Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Vacation - post the first...

So...we went on vacation.  A real vacation. Not just going back to Ohio and visiting family or traveling to a job interview that can also double as a sight-seeing tour.  This hasn't happened since we went to The Campbell Folk School way back when (at least 7 years ago!)...This time we went to Aikin, South Carolina.  I know it sounds fancy, right? Well, it is a very cool town...A lot of horse-type-people and a small college-town (USC-Aikin is in town, as well as Aikin Technical College).  

On the way, we stopped at 2 fabric stores and bought a little fabric (really!, not much).  The first was in Sumter, SC called Treadle Pushers... they had, like, 4 big "long-arm" quilting machines!  You could rent time on the machines...something to look into, though it is ~2.5 hours away...we shall see.


I loved the  No Soliciting sign - LOL...Except, I really don't care for thin mints (anathema, I know!)

Fonda had managed to find a yard-sale, was amazing that we were able to get there on a Thursday and we actually found some fabric there, too...I bought the equivalent of  3.5 yards of fabric for $14...a very good deal...though I have no photos of the yard sale, you will see: It was HOT!!

 After that, we had lunch at a place the quilting women suggested - good, Baker's Sweets - I would recommend it if you find yourself in Sumter, SC - on Alice Street.

After lunch, we continued on to Lexington, SC just west of Columbia...There was a much bigger quilting store there and we bought some more fabric, and of course, found somethings we couldn't leave without photographing...a beautiful tuffet...I wish my mom had made one or found one she couldn't live without before she died... She loved the idea of the tuffet and now we see them everywhere...this one was especially nice, and I think Fonda's Mom will enjoy it, too...we did not buy it, just took a photo - we really can't afford one, or to even make one...they are a bit cost prohibitive.


Then on the final leg, we passed our obligatory SWIFT truck - on almost all our trips, we see these trucks and try to be the first to whisper: "swift" LOL.  

After a good night's sleep, we got up early to go to an estate sale that we found just around the corner from our hotel (everything in Aikin is just around the corner, I swear)... While there, I found these "peacock" stirrups and thought that my sister, Meg, might find them useful (I know I would have the last time I rode! ha, ha!  And maybe the next time, too - if there is a next time).  I didn't know what they were called and I called her...Fonda said: "Its 3:30 in the morning there!" I had to do some fast figuring and then decided it was 5:30 and she was already up and probably mucking out stalls or feeding...turns out she forgot to turn the ringer on and she *was* outside feeding :)  She also suggested they would be a good addition for our niece, Abigail (Elizabeth's daughter), who is learning to ride.  I hope they come in handy for her :)  

I guess that is all for now...that just takes us to the morning of the first full-day of our vacation!  More later :)


Sunday, July 24, 2016

...and then there were two

We are back down to two and the kitties are feeling better.  Wren has stopped licking her belly naked (I think it took her a reality-check that things weren't as bad as she thought - Ha, ha!).  This only issue seems to be that Tulip has begun stalking Sera and Sera has not been using the litter boxes appropriately...sigh.  We just took Sera to the vet and found out that she has a UTI - that might be contributing to the issue.  Antibiotics and L-Lysine for her...sigh.  We hope she feels better soon.

We are seeing the household come back into normality, or as normal as it gets around here.  

It was just announced that we will be having the membership fees waived for the next year at the gym on campus!  What a treat!  They have aerobic machines, a walking track, and two pools - one shallow/warm and one deeper/lap.  I will be taking advantage of that again starting on August 8th, when we go back to school - Classes start on August 15th.  I will be teaching 3 sections of the exact same class - I don't know if I should be excited or scared - LOL!  I made a "class diary" last semester when I taught 2 sections of another class, but this will be a new experience - I think it will be good.  I am not sure about the exams...2 classes on M/W, and 1 on T/Th...How do test them without them talking to each other and spilling the beans on what is covered?  I guess I just have to be patient and do my best and suggest that they might not find it adventitious to blab.

We have had some neat weather around here lately. But most of it seems to miss us - we are not getting the quantity that we expect - most of it goes north and east of us - I guess that is because of the winds coming off the ocean - though we are ~10 miles inland.  

some really cool mammary clouds - though I thought they usually came *after* a storm, they came before the rain here...(we were at Lowe's Home Improvement, of course - we always seem to go when it is raining!) 

a bit better/closer view of the clouds.  I have only seen this type of cloud in-person one other time - In Columbus, with Mom - we were driving back from one of her treatments and we saw these over Riverside Hospital.

The next day brought more threatening weather... ^^ the view from the front porch... 

^^ the view from the back porch.  Neat.

I have also been working on a quilt for the youngest that was here - a monster quilt from a pattern in "Happy Quilts" a new quilt book by Antonie Alexander at Red Boot Quilts.  I love this woman's sense of whimsy and joy.  She has a TON of patterns for quilts and softies - the book has 10 quilts and a softie that goes with each - I do plan to make a softie that goes with the monsters, too :) ... Fonda has been helping me with balance and more...

First, we had to pick out the backgrounds and the associated borders (all black-on-black, white-on-white, black and white, and two grays) - You don't know how hard it is to balance this until you try!  Apparently we are not big on grays - it was a struggle to find some in our stash!  

so...I had to trace all the pieces onto fusible-web, then cut them out...then pick fabrics for each monster - thank you Fonda for helping: 1) choose colors, and 2) getting those that kinda matched! and then, 3) helping me to kinda put the right monster in each block.  I wasn't sure about the pupils - if they would be buttons or sewn on...the monsters don't look as cute without pupils (as seen above)...I decided that because it is for a 3yo I should not use

a bit *more* tracing and then a bit *more* fusing and cutting...and now the monsters have pupils and are starting to look kinda actually sew everything together...each piece got sewn around each edge with a coordinating color of thread...I thought I was finished, Fonda recommended I double check horns, eyes, body, teeth...horns, eyes, body, teeth...ten more times (at midnight, when I need to be at school at 9am)...I forgot ONE SET OF HORNS!!!!!!!!!  Luckily, I had not put that thread away yet...done around 1am with all the sewing, pulling threads to the back, and tying off and trimming...

eventually - I got them put back together in the right order and then sewn together (as seen above) - I skipped the photo of how I threw them up there at was a mess - ha, ha.  I am not sure how we got two green-guys together, but it works out OK.

 then on to the borders - again, trying to make the b&w/gray borders appear random - harder than it should be - ha, ha.  Gotta try to make the pieces not match the one next to them or the square inside!  Anyway - Fonda and I got it together and then I had to pick some colors for the inner border...

And *finally* the top is done (YAY!), all I have to to is 1) layer it, 2) baste it some way, 3) quilt it, 4) do the binding, and 5) put the label on it...and then do the final 5 steps with three more quilts for the other grandchildren! This has to be a labor of love...If not, it wouldn't be worth it.  

I am officially on vacation (minus going to help with registration tomorrow [Monday])...I get to sleep in for the next few days and I am totally looking forward to it :)  

There are plants to plant and water and there are hummingbirds to I guess I am off for now...One more photo - of Wren the 2nd oldest of our clan...She is 17 yo and has recently taken to the basket on the table between our computers.  She is my original sweet-tart-girl.  


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

...and then there were 9...

The grandkids are visiting.  In reality, there are five kids and two additional adults...Added to our seven cats and two adults, there is a bit of chaos happening here...

The children range from age 2.9 years to 16.01 years...four out of the five are biological children of Fonda's daughter.  One is a family friend that is basically a 9th child for them.  The oldest four did not come down this time.  

They have been here for nine days and will be leaving in three...We are having a (mostly) good time - there is some drama/trauma because things are Not Normal, but things are not normal and will not return to normal until everyone is in their own space again...and even then, it will take more time.  It is amazing how much seven additional people eat and make a mess...

The 16yo has been very insistent about going for a drive (with her driving, of course) - to the point where she will pass up playing with the family to go out and drive...

first day:

We went to Ocean Isle Beach and it was an absolutely gorgeous day!  Kids got soaked and Mom and Dad had a good time, too.

The baby got soaked and then the decided that he was fine without his swim trunks - I love his hair!

This is Miss. 16 with her baby brother looking out at the waves.  Very sweet.

Day two: a "aerial" course that ranged from "baby" to "military" 

The photo is from after - the baby did not go on the ropes - it was for 4+

I didn't go on the ropes because I am a) too fat; and b) too fond of my own parts - ha, ha!

After dinner, we went out to the Fuzzy Peach (frozen yogurt) - we had a good time! 

 Day something: BINGO with Grandmas!

Yesterday: Playing in the sprinkler - these are the middle three...

Now the youngest four...

Tomorrow they are going to the Medieval/Pirate Show and dinner (without us - can't see spending $40 per adult and though, so we will stay home and eat leftovers) - I really hope they have a good time!  And come back and tell us all about it - I think they will enjoy it, I do not think we would. 

OK - enough for now - more later - maybe after the kids go home - ha, ha!!

the fish girl

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Leland, North Carolina, United States