Sewing

Yesterday was sewing day. About a year ago, I bought a pattenr for a table runner and since one of my friends had given me 73 fat quarters over the summer, I decided to use them for this. (He works at Walmart, they forgot to put out the Christmas fabrics, when they went on clearance for a quarter each, he snagged all of them.) (All 73) (Those of you who sew know what a bargain this was, fat quarters sell for at least $2 each) (I digress)

I cut my fabric and chose the ones I wanted for the runner. Sewing them together was a quick and easy job, cutting and sewing the first border was equally easy. This pattern seemed like a good one for someone who was just learning to sew again.

Off I went to Momma Joan’s house, fabric and pattern – and my partially done runner – in hand. She was excited to try this because she really wants to get back into sewing, (She had a traumatic experience with home ec back in the day, we don’t want to talk about it)

And then we tried to find a time when we could get together to sew.

It’s good to be busy, right? A year later, we finally got together to make this happen. Yesterday afternoon, we got out the fabric squares, I’d cut all the fat quarters into 5 inch squares soon after I got it, so all she had to do was choose which ones she wanted to use. I could see the moment when she realized that half the fun is arranging the blocks and rearranging the blocks and thinking about how you really want the finished product to look.

And then she started sewing. A bit of trouble with keeping the needle threaded – I think it was her crappy old thread – but she was having a great time, keeping those seams at 1/4 inch and pretty damned straight. I was in charge of pressing. (She was quite enchanted with my little craft iron, it is pretty damned cute.) (I’ve been told I have all the fun toys. And yes, yes, I do.)

We got most of the first part done before hunger set in and off to Texas Roadhouse we went, with a stop at Hobby Lobby on the way home for backing fabric. I indulged in a small piece of heavy felt for a doll jacket – on clearance, can’t resist for $1.50.

Our plan is to get together Friday and continue our work. I brought everything of mine home – I may finally get to work on MY runner, which has been up at Momma Joan’s unfinished for a year!

For those of you who don’t know, Momma Joan is 87. She is an inspiration to all of us – imagine wanting to learn something new (or relearn in her case) at that age, and going for it. It was a wonderful day, and the memory is one I will treasure always. Because time spent with someone you love is more precious than any other gift.

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Grading and other reasons for drinking

If I ever win a gazillion dollars, of get a full time position teaching, one of my first acts will be to hire a TA. (That’s teaching assistant for you non-academics). I seriously hate grading homework. I used to merely dislike it, but since the Rona pushed everything online, it takes twice as long as it used to in the Before Times. (I miss the Before Times)

Our internet was out from Friday till yesterday (Tuesday) morning. I had to haul my half awake ass to campus and teach a remote class from a conference room there because I couldn’t connect from my usual comfy chair in the dining room at home. (There are a few perks to teaching online, not driving is one of them) (Getting coffee in the middle of class because the kitchen is a few feet away is another)

Consequently, I’m playing catch up with grading homework. Why in the world I assigned these problems is a question that will most likely not be answered, but I suspect that Corn Pop had something to do with it.

That said, there are 13 more submissions in one class, and 15 in the other. (Praise Sweet Baby Jesus I only have two classes this round.) I will, most likely, be drinking heavily this evening, while cursing that students are the bane of my existence and if they would just get this shit right, it wouldn’t take nearly as long for me!

Yet another reason for drinking – the people of my state chose a man who can’t put together a coherent sentence to serve as our Senator. I know, the alternative was no great shakes, but dear Lord, at least he could talk! And y’all up in NY? What the hell? Do you LIKE being locked down, told to wear a mask and get multiple shots forever? Seriously? Hochul? In spite of PA electing Lurch, I’m glad I’m here and not there!

Speaking of the Rona, if you haven’t read The Vision of the Anointed by Thomas Sowell, I suggest you get a copy immediately. I’m working my way through it and find myself thinking how little we’ve learned and how well this applies to Covid policies.

Reason #3 for thanking the Gods that someone invented booze – Maverick has decided that the best way to eat is if I toss his kibble to him one piece at a time. Fortunately, I’m okay with this, because it gets the food into his stubborn little self. I was told by our trainer that this is a terrible idea. I chose to ignore that because said trainer does not deal with the daily frustration of watching a certain sweet puppy turn his nose up at expensive food as if it were poison, nor does she bear the expense of tossing out said food. (Her advice is to leave his bowl down for 15 minutes, then pick it up, wait 1/2 hour and repeat. Maverick would turn this into a contest to see who can hold out the longest and I’m pretty sure he’d win)

Reason #4 – my craft room should be renamed The Black Hole. It has become a bit chaotic in there in the last few months, mostly because of the hoeing out and reorganizing of the spare bedrooms. And by “a bit chaotic” I mean that I can’t find a freakin thing. I’ve bought thread that I know I have, and thrown up my hands in frustration because I can’t find knitting needles and just generally sat and felt totally overwhelmed. So my current occupation is slowly finishing up projectss, using up bits of fabric that people give me because I make doll clothes, ruthlessly tossing fabric bits into what I call the “Kathi box” because I take a donation to my friend Kathi every year when I visit NY. (Her daughter makes amazing things out of bits and bobs of fabric that I would throw out)

Reason #5 – no one in this house can decide what to have for dinner. Rarely, if ever, can that simple question, “what would you like for dinner tonight?” be answered. I am as guilty as the Bear. Why is it so difficult to decide what to eat? I think tonight might just be a hotdog because that and omelettes are my go-to and I don’t have any ham for an omelette.

Reason #5 – do you really need a reason to drink?

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Remember

When it comes time to vote in a few weeks, remember –

  • Who deemed your business nonessential while keeping Walmart open
  • Who made it impossible for you to keep your business going because you were not essential, and you had to close and in many cases, give up your dream, while Amazon was reaping record profits
  • Who denied your kids the right to go to school for months, in some cases extending to over a year, while telling you that “kids are resilient, they won’t suffer any learning loss!”
  • Who made your kids cover their faces with a dirty piece of cloth because otherwise they’d “kill Grandma” and called them germ factories
  • Who decided that it wasn’t important (and still isn’t in a lot of places) for the elderly to see their loved ones, who denied them the physical touch that is so important because, after all, we didn’t want to “kill Grandma!”
  • Who decided that your dog’s groomer was not essential, and shut her down till your dog could no longer walk on nails that had grown under, and whose coat was so matted, his skin bruised when the mats were finally released
  • Who told you to stay home while they partied – maskless – at private balls
  • Who told you not to gather at church and worship together, but instead to march arm in arm through the streets because the first would kill Grandma but the second made you immune
  • Who told you that no one had any ill effects from the jabs and that if you didn’t agree to get one, you were effectively killing Grandma
  • Who didn’t bother to ask Grandma how she felt about any of this.
  • Who announced they wouldn’t have anything to do with a vaccine that Trump helped push through, but mandated that YOU get the same vaccine once he was out of office
  • Who are still forcing college kids and children to wear a dirty piece of cloth over their mouths and noses, while acknowledging that they have little risk of serious illness from this virus
  • Who refused to acknowledge any theory other than their own, and were frequently bought and paid for by the very companies who were producing the materials that they were forcing on the public

When you go to vote, remember this. If you approve, then vote for the same policies. If not, then this is your chance to change things.

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Max and the watermelon

I wanted to post this in reply to another blogger’s post (that would be BiteyDog 🙂 ) but I couldn’t figure out how to do that, so here you go:

Yup, he picked it himself

My Max was a therapy dog, and one of our favorite people to visit was a 94 year old lady named Anna. She always had watermelon, and she always shared with Max. I like to think they’re sharing watermelon in Heaven now.

So we (I) decided one summer to plant watermelons instead of flowers in my garden. I had male and female plants, sold to me by the guy who owned a little nursery and was trusted by everyone when it came to advise on growing pretty much anything. As time went on, I started seeing little baby watermelons, but mostly they would disappear before they got bigger than baseballs.

I live in the country. If you plant fruits and vegetables, be prepared to share with the critters. I didn’t begrudge them a few, but I did hope to get a few for us!

My lawn swing is behind the house, the garden is in the front. I spend most of the summer on that swing, I love it out there. Max was most often off leash, he rarely went beyond the front yard and never beyond the boundaries (except when the neighbor dog was in heat and then he lost his mind).

I had let him out to do his business and told him I was going to the swing. He would join me on the patio and happily lay at my feet while I read or knitted my way through the summer days. That day, I had gotten comfy on the swing, when around the corner of the house came Max, vine in his mouth, happily carrying that watermelon. He plopped down, watermelon between his paws, and gave me that big smile. He was SO proud of himself!

So I took his picture, laughing my head off. Then I took the watermelon from him, much to his annoyance, took it inside and cut it up, and shared it with him. (The rinds will cause cannon ass in dogs)

And there you have it, the story of Max and the watermelon. Still makes me smile. 🙂

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Princess Bride and a shot in the back

Yesterday I got the second shot in the back for my unrelenting sciatica issues. This was actually two shots, more targeted to the actual areas causing the difficulties. (L4 and L5 if anyone cares). The first one gave some relief but not enough, so my darling doctor decided this would be a better solution. I hope she’s right, I really want to get back to my walks.

They told me that I might (probably would) feel some weakness in my legs for the next couple of days. I was good getting off the table, walked to the room where the nurse checked me out and got changed, then sat with her while she went over everything. When I stood up, my leg went wonky. As in, oops, that isn’t holding me up wonky! The nurse grabbed my arm, I got steady, she walked me out to my BFF, who took my arm and walked to the car with me, refusing to let go even when I felt that I was steady again. I did tell her that I kinda liked walking arm in arm with her – we’re so terribly cute together sometimes. 🙂

While I was being shot, the young man doing his fellowship with my doctor said, as they always say, “you’re going to feel a pinch.” Pinch? Dear boy, that was a jab. They had to jab me several times to get around the arthritis that also gives me fits – have I mentioned how much fun it is getting old? After the third one, I said, “you do know that’s not really a pinch!” My doctor said, ‘what does it feel like to you?” I said, ‘A STAB!” She said she didn’t think patients would respond well to being told, “you’re going to feel a bit of a stab!” Out of my mouth came, “I do not think that means what you think it does!” referring to the word “pinch.”

She paused and then said, “PRINCESS BRIDE!” Gotta love a doctor who gets a Princess Bride reference! Then we had a lovely chat about our favorite movie – the most perfect movie ever made, by the way, which served as a nice distraction from the continuing stabs.

Today my legs are drunk. My body feels okay, but my legs are drunk. It’s a very strange feeling and one they told me to expect.

I also spent most of the week dealing with a cold or something (see early post in which Peachy tried to kill me) So I sounded like a frog still yesterday and was fulling expecting the mask Nazis to descend on me at the clinic. Not. One. Word. was spoken about it. Are we FINALLY out of this madness?

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Waitin on a video

That sounds like it should be a song title.

I made a video today for my Managerial Acccounting class because while they can understand the High-Low method and how to solve for f and v, they can’t figure out a Contribution Margin income statement.
(See why their heads fall off?)

I sound like a frog at the moment. It all started when Peachy tried to kill me.

She didn’t plan to – I don’t think she did anyway. I’m pretty sure she would have told me. If you knew her, you wouldn’t find it at all odd that I say that. “I’m planning to kill you next week,” from Peachy, would be akin to the Dread Pirate Roberts saying, “I’ll kill you tomorrow.” **

She made a delicious cake called a Tuxedo cake. Perhaps it’s named for the tuxedos I expect all the gents to wear at my funeral. Except for those wearing kilts and playing bagpipes – I want Amazing Grace on the pipes and the kilts to be swinging. It’s quite heavy on the chocolate. Chocolate, that amazing stuff that hates me equally as much as peanut butter hates me.

I ate three bites of this delicacy and passed the rest of my slice to another person. In the middle of the night, it struck. I woke up with the worst migraine I’ve had in years. Apparently spending the entire next day in bed allowed every random germ to make its way into my bedroom to see if I was available for infection.

Sunday I got up with no more headache, except for the inevitable migraine hangover, and a fierce sore throat. Dragon claws were being sharpened in there.

It’s slowly morphed into a voice that sounds like a frog and a lingering tiredness. And a definite lack of appetite. It’s what we used to say was “something going around.” That was back in the good old days when we didn’t test ourselves for non-existent symptoms.

Meanwhile, the video is uploading and I have no enthusiasm for grading so here I am. Randomly writing about nothing much. The second Wallaby will be completed today. This one was more fun than the first, only one mistake, no ripping out, the directions are not terribly clear in some places but once you’ve run through it, you can figure out what to do. I’ll take a break from knitting and make another scarf next.

It looks like Summer is almost over. My second least favorite season begins. I wouldn’t mind Fall if it weren’t getting cold, and living in the woods with a man and a dog means the leaves are constantly trying to come inside for dinner and I’m constantly trying to keep them out. The same goes for mice and spiders but the Bear is in charge of removing those things from my presence.

There’s an obsession with Halloween where I live. I don’t get it, it’s already started – actually started back in August – it’s as big as Christmas and after 20 years I’m still baffled by that. Maybe it’s because we don’t get trick or treaters, we live way too far out in the country, with a driveway that goes through dark woods, to attract any kids. And the early start to the “celebrations” makes me tired of it by the time it actually arrives.

I’m getting another shot tomorrow. I’m kinda surprised they’re going to do it, since I told them I have a cold. I’m kinda wondering if they’ll make me take a Covid test when I get there. THAT will make me mad. My BFF is gonna be my driver because, well, she’s my BFF! That, and a couple of other things that happened today made me realize that while my blood family is miles away from me, I have built a true and loving family right here. And the wonderful thing is that this family of mine all care about each other as much as I care about them. (Even Peachy, when she isn’t trying to kill me. )

random image of tuxedo cake – Peachy’s was prettier

**random Princess Bride reference

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Wallaby Number 2

This is fun! The first was fiddly , this one was much smoother and I really enjoyed it. The next two are already planned . 😂

Ignore my feet. 😁
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The houses we build

I was talking to my niece the other night and she said something that made me stop and think. Talking to this niece is something I treasure, she cut me off for several years. I have this thing where I tell the truth and I don’t really care if you have “anxieties” and “anger issues.” Those are your problems, not mine, and I won’t walk on eggshells because you won’t deal with them. When her dad passed away last year, we reconnected. I do love the child – okay, she’s 40 so she would laugh at me calling her a child – and I told her when we talked at the funeral that while we don’t always like each other, I will always love her. At any rate. I digress.

She’s grieving. She’s the youngest of six and has lost her dad at what is really a pretty young age. I remember saying to my oldest sister when my mom died, when she told me basically to get over it, that she should be grateful for the years she had with my mom and to remember that I didn’t get that luxury. (My sister was 15 years older than me) I asked my niece about her sister. Her sister, T, is also several years older than K – don’t ask me how many, I have too many relatives and I honestly stopped keeping track because I’m at the age where they’re all still kids to me. T is grieving so hard that her life has basically stopped.

It’s been almost a year. No, there’s no timeline for grief. However. I was brought up by a woman who taught us to suck it up and get over it, no matter what. (She frequently told us that sympathy was in the dictionary between shit and syphillis and if we wanted it, go look it up.) I apparently have inherited her impatience with this (among other things). At this point, the unending grief feels like wallowing. (I know, I’m a cold hearted bitch. However, calling me that assumes I have a heart)

Conversations tend to circle around “How is T doing? I’m so worried about her! She won’t get counseling! (This is part of my impatience with her.) ” It seems that the rest of the family has been forgotten in the shadow – the spotlight is on T and she won’t give it up.

So I asked K how SHE was doing. She said she was grieving, of course, but had accepted it. She said she refused to build a house of her grief and live there.

I paused for a moment. I told her that was a very profound statement. She didn’t seem to agree, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot.

We all build houses and live in them. My house was built of distrust and betrayal and it took the Bear to tear down the walls and let love move in. So many build houses of anger, of fear, and refuse to leave them. I love this visual. I’m starting to look at people and events and think, “what made you build your house this way? What happened to you?”

What built your house? Are you happy living in it or do you want to tear down some of the walls and let the sun in?

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When you hurt

And you have a high energy dog, life can be really really difficult.

My hip went out the other day. The day before my last physical therapy visit for the sciatica, the hip decided that nope, not gonna be healthy, not having that shit here! I managed to get it under control, and then yesterday it went out again.

Today is a round of exercises and rest. I have a referral for a chiropractor and I will call tomorrow if it’s still messed up.

Meanwhile, I have a lawn swing that I love – but can’t get out of if I sit on it for more than a few minutes. It’s beautiful outside, and I don’t dare go out because Bear isn’t home and I don’t want to be stuck out there till he gets home.

We also got word that the doggie virus that went around last year is back. It’s highly contagious but not fatal (sound familiar?) to most dogs, if they’re healthy and have no underlying conditions. (Sounds REALLY familiar!) Maverick was home for about 8 weeks last year because of this. One of his friends picked it up at the dog park (why do people still go to those places!?) and Maverick picked it up at the local park where we walk. They shared because caring is sharing, right? Daycare closed down for two weeks while everything got sanitized, new air filters installed, and all dogs were 2 weeks clear of symptoms.

Two weeks after he started back at daycare, Maverick came down with it again. So did several other dogs, and then the owner got Covid, and everything got shut down for a few more weeks. On the advice of our vet, Maverick was home for a month. We did go to the park, he doesn’t get near enough to other dogs to be spreading anything – I thought about masking him but he wasn’t on board and I believe in freedom of choice, so he was mask free.

It wasn’t a fun time. I was teaching five classes, he was bored, we couldn’t really go anywhere – and he’s not great about riding in the car for long, so even rides were out. But we managed.

When I picked him up on Friday, I learned that this virus is going around again, to the point that the dog warden actually closed a daycare and kennel in another town. I was told to keep Maverick home if he shows any symptoms – and of course, I would do that anyway. The point of all this is that we’re not going to go anywhere where he might pick this up. He was not in the least bit sick, he sneezed and had a runny nose for a few days, got a course of doxycycline and that was that. (Yes, he also had gotten the kennel cough vaccine, it does nothing against this) But he was bored and when he’s bored, he drives me nuts.

Yesterday and today we didn’t go for a walk. Yesterday, he could be outside all day and I managed the swing, and a straight chair and it was okay. Today I could barely walk when I got up. He is, according to my friends, “so inuitive!” Really? REALLY????? I’ve managed to get him outside – where he stayed for about half an hour – and then back in. He is currently pouting in the laundry room. I am currently feeling guilty and also in pain.

I’m too old for this.

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She’s a bad influence!

My neighbor is 87 years old. We all call her “Momma Joan” because she’s everyone’s mom, or grandmom, or great-grandmom (to the most adorable baby ever born.) Every now and again, I take her shopping with me, because she no longer drives so she doesn’t get to the fun stores that I love. (Hobby Lobby)

Yesterday I had to run some errands, so on a whim, I stopped at Momma Joan’s and asked if she wanted to ride along. I wanted to go to Hobby Lobby for a legitimate reason – to get a to-go cup for Bear to take to work since I can’t find the 7,000 I know we have. (This is why I hate to get organized, I can’t find a bloody thing) She wanted to get a PickMeUp pen for her diamond art, so she was happy to ride along. Of course, we had to peruse the entire store after we found Bear’s cup and her pen.

There were three carts full of yarn, marked down to stupidly low prices.

The last thing I need is more yarn.

I can’t resist a bargain, especially if it’s yarn.

Momma Joan is a bad influence. “Ohh, that’s a pretty color, you could make R a hat!” In my cart it went. “Oh, that would make a nice scarf! Hey! We should make scarves and hang them on trees for anyone who needs one this winter!”

I’m also a sucker for helping people who need a hand up. (Not a handout, there’s a big difference)

Several balls of yarn landed in my cart.

Today I pulled out one of them, a lovely burgundy color, and started a scarf, because I think that Momma Joan has a really good idea. I got about 6 inches done while sitting on the lawn swing, thinking about life. (Life has been weird the last few days) So if you live near me, and you need a scarf this winter, you might just find one hanging from a tree.

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