Saturday, January 18, 2020

Welcome 2020

I saw this quote on a blog today.  It pretty much depicts how I feel at the start of this year and how I hope to think about life in general.

I had a hard time with the present Endeavorer's challenge.  Looking back I might have found it more easy if I had read this quote when I started it.  I'll post more about that when I post the reveal on February 1st.

If I apply this concept to other areas of my life besides stitching, I will do more to make myself happy and not be manipulated by others to do what they want without considering  me.

This all sounds kind of morose, doesn't it.  Well, it's not.  I'm pretty darned happy right now, just trying to make decisions that will keep me that way.

I am continuing to sort out my room.  Soon I will have to decide what to take with us when we move.  Yes, I'm pretty sure a move is going to happen.  A bid was put on the land.  The house on it was listed as "needs to be remodeled".  What my grandson saw was a tear down.  Hopefully a deal on the land will work out and a modular home will be installed on the property.  It's 20 acres in Caliente, CA.  The weather there is not so appealing as we thought the desert would be, but it's a lot better than Northern Indiana.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that this deal will go through.

Grateful:  I'm just grateful for the internet where you can find info on just about everything!!

If I had to translate this post into a word, it would be free.  Free to sew what I want with out judging myself.  Free to live what could be our last 20 years  (hopefully) how we want to.  Free of guilt since I am truly sure a few will try to send us on a guilt trip to end all guilt trips.

How are YOU feeling at the start of this new decade?
xx, Carol

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Life is Like a Game of Checkers

I have been thinking a lot lately about life in general.  It seems to me that life is like a game of checkers played against an unknown opponent.  The object of the game is always to move forward.  When you misstep your man is taken and you have to advance on another path.  That's how I am feeling path is blocked so you try another.

The property we were looking at in California went bust.  The owner could not convey a clear deed.  I was pretty sure there would be a glitch because it had been on the market for a long time.  Anyway, the search is on and a place in Nevada looks interesting.  But looking at the first property really got us accustomed to the idea that we CAN move and began to really look forward to it.  There is so much to do here to get ready that I'm really looking forward to the process.  We'll clean the clutter and sort things to take, to sell and to gift.  Terry's focus has changed as well.  My Pack Rat husband is looking at his stash in a new light.  I see a big garage sale coming in the Spring.

Corey and Alyssa got me an Ipad for Christmas.  They told me I would love Apple and they are right.

They got Terry outside cameras installed on our home.  Terry keeps a watch on them when the dogs are outside.  Harley is an escape artist so Terry is waiting to catch him in the act of leaving the yard.  He is having a great time yelling at the dogs though one of the cameras.  They run like heck toward the house to see where Terry's voice is coming from when they can't see him.

My switch from my Win 7 desktop to a Win 10 model went smoothly.  It's a lot better than Win 8, that's for sure. Wonder why MS skipped Win 9.

Picking a "WORD" for the New Year is passe' don't you think?  The only resolution I eve kept was not to forget to enter a check in our checkbook. Now I charge everything and love getting the cash back for using it.  So this year I made a promise to myself.  I will dispose of, one way or another, all those things that I have kept and never looked at.   I'm also cleaning out paper files and bought a new shredder yesterday.

Let me tell you about last Friday.  Do you have a REAL ID yet?  Well I got mine last October when I had to renew my license.  Terry never got his so the goal for Friday was to get it.  I gathered the paperwork that was needed to take to the DMV including his licence, social security card, birth certificate, two pieces of mail showing he is a resident and his army discharge card so it could be noted on the license that he is a Veteran.  When we got to the Elkhart DMV he was told the birth certificate was not  an original one so we would need to get one from the Health Department in St. Joseph County where he was born.  That meant driving over to South Bend.  Then I remembered that St. Joseph County has just opened a second Health Department office in Mishawaka which was closer than going into South Bend.  We stopped in Mishawaka only to find that they had a computer glitch and the certificate would not print with the doctor's signature.  Off we go to South Bend.  The clerk in the Health Department there told us that Terry's  birth certificate was an original but 72 years ago Indiana didn't list the sex of a baby and just started doing that in 2009.  Any birth certificate without the child's sex would not be accepted.  I'm telling you, Indiana is so backward.  So we paid $15 and off we went back to the DMV.  Luckily there is one in Mishawaka so we didn't have to drive that far. All that running around took the entire afternoon.

Now, our week is clear.  Next week his quarterly doc appoints start.  His cataract surgery will be at the end of February. 

Grateful:  Honestly I am grateful that I am in relatively good health.  Our lives would be a mess if I weren't.

Tell me what you are looking forward to happening in the New Year.
xx, Carol

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Not a Year End Recap

This is not a year end blog post that revisits what I have done this year.  Maybe next year I'll do that, but not today.  But I do wish everyone a Happy New Year.  I wish everyone peace and patience.

My grandson and his family came to visit for about 2 weeks before Christmas and left a couple of days after Christmas.  Coming here they ran into a bad storm in Nevada.  While traveling home they had mostly smooth sailing.  For that Terry and I are so grateful.

This is the Super Hero quilt I was working on for Nic.  It wasn't a Christmas gift and he loved it.  I had a lot of fabrics left so I made a matching pillow case for it.  Nic always loves whatever I make and he got good use out of it while visiting.

I still have more fabric left so I imagine I'll incorporate them into some scrappy project in the coming year.

One of the gifts we got Nic was Super Hero men.  I wanted him to have a place to keep them and to carry them with him while they travel.  The perfect answer was to stitch a drawstring back pack with left over Spiderman fabric.
I was happy that this gift was a big hit.

Corey brought his Boxer (Tyson) with them and a stray that they adopted (Tigger).  Tyson and my Bosco were great friends when they were pups and as they grew up until Corey moved.  We thought that dog friendship would continue but sadly it did not.  Tyson is such a gentle dog but developed a huge jealousy.  The two dogs tangled twice and it was exhausting trying to keep them a part.  MY dogs got along with every one.

The Hawk is one of my Spirit Animals.  If you are not into this, it's OK, just don't think I am nuts.  The hawk first came to me when Corey was in High School.  An Indian friend told me the Hawk was bringing a message.  Over time, I came to realize that The Hawk visits when I am concerned about something.  Hawk is my symbol to know whatever I am worrying about will be OK. Like when I was on my way to have surgery a Hawk flew next to my side of the car for what was about a mile. I immediately felt at ease.

It took Corey 4 days to travel from LA to my home when a huge storm in Nebraska closed the roads.  First, 2 Hawks visited my front deck.  I have never seen two Hawks fly together let alone perch together.  Then one Hawk returned every day until Corey was here.  The Hawk has not been back since that day.

So, when Corey was here he showed us a house that he is looking at in California in the desert with the Colorado River just one mile down the road.  He'll buy it for us to live in and if it does not work out, he has others to check out.  It would be a 4 hour drive from LA, but at least it's not 4 days.  So, if things work out we will make a move to California.  I can't believe I said that.  We'll see how it goes.

Grateful:  There is so much to be grateful for.  Right now, I'm thinking about how nice it was to see the kids and see my Great Grandson for the first time.  We have seen him so much on video chat that he really did seem to know us and love us already.  We got to see him stand alone for the first time and hear his version of Papa and Bama.

Happy New Year.
xx, Carol

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Baby In A Bowl

 Corey sends us pictures of my little great grandson Corey Jr almost everyday.  They are rarely posed pictures, but pictures taken of the baby's every day life.  Here is one of the exceptions that is clearly a posed picture and one of my favorite pictures so far.

Corey Jr is 10 months old, very tall and thin.  Just like his father was when he was this age. His length and weight when he was born were about the same as his father's so I suspect he will be a long legged thin and tall man when he grows up.  Corey and Corey Jr spend a lot of time together which makes my heart happy.  But then I knew he would be a great dad.

It appears that if all goes well, we will be seeing our baby in person soon.
I'm pretty sure I have mentioned that Nic and Corey Jr are going to have a new baby in the family along about March.  This time we get a little girl!

When Terry was in the hospital, I started to crochet a small afghan with variegated yarn that I had in my stash. Simple stitches with no real pattern and a little shell border finish.  I tried to take a picture of the entire afghan, but the picture turned out so bad.  All those little stitched colors looked like a pixel blur so I took a close up picture of it folded and it shows up a little better.   I will be gifting it to Alyssa for the new baby.

Next I'll be working on finishing Nic's Super Hero quilt.  I just got little Corey's quilt (remember the sharks) bound and washed.  I am just so happy how it turned out and am really proud of myself.  It's really my second quilt.  This is such a learning experience!

Grateful:  Recently my focus on what I am grateful for is doctors.  Terry had his follow up visit with the cardiologist that saw him in the hospital.  We have a total understanding of what Afib is made clear to us by his VA doc, our family doc and his Cardio doc.  Now the Cardio doc has thoroughly explained what Terry's options for treatment are.  Terry's brother has the same condition and has undergone all the procedures to correct it.  They didn't work for him.  Additional medication is not an option due to the RA meds Terry takes and his Kidney condition.  We both agreed not to opt for the surgery which if it works might relieve Terry's fatigue and shortness of breath.  But it probably won't because those two conditions are also caused by Terry's other illnesses.  As long as he remains on the meds the doc prescribed when he left the hospital he should be fine.

So.  there you go.  Our life in a nutshell.  My plans for the next month are to sew and later bake.  Christmas is only a month away!!  If you feel like it, please share one of your favorite Christmas Dinner recipes on your own blog.    I think my next blog post will include mine.

Happy Thanksgiving

Friday, November 8, 2019

I bought a new fall jacket recently.  It's kind of a strange color.  Kohl's calls it burgundy, but there is not one accessory that I could find that has this color in it.

This post is not about the jacket, but the bag I made to go with it.  I love purses.  I love to make purses. I like a bag to coordinate with my coat, jacket or clothes I am wearing. Long ago, I used to sew every purse or tote I carried.  When I worked,  I got away from that, but I am back to it and this is the first of what is to come.

This fabric is a heavy upholstery fabric that I didn't think would be too easy to add zippers to.  I didn't want a front pocket to take away from the fabric design.  I did put a couple of pockets in the lining. There are a couple of tabs inside with a ring so I can clip my keys inside.  I also keep my wallet on a chain attached to a ring inside so it is never loose in my bag.  I left it once on a counter in Walgreens free for the person behind me in line to take it, remove the $$ then call me to tell me they found it, but that is a whole other story to tell.   I didn't use a pattern for this purse.  I just measured fabric and cut.

I usually have things in my purse that I don't even LOOK at.  When I worked, I needed to carry a lot of things just in case I needed them.  I always leaned toward using one of those organizer bags with a pocket for everything.  Now I am constantly going though the pockets looking for whatever I am looking for.  So now, I'm over that.  I have decided that what I want is just a plain purse design.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to either make or buy one of those purse organizers that can be easily moved from one purse to another.  I have a pattern, and have added one to my Amazon Wish List because really, it's pretty cheap so I may get it to see if I like the idea.  If I am going to sew,  I don't want sew something that I can buy for $6 on Amazon.

Grateful:  Today I am grateful for electricity.  Winter cold is moving in and our home is heated with electric heat.

Do you carry a purse?  If so, what design to you prefer.  If you sew yours, feel free to mention a pattern you like.

xx, Carol

Friday, November 1, 2019

Dreams - Endeavourers Reveal

When the Endeavourers November 2019 was announced I didn't have to think about the theme for very long before what I knew how I would approach it.  I am NOT a dreamer.  A sad statement from me I guess.  Maybe not.

Terry's health and my own Carpal Tunnel recovery limited how elaborate I would make this piece.

I had a sad childhood as I was raised by an aunt and uncle who I considered to be my mom and dad. The situation that brought me to them was difficult for my mom as she was probably suffering through menopause.  At least that is what I choose to believe.  My dad worked in the steel mills for US Steel so they were doing pretty well financially and my father never  made me feel as if living with them was a hardship for them and he totally treated me as he did his own children.  Not so much my mom.  I was always grateful that they "took me in".  One thing my mother always said to me if I asked for her to buy something for me, even if it was something I actually did need..."money does not grow on trees".  When I was little, I had many dreams of a money tree growing in the back yard.  I can't remember any other dream from my childhood.

The pieces I stitch for the The Endeavourers Challenge and the pieces I did for the Bead Journal Project are always about me.  The Endeavourers has encouraged me to try some new technique that I have never done before. The leaves on the money tree have been fused to the piece  then stitched around the edges with black thread. You see this technique used a lot and I admit that I have never liked it much.  It goes against my A-type personality to leave the edges raw. Having done it, I admit that I liked DOING it.  I wanted to have a little girl catching 'leaves' in a basket but I just didn't get to that part.  I did quilt in the background. I have always admired those that FMQ.  I have also felt that I would never do it.  My mind has changed on that and I definitely will give it a try.

Grateful:  I am grateful that I am a member of this group.  Even though my pieces are not as elaborate as other's in the group, they do encourage me to extend my quilting/stitching abilities.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

In Limbo

This looks a lot worse by camera than it does in reality.  The doc told me he would make an inch incision for Carpal Tunnel surgery.  When I took the bandages off I felt sure this was 3 inches.  I measured it and it's 1-1/4.  It certainly has messed up my Life Line, lol.

So, it was a good thing to do.  I no longer have numbness in my hand.  The incision is healing nicely.  The doctor has not released me yet.  The next appointment is around November 20.  If you have this surgery, obey the doctor's advice of No Pulling, No Pushing, and No Twisting. Pushing for me included shopping carts at the grocery store, which I didn't realize at the time and paid for by wearing a brace for a day.

Before I had the surgery, I stitched and sandwiched a quilt for Corey Jr. and one for Nic. This is the top fabric for Corey Jr's.  I did get it quilted in straight lines.  Nic's is blocks of Marvel Comics.  I only have Nic's flimsy done.  Both are sandwiched with flannel for the batting since they live in Downtown LA. 
This is the backing. It kind of makes the quilt reversible.


While waiting for my hand to heal a little more, I dug around in my stash for upholstery fabric that I could use to stitch a new purse/bag. I wanted something that would go with a new fall jacket I bought.  In reality, it will probably be too cold to use it before I get it done.

I'm not using a pattern.  Just a simple tote.  I'm going to learn how to add a center pocket divider and a recessed zipper closing.  It should be pretty easy, but I just need the quiet time to think about how to do it using suggestions from Utube tutorials.
October is a busy month for us.  Terry has 6 doctors and sees each quarterly and October is the month.  Add lab work and x-rays and that pretty much fills up our days.

Grateful:  I still find something to be grateful for everyday.  Today I thought a moment about some things that make my day better.  The top of the list right now is NO DRAMA.  Life has been serene and I'll try to keep it that way if possible.  I usually begin to be a bit depressed during the holidays so I will attempt to ward it off.

Tell me, are you stitching for the holidays yet.  How soon do you start to make holiday plans?
xx, Carol