Monday, June 28, 2010

Jack, Jerry and Tattoo Boy

Baby Jack, who received my first quilt of 2010, is growing and loving his blankie. Grandma Mary sent me a photo this weekend. Isn't he a doll?

Jerry the Juki made his annual trip to Sew Easy for his lube job and tune-up. He was acting up on Thursday night, making a mess of the Jenna quilt. He's back and working wonderfully already. One thing about Sew Easy - their repair guy is prompt, good and quick. Jerry was away from home less than 24 hours. Real important for us quilt junkies!

Tattoo Boy came for a visit on Sunday. He and I reached an agreement about some tasks which need to be done around the house. He owes me money. I need yard stuff done. Voila! Debt wiped out and tasks to be completed this week. Plus, TB needs to raise some $ for a trip to visit his bestest buddy. Momma got to thinking about some indoor jobs he can do for pay. (I was gonna hire somebody any ways for this stuff!) Aren't I clever? Poor TB has to get instruction from Michael on how to lay ceramic tile. On second thought, there is no extra pay for cruel and unusual punishment!

Love ya,

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dreams and Reality

Two nights ago, I had a dream which featured a friend I had in high school. I woke up thinking I had to get in touch with this guy. Last I knew, he was in Columbus, but it's been a number of years since he and I talked - almost 20 years, in fact. (Tattoo Boy was just a baby!)

Facebook. Gotta love it! I found him on Facebook. Wrote a brief message and voila! Got a response this morning. Turns out he's been thinking about me as well. Now, how odd is that? He's had a major loss this year - lost his partner of 28 years several months ago. His daughter is now married and living elsewhere, so he's living in a house all by himself and is having a rough time with it all.

The reality - this is all too much of a coincidence for me NOT to think that God's hand is in it. Perhaps this is God's way of bringing me back into this man's life because he's hurting and I could help someway. And maybe, just maybe help myself in the process.

Just some thoughts I have today.

Love ya,

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


This has been a strange week filled with challenges and blessings. Last week at this time I was mopping up water in our utility room - leaky roof. The next day the roofing company began its magic and the house looks terrific and is dry. Blessing indeed since we seem to be getting a thunderstorm/heavy rain every other day. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the roofing rep who pushed and convinced us to file an insurance claim. Michael claims he was concerned about leaving me with a house that needed major repairs. Well, at least that one is taken care of now. A friend at church gave me the name and phone number of a reliable handyman, so I'll give him a ring sometime soon - couple of other projects need to be done to make Michael's life a bit easier. Hey, and the best part about the new roof? Michael didn't fire the contractor mid-way through the job!

My brother returned from his medical mission to Haiti late Sunday night, but promptly fell ill requiring a trip to the ER. Bad case of dehydration. I'm so very proud of my brother and sister in law for their efforts to help the people of that country.

Mailed the quilt to my ex's nephew and he should receive it today. I'm hoping it will be a pleasant surprise.

In other quilty news: Got the borders on Jessica's quilt. (Michael says it's so bright it hurts his eyes!) Finished piecing the kit I was given at the Lebanon quilt show. Both need to be quilted and given to their recipients. Jessica's in Florida at the moment with her youth group enjoying a few days of "freedom" before chemo begins again. I have until the end of the month for the other charity quilt and that needs to be dropped off at the quilt shop.

The Red, White and Blue Boxy stars pieced for months now is still hanging in the sewing room. I did not have a real good feel for what to use for borders, so Andrea pitched in and found some of my stash which will work.

Most of the time I spent in the sewing room on Friday night and Saturday afternoon was spent cleaning and organizing. I cut a bunch of scraps into 2 and 1/2 inch strips and carefully stored them in a new cart I picked up at Hobby Lobby on the sale rack. I can now walk around the sewing room without having to avoid piles of fabric and storage totes. Marvelous!

After reading Bonnie Hunter's post about her latest workshop featuring Scrappy Mountains, I really wanted to try that pattern. I managed to get one block done last night. We had company (one of Michael's model railroading friends) and Andrea and I went for a work out at the Community Center. It was nearly 9:30 before I even cut the first strip. Not bad for such a late start. Now, I'm really hooked and can't wait to do more!

Now on to more serious matters: Apparently the dorks (kind word here folks) in Social Security Administration didn't think Michael qualified for disability based on the records from his first pulmonologist. Michael hasn't seen this doctor in over two years and was still working at that time. His regular doctor's records arrived last Friday and those notes are being evaluated right now. Please keep this matter in your thoughts and prayers. We can use all the positive vibes! I don't want to hire an attorney - but that may be the next step.

Love ya,

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Demise of My Wits and Butter Jesus

About 11 last night, a horrendous thunderstorm swept through our area. Try sleeping through that! And to add to the fun, our roof was not even half done. I worried about the heavy rain and didn't get much sleep. No damage fortunately and the roofers were back at work at 6:30 this morning. (Our neighbors LOVE us!)

Then, I learned this morning that the six-story tall statue of Jesus near our home was struck by lightening and destroyed! The locals called that statue "Butter Jesus" or "Touchdown Jesus". Agreed, the statue was horrendous, gaudy, and not my concept of what Jesus represents, but its destruction should not invite the kind of anti-Christian sentiments I'm hearing around the office and on the radio. Until now, I didn't think people despised our faith. Perhaps this should be a wake-up call.

Sewing? Very little. For some reason, the overhead light in my sewing room isn't working and it was dark when I had a few minutes to spare last night. I may avoid quilting again tonight - straight to bed after dinner. Between Smudge's antics the night before and the storm last night, my "tail" is dragging today.

Love ya,

Monday, June 14, 2010

Things That Go Bump In The Night

Up until three nights ago, I was getting a good night's sleep in the guest bedroom each night. Ahhhhhhh - no oxygen tubes, no wheezing noises, no snoring, etc. (You get the picture!) But, alas, Smudge discovered where I was now sleeping. The door to that bedroom doesn't latch snugly either.

Smudge knows how to push on the door. Some times it opens, often it doesn't and then it makes a banging noise loud enough to frighten the dead. Friday night and Saturday night he pushed on the door with his paw and "BOOM BOOM BOOM!" at 2 or 3 AM. If that wasn't enough, he cried as if his life depended on getting into bed with me.

So, last night I decided to keep the door slightly open and invite him to bed. Like most cats, he is active at night, so he didn't stay asleep with me. He got up, used his litter box, came back, jumped on the bed, jumped onto the windowsills, groomed himself. And the little bell on his collar went, "jingle, jingle, jingle" with every step he took.

Smudge and I are going to have a talk tonight after work.


- The quilt show in Lebanon was fun. It would have been downright enjoyable had there been air conditioning in the buildings. And if you're familiar with southwestern Ohio weather in summer, it was hot and humid. I felt so badly for the poor vendors. The quilts on display were great and I found a few things to purchase.

-Andrea and her three friends spent almost the entire weekend at our house with mom (me) playing chauffeur. Let's see, we went to the pool, the park, Donatos for pizza, Half Priced Books, Pet Smart and the mall between Saturday and Sunday. Granted one pal is just visiting from South Carolina, but do we have to fit an entire summer's activities in days?

-I am now a proud graduate of Dave Ramsay's Financial Peace University! I completed the 13-week course on Friday night. I don't think I'll struggle in finding something else to do with my Friday nights from now on! That program inspired me to make some changes that have really paid off and I have only one card to pay off (Michael's) and I'll be debt free except for the mortgage and that sucker's gonna go down! The emergency fund is my next plan - build it up. If all goes according to plan, that should be funded adequately by the holidays. I'd highly recommend Financial Peace University to anybody.

-The heat and humidity aren't helping Michael any. He spends most of his time attached to the computer and yelling at me to do this or do that. I had to wake him up at 6:30 this morning just in case the roofers showed up early. You would have thought the world was coming to an end! Major crab attack! Well, it's nearly 11 and the roofers and the materials haven't shown up yet. I suppose I'll get blamed for that too! Michael's temper and teasing has gotten the best of me lately. Before I respond to him, I need to remind myself to stop and call on my inner strength before responding. That's so hard to do! The natural response to nastiness is to respond with nastiness, right?

-I started another comfort quilt. This one's for a young girl at our church who is facing radiation therapy for a spinal tumor. Hoping to get it done by Sunday so I can give it to the pastor's wife for delivery. Also, finished my ex's nephew's graduation quilt. Mail it sometime this week. One of the vendors at the quilt show was distributing kits to anybody who wanted to make a kids quilt. I picked one up and need to have it done within a month, deliver it to their shop. Which gives me an "excuse" to visit this shop - never been there. As if I NEEDED an

Love ya,

Thursday, June 3, 2010

One Year To Practice

And I will need every bit of that one year to learn how to keep from crying when Andrea graduates from high school! When Tattoo Boy graduated from high school, I wore my big sunglasses to hide the tears, but Michael found out and let everybody know (hahahah, look at Cathy, she's crying!) Tattoo Boy was another matter - we didn't know until two days before commencement that he was going to graduate. I ended up writing a lot of his senior English papers that week to get him over the hurdle - so to speak. Something I'm not proud of doing, but at least it enabled him to graduate and go on to other things which he's doing quite successfully now at the University of Cincinnati.

Junior awards ceremony was this morning and I had a rough time stopping big time tears. Andrea won two awards - outstanding art student and outstanding English student. This hasn't exactly been the easiest year for her with all that's gone on with her step-dad, birth father, and the usual trials of being a teenager. By achieving what she has, it just proves how strong and beautiful my young lady is and I am so proud of her!

Perhaps they're tears of pride and happiness! Yeah, that's right.....A bright shiny spot in an otherwise tough year.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What's Next On The "Hit" List?

Resolved to knock down at least one tiresome, monotonous, crappy paperwork cruddy job at a time. Today it was to deal with the ambulance bill people - appeal mailed. Pay bill for Lindner Center - done. I may have stretched it a bit by trying to figure out the last bill for Michael's oxygen supplier. Their toll free line referred me to the local office and the local office referred me to the toll free line . SIGH! I'm praying this will be a successful week with the roofing process. We're scheduled for the work on June 8. Just waiting on the mortgage company to forward the start money.

No word from the SSA or the congressman's aide. THAT one will take time, more time.

After three days off work, my battery's a bit more charged. My next-door neighbor brought me to tears one night. He's such a dear. During one of our conversations, he asked me if he could weed-whack a section of our yard since he knows Michael can't do it and it wasn't something that was easily done by me. I said it was OK and the next day - done! I've reconciled myself to the fact that there are some things I'm going to have to hire out to be done. Once the tough stuff around the yard is done, I should be able to maintain it. My brother seems keen on having his sons do it for me, but I'm going to insist on paying them. Michael, however, is not keen on having the two boys do work around the house. He asked me if there are organizations out there which will send a handyman to the house for no charge? I reminded him I am not destitute, but he replied that he is. Knowing how Michael is about contractors, he'll fire the free help if he gets it - LOL!

Michael's asthma attacks are getting worse. He can't stomach the humidity we've experienced lately and the air conditioning is tough on him as well. What to do? He didn't get out of bed until 1 this afternoon - more time in bed, less energy. Still complains about anything and everything, but at least he's not accusing me of abandoning him when I have to get groceries or run errands. I started sleeping in the spare bedroom - something I swore that I wouldn't do. By Michael's own admission, it's helped him sleep better as well as me. He can keep the television on all night if he needs or wants now - something he claims helps him sleep better?

And I got some chunks of sewing done in between the running around. I pieced Sam's comfort quilt and it's 3/4 of the way quilted. The ex's nephew's quilt is next on the frame - bought the backing and batting at Joann's Memorial Day sale along with a few other goodies. (Three trips to Joann's this week?!) Andrea picked out fabric for a sundress she wants. I think I'll work on it soon, but not without her "help". It would be nice for her to have a few basic sewing and garment construction skills.

I'd love to post some photos of my quilting progress, but you see, Tattoo Boy has my camera. He's tough to get in touch with these days - finals next week and wrapping up projects for the school year. I've yet to get a ransom note for my camera, but I'm hoping to see it again soon!

The baseball game was a lot of fun - like Andrea said - it's always better when the Reds win.