Friday, September 16, 2016

Quick Updates

DH has taken some more vacation to work on the house in order to get the Ancient Ones moved into our home.

The pantry is done, so everything from the pantry cupboard is now in the walk in pantry.  I am going to eventually get a pantry door. 
I still need to figure out where to put everything.  I still have another 4 foot wall I could put more shelves on.

Sorry for the mess, it is a work in progress.  The refrigerator was moved from the right side of the room to the left where we removed the weird wall, the flooring is very inexpensive vinyl strips which look like wood which is temporary, a little dark for my taste.  The island is actually two cabinets placed back to back with the counter which was on them previously cut down to size.  This is our make do, for a more user (translate walker) friendly space. 

The little boys helped me get my sewing room moved, they really were a huge help.  But when I look at it I just get discouraged right now.
This is where the quilter is located and miscellaneous piles.

Where my cutting table, and table, where I sew piled high with stuff including my bulletin board, and coat hooks. .  You can see the sitting room where part of my stash is now housed as well as some of my computer equipment.  Part of my problem right now is that these rooms are electrical outlet challenged.  These 2 huge rooms only have 4 electric outlets total!  Also the sitting room has no light, and I can't seem to find one that suffices to light it up adequately. 

Unfortunately some of my sewing stuff is in one of the guest rooms, and there is still some in the hallway too.
Tomorrow will begin the great painting escapade.  The kitchen, the area that will be our sitting room, the ancient ones' living room, the old sick room/sewing room (which will be the ancient uncle's room) and the ancient aunt's room.  Then on to find carpeting and arrange for it to be installed.  This is only the beginning of our adventure.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Pay to Play

Yesterday I was doing the happy dance because I had a chance to sew.  Yep I am now paying for my playtime.

This was my kitchen before.  I know I have stated over and over how much I truly hate this kitchen.  The sink is on the far right size right by the dishwasher which stares at a blank wall.  The only cupboards to store dishes and glasses are directly over the dishwasher, and the upper corner cabinet, both which are a complete pain in the patootie to get to when the dishwasher is open--to empty dishwasher take everything out, set on counter in piles, then close the dishwasher to put away.  I love handling things over and over again to complete a task.  Add to it that if someone is cooking at the stove you can't get anything out of the dishwasher either.  To the left of the window is a pantry cabinet.  It has lovely pull out drawers but you barely have any room to pull them out because it is right there by the window and you can't get the door open wide enough to pull out the drawers.  Then there is the wonderful eating bar which is at a dogleg.  Did I mention that there are only 6 outlet in the whole kitchen?  None anywhere easily accessible to use a toaster, blender, or waffle iron.  Oh the most favorite of all parts about this kitchen?  The wall that the pantry and cabinets are on  is 22 inches from the load bearing beam that goes across the back of the house.  So I have a beam hanging down about 8 inches then 22 inches away is a 4 foot wide floor to ceiling wall. 

 The pantry, 3 lowers, and the upper are now gone as well as the "wall" which is about 22 inches from the load bearing beam.
Here you can see the wonderful angle that the cabinets were on.  That angle wasted a ton of space.
All opened up.  You can see the room we are building for the aunt to the right.  The new walk in pantry will be along the same wall and will be approximately 5ft X 8ft.  I started laughing when I took this pictures.  I told DH that I could never cook in a galley kitchen, then OMG we look like we belong on an episode of hoarders.  Oh and since I started this post the dogleg hole in the floor has been fixed, all of the flooring removed and the floor will be primed so that we can put in press and stick vinyl temporarily until we do the real remodel which will be further down the road. 

I think I paid for my playtime the other day. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Gotta Sew!

All I could think of when I fired up my sewing machine today was this song from Singing in the Rain.  I had a chance to sew today, between moving my sewing stuff upstairs. 

I finished the August In Our Garden Blocks finally.

Chunky churndash.

 The garden trowel.  While the bird was very cute, I had been dodging dragonflies all over the yard so I was in the mood to make one. 
DH found this really cool table heading to the garbage pitt.  It was a drafting table, well actually it was 2 drafting tables that were broken, but the parts together made one big table.  It ended up being a great set up for a machine to be dropped in to quilt.

I have lots of room to work, and the bed of my machine is now flush with the table which makes it a bit easier.  I have it set up on the sunroom/mudroom for right now. 

On Transitioning, Pirates, and Non Quilty Things

The decision has been made.  The Ancient Ones will be moving in with us. 

In order for that transition to occur I need to move my sewing room, and the overflow which has taken over the great room, upstairs to the master bedroom.  The master bedroom would move to the old "junk room" which we were fixing for the boys at one time.  I decided that I wanted to paint the floor, and finish up the trim.  It took me about 5 days with the weather, humidity, and drying times. 

This was the last original room to the house to be updated.  In fact the room had belonged to the Ancient Aunt next door when she was growing up she is 86 years old. We didn't want to lose the beautiful curved corners at the ceiling so when we started to work on this room we took down the lathe and plaster on the two outside walls attempting to maintain the ceiling so we could insulate.  We managed to save the mop boards, painted the ceiling white, the walls are Behr Cowgirl blue which almost has a violet tinge to it, the floor Churchilll Hotel Hazy Yellow by Valspar, and the trim is Cream Delight by Valspar.  The sheers I found at Lowe's on  closeout for $4.00 per panel.  While this room is much smaller than the master I think we found a way to make it work. 

We started to move the bedroom and actually purged 2 huge bags of clothes for donations and another large bag of just garbage.  Feels nice to have it gone.  The master bedroom takes up over 1/2 the upstairs so I will have a lot of room for my sewing area, it is just trying to transition.  We pulled up the old carpet down to the bare floor, but don't have time to paint the walls, or put new flooring down, because getting the oldsters moved is priority one.  The quilter made it upstairs with the help of the youngest daughter and a bucket truck.  Several trips have been made to take sewing things upstairs, and many more will follow to get the sewing room, and great room cleaned out.  Right now everything is just piled.  Hopefully once we get the AO moved I can get that area in order.

While getting ready for the AO we have also moved one couch upstairs to a bedroom, one couch to the sunroom/mudroom, chairs have been stored, a bed taken to the dump,and we are paring down furniture.  The house is looking kind of empty getting ready for the big final push, of painting, installing a wheelchair ramp, a french door for their privacy, adding another bedroom, a pantry to the kitchen and installing carpet through the downstairs. So unfortunately not much quilting going on. 

Now I don't know about you, but watching the neighbors at times can be quite entertaining.  The McMansions have created a wee bit of a drainage problem for us when they decided they needed to be on a hill, and dug out the ginormous pond which is a stone's through from the back of the AO house.  Well then the next house did it, and so on---anyway they are higher than us, but they seem to be having lots of problems with their basements flooding every time it rains. They have been running drain lines for sump pumps all over.  To the ditch at the back of our property creating a huge swamp....told them, "Um no fix it!"  Maybe they should run it out to the ditch on their private road in front of their house instead?  But what is very funny is every time they try to fix it, they create an even larger problem.  Not counting their trucks getting mired in mud and muck in the swamp they have created and tearing up their beautifully manicured lawns.  My only comment during all of this is nature has a way of getting back on course.   So while watching the 3 closest houses fighting the flooding problems, a structure started to emerge.  I told DH originally it looks like they are building Noah's Ark.  It was finally completed last weekend and christened.

Yep there is a pirate ship in the back of one of the neighbor's houses.  They are using it as a swim and dive platform for their swimming pond.  It is complete with sails, a crow's nest and a Jolly Roger flying.  I will tell you it is kind of freaky early in the morning to see it rising out of the mist. 

Since so much work has been happening inside, my outside yard has had to take a backseat.  I had started to build a small pond with a small fountain, but was having problems with my repurposed liner (old swimming pool) so I was taking it apart when everything came to a screeching halt.  Now I have a swampy, slimey pool in my garden and it has been taken over by this guy.

I have also had a plethora of snakes, and toads too.  Oh well there is always next year if the weather doesn't hold. 

Life is never dull around here, but is always completely amazing.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Auction Haul

Over a month ago I gave a sneak peek of some things that I had purchased at the local farm auction and tractor show which was mid July.  I have been so busy that I never showed what else I found.

I got a large glass jar full of vintage cookie cutters.  How do I know they are vintage?   There is a horse and elephant in there that are exactly the same as some that belonged to my great grandmother and she had them for years--if she was still alive she would be 120 years old.  Yes I know there are some newer ones in there, but the vintage ones I loved including the lion you can see there in the front.   Not a bad purchase for $17.50

I purchased a large box full of Lego building blocks.  Looking at some of the parts these were from the early 80's because there are building pieces in there for a Star Wars Tie Fighter, and I remember my little brother having them.  I got the big box for $15.00, which is nice there are blocks for the kids to play with at grandma's house.

According to the serial number this is a Singer 66 made in 1927.  Overall it does not have bad decals, and it is freed up which is nice, but she is a dirty girl.  I mainly purchased them because of the bobbin cases and bobbins.

This was my teaser photo....from over a month ago.

This is the 2nd machine I picked p it is a Lotus again the machine decals aren't too bad, but bed decals are completely gone though.  Not too bad for a 112 year old girl though.  She is a singer 66 from 1904.  I purchased both machines for $2.50. 

Life here is still going at a mad wobble, but some decisions have been made much to the chagrin of some of the family, and neighbors.  We are going to rearrange our house--we will essentially be moving almost all of our belongings upstairs.  The downstairs will get a small bedroom added in the great room (yes with 4 walls and a door, our great room is that big to make a room at least 8 X 10 ft), some cheapy carpeting for consistency throughout the downstairs which is what the Physical therapist, and nurse stated the AO needed to have to get rid of trip hazards since we have hardwoods, I guess they are not good with walkers with wheels, a set of glass french doors to give them a living room/sitting room of their own with privacy, and their own front door, and finally a ramp to the driveway so they do not have to negotiate stairs---so it's a boy and girl  they will be moving in so they have 24 hour care.  I have already been doing their cooking, for the past couple of weeks so it will make life a wee bit easier on me, and hopefully life will settle down once all the work is completed.  Thanks for all of the well wishes, we are managing the minefield of elder care.  My suggestions, read, read, read, find a good nurse/doctor who will be a true advocate for your family members, not just someone looking to make a few dollars off of referrals and stuff. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

A Rant on Elder Care and Some Other Quilty Stuff

Let me tell you I just fell out of the quilter's universe and into Dante's ninth level of hell (treachery).  I may be able to claw my way back up to level 4 (greed) if I don't commit to remaining in level 7 which is violence.  How did I get to this point so quickly?

It started a couple of weeks ago with a call to hubby (who was taking a staycation) from the Ancient ones next door.  The Ancient Uncle had taken a fall and could not get up.  DH went down and lifted him off the floor and into a chair.  Checked him over no cuts, bruises, broken bones and the AU (Ancient Uncle) insisted he was fine and didn't want to go to the hospital.  AA (Ancient Aunt) was not so fine.  She was all in a dither and it took a while for DH to calm her down.   DH looked around the house and quickly realized there was something not quite right, and asked her if they needed some help.  (Now they already have a person who comes to clean their house I won't say much about her but I will call her the Cleaner), and AA said oh yes, can you make us dinner tonight, we don't like what the Cleaner bought us (which was a beef pot pie from the deli).  DH came home and said what can you make them for dinner that they can eat?  I figured pork chops, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, and some applesauce.  So I cooked up their meal and DH carried it down.  DH then called his mamma---the MIL showed up with her sister in tow to assess the situation since the MIL has power of attorney.  AA told them she just couldn't do this the decision was made to get them help.

Here is where I begin my journey at level 9---The MIL frequents the senior center in town to go to dances, dinners, and play cards.  Lately there has been a group hanging around "helping" the seniors.  When the MIL stated that the Ancient Ones were ready to get assistance one of the group "jumped" at the chance to help. I will call her the ASSistant.(Yes the ASS is capitalized for a reason)   The Assistant arrived one evening while DH was home and they talked with the Ancient Ones, and did a rough financial plan, based upon information the Cleaner had provided.  Then the pressure started, the Assistant wanted them to sign up for her company's services.  DH told her that we had to talk to the Ancient Ones and get a better grip on their needs.  The Assistant then calls the MIL and tries to get her to sign a contract immediately because time is ticking away and the longer we wait the longer it will take to get the situation in hand.  The MIL calls DH all in a dither and he explains to the MIL that he had just told the assistant that we needed to do a more thorough assessment of the ancient one's needs and financial situation.  The Assistant has called many times and finally DH told her to quit calling we were not going to sign a contract and pay them a couple of thousand dollars for their services.  (Hence treachery).  While not always the best person-- my voice of reason prevailed and I got them (MIL, Ancient Ones, and DH) to sit down, write down the money coming in, assets, and bills, and figure out roughly based upon data I found about hourly care how much they had to work with.  That was an eye opener for everyone.  The Ancient ones figured they needed 3 hours in the morning (6 billable hours per most in home care companies) and 2 hours in the evening (4 billable hours) per day.  The Ancient Ones also though that they needed 7 days a week.  At those rates I calculated that we would be lucky to get 10 months worth of care, and that does not include taking them to doctors appointments, and medications or day to day living expenses.

In the mean time I have been going down to help the Ancient Ones get going in the mornings.  Originally it was going to be for 1/2 an hour in the morning which quickly morphed into 2 hours + per morning. During that time I could see that they needed help showering, eating a well balance meal, cleaning up, and taking their medications.  Then the "Cleaner" showed up.   I told her specifically that they did not need any groceries because I have been dong their cooking, but she whisks them off anyway and they return with over $300 worth of groceries.  Now this is what is puzzling.  I made 6 dinners for them for $30 total, and what the $300 bought I have no idea because it sure does not appear to be anywhere in that house.  (Level 4 Greed). Also here is where there are times I am ready to get violent (level 7).  I despise people who take advantage of people, and I am pretty well convinced that the Cleaner truly has been "cleaning" them out. A new large screen TV, 2 new mattresses, and a new stove, all to replace those items which were only  2 years old?  I know I didn't take them out to the curb.  Anyway-- Yesterday the Ancient Aunt told me she needed a bottle of Bayer Children's aspirin, I told her no problem because I was going to have to go to the store to get some potatoes for their dinner, because the cleaner had spent $300 but there were no potatoes.  The cleaner informed me that she had to go to the grocery store for them that day, which was, the day after she had spent $300 on goodness knows what?  It took everything for me to keep my temper, and walked away.   DH called her later that day and told her that she was no longer employed by them, and that I would be handling their bills, groceries, and doctor's appointments.  Oh and there is no record of how much they have been paying the Cleaner for quite a while, an antique bedroom set which originally belonged to this house is gone, and did I mention that somehow 9000 miles has been put on the AO car since April this year, oh and the cherry on top of all of it is I was told that the gas gauge in the car no longer worked.  Amazingly it was working find today.  

The MIL has been looking at assisted living facilities, but their services vary so greatly you have to know the right questions to ask.  Unfortunately the MIL seems to think that if it looks pretty that is all they need.  I told DH we don't need to send them to club med, we need to find somewhere that they get the level of care that they need.  Here is where I made a mistake.  I was looking for home care services.  If you are ever in this situation do not under any circumstance try to compare companies you will be plagued with constant phone calls 10-12 a day starting at 8:30 in the morning and going all day long!  Oh and I have taken to not answering my phone this week unless I know the number. 

Again I am at level 7.... who knew that elder care was such big business.  Everyone seems to be out to make a dollar and trying to negotiate these shark infested waters is terrifying. They are like used car salesmen.  I am sure you can understand why I feel like I am travailing the 9 circles of hell.  Oh did I mention that I spent today at the ER because the AU was not feeling well and her DR who specialized in elder care is booked solid until November so my only option was the emergency room.  I am sure if Dante hadn't written the Divine comedy he could have come up with many more levels after trying to navigate the tricky waters of elder care. 

Enough of my rant--

Now with all of this insanity there has been a wee bit of sewing.  I manged to get some things done.  I may only get a block partially cut out, or sewn daily, but hey any progress is good progress right?

Bag lady quilt block for quilt guild.  I used the Twinkler Star block from SoScrappy's RSC for January.

Kisses block for the Friendship block for quilt guild supposed to be fall colors. 

I have 7 hexie flowers for a quilt done, almost finished with hexie flower 8.  I need 4 more then to finish up the Dresden quilt.  I need to learn to make some leaves and vines to applique onto the quilt.  Silver lining to today was that I got a couple of hexie flowers finished. 

I am working on binding of a charity quilt, again got a lot done on this today due to hanging out at the hospital.  

I also spent one very hot, humid day getting a quilt sandwiched.  We set up a couple of tables in the garage on the day that the humidity was about 80% and the temperature at 8 am was 80 degrees. 
The positive was that the humidity helped the batting flatten out easily without ironing. 

Remember the batik bundle that I won from a blog hop recently?  The line is called Surf Squirt by Island Batiks.

Well I also won a large box of Aurifil thread.  It arrived today, what a pick me up after spending hours at the hospital.

Aren't these colors yummy.  Twelve large spools of 40 wt Aurifil thread is sure to make you smile no matter what the kind of day you had.

I picked all of the beets out of my garden and managed to can 4 pints. 

I haven't tried them yet.  But I figure a week or two to sit will give them time to mellow. I also canned another 26 quarts of green beans, then picked enough out of the garden for another 7 quarts. 

So while life has been busy things have been getting done. 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The First Week of August

I have been pretty lethargic about sewing the last few days.  I have done a bit of hand sewing but not much else.

As I was wondering through my garden Tuesday evening I noticed I had a couple of green beans.  I started picking and realized I had about 2 lbs.  I figured it was time to call the local farm stand and see if they had any string beans.  They did!  Wednesday morning I loaded up the boys (including DH) and off we went to the farm stand to pick up a bushel of green beans, 3 big bags of corn, and a bag of onions.  Next stop the butcher shop for bacon ends, then home.

The boys helped me locate jars in the basement, we brought them up and threw them in the dishwasher to get clean and sanitized, and I started washing and snapping beans.

I have a deep basin sink, with a small shallow sink next to it.  I will say I despise this sink, it is hard to wash dishes by hand because your only option is to run the hot water constantly, the shallow sink is too small and shallow to use it to rinse unless you want water all over the place.  This is the whole bushel plus the 2 lbs that I had picked the night before.  DH went out and picked another 2 lbs before I started blanching the beans to can. 

Dh and I run 2 pressure canners and we canned 21 quarts of beans.  Have I told you how much I love my new stove with the extra large burners, and the high BTU burners?   I can beans like my great grandmother canned-- with bacon and some onion.

Next week I will do another bushel.

I finally finished my buffet which I have been working on for the past year.  I sanded off a layer of avocado paint, green, yellow, and white paint, and still did not get all the way to bare wood in very many places.  There are lots of neat details in this piece in the woodwork. 

I used Valspar chalk paint I think the color was called corset ribbon, I then sealed it with a Minwax satin poly after distressing it a bit. This is an old piece, the drawers are all dovetailed.  I bought mercury glass looking knobs on the doors, and iron looking handles on the drawer.  I left the other drawer out, put in a board, painted it black inside, cut a hole with a hole saw and fed the cables, and cords through the back.  That drawer area is a perfect fit for the cable box, the Blu ray, the modem, and wireless router.  DVDs and Blu ray movies can fit in the drawer and the door sides.  I told DH now we need a bigger TV. 

I did manage to finish my Navajo block for July's RSC----OK I didn't finish it until it was August but it is finished.  

I worked on quilting a charity quilt.  I think I am about 1/2 way done.   Just simple straight line quilting about 1 inch apart.  The quilt is a diagonal set so it is not even 1 inch quilting all the way across. 
I was notified a few days ago that I won a giveaway for the Island Batik Week on the Aurifil blog.  I won the Claudia Pfeil "Surf Squirt" day.  A large bundle of her yummy Surf Squirt line of batiks.

I am also supposed to receive a box of 12 large spools of Aurifil thread that were chosen especially for her line.  Aren't these yummy!  38 fat quarters of Island Batik goodness, and 12 large spools of Aurifil.  Life can't get even sweeter.