Just some stuff on my mind.
1. It’s Tax Season. Again. No, really, it’s not too early.
Just some stuff on my mind.
1. It’s Tax Season. Again. No, really, it’s not too early.
One of our cats got hit by a car. He’s been known to roam a bit, so we weren’t terribly worried when he didn’t show up for breakfast the first day, but by the second day we were checking with the animal shelters. He’d slipped his collar a few weeks before, but luckily he has one of those chips.
I originally thought the chip would act like a GPS or something; that there’d be a way to locate him the way you could a cell phone. Not so. The chip is scanned by the shelters when a cat is turned in. The shelter then checks the number the chip puts out against a database to find the owner. That’s how the veterinarian found us.
Animal Control had found him in the road and taken him to the veterinarian of their choice. The veterinarian then kept him in a cage, essentially untouched over the weekend. They waited until we came and claimed him, and agreed to pay the thousand dollars it would take to put him together again.
He had both of the bones in his foreleg broken and a smashed in hip. They put pins in the foreleg bones, a plate in for the hip, and completely removed his tail. Now we have to keep him in a cage for six weeks so he doesn’t re-break the vulnerable bones before they get a chance to heel.
The hardest part has been watching how much pain he is in. He has nerve damage in his hind leg, so drags it around when he has to use the cat box. He growls when he has a bowel movement. He bites when we have to move him around. We can’t even comfort him with petting very well because of the inability to move him and the restrictions of the cage.
Worse yet is the fear that he will never fully recover. I’m not at all sure we did him a service in keeping him alive. All I can do is rejoice with each little bit of progress he makes.
I’ve become a NaNo addict.
NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. It takes place every year in November. The idea is to write a novel of at least 50,000 words in one month. This is the third time I’ve done it.
Why? Because of the library.
Yeah, yeah, the library is there all year long. What does it have to do with NaNo? Well, a bunch of us get together in the library to encourage one another to get our words written. I have discovered that I can write much more effectively when I am sitting with other people who are also writing. I focus better, and take it more seriously. I can do as much in two hours as I normally do taking all day.
We meet once a week. I can’t wait until the next one.
The first time I wrote the rough draft of Remember Me. It’s a Suzie’s House book and too deeply entwined with the Suzie’s House story (It’s about Ben’s mother) so that I’ve struggled with the revisions, but I’m hoping to have it come out this coming year. The next NaNo book I wrote was actually two, as Crazy Love only took 40,000 words and I had time left. I went on to Start Beautiful Spanish Hussy, which I haven’t finished yet.
This year it’s a fantasy book about dragons and dire wolves and a girl’s quest to find her father. I’m shooting for 100,000 words, but I’ll count myself a winner if I get the first 50,000 done.
If you’re a novelist, have you ever tried NaNo? How did it work out for you?
I just got two kittens from the animal shelter. Sorry, I haven’t stopped to take pictures yet, but I’ll get to that.
So, I’m wondering…
Costumes? Or not?
Sorry this took so long. We never did get any good lighting with mostly rain, and then when I started to upload the photos, the kids demanded attention. Anyway, here they are. This is Icarus:
Sorry, no PhotoHunt this week. I just couldn’t get my act together fast enough. Until I get next week’s ready, check out my vacation pictures. Well, some of them anyway.
We caught a morning flight from Guayaquil, Ecuador, to Baltra.
I missed my intended deadline – to have it completed as of yesterday. Still, I might be able to finish it before this contest is over. I thought I’d let you watch my progress.
As of last night, I’d more or less settled on a final lay out.
I’ve got all the heart flowers pinned and have settled on the top of the ugly flower and the position of the three main elements. I’m still not entirely happy with the roses or the background for the ugly flower, so will probably make some more changes before I stitch them.
Meanwhile I’m waiting for Mr. Al, who works nights, to get up so I can get at my sewing machine.
Rough day. I got two of the central panels done, and changed my mind about the one in the middle. I think you will like the new background much better. I’ll take pictures first thing in the morning so you can see.
By the way, did I mention that this quilt is machine washable? All the material I’m using is good to go. Machine was cold, tumble dry. But don’t do it real often or the stitching will come loose.
I’m sorry the picture to the right is a bit blurry. It’s been a rainy day. Makes it hard to get a good shot. Anyway, I said I’d take one in the morning, and I did. I just didn’t get a chance to post it until now. This is how it looked this morning.
And now here is the central panel now. Wait until tonight when I get the other two panels in. It really does work much better.
The roses were a pain in the patootie. It took me two weeks to make them and four hours to attach them and I won’t tell you how many needles I broke, but my machine is not happy with me. Still, they came out great. If only the picture did them justice. Can’t help the off color. It’s what comes of taking pictures at night.
So far today I’ve gotten the edging cut out, some more seams put in, and a machine fixed. Not as far along as I’d hoped, but still progress.
I was supposed to close down the contest last night, but since I got the dates confused, I’m letting it run until tonight. Hopefully I’ll have the quilt done by then. It will take me a couple of days to tabulate the winner.
I’m sure this is more than anyone really wants to know, but for those few intrepid souls who are interested:
As you can see, I have plenty of scraps to chose from.
You all know I was in Madison not too long ago. We hooked up with Heather and wandered around looking at monkeys, birds, and various four-footed type beasties. Probably the most gorgeous and photogenic was the tiger.
When we arrived he was sprawled out in the shade of a tree, panting. So I wasn’t the only one who thought it was a hot and humid day. Once I saw him, I tried to take a picture. I could swear he saw me holding up the camera and decided to perform. He came over to the fence where I and a now-growing crowd stood. Problem was, you couldn’t really get a good picture of him from that angle because of the heavy bars.
Not that I’m complaining about the bars dividing him from us. No, no, no. I was grateful. Really. But like I said, not a great photo op.
That’s when Mr. Tiger took off for the glass fronted viewing area. Yippee! I rushed over to take pictures.
I foolishly didn’t take my nice camera. I took my old one because it’s much smaller and easier to haul around. Foolish me. While Heather was snapping off a whole bunch of good ones, I ended up with mostly this:
Sigh. Well. Maybe next time.
Meanwhile, you’re welcome to go check out Heather’s versions: Word Trix: Here Kitty, Kitty
This was previously posted at http://www.RomanceRoundtable.com
Have you all been waiting to hear about my trip? It was one of those “slice of America” things that covered enough ground to make you realize what a big place a single country can be.
We started off in Montana.
It only takes about seven hours to get from close to the boarder with Idaho to Wyoming if you drive straight through. We would have made it easily if we’d started at a reasonable hour, and hadn’t had an ear infection sending us off to a hospital. The hospitals in Billings are really pretty, but there was no soap for hand-washing in the bathroom.
When I think of Wyoming and South Dakota, what I think of is this:
Death comes stalking on cancerous feet
Closer, creeping along the ground like
The father of a friend is diagnosed.
And closer it comes.
Things have not been working right
I’m afraid I haven’t made it down to JoAnne’s for that photo of the bars. I’ll try again today. They literally have the machines behind bars. They are also set so high it isn’t possible to test run them. Seriously, you get as much help shopping for a sewing machine there as you would from Wal Mart.
Seems around here sewing machines just naturally get sold along with janitorial supplies. The place I got my Baby Lock (yes, I got it) is like that. So is another place I looked, and the last in town, which had apparently gone out of business.
When I went back to the place with the Baby Locks, I went prepared. I had fabric scraps from projects I remembered offered particular challenges. I asked if I could play, and they said yes. In the course of an hour or two I tried out three different machines. I poked at Audrey, but as much as I love the idea of a free spirit sewing machine, I decided I’d rather be one than own one. It traded off to many of the features I liked for durability.
I went back already knowing that Natalie wasn’t going to cut it. I’d have to move up to Marie at least. When I walked out, it was with Grace. Hey, they had a sale! What can I say?
The owner is the one who sold me on it. Frankly, the fantastic way he did it was very simple. He taught me to use the machines, one after the other. He showed me what each of the presser feet does, and how to get each of the stitches. With the help of Grace I got the all time best top stitch of my life! Seriously, this sucker made a perfect line less than an eighth of an inch from the edge. My stitch in the ditch wasn’t as good, but I was doing lace over velvet. You gotta expect the stiches to show when you pull on the lace.
They only had the demo model there, and most of the millage on it I put there myself, so I took it. Am I the only one who thinks it was funny that they had to work hard to find the box so I could go home with Grace in a box? Sounds like a band, doesn’t it? All I can say is the staff was great for putting up with me.
After the sale was made and I was ready to go, the owner lured me over to look at one last machine. It was no where near my price range, which is why he didn’t show me before. The brand name was some TV personality who does a quilting show on PBS. If you quilt you would probably recognize the name right off, but like I said, I’m not that kind of quilter.
This sucker was sweet!!! He had me stitching at 45 degree angles backward! Everything was right there at the touch of a button, even the lift on the presser foot. The only thing it didn’t do was embroidery. Yeah, I don’t really need all that anyway. I walked out with Grace in a box. Who could ask for more?
Oh, and if you end up at Bob’s Sew and Vac, tell him Alice sent you. They won’t know what you’re talking about but I’ll feel important. *grin*
Update: I finally got back to JoAnnes and got the pix. What do you think? Would you buy here?
I’ve been looking for a new sewing machine. My old one is about 20 years old, and frankly, I wore it out. It’s a Kenmore that has seen everything from chiffon to canvas, sometimes one on top of the other.
I need a machine that can do everything the old one did and hold up at least as well. You’d think this wouldn’t be hard to find because I pretty much live on straight stitch and zigzag with a little hem stitch or button hole thrown in now and then. All of this is stuff you’d expect of any machine. I mean, I’m not looking to embroider on my machine since I prefer to do that by hand and the kind of quilting I do doesn’t need anything fancy. So this should be easy, right?
The problem is the durability thing. Apparently the latest trend in sewing machines is disposability.
Jo Anne’s Fabric’s had a sale on of Singer machines. Apparently Singer is all they carried. I was all set to settle for one of these, but I was confronted by bars. I’ll explain that tomorrow with a photo. I’ll admit these machines are extremely cheap. I’ve been known to drop half the price of one on fabric in a single shopping trip.
Um… I did mention I have ABLE, right? Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy. Yeah, I got it bad. Lately I haven’t been able to make many inroads into the piles of fabric I’ve acquired because my machine just isn’t cutting it.
Oh, right. The new sewing machine.
I went to catch the sale at Jo Anne’s twice. The first time was before the official sales date started, and the store was packed anyway, so I didn’t worry too much when I couldn’t get anyone to come over and help me look at machines. I knew I wasn’t going to get to try them out because of how they were displayed, but I thought I could at least discuss them. I went back a couple days later.
No go. In fact, when I finally chased a clerk down, she walked away while I was talking to her. For real. All she was willing to do was unlock the bars on the cage so I could get at them to take to the counter. Yeah, like I’m going to drop a couple hundred without thinking about it.
I went to a sewing and janitorial place where they had machines set up so you could actually try them. What a difference! The sales staff was wonderful. I’ll get back to that tomorrow too. The price, however… gulp. And the machines were a brand I’m not familiar with; Baby Lock.
So I left and checked out a couple other places and went online to look around. I discovered the Singer’s official web site had NOTHING in the way of warranty info. But Baby Lock does. Guess what else I discovered;
That’s right, they have a sewing machine named Audrey. How cool is that?
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