Sunday, March 30, 2014

Last weekend, I cleaned up the garden beds and smoothed them out - just waiting for the rains to come in.  The rains came in, but so did a few holes in my garden.  I walked out the last night, and 'somebody' has been digging holes in the garden beds.  I won't ask who it was, but there are some pretty big holes out there.  At least I hadn't planted anything yet!  I had better put down chicken wire when I do.

We are set for a nice day down here - at least for a while.  We are foggy this morning, but it is forecasted to clear up for the morning, and then rain back again tonight.  We're still more than 10 inches or rain below normal for the year,'s better than it was!  I'm going to use the excuse that it is too wet out there today to do any yard work, and do some sewing instead (after I rotate laundry, etc. of course!)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Before and After photos........

Ralph was due for a haircut before his surgery last fall and cancelled it - and didn't go back again.  He also hadn't shaved since surgery.  Alex finally took pity on him and made him an appointment to get his hair cut yesterday....and what a difference!

He also had his appointment with the kidney specialist yesterday (thank goodness it was after his haircut!) and the only thing they found wrong is his thyroid is out of whack.  He starts on thyroid meds today - since his prescriptions wouldn't be ready until 7:00 last night, and I wasn't gong to go back into town and pick it up.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I knew my allergies were bothering me, but wow!  This is all pollen on my car - yuck!  The dew made it all icky on the windshield, and gross when I turned the wipers on to clear it.

The kids and I (yes, even AJ) went to Susanville over the weekend to visit Mom.  It was a nice trip - good weather, and I had a chance to catch up with Cindy for a bit.  Alli behaved herself, and AJ spent his time with Tyler - a friend from school that moved up there last year.  Poor AJ - he spent half a hour gathering all his 'stuff' to bring his gaming system up, and then found out he forgot the controllers.  They had to tough out the weekend talking and stuff.  They even went in to town and played tennis!  They said they actually played 'crazy ball' since neither of them are good tennis players, and just batted the ball around however they could.

I took Monday off as a vacation day, and spent some time getting my garden cleaned up (after the normal weekend chores - laundry, grocery shopping, etc.).  We are supposed to get a couple days of rain, so I pulled out what was there, fertilized it, and turned the soil a bit.  I should be ready to plant soon!  I picked up some seeds while I was in Walmart, so I'm set.  Here's what happens when you don't eat everything in your garden:

The kale, Swiss chard, and Brussels spouts all went to seed.  The peas never did much but grow up and then die (too cold for them, I think - we had a harder freeze this winter than we usually get).  I kept waiting to eat the Brussels spouts, and was too late.  I pulled them all out!  And, I planted some petunias on the patio, and put in a new geranium, and a cosmos in a pot.  Go me!

I also checked out my flower bed up front - I have lots of flowers up there!

AJ had his meeting with the counselor about the study abroad program last week.  He has to apply by 4/21, but the counselor said he has a 100% placement rate if he endorses the student, just might be a go!  I know AJ is excited.  I'm excited for him, but, I'm going to miss him.  He can do one full year of college there, so that is his plan, if he likes the first semester.  He is also planning on staying somewhere besides 'home' during the semester break.  He has heard that you can visit with other foreign students during that time, so he could go to  just about anywhere for the break.  Lucky kid!

Monday, March 17, 2014

For such a slow start yesterday, I got a lot done!  I did the quilting on my last (well - I have one more, but it is not even close to being on my to-do list) Thimbleberry quilt.  I got it as far as hand-sewing the binding down.  I bought fabric for an orange binding, but I decided at the last minute to use the backing as the binding.  I think it would have been too much orange.  

I did a couple of new (for me) techniques on this quilt.  I used a spray glue to hold my layers together (love it!!!) and I didn't just sew around my squares for the pattern.  I would like to do more on the last large edging, but....didn't have any ideas of what isn't really quilted.

I also got the pool cleaned, the patio cleaned, leaves cleaned up on the back sidewalks, the blinds put up (finally!) and a few other odd jobs completed.  All in all - a productive day!  I was pooped though, by the end.  By the time I got the kitchen cleaned up after dinner, it was close to 8:00, and Alli put herself to bed about 8:15.  I got my crochet stuff out, but....I watched TV instead.  Not much crocheting going on, and I took myself to bed at 9:30.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

This is a tough morning to get started.  Alli woke up at 12:00, 4:00, 4:30, 5:00, 5:15, 5:30 (not that I was keeping track or anything) and I finally gave up and got up with her at 5:45.  I should have just gotten up at 5:00 and gotten the day started - it might have been easier.  Now I'm really dragging and I don't want to even get started.  Luckily, I knocked a lot of things off of my to-do list yesterday, but....I still have several more items on it.  Many of the things that are left are things that I would like to have done, not things that have to have done. before I have people over for dinner this week.  Luckily, no one will be judging me (I hope so at least!)

AJ has found something else he wants to do.  His buddy Jeff may be going to Korea for 6 months, working with college students as part of a 'international business class' or something like that.  From what AJ has learned about it, it sounds do-able.  There are minimal costs associated with it - about what it would cost for a semester at Shasta, and he is just waiting now to get accepted at Chico - he's pretty much done at the JC level, he just didn't apply to Chico State in time for the next semester.  This might be a good option for him, instead of Shasta.  It depends on whether or not Jeff goes - he doesn't want to go by himself.  The thought of the two of them off on an adventure is scary - and exciting!

Monday, March 10, 2014

I finished the inside of the quilt blocks for this month!  I'm very happy with them - and it took a while for me to finally say that!  The outsides will take me another day to do, so maybe next weekend, I'll have the blocks finished.  Then - back to quilting the big quilt.  This has been a fun quilt so far - each block is different.  I can see taking some of the blocks and making a quilt with just one block.  (I love the lower left one!)  Maybe the next 'baby item' I make will be a baby quilt with just one of the blocks......we'll see!

I swear I did more ripping than sewing this time - mostly all operator error.  I do still have a problem with the tension on my machine.  It was out of whack when I started trying to do the top stitching on my last quilt, and it took me a while to get it dialed in.  I think I have it figured works best with the top tension on 2 for regular sewing, and on 8 for multiple layers.  Go figure!  The rest of the time, it was my issue with reading directions and paying attention to what I was doing.  (i.e. when you are trimming the second part of a flying goose, make sure it is the second part that you trim, not the first part!)  I made several errors like that - all from thinking I knew what I was doing and not paying enough attention.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

I was marking my quilt top for quilting last night, and got interrupted (Imagine that!)  When I went in this morning, it has received the "Rufus Seal of Approval".  

I completely forgot I planted some bulbs last year.  Alex and I took the dogs for a walk after work on Friday, and I was admiring everyone's pretty flowers, and when we got back to the house, I saw - peeking up through the leaves - pretty flowers of my own!!


That meant.....yesterday, while Alex mowed the lawns, I cleaned out the flower bed so you can see them!  We also cleaned up the pool yesterday, so I got my upper body workout in.  Since Ralph has been sick, he hasn't done much with the pool (and I obviously didn't either!) and it got pretty icky.  But everything looks good now - the lawns are mowed and the leaves are gone.  Just in time for the next storm to come through.

I also saw this really cool mushroom grouping in one of my flower beds.....little tiny mushrooms.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Here's my progress so far on the Jungle stackables.  The rounds of loop stitch for the grass are taking a while, but....I'm halfway done with them, and then off to make the animals.  Too cute!  I had to google instructions to make the loop stitch (and google the magazine digital issue - there was a glaring typo in the magazine directions - they corrected it when they loaded the digital issue of the magazine.)  The instructions in the magazine for the loop stitch were worthless - I found a great video that showed how to do it, I went!

Alli had a doctor's visit yesterday, and has her IEP today.  The school nurse called last week to go over Alli's health before the meeting, and said that the teacher had mentioned to her that she thought Alli might be developing diabetes. we went to see Dr. Grandaw yesterday, and then off for blood tests from there.  I don't think it's likely (and it didn't seem like Dr. G did either), but it could be.  He ordered a complete blood panel, including her thyroid and her A1C1 - the average blood sugar in her blood for the past month or so.  Alli was such an angel during her blood draw.  It's been so long since her last one that I don't think she remembered them.  She sat so still through 3 vials of blood being drawn.  She might not be so still next time though.  Now to wait for the results.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

No update on Ralph - he hasn't even been able to do his weekly blood tests.  He went in Friday morning, and they couldn't get any blood out of him (not enough fluids and too cold)  They told him to come back on Saturday, drink more water on the way in, and to warm his hands up while he was waiting in the lobby.  He got there Saturday, and they couldn't find his paperwork.  So - no new blood tests for him! He is keeping his feet up more, which he says helps them feel better.  

AJ and I put him to work yesterday, too,  It was supposed to be just a consultation, but he stepped in instead.  AJ and I were putting up the blinds (that I bought in December!) up in his room, and were having a problem with the flashing behind the wall.  We asked him if he knew - from his experience with construction - where the flashing would probably end.  he ended up getting the screw in for us.  It was the first screw that we tried, and took forever to get started!  We are supposed to get the other two blinds up today,and they should go a lot faster than that set.  We now have all the equipment located (which is a challenge in my garage, let me tell you!) and charged up (also a challenge!) and we don't have to read the directions 6 times.....I hope.

And guess what I got in the mail yesterday....13 balls of thread in many different colors.  Herrschners was having a sale - the balls were $1.97 instead of their normal $4.97, so even with shipping costs, they were affordable.  But....I actually started a yarn project yesterday, so I won't be playing with these much yet. Most of these are not what I would think of a 'doily colors' anyway - they are more for my bookmarks and other odds and ends that I do.  Some may make it into a doily - we'll see.

Here's the project I started - not that I got very far.  The major time commitment yesterday was just rounding up all the yarn that I needed.  I went to three different stores (good thing I left Alli home with Dad!) to get the 'right' colors, and I'm still one skein short (according to the directions) for the green leaves on the tree.  The pattern calls for 8 oz of yarn, and Walmart only had one skein of 7 oz. yarn.  Hopefully they will get a new order in before I finish the project.  My hope is to get it done for Elora by her birthday in June.  We'll see!