Saturday, December 19, 2015

Twas the Week Before Christmas

And LA Quilter hasn't gotten the first present wrapped -- nor purchased.  Today's the day.  I'm going to make it as simple as possible this year, but I still have to go to a mall in a strange town that I've only been to once before.

If you don't hear from me in a couple of days, send out Search and Rescue!

I did get a tree up this year, the first in probably 12 years.  I wanted a live tree but had no way to get one here.  My cleaning lady was coming last Friday and her boyfriend was also coming to do some yard work, so they picked one up for me.  I had purchased what I thought was a Vicky-proof tree stand and then couldn't figure out how to get it together.  They rescued me and installed it in the stand and in the den, hauled down boxes and boxes of decorations from the "holiday closet" upstairs, and the rest was up to me.

I had gotten four new strings of lights as mine were so old.  Penny and I managed to get those on last weekend, and whatever ornaments were in the first two boxes I opened were what ended up on the tree.  There was a box of little red bows and those filled in the gaps.  Didn't do so great getting those lights on that blasted tree!

Don't laugh!  I am SO not a decorator!

I plugged it in for about an hour or two last weekend, and then didn't plug it in until Wednesday this week.  The lights died on the top half of the tree.  I was so disgusted and was ready to just take the whole thing down.  Then it got funny.  And the more I looked at that ugly tree, the funnier it got!  I didn't take a nighttime picture but even in this daytime shot I think you can see the problem!  Hilarious!

Oh, well, at least it smells good!  I did manage to put a little Christmas cheer on the front porch.  I wanted to get lights up outside but, again, no way I could do that myself.  Maybe next year I should just concentrate on that and forget about a tree!

Work is going great.  One week into it, I'm so glad I made the decision to work again.  It's busy and  interesting - and I'm happy.  I make the five-minute commute home every day to let Penny out and grab a bite.  I've been appliqueing a little on a basket block every day while I'm home for lunch, and am happy to report that 230 blocks are done out of 291.

I probably won't be posting again before the 25th, so I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas.  May the joy of the season fill your hearts!

Saturday, December 05, 2015


I absolutely cannot believe how busy a "retired" person can be.  My calendar has something on it every single day. 

Some quilting has happened but it's mostly finishing up stuff and appliqueing baskets.  I made two Route 66 placemats for a friend's motor home.  There were issues with my Bernina 750 on the quilting.  I was so frustrated.  I actually sat down and removed the cross hatching on the first placemat.  The 750 was in the shop when it was unpacked because of "moving" issues and has been sitting in the Cottage fixed but unused for almost the whole year.  The fabric was bunching up.  I was about to pull out another Bernina when the light bulb came on.  While the machine was in the shop, the repairman lifted the dual feed mechanism.  Once I realized that and dropped it back down into position, the cross hatch quilting worked perfectly.  Those placemats were delivered around Thanksgiving and are checked off the to-do list.

I sewed the bindings on two quilts (with the dual feed working perfectly), did the hand stitching, and those are going out in the mail on Monday for the grandchildren of two friends.  Check.  I have one more binding to get machine stitched on this weekend, and I'll get it finished next week.  It's a Christmas quilt for my quilt rack display this year.  All three of these quilts were back from the quilter this summer but I'm just now getting around to finishing them.

Baskets -- 225 done out of 291.  I'm really getting a little tired of these but am plugging away.  I hadn't worked on them for a week, so I sat down last night and did one.  It's the old "how do you eat an elephant" thing.  My goal now to get these done is two months.  There will be some appliqued setting blocks to do, but not too many, and those will get done in due time.  This long-term project will definitely be a 2016 finish.

Shopping -- There was an estate sale that began on Thanksgiving Day in a little town near me.  I went with my nephew and his wife, and we had a ball going through this gorgeous turn of the century home.  I wanted so many things, but settled on this old secretary.  It hasn't been cleaned here yet, and there are a few scratches that I can handle, but I love it!  I also picked up a beautiful crystal bowl for $25 that will hold a nice flower arrangement on the dining room table, and some beautiful doilies and mantle scarves.  Don't know how much I'll use those but I couldn't pass them up for just a couple of dollars.  I quickly scanned the books in the library and found two books on antique furniture for next to nothing.  What a fun afternoon!

Health -- I think Monday will be my last PT visit because of a life change that is happening.  I had an orthopedic appointment today.  I love that guy.  He's a hoot.  He examined my knees, and said I should go next door and talk to the therapist about a good regimen of home exercises to do, and "We'll give it a shot."  Okay, great, we'll give the home exercise program a shot. Uh, no.  The look on my face I'm sure was priceless when the nurse walked in with a small ultrasound machine and a syringe.  I really need to pay closer attention!  Anyway, all is well; the knee is feeling a lot better and I'm off and running.  No, wait, no running.  Sheesh.  No pictures on that one.  Can I hear a "Thank You!"?

The change -- I am going back to work.  It's a governmental administrative support position. I think I'll be much happier getting out of the house every day, meeting people, and having more structure in my life.  Frankly, I missed working.  But the beauty of this position -- it's about a mile from my house!  I left home 15 minutes before my interview this week, and then had to sit in the car and kill 10 minutes so I wouldn't show up too early.  I'll work four and a half days a week.  Win/win.

So back to sewing at nights and on the weekends.  There's the structure.  No more being exhausted after an hour to hour and a half commute.  I can walk Penny, eat, and dive in.  Wait, no diving ...

This weekend is busy.  A facial, a two year-old birthday party, and the Christmas parade and lighting ceremony in the evening.  I'm loving life in my tiny town!