Sunday, December 30, 2007

Wow....It's been a while

Happy New Year to all. We've been busy. After the pre-Christmas madness....decorating, shopping, wrapping etc....we had a four-day trip to New Jersey. It was great to see all our old friends as well as the Son and Daughters and their SOs. The only bad part of the trip was damage to The Tramp's car. Someone in a Toyota (we found parts of their car in the street) hit and ran when we were parked outside Middle Daughter's apartment and we are now a mirror short, and just grateful that was the only damage. With the wires hanging out the stub it looks a bit like something from Star Wars.

We stayed at the Newark Airport Marriott....with the control tower looming over us.

The weather was cold, rainy and dull and there was snow on the ground. Reminders of why we moved south! We had a not-so-glamorous view of the airport exit and the Anheuser-Busch Newark Brewery with the revolving sign. The bed was comfortable anyway.

The highlight of the weekend was the baptism of Baby J. He was cute as a button in his little white suit and behaved like an angel of course!

I got in some quality grandma time.

We drove home Christmas Eve, and I promptly came down with a flu. I've spent most of the week feeling feverish, woozy and tired. Today I'm happy to report that the nausea appears to finally be gone. I haven't had long-term low-grade nausea like that since I was last pregnant. Yuck. I didn't even get to eat Christmas dinner. Ah well. I have high hopes for New Years Day!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ewww, yuck, damn, eureka, gross, itch, sneeze, OMG, itch, sigh....

The vacuum was acting weird this afternoon. It took me a bit but I finally realized it had no suction. Nothing coming through the hose. Hmmmm.....was the problem in the hose or in the cannister? How can you tell if you can't turn the machine on unless the hose is attached? Ok...I pondered on this for a couple of minutes, then I took the hose off and tried blowing through it (the ewwww part). Ah hah! Clogged.

So what could be in there??? Much peering in the ends (yuck) but you can't see straight in so that isn't useful. I see a bit of dog hair so haul the hose into the workshop and find the longest pair of The Tramp's pliers and pull a bit out. Well that was over quick. Not very useful. what?

Ahhhhh! The proverbial wire coat hanger should do the trick. Oh. We don't own a single wire coat hanger! (the damn part) All the extra hangers went to the thrift shop after I unpacked and we haven't been to a dry cleaners yet in NC. So I root busily around in the workshop for something else. Poop. Nothing.

Feeling rather defeated and contemplating repair costs on a relatively new vacuum, in desperation I go stand in my sewing room and gaze around aimlessly, hoping for inspiration. And (eureka) it comes!!! Armature wire! Hee hee! I cut off about a 2 foot length, bend one end into a small hook and get to work. It turns out the hose is Completely Wadded With Dog Hair (GROSS) and I have to spend a half and hour hooking out the wads, reconnecting the hose, sucking it down to the end with the vacuum, and hooking out more.....over and over again. (this is where the itch starts)

I'm happy to say that it's all clear now but I'm (sneeze) somewhat unhappily realizing that the dog is still here, the hair is still going to need vacuuming up, and, (OMG) I've got two of these vacuum cleaners which are probably going to need this treatment every once in a while. (ITCH)


Wednesday, December 19, 2007


You have got to check this out. Cute, cute, cute.
I think I have to have one!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Get out the grinder and grind up the leftover Sunday roast.
And make a personal Shepherd's Pie. The ultimate comfort food!
Then steal time to complete step one of Bonnie's mystery quilt.
A much better day than yesterday!

Monday, December 17, 2007


The gifts are wrapped and the cards are done!

Pity day

I feel so lousy today. Headachy and achy. Not a good time to get sick! I also bit wrong and have a tender tooth. The only sensible thing to do is lay low, wallow in self pity, and hope for the best. Hmmmm....pass the hot chocolate!

The Christmas decorating....such that it done. The Holiday Missive is written and the Christmas cards are addressed. Today I'll finish up that job. I'll also finish wrapping all the presents. Getting all that done should definitely improve my mood!

Mom and Dad came over for Sunday dinner yesterday so I had the camera out and took photos of some of the decor. I did not put out the large herd of nutcrackers this year. Maybe I'll have room for them next year when the living room is done.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Still alive...

Still alive, still here. Nothing much to say. Fed the last of the Thanksgiving turkey to the dogs today. Just trying to finish the Christmas shopping/wrapping and possibly actually decorating. I'm not holding my breath. Mom and I went on a shopping trip this morning to buy a christening outfit for baby J. I texted photos to DIL and she's very happy with what we found. The baptism is on Christmas Sunday. I can't wait. We're going home to NJ for the event.

I'm running around like a chicken with it's head cut off and I can't figure out what I'm accomplishing! How did I do this with a passel of children underfoot? I got old really quick...sigh. The Twelve Days of Christmas to go!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Formica Fun

Wow. It was a record over 80F here in North Carolina yesterday and it's pretty darned balmy today too. It's a whole new experience for me to be actually able to wear my Peanuts Christmas t-shirts at Christmastime!!! The Tramp says it's almost warm enough for a "real" NZ Christmas. LOL

I've chosen my fabric's for Bonnie's Carolina Crossroads Mystery Quilt. I didn't have time to go very far afield and my stash didn't have any appropriate pieces that were large enough. But I did have time for a flying stop in JoAnn's while Christmas shopping yesterday.

I was immediately taken with the retro-looking print. Vibrations of my childhood. :-)

I had used this blue for another project and loved it.

Now this pink struck me as retro also. I love it as a fabric, but for those of you who are old enough...doesn't it look like mid-20th century Formica?

It's right up there with the old white-with-gold-fleck Formica. For 29 years I lived in houses with those kind of counter-tops. In fact it was very nasty old Formica so most of the fleck had worn off. Yuck. I often wondered how much of the gold fleck got into our food. One day they'll find out older baby boomers have some Dreaded Formica Fleck Disease brewing in their systems. RFLOL

One of the things that attracted me to The Tramp is that he doesn't believe in grotty old kitchens. Just one of those small things that Love Is All About. :-)

Thursday, December 6, 2007


Whew...Blogger isn't happy this morning! What a struggle.

The Sandbox has been reorganized. The Poor Tramp was getting squeezed out (I'd spread into three rooms!) and I wasn't pleased with my initial setup of the room anyway. To say nothing of mountains of patterns shoved willy-nilly on shelves. So.....

The Sandbox is long and narrow with lots of windows and doors. But I managed! The TV is now properly hooked up to the cable so I can junk out on movies, HGTV or something worse while I'm sewing. :-)
Eye candy! I need more fabric, don't you think?
It is sooo nice to have all of my quilt and doll patterns sorted into binders!
Now I have a beading corner. But yikes, when will I have time to use it????
The plants are happy with the arrangement too I think.

I've been working on shopping bags as Christmas gifts.*
It's nice to find a use for this wierd blue Ikea computer desk. It cost us nearly nothing since it was "damaged" but this is the first room the blue doesn't look seriously out of place in. I love having the keyboard drawer next to my sewing machine to work on then shove away.
We put up two "design boards" so far, one here, with patterns and the TV channels pinned up and one...

next to the pegboard. I've got one more piece to put up over my ironing station but I need more fleece or flannel to cover it with.
Now the quilt frame is out of The Tramp's study I have to get that moved around too. I took the back off an old Ikea bookcase and recycled it as a plant stand. The African Violets seem to be loving it!
Ngaire, vigilantly watching for cats in the neighbor's yard and any squirrel foolish enough to stroll through "her" yard. :-)
*I'm sorry, I want to give credit but I can't figure out who I got the bag pattern from. The pdf I downloaded doesn't say. I will if I find it again!

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Arrrrrgggghh. Don't mind me, I've been rearranging furniture and throwing out junk and I'm allergic to the dust! My face itches sooooo bad!

I've been staying away from my computer as I've been busy totally rearranging my sewing room. I had Completely Taken Over three rooms and my Poor Tramp was Squeezed into a Dark Corner. On Thursday I covered three foam insulation boards as "design walls". I drafted a floor plan of the room and pushed little pieces of paper furniture around until I got it right. I considered the Feng Shui of the whole thing for a while, then I moved the furniture (oh my aching back!) That was Friday.

Saturday, The Tramp helped me put my peg board back up and we mounted the design walls. I took all my quilting and doll patterns off of the book shelves (where they slither all around), put them in sleeves and sorted them into looseleaf binders. Actually I did a bunch of that at 5:00 this morning since I couldn't sleep. :)

So there's not too much more to do...then I can take some photos. THEN I'll get back to sewing! I've got such a pile of things waiting to be worked on! YIKES.