Thursday, August 31, 2023

Do you know where you are?

I need to clarify one thing -- I have been lamenting the last couple of days that I feel like I'm not accomplishing anything. While I am getting loads done, I'm a MAKER, so I need to see results! I think that's why people like to make lists, so they can see the checkmark as if something physically happened! So yes --- lots of things are getting accomplished; I just don't have much to show for it! 

HOWEVER --- that's a bit different today! 

I have loads that I should be sewing, but I'm trying to focus and not move from one project to the next. It's hard!!! But here's one more block from the Barn Star Sampler quilt. Again -- this is a 24" block, so it's huge. There are not many pieces, and they go together pretty quickly. 

Block for Barn Star Sampler

I still had two blocks to catch up on the summer homework, which is already late since I'm supposed to have it done BEFORE I assign it. So, onto the next block. I'm listening to an audiobook, and I NEED to know how it ends, so that's motivation to keep sewing. There are a few more pieces in this block, but this is one more 24" block - DONE. 

Block for Barn Star Sampler

That leaves one more 24" block, and then I'm still behind by eight blocks, although they are smaller. I pulled fabrics for those eight blocks, and if I could get that up-to-date, I would happily move on to something else. I used to be OK with being behind, but I'm trying to avoid that. 

This is going to be a HUGE quilt. Here are my blocks so far, and I'm running out of room on the design boards. I really like the citrus colorway. 

My blocks for the Barn Star Sampler so far

Of course, my helper was there in case my knee got tired. 

MOM -- can I PUSH NOW? 

I was back to the emails and unsubscribing. Good grief -- what a job, but I'm making headway. There are also emails from people I know that just got abandoned in the inbox, and I need to STOP doing that because those emails can pile up as well. I'm down to less than 15,000 emails! I think that's hilarious, but it is what it is, and I've eliminated 5,000!!!!!

There are still a lot of emails to deal with

Two good things are coming from this purge. One is that I'm unsubscribing to prevent the mess from reoccurring. And second, I'm actually reading and dealing with the ones still coming in. Don't compound the problem! So, it will take another month or so to get it under control, but even a little bit every day helps. 

When I went for my afternoon walk yesterday, this was my route. I took the long way to the mall, and my knee seemed to be OK. Not perfect, but OK. The sharp pains are gone -- thank goodness.   

My urban walk

But as I walked, I couldn't help but be reminded of The Camino. 

My Camino walk

There's a path along the side of the road!!!!! I had a chuckle over that. 

And when I was cleaning out my email, I came across one from Google Maps. As I keep my location feature on, there are NO SECRETS about where I've been. It's kind of uncanny as I look at my activity for 2023. 

But here's my trip to Europe in a nutshell. I flew to Paris and took the train to Bayonne (the dot nearest the Bay of Biscay). Then, the train to St. Jean Pied de Port (the start of the long string of red dots). Then, I walked all that distance, and each dot represents a day (more or less). And then the train to Madrid for the flight home. 

Europe trip in a nutshell!

Here's a close-up of all those dots on my walk. You have to admit that it's kind of cool to see that!!! That string of dots represents about 450 KM!!!!! And looking at that map from Leon to Santiago, I'm more than halfway there!!!!

The Camino Frances from St. Jean Pied de Port to Leon

And since it's all on my blog, I don't care two hoots about the location services. However, and I'm sure someone has already done this --- there needs to be a mystery book written about location features and how they helped or hindered solving a crime!!! 

So --- in case you keep that location service on - Google knows where you are!!! Just saying!!!

And I had an excellent two-hour meeting in the morning, which was pretty exciting. Sharing ideas and best practices is, well -- just the best thing. But now I also need to buckle down and work on some samples as I'm a little behind, but that's OK. I'm doing the audiobook thing right now, and it's pretty hard to focus on the long arm, embroidery, listening to an audiobook, and sewing. My limit is two things, so right now -- I'm good. But that dream world of working will come to an abrupt halt soon!

This is my way of thinking!!! Bring on the ideas, let them percolate while walking, and then when you go to actually make the things? Piece of cake!!!

Well, I must start the day as there are many things to do. Oh shoot --- I was going to post the classes for fall -- OK -- I'll try to do that tomorrow. I keep forgetting, but I made the distribution list for Tequila Lime, so a note will go out to them soon. 

Have a super day!!!!


Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Can it be this easy?

As I prepare to write the blog, I reflect on what I accomplished the day before. Hmm -- what did I accomplish? Some days, it seems I get tons done, and other days -- well, not so much! Yesterday was a not-so-much day! 

OH -- I know what happened yesterday. I'm starting to prepare the first couple of lectures on the Tequila Lime quilt, and I spent a lot of time at the computer with pictures. I really must call Microsoft and see what's happening with my software. When I save pictures, it can take up to one minute to save each picture instead of milliseconds. The memory is not full -- I'm trying to keep that under control -- there is something wrong (corrupted) with the files. 

So I made good headway with that preparation, but now to deal with the fabric requirements --- that's a whole different story, and I wonder who writes their patterns. OH -- I know who does, but still --- they are the most complicated patterns I have ever seen. However, once you get the whole thing prepped, it's easy to sew together!

I've taught several of that company's patterns before, so I knew what I was getting into when I proposed to teach it. The quilts are beautiful -- just not easy to figure out, so taking that Tequila Lime class will help you enormously!!!

And I'm watching the latest season (13) of The Great British Baking Show, but that's ONE episode a day. I have no idea how these bakers can assemble these recipes - especially the technical challenges. Yikes -- I wouldn't have a clue, but then when was the last time I turned on the oven at my house? OK -- that speaks volumes! My talents lie somewhere else. 

And the other thing that I did was deal with my cell phone. I'm getting tired of it cutting out, yes -- it's been almost ONE YEAR. It's such an issue now that I rarely take calls on the darn thing, and I use my home phone for most calls. I'm leasing my phone, so it was time to turn it in for a new one. More on that in a second. Remember that I changed my phone about 6 months ago, which did NOT help the situation. 

I had been to the store numerous times to chat about the shoddy service on my phone. If you remember, I can be on a call, and suddenly, my voice drops. I can hear the other person, but they can't hear me. 

So, after a very short wait, I got a person on the other end. I explained my story, and I first asked what kind of compensation they would give me for the shoddy service. She goes off to check and comes back and asks what I want. Well, what I really want is for the phone to be fixed. But darn -- -I really should have pursued the shoddy service and asked for half of my fees back. I didn't, but I might go back! 

She went to the technical people this time and came back to tell me there is some problem with the cell tower in my postal code area and that my phone isn't connecting correctly. Seriously???? How can they tell that? Apparently, there were close to 1,000 other people with the same problem. I have an escalation call, and it should be fixed within 7 - 10 days. 

If it will be that easy to fix the problem, I will have to give myself a good chat! But as I told her, if they know there is an issue, why don't they fix it? I'm guessing that other people, like myself, never bothered to call, so if no one says it's broken, why would they fix it? I'm going to feel like an idiot if it actually gets fixed. That shows that one must ALWAYS call the technical people at head office to resolve an issue and ACTUALLY call, instead of doing nothing and hope it'll go away. 

Let's see what happens in two weeks. But it would make sense that it's a problem with my phone working with that tower, as it seems to work in the places.  

Later, I was off to the mall to get a new phone. Only to discover that I am NOT leasing my phone. WHAT?? Apparently, it got set up with a purchase program, and I now own the phone. Good grief --- how the heck did that happen? There are days when I wonder where my brain is -- I SWEAR that it was on a leasing program. 

Well, I was so excited to be getting a new phone that I went ahead and leased a new phone. I still need to set it up. Apparently, they don't do that anymore. You get the phone, and since both have SmartSwitch on them, all you need to do is switch the sim card, and I know how to do that! I even downloaded my photos before I went, but most of them are sitting on Google Drive, so it's no longer a big deal. I didn't need a new phone, but I got one anyway. And my MIL can make use of the old one, so it's all good. 

Did I actually accomplish anything physical yesterday? Of course, I did! I got ONE more block for the Barn Star Sampler done. 

Barn Star Sampler quilt block

It's hard to tell in the photo, but this block and the one I did yesterday are 24" square -- the blocks are huge, but they go pretty quickly as I have all the components cut. I must keep plugging away at that quilt as I'm behind, and I'll soon be on the road again. I have a ton of samples and writing that need to be done, so I'd better get up to date and move on!!!

Things went well at spin class on Monday - I only did the equivalent of 25 KM instead of my usual 30 KM. But I had already cut back to 28 before my trip because of my knee. I'm still wearing my brace for long walks, but I can put my weight on that knee, and I can stand on one leg, and well, other than a few twinges, it's feeling pretty darn good. So I'll be back at spin class this morning. 

On that note, I'm out of here!!!!

Have a super day!!!


Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Which dog breed are you?

Oh - I'm not sure what happened yesterday. The blog was written, and I swear I hit PUBLISH before I left for the gym. But apparently, that didn't happen. Today -- I had a bad night and slept in -- I really slept in, so it's late again! 

You all know about Lexi and Murphy, and I talk about their personalities and show you lots of pictures. However, their personalities are very much linked to their breed. I found these videos, which I think explain PERFECTLY how they differ. I laughed my head off watching these. 

The first is a husky doing an agility course at the Westminister Kennel Club. It's hilarious, and this is so like Lexi. "I'll do it if I want to, and I'll do it on my own time!"  The commentator's comments are spot on as well. Check out the speed, especially through the weave poles. 

The second is a Golden Retriever doing the same agility course. I need not say anything -- this is Murphy to a tee. Check the dog out as it goes through the weave poles --- that's my Murphy!!! And just so you know -- Murphy was by my side and watched those videos and barked her head off. 

But if you want to see a dog loving the agility course, watch this video of a border collie. This dog is in its glory and is focused!!! No wasted effort on barking! 

Anyway --- I digressed there for a  minute, but what fun to watch those videos!!! So, the next time you want a dog -- check out how it performs in the agility course to see its personality!

The teaser e-mails are out for the NEW Husqvarna Viking EPIC 3. That's all I'll say, as I'm not allowed to say more, but it's kind of fun being on the inside, knowing what is about to be revealed. We'll do some "what's new" parties in the fall, so watch for that at your local Husqvarna Viking dealer. I have some classes/lectures coming up in September/October, and I'll post those tomorrow, so if you're in the area, you can check them out. And if you're in the market for a top-of-the-line embroidery machine, there are AMAZING deals out there right now!!!!

Each day in my Happiness Journal is a quote, and this was the one from August 27. OH MY GOSH!!!! Isn't that appropriate for all our cleaning up, clearing out, and finishing off UFOs!!!! Can you imagine my energy level if I had no UFOs? I'd be off the chart!

I confess that I didn't accomplish much yesterday, and I'm not sure why, but that's OK. I do have some lazy days, but I need to start getting some work done, or I'll surely be in a time crunch!!!!

I finished this block from the Barn Star Sampler quilt. So, I'm making progress in completing all the summer homework. There is so much that this is not something you want to do the night before the class!!!! And I need to catch up from the previous month! 

A block from the Barn Star Sampler quilt

Then, it was time to start prepping for the next round of classes. I'll put them together on a blog post to remind people of what they are if you want to sign up for a new class. 

This is one that I'm teaching at Thimbles and Things and is part of the class pass. It starts in October and is called Tequila Lime by Quiltworx. 

Tequila Lime pattern

It's a THICK pattern and on the expensive side, but all the papers for paper piecing are in the package. 

A THICK pattern

Oh boy -- when I opened the package and started looking, I wanted to sign up for the class!! Wait -- I'm teaching the class - I need to figure out the details to explain to the others. That is definitely not a class that can be prepped the night before. There is so much to explain. This is one of the reasons I'm not a fan of the patterns by this company. I LOVE the designs. But find they are OVERLY complicated, and then you wonder why they need certified teachers. I am NOT a certified teacher, but I understand logic and take the time to figure it out. 

After an hour of fiddling around, I think I've got it worked out (more or less) and will start putting the presentation together to see if it m makes sense. I also have to work out the NEW fabric requirements because they are so wasteful with the fabric. I mean, it's REALLY wasteful. And then I have to find some fabric and start making it! 

I know a number of you have signed up, and I should be sending out an acknowledgment e-mail within two weeks. So hang tight -- I have the e-mails in a folder, and you're on the list. TRUST me -- if you've wanted to try one of these patterns or have a different pattern, and you've opened the pattern and immediately shut it again, sign up for this class if for no other reason than to hear the explanation of how to decipher the pattern!!! The first two classes would be more than worth your time. You can sign up for this class at Thimbles and Things

When I walked to the grocery store, I saw this outside. The MUMS are here, which can only mean one thing -- fall is around the corner!! 

Mums are out!!!!

OK -- I have no Monday Zoom and hopefully only a few phone calls, so nothing to distract me for hours, and I can get some writing done, start making presentations, or get more sewing done! Let's not forget UNSUBSCRIBE. I didn't do much yesterday, but already I can feel the "tension" ease in the number of e-mails I get every day!!! Let's keep plodding along, as it will be fantastic to get that weight off my shoulders!!!!

Have a super day!!!!!!


Monday, August 28, 2023

Barbie quilts are done!

Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes!! I had a great day and spent it on the phone talking to family or on Zoom chatting with friends! Oh -- and I did spend time with DH and the girls! Now, how much more could one person want? 

I actually accomplished a fair amount, considering all the interruptions. I started off by quilting that Barbie quilt. 

Community project quilt - DONE

I started to quilt that darn thing well over 20 years ago! I remember at the college, we had just received the equivalent of what we would call a sit-down quilting machine. It was an industrial one, but it was terrific. For some reason, I got part of that quilt quilted, and then it sat for 24 years. It was hiding in one of my tubs of quilt tops. So all the previous quilting was removed (yes -- a hideous job, but a good one to putter away at), and then it got the edge-to-edge treatment on the long arm. 

While quilting that quilt, I finished listening to the third Harry Potter book -- The Prisoner of Azkaban. Before I start on the 4th book, I have a couple of other audiobooks that appeared on my shelf that I have to deal with. 

The Barbie quilt got trimmed, and it was the last thing I finished last night before I shut the call down. I had enough binding left over from the other eight quilts to bind this, and I still have a wee bit left over. 

The binding on the ninth Barbie quilt

All the quilts are sitting on the kitchen table, along with the two Barbie books, and I'll contact the Project Linus people today to see if we can arrange a pick-up. It feels good to get NINE more quilts out of my house! If only I could do that every month!!!!!

I made the binding for this small project, which was attached to the quilt. 

A sample - DONE

I'm not sure if I ever showed this before, but it was made in the mySewnet Embroidery Software, and the letters were cut on my digital cutter. Everything was machine embroidered - the background, which is very tight quilted, and the lettering, which was machine embroidery applique. This is a prototype, more or less, because I learned a lot making it and made many mistakes. So, I'm off to make another one! 

Then I got this Quilts of Valour quilt trimmed and bound. So that is one of seven, and I'll see how it goes to get the remaining six done. I have other things that need to be done, and I have other quilts that need to be quilted. The travel will start sooner than I think, and we'll see how it goes. 

Quilts of Valour quilt - DONE

Can you imagine if I stayed in Spain until the date I originally planned? I still wouldn't be home and in a mad panic trying to complete the trail and thinking about work deadlines. I'm glad I did what I did. Next year, when I return, I'm clearing even more of my calendar, and I'll have strict instructions on who can add to it and what gets added. No more mister nice guy!!!!!

I knew I would have birthday cake, as I saw it on the counter in a box. But look at the cake!!!!!

My birthday cake!!!!!

Happy Birthday in SPANISH!!!! And orange icing to boot -- how thoughtful was that? Yep --- I guess he's a keeper! I got a present from M, but no picture this morning, so you'll see that tomorrow. 

And then there are the girls. They are just TROUBLE. I'm on the phone trying to have a quiet conversation, and they are RIGHT THERE! MOM --- do you need us? MOM --- we want to talk on the phone too! 

Oh boy -- but then they got distracted by something, and I had a few minutes of peace. I love how Murphy puts her head under that little metal stand! Oh, don't worry -- the little metal stand is directly in front of the window for a reason. Murphy would jump on the windows and bark at passing dogs if the stand was not there. No more jumping on the windows, but she gets to look out!!!! 

MOM -- we see stuff!!

And I caught her beside the deck, looking guilty as ever. I didn't investigate, but I'm sure she rolled something under the deck and wanted me to retrieve it. Maybe I'll check later today if I remember. 

Mom -- a little help!!!!

I reset my alarms last night - something I haven't done in over a month. I believe I'm back on my sleep schedule and off to spin class this morning. I took the dogs for their full walks yesterday, although I didn't get a second walk in the afternoon because of all the phone calls, etc. I still managed 10,000 steps. And my knee is feeling pretty darn good. Seriously --- no painkillers or anti-inflammatories. It's tired, mind you, and I must NOT twist it, but it almost feels better than when I left. I almost feel like I imagined the whole incident. 

Spin class will be an experiment. I'll back off the tension and ride and see how it goes. And I wear my brace for long walks as I feel my knee, but that intense pain is gone. You do not know how much of a relief it is to get out of bed and be able to put my full weight on the knee! It honestly feels like a miracle!!! And I only suffered for about 10 days! 

The Virtual Retreat was quiet all weekend, but that's OK. We had a lot of fun for those of us on the call. And today it's back to Monday sewing. I have things I want to get done, and I'll just putter while on the call. I'd like to get those backings done for the next six quilts. Then, it would be easy to throw them on the long arm, but I also have some quilt blocks I want to make. So we'll see how it goes. 

And then this week, I'll be back to work - I've got class material to prepare and articles to write, and I do NOT want to get into a time crunch, so I'm going to try and follow my new Camino philosophies and stay on top of things and not wait until the last minute. OH -- and the big thing is -- do NOT over book my time!!!! Wish me luck!!! 

On that note, I'm off to spin class. 

Have a super day!!!


Sunday, August 27, 2023

August Virtual Retreat

 If things are going well, I won't be around to host the Virtual Retreat this month. Well, I'll stop in to say hi, but it'll depend greatly on where I am and what kind of WiFi connection I can get. 

And here's the link for Sunday, August 27. This one starts at 12 NOON EST and runs until 8 PM. Since this will be my BIRTHDAY, I hope to be able to connect!

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 861 1959 8156
Passcode: 053861

Have a super day!!!!


The simple life

Another year has rolled around! It's my birthday today!! There's no need to discuss the numbers -- birthdays are about celebrating the fact that we are still here and able to live a pretty normal life.

I look forward to the following year, and who knows what that will bring. It's about keeping the mind open and the body in somewhat decent shape to do what the mind wants! 

It's about creating, it's about adventure and exploring, and it's about ME time. But best of all, it's about friends, sharing, and well --- it's just about LIFE and being one of the lucky ones still around. 

By the way (and I don't want to jinx anything), my knee feels pretty good. While it still has its moments, that sharp pain is gone. It's achy and tired, but I feel like I could hop back on the Camino and finish it right now! But let's not get too hasty. I wear my brace when I walk any distance, and I'll keep doing so, but I'm good around the house. I almost wonder what happened out there, and perhaps it was all a dream? 

I'm booking one more appointment with the physio this week because that was a "miracle" cure. It's better than a cortisone shot, although will this euphoria last? I don't care -- let's take it one day at a time. 

I had a somewhat decent day yesterday, but more importantly, I accomplished stuff that I had been dreading doing, and it got done, so that was a good thing. I had to make travel arrangements for several trips. This involved booking hotels, cars, and planes, all of which take time to do when you have to evaluate the options. Let's just say there are some weird trip combinations in the works, and you'll hear about them when they happen. 

But it blows my mind when things go wrong! I needed to book a hotel for an upcoming week-long event. When I tried to do that online, the system told me I couldn't. Why not? Well, because the second night is sold out. OK -- so if it were just me, I'd say - that's possible. However, knowing that hundreds of people will attend the same event and ONLY the second day is sold out, I knew something was wrong. 

After calling the hotel, the reservation desk said the same thing. According to their computer, the hotel was not available that night. So you're telling me that all those customers who have not booked yet won't have a bed that night? I don't think so. I went back to the coordinator to tell her the story, and within 30 minutes, the situation was fixed. It was supposed to have happened the day before, but I digress. I can live knowing that because of my persistence, the problem got fixed for everyone else. 

I get that the person I spoke to at the reservation desk was only an hourly paid employee, but wouldn't you question the logic of that situation? The first night is available, the second is not, and the remainder of the week is available. There must be a glitch. But nope -- they just go by what's on their screen, and I can't blame him -- he is NOT paid to question things. 

I must have sounded a wee bit frustrated, and I was. But I was polite -- I didn't yell. Imagine my surprise when I received a phone call shortly after from the hotel, ensuring that everything was OK. Then I received a second phone from the same lady, just double checking again, and then I got a text from her to say YES -- my reservation was, in fact, correct. I should have pretended I was so distraught that I needed a spa treatment as compensation. But seriously -- I wasn't that upset -- just frustrated knowing that when someone blocked off the rooms, they probably hit 200 for day one, 20 for day two, and 200 for the remainder of the days. It happens!!!

I still have more travel to book and arrange, so hopefully, I can finish that by tomorrow. All these fun and games. 

Then, in the afternoon, I puttered. WAIT -- I had a nap first! Maybe it's the legs over the back of the couch that is helping my knee? Then I puttered. I got the last Barbie quilt on the long arm. That required a lot of fiddling to get all the loose threads off that quilt top and the fleece backing. 

Last Barbie quilt - ready to go

Then, while we had Virtual Retreat last night -- by the way -- I'm back!!!! Yep -- I had no issue participating, and I just needed a few days to reflect on my journey and continue to enjoy the peace of the trip! 

So, during the Virtual Retreat, I managed to get all the bindings on the first eight Barbie quilts. 

Eight Barbie quilts are done!!!!!

Yeah --- that's a huge job done, and I'll try to finish the remaining one today and then call the Project Linus coordinator for pickup. I have a few Barbie books I do NOT want -- I might throw those books in with the quilts. 

I'm still wearing my Camino shoes for my daily walks. I have to laugh when I look at them. Look at this one spot that wore. I knew before I left that it was rubbing the bottom of my ankle somewhat, but it didn't seem to be a big issue. So, instead of bothering my ankle, the shoe wore down. 

My ankle trumps the shoe! 

And what is this on the outside of the same shoe? I've no idea what it is. 

Crap on my shoe!

DH went to the grocery store in the morning, and as he drove away to play golf, he mentioned that he bought me a surprise. OH -- I like surprises. He should have bought that for me today!!!

A chocolate pastry

Bless his heart for trying. This is a good substitute for what I ate in Spain. OK -- the pastry is nowhere near as flaky, and the chocolate is NOT the same. But it was fun to eat and made me think of all the others I ate while away!!! 

Someone sent this to me yesterday. I couldn't agree more. 

The less stuff you own, the less time you need to organize it and the less space you need. I think this is one of the reasons why the Camino calls people back. The beauty of living with minimal things is DIVINE!! You can't imagine the freedom of living with just the bare essentials over an extended period. It's a simple life - it's uncomplicated, and I think people yearn for that simplicity, but we are afraid to commit to living with less; we don't know where to start, and we think we'll miss out. 

So, it's time to let go of many things. I'm trying, but I want to be responsible about it. I don't just want to pull up a dumpster in front of my house and empty it. That would be pointless, and I would be sad. But consciously getting rid of it and enjoying that process brings me much pleasure. I know this is exactly how my Mom feels. But here's the difference between the two of us. 

My Mom is a hoarder, and she was born in the mid-30s, so they didn't have a lot of stuff. Little things became precious to her, and because of that pioneer spirit, many things were deemed useable, but not at that time. And over time, you just continue accumulating, and you don't see what's happening. Of the five siblings, four are similar; one is entirely different! 

Now that we have to finish with the house, she is determined to donate or sell all the stuff to someone. But here's the thing --- who needs a floor polisher? I think there are two in the house, and I swear they haven't been used for over 40 years. But in her mind, they are still valuable. Who polishes their floors these days, and can you even buy the wax? 

We have a job to convince her that everything of any value has already been dealt with, and whatever is left just isn't worth keeping! Thankfully, I have a co-conspirator! 

Thankfully, I realized this potential hoarding thing about 10 years ago for myself. And since then, I've been getting rid of things or using them as appropriate. NOTHING is precious anymore - memories, yes, but not things. Anything can go. I'm trying to get rid of them while they are still of value to someone. Times change, and what was good one day is no longer good. I mean, who wants a fax machine these days? Not that either of us has one to dispose of, but you know what I mean. 

So look around your house. Here's a crucial thing to consider as you look around your house. Are you using the item and want to continue to keep it, or are you bound by a MEMORY of who it belonged to? We all need to get OVER the memory thing and focus on its purposefulness. And while it's OK to keep memorabilia, we need to think carefully about how much we own. What are you no longer using and likely could live without? Can someone else use it? If not, then guess what? It's time to take it to the dump! I know -- -that hurts to the core, but seriously -- why should we be saddled with these physical things? We don't need to be heroes to our ancestors -- if there is no use for it -- then get rid of it!!! They will only haunt you if you let them! 

I'm doing the same thing with my e-mail, and I'm down to less than 17,000 e-mails, so I'm making progress, but there is still lots of work to do. A bit at a time, and before I know it, it's going to be in good shape. 

The key to all this is to NOT let it happen. This is something that parents need to teach their children, and teachers need to teach to their students. If you want to buy your kid toys and gifts -- that's OK, but also teach them how to get rid of what they don't want. DO NOT DO this yourself, but show your kids how to do it --- they'll love you for it later in life. It's an important life skill. 

OK -- so where did all that philosophical stuff come from? OH -- it's my birthday -- one year older and one year wiser! 

Anyway -- have a super day, and if you get a chance, pop into the Virtual Retreat (the link is in a separate blog post) and have some virtual cake!!!!


Saturday, August 26, 2023

Virtual Retreat for August

 If things are going well, I won't be around to host the Virtual Retreat this month. Well, I'll stop in to say hi, but it'll depend greatly on where I am and what kind of WiFi connection I can get. 

But there will be a virtual retreat on Saturday, August 26. It'll start at 6 PM EST and runs until 9 PM. However, I won't be there, so I bet they go crazy!!! 

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

And here's the link for Sunday, August 27. This one starts at 12 NOON EST and runs until 8 PM. Since this will be my BIRTHDAY, I hope to be able to connect!

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 861 1959 8156
Passcode: 053861

Have a super day!!!!


FOMO - fear of missing out

OH MY!!!!! I didn't take a single picture yesterday. In fact, I was a total slug all day, and I loved it!

I did grab a couple of pictures this morning, but nothing earth-shattering. 

So what did I do all day? I was on the phone quite a bit. I know --- I had to break the "vow" of silence to get some work and family business done. Mission accomplished, but now I have some follow-up to do. It's always that darn follow-up that kills me. But if I get some of it done today and forget the quilting, that would be good. 

I have to try not to get into a time constraint!! 

The other thing I did was unsubscribe e-mail. I found a couple more folders of e-mails that needed to be deleted, so I got some of that done. But I swear this will be a never-ending job - at least for a couple of weeks. There is only so much unsubscribing that one can do at a time. And then there are e-mails from people I know that never got deleted or filed, which must also be dealt with. 

So far, I've been ruthless. All those subscriptions that I thought were cool are GONE, well, not all yet. I get this is how these designers get people to sign up for things, but I never even opened the e-mails, so what's the point? And even when I'm trying to be on the alert, I missed an important e-mail that came in at 12:30 yesterday, and I just saw it this morning. 

And while the number of e-mails was decreased to less than 18,000, the amount of storage used went up! Why? Because someone sent me an attachment, and that takes up room. YES --- one must deal with the e-mail thing -- -no sweeping it under the rug!!! 

Here's my new keyboard, which is HUGE!!!! But it works, and that's all I care about! 

New keyboard

And there's the new fancy mouse, with buttons that I have yet to learn what they are supposed to do. 

New mouse

I sat out in the gazebo last night until it got dark and was chased into the house by mosquitos! I think I mentioned that it was repaired while I was away. It needed to be repainted, and then there appeared to be a lot of rot, so the wood got replaced, and it's nice and newly painted. It needs to stay painted to not rot again! We have carpenter ants, so I must call and get the area treated.

I'm also watching Season 13 of The Great British Baking Show. What fun!!!! And while I watched episode 4 (Mexican week), I finished ripping out the quilting on the ninth Barbie quilt. Yeah!!!! Now, the fun job of picking out the little bits of thread and getting it loaded on the long arm. That might be my slow task of the day. 

I also got brave and walked to the mall. Yep -- I cannot let that knee seize up on me, and it was fine. I took my brace and put it on part way there, and it was fine. OK - not totally fine, but it felt better than it did one week ago. I swear the traction and the shock treatment worked like a charm. I might go back for one more treatment this week -- just because. And I need to follow up with the doctor. Hey --- if all it took was a few treatments like that periodically to keep things happy -- I'm up for that. I know it's not up to the constant walking of a Camino yet, but I'll get there!! 

But I need to get back into exercising and start building up the strength around the joint. Our family was just blessed with crappy knees. Thanks, Mom and Dad!!!! Although I suspect that came from further down the line than them!

Remember, there's a virtual retreat tonight and tomorrow -- the links are in a separate post that I had set up before I left. I'll be logging on, and who knows, I might participate. 

I see I'm getting sign-ups for my fall classes, so that's exciting. I know I scared many away as these projects are NOT small, and I want people to avoid getting bogged down in FOMO. It's so easy to get caught up in the moment and sign up for everything -- classes, newsletters, or whatever. I'm guilty as charged in that aspect -- look at me with my 20,000 e-mail to deal with. 

Here's the thing. We should look at what we want to do in our lives -- where do we want to travel, what do we want to learn, what kind of person do we want to be, what are our interests, and what do we do with our downtime? Those are pretty important things that everyone should have somewhat of a handle on. Then, we need to look at those personal interests with FOMO. If you do something else, what of the things you WANT to do will you miss out? That's HUGE --- don't worry about missing out on external opportunities, but think about the INTERNAL stuff you'll miss because you want to do what everyone else is doing! 

Yep --- I'm guilty, and I've been trying to change that over the years. I still want to take classes, and I still want to learn, but I don't want to do those things at the expense of some personal and quiet time for me. So I must be very cognizant as September rolls around to keep that in check!!

On that happy note!!! I'm out of here!!!

Have a super day!!!!


Friday, August 25, 2023

When a tree falls in the forest.................

OK --- I feel like I'm somewhat back in business. I slept a LOT yesterday, with my leg propped up on the back of the sofa -- well, both legs on the back of the sofa (well-supported, mind you), and my knee is feeling better. I'm not going to lie -- I won't be running any marathons any time soon, but the physio suggested that I do exercises where I don't have to put weight on my knee -- like spin class, so I'll be back to spin class on Monday.

I walked both girls yesterday, but shorter than usual, and I walked to the grocery store, so I got my 10,000 steps in. I could feel that extra weight of the things I carried home, which is a bit of an eye-opener as to how much weight one carries regularly on the body. I bet losing 10 lbs would do me a world of good, so I'm not making that a firm goal, but I will see what I can do. Because of my knees, I know that keeping my weight down will be super important, or I will be in a world of hurt as I get older. And we can't have that, and if keeping the weight off means delaying a knee replacement, so be it!!! Wait -- no one told me I need a knee replacement; I think it'll likely be on the agenda at some point. 

AND I got a new keyboard with a mouse. Well, they are two separate devices, but in the past, I had to have a dongle for both the keyboard AND the mouse, and now I have one for both. I didn't take a picture, but it's fancy with all these buttons. I just need the keys. It's a bit noisier than I thought, but that's life!! Yeah -- I can type again!

Boy - this unsubscribing business is a slow process. I've been sorting e-mails and unsubscribing. I'm still at over 19,000 e-mails, so there are one or two categories where I have saved tons of e-mails, or there is just a LOT to unsubscribe. As I mentioned yesterday, which ones to unsubscribe and which ones to keep is a big deal. Some are easy to unsubscribe, and some are not. 

Here's the thing -- let's say that you get e-mails from a thread company. It's mostly to say -- hey -- this thread is on sale, but you must buy from them. Let's face it: When we buy directly from a company, we support that company, not the local quilt shop. OK -- so it happens, and we can all live with that. But the shipping cost doesn't make it worthwhile for those of us in Canada, so why am I getting those e-mails? And I know there is a ton of thread information on their website, so if I need information, I know where to go. So UNSUBSCRIBE!!!!  

Someone suggested using rules to tame the e-mails, and while that is an excellent idea, and I use rules and the search functions to find e-mails that people send to me, it doesn't eliminate the quantity issue. And if I'm going to put e-mails into a folder and never look at them? That means I shouldn't be getting them in the first place. So, UNSUBSCRIBE it is. I am using 60 GB of storage for my e-mails and attachments. That is totally INSANE!!!!!

I may end up dealing with the e-mails I get each day. Hmm -- at noon, I can sort them by FROM, then start deleting and unsubscribing. At some point, it'll all go away except those I want to keep or need to answer. Once it gets down to a manageable level, I can delete more or unsubscribe or even feel I can add one or two - but I doubt that!!!

I once worked for a man whose inbox was empty at the end of every day. He was a manager, and I swear he actioned each e-mail within minutes of arriving. He was a pain, you know where, and he and I did not get along! 

So yes, the e-mail thing will take a bit of time to get under control, and I still need to continue to work through those folders -- but at least I have a good folder system and just need to delete the old stuff. That's pretty easy, and much has already been done. 

On the quilting front, I made good progress. I got one more quilt done -- one of the ones for Quilts of Valour. They are pretty scrappy; if they don't want them, they will be donated to someone else, but at least they will be done. 

Scrap quilt - DONE

Still, it's flannel front and back, so it will be super cozy. I have to make the backings for the next six, and well, I didn't get any of that done yesterday. I hoped to make the backing for the next one this morning, and my body said -- NO -- you need to sleep. So even though I woke up at ridiculous o'clock again, I dozed on and off for several hours, so let's hope my clock is back on track!!!!

I got one of the Barbie quilts completely done, and the binding (one side) is on the remaining seven, so it won't take long to finish those off. 

As for the ninth one? I'm almost done with the ripping out. Yeah -- if all goes well, I should get that done today, and I might put that on the machine and attempt to finish all the Barbie quilts tomorrow. Then I can get back to work on those seven Quilts of Valour quilts. 

I also have computer work and class preparations to do, so I must get to work on that. All in good time!!! There are no imminent deadlines yet, but I know they are fast approaching. 

So here's the thing. I took Miss Lexi for a longer walk yesterday, and we passed by that HUGE tree that has been leaning badly for over one year. It's a massive tree. I even had the city come and look at it back at the beginning of the year because if that tree fell and went over the fence into the houses, it would not be good. They did nothing. 

Well, that tree has fallen, and from the looks of the leaves, it fell a couple of weeks ago. Fortunately, it did NOT fall on the houses but into the other trees. Now, if no one heard that tree crack as it went over, well -----It's kind of sad because the tree was very healthy, but it was on a slight incline, and it was leaning to one side, and I bet the weight of it just toppled it over. Well, that will make room for the younger trees in that area to rise up!!!!

Massive tree falls

Someone posted a note on Facebook the other day about our society and how we are dumbing everything down. Here's an example that BLOWS my mind. So, the path in the forest is gravel. There are a few hills, and so when it rains, there is going to be erosion. No BIG deal. 

A bit of erosion

They have put pylons and barriers to alert people to the issue. But I saw this sign the other day. 

New caution sign in the forest

Seriously???? Our society has gone to the dogs. Can people not equate a gravel path to possible uneven surfaces? This just goes to show that people have lost their common sense, and who is to blame for this? The do-gooders who want to include everyone in every activity? The governments to protect their butts? The lawyers who can make money by suing people? WHO is responsible for this mess? 

It makes me laugh because when I think of the Camino and the type of terrain we walked on -- this granular path warning is hilarious!!!! There are parts of that trail that "those people" would cringe at, and there would be guardrails, signs, detours, and god knows what else. It's NATURE!!!!!!

This first picture is a very steep decline, and notice how it's paved to prevent erosion. 

Paves descent

This was a steep incline, and it wasn't paved, but still loads of room to walk without falling in the crevice!!!! 

Not paved

Although in some extremely remote (or so it seemed to me) areas, some of those steeper downhills subject to erosion were PAVED!!!! With cobblestones or pavers or whatever. Why doesn't the city just pave those two small hills that are causing the "erosion" problem? Just whack some pavement on the two sections, and you are done! And I was at the train station in Madrid on my way to the airport. Big wide platforms are open on both sides to allow the trains to enter the station. The Madrid train station is under massive construction, and at one point, the big wide platform is down to about 4 feet right beside the track. That would never happen here -- we'd have warning signs and tape, and god knows what else to protect the idiots who are walking and looking at their cell phones instead of where they are going. 

The world is fast going downhill and not in a good way. I notice little patches of pavement on the sidewalks in my neighborhood if there is a slight difference in the height of the sidewalk sections. Can people not look and see where they are walking? 

Before we know it, we will have to have signs at our front doors -- you are about to exit the safety of your home. Be aware of EVERYTHING!!!! And that is if you can call your home safe!

Let people fall, scrap their knees, or whatever -- perhaps they will learn to care for themselves. Sigh.................................

The poor girls desperately needed grooming when I got back. I find the easiest way to get the hair off of Lexi is to pluck her like a chicken. I know -- poor dog!!!! And then I leave handfuls of hair in the forest. A dog massacre, to be sure!!! 

A dog massacre

When I was at Chapter's, I spotted this book. I should have looked inside, but it made me smile --- where will you go?????? 

So I've sorted through my pending folder and need to address stuff in there today, and there are a few phone calls I need to make, so I might have to leave the long arm today to catch up on that other stuff. I must say that it takes a while to switch from vacation mode to real mode; honestly, I like vacation mode! But the quiet thing has really helped -- I would NOT be making good company for anyone these days. 

I'm listening to the third Harry Potter book and over half done. I'm not fond of the narrator, but it is what it is!!! 

So, on that note, I'm out of here!!!! Remember to mark the Virtual Retreat in your calendar for Saturday and Sunday. I'll make an appearance, but I'll see how it goes. I'm still not in the mood to chat! Can you believe I said that? 

Have a super day!!!!