Sunday, June 30, 2013

Today was much more productive!  This morning I almost finished another preemie quilt (just needs the binding finished.)

Around noon I headed over to the gym where I had planned on using the treadmill, but Alex suggested I try the StairMaster.  So I did that for 10 minutes, walking up the equivalent of 25 flights and ramping up my heart rate to almost 160.  
Hope my legs aren't sore tomorrow; I have my workout session with Jim at 9:00.

Summer came over to swim with her boys and husband.  Watching him toss the boys reminded me of when Lisa and Alex were little.  They loved it when Tom launched them into the air.

Alex came by mid-afternoon with my lunch (Sprouts makes the best sandwiches, and for practically nothing!)  He was going to help me get the riding mower unstuck, but I'd already gotten Karl to help me when they showed up to swim.  

It's actually clouding up this afternoon, and I may go out and do some more mowing.

Yesterday was not my most productive day sewing - I ended up doing a serious amount of frog stitching. 

 Right off the bat I figured out how to make a totally new mistake, 
and it definitely was not an improvement!
 Working on a fence rail quilt, I had grabbed my next two strips. But somehow one strip didn't unfold, so i ended up sewing 3 'pieces' together.  

 Not that much later <sigh> instead of sewing two strips right sides together, I sewed them right side to wrong side. It wasn't too much later that I stretched out in front of the TV and dozed for an hour or two.  Obviously I really, really needed a nap!

Phoenix broke the heat record yesterday by a couple of degrees, hitting 119. Yes, we expect heat here in the summer. But these temps are 10-15 degrees above normal. I wisely stayed inside with the A/C.  

Today is supposed to be even hotter, so think I'll go with the same plan again today... but hopefully (!) do less ripping.  And if the 'gang' ends up coming over to swim (they didn't yesterday), I'll go outside for that!

Tom called last night from Idaho, where it's been over 100.  Since he and Carlo are out and about (on the quads and hiking) it's been brutal for them.  But he did say how gorgeous the country is there.  Of course I already knew that from spending many summers up there. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sadly, my letter-to-the-editor was not published in the paper today.  
(I looked this morning, even though I hadn't gotten an e-mail saying it was being considered - like the previous times.)

I took my embroidery machine instruction manual in to Kinko's to be spiral bound (and also - as suggested - had front/back covers laminated) and what a difference the the spiral binding makes!  Certainly was a wonderful suggestion that Kathy made at class on Thursday.
(Next I'll have to take in the book for my regular machine.)

On the way back from Kinko's, I heard part of a radio interview Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner Kersee.  She was talking about when she first started running at 14, and came in last, in 8th place.  The next time she came in 7th, then 6th.  I wish it had been a call-in show; she might have gotten a laugh out of my experience, which I shared on my blog 2 years ago.  For those of you who are new to my blog, you can check out that entry (from June 13, 2011) here.

I've been sewing this morning.  It's too hot to do much else, although I did have a (very) fleeting thought about doing some yardwork when I first got up.

This afternoon I've invited the kids over to swim, because it sure is a happy pool when it's filled with kids!  Here's a picture Summer took the other day; that's Jacob jumping off the board, with Devon not far behind.

Sitting here at the computer I have a clear view of the hummingbird feeders on the back patio.  I was surprised to see 3 hummers feeding on one at the same time (usually they are very territorial) although #4 was chased away.  They sure do waste a lot of energy defending 'their' feeders; wish I could convince them that there's pretty much an endless supply of sugar water, and they can just relax!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Actions have consequences...

I have been loaning my car to Alex on Thursday nights so he can drive to his job in Scottsdale.  (His car still only runs in 2nd gear. Long story.)  I had a doctor's appointment at 9:00 this morning, so I needed the car back by 8:30.  He was distressed by that (he works quite late) and said maybe he'd come here after work and sleep in his old bed so he wouldn't have to get up so early.  Whatever, as long as I had the car by 8:30.

At 8:35 I called the doctor's office and cancelled.  (Naturally the woman who knows me, and that I'm early for every appointment, is on vacation this week.)  I've rescheduled for July.

(except maybe to Alex?)

I will not be loaning him my car any more.

In happier news: in a bit I'm off to the movies in Scottsdale with Mary.  
(If she wasn't driving before, she sure is now... <g>)  

Just fired off another Letter To The Editor.
We all know that 'one way to stay cool' is by getting in the water. But I must say I was heartily dismayed at the picture and caption you ran in today's paper. The grandmother, shown with her back to the kids, walking away, is definitely not keeping watch. Yes, the kids are 'only' in a few inches of water. Remember the mantra: It only takes a few seconds! Too many grief-stricken parents have learned that hard lesson! 
I have a Designated Child Watcher necklace, and folks may think I'm overprotective. But over the years I have personally witnessed 3 (!) close calls! The first time, over 20 years ago, is still vivid in my mind. I was sitting on the edge of the public kiddie pool (maximum depth 18") in Kingman, watching my toddler splash around. At one point she lost her footing, and fell face down. But instead of regaining her feet (you'd think it would be instinctive!) she just lay there! In the few seconds it took me to stand up and race over, the lifeguard had already beaten me to her.
The second time was right after we'd just moved to Phoenix and had a pool for the first time. At a birthday party a non-swimmer (child of one of my husband's co-workers) was inching his way around the pool by holding onto the edge, and lost his grip. His parents were not watching him, but luckily another adult 'just happened' to see him sink beneath the water! 
The third time was at a 4th of July party in our backyard. A toddler had been having a great time jumping into the pool while wearing water wings, but her parent had removed them for lunch. Afterward, while that parent was momentarily distracted changing her infant brother's diaper, the toddler simply walked over to the pool and just jumped in. I was sitting on the edge of the pool maybe 6 feet away and saw the whole thing. But before I could get to her, my daughter (who was already in the pool) scooped her up from the bottom; she said the shocked little girl's eyes were 'the size of dinner plates'. 
While the children in the picture don't seem to be at much risk, I heartily believe you could have found a MUCH better picture to run in the paper, one where an adult is actually 'keeping watch'!  
Today in the Arizona Republic:

 It's a Fry Heat
Temperatures in the Valley will likely reach 119 degrees today, 117 on Saturday and 116 on Sunday. All three would set records for those days.
Many businesses keep their thermostat cranked WAY down this time of year.  Yesterday, when Annette and I went to the nearby Subway during the lunch break, I actually had goosebumps from the cold.  I'm sure it will be the same at the movies this afternoon with Mary; I'll need to bring a sweater in with me!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The 'new and improved' treadmills at the gym do NOT have fans built into them (like the old ones did), do NOT show the amount of calories being burned (like the old ones did), and do not have a book well (like the old ones did.)

I learned a LOT at class today; not only how to use the embroidery functions, but also some great things my new machine will do with 'regular' sewing.  Although it was a lot of information to take in all at once, I did take copious notes.

Plus all of the information is in the instruction manual.

   Luckily there are also lots of Busy Bees and Foothills ladies with their own embroidery machines who can help me if when I get stuck!

I didn't get home from class until about 4:30 (yes, I did a little fabric shopping afterward) and after a brief rest I'm now off to the gym to workout on the treadmill.  After missing Tuesday AND Wednesday (and probably tomorrow) I feel like I really should go; I certainly don't want to lose the progress I've made!  Alex said it's a lot busier this time of day than I'm used to, but there are still machines available upstairs.
I think I've mentioned that each day this past week the forecast for the weekend had inched up another degree.  And here it is again, yet another degree hotter.  With 119 predicted, maybe we'll be be 'lucky' and hit 120?

The meteorologist on the news last night promised <g> that we're going to cool down after this week.  But folks, remember 'cool down' is a relative term!
It'll still be triple digits, but 'only' around 105;  to paraphrase him, "we don't call it hot until it's above 110!"

Since we live here, we've just gotta embrace summer.
Here to help with that is some of Robin's happy art!

Yesterday was a gleeful afternoon poolside.  With Lisa and Alex grown and gone, it's had a sad, neglected demeanor, but yesterday was like old days!
Neighbor Lisa came over with her two, and Summer brought her four plus the two she babysits.  (She's a brave woman; the ages of those six kiddos are approximately 2, 2, 4, 5,6, and 8!)  With the weather this hot, I assume we'll have more pool parties in the coming days.  :-)

Kids + Water = Great Recipe for Fun 
as long as there is 
plenty of adult supervision!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

In case you wondered, Murphy's Law still operates in my area of the universe.

I decided to wear rubber gloves this morning to do the dishes, in deference to my injured finger.  Who knew (lol) that there was a tear in one of the fingers?  And (of course) out of 10 possible fingers, which was the torn one?
Trust me.... 
you definitely have much more than a 10% chance of guessing correctly!

When I was getting ready to head out for Busy Bees this morning, I looked all over for my camera (with the replacement memory card) until I finally found it - with the quilts I was taking for Show & Tell.  Obviously I put it there last night so I wouldn't forget it, but guess I was suffering from another (all too frequent!) bout of CRS this morning.  

Unfortunately, that replacement memory card was so small that it would only hold a handful of pictures, so I could only snap a few at quilting. Sometimes

Anyway, here are a few pix of the morning's Show&Tell.

Talk about a UFO; Carol appliqued these blocks a loooong time ago (25 years?) and then they just sat around patiently, waiting for just the right quilt.  Her granddaughter wanted a quilt made from them, and requested bright red sashing.  Carol was dubious, but did as Willow asked.  
And the quilt turned out so nice Carol's kind of sorry that she doesn't get to keep it for herself!

Melissa and Joanne showed off last month's Row Along.  (Knowing I was limited, I didn't take a picture today of Joni with this month's row, cups.)

Marjory is going to teach a bag class in a few months.  In the meantime, she whipped up this bag to go with all of those adorable mice 'holders' I posted last month.

And speaking of bags, Pati Cook brought in a couple of new ones of hers.  We're all so glad to see she's back sewing again.

This adorable charity quilt is not a panel (as we first assumed) and gives me some ideas of how to use some companion fabrics I have stashed away!  (As always, I have way more ideas than time!)

And speaking of Charity Quilts - I donated the jellyroll top I made at Foothills yesterday.  Which means I won't have it to show at next month's Foothills meeting...oops!  It's nice and bright, and will make a happy quilt for a child who could use an extra smile.

Pennie hasn't quite finished quilting Zach & Bekkah's wedding quilt, but brought a picture of it on the frame to show me her progress.  I already knew it was going to look beautiful when I gave it to her to quilt - she does stunning work! - but she wanted to show me how nicely it's turning out.  I should have it back early in July and then can get to work binding it.  In the meantime I've been busy collecting fabrics for Jeff & Priscilla's wedding quilt, but am not going to actually start working on that one until I have the first one finished.

Neighbor Lisa texted to see if she could bring the kids over to swim around 2:00, which sounds good to me.  So I figured I'd better head off to the gym and do my treadmill (I missed yesterday because of quilting, and will miss tomorrow because of my all-day embroidery class) in order to be sure to be back home by the time they arrived.

However, when I got to the gym and the parking lot was basically empty

I remembered that 
they're getting all the the new machines, and the gym is closed. 

(It's not as if they've had signs plastered all over the past few weeks to remind us, right?  LOL)