Monday, May 29, 2017

NC Quilt Symposium

I think this was last weekend, but to be honest, my brain is so tired that it could have been two weeks ago. Bobby and I went to look at the quilt show only. We didn't attend any lectures nor did I sign up to take any classes. This was a visual pleasure trip only. There were many quilts I liked, especially some of the landscape ones (oh my word, the tiny pieces!!!), but the following are the few that prompted me to pull out my camera:
This colored blocks in this quilt are called "one block wonders", where you take a fabric and cut it, then sew it together, creating a kalediscope-style pattern. I love they layout of this quilt because the blocks are offset with black, creating a unique pattern on top of a pattern. I also thinks it enhances the "wonder" of the cut pieces. My Gatherings class will most likely finish our 2017 quilts early, and Sonja, our teacher, has suggested this quilt, though not necessarily this design of it, as something to do for the remainder of the year.

 I have a variety of chicken fabric that is waiting for me to settle on a quilt design. This was an interesting and unique concept. They basically put their chicken fabric in strips, offset with printed or solid color strips, then used chicken wire fabric as sashing between all the strips. It's still not quite what I have in mind, but it's a possibility if I never settle on anything.
And last, a chicken and grape vine applique. This quilter did an incredible job, though I'm not sure I would ever have the patience for this. It's a lot of cutting and a lot detail work, plus small stitches!!! I'm not sure I could ever be that exact. 

And even though I had hoped to finish two quilt tops by the end of May, that is simply not going to happen. I do have the background for one finished (but the applique that goes on top of it will take just as long), and I'm halfway through the second top (a scrappy quilt pattern{uses up scraps of fabric} that I've had my eye on for several months). Maybe by the end of June I'll have something to show.

Friday, May 19, 2017

beginning the faster twirl

Since coming back from AL on Monday, it seems we've been on the go non-stop. I'm not quite caught up on everything yet, but we are back in the swing of things.

Today I opted out of getting up early for an estate sale, and I don't regret it one little bit. We finished out Quilts of Valor meeting early, so we were able to swing by (and I got some small canning jars for a very good deal; some of the boxes were unopened) but that was all we left with. We've finished running errands, and after supper I'll be heading outside for more yardwork.

The hen nesting in the brooder box is pushing the time limit. Her eggs should have hatched this week. She tossed out one rotten one, and I know she's got at least one more rotten egg under her. So if we've not seen or heard chirping by next week, she's going to be forced off the nest. The garage is starting to smell.

Since I didn't weed the garden before we left (the tiller's not working), and we were gone when it rained, the weed population is a bit out of control. (That seems to be a theme in my life.) I was able to do some emergency work last night, and hope to finish almost all of it off tomorrow morning.

My niece Ellen graduated from Welch (FWBBC) today, and since I was in the monthly QOV meeting, I missed it. I don't know if I can go back online and watch it or not. (My younger sister was able to watch it live.) And my nephew (in-law) finished his master's degree. He's waiting to hear back from Oxford University about acceptance into a doctorate program. He does have some backup plans in case he doesn't make it, but for his sake, I hope he does.

Meanwhile my scrap quilt it slowly progressing along, and the background for one of the quilts on my quilt list is finished. Now I just have to figure out all the applique pieces and layout before the top is finished. So while I'm not making monstrous progress in that room, I am slowly getting closer to pulling three tabs off the "projects started" area of my sewing room door. And that is progress indeed.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

the month of repairs

We kicked off May with wheelchair repairs, followed by van repairs. Then last week we realized our tiller isn't working correctly, and last specialty sewing machine died. So my tiller is sitting in the shed while I debate whether or not it's worth the money to get it fixed this year. At this time of year it will take about 3 weeks for it to be repaired, which is about the same amount of time it would take me to hoe all the weeds out if I spend an hour or two every weekday morning out in the garden. We've had this problem once before, two years ago, where it would crank, but every time you activate the blades it shuts off. I don't remember what the part/problem was, nor how much it cost to repair it. But right now I'm not sure that's where I want to put my money. But my sewing machine...the large one I use on quilts...that went to the store today. The repairman will pick it up tomorrow and I should know sometime soon what the problem is and how much it will cost and whether or not that part is still under warranty. I know that in the scheme of things my sewing machine is the next to the bottom of the totem pole of things to break, but I use that thing...a lot.  I'll probably pull out my classroom machine soon (it's small and lightweight, costs little and doesn't sew quite as well, but does the job) so I can hopefully keep inching some projects along toward the finish line. Otherwise I might go into cleaning/creating mode, which means I'll only prepare even MORE things that need to be finished. Janome 9900, please come home soon!!!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

say what?

This afternoon while running errands, the lady checking receipts commented on how cold it was for May. (and while the high 60s/low 70s are cool for this month, it's not unheard of either) Then she said "You know what the Bible says about that, don't you?"  And for the life of me, I couldn't think of anything she could possibly construe about the weather, so I asked "No. What?" And she told me the Bible said in the end times the seasons would all be the same and houses would burn, and that we were seeing that now. I was so speechless, I couldn't ask her where the Bible said that, and I couldn't figure out a polite way to tell her I've never come across that anywhere when I've read the Bible. As we were leaving, I commented to Bobby that I wanted to know what version of the Bible she reads. He nodded, then said he'd heard things like that all his life growing up, and was surprised to find out it wasn't in the Bible.

I'm continuously amazed at how people make statements that "The Bible says..." when it really doesn't. Which tells me there are a lot of people who simply don't read it. From people becoming angels when they die to "God wants me to be happy"  I'm flabbergasted at the made-up theology people have. I wish I had said something, or invited her to our church, but I was just so shocked. And she was so sincere, which is even scarier. As my older sister told her high schoolers once, "You can be very sincere, but still be sincerely wrong."

Friday, May 5, 2017

Just put one step in front of the other....

I am tired.  That is actually not my normal lament, but a simple statement. I am happy. I am blessed. I am excited. I am very grateful. But it does not change the fact that I simply have no energy. I don't remember which animated movie has that song Just put one foot in front of the other... but that has been my mantra this week. It's okay if everything doesn't get done. It's okay if we cancel on some things...just keep moving.

Wednesday night Bobby's van overheated on the way home from church. Thankfully we have AAA, which has free towing within so many miles, and their service is 24/7. After three phone calls (or was it four?) and a 2.5 hour wait, we finally got the van to the mechanics and unloaded (loading and unloading were problems due to the lowered floor and the gas tank being in the back), and Bobby and his chair home and unloaded and re-united. Our dogs were very puzzled and confused the last two days. They'd come sit in the garage where Bobby's van parks and lay at the door. When he'd come out to pet them, they'd act very puzzled indeed. I think they were happy when the van came home this afternoon. All is as it should be.

And we had our meeting with the physical therapist AND the representative from the wheelchair company at the same time this afternoon. It was simple; both she and the company rep understood and agreed with his concerns. So now we wait on them to prepare their reports to insurance for approval and then send to the doctor for a prescription. Once that is received, they'll start making his chair. They seem to think we'll have his chair within 2 months. Did you just feel that fresh air rushing by you as you read that? YES!!!! Two months! :) Not 5-6. Not a year. This whole process, start to finish, could conceivably happen in less than three months. Such a different scenario than what we'd been promised several years ago. Granted, a lot can happen between now and then at any step of the way, but having cleared this first new and unknown to us dreaded hurdle (therapists didn't pick out your wheelchair 12 years ago) I'm feeling a lot more optimistic about the whole process. The company rep was familiar with the things Bobby was saying, and didn't act like we were crazy for saying "we specifically need this in a chair".

We even fit in a very brief visit to the library book sale at the fairgrounds. We only had time to browse most of the history/biography section, but we found several books. We joked about going back, but truly, the last thing we need right now is more books.

The rabbit has eaten some of my green bean plants that had sprouted. Not thrilled with that. If it's not raining in the morning I hope to get a little bit of work done there before we head out for an afternoon event.

And a sad but quite funny conversation this week with a friend who is in hospice care in a nursing facility now: I've heard many elderly people make comments when in the hospital or a nursing home about where they are (renting rooms out in their house, a hotel, a family reunion, at college, on vacation, left when a family member had car problems and they're getting the car fixed, etc). But this women asked me why I thought the government was moving everyone into apartments and doing away with the family unit. She was convinced she was there to work (she's bedridden) and that the government is no longer allowing her to live with her husband. That was a new one to me. She was convinced that was how people lived in Russia, and didn't really believe me when I told her that families had apartments or houses in Russia. She informed me that Russians lived in communes because they were communists, and she didn't understand why America was doing the same. It must be because we stopped teaching Home Ec in school. I didn't tell her they still teach Home Economics, but that it's now called Life Science, or something like that. I figured there was no point. And five minutes later she would be totally lucid and asking about a conversation we had four months ago. It still makes me shake my head.

I'm not sure how it got to be the end of the first week of May (achievement tests for homeschoolers came and went this week!!!), but it's here. I don't know if I'll get the grill cleaned, or a quilt project finished and the new one started, or the flower bed re-done. I'm trying my best to simply focus on today.

So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. ~ Matthew 6:34

Monday, May 1, 2017

Lazy 5 Ranch

Over the weekend we went to an historical symposium (where historians give lectures), and we left half a day early so we could swing by the Lazy 5 Ranch. Bobby has always wanted to go there, and I think we both enjoyed it very much. Once you enter the ranch, you have the choice of driving your car through the trails (the animals run free in the enclosure) or riding a horse-drawn wagon. Bobby enjoyed it to so much that he's toying with the idea of how to make something like that work here. I think his brainstorming is along the same lines of me opening a quilt shop - nice to think about but realistically not going to happen in the next five-ten years, if ever.

We don't know if these are Emu or Ostrich eggs (or both), but they made our geese eggs look tiny.

The emus were funny. They would peer inside the windows, looking
 to see if we had a bucket of food. If I didn't have the food
bucket covered, they would peck at the window. And yes,
I was a chicken and did not roll my window down for any of them, but
would wait until they were ahead  or behind us and throw some out onto the ground.

On the left of this picture is an ostrich. Young emus are in the middle
of the road and a large emu is to the right. I'm not sure what kind of creature
is at the van window. My only dislike was that there was
no picture id of the animals in the brochure.

Young birds that we're guessing are emus, but not sure.

Bobby was amazed by the horns on the cows...a lot of different variety.
And we laughed at all the pot bellied pigs of all sizes running around everywhere.

No idea what kind of deer this was, but we saw quite a few.
It was amazing to see spots on a full grown, or nearly grown animal.

And this llama made me laugh. There's a new quilt
pattern out that are llamas, and there was a
discussion about what color they were. And
this one is multi! :)
They had giraffes and zebras, peacocks, guineas, exotic birds, and I'm not sure what all else. It was totally worth the visit.