Mar 12, 2014

moving to a new normal?

"New Normal"  whatever that is.  Now I get tasks like paying the household bills and yard work in addition to the inside work of cooking, laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning.  Not that all the inside jobs landed on me.  How else would I have gotten so much sewing done without him pitching in as he did?  DJ was a good helper, not with cooking, but he really pitched in with the household tasks saying "I live here too so I'm just doing my part".

Cooking and dusting was not his "thing".  I could ask him to stir something but you would swear you thought he was beating cake batter doing it.  Dusting, I would have to grit my teeth as he didn't do it like I did. (spray the cloth, not the surface and no circular motions and quit spurting that stuff all over the place!)  So minor in the scheme of things, you know.  Part of the age old thing--- my way, his way or done?  The laundry disagreements were finally resolved with "let me take care of my darks and you do your own darks, in a separate load."  Undies, I didn't care--go right ahead.

So what have I done today?  Well, now I have to be concerned about the automobile maintenance.  I was one week and about 200 miles past the time I should have gone to get the oil changed.  Then I had to tell the fellow at Cobb's that DJ was no longer with us when I went to pay.  He had just had my car in for an oil change about 10 days before he died, as a matter of fact.  I know DJ always loved joking around with this guy and he gave as good as he got, telling me about their conversations when he returned home.   I told him I had sold the 2nd vehicle but you would not believe all the Cobb's service slips I found in the vehicle maintenance folders.  He smiled when I said that.  He told me what a great guy DJ was and how sorry he was to hear of his passing.

Then I was off to look at push mowers and pick up some Round Up for around the fence and the kudzu patch later this spring.   Oh, I may not have told you about the lawn mower deal.  My neighbor Robert's riding lawn mower had transmission troubles that was beyond repairing.  Getting a brand new one is not in the budget right now either.  He mows yards for a couple of Glynda's beauty shop clients and has more acreage than me to mow.  I think you might figure out where I am headed.

I have no desire to get on that riding lawn mower though DJ tried teach me when he had his heart surgery back in 99.  (I did it once.  The neighbor did it once and then the grass dried up just in time, LOL.)  Thing scares me and I felt like I was going to fall off of it.  Anyway, our rider was a 17 yr old Craftsman, well maintained. Robert was welcomed to it if he will help me keep the yard mowed this season.  The neighbor across the lane and the one next door have also offered to help so I think between us, we can get the job done.

Why a push mower? I had always told DJ if he would get me a push mower I would do the back yard, which is fenced and has a couple bushes.   It would be easier than him having to shift, turn, shirt, back up etc.  Well, I have one now just a basic 20 inch Murray 300 series.  Got the manual on the table for lunch time reading material.   I can do the back yard is the guys will just take care of the front of the house and the side yards.  I figure one can just do a few extra swaths when he does his side yard.

Robert is going to have to give me a lesson on how to use the weed whacker.  Turns out I have three of them out there.  One has a battery pack, one is electric and old.  The third one is just plain hard to start.   He said I needed to get the Round Up for around the fence so I don't tear up the weed whacker.  I need to locate the owners manual first.  Actually I am hoping that the frost we are expecting tomorrow morning will take a toll on that danged purple nettle stuff out in the yard that is getting away from us!

Meanwhile INSIDE the house:
I have been slowly and steadily going through drawers and boxes in his room,  Parts of the closet are cleared out, the other dresser completely emptied.   I still cannot deal with taking care of his shirts and slacks.  One of these days but not now.  I am getting rid of the old bed frame and chest of drawers though.  (It had belonged to the ex-wife and I have always hated that them, bruising my legs or stubbing my toes more times than I care to count).  I bought just a metal frame that the box springs etc set up on.  Much better!  50 bucks of happiness just seeing that stuff go away.  I cannot ditch the bed in case I have overnight guests but a simple frame will work just fine.    When we moved in here, I had made the dust ruffle originally on the bed as well as the valance on his window in a  navy blue plaid  and backed with ticking fabric.  The box springs edge is just plain ugly but the old dust ruffle is much too short in length.  I may get a chance to try out the gathering foot on my serger yet.  I saved it just to remove what is on there now and attach whatever needs attached.

I had called Center of Hope and scheduled a pickup for the bedroom stuff on Monday.  I was over talking to my across the lane neighbor when they pulled up.   Willie asked me what I was giving away---when I said a queen bed frame and dresser, he said he needed some furniture as he had an empty bedroom to furnish.  (Recently divorced and the grand kids stay over a bit.)  Had I known he needed it, I would not have called for the truck.  I had to apologize for their making the trip for nothing but there were a few odds and ends I had planned to take over in the car so they took them.  Willie is supposed to be over this afternoon with a truck and his brother to pick up the stuff.   He is one of my lawn care volunteers so again, I'm bartering.

I have plans for the big office desk to go into the master bedroom and put a small computer desk in here which will get me some more floor space to sew/quilt etc.  Other than that I am not making any other changes in the house other than to continue to downsize,  my stuff and his.   However, I was looking at one wall and thinking that I might be able to have an " honest to goodness" design wall on one wall and on another wall, space for that treadle machine that is stored in the attic of my parent' garage in three pieces.  The dresser needs to be gone first and I have to have some way of transporting it down here but it could happen.

One of my quilting friends had asked if I was going to move into the master since it is the larger room.  My response was along the lines of "why would I do that?"  I'm comfortable in my own room.  All my clothes are in there, the books and entertainment center.  Frankly I don't want to move any of it!  I had enough moving things with putting down the floor in the sewing room.  Little did I know how much stuff I would be moving and transporting with DJ's passing soon after that.   Slow and steady, slow and steady.

I need to shift gears anyway as I finally have the needed forms to deal with the financial matters.  Then there are the taxes to worry about too.  Any wonder that I am still not sleeping all that well??

Creatively??  What might that be?  I seem to recall that I was always sewing or thinking about sewing once upon a time, LOL. Okay, I AM going to participate in the stitching blog hop with sew we quilt and will need to work on the pattern I picked out late last week.  I had a question so was waiting to trace off the design till I heard from our cheerleader Pauline.

I had also decided that I wanted to do some knitting in the evenings in the meantime.  I am going to be a great auntie before long, after all.  Susan at Patchwork Reflections had pointed me towards this pattern in the past.  I am just starting the pattern rows.  Actually I was to that point yesterday but had to start over last night as I had messed up the math a bit.  You need multiples of 8 plus 12 stitches for the garter stitch "frame" around the basketweave.   The pattern is on Ravelry Mary's Blanket but sized for premies and I wanted it bit bigger and cast on 124 instead.  Pick up work.

Look who has made himself comfortable atop the heap!  My campaign to get him to use his perch in the new location is semi-working.  If I only open up that one blind in the morning, he is sort of forced to go looking for the sunny spot.  However, just when I think I have him "trained", I'll head out to the kitchen to find him sitting on top of the microwave staring at the blinds, as if to say "hey, open up these things.  I can't see out!"

Bama Belles met yesterday and I do have a bunch of quilt pictures to share with you. I'll do that in a day or two.  A few quilts were pinned including two that I had left in the closet back in December. That is what he is sitting on while the finished ones are atop the armoire awaiting documentation and assigned numbers.    I'm not ready to quilt my two tops now but it does help that they are ready for when I AM ready to do so.  The tops are the Puss in the Corner shown HERE and the other is On the Boardwalk, shown HERE back in December 2013.  The 2nd one is actually the Mumm fabric challenge I issued to the girls last year with a bunch of our donation fabric in that line.   One of them asked what we were going to do as a challenge this year----not sure, haven't thought about it yet though I do have fabrics that were given to us for that purpose.   Jane, bless her, did the binding on the donation quilt that will be going to Friendship Quilters to fulfill my membership requirement of a minimum of 1 donation quilt for the year.   (THIS is it before the borders went on it. Beth will get a picture of it when I take it to guild)

Well, the timer is sounding for the dryer and I need to scare up something for lunch.  That's how things are shaking out around here. Hanging in there the best I can-------


  1. Wow you are awsome. I do not know how I would do if my DH passed away.
    It sounds like you are doing great. Good for you. I love that pattern it is great You are one trooper. Hope all keeps going well with the trasition

  2. You are making great strides! Hope all is as good as it can be!

  3. You are doing just fine. In the face of all you have to do, you are doing it well.
    Keep hanging in there. It will get better.

  4. love the title! lots of sifting and shifting going on, you are getting a lot done. love the idea of the treadle machine, I hope you can get it moved down and set up. I have never used one, have you? am sending you a pic of the blanket I made with the baby, it has been 2 years and I wonder how it held up with washing etc. it sounds like you have good neighbors and getting out and about, I probably would just be a hermit :) keep hanging in there! you are doing great - new normal!

  5. Still thinking about this long post, glad that you use this platform to talk through some issues, glad to be here to read your thoughts. His shirts - ? not sure what kind of shirts, but if cotton plaid would make a nice quilt - but would that be too weird? Maybe Goodwill would be a better idea. And I forgot to comment on this - "I am getting rid of the old bed frame and chest of drawers …it had belonged to the ex-wife and I have always hated that" LOVE IT!! - Catharsis (I had to look it up and it sounds spot on (a purification or purging that brings about spiritual renewal or release from tension). Have a great day!

  6. One step at a time, you will find you quilting mojo when it's time it will come.


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