Thursday, December 7, 2017


Today I am thankful for the talents of physical therapists!  After just a couple of sessions with the talented Courtney I am moving, walking, sitting and bending with no pain in my back. 

It's amazing what can be done.  Although I am also thankful that the injury wasn't worse than it was, it was bad enough that I couldn't function normally.  So let's give a cheer to those PTs who save us from ourselves, I guess.

Last time she had me run through all the exercises that she assigned and then added the stationary bike for five minutes.    After that she reminded me how I should be stretching, and how I should be lifting.  Use your legs, not your back!  Yes, I did know that from the last back injury, but we forget, don't we?

 I'm thankful that I can get back to my normal activities, but I'm concerned that I have too much to do!  All that Christmas shopping that I was avoiding is now on a deadline that's shorter than the daylight in Wisconsin in December!

Tuesday I took my favorite auntie to get an amplified phone for her house.  She has hearing aides and can hear her cell phone OK but she doesn't always hear it ring when it's not next to her.  And her home phone (land line) is not loud enough.  She's putting it on speaker and holding it up to her ear! 

Shades of the old-fashioned!
The phone she got is loud and has a loud ringer.  And it has a volume control, an answering machine built in, and it hangs on the wall, all requirements for her.  The only thing that needs to be done now is to hang it up and program it.  I'm letting her call her younger son to do the hanging, because I think drywall repair may be involved.   And wall patching is not in my resume.

I do have a big pile of projects to get to... my UFO bin is scandalous but at least I have a few of them layered and ready to quilt.  Wish me luck! 

and last but not least, here is a gratuitous photo of a cat and her girls...

Sew on...

Friday, December 1, 2017

Oh My Aching Back!!

I've been in some degree of agony with my back and shoulder for several days.  I know, stupid, right?  Yesterday I finally got smart and went to the doctor.  He sent me over for physical therapy since I appear to have strained muscles in my back during Thanksgiving weekend.

It hurt when I did twisty motions like fastening the seatbelt in the car or getting out of bed.  I thought it was the re-injury of a herniated disk from a dozen years ago, but both the doctor and the therapist think it's not. 

So the other night when I was in the sewing room, when I dropped things, they just had to stay there until I could get up and bend over very carefully. 

I told DH that it was all that manual dishwashing I was doing.  From now on, I'll need cleanup staff if they want me to do all that baking!

So today I'm feeling better, although getting out of bed was still a bit of a challenge today.  I have some exercises to do and more therapy for the next couple of weeks.

I really wanted to get some sewing done, but I have to avoid sitting in one place for too long.  Did you know a good limit to put on sitting is 20 minutes?  That doesn't seem like a very long time.  Unless you're back hurts while you're sitting...

I have made some progress on the pile of quilts to quilt.  Two more are now layered and pinned.  Miss A's quilt top and back, both pieced, are now ready to layer and pin.  Now just to get them quilted -- not a good time to be told NOT to sit for longer than 20 minutes I guess!  Ah well...

Sew on...

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Thanksgiving, Not Just A Holiday

The great American Thanksgiving weekend is coming up.  It's not just about food and football anymore either.  I'm not sure I'm happy about that.

Thanksgiving is one holiday that I just love because it's about nothing more than the food and the attitude.  Giving Thanks.  Eating the turkey and all the sides, and groaning from the amazing bounty.

It also brings to mind those who don't have such an amazing bounty, and begins what I like to think of as the Season of Giving.  Charitable donations go up, people collect and distribute food to the disadvantaged, friendliness toward our fellow man goes up (not everywhere, but lots of places, keep your eyes open for the opportunities!!)

Of course there's that Black Friday thing going on too... I boycott that big time!  I absolutely abhor that stores are open on THURSDAY for Black Friday.  For goodness sake, what about those retail workers?? Don't they get to enjoy Thanksgiving too?? 

OK, I'm better now.

Thanksgiving used to mean the beginning of the Christmas season.  These days it's stuck in there between Christmas in July and the real deal.  Some people complain that Christmas decorations go up way too soon and the stuff in the stores is out there before Halloween!

I sympathize with them, you want to enjoy each season in turn, right?  But the ATTITUDES of thanks-giving and Christmas should be year round, don't you agree?

We should care for each other and be kind on a daily basis.  Also on a daily basis we should be thankful for everything we have, whether it's little or much.  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  James 1:17.  This I firmly believe!  I am blessed, and following all these blessings comes the obligation to be a blessing to others.

Opportunities, people.  They exist, look around.  Find one and take it.  You will also benefit in many more ways than you can imagine.  I like Engineers Without Borders, The Salvation Army, the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, my church, my Quilters groups, and others.  You find one or two that you like and see how it works.

One thing I'm not sure I'm thankful for is the endless and I do mean endless stream of mushy Christmas themed movies on the not one but two Hallmark channels that we get.  DH loves Christmas or at least used to love all things Christmas but now loves only certain parts.  He's no longer thrilled with the decorating but that Hallmark Channel!!  Oh, does he love that!

Reindeer Games.  Enchanted Christmas.  A Boyfriend for Christmas. A Bride for Christmas.  A Cookie Cutter Christmas.  A Christmas Detour.  The Sweetest Christmas. The Mistletoe Inn.  Switched for Christmas.  Finding Santa.  The Christmas Train.  On and on.  And on...

Multiple showings, multiple viewings.  By the time Christmas comes, I'll be heartily over it.  Give me a dose of murder and mayhem, quick, before I die of a sugar induced coma!!

I have thus far avoided the radio, with its marathon of holiday tunes.

Not that I am being a scrooge about it.  I do love the holidays.  I just wish that the feeling would be distributed over the whole year instead of all piled up in one two month glut and then nothing.  It's the attitude we need to spread!  Giving Thanks all year round, and keeping Christmas all year too.

I'm working on it!

On a side note, this year I celebrated (?) 20 years of work for the same company, although with mergers and name changes that designation is debatable.  I guess that's what kept it interesting!!

And my Friday Night Sewing Family recently assisted my dear auntie in almost completing an amazing new quilt pattern and technique.  It's a quilt as you go, so finishing will be done in a way none of us has used before.  It should be fun!

Give on...

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

"Bye For Now", Nancy

The world is a very sad place today.  Nancy Zieman of Sewing With Nancy (link) and Nancy Notions passed away yesterday after a long fight with cancer.

I met Nancy a number of times for various sewing events and never met a more gracious and kind person.   She epitomized the Christian in all of her business dealings, and although I'm not personally aware of how she acted in her personal dealings I'm sure it was no less.

Nancy was a member of Peace Lutheran Church in Beaver Dam.  I know this because I attended many seminars in that church during Sewing Weekends, and it was no secret they valued her as a member there.

She will be missed so much by all who knew her personally and professionally.  If you sew, you probably owe a debt of gratitude to Nancy and her crew for some knowledge or inspiration at some point.  She developed notions for Clover Company, and was a part of the Baby Lock community for years.

I won a Baby Lock sewing machine at a seminar at Nancy's a couple of years ago.  I treasure the memories of ALL my sewing weekends there, probably 20 in all.  It won't be the same without Nancy.

But given her deep faith, I'm sure that some day I'll see her again in heaven, and it truly is just a 'Bye for now"...

We mourn, but we're grateful for the time we had.

Sew on...

Monday, November 13, 2017

Catching Up on To Do Lists

Seems like there's always something ELSE I should be doing...

Maybe you feel the same way.  When I'm at work in my office, I am thinking about all the things I should be doing at home.  And if I'm working at home, my mind keeps bringing up my UFO list from the office.
It's worse when you have multiple responsibilities.  I am not just an employee at my job, but also the leader of our church quilt guild, the raffle queen at the library quilt guild, and the church treasurer.  Not to mention a member of a family with duties there and a member of an extended family with duties there too.

Not that those things are duties exactly, but they sure do have to do lists associated with them.

Last weekend, Miss E was in the high school play.  that brought up chauffer duties, as both girls do not usually end up in the same place at the same time, and there are only so many places you can be in simultaneously.  So Drama Queen got dropped off and we trundled Miss A over to meet her mother.  We ended up staying out for dinner, an occasion that does not happen as much as I'd like these days! 

I'm also trying to put together a small demo project for the church ladies for this weekend, plus I need to get organized for the November raffle which happens at our library guild meeting tomorrow.

I think I'm set for those.  HOWEVER I did not actually do any of my own sewing this weekend!! 

Last night I went down to the sewing room to GET ORGANIZED.  AGAIN.  Someone gave the church ladies a bag of fabric and I'd brought it home.  I sorted it out while catching up on reruns of Doc Martin from PBS.  We ended up with seven half yards, about a dozen quarter yards and a pile of small cut up ends and remnants.  And one piece that was about a yard and a half in size plus some miscellaneous junk that I tossed.  I ironed it all.  (Obsessively, I can't put fabric away all smooshed up.)

THen I spent some time trimming up some odds and ends of my own, and cut up two more quilt kits.

Which brings me back to my to-do lists.  Still to do...

  • Three Christmas quilts, layered and ready for machine quilting
  • Two tops done, ready for layering
  • Fabric for two backs, needs ironing and trimming/piecing
  • Unknown number of kits for quilts and other projects, awaiting start
  • Two sweaters requiring buttons to be sewn
  • Two or three knitting projects, on needles, in process, just need to apply hands and time to finish
  • ...well, I'm sure you get the picture.
When they turned the clocks back, they should have left that extra hour in!

Ah, well, there's always tomorrow...

Maybe YOU can find some time to sew on!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Finally Friday!

Today I am in the actual 'office' office.  The trip down here was surreal, I didn't recognize the new stadium when I drove past, because a LOT has changed since my last trip downtown.  It's starting to resemble a building, with windows and brick on the outside and everything.
Milwaukee Bucks new stadium last month
Maybe the next time I have to come down here fewer streets will be blocked around it.

While I was listening to my morning conference call the fire alarm in the building went off.  It's loud, excruciatingly so.  People were grabbing their coats to leave, and I was terminating my connection to the call, when it just went silent.  The business directly above us is having some renovation done, and every time someone is doing construction in this building, the fire alarms are set off.   Ugh!!  My ears are still ringing.  Possibly because it happened a second time about an hour later.

HEY!! Are you listening??
I scheduled my Paid Time Off for the holidays.  Usually I take the Wednesday before US Thanksgiving to start my cooking, then I take more time between Christmas Eve and New Years Day.  This year, with Christmas Eve on Sunday, Monday is a holiday anyway so I only have to burn four days of PTO to get the whole week. 

I recently celebrated 20 years with the company, and for a thank you gift, I was able to choose to get one of those big turkey roaster pans with rack and lifting forks.  In the past I have used a disposable pan, and made lifter strips with tin foil. 
This is my 20 year award! 

This will be the ultimate reward!

I also picked up a 20 quart Nesco roaster at a rummage (used twice, I was told!) and it's big enough for a turkey, so now the only thing to decide is which to use!
Nesco brand 20 quart cooker.
I do not work for Nesco, but I do
like their roasters!
Feast or famine, feast or famine...  I enjoy using the 6 quart Nesco for chicken, I'm hoping I'll enjoy the larger one just as much.

Tonight and tomorrow are performances by the Drama Queen, so I'm thinking this might be an exciting weekend for me.

Hope you enjoy your weekend!

Rock on...

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thursday Musings

Last week I stopped in at my two favorite fabric shops and did a bit of October stash enhancement.

First I made sure to pick up my free yard where I won that fabulous drawing last April...  I picked up a really wild botanical from the Kaffe Fasset line.  It's the reddest maple leaves imaginable, at least it says maple in the selvedge!  It doesn't look like my trees any longer, since it's now cold and the wind has bee blowing like mad.

Besides, when was there ever a zebra on the loose in Wisconsin?

Also acquired were this really wonderful botanical print, thanks to the lady before me who was buying some and had it laid out in front of me...

And some kid prints for some fun.  I love the owls, and this purple was right next to it, so I grabbed some of both.

Then because I couldn't control myself  had some extra time, I went over to my other favorite place and picked up a few more things, including the blue print up there with the owls, and this fun piece of pumpkin print.  I'm planning to make a table runner out of some of this orange and brown. 


Now to get down to the sewing room and get busy!!

What are you working on this week?

Sew on...