Thursday, April 30, 2015

Gardening In Deer Country And Mammograms

Have you ever had a post that just doesn't seem to want to get published?

Let me start by saying that Blogger’s mobile app is a real pain in the butt…I’m putting this redone part together on my PC in Word and will cut and paste and if the Blogger app acts up I won’t loose all my text....this time. It is much easier using a real keyboard instead of the iPad keyboard!

 I started this post a week from yesterday by adding all the pictures and then when I was ready to add some verbiage, Sweetie walks up and hands me the phone and says that I’m suppose to call my doctor’s nurse. Now, I had just had my annual mammogram the day before and I said to myself “Self…this can’t be good news”. Y’all know if everything is hunky dory you get a form letter in the mail in a week or so and you keep going on your merry way. I stayed calm…no need to freak Sweetie out.

It took a while to connect with the nurse in between patients and she said that a mass had been detected on the mammogram and that she wanted to set up a diagnostic mammogram and probably an ultrasound. She called back a short time later to tell me that she was able to get me into Piedmont Hospital in Jasper the next morning instead of waiting a few days to get into the clinics schedule in Ellijay. Again I stayed calm…denial is such a powerful tool to stay calm…at least in your waking hours when you can busy yourself…we’re having a bumper crop of baby pine trees this year and I spent the afternoon pulling them out…I pulled out 1,200 in front of the house (really, I did) and that barely made a dent.

After a poor nights sleep, I was at the hospital bright and early for the mammogram. Let me tell you, if you think a regular mammogram is painful…I normally only grimace during a regular mammogram but during the diagnostic one I said OUCH more than once…man…I can still feel the squeeze! Then it was on to the ultrasound. A nice young doctor came in and said my mass looked to be a cyst rather than a tumor (at this point I can now say it like Arnold…tuma). The doctor wasn’t sure if it was a simple cyst or a complex cyst, but either way, he wanted a needle biopsy done. If it wasn’t a simple cyst and it didn’t go away with the needle aspiration then some tests would have to been run on the contents of the cyst. He said to go home and not obsess the cyst, that everything should be fine. And I didn’t obsess. But I did head straight to my doctors office to see about the needle procedure and by the time that I had arrived back in Ellijay, the hospital had faxed the info to the nurse and she had started working on it…she wanted to get me in with the female surgeon. She sent me home and a short time after I arrived the nurse called and said that I could get in the next morning but with a male doctor and it would take a week or so to see the female. I have no problem with male doctors…I’ve only had two female doctors in my 63 years and they weren’t for anything female oriented.

Again, I was at the breast specialist office bright and early but with a better nights sleep. After everything came together and I was on the table, the whole procedure took a minute or even less. In went the needle and away went the cyst. The doctor said I was good to go until my next annual mammogram.

An ironic thing happened that afternoon…I got an email from a dear friend in Wisconsin saying that she got to ring the cancer free bell that morning at the hospital! She has always been faithful about getting her annual mammograms and had to have occasional rechecks and biopsies, but late last year a recheck came back with Stage 1 breast cancer. After the chemo, radiation and some surgery, she is cancer free.

Ladies don’t put off the mammograms no matter how unpleasant!!!!!

On to gardening.....

Since I live in a gated community, we are over run by deer and they eat everything! So....I have rock gardens. This year I went into the woods and gathered should spread and fill in. I pulled two hundred pine trees out of here.

None of the rocks in all the pictures are in their original location.

Moss just sort of happens too. That hint of green in the mulch....more pine trees!

If you do put a bush in, you need to cage it until it grows much taller than the deer can stand on their hind legs.

Or, you have to plant something really prickly and painful.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Oversized Placemats For A Round Table...2015 Start And Finish

I really liked how the experimental rounded bottom rectangle placemat turned out, but wanted the next ones to be bigger. So I took two half yards of fabric and a half yard of Insulbright to make the sandwich.

I love this Full Line Stencil to quilt's a nice tight pattern. The stencil is #30557 Cinnamon Spin.

The light and bright side....

....and the hide a multitude of stains side.

I used Superior Thread's King Tut (Pinecone) on this side and a coordinating Aurifil thread in the  bobbin. It really makes the texture pop.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

My First Massdrop Purchase!!!

I have been eyeing this on Superior Thread's website and when I got the email today about the drop I joined the drop....$19.95 with free shipping vs $24.95 plus shipping.

I'm still trying to climb back on the consistent blogging wagon, but Sweetie and I have gotten back on the gym wagon and it feels good to working muscles again.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

We're Back!!

Blogging is a lot like's so easy to fall of the wagon and hard to get back on when there's a break in your routine. Cell service was poor to nonexistent. 

I like doing 180 turn pictures when we're out the end of the boardwalk is our loop at Fort Pickens.

Turn 180 degrees and there's the Gulf. The sand is so white that it looks like snow when you're driving on the road.

This is very calm...normal Gulf surf....when we arrived waves were crashing onto shore.

This was our first experience camping so close to others and the road. Our dogs aren't barkers as a rule (especially with people...guard dogs they're not) but our dog Bear barked more this trip than he has during the two years that we've had him. And Oakie...let's just say she went postal a couple of just depended on what dog or dogs went by (or a cat).

Our weather (for the location) was just as bad as the rest of the Eastern US was getting...a lot of rain and cold or just cold. 

Our house sitters didn't get the reprieve from snow that they were hoping for, at least for most of their stay. They did enjoy the change of scenery and did get out (except for a couple of snow days when everything  was shut down) and visit the local wineries and restaurants. Our developments heated indoor pool was also a big hit and they had many evenings by the fireplace on the back porch...drinking the local wines.

More on our other campgrounds later.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Hitting the road!!!

Just pulling out...

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

House Setters For RV Adventures

We're heading out on an RV adventure on the 22nd and will be gone at least three and a half weeks...the longest that we will be gone so far.

We are fortunate in that we live in an area that people love to come to visit and that we have retired friends and relatives that live in areas that they want to escape from at certain times of the year. Like I said, this will be our longest adventure and we are so relieved to have escapees from the frozen North coming to stay at the house while we're gone. 

Some things can't go almost a month without plants, the hot tube (they can't wait to use it), not having to have the mail held is great, or the furnace...if we get a cold snap and the furnace drain line freezes (again) and the furnace won't turn on and if no one is there to drain catch basin, water pipes will freeze and burst....I can feel my blood pressure going up just writing about the potentials for disaster.

What a relief not to have to worry about all that stuff. They (Sweetie's cousin and wife from Chicago area) will get here a couple of days before we leave and get the low down on plants, mail, hot tub, furnace, fire place and anything else we think of.

We're pretty sure we have sitters lined up for our summer adventure...escapees from southern Florida.

Ok, you're asking "What does the photo have to do with this post?"...well the probable sitters/escapees are the kids and grandkids of my fellow bobber in the picture. Grandparents and family get weeks of visiting....just not 24/7....we get peace of mind...a win-win situation.

Yesterday the 301A went into the motorhome along with several projects and fabric scraps for several more. Hopefully it will warm up a little by Saturday so we can finish readying the motorhome for a Sunday morning departure.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sort Of A Tutorial and Comment Notification Issues

This is sort of a tutorial for Susan...

These items (and some string scraps) are all that is required to make the quilt. For me, when I'm doing the center strip, it works best if I start with a string strip in the middle a work out to one end, then the other. The ends are a good way to use those little triangle trimmings. When I trim the strip for it's 2.5" width, I trim one side using the edge of the paper and the other side the ruler's 2.5" measure...there can be a little shrinkage during sewing...or your strip was a little off (cutting multiple strip).

Then you flip over the strip and find the center of the strip (I fold and crease) and attach triangles matching their centers to strips center.  Press. Then you position the ruler on finished block as shown above. You can eyeball or measure for the center of the strip...I like to try and balance the size of the end triangles. That's pretty much it...oh, if anyone didn't see my last post, the paper strips were cut 2.5" x 6.5" and the triangles are 3.5".

Susan also asked if I were getting email notification for comments. I was but I was getting an email notification that my attempt to comment had failed even though my comment was showing on the blog. Now that I think about it, maybe all that mumbo jumbo in the message was trying to tell me that  the email notification to the blog owner failed...? It must only be a hit or miss issue...I'm being notified.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

2014 Starts/WIPs....Scrappy

I think I started this sometime in the Spring and it became a take along project when we were out in the motorhome. Usually, I would be working on the center strip...sewing strings onto 6.5" x 2.5" pieced of phone book paper. Something that you don't have to put a lot of attention into it....great for sitting at a picnic table sewing. You just have to keep your pieces from blowing away!

I'm not sure if this is the half way point or not. It may get a little bigger. All the HSTs have been cut on the GO for the second half and I think I have all the paper strips cut. The scrap container has been refilled with strings and is ready to go in the motor home....we're heading out next week!!!

This top was actually started in very late 2013 when I was making crumb blocks with Bonnie Hunter during Quilt Cam. The picture really doesn't capture the vibrancy of the colors...fluorescent lights.

There was a lot of trial and error in making this usual I didn't use a pattern and was just winging it. I hadn't ever done anything on point before or used set in triangles on the row trial and error and experimentation was in play. I made the set in triangles larger than would normally be used because I wanted a little extra fabric to hang onto while quilting and so I wouldn't have to quilt on and off the top...a lot of bobbles can happen then. I'll just trim the edges down after it's quilted.

This quilt is in the number 2 spot of my To Be Quilted queue.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Hiatus Happenings Part 7.....Audio Books

Audio books sure make time fly by whether you driving in a car or a motor and you've seen the scenery many times over...or its nothing special the first time.
Since I had a few (and rare) deadlines last year, I spent many long hours in the quilt shop listening to audio book after audio book.

It's also very enjoyable to sit by the lake, gazing out at the water while listening to a book.

I tried to get them in order, but my mobile app just doesn't want to let me rearrange photos and my screen shoot photos of the Over Drive history file were really small so I picked them in the wrong order.

As you can see, I have favorites that I'm working my way through (although the library that I borrow from doesn't always have complete series...bummer).

I like to find authors that write stand alone books that I don't need to listen to in order. 

I will look for books that my favorite readers have done for other authors. There are authors that I like, but don't care for the reader...such as J A Jance's JP Beaumont series. The same reader does the whole series and I find his tone and speech rhythm just so annoying.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Hiatus Happenings Part 6....Final Finishes For 2014

All the string pieced tops were done while we were out camping....I really enjoyed sitting at the picnic table, sewing and looking out at the water.

I made a freezer paper template up to make sure I would be able to fit six placemat on the table. A little more (about a quarter inch on each side of the narrow end) had to be angle trimmed off to allow for the binding space taken up.

It only seems right for them to do double duty, so I did the backing pairs in matching fabric.

I'm still using the snowman side as I still have my snowmen out. The binding method used was faux bias cuts were used on the curve and it worked just fine.

Something bright for spring and summer! This was one of the first pieces of fabric that I purchased several years before I ever thought about quilting. I walked into a fabric store in Cedarburg, Wi, and fell in love with this fabric. Until now, I never had the heart to cut into this fabric.

Because the fabric has so much going on, I used different blacks for the faux flange binding.

This one would work anytime of the year and is one of the few large yardage pieces that I own.

Here's a close up one the fronts. The quilting was marked using a Full Line Stencil.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hiatus Happenings Part 5....More Finishes

I love how my grandson's I Spy quilt turned out! The side and top edge pieces where done by winging it and experimentation and worked well. More fabric (full price...non sale price) was wasted than I would have liked, but I just couldn't abide with any upside down clouds.

You can't really see the backing fabric to full advantage in the was so darn cute. As I had mentioned in a previous post, the quilts headed North before I took any really detailed photos myself. Fortunately we had Quild Show & Tell before Thanksgiving and I was able to round up some some photos to document them.

My granddaughter sewed the quilt's  center from from charm squares during a visit and sewed on a couple more strips during a three week summer visit...then she was done with sewing. The pool had more allure. So I finished it.

Both the tops languished on my design wall for months until I found out in early October that my son's family was coming down for Thanksgiving. A couple of spools of King Tut were ordered and quilting commenced when it arrived. I burned through even more audio books.

These are left over bits of the faux flange bindings that put on the quilts. The blue star fabric was also used for the triangle star pieces on the I Spy quilt and I really love that fabric.  I went back to the quilt shop to see if they had any (full price fabric) left but only had a darker version left.

These two are the first quilts that I put labels on and was pleased with how they turned out. But alas photos.

I need to make some labels for Lauren's quilts and add them on a future visit.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Hiatus Happenings Part 4.....2014 Finishes

I'm doing this post on my iPad and I don't have the ability (well,one of us doesn't have the ability) to rearrange the pictures. I inadvertently deleted the picture that I wanted first and now it's of life's little disappointments.

Anyway, these three quilted items were for my DD's baby shower in March up in WI. I was really scrambling because the shower was a month earlier than I had anticipated....I burned through a lot of audio books finishing them.

After I got back home, I made the matching valance from my scraps from the project...fortunately I had plenty of the white background dot fabric and didn't have to make yet another trip to the quilt shop in Jasper and have lunch next door.

Lauren Patricia was born in May, on her great-grandmother's birthday and the day after her Mom's birthday. I made the long drive again to be there for the birth and hung the valance for her arrival home. During those drives I burned through quite a few more audio books...thank God for audio books!

I carried the zigzag theme to the back with fabric from Dahlonega.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hiatus Happenings Part 3......301A

I had been taking my Juki TL 2010q along but it is such a heavy beast to be bring in and out of the RV. A friend in my guild got me started on eBay and this is my one and probably only purchase on eBay. There just seems to be too much of an opportunity for dishonesty in the bidding process. This machine was not a bid or make an offer buy and was less money than any of my losing bids or declined offers.

She's not pristine but she suits me just fine and sews a really nice stitch. I like winding bobbins on her much more than the Juki.

Sweetie has made several times for the is the wine rack. It rides right where you see it and doesn't budge as we go done the road.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Hiatus Happenings Part 2.5

Our go to spot for camping is Woodring COE campground on Carters Lake, which is only 26 miles from the house...probably less than 10 miles as the crow flies.

These are our two favorite sites.

This one is our number one choice of the's just so private. Camping here is like having lake front property without the expense or maintenance and if we want a different lake view we just move on down the road.

It is handy to be so close to home for those times that we forget something. Every time we go there different groups of friends come out and spend the day. Two couples came over for Sweeties birthday this summer.