Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Day For Rambling

No particular topic in mind today; just a lot of stuff.........

My hysterectomy is finally booked for October 28 with pre-admission gooblety-gook scheduled October 22. The process to get this thing arranged has been a real challenge. If it's been that much frustration for me, imagine what it's like for those poor gals with no medical or insurance backgrounds.

I've had to re-arrange some things like the quilt class I had booked for October 31 in Fairborn. Cancelling it was easy enough, but I had to drive to the shop to get my refund. I'll have to keep my eyes open for the next time Julie Lambert has a basic machine quilting class in the area.

Well pleased with my quilting efforts - I loaded Martin's train quilt onto the frame, quilted it, got the binding attached and am nearly done with the handstitching. All since Sunday. It was funny how I worked - do a pass on the frame, run to the bedroom to watch football (Ravens vs. Browns), run back to the sewing room, do another pass - you get the idea. Perhaps I should get a television in the sewing room and my family would NEVER see me again.

With the colder, damp weather we've had, Michael's lungs are struggling. He's being so stubborn about using his oxygen. I make him take the machine wherever we go, but he won't use it. Not sure whether it's pride or he doesn't want to admit he has a problem. His days are spent working on his model railroad layouts, playing Scrabble on the computer, writing on the model railroad internet forums, making messes in the kitchen and moaning about the pets.

We finally got Michael's National Insurance number from England - Social Security wanted that number three weeks ago and we had to write to obtain it. Keep your fingers crossed that we'll have a positive answer soon about benefits.

Andrea's got a horrible cold, so we do our best to keep her away from Michael. I hesitate to think about what will happen if he does get the cold or flu. Miss Andrea is doing very well with her school work so far this year. She's preparing to take the PSAT exam in two weeks. Hard to think that my "baby" only has two years left in public education then it's off to college.

My other "baby", Tattoo Boy started back to class at UC last Wed. He's so pumped up about his art classes - metal sculpture using a welding torch. OMG! Better there than at home, I suppose.

After going to Jill's house last week, Andrea's been strongly suggesting that we need another dachshund to keep our Daisy company. (Thanks, Jill! - said with sarcasm LOL) The neighbors down the street have five dachshunds and one just had two puppies last Thursday. They are so adorable! And I've been watching the postings on dachshund rescue. Well, we shall see.....I know Michael will not be happy if another dog comes into the house. He's already said his goal is to outlive Daisy and Smudge so he knows what it's like to live in an animal-free house. Hate to tell him this, but I will always have a cat. (right, Linda?) A house just isn't a home without a kitty.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Making It Worth It

A little over a year ago, a co-worker learned her daughter was expecting her first baby (first grandchild too) Together, Linda and I picked out the fabric for the quilt which had a horse theme. I gave the quilt to Linda, but sadly the daughter miscarried. Linda wanted to give the quilt back to me, but I insisted she keep it - there would be a little one for her to love soon, I said.

Fast forward to Friday - I received the following e-mail:

Just wanted to let you know that I was at a shower for her on Sunday and everyone thought the quilt was beautiful. It was the only heirloom gift she received. She especially liked the horse theme. The crib is a mahogany color so the vibrant colors will look great against it.
Thanks for your hard work and keeping the faith with me. We're getting down to the home stretch. She looks like someone stuffed a basket ball under her shirt, literally. She has about 6-7 weeks yet. Have no idea whether its a girl or boy, but I think it will be a boy. If so, the name will be Blake Thomas. Girl's name is Aubrey but no middle name yet

This friend has had her share of adversity in the last year. First the miscarriage. Then, her fiance passed out in her kitchen and died. The day of Steve's funeral, her parents both had to be admitted to the hospital. Then, "Uncle Fester" (boss at the office) eliminated her job two weeks later. So, I'm glad that little quilt gave her a ray of sunshine.

Our "hobby" means more than fibers, my friends.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

On Schedule

One of my co-workers forwarded this photo - I HAVE to get this outfit for our Daisy.

My hysterectomy is scheduled for October 28 - a bit later than I wanted, but that was the first available date for my GYN and the doctor who is assisting. At least it gives me some time to get things organized around the house and quilt a few items /get them ready for hand-sewing. I may even dust off a few cross stitch projects.
The bad news is I will have to cancel my machine quilting class with Julie Lambert on the 31st. Something tells me I won't be up to it. Sigh - Some other time.......

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Happy Dancin' For Contact Lenses!

What joy! I am able to wear my contact lenses again! The worst of the pink eye is over and my eyes are feeling loads better.

I get to leave the office a bit early again today for yet another doctor's appointment. I'm unable to schedule my surgery until I see my GYN today for yet another evaluation. Even after this, the practice's scheduler couldn't guarantee a date before the end of October. What has changed to my internal plumbing since July? Nada, nyet, nothing. So I'm not exactly thrilled about doing the "moo" routine again this afternoon. But, if that's what it takes to get on the surgical schedule, I'll do it.

Andrea had to return home from school - not feeling well. From what I hear there is a lot of crud going around the local schools these days.

Those of you who attended the St. Jude's retreat may remember the Biblical verse "cheater cloth" I had and wanted suggestions on what to do with it. I'm slicing each block up with 1/2" extra on each side. Then I'm taking 2 and 1/2" strips leftover from a Moda jelly roll and boxing in each Bible verse and drawing. There are 15 squares in all. Once I see how large it will be, I'll decide what borders would look nice and how to quilt it into a nice lap-sized quilt for my Mother. It's a nice little project that I can work on for 15 -20 minutes each morning before I head to the office. And now that I can "see" again, it won't take me long to complete the top.

One thing I definitely have to think about it what holiday gifts need to be worked on. Other than the lap quilt for Mom, I do not have any ideas. It might not be a busy Christmas season in the sewing room this year.


Monday, September 14, 2009

The Eyes Have IT!

Conjunctivitis that is! Ever since the middle of last week, I've been battling "pink eye" in both eyes. My co-workers convinced me it wasn't going to clear on its own, as I thought, and I went to the doctor late Friday afternoon. I'm now taking drops in both eyes four times a day and not permitted to wear my contact lenses until at least Wednesday. That creates difficulties for me - hard to sew, work on the computer, read reports at the office, etc. My glasses help a bit, but the prescription for those is years old. I usually only wear the things at night after taking my lenses out. Perhaps it's time to get another back-up pair with the correct strengths!

It was another "fun" week at the Howe residence. Michael decided that he was going to clean out the garage. Four days later, the garage is still a mess with all kinds of stuff he wants to discard sitting in the middle of the floor, trash everywhere,"monster" crickets hiding in the corners, and Michael gasping for oxygen every five minutes (refused to wear his portable oxygen tank - dummy!) So, I took charge on Sunday. Within an hour, all the refuse was at the curb, things organized, the floor swept and sprayed for crickets. I also played chauffeur for Andrea's various social activities on Saturday, including a drive at 11 pm to the local church festival. That girl has GOT to get a part-time job and her driver's license, so I can start worrying on a whole different plane! LOL

Met our new neighbors - they have four mini-dachshunds with more on the way. PUPPIES! - Andrea shrieked. "I want one!" Our cranky wiener dog would no more take to a lively puppy in the house than I'd want to clean up the puppy messes. We'll visit, oh and ah over the babies, but no more doggies for us!

I hunched over my sewing machine on Saturday and got a top all pieced - a simple log cabin quilt from Fons and Porter's latest issue of Simple Quilts. I must get the Mt Hood (nickel quilt) on the frame this week - it's for a birthday gift on October 3. Should have enough batting and backing material already at home, but believe it or not I'm getting to the end of the batting roll I purchased last year.

Since football season started again, I may pick up an old cross stitch pattern or two. Good to work on those or binding projects whilst watching a game. Although if I stitch during an Ohio State game, I'm likely to stab something . Or if I watch a Cincinnati Bengals game, I'll laugh too hard and end up with wonky stitches!

Speaking of that - wasn't that Bengals game a hoot? I could have laughed myself to death when the announcer on national television said, "And that's why they call them the Bungals." Oh, well, I should keep the merriment to a minimum since someday the Steelers may stink too! Payback from deprived Bengals fans, after all, is likely.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Four Days

Sure didn't feel like getting out of bed this morning after four days of being able to sleep in. SIGH! Finding it awfully hard to get motivated as well.

Let's pep things up a bit by re-capping the last four days:

FRIDAY: Ah, Friday.......got up at normal time to get Miss Andrea off to school. Instead of going back to bed, I ate breakfast at a leisurely pace, did my morning reading and headed to the sewing room. By 2 pm, I had a lap-sized quilt pieced - Mt Hood- from the first Nickel Quilts book. Then headed to Waynesville/Fabric Shack. Unfortunately (fortunately for my wallet), they didn't have the Thimbleberries fabric I initially wanted. Picked up a few pieces of fabric for a fall-inspired quilt and then drove to Joann's for a few bits and bobs. Found a neat book on continuous line quilting for 30 percent off.

When Andrea and her buddies were at the football game, Michael and I drove to Frisch's for coffee and dessert. Ahem, his idea of dessert was a Big Boy. Nice little change of pace for just the two of us.

SATURDAY: Miss Andrea joined me for breakfast at IHOP then on to Best Friends' Open House. Signed up for Stash Pot Pie and purchased the "naked men" fabric Andrea wanted to make pillow cases for her buddies for Christmas. I'd like to make these Saturday morning breakfasts with just Andrea a regular thing - maybe once a month. With just the two of us, she opens up a lot more. As much as it's possible, I'd like to know what's going on with this particular 16-year-old. She's showing an interest in sewing, which I'd like to encourage.

After the open house, we drove back to Mason for Penney's, the bird seed store, Joann's (again), and Pet Smart. Phew!

The only sewing I got done was a small table runner and a new cover for my wallet.

SUNDAY: Church was lovely, but the music was a bit "off" The leadership team has struggled with the music portion of the service ever since the assistant minister who lead that area left our church for another opportunity. But, I do love singing in church since nobody notices how poorly I sound!

What to do in the sewing room? I purchased a Moda/Kansas Troubles jelly roll at last year's shop hop. Looked at the various jelly roll patterns I had and decided to use Twisted Strip that I picked up at the quilt show in Columbus. I had the top pieced by noon on Monday.

MONDAY: I slept in the latest of the four days since a big thunderstorm rolled through the area around 6 am. Rainy mornings are just made for sleeping in. Once I finished the Twisted Strip, I focused on sewing up more Labor Day Madness stars from Nickel quilts. They're very nice, but sewing one star from start to finish involves a lot of cutting. I need to remember that by piecing these combination units, I'm actually doing two quilt tops at once.

Michael and I took Andrea and her two buddies out for lunch at Steak N Shake, the bank and filled up the car with petrol. Whoa! Do we know how to get excitement or what?

In between all the sewing, running around, I read a lot. I'm 3/4 of the way done with "World Without End" by Stephen Follet. Linda convinced me to read "Pillars of the Earth" and the book I've almost finished is the sequel.

All in all, I got most everything done that I wanted with the exception of housework, but that doesn't count! Hey, I did bake a cake on Saturday night using zucchini. Michael won't eat it though.

Michael news: We got a notice from our congressman's office that Social Security needs his national insurance number from England. We mailed the request for that to England on Friday. We've also asked Michael's ex to try to find it. Their insurance number isn't used as commonly as our social security numbers are. Health-wise, Michael is about the same. He is definitely not using his oxygen when he needs it and that troubles me. One of my mother's friends passed away yesterday from the same lung condition that ails Michael - another reminder of what we're dealing with. Poor Michael - even making the bed sends him into a coughing spasm.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A contest

Check out Linda's blog for a contest:


However, if you win thanks to my referral, you MUST share the winnings. LOL, just teasing.

You'll love this blog - written by Linda's cat, PI, a most intelligent creature

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Keeping It Calm

My goal in this world at present is to keep things as they are. Especially with Michael. His lung disease goes into periods when it's not doing more damage and then other times it goes downhill rapidly. I think we're on a plateau presently. He's not able to do much around the house without having lung issues. So, he's content with running a small E-Bay business, posting on Facebook, and communicating on a variety of model railroad forums. Toss in a derogatory remarks about the pets from time to time and we know he's OK. LOL I still find myself making sure he's breathing at night. He woke up this morning with the oxygen tube poked in his eye. A lot of good that did him! He talks back to the radio commentators, yells about the television broadcaster's accents and proclaims all American football players are fat-assed wussies. Whenever Andrea or I complain about his horrible sense of humor or how much he moans, he responds, "You'll miss me when I'm gone."

No doubt.

Started working on a Nickel quilts pattern - Labor Day - how appropriate. The thing that's great about this pattern is that I'll have enough bonus squares to make a second totally different quilt. I had 15 minutes to spare before I had to leave for work this morning, so I went into the sewing room and did a bit of stitching. (Thank you, Bonnie Hunter, for that idea!)

Linda forwarded a terrific web site to me this morning - Sew Inspired Pine Needles Sewing Center newsletter. Great idea on how to use scrap fabric using two shoe boxes. I may try that this weekend and see what kind of progress I can make on using my stash.

One of my friends at work has gotten back into quilting thanks to my intervention and enabling. LOL She was at the quilt show in Sharonville this past weekend and talked with Julie Lambert, machine quilting expert. My friend, Kathy, is all pumped up about taking one of Julie's classes next month in Dayton and convinced me to go along as well. Something to look forward to....

What I'm not looking forward to is the dentist this afternoon. Thank goodness it's the last appointment in this procedure.