Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Emma and I, we're fighting

I've named my new embroidery machine Emma. Not very original, but I thought naming her(!) was cute, and envisioned Emma and myself sharing many happy moments, bonding over beautiful embroidery designs.

As an aside, whenever Sadi (my daughter's dog) chews up yet another item of clothing, Laurie informs her, "Sadi, we're fighting!" This usually only lasts long enough for Sadi to solemnly sit down and look up at Laurie with her most innocent expression, manufactured at will, to get herself out of trouble.

Well, I spent some time with Emma today. My parting words to her were "Emma, we're fighting." In retrospect, I am not sure that it is Emma's fault.

Actually, truth be told, I am absolutely sure it's pilot error, or memory card failure.

But repeatedly, after carefully discerning which format to download, and following instructions from the manual, etc., I put the memory card into Emma and received an error stating that I had a "fat file error". Further investigation on "the internets" suggested that I needed to reformat.

That's the story of my life. I have a "fat" error and I need to "reformat".

But I won't go down that rabbit trail. I reformated several times. I formatted it in FAT32 format and just plain FAT format. At least with plain FAT, Emma accepted and opened the memory card. She just found it blank. It left my laptop with an embroidery file on it. In the three feet it traveled to enter Emma's sleek silhouette, it "lost" it.

Several times.

I will consult my Teacher Extraordinaire (the Esteemed JanetSalcido!) about this and also call the company that sold me the machine and memory card. I know deep in my gut this is pilot error. I'm doing something dumb....or overlooking something major, somewhere along the way.

(It really was a reflection of the rest of my day. I tried to work on Project Number Four Thousand Eleventy-three this afternoon. I had moved all the wood for the picnic table to the backyard, and propped the bench seats over bins and was slathering the stain/sealant/weatherproofing on them when I jostled one and bumped another and upended the entire can of $11.99 stain/sealant/ weatherproofing on the grass. It hasn't been my day.)

I decided to abandon the downloading of embroidery patterns and just go with seeing if I could get Emma to do a simple monogram or name. Success!

I'm stopping while I'm ahead. Tomorrow is another day. In the meantime, "Emma, we're fighting!" But I still think we have a future together!


Project Number Four Thousand Eleventy-Three (using the Crazy Aunt Purl numeric system):

When the weatherproofing/sealing/staining coat is completed, it will be turned into a picnic tablet for the back patio.

And look what Mr. B. brought me!

I love daisies! Any kind of daisies, or daisy-like flower. White daisies, yellow daisies, dyed daisies, etc. They are such happy flowers!

I want to have some in my yard someday....but the yard is Project Number.....I don't even think its been assigned a number yet.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I Miss Laurie Lou Lovebucket!!

Its only been a couple of hours. I knew this was coming, and I was such a pile of churned up emotions about it. Laurie and Amber have been working very, very hard. They've saved the first month (and the deposit) and they've counted the days.

I'm so happy and excited for Laurie. My time as a young single woman ("back in the day"......just shortly after dinasaurs roamed the earth) rooming with girl friends, learning to budget, having my own place, learning responsibility, having pot luck dinners with friends, getting to work (two jobs!) on time.......those were some of the best years! I still had the energy to tackle life head-on, and it was sweet. I am happy for her to step out there and experience this. All of it, the good, the difficult, the satisfying!

One 9 foot by 9 foot bedroom......filled her car.....

and The Freighter!

And she even got the doors shut!! We did it!! Mr. B not only helped load, but did the driving honors and we caravaned down to her new rented condo where Amber was already waiting with their friend Mark, who was a true knight-in-a-teeshirt helping us haul everything inside.

Laurie's place is so cute! She has a great bedroom, nice ocean breezes, an adorable downstairs with living room, dining area and a really nice kitchen. They have a two car garage and lots of storage space. She's painted two walls in her room and working on the last two tonight. I'll take more pix next time I visit.

It was hard to leave - she was sad and we were sad. But I bet by now she's unpacking her dishes and smiling that beautiful smile, and settling in.

I love you Laurie! You Can Do This!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


I caught him!! I didn't manage to get him with his head up, in all his bee-yoootifull flashy glory....

I wish it had been a sunny morning. He almost looks dull today. And, shooting through the screen did not help! If I didn't know better, I might confuse this picture for one of the grosbeaks!

But there is my hooded oriole!

He announces his presence now. He plops his 'stylin' self ' down on my feeder and squeaks at me as if to tease me......"Hey Joy! Neener-neener-neener!!" and starts sucking down the sugar water!

I at least got a pic of him slurping away! Two quick gulps and he was gone!

Edit: 4 hours later! Caught him again!

So pretty!

Monday, May 21, 2007


I don't want to transcribe today. I don't, I don't, I don't!!

I want to be in my room! Please, somebody send me to my room!

This side still needs a little help, and of course, finishing a few dozen UFOs would clear the shelves a great deal....

Sigh. Back to work for me. (I hear my machines calling me!)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Progress :)

Progress - be it ever so slow!

I have the tables rearranged, and added a bookshelf at one end of the table so that I could extend my tracks and hopefully, always be able to quilt up to a queen sized quilt. If I make a quilt bigger than that, I'm going to have to send it out.

I got everything nice and level, and actually put my machine on the track briefly last night just for grins.....and I definitely was grinning! Its going to be so smooth and fun! Today, I hope to eek out a bit more time in the room, putting velcro on the poles and then attaching the leaders, and maybe, just maybe, setting the machine on the tracks for real and permanent!

But first, I have to type about 4,592 reports, proof the work my fantastic "peoples" have turned in over the weekend, and then I have to do my Domestic Goddess title maintenance work (vacuum and mop the floors downstairs since the dog hair is swirling around my ankles, and get to the grocery store.....) After that, I'm clear to hopefully get a tad further with the HandiQuilter set up.

She needs a name (the machine). I'm silly that way. Actually, I'm silly unique in a lot of ways, but I digress.

Sigh. Work is a four-letter word.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Halloween is over, finally

There is hope. It is no longer Halloween in our kitchen.

The tablecloth that has languished past Halloween, through Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day and Easter.....

And the new super-deluxe all-season "Walmarts" special, currently relaxing from its tightly packaged and wrinkled condition, "becoming one" with the table it protects....

I like these flannel-backed vinyl tablecloths.
  1. The table is protected.
  2. They clean up easily.
  3. Spontaneous "projects" undertaken by other members of the household do not cause me to have a panic attack.

(They are hard to find sometimes. And let's face it, its even harder for my brain to remember to even look for them when I make my exciting trips to "the Walmarts". Hence a Halloween cloth in May!) They aren't fancy, but they will suffice until I get my super-organized self into a position to create lovely quilted tablecloths that I wash and iron and coordinate with the seasons.

(Yeah, right. I'm hallucinating again! As much as I love that look, I am not sure there are ever going to be enough hours in the day.)

Now. I'm on a roll. Maybe I can get those Christmas ornaments properly wrapped and put away....by June 1. (Hey, they're off the tree and in a box.....at least they are not still visible!!)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Karen!

Karen turned........(drumroll please......) 27 today!

Now I ask you, how can this be? I'm only 25! I clearly remember the candles on my last cake, a mere two weeks ago. Some things just aren't meant to be understood I guess. Math never was my strongpoint anyway!

She and I ducked out tonight for a girls' night out, a yummy Chinese buffet and then an exciting run to "the Walmarts". We will do a family dinner out with Mr. B. and Laurie another evening.

We did, however, enjoy her cookie (cake) and she opened a few gifts tonight. The best giggles were heard over this cute little doll that Mr. B. found her. It sings (raps) a birthday song!

Happy Birthday Karen!


In other good news, its The Weekend! This means I can continue setting up my quilting room.

I thought I had it like I wanted it. I sewed in it a few times, and now I have a few ideas to make it work better for me.

I also viewed my video that came with my HandiQuilter frame, and that sold me on the idea of having my frame up all the time. It is going to be something I will use a lot, so I'm not going to want to have to set it up each time (although the video made it look awfully easy.) I promptly finished building my last table, and Bestest Buddy happened by for a visit just in time to help by painting it for me!

So tomorrow, I will completely mix it up and the room will look different! Pictures will follow when the dust settles.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Boyz and their Toyz

All he wanted for his birthday was a power washer. He got other gifts and he liked them (like the rose bushes, etc), but he bought the power washer for himself. He's been pouring over the book.

And today was the day. He assembled it. He needs to be taken seriously when he's in a bad mood now, because Y'all,

He's armed.

And he has formally begun Summer Project 2007A:

Cleaning, repairing and repainting the fence.

Not to be confused with Summer Project 2007B, which is a complete remodeling of the Dogz Bathroom (read that, backyard) into a smooth, healthy, green, well-fertilized, weed-free, beautiful lawn. This will involve much soil preparation and plugging of various areas with sod, and much watering, etc.

He's going to be pretty busy!

Monday, May 14, 2007


I have a lot of humming birds that visit my feeder, but one little hummer that visits every morning, without fail, sits on the same spot on the oriole feeder and watches me inbetween sips. Scuze the screen, I have no choice but to shoot the picture through it.....she has such a graceful profile as she sips away....

And I've been enjoying visits from a hooded oriole in the last few days. Today I tried once again to get his picture before he took his skittish self right outa here....

And failed again. He is way too fast.

And look what is growing in the yard......I finally broke down and cut a few and brought them inside.

They smell sooooo nice!

It may be Monday, and Monday is my Challenging Day, but the birds and flowers make it worth while!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Sniff, sniff! We're on fire, again?

This morning, Bestest Buddy Karene informed me that she smelled smoke from in the direction of my house. I stuck my snoz out the door and inhaled deeply, since smoke isn't something I take lightly this time of year. Nuttin', honey. I decided all was well....but it turned out to be A Prediction.

This afternoon Mr. B. announced "we're on fire again! want to go for a ride?" And being the superlative lookie-loos that we are, we hopped in the car and headed in the direction of the fast growing plume of smoke. (I'm easily distracted after a long day of transcribing!)

Actually, he remarked that since it was such a hot day, he was just looking for an excuse to get in The Freighter which has fantastic airconditioning. He had a good idea with that one. It is roasty today. Hot Santa Ana winds, which of course, made for perfect conditions for a fire.

I had grabbed the camera as we dashed out the door, and we climbed a hill and I decided to take a picture. Remember that predisposition for senility? No memory stick.

To his credit, he didn't even tease me. Back home, grabbed the stick, and tennis shoes this time, instead of flip flops (ya think??!!) and we scampered up the hill again, stomping down sage brush and dried weeds...

Here's the 91 East, which looks just about normal for this time of day, meaning, barely moving.

Scary stuff. I missed a great shot of the plane that drops the chemical, by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but if you look closely here, you can see the helicopter dropping another load of water where it is needed. (clicking on pix makes them bigger too.)

I'll be anxious to see what the news says is the cause of this fire. Mr. B. is betting on a cigarette tossed out of a car on the freeway. I hope not. It takes so little to ignite us at this time of year. This fire is in the area of a small campground and it would be so sad if someone's carelessness cost this family their livelihood.

Edit: Don't know how long the link will work, but better pictures and article regarding cause of fire can be found here: http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/homepage/abox/article_1683218.php

Happy Birthday Mr. B!!

Yep.....Mr. B. celebrated his birthday on Sunday. I grabbed a quick pic of him all dressed up, since dressed up for us usually means "a clean shirt and jeans".

It is the general consensus that he will blow away soon, given his extraordinary success at losing weight. Either he will blow away, or we will blow him away, because the women in this house are jealous of his "determination" and "single-mindedness", as his boss so politely put it. If I ate as little as he has eaten lately, I wouldn't be thinner. I'd be dead. Sigh. Its not fair that men can lose weight more quickly than women, but its a proven fact.

We celebrated with a dinner at Black Angus, and then returned home for presents and cake....

I had a golden opportunity to "get even" with him for reversing the candles on my cake, but in the end, my predisposition towards senility caused me to have a "5" and a "6" candle on hand, which I planned to reverse to 65. (heh-heh!)

Only he's 57 now. So much for that. We "rounded up" and we put a candle on the cake for each decade (almost) and he successfully blew out six of them. His favorite gift, I think, was the rose bushes the girls and I got him. His face lit up when he saw them, and we will hopefully plant them tomorrow. We both like roses, so we love having them in the yard.

And despite all I hear about roses being picky, and needing to be pruned precisely, they are pretty forgiving. The two we have out back now have survived my whacking them occasionally to bring a few stems inside to savor. We should have them constantly now!

Happy Birthday Mr. B!!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Roommates and Fairs

Just a quick couple of pix for family/friends to see....

Laurie and Amber, who will (June 1) embark on the adventure of "Living on Our Own", sharing a beautiful condo down in Costa Mesa, working hard at several jobs and enjoying the satisfaction of independence and their own place:

Karen is participating in Renaissance Faire 2007 http://www.renfair.com/socal/ today in Los Angeles and then turning 180 degrees this evening and meeting friends who share her Eastern hemisphere interests (all things Japanese, with a bit of Chinese and Korean thrown in for good measure) for an evening in Korea Town, yummy food and good times! (Yes, she's taking other clothes for the second part of her day!)

Michael is helping me load a computer for a fellow transcriptionist to help serve as a back up for her, in case her main "workhorse" goes down for any reason....Thank you Michael!!

Me? I'm typing frantically, finishing up my quota of transcription for today and then I'm going to spend some much anticipated time in my craft room.....pix about that later!