Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Yesterday I swept porches now that the wind/rain seems to be finished, and it would be great if they could  stay looking this nice for a while.  Then I collected Tyga from the back house so he could "help" me rake the jungle; I'm pleased to report that his recuperation continues and he was moving around even better yesterday. 

Of course it's a given that even tamping down the leaves in the can I barely made a dent in their volume before the can was filled to overflowing.  Of course I could have rolled the second can over and kept going, but I found other (better!) things to do... like sit on the chaise poolside and read. 

This morning (unfortunately I've been up since around 3:30) I finished Glitter and Glue.  While it was not quite what I expected it did turn out to be an excellent read about the evolving relationship between mother and daughter.

Jay, resident geologist from the hot springs, called yesterday afternoon to let me know he's "in the neighborhood" (at the show in Quartzsite?)  After a dental appointment in Yuma this afternoon he's going to come by for dinner, and given the distance from Yuma we no doubt will be dining fashionably late.   Since we only talked briefly, I have no idea how long he can stay and visit. Of course now that our weather has finally decided to behave normally again there's certainly no rush for him to return to COLD Colorado! 

Last night Jim took us out to dinner to thank us for our wonderful hospitality; he's blasting off this morning after rush hour.  So the guest room in the guest house will be free (though Jim actually stayed in his camper, just using the house for the bathroom facilities and laundry.)  

Unfortunately both Tom and I have Wednesday plans.  I've got the Landscape Quilt class in the morning, with a lunch afterward, and dinner and Book Club at Cheri's in the evening.  Tom will be driving down to Tucson to meet up with a jeweler who is interested in his fire obsidian.  Hopefully Jay can find stuff to do while he's rattling around here (he can always pretend the hot tub is the hot springs) and we can spend more time together on Thursday.  However Tom does have another high end jeweler coming up from Tucson on Thursday to check out his stones.

January is usually like this!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Aja and Tyga came over yesterday and stayed for dinner.  I had a batch of spaghetti sauce simmering in the crock pot all day for whenever Tom and Jim made it back from Flagstaff/Jerome/Sedona.  An accident on I-17 slowed down traffic for about an hour, but they eventually arrived home ready to chow down.  Today they're off again, this time prospecting for gold.  The other night Jim shared his slide show of his numerous prospecting trips above the Arctic Circle, where over the years he's found some incredible nuggets.

Tyga is recovering nicely from his 'adventure' on Wednesday, when he and a vehicle had a run-in.  Alex saw the whole thing go down, and needless to say it scared him half to death.  The good news is that Tyga sustained no broken bones or internal injuries, so aside from a lot of scrapes and bruises he came through reasonably unscathed. The silver lining to the entire episode (which BTW cost Alex a lot of money at the emergency vet) is that now I'm pretty sure Alex finally "gets" why parents worry!  I also have to assume he'll make sure to have a leash with him at all times from now on...

Karen's penguin bag is in the mail to Terry's so it should be waiting for her when she arrives in Colorado for her annual ski trip.  Now I can get going on the two items I need to whip up before the Quilt Retreat so I can participate in the swaps: a spool block and a placemat.

Our weather is back to normal, and expected to hit 71 today.  
I may take advantage of the beautiful day and do some raking.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

It was the usual fun at Bunco last night.  We had 5 tables, and then for LRC afterward people came out of the woodwork to play, so there was a hefty pot up for grabs.  

Lots of  'cheering' at the end when it was down to just two people (though the actual two kept changing, of course.)  The excitement got loud enough that I thought the sound might possibly have carried across the irrigation ditch  and back yards to the house here, though Tom and Jim said not.  

The cliff-hanger ended when Edie finally won.

I called Bobbi this morning to see about heading down to the fairgrounds together today for the big sewing show as we'd discussed a week or so ago.  That's when I lelarned the sad news that her husband Dick passed away on Thursday.  

As expected she's devastated and just wants to crawl back into bed today - 
and I gave my full "permission" for her to do just that! 

So I won't be going to the show.  That's probably just as well, since basically it's quilting vendors packed into two of the largest commercial buildings there... and it's not like I "need" to buy any more fabric or tools!  

It also means I have no excuse not do the zipper on Karen's bag today.  

I might also run up to Jeannie's afterward as a reward.  

She's got Anne's show quilt on the frame, and wants me to come up and see it.

I've just finished seining the floaters off of the surface of the pool.  Yesterday's strong (and chilly!) winds not only caused it be unpleasant to spend any time outside, but made a real mess of the pool.  Of course a substantial number of water-logged leaves already sank the bottom, but the water is quite cold (my hand practically froze just pulling out the skimmer basket) so I'm not inclined to get everything set up to vacuum the floor of the pool.  MAYBE I can convince Tom to do it if he and Jim get back from grubbing early enough this afternoon?

Friday, January 27, 2017

As of this morning Alex is off again for work (this time to California,Oregon, Washington and Idaho) so Tyga is back with us, at least for a short bit.  (Not as exciting as when he's with Alex, but that's not always a good thing.)  Aja just called.  The group will be flying from Miami to California this evening as scheduled, and I expect her to pick up her baby after they drive back to AZ tomorrow.

I look forward to hearing all about the cruise.  The phone connection was bad, but it sounded like she has some stories to tell!

Karen's penguin bag is mostly made; I just have to put in the zipper and square off the bottom.  But since I have lots going on today I will probably leave that for tomorrow.  Then I can pop it in the mail.  It turns out that Karen will be in Colorado (she and Mark live in NY) in February for a ski vacation, so Terry "hinted" that if I mail it there she will also get to see it, unlike the Taj Mahal pillow for her mom in Texas.  Hilda was finally able to get through on the phone (like everyone else she kept getting a busy signal when the phone was out of order for so long) and raved about the pillow.  

She thinks it's perfect - I told her she may need new glasses!

I'm pleased with how it's turned out (I used a lighter color for her lining fabric, which should make it easier to find stuff than it is in mine) though really how you can possibly go wrong with penguins?

Off to the gym!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The ladies had fun at yesterday's quilt-as-you-go Strip Quilt class. 

This was "my" table (see my thermorest peeking at the bottom?) Cathy, the woman on the right, just joined Foothills yesterday but has jumped right in.  I loved her fabrics; they were the similar to the blues and browns I'm using in the wedding quilt.

I was not the only one with questions.  
Here Stephanie is explaining part of the process.

Notice the big brown bag of scraps at the bottom of this pic?
We all have those!

 I didn't schlep my machine (just have too much on my plate to start another project right now) but I did take copious notes; as usual I needed some additional clarification at a crucial step of the directions Stephanie handed out.  At some point I plan to make one, possibly putting a dent in the tonnage of strips I have saved from previous projects.  I can only hope that the notes I added to her handout with the directions will allow me to understand how to join the blocks. If not, she helpfully included the URL for a YouTube tutorial that should help answer any questions I have.

Tyga was thrilled to see "his boy" arrive home yesterday.  
He ran around in circles and practically tried to crawl into Alex.  

We, of course, won't get Tyga back again until Alex takes off again (not sure which day that will be) and did miss the little guy last night.

Ralph enjoyed dinner, some of Monday's stew and a second loaf of bread I baked yesterday.  He was unfamiliar with automatic breadmakers, but as impressed as he was with the bread last night I'm pretty sure he's going to scope them out and get one for his own place.  I was going to "let" him try it out and make a loaf for tonight's dinner to see just how easy it is.  Unfortunately he was just here for the one night; he needs to blast off shortly so he can spend a few days with his mom in San Diego before heading home.

Friday and Saturday will be busy, but I have nothing on the agenda for today (Thursdays are usually my one free day) so I'm finally starting Karin's penguin bag.  In theory <g> I should be able to make it at least up to the zipper step (not sure if I have one the right length/color.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

I slept in until 7:00! That's especially surprising considering I stopped reading and turned off the light shortly after 9:00 last night, but obviously I was as tired as I thought.  There's frost on the grass this morning, and the thermometer on the back porch looks to be hovering around 40.  However since the thermometer is in a protected area it's likely truly colder out.

Alex's 'tour' made it to Flagstaff yesterday, though he reported that the drive took a lot longer than it should have.  Flag has been getting copious amounts of snow lately so the guys should have another fun day boarding today.  We expect Alex back this evening, when he'll have company in the guest house's guest room tonight.  Ralph, who is in for Quartzsite, will be arriving for a visit sometime today.

In a bit I'm off to quilting.  I'm looking forward to Stephanie's quilt-as-you-go strip quilt class, though I'm not going to schlep my machine and materials since I certainly don't need to start another project at this point.  But I will file away her instructions for later on down the road.  Though I've made a similar one before, often the teacher includes a "why didn't I think of that?" hint that makes things SO much easier!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

When I returned from the gym the COX truck was here, and I headed inside for the latest chapter in the on-going phone saga.  Juan was just finishing up; he'd found (and fixed) a short in the kitchen phone jack.  Apparently (like Christmas lights) if one goes out, they're all out.  So (for the time being at least!) the phones are working again.  And the best news is that Juan left his direct cell phone number with us, so that IF we should lose phone service again (and there's definitely been that trend lately!) we won't have to go through everything with a 4th person - he'll put in a service request and come back himself.

This afternoon I took Tyga for a Pawdicure.  He got excited when he saw me pick up the leash, and was thrilled to go for a ride in the car.  He was even happy to be at PetSmart... at least until we entered the grooming area.  Though he was less than thrilled with the whole process he behaved like a true gentleman, so of course when we got home he got a treat.  I've been working on getting him to shake "correctly" (with his right paw instead of his left) and I think he's pretty much got it down now.

Going to be cold again tonight and tomorrow night (quite nippy when I headed out to soak this morning - I could see my breath ) but in a few days temps should be back to normal.

For those who feel the march was "make noise" for abortion rights, please read this for what it really was about. Following are are some of the reasons why millions of people showed up to protest this weekend:

Women are marching because our children deserve 
a secretary of education who cares about education

Women are marching because our family and friends deserve healthcare. Did you know that before the ACA, newborns in the NICU would hit their lifetime caps on health insurance coverage. That's right, Babies still in the hospital who had yet to feel the sun on their skin could no longer get health insurance!

Women are marching because domestic violence crisis centers 
and after school programs deserve funding.

Women are marching because we deserve clean air, clean water, and national parks.

Women are marching because we believe the children protected by the DREAM act deserve to be here and they deserve to live with their parents, not in orphanages and foster homes."

And most of all, women are marching because we have the right to. The right to protest and speak out against our government is the first amendment. That's right, #1! It is one of our most fundamental American rights.

Saying that we're whining, throwing temper tantrums, or that we're immature, or that we need to get over it will not stop us. We're not marching because Trump won. 

We're marching because he wants to take all of the things that we hold dear away. All of the things that we've been fighting for for generations.

And we're not giving up easily. Anyone who thinks we're marching because we lost just simply isn't listening. We're fighting because we refuse to lose more."
The cleaning crew did a phenomenal job of dusting the house yesterday afternoon.  Their timing was perfect, calling to say they were on their way just a few minutes after the duct cleaning crew left.  Everything not only looks so much better, but no doubt we will also be breathing much better because of all of the fixes.

Here is the (embarrassing) BEFORE picture of one of the the ducts:

and the happy AFTER one:

Alex called yesterday to check in on me and make sure I was doing okay. (I had called him on my way home from Joni's memorial Saturday, hoping to be cheered up a little - which did work.)  He's become much more solicitous this past year or so, and I chalk it up to maturity and Aja's influence.

Yesterday was a wet raw day, so a bowl of hearty stew and some freshly baked bread was a perfect dinner.  Wanda had called me back as we were getting ready to sit down to eat (I had a question about the mesh bags as I was typing up my directions for the class I will be teaching at Busy Bees later this year) and she was rather surprised to hear that I had cooked...

but hey, strange things happen all the time!

I wish I hadn't woken up so early (5-ish) since I stayed up past 11 last night to finish a book.  My eyes do feel a little gritty this morning.

On Sunday I called Deb in Tucson.  I'd been thinking about her for a while (she's been having numerous serious health issues for a number of years) but hadn't quite worked up the nerve to call.  Though she was a real trouper and did her best to be deal cheerful despite all of her challenges, the last time I spoke with her was when she was fraying a little around the edges from dealing with an on-going pain issue that had been making her miserable for over a year. Chronic pain is SO wearing!  And honestly with all the bad news from friends in recent months I was afraid to hear the latest from Deb.  So I was thrilled to hear not only that she is doing well these days, but one of her major diagnoses had been a mistake!  

Another reason Deb must have been on my mind was that yesterday was her birthday - which I didn't realize until a reminder popped up on FB.  But she is without a computer these days, so unfortunately she didn't get to see all the birthday wishes posted from friends.  Since I'm not going to be able to attend the Tucson Quilt Show next month (it's the same weekend as the Quilt Retreat) I'm hoping she'll be able to go and report back to me.  :-)

The speaker at the show will be Lenore Crawford.  
Here's part of her award-winning Capturing Brittany quilt:

Not raining at the moment, and so I'm off to soak without getting wet before I even get in.