Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Jelly what???

Yesterday I spotted this link on someone's weblog.  (I forget who.  Yikes!  I'm sorry.)  Jelly races!  In which you make "Jelly Roll 1,600 Quilts."  What fun!  So today I had a race with myself.

 And I won!!

Yes, I know.  I used a Bali Pop rather than a Jelly Roll.  It's called a Jelly Roll 1,600 because when you string the whole lot together in one hugely long strip it's 1,600 inches long.  If you think better in feet that's 133.33 feet.  Or 44.44 yards.  (Metric thinkers...you're on your own.)  The first seam is a doozy.  800 inches (66 feet, 22 yards)!  So when they say start with a full bobbin....they mean it.  :-)  And as I'm stitching away I'm thinking, "Wow, I am using a lot of thread!"  Then came the "DUH."  Just because it's loooong seams it doesn't mean I'm using more thread.  Sheesh.  It's not good when my mind wanders.  So I put a movie on.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

It's over!

For us anyway.  Hurricane Irene has gone north.  The Sailor Son is still out to sea as far as I know.  In New Jersey, one daughter is trapped at home as the river is in the road,

and the other one has downed power lines blocking her street.

My brother (at the Jersey Shore) reports that his yard is a mess and they lost several trees.  Here in central North Carolina we were just west of most of the action.  It's been really bad for some folks though.  :-(

So what do you do on an unusually stormy day?  You (hopefully) feel secure in your preparations.  We went out at the last minute and bought two of these 5 gal Coleman water containers.  Very cool.  When it was clear the storm had passed I asked The Tramp to get them out of my kitchen sink so I could make dinner.  He put them on the kitchen table for me and we figured we'd use the water over the next few days.  But what did I find this morning?  They leak!  Water all over the table, soaked into a chair cushion and spreading on the floor.  Sigh.  Some security.

What else do you do on this stormy day?  You keep checking out the windows to see what the weather is doing.  The birds were bereft.  Where in the world had the bird feeders disappeared to?  :-)

You watch and wonder if there will be enough rain to overflow the pond. (Nope)

Then, while you wait for the kitchen timer to say the eggs are ready,

 you amuse yourself teasing your parrot with the camera.

But he doesn't mind.....because he always gets goodies when you're cooking.

And the dark day becomes a bit cheerier with warm egg salad for lunch.

And finally, you sit down for an afternoon of sewing with the cool fresh air blowing in.  But you have to anchor your fabric pieces down or they keep blowing on the floor!

And you finish one churn dash memory quilt top.  (Phew!) (borders not chosen yet)

And finally, you go out one more time for a look at the stormy sky reflected in the pond.

Goodnight Irene.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

One day closer

Wisely, the weekend visitors have decided to stay put in New Jersey.  And the Second Fleet  has gone out to sea as predicted, so we won't see the Sailor Son and grands either.  Of course now it looks like New Jersey is going to get a more direct hit from Irene than we are.  It changes hourly.  Did I mention I have new hurricane apps?  ;-)

Hurricane Irene : Tracking Map : Weather Underground

In The Sandbox, the Juki has been humming.  Actually, with the walking foot it sounds more like a machine gun.  Two memory quilt tops were finished yesterday and delivered to Julianne today. 

And I've started cutting out two churn dash memory quilts.

This is a fraction of the cutting I need to do.  Sigh.  But I've opted not to risk using a rotary cutter this evening!  I was attacked by a swarm of mosquitoes late this afternoon, so I'm seriously drowsy from the antihistamines as well as being so ITCHY!  Grrrrrrrrr.

The contract sewing has been fun, but I've discovered my cat allergies are an ongoing problem.  Since the t-shirts, sweatshirts and clothing fabrics come from people's homes, the chances are great that some if them will come from houses with cats.  Julianne has taken the trouble to add a cat question to her forms and she's made labels for the boxes that will come to me!  The box is also taped closed to keep her own sweet little kittens out.  Nice!

Hmmmmm.  What else did I do today.  Oh!  40 laps in the YMCA pool.  I'm still slow, but it's getting better.

And this morning Charlie's cage got a good clean out and scrub.  I took out all his toys and washed everything.  Then I made him new hanging toys and moved things around a bit.  I need to keep him on his toes! 

This is one of those baskets you put baby bottle parts in to go in the dishwasher.  I stuff it with shredded paper, small toys and goodies like Cheerios and peanuts.  He loves it!  Pretty soon the stuffing will be all over the bottom of the cage.....again.

All of his foot toys have been retrieved from wherever he'd flung them, washed, and put back to be flung again.  :-)

Yes Charlie.  I see you!  Do you have any idea how much work you are????

Goodnight.  :-)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What next?

Today turned out to be an interesting day.  First thing this morning it looked like Hurricane Irene was heading directly for central North Carolina.  Yikes!  Mom and I went to quilting bee, where of course we chatted about the hurricane and our preparations.   The Sailor Son called to say we may not see him again this weekend since the ship may be sent out to sea to ride out the storm.  As the forecasted storm track has moved a bit eastward, pretty much directly towards Norfolk, I suspect he's right.

Hurricane Irene : 5 Day Forecast Map : Weather Underground

We've also heard from Middle Daughter and I'm beginning to doubt we'll get to see Stardust this weekend either.  :-( But you never know!

As The Tramp and I made our shopping list for storm supplies, all of a sudden the floor started shaking, the windows rattling, and the dogs went nuts.  Charlie's playstand shook and swayed.

The lampshade on my desk rattled loudly.

And I kind of freaked.  Earthquake!  If you're not used to it, it's a pretty weird sensation.

It was over as soon as it started, so....we went out to do our shopping.  Since we couldn't reach anyone by phone, the texts started flying between family members up and down the east coast.  Most of us had felt the tremors and all wanted to check in on the others.  The Tramp, who comes from the land of earthquakes (New Zealand, The Shaky Isles ), thought our mild hysteria was pretty amusing.  Show off!  Anyway, after our shopping trip, we are now prepared for the hurricane season, the November tornadoes I read about every year, and who'd have thunk.....possibly an earthquake.  Sheesh!

The Tramp, at great personal risk to his sanity, pointed out some "hurricane apps" for my phone.  Woot!  Of course I downloaded them.  You can't have enough weather apps....can you???

Ah well.  I think it was indeed enough excitement for one day.  The dogs certainly think so.  You can see it in their eyes.  "Stop it with the camera already.  Isn't it bedtime?"

Oh!  The Tramp has reminded me that we saw an awesome dust devil today as we were driving home.  It was several feet wide, about 15 feet high, and traveled along the sidewalk for at least 50 yards.  Now that got him excited!  :-)  Like I said.  What next?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dog days of summer

Family is beating me up for not posting!  Help!  LOL   Really though, it's just been a lazy time.  The very hot weather was getting me down and I didn't feel like I had anything to share.  This is a good week though!  The weather isn't so awfully hot (is that autumn I see at the end of the tunnel???) and we've had visitors. 

Maisy spends most of her time somewhere or other sleeping....and snoring loudly.  Especially when her nose is pressed up against the wall.  :-)  This is of course when she isn't eating, chasing her tail or annoying the other dogs or hanging around the parrot cage waiting for tidbits to be thrown at her.  

The Sailor son and the grands were here overnight and now my brother and his family are here.  The newest grand will be here at the end of the week!  :-D  I've finished her (first) quilt.  It just needs the label.   Yes it has skulls on it.....which I found with the nursery fabrics along with the coordinating lavender dots.  My SIL said something about finding cute skull things for her so I went looking for something to fit the theme and was amazed to find it.  I went with a disappearing 9-patch pattern.  I personally think it's a bit dull, not enough bright colors, but The Tramp told me to stop fussing, he likes the effect.  I do like the peace and love flannel I found for the backing though.  And it's all just for fun anyway.  :-)

Hard to see, but the latest picture of grand #4 features her in a pink outfit with a skull on the front.  So I think her daddy is going to like the quilt too.  :-)

We may get a little excitement from Hurricane Irene.   I hope it doesn't upset travel plans!

Grands #1 and #2 were a joy as usual.  I had my rowing machine set up in the living room and the boys found it intriguing.  First they rode with daddy.

Then experimented by themselves.

I set it on the lightest setting and they quickly figured out how to row by themselves!

We had lunch at Bob Evans.

Had fun at the train store and book store, and then went to the park.  This park has a wonderful long sea serpent poking up out of the ground.  It was too hot to climb on in the middle of the day though.  We clambered all over the play structures, slid down the "fides" and then went on to the "fwings", much of which was carefully situated in the shade....thank goodness.

"Fwing high Daddy!"

Grand #1 called this large swing "the couch".  I assume it is intended for handicapped children as this was the school-age playground, not the preschool area.  Grand #2 loved it and giggled the whole time.  :-)

Oh to be young.   :-)

They are absolutely charming little boys and I get to see them next weekend too!  Woot!