Monday, March 27, 2017

Such a BAD blogger!


I know, I know, I have been a very bad blogger!  
Just really haven't had anything to say.  
The end of winter when will Spring finally get here blahs, I guess.

Second check on the eyes showed them improving and healing nicely.
I still have trouble reading small print or things without great contrast, but I am able to read smaller print and do some things without a magnifying glass.
Progress!
Daylight sayings time set me back,
as it always does. 
 Disrupts my sleep SO much I have a hard time resetting the body clock.

I have been busy in the studio though.
I finished both the red and black flannel rag quilts-thank goodness.
Such a slippery mess.
I love using flannel for quilt backs.
Just adds that extra punch of comfort,
but I don't ever want to do another full flannel quilt.


I also pieced the "H" blocks in the top photo.
Tomorrow I hope to lay them out there are multiple blocks in each color.

I've also made a few more blocks on the Splendid Quilt.
I want to do one each day-all blue and white.


Lastly, I finished an "I Spy" snowball quilt for Ethan.
Apparently, he is quite taken with the jet planes!
He did tell me that there were "kitties" on it though.
It was fun and quick to make.

I spent this afternoon cleaning and re-arrangling the studio.
I have both sewing machines set up now!
Plus things are orderly.
It had gotten so that I couldn't find anything-including space to work!

I nearly have the garage organized!
It won't really be finished until after the city-wide garage sale the first of June.
Anything that doesn't sell gets given away after that.
I have been looking at everything with a view to meeting my goal of a
fifty percent reduction in the stuff I own.
I sorted out quite a bit when I unpacked but I'm looking at things again.
When I leave this house I want no more than will fit in my truck!

Traveling light from here on out.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Not much of anything.


Naan
The past couple of weeks have been slow.

I had the catacts removed from my right eye Feb 20th.  They are doing quite well. Last week was pretty much a wash though.  Distance vision is getting really good, middle and close are better but it's not there yet.  Had a bit of a pity party yesterday over the vision-I mean really "it should be all good now its' been FOREVER."  Then I looked at the calendar and realized it had only been 2 weeks, sigh. All the literature they gave me said it would be months before my eyesight had stabilized so no more pity parties!

I made a chicken curry on Sunday which was quite good but needed a bit to go along so on Monday I made Naan (also quite good.) In all likelihood, neither of those dishes resembles anything actually eaten in India but I liked them.

White bread
Then because I was out of bread and didn't want to go to the store I made a new white bread recipe.  It's tasty but I didn't like the stiffness of the dough and it didn't rise well.  Won't be making that one again.

Monday night we were visited by storms.  A long line of thunderstorms with enough punch to spin out 14 tornados!  The biggest an EF3 in Grain Valley.  My little town of Greenwood was in the warning for one so Quinn and I spent about an hour in the basement laundry room.  A tiny little space for the washer and dryer but surrounded on all sides by cement, just the door.  We didn't lose power, had only small hailstones and didn't get that much rain.  The storm was traveling at highway speeds  so it only took a little while for the whole thing to pass over.  Exciting!  But it blew in this gorgeous blue sky the next day!
After the storms
It also blew the grand boys to my house as their school district was closed for the day due to power outages from the storm.  We went to IHOP for International Pancake Day!  Then we played a new to us game Ticket to Ride-well we think we have it figured out now,  we'll play it again next time they are over.

I've worked a bit on Ethan's quilt but am adding a border of four patches using the conversation prints as it just didn't seem quite finished with only the color block  border.

I haven't had much interest in anything lately.  Hope that changes soon!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Creativity and other doings

 I've been busy, sort of, in the studio the past few days.  My vision is still functional but fuzzy and as the day goes on it gets worse!  I have found tricks that make it possible for me to cut fabric-like these strips.  The colored strips are from a jelly roll that I'm combining with white for an "H" quilt.  (Hickam being my maiden name I like "H's"!) 

I've finished sewing the second rag top together and have it on the table to clip.  I may have to bring in the magnifying lamp to ensure that I do not clip into the seams!





















Today, I've been working on these snowball blocks.  Just feeding them through is fairly simple!

Then there's the OOPS of the week.  I'm blaming it on the fuzzy but functional eyesight!  The leg without the wheel should be under the handle on the right!  Will have to fix that before I use the grill.

On Saturday the family was over to celebrate Beth and Lucas's birthdays, all 12 of us!  The food was pretty good, if I do say so, but the best part?  We pushed the big trestle table over set up a folding table next to it and all 12 sat around the same table!  Without moving any other furniture! (To do that in the other house the guys would move all the couches etc out of the living room into the kitchen then move the trestle table to the living room and set up a folding table. It was always cramped.)  I love this house!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Little Catch Up


First, let me apologize in advance for any typos, mis-spellings, etc.  Print on the computer is quite fuzzy.

That said, surgery on my right eye was Monday and went well.  I had her put in the multifocal lenses, which should at the very least give me both distance and the end of my arms and hopefully give me close up as well.

I am currently functional if fuzzy at all distances.  Far off being the best.
Functional with adaptations like large print and a magnifying glass.  I can't manage small print yet.
Vision is to continue improving over the next weeks and months as my eyes heal and my brain learns to evaluate the information coming in through two eyes.  It has already gotten better.

I can use the sewing machine (and have) and I can knit.  I don't even want to think about trying to thread a hand sewing needle!

Most of this week so far has been resting and some sewing.  Lots of sleep as well.  I am looking forward to the end of wearing a shield at night as the tape is tearing up my skin.  Otherwise, it's over and I'm glad.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Getting involved.

There are so many things going on in this country that I consider wrong.  Majorly wrong.
It is critical to actively oppose this stuff.  I do. I can't, however stay hopped up on righteousness about everything.  It's just too exhausting and in too many cases futile.  So after many hours of thinking I've settled on two:  for my family it is critical to retain the provisions of the Affordable Care Act which offer protection to those who have pre-existing conditions as well as protection against lifetime caps.
IN my immediate family there are 8 out of 15 who would be considered to have a pre-existing medical condition.  IN a few of those cases it very likely would be life-threatening.  So, letters will be written!

The second area where I'm extremely concerned is the environment.

So here's a little story about me.

When I was a child growing up in Independence, MO to see a rabbit was an event to be talked about. I didn't see deer, raccoons, or many squirrels either.  Even birds were limited to robins-I love cardinals don't remember them.  To see a hawk was so rare that it caused a stir in the family and I can remember my father commenting on the fact that there were doves around.  I'd never seen (or heard) those so I really didn't know what he was talking about.  I'd also never seen an eagle, an owl, a falcon, a bear, a wolf (outside the zoo), a coyote and the list goes on.

In 1984 the US hosted the Olympic Summer games in Los Angeles.  The smog was so bad countries discussed not sending athletes just like they did for Bejing and Rio.  While LA still has air quality issues at times it is MUCH better and most of the rest of the country only has really bad smog occasionally.  (Denver's inversions not withstanding.)  For those of us who suffer from Asthma clean air is a big deal.

Back in the days before unleaded gasoline, children suffered from lead poisoning more frequently because of auto exhaust than from lead in paint.  Not happening now because the EPA stepped in and forced the oil producers to change (paint producers too!)

The EPA has stepped in to insist on proper disposal of toxic and radioactive wastes-is it perfect no- but another Love Canal hasn't happened.

Today, the rabbits, deer, raccoons, squirrels are considered nuisances along with beaver (building dams in farm country), and Canadian geese.  Songbirds have made a huge comeback- nearly every year I have to look up some bird I've never seen before!  Swans are in Missouri again.  Hawks are sitting in trees, on telephone poles and fence posts most every mile.  I've had an owl sit outside my window at night and hoot-somewhat sleep inhibiting but still very pleasant.  The falcons are flying in the concrete canyons of the city catching pigeons and raising babies.  Eagles are flying everywhere, including just east of the Country Club Plaza along Brush Creek.  Some of those comebacks are due to the efforts of the Missouri Conservation Department, some to lack of predators, and some due to the fact that humans don't scare them so much.  The bird comebacks though, especially the birds of prey, are due to the Environmental Protection Agency's Ban on DDT.  DDT was used to kill insects and was effective a first but birds eat insects and are eaten by other birds (etc up the food chain) and DDT is stored in fat.  The further up the food chain you went the more concentrated DDT was and in Raptors is caused egg shell to be so thin and brittle that the weight of the mother sitting on the nest caused them to break long before any chick would hatch.  Every time I see an eagle my heart just soars.  Also helping to return numbers of Bears (black and grizzly), Elk, Mountain goats, antelope, big horn sheep, wolves, coyotes and any number of animals I had rarely if ever seen where the protections of the Endangered Species Act.

Perhaps this doesn't mean anything to most folks but I believe with all my heart that life would be much poorer without Bears in the Mountains, Bison on the plains, Swans on the rivers, and the birds of prey in the sky.

The majority party in Congress is trying to end the Environmental Protection Agency and the Endangered Species act both.  I will do all that I can to stop them-it many not be much but I will try.
Without both my life would be less interesting (and so would my blog!)  I urge each of you to write, email or text your Senators and Representatives to stop this action.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wanderings


Generally, when I say I've gone wandering it means that I've driven the truck somewhere new.
Okay, I did that a little.
I am still learning my new neck of the woods.
Quinn had to have her teeth cleaned so while she was asleep and then recovering
 I wandered into some places I haven't been for a long time.

First off was the library!
I had ordered several books on the craftsman style and went to pick them up.
These are to educate and inspire me for the doll house.
I realized when I went to order the windows and doors that I didn't know what I was looking for.



I can never just go pick up the books on hold.
I always have to walk the stacks.
I have VERY eclectic interests and will read nearly everything.
I was fortunate that I only picked up three extra books.
Books are addictive!

After I escaped the library I went to several thrift shops.
I rarely go to these and even more rarely buy anything.
Another miniature blogger is always finding really neat things.
I must not have an eye for possibilities!
I was mostly looking for books on design and decor.
Found Zero.
I did buy a bamboo steamer,
 a belt to use for stretching,
 and a little bracelet that reminded me of Nora.
(Will have to send that to  her.)

Maybe, I'll go on a real wander next week-probably not
Second eye surgery on Monday.



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Creative Tuesdays-One


Left to Right, Saguaro National Monument, Monument Valley Navajo Nation, and Cedar Breaks National Monument
When I travel I often pick up postcards.  
Sometimes I mail them to the Grands
 but some I buy because I could never get a photo as good!
This year the National Parks were selling some vintage style postcards which I especially liked
but what to do with them?
Since I had the posters 
I decided that I would add the postcards mounted on black paper in black frames.
I like them.

The five in the large frame are of the Grand Canyon, the others-Top Moonrise over the Mittens, Monument Valley Navajo Nation and Moki Dugway (Why didn't someone warn me?)
The seven above where from my 2011 trip to California.

Top left-Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park, Top right Montana and Glacier National Park.
The bottom two posters are from long ago trips.
These are all hanging in the Guest bedroom.
I can only hope that they are straight!
The vision is still fuzzy enough that I can't tell.
At some point I may look at them and think I was crazy to ever think they were level.



My knitting.
Very simple
300 stitches on the needles I think.
I'm about a quarter of the way finished.


Flannel Rag quilt-Kolby.
Beth asked me to make the boys new quilts last year.
I did get started but they've been one problem after another.
I made them each a rag quilt from flannels before and I don't remember
having such a hard time.
The flannel slipped and slid while cutting,
Slipped and slid while quilting exposing the batting.
ERG!


I'm having to cut away batting from the seams.
Really hope it won't show at all after I wash it.
I should get the rest clipped tonight.
Brayden's will begin block quilting tomorrow 
and be ready for clipping next week. 
I hope.
I will never make these again!

Now for a story.
For Quinn's 2nd Christmas (2012) I bought her this ball.


You put treats in it.
Then she is supposed to try and roll the ball to get them out.
She has never been the least bit interested in it.
Until today.
I unpacked the rest of her toys-the ones she never, ever plays with.
Apparently, this still had some treats in it.
She has probably spent an hour with it this afternoon!


And managed to retrieve several refills!
Wonder if she'll play with it tomorrow or if it will be five years!