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 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.