laundry.  Oscar was in the house playing with his toys in the kitchen.  All the sudden he wants out but he is hauling the rawhide bone he had been playing with in his mouth.  Okay, you want out, then go.  Thankfully, I did have another one for his crate on hand.  He has two outside now.  He also has taken to stopping by the car as if we might be going to go into the park to walk instead of up and down the lane.  He does get his wish 2 or 3 times a week, weather and schedule permitting.  He still hates being in the carrier and pulls the cute act by laying on the seat and smiling at me, showing his belly.  It has worked precisely once!  I can't trust to him to not be trying to climb up in front with me.  Not yet anyway.

As for Skyler, he is so jealous of the dog.   Just to get rid of those large cans of Friskies cat food that Miss Katherine gave me Oscar has been getting a bit in his dry food.  Skyler sits up on the kitchen pass through and starts meowing even though he just had some.  Will not let the dog get up on him.  I sit in kitchen to keep an eye on Oscar and he just meows, like "I'm in here, all alone.  Come sit with me"   He also will NOT stay on his side of the gate.  They came within about 5 foot of each other last night, Skyler hissing at him the whole time.  Oscar was good and just laid on the utility room riug giving me the basset hound eyes but behaving.  What they might have done if I were not sitting in the kitchen is anybody's guess.   If I felt comfortable enough about having him loose in the kitchen and if Skyler would not be happing over to harass the dog, then I might be able to sew in the evenings again instead of feeling like I have to be in the vicinity to run interference with those two.

Kit Kit is released from her confinement now but is mostly hanging at the neighbors.  She may even be in at night still.  She comes down here and I have put food out for her but she just sniffs and walks away.  She didn't care what I fed her when she was pregnant but now she is getting wet food too!  Not happening at my house.  Oscar is not afraid of Kit Kit but the other neighbor cat he is.  Maybe he would be okay with Sky---eventually???

And sew it goes.  Almost time for afternoon doggie feeding, maybe a walk but I am more willing to push that back till after 6 when the sun starts getting below the tree line.  Today we have a nice breeze blowing and it is almost pleasant if the sun gets behind the clouds.  I feel a leg stretch coming on-------


  1. Hope some little guy likes that doggie quilt.

  2. whew! you are soooo busy! glad to hear from you, glad you are back to sewing, gardening, watching baby birds, being entertained by your pets, you are doing fine!


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