Valuable skills

We finished the new bedclothes on Saturday.  When we were trying to finalize the plan for the headboard, we decided we needed a new headboard, a larger one with better legs than the one I put together 20 years ago, before I met Rob.  No, there was nothing wrong with the one I built, but the one Rob built is better because he has different skills than me.  I made the spread, bedskirt, 2 large and 5 small decorator pillows and re-upholstered the headboard.  (don't tell anybody but the zippers in the large pillows don't match.  Rob says that's so we can tell the left one from the right one, but there is no left or right one)

Rob makes our bed and had one special request.  The stripes on the large pillows should be easy to match for someone that's mostly asleep when they're doing it.  And, I did.  They won't match if he turns them upside down, and the zippers are on the bottom to help with that.  

But, any day he can't get them to match, he can turn them over and not worry about it.

Here's where that third little pillow went.

We just need to add art and we will be done.  

I went to the garden center unsupervised one day and came home with a white bougainvillea.  I enjoyed it in a shady spot on the dec for a few days and then moved it out to the sun.  And, it turned pink at the tips.  Loving that!

My thryallis has decided to bloom.  I almost lost this one last year, can't remember why.  Too much sun maybe?  Anyway, this spot is mostly sun, but not the hot late-afternoon sun and it's perked up.  

Last year, I had volunteers that someone told me were Senna.  I pulled them up because they got too big for the garden and were not in good places.  This year, the same happened, but instead of throwing them away, I put them in a pot and am going to see what happens.  If they're the candle Sennas, then the blooms will be beautiful!  They didn't even wilt after being pulled up bare root and repotted.  

I'm reading Just As I Am, Cicely Tyson's autobiography.  She's had the fascinating life you'd expect and I've learned so much about her that I didn't know.  But, it's not just about her life.  It's about being black in America and I'm learning a lot I didn't know about that, too. Not so much things I didn't know, but things I never gave much thought to.  Things like the difference between equality and equity.  Equality gives everyone the same helping hand.  Equity gives everyone the same opportunity.

Over the course of my life, I've seen equality get better and better.  But we have moved into a time when equity is needed.  


My, my but wasn't last week an interesting news week?  First, student loan forgiveness.  I get why that needed to happen, and am no more upset about it than farm subsidies or dairy subsidies or PPP loan forgiveness.  I'm more interested in the rest of it, the restructuring of interest rates to avoid predatory lending.  That's where Joe Biden made a change that will help America long term.  

We also found out more about the documents trump stole and most likely sold.  I see the government putting the facts out there and I keep hearing about repubs seeing those facts and changing their loyalties.  While I'm impatient for this to unfold, I get the need to change as many minds as possible before taking the next steps.  And, I believe trump is tweeting out threats to foment an uprise against the country if we pursue him further.  His defenders can say he's not, but that's just another lie.  

People who are still supporting the maga cause are supporting people like this.  They can pretend they're not, or pretend this is one extremist, but it's not.  I'm seeing more and more of this.  And it will not stand.

Everybody have a great week!  Find someone you love and love them to pieces!  



A break in the heat

We're getting some rain and it's bringing down temps.  Instead of 105*, it's 99, but it's below a hundred and the rain is causing everything to perk up a little.  Trying to work outside yesterday at 10am was sweaty and the humidity was too high to find any comfort, so I came inside.  They say, it's not the heat, it's the humidity.

I spent a couple days working on the new bedspread.  We're loving it.  It's such a good match to the room. Of course, within a couple minutes of making it, a dog walks across and it doesn't look like this anymore, but  even rumpled, it looks really nice.  

Next up is the bed skirt.  It's going to be solid blue, the shade of the wide stripes.  I'm waiting on a zipper to make the decorative pillows and will reupholster the headboard at some point.  And, there are three small throw pillows to make.  It seems overwhelming, but I'm sure I can do it as long as I don't try to do it all at once.  I've learned that when I do that, I get tired and stop thinking through solutions and start grabbing the quickest and easiest so I can finish the project and move on.  There are several large projects around here that show the signs of that.  Better to know it and accept it than keep doing it over and over.  I feel a specific kind of anxiety when it's happening and recognize it's time to put it down...not put it away, which takes more time, but put it down and walk away and go do something else.  

I bought this orchid at the grocery yesterday.  A couple years ago, when I was first learning about orchids, I bought one like this, with the green, brown and gold color combination.  And, I promptly killed it.  I've been looking for another since and haven't seen one, so I've collected a few others to keep me interested and they're all doing really well.  It was all about finding a level of neglect that I could manage.  When I saw this one in the grocery yesterday, I wanted it bad, but it was the most expensive orchid I've ever bought and I walked away.  I finished my shopping near the place where I started and there was the orchid and I decided to heck with it and brought it home.  I did take it out of the pot and check the roots because the last one I bought at the grocery was missing it's pot and the potting medium was molded and it had a lot of rotten roots, so I had to repot it while it's still in bloom, which I usually won't do.  Always check the roots!

Some of the phlox that have perked up after the rain.  

Watched this bumblebee crawl in and around and then out of almost every flower on the turk's cap.  Busy bee, doing his work.

I didn't eat all my blueberries last week...or the week before, or the week.......anyway, I had an excess, so I made a blueberry buckle.  Never made a buckle before.  It's like a coffeecake that's not too sweet, with a crumb topping.  Anyway, I wrote that recipe down and put it in my box because I know we're going to want that again.  

I've helped a co-worker with a data project over the last few weeks.  She's newer to the job and branching out into the stuff that's not in our objectives and wanted to learn a new skill.  It took FOREVER, and we had to start over three times, but on Friday, we ended up with something that she can present to her team in their meeting today.  I didn't just help her pull the numbers.  I explained how to pull them, what they meant, how to manipulate them to make them tell a story.  Twice, while we were writing that story, we found a flaw and I showed her how easy that is to do and how easy it is to start over.  Passing on what I know.  Sharing it with my peers.  Laughing and being frustrated together as we figured this out.  It was worth every minute I sunk into that project with her, even when I didn't have time to spare.  


They're banning The Diary of Anne Frank because it only presents one side of the story.  

The bible only tells one side of the story too, so let's ban it!  Let's ban it right now!  

Everybody have a good week.  Keep your chin up.  Hug your loved ones.  Change is coming, so enjoy what we have today.  



cleaning and prep

The fabric came for the new bedspread and we laid it out and we love it!  Now to find the time to make a bedskirt, spread, shams, two accent pillows and reupholster the headboard.  Fortunately, I have some time off next week and plan to get started then.  Rob is making improvements in the closet.  It's not a remodel, it's an update.  And, that's fine for now.  

I finished my shirt.  It just needed buttons and holes.  That took several hours.  I started with the buttonholer that I've always called my fave and then I went to a different one and I ended up on the Bernini 930.  It didn't make the prettiest buttonhole, but it did let me predict exactly where the buttonhole would be.  With the old fashioned buttonhole attachments, I've forgotten how to do that and wasn't in the mood to find the manuals and figure it out again.  

That's all I had to finish on Syd's shirt too, but it went much quicker.  I spent a lot of time looking for the perfect button.  I went with a black button, but will tell her not to lose one because I have no idea how to replace it.  I tried buying buttons but couldn't find a good one, so I went to my extensive button stash (how did I end up with a button stash?). There are several sets of buttons there with enough to do a shirt and I found 8 I really liked.  8 is the minimum number of buttons on a shirt.  I didn't place one at the collar, so 6 down the front and 2 at each cuff.  And, I ended up further sorting the buttons, separating the pearl from the white and the off-white and clear.  Hey, even unimportant home organization still counts as home organization.  

I also finished my latest apron, which only needed a buckle for the neck strap and I hemmed a shirt.  I bought a shirt in Goodwill.  Love the plaid, but when I wore it, it hung long...very long...minidress long.  So, yesterday, I cut 3" from the hem and re-hemmed it.  Came out perfect!

Right now, I'm celebrating green in the yard.  We're in a slow season.  There are things blooming but nothing is making a big show.  That's fine.  I see the fall plants starting to fill in and get ready for their turn.  I can wait.

For now, I'm enjoying the green spots.  

And, the view from the kitchen sink (if you gotta wash dishes, I hope you have a nice view)

I watched a woodpecker at a knot above the birdbath the other day.  It was going to town on the bugs it found there.  

And, then I got to watch its young.

All is right in the backyard.  


So, we got some shit going down from the man that's above the law right now.  Theft, groping, assault, sedition, treason, espionage...how far does this go?  And, he still has supporters.  At this point, that's also treason.  

Just sayin'.  


That's a double line.  There's gonna be swearing.

There was a brouhaha this week about one of the TX candidates for governor calling someone a mother fucker.  I have my doubts about whether Beto will win, but as long as he keeps vocalizing the same things I'm thinking, I'll listen to him speak.  How many times have I wanted to walk up to one of these ass wipes and call them that exact name, but I don't have Beto's security detail and can't trust that name calling won't get me shot, because ya know, that's equal measure, right?  Name calling and shooting?  I read a tweet the other day where a guy said he's most comfortable in places where white straight conservative christian men were in the minority.  I feel the exact same way, except when I see how some of the women act, I'm feeling the same about them

Also, it's not espionage unless it's from the espionage region of France.  Otherwise, it's just "sparkling treason".  (stolen from a tweet)

Everybody have a good day!  Stay strong.  Keep the love in your heart, and remember anger and love are not mutually exclusive.  



In a sewing mood

I've been sewing more.  I enjoy creating.  Quilting, garments, upholstery, draperies, and bedspreads, I've made them all, some more successfully than others.  This weekend, I worked on Syd's shirt and got it to the same point my shirt is; buttons and buttonholes.  I had to order buttons for her shirt.  I tried my button collection and JoAnns and finally had to order them from Amazon.  Finally someone got the hint and they're selling buttons in packages smaller than 475...just kidding, but really, I don't need need 60 identical buttons and was able to get them in groups of 10.  I also ordered the adjustable strap buckle to finish the apron and enough duck to make a bedspread, bedskirt, and shams.  We found the fabric in JoAnn's, but they didn't have enough, so I ordered it.  It was my first time ordering from them and it was easy and the shipping was free.  And, it's a good thing, the store was empty.  I don't know if they're planning to close that store or what, but they didn't have anything on my list that day.

Here's Syd's shirt.  I like how it came out.  The only awkward spot is the shoulders where the upside down birds touch the right side up birds.  Nothing could be done about that.  I ordered a dull navy blue button that I think will be perfect.  

My shirt is at a stop because I don't like the buttons I picked for it, but I didn't order any more, so I guess I'm not that upset about them, just distracted.  

Gardening is all about watering now.  Weds and Sat, I can use a sprinkler, Thur and Sun, it's a hand held hose, watering the pots.  There are a few flowers, but they're the end of several bloom cycles, so nothing to look at.  When I walk around, I'm looking for new growth and survival, or wilt and a need for extra care.  Even though there's shade cloth in the greenhouse, all the plants are on the floor where there's the most shade.  It's brutal out there.  Right now, I'm holding my own, but I've lost a couple of old fave plants because it's gotten too hot, no matter how much water I give them.  I shudder to think of the water bill.

Here's another TX red star hibiscus.  This year's flowers have been from a seedling that I grew.  The parent plant didn't bloom this year.  It got stepped on when we stained the fences and while it didn't kill it, it stunted it for this year.  That's okay, there's always next year.  These come back from the ground every year.

This lantana is from a neighbor's yard, but it was so striking with all the red flowers that I took a picture to share.  The neighbors won't mind.

Last week, I wrote an email asking the company's business leaders to select my eventual replacement so I can start training them.  My goal is to train them, pass my major responsibilities to them, and then focus on training other people on what I do until I retire.  And, take it easier for heaven's sake.  I complained to my boss that I was too busy and he has responded.  This is my way of helping with that.  Let someone else do half of it and let them start building their brand.  Anyway, after I wrote it, I sat down and cried a little.  This is the first step to passing off my job, and while it feels a little sad, I am not regretting it.  My entire work life, I've looked forward to retirement.  And, since it looks like I might be part of the last generation that gets to retire, I'm gonna look forward to it, even if I have to bag groceries for benefits for a few years.  

Everybody have a good week!  Find something you love to do and do the hell out of it!!  I'm thinking about putting that on a t-shirt, but I can't remember where I got it from.  I do not have time for a copyright infringement lawsuit this week.  



Everything in its place

Hahahahaha!  That'll never happen, but we did make good progress this weekend.  Rob painted the bedroom and moving everything out of it started a chain reaction that had an impact all over the house.  Well, maybe it was more moving things back into it that started the chain reaction.  Anyway, I decided I was going to get rid of some clutter, a noble goal at any time.  I was focused on the studio and my part of our bedroom.  I brought in a big box to put junk in.  Except the junk I found hardly filled any of that space.    What I found was a lot of stuff that was in the wrong place.  So, I filled my box and went to another room and put stuff away and gathered things that were in the wrong place and then went to another room and put stuff away and gathered more and did that until I took a small box back into the bedroom and put things away.  This is going to sound weird, but it was magnificent and fulfilling!

And, our red bedroom is blue.  

We bought the paint two years ago at the beginning of the pandemic when we thought we'd be home for weeks on end.  But, then Rob was made necessary and went back to work right away and we didn't get around to painting the room.  Now the pandemic is part of normal life he's sitting on a lot of PTO and decided to use some of it for this project.  

I bought the house before Rob and I met and one of the first things I did was paint this room red.  My friends were shocked and said that was so unlike me, but I loved it and it had been this way for 22 years, but in that time, we'd had the foundation repaired so there were cracks in the sheetrock and torn tape and someone before us had caulked a gap at the ceiling with about an inch of caulk to cover where the wall and the ceiling didn't touch.  Rob fixed all of that.  And as his final dance, he replaced all the plugs and switches and their covers from beige to white.  


There are two more walls in the living room that need similar repair and this made him confident enough that I think he's going to try to tackle those.  That would be great!!  Thousands of dollars saved by diy.  

Me, I mostly stayed out of the way and ran any errands and did any chores for him I could while he painted.  I offered to help paint, but he declined...when I help, I offer helpful suggestions.  I think he decided he could live without that.  😀

I did some sewing and managed to finish my shirt, except the buttons and buttonholes.  

The extra fabric for Syd's shirt came last week and I got it laundered, but I didn't get the new yoke cut and didn't make any progress there.  

We have a beautiful hawk in the neighborhood (along with a lot of owls).  It seems to really like my house and the drought seems to have brought it to my birdbath.  When it's in the yard, all the smaller birds go to roost and hide in the shrubbery.  And, about five minutes after it flies away, the yard fills up with birds and squirrels again.  

I am disappointed in my country's ability to protect itself from the worst among us.  Who knew that it would be domestic terrorism, not foreign terrorism that would do the most harm.  

And, our elected officials, chosen to protect us, have proven to be the most ineffective of all.  

Everybody have a good week.  Find someone you love and give them a good hug.  And, instead of pushing that thing that belongs in the other room under the bed, pick it up and take it to its actual resting place.  You'll be glad you did.