Saturday, September 29, 2012

Gertie Coat Update and SFD Tip

I hurt my neck somehow, so I have been gritchy all day.  I HATE being like that.  Jerry is so sweet.  He went all the way to the store to get me one of those funny collars you wear when you've been in a wreck.  I've been wearing it for a few hours, but I started sweating underneath it and took it off.  My neck doesn't even hurt anymore.  AWESOME!!!

Mine looks just like the picture except it has a cut-out for my chin.  Wonder if you can wear it in bed?  Guess I'll find out.

I am still tired though.  I've worked on Gertie Coat Muslin #2 issues all day long.  I still haven't looked at my Dress Kit Book, but I am going to grab it on my way to the nearest recliner in a bit.

The FIRST thing I did was add all the extra fullness I needed in the collar in the back, like this:

I sewed up Muslin #2.  It looked good in the back, BUT the collar still stood too high up above my shoulders.

I had to get a new assistant to help me since Phylly is out of town today and tomorrow visiting her daughter.  She has FIVE grandchildren all weekend, and I do not envy her. 

The only person I could find to help, of course, was Jerry.  I'm sure he wants to run and hide somewhere when I am sewing on Saturday and Phylly isn't around.  He didn't have to do too much.  Just measure the giant gap in the back of my collar so I knew how much to add to it.  THEN, later, he had to measure how much to subtract from it so I could put that in at the shoulder.

Here is a photo of what I did next.  There is a total addition of SIX INCHES around the outside edge.  I must have really big something.  I sure don't know what though!

After I finished messing with the collar, which took hours, I decided to take my Sure-fit Designs blueprint DOWN OFF THE DOOR which is where I used it yesterday, and put it on the table.  I wanted to compare it again to the Butterick paper pattern.  When I held my Butterick pattern up to the door and tried to lay it over top, it didn't really give me the right information.

So the SFD Tip is:  It is MUCH BETTER to have both patterns on a FLAT surface so you can be sure you are matching up Center Front the whole way up and down and the Shoulder Seam at the shoulder.  I noticed right away that I did not have the slope correct, and when looking at the BACK of my muslin in the photo, it was pretty obvious.

I decided to make up my own cure for this problem.  I've never done a shoulder slope correction on a dolman sleeve because I never make them.  I decided if you can move a boob dart down by cutting  a box around it, that I could move this arm down by cutting a box around it.

I cut that entire pink line and removed the sleeve.

I moved it down 1/2" so the top of the sleeve would line up with the NEW top of the shoulder.  I taped it all back together. 

I am thinking that this correction -- which was done before collar fix #2 -- may have been what required collar fix #2.

If you are as tired as I am, I doubt any of this is making sense.  If you decide to make a Gertie coat though, this information will be helpful.

I'm off to the recliner.  Gonna get that book first so I can look at the page you referred me to, Glenda. 

Nite nite,

Friday, September 28, 2012

My Gertie Coat Muslin and Chef Jacob

For my sewing friends:

I worked on my muslin of Gertie's B5824 coat pattern today. 

I had to do all the usual corrections to my paper pattern.

Sway Back:

Round Back:

Full Bust Adjustment:

I sewed the muslin together, and it isn't horrible, but it isn't right either.  I am going to have to LENGTHEN it, obviously.  I also need a little more room on the sides.

What I dislike the MOST is the collar.  I hate collars anyway, and this is the reason why.  They always want to stand up and wrap around my face.  I want them to lay down on my shoulders.  If you look at the picture of the blue coat at the top of this page, the collar isn't up around the model's face. 

If anyone out there knows how to fix this, please advise me.  I don't sew collars, so I don't know this fix.  The shoulder slope seems to be fine.  The back neck is lower than my SFD blueprint.  Front and back both look fine when I compare them to my SFD front and back.  Of course, they don't have a collar on them.

I guess I will experiment on my own if I don't get some advice.  Maybe I'll post on Sewing Guild too.

We met our good friends, Robert and Deanna, at the Olive Garden tonight for dinner.  I was delighted to find out that my grandson, Jacob, was cooking there tonight.  I did bad and called him a "cook" instead of a "chef".  Jerry and I purposely ordered what we knew Jacob cooked.  Deanna ordered it too.  It was called Chicken and Shrimp Carbonara and it was DELICIOUS!  Chef Jacob came out to our table for a minute, and I got to compliment him.  Later I sent a tip back to the kitchen for him.  I am so thrilled to see him WORKING.  We have been trying to teach Jacob to work since he was a toddler.  He never really saw the need for it.  He usually showed up when the work was all done.  He is the daddy of our sweet baby great-granddaughter, Jourdyn, that I showed you a few weeks ago.  Mommy is Kourtney, and she works at Ted's.  We saw her last night when we ate there. 

They are at work or at school most of the time, and there are LOTS of people who love to watch Jourdyn so I don't know if I will get a turn or not.

Hollie is coming back on Monday from Alaska.  She will be home for three weeks.  John is off on some field mission or something with the Army.  Hope I get to see her while she is here, but I never know my schedule until Jerry tells me what it is.  We shall see. 

That's it for tonight.  I'm going to go crash in the recliner and watch Jerry watch TV with his eyes shut. 

Hugs, Joy

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Gertie Coat, Tattoos and Carol Retires

All the things I ordered to make Gertie's coat have suddenly arrived at the same time.  The pattern, the lining -- supposed to be bright red, but is burgundy -- and the interfacing.  I would like to start right away on the muslin, but not enough time until maybe Friday.

Tomorrow, we have to go to Kingfisher to meet with our attorney, Molly, and then take Mom to the doctor to have him write a letter about her state of mind for the judge.  The attorney seems to think it will only take a few weeks, so that is wonderful!  The part we both hate is spending MORE money.  Why does the government make it so complicated to age?

We had gyro dinners tonight at Zorba's.  Jerry loves that stuff.  It is just okay to me.  I do love the light, fluffy rice, but I couldn't eat much on my DESM diet.  Besides, I had a piece of cake at Carol's retirement party at our store just a few hours before dinner.  Too much to eat today!  I will make it up tomorrow.

A while back I posted about my rogue employee, Brian, that had ONE tattoo when I hired him, and he always wore long sleeves to cover it.  I asked him one day WHY he wore long sleeves when it was so hot.  He showed me is tattoo and explained he wanted to keep it covered.

WELLLLLLLLLLLL, while we were waiting for the other employees to arrive, I started taking this video to show you what Brian's arms look like now.  I intended to keep filming, but I got distracted and had to stop filming.  This was done on my cell phone, and is very skinny.  Should have taken my little pink camera. 

Video has been removed.

Carol is at the end in the cute top with the ruffle around the neck that I would LOVE to make.  She has the most amazing wardrobe, and she gets a lot of it at the thrift shop.  She knows the best days to go to get the things that just came in.  She is ONLY 68 years old, and none of us could understand why she wouldn't stay until at least 70.  Lu, the store Manager planned the nicest party for her.  She had sayings from movie stars and famous people who had retired.  She made her a Certificate of Retirement.  Everyone but the guys and me was crying.  You would have thought it was her funeral.  She is coming back to help train her replacement, so she will be back next week.  And she has agreed to come if someone is sick or on vacation.  Can't ask for more than that.

Have to run.  Couldn't finish this post last night because it rained.  Every time it rains, the TV goes off, the internet goes off, and I go off!  SO frustrating!

Hugs, Joy

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Trouble with Tuesday

Well, the trouble THIS Tuesday is Attorneys.  They act like we are just sitting around day-after-day waiting for them to direct us.  We hired -- I think -- Molly Neuman, a lawyer in Kingfisher, OK.  She wasn't available to meet with us two weeks ago regarding Mom's guardianship, so we met with her partner or boyfriend or father or whoever he was.  His name was Mesis.  Like "I hate those meeses to pieces".  We talked to him about an hour, and this is the last thing he said.

"We will need to meet again in one week."

We said, "That is too soon.  Can it be the following week?"

He said, "Someone will contact you to set up our next meeting in two weeks."

So here we are.  It's two weeks.  No phone call.  I have emailed Mesis and I have called TWICE.  I just talked to a Hispanic lady who informed me "they are gone". 

I said, "Are they on vacation or what?"

She said, "They are gone."

Yeah, I get that.  Am wondering if they are gone forever or for a day or for five minutes!!! 

She finally decided she could call Molly Neuman, who, evidently, really does exist, and have her call me back.  We shall see.  Jerry went ahead and made an appointment with Mom's doctor to talk to him about her Cat Scan and the guardianship.  That appointment is this Thursday, so we will be heading BACK to our other house tomorrow morning.  At least, we get to go together this time. 

Then this isn't really trouble, but it is about the jewelry.  I decided to just SHOW it to you, so I made you another video.  This one is short.  Here is the link:

AFTER I made this video, I decided to hammer the loops of the gold necklace.  I purchased a stainless steel bench block, after all, and a chasing hammer, so I figured I should hammer SOMETHING.  Aga hammered stuff, but I didn't really remember the details.  How hard can it be.  You put the wire on the block, and you hammer it. 

Let me just say, I SHOULD have watched Aga again to see what exactly you do and why.  I broke the rings into two pieces.  DARN!  Then I spent the next two hours trying to FIX my broken loops.  I took a picture for you of the NEW -- and hopefully, improved -- design. 

Here is BEFORE I broke the loops:

Here it is now.  It took me FOREVER to do that, believe it or not.  Wiring those little green crystals in those little loops is no small task.

I will probably decide I hate it tomorrow and start all over.

I'll wait to see what Jerry says.  I actually like it better than the first way because it is more "together".

My two green tops are VERY casual, so the necklace could be a shoestring.  Fact is, it takes a lot of mess-ups to get good at anything.

And here is the blue lapis bracelet.  I really like it except for the clasp.  The gold parts are gold-filled.  Much cheaper than gold, and I don't care if stuff is real or fake. 

You could show me a glass stone and tell me it is a diamond and I wouldn't know the difference. 

And here is what I started with yesterday.  I decided it looked really cheap and very homemade, so I cut it all apart. 

I've got to go walk my daily mile on the treadmill. 

I am SO PROUD of myself because I am really sticking with it.  I think the wine and the crackers and cheese threw my weight loss off. 

DARN!  Do I have to give up EVERYTHING!?

Have a great Tuesday evening.  We will be watching night 2 of Dancing With The Stars.  Sure hope Pamela gets voted off tonight.  She is TERRIBLE.  She acts like she is on something other than the dance floor, if you catch my drift!

Hugs, Joy

Monday, September 24, 2012

Marvelous Monday and No More Silhouette Patterns!

Helloooooooooooo just after lunch on Monday. 

I spent over an hour on the front porch this morning talking to my youngest sister, Judy.  That is the RAREST of RARE occasions, let me tell you.  Another family wound being healed. 

Actually, Judy and my daughter have been the longest-time best friends, and my daughter is not speaking to her right now.  I'm sure that is why Judy is calling me.  But whatever the reason, it is wonderful to talk with a sibling.

She has a cat named Mia who must be about 10 years old by now.  She was telling me how she had to be gone all weekend, and her cat got mad at her and used the carpet as a cat box.

She said Mia is SUPER-persnickity about her paws touching any type of excrement.  She said she has a towel that she puts under Mia's cat box.  Instead of using her paws to kick the litter over the yukkiness, she kicks the edges of the TOWEL up over the entire cat box!  I was cracking up laughing at her telling me cat stories about Mia.

I got bored yesterday afternoon, so I decided to talk to YOU via my camera video.  I spend so much time alone, that I usually talk to myself, but I wanted to talk to a real, live person instead.  Only problem with that is, you can't talk back to me. 

Here -- if you are interested -- is my 9-minute conversation WITH YOU.  I mentioned a few names in my monologue, but don't be offended if I didn't mention yours.  I was thinking of those who had sent me comments recently.

The Silhouette pattern and fabric is in the trash.  I HATE to waste money like that, but it just isn't worth the frustration.  Sewing should be enJOYable, and the patterns should be TESTED and PROOFREAD.  After all, we do have to PAY for them.  It's not like they were a gift.  Her patterns are $15 a piece too.  I usually don't pay over $1.99 for patterns -- and the $1.99 patterns have CORRECT line drawings and CORRECT, THOROUGH instructions.  What has happened to quality control in companies? 

If you point out the errors to Peggy, she just admits that they really are there.  No attempt at all to correct them or to notify the other trusting customers that buy them.  Very sad.  I suggested that she have a place on her website where people could look up a pattern number and see if there were any corrections to it.  No response to that at all in her email back to me.  Just "Yes, it is wrong."

I'm going to wander over to my cutting table, and attempt to make a pretty necklace or maybe bracelet and earrings to go with my new blue dress.  I didn't get it done yesterday.  I think I decided I better go walk my mile, clean the garage and the bathroom and then fix dinner.  We had grilled chicken breasts marinated in Italian dressing all afternoon.  Very moist, and very tasty. 

Until tomorrow.

Hugs, Joy

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Notes, Silhouette Mess and Chat Video

Listened to Pastor John Hagee this morning as he finished his America series calling all Christians to pray.  He used very well-known scriptures to me this morning.

Mark 11:23-24  (Notice it is in red.  That is because JESUS said it!)
23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them

I know that one by heart, and I say it a lot.  I learned it when I was in my early 30's and listened to dozens of Kenneth Hagin, Sr. tape series.  Kenneth Hagin, Sr. was born in 1917 in McKinny, TX which is just 75 miles south of where I am typing this blog post to you.  When he came into the world as a tiny preemie baby, the doctor looked at him and decided he was dead.  He gave the tiny baby to the mother's sister and told her to go bury IT in the back yard.  The aunt obeyed and went into the back yard to bury the baby next to a tree.  As she was digging the hole, she heard a very weak, soft gurgle come from the baby.  She picked the baby up, and she brought it back into the house.  She started feeding the baby with an eye dropper.

Kenneth was VERY sick his whole life which almost ended at 16 years of age as he laid in bed for months and months, unable to walk a single step.  The whole family was just waiting for him to die.  He actually did die THREE times.  When I heard him speak the first time, he told this story.  After that, I read it many times in one of his books.  He also refers to it in many of his tapes.

He was raised in the Baptist church.  Seems like his Dad had died or left when he was young.  His mother was a Christian and took him to church.  Kenneth THOUGHT he was a Christian because he belonged to the Baptist church.  As he used to say a lot in his tapes, "Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than being in a garage makes you a car!"

Kenneth died in his bed.  His spirit left his body and descended down to the gates of Hell.  He argued the whole trip that this just COULDN'T be right.  HOW could he be going to Hell????  He belonged to the church.  This just CAN'T be right. 

He came back to life.

He died the second time and the third time, and the same thing happened every time.  I don't remember all the details of the story now, but suffice it to say.  Kenneth accepted Jesus as his Savior.  He buried himself in the Word, and he found that scripture up there at the top of this page.  He decided that

#1:  Either God was a liar and the whole Bible was fake and it was worthless.


#2:  God was truth.  The Bible was truth.  The Bible meant what it said and you could believe it!

He chose to believe the latter.

He stood firmly on that scripture - Mark 11:23-24.  He told his legs to walk and his heart to function properly.  He spoke to whatever other ailments he had, which were myriad!  It didn't happen overnight, but he was totally healed.  He was still 16, I believe.  He lived to be 86 years old and had an amazing ministry.  He founded Rhema Bible Church and School in Tulsa, OK.  Many of the preachers I listen to today were taught by him.  He could no longer be Baptist because they don't believe in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  You sure couldn't tell HIM "it isn't for today"!

BACK TO TODAY'S SERMON:  Hagee said that if that was the ONLY scripture in the whole Bible, it was enough for us to stand on as we pray for our nation.  The 40 days of prayer begins this coming Friday, September 28.  I hope you will go to and pray together with Jerry and me, and Phylly and all the other people praying for the election in November.  We MUST believe our all-powerful God will hear us and respond. 

Hagee said, "The tragedy of our day is NOT unanswered prayer; it is UNPRAYED prayer."  So true. 

He also said, "When you get in the firey furnace, God doesn't send someone.  He shows up HIMSELF!!!"

He continued, and I paraphrase:  God has given us the ability TO SPEAK.  Why is that?  It wasn't so we could talk on our cell phones!  Why can't animals speak?  Some of them are very smart.  God gave us the ability to speak so we can PRAY!  

He described HOW we should pray:

1.  Don't make vain repetitions.  God is not a statue.  God HEARS when we talk.  Ask BIG!  Move the angels.

2.  Pray in Jesus' name!

3.  Ask according to the Word. 
I John 5:14-15:   This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

4.  Pray in faith, believing.  (Praying without faith is like going to the mall without money.)

5.  Pray SPECIFICALLY.  Who - What - When.  Jesus prayed "give us THIS DAY our DAILY BREAD".

I better get onto my next subject before the internet runs out of paper here!  I could talk all day and forever about Jesus and the Bible and the sermons I've heard.  Jerry and Phylly are the only two in my life that actually will listen to any of it without taking offense.  Guess that is why I love to write about it.

My next issue is Peggy Sagers and Silhouette Patterns.  I really like a lot of her designs because they are different.  She also gives B, C and D bust patterns.  All of that would be peachy-keen IF her instructions were any good.  Her pattern sheets have very incomplete instructions, and sometimes, have the WRONG instruction or wrong diagram.  Sooooooooooo frustrating.

This pattern looked so complicated, that I decided not to try to adjust my SFD blueprint.  It has the weirdest design lines I have ever seen. 

 Look at this collar shape?  No indication anywhere as to what attaches where.
And THIS is the front of the blouse that I could not figure out how and where to attach the collar either.
And there is this piece that instructs you to CUT 2, but the instructions have you use only 1. 

There are no instructions as to whether the collar is sewn on 1-to-1 OR if it is stretched and how far and where.  I sewed this collar on -- ripped it all out -- and sewed it on again.  Both times, it looked terrible.  The front "tail" ended up too LONG one time, and then too SHORT the second time.

I really LIKE this wrap around collar, and would love to try it again.

Wonder if there is a way I can draw it on my SFD blueprint?  I know how to do the dart.  What I need is the top of the blouse FRONT and the COLLAR.

This also has long sleeves which are currently IN THE TRASH with the wadded up blouse and pattern pieces.  AARRGGHH!!!!

Here is another picture to try to show you the very strange front.  ONE SHOULDER (pink) is pattern piece #2 above.  The other shoulder is part of the long collar.
To me, this doesn't even LOOK LIKE the line drawing on the back of the pattern.

UPDATE:  Received an email from Peggy Sagers (Silhouette Patterns) this morning.  Her response:  Yes, the line drawing is wrong.  Yes, the sleeve pulls in funny like that.  Yes, the notches on the collar mean something.  (But she doesn't say WHAT they mean.)  Just put the sleeves in it, and all will be fine.

She didn't answer the several other questions I asked her.  She said she would be happy to call.  Maybe I will call her when I get a sufficient amount of coffee consumed.  I doubt it though.  Some people will never change.  I am just sorry I have wasted my money on this pattern.  I will NEVER buy another Silhouette Pattern!

Hugs, Joy

Friday, September 21, 2012

Bubba Fired and SFD Blue Dress!

Yep.  I emailed Michael -- Bubba's boss -- with pictures attached -- and I told him all the stuff I told you yesterday.  I received the NICEST email from his secretary, Julie.  She told me they were VERY SORRY and promised me Bubba would NEVER be at this job site again or any other job site.  They fired him today.  I am so glad I always have a camera close by.  A picture speaks a thousand words -- it is true.

I have been home all day, and I washed and pressed my new blue dress.  After looking at the pictures of myself in it, I've decided the DESM diet will DEFINITELY continue!  Here are the pics.  No jewelry YET, and I was barefoot.  I want to make a pretty long necklace and earrings to go with it.  Maybe tomorrow.

This dress was made from my Sure-fit Designs Blouse pattern.  It is the one with the boatneck on it.

I surely have a picture of the blouse I made SOMEwhere.  (See there, Deanna, I can't find anything either!)

Okay, there it is.  Notice it has sleeves.  I just left them off and made facings for the blue dress. 

I simply put my SFD SKIRT blueprint under the blouse pattern, and added a skirt to the blouse.  I also added pockets in the side seams.


I cut out a cute tie belt to attach at the side seams to pull forward and tie in a bow in the front.

I decided I didn't need stomach emphasis, so left it off.  Maybe if I look less like Santa in the middle after losing more weight, I'll attach the tie belt. 

Here is a picture of the back of the dress.

I don't know why I decided to stand with my legs spread apart like a tripod and my hands in my pockets.  Hopefully, without those oddities, the diagonal pulls across the back disappear.

That's it for today.  I'm going to go play with my jewelry-making supplies to see if I like anything I already have to go with this dress.  I'm thinking a pretty scarf would look great with it, and I bet I have one.  Back in the olden days when I was an executive secretary, and I had to dress up every day to go to work, I owned a lot of pretty scarves.  I still have some of them and I actually KNOW where they are!

Hugs, Joy 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Life is a Beach and DESM Dieting

What a GREAT day this was!  It was like being on vacation on a private island beach, and I was only sitting at my desk in my office at our store.  Women to talk to who actually look you IN THE EYE, and they acknowledge that you have spoken to them!  My Service Tech, Tim, who can't help me fast enough if I make the slightest move toward doing something he can do for me.  He even insisted on packaging up my Fire Mountain jewelry returns this morning.  Too bad every company can't have help like we do.  We are VERY blessed right now with amazing employees.  Thank You, Lord!

I don't have a single crazy story to tell you.  My whole day was lovely.  Even lunch at the "Greasy Spoon".  I lovingly call it that.  It is really a very nice little restaurant.  They serve plate lunches every day with a few variables.  The girls who work there are very "woodsy", if you know what I mean, and I really like them both.  They are so real and down-to-earth and easy to correspond with.  They never screw up my order -- except for one time when I got burned chicken -- but that was just a fluke.  Maybe a substitute cook that day or something.  Phylly was with me that day, and she probably got them all flustered.  (-;

Jerry and I went to Gecko's for dinner since we both worked until 5:30.  I had a taco salad served by Carlos, another of my favorite waiters.  He always remembers that I need a little bowl of chopped tomatoes.  He told me I am the ONLY customer who gets them and, of course, that is because I am the ONLY customer who ever asked for them.  Jerry thinks I am way too much trouble to the poor servers at the restaurants, but the servers don't seem to mind at all.  I know all of them by name.  The waiter at The Olive Garden in Oklahoma City runs up and hugs me.  Remember Heath? 

So now, I am up here on my computer talking to you because when I went to get my Ipad to watch while walking my mile-a-day-on-the-treadmill, I noticed it had only 23% charge on it.  I decided I better let it charge for awhile. 

Remember my DESM diet?  I have lost 4 pounds so far.  Jerry actually noticed it.  I couldn't believe it.  I can hardly notice it myself.  I can tell a little in my face.  I have been walking AT LEAST one mile on the treadmill every day.  I figured out that I can prop my Ipad up where a book is supposed to go -- but doesn't -- and I can watch How To videos while I am walking.  Sometimes, I walk two miles without even knowing it.  KEWL!  All I am doing is eating less.

Breakfast today:  One piece of toast with butter.  Lunch today:  Chicken Tetrazzini, Summer Squash, Double Salad (2 little ones instead of mashed potatoes) and half of the roll they put with it.  NO DESSERT!  That has been one of my main downfalls.  It is Phylly's fault, really, because when we go out to eat, I need a dessert to share with her.  Not anymore! 

When I make a sandwich, I use half the mayo I used to use -- half the cheese -- and tons of lettuce.  No meat.  If I do meat, then NO cheese.  I ate one cookie today, and one kolache.  I'm not going to take away all the joy of eating!  I figure I put an extra 10 pounds on gradually, and I can take it off gradually.  I don't want to lose too much because I don't want to have to start over on all the blouses I have made - -and the pants -- and the dresses!  I'm aiming for 148.  Not skinny, of course, but it sure beats 158!

ANDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD, we must never forget, what comes off of my body, must come off Lucy's body too.  And this dress fits her so well right now. 

Sure hope I have the right color beads to make some jewelry for this dress.  My sister, Janice, suggested I wear it June 1st next year to her youngest son's wedding.  Sounds like a "plan" to me!

Guess I better get my body in there on that treadmill.  I'll be back tomorrow, and I SHOULD have my blue dress finished!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Another Contractor Tale

And will someone PLEASE tell me why I thought this construction episode would be any different than the 10,000 others I have had????  Did I hit my head and have a mild stroke?  Does God just like to give me ammo for my blog?

Last night, when Bubba and Mikey left at 4 PM, Bubba said to me, "How early will you be available in the morning?" 

I said, "8:00."

Bubba said, "Okay, we will be here at 8:00 in the morning."

Simple enough, doncha think?  I got out of bed at 7 am, washed my face, brushed my teeth, put on some jeans and a tee shirt and ran a comb through my hair.  I went in the kitchen to have my first cup of VERY weak coffee -- Jerry made it -- and to have my DESM breakfast of one piece of toast.  I sat up my Ipad and looked for my morning mail from Phylly.  Yep, it was there.  I emailed her back.  I poured another cup of coffee and sat to wait for 8:00. 

During that time, Jerry came into the kitchen to complain about the countertop on the island and the other countertop as well.  I told him to QUIT COMPLAINING TO ME and to call Michael.  He would when he got "a Round Tuit".  Seems like everyone is looking for one of those! 

8 came and went.  8:15 came and went.  8:45 came and went.  Nobody called to say they were going to be late or to inquire if I might have a life!  I called Michael and got Julie, the receptionist.  I told her Bubba said he would be here at 8 and that I had stayed home another day from work to be here for him, and he had not called and had not showed up.  She said she was sorry and would make calls.  She called me back in a few minutes and told me Bubba was on his way.  I told her to have Michael call Jerry about the countertops.  He did.  He is coming this morning also.

At 9:10 AM, Bubba and Mikey drove up in their truck.  I walked out into the driveway to meet them as they exited, cigarettes in their mouths.  I informed Bubba that I did not appreciate him being so inconsiderate of me and my time.  I informed him that I have a life, and it doesn't include sitting at the bar waiting for someone to NOT SHOW UP!  Yes, I was mad.  I told him I had waited MONTHS for completion of a job that was supposed to take two weeks, and I was really tired of all the excuses.

He stumbled around to find words for my onslaught, and finally was able to start walking toward me while telling me he had a really bad morning and his son .............

I stopped him.  I told him I did not care WHAT his morning was like, he should have called me so I could make other plans for my own morning!

Bubba was staring at me like a giant tornado had just come into his path.

He mumbled something about him not having my phone number, and his Dad should have called me.


Then, since I had his attention, I decided to inform him that I did not appreciate him hanging the cabinets up in my kitchen without wiping out the cobwebs and bugs that were in them.  GUESS what his response was to that?

"Well, Darlin', your garage has a LOT of mud dobbers in it."


My garage also has an occasional mother raccoon and her baby in it.  Would they have hung the cabinets up with them in it??????????????

Poor Bubba.  I was in tears, and he was about to have a literal nervous breakdown.  He suggested that I go to work and let him and Mikey just come in my house by themselves.  I gave him 10 fast reasons why that was NOT going to happen, and I walked back in the house leaving he and Mikey standing by their truck looking very dazed.

In a bit, Bubba knocked on the open door, and came in calling my name.  I walked out of my bedroom to find out what he wanted.  What he wanted was to inform me that he just could not work because he was too upset.  I told him that was INSANE.

I said, "You are HERE -- you need to just get this job done.  Don't you think I have waited long enough???"

"Oh, no Maam.  I just can't work now.  I will see if someone else can come."

"You have GOT to be kidding!!!!!!!!!!!!", says me.

At this point Bubba has walked out of the house into the garage, and I have followed him.  About that time, Jerry walks into the picture.  He decides to explain to Bubba that he has to go into patients' homes all the time, and when he can't get there on time, he always has to call and tell them. 

Bubba doesn't CARE about that.  He is too upset. 

I pick up the phone which is hanging on the garage wall just an arm length from me, and I call Michael.  I get Julie again.  I tell her Bubba is leaving, and I need Michael to call me NOW.  She says she will have him call.

Bubba walks toward his truck, and I walk back in the house.  The phone rings.  Julie wants to know if I want to wait ANOTHER day.  I tell her "NO!"  She says she will call me back.

I go upstairs.  I look out the window down into the driveway, and I notice that Bubba is standing next to his truck talking on the phone.  Poor Mikey is standing on the other side of the truck wondering if he has walked into the Twilight Zone, and I imagine, thinking of changing his career to Mortician.  (Dead people can't yell at you!)

As soon as I enter my sewing room upstairs, my phone rings.  It is Julie.  Julie tells me that poor Bubba is about to have a nervous breakdown.  I DO have that effect on people sometimes.  She says he wants to quit.  Then she explains:

Bubba starts work at 7 AM.  He showed up at another work site this morning at 7 AM.  Evidently, his Dad, Don, is the construction foreman.  Bubba started to leave the site at 7:30 so he could get to my house by 8:00.  His Dad noticed him leaving, and stopped him.  He jumped all over Bubba and yelled at him and told him he would do what he was told, and he wasn't leaving.  Bubba did not know my phone number.

That is why Bubba said his Dad should have called me.

Julie said they had told him to stay here and finish my job, and he agreed to, but would I please not upset him anymore because she was afraid he was going to fall apart. 

So then, the Mother in me surfaced, and I felt terrible sorry for poor Bubba.  I decided to go down and apologize to him so he could relax.  I walked out to his truck.

I walked right up to him, and I said, "Bubba, I want to apologize to you.  I am so sorry I upset you.  Will you please forgive me?"

I put my arms around him and hugged him.  He is so short, the top of his head comes to my chin.  I felt like I was hugging a boy.

Well, let me tell you.  Bubba CAME TO ATTENTION!  He was so happy, and he rushed all over the place trying to please me.  "Do you want this -- do you want that -- can we do this -- what do you think about this ........" 

I left and came up here to hide so Bubba and Mikey can concentrate.  Jerry is here waiting for Michael so he can show him the countertops.  IF they take my sink out again, I am LEAVING FOREVER!!!  Jerry may be having a nervous breakdown before this day is over!

Oh, Phylly.  The reason they had to come back is because the two doors that were supposed to be fixed by Nasan, never were.  The rubber strips on the bottom of the doors are broken and torn.  The doors have to be taken off in order to fix them.  One of the over-cabinet lights in the kitchen won't light up even though we put a new bulb in it.  They have to figure out what is wrong there.  All the wiring under the stove -- and there is a LOT of it -- is just hanging down in space.  They didn't put it up in the little box that holds it all out of the way.  They have to fill up all the nail holes where they nailed the cabinet trim back up with the nail gun.

Time has gone by, and it is now 7:38 PM.  By now, you probably think the rest of my day went just fine, huh?  Well, let me tell you -- it did NOT.  By the end of the day even Jerry was wondering where on earth Herndon Construction found Bubba.

Jerry started making remarks like:

"Something isn't right with that guy, Joy."
"I think that guy has some kind of mental problem, Joy."
"I think that guy is on drugs, Joy."

Yeah, he was a real piece of work!  Actually, "work" seemed to be his main problem.  He couldn't remember from one second to the next WHAT exactly his "work" was.  He started by taking the two doors down first thing.  Then the doors just stayed out in the yard for the next FIVE hours!  One of them had my WHITE jacquard fabric blinds and the valance on top and they didn't even remove it.  Seriously!  I went outside in the yard where the door was leaning up against our holly hedge with a roll of that plastic wrap that sticks to stuff, and I applied it all over the fabric and the cord.  Meanwhile, our house was wide open all of that time.

Sometime in the middle of the afternoon, after I had asked about it a dozen times, they decided to put the rubber strips on the bottom of the doors and put them back up.  That went pretty well except for the fact that Bubba laid his dirty long metal level up against my WHITE DRAPES!  I quickly walked over and removed it.  I tried to explain to these nit-wits that this was my HOME -- not new construction.  I told them that tools and fabric are not to touch each other.

I could tell you a hundred more dumb things they did, but I will tell you just this one.  I walked into my entryway about 4:00 and Bubba was FEELING the bottom of the door that they had just put the new rubber strip on an hour earlier.  I asked him if something was wrong.  He said, "This feels like a new strip."
DUH!!!  I reminded him that they had JUST REPLACED IT, but he kept on feeling it.  I told him again.  He kept rubbing it.  I left. 

It was like that all afternoon with this guy!

Oh, and this one.  Michael showed up to help with the countertop removal on the island.  He explained to us all that needed to be done, and he directed Bubba to get a narrow rod or a thin saw blade and start to cut off all the silicone that was holding the top on.  Michael left.  Jerry changed into work clothes -- went over to the barn and got a saw blade -- came back and worked on the countertop all by himself.  Guess what Bubba was doing?????????

Bubba was at the back of his pickup which was backed into our driveway.  Mikey was watching him.  There was a tool like a hoe with a long handle on it and a scraper blade on the end of it.  Bubba had a power tool of some kind he was whacking away at the blade with and sparks were flying all over the driveway and the yard.  He did this for over 30 minutes -- maybe an hour.  I could smell the smoke from it in the house.  I was watching Jerry -- then going out to watch him -- then coming back to help Jerry.  At one point, Jerry had all the bonds sawed except one place, and he needed the stove removed.  I went out to tell "Einstein" that the job was done, and Jerry needed him to come remove the stove.  He ignored me.  He was telling Mikey about some shop or radio station or something.  I told him again that Jerry needed him.  I was standing right in front of his face.  He ignored me again.  Finally, I waved my hand in front of him to make sure he wasn't in a trance or something.  He FINALLY noticed me.  He dropped his power tool and his saw, and they came in the house.  UNbelievable!

It didn't get any better.  Michael finally returned with our stain that Bubba had INSISTED over and over did not exist.  He SWORE that he and Nasan had used every drop.  That was not what Nasan told me, and I knew there was some left.  From that point on, Mikey, Jerry and Michael finished most of the job while Bubba wandered around in a daze.

Good news is the countertop on the island is perfectly STRAIGHT.  Look at the level Michael brought to check it:

Is it finished.  Nope!  It seems Bubba forgot to get the putty to fill up the nail holes.  The wallpaper has to be replaced, and some minor damage to the wood repaired.  I intend to let it be known that Bubba is NEVER allowed back at my house.  It is quite obvious to me now that Michael sent the two guys he needed the least to finish this job.

That's it.  Needless to say, my blue dress never got past the ironing board where I laid it this morning.  Maybe tomorrow or the next day.  The sewing assembly line has slowed down quite drastically.

Hugs, Joy

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Phylly Wants To Know If It Is Finished

Well, seven workers and Michael, the builder, showed up today.  Everyone was nice, and they all worked very hard.  Jerry had to go to Ardmore for the never-happy customer there that he has spent a zillion hours on, so I was home alone.  Now, my main interest was the sink and the faucet and the plumbing.  I didn't go around and measure the overhang of the countertops.  I SAW the 2 countertop guys doing that, so I figured that would be sufficient. 

They had to sand the countertops in the place where they put the seam, and that created a storm of white dust that settled all over the counters, cabinet fronts, floor and bar.  Their "clean-up" consisted of picking up all their tools and paper towels and tubes of caulk.  It did not consist of addressing the white dust storm issue.  I figured they wouldn't clean it up to suit me anyway, so I didn't say anything but "goodbye and thank you for all your hard work" when they left. 

Actually, I said "goodbye and thank you for all your hard work" after the 310 pound -- formerly 331 pound -- Chuck told me all about his carbohydrate allergy.  Never heard of such a thing and, to be totally honest, I really didn't want to hear about it today.  He and his 19-year old daughter both have it, however, so they can't eat any carbs.  He has lost 30 pounds since he found this out, so I guess it will cause him to lose a lot of weight.  I offered twice today to make sandwiches for him and Tony -- the 3rd guy left -- but neither wanted to eat.  They worked from 9 to 4 without lunch.  Maybe they had snacks in the truck. 

The plumbers showed up at 3:00 and began the very tedious task of connecting everything under the sink.  Evidently, the garbage disposal was being very difficult as I heard them both growling as if in pain with all four arms totally under the sink.  One guy was as big as Hercules, and they could not get the garbage disposal screwed in.  It took a long time, but they finally got it in.  They left a big mess under the sink, and they asked me if I wanted them to clean it up.  Again, I decided I might as well do that myself.  I thanked them, and off they went.

Bubba -- remember him from the dining room fiasco -- and a new very young man, Mikey, came to put my cabinets back up.  Mikey got stuck with the nasty job of putting the under and over-cabinet lights back in.  He spent a long time.  We turned on the light switch, and nothing.  He worked again.  We turned on the switch again.  Nothing again.  He decided my light bulbs must have all burned out.  Right!  I knew that couldn't be the case.  Maybe ONE, but not all of them.  He worked again for a long time, and finally the lights came on. 

Bubba and Mikey got the big cabinets out of the garage and hung them back on the wall while I was upstairs finishing my new blue dress.  When I went downstairs, they were already up, and I didn't think to ask if they had cleaned them out.  Now, wouldn't you think that two guys knowing that cabinets had been in a garage for several months would notice the new residents inside and the cobwebs hanging in the corners?  If they did, they made a joint decision to just leave them there assuming we would enjoy cooking them.  Needless to say, I got to clean THAT up too.

I was deep into the clean-up when Jerry called.  It was about 4:30.  I asked him to please stop somewhere -- anywhere -- and bring something home for dinner.  I knew I wasn't going to be in any mood to cook.  He brought home BBQ ribs, potato salad and coleslaw.  It was VERY GOOD!  I wouldn't have cared if it was grasshopper stew. 

I cleaned and put things back in the cabinets until 7, and then I decided I was taking some Advil and quitting for the day.  There is always tomorrow after all. 

Jerry wasn't home 2 minutes when he informed me the countertops aren't on right.  The countertop on the bar is off all the way around.  I told him I DON'T CARE IF THEY ARE UPSIDE DOWN AND BACKWARDS.   I am NOT having them removed again.  The sink is perfectly straight, so he can look at it!

That 's all I have the energy to type tonight.  I'm going to land in the nearest recliner and do something that doesn't require cleaning.  I'll show you my new dress tomorrow.  Hopefully, it will be on me!

Hugs, Joy

Monday, September 17, 2012

Back Home and SFD Dress

It is SO GOOD to be back home.  For those of you who don't know, we live on 11 acres in the deep woods in Southern Oklahoma very near Lake Texoma.  It is a short walk down the hill in our back yard to the lake if you don't mind bobcats, rattlesnakes, raccoons, skunks, armadillos, scorpions and various other wildlife.  We prefer to drive around the windy road to the marina which is about one mile down the road.

I have been gone for 6 weeks, and Jerry has been here and there and somewhere else for 6 weeks.  Our gardens and our yard looked sadly neglected, and neither one of us could stand it.  Not only did we have to drag two vehicles full of fabric, jewelry, groceries, clothes, etc. into the house and put it all away, we worked in the yard.  I pulled weeds and swept the patios and washed them off with the hose.  Jerry mowed the yard, weed-eated and trimmed all the hedges.  I swept up the chopped off parts as he went.  He also fixed the main road and our driveways with his tractor.  And, as promised, I ripped ALL the bedding off our bed which was recently visited by a huge scorpion.  Then I vacuumed EVERYTHING in, under and around it and all the furniture in the room. 

By 7:30 when we settled down to our t-bone steak, baked potato and salad dinner, we were SO TIRED, we could barely chew!  The steaks were PERFECT, and usually I gnaw the bones dry.  Last night, we both threw bones with meat still attached into the trash.  We both took a handful of Advil and slowly climbed up the stairs to watch a movie.  Jerry picked up the TV control and started to look for a movie, and immediately fell asleep.  I picked up my Ipad and emailed Phylly.  Shortly thereafter, we went back DOWN the stairs and into the wonderful freshly-sheeted bed.  There could have been a team of wild horses in it, and we never would have known it!

Now, it is Monday and this is the very last day I will be without my kitchen sink, kitchen plumbing and countertops.  I am really excited we are moving on to the next stage of our lives.  Well, I'm excited about most of it.  We have found out that we have to become Guardians of Jerry's Mom instead of him just having Power of Attorney.  Evidently, with POA, Mom is still a free agent and she can sign whatever piece of paper is put in front of her, and she can simply walk away from where she is. 

We had to get an attorney.  We sort of have an attorney, but it is because in 2008 when Jerry was diagnosed with cancer in his spine, we took the first attorney referred to us to get our estate planning done.  He is an excellent attorney, but he is very expensive.  I called him about doing the guardianship for Jerry's Mom, Nida, and he was more than happy to do it if we would give him $3,000 up front before he did anything! 

Good heavens!  Our business sure doesn't work like that.  Ask Phylly.  We are lucky to get paid in six months, and sometimes we don't ever get paid for what we do.  If you were to ask one of our customers to pay FIVE CENTS, they would run out the door.  We sell medical equipment, and Medicare/Medicaid/AARP or other insurance companies pay us.  Hence, the hassle.  Medicare could decide tomorrow morning that only people with one leg are allowed to have a wheelchair -- or that they will no longer pay for red wheelchairs.  They can do whatever they want to, and they can make it retroactive.  

I suggested to Jerry that we find an attorney in Kingfisher.  At least, there would be no travel expenses to pay to an attorney that way.  So we asked Aunt Betty Jane, and Aunt Betty Jane asked her friend Jo, and we got a name.  We met with the attorney in a musty old office in Kingfisher last Friday.  We were there about 45 minutes.  The man -- not the attorney we called, but from her office -- looked at Jerry's POA and said, "You have to have a DURABLE Power of Attorney".  I picked it up and pointed to the heading that read "Durable Power of Attorney".  He informed me that just because it SAID it was durable didn't mean that it was.  Sooooooooooooooooo, here we go -- on another ride.  At one point he looked at me and said, "You don't like attorneys, do you?"  Wonder where he EVER got that idea???

I came upstairs this morning to call APQS about my suddenly broken longarm that wants to sew in super high speed only, and I noticed Lucy.  I had almost forgotten about Lucy.  I immediately ran downstairs and got my new blue dress and put it on her.  It fits her PERFECTLY!   

I took a picture of the blue dress which IS NOT PRESSED and has been folded up in the back seat of my car -- so PLEASE don't judge all the wrinkles in it yet.  It has not been hemmed either.  There are gathers at the neck because I needed more of a bust dart, so I put it up there. 

This is rayon/poly/spandex so it is drapey.  So much nicer for a dress than cotton. 

I have to get showered and ready to go meet Jerry in town for lunch, so don't have time for perfection right now.  I will take better pictures when I get it done and PRESSED.

I put kleenex in the pockets so you could see it has pockets.  I LOVE that.  I think everything should have pockets in it. 

I'll finish this SFD dress tomorrow while the countertops are being put in if I don't finish it this afternoon.  I'll explain how I changed it from my SFD blueprint. 

Hugs, Joy