Thursday, December 28, 2017

2017 - It's a wrap!

Favorite photos and memories day!!  Today is our 45th wedding anniversary!  We had other plans - but we're hanging out here on the coast - it's varying between sunny and cloudy.  That's the coast in December!

This is my 'card' that I woke up to - Rick said he couldn't go shopping for a card!  So true!

Before Rick had his 'episode' I was in a Bonnie Hunter Pineapple Blossom class.  We had low lighting in our space, mood lighting, but we made the best of it! 

Finished blocks at the end of the day - there were two sizes.  My pink ones were on the left in the left photo!!  But I loved the pink and grey ones in the right photo too.  They were all gorgeous!

Here's A's crew come to visit Papa in the Hospital

Here's Mr M showing Papa a video game.

Here's our breakfast before the Portland contingent headed for home.  Don't you love Black Bear Diner!!  Those are "Get Well, Papa" signs they are holding up. The waitress came up, tapped me on the back and told me to get in the shot! and took our picture for us!  Thanks!!

They say it's important to let hospital personnel know about your life - that you are a person, not just a patient.  I think Rogue Regional knows this well, but it never hurts to be sure!  J2 gathered and organized this for us. It was a great conversation starter with staff.

Surgery's done, and we're moving back to the ward!

The night before we were dismissed and headed for home, I made 2 large buckets of chocolate covered pretzels for the two heart units.  Everyone was so wonderful - we wanted to do something.  I wondered about ordering fruit plates ... but Adam - the pediatrics nurse at the same hospital said, "Everyone loves homemade cookies when they come in!"  He's the expert! - and these are favorites of ours too!

After a whole lot of knots in the rewinding of the embroidery floss, I learned a trick!  So I'm going to tell you!!  Take the bands off, and separate the 'circle' - as you can see - there's one loop not cooperating. 
But I persuaded it to circle out.

Now for the simplest way to rewind it onto the plastic card ... put the loop around
your wrist!  Be sure to start winding with the 'outside' end and off you go.

Sometimes it tries to get tangled, but just give it a shake and it will sort itself out.  But don't wear a watch when doing this!!  Murphy's Law taught me that when I was showing the trick to my small group!!!

 Miss E is in the Holiday spirit!  On Dasher, on Dancer ... oops lost the rest of them!!

Wishing all a HaPpY NeW YeAr! With health, happiness and quilts for all!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A December full of Surprises!! But all is well at the end!

Hi! Wishing everyone an uneventful Holiday season.

That's not happening here!  December 7th, my DH failed a stress test spectacularly!  Three ambulance rides and a Life-Flight took us from his visit at our Medical offices here in Brookings - to Curry Hospital in Crescent City to Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford.  On Friday he had a very revealing Angioplasty test and Monday he had Quadruple Bypass surgery!

We were lucky - the only pain he had was during the stress test and again during the Angioplasty. His heart was not damaged.  In fact, when one artery was blocked it made it's own capillary into the heart to keep it's blood supply going!  It's true - my DH has a good heart!!

When telling anyone that DH had heart surgery, the most popular answer is "Him?  Seriously??"  A total surprise to all of us - even DH thought it was GERD!

Rogue Regional is a top 100 US hospital and you can tell.  The facilities are great, the doctors are top-notch; the nurses are patient; the CVAs are awesome. Even the housekeepers were friendly.  It was so reassuring to be there and be 'coddled' as we learned about this procedure.

The best thing about being a 'younger' Baby Boomer is that they have it all worked out by the time we have it!!  We came home Saturday!(Just 5 days after open heart surgery!!) And he's doing great!

I must admit I missed a step walking out of the Medford Walmart last week - where the big sign said "Only X days until Christmas"!!  WHAT?  The whole world isn't in limbo with me - time is still moving??  Oh dear!

So we're going to see if Doni can do 'low-key' Christmas!  No more cookies; I am decorated - did that the weekend before! We won't be traveling to the kids or having them come here - we hope to open presents with them all later next year.

A quiet Christmas - that will be a new experience, but oh-so-much-better than it could have been - if that episode would have happened outside a medical facility!

I'm putting a giant bow on his head - that's my present this year!!

Many thanks to our kids who made everything as easy as possible for us.  From B&Bs services to hand-holding during the hard parts!  We couldn't have asked for any better support.

Everyone should be thankful I'm not doing our letter this December - I have some really interesting photo possibilities ... that I'm absolutely not using!!

We discovered my DD is quite squeamish!  She turned a little green just seeing the Black Marker lines on DH's legs marking the veins!

Here's to a new healthy (and quilty) New Year for all!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Hope your football team won - cuz ours did NOT!

Happy Thanksgiving!  It's truly amazing how fast this month went.  I know, I'm sounding like Grandma Grant again!  But when you are not feeling well for weeks - it seems like it all happens in a blink!

We were supposed to go to Medford to see the boys and A&J2 last weekend.  But Mr D came down with Strep.  The way I'm catching every single little thing that comes along, and hurting myself in inexplicable ways ... we stayed home!

Worked on projects now over-due but mainly, avoided them with reading and watching movies ... isn't that what everyone does when it's getting overwhelming?? Don't tell me.  I can't face that I'm the only one!! PS  I'm now hooked on Netflix series "Longmire".  Love me a good cowboy!!  AND Passengers on HBO was really good too!

But we were all well Thanksgiving and we did our mini-world tour.  Headed up to Portland first, with 3 dogs in the house, and still recovering from my knee, I didn't load up the time with gadding about!  No fun sales for the likes of me!!

I did need to work on DD's Christmas present with her adorable children!  So we took my car on this trip - I was going to drive in Portland, but not in Papa's new car! 

Wednesday morning we were off at the stroke of 10 to Michael's.  This year's present is embroidery threads for DD's new hobby.  I let the kids each pick out 12 DMC skeins and then we retired to the city library to wrap the threads around the plastic 'bobbins' that fit in the clear plastic box.

First we got tired ...

Then we got silly!

And then we got back to work! (see the knot!!) And headed out to lunch at Mr M's favorite place to eat these days - wait for it - Taco Bell?????

Hmmm, there's a trick to wrapping those skeins!  We had several with serious knotting problems.  Oh well, think about that tomorrow!!  We got a lot of them unknotted, but some I had to cut!  Life's too short!! By Thanksgiving dinner we got all the threads wrapped and that part of the present is ready to wrap!

Thanksgiving continued to rain - the whole time we were in Portland! So there was no going outside to play or explore.

My DD and I did get to go see "Lady Bird" and it was great!  We laughed, we elbowed each other - did you get that???  We teared up!  AND the audience clapped at the end!  That's pretty rare these days. I highly recommend it!

Then Friday at the break of dawn we were off to A&J2's house.  I had bought Lego Advent Calendars for all the big kids.  The Portland 2 and the Medford older 2.  We had to deliver them before Dec 1st! or it would be just too confusing!  Last year J2 made the boys Lego Advent calendars!!  But with the arrival of Miss E - well, she doesn't have time for that this year! So, Nana to the rescue!

J2's family was at their house.  Would you believe we hadn't seen most of them since the wedding 7 years ago??  Time flies ... we shared a quick lunch together and then Miss E woke up.  I got to get in and get her, change her and then she sat on my lap, happy as a clam for a lo-o-ng time!  Last time she didn't want anything to do with me - so this was really special!  Yay!

Not smiling at Papa - but she did when not being photographed! And she's reaching for everything, bringing it back to her mouth!  Good girl!

I'm finishing up small group presents; gearing up for my annual Christmas PJ pants factory, and doing a long over-due computer project too!  You'll have to wait to see any of that til next time!!  

30 days til Christmas!  Ladies start your engines ... errr ... sewing machines!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Oye Vay - too much 'not fun' the last few weeks

It all started when I went to the PA for my blood test results.  They were great!  But then she said, "You're a healthy 65 year old.  Keep doing what you are doing!"  Yep, she jinxed me!!

I got the 2nd pneumonia shot and asked the nurse why she was putting it in my shoulder joint.  My son (nurse in another town!) later told me it needed to be down 2-3 inches.  So follow your instincts.  That shot caused me to feel like a sick 94 yr old by evening.

The next time I went to water aerobics, I was lifting the rope divider to get to the Deep Water class and I pulled a right side muscle!  Now, there is something wrong, very wrong, getting hurt doing something good for you!

I finally got that worked out to be bearable, got back from our fun Santa Clara trip and BAMM!  I got the respiratory flu.  I even had the shot - you heard about me wanting my money back last post.  6 days I won't get back!

10 days ago I woke up and thought, "I feel like I slept on my knee wrong!" How old do you have to be to get hurt sleeping??!  It got worse, and worse until I was on crutches!

Went back to my PA and told her it was all her fault - she jinxed me.  She smiled and said she would take the blame.  But I think there is a new notation in my chart about my 'attitude'!!

One thing about the knee problem - it's not catchy!  My good friend said, "There it is ... the glass half full ... that's what I expect from you!!!

I'm back toward normal - still waiting for a Orthopedist referral call back.  But, back in the sewing room today.  There was a lot of "Squirrel Syndrome" happening!  I haven't been sewing at all and you know things start to pile up in an unused room.  I'd be cutting, oh, look at that, ironing and oh!  There is that new catalog. Sewing and "should I donate this book or keep it?"  Better look thru it to be sure ...

Saturday, November 4, 2017

November's changeable weather is here

This week the weather at the coast has been a mish-mash of possibilities!  We had sunny days with the temps in the 60s.  We've had dreary rainy, misty days.  But today takes the cake!  37 degrees at 8 am!!  That's NEW!  Like a true fall day anywhere, there's a high of 50s possible with rain coming in tonight/tomorrow.

I've had the flu for way too many days and I just want to know where I apply for my shot refund and the extra 'damages' payment.  I had big plans last week!!!  None of which happened.  Sadly, Victoria and Abdul has moved on too!

Last time I was 'out and about' was a week ago Friday to the Mod Squad meeting.  I was convinced that it was allergies at that time.  I was wrong!  So sorry to expose my friends to this.

Mod Squad's assignment this month was "Dancing Grid" in Deborah Boschert's book  Art Quilt Collage.  This technique is about grouping things.  It feels like you're ignoring the grid but actually you're placing another invisible grid over the first.  It was fun.

I saw at PIQF many small mosaic borders/backgrounds that were delightful.  It was obvious that I was tossing away scraps that were too big!  So I started with a 'beige-ings' 2" squares background.  It ended up too small.  Added borders on 3 sides ... and I don't want to talk about it!!

Now I wanted to add bright color squares drifting across.  Background finished.  Cut the squares and well - it was under-whelming!


Poop!  But I had lots of sleepless nights last week and early wake-ups ... you can remain under the quilt and solve all kinds of problems and quilt designs.

I've been fascinated by shadow quilts - aha!  Add shadows and now we're talking!  There was frantic sewing the days before the meeting - good thing we're only working with 15" squares! I wanted to float the colors so Soft fuse was added and the batting was great.  With the change in design, I now wanted to fuse the colors again to the shadow.  Soft fuse doesn't like batting!  That DID NOT work.  Oh well, tuck it in and keep on working!

Sorry - blogspot is determined to rotate my project!  It's hanging correctly in the group shot.  (After trying two times to get it right - treat it like toddler bad behavior - ignore it!!)

There were 8 of us at the meeting; 7 projects.  Ignore the papers on the bulletin board behind the projects. Distracting, but I didn't see them until I saw the picture! Too Late!

We have two more book guidelines to work thru ... and we've decided to keep going next year.  There's some tweaks we're implementing but we've got a bunch of good ideas in mind.  Stay tuned!

Back to the date - NOVEMBER.  Arrrrgh!  We all are familiar how the months tend to snowboard away down a slippery slope after Halloween.  Get ready for the ride.

I'm half way thru making 12 special presents for my small woolies group and friends.  I must admit, although I made a prototype before going into production ... I can see simplifications that would have been a good idea!  Oh, well!  Thank goodness I had the foresight to start early (for a change!)  Plugging along ix not the most exciting thing, but hopefully everyone is going to love them!

I'm binding the last side of the Pendleton Wool quilt for my DBIL.  Now I remember why I don't hand bind BIG quilts anymore!  My thumb doesn't like it.  And I must mail 2 of the 4 Christmas stockings (none of which are started) back to Nebraska in the same box.  These are a late Wedding present for a Great Nephew and his bride.  It's a great wedding present if you've already made an adult sized quilt for the family member.

The two other stockings are for our newest -Miss E- and her stocking for our mantle. I made stockings for DH and me for us to take to our kids' houses at Christmas.  But two stockings look pretty lonely at this stage of life - so I made each grandchild a stocking to hang with ours too.  I love it even their stockings aren't ever used!  I've made their stockings for at their houses, so don't be feeling sorry for them!

There's the assorted PJ pants to be done, and I'm sure I'll come up with some other 'gotta haves'  But hoping for a relaxed slippery slope to Christmas.  I'll tell you some favorite Christmas traditions; coping mechanisms and just good advice as we get nearer!!  It will be your choice (as well as mine) whether to follow them or not! 

There's a fine maddening line between a "Christmas-zilla" panic and the second verse of "Who's sorry now!"  Good luck to us all!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Fall is flying by

I can't believe it's even Fall - let alone this close to Halloween!  It's been busy.  Just last week 4 intrepid Brookings quilters headed to Santa Clara for the Pacific International Quilt Festival.  And what a show it was!  Fabulous!

We traveled through Santa Rosa and saw the fire damage where it jumped across 101 several times.  Brookings was threatened by a fire this summer, but we definitely got lucky when the wind changed for our little town.  Our hearts go out to the whole community - we know first hand that everyone is affected.

I've been playing with my large collection of selvedges lately!  It all started with an UFO I needed to finish because almost everyone else was finished and I was a heartbeat away from being Queen of the UFOs!!  Gasp!  That's never good.

A small group banded together and decided to try a group fabrication - because, seriously, aren't they amazing!  We decided to start with a 'barn slice' as explained in an old copy of Quilting Today Magazine.

I helped a friend who couldn't finish hers (on the left) and made my section out of 'text' fabrics I've been playing around with. It reminded me of the deserted barns that have weathered to all grey.  Those narrow little strips led to more selvedge postcards.  And then selvedge Mummies on post cards!

Don't try to follow how my brain skips merrily from project to project!  Just go with the flow!

 I love this layout of selvedges.  Reminds me of old string quilts!

Riel Nason has a great Halloween book published showing her awesome selvedge Halloween quilts.  I fell in love with  "Mummy needs Fabric" and reduced it to a postcard size.

You would not believe how big of a mess results from these innocent little postcards!!  Selvedges everywhere!

I have a small group meeting here tomorrow and this afternoon I TORE our small condo apart looking for 2 Halloween hangings.  Nada!

 "Hello, Police!  I'd like to report a robbery.  No, they did not take our big screen or the 3 tablets/computers we own.  They took a Halloween four-patch and a wool hanging with 3 jack o'lanterns on it!!!  Oh, never mind, you're right - I'll probably find them when I get out the Easter decorations!!!! "  But don't you just hate it when you CANNOT find something when you 'know' just where you must have put it!!!

But while looking for them, I found some others I can substitute!!

"Witch and Famous" is a quilt I usually hang on the door.  The wind is roaring and pouring rain today and tomorrow ... it will be safer inside!

The original pattern had a complicated border ... but after listening to friends complain about it, I found this 'spooky' stripe in my stash and it was perfect ... and easy!!

  Small, Fall, Wall is an old fall quilt.  A reduction and less complicated version of an pattern put out by Red Wagon back in the day.  Linda Brannock actually came to a retreat and taught us!!  So lucky!

She told us, "Just because we make it that size, doesn't mean you have to!"  You could have heard a pin drop in that room.  Our minds were all grasping that fact and figuring out which pattern we were going to reduce first!!!

I ended up making 4(?) of these.  Everyone loved it and 'needed' one immediately!

 The pumpkins table runner was from a Cathy Ware class a few years ago.  Again I adapted the pattern, the tops of the pumpkins hung off the body of the runner and that was just too fussy for me!  My table is wider than usual and making the whole piece wider made it look better too!  Win-win!

Look at those cute pumpkins on top of it!  I got the fabric one at PIQF - itty-bitty yo-yos and buttons.  Who doesn't love those!
It's late and I must start heading for bed! Big day tomorrow:  I have to get up early and assemble Vampire doughnuts!!  [insert evil laugh here!] But I'll leave you with some eye candy from Portland Expo!  Enjoy!


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

October??? It was a top 10 day down on the beach!

I was at the Quilt Expo in Portland this weekend.  What a show!!  Amazing quilts everywhere.  Came home too tired to sew. :) but plan on getting to work on my quilts soon - while adding some ideas I found in Expo!

Today was a gorgeous day on the beach!  NO WIND!  That's pretty unusual!  It was in the 60s(?) at 5 pm.  We walked as far as we could - to the headland before the park.  The beach was wide and flat.  The sun was shining and the waves were gently lapping!  Perfection!

Our condo building is the last one on the left.  One of our favorite views.

Rick walking ahead for the 'shot'!

Wish you were here to enjoy this day with us.  We had fried zuchinni, baked potato and grilled steak for dinner.  Felt like a summer day.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Fire has left the County!

The Chetco Bar fire as left Curry County.  It's still moderately active inland but this week of rain has tamed it.  It's at 190,500 acres and 70% contained with the rains.  Many thanks to our Hero Firefighters and First Responders.  They are still here, mopping up and standing by.  The fire is threatening across the border in California.

Incident camp base.  Lots of pup-tents!!



It's beginning to feel a little more like normal here.  We can even leave the state and go to Crescent City for the pool Water Aerobics without our "Go" bags!! 

Last weekend was the big birthday bash!  Miss P and DH both celebrated their birthdays in Portland and then DH also celebrated in Talent!  A good time was had by all. AND a great deal of yummy food and especially birthday cake and pie and ice cream.  A little break from starting the Mediterranean Diet.  Soon!!

Miss P and I did manicures with light blue/teal polish.  It looked much better on her than on me.  I kept startling everytime I caught it out of the corner of my eye!! 

And believe it or not! DD wanted me to show her how to embroider.  Be still my heart.  We went to Michaels to get basic supplies and learned 3-4 stitches.

Cotton and Steel bugs - now with a distinct personality!!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

News from the West Coast Fire Front

The Chetco Bar fire in my area is currently not very active on our side, it's marching east.  The fire is enormous - 178,000 acres and only 10% contained. We've had 1,600 firefighters camping out in pup tents.  Our little town is only 7,000-ish!  Just yesterday they finally allowed the last areas that were evacuated to come back. Some were out of their houses for 2 weeks!! A quilting friend of mine was one of them.

Everyone is very tired and cranky from living in 'siege mode'. After we came back from being evacuated DH and I were hunkered down in our condo avoiding the smoke while having a broken AC! (5 days - we found out how much we depend on our usual ocean breeze). We had some borrowed fans and we didn't move about much.  It felt like hunkering down for the winter storms in NE.  Low light, can't go outside ... but it was hot!  Thanks so much for your inquiries as to how we're doing.
It seems like most of the US is fighting with Mother Nature - our fingers are crossed for the areas affected by fires, hurricanes and whatever else being thrown our way. 

I'm going to forget my troubles and quilt today. Quilting is a great stress reliever - I'm prescribing it for me!! I have to move my machine to the great room because I still have 2 twin beds in my sewing room.  Reluctant to put the extra mattress set back out in the storage area because of all the smoke.

BUT that means - tv and good speakers for music!!  More light - but my view today is smoke.  I can hear the ocean so I'm pretty sure it's still out there!!  :) DH just left for a golf outing - let the hullabaloo start!!

I went to the Dr this week.  That morning I was a fluffy senior in good health!  Then I got the new pneumonia shot.  All that fluffiness I offer and they put it right in my shoulder.  OMG!  My arm was tortured all day, then as it always happens with one part hurting - everything else got in the act.  When I went to bed (at 7:30! with a PM pill) I felt like a 94 yr old cripple.  Thank Goodness it was better when I woke up.  And better yet when I went to our "Woolies" meeting and laughed and sewed with friends.  I'm almost back to normal with just a little twinge when I touch it.  I'm certainly glad that I don't have to get another one of those!!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Fire continues

Now that was hard to write - the Fire Continues.  We did have fun with family and friends as we were on the road.  But it doesn't matter if you stay at home and weather it out, or whether you hit the road to get out of the way/smoke.  Nothing feels right.

So to remember some fun times - here are pictures, in no particular order (Really, they didn't load as selected!!)

Olive Garden birthday dinner for moi!

Since we were evacuated and couldn't go home after the eclipse.  I elected to stay at the new house and watch it from the deck with the kids.  99.3 - not totality but the shadows and the temperature cooling was awesome!  And the company wasn't bad either!!

This is what the Brookings cars looked like.  It was greasy, sticky soot everywhere.  And of course, we had water restrictions - so I didn't wash it until I was in Newport, running from the smoke.  R and I did a bang-up job!  Dawn dish soap; washing mitts and alot of water pressure.  Had to go over this beauty 3 times to get all the soot off.  Then we washed her car - easy peasy, just dusty.

First day of school pictures - I got to take them!!

My view Sept 1, 2017.  The fire is active near Selma; but the smoke is hanging around here.

Boys playing at Whaleshead beach - race those waves!!

Gotta throw rocks.  Gotta skip rocks.  Gotta break rocks ... it's a Boyd thing!

I made these!  I was given pictures and suggestions by the designers D & K.  They helped steer the machine and correct any mistakes I'd made!!! Saber-tooth tiger on left.  Superhero bad guy on the right!!