Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What's NOT said ...

In a comment about choosing seeds, KP asked, "How are you supposed to narrow down what kinds of tomatoes or peppers or peas to grow when they make them all sound fabulous?" The answer: Read what is NOT said. If the description goes on and on about how prolific a plant is, gotta wonder why they don't say much about how the produce tastes! Or, do they readily succumb to cooties? If they make a big deal of the showy flower the plant makes, it might be a clue that you'd better learn to appreciate it, because it will not produce many to look at, and therefore, few fruits. Or, if it’s a special hybrid the packet might include only about four seeds – does it say how many are in there? And so on and so forth.

My biggest complaints about seed descriptions are about the ones that don't give enough information to make a good decision about whether or not it will grow in my area. Officially, we're in zone 5. In reality, it's more like a zone 4 here in our microclimate. Winters here are more like Siberia than the part of our county that is closer to the river. So I need to know if the seeds/plants I'm going to invest in are up to the challenge. I really appreciate a company that gives as much info as possible – would hate to find out something I bought is really only suited to zone 7, and believe it or not, some catalogs are very vague on this subject.

I think I have a plan for the oddballs (of yarn, that is). Here's part one -- look how close it came to running out of yarn before it ended!

Now I'd better quit messing around and get to work.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The fun just never ends ...

Well below zero here this morning. Going out is manageable with multiple layers of wool and fleece. If only I could keep my feet warm! The animals are all fine out in the barn, but a water pipe started spewing, and the only way to stop it was to shut off the main valve which also turns off the water to the house. It will have to stay that way until DH returns and comes to my rescue. I don't mind coffee left over from yesterday for breakfast so much, but I can't make my oatmeal because I used up all the water that was left in the teapot to wash my hands. Guess I'll just hafta go with the blueberry pie. Too bad.

And if my car doesn't refuse to start, I'll be heading to the dentist again today. Oh, yippee!

Here are the newest additions to my CW collection. I'm beginning to wonder what kind of mess I'm into with all these different patterns and colors. Let's hope for the best, because I intend to continue.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hmmmm ...

What can be had with a few of each? Lemme think about that for a bit.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I may need an intervention ...

Do you know how much time a person can spend looking at seed catalogs? A lot!

I hope to finish a quilt using repro fabrics to enter in our guild's Civil War exhibit this fall. I made a small step toward getting started. These are the ones I did last night.

We're doing an exchange of 5-inch squares -- we call them Nickel Squares -- to expand the variety of fabrics available. I won't get mine until March because I cannot make it to the retreat this year where everyone else will get their collection. I'm trying to get a head start by using what I have here. Elsewise, I'll never finish in time. I may live to regret it, but I'm planning to make about a jillion 6-inch blocks and assemble them into one big quilt. Wish me success!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Just charming!

Ooooo! Ooo! Look what I found for the cowgirl sweater. Isn't this a charming zipper pull? (sorry it's so fuzzy -- I tried to get a close-up. It's very small.)

Any elves out there looking for work?

Some people let their kids walk all over them. Some sheep do, too.

I went to listen to Joan Ford speak at our guild meeting yesterday. She's the Scrap Therapy quilter from Syracuse, NY. She did a great trunk show (show & tell is always the best part of quilt guild, for me!). Made me want to come home and organize all my fabric, as if that would make me more productive. By the time I did my errands after the meeting and got home, though, the urge had dissipated. Whew! Just thinking about it wore me out. I need elves to work for me. (Would keeping elves be the same as slavery? Or do elves just LIKE doing other people's work for nothing?)

Did you ever notice how many quilters are also knitters, and gardeners? A LOT! I had taken a simple knitting project with me to work on during the business part of the meeting; the gal sitting next to me was working on a pair of socks. The speaker opened her talk by saying she is a knitter, and showed a nice Norwegian-style sweater she had done, and explained how making steeks in it got her into quilting back in 2003. It's a long story, and hers to tell, so suffice it to say that when she had a need to learn to use a sewing machine she asked a quilter for help. Hahahahahaha!
Speaking of knitting ... it is similar to quilting in that I wind up with odd balls of yarn left over that accumulate just like fabric scraps. Rummaging around for something to play with, I found a couple of balls of Noro variegated yarns, and wondered what I would ever do with it. (Throw it away? What?!? Do you even KNOW me?!? According to my DIL, I never throw ANYthing away.)

So ... I remembered seeing a scarf on someone else's blog a year or so ago, and thought it was done with just two balls of this stuff. Yep! That's what I'll do with it. There's always somebody who could use a warm scarf, right? Now the debate is, how many stitches to cast on? Hmmmm ...

And speaking of slavery ... just got a call from a client who needs some graphic design work done. Ta-ta!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The commute is a nightmare!

Bwah-hah-ha-ha ... just kidding. (I work from home, commute electronically, and the worst part of "commuting" I have is to shovel a path to the barn in the snow when it's time to do chores. The current application of "poor man's fertilizer" is so light and fluffy, it's hardly anything to make a path. No whining here. I probably will live to regret that I said that ... now we'll get a blizzard, accompanied by heavy wet stuff that will have to be tunneled through. If we do, you can blame it on me.

Here's the cowgirl sweater with zipper installed the best I could do. If I take it out and replace it one more time, trying to perfect it, the child will outgrow the thing before she gets it.

Are you familiar with Veggie Tales? They have a song entitled "Busy, Busy" that just cracks me up. And now, for all those who find themselves repeating "I've been sooo busy ..." there's a ringtone available for cell phones. Here's a link to the lyrics, if you don't know the song:

Here's something weird: Once when I was driving home from the Philly area, listening to a book on tape, I got so nervous I had to turn it off. The book was "The Perfect Storm" and I was at the part where the ship was about to be lost in the storm. I was driving in a horrible downpour through a section of road that was under construction, complete with those orange-striped barrels and concrete barriers along both sides where I was driving. The water was flooding the road for lack of anywhere to drain, so it was like driving through the ocean. My imagination went into high gear, transferring the fate of the sailors right into my world. The impending doom was just too scary for me. Then yesterday while I was finishing up the sweater, I was watching an episode of The Pacific. We were in the middle of a horrific battle when I could SWEAR I heard bomb blasts outside my house. I wondered how they did that?!? What technology have they put into DVDs that allows the sound to be so powerful it's like the battle was right outside my house? It was like being in one of the huge movie theatres with sound-surround or whatever it is called -- you know ... where the sound is so powerful you can feel it in your seat. Wow! There it goes again. Only THIS time, I am SURE it rocked the house. I went to look out the window. DH had stopped what he was doing, too, to look around. Obviously, he heard something and wondered what.

Upon investigation, I discovered that seismic blasting was actually taking place in the pasture behind my house. That involves dynamite. Glad to know it's not just me.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The saga continues ...

Went to the dentist again yesterday -- still working on reparations there. I wasn't sure what to expect ... I remember that the doctor said something about needing to get more impressions before we could proceed ... but was that ALL I was in for? I asked the gal who seated me if I was going to get a face full of Novacaine this time; she checked with Dr. L and came back to say it depends on how sensitive I am. Oh, boy. What does THAT mean, exactly? While I waited, I tried to get myself prepared for whatever would happen next. I thought about it, and realized that I had already had root canals on all the teeth in the area that was to be worked on, so when he came in, I asked him to verify that. Sure enough! No Novacaine required. A crowbar and a jackhammer, maybe, but no Novacaine. Oh, good. my plan to multi-task by doing other errands while I was in the area was safe.

The impression had to be repeated four times before we got a good set. Of course. If ANYbody is going to have to be gagged with impression putty four times to get it right, that would be me. When the dentist was satisfied that he had what he needed, he told the chairside assistant (or whatever her title is) that she needed to get the ElectroSurge ready for him. Say WHAT?!? Did somebody order a lobotomy? What, pray tell, is an ElectroSurge? Whatever it is, it can't be good in MY world. I told them they were scaring me.

Seems my gums went into overdrive in the healing process, and grew more tissue than could be allowed. !!! So now, they were going to ElectroSurge it off. Ohhhhhhhhh dear. Doctor L promised it would only hurt for about 10 seconds. I reminded him I don't DO owchies. He did he level best to be reassuring, but I was verrrrrrrrrry skeptical. He stepped out of the room.

Another gal came in to explain to the first gal how this gadget works. As she slinked out, I heard her say quiety, "If you have to cauterize it ... "

Oh, please!

Well, as it turned out, it was really no big deal. It really hurt less than the 10 seconds promised.

Before I could leave, however, they needed to get photographs. (This is new. Who gets photographed at the dentist's office? I won't go into what kind of things started going thru my head at that point. It's just too crazy for public consumption.) Yet another gal brought in some things I think she called retractors. They look sort of like plastic cutlery that has been melted/morphed into tools for pulling your cheeks out of the way so they can get a good close-up of the teeth. They took a few shots while I stretched my face like a fool for them, then showed me what they got. The best description is that it looks like the "before" in one of those Before & After ads at the back of a cheap magazine. Anyway ... that was it. Dr. L asked me if the day's procedure was too awful, and I had to admit I've hurt myself worse with dental floss than what he did with ElectroSurge.

Enough of that. Here's Penny W's latest (she quilted this here this morning):

... and here's a corner of Cindy M's latest: