Fear overcome, the battle was won

Well. Sort of. It’s not perfect but as my sainted mother would say, “only the gods are allowed perfection.” She had a pre-planned mistake in every quilt – well, she told us she planned it and who were we to question Mother?

Before attempting the binding on the quilt, I made some placemats. They’re pretty ugly and too big for the table but they work well under Maverick’s water fountain. Yes, I said fountain. No, he’s not spoiled. Put your judgey eyes back in your head.

I’m a wee tad touchy these days. I need to shop. And get a haircut. My cute pixie cut looks like the pixies got at it with egg beaters.

I digress.

I practiced my mitered corners diligently on those placemats. I watched youtube videos – those people should be locked up for making this stuff look so easy. Here’s a hint. It’s not easy.

Finally I sucked it up. I made the binding. I sewed it onto the quilt. First, I bought this handy little binding tool from Amazon because the nice lady in the Missouri Star Quilt video talked me into it. Seriously. I swear she was talking directly to me. It helped with getting the binding the right length, but did nothing for the corners

Mitered corners were invented by Satan

I ripped the binding off.

I had a shot of Irish Mist and wept a little.

Then I girded my loins – actually, no, I didn’t, I don’t know how to do that, but I’ve always kinda wanted to say that I did – and sewed that bitchin binding back on.

Nope, those corners were not gonna miter. No way, no how.

I had another shot of Irish Mist

I wept a little more

I tore the binding off.

Maverick and I had a long conversation, mostly consisting of me going, “why, why, why????????????” and him going, “shut the hell up, you whiny woman, and give me a treat for listening to you go on and on.”

I finally gave in, threw in the towel, and squared those bloody corners up and sewed that binding down and declared myself the victor.

The baby will never know that those corners were meant to be mitered. The quilt was delivered today – it’s cold and will be for a few days and then it will be hotter than the hubs of hell but hopefully she’ll get to be snuggled in it for a day or two. And by Fall, when this virus nonsense has become a bad memory, I hope to hold her wrapped in it and rock her for just a moment.

the cause of my misery

Posted in family, home, my life, quilting, sewing | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Fear, panic and courage

This has absolutely nothing to do with the virus. Seriously. Not one thing.

My neighbor is pregnant with her first child. A nice young couple, they have the rare party that ends by midnight, throw a bash for the neighborhood every summer, keep to themselves, and are pretty much the definition of good neighbors. The lapse in judgement that caused them to get a “mini Goldendoodle” has been forgiven because Willow is spoiled almost as much as Maverick, and although her parentage is sketchy, she’s a good dog who doesn’t cat about. (See what I did there?)

I decided to make a quilt for the baby. Every baby should have a quilt. My mother taught me this – I realized the other day that my mother taught me as much by her actions as by her word – took me long enough to figure that out. Anyway. This quilt has been a trial. I wanted baby prints – and couldn’t find cotton. Flannel substituted, and I thought that would be fun, snugglier than cotton, softer, too.

Flannel is a bitch to quilt by hand. I don’t quilt by machine, that’s not a quilt, according to the aforementioned sainted mother, that’s a comforter. A quilt is hand quilted, and that’s that. Thank you, Fons and Porter, for something called a needle puller.

Tonight I finished the quilting part. Thank you, Sweet Baby Jesus in your fluffy golden diapers!

Party for a minute and then realization hits.

I have to do the binding.

Only spiders scare me as much as binding a quilt.

Dare I take a chance and do this on the machine? (That’s a bit sketchy as far as Mother’s rules, but if I get it done, I’ll take a chance on her smiting me. She’ll probably haunt me but she loves me so it won’t last long)

The first step is actually cutting off the excess fabric on the quilt. I’ll do that tomorrow. Then I’ll have to have a shot of Irish Mist and sit down.

Next I’ll cut the strips for the binding. I can do it, I have a rotary cutter and I’m one of the cool kids – I know how to use that baby!

I can handle sewing the strips together. It’s the next part – where I actually attach those strips to the quilt, that will make me freeze.

If you don’t hear from me for a few days, send booze. I’ll be staring at the quilt, and the binding, crying, muttering, “why, why, why did I do this? What was I thinking!?” It will be a terrible mess, I just know it.

Pictures will probably not follow. I hate documenting disasters.

Posted in home, my life, quilting, sewing | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Now you’ve gone too far

So the latest in the ongoing saga of a virus and losing rights all over the place, my grocery store has started limiting the number of people allowed in at one time, and placing lines with arrows on the floor so the good little robots have to go up one way and down the other. (This was done last week, I noticed very few good little robots.)

Grocery shopping normally takes me half an hour. It’s about 5 miles to the store, and I shop the same aisles every week, start with the yogurt, down to the eggs, around to the milk, over to the paper products for paper plates – I buy TP and that sort of thing at the big box store – on to the meat section, up the canned goods aisle, over to the chips, then finish at the produce.

According to whoever is in charge of this mess, I should now start at produce and finish at the yogurt. I am a creature of habit. DO NOT MESS WITH MY ROUTINE!

Apparently it is now taking upwards of two hours to do a weekly shopping. I don’t really want to spend two hours with strangers in a grocery store, even though I’m a social person and can talk to a stick if it stands still long enough. I got stuff to do, and I’m really not good at standing around.

I honestly don’t see how this will do anything but make lives more difficult.

Last night, I pulled out the pattern and directions for my next sewing project. I make doll clothes for a friend’s little girl who has an American Girl doll – little miss Sassypants once took said doll to something wearing a dress I had made and when the other girls and their moms oohed and aahed over it, she announced, “You can’t get one like it, it’s one of a kind, made by my Auntie Susan.” I love this child. 🙂 The last project was a dress with multiple layers of tulle – a learning experience for me and something she will love. Next is a set of leggings with an overskirt of tulle, a knit top, and a headband. The headband is made of stretchy lace.

I don’t have any stretchy lace. This is not a big deal -NORMALLY! I would get in my car and run to the store and buy what I need. But noooooooooooooo, the powers that be have decided that my fabric stores are not essential. Maybe not to THEM! I need my damned lace! Can I get it online? Yeah, and pay twice the price for something I can’t touch so I’ll probably hate.

This may seem like a first world problem. Okay, it IS a first world problem. But it’s the little things, people. The little things are going to put us over the edge. I need my life back. I need lace. This is essential to my mental health. Deny me my lace and I’m going to start knitting hats for Maverick. He will not be happy.

edit – my neighbor, after listening to my rant, sent up a HUGE box and storage bag of all kinds of lace. I am in HEAVEN! Still annoyed that my stores are closed, but I’m a happy camper right now!

Posted in Corona virus, home, Maverick, my life | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

There was a possum on the porch

Life in the country is amazing and funny and crazy and sometimes scary and quite often just makes me go “what WAS that?” with a great deal of laughter.

The other day, Maverick, as is his norm in the morning, woke me up by jumping on the bed and stealing the little bear who sleeps with me every night. He carries it around and happily hides it somewhere so I have to search for it each night before bed, so he can steal it in the morning and hide it once again. Perhaps he thinks he’s saving it. He also jumps back on the bed and lately has begun to cuddle with me for a while before barking in my face that it’s time to get up.

We wander down to coffee and computer, and the big Bear who sleeps with me will normally be waiting with the TV on Andy Griffith (gag) and the newspaper spread out on the table. We are such old farts.

The other day, said Bear was not at the kitchen table, but standing on the porch. I pulled down the window in the screen door and questioned this departure from the routine. Maverick and I do not like departures from routine. He pointed to the front yard and said, “don’t let Maverick out.”

Lying on the lawn was a large, gray, unmoving critter. “Umm, what is that?” He told me it was a possum, that Maverick had sniffed out. It had been curled up in a corner on the porch. Bear got Maverick inside, where he promptly ran upstairs to get me – good boy! Bear got a rake and gently moved the possum from the porch to the lawn, but he said it was “acting funny,” and had growled and bared teeth at him.

I contacted a friend who knows about wild animals, and was told that was a defensive move and not to worry. Meanwhile, we need Mrs. Possum to leave the vicinity, please, so Maverick doesn’t make her a chew toy.

All avenues resulting in dead ends, we called the police. Two officers showed up. I have chosen to forgive the young one who stepped on one of my tulips when he jumped back in alarm when Mrs. Possum again bared teeth at him. They agreed that she was not acting right, and decided that the best course was to put her down.

I took Maverick to the basement to play ball, not wanting either of us to witness the execution, but not before asking if they were sure she didn’t have babies.

We played with the big ball awhile and when I heard no shots, I went back up to find out what was happening. Mrs. Possum had decided to roll over, revealing that she did, indeed, have babies in her pouch. Bear, when he saw this, said, “I won’t shoot her.” He told me later that no one had been able to load the gun, something he had done thousands of times before and yet could not manage that morning. Make of that what you will. 🙂

So Mrs. Possum was shooed into a trash can, and transported to the woods, where she was sent on her merry way. Babies intact, food and water sources available, we hope she stays and so do her babies. Possums are harmless but they eat ticks, and ticks are anything BUT harmless.

And so I smiled the rest of the day. A simple rescue of an innocent creature made me realize that in a time of fear and darkness, there is still good in this world.

Posted in home, Maverick, my life | Tagged , | 10 Comments

I want my life back

I never thought I would see a time when I didn’t know who to trust, who to believe, when everything I said was disputed, when every bit of good news I tried to impart was met with disdain and “they’re lying to you.”

I am saddened by the state of the world. I am saddened by people who wish to believe only the worst. I am tired of comparisons to other countries, designed to make us despair, give up, give in.

We are so much stronger than a virus. We do not need to isolate ourselves, live in fear, refuse to believe there is good anywhere.

I want my life back. I haven’t felt this way since after 9/11 – when the world turned upside down and nothing was ever the same again. I just want normal. I don’t want to be told I can’t go to the store, I can’t get what I want – so what if I need it or not? This is America, we don’t lay down and give in. What the hell are we doing?

Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments

I have bronchitis

I started with the allergies. Morphed into a wracking cough this week, but no fever. I stayed home and monitored but on Wednesday, I took Maverick for a short walk, He was so full of energy that after a half mile I was wiped out. So home we came, took my temp, still no fever, but my dear Bear told me I sounded like I had emphysema (I don’t) so I gave in and called the doctor. They told me to come down – no rush but there was an available appointment in a half hour so I took it.

It was funny, I went in and the receptionist, in her best Oprah imitation, said, “And YOU get a mask!” Got all checked out, diagnosed with mild bronchitis, got a prescription and came home. The Bear had gone out when I went to the doctor, I had texted him to let him know I was there. He responded, “do you need me to come down?” I said, “Not yet.” He said, “I’m on my way.” I do love that man.

So I came home and he went for meds and that was a cluster on its own. Day three of Zpack and I’m feeling better, but when I go out, which is not often but food must be purchased – and dear Jesus, people, we will only experience shortages if you continue to buy enough to last you for the rest of the year and leave nothing for anyone else! – I find myself constantly explaining “BRONCHITIS!!!!! ON MEDS!!!!!”

Strange times we’re living in. I am old, I have lived through many things, I never thought I’d see the day when my countrymen would hoard toilet paper because of a joke someone posted in another country. Nor did I ever think I’d see mass panic on this level. I live in Pennsylvania, we are basically shut down – is it scary? Yeah, but the survival rate from this Chinese virus is SO high, I refuse to give up hope! What will kill us first? Panic.

We will get through this. Read more, knit more, sew some masks. Pull it together, people, remember 9/11? We got this!

Posted in bronchitis, Corona virus, family, home, Maverick | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

Dear “news” people

Are you happy? Are you proud of yourselves? For the past three and a half years, you have been relentless in your pursuit of the next crisis. You have fed us so much crap that no one believes you anymore. And now we’re faced with a rapidly spreading virus. It may be really bad. It might not be any worse than the flu. Who do we trust? Who do we believe? You’ve lied to us for so long, about so many things, how do we know you’re telling us the truth about anything?

I have friends who are in panic mode. I’ve basically banned myself from most social media, and am preparing to hunker down and weather the storm. I’m in that “over 60” at risk age group. Oh, go fuck yourselves with that shit, I’m healthier than most people half my age.

Am I scared? Of course I am. Not of the virus, I’ll survive that, as nearly all of us will. I’m scared of the impact on the economy. I’m scared that people will be out of work and have no means of survival. We can go without a paycheck for awhile. Many can’t.

And if the President discovered a cure tonight, there would be those who would fault him somehow for doing it.

I am angry. I am angry at the bitter, angry, stupid people who are buying reams of toilet paper for no real reason – the virus doesn’t cause diarrhea. I’m angry at the news media for continuing to fan the flames of panic.

I went to the grocery store today – for my usual weekly shopping. The store was packed – far more than a normal Friday afternoon. Every register was open, and the lines were long. But…………..and this is a big but……….people were laughing and smiling and talking to each other. Everyone was saying that it was a bit ridiculous but they were stocking up on essentials – bacon was on sale and hey, what’s life without bacon? We laughed that our next stop was the beer distributor – hey, kids are out of school, people need help!

There is still good in this world. There are people who will share their stuff – and those are the ones who will get us through this. Be one of them – be a hero – stop being scared and we’ll get through this!

I lived through 911 and thought I’d never see worse. I haven’t. THAT didn’t break us, no stinking virus is going to do it either.

Posted in my life, politics | Tagged | 9 Comments

Pokemon weekends

Maverick and I walk at the same park every day. It’s a beautiful park, with several walking paths, so we can wander a bit, go a different route if we want, avoid Goose Poop Alley on most days – there’s a big pond and the geese land there and wander the park and do their business wherever. Apparently it’s quite the delicacy – one that Maverick’s tender digestive system can’t handle, evidenced by a $200 vet bill a few weeks ago to get raging diarrhea under control.

Most days, weekdays, there are few people there during the day. We go in the morning, around 11, and again around 4. (Yes, we walk twice a day) We meet the same people, and the same dogs, every day. We know who likes dogs – most of them – and those who don’t – evil witchy woman that casts her eyes upon us as if we smell bad. In her defense, we may by the 4:00 walk, but still, it’s a bit rude to wrinkle your nose and make disapproving noises when you pass someone, unless they’re covered in tattoos and then I can’t help myself. (I hate tattoos)

On the weekends, it’s a whole different place. People gather there to play Pokemon. I swear, you can see the brain cells being sucked from their heads straight into their phones. They gather on the paths, blocking the paths, eyes glued to their phones. They DO NOT MOVE. It is so incredibly tempting to plow right through them, scattering them like bowling pins, with Maverick. But I refrain.

It’s also full of people who only come out on weekends. I’m thinking it’s a form of vampirism? The ones who wander about aimlessly while their dogs, attached to a flexi-lead and a mile away – rush into the face of my slightly reactive (well, duh, they’re running at him!) puppy. And oh Lordy, if he reacts! You would think he was about to tear them up and leave bloody pieces behind.

He does sound fearsome. He’s basically harmless, mostly wants to play, but is not fond of dogs in his face. It’s something we’re working on. We’re working very hard on this, every single day. Today was a win – I got him to pay attention to me instead of the little yappy dog that was having a fit. Dude, he could swallow you in one gulp if he wanted to! Seriously!

We left when we spotted the GSD/Pit Bull mix whose owner is totally oblivious, or sort of stares at me like she would really like to let her dog pay us a visit. We’ve avoided her several times, only to find her standing and staring at us when we try to get back on the path. Her dog was staring hard at Maverick, but we were close enough to my car that we just crossed the grass and I got him in.

I do not like the park so much on weekends. My husband says I act as if I own it. With this in mind, today I couldn’t help but mutter several times, “get off my lawn.” I am such a curmudgeon lately.

Posted in dogs, Maverick, my life | Tagged , , | 6 Comments


We have no neighbors closer than 500 feet – I live in deep country and have been told often that when we built our house, we ruined hunting for lots of people who were used to just wandering about our land and shooting deer. I consider the deer my kids and they seem to know they’re safe here, so too bad for the hunters. I have no issues with people hunting, but not my kids, not on my land.

The people in the next house up the road are young, been married a few years, live in a small stone house with their little mutt (I was told she’s a “mini golden doodle. In other words, a mutt) who’s a sweet little dog about 5 years old.

They’re expecting their first child soon and I sort of got guilted into making a quilt. Yesterday I went and bought fabric, not what I was looking for but it will do. That was an interesting experience – fabric was on sale and since the pattern I’m using calls for quarter yards only, I decided to get enough to make two small quilts. Each piece of fabric was no more than $1.75. I got a couple of larger pieces to use for backing and a ball of yarn because it’s supposed to be some sort of heat activated and it’s new and so I had to have it. Nothing in my cart was more than $6.

When the clerk rang it up, I was watching the total go up – it hit $123 and I said, “whoa! That’s not right!” She told me with great boredom, “this place can get expensive.” Umm, not THAT expensive for 24 quarter yards of fabric unless that shit is made of gold cloth! I said, “no, this is not right.” With a deep sigh, she said, “I’d have to call my manager to look at it.” Then she looked at me as though I was going to tell her not to bother. No, bitch, call and call fast! She handed me the receipt and lectured me as to which price I should look at because it lists the original price per yard, the sale price, and the price for the cut I got. Yes, Dear child, I know that, and I can add.

When I was in line to get my fabric cut, there was a man in front of me with a bolt of some fabric – not sure what – but it was $19.99 per yard. He asked how much 3 yards would cost and the cutter told him it would be $59.97. The man said he would think about it and left. As I perused my receipt, I see that the first item is 3 yards of something for a total of $59.97. Bingo! I said to the clerk, “I believe this amount is from the gentleman ahead of me, it should have been voided.” Again, with a deep sigh, she announced she would have to call her manager. And what exactly is holding you up there, darlin?

Finally she called. She told him, as if I were being difficult, that I thought there was something wrong with the amount. I glared at her, and did something I rarely do because I hate when people do it to me – I interrupted and proceeded to talk over her, explaining that nothing on my list was more than $1.75 and pointedly asking if the manager – who had been cutting the fabric – remembered the gentleman who asked for a price on 3 yards? Ohhhhhh, yes, well, that should have been voided. Damn skippy it should have, so get on it, Sunshine!

He took the amount off, I paid for my fabric and was pissed off for the rest of the day.

Tonight I looked at the pile of fabric and said, “I should start cutting.” I can’t find any motivation. I’m not sure why, probably if I was cutting the puppy fabric I bought I’d be more excited about this. Also, it hurt my hip to stand there – not sure why, probably yanked out of place again by a certain puppy who doesn’t know his own strength. Oh well, guess those strips won’t cut themselves.

Posted in home, my life | 7 Comments

Leave my stuff alone

A friend of mine likes to share articles on Facebook about how people of our generation have too much stuff, constantly reminding us that millenials don’t want our stuff and thus, we should get rid of it all now.

Somehow this strikes me as not just annoying but downright obnoxious. The most recent article was by a woman who was writing about cleaning out her mother-in-law’s home after the woman died, and finding a stash of sweaters that were her father-in-law’s from years past. Apparently he had died some years earlier. She couldn’t fathom why THESE old things had been kept and seem to relish discussing how they were tossed unceremoniously into a dumpster, then going on about how much they had to pay for said dumpster.

If her mother-in-law had been at all considerate, she would have spent the last years of her life throwing out her little mementos and tchotchkes rather than leaving them this mess to clear out.

The title of the article was “Your stuff isn’t worth anything.” Perhaps it’s not worth much monetarily. The friend who posted it recently moaned about owning a set of dishes which had cost over $1000, and is now worth about $35 to an auction house, and how his daughter doesn’t want it. It’s merely taking up space in his home. Someone commented on his lament – “then USE it!” I cheered inwardly.

I was given the heartbreaking task of cleaning my parents’ home when my mother died. As my sister and I say, the hoarding gene is strong in my family. There wasn’t a shirt box given to my mother that didn’t find its way to the attic. We, too, rented a dumpster, and tossed most of those shirt boxes, along with a bit of other “stuff” that was of no earthly use to us but apparently meant something to my parents.

My sisters and I have a lot of stuff, stuff he would consider just junk and apparently we should immediately clear our homes of the things that give us joy because our children and grandchildren won’t want to do it. To this I say, “tough shit, I won’t be here and I don’t care.” I am happy surrounded by my balls of yarn that I’ll never live long enough to knit up, by my hoards of books that I’ve read and the piles yet to be read, by little trinkets that sparkle in the sun and mementos of my ancestors.

Because someone doesn’t want to be bothered at some point in the distant future (I hope very distant) to have to deal with my balls of yarn, and my books and my treasures, I suppose I should give them all up and live in an austere little one room cabin with nothing but a blanket and one pair of clothes.

I’m a touch crabby today. Get off my lawn and leave my stuff alone. And you want to be a minimalist, good for you, go preach it to someone else. And get off my lawn.

Posted in home, my life | 11 Comments