My Life Has Shifted Again!

Oh Lordy, I have a full time job and have for 6 months.  I LOVE my job, but it does not leave time for much else.  Or I should say with my fibromyalgia I don’t have the energy and while my pain is SO much better than it was 2 years ago, it still limits me.

We have great health insurance, which is very important and some extra money to put into retirement.  I won my Social Security claim and will get a check for 2 years.  I of course was denied, then my new job was plopped into my lap (I was NOT looking for a job), I called my lawyer to say forget the Social Security application.  He said we should at least go ahead with a closed claim. 

I am convinced I would have been awarded full Social Security because the Voc Rehab person could not really find another job in my category…and I was awarded my claim in about 10 minutes.

I would like to buy a Temperpedic bed with my award.  That is my plan anyway.

Until then I continue to work hard, quilt when I can, and look foward to some gardening.

I cannot quilt AND garden because of time, so I must get six more baby quilts done before I start gardening!

My dear son-in-law is in Afghanistan and my 4 year old granddaughter and my daughter are living with us while he is gone. I pray constantly for him and am grateful for our blessings.

Tuesday Garden Party, May 29, 2012

Just a quick note to say I am home from South Carolina where I had a great time.  My DH tried as best he could in the garden, but I spent all afternoon Sunday weeding and I have hardly made a dent!

Will get back to regular garden blogging next week as my oldest is here visiting from Reno.  My youngest daughter, son-in-law and 3 year old granddaughter are also here for the month of June before my son-in-law reports to Camp Pendleton in San Diego! (HURRAY!!)

Needless to say I have much to get caught up on!  Look forward to catching up on everyone’s posts.

Grandma to the Rescue

Even if it is across the US for 7 weeks!  My Marine son-in-law has new orders and my daughter is booked solid with her photography business until the end of May when they prepare for their move to San Diego, Camp Pendleton.  I thought this day would never come that they would be in the same state as I live!  My darling granddaughter had been attending a day care/preschool, but was coming home with stories that were not very reassuring.  After the third day of this, I got a phone call.  It took me 24 hours to be ready and off I went…..

I have spent the past two weeks cooking and shopping and reading books and even getting some sewing in.  I brought my Bernina and my BabyLock serger with lots of fabric and everything I needed to work on my Farmer’s Wife quilt blocks and other projects.

I was very lucky to be in a local quilt shop when a friend/customer of the owner came in with fabric swatches she bought at a sale at Environments, Inc, a preschool-kindegarten furniture manufacturer and wholesaler of educational books and toys.  I immediately called my daughter to meet me to take me to the sale along with my granddaughter since my son-in-law needed my car (the kids traded in their two cars and bought a new Juke thinking they were moving to Hawaii as this was my son-in-law’s first orders, only to be changed). 

We looked up the address, put it in her navigation system and off we went.  It was a part of Beaufort my daughter had never been to, the industrial part of town, which is unlike any other industrial area I have seen (except where I live).  It was even more beautiful and rural with the businesses hid in the trees.

We finally found the right spot and there was a parking lot sale of really great kids furniture, books, toys AND fabric swatches from Robert Kaufman, P&B Textiles, and Hoffman Fabrics.  I started picking up the little bundles that were marked $1.00 or $2.00.  I asked an employee how much for a few of them that were not marked.  She went over and asked an older gentleman and she came back and said she could “mark them down”.  I wanted practically every single one I picked up and there were not many people at the sale, it was winding down clearly.  I finally asked if she could find out how much for “all the fabric”. 

The same gentleman came over, looked at the table of samples and said, “How about $50.00 for all of it”.  SOLD!!  Except this lovely lady proceeded to find all the fabric samples under the display tables, in other boxes until we had so much it could hardly fit in my daughter’s car with half the back seat folded down…..along with over 60 books, Melissa and Doug puzzles and preschool/K workbooks perfect for my 3.5 year old granddaughter!!  In all I spent $175.00. 

I counted out $100 worth of fabric when I got home, and it was a very small amount of the total fabric.  Not to be political, but I couldn’t help but think when Nancy Pelosi (from my state) said “we have to pass the bill to find out what is in it”.  Well I had to buy all the fabric and get it home to see what I bought!!

I have spent 2 days organizing by fabric line, and now am pulling off the cardstock stapled or grometted (is that a word) labels and putting in zip lock bags for shipping. 

I have so much fabulous fabric, when added to my huge stash at home…..I really cannot buy anymore fabric unless it is a solid cream or white to contrast with all the absolutely fabulous fabric I bought.

When I get home towards the end of May, I will try to post some pictures.  I just finished with the batiks…just beautiful.  I think this was a bargain of a lifetime! 

So I am not home to participate in my usual Tuesday Garden Party.  My husband has been really good at texting me pictures of my blooming tulips and pink columbines.  The forget me nots and blue columbines are probably blooming too!

Until then I will be playing and cooking and cleaning and walking the dog and playing with fabric!

The Farmer’s Wife-First 10 blocks-March 31, 2012

I am participating in two different blocks of the month clubs at my local quilt store, www.redwoodsewingcenter.com.  I am using Ruby by Moda for The Farmer’s Wife Group.  We met for the first time last month.  I am using a jelly roll to start so I am trying to use up the strips, thus the matchy, matchy look right now.  As I add more strips, it will begin to be a little more interesting.

 

 

We are using Perfect Patchwork Templates from Marti Michell, which enable me to use little scraps I normally would have tossed.

So far they are working great. 

The storms have been blowing this week in Humboldt County and today is no exception.  I’ll share my seedlings that are sprouting in Tuesday’s Garden party posting.

Tuesday Garden Party, March 13, 2012

Happy Garden Party Tuesday!  First of all I want you all to know that I am having a really hard time leaving comments on some of the posts.  I cannot seem to read the weird writing to verify I am real.  I actually tried the first one, no lie, 20 times and I could not get it correct!  So I tried the audio.  Am I supposed to type every word they say or just one?  If someone can help I can leave more comments!

Having said that, we had a rough week, really rough.  Nothing to do with us, but DH and I were called on to support another issue for another family.  We are salt of the earth types who help out no matter how well me may or may not know the people involved.  So the only yard chores I got done were cleaning up after my little dog!  I did manage to water a few things, but we have had a lot of rain and storming this week. 

So nothing really done this week, but I do have some pictures taken:

Our garlic, first try, planted in November 2011.

 

The half wine barrel herb garden, still growing through the winter......

It looks I have also started my second block of the month club, The Farmer’s Wife, so I have been doing more cutting since I am sharing my templates with a friend.  We are gearing up for a master bathroom remodel too, so I got finished cleaning it out today, moving everything we use to the front bathroom.  I also finally finished getting rid of or finding a spot for the rest of the kitchen stuff after our kitchen cabinet paint job.

 

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Tuesday Garden Party!!!! March 6, 2012

 

Can you tell I am excited??  I cannot believe 24 people have already shared.  I cannot wait to read each entry!  First of all, I live in Humboldt County, California zone 9b, which means we can grow year round.   We have had a dry winter and luckily I pruned and cleaned up at the end of the season.

Around January 1st, my 82-year old mother came over to prune my roses and ended up showing me a much better method of weeding than kneeling on my little pad and yanking with my gloved hands.  She used a pitchfork to dig into the ground, loosen the weeds, then bends over to shake them out and toss them in a pile or bucket or what have you.  She, as usual, completely outworked me!

We still had beautiful roses in January, buds anyway, but mom was brutal and trimmed them all back really well.

We have been planning to redo our side yard in the front for a while and last weekend, DH spent his time doing just that, or getting started anyway.

Just to refresh your memory, here is what it looked like last year:

That’s April and here is July

That’s our darling former neighbor…miss her so much….

Anyway the side yard…mmmm yes….the planter box was falling apart and volunteer plants abounded and let’s face it with my fibromyalgia, I need lower maintenance, so we are redoing it with black ground cover stuff and pots.  We really need to trim that juniper bush bad.  For some reason, DH hates to cut back anything….I’m sure he thinks it is too much work, so I may have to take matters into my own hands!

This is a bouquet DH picked from our yard for my book club last week:

And here is my Valentine’s Day gift from the local www.millerfarmsnursery.com:

So cute.  I love it.  Okay that’s enough for the first week.  I have some garlic growing and other things going on, but tonight is block of the month club at the local quilt shop and I have to go make dinner.  But I do want to add two things.  First I tried Jamie’s Artisan bread finally and it turned out great.  Our Friday night dinner guests loved it and we ate the entire first loaf:

You can see I already cut off a piece and ate it before guest arrived…yum!  Get that recipe and join in our garden fun at Jamie’s blog: www.anoregoncottage.com  and if you want to see some garden eye candy, follow me on Pinterest at:

http://pinterest.com/allysgrandma/the-garden/

Until next week!

 

 

 

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8 years ago today…..

My dad turned 78.  It was Thanksgiving Day.  He passed away that morning.  I cannot believe it was 8 years ago today.  We went ahead with our dinner as my oldest daughter’s boyfriend’s family had come from the Bay Area to meet us and spend Thanksgiving.  I treasure the time we had with the Barlow family that Thanksgiving and the wonderful memories.  They were a comfort to me that day and helped me to realize that life truly does go on.

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12, oops now 11 days of freedom…..52 weeks!

DH has left for his annual convention and from San Diego is flying to South Carolina to visit our middle and youngest daughter along with her husband and our dear sweet granddaughter. 

I have such a long list of things to get done, but cannot push myself too hard because of my fibromyalgia.  The fibromyalgia, by the way, has been better in the past month or so, I think due to the dreaded word……EXERCISE!  Yes I have regularly been on my treadmill 45 minutes a day along with stretching.  This along with my vitamin/supplement regimen and prescription meds have enabled me to feel much better and do a little more around the house and outside of the house.

Yesterday I sewed all day on my youngest daughter’s quilt, which of course, I am not sure is as cute as I would like.  I am this way on most new quilts so I just need to continue and usually at some point I start to like it and by the end don’t want to give the quilt away (but I do). 

Here is my list:

  1. Paint kitchen cabinets.
  2. Put garden to bed for the winter.
  3. Clean and prepare guest room for guests the last weekend of the month.
  4. Clean bird poop off the north side of the house.
  5. Finish youngest daughter’s quilt top, start another?
  6. Lose 20 pounds…..okay okay I know I cannot do that.  But I would like to maybe lose 2?

Okay those are the big projects.  I have lots of smaller projects too. Like clean and organize the entire house!  Seriously I am trying to get back on track that started in January following Laura over at http://orgjunkie.com/

Head over and read the posts, the comments and the accomplishments.  It is inspiring.  Sometimes, however, life just gets in the way.  In my case, after coming home from visiting oldest daughter DH and I had our 35th high school reunion.  We were in the same graduating class and we had the very best time ever.  I think the older we get, the more fun it is to reconnect with our old friends.

 

Then I finally talked my 82-year-old mother into redecorating.  That involved 2 weeks of furniture shopping, carpet and paint shopping and helping get it finished.

Here is the before:

Notice the 25 year old ugly brown carpet and the early 80s style couch.

During:

New carpet and pain, DH hanging curtains that were dry cleaned. I’m trying to figure out how to ditch DH’s favorite grey cotton knit shirts while he is gone….I hate those things!  That is his post-work outfit he puts on every day when he gets home.

and after:

Updated and beautiful.  Really it is.  Not sure the pictures do it justice. 

I also finished this:

which has been a monkey on my back.  I was just not excited about this quilt for great-nephew, but apparently he was when my sister took it down to the Bay Area last week.

I also found this:

and was so excited to see this:

I was so excited to see one of my favorite bloggers had arrived at my local nursery.  Imagine my disappointment when I found out they were talking about bulbs!

I did have a small organizing project in that I had to make space for the several items DH brought home for our anniversary.  I made the mistake of cruising Pier One with him one day and he went back and bought every single thing I picked up and said “This is cute”.  It did not mean I wanted it…..but I know he had fun doing it and I acted like I wanted them all.  This took some rearranging and adding back a glass shelf into our dining room cabinet.  I also had to reposition and clean out doggy treat area.  Let’s face it I don’t need an entire shelf for one dog’s treats!

Here is the before:

Behind the door:

No wonder Landon is a little chubby!

Here is the after:

The two right bottom shelves were my gifts which were a teapot and 2 matching cups and next row 6 pastel individual quiche/dessert dishes and a darling measuring cup set that look like cups!

So okay back on the wagon I go!

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Tuesday Garden Party

 

Well I brought my basket of most used gardening tools and my Webster, along with my sewing machine, lots of fabric, books and quilting/sewing gadgets to my daughter’s house here in Reno, Nevada.  I figured maybe her yard would need work, but it doesn’t really.  Instead I used my breast cancer kneeler to clean her refrigerator!

I went to a growing garlic and onion seminar Saturday and at least now know why my first attempt at growing onions did not work.  So I am ready to get on the garlic/onions at the appropriate times for Humboldt County, CA (zone 9).  Garlic should be planted in October and onion sets in January.  Boy was I off!  No wonder those onions never really grew.

In talking with the teacher about blight, a real problem I have had with my grafted tomatoes, she says she has only watered hers once and they are doing great.  So obviously I overwatered my tomatoes.  We have gotten a few, but the blight is spreading through the plant.  I thought for sure DH would not want to try again, but he does, so at least now I know even more! 

Miller Farms Nursery in the town where I live gives seminars throughout the year.  I am going to be attending as many as I can.  My 82-year-old mother likes to go with me too. 

So I will be home Saturday.  Hopefully DH waters tonight before he leaves for hunting tomorrow.  My flowers usually last through October.  I try to move my pots from around the front porch and will again decorate like last year.

For inspiration, be sure to check out the participants at the garden party at www.anoregoncottage.com.

 

 

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52 Weeks….Where Am I??

Spending such a long time gone from home really screws one up.  Add that to the fact that I am only home 2 weeks and off I am going again to visit my oldest daughter who lives in Reno, a good 6.5 hour drive away. 

I finally decided I must get my car looked at because when starting, sometimes it would go right back down to 0 RPMs and other times it would be fine.  But it happened at my doctor’s office the other day and it took forever for it to be normal without dying.

So after having my mother drive me in to pick up my car (please Lord, don’t ever make me ride with my mother again), I pay our beloved mechanic $600.00 and hear him tell me I must have new tires before driving to Reno.  Great didn’t I just put new tires on this dang car.  Oh that’s right, YD lived with us for 7 months and drove back and forth to San Diego how many times (12 hour drive).

So today’s organization is this:  Make a note in  my new Stephanie O’Shea planner to rotate my tires in 3 months or 6,000 miles.  Or maybe I will put a sticky note under the oil change sticker in my window.  SOMETHING.  How much money did I waste never rotating that last set of tires??

This week was DH’s birthday, his colonoscopy and then yesterday our 33rd wedding anniversary.  So this was not a normal week.  So I will entertain you with a shot of my new planner and my darling granddaughter at her 3rd birthday party, wearing the darling dress that I made her:

Oh yeah that’s my new gardening journal too!  Need to be able to remember what worked and what didn’t since my brain is not holding that information very well anymore.  Also I am on the shower challenge and doing well this week.  Thanks Stephanie!

Yes I know, too cute.  I cannot believe it is the first dress I have made my granddaughter.  Her baptismal gown was purchased by her Godmother, my oldest daughter….and not made from her mother’s wedding dress….but I did buy a pattern for one.  Maybe the next grandchild??? One can only hope…..and try to plan…..

So I need another week or two to get fully back into the swing of things.  Next week I will be sewing, sewing and sewing in Reno while OD is at work.  I am hoping  to get a few things done and maybe I will start my own pinterest.com boards….am I the only one who did not know about this fabulous site?  Saw my daughter on it one day and FELL IN LOVE.

I am raising my glass (of lemoncello, vodka and pelligrino with a twist of lemon) to all the participants who are keeping me at it and to Laura for hosting us each week from www.orgjunkie.com!

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