Thursday, February 15, 2018

I'm back ... more or less

Yesterday was my first daughter's birthday.

When she was born, we planted this plum tree in celebration, and usually we enjoy her birthday along with the blooms at the South-west corner of our house.

Not only have we had the construction during the last few years of three-story buildings blocking all the sun in the neighborhood, but this winter has brought record cold to the area.

Although no snow is seen in downtown areas, piles of dirty icy snow still remain within sight of my front gate. Yesterday I took my shovel out to chop up a number of ice patches pressed by car tires two weeks ago and still slippery for walkers.

In a few more weeks it will be my third daughter's birthday and her Sweet Daphne buds are formed and seem to be watching the plum for clues to open.

Last week, though I took a bit of time off to recover from my cold, the days got jammed with the usual activities. Choir practice went on longer than usual on Thursday night ... trying to polish up our performance for Saturday but with only half the participants there.

Friday I was to go to a quilt meeting, but I also had to prepare for my Cub Scout pack meeting so there was no time to enjoy my quilting friends. As it was, our pack meeting went on very long because we were doing a "rough-cut" day for the coming pinewood derby.  When I was down on the floor trying to replace a broken blade on the electric saw, I took off my glasses to get my face closer to the lower parts of the saw, and then smashed the frames getting back up. The blade was fixed but the saw gave up five minutes later so all cutting from then on had to be done by hand.

It was midnight by the time I got home and there was a request for the choir members to show up Saturday by 11:am ... though the program was scheduled from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. I gave up on dinner and went right to bed after walking the dog. Morning... walk the dog, grab a banana, and get out the door.

The concert went well and a great time was had by all, but I think my part was the worst I have ever done since we began practicing a few months ago. By the time of the performance I had used up most of my high notes and was getting two notes for the price of one ... neither perfect.

Sunday I was handed a sewing project for a home decorator. Oh my, very heavy canvass it was ...
I had a communications meeting that went on and on into the afternoon, and finally excused myself so I could go and find a glasses store. The one in my neighborhood had closed. I went to Ikebukuro where I had purchased the last pair and that shop had closed. I found the police box and they told me there was a shop on the other side of the station. Not easy finding places when you are too nearsighted to read the signs, but finally I found the shop. they no longer carried my old frames but could find a very expensive pair that would take my lenses. Luckily I did not have to order new lenses and wait more days. Also, luckily I had the money I had been advanced for the sewing job.

Then... rush home, grab the dog and take the car to the pet store to buy dog food ... being all out. It was wan-wan day (11) when I can get extra points on my card for purchases ... meaning a free bag of food several times a year. After waiting in the street for half an hour because the parking lot was full, I decided since I was already blocking the lane along with a long row of waiting cars, I drove up to the entrance and put on my flashers, dashed in and they knew what I wanted, grabbed the big bag of kibble and was out the door in no time.

That was it for what was left of Sunday. Monday mornings I am out the door for onigiri delivery by 4:am.
Sadly, one of the homeless I have been serving over the years had died during the weekend. Strangely, I had had a dream about him that night.
Well, then off to school.

Getting home at dinner time, I thought since I had to turn in the sewing project the next day, I had better get to it. I ended up basting the seams because that canvass was very thick and could not take pins.

Next morning I brought down my sewing machine and began setting it up. All the pieces had been basted and were ready for sewing but my machine just would not cooperate and jammed after only two or three stitches every time. Finally, the clock said it was after noon and I did not know if I could ever get the machine working. I decided if I didn't start sewing the project by hand, there would not be enough time to finish.

It was a simple curtain, long and narrow with a hanging sleeve at the top and hemmed at the bottom. Luckily I finished it all by 5:00pm, just in time to get into town and meet up with the decorator before my regular Tuesday night meeting. I still had one more drape to finish and I did that one by hand too, finishing yesterday. It will be passed off on Sunday. I still don't know how to get the machine working and I hesitate to put it back in its box in a non-working state.

My frustration level with machines has hit an all-time high. Even my computer has taken a turn for the worse, when I try to open my email, I get the message "Network connection timed out. Please try again". "Try again" has no meaning so all I can do is shut the computer off and re-start it many times a day. This began ever since I was forced to take the "New Yahoo" I sure do wish those yahoo and google guys would find something else to mess with rather than messing with things that aren't broke!

Next post will be quilt show stuff. I am hoping to collect the names of those wonderfully creative quilters whose work I photographed.


  1. Celebrate the birthdays with love and joy, forget the work piling up, and take time to smell any blossom brave enough to show beauty in the cold winter air. Busy, as always, I hope you do get time to be just "yourself" for a wee while.XXX

  2. You are always tending so hard for others' needs - how about taking care of yourself, Julie?! I know you don't want to say NO, but at times it is not the worst option, you know!

  3. You tired me out, reading about all you have been doing lately, lol. You are an amazing woman, taking care of others and yourself.
    I do get frustrated with machines, and would hand quilt if I didn't need things so quickly. I usually get that problem with my mac when it is getting older, it cannot keep up with the newest changes on the internet.


  4. Ok- I'm officially exhausted now - what a time you've had - all that running around and doing and coming and going. wow. Hope your next week is a little less hectic.

  5. I think you need a holiday - or at least a rest!!
    I love that you have planted special trees to mark the birth of your children. Lovely.

  6. I really don't know how you can do all these things : you are truly an amazing person :))
    with my spinal cord problem, I am only able to do one thing per day .....what a dfference with you:))
    Have a week-end with rest ,

  7. Welcome back, hope you are feeling better. Love the planting of the birth trees. I plant roses for special occasions. Please look after yourself and take time to do something for just you.

  8. Yahoo has been having lots of problems in many of it's products, the past 1-2 weeks. Sorry. I need new glasses, but, over here, they don't ever want to put new lenses into old frames. My frames are fine but my prescription is wrong now. Hope you figure out the machine. Get the book out, and rethread both top and bottom. Also, take the needle out, and see what the instructions say about how it should be set. Those are the first things to try.

  9. Oh my goodness,you are one busy lady with a servant's heart

  10. when you are tired t takes longer to do "stuff" and the frustration with those machines feels worse ... SO listen to your body .. SLEEP REST and allow your self to have some "me" time .. if you are ill again it will be worse .. and all those "things and people" who rely on you will have to manage anyway .... so take care x I'm glad you got your glasses I know what it is like to be missing them!

  11. Happy Birthday to your daughters! You are so busy you tire me out just reading about your week. I'm lucky if I can manage one "thing" a day - LOL. Machines and computers can be so frustrating these days - I hope you can find a way to make them work for you without too much trouble - ;))

  12. Good grief! I'm worn out just reading your post. Take some time for yourself, Julie and learn to walk away from the computer. Happy Birthday to your daughters! I love the way you celebrate and remember their birthdays.