Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Great Stash

Sometimes it's great to have a great stash.  Oh, yea, sometimes I have trouble finding a place to put everything; but when push comes to shove, I generally have what I need.

Bubby has a brand spankin' new, shiny wheelchair, but unfortunately it doesn't fold and that makes it difficult to take it anywhere.  Someone had given them a wheelchair that folds, and that was very kind and generous.  This wheelchair is an older one, not shiny and has a very "unattractive" cover.  I'm not sure if son-in-law Jimmy thinks I'm Wonder Woman, or if he just doesn't realize what's involved, but he asked me if I could make a cover for the chair.  Bubby wanted purple -- Daddy gave that a very adamant NO!  So Grammy hunted out her Steeler fabric.  I have black and white.  Knowing that the black would be too hot for Florida, I chose the white.  Rod helped me take the measurements, and I sat down with pencil and paper to make my sketches.  Yesterday, I put my sketches to use, and came up with this cover for the back of the chair.

The cover folds over the top of the chair so that the front and back of the chair back are covered.  The flaps on the sides have velcro on them. and will be turned to the back and fastened around the side of the chair.  My sketches were pretty accurate and the back cover fits pretty well.  The seat cover is another matter.  I had the seat cover put together, and decided to fit it before doing the quilting.  It's a good thing I did.  I had planned for it to wrap around the seat at the back and fasten in the front.  Unfortunately, I didn't sketch that the back of the seat isn't open.  Hmmmmm...  I sat and looked at the seat.  Pam came down and helped me decide the best way to proceed, and when Rod got home, he added his designer expertise.  I needed to re-use the fabric I had already cut, since there wasn't a lot left.  So I made another sketch or two and then cut the seat cover in half on the fold.  Rod had suggested adding "flaps" on the sides of the seat cover like I had used on the back cover.  We measured how long they needed to be and where they should be attached to leave room for the arms.  And still another sketch.  The way I have designed the new seat cover, it will velcro to the back cover to join the seat to the back.  Then it will wrap from the front, under the seat and velcro to the back cover under the chair.  Nothing will be loose or dragging, and it should be quite soft and comfy for Bubs.  I probably won't get a chance to finish it until Friday afternoon or Saturday morning, but will post photos of the before and after when it's done.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My New Best Friend

At 3:45 this morning, I was awakened by an ignorant bladder.  It has no idea how to sleep all night!  Call it menopause, call it diabetes, but it just doesn't sleep all night.  I could see flashes of lightening and hear thunder off in the distance.  So, I went to the living room to sleep in my chair (which I do nearly every night, but that's another story).  The storm got closer, and soon was rumbling quite seriously.  Suddenly there was a loud crack, a very bright flash, and I screamed.  The lightening had hit the electrical transformer on the pole in our front yard.  In a blink of an eye, the house was thrown into total quiet and darkness.  The transformer sparked for a few seconds, and continued to glow orange after the sparks stopped.  And then, the glow ended and it seemed unusually dark.  I was tingling.  I don't think I was hit with lightening (the kids call my chair "the lightening chair"). But I was scared!!  If I had any boots on, I'd have been shaking in them.  If I had any bejeebers, they'd have been scared out of me.  If I . . .  oh well, you get the idea.  So, it's 4:00 am, and Rod gets up for work at 5:20.  But there was no electric, so no alarm clock.  I keep my I Phone on the stand beside my chair, and remembered that Mary had shown me a flashlight app that she had downloaded.  I picked up the phone and downloaded the flashlight app and it was FREE!!!!  Kristin had shown me how to set the alarm clock on the phone, and so I set the alarm for 5:20.  I was feeling pretty proud, let me tell you.  Using the flashlight on the phone, I navigated my way back to bed.  Rod greeted me with "Hi".  "Didn't you hear me scream",  I asked.  "Yeah", he replied, "are you OK."  "Oh, fine, thanks for asking"!!!  And he wonders why I worry about him coming to my rescue if it's ever needed!! I explained that the transformer had been zapped, told him about the flashlight app and that the alarm was set.  He didn't seem impressed.  But at 5:20 when the alarm went off, and I turned on the flashlight app for him to walk safely around the bed, he was very impressed.  But, sadly, there was no coffee this morning.  Rod lit some candles, got a shower, and left for work.  And 5 minutes later, the electric came back on.  Just a few minutes earlier, and we could have had our morning coffee.  But, Major Kudos to Penn Power, we were only without power for 2 hours.

I've loved the phone since I got it, but was having a little trouble justifying the extra cost.  OK, I'm cheap. . .  I'll admit it.  But after this morning, my I Phone is now my new best friend.  I love you, my wonderful phone.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Constructive Weekend

Finally I had a weekend where I managed to accomplish something.  There seemed to be so much left undone before our Disney trip, and I was starting to panic, not knowing how I would finish it all.  Saturday, Rod and I made picnic beans for granddaughter Jessica's birthday/going away party.  She leaves on Thursday for Youngstown State (in Ohio).  I don't know who miss who more, her missing the little ones, or them missing her.  Last weekend, Jessica took Izzy to Build-a-Bear and had her build a bunny - a very pink bunny.  Jess built a cow.  Izzy's bunny wears an Sleeping Beauty dress, a crown, and . . .  hot pink, glittery, high top tennis shoes.  And inside, is a squeezie button that plays a recorded message from Jess to Izzy -- "I love you Izzy-Boo".  And inside Jess's cow, a button that plays Izzy's voice saying, "I love you Sissy Jessie".  What a neat idea!!

Then yesterday, Rod and the twins and I made stuffed cabbage rolls.  It was amazing how fast it went with the four of us.  After the pigs were in the oven, the twins manned the printer, switching the paper while I used the laptop to print out the Tee shirts that we had all picked.  I chose these 4 patterns, top left is for our EPCOT day, top right is my choice for Magic Kingdom.  Bottom left is my hero, Mrs. Potato Head.  I love her, she keeps Mr. prepared for everything by shoving what he needs (and doesn't need) up his "Oh my gosh I can't print that word".  And finally bottom right is my choice for our Animal Kingdom day.  Centered is the Tree of Life.  If you've never been to Disney you can't appreciate how beautiful the Tree of Life is.  It is a 14-story, 50-foot wide sculpted tree, which is the centerpiece of Animal Kingdom. 

All around this magnificent sculpture are animals, amazing animals.  This is just one photo and you can't imagine how many animals are on this tree.  I could look at this tree for hours, but nobody would wait on me.  Also on the Animal Kingdom shirt is the Everest Mountain which houses the roller coaster in Animal Kingdom, the safari vehicle from the Kilimanjaro Safari ride, and the dinosaur from the Dinosaur adventure.  So, now the shirts are done and I'm a little closer to being ready to go.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I am One Dizzy Broad!!!

Yes, I have on occasion been called a "dizzy broad".  Yes, me. . . the domestic diva formerly known as "Supermom".  I know, it's a shock, but right now those people would be right on.  For I truly am a dizzy broad.  I have this vertigo problem.  Doctor doesn't know what causes it.  But some years, especially in the weeks approaching fall, it rears it's ugly head.  And this year, it decided it needed to make my life miserable.  I can't bend over, lean to the side, or stand up too quickly, or I'm hit with a wave of dizziness followed by a wave of nausea.  Here's how the conversation went yesterday:
  Izzy:  Grammy, bend over so I can see the room spin.
  Me:  No, Izz.  The room doesn't spin, Grammy just gets dizzy.
  Izzy:  OK, just bend over so I can see you get "bizzy".
  Me:  No, Izz.  Do you want me to vomit?
  Izzy:  It's OK, Grammy.  You could clean it up.

As Rodney Dangerfield used to say," I get no respect".

Friday, August 12, 2011

Howdy Friday

Wow, another Friday already. Four weeks from today we will be vacationing at WDW. Yesterday I began tracing off character appliqu├ęs for my autograph blocks. This weekend I hope to get sone blocks finished. I figured out what new shirts I want make. The transfer paper arrived on Thursday, so that's ready to start. I found some really nice designs, including a Mrs. Potato Head, and you know how I love me Potato Heads. Four weeks!! I'm starting to feel like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland . . . I'm late for a very important date. As my Granny would say, "I'd better get a wiggle on." Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Let the Organizing Begin

I have finished 25 neck coolers, and that will have to do. I did them in an assembly line fashion, so there are still threads to cut before putting each in its own zippie bag.  That's a good TV watching job.  I still want to make some new quilt blocks before our trip, and have printed off the character photos and am ready to start tracing them onto Heat-n-Bond for applique.  Last weekend I really needed to start the neck coolers, and so Rod brought a 4-foot table into the sewing room.  He set it halfway in the closet and halfway out, and then picked all the stuff up off the floor and piled it onto the table.  I know it probably doesn't make sense, but now it doesn't seem so overwhelming.  I can see what needs to be put away and have decided that when I go into the sewing room, I will put away 5 items before starting anything else.  And so, let the organizing begin. . .

This is my newest toy  organizational tool.  I've wanted a label maker for what seems forever.  And last week, this one was the deal of the day.  Although it lists for over $50, I got it for just --wait for it-- $15.99.  Now, I have to find the time to play with it learn to use it.

I have so much to label - file folders, storage boxes and clear vinyl pockets.  Yes, pockets.  I have a large box of trims and laces that I rarely use because I can't see them.  You understand the whole "out of sight" thing.  So, after reading some organizing blogs and looking at sewing room photos on-line, I decided to purchase a clear, vinyl, hang over the door shoe bag.  I can sort those trims and laces into the pockets and label them to insure that they go back where they belong.


I purchased these Sterlite 6-quart storage boxes from  I got a set of 12 for $21.99, and will use them to store my FQ's.  I haven't decided how to group them, but I know that I will put all my "food" fat quarters in one box.  I am passionate about food fabrics -  farmer's market, snacks, drinks. . . I love them all.  And I have quite a lot of Disney fabrics which I am planning to put together.  One box will be set aside for small scraps to use for applique.  And now they will all be labeled.  And the blue lids sort of match the color of my sewing room shelves.

I'm anxious now to get the filing cabinet in place.  For some reason, I have always had a problem with filing cabinets being top heavy.  If my plan works out, that won't be a problem this time.  I have all my GO cutter dies sitting on top of my sewing cabinet in racks.  Hopefully, those racks will fit into the bottom filing cabinet drawer.  I know that the strip cutters won't fit in the drawer in the racks, but the other dies should.  But the first, the pile on the table must be cleared off.  And so, let the organizing begin.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

This n That

First of all, Happy Birthday to my sweet Bubba-looey.  Today he turns 8, and he's telling everyone.  If you listen, I'm sure he will tell you too.  Because of his seizure disorder, he was eligible for a wish from Make A Wish.  It has taken him 18 months to decide what he wanted.  First, he told them he wanted to go to Grammy's or to Giant Eagle.  They tried to explain what this "wish" was,  then he said he wanted to go to McDonald's and eat inside.  "Nope, not a wish".  So it was put on the back burner until he could grasp the whole concept.  One Sunday in early June, he and Mary were sitting at one of Jimmy's softball games, and Bubba complained that he was really hot.  He wished that he could go swimming, and then said to Mary,  "I wish we had our own pool so we could swim anytime."  Suddenly a light bulb came on, and Bubba said, "Mom is that a real wish".  Mary teared up, and told Bubba that yes it was a real wish.  And so the steps were put in motion for Bubba to have his Make A Wish pool.  It was more of a hassle than Mary expected, but Bubba is so happy, and on Friday, Make A Wish will come to the house and throw a party for Bubba's friends and family to celebrate his wish.

I had planned to do so much this weekend.  But, yesterday my blood sugar was running really low for me.  Seemed like I had to eat every two hours just to keep it above 85.  I have no idea what caused it, but will cut my Victoza dosage back for the next few days to see what happens.  It's back to normal today, but I'm left with a headache.  I do have 30 neck coolers ready to iron and fill.  My plans are to iron all 30 today and then finish them 10 at a time.  We are only 32 days away from our Disney trip, and I need to finish these neck coolers.  So, for the time being, the sewing room organization has been put on hold.  I continue to plan and purchase what I think will help out with the room-saving organizing.

I need groceries, but still feel pretty weak, so my wonderful hubby is going to take the list and head to the store.  I will keep my I Phone at the ready, and he calls me with any questions.  Geez, I love this guy.  He's probably my greatest blessing, and I thank God for him each and every day.  Talk to you next week.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

In My Thinking Spot. . .

My feeble attempt to organize and clean the sewing room continues, mostly in my thinking spot.  One of my biggest bug-a-boos are the shelves of quilting magazines.  I have magazines in huge notebooks, magazine holders and just lying around everywhere.  So here's my questions:
l.  How many magazines do you subscribe to?

2.  How do you decide which magazines you will subscribe to?

3.  Do you keep all the magazines, or weed out the projects you like?

4.  If you clip and toss, how to you store the cut-out projects?

5.  How would you divide and label these future projects?

I discovered that I still have a filing cabinet from when I had my business, and it's crying to be reused.  If I weed out my magazines, and file my pattern books, I can free up 4 shelves.  Four big shelves!  In a small sewing room, that's a BIG savings.  Rod has told me he will make a platform on casters on which to put the cabinet  and that will make it moveable.  I have a black hole hidden corner where I store our luggage, my sewing machine trolley, and some other cases full of "only God knows what".  But still I want to be able to access these, and my filing-cabinet-on-wheels will make that possible.  So, friends of mine, send in those suggestions,  puleese.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Making a List and Checking it Twice

We are just 37 days from our Disney trip, and I've begun to make my lists of things to buy, things to do, and things to pack.  I've made cards to carry in my Baggalini, that have our confirmation numbers for dining, snacks for each park, and other relative information.  I've designed some envelopes for our tip money for Mousekeeping and they are ready for printing.  These are three of the designs, but so far I have 12.  Each year I do the envelopes for all of us.  Mary usually does all the cards, but this year with her studies, she hasn't had the time.  Mom has taken that job and done my own version which is not nearly as detailed as Mary's, but with larger print for old people eyes.


Note the baggalinis in the front and back baskets

This is one of last year's photos of me on my scooter.  Disney has made every effort to accommodate the handicapped and their various vehicles, but
unfortunately they can't control ignorant people with bad attitudes.  At the various bus stops, anyone with a scooter or wheelchair is boarded first.  No problems unless there are already people on the bus from a previous stop.  Certain seats are designated for the handicapped because they flip up to make room for the vehicles.  And if people are already seated in those seats, they are nicely asked to move to other seats.  But they don't always respond nicely. The way the areas for wheelchairs or scooters are set up requires you to put your scooter in as if you were parallel parking -- you pull forward and then back in.  Some people are quite impatient if it takes you more than one try, and that makes me nervous and frustrated, and makes more tries almost a certainty.  For that reason, we decided to rent a car this year.  It will reduce my biggest cause of stress at the parks, give us more freedom to come and go as we please, and will eliminate the waiting for buses at the end of a long day at the parks.

Daughter Mary is our unofficial Disney guru;  and if she doesn't know answers to questions, she knows where to find those answers.  And this year, the questions were about car rental.  Rod and I had reserved a car with Hertz through AAA at a cost of $343.00 for the week.  Then Mary learned about a website for car rentals.  The reviews that she had read were good, it's a reputable site.  So, we decided to give it a try.  We booked a full size car with AC and unlimited mileage with Dollar for a total of $233.  That's a savings of $110, nothing to sneeze at!  But it gets better.  Everyday, AutoSlash checks your reservation for a lower rate; and when the rate goes down, they re-book you at the lower rate.  You don't lift a finger!  Our rate has gone down twice -- we are now booked for a grand total of $191.  And we did nothing!!!  Don't you love it??

So now, I still have to organize my pins for trading, and decide which clothes I'm taking.  It's getting closer!