Sunday, June 17, 2012 in family

Talking to my Mom

This is what talking to my mom is like, with this actual conversation from yesterday. We were in Fredericton to go to Sarah’s graduation ceremony. (Yay! She’s done!)

Mom: “You know that cute consignent store downtown next to Home Hardware?”

Me: “There’s a Home Hardware downtown?” (most big stores in Freddy are up on the hill or out in malls in the burbs. Or, THE mall..)

Carl: “The one on, you know, Main St.”

Me: “Main Street is across the river.”

Mom: “No, not that Main street, the big street right downtown, you know the one that does the thing at the end where it splits? With the intersection?”

Me: “Queen street?”

Mom: “Yeah, Queen street. Or maybe King. It has the Home hardware right at the end before it loops back to go out of town and go to the Dam.”

Me: “There’s a Home Hardware there?”

Carl: “Yeah, been there for years.”

Mom: “Yes! And the consignment store next to it – they have really good stuff. They sell gently used clothing to help women get back on their feet, for like job interviews and stuff?”

Me: “Okay maybe I do remember a Home Hardware down there.”

Mom: “Yes, it’s been there for years!”

Me: “Huh. Never really noticed.”

Mom: “So anyway, the consignent store? They moved up the hill. They’re on Hanwell Road. Really nice spot.”

I swear, one of these days I’m recording our conversations.

Saturday, May 19, 2012 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Yard sale scones

I’m sitting here in my front porch sunroom with my laptop table and the door open. Stupid blackflies… it’s yard sale season, the weather is gorgeous and it’s a long weekend here in Canada.

This time for our yard sale we took a good hard look at some of the furniture peices we had and put a whole pile out in the yard. A good amount is gone but I’d still like to see some of the smaller items go.

There’s also the toys and books we cleaned out (tho Meaghan is still cleaning out toyd) and the boxes of both Meaghan and Sarah’s stuff they had here and there. And extra dishes. And random stuff. And things from boxes you finally went through that went unpacked from the last move.

I cleaned out a lot of my book when I realized we had so many we’d have to buy a new bookcase, plus there were so many we mostly just looked up stuff online because we couldn’t remember if we had a book on the subject or not.

Also? Turns out when you’re done to one last kid, all the extra homeschooling stuff (or anything loosely related to anything educational by any extension) that I have kept “just in case” get crystal clear when you’re down to one kid with specific interests. It’s also become crystal clear than when we *do* take up an interest, as a family, we tend to go overboard and buy a whole pile of resources anyway. This may or may not be related to the difficulties in finding what we have on hand… Hmm.

So. Here I sit.

Ron is being house husband too, since we got up at 6:30am. While I’ve been dealing with the occasional shopper, he’s been tidying up and even made scones for us. They were pretty yummy and he only had to ask a couple questions about how I follow (or not follow) the actual recipe.


OMG the funniest thing happened. I had the big huge wicker chair for sale – a homemade one from .. twigs, basically. I just sold it to a lady, who called her husband to see if he could come get it with his truck. Not five minutes later, a guy pulls up in a truck, hops out and heads straight for it. So of course, I assumed it was this lady’s husband. He siad his wife saw the chair and asked him to come back and get it.

Good thing the first lady who paid for it was still here, because i turned around and yelled, “This your husband?”

“What? NO!”

I turned to him and said “Sorry, that lady beat you to it!”

We had a good laugh. Her companion siad, Can you imagine? You’d be at home yelling at your husband asking where the chair went he picked up!”

Kinda felt bad for the other guy though. Ron thought it wouldn’t sell and here I could have sold it twice.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

The recapping brain dump

I’m trying to get back in the habit, because I’m going long enough without blogging I can’t remember what I did. Not that it takes much for me to forget. πŸ˜‰

Went to Austin, met awesome co-workers, some of whom I had met before. Actually, now that I remember again – our flight to Dallas couldn’t land due to thunderstorms, so we diverted to Shreveport LA for fuel. Turns out since we were all connected us passengers found out the Dallas airport was closing and even if we could get there out flight from Dallas to Austin was cancelled. So we got off the plane in Shreveport, rented a car and rove for 6 hours to Austin.

At least we got to see East Texas. Y’all got no hills in Hill Country. I will show you hills.

We met our friends Abbie & Shane, who are awesome. They took us to the LEGO store AND the Apple store, and I was like a kid in a .. well, yeah. It was fun.

I should probably write a whole post on that, but this is enough to jog my memory later.

Meaghan is moving out and going to Fredericton for work, so we are cleaning out all kinds of crap that I’d been keeping “just in case” When you’re down to one kid, there’s a lot you suddenly realize you don’t need any more. We’re motivated to finish up a few things on our house too, with room to shuffle around.

My hands hurt today. They hurt often. I have an ergonomic chair, and a nice laptop desk we got (we got 2 actually) and I try and change positions when I’m not int he zone and stuck posting on the interwebs. As an example, I just checked and the forum I do support on says I have posted 108 times in the last 24 hours. Plus I tweeted & G+ed and emailed. I don’t do too much email any more though, which is nice. I’m sitting here in the living room, typing away on my Mac Air (work perk, love it) and thinking how comfy the couch is and how tired I am but still this nagging feeling I should work on a couple docs I have open in other tabs. This feeling would be part of the reason I got hired. πŸ˜‰

I got groceries today too, so it’s not all work. Grabbed some containers to organize my fabric, and a couple for the toys Meaghan has been sorting in the front porch. which was a total and complete mess and emma never used any of it any more. (partly given it was too hard to find anything).

Spring always makes me want to organize all the things.

Oh! And! I;ve been taking allergy meds. I finally found some that don’t make me narcoleptic or head spacey. There was one kind I tired, I wound up doing things like turning the stove on high and walking away for ten minutes. Not good. This kind (Claritin) doesn’t make me spacey, but I just go and go and then … drop. But I am not sneezing and itching, especially with all the dusty cleaning and sorting we’re doing.

We tried to have a yard sale last weekend, but it rained. So we’re shooting for setup this Thursday or Friday. Around here yard sales start Friday afternoons.

Between my hands hurting from the rain, and Rons sciatica bothering him, we’re turning into old folks.

(I said I’d update. I didn’t say it’d be good. ;P )

Monday, May 14, 2012 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Mother of an update

Right now, I am skipping over the whole “haven’t posted in HOW long” part and just diving in.

Sarah came up for the weekend – actually, we picked her up on Tuesday when we went to Fredericton for an orthodontic consultation for Emma. Guess who is getting braces?

One of the things we did while Sarah was here, was dye our hair. All the hairs! Sarah wanted to bleach out the bottom half of the back and then do blue and purple streaks, so she needed extras hands and eyes. Hassle her for pics or look at her twitter. πŸ˜›

And then, since the dye was there and all, she added a pink streak to my hair. I also touched up some of the blue for more contrast and left some of the faded, previously blue now mermaid green section.

more color in my hair

This way, it’s a warning for the people who think I am some mild mannered mom, that maybe – just maybe, I am a bit crazy.

So – to the adventure time.

For Mother’s Day Ron made us all yummy pancakes for breakfast because he is awesome at it. We had them for breakfast because we were going to my mom’s for potluck lunch with us, Addison & Kaytlyn and Izzy and Kaytlyn’s mom Lynn and her husband Patrick.

(charts will be provided later)

We all piled in the car, with half the food, and added all of Sarah’s stuff because we were dropping her back to Fredericton when we were done. Our place is 1 hour and 15mins from Fredericton. My mom’s place is another hour the other side of that. So lots of driving was done.

We were just on the other side of Fredericton, passing into Oromocto, noting how the water still had receded much by the marshy spot near the highway… oh… car broke down… they look familiar.. OMG it’s Addison!

We turned off at the next exit (RIGHT THERE) and then had to go 2 or 3 kms back down the highway so we could turn around and come up behind them again.

It turns out the fix for their radiator the previous Friday was not so much fixed. πŸ™

Izzy was especially happy to see us. Kaytlyn more so, as they had someone who had stopped to get them some quick fix but by now, she had terrible heartburn and Izzy was almost out of milk. So Ron took off to the store to get some further needs (addison had lots of water since he had walked to the nearest gas station already) and I stayed to amuse the grandbaby.

Izzy of course was thrilled we were there. “NANNy! WHERE GRAMPY?” and then after she had Grammie on one side and Nanny on the other, both exclaiming she was the prettiest smartest ever, so of course she was all smilies.

Eventually we got everyone sorted, made sure they could hobble back home and went on our way. Oh darn. πŸ™ So when we finally got to my mom’s (almost an hour late) the email Sarah sent from her phone hadn’t been seen. We had to fill her in, so we were disappointed. Mom says next family dinner we’ll all just meet in Fredericton, stupid car.

We did eat half the food though, and I gave my mom the panel she wanted me to quilt for her. I’ve been DYING to talk about it, since I did different quilting everywhere on it and couldn’t post.

Wall hanging for mom

Side note: when I have too many things on my mind I can’t post about, it doesn’t leave much left I *can* post about, you know?

After we were done at mom’s about mid afternoon, we packed up most of the food (including the lamb roast) and headed back to Fredericton to stop in to Addison’s place. They had made it fine back home, and then dropped off Kaytlyn and the baby, but broke down again almost to the mechanics. And at an intersection.

At any rate, when we got there, Addison was back, and the girls were napping. πŸ˜€ So he had to entertain us all by himself while we were all just plain tired. Eventually Izzy got up, we heated more leftovers including the lasagna casserole they were supposed to bring to my mom’s, and I stuffed his fridge with more food I didn’t want but that they will happily eat till mid-week.

Then it was time to go and Izzy refused to hand out hugs. If you don’t hug people goodbye, they don’t leave, right?


Oh, I just realized I didn’t gush about my mother’s day presents. πŸ™‚ A & K got me a hanging basket of pansies, my favorite flower, as well as a framed picture of my kissing Izzy to pieces. Sarah got me a HUGE squirt bottle of Satsuma body wash from the Body Shop. It smells like orange pop. Meaghan made me red velvet cake with this super rich flour icing. “It’s a vehicle for getting butter into your mouth”. Emma did nice things for me, which is mostly what I look for, a mom’s day off.

I don’t mind reheatng, but I don’t want to cook on Mother’s day. πŸ˜€ That, and see all my kids. That’s all I need.

The super long drives I can do without. UGH.

Here’s hoping i can keep updating. I’m still trying to figure out when is a good time for me.

Saturday, February 18, 2012 in crafty things

Still with the feathers

I am almost done Kaytlyn’s quilt. At least the quilting part. I ran out of yellow thread *again*. That’s two spools if you are counting, plus a spool each of pink, purple and orange that still have lots left, but I need the yellow for the back. This quilt is using a LOT of thread.

I read another tutorial from Diane Gaudynski, and I swear this is the one I was looking for before, but someone forgot I read it. This time I clicked. Diane Gaudynski β€œEcho Feather Plume”

Here’s what I did the other day.

This was the third block I did, nice and relaxed and happy with the results. I’m not quite done the quilting because as I said above, I ran out of thread! And my local quilt shop is moving so it has been closed for a few days.

Here’s a nice shot showing how the quilt will look when done.

I need to find where I put the rest of the hot pink fabric so I can use it for the binding. One more row of feathers to go and two more of loops.

And just so Kaytlyn is not the only person I am tormenting with quilting previews, I did some work on a wall hanging for my mom. Mom has picked out a panel to hang in her stairwell, and since I am now her quilter, this is my first project and she said to do whatever I liked.

If you think that looks good, wait till you see the front. πŸ˜‰ Some days I wish I had the whole day to quilt. So far, I have to keep stopping for one reason or another.

Saturday, February 11, 2012 in crafty things

More quilting progress and how to get out of a boo boo

So I’ve worked on Kaytlyn’s quilt a few more times, after I unpicked the last screw up and worked on something else instead. Here’s what that same block looks like now, all done properly.

I went swimmingly, until I flipped the quilt over and realized I made yet another boo boo. But this one was more recoverable and did not involved taking out stitches. It turns out if you are near the edge and don’t pay attention to the backing fabric, you get this:

It flips over and you wind up quilting it. Uh-oh. But then you just find your tiny scissors, turns on some bright lights, get comfy and snip the fabric off from around the stitching. Like this:

Any of those stray threads will wash right out. I always try and wash my quilts before I send them off. This way I know they will hold up for the user and if anything comes undone (it happens) then I have a chance to fix it.

I also figured out how to quilts the skinny blocks and thanks to some advice from Angela Walters, decided *not* to quilt the hot pink sashing. It looks SO much better leaving it unquilted. It really does help frame the blocks, don’t you think?

Here’s the back, where you can see the effect really well.

In the skinnier blocks I decided to do a loop-de-loo, or a bunch of Laverne L’s. Sometimes when doing these bits I hummed the Laverne and Shirley theme song because I am a dork like that.

Two more big rows to go! I have to draw out the feathers on these ones, since I’m doing them all in the same direction and they are basically upside down because of the way I have to feed it through my machine.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012 in humour

Who knew washing your pillow was so difficult?

So we got a new mattress this week. This lead to a bunch of jokes all over twitter when I said we were off to test mattresses. (“Excuse me sir, ma’am.. we’re going to have to ask you to leave.”) AND! Best part? The sales guy knew what WordPress was. This after explaining on please do not call us for a delivery before 9am, we work at home any time after that is just dandy. Also he was just beside himself when I tested a smaller chair and exclaimed, “Hey! They have chairs for Hobbits!”. He had just that weekend marathoned all the LOTR movies.

So, we are best buds now. AKA following each other on social networks.

Anyway, back to my point. Ron and I had a semi lovely night’s sleep on our new bed, since we took turns sleeping while the other one lay awake listening to snoring. From the deep sleep.

After that, I decided that maybe I could wash my lumpy pillow (I only bought it last year) and fluff it up some. Maybe it was the yelling and the loud washer-stopping noise or the smell of burnt rubber when I went into the laundry room-slash-back hall, but the pillow (which did not soak up water at the begging of the cycle) had soaked up half the water by the end and refused to be spun out. It;s like they had lined the pillow in oilcloth. I could hardly lift it.

I did manage to get my workout in squeezing out what I could and dragging it over to the nearby bathroom sink, where I squeezed some more and inadvertently discovered the sink is not caulked to the counter top. Bonus cleaning around the sink then.

Then finally in frustration at the idea of being there all night and/or sleeping on a damp pillow I grabbed a pair of scissors and cut a small line along the edge of a seam.

and *POOF* it let out air like a vacuum sealed bag of.. well something anyway. It was astounding. I could pour water out of it.

Eventually I put it back in the washer for a spin but it was too heavy to manage without the washer trying to disassemble itself.

So I put the middle of the pillow on the top of the agitator thing, balanced it in place with one hand and stuck my finger in the lid hole to trick the washer into thinking the lid was closed so it would spin.

And it worked.

And I still have all my fingers.

Next time I think my pillow needs a wash I think I will just go buy one.

Friday, February 3, 2012 in crafty things

A goof up and a quick break

I had a migraine yesterday. It woke me up, that;s how it hurt. I think it was from sleeping hard in the same position for hours.

So I muddled through as best I could,and after the second round of strong tea and Advil, plus protein, it lessened enough I could move my head. I set aside my laptop (one can still do minimal support when one’s head is settled amongst pillows) and shuffled down the hall to go play with fabric.

Face it – I needed the break anyway. πŸ˜€

I tried to quilt a bit and screwed up two feather blocks. Well, screwed up one and tried a different method on another. I’m not doing each block exactly the same, trying out a few different things every so often.

But the orange thread on the plain pink square? Upside down? Post-migraine?

Yeah. Not a good idea.

I did, however, take pictures for you to point and laugh at. Today I attacked it with a seam ripper.

Also shown: I did a small disappearing 9 patch baby quilt and laid out another, all from the same line of “Giddy” fabric. Nice and springy and Valentine’s in one.

Monday, January 30, 2012 in food

Snownami cupcakes

Emma and i made cupcakes.

Sunday, January 29, 2012 in crafty things

Feather quilting

Since I’ve finished up Meaghan’s quilt I moved on to Kaytlyn’s, getting it all layered and basted this weekend. I also had a chance to quilt three of the large blocks.

I had always planned to do big feather plumes in these blocks, as it just screamed at me to do so. Problem was when I started the quilt, I’d never done them. So I drew and I practised and I did some samples.

Today I actually dug out all the thread and took the plunge. I’m using yellow thread on the back and in some places on the front will be changing thread colors. This not only blends in better (to hide potential goofs πŸ˜› ) it also helps me use up much of my half-empty spools of thread. OF which there are plenty.

I’ll do all the large blocks on this quilt first and yes – I am stopping and starting on each block, snipping the thread entirely and not stitching over to the next one. I also did not draw on most of the quilt top for a template. Some I just drew the spine, some blocks nothing at all. They will be almost entirely freehand.

I’ve also been picking up some tips from Diane Gaudynski and her upcoming free motion quilt along. The topic for February? Feather plumes! πŸ˜€ Mine don’t look near as nice as hers, but like she says – just keep on practising!

By the time I get to the last block, I should be pretty good. They are fun to do, if maddening in parts. I definitely like the look of going back and outlining the whole thing until the block fills. It definitely hides my turn backs.

I also chose poly batting because of the loft, and to see how my Bernina handles it. So far, I still don’t like working with it.