Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Free, At Last and Pictures

As some of you know, I've been wearing a halter heart monitor for the last 3 weeks. Now I must tell you that a "halter heart monitor" sounds much sexier than it really is. Imagine having 3 electrodes stuck to you, each with its own wire being fed into a sensor that connects to a black lanyard which hangs around your neck. As if that isn't sexy enough for you, you must keep the cell phone monitor within 10 feet of the sensor at all times and respond to its multitude of beeping which indicates that 1) you have somehow disconnected one or all of the electrodes, 2) you are out of range of the cell phone and a signal cannot be found, 3) the battery of the sensor or cell phone is low, 4) you're having an "episode" and you must respond to a questionnaire within 60 seconds, 5) you are back in range of the cell phone and 6) there were a couple of beeps that I'm just not sure what they meant.

Anyway, the monitor finally came off today. The doctor told me that they have recorded enough data, even though I didn't have one of my "major episodes" which was the reason for wearing the darn thing anyway! All that remains to remind me of the monitor are the red, swollen sore spots where the electrodes stuck to my skin. It sure will be nice to sleep tonight and not feel as if I'm being strangled.

All joking aside, I'm amazed at technology! I was pretty shocked when I got my first phone call from the monitoring company at 2:12AM the first night I wore the thing wanting to know how I felt because I was having an episode. I didn't even feel it! Amazing!!!

Backing up a little here, yesterday was a mixture of busy work and relaxation. I made all of the cookie dough for my orders and my nephew's graduation party, and I made a breakfast casserole and put it in the freezer for this coming weekend's festivities at my sister's house. I worked outside a little bit, but not as much as I had wanted. All of the mulch that we had is spread and I'll get more on my way home from work Wednesday, if it's not raining. I watched the Indians' baseball game and was going to go to turn it off when they were down 10-0, but I decided to stick with it while I was doing some hand sewing. Boy was I glad I did! The Indians scored 7 in the bottom of the 9th and won the game. That was fun to watch.
In regards to quilting, I have finally finished my pink and brown blocks and will post pictures tomorrow or Thursday. I worked on the guild retreat quilt and should be able to finish that soon. I also spent a little bit of time getting everything ready to finish up the raffle quilt. I probably won't have time to work on that until Thursday because I work from 5:30AM - 2:00PM and then have errands after that.

As promised, I finally have some pictures to add. I have to warn you, it's a good thing I can sew because I sure would starve it I had to earn my living by taking pictures. Hey, maybe I could market that as a weight loss product - take crappy pictures, try to sell them and buy your meals with the money you get! I've got to get busy on my new business plan. :-)

Anyway, here are two of the hanging baskets we bought Saturday. I love all of the color and different flowers. Do you see the sprayer in the second picture? That was filled with vinegar and dish soap and used as a "green" weed killer for the new garden area. Within 2 hours the grass had started to die and I was ready to start spading the area. Can you see the brown grass in the last picture? (I feel like an elementary teacher. Do you see Spot run?)

This last picture is of the area that has become the dumping spot for plants over the last couple of years. If I didn't know where something was going, I planted it here for "a couple of days." Well, a couple of days has turned into a couple of years, but it's finally getting done. I have some iris and lilies that I need to get out of there, but that will have to wait until they are done blooming, and I want to transplant a few more of the black eyed susans. After that, this area will be a clean slate!
Well, I'm excited. Three posts in four days is pretty good for me. I'll try to keep it up, but I certainly won't make any promises. I do have some guild work that I should have done before I blogged, but this was going to be more fun. I guess that I'll have to do that when I get home tomorrow before I do anything else!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Beautiful Day and Lots of Work Done

No pictures, but Jack and I got a lot done today. After church, lunch and basic sitting around deciding where things were going to get planted we got busy. The entire lawn got mowed, the old sedum got transplanted and the new sedum found a home along the front porch. The yellow marigolds and purple petunias got planted in front and the garden phlox got transplanted by the tiger lilies. I transplanted the yarrow and some of the black eyed susans. Everything up front got fertilized, mulched and watered, and everything that was planted and/or purchased yesterday got watered as well.

Tomorrow I will finish transplanting the black eyed susans and hopefully get the rest of the flowers in the ground. We're going to put the garden in a new area this year but we need to see how much sun the area we have in mind gets. We want the garden closer to the house and that limits the areas we can use. We'll know tomorrow and get busy prepping the ground!

We had to unlatch the shutters from upstairs because there were bats behind them. We don't care that they are there, they just poop all over the balcony and that is a pain to keep clean. We have to do this every year, so it isn't a big deal, just a pain.

Jack went to teach class tonight and while he was gone I worked on a couple of quilt designs that I've been playing with. I got the fabric yardage figured out and started to write up the pattern. Sometimes I do things backwards. I design the quilt and write out what I think will be the instructions. I use what I typed up as a guideline and change it as I sew and decide the best or easiest way to complete the quilt. I haven't done any sewing yet, but I hope to before I go to bed.

I love days like today. Beautiful weather, time to play in the dirt with the one you love, design a quilt or two and hopefully get some quilting in. Who could ask for more?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Plants, Fabric and Work Changes

I have been REALLY busy the last couple of weeks and today was no exception. Jack and got up this morning and went plant shopping. (Actually, we did a little bit of shopping at Mulberry Creek Herb Farm yesterday, but the bulk of our shopping was done today outside of Shiloh.) Now I know that many people (mostly the over-achievers) have already bought and planted everything for their garden, but we're a little slow sometimes. Actually, this is earlier than last year. We were so late last year that we had a hard time finding what we wanted. Anyway, I digress....

We picked up a couple of beautiful hanging plants along with our marigolds, petunias, sedum, pansies, tomatoes, peppers, dill, parsley, basil, etc. We also got a couple of horseradish plants to augment the patch we already have because we love fresh horseradish! By the time we were done shopping, we had a car-full. I'll try to get some pictures tomorrow to post.

Since we were in the area, we stopped at the new home of Country Fabrics. This is the first time that I've been able to get there, and it is really nice. The building is an old barn and is much larger than their previous place. My friend Carolyn and her husband were at the shop so we got the chance for a brief visit. (We were all in a bit of a hurry since the trips were kind of spur of the moment.) I picked up a couple of fabrics that I'll use in the raffle quilt that I am making for my sister's school. I'd picked out fabric from my stash, but I knew that I didn't have enough for the border, so I got that and some background fabric. Now, when will I get to sewing that? I have no idea. I have to get my "you know what" in gear and finish the raffle quilt for the 3-Day!

After a quick lunch (grilled turkey burger and grilled asparagus - YUM!) Jack and I went back to Mulberry Creek to get a truck load of mulch so we could get started on planting. We got the flower boxes all planted and then I worked on getting the other areas cleaned up and ready for planting tomorrow. My goal is to have everything done tomorrow so I can sew on Monday since I don't have to work.

Speaking of work, Doug and Gretchen sold the Norwalk Club! I'm not sure exactly when and how that will affect me since I work in all 3 clubs, but I'm assuming that nothing will change for at least a month to give the new owners a chance to get organized and accustomed to the place. I've met the new owners and they are very nice. Even though change might be scary, it is often a good thing and I'm looking forward to the new adventure!

More on our progress tomorrow.....

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Packed House and Auction Finds

We have had a house full of visitors for the last week and it has been great! Jack's daughter spent last week in the area, splitting her time between here and her mom's house. She had to work via the computer, but it was nice to have her here. Of course I was busy every day last week so I didn't get to spend near enough time with her. She was able to go with Jack to a couple of the classes he was teaching and I know that he really enjoyed having her there. We are going to try to figure out some time that Linda, Sheryll and I can get together to sew. I don't know when it will happen, but I hope soon.

Also, Nikki, Zach and Quinn arrived Thursday night and left this afternoon. That was a lot of fun. There was a belated birthday party for Quinn Saturday at the park and the weather was beautiful! I took some pictures, but I haven't had a chance to edit them so I'll add some later. There was a small cake for Quinn to eat and it was funny because she didn't like it. She had to be coaxed to try it or even play with it.

On Sunday, Jack and I took some time and went to an auction in Norwalk. We got some great deals including 2 quilt racks and 2 quilts. One of the racks is wooden, but the other one is wrought iron, which matches another one that I have. I was pretty excited and they were both realy cheap. The same is true for the quilts - cheap! I was surprised because there were about 20 -25 quilts up for auction and I didn't see any that went for over $75 (even though we left before the last 8 or 9 were auctioned).
Anyway, the quilts we bought are both large twin size and hand quilted. The Dresden Plate quilt is hand appliqued, but the blocks are machine pieced. I'm not sure of the age of either quilt, but I think the blue and white one is realtively new (70's or 80's). The Dresden Plate quilt has some fabrics that I recognize from a book I have on dating fabric, but I haven't taken the time to check it out yet. It has a few condition problems, but I think they are repairable. I think I'll have the quilt appraised at the Antique Festival in July here in Milan. The Milan Historical Museum hosts a quilt show for the day and will have an appraiser there. In the mean time, I'm going to get out my book and collection of old fabric and see how accurately I can date these quilts!