Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Darby's Day of Beauty

We're not really sure what kind of dog Darby is.  We think a little border collie from her coloring and actions but maybe a little cocker spaniel.  From the looks of her coat sometimes, she seems to have gotten a chow mix in there.

I like her wavy, curly look, but her coat just won't stop growing at a pretty stage, and she gets shaggy and matted.

Usually in the warmer weather we have her shaved, and that suits us all fine, but I just couldn't do that in the winter.  Supposedly, a heavier coat doesn't keep a dog warmer, but she would certainly shiver and act pitiful with no hair and make me feel guilty.  So off we went to the groomer.  She needed her yearly shots too.

Going bye-bye is always an occasion for running through the house wildly, grinning, panting, and running in place while the leash is being put on.  A car ride is just too exciting for words.

Wait!  We're going WHERE?

What a trusting look.  She obviously doesn't remember what happened last time she was at the same place.

 So, buh-bye.  I'm gong to have fun with this new person in the place with the doggy smells.

And then the after.  That's a definite "let's get out of this place" look.

 Frankly, I think it looks like she came home with more hair than she went in with.  I guess that's the fluffing up and brushing.  Anyway, her toenails are cut, she's clean and sweet-smelling, and she has her shots for another year.

I turned down the doggy spa and massage, although for just $10 extra, that might have been something she would enjoy.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


I typed this last night, but it didn't appear.  This will have to do for today also.  I did get some sewing done this afternoon and then worked some extra.  Church this morning, and there's my day.

One ending is probably going to be my trying to write something every day.  I like the idea, but there really is not much to mention.  I've run out of things to take pictures of around the house.  Maybe I should get out more.

I'm sure I will have plenty of pictures starting next month - as many as the new parents will send me - and I have no shame.  I've tried to get Emily and Ryan to do a blog to document all these precious days, but they don't have time, so I'll do my share of posting pictures and anything interesting I can find out.

Barbara and I are losing our quilting shop in Montgomery.  Kudzu Blossom is closing.  I'm sorry for that.  I didn't go there much just because I'm a slow quilter and a dabbler in many other hobbies, but it is a beautiful little place, and there is always some inspiration to whet your appetite for starting something new.  In fact, I met Barbara in one of the classes in the back room, and any time she's in town she calls me, and we try to get over there and have lunch.  Neither one of us needs one thing from there, but we'll surely buy something, especially if the prices are good and if it's not too crowded Thursday morning. 

I wish someone would tell me how to enlarge my view on this laptop.  I can't seem to find a zoom, and it accidentally keeps getting smaller and smaller. Sorry if I misspell words - I'm leaning over so close to the screen.   It's funny how I"m constantly hitting the right combination of buttons/mouse to change the size, but I can't do it on purpose.

Oh, the last ending is my working relationship with my friend Rita.  We've spent a lot of years doing medical transcription, and it kind of makes me sad, although she's been unhappy for a couple of years and has been threatening to leave.  She's younger than I am, so she's not content to just ride out a job that used to be so good and now is just not.

We started in 1995 at a little place called Transquick near Hartsfield Airport in Atlanta.  I drove 90 minutes from Thomaston, and she drove from Carrollton.  We had 2 weeks training and were on our own - so scary.  But so challenging and so fun.  We could make a lot of money back then.  We worked hard, but we became close to our fellow workers.  Rita was not in the same "bay" or cubicle as me, but I would hear her contagious laughter from across the room, and it made me happy.

We worked from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., and there's something about working in the middle of the night that brings people together,   Lots of coffee and popcorn and Waffle House food brought from next door.  Lots of laughter and some tears.  I'm not sure how we did it.

I went home to work a little bit before Rita did, but we kept in touch.  We eventually changed companies, crossed paths once more, and then 6 years ago we started working for the former OSi.  It got swallowed up by this giant company, and it's not a good situation.  We've enjoyed fussing and fuming about work-related things and crying on each other's shoulders.  I'm glad she's getting out and getting an opportunity to use her people skills where they'll be appreciated.  We'll still be friends though, thanks to email and IM.  I'm sure she'll love the latest work tales and thank her lucky stars she's not still there.

Well, this is boring without pictures (or even with), but it's things I'll want to remember one day.  I do have a picture of one of Rita's goats on this blog.  I believe its standing on her dishwasher door. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Almost Like I Imagined

I had the idea for a blanket with a smocked piece in it well over 2 years ago.  I even smocked the panel on some car trip and put it away for later.

Once we found out the baby was going to be a girl, I thought I would try to put it together.  I had the yellow batiste already and just wedged it in a corner and did the piping.

I then found a nice piece of what I think is satin-backed flannel on the sale table at Beth's Heirloom's last fall.

Yesterday I got enough nerve to cut it.

Tonight I decided to sew it  together.  And it worked.  Not as neatly as I would have hoped, but it's definitely a keeper.

There's still trimming to do.  And pressing and tweaking and poking.  But I'm happy with it.

The Turban Girls  at Lakeview, minus a few.   Before Christmas we had a teeny little room where we worked elbow to elbow, but now we have a new room with big tables and plenty of storage.

Some of my favorite people busy at work, serging, sewing, puckering and packing.  Making turbans for cancer patients to wear when they're losing their hair to chemotherapy.

Here's Baby Girl - both of them - 27 more days.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Trip to Andalusia

This trip was something Mama wanted to do.  It was a visitation and burial of a man who had connections to Daddy's side of our family and was also related to old friends from Andalusia.  He lived in Virginia, I believe, and was buried in Andalusia, only 58 years old.  It was good that she got to go and pay her respects and also to see some of Daddy's cousins from years and years ago.  I ran into one my age, June, whom I really have not seen in around 50 years.  We did have fun when we were kids and would go visit their big family out in the country on Sunday afternoons.  We had only brothers, so we loved getting away from them and talking and sneaking around to listen to the grownups talk.  Hopefully, we'll talk again before long.

After the funeral home, we took Mama around to visit 3 more friends and sit and talk with them awhile.  Mike and I left her different places and drove around some, got Sonic ice cream and a Dean's coconut cake and just wasted time.  It was a gloomy, rainy day, and I could think of lots of things I needed to be doing at home, but she needed the contact with her friends.  I guess it wasn't enough, because she's been on the phone constantly since she's been home - I guess talking to the ones she didn't get to visit.

I saw on Facebook on the way home that the twins we were looking for in Ohio were born, two little boys.  So cute.  Their mom was Emily's first friend, and now they're having their first babies just weeks apart.  Sad to think they probably won't ever get to know each other and play together and have as much fun as those 2 little girls.

Well, I have managed to write something for the first 10 days.  It gets harder when nothing interesting happens.  I'll try to make something happen tomorrow but am not too optimistic.  I like boring.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


I'm almost to midnight and didn't say a word here today. 

Short and sweet.

 Turban ministry at church this morning where we enjoyed a new big room to sew.   Good friends, good conversation - and a little sewing.  I took a picture or 2, but it's still in the camera - in another room.

Left there and went to Beth's Heirlooms to buy 2 buttons - and ummm-- other things.  The prettiest corduroy was on sale, so I got a few pieces.  The girl who works there, whom I've never net, was so nice and helpful.  So many beautiful things there.

I'm not even sure about the afternoon.  It was wasted in some fashion.  Emily called after her doctor's appointment and reported that everything is just perfect.  She's not able to sleep now and is finding it rough going to stay alert and physically able to lift and handle patients as well.  We're encouraging her to take some time off before the baby comes and not try to work until the end.

Tomorrow we go to Andalusia so Mama can go to the memorial service of someone she knows..  It think we're supposed to have some rain - maybe a nice storm after we get home.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ready to Fly

Physically, anyway.  I got new rolling luggage today.  Always, I've just carried a shoulder bag, hanging-up bag, and numerous peripheral sewing and equipment bags for car trips.  Just a mess.  Now I have to hide everything away and not struggle through the airport looking like pack mule.  I believe these will do.

Are they too grape-y?  I originally was going to get just a small carry-on, but the prices at Belk were so good that Mike talked me into getting a larger one also.  I could have gotten any number of colors and was deciding between gray and teal, but I kept liking this color.  Mike loved clicking the big one down the center aisle of Belk (to find a cashier), pretending he was off on one of his important trips.  He had a noticeable swagger as he presented the clerk with my 20% off coupon in the baby department.

The flu shot and the Tdap were painless and didn't even get me any sympathy.  Mike got the Tdap but had already had the flu, pneumonia, and shingles vaccines.  Some people like to be prepared.  I've gone all these years without being sick, so I'd better not get anything now with all this prevention.

So, things are being crossed off, but the list is long.  My daily job was cleaning the ceiling fan in the bedroom.  A taller person than me got that job.  I like to be able to delegate most some jobs.  I got the bedroom cleaned last night before I went to bed and worked about 15 minutes on the sewing room.

This has possibilities for better use.  An empty container is just too exciting not to find something to put in it and label it.

Going to the church to sew turbans tomorrow.  That's always fun.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday Chaos

Things looks calm around here.

But it's deceiving.

I went out for the whole morning, and while that was productive, it was the end of any production around the house.

I can check one more thing off my list now, and that's a bag to carry my laptop in when I fly.

ARGGHH.  I hate to say those words.  I hope one day they'll be casual - when I fly.  But right now it just makes me anxious.  I thought buying a new carry on suitcase would help, but I haven't gotten that yet.  But I do have this Target perfectly adequate bag.  It's not easy finding something to fit a 17-inch computer, but I think I have room for a few needlework projects in there too.  And extra Xanax.

I found a half price plus 20% off sale at Belk today when I was looking for something practical -

and got Baby Girl something to wear next Christmas.

What?  She needs it.  It was nearly free!  And everyone need red shoes at some point.

Housecleaning job today is to clean the bedroom and take anything that doesn't belong there into the proper room.  The deadline approaches, and while I work (in one end of the bedroom), I'm seeing this.

A pattern box and various needlework magazines scattered over the bed, a tape measure on the table, and brain dump from last night, not to mention one load of clothes to fold and another in the dryer.

This doesn't even include my work area.  I guess it's possible when I get off work to accomplish that.

Tomorrow I get shots, and I may want to drum up some sympathy, so I might not do my daily job.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Getting in under the Wire

Well, not exactly.  I had things - pictures and words - on the other computer, but when I tried to edit on the laptop, I lost it, and I'm not going to do it all again this late.  Maybe I'll find it all tomorrow.

One thing - my only daily chore today was to have a brain dump and get those ideas out of my head and onto paper.  I made a couple of lists, but that's all.  Those thousands of ideas jumbled up in my brain are just too crazy to put on paper, so they'll just have to stay there for now.

Busy week coming up.  Not sure if it's worth talking about, but I probably will. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Just Saturday

If I expected today to be productive or interesting or anything, I was kind of wrong.  It was just a nothing day.

I did start the day off with 2 nice conversations with Emily on the phone and one long email from Elise regretting not have gotten on the Les Miserable bandwagon back in the 90s.  I gave her our CDs after she saw the movie, and she's played it every chance she gets.  We have another fan in the family.

I sorted some files on my laptop and answered some emails and worked an hour but without any enthusiasm.  There was not even a good bowl game to interest me.

My organizing email this morning (no weekends off) was to work on the "problem area" and get tax paperwork organized, including setting up files for next year's taxes.  Mike arrogantly said that he was perfectly organized and frankly just perfect with all things tax related and needed no revamping of his way.  So - off the hook again.  Surely Sunday's job won't be too hard.  The hardest thing today was listening to him being self-righteous.

No more organizing of the sewing room today, but I did decide to pick up two neglected projects and work on them.

I finished the little blue OFB daygown some time ago except for the 5 little buttons on the back.  I found 3 pearl buttons small enough for those buttonholes, but I'm going to have to make a trip to Beth's Heirlooms in Wetumpka to match them - what luck!

I can tell this is going to be Ryan's very favorite thing to dress the baby in with those minuscule buttons.

The yellow is the smocked panel I had hopes of putting into a receiving blanket.  The baby is going to be received in about a month, so I figured it was about time to finish it.  Gathering and basting this ruffle is fiddly work, but I think it will be pretty and just like I imagined when I'm finished.  Sure hope so anyway.

I bought Darby a new bed yesterday.  She didn't ask for it and she hates it.  I don't like her having the run of the house when she's inside and have seen pictures of dogs lying nicely on their beds in the house.  How hard could it be to teach her to stay in her bed?

Just about impossible.

I talked it up and got her all excited, and she was properly appreciative - at first.  But when she stepped into the bed, she jumped like she had been shocked and refused to stay in it.  No way on earth was she going to lie down in it.  Even with her puppy and her bone.  Nothing doing.

Even with Stella showing her approval.

We figured Stella would try to take it over like she does Darby's other bed, but even she hates it.

She licked her lips, drooled, trembled, looked pitiful and refused to bend her legs.  We finally yelled at her, and she hates that but refused to go near it.   So she has been sleeping in the sun room or outside.

Today I tried it again and got her to lie down with a little bribery.  Peanut butter on the chew bone.  She's there but still hating it.  She stayed maybe 30 minutes and then jumped out.  She seemed happy enough to go to the sun room to finish her nap.

NOT a happy puppy.

So I don't know.  It's probably a losing battle, and now I can't take it back because of the peanut butter on it.  We think it's probably a nicer bed than any in the house, all fleecy and soft and warm.

Rain tonight maybe and a nice not-so-cold Sunday tomorrow.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Friday - the Usual

Always fun to look forward to Fridays and the possible trip to Wal-Mart.  If I'm smart, I will take the hour Mama is in the beauty shop to run errands or go somewhere I like, but I didn't do that today.  The day was beautiful but really cold, but she needed lots of things and had not been on her usual Wal-Mart once-around in weeks.

I grabbed a lot of groceries while she was shopping and got Darby a dog bed, hoping we can contain her there instead of shedding on the carpet.  Naturally she hates the feel of it.  I guess it's the softness or the fleece - or the lack of garbage smell.  Whatever.  She will try to obey and go jump in it, but it's almost if she's repulsed by it - she jumps out so quickly.

My errand for today was to clean my closet.  Really.  I was spoiled into thinking it was going to be a doable job every day.  I did stand in the door and put up a pair of shoes, but that was the extent of it.  My wardrobe of T-shirts need to be color coordinated, but other than that, my 6 or 8 pairs of shoes are lined up nicely, and the dirty clothes basket is empty.  Some time ago I took out everything not clothes related, so I'm good there.  Throw me another job.

Like yesterday's.  Took me all of 15 minutes.  Mainly because we were out of food.  Mama has to have her shelf or 2 where she can reach things, and Mike has his treasures hidden in the bottom crisper, so it was just a matter of wiping the shelves and throwing away the old mushrooms and moving things around.  Throwing the clementine box out gained a whole lot of space!

After buying some groceries today, though, it doesn't look quite like this.  But there is the addition of this, which Mike made while I was yet again working on the sewing room.  Excellent baked spaghetti!

The good thing about digging around in the sewing room is finding lost things, but there is a problem.

This little useless bib appeared, bought on some occasion years ago when I thought I might need a baby gift.

 The wheels start turning though, and I think about what I can embroider on it, so my granddaughter can wear it maybe once or twice.

Then there is this.  Embroidered as a test.  So soft and sweet and a good design.

I've never had a use for it until today - when my mind registered on this fabric I folded earlier.  Yellow baby chicks.  Yellow baby chick duck.  Made for each other.  Future baby needs another bib, I think.

I also found these started but not finished things that I may or not work on.  Seems they were difficult to maneuver a needle into that little space.

Looks like good busy work for a plane trip - if I'm not too sedated to hold a needle.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Typical January Thursday

Gloomy, damp, and cold - but not very cold - 40 degrees.  Just enough to make going out in short sleeves uncomfortable but not enough for a jacket.

Mike is sleeping still.  He spends hours awake in the middle of the night, so it's good that he can sleep now.  I took the garbage to the street and picked up Mama's paper, emptied the dishwasher and made a protein shake.  He's probably fake sleeping so he won't have to drink any of that.

I pretty much did nothing of note yesterday afternoon, nothing that I can remember.  Probably tried to catch up on emails and Facebook and all the blogs I like to read.  Pinterest has just about overwhelmed me with things I want to read/do/make/experience, and I just have to stay away from it. I still pin things to my board to go back and look at later,

My job of the day is to clean the refrigerator.  I will NOT be taking things to the bathtub to clean them.  I think the refrigerator is pretty clean.  We just need to make decisions on things and throw out a few things.  Another easy one.  Oh and work on my "problem area."  Yes, that.  I think those things are manageable today.  Mama was thinking about asking me to take her to Wal-Mart today but said it looked too cold, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed she'll wait until tomorrow after her beauty shop appointment.  I really don't want to go out both days.

I had an interesting thing happen at work last night, and if anything interesting happened on my job, I need to record it.

Medical transcription used to be interesting, very interesting for someone like me who loves to type and loves to learn new things.  It paid very well, and it was a good 10 or so years.  Until each company I worked for got gobbled up by a bigger, more impersonal one, and we became assembly line workers.  We're expected to keep over 99% quality while churning out an impossible number of lines an hour.  And no typing any more - we just edit what a voice recognition machine has guessed that the doctor said.

Doctors expect perfection while (for the most part on my account) doing a poor job of dictating (eating, yawning, sleeping, etc), and over half of mine are Hispanic or Middle Eastern.  I can understand most accents as long as they give it a good try, but when I bring up a report with an unpronounceable 10-syllable name dictator, I expect the worst.  So it was so refreshing last night to hear this:

This is Dr.  Muhammavaskeriden Perez-Martinez (not real name) dictating a history and physical.  First I want to thank the transcriber.  I wish you a happy new year.  You be wonderful people.  You need a special place in our hearts, and we hope it will be a peaceful year and, most important, gratifying work for you.

Ah, so sweet!  I once had a doctor in North Carolina who would sing (You are my Medical Transcriptionist, my only Medical Transcriptionist) to us sometimes and tell us a joke before he started dictating.  He was a good dictator though.  After this heartfelt message, I was ready to do my best on his 15-minute dictation.  Alas, he was not clear and kept repeating himself and just drove me crazy for almost an hour.  I had many blanks that I had to send to our quality person to give it a try, so now someone else can hear his nice message.

Time to get cleaning on that refrigerator, but I need to check on some people I haven't heard from in awhile.  With my first cup of coffee, that should be good for another hour of procrastination.

I'm not as with-it as I'd like to think this morning.  I went to get my coffee, chose my K-cup, and turned my back only to realize I had not put a cup on the stand.  Such a sinking feeling.  Luckily the reservoir thingy had just been washed this morning, so I transferred the coffee from there to my cup with very little lost - just a little self-confidence.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

An Extra-Boring Page of Talk about Nothing

Since Facebook pictures will probably disappear one day (maybe blog pictures too - but we trust - and who will care?), I'll put the red beans and rice pictures here.

Mike is responsible for this whole meal.  I only contributed by eating it.  Twice yesterday and once today.  It's better the second day.(I did clean the stove and whole kitchen.)  

This is what Emily, Ryan, and Karen put together.  They added the black-eyed peas and a better cornbread and tea.  Looks wonderful.

I have to admit I didn't go outside yesterday, but I did get a lot of things done.  A nice rainy day to putter around the house.

Darby is not supposed to be in the kitchen giving pitiful looks, but I let her stay yesterday.  She was so afraid of being made to go outside that she was ultra quiet all afternoon and wouldn't make eye contact.

Her coat is awful, and she needs a haircut, but I'm embarrassed to take her to the vet this shaggy.  I got the trimmer and brush and worked on her some.  She hated that worse than going out in the rain.

I did stand in my sewing room and look at it.  I try organizing it, but my storage is haphazard, which is what it will have to be for right now.  When I sew, I pull down bunches of fabric and patterns and trim and usually have more than one thing going at a time.

So--- this is the sorry state of it yesterday morning.  I decided I would try to change just one thing a day.

I've let yarn and abandoned knitting and crotcheting projects take over this area.

This is a huge old TV armoire than I emptied of the TV and DVD player.  It's nice to hold all that messy batting and stuffing behind closed doors, but it could be neater.  It also hides my started but not finished projects.

The middle drawers are full of embroidery blanks and other things to do with machine embroidery.
The right drawers have - guess what? - fabric - mainly fat quarters.  The small boxes are color-coordinated scraps, which have outgrown that space and will be better off in that armoire.  I need more containers like that wooden CD holder that I found at Mike's parent's house.  It's a little small but perfect for containing fat quarters.  Patterns and books are on the bottom shelf.  (One box of patterns is in the bedroom for looking at.)

 The small plastic containers are embroidery thread and knitting needles and crochet hooks.  Plus all the other odds and ends I've collected.

 I know where things are in this corner, but it could use straightening up.  The saucer on the table is for drawing a curved corner not for the cat, although she did check it out just now.  It's nice to have a big cutting table, but there's just too much junk always on it.

This corner is almost okay - just needs neatening.

After a little despair and then a little work, I made this small improvement.

It's time consuming (but I secretly love it) to fold each piece of fabric around a 6-inch ruler to make them all the same size.  Amazing how much difference it makes.

I'm going to do more of that today and move those scrap boxes to the armoire.

I don't have plans for all that fabric and not sure why I have it all, but I'm ready in case of an inspiration.  With a granddaughter to sew for, the next few years should offer plenty of opportunities.

Mike has gone to meet his brother for a nice lunch at Chappy's.  I was invited but decided to let them have their Reubens and conversation.

My daily e-mail spring cleaning task today was to organize any nightstands or bedside tables.  I was happy to see that because I just did that a few months ago when I moved the ones I inherited from Mike's parents to take the place of my old ones.  Before I had one drawer and a big area at the bottom.  I like the 3 drawers.

Mine.  I'm not sure what Mike has in his --  I went and looked and of all thing, his top 2 drawers are empty.  I need to do something about that!

I'm pretty optimistic about power failures, I guess.  No flashlight but a candle (and no match or lighter).  A cute little travel alarm clock that will never be used since the phone and computer have more than enough alarms on them.

Second drawer is for the rare occasion when I can't sleep and need something to put me directly to sleep - logic problems.

One thing I need is a neater way of storing camera, phone, and laptop chargers.  The basket at the bottom is not doing that great a job.

I won't have much progress to report for tomorrow since I've done nothing today except vacuum the kitchen, den and garage rug and straighten the kitchen.  Vacuuming makes me think I deserve a cup of coffee and a nice rest afterwards.

I have to start work in 3-1/2 hours, so I'd better try to accomplish something.

Oh, more twins coming!  This time in Guatemala.  Dina announced today that they have 2 babies due in July/August.  So exciting.  What is it with twins lately?  So far, 2 little boys in Columbus, 2 more little boys in Cincinnati being born on the 17th (old friends from Thomaston), a girl and boy for our church nursery, and these 2 new little ones.  Makes our little girl seem lonely.