check and double-check
The focus this week was on having trees cut. Our large ash trees that shade the back yard were damaged in the big freeze last February. The advice from people we trust was to leave them and see what would recover. Unlike many of our neighbors, we lived with the dead branches cluttering the view. Others had the trees removed right away, causing a shortage of tree services, and as happens with supply and demand, the price went up and anyone charging a reasonable rate was booked solid. By the heat of August, it was pretty clear how much was not coming back. We're about to have the fences replaced and we realized we didn't want anyone pulling limbs through our new gate, at least for a while. We decided to text the tree guy. Sent him pictures of the damage, explained what we wanted in a few words including the species. He replied on vacation two weeks. We patiently waited. He got back from vacation and replied he didn't do that kind of work anymore. As annoying as it was that he left us hanging for two weeks, I get that. He's a one man operation; he cuts and his wife picks up and piles. This was a big job, so we called our second choice. They sent a guy to do an estimate and a week later, he had a crew in our trees, taking care of business. This tree was about 70% dead. It had always been "scrawny", squeezed between two other trees, and it didn't make it.
My only frustration was that the man that gave us the estimate was not very firm on the date they'd be here and I thought they were coming this Thursday, 09/23. That would have given me two weekends to get everything up out of the yard that they might damage. I got about half done Saturday before last, but thought I had another week. He called Wednesday night during dinner to let me know he'd be at our house on 09/16. I got up that morning, did my yoga and my walk and then I was in the back yard. Sprayed up with bug repellant, I got started and using the dolly and a tall ladder, I got everything moved out to the edges of the yard, clumping stuff together so there were fewer places in the yard that I needed them to be careful in. And, they were very careful. They poked a small hole in the greenhouse roof. We'll be patching that with shipping tape for a little while. And, they flattened a chrysanthemum. I knew going into it that Chrysanthemum would be damaged, it was tooooo in the way. But, I've tied it up and and we will see. It'll still be there next year.
When the weather has a different plan
This is my 1962nd blog post. I was born in 1962. Wow! That's a lot of me sharing. Some of it was probably pretty good, but I shudder to think about the rest of what might be out there. Honestly, not that much has changed. I'm still interested in the same stuff I was when I started, I've just practiced and gotten better at it.
I have too many projects going on and therefore have finished nothing. I have a machine quilted quilt, a hand quilted quilt, an afghan, an appliqué block and now a garment sewing project. And, oddly, I feel that way in my life as well. I have a lot going on. But, it doesn't feel so much like a chore or a burden. It's just life happening around me and me moving along with it and moving from project to project.
I worked on the sweater some more last week. I sewed on the buttons and that meant I could seal it up in a storage box with some cedar pieces to keep moths out of it, along with all the other wool garments that it's generally too hot to wear in TX. Fortunately, the cedar is working and everything looked just like when I folded and stored it.
Labor Day random thoughts
One of the first lines in the movie Picnic is 'Son, nobody works on Labor Day.' But, in today's world, a lot of people work on Labor Day. Fortunately, I'm not going to be one of them. We'll have a lazy day, and I hope the most strenuous thing I do all day is walk the dog.
I've been crocheting and quilting and haven't managed to move anything forward very far. I'm politically pissed off but don't plan to let that be what my day is about. It's hot and humid and really, all I want to do is lay on the couch, but we both know that's not what my day will be about either. Maybe I'll focus today on making a flower block or spend the day quilting on the arc quilt, or maybe clear up this cluttered sewing room. But, those sound very ambitious this early in the morning. We'll have to see how the day progresses and whether a second coffee will help.
The back yard is full of butterflies and hummingbirds. I worked hard for that and am enjoying it every day. I have two hummers fighting over the feeder. Pitched battles like a WWII Air Force enlistment movie.
Syd came for dinner the other night. We had such a nice visit. She and I have found our 'relationship stride' and are enjoying it. It's not that the past doesn't come up, but when it does, we can all laugh about it. She's telling us a story, a little at a time. When she was in school sports, she'd have to be at practice sometimes at 5 or 6 in the morning. Every morning, I'd make her two breakfast tacos and wrap them in foil and they'd stay warm until after practice. She's been telling us how she'd eat one and trade one to someone to do her homework, or to sit in a certain way so the teacher couldn't see her sleeping in the back of the room. It would be so easy to be upset about her having someone else do her homework and sleeping in class. But, honestly, what does it matter now? She's made her choices and she's leading her life and I can listen to the story objectively, like it was being told by a friend or colleague and laugh at the Tom Sawyer-ish nature of it. That's what parenting Syd requires.
Someone in the neighborhood is chalking slogans protesting the abortion ban on the sidewalks. I am feeling her frustration. This is all about a power grab and has nothing to do with the lives of babies. If it did, they'd be trying to make things better for the babies we already have instead of trying to add more unwanted babies to an already overtaxed system. Don't let 'em fool you. It's never about what they say it is. It's always about grabbing as much power as possible so they can tell the rest of us to sit down and shut up.
I've ordered supplies to re-work the drapes in the studio. I can't quite get the effect I'm looking for there. They're great, but they're not quite 'right', so I'm giving them one last try. If I can't get happy, I'm going to look for another alternative.
I need to make a Linus quilt. Sometimes, all I need to do is something that makes me happy and will hopefully make someone else happy too. Doing things for others makes me feel good.
I want to piece and quilt a quilt on a treadle machine. It's been too long since I sat at a treadle and sewed. I enjoy the rhythm of that.
I remembered how to spell the word rhythm. I was counting on auto-correct and didn't need it. Now, if I can just stop misspelling teh. It's the simple things that are the most frustrating.
I talked not long ago about making an all green quilt. This is where I learned my lesson about monochromatic (spell check did have to lend a hand on that one) quilts. It was a much better idea than project. It was going to be a baby quilt, but it's huge, so I ended up making the baby something else. I don't even remember which baby it was, but they must have been special for me to go to the effort of feathered star blocks.
And, speaking of babies, I want to end with a happy new baby picture. No politics, just a happy couple welcoming not one but two new babies into their family. They will be an inspiration to a new generation of gay parents. Bless them, every one.
My mind does not work in a straight line. I sat down to write that I was taking Labor Day off from the blog and look where I ended up.
Be well. Enjoy the holiday if you're getting to celebrate. If we don't shop on days like this, stores won't feel the need to be open.