"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

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Flash in the Pan Post

Made progress on my art quilt, yesterday and had an epiphany.  I posted about it on Quilting Along the Ley Lines, if you're interested.  There are some sneak peeks of my art quilt, too - but if you are in my group (We are the) Baker's Dozen, DON'T LOOK!   I got carried away like a Baptist girl on spring break (I love the Baptists).  I revealed too much.  Go read it after we unveil our projects on August 1st.

  I also refilled bobbins;
swapped out the needle on my Beloved Janome; and spent some quality time with the girls: 
Here are a couple of Evelyn and Pearl videos. 

The first is a bunny hunt.

The second is a toad hunt:

Happy Quilting, Penny, Evelyn and Pearl

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I Love Laminators

Husband was off on vacation, last week.  Yesterday, he started back to work so I hauled myself out of bed when he did so he wouldn't notice I don't have a regular job. Or even an abnormal job.  I am not absolutely sure he is yet clued in to the fact that I have become deadwood.  I figure moving around a lot or keeping out of the house is my best bet that he won't discover this.  It also serves as Plan B because even if he notices, we can avoid a conversation about it.  Some things call for a deft hand but a hamfisted approach is sometimes all you've got.  And since most men don't like to have conversations about unpleasant things, I have that going for me. 

Plan C is the bad economy. 

I am always glad when I get up early (translation, before 6:00 a.m.  Anything after 6:30 a.m. is deemed "late").  Look at this pretty sunrise:

Back to my job angst.  I realize things could get hairy pretty soon because Husband (the engineer) rarely misses an opportunity to grumble that artists are just ridiculous. He started this artist thing long before I started wearing hippy skirts so I don't take it personally.  (Hippy skirts are called that because of my HUGE hips that could be spotted with a cheap Wal Mart telescope from outer space.  They look like another continent.)  Generally, I just chime in and agree with Husband about ridiculous artists.  I hope this is throwing him off the scent.  He says he doesn't read my blog because blogs are "also ridiculous" and given what I just wrote, I sure hope the man is telling me the truth. 

Just in case:

"Hi Sweetie, I love you!  Thank you for giving me a dream life!  Few men are that generous or as good providers.  And I really love your hair!"

All the above is true.

At any rate, in my effort to be out from underfoot or available for uncomfortable conversations, I ran errands, yesterday.  First, I checked out a local upholstery place that I heard had cheap Hobbs Heirloom 80/20.  It is right around the corner from my house and OMG - it was a GOOD tip!!  I wanted bleached cotton and they didn't have it in the queen sized bolt so for ten more dollars, I got the king sized bolt.  I'll have to trim it down for my machine but can use the scraps for smaller projects.  It is as big as my butt.  I put it in the studio and hauling it from the car to the longarm room constituted my daily exercise. 

From there, I drove over to a national chain copy place (which shall remain nameless to protect the innocent) to ask them how much it would cost to laminate the 75 or so patterns I had with me  (not an exaggeration).  I told the young girl that I might not be able to afford to do very many.  She looked at me with pity and told me it was $3.75 a piece and, after measuring one with a tape measure, they'd have to cut off about half an inch.  "Okay, then," sez I,  "I guess I better rethink my plans."  She leaned forward across the counter, dropped her voice and said, "Don't tell anyone I told you this but if you take it to Mardels (a Christian office supply company for all you heathens), they have a teacher supply room with a laminator that costs .25 a foot."  Oh holy Mary Mother of God!  (I can say that because I am not Catholic and it is way down the list of my sins, anyway).  The darling girl even gave me directions and I scooted over there, right away.

Check out my 29 feet worth of laminated patterns!!  Cost me less than $8.00 with tax, baby!

It is a really bright day, today:
Okay, so Mardels is now way up on my list of wonderful places.

Because I had saved so much money on laminating, I decided to buy some makeup brushes from Sally's Beauty Supply, which was next door.  Ahem, they were at least $7.50 a piece so I decided I could just spend the same amount on liposuction and left.

Next stop, Hancocks.  I bought NUTHIN'.   I was quite proud of myself.

Finally, I went to the Promised Land, Hobby Lobby (which, BTW, also owns Mardels).  I went on a spending frenzy.  Their colored pencils (including prismacolor) were all 30% off so I bought a set of 48 and several singles. I also bought two water soluble quilt marking pens (also 30% off). I would have bought more but that is all they had.

I bought fall flowers to shove into my family's headstone vases (Husband later pointed out I already had some).  I also bought summer/fall flowers for the den: 

Afterwards, I worked on my computer.  I have had issues with my keyboard.  The letters keep wearing off.  I have painted them back on, glued foam letters like you get for children's crafts and lately have taped on letters that I wrote with permanent marker:

After researching, I discovered I could replace the letters for $6.00 a piece plus postage.  Following online directions, I tried to take off a key to see how to do it (NOT one that was worn off because I am an idiot).  It broke.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.  I decided to just bite the bullet and order a new keyboard.  I found several online for $29.00 plus postage but decided to check the Dell site to make sure I had the right one.  Duh.  Dell's tech found me the right one for $10.99 and helped me to get my DVD player to work.  Mr. Dell Tech has a Japanese Spitz named Leonne.  Nice man.  We both agree that dogs domesticated man, not the other way around.  I gave him my blogsite and left a nice comment on the website for his supervisor. 

After all that, I drove to the north of town to meet Mimi to go shopping for luggage and dinner.  My happy, happy, happy news about Mimi is that the doctor that she thought was an idiot has changed her original diagnosis from a dilated cardiomyopathy to something else I can't pronounce, much less spell.  The bottom line is that instead of dead heart tissue and a bleak prognosis, her heart was "just" infected, which caused it to swell.  She has healed, her heart is back to normal size and she is just about back to where she needs to be.  Hallelujah!  I cannot tell you happy I am about that.   Of course, this just means Mimi was right all along and will be insufferable if she ever really gets sick.  Her tombstone will probably read Mimi...1958 - 2075.  I AM NOT SICK!  She'll probably die from a tsunami.

We knocked around a Super Target and I bought a new vase I don't need and then three racerback bras because I've been wearing sleeveless blouses and want to stop flashing bra straps.  I debated actually buying the correct size (which is larger than I used to wear) but decided that would be giving in to obesity.  Next time, I will just go to Anderson's Tent and Awning and save myself the temptation.  I kept calling the bras razerbacks (without meaning to) and I think that may have been a Freudian slip. 

We trucked over to Victoria's Secrets but although I tried to talk Mimi into buying a nice thong, she refused.  What a wild woman.  I didn't buy anything, either.  I used to buy from there because they had all the nice stuff.  Target is going to put them out of business.  It is the Wal Mart of fine lingerie.

We ate dinner and gobbled Mexican food like a couple of pigs. I was like a tortilla sink hole (I got that line from Husband in the course of a debate about whether a Samoyed blowing her coat is more like a hair tsunami or a hair earthquake - he claims it is more like a hair earthquake because a tsunami is over in seconds but that just doesn't make any sense because it isn't like an earthquake lasts for weeks.  He was just being contrary.).  Since Mimi and I have been eating Mexican food together since we were eleven, being gluttons came naturally.  That being said, I have not had a bite of food to eat, today (it is about 5:30 p.m.) because I am still full.  The thought of eating makes me want to hurl.  And that would be a tortilla tsunami.

The only artsy thing I did today was take a few photos.  Here are the girls:

That Pearl is a cutie.

Evelyn's chair is filthy but you have to remember it is a dog bed - not a chair.  It just looks like a chair because it started out its life as one. 

I also took a photo of my African Violet.  
I have always had good luck with African Violets. My old boss once asked me my secret and I told him dappled light and coffee. I would pour my coffee out when I was done instead of giving it water.  A few weeks later, I noticed his plants were all dying. Then I watched him pour steaming hot coffee on them and almost had a heart attack.

He's a judge, now. 

And here are some photos of our tomato plants that are FINALLY starting to get serious. 

I need  to go put on my contacts and clean my sewing room.  Enough sitting on my butt for the day. 

Happy Quilting, Penny, Evelyn and Pearl

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Colored Block Completed

I finished the coored quilt block that I began Friday.  Really, it was too fun to even express.

I posted photos on my other blog if you want to go look at them. 

Happy Quilting, Penny, Evelyn and Pearl

Friday, July 23, 2010

I Took a Class From Irena Bluhm

Full Bloom Extravaganza detail

It was incredible.

I wrote all about the class and put lots on pictures of her work on my other blog if you would like to see them!

Happy Quilting, Penny, Evelyn and Pearl

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Curse of the Middle Aged Woman

Do you ever reach a point where you are sick of feeling fat?

Stupid question, I know.  I generally feel that way right after I've killed a bag of milk chocolate dove bars.  If only I felt that way before I started. 

At any rate, I was up and down all night, too fat to sleep.  My knuckles felt fat.  I would get up to go to the bathroom and feel so fat I could barely get my legs to move or my back to straighten up.  And Evelyn was asleep with her head pressed against the toilet and refused to move so I had to do some gymnastics while fat and bleary eyed. 

I am one of those fortunate people who doesn't suffer from achy joints so this hideous stiffness cannot be from old age.  It must be because I am too fat to bend. 

I have always had a flat stomach.  Not anymore.  These days, I am looking like a whale.  A whale that died several days ago (and don't forget it is July).  In the past four months, my waistline has gone from tight, to soft to gone.  My face is getting wrinkles.  The skin beneath my eyes hurts because it is going so thin.  I am afraid I will get a bed sore in the folds.  I am growing a mustache, I sure of it.  If only I could see well enough to check.

I suspect this is hormonal.  The only other option is that I have been cursed by the almighty.  I think I would rather he sent boils or locusts.  Sigh. I am fairly certain this is perimenopause. 

In considering this, my first thought was that since there are over six billion people on the planet, at least a billion women have been through this.  Then I recalled that, although life expectancy has expanded in first world nations, the majority of the current earth's population are young so perhaps the numbers of menopausal women are not that high.  For all I know, I am the first woman to go through this nonsense.  Probably not, but that is how I feel, this morning.  And it is also why I am thinking that, despite my lifelong commitment to natural living (I refuse to dye my hair and had natural childbirth), this menopause stuff is unnatural.  It is not right.  It is against god.  It is a freak of nature.  I am a freak of nature.

Self portrait:

I can't imagine how I would feel if I actually suffered from hot flashes or night sweats (which I don't).  I just feel like I am going through a metamorphosis.  Only in my case, I am going from a butterfly to a caterpillar.  Or a larva.  A fat larva.  Even my knees are fat.  Disgusting.  I wonder if I am getting arthritis in my hands.  Husband showed no sympathy because he says he has had arthritis for fifteen years.  How is that possible?  

I don't really think I have arthritis.  I think I have water weight that is making my knuckles hurt.  How repulsive.  I have been flying back and forth between 132 pounds and 142 pounds for the past several months.  Okay, okay, I know you bigger ladies have lost sympathy for me at this point and I probably deserve it, but I might be up to six pounds heavier or lighter from one day to the next.  It HURTS!  (ETA that is nearly 5% of my body weight in a 24 hour period - and it has happened repeatedly!).   Besides, I have small bones not meant to carry around this much tonnage.  And it didn't used to be this way (sob).

I HATE the way my clothes fit.  Or don't fit.  I am going to start wearing my pants backwards because my butt is now flatter than my stomach.  If some sweet young thing starts winking at my husband, he is going to drop me off on the curve and I wouldn't really blame him.  And if you tell him I said that, I will call you a &^#$@^! liar.  No reason to let the man think he has such options. 

Sigh.  I will just soldier through it.  Still upper lip (which is growing hair) and all that.  Just like every other woman going through the change, assuming I am not the first.  But I don't have to like it.  I don't know what God was thinking when he came up with this. 

Anyway, the girls decided they needed to go toad hunting this morning at 5:30.  Pearl kept jumping on my head to give me kisses (I used to think she loved me but she probably has just confused me with a tub of butter) and Evelyn kept yodeling the way she does when she wants us to wake up.  Husband pretended to be asleep but I could tell from his breathing that he was playing possum.  Sigh. 

So I rolled out of bed, let the girls out, rescued two toads, tossed down a few swallows of coffee and decided to go take a walk to drive up my metabolism in hopes I would come back looking like a sweaty glowing thirty year old who has never had children and runs marathons.

It has been really hot but this morning was quite pleasant.  The grass wasn't wet and the humidity wasn't too bad.   I threw on my "fat" shorts, a Hard Rock Chicago tee-shirt with dried paint on it (no bra), left my glasses on, pulled back my greying hair and slipped on my smelliest sandals.  A veritable Aphrodite.  I left the girls in the house and went out to watch the sun rise.  Evelyn was hurling herself at the front door, screaming barking, as I walked down the driveway.  She has separation anxiety, big-time. 

I love our neighborhood.  It is semi-rural, restricted to five acre ranchettes and most of the neighbors have cattle, horses or both. 

This is our barn and pasture from the road that runs behind the house:
Neighbor's horse barn:
I can see these beauties from my back yard:
Another neighbor:
I took the following photos around the corner to the west.  The arrow points to the front of our barn:
A close up of the previous photo (who says we don't have trees!):
If you squint, you can see our barn:
One of the neighbor's mailbox:
Requisite photo of wildflowers:
Several of the neighbors have cool gates over their driveways:
Here is one of our next door neighbor's cows:
Most of the neighbors take very nice care of their property.  However, one neighbor, who lives across the street, doesn't.  She is an elderly lady and I suspect it is just too much for her to handle.  Either that or she has died in there.  Here is her driveway:
It is overgrown and the fence is sagging. 
She's got some nice cows, though:
There were three mamas (with udders that look functioning) but only two calves.  I don't know if she sold one or it died.  I don't know much about cows.  Maybe the third cow is an auntie cow who is helping to nurse.  Do they do that?

When I got back to the house, after about an hour, Evelyn was still hurling herself at the front door. 
Notice instead of comforting her, I first took a photo. 

I don't deserve to have nice dogs. 

In fact, I stopped to take some pictures of our tomato plants while she continued her fit, inside.
Our tomatoes are not looking that great, this year, but are finally getting down to business:
Husband was NOT happy that I'd left Evelyn in a state of panic.  Despite the fact that I'd left a note, he claimed that he was afraid that something horrible had happened to me, based on Evelyn's behavior (menopause?).  Evelyn apparently refused her breakfast and cried and yodeled and threw herself at the front door the whole time I was gone. I didn't think she'd do that. I figured she'd fuss for a few minutes and then give up. 

From Husband's demeanor, I'm thinking the walk didn't transform me into a sex goddess who would mesmerize any male.  Perhaps if I took walks for a few weeks I could work up to that.    We decided that the next time I left in the morning I would slip out the garage.  She doesn't get so upset if she thinks I am in the barn or something.  But if I go out the front door, she wants to go, too, because usually when I go out the front door I am in the yard doing cool stuff like pulling weeds and she wants to be with me. 

Husband just came by and said I looked cute.  I was in the middle of writing this and recalled my earlier line so I told him I looked like "a veritable Aphrodite."  He  threw back his head and laughed, the bastard.  "Something like that," he said. 

I am going to go take a shower and shave.  I wonder if it is time to start using Old Spice. 

Happy Quilting, Penny, Evelyn and Pearl