Archive for January, 2009

I spent this morning cleaning out one of my closets in an effort to get more organized before eventually moving.  I managed to fill three trash bags with clothes that I haven’t worn in ages and most likely won’t wear anytime soon, if ever again.  I also emptied out a knitting bag and filled it with shoes.


My “fancy” clothes I’ll move to Bill’s because that’s where they will end up anyway.  I threw out a few things, put some others in the attic storage and some stuff just went back into the closet.  It definitely looks 100% better than it did this morning before I started.  I even have room to hang some of my quilting projects.


I came across some things that I just can’t make my mind up about…two teddy bears that were made out of my dad’s clothes after he died, newspapers from days to remember (9/11, the Challenger explosion, the end of the Hussein regime in Iraq and a couple of others).  For some reason I think they should be saved, but I don’t have a concrete reason “why”.   So for now, I put them back in the closet.

Yesterday I talked to my real estate agent and advised her that I was very disappointed in the communication I was (not) receiving from her or the agency itself.  I don’t think I have heard from them since before Christmas.  I suggested some changes to the listing on the website, asked for a current mortgage analysis and offered a monetary incentive to get this place closed before the listing agreement expires.  We’ll see if that precipates any action.

I realize that it is traditionally a slow time of year but I hope that with these changes, once the market picks up I will see some traffic.  I’m praying that the market does pick up within the next 6 weeks or so.

I spoke with the HR Director last week and there is no way I can make these payments once I retire without working another fulltime job.  What’s the point of retiring if I have to work more hours for less money somewhere else.  By the time I pay the 20% in taxes and the $500 a month for insurance, there won’t be much left.  Pretty discouraging!

I spent the rest of the day working on my blooming 9-patch.  I got two more squares sewn on each row.  My plan was to continue sewing until the bobbin ran out, then work on the monkey quilt since I would have to change the bobbin anyway.  I guess there was more thread on it than I thought because I finished the two rows of squares and still hadn’t run out.

I had my hair done last night and my hairdresser always gives me a nice hand massage while I’m under the dryer. The skin on my hands is very sensitive and I have to be careful what kind of hand cremes I use but generally I don’t have any problem with what she uses.  I don’t know what she used yesterday but I woke up during the night scratching like mad.  My fingers were itching like crazy, enough to wake me up.  I slathered on some prescription creme I have but tonight they are driving me crazy again.  I’ll put the creme on again with a pair of cotton gloves when I go to bed and hopefully they will feel better tomorrow.


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More snow on the way, a nice “heavy at times” snow, a “the evening commute will be horrendous” snow, a by the time you get the walk shoveled and turn around, you can’t see the walk snow.  If it’s gotta snow why can’t we have just a couple of inches of snow instead of 8-12 or 10-16.  I’m sick and tired of moving snow from one place to another.  I think I have mentioned that I hate snow, ice, freezing rain, below zero temperatures, etc….I hate winter.

On another note.  Remember the song from The Muppets…one of these things is not like the other. Well, take a look at the following photo and tell me what the problem is.

funky-monkey-piecesand here’s another one…

a-good-one-a-bad-oneHere’s the problem…(you can’t see it very well in the second photo) all of the pieces around the edge are supposed to be the same fabric.  There are 36 of these rectangles and I sewed at least a dozen incorrectly.  Thankfully I looked at the directions, who knows why, and was rather aghast by the fact that I screwed up.  I don’t know why it came as a surprise, it’s not the first time.  I’m just glad that I found out before I sewed all 36 the wrong way.

Tonight I managed to finish the frogging and maybe tomorrow between shoveling I can sew a few back together, the right way.

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I got two delightful gifts from my Secret Sister on MQResource.  There are many quilting sites and forums online but this is the only one I’m really involved with.  I found this site from the blog of Patsy Thompson and I came across her site in a quilting magazine.

Anyway, first of all there was a package from Keepsake Quilting.  It was a beautiful set of 10″ batik squares along with a pattern called Jungle Fever. It’s awesome and something I will enjoy making and will no doubt keep it all for myself.


Next was an awesome purple box with a little fairy on it.  I had absolutely no idea what it might contain.  Wow, it had a dozen of the most decadent brownies I have ever tasted!  Of course, I had to try one right away so don’t bother counting the ones in the picture, there are only 11.  Actually, I only ate 1/2 because after I checked out the nutrition stats I could not bring myself to eat the entire thing.  After all, I planned on starting to eat healthier once all the candy was gone.  Well, I will just have to pace myself and only eat little bites when I need a chocolate fix.  It does say that they will keep up to 6 months in the freezer or 1 month in the fridge.


Today I made two microwaveable heat wraps for my SS, one for her and one for her mother living with her.  I got the rest of my gifts for her boxed up and will get them in the mail early next week.

I got another square sewn on the blooming 9-patch strips and did some sewing on the funky monkey pieces.  Tonight I’m going to work on the oriental flower border.

It was above freezing today but I never stuck my nose out the door.  It was a productive day and I feel good, I’ll grab the mail tomorrow when Bill and I travel to Rhode Island to visit his sister for the day.

Last week I wrote a post about the subzero temperature we had and the fact that my car wouldn’t start.  When I was outside attempting to get it going I noticed that the exhaust for my monitor heater was blowing onto the side of the shed and had coated the combination lock with frost.  It was one of the better things that came my way that day.


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Okay, I’ll start with the good.  Ella, my 8 month old granddaughter will be fine.

The bad news…one of the daycare workers fell while holding Ella and Ella’s femur was broken (that’s the big bone in the thigh).

Now, the ugly…the woman that was holding her never reported it or told anyone that it had happened.  Greg and Vanessa knew that Ella was out of sorts but thought it was gas or reflux or she was cutting teeth or maybe another ear infection.  After two days (TWO DAYS!) they were able to narrow the problem down to the fact that she would not put any weight on her leg.  Since she isn’t walking and has just started to figure out crawling, there was no obvious indication of the problem.

They called the doctor, took her to the ER and after she was x-rayed they were advised about the diagnosis.  Of course, they were appalled and had No Idea how it had happened.  As you can imagine, the injury required that Protective Services be called.  Ella was transferred to Boston Children’s Hospital by ambulance where the three of them sat in the ER from 10:00 AM until after 8:30 PM before she was admitted and they were moved to a room.

During that time, Ella had 22 additional x-rays, including a cat scan, to determine whether or not there were any other injuries.  Thankfully, everything was negative.  They were not informed regarding what was happening and thought after Ella’s leg was splinted they would take her home.  After many hours they were advised that Ella was not allowed to leave the hospital and they were certainly not leaving without her.  They were not allowed to be alone with Ella and were questioned, interviewed, interrogated and literally put through hell for the next 48 hours.

They returned home on Monday when they finally had an opportunity to talk with the daycare personnel.  Originally, the woman responsible for the injury didn’t recall anything but after “she thought about it” she “remembered” falling.

The issue is not whether she fell.  We all understand that no matter how hard you try, accidents will and do happen.  The issue is that this woman did not report the incident or tell anyone, either at the daycare or Ella’s parents!  Ella suffered needlessly for two days and Greg and his wife suffered emotional trauma for two days because they had no idea how the injury occurred.  They were treated as possibly abusive parents and placed into a system that will, most likely, have their names on file forever, because one individual was neglectful in carrying out her responsibilities.

Luckily, Ella will heal completely and be fine and won’t remember any of the incident.  She will only know about it from stories that she will hear as she grows older.  However, her mom and dad will remember it forever.

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In the blink of an eye

That’s how long it takes to change the Commander-in-Chief of this country and move the responsibilities of the President from one person to another.  I watched the inauguration of Barack Obama with interest,  although admittedly, I have not been an Obama “fan” or supporter.  The mass of humanity that filled Washington was impressive.  The flags waving in the wind were beautiful and moving.  I must admit, I did watch with an increasing feeling of hope.

It has really taken many decades for our country to elect an African/American president but the change of power itself happens at exactly 12 noon on the 20th day of January.  It’s not really as quickly as a blink when, looking back, I thought the last two years of political advertisements, backstabbing and name calling would never end.  I certainly never thought I would see an African/American president in my lifetime but I wonder how many people ever thought they would see the end of  slavery or women allowed to vote in their lifetime.

It is the first dayof a new Presidency which takes place every four years.  But the feeling in the country is unlike anything that has happened in recent memory.   With luck and hard work the feeling of exhuberance and hope may turn itself into positive change.

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Pretty, pretty

I did get a little sewing done on the funky monkey quilt for Greg along with cutting more strips over the last couple of days.  The pattern is Keyholes (On a Roll Again by Heather Mulder Peterson) and the directions are for jelly rolls but I’m using fat quarters.  It doesn’t contain any info about cutting fat quarters so I have too many 2 1/2″ squares and not enough 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ rectangles.  Oh well, I have plenty of fabric, I think.  I’m sure I should have been able to figure it out better than I did.  Live and learn.

funkey-monkey-fabricsI had purchased a pattern for a small wallhanging called “Charmed, I’m Sure” by Patti Buhler along with a charm pack called “All You Need Is Love” by Deb Strain for Moda.  The pattern calls for 36  5″ squares but of course, the charm pack only has 31 squares.  I found another charm pack  (on eBay) called “Love Is In The Air” that coordinates with the original one I purchased.  (I hardly ever win a bid on eBay but I did win this one, then purchased an additional pack for my SS.)  I mentioned in an earlier post what a crumby day Friday was and I had gone to the quilt store.  While there I purchased a couple of great border fabrics for this wallhanging.  Now all I have to do is get started, along with the blooming 9-patch, the oriental flower, the kimono quilt and whatever else comes along.

charm-packs-other-fabrics-for-charmed-im-sureIt has been snowing since I got up this morning at 5.  I think they are talking 6 – 8 inches.  Oh Joy!  Have I mentioned that I hate snow, cold weather,  and winter in general.

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Absurdly cold!

I understand that it’s winter and this is Maine but come on -26*.  That’s totally colder than cold.  When I went to bed last night is was -11* which I thought was quite out of the ordinary.  For some reason I woke up around 3 AM and thought, “as long as I’m awake, I wonder how cold it is now”.  So, I headed downstairs to check the computer…-20*.  Now, that’s darn cold.  I knew it was going to be cold, but really, -20*.  Then this morning I checked the computer at 8:30 and it was actually -26*.  I’ve had it with winter and it’s only mid January.  On top of the cold it’s going to snow again on Sunday, another 4-7 inches.  Yuck!!!

I was going to meet Su for coffee at our favorite little coffee shop, Aroma Joe’s (or as we call it, AJ’s).  We haven’t seen one another for at least a month because she has been dealing with sick parents.  So I was really looking forward to sitting down with a cup of coffee and a huge coffee roll (Su calls then frisbees) and talking girlie talk.  It was not meant to be.  My car would not start.  I had started it yesterday and let it run for several minutes hoping to keep the battery charged up in the cold weather.  I tried several times, waiting a while inbetween.  Nope, nothing.  Well, not actually nothing, it would turn over but just wouldn’t keep running.

I called Bill in a really grumpy mood and told him what the problem was.  He was just coming home from a 24 hour shift in Cambridge (1 1/2 drive) but would come over as quickly as possible.  It was about 11 when he arrived.   He tried more than once in the freezing cold to jump start my car.  Nope, nothing!  Call for a tow!  Darn it.

The tow truck arrived and packed my little honey off to a nice warm garage to sit and warm up.  The concensus was that the fuel line was frozen but the battery was fine.  Well, I guess that’s one good thing.  Bill and I left in his car for the quilt shop (always make me feel better even though it nearly always costs me money).  The owner had a new boxer puppy and he is so darn cute.  It did allow us to get our “dog fix” since we aren’t in a position to have a dog.  We had lunch at the Third Alarm Diner, ran some errands, went to Bill’s so he could finally shower and clean up.  We talked ourselves out of the gym.  Bad People, bad people.

The garage called (actually the mechanic called) and said my car was all warm and running like a charm, only $152 later.  At least the tow charge will be reimbursed by AAA.  We picked her up, made a stop at WalMart and returned to Bill’s where I cooked dinner for a change…stuffed peppers and fruit salad.  I headed home with Bills car (mine stayed in the garage at his house as the temps were going to be below zero again) around 7:30 and found no electricity in the little burg of Springvale.  Great, I need to get my stuff ready for work tomorrow.  I lit the oil lamp, got everything packed and was nearly ready to return to Bill’s when the power returned.  Yeah.  I would much rather sleep in my own bed when I have to get up at 5 to go to work.  Actually, I would rather sleep in my own bed all the time but that doesn’t usually  happen.

No cutting fabric or sewing tonight.  I read for a little while…Eldest by Christopher Paolini before heading to bed.  It’s a fantasy, sci-fi about dragons, elves and such. This is book 2 in the trilogy.

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