Friday, August 31, 2012

Tropical Illinois?

Tropical storm Isaac is in my neighborhood.  Very strange, indeed, to think we are getting rain and wind from what once was a hurricane.  Not the only time in my memory it has happened, though.  When Ike hit several years ago, we got some of the rain from it.  Some of that rain did a lot of damage in the town I work in on a lake dam that only recently was completely repaired.

Putting my name out there...a little bit at a time...

Yesterday my daughter asked me to pick up some shampoo at her hair dresser's shop.  When I went in to get it, the gal and I got to talking and she handed me one of her cards.  I laughed and said I could give her one of mine, too, but they were for quilting.  The next thing she asked was whether or not I have a long arm machine!  I said yes.  She said it was fate that I came to pick up Johanna's shampoo because just that day she had a customer in who needed a long arm quilter!  Well, of course I gave her a couple of my cards and now I'm hoping I get a call.  Also hoping that what the customer wants done isn't too much for me!

God works in mysterious ways. 

Morning treat

This morning I went upstairs and started sewing before I had to leave for work.  It was a real treat, even though I got a little lost in it and ended up rushing to get out of the house!  Considering the day at work I have had so far, it's good that my day started out peaceful like that.  I have a feeling my blood pressure may be high from dealing with irate customers!

It is a full moon.  And a blue moon, to boot!

My friend, Donna, and I were going to go to the movies tonight, but she just cancelled because her grandkids are coming to visit.  Totally understand that.  So I'm going to try and get Nick's quilt top borders done and hopefully get it on the frame.  That will bring my blood pressure down for sure!

Dear hubby got a speeding ticket today.  I don't think that helped HIS blood pressure!  He also had a doctor's appointment at the foot doctor because of a spot on his toe.  With his diabetes, we don't mess around when there is something wrong with his feet.  The spot looked like a blood blister on a callus, and the doc just removed it right there in the office.  He said it was very good that he came in early because those types of things can turn into bad things real easy and real fast.  I'm glad it's taken care of.

Hope I didn't gross anyone out with that last paragraph...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Little beast

As I type, this seemingly innocent kitten has worked her way under the quilt I have on my bed and is planning her next ambush on my feet with her extremely sharp claws!  Is no where safe????

I went up to the sewing room and added another border to Nick's graduation quilt.  Then had an attack of the mom guilt and decided I had to put his name in the border and the year he graduated.  So now I have to make the letter and number blocks plus another border for them to go in to.  sigh.

Time flies

Last night I actually pulled Nick's high school graduation quilt top out of the drawer, fully intending to put it on the frame to quilt.  It's a signature quilt, and I got a little side tracked reading the comments from everyone.  Good thing I did, because I realized that neither myself or Everett had signed his quilt! 

I signed it and left it out for Ev to sign today before work.  I'm considering putting another border on it to make it a little larger, then on the frame it goes!  I didn't put his name in the border or the year he graduated, like I did with Johanna's.  In the interest of getting it FINISHED, I doubt I'll put his name and year in the border tonight.  I just want to get it done already.

Last night I made two more of the RRCB blocks.  That is going to be slow going, let me tell you.  I guess it's like the old question "how do you eat an elephant? - one bite at a time!"

Boxed up the QBB to mail back to the organization.  Brought them in to work and had a mini quilt show before putting them in the box.  Everyone liked looking at them.  I was going to put pictures of them up on the blog, but I think what I will do is link to the QBB website when they are pictured there.  Tomorrow I will take the box to the Post Office.

Planning to go to the Chinese restaurant for supper tonight.  Kids like it and I don't feel like cooking!

I ordered a neat little tool called the Perfect Piecing Seam Guide.  It has a little hole for you to put your needle down into.  Once the needle is in place, you can butt something up against the edge to give you a very accurate guide for a scant quarter inch seam.  Bonnie Hunter talked about it on quiltcam the other day.  She used some removable mounting tape for the guide.  This tool will be invaluable because it means I can sew at different machines on the same project and the seam allowance will be identical!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I'm contemplating what to work on next.  I need to put a quilt on Gemma - having withdrawl!  haha.  Thinking it might just have to be Nick's signature quilt next.  Not sure if it has borders on it or not, yet.  It's only been aging a couple of years now...

Also need to make a baby quilt for a friend of Johanna's.  She asked for one in green, her friends favorite color.

And then there are the two tops I have waiting for Mom and Joyce.  Mom's is the one I pieced while in Nashville during the quilt show years ago and Joyce's is the one I pieced while at Woodhaven a couple years ago.  Both have aged nicely, also.

But for this very minute, I'm going to bed.  Getting back into the swing of things after vacation is rough.  Had dinner with Uncle Ray and Johanna tonight.  Came home and did not do much of anything.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pear butter update

I let the pears cook too long when I put them in the crock pot overnight.  The pear butter did not turn out very well.  It's okay, but wasn't worth processing in the canner.  Ended up giving Uncle Ray a container of it and froze two small containers. 

Also gave Uncle Ray some of the salsa's and some tomato jelly.  He gave me a few apples from his tree.  I still have some apples from last year in the freezer.  I'm thinking of making applesauce with them, in the crock pot, just to get them out of the freezer.

Back to work

Back to work today after a week's vacation.  Ugh.  I am thankful to have a job.  Many don't.

I ended up freezing that bushel of peppers I purchased at the produce place.  The majority of them I just washed off and froze whole.  I did cut up four bags worth and froze them.

Yesterday I made one block for the Roll Roll Cotton Boll quilt from a mystery of Bonnie Hunter's a long time ago.  It's one of those intense patterns with a lot of little pieces.  I haven't worked on it that much and really should get back on it and finish it already.

I also set up a table downstairs by Gemma and put one of my older sewing machines on it.  I sometimes need to sew a quick seam and it's easier to have a machine downstairs by the longarm than to have to run all the way to the second floor from the basement.  The machine I set up was an older Singer that I picked up at an auction several years ago.  It needed some TLC, which I gave it by cleaning and oiling and putting in a new needle.  Works like a charm now!

Today is Nick's first day at his new job.  From the little bit I have heard from him today, it sounds like it's going well.  I hope it continues to go well.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Three trips to Ace Hardware, two trips to Rural King, and 1 trip to Lowes.  And the toilet in the basement is still not replaced.  Sigh.  Oh the joy of living in an older home...  lol.

One more day of vacation then back to work.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Pear butter

My dad had given me a few pears a neighbor had picked from his trees.  They had been staring me down every time I went into the kitchen.  I knew I didn't have enough to do much of anything with, so I called Dad and asked if he had any more that he wanted to get rid of.  He did, so I ran over there and picked them up. 

When I got home I peeled them and cut them up.  Put them in the crock pot on low with sugar and orange and nutmeg to cook all night.  Will process them in the morning.  Won't be much to process, but it will be a little bit anyway.

Tomato jelly

That's what I made today, and lots of it!  I canned tomato jelly in half pints and even the smaller jars that are 4 ounces.  12 - 4 ounce jars and 16 pint jars.  I used the yellow tomatoes for this recipe. 

Went out to the produce place today.  This is their last regular week of business because they own a farm and need to be bringing in the harvest now.  I bought a canteloup, a watermelon, and a bushel of peppers!  I just seem to be attracted to purchasing things in bushels these days!  haha.  Going to freeze them.  They taste pretty good in spaghetti sauce, stir fry, stuffed peppers, and fried with onions for sausages.  My dad just freezes them whole, without taking the seeds out of them or anything.  I might try that with some of them, the ones I want to use for stuffed peppers, anyway.

Ev and I went to the movies this afternoon to see "Hope Springs".  Definitely a chick flick, but a good one.  I like Tommy Lee Jones as an actor.

Nick got a full time office job!  He will start Monday working at a local business.  I'm really excited and happy for him.

Going to put some shrimp on the grill again tonight.  Just love the way they turn out.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


In more ways than one!  Today I finally completed all of the binding and labeling of the Quilt's Beyond Borders.  Now I just need to box them up and send them on their merry way.  It's time for this quilter to start on my own projects for a while.

And, to top it off, I canned another eleven pints of salsa today.  The tomatoes that I peeled and cored were more than enough for the batch of salsa, but rather than make more right now, I froze four quart bags of tomatoes and two quart bags of jalapeno peppers.

Tomorrow I have the yellow tomatoes to deal with.  I intend to make tomato jelly with them.  Also going to pick up a bushel of green peppers at the produce place.  Will be freezing them.

Donna came by today and borrowed one of my sewing machines.  Her's is having issues.  I suggested she take it to the repair person in Springfield that spruced up my Featherweight.  After I gave her his number, she called and is going to take it up there next week.  I hope he can fix it for her.  It's not a very old machine.

Just when you think...

Just when I think I will never can/preserve anything again, I get in a canning frenzy!  Yesterday I went out to the produce place and picked up another bushel of tomatoes.  Half red and half yellow.  I plan to make more salsa with the reds and some tomato jelly with the yellows. 

So far, I have scalded, peeled, and cored the half bushel of reds.  I need to run to the store to get cilantro for the salsa and some more jar lids.  I think the hard part is done!  I don't like the time consuming job of peeling and coring, but it's a necessary step.

And, yes, I am going to finish binding those last two QBB today!  No matter what!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Almost there

I finished labeling and binding three of the QBB's and only have two left.  Considering my busy day, I'm lucky to have done anything at all.  First, my mom and step dad stopped by for a visit on their way home from St. Louis.  After they left, I picked up my dad and went out to the gal who sells produce outside of town and bought some goodies.  Dad wanted to run past my brother's to see if he got his car running, so we did that.  After dropping him off, we got company again when my brother in law came to stay tonight.  He drives over the road and had a chance to visit, so of course I had to make a home made meal for him.  We had tilapia fillets, fried potatoes, corn, and sliced tomatoes for supper.  After that, My brother in law, husband, and neighbor all wanted to go up to the local tavern and have a beer, so I went along for a soda.  I only stayed about half an hour, then walked home.

I'm not giving up on finishing the last two yet tonight.  Maybe I can take a quick nap...  haha.

Sew happy

This morning I was happily sewing the binding on another of the QBB.  I am 'bound' and determined (hee hee, little pun there...) to get them finished.  TODAY.  There, it's in print, so I have to do it!  haha. 

It felt good to be sewing at the machine.  I can't even begin to say why, but there is just something about sewing that makes me happy.  Especially when I'm on vacation!  whee!

This afternoon I'm going to pick up some more tomatoes.  Have it in my head to make more salsa and some tomato jelly.  Yum!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lazy vacation days

Ev and I took a quick trip up north to visit family.  Was nice to visit, but glad to be home.  More later...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bound to be bound

I finished the monster quilt completely today.  It took me two hours to cut the binding and sew it on.  That sucker was so heavy!  It was something else to wrestle it around.  I'm dropping it off at work tomorrow morning.  I'm glad it's finished.  Now I MUST finish binding those QBB quilts.

Going to visit family tomorrow and then camping and taking a class at the Nolting representative's shop.  I'm excited about all of it.  Will be nice just to be on vacation.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Jelly memories

After spending the day canning, using the hot water bath canner, I was reminded of when I was young and my grandma would make jelly.  She didn't put her jelly in canning jars.  She would use just about any glass jar with a lid, and instead of putting in a hot water bath canner, she would put wax over the top of the jelly to seal it.  This was a standard practice to seal the jars, using paraffin.  When I started making jelly I did it that way for a short period of time.  Once I had invested in a hot water bath canner, I no longer did it that way, preferring to err on the side of caution.  Now, I don't think anyone uses that method.  In fact, I don't know where I would even find paraffin.

I trimmed up two of the sides of the monster.  It wasn't much, but it was something.  I'm going to have to square it up before putting the binding on it. 


I've been busy today.  Started this morning about 9 a.m. and I'm just now sitting down after 5.  I made 11 pints of tomato salsa and 7 pints of peach salsa.  The tomato salsa has already been sampled by both kids and they gave it a thumbs up.  I'm hoping the peach salsa gets the same reaction.  I plan to use it as a condiment on chicken or pork.

Put some stuffed peppers in the oven for dinner tonight.  They should be done soon.  The peppers are from a local farmer.  I got them along with a bushel of tomatoes yesterday.  Also picked up some jalapeno peppers.  Used them in both the salsa's.  Tomorrow I would like to make more salsa, only not as hot.  Johanna is not a fan of hot stuff, so this batch will be more for her. 

Going to take a little nap, I think, then may go do some sewing.  Ev is working tonight then we are both on vacation for a week.  I have scheduled a day to spend at the longarm studio for a class.  Excited about that!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Ernie the Milkman

When I was young we lived in a rural community.  Our little "town" if you could call it that, had about 200 people in it.  Our house was at the end of one of the 5 streets and was bordered on one two sides by farm fields.

There was a tiny grocery store, just a mom and pop place.  They sold a little fresh meat, cold cuts, and a few canned goods.  And popsicles.  I remember that!  But George's store is a story for another day...

We had milk delivery service.  Our milkman was Ernie.  Ernie was super cool in my opinion.  If I saw Ernie's truck coming down the road, I would run to meet it and he would give me a ride back to my house.  And usually, Ernie would give me a small container of chocolate milk, too!  That is one of my fondest memories, growing up.

Several years ago, I happened to be at the Dollar General store when the milk truck pulled up to deliver to the store.  The fellow that got out of the truck was not Ernie, understandably, but was a young man about my age, maybe even younger.  I asked him if he had known Ernie and he broke into a wide grin and kind of rolled his eyes, "Ernie!" he said.  He told me he hadn't really known Ernie but he knew of him.  I got the impression that I was not the first person to ever ask him about Ernie.  Apparently Ernie impressed many a young person in my generation with his easygoing demeanor, rides on the milk truck, and of course, free chocolate milk!

Today, I called the dairy that Ernie drove for.  Luckily, they are still in business.  I spoke to a nice lady who personally did not remember him, but told me she would start asking the drivers as they came in from their route's if any of them remember him.  It would be nice to know what ever happened to him.

Such a nice detour down memory lane.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Das monster ist beendet

The monster is finished!  Well, at least the quilting part is finished.  Now I need to trim it and put the binding on.  Not sure what I'll use for binding yet, maybe a blue solid if I can find something in my stash.  Hope my coworker likes it.

One.  more. day.  That's all I have to work before vacation week.  Oh, I am sooo ready...  You have no idea how ready I am....

So ready for vacation

Just one more day and we are on vacation.  We are so ready.  After working in the hot factory my husband is ready for some well deserved time off.  As for me, after dealing with people all day long, I'm really ready too.

Saturday my daught and I might just jump into a project together.  Our bathroom has needed the trim put up for, well, a very long time.  She and I are planning a trip to Lowe's to get the trim we need and then to put it up.  Not sure how good our mitreing skills will be, but I think we can do this...

I picked up a package of cube steak to make for dinner tonight.  We haven't had that in a long time.  Probably make some mashed potatoes to go with it and a can of corn or something equally as easy.  That will give me time to work on the monster.  I'm chomping at the bit to get it finished!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Evil biscuit recipe

Okay, so they really aren't called evil biscuits.  Here's the recipe, in case anyone wants to make them.  I didn't have enough jars, so I made mine in muffin tins.  My muffin tin has 12 compartments so I divided the dough up equally to fill all 12.  It didn't need too much butter on the bottom of each muffin tin, and some of it even spilled over in the oven.  I used a stick of butter and divided it by 12, but it could have used less.  Maybe they wouldn't have been so evil then...  In any case, I got this recipe from my friend Mary.

Self Buttered Biscuits

2 1/2 cups flour
4 tsp. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. Kosher salt

1 1/3 cups milk

1 stick butter divided into 8 tablespoons

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar,
baking powder, and salt. When your oven is up to temperature, place one
tablespoon of butter in each of eight 1/2 pint wide mouth mason jars.
Place them on a tray and heat in oven until the butter is melted.
Remove from oven, and using a pot holder, pick up jar and swirl
butter around the edges of each jar. Quickly stir milk into flour
mixture until smooth, and using a large ice cream scoop, scoop a
heaping spoonful of dough into each jar. Poke a butter knife in the
center of each biscuit and move around a bit to loosen the biscuit
from the bottom of the jar. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown
on top and biscuit is cooked through. Remove from oven, gently run a
knife around each biscuit and using a pot holder, turn each biscuit
out on a platter. Serve with a nice big breakfast. Makes 8 large biscuits.

Buttered biscuits are evil

I made a batch of these biscuits that have real butter in them.  I ate three of them...  Evil biscuits...  But they tasted so good! 

I came home from work tonight and piddled around some.  Then made blt's for Ev for his dinner.  I made the evil biscuits.  I ate the evil biscuits.  Sat and watched t.v. until 9p.m.  That was when I finally decided to go downstairs and work on the monster.  I thought to myself, I could just do one pass, just to say I worked on it.  And, as usual, I ended up doing three or four passes.  I'm in the home stretch now.  One more hour at the machine and the monster will be coming off, and ready to be bound.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It did the monster mash

Can you see now why I'm calling this quilt 'the monster'?  This sucker takes up almost every available inch of room on my frame!  I have the machine pushed as far to the left as it will go and there's barely room for me to change the bobbin!  I'm starting to be concerned that the take up roller will get too full and I won't be able to move the machine to quilt it all!  I could not put all the batting on at one time, either.  I'm going to have to splice another piece of batting onto what is already on there, but tonight I just did a few turns on it then called it quits.  I'm close to having it 2/3rd's quilted.  I only know this because the second seam on the top is coming up soon on the roller.

I will say the machine is behaving like a dream for me.  I am using the stitch regulator and just whipping right through it.  I actually think that Gemma likes to be ran fast!  Tension issues have been minimal with this quilt, for which I am extremely thankful.

As you can see from the pics, I have yet to decorate the room.  My hubby wants me to hang some things on the walls.  I will.  Eventually. 

The chili in the crock pot turned out pretty good.  I came home and made some spaghetti noodles and had a chili four way.  Spaghetti, chili, cheese, and beans (the beans were already in the chili in this case). 

Monday, August 13, 2012

A quilting we will go, a quilting we will go...

I was so thrilled to be doing some quilting on my machine tonight, I just got lost in it!  I meant to just go downstairs and load the batting on the frame and baste the top.  Once I got down there I just got sucked in and now have two turns of the quilt done.  I am just doing a simple wide meander over it, just to get it to hold together. 

Made tacos tonight and plan to use leftover meat to make chili tomorrow.  That should give me a good amount of time to myself and hopefully get more quilting done.  I LOVE IT!

Not sure what I'm going to charge my friend at work for this quilt.  It's really not much of a quilt, just two pieces of material sandwiched together.  It is huge, though, over 9'x11'.  I know I will charge her what I paid for the batting at least, and for the backing material, which she didn't provide.  I seamed the front and back's together, so there was some of my time.  I'm not worrying about it.  Just going to get it done and see where it takes me.


Yes, Blog Readers, the tubing and coping strips WORK!  I'm still tweaking them a little, but yesterday I successfully loaded a huge quilt, I'm calling it 'the monster' using this system.  Some points to ponder:

1.  It was a little difficult to get the coping strips snapped on to the tubing inside the leader pockets because the coping strips were new.  I noticed with just a few times of putting them on and off the tubing and leaders the coping strips became easier and easier to use.  Tight at first, then more comfortable.  I'll go out on a limb here and say that after doing a few quilts they should be no trouble at all.

2.  I needed to cut another piece of coping strip down so that I could snap on the monster.  I had extra pieces, so this was not an issue.  I still have a couple extra pieces that I need to decide what size to cut them down to.  Not a big deal.  A hacksaw goes through them extremely easily and I can do that myself.

3.  The pockets I made on two of the leaders are too wide for the tubing and there is too much play in them.  This tends to let the material on the leader get folded in places and adds extra material between coping strip and tubing.  An easy thing to fix once the monster quilt is completed.

So that's where I'm at.  I will get some pictures up soon.  When I get all the bugs worked out, I'm betting this will work like a charm.  The best part is no more pinning.  I sure do like that!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Looking good

I put the coping strips on the tubing that was in the rod pockets today to kind of help straighten the tubing out.  It seems to have helped a lot, plus it opens up the coping strips so will be easier to attach.  I'm close to having a quilt ready to put on the frame, just have to sew a few pieces together.  aonce that's done, there are a couple of my own tops that need to be put on the frame.

Watched a few minutes of the Perseid meteor shower tonight.  Johanna came outside with me and we saw a few of them.  It was pretty cool

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tubing pockets done

I finished making the tubing pockets on my leaders around ten tonight.  I'm too tired to load a quilt, but they are looking good!  They are a little wobbly, but I'm thinking once the tubing has been in the pockets for a while it will be straight.  The wobble seems to come from the fact that the tubing was wound up.  Also, having the coping pressed onto it a few times should straighten it out more.  Not at all concerned about it.

I will take pictures soon.

Went to see my friend's new grandbaby.  She was adorable, of course.

Going to see new baby

One of the gals I made a baby blanket for this year had her baby this week.  A little girl, 7 lbs, 11 oz.  I'm going to see her tonight.  Kind of excited to see a little bitty baby.  Haven't been around a newborn in a while. 

Both of my 'babies' are over 21 now.  They are working tonight and I'm pretty sure tomorrow.  Ev is supposed to work tomorrow also.  Maybe I'll get some sewing done...  I've said that before, I know...  :)

I picked up the ingredients to make 'hummus'.  If you aren't familiar with it, it is a Mediteranean dish made from chick peas (garbanzo beans) and tahini.  Well, try and find tahini in a rural midwestern town, will ya'?  I did finally find it at Wal Mart, but only after asking 4 sales clerks about it.  None of them knew what it was until the last one.  I'm hoping my hummus tastes as good as that I've had from the stores.  I also got some pita chips to go with it.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Coping strips and tubing

 Above is a picture of two coping strips and some of the tubing.  Below is a close up of how the coping strips are shaped.
With shipping costs, the coping strips were less than $25.  The 3/8" polyethylene tubing was less than $9 at Lowe's.

I'm confident that these two together will create a fast loading system for my quilts on the longarm.  Now all I need to do is sew the channels in the leaders.  I'm so excited!

When good kids make good decisions

It makes me so happy when my kids make good decisions.  For a long time it has been difficult for me to relax about my kids' choices regarding girlfriends/boyfriends.  Things now seem to be meshing well, and I believe my kids are making some decidedly better-for-them choices.  Let's hope it lasts. 

My stress level really goes down a LOT when things level off with my kids.

Surprise visit

Yesterday, after work, I was just getting ready to make dinner when my brother in law who drives a semi for a living called saying he would be in the neighborhood.  Well, it was such a nice surprise to have him for company, I'm not even complaining that I didn't get to sew last night!

Today, immediately after work, my friend and I are going to Lowe's.  The pool coping arrived yesterday and I'm itching to get the tubing or whatever to put in the leader sleeves. 

I'm also going to get a new potty for the basement.  If I have to install the thing myself, it's going to happen.  Soon.  I'm in the basement a lot and it's ridiculous to have to run upstairs to go when there's one a few yards away.  It has needed to be replaced for years.  It sits in the open, so I'll just put a curtain up around it.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Change of plans

Just found out Nick is not playing at open mike night because the tavern is shut down for three days for serving a minor.  So, it's going to be a good night to sew, sew, sew!  I have the fixin's for BLT sandwiches, so dinner will be quick and easy.

According to FedEx tracking information, the pool coping strips should arrive today.  I'm anxious to see if I can find something to put inside a sleeve made on the leaders that will work.  Instead of wooden dowels, I'm leaning toward some sort of tubing, possibly PEX tubing if it's not too expensive and I can find it in the right diameter.  I'd like to have the piece in the leader be one long piece rather than in sections, and in order for that to happen it will need to be flexible.  I also think that something with  flexibility will help with loading the quilt.

I'm thinking it's about time to finish the top for Nick's high school graduation quilt.  He graduated in 2009.  What do you think?  Has it aged enough?  lol.

There is not enough aspirin in the world

There is not enough aspirin in the world to deal with some of the people that come into my office.  Some people just have excuse after excuse why they cannot work.  Just when I think I've seen and heard it all, someone comes up with a new one.

Then there are those who really want to work and will do anything to get to the office, including riding a lawn mower here.

What a crazy day I'm having!

Do you ever...

Do you ever have things on your mind that will work out no matter if you worry about them or not, but yet you still do?  Those are the days that I really should sew, yet they are also the days that I have a hard time getting started sewing. 

Past experiences have proven that it is so helpful to my state of mind to sit in front of the machine.  If I can get my mind into the sewing mode, the creative side of my brain, it just relaxes me so much. 

I think I need to resolve to sew a little each day, every single day.  That way, when I have things on my mind I will always have an opportunity to clear my head and lose myself in creativity.

Week three

This will be the third week in a row that Nick has played for an 'open mike' night at one of the local taverns uptown.  Now, I am not comfortable in a bar/tavern at all, but I feel guilty if I don't at least go listen to him play for a little while.  So the last couple weeks I have gone up there, had one Diet Pepsi, and gone home.  It would be different if Ev didn't work evenings and we were both up there, but I just don't feel comfortable sitting in a bar alone.  Call me old fashioned, it just doesn't seem okay for a married woman.  At least not one my age!  haha.

I'm not sure if I will go up tonight or not.  It depends on what I start doing when I get home.  Maybe I will get the urge to sew, and if that happens I will just roll with it.

Wake up

Since introducing the kitten Nick brought home into our house, life has been one big booby trap.  For instance, you cannot walk by a chair or couch without the crazed beast darting out from beneath it to attack your feet.  Nor can you sit down anywhere to eat that she doesn't find a way, even if it means climbing up the back of a chair, to get to your shoulders, then attempt to get to your plate of food.

This morning, while laying peacefully in bed, dreaming of calling in sick to work, about an hour before it was time to get up the kitten planned her attack.  Two unsuspecting humans were the victims.  Stealthily and with only the grace a cat can possess (okay, it's getting a little thick here because this kitten really isn't that graceful...) she pounced.  And dug in her claws!  To have your hand enveloped in the grip of four paws with those needle sharp claws extended is not the way I choose to wake up in the morning.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mini Burgers

Tonight I made some mini hamburgers for dinner.  We have leftover potato salad and baked beans to go with them.  Simple supper, yet yummy!

Didn't do any sewing tonight.  Just wasn't really in the mood.  Had some errands to run and stopped at a friends for a short but overdue visit.  Maybe tomorrow.

Monday, August 6, 2012


I have now completed sewing the labels and bindings on three of the QBB's.  Five more to go.  It will certainly feel good to get them completed and mailed off.

Today a coworker gave me an entire bolt of material that she would like a 9'x11' bedspread made out of!   Wow!  It will be pretty simple, just a couple seams on each side, and a thin batting in between.  Not sure what to charge her on this.  Will figure that out later.

Made a batch of spaghetti sauce tonight, plus we ordered pizza.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Pork steaks

Ev grilled pork steaks tonight for dinner.  They were excellent!  He bbq'd them just right and they were done to perfection.  I made potato salad, baked beans, and corn on the cob, plus we had fruit salad for dessert.  It was a very good meal.  Our neighbor, Delbert, came over and had dinner with us, then he and Ev went for a motorcycle ride.  It has been a beautiful day here.  So nice to have a break from the horrible heat.

Ev also fixed the pool filter Friday.  We got in the pool for a dip this afternoon.  That was very refreshing.

Johanna is home from her float trip.  Nick is still at Woodhaven and will be home tomorrow.  She had a great time and judging from the lack of communication, I'm assuming Nick is having a great time also.

My hubby is my hero today

So, being, ah, well, cheap.... I have been hemming and hawing about possibly buying either Red Snappers or Leader Grips for my longarm.  I knew that I had seen something similar to the pieces before, but could not put my finger on where.  When I described them to my hubby, he said, "Oh, like the coping strips we put on the swimming pool when we instal the liner?"  BINGO!  Yes, dear, sweet, man, exactly like that!

I've ordered 10 - 4' pieces of coping from the online pool supplies place.  The total, with shipping and all was less than $25. I will still have to go purchase dowel rods at the hardware store, or maybe pvc pipe, to put in a rod pocket on the leaders.  I hope it works. 

I have two concerns.  One is that it will be too brittle and may crack.  I remember the coping strips we had on the pool for 7 years got brittle and we had to be careful when using them when replacing the liner.  That being said, remember they were out in the heat of summer and cold of winter for those 7 years, and exposed to pool chemicals. 

Another concerns is that they may come with a bit of an arch instead of being straight because they are intended for use on round or oval pools.  But if I remember correctly the pieces are straight.  We shall see.  They will be here about mid week.

The good thing is, if they do not work, I can save them to use on the pool in another several years when we replace the liner again (heaven help us - remember that fiasco last year?) and I can use the dowel rods as hangers for mini quilts on the wall. 

I'll keep everyone posted.  Here's a link to the coping strips if anyone wants to see what I'm talking about:  The coping strip is the white round piece in the picture being pressed over the blue pool liner. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

20 minutes

Twenty minutes of sewing today.  That was something, anyway.  I put the binding on one of the QBB's.  I didn't finish it, just got it sewn on one side.

I was feeling really icky today and just forced myself to sew.  It really helps me, if I just get off my tush and do it.  It wasn't a physical ick, just a mental funk.

Modem replaced

New modem.  Hope it works! 

Need to get motivated to sew.  sigh. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

A solution on the way...maybe

I broke down and called our internet provider.  They are sending someone out today.  I don't have a lot of confidence that things will be completely fixed, if past performance is any indication.  They will come out, look at the outside lines, and leave.  I told them on the phone it's the modem/router/whatever that box thing is.  It keeps going off.  We need a new one.  But, if they want to come out numerous times, that's up to them, because I'm going to keep calling them out here until it's right. 

No sewing and no shirt cutting the last couple days.  Waiting for a couple DVD's to arrive.  One is the Pajama Quilter and the other is I've got a longram and I'm not afraid to use it.  Been wanting them for a while and found them at a cheap price.  Hope they get here soon.

FINALLY got some rain yesterday.  It was a welcome relief.  Now, if we could just keep getting rain and lose the triple digit temps, things would be great!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My son is my hero tonight

Yup.  Nick is on my good kid list tonight.  I have had the same cell phone, an LG envy 2, for years.  Not knowing how to load music on to it, I was not using the phone as an mp3 player.  Tonight Nick loaded up a few songs for me and I am one happy camper!  He's kind of good to have around.

Cut it up fest

I am going to town on cutting shirts up!  Last night I cut up another five shirts that have been waiting patiently in a drawer.  So far I've cut up a drawer and a half's worth of shirts and have that many again to cut up.  It's no big deal to be cutting them up while the Olympics are on.  I'm just sitting there on the couch anyway.  Not like I'm competing... haha.

Once I have them all cut up I want to arrange them neatly in their own set of drawers so they will be ready to use when I need them. 

Internet issues

I could not log on last night to post.  I called our internet provider and they tell me I need to be at home to trouble shoot on my computer.  Okay, that's fine.  I was prepared to call them tonight when I'm back at home.  However, when I mentioned this to coworkers I find out that their internet has been spotty and was out last night also.  Now, why couldn't my provider just tell me that they were having trouble in our area, instead of making me think it's me or my equipment?  That aggravates me. 

Isn't this picture cute? (ignore my floor that needs mopping, please)  The little black cat is Lenore.  Nick brought her home to live with him in the shed/cabin/whatever we are calling it this week.  Since it's been so hot, whenever Nick isn't in his apartment he brings Lenore in the house.  There's no sense in running the air conditioning out there in just for the cat.  Also, we can't run the pool pump when the a/c is on out there, and we need to be running it.

I don't think Ivy would appreciate Lenore sitting in her food bowl while getting a drink from the community water bowl...  Shadow didn't seem to mind sharing the water with her.  Shadow was a little reserved toward the kitten at first, but they have become fast friends.  Ivy is just thrilled when Lenore is in the house because she thinks we have provided her with a moveable chew toy!  sigh.  Never a dull moment...