Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Multi-Purpose Blog - The Latest From Across the Pond

OK, per Jen's statement (see previous post) I'll post my ramblings all in one spot. Quilting is an important part of my life, but it certainly isn't everything. Y'all can just speed read or ignore the bits about my blended family's comings and goings and just read the bits and bobs about my fabric life if you want. Your choice.

My husband is different in many ways - not just because he's English. At the wedding I mentioned in the last post, he cried during the ceremony. He's been known to cry at certain movies, but at a wedding where he didn't know anybody? Didn't realize why until later - the 28th should have been his daughter Lizzy's first wedding anniversary.

Should have been?

Poor Lizzy. Her husband of less than a year finally found a job that awarded him a sense of self-worth and some expendable income. Along with that came a female co-worker named Sarah. Chris quickly became infatuated with Sarah - went to pubs, parties, e-mailed her constantly when they were apart, etc. Lizzy begged Chris to give up what he claimed was only a friendship. He refused. Lizzy moved out.

Last weekend Lizzy went to their flat to pick up the last of her belongings. She discovered the furniture had been totally re-arranged, candles everywhere in the bedroom, sex toys scattered all over the flat, boxes of condoms on the bedside table, AND Sarah's clothes in the dresser Lizzy once used.

Gotta give the gal credit here - Lizzy picked up as many sealed condoms as she could find and marched up the street to where Chris worked. He saw her coming and ran outside to greet her. She gave him a greeting all-right! Shy, sensitive little Lizzy smacked Chris across the face as hard as she could and threw all the condoms at him. Clutching the red welt on his face, Chris' response to her was "I told you to give me back the key!"

Well, if Chris cannot see how wrong his actions are, then Lizzy is far better off without the heel. If not this co-worker, then perhaps another girl somewhere down the road. Lizzy's heart broken and we worry about her. Michael and I have offered to fly her to Ohio for a two-week holiday in May. Not much else we can do. But, my husband still frets.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Wedding Quilt and Prepping For Retreat

Finished, wrapped and delivered to the happy couple on Saturday:

Hopefully, they will like it.

With that project out of the way, I'm feeling "antsy" - not sure what to start on next.

I have started to organize my thoughts on what to take to the St. Jude's retreat next month. Should I decide to work on a Nickel quilt or two, I have plenty of 5" squares to choose from. Purchased remnants over the last month and I'd like to get them sliced into nickel squares and 2 and 1/2" strips. At the Lebanon quilt show earlier this month, I picked up a couple of fun things to work. So, loads to select from and the three day retreat may not be enough to get them all completed!

Andrea's been neglected on the quilt front. About a year ago, she selected a pattern she'd like and even stipulated what colours she wanted. Definitely not into scrappy that gal! Black and white courthouse squares. I make take a stab at that this week.

I keep feeling a need to document DH's health issues and our family life, but this is certainly not a forum for that. Look for a new blog to start soon if you're interested in the wheelings and dealings of Michael, Cathy, Andrea and Tattoo Boy.

Have a great week!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Do you think I'll get 'er done?

Five more days to the wedding and all that's left on the quilt is the hand sewing on the binding. No doubt in my mind! It will be done. And I'm already itching to get started on something else.

Weddings must be on my brain these days. An acquaintance of mine from Weight Watchers is getting married on April 10. All her girl friends are giving her advice about being married. Most of it's the usual stuff i.e. don't go to bed mad, find common activities, etc. The one that stuck out for me is "Always remember why you married him in the first place." It's so bloody easy to lose sight of that, isn't it? Admittedly, my spouse has changed little since we married seven years ago, save about thirty pounds more and rotten lung tissue. But he's still the funny, caring, talkative Man of Kent I fell in love with. I just didn't see losing him breath by breath this early in our relationship.

I'm making a list of the projects and items I need to take with me to the St. Jude's retreat next month. My goal is to be far better prepared this year than I was last. I want to have a lot of the fabric pre-cut and ready to sew. (No, I'm not smoking weird stuff.) At least I know what to expect this year - last year's retreat was the first quilting retreat I'd ever been on. I couldn't have selected a better group!

Tattoo Boy's winter quarter grades were spectacularly good. His worst grade was a C+ - the other four classes were A s! I cannot tell you how great this makes me feel. He's applied for his degree-granting program, so keep him in your prayers and thoughts. He is worried about his pitiful high school grades having too much of an impact on the college's decision. His advisor has said however, they put more emphasis on the college grades and experience though. Let's hope he's right.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Top's Done!

I finished the borders on Miss Brigette's wedding quilt last night and hope to have enough time to pop by the shop tonight to get a backing for it. Eleven days to the wedding! My goal is to have the quilting done by the end of Saturday. Sure, it can be done as long as I don't get smacked with too many distractions.

Michael admitted to me on the phone this afternoon that he initially thought the portable oxygen would "be an instant cure" for his lung disease. He now knows differently and stated perhaps he pushed himself too hard at first thinking he would be able to return to his old style of life, walking, etc. Obviously that wasn't the case, he discovered he had to still take it easy even with the oxygen. I was proud that he was with me at the fitness club last night and was on the treadmill for a bit, all be it slow. Gotta start somewhere. And honestly, it's been a long time since Michael did any thing remotely similar to a work out. He has to stay active! I've also come to a conclusion that as long as he's moaning about something, there's still hope. The day that man stops complaining is destined to be his last on this earth! LOL.

A very wise man (my first boss in insurance) once told me that work is a means to an end. In other words, it's to provide for those items that are truly more important (family, faith, friends, fabric, etc.) When I keep that in mind, I can tolerate a lot more at the office. And if that doesn't work, I remember the "wise" words of another industry consultant I worked with: "Cathy, it's just f _ _ _ ing insurance! We're not curing cancer or establishing world peace. we're just selling f _ _ _ ing insurance." (still makes me laugh eight years after I heard it for the first time) Gotta laugh and find some bright spots when you have a VP who is hell-bent on creating as much chaos as possible.

Time to go home and prod the fabric!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Little Time For Quilting

No posts for a while and I suppose the reason for that is I've done precious little sewing/quilting the last several weeks. Life gets in the way......

I've had to deal with a cold, hard fact head on the last week. Michael has a lung disease that will kill him. The pulmonary therapist was at the house last week and advised him that he needs to be on oxygen all the time. He does not want to go to work with the portable device. We need his income and he hasn't earned enough social security credits to qualify for disability. So, he went to work this morning without his "air". The therapist stressed he needs to keep active, so NOW he wants to go to the gym with me. My word wasn't good enough for him! If he quits work, I predict he will sit around all day, doing nothing and that in turn will decrease the time he has left in this world. Of course, he claims he could help with housework, cooking, etc. But he does none of that stuff now, except an occasional meal. I've spoiled him.

There have been changes at work too - it's as if everyone is sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for the next problem, complaint etc. Defensiveness rules the day. There's one manager in particular who lives for the opportunity to file any complaint against underwriters. Trouble is we have a spineless chief underwriter who won't stand up for us even if we are in the right. We've been bought by our sister company, business is as usual, or so they tell us. We're in the midst of changing from a total paper environment to all on-line. There has been little to no systems investments for 30 years! The good thing is the ability to work from home is there at the end of the rainbow and trust me, I'm grabbing that opportunity with both hands!

As if there isn't enough stress in my life, I've been working with personal trainers at the gym to figure out why Weight Watchers isn't working and has not worked for some time. According to the test results, I'm not eating enough????!!! Yesterday, the trainer did a test which told me at what heart rate my body more effectively burns fat. Aha! So now I have a handy-dandy little heart monitor that will tell me when I'm in that fat-burning zone during a work out. I have to admit since being told I wasn't eating enough, I increased my intake a couple of days and oddly enough I feel better - no headaches or dizzy spells like I had been having. Now, don't go into a fit thinking I'm giving up on WW, I'm not - I have to stick to the weigh ins at least until May to get my fees reimbursed from my employer. Speaking of that, they also reimburse a portion of my gym membership if I go at least 24 times in a quarter. Every little bit helps!

Hey, this is a quilting blog, ok, ok. I finished the piecing for a wedding quilt I MUST have done by the 28th and got the first border on before the phone rang last night and I ended up talking to my brother for an hour. I fell "off the wagon" again on Saturday and bought some remnants in the sale bin at Hobby Lobby. I know, I'm weak! They are pretty though! I'm starting to ponder on what projects to take with me for the retreat next month. So much to choose from!

My daughter and I went to the Taft Museum in downtown Cincinnati on Saturday to see the exhibit of movie costumes currently on display. I was really amazed by the details on the gowns from various movies, several of which are amongst my favorite films. Several outfits worn by Colin Firth and Alan Rickman were there! Another thing that struck me was how tiny the women's gowns were in the waist. I know Nicole Kidman's a thin woman, but give me a break. Nobody my age is that small! All in all we had a good girls day out - lunch, the museum and shopping afterwards.

Keep little Andrea in your thoughts and prayers this week. She's taking the high school graduation test for Ohio. Danny (aka Tattoo Boy) is taking finals this week - remember his efforts too!

And I promise to post more. May not be about quilting. But I think you understand......