Moving forward

It seems like most of our focus was on pets and work last week.  Mable is still hanging in.  She got a skin infection and a couple weeks ago, pinched a nerve in her back, and maybe slipped a disk.  That resulted in giving her pills 8 times a day, so thinking about giving the pills and giving the pills and remembering to mark the chart to indicate I'd given the pills was...a lot.  Now that she's coming off those pills, she's doing better, but she's still having trouble with her back.  We're trying a little PT to see if we can get some of her stamina back.  

I had to go into the office two days last week for face to face meetings.  I wouldn't mind this if the meetings were about work, but they're not.  Not one work thing was done.  Instead, we had to "share" things about ourselves...you know, like we did in 3rd grade.  There was show n tell and sharing family photos and everything except joining hands to sing kumbayah.  Younger people today are soooo intrusive. If I wanted them to know about my personal life, I'd have told them already in private or small group conversations, like I have the people that know me well; the way I'm comfortable sharing personal info about me.  So, I've come up with very creative ways to talk about myself without sharing anything personal about myself and it's working.  But, it's also clear that I am not cut out for the modern workforce, so it's a good thing I'm getting close to retirement.  

I got the baby quilt assembled into a top.  I'm very happy with the way it came out and all that color arranging has proven to be worth it.  Now I just need to pick a back and thread for quilting.  Oh, and find time to sit and quilt it 😎

We've had a serious change in weather.  It went from mid-80s last week to mid-50s this week with lows in the upper 30s.  Wow!  I'm keeping a close eye on the weather to make sure it doesn't get away from me and drop below freezing.  And, I moved my very nice tomato plants into the greenhouse.  

The other thing I've been focused on is taking over the bedroom and bathroom Syd was using.  A LOT of cleaning has been done and the new things for the bathroom have started coming in.  I've had a hard time finding bathmats, tho.  The first one was because I changed my mind.  I was trying to use navy blue in a room that's wallpapered with olive/beige/brown/pink rose print wallpaper that has a tiny bit of periwinkle blue in it.  It's the original paper from 1978 and it's still in really good shape.  When I moved here, it was one of the things I wanted to change and over the years, Rob and I have talked about taking the wallpaper off or painting or papering over it.  But, now it's gotten so retro that I think we both like it and want to decorate around it.  Anyway, the next mats I bought were supposed to be sage green (one of the new names for olive green) but they were seafoam and that wouldn't work.  The next set were the perfect color, but were supposed to be non-slip and were definitely NOT.  I've tried again.  We will see.  I've ordered the same color again and hopefully these will work.  I promise pictures when I'm a little further along.  

Well, that ended up being a short post about a week when very little interesting happened.  I hope things are going well for you and that you find something to focus on when times are rough and you need a distraction.  It doesn't have to be something big...just big enough to let you focus hard on it.  Short term goals.  My next one is on the pot of chicken soup I'm planning for dinner.  

Be well!  


Rebuilding a nest

I'm very proud to say that Sydney has left the building.  Their apartment application was accepted and they moved in on Saturday.  It's a very cute apartment, brand new and very modern with big rooms and a nice view out over the trees (and some trashcans...oh, well).  They stopped by here with the u-haul to pick up her stuff and dropped off a chair that I steamed and we delivered yesterday.  She seemed very proud and very dirty, and that all feels very right.  We didn't stay long and that felt very right as well.  

I managed to get the corners on all the blocks for the baby quilt.  Rob held the corner of the design wall (tablecloth stretched over a book case) so I could get a picture of the whole thing.  This was the first time I saw the whole thing and I'm pretty sure that dark blue block is going to end up in the quilt center.  It draws too much attention.  But, that's just fine tuning.  The blocks are assembled and soon this will be a quilt top. I don't have a back picked out yet, but it's going to have to be pretty colorful to coordinate with the top.   

This is a picture of us with our friends that were in town last weekend.  They left on Monday.  We had such a nice visit.  I was sorry that I couldn't take more of Monday off to spend with them.  It was very relaxed and comfortable and it's a shame we live so far apart.  

Last week's life less on was on judgment and it could not have come at a more appropriate time.  I've been judging Syd's boyfriend because I don't approve of his life choices.  He doesn't have a full time job because he's a full time student and I think he could be both.  As I really grappled with my own feelings of being judged, I also had to grapple with the fact that he is Syd's choice and from what I can tell, he's not treating her any differently than my first long term boyfriend treated me.  And, at some point, I got tired of it and let him go.  And, I feel pretty sure that if this is not the one that's meant to be, Syd will do the same. As much as her negativity annoyed me, she showed an inner strength while she was here.  It almost felt like she needed a good shove in the right direction so she could bloom and she got that here.  

I dusted her room and cleaned the carpet and am making it my room again.  Rob and I have shared a small master bath for 23 years and I decided I wanted to move me into the guest bath where there's so much more room.  I moved in and showered in there yesterday afternoon and immediately went to Amazon for a new shower curtain/rod/hooks, some washcloths, and new bathmats.  I felt a little sorry for Syd having to shower in there the last 6 months and she will definitely be jealous that I updated it as soon as she left.  

Everybody have a great week!  I saw this the other day and immediately thought of sharing it with you all.  Take care and embrace change.  Change is good.  




A friend of Rob's from high school is in town.  We had lunch together and then they took the camper to set it up at the park and came back.  We spent the whole evening on the deck.  We lit an oil lamp and a citronella candle.  It was cool enough that most of us needed a jacket.  And, we visited and laughed and ate.  We'd had a big lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant and nobody was really hungry, but I had some really good queso and a big bowl of Guacamole and chips and brownies and we made a meal of that.  They're coming back for brunch, so soon as I'm finished here, I'll be making a quick quiche.  

We spent the last two weekends rushing through our normal fall cleaning.  It smells so fresh and clean.  The windows are clean and I can see out to the garden.  The garden looks nice from a distance, but once you get too close, you can still see the heat damage from the summer sun.  I was able to get more done in the greenhouse.  Now, if I can just find the time to go out there and sit with a cup of coffee and enjoy it.  

Still working on the baby quilt.  I have all the pieces cut and the centers of all the blocks made and am starting to add the corners to each block.  I left the corners til last in case I wanted to keep moving things around.  I cut the center triangles for the blocks long so I could trim them to exact size before the corners go on.  I've been really glad for that extra fabric on a couple of them.  There's something about the bright baby blue block in the lower right that keeps catching my eye and distracting me from the pattern, so it might get moved and that dark gold block on the right edge that's reading as brown might have to go.  We'll see.  The baby's not due til Christmas, so there's plenty of time, but I don't want to spend so much time on it that I get bored with it and set it aside.  

Carolyn, I'm hoping that the Mom is intrigued by the way I used triangles to make circles, but you're right, it really is a circle quilt.  I've been fascinated by the pattern for years and thought it must be very difficult, but it's not the pattern that's hard.  It's the color placement.  I'm glad I finally decided to try it.  

Saturday, we watched the eclipse.  We pulled up chairs in the backyard and for an hour, the three of us visited and watched the changes that came with the eclipse.  Shadows got long and moved around the yard in odd ways and the temperature dropped and it got dark like dusk.  I'm not sure Syd had actually taken time to really appreciate an eclipse, so I'm glad we got to do that together.  A little south of here, they got a "ring of fire" where the moon centered on the sun, but the sun could still be seen around the edge.  We only had the moon slide down one side of the sun and it gave us a great crescent.  Syd got a good picture. using her camera through the glasses Rob thought to buy beforehand.    

This is the shadow cast when it shone through the trees, showing crescents like scales on the ground.  We talked about how frightening this must have been for people before they understood that it was a natural event.  

That's it for me, campers.  I love the way that Rob and I work in tandem to react quickly to changes.  We thought yesterday was going to go one way and it went a totally different way and we rolled with it, helping one another out, taking care of one another's needs.  It made yesterday pleasant and comfortable for everybody.  

Everybody have a good one.  



Piecing blocks

It is so busy here.  Sydney thinks she's found an apartment they can afford.  The rental agent has given her some wrong advice and her application has been kicked back a couple times and they wanted me to come in and fill out a form.  We went on Saturday and someone different helped us and I think Syd is all set now.  I'm so proud of her for taking care of all of this on her own.  She ended up not needing me at all.  

I've spent as much time as I can working on the baby quilt, but there have been so many distractions that I don't think I've gotten very far.  I can tell I'm on the right track tho, and have started to piece blocks.  I can see my vision forming.  The only problem I'm seeing is the dark upper right hand corner.  I may move those red pieces to the lower left where everything is lighter and they'll show up better. 

My book case wasn't wide enough, so there's a whole other set of blocks around the corner.  Still a lot of blank spaces out there to find fabrics for.  This is for someone I used to work for and I asked her a few basic questions.  I asked about color and she said I like the colors in your shirt and I looked down and the plaid had every color except purple so I took some license and added that.  And, I asked if she preferred squares, circles or triangles and she said triangles.  It doesn't get much more triangular than this.  

We went to a plant nursery on Saturday.  I hadn't been to this one in years.  There's no place for large plants here, but I went wild on the small ones.  These tiny plants were not labeled, so I have no idea what they are and my phone app isn't helping, but they were in the same greenhouse conditions so I'm trying them together, in the same conditions here.  

There are several more that I haven't found just the right pots for and will share later.  They're resting in the greenhouse for now.  Every weekend, I spend a little more time in the greenhouse and it's coming together nicely.  I've figured out where the sunny spots and the shady spots are and have been moving plants around accordingly.  But, there's still that one pesky box of stuff I haven't found a place for yet, so it's sitting in the middle of the floor.  

The key limes were ripe (maybe a little overripe) and I picked them this weekend.  It's the first time this tree has produced more than a couple.  I didn't think to take a picture until I'd started juicing them for a key lime pie.  The pie is delicious, but if you consider how expensive it was to keep that tree alive to get exactly enough juice to make one pie, it was probably a very expensive pie.  But, the tree is blooming again (that was my indication that the existing fruit was probably ripe) and I hope to get another nice crop next year.  

We went to Goodwill yesterday.  We were just going to stop in for a minute, but then we found this chair that was $15.  The legs were wobbly, but the black dustcover fabric on the bottom was velcro and we were able to pull it back and figure out that the legs just weren't tight.  Rob took care of that and I gave it a good steam clean and we moved it into the bedroom.  

It goes perfect with the other chair we have in there.  

Mable took a turn and we thought it was bad, but when Rob described it to the vet, she said she wasn't so sure that the symptoms were related to the cancer.  She found a skin infection and Mable had pinched a nerve trying to lick it and sent Rob home with a bag full of pills.  I have 8 reminders on my phone to give pills starting at 5am and ending at 9pm.  The dog truly believes I am a treat dispenser, not realizing that every one of those treats contains a hidden pill to make her feel better.  And, she's definitely getting better, still not back to her old self, but I can see the light back in her eyes and can tell she's getting there.  

Everybody have a great Monday!  Even when things are dark, I have to remember that there's a silver lining out there somewhere.  If I can't see it, then I have to wait for it to show itself when it's time for me to see it.  



Staying busy

 I forgot to take a picture of the greenhouse, but it's coming together nicely.  Still a few things to do, but I'm moving things in slowly and buying colorful cache pots and gradually, the vision I had is coming together.  Still lots to do and still so much to store in there that it looks crowded, but I'll keep plugging away at it until it's done.  The plants that were out too long are starting to recover and I have a few cacti to replace, but for the most part, everyone survived.  And, I've made some plans for the garden, taking similar plants and clumping them together and thinning out some of the things that do really well.  Winter work.  

The plan for the baby quilt is coming along nicely.  I watched a video of a kaleidoscope and it helped me make some decisions.  I'm so glad I decided to lay it out on the design wall before sewing it together.  There will be changes.  I've decided it needs to be 25 blocks and where the purple circle is will be the center...except that's going to be a hot color, red or orange.  Above, below and to both sides of it will be cool color partial circles, like the dark blue one at the top, and the corners will be warm colors again.  And, all the blocks where the background fabric makes an x and the colors make a + will be the same pastel fabric, probably light blue.  In my mind, it will look like a kaleidoscope, but we will have to see.  

We had big and bulky trash pickup a couple weeks ago and I picked up a little table from the street.  I love to recycle.  Someone had spilled something thick and black on it and let it dry.  It was like dried cake batter, but harder.  It took a while to scrape and soften that off, but then I was left with a very nice little table that replaces a TV tray I'd been using...it was a nice TV tray, but it was still a TV tray.  

I also finished the mixer on Saturday.  The new gear came in and it fixed the problem, so I greased the machine up and put it all back together and it purrs like a kitchenaid again...which is to say it makes the appropriate growling sound that all kitchenaids do.  Last night, I ordered a set of attachments.  And, I will not be sharing how much this little garage sale find ended up costing me, but it better make some really good Christmas cookies.  Whatever happened to it in its past life bent the planetary gear and broke a good bit of enamel off the flat beater and that was the only attachment it came with.  I tried attachments from my other mixers, but of course, they don't work.  

Yesterday afternoon, I cooked.  It was good for me and when I was done, I cleaned the kitchen up really good and that was good for me, too.  I made a King Ranch casserole and a banana pudding and baked Mac and cheese.  The other half of the King Ranch is in the freezer.  We had banana pudding for a snack last night and it was one of the best ones I ever made.  And, toooooo simple.  

Today's thought:

Everybody have a great week!  Find things you enjoy and make sure you make time for at least a few of them.  But most of all, be happy in what you do.