Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pinecone Dress on Me and Striptease!

Well, here it is!  My FIRST Striptease -- or is it Strip Tease.  Even the Internet does not know for sure. 
Would you believe it is 3:50 AM?  That is the middle of the night here.  When Jerry is gone, I either stay up really late, or go to bed very early.  Last night, I fell asleep at 9:00 after watching Peggy Sagers on this laptop right here in this bed.  She gets so boring sometimes.  She is NOT a good teacher, in my opinion, although she desperately tries to be.  She has a hard time understanding questions, and an even harder time answering them clearly.  JMHO!  I must also say that I have learned a TON about pattern-making and fitting from her.  I put it right inside that big cauldron with all the other information I have gathered.
Now that video up there is probably the craziest I have ever made.  It was so nice to FEEL GOOD after being yucky feeling and unshowered for 4 days. 
I suppose I will close this laptop and try to go back to sleep.  
Hugs, Joy 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Dress Out Of Pinecones and Shorts Out Of Daisies (-;

I can't tell you about church today because I wasn't able to ever get it to come up.  Jerry wasn't able to get it to come up at our other house either.  How strange.  I'll find something to watch this evening.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOO, being home all alone, and feeling good today because I refused to take the non-drowsy Ibuprofen, I sewed all day.  I made a pinecone dress today.  It is my muslin of the pattern I downloaded to copy with my SFD Dress Kit.

Here is the Kwik Sew pattern I wanted to copy.  I would tell you the number, but as far as I can tell, it doesn't HAVE a number.

And HERE is my SFD copy of that dress on Lucy.  I used pinecones for my muslin, and it turned out good enough to wear.  Only thing is, I may need to become a Go-Go Granny because when I sit down, the slit wants to reveal my entire lower half!  I actually have spun around a pole before in some exercise class I used to take.

I look like Gravel Girty's Great Grandmother today, and I'm not ABOUT to take my picture.  I have not had a shower since Thursday, and I can't take one until tomorrow.  Yes, I do the sink bath bit, but it just is NOT the same.  And I wash my hair every day of the world, but I have only washed it once since Thursday.  It is starting to look more like plastic than hair!

The Kwik Sew pattern has a seam down center front.  I did not want a seam down center front, so I made a facing for the hem.

Here is how I drew the bottom of the front and back to make a facing for the slit up center front from the hem.  Pardon all the lines.  I change my mind all the time.  By the time I get these patterns finished, I have a roll of regular tape -- a roll of removable tape -- and five colors of marker all over the paper and myself!

I almost forgot,
to show you my daisy shorts.

Remember the Burda pattern I downloaded?  I got the puzzle all cut out and put together, and then I noticed that the BIGGEST size available was too small for me.  I wasn't familiar with 38, 40, 42 and 44.  I figured 42 meant 42 hips, and mine are 41, so that should work.  NO!!!!  That is not right.  I still don't know what the numbers stand for, but it isn't MY HIPS!

I had to alter the pattern quite a bit in the waist and the hip, but it was really big in the leg opening.  I have the shorts done except for the waistband.  Here are my daisy shorts on Lucy.  Pretty cute, I think.  Maybe a tad short for a granny, but I don't care.  I can wear them at home and have flashbacks to the olden days when I used to have pretty legs that men whistled at. 

My swing has been neglected today, and I haven't had supper.  Gotta get.

Hugs, Joy

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Bobble-Head Joy

I'm home alone.  Between being here by myself and having to take the 600 mg Ibuprofen the doctor says I have to take for inflammation in my recently cut up leg, it is all I can do to stay awake today.  I haven't even THOUGHT about sewing something.  I see all the fabrics -- new and old -- and the patterns -- new and old -- and the tables and floor they are spread all over -- and I glide slowly right on by it all and head for a recliner.  I put my feet up because I'm supposed to do that too, and I THINK I'm going to find some life lesson to learn on my laptop -- and the next thing I know, my head is bobbing up and down, and my eyes are shut.

Now, some of you may not know this, but my husband is a Pharmacist.  He knows all about drugs.  He tells me that there is no way Ibuprofen can make me sleepy.  I've been trying to figure out where he got that absurd idea as my head keeps bobbing up and down!!!

Did you notice that I added something to the side of my blog.  Over there on the right.  I figured out how to show other blogs that I like, AND you will notice one called "Just A Little Bit of Sewing".  GUESS WHO STARTED THAT BLOG????  Our very own Phylly!

Now, please don't tell her I said this, but don't die of shock if after her 9-day vacation from watching her 3 grandkids all the time, her blog suddenly never sees a another key stroke from Phylly.  But go check it out while she is on vacation -- quick! 

The newest thing in my life, other than the 3 vericose vein surgeries, is Jerry's Mom.  You remember her.  Her name is Nida.  I spent a whole Summer at her house un-packratting it and getting it ready to sell.  She has been in the Senior Living Center called Countrywood (CW) for four years.  A few days ago, she went from bad to worse.  According to the aide, she was nonresponsive.  They sent her to ER in an ambulance.  The hospital sent her back to CW the next day.  One day later, at 10:30 PM, the same aide said she was nonresponsive again, and she sent her BACK to ER in an ambulance.  This morning, Jerry drove 200 miles to Kingfisher, OK to be with his Mom.  She is still in the hospital.  He was there all afternoon, and she never came out of a deep sleep.  I think they must have drugged her on purpose so she won't wake up as doctors don't want to be bothered on weekends.  At least, she is sleeping.  Jerry is going back tomorrow when she will, hopefully, be awake.  All we know is her heart rate is down -- her blood pressure is up -- and she is combative.  She will be 93 August 25th.  Looks like she may not make that birthday.  As soon as I am released to bathe and go somewhere by my doctor, I will be going to Kingfisher also.

I better get back in my recliner.  Not supposed to sit for long with my leg hanging down.  It is kind of hard to hold my leg up in the air while I am typing to you!  Believe me, I have TRIED!

Hugs, Joy

Friday, July 26, 2013

Rainy Day Blues

I feel like I'm under water inside a bubble.  It is pouring rain here, and it has been all day.

It is pouring rain where Jerry's Mom is also, and she has had to move out of her room into some other room with two other women because the rain came inside her area of Countrywood.

She must be so confused.  Jerry has had several calls about her.  I don't know why they started calling him instead of me, but probably just as well since I'm not moving around much.

I had the second surgery for varicose veins on my right leg yesterday.  They really drugged me for that one, and I am STILL not in my right mind.  I have done the goofiest things today.  For instance, I am not allowed to take a shower until next Monday, so I washed my hair in the kitchen sink.  I went in my bathroom to fix my hair, and I heated up my curling iron as usual.

After I dried my hair, I reached down to pick up the curling iron, and there was a tube of mascara melted to it.  I grabbed the tube of mascara and threw it aside, and then I unplugged the iron and scraped the melted part off with something.  I plugged the curling iron back in so it could get hot again.  A few minutes later, I reached down to pick the curling iron up again, and a red CHIP CLIP was melted completely around it!!!  I use the chip clip to hold my towel up sometimes so that is why it was lying there.  I turned the iron off AGAIN, and I had to get all that gook off of it.  The chip clip was no longer clippable, so it went in the trash.  I was beginning to think I had lost my mind totally.  Thank goodness, Jerry came home to take me to lunch before I melted the entire bathroom!

I want to sew, but I don't dare allow myself to use scissors.  I cut the tip of my finger pretty bad with a rotary cutter on Wednesday.  I have NEVER done that before.  Probably pre-surgery nerves.  It is the kind of cut that is a flap.  The blade went INTO my finger, but not all the way out the other side.  I had to pull the blade out.  YUK!  Blood spurted and I grabbed a paper towel.  I'm hoping there aren't a bunch of fuzzies from the rotary blade embedded inside the wound.  After the cut quit bleeding, I removed the bandaid and dabbed the wound with alcohol.  OWE!  I hope my finger doesn't heal with a hole in it.

Not much to tell you EXCEPT that I did finish those Burda shorts.  If I didn't feel so yukky right now, I would put them on and model them for you -- thick compression hosiery and all.  Maybe tomorrow I'll feel like my normal self again.  I sure hope so.  I HATE feeling drugged.  I don't see how people can get addicted. 

Tomorrow is Saturday, and Jerry will be home with me all day.  He is really sweet to me when I'm hurting.  Sad thing is his knees hurt him just about all the time, and probably more than what this vein surgery is hurting me.  I have to go back Monday afternoon for the Ultrasound verification that the surgery worked.  Of course, I had that five years ago.  Same surgery exactly.  Ultrasound verified it was successful.  BUT, it wasn't.  That is why I'm having it done again now.  When we were at the Marina CafĂ© for lunch today, I saw a lady there who had horrible varicose veins.  She was older than I am and, obviously, had not ever had the surgery for it.  She was wearing shorts, so I guess it doesn't bother her that her legs look so awful.  Large, bulging, twisted, knotted bluish veins -- crisscrossing like railroad tracks all over her legs.   I wonder if she even knows there is a surgery for it.

I better get.  Wonder if my swing is all wet.  The rain just stopped and I see some sunshine!  We don't have any rain gutters yet because we are STILL WAITING for Todd and crew to finish the siding.  Jerry told them he wanted his money back or we were going to court, so they decided maybe they should come back and finish.  They are supposed to return next Monday.  We dread it, and I'm sure they do too.

Hugs, Joy 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

New VLOG, New Pattern, and Almost Relocated Today!

I have SO MUCH to tell you, but it is 5:14 PM, and I have to hurry downstairs to start supper.  Jerry just called and said he will be 20 minutes late, so that is all the time I have!

So much has been happening with the contractor situation that I can't even remember all the details anymore.  They QUIT again for the second time on Saturday night.  Jerry typed up a 3-page document detailing all the stuff we have been through -- all the unkept promises, etc. -- the overpaid thousands of dollars for work not done -- and he called the boss, Grandpa, over for a meeting.

Grandpa showed up yesterday morning at 8:30.  He is the NICEST man.  I like him very much.  He just has the most difficult situation with his son, and it is causing mass havoc in his own life.  They are actually having to move out of their home today and tomorrow because of so much debt acquired due to the son's poor health and accidents.  I feel so very sad for him and his wife.  I wanted to do something SO MUCH.  I begged Jerry to let me just give them however much money they were behind in payment.  Jerry said, "NO! NO! NO!"  He said they would just arrive at the same place again sooner or later.

I was wandering around here this morning just heart sick over this.  Can you imagine???  70 years old, and you lose your home.  I was praying and wondering what I could do that Jerry would approve of.  FINALLY, I thought of something.

Jerry and I own 60 boat and RV storage units in a small town about 12 miles from here.  There are about 15 empty units.  I thought that maybe Grandpa and wife might need a place to store some things for a while.  I picked up my phone, and I called Grandpa.  Now, Grandpa does NOT like me!  Why?  Because Grandpa has not been here much, and he has heard all kinds of lies from DS and DGS about what a witch I am.  Insofar, as Grandpa and I, there hasn't been a single unpleasant exchange.

ANYWAY, I was afraid he wouldn't even answer the call, but he did.  When I said, "Hi, this is Joy", he kind of went silent on me.  I could tell he would rather talk to the IRS or the Mortgage Company than me.  I told him I heard he was having to move, and I was so very sorry.  I told him I wished there was something I could do to help him.  I told him the ONLY thing I could think of that I may be able to do for him was offer him FREE rent in however many storage units he may need.

Well, he suddenly lightened up a bit, and I was crying.  He told me that he may need to take me up on that offer.  I told him to just let me know, and I would take care of everything.  I haven't heard back, but they have several days to move out.

I called Jerry about lunch, and THAT is when I almost relocated.  To hear the details of that, listen to the video I made for you today.  I talk about my new pattern at the beginning, but about half-way through, I talk about the "incident".

I start by telling you that this video is "Take Two", but my lightning-fast mind forgot to tell you why.  The first video in which I held my leg up in the air and showed you my veins was very dark.  I forgot I need to close the blinds before taping.  And after I remembered that I actually HELD MY LEG UP IN THE AIR, I decided it was probably a good thing it did NOT turn out.  (-;

Here's the latest:

And now, I really have to run.  We are having shrimp coctail, fish sticks that Jerry bought last time I was at Nida's -- I NEVER buy fish sticks -- and coleslaw and whatever else I can find to throw together.

Hugs, Joy

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday Notes and Other Stuff

Good Sunday Morning!!!

Our morning started out rather abruptly and emotionally-charged.  I'll tell you about that later.  I could not WAIT to "get to church" (even though it is on our computer), and hear what Pastor Hagee had to say today.  I don't know what his title was, but I would call it "Where Are You" or "Lost and Found". 

He talked about that scripture in Matthew 16:26 where Jesus said:

"For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul?  Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?"

The message was about how much the CHURCH and THE WORLD have intertwined with each other so much that you can't even tell the two apart. 

Pastor Hagee went to Austin to attend the signing of the new law by Gov. Rick Perry that puts restrictions on Murder Mills -- Oops, I mean Abortion Clinics -- in the State of Texas.  He talked about what boldness it took for the representatives in the State of Texas to uphold that new law to their own detriment in the next election.  Sometimes, I think I want to move to San Antonio so I can attend the actual church, and be in a State where there are still some congresspeople that remember we HAVE a Constitution.

Hagee said the purpose of the church is to "comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comforted".  He was referring to Christians doing NOTHING other than waiting for the rapture or death, and how God gave us the great commission to tell the world about Jesus.  He said you can either please God, and offend the world, or you can please the world and offend God.  And, of course, that is my platform as well. 

As always, if you would like to hear a good sermon, you can go to www.GETV.org.  I LOVE that church, and I wish all my grandkids, great grandkids and great-greats and forever could attend their school.  It was voted #1 in the nation in some category.  Sorry, I don't know the school lingo.

And back to my morning.

Well, it actually started yesterday morning.

You know we are "under construction" in one place or the other most of the time.  I get so stressed out from it, and Jerry and I both just want to S C R E A M, but we know that does no good at all. 

The latest crew is a family consisting of Grandpa, Son and Grandson.  Grandson is 20-ish and all the things we don't like about the younger generation.  I will say he has no body-piercings or tattoos that I can see, so I have to UNgroup him from that bunch.  Rudeness and laziness top the list, however.  Dad and Grandpa think he can do no wrong, and he basically watches others work while he texts, smokes cigarettes, walks around and drinks a lot of Red Bull, Gatorade and other beverages I have never seen before.

The last time they were here, which was one day last week, Grandpa -- who is 70 -- was walking around the back yard picking up very heavy trash in giant bundles under his arm and making trip after trip around to the side of the house to park the trash in the yard or the back of a truck.  Darling GS stood under the new covered patio texting, smoking, drinking and just watching Grandpa work.  I could NOT BELIEVE IT!!!  I can't tell you how hard it was for me not to say something.  Dad and Grandpa would have hated me if I did, and darling GS would still be darling GS.

During the last 2 1/2 months while this patio and house-siding job have been going on, Son and GS keep having visitors.  Not just for a little while, but often -- nearly every day -- and for a long period of time.  Girlfriends and their young children -- 4ish and 2ish -- come and make themselves at home on my lawn furniture or my patio.  Other people have come by too.  I assume they are relatives.  One older lady was carrying a small child, and she was holding the child over a large machine that bends metal where Dad was TRYING to work.  I couldn't believe it!  Picture a large table saw, hammers, drills, nail guns, sharp metal pieces flying, sawdust flying.  A construction zone.  Dear GS's girlfriend was also here, and they kept hugging and kissing each other while Dad worked right next to them. 

I walked outside to take the trash out one morning, and a teenager-looking young girl came walking from the back of my house.  I didn't know WHO she was or WHY she was there.  She walked over to Dear GS, and they started kissing.  Guess it was the same kissy girl from above.

One day, I went out on my patio to put two hot dogs on my grill to eat for lunch.  I heated the grill to super hot, put my dogs on and cooked them.  I turned off the grill, and I went inside to make my lunch.  A short time later I walked out onto my patio to either eat or swing or something, and there are suddenly people all over the patio.  RIGHT in front of the grill, there are two little children, two women and Dad and GS and others in the crew.  They are sitting there with a spread brought by the women, and they are all eating.  I notice right away the two young kids right in front of the HOT grill.  I said, "Excuse me, but I need to let you know that I just used that grill to cook some hot dogs, and it is really hot.  Please don't let the children touch it."  One lady said, "Thank you", and they moved the children to the opposite side.  I went back in the house because I felt like a stranger or an intruder on MY OWN PATIO.

SOOOOOOOOOOO, leaving all the huge mistakes and redos of the project out of this story, I will tell you about yesterday, so I can tell you about today.

I was supposed to let Grandpa and sons know when our new roof got done.  Our new roof was done in one day -- by an amazing crew -- 14 of them -- and not ONE cigarette was smoked the entire day.  Jerry didn't have to tell them anything to fix and correct or straighten.  They worked 13 hours!  I told the owner of the company that he was the first contractor in 37 years to please Jerry so much that he didn't have to correct a single thing.  I will give that company a GREAT review on line.

Yesterday morning, I picked up my cell phone to TEXT the son and tell him to come back because the roof was done.  While I was texting, my fingers just kept on going, and I typed a long text asking them to PLEASE not bring anyone but employees to our home.  I told him this was our private property, and only people we hire or invite belong here.  I said it was a dangerous construction site for children, and they didn't belong here.

It was nice, really.  Jerry didn't see it until today, but even he said it was nice and he agreed with it.

So I woke up this morning, and I stumbled into my living room chair with my first cup of coffee.  Jerry says, "Well NOW, you have REALLY DONE IT, Joy!"  I have a voice message from Grandpa (he didn't call him that) you need to listen to.  He gave me his phone.

Grandpa's voice message said this: "Son called me and told me what your wife texted to him.  We are tired of your CRAP, and WE QUIT!  You can find someone else to finish that job!"

Jerry went and got my phone so he could read my text message.  (THANK GOD, it was in writing!) 

He came back with the phone, and he said, "I totally agree with you, Joy.  You didn't say anything wrong."  Well, if I hadn't been so tired and only on my first cup of coffee, I probably would have fallen off my chair in shock!

The VERY FIRST THING I DID was send Grandpa a copy of the actual text which differs GREATLY, I am sure, from what Son told him.  Son has done the same thing in the past.  He told Jerry that I said something to him that I did not say at all.  Dear GS said, "Yeah, I heard her say it."  He must have radar for hearing because he wasn't even there!

Jerry is very CORDIAL and very CAREFUL and THOUGHTFUL in his approach to most things.  He thinks things over long and slow until he figures out what to do.  UNLIKE me.  I have an INSTANT RESPONSE button that seems to be permanently stuck in the "ON" position.

Jerry wrote down all the points he wanted to talk about, and what we would need to talk about if we have to go to court.  We have already paid these people $7,000 MORE than what we owe them because they kept having to have money IN ADVANCE.  We weren't supposed to have to pay them $19,000 until the job was all done -- which it isn't -- but we have already paid it to them.

Jerry then called Grandpa.  He very nicely and professionally told him that he wants to talk face-to-face and go over everything.  Jerry told him that he was in total agreement with my text.  Grandpa said he agreed too!  Grandpa agreed to meet with us, but would have to call us back.  We have not heard back, but this is Sunday.  Jerry said he seemed very nice.  I think my forwarding my text to him was probably a real eye-opener when he compared it to what he had been told by his son.

And that is all for today. 

I'm going to start on my new SFD dress design, and I'm going to try to be happy and count my blessings even though I would like to STRANGLE son and gs right now! 

I think I owe Bernsides a hug,
however.  (-;

Hugs, Joy

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Nobody "Gets" The Birdhardts Quilt

Jerry and I had to put the movie room back together this morning.  We had taken down the giant blinds and moved the furniture away from the windows because we were SUPPOSED to get new windows, but Todd ordered the wrong windows, and that will now have to be done later but NOT by Todd and family!

So as I was standing behind Jerry TRYING to help him, but he always says he doesn't need my help, I was staring at The Birdhardts Quilt (our name is "Bernhardt") that I finished in 2006 when I first got my longarm quilting machine.  I was thinking of the day Jerry's daughter walked into the room -- which has happened only ONCE in our 15 years in this house -- and I excitedly showed her the quilt because one block is of HER and two blocks are of HER DAUGHTER -- our granddaughter.

As I was pointing to "her" block and started to explain, she gave it a quick "who the hell cares" look, and walked away.  I choked back tears and tried not to cry.  I spent weeks on the block I did of her as a teacher bird.  She had no idea how much love and time went into every stitch in that quilt, and even though it is not a hobby she is interested in -- and it probably is a stupid quilt -- it is something I am interested in.

WHAT IS WITH KIDS these days!?  She's 40 something now, but still the same.  If the subject isn't about them -- and that one actually was, in part -- they just don't have the slightest interest or ability to pretend interest.  It really hurt me, but so have a lot of other things she has said to me over the years. 

About 4 years ago, Jerry's Mom, Nida, was here.  Jerry's daughter, Jeree, called to talk to her, so I handed the phone to Nida.  She asked Nida how she was doing, and how I was doing.  Then I heard her say, "I just DON'T GET those quilts of hers!"  Ouch! 

My own daughter is much nicer, although I'm sure she thinks most of my quilts are dumpster-filler the minute I'm gone.

ANYWAY, I decided to do a blogpost about The Birdhardts quilt so maybe -- somebody -- somewhere -- might "get" this quilt and appreciate the thousands of hours put into it.  I KNOW it isn't any big deal in the award-winning quilt category by a LONG shot, but it is special to me because it is about my family tree, so to speak.

Here's the story, if you care to read it:

On a day looooooooooong ago, a friend that I had at the time who no longer likes me -- nope, not that one -- a different one -- belonged to a Yahoo Group.  It was called "Quilting Together".  I was NOT quilting at all at the time, but I had been to some classes about 10 years earlier, so I knew about quilting.  I'll do just about anything for a friend, so I decided to join this group with her and participate in one of the activities.  The activity was called "Block Swap".  The idea was that a bunch of women joined.  One woman was the leader.  All the women bought Fall fabrics and chopped them up into six inch squares.  Then you bundled them in a certain number of bundles totalling the number of women in the group.  Then you mailed them to the leader.  The leader mixed up all the bundles, and then she mailed them out to each woman in the group.  You ended up with a million six inch blocks, and you were to make a Fall colored quilt out of them.  You were to add your own ALTERNATE BLOCK which is what the purple ones are.

Here is my finished quilt.  Remember, this was my FIRST project and just squares.  Not even picture-worthy, but a pic is worth a thousand words.

I had some ladies with a longarm machine quilt it for me, and I love it because it jump-started my quilt battery back then.

So after that was all done, I took mine over to my x-friend's house -- or she came here -- and we compared our quilts.  She asked me if I had ever done PAPER PIECING.  I had not.  She asked me if I wanted her to show me how to do it.  I said, "Sure!"  I love to learn new stuff.  We went to her house, and she got out one of the thousands of books she had on quilting, and she copied a little tiny sailboat picture to show me how you do it.  I have that sailboat here somewhere.  Hold on...............  Sorry, can't find it.  I decided I really LIKED paper piecing after making the tiny sailboat, so I joined another activity in the Yahoo Group which just happened to be "Paper Piecing".

The design everyone was piecing and swapping was BIRDHOUSES.

Each lady made so many birdhouse blocks -- sent them to the leader -- the leader passed them all back out -- and you were to make a quilt with them.  The only problem was, not many ladies joined this group, and you ended up with only about 6 birdhouses.  The NEXT problem was, I didn't care for the blocks that came back to me, so I wanted to make more of my own, as I was much more "careful", shall we say, about the stitching of said blocks.

Here are two of the paper-pieced birdhouses I made:

As I was trying to decide how to get ENOUGH birdhouses to make an entire quilt with, I got an idea:

WHAT IF I made birds to LIVE in the birdhouses, and I made one for each member of my family???

Then I had another idea:

WHAT IF I had each of the grandkids draw a "bird picture" for me to digitize, and I could put those in my quilt also?

In those days, my grandkids were down here at our lake house a lot.  They always loved doing the projects I came up with, and they loved this one.  All five grandkids were here once or twice, so I got a drawing from all but one.  He was too little to draw then.

SOOOOOOOOOOO, here's the nitty gritty of this quilt:  I have one drawing from each of 4 grandkids, and I made up an additional block for each kid with their personality in it.

We will start with Boo Bear, the oldest.  He could draw quite well.  The first block was digitized from his drawing of Papa's boat and him fishing in it.  The 2nd one is my interpretation of him at that time.  He was playing football for his High School, and he was number 83.

Next, is his brother, Jacob.  He drew a birdhouse, and he DIGITIZED IT HIMSELF on my embroidery software.  He's the "brains" of the family, but seems to suffer from a lack of common sense right now.  The second picture is of him begging to ride my 4-wheeler as he did constantly.  When we finally DID let him ride it, he ran into trees and fell down hills, and heaven only knows what else!

Next, is their sister, Lindy.  She couldn't have been more than 6 years old.  She drew two pictures. The first two blocks are from her drawings.  The third one is my interpretation of her at the time.  She had a step-sister who was a rodeo rider, and Lindy loved being around her horses.  I don't know WHY I made her look so chubby.  She wasn't at all.

I LOVE the way she put CURTAINS in the window of the birdhouse.  Turns out, at 16, she is quite an artist.  We had no idea.

And then there is Lauren, my darling, and very talented step-granddaughter.  She drew the picture I used for the first block.  She was only 4 years old.  The 2nd block is my interpretation of her at the time.  She spent the weekend with us for the very first time in her life.  I decided to have a hula hoop contest.  She could not use one AT ALL, but that girl HAS TO WIN.  She practiced hour after hour until she finally learned how to do it.

Last, but not least, was the youngest grandson, Walker.  He was only 2 then.  He wanted a dog, but his Mom did NOT want a dog, so she got him this big stuffed dog.  They called him Woofie.

Those are all the grandkid blocks. 

I also made a block for each of our girls.  My daughter was in Cancun with her new husband at the time, and he HATED the fact that she had Bibles.  I decided she should have one on this quilt.  This is Tammy Bird:

And here is Jeree, my step-daughter.  If she knew I was posting this picture, she would probably die of embarrassment, so please don't tell her!  She has no idea I have a blog, and if she did, she wouldn't read it.  Jeree has a degree from Vanderbilt and teaches History and French.  Well, she WAS going to be a teacher, but she worked only a few years.  She hasn't had to work, so she is a SAHM.  She is an amazing Mom, and her kids are wonderful.  Just wish they were in our life.

And I really CAN UNDERSTAND why she would look at this and think that I had lost my last marble.  You HAVE to know the story behind this "Family Tree", and she didn't care to hear it. 

Of course, I had to make a block for Jerry and me.  I also made us our own BRICK birdhouse.  Whenever I ask Jerry if I can go somewhere or do something, his reply is always, "That's Fine Dear".  My sister makes fun of him doing it because he does it so much.  He was building his pond in those days, so he was always knocking trees down and moving rocks around. 

Here we are:

I spent HOURS digitizing those tennis shoes on my feet.  And it is the ONLY time I ever had streaked hair.
I love my purse!  And, yes, his nickname is "Bernsides".  My Mother, however, calls him "Sideburns".  She always has to go against the current.


And as I said, I was just learning how to put a quilt together, and I wasn't well-versed in quilt talk.  I decided all these birds needed a SKY to live in, so I just made the entire background blue.  If I was doing it today, I would have a lot more tricks up my sleeve.

Here is The Birdhardts Quilt:

And I am STILL in my jammies, and I have eaten my SECOND cookie while typing this.  I HAVE to get in the shower, and I HAVE to QUIT eating cookies!!!

Hugs, Joy

Thursday, July 18, 2013

AHA! Blogger Is Fixed and Cute New Patterns

Hello friends!  I am so excited!  I opened Blogger a moment ago, and it looked the same crazy way it has all week, but ALL OF A SUDDEN -- LIKE A FLASH OUT OF THE BLUE -- the icons all appeared in a row at the top of this box.  How exciting is that!?
I was about to give up blogging all together.  I shall not have to do that now.

This MAY be the last day of Todd and family (father, son and grandson) working on our house.  They arrived this morning after an 8-week wait with the WRONG windows.  Unbelievable!  They decided to order the windows from some company OTHER than the one we told them to get them from.  Hence, the windows aren't right.  I will be SO GLAD when we no longer need contractors.

A new crew arrives tomorrow to put a new roof on.  I found this company on the internet.  They are from Texas.  I think they will be really good as they are actually a REAL company with a REAL name and REAL employees and the RIGHT shingles.  I'll let you know how that choice goes.

I found two more cute patterns that I am going to try to SFD.  Now that my legs are being deveined (sounds like shrimp!), I may wear the dresses I have been making.  I have to wear the heavy stockings for just two weeks, and two weeks flies by.  There are so many cute shift patterns now.  They are so easy to make.  Faster than a blouse, really. 

These are both Kwik Sew.  Looks like simple dart-play. 

These little pictures are jumping all over the place.  Hope you can figure out what goes with what.  Think I'll go look for some fabric and get started.   I like this flowery style the best because it doesn't have a horizontal seam across the widest part of my body. 

Hope you are enjoying this week.  We have had lovely soft-falling rain here, and it was a bit cooler for a few days.  Now, everything is green. 

I'll be SO GLAD when these contractors are done.  It really bugs me that they seem to be the only members of their families that work, and the girlfriends and their kids keep showing up and hanging around.  A construction site is NO PLACE for little children, and I don't want the whole world here at my house.  I didn't hire the girlfriends and their kids!  Next time, I will put that in the "contract".  My guess is that we -- you and me -- are supporting the girls and the children.  Our place is very private and hard to find, and the more people the contractors drag back here, the LESS private it is.

Until soon,

Hugs, Joy

Monday, July 15, 2013

Video Test and Just Talking

Blogger still looks broken to me. Icons are still missing, and some are crossed over each other and I can't even read them.

I made a video today to see if I can at least put a link here. You will have to copy it and paste it into your browser to go to it. Sorry.


I am talking about surgery I had done on my right leg last week on Thursday. It was for a bad cluster of vericose veins that had become painful, and I could feel them all the time. Jerry said they didn't look that bad, but TO ME, they looked like a giant creature resembling a worm with camel-like humps had climbed under my skin and taken up residence there. ICK!

Anyway, I was telling you IN THE VIDEO about what the doctor said. This is what he actually said to me:

"We can do what we SHOULD, OR we can do what we CAN."

I guess he was trying to say he could suffocate me with sedation as I lay on my fat belly on the bed, OR he could do nothing, and I could just suffer the pain of all the needles being poked into my sore, achy veins. He chose the latter. I felt EVERY needle prick and push and shove! I guess the Valium that he finally gave me was to calm me down so I didn't grab a syringe and shove it into one of his veins!!!


He told the nurse to get me some Verced (Pronounced: Ver Said). I remembered that drug because they gave it to Jerry's Mom when she fell and broke her wrist. She woke up forgetting eveything INCLUDING how to walk. She had go to rehab for weeks just to learn how to walk again. Other things never came back to her. Verced is some kind of drug that makes you forget. I certainly don't need any help doing that; however, it might have been nice to forget the needle torture! Anyway, I told the doctor about Jerry's Mom,and he snapped at me again and said, "WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL US YOU WERE ALLERGIC TO IT?" Does the man listen to ANYTHING I say???????????????????????

Here's a picture of my latest RAL blouse. You've seen it several times before. This is just another print, and Phylly, of course, is working on another solid. Not RAL though.


I've got to go. Hopefully, the video will show up. I make no promises, however. Sure hope Blogger gets fixed SOON!

Hugs, Joy

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday Story

I notice Blogger is STILL messed up. I remember about six months ago, the picture part of Blogger was all messed up for a long time. Then, one day, when I was least expecting it, the picture part suddenly was fixed again. Hopefully, that will happen with whatever issues they are having now.

So how is everyone???

All is well here. And guess what!?

Remember, Don, Jerry's brother? He was here the weekend of July 4th for Joyful Rehab from a serious drug addiction to Percocet. He had taken 35 of them the day he arrived here. When he walked into the kitchen of our house, he reached down inside his boot and pulled out pills and two of those funny cigarettes -- can't think of what they are called, but I do remember Clinton didn't inhale -- and Don handed them to Jerry. He said, "Here, this is all I have left." Then, it was cold turkey for the next three days, and then he left.

Jerry called him several times after he left, and Don didn't answer the phone. Jerry left messages. I kept nagging him to call again. Finally, Don did call back and guess what???????????????

He was FINE! He was SOBER! He told Jerry that his female drug dealer showed up at his house, and he told her to get lost and never come back! Jerry talked to Don just this morning because Matt Hagee preached this morning and the sermon was titled "DELIVERANCE", and it was exactly what Don needed to hear. Jerry told him about the next service that was coming on at 11 AM.

Jerry had talked to Don yesterday too. Jerry came up to tell me that he got to talk to Don about the Lord. I stopped him and said, "Oh, no! Did he hang up on you?" Jerry said he was VERY RECEPTIVE and asked Jerry why he hadn't talked about it before. Jerry told him he has been talking about it for 25 years, but Don always tunes him out or walks away. Don was surprised that he had done that.

ANYWAY, I said all that to say this: God is working in Don's life. If we have been an instrument in any way, then I am thrilled, as it is my wildest dream to actually lead someone to the knowledge of Jesus and salvation. Other than my daughters, I don't know that I have ever done that. I seem to mostly just make people want to run away screaming. Usually, their response to me is, "You act like you are PERFECT!" I suppose I could talk first about all the failures in my life and how many times I have majorly screwed up my own life and how totally far away from "perfect" I am, but life doesn't really permit that much time in most conversations, does it?

You may remember me telling you what a mean man Jerry and Don's father was. NOTHING in his wasted life was his fault. He owed everybody -- including us -- money, and he never paid a dime of it back to anyone. I'm talking tens of thousands from many different people -- a sister, a niece, a girlfriend, and on and on. His father homesteaded a section of land. If I remember right, that would be 640 acres. When the father and mother died, the land was split between all the kids. I think there were 7. Each got an equal portion. Jerry's Dad got the homestead portion. It turned out that all the other sections were better producers of wheat and/or oil. I guess his piece didn't have oil. I've forgotten the details. BUT, he was mad at every other sibling, and every other sibling was mad at each of the others, and it was like the Hatfields and McCoys. Absurd!!!

After I married Jerry, I met his father, of course. His name was George. He lived in a dirty trailer that never had a working bathroom. Sometimes, it had no running water. It had no heater, so George had some kind of propane heater in the floor. Never any food. The girls and I HATED going there! Jerry insisted that we go though. It didn't matter to him that his father was so cruel and unfeeling. Jerry was determined to be a good son and love him anyway. Jerry really tried.

I remember driving out to George's place which was an hour and a half away from where we lived. It was Father's Day. Jerry's father had borrowed $1200 from him sometime earlier, and the promise to pay it back had never happened. Jerry didn't care about that. He just wanted to see him for Father's Day. Jerry and I and the girls drove all the way out there. We drove up the dirt road to the lonely trailer. George's truck was parked outside. Jerry walked up to the door and knocked. No answer. He hollered, "Dad? Dad? Are you home?" No answer. Jerry decided we would drive across the pasture and into the next pasture which was owned by his Aunt Irene. She had a house. Jerry thought maybe his Dad was over there. No sooner did we get parked and out of the car at Irene's house (from where we could still see George's trailer), George's Dad came flying full speed in his truck down his dirt road and onto the main dirt road and off into town. He was RUNNING AWAY from Jerry.

I, being my usual "patient" self, was furious. The girls certainly didn't want to be there either. I wanted to go home. I told him it was insane to try to visit someone who DOES NOT WANT YOU! Jerry told me to be quiet and get back in the car. Then we FOLLOWED George's path into town. We saw his truck in front of the ONLY so-called "restaurant" in that town, and he had not gotten out of the truck yet. George saw us, and started to back up his truck and run off again. Jerry rushed over to his Dad's truck and told him to STOP. Jerry asked him what on earth his problem was. He explained that we had come to visit for Father's Day.

George looked at Jerry and this is what he said: "I KNOW you came out here to get that money I owe you. Well, I DON'T HAVE IT! You might as well just LEAVE!"

Jerry looked at his father and he said, "Dad, FORGET about that money. I don't want it back. You can HAVE it! I just want to see you. It is Father's Day."

How that man couldn't fall on the ground and beg Jerry to forgive him, I do NOT know. I could have thrown dirt clods at the man and had the girls join me. I could NOT STAND HIM!!!

George never did change. Jerry prayed for him all the time. When we would stand in our church for prayer time, I would look over at Jerry, and he would have tears running down his face. I KNEW he was praying for his father. He would tell me later how concerned he was about him and about his brothers, both addicts. Jerry had told me how his father NEVER touched him his whole life except to hit him, and he never once said "I love you" or "I'm proud of you". Maybe that's why I am constantly hugging and kissing this man!

The years went by and by and by. George got sick and had to be hospitalized. He was 72, I think He had Congestive Heart Failure, or some other dread malady. He didn't have long to live. Jerry went to visit him. I did not. While Jerry was at his Dad's deathbed, he told his Dad about Jesus and about the Bible and about Heaven and about forgiveness. His father LISTENED to him. Jerry asked him if he would like to ask God to forgive him and be saved so he could go to Heaven. George started CRYING. (Picture a rock crying!) He told Jerry that God could never forgive him because he had done so many people wrong and had never paid any of them back. Jerry told him that none of that mattered. He said God would still forgive him, and he could still go to Heaven. Then and there, he led his Father in the sinner's prayer. George gave his heart to God, and I'm sure he is in Heaven now, and I'm sure of one other thing. George is proud of his son NOW! George died a day or two after that.

Little wonder why I love Jerry so much.

I better go before I start crying myself. Goodness! Hope I didn't bore you all with that long story. It just jumped into my mind for some reason.

Maybe Blogger will be fixed soon, and I can do another video.

Hugs, Joy

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Maybe I'm Back - Maybe I'm Not

I had about come to the conclusion that the NSA had been monitoring my Blog, and they decided I was some kind of dangerous over-zealous Christian -- won't dare type the "T" word -- so they broke my blog. Every time I tried to post, an error message came up that said "Error On Page". The icons at the top of this page are still all jumbled together, and I can't even see some of them, but I am typing, and the words are sticking to the page, so I shall continue.

My latest projects are in the trash. I used fabric I purchased from Gorgeous Fabrics to make two SFD knit tops. The fit was fine, of course, but I HATED the fabric. It was like sewing on a rubber band. It had a lot of stretch, but it didn't want to relax at all. It wanted to stay super tight and UNstretched, and it fit me like paint on a wall. The 2nd version had a lot of extra seam allowance in it, but I still hated it. I must remember not to buy that strange fabric again. Its content was Nylon/Acetate/Lycra and it was called Swiss 4-Way Stretch. I HIGHLY DON'T RECOMMEND IT!

Most of yesterday, I worked on my Louis Cutting Relax-A-Little pattern to TRY to change the shoulder slope. This pattern has a yoke, and the shoulder line goes through the yoke without seams there. You have to cut on that line -- make the adjustment -- and somehow, get the pieces back together.

That is where I am about to begin this morning. I am going to do a muslin first using this fabric:

YIKES! No pictures would work, so I did some investigating. Evidently, Blogger no longer likes Internet Explorer 8, and my computer won't allow me to have anything later than that. I had to try Chrome to get this blog page posted. When I put a picture here, I get about 1,000 weird looking letter/number combinations, but when you look at it, you are supposed to see a picture. Hope you can!

No way to put a video here -- yet! If anyone knows more than I do, PLEASE ADVISE!!!

Notice my "Nida" buttons -- IF you can see a picture -- and let me know what ones you like. I had so much fun playing with my button candy last night.

I'm going to go take a shower before someone changes the way it works!

Hugs, Joy

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Good Evening on Sunday, July 7

Whew!  What a whirlwind weekend this has been.  Our store was closed Thursday and Friday for the FIRST TIME EVER on July 4th holiday.  How amazing that it just HAPPENED to coincide with Jerry's brother's cry for help.  Jerry was off all 4 days, and while Don was here, he did nothing but listen to and talk to and care about Don.

Don left yesterday, as you know, so today, we did our usual Sunday activities EXCEPT that just as I poured my first cup of coffee and settled in my living room chair, Jerry announced that Joel was on the patio TV.  That would be the TV that Jerry JUST got installed on the brick wall yesterday.

I leaped out of my chair, squealing with delight, grabbed my coffee, and out I went.  I was in one swing, and Jerry was in the other.  We watched Joel who talked about good things happening even after a loooooooooooong period of bad things happening, and how we need to always have a good attitude no matter what we are enduring.

Then, immediately following Joel, Charles Stanley came on.  Charles is an excellent teacher, but a bit too calm for me -- maybe a bit monotone -- not sure.  I can't stand screaming preachers, so I guess I like them somewhere in between too loud and too quiet.

Charles was talking about why Christians need to seek God.  Just because we are Christians doesn't mean we "have arrived" and we know it all and can live it all.  If that was the case, we would all be ready for sainthood.  

Then it was upstairs to the computer as we can't get John Hagee on the TV yet.  Jerry is working on it though.  John's sermon was entitled "Who Are You?".   I think at this point, I was full of sermons, because I can't really remember details of this one.

After that, I did attend internet Sunday School with Matt Hagee.  He is going through the whole Bible chronologically.  He was talking about Jacob and how God told Jacob where to go, and then he told him to STAY THERE.  But Jacob disobeyed and he left.  His wife, Rebecca, died giving birth to their son, Benjamin. 

He told about that story from Genesis 34.  I remember the first time I read it and how I felt SO SORRY for those men.     

Jacob's daughter, Dinah, was raped by Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, who was the prince of the land.  Jacob's sons got really mad and decided to get even for what was done to their sister.  Shechem really loved Dinah -- or her body -- and he wanted to marry her.  So the brothers told Hamor that his son could marry their sister if ALL the Hivite men were circumcised according to Jewish customs.  They agreed.  So all the men in Hamor's city were circumcised.  While they were all in anguish from their wounds, Jacob's sons went into their city.  They killed Hamor and Shechem and EVERY MALE and looted the city and took EVERYTHING, including all the women and children. 

Those Bible guys were not wimps!  And I sure am glad I didn't live back then!

Then church was over, and we went about our day just piddling around from one chore to the next.  I made a scarf, and I made it wrong.  HOW ON EARTH could I mess up a scarf?  I got this bright idea to sew the short ends together.  The I folded the long loop in half and sewed the long raw edges together leaving an opening. 

Can you "see" my screw-up???? 

I couldn't.  I just kept going. 

So I have this giant donut sewn together with an opening to turn it.  I start to turn it, and it dawns on my lightning fast mind that it is never, ever, ever going to finish turning because it is a circle, and I would just go around and around forever -- never coming to an end.  Brilliant, huh?

Tomorrow is a brand new day.  ENJOY!

Hugs, Joy

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Joyful Rehab Goodbye Not So Joyful

Yes, it is over.

Don seemed so "normal" last night, but he woke up this morning hurting real bad and was as grumpy as an old bear.  I tried to cheer him up.  He said he was leaving.  He went into his bedroom, picked up his guitar case, and went out the front door to his car.  I went to get Jerry to tell him.  Jerry hurried out to Don's car, and they talked in the driveway for a long time.  Then Jerry and Don came in, and they had breakfast.  Don left half of his bacon-egg-toast breakfast uneaten, and said he was sick.  He disappeared into his room.

I came upstairs to piddle around, and Jerry was doing something.  He thought he had talked Don into staying.  In a few minutes, Don appeared here in my sewing room.  After a look around and a GASP at how awesome my room is (he had not been in here yet), he came over to thank me and tell me he was leaving.  I stood up and gave him a hug.  Then Jerry appeared.  He came over to where Don and I were, and he stood up against the sink.  Don sat down in one of the chairs.  Here we were -- all three -- and the talking began.

Don started by saying that he was a hopeless mess, and he hated himself.  Jerry told him that God loved him.  Don said, "There is NO WAY God could love me!"  Jerry and I took turns GENTLY witnessing trying to explain God's love.  Don tried to explain everything away with statements about Buddha and Muhommad and all "those other prophets".  I told him that all those guys are dead.  Jesus is alive.  He mumbled on and on, but he actually WAS listening to Jerry and me.  He acted like he WANTED to believe us, but what we were telling him was just too preposterous. 

Don got up, thanked us both and started to leave.  Jerry walked over to him, and grabbed him as though he were a child, and he gave him a big bear hug.  I thought I was going to cry.  That has never, ever happened in his family.  Their father never hugged them or even touched them unless it was to hit them with a farm implement of some sort or to smash them into a wall.  The 3 boys knew only a Mother's love.  I know that one hug had to really minister to Don.  We both told Don that we love him, and he is welcome to come back any time.

And he left.  He has not had a Percocet since last Wednesday.  Today is just Day 3 without them.  We don't know WHAT will happen now, but we do know that Don knows we are here -- that we truly care -- and he can come back.

We ALSO KNOW that we serve a MIGHTY God, and we know He loves Don, and we know He hears and answers prayer.

Jerry and I are going to town for something.  Can't remember what.

Hugs, Joy 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Day 2 of Joyful Rehab

Day 2 is drawing to an end.  Don has really come around today.  I went out to the patio a few hours ago, and Don was talking to my husband, Jerry.  I could tell immediately that he was different.  I looked at him, and he was "awake" and coherent and was carrying on a conversation.  I looked at him and said, "Hey, you are back!!!" 

He has been eating like he is starving.  He has been hooked on these pills for six weeks he says.  The day he got here, he had taken THIRTY-FIVE of them that day.  He said he has lost a lot of weight.  He should be gaining it back real fast the way he is eating.  He smoked a lot less today.  He seems to have made pop his crutch today.  Cans and bottles all over the patio!  THANK GOD we just got that patio done.  It has been perfect for him to smoke on and just sit and talk with brother on.  When he isn't out there, he is asleep in a recliner.

He has gotten smart-alicky which is how he is when he is sober.  Don and Jerry went to town earlier today, and Jerry told me when he got home that Don told him on the way back about God coming to Earth and having sex with a nurse.  When Jerry said grace at dinner tonight, Don said, "Why don't you ask God about that nurse he had sex with?"  I asked him where on Earth he ever heard that nonsense.  He didn't say, but he insists it is true.  He said she finally agreed to marry him.  HUH????? 

What a messed up mind!  It truly will be a miracle for him to change his thinking.  He has talked about that crazy stuff as long as I've known him. 

Don and Jerry have gone to get minnows so we can fish for a bit before dark in our pond.  That means I have to take a bath in Deep Woods OFF first.  The mosquitos are awful down here right now due to all the rain standing in puddles here and there.  On second thought, they can go alone and have some brotherly love.  I'll stay here and watch jewelry you tube videos or something.
I better get.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Day One at Joyful Rehab and VLOG

Sad beyond words, the life of a drug addict.  Don has been taking TWENTY pills a day of the drug he was hooked on.  He wasn't too bad last night, but he had his pills yesterday.  When he walked into our house last night, he reached in his boot -- pulled out some pills and some of those strange cigarettes -- and he handed them to Jerry.  He ate dinner and was fairly normal last night.

BUT TODAY!!!  WHY, OH, WHY does a person do that to themselves??? 

One minute, he is dripping with sweat, peeling his clothes off, and saying he is about to melt.

The next minute he is shivering as though he is covered with ice, and he is putting on clothes and a hoodie and saying he is freezing. 

He says he wants to die.  He says he couldn't take enough of the pills to die, and he says the pills are "crap" when you can't take enough to die.

And the CIGARETTES!!!  One after the other, after the other, after the other.  My patio smells and looks like an inferno.  I smell like cigarettes.  My contacts have a smoky film over them.  He asked me at supper a bit ago if it was alright if he goes out on the patio and smokes after we are in bed.  His poor lungs aren't even going to get a break at night! 

You would think the fact that his body is so wondrously made that it has survived 21 of these episodes in the past (he told us that this morning), and is going through it again, would be proof enough to him that there really is a God.

SOMEHOW, Jerry and I are staying chipper and being as kind as we know how to be to Don.  I feed him and keep asking him if there is anything he needs.  Jerry sits and talks and listens and talks and listens and talks and listens.  He is being an AWESOME big brother!  More like a father, really.  We pray that God gives us the words to say to him and that somehow, some way, we can help him overcome this menace of drug-addiction that has plagued him since his teens. 

And I made another video for you today -- just talkin'. 
I have on the knit top I made in between rehab visits today.  This one is six minutes long.  Pardon the non-matching yellow pants and the unfinished knit top.

And here is a picture of our ALMOST finished patio.  Jerry and I both are so happy with the results, and we both wish we had done it when the house was built.  There are 3 ceiling fans, but I can't seem to get a picture with the whole porch in it.  The top of the posts are still awaiting the caps that have to be special-built due to contractor error. 

I have to get back down to Joyful Rehab on the patio.  Hopefully, the smoke will blow AWAY from my face this time.

Hugs, Joy