It smells good in here!

I had a doctor’s appointment today towards the west end of town, so I went a little further and went out to the farm produce stands to the northwest of town.  I got some wonderful things.  Butternut squash, onions, green beans, garlic, carrots, apples, pears, and a great big pumpkin (which Ozzie thought was a large orange ball, but we’ll make a Jack O’lantern of it before the end of October).  When I got home, I did a lot of vegetable chopping, and then put all the veggies in a foil lined pan and drizzled it with olive oil.  Then popped it into a 400º (hey!  I got the degree sign!) oven and roasted all those wonderful things.  They will now go into some nice chicken soup.  I’ll most likely put the crockpot on tonight before I go to bed, and I’ll have great soup for tomorrow, when it is supposed to be cool and rainy!

One of those magical fall evenings

I had a very full day today.  I got up and was having coffee in my jammies, reading my email, when I got a call that a friend needed a ride home from the hospital.  Margaret had taken Joannie and Pete to the hospital yesterday, so Peter could have back surgery, but they had no way to get him home today.  So, I did a quick change, drove to Riverbend, and there he was, up, walking around, and all ready to go. Amazing what these doctors can do nowadays.  Got him home, visited a while with Joannie.  I came home, grilled some tri-tip and had steak salad for lunch (much to Ozzie’s glee, as he gets a little of what mom has, usually).  Then I went upstairs and quilted till I wilted, came down, did some business bookkeeping, headed off to guild board meeting (needed to present bills for reimbursement), came home, and now I am enjoying a very small dirty vodka martini in the backyard.  It is an exceptionally fine evening.  It was about 85* F today (the degree symbol never works on my computer), but the sunset was lovely and the crickets are now singing in the backyard.  There is a very slight crescent moon near the northwest horizon, and the stars are just beginning to come out.   A jet is just leaving the Eugene airport (to the northwest of me) and I can see it’s running lights headed, most likely, for San Francisco or Los Angeles.   Ah, it’s banking, and will most likely fly right over the house.  Sufficient altitude, however, that I don’t really hear it up there.  Just a slight whine of the engines.  This is the life.  Quiet, calm, enchanted.  Did I tell you how much I love retirement?

REAL people!

I’ve been cranking away at the quilts, but took a break today to go and have fun with some real (non-virtual) people!  My friend Joannie had to take her spouse to the hospital for back surgery, so she and our friend Margaret were in town.  We had lunch at Cafe’ Yumm.  Lots of carbs on the menu, but I ended up having Mamma Leone’s Chicken soup.  It was really good.  It was so nice to sit and chat with tangible people and to get some hugs.  I’ve gotta do this more often.

Time to get cracking!

It has been a bit hard to put my nose to the grindstone lately.  Late summer/early fall in Oregon is always a gorgeous time of year, and it’s hard to stay inside when the weather is so fine.  It’s also almost impossible to stay in when you have a dog!  (Who convinced me to get a dog?  She really should be shot).  Anyway, this morning is cool, gray, and drizzly.  It’s absolutely beautiful, but a good day to stay in after taking the dog for a walk.  I did buy a set of golf umbrellas at Costco yesterday.  I put the smaller one in the car for when we need to stop and take care of business while on trips, and the other is by the front door, for our daily walks in the neighborhood.  Rain never stops us from walking, but there’s no reason why I have to get soaked in the process.  I have two umbrellas that are in fairly decent shape, but they are so old that water now leaks through the canopy.  These golf umbrellas also have the vent in them half-way down that makes them more resistant to wind gusts.  I think we’ll be doing well with these.

I picked up two more quilts yesterday from my customer Sue.   She does such nice work and I can’t wait to dive into her quilts.  One of them is a large sampler – she wants something simple, but I think I might find a stencil that will look good in each block and then find a unifying sashing design to pull it all together without getting way too fancy.  It’s much too nice of a quilt for an all-over.  I told her I’d send her some ideas.  I have another coming later this week for Laurin and another for Marilyn coming soon.  The holidays are coming, so I expect the pace will be picking up.  Since I’ve had a fairly steady stream coming, I’d best get them all done so that I’m ready for the rush.  At times it’s good to know we have several longarmers in the area, as there are lots of quilts to go around!

Another reason to get finished up is that October is my big quilting retreat month.  MQX is coming right up and then my semiannual retreat to Silver Falls.  I’ve got my house/pet sitters lined up, projects to work on, and friends to meet up with.  Did I mention that I love autumn?  Off to quilt.

It’s frickin’ freezin’ in here, Mr. Bigglesworth!

The one thing I miss about being very fat:  warmth.  Ever since losing 85 pounds (and, perhaps it’s more now, but I haven’t been on the scale lately) I have been freezing.  I remember when I was heavy, thinking that anything above 72 was so HOT.  Now I don’t seem to get uncomfortable till we hit 85 or above.  The weather changed yesterday.  We got our first measurable rain in two months, but the sun came out from time to time and it was a reasonably nice day.  This morning, it is COLD.  60 degrees outside.  65 in the house.  I have on my full complement of clothing, plus a hooded sweatshirt, wool socks, and my Wicked Good shearling-lined slippers.  I just had to go retrieve my winter box of Little Hotties Toe Warmers and put some in my slippers.  I thought my toes would freeze right off.  I need to shower, as I have to pick up more quilts today, but am loath to strip down and jump in the shower.  Of course, the hot water will feel wonderful once I get in there.  It is supposed to warm up again on Wednesday, and I refuse to turn the furnace on this early.  Perhaps I’ll have to make something in the oven (roast veggies) so that I can generate a little warmth in here.

Last winter I bought myself a bolt of Moda toile fabric and my intent is to make some quilted curtains to help keep drafts out and energy bills low this winter.  I guess I’d best finish up the customer quilts and get that yardage on the machine.  It won’t be too long before I need my quilted curtains.  I’m so cold!

Back in the saddle again

Okay.  Enough of being ill.  I’ve thrown the ball for Ozzie, taken him for a walk, I’ve had chicken soup for brunch, and I’m headed back upstairs to quilt.  I originally didn’t have anything scheduled until late in this week, so I’d best get my act together and finish off my backlog so I can be caught up when the next quilts arrive.  I’m expecting three at least, along with the possibility of some miniatures for a friend.  I discovered that part of the reason I was so tired yesterday is that I had forgotten to take my medications.  I have a metabolic disorder that is helped by taking phentermine each day, and it’s amazing how quickly I seem to run out of gas without it.  I’m trying to get myself some more natural remedies (vitamins, herbs, etc.) so I don’t have to rely on taking these obnoxious substances much longer.  It feels good to be headed back to the quilting machine.  I managed this little piece of sewing over the last few days, just to get my fingers limbered up again.  I think I’m good to go.

Just a simple folded hot pad that was more pressing than sewing really, that still requires a binding and, next time, a more contrasting fabric for the middle.  Oh – I forgot to say this is a pattern from PlumEasy patterns and it was plum easy.  It does, however require quite chunk of fabric, but I’ve already devised a method for remedying that.  I’ll test it out later when I’ve had some quilting time under my belt.

The Cure

Well, I thought I was feeling pretty good.  Got up this morning, did a little quilting, and headed out to my sister’s to get some produce from her garden and take the dogs for a walk.  It was a gorgeous day, got some tomatoes and some squash, went for a nice walk, came home, scrambled a few eggs and sat down on the couch.  The next thing I knew, it was about 5 o’clock.  I fell fast asleep on the couch.  So, I got up and made a big pot of chicken soup.  I’d taken some chicken out of the freezer yesterday, and chopped up a whole bunch of vegetables and made soup.  As we know, chicken soup is a good cure for what ails you.  I sure hope it helps to restore some energy to me.  This cat bite has taken way too much out of me.

That darn Judy! ;p

Do any of you read Judy Laquidara’s blog?  It’s patchworktimes.com  I’ve never met Judy in person, but we’ve been friends on line since 2004, when I bought my APQS machine.  She held my hand through many of my initial trials and tribulations with my longarm.  We’ve chatted on the phone and we email, and I just love her so.  Well, if you know of Judy’s blog, you know she’s not just a quilter.  She’s an author, a mother, a wife, a dog owner, a whiz in the kitchen (she cooks great stuff AND she cans a lot of things too), and she knits.  She’s probably got a million other talents too, but those are the ones of which I’m aware.  Anyway, Judy was talking about making a sweater to celebrate finding a new house (she and Vince have been looking for 10 months!), and she had a very cute pattern on the blog today.  Well, I read back a few posts, and she had this really, REALLY cute cardigan pattern there, so guess who got a wild hair and decided to get it (and the yarn to go with?).  I have so many projects, but this is one that I can take with me when I have to go to the doctor (been doing too much of that lately) or when I can’t be home at my longarm machine.  Most of you know that I’m always freezing anyway — fall is here and winter is coming, and a nice worsted wool (merino) sweater will be just the ticket.  Now, I have to keep from visiting all these wonderful sites Judy writes about, or I’ll be in the poor house in no time.  I think, however, this sweater will be great, and not too expensive.  I just hope I stick with it and get it done.  I guess it’s not really Judy’s fault anyway.  It was her friend Denise who got her going on the sweater, and it just sort of snow-balled from there.  This on-line chatter stuff can be dangerous at times.  Anyway, I find out the best stuff from Judy’s blog.

I started back to sewing/quilting tonight by making a potholder.  I’ve been thinking of making some of these for a holiday bazaar we will be having.  Mostly Getaway Girls selling their wares at Our Sewing Room in Springfield.  I think there should be some really nice stuff there, and I don’t have to sit and sell it.  The shop owner will sell it for us, and the commission she is getting is very small, so it’s more than worth it.  I think I have enough dexterity back in my hand to go back to quilting now, and I’ve finished the last of the antibiotics, so I don’t need to worry about being queasy from them any longer.  I’ve really felt a renewed sense of wellness today – like coming out of a fog.  So, it’s after midnight, I’m pooped, and I’m off to bed.  I’ll get up and finish up a family tree quilt in the morning.  Get the binding on it, and hope to mail it Monday.  Then I have another quilt to get done and I’m expecting another three in at any moment.  Just a revolving door, one in, two out, three in, two more out, three more in.  The Christmas rush is coming.  Get those quilts done early!  Anyway, night all (or good morning a little early!).

And, the first day of autumn, of course!

What an absolutely beautiful day today.  87 degrees – still feels like summer, but the rain is supposed to be here by Sunday and it will be cooler.  Oz and I got up and played ball in the back yard and then took a walk.  I think I’m finally starting to feel back to myself.  Living with a really bad infection in your blood is not fun.  I’ve felt like someone stuck a hypodermic in me and sucked out all the juice.  Not to mention feeling really sick to my stomach every time I had to take another antibiotic (never mind cleaning those nasty cat-bite wounds — ewwww!).  My hand is healing up.  I can nearly make a tight fist today and grasping is getting better and better.   I think I’ll start back to quilting and sewing tonight.  I need to catch up.  Do watch out for those kitty cats.  Junior seems to be feeling better, but he has fallen a couple of times while trying to get into his kitty perch in the window.  I’m not sure if it’s something serious and part of what was making him grouchy, or if it’s just an after effect of having had general anesthesia a few days ago.  I hope he’ll be all right.

The last day of summer

Well, it had to come.  The last day of warm sun and long days.  Our forecast really fits the change of seasons.  It’s supposed to be in the mid-80’s today, and then much cooler and cloudier tomorrow and Friday, followed by probable rain on Sunday.  However, this is the Northwest, where summer generally lingers on into October.  I’m sure we’ll have warm and sunny days ahead, even if they are much shorter.  I’ve enjoyed a couple of the warm evenings in the back yard with the dog, as I haven’t been quilting much due to my cat bite.  I can actually make a fist today and can grip things, so I think I may be back in business!  Just in time for the cooler weather.

Lots to do today.  I seem to have let the house go while I’ve been lying here feeling incredibly ill from this infection.  How can one person (and a dog and two cats) make such a mess in three days?  Geez.  Luckily, it’s only a small cottage, so it won’t take that long to clean up.  We need a thorough vacuuming today.  I saw on the news last night that this is the worst year for fleas in a long time.  I had not noticed any in the house, but Ozzie is scratching despite an application of Revolution, and Junior’s main problem was fleas and flea allergy.  My sister is coming and we need to shop for a new modem for her.  I’ll be taking the technologically-challenged to Best Buy this afternoon.  Apparently, the new Century-Link has you over the barrel as far as usable modems.

So, quilts to quilt, a quilt to make for my physical therapist (in process, but need to speed it up), and items for a holiday bazaar to make.  Just little purses, hot pads, tea cozies, etc.  I think it will be nice (knowing the participants) instead of cheesy, so I’m sort of excited about it.

All of you please enjoy the last day of summer.  To my friends in the upside-down part of the world, enjoy the coming of spring!  Off I go.