Monday, November 06, 2017

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Week in Review - October 29 - November 4

WOW! Another crazy week.

After finding out two weekends ago Lady K had a really bad UTI and not a bad appendix, by the end of this week, she was coughing and sputtering. Pneumonia. Not enough to knock her out, but enough to have more antibiotics and at-home time.

Then if that wasn't enough, Texter started complaining of a sore throat, ears hurt and feeling yucky. It turns out she is 'allergic to fronts'. Yep. Allergic to weather fronts. It messes with the fluids in her ears, causes headaches and apparently contributes to a sore throat. And all these years I thought it was the fronts and sleeping with my mouth open!

Needless to say, I am popping Vitamin C gummies and the rest of my vitamins to stay at least reasonably healthy.

Of course, with Lady K at home and Texter down for the count, I have gotten NOTHING done for the most part.

Except for...


Cooking!


After our Halloween Trick or Treating (2 times during the day and 3 pounds of candy), the snow moved in. With the snow came a frenzy of cooking and baking on my part.





Thursday and Friday were snow-filled days. Snowing and more snowing.


Saturday, much to Texter's dismay (because she hates seagulls), I managed to attract them with the popcorn I threw out. A couple dozen arrived, ate the popcorn and winged off.


Saturday was also filled with running the girls all over town. Urgent Care for Texter and the stores for Savvy. It was also occupied with assisting a bit with the mini-cupcake experiment for the Diamond Event next week at Jensen Jewelers (more on that later).


It also meant a run downtown for a different piping tip to make the roses which will be on the mini-cupcakes (and many cupcakes too!) I love the stream the city is installing down the walking mall. Don't know how much longer it will run before they turn the water off because it is frozen solid.

Otherwise this week...

  • Delivered lunches to three friends at work on a snowy, cold Friday (and got rid of leftover bean soup and Apple-Walnut Cheesecake bars)
  • Potted up about 2 dozen tiny jade plants into actual pots (well, one pot and one old coffee container)
  • Started NaNoWriMo with my writing this year focusing on my Montana Memories
  • Time in the quilt studio pulling fabrics for this year's Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt
  • Finished 2 books
  • Drinking tons of water and getting at least 5000 steps in daily (Savvy has a wellness challenge via her work and has put me on it - yarn and Starbucks rewards will do it!)
  • New quilt pattern I have been wanting
  • Swap package from my NaNoWriMo partner
  • Ordered a 8 big cans of Sweet Sue Chicken and Dumplings from Walmart! (long story)

This coming week...

  • Afternoon at the library, refocusing on my plans and getting some word count in on my NaNoWriMo project
  • Sewing on Christmas gifts
  • Crocheting on a couple of projects
  • Decorating cupcakes for the Diamond Event at Jensen's
  • Hopefully cranking out about 10,000 plus words this week
  • Getting my temporary crown replaced with a permanent one

But for now, more coffee (and water).


Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Bring On November!

I am writing this quickly as it is early on November 1 and I am trying to get 'things' done so I can concentrate on NaNoWriMo! Can you guess what one of my goals is for November?

Anyway...

My October goals were...

  • Finish up the Joy Quilt top - not quite, but almost
  • Finish the afghan for a friend - again, not quite, but almost
  • Gather items for a NaNoWriMo swap and get it in the mail DONE!
  • Prep for NaNoWriMo DONE!
  • Order my Hobonichi for 2018!!!!! Ordered and received!
  • Figure out the new measurements on the Noodle Box Quilt - nope, haven't even looked at it
  • "Fear No Fabric" two day workshop Loved, loved, loved it
  • Texter's in-laws coming to visit (sightseeing and day trips!) come and gone!
  • Writing workshop at the library (participating, not leading) not so much on writing, but on gathering your stories
  • Trick or Treat with Lady K  did and she's got a really bad cough
  • Orchid Society meeting with guest speaker (and maybe a new orchid?) did and can you say 4 new orchids?
  • Work on fabric Christmas gift ideas did and still have some to complete
  • Craft fair (and apples) at Tizer Gardens Did and loved it

Wow! I actually did more than I thought I did for October. 

Now, let's keep the momentum going.


For November...

  • Complete NaNoWriMo before Thanksgiving
  • Start the Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt
  • Get the additional fabrics needed to do the Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt
  • Finish up the afghan I have started
  • Catch up on the Spirit of Life CAL
  • Do some Christmas sewing
  • TONS of reading
  • Make mini-cupcakes for the Jensen Jeweler's Diamond Event
  • Another Gulch Distillers class

Let's see how it goes for November. Today isn't looking great as cold and snow are due in and looks like they will be remaining for a few days. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Mandala Monday and Playing Catch-Up


The past couple of weeks have been a bit, well, crazy. I have fallen out of my routine and it's bugging me.

(Deep breath)

Anyway, getting back on track...

This past week culminated in a wonderful lunch with Texter and three great friends.


And to keep it short and sweet, the past couple of weeks have revolved around...

  • Broken tooth and it's temporary repair (and how come everything I want to eat are things I'm not suppose to eat until I get my permanant crown)
  • Lady K and a hurried drive to/from Bozeman to pick her and Texter up and come back to Helena to the ER for suspected appendix issues to have it be a severe UTI. And then a week of trying to get antibotics down her.
  • Out of state visitors and spending time, here and there, with them.
  • Day trip to Missoula to the 'mall' and a day trip to Great Falls for some adult time alone while Lady K at school
  • Prepping for NaNoWriMo
  • Repairing a couple of items crocheted or sewn and getting sewing table cleaned up and sewing projects in order to begin and finish
  • Crocheting while binge watching Season 1 of Stranger Things
  • Picking up a new bit of sourdough starter and chatting with a friend Saturday afternoon
  • Exchanged books with a friend (love to have friends who pick up books because they know you would like them)

This week will be a bit 'harried' also...

  • HALLOWEEN! Party at daycare on Monday and then a couple of Trick or Treat adventures on Tuesday
  • NaNoWriMo starts Wednesday!
  • Wicked weather comes our way starting Wednesday....gets cold and rainy/snowy
  • Bit of grocery shopping and cooking for the cold weather (ham is in the fridge already and part will become Tuscan Bean Soup)
  • Bread baking
  • Weather permitting - Fall Art Walk on Friday night
  • TONS of reading...my stack of books has grown terribly
  • Sewing projects ticked off my to-do list
  • Reviewing goals for November, into December, and to finish up the year

But for now, I need to wake people up to get ready for school and have more coffee!


Friday, October 27, 2017

NaNoWriMo Prep and Book Cover

I am slowly prepping for NaNoWriMo this year. 

My writing with be a memoir rather than a work of fiction. Of course, those reading the book might be considering it a work of fiction by the time I finish it.

It has been fun, looking back through four and a half year of pictures.

Anyway....

As part of my prepping, I created a cover for my book.


The SUV was Texter's vehicle during the drive to Montana. I was following along in my little Ford Escort with one dog in the back seat. She was riding with four huge SUV tires and two other dogs in the car with her. And a huge bag of baby supplies as she was due any day now. 

Stay tuned for more updates on this epic adventure!


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Fall Is Here!

October has been a bit crazy for me and I have had trouble 'getting into step' with it. 

Between a broken tooth (temporary cap on it for the moment), friends from out of state visiting, and life in general, has me out of step with myself.

In fact, Montana went from summer to winter overnight and we missed out of fall it seemed.

But fall has returned!


Tuesday, to get some exercise, fresh air and just to have a change of pace, I took a walk around Spring Meadow Lake in town.






Even a quick walk downtown yielded lots of fall images and color. I love what they have done with the remake of the water feature flowing through the walking mall. 



The sun turns the water into jewels.






I think the textures and colors make autumn my favorite season. Still warm enough to get out, but with that nip in the air that tells you soon it will be time to stay inside.


Even my new crochet project echos the color of fall. Can't wait to see how it turns out.


Monday, October 16, 2017

Mandala Monday


"Now Autumn's fire burns slowly along the woods and day by day the dead leaves fall and melt."

-William Allingham

Week In Review - October 8-14

Ok....My butt is seriously dragging this morning. 

And when I was thinking about this past week....

Well, I'm exhausted!

I had this vision in my head when I stopped working part time I would have ALLLLLL this time to just sit around and read and write and sew and knit.

Sort of, it's working that way.

But this past week started off with a WONDERFUL workshop.

I have never taken a workshop like this before and it was gifted to me by Texter as my birthday present. It was "Fear No Fabric" and was a chance to learn how to sew on 20 different fabrics and use a Bernina sewing machine.

Ok, when the sewing machine costs more than my used car did....color me excited!





I really wanted to take this class because of the costumes I make for the girls primarily. I am self-taught for the most part and wanted to learn some little 'tricks' on working with different materials.

I got it! Leather, tulle, burlap, cotton...just about anything you can think of. And learned how to make some great top stitching and insert lace, which was quick and easy and painless.  

So two days of blissful sewing and surrounded by several dozen sewing ladies (and one man). What a great time.

Once home, the sewing bug continued (plus mourning I couldn't just pick up one of these machines and carry it off) and I worked a bit on figuring out the blocks on the Joy quilt and getting all the parts together.


The center blocks are together and I am piecing it all together. There is a big "X" which will fit in there and then a couple of pieced outside borders to go. But it's getting there...slowly, but surely. And it will be HUGE. I may have to rethink a bedroom in sage green.

One thing I have seen with this is the difference between 2013 piecing and 2017 piecing. My skills have improved a bit and it is fun to see it in one quilt.  Unfortunately, due to 'things' going on the next couple of weeks, I will have to put it up for a bit and then come back to it - yet again.

I have been doing a bit of reading and prepping for NaNoWriMo this past week.

And then on Wednesday I broke off the corner of a molar (on Dollar Tree Sugar Babies-can we say 'stale'?) So far, no pain, but now a trip to the dentist this coming week to figure out some repair other than the putty you can use when fillings fall out. 

But to make me feel better, when I got home, my Hobonichi order was there! About 4 days earlier than I was expecting it.


I splurged this year and got one of each size. But they will all have a purpose! More to come on these lovelies later.

Then Saturday was 'go-go-go' day!

First was the Fall Fest headed up by Miss OK who is actually Miss Downtown Helena!


After handling 2400 pounds of pumpkins, she is still going strong and was buzzing all over the area, making sure everything was running smoothly.  She makes me tired.


Lady K painted another ceramic from The Painted Pot. Luckily, the ones she has done in the past survived the fire. It will be a fun souvenir of our Fall Fests in Montana.


Between polishing off a couple of bags of blue cotton candy, she posed with Ghostbusters (who are super sweet with the kids and love doing what they do).

And ballerinas...


The library was hosting Susan Adrian, the author of Nutcracked. We now have an autographed copy of the book which I will be reading to Lady K before bed. Her friend, Jordyn, dances with Queen City Ballet also. So hopefully, this year, we can make it to a performance of Nutcracker and see Jordyn dance. The issue? Can Lady K sit semi-still for an entire performance of Nutcracker?

Then after dumping Texter and Lady K back home, I hit Gulch Distillers for another class. This one was "Gin It to Win It" and discussed making gin at home.


A discussion of the different botanicals you can put in your gin and how to make it at home. They make me want to go home and put everything in mason jars! This will be utilized when we move to North Carolina - both the jars and the gin! Savvy has promised me I can 'brew' away when we move.


I met up with my friend Clare, who is a jewelry artist extraordinaire! And she likes gin!

And we met "Ginny"...


And distiller, Matt Bacon. Ginny is the vat where they make gin.


So, since this was a 'gin' class, I had a fantastic Bee's Knees. Along with a piece of cake one of the attendees made using Gulch Distiller's Apple Brandy.


So my second drink had to be a 'Brandy Apple'.

Then it was home for a quick nap and then to Jensen Jewelers to be the door greeter for their diamond event....

Whew!

And this coming week isn't going to be any slower.

  • Clean house for upcoming visitors from South Carolina (Texter's in-laws/Kayden's other grandparents)
  • Finishing up a gift for a friend's birthday
  • Writing workshop at the library
  • More NaNoWriMo prep (going through a ton of pictures for story ideas)
  • Start and finish a Charlaine Harris book because it will be due in a couple of days and someone else has it on reserve
  • Book group meeting
  • And lots of Montana sightseeing!

So off for some breakfast and more coffee!



Sunday, October 01, 2017

Week In Review - September 24 - 30

This isn't going to be my normal week in review. 

You know every now and then you have one of those days which are just special.

Well, Saturday was it for us.

Photo courtesy of Cornel Lab of Ornithology



See him?

We did (or rather one like him) sitting at the edge of the highway on the way to Tizer Gardens and their Fall Festival.

I saw this 'bundle' beside the road and as we drove past I saw him sitting there. He looked 'alive' and I quickly pulled over. 

As fate would have it we were right by the rest stop exit, so I stopped and Texter hopped out to run back up the road.

She said she was a little nervous approaching it and was hoping it didn't flap out into the road if it was alive.

She slowly approached and removed her gray pea jacket (which I need to wash for her) and laid it over the owl. Carefully 'scooping' the jacket edges up under the owl, she walked back to the car. I settled her in the back of the minivan and took the next exit back to Helena and Montana Wild

I thought they were closed on the weekends to visitors, but hoped we would be in time for the feeding session....and we were.


Shhhh....I'm not suppose to share a picture on 'social media', but figure I only have a couple of dozen readers on my blog!

While his wing is broken, we are hoping he isn't too injured he can survive, even if in captivity. We can call Monday and see how he (or she) is doing. Currently he is on a 72 hour watch for concussion and brain clots.

The downside to this rescue effort was he did squeeze a couple of Texter's fingers. Luckily, through the coat. But they are a bit bruised and swollen and hurt a bit. Of course, it is her right hand, which makes homework a bit difficult.

However, she is forgiving and walking around going 'I can't believe I had an owl in my lap!'

After handing him off to Montana Wild (and they probably just gained a couple of new volunteers), we headed back out to Tizer Gardens.


It was cool and grey, looking like it would rain at any moment, which only intensified the colors of the garden.

Lady K was more interested in running around and finding the signs for the scavenger hunt, but I loved the colors.


How could you not love these colors!

Frankly, fall is a huge toss up as whether it is better than spring for beauty in the garden for me.





Lady K loves running around all the paths and 'mazes' here. This is a place I will sorely miss when we move back to North Carolina.




The creek was gurgling away and I know it will soon be covered in ice. 

Unfortunately, they didn't have any apple cider (yet - hopefully this week), but I bought a couple of pounds of Zestar apples which are really good. And just the right size for Lady K to devour.




Even Texter and Lady K matched the scenery...


And I found this guy...


I think even CJ would let me have this guy in the garden and not complain.

I don't know how the coming week will top Saturday, but I'll try. After all we can check and see if "our" owl is going to make it or not.

But for now, settling in for a few days of grey, possible snowy, days. I need more coffee!