Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 90 of 365

Today was one of those busy days I was not looking forward to. Being sick and having to go out isn't what I would call fun.

Except I spent the day out with my daughter, shopping for her birthday. Which made it a little more fun. Now that I'm not working, money is a bit tighter so we're not spending as much on birthdays and holidays. So it's a good thing that her tastes aren't too expensive.

Actually, her tastes are expensive. She works in one of the clothing departments that cater to her generation (and her size) at a high end department store. So while she works long and hard at that job, she has also acquired a taste for some of the finer, brand-name labels. But she makes her own money and spends her own money (and a lot of it is spent there at her store). She knows better than to ask us to purchase anything for her from there. We don't even shop in that particular store ourselves.

Growing up in a small rural farming community of less than 900, belonging to clubs like FFA (Future Farmers of America), she knows the value of hard work. She also has learned that as long as your basic needs are met, it's not necessary to live a lavish lifestyle.

So as we were shopping for her birthday today she was conscientious about where we shopped. Mass retailers were her preference. We picked up a purse (on sale), but the best couple deals we found were at (surprise) Target. She hit the clearance racks and found a couple of presents that fit her style.

She found:
  • A shirt, regularly priced at $17.99, marked down to $4.48 minus a $3 coupon for a total price of $1.48.
  • A swimsuit top (she already has a bottom) regularly priced at $14.99, marked down to $3.74

$5.53 (including tax) for $32.98 of clothes. That's over $27 off.

I just might be able to afford to keep her!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 89 of 365

Today was the day I was giving away that lovely, yet difficult for me to quilt, quilt top. We had 10 people interested, so I used random.org to randomly choose the winner.

Congrats to Cheryl, who wrote:
You have made a very beautiful quilt. For sure to wrap around someone in love while they see stars in there eyes keeping warm. I'm am putting quilts together for my daughters "Childrens's Heart Disease Foundation. There will be a auction this June. I would so love to add this in the auction and include your name on the back. thank you for allowing me to share and be a part of your drawing, most of all thank you for sharing something you at one time so loved. Blessings Cheryl 

As soon as I get your address Cheryl, I'll get it in the mail.

So the quilt will head out, but the batting and backing is still sitting on the sewing room table. With a cat still on it. Just like yesterday.

And just like yesterday, I can't get myself out of the house or out of my sweats. But today, now I can't get hardly get myself out of bed. This week is going to be busy - daughter will be home, have to go shopping to buy her a birthday present, have two meetings on two different days at school this week, and then her birthday. I'll be leaving the house every day this week. I don't know the last time that happened.

The last time a bird talked to a squirrel about the best place to meet me? Looks like today. Thank goodness for cameras and windows. Even if they aren't totally clean (the windows, that is).

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 88 of 365

Today was spent watching racing. First Indy 500, then NASCAR. On TV, of course.

We've actually been to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was one of our must-stops on the cross-country trip we took a few years ago. The day we went the Richard Petty Driving Experience was going on. That's where folks plop down a nice chunk of money (like over $100 if I remember right) to ride along in a NASCAR race car for a couple laps around the track. We didn't do it, but could certainly hear how loud those cars can be flying around the track at 150+ miles an hour. We also could certainly appreciate how difficult it is to capture pictures of cars going that fast. I probably used more film on that one day of our trip than any other day anywhere. And half of those pictures turned out to be of an empty racetrack. The cars were just too darn fast!

But I know at some point in our lives we'll go back. And we'll go back on Indy race day. But not this year, and not next, and I imagine not the next. It's one of those things we talk about that we always say we are going to do, (and I hope we can), but things have to improve for me substantially before I can see myself traveling that far again. Just security at the airport is going to be an ordeal for me now! I'll be carrying needles and prefilled syringes - and the full body scan is going to light up like a Christmas tree - 3 screws in the right shoulder, 4 screws in the left, and big chunks of metal in my left knee.

So the Indy 500, the Kentucky Derby, and Mardi Gras all get put on a "someday" list.

As if I don't already have enough issues, with the way I'm feeling again today (going into week 2 of the flu) I can't even get myself out of the house or even out of my sweats. I haven't even had enough energy to fold up that batting and backing I took off of the quilt top a couple days back.

Which works out fine for the kitty. She's not looking to leave the house, either.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 87 of 365

I think the birds have been talking to each other. About me and this blog.

I imagine the ones I've snapped pictures of have been telling others to stick close to the house and if they happen to see me, pose. That they might get their picture on the internet and might be seen around the world.

In the past 24 hours, I've had several bird encounters:
  • Yesterday evening as I was on the computer, a small bird (don't know what kind) grasped his little claws on my window screen and held himself there. I don't know what he thought he was trying to do, but if it was to get his picture taken it didn't happen. I was so startled it took me a bit to grab the camera out of my purse. By the time I had the camera ready to go, he was gone.
  • This morning as I was getting out of bed, one of the yellow goldfinches was sitting on the trellis right out my bedroom window. I was able to go get the camera, but as I was focusing he flew away.
  • Many mornings I head to my lift chair first to help my back get ready for the day. As I was sitting in the chair looking out the window, a hummingbird hovered right in front of the big window. To get out of the lift chair takes forever since you have to push a button to get the motor moving before you can get out. By the time I got out of the chair, grabbed the camera, and got back to the window I thought he'd be gone. He was still flying around a bit, but came back to the window again. The big ole quilt frame from yesterday was in the way, and just as soon as I moved it to get closer to the window to take the picture, he flew off. And hasn't returned yet.
  • I still didn't have my picture for the day, so I decided to go outside for a while, hoping for a bird to show up, or a flower to be blooming - anything. As I was bending over replanting our watermelon and cantaloupe plants, two mallard ducks came flying low overhead. I had my camera with me, but by the time I got it ready (and got myself upright) they were gone.
  • And just now, as I sat here typing my blog, a bird in the tree outside the window with a big worm hanging from it's mouth. Geez, why don't I just leave my camera on all the time?
What are the odds of all of these missed opportunities happening within the same day of each other? And what are the chances it's going to happen again? Pretty slim on both counts.

My picture search for the day is not yet over, but at this late hour the chances are also pretty slim of getting a good picture, especially with me feeling as crappy as I feel.

How about a picture I took yesterday at the end of the day as the storms finished up? It's worth posting, even if it's a day late.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 86 of 365

Today was a very rainy day and I got frustrated.

Not by the rain, but by what I decided to to do inside to fill my time.

A darn quilt that's been giving me trouble since the beginning. I should know by now that if I'm cursing at something, it can't be good.

And this one isn't good. It all started back on Day 38. Way back then I spent some frustrating time getting a quilt into the floor frame. Was looking forward to the refreshing change from machine quilting. I had big plans to spend several days a week looking out the front window while I sat working on the quilt.

Except here it is, 48 days later and I haven't done much more than a foot by foot square on it.

So today I decided to work on it. But as I sat there thinking about how long it would take me to finish it and how long it's already been taking up space in my living room, I changed my mind. I decided to machine quilt it instead. It was already on the frame, so I pin basted it. Except when I got it off the frame, it was all bunched up. All 100 or so safety pins came right back out. Spread it out on the table, repinned it, then started to sew. But even with my walking foot, there was some bunching happened.

I also have a frame that I can use with my plain Jane sewing machine. So I unpinned the quilt again to roll it onto the rails of the other frame. The other too-small frame.

Fold over part of the quilt to fit on the frame, roll it, and it starts rolling crooked. Again. And again, and again.

This quilt has been an enemy to me for almost two months now. I originally was quite fond of it, but have now come to not like it so much. So I decided to take out the stitches, keep the batting and backing, and give away the quilt top. I'm sure there is someone out there who can love it in a way I can't.

Any takers?

It's a quilt top only (no batting, no backing), approximately 61"x67". I hope it can find a loving home. Just leave me a comment here (be sure to leave a screen name or something). Or, use the "Contact Me" button at the very bottom of the page. If more than one person is interested, I'll draw a name.

Check back Monday to see if I'll be mailing it your way.

We have a winner! Congrats to Cheryl, who wrote:
You have made a very beautiful quilt. For sure to wrap around someone in love while they see stars in there eyes keeping warm. I'm am putting quilts together for my daughters "Childrens's Heart Disease Foundation. There will be a auction this June. I would so love to add this in the auction and include your name on the back. thank you for allowing me to share and be a part of your drawing, most of all thank you for sharing something you at one time so loved. 
Exercise update: 40 days in a row! Since I ride the exercise bike everyday, I'm going to switch from a daily report to a weekly miles rode report. Look for an update next Friday!