Monday, April 28, 2008

Crash and other news from the weekend

Some moronic teenaged driver decided to make a road course out of our front lawn and flower bed around the mailbox. He lost control of the car, veered onto our lawn, drove the car between our mailbox and the power pole, wiped out the flower bed, and managed to get his car stuck on top of the boulder that used to sit quite nicely in the middle of the bed. Michael and I had just returned from shopping and were putting away the groceries when we heard the noise. When he saw the results, Michael grabbed his digital camera and told me to phone 911 because it appeared the driver and his companions were attempting to get the boulder from under the car and take off! The car was caved in along the passenger side from scraping against the power pole and its underside was probably damaged from the boulder since they tried to drive back and forth with the boulder under the car. For one, I couldn't believe they were just going to leave! Then the driver started mouthing off to Michael when Michael asked him what happened. He got very agitated when I said the police were called. By the time the police arrived, there was a good crowd of neighbors around and there was no way the driver was going to get away. Two cruisers, two emergency squads and a fire engine arrived on the scene. They cleaned the debris up as best as they could, ticketed the driver, and towed the car away. Sometime today we need to get the policy report and contact the driver's insurance company since there is no way we should have to spend our own time, money and energy fixing up the yard. We are very, very fortunate nothing worse happened.

Well, that was the exciting bit of my weekend. Could have done without it, thank you very much! LOL.

After my "intervention" with the quilt top count last week, I'm intent on getting them completed now. I quilted two projects on the frame this weekend - a baby quilt and a lap quilt. Got the binding in place - now have to hand stitch it. I'm taking Jen's advice and have a quilt on the frame at all times until I get caught up. Ordered the bolt of batting and should have it sometime this week.

We had pizza and beer on Saturday night with some friends. Always enjoy Martin and Bev's company. Martin's awaiting word on the cardiac testing he had done last week and is quite anxious about it. If we were able to take his mind off it for a few minutes by telling stories and laughing then it was time well spent. It was good for me, I know. I was in a c-r-a-p-p-y mood on Saturday starting at weigh in - did not go well (up two pounds!) . But that's my fault for not going to Weight Watchers for six weeks! Somehow I doubt the food from last week's retreat was on points for me either, but I did enjoy it. How come it takes so damned long to lose an ounce? Oh well, back on the treadmill today - been remiss about that as well. I've been stuck around this weight since October, time to do something about it!!!!! There's a family reunion coming up in July and I want to look my best for that since most of the attendees haven't seen me in 15 years. I suppose that's a good incentive.

Have an enjoyable Monday!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Taking Stock and In Shock!

Once a month, we have these incredibly d-u-l-l medical lectures from our company's medical director. To pass the time and to give me a sense that I'm getting something done, I make lists during the lecture - grocery lists, usually. Well, today, I made a list of the quilt projects I have in various stages. I'm hiding my head in shame!

There are THIRTEEN quilt tops all pieced, with borders that need to be quilted. THIRTEEN!!!! Five more quilts are in the piecing stage. How could I ever get to this point???!!!! I need to finish these items, right? I'm too weak in my resolve to stick to the no-more-fabric-until-I- get-these-done mindset. My new year's resolution to not purchase any more fabric fell by the wayside within six weeks.

Like my husband said, I'm a weak woman when it comes to fabric.

If you read this, take stock of your own project stack. Take heed and avoid my woeful state! LOL Let me know what your project stack is looking like and we can help each other.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Back from the retreat

Hi all! I'm back from the ESA/St. Jude's retreat in Palestine, OH. I had a great time, but as you can probably guess am a bit tired. I didn't bring a camera to the retreat, so hoping that Jill and Jen will post some photos on their blogs. I think those two got even less sleep than me! There were 46 quilters all working in one big auditorium and it was a blast seeing all the different projects, meeting new folks and having wonderful meals fixed for you! Everyone was so nice and supportive, ooing and ahhhing over every finished project. I pieced a baby quilt- the Very Hungry Caterpillar - and a lap quilt from the Nickel quilts book II - Butterfly Waltz. The latter is for my mum for Mother's Day next month, so I have to get that quilted soon. Also finished a small purse/totebag in class. Doesn't seem like much, but the butterfly quilt is pieced with 2 and 1/4 inch squares. DEFINITELY want to attend this retreat next year!

No rest for the wicked - my short nap yesterday afternoon was interrupted by phone calls. Then, we had dinner and drove to Hamilton to pick up a marble sink top Michael found on Craig's List.

Back to work today, but the lack of sleep is catching up with me and I'm really dragging despite the coffee. My family did not do any of the chores I assigned them this weekend - now that's a shocker! LOL! We were completely out of bird seed and squirrel food, so I made a quick dash to the feed store before they closed yesterday. Gotta feed the wildlife! At least the indoor pets didn't starve! They both seemed very happy to see me though. Smudge curled up on the bed with me for the brief nap.

So, that was my weekend. Miss it already and want to sew even more!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Our Neighbors

If you'll excuse me today, I can't contain my glee much longer. Our hillbilly neighbors' house is up for sale! Jen posted about her issues with the cult last year and now I'm going to post about our neighbors from you-know-where.

Michael and I bought our house nearly four years ago knowing full-well it was a fixer-upper and we've done a tremendous amount of work improving the house and yard. We're not finished by any means; what homeowner can EVER claim they're done working on their house? The neighborhood's an older one and we met the folks to our east before we moved in - nice quiet, retired couple. The house to the south was empty, but it looked well cared for.

One week after we moved in, we were roused from sleep at 2 am by the sound of glass breaking, followed by a string of curse words. The new renters had moved in to the vacant house that afternoon, but the "dad" was locked out, so he broke the sliding glass door on the back of the house, verbally abused his spouse then proceeded to beat the crap out of her. (We learned this from the police blotter in the paper the next week. Believe me, I do a search on the courts' web page every now and then to see what new charges have been filed against both of them! He has nine priors, she now has five.)

My son drove past their house a week later and noticed a Confederate flag pinned inside the wall of their garage. Their big screen television was in the garage surrounded by an assortment of beat up furniture. "What," Danny asked "moved in next door?" Danny had a great sense of humor about our new neighbors. This may sound gross, but one afternoon Danny found a deceased squirrel by our log pile. Danny picked it up with a shovel and tossed it over the fence into the renters' yard. "Hey, they'll just throw it on their grill for dinner," he claimed. Oddly enough, the dead critter quickly disappeared and they did grill outside that night.

Since then we've been treated to an assortment of police calls, visits from the dad (usually drunk), noisy fights between the couple and their two boys, and numerous yard sales. Whenever we'd see them at the grocery store, Mr. was buying more beer. The dad was operating a junk collecting firm from the house which meant there was usually two pick-up trucks filled with junk parked between their house and ours, so close we could touch them from our patio. During the summer months, we love to eat outdoors, but lost our "appetite" to do so when we'd be staring at junk whilst we had dinner. We contacted the health department twice about the filth and charges were filed in January that they had 45 days to clean up. Well, at least the trucks are gone, but the house is still surrounded by stuff left out in all weather. I wrote a letter two years ago to the house's owner about her tenants. We learned she wants to sell the house, but since she had to pay for severe water damages throughout the house, she was in negative equity and couldn't take the loss. Apparently, that's changed. Oh, the water damage? Caused by the lack of heat in the house. Mrs. moved out finally having enough of the beatings. But, Mr. couldn't afford to buy heating oil for the house. During a particularly bad cold snap - VOILA - the pipes burst all through the house.

Mrs. got a place of her own on the other side of town, but the police followed her there. She's currently facing a drunk and disorderly charge, two child endangerment charges and a domestic battery charge.

We "lovingly" call these folks the Bumpus Family after the family who was featured in "The Christmas Story" (Ralphie's neighbors with all the dogs.) Our Bumpuses have cats - can't say how many litters we've seen in four years. Well, since Mrs. cleared off, the remaining cats have scattered across the neighborhood. Two of them like our back patio. And much to Michael's dismay, I feed the poor things. Can't let them starve, can I?

So yesterday when I gave the kitties their dinner, I noticed a Century 21 sign in their front yard.

Any wonder we feel like partying? It'll be a while, I think, before they find a sucker (uh, buyer) for the house. Judging from its outside appearance, it probably needs more work than the average home buyer would want to do. No listing on the Century 21 site yet, but they're probably waiting until the house and yard look better before snapping the photos. They may be waiting for while

Will keep you posted.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Happy Tax Day!

Hope Uncle Sam and his state and local partners were kind to you all. I always dread filing.

Started the Stash Pot Pie homework assignment last night with the fat quarters that Gina was kind enough to send me. Gina, it's going to make a lovely quilt and I can't thank you enough for drawing my name! I finished 15 of the required 59 blocks last night. It's going to be an easy sew once I get all the fabric cut.

I have so much stuff set aside to take to the retreat this weekend, I hope my car can carry it all. LOL. Seriously, I know I am definitely overstating the amount of sewing I'll be able to get done. My DH and daughter are in the early stages of a freak-down (OMG, Mom's going away for two days!!! What will we do??????) Regardless, I'm looking forward to a few days of fun, meeting some new friends, and sewing.

Well, I'd best get back to work. Today's production cut off for mid-month.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Some Catching Up.....

Hey all,
Michael and I are feeling much better after visiting our doctor and getting some drugs. I'm still taking an antibiotic for a few more days, but there is absolutely NO comparison to how I feel now vs a week ago.

The Stash Pot Pie class was really enjoyable on Saturday. We had a bit of show and tell, received our new assignment for April and reviewed photos of several classmates' stash and sewing areas. I was brave enough to bring in photos of mine and I was surprised at the reaction they got. My room's in a constant state of near chaos with an occasional clean-up. My classmates said they were impressed with the room and my stash organization???!!!! I guess compared to the other slides that were shown, it was. One gal has a room filled with bags and boxes stuffed with fabric. No organization to it - just piles and piles of fabric. It would be a horribly daunting task to get that sewing room in shape and organized. Our class talked about going as a group to help one person out with their room. That may be on tap for later this year.

Purchased some fabric to make a "Hungry Caterpillar" baby quilt for a friend's new granddaughter. Later in the day, Michael and I were at Hobby Lobby and I found some pieces in the remnant bin that would fit "nicely" into my stash. So, Saturday wasn't completely spent chauffeuring my daughter and her friends to the mall and back.

So, Andrea had a busy weekend with a sleepover, breakfast at IHOP, shopping, etc. Her dad was supposed to come over on Sunday afternoon to treat her to a belated birthday outing. The sorry-excuse-for- a-father never showed up or phoned. He doesn't see her for months - before Tuesday, the last time she saw him was Christmas. Then, he doesn't follow-through with a promise. She clearly was happy to see him on Tuesday, but the crap he pulls is going to sour her relationship with him eventually, if it hasn't already.

Spent a few hours cutting up fabric for Nickel quilts yesterday. I need to read the instructions for the class assignment and figure out what fabric/colour scheme to use. Obviously, I have WAY MORE projects than I need for the retreat this weekend.

AND, FINALLY heard from the bride - she said she loves the quilt.

Have a great Monday everybody!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Being Sick Sucks

I brought home some cruddy virus from England and had to see the doctor yesterday since I obviously wasn't able to beat the stupid thing without antibiotics. Royally ticked since this is cutting into valuable quilting time and I missed the guild meeting last night! GRRRRR! My desk is buried at the office, but I'll get to it eventually; I'm not busting any speed limits today.

One good thing about it, I was able to finish our taxes yesterday since I figured even with a foggy brain I could navigate Turbo Tax.

Over the weekend, I finished piecing the top for the next homework assignment for Stash Pot Pie this Saturday. I've been cutting five inch squares - anything that's left over or less than a fat quarter is meeting with the rotary cutter for this. I'd like nothing better than to get a Nickel Quilt top pieced during the retreat in less than two weeks. Andrea informed me of her colour choices for the quilt she wants. Not really keen on her choices, but hey, it's her quilt.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Happily Back Home!

Hey all,
We returned home from England on Tuesday morning. A bit of a delay thanks to a cancelled flight in Philadelphia, so we got a night in a hotel thanks to US Air.

Our visit was great with Michael's family, but I'm glad we only stayed for the nine days. The wedding went well and the newlyweds are currently in Scotland on their honeymoon.

I must admit our stay has given me a new-found appreciation for my home and furnace! LOL! It was cold, rainy and windy nearly every day we were in England. In fact, Manchester airport was closed when we arrived on Easter morning because they had a bit of snow that morning. The warmest I got was when we had dinner at a carvery on Saturday night in Lancaster. The morning of the wedding, we awoke to gale force winds and heavy rain. It managed to clear up a bit right before the ceremony.

Leah loved her quilt - the long-delayed Christmas present. As for the bride - I don't know what her reaction was to her quilt or if she's even opened their gifts. Nobody knew.

Discovered two lovely little fabric shops - one in Barrow and the second one in Lancaster called Fabrix. I bought some pieces I didn't think I'd find here and also purchased a couple of quilty magazines.

Managed to get a bit of sewing done yesterday. Michael and I are still jet laggged and suffering from colds his son was kind enought to share with us. Wish now that I had taken the rest of the week off from work, but I'm here at the office and facing mounds of work. My biggest office convinced my assistant to hold back all my work until I returned. Lovely. At least I know I'm wanted.

Talk more later.