The magic of complaining

It seems that I complain a lot.  Well, I know, I DO!  However, it seems that there is always a little magic involved in complaining.  Generally, when I complain about something, it goes away.  I have been having trouble eating every since I got back from my quilting retreat.  I finally started complaining about it yesterday, and now it seems it is easier to eat.  Go figure!  I don’t know what it is.  Anyway, I managed to eat almost a cup of very thick soup I made at lunchtime, and then managed a small low-carb tortilla pizza for dinner.  No horrible pressure from the stomach telling me that there is no room!  If this keeps up, I may actually get a decent amount of food in me today.  Not that I’m worried about starving to death, but I tend to feel really tired when I don’t eat enough.  I’m trying to clean the house.  My nephew and his wife are coming this weekend and I’m really not prepared.

I also need to get some quick drawings done for my Baltimore Bunnies customer, so I can see what she would prefer for the quilting.  She likes echo, but I think, because of the intricacy of the applique’, echo might end up looking like a big blob of nothing on this.  We’ll see.

Oh!  I just realized that I need to select my MQX classes tonight so I can get my registration in the mail.  Oh what a busy and fulfilled life I lead.  I don’t know how you ordinary folks stand it.  😉

Well, at least it’s not Monday anymore!

I left work early yesterday to get my allergy shot and then get my teeth cleaned.  It turned out the dentist had a death in the family and high-tailed it out of there right before I arrived.  They didn’t want to clean my teeth without him — all he does is come in and inspect the work after the hygenist is done — but I didn’t want to say we didn’t need him after he had just suffered a sadness.  So, I went and got gas in the car (nearly $3/gallon), bought some cat food, and then whipped into Costco for some stew beef.  I had a hankering for some soup!  I got the beef and also picked up some new pajama bottoms.  My current ones usually fall down on my way to the bathroom at night, so it was time.  I did check that it said Ladies pajama pants, and they were two pair for I think $11.  I got them home and took them out of the package, and the size large looked as though it was made for kids!!  I was so ticked that I would have to return them.  Then I thought — well, I might as well see how tight they are.  They fit!  With room to spare.  I guess I just can’t see how far I’ve shrunk yet.  I quilted a bunch more on the wonky dresdens last night and went to bed at a decent hour, but couldn’t really sleep.

Today was a busy, but accomplish nothing day at work.  I finally got approval to take the promotion and tenure files to the Dean’s Office.  I loaded them up on the dolly and hauled them over there.  I got back and paid a few bills, then had to try to install the network printer drivers on a faculty member’s new computer.  Well, even though I supplied the dang thing with the IP address, after setting up the TCP/IP port, it still couldn’t find the printer, so I got the disk and tried to load it from there.  It would not find the correct printer driver, so even though I could make the connection to the printer (our copier), I couldn’t get the device status so it would form the tray assignment and allow for two-sided printing, stapling, three-hole punching, etc.  It would allow a generic driver for the machine, but not the specific one I have on my computer.  I tried finding the driver on the internet and downloading it, but that didn’t work either.  I finally gave up and called the technician at about 4:00.  He should be over in the morning.  I have installed these drivers on every machine in the department.  I have no idea why it won’t work now.  Geez.  I’ll probably wake up at 3:00 a.m. and realize what I did wrong.  I hate it when a computer thinks it’s smarter than me!!

I got home and cleaned the kitchen (big job) and cut up all the stew meat, froze half of it, and started my beef soup.  I made beef, tomato, green bean, barley, and corn soup.   Not really thrilling, but it tastes good to me.  It seems that about the only things I can manage to eat these days are soup and cottage cheese with fruit.  I think I may be developing a stricture in my new stomach.  That means that the opening into or out of the stomach has begun to narrow, and when I eat anything with substance to it, it becomes really painful.  I have to eat very slowly, chew very well, and have more liquidy things to eat.  If it doesn’t loosen up, I may have to go have it stretched out.  They do the upper endoscopy and put a tool down there to stretch things.  I really don’t want to have it done, but I’m not eating much lately.  I managed 645 calories today.  I can’t put another thing in there — had to have some skim milk to get my protein up.  I won’t let this go too long if it doesn’t get better.  I just don’t want to have to go to the doctor again.

Well, I hear my pillow calling my name.

I made the leap

I have been considering, for some time now, replacing my washer and dryer.  Mine are at least 17 years old and are showing signs of wear and tear.  They work, but not well, and are energy guzzlers to boot.  So, today, I finally ordered my Whirlpool Duet Sport Washer and Dryer.  Yipes!  A bit spendy, but they will save tons in water and electricity costs.  It took me a while to find a front-loading washer with a soak cycle for those whole cloth quilts I’m so fond of making, and this one looks as though it will do that well.  I’ll end up getting $120 in rebates from my utility companies (I have a gas water heater, but electric dryer), and I think this is the last year you can get a tax credit for buying energy star appliances.  I will also donate my old washer and dryer to Goodwill or St. Vincent de Paul, so I can write the donation off on the taxes.  I think I will actually come out ahead of the game in the end.

I quilted up a storm on the Dresden Plate yesterday.  I should post pictures.  I took a few of the lovely C and D cup blocks before I cut some extra 14″ circles of batting and added them in.  I think the quilt will come out great now.  I was actually liking it by the time I shut the switch off for the night.  More quilting on the agenda this evening.  After I get my allergy shot and have my teeth cleaned!  Big day for me.  😉

Linda in Onederland

I thought I would never see the day. When I stepped on the scale this morning, it registered at 199.0. I nearly fainted. I don’t think I’ve been below 200 (plus) pounds in about 15 years. No matter how much I dieted, how hard I exercised, I just couldn’t make it under that bar. And now I’m there. Yesterday, I was 200.1 — I almost skipped weighing today, figuring I’d be up a half pound or some other such nonsense, and I didn’t want the frustration. I’m so glad I took the chance. On top of that good news, it’s FRIDAY, it was a gloriously beautiful Fall day, and even though I tortured my back finalizing the promotion and tenure files for two of our faculty, I have finished the project and can deliver them to the Dean’s office on Monday morning. I’m on the couch with my buddy Vincent, and a nice Therma-care pack. I’ll try to tidy up a bit before bed, then tomorrow it’s quilt, quilt, quilt. I want that Dresden DONE!! Then it’s on to two quilts with the Circle Lord King Spirals template (should be a breeze, but one of them is a two-sided T-shirt quilt), and then it’s on to the Baltimore Bunnies. This cute little applique quilt is more my speed. After that, I have two more customer quilts, then I need to make a few baby quilts (probably simple all-over whole cloths or something using Renae’s Rays), and then it’s ME time. I’ve got that whole cloth drawn out, just have to figure out how to make it come out on sateen, as I want it to. Plenty of time to think.

Of course, in the meanwhile (and in all my spare time) I need to clean up and do laundry because I’m having company next weekend. My nephew and his wife will be coming down from Seattle. They are the most darling couple. I love them both. Nick is a whiz with computers and his wife Miriam is such a calming influence on him. He was a very troubled youth until they got together. Now he is excelling in his job and looking forward to his future. They’ll do some Christmas shopping and hang out with me and the rest of the fam. It will be fun.

That was fun

Well, the retreat was mostly very fun.  The food was good — lots of good protein, even though I couldn’t eat much.  I wasn’t at all tempted by the chocolate fudge cake on Friday night and even less so by the apple pie on Saturday night.  I did try my first piece of whole-grain bread.  I ate about 1/4 of the slice before realizing it was not for me.  I won’t try that again for a long time.  It sat in my stomach like a rock.  I took a big piece of cotton sateen to mark my next whole cloth.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the darn thing to hold still long enough for me to mark it.  Even the registration lines came out all wonky.  So, I got up really early Saturday morning, slipped out of my room and drove into town and cut and washed a big piece of white muslin.  I was able to mark that with no problems whatsoever, so I now have a muslin whole cloth to make.  Renae has recommended that I put the design on Totally Stable and then iron it onto the sateen to make it work.  I may do that — it depends on how quickly my back will forgive me from bending over that table for the weekend.

I have begun physical therapy with the good-looking therapist.  I believe he is intent upon killing me, but I have been doing my best to follow his instructions.  I now own a big black styrofoam roller in addition to the white one I already had.  I also already had the exercise ball, and I have a pilates performer, so I should be good to go.  Either I will die from the pain or I will come out of there one buff, hot mama!  😉  I will see the neurologist on Thursday — he went over my MRI with me before I had the spinal injection there, and I want him to really go over it in detail with me this time so I can see if I really have all the problems the neurosurgeon told me I do.  I personally think she’s nuts.

Anyway, other than getting old and falling apart, life is great.  The weather in Eugene has been typical Oregon fall.  Very cold and densely foggy in the mornings, sunny and warm in the afternoons.  It’s usually like that all of October, but for the first half we had cold and rain, rain, rain.  I’m glad the normal fall is back.


I should be home this weekend, feverishly working on customer quilts, but I’m going on a quilting retreat.  I’ve earned it and I’m going!! Our group, the “Getaway Girls”, is going to stay in one of the lodges at the US Basketball Academy on the McKenzie River, just east of Blue River, OR.  It is so lovely there.  I think it is also called the McKenzie River Conference Center, but the extra long beds and bathroom sinks that are nearly at chest height give away the fact that it was designed as a place for very tall young men.  They generally have a group of youngsters from China training there.  They are usually about 15-17 years old and average somewhere around 7′ tall.   They are learning English while they are there and sometimes will talk with us in the dining hall at meal time.  Very nice, respectful kids.  But then again, how could they be mean to a bunch of old quilty ladies?  I am considering leaving my sewing machine home.  I’ve got a big piece of sateen in my bag, 12 blue markers and a couple of eraser pens — I’ve got Renae’s Rays and a huge drywall ruler in the car, and I think I will take my ironing board and full-sized iron with me.  Yep – it’s whole cloth design time!  If the guild wants one for the raffle quilt, I can show them how to do it.  This one is going to be one of my show quilts.  I hope it comes out okay.  I’ve got the design picked out and the center ready to go.  Now I’ll just have to plan borders and inner fill.  I hope I’ll be able to see the design well through the fabric, as I am tracing instead of using stencils.  I may also take a bit of muslin and design a couple of small baby quilts with Renae’s mini rays.  People seem to be having kids everywhere, and I never have a quilt when I need it.

I thought I would spend the evening getting ready for the retreat.  Actually, tonight was guild night and I really wanted to pop in for just a while, but I fell asleep on the couch shortly after I got in the door.  We have two promotion and tenure cases open for two of our faculty in the department and, of course, all the materials (or most) were ready today to be assembled for the rest of the faculty to review on Monday.  So, I spent the better part of the day making six copies of each file (12 total), sorting, assembling, filing out forms, getting reviews signed, and then binding the stuff together.  It is, unfortunately, back breaking work, and since my back is already nearly broken, it wasn’t fun.  I am, however, the only one who remembers what goes where, so I do it myself.  Too many cooks can be a disaster in this case.  I finished it all by 4:15, but since I had arrived at the office at 6:30 today, I was whipped.  I figured I’d come home, take a pain pill and relax before the meeting.  I didn’t take the pain pill and fell fast asleep.

So, it’s getting late, but I’ve got more packing to do.  I need to leave instructions for my kitty cat/house sitter (my niece), and then I’ll be off around noon to head up river.  A lodge in the forest by the river with fabric involved.  What could be better?  I know — if I could take you all with me.

Oh!  I have to stop at the post office before I leave and get my Hang-up!  It is a quilt hanger, made by the Hang-ups Company, that I will use to hang my first whole cloth, For Clara, in my living room.  It’s time she came home to roost.  Her traveling days are over.

The Hobbit’s Life for Me

I’ve always chuckled about the eating schedule of your typical hobbit.  First Breakfast, Second Breakfast, Elevensies, Luncheon, Afternoon Tea, Supper, Dinner, Etc.  Well, I can’t eat a heck of a lot, and cakes and ale are certainly not on the menu, but I seem to have adopted the Hobbit’s eating schedule.  When you can only eat a little bit at a time, it seems that’s all you do!  Well, and then there’s drinking all that water.  Sigh.  It doesn’t leave much time for quilting, but I have managed to do a bit of that lately.

I’m working on finishing a second dresden plate.  This thing is in rough shape, but I’m determined to make it pretty.  The borders are done with the Circle Lord Rope Template, so they look great, I used a stencil that Teresa L selected for me at NW Quilt Expo for the corner stones, and used the Marvy Markers that Ronda’s Mom sent me to get them on there.  It truly takes a village! 😉  I’ll do as much of that as I can until Friday around noon, when I will depart for my quilt retreat at the US Basketball Academy up the McKenzie River.  It is truly a beautiful spot and I look forward to going.  Except, our group has been asked to design and make the raffle quilt for our guild, and they tell me they are thinking wholecloth.  If we end up doing that, I can see this as a big job for me, unless they want me to mark it and they can hand quilt it!!  In the meanwhile, I think I may take some big rulers, some stencils I have, and a couple of big print-outs I have and spend the weekend designing a whole cloth.  I still have the Sultan’s tray to do, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to pull that one off by the MQX deadline — too many customer quilts in the wings waiting to get on the machine.  So, I’ll settle for a faux trapunto quilt that can be just as gorgeous!  Im also considering making (but not this weekend) a gown and wrap, since I will need something to wear on formal night when I take my cruise of the Bahamas in January.  What a full life I lead!  LOL

The steroids are keeping the pain at bay in my back for now, although I have had to do lots of running around today and I’m thinking a pain pill might not be a bad idea before it gets awful.  I went to physical therapy yesterday and my very hot physical therapist (sigh — totally wasted on a fat old lady!) tells me he doesn’t think I’m in as bad shape as the neurosurgeon seemed to indicate.  So — there is hope, I have PT visits scheduled clear up until Christmas — they saw that my insurance pays at 100% and pounced on me!  I think they’d squeeze in all 60 allowable visits if they could fit me on their calendar.  They tried to get me in for Friday, but I told them NO — I’m off quilting!!