Category Archives: Randomness

Catching up

The year has been flying by.  Here we are in September already. So what’s been going on.

I had a knee injury that sidelined a lot of my physical activity late last year.  I had been up to getting in a 3 mile half run in every morning and then could not even get to the end of the street.   It was addressed with surgery at the beginning of May, and I’m still working on getting back to being able put lots of steps in daily without having to use ice and anti-inflammatory meds at the end of the day.  It’s been slow going.   Despite what the brain says, the body likes to emphatically remind me I’m not as young as I used to be.

Back to school has been hectic and the routines had to adjust for that.  The day job has not let up either.

The office is still being put back together from the big repaint.  Mostly it’s a matter of organizing / finding things a new home.  There’s still one more curtain that needs finishing.

I did try my hand at knitting again.   Being a lefty, YouTube has been helpful as most written instructions simply cannot be reversed unlike crochet and most embroidery.

More recently I’ve begum playing with paint again.   The various pouring techniques are so much fun.   I have five canvases done from a couple of weeks ago and have plans, and supplies even, for more.

In the midst of it all, I’ve been part of a writing team for a TTRPG. They are a great community, and I’m excited to see it all come together.

Today is a federal holiday for those of us in the US, Labor Day.   My son and I spent some time cleaning up the yard.  I was able to put up the additional hummingbird feeder and the bug house.   Michaels had rod iron shepherd hooks on clearance for $5 each which gave me an easy way to hang them up.

Returning inside saw the Navajo art get properly hung, and my elephant herd redone, this time with the addition of a new Buddha.

Elephant figurines and a turquoise Buddha backed by plant life

More to come later.

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One more test…

So the good news is that last week’s power outage seemed to have reset the dryers electronics, and it appears to be functioning normally, mostly.
I got an error code, the same one, this morning on the 1st go round but not the 2nd, however I did notice that all the windows were quite fogged up with condensation and not just by the dryer.  This prompted a look behind it which resulted in discovering that the vent hose somehow became disconnected from the back of the dryer.  

I managed to get everything off the top and pulled it out about a foot.  I used the utility grabber so I didn’t have to actually try to get to the floor behind the dryer.  Getting out would have been nigh impossible.   It’s a small space, and I’m nowhere near as thin and flexible as I used to be. And local emergency crews have enough to do without have to rescue me from my own challenges.

So I have the vent in hand and am sitting on the edge of the sink.  I lean sideways to get the vent hose reconnected and lose my balance.  Crap!  I manage to catch myself so I don’t take a header behind the dryer, but now I’m half stuck in the sink.  

I have to holler for the munchkin. When he finally arrives, I say grab my hand and pull up. I get up enough to get my right arm under me then need him to hang on to my legs so I can get myself the rest of the way up.
I’ve also dropped the hose so it’s way back down on the floor again.
Second time I bring over the step ladder and the grabber and figure out a way to partially kneel in the sink so I can have leverage to reach down and reconnect the damn hose.  Hopefully my dryer issues are now resolved.


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Though I have been managing to write the date correctly since the year turned, it still seems surprising that it is already 2019, and tomorrow is the beginning of the 2nd quarter at that.  I’m old enough to remember when we were sure all tech was going to come to a grinding halt on January 1, 2000.  That’s twenty years in the past now.  Yup, I’m old.

Munchkin’s last hospital stay was in October.  That seems to have done the trick as his follow up visits are fewer and farther between.  He is still under long term observation to be on the safe side, but he’s back to being a happy spaz of kid.  He’s managed to catch up with his school work despite missing a month plus and is keeping up.  All good things since middle school is on the horizon.  His principal, teachers and case managers all assure me he will be fine.  He might be, but I won’t.  My baby (he hates when I call him that) is getting too big, too fast.

My day job has been keeping me busy.  A work colleague and dear friend is dying.  He and his wife have returned to her home state so that she will have her support system nearby when he passes.

The creative efforts have been minimal.  Part of that was due to a massive reorganization effort of the studio that is not quite there yet.  It is done enough to allow me to do some minor things.

A local thrift shop had a donation from someone who used to do a lot of fashion and costuming sewing.  Guess who scored a ton of amazing fabrics??  Silks, satins, brocades, velvets.  Yards and yards of them.  One was even one of those industrial size bolts of an embellished dark wine silk.  So many, ideas and thoughts and plans.

And a shout out to those magazines that give me even more ideas:

  • American Patchwork & Quilting (US Publication)
  • Threads (US Publication)
  • Today’s Quilter (UK Publication)

There’s more to share but it will wait for another time as we need to answer the call for sleep.  To tide you over, here are some random photos.

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Mom’s Visit, A Quilt Show and A Wedding


Mom came up for her annual visit early in the month and stayed for a whole week this time, Sunday to Sunday.  We did some shopping and pampering of her (chiropractic visit, massage at the spa, hair cut, pedicure).  By then it was only Tuesday!

Then we did an in-house shopping day – she went fabric shopping in my stash.  At some point in the last year I had picked up a fat quarter pack that just had mom written all over it.    Pinks, yellows, and greens with floral motifs are her thing.  She wanted to make a quilt like one of the ones I have of two-inch strips.  It would need a border, backing and binding, perhaps sashing.    I knew I had the perfect fabric for both backing and border.  Pulled those out and there was certainly enough of both.  I didn’t think I had the right green for the binding then realized I did.  It had been one of the options for the Candy Pop quilt.  Over Wednesday and Thursday, there was plotting, planning, cutting and sewing.  She loves using my old Featherweight.  It does make the most beautiful straight stitch.

Friday was the start of MPQG’s annual Quilt Show.  So many beautiful quilts and creativity.  Some of my favorites are pictured here in the slide show.

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We also visited their “Garage Sale” room in the back where the fabric is sold by weight at $0.25 per pound. “Danger, Will Robinson!”

Saturday is a kitty care day for Leo and I at AFRP. Mom came down with us for our two hour shift to play with the kitties. As the town’s Good Ole Days festival was in full swing, we left early in attempt to fin parking. Luck was with us that day, and a spot opened very near to where we needed to be. Between playing and loving on the kitties, mom visited the rescue’s supporting thrift shop next door and found some goodies. I went by to check on her and talk with Deb there. On my way out, I told Deb that if the Necci was still there the next day, I would take it home.

With new fabric and seeing all those quilts, mom was determined to get hers done. She kept going into the wee hours but finally had to call it a night. The only thing left was the binding. I handed her the thread and folded up the nearly done quilt then tucked it into a pillowcase to keep it clean. She packed it to take it home to finish.

We got her to the airport the next day despite crazy traffic, especially for a Sunday and got back in time to spend an hour at Good Ole Days before it closed until next year. Leo ran into a friend and they went on some ides together. Then we were both wiped out.

Oh, and the Necci was still there and did come home with me.

I have only been able to see if the motor ran, but have not spent any more time than that. The whirlwind was not yet over. Work kept me bsy the next four days on top of needing to pack. We were driving down to LA on Friday as my daughter was getting married on Saturday. Necessary work things were done Friday morning, then we all loaded into the car and headed south. My timing was awful as we hit rush hour traffic in Santa Barbara, Venture and Thousand Oaks/ Agoura. We grabbed dinner at Tommy’s and headed up to the folks. Unpacking the fancy clothes revealed a missing shirt that required a last minute dash to the mall before the shops closed. Saturday was the wedding and reception.

Welcome to the family, Jon. You’re in trouble now!

The following week saw another business trip and physical evidence of over doing plus allergies. But I’ve recovered mostly and hoping things slow down just a little. The most creative I’ve been able to manage is coloring in a coloring book.

Oh, and I almost forgot. Mom did finish the quilt! On Friday before we arrived! I think it turned out lovely!

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Mom’s visit

With the arrival of spring comes spring break and mom’s annual visit.  

Here are munchkin and I waiting for mom at the airport.

It worked out this year that the local festival and the quilt show was the same weekend that she came in.  So the quilt show Quilts By The Bay was our first stop (not counting going by thhouse to drop off her suitcase and have lunch).  

As always the quilts were exquisite.  My favorite was titled All Souls Night and included some beautiful beadwork.

Here’s a slideshow of some of them:

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The quilt show also has a garage sale room.  Mom came back with a few fat quarters and and couple pieces of yardage for $1.75. Plus theyvwere giving away hard cover books with every purchase.   I found a few pieces as well with my total being $4.75.  

Monday entailed lunch at the Mexican placecwe like, a vist to my local farmers market, and a visit to the LQS to supplement the prior days purchase. 

Tuesday was a trip to the aquarium and an early dinner. 

Today I  cut out the pieces for mom, and she is busy sewing them together on my Featherweight. 

She flies home tomorrow and munchkin will be sad.

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Spring is in the air…

Maybe not officially for a few days, but due to all the rains we have had this rainy season, the pollen count is off the charts.  That translates into much Claritin, Zyrtec and Allegra usage.  And we are due for more rain next week.

Along with allergies has come the extra need to get stuff cleaned up fueled by a couple of necessary reorganizing and straightening of certain areas like the garage.  A house heater repair had to be done which mean moving the stuff out away from the mechanical unit in the garage.  That turned into, let’s finally break down all those empty boxes.  The garage looks considerably better even with the extra work stuff I just had to store out there.

A deep scrub of the kitchen occurred as well and we are slowly making our way through the rest of the house as there are not a lot of available hours to do it in.

Those hours are limited due to another spring time activity – baseball.  Last year in an unprecedented fit of enthusiasm, munchkin decided he wanted to play baseball.  He likes it, a lot.  So we played fall ball too. And now we are in the Pony League’s spring season once again.  His in the Mustang division now where all the teams have names that align with pro teams.  He is on the Giants (very popular hear near the bay for some reason [wink, wink] ). I’ve also managed to get wrangled into being an assistant to the coaches which means I’m there every practice and every game.  Opening weekend was last Saturday with ceremonies in the morning followed by a double header that afternoon.  The silver lining is that our team has no more double headers this season.  We had a game Thursday, practice Friday and another game today.  This is how it will go through the end of May / end of the school year.  Considering how much of my time has been sucked up by baseball, I can only imagine how much worse it is for the head coach as well as one of the assistants who is also league president.

This will mean my creative time is considerably less.  I will have to focus to get that baby quilt done.  Fortunately, I am pretty close to the end with two rows to put together, and three including those to attach, then just the binding.

In all this I’m trying to get the vegetable and herb garden going again.  I have corn sprouting in the kitchen along with a garlic plant and a couple blue potatoes.  After a trip to the hardware store this morning, I’ve added thyme and basil.


English thyme


Sweet basil


The kitchen garden

Lil man also helped set up the DIY vermicomposting bin.  The base stuff is all there though more worms do need to be added.  I haven’t searched for a local source yet, but that’s next.

Tomorrow a much needed pedicure is on the agenda and a visit to the massage therapist on Thursday. All that craziness above is in addition to the day job that pays the bills.  I’m going to need both of those visits so very much.

Wishing you a Happy Spring and a Blessed Equinox.

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All the little things…

I haven’t been able to stitch or quilt for a bit now. The last couple times I was getting ready to sit down and do one or the other we lost power. I’m not going to stitch by candlelight, my eyes and fingers would revolt, and even my old Singer Featherweight requires power. There is a treadle, but it requires a lot of TLC before it will have a chance at functioning again. The recent storms have been wrecking havoc around here between power outages and even an internet outage. Lots of people getting flooded out of their homes or trapped as roads are washed away.

Considering, we got out of it pretty lightly. Small branches / twigs came down but this round was just a lot of wind and water. Our mailbox did fall apart though. According to the neighbor and the landlord (not the same person), the poor thing was over 20 years old. It had also been driven into last year by a work truck so that certainly didn’t help matters. The multiple power blips did fry the thermostat to the heater so we had been relying on the fire place. The thermostat has been replaced. Yay for having heat again!

And we installed a new mailbox today. Took a bit of jerry rigging since the post has been there forever and those mounts don’t seem to be made anymore. However, it was a good excuse to use my power tools.

March starts in two days, and I haven’t had a chance to work on my CQJP block for February yet. Beisdes the storms, Pony League baseball season has started. I’ve managed to volunteer to help coach. We have practices twice a week and the games start on 3/11. Oh, it’s going to be busy, busy, busy.

My Little HelperMy Little Helper


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Monday the 16th

Yesterday, July 16th, was our 13th anniversary. It is kind of funny that it followed a Friday the 13th which have always been great days for me. A couple of big things happened for us besides lucky number 13.

The phone call came that our munchkin has a spot in preschool, and it is the one that was our first choice. It is very exciting, and yet tear inducing as my baby is growing up. I have a little over a month and a half before he really is a big boy. And now I am thinking of all the things I want to do with him before school starts like the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Science and Industry (even though they don’t call it that anymore) and the local water park and … I’ sure you get the picture. Maybe when his brothers get back from Ft. Huachuca we can all go together.

The other thing that happened is that the title for the car came in so we now have her free and clear, and I will be able to reduce the insurance cost as well. And this is the first car we ever bought together.

On the crafty side of things, I did make progress on the latest rag doll. I am very happy with how she is turning out. I have planes for some themed ones that speak to the geek in me. And I really do need to go down to the garage and really start looking in those boxes ostensibly marked “Craft” without a hint as to what type. Beyond that, there are the sprinkler heads to repair / switch out and the lavender plants to plant and some research to be done into seed prep and cuttings. I also need to harvest some of those green apples and make apple compote and other things. It just doesn’t feel like there are enough hours in the day.

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