Never a dull moment

This week's weather was cool and pleasant.  95*F is very different than 107.  I could go out without the heat taking my breath away.  Then, this weekend, summer gave us a good kick to remind us that she wasn't quite ready to go away yet and she brought her dog, humidity.  I tried to work in the greenhouse yesterday morning, but by 9:30, I was frustrated with wiping the sweat off my forehead and ready to head back inside.  

It was also the weekend for our friend's funeral.  It's hard to go to a funeral for someone that was only 31.  There was a big turnout, with friends and co-workers, friends from school, fellow teachers and even some young students from her class.  It was a beautiful service and her three best friends from high school all spoke or sang.  There was a video of her from infancy to just before her passing that was made by her sister and I guarantee, there was not one dry eye in that church after that.  Then Rob spoke for a couple minutes and  there were refreshments during a visitation.  It was a wonderful opportunity to share memories and show who she had been and the impact she had made.  

Of course, we looked fabulous...so good that Mable had to slip into the picture.  

 The pliers came for the kitchenaid and I was able to take all the gears out.  Turns out the planetary gear is bent.  It's the one that lets the beater move in a circle around the bowl instead of being stationary in the center.  According to the repair guy I've been following online through all this, that's not uncommon and is the result of putting too much of something that was too heavy/dry.  Maybe trying to make too many loaves of bread in one go, or some really stiff cookies.  I couldn't find one in the same color as the mixer, so I've bought a shiny black one to replace it.  It should be here in a few days.  I was adding up what I've sunk into the mixer now and lamenting that there really is no such thing as a free puppy.  We're up to $165 now.  Still a bargain, but not nearly the bargain it would have been at $50.  And, I still don't have any attachments.  But, I've certainly gotten my money's worth out of tinkering and focusng and learning about it.  The planetary gear is in the lower left of the photo.  It's really the drive shaft of the machine, turning the energy from the motor and gears into movement in the bowl.  

After our two inches of rain last weekend, these rain lilies really put on a show.  I guess I hadn't realized how they'd been reproducing or how many there are now.  I have two clumps this size.

I decided the Postcards from Sweden quilt was a bit much to tackle and I kept looking at patterns.  I finally decided on a Kaleidoscope pattern and have started cutting pieces.  I chose an off-white for the background and am using all 6 colors of the rainbow.  I would also like to make this quilt in a more limited color pallet; just greens and blues maybe.  It's a much easier pattern than I thought it was and made a test block just to be sure I could and see how much I'd have to fiddle with it to get the block centers right.  It went together pretty easy.  You can start to see the circles forming.  Instead of just piecing blocks and putting them together and hoping for the best, I'm laying it out on a design wall to see if I can play with the colors enough to make all the background circles pop.  Right now, I'm only seeing the light ones form and I'm not sure what it's going to take to see the color ones.  It's going to be a 16 block quilt with a border, or a 25 block quilt with no border.  Haven't decided yet.  

It was so hot yesterday that I took the pegboard down and brought it and the tools in the house and laid it all out the way I wanted to and put the pegs in and the multiple locks that are supposed to hold them in place.  That took a long time, but it was the only way I could make the metal pegboard work.  The metal is much thinner than the wood pegboard that I've used in the past and I'm struggling to adapt.  

Everybody have a great week!  Find a goal and set out to accomplish it, but be flexible in case squirrels run by and you need to chase them.  And, hug your loved ones and make sure they know you love them, Every day is precious.



Busy boys get things done

It was a good week.  I had a doctor's appt last Monday.  I'll get the results today but everything should be fine.  My blood pressure was on its best behavior and now that I rarely eat red meat, my cholesterol should be better.  The next day there was an appreciation lunch at work, so I got to get together with my team.  We had a lot of laughs.  The rest of the week was pretty uneventful at work, which left my mind to roam free and focus on my bigger home projects and what I really thought I could accomplish.  And, then it started to rain and it rained a couple days and we did rain dances.  And, just that quickly, it was autumn here.  It was great and we ended up getting about 2" and highs in the mid 90s, which is a LOT different than 107*F. Everything started to turn green again and now we'll get a small round of flowers.  I'm trying to grow some fall tomatoes and in this cooler weather, they might start to set fruit.  

Moving things back into the garage has had a cascading effect.  There was a lot of stuff tucked around the house that needed to go to the greenhouse and a LOT of stuff in the greenhouse that just needed to be thrown away.  I took down the shade cloth because of the much cooler weather and that made space for a whole shelf of smaller plants and I added the eyes to hang baskets from.  Slowly everything that needs to be in there is getting moved in.  I can't unpack those last boxes until I buy pegboard, and there are so many options that I'm having trouble committing.  

And, then there was suit shopping.  You'd have thought I was buying a bathing suit.  I got very picky and disappointed quickly, but I found a suit.  (Excuse the deck...see below)  I hated it in the dressing room but bought it anyway and if a really dark storm hadn't blown up, we would have kept shopping.  Then, I got it home and tried it on with the right shirt and it's not so bad...I also have a better pair of shoes to go with it...I hate this new trend of making the shoes really important by making the pants so narrow at the hem.  

On Sunday, Rob cleaned the deck while I played in the greenhouse.  You can see how dark it was, but he used a new deck cleaner this year and it's very bright!  It's so clean, I don't even want to put plants on it.  

After all the rain, the rain lilies started to come up and bloom.  They're all over the neighborhood, but those are usually white.  The neighbors gave me these red ones and they are shining bright.  They'll fade soon enough, but for now, I'll enjoy the bright spot.  

Christmas ornament we found in the grocery store.  Had to have it!  Each tool is about 2.5" long.  

Everybody have a great week!  Keep your head up and thinking positive.  The worse things get for trump, the louder his cult is going to scream.  Be encouraged by the screaming.  It means we're doing the right thing.  




We took the new Bernina to the dealer.  Seven week wait...somebody's got to get their kids interested in small appliance repair, specifically sewing machines or there aren't going to be any repair options left.  At this point, they could charge whatever they want.  Anyway, we found out you can make an appt for repair in 7 weeks and then bring the machine back when it gets closer to your time.  I also ordered the capacitors from out of the country and am going to see if this is work I think I can do.  If not, any repairman can do it, they just can't get the Bernina parts, so maybe if I take the parts with me, I can find someone to do it for me.  

Saturday morning, I was walking and stumbled up on a garage sale.  They were still putting stuff out, but I saw this and wandered in and had a chat and offered them a few bucks for the mixer, thinking they'd bargain up the price, but I was wrong and they set it aside til I could come back with cash.  I brought it home and gave it a try and it made an awful noise.  The gears just ground together, so I ordered grease and yesterday, I greased the transmission.  I couldn't get into the planetary gear (the one that makes the beater turn while the beater mount also turns).  I gave it another try and it still makes the noise.  I'm going to have to get grease down in that gear.  

The jury is still out on whether this was a wise purchase.  It only came with the paddle attachment and it's chipped.  I've decided to wait and see if I can get it working more quietly before I spend money on attachments.  It's 475 watts and a 6qt bowl, so if I can get it up to snuff, it's going to have been a steal.  

I'm slowly getting moved back into the greenhouse.  I spent all the time I could out there both days, and got more unpacked...and washed.  Because why bring my dirty stuff into my nice clean spot.  There's still a couple things to do, like order pegboard for my tools to hang on and finish bringing in the plants, but we'll get there.  Now that this is done, I was able to take apart the shelving unit that was on the deck holding plants and move it into the garage, which meant I could get a start on my garage reorg project.  I spent most of yesterday afternoon working on that.  

There are a few things still blooming in the garden and the plants are starting to recover from the heat and are putting up new growth to replace what's been ravaged by the sun.   This thryallis might not look like much, but it's having its best year yet.  It's been in three spots and it survived, but barely.  Last winter, I moved it again and chose a good spot and it's been growing and recovering and is giving me a good bloom.  

The Rockroses are starting to bloom.  These bold pink flowers love the hot sun and dry soil and are popping up here and there.  They're not a bush plant, but rather send out long runners that lie on the ground, then curve up and make a flower.  Because of that habit, they can pop up anywhere.  

Still thinking about the baby quilt.  Can't decide on a pattern.  Postcards from Sweden is a very nice quilt, but I didn't stop looking and have found a couple others I'm interested in.  We will see.  

The beagle is doing well.  When we see her in her harness, we can tell she's lost weight, but she's still perky and happy and dances and sings.  She doesn't know she's sick, just that there's a steady stream of treats and she's here for it!

Everybody have a great week.  Even organization and cleaning can be fun if you're in it for the right reasons.  Just tuck in and tackle it a little at a time til it's all done.  Then realize it's never all done.  



He chose unwisely

Happy Labor Day!  We are breaking the tradition of Labor Day here.  The tradition has been to work ourselves half to death and then complain that we never have free time to have fun.  While we didn't go crazy having fun this weekend, we did cut down on the amount of work and spent more time relaxing.  It's still to hot to get out and do much except water in the mornings, but I've found some entertaining things to do inside and have generally enjoyed myself.  

On Friday, I unpacked the new machine.  I will say this for the seller, he packed it well!  It took about 30 minutes just to get it out of the boxes.  

I'm going to do my best not to sound regretful because I don't feel that.  But, I got overly excited about buying a new machine and I let the descriptions of several mush together in my mind and when it was all said and done, the machine I bought wasn't the one I intended to buy.  I had my eyes on several that were being sold by reputable repairpersons who had recently serviced the machines and guaranteed them to be in good working order.  The guy I bought from was not one of those.  

I got it unpacked and it is a beauty!  There were a couple of scratches that I didn't notice in the pictures, but they're not serious, and I still don't think the machine has a lot of miles on it.  I think it's mostly been in the case.  The scratches are from someone putting it in the case improperly and then trying to force it closed.  Probably not the person that spent several thousand dollars on the machine when it was new.  I knew something was off when I loaded thread in the bobbin and it was so tight the thread wouldn't pass through.  That's okay.  I adjusted the tension for the thread I was using.  

The more I used it, the noisier it got, not good noises either.  I took off the cover and it was dry as an Egyptian tomb in there.  It had been a while since it was oiled.  A long while.  That's when I went back to the original listing and re-read it and looked into the sellers bio.  That's okay.  I service my own machines. I have the oiling and lubricating guide.  I can do this.  

It was running like a dream.  And, then I heard a sizzling sound.  And, then I noticed the smoke.  I unplugged it and sat back in my chair and just watched it smoke for about 10 minutes.  I probably would have cried, but I was too busy making sure THE HOUSE DIDN'T CATCH ON FIRE!

It didn't.  

After I stared it in full self-pity mode for a while, I took the cover off and checked out the electrical system.  There are no obvious signs of damage and only a small bit of smoke residue.  I wondered if maybe I'd gotten oil on something and it was burning off, but the smoke had been white and it smelled electrical, not black oil smoke.  Then I started to do research.  It sounds like a capacitor blew.  The machine still runs.  It runs great.  But, I'm afraid that if I keep using it, I'll do more damage, so I quilted with it a little while and then the smarter part of me kicked in and I packed it up and looked for a reputable Bernina dealer in town with a good service tech.  They're all the way on the other side of town, in a galaxy far, far away.  yay

So now, I've set my old Bernina back up and will use it until I can schlepp the new one to the dealer to have it repaired.  I'm also looking at a repairman that's more local and has a really good rep and has been repairing machines for 35 years.  I've run into him at quilt shows before.  And, he won't be trying to sell me a new machine.  I'll keep researching and we will see what happens.  

There is very little happening in the garden.  Rob is nearly finished with the greenhouse.  We've hung a new fan on the wall and a new door.  Excuse the mess.  I'm trying to move back in there and it's been slow going because Rob has been in there until it's too hot for me to get in there to start putting things away.  I spent a couple hours one day washing things.  It's too pretty in there for me to load in all my dirty pots and trays, so I gave it all a good wash and took the time to sift through it and get rid of the stuff I don't need or want.  Stuff that was just taking up space, and not providing joy.  I think it's going to be great.  

In other news, Rob's best friend's 31 year old daughter passed away on Friday after a couple years of failing health.  It's so sad and her parents are devastated.  Rob has known her since she was a child and was heartbroken by the news.  As is traditional, I made a casserole.  

Everybody have a great Labor Day.  Enjoy it with friends or family or just relaxing and enjoying all the benefits that unions brought us, like the 40 hour work week and paid time off and employer funded health insurance.