Sunday, April 30, 2017

The wedding and baby quilts got finished yesterday, with both labels attached and snuggly flannel binding blind-stitched to the baby one.   Now just one more project to finish before I can pack up all the goodies for my trip.

When I stopped at Patti's yesterday afternoon to drop off two movies from the library that I'd enjoyed (a third one was a dud) I finally got to see her foot/leg.  Of course there's still swelling, a lot of dead skin that still needs to be sloughed off, and some leftover scabs from all the blood blisters - but I think the actual incisions look great, and the scarring on both sides where the plates went in will be minimal.  She'd had a bad several days of feeling sick, and unfortunately she's also still in a lot of pain; says it feels like her foot is on fire.

Joel is in town for the weekend, so I did get to see him when he came by to see his mom (with a couple of friends who brought their cute golden retriever puppy with them).  I know Patti was looking forward to seeing him, and I think he plans to spend all of today over there. That should help cheer her up!

Since my next stop was the library I was able to return several of her books for her, and picked up the latest Hold arrival, one for Tom.  It was listed as an MP3 (the only format for that book that was available) so we were clueless as to whether or not would work on his laptop - though the guy at the desk assured me that it doesn't need any special device.  Since it looks just like a 'regular' CD we're hopeful!

On the way home I turned the radio back on, and NPR was airing the Moth Radio Hour.  I'd missed the beginning of the story, told by a teacher about her 3rd grade mercenaries, but this morning was able to pull it up and listen from the beginning. As it turns out I hadn't missed more than a minute or two of the segment. Enjoy!

For our anniversary last night we dined at The Rogue Tomato, where both of us really enjoyed our meals.  Turns out they present live music on Saturday nights, and I also enjoyed listening to the Blues and Soul duo entertaining there last night.  But it was when we first walked in that I got really excited, because there was a poster for The Sonoran Dogs, with a picture of Peter and his bandmates, with two dates listed.  They had already played a Saturday in February - but will also be playing the end of May. (Poor picture with my cell phone in the dim entryway; Peter is the one who got glared out from the flash.)

I texted Cindy right away to see if she'd could join me that night (Tom will probably have left for Oregon by then)  and she wrote back excitedly "I'm having dinner with you and the Dogs!!! Writing it in ink right now :-)"

In the evening Tom and I watched Tracks, a film about a young woman
in the 70s trekking across Australia with camels. 

We enjoyed the movie, but had the same issues as this reviewer:

The true story of Robyn Davidson's adventure and her crossing of a 1,700 mile across the Australian wilderness. Whilst it is undoubtedly an amazing feat to be able to achieve this, the sheer remarkableness of this achievement is not conveyed in this film properly. Had we not been aware that this is based on a true story, judging by the film alone one could go so far as to say this was a relatively 'easy' task. The isolation she faced, starvation and dehydration are hardly presented. Instead she seemed to often interact with people who helped her. At the same time, the stunning landscapes, the might of her determination as well as her complete dependency on the camels and a dog is adequately portrayed. Overall, this is a mixed bag of impressions. A good film overall, but it deserved to be great.

I would love to find a copy of the May 1978 National Geographic and read the original article.

Now it's time to get some sewing done while it's still morning.  In the afternoon we're going to look around at Home Depot for some ideas, mostly to see if we're on the same page for a planned kitchen remodel this Fall.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Mr. Mallard was back today, and this time he brought the Mrs. with him.  Maybe to celebrate our 29th anniversary?  The photos are not quite as clear as I would like, probably because we changed the settings on my camera to fewer pixels after there were major problems downloading pix onto my laptop.

Speaking of birds, I forgot to mention that on Thursday, Mr. Peacock was hanging around out front.  I had pulled into the driveway after my trip to Joann's for a quick stop to run inside and grab the wedding photo before heading over to Lynn's to print, and had an NPR driveway moment.  I was still thinking about the segment when I shut the car door and headed across the porch, surprising Mr. Peacock - and me.  So by the time I thought to grab my phone and snap a shot of him on the porch he had moved off.  I was surprised to find him right back out there when I came out again just a little while later, so again did not get a photo.  I enjoy having him strut his stuff here, though Tom and Alex find him noisy (which he is) and utterly annoying - and would much prefer to have him spend his time elsewhere.

Yesterday's upper body workout was a good one.  Not only did Jim compliment me on my form (he tried, but couldn't find anything to correct!), he also commented on my muscle definition - and upped some of the weights.  That's always a mental boost, proof positive of improvement. And while I'm a tad sore this morning, it's a good sore!

I had barely gotten out of the shower when Marcie and Mike stopped by, and we all cruised over to their new house which Tom had never seen.  Yes, he was suitably impressed. 

Originally M&M had hoped/planned to be in by the first of May, though obviously that isn't going to happen.  But since they sold their house on Wednesday (after only 3 days on the market!) and that's set to close in early June, the pressure is on!

Windy, windy, windy yesterday (according to the news our area of the valley was one of the ones hit the hardest) so of course it knocked down a lot more of the leftover fruit. I had picked up everything in anticipation of irrigation, but of course now we're underwater back there so pickup will need to wait.  

Got the baby quilt quilted yesterday with snuggly flannel on the back, and then attached colorful flannel binding left over from the blue jean quilt of years ago.  Too bad the binding was a few inches too short, so I had to add a little strip of another flannel - but pretty sure the baby won't really care. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

One of today's priorities was to (finally!) get the quilt labels done. 

Unfortunately I ran into several snags.  First, although our printer was turned on, my laptop said it was not online - so I ended up e-mailing the labels to Lynn to print up so we could run them through her printer with the photograph onto the fabric paper. But when I went to pull out a sheet, all I had left were little leftover bits and pieces not nearly large enough.  After a call to Joann's I discovered they had one packet left in stock, so I had them hold it while I zoomed over.  

At least we had no issue printing over at Lynn's (which was a pleasant surprise) and once home I soaked off the backing paper and ironed them dry.  

Now I just need to sew them on (of course I have to actually quilt the baby quilt before it can get its label...)

Later I stopped over at Patti's to drop off the Netflix.  She'll be starting PT on Monday, which is not likely to be much fun; her foot still continues to hurt, and PT is only going to exacerbate that.  Hope she can get a refill on her pain meds!
Aja and I enjoyed watching the current Netflix disc La La Land Tuesday evening; Tom bailed early on,  though Alex stuck it out a bit longer. She and I agreed that the second half of the movie, after the guys left, was better, and were both surprised by the "5 years later" twist at the end. I had planned to drop it off to Patti on Wednesday after she got back from her follow-up chest x-ray (she doesn't yet have the results) but she wasn't feeling well and opted to nap all afternoon.  Hope to hear she's feeling better today - AND that the x-ray shows no sign of pneumonia!

Ellen's precision piecing/points demo at Foothills Wednesday morning was quite enlightening, and I learned a LOT of great tips!  So many things I have been doing 'wrong', and (just like with her power cutting class) wish I'd known these things sooner!!! 

On the way home I picked up the book for Tom that had come in at the library (The Last Days of the Incas) and he dove right into it last night.  As usual, I got an e-mail later in the afternoon that another book (this one for me) had arrived.  I may/may not have time to read it before I leave, since I need/want to finish the (long) one I'm currently reading for Book Club, about Patsy Jefferson.

Other errands yesterday included gassing up the car, picking up a prescription, and stopping in to see Luisa and get some of those wonderful sponge files.  She's been in the hospital since I saw her last (including for pneumonia) and we hoped to catch up today or tomorrow during a pedicure.... but she texted last night that she had ended up back in the ER yesterday afternoon.

Alex was soaking his toe in the pool yesterday afternoon, and decided the water was warm enough for a swim.  He SAID it was fine, and did his best to convince me to join him in the pool.  Guess how that went? 

Last night he flew to California, where he will be working for a few days before flying to catch up with the latest tour.  Here's hoping that he IS careful, and his toe heals without further mishap!!!

I made more progress on the placemats yesterday, and today should finish them up and then be able to move on to another project.

Karl is coming to mow the front/back yards today (Summer says he's saving up for a Water World season pass) and Tom mowed the Back 40 and ditch yesterday, so we should be in fine shape for irrigation tomorrow. Now that it's heating up it's imperative that we get a good, deep watering each cycle. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Alex saw the orthopedic surgeon (at our insistence) this afternoon because yesterday's x-rays showed he broke 2 of his toes: the big one (with a strange "angle" to the break) and the toe next to it.  Turns out that he's on the cusp of needing surgery to put in a pin, but IF he's careful (and wears the 'shoe') the bones should heal on its own.  Apparently the iffy part is the tendons that are attached. 

Patti also saw the surgeon today - and got her cast off!  Judging from the photo the boot isn't much of an improvement - but at least she can take it off to shower.  She also gets to start PT right away, which is good news (though I expect that will be rough going for a while.)  She said her foot is really sore just from them taking off the tape over the stitches.

I worked more on the placemats today, and made progress, though also did some relaxing.  Now going to watch La La Land.

Monday, April 24, 2017

I stopped in at Marcie & Mike's new place; the kitchen and bathrooms are now in and look great, though they weren't there. But I did leave a message with the guy working on the shower, and sure enough Marcie came over a little later, with their Chihuahua Latina.  (Had hoped Tyga would be here so they could play again since they had so much fun the first time.) Mike picked her up after he was done at the house, and got to meet Tom.  We're definitely looking forward to having them as neighbors.

They had hoped to be able to move in by the end of this month, but doesn't look like that's going to happen despite their heroic efforts. One of the sub-contractors is holding things up, which of course holds up the final inspection.

Alex and Aja and Tyga made it over around 4:00.  Just found out today that she was in the ER over the weekend and turns out she has rhabdomyolsis.  The symptoms sound terrible enough, but even worse it's affecting her kidneys. Then yesterday the heavy ramp to the semi at work slipped and landed on Alex's big toe.  He's pretty sure it's broken (he says the pain was incredible, and I believe it) and we just sent him over to Urgent Care for an x-ray.  I'd had him call TOCA today (they did my thumb surgery, and Patti's ankle surgery) but unless he has proof of a broken bone they can't see him for another week.

I did get the first placemat completed yesterday, though I can't say I'm happy with the final result.  Although I will make the other three in the set the same way, pretty sure I'll go back to the regular way of making placemats from now on.

Last night I good a really good night's sleep (no doubt it helped that I took a pill at 2:00 am after my nightly excursion), not waking up until 7:30!  Once up I had a productive morning, spent mopping and cleaning before heading out on errands.  In less than 30 minutes (and within a 2-mile radius) I was able to cross five (!) things off my list: dropping off a due DVD at the library, getting a duplicate set of Patti's keys made at the hardware store, dropping off Carol's book at Park Meadows, dropping off some rummage sale things, and returning Gary's set of keys to Patti. 

I'm still organizing my quilting stuff (and the extra tubs I got on Wednesday should help) but things are looking better than they did!

So now that I've taken a break, it's back to work to continue the progress.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Wanda came over yesterday morning, and I got to see her Two Gray Hills all quilted.  It's absolutely stunning, and the perfectly chosen edge-to-edge pattern that her quilter used makes it look like a custom job.  I would love to buy it (and Tom also thought we 'need' it for the museum) but unfortunately Gina got her 'bid' in ahead of me.  Wanda 'just' needs to whip up another one....

She was impressed with all the fabric I scored at Wednesday's sale (I 'forced' her to take the two pieces that spoke to her), and admired the quilts of Nancy's that will now be living with me.  She also loved the beautiful paper-pieced project Nancy had started that I plan to turn into a table runner and placemats... someday! 

Then we lunched at Wildflower, always scrumptious. AND I have leftovers!

The final check for Steve had arrived in yesterday's mail, so after Wanda left I dropped of the latest batch of checks and cash for him.  There will still be a tad more money dribbling in from the weekend sale at Sandy's out in Sun City.  Yesterday she took in $200, and hopefully will do as well today.  Once I know how much fabric is left I need to contact one of the Daisy Mountain ladies who is possibly interested in buying whatever didn't sell.

My last errand was to deliver the big red tub and crafting supplies to Colleen.  She had been up a lot with Ken during the night (his annual procedure on Friday didn't go as well as usual) and looked as tired as I'd ever seen her. And with her schedule with all the grandkids, that's saying a lot!

I am still feeling rather wiped out, and was just drifting off in my chair yesterday afternoon when sound suddenly blared from something Tom was watching on FB. So much for the afternoon nap he suggested.  By 8:00 it was a real struggle to stay awake - but I managed to make it until 9:00. (I had thought we might do dinner in Cave Creek and then go hear Peter and The Sonoran Dogs play - but had no energy to even suggest that.  

Did wake up at 4:30 this morning, but lazed in bed until 5:00.

I got no sewing done yesterday - but hope to get a lot done today!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Yesterday I spent an hour cleaning the back porch.  After scrubbing down the "leftovers" where Pokey's winter crate lives (Alex moved it since she won't need it until next Fall) I gave the porch a preliminary sweeping before I hosed everything down.  Yes it would be nice if the porch would drain outward, but since it doesn't I have to keep sweeping the water away from all the low spots if I want it to dry before next week.  It certainly looks spiffy, and ready for us to enjoy (at least until it gets too hot.)

This morning I was up at 5:00 so I got an early start to my day.  After a pleasant soak I filled and cleaned the pool so it's nice and sparkly (and doesn't feel that chilly, at least standing on the top step) and then did a bunch of yardwork while it was still nice and cool.  I sawed down a lot of limbs from the volunteer palm tree (they are nasty, with really sharp edges on the frond 'stems') that has been blocking my view from the hot tub, and after they were removed I was able to saw through the naked trunk.  Once that intruder was out of the way I trimmed that oleander, so my view is vastly improved now.

Yesterday I finished up the baby quilt top so it's ready to be quilted.  I haven't had any luck finding the double-sided fusible fleece (35th Ave. said they sometimes carry it, though not at the moment) so it appears I will need to quilt the placemats after all.  And I need to create the quilt labels for Lynn to print on Monday.

But first, breakfast!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Yes Wednesday was a LONG day - but ultimately quite productive. At 8:00 Nancy and I resumed unpacking/organizing the fabric for the sale.  Other ladies started arriving earlier than the usual 9:00, so we had some additional help, but though we still were busy getting ready when the vultures eager shoppers arrived.  Among other duties I woman-ed the check-out table, where I was "accused" <g> of vastly under-pricing things - and in fact more than one woman paid me more than the price I asked.  After the ladies checked out with their first stack of fabric and realized that "the more they bought the more they'd save" most went back for seconds, and many for thirds.  We also sold almost half of the quilts, and no surprise that all the winners of the silent auction were thrilled with their new acquisitions.  Despite the mountains of fabric that went to new homes (the Daisy Mountain quilter in charge of charity bought a large pile to use for their charity quilts for just $100, and I hope the less-than-official handwritten receipt 'for a zillion yards' I gave her allows her to be reimbursed) there was a fair amount of unclaimed fabric to pack up afterward, even after I made yet another swing past all the tables and bought a "few" more pieces.  At least with all the help that went reasonably quickly, and Sandy is going to try to sell it to her group of quilting ladies in Sun City.

Wednesday afternoon I delivered Joyce's quilt, picked up the next Book Club selection at the library, dropped off the unsold quilts and some checks from some of the sold ones to Steve (our treasurer Carol will be mailing him a Busy Bee check for his portion of the fabric sale proceeds), helped Patti take her shower, and then headed to Carol's just a mile or so from here to pick up the quilt rack that wouldn't fit into my car (because the 5 suitcases going back to Steve took up the trunk and part of the back seat, and I also had several sizeable, though empty, tubs.)  Not surprisingly by that time in the late afternoon I was more than ready to just be at home and veg - but even I saw the humor in the situation when the rack would not quite fit far enough into the trunk so we could close it, and we could not quite maneuver it through the doorways into the back seat, or front seat.  Sort of like an episode of The Three Stooges Load a Quilt Rack. We realized that IF I folded down the back seats it would create the necessary room in the 'trunk', but I did not know where the latches were.  Of course it would take longer than it should to find the info in the car manual (I know from past experience that things are not labeled "correctly" in the index, and even when eventually found there it sends me to at least 3 or 4 different sections of the book.) So I was thrilled that one of Carol's neighbors just happened to be walking by her driveway on the way to the community mailbox at that exact second, and he responded to my "excuse me". So 5 seconds later the seats were down (the latches are quite visible, right by the head rests) and the rack was loaded. 

Tom and Alex whipped up a delicious dinner while I relaxed on the couch - and where I fell asleep early in the evening not long afterward.  Good thing I was taping the excellent NOVA program I was watching.

Yesterday morning I delivered Betsy's quilt; she'd had to leave Wednesday before the end, but was so invested in the quilt she had bid on that she asked me to call her if someone out-bid her.  I got to see her quilting room(s) and many of her projects.  She just kept gushing over the quilt she captured, so Nancy would be happy that it went to such a good home.

Patti and I went to lunch at Kneaders, and then to the chiropractor (I was definitely in need of an adjustment.)  I saw from the Foothills membership list that Cathie lives near there (her address is a PO in Litchfield) so I had called and given her the option of rendezvousing with us at 1:30 at the chiropractor instead of waiting until the next Foothills meeting to get her two quilts.  She thought that was a wonderful idea, so now all the quilts have been delivered and those funds collected.  As soon as I get Monica's check for her quilt and the sewing machine (should arrive in the mail here by the first of the week) I can deliver the final monies to Steve.

As expected Patti and I had a little time after lunch and before our appointment, so I ran in to the JoAnn's right by the chiropractor (which is actually where Cathie had been when I spoke with her yesterday morning and made the afternoon arrangements) to pick up the double-sized fusible fleece I need for the "easy" placemats.  They didn't carry it.  On the way home Patti suggested I stop in at "our" JoAnn's - and they don't carry it either.  So this easy method is not going to be quite as easy as planned. I've tabled that project for the moment, and yesterday almost got the baby quilt top done.  Knew that would go fast!

At 9:00 Shelley is going to give my hair a trim, at 10:00 I have the gym, and after lunch I will help Patti shower.  Other than that, nothing on for today except finishing up the baby quilt top. Tomorrow Wanda will probably come over to see the finished wedding quilt before it leaves, along with all the fabric and quilts of Nancy's.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

It was a relatively uneventful workout at the gym, this morning, although of course I won't really know until tomorrow morning. Afterward I whipped up a healthy (and delicious) smoothie for lunch and then headed over to Patti's for a couple of hours. Got home about the same time Alex did, and heard about his fantastic time at the Coachella music festival.

Tom got home from Mexico around 3:30. He also had a wonderful time, and caught lots of fish. Although he stayed covered up most of the time, one of his legs got that nasty sun rash "in just 10 minutes" standing in the sun talking with someone.

Alex hooked the trailer up to Tom's pick-up when Steve got home from work, and then was a major help in loading all of Nancy's stuff. It took half an hour, and we filled up the trailer, back of the truck, and the back seat. Steve followed us to the church in his car, where we set up all the tables and then proceeded to unload everything. At that point I sent Alex home (he'd done his part, loading and unloading for the past hour) and Steve, the 'other' Nancy, and I got to work unpacking and organizing.

After 2 hours my back was done so we decided we'd made enough progress and called it quits, and Steve drove me home. Nancy and I will be back at it tomorrow morning around 8:00, which should  be enough time to finish... I hope! Alex did admit that he hadn't expected that volume of stuff, and understood why I wanted/needed to use the truck and trailer.  He snapped some photos of the load for me, but I don't have them yet.

After I showered we went out for dinner at Valle Luna. Tuesday is Senior Night, and it's usually mobbed. But because it was so late we missed the worst of the crowd and didn't have to wait for a table. Speaking of food - none of the fish Tom brought back was any good so he had to toss it. Very disappointing for all of us!

We were expecting his new friends Roy and Elaine, who live in Sedona, tomorrow; the guys were going to 'play' in the shop while she attended the Nancy sale. I've never met them (their first visit to the house was while I was at quilt camp in Flagstaff) and we were looking forward to meeting and doing "quilty" stuff. But while hiking today she broke her ankle and needed to be rescued. It sounds bad, almost a rerun of Patti's experience, so obviously they are not heading down here tomorrow.
I got yet more house-cleaning done yesterday afternoon/evening, and more is planned for this morning before I head to the gym.  While everything I've done has been a welcome improvement, it unfortunately also creates a more obvious disparity <sigh> with what is still left to do.  Life is often full of conundrums, right?

During my trip to Target yesterday (just while driving through the parking lot I almost got hit by two different cars, whose drivers were either not paying attention or they just like to race madly) I finally replaced my mop with the broken handle.  Of course all the mop models Target now carry do not use the "G" replacement heads... of which I have 3 stockpiled.  Anyone have a use for them? At least I do like the butterfly model I chose (took me a while to decide because there were way too many choices.)

Tom should arrive home from his Rocky Point fishing trip today, hopefully in time to unpack the truck and then hook up the trailer before I need to head over to Steve's around 4:30 this afternoon. It would be nice to pack up ALL the boxes at once and only make one trip.  Alex agreed to help with the heavy lifting (when I asked him about it last week), but he "may" need a reminder to be home for that today before 4-ish.  (He returned from California yesterday, but headed to Scottsdale for the night so I have yet to see him.)

Time for a quick soak (gotta start off my day right) before I get down to more cleaning. At least my quads feel better today and have toned down their 'dialogue' with me... though they are still not silent.  Good thing it'll be an upper body workout later this morning!