Thursday, April 30, 2009


I'm still around, though busy! I have a few days off (will explain more about that later), but haven't done any sewing yet.

I'm putting in a lasagna garden, my first, and it's taking more time and supplies than I thought. I'm also trying to get it done before the rains set in this weekend, so will post more later--with pictures, I hope!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Stashbuster Report Week #17

Well, I caved this week. Not badly, but still...

Every Friday is Fat Quarter Friday at one of our local quilt shops, and all fat quarters are 30% off. While I was running errands Friday, I "just happened to be in the neighborhood", and decided to go in and renew my 20/20 card. (For $20.00/year, we can get 20% off all non-discounted purchases.) Just to let you know how long it's been since I was there--my card expired January 11. See? I really HAVE been on a fabric diet.

Anyway, I needed to replenish my yellows, and found two stripes I just couldn't live without. Also, at the back of the store, they have ends of bolts (fabric bundles) which are always 30% off. I was running low on pinks, and only had one piece of orange larger than a fat quarter in my stash.

I'm thinking of using one of the stripes for a little iPod pouch, as I can never find that little Nano when I'm looking for it--it's just so small--plus it's beginning to get scratched up in my purse. There are several cute tutorials on the web I can try.

SO: Fabric in this week: 4 yds
Fabric in this year: 12 yds

Fabric used this week: 0 yds
Fabric used this year: 6 yds

Net amount: +6 yds

I will be home most of the week so I hope to finish up a couple of projects and change those numbers.

Friday, April 24, 2009

HGTV Fallout

Whew! I am so happy those two days of work are over! They weren't crazy-busy, but it was more activity than I'd done in over a week of being sick, so I was tireder than usual.

No progress on the sewing front just yet, but all those hours and hours of lying around watching HGTV under the influence of albuterol inhalers haven't been totally wasted. One sleepless night, I took an old spiral notebook and listed, room by room, every project I wanted to accomplish. Read now, in the clarity of daylight after decent sleep, it's a rather daunting list!

But yesterday, one of the big ones was accomplished, thanks to Handyman Matters.

When we moved here in 2003, I had a big, nice, 2-yr-old side-by-side refrigerator we brought with us--that wouldn't fit in the new kitchen. So we left the small, black, freezer-on-top fridge from the previous owners in the kitchen and put ours out in the garage, next to the old upright freezer. It's actually rather handy to have a second fridge, for things like extra cokes, 2 1/2 dozen egg containers, vegetables, and watermelon in season. But J-Man, who is paralyzed on his left side and has chronic back pain, was finding it increasingly difficult and painful to bend down to get his tea, find leftovers, hunt for the pickles, etc.

So yesterday, the really nice guy from Handyman Matters came out, trimmed my cabinets down, and swapped the refrigerators for us. It took longer than expected, and of course, I had to come home from work, unload both refrigerators into coolers and onto every available surface before anything could be done. And clean both fridges, too, then reload everything. It was an all day affair, and my legs were so sore from going up and down steps, but it is so worth it!

In a couple of days, I should have the new filter in, and things arranged like we want them, and we'll be back to using the cold water and ice dispensers again. Heaven.

I'm sorry there are no before pictures, but here's my wonderful appliance back in its rightful place:

I had him just leave off the cabinet doors above the fridge, rather than cutting them back down to size and re-installing. I have a couple of decorative items that will look just fine up there--and no, I'm not referring to the empty egg cartons or my lunch bag!

Besides the cabinet and refrigerator work, he changed out the fluorescent light fixture that wasn't functioning (yeah, the kitchen needs updating, but whenever...), and while he was at it, fixed the storm door--which I hadn't even mentioned. He was here almost 4 hours, and had to take the doors off the fridge to get it into the house, but part of the delay wasn't his fault, so he charged us for less than 3 hours' work. All in all, we paid only $265.00--labor and supplies. Considering all he had to do, that was a real bargain!

Russell was a very pleasant man, whistling along to the old Beach Boys tunes J-Man had playing on the computer, reminiscing about The Twist and other old dances, and giving some helpful hints about thriftiness and efficiency. I have a grocery list of things that need to be fixed around here that J-Man and I are unable to do, and you can be sure we will be calling them again--and requesting Russell.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Catching up

After a beautiful weekend, we're supposed to have cooler temps and possibly a shower or two before it heats up to the mid 70s this weekend. On the one hand, I've been itching to get out and work in the yard, but on the other hand, I still tire very easily, and the inhaler is still kicking sleep to the curb. Only 3 more days of it, thank goodness. I go back to work tonight, and I'm really dreading it.

Saturday the local birds elected a spokesperson to remind me the feeders were empty. What a racket! Some little guy was out there just a-pounding on the wooden feeder. It's a wonder he didn't break his little beak. So Tandi and I took the bin of birdseed out and filled all four feeders. Poor things! With all the rain, some of those seeds had actually sprouted in the feeders, and I scraped 2" tall greens out of a couple of them. Word must have spread throughout the neighborhood, because Sunday afternoon, here's what was going on outside my sewing room window:

Isn't that one gorgeous tail?

Without the tail, though, he looks like a white rat.

He caught a glimpse of me through the window just before I banged on it to scare him away. I don't mind feeding the squirrels, but I don't want them at the feeder, so I toss their food out into the yard. Guess this little guy was particularly hungry.

Have you been following the Bloggers' Quilt Festival over at Amy's place? There are over 430 entries so far, and I've only managed to get through about 75 of them! Where did everyone come from? So many different styles and skill levels--it's a real feast for the eyes! I can tell I'll be checking these out for at least the next week or so!
Sewing here has been very scant--just too lethargic to get much done. Jacqui has challenged everyone to "Spring to Finish" all those UFOs and WIPs in our sewing rooms--there's still time if you want to hop on over and check it out. Maybe next week I'll have a finish to show.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Bloggers' Quilt Festival

Amy at Park City Girl is hosting a Bloggers' Quilt Festival this week, in which we each select our favorite quilt, blog about it, then link over to her site. There's already quite a list of participants, so I look forward to perusing this eye candy a lot the next few days.

(I apologize for the photos in advance. I no longer have the quilt, and I didn't have a digital camera at the time, but I did scan the prints made of the quilt. However, I can't seem to comvert them to jpeg format, so I will have to link to them through flickr. Just click the highlighted links and it should take you to the photos.)

The Story:

When I first started working at my current job, Debbie had been there 3 years, working day shift. She was a terrific nurse, a favorite of the patients, staff, and physicians alike. Her husband lost his job, and they had to relocate to California for a new job, which was really closer to their families anyway.

Debbie was a free-spirit quilter, not following "the rules", but loving what she did and it showed. One of our most beloved patients was a young mom who had breast cancer. Debbie made the 8-yr-old daughter a comforter with broderie-pursed flowers and animals on it, as we all knew "T" would be losing her battle soon.
"T" would take it with her to chemo, wrapping up to stay warm.

The Quilt:
Before Debbie left, I ironed freezer paper to the backs of muslin squares and took them to work, along with a handful of Pigma pens, and staff and physicians alike signed the blocks with good wishes, simple drawings and whatever came to mind. The blocks were incorporated into stars, using a Judy Martin pattern, and the colored fabrics were all starred fabrics, mostly from Moda, as I recall. It was an early quilt for me, quilted on my little Kenmore, and the mistakes were plenty.

We spread it out on an empty bed and brought her in to see it. She was totally surprised, and all day long people came by and spent some time reading the many comments and signatures from her friends. She wrote later that she has it hanging in her new house, even though it is really lap quilt sized.

Probably the most precious block was the one drawn and signed by T's daughter, T2. I don't remember what it said exactly, but it was something to the effect of "thanks for taking care of us". T died 4 months after Debbie left. I hope T2 still has the quilt Debbie made her.

Thanks, Amy, for hosting this! If you want to see more entries, click the button on the left sidebar and it will take you right to the links of entries. If you have a favorite, you can post about it through April 24--and then be eligible for some terrific prizes.
Have fun!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tired But Wired

Well, I'm back sooner than I thought I'd be. Seems my sweet husband, in an effort to do his best to cure me quickly, and confronted with a confusing array of Mucinex options, simply asked the pharmacist to give him "the maximum strength one". I didn't really pay attention to the box until this morning--when it dawned on me why I have slept only 3 hours since Tues. morning: Mucinex D has pseudoephedrine. Combine that with the albuterol inhaler and this will rival any size Starbucks--and without the calories!

I have postponed operating any heavy machinery and most electrical equipment until tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, could you folks post a little faster, please?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Best Revenge Ever

( Scroll down for the movie trivia answer for this week)
If this doesn't bring tears to your eyes, you have a cold, cold heart.

These are the lyrics:
I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving.

Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used
And wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung
No wine untasted.

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
As they turn your dream to shame.

And still
I dream he'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms
We cannot weather...

I had a dream my life would be
So different form this hell I'm living
so different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed
The dream I dreamed.

Read this about her background.

Here's to folks everywhere who were teased and tormented as children for being "different" or not "pretty".

This is the best payback.

Movie Trivia Answer 4/11

I'm surprised no one guessed the answer to this one, as so many of you seem to be Natalie Portman fans! Annie-O had a close guess, but it was for the wrong woman's child.

Lexie Coop: Americus? What kind of a name is Americus?
Novalee Nation: I wanted her to have a strong name.
Lexie Coop: Well, I guess I shouldn't talk. I named my kids after snack foods: Brownie, Praline, Cherry and Baby Ruth.

Well, I guess none of them are any worse than Apple, Kal-el, Rumor,
Jermajesty, Moon Unit and Sage Moonblood.

Apparently when you're a celebrity, you're exempt from common names. And common sense.

I'm going to take a break from blogging for a few days. Seems the reason I've been feeling so tired and run-down for the past week is that I have pneumonia. After finishing the taxes, I haven't even been up to sewing, so you know I had to be feeling crappy. My doc has taken me off work for a week, so I'm going to take my Tylenol, antibiotics, and cough expectorant and puff on my inhaler while I lay on the sofa and watch movies and HGTV, with occasional trips to the computer to read what you're all up to. Maybe in a couple of days I'll find my way back to the sewing room and have some fun. See y'all then.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday at the Movies 4/11

I've tried to stay away from all the Easter candy in the stores, but it must have seeped into my subconscious.

In the movie "Where the Heart Is", Ashley Judd's character named her 4 children after snack foods. How many of them can you remember?

Answers on Tuesday!

Thursday, April 09, 2009


Wooohoooo! Doin' the Happy Dance!!! The taxes are finished!!! All of them--the '05s, the '08s, and the amended '07s!!!
Next year I'm not going to know what to do; it'll seem so easy! (And so cheap, not doing more than a year at a time.)

AND, I finished the non-sewing project for my friend!

Remember my little orientee from last year? Well, she's from the Philippines and never really learned to cook, though she's picking up recipes from friends. So several of us combed through some of our kid-and-husband-friendly recipes for her and I put them in a 3-ring binder for her.

I found a pad of contemporary card stock at Michael's to insert in the front and back and trim for the end, and then found some coordinating paper at Staples for the recipes themselves--those that weren't already printed out, that is. Then used the computer and some other paper I had to label it.
By using a binder, she can add or delete as she wants to, and by using the sheet protectors, she can pull individual recipes out and not worry about spilling or tearing them.
One of our co-workers is also Filippino and included some native recipes for her:

It took me a while, because I was transferring recipes from the desktop, as well as my index and cookbooks,to the thumb drive and then the mini-computer. I took it to work--and they had put her on call. So I had to stick it in her locker, and hope she gets it! Because she's the only local person I know who reads my blog, I couldn't show pictures before now--and then I forgot to take photos with my digital camera and took them with my phone at work before putting them in her locker. (That's why the pictures are so horrible--makes my hand look like it has leprosy or something!)

Now--to the sewing room with a clear conscience!!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Movie Trivia Answer 4/4


I had a crazy couple of nights at work and errands to run before going to bed each morning and totally lost track of where I was, what day it was, and what was my purpose in life.

I believe this can be blamed on the waxing full moon. Apparently it affects nurses as well as patients.

Anyway, Pat came the closest to the correct answers:
The story of High School Musical took place in Albuquerque, NM.
(Although, I'm here to tell you: flowers do not bloom on roofs in Albuquerque in January, folks.)

But it was filmed in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Pat, you were off by a movie or two. HSM 2 did have scenes filmed in St. George, UT, but not the original HSM.

Now, unless you have preteen and tween daughters (which I don't), you probably have never seen this movie, and if it weren't for my curiosity to know what all the hoopla was about, I never would have either.

Of course that doesn't explain why I have HSM 2 in a certain red envelope on my kitchen table...

New question on Saturday!

Monday, April 06, 2009

ER (spoiler alert!)

I began watching ER when it first came on--way back in 1994. In fact, I even saw the 2-hr pilot before the pilot episode. About 2 years earlier, there was a 2-hr made-for-TV movie pilot for ER that not many people knew about. I remember hoping they'd make it into a TV show--and eventually, they did.

I was a die-hard ER fan. Anyone who knew me knew I would not answer the phone between 8:55 and 10pm on Thursday nights--and sometimes 10:05pm if I had to utilize Kleenexes. At the time I worked 11-7, so I'd be bathed, dressed, lunch packed and ready for work by 8:45pm so I could sit and watch ER. Most times DD would join me, and my best friend and I would sometimes call each other after it was over and rehash the show. To this day, I never hear the song "Blackbird" by the Beatles without thinking of Susan's sister giving birth to little Susie, or see Kellie Martin without having to consciously remember her name is not Lucy Knight. Oh, and when I hear that Hawaiian guy's rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" I still get teary-eyed, remembering the scene between Mark Green and his daughter. It was not helpful for J-Man to remind me he was just a character in a TV show. In fact, J-Man learned not to say that to me. Ever again.

Then they sent Abby to medical school because she was too smart to be a nurse. That p_____d me off big time. So I quit watching. Besides, all the good ones had left, in my opinion (except Kerry--and I had a love/hate relationship with her anyway). Yes, I know Sherry Stringfield came back, but I never really understood why her character left or where she went, and it never seemed the same.

But when I heard this was to be the last season, and that last Thurs. night was to be the last episode ever, I couldn't help it; I had to watch. Or, rather, I had to have J-Man record it for me, because I didn't know in time to schedule myself off. There was a short period of panic when I found out the actual finale was 2 hours instead of one, but the faithful DVR caught it all.

So Saturday night I sat me down and watched as the pre-finale episode with clips from the past took me down Memory Lane. And then I watched the finale, with a box of Kleenexes at my side, just like in the old days. And I recognized Rachel Green before they spoke her name.

Full circle. The show came full circle, and the ending was just right, even though Michael Crichton wasn't there to oversee the script. Good job, folks.

I might just have to start watching the reruns on TNT again, to see what I missed, because in spite of everything, I don't think I was really ready for it to be over.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Stashbuster Report Week #14

I did do a little sewing this week, but since I haven't finished, I won't count any fabric used yet.

However, I did give fabric away this week--does that count? One of my patients this week is a lady who, with about 4 friends, makes blankets for the Project Linus. Her income level is so low, they don't have to file taxes each year, yet she scours yard sales for fabric to make these blankets for needy children.

I had several yards of kids' fabrics that for one reason or another, have not been used, and some bright colors that could complement them, or could be combined with other fabrics to liven them up a bit. When I took them in Fri. night, she was delighted, as she said they don't have any "children's fabrics" right now. I was delighted to lessen my guilt feelings a little. Those fabrics have just been sitting on the shelves and staring at me for too long!

I also had some Harry Potter fabric I bought, thinking I'd make some banners for hubby's after school kids' group, but that was 6 years ago. As those kids now range from 11-16 years of age and no doubt are no longer in the program, and we live 1400 miles away, I believe I can let that project go, don't ya think? So I sent that to a sewing friend who is a MAJOR fan of HP. Let HER think of something to do with it! lol

So, if I'm allowed to count them (because, even if I didn't use the fabrics, they will get used somehow) I will estimate the yardage, because I forgot to measure them.

Fabric in this week: 0 yards
Fabric in this year: 8 yards

Fabric out this week: 6 yards
Fabric out this year: 0 yards

Net amount: -2 yards busted

If I get the tax prep work finished quickly, I'll be able to sew a little more this week and maybe the numbers will change by Sunday.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Saturday at the Movies 4/4

I think we'll pick something from this century today!

Where was the high school in High School Musical supposed to be located?

Where was it actually filmed?

Remember, no fair looking it up on the internet! You may ask your daughters, or watch the movie, but your computers are rigged. If you peek on IMDB, an alarm goes off in my house, and a trap door opens under your chair.

Answers on Tuesday!

False Springs

Spring has been teasing us lately. First she sends out a couple of sunny days, then blankets the hills with fog.

It rained for the better part of 6 days, a gentle, steady rain that made oodles of puddles and pawprints and turned my yard into a lush greenness it hasn't seen in a couple of years. I don't know where we stand on our drought status now, but I'll bet there's been good headway in reducing it.
For the next two days we're supposed to have sunshine and 70, before the cold front comes in and brings thunderstorms, and then snow flurries. It'll be at least a week before we see 70 again. If I'm lucky, I might get those tulip bulbs out of the freezer where they've been for 2 years and put them in the ground in time to thaw slowly and pretend that's where they've been hiding.

I spent some of those indoor weather days working on my taxes. The '05s are ready for the tax person, the information to file an amended '07 is at hand, and I've sorted through the box of '08 paperwork. By Friday, I will be completely caught up and looking forward to refunds!

I've also been watching an awful lot of HGTV--Curb Appeal, House Hunters, My First Place, Property Virgins, etc. No, we're not moving, but I feel the need for some updating and making things pretty again after the grayness of winter.

So, other parts of the indoor days were spent doing a little sewing--finally! No, the room isn't ready for photos yet, but the blue-striped tab-top curtains were just too wintery and heavy for this lovely blue room. I pulled out a sheet I bought at Goodwill last winter and decided to make curtains from it. It was a fitted sheet, which brought some challenges, and there was only one, so I added panels from an old white sheet I had, to make the sheet enough for two curtains.

They're not finished yet--I'm debating about making these into tab tops also and whether to add any trim--but I'm loving them already.

Also, in sorting my fabric for storing and stacking, I found some pre-cut triangles I bought off eBay several years ago. Back when I first started quilting, and was insecure with my own color sense, I bought "kits" from someone in CA who must have had one of those die-cut machines, and put fabrics together. I don't know what happened to the squares these triangles were supposed to surround, but I have a set of blues and greens, and a set of pinks, purples and a flower print. I dug through my larger scraps, tried to cut triangles to fit, and turned them into a pile of half-square triangles just waiting to become a table topper or runner or something equally scrumptious:

There will be Spring this week, one way or another!