Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tidings from Kingfisher, OK

Here I am -- back at my MIL's house in Kingfisher, America.  The house-jacker-upper people are here today along with the Heat and Air people.  The lawn has totally croaked from the drought and the remaining bushes and trees aren't far behind.  I have had the hose running in the "flood system" ever since I arrived this morning at 10 AM.  It is 3 PM now. 
I guess I better explain the "flood system".  My husband likes to use the kind of sprinklers that have long spikes on them, and you stick them down in the dirt.  Then you put another one in the dirt several yards away from the first one -- and then another and another.  You hook up a hose, and then 3 or 4 of the things are SUPPOSED to go around in circles in a retarded jerky motion.  I HATE them with a passion.  They NEVER work.  They never go around and they only jerk in one direction and not the other.  SO, when I water the lawn -- and when he isn't looking -- I just turn on the hose and put it in the garden and let it run until it FLOODS it with water.  Then I move it in another garden and FLOOD it.  Hence, the "flood system".

Sometimes I put on a single sprinkler that sprays way up in the air like a giant fan and goes back and forth and back and forth.  Jerry has a FIT whenever he sees me watering.  He isn't HERE today, so I am using the flood system.  I want the water to stay ON THE GROUND -- not up in the air evaporating into steam in the 105 degree heat wave!

While I have been watering everything I can reach with a hose, the house-jacker-upper people have been working on the side of the house even though the man in charge -- Wes -- informed me that that would not work because it wasn't the problem. 

Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.  Why the *!*!* are they here then!?  He thinks maybe the front of the house needs to be jacked up now.  After that, I suppose it will be the garage or the shed out back that needs jacking-up!

There were four of these guys.  Two of them had to come INSIDE the house on the new carpet several times, and even though they honored my request to remove their boots, they made the termite guy look like Snow White!!!

As I was driving here this morning from my house in Edmond, I remembered that the AC doesn't work here.  We had to have it filled with freon twice last summer.  We were going to replace the unit, but the AC company never could figure out how much it would cost or when they could do it, so we put it off.  I called S&J Heat and Air while driving here to see if they could come here today since I would probably be spending the night.  I talked to Tanya.

Tanya said, "Oh, my!  There is no way we could possibly come out today.  We had 50 calls just this morning.  We have four men, and they are all out all day.  We couldn't possibly come until tomorrow."

Would you believe I got a call about 1:30 and the owner of the company, Craig, just came here himself about 2 PM, and he has filled the AC with freon, and it is cooling off wonderfully in this 80 degree house right now!  Thank you, God, for that!!!!  I would have had to sleep here tonight in a very hot house otherwise.

Before all the trucks arrived to fix stuff here, I had time to go down to Countrywood Living Center to visit Mom -- actually, Jerry's Mom, but I am much closer to her than my own Mother.  I found her sitting at a table putting a 500-piece puzzle together.  She had just barely begun.  I gave her a hug and sat down next to her, and she seemed to know exactly who I was.  The puzzle had a rifle and a dog in it.  I mentioned to Mom that Jerry had just bought a gun to shoot turtles with.  Then I suggested that we find all the pieces to put the dog together in the puzzle, and Mom kept saying it was a turtle.  Later, she asked me where Bernard was?  Bernard is her brother who has been dead for years.  I think she knew she knew me, but she wasn't sure WHO exactly I was.

In a bit, an older gentleman -- well, they are ALL old, aren't they? -- came over to the table and sat down with us.  He began looking for puzzle pieces with corn on them at my request.  I was helping them both put pieces together when someone announced that lunch was ready.  I told them I had to go, but the man and Mom both asked me over and over to stay for lunch.  I told them I hadn't called ahead.  They said they didn't care, they were taking me to their table.  One of the workers there motioned to me that it was fine, so I sat with them and ate lunch.  When I got up to leave, they begged me to come back again tomorrow.  I can't tell you HOW WONDERFUL it is to have someone WANT me to come see them -- even if they are old and half out of their minds!  I really enjoyed being there, and I believe I will go back tomorrow.

I better go outside and check my "floods".  If I don't check often here, I end up watering the neighbor's yards, and they aren't used to being watered.  People just can't afford the water bills in a drought.  We need rain so desperately.

So guess what I brought with me to work on while I am all by myself in the evenings?  Nope!  You said sewing, didn't you?  I do have a machine here, but I have moved all the fabric and notions out of here, and I didn't feel like packing them all back up for just a few days.  I brought my jewelry.  I have this laptop computer that I am typing on right now, and I can watch my jewelry class at Craftsy.com and make some jewelry.

This computer is giving me FITS!  It keeps freezing and my typing jumps up into paragraphs I'm not even in!  Hopefully, it will work better tomorrow.  Maybe it is because I am downloading a thousand updates.

Hugs, Joy

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Notes and Sway Stomach Correction

It is Sunday, and I am missing my husband today.  I always think I won't miss him because he is always working when we are together, and I don't see him that much anyway.  And when we are together, it is usually in front of a tv screen.

I decided to watch our preacher, Duane Sheriff, today.  I have heard the sermon he preached today before, but it was a great reminder.  It was about the FEAR of God and what that actually means.

Very simple really.  It means to honor and respect God -- not shiver and shake in dread that he is going to "burn your barley fields" (Duane's saying) or make your kids sick to teach you something.

I was talking with my friend, Pam, about this very subject recently.  I was raised both ways, as I was raised in one denomination as a child, another as a teenager, and a third as an adult.  The denomination I grew up in -- like the one Duane grew up in -- taught that you were going to go to Hell every time you did the least little thing wrong.  And EVERYTHING was a sin.  I have probably been to the altar trying to get my sins forgiven more than anyone!  I used to wonder if it was EVER going to "take". 

Later in life, I learned from much wiser teachers/preachers about how to FEAR God properly.  I am comfortable in my belief that God loves me no matter how much I screw up as long as in my heart, I truly want to please him and do his will.  And I do.

Yesterday, Phylly came over, and we played in the sewing room all day.  I don't think I accomplished ANYTHING, but Phylly did.  She has FINALLY gotten her pants pattern trimmed down so you can actually see her body is inside the pants she makes.  The pair she had on looked fabulous on her, and the pair she made while she was here, will look great too.  I don't have any pictures, but she is suppose to send me some. 

Don't hold your breath!

She is making them with her Sure-fit Designs blueprint for pants, but she has had to revise it quite a bit.  Maybe she just started over.  Remember, she has lost 30 pounds.

As for me.  I am making a top I have made three times  before.  I decided that I needed to make it bigger for some reason, so I added 1/2" to each side seam FORGETTING that I was really adding 2 inches by doing that.  It was way too big!  1/8" would have been plenty.

It is an empire design sleeveless top, and I thought I was such a super-genious to think to make TWO pattern pieces for the bottom -- where only one had been provided -- so I could do the sway back correction on the back piece.  I suppose that would have worked out really well if I had REMEMBERED I had done that.  When I got the blouse all sewn together, the front was short and the back was long, and it looked all crazy.  I didn't figure it out until I turned it inside out to press the empire waist seam and I saw the giant red washable marker letters saying "BACK" and "FRONT" which by then were each in the opposite place they were supposed to be in.  So my new blouse now has a SWAY STOMACH correction!

I had to put the blouse on and Phylly had to hold up a giant metal measuring stick while I twirled around and around so she could measure up from the floor to the hem on this blouse. 

Since the "sway back" was in the front, that meant the back was longer than the front.  Usually, the back is shorter than the front.

After Phylly pinned up the hem on my blouse, I took it off -- put it on my cutting table and trimmed it so the hem amount remaining was even all the way around the actual blouse.

Here is a picture of the strip I cut off.  The wider part came off the back, thereby, putting the "sway back" correction back in.  Clear as mud, I'm sure.

I'm on Jerry's computer, and he doesn't have any photo-fixer software, so pardon sloppy pics.  I've decided I'm bored and want to go out to dinner.  Hopefully, I can get Margaret to feel sorry for me and come with me.

The air conditioning in here sure is NICE!  The new unit was put in all day Friday.  So glad that and the termite issue are over with.  Now, I wait until Tuesday to go back to Kingfisher -- Jerry's Mom's house -- where the Power Lift people are to show up and RE-lift one side of the house.  Another fun day, for sure!  

Hugs, Joy  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Termites and Happy Birthday Margaret!

What a daaaay this has been --

                           what a raaaaare mood I'm in --

                                                             well, it's alllllmost like beeeeeing in love.

Not REALLY though unless you are in love with a really muddy man that drills a bunch of holes in your concrete and then fills them up with dark gray polka dots that fall through the earth if you push on them.

I don't have the strength left in me to go into detail.  Margaret got to hear the blow-by-blow at dinner just a bit ago where I had the most marvelous coconut shrimp-steak-crab leg-steamed veggie-salad dinner. 

We were celebrating Margaret's birthday, so I didn't want it to look like I wasn't having a good time.  I did manage not to order dessert, however.

Since I promised the owner, Darin, that I would not post a review to Angie's List -- where he is currently #1 with the most perfect reviews -- I will have to share my day with you.

You know the air conditioner doesn't work.  It worked for two days with the 5 pounds of freon the AC company put in on Monday, but by this morning it was 78 degrees in here and rising.  I had asked the AC company to install the new air conditioner on Friday because the Termite people were already scheduled for today, and I figured one demolition at a time would be all I could handle.  The AC company did send a nice guy out to put in one more pound of freon to last me until tomorrow morning.  VERY NICE!

Here's the termite story.
Last time I was here -- about 3 weeks ago -- I noticed white wings sprinkled like confetti all over the top of my treadmill.  I had seen that before in one of our Pharmacy's years ago, so I knew what it was.  I told Jerry about it, and he IMMEDIATELY got on Angie's list to look up a good termite killer in this area.  He picked the one with the ravest reviews, and the owner of the small family-owned company arrived in about an hour.  That was GREAT!  

The owner, Darin, told us that he would have to drill holes in the wall where the treadmill is, which is on the other side of the hot water heater closet, because the termites were in the center of the house; and they would not get them by just drilling all around the entire outside of the house.  I asked him then if they had a carpet person to lift the carpet and put it back.  He said that ONLY HE could do that.

About 7 AM this morning, Mike rang the doorbell.  I was barely through my first cup of coffee and looked like something the cat drug in, but I went to the door.  Nobody there.  I had to step out on the porch and holler to his truck.  He came around the truck so I could see him.  I waved at him and went back in the house.

Shortly thereafter, Darin arrived.  He came into the bedroom and lifted up the carpet and the pad so Mike could drill holes there. 

Shortly after that, Mike came in with his 5 foot long drill bit and proceeded to walk around in his shoes with no covers on them.  He drilled the deep holes in the cement causing piles of cement to creep up the drill bit and arrange themselves like ant hills around every hole.  I walked in about that time.  Mike shoved the pad and the carpet down onto the ant hills, and then went back outside.  I immediately walked over and lifted the carpet and pad back up to see what was under it.

Darin had gone outside to write up a contract, so I waited for him to come back in.  When he returned to collect his money, I invited him to come see the bedroom.  I showed him the mess in the corner and bent down to put my hand in it to move some of it around.  I told him I couldn't BELIEVE the guy just covered it with the carpet.  He went out to tell Mike.  Mike returned with a FILTHY dustpan with a long handle on it and the nastiest black broom that he used to sweep the cement ant hills off the cement all around the house and then scrub the new wet cement dots with.  Hence, it was covered with white cement dust, dirt and some fresh cement from outside.

Before he could come all the way in the bedroom, I all but THREW him out of my house.  I said, "There is NO WAY you are bringing that filthy thing in my house!!!"  Darin, his boss, was still right there.

He noticed I had brought my canister vac in the bedroom to clean it up, and he offered to do the sweeping.  I asked if he didn't have a vac of his own on his truck.  No, he didn't.  I told him I would clean it up, and I proceeded to do it in front of him.

Then we both left the bedroom and went to Jerry's desk to look at the contract.  He wanted to know if I would pay him.  I asked what for?  He said the termite job.  I said, "But you haven't done it yet!"  I told him I would pay him when it was done.  He agreed that it would be fine to pay him when it was done.  He left then for the rest of the day and left Mike here alone.  I'm sure poor Mike was terrified at this point, but I continued to watch him off and on the rest of the day.  I couldn't leave, and it was hot, so what else did I have to do???

THANK GOD, I got a picture of this part or you would think I was making it up or exaggerating.   Mike worked the next several hours outside going all the way around the house drilling deep holes in the cement and then squirting liquid poison down in them with a 5' long tube that fit perfectly in the hole, but the liquid somehow managed to force its way out of the hole and up and out into the air like an angry projectile.  I was watching through the window as Mike got covered with flying poison and mud.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  He didn't seem to care.  He just kept getting squirt hole after hole after hole.  When he got done doing that -- and after he was thoroughly muddy and gross -- he decided to walk into my front door and into my bedroom.  I saw him as he landed in this position on the floor on the WHITE carpet.  I could NOT believe my eyes!!!

Check out his muddy shoes!!!  And he informed me that it was impossible to use those paper shoe covers in his type of business.  Check out the filthy container he carries cement in and had used all the way around my house using the bottom of it to rub the extra cement off of the holes.  Underneat the red container is mud.  When he lifted it up, I showed him the ring of mud on my carpet.

Guess what he did then????

Well, of course, he felt bad and wanted to clean it up, so he used three filthy fingers on his right hand to rub the dirt down into my carpet as if that was supposed to make it go away.

So, if you read my blog much, you know I document everything.  He went back outside and I sat down at Jerry's desk -- opened up Word -- and I began typing.  I had an entire page full of issues of the day AND a nice copy of the above photograph to hand to Darin, the boss, when he came back for his money.

You should have seen Darin's face when he saw that picture.  I could READ HIS MIND.  He was thinking about his perfect rating on Angie's List, and this crazy woman who can really type, and HOW ON EARTH did she get this picture???!!!

I actually felt sorry for him. 

I had no intention of using it against him, but HE didn't know that. 

Remember, I have a business, and you reap what you sow.

He asked me what he could do to make me happy, and he said over and over that he was really very sorry.  He was sincere, and very nice, and very patient with me.  He said he would go outside and fix the issues out there (I spared you that part), and he would do whatever I wanted him to.

He spent the next several hours redoing the work that Mike was supposed to do earlier.  He kept ringing my bell and knocking on my back door every 10 minutes for me to come check the work.  I kept telling him it wasn't right and to redo it.  Jerry called from Kingston to try to tell him how we wanted it.  FINALLY, he got the holes filled in to please me.  He washed his hands and came back to the front door.  I asked him to come in.  I had a towel down there for feet-wiping, and he stood on it and would not move.  I asked him to come sit at the desk.  He said, "No, I'll just stand here."  I assured him if he just wiped his shoes on the towel -- which was a rag -- that he could come sit so we could talk.  He finally did. 

Then he began to apologize again and tell me I really had good reason to be upset with him.  Then he said something I often hear from people, (except for Fabulous Fit, of course!) and I am always VERY impressed with a person that responds to me this way.

He said, "You have really taught me a LOT today!" 

He continued, "I am the kind of person that can take advice, and I assure you that I am going to take yours.  I will have shoe covers from now on in all of our trucks.  I will buy a little shop vac and keep it clean in a plastic bag to use INSIDE people's homes as you suggested.  I will train Mike about INSIDE and OUTSIDE being two different things, and they require different behavior."

I told him I was very impressed with his reaction.

He said he wished there was something he could do to make it up to me. 

I kiddingly said, "You could knock $100 off the bill for my time supervising and cleaning up after you, and I won't even post a review at all to Angie's List."

He said, "I am going to knock 10% off the bill."  That was $140.

I said, "NO!  Really.  You do not have to do that.  You have been more than patient and responsive to me.  All I really require is an "I'm sorry, I will fix it.""

He insisted though, and he did knock 10% off.  That is why I decided I could afford $26 for my dinner tonight.

Tomorrow morning, the new air conditioner gets installed.  Those people have shoe covers!

And I almost forgot to tell you.  Guess what happens when you put the 5' long poison-squirter stick down in the holes in your bedroom?

The poison squirts back up out of the hole and floods your floor just like outside.  Yep!  I was watching in horror.  Mike turned and looked up over his shoulder at me and said, "Do you have a rag?"  I said, "WHY don't YOU have one!?"  Then I ran and grabbed a roll of paper towels.

So that was my day.

How was yours?

Hugs, Joy

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hotels and Lip Loops

I'm starting this post at 10 PM the night before because the temperature has only made it down to 81.  I would go to a hotel, but I don't even know where one is.  You don't usually stay in hotels in your own town.  Plus, I HATE staying in most hotels.  You wonder who sat on the couch with WHAT disease and with WHAT clothing -- if any -- on.

Before we bought this house, I used to stay in a hotel for weeks at a time, and I had to stay up here for most of a year.  (We had a business here, and the Manager quit, so I had to come take over.)  One time I sat on the hide-a-bed couch in a pair of shorts to watch TV, and I broke out in huge hives all over the back of my thighs!  That is why I cover all furniture in hotel rooms now unless I have pants on.

I always look at the bed too and wonder who did what on top of the bedspread, and whether or not the bedspread is ever washed.  And not only "that", kids wetting the bed or diaper changes gone awry, food or drink spilled and starving creatures looking for a snack.  You just don't KNOW!

And the carpet.  You KNOW the carpet never leaves the room.  I always make sure I have shoes or slippers on my feet. 

And then, of course, I can't talk about hotels without describing the overwhelming joy of hearing people run up and down the hallway at midnight before and after letting their doors slam.  Or the deaf person in the room right next to your headboard that has his/her TV blaring all night long.  And wasn't I in a hotel the time I stepped into the shower, and when I turned the water on, the shower head blew across the tub and smashed into the opposite wall, landing on the tub floor in pieces.  I thought I had been shot.

And the MOST exciting hotel stay of all was when we went to my sister's house for Thanksgiving and had to stay in a hotel, and my Mom was with us.  I paid for adjoining rooms with a door in between so she could stay right next to us.  The accommodations were great EXCEPT for the fact that the door between the rooms was a heavy, thick door AND it closed by itself like a refrigerator door does.  Well, it didn't really "close" -- it SLAMMED.  I KNEW the door did that from when we first arrived, but when I woke up the next morning, I had forgotten.  I opened the door and leaned into my Mother's room with all of my body EXCEPT one hand that was still on the door frame.  You guessed it.  The giant door swung shut and hit my hand.  It hurt like H**** and I screamed and cried.  I fell to my knees holding my hand and decided to blame it on my husband who didn't have a clue what had just happened, and I started yelling at him that he should have HELD the door. 

After I finally quit crying and holding my hand like I was half-dead, we went downstairs to leave to go to my sister's.  I walked over to the reservation desk to tell the clerk that my hand was smashed by their door and they needed to put a warning sign on the door that it slams shut.  She suggested that maybe the customer should watch where they put their hands.  I suggested I wanted them to DO SOMETHING.  Jerry was probably hiding under a table about that time.

The clerk told me that they could send me to their doctor.  I told her we had to go to my sister's, and we left.  After lunch, however, I decided to go back in case my hand was broken or something.  I thought they should have to pay for it.

The lady couldn't run when she saw me returning because she was the only one working.  She handed me some form to sign and told me to go see the doctor in the clinic around the block.  Jerry and I and my Mother went to the clinic.  BIG MISTAKE!  Mother wanted to go home the night before and had complained most of the day that she shouldn't have come.  We left her in the waiting room, and Jerry and I followed the nurse who asked me a thousand questions. 

Then she made me follow her down a long hall -- turn the corner -- go down another long hall -- turn again -- walk another mile -- to a little room with the x-ray machine in it.  (The clinic had a tunnel leading to the hospital next door, or something like that.)  

My hand was then x-rayed in every possible position. 

Then we walked all the way back to where we started and where my very whiny Mother was still whining in the waiting room, and I had to go back in the exam room with Jerry.

The doctor came in and showed us the xrays and said my hand wasn't broken.  He then said he would be right back and left. 

Then we waited and waited and waited -- over an hour.  The doctor NEVER came back and neither did anyone else.  I decided I wasn't waiting any longer.  My hand had quit throbbing by then, and we knew it wasn't broken, so I just wanted to leave. 

I opened up the door and stuck my head out into the hall and said, "Excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse Me!"  "Does anyone KNOW I am in here?"  I think Jerry crawled under the exam table at that point!

Some girl, moving at a snail's pace, came into the hall and wanted to know if there was a problem.  I explained to her we had been there almost FOUR hours, and we needed to leave and make the 4-hour trip back home dropping my Mother off on the way.  She said she would investigate, and she wandered off.  I told Jerry we were leaving, and we started to walk out.  As we passed the window where they grab you to pay your bill, some girl informed me that I could NOT leave.  I asked why.  She said they were getting me a prescription for pain meds.  I told her I could have made the pain meds MYSELF as long as I had been there.  I told her I would take an aspirin, and we left.  Jerry tried to act like he didn't know who I was, but I think they all knew anyway.  Poor guy.  And by that time, my Mother certainly had reason to be impatient and tired.

It is 11 now, and I am going to TRY to sleep.  Still quite hot in here. 

I'm thinking of those people somewhere on a river in Africa that we recently watched on TV that have no house and no bed and no air conditioners.  They live in the nude, and they chew and spit a lot.  And the girls have huge holes in their lower lips where they keep inserting bigger and bigger discs because the girl with the biggest disc gets the largest dowry of cows. 

Over here, isn't it the girl with the biggest boobs?  Whatever.  I've got to go to bed. 

Beauty surely is in the eye of the beholder.  Night.

Hugs, Joy  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

You Better Sit Down!

Yes.  The day has finally come.  After weeks and weeks of waiting and calling and crying and waiting for our kitchen project to get finished, a miracle has happened!

Sometimes, it is so hard to stay positive when something seems to be going wrong at every turn, but when you compare it to so many other things, it is really nothing.  I wonder WHY I get so frustrated and upset and just want to RUN AWAY when I KNOW I am so blessed in a million ways and these things all will pass -- eventually.  I'm the kind of person that has to FINISH things, and when someone else is in charge of the finishing, and I can't do anything about it, it really does drive me CRAZY!

I am sitting here right now in our other home -- the one I call "Jerry's Office" because that really is what it is -- and the temperature in here is 89 degrees.  Yep!  The air conditioner is off and has been since I got here at noon today.  I don't know if I blogged two weeks ago that we spent $650 getting the air conditioner here fixed.  The guy put 4 pounds (?) of freon in it, at $100 a pound.  Jerry and I left to go back to our other home right after that.  Here I am two weeks later coming into this house, and the air conditioner is brokener than before.

I am sitting here with a river of sweat running down my cleavage and then spreading out in a river under each boob and then joining the river running down from my soaking wet armpits.  And my hair!  It has enough hairspray in it to hold up a fence, but when you put all of that on top of a thousand follicles wallowing in sweat, it is a sticky, icky feeling.  Every so often the sweat on my scalp finds a path down the front of my forehead and into my eyes.

BUT, I'm NOT complaining.  Honest, I'm not.  I walked through this house and THANKED GOD that I HAVE a house with an air conditioner that can break.

Sooooooooooo, about 5 seconds after I arrived, I realized the temperature inside this house wasn't right.  Recently, my husband and I tried Angie's List.  If you haven't tried it, we HIGHLY recommend it.  After the $650 AC guy left, Jerry looked on Angie's List for a Heat and Air company with the best reviews.   I called Jerry today as soon as I discovered the inside temperature to ask him which company it was, and he told me.  I called them.  Now, here is the part where you need to be sitting down.

I dialed the number while airing my armpits at Jerry's desk.  Right away a real live person with the friendliest voice answered the phone and this is what she said:

"Helloooooooo!  Interstate Heat and Air.  I am Diana.  What can we do to put a smile on your face today?"

My response was, "You already have!"

She told me she would assign a SENIOR TECH to my job, and one would be out after 5. 

I asked if that would be more.

She said, "No".

She said it would be between 5 and 7 and she was very sorry that it would be so long.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  The sweat just ran down the crease in my center back into my underwear.  It's not often I feel that!  Let me stuff some Kleenex in there ..............


I was thrilled it would be today and not tomorrow.  I told Diana I would go find a cool place to hang out.  She told me she would call me as soon as she knew the tech was on his way.

First, I went to Louie's and treated myself to three of my favorite things telling myself it was okay because I was having to deal with so much right now, and I really deserved them.  Chips and salsa, chunky chicken salad with grapes, strawberries and walnuts, and ICED TEA!  (Don't tell Jerry.)

Then I went to have a pedicure and manicure at Walmart by the most darling little Asian girl named Jennifer.  She cut a small hole in my heel, but other than that, it was a very nice treat -- and very cool!

Then I went to Hancock's -- where else? -- and I was sitting at the pattern table with my feet up in a chair reading sewing books at 4:15 when my phone rang.  It was Diana.  She told me the tech was on his way, but was way on the south side of town.  Just a little bit ago -- five minutes until 5:00 -- the cutest guy showed up in a very nice van.  His name is Sonny. 

Now, are you STILL sitting down?

Sonny shook my hand and introduced himself.  Before he came into my house he put paper shoe covers over his shoes!!! 

I'm sorry guys, but I have to go outside in the 100 degree weather to get some air.  Be back later.....

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaack.  And it has gone all the way down from 89 to 87 in this house.  I've started to call Margaret a dozen times to see if she wants to go out to dinner, but I'm too embarrassed to let anyone see me in this soggy state. 

This house is 13 years old, and the Air Conditioner has breathed its last breath, I think.  The coil is totally rusted and the unit outside has 13 years of ick in it.  Evidently, the former owners never had it cleaned, and neither did we.  Duh!  I guess it is really important to do that.  We need to get the whole thing replaced, but Jerry has to do his usual marathon internet study to see which unit we should choose.  Interstate recommends Amana.  I thought they made refrigerators and ovens.  I told Jerry he has 'til morning to make up his mind, because Phylly is coming Saturday for a play day, and we have to be COOL!

Just got a call from the tree guy.  He cut down the gigantic maple tree in my Mother-in-Law's front yard today, so that is another $800.  If she knew, she would have a fit!  She thought everybody charged too much.  Jerry cut down many a tree for her in the past because she just would not pay someone to do it.  This one was 50 years old or more.  No way he could do it even when he was younger.  You have to have big trucks and shredders. 

Next Tuesday I have to go back to Kingfisher, to her house, for the Power Lift people to jack her house up for the THIRD time and then have all the cracks fixed for the FOURTH time.

Maybe if just one house at a time would need fixing, I could stay a little bit calmer!

Gotta go.  Think I'll eat cereal for supper.  The thermostat is now showing a frigid 86 in here!  Maybe I'll sit in front of the open refrigerator while I eat!

Hugs, Joy

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Our God Reigns! and Repairman Blues

Well, today was REALLY EXCELLENT.  It was Pastor Matt Hagee's birthday, and he preached this morning.  He is just as good as his Dad these days.

The sermon was "Our God Reigns!"

He compared our relationship to God to a child's relationship with his father -- specifically, his own.  He said if his Dad asked him to take out the garbage, and he simply got up and did it, then life went on as usual.  He said his father kept a fully stocked refrigerator, had an amazing insurance program and provided all of his needs. 

If he decided he was going to put himself in charge and inform his father that he wasn't going to take out the trash, then home wasn't so comfortable and joyful anymore!  His father was still the same -- home was still home -- all the benefits were still there -- but he could not access them, and he would receive correction and punishment from his father.

That is how it is with us.  When we keep God's commandments and do His will as we know it, we live a happy, comfortable life and God is always there for us.  When we choose to rebel and knowingly live in sin, we pay a high price because that gives evil a right to rule and reign in our lives.  God is still the same -- all the benefits are still the same -- but we cannot access them because we refuse to obey.

Pretty simple, huh? 

The refrigerator repairman was supposed to show up yesterday between 1 and 3.  He NEVER showed up.  I called and left messages on a recorder that told me they were closed on Friday and Saturday.

I called Lowe's where I recently purchased the brand new refrigerator, and I complained to them.  They referred me to the Repair Division somewhere in Louisiana, and a girl kept saying, "We apologize for that."  I think she must have learned that from the AT&T people.

So, my lettuce is still frozen -- my celery is still frozen -- and I am trying to remain calm.  Actually, what good would it do to get upset?  No matter HOW mad you are, customer service is programmed to say, "I apologize for that."

I cut out another blouse this morning, and I will start putting it together after lunch.  I'll take pics, of course, when it is done.  It is not SFD, but I did compare it to my SFD pattern to make sure it would fit me.  And we are supposed to go to the office this afternoon to hang up Route 66.  I'll take pics of that too.

Hugs, Joy

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pin Pitiful, New SFD Blouse and R66 All Done!

Do any of you understand "Pinterest"?  I figured I better try to do it -- or belong to it -- or sign up -- or whatever you are supposed to do to see if I could "Pin" something.  From what I probably don't understand is you put pictures on boards.  I haven't figured out if it is MY pictures or SOMEONE ELSE'S pictures or if other people SEND pictures or what.   I asked for an "Invite" because that was the only button that was pushable yesterday when I googled it.  Later yesterday, I got an email informing me that I wanted to be invited.  Duh!

This morning, I had another email saying I WAS invited.  Whoop-Dee-Do!  I pushed the big red button that was the only thing available to push, and I got sent to Pinterest -- I think.  First, it wanted a user name.

I put "Joy".
Already used.

I put "Joyree".
Already used.

Finally, I put "FrammaJoy" which actually is used about a thousand times in the internet realm, but it allowed that one.  Thank goodness Lindy couldn't say "grandma" when she was little!

Then it asked me if I wanted some "Boards".  I thought, "Why not?"  So I pushed THAT button.  It wanted me to choose boards of things I was interested in.  Okay.  I picked crafts, and sewing and gardening and cooking.  Didn't seem that hard.  Then it went back to the main page and I saw "Joy" at the top.  I thought THAT was taken!  I had no clue what to do next.  I decided to push the button titled "boards".  

Evidently, I must have chosen highly secret Spy boards or way-too-large boards or infected boards or SOMEthing weird.  Rectangles kept going up and down and on and off and nothing else ever happened.  No pictures.  Just a bunch of rectangles running up and down the screen.

Good gravy!!!  Will someone please send me their 4-year old child to show me how it works?

The really BIG news today is that I put the very last hand stitch in Route 66 last night, and I hung it up on my quilt hanger this morning.  I can't believe I finally got this quilt finished.  It was my most daring project since The Birdhearts, and that is because of all the embroidery digitizing.  That takes a LOT of work.  I made a video of it to put on You Tube.  It uploaded for 2 hours and then decided to quit, so I am uploading it again now.  Here are a couple pics so you can see how HUGE it is.  The ceiling is 9' tall in the picture, and the quilt takes up every bit of it.  Pardon the view of the bathroom.  I swear I closed that door! 

And I just happened to be wearing my new Sure-fit Designs Sleeveless Yoke blouse when I was filming this morning, so here are a few pics of my top.  I have made this before, but I did not put the waist darts in the back of the other one.  I like this better. 

Can't find a pic of the first one, but if you scroll down to the bottom of this page, you will see it.  It is white with blue polka-dots.

I moved the yoke line down 1/2" on this green one because I didn't think much of it showed on the first one.

As Glenda says, you can put the line ANYWHERE you want it.  Wonder if you really could.  For instance, what if it was a little above my armpit? 

I know one thing for sure.  You can't beat the fit in these SFD tops!  And don't you love that green top with my purple jeans!?  I was really just trying it on for fit.  I took it off after the pics.

I better go do something.  The refrigerator repairman is supposed to be here to fix our BRAND NEW refrigerator.  It has two vegetable/fruit drawers, and ONE of them freezes everything you put in it.  The other one doesn't.  How BAZAAR!  I've turned the temp up three times to no avail.  I figure it's about time for things to QUIT BREAKING around here!!!

Hugs, Joy


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Countertop Trivia and Jewelry-Making

Haven't been sewing at all this week, but I have 1/2 of the Route 66 Quilt completely bound.  The hanger for it arrived a few weeks ago, so this quilt should be hanging on the wall in our office real soon.  I will take pictures that day FOR SURE!  I discovered that I could hand sew the binding to the back of the quilt with it hanging on the longarm.  This was an AMAZING discovery because I've always hated wrestling a large quilt in my lap while trying to move it along stitch-by-stitch.  I just sat on my saddle stool and rolled across the room as I sewed. 

As you know, my kitchen is being torn up and put back together due to the leak in the wall from the water connection behind the refrigerator.  The entire countertop had to be replaced because the cabinet under it had gotten wet, and that was the only way to remove the cabinet.  I had a feeling that this could be problematic, but I was wrong.  It is a NIGHTMARE!!!

The countertop company came out not once -- but twice -- to make a cardboard template of my countertops and to measure and measure and measure.  I told them we wanted the new countertop to be EXACTLY like the one that was there.  Same color, same size, same finish, same overhang, same edge, etc.  They acted like I was being a royal PITA even asking if any of that was going to be a problem because they -- after all -- are EXPERTS -- and they do this all the time -- and I didn't need to worry.  One guy bragged that he was so amazing at polishing countertops, that the new one would be way shinier than the old one.

Two days ago, the countertop and three men arrived here.  They spent about four hours putting the countertop on.  Then the plumber came back and spent the next two hours hooking up the new sink.  When they all finally left, Jerry and I went into the kitchen to examine the countertop.  Guess what we found? 

The overhang is 1/2" wider.
The finish is very dull and not at all shiny because it was not polished.
One end is cut in a curve and doesn't fit up against the cabinet.
The part that holds the sink has a bow or hump in it.
There is such a tiny space behind the sink, I can't even put a small pump bottle of handsoap there.
The countertop on one side of the "L" shape is 1/4" wider from front to back across the whole length of it.

Soooooooooooooooooooooooo, out it goes, and we start over.  We don't know how much more it will cost.  I'm a fighter by nature, but sometimes I just get so frustrated dealing with these issues.  The countertop company ADMITS they screwed up, but......  They say they cut it according to some standard.  I told them I don't CARE what the standard is.  This is a custom home, and I want it like it was.  The owner, Paul, of the countertop company informed me this morning after a 30-minutes discussion that I shouldn't be calling him anyway.  He said I wasn't "his customer" -- Michael was.  I informed Paul that it was MY $6,000!


I'm putting on my happy face now, and I'm going to talk about something else.

I am getting VERY excited about making jewelry.  I have never been the jewelry type except for earrings and watches.  I have a few bracelets, but most get on my nerves, and I take them off about the time I arrive at my desk at work. 

I'm too tight to pay a lot of money for jewelry because I think if I pay a lot for something that I should keep it and wear it forever.  I have a gorgeous piece that Jerry gave me for Christmas one year that is 14K gold and has diamonds in it.  It is a necklace, and it is so pretty.

BUT, with me having one shoulder lower than the other one, necklaces always want to hang off to one side on me ESPECIALLY if they are fixed and can't move freely on the chain.

Actually, I may be able to fix that necklace so it will move freely on the chain once I learn what I am doing, and once I get brave enough to buy some 14K wire.  My new friend, Pam, is a professional jewelry maker, and I bet she can look at it and tell me what I can do.

I added one more bead to my loopy necklace.

There is one little loop in it that I can't get to be round enough, but from the back of a running horse, nobody will ever notice it!

Actually, Jerry will notice it.  He knows I'm just learning though, so he may overlook it.  If he complains too much, I will have to spend even more money on lessons and supplies!

Here is a picture of it with another green bead added to it.  I figure it will weight it down a bit and keep it from going sideways.  I can't put it on myself because I can't put a straightpin through my neck like I do Lucy's.  Fire Mountain Gem company sent me two gigantic catalogs, so I will look for a chain when I get some time.

Some of the necklaces I saw in that catalog were downright UGLY!  Others were so huge, I don't know how the people could wear them for over five minutes.  I must be a real weakling when it comes to jewelry.  I'm going to go take a picture (hope that isn't illegal) of one of them so you can see what I'm talking about.


TO ME, this looks like she was walking out to go on her date with a nice beaded necklace, and she tripped and fell in the rose garden.

And this lovely giant red flower on top of two giant beaded leaves is just indescribable.  I hope it doesn't get tangled up in her spaghetti if she goes to an Italian restaurant.

This is a bracelet.

Wonder what the matching earrings look like!?
And isn't this lovely? I think I could actually use one of these for those days I don't feel like fixing my hair -- or those days when I have to get onto some lazy contractor, and I don't want him to know what I really look like in case he wants to come back and shoot me or something.
It is nearly 5.  While I still HAVE a kitchen, I think I better get in it and figure out what to make for supper.  The last I heard from Michael -- while he was driving to Branson, MO this morning -- was that the countertop people MIGHT show up sometime this week -- maybe on Friday.  Now, that is real definite, isn't it. 

I'll tell you one DEFNITE thing.  The minute the countertop leaves -- I leave.  Phylly, be watching for me!

Hugs, Joy

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Kitchen Chaos and 2nd Piece of Jewelry

Oh, my!  You should SEE my kitchen.  Well, actually, you SHOULDN'T see my kitchen.  It looks HORRIBLE!  I have been in a funk for two days because I feel like my "nest" has been pushed out of the tree.  I'm not good with turmoil and disorganization, and even though I can't blame these guys who come here to do it, it still seems like their fault, and I sort of don't like them before they ever get here. 

Here's a few pics from yesterday and today.

I TRIED to stay up here in my sewing room and learn more about jewelry, but I didn't do a thing all day but run up and down stairs to see how much more of my kitchen had been removed, broken or covered with dirt.  This is so unbelievable and all because of a slow drip in a water filter connection to a refrigerator.
You see in that last picture the counter top on the island.  The new countertop was SUPPOSED to match that countertop perfectly.  Well, guess what?  It doesn't.  The edges all around are different; the new countertop is dull and the island is very shiny; and the pattern is different.  So we now have to have that countertop replaced too.  We asked, why and how come and what for.  They answered, "We don't know; its not our fault; and we don't care."

Enough of that!

After the plumber left at 5:30, we went to town to have dinner.  When we got back, Jerry told me he has a webinar tonight for 2 hours of continuing education.  I decided to come up here and watch another jewelry lesson.  I wish I could show you what I was TRYING to make, because what I ended up with is a VERY distant relative of it -- if that.  This wire is so expensive that I decided to try to make a pendant to hang from a chain to go with my new green blouse.  I've seen worse-looking things than this around a neck.

The pendant ends at the top of the green beads.  I just have it hanging on a piece of wire.  The circles under the beads are the part I was learning to do tonight.  It kind of matches the gold circle in my green buttons, I think.

So I am pooped and the kitchen-destroyer-team is coming back tomorrow.  It will take me days to clean up all the messes up and down the hall and in the bedrooms.  Everything that was in the drawers UNDER the countertop is covered with sawdust and dirt.  YUK!  I have to wash it all and clean out the drawers. 

Check behind your frig and BE SURE you don't have a leak!

I'm getting in my jammies and checking out the new book Pam keeps telling me about on my Ipad.  Bet I can't get it on my Ipad though.  Its a sewing/fitting book. 

Hugs, Joy