Sunday, September 16, 2018

Week In Review - September 8 - 14

Or, the week of Florence!

Yep, the whole week has centered around preparing for Florence and then waiting for Florence to hit town. It's been very cloudy since Thursday. 

Of course, school has been canceled since Thursday and they aren't set to go back until Tuesday. Some of the schools in the area have been used as shelters. However, Lady K hasn't been adapting well to the change in her routine. Which means neither has Grandma.

She painted her nails, which was ok. However, she seemed to find the staircase a bit bland and decided to add some color. Sigh...

We won't talk about the picture hung on her bedroom wall with honey.

This morning I am listening to the wind and rain as it gusts and pounds into the house. Luckily, (knock on wood) we have so far not had so much as a flicker of electricity going out. Friends in Cary and Apex lost their power for a bit over the past couple of days (they got hit earlier than Charlotte). And here in Charlotte, Mr. RaceCar (Texter's friend) lost his power Saturday afternoon.

I started on 'Electra' yesterday because it's a more mindless project than the Watergarden Mandala. 

I am loving how her dress blows back and once I am finished with the black on the pattern, the rest is just filling in with a pop of color and beads.

A couple of fun things have happened this week though.

  • I was accepted for another work from home job and have been sending messages and forms to and from the headquarters for Appen in Australia so I can start the project.
  • Had a 'Before-The-Storm BBQ' with my new neighbors. The bad part is I found out we have a ton in common and I may be moving in over there!
  • Checked out a ton of books from various library branches. 

And my violet has popped up with a ton of color just in time for the grey days.

I love this little guy. He just keeps on flowering despite my lack of care.

Otherwise this week...

  • Finished 2 books
  • Wrote 7 posts
  • Made another batch of peach preserves
  • Took lunch to Savvy one day
  • Watch Book Club

This week...

  • Work on Electra
  • Count out and mail some floss and threads
  • Enjoy my free birthday drink at Starbucks
  • Catch up on some journaling
  • Bake a loaf or two of sourdough bread
  • Try to get back on schedule starting Tuesday

But for now, it's making sourdough waffles and more coffee!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Saturday Reads

Hello, my name is Judy and I have a book problem!

There really needs to be a 12 Step Program for people hooked on books. Or not.

With the threat of Florence, I went through my 'want to read' list on Amazon and visited three of the library branches, picking up more books than I really care to admit to. 

A couple of the books I have already managed to finish during all the running around prepping for Florence and throwing things from the yard into the garage.

When I first saw Dot Journaling - A Practical Guide by Rachel Wilkerson Miller I was a bit 'do I, don't I?' about it. After all, I have been doing a modified bullet journaling for years now.  But curiosity made me check it out.

This is a great little book for someone who is interested in bullet journaling but wants or needs something less structured or formal than the original bullet journaling system. Lots of interesting spreads divided up by yearly, monthly, weekly, journaling, and habit tracking. 

I picked up on the idea of a 'chore tracker' I want to try.

And always a delicious read, Kaffe Fassett's Quilts in America.

As usual, anytime I pick up a Kaffe Fassett book, I now have several new projects I want to add to my list. The quilt on the cover is one of them. I just wish I could afford to collect his fabrics!

Now to read the other XX books piled in my room!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Fiber and Fabric Friday - Electra!

Note: As of 5:00 a.m. Friday morning we are awaiting the rain and wind from Florence. So far, so good.

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

The past couple of weeks have kept me away from doing any actual stitching.

I have been sorting and counting floss, studying for another work-from-home position (which I got!), and preparing for Florence coming to visit.

I am back to the needle again and loving the blue which is now being included on my Watergarden Mandala.

The little spaces in the blue and in the blue swirls will have beads added on the last round of working on this mandala. I can't wait.

But I will be taking another break to work on 'Electra'.

I have always loved Nora Corbett's designs and have a couple still a work in progress. But I just had to do this little witch. She has a whole line of patterns in her Pixie Couture Collection I am in love with. 

I have the Willow Queen design and want to do Cleo, Gigi, Minerva, Zenia, Raven and Luna. The nice thing about these designs is they are smaller than her usual designs, making them a quick stitch. Ok, a quicker stitch!

But for now, getting work done on my computer just in case we lose power over the weekend.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Positive Focus Thursday

Sitting here early Thursday morning with the news on. While for decades I watched the news every morning while getting ready for work, over the past few years I haven't. Mainly because I was so tired of all the 'bad' news.

However, the past week, Texter and I have kept our eyes on the news due to Florence. Hurricane Florence to be specific. I have made it through Hurricanes Fran and Floyd in the past - not liking 'F' hurricanes!

And during our preparation this week, several small things have come to my attention.

First, we are blessed with a house which is on high ground, money to buy extra supplies, and neighbors who are all chipping in to make this less threatening.

Second, I received a package I 'won' in the mail.

This is only half the pile of stickers for my planner I received. Texter has the other half! But someone was cleaning out her stash and realized she didn't need these anymore and passed them on via a drawing on one of the groups I belong to on Facebook. 

And another good thing which has come from Facebook is the community you can form. One of my needlework groups has been checking in with me since I told them I would be taking a break from possibly selling some fibers due to the hurricane. The wishes for a safe passage through the storm have been lovely.

Third, is the kindness of strangers.

I have been stocking up on books and went into the library to pick up a couple I had on hold. One of the items was a recently released DVD of Book Club. The library 'rents' new releases for $2. I had run in without any change and I didn't want to put $2 on my debit card and was going to let the library release me from my hold and reserved it again later. A woman standing behind me handed over $2, saying "go ahead". As I hesitated, she explained she had been to 4 funerals in the past 4 days and needed some joy in her life and this would make her happy. 

I'll be watching the movie today.

My fourth reason for keeping a 'chin-up' about Florence is the little one. Texter and Lady K have been studying hurricanes for the past couple of days. Lady K doesn't like thunder and while thunder won't really be an issue, the high winds and heavy rain can be scary. Schools are closed for the next couple of days. Texter is off work today and has alerted work if the rains are too heavy, she won't be coming in. Personally, I am thankful we now have a garage so if I do have to drive her to work, we can get in and out of the car in a garage, staying dry.

And finally, in search of supplies to make it through several days of heavy rain, I found something new to me - Blackberry Ginger Ale!

I don't normally drink soda, but love ginger ale. I will spoil myself occasionally and get some really since ginger ale or ginger beer, but I had to try this. Light, refreshing with just a hint of 'another' flavor in there. 

Personally, I think if things get bad, a bit of 'gin' in my ginger ale would work nicely. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Writing Wednesday - NaNoWriMo

When all the pumpkin spice hits the fan (and doesn't it seem everything is pumpkin spice these days), you know it's THAT time of the year...

Yes, it's time to start prepping for, or at least thinking about, NaNoWriMo.

I actually know what I am going to be working on. I have had it on hold for a few months, letting it stew in my tiny brain.

But of course, I can't do this without throwing a kink in the plans. I have an idea for a second, non-fiction idea. So I may be forced to work on both of them together. The second idea would actually be more of a series of blog posts on one topic.


I will see how it goes as I work my way through prepping for this annual event. I will also be checking out fellow writers and probably attend an event or two.

So, hello Fall, hello NaNoWriMo and just say no to pumpkin spice!

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Week In Review - September 2 - 8

"D is a consequence, a letter in the alphabet."

This is what I listened to for a good 15 minutes, as Lady K sang the song she learned at school on Friday. 

Nope, it's not consonant, as I suggested. So we have vowels and consequences. Seems fitting somehow.

This past week has been filled mainly with floss - sorting, cataloging and offering up for sale.

With over 4000 skeins of unused floss, offering it for sale accomplishes several things. First, it helps reduce my stash. If I have 4000 skeins of unused floss, then I have an equal amount already wound on bobbins to use. Secondly, we can use the money. Moving is more expensive than you think and we could use a few extra coins in the pocket. 

Only thing is, part of me is screaming "No! I might need it!" Really? I think if I stitched eight hours a day for the rest of my life I couldn't use it all up. Besides, if I need a particular color I can go buy one. 

But because of dealing with my stash this week, I haven't put needle to fabric very much with the Watergarden Mandala.

Lady K is fascinated by the gold metallic thread. But I had backstitching to outline. I find it tedious, but it is effective with the design. I can't wait to get to the center section where the blue silks will really shine. Maybe next week.

After putting together several IKEA bookcases, I have finally gotten all the books out of storage and found yet more journals among them.

My trunk is full of journals. These stretch from high school to now, with a few gaps here and there. One day I might go back through them. Savvy has already expressed an interest in looking at them one day. Very boring for the most part I feel.

Texter and I took advantage of her day off and Lady K being in school to stroll through IKEA. I had my 'birthday coupons' to use. I have another bookcase, which with my $15 off coupon, was only $2. And I got a free lunch. It was big enough for the two of us to share and take some of the meatballs to Savvy for her lunch. Plus the steamed vegetables. Texter and I were only after the good stuff!

I never thought I would be interested in the more minimalistic style of IKEA, but I am really like it. Of course, if you could see my desk, you would wonder how.

I made 5.5 pints of peach preserves and have another batch I need to do to use up the peaches I bought at Farmer's Market. I think 10 pints will get us through until next year....maybe.

With Lady K in South Carolina this weekend with her father and other grandparents, I donated blood.

It was set up at the mall near me, so I didn't have to go far. Plus I met TaWanda, who was not only funny, but was great at poking me painlessly. With a possible hurricane heading this way next week, I figured they could use my B+ blood. And I got cookies!

Otherwise this week...

  • Finished 2 books
  • Wrote 3 posts
  • Got the back window on my van replaced which I broke due to a lawnmower run-in (don't ask).
  • Organized my books somewhat

This coming week...

  • Preparing for Hurricane Florence. I am being pessimistic on this one as I have been through Fran and Floyd here in the past. We don't have a good track record with "F" hurricanes.
  • Catching up on my journal
  • Taking a huge 'test' for another possible work-from-home job
  • Starting NaNoWriMo prep
  • "Touring" the library branches to pick up books....I might run out of things to read!

But for now, it's back to counting floss and more coffee. With some toast and peach preserves.

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Saturday Reads

For years I was a romance reader. I had my hands on everything from the latest Harlequin Romance to Danielle Steele and everything in between. 

But now my heart lies with fantasy and science fiction. My romance reading leans toward paranormal (fang and fur) only.

I recently 'discovered' a new-to-me author and loving it!

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin follows Yeine as she is recalled from her tiny kingdom in the north to the capital and her grandfather. Considered a barbarian and a 'mongrel' by the elite of Sky, her fate has been sealed as a sacrifice to name the successor to the throne.

However, the enslaved gods have another idea in mind. One that could mean their freedom, even if Yeine must die.

Court intrigue, the truth about the death of her mother and plans to change the outcome of the ceremony are all played out in the book. So interesting, I kept saying "one more page" as I neared the end.

This is book 1 in the series and book 2 is requested from the library. Hopefully I can pick it up today and continue the story.