NCIS

I am a great lover of NCIS.  I watch both the original and NCIS-LA, but I really like the original.  For a long time I ran NCIS episodes while I pieced quilt tops.  Now, we have a new version of NCIS coming our way, based in New Orleans.  Scott Bakula is the main character.  I really enjoyed him in Quantum Leap and Enterprise.

I should surf because we know that NCIS New Orleans is going to be on Tuesday nights, but they aren’t saying what time.  I wonder if NCIS LA is going to continue, and if so, will it still be on Tuesday?  Would you leave NCIS in the 7:00 spot, followed by NOLA and then L.A.?  Or, would you start with NOLA, go to the original, and end with L.A.?  Can you see it: All NCIS! ALL the time!

I’ll be sewing up a storm when we get to reruns!

Visiting

My youngest niece, who is a grown woman, is visiting.  She and one of her girlfriends arrived on July 3rd, and the two of them and Dear Husband spent the day and evening on Lake Michigan for the Fourth of July.   They took in the fireworks off Navy Pier in Chicago, and were home close to 1:30 in the morning.  I had the pleasure of playing in my studio all day!

I spent some time yesterday teaching beginning quilting to the girlfriend.  S. has never sewn, and wanted to start a simple Log Cabin pattern. We talked about color layout, and designs that could be created with Log Cabin blocks, and then made a trip to an area quilt shop to buy fabric. S. has never used a sewing machine, so I hope that her mother will be able to instruct her on how to use their sewing machine.  We covered how to cut the strips, and how to sew the pattern.  I had her sew part of a block on my machine.  I sent her home with completed samples, a spare cutting mat, rotary cutter and ruler.  I washed the fabrics for her last night, so she will be ready to start cutting strips tonight. when she returns home.  I’ll work with my niece this week, who wants to try her hand at one of the star quilt patterns.

My niece has come to give us a hand packing boxes.  We’ll be working in the basement and garage, trying to get as much cleared out as possible.  I’m very glad to have the help.  The job is dwindling, but still seems very daunting.  We are moving some things that we probably should be pitching, but we wanted to see what kind of room we had in our new home before giving things up.

It’s a lot of fun to have 20-somethings around.  It’s very refreshing to see the world from their point of view!

Happy Fourth

To all my Internet friends,  to my local friends, and to my family, I bid you a Happy Fourth of July!  I hope that you enjoy all the wonderful things of summer, family picnics with burgers and hot dogs and potato salad, and watermelon, swimming, carnival rides, sparklers and fireworks!

I hope you’ll take a moment to think about why we celebrate the Fourth of July.   We’re very fortunate to be free.  We owe our founding fathers our thanks for setting us on this path.  I hope this wonderful experiment called democracy will continue for many more centuries.  I, for one, am very grateful to be in the USA!

House Hunting

We looked at three houses today.  I fell in love with the second of the three.

We are looking for a ranch style house (one floor), with a full basement, and an attached two-car garage.  We would like a master bedroom suite and two or possibly three additional bedrooms, with at least two full bathrooms.  It would be nice if the basement is finished, but that isn’t required.  We are looking at houses in a range of size from 1500-2400 square feet. We hope to find a house with a much smaller lawn, to limit the mowing.

The house I liked today has a master bed room at one end of a hall, and the other two bedrooms were on the opposite side of the house.  It’s very sunny.  The basement is not completely finished, but it has a full bath.  It would make an exceptional quilting studio, as long as I could do the stairs.  The back yard is tiny, and the landscaping is phenomenal!  There’s a pocket lawn surrounded by a mulched area with an amazing assortment of trees.  My mother would have loved this house!  I hope we will have the chance to bid on it.

It Smells Green

It was a beautiful, sunny day today.  This is the first day we have both been out working on the lawn and gardens.  Dear Husband was mowing the lawn, (trying to kill the lawn mower), and repairing the lawn mower.  I spent my time in the sun working on the herb garden.  Between the chives I ripped out, and the grass DH cut, the air smells very green.

I cleaned out half of the walkway today, and turned the dirt in four sections of the herb beds.  I have two larger spaces to turn, and I want to add composted topsoil to the beds.  I have nasturtium seeds, and wildflower seeds, a pear tomato plant, and a pickle cucumber start to plant in the herb bed.  I may add basil and flat leaf parsley next week.

I’m fairly certain there is a bunny abode beneath my oregano plants.  I have enough oregano to stock the kitchens of Northern Illinois, and I noticed that one pod of it is raised in a very odd manner.  I thought about digging up the plant, but I think I’ll leave it for the new owners.  They can decide what goes and what stays.

The chives are about ready to bloom.  The clematis is reaching up, and we guided it to the arbor today.  The lemon balm, thyme,  spearmint, lamb’s ears, purple coneflower and day lilies are all doing well, in addition to the oregano. Feverfew is still trying to grow, and I’m still trying to eradicate it!

I won’t miss the weeding, but I WILL miss the herb garden.  It’s been a great joy over the years.

Friday’s notes

We’re coming down to the wire today, trying to get things cleaned up or cleared out before the photographer comes to take pictures for the brochure the agent will provide to those looking at our house

We’ve been moving things to the basement, boxing things up, and getting general cleaning done.  The guy who came to clean the carpets worked miracles, getting out an old rust spot and a newer stain that we couldn’t identify.  I made sure to praise him to the agent,  who had recommended him.

Yesterday, the men came to patch the hole in the office wall, and while he was at it, he patched some nail pops that had been irritating me for about 15 years.  Today they painted one wall and the ceiling.  I hope things will be dry enough to return the office in time for pictures,  we can always do that room last.

The house should be really clean, and lovely for Easter, but we won’t be hosting the usual family gathering.  Hopefully, we can rest for a couple of days before the house isn officially listed.

I love the open areas, and the light.  I love that the house shows it’s size and looks uncluttered, but it’s a very sterile look.   I’ll have some serious work to do when we start opening what I’ve packed up at the next house.  For sure, we won’t be keeping everything.  Most likely once we have moved, all my posts will be about having to decide what to give up.  If you’ve read this far, you are a very patient person, or a very good friend!

Soon to be gone

Resized  Exterior 1

 

Resized Exterior 2 Resized Exterior 3 Resized Office branch

 

This branch in the office is the only place that was damaged on the first floor.  There are at least three more branches in the attic.

TResized shot from inside

This was no little tree.  The tree service is working on it now, so that we can get the roof covered.  What you can’t see is the star magnolia that has been obliterated by the tree.

 

Tidbits

We have a fourteen-foot stake-bed truck that we inherited when our company closed.  It has a snow plow,  which has been very necessary this year with a minimum of 14″ of snow in the past month.  Unfortunately, the plow wouldn’t lift.   My surgery got in the way, or we would have had it repaired early in the month.  I finally pushed DH into the work necessary to make it possible to drive to the repair shop.  They discovered it wasn’t the plow motor that was the problem, but a very expensive computer part in the truck.  <sigh>  We brought it home, and DH spent an afternoon moving snow.  When he came in he told me that we will need to make another appointment to have a brake line repaired.  It’s always something.  We have a drive that is more than 240 feet to the garage.  We can’t do without it.  The good thing is, when we sell the house, we will have a truck with a recently repaired snow plow to sell, too!  :-)

My great-great-grand nephew Henry, who is about seven months old, had open-heart surgery on Friday, and has come through it like a champ!  He was in pain last night, which upset the entire family, but the docs have worked out his pain meds, and he’s doing much better, today.

Today,  DH took me to see “Monuments Men,” which was a very interesting movie.  I didn’t realize that we were able to prevent the theft of so much artwork, and return a great deal of it to the previous owners.  My understanding is that there are still thousands of paintings lost, but many of them, including those by Picasso, were burned, and others were taken by the Russians, so we won’t ever have a clear picture of what might yet be found.

I am healing nicely from my hernia surgery.  I’m going to return to exercise on Monday, which will be just three weeks and two days after the surgery.  The doc said I could do the footwork of the cardio session, but nothing that might pull on my stitches.  I need to get back to exercise or I’ll be a puddle very shortly!

I need to think of something spectacular to do for DH for Valentine’s Day!  He has been an amazing nurse, and good companion, seeing me through the past three weeks.  He deserves special recognition.

And, I’m ready for Spring.  My mind is full of cold frames, and seeds and plant catalogs.  I don’t need another month of snow, thank you very much.  Everyone….THINK POSITIVE!

 

Bunny Faces

I have a wonderful quilt top almost finished for my newest great great niece.  Actually, it’s been finished for a couple of months, waiting for me to figure out how to do  eyes and mouths for the bunnies that grace the quilt.  I’m very aware that it is inappropriate to sew  on small buttons for the eyes, so that left me in a quandary.  Should I try to do something with my sewing machine, or try to draw faces with permanent markers?

Well, I’m not much at drawing things.  I’d hate to ruin a block that is already sewn into a quilt top. (Yeah….I know….I should have done the faces and THEN sew them together.)  Everything about this quilt is a new experience for me.  This is the first time I have ever tried my hand at machine applique, including trying Stitch Witchery and Heat and Bond and other types of  sticky things. I’ve learned to use a blanket stitch, and learned that  I might want to consider putting the stitch into proportion with the pattern I’m  making.

Today, I spent about three hours at my sewing machine trying to see if I could sew  eyes or a wink, and a smile, or at least a mouth.   I’d choose a design and sew it.  Then I’d alter either the length or the width and run it again.  At that point I’d mark the design number and the changes.  And then I’d make some more changes.

(I think my new sewing machine can make waffles, but I haven’t found that button yet.)

I  took time to read through the manual.  It’s large and not very well written, but I did find a magic button that elongates a pattern, and that was just what I needed!  I practiced a bit, and think I’m ready.  Now, should all the  mouths and winks be in black, or white?

Decisions, decisions, decisions.  Thank God for all these babies who have joined my family.  I learn new things with each quilt I make for them.

 

Chores

EVERYONE has chores.  Sometimes I make lists of what needs to be done to encourage myself to get through them.  There are days I don’t do any chores, and days when I regret I didn’t do my chores! I’m adjusting to being retired, and have learned that having goals helps me to keep to a healthy schedule.

Having said that, I can tell you that I have finally put away the Halloween decorations, and re-organized those for Thanksgiving.  I think there might be another box of Thanksgiving decorations in the basement, but I’m happy with what is already out.

This Fall I made table runners from my batik stash.  The colors were warm golds and reds and tans.  I made one for each of my sisters and one for myself.  I have a lovely little mum, a grapevine pumpkin and a Tiffany-style lamp sitting on mine. I am trying to enjoy it as thoroughly as possible, because I’ll have to pack it up at the end of the week. (And I don’t have one made for Christmas!)

Can you hear me making lists of chores in my head???