Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Quick one ~ catch up!

I was hoping to do a daily post this year, but I have already messed that up! Oh, well!

Friday, I finally came down with the cold that everyone seems to be passing around. I went down hard for a couple of days, stayed mostly in bed, reading or sleeping, with extensive use of Zicam and Benadril, and by Sunday night was feeling better.

Read several books and they have now been returned to the library. I'm kind of a cozy mystery book freak, and I'm enjoying a new library with many new authors that I'm not familiar with, but I did fill the Kindle before our trip, and have a few books left on that to be read. So I'm doing library books and Kindle intermittently.

Monday, I had an appointment with the Ophthalmologist to schedule my first Cataract surgery, and the timing was kind of right, but also overwhelming a bit. I'm schedule to go in tomorrow for my first eye. I anticipated a few weeks to get used to the idea of surgery, but no, a few days and it's going to be over with this one. We have tentatively scheduled the second eye for January 24. They say by 5 days after the surgery, I should be seeing quite well. Perhaps by the end of the month, I will be able to thread a needle without hassle. Woo wee!

Yesterday was spent seeing my regular physician, having labs tests, and an EKG so the Ophthalmologist can do their thing. They require a health "report card" for lack of a better term so they know I'm healthy enough for surgery. We'll be going up to Alamagordo for the surgery, about an hour and 15 minutes away, as they have their own facility there, and despite the fact it could be done in Las Cruces, they have more control over the environment there. I haven't been to Alamagordo yet, so we'll go up early and have lunch and see a little of the town before I head in. My surgery is scheduled for 3:15 pm, and they say it's only about a 15 minute procedure! Just incredible to me that my eyes, which have been a problem for over 55 years can be fixed in a matter of a few minutes!

The baseball jacket continues. I have to add buttons and buttonholes, shoulder pads, and finish off the facings and it's done. I like the look of it a lot, and hope to have all of that finished today. I don't like leaving things unfinished, but it was pretty amazing to me that out of five boxes of buttons, I didn't have any that would work. Along with my other errands, a quick trip to Jo-Ann Fabrics yesterday was in order. I now have several buttons for a navy jacket, and an additional set for a teal green. :-)

According to the news, the weather has been unusually warm, with yesterday being one degree off the warmest since they've been keeping records. As I write that, I feel very bad for all of my friends that are elsewhere and suffering with the atypical cold and stormy weather. Northern California where many of our family resides are having flooding and torrential rains. The Sierra has tons of snow, and the highway was even closed down. That's good news for their drought, which I think has officially been declared over. My friends in Oregon have inches and inches of snow. My family in Denver also has snow, but for them I think it's more typical of a normal year.

While we are basking in sunshine, which I don't mind other than feeling slightly guilty, the rains are scheduled to come in over the weekend. We could really use some of that rain to heal our drought, although I think when you live in a desert, that's the sum total of the weather patterns. Drought it is.

Anyway, I finally figured out the problem with comments, and can now actually leave comments on other's blogs as well as my own. So feel free to comment if you are so inclined!

More later, but maybe not tomorrow!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Quick one today!

It is late in the day and I am trying to relax after spending a couple of hours on the telephone with our mortgage company trying to get our Homeowner's Insurance straightened out.

This is the third servicer we have had this year, and I think they are truly incompetent. I don't know why our mortgage keeps getting sold, but it does, and each time it gets sold, the insurance gets messed up. We have our taxes and insurance paid through escrow so I don't have to deal with it a couple of times a year, and we get a lower interest rate by having the escrow account. Well, this time, even though all the funds were there and available to be paid, the new bank says they had the policy number and the amount but didn't know what company they were supposed to pay. Instead of calling us, they just sent a letter.

I spent about two and a half hours on the telephone with them and the insurance company the first week in December when I got a notice that our insurance hadn't been paid. They supposedly got it handled, with the rep at the mortgage company, the rep at the insurance company, and myself on the phone while the paperwork was completed. HOWEVER, instead of sending the payment to the correct address they were given in Southern California, they sent it to Cincinnati!

Yesterday I received notice from my insurance company that my policy has expired and hasn't been renewed. I called our agent, and said they had paid it the first part of December. He said they hadn't received the check. So after three calls to robophones, I finally got the right number to call and after a wait, spoke with a rep in the "insurance department"  at the lender. She asked me why they'd sent it to Cincinnati. I told her I had no idea as at no time has our insurance ever been through a company in Cincinnati. She called someone there while I was on hold, and they also said they had no idea why the check had been sent there, it was an incorrect address and they had no idea where the check went.

To make a very long and frustrating story shorter, after about another hour and a half on the phones with various people, I've been told she will "monitor" the account and be sure it is handled by next Wednesday or Thursday and call me to let me know the outcome.

Nothing else other than the basics have happened today. AARGH!

Yesterday I did get my collar sewn, but nothing further. I hope to accomplish a bit more this evening for sure.

It's been a lovely day with a high of 62, and should be a low of about 44 tonight. I'm so pleased to live in an area where my Seasonal Affective Disorder is no longer an issue at all. It's a wonderful bonus to our move.

Hoping to have a much better day tomorrow with upbeat news!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


I am so spoiled right now! I heard from a close friend in Eugene, Oregon that this morning they had 2" of snow and more to come, and a good friend in Santa Rosa, CA that they had over 1/2 inch of rain in a half hour last night. We have brilliant sunshine, and although there is a little wind, it's perfect weather. Our current temp is 59 degrees at 2:40 pm, and that is the anticipated high for today with a low tonight of 39 degrees.  I'm not gloating, just happy we made this move.

This morning started off a bit slow, and I haven't done much today except the usual daily chores. I did get a bit more done on my jacket last night, currently have the pockets finished and top-stitched, as well as the fronts pinned at the shoulders. Not sewn yet, but I hope to make progress today.

I've been relaxing a bit and reading. Current book is a new to me mystery series by Jane K. Cleland. It's a series about Josie Prescott, who owns an antique warehouse in New Hampshire and appraises estates for people. I think it's quite well written, and am reading the third in the series now, and will read the rest, although I have a few new requests from the library here that will get read first. It caught my interest because I was an appraiser, albeit for real estate, not antiques and collectibles. That's a super specific field that requires a lot of experience to get things right.

I did get some other sewing done yesterday. I read on a website and in a book about potty training your puppy, and we do need some help in that area. After some reading, I'm beginning to believe that Baby was taken from her mother too early. She doesn't have the typical "tell" that dogs have when they need to go out. She will jump up on me to let me know, but then she also does that when she wants to be held and cuddled. So I'm remiss when I'm being lazy and we have accidents. The book I was reading indicated that you can "bell" train them to let you know. You attach a string of bells to the door, and teach them to ring the bells, along with a command of "out." Since I do know how to sew, the cost of the bells was ridiculous to me. I made mine with a scrap of ribbon and $6.00 worth of bells from Hobby Lobby.

Well, that's my brain drain for today. Fairly boring. 😑Hope you are well and having a wonderful day. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!

It's a beautiful day here with it 51 degrees at 10:30 am, and an anticipated high of 59 with a low of 39 degrees tonight. The sun is out, and although there are high clouds, there is no wind, and it's very comfortable with just a sweatshirt over a short sleeved tee with jeans all that is needed.

I did accomplish my goals yesterday with my new baseball jacket, and actually went a bit farther. All pieces have been cut and interfaced where appropriate. The machines have been threaded, and construction has begun. This is a pretty quick and easy pattern to make, and the fronts have the pockets attached, waiting for serging around the pockets, and then the stitching and basting to the fronts. Here's a picture that you can maybe see the pockets stitched in. They are inseam pockets with the typical stitching around the pocket bags you would see on a Letterman's jacket. Hmmm... guess I'm a bit shaky this morning! The pictures have been lightened a bit, and are a bit fuzzy so the polka dots look like a geometric slash! LOL

Today I anticipate more sewing on the jacket. The fronts and backs should be put together at the minimum today depending on what else rises it's head before my day is done.

All the best to you!

Monday, January 2, 2017

The rain has fled

I'm hoping to use this blog as a more or less daily journal like my virtual friend Ann of the blog Everything Sewing. I enjoy her almost daily missives, and think it is a good way to keep records of your activities.

Today is a more or less sunny morning. It is my understanding that the New Year's Holiday is being celebrated today, so no mail delivery, no trash pick up, no Government services are available.

Our weather forecast for today is a high of 51 today and a low of 33 tonight.. It was comfortable when I took Baby out this morning but I did have my jacket on. 

My jacket is underway. I got all the pattern pieces traced off with the adjustments I needed. The fabric has been washed and ironed, and the first pieces laid out and ready to cut. Today the goal is to finish all the cutting, get the appropriate pieces interfaced, and get all the machines set up and ready with the appropriate thread so when I start I can just run with it. 

Here's the current state of the garment:

I'll try to remember to keep taking photos throughout the process so I have better records.

Have a lovely day wherever you are, and enjoy the second day of 2017!

P.S. I am unable for some unknown reason to have any comments posted, not only on my own blog, but on others. Please know I appreciate very much your comments, and enjoy reading your stories and would like to comment, but can't. 😢😢😢

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy 2017!

I know unlike a lot of bloggers, I don't have hundreds of followers, and I have let this blog lie fallow for far too long. I hope to change the blogging frequency in this upcoming year! Retiring is good, but retiring and moving 1200 miles away to a home that has been occupied by a very messy man and a dog for almost two years takes some doing! Lots of time has been spent in organizing, but much remains to be done!

Our big dog went to heaven this year, and we got a tiny puppy a month later. Found her on Craigs' list as her former owner couldn't keep her. She was 12 weeks old, and her name is Baby. I'm in love, but I had forgotten after 13 years how much work a puppy really is! She's adorable though. A Maltese-Poodle mix, and at this writing about 7 1/2 pounds. She's about six months old, and will probably be less than 10 pounds at maturity. Here's a pic a few days after we got here. Who could resist?

I am settling in and adapting to a very different area, lifestyle, and climate. We've had our ups and downs over the last few months as we become accustomed to living together again after 1 3/4 years apart. I think it's getting better, but we still have our days where  our backs get up and it takes a bit to settle down. IMO, that's just marriage though. We have a great partnership with different sets of skills so we each bring something to the mix.

I lived in California for the first 69 1/2 years of my life and moving to Southwestern New Mexico has broadened my horizons quite a bit. For one thing, there are actually seasons here that are as distinct from one another as anywhere else, but are also very different from other areas. We are having a rainy New Year's day, which is much needed and wanted by all. Living in the desert, rain is always welcome, but you do have to adapt.

For 2017, we are hoping to do a lot of exploring of our new environs. There is a huge amount of history in the area, and many things to see and do. I will be having a few surgeries that I hope to be inconsequential other than to improve my life. One for cataracts which I have been told isn't bad at all, and another for a knee replacement which will require more recuperation time and more work, but that all promise to make my life much better.

In addition, I'm hoping to sew every day, (SWAP 2017 is underway) try to exercise more, eat better, and continue to eliminate the excess weight I've accumulated over the last ten years or so. Hope to make some new sewing friends in the area too.

We have 2 acres of mostly dirt and weeds right now, and the plan is to gradually grow at least most of our own food. I'll start with a plot between the fruit trees we planted last fall and the roses Dale brought with him to make me happy. Because I haven't been able to do much due to mobility issues, it looks pretty bad at the moment, with weeds everywhere.

Here's a mostly before pic of the front southeastern corner:

If you look closely, you may be able to see my fruit trees in the background. We planted two each of pear, apricot, and peach trees in September. We also planted four shade trees, but need many more before we're done. We have an existing fig tree we thought was dead that came back to life, a couple of pecans, one fig we brought from California, and a pomegranate we brought from California. Everything seems to be doing well. 

Once the chance of freezing is over, I'll be out on my "new to us" tractor and rototiller getting the garden beds ready for the first plantings. I want to grow everything! LOL Dale is still fighting me over getting chickens, but I think (or hope) that they are eventually going to arrive too.

I've started my SWAP with a very old pattern for a baseball jacket that I'd made back in the 90's and loved. I still have it and another 10 pounds or so and it will become a regular part of my rotation. In the meantime, I've learned a bit more about fitting, and have done a narrow shoulder alteration and a FBA, which will make a big difference. I have a navy with a teal polka dot corduroy fabric and I'm hoping for a great jacket when this one is done. Here's a picture of the pattern. I'm doing View C. 

Well, once again, I'm wishing you all a fabulous 2017 filled with fun, joy, health and prosperity!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

It's been a long, long, time!

As I began thinking about this post, the song by Harry James from 1945, "It's been a long, long, time" keeps running through my head.

It's been a fairly significant and interesting year to put it mildly. As noted in my March post, I was rear-ended when I was stopped in traffic. I didn't think it was a big deal, but it turned out to be fairly significant with months and months of treatments. I'm over the worst, and moving forward.

July 15, I finally retired. Woo Hoo! I spent the next few weeks packing, and on April 27, Dale came and we loaded a 22' truck, put my car on a trailer and headed for "home." We arrived in Las Cruces, New Mexico on Monday August 4. Having never lived outside the State of California, this is a big change for me. So far, I'm in love, albeit semi-overwhelmed with all of the work before me.

Much has been completed on our "new" home, but much remains to be done. I have boxes piled floor to ceiling in my future studio, that all need to be unpacked and places found for all my things. Here's an idea of what it looked like this morning: There will need to be some significant cabinetry added in the kitchen, which currently has original 1935 cabinets and old, worn, and horrid Formica counter tops. A new range is in the offing, hopefully sooner rather than later. Thank goodness, Dale  is a retired Contractor, and an amazing finish carpenter among other things. 

The studio currently has a stained concrete floor, and a new electrical panel sufficient to run a HVAC system and my sewing equipment. Other than that, it's raw, but will be done, hopefully before the end of this year so I can get it set up in time for SWAP 2017. 

12' X 28' space with walkways. EEEK!

And that doesn't even include all of the boxes in the house. First things, first though. I took my machines in to be cleaned and serviced because I know how badly they can get out of time on a move like this. I don't have a sewing room set up yet, but I will have my machines ready to go as soon as I do, and may just start doing things as soon as I get a corner cleared. Between now and the time the studio is completed, the spare bedroom will be used as a sewing spot. 

My eldest granddaughter has an order in for an apron for her birthday, which is coming up this week, and then I'll really be getting time to sew when I want to. Retirement is a wonderful thing, as I will be able to do what I want, when I want to do it. Hooray! 

I am already finding (despite all there is to do around here!) that letting go of work stress is having a wonderful effect on my mental state as well as my body. I have much less joint pain along with the move, am eating more healthy, and hope as I move forward into my new life to have many other positive outcomes. 

I did figure out that when going from an elevation of about 15 feet above sea level to 3,900 feet plus that you need to take it a bit easier than you have been. I can't do as much in the same amount of time as I could in Fairfield. Luckily, I am not too worried about getting things done immediately. 

I'm doing a little gardening, a little unpacking, a lot of cleaning, and some naps! Hopefully I will get this blog going on a more regular basis as I have the time to sew and think about what I'm doing.  I have a fairly large list of Craftsy classes to complete, and I have the Bootstraps fashion basic pattern that I want to fit so I know what alterations I will need for their pattern drafts. 

As I was writing a note to my friend this morning, I realized that I feel such a sense of peace here, it’s amazing. The energy of the place seems to me to be calm and accepting of all things. It’s beautiful with an ever changing display of God’s handiwork, and so very different from California. This was a shot I took Friday as I was leaving the Motor Vehicles Department. Those are the Organ Mountains in the distance, and the typical daily, ever changing, cloud show.

I am reminded of the New Mexican state flag and the symbolism behind it whenever I contemplate the nature of this land. I’m going to be working to fulfill the promise… a strong body, a clear mind, a pure spirit, and a devotion to the welfare of others!

Hopefully this post will find you all well and enjoying your summer with many enjoyable pursuits, sewing and otherwise.