Thursday, January 31, 2008

Husband update

Thank you for all of the prayers and well-wishes. It means more to us than we could ever express.

DH is better. He was freezing last night and as a result slept underneath me part of the night. He'd get up to go to the bathroom and come back to bed shivering uncontrollably. Poor baby. He slept with his electric blanket on high and he never does that.

This morning he actually slept in a bit and said he felt 'okay', but had a horrible headache. He had a couple of dizzy spells, but nothing too serious. I made him stay in bed as long as he could and then parked him in his recliner.

Not one to sit around idle, he was stir-crazy by noon so we went to the local Mexican food place and had lunch. He just picked at his food and said he didn't feel very good.

Our little excursion wore him out so back in the chair he went. I made him promise to stay home and recover while I went to class. I took every set of car keys so if he went anywhere he'd have to walk.

When I came in at 5pm he was sound asleep in his chair, covered in a blanket and two cats.

He looks better now and his appetite has returned. I think one more day of recovering and he'll probably be good to go.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dear God,

Thank you for letting me keep my husband just a little longer.



DH was using a pressure washer to clean the floor in the cutting room and somebody shut the door that was being used for ventilation without him knowing it. He continued to work for almost 2 hours in a room filling with gas fumes and carbon monoxide until he collapsed from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Naturally one wonders why he didn't get out sooner. He can't smell gasoline or much of anything for that matter due to a damaged 8th cranial nerve and didn't realize how bad it was.

When I got there he didn't know who I was or what his name was and this was an improvement over when they found him. He still couldn't sit in a chair or hold his head up by himself.

He spent a couple of hours in the ER receiving oxygen and fluids. We just got home and he’s doing okay other than a killer headache. Tomorrow he's going to lay around and recover if I have to tie him down.

I nearly lost my husband tonight. Selfishly, I'm not ready to let him go.

I'm going to go take a shower and finally cry.

Enchilada sauce give-away

Remember the enchilada sauce from heaven?

While cleaning out the pantry I ran across 3 bags I didn't know I had.

So, to share the wealth, I'm sending them to the first three people to leave a comment along with their enchilada recipe.

Good luck!

*Watch, this will be one of those with no comments!:)

Punch embroidery

I'm probably the last person to discover this nifty craft, but I love it anyway.

I found this set of Cameo punch needles on Ebay. The set includes a large, medium, and small needle. The small will carry 1-3 strands, the medium 3-6 strands, the large 6 strands and larger types of yarn.

I have a cheapy punch needle that came with something I bought and I really enjoyed poking holes in my fabric with it. I love regular embroidery, but this adds another dimension to an already great type of handwork.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Latest acquisitions

The best bargain of the day. This Pyrex flask sells for anywhere between $145 and $160. We use them in chemistry lab and have a very real fear of breaking one and having to pay for it. I'm going to use it to root plants.

Remember hankie babies? I had one when I was little.

6 yards of this fabric.

Dritz skirt marker. It looks brand new.

A smock apron with huge pockets and buttons in the back.

Real quick

I just wanted to drop in and brag about my thrift store finds today.

I snagged 6 yards of beige linen for $4, a 1000mL round-bottom three-neck flask (chemistry glassware) $2, a couple of craft books for 30 cents each, a Dritzs skirt marker for 50 cents, and a really cool apron for 50 cents.

I'll get pictures later. Right now it's slumber time.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

One of my dumber days

I mentioned below in the 7 random and/or weird facts that I had to have a steering wheel removed from my hand when I was 17.

Grab a drink and travel with me back to 1984, when I didn't have the sense God gave a clump of dirt.

What started off as a really normal day quickly turned into a comedy of errors sprinkled with fear before the day was done.

Early one morning, the summer before my senior year, my sister and I hopped into old farm pick-up and drove out to a cotton field 17 miles from the house. Up and down hills, across cattle guards, down muddy turn-rows, and finally to our field.

We had our lunch packed, a thermos of ice water, our lip balm, hats squarely on our heads, and two razor-sharp hoes. We were set to hoe 160 acres of young, tender cotton.

We loved this kind of work. The solitude. The sun. The rattlesnakes. Okay, so we didn't like the snake part, but the money was good and I had my eye on a new pair of boots for school. A little old rattlesnake or 20 wasn't going to keep me from those boots.

The way we tackled a job like this was to park the pickup in the middle of the section and then each of us would take a side and hoe our way towards the center. This way, when we got done we didn't have to trek what seemed like a million miles to get back to the truck. Pretty smart for a couple of dumb farm kids.

We hoed, yelled insults at each other, daydreamed, and killed way too many snakes that day. At least the hoeing went fast since the cotton was little and the weeds hadn't had time to start invading.

Finally, it was time for lunch. We'd done a little over half of the 160 acres and we were ready to dig into that bologna sandwich. We went to the truck, rolled down the windows and left the doors open. Our feet and legs were covered in a fine layer of dirt. Sweat ran down our backs and faces. It must have been close to 100 degrees.

We ate, talked, and dreamed about the future. All too soon it was time to get back to hoeing. My sister wanted to sit for just a little longer so I agreed.

I'm a fidgeter. I can't just sit and do nothing. I have to be doing something with my hands. So on this fateful day I started playing with the steering wheel. It was a shiny chrome number with graduated holes in each spoke.

Kind of like this one.

I began on the end with the little hole and methodically poked my index finger in each one. Then I switched to my middle finger. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poking each hole while listening to my sister talk. Then it was time for the ring finger. For some reason, I went out of order this time. I poked the little hole and then the biggest hole. Then the middle hole.

Imagine my surprise when my finger slipped all the way into the hole. Now, imagine my shock when my finger wouldn't come out of the hole. Oh crap! I tried pulling, twisting, everything. It was stuck.

My sister was sitting there with her head back, eyes closed, yammering away like she had a certain number of words to speak or die. I was too shocked to utter a word. I finally got her attention by pulling her hair. (Yes, I'm the tactful one of the bunch.)

She started laughing. Then she realized I was truly stuck. Oh dear! We tried pouring water on it thinking that might loosen things up. Nope. Now there's mud all over my feet and legs.

Okay, how about lip balm. Frantically we put lip balm on my finger and the steering wheel hoping that a little lip grease would work. Nope. But now my finger smells like watermelon and my muddy feet and legs are greasy.

By now my finger is swollen and has a lovely blue cast. We know it's not going to come out while sitting in the middle of a cotton field so we decide to pack up and head for the house.

The only problem with going home, we have to drive to get there and I'm firmly attached to the steering wheel. Did I mention the farm truck didn't have power steering? We gathered our wits, our hoes and started down the turn-row, headed for the house.

Sometime during our 7 hour stay, the tail-water had gotten out and made a huge mess. I'm talking mud like you've never seen. We fish-tailed, slid, and got stuck trying to get back to the road. It's hard enough to drive a truck with no power steering, but to drive essentially with one hand is nearly impossible.

I cried. How stupid could I be? I was supposed to be the smart one. I was the oldest after all and the younger ones did stupid stuff. Not me!

We finally made it to the highway and high-tailed it to the house. Barney wasn't home and we couldn't get him on the radio. I made my sister go in the house and call my mother at work. Mom said she'd be home as soon as she could get there and she was bringing a cooler of ice. Ice? For what? My severed hand? More crying ensued.

I had all of these horrible thoughts racing through my mind. Would they have to cut my finger off? Would they stop at the finger or go for the whole hand? How would I ever get married? If I did get married where would I wear my wedding ring with no hand? You might say I was getting close to hysterical.

While we waited I had my sister get a screw driver and a wrench and I proceeded to tear the steering wheel out of the truck. Before that day, I had no knowledge of how stuff like that was put together, but I was determined not to lose my finger or hand if I could help it.

By the time Mom came home I was in the bathroom with my hand and attached steering wheel in the bathtub full of ice water. My finger was really blue and it hurt. She called Granddad and he said to try some grease.

We dried off my finger and started slathering on the Crisco. We could get it to budge a little, but then my finger would swell up even more. Mom finally said enough and packed me, my steering wheel, and the cooler of ice in the car for a trip to the doctor's office.

That had to be the longest 15 mile trip I've ever made. My mother didn't mince words and I had no choice but to sit there and take it.

"Yes, I know better."

"Yes ma'am, I know it was stupid."

"Of course I'll pay for it."

On and on it went.

We finally arrived at Dr. Gregory's office and were discreetly ushered into an exam room. Well, as discreet as you can be with your finger stuck in a steering wheel that's covered in a neon yellow towel, parading through a waiting room full of people.

Dr. Gregory came in, took one look, and promptly started belly laughing. He said he'd seen a lot of silly stuff in his life, but I won the prize for the silliest. Thanks Doc.

Once he recovered, he set about trying to get my finger out of that entrapping metal. He tried binding my finger with string to compress it. That didn't work. He tried pulling it out, but that caused too much pain. Finally, he said, "We're going to have to cut it off." I fainted.

When I came around, my finger was being very gingerly cut out of the steering wheel with a pair of bolt cutters. Once he was sure my finger was okay and that it wasn't going to fall off due to lack of blood he said I could go home. I gathered up my steering wheel, bright yellow towel, and ran to the car, leaving my mother to deal with the paperwork and people.

I never did get the boots I so desperately wanted. Instead, I paid for a pair of bolt cutters, a doctor's visit, and a new steering wheel.

My dumber day has led to years of being the butt of family jokes. That's okay. It's built character. I kept that steering wheel for a lot of years. Maybe as a reminder to keep my fingers to myself or maybe because we had such a close bond for a while. Who knows.

To this day I don't stick my fingers where they don't belong, even if it's only up my nose.

I've been tagged!

One of my blogging friends Beemoosie tagged me for a game.

Well, here goes.

These are the RULES: Link to the person that tagged you. Which I did. Post the rules on your blog. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

7 random and/or weird facts about me:

1. I can write with both hands, but forward and backward with only one.

2. My right hand was broken when I received a nasty kick from a bull when I was 22.

3. I had to have a steering wheel removed from my left hand at a doctor's office when I was 17.

4. I hoed cotton and watermelons to pay for school clothes while growing up.

5. I love books and own boxes and boxes, and have read everything I own

6. I've always wanted to live in the Old West.

7. My favorite type of old house would be a big old Victorian with a turret.

I'd like to tag these folks and invite any new readers to play along with us.

1. Annie at Life Served Sweet with a Little Whine

2. TJ at Humble Origins

3. Bright Meadow Farms

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Current projects and coming clean

I decided I'd better get serious about some of these unfinished projects I've got laying around and the best way to tackle a job like this is to come clean to your friends. Somebody needs to hold me accountable for my out-of-control crafting.

On the sidebar you'll see my current projects list has expanded dramatically. What kind of crafter am I to keep so many things going at once? A spastic one, that's what kind.

Truth be told, I get bored easily. Way too easily and I have to keep myself distracted by different types of handwork or else I'm tempted to rip into one of the rooms in the house that needs to be remodeled and make an unholy mess way before it's time. See, I'm really doing a good thing by crafting.

My current project list is:
*Hand-quilting the Courthouse Square quilt. Getting it in the frame would be a good place to start.
*Felted sheep pull-toy (a bit more felting, a face, and a base with wheels).
*Knitted sweater. I either need to finish it or frog it. This has been going on for about a year now.
*Knitted dishcloth. It's been on the needles since this summer. It might take 30 minutes to finish it up assumming I can find my place in the pattern again.
*Tatted edging. I'm just doing this for chuckles so I'm not stressed about it.
*Halloween decoration. I should have never opened it and started cutting it apart.
*Embroidery. It's really done. I just need to figure out what to do with it now.

I feel sure there's some cross-stitch laying around somewhere that needs finished too, but since I can't see it, I can't list it. I've probably missed a few hundred things and as I come across them I'll get them added to the list.

The good news in all of this is that I don't have a million aprons that need to be finished and all of my sewing is caught up at the moment. I've also managed to keep up pretty well with my picture project.

Okay, there it is. All of my deep dark crafting secrets are out for the world to see.

Lovely old patterns

I accidentally ran across this site the other day, Antique Pattern Library .

I love it. It is a public digital library collection of old vintage pattern books whose copyrights have expired. Click on catalog on the right hand side to access what they have available.

If you knit, crochet, tat, make lace, or any other type of needlework be sure to check it out.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


I'm a little bummed out today.

This morning my computer went kaput and I had to do a PC recovery.

All of my pretty pictures, book marked sites, emails, and such are gone. Sniff! Fortunately I had saved all of last years' pictures onto a CD so I have those and I hadn't taken too many yet this year.

I also lost all of my school papers. Grrr!

So, instead of crafting today, I'll spend my time reconstructing my online life.

Have a good Saturday!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Goodies I've found lately

I promised to share pictures of my most recent thrift shop finds. In addition to a denim jacket, a bag of lace/eyelet trim and two old aprons, here's a bit of what I found.

Butterfly quilt blocks to applique, $1.50. There are 27 of these and another 20 or so cut. One of these days I'm going to come across a whole quilt and not one I have to make myself. LOL.

A felt tree skirt that begs for embellishment, 25 cents. If you click on it please ignore the lint and thread on my floor. Obviously I should be cleaning house instead of posting here. :)

Five 100% wool sweaters, 50 cents each. I'm going to make a felt bag if it's the last thing I do.

An entire bag full of jar decorations, $1.00.
Valentine theme: two different hearts, LOVE, and a teddy bear.

Halloween theme: black cat, ghost, jack-o-lantern, and witch.

Fall theme: corn, leaf, scarecrow, and turkey.

Easter theme: bunny, carrot, Easter egg, pot of tulips.

Christmas theme: Santa, snowman, gingerbread man, and tree.

An Atlas Strong Shoulder pint canning jar complete with zinc lid, 50 cents. The buttons are also a thrift shop find. I think those were a dime. There aren't very many yet.

The thrift shop is changing. Someone new is doing the pricing and I've noticed that the deals aren't so good anymore. A 25 cent apron is costing 50 cents to a dollar now. A little bag of trim that use to be 50 cents is now up to a dollar or more. I know that doesn't seem like much, but I'm a tightwad.

Rumor has it that someone working there is getting first choice on stuff and she pays minimum price for it and then puts it up on Ebay. While I suppose there isn't anything wrong with it, it doesn't seem quite fair if you know what I mean.

It's going to be interesting to see how the shop does once all of the good deals are gone. One of the ladies that works there said that people don't seem to buy anything any more. I remarked that the prices had gone up and she agreed that things were priced too high and she had tried to tell them, but they think it's a good idea. Maybe, maybe not.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Quilt update

I finally got the sashing quilted on the machine. Now I need to drag out the quilting hoop and get it in there. I've decided to quilt the squares by hand. I think it will look better and I'll be happier with it. Plus, I enjoy doing stuff like that.

This is my first full week of classes and I'm super busy. I hope to be able to do some sewing this weekend if I can keep up.

I finally visited the thrift store yesterday and have a couple of things I need to take pictures of and share. Of course they aren't anything nearly as nifty as Nancy Jo's $6 quilt.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Father-in-law update

I just got off the phone with DH. He's on his way home and should be here about 10 pm.

His dad has secondary liver cancer. Secondary meaning it's not the primary site and they can't find the primary.

His doctor believes that these may be cancer cells that metastasized 20 odd years ago from his prostate cancer. The doctor also believes he'll either die of old age or a heart attack long before this cancer kills him.

They do plan to do a liver biopsy sometime in the next week to see exactly what they're dealing with and if needed, remove part of his liver.

So for now we're treating his ulcer and waiting for a liver biopsy.

DH said Dad was visibly relieved to hear the news. Evidently he was quite upset this morning and expecting the absolute worst news.

Mom (DH's) has made a miraculous recovery in the last two weeks. They finally put her on insulin and she's ambulating well, able to get up and down by herself, her vision is improving as is her mind. I'd like to kick the doctor that refused to put her on insulin because he thought she could control it with diet alone. Obviously this doctor didn't know she regularly (2-3 times a month!) sits down and inhales a 5 pound box of chocolates.

My personal challenge

I'm challenging myself to do a picture a day in 2008. Come see what I see.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


I'm going to start this post with a warning. I never promised not to rattle like an idiot on this blog. Sometimes I just need to talk.

Class went well today. I always dread the first day, just like when I was a little kid. I end up with knots in my stomach, sweaty palms, and just before class starts I want to go home to my mommy.

I ended up enrolling in another class. What was I thinking? It should be okay and will probably help me in my chemistry class. Oh well, it's only two hours a week out of my life.

On that note, I'm going to try really hard not to get behind this semester so that I can relax and craft on the weekends. That's the plan, let's see how it works. LOL!

In other news, my father-in-law's doctor called my husband and asked him to meet with him tomorrow when he gives my father-in-law his latest test results. In other words, he wants somebody there with FIL when he gets the results. It doesn't sound good. So, my dear husband is winging his way to New Mexico as we speak. He didn't even wait for me to get out of class before he left. He's obviously rattled since he forgot his clothes and all I can find missing is his razor.

If you find yourself so inclined, a prayer for my father-in-law, J.E., would be welcome and appreciated.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Slipping by

This week is quickly getting away from me. I sure would like to know how it happens so I could work on a plan to keep it from happening again. Futile, I know. Kind of like trying to catch the wind in a bucket.

I've been busy working on the quilt between getting the kids back in school, housekeeping, and getting myself ready for a new semester. My classes start tomorrow!

I've managed to get 3/4 of my house cleaned to the point that I could have company and not feel shame at my poor housekeeping skills. All that's left is the office/school room and the guest room turned sewing room. I fear these two rooms may not get done to my satisfaction since the kids and I are the only ones that really use them and I'm about out of time.

In other news, I have a bad case of Spring fever. Every year it comes earlier and earlier.

2008 is promising to be a year of many changes. We hope to reclaim the basement and remodel the kitchen along with all of the regular maintenance type stuff that goes on in a 78 year old house. So far it looks like I'll graduate with my Bachelor's degree in May. I've got my fingers crossed anyway.

Monday, January 7, 2008

26 and counting

My next-to-the-youngest sister had a baby in December which gave me 25 nieces/nephews.

Today I found out that one of our nephews and his wife just had their first baby on 1/4. Now we're sitting at 26. I vote we call it quits at an even 30.

I must say, my husbands side of the family takes babies seriously. No wonder my name is Aunt Jo.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Ready for quilting


I decided to use muslin for the border. It's not fancy and it's not colorful, but it honestly looks really good. I'm going to use navy blue for the binding and tie it all together.

I spent most of yesterday sewing up the back, laying it out, trying to keep kids and cats off of it, and basting it. I'm a firm believer that more basting is better. This thing is so solid right now you could use it without it being quilted.

I tried out the walking foot on a muslin and batting sandwich and it works great. Now I just need to move the machine in the dining room, butt it up against the dining table, and get sewing.

Part of me really wants to hand quilt this, but the realistic part of me knows that I'd never get it done.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A shopping we did go

On New Year's Eve, Mom, little sister, and myself went shopping.

I brought all kinds of good stuff home that I now need to find a place to stash.

I went in search of muslin. For some reason I use a ton of the stuff and I have a real aversion to paying more than $1 a yard for it. I found a 15 yard bolt for $13 and was tickled.

A new pair of scissors, several fat quarters, a rotary blade sharpener, stabilizer, and embroidery thread all followed me home. Funny how that happens. I'm sure there was other stuff, but can't recall what right now.

The embroidery thread was a great deal at Hobby Lobby on clearance. Regularly $3.49 a spool, I found this for $1.33 and $1.22 a spool and got one of each color.

Did I share that my dear husband bought me a small embroidery machine for Christmas? I think I forgot. He did and I love it.

Ready for the border

Whew! I need to figure out what color to use for a border.

One more thing

Lookie what I did!

A while back I bought a tatting shuttle and tried tatting for the first time. It was okay, but I just need another hand because I can't seem to keep it all together. The most I could do was a ring or two and it never looked right.

I found a couple of tatting needles at the thrift store for a dime and thought I'd give it another shot. I guess I'm more comfortable with a needle because this was a piece of cake.

This little bit is done with a #7 needle and size 30 thread. Not too shabby for 30 minutes worth of effort.

Making a quilt top

I finally got all of the sashing done and now I'm joining rows. What a headache! Nothing is square since all of the muslin in the blocks was cut on bias. So when I try to join the sections together my little seams are missing a bit in places. Oh well. I'm keeping it for myself so it's not big deal.

At this point I'm not really looking forward to the outer border or the binding. I found a walking foot for my machine so I'm going to give that a shot.

Grumbling aside, I'm pretty tickled with it. I've only had to remake about 13 of the 15 blocks (LOL!) and I've had a good time working on it. That counts for a lot. In all of the years I've been crafting, I've never kept anything I made for myself. I think it's time.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Ringing in the New Year

Happy New Year to all of my blogging friends.

We celebrated at home with family last night. Good food, board games, and lots of laughs.

My sister sat her egg nog on the washer while she took clothes out of the dryer and Mr. Fuzz snuck a drink.

Doesn't he look satisfied with himself?

This morning I woke up bright and early (4:30) to a calf bawling outside my bedroom window. Huh? A calf? Yep, right in the middle of good old Weatherford. I jumped up, threw on my housecoat, and headed outside to see what was going on.

Poor baby! A little bitty black calf was standing out of the wind, bawling for his mama, and when I came around the corner he took off. So I did the neighborly thing and called the police. I didn't want him to get hit by a car.

We nearly had him, but then a sweet young police officer tripped on his own feet, scared the calf and he took off again.

By 7:30 the police still didn't have him caught and I was tired of flapping around in my housecoat in the cold North wind so I came in the house.

At one point we had four police cars, a sherriff's department car, and Fire & Rescue on the side and front streets by my house, all with lights flashing and at least one door standing open. It looked really bad.

The last time I saw the calf he was headed West at a dead run.

By noon all of the cars were gone. I wonder if they caught him?