Friday, August 22, 2014

2014 Montgomery County Fair

We went to the fair last Wednesday afternoon/evening (over a week ago) ~ I missed it last year taking The Lovely Daughter to college, but since she's not a Freshman this year, we didn't leave until Sunday.

The Ferris Wheel:
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Boys riding with me, and TMOTH waiting below:
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The view from up above:
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Terror on the face of the Small Man ~ he didn't like the fast rides:
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TMOTH entered a turned bowl:
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I didn't manage to finish the Furlough Quilt in time, but it'll be entered for next year.

Love the cows:
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One of the kids' categories is LEGO creations:
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My quilt guild's ribbon-winning quilt:
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Kid's entries are fun - this is the Starship Enterprise made out of marshmallows!
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Lots of Home Arts entries - I'm going to try to put in a bunch for next year:
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Love the chickens even more!
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Lots of fried stuff! We had BBQ from the Methodists.
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And riding the merry-go-round at the end of the evening:
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Sunday, August 10, 2014

2014 Stash Report - Week 32

Yards in: 4.25
Yards out: 6.55
Cumulative yards in: 19.65
Cumulative yards out: 22.85
Net gain/loss: 3.2 USED

Spending since last post: $32.00
Spending this year: $185.45


This is the Furlough Quilt, started back in October of last year when the government shut down. It's hand-quilted, 61" x 71", all from stash - 6 yards by my estimate. The rest of the stash reduction is from tossing some more non-cotton, likely to never-be-used-because-it-was-so-icky fabric.


Quilting template for the centers:

Books purchased ($5.30 for both at the Friends of the Library store):
The cover photo on the Maggie Malone book is the reason for 4 yards of fabric purchased. The pattern is called "Wheel of Fortune" and it seems to be an awesome scrap quilt - but I have woefully little fabric that could be called a "light neutral." So with my Jo-Ann 50% off fabric coupon, I bought 4 yards of Kona PFD - They didn't have Snow, and White was too...white. And I had Laura with me, and she both approved the color of the PFD (a cream, and the bonus is no sizing!) and was responsible for the additional quarter-yard, a carnation print for a letters t-shirt for her sorority.

The other purchase was a half-yard of fusible fleece - I found a cosmetics bag pattern that I want to try out.

All in all, a good week.

Things That Make Me Irrationally Happy

Maybe irrational is the wrong word...

1. Eating corn flakes out of my Corn Flakes bowl.
2. When everybody takes turns in the correct order at a 4-way stop
3. Hearing a song I really like on the radio (or in the grocery store!)
4. Our frogs. These are wood frogs, and they sound like chickens clucking most of the time. YEARS ago we abandoned a kiddie pool at the corner of the shed, and the frogs arrived. They've come back every year, although most years we don't have tadpoles. Don't know what's up with that! There are at least 7 of them there. Whenever I walk past on the way to the compost pile, one of them notices and chirps and leaps into the water, and the rest of them follow.

5. Soft sweaters. I hate the cold, so this one really is irrational.
6. Lightning bugs. Fireflies to my kids.
7. Cat tummies. Ralph wasn't cooperating getting his belly photographed. He's got the best cat tummy in the house, and uses it to good effect as a cat trap :)
8. Old books.
9. New shoes. I always put off buying new shoes, and then once I have them, wonder why I waited so long!
10. Nice pens.
11. Good watermelon.
12. Quilt shows.
13. Coffee.
14. Earthworms.
15. Feeling caught up at work. Actually *being* caught up is rare, so feeling that I've filled in all the big rocks and there are only a few pebbles to fit in is good enough.
16. My tiny car. It's cheap, it's little, the belts squeal when it starts up - but it's blue, it's cute, and gas mileage is awesome. The only bell and/or whistle it could possibly be said to have is a reasonable sound system.
17. Good hair days. I don't fuss, so when it happens, it's purely by accident.
18. S'mores.
19. My mom's ugly pink polka-dot robe. This is Mom in the robe, Christmas 2011. It's bubble-gum pink with big white polka dots, soft, fuzzy, and ridiculously comfortable.
20. Beaches.
21. Sewing down that last inch of binding on a quilt.
22. Buttons.
23. Sunrises, sunsets, and rainbows. That weird yellow color of the sky before a storm. Blue skies and white clouds.

Monday, July 28, 2014

2014 Stash Report - Week 30

Yards in: 0
Yards out: 0.7
Cumulative yards in: 15.4
Cumulative yards out: 16.3
Net gain/loss: 0.9 USED

Spending since last post: $13.00
Spending this year: $153.45

All of the "out" yardage was THROWN out - some polyester double-knit that was never gonna get used, and a piece of backing trimming that had gotten so twisted in the washer that I just didn't think it was worth it.

I had a few thrift store finds in Florida. Some embroidery thread, a linen tablerunner (This didn't go into fabric, since I don't consider it stash. My list, my rules.), some magnets...sum total maybe $10? I didn't keep good track.

This weekend I spent $3 at the local thrift store - a box of buttons and a couple of bags of notions, mostly snaps and hooks and eyes.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Back to the Future

Somehow, I wound up with two kids who are fans of 80s rock-and-roll. Possibly a combination of time in the car with their dad and too much Guitar Hero.

Anyway - a few months ago, I bought lawn tickets for Foreigner, Styx, and Don Felder.

Now, Foreigner was one of the first concerts I ever went to - when I was in college at MUW. Now, I was at the W from 79-83, so it would've been sometime during that timeframe. Almost certainly at either Mississippi State or 'Bama, since there weren't any big concerts on campus.

The venue was Jiffy Lube Live - a big amphitheater in Bristol, VA. The trip out there (~45 miles) took a couple of hours, because this IS the DC area and we have the worst traffic EVER.
We did finally arrive, to almost perfect weather for lawn seats.

We were a little late for Don Felder, which was too bad - he was playing a lot of Eagles songs, as well as his solo stuff.

Next up was Styx. I was a fan in college, but had never seen them in concert. It was pretty good, and Don Felder came out for a song or two. They had the best lighting!

The headliner was Foreigner. The Small Man was getting tired by this time.
He'd gotten cold at some point, and a VERY kind woman sitting near us let him borrow her blanket (they'd rented chairs) when I gave him my top layer to wear.

Old guys who've been playing together for 30 years sound really good!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

014 Stash Report - Week 24

Yards in: 10
Yards out: 0.8
Cumulative yards in: 15.4
Cumulative yards out: 15.6
Net gain/loss: 0.2 USED

Spending since last post: $44.20
Spending this year: $142.45

The 0.8 finished was for a wallhanging I'm calling Psychedelic Fall.

And I really fell off the wagon this week:)

I spent the afternoon yesterday at the Annapolis Quilt Guild show. I was able to meet up "someone I met on the internet," the lovely Lee Anna from Not Afraid of Color.

I had a wonderful time walking around the show and talking about the quilts, and, well, shopping. Lee Anna and I talked some about the need for *scraps* that we both share, and I mostly bought things from the guild's leftover shop:
A total of 8 yard of material in this photo! As well as three spools of green pearl cotton. The orange with cute animals was a vendor purchase, 1.5 yards for a kid's quilt. The rest are mostly FQ with a patch-sized chunk missing (or not), with a couple of smaller bits.

Earlier this month, my own guild had a yard sale after the meeting. Not as much there called to me:
A panel with Olivia and 6 FQ.
Spending was $4 for my own guild's shop, 11.66 at the Annapolis guild's "yard sale," $9.54 for new fabric at Annapolis, $10 quilt show admission, and about $9 for gas to Annapolis.

And to take this pictures? Cookie had to be moved from the bed. TMOTH didn't make the bed when he got up this morning, so when I got upstairs to take photos I found this:

He did not approve of being moved.

Halfway through taking pictures, he jumped back on the bed, being ostentatious about showing me his tail end.

He then found a spot and was obvious about licking himself after the ordeal of being dumped off the bed.

And then by the time I finished, he was back asleep.

Psychedelic Fal FINISHED

This was a UFO that I bought at a local quilt guild's show. All it needed was some extra leaves added, quilting, and binding. Even TMOTH likes this one :) Finished size is 23 x 27, so 0.8 yards busted.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Not the best week - but I'm alive, and that's a good thing

I had a scare this week. Monday evening after dinner, I was starting to sew down the binding on a UFO [it was my last day as UFO Queen on the Stashbusters Yahoo group, so needed to git 'er done] when the chest pain that had been nagging me on and off all day suddenly got worse. A LOT worse.

When I asked TMOTH to convince me I wasn't having a heart attack, he called the ambulance. In the driveway in the ambulance, they did an EKG which was basically 100% normal, so MI was unlikely. Did I still want to go to the hospital? Um, yeah. I've had a lot of experience with both muscle and joint pain, and this didn't seem to be either. And I was having a LOT of pain. So off we go - the two "trauma" hospitals were on "Code yellow" and I was OK with going to the not-trauma hospital with my normal EKG, so I was taken to MedStar Montgomery Medical Center (a.k.a. Montgomery General Hospital). Sadly, no lights or siren.

Once in the ER, they did another EKG (still normal) and drew blood. At that point, since my pain was worse with breathing, the ER doc ordered a D-dimer test that would basically rule out a clot and pulmonary embolism - but no, it was elevated. So off for a lung CAT scan. The CAT scan was "sub-optimal" so they could only rule out a major PE (not in the large vessels) and see some "indications" of lower left lobe embolus. At that point, I get put on anticoagulant therapy and moved out of the ER to "observation."

Meanwhile, despite all of my normal EKGs, normal heart scans, and normal cardiac bloodwork, I'm not allowed caffeine.

Tuesday morning, I go off to Nuclear Medicine for a SPECT ventilation/perfusion scan. That showed a definitive v/q abnormality in the left lower lobe. They keep me for the rest of the day for a couple more tests - Echocardiography of my heart (a little overkill, perhaps, considering that everything else cardiac was normal, but they wanted to make sure there were no emboli hiding in the heart) and a deep vein Echo-Doppler of my leg veins to rule out additional clots that might be hiding there. Both were negative, so they leg me go Wednesday morning with a prescription for Xerelto and a recommendation to follow up with my PCP and a hematologist.

If the Lovely Daughter hadn't locked herself out of the house, Starbucks would've been the first stop. As it was, we let her in the house and then headed over to the local Safeway to get my caffeine fix and the prescription filled. Starbucks came through, the pharmacy, not so much. They didn't have it, so called the Germantown Safeway, and they did. So off to Germantown.

First, they can't figure out the hospital doc's signature - how's that for cliche? They finally find him and that's where insurance rears its ugly head. The 2x day dose - which is standard of care for initiating treatment for pulmonary embolism - isn't on the insurance drug list, only 1x day. The pharmacist, to her credit, tells me straight up that the hospital docs will not deal with insurance issues and to go to my PCP to get the script re-issued. (By now, it's after 1 pm.)

I call my PCP's office and they tell me to come in at 3, but be prepared to wait. I'm OK with that. So off I go. The front desk can't find my appointment (this is fairly normal, but they're never unpleasant about it so I deal) but agree they should work me in. I wait no more than about 10 minutes to go in to see someone. My CRNP is totally awesome and erupts in righteous indignation that the insurance company wants them to jump through hoops to have the appropriate therapy covered. She goes off muttering to herself and comes back triumphantly with a bag saying "You are a blessed woman today!" And I am - she's rounded up enough sample boxes of Xerelto to cover the 3-week initial dosing schedule. She also recommends a hematologist, and I have a follow-up appointment with him on Thursday.

SO - today I'm almost pain-free (yesterday as well). I still have odd twinge-y pains in my shoulder and chest from time to time, but it no longer hurts to breathe.

I am a lucky girl, and I know it.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

2014 Stash Report - Week 21

Yards in: 0
Yards out: 0.0
Cumulative yards in: 5.4
Cumulative yards out: 14.8
Net gain/loss: 9.4 USED

Spending since last post: $48.50
Spending this year: $98.25

Spending was $35 for guild dues and about $13.50 for a spool of grey Aurifil for piecing.

I have a UFO that just needs binding, so may have a finish fairly soon.