Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Time Keeps on Slippin' Slippin' Slippin'...Into The Future...

Quote for the Day:
My evil genius Procrastination has whispered me to tarry 
'til a more convenient season.
~Mary Todd Lincoln

I've been putting off doing a blog post partly because nothing "blog-worthy" has happened, and partly because I've just been lazy about writing one.  

In the meantime, we've been busy with "life"...you know...the part of the day between 7 AM and midnight.  Yeah...just "life"...work, home, etc.

This past weekend, a friend gave me the equivalent of 3 flats of bedding plants from her flower beds to fill in between my existing plants.  She is a WONDERFUL gardener.  I, sadly, am not.  :(    My friend kept handing me plants saying "these are so easy to grow".  She obviously hasn't seen my black thumb!  LOL

We went over to her place on Saturday evening and picked up the plants.  We brought them home and watered them well because we knew we wouldn't get them into the ground until the next evening and the weather was HOT HOT HOT.   Even with that drink of water, some of them were not at their best when I put them in the beds on Sunday evening.  

Between the intense heat and humidity that day...even into the evening...and my back bothering me,  (I overdid some housecleaning, etc., and my back has been hurting again since Saturday night) I did the best I could in putting the plants into the ground.  I have two raised beds and one regular bed.  The soil in the raised beds is well-worked and in good condition.  However, the soil in the regular bed is hard from lack of rain this year.  I did my best to break up the dirt as much as I could, given the heat and the state of my back, but I'm not very hopeful for the plants I put in the regular bed.  However, the plants I put in the raised beds are looking like they have a pretty good shot at making it!  :)

Doesn't look too bad except for the Lamb's Ear over in the right back corner... 

The tall purple coneflower plants have been there for several years and were a gift from another friend who was thinning out her beds at that time.  The red and green plant to the right of center is a poinsettia plant that a friend gave me at Christmas.  It was taking up room on the kitchen table so I decided to plant it outside and see what happens.  Everything else came from Diana's garden on Saturday.

The bed looks even better from this angle...LOL...

My "fall" flowers...

The mums on either end have been there for several years, but have been suffering from the lack of rain this year.  Hopefully, I've been watering them enough so that they will have a nice blooming this fall.  I filled in the bare area in the middle with plants from Diana, which are also fall-blooming.

I'm purposefully not showing you the ground-level bed because the new plants really don't look good at this point.  If they spring back to life, I'll show you those, too...at a later date.  :/

This weekend our clothesline decided to break, so Andy built new cross-rails and restrung it.  (Oh, look...there's part of the ground-level flowerbed showing along the side of the white garage on the left behind the clothesline pole.  The tall plants are hibiscus that have been there for a few years.  They low-lying gray-green plants are more Lamb's Ears that are flopped over in transplant- exhaustion!)  :(

Like I said...nothing too exciting...just "life".

On the quilting front, I'm coming down to the wire on the daffodil quilt.  I'm hoping to have it done by July 19, which will be 6 months from the date I started on it.  I don't have any current pictures of it, but I'll post some when I get the chance.

Sera, our granddaughter, is coming to visit us next week.  This will be the first time for her to stay at Grandma's & Grandpa's house without her mom.  I'm sure she'll do great because she's a real traveler!  :)


Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Finished Shirt...

Quote for the Day:
"Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children
 the richest inheritance.
  ~Ruth E. Renkel

Today is Father's Day in the USA.  I hope you were able to spend a little time with the fathers in your life today...either your own father or the father of your children...and let them know how much they mean to you!  

A little over a week ago I got fed up with shirts that have too-short sleeves and decided to take it upon myself to try and make some of my own.  I ordered a pattern and some fabric online, but also decided to go to Joann Fabrics, since they were having a sale.  I picked up a pattern and a piece of fabric at Joann's at a really good price, and last week I cut out and sewed it together using the Viking serger that I had picked up at the estate auction last year.

For those non-sewists out there who don't know what a serger is, it is a special sewing machine that does the nice finished seam that you see on the inside of ready-to-wear clothing. 

This is the serger...a Viking Huskylock 936. 

It's computerized and will basically do everything but make your coffee for you in the morning...and if I took it downstairs and set it up in the kitchen, it probably would even do that for me!  LOL

I must say that the serger sews very smoothly and quietly!  However, it has more buttons and whistles than I really need or will ever use, so I think I've decided to sell it. 

But...back to the shirt...

I picked up a very slinky, slippery jersey knit at Joann Fabrics.  It has been about 14 years since I've done any garment sewing and I had forgotten what a PAIN in the YOU-KNOW-WHAT it is to work with slinky knits.  It kept sliding off the cutting table and ending up in a puddle on the floor!  :(   And my pins just wanted to push the fabric around rather than actually going through it.  :( 

But I persisted and got the shirt all sewn together in one day except for the bottom hem.  I was about to throw in the towel and swear to never again try to make a piece of clothing, but then I tried on the shirt and actually liked the way it turned out...in spite of the difficulties!   Today I hemmed the bottom of the shirt so I thought I'd share a picture of it with you.  

It has it's "issues"...but those are a result of a lack of recent garment sewing experience.  I think that they are not things that will be noticed by 99.9% of the population...so I'm going to wear it!  It actually fits nicely, even though I still wish the sleeves were a tad bit longer.  (I even lengthened the sleeve by 1.5" and they STILL are a hair too short.)  

Anyway, I like the fabric and the fit, and overall am pleased with myself!  LOL

This week the fabric and pattern that I had ordered online came in the mail, so I will be trying my hand at more shirts in the future.  


Friday, June 15, 2012

A Blessing Received!!!

Quote for the Day:
“ One man gives freely, yet gains even more; 
another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. ”
 – Prov. 11:24 

I put out a call out on both my blog, and on an online quilting forum that I frequent, to see if someone had a piece of fabric that I needed to repair the quilt that I gave my son and daughter-in-law when they got married in 2005.

A very kind and generous quilter from Oklahoma responded that she did, indeed, have the fabric I was looking for!  I offered to reimburse her for the cost of the fabric and mailing, but didn't hear back except to tell me she had mailed my fabric that morning!

Today that fabric arrived in the mail...

...with a very nice note that read:

Here you go.  Hope it's a match.  I've had this in my stash for years.  So don't worry about the cost.
Glad I could help.
Cathy C-------
What a blessing this is!  First, that I could find someone who had the EXACT fabric and was willing to share.  And secondly, that she was gifting this to me!

I have found that quilters are probably the nicest people you would ever want to meet!  That's why I enjoy their company so much!  :)

Quilters are always circling the wagons and joining forces to provide quilts to victims of disasters, illness, etc.  All without any regards for reciprocity or recognition.

So here's a shout out to all the quilters out there who have shared their knowledge, resources and time to help others!  And a special shout out to Cathy who came through for me and blessed me with this fabric!!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A DIY Project for You...

Quote for the Day:
"I'm strong, I'm tough, I still wear my eyeliner."
---Lisa Leslie 

Today I took my car in for it's 30,000 mile "well-baby" check-up.  (Oil change, etc.)  When I was perusing the maintenance book to see what all I needed to have done I saw "change cabin air filter".

Hmmmm...I didn't know there WAS a "cabin air filter".  Raise your hand if YOU knew there was a "cabin air filter" in your vehicle.  Yeah...I didn't think I was the only one who didn't have that bit of knowledge.  LOL  I know all about indoor filters for the home A/C and heating units, but not about one for the car.

In trying to figure out how much $$$  to plan on paying for this task, I asked Andy where the filter was and how much work was involved in changing it.  He said it was behind the dash and that it was a hassle to get to...meaning $$$$ for labor.  :(  

Well... ya know...there's this here new-fangled thing called the "world wide interweb" and on it is a place called "Googles".  If you go to "googles" and ask it a question, this here "interweb" thingy will give you all sorts of answers!  :)

So I googled how to change the cabin air filter on a 2011 Rav4 and found a great video that showed just how easy it actually was to do!  YAY!    I also saw where some posters had said that their dealer wanted $80 to change the filter.  WHOA, Nellie!  So while I was at the shop getting the oil changed I sent Andy over to the auto parts store to buy a $15 replacement filter and when I returned I changed the filter MYSELF!  :D  (With Andy looking on, cheering and on-the-ready to lend a hand if needed.)

To get to the filter I had to release the glove compartment by squeezing in on both end panels to pop the pins out of the holes...

There was a pin holding the hydraulic arm onto the right side of the glove box that I had to squeeze together with a pair of channel locks (fancy name for special pliers) and push through the hole in the arm to detach it and let the box swing freely.

This allowed full access to the area behind the glove box.

Since I had watched the video, the filter holder was easily found.  The cover popped right off and the filter slid out easily.  With 31,500 miles on the car, this is what the filter looked like.  EWWWW...GROSSNESS!!!

Here's the old one compared to the new one...

Andy pulled the old one apart a little bit so I could show you what kind of things the filter stopped from entering the car...

Now it was time to slip the new filter into the slot...

This was easy to do...it just slides in.  There is one caveat...there is an arrow on the filter that shows the direction the air should be flowing through it.  I've read that you have to make sure you get it in the correct way and I've also read that you don't have to have it in the correct way, as long as if you pull it out you put it back in the same direction so as not to dump any contents into the car's vent system.  I chose to put the filter in the "correct" way with the arrow going in the direction of the air flow.  Hey, Folks, it's not that difficult to figure out which way the air is flowing through the system....if I can do, ANYBODY can do it!  It's not rocket surgery!  ;)

Once the filter was in, I just popped the front back on...

...reattached the hydraulic arm and popped the pins on the sides of the glove box back into their holes...and put everything back into the glove box, including the channel lock pliers.  They'll be right there handy for the next filter change in 30,000 miles!  :)

And there you have it!  Now...go google how to change the filter on your own car and see if it is as easy to do!  BTW...Andy googled how to change the filter on his car and, though it involved a little more work to get into the dash area, he put a new filter in it, too!  


Monday, June 11, 2012

Cathy Cheney...there was no email address attached to your name on your comment for me to reply back to you about the fabric, so please check my reply to your comment...I've left information in my reply on how you can contact me!   :)


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Calling All Quilters...

Calling all quilters...

I need to repair my son and daughter-in-law's wedding quilt and am looking for about 1/2 yard of this black fabric.  Would you please check your stash and see if you have any of it?  

I can't give you any info on it because I don't have any of the selvage left...I don't even have a strip of it left in my stash.  :(   All I can say is that this quilt was made about 7 years ago, so the fabric is at least that old.  I'm thinking I might have gotten it at Joann's, but am not even sure on that one.  

If you can help me out, please leave me a comment!  I'll be forever grateful!!!  :)



Book Reviews

Quote for the Day:
"A weekend wasted isn't a wasted weekend."
 ~ Author Unknown

I have a few minor plans for this weekend...
After Andy get homes from the estate auction he's at we are going to put a little time in on the kitchen remodeling.  Tomorrow I'm going to head to Joann's for their big sale...there is a ruler and some flat storage bins I want to get for my quilting.   

I have also ordered a pattern and some fabric online for making  my own tops.  

Many years ago (in high school and college) I used to make all of my clothes...even blue jeans!  After I graduated nursing school, I also made my uniform tops, and after I had kids, I made some of their clothes, too.  I've since gotten out of the practice.  But I am really getting aggravated with the ready-to-wear garments these days.  They are poorly made and they all have sleeves that are too short...not good for someone who has bat-wings for upper arms!  :(  I also like v-necklines the best, and this pattern has two v-neck styles.

This pattern got excellent reviews online, so I decided to try it.  I have a beautiful Bernina serger that I bought at an auction last year, but have never used it, yet!  :(   What better way than to make some stylish knit shirts?  :)

So this weekend, one of my goals is to get the serger set up, test drive it, and learn all I can about using it from the video that is included with it!  That way, when the fabric and pattern arrive this week, hopefully I can get some new shirts made!  :)

Last night we tried out a new restaurant here in town...Uncle T's.  It's located next to the post office downtown, for those of you who live here.  The food was WONDERFUL!   I highly recommend it to the Grafton natives...or to those who come to visit!  :)   I know that we will definitely be eating there again!  :D

I've finished a couple of books lately and thought I'd share them with you.

"Amen Amen Amen:  Memoir of a Girl Who Couldn't Stop Praying (Among Other Things)" by Abby Sher.

Until the age of ten, Abby Sher was a happy child in a fun-loving, musical family. But when her father and favorite aunt pass away, Abby fills the void of her loss with rituals: kissing her father's picture over and over each night, washing her hands, counting her steps, and collecting sharp objects that she thinks could harm innocent pedestrians. Then she begins to pray. At first she repeats the few phrases she remem-bers from synagogue, but by the time she is in high school, Abby is spending hours locked in her closet, urgently reciting a series of incantations and pleas. If she doesn't, she is sure someone else will die, too. The patterns from which she cannot deviate become her shelter and her obsession.
In college Abby is diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, and while she accepts this as an explanation for the counting and kissing and collecting, she resists labeling her fiercest obsession, certain that her prayers and her relationship with G-d are not an illness but the cure. She also discovers a new passion: performing comedy. She is never happier than when she dons a wig and makes people laugh. Offstage, however, she remains unable to confront the fears that drive her. She descends into darker compulsions, starving and cutting herself, measuring every calorie and incision. It is only when her earliest, deepest fear is realized that Abby is forced to examine and redefine the terms of her faith and her future.
Amen, Amen, Amen is an elegy honoring a mother, father, and beloved aunt who filled a child with music and their own blend of neuroticism. It is an adventure, full of fast cars, unsolved crimes, and close calls. It is part detective story, part love story, about Abby's hunt for answers and someone to guide her to them. It is a young woman's radiant and heartbreaking account of struggling to recognize the bounds and boundlessness of obsession and devotion.
This book was a riveting, first-hand account of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).  I definitely recommend this book!  It is a long book, but you will not be disappointed or bored.

Next up is "Three Cups of Deceit" by Jon Krakauer.  I've read and reviewed many of Krakauer's books in the past.  I love his investigative writing and this book did not disappoint!

Greg Mortenson has built a global reputation as a selfless humanitarian and children’s crusader, and he’s been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He is also not what he appears to be. As acclaimed author Jon Krakauer discovered, Mortenson has not only fabricated substantial parts of his bestselling books Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools, but has also misused millions of dollars donated by unsuspecting admirers like Krakauer himself.

This is the tragic tale of good intentions gone very wrong.
I'd *heard* about "Three Cups of Tea" and "Stones into Schools" from people who are avid Oprah fans and read everything that she recommends.  I'm not that into Oprah and tend to stay away from "groupish" things like her book club, etc., (I tend to dance to my own drummer), so I hadn't read these books or heard any interviews with Greg Mortenson, but I had heard about him from people who had read them, so I knew a little about the hype.  

This expose by Krakauer is short and to the point...shedding light on the lies and deceit that Mr. Mortenson perpetrated.  It is a reminder to us all to not just blindly follow the hype we hear in the media.

This book is short (unlike most of Krakauer's books) but very informative!!  I highly recommend it!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Spring Flowers...

Quote for the Day:
"I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck."  
~Emma Goldman

When we returned home on Sunday, we were greeted with a gorgeous display of color in our back yard.  It seems that since we'd been gone the container of daylillies had gone berserk!  :)

Don't they look glorious?!?  

By the way, the white container they are in?  It is the drum from a broken dryer that I spray-painted with Rustoleum paint, filled with dirt and planted with these daylillies several years ago!   :)   Reuse, reduce, up-cycle!  LOL

Lady's "Elegant Lady" rose bush had four buds on it when we returned home...two of them were on the brink of opening!

We cut the two that were about to open and brought them into the house to enjoy.  They now reside on the kitchen table, bringing a bit of joy and class to the kitchen!  :)  

This was what they looked like that first night that we brought them inside...

...and this is what they look like this morning!!!

Aren't they just the most gorgeous roses you have ever seen???  I've not had good luck raising long-stemmed roses like this in the past, so somehow I know that Lady is behind this...doing this one last thing to bring happiness to her owners!  :)  

If you've ever wondered how to extend the life of your cut bouquets, here is a good link on how to keep your cut roses looking great longer!  Cut-rose care.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Back Home Now...

Quote for the Day:
"No man needs a vacation so much as the person who has just had one."
 ~Elbert Hubbard

We just arrived back last night from our vacation to Georgia where we went to help celebrate our grandson's 4th birthday!  It's a long car trip for us so we break it up into 2 days.  As is the tradition so far, all the family gets together for the grandchildren's birthdays.  It give us a chance to see our kids and grandkids a couple times a year.  

Andrew's birthday is in the Spring, so we all congregate in Georgia for that and Sera's birthday is in the Fall, so we all meet up in Tennessee for that one.  

We thoroughly enjoyed visiting with Paul, Trinity, Erin, Dale, Andrew & Sera.  I've got a lot of pictures to share from the trip, so I'll get right to them.  

Erin and Dale got Andrew a kiddie swimming pool for his birthday and the kids had a BLAST playing in it!  

Even one of the "big" kids got in on the fun...

This was the first year that Andrew blew out his candles by himself!  :)

Andrew loves to play with hats so we gave him a bag full of hats!  He couldn't decide which one he liked best, so he put them all on his head at once...

or on Grandpa's head.  LOL

Paul and Trinity recently put up a playset for Andrew that includes swings and a slide.  The kids LOVED playing on this!  What a great way for them to expend some excess energy!  :)

Notice the tongue hanging out the side of his mouth???  That got passed down through the males in the family...Grandpa, Paul, & Andrew all do this!  LOL

 Now...for some random pictures from the past week...

Andrew wearing Grandpa's WVU slippers!  LOL

Erin & Dale...

Erin & Trinity...

Paul & Andrew...

Sera & Andrew enjoying ice cream cones...

Andrew & his best bud...Grandpa!  :)

As you can see, a great time was had by all!  I wish that it didn't have to end so soon!  :(