Sunday, December 27, 2009

Bob Bob Bobbin Along...

Sometimes I hate making bobbins. They always run out at the most inopportune times and I don't have one of those machines that warns me when my bobbin is getting low. I do most of my piecing with grey thread, and when I make a bobbin, I tend to make 3 or 4, but I still have to stop to change them.... sigh. Sometimes it's not a big deal. Unfortunately a lot of my work is chain piecing and I can sew 40 or 50 items without bobbin thread before I realize I've run out. That's a pain in the ass at the best of times... but when you're paper piecing, it's a LOT worse... your paper is already perforated and sometimes a second time through actually separates the sections.

So... what brought this up was that I'm preparing for the New Year's Day Mystery at Quiltbug. This is a paper-pieced mystery and, yeah, I did about half of the pieces without bobbin thread. Sigh.

My mood wasn't enhanced by the fact that we'd just gotten back from about 16 hours of driving in 2 days. (Up to see my DMIL and DFIL for the holiday). It was a lovely visit but OH, that drive! We usually stay a few days when we go, but this time we drove up on the 24th and back on the 25th... bleah!

On an up note, we are looking forward to seeing Avatar at the IMAX tonight. That should be good.

We've been invited to a couple of NYE parties... one is gonna be a drunken brawl, the other is a Wii Party. I think we'll make a short appearance at the brawl and then go play Wii. Games are more our style than TML (too much liquor). I guess I won't be doing any NYE mysteries... just NYD.

It's going to be a busy few months after that... I've got so many quilty commitments: The new longarm, Road to California in January, Machine Quilter's Conference in February, Glendale Quilt Show in March... and potentially a retreat in April. In addition, I'm hosting my minigroup in January and hosting a mini-sew-in for them in February in my home. I have to finish two quilts for an upcoming show... one of which is partially done... the other isn't even started yet. HELP! The more I think about how much I've gotta do, the more that little nagging sense of panic starts to set in. But sometimes it's that panic that motivates too...

I hope I don't motivate myself into an asylum...

Today I am grateful for owning a reliable car (and a husband who helps me keep it that way - mostly by nagging a bit, but it works), for CalTrans, for the I5, for good friends and good health, and especially for a new year with all the new hope and new possibilities that it could bring.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Finishing Touches

Today I finished another quilt top... Which adds yet one more item to my UFO pile. It's getting bigger... and bigger... I have no idea how many I have now, but it's far too many... Some of them are PIGs, some are WHIMMs, most are simply basic UFOs...

I have had no ambition to actually QUILT anything lately. I feel guilty about it, like I'm letting someone down, but really when I think about it, I'm not. So they sit awhile. And I AM expecting my longarm to be delivered in January. I will probably have more inspiration to quilt when it arrives. I'd better, or my husband may kill me or divorce me. I bought it, I damn well better USE it.

I am afraid I'll be too intimidated by it. I think he thinks so too. I guess I've gotta prove him wrong.

I am excited about it, but I'm a little scared of the whole thing the closer to delivery date this gets... What if it's all too much for me? What if I'm not good at it? What if... what if... what if?

I've always been terrified of the 'what ifs' in life. I'm surprised I ever got married, or had a child or bought a house... those are all big ones...

Well... I've come this far... too late to back out now. Onward and Upward... Excelsior!

Today I am grateful for weather. Does that sound stupid? Maybe to folks from outside socal, it does... but we rarely have weather here... we have climate. It's hot, warm or cool, but rarely do we have 'weather'... real, changeable, day to day changes. Clouds & precipitation aren't the norm here... we get clear skies or overcast, that's about it. Tomorrow we are supposed to have clouds, with maybe some rain, high winds and really cold temps. Finally - more sweater weather! I love wearing sweaters! I think I'll light a fire, sew, and pray for rain.

The Coming Year

I think that, while I will never be a perfect housekeeper... in fact I'll never be much of one at all... the massive clutter problem is under control at last. I've managed to keep the house relatively clutter free since the organizers finished over a month ago. We are keeping things from piling up, dealing with stuff when it comes in the house, generally keeping clutter under control. We have places for things and things go in their places. Finally, I have a home that we can enjoy, and visitors can enjoy as well. My mother would be proud of me, at last.

As for the coming year, I've already started planning ahead... There are a lot of things I'd like to do this year. I never place much stock in New Years Resolutions - they are usually quickly forgotten and rarely kept. Still, I have plans for the New Year. Here are my plans, so far. (No doubt they will be added to/modified as time goes on).

1. Finish the requirements to get my adult school credential
2. Catalog all my WIPs, PIGs and WHIMMs
3. Prioritize all my WIPs, PIGs and WHIMMs
4. Be on time for appointments and classes.
5. Finish AT LEAST one project for every new one I start.
6. Take at least one trip every 2 months with my DH, even if it's just for a weekend getaway.

I still intend to keep up with my 'gratitude' posts. Is it true that being grateful changes your outlook? I dunno... I'm still practicing it. Sometimes it's hard to think of something I'm grateful for that doesn't seem petty and self-serving or trite. It's supposed to get easier, the more you do it. So far, not so much... still.. here goes:

Today I am grateful for a husband who cooks. He not only enjoys it, he's good at it too. I'm very lucky.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I got up this morning and started sewing. When I went to press what I'd sewn, my iron wouldn't get hot. Not sure what happened, needless to say, I was highly disappointed. I took a trip to a local store to buy a new one. They apparently don't make the model I had before any longer, but there was still one on display at the store. I looked at a couple of newer models of comparable features and decided on one of them. On a whim, I asked the salesperson if, since they no longer needed the floor model, and couldn't sell it - if they'd throw it in if I bought the newer model. He took it down off the display, put it in my cart and told me to tell the checker that I brought it in my old one to compare. I gave him a wink and a nod, and bought myself a new iron, with a second one to boot. Now I have one for home and one to take on retreats. That floor model iron is working great! I love it, and hate the idea that there won't be any more of them in the future.

I only accomplished a little today, quilting-wise. Two complex paper-pieced kanji blocks... but I think we finally finished the last of our holiday shopping with gifts for my in-laws today. My husband still needs a secret-santa gift for a co-worker though. I'm glad I did most of my shopping online earlier. Now I just have to wrap things and decorate our solstice foliage.

I'll be doing the New Year's Day mystery quilt at, so I'm preparing for that as well. I've got several quilts to finish before October. That sounds like a long time to get ready for it, but it's not that long, especially with all the things I have planned for the near future...

January - Road to California show and new longarm machine arriving; February - quilting conference in northern California, March - several classes at Glendale quilt show, trip to North Carolina to visit a friend; April - possible quilting retreat; sometime in all of that, I have to finish the requirements to get my teaching credential and I have 4 quilts that have to be finished before October... preferably before July. Two of those quilts WIPs, two are WHIMMs. I know it seems like July and October are a long way off yet, but as with all such things, the time seems to just disappear and these long-term goals turn into last minute panic deadlines.

I wish I was a more organized, focused person. Then maybe these projects wouldn't seem so daunting. I think I need to get on a 'no-new-projects' program. That is one of my biggest problems... I keep seeing things that 'won't take long' and I try to squeeze them in. And while individually these projects don't really take that long, they DO eat up time and distract me from what I NEED to be doing. On that note, I decided NOT to sign up for the 'Saturday Sampler' at the local quilt shop this year... I will still be doing on-line BOMs, but I can skip months on those and do the blocks whenever I want - even save the patterns and do them next year (or at least after October).

What am I thankful for this time around? I am grateful for the little courtesies to and from strangers - doors held open, smiles, friendly greetings, wishes for a merry season... while these things are more prevalent in this season when folks are reminded to take time to feel friendly towards strangers, they are there all the year round. Say hello to someone with a scowl, hold open a door to a cold, hurried shopper, buy a cup of coffee for a complete stranger, leave an opening for someone else to turn into your lane. Give a little, get a little... karma, baby.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik

Saw 'A Little Night Music' at the Kentwood last night. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love Sondheim - well, his lyrics anyway. I think I like his shows more when someone else composes, but his lyrics are inspiring. I, too, am a word junkie and just love how he plays with rhyme, syntax, metre.... Anyway, saw the play with a couple of folks (DH and DA) who aren't Sondheim fans, so we all agreed to disagree.

Today I haven't sewn at all... didn't even touch any fabric except a small piece that was in the wrong place... just moved it. No sewing, nothing constructive.

I did run a short D&D game, but mostly it was a wasted day. Tomorrow I will do better.

Today I am grateful for second chances... for the opportunity to right wrongs, to fix mistakes, to make up for shortcomings. We all need second chances from time to time, and we need to allow others to have them as well.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

...and more rain...

It's still raining steadily and is supposed to continue through tomorrow. I hope it does... I am just LOVING all this rain.

Tonight I get to drive into Santa Monica to visit a dear friend, go out to dinner, and hopefully see a movie.

Finished my settings for the Saturday Sampler and now working on borders, so something accomplished at least. I hope I can have at least the inner border done by the time I leave for SM this afternoon.

I participated in my first quilted post card exchange this season. I sent out two postcards and have received one of the two I'm expecting. It's beautiful - machine embroidered with a fantastic scalloped stitched edge. I hope they like the ones I sent out. Only mailed them on Thursday, so not sure when they will arrive at their destinations. I can't wait to see my second one. Maybe next exchange, I'll do more than one group. I love getting mail!

Today I am grateful for good health. So many people are sick this time of year. It doesn't matter if it's H1N1, seasonal flu, cold, or something more serious, any sickness just drains you. My best friend has a cold in the middle of the tumult of the first stages of divorce. She is laid up at home while her husband is in the process of moving out. I cannot imagine dealing with such a thing while feeling so low already. My heart just aches for her. The news is full of horrible health threats this time of year... so many young folks falling ill or even dying of H1N1 respiratory effects. While I am not without the aches and pains of aging, I am in relative good health and I cannot be thankful enough for it. I think too many of us, in the turmoil of our busy day to day lives, forget what a blessing it is to have our health.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Rainy Day

Happily piecing, albeit slowly... making the setting squares for a Saturday Sampler I did this past year. I wish I could get up the initiative to quilt, but that would mean cleaning off my sewing table a bit more... Otoh, I have the excuse that I'm waiting for my longarm to do my quilting. One more month to go.

Tonight is the first night of Chanukah. I have no presents for anyone tonight. I was thinking about shopping today for my son but, well, I love the rain most when I can stay in the house sewing in front of a roaring fire... I do like driving in the rain, but I didn't feel like getting out of my pj's today.

Today I am grateful for rain. I love the sound of the rain on the roof and looking out at the hills through the slanted bars of the falling rain. Not to mention the fact that we need the rain here so we can have snow in our mountains. It is the melting snow that fills our reservoirs. Maybe we can have a summer without water rationing next year.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Ever have one of those days?

Forecast for 5 days of rain, and still no rain. A zillion things to do come Monday, and the weekend seems to be crawling along... the things that should be fun aren't... the accomplishments that should feel good don't... bleah...

That's how I feel... bleah...

The only thing that makes it all seem worth waiting through is rain... PLEASE let it rain... soon.

I want to be warm and cozy with a roaring fire while it pours outside and I can sew all day long.

Today I feel grateful for the change in the weather, even though so far it's just lots of threatening clouds and the chill in the air.... We definitely need the rain. It's December already and we're still on water rationing here. A good solid 5 days of rain (and snow in the mountains to fill our reservoirs) would be more than welcome.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

No Pain, No Gain... but no pain!

I've been doing this not-so-extreme boot camp thing 3 days a week. It still all hurts... but I guess it's been doing me some good. I wish I could just get skinny and not work at it... my genes just suck I guess.

On a more positive note: I'm grateful for a warm house in cold weather, and warm kittehs to purr in my ear at night. They seem like little things, but when I think about the homeless on these cold nights, it makes me realize what a big thing having warm shelter really is. And the kittehs? well, without a cat, a house isn't a home.

I finished two quilt tops this past weekend, and am working on a few more quilts (one block at a time for most of them), and am eagerly awaiting my longarm due to be delivered in early January... hoooooray!

Monday, November 30, 2009

on being an old sew & sew

For three days I've been sewing like a mad quilt fiend. I've finished one large lap and most of a tablerunner, made a few orphan blocks, and finished the back for the lap quilt. For me, this is a lot to get accomplished, along with keeping the house clean.

I am grateful today for having friends who care about me and like spending time with me. I think maybe I'm a more likable person since the Abilify has made such a difference in dealing with the depression. Or maybe I'm just meeting more people who aren't so appearance conscious (trust me, I actually had one person I thought was a long-time friend tell me he and his wife couldn't be seen with me any more because this is California and I'm not thin or pretty or young). Anyway... I'm grateful that my friends now don't think that way and really seem to like me. I know I like them. Thank you Debbie, Saundra, Kathy, Sue, Donna and everyone else.

For those who want to see more pictures of the amazing changes to my house (and my quilts), they are all posted on my flickr account at

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Don't Let the Rain Come Down

We were promised rain... but it never arrived... sigh. We NEED some rain here... but at least it snowed in the mountains, which means we may have some water next summer.

On an upnote, the lack of rain means that I got my solartubes installed in studio and kitchen yesterday. It was amazing sewing and working in there with all the light! I loved it! I now feel like a quilt artist with a studio, not just a quilter with a sewing area.

My only really big project left for the studio is shelves for books and magazines and a place for a tv... the little tv in there that I have to share with the kitchen on a swivel stand is no longer adequate. Analysts are saying there will be equal or better deals to those on Black Friday in the coming weeks, so I'll be watching and waiting to pounce.

Longarm is supposed to be delivered Jan 9th... I hope... and then I go to Road to California the weekend after. Somewhere in there, I will get to start quilting! I can't wait.

Today I am thankful for my friends and family, and again for Starbucks coffee (can't get enough of thankfulness for triple espresso goodness).

Friday, November 27, 2009

Giving Thanks

So for days I've been agonizing over the menu, the process, the logistics of hosting dinner for 15 people... To the point of having nightmares about it all... you know, the kind where you walk out, carrying the lovely turkey on a platter, trip and make a total disaster of the crowning moment.

Anyway, there were no terrible debacles and all went well... everyone got along, the food was incredible... but mostly the company was wonderful... I wish I could save this moment in time forever. I am spent, my feet ache, my kitchen is a total disaster, but it was FUN...

I gave one of my favorite quilts to one of my favorite people. I made this quilt for my parents, and they are both gone now. I have so much of who they were in my home, and this was a chance to share a little of that with a dear friend who loved them, too. I know she will treasure it with the force of all the memories and love she shared with my folks. What better place for it to be?

Today I am grateful for so much. Mostly I am grateful for the chance to apologize for old mistakes, and the grace to accept apologies as well, and in so doing, heal old wounds and reconnect with old friends.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ghosts of Thanksgivings Past

Bombarded by ads coaxing me to spend spend spend, I am more determined than ever to cocoon at home on Black Friday with a movie or two or three... and maybe a sewing project or two. It's not that I wish the retailers a worse bottom line than they had last year, but there's nothing I really need... and nothing I really want (that badly).

Corrolary: My sympathies to all those who brave the parking lots, malls, and stores after Thanksgiving.

Today I am thankful for my senses and all the ways in which I am able to perceive the world so I can turn those perceptions into my art. I am grateful for the ability to categorize all these perceptions, too... When you think about the amazing array of neurons and the biological mechanisms that make all these senses and interpretation of sensation possible, it's pretty amazing.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Touch of Class

Today I took a class from Tammie Bowser in making mosaic quilts. I did a picture of my dad, who passed away a couple of years ago. The picture looks just like him, though the colors are a bit odd... It was a lot of fun, I haven't taken a 'technique class' in far too long, and I love learning new things.

I am grateful today for the human capacity to learn something new, no matter how old I get. I am grateful for good friends and good company to learn with. And I'm grateful to patient and knowledgable teachers.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Finished is better than perfect...

I've learned from fellow quilters that this adage is one we should all take to heart. So the house isn't perfect, but it is as finished as it's gonna get, at least for a while. Pictures are hung... some of them, the china cabinet is loaded and looks wonderful. My sewing room is cleaned out and ready for serious work to be done there. I am satisfied.

As for what I'm grateful for today: I am thankful for Starbucks triple shot short mochas. That's a rather trivial thing, but it got me through this evening after a long day. On a less trivial note, I am grateful for a wonderful, patient and understanding lifemate and husband. I should try harder to make him see how thankful I am that he and I share this life. No promises - I didn't say I WOULD try harder (last thing I need is another load of guilt), only that I should. I pray that after 27 years, he gets it even when I don't show it.

I love you, Joe.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cabinets and Kings...

Actually I think that was supposed to be cabbages and kings, but I got my new cabinet from the shippers today (huzzah!) and now on to 'many things'...

Started piecing my plaid exchange quilt last night... didn't finish, but I made progress... I have to frog a little and fix a couple of things, but not much. I have to make three additional blocks for the quilt and make them look like they belong, but aren't from the same stash. Had to take apart and re-sew an entire block (ah, the pitfalls of block exchanges).

and finally... I've decided to start being grateful for what I have and am, rather than whine about what I'm not or don't have or can't do...

So on that note, my thought for today is that I'm grateful for having good health insurance and a doctor who 'gets me'. I hope that sometime soon that everyone in the country.. hell, the world.. can afford to see a doctor when they need to without restrictions on the type of treatment they can receive.

Monday, November 16, 2009

On the Home Front

Home from retreat - did a little shopping, a lot of quilting and sewing, and a lot of relaxing too.  Enjoyed the sea air, the quilty companionship, the dolphins, the sandpipers, the seagulls... not so much the flies (very weird - never had problems with flies at that beach house before).  Had fun chatting with all the ladies from my guild.. there is SO much talent there!  Amazing work went on this weekend.  I finished my placemats for Thanksgiving dinner, finished my C&C SS block, sewed two scottie dogs for my friend Kathy, sewed buttons on two bear blocks, and started the topstitching on my ONA (Other Native Americans) blocks.  Cleaned up my space and left a little early so I could shop on the way home.  Bought a new rack to hang presser feet for my Bernina and a little bit of fabric at a couple of shops so I can finish the plaid quilt.

All told it was a fairly successful retreat.... but usually, at retreat, I'm the one still up sewing at 2am.  This time I was fairly early to bed - by midnight Thurs and Fri and I think I went to bed at 10 or 11 on Saturday.  I think part of that was that I forgot my meds and was coming down off the Abilify - for a depression med it works fast, but I think it wears off fast too.  That would tend to make me a little irritable and very much at odds with myself about what to do and how to do it... which is how I felt by Saturday night.  So I went to bed early and woke up exhausted - too tired to even run down to Starbucks Sunday morning... hmmm... now that I think of it, maybe Saturday's low point had something to do with the 6 shots of espresso on Saturday morning?  anyway, I stopped at a couple of shops on the way home, but when I got home, I was exhausted... watched a little tv with the DH, but slept through most of it.  Finally went to bed about 8:30, unable to keep my eyes open any more.  I put the tv on in bed, watched for about 5 minutes before I was out.  Where has all my energy gone???

Today, Organize This is coming back.  The plan was to start putting things back INTO my house... but it's disorganized again... not nearly as bad as before, but my studio is still in a state of half disarray while I organize and shelve fabric, the living room is a disaster with all my retreat stuff still half unpacked.  They're going to have to 'reorganize' a little before we start putting things back where they belong.  ... sigh!  The guilt is already setting in.

But I have 14 or 15 people coming for Thanksgiving dinner, so I can't let this depression take over my life now... and my new longarm is being delivered on Dec. 3rd, so I've got to be ready for that too... Does this topsy-turvy-always-overwhelmed-with-life feeling EVER go away?  When will I ever get to sew again?  Will my 24 yo son EVER move out and finish college?  For the answers to these and other questions, stay tuned...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Full Speed Arrears... Retreating!

I am busy preparing to leave on a 4 day quilting retreat.  I'm not folding fabric (much).  I'm not putting things away in my spiffy new cabinets... I am instead prepping all the parts for the placemats I'm making for thanksgiving dinner, and getting my tools together for a trip to the seashore and 4 days of nothing but quilting in my pajamas.

I did hear from my shipper today and my new china cabinet should be arriving on Weds or Thurs.  I hope it'll be Weds, because I'll be leaving for the retreat on Thurs midday.  Would be all kinds of suck for it to come Thurs afternoon after I was on the road.  I told the shipper this, and he said he'd make all effort to arrive here on Weds.  We shall see...

Tonight I ran D&D for my husband and friends, and tomorrow I am going to play some D&D at a friend's house in Pasadena.  Nothing like a little re-direction to focus your drive...  Maybe Monday I'll get back to finishing my prep for retreat.

I love the retreats themselves, but the planning and logistics of taking everything I need without overloading is always stressful.  Whether it's a retreat, a cruise, a weekend vacation... I always take too much stuff.  I'd love to hear how others handle this issue....

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fabriholic Hell

I think I've finally entered fabriholic hell...  I have been folding and sorting fabric for days, and while I've obviously made a dent in the piles of stash bins, I think I've finally reached the saturation point where it's no longer fun to fondle and fold fabric. 

On an up-note, I did get to sew yesterday.   I went to class and finished one small part of a quilt I'm making (one block sewn and three blocks put together.  I also completed the current mystery block from Ula Lenz's website.  It's a ... whoops... that would be telling... I'll post a pic on flickr when she reveals the mystery. 

It was cathartic and healing and fun to sew for a while, surrounded by a whole gruop of like-minded ladies.

Yet somehow, it was not cathartic enough to inspire me to WANT to fold fabric when I got home. 

Saturday, October 31, 2009

and paint...

Actually, only paint in the living room, dining room and my studio, but still, it's paint.  Is it a cultural thing to paint with semi-gloss on the walls in rooms other than bath and kitchen?  The painter has to buy more paint and re-do everything because I don't want semi-gloss in the living room or dining room (except on the trim).  Sigh... and he was gonna come back Monday to do it.  I put my foot down... I am not going to live with all my furniture piled up in the middle of the living room covered with tarps for two more days.  I sent him off to buy new paint and come back and finish it today!  He wants to keep me happy - he wants to paint more rooms for me later.  I know it would be cheaper to contract for the whole house at once but I can't afford it.  So he's doing it one room/area at a time.

Next will be the stairway, a major project in and of itself.  There's still cottage cheese ceiling there, like in the bedrooms... it's gotta go before repainting.   I may do the hallway and all the doors and trim myself... There's 8 doors along this hallway and very little wall on the side where all the doors are... I think I can handle it and it would cost a lot of money just for them to do that cuz of all the hand/detail work.  I'll have them do all the bedrooms - cottage cheese ceilings and wallpaper have to come down, and the bathrooms...

I'm thinking of doing the master bedroom in dark plum, the guest bedroom in blue or maybe a pale tropical green.  My son's room (which will become my longarm room someday when he moves out), I will do in silver and steel colors I think... so I will have a plum room, a blue (or green) room, and a grey room.  I will paint the library that deep green of old leather bound books.  Most of the library is bookcases anyway, so not a lot of wall shows, but I think it would be restful and calming.

I have no intention of changing the tile or countertops in the kitchen or bathrooms, so the main bath will stay sand/tan, with maybe tropical/ocean blue walls.  The master bath will keep blue tile, with maybe paler blue walls.  or dark blue?  The kitchen is all in white tile so the very few and small bits of wall I think I will paint deep cinnamon or tuscan red for some drama.

Any ideas welcome....  my husband, as usual, simply says 'whatever you want, dear- just remember I have to live with it, too'... which means really, he has an opinion, but is being passive aggressive.  If he had his way, the entire house would be painted white.  Not off-white, not swiss chocolate, not navajo white... WHITE.  with white trim.  sigh.  Ain't happening.  I want COLOR.... DRAMA... I want to be able to tell my guests... 'you can sleep in the blue room'... lol... I know, sounds silly, but I think it's cool.

I've got about half my colorwall arranged... Just the greens and reds remain, and the greens are half done.  I have yet to get to the batiks or the stuff that was never sorted... I'm gonna have to leave the cat fabrics in bins.  There's only room for so much fabric.  It will be nice to be able to see and get to all my fabric, touch it, get eye tracks all over it, and find just what I need when I need it. 

And someday soon, I might get to sew again - that IS what all this is all about, isn't it?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Cabinets!

My new cabinets were delivered and installed yesterday!  I am thrilled with them... but daunted as well, for before me lies the task of refolding all my fabric, storing it by color, and figuring what to do with all the fabric that won't fit in the new shelves.

What's really funny is that the folks who built the cabinets are the husband and sons of a quilting friend.  She told me her husband doesn't think I can fill all those shelves... boy has he got a lot to learn.  He has no concept of the amount of fabric I own.

I JUST started on the browns, tans and creams.  I have done about 1/4th of a bin and filled about 1/4th of a shelf.  At this rate I will fill the shelves and still have about 10 bins left over.  sigh.... but it will all be more accessible and controllable... I hope.

Not to mention the fact that I can cycle out what I don't really love and sell the unloved fabric at a huge stash reduction sale next year.

I am getting the tile fixed on my countertops today from when I got my new stove installed... and I get to pick out paint color for the living room later today.  Maybe Friday we will have the painter return to do the work.  One room at a time is all I can afford right now.

Oh, and my dog hates the new floor... she can barely walk on it, poor thing.... all the slipping and sliding... and she can't sneak around any more cuz her claws click and clack on the laminate.  Poor old pup...  sometimes she just stands outside the door and looks pitifully at me, torn between wanting to come in and not wanting to walk on the floors.

Now all I need is, I don't know... TIME to actually SEW???

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Getting There...

It's been a long time since I posted anything.  Just a quick update on everything.  Organization of the house moves on apace.  Most of the paperwork has been purged, either recycled or waiting for shredding.  We still have to deal with books and games, but the house looks like people can live it in finally.  My studio is ready for new ceiling and cabinets, but the contractor for the ceiling hasn't contacted me yet.  The ceiling better happen soon, or I won't get my cabinets. I'm not seething yet, but I'm not thrilled.  My todo list for tomorrow includes a phone call to the general contractor of course.

DH Joe has been great this weekend.  He put together my new Ikea chair and footstool, 5 sets of metal shelves and came with me to visit with friends in LA on Saturday.

I also finished a mystery quilt and am starting to learn hand quilting.  Not sure I'd want to make a career of hand quilting, but I'm enjoying learning how regardless... I have so much admiration and awe of incredible hand quilters like Bertha Stenge... and that awe is growing the more I learn about hand quilting.  I can't wait til my longarm is delivered and I can start machine quilting larger quilts, finish up some of those UFO's that are sitting unquilted in my WIP baskets.

Today was the weirdest day... despite all the things I did, I have been gripped by an overwhelming lethargy all day.  It's like there was something in the air... floating ennui, barometric changes... I don't know.  I hope tomorrow is better - it's my last day with the organizers til the week before thanksgiving.  I am hosting thanksgiving dinner here for friends and family, so I hope the house is ready to receive all.  New interior, new start, new life...

Thursday, October 8, 2009


The floors are supposed to be done by today.  I'm supposed to drive to Camarillo today on a couple of errands, as well as pick up some new power strips for our house.  I have an appt. at four, bootcamp at 6, had to cancel my housekeeper for today (how can she work in a house with half it's floors, workmen around and cement dust everywhere?  She is coming Monday morning instead.

I've just found out that the installation of our new cabinets starts Monday in a room full of fabric, papers, furniture and electronics from the living room.

No problem, just move the stuff out... We are going to the theatre Friday night, have an engagement from about 11am til 10pm Saturday.  So we have Sunday... To clear out a room FULL of fabric and papers.  Not to mention OrganizeThis is coming on Monday as well to help put the house back in order.  HAH!... This is going to be a fiasco.  sigh

Out of chaos comes order (or is it the other way around... if so, I'm screwed)...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato.... Floor

They started working on our new floors yesterday (Monday).  It was supposed to be a one day job... with another day or two for the stairs... Sunday, we finished packing up the last few things lying around on furniture and such.  We unplugged all the electronics, moved TVs and DVRs and such.  Monday morning we locked up  one cat in a bathroom and two more cats in the library.  Poor kitties were miserable all day with the noise and the strangeness of being locked up and all.  The installers didn't even get all the carpet up on the first day.... sigh.

Apparently our foundation is in very bad shape.  They ran into a problem with one of the old wood floors - it was laid down on and glued to tile underneath... and the tile was glued to the foundation... they had to chisel it off, leaving pits in the foundation.  Needless to say, there was a lot of cement being laid down to level everything off.  We slept in sleeping bags in bare rooms last night.   It was... less than pleasant.  Poor dog was locked in the master bedroom with a miserable cat.  Another cat stayed locked in the library (he wouldn't come out of hiding, he was so traumatized, poor thing), and the third cat slept in her usual room.

This morning, we locked up the cats again, and the installers pulled up the rest of the carpet and found more bad foundation.  They laid more cement to level it as much as they could, but said complete leveling was beyond what they could do.  I hope the floor lies flat, that's all... anyway...

It's 3pm and they have half the living room floor laid.  I really doubt they'll get any of the bedrooms started today, so not only will it be an uncomfortable night, it will be chilly and uncomfortable for the dog especially.  She hates her dog bed and the floors will all be hard.  She's gonna have to get used to sleeping on a dog bed really soon because I won't let her sleep on the sofas.

I have pictures of the rooms with no carpets... hopefully I'll soon have pictures of the rooms with floors.  Unfortunately I haven't been able to upload any pictures here... I think I'll have to lower the resolution so they don't get rejected.

On a brighter note, I finished (REALLY finished) another quilt.  My best friend's birthday quilt is done.  I'm gonna surprise her with it soon.  Picture of this quilt should appear in the slideshow soon.  I tried a little sewing today amid the chaos (they're not reflooring the family room where my studio is).  Yet it was still hard to work - half the living room furniture and all the electronics are in the family room, not to mention cement dust everywhere.  I finished one block and some cutting, but I just couldn't work in there. 

On another note, my new china cabinet hasn't arrived yet... it was supposed to be here Monday or today.  I haven't got my 24 hour warning call yet, so I doubt it will be here tomorrow either... I hope they didn't forget me, though I have to say I'm glad they didn't deliver it before the dining room floor got finished.  I look forward to all this being done at last and we can get on with the business of clutterbusting, painting and just living...

And my adult son can move out of the house and I can have my new longarm delivered!

Oh and more good news... my husband wants my truck and said I can get a new car (originally he wanted a new truck).  I'm gonna be looking for a newer Baja, but maybe I'll get an Outback instead.  (We both love Subarus).  I wish they were still making the Baja... I'd buy one in a flash.  Anyone out there have a 2006 Baja they want to sell?

Friday, October 2, 2009


So today was my first weekday in almost two weeks that OrganizeThis hasn't been here.  I miss the team (Shannon, Mary and Tina).  Still, I did some of my homework today - I sorted books.  I bound a quilt. I made a label for the quilt, put a hanging sleeve on it.  And it's only a week late for Kathy's birthday.  I made blocks for a BOM, a paper pieced mystery block, and I did a little walking and a little shopping.  I did a few changes on the blog so it displays only my own quilts on the main page slideshow. 

Tomorrow I have a BOM meeting in the morning, exercise in the park with our trainer at 9am, then off to the Conejo Guild quilt show for the rest of the day.  I hope I survive it! 

Sunday should be a day of rest, but the flooring installers are coming first thing Monday morning and we still have a few last minute things to move out of the rooms so they can work.  One day to do the house and I think he said another day for the stairs. 

Not sure when, but the cabinets for my studio should be done and ready for install any day now - he said two weeks and it's been almost that now.  Can't wait - I can put away all my fabric and have room to WORK in my studio.  New ceilings in there too, then the skylights in both studio and kitchen.  I think then it will be time to stop and enjoy the house for a while as it is before we start thinking about the interior paint.  (I know, I know - we should have painted first... but we might have never gotten to the floors if we'd done that... it might be months before we actually get to the painting, and these carpets have GOT TO GO!)...

I can't wait for my studio to be done and to be able to use the photo studio again soon to take pictures of the quilts... I missed out one show already this year because of inability to get a decent photo... next year for sure!

Oh... and I've discovered the joy of using a stiletto... I have always resisted using them, but I've come so close to sewing through a nail (and the finger underneath, and got to watch someone do that on Project Runway last episode), so while I was sewing all these tiny points, I figured wth, I'll try it... and WOW.. what was I waiting for??? what an idiot I am... I LOVE it... I may use it for everything from now on... sigh

AND I got to play with my new quilting toy today.  A friend recommended this thing called a gachunk?  anyway, came from - large size... OMG... are these wonderful binding clips!  they stay in place, don't stick out from the edge like those hair clip thingies.... and just pull off when done.. It took about 30 of them to clip an entire wallhanging, but they are great!...  Had to share.

Talked to an old friend today.  She moved to South Carolina a few years ago and I miss her a lot.  Made tentative plans to go out to visit her in February.  I hope they are more than idle plans, I really do want to see her.  She saw me through some pretty dark times when my mother passed away, and she is just a comfortable, warm friend to be around.  I could use a hug from her, and to give one right back.  Soon, soon...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Racing to the Finish...

It's Wednesday.  I finished a quilt top last night.  Fell asleep early.  Woke up at 2:30 am and put the last border on the quilt... does that count as last night or this morning?  I watched TV with my husband who also woke up early.  We had breakfast and I fell asleep after he left for work.  I barely made it to class on time.  I got another quilt almost done being quilted... it's ready for binding already.

OrganizeThis has been working in my son's room for 2 days.  I don't even recognize the room!  Awesome! 

Two more days is the final push to prep the house for new floors.  I have lots of homework for tonight, tomorrow night and the weekend.

My new china cabinet is due to be delivered early next week.  I think I'm finally going to love my space.  We never did get to the upstairs or the master closet... at least not yet... but I dunno... maybe now I'll have the skills (or some of them), to do this for myself.  We were supposed to do the kitchen too.... they ARE coming back for a few days the following week. 

I think I will reward myself by going to a quilt show this weekend.  This of course will also reward my husband with a day on his own to work on his aquaponics project.  We both win!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tackling MySpace...

Not the virtual one... In this case, I meant the master bedroom.  That was the agenda for Monday.  OMG, They did it so fast and with such organization.. I can see surfaces I haven't seen in years (and I mean that literally).  Dressertops, floorspace... I can move my exercycle in now (after the new floors are done)!  And it wasn't nearly as painful as I thought it would be.  Of course there were a few things they kinda of looked at me like I was crazy when I said I was keeping them, but I got rid of a lot more stuff today - including more stuffed animals... still have too many - more than I need, but less than before.  I have a LOT of homework in there still - boxes to go through... and a lot still in the family room - but we are making progress.

My son's room was the agenda for today, but he informed me late last night that has to go in to work early today, so maybe more in the garage today?  I will be working on homework today when they don't need me - I think in the bedroom though - the homework in the family room can actually wait - the family room floors are not being redone.

Really the only floorspace still needing work pre-flooring is the master closet and my son's room, though I think more work has to be done in the guest room too.  I'll have to check in there.

I am so thrilled I did this even though it's costing me a lot... it is SO worth it.  Now the process is to KEEP it this way... that is something my husband and I will have to work on.  While he is not the packrat I am, he's not much better than I am about the whole dropping things on whatever surface is handy bit.  Maybe now, with a little work (but without getting anal about it), we can live less cluttered lives.  I'm SO looking forward to the future now...

After the new floors - new cabinets in the quilting room, organizing the kitchen, studio and garage - and maybe I will be able to park my car in there again (oh, happy day!).   And the pièce de résistance... Delivery day!  I will be able to have my longarm delivered and installed.  In my studio initially, but eventually I will have a dedicated room for it - my son has to move out someday!

Somehow this entire blog has been usurped by cleaning and organizing - I didn't intend for that to happen - but I suppose it is a temporary thing...  Back to quilting soon, I hope.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday on the Road with Joe...

Today we decided to walk to a nearby restaurant for breakfast.  Part of our exercise regime is to walk an hour a day.  So a half hour after we started walking, we arrived at the restaurant... no cars... no smoke from the bbq... sign on the door saying 'closed for renovations and remodeling'.  However we suspect they are closed forever - there were no signs of work inside, lots of mail on the floor inside the door and many many final notices from the utilities hanging on the door.  Oh well... long walk for nothing... we headed back home but at least we got our hour walk in.

I worked on a quilt in progress for a bit, met with a friend, sorted and folded some fabric, prepped to run D&D, ran D&D, took a friend to dinner and to see Surrogates (don't waste your money) for her birthday.  Somehow I managed to sort through 5 boxes of crap among the homework and it doesn't even look like I made a dent.... sigh.

Joe and I shelved a lot of books upstairs in the library (emptied some of those boxes too).  Tomorrow is Day 1 of Hell Week 2.  The team will be back, no more goofing off... wonder what we will work on tomorrow.  I know Tuesday is for my son's bedroom.... and I guess while that is going on, I'll work on the homework more.  Maybe the master bedroom tomorrow.  We'll see...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

No Rest for the Wicked....

Homework... Thought I was done with that after college... but we have homework.  Lots of papers to go through.  We went to exercise in the park this morning.  Now we're playing D&D because we do that on alternate Saturdays.  Plllllbbbbbttt to the homework... Although there is this nagging thought in the back of my mind while I play 'You SHOULD be sorting crap'.  Maybe tomorrow.

But tomorrow is a birthday party for my friend, and I've got a quilt to finish for her.  I hope we can do SOME homework before Monday.  We DID take 5 more bins of books to the library this morning, so it's not like we're shirking everything.  If the team gets mad at us for not doing enough homework, at least we did SOMEthing. 

and now... I'm gonna go kill something nasty....

Friday, September 25, 2009

Today was day four - I was too exhausted and in too much pain to post last night - fell asleep early after taking pain meds and letting my husband massage a massive knot out of my calf muscle.

Day 3 went fairly well, got a lot of stuff sorted - most everything in the living room.  Joe and I had homework to do - sorting papers and such.. we got some of it done - got it down from five bins to three.  I gave up a lot of things I thought I'd never be able to part with... But they are just things... I can live without those things.

Day 4, Joe took the day off work.  Time was split between the guest room, where Joe's office is, and the dining room.  The wonderful team from OrganizeThis stripped out the hutch and bookcase in the dining room, and lots of crap and old clothes out of the guest room.  Joe was here and was able to identify a lot of the stuff I couldn't.  I parted with my grandmother's china and my mother's crystal.  Hard, but not my style.  There is absolutely no reason for me to be burdened with these things just because someone else treasured them.  Let someone else learn to treasure them.... I am free.

And of course that means I can finally buy my own crystal if I want any... Have to think about that... I have wine glasses from our wine tasting trips... We don't do much formal entertaining, and aren't likely to in the future, so is there a point to it.. just more stuff to take care of that we don't use much.  Maybe I'll just stick with what I have... Regardless, I'm really starting to feel relieved of the weight of this stuff...

Probably harder than the china and the crystal, while we waited for the team to be ready for our participation, Joe and I went upstairs and culled a lot of books from our collection.  We have a huge collection of books upstairs in the library, but so many of them are outdated, or more easily replaced with information on the internet.  Joe and I are both savvy enough to avoid being duped by misinformation on the net, so why keep outdated textbooks, references and encyclopedias.  6 bins of books gone to the library for their fundraising sale.  Tonight we will load up another truckload for delivery tomorrow.  We actually have space on our shelves for the books that have been piling up off shelves and maybe even the occasional new book!  Wow... that's new.

I thought it would be traumatic to part with books... We are both such inveterate bibliophiles.  It seemed sacrilegious to part with a book, even a bad one.  I'm over that now... I don't think I'll keep any books I don't love anymore.  Now, true, we parted with almost no fantasy or science fiction books, but I think that will come in time too... maybe tonight?  We'll see.. those will be the hardest to part with.  Then again, we do re-read some of them from time to time.

They left us with a HUGE amount of homework for the weekend, and I'm sure we won't finish it all, but we'll make an effort..   I know it's SUCH a cliche, but 'it is what it is'.  Can't do more than we can do in limited time over two days... we already have a full weekend without the homework.

Anyway - I'm terrified of Monday - probably get to the master bedroom on Monday, unless we work in the garage again.  We're supposed to be down under three digit temperatures after Sunday, so it might be tolerable to be outdoors.  We shall see, the meteorologists have been damned inaccurate lately.  Mid-eighties (the prediction for Mon & Tues) would be a nice change, mid-seventies (Weds & Thurs) should be even better.

What I'm really looking forward to is sweater weather... we get damned little enough of it in So Cal.  Would be nice to have a chilly Halloween for a change.

Oh, my... a Halloween where I'm not embarassed to answer the door!  What a novel concept...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Day 2

Today was a bit crazy.  Went to class, then came home to day 2 of hell week.  It wasn't really that bad, in fact none of it has been quite as bad as I thought it was gonna be.  Basically, they go through things, sort everything into bins, then go through items one at a time, 'keep, donate or trash?' Sometimes I feel guilty about things I say keep on... and maybe they count on a little of that guilt, because then I say, never mind, donate it.' 

Really when it comes down to it, most of this stuff, I don't really need.  My son won't want it when I'm gone... what is the point of keeping it all?  And yet there's still 'STUFF' I can't let go of.  I'm just a packrat.. that's all there is to it. 

I was chatting with my friend Sue today.  She recently downsized a lot of stuff too.  One of the things she mentioned, and it's SO true, is that no matter how hard it is to let go of something, once you do, no matter how much you think 'I might need that someday', in reality, once it's gone, it won't really be missed.  And she's right. 

I let a lot of stuff go in the past couple of days that I thought I needed, and I don't really miss it... a lot of the things I said goodbye to before they went and it felt right and good. Some things I kept because I really did think I might use or need them someday.  I'm finally in my life in a position to just buy a new one if I need it, so bye bye old crap. 

And there's still a lot of old crap to go... Tomorrow is another day... a little more STUFF gone, a little more burden lifted, a little more freedom.

Hooray for OrganizeThis... Hooray for me!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day 1 of Hell Week

Today was the first day of the worst of my life. Actually it wasn't that bad. Except for the high winds and all. Still.. lots got thrown out or recycled, even stuff I haven't been able to let go of for a long time. If I were working alone, I wouldn't have gone through nearly as much stuff, and I wouldn't have been able to say goodbye to so many things that I've had an emotional attachment to for so long ... like my grandmother's sewing box. It's old, the lid disintegrated years ago, and I don't use it anymore... but I let it go... and so many toys and other things... It wasn't easy to see so many things go away, but I really didn't need or want any of this stuff.

Yet... I feel like it wasn't enough... more stuff should have gone away... maybe because we only worked in the garage and the house hasn't changed yet? Tomorrow and Thursday, the work will be in the house because it's still supposed to be high winds all day both days. I'm not looking forward to this part... the house is full of my stuff and I'm not sure how to let go of the things I don't need anymore... but that is why I've got help.

I'd never be able to do it alone, I DO know that...

It will be a busy day - I've got lots to do in addition to the work in the house - class & errands... Hopefully I will survive it.

On an upnote, the pain from doing pushups is fading a little... I can lift my left arm over my head as long as I go up to the side... My right arm is still has very limited movement. Lots of hip pain, so even though I was supposed to walk for an hour, I didn't. Tomorrow I might walk 1/2 way to class (drive halfway and walk the rest). But I have to get out early to do it. I need the walking and I need the social interaction of being in class for a while before I have to get home to work with the organizers.

Hooray for surviving day 1!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Teabagger's Pledge 9/21/09

First posted 9/21/09

Had to share. If anyone besides me is reading this blog, enjoy:

I, ________________________, do solemnly swear to uphold the principles of a socialism-free society and heretofore pledge my word that I shall strictly adhere to the following:
I will complain about the destruction of 1st Amendment Rights in this country, while I am duly being allowed to exercise my 1st Amendment Rights.
I will complain about the destruction of my 2nd Amendment Rights in this country, while I am duly being allowed to exercise my 2nd Amendment rights by legally but brazenly brandishing unconcealed firearms in public.
I will foreswear the time-honored principles of fairness, decency, and respect by screaming unintelligible platitudes regarding tyranny, Nazi-ism, and socialism at public town halls. Also.
I pledge to eliminate all government intervention in my life. I will abstain from the use of and participation in any socialist goods and services including but not limited to the following:
  • Social Security
  • Medicare/Medicaid
  • State Children's Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP)
  • Police, Fire, and Emergency Services
  • US Postal Service
  • Roads and Highways
  • Air Travel (regulated by the socialist FAA)
  • The US Railway System
  • Public Subways and Metro Systems
  • Public Bus and Lightrail Systems
  • Rest Areas on Highways
  • Sidewalks
  • All Government-Funded Local/State Projects (e.g., see Iowa 2009 federal senate appropriations)
  • Public Water and Sewer Services (goodbye socialist toilet, shower, dishwasher, kitchen sink, outdoor hose!)
  • Public and State Universities and Colleges
  • Public Primary and Secondary Schools
  • Sesame Street
  • Publicly Funded Anti-Drug Use Education for Children
  • Public Museums
  • Libraries
  • Public Parks and Beaches
  • State and National Parks
  • Public Zoos
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Municipal Garbage and Recycling Services
  • Treatment at Any Hospital or Clinic That Ever Received Funding From Local, State or Federal Government (pretty much all of them)
  • Medical Services and Medications That Were Created or Derived >From Any Government Grant or Research Funding (again, pretty much all of them)
  • Socialist Byproducts of Government Investment Such as Duct Tape and Velcro (Nazi-NASA Inventions)
  • Use of the Internets, email, and networked computers, as the DoD's ARPANET was the basis for subsequent computer networking
  • Foodstuffs, Meats, Produce and Crops That Were Grown With, Fed With, Raised With or That Contain Inputs From Crops Grown With Government Subsidies
  • Clothing Made from Crops (e.g. cotton) That Were Grown With or That Contain Inputs From Government Subsidies
If a veteran of the government-run socialist US military, I will forego my VA benefits and insist on paying for my own medical care
I will not tour socialist government buildings like the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
I pledge to never take myself, my family, or my children on a tour of the following types of socialist locations, including but not limited to:
  • Smithsonian Museums such as the Air and Space Museum or Museum of American History
  • The socialist Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson Monuments
  • The government-operated Statue of Liberty
  • The Grand Canyon
  • The socialist World War II and Vietnam Veterans Memorials
  • The government-run socialist-propaganda location known as Arlington National Cemetery
  • All other public-funded socialist sites, whether it be in my state or in Washington, DC
I will urge my Member of Congress and Senators to forego their government salary and government-provided healthcare.
I will oppose and condemn the government-funded and therefore socialist military of the United States of America.
I will boycott the products of socialist defense contractors such as GE, Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Raytheon, Humana, FedEx, General Motors, Honeywell, and hundreds of others that are paid by our socialist government to produce goods for our socialist army.
I will protest socialist security departments such as the Pentagon, FBI, CIA, Department of Homeland Security, TSA, Department of Justice and their socialist employees.
Upon reaching eligible retirement age, I will tear up my socialist Social Security checks.
Upon reaching age 65, I will forego Medicare and pay for my own private health insurance until I die.
_____________ _________________________
Signed Printed Name/Town and State

I wonder... will those being mocked recognize this for what it is?... probably not... sarcasm requires an IQ above room temperature... oh well....

Who's Idea WAS This Anyway??? 9/21/09

First posted 9/21/09

Sunday morning was our first session with our new personal trainer, Chris. He worked us pretty hard, but not nearly as hard as I was expecting. I was fine for a while afterward, but the pain hit midday and I was a wreck the rest of the day... mostly my left knee and hip and right leg were hurting. I was too wasted to do my walking, but I WILL do it today, despite all my other things I have to do.

He wants us to walk 1 hour per day without fail, in addition to the walking we do in the session. We also have to keep a food log and record everything we eat/drink. It's been one whole day... so far, so good.

In the middle of one round of push ups during training, my husband and simultaneously looked at each other and said 'Who's idea was this, anyway?' It was kinda funny... But I really think if we stick to it, this can help us...

I didn't work on the house at all... I sewed a little because I didn't get to do any sewing on Saturday. I'm looking forward to being able to sit and sew as long as I want when all this is over. Not immediate gratification... but not too long delayed. I'm SO all about the immediate gratification (aren't most of us. I think there's a little kid in each of us screaming 'I want ice cream NOW!' Maybe that's what nurturing our inner child should really be about).

Today is my last day before the horror begins... Just kidding really, but I'm sure the process won't be easy either. So, this final day, while I have a limited agenda and some errands to do, is my only day to 'play' for a while to come. I intend to run errands, make phone calls, and do some sewing. I refuse to overwork myself... enough of that is coming, I'm sure. I will be a free spirit at the machine today. I will savor every minute of the process and not stress over the result. I will lurv my kittehs and nap when I need to.

After today... Hell Week begins....

No Pain, No Gain... 9/19/09

First posted Sept 19, 2009

So, I didn't post yesterday. Did I post the day before? I can't remember, but still... the point is that I haven't been posting every day. And while that was my goal, I really don't feel I need to be obligated when there is nothing new to add. I'd rather have my posts be meaningful and maybe spaced a day or two apart than to be daily drivel.

And so, I have something new to add and here I am. I hired a team of professional organizers to come in and help me with my home. OrganizeThis is coming on Tuesday. They will be here 9-2 for at least a week, maybe two. Their services don't come cheap (I wish I could get Clean Sweep or Hoarders to come in so I could get this kind of service for free, but then I'd have to air my pathetic emotional laundry in public on a national or international stage - bleah. As if I didn't have enough problems, I don't need to melt down and whine in public).

I bought plastic bins, I rented a trash container, I even worked on stuff in the house myself today (with a couple of friends). We folded and put away what seemed like at least a half-ton of fabric, including all my loose batiks. I have loosely refered to these for over a year as 'the leaning tower of batiks'. It is no more - now I can actually see the top of the bookshelf in the hall and I have a nice neat bin of batiks. Once my shelves are in, I will have a nice neat shelf of batiks. hooray!... All my panels are folded and boxed as well.

I sorted and boxed 78 rpm records and several lp's for a recipient from freecycle.

I met a personal trainer today who I am meeting tomorrow with my entire family. It was kind of serendipity - There WAS a branch of Extreme Bootcamp here in town - they closed down their local service. I was out to lunch with a friend today when I saw a man with a tank on that had their logo and on the back were the words 'Instructor'. I ran after him and accosted him, asked if they were back in local business. He turned out to be an ex-instructor for them and no, they aren't back in town. But he does take private clients, so I will be meeting with him tomorrow to negotiate a family plan. We all need the exercise and to get in better physical condition.

So, you see, it's not just my home that's getting a remodel. My house will be in better shape - so why not me, my husband and my son, too.

I am SO excited about all these changes... and a little terrified too... The process will be painful...

... but as they say, 'No pain, no gain.'

Organizing, Reorganizing and Cutting Clutter 9/14/09

First posted Sept 14, 2009

So, in order to have new floors installed, I've got to clean the surfaces of all my furniture. For me, this is no mean task. It's near Herculean in scale. Every surface is covered with STUFF... most of it isn't necessary stuff, or valuable stuff... but I'm always overwhelmed with the idea of cleaning it. I have to --- but how????

As soon as I start cleaning, I get caught up in the emotional investment I have in these things... because truly for most of it, that's its ONLY value... it's really nothing worth keeping. I know this in my head. Doesn't make it easier to get rid of the stuff.

A friend recommended I watch the show 'Hoarders' on A&E. It's kinda like 'Clean House' except rather than being about negotiating and remodeling, it's more about dealing (at least short term) with the addiction and the process of disposing of the hoard. She said it inspired her, every time she watched an episode, to go clean out another room in her house.

So I watched my first episode today and it was scary as hell that I could be one of those people in a few years if I let my addictions take over my life completely. Thank GOD for my husband, who injects some sanity to the point that nothing has gone quite that far ...(he's kinda like the Felix Unger type except he won't do much of the cleaning himself).

And yet, while our place is far from a hoard, it's also far from comfortably livable. I invited friends over for a packing party on Friday - packing up the stuff that needs to be moved off of surfaces... but before then, I've got to sort out the stuff that can go away forever... we do have limited boxes to fill, and the rest has GOT to go.

I don't know how I'm gonna do this all in 4 days... but it's got to get finished. So... I called a professional organizer... maybe I can get some help because I don't think I can do this alone. But that's a step at least.

None of this is helped by the fact that a lot of the 'stuff' is quilting stuff, and therefore not destined for the landfill. There just isn't anywhere to put a lot of it til the cabinets are in. The floors have to happen first though. Where is the sanity in all of it???

Too much stuff, too much to do with it, too little time...

A Little Rant... 9/13/09

First posted Sept 13, 2009

Ok... this isn't about quilting or cleaning or remodeling... it's about good ol' American stupidity. I'm so sick of the partisanism that is dividing this country (I know, it's not all that new or anything), and the ridiculous claims that having a public option for health care is socialism and that all socialism is evil.

What do these protestors think their public school systems are, but who would be at the front of the line protesting if someone tried to take publically funded education away and make them all pay for their kids' private schooling out of their own pockets. I suspect most of the protestors would have to watch their kids drop out of elementary school, or not attend at all, and work menial jobs for the rest of their lives.

Early in this country's history it was recognized that a democratic society requires we have an educated and informed electorate. It's time we also realized we need to have a healthy electorate too - mentally and physically.

Socialism isn't bad... we are humans and humans are social creatures. Yes, individualism is good too, but you can't run a country on it. We can be democratic and still have a public OPTION for health care.

I'm sorry, but a lot of countries have public health care - Chile, England, Canada, Australia - all successful and their health care costs are lower than ours (and not because our health care is better).

These people who claim that our government can't afford to fund a public option for health care - what do they think we're doing now? Medi-Cal and Medicare are forms of public health care.

If we had a public OPTION, then the poor, disenfranchised, uninsured and underinsured would have health insurance. They would be able to see a doctor for normal illnesses. Right now, they go untreated, or they go to the emergency room or trauma center with the flu. They spread what they have while they walk around sick, or they require government expenditure of thousands for treating minor problems like the flu or small injuries in our trauma centers.

Note the stress on the word OPTION - those of you with health insurance already get to keep what you have. Since the existing health insurance companies aren't being required to offer plans to anyone for free, our rates shouldn't go up and our insurance should remain in effect. If these companies raise their rates or cancel people for no reason or if employers stop offering health insurance, then that is a case of corporate greed, not socialized medicine.

These same protestors I'll bet would be the first in line for free care if they lost their jobs and insurance...

And claiming it's not a partisan issue is bogus too... while there may be people on both sides of the fence waffling, the push to resist any kind of public health is coming from a propoganda of fear spread to the undereducated and the uneducated by conservative factions.

And no matter what you think of our president and his goals, respect for the office should require some civility. No matter how ridiculous and hateful the policies of some of our recent office-holders... the opposition party at least treated the office and the individual who held it with public respect.

I am very sad when I watch the news, almost to the point of finding it unwatchable.

On the Road Again 9/12/09

First posted Sept 12, 2009

Just a quick note...

We are on the road. A quick trip to San Jose to view the college and surrounding area on behalf of our son, Luke. He is thinking of taking an Engineering degree here. So far, a day of viewing the campus, seeing counselors, and a night at the movies to see '9'. Interesting and odd. I liked it, I think, but I'm still mulling it all over.

This morning we checked out local housing and properties followed by lunch at Panera. I got sick... lost lunch, came back to the hotel, lost more lunch, then a nap, after which I felt better. I spent the afternoon at the San Jose Quilt and Textile Museum.

Now that was interesting. Joyce Gross' collection of quilts was featured as well as a collection of original mola applique. I spent far too much at the museum shop and had a great time. After promising my husband I wouldn't be going to quilt shops on this trip, too!

We'll be here another day and a half, then back to so. california for some mad rush to clean the house in preparation for our new floors. Having a packing party on Friday - lots of stuff to pack up so the flooring contractors can get in and move furniture and install the new floor.

Every floor in the house is being done except bathrooms, laundry, library, kitchen and family room. Those rooms are already tiled. Our intention is to have house more friendly to us and less to allergens. With 3 cats and a dog, the carpets are a serious liability. Perhaps my allergies will get better, my son's and his gf's too! No matter what, it will be much easier to keep clean from the pets AND the fabric.

Maybe I'll get a Roomba or two.... any other quilters out there have any experience with the Roomba and quilt leavings?

Anyway... probably no more posts til I return from San Jose. Wish me a safe flight - I HATE being in a plane (I don't mind flying, it's the take-offs and landings that terrify me).

No Sanity Clause 9/9/09

First posted Sep

So today was insane. Non-stop work. I finished my bear applique, put together an owl quilt I've had sitting half done for months, got rid of some stuff I didn't need thru freecycle, made a floor plan of my studio, went to two meetings, and skipped a third... all-in-all a productive day but I feel spent. Is this non-stop DOING THINGS what being undepressed feels like? - it's been so long, I don't know anymore.

I returned the sample boards of flooring and arranged for an in-home estimate including the stairs. They would have just used my numbers I think except for stairs cost extra.

I invited a bunch of friends to my packing party on the 18th. We're gonna pack up all the knick knacks and tchotchkes so the contractors only have to move the furniture when they come to do the floor the week after.

Now you have to understand that I'm a hoarder - and not JUST fabric - so this packing is no easy task. It will be an all-day team effort, with hopefully some moving forward in getting rid of the stuff I just don't need to keep, too. Friend told me about a show called 'Hoarders' on DISC channel... gonna check that out.. she says it's very motivating.

My husband has promised to make me a gridded floor plan of my studio and my son's bedroom which will be my longarm room someday (hopefully in the not-too-distant future). Maybe I should give him a deadline.. but he's usually pretty good about coming through with that sort of thing.

I have a cabinet contractor coming in tomorrow to give me an estimate on building a floor-to-ceiling storage wall with sliding design wall doors.

On a more personal note, where quilting is concerned, I stayed up way too late last night making blocks for a BOM, and planning the borders of my king sized log cabin. I made this quilt months ago and stalled out, unsure of what to do with the borders. Now I know - I'm gonna make some log cabin houses and trees! I hope I will be able to quilt this one myself when I get my new machine.

I'm exhausted and tomorrow is a busy day too - contractor, then class, then visiting a friend to teach her how to use yahoo groups, then dinner with friends followed by quilt guild meeting.

Thursday morning we leave for San Jose. My son wants to look over the campus and we're checking out property in the area. Nothing will happen quiltingwise or on the house for those four days. While that's not a bad thing, I feel like the stress of all these unfinished projects will weigh on me during the trip. Stress can drive you crazy... Gotta just let it go.

t 9, 2009

Transformations 9/7/09

First posted on Sept 7, 2009:

I've never blogged much before... well there was a short lived one on neopets years ago... I usually can't even keep up a journal, though I love holding pen in hand and doodling on the pages.

I guess I just want to do this to keep myself motivated.

In what I hope is a nutshell, here is my story:

I've been depressed for about 25 years. It started as postpartum depression and just never went away. My son is in college, my husband is a sweetheart who has put up with me all these years, and my dr. just put me on some new meds that have FINALLY made a difference for the first time in 25 years. Where was Abilify back then???? Anyway. I started quilting about 5 years ago and I'm seriously hooked. I've converted most of the house into roaming studio, fabric storage, floor to ceiling stacks of batting, and my one ancient sewing machine has turned into 4 machines... soon to be 5 when my longarm is delivered.

I seriously have to simplify, organize and redecorate. My parents passed away not long ago, within 2 years of each other and so my house is filled with not only my own things but many of theirs. It's time to let go of the past and move on...

So... I'm turning my family room into a quilting studio, my son's bedroom into the quilting room (for the longarm). I'm ripping out all my carpet to try to keep allergies under control (I love my kittehs more than my health). Walls need to be painted, and the general chaos of my packrattishness needs to STOP.

I'm hoping that keeping a blog will help me stay on track with what needs to be done.

Day one - this post... and we picked a floor - it's handscraped Pecan, light but with a lot of color in it.... should go well with the mcm teak dining room and the mcm blond mahogany living room.

Moving Day

I'm hoping this blog location is more user friendly than Open Salon - it's not that I didn't like it so much as I found it not so friendly for non-members... friends who didn't want to sign up for yet one more thing couldn't comment on my blog, for example.
My first posts will be importing my previous posts from there to here... so here goes...