Saturday, October 19, 2013

Not Managing __________

Back in San Diego.

Working on a volunteer project that consumes my life until the event, then lingers on afterwards as I'm also the event treasurer.  I've been chairing or co-charing this for a few years.  The other committee members all have out-of-the-house jobs so each year more and more of the tasks fall to me to finish up. They don't realize how much time this costs me.  I'll be glad when this is done.  I told the board I didn't want to do again next year (I hope to be back in Boston then)!  For the new committee, hopefully there will be a professional pre-made system available so it doesn't take as much time to register 1000 attendees.  Thank goodness for Google docs. It's the only way I found to register groups of attendees.  It's easy to find systems to use to register individuals, it's the group buys that take time.

San Diego has nice weather.  Wide and smooth sidewalks, pretty much unused as most every trip is driven. Yards mainly with grass or cactus.  Houses were built at the same time, so my neighborhood has houses all of the 1970's.  Makes for uninteresting walks.

When we first returned in August, I had a week or two to clean up and clear things out. As we had been gone for eight months it was easy to box up things to give away.  So most of the the kitchen and bathrooms are cleared out nicely.  But then the volunteer conference planning kicked in and I had to concentrate on that.  I hope I'm not used to things again and after the event I can proceed with clearing out to make the move easier.

My friend who was at the house while we were gone made me two lovely design walls for quilt projects.  I have moved to the living room and started moving around some drunken path pieces I cut before I left.  (After returning from Boston, I went to the adult ed quilting class where I cut the pieces and found out they no longer have the AccuQuilt Studio Fabric Cutter or the large queen size basting tables, so will probably not be going to that class even when my volunteer project is done.)  I'm glad I was able to cut what I was able to cut.  I'm looking forward to sewing my projects again and know there are classes with the same teacher by different company where the AccuQuilt Studio Fabric Cutter is available.  Like a lot of quilters though I have many projects that are in various stages of progress that will keep me busy for a long time.  I can learn and improve my skills on what I have already in progress.  I don't really need any more fabric or pieces or projects....

But I'm only really managing the volunteer project.  Not managing the yard, meals, exercise or much else. I missed paying a credit card for myself, but am up to date with the finances for the organization.  Things are twisted up and not being done in the correct order.  But after November 2nd things will be easier.

There will be more complaining posts before I really get to sewing again...  Sorry!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

On Daily Projects (Austin Kleon)

If you have a repeatable daily project, you don’t worry about what’s to be done or where it’s going, you just do it.

I love having a daily project: There’s no existential angst. You sit down for 20 minutes and you make something and you’re done.

What I found was that the more I made them every day, the better I got at them, the more interesting they became to me.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Fresh: Photo Prompts

It's enjoyable to spend time peeking in to different people's lives on the web.

I found a site recently with a weekly photo prompt that resulted in some very cool visits.

A very fresh lobster!

Fresh Start - a New House

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Received: Double Wedding Ring Templates from Shelly at Prairie Moon Quilts

I have received the double wedding ring templates.  Per my request they were sent to my address in San Diego - what a nice project to dream about!

Thank you Prairie Moon Quilts
We have until Dec 1st to enter DMR Quilting Challenge.

There are lots of interesting projects at Shelly's Prairie Moon Quilts.  Hope you will all go visit her website.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Project: Fidget Quilts

A friend just sent me this link:

Very sad, but what a wonderful way to practice liberated quilting skills and make a project for someone to use.

I am familiar with the (Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI)) AAQI thru Michelle  This is a fundraiser with the proceeds going towards Alzheimer's research funding.

Keep these two projects in mind!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I'm a Winner: Double Wedding Ring Templates from Shelly at Prairie Moon Quilts

I received an email that I won some terrific looking double wedding ring templates!  

The double wedding ring is a design that really caught my eye so many years ago.  I was visiting a boyfriend's grandmother.  She had yellow background and different designs of red rings on her quilt - beautiful.  

I feel so lucky to have won these - what a great way to start the day to receive that email!

Shelly got the templates as a way to help promote the NYC Mod Quilt Guild DWR Challenge that I've been noticing on several blogs.  Sounds like a fun challenge, I plan to sew a DWR and enter when I return to San Diego.  

Prairie Moon Quilts has several projects herself organized that sound very interesting.  For example a challenge (with prizes) for monthly completion of blocks (AKA The 350 Blocks Project: 2013) and collecting neckties for charity quilts!

You'll want to visit her site to appreciate all she has posted!

Tuesday July 16, 2012: Harvard Vegetables and Trivia Night

Fitbit: 15361 steps, 6.4 miles.

I thought today I would get the personal information into quickbooks - just starting in November or December 2012 - but although I know how to do this there were difficulties as I do not really have a wide range of knowledge.

For example:  I have one American Express account - but four cards.  Just now they have made it so I can download by card which is what I wanted to do be doing all along.  But then I don't know how to code the payments!  I don't know how to split that up....  So instead of getting anything done I went through my files to be sure I had the saved PDFs of the data, etc.  Seems I do have access to the statements for the credit union for a year or so so that is okay.  It was really frustrating to not be done with this - but I guess it will have to wait again....

We went to the Harvard Farmer's Market.  They have the most beautiful display and wonderful choices too.  I got some squash blossoms - I'll have to read up how to prepare them. Another bad influence B wanted to eat at the food carts so had a crab salad slider - yum - and even more yum I got a selection of salads from the Whole Foods cart.  I took photos and will post later, pretend they are here!

In the morning I had written our friends to see if they wanted to meet for trivia night and they wrote back yes - so about an hour ahead of time I left to walk to that location.  I planned my trip so I passed a Rite Aid so I was able to get another sun visor.  They only had four left when I got there so I actually bought two of them so I have a back up - it was hot yesterday but without a visor I knew I would burn up so that influenced my staying in too.

The houses had more space between them than where we are staying, they were very nice.  One has to walk farther though to get to little businesses.  The people there also really have to have cars as the public transportation is sort of spotty.  B took a bus to the trivia night and had to go to Boston then back in - and it took him about an hour too.  He left later so he arrived later too.

It was good to see J&B again.  They have been off to Florida to visit B's mom and then to Virginia to visit J's son.  Sounds like a working trip for J.  He went to buy things to install at their houses and was fixing things.  They got to swim every night in Florida and they enjoyed that a lot.

A wrote that he visited my mom today and she was doing very much better - it was encouraging to him - it was wonderful that he wrote with the update.

So when I went to bed there was a pile of papers on the table, left over from my attempt to be organized.  I think I will just skip doing Quickbooks again for the family information - I'll leave that for another time.  I do still need to go thru and prepare the figures for the 2012 taxes - I didn't have the end of year statements and we weren't home so I only filed extensions for that.  I have to set up the preregistration for the event too.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday July 15, 2013: TV and Quickbooks

Fitbit:  7763 steps, 324 miles

Today it was really hot, and I needed to get caught up in my Quickbooks for our business - so I just watched TV in the air conditioning or worked did the books!  Feels good to be done with that for now that is.  It's like making your bed and some many other chores - never ending.  I do like the way everything is summarized so nicely though.  Next on the list is getting the personal info into a new account in Quickbooks - then I will go back to the conference work.

In the evening I got B to come along for a walk - we went only to Central Square and he wasn't a good influence again as we went to a pizza place.  I got a chicken curry salad - it didn't have a lot of curry.  They just waved the seasoning jar at the salad as it left the kitchen I think.  I also had one piece of pizza....  We went to the Star market to get supplies for salads and breakfast.  Then it was straight home.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday July 14 2013: Longfellow House, Huron Neighborhood, Great Manicure, Davis and Porter Square

Fitbit: 10.54 miles.

Today was a beautiful day - again!

I walked thru Cambridge and Harvard Square.  Stopping in different shops to try and get another sun visor but I was unsuccessful...

I passed the on your honor book table and found a few books - but $8 in the box and went on to Longfellow's house.  I've been here several times, I just enjoy being around the place.  Today they had various events to commemorate the arrival of George Washington.  It was very nice.  I stayed and listened or read some of the information.  I had timed my arrival wrong though so I did not see the reenactment.

On past Longfellow up thru the Huron Neighborhood.  Nice houses.  I found one for sale and sent information to B and went to another one that was for sale and was having an open house.  They had just converted from a two family to a one family house - nice job but we are most interested in multifamily places....

It was a short hop to Massachusetts Ave.  I thought I'd go up to Arlington to a fabric store, but got side tracked when I saw a nail place that was open.

I had one of the best manicures I have ever had - she did a wonderful job shaping my nails - I even had her put nail polish on both my toes and fingers.  I ended up having a hair cut - a razor hair cut and had my legs waxed too for good measure!  What a treat!  I was there for over two hours - there wasn't time for facial...  Maybe I can return before we leave....

I was going to continue to Arlington, but my heart was not into it as the fabric store would be closed by the time I got there and it seemed the path was going thru lots of greenery and I was thinking the bugs would come to get me.  So I circled back and took the bike/walking path back to Davis Square.  There was lots of activity with restaurants and all.  I rang B and he got dressed and took the T to meet me - we ate at Redbones - a popular BBQ place.  We didn't order the right food though so it wasn't a delicious meal for us.

We walked to Porter Square and stopped by the grocery store to get some milk - then took the T home.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Saturday July 13 2013: The Garmet District, Following the Charles to Boston, North End, Dinner

Fitbit: 8.6 miles

Today I slept in a little then did some emails.  Since it was Saturday I couldn't do phone calls that I needed to do - there were several events I had heard about that I wanted to go to.  But then I heard about a flash mob event and tried to get together to do that.  I would have arrived too late so didn't go in that direction.

I kept to one of my plans to walk to MIT then to continue on my walk along the Charles.

Passed by The Garmet district and got a jacket and skirt for my son's girlfriend, a possible shirt for B, and two pairs of pants (one to wear and one to cut up for quilt) - for $7.20!  It's such a fun place to stop into.  Wonderful to get cotton shirts for quilting.

It was then a short distance pass new buildings to the Charles.

I saw a place to rent a kayak.  I spoke to one of the guides from the bridge as they went under - sounded fun. About $20 an hour she said - but I'm not sure if that included the guide time.  Another good thing for my arms and seemed very safe to be in the off shoots of the Charles (at least to start).

It was a different river down there, more tour boats, moored sail boats. For most of the time just a narrow street then larger businesses, hotels, apartments on the left.  Once I got to the Sonrista Hotel (we had stayed there in 2004 with A) it was very near Boston and the walkway along the river ended.  I walked up the stairs and rejoined the cars and bustle of streets.  There was a Macy's and other stores - but my objective was the North End so I continued.  Walking the steps A and I had done together - pass another rowing club, pass the Science Museum.  There was quite a variety of funny looking duck tour busses in front of the museum.

The buildings got quite large - federal buildings or maybe state buildings - government buildings massive but very attractive.  Small places to shop and eat.  I made my way to the North End was still under 10K steps!

Realized the Haymarket T stop was right there - would have saved A and H so many steps if I had known that!

I went in to several pastry shops and got pine nut cookies to comparison taste.  The first shop didn't give me the 50 cent change back - instead he put it in the tip jar.  The cookie was good - but I won't go back.  It was really the only pastry shop without a line, I wonder if others already knew about their tipping policy!

There were lots of tourists but not too crowded.  What a great place to go on a date and hold hands and be with people!  I went to the White Hen and got a banana - took it to  Paul Revere mall to eat. Fun to see people pose for photos for each other.  Called B to see if he wanted to come over but there was no answer.  Went on to explore streets I hadn't seen before.  After awhile B called back and said he'd come over, that I was to find a place to eat.  So then I returned to the restaurants and found nice place that did not have a long line - Deni(sp?) I'll chack the name and will put it here.

I had time to go to Government Center to join hundreds of people to listen to a Mexican Band playing under a temporary tent.  Then I crossed over to the Holocaust Memorial - very moving.  I had passed it with H and her mom but didn't know what it was! Looked like narrow glass boxes then.  Now the etching was clear so I could see there was something to read and think about.

I went to Haymarket to meet B.  We walked over to the restaurant and had a really nice meal.  He got pumpkin tortellini and I got the best grilled chicken cafe salad. Delicious!  We saw them make 16" sandwiches that were on the menu for under $10 - this was a good find.  Many restaurants had lines of people waiting to eat - I was glad to avoid that!  We ended up in line though at Mike's pastry - got a cannelloni with pistachio nuts.  They did not have any pine nut cookies - I forgot my back plan was an eclair too crowded with people.  I had my cookies in backpack so it wasn't a problem when I realized I had forgotten to get the eclair.

B didn't want to walk home, but was okay with walking to Park Street station - it was actually alot closer than the South Street station I had H walk with me.  (Haymarket is where we should have gotten on the T though - I was so new to Boston back then!).  It was a nice walk, and great to feel so connected to the city and to realize how much I had learned about locations. There is so much more to learn though.

We got off at Central and walked back.  Oh I want to live here all the time!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday July 12 2013 Campaign Manager 2008, Mt Auburn Cemetery, The Charles, and Homeless Shelter

Fitbit:  11.15 miles

As I have mentioned before, when I get busy doing things then I have been skipping the blog.  I'm writing this a few days later just to record the memories...

I walked a lot today.  It all started with a freecycle posting for a board game!  The pickup location was near Mt Auburn Cemetery and Fresh Pond.  Places I have wanted to visited but hadn't so far....  The walk was very pleasant - I went up Brattle Blvd pass Cambridge Common, Longfellow House and other nice houses.  There were churches and businesses too.  When I got nearer to the pick up point I called and the lady brought the game to the lobby so I could get it.  What a pretty apartment building - it looked to be a converted factory with such a nice lobby. Pretend there is a photo here!

In the parking lot was Collins Branch of the library so I stopped to visit that while I was looking for a place to eat - and that in the downfall of this part of Cambridge/Watertown.  No places were coming up nearby for cafe, restaurant or coffee!  I did find the a beautiful Str Market so got a chicken wrap and tea and sat on a bench in front of the bank to eat.

Then I went into Mt Auburn Cemetery.  It's a beautiful place - not only filled with memorials, but trees, plants, birds, wildlife and at least two chapels.  They have a book club each month, bird watching tours, etc.  Quite a community thing.  There is a tower to climb to see Boston from afar. I'd like to return in the winter to see in the snow!  It's so large they have street names to help you find your way!

I walked back on Memorial Drive so was next to the Charles.  I passed a private school and spoke with a teacher while we crossed the street - teachers are so nice!  There were rowers on the water.  That was something I had wanted to do while here - to join the community rowing club.  But my mom fell and I wasn't sure we'd even be able to stay so I didn't join when the prices were low...  Next time I hope!  Would be good for my arms to do that!

When I got to the Trader Joe's I went in for something to drink and also got the granola I like so much and some pasta sauce to put on the frozen lobster ravioli we got at the farmer's market in Central Square.

Another 20 minutes and I met Dan at the MIT Student Center.  We then went to the homeless shelter and met Ursula to serve the dinner for around 300 people.  They had a nice chicken parm, pasta, string beans and bread meal.  Another volunteer came late.  He was from Iran - it was interesting to chat with him.  This was my fifth time at the shelter. I didn't recognize as many people as the previous times.  I hope that means those people have found housing and jobs!

We took the bus back to MIT, it was so nice to chat with my new friends.  We made plans to see each other at least one more volunteer opportunity and again next summer.  Ursula and I kidded that we'd be penpals.  We'll see!  Both she and Dan are moving their offices so are very tired from packing things. Dan and I wrote during the days after the bombing - was in Watertown during the shut down...

I ate left over salmon and B ate the leftover beef salad from the Thai place we ate last night.  Then we watched a little TV (the last episode of the Last Detective).

Good day!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

July 4 2013: Peabody Essex, Woodman's and Charles River for Fireworks

We took train to Salem and met up with J&B there - first we went to the Peabody Essex Museum.  We saw the Yin Yu Tang House and the Faberge Revealed Special Exhibit then went through some of the other places too.  The visit was really too rushed I think, but what fun to go thru with others!

The last time we were in Salem our son was with us so we were remembering that trip.  We found some t-shirts for him - hope he will like them.

Afterwards we drove to Woodman's for some seafood.  Most of it was fried and delicious! It's one of those places that people were bring their kids and grandkids too - as their parents and grandparents had brought them.

J&B drove us back to home at the end of the day.  I still do not have a handle on the geography but I don't think it's really out of their way to do that when they are not tired....

After a rest and doing email, it was time for fireworks on the Charles!  B was still working on something but I didn't want to miss the fun so I went down to MIT then joined the crowded to enjoy the display.  We could hear the Boston Symphony music - it was very, very nice.  I texted B and he didn't make it but did come out of the house so we met up and walked back together.

: )

Thursday, June 27, 2013


I'm in Spain now - noticing this stuff in the stores.  I have not seen in the US, wonder if it's unusual stuff.  Seems very interesting....

Added later:  I wrote to two folks I know who do yarn stuff to see if they'd like me to get them some.  I asked for color and amount.  One didn't reply (as I expected I'm afraid as she doesn't seem to always do email, chat or text messaging - but I wanted to make the effort), the other first said no-thanks then said she liked the flowers and for me to get some.  By then I was in Madrid so couldn't get any anyway, but I just needed to know color and amount - I don't see any flowers so that didn't help me.  I found a nice book with Tapas recipes that I sent her instead!)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Book: Happy Endings

This morning heard about this book - sounds like it would be wonderful reference.  The link goes to a webposting with a tip from the author - she has really thought things thru.  Great way to increase the joy of finishing a quilt.

Just take a look at the different  techniques included:
  • Finishing edges without binding
  • Finishing rounded corners
  • Making imitation binding
  • Appliquéing edges to a border
  • Working with sculpted edges
  • Finishing edges with backing
  • Finishing with overlapped corners
  • Finishing with mitered corners
  • Single- vs. double-fold binding
  • Straight-grain vs. bias binding
  • Determining binding yardage
  • Cutting bindings (straight-grain and bias)
  • Continuous bias binding
  • Cutting special fabrics for bindings (stripes, plaids, etc.)
  • Scrappy, scalloped, and sculpted bindings
  • Grandmother’s Flower Garden edges
  • Adding trims, cording, piping, prairie points, lace, and ruffles
(And the above is not a complete list!)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Technique: Easy Strip-Pieces Tumbling Blocks

Easy Strip-Pieced Tumbling Blocks, Marci Baker of Alicia's Attic

Easy way to make a complicated looking block!

This is the tool she uses to trim the pieces before sewing - seems like a great tool.

Technique: No-mark stitch and flip

Great idea - she uses a piece of cardboard to guide her stitching.

Blog post here:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wed June 12 2013: Time Flying

I'm sewing DH's quilt.  Now I have the parts for the center of the block - but I'm wondering if I should change up the setting.... by having only one row between the black squares instead of two.

Well, I guess that will be for another quilt as I see I would have to do a lot more cutting...  Just an idea though.  I guess I shouldn't change the block since I'm involving him in the color placement - he has his ideas so I just need to get this done so I can move back to my own ideas!  With this quilt I was letting him pick the colors and placement - then I will get to do the quilting.  I'm already thinking of doing stippling with black thread - it will be nice.

Hmm... If I cut the rows so they were thinner and the black squares so they were large then the black would be the major part of the project and would be nice spot to do FMQing!  For next time.  It would also be fun to arrange the colors so they go from one shade to the other - and to have the squares also change gradually too...  For another time.

Or here is another possible setting - (I made the mistake of leaving this on the bed and my DH saw and really liked this checker board effect so could be I need to switch so this design is part of the quilt...)  He suggested putting it in the center and having the rest be plain black.....

Here is the original idea - with different colors for the squares - and one modified to show the black squares.

Original idea - each row is from 4.5 inch strip
DH decided he wanted the squares to all be black.
In the plan they really would be the same size.

Monday, June 10, 2013

2 Questions: DH Quilt

The Block
The left over strip after
The six mini unit are cut
I'm finally working on the quilt for my DH.  This photo shows one of the test blocks that I made... The quilt will be 8 of these blocks so it will end up being around 45 inches by 8 feet.

I originally had a different color square for each block, but my DH requested the squares to all be black.  I'm letting him decide what fabrics to use for the blocks and then when they are put together will have him decide the order for the blocks too. He is very opinionated about these things and doesn't seem to always like the choices I have made for my colors or blocks, so this seemed a good way to do it.

In my test blocks I tried to pick one dark, one light and one medium and then either to have a dark or light in the block space.  He has a different vision for this and picked fabric to be next to each other based on the design or the color (putting two blues together for example) - actually I think he would have rather that I just use three fabrics for the entire quilt but I had the fabric that I have so he had to pick different fabric for each block....  So he is getting to pick from the fabric that I have but it will go in the quilt with the block I decided on...

Question 1:  Now that I am cutting the pieces I'm remembering that I will have extra sewn together fabric (in the center of the photo).  I'm wondering what more experienced quilters would do with this fabric?  Seems the choices at this point are to leave uncut or to cut in the same or different sizes.  So what would you suggest?

Question 2:  I used Elmer's Washable School Glue to help me with basting the quilt I just finished.  I'm wondering if it could be used to baste an entire quilt?  Like with a dot of glue every 4 or 5 inches...  What do you think?
Added later:

Fitness Tip

I just saw this @


Did you know? 

If you are not a regular exerciser, 

by the time that you reach 65 

you may experience as much as an 80% decrease in your muscle strength.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sunday June 2: Photo Finish

Woke up feeling ill.  Not a good way to wake up or feel.  I loaded up on all the OTC stuff we had - then went back to the fitful sleep.

Finally now feeling okay.

I spent most of the day either reading newspaper, websites, and unsubscribing from email lists - hours later I still have
86% full
Using 8.8 GB of your 10.1 GB
in the gmail account!

I took the quilt to the backyard to take finishing photos - I still have to find the patch they want me to sign and sew on the piece before mailing it in.

See the beautiful plants and the Buddha that is probably much happier now than in the winter snow.

After I put the quilt down I realized I shouldn't have done that in case I pick up ticks.  Oh well.  Took quick pictures....

I have been thinking about the quilt for my husband.  The blocks are very large - I think I will do the quilting one block at a time, then will join with a regular seam in the front - and using my glue will add a stripe to the back.

It's hard somedays to get going - and today is an example of that.  Just not making good use of time that I have here today.....  81 degrees now at 6:30pm - think I'll go outside for a walk.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Sat June 1: 90 degrees and Baseball Charity Quilt Done

I woke at 9 am all ready to work on the quilt.  After jabbing myself with a pin I decided I needed to get Elmers School glue.  It took some walking in 90 degrees to different stores (Harvard, Central Square, Inman Square) to find the School glue version with the black board - but it was worth it!  After using the glue things went pretty quickly indeed.  I only used a pen in each corner....  I think the puckering in the back carried over to the binding - but it looks pretty nice.

1.  I marked a piece of cardboard to be my
ironing guide so I would crease at the half inch mark.
2.  I added drops of glue, then folded the fabric up again and pressed.
The corners were not perfect... So next time I will be more careful!

3.  The finished top - before washing
4.  The finished back - before washing

We went to Alewife to meet Ba and Bu for dinner at the Summer Shack.

On the way it was fun to see the changes in the trees on our street and throughout Harvard Yard after graduation ceremonies.

On our way back we passed a big party being held in front of the science building - drinking, dancing, talking, fun.
Flower petal snow.
 Harvard Yard was all decked out!
Harvard Yard the day after the last graduation ceremony.
The Summer Shack was nice - I had a grilled shrimp salad, DH had scallops and Ba and Bu both had lobster rolls.  Nice conversation and dinner.  DH and I said our goodbyes then walked from Alewife to Porter Square - then took the T to Harvard and walked home.

There was a final party being held in the area in front of the Science building...

Perhaps the last Harvard party for some - on location of winter ice skating rink.
Now I just need to find the plastic bag they sent the QFK kit to me in, and the label for my name! Then I can wash it and send it on it's way!  I was planning on making two quilts, but this took so much time - I think I'd better make the quilt I promised my DH next!

I actually forgot about the label and went ahead and washed the quilt - looks nice - I'll take and post photos tomorrow.  We watched some TV - then heard this loud noise - then the crash of glass when a poster in the kitchen decided to fall down.  What a drag.  I was glad I had leather gloves to help pick up the shards of glass.  Tomorrow we'll have to mop and mop to be sure we get all the glass up off the floor.

It's still very hot....

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fri May 30: Finished FMQing

Finally!  I finished free motion quilting the baseball charity quilt.

I have trimmed the batting and the backing to one inch all around.

Tomorrow I plan to at least start the binding.

I'm going to follow the directions in this post:
It describes how to bring the fabric from the back forward so it becomes the binding.  I like the way she includes photos of the corners.

Unfortunately the edges of the project were not really straight - I lined up the side with the ruler though and cut one inch away.  We'll how it finishes up as I do the binding work...

My DH is quietly excited to see the progress - I think at first he thought I was actually done and could start again on his quilt....  : (

Oh well.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wed May 29: Out and About (Just A Little)

I haven't been feeling well - a sore throat that turned into a cold knocked me out for several days. Started the day we had a car rented for three days. What a waste for traveling.

Last Wednesday, I went to Boston to help with "Mending Boston". It was an interesting experience - we worked right near the finish line of the marathon to stitch down a work by Clara Wainwright.  I had read the article in the Boston Globe and was able to go to the Old South Church on Boylston Street.

After stitching was shut down I went inside the church for the first 30 minutes of a concert arranged to celebrate the 300th birthday of Wagner.  It was attended by lots of different people, some were dressed up.  I had my black jacket on so I blended in.  Once the tenor finished I slipped out to take the T back to meet DH.  We timed it so he picked up the car and we met at a side street off Central Square.  He got the car to pick up an office chair he had found on Craig's List - we drove thru Watertown and saw buildings we had seen on the news when they were looking for the bombers.

Then after a resting day DH did another pick up from Craig's List, snagging a nice table to fit in the mud room area of the apartment. It's not the nicest area - but it does give him a private space away from the rest of the living area and he can even close the door if he wants to. We had lunch in Natick at Casey's - what a treasure!  (From Yelp Review: Casey's diner is a real old fashioned dining car with no tables, and only about 15 or so counter stools.  The menu is limited to hot dogs, burgers, and a select number of sandwiches - but this is a gem of a place.  The friendly servers are always chatting with the diners, and you get to watch the short order cooks right in front of you.  So you kind of get a meal and a "show" for one low price.  This place IS NOT fancy in any way.  But the people are friendly, the prices are very reasonable, and the food is excellent.) We walked around the town a bit then it was on to Lexington.  We arrived after the historical places were closed - but we walked around after parking the car in the public parking lot and got a good overview of things. The sore throat was bad enough then that we went to CVS to get some meds, then went back to the car and I fell asleep for a few hours.  When I woke the throat seemed better - it was time to met friends for dinner. A terrific place in Lexington - Mario's - had a really good slice of lasagna (and a few bite of chicken parmigiana) and afterwards we had ice cream at a place across the street.  It was really nice to spend the evening with Jo and Ba.

The next morning it had turned into a cold - I spent Sat Sun Mon Tues taking pills and drinking lemonade.  I would try to walk and would get so tired that it was back to the couch for me!  Tuesday I thought to ask DH to get some Mucinex and that seemed to do the trick.  We walked to a little place we hadn't eaten at before for dinner City Girl Diner.  We had a good cup of white bean and kale soup before splitting a slice of lasagna.  I prefer the piece from Mario's though.  Then we walked to Christina's for ice cream.  It was too much to do really.  I took more pills then went to sleep in the bed though so was feeling better!
I haven't been walking much
this past week, but reached
this fitbit milestone today!

Today I finally was able to concentrate on emails - ate well - walked to return my library books then on to Central Square for a hair cut.  Called to get in touch with family and friends.  I'm about 90% - it feels very good.

All this caregiving has worn DH out though and he is very tired today and already asleep as I type.  The other holes in this blog are from days when I am doing a lot of things and just didn't type in the blog.  I'm coding these past few days as being ill though - feels good to be out and about even if it was just for a little today.

I'm listening to thunder and seeing some lightening now - so I will unplug everything and go to bed myself now!

Boston Harbor Hotel Tea for Two on the Hub's Historic Harbor

Just bought a living social deal - if three others purchase with this link then I get for free:

Boston Harbor Hotel

Tea for Two on the Hub's Historic Harbor


Warm scones, Devonshire cream, fresh berries, delicately prepared finger sandwiches -- the perfect accompaniments to the time-honored tradition of afternoon tea drinking:
• $49 ($78 value) for afternoon tea for two at Rowes Wharf Sea Grille
• Finger sandwiches: salmon, Maine lobster salad, Vermont cheddar, and more
• Five-star hotel lauded by Forbes for its one-of-a-kind experiences, like tea time
"The hotel's all-day restaurant makes for a more casual setting than some other teas, but it does have great views of the harbor and rose petals scattered on the tables set for tea lend a slightly decadent touch." -The Boston Globe
A Boston Tea Party
From classic Earl Grey to Lung Ching -- one of China's most famous teas -- you'll be privy to all of the awakening, enlightening, and relaxing effects of the world's finest herbs and aromas. Pair a cup of steaming darjeeling or jasmine with a crumbly cherry scone; then, finish with a spread of fluffy French pastries, including Boston cream profiteroles and assorted fruit tartlets.
Boston Harbor Hotel's Website | Facebook

Will be a nice afternoon with DH....

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thur May 16: More FMQing

I did more work on the top - now about half done with the FMQing.

When I did the second quarter I started to think I should vary the stitching so I put in some stippling, swirls, and what not.  It looks better I think keeping the consist design - except maybe the inner border could be different.

I am enjoying doing the stitching.  The machine is working like a dream - it would be better if I had a drop in table to put it in, but the pinmoors that I got from Leah Day are working like a charm.  They make it so much easier than safety pins or thread for basting!

I do notice the little bubbles of fabric, mainly on the back.  I put so many pinmoors in I'm surprised there are any, but it still will be a nice quilt for someone to have.

So today I just stayed inside until the evening.  Watching TV and FMQing.  It was a nice day.

I'm not liking the quilt itself though - I'm looking forward to being done and being able to work on projects that I can keep or give to my family.

I called the people who prepared my mom's advanced healthcare directive as the dates are not the same on the different pages - hospice noticed this.  The lady on the phone said she would send the correct pages via email.  When we had the documents drawn up they put the pages in the binder - I didn't notice the date discrepancy.  I am not pleased that after all my mom's efforts that there was a mess up - hope they will just send the file and that will be that (that they do not charge for this!).

The tab on the back of my fitbit broke a few days ago.  I have been able to collect the tip and squeeze it back on, but tonight I pulled it off to compare my steps with my DH and the tip flipped off and I can't find it.  It scratches the material I pin it on when I wear it so I wrote to them to ask for a new cover piece.  I don't want to wreck my clothes with the fitbit  It's different than the one I first had, bu this one has lasted only five months so that's not a very good piece of equipment.   I have had several problems with this fitbit - not synching correctly or at all - not holding a charge.  But fitbit would not send me a new one so I have to charge it a few times a week and have to put up with having the website and phone updated when it feels like it rather than when I am near the computer or turn on the iPhone app.  It's a drag. It's fun to know how many steps I take so I hope they will hurry with sending me a replacement.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tue May 14: FMQing

Beginning FMQing on the charity quilt.
Today, finally, I FMQed!  It was my first time here in Cambridge.  I have the sewing machine on the dining room table - I'm unable to do the large stippling that I had planned on doing, but instead I did the sort of woven design in larger than usual size.

I'm not sure how much time what I got done took me.  I bent one needle very early on but that is the only needle trouble.

Had to refill a bobbin - put it in the holder the wrong way.  It was easy to correct and to rip the bad stitched out.

I think tomorrow I will finish this, and will place the design so it fits in the smaller squares.

Watercolor demo
I walked to Central Square and picked up two watercolor brushes and the paint I needed for the class - then I walked on to the library and the class.  There were not enough desks for the number of students that were there.  I wasn't inspired by the demo - so after it was done, I returned to the art supply store to return the items I had purchased today and the watercolor paper that I got a few weeks ago.  There was no trouble with doing that at all as I had the receipts.  I bought a pad of thick paper and a drawing pen to practice Zendoodling.  DS told me he had purchased a  workbook for me on this, I will ask him to look for it and send to me, but even if he can not do that I can practice from website sites!

I called DH to let him know I was not staying at the class and found out he had rented a zipcar to pick up a monitor - so I was able to meet up with him and go to Brighton to pick that up.  It's in Boston - pretty close though.  Very nice neighborhood.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Received: Fresh Off the Spool Winnings!

Danielle was very quick with sending my winnings!  What a wonderful selection of items - I'll start using them tomorrow!  Thank you so much!

Mon May 13: Nothing done

Today all I did was sleep and watch TV.

Oh well.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sun May 12: Legal Seafood

We got Zip Car and met Joe and Barbara and Legal Seafood for Mother's Day Dinner.  Great company - fabulous food.
28 oz steak

Grilled Shrimp

Nut Crusted Salmon and Mushroom Ravioli

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sat May 11: Salad, Bridge and Large Projection TV

Pink Snow -
Tree petals after
wind and rain
Today I woke late again - so after phone calls and emails there was only enough time for me to go to Live Alive to pick up salad for tonight - then I met DH at bus and we went to Wincester to friends'.

White Lilacs
We practiced a few hands of bridge - it was more fun just to do with the four of us without the teacher who really wasn't a good teacher but really knows bridge.  We missed his knowledge, but had more fun and practice on our own.

Then we had stuffed peppers and salad for dinner.

Whole wall TV
Then watched The Forbidden Planet on their whole wall projection TV.

I wasted time in the morning on a Freecycle problem.  Yesterday evening I had seen a notice for some assorted fabric scraps, beads and embroidery thread and had written the guy to say I was interested.  In his reply he gave his address and said it was now in two large trader joe's bags and he was including sewing patterns.  I checked google and saw it was 40 minutes for me to walk to his place.  So I said I could put what I could in my back pack but couldn't carry something that was heavy or bulky for that far.  He wrote that the deal was to take it all and I would need to get a ride to pick it up and take all or to tell him it was off and he would re-post it.  (This was all within a few minutes so I don't know what he meant about reposting it but maybe there is something I don't know about.)  So I wrote he should re-post it and thank you for using free cycle.  Then I reread the notes and wrote again as I wanted him to know that even though I mainly was interested in the fabric I would have taken it all as agreed and freecycled myself the left overs but that I didn't realize there would be so much stuff and so far away.

So this morning I get an email from him telling me to stop spamming him and how clear he had been on the amount of stuff that I clearly wasn't a decent person! So that was a kick in the gut. I reread his original post and did see that I had missed in the title that it was 4-5 bags of stuff - but the size of the stuff was not clear and since he was talking about beads and embroidery thread I guess I was thinking little bags.  Anyway, after thinking about it I decide to just erase all the emails and to hope he had a successful pick up with someone else, and I would be a more careful reader of details on the postings.  I've burned his name in my memory though so I don't respond to any of his postings again!  According to Seth Godin I should have perhaps tried again to fix the miscommunication, but calling me 'not decent' put an end to thinking about about how to do that.

The hospice intake case worker did a really good job of communicating this evening - she was working late to finish up the paperwork.  It would be nice to have email or fax communication so I would be more sure to remember everything, but it was nice to have someone to talk to.

Boy, I really appreciate the time my friend Ci in spending with mom during this time.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tues May 7: Avoiding, Then Finishing

No it wasn't sewing today either.

First I opened the email to find that two of the faxes I sent last night didn't arrive, but the nurse had written to say it was okay for me to send as attachment - so I did that.

Ja wrote and said it was okay for mom to have that hospice provider after all - so spent time notifying people of that. 

Then what I was avoiding was reading applications submitted for an award my organization is giving.

I went walking to a new to us cafe for a sandwich - delicious Cuban roasted pork.  We'll be back to that place for sure!

A few more emails for mom when I returned, then finally to the applications.  I printed out the list of people, read all the entries and wrote notes on each one.  I hadn't been told to do more - so that is what I did.  After three hours I clicked to submit my rankings and ratings for the top three.  It will be interesting to see if my choices overlap at all with anyone else's.

We walked to get some Indian to split for dinner - nice.  I had a pineapple lassi - didn't know that existed!  Yummy.

I tried again to get the presser foot to fit but can't - so I will need to take it to a shop I think to figure things out.

About the sewing machine:

The machine manual says
there could be screw-on
presser feet for this machine.

Shows the general foot disconnected
and the new one ready to be installed
- but I can't make it fit
Manual showing the two
types of presser feet possible
for the machine.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mon May 6: Tied to the Phone

Well, not just the phone but the computer for emails and faxes.

A long day - that of course ended with stress.

So first I got a fax with consent forms to sign for hospice.  I printed that and read it and sent email questions to the email on the fax.  Got some answers via email, wrote more questions.

Then called the doctor to verify what mom's terminal illness is that qualifies her for hospice.  It's dementia with age - there was a fancier name I should have written it down.  The doctor was very nice with taking time to discuss with me.

I didn't write down the order of remaining calls/emails.

The case manager at the rehab center called and said mom had a new splint that was more secure, and she was eating okay.  She said I think that she had spoken with Lu to notify her of the day of discharge and everything was okay.  She is going to check to see if transportation should be in wheelchair or flat - and will call back.

I guess I wrote so many questions about the form they had a person call me and walk me thru my questions and how to fill out the form.  She said after 90-days they have to write  report to get funding, then after another 90-days it's the same, then it goes to every 60-days.  That nothing would change for mom or for me if things were the same with mom.  The broken leg made this apparent to them, but didn't cause it.  So the original insurance will still be used for the non hospice things.  She has ordered items to be delivered to VLM for mom.  Mom's primary care doctor agreed with arrangements and would stay with her as doctor.  After the call I thought I had a clearer idea of how things were set up.

But then Ci sent me email that Lu had called and said they usually worked with a different hospice.  Someone from that company called while Ci was busy and she didn't get their name or number.  As soon as she could she called the insurance hospice to verify they worked with VLM. They said they did and it was up to the family what hospice service they used.  After all these hours on the phone, reading, verifying - what a monkey wrench Lu has thrown in.  I have worked to develop a relationship with her doctors and don't want to do anything to jeopardise that.

I wish she had mentioned something way back the first time I had called her. But then in retrospect she never called me, I just heard she had called or other people had called her. I always asked to be sure they consulted her...

So the day ends with stress again.

I wasn't even able to do any stress releasing FMQing as it turns out I bought the wrong foot for this machine. Ugh!

I don't see what difference it makes with which hospice service works with mom - they only work with one person at a time anyway.

I'm missing something.  Hope it isn't sleep!

So I'm just waiting now to have Lu's son email or text me with what to do.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday May 5: Harvard Mayfair

This morning we got a pretty early start (for us) and stopped by Harvard Square to see the Mayfair.  It was a massive collection of a variety of booths - food, crafts, businesses, fun!  The roads were closed off and the streets were lined with the booths.  So many things to see and buy and eat and think about.

DH was intrigued with a folding wooden chair that provided extra support for his back - I was interested in food!  We shared a plate of Korean food Bulgoki YUM! from Takemura on 18 Eliot Street. YUM!  It's a Japanese restaurant with Korean food too - anyway I'll have to go there and eat sometime soon!  Their dinner menu has pretty high prices - I got rice, cabbage, onion and half beef and half spicy pork bulgoki for $7 at Mayfair. That is closer to their lunch prices...  We also had a plate on Indian food that was very good too - from a restaurant on Newbury Street.

Then it was off to the T to go to Davis Square!  There was an open house for a nice place - problem was it was right next to an apartment and parking lot - probably too close to the city part of things.

After that we went to an art gallery with a twist - it was fiber art.  Fun food made of yarn - and other things.  They are having an event in August that DH said he would enter - something to do with maps.  So that was fun.  We stopped at Goodwill and I found a super little shirt for my son's friend - then we went to Dunkin Doughnuts for a regular iced coffee - it was delicious!  The coffee cake muffin is very good - DH gets those and they are always better than the doughnut I get.  This time I didn't bother eating it all....

Then instead of going on the T right away we went out a different door and walked along a parkway - a bikeway built on top of the T line.  Beautiful trees, benches, it was very nice and made us realize we liked this part of the city too.

Sometimes it's Cambridge, sometimes it's Sommerville...  We made it to Mass Avenue then saw sign for a garden to be open - it was an oasis in the city - so restful.  Water, chimes, rustling leaves and a few flowers too.

Davis T Art
We made our way back to Davis and took the T to Harvard so DH could get his chair - and I got him a grilled sausage sandwich.  He took the bus back while I walked and enjoyed the last of the sunshine for the day.

We watched an episode of The Tutors.  I made phone calls to check on mom and other things - now he is listening to a podcast and I am not sure what I am going to do now.  It's dark, a  little chilly but I think I'd like to walk some more.  The light in the dining/sewing room isn't very good at night time.  I could set up the machine but don't think I should sew now....

The people at hospice seem very organized and nice - seems things are covered pretty much under Medicare Part A - there will still be some medications we get thru Secure Horizons but they will write the prescriptions, etc.  They will fax a form for me to sign and return - seems the only remaining things are the doctor to okay the students to do upper body exercises and to get the okay to transport her back to VLM in our van.