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.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild Show Part 3

I took so many pictures that I killed my batteries.  I thought maybe I would run out, so I brought 2 more sets just in case. 
**Helpful hint**  If you get free batteries and there are like 40 in the package more than likely they won't work.

The two sets didn't work, my camera sure didn't like them at least. Also my camera was hot and just did not want to work anymore.  I actually finished up taking pictures with my phone.  Oh by the way the grandson used the batteries in making a small engine and it seemed to work fine. 

 I liked the stars in this quilt. It wasn't huge, but the colors, and the scalloped border were great.
 The next three quilts were part of a set.  I thought they were marvelous.

 This quilt was in the art quilt area, I thought it was great.  Loved the colors she chose.

 Once upon a time the oldest grandson was a huge Thomas the Tank Engine fan, he would watch the shows, and movies over and over. I liked how the quilter built the landscape and paid just as much attention to that as the focal point train.
Don't you just love how a simple block like a shoo fly makes such a statement?

 I liked the whimsy in this one.

 This is the 2nd quilt that DH liked.  He was amazed that it was made of just two fabrics.  I am going to assume the blue was an ombre. 

 This poppy reminded me of the flowers in my garden.  Too bad poppies do not last longer than just a day or two.

 This was a small crib size quilt.  All of the animals were made dimensional.
 A couple of the small/mini quilts
 This quilt was great too for a small quilt. If you look closely it was made from photos of this lady's world travels. 
I will say I really like this quilt and her different reds.  Especially since red is one of my favorite colors. 

There were many more quilts but I did not get pictures of them.  It was getting busy and harder and harder to get a picture of many of the quilts.