Monday, October 31, 2011

It really IS squarer than it looks...

Maybe it's not absolutely perfect, but a very wise quilter once said, 

Happy Halloween!

A beautiful day here for all the trick-or-treaters tonight.  It's supposed to reach 90 today, and with the neighborhood hayride starting at 6:00 the kids should have a nice, balmy trip around the neighborhood.

  I do feel for all those relatives and friends back on the East Coast, dealing with snow and power outages.  (Starting this early in the year, it could be a very long winter...)  Won't be quite as much fun for all the kiddos (or parents!) going out tonight all bundled up!
AND if there's no power when they get home afterward (to see what goodies they got, and to make hot chocolate to warm up), that's really a bummer!

But despite the weather challenges, hope everyone has the best Halloween ever!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ultimate "Chick Flick"?

Sexist or not, it made me laugh - thank you, Pat!

Remember the 4 batiks for the Timeless Treasures challenge?

Here's what I ended up with. 
(Again, the picture insisted on posting sideways -
can anyone explain that quirk to me?)
My 'quilt sandwich' is now ready to quilt (I'll probably go with a simple in-the-ditch pattern) using the light green fabric as backing. Happily there's enough of the blue left over for the binding. And then I'll be done.  :-)

But now it's time to go out and 'play' with the back ditch and see if I can prevent it from flooding next time around. 
Fun, fun, fun... for fish, maybe!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Irrigation irritation

Subbing went well yesterday.  Of course it helped that I already knew all the kids.  They each gave me two words during vocabulary time, but even though there were a lot of 'good' ones there were no Stumpers.  It was a good thing it was only a half day of school yesterday.  I just haven't been sleeping well this week, and by the afternoon I was pretty tired.  Around 3:00 thought I'd stretch out in front of the TV and maybe catch a quick nap before Jeopardy at 4:30.  

Unfortunately, just as I was dozing off the phone rang.  It was our neighbor; seems our irrigation was leaking and running onto his property.  So I hauled myself off the couch and headed out (Tom and Alex were off at the DMV) to see about fixing things.  Luckily there was a 'leftover' pile of dirt right nearby that I was able to use to staunch the flow of water, at least temporarily.  But I will have to do something a little more permanent later today.

What I'd really rather do today is work on my Timeless Treasures challenge!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Doing nothing?

Haven't slept much the past few nights, and am pretty tired during the day.  Yesterday I dozed off during the long commercial before Final Jeopardy, and woke up in time to hear the final scores, missing the question.  Bummer.  
Alex has asked several times in the past couple of days if I'm OK - obviously I don't look it!  And last night at dinner, when I guess I was 'relaxing' my eyes by staring off into space, he asked what I was staring at.

I'm off in a bit to substitute in the 5th grade.  Went to bed at 9:00 last night, and took something so I'd be sure to sleep, so I should be just fine.
Actually I don't have trouble most of the time when I'm subbing, partly because now I only sub for those teachers who have 'good' classes.  If a teacher can't 'control' her own class, I'm certainly not going in there as a sub.  
I remember when I first moved to Arizona in the 70s, and with only 2 years teaching experience (in a private school in DC) was subbing in the Washington District. That was a lower income area of the city which had some difficulty attracting subs.  On that particular day I was in an 8th grade classroom.  A few students came up to the desk to ask for help with the assignment (which was somewhat unusual) and I was more than happy to help them.  I didn't notice anything else out of the ordinary until I was home that evening - a hunk of my (almost waist-long) hair was missing in the back, and could only have been cut when I was distracted in class.  Boy, they were sneaky!

Have a great day!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gingerbread Boys quilt taking shape

Haven't done anything on the Timeless Treasures challenge (you know, the one with the deadline in a few weeks!) but instead sashed my gingerbread boy blocks.  It still needs a border (and then I plan an outer pieced border) but I'm not sure if the inner border will be the same width as the sashing or a little larger; I need to do some measuring and finalize my outside border pattern in order to make the necessary adjustments.  In the meantime, at least I'm making steady progress.  (Try to picture them with their button eyes.)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nice new number!

Today I saw a number on the bathroom scale that I haven't seen in a LONG time (and had long despaired of ever seeing again!)

In Other Good News, the crown on my tooth that was giving me serious problems on Monday seems to have reseated itself, and is now just fine.  The dentist took an x-ray 'just to be sure', but for the time being there's nothing to be done.  Fine with me!

Still trying to adjust to my tri-focals.  Although it's been 3 weeks, I haven't been able to resolve several of the issues with them.  Next week will go back and see about possible adjustments.

We've had rain several times in the past few days.  It didn't last very long, but was fast and furious each time it happened, and was usually accompanied by thunder and lightening.  Irrigation (naturally) is imminent, scheduled for Friday afternoon.  The ditch needs to be mowed before-hand, but if it doesn't dry out by tomorrow afternoon it probably won't happen this cycle.

Gingerbread Boys

Surprised myself (and Tom, and Alex) by sewing into the wee hours of the morning last night.  (Had a few choice words for Joyce, sewing 3 tiny pieces onto each of the 16 heads, but she was right - after that was done the blocks practically put themselves together.)  

Here's the batch of them.  Haven't yet decided on sashing, and of course they'll look even cuter once I put eyes on them after the quilt is finished - but you get the idea.  (Do NOT know why the picture insists on posting upside down... it's not that way in the file.  So if you'll just stand on your head to view it.....)

Now I'm off to Busy Bees, and then afterward it's off to the dentist.  A crown came loose on Monday, causing pain - but the dentist wasn't in on Monday, and of course I couldn't make the appointment for yesterday because I was having the Foothills ladies here.  Happily the crown seems to have reseated itself and there's no pain any more - but figure I'll keep the appointment and have him check it anyway.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Successful Sew Day

Annette, Butch, Joy, Judy, Linda, Ruth, and Viola joined me today for a fun (and productive) Sew Day here.  In-between gabbing and eating I managed to get the backing made for my I SPY quilt, and also (thanks to Butch's bag of plaid scraps) pieces cut out for 16 gingerbread boy blocks.  
 Think I'll take Joyce's advice and putz with all the tiny 1" pieces for all 16 heads all at the same time.  Then the rest of the quilt will practically make itself, right?
We also firmed up plans for our upcoming program and potluck (with Eleanor Burns' sister Pat Knoechel)  in 2 weeks, as well as worked on ideas for the Holiday luncheon in December. (No, we don't always talk about food - just seems that way!)

In other news: Pokey entertained us when she made several appearances on the porch (mostly to rearrange the furniture.)
Am still trying to decide what to do with my fabric for the Timeless Treasures challenge - 2 of the fabrics are very similar - but maybe the ladies will have some suggestions when they're over today. I need to get started soon, with the deadline looming! 

I did finish this little doll-sized quilt for May last night.  It's made from some of the blocks I used in my 4th grade presentation last week.  May really enjoyed it, and later brought me in a stack of fabrics someone had passed along to her.  (I remember May's daughter Lydia, who was in Diane's 5th grade a few years ago - she did her best all year to find Stumpers for me.)

Now I'd better get dressed before the ladies start showing up!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Food Update

The "1st Stage" of my new diet, which lasts 2 weeks, is up.  I've now entered the "2nd Stage" where I'm allowed to start adding some things back into my diet.  But I've been doing so well that I'm not really inclined to add much.  Last night we ate dinner out, at Sweet Tomatoes; I filled up on soups and salads and was able to forgo one of my favorites, their garlic focaccia bread.  Alex tried to tempt me with the brownie, but I honestly didn't 'need' a bite.  However I did enjoy the orange and pineapple slices, since I have missed fruit. 
My shopping cart these days contains very little processed food.

Food for thought:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

"Not bad" weather???

I was listening to a talk show on NPR yesterday (pretty much the only station I listen to any more) and a listener called in from Kodiak, Alaska with a question.  When asked how the weather was there, he replied, "Not bad. It's in the 30s." The moderator (who was in LA) almost choked on his reply.  Our weather yesterday was still in the 90s (of course with no humidity that makes it a beautiful day, not like the 90s when I was growing up in Maryland) so I could relate.  We're in tank tops and flip flops - 'only' in the 30s is something very hard to imagine!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Arizona Quilters Guild

The Fall Meeting this morning was fun, as expected.  We took a slight detour on the way there, but my trusty GPS unit came through for us.  Susan Carlson's presentation on her fabric collages was a foray into a different type of quilting.  I'm so glad she brought a number of her quilts that we could examine up close, because her slides did not begin to do justice to the details in them.  Check her out here

Susan currently lives in Maine, but mentioned in the course of her talk that she grew up in Maryland.  So afterward, when I went by her booth to buy her book, I asked her where in Maryland.  I was a little surprised when she said "Wheaton", which is right 'next-door' to Silver Spring.  I replied "Northwood High School", and then I got a real surprise... she also went to Northwood (although about 10 years behind me.)  Small world! 
 (It's A Small World After All could be one of the most annoying songs ever.  When we took the kids to Disneyland when they were little, I thought Tom was going to have cardiac arrest having to sit through that ride.  And THEN we passed it on our way out that afternoon, and the kids insisted we ride it again. Tom survived... but just barely!)

At today's meeting I also signed up for the Timeless Treasure Challenge, and received my 4 fabrics.  
 I've got to create a 24"x24" quilt using ONLY those 4 fabrics (including backing and binding) although I can add embellishments.  Since the deadline is the end of November I'd "better get cracking", as Dad used to say.  

Of course the first (and hardest!) step is to decide what I want to do... 
I'll 'probably' post updates of my progress... <G>

The afternoon part of the meeting was not quite as much fun.  After show and tell, we got down to the serious business of running AQG, which is undergoing serious issues since the president was recently found to have 'mismanaged' funds and was summarily ousted.  Now the task at hand is to get the books audited, a new board elected, and everything else back on track. 

I said some bad words ...

Because while I was doing a nice thing last night (changing the litter in Sapphire's litterbox) a bad thing happened... stubbed that toe again on the vacuum cleaner in the laundry room!  

May not exactly be back to square one.... but it is not a happy toe today!

 In (much!) happier news, I'll be spending the day at the AQG Fall meeting with Carol, Betty and Pati - so that should be fun!  (How could a day of 'quilting stuff'' not be?)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Some animals are just TOO cute!

Richard Tesore, head of SOS Rescate Fauna Marina, feeds a female baby La Plata dolphin (Pontoporia Blainvillei) in the sea off Piriapolis, 90 km east of Montevideo, Uruguay. The dolphin, with its umbilical cord still attached, was found beached near Montevideo and was sent to the NGO. 

Delphi and her baby, Doerrte, swim in Europe’s biggest dolphinarium at the zoo in Duisburg, Germany. The little bottlenose is one of three babies born at the same time last month at the zoo.

This is one ROUND robin!

Knitters have been helping out penguins affected by a recent oil spill in New Zealand.  After a plea went out, they were apparently inundated with sweaters (which keep the penguins from preening and ingesting the toxic oil) and in no time at all received more than were needed.

NOT cute!  An oil-slicked Little Blue Penguin in Tauranga, NZ.
A rescued penguin recovers at the Oiled Wildlife Centre in Tauranga following the oil spill from the stricken container ship Rena.

Maybe not exactly cute - but interesting!  Fearless Rang Rang ants dance on a lizard’s head in Indonesia. This lizard must already have eaten its dinner - or the ants crawling over its head are very brave or extremely stupid. The amusing scene of peaceful co-existence was captured by photographer Teguh Santosa, 49, at his home in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Reality TV.. apparently everyone’s doing it.
and a final shot, taken at one of the OCCUPY rallies: