Sunday, July 31, 2022

Let ER RIP!!

Do you ever have one of those quilts you can't get right? I have one, and I swear that every time I turn around, there's another mistake in the darn thing. Don't get me wrong -- this is not a pattern issue; this is an operator issue! 

We had our last class for Wonderful Woodland yesterday, and I'll share the pictures later this week as I give the others (and myself) time to get caught up. But I swear, the last three blocks have been a nightmare. I made the wolf block at a retreat in May and had taken some fabrics with me, and I wasn't happy with them but progressed through the block anyway. 

The initial wolf block

OK -- so I picked the wrong color for his back -- that looks like a raccoon. And what's wrong with its mouth? It seems like he has a prominent chin! Sigh...

I intended to replace the raccoon fabric on his back, but the block has sat there for months. I need to get this quilt finished! Should I make a new block or just replace the fabric? I decided to replace the fabric since I hated the block. But I would start by fixing the mouth. 

The mouth is now fixed

OK -- that looks so much better with the mouth fixed. But that fabric just doesn't cut it. I even bought a new brown to replace it and still didn't like it. I decided BOTH fabrics (the skinny strips in the back) had to go. More work! And you wonder why I never finish anything? Now you know!

Last night, we had our Virtual Retreat, so what better time than to chat and fix it? 

So section by section, I ripped apart the old and could get away with only replacing the two fabrics I didn't like, and I could reuse all the small cutoff triangles of the background fabric. 

The big replacement begins

And here's the new wolf. I like it much better, and while it was a pain to do, I'm glad I persevered, so a big thank you to all the people on the retreat who distracted me! Yes -- there should have been a bit more contrast between the two outer fabrics, but at this point -- I DON'T care! 

The new wolf

Then can you believe it, but I received an e-mail from someone in the group who said the legs on my Canada Goose were upside down. NO WAY!!!!

The Canada Goose block

I must confess that I thought he looked a bit off kilter. 

I went back to the pictures I took while making the block. 

First, I had it wrong. 

The legs are upside down

Then I had it right, but somehow, between this moment and the final sewing, I got it switched around, so guess what I'll be doing today? Yep -- fixing that block!

The legs are right side up

And there's one more block that I'm not sure about. It's the raccoon. 

The raccoon block

I used that raccoon fabric in his tail and face, where you can barely see it. I'm tempted to replace his body with the raccoon fabric, and I'll test it out later today. 

I have no idea why this quilt was suddenly challenging -- I've struggled with choosing the fabrics for all the blocks (this is where I should have bought a kit!). But wait until you see what one of the ladies did -- it's so fun. 

At this point, I just want the quilt to be done, and I hope to work on it today because it's Virtual Retreat ALL DAY! I know -- it's a beautiful day, and I should be outside! But there are more days for that later this week, and I have some sewing to do. 

When I was at Michele's house a couple of weeks ago, I spied this eyeglass case on her hall table. Hmm - that looks very familiar. 

An orange and pink eyeglass case

What do you think??? Is this the same box, just closer? 

More orange and pink

Nope, that second picture is the back of my sewing machine! The colors are so similar. She offered me the eyeglass case, but I said no! In hindsight, I could have put my reading glasses in the case! But no worries! I can live without it. 

After the two class wrap-ups yesterday, I presented a lecture on batting!! There's so much to learn about batting. And I managed to give away the last 5 bundles of the batting samples I have. I had just put the darn things back into the batting closet, but I eagerly dug them out and earmarked them for specific people. 

Batting samples

Little rolls of batting samples!

What's great about these batting samples is that if you don't know anything about batting, this is an excellent way to feel the difference and, even more important, make some samples. It's a great way to test the density of your quilting and how far apart you can get without the quilt looking hideously lumpy when it's washed. It's a chance to practice free-motion quilting, and it's a great idea to play with the batting!

And another customer quilt is done! 

Customer quilt - DONE

That leaves me with a few more to quilt, and the next one is small, already loaded, and ready to go today!

Here's the link to the Cherrywood Graffiti winners. I don't know why a search wouldn't find this link yesterday. They are so amazing! 

I did not make it to Studio U to do any decluttering. Hey -- we all need a break from that. But in a book I uncovered the day before, I found this list of goals for 2009!!! 

List of goals for 2009

I swear that I have the same list every year! Did you see number 9? Basement (Studio B) organized. Well, after 12 years, that is finally done (more or less). How about number 10? Dining room organized? Yep -- it's been years since all this has been on my mind -- it's nothing new. The difference is that I'm ready and willing to make a difference. Previously, it was just an item on a list. 

Sadly, the improve posture one is still on the list. I'm working on it, but it's a challenge. But every time I catch myself in a window or a mirror, I frown on that posture, and I'm trying to keep my pelvis tucked in and lining up my shoulders with my hips, shoulders down, but back. It's not fun to remember to do all that, and so easy to slip back into bad habits. 

I didn't have parents who were on my case about posture, and I was a "large" girl when I was young, and I guess I rounded myself in to make myself smaller. Sigh... Why is body image such a big deal in this world? It's going to take a lot of stretching, exercise, and strength training to fix the problem, and I guess I should focus a bit more on that than I'm doing. I do NOT want to get old and be hunched over. 

We all should be careful what we wish for. We have two houses on our street that are not well maintained. One is the owner, and apparently, she has the nickname Mustang Sally as she used to drive around in a convertible, and she no longer does. But her house is a disaster. 

This large tree has pretty much engulfed the entire front yard and is now covering the driveway. Even though last year or perhaps two years ago, someone came and chopped down one of the limbs that covered the driveway. 

The tree is blocking the drive

I noticed that the overhang was chopped down and lying in the driveway. For how long? No one knows. 

And two doors down from me, the house has been occupied by renters for NINE years. I didn't realize it was that long until yesterday. I noticed a truck in the driveway a couple of days ago and many cars on the street. Could they be moving? Our entire street is holding our breath. Well, on the walk yesterday, I spied the man of the house walking (practically shuffling) to his car. I asked, "are you moving?" He replied, "yes - and can you believe how much stuff accumulated in nine years."  

So it's been 9 years, and there is a HUGE pile of stuff in that house. The front and back yards are in total disarray and need tender loving care. The garage is piled with junk, and I can only imagine what the inside of the house looks like. This is the house where the windows are wide open even in winter. One of the windows in the front has been hanging askew at times. 

And now there is a HUGE pile of junk at the curb. I'll get a picture today. But I swear the city should NOT allow this to happen. And when people move into a house, they should be given a rule book on how to live in a North American city, how the garbage system works, and how to take care of the property. This family is not from Canada and lived in that house as they would have lived in their native country, where it's acceptable to put junk on the street. 

I'm not picking on them, as we've had other houses in our neighborhood (from all cultures), and people seem to think it's OK to just toss their junk onto the curb and let someone else deal with it. Meanwhile, I'm taking my small crap to the dump and even had to pay $6 to dispose of three blinds! 

And then people wonder why our taxes are so high. Sigh.....

Let's just hope that whoever moves in will treat the place with more respect. I imagine some work will have to be done before that happens, and I could NOT find a listing for the house, so I suspect it's not on the market yet. 

Well, it's time to get moving! I have loads I want to get done today, and I hope to get some more tidying up in Studio B while chatting with everyone! If you have some time today, stop by and say hi! 

Thanks to Gwen, I learned something about Zoom that I didn't know, which was a beneficial tip! Thanks!!!!

Here's the link, and I'll open the call at noon. NOTE -- the call is starting later than I planned. I'm going to get out for a bike ride this morning! It's really too lovely to be inside. 

Sunday, July 31 -- starts at NOON. 

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 816 9371 7518 Passcode: 579285

Have a great day!!!


Saturday, July 30, 2022

Progress on all accounts

I got LUCKY!!! Even though that grey fabric is years old, I found a shop in Ontario that still has it in stock! Yeah! She will be sending me a half meter next week, so I can make the binding for my quilt! As I said -- I got lucky, and it wasn't critical that I use that fabric for the binding, as I could have found something else. Still, it shows that you must be flexible in creating something, especially from fabric you purchased years ago, because you might not find more if you need it!

I was busy with other things, so I didn't get too much decluttered yesterday. What things? I don't remember! Oh yes -- I was on MIL physio duty, and that takes up a couple of hours by the time I pick her up and get her to the appointment and then back home again. 

I also quilted a customer quilt and did some puttering in Studio B. So much to put away, so much to finish up. ACK! I have three Zoom sessions this morning; all the presentations are done, and I almost finished all the work. I hope to finish off those quilts during the Virtual Retreat tonight and tomorrow. I need to get stuff finished and move it out! 

Customer quilt - DONE

And this is why we end up buying duplicate stuff. While cleaning up some stuff  M had left, I discovered this top I assumed she was sewing. I felt something hard in the hem of the almost finished garment. AHA -- it's one of my elastic threaders! It would appear the elastic pulled out, and she abandoned it. Now that's pretty lame! 

A lost (but now found) elastic threader

And how many single socks can one person have? Seriously?? I did keep them in the event when I go through more of her stuff that I find the mates to them, but all of these are single socks! She probably took the others with her when she moved out! Sigh...

Single socks! 

I also found this cute little zipper pull that we probably purchased for her, but it's mine now, and I have an excellent place to put it, but I need to make the bag first. 

A cute zipper pull

This is one of the books I recently finished. When the pandemic started, this book was in the news because it mentions a virus coming out of Wuhan, China, which was called Wuhan 400, and let's just say that the virus we got - well, it was MUCH milder than the described in the book -- thank goodness or there wouldn't be many people around. The book was written in 1981, and while Wuhan is known as a large industrial center, it also deals in the biotech and pharmaceutical world. I don't know exactly when biotech and pharmaceutical came into being. So is the idea of this virus far-fetched, considering it was written in 1981?  

The Eyes of Darkness by Dean Koontz

While the plot depends on that virus, the book doesn't mention it much. I remember searching high and low for this book and did find it at a used book sale, and it's going in the giveaway pile for someone else to enjoy. 

Speaking of giveaway piles, I have my donation box, and some stuff piled up on Lexi's kennel destined for other places. Currently, there is stuff for FIVE different homes. At some point, this spot will also be clear, but I call the area my clearing house as this stuff is on its way out the door -- just not urgent, and arrangements haven't been made yet. 

My clearing house

I think Lexi is telling me that she approves of the decluttering in the office as she is coming in a bit further now and lying down. She is so skittish, doesn't like new things, and HATES clutter. Perhaps that's why she doesn't like toys? 

Here's a tip for you in the decluttering process. You usually have stuff in your hands when you come home, as I did from my errand. The usual dumping ground in our house is the kitchen table. But you can't leave it there. If you have mail, deal with it immediately, put your keys and purse back in their usual spot, and find a home for everything else you brought into the house. And if you can't find a home? Guess what -- recycling or garbage! 

Stuff that I brought into the house from my errand

I swear, not having a home for something drives home the question of do you need what you just brought into the house. So much of what I used to cart home did NOT have a home, so it became clutter. It's shocking, to say the least, and I'm so glad I'm now seeing the way! 

I was off to the drugstore the other day to get toothpaste and batteries and to drop off some expired pills I found. Got rid of the medications, got the toothpaste, and forgot the batteries, so I have to walk back! While I was there, I used the health diagnostic machine. Now I know this is all relative, and it's a machine, so how accurate can it be? But if used regularly, it would make you aware of any significant changes. 

I was practically comatose, it would appear, with a blood pressure of 89/53, but the machine said I was in the bottom end of normal, but still NORMAL. Since it's always in that range, I don't panic. My BMI is 24, which for me is HIGH. I'd like it to be 21, but unless I completely give up refined sugar, that won't happen. Yes -- I've fallen off the wagon, and sugar has snuck its way back into my diet. Not huge, but I won't say no to a sweet treat. The only way to get that BMI back down is to give up refined sugar! Apparently, my oxygen levels are excellent at 99%, and my temperature is fine. My weight is fine as well. I'm NORMAL all around! 

The one thing I would like is to get some blood work done. What is my iron like? And some of the other stuff. I try to eat well, but it would be nice to know if anything is getting out of whack. I know -- I just have to book an appointment, and it can happen. The problem is that if I call my doctor and ask for a physical, I can have one within 24 hours! I should do it next week. 

Looks like I better make another list of things that need to be done as there are a few things I'd like to get cleared up soon. 

Well, it'll be a busy weekend with the Virtual Retreat, and hopefully, I can get some of those projects that are almost complete -- done! 

Don't forget the last day of QUILTsocial. That stationary quilting machine is a game changer. This is the way to go if you want a larger throat space than that available on your domestic sewing machine. Long arms are great, but they are hugely expensive and take up a lot of room, and this does not! Shoot -- the post I gave you the link for today is Thursday, as I gave you Friday yesterday!

Oh, the list of winners for the Cherrywood Challenge was released yesterday. OH MY -- some people are surely talented and creative. Shoot -- I have the link on my phone; I'll post it tomorrow once I figure out how to get it off my phone and onto my computer.  

Here are the links for the Virtual Retreat. 

Saturday, July 30  --- starts at 6 PM

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 892 5423 3911 Passcode: 982797

Sunday, July 31 -- starts at NOON

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 816 9371 7518 Passcode: 579285

I am so NOT ready for it to be the end of July. I had many plans of what to do with my "down" time, but there hasn't really been any downtime. I still seem to run around with small stuff, although I made leaps and bounds in the decluttering, so I can't complain. 

See you later tonight or tomorrow!!!

Have a great day!


Friday, July 29, 2022

Looking for fabric

I'm going to have to start blogging at night! I know some people like to read the blog over coffee or breakfast in the morning, and well -- I'm going to be late. Not too late, but it'll have to be short!

Why? Because I started reading a darn audiobook -- that's why! I started it yesterday - only 9 hours, but the darn thing is a page-turner (so to speak!). 

I listened with my big headphones on while I was out setting up the sprinkler, then I sat at the kitchen table while I waited 20 minutes to move the sprinkler, and I listened when I went to bed until I was starting to hit rewind. Time for sleep. 

Unfortunately, I woke up a couple of hours later and could NOT help myself. I got my small earbuds to make it a bit more comfortable and proceeded to listen for several hours before I finally said -- I needed to get some sleep. 

I have 1 hour and 40 minutes to finish this morning. Good grief --- The book is called The Long Weekend by Gilly MacMillan. WHAT a story, and who is the narrator? That's a big mystery, and my guesses are swinging wildly! Check it out if you like page-turners and have the time!

I'm way behind in the things I want to tell you, so be patient; as Victoria mentioned -- the blog is eclectic. I love it!!!

I got a customer quilt done, which now needs to be trimmed. Something for later today when the next one goes on the frame. 

Customer quilt - DONE

I also managed to get the center of these circles applique in place. These are blocks for the Tula Pink Butterfly, bringing me up-to-date with the homework except for that assigned this month. 

Blocks for the Tula Pink Butterfly quilt

I had threads to clean up on this project, and then it got moved out of Studio B. Imagine that this was made from leftovers from a quilt I made for a magazine a while back. I have a second one like it that's waiting to be quilted, and I hope to get it done soon. But I quilted this one at Michele's house, and she had the perfect shade of gold for the back -- I'll have to find something else for the second one. 

Table runner - DONE

And this one also had threads that needed to be tidied up. That's done, and it also got moved. Yeah -- slow and steady progress on the clean-up in Studio B. all those flowers were made with embellishment attachment and yarn! So cool!

Wall hanging - DONE

I also stopped by Studio U and got rid of several more papers. I didn't spend much time there, as I had other things to do. I also finished another quilt top that I can't share with you quite yet, but there is a problem. The fabric that I want to use for the binding -- well, there isn't quite enough. So I'm looking for this. 

It's a Northcott from a "few" years ago. I visited the online stores that purchased this fabric but couldn't find it. I've sent e-mails to all the brick-and-mortar stores that bought the fabric, and I got some replies that they no longer have it, which I suspect is the case for all of them. 

One store thinks they may have it. She's checking. 

So I'm going to ask you. The missing fabric is a Northcott called Cosmopolitan -- the SKU # is 2924-94, and it's grey. 

Should you have any of it -- I'd love to get two strips at 2½" for the binding. The one place I did not check is where I purchased the fabric, a tiny quilt shop that I didn't see on that list. I need to look them up this morning and ask them. 

Send me an e-mail if you have the fabric and are willing to part with a couple of strips. If I can't find it, then we're off to plan B.

Don't forget to check out QUILTsocial today -- more on the stationary quilting machine. What fun I had!!!!

And don't forget the Virtual REtreat  -- it's this weekend!!!

Saturday, July 30  --- starts at 6 PM

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 892 5423 3911 Passcode: 982797

Sunday, July 31 -- starts at NOON
Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 816 9371 7518 Passcode: 579285

And on that note, I'm out of here. I will NOT listen to the audiobook while I walk the dogs. I'll save that for when I'm loading the next customer quilt, which I guess I'll be working on this morning, NOT in the afternoon. I can't wait that long!

Have a super day!!!


Thursday, July 28, 2022

Out with the old, in with the new!

OH shoot -- I goofed on the one-sided paper acronym. It's GOOSe, which stands for "good on one side, EH!" Anyway, I found a lot more GOOSe yesterday, and it's been added to the pile for printing.  

I finally got through that pile of receipts, and I did keep a few that I'll sort through later. But the majority of it is gone. More on that in a minute. DH had the gall to ask why I didn't just dump it without sorting. He hasn't learned that I have to do things MY way or it doesn't work well! And I found a gift certificate for $100 with NO date on it -- I'm going to see if I can still use it. 

I also managed to get through the last bit of stuff from the 6-drawer plastic unit. So I'm making progress, slow and steady. I unpacked the box I took up the other day and sorted through it quickly. There is a drawer full of paper to sort through and several small baskets of stuff. Some might be useful, some might need a home, and some might be worthy of donating, but I bet most of it is junk. 

It looks like stuff that collects, and you have no idea what to do with it. You know - those freebie things that you get so excited about and then get home and think -- what the heck am I supposed to do with this? I used to be bad with that kind of thing. If it was free -- I WANTED it -- I needed it. I wanted free stuff at quilt shows, trade shows, and conferences. And now I'm throwing most of it away. 

All I can say is think long and hard about anything FREE. While it may be free in that you didn't have to pay for it, it's NOT free because you have one more thing to waste your time on as you manage it. So be careful!

Here's a close-up of that headstone from the Kindree cemetery. I've made it as large as possible, and hopefully, you can see what I meant by the sons' names being listed but not the daughters'. Actually, three of four sons are listed. Apparently, three of the children died of TB. Talk about an unlucky family, but times were different, and thank goodness for vaccines (I did not say that out loud) to prevent these terrible diseases from killing more children. 

Did you notice that two of their children died within 5 days of each other? 

A graver marker in the Kindree Pioneer Cemetary

As if we hadn't had enough excitement on our street, I came home from walking Murphy to find this. 

The new mailboxes have arrived

Wow --- it looks like we are getting our new mailboxes! The old ones were already loaded on the truck. Lexi and I saw the new mailboxes sitting by the curb as we walked past. Hmm -- now where are those keys we received last week? 

Checking out the new mailboxes

Can you believe that in all the kerfuffle, the mail person arrived and put our mail in the new boxes as they were sitting on the side of the street? Yep -- because when I went to the mailbox later in the afternoon, we had mail! Now that's good service. But doesn't it make you wonder why we get mail every day? It's not like before we had e-mail and cell phones -- mail used to be important or more important than it is now. 

But we get mail delivered every day. I would vote to have mail delivered once a week when there's actually something worthwhile to get. How much money would we save? But then someone would be out of a job and how to store it. 

And I have a room with a view. As I sat in the room sorting paper, I could watch the progress of the installation. 

Watching the installation process

I've seen some other installations in our neighborhood, but we got a spiffy new surface for our mailboxes. I'll take some pictures and show you want I mean. 

Spiffy new boxes (for us!)

I'll have to take a better picture, but the pedestals they are sitting on are all new, and they put bricks in the front or something. I wondered why some of the curb was taken out last week.

How long will it take for someone to slap their "painting" and "cleaning" services all over them? Can we not have one surface that is clear of that crap? 

I needed to get rid of the boxes of stuff that were now sitting in the front hall, so I loaded up the car. I had donation boxes, a box of electronic waste, and a couple of things for the hazardous materials drop-off. And my box of receipts. 

The car is loaded with stuff to go!

I must say that it felt good to get rid of another carload of stuff. Bit by bit -- I'll get it under control, but I've done nothing else in the last couple of days, and even though I have more to sort, I'll tackle it slowly and grab a small container of stuff and sort through it throughout the day. That leaves five boxes on the floor in the office, which is excellent considering what was here. 

But that box of receipts was a challenge to get rid of. The slot at the shredding place was narrow, and I had 6 pounds of paper to dispose of through that small slot. Thankfully, it didn't take long and paying $6 to dispose of that paper beats buying a shredder for home, where it's one more thing to own. 

The bin for shredding

Oh boy -- if you have a pet, you can buy anything for your pet. I had to stop and get dog food for Murphy. Can you believe that you can buy a tent for a dog? A PUP tent! Remember those? 

A tent for your dog!

Or you could buy an open bed with a top for shade. 

Or an open-sided dog bed with shade

I don't know about you, but I don't think my dogs would want that, and even if they did -- they are not getting them. Even my gazebo doesn't provide shade all day, so I can only sit there at certain times. And my girls seem to be pretty happy picking where they want to sleep - sometimes in the sun and sometimes in the shade. 

But one more thing to buy your dog and then have to deal with at some point. Yes -- I am a huge cynic on the consumer side of things. 

So I've been watering the new grass and plants on a very regular basis. I can only imagine what our water bill will look like. I may not have saved the grass along the driveway side as it seems dead, but there are green blades of grass in there! I'm optimistic that it will come back!

However, while doing this, I usually take the girls out to enjoy the front step. They were on their leashes and tied to my chair. Of course, Murphy doesn't grasp the concept and lies right in the sprinkler's path. 

MOM -- I'm getting wet here!

Lexi is the smart one; I swear she is laughing at Murphy. Notice how she is right on the edge of the wet patio. Yes -- Lexi, Mom says you are smart! Not always, but in this instance, you are super bright!

MOM -- my sister is silly!

This picture must be from the weekend as the porta potty is still there. 

Watering the grass

It left Monday morning, and it's quiet and lonely here! But it sure looks lovely at night! And thankfully, the neighbor has NOT turned on those new lights since they were installed. I wonder why? Did she realize there were too many and they were too bright? Apparently, she's a realtor, so she's seen many houses and should have known what she was doing. 

The front step at night

I finally have the watering thing worked out and know where to place the sprinkler so I don't get wet, and I don't do this. After 20 minutes of watering, I stepped into the wet ground and sank several inches into the mud. UGH!!!!

Someone stepped into the mud

How's this for the unusual? The kids at one of the houses along our walk were busy with chalk and colored on the sidewalk to their front door! 

A fun chalk walk!

I need to get to the long arm today and the sewing machine! If any sorting gets done today, it'll be in small bits as it's time to move on for the moment. I made significant progress, and now that I see that I can throw away that paper, the rest of the task won't be so daunting. It's amazing how much paper accumulates -- how many patterns did I photocopy (what a WASTE!) that I thought I'd do and I never did. Now I look at them and say -- yes -- still nice, but not going to happen. So they are gone. 

It will take me some time to process the things - I realize now that they will be more challenging than the paper. And I MUST give myself permission to toss that stuff if it's not worth donating or keeping. That will be the hardest for me (and I see that in my Mom). We acquired the items thinking they were valuable (in some way) and then just tossing them into the landfill -- well, that's hard. But I WILL do it. 

Do any of the decluttering books go through this? So many of them talk about organizing, but do they talk about the agony of making those decisions? Do they show the crappy little stuff that we accumulate? More on that another day because I have lots to say on that matter. And I might just recap my best tips for decluttering. 

One thing we have to be careful of is over-organizing versus decluttering. It's one thing to be organized, but if you don't get rid of things, you become an organized hoarder! 

Check out the QUILTsocial link today for great adventures with the Husqvarna Viking PLATINUM Q160 stationary quilting machine. 

And don't forget the virtual Retreat this weekend. 

Saturday, July 30  --- starts at 6 PM

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 892 5423 3911 Passcode: 982797

Sunday, July 31 -- starts at NOON

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 816 9371 7518 Passcode: 579285

Keep up the faith with the decluttering. It's hard -- it's darn hard and often a dirty job (literally and figuratively). But one drawer, box, or basket at a time, and we will get through this mess we've created. And BE VERY AWARE of what you bring into the house. You'll never get ahead of the game if you don't stop accumulating! 

Have a super day!!!


Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Geocaching by bike

It would almost appear that I've lost my commitment to quilting! I haven't - but I'm just trying to get other things done and show you (and me) that I'm not a one-trick pony! 

I walked the girls yesterday and did a few chores around the house because now that things are looking great, they have to stay that way! And then I was upstairs to see what I could do about that massive stack of receipts. Yes -- I could have taken the lot and dumped it in the box that goes to the shredder, but that's not my style. Besides, it's always fun to know when you buy a significant item that you don't even own any longer. That's especially true of electronics! 

We no longer have a personal shredder -- another thing to clutter up the house. We have a box where we keep the receipts or other items to be shredded, and from time to time, I take it there and dump it. It's almost time -- actually, I hope to make a trip this week to get rid of electronic waste, donation boxes, etc. 

But the weirdest receipt I came across was this.  

A receipt for a parakeet? 

I immediately texted M and asked her -- did she remember having a bird? I don't remember having a bird, and finding that receipt was bizarre. 

As I was going through the pile, I also sorted out the one-sided paper we could use. Apparently, MANY people use this method, and there's even a name -- GOOSe paper -- (good on one side!). I LOVE that -- I learned a new term! 

We don't print a lot in the house, but it's rare that we print on good paper, as most of what we print is for us personally, and I don't mind recycled paper. Eventually, it gets completely recycled. 

And it's so nice to see that I'm not the only one on this decluttering journey - Good luck, Suzie! And I hope that we can all stay motivated as we work through the messes we've made. We will  -- I have a LONG way to go in the decluttering world, so I expect to blog about it for a long time. 

I've even become the naysayer about gift giving. Someone asked recently what you give for a baptism. Money or nothing! Seriously -- does a baby need another toy? Or, at the minimum, ask the parents what they would prefer. It appears that many hostess gifts and gifts to children are never used or abandoned so quickly that what was the point in giving them? 

We have this insane culture that DICTATES that you must bring something when you attend a party, arrive at someone's house, or whatever. If you feel compelled to buy something, buy an experience or a consumable and make it something they like! I'm thrilled if someone were to arrive at my house for dinner with a bottle of wine and NOTHING more. I don't need another candle or whatever! I could even live without the bottle of wine, but if you brought me a bottle of Corona - I wouldn't say no to that! 

We are always joking that our quilting is like therapy. Well, our quilting is like therapy, but so are the group get-togethers, and I've found the Zoom sessions incredibly therapeutic. Why? Because you realize that you are not the only one who uses two-sided paper, not the only one who doesn't want another candle, not the only one who has issue A or issue B. Knowing that you are in the same boat as everyone else is THERAPY that money can't buy!!

Speaking of Zoom get-togethers, My gosh -- it's VIRTUAL RETREAT this weekend. I'll post the links at the end of this post. Come by and say HI or stay and sew with us for a while. You're bound to discover something, and if you need the answer to a question -- it's a great place to ask! 

Now let's look at what else happened in Studio U. I will admit that it was boring to go through those receipts -- I'm ALMOST done. By the way, they were from 2009, 2010, and 2011. I don't think any of them are worth keeping, but I did sort out a few that I'll file and look at later. I know -- I should have done it right there, but remember -- I'm OCD, systemic, and I NEED to do it MY way. Thanks, Frank! 

I have to laugh as I put significant tasks in my calendar, and this one has been moved forward many times. At some point soon, I'll be able to remove that task! This is the beauty of electronic calendars, as it's easy to move stuff. 

From my electronic calendar!

All the bits of batting that were sitting on the ironing board are now stored in the closet. I have several batting rolls in Studio B, but this is the cut-offs, pillow forms, and anything else related to the inside of a project that isn't on a roll. 

The batting closet

It looks a bit messy, and I will go through it better later. I aim to get all the bits together (for anything), and then it'll be easy to sort through. Most of that batting on the right is for community project quilts, so the pieces will be joined, and I'll use them for those quilts. I NEED to get to the long arm so I can quilt some community project quilts. 

Then it was back to sorting. I needed to take lots of breaks as this was boring. I should have put music on, but I was good with the quiet. Well, the windows were wide open, and I had birds to serenade me. Maybe I needed a sorting hat to make it more fun! 

The sorting table

See how huge that stack of receipts is? And I need to empty my bins with the garbage and the recycling, so it doesn't look so bad. I might do that today, but I MUST get through that pile of receipts first. It's much smaller now. 

I had to laugh when I found these. Those are the paint chips for Studio U. I guess it's been over 10 years since that room was painted! Not my colors, but I like the room's brightness, and I do not need to get it painted right now, so the color stays. I did toss the paint chips. 

The paint chips for Studio U

There is only one negative thing about that room: and most of the upstairs. The signal for streaming anything is so weak that it's not worth trying. I wanted to stream the Amazing Race Canada -- I know -- you would all say that technically I'm watching TV, but I'm mindfully watching TV, and I don't get sucked into watching other shows. I had to watch it in the office, and I LOVE seeing the views of Canada. We live in such a wonderful country, and I can proudly say I've visited the entire country, except for one territory! Even though I've been back and forth from coast to coast on numerous occasions, there's still much that I haven't seen.  

Here's the ironing board where the batting used to sit. That's NOT a good place for the ironing board, but if I'm not sewing, this works. 

The batting is gone

And yes -- the box on the table came from downstairs. I couldn't help myself. But I won't bring more up as I haven't started on the box I brought up the previous day. Although I sorted through it and made a pile for paper and one for other things, I took a break from time to time to remove a couple of things. 

This was the scene before I turned off the lights last night. There's nothing on the window seat, and while there is loads of paper, it's all nice and tidy. I LOVE using this room to sort! Thank goodness that little brainstorm hit me, as it's great to leave all that paper out and not have it cluttering up the kitchen. Find yourself a spot to sort if you can! 

The temporary sorting room

Remember last week that I ordered something online (NOT from that big store) but directly from the company. Well, it was time to open the box yesterday. See?  -- is there ever a need to get something the next day? Not in my house! 

I ordered a new case for my phone from Quad Lock. Now, why would I do that? Well, I ordered a new case and TWO mounts that use that case. One for my bike and one for the car. 

My new phone case

I also ordered a PONCHO for the phone if I'm on my bike and it starts to rain. 

The two Quad Lock mounts

I wanted to get out for a bike ride (geocaching, actually), and it's so handy to have that phone on the handlebars instead of stopping to check. One must be highly attentive and not get into an accident with distracted cycling! 

Obviously, I couldn't take a picture of it on my handlebars, but here's the mount. It's the blue thing on the right and my bike computer on the left. The metal clips are for my front carrier if I ever use it; in that case, I'll have to move the phone mount. 

My handlebars on the bike

Let me say that the bike mount and the new case were worth EVERY penny. That phone never budged, and I was in some rough territory yesterday. Now I can only hope that the one for the car will be equally good. The only problem I had was lining up the phone case with the clip. On the video, they make it look so easy, and I'm sure it is, once you get the hang of it. But WOW --- so secure. This is it if you know someone who has a bike and wants a GOOD SOLID mount! And that package came the next day! Thank you, QUAD LOCK people. I will send them a note to say how pleased I am or do a review. 

So I had not completed my geocaching quota, and time was running out. I was only going to get five geocaches yesterday, but it was such a lovely day, and I was on a roll, and I got a couple of bonus points (OK -- over 100 bonus points) that I reached my goal of 500 points!

I reached my geocaching goal

That was great, but I had NOT taken a snack with me as I didn't expect to be out so long, and when I got home, I was ravenous! 

Good thing I got home when I did as I almost ran out of power on my bike computer.  

1% battery on the bike computer

And there is nothing more fun than getting out on your bike and having no real destination. I felt like a kid in the 70s (when we didn't worry about our kids), and I just rode around the city and collected geocaching points and KM. I ended up doing 30 KM. A slow 30 KM by serious cyclist standards, but I had a mission and was using my bike as transport, NOT as a sport. It's so freeing, and the city has many bike paths. It was a great day!!! I'm learning to let go of the distance I go on my bike and instead just use it as transportation. That was a very freeing moment when that happened. 

I had to get to this small cemetery, which by car is NOT easy. You have to find a side street and walk to the graveyard; I just rolled in on my bike and parked in the middle of the space!

Parking the bike is easy

And I saw parts of the city that NO ONE sees or only very rarely. This is one of the gravestones in that small cemetery. 

Gravestone in the cemetery

Shoot -- you can't read that, but it's dedicated to the Kindree children, of which seven are listed on the stone. They died between 1829 and 1839. Interestingly, the boys' names are listed; the girls have no dates and no names, just Daughter! I wonder why??? Shoot -- I should have read the historical plaque that was there. 

Then I did some bushwhacking with my bike. I did NOT take my bike into these wild wooded areas, but just enough so it wasn't sitting outside in plain sight. 

But I found all kinds of geocaching containers. Big boxes like this green ammunition-style box. 

A bigger geocaching box

And little tiny ones like this bison tube. 

A tiny bison tube for geocaching

And this is the resting place of that large box. Sometimes, the boxes are not exactly where they say they are, and GPS signals often get messed up in trees. But then you start wandering around (collecting steps, of course). 

A hiding spot for the geocache

And then you spot weird things. Like why is this tree in a concrete circle?? There's absolutely NOTHING around here. It's in a small isolated wooded area with ZERO pathways to it, and in the spring, I don't think you'd get there because of the small creek (that was dry yesterday) to get into it. 

A concrete circle around a tree

I spotted two concrete foundations not too far away, so there must have been a couple of buildings at one point, but what? No idea, as it looks like a forgotten area. 

Concrete foundation

Well, that wraps up today! I had a fun day yesterday and was super productive -- I got my geocaching done, went for a bike ride, cleared out some clutter, and had fun! I don't need someone or music or whatever to entertain me, as I do a great job of that myself! 

Now here are those links which I keep remembering AFTER I post. 

Saturday, July 30  --- starts at 6 PM

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 892 5423 3911 Passcode: 982797

Sunday, July 31 -- starts at NOON

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 816 9371 7518 Passcode: 579285

I'm looking forward to the retreats as I need to get myself together and finish tidying up Studio B, and I have stuff that needs to be done!! I have classes this weekend, so I must finish the homework, and there's a demo on batting this weekend from Hobby Horse. The ONLY way to get the link is to be signed up for their newsletter!

Bring on the decluttering -- we WILL get it done!

Don't forget about QUILTsocial. Day two of the stationary quilting machine (Husqvarna Viking PLATINUM Q160 is available. I had so much fun with this machine!!!!

Off to spin class!

Have a great day!!!!!!