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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wordy Wednesday {Beginning of The Barn}

I mentioned in my last weekly recap post that we had building materials delivered last Saturday morning to build a shed. It is not a kit. We are using plans to build a 12 x 16 shed with a porch that I am naming "the barn".

I chose a spot on the land that is more or less in line with the back of our house. I wanted to leave the land as open as I could because I really love looking out there and just seeing fields and trees.

Once we moved all the untreated wood into the garage, we started working on establishing the footholds for the shed. By the way, the chairs were used by the cats most of the time.

Here is what it looks like as of today:

PS The board are just laying there. They are not fixed in place.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Weekly Recap #12


{March 20 through March 28, 2016}

Gardening

  • A few things in my garden did not survive a recent cold spell (it was 35*F Monday morning). And, I am fighting gophers. The peanuts, onions, strawberries, chives and a few others are thriving. The cucumbers (pickling) plants did not survive. I thought another plant would not survive because their fragile leaves wilted; but, it looks like they are making a comeback.

    We decided to replant some cucumbers (pickling) seeds in an old plant bed because 1) I am fighting gophers and 2) they grew well there in the past.

    We also had a severe thunderstorm come through one night that snapped my new lemon tree in half. I think there were a couple of problems to begin with. The tree was top heavy for one. It was like a wall to the wind and just kept blowing and bending it over. The way the tree was staked was another problem.

    Dan purchased some grafting tape on the way home from work. We taped it back together and then staked the heck out of it. I pruned off some branches from the top so that the wind can blow through it a little better. All of this happened March 24. The below picture was snapped on the morning of March 28th (today).

    I am amazed that it is still doing well. The leaves have not wilted and the lemon blossoms are still growing. One of them is about to burst open. However, I am forcing myself to not be so hopeful until a week or so has passed.

Quilting; Crafts

    Bordered Hourglass Block

  • I finished making blocks 4 and 5 (Section 1) for the Gypsy Wife Quilt. I chose and cut all the fabric (strips) for section 1 (and beyond as the strips are used continuously in the quilt). I have sewn up what I call “mini sections” within Section 1. There are three “mini sections” and two of them are done. I need to do the third and then sew them all together.

    I decided to quit using Mother’s sewing machine and go back to Jan(ome). I talked with Dan and we decided to take it in to get it cleaned up and checked out. I do not think it has ever been serviced. I am just paranoid about ruining the machine.

    splish splash stash

Shed

  • We had materials to build a decent size shed that I am calling “The Barn” delivered this past Saturday (March 26). We proceeded to move a bunch of the material that was not pressure treated into the garage.

    We then proceeded to plot out the space and start establishing the base for the shed. The actual framing for the flooring and whatnot will be started this coming Saturday.

    The cats, especially Abby Gail, love the fact that we are out there working. She was in my chair for approximately 45 minutes just vegetating, watching us and keeping an eagle eye out for gophers and other critters. The disadvantage is that she does not sleep. So, when we came indoors for lunch, she had a hard time relaxing to nap. I was able to soothe her a bit while she insisted on being on my chest. She finally relaxed enough and headed for the top of the cat tree went to sleep and she slept hard.

    I crashed both days (Saturday and Sunday) and had to call it early (went to bed around 8:00pm). It is hard work and maybe a bit too hard for me. But, I refuse to quit. Doing these kinds of things keeps us alive and young, does it not?

Miscellaneous

  • Since we are working on building the shed on the weekends, my recaps will now be Mondays to Sundays and posted on either Monday or Tuesday.

Strive for progress, not perfection.

~ Unknown ~

Friday, March 25, 2016

Feline Friday {Rotten Little Beast}


This cat is a rotten little beast.

For the first time in nine years (that I can remember), Gracie got up on my dresser and made herself a bed out of some clean pillowcases I had placed on top. I will need to wash them again and put them away. By the way, the pillowcases are not for guests.

I believe Gracie has been teaching Abby some bad habits. Why? I caught Abby Gail on top of the dresser a few nights later. Do you see those beaded jewelry hanging behind Gracie? Well, they have been placed in a safer spot so that Abby will not play with them as they could potentially be a dangerous toy for her. I think Abby is a girly girl because she does love some bling (strings of all kinds).

I have caught both of them sleeping on top of my dresser now and then since this first time (March 11). I think I spoil my kitties way too much. But, I do have compassion for my Gracie - more so than usual. She is getting old. She most likely feels safe up there away from both Abby and humans. You have to choose your battles when it comes to cats. I let them have this battle AFTER making it somewhat safe for them. After all, this is better than the kitchen countertops and table, Correct?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wordy Wednesday {Gardening}

Dan took this picture on his iPhone. I was totally unaware of this until he showed it to me. I then demanded a copy as I loved the image especially with the paintbrushes in the background.

I decided to make a pile of rocks out of most of the sand stones we found while digging for the garden, trees and plants. Gracie decided to join me while Dan took a picture of me with my silly yard art. She put her lone paw on my thigh.

By the way, the strong winds blew over the top two rocks this morning. I knew that this was going to happen because they were precariously balanced.

Note: Both pictures taken on March 20, 2016


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Weekly Recap #11


{March 13 through March 19, 2016}

Gardening

  • The garden is coming along great so far. Almost everything we have planted has sprouted. We have had a few more severe thunderstorms; but, no damages to either property, trees or garden. A cold front came through dropping temperatures real low. Fortunately, not into freezing zone.

Quilting; Crafts

  • I finished making blocks 2 and 3 (Section 1) for the Gypsy Wife Quilt. I have chosen fabrics for blocks 4 and 5 (Section 1).

    I have taken some pictures of the blocks; but, I have not yet uploaded them to my new computer. I need to get back into the blogging mind frame. I just love that phrase or term – gives me delicious shivers. It really should be “frame of mind”. Anyway, someday real soon I will get back into doing some blog posts.

    splish splash stash
  • Miscellaneous

  • I I finished reading The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks and started reading the third book, The Wishsong of Shannara, of the trilogy. Like the first two books, I have read this dozens of times.

Action is the foundational key to all success.

~ Pablo Picasso ~

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Weekly Recap #10


{March 6 through March 12, 2016}

Gardening

  • We finished planting the garden on Sunday. And then, the rains came and gave us a total of 2" of rain over a period of three days.

    A severe thunderstorm came through one night. A bomb went off; but, it was thunder. Dan says he thinks I felt it before he heard it. I woke up wide awake just after midnight screaming scared to death. I even hyperventilated a little. Dan left me huddling at the foot of the bed with a petrified Gracie to go get a flashlight as the power was out. Poor cat was just frozen in one spot on the bed. (Abby was underneath the bed). That thunderstorm only produced a measly 1/8 inch of rain. Ugh!

Quilting; Crafts

  • I finished the first block for the gypsy wife quilt. It is looking fairly good! Pictures will have to wait until I get Photoshop Elements installed. I chose fabrics for the second block and started cutting according to the instructions.

    splish splash stash
  • Dan ordered my new laptop and it arrived on March 12th (Saturday). He has it set up to where it is working just fine. I do not have my Photoshop Elements yet; but, I should have that soon.
  • I struggled this week. Struggled big time. I even skipped making pizza on our usual night (Tuesday). I just did not feel like making it; but, I did make some the following night. Here's to hoping I will have a better week.

Don't be afraid to say what is on your mind. Think first. But, don't be afraid.

~ Moi ~

Monday, March 7, 2016

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Weekly Recap #9


{February 28 through March 5, 2016}

Gardening

  • I have been going out every other morning when Dan leaves (for work) to water the trees and Daffodils. I have always heard the best times to do this chore is early in the morning before the heat starts evaporating water. Believe you me, it gets HOT down here. Anyway, it is the routine nowadays -- get dressed (of a sort), kiss Dan goodbye and head on out to water the plants.
  • We started planting my garden and I am feeling happy about having a real garden. I would not have been able to do this without Dan's help! He did a lot of the back breaking work for me. Now, let us hope what we planted grows. At least, I tried if they do not grow produce vegetables, fruit (Strawberries) or herbs.

Quilting; Crafts

  • I have been steadily albeit slowly hand quilting Dan's "green quilt". I do not think I will get it done by the end of March. We shall see and I will keep on quilting.
  • splish splash stash

  • I started cutting for and piecing the first block for the Gypsy Wife Quilt. The instructions in the booklet are a bit confusing to me. So, it has been might slow going for me. I actually had to do some frog sewing (rip-it, rip-it). The actual quilt along has been helpful.

    My mother's machine does not have a quarter inch seam guide or line. So, my first sewing effort (triangles to make an hourglass block) was not so great. I did some research and figured it would be cheaper to just use a Sewing Edge Stop by Qtools instead of getting a special foot that may or may not work on mother's machine. I used this in conjunction with the Perfect Piecing Seam Guide by Perkins Dry Goods which was, well, perfect! It gave me a scant 1/4" seam which is exactly what I needed.

    My first hourglass blocks were not perfect because I started without the seam guide I created; but, they are workable; so, I will use them.

Miscellaneous

  • As you know, We took last weekend off and did a staycation of a sorts. On the second day (Sunday), we went to the San Antonio Home and Garden show held at the Alamodome. There was some disorganization and confusion due to times posted on the website and construction going on the Alamodome itself. When we finally figured out where we get our tickets and whatnot, a very nice man came up to us and gave us free tickets. We were both surprised and thankful.

    While standing outside waiting for the doors to open, someone gave out free hats! I immediately went for one because I was getting sunburned. I did not think we would be waiting outside; but, the actual opening time was 11:00am instead of 10:00am. I was thankful for that hat!

    {A weird looking selfie with Dan coming out of the back of my head}

    The show itself is huge; but, not as huge as the one held in Houston (where we used to live). I love browsing every single thing at the home and garden show. There are all kinds of products in many different categories – remodeling, beds (mattresses), pools, gardening, food, and more.

    We did spend a little (okay, a lot) of money at this show. We mostly bought marinades and salsas from our favorite companies. I absolutely love Texas Brew salsas and they are gluten free! But, I cannot find them at my local HEB stores. The salesperson there said they can be found at Spec’s and there is one across The Forum which is an area I shop at the most. So, I will need to remember to check them out when we need to replenish our supply of salsa.

    We also love Jimmy O’s Texas Marinades which includes spices. These are not only delicious but also contain no additives, no preservatives, no MSG and no high fructose syrup. We found out that we can now order them online when we run out! Yay!

    We also ended up splurging and buying a cool looking hummingbird feeder.

  • I had a little bit of a cleaning insanity moment. I cleaned off my desk, which is a major hot spot. I also went on and purged the pantry and refrigerator. This endeavor was overdue! I almost went nuts and purged the cats' playgrounds which is composted of toys and packing material. But, i restrained myself. Abby LOVES playing amongst the packing material, especially after I "fluff" it all up because they can flatten it all down over time while playing with and attacking toys and each other.
  • My laptop got fried Saturday morning. Abby Gail came to me in a very happy and energetic mood and knocked my thermos mug over onto the keyboard. About 30 minutes later, it would no longer turn on. It is four years old and after a bit of discussion, we decided to get me a new laptop. So, Dan shopped and ordered a new one for me. In the meantime, I am temporarily using his laptop and since I cannot process pictures, I will go on a blogging break until I receive the new laptop and have it set up the way I like it.

Embrace the Chaos

~ Unknown~

Friday, March 4, 2016

Feathered Friday {Hummer}

All taken back in August 2015.

I am anxiously awaiting their return this spring.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Vintage Needle Threader for Sewing Machines

My mother had this in one of her drawers of her sewing machine cabinet. Let me tell you, I LOVE this thing!

The big metal section clips onto the needle and the itty bitty wire goes through the eye of the needle. The thread hooks onto the wire and is pulled through the eye. It's cool for those with unsteady hands or is lazy like me! Ha!

I tried to find information or dates on this particular item. So far, nothing, nada, zilch. Anybody out there have history of this or similar items?