Friday, September 5, 2014


I am sure I mentioned I have a new part time job.  I have obtained my CDL and all the necessary endorsements to be a school bus driver.

Unfortunately they had people transfer in so they got routes and a couple of aides decided they were goi g to drive.  That means I am a sub.

Anyway a note on the board last week stated drivers had to be there 20 minutes before their route start time.  Nothing about subs.

Tuesday, September 2 I get a call.  Where
are you?  

Me: At home
Work:  Didn't you read the board?  
Me:  Yep all drivers are to report 20 minutes early before their route start time.  I'm a sub I don't have a start time.
Work: Which would explain why no subs showed up today.   (Accompanied by maniacal laughing on the other end of the line) 
Work:  Be here at 2:00

All I could think of is leave it to me to miss the first day of work!

I think I was punished the next day I had to be there at 5:30 am.  I then ended up subing for a route all week long. 

Sorry about the lack of pics.  I am posting from my phone.  I loaned my computer to the youngest daughter to apply to college and for some loans and grants.  I am thrilled that she is finally going to go back to school even though she has a full plate with the four kids. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

September Goals

It is with much trepidation I make September goals.  I know what I want and need to do, but sometimes it seems that when I plan things do not always go the way I want them to.  I writing this post Tuesday but I sometimes get the bug and I write and schedule posts ahead of time. 

My plans are going to be simple.
1.  Finish Challenge Quilt applique, quilt, bind, label, and sleeve

2.  Finish quilting the barns, binding, and sleeve.
3. Quilt ginger rose, binding, label and sleeve.

4.Tropical Shores Tubix sleeve, and label.

5.  Aurifil block of the month, and finish up the one from August!
6.  If I get all the above things done how about some Farmer's Wife blocks?
I know I have a week of classes for work.  No I am not working except as a sub but they keep telling me I will keep busy.  Now off to clean up my canning mess!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Labor Day Means No Labor Right?

Labor Day weekend, which to most people would mean a trip to their cabin up north, the last camping trip of the year, a day at the beach? 

At our house it means that we need to get some things done!

Canning tomatoes is a labor intensive fete!  I had picked several gallon bags of tomatoes and just washed and froze them whole.  Remember I mentioned that we ended up with those pear looking grape tomatoes instead of Romas which we wanted.  I also purchased a box of tomatoes.  With the heat and humidity the past few days as fast as I was blanching the tomatoes they were actually rotting.  The ones I froze, because I didn't blanch them I would cut off the end and squeeze and they would pop right out!  Oh yeah!

Anyway I cooked them down, then put them through the Victorio! 

Yep she is old, she is heavy and some parts are a bit rusty.  Did I mention that I own 3?  Well I gave one to my mom last year so I am down to 2.  This girl will remove the tomato seeds, and any peel or pithy stuff quickly after you cook your tomatoes down for a while.  She is not a joy to clean but the difference she makes far outweighs the cleaning challenges.  Also works great for making tomato soup, apple sauce or even jellies.  I hear there is another strainer which is smaller that you can make strawberry jelly with instead of cheese cloth straining. 

So for a time reference this was a whole day for me just getting that part accomplished.

Sunday was the oldest grandson's birthday party!  He turned 7!  I cannot believe how much he has grown and how quickly.  Nope no pictures, too much commotion with all the people who attended.  On the way home the MIL spotted a stand that was selling White Half Runner Beans so we stopped and bought a bushel for her.  Now those beans you have to actually "string" which is snap the end and pull the string at the seam down one side, then snap off the other end and pull the string off the other side.  By the time we drove home I had probably manged to string about 1/5 th of the bushel to help her.

Monday was sauce day...start the sauce cooking, throw in onions, garlic, basil, oregano, pepper, and some parsley and cook the tomatoes down until they are a nice thick sauce which takes about 8 hours.  Then you can !

Fourteen quarts and three pints later tomato sauce.  I ran out of quart jars, so I guess I am thankful for the tomatoes that rotted while I was blanching which I threw away. 

While I was doing this....DH was mowing, and digging holes. 

The girls have a big waterer.  Too big for me to carry far.  Plus when the cold weather hits no more water from the spigots on the side of the house.  I wanted water closer to the gardens and had been asking about what they call hydrants.  For those who don't know a hydrant is a water line that does not leave water in the line, but drains it out which prevents it from freezing.  You install them much like you do faucets outside  and away from the house but there is rock and gravel at the bottom of the hole about 2-3 feet further down that when the hydrant is shut off it drains out of the pipe into that rock and gravel.  We decided if we ran the line with the lines that feed the boiler we should not have problems with it freezing so DH was digging holes trying to find where the lines ran out to the boiler and intersect them.  Once he found those he started stringing the line from the  basement out to where the new hydrant would be.  The original lines for the boiler were run in a corrugated  pipe and there was enough room to run the new line through that pipe too!  So at least no trench digging! But then DH needed help.

 I was sent to the dragon cave.  This is only about 4 foot high.  It is where the old cellar doors used to go into the basement but someone had the brilliant idea that they needed a sun porch instead so the cellar doors were removed.  Um yeah not a well planned out move especially since there is an old rotting oil tank in the basement, a huge old freezer, and a couple of washers that don't work that have no way of ever being removed since  the narrow stairway  is only about 24 inches wide. 
So DH was outside laying on his stomach with his head in the hole about  100 feet from the house.  I was sitting on my bum in the dragon cave pushing and pulling that blue pipe you see into the hole and we were talking on the cell phone.  Didn't take us long and we had it in place.  We make a great team!


So Labor Day weekend was for us just that a weekend full of labor, but we spent some time with family and we got things accomplished which is always a great day!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Throw Those Goals Out the Window

September 2, 2014.  The beginning of a new school year for those that have children that age.  The morning is drizzly and cooler than it has been the past few days.  My goals for August were pretty light overall but I don't feel like I  got a long way.  With the Ancient Ones next door, DH working lots of overtime after the floods/sewage backups in the city I was busy but didn't seem to produce much finished product.

1.   Challenge Quilt I found my inspiration.  I have chose my fabrics and am currently cutting.  I am this far.
I have my applique parts ready, and even the fabric picked out!

2.  Farmer's Wife.  I would love to finish up my blocks.  I have about 14 more to finish.  
Not one block.  Which is a bummer I am so close but then so far since I have my show projects I must finish.

3.  Aurifil Block of the month.  Have you seen it?(This is last months)  It was designed by Michele Foster of! 
That is the thing I could not get to go together right even remotely so it is in pieces sitting on my cutting table.  I used almost all of the little sunflowery/daisy looking fabric and I don't really want to start again. 

4.  Drunkards path finish up a few more blocks.  Maybe I should work on getting all my pieces cut out in the evenings.

I actually got a small pile of these partially sewn together.  Hey that makes me feel a wee bit better.

5.  I have a quilt for the guild charity which needs quilting.  I can choose to bind it or not.

She's pinned at least!

6.    I need to figure out which quilt I am going to take to the guild show and quilt, label and bind.  What do you think?

I decided on the quilty I finished the label
And my backing!
And started quilting!
I am about 1/3 done but I had a busy last few days of August...more on that in another post.

Oh I also entered
 Tropical Shores Tubix all I need to do is a hanging sleeve.  Those are easy right? 
And Ginger Rose which will need to be quilted! 

Oh I didn't mention these things that I did get accomplished.
Learned to drive the big tractor and mow the field to help DH.
I made and consumed more zucchini bread than I care to think about.
And shredded enough Zucchini to make at least 20 more loaves!

Weeded several big wagon loads of weeds out of the gardens and flower beds.
Snapped and canned 21 quarts of green beans.

And I have slowed down to do a little embroidery in the mornings.  I finished two this month.

I also read/listened to 5 books, and got  sucked into Dr. Who, and watched several episodes. 

Maybe I am being a bit hard on myself and I got more accomplished than I seem to think.  That is what is so great for me to list my goals monthly.  My goals didn't really go out the window, they just teetered on the brink.

Friday, August 29, 2014

I've Succumbed to Peer Pressure Once Again

My mom used to ask if all your friends jumped off a bridge would you?  Um no, but at times there are challenges that you just want to jump in and join.  It started at 13 Spools and has been making the rounds.   Hey if Molli Sparkles does it, and the Pug mom it must be cool.

1.  I have more fabric than I could use in three lifetimes.  Along with that fabric are a ton of UFOs. 

2 .  I own more patterns than I will use in a lifetime.  I have a pend-a-flex file box which is stuffed past capacity with patterns which are at least alphabetized.

3.  I hate labels and have lamented, complained,  and groused about the term "modern" quilter in my blog several times.  I remember many years ago when an elderly lady I knew gave me a magazine with modern quilts.  The magazine was from 1978. I fell in love with quilting and wanted to learn to quilt.  The quilt was called Solar Flare and it was a quilt made up of solid concentric circles.  The colors were reds, oranges, and yellow, all solids. The only quilting was SID. That was in 1982.  I don't want to be pigeonholed. 

4.  I cut my fabric backwards.  I notice the tutorials have you cut from the left to the right.  I cut right to left.

5.  I dislike most modern sewing machines.  With all the electronics, knee lift, needle up, needle down-- after working in the computer manufacturing business for years it is something that will go wrong, and will cost a fortune to fix when it does.  Additionally most people are fanatics about their machines and I have seen people get down right rude when someone makes a disparaging remark about a certain manufacturer. 

6.  I cannot do quilt math.  After over a decade of working in the banking industry, running a rewards program you would think I could do simple quilt math.  Nope not a chance.  Most of the time I kind of fly by the seat of my pants.  Rough guesstimate but larger and then trim down.

7.  I am not a fan of precuts or using just one fabric line for a quilt.  While there are fabric lines I love, I like to usually mish mash it up.  Making charity quilts I will use charm packs, or jelly rolls but most of the time I like to throw in a bit of this, a little bit of that, and  batiks too!  GASP!

8.  I pin while I piece.  Gasp! And have been known to break a few needles doing it.

9.  I have never made a Turning 20 or Yellow Brick Road quilt.  I have read the instructions, and even cut one out, but the directions for putting it together totally flummox me.  Hence the reason it is sitting as a UFO in a project box. 

10.  I don't prewash and have never had any problems with color run even though I stress about it. If I prewash then I would have to iron and I hate ironing.  Yes I said iron, not press. 
I know, I know,  my ironing board is a hot mess.  I have some more of that fun pinwheel fabric to use once again to cover when  I have a bit of free time. 

Do you have any quilty secrets? 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Its a Coastal Thing

I mentioned Wednesday I was up and running early and the local Staples opens at 8 am.  I not only needed to get  ink for my printer I needed to get feed for "The Girls".  They are hefty ladies.

For reference see them compared to their waterer?   It is holds 8 gallons of water!

No Miss Prissy here.
The local feed store does not open until 9am!  Really?!?  When I was growing up on the west coast I think the feed store opened at 7am- 8 am at the latest.  Hey guys we are burnin' daylight here!  Now the major chain does open up at 8, but I try to support the local economy-- but there are times they make it mighty hard, especially when you have a busy day.

Thursday up early again!

I am getting ready to can.  Needs to be done and the weather is supposed to be getting cooler so it won't be quite so uncomfortable in the house.  The local farm stand....hours 9 am.  By the time I drive there, wait in line, and get home it is after 10!

OK enough grousing.  I bought some zucchini 2 for $1.50 so that I can shred and put up for making zucchini bread during the winter.

They will go with the 6 or 7 smaller ones  I found in the garden Sunday when I was weeding.

A bushel of green beans to snap.

As well as a box of tomatoes to make spaghetti sauce.  No Romas, but next year I will be ready with sauce tomatoes.  I am going to grow my own from seed!

There are some things I will never get used to living in Michigan.  Car dealerships are usually only open Monday through Friday, and  most close by 5pm.  Just in the last couple of years they are staying open later, with a few hours on Saturday.  If you need to buy a car you practically need to take a day off of work to do it.  Everything seems to open later and have shorter hours! 

Oh well I have stuff to do and I am burnin daylight!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I Will Run For You

I knew I would be a bit busy today but nothing like it ended up being.  For some reason I woke up early and could not go back to sleep.  I got up had a couple cups of coffee, read a few blogs and headed out the door. 

The closest office store is Staples. Did you know that they open at 8:00 am?  I needed 3 different ink cartridges.  I love my printer, but there are times....I needed the ink to print the pictures for my entries in the guild quilt show.  While there I picked up a couple of packages of these.

I just love Frixion pens for marking quilting lines, and I read a blog recently where they used the black to trace their embroidery patterns and I have a couple of patterns that I have purchased recently.  So it is nice to have the tools necessary when I am ready to start. 

I got home, printed my pictures, and finished filling out my forms, and got them in the mail. 

I then had to run to the library because I had a book in that I requested.

I wanted to read it and see if there was anything that I possibly wanted to make before I spend money for a book which I possibly would not want.  Have you every borrowed a quilt book from the library? 

I will admit it I am a computer baby.  I love to pay bills online, I am not one for automatic bill pay, you never know when something will happen and it makes me crazy.  Dh has a bill that they do not have a site to pay, you have to either write a check and mail it, set up bill pay through your bank (not may favorite since I have to pay a fee), or take cash and pay there.  I ran to pay the bill, and on my way stopped at Harbor Freight.

I picked up a package of tweezers.
 I needed them to help access threads that wrap into my machine. 

I also purchased a pick set.
To use for the same thing, and t help clean up some of the old machines.  I really could have used them the other day when DH gave me the feed dogs from my Singer 15-91.

That's a lot of gunk to come out of one feed dog set. 

Of course while I was in town I stopped at the LQS, and bought a couple stash enhancements.  I needed a bright red, and I am always on the look out for a bright cheery yellow!

I got home and the youngest daughter called.  She needed a computer, hers was broken the night before. I needed a PEX crimping tool she had so I headed to her house.  She had recently talked about going back to school online, but with the computer being broken, that is out. I know she is feeling frustrated and she needed a bit of a pick me up.  So I stopped on my way and bought her a Venti Mocha Frappacino-- chocolate, coffee, and whipped topping make everything better.  She applied for some jobs she saw online, and I visited with the two youngest boys, and stitched.

I finished L, and laugh is what we did.  Why is it when you are feeling down being around your family can make it so much better? 

I borrowed the movie Frozen from the kids, and got home in time to start dinner right before DH got home from working overtime.  Nothing like a Disney movie with your Prince Charming to end a wonderful day.