Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Focusing gets the job done

 Another fantastic day with the Monday sewing group. If you haven't joined an online sewing group yet, you're missing some great entertainment. We chat about everything and anything, and it's just a hoot. We help each other, solve problems and actually get some work done! I think Zoom sewing groups or groups of any kind will never go away. Imagine if a friend moves away - they can still be part of the group. People from all over the world can participate!

I'm playing catchup today with some photos sitting here and no time to post them. 

I took this when I was at Staples printing the Kimberbell instructions, and I haven't been there in a while to print anything. You enter your credit card and your USB and follow the instructions, and you're done! Super easy! or should I say, "That was EASY!" There is a terminal like this attached to each printer. 

The command terminal for the printer

The morning that Dede came to embroidery with me, this was the sewing area. She used one of my machines, and everything looked so clean and under control. I dare not take a picture this morning as there are embroidery threads strewn all over the tables. I'm DETERMINED to finish my quilt, and I'm focusing on nothing else. 

Set up to do machine embroidery

So this is what happened during the Virtual Retreat. I finished all the buttonhole (blanket) stitching on this block. This is for my Enchanted Autumn quilt. Yeah!!! 

One applique block completed

As mentioned, I'm focused, and I want this quilt to be done. It's the last project on the 2018 UFO list, and it NEEDS to be done by the end of this year. 

So I finished another block before I packed it in for the Virtual Retreat on Saturday night. 

One more applique block - DONE

More on the progress in a second.

This picture doesn't do justice to the real thing. This was the morning after our snow, and the sun shone on the tree. It looked like there was a spotlight on it, and it was spectacular. 

Snow on the trees

This was taken on our walk in the forest, and the sun was peeking through the trees. Stunning. 

Early morning walk in the forest

And Murphy has no worries about the sun as she checks out the squirrels. 

Checking out the squirrels

OH -- I should mention that today is the winter solstice. Do you know what that means? We're going to get a bit more daylight each day going forward. Yeah!!!  Winter is almost over! OK -- who am I kidding, but it's a positive sign. 

So I've been lax with the bird feeders in the backyard, but I went to Rona a while back, and this was the best that I could get. It's huge and red! The color and the size will chase the birds away. And so far, it's been empty. HOWEVER, I noticed ONE lone bird happy to sit on the feeder tray and be content. Sit and eat, sit and eat. What more could a bird want? If they need water, the heater is in the pond, and they can get water there. 

One lone bird at the feeder

I'm working my way through all the loose tea in our house. Here I am making more tea bags. One day I'll get through it all. It's incredible how much of this stuff accumulates in the house, and if no one drinks it, then it just stays. My decluttering mission is to use up or throw out or give away. In this instance, I'm using up. I've almost used up all the empty tea bags that we have. Then I'll move to the tea strainer. 

Making tea bags

Some of the flavors have been weird, but I drink them anyway. None of them have been nasty. And one day, I'll be able to buy my own tea. What will I buy? I think I know, and it doesn't involve loose tea, nor is it Tim's. 

OK -- so we are pretty bad at our house when it comes to cleaning. I don't do much in the cleaning department, but I'm faced with a house full of dust. We needed to vacuum all the furniture, and I got the family room couches done the other day; it's onto the living room later today. 

That means we need the attachments for the vacuum. I know exactly where they are, and I pulled out this bag from the laundry room.  

A bag of vacuum attachments

WHAT?? They don't fit!  Seriously???  Back to the laundry room and found another bag of attachments that work with the central vac. I even emptied the container in the garage to get maximum suction. So, where did the set of attachments above come from? No idea! We certainly don't have another vacuum that takes attachments. Oh well -- those are going. No need to clutter up the shelves in the laundry room. 

We chatted about cereal shortages during the retreat, and if you didn't know, there's been a strike at Kellogg's since October 5, and some cereals are in shortage. I had no idea since we don't buy cold cereal. But someone was looking to make Rice Krispie squares, and I found this at my grocery store yesterday. 

Rice Krispies with brown rice!

And there was a package of organic regular Rice Krispies! But this was the cornflake and Rice Krispie section at the grocery store. Empty!!

The Corn Flakes and Rice Krispie section at the grocery store

 I think I'm good for oatmeal for a while as DH had gone grocery shopping and bought two instead of just one. That's perfectly fine by me, as I'm grumpy if I don't get my oatmeal. 

My private cereal stash

And look at that bird feeder. It looks like the SAME bird. He is obviously not telling his friends, and why would he? If he says nothing, he's guaranteed food all winter long. Smart bird!!!

Different day -- only one bird

I had to pop out to the library yesterday to pick up a book that I'm excited to read. A recommendation from someone -- sorry, I can't remember who mentioned it. But it's called Let the Elephants Run by David Usher. It's a book about letting your creativity run wild! 

I always check the featured bookshelf and look at what I found. 

Another potentially interesting book

I wasn't going to pick it up, but it's a small book and not very thick. I think I'll be gloating the entire time I read the book. I used to enjoy buying books from them, but no longer. I will only buy from them if it's the last resort. I don't care how much cheaper they are or how fast they deliver. I do NOT need anything that bad that I willingly support them. I'll tell you why after I read the book. I prefer to shop in person! 

If you want to read a sort of spoof about the direction of the world as this particular company gets even more extensive, read The Warehouse by Rob Hart. And it all kind of reminds me of 1984 by George Orwell. Hmmm -- I might reread that book; I've just put the audiobook version on hold. 

OK -- back to the Enchanted Autumn quilt. Before the retreat was up, I managed to get another block done. 

One more Enchanted Autumn block - DONE

And I continued while we had Monday sewing, and this block got finished, as well. I told you, I'm on a roll -- this needs to be done.  

And after Monday sewing was over, I pulled out my audiobook and kept going. But after a while, I needed a break from the book, so I set up my laptop to watch The Great British Baking Show. One more episode down and one more block ALMOST finished. I ran out of time this morning. 

Appliqueing and watching The Great British Baking Show

I'd like to keep going on it, and I'll for sure finish this block today, but I also have some cleaning to do, a Zoom session with someone, a dentist appointment that I swear was scheduled for January. There are deadline quilts to make and quilts to quilt for customers. 

So it's going to be a busy day, and before I start cleaning, I'd better pop an allergy pill, not that it helps, and I'll be wearing a mask. I can feel my nose sniffling this morning, and that's not a good way to start the day. It's not a cold -- it's just all the darn dust in the house. 

How is your goal setting coming along? I've been thinking about them but haven't set anything on paper yet. I've got to start doing that. The goals don't need to be big, nor do they need to be many, but having a plan gives you a great sense of accomplishment when you complete it. 

Why not try a walking goal? It doesn't have to be huge -- there are some short virtual walks -- as short at 42 KM, and you have 18 months to complete it. I think most people could accomplish that! If you do sign up at the Conqueror for a medal or buy it as a gift for someone, mention my name!!! 

Don't forget there's a Virtual Retreat on December 26 (Sunday). So if you've nothing to do, pop on over to the Zoom link and say hi!!! As you can see, it's a neat way to stay focused, and I've been getting a tremendous amount of work done. 

Here's the Zoom link. 

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81623159049?pwd=d0M2MmVrb1owQTZVelNrakIvbktndz09 Meeting ID: 816 2315 9049 Passcode: 799934

Have a super day!!!



  1. We had a new big window put in our living room and new patio doors to the deck from the kitchen. It took us over six weeks to get rid of the dust. Keep emptying your vacuum collector bag and change the filter on your furnace (if you have one). Then just keep vacuuming and you will get there. Don't forget to do all levels in your house. I didn't think that our basement would be too bad, but between our dog and the furnace, there was dust everywhere. Good luck!

  2. It is interesting you bring up the teas. This time 14y ago, my sister and I were caring for Mom as she had been diagnosed with a fast untreatable cancer. One day when she was napping, I went through kitchen cupboards and I found tea EVERYWHERE! So it all went into one place. I found a decorative lidded jar and put it on the counter and placed a variety of packaged teabags in it. Slowly over 7 weeks we went through a bunch of that tea. When I left her home, I took all the remaining tea and the jar. To this day that jar is on my counter with my 2 teas in it. The jar makes me smile (no, it doesn't make me sad).

    Love your progress on your UFO. It's going to be gorgeous!

    I am with you. I dislike online shopping. That said, I dislike all shopping so that's even easier. But I would rather choose something local rather than support the unmentioned autocracy.

    Happy cleaning ;-)

  3. Elaine, don't forget to change your furnace filter! If it is doing its' job, then it should be collecting some of the dust and vacuum the furnace vents in the floor as you clean... and the cold air returns! If you really want to get rid of the dust and ugly stuff in the air, you could invest in an air purifier and move it from room to room? And, if your vacuum has a filter, clean that as well. I use my shop vac to vacuum the bag in the built in vacuum. Maybe your attachments fit a shop vac in your garage? Just a thought.