Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Good News!

The pathology report came back just as predicted - a fatty tumor, benign! I am sooooooo relieved. Thanks everybody for all your positive thoughts and wishes. Perhaps I should celebrate by ordering more fabric? Yeah, that's the ticket!

It's so stinkin' hot here and from what I heard it's going to get even hotter by the weekend. Good time to just stay indoors with the air conditioning and get a lot of sewing done. Last night I started sewing the strips together for an Around the World quilt that I'm donating to our company's United Way silent auction. I also pinned half of the binding down on Turquoise Geese in preparation for the hand sewing.

Friday's an off day from the usual fun and frolic at the office. Personal day for the dog's dental surgery, my car's new battery and Andrea's Twilight book party at Border's. She's quite anxious to hear if she won anything in the short story contest. I'm hoping she did win - her story was a good effort for her first contest, plus if she wins, I don't have to shell out $30 for the new book she wants.

We haven't seen Bev and Martin for weeks, so Michael and I are going to meet them at an English pub in Norwood on Saturday night for brews and fish and chips.

BTW, if anybody reading this can help with this, I'd appreciate it: I'm looking for scarlet and grey thread to quilt my brother's Ohio State quilt. Does anybody know where I can get my hands on scarlet and gray variegated thread?

Keep on stitchin'

Monday, July 28, 2008

Whirlwind Weekend

...and it started in the outpatient surgery suite at Jewish Hospital. Suppose that was the "low" point of the weekend. The breast biopsy procedure wasn't all that painful - I've had dental work that's more painful. It's just the results of the biopsy that has the potential for being more frightening and sometimes mental "pain" is more of an anxiety causing agent. I should find out the results early this week. The physician's assistant who prepped me for the work and operated the ultrasound machine was a real help. She tried to keep my mind off the procedure and asked me what I was doing before I came to the surgery suite. "Finishing a quilt," I replied. "OH! I'm a quilter, too," she said. Thus began a lengthy conversation about quilting, fabric, patterns, etc. "Excuse me," the doctor said about half-way into the procedure,"I hate to interrupt your conversation, but I need Ann to do something," Stupid doctor, doesn't he know NEVER to butt in when we're discussing our addiction? LOL.

The family reunion was a lot of fun. I got to see cousins I haven't seen in years. One of my cousins is a few years younger than me and she's already a grandmother three times over! The party planners did a fantastic job of making everyone feel welcome and happy. They gave each family a small photo album of old photos, which I really treasure. Andrea was amazed - "I didn't know I had this many people in my family," she exclaimed. It's true they'll probably remain strangers to her, but at least she knows they're out there. I was blessed in that our families were still all based in southwestern Pennsylvania when I was growing up and my relationships with my cousins are amongst my best memories. Family gatherings like Saturday's were held at least once each summer, not every 15 years. But when one family's in San Diego, another in Houston, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, etc., it's tough to get them all together. My cousin, Lisa, wasn't able to make it. That was the only disappointment I had.

Good to be back home though. All three of us missed our beds. And the pets were pleased to see us return.

I finished the quilting on Turquoise Geese last night. I'm very pleased with how it turned out and will post a photo once the binding's done. It took a little over a week to complete the quilting using the rotation system. If I can keep a quilt top loaded onto the frame at all times, I should be able to "catch up" soon.

Another work week. Ugh! At least it will be a short four-day one for me. I'm taking Friday off to accompany Andrea to her book club, take Daisy to the vet's for her dental surgery and get the battery in my car replaced.

Keep on stitchin'

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I tried something new last night and I think it's going to work well for me in my efforts to get some of those quilt tops completed. For one hour, I'll work on a top loaded on the frame. Once that hour is done, I can switch to another piecing project and work on that for an hour. That gets my two hours in each day and "forces" me to finish some of those tops hanging in the closet. I'd like to get the quilting done on a variety of tops so I can handsew the bindings whilst I watch television or am somewhere away from the machines. Now, if I could just stick to this mid-year resolution. My New Year's resolution of not purchasing more fabric fell by the wayside a LONG time ago. There is no hope for me!!!!

Don't know if I've mentioned it, but the Bumpus house has been sold!! A young single man has bought it with help from his parents. They seem like very nice people and keen to get the place spruced up. The kittens the Bumpus family left behind are sleeping in the log pile and jungle gym over there, but Andrea and I have been feeding them for several weeks now. They're getting quite used to us and even let us pet/hold them. They hear our back door open and they run to us! It's so cute. Michael has agreed that we can keep them outside and he will build a cat shelter for them provided we get them neutered - all three kittens are girls. I'm searching for a low-cost place to get the work done - so far the best I can find is $40 per cat through the Humane Society. The mom cat? She's expecting another litter and we haven't seen her for a few days.

Keep Stitchin'

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tuesday Tidings

The biopsy has finally been scheduled - Friday at 1:30. That "pleases" my family to no end since our day trip to Lake Erie will be postponed. We'll still be able to drive to Akron for the family reunion on Saturday though. Honestly, I tried to get the procedure scheduled for Thursday, but they were already booked. I just want it DONE!

I got a lot of sewing done last night - on the frame and piecing. I finished the borders on the Care Bears quilt. Also, got the initial cutting done for the Quick Trip quilt I'm donating to the silent auction at work. That's not due until the end of September, but it's best to get it out of the way. I haven't even started the July assignment for Stash Pot Pie, but I do have the fabric selected.

Work hasn't gone well this week. One of my file assistants has been transferred to another area and it's causing a lot of upheaval with my largest producing office, me and the assistant involved. And frankly, my mind's not on the work.

I think I'll go fabric shopping at lunchtime. That's an answer to ANY ailment!
Keep on stitchin'!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Next Step

I need to get a breast biopsy. There, that's out in the open now! I feel better getting that off my chest. (LOL!) After two more mammograms and an ultrasound, the team at Jewish Hospital told me there was definitely a growth in the right breast that wasn't there a year ago. It's small (1 cm) and has all the appearances of a fibroadenoma - which are benign. So, more than likely they said that's what it is, but they still want the biopsy just as a precaution. Doesn't fill me with a lot of glee, but I'll get it done. I spoke to my mom on the phone on Saturday and learned she's had a lot of these over the years, so my genetic track record of re-tracing her history continues.

On Saturday, I went to a yard sale which was advertised to have loads of sewing things. The seller must of dumped a lot of it the night before 'cause there was little for me to sift through. I did find a couple of sewing books - for 10 cents each. Not worth driving 20 minutes to get there though! One never knows what you'll find at these sales.

The rest of the weekend it was so stinking hot and humid outside, it gave me a wonderful excuse to stay indoors and sew. I used the book I purchased from Quilt in a Day - Quick Trips - and pieced a baby quilt all in pinks with a mossy green border. Have to admit I'm very pleased with that. After a trip to Hobby Lobby, I pieced another baby quilt together with Care Bears fabric I found there. When I was bored with piecing, I worked on Turquoise Geese on the frame.

The Care Bears quilt demands an explanation. A friend at work had a baby girl earlier this year. Her husband informed her when she was four months along into the pregnancy that he was in love with another woman (her best friend!) and didn't want to stay married anymore. She didn't say a word to ANY of us here at this office until she returned after maternity leave and had filed the divorce paperwork. Keep in mind that they had just bought a house and have a three year old son, too. So, she's loaded down with a lot of responsibilities and her skunk of a husband is unemployed and living with his mom. We took up a collection at work to help her out a bit, but I felt like there was something more I could do. We didn't have a shower for the baby girl, so I thought a quick quilt would be a nice thing to do. I found out from another friend that the baby's room is decorated in Care Bears, hence the Care Bear fabric which I found at Hobby Lobby. Been searching for it for a month. I feel badly for my friend; she was absolutely nutso about that man. Just shows you how quickly situations can turn sour.

Stay tuned for more updates....
Keep on stitchin'!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Here we go again!

Once a year my company offers free mammograms to its female employees. The "boob" mobile shows up and most of the gals march into the glamorous RV to have our privates squeezed like pancakes. That's not the worst - for me. At least every other year, they give me the additional "jolly" of having the sh%$ scarred out of me with a phone call relaying they saw a spot that needs more views. Well, today was the day for the phone call. I already made the appointment to have the scans done on Friday afternoon, so I can at least get out of the office a few hours early. (One small benefit, but it doesn't take much to make me happy!) What's really annoying is that it's the same spot on the right every time. Well, this will be the 4th go-around for the right boob. Better to be on the cautious side, eh? The good thing about the follow-up scans is that the radiologist reads them right away and you know before you even leave the building if there's a problem or not.

So, if you gals want to hold my hands over the internet, I won't mind. In fact, it will be comforting. "BG" is not too comforting when this happens. What man is?

I think I'll be spending a lot of time in the sewing room the next few days.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Revelation in the Sewing Room

I discovered books on CDs! After dinner last night, the three of us went to the Mason library. I checked out a couple of quilting books by Jennifer Chiaverini and a book on disc - "Home" - an autobiography by Julie Andrews. Whilst piecing a baby quilt, I listened to the first of 11 discs. Ms. Andrews read her book on tape and she's lovely to listen to. Her life is so interesting! I think I'm really going to enjoy listening to books whilst sewing if they're all this good. There may not be any more "Reds on the Radio" for this gal! Well, probably not since I enjoy baseball too.

Finished the baby quilt top and will get it on the frame as soon as I get Turquoise Geese quilted. I'll work on that one a bit tonight - it's going to take a while since it's a queen-sized quilt.

Right, on to the news of the day: Yesterday was Michael's birthday so he enjoyed some phone calls from England - his ex-wife and his eldest daughter, Leah. Margaret (the ex) and I get along very well, perhaps since she lives so far away! LOL. She's a good-hearted person, just too loud at times. She drives poor Michael batty - which is one reason why they are exes. Margaret and Leah are planning a trip to visit us for two weeks in October. I'm OK with that since Leah will be here. Margaret alone is a big problem. So, I'll book some time off work once they let us know the dates. Looking forward to seeing Leah. Poor woman married young and her husband, James, is a real turkey. He sank all the family's funds into a cafe which by all accounts is barely surviving and Margaret told us yesterday that an ex-employee is suing for harassment. No surprise to me! Michael's son-in-law used to work for James as well, but James fired him two weeks after the wedding in March! The reason? Chris didn't want to move to night shift, so James fired him. Now, there could be more to the story, but it sounds typical of the man. He's a bully. At times I feel bad for my husband since his family is so far away. But with that kind of stuff going on, it's a good thing he's here. It stresses him out so.

Keep on stitchin'!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Weekend Update and On To Bigger and Better Things

Perhaps I should change the name on my blog to the Quilting Dork? It only took me three tries to properly install backing on my frame on Sunday morning. First, I had the fabric on backwards, so the right side was facing the batting - not a good thing. Then, I realized the backing was loaded onto the roller lengthwise -(Why was there so much extra fabric at the end of the roller bar? -DUH! big DUH!) Once everything was as it should be, I got to the end of the first bobbin with no issues. Not wanting to press my luck, I stopped for the time being.

Sunday night, I started a baby quilt for a friend's first grandchild. I was on a piecing roll! I got all 12 blocks done by 9 pm. Hoping to get it all put together and the borders on tonight.

Stash Pot Pie class on Saturday morning was fun. It's always interesting to see what the other students do with the same pattern. One gal used all Halloween fabric and was that ever cute! It inspired me to see what Halloween fabric I have in my stash - not all that much. It's enough to make a cute lap quilt though.

Michael (aka the Big Git) was in rare form at his party on Saturday night. He was singing dirty Australian drinking songs by the end of the night. We had loads of food and drinks left over since a lot of people who said they were coming didn't show up. It was an enjoyable evening though. I got things done at a leisurely pace all afternoon, but my family still claims I was a "wreck". Well, who wouldn't be with the start I had? My alarm was set for 7:30, but at 6:45, Michael opens the bedroom door, lets out a big belch and starts yelling at me about the accident the cat had in the laundry room. What a nice, gentle start to the day! It was tempting not to return home after Stash Pot Pie.

A bit of GREAT news - Tattoo Boy is going back to school! He told me on Saturday night that since his father works for the university, the tuition will be at no charge. He's got until age 25 to use that benefit courtesy of his dad. (Probably, the only thing he'll ever do for that boy. I asked for help with TB's braces and was given $20!) I told TB that if he does go back to school, I'll pay for the books. He seemed grateful for that.

The kittens and mother cat that were left behind when Bumpus moved out have taken up residence on our patio. Sunday morning I sat on the patio with my coffee and had a great time watching the kittens play. My friend, Carolyn, brought over a couple of bags of dry cat food, so together we're feeding the poor things. I'd love to keep them as my outdoor kitties, but somehow I don't think the Big Git would like that. I named one Luciano after since he sings a lot. Big mouth for such a small creature! Course, I'm used to Smudge who rarely meows.

Keepin' on stitchin'!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Frying on a Friday!

I really detest hot, humid weather since you can only take off a few pieces of clothing before you become indecent. Over 90 today and of course the first smog alert of the summer was issued by the city. Supposed to be even worse tomorrow which figures. That's when we'll have a house full of company.

More weeding last night. I'm not doing any more. Folks will have to just accept the fact that we don't garden like we should. I put Michael on alert that since he's not able to help out with the yard work any more that he is to 1. purchase a load of landscape rocks so I don't have to worry about some areas, 2. find a reasonably priced, small tiller for me to use and 3. (and yes, I know this is odd for this time of year) find a small snowblower. I'm just facing the fact that I'm going to have to do this stuff on my own from now on.

Shopping tonight for party foods and drinks then bake the cake for the birthday boy. I'll prepare the hot foods tomorrow early afternoon, so all that Michael will have to do is warm up the meat on the grill. I just hope that after all this, he thanks me somehow. I'm taking a "sanity break" at Stash Pot Pie class tomorrow morning. Really tempted to not go home after that. LOL......Michael goes nutso with worry whenever we have people over. Thing is, he stresses so much, takes no action himself, but tells everybody else what to do!

There are some pretty spectacular new lines of fabric coming out right now. I've been checking out the web sites for some of the manufacturers. I love fall colours so I'm really in love with Wilmington Prints' Autumn Leaves collection. Cute free pattern for those prints on their web site.

Time for lunch, kiddos. I wish you all a great, relaxed weekend. I'll have that too, just not until Sunday!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What a Week!

It's a darn good thing that I'm not taking the quilting challenge! I've gotten so little sewing time in this week, it's disgusting.

Not-so-dear husband's birthday is coming up and he wanted to have some friends over for a meal, drinks, etc. on Saturday. So things need to be cleaned, tidied up for our company which includes yard work. After dinner last night I was on my knees weeding our poor neglected flower beds whilst he stood there watching me! Yes, I know he has lung issues, but just don't stand there- find something you CAN DO! I've been working on the house every night this week after dinner and he's done nothing. He's also been complaining non-stop about our pets all week. Poor Daisy is scheduled to have two rotten teeth removed, so her breath is very poor and she has a skin allergy which we're treating. If he says one more word about the cat or the dog, I'm going to bop him a good one! Phew! Got that off my chest.

Poor Andrea's acne was getting worse, in fact, it looked like it was cystic, so I got her into the doctor on Monday. I was correct, it is cystic. Andrea needs to take an antibiotic and put on some special skin lotion at night. She was so stressed-out over taking a pill; complained that she'd puke it right back because of her strong gag reflex. The first night, yes it did take three tries, but she admitted last night it was getting much easier. She's so sensitive about the acne, so I had to really weigh my words and get her to agree to go to the doctor in the first place.

Then on Tuesday I spent $220 at the vet's on Ms. Daisy - annual shots, steroid shot for the skin allergy, medicines and booked her appointment for the dental work. If she doesn't have those teeth pulled, it could kill her; it's already adversely affected her health. The vet also gave us medicine for Smudge since it looks like he has the same skin issues as Daisy.

Work's been a bear this week too. Out of a staff of eight, four are out on vacation this week and we're still expected to keep the work flowing. I know this will label me as a non-team player, but I detest working on other folks' files.

So, I guess I really do need to go "hide" in my sewing room for a few hours. Trouble is, they KNOW where to find me. People are just going to have to take our house "as is" on Saturday.

OK, let's concentrate on the good stuff- the Stash Pot Pie class is this Saturday morning! I ordered a few more things from Quilt In A Day - today's the last day of their sale, folks. My first order from them was lovely, except they sent me a tote bag instead of the back pack that I ordered. They're taking care of that though. There's nothing like a stack of nice fabric to make one feel better about life, eh? And on Sunday, after the party is over, I AM GOING TO SEW!


Monday, July 7, 2008

Remembering Three Days of Fun

One thing about a long holiday weekend - they go by too quickly.

Managed to get a lot of sewing time in. Finished the top for the Stash Pot Pie June assignment, pieced the top for the Munchies quilt (kit purchased at the Columbus show), and put together about half of the blocks for the Thimbleberries Monthly Big Block quilt. That's in addition to tidying up the sewing room. After I finished the class assignment, I had to get some order back to that room before starting anything else. There's just something about a clean and tidy sewing room to make one want to do more!

Saturday was a fun day. Met Maddy and Jill at IHOP then went to the sale at Best Friends. There were only two items that I really needed, but I "managed" to purchase 12 more yards of fabric and a Shop Hop Passport for the upcoming hop in September. After that, I returned home, got some laundry done before we went to the Reds' game.

One thing about the Reds game wasn't so pleasant. It was a stark reminder how much Michael's lung disease has progressed. He had an extremely rough time getting to our seats (climbing the stairs). I felt so bad about that - the poor guy stayed at a lower level after going to the restroom mid-game. I was happy to hear that he enjoyed the game though. If we go again, I'll be sure to get seats in a more accommodating area, even if I have to pay more for them. I haven't been to a major league game in three years and was sorta shocked by the prices of everything - $7 for a bottle of beer, $10 for parking, etc... The whole game cost me over $100 with food, parking and the tickets. Worth it? I think so, but I doubt if going to a game becomes more than once a year thing.

Had a delightful breakfast on the patio yesterday morning - just me, Smudge and the Sunday paper. What a shame it had to get hot and humid! Poor Smudge doesn't handle the heat well and sleeps most of the day. I found his latest hiding spot in the bathroom, on the lowest towel shelf, behind the door. Spent the early afternoon in the sewing room, listening to the Reds game on radio. A few weeks ago, I sent a question in to the Reds network for their "Ask Marty" part of their broadcast - where listeners can ask the radio announcer, Marty Brenneman, anything. They read my question yesterday! Which was: Which do you prefer as a pet; a dog or a cat and why. I knew it, I knew it; Marty is a cat person! And he has a black cat named Palmer.

Well, that's the recap for the weekend. Plans? Gotta get the house tidied up for Michael's birthday bash on Saturday. So, not much sewing time this week, but there is a guild meeting tonight. Should be receiving my order from Quilt-In-A Day's fabric sale today or tomorrow. Hey, Christmas in July!!!


Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Shoppin' We Will Go!

Never one to turn down a decent sale, I'm headed to Joann's at lunchtime today. All their rotary cutters/blades are half-off and one can never have too many replacement blades. Their quilting books are 40 percent off too. Plus, I have a ten percent off the entire purchase coupon.

I finished the main piecing on the Stash Pot Pie project for June and will look for some decent border fabric at Joann's. Nothing in my stash really "spoke" to me - didn't really mesh with the quilt. Curious about something - do you all know it when fabric goes well together, like an "A HA" moment? There have been times when I didn't get that "A HA" feeling and those projects are my least favorites.

We're supposed to go to our local park for fireworks tonight, but the weather looks kinda "iffy" - stormy, rainy. Tomorrow's just a bum around the house day. Saturday morning is booked with breakfast at IHOP with Jill and Maddy then shopping at the Best Friends' sale.

Saturday night should be interesting. We have tickets to the Reds' game. Michael "HATES" baseball. He calls all baseball players overpaid, lazy, fat-assed wussies. (Remember, he's a Brit and their use of words tends to be more colourful.) I'm making him go to the game because it's a night game and one can never be too careful in downtown Cincinnati at night. Told him to take a book and read during the game. Andrea and I will thoroughly enjoy being at a major league game. Besides, it's T-shirt night! (The REAL reason for booking the game! LOL)

Three days off work - glorious! And I hope to get a lot of sewing done.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Two more days to go....

...until I get a marvelous three day weekend. One additional benefit is that a lot of folks took the whole week off and the commute to work has been much easier today and yesterday.

Pieced together ten more blocks for the Stash Pot Pie quilt last night before Andrea started whining about wanting ice cream. So, I took the "whiner" and Michael to McD's for a bit of a break.

Pit stop at CVS first to pick up some spray for poison ivy. Don't ask me how or where, but I've acquired a spot of it on my left forearm. Keep your fingers crossed that it doesn't develop into the nasty bit I had last summer - bad enough that I needed a steroid shot from the doc.

Michael, for your information, isn't the meany I thought he was when it comes to cats. Bumpus left the house next door and also left the mamma cat and her three kittens. Nobody's around to feed the poor things, so I've been leaving dry cat chow out for them in the side yard. Michael saw me doing that two nights ago and didn't chew me out. Last night, we had a bit of shredded beef and gravy left over so he suggested mixing it with the dry cat chow and putting it out for the kittens. AWWWWWW!!!!! They gobbled it up!

The Bumpus house has been sold, by the way, and we're waiting to see what kind of folks move in.

Jill, the enabler, has suggested we meet at IHOP on Saturday morning before we dash into Best Friends for the sale. However, I should blame my mother for the IHOP visit as well since she mentioned she was going to pick blueberries today and I was reminded how much I love blueberry pancakes and it's been AGES since I've had that special treat. Can't mention ANY of this to Andrea - she loves IHOP and will want to tag along. But, do you have any idea how a 15-year-old daughter crimps one's style at a fabric sale? I can hear it now: "Do you REALLY NEED THAT?" or "You said you weren't going to buy any more fabric." Nope. This is one treat Mom is taking alone!