Saturday, September 08, 2012

Super Beeeezzz


As you can see, the magical super beeezz have been at it again.  It kind of reminds us of a children's story where Rumpelstilskin works through the night changing everything to gold by morning. Friends say that every time they drive by the place looks so different. Really amazing crew. Once I took a nap and when I woke half the framing of the new house was up. Crazy what 6-7 guys with saws and lumber can do in an afternoon.

We are into the doldrums right now though. They are trying to get everything shored up and tight so that the electric and plumbing can begin next week. See that huge pile of dirt that is dug out in the back? They begin to build a new terraced wall back there next week as well. That will be really great for us since we’re really tired of looking at a dirt pile. The crew needed that space to stage all the supplies for building and now it’s almost done. The wall will face the deck and BIL Bob has his cigar out there in the evening. He’s really enjoying the deck-even partially finished. That’s what’s happening today. In the meantime, I developed an allergy we suspect is from the old insulation being ripped out in the middle section of the house. My face broke out in hives and I’ve been living on Benadryl. That stuff works so well but it sure makes you want to sleep all the time. Consequentially nothing much interesting is happening in the sewing department. I’m most likely dangerous behind the wheel of any machine right now. I am working on a white on white Welsh wall hanging that I started 8(really!!) years ago. I have tried to photograph it numerous times but it just doesn’t come out right. Just a white blob. I will try to find a photo of one for purchase on line and show you next time.


I’ve been watching movies and TV series on Amazon Prime. I can sit at the computer and stitch while enjoying.  I bought the final season of “Damages”. Glenn Close is fantastic. Also got the final season of “In Plain Sight”. My heart is broken that both these series are no longer  running. Such great shows.  For sheer, lovely, scenery, costumes and great actors and I watched “The Forsyte Saga”. It was on PBS years ago and I think there is a newer version but for my money there’s no better acting than the original. I do love those period pieces so much.

Off to take a shower and get dressed. The kids are coming with Lucy later. Dinner together. Makes my day!!120907_01_01

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Busy as Beezzzzzz

120818_02 120816_04 120816_01

120817_01_01 120817_01 Our lightning fast carpenters managed to get the roof of the porch covered and some plywood down so we could use this entrance for the weekend. It was a thrill to sit out there and watch the rainstorm. Made life a little easier for me to get the groceries up from the driveway yesterday evening as well. I had wanted to get some sushi all week and since Bob was heading out for an evening with his buddies I took advantage. Lucky for me, James was just getting off work(he works about a mile away) and had stopped by so I got help from him unloading the groceries.

Debra mentioned in her comment that she thought it was going to be a separate structure for the kids to live in. The laws of this quaint little village we live in(grr)do not allow for that. You cannot build a second structure with a kitchen. They almost will not let you do that for a build on.We had to jump through hoops to get the design of J&Ds house approved and get the permits. They don’t want people to have a rental space on private property. If you want that type of thing you have to have different permits and pay business taxes etc. I can show you about 50 places right near me that have illegal apartments  and have for years. I know, I lived in one. There are a lot of blinders worn for different people in a small village. It’s all about who you know and how much you want to spend under an invisible table. I’m sure it’s like that all over the country. Now and then they make an example of someone and there’s huge fines and a big deal made about it but on the whole it pretty much gets overlooked…unless…you are wanting to build something like we are. So no, the separate structure on this property will be a 3-car garage to be built into the hillside above the current circular driveway at the top of the hill.  The plans are drawn up but we need to get a variance for it since it’s on a slope and will be a little taller than the average garage. James plans to put a lift for working on cars into the center section.  He has plans for his sports car and that center bay will be his baby. Right now the sports car is off the road and on his bosses back lot for safe keeping. Sigh…cars guys.

Anyway that’s the update for now. Thanks for checking in. I’ll be out on the porch if anyone needs me. I am squealing with delight. It’s 10 feet across. Lots of room for a sewing corner, dinner table and even a sitting area over on the kids side. It will have two large overhead fans as well-mosquitoes don’t like big fans. They begin demolition of the inside of Bob’s house Monday and joining the houses together on his side. Talk soon.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

In the blink of an eye…

120809_03 120809_04_02 It sure seems that way. In just a few days we have gone from framing to tomorrows roofing. The roofing will include building the new covered porch(sqweeee) that will extend from J&Ds house back to my front door as you can see in the first photo. It’s going to be ten feet deep with a nice railing and we can’t wait. If you look at the round things on a couple of the pics you can see the porch footings. Next week, after the roof is on the main structure and the porch, they will break open the old part of the house up and down and attach the houses. Then the electric and plumbing begin. That will be the part that takes the longest since the old structure needs re-wiring and of course the central air part with ducts and such will be a big project. They will eventually break through my basement and connect all the basements into one huge area. The man are all excited about that with visions of power tools and manly stuff to come and never forgetting the Man Cave under James’s house. Dani and I have been put on notice to keep out. Hrrummph…that’s OK though, we have everything else…haha.

Seriously though, it really is starting to look like a house and that makes us all happy.  

120809_01_03 120814_05 120814_06

The long wall that was torn down will not be replaced until the work  is finished in the area I’m showing you since that is where the carpenters, electricians, and plumbers have to set up their supplies. There is another huge dumpster in the driveway so it remains a major challenge to get up and down the hill. The weather has not been great. It’s very stormy today so no work is happening until tomorrow. There is no such thing as a simple rainy day any more around here. It is either humid and hot or storming and torrential rivers of water. They have had to put hay bails around the driveway to stop the sand and dirt from going down the driveway too much. The hay bails are growing mushrooms. Very strange looking…

I finished the Granny Square wall hanging and decided that I like it so much I will use the color scheme to decorate my kitchen when we get around to that. That lovely French fabric looks so bright and cheerful I would love to see those colors all around the kitchen. Speaking of which, must go and figure out something for dinner later.

By the way. Do yourself a favor if you have Netflix and download or order “The Way” with Martin Sheen. You will thank me for suggesting this moving, beautiful little film. I’ve watched it twice. Once for the movie itself and then again for all the amazing and breathtaking scenery. I read the book, “Along the Way” a few months ago. It’s also wonderful. Telling the story of Martin Sheen and his son, Emilio Estevez, who made the movie. They each take chapters to tell about their life and I could not put it down. “The Way” is about the road that thousands of travelers take on foot each year called Camino de Santiago de Campostella. Don’t miss it. The only minor complaint I have is that they didn’t show enough of the inside of these amazing churches and cathedrals along the way. I’m a real nut for religious iconography and were it me I would have taken three times as long to walk the Camino because I would have lingered in these places for so long. You get to see a lot of the churches but they don’t spend much time doing more than filming the outside. Beautiful nevertheless.

On the flip side I began watching “Boardwalk Empire” last week and am now hooked on that series. Talk about switching gears in entertainment. From the sublime to the underworld of Atlantic City in the 20s and 30s.

Back soon with more.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Men with tools

120808_05A little up-date on the building. Since I took that last photo through the window they have already put up another wall of the first floor.  There’s not much I can do during the day while they are building since it’s nearly impossible to get out of the house without climbing over piles of lumber or getting in the way. With that in mind I am finishing a few things that have been languishing in the Closet of Shame. These would be things I found while clearing space for the guys to get into the attic and install a central air unit. That will be coming up soon and I dread it but the result will be great. We can finally get rid of the window units and in particular the one in my bedroom that makes the most un-earthly whine from time to time. It’s one of the newest ones we have and was only purchased last summer from Best Buy. It makes an almost human whine that doesn’t bother me during the day since I’m not up there a lot. Night time is very different though. That whine, late at night, is very disturbing. If I wasn’t getting central air installed I would take that sucker back where it came from. No point now. I will happily push it out the window and watch it crash into a dirt pile. Very fun! That’s how we got rid of the last one. James just dropped it to the ground. Saved his back and provided entertainment for those of us with too much time on our hands.

In the center picture you will se what appears to be an opening for a window. That is the cut out for the Corgi bay window for Lucy.  It even appears that way on the plans now. They all got a kick out of it.

120808_02 120809_04 120809_05

I’m headed to the sewing machine to put the binding on that Granny Square wall hanging. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you are stuck inside with no way out. The photos are clickable for a larger view

More soon….

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Actual quiltmaking…say what??

120801_01_01 I’m sure that you are as tired of looking at dirt pics as I am of only having them to show so I finally got around to taking shots of the two things I have worked on this past 10 days or so.

I was so enthused with the Granny Square blocks that some people have shown on their blogs that I thought I would get into the game with my favorite “Breath of Avignon”. I cracked open a new jelly roll of it and made some Grannies.  I’m so enjoying this block and how easy it is as well as how complicated it looks that I’m going to do some more for a larger version. There were a few kinks and first time blunders but they came out looking pretty anyway and now that I have the hang of it there will be more. For me the trick was to make the outside light pieces a little larger so you can trim them up at the end.

120801_03_01 The other little quilted piece is a gift for a friends birthday. I quilted it by machine with the walking foot and I think it came out nice. It’s very small-just a little table topper size.

Now for the construction pics. Today they took down the chimney on the old part of the house so that they can eventually take out the whole side of the old house and begin framing the new part. These guys are so fantastic it was such fun to watch them work. Nice guys too. Here’s a shot of the old chimney coming down.120801_05 What a noise it made!

Back soon with more.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


120726_01_01 120726_02 120726_01

Heads up! The footings and foundation are nearly finished. They will pour the foundations later today and possibly begin framing in a week or so. Can’t get too excited though, there is soooo much to be done out there.  Retaining walls, new sewage plant under the circle in the driveway so that’s going to be torn up soon. There is soooooooooo much dirt and mud it’s not pretty. I will not cry, I will not cry…. I will thank my lucky stars that I didn’t put in new floors last year. Yep, that’s what I’ll do. Thanks to the universe for old cruddy floors.

I’m writing this just to keep a kind of journal and to let some of the friends see what’s up. As soon as I can locate my other cards for the camera I will take some pics of a few sewing things I’ve been up to. In the meantime, building photos are all I’ve got for you. Thanks for checking in.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Stick in the mud

120719_09  120716_07 

Above is a shot of what used to be a small patio outside my kitchen/living room door. I didn’t bother to even try to care for anything growing out there since I knew it would most likely get covered with dirt and eventually torn down. It turns out that morning glories thrive on neglect. The new covered porch will be out there-running from James and Dani’s to my door. It’s going to be big and beautiful. Can’t wait.

Because of the logistics of getting trucks up this driveway from hell, the big entertainment has been watching some fabulous drivers coming up backwards no less. Whew! These guys can drive. Yesterday a small accident left part of a sewer pipe with issues and we had to get someone up last evening to pump the tank. Needed to be done anyway but it was raining like crazy and with all the mud out there it was even less fun than you can imagine. All is well now….fingers crossed.  The really big piles of dirt and sand next to the little porch are from the dig out of the new dry well which the village now requires to avoid run off reaching the street. Can’t see it myself but that’s what they want. Along with a list of a million other annoying rules

As you can see, our nice driveway is totaled and will have to be re-done but most likely not till next spring. Oh! the mud brings back memories of the old dirt driveway…not happy ones I might add. There will be no point in getting new floors in my house until that’s done. The sand and gravel and mud in winter and spring thaw is more than you can imagine. Haven’t been out of the house for a few days since the big machines and wet piles of mud are the new pathway out of here.  Wish I had bought a pair of wellies. Hope to get out later since food supplies are getting low and I have a huge sushi Jones. Once the well gets finished maybe there will be a path I can venture out on without sinking to my ankles. Wish me luck!!



Monday, July 16, 2012

Gory details for relatives & friends

066  120716_04_02 120716_05_01

120716_03_01 120716_01_04 120716_02_04

Lucy is bored by it all. Really a pic from a while back but if she were here she would be going crazy. Noise and strangers outside….not happy about that…WOOOF!!

I am working on a new comforter for James. Ahem…someone has chewed holes into the places where the current quilt is tied. This one will have to be quilted-no ties for little sharp teeth. Picture to come.


120716_04 120716_06  Monday morning breakdown…

The area that is being dug out is where the new structure will be built. More later…

120716_04 120716_02

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Building begins Monday

At long last the building begins. We signed contracts today and next week they begin by doing some prelim work.  The ugly cement wall in the photo is getting torn out and replaced with a great looking new wall moved back about 5 feet. It will give us more room to stage the workmen during the build, eventually make for more area to back up and empty groceries near the house and we’ve wanted to put a nice wall in there forever anyway. Two birds-make that three.

Sadly, in order to get the dumpster in the space and negotiate large equipment, we had to cut down the wild cherry tree. There will be a new one in my future. I’m hoping the chipmunks will eventually return to the new wall. Boy are they going to be pissed.

120608_06 They came and took away the second dumpster yesterday and now we have to have the POD removed next Monday. Right now it contains most of the things Bob wants to keep and a large collection of my fabric as well as some of James things he still housed in the old basement.120624_02 That’s my car in front of the POD. From next week on I will be parking in the street below us. There is very little space for all the heavy machines that will be coming up here to dig foundations and move a lot of dirt. One of the things they are doing right away is moving the electric, cable, and phone lines up to a higher position. Right now you can’t get anything bigger than a UPS truck up here and that barely makes it. All the land is back up in the hillsides and nearer the house on this property.

120624_04 We were pleased to learn today that our architect and contractor were the designers of this years Hampton’s Show house. They brought July/Aug 2012 issue of “Traditional Home Magazine” with them to show us the photos. If you’re near a Library or Barnes & Noble you can take a peek. The Hampton’s Show House is a yearly event on the east end that people can go see for about a month. You pay a fee to tour the house where every room is decorated by a famous or up and coming decorator. The proceeds go to Southampton Hospital. Our contractor built the house that was designed by our architect. I’m so thrilled for them and for us that we got them!!

Anyway, the old part of the house is pretty much gutted inside and the new house will be built  by using that gutted part and attaching a whole new house for James and Dani…and of course Lucy!

I will be here for all the work as well as BIL Bob since he retires at the end of this week. I kept a lot of my fabric and my sewing machine so I have  something to do to take my mind off the chaos for the next couple of months. Aside from the bins that are stored in the POD there remains The Closet of Shame that I can cull from. The kids bought me a Nikon Coolpix  for my birthday a few weeks ago and as soon as I can figure out how to charge and use it I will have photos to show that will be much better…he he.

Wish us luck…here we go

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

More tripping

P5210003 This was the view outside the condo we rented on the Oregon coast in Depot Bay. We saw 3 orca but I was not fast enough with my camera to catch them. The coast was just as beautiful as I imagined and every view seemed like a postcard. I got a crick in my neck from constantly looking up to see the giant trees. It did rain every day but it wasn’t enough to stop us(or anyone else) from just going on with our day. We drove to Newport and had lunch down on the docks in a lovely restaurant. It was very modern and the food was fresh off the boat. Did some exploring and some shopping on the way back to Depot Bay in time for cocktail hour. On the way to our rental we had made a stop at Tillamook Dairy for some cheese. My son had taken a trip out West with Uncle Bob years ago and still remembered the ice cream at Tillamook. We brought cheese curds, sharp cheddar and a few other things for cocktail hour. Our purchases from The Flying Dutchman Winery the day before  made a delicious time for everyone. What could be bad…wine, cheese, good company.

The people that owned the condo were very nice and verrrry fonnnd of glass. The whole time we were there I kept thinking that someone was coming into the room when it was just a reflection in all the glass everywhere. More than I wanted to see of me but that’s a small complaint. Everything else was lovely and spotless.

P5210007 One of our days there we decided to go see the Seal Caves. It was a little rainy and the temps were about 55-60. As time progressed the wind picked up and the rain came down sideways. By the time we walked out of the caves to return to the entrance the wind had picked up to 60 mile an hour gusts. At one point I couldn’t move standing up. We had to walk bent at the waist and hold on to the railings for dear life. Cousin Susan started laughing and then we all started laughing and couldn’t stop. About half way up(did I mention it was uphill?) there is a ladies room and all four of us piled into it and just stood there in tears from laughing. My fingers were frozen since it had suddenly gotten colder. It was 42 degrees people!! 42 freaking degrees. I’m used to winter but the girls from Florida were feeling like they landed in the arctic. Anyway, we tried to calm ourselves down and the little room was heated so the Florida gang finally warmed up. When we opened the door to make our way, it turned out we only had a couple of feet to go to our destination…more laughter.


Here are the rocks outside from the balcony. We were sorry to leave this place. It was really beautiful. I will definitely go back. I was so sorry to miss seeing my good friends in Portland and Beaverton. The plane trip is long and fortunately went smoothly. BIL Bob got us first class tickets and they served us breakfast and then lunch on the next flight but it’s a long time to be in the air. We flew into Seattle and drove down to Oregon the first week. Then back up to Richland Wa.via the Columbia River Gorge(breathtaking) where my niece was getting married. Richland is part of Tri-cities and is a big fruit and wine growing area. James and Dani flew into Pasco, one of the Tri cities. It’s also very much like a desert. So we went from rainy 50s to very warm 75-80s temps. The wedding was so beautiful. It was in a vineyard in late afternoon and everything was well done and sweet. In fact I enjoyed it so much that I never got my camera out. Everyone else has pictures so I will eventually get some and show them.

Day after the wedding we headed for a week in Seattle. I can’t tell you how hard it was to pack for this trip. Three different temperature zones. Very challenging. Of course, I packed too much and my suitcase weighed a ton. Lesson learned.

That’s it for today. The contractor is coming in a few moments to show the project to a possible excavator guy. There is so much happening before they even get to the house building. We are on a slope and we have to have a stone wall dismantled and rebuilt 3 feet back in order to pass some stupid permit. Sadly, it’s the wall in which my chipmunks live and I’m sure they will go elsewhere for the duration. Kind of wish I could go somewhere too. So far all the guys I have met are very nice and seem to want to make these transitions as smooth as possible. These are the moments that I miss Roger the most. I need my engineer right about now. I am glad I paid attention to some important things while he was here.

More tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

thea quilts


thea quilts  This blog is coming to you from Windows Live Writer. I spent too many hours trying to get the cursed blogger to work and this seems like a dream in comparison. Still finding my way around but infinitely better already.

The first week we were in Depot Bay in a lovely condo right on the water. I’ll get those photos in the next few days. We saw Orca and had a very funny incident at the Seal Caves where 60 mile per hour winds nearly knocked me into the Pacific(which it was not that day) and it was 42 degrees. I cursed my stupidity in taking out the sweatshirts I had planned to pack and instead packed more summery stuff. Freezing and sideways rain. More on that another day. I fell in love with Oregon though. Rain or no rain it was fabulous and breathtaking. Here’s a shot of the incredible Colombia River Gorge.


Our niece Michelle married her fiancĂ© Cody in Richland southeast of Seattle. The wedding was amazingly beautiful. The area is a big agricultural region for wines and fruit. Michelle and Cody were married in a gorgeous vineyard-late afternoon. It was so much fun. Great DJ, great music, great drinks-hold on to your hats…I danced. Just enough to embarrass the kids. Lots of laughs.

We celebrated Dotties 70th by having dinner at the restaurant on top of the Space Needle. It was momentarily challenging since the movement of the place took a tiny bit of getting used to. One whiskey sour later I was fine. Dinner was very posh and very delicious.

Among the many things we managed to squeeze into our week was the Dale Chihuly glass installation below the Space Needle. It was so beautiful we went back late in the day hoping to see things lit up. It was still a little to early but some of the pieces were beginning to twinkle. Wow it was everything I imagined his work to be and then some.

Of course we had to go to Pike Place Market and sample our way through there. We went to International Town next day and went to Uwagimaya, a Japanese store. Everything Japanese and a market within the market. Great fun.

P5290059 P5290046 I’ll be back with more pics and stories soon. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed seeing Oregon and Washington. Love!! The endless plane ride….not so much.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sitting here staring at the space needle from my hotel room. Just arrived from pasco/richland area. Typing this on my kindle while waiting for the rest of the family to get ready for dinner. Tomorrow 70th birthday cousin dottie. Dinner in space needle. spent 4days on the Oregon coast in new port/depot bay in a gorgeous condo on the beach. I would have told you gerrie or Terry but it was at the time you were with the stash group and I had 5 other people with me and one car. Now that I know the way I'll be back. Here for 4 more days. More news when I get back.. I really needed this! Ps...the building permits came through...whew. we begin in June.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Trying Windows live writer..fingers crossed

After taking a break of several hours I decided to give it one more go and set up windows live writer. Don’t want to jinx myself but it looks like it might work. I don’t have much more time to devote to it today but here are a few details. I am leaving for a few weeks to attend my neices wedding and to spend some time with family in a beach house before the wedding. On that note I have spent the last few weeks very busy adding to the economic upturn(huh?) by buying a lot of new clothes and shoes and travel stuff. I haven’t really bought any new clothes in quite a while-probably since Roger passed away. So I closed my eyes and held my nose and just went for it. Many trips to Kohl's, Chico's, Coldwater Creek, Lands End, Dress Barn, and other assorted places to drop a bundle, I think I have enough to get by. I still have a couple of things to do like hair cut and color next week and a trip to Ulta for cosmetic stuff. I still have a big list but it’s looking like light at the end of the tunnel and it appears not to be a train.

The house building is on hold till around very early June. It’s all ready to go-we got the permits and think we have a contractor who is making up an estimate. I’m going to really live it up on vacation since I may have no sheckles left soon. The past weeks have been taken up with travel stuff and the next many months will be a complete chaos mixed with a lot of theatre. I’ve been on the outside looking in on friends who have gone through that theatre so now it’s my turn. I hope to have a new camera and have some pictures after we get back. Both the trip and the build should provide plenty of fodder.  I have done no sewing or quilting except finishing a baby quilt for a young woman who is an unwed Mom to be shortly. I had an extra top made from that Whimsy fabric in a checkerboard pattern. The mother to be is a high school student- a friend of a friend of Terry and can use all the sweetness we can give her. It’s a lonely place to be for her. I’m hoping the quilt for her baby will make her smile.

That’s all I have time for today and I’m about to hit Publish. Fingers crossed….

miss you all but blogger sucks...big time. Can't do this anymore


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Small proof that I haven't been captured by a band of roaming Gypsies. Life around here is just a little busy right now. Alright, a little busy is not nearly strong enough. There is so much to be done of an organizational nature(eeeeeek)that I just grabbed some plastic bags off the shelves the other day and decided to see what was in them. Pieces of the above quilts-that's what. I finished the rows on the Avignon/Sandy Klop piece and put a border on it. It will make a sweet little wall hanging for a new space and there will certainly be lots of those coming soon. The Bali hand dyed blocks just needed to be put together and that will most likely be the same. A small wall hanging.

When I made the last baby quilt I was together enough to make a lot of nine patch blocks (above in Whimsy fabric) for a second quilt and good thing I did. I'm currently finishing that top for a niece's baby. This fabric has been a favorite of mine but now that I'm on the third quilt made with it, I think I've seen it enough for a while. It goes to the shelves and will stay there for a while.

The happy couple is coming with Lucy later to have dinner with me. I have some work to do around here before that. It's another bright shiny day in January(unbelievable joy) however the sunshine just points up the amazing amount of dust I have ignored for too long. Off to Vacuum with the super sucker and do some laundry. Maybe I can work in a little sewing before they arrive.

I almost forgot to mention that I bought one of those light therapy lamps from Amazon. It should be here in a couple of days. Many of my blog friends have mentioned that they are aflicted with SAD which is essentially a feeling of depression and sadness in the winter time from the change in daylight hours and sunlight. These lamps are supposed to help with that by flooding the room with light that mimics sunlight. You need to have it on at least an hour and they recommend it in the morning and even as a wake up light. I read a couple of reviews that also mention how much better the light is for reading. I'll let you know how it turns out.

ALSO...what the hell is up with Blogger? No matter how I configure a page as soon as I hit publish it totally screws everything up and re-configures the page any old weird way....Grrrrrr

Talk soon...