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


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.

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!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Three Eyes

Most of my life I've been four-eyes-two of my own and two lenses on my glasses.  Couldn't see my feet clearly.  Now, I am only three eyes!  The left eye post cataract surgery doesn't need a lens as it sees more clearly alone than the right eye does with glasses. (You just pop out a lens and you're good to go.)  It is still blurry and the reading distance is not real good but my brain has to learn to see again now.  The docs said my vision was better than expected at 1 day out but they also say it could be several months before my eyes and brain get it totally together!  Next Monday I'll have the right eye done and I'll have no need for glasses at all!  I was nervous about the left eye as one of the major concerns is that it will cause a retinal tear and since I have had one in that eye I was more at risk but everything went smoothly and recovery has been easy.  The only restrictions being not to lift over 20 pounds for a week and not to bend at the waist (or at least not head below the waist.)

I've been sewing and working on little tweeks to the house for the past week.  Napping etc.

Today, I dusted and vacuumed did the laundry and changed the sheets. All normal Monday events.
Tidying up so I could dust and vacuum did take a bit of time but all in all things are good.

I've nearly finished one flannel rag quilt for one of the grandsons.  Another is cut but will need trimmed and batt cut before I begin that (tomorrow).  I've done some knitting on a shawl I bought the yarn for in Dillon, MT.  Photos on those creative things tomorrow!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

A Short Blogging Break

As I am having the cataracts removed from my left eye tomorrow!  Having not had this procedure before I have no way of knowing how I"m going to be affected!  I"m sure there will be a new blog sometime this week but not likely to be tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Wanderings in Cyberspace

I should really take a photo of my table.  All the papers, notebooks and electronics necessary to paying the bills!  Today's took quite a while longer as I had to locate and set up the web addresses and add accounts for several bills.  This is the first month I've had bills for all of the normal stuff-although there are still some missing, ugh.  Just when I felt things were coming together my laptop decided it couldn't go on with being charged!  So while the charging was ongoing I wandered into the grocery store.  Second one in as many days.  It's odd that a move of no more than 20 miles should create such a lack of goods for sale!  I'll be in Independence tomorrow so I guess I'll drop off at my old store to pick up some smoked ham hocks.  Have you ever tried to purchase hot dogs, smoked sausages etc that don't contain either sugar or corn syrup? Why do those need to be sweetened?  I've spent a lot of time trying to find some without success.  I did finally get all the available bills paid today, the rest will have to wait until next week-I can not deal with this anymore often!  Then I ordered a month (at least) of the Washington Post for some news.  I find tv and internet media too incendiary, biased and arbitrary.  Sure the Post is biased in some ways-we all are.  I'm intending to try the New York Times as well.  The Kansas City paper is a joke.  So much wandering, so much confusion, all without leaving home.