Friday, September 26, 2008

Weeding on Friday

This is the same area I worked on Wednesday -- this side (the road side) is peonies and the other side of that post is all daylilies and one hardy iris that I dug up years ago, but it persists in returning and blooming, so I left it!

And the after picture: (after another hour and a half of work). I cleaned up the peonies and pulled the stems of the daylilies and weeded, weeded, weeded. I also trimmed some of the lower branches of the redbud tree -- they grew so low they were laying on top of the flowers!

I also have a stand of black eyed susans next to the peonies and under the tree. I cut them back as I was going, but this lonely one is still blooming, so I left it alone! I love discovering one bloom left on plants that have finished blooming.

I had to force myself to go out and work today, but I'm happy I did. Doesn't seem like much progress, but some is better than none!
Another bright, sunny day.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Guess where I was today!

This is AJ getting tickled so we could get a real instead of fake smile out of him! I had to go to his pre-school room and pick him up today while his mom picked up the other little boy she babysits for from the other room. Teacher assumed I was his grandma -- what with the white hair and all! (and the fact that he yelled "Grandma!" when I appeared in the doorway! LOL What fun!

And here's Will stealing the keys from my purse! Rats! Caught red handed!
And who could deny this child anything?!
Safe and uneventful trip up and back today.
Some adult time spent talking with Steph today.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Workin' Wednesday

There is so much to do around here that I made a list or two and started working on it (them) today. I have two lists -- one is outdoor things that need to be finished before the season ends, and the other is indoor things that need to be done, but I'll work on them now only when I can't get the outside stuff done -- when it rains!
So, I worked in one flower bed today -- this is a bed of daylilies and peonies and some hollyhocks that joyfully invaded the lily bed!
This is the small part I weeded today. I have not touched this bed since early spring -- unbelievable amount of weeds, and trees(!) growing in it. So far I've only managed to clean up this 8 x 12 foot (about) section -- a lot of weeds and lots of dead flower stems from both the lilies and the hollyhocks.
This is my garden cart filled to the brim with the stuff just from that small section! I let Bill worry about emptying it! I only worked out there about an hour and a half. It was really hot and I thought I'd only be able to work an hour, but then there was a small occasional breeze that helped me. I tend to suffer from heat exhaustion/stroke, so I know when I stop sweating that I'm in serious trouble and I no longer let it get that far. I also make sure I drink plenty of water while I'm out there.

I also got back on the treadmill this morning and am hoping by the time I finish all the yardwork that I'll actually be able to button my work jeans! vbg Seriously, I'm not concerned about losing any weight (although it certainly wouldn't hurt me to lose 20 pounds), but I do need to lose the fat/flab around my middle. I'm quite aware that carrying that fat around the middle is bad for the heart, and it doesn't do anything for my back either. So, hopefully, working in the yard/gardens/outside the house will help that and then when winter arrives I'll try to keep the exercising up inside.

Now I'm off to spend an hour or so doing the daily chores and then I'll load another quilt on the frame. That's my reward for getting some work done!

Finally having a day free to get some work done.
JR -- he actually skips when he realizes I'm going to be outside working - and then he lays under the cart protecting me while I weed!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pride goeth before a fall

Two weeks ago I started a quilt for a friend on Saturday. I had just recently watched a new DVD by Kimmy Brunner and was really anxious to try out some of her tips for keeping the quilt square while quilting it. This quilt was a twin size, so not a small quilt. I loaded it and was really proud of myself -- everything was plumb and square, the tension was great, the pantograph was a great one for the quilt itself (Alfresco by Lorien Quilting, which is one of my favorites), everything was great. I got all the way down to the last roll of the quilt to do the bottom and discovered I had 1-1/2" more top than bottom! So, for sure, Pride goeth before a fall! I've spent the past two weeks picking stitches every day but one - at least 60+ hours! Finally finished it and put it back on the frame yesterday and finished quilting it last night -- with just enough backing (I had started down too far the first time, so there was enough backing, but it was my fault for not starting up closer to the leaders.) Barb picked it up today and seemed to be pleased with it, and I was also pleased with it. And, I would recommend Kimmy's Beginner's DVD to everyone -- there are some great tips in it -- and they work! vbg

Before I started Barb's quilt, I finished quilting this one. I put the binding on and stitched it down during a break from picking stitches! This is actually a test to see if Steve reads my blog! He wanted me to make him a Bears quilt. I ordered the Bears fabric from a place online that handles NFL stuff -- it came 60" wide and is really a nice weight cotton fabric. I found the football fabric at my local quilt store and had this pattern around for years. It's actually curved piecing, but not difficult and was kind of a nice change of pace to make it. So, Steve -- if you read my blog, your Bears quilt is done and ready for you to claim it! vbg

Speaking of Steve -- he had another MRI this past Thursday and everything is "stable" which means no sign of cancer returning at this time. He is still doing chemo for another 5 months. We are still thanking God and praying!

I haven't gotten much done around here in the past few weeks (or months, for that mattter!). I hope to get some fall decorations and quilts out this week, I plan to get some weeding done that has gotten way out of hand this summer, I'm definitely going to visit the grandkids and Steph this week -- the boys grow so fast I hate missing any of it. I need to get back to working on my house too -- taking the summer off gave me a little bit more quilting time, but not much and I need to spend some extra time on the house, and probably a bit less time on quilting. I'll think I'll enjoy my quilting time more if some of the other stuff gets done first anyway. And, I hope to get back to blogging more -- I'm way behind on my blog reading as well, so I need to catch up there and maybe do some cleaning out. Lots of plans for doing things, but I need to get organized first -- as usual!

Another great MRI for Steve.
Making plans and lists (that's how I organize -- making lists!)
Subway sandwiches on a "I don't feel like cooking" day!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Hasn't this summer just flown by? I know summer isn't officially over yet, but yesterday we had 93 degree temps and today it's a struggle to get out of the 60 degree temps! I don't want to rush summer's demise, and certainly not fall's because I really don't like winter. I do love fall though. The cooler temps, the color changes, the feeling of nesting again -- looking forward to doing some fall decorating and some serious quilt making, getting back into a routine -- more so when I still had kids at home and in school, but still a different routine for the two of us.

Bill cleaned out the fireplace in the kitchen today (amazing that he did it before I cleaned house and vacuumed today) and I made an appointment for the chimney sweep to come do his job. We get the chimney cleaned out every year, but this year we have plans on using the one in the living room everyday as well as the one in the kitchen. The price of propane gas went up $.55 a gallon, so you can bet we will be conserving heat and using the fireplaces more!

I spent Labor Day weekend working on my guild's newsletter. It is finished and sent on its way. I also was in some discussion with a couple of members about the lack of participation of a great majority of the membership in the various activities of the guild. We have a quilt show every three years to supplement the income of the guild and next year is the year, but we are having a hard time finding someone to take charge. I sent out a little extra plea for people to get involved, but then I've been thinking about that today and really, I'm just like everyone else I think. I do the newsletter, but I have not volunteered to take over the quilt show leadership, or to take any other office in the guild. Like most everyone, I'm willing to help out and work at whatever needs to be done, but I just don't want to be in charge! And I'm sure everyone has excuses that are just as valid, or maybe even more so than mine. My big one at this time is of course I need more family time. We don't see our kids as often as we'd like and haven't seen the grand kids in a couple of weeks either. Time has a way of getting away from us and I have to make a conscious effort to spend more time with our family. I'm starting to do more quilting for other people (not on a large scale, by any means), but that takes time away also. I love doing it, so I need to rearrange priorities and doing guild work isn't quite as high on the list. I need my quilting time at home alone also, plus I've been trying to get together with a friend every other week or so to quilt -- she has such great ideas and we get inspired by each other's work. I don't know what the answer to all this is, but I'm at least beginning to understand the fact that our lives are getting busier and busier and we just can't do everything we'd like. Simplify, simplify.....but there's still all those other chores that need to be finished and not enough time in the day.

We did meet Steve & Kim for breakfast on Labor Day at the premier Swedish pancake place in Rockford, of course! It was great seeing them, plus they gave us a few tomatoes from their garden and they were fabulous. Our tomatoes this year were not great and they are already finished producing, so it was extra nice to get those from Kim. I told Steve today I may have to drive out there tomorrow after my dental appointment to get some more!

The telephone -- at least I can talk to the kids if we can't actually visit in person.
Garden tomatoes - I am so going to miss having fresh tomatoes all the rest of the year.
Cooler weather.
Mums and pumpkins.