Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I did my ripping out and now this UFO is done. A parament for the chapel. I've done the green and the white. Now I only have 3 more to go! I had a dreadful time finding trim for the purple and blue ones but the Mill Outlet Village in Raleigh turned out to have the most amazing selection. The last parament to find fabric for is red. I've been looking for a year! How hard can it be to find a nice red????

This will look way better on the communion table than it does on my cutting table! (as well as better in person!) I bought these fabrics in New York City. None of the photos I took do them justice.

This morning

I'm going to work out in the yard. It's gorgeous and cool and the yard could certainly use the attention! When we got here in June it was too hot, and there were way too many mosquitoes. In July it was too hot. In August it was too hot. In September it was recovery from surgery. In October it was recovery from a car crash. I've run out of excuses (may it stay that way!). There are branches down from the recent storms, pecans, leaves, dead flower baskets, WEEDS, putting away the hose...all that good stuff. And I may even put up a few lights for Halloween. :)

Hmmmm....lets see how far I get.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


I was all full of myself and feeling good because I finished a couple of UFOs. But after closer examination one of them needs some ripping out and adjusting. Drat.

But this is done anyway.It's the sawtooth star block for the guild's Block Party. We were given the dark striped fabric, instructions and a lesson on contrast...what part of the block (or quilt) do you choose to be the focal point. The center design and where to use the dark fabric were our choice. I messed around forever choosing the other fabrics out of my stash. I think it looks ok. I'm not sure I really want to win all the blocks but I'm really interested to see what Mom comes up with, and the other block makers.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Idiot Dog!

I assure you the above is said with affection. When Miss Dog is stretched out comfortably on the floor (at least I'm assuming she's comfortable) she sometimes lets out loud moans and groans. More and more as she gets older (heaven help us).

She startled me just now by letting out a loud moan practically under my feet! She loves to curl up in that corner, but if she's going to do it like this I'm afraid she's going to lose her nose when I get up. Nut dog!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Rain! 3 days of it!

In this rain-starved area, this is good news!

Special Weather Statement





Yikes! I heard the thunder and decided it would be prudent to let the dogs out before the rain. I was so taken by the colors in the sky I ran back inside for my camera. I know North Carolina is not"big sky country" but compared to New Jersey it is. I never get tired of sky watching!

I was amazed at all the different colors in the clouds as the storm approached. What first caught my eye was the sun shining off the white siding on the house next door with the black clouds behind it. But the moment passed before I could run for the camera. This is looking from the backyard SW (the direction the storm was coming from) at the subdivision across the road.
Then I turned around and looked north over the trees at the end of the back yard.
Then I turned and looked SE past the other end of the house. (Our house is L shaped with the point of the L pointing due south.) There were so many different colors in the clouds and sky.
The cool thing in this photo is the four hawks wheeling around in the sky.
Then the rain started so I went inside and took photos out the front door. Whew, even if the gutters weren't clogged with pecans they couldn't have handled this!
Looking south.So many colors and layers of clouds.In a pause between storms I went out to get the mail and had to take this one.
And was still impressed by all the colors and layers.
So since I was already Standing There Like A Fool With A Camera...on the wet driveway... thunder rumbling all around...I took a photo of my new old car. Isn't she pretty? Diamond white, 1999 Avalon.
And there is my sweet Ngaire, The Stealth Dog, waiting for me to come back inside, ready to protect me from the storm. Of course, by day three (yesterday) there was enough rain for the ground to get really muddy so now she is the Big Black Mud Monster! Sigh....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

By request

Me and baby J. I think it looks awkward, like I've never held a baby before. :) But everyone wanted him turned so they could get a photo of his face. I can't wait to see him again!

Monday, October 22, 2007


My grandson born today (Sunday the 21st) at 7:00 pm 19:00 hours. (The Tramp points out that he's a military brat. LOL) We hung around outside the door and heard his first cries. He was surrounded by loving family and friends from the first moment!

My grandson with his proud dad, the Sailor Son.All bathed and diapered and holding Daddy's hand. :) The Tramp hates hospitals but even he consented to come in the room for a photo op with Middle Daughter.It was hard to say goodbye. Goodnight little man. We'll see you soon!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Never underestimate

the benefits of narcotics! That's what I was doing. The last two days have been hugely better than the last two weeks since I took the advice Mom and Dad's doctor gave them. Narcotics at night and mega-doses of Ibuprofen during the day. I wasn't being a martyr....really!!! I just didn't realize! The surgery was a breeze compared to this!!!

So life is happier. In no particular order....

Happiness #1) The Avalon is now mine/ours. *happy dance* And a dream to drive. We picked it up and turned in the Saturn yesterday afternoon.

Happiness #2) It's raining!!

Happiness #3) I'm picking up Middle Daughter from the airport this morning! :)

Happiness #4) Mom and I went to our first meeting at the Capital Quilters Guild last night and we had a great time! It's a large and lively group. We were greeted with enthusiasm and got to wear very conspicuous visitor tags so everyone went out of their way to say welcome. We decided to sign up and become members on the spot! The program speaker was Gail Garber. Wow. Her talk, her slides and her quilts were fascinating. Too bad we aren't able to go to her workshops today and tomorrow. Check out her Gallery of Quilts and be dazzled!

There was a long but highly organized line of show and tell items which were wonderful. We also took Quilts for Kids packets and will make quilts that are donated to Rex and WakeMed hospitals' neonatal intensive care units (they need hundreds!) We joined the Block Party and Holiday Block Party. There were drawings for prizes for everything from a door prize to prizes for wearing quilted name tags. Drawings from the names of those who turned in the different types of charity quilts and more. Fun, fun, fun.

The next step is to find a local quilting "bee" group to join. But time enough for that phone call next week.

Rushing now to get to the airport on time. Photos of all the goodies later!

Hugs to all!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Cows and Quilts

I'm trying again, hoping Blogger will cooperate. And it is! Back to the fair.

Check out what Harris Teeter paid for that steer. And these guys were raised by kids! Zowie!

After all the livestock, gardens, produce, huge pumpkins, antique farm equipment, the midway, food vendors and such, we finally found the building with the quilts. Of course the moment we reached the quilts the camera batteries gave up. The Tramp managed to get photos by letting the camera "rest" in between photos. I asked all around but no one could tell me where to buy batteries!

Too bad they aren't all spread out like in a quilt show, but I was pleased to see how carefully they guarded everything from being touched.
This one especially caught my eye. I'm not fond of the border fabric but the bargello effect is stunning.
This one has a special award but I can't read the ribbon! I love the effect of the colors and quilting design and wish I could have seen it full sized.
The ribbon on this Twelve Days of Christmas says Best of Show.On Thursday evening Mom and I plan to attend the monthly meeting of the Capital Quilters Guild. I suspect we'll meet some of these talented quilters! :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

One day at a time

Took Mom and Dad to doctor appointments and such today. Drove the Lexus. Good thing too! I was in excruciating pain most of the day myself. The doctor told Mom that her pains were migrating from the center of her chest to her ribs and the muscles in between (or however that works anatomically). I guess that's my problem too, just different ribs.

I lay down on the bed to take a nap this afternoon and was immediately stuck! I couldn't move, it was too painful. Thank goodness The Tramp was home. He came to rescue me. Lifted me up and helped me roll over on my back. I also confirmed that it's still too painful to cry...sigh. He brought me the heating pad and I slept about an hour.

This evening has been marginally better but I'm walking kind of bent over. So I'm going back on the narcotics I used after the surgery. At least at night. I don't like to use that stuff during the day.

Sunday we spent a few hours at the North Carolina State Fair and I have lots of photos. Walking hasn't been my problem, just sitting and lying down! We saw everything from cows to quilts.

Well darn! Blogger isn't working again. It won't let me post photos. I had the same problem earlier. Sheesh. Ok...cows and quilts tomorrow. Good night. :)

Blog Action Day

Of course I let it whiz by me. Lots of things are getting by me these days! Anyway....what did I do that was environmentally sound???

Here in severely parched North Carolina that's an easy thing to answer. Wake County is in the "exceptional drought" area. I didn't water the lawn. I didn't wash a car. I only filled the bird bath and watered the hanging baskets. I filled the dishwasher to the hilt. I use only cold water in the washing machine. Short hair = short showers. Etc, etc. The grass has greened up with the cooler weather and the shrubs don't look so wilted but the lakes and ponds are drying up alarmingly. Our well is relatively shallow so we're taking no chances. I was keeping a bucket in the shower to capture water for the shrubs but after the surgery I couldn't carry it and now I'm cleared to lift again I can't carry anything because of the car crash....sigh.
I didn't drive yesterday either. I wish I could say we've been using less gasoline but that would be a lie. All this trekking back and forth to hospitals and chauffeuring mom and dad has chewed up a lot. Also the quest for replacement cars has entailed quite a bit of mileage. I was happy with our little 30+mpg MR2's but since the accident I've insisted on moving up to something more substantial (airbags, ABS brakes, size). This is pickup truck country. Last thing I want is for The Tramp to end up under a truck on his way to work. This means more gas, though really not more than the Saturn Vue uses. We bought that car for it's supposed fuel economy and the on demand all wheel drive for getting to work in New Jersey winters. Not much use for that here! The Tramp is ordering trip computers for the cars so we can monitor our fuel economy and drive more efficiently.Unless absolutely impossible, we have those compact florescent bulbs in every light fixture. We have motion detector fixtures waiting to be put up outside rather than leaving outdoor lights on all night. Here's one I bet few people know. The transformers/power bricks/AC adapters on your phone charger, laptop power cord, battery chargers for tools, dust buster type things, etc all draw power when they're plugged in to a power source. Even if nothing is plugged in to the other end! If you leave them plugged in to the wall they are always drawing power! We realized we have a shocking number plugged in ready for use. How many do you have?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Bitch, bitch, moan, moan. ;)

I know all these aches and pains are supposed to get worse before they get better, but sheesh. Yesterday evening I could barely move. And then about 10 pm I hiccoughed. You know one of those little ones that come out of no where. AGONY! So it was a lousy night.

This morning, like a good daughter, I made a few accident related calls to doctors, insurance companies and the attorney. Apparently Dad was on the phone making appointments as well. He called me three times to have me put them on my calendar. :)

So now that's all over I'm going to have lunch and get back to my sewing machine. I just have to put the binding on the grandson quilt. He's overdue now and we're anxiously awaiting the big phone call. I'm not sure how the Navy works it, but apparently the Sailor Son gets two weeks leave when baby arrives. Only problem is babies don't follow military schedules. They arrive when they damned well please. LOL

Quilt photo later. :)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A is for Avalon

Yesterday we drove all the way back up to Henderson to test drive a 1999 Toyota Avalon. I fell in love with it. So after a few small fixes by the dealer we will be driving back up sometime this week to get it. So much more comfortable than the Saturn Vue. I'm really glad we had the Saturn but it just isn't practical anymore. And with all my current aches and pains it just isn't comfortable to climb in and out of or to drive. So here is the pretty Avalon.

Listening to: Suite from Swan Lake, Tchaikovsky, Royal Philharmonic

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Life and Lexus

Well we did it! We are now the proud owners of a 1996 Lexus LS400. Dark green, And....still owners of the Saturn Vue! We found a great place up in Henderson with exceptionally good prices. :) The car we originally planned to buy (at another dealer) did not have some safety features that we thought it did. So since this whole exercise is a result of the car crash last week, we refused the car. Instead we browsed some more on cars.com and autotrader.com and found a neat place called the Auto Mart of Henderson. They apparently do a roaring business in used cars under $12,000. People come from all over, even Canada!

This and That and UFOs

At the ER they gave me a prescription for Valium and I have to say it's been helping me sleep! We're all feeling better. I still have the dilemma that it hurts to wear a bra and hurts not to. LOL It's always the small things that pose the biggest problems. :)

Anyway... We are going back out to buy a new car today. It's Dad's car that was totaled but it's caused The Tramp and I to evaluate the cars we drive. We love our little MR2's but I don't think they are safe cars for commuting. The Tramp is driving an hour each way and it just isn't worth the risk. So today we are trading in the Saturn Vue for a used Lexus. I'm not sorry to see the Saturn go, I never was emotionally attached to it. On the other hand, I was very much attached to the Taurus wagon that the Saturn replaced so we are looking around for another one for me to use. It's more comfortable, more practical for driving Mom and Dad around in and also has room for dogs and cargo.

Ok...enough about cars!!! On the fateful day, Friday, we had a lovely trip up to Wake Forest to check out a store called Quilts Like Crazy & Knits Too. What a nice store! and the staff was so helpful.

I bought fabrics for the bag pattern I got recently. I had the butterflies in my stash and needed some yummy stuff to go with it.

I also have this Stargazey Heartz quilt that I've been hating since I started it. I bought new border fabrics and I'm beginning to see the possibilities. Mom picked off the old border for me while sitting at the hospital and I can't wait to get the new one on.

This quilt top has been around for so many years. I made it in a class given by..... Arrrggh. I can't remember her name! Sadly she is no longer with us. And I can't find the instructions. It was a very cool way of putting the blocks together. Anyway, it never had a border so we bought fabrics for this too.

BUT...the baby quilt and a few other things have to be finished first! :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I just realized....

When the doctor checked my bruises yesterday I also received my flu shot. No wonder I'm even more dragged out. They said to expect a low grade fever and feeling tired. Nothing like slapping myself down even further when I'm already pretty down and out. Sheesh. Oh well....at this point the only way is up!

And Grandson is due to be born at any moment. That's the kind of cheering up we need!!! :-D

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Tuesday again...

A good day. Dad passed his stress test with flying colors and was released from the hospital this afternoon. He was thrilled to be told that he has the heart of a 20 year old!!

I, on the other hand, am exhausted. I'm still not at full strength after my surgery six weeks ago and am really straining myself being all things to all people this week. My aches and pains are better and the bruises are healing/yellowing which means parts of me are in fantastic technicolor! I am sooooo glad I can stay home tomorrow. No more hauling off to the hospital. This being the primary driver for everyone right after being in the accident myself is pretty stressful. Brings to life that saying about getting right back on the horse! Sheesh. I tap my brakes every time I see a car coming from a side road or driveway and wonder if and when I'll ever get over it.

We stayed at Mom and Dad's for dinner and The Tramp took this photo of me across the dinner table. Have you ever seen anyone look so grim and tired! I can only hope I don't look like this more often than I realize! Yikes!!

Off for some beauty rest. Goodnight!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Each day a little better

No new photos from my camera. You'll understand if I don't feel like posting photos of the smashed up cars or views of people in hospital gowns.

But much was accomplished today. I spent pretty much the whole time from 8am to noon talking on the phone. First one insurance company then the other, back to the first and back again. I made a follow-up doctor appointment for myself and changed some of Mom and Dad's appointments to next week. Dad is in a regular room now and doing so well we figure he'll be home in a day or two!

I also called the church at the site of the car crash to ask after the driver of the other car. We were pleased to be told that he is recovering. He is somewhere in the same hospital as Dad and may even have been in the same ICU but we aren't interested in disturbing him or his family. They feel bad enough already and have their own issues to worry about. I only asked the church secretary to pass on our best wishes for his recovery.

Mom and I stopped at the body shop where the car was towed to retrieve the tags and papers and a few personal items we forgot at the crash site. The insurance adjuster was there when we arrived and told us, much to our relief, that the car is a total loss. I'm now waiting for the "total loss adjuster" to call me. From the state troopers, the staffs at the two hospitals, to the reps from both insurance companies I have to say that everyone we've had to deal with has been exceptionally concerned, pleasant and helpful. I can't tell you how nice it is to be able to say that.

Dad is now unhooked from most of the tubing and machinery and when we left today was only wearing a wireless heart monitor. He is scheduled for another test on his heart tomorrow and if that's clear he should be coming home soon. The change from how incapacitated and in danger he was on Friday night to how he is today seems a true miracle.

So take some time to go hug the ones you love. You just never know.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

E.T. phone home

Funny the things you observe in a hospital. Dad has a pulse monitor taped to his index finger. The tube comes from behind him, up his finger and is taped at the tip. It glows bright red from under the tape and of course the first thing I thought of was E.T. :)

I remember when the movie came out in 1982. Eldest D was 5 years old. We took her with us to the movie on a Sunday afternoon. She was completely inconsolable afterwards because E.T. went home. We thought buying her a stuffed E.T. she could take to bed that night would do the trick. But though they were Nauseatingly Available Everywhere You Turned in the stores there wasn't a single store open on Sunday night that had one. The best we could do was a little plastic E.T. from the drug store. Knowing her, she probably still has it stashed away somewhere.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Not so good week after all....

In my last post I said this had been a good week. And it was....but that all ended yesterday afternoon. My Mom, Dad and I were involved in a car crash. We had a lovely day driving up to Wake Forest to Quilts Like Crazy, had lunch at the Olde English Tea Room, and browsed The Cotton Company. We stopped for groceries and were heading home when BANG.

An elderly (age 92) gentleman drove his car out of a parking lot right in front of us without even pausing. We hit him going about 50mph. Dad (age 85) was driving and couldn't and didn't do anything different than I would have done. There was just no chance of avoiding the collision.

The airbags and seat belts did their job. We were able to get out of the car and walk around while the other driver was taken away all neck braced and strapped up in the ambulance. As soon as the car was towed away The Tramp bundled us all in our car and took us to the ER. We had all felt pretty good considering, but once the adrenaline wore off it became apparent Dad was not doing well. He is currently in ICU with a cracked sternum and they are watching him very closely because of pressure on his heart. He's just about the healthiest 85 year old I know but this was just too much.

Mom and I have chest contusions but our x-rays were clear. I have the most spectacular bruise across my abdomen! So we're moving slowly and not much sewing is going to happen for a bit despite all the yummy fabrics I bought yesterday.

Makes you think.......

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Just another Thursday...maybe not!

We have a 20% chance of rain today...but the sun is out...sigh. And it's HOT. I haven't gotten used to this climate yet. It's October, and I had to put the air conditioning on today! Yikes! In New Jersey early October is when you pull down the storm windows and turn the furnace on for heat. Sheesh!

This has been a good week. Look what I got! A goody came in the mail yesterday, from Sharon. She apologized for taking so long to get it in the mail but it really wasn't! I guess when you're so busy partying...... ;)
And look what my mommy made me! I'm such a lucky girl! Isn't it wonderful. On a stretcher frame and everything! Yes it's crooked. It's just balanced there for now. We've got to get 10 feet up to put the nails in the wall! I can tell Zelda approves of the location. It coordinates with her outfit. LOL
That wall hanging was meant to be a mate to this one, for my office in New Jersey.
There was mention of a third one which I'm not sure is happening. That's just fine. I'm feeling plenty rich with color already! :) Thanks Mom!

Also this week I unearthed this WIP quilt top.
It's Stargazey Heartz from Stargazey Quilts. I bought it as a "pattern plus" from Keepsake Quilting probably almost 10 years ago. Wait a minute....the receipt is still in the envelope....October 2000. I was disappointed with the background fabric and felt it wasn't the same as what was pictured in the catalog. It's very orange (not my color) and the greens are icky muddy. But I put it together anyway and have made two false starts quilting it. I ripped it all out again yesterday and am going to have a shot at machine quilting it. It's actually quite striking in the photo, isn't it. I may have to revise my opinion of it. We'll see.

The Stealth Dog likes to curl up in a little space under the counter I sit at in my study. For all her height she's very narrow and has no trouble squeezing in between the shredder and the speaker. As usual it's hard to get a decent photo of her. Made even harder by the fact that she will get up and move if I get up to take the photo at a better angle! At least her teeth and eyes show a bit. :)