We never waste a weekend

This weekend, we started with a visit to our friend LD.  We went to lunch and had a nice visit and took care of a couple things.  We took her/for Italian to a very nice restaurant and Rob had the special.  Soon as the server started talking about it, I looked over at Rob.  By the time she finished, I was pointing at Rob.  It was definitely his kind of dish.  And, he loved it.  And, we remembered to always ask how much the special is because it was one of the most expensive food dishes I ever bought.  And, it was worth every penny...and he got a nice doggy bag out of it that kept me from having to make supper, so, there you go.

Sunday, we worked in the yard until we could barely stand up and then I made Indian food.  We had vegetable samosas and Kheema Matar and Naan and Rice.  It was delicious!  And, then we both took a nap.  I never nap, so I must have been tired. 

Yesterday, we started in the yard again.  It was the last of the spring projects.  From here til fall, it's just maintenance and watering and too hot to work in the yard.  But, that meant spreading the last of the mulch and potting some small plants up to larger pots and replacing the last cool weather plants with their drought and heat tolerant counterparts.  And, then, I made ribs and potato salad and grilled corn and a peach cobbler and then I took another nap. 

And, the whole time, I was keeping my weather eye on Alberto and making tweaks for the company.  (It's too early for a named storm.  Climate change is real!)  And, I hand sewed the binding on the leaf quilt.  More about it later after it gets a wash.  I have one tweak in the quilting where I left a space just a little bigger than I want and I'll fill it in a bit. 

I took some flower pictures.




Green (yes, it's green, it's the camera with the problem.)



All in bloom right now. 

In my spare time yesterday, I made bread and butter pickles.  The cucumbers looked good at the store, so it was time to take care of that.  Pickles are easy.  My recipe only makes 4-5 jars.  But, it helps to have a tool to help. 

My Popiel's dial-o-matic slicer from Ronco!  We found it in an antique shop.  Blade is very sharp.  It has zero safety features...as Rob says, our generation was taught to be careful, but those 9 cucumbers were sliced up in a couple minutes.  And, no injuries.  I even sliced the onions on it.  But, I was very careful with them. 

Everybody have a great Tuesday.  It's going to feel like Monday.  And, there won't be a nap.



May is Doctor month

Both of my doctors are amused by the fact I have arranged things so that I can have my annual visit to them (this year, I saw them both on the same day), and the dentist, and all my annual prescription refills in May.  Believe me, in this world of insurance rules and full doctor schedules, it was not an easy thing to do.  Then they ask when I saw the optometrist last and that happens in August.  It kind of ruins the moment. 

Anyway, I am certified to live another year.  I'm apparently in excellent health and neither of them said anything about my weight, proving it was a good thing I didn't gain any more.  (I've lost three pounds since last May...but 10 since January...oops!)

I've just put the last stitch in the border of the leaf quilt.  This weekend, I'll start working on binding.  The quilting in the border is simple.  Straight lines echoing the quilt center at 1" intervals.  It needed to be simple because the print is so bold that you weren't going to see the quilting anyway, so no need to waste anything fancy.

Another near finish.

This daylily bloomed yesterday.  It's called Peaches, named after my Mom's dog of a few years ago.  The garden is looking wonderful.  Now, it's just keeping it watered.  

Sydney is working full time.  And, she is seeing how hard that is.  She is so tired.  Her late night attitude hasn't caught up with her early morning schedule yet, but it's starting to and she's having to adjust her activities.  And, of course, we're enjoying it.  Because for all the complaining, she's growing up and growing up is a little bit painful.  I can live with a little complaining, especially because I have "dad's ear"...you know, the ability to only pick up words like blood and danger and boy and motorcycle and credit card out of the buzz of her droning on and on and on. 

Everybody have a great Friday.  We're going to have a three day weekend spent doing some chores around the house and relaxing and getting ready for summer.  I might even get really ambitious and wash some windows...

ick.  what made me think of that?



Did you miss me?

I'm ba-ack!  Cleveland was hard.  And, easy.  And, that made for a very fulfilling week. 

My travel was uneventful except I had my biggest smile on and people really react to that and so I had a lot of short conversations about a lot of very fun and random things with a great variety of people.  And, because I was there on my own and didn't have a set agenda, I got to do things with friends and see friends and get hugs and be reminded of how many people I've worked with over the years that still like me enough to go a little out of their way to get to see me, so that was nice. 

Class was hard.  I don't still have the skill of learning in a classroom, not that I couldn't develop it, but it would take some practice.  The pace was very fast for me, tho the younger participants seemed to do better with that, so the first afternoon, I stayed after class and talked to the trainer about it and told him it was moving fast and I would do my best and ask questions.  And, I was one of the few people that would answer or ask questions in class.  It was a very good thing I had taken the old training manual with me and read it.  That really prepared me.  I didn't learn to write computer programs from reading it, but I did learn what words we were going to use and sort of what they meant and that gave me the advantage I needed.  And, I wrote.  Every night after class, I went back to the hotel and I wrote my understanding of what we had covered during the day.  That locked it in my mind and gave me a reference book where I knew right where to find things.  And, a couple of times I got up and gave up and walked out of the classroom and walked around the building's square hallway a couple times and went back in and sat down and proceeded to learn whatever it was I was having so much trouble with, which was usually a typo in my program that I couldn't find.  Computers aren't much on typos. 

Over the weekend, I needed to decompress, so I spent a lot of Saturday working in the garden.  I did a lot of detail work, trimming the dead twigs out of shrubs and trees.  And, re-hanging bird feeders.  And, I did some quilting.  I got the center of the leaf quilt quilted and have started on the borders.  In the borders, I'm doing a straight line all the way around at one inch intervals.  That's hard to describe, so you'll have to wait til I finish and I'll post a picture. 

That's what wind would look like if wind could look like anything it wanted to.  Just sayin'.

When I got home, before I even put everything down, I had to walk around the yard and take some pictures.  It was good to be home.  This is the front of the house.  It was 95* in the city that day...but not here.  The trees keep it so shaded and cool.  And, we take good care of our trees. 

And, some flowers. 

This next one is Jacobena.  I swear the tag at the nursery said it was a compact, part sun plant.  But, Rob read the tag that's stuck in the pot the other day and it's supposed to get huge and need full sun so it's in the process of finding a new place. 


And, the garden, growing and blooming.  Solace. 

Yesterday, we went to a party at the neighbors.  Our neighbor has a new partner and she's moved in.  There was a houseful.  But, we were the only ones that our friend had known more than a couple months.  We've got to have them down for dinner next.  I wonder what I can do that would be fun.   We don't entertain much, but it will be the perfect time to check a couple cookbooks for ideas. 

Noticing a trend?  Getting out.  Doing things.  Talking to people.  Smiling at people.  Feeling appreciated.  All themes from this post. 

That doesn't sound like me.

But, it is. 

Have a great Monday!  Today, I get to make up for being out for a week.  yippee...



A new day every day

Not much happened this week.  I worked way too hard.  I had a full week planned anyway, then I needed to spend an unexpected 10 hours on a project.  But, I'm not as far behind as I thought I'd be going into today.  We'll see how today goes. 

Next week, I'll be in Cleveland for a training class.  I was talking to a friend yesterday who suggested I should have spent more time using the software before I went for training...uhm, what?  How could I use it before I learn to use it?  Fortunately, I have that experience.  Someone tried to teach me several years ago, so I've been exposed to it before.  And, I've been doing things to prepare for the class that I knew would help.  So, at this point, I am as prepared as I can be and I'm not going to worry about it.  worry about it.  worry about it.  But, I did let it shake my confidence for about 15 minutes, then reminded myself that I do not have to come home next week knowing how to do this.  Next week, I start learning how to do this.  The knowing will come later. 

My greatest fear is that I'm so out of practice learning in a classroom environment that I won't be able to keep up with the pace.  I'll almost certainly be twice the age of everybody else taking the class. 

I got started quilting the leaf quilt this week.  I'm about 20% done. 

It's not perfect.  But, it's looking really good.  One thing I figured out is to start making my curves smaller.  The really big curves mean I have to stop and move my hands and that makes smooth curves very difficult.  I won't be making any progress next week, but I might get a few minutes in this weekend.  I also have to cut some hexies to take to baste. 

I drove behind a jeep yesterday.  And, I saw the cover on the spare tire.  Just looked like any other cover.  Then, we took the exit and I got closer.  It's a doily, y'all.


Okay, that takes crochet to a whole 'nother level. 

Sydney is ending another successful semester.  She is a few credits short of her associates degree.  Sometimes, it's not how fast you do it, it's how well you do it.  Her adviser suggested some degrees that she could take all the classes at the community college (for cheap), then take a semester at a four year university and graduate with a second degree from there.  I think she's going to do that.  Next week, she starts her promotion to department coordinator at the store and will be working full time for the summer.  I think she's going to manage the furniture and rug department because she's strong enough to move the stuff around.  In the fall, she'll have to decide whether she can continue to work full time and take a full class load, but she is clear that the full class load is required to live here.  Rob is replacing her phone this weekend as a reward for another successful year.  Rewards are important!  So, a big shout out to the girl!!

If I walk away from the computer now, I can quilt for a half hour. 

See ya!



Monday again...

What is this word relax?  I clearly do not understand.

I set myself some fine goals this weekend.  And, I met them. 

I wanted to clear out the greenhouse.  Over winter, we fill it with plants, so there's always dirt and leaves to clear out and because we can't get to where things belong, we take things out, but then pile them near the door.  And, I cleared all that out. and wiped everything down and emptied pots where the plant had died and got some things we had picked up into new pots.  It was good work and took several hours.  And, it looks so much nicer in there and now I can enjoy it again.  I do like to sit out there in the morning and listen to some music or a book and sew or knit and watch the sun come up.  Now, I can again.

At the same time, I was doing laundry.  Our linen closet picked up an odor over the winter.  I'm not ashamed.  I don't know if it's a universal thing, but in the south, linens that don't get washed for a while and are closed up take on a smell and it will eventually permeate everything.  We weren't there yet, but we did have some things in our linen closet that we weren't using and hadn't washed in a while.  So, they got washed and folded and added to the Goodwill pile.  And, that made space for my table cloths in that closet where I can see them.  I keep buying table cloths because I don't think we have any, and we all know how that works out.  So, some of them got washed and folded and added to the Goodwill pile.  I'm actually starting to see some of the space now...or at least a relief to the overcrowding.

And, I haven't gotten into my clothes closet yet.  The goal is to give away all the winter clothes I didn't wear last winter.  At least that's the plan. 

Early in the mornings, I finished the tree blocks.  I'm very glad those are done and just need to find the setting fabric and then can turn this one into a top.  It's definitely going to be a wedding gift for a couple we know.  This is the layout from the pattern, long and narrow.  Seven more blocks and it could be a queen sized quilt.  But, it's not going to be. 

Because we're giving it to a young couple, I wanted to try to make it wider so they could cuddle on the couch.  You know how newlyweds are.  But, the fact there are two blocks in two of the corners made Rob and Syd nervous, so they poo-pood that idea.  But, it's still on the table.  It doesn't bother me like it does them. 

And, I wanted to get the maple leaf quilt pin basted.  That meant cutting and sewing on the borders, then laying it all out and pinning it together with every pin I own and I could still have used another 25 or so.  It has about 250 in it.  I have everything I need to start this one...except that all important element, time.  There's never enough time.

And, there's never going to be.  My reach is always going to exceed my grasp because there's always going to be something else I want to do.  One more project to finish.  It's how I roll.  In the yard, in the sewing room, in the house.  Even at work.  I sit and think "what's next?"  What other project can I fit in before bed?  I would be so unhappy if I ever got finished.  I always want there to be something to look forward to. 

Everybody have a great Monday!  I'm going to get up and see what I can get done.  Maybe wind some bobbins for the maple leaf.  That's about all the time I have.



My cup runs over

I haven't got anything to show for the week.  I've made tree blocks, but even I'm bored posting pictures of them.  The garden is in a resting period, with lots of things preparing to bloom, but not many flowers right now.  Haven't seen much of Sydney, so nothing to say there.  It's just been Rob and me, enjoying being together and eating good food. 

So, I thought I'd share a couple short stories that happened.



That's what her sign said.  And, it moved me.  And, I handed some money through the window.  And, then I sat back and cried.  I cried for her because hungry, pregnant and alone.  One of those is awful.  All three at the same time?  I can't imagine.  And, I cried a little bit for me because I feel sooooo lucky and it's good to appreciate that sometimes because I believe that the distance between lucky and homeless is measured by a few mistakes and choices.  And, it's easy to stumble and fall unless there's someone there to catch you. 

There's a song by Chris Janson titled Drunk Girl.  Every time I hear it I tear up.  As the father of a daughter, I can't help it.  I sure hope my girl finds a man like that.  I could do without thinking about the drunk part of it, but a man that will be there when she stumbles to keep her from falling and will be respectful of her, even when she's not respecting herself.


My house is clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy.

My Aunt S passed away this week.  I don't have many memories of her when I was an adult, but I have plenty from when I was a child.  That saying was on a plaque that hung in her kitchen.  She was the one that would move all the furniture around when she was alone, so her kids might wake up living in one room and go to school and go to bed that night living in a different room.  And, she had done all the work.  She had 5 children.  And, I think she was a happy person.  I don't know that,  but if appearances count, she was. 

I remember when we were all little, she borrowed some food coloring to use in the frosting for her youngest son's birthday.  I can remember the house was full.  I remember my grandmother being there.  Someone said this cake tastes funny.  Then we all did.  Turns out that food coloring was model airplane paint.  And, neither the lady that loaned it to her nor Aunt S looked at the small food coloring sized bottle.  I'm sure everyone was mortified.  I remember it as a very human moment and very funny event, one of the little moments that makes up a lifetime of being human and imperfect.  If I remember correctly, we got to eat the cake, as long as we didn't eat the frosting.

Once, when I was being sent home to dinner and her kids were being sent to the bath before they could come to the table, she asked me how I managed to play and stay so clean.  I think she suspected something, even then. 

I remember her laughing.  And, laughing.  And, laughing.  I want to be remembered by someone like that. 

When we went to my Dad's 80th birthday, it was the first time any of the extended family met Sydney.  Aunt S's body was failing her, even then.  I remember that she was very upset that she was just hearing that I had a daughter.  Offended even.  But, she didn't ask when or who or where...or (thank goodness) how.  She just struggled up out of that chair and hugged Sydney like she'd been family all our lives.  It was a small thing for her to do.  But, for me, it was HUGE and a moment I hope I always remember. 

When I was little, too young to read, she read a recipe to me from a church cookbook and I still remember it.

Elephant Soup
2 elephants
2 rabbits
salt and pepper to taste
enough water to cover

Cover the elephants with water, add salt and pepper and boil for three days until done.  If you're expecting a large crowd, you can add the two rabbits, but only if needed.  Nobody likes to find hare in their soup.

A life well lived, a rest well earned.  Farewell.


Yesterday afternoon, I was listening to a podcast.  The speaker had suffered a stroke, I think.  He spoke like he had, slowly and deliberately and with some slurring.  I was inspired.  He spoke so eloquently and with such enthusiasm.  Sure, I had to listen extra hard to understand him.  I found myself leaning forward in the car's seat to listen better (yes, I know).

I was inspired that someone who had such a difficult time didn't let that interfere with his message and how important he felt that message was.  And, he stood above his difficulties to deliver it.  If he can stand above his difficulties, I think I can too.

So, that's my week.  That's the most important things I thought about.  The most important things that happened.  Not very important in the grand scheme of things.  I didn't find the origin of life or discover a cure for anything except maybe some blues.  But, in the midst of all the turmoil going on in the world, it's nice to know I can still feel emotional about things.  And, as always, I'm glad I can cry.  I know too many men that think that's wrong. 

I think they're wrong and we should all have a good cry once in a while.