Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Ta-Ta to Summer 2016

This summer got off to a great start for us.  We had super ambition for yard work and started to whip the pond area into what we wanted it to be.  However, the Universe has a way of throwing curves just to see how you react and observe how you bounce back.  Well, we can bounce pretty high.  July and August kind of fell off the calendar due to my FIL illness and passing.  We took time to rest and reflect.  The Universe said you did good, but here's another HILL  in the road.  She sent a 5 minute storm with 50 MPH wind gusts that blew down 1/4 of my favorite tree.  We need to take the entire tree down now and Corey did what he could to see that happen.  However, there is another part that is over our fence and back gargage and it too high to climb to cut.  There is no way into our back yard for a cherry picker so I'm not sure how we will complete the cutting down part.  But as you might guess, the removal part has been a huge job for Terry and his brother.  Corey has helped a lot when he is available.

Gosh I love my frogs.  I wake up everyday and go out to see them and feed the fish.  I believe I have 7 frogs ranging from very young to the pretty darned large parents.  This is a picture of what I like to call one of the frog rides in the frog amusement park.  The fish get under the alligator head and move it around and this little guy just sits there with a big froggy smile.

Our pond has been a blessing this summer.  A place to rest and reflect.  Terry and my conversations have been about just about everything you can imagine.  He is missing his father so much and we have talked a lot about all aspects of death  and what happens after someone leaves this earth.  Terry's dad had a real fear of death and did not want to let go.

His sister just completed Chemo and is cancer free.  But when the surgeon removed the tumor, he also removed cancer cells they did not know that she had.  Her doctor tells her the cancer will return...somewhere.  Her options are to do nothing...take radiation...take chemo pills for the rest of her life which cause her so much illness.  She has opted to do nothing and take her chances.  It's a hard thing to hear and pray for her.

My daughter is moving, yet again.  She has been renting a house from the Church she attends.  The Church building has been for sale and the idea was that when it sells she would be able to buy the house she is renting.  Yet another dart tossed out from the Universe...the Church sold and they buyers want to buy the house.  Laurie will move this weekend to a house she will have the opportunity to buy...the closing is today.  She chose to rent to own for the first year.  It's a nice house in a quiet neighborhood, but quite a bit farther from work and in a different town than where she lived.  The option to rent for the first year and beyond is probably good so she can see if she likes it.

I am done sorting fabric.  I am getting rid of a lot of things in my room that I have been keeping for no good reason.  Each time you do this, it gets more and more easy.  I have decided what my first quilt will be and what fabrics I will use.  It will be a VERY EASY project.  The objective is to use fabric and enjoy what I am doing, so with my present state of mind I need to keep it easy.

Got a favorite really easy beginner quilt pattern?  Let me know.  I'm interested!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

My Favorite Gift Ever

In my last post I mentioned that I would post about the most favorite gift I ever received from Terry.  Did you have any guesses about what it might be?  Well there have been plenty of intangibles, that's for sure.  If you were guessing and thought it might be a diamond, a car, or any other expensive gift you would be so wrong.

I have always sewn.  When Laurie was little I mad a LOT of her clothes and my own as well.  Back then, I never even knew a presser like this was available.  I used to tell Terry about a ironing contraption that my aunt had.  Honestly it was something from the ringer washer era.  It was a MUCH larger version of the pictures I am showing.  Her's was so wide that she placed sheets that were folded in half on it and pressed them that way.

My first presser was a Singer.  I don't even remember where Terry bought it, probably at a Singer store. I used it for years until one day I switched it on and it smoked. It was dead.  Terry encouraged me to buy another one as soon as possible.  I think I found this one...a Steamfast...on Amazon.

I mentioned that I am washing and pressing my fabric stash.  I certainly have come across fabrics I forgot I had and wonder what I had in mind when I bought them.  Oh, I mean that in a good way.  I haven't found an ugly one yet!  But I wonder if I had a project in mind, or did it just catch my eye and the price was right.  You may look at the picture here and think "what the heck was she thiiinnnnking".  I don't think that at all.  The picture does not show how bright the aqua is in this piece.  I suspect the animal print attracted me to it.  Also the color combo.  Now it really reminds me of the 60s.  These two main colors were the rage back then.  I remember having a princess waist dress with these colors and I LOVED it. (So much that I can actually remember THAT far back, lol.)

So tell me.

Do YOU have a favorite gift ever?
Do you have fabrics that you can't remember what project you had in mind when you bought it?
Do you have fabrics that just make you happy to look at?

Thank you my bloggy friends, for continuing to blog, visit blogs, and comment.  I appreciate you all.
xx, Carol

Monday, September 12, 2016

Traditional Quilt Class Finally for Me

 These are the last two blocks I completed in Kathy Shawl's On Line Traditional Quilt Class.

They went together SO smoothly. I completed both in two days after my FIL came home from the hospital and before he passed.

Kathy immediately sent me the instructions for the final block which was Paper Pieced.  Auggghhh.  You see that Not A Word in the comics a lot.  Well, anyway you do in Snoopy.  I'm pretty sure it translates to "I just can't get into this paper pieced block and I know I never really will".

Then my FIL passed and I had to clear the dining room table of everything that didn't belong there.
Lots of company coming in and out and my clutter is always an embarrassment for me to family that doesn't understand it.

I don't know when I actually decided to call the class done for me, but it is.

Someone mentioned on their blog that they were washing and pressing all of their fabrics.  At the time I thought "Are they crazy?"  Well that got a little seed growing and all of a sudden when I was doing loads of know the not really dirty things...I would throw a few pieces of fabric in a laundry bag and toss it in the wash.

You can't press that much fabric with your iron...not me anyway.  The next post will show you the best present Terry ever gave me.  And I never asked for it.  He just found it all on his own.  I may have not even known it existed back then.  I'll show you in the next post.

I read an article about the Pro and Con of washing fabric before you stitch blocks.  I have always washed fabric before I sewed clothes so for me it was a no brainer.  So tell me what you think or what YOU do. And while you are thinking about that, let me know how you sort your fabric because that is certainly the next step in the process of washing and pressing.

I'm back in the swing of posting again.  Thank you to every one that continues to maintain a blog and to every one that leaves comments here.  I absolutely LOVE the blog community and ALL of the friends I have made through belonging.
xx, Carol

Thursday, September 1, 2016

TA-TA, Farewell, Adios, Good Riddance

Yup, as I like to say Thank God and Greyhound you're gone.  That saying dates me.  It's from an old country song, when country was really country but that's a different story.

I have never been so glad to see the end of a month.  This has been a roller coaster ride.

After my FIL funeral, some family "difference of opinions" occurred that caused quite a bit of turmoil.  For me, I stayed out of it.  I have always believed that when it comes to our families, Terry rules his and I rule mine.  That didn't make the issues any easier to deal with.

Then, the wind blew in.  Not literally, actually.  50 MPH winds hit for just a few minutes.  But that was long enough to break a branch that was about 1/4 of an old Maple in the back yard.  You know, the biggest and best.  The one that the squirrels lived in.  Woodpeckers found food.  An my Orioles built their nest.  Our yard is 110' wide and the "branch" spanned the entire width.  Luckily it missed the house, our new patio table and chairs.  It took out the picnic table.  Somewhere under it is my sparrow trap.  It took out most of the fence we just put up last year around the pond area.

The birds were going crazy.  The squirrels were jumping from branch to branch.  Blue Jays, Nut Hatch and Cardinals were clearly upset.  And the mosquitoes...well that sought immediate revenge. I didn't notice THEM until that tree busted up.

So, off to Menards to buy a chain saw and new fence.  Luckily the boys will do the clean up and repairs because there is absolutely no way Terry can handle the task.

Oh, the dogs are happy.  They can just walk right into the sacred pond area. They just give us that Ha Ha look and look the other way.   Mutts.