Sunday, August 31, 2008

Joys and Aggravations

This has been a lovely weekend with Middle Daughter and her SO visiting. We were going to go to an outside concert this evening but have decided the weather is too iffy. They are leaving around midnight for the drive back to New Jersey and I can understand them not wanting to get soaked in a thunderstorm first!

Last night we had dinner at Mom and Dad's. For some reason last night Ivy decided to be The Tramp's Shadow. Pretty much wherever he sat, there she was. Earlier in the day she wouldn't have anything to do with him. I can't figure out her fuzzy little brain! LOL

Ngaire was as usual. A (mostly) perfect lady.

The Tramp built me a footstool! A large footstool. It's to go under the counter where I sit at my computer. My aching legs can't wait to use it! We stopped at Hancock's yesterday for padding and bought a remnant of upholstery fabric during our browse around the State Fairgrounds Flea Market. Today we covered the top. *happy dance*

Nice, huh? And functional! Lucky me. It fits perfectly and the fabric even matches my chair. Ha! Who knew!

Moving to another room, this is how my sewing area looked this afternoon.

All messy cosy with my leaders and enders project to my right, the scrap bin to my left, sewing gadgets all around. But my goodness! What's that??? On the side table. Yep, it's my Featherweight.

Don't get me wrong. I love my Featherweight, but why is it there, with the big, new, shiny, expensive Bernina Aurora 440 in my sewing table??? As Ngaire mentioned in her post, I really do get bent out of shape when my sewing machine isn't working properly. And I'm here to warn you that I'm majorly bent at the moment. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

I sat down to make a little sling bag for MD. After the Bernina was adjusted at the shop on Tuesday, I used the machine with the BSR on it, and then to sew the binding on a table topper. Hard to tell anything is wrong while freemotioning, but it was acting kind of weird with the walking foot and I thought maybe my walking foot was out of whack. I put the 1/4" inch foot on today and YIKES! Look at it. Do you see what I see? It's not the needle.

That puppy is crooked. I tried all my feet and the whole presser bar/foot assembly is skewed. Some of the feet I can't even use! It makes it darned hard to sew a straight line. I am STEAMED. Has the word "lemon" cropped up before? Yes it has. This machine has been faulty from the get go and I'm really angry now. The shop is an hour away and I'm signed up for a class there next Saturday and I need this machine for it. I guess they're going to hear from me on Monday. Oops, no! Dang it. Tuesday. Holiday....sigh. I betch it's gonna be a looooong week of driving back and forth. Hissssssssssssss.

Sorry...did I speak my mind? :-D

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ngaire's post

Hi, my name is Ngaire. It's the middle of the night and Miss Katie needed something to do, so I asked her if she would type a post for me. (She said she was foolish and had iced tea with caffeine in it for dinner...dummy.) She also promised to add photos in the morning. Ha! Ivy isn't the only special dog around here.

First of all, I need to tell those of you who don't know, that my name is pronounced "Nyree"(think Nyree Dawn Porter). Isn't she glamorous? I have a certain amount of glamour, don't you think?

It's pretty funny how Americans try to say it if Miss Katie and The Tramp don't write it phonetically for them! It's a Maori name from New Zealand. Miss Katie likes it because it's pretty. I certainly like it, and I know The Tramp likes it partly because it confuses people here. He's a bit quirky, but we love him lots. :-P (I asked for doggy smiles too!)

Miss Katie says this has been an "interesting" week. It's been wet and rainy so we've been stuck inside a lot. Ivy especially, manages to get so wet and dirty running outside. She's been hosed off several times this week (tee hee...sometimes it's good to be tall) so Miss Katie made sure our runs outside were brief on the wet days. I have to admit it's been pretty fun having Ivy here. It's great to have someone to run really fast with and we have loads of fun wrestling. We get training time too though Miss Katie has to separate us for that. Ivy likes to get all the toys out of the baskets but I still have to squeak them for her. And she won't play fetch with me outside (I don't get that!). But it's ok, at least I get to squish my tennis balls without interference.

Miss Katie is also pleased that the hummingbirds still come, no matter how much of a ruckus we make!
Not to toot my own horn, but I do behave like a lady most of the time. Ivy, on the other hand, is still practicing...majorly! She woke Miss Katie up the other morning by chowing down on the leg of the bed. Let me tell you, that didn't go over very well! She also likes to gnaw on the legs of Miss Katie's stool while she's typing. Maybe it's 'cause she's not allowed in my space under the counter. I'm pretty easy, but that's one place I draw the line. I was here first after all! So Miss Katie's been looking around for better stuff for Ivy to chew. Ivy didn't know about rawhide so I had to teach her. Miss Katie says so far, so good...but I'll bet she'll have to come up with a new strategy next week! :-P

Miss Katie has been working on her quilt guild's newsletter this week and she's also been sewing. I know she finished her swap blocks and took them to the post office.

She was also gone a bunch of Tuesday to a BSR class.
Once again the instructor said there was something wrong with her sewing machine so she had to stay after class to get it adjusted. I've heard the word "lemon" used several times lately though I'm not sure what it means. I know Miss Katie was very relieved to get her laptop back from the Apple Store (though it has to go back again!) but she gets even more bent out of shape if her sewing machine doesn't work! Sometimes that kind of stuff is good for me though. I get more hugs on days like that! Miss Katie ascribes to the theory that stroking and hugging furry creatures makes people feel better. Fine with me! I try to stick real close to the sewing machine just in case!

So anyway...after the class, Miss Katie finally machine quilted the table topper that's been waiting in her UFO pile. She said these were test churn dash blocks from her first swap. She thinks the binding looks a little wavy 'cause it was old fabric out of her stash and it must be part polyester (whatever that is). Apparently it didn't shrink like the rest when she washed it. She says it has stuff like "cables" and "feathers" quilted into it. Whatever! I figure it's just fine for our kitchen.

She's also getting ready for the next mystery quilt. (Like she doesn't have enough UFO stuff?) I heard her say it's called Old Tobacco Road and that she's determined to use her stash and all the thrifted shirts for it. She brought two more loads of thrift shop stuff home this week. I just love to check it all out before it gets washed. There are soooooo many interesting smells. One of them I just couldn't get enough of and had to stick my head all the way in the washing machine while she was loading it to get the full effect before the smells were washed out! After that the shirts are only interesting to Miss Katie. She spends lots of time cutting them up and finding places to stash them. I'm not sure what the attraction is, but oh well.

The last couple of days have been about house cleaning. Not only did me and Ivy come in with wet feet every day, but Miss Katie's Middle Daughter and her SO were coming for a visit! They arrived at Nanny and Papa's house in the middle of the night. I guess that was really Friday morning? So in the morning Miss Katie finished vacuuming and washing the floors. Vacuuming is one of my jobs! I love to chase the noisy part of the vacuum cleaner.

I nip and bite at it to make sure it does the job properly...just like I do to the lawn mower outside. You can't trust these things to work the way they're supposed to without supervision! So Miss Katie used the floor attachment to do the master bath, then she put it down in the hallway while she vacuumed the carpet in the bedrooms. When she finished the carpets, she turned the machine off, and wandered all over the house muttering to herself for a long time! She was getting really hot and sweaty and aggravated but I didn't know why.

Then Papa came to the side door and all &^%$#@ broke loose! When the door opened, Ivy slipped out between Miss Katie's legs and went for a run around the neighborhood. A nice neighbor man stopped and got out of his truck to help. It was pretty funny watching Miss Katie running all around the wet grass next door in her flip flops. But I, of course, behaved like a lady and stood in the doorway with Papa when they went out of sight behind the trees. I could hear the yelling, then her sweet talking Ivy. When they came back into view, Miss Katie didn't care how wet Ivy was, she was carrying her!

Phew! So when that excitement was over, Papa followed Miss Katie into her study with the box of papers he was carrying (turns out it was the copies of the newsletter) and guess what she tripped over in there? The floor attachment to the vacuum cleaner! Well darn, if she had just asked me I could have told her that Ivy carried it off while she was doing the carpets.So Ivy spent a bit of time in her crate while Miss Katie finished cleaning and then went down the road for lunch and to see MD and SO. They came to see us this afternoon. Yippee! That was so great! I haven't seen them for such a long time. Me and Ivy had more quiet time this evening while everyone went out for dinner. It must have been good 'cause there were no leftovers for us! Miss Katie says despite how it looks, they weren't drunk either! :-P

So that's all I can think of to say for now. I'm pretty sure we're going back to bed now. Good night!

Monday, August 25, 2008


I am feeling very righteous today. I managed to bang out almost the whole guild newsletter yesterday, laundry is chugging away, I've taken the dogs for a walk, I haven't eaten any chocolate (so far!), been to the farm stand for produce, and delivered the garbage and recycling to the "dump". They call the local garbage/recycling drop-off locations, Convenience Centers, but it's just way more satisfying to call it the dump. :-D Granted, it's quite convenient, clean, well run, and only a few miles up the road! Then there are the big North Wake and South Wake "Solid Waste Management Facilities" for hazardous waste and such. Kinda makes me want to wear my "Domestic Engineer" hat when I go there! LOL

On a whim, Saturday, The Tramp and I stopped at the Cause for Paws Thrift Shop. We were surprised to see the interior had been completely reorganized. It was pretty junky, still is really, but much better organized and pleasanter to shop in. And!!! It was 50% off! So I bought a whole armload of shirts and stuff to cut up.

They're washed and ready to go. The left overs of the first bunch I bought, for the Blue Ridge Beauty quilt, are in the basket. I think I'm going to need a larger container for it all! I'd like to use some of this fabric for Bonnie's upcoming Old Tobacco Roads mystery quilt. Now we live in tobacco country it's going to have some meaning to me. New Jersey, The Garden State, is known for it's truck farms but you just aren't going to see fields of peanuts and tobacco and falling down tobacco barns around every corner!

I've also been trying to keep ahead of my scraps. An impossible task! They're all (well most of them) sorted into bins but some of the bins are overflowing! The Strings and Crumbs bins especially. I don't want to pack the fabric in too tight!

So I decided to make some nice bright placemats from crumbs and strings. This is the initial effort, stuck up on my design wall. They are just random 3.5" squares but to my eye it looks like I arranged them up there in four 9-patches. Odd! So anyway, I have a long way to go, I barely made a dent in the bin.

I also managed to sew through my finger with the sewing machine last night. Ouch. A few weeks ago I tried to cut off another finger with a knife. So now I'm going to worry about the Rule of Threes and wait for the other shoe to drop. I think I better get one of those special gloves to protect me from my rotary cutter...quick! You think?

I whipped up this little sling bag the other day. It's just the right size for my wallet, phone, keys and lip gloss. I love it!

On a side note, the Cardinals are apparently still breeding, though it seems late in the season for it. While I'm typing, I'm watching a Dad feed his begging youngster in the little Japanese Maple outside the window. Cardinals were always just Cardinals, but now I've had a whole summer to watch them outside the window, I can see the same individuals over and over and watch their coloring change over time. They're a pretty scrufty looking bunch! :-) The same with the House Finches, Goldfinches and hummingbirds. Nothing new really, but it keeps me amused.

This morning The Tramp sent me the link to this article. I think it's more than a bit negative and the author has a chip on his shoulder, but it's interesting nonetheless since we're both introverts and it can be a challenge sometimes.

Oh...and Ivy would like to report that she really really tried very hard to stay away from the wonderful digging hole in the yard...but yesterday she forgot! She had to deal with being washed down with the dreaded hose and we're hoping the association might begin to mean something. After catching her one more time, The Tramp filled the hole with some concrete cylinders. As usual, when you try to refill a hole dug by an animal there is nowhere near enough dirt to do the job. Where does it all go??? (besides what comes in on said animal of course) We were going to go out and buy dirt and patio blocks when I remembered the pile of concrete thingies. Good enough for now.

Can't you just hear her saying, "Who? Me?" to continue the righteousness...with supervision by the dogs. More laundry!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ivy's post

Hi! My name is Ivy. You mighta seen my picture in the last post. That wasn't my best side though. I keep posing and posing but Miss Katie can't seem to take a picture fast enough! And I do plenty of smiling! Sheesh. Here's a better one...kinda.

Miss Katie has offered to do the typing for me this morning but I wish she'd stop griping about the keyboard and the screen. She'll be able to pick up her dumb laptop from the Apple Store tonight. At least that's what they promised when they took it in to fix it. I mean really! She needs to be more patient. Anyway..... I'm going have a lay-down under the counter here and give Ngaire's face a thorough wash while Miss Katie types. :-p (I asked her to put in some doggy smiles)

I came to live here on The Street With The Funny Name last Wednesday. I'm starting to feel at home now. My foster home was very cool (I don't tell anybody about what happened before that), but it's always pretty special to have a forever home. :-p Miss Katie does her best to make me happy and keep me busy while teaching me what the limits are (the hard part). The Tramp isn't quite so scary as I thought he was. I wouldn't go in or out, or come when he called, he looked sooooo big standing by the back door, but now I know it's ok. He gives me treats and it's heaven when he scratches behind my ears. :-p I lay on his lap for a while yesterday and it was sooooo relaxing. He told Miss Katie I lost all muscle tone and possibly bones too! I didn't want to get down and he had to "pour" me onto the floor so he could go get a coffee! tee hee

I like my house ok. It's big enough to run and play in and I'm kind of starting to enjoy the baskets of toys. I empty out the toys and Miss Katie picks everything up again. The Tramp just steps over them (Ngaire says this is typical).

Ngaire doesn't care if I play with her stuff. She gets all kinds of noises out of the toys too, but I haven't figured out how to do that yet. And the "fetch" game is truly bizarre. If you haven't tried it, don't bother. Look at this face. I'm tellin' ya, I'm being sincere here! Just take my word for it!

I don't know if they'll ever get me to buy into that nonsense! All that wasted energy. I'd rather watch.

And Ngaire says tennis balls are wonderful. She's addicted to their squish. Bleeeccch.

Ngaire doesn't care if I eat her food either. What's up with that? She's really nice to me but she can be so weird sometimes. The big people have to watch so I don't eat too much and get sick. I taught them that lesson already!

I like my yard too. It's pretty big and the fence keeps me safe. There are cats next door, neighbor people to pet me, and even deer! They come to eat the apples over there under the tree. Miss Katie never gets to see the deer, they always run away. I can't think why! Miss Katie put up low fences around her gardens but they're pretty silly since I can fit right through them. Ngaire can too (shhhh....don't tell) but she doesn't. Maybe she'll get around to telling me why she doesn't. Oh well.

A few days ago I finally let them hear my voice. Now I'm comfortable in my yard, I'm starting to keep an eye on what goes on outside the fence. I've found a few things to bark at but nothing overly exciting yet. The weather has been nice too. It was lovely and cool last night and the big people had the windows open. Lots of interesting smells and noises come in on the breeze. This morning I noticed some things that needed barking at. Miss Katie said it was only 6 am!

That's about when the rush hour traffic starts going by. I figure if nothing else, it's nice and neighborly to say good morning to all the nice people as they drive to work. I can sit right next to the bed, see out the window and be friendly. (After all, Miss Katie kept me up last night until 1 am while she read a book. Not my fault if I'm a morning dog!)

So Miss Katie was a bit grumpy when she got up today, but she let Ngaire and me out for a nice long romp this morning after breakfast. She sits at her computer and watches us out the window. She says she has eyes in the back of her head too! I betcha it has something to do with why they put these noisy tags on us....but I can't prove it.

We did lots of running, barking and playing. Ngaire showed me how to drink out of the bird bath. Ngaire doesn't even have to stretch. I have to stand up and put my paws in the water to get a drink. At least the dumb birds stay away! :-p

Then we went to wrestle in the dirt under the gardenia bush. It's the coolest place in the yard on a hot day and there's some nice loose dirt to dig in. Miss Katie didn't know that's what we were doing behind there! We had a great time. She also didn't know that some of the dog tag rattling she heard was me digging a big hole almost under her window.

She was a bit peeved with me when she called us in. I was deliciously filthy! :-p I kind of forgot though that dirt = bath. How the heck Ngaire kept herself so clean is a mystery! I've gotta watch her more closely.

I let Miss Katie haul me into the tub and wash me down. She says when I shake I don't get the dirt quite as high up on the walls as Ngaire does. But I tried, I really did. Miss Katie didn't exactly say she was bored or anything, but now she can vacuum and wash the floors and bathroom again this morning! I know she did them last night before dinner. I thought she liked to do that sort of stuff but she said next time she's gonna use the baby pool and hose outside. I'm really afraid of the hose and I hide while Miss Katie waters the garden so I'm gonna have to think about that.

Anyway, life is good. I gotta go watch over the vacuuming and floor washing now. Then I can take a nap to make up for getting up so early this morning.

See you later.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


As usual, Blogger has been a pain interesting to work with. I tried to post the Youtube video (previous post) several days ago. It didn't work so I gave up. So guess what showed up in the middle of last night! Twice! (I deleted one.) Weird.

This little laughing dog is Ivy. Ivy has come to live with us courtesy of Ladd and Lassie Rescue and Referral. She's a small Border Collie, estimated to be about 2 1/2 yrs old. Despite any traumas she may have experienced in her former life she's sweet, loving and docile and has assigned herself the job of being my shadow. When not playing with Ngaire or generally getting underfoot (herding me) while I try to get my chores done, she lays right behind my sewing machine chair so I can't get up! :-) We've also been to the vet and I've never seen a dog so relaxed in a vet's examining room. I was astounded! After all the years of either big German Shepherds trying to climb in my lap or shivering quivering Chihuahuas, and all the stress shedding and/or drooling inherent in a veterinary trip, this was wonderful. I'm guessing the vet thought so too!

Ivy's also starting to warm up to The Tramp and is coming to realize I'm not the only one who will give her cuddles, let her out or give her treats. :-) She doesn't know about toys and watches with amusement as Ngaire empties her toy baskets and comes at her with these weird squeaking things! Ivy also watches with some amazement at our games of fetch. You can see her wondering why this crazy dog runs around retrieving tennis balls. She also hasn't caught on to the fact that all the mad running and barking at the fence means there's a cat parading around next door! Instead she leans against the fence giving puppy dog eyes at the neighbor, hoping to be petted. What a sweetie.

Ngaire is really enjoying having a new friend and so are we!

OK Go - Here It Goes Again

This is very clever. I haven't got this kind of imagination so this stuff always amazes me! :-D

Friday, August 15, 2008


I was recently complaining that my design wall was badly placed and too small. The Sailor Son went out to Home Depot with me on the weekend to get two 4x8 sheets of foam insulation and it was great he was here to help The Tramp rearrange furniture too. On Monday I bought nine yards of cheap flannel (on sale) at Joann's and my Dad came over to help me attach it to the insulation boards.

I've done this three times before and each time I used a different method to attach the flannel to the board! I think I've finally got it right now. We used hot glue and it worked like a charm. Why didn't I think of that before??? Sheesh. Anyway, the wall is up and I'm hugely pleased. :-D

Today I put together the Block Party pinwheel blocks I won at a quilt guild meeting...back in February I think. The quilt will be donated to my guild for the Heritage Day Quilt Auction. The proceeds of the auction go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Eastern North Carolina and the Capital Quilters Guild.

I won 25 blocks (I think there were three winners. That's a lot of blocks!). Thank goodness there was an extra, since one of them was fully a half an inch too small. Ten inches instead of ten and a half. There was just no way I could fudge that! I'll add it to the back of the quilt somehow since it's too pretty to not use. All in all, most of the blocks were pretty square and appropriately sized. Putting them together is an interesting exercise since we all have slightly different experience, talents, methods, and machines. We were given the black and white fabrics and added the others ourselves. The colors are pretty spectacular don't you think?

The photos are kind of dark...sigh. In this one you can kind of see the design wall too. Nice. :-) Just one of the many blessings I need to be thankful for.

(I've been noticing that most of my photos list to the right. Hmmmmmmmmm.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Cheryl is celebrating a gorgeous new grandbaby as well as a blogiversary with a give-away. Run right on over to sign up!

Last night I finished putting together the blocks of the Scrappy Trips Around the World. WHEW! Big job. I'm glad the Olympics were on to keep me company. The men's gymnastics was amazing! And get that Michael Phelps!

Quilty photos later. :-)