Friday, September 08, 2006

September 8, 2006

Happy Anniversary!

Yes, to me and my very much loved husband of 28 great years! Richard is in Saudi Arabia so what's a girl to do to celebrate? Why, gather up some girlfriends and her mother and hit the big city to shop, eat lunch and talk, talk, talk! Mom, our neighbor Becky, my writer buddy Sunny and her future daughter-in-law Jess all went to town!

This is my friend Sunny, her future daughter-in-law Jess and me, hovering behind them. Becky and Mom stayed outta the picture talking LOL

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Things go wrong...

And sometimes when we touch
The honesty's too much
And I have to close my eyes and hide
I wanna hold you til I die
Til we both break down and cry
I wanna hold you till the fear in me subsides
Lyrics by Dan Hill

I know this song applies to a romantic relationship...but we have a situation going on in our family right now. Its heartrending, heartbreaking and causing a lot of pain and tears.

Tonight, I talked to a family member far away. I just wanted to reach through the phone and hold her and let her know that it will all be okay.

Only we don't know if it will be.

No one is dying or anything like that. The situation will eventually resolve into a solution. But everyone will be changed forever.

I want everyone I hold dear to be near me, so that I can hug them and hold them and let them know they are not alone.

I want to protect them from all evildoers...and I can't.

There are times when I wish I was Wonderwoman and could zap the bad guys with my special powers and plant 'em 6 feet under. But then reality steps in and I'm stuck with human limitations and must resort to waiting and waiting and waiting for other people to do their jobs before the situation can be resolved.

When this is over. I keep praying when this is over...we don't know what will happen.

But, oh, God. I want the fear in me to subside...

Monday, August 28, 2006

A little rant...

Politicians have no common sense. I'm sure of it, now.

We live in a little town. I mean little. Less than 1,000 people. Everyone knows the local politicians so well, they can probably tell you what they have for breakfast and what time they walk their dogs.

Anyway, since I've lived here, the county, in its infinite wisdom, decided to keep the budget down by grading the local dirt roads with flint rock. FYI, flint rock has sharp edges and ruins tires, in addition to NOT being easily absorbed into the subsoil. In rural places put down enough layers of rocks and eventually the road absorbs enough in the subsoil to seem almost paved. Not the case here. It also makes the roads slick and dangerous when wet. You have to drive less than 5 mph if you don't want to skid and slip all over on rainy days. We've had people skid and end up in ditches.

Many people have complained to the local ciy government.

The city decided the have a meeting for the locals about it. Now, on any day of the week the city government offices do not open until 8 am at the earliest. Regular 8-5ers, our government. Every time I've gone in there, and I've gone plenty of times the last few months with the construction issues...I've been the only customer. They all have jobs, but lets just say the routine isn't strenuous.

But they don't want to hear about the roads. So they simply decided to call a emergency meeting at 7 AM in the morning on a day that rain was predicted...on the courthouse lawn. Not inside, mind you. On the lawn. At 7 am. Earlier than they even get to work.

They're in for a shock. Our neighbor went up and down our road and got promises from all the other neighbors to attend if possible. On our road of some 12 families - at least 8 representatives will be there.

Silly politicians. Like setting up a meeting at an inconvenient time and place would stop a bunch of mostly retired citizens into not going. Heck, they live for this kind of stuff! LOL

We shall see what, if anything, transpires. Doubt they'll do much to improve conditions. The budget for this year is probably already tentatively set. But maybe, just maybe, for our little 1 mile stretch of road they'll hire the county grader NEXT DOOR to simply finish grading our road. See, our road dovetails into the next county. Only one mile of it is in our county. The rest is in the other county. The other county grades and rocks their section of the road so well you feel like you're on pavement. To all of us it makes sense to pay the other county to simply finish the job.

But politicians, they don't see it that way. They get mighty territorial even about doing their own bad jobs...unless they need to lay blame, of course. Then its always someone else's fault.

I expect Mom and Pa to come home with either no resolution or a half-assed one. Seems the way of it these days.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Family Cookbook (And Friends)

About ten years ago, my sister convinced me that we needed to compile a family cookbook so our family recipes were passed down...she went all out and collected recipes from everyone. She typed some up and the rest I was supposed to format in some semblance of order. I've put it off for years. We also continue receiving recipes from various members of the family and close friends.

Aunt Kathy wants to get it going again. She has drawings and recipes she'd like ot compile, too.

So I dragged out my luggage bag full of recipes written on backs of envelopes, index cards, used paper and even the occasional notepad. Sone are typed neatly, some are scrawled at the bottom of a torn cash register reciept or grocery list. Some are torn out of magazines (technically not "our" recipes, unless someone altered some of the ingredients, which is what usually happens). Then there are newspaper clippings, downloads from friends online and hastily scribbled shorthand from others. Sigh.

Mom and I spent most of the day yesterday going through them and trying to organize them into catagories. We ditched most of the professional recipes from copyrighted sources, unless we know for a fact that a family member or friend modified it to our tastes. That got rid of about 1/8 of the recipes LOL.

Today, I'm typing the recipes by catagory into the computer. Once I have them all in, we'll spend some time adding clip art (copyright free), drawings from family and friends and stories and drawings from the kids.

When I sit at the computer for hours on end working on one of my manuscripts, the time flies. Its like I don't have enough time to write all I have to say.

But sitting here, slogging through the recipes and typing them in...sigh. Time is dragging. I got delegated for the task because I type somewhere in the vicinity of 80 words a minute and I am mostly a touch typist.

However, there is one neat thing. We're finding old recipes we'd forgotten about and Mom has stashed a few of them to try out while I'm typing in the other stuff.

This morning, she made biscuits and chocolate gravy - an old, old dish my grandmother used to feed us for special treat breakfasts. Mom used to make it when we were very little and its been years since I've had it! I expect good things to eat in the coming weeks as I work on this...bon appetit!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Blogger Hell...

Well, seems its not going away.

I finally gave up on posting pictures to the construction blog as it simply didn't work. I decided to start a new Construction Diary 2 to continue where I left off. No deal. It also refuses to post photos.

So, the Construction Diary is a standstill until I can find another free blog site that will allow the posting of photos.

We're not happy with some of the progress of one of the contractors. Pa will not be using him again when the time comes next year to start building his own house. The contractor does a great job, but he's NEVER here when he says and the promise of getting the job done in days is false. We're now into the 5th week of what was supposed to be a "4 day job." He also did several things that although they were "code" weren't really the best thing to do. Pa has already fixed one thing and made it better. Pa and I also did part of the work the man had included in the original estimate. The contractor had the grace to drop $100 off the estimate, so I guess I shouldn't be complaining.

We have to slow down for 30 days or so to let the foundation cure. We have been informed we can build on it right away, but Pa has 30 years of building experience and has seen what happens when concrete's not allowed to cure well.

I'm not sure what I'll be doing to keep busy in that time frame - I do have some writing to do and I set my laptop up in my condo last night. I expect to be polishing a manuscript for publication soon.

Anyway, off to see what kind of trouble I can get into!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The things I want to say...

The program that allows me to keep this blog (Blogger) is acting up. There is a known issue with some folk not being able to post photos anymore. Apparently, if a person has several blogs, it can affect one but not the others, or affect all of them. This appears to be my case. I cannot post photos anymore as the software no longer allows it for MY blogs. I sent an email message to the powers-that-be and was sent a form reply of all the "fixes" I've already done. Several times. Oh, well.

Okay, maybe this blog isn't affected...hmmm...took this last week. It is a mirror image of me - my hair looked good and no one was around so I took a picture in the bathroom mirror.

All is going well with the building, the dogs, and the family.

Les came for a week-long visit. She had a lot of fun and it was good to see her.

In two weeks, we'll have more visitors. Maggie, Thomas and Katie will be here for a week, too.

I'm gonna be busting rocks for a while. The hole was dug for my crawl-space foundation and now, it will be leveled and partially buried to bring it back to ground-level. Before its buried, Pa wants me to start cleanup of the big chunks of rocks dug up by tossing them at the bottom of the hole for drainage. There are lots of rocks. LOTS. So I'll be busy for a while.

We'll have a downtime for about a month or so as the concrete cures. I also have to wait for more money to come in around August so we can continue building.

Other than that, life is good.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Cameras are fun things...

Pa's been taking some fun photos of the animals around here...

The ruby-throated hummingbirds come twice a day to eat at the most happening hummingbird joint in town - Mom and Pa's two feeders. Hummers are funny little birds. They are MEAN. They squabble and fight and dive-bomb each other in their pursuit of food. They're picky. They all seem to like one feeder and one hole on that feeder better than all the rest...and that's what most all the squabbles are about. The males outnumber the females about 3 to 1. They are so intent on food that any condition that changes in that environment causes about 30 seconds of zipping around and then they settle down and continue their squabbling and eating. YES. That hummer's little birdy feet are on my finger. The one in front of my hand is actually about an inch away. The oddest thing is at some point in the evening, they'll all be dipping in the feeder for the nectar and in an instant, some silent signal goes through all of them and they disappear in about a split second and don't come back until morning!

Another shot of me up close and personal with the hummers.

This is a Baltimore Oriole we think. Not the baseball team - the BIRD. Orioles pass through on their way to their summer feeding grounds. To keep them around a few days, split an orange in half and leave it on the rail or somewhere they can get to it easily. They will sit there and peck the juice and pulp out of the orange until it is dry. They stayed about a week and then moved on. Another kind of Oriole was here, too - but we couldn't get photos of it - it was yellow and black. Same markings.

While out canoeing Pa was able to get some good shots of a couple buzzards nearby. Generally these creatures are hard to photograph flying, but Pa says this one paced him in the canoe and he was able to get several good shots.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Times are changing...

I've been neglecting this blog lately. We've been so busy with the new life that I've only had time to keep the construction blog somewhat updated. FYI...

The shed is finished and my household goods are now in it.

I went to the Ridge last weekend and worked on landscaping. I can't do much as we still have heavy equipment coming in to do well-drilling, septic and pouring a foundation. But the right side of the shed is not being used for any of that sort of thing so I have this vision in my head of what I want to do there. Pa and I have cleared part of the area and he has cut 1/2 of the double trees. These are trees with two trunks, which make them lightning rods and in such a case, a strike could kill an otherwise lovely tree. By cutting off one of the trunks, we save the basic tree. When he cleared the area, he left a semi-circle of large oaks that follow the path of the driveway. I bought low terra-cotta flower pots and will place them on the stumps for a few years until they eventually rot away. I plan to level and plant grass in the area, too. If it looks right, I will place my tera-cotta pitcher-and-bowls fountain somewhere in that area. I plan to build some sort of entrance at the road into the driveway, maybe double brick barriers with a wrought iron gate between. To follow that same theme, I plan to do a few risers of some kind of stack wall outside the circle of trees, but still following the driveway. I do not know if I want rock, slate or paving bricks for this just yet.

I am still convinced that "fences make better neighbors" and I am planning to fence in some, most or all of my property so my dogs can roam freely about. Where the fencing goes depends on how much land I'll have available, how the Sanctuary for the wild animals is planned and what kind of fencing will be both pleasing to the eye and an effective barrier.

On the border of our property and the farmer's next door is a small spring where the animals come to drink. Richard wants to leave this area in as wild a state as possible for those animals. If we do a fence, we'll keep it at minimal level to allow the deer to jump over and will raise it slightly to allow small animals to squeeze through.

I had huge plans to buy some type of plant for a privacy hedge, allowing it to grow through the years. However, looking at the cost, I've decided to use some of the native flora instead. The multifloral wild roses will be transplanted as a low hedge (they grow wildly, especially if fenced or staked, they can actually create a wall six to ten feet high). For a taller barrier, Pa suggested I transplant some of the many cedar trees to the frontline of the property. This will shield us from the road AND the dust kicked up by cars passing by.

Pa and I spent hours last night discussing how the house plans will be. I only had a few criteria...I thought. But when Pa began asking questions about other things, suddenly, my list of "needs" grew exponentially. I had no idea that I had strong opinions on lighting, efficiency and ease of movement.

We have determined that the house will be stucco. Stucco is easy to do, less expensive, fireproof and can be maintained and repaired easily. It also fits with mine and Richard's love of the look of the American Southwest and our somewhat Far East/Mediterranean collection of things from around the world due to our overseas travels. Plus we both are extreme advocates of single story living, after caring for elderly relatives and finding that stairs, doorsills and the like do not mix. Since we will most likely be here the rest of our lives, the house has to reflect a certain ease and efficiency for when we may not be able to do as much upkeep.

My initial easy-going demands ? I wanted THIS fireplace somewhere in the apartment:

The fireplace in question goes in a corner. In the 1200 square feet apartment, this will take up a certain amount of valuable space. However, we believe we've come up with the idea of an angled wall which will make the fireplace a "center mass" that will actually keep the house warm in cool evenings if we do it correctly. It also won't appear to be taking up as much room.

I also want my front porch and back porch to look like the end wall in this fabulous painting by Lynn Fecteau ( I do NOT want the pillars or the wrought iron fencing - simply the arch at the left end and the arched appearance to the front of the porch. You can see the full sized painting at the artist's website.

Richard's only stipulation was a large bathroom. Pa and I spent hours last night on his 20 X 20 deck, mapping out where the fixtures and appliances will go. One of my "demands" was a walk-in shower that didn't require a door or a curtain. I also wanted a seat and a shelf built in. Plus a regular shower head AND a lower handheld separate shower head in case of future disabilities. The washer and dryer will also be in the bathroom but behind a set of closet doors. I also wanted a deep sink and folding area. Pa thought we could combine those two by building a custom "lid" that would come down over the sink and then build a storage cupboard beneath the sink. Excellent ideas, both!

The rest of the house will be more conventional. Well, maybe not. I am extremely short and hate cupboards above my head in the kitchen. I also hate refrigerators - if I had my way and the money, I'd have a walk-in refrigerator! However, since I do not have that kind of money, Pa says that I should visit this specialty appliance store that has some really cool alternatives (no pun intended! LOL). I am considering a freezer-on-the-bottom fridge, but Pa said not to make any firm decisions until I see this store. The kitchen will NOT have any overhead cupboards and it may not have any underneath, either. We have planned a large pantry with shelves were I can store not only my food but my pots and pans, small counter appliances and so on. Mom had such a pantry right next to her kitchen in Seven Pines and I LOVED it. I also am adamant (there's that word again!) about my countertops. I told Pa I wanted to cut right on the countertop - no cutting boards. Pa is looking at making a fancy cement countertop for me.

Lighting is an issue. I explained my need for extreme lighting and how I flaunted fire codes at my old house by putting 200 watt bulbs in a 60 watt fixture. I didn't have curtains on my sewing room windows because I needed the light too much. True color bulbs were my friend . I explained to Pa that I would like wall-mounted gooseneck style lighing or recessed lighting if possible. We discussed various alternatives and he vetoed some of my ideas due to condensation or fire hazard issues. However, now that he knows my needs he is working on ideas such as a line of clerestory windows or creating his own style lighting to accommodate my requirements (Mom says I'm spoiled rotten by my Pa).

We haven't even discussed the bedrooms yet - but I would love to incorporate this in one of the bedrooms...maybe even two of them...

But then again, until we get the house built, we will be living in the apartment and the second bedroom is supposed to be my workroom. So we shall see.

That pretty much covers the ideas we kicked around last night.

The well driller told us sometime this week...I was hoping that meant today. Alas, it's 10 am and no sign of him. Sigh...

Off to find other things to do.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Echo's Nemesis...

Behold - the biggest, baddest, meanest Kitty in the whole world...or so Echo thinks. Flint is wary of SNOWBALL, but Echo is downright terrified and will not even walk by her in the hallway unless I walk between them.

Try walking in a narrow hallway between a big, black dog and tiny white cat who spreads herself smack in the middle of the hallway simply to stake her territory!

Snowball has one blue eye and one green eye. When yu see her at night with a light shining in her face, the blue eye glows red and the green eye glows white!

Pa taught Snowball to play with a laser pointer. She will chase it all over the room, over furniture and even partway up walls if that's where he points it. Every night they play with the light and then Pa wrassles with her - spinning her on the floor and batting back and forth with her. She enjoys it and comes back over and over to play. This photo shows me pointing the light to get her attention for a good picture. LOL

Lots of things...

I've been so busy I've not had time to really write, but if you go here, you can see what I'm doing with my time.

In the meantime, life is moving ever forward. Richard has been in Saudi Arabia for nearly 2 months now.

The dogs and I are adjusting to our country life. Flint was a little scared at first but has now become quite intrepid. Echo is fearless as ever, but for some reason is bothered by my Pa. She is not afraid, she just won't come to him when called. We believe that with Richard gone, she thinks Pa is challenging her place in the pack.

In other funny news, I did something nice for my sister and she said if I would do it, she'd buy a lotto ticket and if she won, she'd split her winnings with me. Today, I got a $1 bill in the mail. Yes, she won the lotto. Two whole bucks. She sent my half to me. Sisters!

In family news, my niece Katie's horse passed away. Dollar was 30 years old and had been ailing for a while. Katie babied him and made sure he was comfortable every day because he was her baby, her first horse.

Mom and Pa and I are getting into a routine. We work in the mornings up at Echo Ridge, come home for lunch and a nap, and then back up to work. Sometimes, Mom and I simply go shopping for things we need and Pa works alone. The shed should be finished sometime this week. Once its done, we will solidify details for the garage apartment and then Pa will make drawings and we'll eventually start building. That will probably be started sometime in May. We plan to take a break and maybe go sightseeing for a day or two before we dive in and start on the next phase of our building.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The New Life


Yes, I've moved to the wilds of rural Missouri. Life has been an adventure for the last month but its finally settling down. Well, as settled as preparing to build a shed and a garage apartment can be.

The dogs have taken to country life very well! Flint is still a little nervous about the changes, but he's loving his new outdoor life, too. Echo is so thrilled to be outdoors she doesn't want to be an inside dog except to sleep. We've been working with her commands as she is choosing to wander off and not come back when called. Leash training is something she's never wanted to do, but we have to in the backwoods where the potential to get shot at can truly happen. She is learning her boundaries well and is responding to the commands as well as can be expected.

I have pictures and stuff I want to post about our new life, but will do it later as we are currently heading into town to pay for the fabrication supplies for the shed Pa and I will be building in the next week or so. I will not actually be building anything - I'm the step-and-fetch warm body and Pa will do the actual skilled building part.

I've spent a few days going to garage sales, farm auctions and checking out the wildlife Mom and Pa keep an eye on.

The bald eagles down at the lake's edge have once again come to their nest in the sycamore tree. We checked out the blue heron nests down on the neighbor's farm. And, up at the creek there was new excitement - a lone bald eagle was spotted and we're hoping there's a pair to make a new nest! As spring progresses into summer we'll be checking up on the area around that creek to look for a nest.

Anyway, off to shower and go to town!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Other events...

Richard has decided NOT to sell the Camry. Sort of. We're trying to talk Jenny into trading cars with us. She can have the Camry and we'll take her Corolla. We shall see what transpires. She's always loved the car, so we shall see.

Chantry went back to his former home. Seems that Bruno did several things including taking customer boxes, ripping them apart, and then playing with the contents. Sometimes he damaged the contents. Since the dogs are alone in the yard every night this was not good. Some things were small enough to put in the shed, but the big stuff had to be left out for the next driver to pick up. Bruno was taken to a new home. Tiger was so lonely that we decided he needed Chantry back. So Chantry's back in the yard being as playful as ever. Tiger was thrilled to see him and they played and wrassled for a while. And they changed his name back to Champ LOL.

This is my first day without Richard. I kept waking up last night to roll over and snuggle...and no one was there. It was also strange to wake up to no scents of coffee or breakfast. The dogs are a little confused, too. Richard wakes before me and takes them out every morning before I get up. Today, they had to rely on me.

Coming home is strange, too. Knowing he'll not be there at the regular time is a little odd. It means I can eat when I want and what I want. This may not be good.

I had banana pudding ice cream for dinner last night.

I shall have to be more disciplined. LOL

Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Life Changes...

Four weeks ago, I was fairly happy with my humdrum life, the one where Richard and I were working towards our ultimate goal to build our own home on 3.8 acres in the Missouri wilderness. We went to work every day to jobs we were comfortable with, if not wildly excited about...we knew we could retire in about 5 years and maybe then, start building that dream home we've always talked about and do some traveling through Europe in between.

Four weeks ago Richard applied for another job. And got it.

This afternoon I put him on a plane to Saudi Arabia.

Last week we sold the house.

Saturday I pick my parents up from the train station.

Next week we pack out.

On March 22, I sign the closing papers and will move to Missouri to help Pa start building our storage shed and garage/apartment.

And in 15 months, Richard will come home and we will officially retire and begin building that dream house. By taking the job, we knocked 3 1/2 years off our future retirement date.

We are planning to meet in Europe at least 3-4 times in the coming year and visit Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Spain and wherever else we fancy.

Sometimes, that goal is a LOT closer than we imagined.

I like that. Life changes and there are bumps and detours, but the end goal is always in sight.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Weird life lately...

Lots of stuff going on.

Work has been demanding. I'm working longer hours, which I really don't want to do, but things that are out of control must be dealt with and so that's the way it is.

Chantry is growing like a weed and still bedeviling the older dogs but he's learning the ropes of the new family, so that's good.

In other news, we've finally realised it truly is ridiculous to have only two people in this house...and 3 vehicles. With sighs of forlornness, Richard has made the decision to sell the Camry. Its been a good little car and we used it well. We also took care of it well, so we're hoping for top dollar. We shall see.

Extended family life has been heartbreaking, explosive, and fun and loving. My Uncle Harry and Aunt Peggy passed away within a year of each other and my cousin Kristen has been lost and unhappy for a while, and rightfully so. We've all been sharing laughs, love and tears with her and I think its drawn the family closer. Those ties of love are so fragile at times. We adore her and she is slowly learning that the heart will always have a sense of loss, but the memories will keep us going day-by-day. Love ya, Kristen!

I cannot talk about our other family heartache at this time. We are stunned, shocked and downright angry and scared right now. Suffice to say that we hope an end will come to an unresolved dilemma soon. When its safe to talk about it - I WILL. Boy, will I!!!! My anger and rage are contained right now, but when the time comes, WATCH OUT.

Richard and I are gearing up for a lifestyle change, we think. We are trying to work out details and see if things will fall the way we want before we take any steps.

In the meantime, we're working on house and garage plans. I've found a kiva fireplace I want in my home...he's found a lovely 2 story he wants for his! Two stories and southwestern styles don't usually mix, so we're perusing all kinds of plans and pictures, trying to mesh ideas and styles.

The house is still on the market and still being viewed quite often. Its been cold and windy and the pool doesn't look its best due to leaves and palm fronds in it most days. I fish them out, the wind puts them back! I think once spring and hot days are here, when people are roasting from looking at one house after another, they're gonna stop by ours and take one look at that pool and buy, buy, buy! I hope. LOL

I've been quilting and quilting - trying to get stuff done. When we sell, I may not have the space to set up my sewing room so the more I get done now, the better off we'll be.

Anyway, off to do some quilting!

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Sometimes, a quilt idea comes full-blown in my mind and I rootle through my stash and simply start sewing. I have no real plan, not sure if I have all the right fabrics, and usually am rather fluid on exactly what the pattern will be. I piece it together as I go; watching the colors unfold, the patches fall into place, the vision in my mind becoming a reality. I sew because I want to see how the final quilt will look.

I write the same way. I start with an idea and then I start piecing it together, watching the characters unfold, the situation fall into place until the story in my mind becomes a reality. I write because I want to see how the story ends.

Just pondering my choices of creativity and noting the similarities. I've been quilting all evening and just finished the quilt top. It was an idea I got from my niece, Katie. She used bold colors...I used pastels. The quilt top looks exactly the way I wanted it to look - sweet, innocent and girly. I hope the recipient likes it.

And now, I'm off to bed.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


I've been quilting for about 15 years now. I inherited a ton of fabric from my adopted grandmother's stash, my husband's grandmother's stash, his aunt's stash and my mother-in-law's stash. I also had a scrap stash of my own from living in the Phillipines and having my own seamstress sew all our clothing. And then there were friends. Some I knew, some I barely knew. They'd find out that I sewed and they'd bring over boxes of fabric from their grandmothers, mothers or sisters. Whenever I helped someone sew stuff, like costumes or whatever, they'd give me any leftover fabric. (I came back from Guam with 15 dishpacks - the tall boxes - filled with fabric).

With all this fabric I've made over 150 quilts. They've mostly been given away. Some went to charitable causes, some went to family, friends and friends of friends. People would ask me to make a quilt for some reason or another and I'd do it. It was easy to simply give them away because usually I was able to use the fabric that was given to me. I never much thought about the time I put into the quilts I gave away. I figured people would pay me, or they wouldn't. And none ever did. Yep, all those quilts and no one ever paid me.

So it is with great surprise that I'm now being paid to quilt! It started with a little set of coasters I made as a giveaway for my books. Buy my book, enter to win a set of quilted coasters. I also made a little fabric envelope and then used a photo my husband took to make some little folded cards that fit in the envelope. That was a door prize, you didn't have to buy a book to win it.

My friend, Nelson, at the Calvert Hotel, loved my little coasters and stationary sets and asked for a few to sell. He sold out within weeks. He asked for more. So I made a few more, plus some little tablerunners.

Yesterday, someone was viewing my house and saw a quilt I'd made. She offered to buy it. I sold it to her for a fair price today. She then informed me that the real estate agent would be calling about ANOTHER quilt!

All these years. All those quilts. All the networking, parties and socializing I did and never sold a single quilt.

And now, by a sheer fluke one of the few times I've left home and one of the few times I've had folk IN my home since we moved here...and I'm selling my quilts and quilties right and left.

Life is strange. LOL

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Busy life...

Life has been extraordinarily busy, and yet none of the things I had planned to do are done! Work was hectic for bit, but now its slowed down SOME. We shall see what I get done in the coming months.

I DID finally finish the last of the Christmas quilts for one sibling's family, which means I can now mail this brother's package. Once they get it, I'll post pictures of the quilts. They read my blog occasionally and I want it to be a semi-surprise! LOL One down...a couple more to go!

I still have a couple more quilts to make, but they are small. I have this idea to try out and I even know who to try it out on...quilters think like that - we see a sewing technique we want to try and then we think of a person we can make a quilt for so we can "practice" the technique.

In dog news, everyone is getting along, which is quite good. Mudball...I mean Chantry, enjoys digging in the yard. It rained Saturday. We were waiting to show the house to potential buyers. Mudball made it past Richard and when we tried to catch him, he thought it was a game. Jack Russell terriers are FAST. Richard and I looked like Laurel and Hardy falling over ourselves, feinting left and right, trying to catch one little dog who was having the time of his life. It didn't help that Echo and Flint decided to join in. Amidst screams of "There he is! Catch him!" we had three dogs running back and forth not knowing the rules of the game, but wanting to play anyway! Amidst the bleating cries and cringing as Mudball continued upon his destructive, yet gleeful path with joy de vivre, were two other dogs, running, blocking and generally getting in the way.

By the time we caught him we not only had to bathe him, we had to mop ALL the tile floors (kitchens, bathrooms, hallways), vacuum the living room, the dining room and my office, clean a few streaks off some walls and wash the throw rugs. Its a really good thing he's so cute. Otherwise, I'd have to kill him.

Off to work on the next quilt!

Addendum hours later: I did a very bad thing. Someone came to view the house today - in fact, two someones. After dinner, I moseyed into my office and puttered on the computer, then finally got up to peruse my quilting stuff to decide if I really wanted to work on the next project or not. There on my work table was a note. "If you are selling, I'd like to buy." With a name and phone number. At first I thought, "house?" and then I realised...she was wanting to buy the quilt! But which one? I have 3 hanging on the walls, one draped over the ironing board and the one I had just finished. The note was a sticky back - it could have fluttered off any of them! Finally, I worked up the courage and called her, knowing that no one in their right mind would pay me what the quilt was actually worth. People usually nearly faint at my feet when I mention price. Being unsure, I asked her to tell me what SHE thought it was worth. She did. She not only knew what it was worth - she actually OFFERED that much or MORE, she wanted it that bad. Greed warred in me for about 3 seconds, but I shoved it aside.

And I sold her the quilt for the price it was worth...and no more.

I now have to make a certain someone ANOTHER was a Christmas present! ACK! Why do I do these things?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

And More Quilties...

These are the notecards...the cards are made on my computer from photos that my husband took. The shamrock on the green card is from the free graphics offered at Pat's Web Graphics.

These are the quilted coasters. I make them in sets of 8 and tie with a matching ribbon.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

What have I been doing, you ask?

I've been quilting. Seems a friend of mine who owns an antique shop has taken a shine to the little quilty goodies I give out to my readers as prizes! He asked me to make up a few things to sell at the annual Pulpwood Queen's Author "Girlfriend Weekend 2006." The event will be 1/20-1/22/06. So, in addition to sending along a few autographed copies of my books, I sent some quilty goodies!