Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Painted Bedroom

Yay! I've painted my bedroom!  For the first time in MONTHS, like before Chrsitmas, I don't have paint cans and paint stuff waiting on my bedroom floor.  And it turned out exactly like I wanted.  One "popping" wall, Belieze Sherman Williams, and three relaxing walls, Koi Pond, also SW.

And would you believe, I found a coverlet at Target, half off, with the same colors, just a little lighter.  Reversible.  I am pretty darn happy about all of this.

June is my birth month, and my year goal is to work on my house, all those little projects that will make it so much better.  I'm starting just a little early.  Front door paint.  Shelf and new fan in the kitchen.  Painting the other bedroom.  Outdoor masonry paint.  Can't wait.   

Monday, May 28, 2012

Hot Memorial Day

Not sure if I remember a hotter Memorial Day.  When I was in high school, I'd march with the band in the Memorial Day parade, ending up at the cemetery.  School was just out for the year and summer was just beginning.  We wore black bermuda shorts.  I'm just sure it was never this hot.  After the parade I'd listen to the Indianapolis 500.

I got some gardening done early today.  I decided, for no particular reason, that 90 minutes of gardening = 45 minutes of workout exercise.  Now that I've determined this, I'm sure my yard will look better in no time at all.  I planted everything I had to plant and loaded up at Lowe's for round two.  The smaller containers of Knock Out roses were reduced from $15 to $5, which made me happy, and I got two.  Lots of pink vincas, too, also on sale.

Thanks to my neighbors for the plate of pancakes, to Patti for the cookout, and to Steph and Mike for sharing the kids and their Slip 'n Slide. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Aaron has gone to the same preschool since he was six weeks old, and a few of his classmates have been with him the entire time.  This fall, though, he will be heading to a different pre-kindergarten program.

So, on a warm May evening, he graduated from preschool with his friends.  His sister graduated two years ago, and the ceremony was much the same, except that Aaron opted to sing a solo, which Nora would have certainly declined.  

Nora and her dad missed the graduation because she was playing softball.  She had a good evening too, getting hits both times she came to bat.  Back at home, Aaron hoped that Nora could read the same book as the night before, but this time her homework book was about floods.  Even so, Aaron sat close to her and listened, enjoying having his sister read to him.

He was never been especially willing to sit still long enough to be read to, but apparently he is willing to make an exception when Nora reads.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Take Two

Take two for the pink baby quilt, this one for a shower gift for a co-worker.  Embroidery only, twenty separate hoopings, only not really hooping, because I just hooped a water-soluble stabilizer, sprayed it, then pressed down the quilt.  After twenty careful measurements.  A pink and green border.  Wash and dry like before to shrink the batting a little and make the quilt puffier, plus get rid of that stabilizer.

I do like this one better, although I miss the more free-spiritedness of the other.  I did like the swoops and circles of the free motion. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I Voted

Yes, I voted, and I was the only voter there.  There were only two things on my ballet, although there were more for the other party.  More for the people in the neighboring town, who were voting for mayor.  My polling place is usually the DMV, which wasn't open today.  I wonder whether voting day is a paid holiday for them. 

I like the current system, where voters take a pencil and ballot and fill the ballot out by hand, then put it in the machine.  It seems like the best of both worlds.  Voters can take as long as they need to puzzle things out, but it's still a fast count.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Red Robin

Nora had an away softball game tonight, so I picked up Aaron at school and Steph, Aaron, and I went to Red Robin for dinner.  Aaron was the sweet and well-behaved only child that he loves to be from time to time.  He admired the tv in the floor, got a blue balloon, and put together a couple of times the Thomas puzzle I brought for him.  Absolutely delightful.

As for Nora, her game was rained out in the second inning, just as she was coming to bat.  She wasn't dismayed, just came home and put on her pajamas.  Another day in the life of the first-grade softball player on the third-grade team.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Stolen Photo

Yes, ok, I stole this picture from my daughter's facebook page, but how could I not?  Notice the happy smile, the sparkling eyes.  The championship tee shirt.  Had to do it.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Almost Ready

Just one more, and this group of quilted potholders will be ready to send to my friend Helen for her Todd Mercantile in Todd, North Carolina.  For no particular reason, I thought that twelve would be a good number. 

The house/quilt/fence series was from a long-age and not-to-be-repeated class project on paper piecing.  I never thought it was worth quilting, although I liked it, and didn't know how to go about it anyway.  Like some other things, I found that the cut-aparts were better than the whole.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Not Going to the Show

Even though some beading made a very big difference, this morning I decided that my Maps quilt is not going to my guild's show in July.  I like it much better now, but I don't like it so much that I'll want to think about it hanging there.  It's staying home, in a trunk under the bed.  And maybe one day, I'll pull it out and make a few more changes, or not, and decide that I like it.  Maybe not too.

So now, I don't have to dash around today and get it registered online and get the right kind of hanging strip and sew on a different sleeve.  I can do other things.  My mental inventory tells me that for the next few weeks there will be less sewing and more other things.  That's ok.  I'm feeling pretty darn burned out at the sewing machine anyway.  Too much energy out, not enough energy in.  Can you hear that braking?  That's me, about to go in a different direction for now.  More exercise, more home repairs, more cleaning.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Dual Sport

Tonight I was outside with the grandkids while Steph went to the store.  Aaron was driving the truck while Nora, still in softball uniform, was playing basketball.

Actually it was more than dual sport for her because she went on to playing football.

And she and Aaron both rode bikes.  Great Friday night.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Time to Load It Up

This week I've been spending lots of hours outside and am happy to have my second raised bed in place.  My goal was to do it last month, but it's just as good this month.

And now, it's time to load up both the raised beds and the bed beside it.  I have a lovely rosemary plant from last year and I've put in a creeping rosemary and a parsley in the new bed.  My plans are to have flowers toward the street, veggies and herbs toward the back.  I need some more flowers in the "hill" bed too.  So much more yard work to do, but this is a good start.

I've been pretty quiet about my exercise program this year, but it's going pretty well.  My long-term goal is to climb Mt. LeConte in September without making a total fool of myself.  I exercise about 300 minutes a week, in various forms. 

But here's the thing:  despite all that, my legs are really sore today after putting up the raised bed yesterday and hauling and spreading the dirt.  You'd think that I would be past that, but I guess there are many kinds of muscles.

And one more bit of whining:  I have blisters on my palms, too.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Flower Baby Quilt

This month's theme for the baby quilt group is "flowers."  It's pretty hard to see, but I embroidered lots of flowers then did connecting free motion.  It was very disappointing, not what I had in mind.

Then, when I was putting on binding, fussing I might cut up the quilt for smaller things, I snagged my finger on a pin and smeared some blood spots before I realized what was happening.  Into the washer and dryer it went, and there was just enough shrinkage in the batting to draw up all that stitching and the resulting look was more like what I wanted.

I want to try this again, I think it can be extremely nice, but this one is ok.  No cutting it up.  I'd be happy to have my baby on it.   

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spring Planting

This spring would have been so perfect to have started the yard work and gardening early, but I've been reluctant to do more than the minimum, which means mowing the yard and pulling the biggest weeds.  I know that once I start it will be pretty consuming and I haven't wanted to commit.  But, I want a pretty yard.  A nice garden.

So, in that spirit, I did put flowers in the planter yesterday.  The easiest thing.  They don't look great in the picture because they are totally rain-soaked, which is a good thing. 

I want to paint the masonry along with bottom of the house before I get into serious planting, which is one of the reasons I hate to start.  But, really, how hard can this be?  It's all low, there isn't much.  I can do this, I just need to get going.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Aaron's Day

I felt pretty bad sending the kids home tired and worn out after their Saturday evening/Sunday with me.  Here's Aaron eating his chocolate chip ice cream in the car - which absolutely spoiled dinner for both kids. 

Aaron was disappointed that several of the library's train cars were missing and he spent little time with the trains.  There was still lots of do, though - blocks, Lego's, "pretend" with the bin of hats, and trying to catch a peek at the gerbil, who was absolutely hidden out.

The park at the top of my hill has new playground equipment, nothing big or complicated but perfect for immaginative play.  Aaron had a store with drinks and ice cream, both of which had to be ordered at different windows.  This is the drink window.

The park also had a marked mini trail in the surrounding woods.  Aaron was the happiest guy at finding the yellow diamonds on the trees and being an excellent hiker.

It was a funny day for him, changing from being absolutely happy to struggling and back again.  Guess it's part of being four.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Myra's Dionysus

Mini carnations, aka pinks, on the table at Myra's Dionysus in Cincinnati.  And below, my friend Welda at the restaurant.

Myra's is just a tiny restaurant, plus patio.  I thought that perhaps Dionysus meant restaurant in Greek, but Wikipedia tells me that Dionysus was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, ritual madness, and estasy.

I had really good baba ganoush with whole wheat pita, baked tofu, and edamane.  I'm not sure whether edamane and tofu are Greek food, but they are something I enjoy.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Maps Reveal

Maps.  The theme for the Twelve by Twelve May 1 reveal.  In January a few of us decided to form a small online group to play along, but now, in May, there are just two of us.  Joanne has posted her quilt in this new 12" x 20" format.  Check it out.

Ancient maps were vague because the view of the world was vague.  Sometimes more writing with some vague shapes.  That's my bottom "layer."  A very few years ago, we got maps before we planned a trip.  Studied them.  Looked at the roads and the cities and the grid lines.  When we got home we put them in a drawer to save them for the next time.  Those maps were my next layer.

But now . . . the GPS has come to the fore.  The paper maps stay in the drawer and we follow the voice and pay attention to the arrows and watch our car go up the "road."  Our world view can be very precise and we even use google maps for a picture of where we're going.

You can check back a few posts if you're curious about some of the musing behind this quilt.