Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Thank God this Month's Over

I hope to never repeat one like this!

My brother has come back from the brink of death and will recover. He's got a long road ahead of him, but we're just going to take it one day at a time. The phone rang this morning shortly after my alarm clock went off at 5:00. I totally panicked. When I answered, it was Don saying he loved me. Oh, wow, I can't tell you how good that made me feel, and how good it was to hear his voice. A week ago I didn't think I'd ever get to talk to him again. He was put into a private room late last night, and had his first cup of coffee in over a week today. The mere fact that he was making jokes just made my heart sing. What I wasn't told on Friday night when he was taken into surgery was that he was within hours of death, and the surgeon told Gail that he didn't think he'd survive the surgery. That he did survive and will get well, I believe, is a testament to his faith and the prayers of hundreds of people. I will fly to Louisiana for a few days in March. I need to see him.

I can't even remember what, if anything, I accomplished in February. I am appliqueing the fourth Bundling Board block, and I made some string blocks for Nancy. Oh, and I procrastinated a lot on that cutting chore. Hopefully March will see lots of fabric leave my stash! That's the plan anyway.

The next month will be also spent pondering some life decisions. I knew I'd have to do this sooner or later, but was procrastinating on that, too. (sigh)

Heartfelt thanks to each of you who commented or emailed me your support this past week. That meant more to me than you will ever know.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Scary Times and Snow

Well, that's a jumbled up title, but it's about how I'm feeling right now.

At 9:00 last night their time, my brother was taken into emergency surgery because the bleeding was still continuing. They removed 4' of colon and was able to hook everything back together so that his body will work properly. He was given six more pints of blood during surgery, but Gail just called me and said he didn't need any more during the night. She hasn't seen him yet this morning, but the ICU nurse coming off duty told her that he had a good night, no more bleeding, but is really wanting the ventilator tube out. He'll be in ICU for a couple of more days. His cardiologist is due in this morning because his blood pressure got real low during surgery, and they're monitoring that closely. I feel much relief today, but I know he's got a long recovery ahead of him.

This picture was taken yesterday morning through the windshield as I pulled out to head to work. Finally a little snow on the first layer of mountains. When I got to work, I had a better view of the mountain range, and could see real white mountains behind these. It was beautiful. I'm a real wannabee snow bunny. LOL

The second picture is Scooter, my boss' new lab puppy. He's nine weeks old, and a real charmer. We had him on the front lawn of the office yesterday so I could get some pix of him. Unfortunately, the only time he stood still was when he was 'taking care of business.' Then he decided to roll around in the grass, so he's covered with stuff. He's looks so much bigger than just a week ago. I guess the next time I see him, he'll weigh 60 lbs.

Today is haircut, manicure, and then some serious housecleaning. Ironing and cutting fabric are also on the agenda for the weekend. The Catholic guilt thing is starting to set in over that giterdun quilt. :)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Another Block

One more to go and then I can assemble it and get the borders on. It's been a fun, relaxing project.
I tried to call Gail all day long today to check on Don, and never got an answer. I finally got her tonight when I got home from work. It happened that she was in ICU with him, so I got to speak with him for a minute. He's real weak. The bleeding started again today. More tests tomorrow. So far they have been unable to find out what's going on. I'm worried, but promised him I wouldn't go while he's in the hospital. I guess I'll wait until tomorrow night to see how he's doing, and then make the decision whether to fly home.
I'm real anxious to sew right now, but I'm stuck on the blasted thing. I need to just plow through it and get it done. Maybe this weekend I'll tackle it. Maybe.
It's raining here now, but surprisingly, the freeways moved at a steady 50 mph tonight. I love the rain. It clears everything out.
~ Cool temps
~ Being able to talk to my brother tonight
~ Being tired enough tonight to probably sleep through the night

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Middle of the Night Call

Gail called me middle of the night to tell me that Don was in ICU in Lafayette. He was bleeding a lot, although is now stablized after getting some blood. I talked to her right before noon here, and he's looking a lot better but is still bleeding some. He was scheduled for all sorts of testing this afternoon. I'll talk to her again when I get home, unless she finds out anything before then and will call me.

Trying to plow through tons of work here in case I have to fly home.

I did finish the third Bundling Board block last night.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Happy Mardi Gras 2007

I had the best of intentions this year. I was going to make a Mardi Gras wallhanging. Well, here's the fabric still in its original form! Since this won't get made by tomorrow, at least this will serve as a reminder this year to just GITERDUN!

My neck was really stiff today, but I felt a lot better than yesterday. Wasted my Sunday sleeping off and on all day. So much so that I was worried about sleeping last night. Not a problem! I had trouble getting up this morning.

Wow, what an amazing 21 minute drive in to work today, and 19 minutes to get home. That must be an all-time record. I don't think I've ever seen the freeways this open even on the weekends! But tomorrow is going to be a bear, probably a full hour each way.

I received an exciting crate today delivered to work. I'm going to wait until it's hung to blog about it, but it made me smile BIG time!

One of my boss' black labs, Magic, won his second Open Field Trial in three weeks. I'm not sure how many points he needs to make it to the National Field Trial in November, but he's well on his way. Go Magic!

And speaking of GITERDUN, namely the blasted GITERDUN, tonight I iron. :)

Happy Mardi Gras to everyone out in Bloggerland! Laissez les bontemps rouler!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

New Project - Maybe

This quilt is too cute. I don't remember if I picked up the pattern at Ginger's or at Road to CA, but I had it sitting out on the coffee table yesterday and it grew on me. I've enjoyed working on the Bundling Board blocks, and thought maybe this one would be next one up. I know I said I wasn't going to make any more small quilts, but I might make an exception for the cute folk art/primitive inspirations out there. I'm finally thinking about using all the folk art fabrics I've been collecting for years. This won't stashbust much, but at least we're heading in the right direction on that score.

Speaking of scores, two more friends want fabric for our wheelchair RiM retreat project, so 10 more yards will be mailed out tomorrow. Plus seven FQs out of a little game I organized with my online group this weekend. So total stashbusted year to date: 47.50 yards!

I'm getting ready to start ironing blasted fabrics. I really can't put it off any more. When I get tired of standing, I can sit for a while and applique.

Had a rough night last night. My neck is so stiff this morning that I can barely move my head. A hot shower kind of helped, but I just need to take it easy today. I just cooked breakfast using the last two eggs I have, and some instant grits. I took two little filet mignons out of the freezer for grilling tonight. I need to go to the market again. The cupboards are bare. Not a thing in the house to eat, but a freezer full of steaks. LOL. I found a few red potatoes in the fridge, and the only can of veggies in the pantry is baked beans. So I'm going to bake those up with some brown sugar and molasses (thinking of Finn here). Just wish I had salad fixings. But I'm not getting out today. Shopping will have to wait until tomorrow.

Boy, did I switch topics big time in the paragraph above .... roflol.


~ Inspiration from the most unlikely sources
~ Beautiful cool weather today. I've opened the house up.
~ Daisy's begging for my breakfast, and her obvious disappointment when I gave her grits! :)
~ Going back to bed for a couple of hours this morning with no guilt!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Patchwork Party 2007

Is anybody doing this quilt? I debated it a long long time, but think I have decided against it. I was thinking it would be a nice quilt for "my" bedroom at my brother's house, but none of the finishing kits really sang to me. I think the red in them is what's bothering me. I saw the line in person tonight at Ginger's, and I still felt the same way about the red. Although it's a beautiful fabric, it doesn't seem to go with the rest of the line. However, I'm going to pick up a little piece of it for my applique stash. Of course, would anyone in this stashbusting ring admit it if they were doing it? ROFLOL. We're trying. We really are!

Daisy is really miffed at me. I came home a second night in a row smelling like that lab puppy. She checks out my shoes and pants legs, and then walks away from me, looking back over her shoulder to gauge my reaction to being ignored. Such a silly dog!

I had an exciting fax today - to give permission on a quilt. That just thrills me to no end - but no more hints about that. It's not my story to tell! (wink)

Reading through posts from my online friends, they're blowing snow back east, feeling the ground move in Oklahoma, chilling out in Texas .... out here, we're experiencing our usual same old weather. Just our "winter" version of it - high 70s and clear. The rain earlier this week, along with thunder and lightning, was a welcomed sight for sure!

I read through all the blogs in the ring today while eating lunch, but didn't have enough time to comment on all of them. You are doing some beautiful work. One or two inspirations boinked me on the head. But, alas, the blasted quilt comes first. Oh, I got the sweetest and funniest email from Jackie tonight .... with lots of tips on how to get through the blasted quilt. Jackie, it's now the "blasted GITERDUN" quilt! LOL

Bundling Board - Again

I'm working on the third Bundling Board block, upper right. I've got three of the leaves needle-turned, but the colors were bothering me. I was going to change out the piece under the star because I thought it was blending in too much with the background, but it doesn't seem to be so bad in this picture. I think I'm just going to finish it as is. In the spirit of my Dad's, "Hey, we're not building a piano here."

It was so beautiful outside yesterday, and I'm hoping for more of the same today. The rains two days ago cleared out the usual smog and we had a clear view of our ash-covered mountains. I was hoping some snow would be up there, but nada! We had hardly any snow on the mountaintops last year either. In prior years they were just gorgeous - a nice contrast to our warm temps below.

My boss brought his new black lab puppy to the office yesterday. Scooter is 8.5 weeks old, and is already showing promising field trial potential. Such a cutie. He wasn't so much a biter as a lot of puppies are, and he was real content to snuggle in my arms and give me puppy kisses!

I've been listening to the tales of the snow shoveling and seeing pictures of really deep snowfalls from my online quilting group. I'm not so sure I'd want to shovel snow, but for one winter I'd like to live in a place that has snow. Someday.


~ Beautiful poppies blooming everywhere
~ Breakfast food last night. Yummy!
~ Committed to cutting the blasted quilt this week. No excuses!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Watching the National Kennel Club show

I missed the doxies, I guess. But I'm sitting here watching the tiny, sleek toys, and then I glanced over at Daisy - the fat little piglet. I've got to say, I busted out laughing. I mean, I laughed so hard tears were running down my face. I'm sorry, Daisy. I love you, I really do, but you're so funny looking!

Maybe it has something to do with finally getting my meds from the pharmacy today......... I'm going to be a real relaxed and happy camper in a day or two.

I was so excited this weekend to mail out five yards of a background I had to a friend who needed it. It was an older line, so I was delighted to be able to do this.

Total stash busted in 2007 to date .... 35.75 yards!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Another Bundling Board Block

Second one finished. Halfway there. They need to be pressed and blocked, but I like them so far.

It's raining and a lot cooler today. I've got the fireplace going, and Daisy is curled up next to me on the sofa. Watching "For the Boys." What a good movie.


Because of the nature of comments on my blogs by "Anonymous," from this point forward I will delete comments by anyone who does not sign their comment with a link back to either their email address or their personal blog/site.

This is MY blog. If you don't like what you're reading, change the channel.

My Dream Last Night

I woke up smiling big time.

I dreamed I took a couple of weeks off from work (it had to be a dream!) I loaded up Daisy in the QuiltMobile, and took off for Missouri.

When I pulled up in front of a house, Judy and Sally and Jane were outside waving. How did Jane get there? I don't know. I just remember being so happy and so excited that finally I could get together with three special people who mean the most to me in the whole world!

I don't remember much else except lots of sewing and laughing and cooking and more laughing. Finished flimsies were everywhere! An explosion of color all over Judy's studio!

Okay, it was just a dream - but it was my dream, and it was a happy one! And since the pharmacy closed before I could pick up my prescriptions last night, I can't blame it on the meds! LOL

Someday .............

Today is my one-year blogging anniversary. It sure doesn't seem that long. Seems like just yesterday Judy was getting me all fixed up here. I had hoped to have a quilt finished (totally out of stash) to post today, but life got in the way. It's always something! :)

Thank you to each of you for making this year such an enjoyable one. It's been fabulous getting to know you, and you have truly inspired me beyond words!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

I Need My Head Examined

Oh, wait! I already did that!

This was an eBay purchase a couple of weeks ago. I picked it up today at the post office. One of those middle of the night, can't-sleep, no-fabric-purchases kind of nights. Browsing around eBay will usually do the trick.

I've got two huge tubs full of Civil War and '30s blocks. I mean, full. So why do these things intrigue me so much? I'm either a closet antiquer - or I'm a glutton for UFOs. That must be why I buy UFOs of others!
There are close to 400 of these 5" blocks. One block is finished. The fabrics are probably from the '40s thru '70s. Lots of shiny stuff. Yikes! The quiltmaker hand stitched three wedges on a 5" foundation. The one she finished has a darker piece appliqued to cover the remaining foundation, and then a crazy stitch on top. I'm clueless, but the mere fact that there were almost 400 of them made them hard to pass up. So I'm going to play with them for a while, and then relegate them to the tubs.

Jane saw them this afternoon and was laughing so hard. I mean, really hard. Too hard! Okay, Jane, I get the message!

We went to see "The Queen" this afternoon. The movie was not what I expected as I had read no reviews, but it was enjoyable. I would recommend it.

And we had our usual "adventure du jour." We can never get together without getting lost, or doing some wrong. Today we were to meet up at a gigantic mall in front of the theatre. Well, turns out there are two theatres there. I waited around at one for a while, and then went into the lobby to find out that our movie wasn't playing there. So trekked back out to my car, and drove around this gigantic place until I found the other theatre (which turns out was right across the road from the first one). I was about 10 minutes late meeting her - and it seems she did the same thing I did. Sheesh, we could have done that together and only wasted gasoline in one vehicle instead of two! You just can't take us anywhere!
I finally dropped my prescriptions off to be filled this evening, and need to head back over there now to pick them up. It's kind of silly to still be hurting when I had those things in my wallet.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Paltry Weekly Progress

I guess I'm amazed that anything was done since last week. Last Sunday I managed to get the second Bundling Board block prepared and did some needleturn on it. Had all best intentions of getting it finished this week, but should have known better. So this is my project for the weekend. (And cutting the blasted Irish chain, Nancy!)

Jane and I are going to see "The Queen" tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to that - to going to the movies - or as Mom would have said, the picture show. I haven't been in years. I've been in the work/home mode pretty much for the last couple of weeks, so it'll be good to just get out.

I'm also going to psych myself up for giving Daisy a bath. Oh, my, that is a job. I never have figured out how one little fat doxie can make such a mess in the bathroom. She yelps the whole time she's being bathed and wiggles and splashes water. I end up just as wet as she is. And then she has to pout around for half a day trying to make me feel guilty about the whole thing. She' s real good at doing the wounded martyr routine.

And, lastly, I hope to start organizing this house a bit. I have managed to scatter quilty stuff everywhere, so I want to lasso it up. As it is, I wouldn't dare have anyone over who isn't a quilter. They wouldn't understand.

In the picture, you can see a bit of the Pendant Lamp I purchased two years ago at Road but am just starting to use. It's a light that sits on your chest with a strap around your neck. My eyesight seems to be getting worse and worse, and this little contraption allows me to focus the light on the project in hand. Does anyone else use a pendant lamp?
~ T-G-I-F!!!
~ A bit of headache easing this afternoon. Hopefully the worst of this thing is over.
~ Having the perfect background for a friend. Stashbusting!
~ Another BOM showed up on my doorstep today. Uh oh!
~ More packages mailed today. I'm almost caught up!

Doctor Update

Just a quickie to say that my brain MRI came back negative. The only thing they found was a little scar tissue from the surgery ten years ago. That's a huge relief, but still doesn't explain the headache that has been going on for two and a half weeks. One suggestion he had was an occipital nerve block, which I nayed. No needles in my head, thank you very much. He did start me back on anti-seizure meds that I took for six years after the first surgery, and hopefully those will relax nerves enough to give me some relief.

My heartfelt thanks to all my blogger friends who emailed me with their thoughts and prayers. You are very special to me.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Not much to blog about

I am so tired that I went to bed last night about a half hour after I got home. Tonight I'm enjoying a TV dinner :( and a glass of wine :) and I'm hitting the hay when I'm done.

I did start block two of the Bundling Board while watching the Super Bowl. I know, I know (Nancy, hear this?) that I should have been cutting on the blasted Irish chain, but I didn't want to. I won't be able to get in my sewing room until after this week is over. If I don't sleep away the weekend.


~ TV dinners
~ wine

That's it, folks!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Shop Sample for Ginger's

One of those panels .... I never have understood those things, but that's just me. :) Anyway, it wasn't moving in the shop, so I volunteered to make up something for them. This one is Serendipity by Sandy Gervais for Moda. Yep, I actually volunteered to make something purple. Yikes!

Judy came up with two great ideas for the panel, but I was limited with what I could do because they didn't have the other fabrics needed for those. So, Judy, if you don't mind, I'm going to save those great designs of yours for the next time -- because I know me well enough to know I'll probably volunteer again for something! :(

I decided to keep it real simple, something that could be sewn in a couple of hours. And it would have - except I did something real stupid. Real stupid. I was squaring up the last panel block, and managed to cut through the others that I had already squared up. So I had to go beg another panel from them. I was embarassed that they wouldn't let me pay for it. Real embarassed. Geez, you can't take me anywhere. Wrote up simple instructions for them, and that's done and out of here.

The washing machine ran most of the afternoon yesterday, and there's more to wash today as I fell asleep with the last load in the dryer and it's hopelessly wrinkled. Back into the washer! My online group has tagged the double Irish chain as the "blasted" quilt, and 1st weekends dedicated to working on "blasted" projects. I'm determined to get it all cut out today - no more procrastinating - and get it all sewn together and off to Judy to quilt by the end of February. I'm looking to my blogger friends to hold me accountable on that!

Woke up with the headache pounding again. I just realized that I hardly ate anything yesterday, so I need to stop by the market and stock up on real food. Might make a pot of chili today. While I'm cutting. :)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

My Belated Christmas Present

My belated Christmas present is this chest that I'm going to use as a coffee table. Jane and I spotted this before Christmas when we were antiqueing, and it's one of those things that I've been pondering and pondering. So today I decided to go over there, and if it was still there, it was meant to be. My brother sent me a check for Christmas, and I promised him that I'd buy something special with it. He'll be delighted as he loves antiques.

When I walked in, a lady was leaving and telling the shopkeep that she'd be back in ten minutes with the measurements. When asked if she was sure she didn't want to put a deposit down, the lady said, no, that she'd be back in ten minutes, fifteen at the most, and she left.

I pointed to the chest and said that I'd like to look at that chest. "Oh, no, that's what she's going home to take a measurement for!" The shopkeep explained that this lady wanted to make sure it wasn't too big to use for a coffee table in front of a sofa in her study. (And I'm thinking that now the price couldn't be negotiated since it was suddenly in demand!) Long story short, it followed me home. It doesn't match the sofa I have now, but this sofa is going to be replaced very soon as it wasn't meant to be used every day. It use to live in the formal living room in my ex-house. But life is much more casual now, and I want everything in the quilting condo to be functional and comfortable!

I feel a little better today; the headache is only thumping at about half throttle. I had an 8:00 haircut, went to the office, ran by and got a manicure, went by the other office, stopped at the quilt shop, then to the antique store and the great bakery in our little downtown area. All by noon today. The rest of the weekend is mine mine mine!

Going to put on some comfy clothes and start the blasted Irish chain fabric washing. And while those loads are going, I'll play in my sewing room!

Friday, February 02, 2007

My January Progress

Since there's hardly anything quilty to report, this will be very short.

~ Finished shop sample for Ginger's Quilt Shoppe and pieced backing

~ Finished Alex's retreat sampler and pieced backing

~ Total yardage busted (including donations) - 30.75 yards

~ Made a block for a new applique project.

January is always too busy at work for me to get much stitching done. February, however, is a new beginning! I picked up a Sandy Gervais panel and some coordinating fabric yesterday at the quilt shop to make up a shop sample for them. Judy gave me an idea last night, but I need to go by tonight to see if they have this background. If not, I'll go to Plan B. But it should sew up real quickly - I like those kind of projects, a quick one!

I have an MRI scheduled for 2:00 today to rule out a bunch of stuff on headaches. I'm sure everything is okay, but it's just something we need to stay on top of with my history. Then a dip & clip in the morning, and home for the entire weekend. I'd love to have a flimsey to show by Sunday!


* Phone calls with special friends

* Excellent health insurance

* A feeling of accomplishment at work