Tuesday, June 30, 2009
After the neighborhood crime events, I considered getting an alarm system but kind of didn't call about it. I don't feel in any danger in the neighborhood, but at night when it's dark and quiet in the house, I wake up knowing I've heard an unfamiliar noise and get nervous. I can't send Mike down the hall to check for me. It's now up to me to try to get my eyes on a door to make sure it's closed without being seen. I'm sure the noises are cat and dog adventures. They all sleep in the sunroom, but sometimes it sounds like playtime out there. I just don't like to be awakened from a deep sleep to a crash, even if it is cat-induced.
So when the ADT guy came by yesterday, I listened to him, and we talked about it, and I think I'll sleep better if we have an alarm system. We probably won't have it on much during the day to avoid false alarms, but it will be nice to have when we go out of town too.
Blogs are boring without pictures (and mine sometimes with), so I managed to beg some from Sherry. She sent these of the quilt that's going to be in Quilt Sampler magazine this fall. She did the quilting. She's very good.
This is one that she's made but not quilted yet. I can't imagine getting something like that accomplished. It's beautiful.
I won't talk about my progress on my scrappy quilt too much, but I did move some triangles around and cut about 20 more to add to the pile. Maybe I'll take a picture tomorrow for Elise's approval.
Debby's going to be in town tomorrow and is coming by. We'll go to lunch and anywhere else we think of; that's a nice thing to look forward to. Probably the most exciting thing I'll do this holiday week. But who knows?
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Nothing much else notable except this awful heat that just saps your energy as soon as you step outside. I'm working in the early morning and evening, so the times I'm off, it's impossible to get outside.
Mama and I drove to Andalusia Friday and took barbecue to Roy's from Georgiana. I can't remember the name of the little place, but the sign says "Howlin' Good." Not sure about that, but it was pretty good, along with the potato salad, baked beans, and corn nuggets. Nice lunch with Roy. Mama left to go visit friends after lunch. This was the first time she has driven since before she fell last October. I asked her if she remembered how, and she said she thought it would come back to her. Obviously it did. I figured she would be back, tired and aching, in an hour, but she went from one place to the other, visiting friends and talking and talking, I think spending an hour or more at each place. I ended up piecing some of my triangles while I waited and worried about Darby being inside for 10 hours. We got home around 6:30, and she was fine. The cats, however, had gotten left in the main part of the house away from their food, litter box, and main water (the other source being the toilets). There were a couple of grumpy gray cat faces looking at me through the French doors when I got home.
I got a chance to work overtime this weekend on my favorite hospital, so it was very nice - still working, but I'm pulling off the earphones because of the lightning. YES! Thunder and lightning and actual rain. I wasn't even expecting it, so this is a wonderful surprise. It's really pouring.
This is in the hoping stage when the weather map looked like it was going to pass just south of us.
Then real rain drops - and shrubs that needs trimming. The hedgehog and geranium enjoying some moisture.
Serious rain now. Too serious. Just as I took the last picture, my camera flashed and the lightning flashed at the same time. The thunder was immediate and deafening and sent me scurrying back inside where I intend to stay. The power just went off and on too, so I'm having to retype everything.
Here's Mama making some green tea to celebrate the rain. The temperature in the house has fallen below 80, so that's the reason for the jacket. She just confessed that when she opened the microwave to put in her cup of water, she found her jar of instant coffee sitting there. She said she was glad I didn't find it first, and I told her I would probably have thought I did it. It's pretty common around here. I finally took time last night to clean off my sewing room/sunroom table. I made a vow last winter to clean it up, but with the wedding and other things, I've been digging out places to cut and measure, and it was so crowded I was not having a good time. This was in February.
So I spent an hour and dumped everything into plastic boxes and reclaimed order. It won't last long. Pretty soon I'll be digging around in those boxes and pulling things out to clutter it up again, but I'm enjoying it for now.
Sherry has done the quilting on a quilt that's going to be in a magazine. (She's not one of the ones in this picture.) I've asked her for some close-ups so we can see her work. It's pretty exciting to have your quilt chosen to be featured in a magazine. I imagine I'll have to wait until next year for one of mine to make it.
So June is practically over. I hate to rush things this late in life, but I'm ready for the end of August.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Builder Bob - who had rather be diving or drumming (is that the term for playing drums?) -spent another sweltering afternoon working on this fence.
It didn't happen without a little more arguing. I insisted he was not going to do this without my paying him, and he was just as insistent that he was. I told him it would make me miserable not to pay for it, and he pretty much said he didn't care about my state of mind. He also "lost" the receipt for the lumber. I gave him a check but was embarrassed about how small it was in relation to what he did for me. Not just the building - that was more than enough - but keeping me from the hassle of finding a fence repair person and wondering if I could trust them and for making me realize that there are good people around, right over my fence.
Now what can I do to pay him back? I mentioned yesterday about passing the good deed along, but so far the only thing I could pass along today was a dollar. I was waiting for Mama on a bench at Wal-Mart trying to get on a conference call for work, and this young girl asked me if I had some change for her to make a phone call. I didn't, as usual, but I gave her a dollar. I think I'm a loooong way away from meeting my goal.
This just gives me a happy feeling. I hope Bob has a chance to get something cold to drink and put his feet up tonight.
Darby's happy now too, plotting her next escape.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
That Bob, my nice back-fence neighbor labored in the heat and humidity this morning to do this.
What is he guilty about? That "his" burglars knocked down my fence.
The better scenario would have been for those 3 teenagers to be doing it. Except they're a little inconvenienced right now, and Darby needs her enclosure immediately.
She's looking longingly at the freedom a broken fence offers, but since she has the propensity to run down the street being obnoxious to the whole neighborhood, she has to be tied to a tree like the bad dog she is. She really doesn't mind her status right now - sleeping in the cool sunroom all day long. I know she misses flushing the birds out of the trees every morning and chasing lizards, but this is not a bad life.
On the picture above, Bob noticed that he had not trimmed his Carolina jasmine this year and that it was hanging over on my side. I took advantage of more guilt and talked him into not trimming it and just letting me pretend it was mine. Funny, I didn't really have to beg long.
My one and only white crepe myrtle.
It's good to get another week of work mostly behind me. I guess I'll be traveling south in the next couple of days - Andalusia for sure, probably Friday, and then I'm awaiting orders on whether Emily and Ryan need me to help with packing. I've had LOTS of experience the past 10 years and know where to find the best boxes and how to make a good master list and label things where you can find them later. Except that I went into Books-A-Million today specifically to ask for boxes and came out with a couple of things but forgot to ask about the boxes. Pet Smart is another good place for boxes if you catch them at the right time. Elise and I did our share of dumpster diving when we moved from Columbus. It was like a treasure hunt to drive behind the bigger stores right after they had thrown out their boxes. Small pleasures.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Just 15 minutes earlier, Mama had traveled down the driveway with her walker to get the mail, and she had sat there and sorted it in the driveway. You just never know what crazy thing is around the corner.
Of course, everything was recovered because they left their Lexus parked in front of the house when they ran away. Two were juveniles and one not, and they obviously gave a lot of thought to which house to try, how to get in, and what to do with the animals inside (put them in their crates). They just didn't count on our eagle-eyed neighbor watching them.
I refused, of course, to let my neighbor fix my fence (because I told him I don't receive things very well and that he should be the one being compensated). It was nice to meet finally although under bad circumstances, and he promised me tours of the Secret Garden. I was feeling so good about someone with such a kind heart when he called a few hours later and said he WAS going to fix the fence, that he would enjoy it, and that he hated to see me go through the ordeal of finding and trusting someone to do it for me. People like this really do exist. You just don't see them very often.
I was just finishing up my morning's work around 11:30 when I kept hearing what I thought were lawn mowers next door - kind of droning on. I got up to check on it because that's where my yard trolls start - outside my bedroom window - and they were just here Saturday. I didn't want them coming twice in one week, so I went to the front window to see if their truck was parked there. What I saw were these 2 cars and a familiar black dog running down the street. I huffed and muttered my way out back to see how she could have escaped, and when I looked at my (former) fence, this is what I saw.
I was just standing there in shock, wondering what could have happened. There was a small breeze blowing but no great wind, and I know Darby thinks her new haircut gives her supernatural powers, but really... I turned around and saw a policeman running toward me behind Darby, and the thought crossed my mind that they were kind of overdoing the animal control today.
The policeman was making all kinds of gestures and acting frantic, so I thought I would mention that my fence was down in case he hadn't noticed. He said, "I realize that, but you need to get inside. We have something serious going on here." Darby, to her credit, ran inside and didn't sit there barking at him, and I followed her. By the time I got to the front window to peek through the blinds, there were maybe 20 vehicles parked and rushing up and down the street, concentrating on the cul-de-sac in front of our house that ends in woods. And the helicopter was still circling.
If you click on this picture, you see the guys in camouflage with lots of guns and dogs that started arriving and pouring out of their vehicles. Lots of black vans with black windows and men on phones.
Mama and I had a little bit of fright, thinking that maybe the person they were looking for had gotten into the house and was hiding in the garage - since Darby was obviously too busy running down the street with her tongue hanging out to bark at strangers.
But I had to think they were concentrating enough on this one spot that someone must have seen the person running that way. According to the WSFA news, there was an attempted break-in on the street behind us, and the person either ran through my yard or tried to get into the yard when the fence fell. I guess that slowed him down a little.
So as of right now, all the cars and trucks are gone, and I don't hear the helicopter, so I have to assume the robber is caught.
Two funny conversations: Mama and I were sitting in the living room watching the excitement and at that point wondering about someone hiding in our house. She said, "I think you ought to call the police." With 20 police cars out front, I told her I wouldn't have to yell very loudly.
Then Mike was telling me I needed to go find the gun he had left me - which scares me so much I won't go to that side of the room. He made me promise to go get it and know where it was. I said, "Well, I wouldn't know what to do with it," and he said, "Pull the #%#%# trigger." It's not that easy for me.
I also got invited to smack one of the "Executive Directors" of my company. While this was going on, I noticed I had an Instant Message on my work computer that said, "Executive Director." Hmmm. I hear from coordinators and quality assurance and friends but executive director? It was someone I used to work with 15 years ago in Atlanta who has obviously made better career choices than I have. She was IM'g about a hospital that's getting angry with us for making so many mistakes (I still don't know why Beth was passing along unhappy information, but I didn't ask). She said that I had bolded and capped the Allergies heading on a report and that that was wrong. I apologized and explained about the police in my yard and we chatted a little bit. Then I went and checked to see why I had bolded and capped anything, and there it was in the RULES for this hospital. So I wrote her back, she checked, I was right, she apologized and offered to let me smack her. I declined and went back to my robber watching.
So here's hoping for a calmer afternoon. I'll update when I know anything. In the meantime, a little black dog gets to stay in the house until we get the fence fixed
Later: I hate more than the fence that my pretty vine that I got in Lubbock was destroyed. It didn't bloom last year, and I had high hopes for it this year. In Lubbock, this vine covered fences and telephone poles and anything not moving with the most beautiful red flowers. I bought one and brought it home and planted it by the fence. The first fall Darby chewed it down until I started putting Tabasco on it, and now I just need the Tabasco bottle to sit there beside it. Last summer it was pretty and green but didn't bloom, and I figured this year would be the one.
The way it's supposed to look:
When I was trying to find the name of the vine - which is a Trumpet Vine - I found this interesting bit of information: Here's a tip for the lady whose trumpet vine won't bloom. I heard this from an elderly lady when I was on a garden walk in mid-Michigan. Her advice, "Beat it with a broom!" Just as some trees like to have their trunks kicked, trumpet vines can be stubborn and may have to get knocked around a bit!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
This is a Divide and Conquer pattern where you quilt each square as you go. I enjoyed doing the two I did and would love to do another one, but the colors here are so vivid.
A bigger, brighter log cabin. I wish I had a picture of the whole thing; it's truly beautiful.
Close-up showing the covered buttons in the middle.
My favorite of the whole day. I love this one and will look for the pattern. It looks like there is curved piecing there, but it's really done with squares and triangles - maybe even doable for me. If you focus on the white, you can see the white stars, but otherwise it looks like waves of navy.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
It's been nice to talk to Emily before 7 a.m. and after 7 p.m. since she imposed a phone diet on herself after quite a large phone bill in May. So I get the 6:30 call: "What shall I eat for breakfast, cereal or toast." "What kind of cereal?" "Honey-Nut Cheerios." "Then toast." You know, really important things, like guava jelly and habanero peppers, how much they ADORE their new toaster oven Grandmama Ray gave them, while I'm doing my morning things like bringing in the paper and feeding the animals and wondering if she's done thank-you notes. I made her promise to do the same thing in Washington - YES - after they move so far away - call me with mundane questions on her way to work. It's really not so bad with email, cell phones, and instant mEssaging (yes, I caught that!). Mike and I carried on a 30-minute IM conversation this afternoon, and he likes to say he knows nothing about computers - or used to. I think the Blackberry changed his life. He pretty much spends his time bragging about how much faster he can type than me. Of course, with him, correct spelling is optional.
Elise is taming her neighborhood wild kittens (cute) and looking for a job in Lubbock while I make a little progress on her quilt. I'm on top of things now. I'm organized.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
We've never met but have become "bloggy" friends. I'm more than twice as old as she is, but we have so much in common - or did. Until she got so smart and ran away with her sewing and projects and things. She actually finishes things where I just talk about doing them. Maybe we'll meet one day soon.
Emily and Ryan have made a decision on her job, and we're all happy (a little sad) about it. I'll write more when I know what I'm talking about, but we'll just say it's going to involve a moving truck and my having to get used to them being in another time zone. This family of 5 (now 7) will soon be spread across the country in 4 states. Someone needs to learn to like to fly.
Monday, June 15, 2009
After a s---- story or a sighting by someone, I'm always more observant for a while, watching where I'm walking, not going near hiding places, etc., but this morning it was the seemingly innocent little Montgomery Advertiser. Don't click on this link if you share my phobia. I had to test it to see if it worked, and believe me, it wasn't a nice thing. I don't usually read the newspaper but in my sleepy state (although still scanning the sidewalk for any unwanted visitors), I happened to glance at the picture under the plastic wrap and saw the words (and of course the pictures) "slithering, scaly houseguests." Why? The day was off to a pretty good start, at least the 10 minutes I had been awake, and now that awful subject is back on my mind.
I have my 5-hour break starting right now, and I hope to use it wisely, but I probably won't. I'm going to try to get in a little triangle cutting for Elise's quilt.
Looks like I need to get a little more adventurous with my light colors - something besides off-white and beige. I have a lot of brights already but I worry about not having enough contrast between light and dark and go for a sure thing. That cute little plastic triangle is such a neat thing. I bought it yesterday before I knew I was changing patterns. It's for a 4-1/2 inch triangle, and I was unhappy about having the wrong size, but then I noticed that you can just slide it down on your fabric and make a 3-1/2 inch one. And it's thick enough so you can use a rotary cutter to cut them.
So 4-1/2 inches
Emily just called and asked if she could come spend the night here Wednesday night on her way to Atlanta (as if she needed to ask), and I told her I would try to change my working hours to be off while she's here. She said, "Well, I wanted to write my thank-you notes, and you know I don't get anything done when you're around." So I'll take that to be a compliment, like my being a vibrant person to be around and us having a lot of fun, as opposed to the way she really meant it, as in "when I'm around you, I become scatterbrained like you and get nothing done."
Emily's graduation came and went so fast and kind of took a back seat to the wedding. These pictures just came today, and here's one last chance to remember that exciting day.
She has three job offers as of today, and she and Ryan have been weighing the pros and cons and trying to make the best decision about which one to take. I think before the day is over, it will be decided. (I think I know which one it'll be.)
Sunday, June 14, 2009
They are all watermelon-colored, my favorite , and I just noticed the big one by the back door is starting to bloom at the top.
I'm glad for the rain and glad to have a little time to enjoy doing some things I like to do.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
I let my mother trick me into sending my father-in-law's Father's Day card a week early. I asked her when it was, and she said, "It's this Sunday. You want me to make you a card?" Since I didn't especially want to go out , I told her to and made sure I got it stamped and addressed and in the mail today. So Kathy gets a birthday card this week that's 2-1/2 weeks late, and Roy gets a Father's Day card that's a week early. I have a problem with dates lately, not to mention time zones.
This is the quilt Elise picked out last year that she wanted me to make her. It's not a hard pattern, Jacob's Ladder, and it's very scrappy. I have no trouble with lights and darks, but the medium values throw me off a little. I may have to get some help with that. Anyway, I think it will be fun.
Here are some of the fabrics she picked out then, and I've added some more to it. I'll see what makes me happy at the quilt show and pick up some more. There are really just 2 shapes, a 2-1/2" square and a 4-7/8" square cut into 2 triangles.
Just looking at this picture, I was thinking those orange'y reds were not working, but then I looked at them in person, and they are not so orange, more red. I think it will be fun. I can see at a glance what the darks are and the white or off-white based ones. I guess everything else is medium then. I have a hard time with this. I'm very uncreative with colors and pattern. That's why I like kits - someone else does the hard work for me.
My happening in June is to go to the Birmingham Guild Quilt Show with an old friend of Mike's and his wife on the 20th. I feel sure I've never met them, but it should be a fun day, and we're hoping Sherry can join us. Except for a dermatologist appointment on June 30 for a bump on my nose, it looks like I can do pretty much what I want to this month.
On July 6 and 7, step-cousin Teresa is to be in Andalusia, visiting with her husband from Wyoming, and I plan to see them one of those days, along with Debby. And then, when Debby gets back from San Antonio where Tom is waiting to go to Iraq, we're going to the beach. We've been promising ourselves this reward if we get through May and June, so here's hoping it happens. We're going to relax and talk and look at pictures and laugh and take walks and then eat wonderful seafood at night.
In between times, according to what Emily and Ryan decide about their jobs, I hope to get to Mobile and help them clean/pack/whatever they need. They have another appointment with the photographer, so maybe I'll go back to ATL with them and visit Marilyn and Ida Beth with no pressure hanging over my head.
Here are some random pictures:
Emily and Ryan did a double-take when they saw this while they were eating breakfast in downtown Mobile, and she had to go back and take a picture. What they lack in spelling, they make up with flourishes. I know that groper sounds delish to me, but the lobter cream sauce must be unbelievable.
Griffin and Darby and the "ginkgo"tree. When I got these little twigs from the Arbor Day Foundation after a contribution, they were marked dogwood and redbud, etc., and this one said ginkgo, but I don't think it is. I don't know what it is, but it's made quite a recovery from the mowing down by the yard boys. I may can even take down the little fence, and they'll recognize it as a living thing and not mow it down again. Nah, I think I give them too much credit.
Here are some pictures of Debby's back yard in Luverne - her haven. I would never go inside if I had a yard like this. Who wants to build me a gazebo?
It's time to catch up with Sherry and David and the kitties and their travels. They may be home now, but they've seen some beautiful places and it sounds like a perfect trip. How many cats get to drive along and look at bears and moose - or people for that matter?
I just bought an embroidery machine and a serger in the past year or so, so I'm certainly not in the market for a new machine BUT if I happened to have $1000 drop into my lap or $3000 or even $5000, I would immediately upgrade my regular sewing machine, and it's nice to hear people's opinions on the different brands. I notice that in the comments section, over 200 people have given their likes and dislikes, and this will be nice to save and read if I need it. Either that or it will make me go kick my old machine that has a suspicious burp that even the Viking repairman can't solve.
Mike and I talked briefly about retirement the other night, like it's going to happen or something, but you can dream. I told him my only requirements were rain, a nice yard and a huge sewing room. Kitchen is optional. Maybe a bedroom and a place for him to get away from the sound of machines and cursing. That doesn't sound too hard, does it? In fact, Sherry already has that, and I don't hate her too much for it. It sure won't be West Texas. I can't take waiting for the 2 storms a year they have and dealing with all that wind and tumbleweeds.
Like I said, it's good to be home and boring again.