Monday, April 16, 2018

Where Have I Been?

A few blog friends have asked me where I have been since I haven't posted in over a month.  Well, let me tell you a lot of things can happen in a month!!  A month ago I told you about a great sale at Lowes on carpet with free installation, they move furniture and they pay the sales tax.  I wanted to paint walls before the carpet came.  However, I injured my back which put me a week behind while I recovered.   Most of our walls are stained and varnished barn siding so one gallon of paint was way more than I needed.  I chose a really pale green.   I tested it in the bathroom first.  It was a hit so I moved on to the living room. Now I have new carpet and clean walls.  I had cleaned and dusted everything in the room from ceiling to floor.  Now I can't bring myself to hang anything on the walls, but of course I will.  See that Viking lamp in the picture?  My daughter bought it for Corey when he was little. (He's 23 now) and lost his love for the lamp a long time ago.  Terry and I love that lamp and it's been in our living room ever since Corey gave it up.  Our room is eclectic with a mix of American Indian and Big Cats...and that Viking Lamp.  I suspect it won't be long before I am watching furniture ads, but new blinds come first.  I guess I'll probably work over the whole house, but I'll take my time.  I have decided to sell a lot of the stuff we have been keeping for too long.  I have a 10 place setting of Fiesta Ware with a lot of serving pieces and their is a Pfaltzgraff set of Gourmet in the attic that can go too.  I don't want to leave a lot of stuff around to dispose of that the kids don't want.

I've carted off a lot of stuff from my craft to Goodwill.  I've sent some things and fabric to blog friends that I thought might like/use certain things I had.  I have a lot more to go, but need to find places that can use what I have.

Corey and his family have moved into a house they bought in South Bend.  I suspect they will continue to remodel it then either flip it or rent if they continue with their plan to  move west in the fall.  When they moved, they took Tyson with them.  He IS Corey's dog.  However, they left the Devil Dog otherwise known as Harley with us.  He and Bosco cannot be separated.

Now I start the task of getting back into the groove of stitching and plan to start a new quilt.

I leave you with a picture of the Devil Dog and a cute little story.

Sometimes Harley likes to jump up on the hamper in the bathroom to look out window to get a glimpse of a bird or squirrel.  While I was painting in the living room I heard him making a horribly vicious barking.  What in the heck did he SEE?  Well, it was another Harley that lives in the sliding mirror bathroom closet door.  He visits their often now when he is bored.
Today I am especially grateful for the entertainment our dogs provide.

How about you?  What crazy things do your pets do to entertain themselves?  Or, do you have Spring cleaning projects underway while not so patiently waiting for Spring to arrive?
xx, Carol

Sunday, March 11, 2018

I Found New Energy

I admit it, I am not a Spendthrift.  The kids actually know me as being rather frugal.  I'm OK with that. I don't mind ordering from the $1 menu.  I comparison shop whenever possible, and use items to the end of their life.  But when I went on line and saw that Lowes was having a sale on Stainmaster Carpet with free installation, old carpet removal AND moving furniture in order to install PLUS they pay the tax I just had to look around on line to see what the brand had to offer.  That led to a trip to the store.  Of course I already knew that I would be buying new carpet for the living room because this sale was too good to pass up.  I would not admit to you how old the carpet in the living room is.  But you might guess it's age if I told you that we got it when my daughter was little.  I was going to replace it 5 years ago, but Corey brought 2 puppies home and the idea that it was a good time to get new carpet went right out the window. So new carpet wheels are in motion.  Which of course led to the purchase of paint. I could not pass up the opportunity to paint the walls and not have to worry if it drips on the carpet.  No, I'm not getting new furniture too.  It still has life and I'll keep it until it dies.  But, I DO look forward to switching up my wall decor.  I just hope I don't run out of steam before I tackle painting the dining room and kitchen and, and, and.

So how about you.  Are you getting the Spring Cleaning bug too?

Today I am grateful for my friend the Sun who has come to visit and lifted my spirits and made me smile.
xx, Carol

Thursday, March 1, 2018

They Called It A 500 Year Flood

The flooding in our area made the national news.  We received 6 inches of rain in two days.  That would translate to between 50 - 60 inches of snow if it had been  cold.  The rain melted the foot of snow that was already on the ground when the rain started.  The Elkhart/St. Joseph river began spilling over onto land as they reached flood stage level.  This first picture is of the small creek that wanders though the area and dumps into the St. Joseph River bay three blocks down the road where I live.  I live on the high side of the river.  My road drops about 15 feet just before the bay.
This is a picture taken from the bridge over the creek.  The creek would be on the right side of the picture.  This is the back yard of a home that is about 100 feet from the creek bed.  You can see a shed in the background showing the water level more than 1/2 way to the roof.  I have lived in this area since 1976.  I have only seen this house flooded one time back in the early 80s, but it was not this high.
This picture shows the back of the house.  The water was surrounding the house as far as I could see when we pulled forward a little.  The news interviewed the owner who has lived there before we moved to this area.  It showed what he had done since the last flood to keep the creek out if flooding should happen again.  But still he had about knee high in the lower level that is not a basement, but part of the living area.  The water has receded leaving an unbelievable amount of sand behind on this homeowner's land.  The head of Homeland Security toured our area and declared Elkhart a disaster area. 

I have been in a bit of depression.  Different than I can ever remember.  The kind that sends you to bed to sleep the day away.  Peaceful sleep that calms your mind but gives you crazy dreams.  Luckily it passed and I am back to normal with renewed ambition.

My grandson and his family have bought a house.  It's really temporary because they will be moving from the area at the end of the school year.  At that time, he will rent it to his best friend who's apartment lease will expire at just about that time.  On one hand I am so glad to have an empty nest again.  On the other hand I'll miss them and all of Nic's antics.  But if I had a scale, the pro side would definitely tip the scale.

Terry has suffered yet ANOTHER bought of the flu.  It's been a bad winter for us all health wise. 

Today I am grateful for Terry. His recent health issues have had me worried. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

They Are Cawing My Name

It's been a while since I talked birds around here.  For a very long time I have had three crows that have lived somewhere near me.  I think they live in a stand of Pines on the other side of the house to the west of ours.  I often hear them flying overhead cawing to each other.  But when there is a lot of snow on the ground, they perch in the trees across the street cawing like crazy.  I hear them and go outside to put out bread.  I call to them, Come And Get It, and go back into the house to watch.  One always stays in the trees to watch and call to them if there is danger.  Two strut around at the end of the drive way, making their way to where I have placed the bread on a tote lid so it doesn't fall deep into the snow.  The crows take turns getting bread, but one always stands guard in the trees.  I love these three birds.  I have no idea if they are the same three that have always come to visit and call to me, but I like to think that they are.  I have always said if I ever opened any kind of shop, I would name it Three Crows in honor of the birds that I admire so much.

Grateful:  And just to leave you with a smile on your face, here is a picture of two of my friends that have captured my heart.  They are BFFs and most always together and always touching while they sleep.  Here Bosco's butt is Harely's pillow.  I'm grateful that Corey brought Harley to our home.  He keeps me laughing with his antics.

Do you have a pet or wildlife animal that makes YOUR heart sing?  I love to hear your stories.
xx, Carol

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Nature- Endeavourers Reveal

You may remember my post about joining this group a few months ago.  We are given a subject to depict in a quilt of any size.

I joined to challenge myself in several ways, including focus, interpretation, trying a new technique and generally just to enjoy myself while doing it.  Our first prompt was NATURE.  I thought a lot about what I wanted the piece to be.  I started a project journal to help me organize my thoughts.  I totally threw out my first idea.  I took my first piece apart because I couldn't make the fabric say what was in my thoughts.

We had 2 rounds of the flu going through the house since November.  Today another one started.  We had a wedding here right after the first of the year.  I didn't procrastinate starting this piece, but I admit I didn't have as much time working on it that I wanted to.

I will never be a person that wants to create traditional quilts.  I do, however, want to pursue landscape quilts and this was my first attempt.  I wanted to try piecing it using fabric I had on hand, but honestly I didn't have what I would have wanted to use.  It is entirely hand stitched using the freezer paper piecing method.  I think my work will always include hand stitching and embellishing.  I'll get better at that and don't want pieces to look like a crazy quilt.  I'm really not done stitching on this block, but it's done enough that I could post about it today.

I know the mistakes I made and will definitely research before I attempt the next challenge.  AND, I will definitely start the project as soon as I get the prompt...and finish early.

Grateful:  Today I am grateful for Janine and Catherine who have established the group.  It's a great group to be in.

Click on the badge in my side bar to be taken to the group blog and see what everyone else is doing.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

This Is NOT Funny

I resisted getting a Debit Card but finally caved.  Then I started reading a lot of reports that you should use a credit card instead of a debit card because you are better protected if your card is hacked.  So I began using the card then paying the balance when the bill comes.  I really like that because I can actually keep better track of how we are spending AND I like the cash back credits we get.

I usually only read emails once a day in the morning.  But I was waiting for some information so I checked it about noon on Friday.  An email from Chase caught my eye asking to confirm a purchase to IHOP.  Crap...there's another one.  This one is Nordstrom' for $131.00.  What the heck..Nordstrom's for $131.  What can you buy at Nordstrom's for $131?  A pair of socks maybe?  After clicking to say they were not my purchases, I hurried over to to check my account.  There was an entry for $453 and then a credit for the same amount to another .com.  Then one for over $1000 and again a credit for the same amount.  There were also several other charges that took my card right up to the balance.  I had just checked my statement and planned to pay the balance but got interrupted.  Good thing or the crooks would have gotten away with more.

So I called the Chase fraud department to close the account and get a bit of information.  I confirmed which charges were mine and which were not.  I asked how the hackers could use my card when I had it right in front of me.  Here is some of the information I got and I thought I would pass it on to anyone that is interested.

Hackers get your card info if you swipe it in one of those fake readers you hear about being placed on gas pumps. (I always pay inside).

Hackers get your info if they have hacked a business where you have used your card.

Hackers can hack the company that issued your card.

After a Hacker gets your information they will try several transactions at .com companies such as Walmart and Amazon and then cancel the transactions in order to find out how high your limit is.

The IHOP charge was made on line, then possibly the order was picked up.  It was made in Lavonia MI, at least a day drive from me.  All other charges were to .com sites.

I am not sure if I will be asked for more information to prove the charges are not mine.  But my card account has been closed and another card is being issued.  Since my card has a chip, Chase is sending an envelope for me to return the card to them.

From now on I'm going to check my email more often.  I'm going to continue to use my credit card rather than my Debit Card.  I'm pretty sure if all this had happened on my checking account it would have been more difficult to get my money back.

Monday, January 22, 2018

We Had Excitement, and Now We Don't

We had a wedding here on January 13, 2018.  It was a theme wedding, entirely planned by my grandson and his wife.  They are Vikings, wed outside with snow gently falling and temperatures not too cold.

It was actually a pretty perfect event with only her father and sister, his mother, brother and grandparents (that's us) and three of their very close friends.  The bride had cooked the food (I helped a little) but the Instant Pot was the star.

They live with us until his work contract is up in August, then they will move to the other side of the country.

The gift from the groom to the bride was a black Hummer3.

We raised Corey and he has always felt more like a son than a grandson.  Now we have a new daughter-in-law and grandson.

Today and everyday I am grateful that Corey has found someone to appreciate him and love him as much as he loves her...and their son.
xx, Carol