Thursday, April 24, 2014

UFO's are flying again!

Okay.... I haven't been on here in a while and I know I've had things to write about. My mom (Alzheimer's issues), my returning to work (hopefully) on May 5th after a long layoff (Dec 20th), my husband's upcoming retirement (May 16th), our upcoming vacation (May 17th), my birthday (60th- today), our upcoming birth of the twins (Emma and Jason) in November!

But the thing that makes me happy is finishing things that I put off. Oh. Did I not say I procrastinate? Noooo. Not me. I have less than a week to clean out the house (because I'll be thinking of all the things I didn't get done when I go back to work), but I work best under pressure (due to my procrastinating) at getting things done. BTW, this is not a recent issue, I was hemming the bridesmaids dresses the night before I got married (the first time- 1975) and I believe I was doing the same to my prom dress in 1972. I sewed back then as well, just clothes, not quilts. (I prefer quilts).

I have finished machine quilting two quilts that I had in MY stash (vs. the Peace by Piece Quilters stash that I always seem to work on), machine stitching the binding (rolled) on one and my mom, who loves to bind by hand, will get to work on the second one.
This is the wild striped fabric I'm using to bind my selvedge quilt.
 This is the one mom will get to bind. We bought this fabric at Marden's and I love it!!! I'll post a photo of it finished and laid out flat.
Binding is just pinned on.

This shows the binding with the backing of the quilt...pieced wildly.
 Unfortunately, I haven't thought of a name for it... Something to do with selvedge, Floral prints, diamonds, wild...etc.
 This is my nine-patch pizzaz pattern, using African prints. Love it. I machine quilted along the outer edge of the 9-patch squares, while randomly machine quilting the flowing lines of the dresses and the pots of the panel print.
Some of the beautiful prints used.

This is the backing fabrics (used leftovers from the front pieces made)
Notice the "Wild Olive" (hot pink/teal) tab? That's my signature fabric.

I also have one small quilt that I was hand-quilting some parts of a panel (angel), but decided to finish the panel quilting by machine. It's a donated quilt, not for 'show', so as long as it stays in place (batting-wise), it just doesn't matter. I also have one more quilt (mine) to machine quilt (Diamonds in the mud). The binding is already pieced and ironed and ready to sew on when it's trimmed. Yippee!! Can't wait. Maybe

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Mom's Diagnosis

After spending the week with mom in VT I noticed some things more prevalently than I would just visiting her occasionally. Her forgetfulness, for one. And WHAT she tends to forget. And how quickly.

Since that week, I've gotten together with my siblings and another meeting with  my mom, and we made an appointment for her at a geriatric psychiatrist in Glastonbury (Dr Harry Morgan) for an evaluation, MRI and bloodwork. The MRI and bloodwork came back "pretty normal", but they said something definitely is 'going on' in there. She has had some slight white batter shrinkage and has been diagnosed with minimal onset of Alzheimer's disease. She is taking medicine, denoprazil every day, to slow down the progression. We'll see how that works in the next 6 weeks for her follow-up visit. (Dec)

I have alerted a few family members (not her sister, Ellie, as she'd have the news all over Cromwell), but her brother Richard and sister Lolly, my aunt Norma and my mom's best friend's (who my mom doesn't want to know-the best friend, that is) daughter, Regina.

My sister, Janet and I differ at this point on her driving at night. She's afraid that she'll be confused and get lost. She has never gotten lost so far, day or night, so I don't feel the need to 'manage' her driving habits yet. She would be upset to have EVERYONE catering to her, so she does nothing for herself. Usually, she will call when she's leaving her 93 yr old boyfriend's house (Amby) and say she'll come over for dinner (bring grinders or such), and watch a movie, or play cards. She will sometimes leave at 9-10pm. She's very comfortable doing it so far and hasn't mentioned concern about it. So I'm not concerned... yet. Janet wants to keep her in a little coccoon.

I'm going to a support group at our church, will see how I like it.There are others around, just not tried them yet.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Hello, again, my friend....


Has it really been that long since I last posted here? I seem to post more things on my Facebook page, my PbPQ blog, or my PbPQ FB page. Sorry, I didn't mean to neglect you.

I just returned last Sunday from VT. You remember, the cabin? VVV? Vermont Venison Villa? It's a cabin that has belonged in the family for ever. Or at least as long as I can remember. I have pictures of my dad walking up the hill, hand in hand, when I was three and my mom was pregnant with my younge brother.(that would be in 1957). I usually drive up towards the end of the week and help my mom close up the cabin (sister usually goes up to start the cabin up). It's only a one room cabin, so not much to do, but this year my sister has a new job and couldn't take the time off. I was on an extended layoff from Century Color so I went for the whole week.  I also decided this was the year I'd drive my mom UP in my car so she wouldn't have to drive (follow) at all. It worked out fine, but I may have to do this every year as she's 85 now and getting VERY forgetful!! We only had one 'kerflufful" all week,... I couldn't get the broiler gas pilot light lit and didn't shut the gas OFF while running up and down the street (only two houses around) to see if anyone was available to help. Finally got Don Wood from the farm down the hill to help although he said he probably shouldn't have lit the grill lighter before he bent down o the floor as he could smell gas pretty strong! (I could have blown up the whole cabin!)

We survived the 'opening' and had the most perfect week (weather-wise) I can EVER remember. There may have been two days where we started to perspire (humidity) a little more than 'comfortable', and one day when the rain came on Thurs at dinnertime, but no lightning and only distant rumble of thunder, and it was gone in the morning.
This is the storm a'coming....from the northeast.

This is real early in the am....5:45-ish

The clouds are starting to part.... Yea!
Woke up to puffy rumbling clouds LEAVING quickly....and the sun trying to force it's way onto our back field. Then it finished the week with a very cool breeze that was so refreshing, I almost didn't want to go home.

Saw the usual deer in the back field, one with spots still vaguely on her back side and a few down the road. A few turkeys...

I even got to work on some quilts (brought my sewing machine in case of rain).  Named one of them "Pawlet Mountain Trails" (finished the top on i VT) and the other "Cycling in VT" (still in the' design as I go' stage). They are charity quilts so I'll post them here when I get them done, but here are some photos of them in progress.
The design process of "Cycling in VT"
Pawlet Mountain Trails
 Nice to have some company... my brother, Bob, his son Jonathan and wife Paula...They showed up real late the night we got there, and stayed over. We went for a hike the next morning (my first hike up this mountain).

Loved this freak of nature. Wonder where the tree thought HE was going...

 It was a full moon the night we got there...beautiful.

 This was the start of our dinner.....Loved this wine.

 Took off on a day trip to Castleton, VT via the back roads(aren't ALL roads inVT 'back roads'?). We had such a nice trip... got corn at a stand.
Heading to Castleton, VT

Great to just enjoy the peace and quiet of the mountain peaks... dinner on the deck.

Taking a walk to my mom's good friend, Vivian Waite. Known each other for years. The fram in the background used to be Vivian's, now is her daughter Joyce's and husband, Don Wood.

Mom & Vivian... she is so sweet. I think she's 83.

See the hummingbird under the cross of the lines? They were so prevelant!!

This is the view from Viian's house (livingroom).
This is how we spent most every morning....then by 10:30am, the sun would move around the cabin putting us ithe shade for the rest of the day.

Our buddy the chipmunk! Love his shadow...

 This is the pond way down in the backyard....
 Turning around after the last photo, you see the cabin from the pond.

Love the water lilies by the pond at old Michael's house (former, RIP- house is no longer there).

Last night at the cabin.... Lee came up on Sat afternoon, and followed us (or didn't--lost us going around the rotary in Manchester, VT) home. Last walk we took there. Nite VVV.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Cancelled appointment means more sewing!

Okay, in reality, I should be doing my taxes. ... and I will. Later. I have to prepare the itemized stuff anyway (the mileage for my doctor visits is deductible...really?).

So, since my portfolio appt is postponed for the 4th time, I'm gonna sew. I have four tops that I need to pin to batting, but two of the backs weren't big enough. I'll extend them, then roll them on pool noodles before sandwiching them. (I'll post photos of this procedure). I did get one quilt pinned, but the other three tops are just 'stuck' to the batting and folded.

I can't believe how long I've had these tops.... they are so old!!! Talk about oUFO' (OLD UnFinished Objects). Will be nice to have drawer space free again (where they lived).

Diamonds in the mud is from March 2010.

This should be a tablecloth, but I'm not sure if I want to make it into a lap quilt.

This was an experiment... (It's selvedge strips sewn onto one half of the floral square so it looks like a half square triangle.

These are only three of the four tops.

Monday, February 4, 2013

New Car for Julie!!

Finally, Julie has a new (to her) car. A 2004 Chevy Trailblazer, dark green. $4k.

 Even Kai likes it!

Now my car can be just mine... Not that I minded sharing.....but.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Can God see Through Pockets?

This was a question that was posed by my 6 yr old grandson, Malakai last Sunday.

I'll back up....

I babysit him on Sundays if his mom works, and I take him to church. I was trying to get him to give up the iphone (an old one with just game use on it), so he could get his shoes on, do his teeth and get his coat on to leave for church. This wasn't happening... at least, not well. I kept my hand out. You know, the one that is supposed-to-'take it away'-and-you'll-get-it-later kind of hand. And I must admit, he was trying really hard to give up a great excuse that he should be able to still keep it in his possession and get all those 'other things' done. He attempted to slide it into his pocket of his cargo pants, saying "I'll just keep it here, Gramma", as he patted his pocket.

"Uh... no. I don't think so. It isn't going to church." It still wasn't quite coming out of his pocket (my hand was still in the outstretched position).

Then his expression changed. As if he'd been 'enlightened'.... His eyes got a little wider, like he'd figured it out.

"Does God see through pockets?" I think he'd thought that he'd figured out a way to get his way...\

However. Never doubt the look of a determined gramma. I gave him this piercing look and said, "Oh. Yeah. God sees EVERYTHING!"

Still trying...."Even through pockets??!"
"Oh yeah! EVEN through POCKETS!" Full of resignation, he handed it over to me, got his stuff taken care of and we headed out the door to church.

Story over, you think? Not.

As we are in church, standing up singing, there, in the pew in front of us, sat a little girl about his age. (We always sit behind this family, so it's not like he pays much attention to her usually). I noticed what she was doing, but Kai was busy drawing a picture on his Sunday School handouts, so he didn't notice anything until he HEARD it. There she was. She'd pulled out her mom's cell phone and was playing a video game on it (remember, we were standing up, singing and she was sitting back in the pew, behind her parent's focus). Suddenly, it made some music that made Malakai suddenly stop (sharply) and look up at me in horror. He quickly looked over the pew and saw her mom take the phone from her and put it away. With his mouth still wide open, he said to me, "God saw that, didn't he, Gramma?...All I said was, "Oh yeah!, He saw it...." nodding my head. "She's in BIG trouble, huh?", he said. "Oh yeah..."  He just sat back slowly and continued drawing, probably thankful that he didn't try and hide his old phone in his pocket.

What bliss......:-)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pinterest & PIF (Pay It Forward) or ROAK (Random Act of Kindness)

I've always been the type to do things for others (thanks Mom), but it's always 'random'. And not with any thought prior to doing it. However, I've been... how should I say this?... 'occupied' with a new website called Pinterst.

About Pinterest...: There is something you need to know about this website first. I went there, kicking and screaming (well, not really KICKing and the screams were more like a 'rolling of the eyes and why do I need THIS in my life?' ) kind of attitude, and really didn't know why I've need an online bulletin board. (That's what this is, folks). I was 'invited' by my stepdaughter and a friend at different times, and ignored it. at first. Then I went there and opened an account.

If you haven't been there yet, STOP! Right now. DON'T go there. WAIT!...NOooo..... (oh, well, don't say I didn't warn you...).

It's pretty addictive. Just know that up front. But really, my first thought about it (why I wouldn't need it) was that it's great if you are looking for ideas for a wedding, decorating a room, recipes (but I like going to my recipe site already). But then I realized that I DO rip out ideas from magazines, put them in folders that I sometimes forget where the folder is, or I never get back to looking in the folders, so really. What's the point of my system as it is? Not much, I figure. So I said to myself, I'll just look at other people's 'boards' and see what all the fuss is. BIG Mistake!! What I never knew about this site is that it PULLS you in... leads you to other places (original links where you find valuable information), allows you to learn, and have fun getting ideas that you might never ever see presented the way Pinners present things. It's just wonderful.

Okay. This being said, I saw something on Pinterest that really opened my eyes. One saying under a photo (the photos are what sucks you into the boards) talks about one lady doing random acts of kindness (ROAK) for her 38th birthday.
Here is an example of her acts....Well, my 58th birthday was yesterday, and though I'm late trying to do her idea for MY birthday(which, btw, was to do 38 random acts of kindness on her birthday), I thought my favorite brother's 60th birthday is in June. Here's my plan:

I will do 60 random acts of kindness by his birthday as a way of honoring him. I think he would outwardly think this is 'wacky', but inwardly be proud of me for doing this at the same time.

So today, I went off and tried to figure out what to do. Here's the day, so far.
1. After buying a few bagels at a local donut store, I told the man over at the drive-thru window I wanted to pay for the next order up on his screen. Another server heard me and peeked over at the total and said, "It's a big one"..."Like how big?" I asked, "$5.46" . I handed her a $10. When he told the woman in the van, she looked passed him at me and said..."What? Why... uh...?" (I think this is the best part of it-- getting them tongue-tied). I looked at her and said "just a random act of kindness". She thanked me as she drove off, but I loved the second server who poked her head around the corner and said "You'll get that back, ten-fold". I said over my shoulder as I was leaving, "I just did".

2. Filled my mom's best friend's bird-feeder and stuck orange slices for the Baltimore Orioles to feed on.

3. Got a sandwich to go, and as the man at the counter took the next person's order (they went to sit down) while I was waiting for mine, I asked if I could pay for their order. He didn't mind, but I think he thought I knew them (I didn't). When I told him not to let them know until I left, he realized I didn't know them. He just smiled.... (wish I could have seen their faces). Should have hung out around the corner to see him NOT hand them a check.

This, if fun. (although I must admit, I can't afford to do that all the time).