Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Sad Time..

For the life of me, I can't find a picture of Tiger. She's our 15 year old cat that we rescued from the local pound when she was 6 weeks old. About 2 weeks ago, we noticed a lump on her shoulder that we couldn't explain. It was about the size of a quarter. Yesterday I realized it had grown to equal the size of her head - in 2 weeks. We just got back from the vet with the diagnosis that it is cancer and she has anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months to live.

I realize she is getting older, but it's so hard to have to say goodbye.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Life Around here Lately..

Life has been pretty eventful around here lately. I turned another year older at the beginning of the month, and DNephew did, too. We had a sweet little birthday party together - he got to take home the bulk of the haul. But, he turned 2, so it makes sense :)

I didn't manage to get his quilt done for the party. In fact, it's still not done yet, but I am working on it every day. And yesterday I learned that my sewing machine is designed to save my life in the case of a catastrophe! Yay! I replaced a blunt needle when I sat down at the machine yesterday, and apparently I didn't tighten the screw that holds the needle in place well enough. About 2 lines of sewing later, the machine blew up at me - well, that's what it seemed like anyway - because the needle fell out of it's assigned place and the machine made a lot of nasty sounds before I could get my foot of the peddle. So, after I settled myself and the dog down a bit, I started looking things over. Apparently, when something like this happens, the button to disengage the needle arm (you know, you hit this when you're winding bobbins) flicks automatically! Yay Singer! I was so impressed with this little detail and how they saved my life - or at least an eye ;)

So, I replaced that needle to find that the new needle was a dull one to begin with. Ugh. That was enough excitement at the machine for me. Time to go back to my hand work :)

And what have I been working on lately, you might ask? Well, 2 things, actually. One is a new knitted afghan that I've fallen in love with. You can see a pic of it here (it's episode 219 and is the green afghan). It's a challenging pattern for me, being a new knitter and all, but I love it. I can do all the stitches, which is a major hurdle for me, and I'm loving watching the pattern develop. I also love the feel of the knitted fabric. I grew up with crocheted afghans all over the house (Mom is a master crocheter) and this is a very different feel. DH has proclaimed he likes it, too :)

The other project is a hexagon quilt I started about 6 years ago. I had just finished a queen-sized hexagon quilt that was scrappy, (I'm still quilting that one, by the way) and wanted to downsize the size of the hexagons drastically. The first quilt has hexagons that are about 4 inches on a side. This new quilt has hexagons that are 1 inch on a side. I spent months designing the layout of the quilt and have the bottom border done at this point. This is one of those projects that I work on like crazy for a month or so, then don't touch it for a year - which explains why I have only a bottom border done in 6 years. Well, anyway, I've been working on it again and loving it. It's especially good to work on while listening to a book on tape. I'll get pics for you next time I post about it.

The last thing I'm going to talk about today is the new arrival to our yard yesterday. Two of our five cats are indoor/outdoor cats. One is allowed to be this way, the other is an escape artist. So, yesterday they are both outside (it was gorgeous and sunny) and when DH got home from work, we notice Felix is stalking something across the road (he's not allowed across the road), so we start yelling and hollering at him to stop whatever he's doing and get back in the yard. He complies, and we then notice that there is a baby bunny across the street from our house - so cute and so tiny! He wasn't even tall enough to have his ears top the curb. Ok, so all is well, we go inside and proceed with our evening of dinner and TV and knitting ;)

Fast forward to 11:00 and we start to hear this screaming outside. Well, Mookie, the other kitty, is still outside. Guess what she found? The baby bunny was in our backyard and Mookie was playing with it. Luckily, I got out there fast enough to break them up, but that bunny was petrified. Mookie went back inside and the bunny hopped over to the neighbor's yard...but now I have to contend with kitties that want to go outside and can't so we can save a baby bunnies life. Ahhh, life in the city. The things you never expect to see. It reminds me of the possum we saw waddling down the street a couple of weeks ago...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Warning! Rant Mode On.

Ok, I have 2 confessions to make before I go into my rant, I do not watch Top Model and I am not a fan of Tyra Banks. However, last night while I was flipping through the menu to find something to watch, it was on in the background. I couldn't help it, I got drawn in.

Ok, so we're at the end of the show where the judging is happening. Each girl goes before the judges with her best photo shot and they either praise it or insult it. There isn't a lot of constructive criticism happening at this point. Also, all of the girls are dressed somewhat similarly in short skirt things and high heels. So, we get to one girl that comes out to the end of the runway to get her judgment. The blatantly gay black judge makes a snide comment about the shoes she's wearing. To which Tyra starts chiming in with nasty names at the girl - "skank" was one of them and I can't recall the other two.

To this, the girl, quite politely, asked them if they were kidding. At which point, the judging moved from her current outfit to her photo shot - which they insulted quite well, too.

Fast forward to the very end of the show where the judges rank the girls on how well their photo shot is. This girl was ranked second to last and was given a lecture by Tyra about how the girl was "defensive" and "combative" and none of the judges would want her on their photo shoot or to work with her. She needed to work on this.

How dare Tyra Banks lecture this girl for standing up for herself in a polite manner when she had just called her a skank?!? I cannot believe the gall of this woman. No, woman is the wrong word for Tyra Banks. I'll leave it to you to decide what she should be's not appropriate for polite company, though.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Long Time...

Ok, I admit, I've been missing in action for a while....lots of stuff happening behind the scenes that just isn't fun, so we'll ignore all that for now.

I've been working on DNephew's quilt for some time now. I spent a day at Mom's new apartment getting it basted - Thanks for the help Mom! - and have been attempting to quilt it by machine. For all of you ladies out there that do this frequently, what's the trick? I am having the hardest time getting this done! I've managed to get the main lines quilted - horizontal and vertical - and am now attempting to do all the diagonals. There was a slight hiccup when I realized my chalk pencils just weren't cutting it and I had to make a pitstop at the local quilt shop to see what they had for chalk markers, but other than that, I've been working on it a little bit each day. And that's about all I can do! I sit at the machine shaking because I'm terrified I'm going to really mess this quilt up. I am not a machine lover - give me handwork anyday - so I know that's part of it. And this is my first time attempting machine quilting - I understand it's not easy at first. But the anxiety I'm feeling is unreal! I have to force myself to sit down each day and do at least one line. When I finish with that, I jump up and run to my comfy chair and my handwork project and attempt to control my's crazy.

So, needless to say, DNephew won't be receiving his Big-Boy quilt at his birthday party this Saturday. I thought 3 weeks was enough to get it quilted and bound, but it just isn't happening. Sorry buddy! He'll get it soon, though, I promise!