Monday, September 30, 2013

Fun evening last night - the Fishers were over for BBQ'ed hamburgers.  We even sat out side to eat - I thought for sure the weather was going to blow in some rain and we wouldn't be able too (yes, that means I did NOT clean up the patio for company.  I did clean up the house, if that counts!  Good thing we don't count the Fishers as 'company' any more!)

Emma walked in the local Pride festival/parade on Saturday.  She asked her Mom to go with her, since she didn't want to go alone.  What's a Mom to do??  Of course, she went with her.  She even walked in the parade with her.  And, Meredith, being Meredith (having never met a stranger), started chatting with a young lady there by herself, asking her where Emma would be able to meet up with nice gay people, and the next thing you know, Meredith introduced Emma to her, and left the two of them chatting, exchanging text numbers, etc.  She didn't find her a date, but she did introduce her to a possible new friend.  What a Mom!  Meredith also found a support group at the college for Emma, so she can meet more people (and not have to take her mom with her).  Not a bad morning's work for Meredith!  (Yes, I would support AJ in whatever he wanted, but....I don't know that I would be walking up to complete strangers asking them where to meet other 'nice' gays.  Actually, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't!!!)

AJ's new hat was a hit with the crowd too.  Chris want's me to make him a Rastafarian hat - probably not!!!   (though I may look for a pattern....)

I finished the book for the book club last night after everyone left (and yes, stayed up too late, but....I had to finish!)  The book is Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn, and was not my favorite of the group, but not a bad book.  I have absolutely no clue for a bookmark (how do you crochet psychotic??) so I think I will do a Halloween bookmark.  I'll start looking for an idea this evening.  I don't think anyone in the book club has received a Halloween bookmark from me (maybe Malorie??) so I might repeat one I've done in the past.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

I don't think I'll get much besides laundry done today, but....I finished AJ's viking hat this morning!  Here is the hat - I had it done last weekend:

Here is the beard - in pieces.

I was trying to figure out the placement of the beard, and looked up.  Here's Alli's expression from the couch:

No wonder - here's what I looked like trying it on:

Here it is - all laid out,  It is huge!  It used almost all of a large skein of Supersaver yarn for the beard.

The final project on the proper recipient:

He's very happy with it.  I like the hat - but not the beard so much.  He is also wearing the new jacket he got shopping yesterday - another hit.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

It was supposed to be a quiet day to catch up on things, turned into a busy one.  Alli and I did our normal shopping run (minus Wal-mart) and went to K-Mart clothes shopping for her.  She's outgrown most of her pants (not a good sign) so we picked up some new pants and a few new shirts for her.  Then, we went home and did some housework.  (Well, I did some housework - Alli took a nap - it's hard work shopping!)

Then, AJ and I did some yard work - cutting back the gardenias in the area by the garden, and clearing a way through the jasmine to the side yard.  Then, it was back into town to go shopping with AJ.  He's outgrown his clothes too -  but his is because he's working out and building some muscles.  In between and after, I worked on a viking hat for him.  I have everything made - now I just have to put it together.  It is just too cute!!!  (It also looks a little big - I may be making some adjustments to it before he can wear it.  Pictures tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My blogging has taken a turn for the worse lately----too busy in the mornings to add anything and too tired at night!  Work has been very busy lately - we are installing a new program and had trainers on-site last week.  That meant training for me from 8:30 to 4:30, so I was going in around 7:00 and leaving after 6:00 to do the rest of the stuff on my desk....long days!  This week, we are doing the training - training the rest of the Lending Department - poor things!  We don't understand the system yet, and we are the trainers!  It does mean shorter days for me though - I'm not the main trainer, so I don't have to be there the whole time.  I actually left a little after 5:00 today!

Last weekend, I had company!  Mom came over Friday afternoon, and we went to the local Chapter's (Eastern Star) meeting Friday night - fun!  I think I will be joining this chapter.  Susanville is changing their meeting to Wednesday night - and I won't be driving to Susanville for a meeting in the middle of the week.  Ronna and Joe also came in Friday night, late - they had a grand-baby born on Thursday, (Mom and Dad (Joe's son) live in Redding) so they came over to see the baby.  Since they came in so late, (close to 11:00), Alli, of course, got up at 4:30 Saturday morning,  that did give me plenty of time to get the house cleaned up and sorted out, so we could go shopping when everyone else got up.  Ronna has agreed to quilt the quilt top I just finished, so we spent a very long time in the quilt store looking for the just right binding and backing material.  Who knew?  Alli was a pretty special angel the whole time.  
Sunday, Mom and I met up with Dawn for a chance to chat, since I don't see her much anymore.  On the way home from town, we stopped at the local nursery.  When we got back to the house, with a little bit of help from AJ, we tore out the old summer garden and planted a fall garden.

I planted kale and chard.....

Brussels Sprouts.....

And sugar peas.  I have room for more plants, so I might be stopping back by next weekend!  If I'm not careful, this garden will be as over-crowded as the summer garden.)

I finished up a little doily last week, but hadn't made time to photo it.  When I did, I had help....

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hmmm....what to do when Alli gets up at 5:00 and no one else gets up until after 10:00, so you have a nice quiet house (basically) all to yourself, and you just got new material for your quilt the day before......?

I finished the quilt top yesterday!    This one is big!!!  I very happy with the results.  Since this one is so big, I don't think I want to try to quilt it myself.  I had a hard time with the last one, and it was smaller.

Jasper came over to see what the fuss was all about.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Penny bookmark, braided spaghetti bread

We are back to square one for Ralph's lungs.  He saw a specialist on Thursday - the fluid is definitely back, and Dr. Singh doesn't see any reason for it (which means that he can't find anything seriously wrong - no tumors, no abnormalities, no cancer, no heart issues, etc.) , so.....he is having the fluid removed again Monday morning (at 6:30 a.m.!) and then goes back for x-rays in a month.  If the fluid comes back again, they will do a procedure - drain it again and put powder (talc powder?) between the linings in the lung so they don't separate.  That doesn't sound pleasant either - hopefully it doesn't come to that.  

Last week was our book club meeting.  What a fun evening!  We had it at Jenn's house - and she prepared something for dinner that I probably wouldn't have even tried (because it sounds so weird!) but was wonderful!!  She took bread dough (thawed frozen dough) rolled it out, and put spaghetti in it, and baked it.  Sounds weird, but it tasted great!   Here is a recipe for Braided Spaghetti Bread - I don't know that it is the one that Jenn used, but it sounds similar.  Definitely a keeper!

We read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn this time, and I made "Lucky Penny" Bookmarks.  The pattern is here.  I added the tail to the pattern, but that was the only modification that I made this time.  

It was also quilt club meeting this weekend.  I finished what I had - but I ran out of material and couldn't do the entire top.  The leaders had said that Thimbleberries had been very chintzy with the material this time, and I think I was too zealous cutting the selvage off.  I was an inch short for my 2 1/2 inch squares.  We got more of the same material Saturday, since it is part of a border, so I hope I can eke out an extra square or two out of it.  Luckily, they do have the material in stock at the store, I just hate to buy more for four 2 1/2" squares, but I will if I need to!  My plan today is to cut out what I have so I know what I need, and pick up any extra material (if needed) tomorrow.  I did feel better when some of the more experienced quilters said that they ran out of material too.

Next week is my 'drop dead' week for the new computer program.  We will have three people from the company on site for our last training session, and then 'we' will train all of our staff the following week, and go live on 9/30.  I'm planning on spending as much time with the trainers as they will spend with me while they are here.  I've spent quite a bit of time on the phone already with them, and one of them has been making videos for me - examples of how to do things.  (I'm not sure what that says of his level of trust in me - do I sound that lost already??)  He actually had already started making the videos for Support, but it sounded a little odd when he told me that....

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Poor Ralph....last night, I went to Scouts, so he fixed Alli her dinner, and after she had finished, he fixed himself a plate of leftover fried chicken, and then fed the dogs.  When he got back in from filling their food bowls, one of the pieces of chicken was missing from his plate.  Alli was rocking nicely in her chair, and Koori was sleeping on the couch.  Neither looked suspicious (or guilty!) but he couldn't find any sign of the piece of chicken, and Alli had clean hands.  So.......he chastised Koori - figuring that there was no way Alli could eat fried chicken so neatly.

Before he could sit down to his dinner again (sans one piece of chicken), I came in from Scouts. Ralph had helped me load up the RAV with boxes of recycled uniforms when I went to Scouts, so he knew I needed to unload them, so he came out to help, leaving his dinner unguarded.  I think he thought that chastising Koori would be enough to keep her away from his dinner.  When he came back in from unloading the RAV, there was NO chicken left on his plate.  Koori ate 4 pieces of chicken last night - probably without chewing any of it.  So far, the only lingering effects seem to be Ralph's temper.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I took yesterday off from work (but I had to put in a few hours over the weekend to do that, but it was a nice trade off!) and spent most of yesterday at the sewing machine.  Next weekend, I get more material for my quilt in process, and I hadn't done anything but cut out what material I had - oops!  I had the pink blocks done, but I made the rest yesterday.  I have one more row to add, but....evidently I had issues cutting, because I didn't have enough green material - I'm short one block.  I will get more of the green on Saturday, as there is some in a boarder, so I will be piecing another block together before I move on.  This one is much bigger than the other quilts I've done, and....the corners match!!!  This actually looks like a quilt should!  (Just don't look too close - I'm still learning!)

I also made up a quick little doily last week - pretty!  I need to get my bookmarks pinned out and get pictures of them posted too.  Book Club is on Wednesday!

Sunday, I met up with Dawn at the Palo Cedro Honey Bee Festival.  We mostly just talked for about two hours, but we did some of that talking while wondering around the craft fair.  I found a pretty glass pendant.  It was a nice visit (and a fun shopping trip!)  We were there about 10:30, before it got too hot.  I think it was 103 that day?

Unfortunately, it might be cooler today - we will probably be surrounded by smoke.  There is a nasty fire in Happy Valley.  It started yesterday around 1:30, and is at 6,745 acres, with 20 structures destroyed.  It is threatening another 350 homes, and several schools are closed.  The airport was busy last night long after dark, with bombers and helicopters coming and going.  We had hot temperatures and hot winds helping it yesterday, and more predicted for today.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Happy birthday to me!  Ralph started asking me last week what I wanted for my birthday, and....I couldn't think of a thing.  That, in and of itself, is a blessing.  It has been a good year, and I don't think I stop often enough to think about it.  I stop often and appreciate the little things - the sunrises and sunset, the people that fill my life, the actions of the critters in my life (including the hummers - greedy little beggars!!), Alli's growth and humor that she adds to my life, but I don't know that I sit down and put it all together very often.  Probably only at 'milestone' days like birthdays, New Years, etc.  It's going to be a good day (month, year, life)!!!

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Back to square 1 with Ralph.  He had follow-up X-rays yesterday to check his lungs, and the fluid is building up again.  Now he has an appointment next Thursday with Dr. Singh at Shasta Critical Care to check with a lung specialist.  Hopefully there is an easy fix to all this....

I went to Alli's back-to-school night last night.  this year, she has 12 kids in her class and 5 in the adult class (in the next classroom).  Her teacher has been able to expand into 5 rooms on the campus - two of them for adapted PE rooms.  One is set up with 2 treadmills and 2 exercise bikes, and they are adding an elliptical, and the other is set up for aerobic and yoga type exercises.  They have Alli doing modified yoga (this I've got to see!) and walking on the treadmill.  They have taken weights and measurements of all the kids and they are all tracking their progress throughout the year.  How great for them - and Alli.  This is one life skill that she will really need!  The teacher is really pushing self-management with the kids this year.  Even Alli will be involved in her own IEP, according to her.  I told her 'no problem, but she doesn't get to set her own goals!"  The teach agreed and said Alli's goals would be more couches and naps!

Sunday, September 01, 2013

flat tire, cat hair

I've been neglecting the blog lately.  I think I'm putting too many hours in at work!  I've been going in as soon as I can in the morning, so I haven't been blogging before Alli gets up or after she gets on the bus like I used to.  By the time she's in bed at night, I'm too tired to blog - I'll fall asleep on the keyboard!  Unfortunately, I stayed up after 11:00 last night to finish a book, and Alli was up bright and early at 5:20.  Bummer!  Oh well, it was a good book, worth staying up for.  Maybe I can sneak a nap in this afternoon!

I finished up more of the bookmarks for the book club.  I was on a roll yesterday and wanted to make a few more, but....I ran out of 2013 pennies.  I have the bare minimum done now, so I can get by with what I have, means I don't get one, and I don't have any extras, so - I'll be scrounging pennies in the next few days, looking for more.

On the way home from work Friday, as I was getting close to my exit on I-5, I hit something in the freeway.  I looked in my rear view mirror and didn't see anything, so just shrugged it off.  When I stopped to get on Knighten, I looked, and sure enough, my tire pressure gauge was indicating a problem.  Bummer.  Since I was so close to the truck stop (and I figured I was safer driving there with a flat tire than stopping on I-5) I drove over the freeway to the truck stop and tried to air up my tire.  It inflated some, but not very much (I thought it might just be a combination of me and a pay-for-air compressor) so I decided to try to get home (since I knew our air compressor worked).  No go.  As soon as I pulled out, the tire was completely flat again.  I pulled back into the truck stop.  First I called Ralph to come get Alli - no need for both of us to sweat to death in the parking lot, and then I called AAA.  I got my text alert from AAA that they had logged my call at 5:44.  The tow truck got there around 6:30.  Not too long a wait, considering, was hot out there!  I was pretty much wiped out by the time I got home around 7:00.  Lucky for me, Ralph had started dinner, so I just finished up around the edges.  Steak dinner - almost waiting for me when I got home!

Here's what they found in my tire when Ralph took it in to get it replaced:

It looks like it might be part of someone's brakes.  I'm glad it stayed in the tire - it that had gone flying in the air when I hit it, it could have put someone's eye out!

This morning, I decided that Rufus needed to be brushed.  He is getting all sorts of clumps (not quite mats yet) in his fur, so his winter fur must be coming in (like he needs that!).  I brushed him as long as he would let me - and just a little bit longer.  (It stopped bleeding pretty quickly!) and had a huge pile of fur (and this doesn't count what fell on the floor, or was stuck to me that I didn't get added to the pile!)

I only got the front half of him done - and not much of his belly.  I'll try for more later.  If nothing else, this is hair I won't have to vacuum up!