Saturday, June 27, 2015


Those who know me well know that I’m definitely not a slave to fashion.  I’ve always been a fan of the classic casual look.  But I’m not sure that this is in keeping with my “style”:IMG_1730You all may remember that I mentioned that I somehow hurt my foot when we were in Hilton Head.  The pain almost totally disappeared – key word there is almost.  There was just enough intermittent low-level pain to finally convince me to go see my doctor … I mean, it’s been 2 months now … if it was going to resolve on its own, I’m thinking that it surely would have done so by now.  She (and my independent research) suspected a stress fracture, which may or may not show up on x-rays.  She ordered x-rays, which of course revealed nothing.  I’m to wear this lovely “shoe” for a week, and if there’s no improvement, I’ll get a referral to a podiatrist.  Ugh  As if the ugliness of this shoe isn’t enough, its sole is not the same thickness as my shoes/flip flops.  So in addition to being forced to walk in an unnatural manner (my foot doesn’t bend), I’m walking “lopsided”.  The foot may heal, but what kind of havoc is being wreaked on my leg? 

DH and I have been tossing about the idea of getting our windows slightly tinted for the longest time.  We have large windows that face south, which means we get a lot of sunlight … and glare.  While I love, love, love the sunshine shining in, we’ve already seen what the sun can do to our floors when we had them refinished.  I can only imagine what the sun is doing to our furniture, the quilt on our bed, etc.  Our neighbors had their windows tinted last week and have already noticed that they can bump up their thermostat setting 2-3 degrees to achieve the same comfort level that they had prior to getting their windows tinted … and that clinched it for us.  Now we just have to decide what level of tinting we’d like.  Esthetically I’d like a little less, but practically I’m leaning toward a little more (we’ve already culled out the darker shades).  Decisions, decisions.

If you remember, I’m participating in a BOM (Block of the Month) hosted by a Facebook quilting group.  IMG_1694This month’s block was Burgoyne Surrounded, a long-time favorite block of mine.  Making a quilt from this block is on my to-do list, so this is excellent practice for if I am able to get to making that quilt … although I did learn that I will not want to choose a directional fabric.  I had to do a fair amount of re-cutting and unstitching involved in getting the background fabric lined up the way I wanted it … for the BOMs, I’m using a consistent fabric for the background with various blues and reds, so I had to deal with the directional fabric.  Winking smile

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

Thursday, June 25, 2015

This n That on a Thursday

It’s been a pretty busy 4 days since I last posted.  I’m not sure that the next 4 days will much quieter.  Winking smile

We were feeling pretty lazy Sunday morning and were toying with the idea of making it a stay-at-home-in-our-PJs kind of day … but at the last minute, we decided to get dressed and get to church that morning.  DSIL reported that DD was going to be heading back home within the hour and suggested that we spend the day with them.  Red heart  Because it was last-minute, we didn’t do anything fancy … grabbed some BBQ carryout for lunch, played some games, watched a movie … a pretty wonderful day.

Tuesday I had a doctor’s appointment, got my foot x-rayed (still waiting on results … suspecting a stress fracture), spent the afternoon watching the Ts while DD was in class, and watched T#1 break his swim team’s record for the 50 Fly (a record that’d been held for 25 years) at that evening’s swim meet. 

Yesterday we had the Ts here for the day so their Mama could study for her exams.  I surely thought there was a full moon yesterday because there was some grumbling and fussing at each other that morning … thankfully they were in better spirits after lunch. 

We picked our first cucumber Monday IMG_1721… and our second yesterday.  Too bad our tomatoes aren’t ripe … a cucumber salad would be mighty tasty. 

And speaking of firsts, we had our first locally grown sweet corn yesterday … yum!  I do believe that I could make a meal out of cucumber salad and sweet corn.  Open-mouthed smile

I haven’t had much time with my needle and thread the last couple of days, but I hope to be able to spend a nice chunk of time with them today … until it’s time to head to tonight’s swim meet.  I’ll take my EPP project with me, although with T#2 swimming again, there isn’t much down time once the meet begins … but since we like to get to the meets early so we can get good seats (and so we can watch them warm up), there should be some stitching time before the meet starts. quilting

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

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Slow Sunday Stitching

We’ve been having a whole lot of rain here … and then Bill decided to show up and brought us 6” of rain in just a little more than 24 hours.  Umbrella  Thankfully there’s no rain in today’s forecast … but we’re not going to be drying out too much as rain is back in the forecast for tomorrow and much of next week.  When did we move to Seattle?  Winking smile

I was able to get in quite a bit of quilting yesterday morning before I headed up to DD’s for the day. IMG_3430Since there’s nothing on this weekend’s schedule, I’m planning making a good bit more progress on getting this quilt finished up.

And speaking to heading up to DD’s, that meant that I got to spend the day with 4 of my favorite people.  T#4 wanted a mani/pedi, so of course Nana was all too happy to accommodate her wishes.IMG_1715

During a brief break in the rain yesterday morning, we went out to see how our garden was progressing.  Our baby tomatoes are slowly but surely getting a little bigger, but it’s still going to be a while before we’ll be serving BLTs.  And most of our cucumbers are still teeny tiny, but there’s one that’s getting close to making its way to our table.IMG_3426It’s probably about 2” long, so we’ll let it get a little larger before we pick it.

Is there anything better than when a package is delivered?  Especially when that package contains fabric!  It’s like Christmas in June here at Chez Nana.  IMG_1711Aren’t those buttons on those tags just adorable (click on the photo if you want to see them close up)?  Makes me want to order some more (not that I need much encouragement – ha!).

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

Thursday, June 18, 2015

More Busy Uneventful Days

As I mentioned previously, our days are filled with little random events, none of which are particularly noteworthy, but all of which add up to a pretty wonderful life.  And that’s certainly been true the last few days.

DD has classes Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday so that means some regular T-time.  Her Monday and Wednesday classes are evening classes, so my assignment is to get them to swim practice until DSIL gets off work.  Her Tuesday class is an afternoon class, so I usually stick around afterwards for some fun before we all  head off to the Tuesday evening swim meet. 

And speaking of Tuesday swim meets, this past Tuesday’s meet was certainly a memorable one.  Rain was in the forecast for the entire evening, but thankfully it held off – but only for about an hour.  After that, there was a steady rain, fairly heavy at times.  It didn’t matter to most of the swimmers as they were already plenty wet from their times in the pool … but there were still a few who insisted on carrying umbrellas as they waited between their events.  Eye rolling smile  It wasn’t until the relays (the last events of the meet) that we heard thunder, so they called off the rest of the meet.    T#1 won all his events and came within a second of breaking the swim team’s record for the 50 Fly (he is determined to break it, and I know he will).  He made the local newspaper again.  IMG_1709Forgive the quality … DD texted me the picture she took with her iPhone.  T#2 swam and did well, considering that she isn’t able to dive off the block and that her arm is in a cast.  I’ll throw another umbrella or two in my bag this evening as there’s rain in the forecast for tonight, too.

I did get some time spent with my needle and thread these last few days.  I have a total of 46 bow tie blocks finished and have been basting more pieces.  I finally calculated how many blocks I’d like to try to make … my goal is to make 121 blocks, setting them 11x11.  Since these are 4” blocks, the quilt will finish at 44” square – perfect for a wall quilt.  Today I plan to get back to the quilting on my Kiss quilt.  I confess to feeling a little overwhelmed by how slowly this is going … I know it’s a king-sized quilt, but I'm feeling like I’m getting nowhere fast.  It doesn’t help that there are no clearly defined blocks, once it’s put together so I can’t keep track of how many blocks I’ve got quilted or count down how many left to go. <sigh>

For those of you who quilt, do you have trouble with your ruler slipping and sliding when rotary cutting … even a little?  I do (of course, it doesn’t help that I’m short and have little arm strength), so I was thrilled when Pat Speth shared this tip with us at our guild’s retreat.  She recommended cutting a small piece of inexpensive shelf liner and inserting it between the fabric and the ruler.  It doesn’t take much to do the job … and if you place it to the side, it won’t interfere with lining the ruler up with the fabric.  The only small downside is that you can’t slide the ruler around as you line it up.  But it didn’t take me long to learn how to lift the ruler, ever so slightly, to get it positioned properly.  Pat gave us a small piece during her workshop, which worked fine when using our small rulers to trim up our blocks.  I bought a roll (at Walmart) so I could have some larger pieces for using with my larger rulers.  IMG_3419
I’ve learned, since then, that there are so many more uses for shelf liner … a small piece can be placed on the dash or console of your car to keep your cell phone from sliding around or you can use a piece to open jars when those lids are on too tight to name just a couple.  Maybe you all already knew this … but I didn’t and thought I’d share in case someone else was behind the times like me.  Winking smile

Yesterday, I got to spend my morning with my head inside the dryer.  Yes, you read that right … but it wasn’t with the dryer going, thankfully.  I confess that I’m not always as diligent about checking pockets when doing laundry, but then with just the two of us and both of us being adults, I didn’t think I’d have to.  But evidently I do as DH left a ballpoint pen in his shirt pocket … and that pen left a mess inside my dryer.  I tried several things to try to clean the dryer – hair spray, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, etc.  Finally I decided to Google how to remove ink from inside a dryer (how did we manage back in the day?) … and voila! nail polish remover!  Thankfully I had a nice big bottle of it, because it took almost all of it to get the ink removed.  I should  have taken a picture … you wouldn’t believe what a mess a single pen can make.  Surprised smile  And yes, I shared with DH what happens when he doesn’t empty his pockets before putting his clothes in the hamper.  ha! 

We are checking our garden every day … our baby cucumbers don’t seem to be growing much, and my tomato plants seem to be growing more horizontally than vertically. 

There are baby robins in the nest in our dogwood.  We see mama robin making multiple trips to/from the nest, we see her feeding her babies … and this morning we saw their little heads bobbing about while they were waiting for mama to bring them breakfast.  I tried to get a photo … the best vantage point would be looking out our kitchen window, but the babies blended in too much with the nest.  Maybe a more skilled photographer with a better-quality camera could have gotten good pictures, but alas I’m not that skilled, and my best camera is just a simple point and shoot.  Winking smile

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

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Slow Sunday Stitching Again

Slow Sunday Stitching

I spent much of Saturday in my sewing room, giving my sewing machine a workout … which was only fitting since yesterday was National Sewing Machine Day … who knew that there was a holiday celebrating the Sewing Machine?  Actually who knew that there are two National Sewing Machine Days?  June 13 and September 10.  I stitched up the June BOM for the Facebook quilting group I belong to.  I started cutting into fabric mid-morning but I didn’t get the last stitch in until 6:30. 

Actually, I wasn’t working on the block that entire time … I took what I thought would be about a 30-minute break to load the internet provider’s security package onto DH’s laptop.  Alas, after I uninstalled Norton’s, I wasn’t able to log into our ISP because unbeknownst to me, a good quarter of the keys on the keyboard aren’t functioning.  Surprised smile  Time to switch to an old (but newer) laptop.  What should have taken no more than 30 minutes ended up taking over 3 hours, between setting up the “new” laptop for him and uninstalling programs and documents from the old laptop.  Confused smile

I’d love to share a picture of my block, but since the last Friday of the month is Reveal Day on Facebook, I’ll wait until I share it there before I share it here.  This month’s block is Burgoyne Surrounded, which has always been a favorite of mine.  In fact, it’s been on my “to-make” list for quite a long time.  It’s got a lot of pieces (some fairly small), but they’re all squares and rectangles and can be constructed easily enough. 

As a reward for spending my day slaving away on laptops and on my sewing machine, I’m going to spend much of today relaxing in the living room, in my recliner with my feet up, hand quilting my Kiss quilt.  IMG_1695(Forgive the poor lighting … it’s very overcast this morning.)  I’d planned to get some hand quilting in yesterday, but my 3-hour IT stint put a kybosh on that plan.  Winking smile

T#2 got to test out her waterproof cast at practice Friday morning.  We texted back and forth Friday afternoon, and she was still giddy with excitement at being able to get back into the pool.  I can’t wait to see her compete again on Tuesday.

DH watered our garden this morning and just reported that my tomato plants have little bitty tomatoes on them!  My mouth is watering at the prospect of a freshly picked tomato.     

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

Friday, June 12, 2015

I AM the Queen of Random

Rarely is there something going on here at Chez Nana that provides fodder for a dedicated blog post ... our lives are generally filled with lots of little random events, most of which aren't too blogworthy on their own, but added up, they make for a pretty wonderful life.  Thus, most of my posts are devoted to those little unrelated events ... they make for a lot of posts filled with randomness, but that's really a glimpse into my life, which was the purpose of this blog in the first place.  Plus those posts serve as a journal and reminder of my days.

We've always used Norton for our anti-virus protection.  But it appears that this year, Norton has discontinued their anti-virus software and gone to a full-fledged security package ... which my laptop does NOT like!  After installation, I noticed a tremendous slowdown in the operation of my laptop ... when typing, I can sometimes type up to 20-25 characters before a single one appears on the screen. Same thing when I am scrolling through a website ... I keep scrolling down only to realize that the screen is "frozen" ... when it "unfreezes" I find myself at the bottom of the page instead of a few lines down. Grrrr. Finally I decided that I'd had enough!  While searching through my options, I realized that our internet provider offers a free security package. I have no way of knowing if it'll be any better, but I'm willing to take the chance.  It surely can't be any worse, can it?  I'm installing it now ... and have my fingers crossed. 

Our garden is coming along nicely.  We've got blossoms on our tomatoes and cucumbers and our beans are climbing their fences. I can't wait until we start getting fresh veggies from our garden.  

I took the Ts to swim practice yesterday morning so Mama could take a test.  T#4 wanted to help me as I was working on my EPP bow ties, so she organized my EPP tote. 

I took my EPP with me to the first summer team meet last night.  I got in a few stitches as we waited for the meet to start.  T#1 and #3 swam quite a few of the early events (and did well) with a big break later in the evening ... unfortunately by then it was too dark for me to be able to see well enough to stitch. <sigh>

Speaking of swimming, T#2 was able to participate in this morning's practice.  Yes, she got her waterproof cast!  She is one happy girl!  And I'm happy for her.  I can't wait to see her swimming again. Hopefully by the next meet (Tuesday), she'll have full range of motion in that arm.

DH and I are planning a road trip for next month. He's been wanting to take a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway for the longest time.  I can't say that I'm looking forward to it as much as he is, but I'm sure that we'll have a great time ... any time we spend together is always a good time. ;-)   Maybe I can find a quilt shop along the route?  Ha!

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

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A Little of This, a Little of That


It’s been a busy few days here at Chez Nana, but not too busy that I haven’t been able to get in some hand quilting on my Kiss quilt.  Sitting in my recliner with my quilt in my lap and earbuds in my ears (listening to an audiobook) is a fabulous way to start my day.



We’ve got construction again in the neighborhood.  There are two empty lots across the street, and the builder is going to put in two more spec homes.  We’ve been here for 6-1/2 years now, and there hasn’t been a summer where there hasn’t been a home under construction.  I kind of like hearing the sounds of hammers and saws.  There were 4 homes built/under construction when we moved in … there are now 32 homes built/occupied.  It’s a rather small subdivision … there are only a few lots left.  IMG_1681



I finally got my stepping stones in place in the landscaping … whew!  No more stepping in my groundcover to get to the hoses.IMG_1677The stone looks blue in this photo, but it’s definitely a medium gray.



My tomato plants got a little out of control while we were gone last weekend (I was at retreat and DH was helping DSIL move his dad to Tennessee where his mom is).  I’m going to try to see if I can’t tuck some of the wandering branches back into the cage as they get a little longer.  I’ve got blossoms on my cucumber plants, and our green beans have sent out runners 6 feet tall or more. 



Speaking of DSIL’s mom, she’s been transferred to a rehab center, where she’s continuing to make baby steps in her recovery.  While she is improving, she’s also encountering a few stumbling blocks along the way.  She continues to require a feeding tube although she’s working on exercises to strengthen the muscles required to swallow.  And she’s been diagnosed with Stage 3 kidney disease.  So continued prayers would certainly be appreciated.



A few of the sand dollars I was able to bring home from our trip to Hilton Head were very dark in color (it was obvious that they weren’t alive, but I don’t think they’d been dead long enough for the sun, the water and the sand to whiten them up).  I’ve had them out on the deck for a couple of weeks to let the sun whiten them up … and slowly but surely they’re getting whiter.IMG_1679You can see that the ones on the right are now white enough to come inside, the 5 on the left still need more bleaching from the sun.



My “friend” Insomnia has returned.  Instead of waking up way too early, I’m staying awake way too long.  I’m too tired to do anything very productive while waiting to be able to fall asleep … but my mind just won’t slow down long enough to allow me to fall asleep.  Last night I finished up the audiobook I started last month and downloaded another one.  I’ll start it this morning when I sit down with my hand quilting.



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

Sunday, June 7, 2015

It's Good to Be Back Home

Wow, I can't believe that I haven't blogged since last Sunday.  :-o  It was a busy week, and while there isn't much on the calendar for next week as of right now, I have a feeling that it'll change. 

I had an absolutely wonderful time at our guild's retreat.  We got there late Thursday morning and were able to spend Thursday afternoon free sewing.  I put together one more pineapple block and got about halfway through another.
 Pat Speth taught a workshop on Friday, so she presented a trunk show Thursday evening.  I took several photos, but I'm not sure that any of them are truly blogworthy.  Between my less-than-spectacular photography skills and the fact that the quilts were all big (we should have had 4 members holding up the quilts rather than 2), the photos really didn't do justice to the quilts.  I did get a picture of Pat holding up her Labor Day Stars quilt, the quilt I signed up to make in her workshop.
I got 4 blocks finished Thursday ... the construction was very easy but a little time consuming (at least for me ... my tablemate managed to finish at least 10).
The pattern calls for each block to be constructed from 2 fabrics ... but unwittingly, I picked up 4 fabrics to make my first block.  I was all done and holding it up for all to see when my tablemate remarked that I'd made a scrappy block.  Ooops!  I really would have preferred the 2-color blocks (you know that I'm not into scrappy ... I was approaching the limits of my comfort zone by choosing to make each block from 2 different fabrics), but I definitely was not going to unstitch that first block, so I proceeded with Plan B.  I have made progress on more blocks ... I need to trim down my components and then piece them into blocks.  After that, I will have only 4 more blocks to construct.  I don't know that I'm going to rush into finishing up the blocks as I still need to choose fabric for the sashing, setting triangles and borders.  But I do plan to finish this quilt as I love those stars.

Mickey Depree gave her trunk show Friday evening and her workshop on Saturday.  I wasn't able to get any pictures of Mickey's quilts because I volunteered to help hold up her quilts.  I got my fabrics pieced together for 3 rosettes, but that's as far as I got.  :-(   I did come to the realization that 1.5" hexies are bigger than I like to work with.  Ha!

By the time I got home, I had just enough energy to unpack the van and put everything away.  The rest of the evening was spent with my feet up, stitching on EPP Bow Ties.  Which is what I'm thinking I'll do today as well ... all that bending over to cut fabric and trim down Labor Day Stars components has taken a big toll on my back, so I'm definitely going to take it easy today and get in some slow Sunday stitching on those Bow Ties.   

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