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!

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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.