Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mousey News...And Updates

     I don't know if it's because of the heat -- or the bushel basket of appraisals and gigs I've had this month -- but I am restless as all getout.

To make things worse, we had our own Western Emigration recently: a batch of mice that apparently decided living inside with us would be an improvement. I couldn't work late at night without seeing tiny brown bodies flash by, things moving in the kitchen, or paper rattling by the couch. The high point came when something light touched my foot by still-asleep Charley. It may have been his tail...and a dream. Or it was Mr. Mouse, trying to get to know me better. I jumped about two feet straight up in the air...and so did Charles.
     At that point, we had to do somethingMaybe we could have coaxed in a bull snake or two.  No doubt, though, the snakes would have decided to live in the bathtub. Instead, the Brick set up a boatload of traps baited with peanut butter, and some envelopes of poison, all stuffed way under the couch, counter, etc., so the dogs couldn't reach them.
     Snapping ensued. One little guy decided to make a point by staggering out from under the couch, and expiring dramatically in front of the Brick. (And Abby, who could have cared less.) The chickens got the mousetrapped ones for a snack; the rest went into the trash.
     It's been a few days now, and I don't hear rustling when I stay up late working. Like now.

What a relief.

                                                  Free-range chickens would clear out this lot.

Here are updates on the rest of our life, in case you're wondering:

*Yes, we're still moving. There are boxes and piles EVERYWHERE -- in part because, before moving furniture, you have to clean out the drawers of said furniture. We haven't put much back in the nearly-finished guest bathroom, either. Instead, it piles up in the hallway and corners like drifts during a snowstorm. I really wish I could walk down the hall without stubbing my toe on something. (Soon, Cindy, soon.)
     We'll get rid of several bags early next week...and I plan to have a huge garage sale in another week or two. We'll also start moving things into the trailer this least, that's the plan.

*The bathrooms are coming along. Son #1 only has to hang a few doors and screw on drawer pulls, and the first bathroom is done. Then it's on to the next. Unfortunately, we had a leak in the master bathroom...right on top of a suitcase containing some of my quilt collection. I was able to wash a few quilt tops, but the c.1850 silk skirt was a goner. (Not colorfast -- what else did I expect to happen...) A few old orphan quilt blocks bit the dust, too. Thankfully, Son #1 can easily fix this problem when renovating the bathroom.

*So what are plans now?  We'll be throwing a huge birthday party in Michigan for The Mama's 80th around August 16.  (You're invited, if you want to come!) It seems to make sense that we'll drive a rental truck full of business inventory, some furniture and books to Michigan about that time, to put it all in storage there.
      That should mean that the house could be totally cleaned out by then;  the floors could be refinished while we're gone. Then we should be able to put it up for sale, with no fuss. Tentatively, we'll be living in the trailer by early September. I think. Maybe. Kind of.

      We'll still be in Colorado most of the year. We'll keep a Colorado post office. box, and Brickworks' phone and e-mails will still work. We just won't be living at this specific house.

*Other than appraisals, I've only got one gig left in 2017 -- and it's Saturday. What? No more teaching? I actually turned down some work a while back, to make sure that we could finish up on the house, and still be available for Daughter #2's wedding later this year.
    Nonetheless, it feels strange to have an open calendar. Sort of. I am still getting regular appraisal requests, which is great. But I also need to finish up the recertification report for AQS this weekend. Life won't get more peaceful for a while yet. (Which is probably why I'm so restless.)

     Next year, though? I've got a LOT of work, scattered all over the country. Go figure. It's not like I specifically planned this turn of events, either -- it's just a God thing.

*You're not too late to get in on that gig, if you want to! I'm teaching Hanky Panky at Holly's Quilt Cabin from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. this Saturday, the 24th. A few spots are left in class yet. Special teaser: everyone in class will get to choose their very own Hanky Panky kit (retail value: $35) to experiment with!

Go here for more info. No mice allowed. 

It's okay -- I'm just a nice little...

Arapahoe Quilter Beauties

I've been meaning to show you a few quilts from the Arapahoe Quilters' recent show.  They are a wonderfully talented group.

There was a good mix of styles and colors...though I would say that modern took front and center status more than traditional. Ironically, every quilt I'm showing here has applique touches -- though it didn't seem to me at the time that applique was very prevalent. Maybe I mis-saw.

Please note:  I was careful to ask permission to show these pieces, from the actual quiltmakers. You should do this, too, when you visit various shows this year.  

Larry by Regina Hoffman. Her husband, in cloth -- I was impressed by how few pieces she used,
to give him such a realistic effect.  Netting was used, too. A striking piece.

This is Jacquelyn Baker Mathews' A Walk In the Woods. Notice the 'bear paw' prints mixed in with the traditional pattern of the same name? I really liked the way that the quiltmaker used fusible applique to give a natural look to the center bear's fur, as well as the foliage around it. Nice.

Rebecca Musgrave calls this You've Got Mail. The cat lives with one of her friends. Isn't that closeup detail nicely done!!

And Best of Show:  Forever Garden by Lexie Foster, quilted by Myrna Ficken.
I'm betting you'll see this one again in the winners circle -- it's beautifully made.

Look at the detail on that quilting...

These Dresden Plates are appliqued, not pieced -- wedge by wedge.

Any fuzziness in the photos is the fault of the photographer (me)...the actual quilts are crisp and graphic.

Great job, everyone.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

It's HOT

...I mean it.

I had two stops to make in Denver and Boulder...which meant driving in a steaming-hot car for hours. (Traffic is horrendous right now in the Denver metropolitan area, thanks to construction, tourists and Idiots of the Month.)  When I was almost home, and it was starting to cool down a bit, I checked the car's temperature gauge: 96 degrees.


My can of root beer was almost too hot to touch. Ditto the cellphone and steering wheel.

It's been this way now for at least two weeks. Breaking all sorts of high-temperature records, too. Either it cools down soon...or we're going to melt off the map.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

One of the Best Floral Hacks Ever

Want a gorgeous 'disco vase' for your summer flowers?

Dump a bag of sequins in an empty clear vase. Top up with water, and your favorite flowers.

That's it.

I'm serious.

This idea comes from Sania at the At Home blog, and is simply brilliant.

Simple. And brilliant.

Oh...and the sequins, when the flowers fade?

Strain them out and let them dry. Then they're ready to use again in whatever project you wish...including another vase.

Full instructions are here.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Dad's Delight -- And Hanky Panky

    The Brick is generally a calm and quiet sort of guy -- not very demanding. When it comes to his daughters, though, he loves having them celebrate Father's Day with him. 
    That makes being responsible so difficult -- because Daughter #1 had to cancel at the last minute, and Daughter #2 couldn't make it here until 8 p.m. (She had to close for the shop, El Loro, she manages in Boulder.) 
     We had t-bones, bacon-and-onion-garnished green salad, and yes, a Sachertorte, before she and Son #1 reluctantly headed out about midnight for the hour's drive home.
      Of course she has to go into work early tomorrow. 
     They gave their dad a t-shirt -- but the best present of all was having them here, laughing and talking, for hours. I'm so grateful that they realize how much this means to 'the folks.' 
     Father's Day, I always remember my own dad, gone now for more than seven years. The Mama reminded me that her dad, my Grandpa Cumings, had his birthday on Father's Day. Pa's father, Grandpa DeVries, died on or just before Father's Day, while I was heavily pregnant with Daughter #1. Our great-niece Adie was born a day later, on her parents Adam and Stephanie's anniversary. 

Now our niece Brianna and husband Kevin have welcomed their first child, Micah Vince, into the world. He was born last Friday night -- Grandpa Mike and Grandma Lori couldn't be prouder. 

Pondering the fate of the universe, no doubt

     Strange, that all these, new life and old, would happen so close to this holiday.

Cindy Thomas' graceful interpretation of Hanky Panky
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    I'll be teaching at Holly's Quilt Cabin in Littleton, CO this week Saturday, June 24, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Information is here. The class is based on my bestselling handkerchief quilt method. You'll learn the Hanky Panky way, plus several variations -- and some, you don't have to cut the hankies at all! Space is limited; give the store a call if you're interested.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

A deer crashes through a Denny's plate glass window in Rome, NY.
    Did he want a Grand Slam to go?

How to propagate roses -- from the ones you already have. I'm thinking of doing this for the Harison roses, especially. ( These Yellow Rose of Texas blooms are hard to find.) You've got several methods to choose from. (From the Santa Clarita Valley Rose Society)

Or do it the pioneer way -- and use a potato.  (Thanks, Homeguides)

More progress on the summerhouse.  If you're not sure, here's the starting post on the subject.  She built this handy shed from leftover doors, windows and pallets!  (From Life After Money)

Who keeps sitting in seat J47 at Hibbing High School's auditorium? Even if you don't live in Minnesota, this is going to be interesting. (From My Paranormal Podcast)

Incredibly strange (and fitting) instances of karma -- or what we would call a "God thing."  (From Listverse) Plus:

Ten instances where a single vote made all the difference.

The woman who drove to the Atlanta airport, four-year-old daughter in tow, left her with strangers while she 'went shopping'...and disappeared. Hmmm. Contrast her with:

The woman who thought she'd won $43 million at the casino -- then was offered a steak dinner and $2.25, instead. (She's suing for the full amount.)

Paperwork required for the Y2K bug has finally been eliminated -- SEVENTEEN YEARS LATER.

A woman, a raccoon -- and a puddle. (Son #1 told me first about this one.)

Six movie/tv unsolved mysteries explained.  Yes, there really were backstories for these.  (Thanks, Cracked. Now explain that totally strange "dream" explanation for Dallas!) Plus:

Seven weird tv/movie problems that were actually explained in deleted scenes.

Have a good week. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

I Had A College Professor Like This...

     The class was called "Fine Arts" -- but derisively referred to, by most of my friends, as "Fine Farts." The professor, though a nice guy, was famous for not thoroughly reading submitted assignments. Students would trudge along on-subject until the middle of the paper...then launch into recipes, baseball scores, even free association.

He never seemed to notice. But after a while, I got the impression he was very aware of our collective shenanigans, after all. The 'tell' was when he said to someone (I think they 'fessed up):  'You're cheating yourself when you do this -- not me.'


Guess you taught me a bigger lesson in that class than I thought, Mr. Osbeck.

        (oh, and... thank you.)


    Gentle Readers, I messed up.

If you saw a strange post for a few hours tonight on June Frugal Hits and Misses...well, that's my working file. You weren't supposed to get it for a few weeks yet. I put up another post, and must have accidentally 'published' this one, too.


It's tiptoed back into the Ethernet for a while, until it can grow into a full-fledged post.

Sorry about that. 

Probably will, too...

For a Friday, today has been extra-hot and really busy. I did a bunch of errands in searing heat, then flopped down and had a root beer with ice when I got home.  (The Brick, both girlies and Son #1 all drink beer; I don't drink that stuff. Tequila, you bet.)

This weekend will be spent catching up on paperwork...and hopefully cooling off a bit. Everyone will stop by on Sunday to say hi to their favorite DAD. I've even promised him a Sachertorte.

Hello, weekend -- you're needed.

Mousey News...And Updates

     I don't know if it's because of the heat -- or the bushel basket of appraisals and gigs I've had this month -- but I am re...