Monday, June 06, 2011

Monday Morning Wake Up Call!

It was one of those nights you know? The kind where you fall asleep by 1am, but are wide awake at 3:30am…stay up til close to 5:30am before falling asleep again, and at 8am? Roofers start pounding! >_<

Now, the pounding is not anything I am upset about, it’s something I’m grateful for, because it means this roof is just about on. And getting this far has been a bit of a fiasco! And it’s been in such flux that I haven’t even attempted to post about it, afraid that the situation would be completely different the next day!

Contractor #1 – Nice guy…gave him 1/2 the money up front to buy supplies…they did all the pre-roofing work of removing the old shingles, removing the skylights, replacing the damaged plywood, did a TERRIBLE job of reframing the inside where the skylights were…like…this area of 2X4’s hangs 1/2” below where all the other studs and supports are…how are we supposed to sheetrock over THIS?! ((As Quilters, we worry about things being 1/4” off? Boards that hang 1/2” farther down than the rest of the room is a PROBLEM, Y’all!))

And ---- we sit! For a MONTH ---- with NO ROOF, no phone call, no nothing. And it’s the rainy season, and things are leaking in that sun-room when it rains.

Finally, a call to Contractor #1 gets through ((after many attempts)) and we find he hasn’t even ORDERED the roofing supplies yet that we paid for! So let’s just say that DH blows a gasket and we part ways with Contractor #1, and he charges us only for the work he has completed, albeit not that great, and we are on to Contractor #2.

After much searching around and looking for reputable contractors, DH decides that we are NOT going to get a metal roof after all --- they are booked too far out, we need a roof NOW, and so we are going back to shingle. Okay fine. By this time I don’t care, just get a roof on.

Contractor #2 ---Asks us to purchase the supplies, and they will pick them up. Shingles are purchased at Lowes, and the next day when contractor goes to pick them up…..half of them are missing. Lowes sold them out from under us after we had already paid for them. This delayed the job ---DH had to go get a refund for the missing shingles from Lowes, and then go to another Lowes to purchase them…..and now we are at the END of this contractor's list since we missed our window of opportunity or some such thing. Plus they don't have any trucks available to get the shingles, we have to pay to have them delivered….whatever it is…DH already has a short fuse, and he fires contractor #2. *SIGH*

In the mean time we have a boat load of shingles being delivered by Lowes…but no contractor! And come to find out from the delivery driver that THAT Lowes was also short on the shingles we had ordered and paid for and he had to go to a third Lowes to fill in the order!

Thanks to a referral from a work buddy, Contractor #3 stepped on the job right away and the whole crew has been super. They show up on time, they work hard, they get the job done….Only…..

We ran short on shingles! So the job stopped early on Saturday --- yesterday was Sunday ---and here they are this morning at 8am on the dot to finish up.

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You probably can’t tell, but this is what I saw Saturday evening after returning home…the whole left side is done….and on the right side, in the trees, you’ll see a step-board they were standing on. It’s quite a steep roof! Above the step board is where we were short on shingles.

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They are getting that job done, and I must say these shingles REALLY look nice. They’ve got a 30 year warranty…..and I’m happy to have the job done, no matter how badly I wanted a red metal roof on my cottage in the woods!

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It’s pretty steep up there! And he is balancing on just the peak of the roof! Yes, it’s a blurry pic, but the sun was shining pretty brightly as well and I think the cam focused on the gutter, not the guy! Next up? New Gutters. Our house was built in the 70s and I think everything ON this house is VINTAGE! When you have lots of trees, as we do, there is always debris and stuff that gets in the gutters unless you have the kind that have guards on them…..

As for me? Guess what I spent part of last evening doing? Of course I should have been busy with other things, but OH! I have an idea I want to try! so out came the string basket, and I started pulling out all the brown/rust ones!

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What a fun mess to play with! Does it look like it could actually turn INTO anything? We shall see! And the other question is....what to make with the rest of the crumbs/strings that are around here? I think I could sew with them for the rest of my life and never deplete them! But I love the challenge, and I have no intention of ditching them.....I'll just keep working on sewing them up into something.

Oh, and please send some good thoughts this way. DS Jeff left yesterday to go to Columbia SC --- He has a friend who may have an “in” on a job for him. He wants to move out, get a job, get on with his life. ((!!!)) I am fully aware this is only the first step and that revolving door may revolve around a few more times, but at least he is showing some motivation on getting his life in GEAR!!!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

The “Lazy Sunday” Edition!"

Would you believe that I stayed in my jammies past 11am? And that I’d still be in them now if it weren’t for the fact that I do have to run some errands, and though I’m sure others have gone through the “drive through” with their PJ’s on..it ain’t happening here!

I drug myself to the mailbox after I got myself dressed and found that a long awaited package all the way from AUSTRALIA had shown up and was waiting for me!

We’ve had this project under wraps for a long time, and I’m tickled to announce that it is here, it is hitting the news stands ((Well, at least in Australia, I’m not sure how many US Quilters subscribe, but I’m sure I am about to find out)) and I’m SO TICKLED!

You see, I have an 8 page “spread” in this issue! It’s # 97, Vol 12-6 and it just was released on June 2nd. The whole issue focuses on the color BLUE, and I’ve got a quilt on the cover……and a nifty “Australian Exclusive” teaser:

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And when you open up the inside…..WHOOOWHOOOO!

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Now I’ve never been to Australia…it is on my list of “OH PLEASE LET ME GO THERE SOMEDAY!!” But I can say that my quilt has been hung over a fence in a pasture ((In Australia!!)) with a horse trailer in the background! :cD

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Is this enough of a teaser for you? The quilt is named Jamestown Landing, and there is a bit of history included in the article as well. I love two color quilts, and blue and white are my favorite.

I’ll do my best to help you find out where you can order this issue ((I don’t know if it is available on Amazon, does anyone know??)) and ---- ***drum-roll*** ----In the box with the quilt, as it is being shipped back to me….are some EXTRA copies of this issue and I’m going to do a giveaway right here on the blog!

Click HERE for a view of the distribution flyer...you can find who might have it in your area!

I’m not sure yet when. I need to be here to do it, and the BOX hasn't arrived yet, and I’m headed to Florida on Thursday/Friday…..so we are winging it by ear. Just stay tuned and you’ll know when the give away starts.

See those sashing units? Uhhuh! Get your strings ready! You are going to need them!

And with that…I’m back to being lazy. I’ve done one load of laundry. I DID bleach-wash my dirty running shoes, and they are on the back deck drying in the sun. I may piece some. I may nap some more. I may putz around in my email. Or not. Today is just “optional”! And I’m liking it that way!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Free Kindle Book! June Bug!

I’m having a very weird evening!

Jeff picked me up at the airport, and dropped me off at home only to tell me he was then going to a friend’s house.

DH is in West Virginia riding motorcycles with his work buddies..and they won’t be home til tomorrow night.

I’m home alone, and I have no schedule! There is no itinerary, no meeting time that I have to be ready for --no rides to be picked up by….no nothing!

I’m still on central time, so it doesn’t feel like nearly 10pm and I’m spinning in circles not knowing what to do!

So….I’m putzing on the computer and I found this recent freebie that’s been added to Amazon, perfect for the month of June, it’s called June Bug! It's written by Jess Lourey as number 2 in her “murder by the month” series.

Book Description

Mira James never imagined life after college would be a doublewide trailer outside Battle Lake, Minnesota. Then again, maybe the North Country has more to offer than mosquitoes and broasted chicken.
Local legend claims that a diamond necklace was lost nearly a century ago in Whiskey Lake, not far from the present day Shangri-La resort. Mira, a part-time reporter, goes fishing for the story behind the legend, but her dives turn up more than missing jewelry. Buoyed by frozen Nut Goodies and a diminutive circus performer, the exhilarating search leads to a new mystery to unravel, and puts her face to face with the surfacing of a menacing foe from her past.

Click HERE for the free book from B&N for your nook.

The reviews compare her to Stephanie Plum, ((Love Stephanie Plum!!)) so I downloaded this one as soon as I saw it!

Of course, I'm a Minnesota girl so I also have to see how THAT pans out in the novel. I love things that make fun-fun of my birth state! Remember to check the price before clicking, what is free today may not be tomorrow.

"Jess Lourey is a talented, witty, and clever writer." -- Monica Ferris, author of the bestselling Needlecraft Mysteries
"Jess Lourey offers up a funny, well written, engaging story...readers will thoroughly enjoy the well-paced ride." -- Carl Brookins, author of The Case of the Greedy Lawyers
"Move over, Stephanie Plum. There's a new bad girl in town... Don't miss this one -- it's a hoot!" -- William Kent Krueger, Anthony-Award winning author of the Cork O'Connor series

Off to putz around some more…..I don’t have to be in Florida until Friday, so I’m looking forward to a few days at home, and then heading down to Jason and Kim’s on Thursday to spend the night with them before heading out early for Brandon Friday morning….Yep! It’s good to be HOME!

Star Struck in Kingwood!

Yesterday was the Star Struck workshop with the Kingwood Area Quilters! We had a great time, these ladies are such a kick!

A wide variety of fabrics were being used each quilt with it’s own personality beginning to show by the time blocks were coming together in the early afternoon!

Oh, and a bonus! Since yesterday was Donut Day ((Did you know there was such a thing??)) Shipleys Donuts in the same plaza was giving out freebies…so….no, we did not starve!

There was much hilarity with picture taking too….just a good all around day!

However, I was so pooped out from this whole trip that I was ASLEEP by 9:30pm!

This morning, with nowhere to be, no alarm to have to wake up to, just time to unwind….I threw on the running shoes and went exploring the wilds of Kingwood backroads!

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When it is this hot out? Stick to the tree lined North/South roads so the shade helps protect you from the sun! I got in a great 5.68 miles, and was SO hot by the time I was done……I ended my run back at the hotel, threw off my shoes…and just jumped in here:

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It wouldn’t have been so bad if the water weren’t already at bath temperature levels!

My clothes are in the guest dryer down the hall and I am off to go get them and finish packing, being picked up for the airport in just a bit.

I’ll be working on this:

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You can see I have the red border sections done for squaring up the sides…and I’ve got to make one more neutral section to fill in the other side, and when that cream area is pieced, I’ll join the red borders on, and inset these whole sections onto the medallion. It’s getting there, ONE HEX AT A TIME! YAY!

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Doing the neutrals is the most boring part. How far do you think I can get before I get home to Greensboro this evening? We shall see!

Have a great Saturday everyone!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Evening Edition from Houston–Free Kindle Cookbook!

After a super day with the Kingwood area Quilt Guild, I’m relaxing, surfing, getting ready to turn in early for a good night’s sleep before heading back to NC in the morning, and I just came across this goodie!

Knowing how quilters love to EAT as much as we love to SEW…this sounded like a Kindle MUST HAVE!

It’s the Gooseberry Patch Circle of Friends Dips & Spreads Cookbook, and it is available for a free PRE-ORDER!

I have several of the Gooseberry Patch cookbooks and I love them. They usually have simple tasty recipes that use ingredients that I have readily available on hand, and I clicked to pre-order this one right away…

You might want to too, because we know that what is free today, might not be free tomorrow!

The information says that it will be delivered June 7th, so you won’t have to wait long to try these yummies:

Book Description:

Dips and spreads for every occasion! Try Robert’s Corn Dip, Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball, Vickie’s Favorite Guacamole and Undefeated Bacon Cheese Dip!

I am not being picked up for the airport til 11am, and I do have pics from today’s workshop to post, but I’m thinking I’ll leave them for tomorrow morning…

Enjoy your evening!

We Came, We Sewed, We Conquered!

Or would that be, We Came, We Sewed, We Wilted!! ((IN THE HEAT!!))

Sometimes, the a/c just can not keep up. There is no getting around it. It gives a good try at it, and if you get it really cold in the room to start off with in the early morning hours, you might think it will help matters, but you know what? When it’s 100 degrees out? By 3pm in the heat of the afternoon, that poor a/c unit going “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can”….just says…..”I can’t keep up!”

It was that kind of day yesterday….and into last evening! But quilters are troopers…besides, a bit of sweat is good to clean our pores,

I heard one lady saying last night “Yes, I’m feeling a bit dewy, bless us all” in her sweet Southern Texas drawl…LOVE IT!!

Me however? I knew it was REALLY hot during my lecture when I could feel the sweat drip off my elbows and down onto the floor…lol! But what a fun night!

We had a great time playing in the scraps for the Cathedral Stars workshop yesterday. And on those occasions where the guild has their meeting the night BEFORE the workshop, I often hear stories from students the next morning with tales like “I was so excited I had to go dig into my scraps and push the boundaries a bit farther with my fabric choices!” Or…”I felt so guilty about what I was tossing out that I dug back into my trashcan!” Or…”That fabric that I was going to donate --- Well--- do you think they would mind if I un-donated some of it, I think I want to use it!” It’s a win-win any way you look at it!

There are a couple photos that might not quite belong with the others! Sally had brought her Jared Takes A Wife blocks that she had started up in Pigeon Forge in March to show me her progress, and her fabrics are so pretty, I left those in the slide show too!

After the workshop, we made a beeline for Sonic! It’s hot….we’d been sewing like crazy fools, and what is better than Happy Hour 1/2 price cherry limeades? Yes, I admit it. I bank where I do, because there is a sonic across the street, and I will strategically place my bank run at a time when I can make good use of Happy Hour at Sonic! DH used to work for the company that made the ice cream for Sonic when we lived here in Texas, so that place is near and dear to my heart!

From there on…..it was DROP OFF time! Ginger and I met up with the ladies from the Kingwood guild at It’s A Stitch! What a better place to meet and drop off than a quilt shop?

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Look look look at the sewing notions on the black on white! I bought 3 1/3 yard cuts..and a selection of FQs. I loved the bicycles!

The coral-y orange piece? I love geometric prints. And it’s an oddball color…which means I needed it. I’m not sure what for, but it was 1/2 price.

Today is a Star Struck workshop with the Kingwood guild. I’m really looking forward to it. My pick up is in 1/2 hour so I better get a move on. It’s been a whirlwind visit, and I head home tomorrow…..

And OH!! I just got a Text message!

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Welcome to the world, Michelle! we are so glad you are here! I can’t wait to get home to NC so I can hold you!

Is there anything sweeter than a new baby?