Friday, March 31, 2017

It wasn't snowing when I got up this morning, but soon started coming down steadily for much of the morning. We have decided against grilling outside on the patio tonight.  <lol> I think the new plan is spaghetti.

After breakfast I arranged my 48 blocks in 8 rows of 6, and it didn't take as long as I had expected to find the grouping that I was happy with. Once the first 2 rows were sewn together (and looking fine) it was time for a shower break.

Wanda and I went to lunch at Brandy's, and definitely took a very circuitous route, driving back and forth on Cedar looking for it. Eventually I stopped in at a business to ask where it was (the address numbering system left a little to be desired!) so we finally found it.  It was snowing heavily (but at least not sticking to the roads) and we both were quite chilled when we got there. Some delicious hot hearty soup (artichoke Parmesan) helped considerably. My sandwich was also yummy, but since I could only eat half of it I've got lunch "made" for tomorrow.

Then we shopped at Odegaard's, the quilt store that owns the house where we are having our retreat. Somehow I was able to restrict myself to one adorable bird panel (reminds me of the Tweets) and a scrap quilt book by Bonnie Hunter.  Then it was back to the house where I got my first four rows sewed together. I'm a little disappointed at the puckers - but hope they will 'quilt out'.

The snow had stopped for a while (and when the sun came out for a bit much of it melted) but is again coming down fast and furious so it's a very good thing we won't be grilling on the patio tonight.

It was thundering loudly when I went to bed, and when I peeked out the window during my middle-of-the-night excursion it sure looked like snow on the bushes. And this morning  see that I was right. Definitely a sweatshirt kind of day!

The sky is too socked-in to see the peak (which had already looked stunning with all the snow) but no doubt <g> they got considerably more up there. At least the roads are clear for our shopping trip later; we need to get steaks to grill tonight.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

It was another productive day today; I got the rest of my 4-patches "disappeared", and tomorrow I will put them up on the design wall. With everyone's help I hope to arrange them so that the colors are evenly distributed.  After I sew the blocks together I'm looking forward to seeing the overall effect.

This afternoon I worked on a charity quilt, using some basketball, baseball, and football fabric. After Vicki contributed some black fabric of her mom's (for the in-between blocks) it went together quickly. Gena and I had made a quick trip to JoAnn's, where I found some inexpensive border fabric, so tomorrow I could actually finish that top. We also went to the bird store next door because she needed a bird-feeder for a gift - and I found some great gifts there.

Today I got this happy picture from Sandy. Yesterday was her birthday, and she definitely liked the Birdwatcher pillow I made for her. And apparently Pippa also likes it.

When the doc's office had not returned Patti's call Monday (about the Rx refill) after 3 hours I called back - and spoke with the same woman. She was not terribly helpful, so I got a tad assertive and said I would keep calling until we got what we needed. Amazingly she called back in about 10 minutes and said the Rx was ready for me to pick up.  That evening I made burritos for dinner, and Tom and Zach joined us so we had a little dinner party.

Tuesday was not a good day for Patti, though we did squeeze in another shower since I would be leaving in the morning.   She didn't have much of an appetite, and at times was nauseated.  (Of course she is dealing with my cooking...) So she was feeling quite depressed, and at one point dissolved into tears. It's hard to see her so miserable. In addition to the pain (and the boredom - she's not used to sitting around doing nothing) for some reason she's also feeling guilty about needing help from her friends. Silly Patti! Doesn't she realize we all love her and just want to do whatever we can to help her out?

Yesterday morning the other Patty came over for a bit so I could run home and shower, pack, pick up Wanda, and head to Flagstaff. Patti wasn't feeling up to heading for the couch after breakfast and was going back to bed. A text to check in on her yesterday afternoon went unanswered, so I am a little concerned. Today Zach is taking her to the doctor to have her incisions checked, and I sure hope the antibiotics have been doing their job and all is well!

Wanda and I had an uneventful drive up, though traffic was quite heavy and the usual idiots were on the road. We met Jeannie, Gena, and Anne at Oreganos for lunch, and then headed over to the house and got all moved in. Vicki showed up about an hour later, though Cindy and Chris won't be arriving until today.

I made great progress; got my 25 spool blocks sewn into five rows and then sashed with my bright fabric. But I'd like to make it a little longer before I add the side sashing, and this morning Jeannie suggested the sewing machine block that Gena made yesterday. Of course I didn't plan on that so I didn't bring any extra fabric (and with three rooms of it at home it doesn't make sense to buy any at the quilt shop) so I will put this project aside and move on to project number 2.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Sunday I resumed my Patti-sitting duties.  One of our big adventures of the day was to get her showered. It was her first post-surgery one, and not surprisingly made her feel a lot better, even  though all she'd done since Wednesday was lie in bed and sleep. 

It was encouraging that Patti felt up to spending the day on the couch (a major step up from sleeping in bed) though she did doze off during the Netflix I had brought over and missed the end of an enjoyable movie: CafĂ© Society.   

Vicki came by for a visit later in the afternoon, and then Tom joined us for dinner; I managed baked chicken, lemon rice, and steamed broccoli and cauliflower.  He brought beautiful orange lilies, and a matching carrot cake for dessert.  He also brought along Tyga, who does a good job of cheering up folks. 

The best news is that Patti thinks she may be over the worst of the pain since the pain meds are finally dealing with it, and definitely felt better yesterday than she had been feeling.  Finally (!) she's going in the right direction, and just knowing that she should continue to feel better each day is a tremendous psychological boost.  Did get to see the x-ray of her foot with the two plates, more than a dozen screws, and lots of staples.  Won't she have fun setting off the metal detectors next time she flies.

I'd brought my laptop with me in the hopes that Zach could fix whatever happened to my blog, and once he woke up at 3:00 (turns out he hadn't gotten home until around 6:00) it turned out to be a very easy fix (for him, anyway!) Seems that while I had been typing I hit something which had reduced the screen to 10%.  If (or more likely when) I should do that again at least now I know how to return it to 100%.

What I do keep doing with annoying regularity is hit the Page Up key (because it is where the right side Shift key SHOULD be.) No doubt there is a way to make those two keys change functions, but Zach said that was a little out of his area of expertise.

Now just waiting for Patti to wake up.  After she calls the doc for a new pain Rx (to replace the one her insurance wouldn't cover) I can go pick that up and drop it off at the pharmacy.  She'll be out of pain meds once she takes this morning's dose, so that's the priority for this morning.  Otherwise, nothing too exciting planned....

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Today was spent at the AQG show, so of course I had a wonderful day! It's always fun to see all the beautiful and creative quilts, as well as bump into lots of my quilting friends.  I have to admit it was gratifying to watch people come up to my quilt and see a smile come to their face, and also 'eavesdrop' on all the positive comments about it.

Everyone should be very proud of me - I didn't buy ANY fabric at the vendor booths.  I do admit to buying two patterns, but in my defense <g> one was a pattern I've been wanting but the quilt store was out, and the other is for a new (and in theory easier) way to make place mats.

I did attend the auction, though I only bid on a few (of the more than 100) quilts.  At least I know I have very good taste; those went for BIG bucks.

Of course I took lots of pix, but won't be posting them for a while.  Tomorrow I'm "moving" back over to Patti's until I leave for Quilt Camp on Wednesday.  Today she got out of bed for the first time since the surgery, but not for long.  Sadly she's still in quite a bit of pain despite the pain meds.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Tom found out at the doctor today that he flunked last week's stress test. 

Apparently the "widowmaker" is virtually clogged so he'll be having another stent put in the first week of April.  Not too many appropriate pix, but did find this.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

It was an uneventful visit at the doctor's, but even though I was very brave getting my shingles and pneumonia shots nobody gave me a lollipop.  In fact they stuck me again to draw blood.

Now I'm pretty much good to go for another year, though it turns out I'm due for another colonoscopy.  It's been 5 years already? Time flies when you're having fun.

On the way home I stopped to get the tortoise pattern enlarged, popped in to the quilt store across the parking lot (yes, of course I bought some fabric!) and then headed to fill up the gas tank.  I was within half a mile of the station when my gas light came on.

All of our porches are a mess here after last night's wind, but at least we have no downed limbs like at a neighbor's house.  We did actually get a bit of rain around lunchtime - drops so large that looking at the huge splashes in the pool at first I thought we were getting hail.  But after just a couple of minutes the rain stopped, and the sun came out.

This afternoon Tom ""let" me go to the grocery store, so first I stopped at Walmart across the street to get a new dish drainer.  After cruising all of the kitchen aisles numerous times I asked one of the associates to send over help.  That took a while, but she knew right where the dish drainers were: in the laundry section.

Tom had a long grocery list for me.  Obviously this was my lucky day.  Not only did I manage to find everything on it, but I didn't even have to wait to check out.  Could have been worse...

He's been doing a LOT of mowing and weed-eating, and has been trying to keep his hair (which he is growing long) out of his face.  (I wish I'd videoed me trying to teach him how to use a hair tie to make a ponytail the other day.  Not rocket science, folks.)  Though it's not surprising that I can get a tighter fit than he can (though his side 'wings' still aren't quite long enough) so I help out when I'm around.  AND now I've been vindicated.  All those years when he'd want to drive with the windows down on both sides of the car it drove me nuts having my hair blowing in my face.  And now he gets it!

It was overcast all day yesterday, and by the time we went out do dinner (at Sweet Tomatoes) it had turned rather cool.  By the time we finished eating it had become quite windy, so yes, the pool that I had just finished getting sparkling clean over the past several days was a mess.  I did scoop three full bags of leaves from the top, but today it will definitely need a lot of attention later.

Gary called around 8:00 last night to let me know that they had just gotten home after Patti's surgery.  It took almost four hours, considerably longer than expected, because (as I'd feared) once in there the surgeon found "surprises", like all sorts of bone fragments to deal with.  I didn't get many details because Gary had a lot of phone calls to make, and wanted to get back to Patti, who was quite nauseated from the drugs.

I was working on this post on my laptop this morning when (for no apparent reason other than it's a computer) it flipped out, and as a result I can no longer access my blog there.  While it may be an easy fix for Zach to figure out, I am currently back on the dinosaur desktop.

Off to the doc this morning (for a routine physical) but other than that 
I have nothing pressing scheduled!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Saw a message on the neighborhood site this morning that someone on the next street over found a Sulcata tortoise wandering the streets last night.  Of course the first thing I did was to check and see if Pokey had escaped, but was relieved to find her still tucked into her burrow under the oleander by the hot tub.  I did look and see if Rosebud was in her yard when I ran an errand this morning, and she was.  So no idea whose tortoise was found cruising around.

Finished and mailed off Sandy's gift today, and once she receives it I can post pix. Those who have seen it have given it a positive review!  

Now that I've made all of my recent quilting deadlines I can work on the next one, getting ready for Quilt Camp.

It's late afternoon, but no word yet on how Patti's surgery, scheduled for 2:00, went.  Of course I'm anxious to hear that it went well, and that there were no surprises when the surgeon got in there; it was already a very bad situation.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Just talked to Patti - and her surgery is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon!

It sounds like the surgeon expects her to be in considerable pain afterward; she's already got Rx for some heavier-duty pain meds as well as antibiotics and some other things.  She'll go back on Friday for a cast, and then Gary leaves (for another week) on Saturday.  So I will start back on duty then. 

Between the pain and the meds making her groggy I expect she'll need a lot of help, so my plan is to be all ready for Quilt Camp by Friday.

Wanda was a big help with the pillow, though we couldn't quite finish because I don't have any glue.  She, of course, has lots at home but didn't know we'd be needing it.  She also helped me look at some fabrics in my stash and choose a great sashing for my spools-of-thread quilt which I hope to work on up in Flagstaff.  Next year's February deadline could be here before I know it....

The desktop computer is getting more and more squirrelly today, so <sigh> I will not be too surprised when it quits working altogether.  Wish I could say I am able to navigate the laptop easily, but you wouldn't want me to lie, would you?

It was a good tune up at the chiropractor yesterday, because I had minimal misalignment.  Partly that's because I've been trying to remember to walk on my foot correctly, and partly because my broken toe had stopped kvetching so much so it was becoming easier to walk naturally anyway. So it was a "bit" of a bummer this morning when I stubbed that toe while making the bed.  I was so vocal in my response that Tom actually came to see what had happened...


Dragged myself to the gym this morning (apparently I'm back to that feeling, after months of not minding) and had a reasonable workout.  Kept my phone with me because I was hoping to get a text from Patti about the results of this morning's appointment with the surgeon, but it's several hours into the afternoon and still no word.  My gut feeling is that in this case, "no news" is NOT good news...

Puttered around out front with the plants, and Tom helped me wind up all the trailing philodendron. With a little luck the "blobbies" along the stems will take root and I'll achieve the fuller look I'm going for.

Yesterday I found the fabric I needed (only had to look in a couple of places) and got the pillow made. Then Tom help me stuff the form into into the opening I had left, which is definitely a 2-person job. But before I hand-stitch it closed I need some advice on the best way to secure the feather.  My first SOS was to Colleen, forgetting that the kids are with their parents for Spring Break. So she is out and about having fun on her week off; today being a Shop Hop on the other side of The Valley. But luckily Wanda is currently on her way over to help and put in her 2 cents worth.

Now that Marilyn's birthday gift has been received, I can post a pic of her placemats.  Mom may recognize these?  The "pattern" makes 9 blocks, so Mom got the first 2 for Chanukah a while back and now Marilyn has gotten the next 4 for her birthday.  Someday <g> I will turn the remaining 3 into actual placemats for me!

In the meantime I've been putting away laundry, sweeping floors, and taking care of various other domestic chores. Never any shortage of those!

Monday, March 20, 2017

This is a test. Patti's son Zach seems to have figured out how to access my blog on the laptop.  It takes a couple of clicks - and we can't make an icon for one-click simplicity - but if it works I will be a VERY happy camper! 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Geek Squad via the phone is available 24/7, so this morning I sat down with my long list of computer questions and called. After an hour the woman still (!) had not figured out how to turn off the touch-pad option, or find the "my computer" option so I could talk to it about the CD reader. At that point I gave up on her, and drove up to Best Buy. In just a matter of a few minutes Chelsea showed me how to disable the touch pad and access the E drive. 

I wish I could say the next few hours went as smoothly (though she did help me figure several things out) but she never could break into my blog for me. When the battery died (I hadn't brought the power cord) I came home for lunch, and then went back in the afternoon. Unfortunately I am still having issues with the e-mail on it, so between that and no blog I'm considerably discouraged.  Plus it does not bode well for a day of flying if my battery only lasts 3 hours... and I wasn't even doing something draining, like watching a movie! 

Mr. Mallard was swimming in the pool when I got home, and once Tyga discovered that he was quite interested - though of course not interested enough to go swimming; he really hates getting water in his ears! The other day I was washing the rims on my car with some stuff I'd gotten at Target; the car wash never works on that brake dust but this stuff did great! I had Tyga out there in the car to 'supervise', in the nice shade and with all the windows rolled down, and not only didn't he even stick his head out the window, but when I finished and opened the door I had to really, really, really coax him out.  My guess is that he had heard the hose, and was worried he was in for a bath - which he hates.  (That only happens out of necessity, when he rolls in Pokey poop or sneaks over into the horse pasture and rolls in horse hockey over there.

No sign of Mrs. Mallard yet, though Mr. stuck around and relaxed in the grass after his swim.  The pair seem to show up each spring, and sometimes appear daily for a week or so - but we've never had them actually raise ducklings here.  That would be fun!

Between my early rising this morning and frustration over the computer I decided to spend the last few hours of the afternoon relaxing, so I watched a taped movie, Woman of the Year with Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. I definitely got quite a chuckle over the final scene, where she attempts to cook. (Compared to her, I might be considered on a par with Julia Child...)

What follows is yet another example of how machines screw with my head!

Yesterday we lunched at Red Robin before tackling the purchase of a laptop for me. I headed into the ladies' room at the same time as a young girl of about 7, and so we ended up at the bank of sinks to wash our hands at the same time.  She waved at the towel dispenser to the left of the sinks and was rewarded with a towel. I waved at 'mine', to the right of the sinks, but despite numerous waves, progressively more vigorous, nothing happened. So when she was finished she waved at hers again, handed me the towel, and left. After I dried my hands and was throwing the towel away I had a side view of my dispenser, and noticed it was not empty as I had assumed, but 3/4 full of towels. So I gave it another wave and (I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP!) the other towel dispenser across the room activated and gave forth a towel.

Best Buy had an overwhelming choice of computers, but eventually, with Tom's help, I narrowed it down and bought a Lenovo with lots of memory. No doubt it will be faster than my dinosaur desktop, even with all the pix I save. Geek Squad got a few basics loaded onto it there at the store, and (amazing as it sounds) I was actually able to get it to talk to our wi-fi when we got home. There are still some things I am going to need help with, but I have been able to load some things.  However there is a MAJOR snafu with my blog.

Once my blog was originally loaded onto my desktop years ago I didn't need to use the password again; the desktop always "remembered" it. (Yes I realize it should be on my cheat sheet... but it isn't.)  

But of course the new laptop requires it for access.

A phone call to Blogspot help was NO help at all, his "solution" being to set up a new blog... but in the process I would lose everything from the old one!

So in the meantime I will still be using the desktop, which is again working (for the moment, anyway!) to blog until a real solution is reached. 

I am heading back up to Best Buy today (with my receipt I can get a 6-month trial of Web Brute to protect the computer) when I also hope to get some other questions answered.  No real surprise that yesterday I was only able to absorb just so much of what Angel showed me about navigating my new toy.

Of course it doesn't bode well for today's productivity that I've been awake since 4:00.  I did read for an hour, and then tried to fall back asleep around 5:00... but no dice.

At least I told Jim on Friday that I didn't think I would make it to Boot Camp today - mostly because I thought I'd be finishing up Sandy's gift!