Thursday, May 28, 2009

Getting Back To Normal Tomorrow......

Our visitors leave tomorrow afternoon. I think my husband's had enough of his kids for a while too - he was moaning about the noise. They asked Michael to drive them to Hobby Lobby, UDF and Half-Price Books this afternoon. We're going to Friday's for dinner tonight - so that'll be a full last day in the states for them.

The ultrasound was fairly easy, but I don't know the results yet. The technician said the blood work and pap smear usually take longer than an ultrasound evaluation, but I should hear back from my gyn by this time next week. Not a fun procedure, but it did get me out of the office a bit early, hahahahahahaha!

Whilst our company watched television last night, I crept into my sewing area for ten minutes before they knew I was gone! Long enough to make a checkbook cover for a friend's birthday tomorrow. It will be soooooooooo nice to have my sewing room back again! (You can't tell I'm anxious for peace, quiet and my own space again, can you?)


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Back To Work

Incredible how quickly time flies when you're not at the office! Five days at home with our guests from England flew by way too quickly. I've joked all morning that I had to come back to the office to get some rest - which isn't far from the truth.

Between the shopping, cleaning, cooking for everybody, I'm pooped out. We've been to the flea markets, various stores in the Tri-State area, watched numerous videos, shopped at WalMart (a lot - they love that store for some reason), and just basically visited. Honestly, I will be sad to see them return home on Friday, but I will relish getting back to normal in the Howe household again.

However, I managed to get some sewing done here and there. I pieced a layer cake pattern which turned out really cute - will attempt to get Michael to take a photo of this for me later. Also sewed two pillowcases for Leah to give to Michael's middle daughter who did not make the trip. Not much to show for five days off, but I'm sure you'll understand.

On Monday, I "escaped" from the family for a few hours - big holiday sale at Joann's. I found a fabric mover for my Pfaff - originally priced $499 - I got it for $90! What a screaming bargain!!! I'm anxious to use it for my smaller projects that don't go on the frame.

Get to leave work early again today, but not for fun. My appointment for the ultrasound is this afternoon. I'll leave the office early again on Friday to escort our guests to the airport. Crap, I should have taken the whole week off at this rate!

Miss Andrea has one more week of school until summer break. I'll get a break of sorts also since I won't have to pry her butt out of bed every morning at 6. Tattoo Boy has two more weeks of classes before finals. He's still gimping about on his crutches, but states the ankle is doing better. Both kids need to find summer employment, especially TB with all his school expenses coming up. His original plan was to earn enough money to be able to move into his own place this fall. He hasn't mentioned that at all lately - perhaps he's discovered it's better to stay at home - meals, laundry and rent provided.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tattoo Boy

Poor Tattoo Boy! During sparring at Tae Kwon Do last night he came down hard on his "good" ankle. Thinking it could have been broken, I drove him to Urgent Care last night. Fortunately, it's only a severe sprain.

I'm in an excellent mood today - this is the last working day for me until next Wednesday. Loads of chores to run tomorrow morning - appointment with my counselor, need my blood tested (more about that in the next paragraph), pick up doctor's forms for Andrea's work permit. Then, I want to relax and perhaps, just perhaps get some sewing done in between activities with our guests.

Went to the GYN yesterday - need some blood tests run to check on my thyroid and some female stuff. Next week I get the pleasure of having an internal ultrasound (ugh!) and then we're scheduling a D&C. Depending on the biopsy/cell changes from that -perhaps a hysterectomy. Honestly, that won't bother me. Don't need that plumbing anymore, if you catch my drift.....LOL.

I finished the binding on a small wallhanging last night before the mad dash to the urgent care place. Brought it into work to hang on the outside of my cubicle. A lot of my co-workers have threatened to "steal" it.

Our company seems to be enjoying themselves - walks in the park, yard work around our house, reading, playing Wii games, etc. Since Michael and I are both off work until Wednesday, we'll get some other things done - not sure what yet. They do not want to go to King's Island. That's all I know at this point. It's wonderful to talk with Leah - she knows her dad very well and is a good listener. Plus, she shares my views on faith.

I think a trip to the LQS is in order for lunchtime today.


Monday, May 18, 2009

House Guests

Let me start off today's post with a disclaimer: If you want to read about sewing, quilting, finished projects, then stop right here. This is not the post for you. However, if you want to read about the trials, tribulations and happy times of having three house guests for two weeks, read on.....I'll get back to the fabric bits in two weeks, folks.

Leah, Lizzie and Trevor arrived safe and sound on Friday night. Tired, but pleased to be with their dad. They didn't want the breakfast strata I had ready to pop into the oven - said they were not hungry. So Michael and I decided to drive to Wendy's. Trevor and Lizzie went with us and did have something to eat. Leah was bone-tired and stayed home to get a bit extra sleep. So, we had the strata for breakfast on Saturday morning with strawberries and fresh bread. If anything, this is teaching me flexibility.

Our guests were still kinda jet-lagged on Saturday, so we made it an easy day for them. We hit a few garage sales - no purchases, Hobby Lobby (Trevor's favorite US store), the feed store for squirrel corn and then home. Andrea introduced them to our Wii system and most of the afternoon was spent laughing at Trevor attempting to hula hoop on the Wii Fit game.

Leah went to church with me on Sunday morning. The drive to church and back was time for us to chat about Michael without the interruptions we face from others at home. Apparently, Michael asked Leah what he could expect should he return to England. That's been on his mind a lot lately. Leah's a health care worker for elderly shut-ins so she knows a lot about what government programs are out there. He would have a small flat (one bedroom,bathroom, small kitchen and sitting room), a stipend for transportation and disability money each month courtesy of the English government. She told Michael he's far better off here with me in our own home surrounded by his trains, computer and bird feeders. Michael's lack of faith in God, grieves us both. But, as I pointed out to Leah, it's his choice. Unless his heart and mind open up, nothing either of us say or do will convince him otherwise. God certainly gave Michael a big dose of stubborn genes! Later in the day, Michael told everybody he wants his ashes spread over a mountain near where his children live, so his dust will irritate their eyes. I told him there was no way that was going to happen - I was keeping his ashes for the cat's litter box. (not serious, LOL)

Since today is Trevor's birthday, we' re all going out to eat at the Chinese buffet for dinner after I get home from work. Not sure what they have planned whilst I'm at the office, but they're fighting over who gets to cut the grass with the lawn tractor and whack the weeds. Michael will be home around 10:30, so they won't be on their own too long.

Big news: Lizzie has recovered from her broken heart for the most part. She's reconnected with an old boyfriend and they're seeing each other again. Chris is an unpleasant memory for her. She's still very bitter about him, but it's fantastic seeing her happy.

Other news: Jenny, the third daughter and the one who stayed home, had a breast biopsy on Friday. Leah didn't know when the pathology would be available. Jenny apparently was offered the opportunity to fly here with her siblings, but didn't want to leave her partner for two weeks. Worked out OK for us since I really don't know where she could have slept!

The kids took Daisy for a walk in the park for a few hours yesterday after we returned from the flea market. A ha, I thought, here's my chance to get some quilting done. Oops - the girls are using the frame for a clothing rack! I opted to go outside and kill weeds instead.

I am tired this morning after all the dishes, laundry, cooking, driving, etc. I'll soon be OK since I'm taking time off work around the holiday weekend, so it will be a five day break from the office.

AND today at lunch I'm going to the local quilt store to fondle fabric and who knows - may even buy something!


Friday, May 15, 2009

Sewing Room Blues

My sewing room is now off limits for the next two weeks. Two of Michael's daughters are using it for their bedroom during their visit. In preparation for this, I moved my Pfaff and sewing desk into our bedroom, so I won't go totally "cold turkey" with the sewing. One unfortunate thing: I have a quilt all locked and loaded on the frame - it'll have to stay there until the end of the month. Michael says I can still work on the frame whilst they're here, but I don't feel a huge degree of comfort working in "their" room. If it were me, I'd feel like my privacy was being invaded.

At this point, Leah, Trevor and Lizzie are two hours east of New York and rapidly winging their way across the Atlantic Ocean. (Delta has a neat web site to watch the plane's actual location.) I have a breakfast casserole all ready to pop into the oven for a late dinner along with a fresh loaf of bread and strawberries once we bring them home from the airport. I have the meals planned for the first several days, but knowing Michael - he will alter the plans despite my protests.

I managed to finish the Patriotic Cat (Turning 20) quilt last night. Very happy how it turned out. We'll see about posting a photo this weekend. And it's one less flimsy!!!!

A few days ago, I picked up the Bento Box quilt pattern at the new quilt/fabric store that opened up not far from my office. One I loves that pattern and told me how she pieces it -most curious now to see if the pattern and One I's methods are the same.

I'm planning on completing the top of Andrea's quilt in the next few days - remember it's the black and white squares I worked on at the retreat.

Yesterday I got a brochure in the mail from Accuquilt. It's definitely intriguing, but holy crap - those machines are expensive. Somehow I don't think I can ever quilt fast enough to make purchasing even an Accuquilt Go! worth my money. Maybe if I come into an unexpected windfall..... LOL that's NEVER going to happen!

It's rained so hard the last several days, our poor house gutters couldn't keep up with the flow. Can't fault them for it - they're clogged with maple tree seeds and oak tree gunk (proper biological term here folks!) As a result, water leaked into the corridor between the house and garage. Next dry stretch, Tattoo Boy and I are going up the ladders to clean the gutters of all that debris from the trees and assess the state of the gutters. We suspect there are a lot of bad spots (rust holes) throughout the system, so we may be looking at replacing the whole lot of them this summer. Good project to help me keep fit, don't you think?

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


First of all, I had a delightful Mother's Day weekend. My mom and her husband stayed with us Friday and Saturday - always a treat to have them here. I'm discovering that as I get older, I look to my mother more and more for advice on a lot of stuff. We're developing a wonderful rapport. We went out to eat, shopped and had a great visit.

Mother's Day was nice - I attended church with Mom and Ken, had a lunch with the kids and Michael, took Andrea to practice her driving and got some things organized in the house for our upcoming visitors.

The British Invasion arrives on Friday night. Three of Michael's children. They're all adults and perfectly capable of taking care of themselves, so I'm not feeling much stress about their two-week stay. My main concern is that they are comfortable.

To that end, I started the binding for one of the quilts they'll use - a Turning Twenty scrappy quilt. The other quilt - Strip Poker is on the frame, but no quilting on it yet. I finished half of the binding last night whilst watching the Biggest Loser finale.

I met Jill for dinner last night which was a great idea. We had a nice meal and a good chat about the retreat and plans for future Peeps retreats. Jill's a terrific listener - Lord knows I motored on and on about the kids, Michael, oxygen tanks, work, blah, blah, blah......

Work's getting more and more like high school - phone logs are being checked, no more personal e-mails and we've been banned from walking outside. Since we were purchased by another company, management has displayed a lot more of their paranoid tendencies. My immediate boss announced yesterday that he's retiring on the first of March next year. He's a good man and I'll be so sorry to see him go. Lord only knows what they'll hire to replace him.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Hope all my peeps who are mums have a very special day on Sunday! That includes you peeps who are fur baby mums......

As for me, I'm one very pleased and proud mum. Tattoo Boy is getting his act together with school. He's back into Tae Kwon Do, living at home and enters the art program at UC this autumn. Had you told me even a year ago that all this would be in place, I would have thought you to be stark-raving mad. Andrea's a loving, decent young woman with a huge artistic talent. She has a piece in the district art show this weekend.

Both children are happy, healthy, and enjoy their friends, family and pets. They're maturing into wonderful adults.

There's nothing that pleases me more on this Mother's Day weekend.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Went to the dentist yesterday to get a cracked tooth repaired. Need I say more? Just keep your fingers crossed that the repair-job does its work and I don't need to return for a root canal and crown ($$$$$$).

I've accomplished precious little in the sewing room this week - snatching a "go" on the frame whenever I have a few minutes to spare. Had planned on getting a sizable amount of time in last night, but my schedule went like this:

3:30 to 5 pm - torture session at the dentist
5-5:15 - drive home with the left side of my mouth drooping to the floor
5:15 - 5:30 - listen to whiney hiney husband and DD moan about my choice of spaghetti for dinner. They want General Tso's chicken from Chinese take out.
5:30 - cave into family's demands, phoned in order
5:30-6:00 - drive to pharmacy to pick up industrial sized bottle of Advil for afore-mentioned torture session's residuals and picked up dinner
6 - 6:45 - eat dinner, fix poor neglected spouse a cup of tea, clean up carpet stain from spilled cup of tea
6:45 - 8 - drive to gym with DD and work out (aka practicing my sweating skills)
8-9 - badger, pester, prod DD into collecting her dirty laundry, fold towels, start washing, tidy up kitchen from Chinese pig-out
9-9:10- sew one row on quilt frame
9:10-10 -continue laundry
10 - take four Advil and go to bed

There's no hope for this evening to be any better. My mom and her husband will be here tomorrow afternoon and will be sleeping in Miss Pig's (Andrea's) bedroom this weekend. Hence my need for cattle prod to get Miss Andrea practicing her cleaning skills TONITE! Marcus the pet rat will have to enjoy his new digs in the garage for the weekend as I'm certain Grammy does not want to see him. There's sweeping, dusting, etc to be done all over the house and the last of the post-floor clean-up remains to be done. No sewing for this bad girl this evening.

Oh and don't forget, spaghetti for dinner.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Weekend Weed Warrior

I hate weeds. Despise them. Our yard was filled with the evil things thanks primarily to the previous owners who let the place go "au natural" for years. I mean it was n-a-s-t-y - thistles four feet high the summer we moved in. Five years later and it is looking better in spots, but oh how I wish I could afford a professional landscaper to take care of it all.

Most of the trees and bushes on the property were so overgrown and diseased they had to be removed. My major task on Saturday was to remove the stumps and roots from four of the bushes that previously blocked the baywindow in the front of the house. I learned how to use a nasty looking tool Michael called a pick ax, although I'm sure its proper name is something else. Gotta tell you that is rough work!

There are some beautiful plants throughout the yard and I've managed to salvage a lot of them, particularly in the back yard. I'd like to tame the back yard so it can be a calm quiet spot for Michael to sit and enjoy the flowers. Right now, however, there is a huge hole in the yard where a tree once was, thistles are starting their annual battle to take over the yard, there's wild garlic growing. I have my work cut out for me.

Still gaining ground on the interior work too! I washed, ironed and re-hung all the curtains in the dining room and kitchen, washed most of the china cabinet items, put away retreat items, set up the sewing machine, and loaded a quilt onto the frame. We went to Ikea and found some sheets for the bunk beds that are going in the sewing room for our guests. Oh, I also did the grocery shopping and laundry.

Phew! No wonder I needed to return to work to rest up!