Saturday, February 27, 2021

Move Down, Clean Cups


When I was a young child, my mother read Alice in Wonderland to me.  I was quite taken with the Mad Hatter's phrase, "Move down, move down, clean cups, clean cups."

Today was my "clean cups" day.  Any decorations that were winter or snowman related were put away and the few spring things I have came out.  It's my way of hinting to the Universe, no more big snow or ice storms, please.

I replaced the snowman wall hanging in the kitchen with this flower-y one.  I made it years ago, when Quilt University was a thing.  I really enjoyed those classes.  On Friday evenings the section email  instructions would come and I'd work on whatever it was during the week.  This quilt was applique lessons, normally not my thing, but I still enjoyed the class.

For those of you always looking for a good book - The House in the Cerulean Sea was ready yesterday at my library.  It's a two-week book, which means it has a long waiting list.  It's a little strange so far, but still engaging.  I actually went into the library instead of doing curbside pick-up.  It was like going home.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021



This picture is late to the party.  It is a nice sunny day, temperature is 54 degrees and the icicles have melted.  Still snow though.

But, just in case you didn't know, daylight savings time starts March 14.

I got my second Covid vaccine on Friday, no side effects.  Had my pressure check at the eye doctor yesterday and my semi-annual visit to the dentist today.  Now I can relax.  I am such a medical-phobe.

After my dentist appointment it felt amazing to be outside driving in the sunshine.  I didn't even want to go home.  So, I stopped at the quilt shop to pick up some yardage that I had ordered.  Peter Pan fabric.

I have my fabric labeled for the My Favorite Color is Moda block of the month.  It seemed like so much fabric for one block, then I realized that the block is 36".  I need to start saving for the long armer, I'm sure I won't want to quilt this one.  

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Gregg and Me


My cousin Gregg and me, in Northwest Ohio, many years ago.  I'm guessing that I was about five and Gregg maybe two.  

My snow memory:  when my brother was born, my dad would drive the few miles to town daily and pick up my grandmother to help at home.  Back in the days when new mothers were expected to do less then now.  It snowed one day and my grandmother stayed with us, sharing my bed.  I worried that my grandfather would worry if she was ok, but my parents said calling would be "long distance" and that my grandfather would know where she was.  I guess I started my worrying career early, at age five.

A big day yesterday.  I got my second Covid vaccine.  I was in the "holding pen" afterwards when I heard a voice say, "We are trying to do better each and every day."  A phrase I've heard on the governor's news conference over and over.  The governor had been to the big new vaccination site in Covington and stopped off at my site as well.  As you know, I love our gov and was thrilled to see him.

So this morning, a bit of a sore arm, but less so than with the first shot.  Feeling good so far. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Fat Tuesday


The day before Ash Wednesday.  I had ordered a King Cake for pickup today, but got an email saying that because of the expected snow storm they would be ready yesterday.  This particular King Cake has layers of cinnamon in the dough along with that lovely crunchy colored sugar.  I think I could have happily eaten the entire thing but I shared with a couple of neighbors.

I enjoy these markers of the seasons.  Lent, though, I'm not sure about this year.  It seems as if we have given up much this past year and given much thought to adjusting.  I am not in the mood to dig deeper.  Maybe after tomorrow's service, on Zoom, I will have new insight.

Our expected snow storm was different than expected.  A lot of sleet, finally snow.  Nowhere near the projected huge amounts of snow.  And so, on to the next one in a couple of days.  Then warmer weather on the weekend.  But for today, shoveling.

I am lucky - every hour or so a plow would come roaring by in my hilly neighborhood.  A friend called to ask what my plans were if I lost power.  I hadn't worried about it.  I am more concerned about not being able to get to the vaccination clinic on Friday for my second shot.

I've taken a quilting detour, picking up blue blocks that I made at a retreat several years ago.  I didn't like them and they never even made it to the design wall.  Back to the motto - if you're stuck, cut.  I am cutting.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Christmas Tree Quilt

Here it is, just what I wanted.  A quilt project that could be quickly finished.  Pattern is by Fig Tree & Company and size is 26" x 36".  It uses a charm pack, some background fabric, and fabric for the outer border.  All during the free motion quilting I kept telling myself to spread out the quilting and that did keep me away from the tight quilting that takes so long.

I did dig out my car.  I had asked the grands if they would help but then Aaron hurt his wrist in a sledding accident (the Urgent Care doc said not broken) so I decided to go ahead.  And it was fine.  I am not quite the weakling I felt like I might be.

Good thing, as there may be a lot more snow coming on Monday.  I went out early this morning to get Ice Melt at the hardware store but they were out of that and also rock salt and anything related.  I had just come from the gas station and had seen a stack of rock salt and headed back that way.  The pile was half gone in just that short time.  After I did a few errands I glanced at the gas station on the way home and the pile was gone.  Rock salt isn't my first choice but I am happy to have it.

This time, I'll shovel every few hours to keep ahead of the snow, hoping it isn't heaviest during the night.  I won't be disappointed if the forecast is all wrong and we get nothing.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

And Yet, Here We Are


I am sort of tired of seeing all the snow pictures.  And yet, here we are.  What I was really struck by was the snow on the ornamental grasses.  And the snow on the table on the covered porch.  How did that happen?

In the background you can see the hospital where the region's Covid patients come.  It makes sense to have them at one hospital.  Or, recently, two, since there were no more designated beds here.  I am thinking of a woman I had met who died a few days ago after being hospitalized three weeks.  Was she here?  Probably.  Sadness, for her and all the others.

I need to do something about digging out my car.  Which means, actually doing it, not just thinking about it.

This morning I was out of bread so I made biscuits, real biscuits.  My recipe called for freezing the butter and then grating it before adding it to the flour.  I guess that worked because the biscuits were really nice and fluffy.  Not rocks.  And now I have biscuits in my freezer.

And I am wondering - when I bake bread this afternoon should I bake four loaves instead of two?  One loaf will be for the nice neighbor who shoveled my walks.  I do love having nice food in the freezer.  

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Not My Picture


Not my picture.  Steph took it yesterday morning in Cincinnati.  I like the church in the background.  The steam.  The houses.

It was a big snowstorm.  Ten inches where I live.  The most snow we have had since 2008.

And today, another.  Not as dramatic, but it came right at evening rush hour and there was a lot of snow.  My daughter's work is up one of the hills (remember that I told you that Cincinnati has hills) and she and a co-worker are at a hotel for the night.  I am relieved.  She might have slid right down, or more likely, right off the street.  Or, traffic would have been at a stand-still because someone else slid.

My neighbor very kindly picked up my library books when she went out this morning.  My car is snowed in.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Glad Now


This morning I sewed down the binding on this quilt, washed it, and declared it finished.  I hoped for a lot of poof after the washing and drying and that's exactly what happened.  I'm glad now that I did all that tight quilting.

And now, I feel like I have nothing to say.  It's a relief to have something finished.  

So, this morning I started cutting out a Christmas tree wall hanging.  The design wall is filling up again, but just a little.  It's a small project.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Completion and Purpose

Sunrise this morning, so pretty in its winter color.

My design wall is empty this morning, startling in its whiteness.  All the blocks for the quilt I've been piecing are finished.  Every one, even the one I had to redo.  This doesn't mean I'm anywhere near finished, next come the sashings between the blocks.  But it's a goal completed.

I had dreams of having it finished as a Christmas gift, then set those dreams aside - what was I thinking?.  Then my goal was to finish the piecing during January, and this is close enough.  (No picture, it's a gift.)

And so, at the end of this draggy January, I have the little bag of half square triangles, the star quilt quilted, and now a stack of blocks, neatly squared.

The mask project hasn't advanced much, but that's ok, I've been giving away masks from time to time.

Having learned my lesson, I have the beginnings of a smaller project on the floor beside my chair.  I was running out of design space.

Yesterday I went to Aaron's school to pick up his band instrument.  His class went from in-person to virtual this week and since he didn't anticipate that he left his instrument at school.  It was so wonderful for me to drive in the sunshine, to pick up lunch for the grands on my way to their house.  To have an out-of-the-house purpose.  I didn't realize how much I've missed that.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

What Magical Thing?


The groundhog says six more weeks of winter.  Or, as my friend told me this morning, six more weeks of quilting.  (Thanks, Diana!)  There is sunshine today, and snow.

A prompt for today:  What magical thing could I add to my to-do list day?

Not much prompting required here.  Going to the nursery to look for plants. All those plants in lovely colors, everywhere. Hanging baskets, herbs, perennials with their promise of the future, annuals with their color all summer. Roses.  And fertilizer and potting soil. Loading them in my way-back. People wearing their masks. That would be my magical thing.

And another magical thing, it's already on my planner.  A trip to the zoo, two weeks after my second Covid vaccine.  Maybe even with a grand or two, maybe just me.  To see early spring plantings, because the zoo is also a botanical garden.  To ride the train, because it never gets old.  To eat soft serve ice cream, maybe they still have it in blue.  To see, Fiona the little hippo, who as a premmie needed the nurses from Cincinnati Children's Hospital to put an iv drip in those little veins.

And thinking of soft serve, a trip to a local little ice cream store in a small, small town by the Ohio River.  Flavored soft serves, a different kind every week.  Picnic tables under trees.  And, if I need stamps, a tiny post office around the corner.  Never crowded.

This morning, when I walked into the room, it seemed strange to not see the star quilt on my quilter.  Because, guess what, it's quilted.  Now just the binding to go.