"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Counter Tops and Electrical Mishaps

First thing this morning I worked on some proposed Orders for a case later this week so they would be ready for signature if the Court granted my request. I could draft them after the Court rules but that means an extra court hearing and if I can avoid running up costs for the parents, I try to do that. Of course, if the court doesn't grant my request, it is time somewhat wasted. I usually draft orders ahead of time when we have an agreement or I think I've got a pretty good read on the direction the Court is likely to go.

After that, I reviewed some petitions for termination of parental rights of one of my clients. Sad case.

"Work" work done, I puttered around doing housework but didn't get any packing accomplished. I spent a little time cutting out fabric for the star rays for my Civil War Sylvias and spent more time on that than expected. None of the colors were really crying out to me.

I never really got around to sewing anything because as it got closer to noon, I got hungry and fixed some roasted potatoes. Then I got sleepy/groggy and it generally isn't a good idea to be sleepy/groggy (or drunk) while handling a rotary cutter.

See Pearl's dog tag?

Yup, it is a real dog tag. Kind of morbid when you consider their intended use but I once got a laugh out loud from the vet when she saw it.

The girls were utter sweeties, all day.

Pearl brought a wonderful stick up to the deck to munch on.

It is her treasure.

Until she gnaws it to oblivion.

She is starting to grow a pretty sweet ruff.

She'll never have Evelyn's topknot but her mane is getting downright respectable.

I'm fighting mats behind her ears. Evelyn had the same problem as a puppy when her hair was finer and curlier. Not so much once she got her mature coat.

Pearl is going into the "big chew." I have been told that between 10 and 13 months, they chew to ossify their jaw bones. A lot of people who get their dogs past the teething stage are blindsided when their puppy unexpectedly begins chewing furniture, books, precious heirlooms, etc., at this age. Sadly, I understand this is an age when a lot of dogs are deposited at the pound.

But not this baby! So long as she doesn't insist on chewing on something intended to remain alive, we're keeping her!

But that might help explain why she is so spoiled with the zillions of toys strew through the house - gives her something to use those teeth on.

I've mentioned that she is smart. Yesterday, I heard husband shriek (well, a male version of a shriek). Get this - Pearl got a pillow off the love seat, UNZIPPED it, and was proceeding to rip the inside pillow to bits. Stuffing was all over the front parlor. Yes, she UNZIPPED IT, first!

She is my smartest non human child. Now that I think of it, one of my human kids destroyed her pillow, too. She stabbed it with a pen to see the stuffing fly. A little like Pearl, yes? You'd think that a human child would have better sense. But it is worse. She stabbed the pillow after placing the pillow on her WATER BED!! With predictable results.

Pearl didn't get in much trouble but the human child did.

This is the same child who stuck a fork in a electric socket to "see if something would happen." I wasn't home at the time but the fuse blew and they lost the lights. Her brother - in typical big brother style - told her that she'd "broken the house" and that it would cost thousand of dollars to fix and still was likely to result in an electrical fire that would catch fire while we slept and kill us all.

I didn't know whether to thank him or shake him.

She grew a brain, eventually. He probably should be credited with nipping her penchant for electrical distruction in the bud. She is now a big city lawyer - hmm. Coulda been an electrician but for this unfortunate incident. And live in Oklahoma City near her mom! Or, I suppose she could have managed to somehow rewire the place so that it burned around our ears while we were asleep.

Life takes us in strange directions.

I am so excited because my corian samples arrived!

Pearl isn't sure what the fuss is about but she is happy for me.

We are definitely putting in new counter tops in the Oklahoma City house but haven't decided which direction to go. We love corian but I have samples from other brands on the way. The current counter tops are tile, complete with grout between the pieces. Impossible to feel like you get it clean.

Here is a picture:

The counter tile is just about the only thing we really dislike about the Oklahoma house (although we also are a little put off by the blue bathroom and already ditched the wall paper).

We plan to get rid of that dropped ceiling and upgrade the handles on the cabinets. The cabinets look a little dated but the first owner/builder was a contractor and didn't skimp on construction. They are very well constructed and I can't see replacing them at this point with something prettier but not better constructed. However, the kitchen is a bit dark with the brick and lacks a ready source of natural light so I am leaning towards a lighter colored counter top. Husband likes a darker one so I imagine we'll have to physically hold the samples up in the kitchen to make a decision.

We'll also need to upgrade the appliances and put in a refrigerator and dishwasher, right away. We like Bosch dishwashers. Super, super quiet!

Both of us like stainless steel (it is what we have, now) and husband would like to go in that direction. I'm more inclined to stick to white because it wouldn't be so jarring in the transition (we wouldn't replace all the appliances at once because they're working fine and there is a nice Jenn Aire).

I ordered a variety of colors that looked interesting. I figure I can use them for coasters or something once we make a decision.

But the honest truth - and I know you've already figured this out - is that I just want to have something in hand to dream over while we wait.

And now, for a change of pace...

Get ready ...

My lovely daughter-in-law and granddog, Martin!!

I suspect my son wouldn't dare try to bluff his wife into believing that she had broken the house if she managed to pop the circuit. Chances are, she'd be changing the fuse while he was thinking up a good story to freak her out.

I've posted pictures and videos of Martin, before. She is a labradoodle born a week after Evelyn. They were babies, together.

That is Martin in the center and Evelyn on the right. Both were such cute puppies!

Martin takes after the poodle.

Evelyn takes after a different branch of the family:

Martin is a big city dog who lives in Manhattan. A little like Family Affair, the television series from the sixties, sans a butler. I think she must be reaching her rebellious teenaged years because I understand she is insisting on a Mohawk!
Look at that doo!

Can piercings be far behind?

As a grand mother, it is so hard to keep your mouth shut but the kids have to raise their babies as they see fit. My role is to provide unconditional love, cookies, and empathy.

And sneak doggie biscuits should the poor darling stick a fork in an electric socket and end up in the dog house...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Design Opportunities

No court again, today. I did some spot painting and packed more china/figurines. I cut up a lot of my odd pieces of batting to put between plates. I always love to be able to use stuff like that.

This afternoon, I worked on the Civil War Sylvias and finished four (I plan to do sixteen). Sixteen blocks make a size that doesn't work well for a bed quilt so I'll have some decisions to make at some point.

Here they are, so far (not a very good picture):

Here is a closeup of one of them:

I'm tentatively planning to use the same fabric for the star rays on two blocks - one of each kind of star. For example, two of the blocks that I posted have salmon fabric on the star rays and the other two use green. I am sure I will use blue for two of them but haven't decided about the other three fabrics. I'll probably end up repeating those three colors with ones that compliment. I don't think I can get away with using yellow on this one.

I really like the green fabric that I used on two of the stars but may live to regret selecting it because it is clashing with a lot of other fabrics that I'd like to incorporate.

A few years ago, I bought a set of neutral thimbleberry fat quarters and am using a different one for each individual block. The picture isn't good but it is a variety of tans with small designs - some are darker than others. I like having the scrappy backgrounds for depth but not everyone feels that way. I am also pondering a design that has a secondary pattern but need to think about it more before I can describe it coherently. I'd probably need photos to explain.

Yes, they are set in two different star blocks. One is an Ohio Star and the other is a nine patch star. Was that intended? Er... let's just call it a design opportunity.

Crap! That "design opportunity" probably is going to keep me from being able to incorporate that secondary pattern I had in mind. Maybe not. I will get on EQ5 later tonight and see what I can come up with.

They ended up squared at 16 inches (unfinished). I haven't decided if I'll sash them or what kind of border I'll add.

I want to think all the nice people who posted that they are keeping their fingers crossed that we get good news on the move back home. I have no idea when we will hear the ultimate decision but even if you are in the United Kingdom, you will likely hear me either wailing or cheering when I find out.

Have a nice evening!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Civil War Sylvias

The paperwork allowing us to go back home has been signed by two people and is off to a third (and hopefully last). Keep your fingers crossed.

I've forged ahead on the moving countdown:

1. Doctor's appointments so I won't have to immediately find a new doctor: check
2. Switch the online billing from the bank account I intend to close when we move: check
3. Get the car serviced in preparation for a cross country trip: check
4. Pay all the estimated taxes for 2009: check
5. Transfer extra funds from the business checking account: check
6. Back up all the files I want to take with me to Oklahoma and/or need to close law practice: check
7. Catch up on all my billing: check

Once we get the official paperwork:
A. Get realtor
B. Rent dumpster
C. Research moving companies
D. Resign from this state bar
E. Close business accounts
F. Close business PO Box and forward mail
G. Get copies of veterinary files
H. Pack
I. Pack
J. Pack
K. Garage Sale
L. Compile address lists of people I don't want to lose track of
M. Turn off business phone

But enough of that.

I think I have mentioned that I previously started a Sylvia's Bridal Sampler using civil war fabrics. That was a couple of years ago when they had the patterns on the internet. I did a number of the blocks (18) but the scale was off on my printer and I didn't bother to square them because I was young and foolish and assumed that squaring was optional. Most of them ended up being 5.5 inches (unfinished) but some are as large as 6.75 inches, and a couple are only five inches.

When I started the Brights Sylvia project, I tossed the mismatched civil war Sylvia's into my scrap file and kept running across them while searching for fabric. Yesterday, I got to thinking that I could use the blocks rather than just stash them. I thought to myself - "Self, why not use the blocks as the center of a star block?" Like these:

I'd end up with about a 15 inch block, which isn't my favorite size, but at least the blocks could be used for a quilt.

Here are all the Civil War Sylvias:

I grabbed some fabric from my scraps to add borders:

I just used strips from my scrap pile - the above picture is before I squared them up to 7.5 inches, each.

Here they are all squared up.

My hope is to use these as the center for larger blocks but not today - I am calling it a night.