Saturday, January 19, 2019

Weather

Earlier this week I took some pictures of the frozen frost that was on everything. I intended to post them that evening, but our internet was out. Well, not completely out, but very slow and at times non-existent. Again. I really don't understand in this great time of technology and the fact that I live less than an hour from a major university and less than 2 hours from a major city that we don't have better internet service. Anyway, it had been slow for a few weeks. Husband called at the end of last week and was told that the issue was at our house and someone would be out on Monday to fix it. It was something outside and we didn't need to be home to let them in the house. Okay. Then we got a lot of snow over the weekend and fog on Monday so we were notified that the 'fix-it' guy couldn't do whatever needed to be done and we were rescheduled for Wednesday. Late that afternoon we noticed a truck sitting at the end of the drive to the barn. A few minutes later it left and stopped at the intersection a 1/2 mile down the road. It sat there for several minutes and then was gone. Our internet was back up. I don't know what the guy did, but our tower is right behind the house, not out by the barn. We did not notice anyone walking around the property so it appeared that whatever he did he did from his truck. Not sure why the fog would have been a factor if that is the case. Anyway, we now have a good connection.


Here are pictures I would have posted.
These first two are looking out my front door.



The next two are my front porch railing and a tree outside the cafeteria window at school.




These next three are the playground at school. I know the students would have loved to play in this, but when most are not wearing snow boots and some wearing only hoodie sweatshirts as coats going outside was not an option. I dislike inside recess.


 


This final pic is at my house this morning. We got a little snow during the night, but the winds have picked up and is blowing that snow all over. Visibility is low and there are drifts forming.


Husband was out cleaning out our driveway as I was typing this post. He wants to make things as easy as possible for our mail carrier. I am sure she will run into enough snow today so a clean driveway is the least we can do for her. I hope it stays clear long enough for her to get through.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Playing Around

Playing in the snow.
This is what my porch looked like this morning...



So my Husband spent the morning playing in the snow - clearing the driveways to the house and barn of snow. The snowplow has been by twice. Today it is sunny and water is dripping off of the house and trees.

Playing with threads.
I had set up the longarm last weekend. When I played with it then I was getting this on the back...



I changed the needle, the thread and bobbin, cleaned it and check the thread path. I am not sure what I did, but now I am getting this on the front.



This is the back.













I am still getting some loops on the back, but I think that may be from moving the machine too fast. Maybe not. Any ideas, suggestions?

This machine does not have a stitch regulator which is something I am used to. I need lots - LOTS - of practice to improve my stitching. :)

I also played with counted cross stitch threads.



Sometimes I don't like the thread colors included in the kit. I changed the blue in the beard to a lighter blue. I thought the one included with the kit stood out too much. I may will change the outline color from dark brown also. I feel that color is too dark. Maybe the original blue for the beard as the outline.

I have several of these ornament kits that I plan to make them into cards instead of ornaments.

One of my geraniums is still blooming. I never would have thought this would happen and am delighted to see those bright pops of color every day. You can see the snow drifts in the background behind this one.



Sadly, my uncle passed away on January 7th. I got to see Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and other family members which was nice, even under sad circumstances. We are all so spread out across the country that it is hard to get together these days. 

Now my cousins get the difficult job of figuring out a living situation for my aunt. She is suffering from dementia and other health issues and just cannot live alone anymore. They are hoping for a live-in situation so she can stay at home as long as possible. She seems more agreeable to that than any other suggestion so far. The wife of one of the cousins will be staying with her for a couple of weeks until they can get it all set up. My parents will visit often, but they live about an hour and a half away. My dad is also suffering with the affects of dementia and his patience wears thin after a while. He prefers his home and regular routine. Who doesn't?!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Ending and Beginning

ENDING
Winter break is over. Tomorrow I head back to school.
The temperature for our area is suppose to be much warmer than normal, but also very windy and rainy. I am NOT looking forward to inside recess after a two week break. I AM looking forward to helping these young people get back into the routine and grow their brains.

BEGINNING
On Friday I took a little trip with my quilt friends to a fabric store we all love. And, then lunch, of course. When I got home around 3:30 I found that Husband had MOVED his farm office table into that empty corner and had brought all the longarm frame parts in! By 9:00 we had this...















By mid morning on Saturday we had this. 


It was a bit of a challenge as there is no manual or instruction guide. This machine is old, made in 1989, one of the first made. It is an Ultimate 1, not in production any longer.

The gentleman I got it from saved it from the dumpster. He refurbished it and made some modifications. He says he is well known at APQS since he called them often as he figured out what he needed to do to get the machine back in working order. He then used it for about eight years. I know it is a good machine. I just need to figure it all out.

The other challenge will be getting used to our space. We are trying to find room for all the chairs that were around the table and trying not to bump into things. Husband is getting used to his space as it is a little different than before. He has suggested moving my sewing stuff back to that corner and he moving to my sewing corner. I suggested he try it for a few weeks and if it isn't working we can move things.

Today, Sunday, I played around a little. The tension is way off. I can get the top thread to look pretty decent, but there are huge loopy threads on the back. I am not sure I have it threaded correctly, but again, no manual. I have been looking through the APQS webite and forum trying to get information. I have changed the needle and bobbin. Tomorrow I will rethread, clean everything really well, load a different practice piece and try again. I might need to try to slow down as well.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year



Hoping for a Happy, Healthy, Peaceful New Year.

Resolutions...do you make them? I don't. Not anymore. Oh, I used to. The usual things - lose weight, eat healthy, exercise more, less clutter, cleaner house. I never kept up with them.

I do know I want, and need, to make some changes in my life and I will try to make those changes, although it will be difficult to make some of them. 

For a while now I have been feeling the need to get rid of the excess, the things I don't really need, the things that aren't being used. They need to go. I am slowly working on that. I find it hard to get rid of some things. Some things are garbage, things that no one else will want, but some things are perfectly good and someone might be able to use them, but I really don't have a good resource available to get rid of these things. I don't feel comfortable using the on-line marketplace sites, garage sales don't work for me, resale shops are too far away to make it worth my while. I have passed unwanted yarn and fabric to members of my quilt group. Most of it gets taken or passed on to another group. Some ends up in the garbage. I am ok with that as long as I am not the one throwing it away. 

I feel the need to get more physically fit. I weigh more now than I ever have. For the last several years I have been expecting my doctor to tell me my cholesterol, blood glucose, blood pressure are at unhealthy levels. But, so far, I have been surprised that isn't the case. I always ask if they are sure those I my lab results. I decided to drink less soda over a year ago. I expected to lose some weight, but I didn't. Now I am slowly cutting back on the sweets I eat. I have stocked my fridge with fresh salad veggies. I drink more water, less soda. I know I need to get up and move more. I find that hard this time of year. I am tired, physically and mentally, after work, it's almost dark by the time I get home, it's cold. Outside activity is not going to happen. I try to walk up and down my basement/upstairs stairs more often, but my knees hurt. That is a new thing. I noticed this year when the weather turned cold that my knees ache. Some of my other joints are a little achy, too. 

I feel the need to reduce the number of unfinished projects I have. As I have been moving my sewing area around I am finding things I had forgotten about. I have not made a plan, but am just working on what I find as I find it. My project of the moment is this one...


When I rediscovered it several months ago I needed to make some flying geese sashing strips. 

I worked on it at the last retreat in October. After I got it home and up on my design wall I discovered that I needed two more sashing strips. 









I finished those a few days ago and started sewing the blocks together.


It wasn't going together as well as I wanted to so I removed the papers even though the pattern instructions say to do that after the blocks are sewn together. No matter how careful I am I always make a mess. 


Then I decided I really don't like the black piping surrounding each block. They were uneven. They were suppose to lay inside the diamond shaped units but the seams where not cooperating. The more I looked at it, the less I liked it. So I spent the eve of the new year taking those off. Exciting way to bring in the new year!


I have two more units that need the piping removed. Then I can get the blocks sewn together and add the border.
My plan for today is to get this top done.


The one thing that really needs to change in my life that I have no control over is the stress of family. My poor husband is still dealing with his mother's estate and the mess that his father made years ago that was only discovered after his mother passed. Apparently, that is fairly common, but still hard to deal with. His father is a stubborn, greedy man and is not making any of this easy. 

I also got news yesterday that my uncle, my dad's brother, has had a heart attack. The last news I got yesterday evening was that he has broken ribs due to chest compressions needed to revive him, liver and kidney failure. It doesn't look good. His sons live in other states and are on their way to be with him. My aunt, their sister, passed away just before Thanksgiving. Their other sister has been having some breathing issues. My dad is healthy except for the dementia his is dealing with. I sure this is weighing heavy on him.