Friday, July 25, 2014

Row by Row

Many North Carolina quilt stores are participating in this "thing" (for lack of a better word) over the summer and early fall.  Quilt shops in Canada and across the US who are participating are offering a free quilt pattern (36"x 9") if you visit their store between July 1 and Sept 1.  Once you acquire 8 rows (or more) and put them into a quilt (totally finished, quilting, binding...the works), if you are the first person to show off the quilt at one of the stores where a pattern originated from, you get a prize from that store. NC is a little behind the buzz (we've only had 2 winners out of who knows how many stores), but evidently a lot of people are doing it, as the Cary store has already had 1,000 people come by the store and request patterns. That's a lot of customers in just three weeks!

While it would be incredibly awesome to be a winner, I'm being very picky about what patterns I'll do. If I'm going to invest my time and money into a quilt, I want it to be one I like, not just something I've thrown together helter skelter. The down side is that some of the patterns I really like are not close in Murphy, NC.  If you drive much further west, you'll be in TN.

For a look at NC's patterns (or at least the ones showing pictures of them), you can visit Facebook's NC Row by Row Experience page.  To see whether or not your state is particpating (and what shops), visit

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Last week I finally got around to filling up the hummingbird feeder (yes, I know that should have been done in March or April). IMMEDIATELY, as in, within an hour, we had hummingbirds.

One little fellow seems to camp out at the feeder. I was able to get a few pictures of it this morning, though they're not the best quality since I had to zoom so far.

Hanging out on the dog pen (which is near the back porch & feeder)

Drinking from the fake flowers (he'll usually stay almost a minute each trip)

Taking a break between gulps
I keep calling it a "he" though realistically it's probably a female since it's so dark. The male birds are usually bright colors, which just seems wrong. I know that it's a protection thing for the Mom while she's on the nest and that makes perfect sense, but it still seems a little backward.

Monday, July 21, 2014

not a lot of patience here

Sunday morning we stopped on our way to the drugstore for some Benadryl, as every home remedy and pharmacists suggestions were not curbing the swelling or pain from the wasp sting. (For those of you on Facebook, I did NOT use the chewing tobacco suggestion). And I figured day three of swelling and redness and itching and hurting was enough. Time to pull out the big guns. By the time church had ended Sunday morning, I was getting very drowsy, but the swelling was 90% gone and the redness was reduced to a spot about the size of a dollar bill. I've been pumping it every 4-6 hours, and am noticing a steady improvement. But there's not a lot of patience on my part. I want this red itchy spot gone like YESTERDAY.

We were laughing about the irony of the fact I cleaned out the medicine cabinet two weeks ago. Everything out of date was tossed. And I tossed almost a whole package of Benadryl that I bought about 4 years ago when one of the boys cutting grass got stung (and like me, he has "mild" reactions to them) and it's not been used since. It's probably been 8 years since the last time I was stung (and that one was by a wasp, not a yellow jacket), and I will be perfectly okay if I never, ever get stung again.

As for home remedies, I will say this. Everyone has a different body chemistry, and what works for one person might not work for another person. I will say the cream with ammonia in it did the best for stopping the itch, though the smell about makes me sick. It's even worse than boiling the vinegar mixture for canning pickles. UGH!

Today I'm rejoicing that there's no swelling, at all, and I only have a red oval about the size of four quarters, and even that is breaking up into small bumps. :) Progress. (Even though I must admit I was disappointed to wake up and see it still there.)

Happy Monday.