Thursday, January 29, 2009

Making plans

(warning - long rambling post ahead!)

You know what happens when you start making plans don't you? They never work out exactly like you think. So goes my plan to be better about blogging once I wasn't working anymore. Of course with the holidays and such, I still haven't made it to the point where I post even every other day - much less daily (which is what I want).

I hate to make a post without a picture. I had no idea what picture to post with this, so I'm posting this one of the hubby.

In a round-about way, this post is really about him. I'm not going to tell you he is perfect - there are times when (as my grandmother would say) I would like to 'pinch his head off' but I love him anyway. (of course we all know I am perfect and he never feels that way about me) He has always been willing to work as hard as he has to to provide for his family. When the kids were little he always worked at least two jobs (sometimes three) so that I didn't have to work and could stay home to raise the boys. That is time you can not buy back for any amount of money.
Sometimes life takes you in directions you never thought you would go. I (we) thought he would be a firefighter/paramedic until he retired and we would stay right here in the same town where he was born and where I have lived for over 30 years. 5 years ago, he was given an opportunity that allowed him to retire from the fire service (after 21 years) and work full time in EMS. You may remember back in the fall when he promoted to an office job. No more uniforms, no more shift work (I would say an 8-5 job, but that would just be funny). He has really enjoyed this position but we really had no idea that it would only be temporary - well, this temporary - we knew eventually there would be something else but not this quickly. He has received another promotion. It is a good promotion and one he is very excited about. (and no matter what this may sound like before I finish - I'm excited for him) We have known for about a week and it was made official on Tuesday.
Here is the but. . .there is always a but. . . we have to move. Yes, we have to sell the house we have spent 23 years getting 'just right'. We have done all the major stuff and it is almost exactly like I want it. (I do love my front porch!) If you have been visiting here long, you have seen pictures of some of the work we have done, but the majority of the real work was done before I started blogging and before I had a digital camera. Trust me, when I say a lot of work, I mean a lot of blood, sweat and tears. At this moment I can't tell you where we are moving to - basically because I don't know! The new job is in Pasadena (Texas) so all I know at the moment is that we will be living somewhere in the Houston area. We will be spending a few months in an apartment while trying to sell this house and trying to figure out where we want to live. The next couple of weeks we (mostly me - 'we' only on weekends) will be speny getting the house as ready as we can to put on the market and I'm sure that even after that we will be spending weekends here for awhile. Thankfully, we don't have to leave the house empty while it is on the market as the boys will stay here to take care of it until it sells. (and take care of the dog so we don't have to keep her in an apartment) This helps a great deal - considering my current stress level, I'm not sure I could take anymore!
I know moving is nothing to some people, but we haven't moved in 23 years and that was just across town! There is so much to do and I have a really hard time breaking it down into manageable pieces - I tend to see the big picture and get overwhelmed. We are also in the process of clearing out MIL's house as she has sold it. (she is living with hubby's sister - several hours away) Hopefully we will be finished there after next weekend so we can start concentrating on things that must be done here.
If all that isn't enough - yesterday, while I was out doing a few of the long (and getting longer) list of errands that must be done, my van blew up. (see - I was planning to make this post yesterday - no more planning!) I need a new transmission. Now we have to decide if we want to invest in that or give her up. I honestly don't think I have enough brain power left at the moment for car shopping. We are waiting on estimates before we decide.
So - there goes my plan for being a better blogger in 2009. Since I will be living between here and Houston for the next, well, I don't know how long - and I don't even know where my computer will be, it will be impossible for me to post daily. I am still hoping to get at least a couple of posts a week - and who knows, I might get two days in a row and surprise even myself. I'm still trying to read blogs but my commenting will be minimal for a bit. Bear with me - don't abandon me if I miss long stretches without posts or responding to comments!
Hey - I warned you way back at the beginning this was going to be long and rambling!
I think I hear empty boxes calling my name.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Remember the clock?

Remember the clock from this post? Sometime before Christmas they re-installed the works in the clock. I kept trying to get a picture, but for whatever reason it didn't happen, so the other day when we were coming back through town I made hubby stop so I could get a picture to share with you.

It does chime - but as you can see by the time, I missed it. I still want to go back and get a picture at night - it is really pretty at night. Maybe then I can get a two-fer and catch it as it is chiming. (I know how to take a video with my digital camera, but I will have to figure out how to load it here!)
Many things going on here (more about that later) and my mind is a big jumble. If I owe you an email, I'll get there - just give me time!
Hope you are having a great week.
Thanks so much for stopping by!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Took a little trip

Mr. Wonderful had a business meeting in Pasadena (Houston area) on Tuesday so I went along for the ride. (since I'm not working right now, why not?) I don't have a bunch of cute pics of quaint little towns with cute little cottages like Rue would have from one of her little trips because, well, there just isn't anything to take pictures of between here and there. (there might be if you got off the beaten path, but we were on a schedule) We left early Tuesday morning, then came back through Nac to see the kids on the way home. (some cute houses in Nac, but it was already dark by the time we got there)
I packed up some stitching to take to work on while hubby was in his meeting. I pulled out my kitted up Home of a Needleworker (scroll down - I'm doing the first one, I haven't kitted up Home of a Needleworker Too yet) anyway - I kitted this up several years ago. I changed all the colors because I wanted it to match my little yellow and white house and I had put 29ct Glenshee linen in the kit - and the fabric was cut to stitch it over one. Here's the thing - when I kitted it up, I could still see to stitch over one w/o glasses. Now, I not only need the glasses, but it works much, much better if I also have the magnifier! I thought to put the clip on light in the tote bag but not the magnifier so my stitching progress was SLOW to say the least. (not to mention it was cold in there! I kept moving to try to get out of the line of the vent, but I was trying to stay in front of the window for the light too!) Anyway - here is what little I got stitched while I was waiting on dh. Stitching over one in the car w/o a magnifier was out of the question - I tried, but no way - not happening!

I put the quarter there so you could see just how small it is!
Okay - off to the post office. It is amazing how far behind one can get in just 2 days!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Might as well dream big!

So, I haven't even quilted the top I made in the class I took in the fall but I signed up for another class. This one is the Thimbleberries block of the month. The class is the second Saturday of each month at the new little quilt shop that has opened here in town.

This is a picture of the completed quilt (see where the dream big comes in? this one is actually a bed size quilt and not just a throw size!) and the fabrics for the block for this month. The colors are much better in person than the picture of the completed quilts shows. I almost didn't sign up because I wasn't sure I liked the quilt but after seeing the fabrics in person, I'm liking it much better!
Thanks for the compliments on the placemats! I'm working on a tablecloth out of the same fabrics - wish me luck!
Hope you had a great weekend.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Where I've been

So, where have I been this week? I've been held hostage - er, I mean on jury duty. There was hostage - er, jury selection on Monday. We were told to plan on Thursday and Friday so I spent Tuesday and Wednesday trying to get caught up on laundry, pay bills, change appointments, etc. The only good things I can say are that it is over, it only took one day and because I was selected this time, I don't have to go back week after next. (I got two summons in the same week - I was NOT happy) And, thankfully, the major migraine didn't hit until after I got home. It was the closest I have been to giving in to that nasty nose spray (YUCK)in a long time but I made it w/o having to use it. Whew

Now that we are done with that nasty business - here is what I did in the evenings while I was watching people make fools of themselves - otherwise known as American Idol tryouts. Yes, I am addicted. I just can't help myself. The lengths to which some people will go just to get themselves on television! (and here I have been known to take the long way around when I come upon a tv camera in public for whatever reason!) Whatever floats your boat.

Anyway, I put the bindings on these place mats. I didn't have enough of any one fabric for the bindings, so I did two each of three different fabrics. Yes, they are Christmas but I didn't finish them for Christmas - actually, I didn't start them until after Christmas but now they are ready to wash and use so I will just consider myself really early instead of slightly late.
Off to finish playing catch up.
Hope you have a great weekend.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

And the winner is. . .

Karol. Karol won the drawing for the fob and counting pins!

Bet you thought I had forgotten! Nope - just been spending time with Bertha today and lost track of time. Thought I better get this done before I sit down to watch 24!

Karol - I'll send you an email as soon as I get this posted. I'll need your mailing address to send the fob and counting pins.

Friday, January 9, 2009


Thanks for the comments on the 'projects' post. I really hadn't thought we had done much last year and if it weren't for blogging I probably wouldn't have as many pictures to show for it!
I'm not getting a lot done around here - at least not anything blog-worthy. I put away a lot of floss from past projects, I've cleaned out the pantry and freezer. I'm working on cleaning out my closet.
Thought I would show you this needlebook I made for a Christmas gift. I bought the kit (pre-cut boards and confusing instructions) at the Houston Quilt Festival

the lady at the booth said she could do one in 30 minutes - trust me it took me way longer than 30 minutes!
Don't forget to scroll back to the post from Saturday to sign up for the fob giveaway!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

2008 projects

Rhoda over at Southern Hospitality is hosting a 2008 projects party. When I think of projects I tend to think of 'major' projects and when I think of 'major' projects I think of things like gutting the kitchen or turning the attic into a bedroom - you know, 'major' stuff, so I didn't think I really had anything to post here but I went back to see what we had done this year and there are a few things. Here we go.

In March, hubby built me a DVD cabinet using salvaged shutters for the doors. I won't say how long I had these shutters waiting for this project to get done.

Also in March, we finally got the underpinning added to the front porch.

In April hubby used salvaged brick (from the original back and front porches on the house) and put in this little brick pathway. We still have brick for more projects!

In May, we added flower beds to the front

and the side of the house. The rock borders were salvaged from what passed for a patio when we bought the house.

In June, I got 4 of these metal chairs from MIL

and painted them - don't you love those colors?

In July we emptied this little closet-turned-office to clean the carpets

and make a home for Big Bertha.

In October we cleaned out the attic. Now that was a 'major' project!
I guess we did get some things accomplished in 2008 - I just needed to remind myself. (blogs are good for that!) I keep seeing the things that still need to be done - stairs that need to be finished, trim that needs to be put down, walls that need painting.
Thanks, Rhoda for the reminder that we did get some things finished in 2008!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The right idea

Yesterday was a dark, wet, cold and dreary day. (thankfully it stayed above freezing - if only by a degree or two - so ice wasn't an issue)
This is where I found Autumn.

She is really not supposed to be on the sofa, but I figured she had the right idea so I left her alone. Today is starting out to be a repeat of yesterday. I thought it was supposed to clear out and we were going to see some sunshine - if not, I may take that blanket and curl up on the couch myself!
If you want to have your name in the pot for the scissor fob, scroll back and leave a comment on that post - I'm only pulling comments from that one post for the drawing.
Hope someone has some sunshine today!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

How about a fob?

And a pair of stitch counters?

To celebrate the new year and my 300th post (one post late) I thought I would do a little give-away. Not much, just this scissor fob (if you can't make out the little fellow on the end, he is a scarecrow) and a set of stitch counters. If you are interested, leave a comment on this post (be sure to leave a way for me to get in touch with you!) and I will do a random draw next Sunday (the 11th).

In other news - I broke one of the ornaments when I was putting the tree away the other day so I thought I would fix it yesterday. I knew hot glue wouldn't work (I've tried that before) so I thought I would get out the jewelry glue and see if that would work. It did, but see those words in small print - the ones that say 'instant adhesive' - they are mighty important words to be in such small print! I think most of the first layer of skin off my middle finger is now on the tube of glue! Ouch!

But - the Roadrunner is repaired and ready to go on the tree next year.

While I had the glue out, I glued the pin back on my crown so I could wear it again.
And in the bad news department - I got a card in the mail today saying that effective with the November/December 2008 issue (as in the last issue) Cottage Living is no longer being published. Bummer. That is one of my favorite mags!
Oh well - such is life. Guess that makes room for another quilting magazine.
Speaking of quilting - I spent some time with Bertha today working on a quilt top. Hubby said he thinks she needs to go back - apparently she doesn't cook!
Hope everyone is off to a great start to 2009!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy 2009

Happy 2009! I missed posting yesterday because I was doing this.

I spent 7 hours taking the decorations off the tree and putting them away. Yes, 7 hours. All the Hallmark ornaments go back in their original boxes - it takes awhile! I have everything put away except for a few framed pieces that are hanging on the walls - I haven't figured out where I am going to store them yet. I don't want to put them in the attic. The pieces that I took down to hang them are under my bed so that is likely where the Christmas pieces will go. (which is also where the handmade ornaments get stored. I hate storing anything under the beds, but I'm out of closet space!) I still need to clean house, but it can wait until tomorrow.
I just realized when I started to make this post that this is number 300! It is hard to believe I have made 300 posts. It will be a little late, but I should come up with some kind of give-away. I'll think on it and see what I can come up with.
Lorilee - I made the pillows from old jeans. Some of what I learned - I should have made my squares bigger (measure twice, cut once). I also should have had my back pieces overlap a little more or put either velcro or a button to hold it together. To get them to fray, I snipped the seams after I had it all sewn together. (about every 1/4 to 1/2 inch - I didn't measure, just sat down with my snippers and snipped!) Then I washed them. I think I used 1/2" seams but honestly, I can't remember for sure. I know I used more than 1/4" because I wanted to have enough to snip without cutting into the seam. That's it.