Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Amazing Talent!

Did you see this incredible winning shot for Roger Federer in the U.S. Open?

Just as good as his winning shot-between-the-legs last year...maybe better.

Home Again

We drove all night, and got home at 6 a.m. yesterday morning. Amazingly enough, within an hour I was having trouble with allergy symptoms -- or so I thought, until my fever started spiking.

It's been a fun time, trying to put stuff away and clean up in between shivering fits. It's times like these that MessyThrillingLife's encouragement to keep on keeping on is so helpful.

This uninvited "friend" will leave soon. I just have to hang in there.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Back on the Air...

...well, sort of. We spent part of the day banging steel siding onto a shed that's seen better days. The original wood is old, dark and chewed-looking. But the siding makes the building a cheery bright red that matches the nearby barn. Husband and Brother did most of the banging, plus standing around-and-analyzing stuff. I picked up the wooden battens we'd torn off earlier (along with decades' worth of spiderwebs and fluffy who-knows-what), and tried to corral stray nails. At any rate, that siding is doing a great job of making a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
   Uncle showed up to see how we'd been doing. It turns out he actually helped build the shed sometime between the ages of 8 and 11, using wood from another building nearby. Since he was born in 1924, that makes the shed constructed sometime between 1932-5. Wow.  The wood had looked older -- say, c.1900-1920. It was -- it just wasn't original to that building.

The Michigan sun has gone down, and every smart person is in bed. This doofus, however, is typing away at Cousin Phil's. We leave tomorrow for Colorado, and an 18-hour drive. (16 hours technically, because of the time change.) And I'm remembering the single lane to cross the Mississippi (construction closed the rest), as well as the lovely things that can happen anytime when you putz through Chicago.
     Oh joy.

In the meantime, you'll find these posts interesting --
*Plans for a no (or little)-buy Christmas
*A great way to get clearance items at Kohl's for even less! (But hurry)
*Knowing your stuff can help you make big bucks on your favorite interests
*What kind of financial advice would you give to an 18-year-old? 
(I found this of special interest, since our girlies are 24 and 22, respectively)

I still need to wash the dust off our working clothes, and finish packing. Had better get to it.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Yes, I'm Still Here

I've been out of state, seeing the Mama in Michigan. She doesn't believe much in computers...our cousins, our main source for online happiness, have been busy with family and not home much...and McDonalds has a terrible connection here in Sparta. Thankfully, another restaurant's network is better -- but we didn't discover it until today (Friday).

How has it been without internet access? Not as bad as you would think. I've read a bunch of books, gone to the beach, and talked about old times about a score of meals and coffee with the Mama and a bunch of cousins, uncles and aunts. The staffers have held the fort at the home office, in the meantime.

Daughter #1 gave herself a boost by participating in the Warrior Dash, a zany mud-filled run up in the Copper
Mountain area:

(Credit by Alex Jiminez. Bear in mind it's cooolllld up in the mountains! She said she washed off in a pond -- "because the showers were just as cold, Mom. But I couldn't feel my arms and legs for a while.")
Read more about the Warrior Dash here. And thank your lucky stars you're not in your twenties anymore...

I'll be back early next week. Hold the fort until then, and have a great weekend.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Week: 1. Cindy: 0.

...or so it seems. Many of the silly little jobs are done. But what about that Big Project? What about the paperwork...and the business...and...

I was e-mailing with a fellow appraiser last night, and said I'd missed her during the recent appraisers conference in New York City. This morning, her latest e-mail said, 'But Cindy, don't you remember? We had several long conversations together.' And she's right. I felt like an idiot. 

Like this blogger, I am just about ready to throw in the towel.

Husband probably feels the same way. He was supposed to leave for the office hours ago. Instead, he's still changing the oil, a job he told me would be quick "because this model of Cherokee's easy to work with." (Unlike our earlier Jeep Cherokee, which had its oil plug somewhere in the vicinity of Canton, China.)

"Let's run away," I urged Husband this morning, when he was still sleepily rolled under the covers, his hair sticking straight up. "Ten minutes will do it. We'll grab a change of underwear, Buck and his dog food, and hit the road. We don't have to be responsible adults any more."

But we do. Sigh.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Can I Get 28 Hours...instead of just 24?

I feel like I just joined an octopus juggling team...ninety million things to get done. Granted, most are little tiny bits and pieces -- little corrections -- a few shirts to iron -- something to proofread -- but the pile's getting larger.
     Can I get them all done? Stay tuned.

WHEW. Stolen Quilts - Recovered!

Hooray, Sue Reich's quilts have been found...and delivered to her house this morning! Here's her post -- visit her on Facebook to learn more.

Brenda at FedEx in Memphis, and Sharon at FedEx in Salt Lake City, Utah are responsible for the return of World War II quilts on their way from Asheville, NC to Washington Depot, CT. We may never know their journey but that is not important. They are safe and can still be shared.
    Yesterday morning, someone from the quilt world made the important call to Brenda at FedEx in Memphis. Brenda spent the better part of yesterday tracking the quilts. Sharon in Salt Lake City, made a special effort to examine yesterday's shipment of lost and found items in search of the quilts and found the quilts. Just as Brenda promised, the quilts arrived home at 11:30 a.m. this morning. They are all intact.
   Through a trust in the power of prayer; trust in good people like Brenda and Sharon to do the right thing; and trust in the positive energy of friends and supporters, these WW II era quilts can once again be shared to honor "The Greatest Generation." Thank you, Sue Reich

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Stolen Quilts!

A friend and appraiser colleague, Sue Reich, just had a trunkful of quilts fail to arrive home after an exhibit. Please be on the lookout for them, and notify Sue or myself asap -- thanks for your alert presence.

You can see her book, WORLD WAR TWO QUILTS, on Amazon here. It's great -- I bought a copy for my library, and am planning/hoping to add it to our inventory on Brickworks.

Here's Sue's post:

Important stolen World War II quilts alert!

Posted by: "suereich@charter.net" suereich@charter.net   ctquilts2004

Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:11 am (PDT)

The World War II Quilts were at the Asheville quilt show the first weekend of
August. I am pained to report 4 of them have been stolen. The empty trunk was
delivered to FedEx in New Jersey and there it sits. Despite all of the
precautions I take at sending quilts, they were not properly returned in a
secure manner. Three of the four trunks fortunately returned safely but none
were taped and garbage bag ties were used instead of the locking plastic ties.
The trunks did have tracking numbers and were sent second day delivery but it
still took me nearly one week to finally determine the status of the missing
trunk. The quilts disappeared somewhere between Charlotte and New Jersey.
Here is a list of the missing quilts.
1. Navy Insignia quilt in the Winter blue. It's condition was excellent.
Pg. 122 of World War II Quilts.
2. The wholecloth Canadian Red Cross Quilt. Slightly faded. Pg. 145 of World
War II Quilts.
3. The Night Shift Workers Quilt. It's condition was excellent. Pg. 15 of
World War II Quilts.
4. The Hazleton Fund Raising summer quilt. (This is the quilt I recently wrote
about from the Vermont Quilt Festival.) It's condition was excellent. Pg. 135
of World War II Quilts.
Lastly was the sweet Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt, I use as a table cover.
These quilts are very distinctive and recognizable. Hopefully, the thief will
not be very smart and will get them to the open market and soon.
Please know that I will appreciate any and all help in getting the quilts
returned. My address and telephone number were on the sleeves of each quilt
but they are easily removed.
I plan to send an alert on Stolen quilts, also.

Sue Reich
Washington Depot, Connecticut

 Thanks for any help you can give.

Unusual Tuesday

Boy, different stories are just jumping out of the woodwork at me today...thought I'd share some with you.

*Celebrities' favorite things to eat. (Don't knock Angelina Jolie's taste for fried cockroaches until you've had one. I had a fried grasshopper once -- tasted like a really greasy potato chip. But full of protein.)

*Strange moneymakers. (Wanna buy some animal pee??)

*Weird cars. (Someone on Comcast woke up on a different side of the bed today -- I got a number of tips via their site.)

*Twenty bento lunch box ideas for kids. (Do you like a smiley face on your sandwich?)

*An unusual and moving story about falling in love with a man. Who wasn't born a man. I only wish Allison Cooper would keep some kind of blog, so we could follow her life...she writes beautifully.

*Researching that one took me to another story: a baronet who was born female (or perhaps a hermaphrodite), 'changed' to male, and became eligible for the title when his brother died. A cousin fought Ewan Forbes' claim, on the count that the title could not go to a woman...and lost. (The Wikipedia entry suggests that females CAN be 'baronetesses,' says there have been four, but they seem to be recent.) That same cousin became the baronet when Forbes died in 1991. Read the story of Sir Ewan Forbes, 11th Baronet, here.

One of the oddest music videos in history: Multiple Beakers doing Ode to Joy. (Well ok, this one is pretty weird, too.)

And finally, Park51, the proposed mosque to be built near Ground Zero. It's generated all sorts of talk, both pro and con, about a Muslim worship center so near the site that was devastated in 9/11. We saw little evidence of this, by the way, on our recent trip to NYC -- but we were by St. Paul's, the church and cemetary that miraculously survived 9/11, and the memorial exhibit on the next block over. Perhaps the mosque was on the other side of Ground Zero site, which was heavily covered with large canvas walls. (Years ago, when we were here before, one side was a looonnng sidewalk -- and a bus stop -- overlooking the digging.) You couldn't see a thing inside except for a few piles of dirt...and a beefy security guy at the entrance.
   I asked Husband, who is one of God's greatest conservatives, what he thought about this. A long pause. (He isn't quick to speak.) Then he said thoughtfully, "I think if they're not promoting terrorism or helping terrorists, they should be allowed to build wherever they want." To my surprise -- because I also have strong opinions about the cowards who murdered thousands of innocent victims in their quest to rattle an idealogical saber. But I agree with him. Religious freedom is one of our country's most precious tenets. To deny the opportunity to build -- given that your desire to reach out is an honest one -- would be wrong, whether the group was Muslim...or Catholic...or Methodist.
    One of the New Testament's most interesting verses reads, "Try to live in peace with  everyone, and seek to live a clean and holy life..." (Hebrews 12:14)

If we all did that.... wow.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday is Busting Out All Over

Back from Cheyenne, and feeling very tired.
   I am a huge fan of trompe l'oeil stuff. In other words, things that look real...but aren't.
How about this piece from the Chalk Guy? 

His name...Edgar Mueller.
(See another chalk artist's (Julian Beever) work here. )
Lordy, this stuff is amazing.

I'll be back to talk tomorrow, after I can dig up from this pile of Stuff.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Home Again

Got back late last night from New York City, after an afternoon of dragging our suitcases to the Museum of Natural History. GREAT meteorite and gemstone hall at the Museum...and some of the worst manners in kids. They yelled whenever they felt like it, climbed all over the exhibits, and were pretty much ignored by their parents. Except in the planetarium, when the announcer said -- with a bunch of summer campers in attendance, who up to that point, had been totally obnoxious -- "if anyone in your group talks, everyone in the group leaves." Silence after that!

It took us two hours to get to the airport on the subway. Barely made our plane; I was so grateful we did.

New York City lessons learned from this trip:

*try to get breakfast included with your hotel stay. One solid meal at the beginning of the day can take you through to supper. (And food is expensive in NYC.)
*look for brunch, lunch and prix fixe specials, then tailor your schedule to take advantage of them. At one cafe, we got a full lunch and two drinks -- for $10. If we'd gone an hour later, the price would have been closer to $25.  
*carry a water bottle -- a cheap one that can be thrown away. Too many galleries will not let you take water -- or even an empty bottle -- in. You need the moisture to keep going, though; those streets are hot.
*get a black cotton knit sundress and Greek (also known as gladiator) sandals. Going in the fall? Black pants or skirt, and a classic white cotton or silk men's shirt. Carry a big leather shoulder tote for stuff, or a nicer backpack. You'll fit right in.
*buy a New York City pass. Saves you big bucks, if you're planning on visiting museums, the Empire State building or Ms. Liberty.
*forget eating at museum cafes, or buying much in their stores. Prices were jacked up in every one of the places we visited...and we hit a lot of them. Postcards and clearance books were about the only bargain.
*use an all-day metro card to get around on the subways. You'll still have to walk a lot, but the subways are easy to navigate if you can read a map. You could keep adding money on a card, but it's a hassle, and a misread will get you stuck somewhere, trying to argue with a kiosk. It's not worth it. We bought a 9-day unlimited card (the next available after a single-day card), used it for 6 days and got far more for our money than if we'd just paid per ride.

          * * * * * * * * * * * *

Now a batch of mail and thank you notes await, along with a finishing-up batch of appraisals. I have to be in Cheyenne, WY tomorrow morning for three days of appraising, and the Cheyenne Heritage Quilters' annual show. (It's terrific, by the way -- if you're in the neighborhood of downtown's Civic Center, stop by. Lots of wonderful quilts, and a vendor's mall, too! Runs from Aug. 12-14.)

J.D. Roth is talking about confidence in today's post of Get Rich Slowly. He's got some great advice. I'd just add: if you're not sure what you're doing, study up. Learn as much as you can. Then act like you know what you're doing. Eventually you won't have to act!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

New York City

Twenty postcards and a bracelet-from-a-street-vendor later, I feel...invigorated? Exhausted? Wondering how I've managed block after block plus umpteen stairs up and down to the subway?

A little bit of everything.

The past two days were straight appraiser stuff: a talk from a rep at an auction house, a meeting with artist Marilyn Henrion (and a viewing of her wonderful stuff -- incredibly textured, with a surface that often reflected light), a visit to see Suzy Chicago's "The Dinner Party" at the Brooklyn Museum. A talk on the quilts of WWII by Sue Reich, whose book on the subject is a great new research tool for quilt historians. (See the book here.)A visit with Gail Kessler of Andover Fabrics. (She thinks reproduction fabrics are alive and well, but look for the ones that will fit into your overall stash -- these are the keepers, and will let you do more unique work.)

One thing I can tell you -- the style on the streets of New York is greek sandals. We have seen pair after pair after PAIR, usually combined with black sundresses or some other black-variation outfit. I think I need a pair of new sandals.

Back again, after a shower to scrub the sweat off. It's been hot here, with lots of humidity. Makes you thankful for air conditioning.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

We Are Here. And It's Hot.

In more ways than one -- it's supposed to be in the 90s today.

Taking the red-eye is the quickest, cheapest way to get here. In less than seven hours (12:45 a.m. - 6:45 a.m.), we went from 5280 altitude to sea level thousands of miles away. The flip side, though, is that you lose your inner time sense, along with some hours of sleep. (The plane was too full to stretch much or give the knees a rest.) Nonetheless, less than 24 hours after we left Denver, the girls were having their pictures taken with King Kong on the top of the Empire State Building! Talk about surreal...

A good night's sleep helped, and we're getting ready to go out to see Her Ladyship, as well as the Ellis Island museum. Tomorrow starts the appraisers conference. I'm stoked already.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Big Apple, Here We Come!

Dirty dishes in the sink. A pile of clothes drying on the line. Stuff everywhere that needs to be dealt with...

Tonight about 1 a.m., Daughters and I will be headed to New York City!
The primary focus is the annual PAAQT appraisers conference. (A good group, by the way, for learning more about your textiles). But after I'd registered for that, I got invited to a national bloggers summit. Lots of open houses, lots of new products...we're all looking forward to that one, too!

While I'm in class, or visiting an exhibit, or touring backstage at an auction house, Daughters will be bombing around...no doubt they'll find something to keep themselves occupied. (Plus they are under instructions from Mom to find us cheap tickets to a Broadway show.) This is the first time in years that we'll be together on vacation (ok, for me it's also 'work') without it being serious family business...or my having to teach or give a lecture. Whoo hoo!

I'll check in periodically to let you know how we're doing. In the meantime, paperwork is calling my name...

image from New York City Vacations: take a look for ideas!