Last night, we drove down to Creative Sewing Center to buy a new sewing machine. I was prepared to spend $590 on the Brother Innov’is 80 (which is actually on the low end of sewing machines you can purchase that won’t turn out to be crap), but when we got there, we were informed that prices had changed since I’d been there last (24 hours ago). The Innov’is 80 was now $580, but it’s big sister, the NX-250, was now $599 (instead of $799). For that extra $10, I got a full-size machine (the Innov’is 80 is a 3/4), a more powerful motor, more arm space (important when thinking about quilting), and a dust cover. OK, there are lots of other things too, but I don’t want to bore you with details. I did lose the slightly nicer button interface, but after using the NX-250 for 3 or 4 minutes, found that it was a non-issue.
Beautiful, no? I picked up a walking foot while we were there, because I knew I’d need it right away. I’ve since browsed eBay for additional feet and have found much better prices, so if I’m interested in a ruffler or cut-away foot, I know where to go. (The ruffler part was a joke. I wouldn’t really make things with ruffles.) That’s a bit of a bummer only because I get a 10% off discount on accessories for the next year at CSC.
It took a bit of time to get thread in there correctly (it is not actually all that hard, it just seems that way at first, especially when you’re supposed to be holding part of the thread in one hand, moving it about with the other hand, and looking at the instruction booklet which is being held open by the third hand that you don’t have), and then we took her for a test drive (aren’t all sewing machines girls?).
I realize it's hard to see the white stitching on such a bright and boldly patterned fabric, but it was the scrap I grabbed. Lovely, and so easy.
So I just dove in and got to work.
Finished a large part of my new shower curtain (still needs grommets, side hems, and a gathering-type-something at the bottom).
My new shower curtain will look just lovely on that new shower curtain rod that I keep forgetting to show you.
I also got to work on my project for the Mini Quilt in a Bag Swap 4. Here's a sneak peak for my partner, who lives in Germany!
While I was taking pictures, I decided to get a shot that proves I really have completed 60 nine patches.
I haven’t had the right setting / lighting to take individual pictures yet, but this is the stack of #s 38-60.
And, lastly, I finally remembered to take a picture of the finished paint job in my office. Of course, my office is a bit messy still, so it’s just a small glimpse, but I think it adequately represents what it looks like.
Finished paint job in my office.
The fabric / project arrived yesterday from Robert Kaufman Fabrics, so I have that to dive into, as well as getting that mini quilt done (the deadline is coming up quickly). Maybe after those two deadlines I can think about doing the artwork on the walls.
I cannot tell you how happy I am that I could just sit down and sew with my machine last night and not have to worry about what my stitches looked like! I kept checking the back of my work, just to be sure, but there was no need. Perfect stitches! Much better than the “this will have to do” stitches my old machine makes.
Yesterday afternoon, I drove over to my local Creative Sewing Center and tried out new sewing machines. I didn’t buy one, because I’d been advised to try them out, get all the information, and then go home and think about it. I used the rest of the afternoon to try and find negative information about either of the models I was looking at. I didn’t find anything. Not a single complaint. Consequently, I feel pretty confident about my decision. We’re going back tonight to buy it (and I’ll tell you about the new one later).
Since I’m getting a new machine, and it’s still Sewing Machine Month over at Sew, Mama, Sew!, I thought I’d do this meme for my current machine.
What brand and model do you have?
Singer 5160, factory refurbished, purchased from Singer May 2008.
How long have you had it?
How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
With tax and shipping, it cost $114. Let’s just say, you get what you pay for.
What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
I sew clothing (with limited success so far), quilts, and the occasional home dec project (I really like making pillowcases for some reason).
How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
Some weeks, I get in several hours, and some I get none. It’s rare, but there have been times when I’ve had a big project and it gets a dozen or more hours of use a week.
Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
I passionately hate my machine (which is why I’ve not done this meme until now). It has had tension issues since the very beginning. It has been in for service twice, both within the first 6 months of owning it.
What features does your machine have that work well for you?
It’s a really basic machine, so it does straight line sewing well (unless it’s having a bad day, in which case it doesn’t even do that). The special stitches are out of the question because of the tension issues. With my walking foot, it actually quilts quite well, and I have been pleased with that.
Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
The afore-mentioned tension issues. On newer sewing machines, you can only adjust the top thread tension (the very old machine I used to use had top and bottom adjustments). In order to make a secure stitch, the tension on the top thread has to be at the very highest setting it can possibly be. The stitch length also has to be relatively short. Forget about using special stitches (zig-zag anyone? no), different thread in the top and bottom, sewing down elastic, or looking at it wrong.
Usually, when I’m having a tension problem, it is because the thread falls out of one of the places where it’s supposed to be. It has a favorite place where it likes to do this. Unfortunately, due to the nature of said issue, the problem only appears on the underside of the fabric, so you can sew quite a distance before realizing the problem. And then you have to rip out stitches.
Last week, it decided that the $40-worth of fabric I was using to make my shower curtain was not worthy of sewing, and despite being threaded correctly etc, would not sew a seam. After ripping out stitches for the second (or third? I forget) time, and not wanting to do damage to said valuable fabric, I declared my hatred for the machine and vowed to get a new one. (Yes, it really was as dramatic as I’m making it sound. It is really frustrating to want to finish a relatively easy project and not be able to. It was ridiculous, and I didn’t want to deal with its crap anymore.)
Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!
No funny stories. My Singer has been used to make a lot of great projects, including ‘s quilt for his big-boy bed, several mini quilts, and lots of pillow cases. There have been a few successful clothing items, though more often there are fit issues (the last jacket I made was about 4 sizes too big, while the pants I’d made from the same pattern fit perfectly). I’m looking forward to sewing more clothing with my new machine, mostly because some of the features it has will make it much easier to sew curved seams and really take my time to do it right.
Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
Absolutely not. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend any cheap Singer (though I know that also purchased a factory-refurbished Singer and hasn’t had problems with it). It is a tolerable machine if it’s only going to get used a little bit, or if you’re trying out sewing to see if you like it. But if you know what you’re doing and plan on using it a lot, just shell out the money for a mid-level one (currently $4-600). It’s important to note that Creative Sewing Center doesn’t sell any low-end machines, and they didn’t have any Singers that weren’t embroidery machines (which are much more expensive and appear to be much sturdier).
What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
Reliability, reliability, reliability. My new machine is being purchased at Creative Sewing Center, and they stand behind all of their machines. The one-year warranty is through them, not the manufacturer, and consequently they only sell the good stuff. (They also provide free lessons for the entire time you own the machine, which is pretty cool. And after your warranty is up, they will still service it, just not for free. They’ll service machines not purchased at their stores, as well. I wasn’t really looking for features (everything I wanted would be available on all the machines, with the exception of a lock stitch, which was not that important), but a machine that will last me several decades.
The two machines that I’ve been comparing have virtually all of the same features (a Brother and a Janome). They both have much smoother movement than my Singer (which shakes the desk it’s on when I use it too fast), and can be operated completely without the pedal. I love that the stitch speed is controlled by a dial on the machine and not my foot. They also have a needle up – needle down button, which is nice. The Brother has a few more features that provide more flexibility, which is why, in the end, I’ve decided to go with it (more decorative stitches, automatic threading, automatic tension, automatic buttonholer, option to use the pedal to control the speed or just use the buttons). Both seemed very hardy machines (we sewed through 6 layers of denim with no problem whatsoever).
Do you have a dream machine?
Right now, I’m dreaming of my new Brother Innov’is 80, though I haven’t actually purchased it yet. I’m mildly intrigued by sergers, but since my clothing ventures have not yet been very successful, it wouldn’t really be worth the investment. I’m not interested at all in embroidery, which adds a lot to the price of a machine (more features = more expensive), so I’m pretty happy with what I’m looking at in my price range. If I wanted to go up several hundred dollars (or cross the $1000 threshhold) there are other brands to look at and more machines, but as of yet I can’t come up with a good reason to do so. I’m guessing that anyone who sews for a living, or makes all of their family clothing or something could find great value in a more expensive machine, but that’s not me.
Let me just add that shopping for a machine at Creative Sewing Center is a dream. I walked in and was the only customer, and the woman who helped me was nothing but patient and explained everything. She knew all of the machines well, asked all the right questions, gave great advice (both about the machines and what to do post-purchase), and was totally OK with me not buying a machine after spending an hour with her. My only complaint is that they don’t have a website, but she told me they are working on getting an email system set up so they can send out newsletters electronically instead of via the mail. (Also, they sell and service vacuum cleaners, so if you’re in need of one of those, it’s one-stop shopping!)
Edited to add: I actually purchased the Brother NX-250. Prices changed on Monday, so for $10 more than I was planning on spending, I got a full-size machine with a lot more room and power. And I love it!
The weekend was truly wonderful, and one of the most fun ones I’ve had in a while. (It also happened to be exhausting, but that’s OK. I’d rather be tired after having had all that fun, than to miss out on the fun.)
and arrived on Friday night in their RV. Thankfully, the RV fit in our driveway nicely, both width, length, and height-wise. All could now breathe a sigh of relief. and got to work installing a new outlet in the garage for the RV, after the obligatory house tour. Dinner was good, and then the evening was pretty much over. They gave us a nice house-warming present (some wine, some wine glasses, and a basket), and my birthday presents were great too (a hand-made bracelet and a check).
Saturday morning I woke up way too early to make coffee cake, but I am so very glad that I did. Aside from the fact that everyone loved it, I am still enjoying it today (with one last piece left for tomorrow), and will lament its loss when it is gone. We took the dogs for a walk through the park (this is why they travel via RV – four dogs complicates accommodations a bit), and then arrived with the boys in tow (no this weekend due to an out-of-town trip).
The next 9 hours were a bit of a blur, but we took lots of pictures, so we’re sure not to forget.
and gave an awesome bubble mower that was definitely a hit. I have about a billion pictures of him walking through our lawn and driveway pushing the mower around, watching the bubbles, and “refilling” the bubble supply.
"Mowing" the lawn
He really wanted to do the refilling himself (from a giant bottle of solution), but no one thought that was a good idea. As a compromise, he "helped" Grandpa.
I love this shot of him - the expression on his face is so... grown-up!
Back inside, decided that was his new best friend. The two of them played Legos and cars and monkeys in a barrel, and even watched a movie together. is now pronouncing ‘s name with two syllables instead of one, and he can say my name correctly too. He’s getting easier to understand, though there were still instances of, “Go tell your mom so she can translate for me,” which he gladly did.
We didn’t know when we bought this house how special the bay window was, but has shown us its true use.
Perfect for playing with cars and Legos(TM)!
Seriously, the look on both of their faces in this one is too much!
As the day wore on, was increasingly bossy (as a 2-year-old is likely to do), which was mostly cute because it involved him wanting to do stuff with us.
Grant and Prince Charming
didn’t sleep the entire time, but when he’s awake it’s a bit hard to get pictures of him where he’s not covered in spit-up (it’s prolific). Plus, the sleeping pictures are just so much cuter.
Doing what babies do best
I think I'm getting better at taking pictures. What do you think?
There were some meals and more exchanging of birthday presents (‘s birthday is tomorrow), as well as fun with the dogs. No good shots of with , because he started to cry every time held him. Next trip, I guess.
left with the boys and the rest of us were tired enough to go to bed (after cleaning up the kitchen, of course).
Sunday morning was short, as they wanted to get back on the road and home in time to clean the RV and get ready for their next trip.
As they drove away, I could almost hear a collective sigh of relief from my neighbors. Besides the spectacular sight of a giant RV in the driveway, the four dogs make a lot of noise. We tried to keep it to a minimum, but they just get excited easily. Regardless, it was by far the best weekend I’ve had in a long time.
- Guest :: Services
- Impact :: Deep
- Unplanned :: Complications
- Tactic :: Sneaky
- Delayed :: Departure
- Bombastic :: –?
- Comfort :: Suites
- Trumpet :: Herald
- Joe :: Dirt (not exactly a movie I enjoyed)
- Budget :: Rent-a-car (what’s with the advertising in today’s mutterings? I don’t know. Perhaps I’ve watched too much TV recently.)
- She had a great smile.
- Matea is by my side, always. By my side, under foot, whatever.
- I know this: it’s not all going down like they think it will. It never does. And clearly they’ve not thought of everything or the consequences. Work related – don’t ask.
- Over a dozen bottles of my favorite wine in the cellar, still. I’ve only opened two. I’m quite proud of that. I’m pretty sure my waist is happy about that as well, seeing as how wine is in no way “low calorie,” and my waist is what suffers (from trying to make it fit in too-small pants).
- These words apply to me: tired, excited, bored. How is it possible that I am all those things at once? I am not sure, but it’s true.
- Yesterday while I mowed the lawn, the sun was shining. Not really. It was 7 pm. But it was darn hot.
- And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to DAD’s arrival, tomorrow my plans include hanging with my nephews and taking pictures of them with “Grandpa” and Sunday, I want to go pick out a new sewing machine! Wow, sounds like a great weekend up ahead! Good thing the following weekend is a 3-day one – I’m going to be tired!
So last night, after mowing the lawn (which totally makes up for not going to the gym in the last few months – it was so hot, and the quantity of sweat and the length of time it took me to recover… who needs a gym membership?) and finally cooling down, I got back to work on my shower curtain. Tuesday I had sewn the two pieces of fabric together and pinked the edges, but that’s all I had time for. I’m doing French/Princess seams (can’t remember which is which at the moment), so there are no exposed raw edges (it was either that or fully line it, and that didn’t sound like fun), so I’m only halfway done with the one (and only) seam.
So I set to work last night to prep the seam for a second trip through my machine, ironing it appropriately and so forth. After three attempts to sew a plain, straight line with my [insert explicative here] machine, I gave up. Tension was off and my attempts to fix it were not working. Since I was dealing with $40 worth of fabric, I decided to give up on sewing for the moment, and that as soon as I had a chance (Sunday afternoon), I would drive down to Creative Sewing Center and start shopping for a new machine. Because it should not take that long, and should not be that hard, to sew a straight line.
Instead, I ironed the top hem down and then again for reinforcement where the grommets are going. That (trying to sew the seam, ripping out stiches, repeat ad nauseum, and then some ironing) took an hour and a half. So you can see why I might have been frustrated.
Then, this morning, as I was lamenting this situation, I realized the potential urgency of the situation. You see, there’s a mini quilt I need to make for a swap (due… July 10th – yikes!), and then the quilt project I haven’t had time to mention yet but am super excited for (more in a bit) that is due July 20th or so. Hrm. I am definitely not able to keep dragging my feet on picking out a new machine. That’s OK – motivation is good, right?
The cool quilting project that I haven’t had time to mention yet? Well, let’s just talk about the benefits of using Twitter (etc), shall we? I’m not a huge Twitterer, but (follow carefully now) I do use a Twitter plug-in on my iGoogle homepage to tweet each morning, which in turn updates my Facebook status. The iGoogle plug-in also shows me the recent posts of everyone I’m following (the other week I passed a surprising line – I have more followers than people I am following! how did that happen?), which includes a few business websites, including Sew Mama Sew [Twitter] and Robert Kaufman Fabrics [Twitter] (you should really follow those two if you’re a crafter and like free things, because they both announce giveaways frequently via Twitter and no where else; if you’re interested, I have several more crafty sites I follow on Twitter – just ask). RK happens to be the manufacturer of a good 1/3rd of my fabric stash, so apparently I’m a fan.
Last week, RK announced that they were looking for someone to test out a beginner quilt pattern for them. I contacted them and traded emails. They announced again on Monday that they were still looking for someone, so I assumed they did not love me enough, and that they wanted to pick someone by the 24th. Just before leaving work on Monday, I got an email telling me they had selected me! They will be sending me the fabric necessary to make the pattern, and of course the pattern. I will make the quilt and send them feedback about difficulties I had, and I get to keep the quilt, and get some additional fabric in return. How cool is that?
The really frustrating thing about this is that my machine is just so tempermental. Last weekend I got 38 9-patches sewn up for the quilt-along with absolutely no problems. Same thread, same type of fabric, and now for the shower curtain it’s completely incapable. That’s just not right. (It’s also not right that the tension dial must be turned up to the highest point in order to sew, and that the stitches have to be super-small in order to sew, and that I can’t use any of the decorative stitches on my machine because of the tension issues.)
So, Sunday afternoon, I’m driving to Apple Valley! (But not buying anything, because Sew Mama Sew told me to go do my shopping, evaluate my options, and then go home without making a purchase. Do some further thinking, and then you can spend the several hundred dollars on a machine. Good advice. A sewing machine should not be an impulse purchase. Nor should it be one on which you cheap out, as evidenced by my current machine woes.)
Today, I’m thankful for many things.
- That training I was at yesterday and today? I didn’t have to go to this afternoon’s portion. I cannot appropriately express how happy this makes me (while still trying to keep my blog safe in case someone from work finds it).
- After staying late at work yesterday for afore-mentioned training, I came home to this:
Words cannot express how happy I am about this. arranged for my piano to be moved to our house (from ‘s, where it has lived… forever) while I was at work. How sweet is that? And totally awesome.
Much of the evening was spent this way.
- Though my 9-5 yesterday was less than pleasant, the rest of the day was lovely. called early and left me a message, singing Happy Birthday. I received lots of thoughtful gifts. We went out to Olive Garden for dinner, and then for a walk in our neighborhood.
- I’m quite thankful for 30, actually. It was a great age, and a good year. (I am not quite coping with being 31 yet, though. I’ll try to work on that. As a plus, I got carded last night at OG, that’s cool.)
- and will be here this weekend, and I don’t get to see them very often. seems quite excited for the visit. They are coming up in their RV, bringing their 4 dogs. Lots of details to be worked out, like getting the right kind of power so they can run the A/C, and is our driveway long enough…. Still, totally excited (and thankful) for their visit.
- We also cleaned house last night, and most of the boxes in the main living areas of the main floor are gone or hidden! It looks much more moved-in than it did before, and not just because of the piano. Did I mention I have a piano?
- I don’t have to stay late today at work. Quite thankful for that.
- I’m leaving work early tomorrow. I have half an hour from yesterday that I worked, and I think I’m just going to take an extra hour or two of paid leave, to make sure that all the details for the weekend are taken care of (house cleaned again…) and to relax before the circus arrives (3 large dogs plus 1 small yippy dog = circus, even if they are well-bred, well-trained, prize-winning dogs). Leaving work early on a Friday? Thankful.
I’m at an all-day training today and tomorrow for work, so I’ll be away from the internet. So sad.
Friday I’ll update y’all on my birthday stuff (31 today – oh my).
OK, so, yes, it’s been hot out lately, and it’s only getting hotter. I will whine and complain about that later. For a moment, let’s find the silver lining in this. That silver lining is… sweat.
Yes, I am generally not a fan of 1) other person’s sweat near or on my person, 2) the odor of some sweat, or 3) being sweaty for no good reason (I break out in nervous sweats when on the phone – haven’t been able to figure that out, but it has been happening consistently for years, whenever I’m on the phone except for at work, even if I’m on the phone with ).
But, sweating is a good thing. If there’s a nice breeze, and it’s not too humid, it accomplishes its purpose of cooling. More than that, sweat apparently helps cleanse your body, as it gets rid of unwanted stuff in your body. (Dr. Weil also says that it improves circulation, which is a good thing.) Plus, sweating always makes me thirsty, and drinking more water is always a good thing in my book (since it’s quite rare that one would actually drink enough to get water poisoning). And, while technically one doesn’t lose weight just from sweating (only water weight, which doesn’t count), I do think that generally sweating helps one to be aware of how strenuous the work one is doing (for instance, my earlier-noted floor washing).
I will now await the comments from , who will correct all of my medically-related errors, because she knows this stuff and I don’t.
p.s. You don’t love me any less, now that I’ve spent several paragraphs talking about sweating, do you?
(Due to the heat advisory, that is. Are heat advisories new? I don’t remember getting them before. Perhaps I just wasn’t paying attention.)
So I’ve had a fair amount of unpleasant bus experiences, as anyone who rides the bus frequently might. Last week, it was the woman who decided to spend six minutes (I checked my phone because it was so amazing) clipping her nails in the seat in front of me. When she was done, she brushed the clippings off her lap onto the floor. Apparently, she didn’t catch the glaring-in-disgust thing I had going on, because the next day she decided to sit next to me and compliment my embroidery.
Today’s going to be hot, which means that the bus ride home will probably smell like a locker room after the football game (but before any showers might be taken). I would have thought the ride to work would have been relatively safe, but someone hopped on who had incredible odor issues (not like he/she was sick, just… had been sweating for quite some time and needed to shower), at 7 am! And it wasn’t even all that hot yet (only 80-ish, I think). I felt kinda bad for him/her (I was unable to identify which passenger it was, since I wasn’t paying attention until the smell wafted over to where I was sitting), since I can only imagine, as the day goes on, that it will get worse. I hate it when I get all sweaty and think that I might offend others.
Last night, after a lovely [shared] birthday dinner out with friends (in which I received no gifts, oddly enough, though I’m not complaining – I don’t really need gifts), we had a generally unpleasant evening. Apparently when we installed the new programmable thermostat on Sunday (more on this in a bit), something went wrong and the air conditioning wasn’t running. Bummer – the house was 88 when I got home. had picked out a lovely flush-mount touch screen programmable thermostat (to replace the super old one that came with the house) at Home Depot on Saturday. Sunday night was spent cutting a hole in the plaster wall (no fun, though I only watched, and quite messy), after which we discovered there was a stud there (where there shouldn’t have been) which only added more work. As we were hooking up the wires (a complication in and of itself, since we had one more wire than any of the diagrams displayed), one of the screw heads broke off. We figured it wasn’t really a big deal, unless we needed to remove that wire for some reason.
Turns out that screw head was quite important, and was the reason we had no AC. The thermostat thought it was telling the AC to run, but it actually had no way to do that. And so it was hot. Also, in the process, several of the other wires became disconnected.
After had fixed everything, I washed the floor. The dust from the plaster removal had been tracked all over the main floor, and our lovely hardwood floors were looking quite bad (plus, a lot of it was footprints, not just a fine layer), and I knew that I wouldn’t have time to do it tonight (massage appointment), wouldn’t want to do it Wednesday (who wants to scrub the floor on their birthday?), and by Thursday the dust would have just spread further throughout the house. But, it was quite unpleasant to wash the floor in the 80+ degree house with absolutely no breeze, on my hands and knees, sponge in hand. I had to change the water twice; the floors were that dirty. Clearly, we need to buy a mop. (This is problemmatic, since I generally find all mops disgusting as one is unable to get it fully clean between washings.) Any suggestions for mops that cater to germ-o-phobes? Swiffer Wet is completely insufficient to cover more than 10 square feet, and doesn’t do any of it effectively, in my experience. Since we have approximately 1400 square feet of hardwood or linoleum flooring, we need a solution.
There was a trip to DQ that helped us cool down (and we spent the rest of the evening in the basement where it was much cooler). Unfortunately, I think I can no longer get my favorite Blizzard flavor, Georgia Mud Fudge, because I lay in bed awake for quite some time, unable to sleep. Update: I just checked DQ’s website and got the nutritional information, and there isn’t coffee flavoring in it like I thought, just lots of chocolate. Would lots of chocolate have enough caffeine to keep me awake? I’m getting mixed information from the internet on that.
Thankfully, we have a lovely ceiling fan in our bedroom (totally disproving all those home design shows that purport all ceiling fans are bad and need to be removed), so we could sleep. The house was freezing (or so it felt) when I woke up, so clearly all has been fixed. My office is very air conditioned, as usual, so we’re definitely beating the heat here. Now I just have to remember to check on our newly planted tomato plants when I get home, and make sure they’re not wilting or in need of water. That would be a shame. (It seems as though the bunny has not yet found the tomato plants, or our bunny doesn’t like them as much as the one at ‘s house, who ate three of her tomato plants before she got some protection for them.)
- Divorce :: Court
- Napkin :: Holder
- Camera :: Strap
- Leather :: Couch
- Fractures :: Hip
- Flip out :: Go nuts
- Coroner :: CSI
- Atomic :: Bomb
- Liz ::
- Leave :: Request
This weekend, not only did I get caught up on the quilt-a-long (yesterday was day 56), but I got ahead (completing 60 squares, with the small exception of not squaring them up at the end – but they’re all sewn and pressed)!
And came over and worked tirelessly on our yard. She pulled weeds in the lawn and several rock beds. We trimmed some bushes, and decided another one was dead (so we pruned it down to a stump, and now and I have to dig it up). She got the back pathway completely clear of debris and leaves, including the window wells. The woman was a workhorse! She also told us how to get rid of the creeping charlie (that I didn’t know we had – bad me, I’ve dealt with it before), gave us a wheelbarrow, and promised to give us a small gas can and a ladder (the latter of those being extremely exciting, because they’re really expensive if you want to get the kind that is both tall enough to reach the roof and safe to use around power lines). We got the tomatoes planted, and prepped a spot for the peppers, which involved digging up a rose bush (the “good” rose bush, which was just starting to have buds) and giving it to to take home. Have I mentioned I’m not really a fan of roses? Especially rose bushes. The other three at our house are, quite possibly, the ugliest rose bushes I have ever seen, and they are fated to be removed from our property.
I got my birthday present from , and then ‘s dad came over and gave me a shirt advertising the website whopooped.org.It’s actually for the Minnesota Zoo, so it’s cute, though I’m not sure where I would ever wear it. It would make for a very un-romantic night shirt, don’t you think?
Unfortunately, pictures of the yard work, gifts, and quilting will have to wait for another day, because I didn’t take any.
Sunday was ‘s birthday, as well as Father’s Day. We went out to lunch with ‘s dad; I tried to call twice and he didn’t pick up, so he just got a message (and a card). It rained most of the day, which was good for the lawn but bad for getting any more planting done, or spray-painting. and I both worked on spray paint projects; he turned some shelves for the server rack black, and I primed these guys (they’re looking much better than they did). If it dries out a bit, I might be able to show you a finished product soon.
I’m still tired and sore from Saturday, but I’ll live. I could use some yoga, but I’ll have to settle for a massage tomorrow night. (I love that Massage Envy calls me up when I have more than one massage saved up to schedule an appointment – woudn’t it be nice if the gym did that? “Excuse me, miss, but it appears you haven’t visited one of our facilities in three months. Would you like to cancel your membership, or would you like someone to drive over to your house and take you to the gym?”)
For, like, the billionth Friday afternoon in a row, I have a headache. Grr. I can safely say that it is not food, water, stress, or caffeine-related, so it must be sleep. Ah, how I love sleep. I would love some right now. An hour ago, my legs were restless, to give you some idea of how much I’d like some sleep (when my legs start getting restless, it’s time to go to bed).
It’s not that I’ve been particularly sleep-deprived this week, because other than Sunday night’s bout with insomnia (which I think I can blame on Lipton Instant Iced Tea, which has caffeine in it, and I decided I didn’t care, and that was a mistake), I’ve been getting to bed on time and sleeping through the night.
The home projects have slowed down too, so I’m not exhausted from work. (Have I done any home projects this week yet? Aside from getting the perennials in the shade garden planted, nope. I’ll make up for it tomorrow in yard work.)
So, I’m just tired. That’s OK, I guess. The headaches are starting to drag on me, though. (This being the… fourth day in a row that I’ve taken Advil at least once – some days it’s been three times, mostly related to shoulder/back pain. My liver wishes that the rest of my body would fix itself, because it needs a break. Good thing I haven’t had any liquor lately.)
Last night after dinner, and I hopped in the car to go get a library card and check out a new thrift store. Unfortunately, the library closes at 5 on Thursdays (go figure – we would have been fine on Monday through Wednesday until 8), so that was a bust. The thrift store was one up on Penn that passes daily, and they had a sign up saying that furniture was… some percentage off on Thursday. It was a small little place, and was filled mainly with clothes (as most thrift stores are). There were some home goods, no linens that I saw, and three or four pieces of furniture. Very disappointing. I wouldn’t have gone to all the work of putting up a sign for that small quantity of furniture. Since we didn’t want the whole trip to be fruitless, we stopped at the other thrift store down the street. Much larger, and a much better selection of items. We still didn’t find anything ( was in search of something in the rooster variety, and though we found a lamp, it wasn’t exactly right, and I was half-heartedly looking for furniture to refinish), but at least felt vaguely productive.
Back home, continued his work on our server rack situation, which I can’t talk about for lack of 1) knowledge, and 2) caring (OK, I care slightly, as in, this blog is hosted on said server, and I like having internet at home). Meanwhile, I got to work on my nine patches (more than halfway through step 1 of 3 on the remaining 38 – huge progress).
Later, we popped in Elizabeth, which had arrived that day from Netflix. About 2/3rds of the way through, I realized that I’d actually watched it before. I hate it when that happens. It did have the ever-so-dreamy Joseph Fiennes, so totally worth it.
I’ve also completed a few embroidery pieces this week, but they’re un-photographed, so I’ll have to share them later.
volunteered her Saturday to come over to our house and do more yard work, and who am I to deprive her of that? Hopefully we can tackle the north yard, which hasn’t been weeded yet. called last night and when I told him about all the rocks in our gardens, he said, “ooh, those are awful.” At least I’m not the only one who thinks they’re a bad idea. Maybe that thought will help sustain my energy throughout the long, arduous process of removing them (which I’ve heard will be horrible, and I can imagine the awfulness of it all).
Some things I’ve bookmarked recently:
via Google Reader (Shared Items)
- All children alarm their parents, if only because you are forever expecting the worst? I have no idea – I don’t have kids.
- Show me a good loser and I will show you a good sport, or someone who’s just not that competitive.
- Watching a good movie (like Pride and Prejudice) is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs at one time.
- Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy running successful businesses and going to their children’s athletic events.
- I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine pink and green to make an elegant yet pretty home decor scheme.
- It is impossible to think of any good meal, no matter how plain or elegant, without garlic or salt in it.
- And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to pizza and garlic bread, tomorrow my plans include yard work with my volunteer labor (aka ) and Sunday, I want to tackle the stack of partially-completed nine patches!
I had a very difficult time with this week’s fill-ins, for some reason. My apologies if they’re sub-par.