Thursday, April 2, 2020

Really Random Thursday, 4/2/20


So. Here we are again, a week later. It's Thursday, right? Whatever...

I do know we are in a new month. March seems like it lasted for an entire year.

The birthday boy, Levi, from a week ago. Everyone else seems totally engaged in this photo op, right?

Our friend, Amy, makes beautiful bouquets and has been offering them twice a week, for pickup at the farm where she grows them. On Saturday afternoon we were feeling the need to just get out of the house, because...

 So we drove to the farm and picked up two bouquets. One for us...
And one for Christa...

With that being said, here is our weekly roundup of memes, with a couple of other things thrown in for good measure.

Last Saturday, Charlotte and I took an online class from the Neon Tea Party (highly recommended) on how to make pompons and tassels. Ideally, we would have been sitting side by side as we took the class. But we were in different locations, although we were able to text throughout the class.

My pompom turned out better than the tassel, and the loop is definitely not centered, but it's not bad for a first try.
I had Marisa send a kit to Charlotte so she would have all the supplies, and she included the sweetest personalized note.

Speaking of notes, Mark and I both received some mail this week. What a treat!




Remember the last two weeks where I have given you ideas for a wine tour and vacation plans?  This is the plan for the coming month.
Mark made a fused glass version of the barn quilt we hung on Periwinkle Cottage. I love it!

So we all know that toilet paper is in short supply, as well as elastic, now that so many people are making face masks. Want to know what else is in short supply? Sidewalk chalk!
I planned to buy three boxes the other day--one for us, and one each for the neighbor girls next door and across the street. The 48-color box is impossible to find, at least as of Monday. I found the 24-count box on the Joann website, and it said there were three available locally, with 30 percent discount for curbside pickup. I gladly ordered all three boxes. However, when we went to pick it up, I only received one box.  Our sidewalk needs some colorful messages, so, although it seems a bit selfish, I'm going to keep this solitary box for myself for now.

I saw this on my friend Elizabeth's Instagram feed, from a movie theater in Minneapolis. One of my favorite movie quotes ever, from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. You will only be familiar with it if you have watched the movie through all the credits at the end.
Benartex, which produces some really beautiful fabric, has an e-zine and I was asked to participate in their Modern with a Twist feature. Four quilters are given a traditional block (for this issue we were given the classic shoofly block) and asked to design a modern interpretation of it, and show what it would look like with one of their fabric lines.


 Naturally I chose solids. No surprise there, ha! (Ignore the little pieces of thread/lint that I forgot to get rid of before I took the picture...)

I used a collage app to see what a quilt would look like. I think I'd like to make a real quilt with this block.
Our friend, the ICU physician, who travels from New Orleans to Hanford, the small town nearby, sent us this picture. We continue to pray for the safety of all those who are working to keep the rest of us healthy, safe and fed.
We took the car through the carwash the other day. And operators made a little smily face in the suds, which made us extraordinarily happy. It's the small things...
We have accomplished a couple of projects that we've been meaning to do forever. Some of the acoustical separated from the ceiling in our bathroom shower, not because of a leak but because the last time it was repaired, we failed to properly seal and paint it. So now it's repaired and sealed, and we repainted the entire ceiling yesterday. (And I'm only mentioning this so we can keep track of things we actually accomplish during this shelter-in-place time.)
Mark also fixed the kitchen faucet. Some piece under the sink had a crack and so it was leaking, and the water pressure was reduced to a trickle. Look at it now. :)
This is me, most days.
Have you ever done of those daily photo prompts, where each day you post a picture? I have done them sporadically, sometimes posting each and every day, sometimes just jumping in here and there. Amy Ellis hosts one every year on her instagram feed, @amyscreativeside. The prompt for March 31 was "highlight of the month." I didn't post anything, but I was blown away when I was tagged several times after other people posted one of my quilts in their collage. Ellen posted my one and only attempt at improv, just a block, not a whole quilt (because improv hurts my brain...), in the upper left corner.

Karen posted my Kaleidoskop quilt in the lower left.
Elizabeth from @bittercandydesign posted Animal Planet, always a favorite.
Diana also included Animal Planet in her massive collage.
There is currently a sew-along running, for anyone interested in making the Sew Together Bag. I have made nearly ten of them in the past, but decided it might be a fun break from trying to figure out what to do next. So I ambitiously cut out the fabric for four of them. This one will be for me.
However, then the CDC decided that we all should be wearing face masks when we go out, so I have set the bag making aside to focus on making masks, just for the family at this point. And turns out I have plenty of elastic to make enough for everyone in the family. 

I considered using this fabric for the masks, but decided it would be put to better use as the backing for a 2020 quilt. #donottouchyour face
If you are still here, wow. Thanks for hanging in.This morning, I drank my coffee from this mug and said a prayer for everyone in NYC.
I'll end with these two thoughts.
Stay safe. Stay in place.



Thursday, March 26, 2020

Really Random Thursday, 3/26/20


Wait. What day is it? Oh, yes, now I remember. Thursday...

Is that how you feel these days? Days just seem to run into one another without much difference from one to the next.

My feelings run the gamut. Hope, bewilderment, anxiety. I read an article the other day saying what we are feeling is actually grief. That is how I feel. Grief over loss of normal routine, grief over loss of events we were looking forward to that are now either postponed or canceled altogether, grief over separation from family and friends, grief over the many people who are sick and the many people who have passed away, grief over not knowing how.much.longer.this.will.go.on.

Anything that can give us a little respite is welcome.

So far we are not worried about having enough toilet paper.
A friend saw this in her local Safeway store, a cake that looks like a roll of toilet paper.
And my cousin's son is missing the start of his baseball season.
Photo credit: Deniele Van Leeuwen
This is my new reality. Although the truth is that I rarely make it til 9 p.m.
Last Friday night, Mark and I grabbed a piece of sidewalk chalk and headed over to Aaron and Christa's about 9:30 p.m. to leave a note for the grandkids. Then it rained overnight, and the message was gone by morning. But his Ring doorbell had captured us on video so he was able to show them a video of our visit. And fortunately I had taken a picture. :)
We stopped by Jason and Jill's too, to leave a note for Ruby and Amelia.
We see family about every other day. We feel so fortunate that we get to see them in person. Even with a 12-foot distance. See that arrow? That is the barrier.
Charlotte giving us a virtual hug
Right now, this in-person connection means the world to me.
Tomorrow is Levi's birthday. We didn't even try to surprise him this year. We just told him to choose something from Amazon and we would have it delivered to his door. A celebration will come later. I'm so looking forward to that day!

Sunday our church service was livestreamed and we watched it on the computer in my office.
One good thing that came out of it was that I finally got to do what I dream of--doing handwork during the sermon, with a cup of coffee nearby.
Unwashed hair, nighttime pajamas, and slippers...don't judge
Yesterday, Mark and I ventured to Target at 8 a.m. for "senior hour."
 Never in my life did I think I would feel anxious about going to Target. It was a weird feeling. We quickly made our purchases, and were able to get nearly everything on the list, and headed home, where it felt more "safe."

I also have mixed feelings about going through the drivethrough, although we have done that a couple of times. But each time I wonder about who has touched my food, my food wrapping and containers. It's a disconcerting feeling.

One of our favorite restaurants had this to offer, and we will pick it up tomorrow night at 5:30 p.m.
A good thing is that Mark enjoys cooking. And we are enjoying preparing meals together.

On an unrelated bright note, look who started following me on Instagram.  Not.  #spam

I was supposed to be at a quilting retreat in Texas this week. Canceled. And Mark and I were looking forward to a Canadian Rockies trip in mid June through Road Scholar. Neither of us feel comfortable at the thought of traveling in a plane, train and boat, so we are canceling. Maybe next year. This is what travel looks like to us these days.
And with my lack of concentration and focus, I have actually gotten less accomplished with the shelter-in-place order, with nowhere to go, than I did in a "normal" week before this all began. Maybe this is true.


In contrast, these are some wise words during these times.
Mark was able to finish a big project this week. That big storage unit picture I posted last week--this week it is done! And looks terrific.

This one made me chuckle.
For a confirmed homebody, I have been surprised at how unsettling these days are for me. While I normally savor days at home, now that it is mandatory I have a hard time not wanting to be somewhere else.
So we take daily walks to get fresh air, and appreciate the beauty that is around us this time of the year in the central valley, beginning with our own backyard.




I hope each day gets easier. I hope we pay attention to all the shelter-at-home orders in order to flatten the curve as soon as possible. I don't think life will ever be quite the same. But yet, I'm hopeful that better days are soon ahead of us. In the meantime...

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Really Random Thursday, 3/19/20

Last week, on Friday the 13th, even when the world had started changing, I would never have thought things would get to this point in less than a week. As of midnight a.m. today, the City of Fresno was officially mandated to shelter in place.

Mark and I have already been doing that, other than truly essentially outings. But even with essential outings, I have pretty much banned Mark from running those errands because he seems to be in the higher risk category. He has taken to calling me the Warden. I'm okay with that. So when his insulin pens come into the pharmacy (they can't be shipped to our house because they have to remain refrigerated), I will be the only one leaving the house to pick them up.

I have also started quarantining mail, the newspaper (yes, we still get the Fresno Bee, and it's fine to quarantine a couple of days as it's all old news anyway, but we still enjoy the local news, reading the cartoon Pickles and doing Seven Little Words), and the few packages that were scheduled to arrive by Amazon.

Of course I'm quarantining mail, etc. Do you know your enneagram number? I'm a 5w6. So of course it makes sense to me...

Our daily schedule has changed somewhat. There is no reason to get out of bed at any particular time. I wear sweats all the time now, and have stopped wearing makeup. Mark isn't complaining. He has stopped shaving.

I thought I wouldn't have anything to post, but surprisingly, before all the social distancing began in earnest, we had some company. Last week, our dear friends, sisters Jessie and Valerie, were in town for a wedding, and stayed with us for four nights.

They loved sitting in the sun. Jessie lives in Moscow, Idaho, and Valerie lives in Denver, so this was a lovely change for them.
How cute do they look all dressed up for the wedding?
Jessie had flown with her dog, Rico the Shelf Elf, because she plans on being gone about two weeks.
He's a funny quirky little dog. It's especially funny when he lifts his ears straight up.
They were scrupulous about sanitizing and showering any time they came home from being with friends. We had the best time. Love these girls so very much.

It has taken Mark a little bit to adjust to sports reruns since everything else has been canceled, although I have to say, prior to this he was no longer such a sports addict that he had to watch every single game on TV. So this doesn't really apply to us, but thought it was funny anyway.
And this...
Surprisingly, so far I haven't gotten any more things accomplished than I did before the shelter in place mandate. Hmmm....but I do have plans for catching up on lots of sewing. And knitting. And reading. All without guilt because there is no other place I have to be or things I need to be doing. And I don't have to figure out ways to get out of going to places I don't want to go (as an introvert who happily recharges at home, that's always a struggle).  Although I'm very disappointed that a quilting retreat I was looking forward to attending next week right outside Austin has been canceled. I'm just hoping by the middle of July that we can still have our annual quilting retreat!

While something like this is way easier for introverts, I get that it is especially challenging for everyone who is just the opposite, those who thrive by being with people.
Mark and I have made quite a list of home projects that we have been planning to do forever. And now we can!

He has been busy working on a storage unit for Tagua, a local store that carries things mostly made in Third World countries, with all proceeds going back to those countries.
He finished building it, but had other things on his schedule and was hoping someone else could do the painting. But now, of course, he has time to do the painting himself. And it's going to be orange. So I highly approve of that. :)

Saw this...
And then this...
Charlotte sent me this exchange between her and her father, who told her to send it to me. Haha.
Yesterday was nice and sunny. Our neighborhood cat, Harley, decided to sun herself on our table.
We took our daily walk and saw this on a neighbor's yard. Snow...
Today it rained. Heavenly.
In case you feel the need to go on a wine tour, let this be your guide.
This is now how we see our precious family. We just want to keep each other safe, and seeing them in person, even from a distance, works for me right now.
So until our world (isn't it mind boggling that it is quite literally the world!) gets back to a more normal state, this list is a good thing to keep in mind.

Stay safe. Keep in touch.