Monday, April 30, 2012

I'm Baaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Hello dear readers!  Sorry I didn't post yesterday, and it is late tonight.  Jerry wanted my attention when I finally got home after a whole month away, so I didn't get to even turn this computer on last night.  Today, my store manager from Oklahoma City is here to help PREaudit our store for an accreditation audit coming soon.  She is spending the night here tonight, so we have been visiting and talking.  She just went to bed, so I came back upstairs to do a quick blog post.

I want to buy some herbs and some pretty plants and put them in all the planters around my house.  Have been gone so much the last year, that most died.  And what good are a bunch of herbs when you aren't here to harvest and use them?  I really want to start eating healthier.  Lots of vegetables and less meat and potatoes.  Both of us need to lose our ring-around-the-tummy!  I have 500 cookbooks, and I'm sure several of them have to do with healthy eating.  I need to dig out a few recipes that look like they might be tastier than cardboard and try them. 
Remember when Woks were all the rage?  Weren't they about cooking healthy?  I know you used lots of vegies and rice.  I know I've purchased at least one Wok in my life, but I have no idea where it is now.  I'm sure a big frying pan will suffice!

Guess I better get downstairs and get into bed.  I have to go into the store and work with on accreditation tomorrow while my store manager is here.  I told her if she will find what needs fixin' -- I will fix it!  Hence, I should probably get some sleep.








Hugs, Joy

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday Stuff and Wadder Woes

The weekend is upon us again already!

Juan -- the lawn guy -- showed up this morning with the rest of our new grass.  Bootsy thought it was WONDERFUL and layed in it all morning until I turned the sprinklers on.
 
You can see our "yard" there in front of the new grass.  NO WONDER Bootsy likes it better!  The other cat, Barney  -- named after Barney Fife because he was neutered as a newborn kitten and that makes a cat scrawny -- decided he was suddenly in love with my leg which was covered in black knit pants.  I came in the house and looked like I was turning into a Werewolf!  I had hair on my face, my hands, my pant legs and in between.  Good grief!  When will they quit shedding?!

I better get busy doing something.  Not sure what yet.  It is Saturday.  Seems like I should go to Hancock Fabrics for some reason.  If I buy any more fabric, I'll have to rent a storage building.  Maybe I'll go get some buttons for my new red blouse.  Here is a pic again in case you have forgotten.  The part in the pic is what is in the trash now.  The sleeves are still good, and I will save them for the remake.


I was able to find MORE of the pretty fabric that I tossed in the trash yesterday.  Jerry was very upset when he heard I had messed up that blouse, so I searched and searched for some more fabric.  I did NOT get it from Gorgeousfabrics.com as I thought.  It came from Helen Enox Fabrics right here in Oklahoma City.  They were so nice to find it for me from a picture and mail it to me.  Fortunately, they still had some!


Do you see that part hanging out under the armhole over there on the right side of the picture.  I decided that needed to be taken in and serged off.  Well, guess what?  I need it back!  Too bad.  It wasn't like that just on Lucy -- it was like that on me too.  I guess the sleeve would have sucked it all in.


Okay.  I'm outta here. 


Hugs, Joy


 

   

Friday, April 27, 2012

Another Wadder and Free Marriage Counseling

Instead of a picture of my flounce blouse on me, you will get a picture of NOTHING because my pretty almost-finished new blouse ended up in the trash.  I messed it up.  I don't know if you can EVER have enough sewing experience to not screw up a project.  It is why I don't like to buy really expensive fabric.  Lesson learned -- well let's say RElearned for the zillionth time -- always make a muslin of a new design, pattern, style -- whatever you want to call it.

So here it is Friday night, and I am all alone.  Can't go home until Sunday for the craziest, but valid reason:  The trash goes out Sunday night to be picked up Monday morning.  One of the hassles of having two homes.  I'll put it out early Sunday and head back to our real home where Jerry is waiting for me. 


Mr. and Mrs. Boo Bear will be coming the next weekend for three days, so I want to get prepared for their visit.  That should be a pure delight!  She loves to cook, so maybe I will have some help in the kitchen.



We will actually go out onto the lake we live by!  That will be something new and different.  We used to drive 2 1/2 hours at least two Friday nights a month to go to the lake with the kids when they were growing up.  We would stay until I threatened divorce late Sunday evening when my husband just HAD to stay a little longer for one of two reasons:

Reason #1:  We haven't caught any fish, and they may start biting any minute.

Reason #2:  The fish are biting so good.  Do we HAVE to leave?

Many times we would get home at midnight or later with two sleeping girls and a truck full of stuff that had to be washed, cleaned, emptied, filled, dried out and/or put away.  Then we both had to be at work at 8 AM the next day.  I used to do this because I thought it was what a good wife did.  After we had been married for a loooooooooong time, I finally told Jerry, "I don't CARE if you love me, hate me, or couldn't care less either way, but I am NEVER going camping again, and I am NEVER coming home late Sunday night again!!!!!!!!!!  We've been married 37 years now, so I guess it wasn't that big of deal -- or maybe I had waited long enough to explode.

I don't know how many times we arrived late Friday night at some campground and had to PUT UP our tent.  Then when we left Sunday night, we had to TAKE DOWN our tent.  Then when we got home much later that night we had to PUT UP the tent in our yard until it dried out because it had rained all weekend!  Catching some fish just never was worth all that work to me.  Good heavens!!!  We could have gone to the Fish Market and bought every fish there for less money than we spent going camping!


Men are very one-thought-at-a-time thinkers.  Each thing that happens in a day is just an "event", and one event doesn't have anything to do with another.

Women are a tangled web of a million thoughts, worries, emotions and ideas.  Every little thing that is said or done all through the day combines to put them in whatever state they are in at the end of the day.


This is really true.  I learned it years ago at a marriage seminar our church put on.  Jerry and I both went to it.  This information REALLY helped me.  It certainly made me realize what Jerry's main problem was -- other than ME -- and that was just that he was a male.

There are exceptions to this, of course.  I have known some VERY strange husbands married to my friends or fellow workers.  My personal assistant's husband comes to the store and FEELS THE ENGINE OF HER CAR to see if she left the store at lunch time to go have an affair.  BAZAAR!!!!










I told Jerry one time that when he left, I was going to have my boyfriend over. 


His response was, "Will you see if he'll mow the lawn?"


I better go.  Jerry isn't here to get our cats in the garage for the night, so I have to do it.  We bribe them in with a plate of tuna fish or chicken broth.  Otherwise, they just don't think they should have to be bothered coming when we call.  Whatever.  Jerry wouldn't consider my letting the cats disappear just another "event", I assure you!  He would be VERY upset with me!


Hugs, Joy






 



   

Thursday, April 26, 2012

WHERE is FedEx???

I am still finishing up my Fabulous Fit transactions.  They finally decided to try to shut up my griping by sending me another pole and base.  The pole was supposed to allow me to tilt the dress form forward, but it doesn't.  It is just like the other pole insofar as that.  The new pole had one big advantage, however, and that was a much, much nicer base that you stick the pole into.  I don't understand why they didn't send that one to start with.  I had to return the original pole and base so I got it all packed up with Jerry's help before he left town.  Two big boxes have been sitting in my entryway now for 3 days.  Fabulous Fit was to send FedEx TODAY to pick up these boxes.

I wanted to go get a pedicure -- couldn't do that. 

And exactly WHERE do you go for a pedicure where they serve you wine?

I needed to get a key made at Ace Hardware -- couldn't do that.















I needed to take some pretty suits I used to wear to the Goodwill -- couldn't do that.

I needed to buy a couple things at Walmart -- couldn't do that.

I have been here in the house all day long waiting for FedEx.  You KNOW as well as I do, if I had DARED to leave to do any of those things, FedEx would have pulled in here the second I drove away!  Since I had to wait, I have been working on my new red blouse all day.  I haven't been able to try it on myself though because you KNOW what would have happened the second I stripped off my clothes and put on the buttonless, sleeveless blouse.  FedEx would have shown up!

Okay, I can quit worrying about FedEx -- the guy just showed up.  I told him to be very careful because the one box was very heavy.  He picked the thing up and threw it up on his shoulder!!!  He grabbed the other package which contained the pole, and off he went.  I guess I am a SUPER weakling! 

NOW that he is gone, I'm going to go try on my new blouse.  If it doesn't look too awful -- the fit that is -- I will snap a pic.  Be back ....................  Okay, I'm back.  The blouse was VERY big for some reason.  I measured my bottom real quick to see if I had lost a few inches -- but, no -- it is still 42 inches no matter how I try to suck it up.  Maybe it is the slinky material.  I'm using SFD's blueprint, but I usually only sew with 100% cotton.  This slinky stuff grows, I think.  Maybe pics tomorrow if I decide to stay another day. 

I'm going to dinner with Margaret tonight.  I need to go home tomorrow, but I don't know if I'll make it.  Still need to run those errands.  Maybe I'll stay for one more lunch with Phylly.  We shall see.  I'll take a pic of Lucy IF I get her in the car!  That should be a hoot!

Hugs, Joy





Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Little Irritations and SFD Leaflet #9 Blouse


My goodness!  Some days have so many issues.  Nothing serious.  Just little irritations.  Like the internet not working AGAIN for the thousandth time.  We've only had it three weeks, and I think it breaks down at least once every day, and sometimes many times a day.  I call for the wonderful so-called "service", and it is like all the others.  Push a 1 -- push a 2 -- hold forever -- push something else -- get disconnected -- scream -- start all over again.  Then you get someone who doesn't know what they are doing.  AT&T has taught all the techs to say "I'm Sorry" and "We Apologize" at least once every 2 minutes.  I was on the phone for TWO WHOLE HOURS this morning.  I kid you not.  I finally insisted that my husband babysit the phone while we were on hold so I could run in and take a quick shower.  When I got out of the shower, we were still on hold.  The girl who was trying very unsuccessfully to help me finally went higher up the ladder.  Those people couldn't help me either, so they FINALLY agreed to send a tech to my house between 12 and 4 today.  Since then, I have had two phone calls telling me the problem is fixed and nobody is coming.  I assured them the problem WASN'T fixed, and somebody better show up.  Our other service, which was cable, may have been a bit slower, but it was dependable.  Jerry couldn't even work here this morning and had to go to our store to borrow a computer.  I have made these calls three times myself, and Jerry made one.  Absurd!

So all that began at 7:30 am this morning.  After the 2-hour call, and after Jerry left, I started sewing on my pretty new Sure-fit Designs Leaflet #9 blouse.  I sat down to sew the ruffle to the front, and I turned the stitch length up to 3 as Peggy advises us to do.  For some reason, my computer decided to sew the tightest stitch known to man -- teeny, tiny, close-together stitches.  I could NOT rip them out if I had to.  I turned the length all the way up, and it still sewed itsy bitsy stitches.  When I sewed BACKwards though, the stitches were fine.  How NUTTY!  I called Robert at Bernina who is a VERY NICE service tech and will actually help you on the phone if he can.  YES!  Great service there!  I need to send him a fruitcake for Christmas.  Does ANYONE actually EAT those things!?

Robert told me to set my machine on the mending stitch and just sew with it for about 2 minutes.  Bless his heart!  He was right.  It worked.  Somehow, it unjammed whatever was going on in the feeddog area. 

Before Jerry left this morning he called me outside to look at our fence.  Somebody hammered 5 inch nails into thin air so, naturally, all 5 have pulled out.  I am waiting for the fence people to show up to fix that also today.

And the lawn guy and his spanish-only crew are here working in our yard.  Very nice people if you could just talk to them!  I say "Hola" and "Gracias" a lot to them.  They are hauling rock in today to put on the side of our house where the sun refuses to shine.  We have been growing a crop of dirt over there for 7 years!  They are also hauling dirt in to other areas of the lawn and then putting sod on top of that. 

AND, Phylly came here to have lunch with me awhile ago!  A rather exciting day, really.  Don't usually have any visitors. 

I better get back to my new blouse so I can show you pictures.  Here is the front with one ruffle sewn on and one pinned on.  The bust darts aren't sewn in yet.   How AWESOME is this dress form!?  I am enjoying it so much.  I wish I could have avoided all the hassle involved, but I am very happy that it all turned out to be something I really like.  I better get back to it.  I seem to be in a "red" season.  I think I bought at least 3 more reds yesterday from Gorgeousfabrics.com. 

I heard somewhere that ruffles are all the rage right now, so that is why I'm putting ruffles to the extent that I can stand them on this blouse.  I don't really care what the current "in thing" is.  I wear what I like on my body. 

Wishing you all a marvelous day!

Hugs, Joy







Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fabric Sale and How Do You Move a Dress Form!?

I received an email from Gorgeous Fabrics saying ALL the knits are 25% off today!  I love their knit so I hurried over to see what they had.  So many really pretty ones.  I think I narrowed my choice down to 8 of them.  Now that I have learned all the tricks of how to sew slinky stuff, I want to have a closet full of pretty rayon knit blouses.  I should be back home at our real house in a few days, and then I can start with mass-production!

Trying to figure out how to get Lucy (my dress form) down there isn't easy.  Jerry has that little van, but it has a giant wheelchair in it.  Lucy takes up a lot of room.  I wish her legs bent.  Then I could just put her in the passenger seat and she would look like a person -- well, maybe not -- she doesn't have a head.  Maybe I could glue one of those wig heads on her and put a big floppy hat on it.  Then I might be able to lay her in the back seat, and it would look like she was taking a nap or something.
 

Of course her feetless legs might have to stick out an open window.  That might be a bit of a problem. 

OH, I KNOW -- I could put my high heel boots on her, and then it would look perfectly normal.  Ha!

Where there's WILL, there's a WAY, as someone used to always say!

Someone needs to invent a pull-apart mannequin.  Either that, or a bendable model.

We are in Kingfisher again today.  Jerry signed a contract with a realtor a while ago.  Then we went to lunch at my favorite little restaurant, the City Cafe.  Homemade apple pie today.  Awesome!  I ate a piece and brought the last piece they had home for later.  Now, I am sleepy and would love to lie down on this couch and take a nap.  Jerry is still fixing stuff.  I can't stop him.  Whoever buys this house is getting a great deal.  They may want to replace the countertops, but other than that, I don't know what would be needed. 

If I can figure out HOW, I'll post some pics of my Gorgeous On Sale Knit Fabric purchases.  My order didn't go through the first time, so I went back to redo it and somehow, some more fabric jumped into my bag!  I'll have to share with Phylly.

Here is a snapshot of a few of them:

 
 

These are all from Gorgeousfabrics.com and are all rayon knits.  Jerry is excited I am sewing with something that isn't COTTON from Hancock's.  He says my blouses all look alike and are so casual.  Well, I'm a casual girl.  I HATE to dress up.  Would like to make a lot more yoga pants though to go with all these pretty tops.

Any sewers out there may want to rush over and check out this 25% off sale.  Her fabrics go fast!
The other pieces are solids.  Something else I seldom make. 

I better go.  Got to start packing up the pole and base I am returning to Fabulous Fit.  Not sure HOW I'm going to do that, so need to get started.

Hugs, Joy





Sunday, April 22, 2012

Vacation, Sermon Notes and Friends

What a nice four days this has been.  Jerry would not agree at all, but TO ME, we have been on vacation.  Jerry has been out in the yard working -- we've had to go to Ace Hardware several times -- we've gone out to lunch and out to dinner -- he is sleeping on two blown up air mattresses, one on top of the other, and most of the house is empty.  I am sleeping in the only bed remaining in the house which is a single electric bed.  To me, it is like camping out in luxury.  The phone NEVER rings here, and his cell phone didn't ring even once yesterday!  We shoveled and raked and filled heavy trash bags with dead stuff and broken bricks.  He sprayed weeds with Round-Up as I went behind him pulling them out of the ground.  He told me I was crazy.  I was happy he was OUTSIDE doing anything besides sitting at his computer working.

I have cleaned and cleaned and cleaned, fixed areas that required paint touch-up, vacuumed carpet fuzzies up all over the house, done laundry, washed windows and sills, cooked hot dogs and beans and done various other duties INCLUDING breaking the pull-up thingy on the cheap faucet we put in the bathroom last summer.  I didn't WANT the cheap faucet, but in this little town, it was all we could find that would fit in the sink holes.  Another fix-it job for tomorrow which means MAYBE I'll get to have my husband one more day here in the sunny vacation paradise of Kingfisher, OK!


It is 8:20 AM, and Jerry is still in bed!!!  He is usually up at 5 AM working at his computer in his underwear.  I went in a minute ago and layed down next to him to shnuggy him.  I asked him if he was going to sleep until noon.  He said, "I might!"  I had to get up because I heard the air mattress shift, and I was afraid it was going to explode under my delicate frame!  This TRULY is a vacation!

Computer church starts in a few minutes, so I guess sermon notes will be at the end of my post today............................................  Okay, church is over, and here are sermon notes for today:

Pastor Hagee's son, Matthew, preached today.  Very good, as always.  He preached that Help Is On The Way -- I would have changed the title to "Help Is ALREADY Here!", but then he didn't ask my opinion on that.  The message was "peace through strength" -- not "peace through compromising with terrorists".

Jesus already gave us all the power and tools and instructions we need to defeat evil in our lives.  Problem is, most don't even know there IS an instruction manual, and those that do couldn't tell you anything that is in it, never mind actually APPLY it to their lives.  (That is my little sermon note -- not Matthew's.)

Matthew said, "God does not associate with terrorists, and God is NOT a pacifist"!  "What Jesus did while he was here, you can do right now."  (I know that is in John 14.)  "Peace is a biproduct of DUTY".  "God is not our Butler, He is our Commander in Chief!"

Matthew said that the divorce rate is approaching 70%.  How awful.  He said couples just separate and walk away from a conflict rather than dealing with it.  I sure did NOT inherit that gene!  I will fight like a tiger to get across my point in a conflict, and I will do all I can to get the other person to do the same!  I always tell Jerry, "You HAVE to communicate!!!"  Our daughters response to any conflict is, "I don't want to talk about it."  You sure won't ever get anything resolved that way.

Just a few years ago I had a relationship with a woman that I thought would be my friend for life.  I loved her dearly, and we talked, emailed or had lunch every day, and we got together for dinner at least once a week.  I thought we were best buds and would be forever.  I could tell her almost anything.  Problem was, she couldn't tell me anything.  She got upset with me over a big piece of stupid I did, and she just ERASED me from her life.  HOW does someone do that?  If it had been the other way around, I would have simply gone to her and said, "What is your PROBLEMO lady?  WHY did you say that?  WHY did you do that?"

But, no.  Nothing.  Total avoidance.  And when I see her, it is like torture to me.  I literally get sick to my stomach, and I am afraid -- afraid to be me.  I tried for years to act like everything was okay -- like before -- but she was soooooooooooo cold and so standoffish.  I don't know how to be like that.  I am a wide open book.  I say what I think, and I think what I say -- to a fault, at times, for sure -- but to me, that is better than living a lie.  Isn't a friendship WORTH some communication and above all, forgiveness?  It's a dagger in my heart to have lost such a dear friend, but then again, I guess she really wasn't, was she.  I have to give that pain to God and pray he helps me learn how to deal with it.  If I could just LEARN -- once and for all! -- how to be PERFECT and never do anything wrong -- maybe these things wouldn't happen to me.

It is a GORGEOUS day, and after typing that last bit, I realize that the reason I am so happy AWAY from home is because of that exact issue.  I am always in fear of running into her.  I want to run over and hug her and play like nothing ever happened -- but then, I suddenly remember that she doesn't like me anymore, and I freeze.  I'm going to enjoy what may be the last day of our vacation, and I'm going to Thank God all day long for loyal friends like Phylly, Margaret and Deanna.  They overlook my many faults, and they just love me anyway.


Hugs,
Joy



Saturday, April 21, 2012

Seniors

Last night, Jerry and I went down the street to have dinner with his Mother who lives at Countrywood Assisted Living Center.  We called ahead and asked to have dinner with her last night which was at 5 PM.  The house she owns but no longer remembers owning is just 5 blocks away.  I haven't been to see her for several months, and we never know what mental condition we will find her in.

These places cost a lot of money, and someone is supposed to help the residents whenever necessary -- BUT, Mom can't remember how to tell someone she needs them.   We walked into Apartment #10 where she now lives, and she was standing in a puddle of water in her bathroom.  I immediately noticed that the toilet was full and running over the top.  Heaven only knows how long it had been that way.  I went and got someone to fix it, and Jerry kept trying to get his Mother OUT of the puddle of water.  She insisted there WASN'T any water on the floor.

It is Mom's responsibility to furnish her own toiletries such as soap and toilet paper.  Whenever I am in town, I bring armloads of tp into her bathroom and put it on the shelf, however, I had not thought to take any last night.  I checked the shelf, and there was NO tp at all.  Like I said, she doesn't know how to tell anyone, and even with three typed notes taped to her mirror and walls, nobody ever calls me.  She can talk and walk just fine, but her mind doesn't keep up.  Anyway, the three of us went out to the dining room to eat.  It was more like a snack than a meal, but Mom didn't eat over two bites.  I'm sure they don't care if we starve.  Dinner was 1/2 baked potato and a little salad with a boiled egg on it.  I thought it was a nice appetizer.

About midway through dinner, Mom got up and said she had to take a trip.  I figured she meant she had to go to the bathroom.  She didn't walk to her room though.  She walked the opposite direction down the long hall.  I ran over to see where she was going, and I saw her walk into the public restroom.  I thought she probably just didn't realize her toilet had been fixed, so I went and sat back down at the table.
A few minutes later, I saw Mom walking back from the hallway and over to her apartment with her arms FULL OF TOILET PAPER ROLLS she had gotten out of the public restroom.  I knew she was not supposed to take those.  I ran over to her, and I walked with her into her bathroom.  I said, "Mom, where did you get that toilet paper?"  She looked at me so funny and said, "What do you MEAN?"  I asked her again where she got the toilet paper.  She said, "Well, I got it where I ALWAYS get it, from the County Store!" 

Mom was always the social chairman for this entire little town she has lived in for 50 years.  She ran The Senior Center and made sure there were plenty of games for everyone to play.  Every holiday, Mom would come with all kinds of domino, board and card games, and she would insist we all play games.  She still remembers that she loves to play games, but she doesn't still remember HOW to play them.  While we were eating, she asked us if we remembered the rules to any games.  She wanted to play a game.  There was one other man at our table named Dee.  We decided Mom could probably remember how to play Dominoes easier than Canasta, so we went into her room to find Dominoes.  She had at least 10 boxes of double nines, so that was easy!  Dee said he would join us at the card table in the common area.  A very nice room. 

Jerry was the score keeper and I was the reminder-of-whose-turn-it-was.  Mom had it in her head we were playing cards.  She kept yelling at Dee that he could only draw ONE card.  He would turn his head to her with both his hearing aids poking out his ears and scream, "HUH?"  Mom was amazing at figuring out what domino to play and how to add everything up.  The longer we played, the better she got.  Poor Dee though.  Not only was he as deaf as a doorknob, he couldn't remember how to add.  He thought every domino had a 6 on it.  He did okay with our help though.  Mom -- always the amazing hostess -- went into her room and brought out a package of Almond Joys and passed them around.  It was a lot of fun.

We finally told Mom we had to leave.  I started putting the dominoes back in the box, but she insisted she could do it.  I figured she probably needed something to do, so I left them.  I got up from the table, told her we had to get back home, and gave her a big hug.  Jerry went over and hugged her and told her he loved her.  Then we walked out to the parking lot to Jerry's funny little van.  We were about to back out when Mom came walking up to the driver-side window.  She almost always does that, but I didn't think she would this time because it was alrmost dark outside.  Jerry rolled down the window and said, "Mom!, what are you doing out here?"  She said, "You didn't tell me Goodbye."  Bless her heart.  It must be so awful to be locked inside a 92-year old body with a worn out memory bank.

We are still in Kingfisher today.  Jerry is sanding doors and fixing garden drains.  I am cleaning and touching up paint and doing laundry.  The work never ends here.  We met with a realtor this morning.  I guess we will go ahead and list the house with her.  I HATE to do that.  We have always sold our homes ourselves, but this one isn't ours, and we live so far away.  I pray it sells real soon so we won't have to worry about upkeep and keeping it "lived in" so the insurance company will insure it.

Haven't sewn in four days.  I'll be excited to get back to it.  For now, I better get back to work here.

Hugs, Joy 

 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Perfect Service At Last !

Here I am in Kingfisher, OK sitting on Mom's green floral couch with my feet up on a folding chair. Jerry is at the kitchen table using my laptop to work -- what ELSE would he be doing -- and I am trying to type this post on my IPad.  I am finding it nearly impossible to do, because I can't post pics, and some of my sentences are hidden from me. I will continue to type and check it all on my laptop later.

The local folks around here all told us to get Alfredo to lay the carpet back down. We had a hard time reaching him, but we finally did. He started the job today. My main reason for being here is to babysit the contractors so they don't trash Mom's house, and to make sure they even show up. Alfredo did show up in a nice van with his company name and number on it. He is by himself though. I asked him why he didn't have a helper, and he said the guy quit today. How awful! I told him to let us help him, but he refused.

Guess what the very first thing was that he did? He got a large scrap of new, clean carpet to put in the entryway so "he wouldn't mess up my house"! Well, that was it. I knew from that alone that the guy was going to make me happy.

He has to lay a new floor in the bathroom. When Lowe's came out to do it last summer, they said they don't remove the old floor -- they just put the new floor on top of whatever is already on it. So the bathroom had two layers on it with five holes drilled through it. At 10:00, Alfredo left to take a well-deserved break. I went to see what he had been doing. OMG, was I ever surprised! 

You could eat off the cement, it was so clean. He scraped up the entire floor, removed the toilet, and he removed all the baseboards. Remember it had a 40-year-old floor and the new floor I put last summer on it.  The last company didn't remove anything!  I could not even FIND the toilet Alfredo took up.

Look at where it was -- as neat as could be in the hall closet. Wow! What a guy! I am so thrilled to have found him. He does it RIGHT -- not fast and cheap. Whatever he charges, he will have earned.

He put the new floor in -- put the toilet back -- and put all the trim back.  Then he caulked all around everything.  I wish you could see a before and after picture!  I think the moral of this story is DON'T have the carpet store install your carpet.  They will do it the cheapest way possible.  This guy works for himself.  He told Jerry that he used to work for Home Depot.  Home Depot made him lay hard tile OVER linoleum.  That is just WRONG!  I am SO GLAD we found Mr. Alfredo!

PROOF POSITIVE that there is STILL such a thing as honest, dependable, high quality customer service!  It does my heart good and makes me a happy girl!

Okay, it is now the next day.  Alfredo was supposed to be here 8 minutes ago.  PLEASE don't break my heart, Alfredo, and screw up your perfect record!

It just so happens, that the largest quilt shop in Oklahoma is 30 minutes away from here in Hennessey, OK.  Jerry told me to take his little van and go there yesterday, so what could I say.  I guess he was tired of me sitting across this table from him watching him work.  So I went to Prairie Quilts, and I found 9 new fabrics I needed to make future blouses with --

ALFREDO IS HERE!!!!!  YEAH!!!!!  I heard him apologize to Jerry for being a few minutes late.  An APOLOGY!!!!!!!!  Somebody better give me mouth-to-mouth!

The computer is very slow this morning, so I'm going to post this.  When I get back to my regular computer, I'll show you pics of my new fabrics.

Hugs, Joy




Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Uptown Clown, Boo Bear and Hollie

Yes, that is what I am this morning.  My photography skills are sadly lacking, but I do know that you need a camera -- a tripod -- and good lighting.  When I take pictures, I always have shadows all over me because the lights in this house are all up on the ceiling.  It makes me look like I have 50 chins instead of only 25!  So I got this BRIGHT idea this morning.  My husband has two little lights on his desk that have turny shades on them.  I decided to aim them toward myself to see if I could could get a brighter picture.  And then I had to figure out how to build a tripod so I could take the picture.  So check it out.  Here's my super duper high tech photography studio!

I DO hope you are impressed!  The tripod, especially, is really nice with the phone book on top of the vacuum I haven't even taken out of the box yet!

And now you want to know what marvelous picture I took with that set-up, right???

Well, that is where the "clown" part comes in.  This nutty amoeba blouse that now has black trim -- thanks to Joy2 -- was in yesterday's post that disappeared.  Evidently, the bloggosphere blew up when it saw it!  I am going to try to post a pic of it again though so you can see it with the LOVELY floral shoes I found to go with it.  I won't be leaving the house in this, but I took a pic anyway.




Such loveliness! 

I received a phone call a few minutes ago from the Paralyzed Veterans of America asking for donations.  Their truck will be coming by my house on April 26th.  I have a feeling this blouse and the MATCHING shoes will be in the bag!

I went to the Bernina store and refinanced my house to buy a single hole stitch plate for my sewing machine.  That means I can now sew the slinky fabrics with ease.  I really like the way they FEEL on my skin.  You know my sensitive skin.  I can feel the tiniest nothing on my skin, and it feels like a brick.  This is true.  When we were first married, Jerry used to want to rest his hand on me while we were sleeping.  I guess he wanted to hold me down or something.  No!  He just wanted to hug me.  BUT, I could not sleep.  I felt like there was a heavy brick pressing down on me.  I had to finally tell him.  THANK GOD Jerry is not easily offended.  In fact, you can't hardly offend him no matter what you say or do, which is really great when you are married to my personality.  He just said, "You should have told me sooner."  His hand was probably getting tired anyway!





And WHAT ON EARTH does that have to do with going to Bernina to buy a part for your sewing machine????

I KNOOOOOOOOOOOW!  What is with my brain anyway?

Poor Margaret.  We went to dinner the other night, and she started talking about her brother writing a book and how he got the past all screwed up.  He even said he had a dog when he was growing up, and Margaret said the dog never existed. 

So, I got to telling her about my childhood and how it has gotten so distorted by my family.  They, of course, don't think so.  They have "their side of the story", and to them, it is nothing but the truth.  Well, I think I lived my own life -- maybe I didn't -- but I have my memories.  I would NEVER write a book because if by some MIRACLE, someone actually read it, my sisters would call Bill O'Reilly and tell him what a horrible person I am and how I wrecked the entire family.  My brother would say a prayer and tell God how NEGATIVE I am!  Oh, the stories I could tell.

Anyway, I decided Margaret would never know my sisters or my brother, so I could tell her MY version of my life story.  There we were -- at the Longhorn Restaurant with Jerrod waiting on us -- eating our fabulous steaks and lobster-covered baked potato -- YUM!!! -- and I started my long story.  Margaret listened intently as she always does, and I just kept on going.  I didn't think about it until I was lying in bed at 11 PM that night, but I thought, "OMG!, What if the whole restaurant could hear me?!"  Jerrod did come by once and tell me that he would have been there sooner, but my story sounded so serious, he didn't want to interrupt me.  He probably left to call 911 and have me committed!

Since my last post disappeared into thin air, I will show you again the picture of our storm cellar.  I haven't seen it, but Jerry sent me a picture.  Isn't it nice?  We always said we would never need one, but with tornadoes happening a dozen at a time all over the US, we thought maybe it was time.  It is over there behind the trees.  That is one or both of our cats you see next to it.


I put a picture of my grandson, Boo Bear, in yesterday's post, so I will put it here again.  I call him Sgt. Boo Bear.  He always says, "I'm not a Sergeant, Grandma."  I tell him I will call him General Boo Bear then.  He will be home tomorrow for a few weeks as I posted a few days ago.  Here is a pic I snapped last time I saw him:

Isn't he WONDERFUL!?

We adore this child!  He practically lived with us from birth until he was 3 years old.  He makes wise choices and is very respectful of his elders and his peers.  He makes friends very easily.

Check out the girl he is getting ready to marry:















Her name is Hollie, and she is BEAUTIFUL!  Not only is she beautiful, she is as darling as he is.  High grades in school, helps other people and children in some capacity (don't remember what agency), loves everybody she meets.  Last I heard, she wants to be a Physical Therapist. 

They will marry next weekend -- I think -- and she has to finish High School.  John (Boo Bear) will fly from here to ALASKA leaving her behind to finish school.  Then she will fly by herself to join him in Alaska.  She will go to college there.  Her Dad was in the Army, so she is very familiar with the "drill". 
John says they still want to come to our house for a weekend, so we are very excited about that.  We will have a celebration -- IF they ever come out of the bedroom.  

Seriously!  How many new brides say, "Darling, let's go visit your grandparents and go fishing on our honeymoon."

I've gotta go.  Need to get ready to go to Jerry's Mom's house in Kingfisher tonight.  The carpet guy, Alfredo, will be there at 8 AM.  He speaks very little English, but his wife speaks it pretty well.  Hope she comes with him!




Hugs, Joy

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Post Disappeared!!!!

I've never had this happen before.  I had a post today, but it completely disappeared.  How bazaar.  I even had a comment from MK Hughes.  Sorry.  I'm not retyping that whole thing.  Check in tomorrow.

Hugs, Joy

New Dress Form Base and Amoeba Blouse Revision

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Salesgirl and The Waiter

I am so glad I have two "clerk" stories to tell you tonight.  I hate to always just talk about bad service because it makes me sound like a person that nobody can please, and that is not true at all.  I am very easy to please.  Just give me good service.  We demand it from our employees.  Our clerks will walk out into the parking lot to your car if they see you need help. 

After lunch with Phylly at TGI Friday's, I decided I needed to quit procrastinating and go buy a new carpet vacuum.  I have always been a Sears Kenmore Canister/Carpet Vac lover, but somebody at Kenmore that obviously never had used a vacuum in his/her life, decided to CHANGE the model I love, and when they did, they ruined it.  I had researched this several months ago, and I knew about the change, but I thought since I was at the mall already, I would go look at the Progressive vacuums at Sears one more time, and maybe by some miracle they would be changed BACK to the way they used to be.
I walked over to the vacuums and started talking to the vacuums.  I noticed two girls doing something on the other side of the aisle, so I started speaking to them.  They ignored me.  I asked if they worked there.  Yes, they did, but someone else would have to help me.  So I looked for "someone else" and sure enough, she was walking toward me.  She was a nice looking lady with a lot of hair.  She wore a strange purse/back pack sort of thing wrapped all around her body.  She was 40ish I would say.  I told her how I USED to love this Progressive vacuum and that I didn't like the way they changed it.  She took it down off display and was going to SHOW me that I was wrong.  She started to pull the wand out of the handle, but she couldn't figure out how to do it.  She pulled and she pushed and she moved the buttons all around.  I took it from her and showed her how to take it apart.  She kept telling me how she knew all about this vacuum and how wonderful it was.  I handed it back to her.  I told her I didn't like the way they permanently attached the little round brush to the end of the hand part of the wand.  She said she would SHOW me that you could remove it.  She pushed and pulled and fiddled with the buttons.  AGAIN, I took it from her and showed her how to do it.  Oh, yes, she knew all about this vacuum, and it was the top of the line.  I handed it back to her again.  Then I explained that it was too big to slide the wand in between the frig and the wall or in between the washer and dryer.  She said she would SHOW me that she could do it.  VERY WEIRD.  She puts the little skinny thing on that you do edges with and tells me that you just use it.  I took it from her again.  I turned around and tried to put it between a box and the wall and, of course, it would not go in at all because of the remodeling of the handheld part made to hold the little round brush.  She couldn't believe it, and she FINALLY saw what I was telling her from the first minute we met. 

By that time, I figured out I knew WAY MORE than that girl ever would about that vacuum.  I decided to ask her about UPRIGHT models.  Oh, yes, she knew all about them too.  She even had a Hoover Windtunnel.  Okay, I said, show me that one.  Well, to make a loooooooooong story short -- I had to show her how that one worked too, and then the Kenmore and then the Oreck.  It was unbelievable.  After I demoed all those models to her, I finally decided to buy the Hoover.  I asked her if she had bags for it.  This is what she said:

It takes a Y bag, but we don't have any Y bags.  We only have Y/Z bags, but you can use the Y/Z bags with it. 

I tell her I want to buy some bags for it.  We walk over to the vac bags hanging on the wall.  I am watching her every move.  She reaches up and chooses a package of TWO Y/Z bags and tells me I need them.  I can see hanging RIGHT NEXT TO THE Y/Z bags that there is a package of Y bags.  I say to her, "Aren't those Y bags right there?"  She looks and she sees them.  THEN she says, "Yes, those are Y bags but you want these Y/Z bags."  I ask her why.  She says there are 2 Y/Z's in the box.  I point out that there are 3 Y bags in a box.  "Oh", she says.  Then she says, "Well, you don't want those because these are better because they filter up to 97.5% of allergens."  I pick up the Y bags and written plainly on the front it says, "Filters 97.5% of allergens".  I show it to her and point out that it is also several dollars cheaper and has one more bag.  She finally gives up.

Then she tries to put my phone number and my name in the computer.  She messed that up over and over.  We had to keep starting all over.  Finally, she got the thing sold to me.  She said I could pick it up at the package pick-up door.  She took my receipt and started walking away with it.  I asked her where she was going.  She said she was going to the package pick-up dept to tell them I was coming.  I started to take my bags and go find the down escalator when I noticed her walking back to me.  She said again, I'm going to take this to package pick-up, but you can go there and get your vacuum.  Okay.  She walked away again, but turned around shortly and came back to me.  She said, "Here is your receipt.  Just take it to package pick-up".

Isn't it just UNbelievable?  These clerks are so poorly trained.  They don't know the product or the register or the routine.  I was very patient with the girl, because it was obvious she had some mental issues.  I wasn't in a hurry and I didn't insult her or rush her.  I felt really sorry for her though because she sure wasn't prepared to do that job.  I basically sold myself the vacuum.

So THAT was the salesgirl story. 

I came home with my new vacuum and hauled the big box into the house and sat it up against Jerry's desk and forgot about it.  I came back into my sewing room to fix my amoeba blouse per the other Joy's (I'll call her Joy2) comment.  I was finished with it and taking a picture for Joy2 when my doorbell rang.  It was Margaret!!!  I was so happy to see her.  She came over to inform me that Phylly was NOT my ONLY friend.  I said, "Good, come in and let's go out to dinner."  We fixed our faces -- I changed my shoes -- and we left with no idea at all where we were going to eat.  It was 5:00.  Margaret said she wanted to show me the house she and her husband built years ago that she had sold and would love to have back.  So we drove over to her old neighborhood, and I parked in front of her very lovely x-home.  I could certainly see why she missed it so much.  Then we walked across the street to talk to a good friend and x-neighbor of hers, Betty.  Then Betty's husband came out.  I think his name was Jay.  Both very nice people.  All four of us discussed restaurants, and one of them mentioned Longhorn.  AHAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!  THAT is where that darling Jerrod works that waited on us a couple weeks ago.  I decided that I wanted to go there, and Margaret didn't care where we went. 

We arrived and I asked for Jerrod to wait on us.  The girl wanted to know WHICH Jerrod.  "You mean there are TWO of them", I said.  The girl explained that one was a waiter and one was a bartender.  I chose the waiter, and sure 'nuf -- it was the same sweet Jerrod.  He remembered me or, at least, said he did.  He was just as nice and helpful and friendly.  Margaret said he was a flirt.  I did see him wink at her, and he practically sat in her lap when she offered him a seat next to her.  When we were done eating, Margaret had to visit the little girl's room.  While she was gone, another couple -- old like us -- came and sat at the booth right behind me.  Jerrod went over and introduced himself and started talking to them.  After a couple of minutes, I heard the lady in the booth say, "You sure are cute!" to Jerrod.  So, seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.  It isn't just me.  He really is a great waiter.  Too bad they can't clone him to sell vacuums at Sears!

And THAT was the waiter story -- both in the same day! 

My soldier grandson whom I affectionately call "Boo Bear" texted me today to tell me he is coming home this Friday.  He knows how much I adore him and that I would be thrilled to know that.  He gets to stay for several weeks.  He said he is coming down to our home to stay for three days and go fishing with his Papa.  I told Jerry, and he was as excited as I am.  That is a real big thing for me to look forward to.  He is a wonderful, responsible, gorgeous 19-year old young man who makes wise choices in life and is very respectful to his elders.  This child gives me GREAT joy!  After John left for the Army, my daughter brought some boxes of his belongings over to put in my attic, and I hugged the boxes.  You get the idea.

Riiiiiiiiiiing, Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing --  Gotta grab the phone -- Be right back.

Okay.  It is an hour later.  I just heard from my daughter for the first time since last October.  She called to say that her son, John, (Boo Bear) has decided to get married while he is home.  His fiance' is still a Senior in High School.  Wow!  Things sure can change fast in a Grandma's world.  His girlfriend is as lovely as he is, so it is a good thing.  I can't imagine that they will still want to come to our house, but my daughter says he does.  WARNING!  Watch for my emotions to go through the roof.  John leaves from his short visit home to go to Alaska.  He is in Boston, MA right now.
I better get to bed.

Hugs, Joy 







Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Sunshine and SFD Knit Top

Thank God for the sunshine today!!!  It has been cloudy for over a week here, and I need sunshine for motivation.  We have had a lot of rain, and I'm thankful for that, but we could use a break now. 

Rev. Hagee was on the mark this morning -- as always.  He talked about the downfall of the Huge Roman Empire and how all that is going on in America right now is exactly the same as what happened way back then.  Our freedom of religion is being taken away right before our eyes, and Christians are just sitting back thinking it's no big deal.  Well, THIS Christian isn't!  I want to do SOMETHING, but I don't know HOW or WHAT I can do other than pray.  Our young people are so ignorant of everything except, "I'm going to do it MY way, and nobody is going to tell me I can't."

My daughter -- raised in the church and very familiar with scripture -- said this to me several years ago when she left her husband to look for a more exciting love life:

"Mom, I can't go to church because I know God will convict my heart and tell me to go back to my husband."

My response was:  "So, you think you know better what is right for your life than Almighty God does!?"

At least, I didn't feel like quite such a failure as a Mother.  I figured if she wouldn't even listen to God, than who did I think I was to expect better than He got.

So extremely sad.  Hagee said that George Washington said that America would never survive if it wasn't governed by principles of the Bible.  Well, here we are, my friends.  Over 50% divorce rate even in the church, and a huge percentage of young people living together and having children with no marriage at all.  The family structure is what makes a country strong.  Values at home -- values in government.  Pretty simple.  The things our congressmen do and get away with are things dirty books are written about.  And the mass murder of unborn children.  How does God watch it and allow it?  I wonder if He regrets giving us free will.  And, of course, I know the answer to that.  God doesn't think like I do.  Without free will, we don't have a CHOICE as to whether to love him or not.  Love without choice, is not love.

Okay.  That's it for today's recap.

I have my brand new slinky top on today.  It feels so soft and silky on my skin.  No rubby places.  It was NOT easy to sew.  Especially, the neckline.  I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out as good as it did.  I think the BEST solution for sewing on this water-like fabric is to have the single hole feed dog cover plate.  I don't have one for the machine I was using, so I am going to go on line to see if I can find one.

This top was made using my Sure-fit Designs KNIT blueprint.  I removed the large bust dart and put in a French Dart.  Here is a picture of the paper pattern showing the change.  I actually left in the waist darts for extra fullness, and that worked out fine. 

Notice how I cut out the innards of the large  French dart and made seam allowances for it.  You don't want all that extra fabric in there.

I really like the way this dart looks compared to the bust dart.  This one almost just disappears.

It just so happens that Glenda Sparling of Sure-Fit Designs has a new video I've not seen before called "How to Perfect the Dart Cutting Line After Moving the Dart."  She will show you EXACTLY what I did to get my French dart; however, she doesn't cut out the innards of it because her dart is a "B".  Mine is a "Z", I think!  Here's the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiUTJiYC1SE&feature=g-user-u&context=G2a66490UCGXQYbcTJ33ZRgU42mHeQ3XBd4-6HBidNdTLpQOuBj40

Here are some pics of my new top.  The fabric is from gorgeousfabrics.com, and the pattern was from my Sure-fit Designs dress kit bodice KNIT blueprint.  Whew!  Say that 3 times real fast.





The French dart is really straight, but I am pulling a bend in it from the way I am standing.

I want to make some more of these.  SO, SO comfortable.  Maybe I'll try a ruffle around the v-neck on the next one.



I got four hearts on the back, and only one on the front.  These prints are strange the way they end up when you cut them out.

It is noon on Sunday, and I have the rest of the afternoon to do SOMETHING.  Jerry called awhile ago just to talk -- how sweet is that -- and he told me he is GLAD to be rid of Kirk.  I am GLAD he is GLAD because I hate it if he doesn't approve of something I do or say. 

God Bless and have a WONDERFUL day!

Hugs, Joy