Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sloooow Down!

How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?
~ Dr. Seuss


Didn't we just get here yesterday?  And now we're down to a mere 3 (counting today) days left here.  I'm not ready to leave yet!  ;-)   Or am I?  I confess that as much as I love it here and would love to stay, this is not home, and I'm missing my nest, my routine ... and most of all, my daughter and her family.  So while I'll be leaving very reluctantly, I'll also be anxious to get back home.  But in the meantime, I'm going to savor every last minute here on the Island.

Although I have to admit that I wondered just where we were Monday on our way to dinner when I saw this
This is something I'd expect to see if we were in southern Missouri or Arkansas, not South Carolina. :-o

After dinner, we stopped for some ice cream and saw this on an SUV that we parked next to.  
I found it amusing.  Since the ice cream shop was near the beach, they decorated it in a very beachy theme, including this

Yesterday afternoon we just barely got in our walk before the rain moved through ... this was the first rain since we arrived, so I couldn't complain ... plus it passed through quickly. While out on our walk, we saw two of these
Thankfully there's no rain in the forecast for the rest of our stay ... the weather on this trip more than makes up for the chilly, rainy weather we experienced during our visit last fall. ☀️

My sand dollar total is up to 8. I'm not sure, but that might be about the number we have at home from previous trips. 

I've been busy working on my EPP bow ties. I have 28 completed blocks ... I've run out of basted pieces, so I'm currently replenishing my "inventory". It doesn't take much to make me car sick, so I'm trying to leave most of the basting for our trip home.  I've been pondering, too, how to finish this quilt ... I'd planned to remove the papers, trim up the outer seam allowances to 1/4", but I confess that I've not been paying close attention to my piecing when I come to the outer edges ... I suspect I might have sewn through the turned down seam allowances as I've stitched the outer edges together. I'm trying to be more careful now ... ought to be interesting when I get to that point. ;-)

DD has kept us informed about her MIL ... she's been moved to a regular room, has been sitting in a chair and doing a little walking, although she tires easily.  She's got a ways to go yet (with rehab in her future, for sure), but she's making progress ... and to think, they gave her only a 30% chance of making it through surgery. 

And speaking of DD, after much prayer, she's decided to return to school to earn her RN. This has been on her heart for years (even in high school, she seriously considered a career in medicine). She'll be a part-time student since she intends to continue homeschooling, and she'll enroll in as many online classes as possible. I'll be on call to watch the Ts, but it won't be much longer before T#1 will be old enough to watch his brother and sisters (at 13 - and a mature 13 at that - you'd think he'd be old enough now, but the "great" State of Illinois has deemed that leaving a child 13 y.o. or younger home alone is parental neglect.  Seriously?  DD was taking babysitting gigs when she was 12!  

I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy! Have a great day!
Kathy







Saturday, May 16, 2015

Week 2

We finished up our Week 1 here on the Island yesterday and are now in Week 2. That means that we're (a little) over halfway through our stay. We've been coming to Hilton Head for over 8 years now, and it never gets any easier when we have to head back home ... only the thought of seeing my precious Ts keeps me from digging my heels in the sand. ;-)

Low tide is later in the day now, which means that we don't see much sea life on our morning walks, so we've moved our walking time back a little.  And because we'll be going to brunch at one of our most favorite restaurants today, our walk will be moved back more than a little, just about at the peak of low tide.  Hopefully we'll see lots of interesting creatures. This is all we saw yesterday. 


I continue to make progress on my EPP bow ties. As I've said before, I am thoroughly enjoying these ... I'm glad I chose to EPP these ... I prefer the bow ties with the single pieced "knot" but would not want to even think about trying to piece those inset seams any other way.  As you can see, I have 17 completed blocks and 9 completed bow ties.  I wish I had taken a count before we left so I could know how much I accomplished while here in Hilton Head. I know for certain that I didn't have any completed blocks before we left as I was lucky to have even gotten my neutrals cut before we left ... I spent the time in the car getting here basting the neutral pieces.

These blocks finish at 4", if you recall, so I've got quite a few more to go before I'll have enough for a decent-sized wall quilt.


DD has (finally!!) reported some encouraging news ... her MIL has been extubated. She's still in critical (but stable) condition and she still has pneumonia in one lung, but the fact that she no longer needs a vent and is much more alert now is huge. DD and her crew will be heading back home today ... their hearts longed to stay in Chattanooga, but they needed to get back home. 

I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy! Have a great day!
Kathy

Friday, May 15, 2015

Lazy Day

Today looks to be a lazy day here at Our Happy Place. For starters, once again I went to bed with my body tired, only to lay in bed with my mind wide awake. �� Normally when we come to Hilton Head, I'm able to adjust to the time change immediately. This trip, not so much. �� On top of that, I'm going to stay out of the sun today ... which means no walk along the beach. Yesterday I walked almost 6 miles instead of our usual 4. It was such a nice morning and I just felt good. My habit is to walk barefoot along the water's edge. Obviously I forgot how the water can magnify the effects of the sun:
Yikes! They're doing (and feeling) much better than they were late yesterday afternoon (thanks to plenty of Aloe Vera gel), but I'm going to give them a break today ... and wear shoes tomorrow. ��

Speaking of yesterday's walk, I found a couple more sand dollars that could come home with me.
The two on the top row are the ones I found a couple of days ago ... you can see that they're already lightening up.

Instead of getting out onto the beach, I think I'll head out to the pool. There's always a nice shady spot where I can "set up shop" ... listen to my book and get in some more stitching on my EPP bow ties. Speaking of, I have 15 finished blocks, 5 more bow ties needing their background pieces, and several pieces waiting to be made into bow ties. I'm enjoying this project, so I'm going to keep going. These blocks finish at 4" so it'll take a few to make them into a good-sized wall quilt.

I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy! Have a great day!
Kathy

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Mixed Feelings

That's what we're experiencing here ... we're loving being in our happy place - the weather has been ideal, we've been out on the beach every day,

we've had some amazing fresh seafood

... what's not to love about being here?



I'll tell you what ... it's being here, feeling so helpless while DD and her family are going through an incredibly hard time right now. Sunday morning they got a call that DSIL's mom (who was in Chattanooga visiting DSIL's sister) had been admitted to the hospital, suffering a massive heart attack. DD and her family packed up, stopped by to pick up DSIL's dad who was at home in Illinois, and headed for Chattanooga. His mom, who was given only a 30% chance of surviving the surgery, came through better than they'd expected and is recovering ... just so very slowly and not without some complications. She's off all sedatives but is still not responding as they would like, she's running a fever, and they're still trying to determine if there's any kidney damage (her kidney function was way off when she was admitted but some has been recovered).



Yesterday afternoon DD took the kiddos to the park ... where T#2 broke her wrist. 


Shades of almost 30 years ago when her Mama, at the same age, broke her wrist at school ... also in the month of May. They re-set the bone, put on a soft cast, and gave her orders to see an orthopedic doctor in a week for a cast (a waterproof one so she can swim this summer?).



I feel so helpless and my heart is so heavy for all they're going through ... it's hard for me to enjoy our time here as much as I'd like. I know that even if we could be there in Chattanooga with them, we'd still be just as helpless to "fix" things for them, even though that's what this Mama's heart wants to do.



What we can do is continue to pray ... and ask if you would please join us in praying for them. Thanks!



I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy! Have a great day!

Kathy


Monday, May 11, 2015

Ahhhhhhhh

That's exactly how I feel when we cross the bridge onto the Island. I literally feel the tensions and stress lessen.  We got the opportunity to get an even earlier start on our get-away, and after the frustrations I encountered at my one-day retreat, I definitely needed to get away.

Normally at retreat, I take my machine and work on some of the projects on my ever-growing to-do list. I decided to work on the May block of the month for my Facebook hand quilting group. The instructions that I found weren't written as well as they could have been, so I had to rip out - twice. Not a good thing when working with triangles, even when trying to be careful. And sure enough, my triangle tips were lopped off. Not horribly, but I wasn't pleased. I set the block aside, unsure whether I'll go with it or try again (perhaps I can at least salvage the squares). My next project was to finish putting my mini pineapples together. That didn't turn out very well either ... I didn't have any trouble with the corner pieces lining up when I sewed the blocks into rows, but when sewing the rows together? Ugh! Let's just say that several things on that project conspired to make it a nightmare to piece. I'm contemplating whether to try to rip out those tiny stitches (I neglected to increase my stitch length since I was no longer chain piecing) or to call it done (since it will never be perfect ... perfection is never my goal since I quilt for pleasure). I suspect that I'll try again ... after all, while I may not strive for perfection, I do try to do my best, and surely I can do better. After those two "disasters", I was ready to put my machine away and get to some handwork ... alas, I didn't bring anything to work on by hand, so I pulled out those CW blocks I'd been gifted and started sewing on the washing. Thankfully that went better. I'm sorry to say that I didn't take any pictures ... of any of my work or anyone else's. 


So after my day at retreat, I was more than ready to head to the beach. I was more than ready, too, to get back to handwork. I basted bow tie blocks to while away the hours and hours it takes to get here. ;-)  After we unpacked and had our inaugural walk along the beach, I was able to start working on piecing blocks together. 


And that, my friends will be my plan for the next two weeks. Stitch, walk along the beach and then stitch some more. It certainly can't get much better than this ... well, at least not without having my 6 favorite people here with me. 

I know that quite a few bloggers have started to supplement their blogging with Instagram. I, too, have finally bitten the Instagram bullet.  Initially I joined just to follow a few friends, but I will be posting pictures if/when I have something worth sharing. You can find me at nana_quilts ... and if you're on Instagram, maybe you can share your IG moniker so I can follow you?  

I'm not sure how much I'll devote to blogging (posting or reading) ... I'd like to check in periodically, but there may not be much blog-worthy to report, given that my days will all be pretty much the same - stitching, walking the beach, and more stitching.  ;-)

I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy! Have a great day!
Kathy



Thursday, May 7, 2015

Getting Caught Up

It feels like it’s been weeks rather than days since I last checked in here.  It’s been a busy week so far, with no relief in sight.  But that’s ok, it’s been a good kind of busy.

I had Nana duty Monday through Wednesday, as DD spent some time with her former step mom who had another heavy-duty methotrexate treatment, which requires a 5-day hospital stay to ensure that all the methotrexate is out of her system.  It was a busy 3 days with the Ts.  Monday afternoon was King’s Kids (a local homeschool group) … we visited a local nursing home/retirement center where we did a craft “with” the seniors.  I think the kiddos enjoyed it as much as the residents.  We kept up on school while Mama was away … thankfully the older 3 are getting old enough to work independently for the most part, so it was hands on with T#4.  It was so funny because if I wasn’t doing something “just right”, she jumped right in and corrected me.  Winking smile  We also spent some time preparing Mother’s Day cards for Mama (thank goodness for Pinterest!).  IMG_3279-001

All 3 days, T#1 complained about feeling puny … he ran a low-grade fever Tuesday, but it got up to 101 Wednesday, so instead of Mama coming home, we met her at the pediatrician’s office.  Thankfully it’s “just” a virus, but it’s his second bout in the last 4-6 weeks, so they want to draw some blood in a couple of weeks to see if there’s anything going on.  The pediatrician did say that over the last 3-4 months, viruses have been particularly brutal and affecting a lot more kids than normal. 

Speaking of virus, I reported a couple of weeks ago that I thought I’d come back down with “the crud” that plagued me in March.  I’m thinking that it’s probably seasonal allergies, as I’m still dealing with it and pollen counts have been extremely high over the last 6 weeks.  Surprised smile

After I got home yesterday afternoon, I got busy preparing for tomorrow’s one-day retreat.  I cut pieces for my Facebook groups’s May BOM, strips for the sashing for my gifted blocks, and pieces for my EPP Bow Tie (not for tomorrow but for our upcoming trip to Hilton Head).

Speaking of our trip to Hilton Head, our exact departure time is still up in the air.  We’re trying to see about getting together to celebrate Mother’s Day on Saturday, so we can hit the road Sunday morning.  If that doesn’t work out, we’ll leave Sunday after our get together … if we can get a few miles under our belt, we should have an easy drive and be on the Island by late Monday afternoon.  Either way will work out fine (especially considering our original plan was to leave Monday morning, stop for the night and arrive early Tuesday afternoon).  I’m a little major control freak, so I’m having a hard time with not knowing exactly when.  I need to be able to control these things! In order to be prepared for whatever time we depart, we’ll be packing up this afternoon.  Then we’ll be ready to go either way.  

While I was on Nana duty, DH was on "home improvement duty" (no, he didn't install it ... his job was letting the tile workers in so they could install it - ha!) as we had backsplash installed in our kitchen.  Here’s the before:IMG_3278-001And here’s the after:IMG_1527

I’m not sure if I’ll be online much over the next 2-1/2 weeks … I hope to be as many waking hours as possible with sand between my toes.  Winking smile

Happy Mother's Day

I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy! Have a great day.
Kathy

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Lazy Saturday Afternoon

There isn't much on today's agenda, which is exactly the way I want it ... after packing, unpacking, moving stuff out and moving it back in, I am too sore and too exhausted to do much of anything, even if I wanted to. In fact, my arms are too sore to even think of quilting that monstrosity known as the Kiss quilt.  Instead, I'm going to sit out here on the deck, trim my EPPd bow tie blocks and piece them. It's such an absolutely delightful day, and we've got the sliders open with the volume up on the game, so I can stitch and listen to the game ... and enjoy the heady scent of our lilac bush


Speaking of my bow tie blocks, I auditioned the neutrals in my stash for the background, but I just couldn't find any that said "choose me". Finally it dawned on me that I really was wanting something with a very subtle design, so it wouldn't compete with the bow ties. I had something that was close but just not quite what I was looking for. I don't have time to make a trip to either Homestead Hearth (2 hours away) or the Quilted Cottage (an hour away), so I decided to go with an aged muslin ... I'm thinking that the aging will provide the dimension I'm looking for without the "busy-ness" of a print. I found what I was looking for at my go-to online shop (www.fatquartershop.com) and am confident that I'll have it in time to cut squares before we leave (8 days - but who's counting, right?).

Try as hard as I might, I'm unable to get a photo that does justice to the carpeting. In the photos, the carpet looks like your run-of-the-mill plush carpet ... in real life, it's a subtle tweedy carpet that's a hybrid plush-frieze. Yes, it was a lot of work over those three days, but it was well worth it. Up next, backsplash in the kitchen Monday and Tuesday. And yes, it's either all or nothing in the home improvement department here at Chez Nana.  Ha!

I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy! Have a great day!
Kathy