Some good, some bad, and some hard work

 Yesterday was our 7th wedding anniversary...well, the first one.  There's another coming up on July 4.  We didn't have a plan to get married.  We went to see what was going on at the registrars office the day they made it legal and we took a number and sat with hundreds of people and the crowd kept getting bigger.  People in suits and fancy dresses and people in uniform and people like us, in street clothes and all of us looking a little shell-shocked.  We were offered an unofficial marriage, which is like registered common law but not recognized in all states, and an official marriage that had a waiting period.  We took them both and a very nice and friendly clerk married us on the spot while Sydney watched.  And, on July 4, we were "officially" married in a group ceremony on the grounds of the state capital.  And, no matter what happens, nobody can take those two events away from us.  No matter how much people try to pretend it didn't happen or it wasn't real, let me guarantee you, it was real.  I know.  I was there.  I have pictures and a piece of paper to prove it.  

Yesterday afternoon, I put Rob's shirt back together.  It went from a 2XL to an L.  The only awkward thing about it is a button about two inches from the front hem.  Nobody will ever notice.  

I have one to put back together for me and one to make for Syd and the fabric for new drapes for the front room and....uhm, I'm gonna stop there or this will be a very long list.  

Only a few new flowers.  

The red echinacea are still going strong.  The pinks are done, but these bloomed later.  

The last Gladiolus, and maybe my favorite one so far.  

This yellow lantana has been patient for years.  It was in too much shade until we cut a tree, and now it's getting plenty of sun.  It always gave a few blooms each year, but this year, it's really going to bloom.  

Work has gotten really hard and sometimes I feel like I can't keep up.  Last week, I had a little jealousy for my peers that complain about being bored and not having enough to do.  (you get name recognition for that, too)  I kept thinking I can't, I can't, I can't, until Friday at 5 when I realized I'd done it all.  I worked a couple hours on Saturday to give myself a little buffer going into this week.  I have two new mentees and I spent about 6 hours with them last week, in addition to my own job.  It's not just how I do what I do, but how I look at the job and what I put into the job and what I get out of it.  I talk to them about doing the job instead of how to follow all the rules, because sometimes doing the job means making an exception to the rules.  And, I talk about being flexible and prioritizing work.  Not things I'm uniquely qualified to offer, but it feels like I'm the only one offering them.   


We saw the Roe opinion last week.  The suppression of human rights as a power grab.  And, the Thomas opinion on contraception and gay marriage.  

F*cking a$$holes.  (emphasis on the $)

If someone voted for a man that bragged about grabbing women by the genitals and was caught paying off prostitutes while his wife was recovering from having his son, then I don't care what their moral opinion is about anything.  I don't care about their interpretation of the Bible, which is supposed to be about love and not judgment.  I don't care what insignificant opinion they have about anything.  This is about the end of that kind of thinking and the beginning of a new way of thinking that's based on actual love and acceptance.  

If they think we're going quietly into the night, they're out of their minds.  All of us, men and women, gay and straight, fought too long and too hard for what we enjoy now to let a bunch of men take it away from us.  We will not go silently into that night.  And, I don't quite think they understand how ugly that's going to get.  

Everybody have a great week!  Find a positive message, make it part of all you do, and pass it on to others.  



A little sewing

 There was no quilting last week.  There was the hope that quilting would be done, but no actual quilting.  I had Friday off and spent most of the three days in the yard, putting down mulch.  There were also a lot of chores and some sewing...well, not actually sewing, but preparing to sew.  

Rob found this shirt in Goodwill a couple weeks ago.  He really liked it, but it was a 2XL, so fit him like draping a sheet over his shoulders.  He liked it so much, I offered to take the side and arm seams out and recut the front and back to his pattern and put it back together again.  I took it apart this weekend and got it all starched and ironed and ready to go.  I made myself a shirt several years ago when I was new to shirtmaking that I like a lot, but was way too big and I did the same thing with it.  Finding fabric to make shirts is often the hardest part.  When I find a shirt that has nice fabric, I'll sometimes take it apart and re-use it.  It's generally cheaper than new fabric too, and if I'm lucky, I can keep the collar, button placket and pocket, which are the hard, fiddly parts of making a shirt.  

I also said I'd make Sydney a shirt.  She picked this origami crane fabric.  It's going to make a great shirt.  It's been laundered and yesterday it was ironed, so it's ready to go as well.  

I'm putting mulch down now to save water later.  It's only June and I can barely keep the garden watered.  In the past, I've had a thick ground cover that shaded the soil and kept the water from evaporating.  After we dug everything up last year and trampled around in the garden, there's not nearly as much ground cover this year, and last week, I realized I needed to do this and I needed to do it quick.  Plus, I always love how the mulch makes the flowerbeds look better.  And, the really thorough weeding didn't hurt.  

The rest of my pictures are going to be pretty random.

Chocolate meringue pie.  I used my Grandmother's recipe, but found out that the tin of cocoa that was under the nearly finished tin was not new.  It was another nearly finished tin.  So, I had to improv on the chocolate, using baking bars, which worked just fine!  I've learned not to turn my back on meringue under the broiler.  The distance between meringue and disaster is very short.  This one came out perfect, but I remember one year when I burned two meringues and ended up topping the pie with whipped cream.

This is all six of Barbara Brackman's American Stars BOM.  I was worried they'd be more disjointed than they look together.  

Bees at the birdbath.  I'm getting so many bees, but they don't bother the birds, and I'm glad to be a consistent source of water.  

This is how much mulch you can get into the back of a Prius.  Believe me, I know.  I hauled mulch in the Prius on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Everybody have a great week!  


I keep watching the Jan 6 Committee hearings, even though they can be hard to watch.  There's some very specific and damning information being provided there.  The saddest part is the people trying to defend trump.  And, his loyal followers, who were lured into his orbit by their refusal to join the rest of us in the 21st century.  trump told them it was okay to be racist and bigoted and to behave as little like the Bible would tell us to, and that's what they wanted to hear, so they lined up like the rats behind the pied piper and now they've got so much self-victimization invested in that, they can't walk away.  But, that's only the worst of them.  The best are watching and listening and paying as much attention as I am and they're seeing through the lies.  And, that's what we need to happen.  

Who we support tells others who we are.  If you support people that would hurt me and my family then you're not really there to support me and my family.  

Everybody have a great week!  And, don't believe the big lie.  The orange emperor has no votes and everybody knows it but him (like another emperor we're all familiar with who didn't have something).



Not much quilting

I celebrated the first really hot day of the summer by cleaning the kitchen, so didn't get to much quilting.  It was just too hot to go outside after 9:30.  I wouldn't even open the back door to take stuff outside that I'd dragged in.  I also cleared the accumulated junk off the dining table and put out a fresh table cloth and dusted the bedroom.  I'm not much on still and quiet, even when I can't go outside and play.

Saturday afternoon, I made the June block for the Barbara Brackman American Stars BOM.  This block is way outside my norm and was inspired by a sample block Becky Brown made where she used a stripe in the block border.  The block center is the size it is because it needed to print on one sheet of paper, then Barbara added the border to bring it to size.  I considered redrafting the block without the border, but thought it would be really plain without that. 

The rest of the post is flowers.  We had a pretty good week in the yard.  These two frilly yellow daylilies bloomed last week.  The first one is in the back yard and the second in the front.  Not sure where they came from, but they're beautiful!

Charlene's Patio daylily.  I know, I showed one recently that I called by that name, but was wrong.  They're very similar but that one was yaba-daba-doo.  We only know the names of the ones we've had a really long time.  

These four o'clocks are so vibrant.  And, they're going wild from seed I threw last year.  

Crepe myrtle, giving its best show so far.  A neighbor gave us this in a pot when they moved away a few years ago.  I don't know if it's a dwarf, but it hasn't gotten taller than this, just wider.  

I hope you watched the Jan 6 Committee hearing last week.  Everyone should have.  There were quite a few surprises for me.  But, the video of the insurrectionists storming the capital made me watch and cry.  

I am proud not to believe the lies that sparked that violent attempt to overthrow our government.  My only shame is that we aren't doing more about it.  



Too many tasks, too little time

I'm feeling like the title more and more.  At work, I've taken on too many responsibilities and it's frustrating to feel like I can't get them all done.  It feels like a weight.  Friday morning, I was sure I was going to have to work Saturday and by Friday afternoon, I didn't need to do that anymore.  I was a working machine, focused and productive and pumping out completed projects.  At home, it's more a case of I can't get to what I want to do because of all the things I have to do.  

One of the things I wanted to do was change the quilt in the studio.  I've had the same quilt there since we painted the room over 2 years ago.  This is what I chose.  I'm sure this is a wool bat, so I'm not sure why it wrinkled this way, but if they don't hang out over the next couple days, I'll get the steamer out and take care of them.  This is my background for zoom calls at work and I'm interested in seeing who notices the change...and who will ask about it. The white background certainly brightened up the room.  

I flipped the triangle quilt over to see how the back is coming out and it looks pretty bad.  Quilting this one in the ditch means quilting in lines.  But because of the piecing errors, the lines aren't straight.  And, it's very hard to quilt a straight line on a domestic machine anyway.  This quilt shouldn't be quilted in the ditch, and if it is, that probably should be done by hand, I shouldn't have used the variegated thread on the back and I'm so far in that I don't want to start over.  I might need to set this one aside for a while and see what comes to me.  It makes me want to go back and try that spiral again.  

On Memorial Day, we worked in the yard in the morning, but in the afternoon, I baked bread.  It's been delicious to have white bread after 8 months of wheat.  Next week, I'm back to the wheat tho, but with a different recipe.   

One was cinnamon-raisin.

I think my phlox are having their best year ever.  The ones planted in more sun are a deeper shade of...whatever that color is.  It's not pink, it's not purple, but it's lovely and they are growing in just about every bed now, so you can see them from one side of the yard to the other.  

The queen Anne's lace is blooming it's first flower.  My Mom gave this to me last summer and I've kept it in a pot until it recovered, then put it in the garden.  It's not a surprise that it's blooming and growing.  The surprise is that it's doing all that after one of us stepped right in the middle of it when we sealed the fences a couple weeks ago.  

There's a lot more pink in the yard than I thought there was.  First, there was a lot of yellow, now a lot of pink and blue.  Later, it will be red, yellow and orange.  

Embarrassing story.  You remember that clock I bought not long ago at Goodwill?  Well, it stopped ticking and even though I wound it, I couldn't get it to tick longer than about a minute and I thought maybe that's why it was only $10.50.  I was sad. I knew that one spring was over wound and I was depending on the other spring, so instead of a 30 day clock, I expected it to be a 15 day clock because it was ticking and chiming from one wound spring.  Saturday was drizzly and I couldn't work in the yard, so I took the face off to see what I could do.  I looked it up on the internet to see what I was getting into and I felt up to the task.  (distractions like this may be why I feel like I can't get anything done...just sayin')

It had been so long since I'd messed with clocks that I had forgotten the fundamentals.  I forgot that in general, one spring turns left and one turns right.  I was trying to turn them both right...righty-tighty.  Because the right side spring wouldn't turn right, I thought it was overwound.  When I got the face off, I could see that it wasn't overwound.  It was not wound at all.  So, I tried turning to the left and that worked and I put the face back on and it's keeping perfect time again.  I also spent over an hour messing with the hinges because the door wouldn't quite close.  Turns out the case was built for a hook latch and the hook was missing.  I ordered one on Saturday and it was delivered yesterday and now the door closes.  I ended up with a great clock that was a real bargain.  

Everybody have a great Monday.  It's going to be another busy week for me.  I know that's why the workday passes so fast and I like that feeling.  I'd hate to have a job that I thought was drudgery.  My job has some of that, but it has enough fun stuff that I hardly notice the drudgery bit.  

Find something you like to do and do the hell out of it.  Lane