May 30, 2005

Mighty Jungle Cat Stalks a Dangerous Bumblebee. Or something like that. This is my little Melody Johnson-inspired quilt I've been playing with this weekend. It still needs lots of detail work, but I think the major elements are in place. LOTS of fun to play around with! Posted by Hello

My iris are blooming like crazy. I don't have any of the brighter, newer colors of iris. I got mine from my mom's yard. She got them from my grandmother's yard. And my grandmother got them from my great-grandmother's yard. Mom doesn't know how old these iris are, but she remembers them growing in her grandmother's yard in the early 50's. Posted by Hello

My lupine is starting to bloom. I had to transplant this one in August a couple of years ago and I thought sure I'd killed it.  Posted by Hello

A weekend at home

Finally a free weekend at home. Track season was more intense than I had anticipated and I need to get back into a semi-normal routine and catch up on any number of things. So what do I do on the first two days of this long, lovely weekend? Go to a track meet and start a new quilt of course!

We took in the Washington 3A/4A eastern regionals on Saturday. We're not really THAT track obsessed. Really. It's just that it was our last chance to watch Becca Noble, one of the fastest 400 runners in the nation. She ripped off a 53.5, a full four seconds faster than AshLee's Idaho state championship time. Ash's time also ties for 2nd fastest in the state of Washington this year. Noble is in a class by herself. It was an impressive sight to see.

After the meet, we pigged out at Longhorn BBQ and then headed to Kimmel Athletic Supply, where AshLee had to collect on a debt. Back in March we were at Kimmel buying her a new pair of running spikes when she saw it. The Bag of Track Champions. She was in awe. She couldn't stop staring. She may have drooled. Her smart-aleck dad told her he'd buy her that bag if she won a state championship this year. Saturday he had to pay up.

Yesterday Ash and Dave went back into Spokane to shop for summer clothes. The minute they left I went straight to the sewing room where I started cutting and fusing shapes for a little quilt inspired by Mrs. Mel's fabulous article in the latest issue of Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting. Because I have at least a dozen other projects that I should be working on and the last thing I need right now is to start something new. But this is just a fun little one that's been floating around in my head for a couple of weeks now and it felt great to get it out of my head and down in fabric.

Today I must bake huckleberry scones, do laundry, clear about 50 pictures off my digital camera and work in the yard. I'll try to fit all that in between sessions playing with my new little quilt project. ;-)

I usually go to the Cheney Memorial Day remembrance thing, but this year I just can't take listening to Mrs. Boots wax poetic about "our beloved President Bush". Gag. Plus, I'm still mad at her for making a really ugly comment about my husband's previous employer right in the middle of last year's ceremony. But those who've served our country will be close in my thoughts today, especially my grandfathers, who served in Europe in WWII, one as a paratrooper and one as a doctor.

May 27, 2005

Ode to Summer

OK, my toenails are painted, summer can officially start now. (I also managed to paint a bit of my clothing...anyone have any good tips on removing nail polish from cotton?) We're actually going to have nice summer weather for Memorial Day weekend for a change, so I've really got summer on the brain.

I LOVE summer. Summer is the very best season and here, in no particular order, is why:

1. My birthday is in the summer. My birthday usually involves a week's worth of eating yummy food and getting presents. I love my birthday.

2. It's hot in the summer. I know hot is not most people's favorite weather, but you must understand that I am a skinny little girl with no insulation. I love hot. I soak it up and dream about it in the winter when it's snowing and I'm frozen and miserable.

3. It's colorful in the summer. Winter here is white and gray and brown. Summer is a delicious explosion of greens and pinks and reds and oranges and yellows with a spectacularly blue backdrop. I love color.

4. AshLee lives with us full-time in the summer. She eats me out of house and home and she has this thing about having the tv and the stereo and the computer and the clock radio all on at the same time, but she's so sweet and funny and I love the relaxed, just hanging out time we get to have in the summer.

5. Barbecue and fresh fruit and lemonade. Yummy.

6. I have way more energy in the summer. I'm not sure if it's the huge increase in sunlight or the fact that I'm not expending most of my energy trying to stay warm. Whatever, my eyes have been popping open at 5 a.m. the past 2 weeks, whereas in the winter it's all I can do to drag out of bed at 6:15.

7. I can go barefoot. Now I love a cute pair of shoes as much as any AQ blogger, but my feet just want to be free. They always have. I love barefoot.

Yay summer!

May 25, 2005

Purple and gold tip-in page for a true colors redux swap. I'm not completely happy with this page. Besides the fact that my image transfer is a bit messed up, I just couldn't quite come up with the right combination of collage elements. But, I'm shockingly late so this will go in the mail tomorrow. Posted by Hello

First postcard made for the Turning 35 exchange. My image transfer of the words was a little too good (I'm still trying to get the hang of image transfers) so I added a layer of tulle to soften it a bit. Posted by Hello

May 22, 2005

This is some of the fabric I painted last week. Today I added some stamping. I think I'll use most of this as background for a series of postcards.  Posted by Hello

May 21, 2005

The sign says it all. We just got home from Boise where AshLee's Priest River Spartans won the state track title. Each girl took home at least a silver medal and 3 of them are individual state champions. AshLee is a 2-time state champion, taking home gold medals in the 200 and 400. Needless to say, we had a very excellent trip! Posted by Hello

May 17, 2005

You are not a human doing, you are a human being

That's what the reader board outside my grandparent's church said when I drove by last night. It's a good thing they reminded me. 'Cause I sure feel more like a human doing this week. Heck, the only reason I saw the message is because I was out running an errand.

The TODO list this week is very large. The time to do anything creative is very small. I'm starting to feel overwhelmed and fragmented and angsty again. Thank goodness I saw that message.

As it usually happens when I really need to hear something, I heard it again this morning in the form of Laura Cater-Woods' Idea to Image newsletter. Laura wrote about mindfulness, focusing on where you are at and what you are doing at the present moment as a good way to clear mental clutter. (I signed up for the newsletter while catching up on AQ ring blogs this weekend. See, reading blogs is good for you!)

I only need to be told most things twice. My goal for the rest of today and tomorrow is to be a human work through the TODO list, but to focus on where I'm at and what I'm doing with each task instead of obsessing about all the rest.

May 15, 2005

In progress purse I made this evening with my friend Pam Mostek's new Tango fabric line. Posted by Hello

Other side of my purse...needs beads or something. I also painted some fabric today but it's still wet - pictures tomorrow. Posted by Hello

This is the first of 3 terraced flower beds in my front yard. Posted by Hello

Pistol the Mighty Black Jungle Cat dons a camouflage of dirt to go stalking bugs in the great savannah Posted by Hello

May 13, 2005

a fabulous kid AND a really excellent cheeseburger

AshLee has a nickname: the Priest River Rocket. I've been giggling about that for approximately 32 hours now. The full story about her that ran in yesterday's Idaho Spokesman Review is on Dave's blog.

Her district championships are tomorrow. I'm practicing nervousness avoidance by thinking about the really excellent cheeseburger I'm going to have for lunch. The Timberlake booster club has a BBQ and they sell cheeseburgers hot off the grill for $2.50. Yummy!

Mmmmmm...ribbon grass... Posted by Hello

May 11, 2005

Where's the glory in that?

So, the anger and bitterness is in full swing at my office. I don't think it much matters how the attorneys handle Gail's death, it's going to make someone angry and bitter. (For the record, they've offered counseling and no-questions-asked time off for anyone who needs it) Anger and bitterness is very popular in my office and I'm just not sure I understand the point. It's not like anyone would dare to voice a complaint to the bosses, they just carry it around and share it with each other in ugly feeding frenzies otherwise known as "going out to lunch".

I have my own reasons for being angry and bitter towards the bosses, but I just can't carry that burden around all the time. Here's the thing, when you're angry and bitter, it impairs your ability to enjoy your life, to enjoy your family, to appreciate the glorious spring flowers and Lord knows, it plays hell with your ability to create. And I'm way more interested in all those things than I am in being angry and bitter. Don't get me wrong, I get completely pissed off and bitch and cuss around with the best of them. But then I let it go. It's boring. I'd rather make a quilt.

Finally figuring this out is one of the many blessings being a stepmother has brought me. At various times in my life and for various reasons, I've harbored a lot of anger towards Ash's mom. A dear friend finally asked me one day a few years back why I was letting the mom camp out in my head. Lightbulb goes on over Nikki's head. Carrying around anger and bitterness just gives control of your head to the person you're angry and bitter at. It lets them keep you from enjoying your life, from creating. And the worst part is, that person most likely isn't giving you a second thought. Screw that. If there's one thing I'm going to take away from losing my friend Gail this week, it's the reminder that life is fragile and we'd better damn well appreciate it and enjoy it while we're here. So go make a quilt or something!

Title note: I'm one of those people who quotes movies all the time. The title of this entry is one of my favorites. Bonus points to anyone other than Dave who can name the movie.

May 10, 2005

My Straight and Narrow quilt in progress. The word will be CREATE. Confession: I love to do fussy, time-consuming handwork. The applique is needleturn and the piece will eventually be embellished with lots of hand embroidery. Posted by Hello

May 9, 2005

Thinking of Gail

I came to work this morning to the news that one of my coworkers, a legal assistant I work with on a daily basis, died of a massive heart attack yesterday. I am still in just doesn't seem real.

Gail was a raucous, fun person who was also incredibly kind and thoughtful in a very quiet way. She wasn't into quilting or art stuff, but a month or so ago, when I was really struggling with my quilting angst, she took time to talk it through with me. I hadn't asked for help, but she saw that I needed something and she stopped to help. She asked me a lot of good questions and even came up with an excellent idea for turning some of the small things I've been making into a larger quilt.

I can't believe she is gone. I will miss her.

May 7, 2005

Between the SAT, the appointment for the up 'do and the mad dash to Priest River to get dressed in time to meet her date, it was a very hectic day. But wow, what a beautiful result! AshLee and her track buddy Philip were very tolerant of the obnoxious, camera-toting stepmom as they prepared to head off to dinner and the prom. Posted by Hello

May 6, 2005

3 Cheers for Catering

I had nachos at 10:45 this morning, so I'm free to update my blog on my lunch break. Nachos at 10:45 because today is seis de mayo, the great leftover festival. Cinco de Mayo is very big in my office, not because anyone is of Mexican origin, but because all us white folks really like Coronas and margaritas. So we had a yummy catered fajita bar for lunch and drinks in the afternoon. And leftovers today. 10:45 seemed like the optimum time to beat the lunch rush.

With a good snack this afternoon, I should be able to make it until the Nordstrom's gala shopping event thingie tonight, where I'll be able to pig out on deviled eggs and cheese terrine from Fery's Catering. I just paid off my Nordy's card...I'm really only going for the catering...really.

I haven't done anything this week except be sick with a horrid head cold. I stayed home in bed for 2 days and I was TOO SICK TO QUILT. I couldn't even sit up in bed with some applique. I'm not sure why Dave didn't call for an ambulance. I'm feeling much better now, although I wish someone would turn off the snot faucet in my head. Really, at the rate I'm producing this stuff it's a shame it can't be used as an alternative fuel source or something.

I was very conscientious and wore plastic gloves to make my nachos so as not to spread the germs. Everyone laughed and called me the lunch lady.

I did manage to make it to the North Idaho Meet of Champions (an "all-star" meet for all the schools in the region). Here's what the Spokesman Review had to say about Ash:

"Priest River junior sprint standout AshLee Rey beat talented fields in the 200 and 400. Her win in the 400 was the second week in a row that she topped defending 3A state champ Jamie Brower of Kellogg."

Actually, sitting at the meet was the best I've felt all week. It rained, but it was warm and there was no wind. Something about the moisture and the fresh air.

So I'm thinking I should go to my boss and say, "Excuse me, could I please go sit in the rain all afternoon? And could somebody please arrange some catering for that?"

May 1, 2005

Random thoughts on Sunday morning

So here I am reading blogs when I should be at church or working in the garden or quilting. Blogs are like potato chips - I tell myself I'll just read a few and 20 blogs later I have to force myself to walk away.

I've been feeling much better this week - the itchy restlessness seems to be on hiatus thanks to 2 changes I made this week. 1. I quit fussing about my quilting and just started doing the work - vast improvement. 2. I gave up the trashy novels AND I gave up reading 15 books at once. I spent the week reading Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver, thanks to Debra's recommendation. It was excellent and I think I enjoyed it all the more because I just sank into it every time I had a minute to read. No hopping around from book to book getting distracted and overwhelmed.

I was pleased and intrigued to get a comment from Drive By Commenter this week. It seems Drive By Commenter's sole purpose in blogdom is to randomly jump from blog to blog and leave comments. I know I love to get comments (hello and thank you to everyone who has commented!) and I've been trying to leave more comments on blogs I read. Drive By's idea is fun and I've been occasionally experimenting with hitting that "next blog" button to see where it takes me. Which brings me back to the potato chip issue that I started this post with. LOL!

Really Excellent Saturday Night

Dave and I went to the Kings of Leon show at the Big Easy last night. Kings of Leon is a great young band that just plays straight rock-n-roll (they do the song in the Volkswagon commercial where the young couple is dancing in their apartment and the old guy downstairs gets mad). It was so much fun to go out and dance to live music. The only negative was that they didn't play the mandatory encore, so the crowd, who really loved their set, left a bit disappointed.

The Big Easy is a small, general admission concert hall with a bar in the back. I decided I much prefer small shows like this, where you can stand 20 feet from the stage and dance all night, to big enormo-dome shows where the band looks about as big as the fingernail on my pinky finger. We barely go to concerts anymore, but after last night, I think I'll keep a closer watch on the Big Easy schedule.

Really Excellent Friday Evening

Wow. AshLee ran completely out of her head at the Timberlake Invitational Friday night. Her goals this season were to run under 13 seconds in the 100, under 27 seconds in the 200, and under 60 seconds in the 400. She's going to have to set some new goals.

She started the evening with a 12.94 to easily win the 100.

In the 400, she had her second shot this season at the defending 400 state champion. AshLee's personal best was 60.03, her school record was 60 flat. She ran a 58.88 and won by at least 5 meters. When she heard her time, she jumped up, pumped her fist and ran to hug her coaches.

Finally the 200, and again, some very good competition. Ash's personal best was 27 flat, her school record was 26.5. She ran a 26.03 and again, won easily. When she heard her time, she literally fell to her knees in shock.

So, 3 new personal bests, 2 new school records, and, oh yeah, she was named Top Female Athlete of the Meet. We all agreed she gave us a pretty darn good anniversary present!