Saturday, August 30, 2008

Judy L's Labor Day Challenge

Judy at Patchwork Times is hosting a Labor Day Challenge quilting session--and I am finding it particularly challenging.

It looks easy enough, doesn't it? Just wonky squares inside other squares.

It's the wonky that's doing a number on my head. I am a traditionalist and it's making me crazy to deliberately have crooked lines in my squares.

This is my focus fabric--strange fabric. I don't remember where or why I bought it, but it's perfect for this project.

I cut it into wonky squares, as instructed.

And here are the coordinating fabrics:

Except it's taking more than I thought, and I'm not sure I'll be able to come up with enough in my stash that coordinates with the colors in the focus fabric. And HORRORS! We can't have fabric that doesn't coordinate, can we?

These are the 12 squares I made last night:

See the orange one? I goofed and had to piece the outer square because I didn't have enough fabric to remove that side and sew on another one.

This has definitely sent me out of my comfort zone.

Now, back to bed.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tandi Update

My Tandi-Tot is feeling much better today; the meds are working. She didn't want to take them at first--she licked the peanut butter off the chewable and spit it out, but took it a little later. For the probiotic, I rolled it in a bit of sliced American cheese, which she managed to unroll and separate from the pill. Clever little girl. The second time I smushed it better and it went down.

I made another run to the store for paper towels and vinegar, but didn't need them. Only one bout of the poops today, but my carpet is now in dire need of cleaning. As soon as I can bring home some boxes and pack away tapes and books and figurines, I'll get our carpet cleaner over to do the whole living room/dining room/hall area. I don't dare have anyone over til then.

I have never seen a dog who loves her toys as much as Tandi does. I keep them in a basket on the floor so she can pull them out and design her own obstacle course whenever she wants. Her favorite is a squeaky football with little spines that looks like a toxic strawberry that I got for a whopping dollar at the grocery store. She carries it around in her mouth and squeaks it when she's particularly happy, sort of like a four-legged Clarabell the Clown.

Second to that is a squeaky frog I also found at the grocery store.

She felt so bad this weekend, her toys stayed in their basket, until I heard a famliar squeak tonight. She's almost back to her old self, though she still tires easily.

Oh, and the rains started. Hurray! I know Florida is weary of Fay, but we in the mountains are setting an extra place at the table for her. It started raining last night and has continued all day today. It's supposed to keep raining through the night, then begin to slacken off during the day tomorrow. This weekend is the Apple Festival so we're hoping it's dry and pretty for a while before Gustav stirs up a little moisture our way next week. I wish I could go, but it's Crappy Schedule Week, so I'll just have to hang my apples by the front door and just dream of the Honey Crisps, because they won't last the weekend.

Movie Trivia Answer 8/23

We have a winner! Lori in South Dakota guessed correctly; It was Dark Victory.

If you haven't seen this movie, grab a box of tissues and prepare to be wowed. Bette Davis did a terrific job. Makes me bawl every time. Remember this scene?

New question on Saturday!

Monday, August 25, 2008

But the Vet Doesn't Have to Live Here

(Warning! If you are not a Mom, if you hate dogs, or if you are known to swoon at the mention of body functions, scroll on down past the second picture of Tandi.)

I had such high hopes for the 5 nights off. My list was up to the elbow with things I wanted to accomplish, which should have alerted me right then and there.

Saturday night, after the Olympic highlights went off, I decided to scrub the kitchen floor. J-Man was in bed, Tandi was in her crate, and hey, it was only 1 am or so. And the floor was in dire need of attention, water conservation aside.

Tandi woke and whimpered and scratched to be let out, but I thought it was because she heard me up and around, since she generally stays in her crate 8-10 hours at night. But she persisted and I let her out, threatening all sorts of rudeness if she danced across my newly cleaned floor. She was sincere, and after coming back inside, I heard her snoring within a few minutes. It was 4am when I finally went to bed. I missed the second alert that this was not to be a satisfactory weekend.

(Last chance to back out of this post with your dignity intact.)

By 2 pm Sunday afternoon, Tandi was going out every couple of hours. Now she was straining and bleeding. Her nose was still cool and moist, she was only a little mopey, and her appetite was good. I left a message on the vet's office machine about 7 pm, thinking someone might come in to check their boarders and call me. They didn't. Thinking they might need to examine her under anesthesia, I took up her food and water by midnight. Sometime after 2 am I fell into a fitful sleep on the couch, with one ear open in case she needed to go out--which she did, several times.

About 7:15, J-Man woke me up to ask me why I was asleep on the couch.

He has had few such near-death experiences in his lifetime.

The vet's office called me about 8:30 and said they could see Tandi this afternoon, but the gal must have heard the concern in my voice, because she let it be known that Dr. M would be starting his surgeries around 11:30 and they couldn't take walk-ins after that. I had my gal in within 20 minutes. The vet kept her all day.

It's my fault. I bought one of those rotisserie chickens from the grocery store Saturday for supper, and for the first time, gave her some of the chicken skin. Dr. M said since that part of the chicken was highest in fat and protein, it upset and inflamed her gastrointestinal tract and gave her a mild case of pancreatitis. She had bloodwork done to confirm it, got IV fluids, and was put on a special diet for the next 3 days, along with antibiotics twice daily. If she's not better by Thurs, I'm to call him.

"Oh, yes," he told me. She's probably going to have loose stools for another day or so. I could give her something to stop it, but my feeling is she needs to get it out of her body."

Just when I thought it was safe to sell my stock in the paper towel company. And white vinegar.

You'd think I'd have accomplished more than I did, while she was at the vet's. I kept watching where I stepped, because she likes to hang out in the sewing room when I'm busy--especially beside the ironing board and the cutting table--and I usually have to be careful not to step on her. As freely as I could move in there today, it just didn't seem natural, being in there without her. I didn't get much done until she got home, and then we headed in there together after supper.

She was all tuckered out and fell asleep almost immediately. I was all tuckered out and tried not to.

So this is what I worked on today:

Our little quilting group is doing a BOM and since I've missed several meetings, I am way behind. Today I finished two more blocks, making that 3 of nine that are done. There will be 3 more blocks handed out next month, as Oct. is a field trip, and Nov. we will discuss assembling it.

I've had this fabric for years; don't remember when or where I bought it, and I don't care for it much anymore, but since the blocks only require 3 fabrics, I decided these would do. (The color isn't quite right in the picture--that's more of a dusty rose and country blue.) I'll probably make it a community quilt anyway, and there is bound to be someone out there who is into pastels.

After making the first 2 blocks, I realized I didn't like the color placement very much, but didn't want to go to the hassle of redoing them. So I calculated--there are 6 different options for color placement, and there will be 12 blocks; ergo, I can make two in each set. I'm not sure what I will do for sashing, but I'm thinking the pale cream will not look good as an outer border, so I may make 3 in each of 4 color placements. Any opinions?

Well, my eyes are about to cross and I am anticipating another night of sofa-sleeping, so I need to call it quits.

I'm hoping the vet is exaggerating the timeline.

And J-Man better be a fast learner.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

And You Are....

Found this link over on Pinky's blog and decided to take it.
I had to think about some of the answers, because there is how I'd like to think of myself, and then there's how I really am.

But this is pretty accurate.

You Are An ISFJ

The Nurturer

You have a strong need to belong, and you very loyal.

A good listener, you excel at helping others in practical ways.

In your spare time, you enjoy engaging your senses through art, cooking, and music.

You find it easy to be devoted to one person... a partner who you do special things for.

In love, you express your emotions through actions.

Taking care of someone is how you love them. And you do it well!

At work, you do well in a structured environment. You complete tasks well and on time.

You would make a good interior designer, chef, or child psychologist.

How you see yourself: Competent, dependable, and detail oriented

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Boring, dominant, and stuck in a rut

Well, except for the cooking part.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saturday at the Movies

We're going WAYYYYY back for this one. Think black and white.

Bette Davis gave one of her finest performances in this film, and was nominated for an Oscar, but lost to Vivien Leigh.

What was the movie?

Answer on Tuesday!

Friday, August 22, 2008

I thought I was faster than this...

59 words


Gotta practice some more.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New fabrics

Look what came in the mail today!

Thirty-two fat quarters for $32.60--shipping included!

She's closing down her shop and there are good bargains to be had:

I'm going to be off for 5 nights starting tomorrow night, and I think I can do some damage to those fall ones. One of the latest magazines had a cute pumpkin pattern I think I will reduce.

If you like plaids and homespuns, you might want to check it out before it's all gone.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

1988 Paul Hunt gymnastics comedy beam routine

Saw this on Bonnie Hunter's website and had to steal it!

Movie Trivia Answer 8/16

Well, everyone got it right this week--go TEAM!

Here's another bit of trivia about the movie:
"According to Nia Vardalos, paying for catering during the film proved not to be a problem. Wherever the film was being shot, whenever local Greek restaurants learned about it, they sent over lots of free food."

Now that's a movie I'd have liked to have been an extra on, if only for the food!

New question on Saturday!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Yard thoughts

We had a few shower-y nights last week, so things are a tad greener around here, but not much. What I thought was a dying oak tree is apparently a small sampling of what is going on in the area. The neighbor who mows my lawn said he heard on one of the local shows that the trees are all going dormant due to the severe water shortage. Some of them are just turning brown, like my oak, and some are turning colors early, like this one in our yard:

So the leaf-peepers may be disappointed this year, as the colors might not be there, or be so early, that those who typically come the second and third weeks of October miss them. I haven't been up on the Blue Ridge Parkway yet, but the show reported some colors changing already.

While wandering around the yard, I found this sole flower hiding under one of the little trees:

It appears to be some sort of lily, but a down-facing one, and it had no siblings. Spunky little thing, don't you think?

I hope it comes back next year and brings some friends.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Saturday at the Movies

Okay, this is a quote from one of my all-time favorite movies. Do you remember it?

"I've never seen my sister this happy, Ian. If you hurt her, I'll kill you and make it look like an accident."

Answer on Tuesday!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Twin baby moose in sprinkler

Children are the same everywhere I guess--even non-human children.

Don't forget to scroll down and go vote for "In God We Trust" on our currency!


Here's your chance to vote in a survey to keep or remove "In God We Trust" off our currency.

Head on over before NBC takes this poll off its site:

Friday ramblings

I wish I'd been smart like Mary and had handwork ready to watch the Olympics by. with. whatever. I haven't been able to see as much of them as I wanted, but have been mesmerised by what I did see. So much so, that I've not been able to leave the TV and go sew after supper.

Tonight I start another 3-night stretch, so nothing will get done this weekend either, but I did get my blocks ready for Aryn's quilt

Allison will assemble and quilt the blocks and then will let us know if blocks are needed for other quilts. If you haven't been to the site, and you're a quilter, you might just want to check it out. It's a great thing she's doing here.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tagged Again!

Mighty Mom at My Wonderful Life tagged me for another meme, but hey, I haven't done one in a while and 6 is better than 100, so I will play along.

The Quick Rules for the Quick Quirky Meme are as follows:

Link to the person who tagged me.
Mention the rules.
Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about myself.
Tag six other bloggers by linking to them.
Go to each person’s blog and leave a comment that lets them know they’ve been tagged.

Hmmmm, boring. Only 6. Okaayyyy...

1. I am a walking buffet for mosquitos.

2. I am allergic to Latex, with a crossover allergy to raw bananas and avocados, and also allergic to ragweed, which has a crossover allergy to melons. This is a catastrophe, as I love cantaloupes, bananas, and guacamole.

3. My shoe size used to be 6 1/2B, but now it's 7W.

4. I was born at ten minutes after midnight, which places me on the cusp of Cancer and Leo. I rarely read my horoscope, but when I do I just pick whichever horoscope is the best for that day.

5. I hate to talk on the phone.

6. I still have my gallbladder and my appendix, but not my tonsils.

Weird little meme, isn't it?

Okay, let's see. Whom shall I pick?

Well, I do a lot of lurking, and I just met some new bloggers by signing up on Just Us Quilters, but I don't want to put them on the spot. And I don't want to keep naming the same folks all the time.

SOoooo, if you like this little meme, then feel free to play along and then come back and post a comment here so we can all go read 6 unspectacular things about you!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Next Time I'll Bring a Map

My husband is a gadget man.

I know, that's redundant. But sometimes I think he takes it beyond accepted limits. For example, yesterday I held up a pair of headphones that have languished on the bookshelves for several months and asked if these could be thrown away, as obviously they didn't work: he had another pair on his head. Let's just try them out, he says. What do you know?--they work. So why did he buy another pair? He has no clue. I told him he's turning into my father, who, when he couldn't find some tool he needed, just bought another one. My mother had one heck of a yard sale when he died.

But back to the gadgets. He doesn't just confine it to "his" area. He's bound and determined to gadget up my kitchen, also. There is a tomato slicer sitting on the Hoosier waiting to be assembled, after sitting in a box beside the Hoosier for several years. Seriously. And it's only opened because I pulled it out of its resting place and insisted he deal with it. That was 3 weeks ago.

In the bedroom is a box with some kind of storage containers for the kitchen that has been there a year. He opened it once, pulled the styrofoam out and looked at it, and put it all back together. Except the styrofoam, which I finally tossed.

In my cabinets are a pasta maker (never used), one of those handheld mixers you stick into a glass and make a milkshake or something (rarely used), an air popping popcorn popper (we have a microwave), and there's a food dehydrator in the garage, still in the box.

I really don't have that much storage space in the kitchen, so I try to dissuade him from buying more things to "make cooking a little easier." I don't like to cook. I cook because we have to eat. I have no creative genes in the cooking category. It doesn't make my life easier or my cooking better to have more gadgets. And when I mention getting rid of some of this stuff, he is offended. So now he says he is buying whatever-it-is for him, only he rarely uses whatever-it-is, and neither do I.

I married a television-shopping, gadget-loving pack rat.

His latest acquisition? A TomTom. He saw it on one of the shopping networks and mentioned several times how he'd like to have that. I'd thought of buying it for his Christmas, but one day, he just picked up the phone and ordered it himself. As his birthday was coming up, I chipped in and paid half.

He's had it a couple of weeks now, and been fooling with it some, but yesterday was his real birthday and he decided to combine a gas-acquisition trip with dinner at the Olive Garden down in Greenville, SC. (The gas obsession I'll save for another post. Suffice it to say he hunts for cheap gas like some men track deer.) I looked up the address and he supposedly programs it into the TomTom, then mounts it on the dashboard of my truck and off we go.

First The Thing tells me (in a very loud, no-nonsense male voice) to turn left out of my driveway. Yes, I have that, thank you.

Then it tells me to turn left out of the neighborhood. Yep, I know that, too. Now it commands me to turn right. Right is a yard. J-Man says it's just warning me that a right turn is coming up at the bottom of the hill. But that's not what It said. Loudly. J-Man said it needs to be loud so we can hear it over the motor. I only drive a baby truck, not an 18-wheeler.

For about 15 miles the thing is silent, which suits me fine. Actually, I begin to take a little more interest in it, and pick it up to look at it more closely. My vehicle is represented by a blue arrow along a tan strip that curves along ahead. Crossroads are white, and sometimes the name of the road is displayed. When it's time to turn, I get a green arrow showing me where. It also identifies overpasses. Well, that's kinda cool. I place it back on the dash.

Then we get to a small town between us and Greenville. The TomTom instructs me to bear right. J-Man says, no, keep straight. I stay on the main road.

A block or so later, the TomTom commands me to turn right in 100 yards. J-Man says no, we stay on the highway. Maybe it knows a shortcut, I suggest. No, stay on the highway, my husband instructs me.

A bit later the TomTom insists I turn right again. Because its voice is louder (for the moment), I obey. Three blocks down TomTom informs me we have reached our destination. J-Man informs me we have not.

I make a left turn to head back out of this town. J-Man says I should have pulled over, because you can't program these things while you're in a moving vehicle. I say it might have been a good idea if he'd mentioned that before I got onto a road with 3 vehicles behind me and nowhere to pull over.

It's getting a little frosty in the truck.

He reprograms the TomTom and we make it back to the highway (because I followed the signs while he reprogrammed.)

Sometime later, we reach Greenville. I follow the directions given to me by the Voice on my dashboard, and we "reach our destination" in the middle of an intersection.

This time, I pull over into a bank parking lot so the Thing can be reprogrammed yet again. After 3 minutes, I turn off the motor. J-Man says this is because it's not meant to be fooled with when driving. All I did was take it off the dashboard and look at The Thing. Well, you're not supposed to do that. I grit my teeth and try to remember it's his birthday.

The temperature in the truck drops another couple of degrees.

Back on the dashboard, the TomTom tells me to turn right out of the parking lot onto the main road. No s***, Sherlock. After a bit, I am instructed to turn left in 800 yards. Does anyone out there know 800 yards from 500 yards? Neither do I, and I tell J-Man I don't know when to turn because I can't see the green arrow anymore, since it's aimed towards the ceiling. He says you could see it before. That's before you picked it up and changed the angle while reprogramming, I say. He picks it up and changes the angle so I can see it again.

In a few minutes, driving along Pleasantburg Rd., the TomTom proudly announces we have reached our destination. Again. It's a Home Depot.

What address did you give it? I asked. 2209, J-Man replies, picking it up off the dashboard and looking at it again. Why does 3290 stick in my head? I ask. He shrugs.

Because that is the correct address.

I let him out in front of the door and circle the parking lot once til a handicapped spot is vacant, then join him in the waiting area. Guess what? I ask him. YOU picked the TomTom off the dashboard 3 times and it didn't mess it up!

His jaw clenches. I am SO glad we did this, he says.
Me, too, I reply.

Happy Birthday.

(We didn't stay irritated long and we enjoyed the dinner, just so you know. We also enjoyed the trip back. Probably because the TomTom's batteries had run down.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Movie Trivia Answer 8/9

Well, I can see that one was too easy!

Yes, it was "Heart and Soul" that Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia body-played on the giant keyboard.

When they were getting ready to film that part, Tom and Robert noticed doubles dressed like them, all prepared to do the keyboard scene. The two actors were determined to do it themselves and do it right, and they did!

New question on Saturday!

Monday, August 11, 2008

More Fun

Just had to share some more fun and giveaways with you. I'm really enjoying the new computer and looking forward to getting my EQ5 loaded up, since the old computer wouldn't run it. So while I do that, here are a couple of giveaways and a fun site to visit.

Cheryl of Polkadots and Rickrack is having a one-year blogiversary giveaway. She has the cutest little doll, some luscious fabric, John James needles (love those) and flat head pins to send to some lucky winner. AND, she has the cutest new little grandson!

Joanna of Applique Today is also celebrating her one-year blogiversary with a giveaway--a cute little framed Fall wall hanging, if you'll share your favorite season with her.

I haven't finished looking around, so if I find any more giveaways I'll post them too.

In the meantime, this is a fun place to visit! I've created one for myself and might just have to scan it for my heading one day.

When I learn to work the scanner/copier/printer/fax machine.

After I get it out of the box and placed somewhere.

Anyway, enjoy!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Everybody Talks About the Weather...

I haven't sewn a thing this week--been too busy playing with the new computer. I still need to find a place to put the printer, as it needs a phone jack for the fax, and hook up the wireless mouse, (does that make sense?), and install some of the old programs. But I've been able to go through some old emails and see the photos and videos sent to me. The monitor on the old computer had gotten so dark, I couldn't see most things. Later this week, I'm going to try to install EQ5. I've had it for 2-3 years now, but the old computer just didn't have enough memory to run it.

The humidity and temperatures have dropped some, so I spent some time in the yard yesterday, trimming the bushes and weeding the flowerbeds. It was eerily quiet in the neighborhood--kind of like a September school morning. I wonder if everyone is taking a last vacation before school starts. I heard no power tool noises, no children's voices, no lawnmowers rumbling. Of course THAT's because there's no grass to cut. It isn't growing.

It hasn't rained in 4 weeks now, and we're under "exceptional" drought warnings. That's the most severe. Last year we were experiencing drought conditions, but we got a little more precipitation in the winter and early spring, so they lifted the "no burn" restrictions. However, we never really caught up, and now it's worse. No watering of outdoor plants except vegetable gardens--and then only once a week.

They even shut down the water for the car washes for 2 days, until the owners met with the city council and protested. As one owner put it, "We still have bills to pay." The newspaper said 3 of the establishments recycle their water, but didn't name which ones they were. I suppose those who don't might suffer a loss of business if we knew who they were.

So I am trying to remember to shut the water off while I brush my teeth, and use minimal conditioner on my hair, so as to cut down the rinse time. I'm even reluctantly abiding by the old saying "If it's yellow, let it mellow" and not flushing every time. I guess I'm going to keep pitchers close by the sink to fill up with the cold water that must run before I get the hot water needed to wash the dishes. Of course, I could just omit the mopping and cleaning and laundry.... nah, not willing to make that sacrifice.

The lawn crunches under my feet--especially over the septic tank. You can clearly see the outline of it. Before we went on restrictions, I set the sprinkler over that area to water my plants, and the leaking of the sprinkler temporarily watered part of that patch, causing a bit of green over the tank.

It's hard to watch the new grass and the heather I planted die. Hard to see everything so lifeless and drooping.

Even the trees are beginning to show it.

I'm really worried about this one. I'm not sure if it's due to the drought or something else, but we'll probably have to have it taken down before winter so it doesn't fall and block the street.

It must be hard for the critters to scrabble for food, too, so I will pick up a couple of bags of bird seed tomorrow on the way home from work to refill the feeders. I cheated and filled the birdbath while I was out there, too. If the birds start dying, the bugs and mosquitoes will take over, so I figure the little bit I put in the birdbath may not be an act of conservation, but it is certainly a preservation measure.

We really need some rain.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Saturday at the Movies

In the movie Big, Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia jumped on a huge keyboard at FAO Schwartz and played 2 tunes. One of the tunes was "Chopsticks."

What was the other?

Answer on Tuesday!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Taking up the Challenge

Mighty Mom over at My Wonderful Life wants to see just how many bag ladies are out there. So come on, all you old bags--show yourselves!

This hangs on the closet door in my sewing room and holds my hand-me-down MP3 player and headphones. I got it during a fabric shop hop:

Inside the closet, on the right are 3 currently empty project bags. The one on the left is one of two purse/bags made for me by a an old friend.

On the other side of the medicine cart I keep in the closet are two more bags:

The blue plaid one, bought with its mate at a yard sale, holds embroidery hoops. The small canvas one, with my hospital's logo on it, holds Tandi's Frontline and HeartGuard:

Underneath these are three bags in a pile:

The small bag on top is a Coke Rewards backpack that I use as Tandi's travel bag:

The straw bag holds an old velvet dress of DD's, and other items I will be cutting up for a crazy quilt one day. On the bottom of the pile is a bag holding styrofoam balls, sequins, etc. for Christmas ornaments:

Way over in the corner is a small canvas bag that holds a few colored glass bottles I used to have on a window shelf years ago:

This bag has items from our last quilt meeting.

It's one of 5 I bought from Fabric Depot on sale. Two were given as gifts to our monthly hostesses, I use the red one myself, and the other two (starred bag and fleur-de-lis) are waiting for recipients. The small bag in the center of this photo I just received for completing a survey from the sewing machine table people:

Under my sewing table, I have several bags of batting, with bags inside of bags:

I also have two old cosmetic display bags stashed underneath, both of which hold Christmas fabric:

The floral bag I bought last fall at a church yard sale gets used a lot because it's so big, but right now it only holds the comfort quilt top I started for my dearest friend:

Next to it is one of those zippered plastic bags that hold blankets, and it has DD's string quilt and the border and backing fabric.

In front of that is a large paper shopping bag that holds some Christmas bags I've made, and the drapery fabric J-Man suggested I use for more bags. It also hides some Christmas presents!

Some of my bags as well as a few baskets have baggies of smaller projects in progress, or pulled fabrics and patterns waiting to be assembled:

Here are other bags I use, but aren't in the sewing room right now:

This is a stack of what were to be drawstring "pill bags", made for a group of healthcare providers who volunteer every year in 3rd world countries. But our online quilting group made so many the last two years, they didn't need any more this year, so here they sit until I decide what else I can do with them.

And lastly, the backpack I take to work. It's large enough to hold a bag of projects along with other supplies, should I ever get time at work to do anything!

So I think I've outbagged Mighty Mom, but then, I've had a few more years to collect them!

How about you? Are you a bag lady too? Show us!