Monday, April 29, 2013

Please Help...

Quote for the Day:
"We can do no great things, only small things with great love.
  ~Mother Teresa

My niece, Kristin, became a step mom 2 years ago to a beautiful girl named Rhy.  She is 16 and has entered into a contest that their local bank is sponsoring for a $1000 room makeover.

Kristin has asked that I post about it and then ask all of my readers to please go and vote for her to win!  

Here is Kristin's blog post where you can read all about it:

Kristin's blog post is short and sweet and explains everything.  It even has the link to go to to vote for Rhy.

So what do you say, Folks?  Please go and vote for Rhy!  Let's get this girl a great, new bedroom! :)


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Where in the World is Loretta???

Quote for the Day:
"My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want a second opinion. 
He said okay, you're ugly too."
Rodney Dangerfield  

Where have I been and why haven't I been posting lately, you ask?  Well, thanks for asking!  I'll try to share what has been going on in our lives the last couple of weeks.  And I'll try to keep it to the "Reader's Digest Condensed Version".  

Back in November of 2011, we bid on and won the property next to ours at a tax lien sale.  There was a contractor in town that bid against us and lost.  He was bitter about it and started dumping construction debris and trash on the property.  With a tax lien sale in our state, you can't touch the property for 18 months, thus giving the owners a chance to redeem it.   So for 18 months, we got to sit by and watch as this contractor systematically destroyed this property.   We couldn't get the code city code enforcement officers to do anything about it, because they are friends with the contractor.  :(

April 1, 2013, the property legally became ours and the contractor began pulling his equipment off of the property that he had parked there, and also he began removing any useable construction supplies.  He left all the trash, of course.  

We were advised by our lawyer to still not do anything until we actually had the deeds in our hands.  The deeds arrived in the mail on April 13!!

At that point, we put up "No Trespassing" signs and started making plans for cleaning up the property and making our plans for the use of it.

Here are some pictures that were taken on the 13th of the "presents" the contractor left for us...

 (This pile is completely cleaned up now and all but the tires are gone off the property now.)

(Fire wood that will be sold off in the fall.)

 (The cement slab in this picture is now completely cleared off.)

The first day, we picked up 4 plastic outside chairs, a small table, and a rubbermaid stepstool.  I put them out by the curb and by evening, someone had stopped and asked if they could have them.  We answered with a resounding YES!!!  We also found 5 plastic gas cans filled with what?  We don't know.  Possibly used oil.  Someone took those off our hands yesterday.  That same person, also took a pile of HUMONGOUS tree trunks and is planning on using it for firewood this winter.   We have stacked up the discarded tires and have a total of 28.  There is a "Tire Amnesty Day" coming up May 11, so we will be getting rid of those then.  There is a huge stack of firewood that we will be able to sell this fall as many people around here have wood burners.   We are also making a pile of all scrap metal we find on the property and know someone who will haul it off to be recycled.

As we go through the piles of construction debris, we are setting aside "reclaimed lumber" that is still useable and offering it for free on Craigslist and Freecycle.  

The stack of plywood was picked up last weekend and the stack of barn wood will be picked up today!  :)

The rest of the non-useable wood is getting us...slowly, but surely...

We started burning Thursday evening and burned for about 3 hours.  Then again for about 5 hours on Friday evening.  We only had one burn barrel, but Andy went and got 3 more yesterday, so now we can have 4 going at one time!  :)

Andy trying to read by the light of the fire!  :)

I'm finding the burning very cathartic after all we have been through the last 18 months with this contractor....the threats and intimidation he has spewed our way was very stressful.  And watching him systematically destroy this property while we couldn't do anything about it.  Well...let's just say that I'm considering the burning an "exorcism" of sorts and enjoying every minute of it.  For now.  I may not think that in a few weeks....or months... 

Our nerves are frayed, but we are glad to finally be putting the past 18 months behind us and are looking forward to moving on and improving the property.  We have plans to turn it into a useable and very functional part of our "yard".  :)

Loretta  (who has been renamed "Fire Bug" by Andy!!)



Thursday, April 11, 2013

Oh What a Relief It Is....

Quote for the Day:
"The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure, but to avoid pain."

This morning I got my lumbar epidural steroid injection.  The procedure didn't go as smoothly as the previous ones I've had.  The doctor had to numb up the injection area twice, then had a little difficulty getting the needle in the exact space, and then I started getting nauseated from having to stay completely still in the uncomfortable position for so long.  :(

Luckily, the admission/discharge nurse for the Pain Clinic is also a licensed massage therapist and they had her come into the room.  She massaged my left hand and performed reflexology on it for the nausea.  It worked wonders and we all got through the procedure in one piece with a successful injection to boot!  :)

I've been 95-100% pain free since the injection and I couldn't be happier to have my life back!  I'm experiencing a little muscle pain in the mid-back, but I'm sure that is from having used those muscles all week long while trying not to use the lower back.   I can't put heat on it until tomorrow, but I think a nice heating pad to the mid-back should do the trick.  A massage would be better, but my massage therapist is out of commission for a couple more weeks due to health issues of her own.

After coming home, I took a much-needed 1 3/4 hour nap.  Ginger decided to join me and cuddled right up next to me like she does in the morning after Andy gets out of bed!

After waking up, I still felt "out of sorts" mentally...probably from the pre-procedure Valium and the rough morning, but I was bored and decided that I had too many projects going in the quilting room and it was time I tried to work on get a "completion" under my belt so I can mark at least ONE thing off of my "To Do" list.

Against my better judgement...because my embroidery machine is a very hands-on machine...not a "set it and forget it" kind...I decided to work on the label for my grandson's quilt.  I wasn't sure my mental abilities were up to the challenge, but I wasn't going to let a little thing like that stop me!  LOL  

So I dove right in and made the label for the quilt...

For the picture, I covered up the name of the quilt so the design of the quilt will still be a surprise.  (Since the mother of my grandson reads my blog!)  LOL

The label isn't "perfect" and I'm sure my graphic-artist son would be more than happy to point out all of its shortcomings, but I'm hoping my unborn grandson will be more forgiving!   :)   I just wish the "x" in Alexander didn't look so much like and "a".  :(   Oh'll do.  I'm learning to let go of some of my perfectionist tendencies!

Tomorrow or this weekend, I will tackle sewing it onto the quilt and getting the quilt washed and ready for gifting!  :) 

Then it will be time to work on some of the other gifts!  :)


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

One Day at A Time...

Quote for the Day:
“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”
 ~Linda Grayson 

I've been out of commission for the last couple of days.  A couple of weeks ago, I decided that I was having enough break-through back pain that it was time for another epidural injection.  Unfortunately, they make you go off of any NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) that you are on for 5 days before the injection because they can cause/prolong bleeding.

Last Saturday was my last day of my NSAID's.  Sunday was fine.  We went to an auction and I got a cute little vintage typing table on wheels to use in my sewing room.  

I paid the grand sum of $2.00 for it!   It has a couple of scratches near the front edge that you can see in the picture, but otherwise is in great condition.  I'm thinking of spray painting it bright cherry red to coordinate with this cart that I recently got from Ikea for my sewing room.

I actually went to the auction to bid on a Singer Featherweight sewing machine, but it went too high...$310.  I never even got a chance to bid, and by the time the bidding slowed enough for me to bid, it was more than I wanted to pay.  Bidding had been very slow and low on items up till then, but it was like piranhas on a piece of meat when the Featherweight came up for bid!  LOL

That was Sunday.  Monday was a totally different story.  It was my second day without my NSAID and I was in pain of 10 out of 10 from the moment I climbed out of bed.  :(  I took my non-narcotic pain pill and went to work anyway.  I got through 9 hours of my 12 hour shift before I had to leave.  The pain was too great, never going below a 5 out of 10.  (In the USA we use a pain scale of 0-10 and ask patients to rate their level of pain based on that scale.  It is more accurate than "a little pain" or "some pain" or "a lot of pain".)

Tuesday was more of the same, but since I stayed home from work I was able to medicate with a narcotic pain pill that worked better on my pain.  I was feeling horrible and out-of-sorts, when a friend came by and brought me some flowers.

That was so thoughtful of her and I appreciated it so much!  I smile every time I walk past them!  Who wouldn't smile seeing them?  :)

About the only thing I've been able to do is take my pain pills, watch TV, and work a little on this...

 ...crocheting on a baby gift I'm working on. 

My epidural injection is scheduled for tomorrow morning and I am counting down the hours.  I know that when I leave that hospital, I will be virtually pain-free, if everything works the way it has in the past....which I am counting on.  In the beginning, when I first started getting these injections a year ago, I was scared and nervous.  But now I know how much better I will feel almost immediately, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's injection. 

Say a prayer for me that all goes well, and I'll be back with more quilting news soon...when I'm having less pain and can work on my quilting again.

Until then, I'll leave you with this picture of Ginger that I took last night...

Maybe it's time for a bigger dog bed!  LOL


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Moving Right Along...

Quote for the Day:
"A word to the wise isn't necessary, it is the stupid ones who need all the advice."
-~Bill Cosby 

I've been moving right along with the hand-quilting on Kathy's quilt!   I can now see the far edge of the quilt!  :)   


This quilt is made from a combination of feedsack fabrics and shirting fabrics.  

I'm sure Kathy is anxiously awaiting its return to her!  I know I would be if I placed a beloved family quilt top into someone's hands to be quilted!  :)

And now, the gratuitous pet picture...

The other night, Ginger was in her bed with her face "squished" up against the side of the bed.  Since Boston's have a "squished nose", anyway, it looked really funny and I was actually able to get a picture of it.  Usually, once she sees you with the camera, she starts barking and stops doing whatever it was she was doing that you wanted to get a picture of!  LOL




Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I'm Still Here...

Quote for the Day:
"Absence makes the heart grow fonder"
~William Shakespear

I've been a keeping busy, I just haven't been busy blogging, lately! 

I've been doing a little of this...
(layering a quilt to be machine quilted)

some of this...

and quite a bit of this...

These are gifts, so I can't show you the projects at this time.  You'll just have to stay tuned and I'll show more when I can!  :)

Now for the public service announcement portion of this blog...

I don't pre-wash my quilting fabrics.     

I can already hear the collective gasp of those who are on the "pre-wash ALL fabrics" side of quilting.   Okay.  I used to be there, too..  But I'm not, anymore.  Life is too short to spend all that time pre-washing fabrics.

Except for reds and blacks.   I ALWAYS pre-wash reds and blacks.  

And, if you need more info as to "why"...


This picture is of the THIRD soaking of this red fabric.   I ended up soaking it EIGHT times.  And the water was still a slight pink.  However, I will tell the owner of the quilt to use a color catcher when she washes the quilt, and I'll even give her two to use.   I got the majority of extra dye out for her with the soakings.

This red fabric is for the binding of another quilt that my previous customer wants me to replace on a vintage quilt done by one of her ancestors.  It is for the same customer that I re-bound this quilt for...