Thursday, November 15, 2018

Too Busy To Blog???

Oh. My. Goodness.  When I looked at when I blogged last I was astounded!  October 25?  As Rita Farro would say, seriously people??  LOL!

Since that last post I have done a LOT of cleaning in my resource room, cleaned out and sorted every closet in my house, bought a new dining room set (more on that later) and provided two title companies with a ton of paperwork for two closings.  Luckily those closings are now OVER and DONE!  As of a week ago I am a renter in the house we're currently living in.  As of today I officially own a condo that someone else lives in!  I. Love. It.  😂

Moving will be some time in January, TBD.  Our 'tenant' is building so it all depends upon his occupancy permit.

I successfully reduced my paper garment pattern stash by 50%.  I had stored them in pattern boxes, and I think they hold about 20-25 patterns each, depending upon how fat the envelopes are.  I'm down to five boxes.  This includes all of the purse and bag patterns that came in paper envelopes.  The decision was a good one; I only kept the ones I loved and/or had made before successfully.  The rest have gone to a thrift shop.

Then next big project was gift wrap/boxes.  The kids know that we do not toss the boxes on holidays, just get rid of the wrapping paper and the ribbons.  Not that those matter, because over the years I've purchased wrapping paper of all sorts from all sources, like schoolkids selling to support some school project, and I've stocked up on the after Christmas sales.  I also save those gift bags, and the tissue.

Last time the church quilt guild met we pulled out the anniversary quilt to air and refold and we repressed the acid-free tissue we use to store it in its acid-free box.  Someone said "you press tissue paper?"  Yes, several of us do... and especially when it's acid-free and kind of expensive to replace.

So now I have a veritable rainbow of tissue paper, both plain and fancy, all sorted and stored in ONE place this time instead of willy nilly on closet shelves!

In my defense, I did toss the torn stuff, and the wrapping paper scraps that I was going to use to wrap that one small package that only takes an 8 inch square...

I donated three large bins of perfectly good garment fabric to a charity shop that supports three local Lutheran schools.  I hope someone loves the pieces as much as I must have when I bought them!  I think I can probably come up with a couple of additional bins if I try.

My dining room table has been replaced by a lovely medium brown table that is the right height, not two inches too high for my elbows.  AND I only paid $35 for it at the Salvation Army store!  Such a deal!  It cleaned up nicely and I love it.  We ordered some chairs from Wayfair.  we spent an evening putting them together, and the marriage survived, although it was a near thing when DH said he didn't like them.  After being told that they would be returned and HE could shop for chairs, he changed his mind.  Duh.

The old table had the most gigantic legs, and a thick, beveled top.  See how high the chairbacks are?  You could not get near the table unless you went between them, at least I couldn't, so to set anything down on the table I had to be either at the corner or between chairs.

The new table is darker brown, and the top is Formica, unlike the wood top on the old one.  No one ever remembered to use a coaster, and I was constantly harping about white rings from the moisture!

I love these chairs, they don't hit at a bad spot on my thigh like the old ones did, and since they're several inches lower at the back, my kitchen suddenly looks like a ballroom!

So when all is said and done, I'll be loving my new dining room!  The quest is on now to get a china cabinet that at least coordinates.  I hope to be able to display my collection of amber colored depression glass in the new place.

One week to Thanksgiving, and I need to start planning the dinner.  I expect we'll have somewhere around 9 for dinner and football.  I have Friday off from the shop, then Saturday I'll be working on Small Business Saturday.  Please get out there an support the locally owned shops so they stay in business and can continue to give everyone the excellent customer service that is so absent in the big box chain stores!

Back to cleaning/packing... LOL!!

Sew on...

Thursday, October 25, 2018


This is post number 555.   I probably would have written more posts, but since I retired from my full time day job and started working in the quilt shop eight whole hours a week I haven't had a moment to myself!

I like things in threes... three flowers in a vase look so much more pleasing than one or two.  Three skeins of yarn in a basket on my coffee table.  Three cookies - just enough, not too many!  Three coins in a fountain (sounds like a song), the trinity of onion, celery and carrot in many of my favorite dishes.  The Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).  You get it.

I used to buy fabric three yards at a time when I did more garment sewing.  If fabric is 44 inches wide you can get a blouse with any sleeve style out of three yards.   If it's 60 inches wide you can make a short sleeved top and an overblouse from three yards.  In quilting, if I love it I buy three yards and I can usually get a quilt back, or any style patchwork plus some leftovers, from three yards.

And three fives are so nice.  I'm not sure why, five is not my favorite number, but oh well.  So on to actual post 555.

I was in the quilt shop on Tuesday when the owner's brother came in.  They were having a family sewing day in the classroom.  He's the guy who designed the Escher quilt that's been all over Facebook.  I had just finished my Escher and had gotten it back from the quilter.

He said to me "you sure do knit a lot of socks!"  I've been posting my knitting on Facebook and he's a Friend.

I said "yes, I have!  They're fast and easy and I love doing them.  I knit when my husband is watching bad TV, and I don't necessarily want to pay attention but he wants me to be in the room with him."

Chris said "Bad TV??"

Ha ha… like there is no bad TV?  90% of the stuff that's on is pure dreck.  And I'm dying over all the political ads.  No one tells the truth about anything and I'm so sick of politicians trying to win not by proving that they're so good at what they do but by trying to show how bad their opponents are.  Ugh.

I record certain shows that I do like, then I play them back later and fast forward through all the commercials.  Like Jeopardy.  I love watching Jeopardy.  My daughter once called it smart people's TV.  I started watching when Art Fleming was the host and the lowest dollar prize was $10.  And that was real money back then!

Advertising has gotten out of control.  If you buy a tablet or a computer these days you have to pay extra to get one that doesn't put advertising on every screen and in every page you visit.  I have a couple of bloggers that I like to read who have ads on their blogs.  It's SOOOO annoying when you have to click off the ads before you can see a decent amount of post text.  I personally would never, ever click on those ads to buy anything even if I wanted it!

I can see if you're going to Etsy or Craftsy or eBay and you have to deal with ads, those are stores and they're in business to sell stuff.  Also, when you go there you are aware of the fact that you're going to see ads.  But jeez people, if you're just a blog, then be a blog!  Leave the ads off, please!

OK, off the soap box.

Meanwhile, the knitting.  I blogged before about the sock class I took at Cream City Yarn.  It wasn't a 'learn this pattern and knit this sock' kind of class, the teacher called it a toolbox.  She went through all the parts of knitting a sock, the various ways to do it, what each is best used for, and how to mix and match.  It was the best knitting class I've ever taken on socks.  And now I can't stop doing them!

These are done and in my sock drawer!

This one is done and the second is past the heel.

One sock done, the other to be cast on.  

These are recent acquisitions.  Some from Cream
City, some from internet sources.  Gorgeous!

This one is named Witch's Brew.  It's sock yarn, but I'm 
knitting a scarf... love the purple flecks.

And I'm doing it while watching GOOD TV.
This yarn is so gorgeous, but I made an error
when I ordered it, I didn't read the description
well enough.  I need two balls to make a pair
of socks.  It's OK.  I ordered some more.
Rock on people!

Monday, October 15, 2018

If Wishes Were Horses...

When I was younger, any time I would wish for something out loud, my mother would say "If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride".  That was kind of annoying, firstly because as a small child I wasn't sure what it meant.  Then later when I understood, I realized she was telling me that if you wanted something bad enough there probably was work involved!

Later she would say "Be careful what you wish for because you might get it".  OK.... and that would be bad because??  LOL!  Leave it to Mom to hand out pithy lessons that you had to work to understand!

I've been wishing for a nice condo somewhere close to things I need to get to but within traveling distance of both of my children's' families, in case we need to do kid pickup or have them over for dinners.  I found the idea of moving both daunting and exciting.  The whole idea of new stuff is great, but the cleaning and sorting and packing, oh my aching back!

Just when I thought there was no truth to the rumors about the hot real estate market, we sold our townhouse.  In one day, on the first day of showings, and for a good price!  Then the panic hit -- OK potentially homeless here!!  Ah, no, on the second day of looking we found a place we liked, within our budget, with no fixups needed...

Now I'm just waiting for appraisers and banks and real estate title companies to do their thing (or things, as the case may be).

Meanwhile, on Friday of last week I had a BIG hole in my house!

It was 42 degrees outside, and that was the day that the installation of my patio doors was to happen.  They were efficient and fast as they could be but it still took about three hours for the old doors to come out, things to get squared up, and the new doors to be installed.

There were three guys to install two complete doors, one in either unit.  The older guys were dressed warmly but bare-headed, and with no gloves.  The younger guy looked like he was trying not to expose ANY bare skin to the elements, complete with hat, hoodie and gloves.

Go figure!

The new doors slide like butter, they lock without the use of a bar in the track, and the glass is clear and the handles all work.  I could not be more pleased.  They're Anderson doors and we bought them at Home Depot.  Yay!!  I'm just sorry we're moving so we won't be able to enjoy them all that long!

Meanwhile, during my sewing hours I'm working on a kit called Jewel Frames.  The pattern is a free download from the internet, but the fabric was purchased as a kit (printed copy of the pattern included.)  It's all Kaffe fabric in shades of my favorite colors.  I can say that because I cut up these kits while I was working at the shop, so I picked them out!  ;-)

This is the pattern... you can google it if you want to see the details.  Yes, I know the fabric selection in the kit is not exactly the same as the pattern fabric list, but this is an older pattern.  Some of the fabrics are just not available, or we were out of them.

The first round is a black background fabric called Roman Glass, in the color Jewel.  One of my fav's.

The next round will be Millefiori in green, another favorite.

Here are my blocks, first round half done.

Between cleaning closets and sorting bookshelves, I'm still working on socks.  I was VERY happy to have some to keep my feet warm on Friday!  The downstairs temperature was 42, even with the heat on, but up on the second floor it was 80 because the furnace kept running and running, trying to thaw the main floor.  Ha!  Didn't work until they finished the doors...

Go figure!

The only things that kept me warm that day were a cat on the lap, new sneaks and a nice pair on hand knitted socks!
 Not necessarily all at the same time...

Hey, winter's coming, stay warm people!

Rock on...

Thursday, October 4, 2018

I Need A House!

We sold our house today.  Oh yeah, I am potentially homeless.  Well, not exactly, but worst case scenario maybe.

Once our daughter got married and moved in with her new husband in the house he owns, we were sitting in a side by side townhouse with no tenant, and no desire to have one.  Therefore, short of leaving it empty and having a bigger mortgage payment every month, the only answer was to sell and buy a smaller place.

DH was not a condo guy 11 years ago when we moved here, but he's older now, and hopefully he's changed his mind about things, like mowing the lawn every week.

Also, not being a landlord means not dealing with things like the small tenant using permanent markers on the walls instead of on paper.

Luckily the painters covered it all over with a nice off-white.

And not being a landlord means the only lightbulbs you have to change are your own.

So now we have to start looking in earnest for the new place where we'll end up.  We saw some today, in a good location but in varying degrees of  repair, some good and some not so much.

Having just watched a professional paint everything from soup to nuts, I can't understand why someone would slop paint onto the woodwork and not clean it up.  Or put blue painter's tape on a light fixture and leave it there. For. Years.

We went above and beyond to give the best appearance to our property before we listed it.  If painting, or changing dead lightbulbs, or cleaning carpeting will help bring top dollar, wouldn't you do it?

All I can say is, maybe the seller with the not so good place will accept a lower price, because for what is needed to fix up the one place, that's what it would take to make me buy it.  Although it did have three things going for it....

  • Location
  • Location
  • Location

On to some more tomorrow!

Move on...

Monday, September 24, 2018

Wait, Was That September??

September is flying by like a 747 on its way to somewhere important.

Tomorrow is our 47th wedding anniversary.  It's hard to believe that we've been married that long, except when I think about our son just turning 46!  LOL!!

There are some days that remain crystal-clear in your mind, no matter how fuzzy the short term memory may be.  I remember getting dressed at home, sending my bridesmaids and my mom to get their hair done but doing my own at home.  I remember trying to shove 30 yards of satin peau into the car so my dad could drive me to church.  These days brides got smarter and dress at church, which would have saved some of the buttons on my train, which were torn off in the struggle!

This picture is hanging on the wall in the stairway to our second floor.  I look at it daily and probably don't even see it anymore.  (I'm no longer that thin, nor is DH although he is closer!)

I haven't had much time to sew this month.  I did cut up a couple of kits for myself when I have time to sit down again.  I finished and sent my Escher quilt off to the quilter, and cut a second one, to be done in black, white and red.  Someday.  Hopefully to be done by Christmas, at least PIECED by then, as a gift.  Fingers crossed.

Is this amazing or what?  The sewing is easy but the layout requires planning... if you want to make your own, go to quiltagious-dot-com and place an on line order, or stop in at the shop.  I usually work on Tuesdays and Fridays.  **Disclaimer:  I make no commission on any sales of anything you buy there.

Most of my sitting time has been spent knitting socks.  I blogged before about taking a four part sock toolbox class at my local yarn store, Cream City Yarn in Brookfield WI.  (*Disclaimer:  No, I don't work there.  I cannot afford to work there and be near that much yarn!  I get into enough trouble at the quilt shop!)

In no particular order, I'm knitting or have knitted pink socks, blue socks, navy and red socks and red and green socks.  

Navy on the left, blue on the right.  This was 
prior to doing the Kitchener stitch to close
the toe of each.
 I've been knitting top down one at a time on double pointed needles, which is how I've always knit socks.  I did try two at a time on the magic loop, but I get 'ladders' where the needles separate, so I gave up after one try.  It's not the method, it's the knitter.  I may try again since the info I got at the toolbox class has been so helpful.  Anyway, I think knitting a couple of different socks at a time is one antidote to my fear and loathing of boredom and the Second Sock Syndrome!


So far I've knitted TWO pink socks, two blue socks and one and 7/8  of the navy/red sock.

Pink sock #2 in progress...

See?  A pair!!

Kind of fuzzy... two blue socks using the 
free pattern Hermoine's Everyday Socks
 I started the next pair, using a self striping red and green yarn in the very imaginative Color Number 12.

With any luck I might finish these up before Christmas too.

Yesterday I took time out from cleaning and fixing up in the rental portion of our townhouse to watch my middle granddaughter play in a volleyball league.  I know little or nothing about the game, although I did get some small amount of education from sitting next to her mom on the bleachers!  All I know is the ball goes back and forth over the net with some bouncing around in between, and her team won both games that I saw.

Miss K ready to punch the ball over the net!

The coach is the aforementioned birthday boy... his first crack at volleyball too. (Note to Paul Ryan, call if you need pointers!) Watching him during the two games was fun and I'm glad I had the chance to do it.  He was so patient and supportive of the girls even when they made mistakes, and they all seemed to be having fun.  Of course winning helped, and they are just the junior league but I had the same feelings as when I watched him play baseball in his adolescence.  Good job, girls AND coach!

Today I'm going to be packing up some non-essentials from my sewing studio, and putting together a big box (or boxes) of fabrics from my garment-sewing days to donate to the Martin Luther 'Rummage Sale' resale store.  They do a good job of supporting Christian education at Martin Luther High and two other parochial schools in our area, and I am glad to lessen the number of bins I will be paying someone to move when we sell this home and buy a condo.

You can read about the ML Rummage Sale new location here:  ML Rummage Moves

Somehow it hurts less to lose some pieces over others, but knowing it isn't going to a landfill and will support learning makes it OK.  Oh, and if I really, really want to keep something, I'm keeping it!  I can donate it later if I want to, right?

We haven't found a new place yet anyway, so there's no rush yet.

Better go start the laundry.  That's the thing about housework, it's always there!

Sew on...

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Saturday and It's Raining, Again

Today being Saturday, I am normally at work at the quilt shop.  For the last two weeks I've been off, working alternate weekdays instead.  After DD's Friday wedding last week, I had a house full of company and that was fun.  The oldest of my brothers came from Minnesota with his wife, and we had a nice leisurely visit that lasted all day.

Today is the beginning of Labor Day weekend, and also of a local attraction, St. Martins Fair.  St. Martins is a road that runs through a small section of the community, and all summer there is a fair with lots of vendors, music, produce stands... you can buy almost anything from tee shirts to tomatoes to goats!  I thought I would get up early this morning and score some home grown tomatoes, but since it was raining, my head decided a nice sleep-in was in order.

Many areas are getting much more rain than we have, but still I'm feeling a little 'under the weather' as they say.  What is it about rain that makes us sluggish and slightly gloomy?  What does it mean to be under the weather?  Is it a good day to read a book instead?

Muskego, WI
Saturday 12:00 PM

°F | °C
Precipitation: 100%
Humidity: 96%
Wind: 7 mph

For the next seven days, the only day with no rain in the forecast is Tuesday!  By Thursday we all may have webbed feet.  I shouldn't complain, at least there is no flooding in my immediate area, unlike several cities/towns in the surrounding counties.  

This picture has been all over the internet, flooding in the Madison area and people who drive through the puddles having NO IDEA that soon they will float away!  The newscasters keep repeating the mantra "turn around, don't drown", but it continues.  How did they even see where to go?

Some people do like rain though.   I love this little umbrella girl... do they make that in adult sizes?  LOL!

Random thoughts for the weekend:

  • When you're retired and your first day to do anything is Tuesday, any weekend seems to be a long weekend.  And Labor Day?  HAHA!  Oh well, it does indicate the end of summer in Wisconsin.  
  • It seems that the weather forecasters are using more technology lately, but are they any more accurate?  And do we mind less than we used to when they're not?
  • Blogs with ads that block your view of content are annoying.  I've stopped reading a few of my old favorites because they're that full of advertising.
  • Pepsi or Coke, does it really matter?
  • Now that I'm cleaning my sewing room to prep for potential home buyers I'm itching to get started on a dozen new sewing projects!
Until next time!  Sew on... or not.  ;-)

Friday, August 31, 2018

Another Friday Post, Post-Wedding!

This week I've been in 'recovery mode' from last week's exciting doings.  DD was married last Friday evening, and they threw a very nice party!  I was up later than I've been in a long time at least while upright and conversational.  I had a house full of company for Saturday.  It was lovely to visit with everyone and except for the DJ/music being so loud and not at all what I enjoy it was lovely.

The hall was beautifully decorated, the food was delicious, the grounds were so pretty that even with the rain we were able to find nice places for the thousand or so photos taken by our lovely friend Tina the professional photographer.  DH was in a lot of them, and after a while he started to crab a little whenever he saw the camera, but she usually managed to jolly him out of it.

Subsequently I did not take a lot of pictures... I was busy chatting with friends and family.  I finally got to meet the lady who lives across the street, after 11 years!!  It's funny, while I worked full time I saw her to wave at, and I met her husband and brother who made fast friends with my husband, and once I think I saw her in a yarn shop, but we never officially met.  She is very sweet and promised to keep in touch, especially about the knitting!

Today a real estate broker is coming to discuss selling the townhouse and buying a condo.  I've been cleaning and organizing for a while.  I surely wish we had started this in spring, but it is what it is I guess.  I have always been pretty well organized but organization for moving is so much more involved... keep/donate/toss decisions being the most important.  I fill bags for donation often, but evidently not often enough!

In July I pared down the yarn stash a bit with a big box of colorful one-off and partial skeins that went to the preschool.  Not that it made a SERIOUS dent in the stash... and I have organized three big bags of things that belong to or are going to the church quilt guild, that can leave my house for now.  Again, impact negligible.

Four BIG bins are filled with the dregs of various projects, which I always thought might be useful for doll clothes.  Turns out I never made as many doll clothes as I thought I would, even though I have a tub full of finished items.  I am keeping one bin of fabric and tossing the other three.

So sorry for the lack of photos in this post, I'm going to try to make up for it later... we will see how today goes!

Under finished projects, I count one PAIR of socks knitted!  They are very imperceptibly different but close enough to call.  I started the second of the bright pink socks yesterday, and so far the second sock matches the first as far as I have knitted, so there is hope that I've managed my Second Sock Syndrome.

Also this week I received a call from my former boss's assistant.  The woman who succeeded me was in a very bad car accident last weekend and is on short term disability with a bad back injury and an even worse concussion.  They want me to come back temporarily to run the Wastewater convention activities in October.  I'm trying to help them find some alternatives for that... they have many talented folks still working for them and I have no burning desire to go back even part time!  But I will help if I can, and of course prayers are being offered for Miss T's speedy recovery.

Until next time...