Wednesday, December 23, 2015

I am a bad blogger...

I has been a long time since I last blogged.  All is well...sort of.

About two weeks ago, my aunt decided that Fonda and I were unacceptable people to know.  We have been unfriended and blocked by her on Facebook...stupid.  I have returned the favor, and I have also had to unfriend her awesome husband because she hacked into his account and continued her vitriol.  What a waste...I had just recently (from her) found out that her dad (my grandfather) had served in the military. He died when I was around 10(?) and I never knew that.  Now I am unlikely to get that information. 

Two days later, we had to euthanize Webster a week and an half ago.  He had chronic renal failure.  Everyone wanted us to support him with subQ fluids...It was one of the hardest decisions to make to not do that.  He was a very active kitty that didn't like to be held and he would not have put up with sitting still (being held still) for 5-10 minutes, even if it was better for him.  Everyone we talked to said "he would get used to it."  We decided that if he was willing to put up with that, then he was too far gone for it.  We are pretty sure he didn't know he was sick until last-week Tuesday.  I am 100% grateful to my sister, Meg (she is a registered vet-tech) who talked to us plainly about getting a plan together so it would not be an emergency for all of us.  With Meg's encouragement, we made a plan with our vet that we hoped to not use.  It turns out that our vet makes house calls for euthanasia. 

He liked to "help" with things like quilting...

He and Fonda would have long conversations...this photo taken March, 2009. He was about 10.
When I got up our normal routine was for him to come and get a drink at the sink while I did my morning things...he didn't come to the sink.  I did find him trying to hide under a shelf that we had set up in the craft room.  I was worried, but he seemed OK a bit later, napping on the sofa.  When I called later, Fonda said he was (still?) napping on the sofa in the living room, like normal.  I was still worried, and when I got home from work he came to do his normal routine and get a drink from the sink, but he couldn't figure it out.  He put his head into the stream of water that he normally would drink from.  He just couldn't get it.  He tried to drink from the pool in the sink. He tried a variety of ways...I started crying and told Fonda that I thought it was time...she came in and saw what I meant.

Such the regal boy, even near the end.

Thanks to Meg, we were able to call the vet and implement our (dreaded) plan.  The vet and one assistant came to our house and were very respectful and kind. We were able to hold him and Franklynn came up and hung out with us for a little while, purring up a storm.  It was all very kind and very sad.  I found the girls (except Spot, who thinks she is an only-cat, and was hiding behind the sofa, anyway) and just brought them to him and then let them go.  They both sniffed him and then left.  I am sure it was harder on us then them.

Always curious...

He came back to us on Friday in a plain and simple box, with his name engraved on it.  The vet also made a plaster-of-Paris imprint of his front paws and wrote his name...they shaved some fur and cut some whiskers for us.  The crematory sent the Rainbow Bridge poem with an inking of his paw.  It was all very nice.  He is currently sitting on the craft table waiting for us to do something...I have no idea what. He was a very patient boy when he wanted to be - ha, ha!

With is butterfly on his head...
And his angel on his back...the "body" on his left side, head near his head, with hands clasped and the "wing" on his right side, spanning his whole sweetness.


He is missed by all of us here, and the other kitties have been coming around for more pats, and just generally checking in with us more.  It is really kinda quiet since he died...I am 99% sure he was deaf and had been for a few months - he would stand right next to us and yell in our ears and he hasn't been afraid of the vacuum for a few months, and has not responded to us calling for him, but that is not 100% out of the norm for any cat.
He will be missed...sweet boy.
RIP Webster

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Almost -8- 9 years...

It's been almost 8 9 (thanks Meg!) years since my mom died...I think it gets better every year and then I get hit with something else...

Mom, circa 1975 (Thank you Dad for scanning all of those photos for us!)
 
This year our cat, Webster is having a hard time.  He has chronic renal failure and has lot a lot of weight and is drinking a lot of water...apparently he can't catch up with his thirst and we hate it.  And he has an infected tooth (and really bad breath).  We are pretty sure that it would not be a good idea to put him under anesthesia...so, now what do we do.  I talked to the vet a few days ago and she said "he is 16..." and I said something like, "he is only 16" and she was trying to tell me that he is old and he has had a good life.  He doesn't know he is sick and still runs around like a crazy cat at times - we are also pretty sure that he is deaf, or at least, has had some dramatic hearing loss - He YELLS around the house and doesn't come when we call him... We are sad.



School is going smoothly, finally.  We bought the house and then had both cars die at about the same time...we have made our first house payment and are gearing up for our first (new) car payment.  We bought a 2016 Hyundai Elantra GT and I LOVE IT, but there has been quite a bit of stress around how it was all going to come together...It finally did and things are going smoothly...our first car payment is at the end of the month.




I am still really having a good time working full-time and I have more responsibility and it is really pretty neat, I just wish I had a bit more support - that I didn't have to ask for...I don't know the questions to ask until they are right in front of me and I feel a bit like an idiot.  There are things that I feel like I am finding under layers and not quite knowing what I am doing.  I am afraid that I will do something that will be permanent and I won't know what to do to fix it.  I guess I will figure it out, but I wish I had some hand-holding with this particular program...Not that anyone calls it by the same name - it took me DAYS to finally ask what the difference was for the program only to be told that they were the same thing! And then my boss asked me if I had the icon on my desktop...I ended up contacting the IT people who told me that it is actually a website and gave me the link (yeah, it is like that)...I played around today with the program because we were dropped some names of currently-registered students to contact (cold-call) about registering for classes for Spring semester.  I finally asked someone what would be a good idea to do and I got some great info and, used that to make most of my calls...PIA, but I guess it was worth it.  I didn't blow anything up and actually got some things done (and got a missing-bit fixed [yay me!])...At least I am 99% sure that I didn't blow up anything or permanently delete anything - ha, ha!

 
This photo is from when Mom and I got to go on a ME cruise on the Schooner Heritage.  It was a cold morning and she hadn't had coffee yet - ha, ha!  Sigh.

Life is going and going well. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Wow...

Two more days until I start my FT job!  I am *so* excited and a little bit scared (what happens if it turns out that I can't do it?)...I know I can, but there is a bit of the imposter syndrome happening, too...

AND we are packing up the house to move...What have we done? LOL.

But, seriously, what have we done? Our closing date is the Thursday before Labor Day and then we move...that weekend!  I am a bit overwhelmed...I just look at things and think: What are we going to do with that? I am afraid that we have too much stuff and that it won't fit...I am afraid that there are more boxes that are to go into the craft/sewing room (first time they will be combined) than we have space for...The boxes are going into the smallest (12x10.5) bedroom until we figure out the set-up of the craft/sewing room (the big/heavy items will go directly into the master bedroom - craft/sewing room) and I am just sure there are more boxes than space in that room.  I can move boxes though...if we need to, they can go into the living/dining room...we are not sure what is going in those spaces, anyway, LOL. 

AND I am prepping for a class I have never taught, though I have been a student in them (I am also reading the textbook), and two that I have taught, but with a different book, so the presentations are being changed...and so, I need to update my methods, and teaching schedules...

AND I get an office to myself, but I have to wait until the guy who is using it now moves out, so I can move in...AND then I have a TON of books, etc. to move into that office.  Wonder if I can schedule my nervous break-down now?

All shall be well, and I have packed my sewing machine for the time-being.  Almost everything that has been hanging up is down and we are slowly packing each room.  I am thinking that we might have to buy a few new boxes, but not as many as I thought at first.  We saved most of our boxes from moving from Greenville, NC to Leland (our closet was full of boxes and we still have most of the bubble/newsprint for wrapping).  We have had to re-box some things because the boxes has started to fail, but most are enduring and are reusable (yay!).  We still have a few days (3+ weeks) and I think we are well on our way to having the house boxed.  Luckily, we are only moving ~25 miles, so we can make multiple trips in the cars, too...but the hope is we will be 100% moved into the new house by Labor Day...Wish us luck, and me some sanity.

Peace

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes...

Life is moving on...

I got the full-time, 9-month job at Brunswick Community College.  I will be teaching similar classes to what I have been teaching for the last 4.5 years.  I will be teaching 3 classes at one institution instead of 2 at one college and 1 at another for more money and benefits! 

Along with this...we have put in an offer for a house in Shallotte (pronounced: Shall-Lote, not like the green onion).  The offer was accepted and now we just have to work on financing - We have money for the down payment (thank you Mom!) and we could afford it without working full-time, but it will be much easier with the full-time position...The house is close to the school, and very close to two different grocery stores (biking distance!...now, we just need to add some baskets to the bike so I can bring home a gallon of milk - ha, ha).


 This is a screen-shot from a listing website...It is a 3-bedroom/2-bathroom house of about 1700 square feet.  There is a huge, old live oak tree in the back yard! It is on about a half-acre of land, with woods behind it.



We are also fostering a kitten that showed up in our back yard...she is very cute and is NOT staying - we are working to reduce the number of kitties in our world!  Everyone thinks we are lying, but it is not true...and we also fostered a boy a few months ago and he is now in someone elses house :)


We have named her Pippi Longstockings (see the photo, above for the stripy leggings)


She is very cute and will make someone an absolutely fabulous girl...she *SO* wants a kitty-friend and she is fearless! 


She has a little spotty belly and is just cute.


These photos were taken when she had only been here for about 3 or 4 days...She is about 8 weeks old in these photos.  She now follows me to the bathroom and wants to hang out with us.  Our kitties Do. Not. Like. Her!  We are working with an agency called Adopt An Angel in Wilmington, NC and she goes for her spay on Friday (she will be about 10 weeks old then).  After her spay, she will probably go to the adoption-place (PetCo) next-week Wednesday or so.  We are going to help pay for the spay and then they can use the adoption money ($55.00) for other kitties.  She is (hopefully) the last kitty we will be fostering...This new house will not really have a place for us to isolate someone...

I wish we could save them all, but the ones we help are one more that will not be contributing to future overpopulation issues.  We will continue to support the local groups (including the Fix A Friend spay and neuter clinic in the area).  They did more than 130 spay/neuter surgeries last week - both dogs and cats! They are amazing, we are hoping that some day they will be out of business (because they have done all the spays/neuters that they can, not any other reason)...

I will post more photos (kitty and house) when I get a chance/get some...

Peace.

Friday, June 26, 2015

as the kitty turns...

over and lays his paws on my laptop... it is hard when to type when I have a very enthusiastic "helper" who does not understand that cat paws also can use the touch-screen...sigh.


Anyway...Life has been going on and on. 

I was given the opportunity to teach this summer, one class of BIO 112 (General Biology II - for majors).   It has been fun.  The class started with five students and is down to four.  We went out on a field trip on Wednesday to collect samples from the sound-side of one of the barrier islands down here.  I love the barrier islands and think they are really neat how they shift and change...I will not get on my soapbox about how we should not be building on them, etc.  Anyway - there were so many people out there - I usually go at non-peak times, like, March and October/November and the number of people just sunbathing and hanging out at the water was a bit of a surprise. 

All went better than I had hoped and we got so see some cool blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) and some neat fish - including a small (~1.5 inch) puffer fish (Northern puffer, Sphoeroides maculatus), a pampano (I think it is Trachinotus carolinus, but it could be an African pampano)...and some pinfish (Lagodon rhomboides).  I guess the puffers from around here are not nearly as toxic with tetrodotoxin as those around Japan.

As I said, we also caught some blue crabs ...one of my favorite species for identification (easy-peasy to ID).  We found a male that someone had ripped off his claws and many of his walking legs and (I sure hope he survived) and then later we caught a big female with claws intact.  These guys are neat because they are sexually dimorphic, so we could tell that one was male and the other female.  

   Image from theblondcook.com

One of my students gave up her hat to catch her - she didn't let go of the hat until she was back in the water! I am just glad it wasn't my fingers.  I was pinched by some smaller blue crabs and stuck in the finger by the rostrum of a shrimp (Farfantepenaeus spp.) that we caught...all-in-all, it was a good day.  There are days I can't believe they pay me to do what I do.  So...we brought the puffer, the pompano, and three pinfish back to the aquarium at school.  I am hoping they are still alive on Monday when we go back.  We removed the bully of a mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus, a.k.a. mud minnow) and it is now living at the Aquaculture facility on campus.

I don't think I want to try to take 32 students out on a field trip next time, though...I am not sure what to do because I really think it was a good experience to see the species in the wild and see how we can catch them, etc. Maybe by splitting the class into two groups and taking only16 at a time...with more supervisory people? I will see what I can do.  I don't know if 16 would be manageable, either...we shall see.

So,  I have received more "'thanks but no thanks" from places.  I have also applied to a FT position at the Brunswick CC, where I am working now.  I have high hopes and crossed fingers, but it has only been ~1.5 weeks since they opened the position.  They posted it on Tuesday night, I turned in my application on Wednesday morning. Nothing like jumping on that quickly.  It was hinted at by two higher-ups that the job would be posted soon (before it was) and that I should be on the look-out for it...I was.  I have not heard about interviews, yet, but hope that it will be soon.  The start-date is expected to be on August 10th.  Fingers crossed.

AND! Today the Supreme Court ruled to recognize marriages for all.  I am so happy that we no longer need to spend (literally) thousands of dollars to get the same rights as my siblings have since they got married.  We had to get legal papers that would allow each other to make medical decisions, to be able to visit each other in the hospital, etc.  The same rights that my siblings had when they got married - by spending as little as $80 ($90, if you wanted the certified copy of the certificate, which we did) in the State of NC and going to a JP.  We had to spend the money twice: once in Ohio, and once in NC...if we had been able to get legally married, we would not have had to spend the thousands of dollars the first time... So, if we move, we should not have to spend the thousands again!  We are now legally married in all 50 States, and DC!  I am so happy, I cannot contain myself...This does not mean that I am protected at my job...this is still an "at-will" state and for whatever reason, someone decides that they don't want me to teach, they do not have to renew my contract and they do not have to tell me why (as far as I know)...Scary.

So...time to celebrate and then get back to the fun of doing my job...There are also times I don't think they pay me enough...but that is not as often. :)

Peace

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Follow up to the follow up of the car drama

OK.  So, last night I went to move the Honda a bit...The clutch went to the floor and did not come back up and the car jumped, even when standing on the brake.

OK, so this morning, I went out and put it in neutral and gave it a shot...same response from the clutch. Put the car in neutral and it started right on up, no problem (yay!) and then I tried to put in the clutch and put it in gear.  Not an option.  The suggestion is that it is either 1) the clutch slave cylinder, 2) the clutch master cylinder, or 3) some leaky tubes.  Worst-case should be ~$200.00.  Sigh.

We had an appointment this morning.  We took the Saturn, and ran a couple of errands no problem.

We came home and I called AAA to pick up the Honda.  The guy came and got it - I helped and literally burned (complete with two blisters) my fingers on the steering wheel.


OK.  I had just finished the third of three books from the library and we got a call to tell me that a fourth one just came in! 

I decided to head over the library and return the read ones and get the new one.  I put the Saturn in reverse and backed off the concrete pad and then went to put it in gear, and head out, and the clutch is dead "floppy" again, like the bushing went out again.  I called the car-place and they said tow it in.  I kinda lost it...we are stranded and we can't get either one when they finish them...I am frustrated by all that is happening...

I eventually calmed down and decided that it can be towed in the morning and I can go with it and then come back with one, whichever one is finished first.  I know the library is not too far from the car repair place and I will go with the driver and the car, and then go to the library and wait.  I guess I can take my laptop, etc. - I need to develop an exam for Monday.

I am *so* over the cars, but I am not willing to give up having one...We already decided that it is not worth replacing the AC in the Saturn, because the Honda still has working AC.  But we hope that they keep on running.

Eventually we will have to put them down/let them go, but we are still allowing them to limp along...sigh.  We have been eyeballing some "new" cars and we have decided that we want a station wagon-like vehicle - that will allow us to haul things (recycling, cats, items we like that are big and bulky and don't fit in the current cars).  We liked the Subaru Outback and that is $34,000+ and that is WAY more than we want to pay!  After seeing that, we kinda shut down the search. 

Some day...some day...

Peace.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

follow up to the job interview...

Well, seeing as I have not heard from the school, I am assuming that I didn't get a call back for a second interview...alas. 

How can I change what I am doing? What am I doing wrong. 

I am thinking that I will contact the last two places and ask for suggestions as to how I can improve what I am doing.  I am *SO* frustrated. 

I have been keeping up the positive attitude and thoughts for *SO* long that I just don't know what else to do, besides give up and look for a job not in the teaching-field - And who knows if that will be any better...grrrr.

Sigh.

Peace.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Job Interview...

So...On Thursday, I kicked some fanny and submitted all the grades necessary to be done with both colleges.  We then picked up a rental car (at about 6:30 a.m.), parked our car at one of the colleges, and headed up to central Virginia.  We got there with time to spare (yay!) and then we were able to check into the hotel (double yay!) and Fonda was (finally) able to get some sleep.  I went to the appointment (I was about 25 minutes before the "15 minutes early" request).  The campus is small and sweet.  Kinda like Brunswick CC.  The person I was to meet with was at lunch (nothing like being early, huh?). 

I think it went OK - but I always think it goes OK.  I expect to hear within the week (if I get the second interview) and if that happens, they will do the second one via Skype (or some similar technology, for both candidates).   We shall see.

We found two fabric stores and found out about two more...we also found some thrift stores and antique-like stores...


We stopped at the Virginia Welcome Center (Virgina is for lovers) and they had peanuts spelling out LOVE, so of course, we had to get a photo :)


The dogwoods were blooming...(our finished about 2 weeks ago, down here)...These were cool because they were pointy...


We went to some thrift stores...this ^^ one was a religious-type with creepy-eyed rabbits...Notice the one in the middle-back who is plotting to rip out your throat while you are gaping at the other creepy rabbits in front.



All he needs is to be painted white and have big pointy fangs and it would complete the image





This..."chest of drawers" = "Chester drawers" - a thrift store in Chester, VA... Where I found...




these socks...Soulmate socks "because life is too short to match socks"

Then we went to Petersburg Pickers - an antique/resale place...


If the goats are out ^^^ they are open...


We saw this piggy bank with eight eyes...Like it would be perfectly at home with The Simpsons.  I was amused, but Fonda really didn't seem to be so.





A little further around the edges, we found this elephant dress.  I am almost positive it was 100% polyester, but I didn't read the tag.  On the price tag, it was called a Brady Bunch Dress...




Then as I was putting the elephant dress away...I found THIS ^^^ dress...There is nothing I can say about this, except that the person who made it had some MAD crochet skills...Wow.  Just: Wow.



Then, as we were leaving, Fonda recognized that the reason they had a ladder bolted to the garage door was because they were spelling out the word LOVE...so, we began and ended the trip with LOVE.  Now...if the interviewers just follow through...

We made it home safely and only ran into TS Ana once were were back in NC...not much except wind and bands of rain (sometimes really heavy).  It rained all day on Sunday and most of Monday, We probably got more than 6 inches total (judged by the full concrete-mixing tubs of the neighbor).

Now: I just have to mow the grass - it is beginning to get a bit out of hand...

Peace.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

well...follow up to the "and then this happened"

well...Turns out there is something called a bushing between the links of the gear shifter...Apparently they sometimes fail (usually with some warning, if you know what to feel for)...cost about $76.00 with part and labor...YAY...

That being said...The Honda...We had planned to take it on a trip this weekend...so, took it to the repair shop and then got The Call.  Not only for the expected O-ring leak, but some additional leaks and the rear brakes...metal-on-metal...and a frozen caliper...So...$1500.00 including 1.5 days labor.  Looks like we will be renting a car...sigh. 

OK.  Now I need to go to bed, but I wanted to put your minds at ease about the Saturn, at least...now we worry about the Honda and the insurance that is due - ha, ha :)...

Peace.

Monday, May 4, 2015

and then this happened

all was going so well...I went to the grocery and then came out - I was listening to a book I had read before and really was thinking that I should just quit reading it and happened to mess it up and decided that Fresh Aire would be a better bet...Deal with it when I get home.  I got to the car and unloaded groceries...returned the cart...got into the car, backed out and then tried to put it into first gear...Absolutely NOTHING there.  I have never felt that before.  The engine was fine, the brakes worked, the power steering...everything was fine, except I had not go because there is no clutch/transmission...WEIRD! I had to push it back into a parking space.  Thinking in advance (yeah, that's it) I was able to push it into a pull-through so that it should be easy for the tow truck to pick it up...

Luckily I was still in the grocery store parking lot and was able to go in and call Fonda to come and get me - She was making supper while I ran to the store. 

We are going away for the weekend (Friday/Saturday) for a reason I will talk about next week - Nothing scary, just going.  We are going to take one of our cars (not the Saturn at this point)...Of course the Honda needs some repair, but trying to get a rental car is stupid - we would have to get it for more than the time we actually need it to accommodate the rental-place not being open on Sundays...Stupid. 

Anyway...we may be getting a new car soon...sigh...

Monday, April 20, 2015

small rant

WTF do I have to do to get a full-time job?

  • I have applied to more places than I thought were out there. (>150)
  • I have filled out more applications than any one person should have need to do.
  • I have done my best.
  • I have put myself out there.
  • I present my self well (at least I think I do).
  • I am fantastic at what I do.

Why can I not find a full-time job doing what I want to do?  Forget the stupid "God is waiting to find the exact right place for you" crap!  For all I know, the job I finally get, will be crap and I will hate it.

I have been looking for more than FOUR YEARS!   What more can I do? This is such bull-crap...I don't know what to do and I don't know where to put my frustration.  I feel like a failure and that will eventually translate into my current *part-time* job and may just mess me up for that...Then what will I do?

How long can I keep my chin up and this now-semi positive attitude?  I have no idea. 

What more can I do?  So frustrated...

Peace.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

April update

It feels like forever since I have posted...well, it has been.  I have been busy with school and this year I am teaching at two community colleges and they did not have overlapping spring breaks, so I have not really had a chance to sit down and do NOTHING like I have in the past.  Starting on Tuesday, I will be back to both colleges again, so back to leaving the house ~6:45 a.m. and not returning until >9:30 p.m.  Sigh.  I think I need to figure something else out for next time, but it all depends on what they can/will offer me.  The two days-a-week are good (I really like having a 4-day weekend, after I recover a bit). 

I have done little to no sewing this semester (with some small exceptions, which I will post in a bit).  This makes me frustrated.

I have had two interviews for two different community colleges - one in PA and one in N. VA.  I am unsure about the N.VA one as it was a "virtual interview" where I had to answer four questions via webcam from a canned (recorded) interviewer. I read this as a college that may be bigger than I want to deal with (classes larger than 40 or so students).  I sent a Thank you email to what seemed to be a blank address (weird address, I was unsure if it was a real person).  I stated within the email that I would follow up on the following Wednesday and so, I did.  I was 100% surprised when I actually got a response from the second email.  The woman said that the committee is still reviewing the tapes and I should hear in a week or so. 

The other was more personal and I think everything went well...I don't think I giggled and laughed inappropriately and I think I was personable and answered their questions well.  I was the first to interview and of course, there were some glitches (one person was ~5-10 minutes late, and they could not see my presentation - the problem was on *their* end [thank god]).  They said that they would complete the interviews as of 4/3/15 and then make recommendations to the Dean(s) and then it would go from there "maybe a week or so" - it has now been a week and I am totally freaking out...

I have come to the realization that I hate interviewing.  It makes me feel really inadequate, stupid, and like a failure when I get the "thanks, but no thanks" letter or email (and sometimes before).  Interviewing is one of the most horrible experiences I have ever had to go through.  Having applied for more than 150 jobs (I am keeping a record in Excel) in the last 3 years, I can tell you it sucks.  It is really hard to keep a positive outlook and want to even try and apply to more positions.

Then...I had two(!) students recommend me to speak to two groups of honors students!  Wow.  I never even thought I was getting through to some of them and now there are two who think I am worth it.  So, on Wednesday, I am going to speak in front of a group of cc students who are being inducted to Phi Theta Kappa and the National Technical Honors Society.  I am going to talk about being a failure...And how that can change when you figure out what you want to do and have the opportunity to make it happen.  We shall see what I can do with my 15 minutes of fame. 

I am also going to submit my name again for the Adjunct of the Year 2015-2016.  Why the hell not? LOL.

OK, so I have done a little sewing this semester.  You might recognize the following from the end of last year:


well, it needed more...so, when Fonda and I went to Greenville, NC, we bought enough black to make a border and some sale fabric for the back (I will post once it is quilted).  And then this happened:

I am very happy with this :)  I think it helps to define the quilt and I just like it.  I will be quilting this one myself and I will post it again, when I am done.

I also made a postcard for my MIL, Cathy Hausser, who really likes sunflowers and is missing her sweetheart, Gorden, who died last summer...We have been sending her sunflowers (and sunflower-like) pictures several times a week and I wanted her to have one more permanent...






it is raw-edged fabric sewn to a base fabric and then the addition of French knots for the center and then quilted onto a piece of very stiff material, made for this kind of application.

That is about all for the sewing...Fonda (and I) have been cleaning up/out the back crafting area - see Fonda's Blog for more amazing clean-up/out descriptions and before & after photos.  I am amazed at what we - mostly Fonda - have done!  This is something I never would have attempted by myself.  From this room, we do plan to move to others - the back bedroom (scary!) and the pile of "naturals and decorating" boxes...then onto the sewing room. 

The upshot of this has been that we have been able to make some cards and we got the chance to make some fobs for a woman in Columbus (through Cathy)...we are doing background stuff that needs to happen before we can get back to 100% crafting :) 

We went through our(!) quilt tops yesterday and found many that had backing material with them (they just need to be sandwiched and quilted - sometimes easier said than done) and several that did not have backings yet.  I am afraid to actually count the number of tops...I will, but not yet.  We took 5 to a local quilt store and found sale(!) fabric for backing them today (spent ~$140) and bought ~15+ yards of good-quality cotton fabric (there were 2.5 yards not on sale - ha, ha - but only 1 yard [2, 1/2 yard pieces] that were not for an in-progress project).  So, we are feeling virtuous and not too guilty.  One of the tops was a store sample Mom had made that was not supposed to be pink, but is...I thought we had completed all the Mom-quilts a few years ago.  Amazing what you can find when you go looking :)...sigh.

OK, enough for today - enough of an update for now, for all involved, I hope.  Peace

Sunday, January 4, 2015

First Beach Trip 2015

Fonda and I went to the beach today...We went out in 70s weather and drove down to Oak Island.  about half way there, we ran into a fog-bank.  I thought it was rain...could have been.  Temps went down into the 60s.  We went to Oak Island Light


This is the lighthouse - I think they are doing some construction as the light was not lit and there was some material up near the light.  Fonda is hanging out on the deck/walk to the right.  The sploot on the left of most of these photos is the wet from the fog - I tried to clean it, but the spot persisted and I couldn't see to fix it - We both had to wipe our glasses several times while walking out/back.


 Some pelicans - they were too cool as they moved out of and back into the fog - hence the fact that they are at the bottom of the photo - ha, ha.


 Neat feather - too wet to bring back, and beautiful on the beach. There were several neat feathers


Waves on the beach - Not high, but neat and really just hard to see and man, was it windy.


Tonight's full moon is the last photo of today.  It was full at: 5:48 p.m. today :)

Peace

Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Year: 2015

I AM FREEEEEEEE...for about two days - why, oh why do I do this to myself? sigh.

I just finished the mini-mester - most did OK, and some just stopped.  I want to go on record to say that on-line classes can be good and they can be bad.  I would not succeed in an on-line class - I do not have the motivation to do it all the time.  I barely have the motivation to be the teacher...wow.  And people who are on-line can be mean. Not just to the other students, but to the teacher, too (meaning: me).  I had a student who was just a big bully "golf professional."  If I have to deal with this guy in-person, I think I might just snap.  I have no idea why this guy is in school if he is such a big-deal golf professional.  Anyway - I need to keep him out of my brain...let it go, Katie, let it go!

OK, on another note...I did take a few hours to make a new quilt top :)  I used a jelly-roll-type chunk of 2.5"xwof fabric from my *favorite* quilt store (Cotton Fields, in Washington, NC)...the problem was (originally) that I thought I had enough to do what I wanted...because I am a dork...turns out I needed *40* fabrics, not *20.*  Sigh.  So, I collected some from our "meager" stash (ahem) and Fonda helped me to whittle the colors down to only 12, as I had decided to use only black-on-black and white-on-white for the insets (using the original rolls' b-on-b and w-on-w).  I used a simple pattern called Jelly Jive from Pieced Tree Patterns (piecedtreepatterns.com) that I picked up a while ago and fell in love with then learned what not to do, but that is another story...Really easy directions and it goes together quickly. One thing I decided to do was find the center of each piece and sew that to the next, etc. - Seemed to work well and it is not too lop sided.

Of course, I had a little help from my friend:  


He just can't let me do anything without him (except I can go to the bathroom without *him* - there are others who take on that task)


This is the finished quilt-top (at a 90* angle from original).  Maybe.  I may still add a black border to frame it and give it some defined edges.  I think we have enough of one color of black to work.  We shall see. 

Plans are for us to head to the beach tomorrow - temps in the 70s and a 40% chance of NO rain...Today is a bit wet (predicted 60% No rain) and temps in the 60s.  Not bad for January, huh? 

Classes start on Thursday for me and I will be teaching only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but from 8am to 9pm with limited breaks - I hope this semester will be easier on the brain than last.  I really don't feel like I got much of a break, just enough time to get back into staying up too late (2am) and getting up really late (noon)...oh, well - Monday I need to get back on the alarm-clock roller coaster. 

I guess that is all for the start of the New Year...Peace to all!

the fish girl

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Leland, North Carolina, United States

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