Thursday, September 14, 2017

Skating Toward Year End...

Boy, what fun we're having this week!  Two weeks and one day to Fiscal Year End at work and I'm running as fast as I can!!
There have been some light moments though... my friend Tony's daughter got married recently.  Someone found him this shirt to wear. I nearly snorted tea out through my nose when I saw it!

Here are a few recently completed projects, some of which have helped maintain my tenuous hold on sanity while the office is screaming around me.

This first one is a panel surrounded by some borders, made for the wall of the Little Lams Academy nursery room.  We all thought this was so adorably appropriate!


This is a blue "Yellow Brick Road", or a "Blue Brick Road" if you prefer.  I got it sewn together and now it just needs layering and quilting.  It's about a dozen miscellaneous left-over fat quarters from my blue bin, which NEVER seems to get any emptier!

I started this skinny quilt for the foot of my bed about two years ago.  The quilt on my bed is blue and white, this one is to cover our feet with one extra layer when the Wisconsin winter starts.  Next week, by the look of thing!  (It's nice today but the evening temps have been in the 60's and upper 50's recently!)

This one is called My Favorite Donation Strip Quilt, pattern compliments of Patched Works in Elm Grove WI.  It's easy to sew, easy to cut, looks great either planned or with scrappy interior strips and one repeated edge strip, and you can make extra blocks and make it bigger, but this one is about 45x54.

This quilt...ah, this quilt has been the bane of my summer!  A lady in our church guild bought a half jelly roll in browns, and once it was sewn together it was long and skinny and not what she thought it would be.  Dare I remind you that I once said there are no ugly fabrics, just ugly combos?  Well I think I proved myself wrong (again). 

I'm not much of a brown person, and certainly not these browns!  I tried cutting the quilt into smaller sections, then I found some complementary browns in our church stash, and tried large blocks of those to supplement.  I hated it.  I un-sewed and rearranged.  I still think I hate it, but I hate it less than I originally did.  I originally thought I'd do some applique but lost interest.  I thought I did a better job of laying out the blocks too, but there that one fabric is, lined up like soldiers!

A couple of weeks ago I went to the farmers' market for vegetables, and evidently I bought a duck!!

Carry on and sew to keep calm!

Monday, September 11, 2017

September, the Whole Month and the 11th

September is a month that has always been a big one for my family.  DH and I were married in September, and this year will celebrate our 46th anniversary.  If I did the math correctly...

Our son will celebrate his 45th birthday.  Which is odd considering I'm only 40 years old!  (I had to add a year since Miss A can add -- I used to claim 39 but she's on to me now.)  Happy birthday Kevin!

Two of my brothers have September birthdays.  Happy birthday on the 4th to Chet and on the 6th to Tom.

Middle school!!
The kids go back to school in earnest, and I love back to school shopping!  Especially the school supplies.  These days the schools have the kids preorder their supplies and they all come in a big package so you don't have to run all over town to get the right size box of crayons or a particular kind of notebook.  You may just need to go for a few special things.  I always buy myself a new box of crayons or colored pencils for the house, and for me! 

My mom showed us how to do these
crayon doodles (this one used markers)
and the grands and I do them now.
Labor Day is one of my favorite holidays - no big meal to prepare, a lot of lazing around the house or the park.  DD and her family go to a local fair, and I take extra vacation days to make it a long weekend.

I'm remembering where I was on Sept. 11, 2001.  I was in Indianapolis with a rental car and no hotel room when the news came that all the airports were closing down.  The people in our office there went a little off the rails and everyone left except me and two other people.  I will never forget that only Louis asked whether I had a place to stay, and invited me to dinner at his home.  Thank you so much Louis, your kindness meant a lot that day.

My company closes its fiscal year on the last Friday in September.  THAT I am not looking forward to... but there are three weeks to go so I guess it will be here before you know it.  I've been preaching for the past two and a half months:  get your invoices submitted, get the purchase orders done, get your expense sheets in.  Then suddenly this week someone said to me "holy cow, there are only three weeks left until the end of the year! Process this quick!!"

To quote a famous movie line, "No sh*t, Sherlock!"

On top of that, this year I have to take three days out of the center of that three weeks to attend a leadership meeting in Charlotte, NC.  That's good news and bad news.  Good news because we've never been invited to that before, us support staff, so we always felt left out and unimportant.  Bad news because we've never been invited before and we always had three days where we were not being interrupted by last minute requests and we could actually get work done!

On top of that is the annual Wastewater Conference that happens during the week of year end close this year.  UGH!

Hoping this is me next month:

Rock on...

Friday, September 8, 2017

I Read It On The Internet!

It must be true, right?  I read it on the internet!!

The other day I was having a conversation with Miss A, aged 10, and she was going on about aliens.  She said they must be real, because she saw a couple of videos on YouTube.

Well, that was a conversation that was just not going anywhere, and I let her jabber until she got tired, and then I said "there are no such things as aliens" and she said "Yes, there are Gramma, I saw it on the internet!"


But seriously, this got me thinking about what a lot of people believe, and believe strongly, even adamantly!  And where do they get these ideas?  Well, it used to be across the back fence, the old Rumor Mill.  Then it was email... remember the guy in Nigeria who had a million dollars for you, if you just send him your credit card number? 

Now it's news in an instant, whether it's true or not.  Someone's opinion becomes a thing on Facebook or Instagram or whatever and suddenly there's a protest group on Wisconsin Avenue throwing rocks at a State building or something!

My rule of thumb is:  Trust, but verify.


If you see articles like "Human Remains Found in a Hot Dog Plant" or "Dogs Are Serving Coffee at Starbucks", you would think twice before you believe it.  I have un-followed a couple of people from FB because they're always getting upset about stuff that turns out not to be true. I don't need extra drama in my life!

But here's the thing, people can post anything they want on some sites, and nobody says "hey, that's not real".  Because if you DID, a million OTHER people would hate on them for disagreeing! 


It's silly.  This week, someone made a comment on a social media platform about a certain fabric precut set -- just a general comment that the precut sets they had purchased had not been of very good quality.  Immediately, a couple dozen people started bashing the precuts and said they would NEVER buy them because they're always JUNK.

Well, if I were the manufacturer of fabric precuts, I would take exception to that!  And truly, there are some very good ones out there that do a great job and do not need the bad publicity from the one or three people who got bad sets and hated them.  (In this case it's true, you're only as good as your 'cutter'...)

But what kind of set me off was that someone chimed in with a remark to the tune of  'suck it up, buttercup, you got it cheap so get over it'.

That was a little mean.  People say things they wouldn't say in person because it's so easy to hit that "post" button if you don't see the sad face of the person on the  other end of the comment.

I like precuts.  I buy them at my local quilt shop.  I buy them on line.  I try to get them on sale, but if I like them, I buy them.  I have and will continue to buy quality fabric.  You get what you pay for.  That must be true, because I read it on the internet!

Rock on...


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

My Quiet House

It's SO quiet here this morning.  It isn't usually this quiet.  The girls are at school and DH has gone for his weekly coffee jaunt to a local restaurant with the guys across the street.

No one is mowing their lawns because rain is in the forecast.  The TV is off, as is the radio.

The cat is sleeping on the back of the couch.  No one is walking dogs or riding bikes down our short street.

It's kind of spooky! (But in a nice way.)  I was just taking a minute to think about the people in Texas again.  It looks so bad on TV, what must it be like up close and personal?  I can't imagine losing everything in a few minutes like that.  Those people who lost so much probably never imagined it either.

We are so lucky in this country to have so much, and then to lose it all is so hard.  I also was thinking about those in the tsunami a few years back who didn't have that much and lost it all.  It probably wasn't any easier for them. 

And yet they're just things.  If we have family and they are safe, we can get more things.  God has His eye on those in Texas and elsewhere who are hurting.  I trust Him that He has a plan.  Maybe it's to make us reach out to help our fellow humans, to exercise our generosity muscles and our loving kindness genes.

Be generous and kind but if you're going to donate and help make sure you give to legitimate agencies with good reputations, because the same human impulses to goodness are out there in the less than good, who could take this opportunity to take advantage.

The Bible teaches us to give generously to all who ask in the name of goodness.  I believe that those who use situations like Harvey to take advantage have a special circle in hell just waiting for them.

So my friends in the storm's path, my prayers are with you this quiet, contemplative morning.

Stay calm and carry on...

Monday, August 28, 2017

Hurricane Harvey

My thoughts and prayers are with all my friends in Houston and southern Texas.  My company has a very large office in Houston and offices in San Antonio and elsewhere.  We're getting involved in mitigation of the flood damage and other aspects of the storm.  Many of our employees are working with volunteer organizations, taking personal time off to help the Red Cross and others provide needed services.

American Sewing Guild headquarters are in Houston. I pray that all my friends there are safe.  The last time I was there the office was on the fifth floor so hopefully the physical property damage will be minimal.  All that matters is that the people are safe.

Don't mess with Mother Nature.

Praying on...

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Back to School!

Time for the kids to go back to school.  How exciting is that?  The girls started school on Thursday this week, so they now have two full days under their belts. 

Miss E says the second year of high school was not as stressful to start as the first year. That's a good sign, because every time I ask her how school was, she replies "horrible".  I don't get that, because I loved school, and I still love learning things.  Oh well.

Miss A says middle school is confusing.  Evidently a lot of the fifth graders were lost the first day, which is normal in a new school, especially one that is larger than the one you attended previously.  She says she doesn't know too many people on her bus either, except the driver!  He's a man who goes to our church, and he's a good friend. 

I spent this weekend catching up on my retail therapy... I hadn't been to the green market in a while, so I did that today.  I bought three of the biggest tomatoes I've ever seen.  We had BLT sandwiches for dinner tonight.  I picked up some small cucumbers and some squash, and the year's first corn on the cob.  I just love the fresh veggies!

Then I did the rounds of some quilt shops, the Amazing Goodwill and the yarn shop.  I went to the office supply store and picked out a new printer which will be delivered next week by the UPS man.  I got tired of trying to figure out why the old one refuses to print anything no matter what I do.  Maybe it was just too old to function anymore... plus the one I'm getting is wireless so everyone can use it.

I hope.
On Friday I stopped at Patched Works and picked up some fun new notions from Moda.  The bag that says MAKE contains small clothespins that say things like "Measure Twice". 
This is the shop's 2017 Row
by Row license plate.
Then on Saturday I stopped at Quiltagious to get my free August yard of fabric.  I could not resist the colors in this three yard quilt kit!

I scored pretty well at the AG, picked up a lovely purple quilted jacket and two handbags, one a Vera Bradley.  I picked up a second jacket too, and promptly ruined it in the washer.  Duh!  Read the labels, miss!  100% polyester LINING, the jacket was SILK.  It had been pleated and ironed down to iron-on interfacing.  Washing the jacket loosened up all the pleats and made it into a balloon!  Oh well, it was only $5.  And I did salvage the larger pieces of silk fabric.  That will get used somewhere.

Now DH is watching the preseason Packer football game and I'm contemplating watching a few of the recorded Jeopardy programs before I go to bed.  All in all, it's been a good weekend.

My thoughts and prayers are with those who are suffering from severe weather in the south. 

Sew on...

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

That Was Then, This Is...

Some of you may be of the age to remember films in high school history class with Walter Cronkite reporting a history event as if it was a current event, like the signing of the Declaration of Independence, or the Battle of Concord.  He'd start out with the headlines and then go to the scene.  And at the end, they'd return to Walter and he'd say "And that's the way it was, July 4, 1776."

I'm not sure when they started saying "that was then, this is now".  I'm thinking about the kids going back to school next week locally, and suffering from a little nostalgia.

Preschool graduation
It wasn't horrible of me
to want to take a picture...

The backpack was
nearly as big as
the girl carrying it!

How did he get so big?
 How did we go from then to

drivers' license and hair up in a fancy do?

Miss A is going to Middle School this year.  Miss A is old enough to get her drivers' license learner's permit... Miss K and Master J are no longer cuddly toddlers either, everyone has gotten older and more mature including the G's -- Gramps and Gramma.

Oh well, I guess it's good to know that when it's time for someone to drive me to the nursing home, there will be people to do it!

Sew on...