Thursday, July 30, 2009

Photos After All

It just dawned on me that I could show you some photos from Grandparents University. Here I am navigating a robotic underwater camera in the limnology building:

This is DGS hauling up a water sample from the bottom of Lake Mendota:

And here is DGD identifying pollen from a sediment core she took from a marsh on campus -- she found pollen dating back 14,000 years at the bottom of the core!

Checking In

I haven't fallen off the earth, though it sometimes feels like it. This month has been wild -- we've had (very inconsiderate) houseguests (who won't be welcome back); I've taken each grandchild who lives near here to UW-Madison's Grandparents University two consecutive weeks (DGD -- age nine -- and I studied Global Climate Change, DGS -- age eleven -- and I studied limnology); we've had the Oriental rugs rolled up, taken to the rug doctor and washed, brought home and unrolled, and I've been getting everything possible off the laid carpets because they and the living room upholstery will be cleaned tomorrow. Plus the usual stuff. And physical therapy, which takes more time every week. And coping with all the zucchini and carrots from our CSA -- lots of baked zucchini bread and carrot cake in the freezer now! Next it will be freezing tomatoes . . .

I don't even have a photo to show you, because it's been so rainy and grey whenever DH is available to hold up the latest finished quilt that I haven't been able to take one.

I have been using the time when I've run out of energy to read some good novels and watch DVDs of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency HBO series -- I loved it! I was afraid they'd ruin the books, but they didn't. They left Mma Ramotswe tied to the tracks at the end, though, so I have to assume they will continue the series in another season. And I've just started Tea Time for the Traditionally Built, the latest book. The first two chapters are laugh-out-loud funny.

An interesting coincidence about the other reading is that without any planning on my part, four of the books have been historical fiction taking place in the 9th and 10th Centuries, about the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons in the British Isles. I have two criteria for historical fiction: the historical facts have to be accurate, and the story-telling has to be good. If I find factual errors, I figure the author hasn't done his or her homework, and I won't waste my time on the book. It's a painless way to learn some history, but worthless if it's full of mistakes.

I'm also suffering from Quilting-Retreat-Deprivation-Syndrome; I miss sewing and laughing with my good friends. And nothing is scheduled until the end of October! Woe is me! Of course, if that's the worst of my problems, I'm a lucky person. And I am.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I have to be wary of repetitive motion (did you know you use your shoulder muscles to hand-stitch? I didn't!), so I can only do two needles-ful on the binding a day. Slow going. I'm going to show you a hint of what's to come. Don't get your expectations too high.

My wonderful QBs at Dump Salad Monday night trimmed the backing and batting off this quilt, then machine-sewed the binding to the back. They are such good friends -- one of them even came to the house and flossed my teeth until I could do it myself! Friends don't get much better than that. (I wouldn't have dared ask, but she's a dental hygienist.)

I'm taking baby steps in recovery, but getting there. It will be a happy day -- or night -- when I can sleep on my right side again! Twelve weeks from surgery, the PT said. Because I have fibromyalgia, I'm like a windmill at night, continuously changing position so my muscles don't turn to cement.

Thanks, Leslie, for telling me how to move photos. I'd planned to do it on this post, but for some weird reason, it wouldn't let me upload the two other photos I'd intended to post. Next time.

getting better
wonderful friends
patient husband

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Wish I could remember to put these photos on in reverse order! Anybody know how to re-arrange photos on blogspot?

Here's a close-up of the quilting on Kayla's quilt -- cute, huh? Fluffy feathers in the middles, spirals in the rings.

This afternoon I got my welding helmet on (should post a photo of that sometime!) and verrry carefully snipped the threads holding on the exploded yo-yo. I took it apart and pressed it, re-made it and put it back on:
I'm not going to get much show-and-tell mileage out of this quilt, as they're coming Thursday, when I'll give all three kids their quilts. We have Dump Salad tomorrow night, and I'll at least show it to those good QBs.

I hope DH is making the tuna sandwiches; we're going to American Players Theatre to see The Philanderer. It's the most wonderful outdoor theatre you can imagine, just magic! Oh, he's calling for assistance! Bye!

gorgeous day
a roof over my head and enough to eat

Friday, July 3, 2009


Here it is! What nine year old girl wouldn't love this quilt? It really is this bright, though I think the yellow isn't quite so screaming as the photo would have you think. Here's the backstory:

In 1992, when I was a brand-new quilter, I saw the print fabric and fell in love. I don't know why this pattern popped into my head, but, having sewn some complicated garments, I figured I could make it. I did fine until it was time to join the blocks. Aack! The intersections were hideous. I put it away for sixteen years, and I worked to improve my technique. 2008: Surely I can do this now, I still love it, and I have a new granddaughter (acquired through marriage). So I started to put the blocks together. Aack! The intersections were hideous. What to do now? I may not be around in another sixteen years.

So I made little black yo-yos and put them over the intersections, and you know what? I like it better with the yo-yos than I would have without, even if the intersections had been perfect! There's a lesson in there. You can see the yo-yo that needs fixing in the bottom row, second from right. Not sure how to get it off without clipping the fabric or quilting stitches -- I'll have to use my welding helmet (a pair of humongous magnifiers that you wear around your head).

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Another Oops

I overdid again today, but what's a person to do when the CSA box has such treasures?

I got everything washed, peeled, diced, shredded, chopped, hulled, etc., and then mixed up an ugly batch of shortcake for the yummy strawberries (ugly because I just patted it into a pan instead of cutting nice rounds). A once a year treat, not to be foregone just because of a little shoulder issue.

We had some sunshine today, but DH was playing a well-earned game of golf the whole time the sun was out, so no quilt photo today either (I need him to hold it up for me). Tomorrow AM we have to get non-produce groceries and cat food, and then he's playing again at 11:30, so who knows if it will happen tomorrow, even if the sun shines? No complaints from me, he's been an angel through this.

physical therapy going well
DH got to play golf
garden bounty I didn't have to work for