Ironing in the background

Last week, a team I'm a member of met for a virtual happy hour.  It happened late Friday, but during business hours, so I was only drinking water, but they convinced me to go make a drink (it didn't take much convincing).  When the call was over, I realized that the closet door to the studio was open and some shirts that need ironing were hanging there.  I doubt anybody else noticed, but I was embarrassed that I spent the whole call with my laundry hanging out behind me.  I'll try to be more careful as I continue to invite people into my home via video.  

Last Friday was our 5th 1st wedding anniversary.  There's another anniversary later this week.  We have a lot of anniversaries to celebrate; the day we met, the first time we got married (limited marriage not recognized in all states) and the second time (full marriage, recognized in all states).  I gave us both new computers for our anniversary.  Rob got an iMac and I got a MacBook.  We are officially apple people now.  We've spent the week learning how to use them.  They're a lot different than our Microsoft based computers were and we're still busy transferring data from one device to another.  But, the gifts were a big hit and we are enjoying them.  This is the first blog post on the new device and I have a lot of learning to do.

I made another feathered star block yesterday.  That would be 12, except for the puppy and kitten block that I'm going to use somewhere else.  I included it in this picture, just to round it out.  I've picked a red/white/blue theme for the last block and I decided I wanted to make it over July 4th weekend.  

This weekend, we also sealed the deck.  Always a rewarding bit of hard work.  Rob borrowed the power washer from the neighbors and that certainly made it an easier project.  We have a team system built around this.  I brush the ends of the boards with sealer and he comes along with a roller and rolls them.

This little guy was in the garden yesterday when I was watering.  When I got close, he jumped and so did I.  He was very tiny.

A couple of flower pics.  

Before I go, I'm going to speak about the orange toad knowing that putin was paying a bounty on American solders lives and he didn't do anything about it.  What is that piece of sh*t going to have to do to convince his cult of followers that he is a traitor to everything this country stands for?  He doesn't care about me, he doesn't care about you, he doesn't care about anything that isn't stealing from the American public and lining his pockets with our hard earned money.  If you support a traitor, that makes you a traitor.  Just sayin'.

Everybody have a good week and whatever form your prayers take, please please please pray that we get this traitor out of our country without too much bloodshed.  



Remember to backstitch

Backstitching is for security and it keeps things from coming undone around me.  One backstitch is good.  Two can be better.

It rained buckets Saturday morning, so there really wasn't any working outside.  As the day heated up, I could feel the air sticking to me and making me sweat.  We ran a couple errands, but the rest of the day was spent inside. 

I'm so boring that the most fun thing I did was make a thread catcher/pin cushion combo.  I'd been using a very small trashcan that I kept next to my right foot.  But, it meant I had to bend over and drop thread straight into it (or more likely, miss it altogether and stop the thread on the floor) , so I decided a thread catcher was the perfect solution.  The pin cushion is filled with ground walnut shells.  I bought a 10# bag (a large bag) to take a class with Sally Collins and I used a half cup of.  I've kept about half of them because I knew eventually I'd make more pincushions and I have made a couple where it has come in handy.  I found the pattern for this combo at the Confessions of a Homeschooler website.  It was easy and clear.  I did make one adjustment to not fold the top edge over.  It didn't seem to need it.  This matches a machine cover I made several years ago and never use because my machines are constantly in use. 

I also made a block for the star quilt that I'm not happy with and am checking whether I can replace a fabric.  the background is too busy and I'm thinking about replacing it with a different light.  Rob even suggested saving this for a baby quilt because it's so cute-sey, and making a different block for the star quilt.  I might do that, too.  A block this busy needs more color blocking and that cat print in the background just doesn't do it for me. 

This is Texas Star Hibuscus.  This is one we bought for Syd.  Even if she asks for the others, I'm pretty sure this one is mine.  It was near dead and I've spent a couple years bringing it back.  That flower is phenomenal and it takes full, hot sun. 

This is a Rose Mallow.  Those flowers are about 7" across and it's blooming up a storm.  This is another one that we kept in too much darkness and it's loving the hot sun.   

And, old reliable.  This hibiscus that Syd left is more of a tree with a ton of grafting.  One of the branches blooms red, but the rest make these very nice salmon colored blooms. 

I'm part of our big presentation to the executive team in July and needed a picture, so Rob helped me take this one.  Dang that right eye, it just won't stay open when I smile.  But, whatever.  It's still the best pic we took out of a series...believe me, we tried to catch them both open and took some pretty funny shots as I tried. 

This double rainbow showed up the night of the SCOTUS ruling protecting GLBTQ+ rights in the workplace.  I'm not saying it was a message of approval from a higher power.  But, I'm not not saying it either.

While Saturday was too wet to work, Sunday was not.  We cleared the deck early and Rob spent several hours cleaning it with a pressure washer.  It's so light and bright that it reflects light back into the house.  Late in the day when the deck is getting the most sun, it was blindingly bright.  The plan was to seal it this week, but now the forecast calls for rain all week, so who knows.  But, it's ready, whenever we are.


Not much under the line this week.  I think the debacle of the Tulsa rally was all the politics I needed for the week.  I'm sure there will be some retaliation against the American people for the orange toad's hurt feelings.  That's the way small people work.  But, the admission that the administration held back testing to keep the numbers low is probably the most important political thing that came out of it.  I just keep hearing Daffy Duck say "Despicable!" in a Saturday morning cartoon from my childhood.  The fact that team spoiled baby got fooled by a bunch of high school kids into thinking people were coming to the rally was the funny part of the night. 

Everybody have a great week!  Sew lots.  And remember to backstitch.



Very little happening

Not much happening here.  I've become so boring that a trip to the grocery is a big outing.  A trip to the garden center is like a happy hour with friends. 

We cleaned carpets over the weekend and I think we might have worn out the carpet cleaner.  I'm going to have to put my repairman's hat on, and see if I can figure that out.  I remember my Dad tinkering with small appliances.  I don't remember how successful he was, just that he tried.  And, that's what I do.  I give it a try.  It's already broken, so it's not like I'm going to make things worse.

I managed to assemble another feathered star.  I was into Barbara Brackman's BOMs when I was collecting fabrics.  These fabrics definitely have that feel.  I took a shortcut on this one and you know what that means, right?  It took me twice as long.  I didn't trim all those small hst blocks that make up the feathers, so in the final assembly, I had to loosen sections from their points and adjust them, then sew them back to the point, then sew the finishing seam.  But, I got it together and got almost every point, so I'm happy.  I'll be more careful on the last two. 

I also got the afghan together and started a border.  I've run out of black yarn and am trying to figure what to do.  I need a 4 inch border and am trying to talk myself into a color other than black.  Maybe alternating rounds of black and something else.  Maybe a light blue.  Or, that skein of light green I already have. 

This closet plant was Linda's.  She got it when she had a surgery, many years ago.  I inherited it and can't keep it inside because the cats eat it.  I've put it in a shady spot on the deck and it does great!  I have a smaller companion on the other side of the door that I hope will one day be as happy as this one. 

The last big show if Charlene's Patio daylilies.  It's just been one every day or two since. 

I had a small metal porch swing in the back yard.  Sydney loved to sit in it and look at the garden, especially when something was bothering her.  I'd stand at the kitchen sink and do dishes and she'd sit in the swing and ponder whatever teenage problem was big at the moment.  The swing was a rescue from someone else's big and bulky trash pickup.  It was rusty and I painted it and added some supports and had it for probably 10 years.  This year, when I sat in it, the arm gave way and we had to trash it.  I decided to replace it with something simpler.  A swing I could sit in and look out to the garden, or back toward the house, which is the next flower bed we will be doing.  I recycled the chains and most of the hardware and only needed those four huge eye-bolts and the couplers that pair them with the chains.  The lumber is leftover from the deck.  I got to sit in it a few minutes yesterday.  It was nice.  It also makes for a nice place to sit a glass of water while I'm working in the yard.  It is just wide enough for two people without being too smashed up against one another. 


There's not much below the line today.  I'm appalled at the behavior of the trump admin.  In the midst of everything going on, now they're going after the trans community.  The gay community and the trans community are one.  I keep asking myself where this ends?  Caged immigrants, women's reproductive rights, justice for the black community, the trans community's loss of patient protections.  Who's next for the orange toad to attack to fire up the angry, uptight, clenched white men that fawn on him?  The rest of the gay community, then maybe take away women's right to vote and own property? 

We have to stop this.  And, no matter what they do to suppress voters between now and November, I'd crawl over broken glass through a snakepit to cast my vote against bigotry and hate. 

Have a good week.  Lane

p.s. - SCOTUS ruled that there can’t be employment discrimination against gays, including the trans community. Suck on that evangelicals.


Gardening season is ended

In Texas, we have four seasons; cool, freeze, rain, and the fires of hell are upon you.  The first three are very short, the last goes on forever.  It was 100* here yesterday, and it's going to be hotter than that today and tomorrow.  That's too hot to do much more than pull a few weeds and walk around with the hose, trying to water.  We'll have a few more nice days before mid-July, but not enough

I had Friday off and spent the day in the yard with my new saw and took down some limbs that were brushing against the neighbors house and got them all bundled.  On Saturday, I tried to play with some flower pots and moved the last daylily I'll try to move this year.  And, then I came in and started working on a UFO. 

This was supposed to be a calendar.  Each month, I picked up a grouping of fat quarters that I liked together and was supposed to make a block from them.  I dropped the ball on that somewhere around September.  I had the fabrics (who needed an excuse to buy fabric 5 years ago?), but I didn't make the blocks.  That same year, I was asked to make a triple feathered star block for the guild's raffle quilt.  I wasn't sure I could, so I made a tester.  Instead of three columns of four blocks each, I decided to put my calendar blocks around that star.  Some of the blocks are whimsical and some are more serious.  But, they reflect the moods I was in when I bought them and I think that's fun.

I made the two blocks on the left side this weekend.  They take a lot of time and are very "fiddly" but as long as I follow the instructions and don't cut anything until I understand how it's going to be used and where, they go pretty well.  They do take more than a fat quarter of light fabric, so I have to make some substitutions to get them to work.  I've gotten very ingenious about hiding that in the finished blocks.

While it's too hot to work in the yard, it's not too hot to enjoy it.  The phlox are just getting started. 

One of Syd's hibiscus blooming.  Since she left them here twice, do I get to call them mine now?

Pink and orange, co-existing peacefully.  The pink is echinacea and the small orange flowers are nasturtiums and the larger is a daylily named Peaches.  It's really more of a peach color than it looks. 

This is Charlene's patio, making a large statement in front of the house.  We lost a tree last year and these got a lot more sun than they had been, and it shows.

This is my cool, shady spot in the garden.  At least for now.  I can sit here and look at flowers in both directions. 

Yesterday, I was in a baking mood.  I can't find onion bagels in the grocery anymore, and had decided to make some and we needed something sweet to eat (because there's not quite enough of me yet, I guess).  A new bagel recipe made much prettier bagels than the last one did.  They feel light and airy from the outside, but I haven't cut one open to see if that's the case.  I like a kind of dense bagel. 


Racism is  a terrible thing and I'm proud to see the peaceful protests happening all around the world.  I could not be more proud that my daughter is part of it. 

I deleted the rest of this post about racism. It was too angry. I’m too angry. But too much anger turns into being part of the problem. That’s not the part of me I want to send out into the universe

Everybody have a great week. 



Where do we go from here?

Not much to talk about today.  My heart is heavy. 

I've been enjoying the beauty of flowers in my yard, along with a little quilting on the arc quilt and some more granny squares.  But, I've also been watching the news and working hard to keep my head up. 

Like the turtle racing the hare, I've been slowly and steadily quilting arcs.  There are only 2.5 left.  I've kept up with milestones like that, just to keep my sanity, counting off the sections as I knocked them out.  Soon enough, I hope to be on to the free motion part of the process.  That's where the fun begins for me, working outside the lines.  I have a better feel for what I plan to quilt in the open spaces.  A lot of it will be emphasizing the circular shape of the arcs with curves and circles and accents. 

I've spent as much time as possible in the garden, getting ready for the heat of summer and making some changes to the hard scape, like the pillars and pots that I feature along the front of the garden. 

I think this daylily may have come from my friend Lyn.  I don't recognize it.  She gave me several a few years ago that have taken time to grow and bloom.  This may be one of them. 

This one is Charlene's Patio, named for my Aunt.

This grouping includes the garden phlox, just starting to open and a pink daylily that looks familiar, but I don't know the name, and another "green" daylily. 

This beauty is Linda's Angelwing begonia.  I've never had much luck with begonias, but this one has certainly found a happy spot.  I love the yellow centers in the pink blossoms.

I've also been working on the afghan.  I've finished 144 squares and have started to assemble.  I moved blocks around the other day to try to give the afghan color interest.  mixing in the light and bright blocks to give the eye a chance to wander across the surface.  I hope.  This has gone so fast.  When the assembly is finished, I'll add a border and this will be another successful finish.  I'm still fighting with the pink baby afghan I made, so no pics of it yet.  The yarn is "slick" and I can't get the ends to stay buried.  That's likely because I didn't assemble the blocks correctly.  I looked on the internet and found out how I should be joining them before I started joining the squares in the afghan below and it's going much, much better.

Syd's been sick.  A bad case of tonsillitis.  She gets an infection about once a year, but refuses to have her tonsils removed.  I guess I should have insisted when she was younger, but we had so many other things to work on as parents that her tonsils never really made the priority list.  She's been texting us and after the first couple of days, when we realized she didn't likely have coronavirus, we started to relax.  But, we did take her supplies a couple times so she didn't have to get out or call in favors from her roommate.  Last night, she texted that she's feeling better and ate a solid dinner, so she's on the mend.  It's hard to parent and adult when they're sick, finding the right balance of taking care of and letting them be an adult, all while trying not to let her see how worried I was. 


If you're a racist and you're afraid...good.

What is going on in our country right now can't be a surprise.  When we have a racist leading the government and his racist gang of thug congress people supporting him and all of them pouring salt in wounds, old and new while allowing white haters to walk around with guns and act like uncivilized freaks, we gotta expect that people are going to protest.  The video of the killings of Ahmaud Arbury and George Floyd cannot be tolerated and should not be condoned by anyone, regardless of color because if the haters can kill them, who is next?  And, just like everything else that's happened since the orange toad was elected, the worst of the worst haters are going to pour gasoline on it and try to burn our country down.  Because they hate what the U.S. stands for.  They hate freedom.  They only want superiority.  And, that is over.  It's done.  And, time will not move backward to a time it was true, ever again. 

So, let the orange tit in the white house hide in his bunker.  Let his fear show loud and clear so that all can see that the racist is afraid.  And, along with all the other racists in the world, he should be afraid.  My hope this week is that we can successfully move past these haters and into the future without an armed conflict. 

But, that's a hope and I'm afraid it is not how the rest of 2020 is going to play out.  We shall overcome.  Love will win in the end.  But the battle may be long.

Be well.  Keep your chin up.  Sometimes the struggle is just getting up in the morning and being the best person I can be, setting the best example I can set, and participating in life in my own way.