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.

Feb 10, 2015


Today was quilt meeting day.  The Lick Skillet Guild had met the night before and Jane was instructed to relay a message to me from a mutual friend after she had apparently asked how I was doing.  "Tell Linda she needs to update her blog!"  Carol, you are right.  I have had friends tell me that my blog is one of the first things they check when they get online.  I've been disappointing them for about 3 weeks, I guess.

I think you know why I have been absent---mostly being in a "Debbie Downer" mood. My anniversary was January 26th, or would have been.  Do you observe them or not once you are widowed??  My feeling is that it will remain a special day in your life regardless.  We were married for just 15 years and a few days but had been a couple since 1978.  I don't know which day exactly--sometime in June or July maybe.  I managed to get through that one but not without some tears.   I was trying to focus on the good memories of our time together and not dwell on what was missing.  Some moments I handled more successfully than others.  I know I was blessed to have whatever time we were granted but greedy enough to have wanted more.

Tuesday the 27th, the following day I missed our Belles meeting---only slept about 2 hours, tweaked my back trying to get out from that pile of bedding and not roll over on the cat.  Miserable!  I spent a big chunk of the day on the heating pad on the couch.  BUT we had planned on going out to Top of the River for supper.  DJ and I often would go there for our anniversary dinner as they drop the prices of their signature catfish dinner to the January price of 10 years prior.  I picked Tuesday as Terri's husband Frank's birthday was the following day and he had passed away two weeks before that.  Divide the difference and celebrate my anniversary and his bday with our girlfriends.

Move forward to February the 1st or the anniversary of day that DJ died.  My friend Bev and husband John invited me to breakfast at IHOP so I at least got out of the house and got my mind off things.  Others have been calling, emailing, texting or posting that they were thinking of me which I appreciate.  My neighbor came out when I walked past with Oscar to give me a hug.   DJ and I never made a big deal out of Valentine's Day once we had an anniversary to celebrate so I think I'll be okay then.  I am officially through the year of firsts without him at my side. Does this means it is supposed to get a bit easier?

I saw this on facebook recently and maybe that explains it----

So what else is going on?  Time just runs together.  Who even remembers after this length of time.  A few binge cooking days.  Lots of reading.  No sewing, but didn't feel like it anyway. No knitting or stitchery either.  Creativity is on vacation.  That is going to change however. Today I cut out my challenge quilt which is a BQ2 instead of tumblers though it is an option for the leftovers later.  The Belles want to do a sew-in with 2 1/2 inch strips later this month so I am supposed to pick a couple o ideas for us--been thinking about that one and reviewing my saved files.  Also, I've been asked to assemble a top of one hundred fabric squares which is apparently a Chinese tradition to send good wishes to the infant.  See this article on 100 Good Wishes Quilt.  The child is adopted and now ten but Grandmother no longer sews and needs the help.  Another thing on the list is "mama pads" to help an expectant mother. Oscar is going to have to do some outside time and let me hit the sewing room OR even though I don't want to do it, drag the machine out to the kitchen.

I had a plumbing emergency last week to deal with on Wednesday.  First inkling was laundry water coming back up the kitchen drain.  Oh oh.  First load of laundry, small load, so not much water.  2nd load, jeans and sweaters--more so and water coming from somewhere all over the utility room floor. The load was about done when I noticed the water spot on the throw rug.  14 towels later, I got it all mopped up but here I was with soaking wet towels and a washer that was questionable.  The 25 lb. container of cat litter had a hole in it so that added to the fun of cleaning up.  Thank heavens for the laminate flooring as that was the only way I was going to be able to move that washer.  I accidentally pulled off the exhaust vent off the back of the dryer before the clothes were all dried so that made it hot in addition to messy and wet.  NOT a good day!  Worse yet, it was right around lunch time and both critters were underfoot and wanting fed .  Oscar went out and Skyler eventually got the message that food was not forthcoming.

The plumber could not come till the next day but I was pretty sure the kitchen stand pipe needed cleared out as this happened maybe 4 or 5 years ago, minus the water on the utility room floor.  I asked Robert to come down and help me hook the dryer back up and check the water hoses.   Also I needed to get the appliances back in place so I could close the doors on either side of the utility room.   He came down with the plungers and would have tried the stand pipe if he had had the equipment.  I told him the plumber was coming and wouldn't want him (Robert) to deal with that nasty job.  Robert took the wet towels down to their house to wash them so that was enough.   And the stand pipe WAS the problem.  The plumber made sure that there was no water from the washer with the test load of laundry he had me do.  It is NOT the hoses which was something DJ always worried about.  Well, I worry too and do not run the washer or dryer if I am not going to be home.

I don't need anymore excitement like that!  While I was doing plumbing stuff my mom said she and Dad were dealing with the furnace giving out with the temps down to zero.  They replaced it late last week.  I guess it is always something when you are a home owner.  I know I have paint to touch up, weeds to cut back and I wish that awful dry nettle that is flowering and taking over the yard would go away.

Our little Lily Bug is going to have to have more surgery later this month.   She is now 7 months old.  Her MRIs showed that the surgeons need to revisit the surgery she had in late December.  (The bit of tumor that was left in needs to come out to prevent problems later.)  The brain MRI was normal.  Her Nana keeps me in pictures and this is a recent one.  Such a sweet smile!

The Belles met today but it was just Bev, Jane and I so I got home really early.  One of the girls is out of state, another had a doctor's appointment, another is working day shift now, another's husband is ill.  Two of the husbands have had or will have cataract surgery.  I got my top cut out which was my goal today.  Bev was playing with a folded star project and Jane brought some scrap quilt books to share.  Short meeting but I felt so guilty for leaving Oscar out in the cold to this morning.

The sun came out about the time I got home but the wind was fairly brisk.  We are heading towards lows in the teens later in the week.  Meantime my daffodils are starting to look like blooms are about to open and the crocuses are up.   The camellia is going to get zapped---again.

I guess that's about it.  I'll try to be more faithful about posting if I have anything blog worthy to say anyway.  THX for your concerns about my well being.