Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I actually believe in resolutions, if and only if you only have a few and you truly resolve to strive to achieve them.

So it is about that time. I need to figure out my resolutions for 2010. I think I have a few.

1. Read a chapter from Proverbs each day.
2. Pay off Ted’s student loan.
3. Participate in the Town and Gown 5k walk/run/whatever at Homecoming this October at ISU.
4. Lose xx pounds. Trust me, I know the number are will report in my % progress.
5. Do at least one of the Relay for Life craft Fairs.
6. Do 4 CPCU courses.
7. Bust 100 yards from my fabric stash.
8. Finish the project list. I actually went through a part of one of my myriad sewing spaces in my house and wrote down the first 25 projects I saw
9. Finish up cross-stitch projects during lunch.
10. Sew 6 hexes for my big quilt.

2010, bring it on.

Also, although many people are reporting that the first decade of this new century was abysmal, it was actually pretty good for me on a personal level. Let’s just start with DD arriving here….

Friday, December 18, 2009

OK, it’s only been 9 days since I updated. Only 9. Not too bad.

OK, that’s a lie. That’s pretty bad. I’m a neglectful blog owner.

Now down to updates and business.

School: Yes I am on break. And yes, by God’s great mercy and the powers of rounding (89.5% in one class and 89.8% in another) I received A’s in both of my classes. My group work in Marketing pulled me through – we received an A on that big, ugly project. I’m off until Tuesday, January 12. I have already ordered my textbook for one class. The other class is a simulation and that is not ready for purchase yet. So now I sit and chill.

Work: Work is going well. I am on projects that are interesting, challenging and are topics I have a passion for. While many people are off these next 2 weeks, I’m hopefully going to be able to meet with small groups to get details wrapped up on various odds ‘n ends. I also plan to get 8 chapters studied for my next insurance exam. Yes, when I am not in school I take insurance exams for work. One year I did both at the same time. My boss thinks I’m nuts. And then he signs off on every tuition request and exam fee I have. And laughs.

Quilting: That has been back in full swing. I have completed the Bricks and Stepping Stones top, added (wavy) borders, sandwiched it, and quilted the body. I need to quilt the borders, trim and attach the binding tonight. The quilt is to be delivered as a housewarming present tomorrow at 5, so any stitching on the binding I can get done tonight is a welcome help.

Sunday, Renee and I are making stockings. I have an idea for mine and also for hers, but we’ll see if her idea and mine clash. I do not have an idea for Ted’s. Hopefully we can figure one out. I did go ahead and paid a ransom for quick shipping to get brass stocking holders from Lillian Vernon, so now I gotta make the stockings.

My goals between now and the end of the year are to make a denim square, clean up the denim scraps that are on all 3 floors of my house, rotate out the cross stitch project bag, start (if not finish) a reversible log cabin quilt (blocks are done – just quilting and finishing to be done), do the Dorothy Young mystery, and whatever else strikes my fancy. Come January 1, it’s random number generator time.

Resolutions: I’ve been thinking about these. One I believe I will try is to read a chapter of Proverbs each day. It has 31 chapters and lends itself to the daily read.

Cleaning: I have 2 major efforts this winter break. One is to make a stockpile list of food, etc, in case we get snowed/iced/frozen inside for 6 days straight again. Another is a list of 20 projects that need to get done. Some are very small and will take 15 minutes. Some will take an hour. Some will take a while. I need to get this list accomplished so that I can start the new term of school with these things done.

Christmas: OK, the hype behind this holiday makes me nuts. That said, the decorations inside are pretty much done, but my house is a mess for us to function in. I only need to bake for Sunday the 27th, so I have time on that. Presents are purchased, but stocking stuffers are not. So in every area, I’m like halfway there.

Tomorrow we celebrate the Schwitzner Sibling Christmas. That gets 4 of the 6 nephews done. We celebrate with my family on Sunday the 27th, which takes care of the last 2 nephews. I still do not know when Renee will see her grandmother. I still haven’t done Christmas cards. I need to grocery shop.

As you can see, I’m a bit scatter-brained. Marketing does that to a person.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Winter Has Arrived

Today (actually yesterday afternoon) started with this nasty level of weather. In some ways, central IL is nicer than Chicagoland. In some ways, it’s not. This falls in the NOT column.

I like winter. The weather gives me a reason to stay in and quilt. It also has less sunlight and no heat, both of which are triggers for my migraines. So basically I can stay home, do my thing and be fine.

I do hate driving in winter weather. It basically is 10 really bad one way commutes. This statistic has not changed from northeastern IL to central IL.

HOWEVER, the weather has changed. We’ve moved just enough south so that instead of just getting the danged snow and dealing with it (with much better public transportation options), we get ice, or slick spots or blowing and drifting nuttiness. That is 10 times worse than just the snow. You can’t see ice. You don’t know until you are upon it or you see some unfortunate motorist in front of you attempt to navigate it. I am not a fan of ice/slick spots.

Today was one of those days. Yesterday afternoon, I had to take Renee to the dentist for her first filling, which went just fine. It was 34* when we got to the dentist and raining. When we left it was still 34* and raining. I was so grateful to be home and not having to go to my GS meeting that night – 2 other moms went instead. So I quilted during the evening.

This morning, we were spared the snow, but it was slick. Got Renee to school OK and drove on a main thoroughfare in front of a subdivision – that was horrible. Made a left onto another major 4 lane road and that was horrible. Made a right onto yet another 4 lane road and that one was manageable. Got to work a few minutes late, but with the weather, it’s understandable.

The problem down here is that the land is flat and has no buildings or trees. Absolutely nothing to break the wind. In Chicago , known as the Windy City because of the bluster of the politicians and not the weather, there are buildings that break the wind and make the weather manageable. Down here however, there is nothing but flat land as far as the eye can see.

I did get 45 more matchstick blocks done on my Bricks and Stepping Stones quilt. That brings me up to 145 and I need 200, just to be safe. I hope to knock those out by the weekend.

Sewing goals:

Pincushion done for swap on Saturday

200 matchstick blocks done

Top put together

Backing found

Backing found for BRB

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


My scheduled apicoectomy never happened. Believe it or not, the dentist called in sick. They asked if I wanted to reschedule for the next day. Instead of being a responsible adult and saying “yes,” I reacted like a kid who just got a “Get out of Jail Free!” card and said “no.” So yes, I still have mouth pain, and no, I don’t care. It’s really just a dull ache that comes and goes. I am saving up to get it done with all cash, which will make me happier anyway.

Thanksgiving in KS went well – far better than I anticipated. New insights in interpersonal dynamics were revealed, which usually happens when 4 generations get together to break bread. That, and people have no problem ordering up a storm on someone else’s tab. And Renee lost a tooth on Thanksgiving at the restaurant. And I shopped at Penzey’s Spices in Overland Park. And then when I came home, I organized my spices. Don’t laugh. I have 77 different spices, and yes, they all get used.

On this trip, I actually used both of my Vera Bradley bags. Yes, I’m into Vera. I used my Pink Elephants mini hipster for things like the children’s museum and rest stops and the big purse came just in case. Anyway, I’m trying fervently to go back down to one purse. So I’m emptying the contents of both purses and now I’m wondering why there is a mini binder clip in my large Vera.

I now have only 1 final examination to complete and this joy of a term is finally, blessedly over. I do actually need to study for it however, so we shall see how that goes. I’m looking forward to the 4 weeks off and am making a list of things I want to get done that are making me nutso.

Quilting continues onward. I have started Bonnie’s bricks and stepping stones and I can do about 20 matchsticks in an hour. I need 190 matchsticks to get the size I want, so I have to really kick it until high gear. My mini goal is to have the top pieced sans borders by Sunday night.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


After 146 pages, 25,000 words and nearly 11MB, it’s done.

Our marketing group finished the paper last night. Our print shop here at work bound it for us for free, because well, here in the country, people are kind like that. And there’s a matching PowerPoint to go with it. I did that piece. I actually did a little bit of the paper, but the other 3 ladies in my group made that thing happen.

And at 6pm tonight we turn in this behemoth paper and present the PowerPoint. By 7:15, we have our lives back.

And while writing right now sounds like the absolute worse thing to do ever, I am taking time to write this. Because I’m happy it’s done. And I have great ladies on my team. And we’re all coming back next term to get through the capstone course together. We figured if we did well this time, why not go for the repeat?

So when I get home from class tonight, I’ll get on Facebook and check my farm and do all of that. And then tomorrow I’ll come to work and manage all the piles on my desk. I very well may just make a bunch of to-do lists for each project. I know there are lots of little odds and ends I need to accomplish. Tomorrow night will be heavenly. I have some things I need to get done, but I’m not even stressing about it. Saturday we have NOTHING on the agenda. Wow.

This means I’m going to have to do dishes, doesn’t it?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

nothing special

Just a quick post to say that life is good, today is good and marketing is over on Thursday at 7pm, when our presentation is done.

Sleep and time offer fresh perspectives on things. And that always helps.

That and a clean kitchen.

Friday, November 13, 2009

and one more...

Oh, yeah, there’s one more crisis. The garage door opener broke. Gave up the ghost.

It’s OK. They were broken at our last 2 houses and we didn’t care. People here all ask so when will you have it fixed?

My answer is always in 3 years.

They just don’t get it down here!


First of all, I scheduled my apicoectomy for Monday the 23rd at 1pm. I start my day in Chicago and end it in the dentist chair. What fun. I decided to pay for it by not paying any bills this pay period. While this does not make me happy, neither does tooth pain. Somewhere in there, I will make sense of the money situation.

I could schedule the dreaded apcioectomy because next week holds 4 presentations – 2 for work and 2 for class. There’s one more on November 30 and that is all. But all of the ones next week are officially a big deal, so to have them out of the way will be nice.

One crisis solved.

Since I made the executive decision to not do the final case for my marketing class, I have felt a huge burden lift from my shoulders. It was even better when the rough draft of our group project was returned to us last night. We were afraid that we had headed woefully down the wrong path. Instead, we are very much on the right path. Everyone is relieved, assignments have been doled out and now it’s crunch time. We can see the end of this nightmare. We’re the first group to present and we are elated to be done!

Second crisis solved.

I finally was able to talk to my sister on the phone uninterrupted for an hour this week. We’re all caught up and have solved all the world’s problems. She’s Republican. I’m a Democrat. We work well together, just as long as she never has to touch raw turkey.

It was good to talk to Kim about various things. We used to live 4 blocks apart. Now we live 2 hours apart, but through the miracle of the internet, I can still read the local papers and keep up on that stuff. So I still know all about the school board and the latest library news and all of that jazz. While technically not a crisis, it was good for my soul.

So, third crisis solved.

I did rearrange my schedule this week to make it to an H1N1 clinic. I have now received both my regular flu shot and my H1N1. My arm is sore. I got Renee her first round of H1N1 – she still needs another one of those and then a regular one as well. Lucky her. Ted is unprotected. Gotta fix that.

So one crisis sorta solved.

Speaking of sewing, none has happened, but that sounds like a plan tonight. I need to sew for my mental health. Yes, I know my house is cluttered and that this next week will be crazy with school and that people are coming to stay overnight before the big trip to Kansas . I need to sew. Sew be it.

A fifth crisis to be solved.

And a few to-do’s:

Roast some pumpkins and their seeds.
Mail that baby gift!!!
BBM that check.

I lead such an exciting life.

Monday, November 09, 2009

more plodding

It’s another day in the life. I didn’t get any sewing done this weekend, except for marking up those denim circles. I was just overcome with that tired feeling and I went with it.

I’m having an exceedingly hard time in one of my grad school classes. Last Thursday the prof announced that if a student was satisfied with their grade prior to the final, they did not have to take the final, which is a very large business case. The points in the class are divided 50-50 between individual performance and group performance. Group work brings my grade up and individual work brings my grade way, way down. So I have made the executive decision to end my grade once the last coursework is turned in. If I try the final case, I will no doubt bring my grade down. I don’t know if I will end up with a C or a B, but as long as it’s at least a C, I’m OK. My math has my grade at a very low B.

And so that is my executive decision. Now to finish off my part of the group work, which will be all complete by about 7:30pm on 11/19. (But who’s counting?)

Sunday, November 08, 2009

general stuff

It’s now the weekend and I am happy to report that I have gotten many wonderful hours of restful sleep because Ted is home. No one can make me feel more relaxed than him. It’s been this way since Day 1. So I’m doing pretty good after 2 nights of 11 hours of sleep each. I then promptly went to breakfast with some friends and that also did this body good.

I’ve figured out with my tooth that if I medicate with over the counter pain medicine BEFORE I start eating for the day, I can cope much better. Once the jaw starts working, it’s not fun until the pain meds kick in. If I can keep this regimen up after the antibiotics cease, then I can buy myself some time.

I also have put up 7 cups of parsnips and turnips for stews this winter. I still have 4 pumpkins to put up. Lucky me.

I have decided that the next step is working on the denim quilt. I went ahead and cut a bunch more circles out this week while Ted was gone. Then while the move Akeelah and the Bee was being rerun on Disney this afternoon (probably the only time that I actually condone watching Disney), I went ahead and put the squares on 50 circles. That will make 2 denim blocks. I need 25 and I think I have 3 done already. Slowly but surely.

For my next quilting project off of my UFO list, I will work on one of my reversible items. I’m not sure which one, but it will be one of them.

As long as the calendar says 2009, I get to pick my UFOs. Once the calendar rolls over, then the random number generator is involved.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


Today is yet another day in tooth purgatory. Today my sister told me that her two front teeth (one of the front ones and the one to the side) are definitely dead after the she fell and faceplanted in July on her hardwood kitchen floor. My tooth is giving me a dull ache. I’m on Aleve and antibiotics. Such is life. She and I are singlehandedly putting endodontists’ children through college.

Last night, our local Schlotzsky’s hosted our Brownies troop – all 22 girls and the 4 moms. They really understood how to give a tour and we all made our own pizzas. It was a wonderful way to get dinner, have the troop do some fun activities and for everyone to socialize. Not everyone is willing to take a troop as large as ours, but they did it right.

Ted’s gone on another business trip today, so it’s girl power over at my house. Tonight we have a riveting installment of Market Day pickup and then we are coming home to pork chops in the crock pot. It’s nice to know that one aspect of my life is under control and that is making dinner.

I haven’t done any more quilting since I finished the binding on the curtain panels. (They are neatly folding, waiting in the living room to be hung up.) I have, however, kept my main floor clean, which has brought me much peace in this time of inner tumult.

Maybe I’ll work on my denim quilt. Cutting circles out of jeans may be about my speed for a while.

Monday, November 02, 2009

God has a sense of humor

“God has a sense of humor, Kathleen!” my co-worker Ann once said. Ann is (I’m assuming here – we’ve lost touch) a loving Christian. She’s also a stealth Christian – no one knows until she reveals it. Many think she’s just this quirky lady in accounts receivable – nice and fun, but quirky. But work with her, especially through adversity (any installation of Oracle Financials counts), and you learn quickly that Ann believes in the power of prayer. And God’s sense of humor. And fantastically airbrushed nails.

It is times like these with my stupid tooth that I remind myself that God has a sense of humor. Which always reminds me of Ann, but that’s besides the point. The point is that in times like this, with a recovering sick child, a husband leaving on a business trip, a car that desperately needs an oil change and an ailing tooth, I need to remind myself that God has a sense of humor.

Now if I could only figure it out.

That’s the struggle I’m having now. I get there’s a joke in there somewhere. I just can’t figure it out. I’m pretty clear that some of it, if not all of it, is a huge plot for SILENCE and STILLNESS. My life has gotten too busy. I realize this and have started to say no to things – at least I am not making it worse. However, my body is choosing to revolt against me and force some silence and stillness. If I can’t move, then I must force myself to be silent and still. More than once this weekend (I stayed home sick on Friday) I was so worn that I count not even do any hand binding while watching TV. I just sat and watched The Closer a lot.

Meanwhile, December 10 cannot come quick enough. That evening is when my last final is due. It’s a take home case that we will have like 2 weeks to work on. I’m doing downright horrible in this class – I just don’t get it. This is not helping my mood. My other class makes sense, but we are on a project for which I am not in control, which is fine, but the person in control has lost control. (Ann reference – she’d pull her hair back into a ponytail at this point. If we all had our hair back in ponytails, programmers ran for cover. We meant business.) I cannot plan for this tooth procedure until I can determine when all of my class deliverables are. Once I can determine when everything is due and what I need to do to make them due, I can then think about silence and stillness.

I need to be silent and still. I need it badly. I also need money for my tooth.

So right now I pray. I pray for silence and stillness around me. I pray for wisdom. I pray for plans to be revealed. I pray.

More Toothiness

I could just cry. And this time, it’s not from the pain.

I just came back from the dentist. For the record, I really like this dentist. He caters to cowards. Even crazy middle-aged women who are terrified of needles and just want to go to sleep and wake up when it’s all done. See why we get along?

Recently, he did yet another root canal and crown thing. Each one of these is pretty pricey, because I need $1,000 of sedation (seriously – 4 appointments’ worth). I cannot be awake. I seriously can’t. I’ve tried and he’s stopped and rescheduled because I tried and I’m not making it up when I say I can’t. Sedation is my friend. (He told me I was really brave for trying.)

Well, we got through this last root canal and the world was golden! I could eat again! Yippee ki yay! I was so happy!

And then Thursday morning the pain started in an unbelievable way. By Thursday night I was on antibiotics and vicodin.

It is now Monday morning and the pain is not necessarily when I bite, but it’s all over the place. In the upper gums. Feels like the sinuses. Whee. So at this morning’s appointment, he poked and prodded and percussed and asked a lot of questions. Took some x-rays. Asked some more questions. And then he explained things to me.

I need an apicoectomy. The root canal I had is really a misnomer. I had a nerve removal. The roots are just cleaned out; they’re still there. And the roots in some people are porous and those porous pockets can hold a lot of infection. He needs to cut open my gum and snip off the bad root parts. This happens in 3 to 4 % of the population. It’s a genetic mutation.

Hi! Guess who’s a genetic mutant?

While I don’t mind being a genetic mutant, it is expensive. Like ANOTHER $1,300. Um, yeah, where am I gonna find that?

All I want for Christmas is pain-free teeth.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Sickness Sucks

Well, it's been fun since my last post.

My tooth pain has been moving around into my gums, but it has also started to subside, as the anitbiotics have kicked in. So that my portion of the weekend.

However, Renee has the worst time of it. By Thursday at 4pm, she had over a 100 degree fever and she had that seal bark of a cough. After many harrowing incidents this weekend, including getting all dressed to head to the ER, her bronchitis has subsided and her fever has broken. Like it or not, she returns to school tomorrow.

Meanwhile, her parents are exhausted. It's been non stop laundry, cleaning and disinfecting. We've also been sleeping a lot - all 3 of us.

On a quilty note, the 2 curtain panels are DONE. 11.02 yards busted from stash! YAY!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I really hate tooth pain. HATE HATE HATE.

I have 5 bad teeth from childhood. Don’t ask about they whys and wherefores – just trust me that I have problems to fix from my childhood regarding my teeth.

Teeth 1 and 2 cost me a small fortune and are fine. They were in the upper left back part of my mouth. $3,000, including 4 sedations. Yes, my childhood dental experiences now require that I have sedation. These teeth were done in 2008.

Tooth 3 was done this autumn. I went in July for my 6 month checkup and we figured out that this was the next one, based on the idea that a pocket of nastiness on the x-ray was on its way to the root. I was not in any pain at this point. This tooth was to cost about $1,700.

So I started the appointments in August. The first one revealed that the pocket of nastiness was really a pocket of raging infection and when they opened the tooth, it all just ran out.

Appointment 2 was finishing the root canal and determining that I had recovered, without antibiotics, from the infection.

Appointment 3 was making the post, molding the perm crown and putting on the temp crown.

Appointment 4 was last week, and it was to put on the new tooth.

And today at 8am, the tooth, which has NO NERVE and thus should have NO PAIN, is KILLING ME. And there is no professional dentist in the office until Monday to help me.

Tylenol ain’t cutting it, people.

UPDATE: The theory is that there is infection in there. An Rx has been called in for both antibiotics and pain relief.


Lists, lists, I love lists. So did my mother. And so does my sister. Which means it’s pretty much a learned life skill.

I have a lot of lists, especially for my quilting. Because you see, I love to start quilts and I love when quilts are done, but I do not quite make sure that process always fully happens. I have a lot of unfinished objects. I mean, a lot. Like probably over 100+ if I thought really long and hard about it. Which I don’t do because it will drive me to paralysis.

So of course I went downstairs into my sewing space and tried to make some sense of it recently. This was no easy task, but no sewing was happening because it was driving me nuts. So clearly something had to be done. So I headed down there and cleaned up all of the batting scraps (yes, I save them) that someone small who shall remain nameless had strewn about everywhere. I then put away fabric pieces in their color bins and scraps in the scrap baggie. I made sure the cutting table was clear. I made sure the floor was clear. I made sure the ironing board was clear.

I can now cope.

So I then decided to make a list of UFOs that I really should just finish because hey, I need some space. The UFOs I planned to take on my trip to Patsy’s are still on my stairs, so that is where I started. I also cleaned out a drawer in a cabinet and took a bunch of block sets out of there (no, the drawer is not empty – sad but true). So by the time I was done thinking and writing, I had 24 UFOs to finish. Some are farther than others. The farthest anything is is the sandwiched stage. The worst that anything is is not all the blocks are done. So there’s some piecing in there.

Clearly, based on where things are, I like to piece lots and not so much on that other stuff. But things must get done. So this is my goal – get through those 24 in 2010. I’ve seen one blogger who just uses a random number generator to pull out the number of the one she’s working on that month. I plan to do that for 1 UFO and pick the other one. I gotta have some say or I’ll lose it!

So here I am, going happily along working on my UFO’s because anything I can get down before 2010 will make me feel all accomplished, and it hits me.

My SIL has moved and she doesn’t have a quilt. (Her kids do.) OK, can I get that done by 12/13? Yes, I can, through the miracle of Bonnie Hunter. Judy Laquidara over at Patchwork Times is going to do a quilt in an hour quilt that is to DIE for. Can I do that too? Sure, why not? Who will I make it for? Oh, some friends have a child that is in her big girl bed now – she can use it. (Today the parents confessed to me that the moment the baby quilt was too small for the child they stole it and hung it as art in their bedroom. Cracks me up!)

OMG, I’m just hopeless! I’m trying to get rid of 2 dozen UFOs and all I can think about is making 2 more quilts!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tami is the Crazy Dog Lady

My co-worker Tami is the crazy dog lady. I just want to let you all know that.

The city of Peoria is having budget issues (OK, what city isn’t? Oh, yes, Bloomington , who found $4 million lying around. I want their problem.), and Peoria is threatening to close PAWS, the no-kill animal shelter.

Which prompted Tami to announce that she must single-handedly must save them all.

Tami is the crazy dog lady. Just sayin.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I don't wanna play today

I think that was the motto for the weekend. I really just didn’t want to participate in anything. But of course, sometimes one just must participate. So I did.

I slept for 11 hours both weekend nights. That was really super nice. It also made it incredibly difficult to get up this morning, especially since Ted and Renee were sleeping in, as she has the day off. (Don’t feel sorry for them – they’re getting flu shots today.) But I managed to get myself to work today, so all is not lost.

I was able to meet one friend for homework on Saturday morning and then attend a child’s birthday party where parents were invited. I also made it to group work on Sunday, although I did not do anything. No fear – neither had anyone else. MKT 430 is the most overwhelming class known to man. I’m pretty sure of this fact, so go with me on it.

Today holds 2 meetings, but it also holds finishing chapter 8, writing up a log for chapter 8, and writing 2 ad-hoc memos. Plus reading 2 more chapters, and starting research. And class. Let’s not forget about class tonight.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Less Worse

Another week has past and this one can best be described as the Week from Heck, which is a slight upgrade from last week.

This week’s events:


Ted comes home today!

Got my last round robin out the door – no more deadline sewing

Got an 87% on the midterm from last week

Ted has amazing friends who helped him when the car broke down

I had to bank by mail to my other account and everything made it and I didn’t get overdrawn

We had a food day for my birthday here at work

My friends came over for study group and brought food (it was during the labyrinthitis)


Ted’s car broke down on the way to his conference - $400

I had my marketing midterm, which was 5 essays and 4,000 words

I experienced a not so fun bout of labyrinthitis

I am still really tired

I had stupid people forget their Market Day

For the next 2 weeks, there are some seriously intense projects due for my marketing class. Then we have 4 weeks until anything else is due in that class. So we are just trying to cope. I have no idea what is going on in the other class; I’m waiting for the project manager to tell me the next steps. Any time now buddy would be helpful.

Meanwhile, my sewing area is a disaster. I have not quite figured out how to attack it. I have to quilt 2 panels (one’s started) that will become my winter curtains for my sliding glass doors. I’m thinking of just concentrating on that because the need is coming. I want to get them hung when the clocks change.

Sleeping also sounds like a plan…..

Friday, October 02, 2009

Yes, It Got Worse

OK, for the record, my life just got worse.

In a week that could be described as the Week from Hell by a Thousand Little Slights, it has officially just gotten worse. Let us list the slights, shall we?

It was my birthday and everyone at work forgot
The food day this week was for a wedding
I had a 100 degree fever for 2 days, one of them being my birthday and I had to work
I had a midterm
The midterm had questions with ‘for option d – a and b are correct and option e – all are correct’
My dog died (seriously - she was put down on Wednesday)
I’m out of PTO
I have a Brownie mom who refuses to volunteer
I am exhausted
I got a C on my marketing case

And lastly, the icing on the cake…

The MBA program has gotten rid of the one class I wanted to take – Accountants as ITS Professionals. Totally up my alley. Totally me. Totally justifies my degree to my job. Well, now it’s gone.

And so I have to take another semester to find another elective that will not kill me, like let’s say derivatives or financial planning or international marketing.

Revised graduation date is 05/11. I will still be 40.

There are 2 good things that came out of this process of reviewing the MBA tentative 4 year class schedule. One is that since I really had to review every elective available to determine my options, I have found a class that I think will be meaningful. The other is that my last year will be 1 class at a time, which is a significantly less stressful load.

Excuse me while I go assume the fetal position now.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Oh Thank God

I just got home from class, which means that this post was all ready to be a melancholy one about how I got a C on my individual case and I'm all blue.

Then I check my email here at home. And now this is a drastically different post.

The Chicago Tribune sent me an alert that indicated that an arrest had been made in the slayings of 5 family members here in central IL. This story has gripped this area of IL for the past 2 weeks.

Ever read "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote? Well, if you haven't go google a synopsis of it. I'll wait.

The murders that happened here in a very small town of only a few hundred people rocked us to the core. How could 5 members of a family, 2 parents and 3 kids, be so brutally, violently, horribly murdered? How, in our safe little hamlet, where corn grows and the church only holds 80 people? Where the extended members of the family live on the same block? Why this house, why this family? It has been so shocking, we were advised to lock our doors, which in rural central IL is quite the statement. When we heard of it, "In Cold Blood" were the first words out of our mouths.

Well, it appears that the killer is the son-in-law of the dad in the family. It's a blended family - he's got kids and she's got kids and they have kids together. Well, his oldest child was/is married to this killer. Police have not confirmed it, but that is what the local townsfolk are indicating.

We can all rest a bit easier.

Also, there was one lone survivor. The couple's 3 year old daughter has pulled through. She has been under police guard at a major children's hospital in the area since this happened. She has lost nearly everyone, but we are all pulling for her.

Friday, September 25, 2009

We Closed the Place...

Oh, my, it has been quite I while since I updated this blog of mine. Sorry about that.

Yesterday, Team Girl Power (which is what I call the 4 of us ladies who are trudging our way through grad school and doing absolutely every group project together that we possibly can) delivered an absolutely riveting hour long presentation on the marketing qualms of Amazon.com and their cloud computing offering. If you don’t know what cloud computing is, that’s OK. Neither did one of the group members and half of the class we presented to.

We were so good, class was declared over. We rock! And then went out for dinner.

Anyway, that whole few paragraphs were to point out that I’ve been super-busy with my marketing class. The class has been described as a tidal wave each week. But it’s interesting (however, I have zero retention of the subject whatsoever) class, with a good prof who is actually a band Dad and knows a co-worker of mine who is a band Mom for the same high school band.

But on to quilty things. I did in fact complete Ute’s round robin and I dropped it off at Julie K’s house. I only have 2 more quilty deadlines – something for the 4th Annual Taste of Brookfield @ Your Library and Julie G’s round robin.

The Taste item is an Advent calendar. 12 blocks are completed. 12 are halfway completed. Then they need to be set, sandwiched, quilted and bound. Considering the entire quilt is 2 feet by 3 feet, I hope to complete everything but the handstitching of the binding tonight. I’ll do the handstitching on the way down to St. Louis to enjoy the Rams-Packers game.

Julie’s RR will require some math. Let’s just leave it at that. But I have all the components and I plan to do this quilt in the next 7 days. If I put my nose to the grindstone, it is do-able.

Except I have my MIL and her other 2 grandchildren coming down Saturday night and staying Sunday so Ted and I can go to the Ram-Packers game. Which means I need to clean my house. Not because my MIL is one of these white glove people – heavens no. Not in the least. It’s because since she’s been retired, she’s retired from domestic duty. I have to have all meals prepared and in Tupperwares for heat and eat purposes. DD has volunteered to show Grandma how things are done.

But most importantly, the other 2 grandchildren that will invade my home are coming. They don’t do anything wrong, as much as I know where my shit is and if they so much as breathe on it, I get cranky. And it’s not them. This goes from my side of the family as well, who not only breathe on it, but also make snarky comments about it.

So for my mental health, I have to clean. Boo.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

weekend update

Now it’s time to get down to business.

Labor Day weekend is over. It was nice that it was so late this year; it’s a shorter time until my birthday and another week of the school term got accomplished (my term, not hers – she’s on her own). We stayed in all weekend and, more importantly, ate in all weekend. I‘m pretty sure we singlehandedly accomplished the goal of 9 meatless meals after having eggplant parmesan 2 weekends in a row.

I did get some things done, like homework and quilting. I did not get the one cleaning thing down that qualifies as the Item that Makes You Nuts. I was planning on doing it while my MIL swung through on her way back from KS, but that return has been delayed because Grandma Mary wanted Karen to go to the banks, etc with her today. So my MIL will be swinging through on a different day in the next week. Since I have class on Thursday, I may or may not see her.

So now I have to get this annoying task done. I hope to spend 15 minutes on it tonight. I just have to do it; it’s making me crazy. Ted and I made a deal that we would both try to get an Item that Makes You Nuts done before Thanksgiving. This task is a small part of mine.

Sewing-wise, my foot pedal has died. A sad day indeed.

I did get the Christmas potholders done and also one of the RR’s. Another goal for tonight is to get those things ready for the post office. I have 1 more RR to do and a Miche shell for a friend and the donation for the Friends of the Brookfield Public Library’s 4th Annual Taste of Brookfield @ Your Library. I was going to make a large quilt, but switched to a small wallhanging. Less pressure.

I also worked on some other sewing items that I have broken down into manageable tasks. My goal is to get through the list once a week and over time, many things will get done. I love to piece, but once there are blocks, the process massively slows down. So I’m trying to break the backlog by breaking into tiny pieces.

Here’s my current list:

A small project – Miche shell, the wallhanging and potholders are on this list

1 denim square – using the fake cathedral windows pattern for denim circles, I’m committed (I need to be committed after this one) to a 5 by 5 square each week

Quilt 1 column on my curtain panels

A Round Robin or Swap – only one RR left

Pre-sash 6 blue blocks

So far for this week, I have completed a small projects (the Xmas potholders), did a denim square, and did a RR. I need to pre-sash some blue blocks and quilt a column. I continue to work on the wallhanging because it has a lot of small parts and appliqué and a little each day really does add up. I also hope to start part of the next RR, because it also has a lot of little parts.

Oh, and I should really do some homework. Details. I only have a 14 page case analysis on Intel due next week. Yawn.

Friday, September 04, 2009


OK, those Gutsy Gals over at (in)courage are asking for posts about Hope. So here goes.

Hope to me is a lot of things. It is having a president from my home county (much less from my state!) who is all about courage and hope. It is interesting to hear how the Kennedy family viewed Obama as having the same effect as JFK did 50 years ago. It is wonderful to hear people who took a moment from their lives in November and/or January and blogged about how they again felt hope.

(But you did not come here to read about how I am a bleeding heart pinko Cook County Democrat who does politics via the Chicago Way. I digress. Sorry.)

Hope for me is blonde. And eight-and-a-half. And in third grade. Yes, this is my child.

Bereaved parents walk among you. We do not have a mark on our foreheads indicating that we are bereaved parents; we usually never even mention this fact. But we all carry this fact in our hearts and souls – the fact that bad things happen to little children.

I myself have been pregnant 4 times. I have suffered one medically uneventful miscarriage, one adverse diagnosis pregnancy with fetal surgery, 6 amnios and a delivery at 29 weeks. He lived 35 minutes. My third pregnancy resulted in my daughter that I mention above. My fourth pregnancy ended in a miscarriage that nearly cost me my life. I was never so happy to turn 32 in my life (it happened the week before).

That above paragraph is something I can recite emotionless to anyone who asks. It’s the medical version; the cliff notes. I can elaborate, usually without incident, when asked. Other times, not so much. People tell me that I really have it together on this topic. I have it no more or less together than anyone else; but I do have hope.

I am lucky. One of my kids made it so I can be with her. She is hope personified, in Polly Pockets and Pokemon, in chocolate and Hannah Montana. She reminds me and my husband daily why we bother with this journey called life. She reminds us that our proper perspective is not on promotions or paychecks, it’s on learning multiplication tables and the names of all the presidents, not just the two (technically, four, I know, but work with me on this) from Illinois. She reminds us to enjoy life in all of its facets and not just on those we enjoy or are comfortable with. Without this kid, I would never be a Brownies leader or the Market Day mom for the school. I certainly would not know what a zhu zhu pet is or find it a very funny toy that is hypoallergenic!

So, Hope, thy name is Renee. Which means reborn. Which is what we were after she arrived, after so much heartache and pain.

Errata: For the courage post, I wrote about my collegiate parking pass. It was not red this year, nor was it shaped like the state of Illinois. This year it’s green and a boring rectangle. (They said they needed the rectangle to put the swipe stripe on a flat edge. Hello? Illinois’ border with Indiana is also a flat edge for a while. Get creative, people!)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Sorry, Grad School is getting in the way

Whoa, it has been a bit since I posted. Can’t you all see that I am now in the throes of grad school?

One theme running around a certain part of blogland is the idea that God may close a door, but He always opens a window. While this is true on the really big important things in life (like MckMama’s almost-house burning down the day BEFORE they were to close), it did happen with the sweet corn. I was gypped at the festival, but a co-worker gave me 4 ears, the farmer gave me 14 more, I had 2 from the previous week and I took 5 more from the exchange table. I ended up freezing 100 ounces of corn, which for our little family of 3 will last me a year. OK, it’s a little thing, but never fear – I will not be wanting for corn this winter.

I have been in squirrel survival mode, stockpiling for the winter. I have put up 3 types of fruit, the corn, and have started to buy a lot of flour, sugar, etc. Last winter, I overbought on the flour and sugar at Christmas, but it was OK because it did get me through a December and January that were either a sheet of ice (Ted literally had to throw me a towline once to get me to walk up the driveway) or bitterly cold (like -22 degrees F – don’t even ask in C). So I’m a bit paranoid about the winter weather being super nasty (more time for quilting!) and making sure we have enough supplies laid in. I’m not sure what I’ plan on stockpiling next, but meat seems like a logical next choice.

Meanwhile back to quilting. I have to get some things done and this 3 day weekend is just the ticket. Besides church, I have nothing else on the agenda, so I should be able to stay in and sew-sew-sew. There are some other things I do want to tackle around the house – things that are driving me nuts and will make my mental health feel better. And sewing is one of them!

Plus I cannot open the package from Nancy for the Miss Mellie swap until I get my deliverables done. And that package is singing its siren song to me from my kitchen table.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


The good news was that Ted was able to purchase a Normal Cornbelters hat. They are our new minor league baseball team, due to start play in the spring.

The bad news was that the Sweet Corn Fest was OUT OF CORN.


A Saturday in the Life of a Married Grad Student....

...or alternatively titled, "It's ALL About the Corn."

This weekend is the Sweet Corn Fest where I live. It's like the Hinsdale Sidewalk Sale and Taste of (insert your town name here) all rolled into one. Except the only food product for sale is corn. They steam it in some antique doohickey and people swear by it. Plus they offer a dozen ears for $3 for putting up purposes.

So this morning, as I was making chocolate mousse in the crockpot (I am not kidding) and making fresh bread, Ted ran to the bank and also ran by to buy 3 dozen ears for me to put up. (If you don't know, 'putting up' is the farmer term for preserving food, either via canning or freezing. I only freeze.) Except he went to the drive through corn pickup and no one was there.

So back out we'll go today, in search of corn. And no doubt, we'll have an ear or two, right then and there. After all, it's only 50 cents an ear!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

...For These Thy Gifts...

This is our second year with Henry Brockman's CSA. Henry was selected as Illinois' Sustainable Ag Farmer of the Year today; quite the honor. In tonight's box, we have 7 ears of corn, tomatillos, a muskmelon, summer squash, basil, green beans, an eggplant and carrots.

The tomatillos are already made into salsa, using tomatoes from the container tomato plant that I got from Henry's sister Teresa (there are 6 in Henry's family; 4 of them farm). The muskmelon will be prepped tomorrow, and the basil is already made into frozen pesto. I plan on making crockpot stew on Thursday, using many of these things. I'm hoping to make ratatouille with the eggplant.

It was a requirement for me when we moved here (to Godforsaken middle of nowhere) that if we live in the farmland, we eat from the farmland. I'm a localvore about 6 months of the year. And I also got my eggs from the egg CSA. They're Henry's neighbors.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I'm a Wuss and an Avoider...So Here Goes

For the record, I made it through the dentist. A full root canal was required, since when they opened up the tooth, infection ran out. Evidently the infection ran into the root as well, so they did what they had to do. I personally don’t care, as I was sedated. Out cold.

Yes, I am a wuss and get completely sedated for anything more than the 6 month check up. This is how I roll. I have 2 teeth done, #3 is in process and #4 and #5 will be done next spring, which is when I can afford it. This assumes that the last 2 teeth will cooperate with me and not bug me between now and then.

Anyway, now I await the dentist phone call to schedule the follow-up. And to see if it’s really OK that I’m going without antibiotics. I’m OK with no antibiotics, but if I need them to avoid further issues, then by all means, let’s get the show on the road.

We shall see.

Meanwhile on the quilting front…..I have to finish the Mellie swap this weekend without fail. I need to make 120 9-patches by Monday and mail them. I have 80 made. So tonight, I hope to get the swap all ready to be mailed and then handle that tomorrow morning. Too bad I can’t use the Uptown post office due to construction. So off to the main post office I will go.

I also did complete 2 more jeans potholders. This got (rid of) used up 4 log cabin blocks I found and realized they weren’t done because, well, they’re (nasty) homely. So now they’re the fronts and backs of 2 nice potholders that reside in my kitchen.

As you can see, I’m avoiding the QBW topic. Well, let’s just get to it. Today starts Week 34. And because I didn’t make it to Patsy’s my quilty life is all screwed up. And school starts on Monday. So here are my goals, knowing full well that life officially becomes really crazy now.

Mellie swap done
Swap giftie done
Blue quilt squares done (they are being pre-sashed, to use a Dorothy Young term)
Start working on the KitchenAid cover
Quilt curtain panels – at least one

That’s plenty, considering all that needs to be done.

Monday, August 10, 2009

eBay update

The Monopoly chart arrived today. It is for a full scale model of the board. I *cannot* wait to start it.

My friend has a dad who is a woodworker. I would love for Mr. D to make the table for the cross-stitch to go in. That would be fantastic.

Parking Pass Red

There are several blogs that I read. And one that I write. Anyway, some of my newer blogs have been of the ‘mommy blog’ variety, and those usually have been of the bereaved mommy blog variety, because, well, I’m a member of that club. Well, some of these women have come together and made the site (in)courage, which is to nourish the hearts and souls of women. They are more in touch with their faith than I am, so that is what I hope to get out of it. Anyway, head on over to (in)courage now and fill your internal cup until it runneth over.

Meanwhile, they are looking for examples of courage made manifest in the lives of the online women blogging community. I admit that I’m taking the format directly from the blog as far as my courage goes. Please note that this is the last week of summer vacation and classes for me begin Monday the 17th.

I’m nearly thirty-nine and courage is parking pass red. I go to the Office of Parking and Transportation and buy my $77 parking pass for the College of Business. I’m the oldest woman in nearly every class, and the only mom. But I have a goal, which is just a dream with a deadline, of getting my MBA by the time I’m 40. And so I park my minivan in the lot, grab my pink backpack and head into class.

I have a lot of people ask me why I have returned to school. They are expecting the answer of job promotion, greater marketability and the like. My answer is always “for me.” Only one person has ever understood that answer; their response was that it was the best reason of all to go. We are a house of learning. My husband has 2 master’s degrees and I am working on this one, right along with doing Brownies and Market Day, being a wife and a mother to a third grader. Somehow, as a family, we make it happen, around crock pots and drive-thru’s, parent-teacher conferences and business trips.

I do not have any illusions of grandeur about this degree. This is solely for me. What I wanted to do and because I could do it. To learn different things. To enjoy learning at my own pace, and with the benefit of workplace experience. To keep my mind active. (Quilting can do a lot, but not everything.) To show my daughter that learning is life-long.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

eBay score

OK, it was a complete impulse purchase, but I saw a picture of a cross-stitcher's project of doing the Monopoly board. It's a retired leaflet and let's just say one should observe the First Amendment on this one.

So $23 later (including shipping), I am the proud owner of someone else's leaflet. I love Monopoly and I can't wait to stitch a board.



My cube at work is so messy, I don’t even know where to begin. (For the record, my quilty life is not a whole lot better, so at least I’m consistent.)

To start with, I am a systems analyst for the accountants at my work. Currently, I am on 3 projects. One project I am leading. This is my Big, Shining Moment. Another 2 are low levels of effort for me. And I backfill on some accounting that needs to be done.

Meanwhile, we have a not so great economy here in Central IL. The rest of the USA has a truly horrible economy. We only have not so great; we’re blessedly recession-insulated. Here at my company, we’re not hiring a lot and we’re trying to move people around to backfill when someone retires. One department here has lost of its people due to promotion and maternity leaves and so someone from our department is moving over there.

So the accounting that I backfill is going to someone else, so I’m now backfilling the work that the departed department member did. So things are coming my way all the time. “Here’s the key to file cabinet.” “Don’t forget to schedule training.” And now my cube looks like a disaster.

Time to dig out.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

What happened?

And where were we?

Believe it or not, it has only been a week since my crazy life (please note that my life was crazy BEFORE all of this started…) took an even crazier turn. And so much for going to Patsy’s.

To make a really long story short, I received a phone call at work last Tuesday morning stating that my sister was in the hospital with a pulmonary embolism. Well, that pretty much made my day. After meeting Ted for lunch to go over logistical things, I headed up north.

It turns out she did not have that problem, but she did pass out nonetheless and bashed in her teeth and misaligned her jaw. So I spend half of Tuesday and all of Wednesday and Thursday up there, arriving back home on Thursday afternoon with my 12 year old nephew in tow. So much for going to Patsy’s.

I had all my projects stacked up on my basement stairs. I was going to make a lot of tops and also take block sets and make them into pieced backs for the tops, because, well, I have no idea what to do with that many block sets. DD was going to finally get a bed-sized quilt. The Brookfield Public Library’s fundraising quilt was going to have the top done. The swap I am in was going to get all done. Same with RR’s I’m in.

We’re going to Patsy’s next year. C’est la vie.

Somewhere in all of this, my motivation to study for my next insurance exam for my job left the building. So this morning, I checked the testing schedule for this testing window and I can still take the exam in this window, but like a month, and not in 2 weeks. This is a huge load off my mind. I also found the study guide, which is an easier read than the text, and I actually put it in my bag. I should attempt to read it.

Meanwhile, Ted is travelling this week and DD and / or I have something every afternoon / evening this week. Monday, it was karate. Tuesday (today), it was the dentist for DD (her first cavity). Wednesday, it’s swim lessons. Thursday is third grade registration. And Friday, I plan on collapsing in a heap. Seriously. Actually, I hope to shop for the Mellie swap on Friday afternoon.

And I am on the very last strip for the barnyard GFG flower. I am so hoping to show those to you!

Monday, July 27, 2009


I thought I'd give pictures a try. Here's one of me, Ted and our fantabulous DD. She's 8 and really shouldn't be carried any more, but every once in a while, Daddy will oblige her.

Now that I know I don't need to use Flickr to show pics, we're off to the races!

This was taken at my Dad's 74th.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Week 30 done - week 31 abbreviated

07/27/09 – It’s now the beginning of Week 31. On a side note, I certainly hope that all of you have seen the highlights of the fantastic PERFECT game thrown by Buehrle of the White Sox. If you haven’t go read about it right now. I’ll wait.

And now for my progress:

Sandwich curtain panels – I got one long column quilted. It’s a start.
For the barnyard GFG flower, I got the 4th strip on and have started on the fifth.
For the 2 books goal, I did start Walden. Like only 3 pages, but I started.
No meatless meals this week.
Wannabees RR – Ute – Nothing done.
Wannabees RR – Julie – Halfway done. I have tried to progress twice and screwed up twice.
60 Mellie blocks – I have 40 done and am working on the next 10. I need to buy some more fabrics.

Since I am headed up to Patsy’s this Thursday, I’m cutting off Week 31 on Thursday morning. Week 31 goals:

Quilt one curtain panel.
Pack for Patsy’s.
Start DH’s 401k – Go through the big basket of paperwork and find what I need.
Pass CPCU 530 – Study through chapter 7.
Use up 100 yards in 2009 – There’s some yardage in the sandwiched pile. See if the Christmas BRB can be sandwiched this week as well.
Communicate with my DH’s grandma once a month – When I’m going through that big basket of paperwork, I will also pull out all of Renee’s school photos so that I can get those mailers ready as well.
Unrelated: Renew CPA Registration!!!! This only comes up once every 3 years and it’s due 09/30/09, so I thought I’d put it on here just in case.
Wannabees RR – Ute – started
Wannabees RR – Julie – mailed
60 Mellie blocks – 40 done – get to 60 done

Monday, July 20, 2009

Week 30

07/20/09 – I just realized by reading the 07/07 post, that the goal was to have a meatless dinner tonight and well, the stew meat is already in the crock pot. Whoops.

We’re now somewhere in Week 30, and I have enjoyed and relaxed over these past 10 days or so. While Ted and Renee were both at various overnight events, I had a really bad 4 day migraine, but once that subsided (which is when Ted came home), I did start getting some things accomplished. Not all on my 101 list, but things nonetheless.

And now for my progress:

Sandwich curtain panels – Done! They are sitting upstairs near the sewing machine that can handle that heavy duty quilting.

Finish the green GFG flower – Done! I just decided (while waiting for my health meter to recharge on a video game – don’t laugh, OK?) to sew it together and call it a day.

Finish strips on the barnyard flower – Done! They are hanging at work outside my cube. There are 9 strips to a flower and I am sewing the fourth one on. I sew this flower at lunch.

Find the 2 books I want to read – Haven’t started to read. Walden is one and I still have not made it to the library. I may just read this Star Trek book that Ted gave me to read.

2 meatless meals – Half-Done! Got one done on 07/07. Total is 2 down and 7 to go.

Wannabees RR – Ute – Nothing done.

Wannabees RR – Julie – Halfway done. I have 4 pieced boarders to add and then they need a coordinating border to go with. That is all I can write – Julie reads this blog!!!

60 Mellie blocks – I have 40 done and am working on the next 10.

Review Ted’s CD purchases – Only 4 CD’s left. Ted bought Thriller while at ALA. It seemed like a good idea, with all the hoopla and such. So now we need 3.

Pay $120 to the student loan – this has not been happening.

Candles – Researched some supplies.

And lastly my goals for the time between now and Friday morning:

101 goals:

GFG Barnyard Flower – finish the fourth strip and attach the fifth.
The 2 books – Try to read twice this week on Thoreau.
Start DH’s 401k – Go through the big basket of paperwork and find what I need.
Pass CPCU 530 – Study through chapter 5.
Use up 100 yards in 2009 – There’s some yardage in the sandwiched pile. See if the Christmas BRB can be sandwiched this week as well.
Communicate with my DH’s grandma once a month – When I’m going through that big basket of paperwork, I will also pull out all of Renee’s school photos so that I can get those mailers ready as well.
Unrelated: Renew CPA Registration!!!! This only comes up once every 3 years and it’s due 09/30/09, so I thought I’d put it on here just in case.
Wannabees RR – Ute – started
Wannabees RR – Julie – mailed
60 Mellie blocks – 40 done – get to 60 done

Monday, July 13, 2009


You’d think that many days without a husband or a child underfoot I would have achieved a lot.

Except I had a 4 day migraine. And there went the concept of progress.

Yesterday was the first day I felt I could function for longer than an hour without retreating to a dark room. Saturday, I did drive DD to Chicago so she could spend the week with her aunt, but it was a very painful drive up and a very painful one home. I am just grateful it was achieved.

I also unplugged my phone. I just couldn’t stand the jarring ring every time I could fall asleep to end the migraine.

So while I had all of these grandiose plans to get so very much done as of Wednesday night to the present, very little has been achieved. I did get the kitchen to an acceptable level, as well as the rest of my main floor. This is key; then anyone can walk in. I of course have been living on that floor this week, so it needs maybe 10 minutes of love, but otherwise I am in good shape. (The dry cleaning lying on the floor is really the issue. Dry cleaning is such a pain in the butt.)

I did also start and accomplish a significant amount of the laundry. There are something like 10 loads that need to be done, and Ted comes home tonight (a day early!) and he’ll be bringing his. Hopefully we can stay on top of this. I have been folding as they are complete (and shamelessly watching the Michael Jackson tribute whilst doing so), so folding is remaining current.

I also did finally get downstairs to sew. After declaring that there was absolutely NOTHING on TV on Sunday, I headed down there. I fired up the Friday Night Lights and got through about 5 episodes. I also got 40 blocks down for the Mellie swap (1/3) and sandwiched a curtain panel, which was no small endeavor. That thing was a monster (4 feet by 7 feet just for the top, so you can imagine the rest), but now that one is sandwiched, there’s only one more left to be sandwiched and then the quilting can begin. I also am developing a way to sandwich large quilts via my ironing board, and if it holds true for the second curtain panel, then I will attempt to sandwich the Christmas BRB this way. Then I will have something like 6 quilts ready to be quilted, which is a good and beautiful thing.

And I just remembered to buy tickets and ride bracelets for the county fair! Yay!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


This is a non-quilty post.

I have decided to bookmark and follow the 3 blogs that made me so emotionally fragile a few weeks ago. They are women who have walked the hard road of grief, but their lives have moved forward (some people just make shrines…). Anyway, one of them has posted a link to a young girl’s story of fighting a brain tumor.

Diagnosed just last week, Kate is 5, loves pink and is fighting an aggressive brain tumor. Their family has been turned upside down. If you pray, pray for these people. This is a shitty thing to go through and no little kid should have to.


OK, one quilty note: I got nothing done yesterday, save 15 minutes of handwork on the barnyard GFG flower.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

DD is Sewing!

07/07/09 – We did eat meatless last night!!! Quesadillas, beans and rice and fresh broccoli for DD! Next week, I’m the only one home on Meatless Monday, so it will no doubt take a hiatus. I’m eating whatever I want when people are not around! So we are 2 for 9.

DD and I are also working on skirts. Check out the last June project at the Moda Bake Shop (www.modabakeshop.com) and that is what we are making. Hers is blue and mine is pink. This is the most motivated she has ever been to sew, so it really depends on the project.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Week 29? 30? Bueller?

I’m not so sure what week it is, but here are my goals. I’m making this list to get me all the way to July 17. I am considering the July 17 to be the start of week 30 (to get myself back on track).

Sandwich curtain panels
Finish the green GFG flower
Finish strips on the barnyard flower
Find the 2 books I want to read
2 meatless meals

And here are some more goals:
Wannabees RR – Ute
Wannabees RR – Julie
60 Mellie blocks

And my progress from last week:

Review Ted’s CD purchases – I did check with him and nothing else has been purchased besides the Genesis packs. So we need to buy 4 more.

Pay $120 to the student loan – this has not been happening. It is very possible that I will not make this one by Ted’s 40th, but sometime in his 40th year.

Sandwich curtain panels – I actually got one panel sewn, so the process is beginning.

Finish the green GFG flower – I have only one white strip to sew on.

Finish strips on the barnyard flower – all done and waiting in my cube to go.

Find the 2 books I want to read – I actually have some thoughts on this. One is Walden by Thoreau. My sister gave me some other ideas.

Potholders – completed and given to my sister.

Ted and DD will be gone for a while, with everyone back under one roof on Friday, July 17, late that night. So I plan to get lots of annoying things done during that time.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Week 27

It’s week 27, and here are my goals:

Review Ted’s CD purchases
Pay $120 to the student loan
Sandwich curtain panels
Finish the green GFG flower
Finish strips on the barnyard flower
Find the 2 books I want to read.

And here are some more goals:
Wannabees RR - Ute
20 Mellie blocks

And my progress from last week:

I did nothing on my list. I’m not surprised, with class winding down. Actually getting my MBA is on my 101 list, and by finishing this class, I am now halfway done with my MBA, which is an achievement, at least in my book. Tonight is Relay for Life and so part of my weekend is booked, but we’ll figure it out.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

But Who's Counting?

In less than 6 hours, I get my life back!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

36 hours to go

Believe it or not, TOMORROW is my final exam in my accelerated summer class. I absolutely cannot wait. I have a roast in the crock pot and am making Italian Beef with it. One classmate is bringing rolls and cheese and another is going to KFC and buying a bunch of sides. I have a French Silk pie from Market Day in the fridge and we are all good to go for study group tonight. We had a study group the night before the mid-term 3 weeks ago and so we thought we’d do it again tonight. Works well for us.

Ted and DD (well, 99% Ted) cleaned up the main floor of the house so we can have people inside our house. It’s a detail. After work today, I can run home, water the plants (OMG, it’s 102 heat index or something crazy like that), do the last bit of tidying (15 minutes max) and get ready for company.

Unfortunately, I don’t think a lot of things on this week’s 10 in 101 goal list will get done this week, but hey, Friday starts a new week, one without class.

So as Scarlett says, ‘tomorrow is another day.’

Friday, June 19, 2009

Week 26 Goals

I’m going to make my 101 week match my quilting week for sake of my mental health. So for the week that starts 06/19 (week 26), here are my 101 goals:

Review Ted’s CD purchases
Pay $120 to the student loan
Sandwich curtain panels
Finish the green GFG flower - brought it home for the weekend

And here are some more goals:
Wannabees RR
Potholders - started last night
20 Mellie blocks
Finish FIL 440, another class toward the MBA

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

10 in 101

There’s a challenge out here called 101 Things in 1001 Days. It is actually fascinating; list 101 things that you want to do (the bucket list) and/or 101 things that you have been procrastinating on. I’ve started this once before and one of the first things I completed was switching my mortgage from monthly to bi-weekly and I’ve saved like $100,000 in interest or something crazy. Well worth my time. However, 101 is a lot for me to focus on. So some people chop it into smaller pieces. I’ve even seen things like 3 in 30.

With the summer term for me ending in 9 days (but who’s counting?), I’m going to see if there are 10 things I can do in 101 days. Not quite the same as the 101, but more bite-sixed. This would give me 7 items that would be completely done and others that would have progress. Sometimes, that has to be enough.

Start Date: 06/22/09 (my sister’s birthday)
End Date: 09/29/09 (my birthday)
Yes, it’s only 99 days

1. Complete the grandmother's flower garden quilt (progress is plenty, trust me)
Goal: finish the barnyard flower and green flower. Start diamonds process.

24. Work my way through the Alphabet reading a book by authors whose last name begins with each letter. I didn’t mean I have to read in alphabetical order, just that I have to read a book for every letter.
Brown – The da Vinci Code
Moore – The Stupidest Angel
Goal: Read 2 more books.

• 16. make candles just once
Goal: Complete the mission

• 44. climb a rock wall
Goal: A friend’s kids want to come down to our wall, so maybe then.

• 52. start DH’s 401k
Goal: Fix this mess.

D. Finish my CPCU
Goal: Pass CPCU 530 – test date is 08/19/09

K. Pay off Ted’s student loan
Goal: Current balance is 3800 – get to 2000 left

U. Use up 100 yards in 2009
Goal: Get to only 40 yards left in the dash.

• Make some fabric grocery bags and stop using plastic ones
Goal: Just Do It

64. Communicate with my DH’s grandma once a month
Goal: 3 times

• Eat Meatless one night a week for two months
Goal: Just Do It

9. Complete the woods sampler – restarted on smaller canvas.
Goal: Progress. Not sure how best to do this, but some progress would be good.

• 87. Buy 33 new CD’s (like 1 per month) – DH and I are doing this one together.
Genesis – blue box – 6 CDs
Genesis – red box – 10 CDs
Genesis – green box – 13 CDs
Goal: See if Ted’s bought 4 more CDs. Which I bet he has.

• 19. See the movie Crash
Goal: Stalk the Tivo.

Unrelated: Renew CPA Registration!!!! This only comes up once every 3 years and it’s due 09/30/09, so I thought I’d put it on here just in case.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Over Halfway There

Well, it’s technically still Week 24, but besides washing the curtain backing fabric and doing some retail therapy on Saturday, nothing quilty has been accomplished. Such is life for a grad school student.

I have only 5 more classes to go. I just need to get to June 24 at 10pm and then my summer is my own. Well, except for that insurance exam I need to take on August 19….

Sunday, June 07, 2009

100 Yard Dash Update

In my infinite wisdom, I never updated my spreadsheet nor my sidebar over to the right for the completion of the P&P quilt. Based on the Superbowl post below, I had the quilting done by then. So I'm guessing that March first was when it was done. I can guarantee you it's done; it's a fort in the basement right now.

Well, that does help to be 8.25 yards closer.

Sunday Morning Peace

I can tell it's summer - Ted and DD were up until midnight having fun. So of course, I'm the only one up and they are both OUT.

It's a gentle rain this morning in central IL. Right now, I hear an owl whoo-hoo-ing. That is very interesting.

My flowers made it into the ground yesterday, so I am grateful for the rain. We never quite made it to Peoria. We were really slow leaving the house and I told Ted there was nothing urgent, so let the day go as it does. We did make it up to Washington to that quilt shop and I did some damage. (I joined a quilt swap where the quilt is a called "A Quilt for Melanie Wilkes." How can I not join?!?!?!)

So today, there is housework and folding and laundry and homework. And getting ready for camp and tonight's cocktail party and hopefully some quilting.

Sorry for no pics yet - slept away Friday afternoon and did I need it. I had a migraine flirting with me and that kept it at bay.

Friday, June 05, 2009

A Baby Step

Well, I had high hopes for last night. I did cut and wash the curtain panel backing. That makes a lot easier. However, I did not piece anything or look at Ute’s RR. Whoops.

I did, however, talk in depth with Ted about next week’s schedule and DD’s first week at camp. This is a new experience for her and so we are trying to manage the logistics. She also has expressed an interest in taking karate (the first time ever for a sport) (everything else has been our idea) and so we signed her up for those at $2 per lesson. However, they start Monday, so the first day of camp will be craziness.

So while sewing wasn’t accomplished, logistics and family time were, and that is never a bad thing.

So for this afternoon and tonight….

Piece the 2 panels (rows are done – just piece the rows)
Sandwich the 2 curtain panels
Kim’s potholders
Ute’s RR

Plus stuff like…
Menu planning
Grocery list
Brownies paperwork all done and filed away
Camp backpack
Dishes, folding, etc.
Call Kim

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Week 24 Goals

So now we’ll try for 2 posts in one day.

I used to post that my quilting week began on Friday, whenever work was done. Using that, tomorrow at 12:15 starts Week 24. Anything I get done tonight, I’m counting towards it.

Thursday night
Cut and wash curtain panel backing
Piece the 2 panels (rows are done – just piece the rows)
Look at Ute’s RR

Friday night
Sandwich the 2 curtain panels
Kim’s potholders
Ute’s RR

The weekend
Finish Ute’s RR
Do the zigzag quilting on the curtain panels and the chiclet quilt

I have no idea what I can get done next week during the week, so we will just manage with this.

I suck

So much for my New Year’s resolution to update this blog. Whoops.

As I mentioned in a January post, I’m in school until essentially the fourth of July. It’s actually the 24th of June at 10pm, but who is keeping exact track?  Last night I had my summer class’ midterm. It seems to have a midterm after only 3 weeks of class, but that is the way it works. My spring classes ended well; I got an A in one (the boring one) and a B in the other. It was my first B in grad school and hopefully my last, but even so, as long as my GPA stays above 3.5 (I’m at 3.81), I continue to qualify for a grad student grant. I need that grant to pay for this whole endeavor!

Anyway, it’s been a dearth of quilting. I have been plagued for the last 4 months with what I describe as annoying illnesses – ear infections, strep, exhaustion and finally diverticulitis, which made me so exhausted, I felt like I did when I had mono. Don’t worry, I don’t have mono! But I have to go a week from tomorrow and have another blood draw done to confirm that I am on the mend and not suffering from thyroid problems or anything else.

So needless to say, quilting has just not been happening. I have suffered a bit from ‘I need to handle this one project before I can face anything else’ syndrome. I also realize that I want to piece, but there’s too much piecing lying around not turning into anything else. I also realize that I have a lot of projects out right now and I am being overwhelmed by them. And Ted’s crap is all over my space right now, and that is not helping things either.

So starting anew, as I am feeling better, the midterm is done and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel:

Goals for June:

Update at least one a week.
2 more potholders for Kim’s birthday on June 22.
Finish Ute’s round robin.
Finish the 2 curtain panels, wash backing, sandwich and zigzag quilt. Attach binding.
Pay Patsy for retreat.
Quilt chiclets quilt.
Sandwich Christmas BRB.

I know there’s more, but let’s just start there.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

This morning

For the record, it started as a nice, calm morning. I got up, started to do dishes, fired up the PC and was thinking about coffee and cinnamon rolls when DD came down the stairs and very calmly said she had just thrown up.

And a good morning to you too.

So now I'm on the third load of laundry. The grocery list is made; now I just need to go and run. A third of my own homework is done. I hope to get partway through the next third before I leave to get groceries.

Ain't life grand?

To keep this quilty, I did finish quilting my P&P last night. Tonight's goal is to trim it and attach the binding. Also, make 6 boxy stars blocks and find my focus fabric for Judy's quilt-along.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Morning musings

It’s been far too long since I updated. Hrmmm… So I’m taking a little time right now to type something up. I was trying to do an account reconciliation, and then I discovered that others did some things in my accounts and they didn’t tell me. So in a fit of frustration, I took the whole stack of papers and put it in a very messy pile behind me in my cube and pretty much have told everyone it can stay there and rot for all I care. In reality, it will stay there until I can talk to someone who can help me make sense of it. Because at this company, I don’t have the freedom (nor should I – I am OK with this) to do exactly what I want.

So here I am.

I need to do a total of stashbusting for January. The only things that got down were a tiny dresser topper and the potholders for Kim. The dresser topper was done for the Inauguration, and it was really the Election Night challenge put out there by Sweet Pea. So not exactly a lot of yardage. I have 2 quilts basted and ready for quilting: Chiclets #1, the P&P and Watermelon Slice. No, I haven’t done any quilting on them at all.

I did, however, on Superbowl Sunday, start a blue boxy stars from Bonnie Hunter. Way back, the goal was to do a Bonnie quilt in blue on the day of the big game. I think that may have changed over time, but that is what I remembered. (Due to homework, I have had to go no mail on my quilting lists.) So I started and got pretty far – maybe halfway with making the 120 units that will make the 30 stars. This quilt will go to the 4th Annual Taste of Brookfield @ your library. The library has its largest fundraiser with FOOD INSIDE THE LIBRARY. Yes, sacrilege if I’ve ever heard it, but it is a ton of fun. I organized the 1st Annual, so I’m partial to this event. It won’t be until the fall, but if I start now, it won’t hurt.

I haven’t been doing a lot of stitching at lunch either, because of year end at work or going out for lunch. I need to get back to that. I’m running out of hexagons and need to start making the large bloom so I can unbaste some! Plus I plan to run Joann’s this weekend and get thread for Watermelon Slice, since thread is on sale.

So my new goals for now are:

Post a January stashbusting total.
1 hex done in February.
Quilt 2 quilts.
Bind 2 quilts.
Finish the stars for boxy stars.
Make dresser topper to match Watermelon Slice.

My Q1 goals are:
25 yards busted from stash.
Finish the fab 4 I want to do: P&P, Chiclets #1, Watermelon Slice and the Christmas BRB.
Finish boxy stars top.

OK that’s plenty and I’m getting overwhelmed. Back to work.

Monday, January 12, 2009


I’ve gotten devious. Or smart, depending on how you look at it. I realize that I pretty much stay here at work for lunch and bring something to heat up. I only have a half-hour to eat, but once you show me anyone in this building who enforces that rule, we’ll talk. But when I go downstairs to eat, it’s usually more like 15 minutes – eat and run. They do have a TV and put on CNN, which is nice.

So I’ve decided to start bring in my GFG to work on. I will sew 5 hexs per day. Since each of my flowers are triple bloom with a full white border, that means it will take me 12 business days to complete the hex sewing of a flower. Then I’ll go ahead and start flower construction. This is about 15 minutes of sewing time per day, guaranteed.

I’d love to get one flower done per calendar month. I would just ROCK if I did that. But fat chance, that is not happening. I’d be pleased with 6 flowers this year. I have another 6 or 7 done at home. I plan on connecting using green diamonds, so my other goal this year is to have a single bloom flower of the flowers I’ve done. That should take up the rest of the time.

Tonight starts class. I’ve heard that this prof is incredibly dull, treats you like you were stupid and spends 3 evenings teaching us how to get on to the internet. I hope he knows that Vint Cerf invented the internet (he did – go google it right now). I worked at MCI when Vint did, so I know my knowledge is correct. So here’s hoping that tonight’s class is short because we are just introducing ourselves and going through the syllabus.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The End of Freedom

Tomorrow, I go back to class for 18 weeks and then it's right into another 6 weeks doing double time. I'm essentially in school until the 4th of July. That's a long stretch in life, it seems.

So today I worked my tail off to get my fab 5 set up for the term. The Christmas BRB is still in a pile on my bedroom floor. That one will wait to be sandwiched until I have more spray baste. Watermelon Slice is sandwiched and ready to go, except I have no idea on how to quilt it or any appropriate thread. I sandwiched Patches & Pinwheels with the last of the spray baste (and pinned as well) this evening. There's a pucker ot two in the back; I just don't care. It's mean for my DD to enjoy while watching TV and playing in our basement family room. The Chiclets #1 quilt was easily basted without issue this afternoon and it's ready to go.

I do have ideas on how to quilt both the BRB and the P&P, so at least I can get started on the P&P. I need some thoughts/inspiration for the Chiclets quilt and for Watermelon Slice. For WS, I need to read what people are doing on A Pocketful of Mysteries; maybe that will insprire me.

As far as the flannel quilt goes, I took it out and assessed it. Realized that I could just plod on. Worked on it for an hour the other day. Tried to work on it again today and sewed it very very wrong. Threw it out. As I was pitching it, DH saw and asked. When I explained, he helped me. I've only thrown away 2 projects ever and both times it was so liberating. This was time #2.

So my fab 5 is now a fab 4.

Once I got all of that dne, I took out a baggie and started making some crumb blocks from the contents. I ahve had a hankering to make crumb blocks for a while and once my fab 5 were ready for teh school term, I got right to it.

New goals:

1 hour of some sort of sewing a night.

Friday, January 02, 2009

2009 resolutions

I have made some quilty New Year’s resolutions. Let’s see how this goes.


I resolve to update this blog at least once a week with my quilty progress. I’ve been really bad about it and I just need to be better about it. It’s just that simple.

I resolve to put pictures up on this blog. Blogs with pictures are better and that is a fact. I also just have been too lazy about learning new computer things and have relied on Ted. Well, after Ted broke BOTH PCs in December, I feel the need to be a bit more proactive.

I resolve to have 52 crafts this year of some sort or another. This is for another challenge somewhere else, but since 90+% of them will be most likely be quilty, here’s a good place to talk about them.

I resolve to bust 100 yards from stash. I work my stash inventory like the IRS – everything you’ve got, plus everything you’ve bought this year is inventory. No one told me it had to age in the stash a certain amount of time to be considered stash. If the time elapsed is 5 minutes, who cares? Makes my math easier.

I resolve to make sure my husband Ted and my DD each get quilts from me. Somehow, they always get the short end of the stick.

How To’s

I’m not sure how to accomplish all of that. I do know that when I am in grad school, I quilt a lot less, especially if I am also taking insurance exams for work. Fortunately, for all of 2009, I have decided to take only one insurance exam and it is January 28. So one crisis is solved. However, quilting during grad school still is a challenge.

I have figured out that the picking of fabrics, cutting of fabrics, piecing, and making units and subunits and blocks requires an attention to detail I do not possess during the school term. So I have decided to work a lot on UFOs. A UFO, as defined by me, is any project that has been committed in some way to cloth – from fabric and a pattern have been selected to blocks are done and anything and everything in between.

I’ve also decided that working on groups of 5 at a time seems to make sense, so I will tweak a Stashbusters idea, and have the Fabulous 5. My goal right now is to get as many of the Fab 5 to the ‘ready to be quilted’ stage. Quilting is something I can do with ease during the school term, so if I can get lots of things sandwiched and ready to quilt, life is good. I go back to class on the 12th, so I may try to get 10 or even 15 items ready to go, so that I have an inventory of quilt sandwiches to work on. I hate making the quilt sandwich, but hey, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. I need enough inventory to get me through to spring break in early March.

That said, here are my first Fab 5 (if no goal is stated, then it’s completion):

1. Christmas Blue Ridge Beauty (BRB) – For you Bonnie Hunter fans, I took her BRB and made each diamond either red or green. This took some thought, but it did bust a lot of Christmas stash, which was the point. I have fallen out love with my Christmas stash and I really do the holiday low key anyway, so this seemed like a good idea. The top is all done and the backing has been selected. Part of my holiday quilt collection, representing December.

2. Watermelon Slice – For you Dorothy Young mystery quilters on A Pocketful of Mysteries, I did her Christmas quilt for the second time and it turned out great. It was what I needed to get back in the quilty groove. I got fabrics selected, the top is made and the whole monster is sandwiched and ready to quilt. Part of my holiday quilt collection, representing June (maybe August – not sure).

3. Patches & Pinwheels – Another Bonnie Hunter pattern. When I made the pinwheels, I made 80+ spinning each way, which meant I had enough for 2 quilts. The first quilt is done and went to a silent auction. The second quilt, which will be for my family room, is in rows.

4. Flannel quilt – You know the type, flannel front and back in squares, and sewn together and snip the edges and all of that. It was abandoned long ago and it’s been unearthed. So let’s get this done and donated.

5. Chiclets #1 –The Chiclets pattern was running around Stashbusters for a while there and I started a bazillion blocks. The reason for starting them no longer exists, so I now have a bazillion finished blocks. I plan to set them 4 x 5 and use my roll of plaid fabric (my official charity backing fabric for now) to finish these off into Project Linus quilts.

Thoughts for the next Fab 5:

1. Ted’s birthday quilt
2. Chiclets #2
3. Inauguration dresser quilt (election challenge)