Friday, April 27, 2007

What a Beauty!

It's hard to see but this is the prettiest bird I have ever seen in my yard. I pulled into the drive and it was on the ground. Naturally just as the camera was about to click it flew into the tree. These are the best shots and blow ups I can get. I'm told it is a male painted bunting. I wish it would come back. It was beautiful.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Like it or not we are getting a fence

We live in Texas, aka suburbia filled with fences. Everyone here has a fence around their backyard. I find it annoying but at the same time practical. We live on postage stamp sized lots and so it helps us avoid seeing the neighbors in their undies! One day a few years ago both my left and right side neighbors told me (at separate times) that our fence needed replacing. How is it our fence. Does Mr. Leftside not keep his fancy dogs in because it? But, Mr. Leftside Neighbor followed that comment with "I'd be willing to go in half." Fair enough. Mrs. Rightside Neighbor had a different theory. It's just a bit cockamamie but here goes.....She said that when they moved in (they were one of the first houses in the area), there was a fence on the left side and back but not the right. The builder told her that if she wanted a fence she would need to put it in herself. She did. That led her to the theory that everyone owns the fence on their right side. Never mind that there is a fence in the back. Who knows who pays for that!. So, we replaced the fence with Mr. Leftside. We approached Ms. Backdoor Neighbor and she agreed to split the cost. In the time it took me to hire someone (lots of time passed) she hired a company to do the work. When we saw that she was replacing the fence we offered to pay half. We do share it after all. That only leaves Mrs. Rightside.

It has been two years since the fence needed replacing! For the past 6-8 months it has been supported by a rope to the tree, various poles, concrete blocks and a bit of good luck. We've had some halacious winds and I keep expecting to see the thing in the middle of the street but as DH says, " It'll last another two years!" However, the truth of the matter is that we need to replace it before hurricane season. Over the past two years DH has been determined to patch, tie up, prop and generally keep the eyesore standing. However, I approached Mrs. Rightside again and asked if she wanted to share the cost of the fence. She said "If you want someone to help you pay for your fence, go to Mr. Leftside neighbor! " She was getting mad as a hatter as we talked. I decided it wasn't worth fighting over but there was no way we were running to replace the thing. We don't look at it....she does. (Oh btw, we aren't total crums. We've had every intention of replacing it but just allowed other expenses to come first. If she had been a mensch we may have acted differently. In all fairness she did say we could "Take the THING DOWN if we wanted! It made no difference to her. Sure! She also threw the pieces that fell off the thing into our yard. I mean threw! If she had even once been nice about the whole thing we would have understood. But she came out barking from the beginning conversation. Well, it is now more than an eyesore, it is a hazard. If we would really have a hurricane there would be a million projectiles and then really big trouble. So we are replacing the fence this weekend.
I went to her yesterday to tell her that the tree that is overhanging into our yard will need to be trimmed either by her or us, so that it will not be damaged while they put in the fence or lay on the fence after it is up. It turns out it is a mango tree and has loads of baby fruit on it. She said, and I quote, " Oh I was going to tell you, any of the fruit that falls into your backyard you can have!" I just wanted to sit down in the grass and roar with laughter. How magnanimous! If it falls into our yard, it's ours! Hmm...was she expecting me to heave them over the fence as she does the fallen pieces???

This is how it looks. Angle #1, looking toward the back.

See that rope through the knot in the wood. Well one particularly windy storm sent that panel and the one next to it to the ground. What's a girl to do? DH was out of town so I called in the troops, we lifted the thing up, wove the rope in and around and tied it to the Mesquite tree! It looked hilarious. See the plank at the bottom supporting the thing?

This is angle #2. Looking toward the front. Notice the two panels completely GONE! We have a cut through to Mrs. Rightsides backyard! Notice also the new front gate she added!! Complete with a separate post so she is totally independent of our fence! Hmmmm....if it's our fence why does she need a gate?????

This is a particularly nice looking view of the shared Ms. Backdoor and Mr. Leftsides fences. (My yard is a) not as big as it appears and b) not as lush as this picture depicts. I sure wish the camera made me look as good as this!) If you look close you can see the rope hanging from the poor tree.

We are not mean people. I just get so annoyed when others can't share. I spend my entire day trying to teach children to share, play fair and be kind. Then in the grown up world, the rules change. Don't tell me that she doesn't use the fence as much as we matter who's property line it is on. I have no idea if it straddles the line on or is on one side or another. Actually, I don't care. All four of us, Mr. Leftside, Ms. Backdoor and Mrs. Rightside benefit equally from the fence. It makes no sense to me to be so ugly. If she just couldn't afford it, I would have understood. I'm not convinced that that is the case.

On the plus side, I am so excited because I can fix up that side of the yard to look nicer now. I'm going to plant some peppers and a few bushes on that side of the house and forget that Mrs. Rightside lives there....until she ties her trees up to the fence! She had better think twice!

Monday, April 23, 2007

I must be having fun

I must be having fun. I can't stop making these things!!! Fun, fast and easy!! I made the size smaller and made placemats. They were so much fun that last night 2 watermelon table runners. I may or may not free motion some seeds. I don't want to use buttons because I like to put things on my table runners. I really think I will make these for Mothers Day for my grandma and MIL. I'm off tonight to make lemon, lime and orange table runners. They are from the Quilts and More Magazine.

So many bloggers seem to post about what they are reading. Well I must be in a classic kind of mood. Last month I read, (listened to actually) To Kill a Mockingbird by J.D. Salinger.

and this month I am listening to Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.I didn't realize that Uncle Tom's Cabin was written in the 1852. (The book in this picture is copyright 1880 and selling for $1400.00!) Call me a simpleton but I'm having a great time with the classics. The classic writers are amazing. The idea that we still find the messages, humor, sadness appealing to us today is incredible. Makes ya' understand high school English teachers! We had to read boring Old Man in the Sea! I tried to listen to The Last of the Mohican's but just couldn't get past the stylized writing. If you are looking for a great read Cecelia Ahern "If You Could See Me Now" was wonderful. All I will tell is it is about an imaginary friend and an adult that can see him. I loved it. If you have never listened to books on tape or had a hard time sticking with the storyline, just try again. Sometimes you just need to get used to the reader. Sometimes you need to find the book that appeals to you. All I know is I can clean, cook, drive, quilt and listen to a good book at the same time. Great for multi tasking!

Monday, April 16, 2007

General goings on

Finished placemats that I started a week ago. Yoo Hoo for me. World record timing. I'll post pictures tomorrow.

The week in review. I was a good citizen! I had jury duty on Monday. I spent the entire day in total boredom during the preliminary jury selection. Oh, did I mention that I was #48 of 48!? I knew that there was no way they would get all the way to me. But somehow I was privileged enough to be allowed to sit through ALL of the questions posed to the other candidates. When they got to me they had no questions! Then we were given the delightful news that we needed to return to the court the next day because they eliminated so many potential jurors, there weren't enough to actually select the jury!! When we returned the next day, we were dismissed! Urgh! I have no problem serving on a jury. I just question the system that lets 48 adults run through hoops for 8 or nine hours and then sends them home. On the plus side, I finished binding the above placemats!

Tuesday, after I left the courthouse, I PAID my taxes. Notice I didn't say submitted my refund.

Wednesday, spent way too much time beginning the shut down procedures on my classroom. I am taking a new job next school year. I not only need to shut my room down for this year, but need to purge my personal items, files ect., from the ones the school owns.

Thursday, play day! The girls came over and we played with fabric.

Friday, made Shabbat dinner but as usual Mrs. S. cancelled. We enjoyed it without them.

So there you have my dull and boring but very productive week. I know I've gone on about how everyday life is worth posting about but I may have to rethink my stand!

Saturday, April 14, 2007


I always feel like a boulder has been lifted from my shoulders when I finish a quilt. I finished the soduko quilt. Yeah! (can you find the mistake??) It quilted, bound, labeled, washed and my girlfriend snuggled with it last night. I machine quilted it and honestly don't understand the fear behind machine quilting. It takes practice, education (as in understanding your machine, threads and needles), not being afraid to move your tension and time. My machine meandering or free style quilting has become very acceptable. Not perfect but I impressed myself. LOL!!! My piecing accuracy on the other hand...........Quilting in a set stenciled pattern is much more difficult. However, I've only done it once and therefore have practiced very little. Meandering and following stencils have completely different stress levels attached!

This picture was taken outside and shows the fabrics in a much better light. It was wayyyyy toooo windy to take a picture outside.

Quilting from the front.......

From the back........................

On to the next project..........................................

Friday, April 13, 2007

What's with my Weather Pixie???

Good gravy, I thought she was in her undies!!!! Trust me it is warm here but not that warm!!! If only I looked like her...or like that in a swim suit........

Not sad. Just Life.

Today is/was/should be my mom's birthday. She died in 1995 from complications of diabetes. She was 54 years old and had been living with diabetes for 51 yrs.

She missed so many life cycle events: my girls b'nai mitzvah (they had their bat mitzvahs together), Mrs. H's wedding, the births of both my niece and nephew and so many other meaningful moments. I've been sitting here writing and re-writing what I'm trying to say. I've written and written and deleted and deleted. All of the stuff I wrote was too personal, too sad. If you have lost a parent, you understand. If you haven't, my wish for you is that you go well into adulthood before you understand. I had a good cry and the bottom line is that I miss her. I just wasn't through with her yet. Selfish but true. I just wasn't ready to give her up or live without her. I still need her guidance and example of dignity and strength. So now I'm the mom. I'm the one giving the guidance and setting the example. I only hope that I am doing my job as well as she did hers.

Memories that I typed but don't want to delete.......
- When I went off to college (I'm the oldest) my mom went into my room and sprayed some of the perfume I left behind just because she missed me. I was obviously touched by this knowledge because I still remember her face when she told me.
-Our moving to Texas was very difficult for both my children and parents. We were the first (actually only in our extended family) to move away. When my mom and dad came for their first (and only visit), they arrived before my girls were out of school. My mom was so excited to go pick them up. We were waiting by the van and my mom was anxiously scanning the children pouring out of the school. She kept saying, "Where are they? Where are they?" Mrs. S. (then Ms. S) burst out the door of the school. They caught sight of each other at the same moment and like a movie first walked and then began running towards one another. They met in the middle of the street and my mom just couldn't stop hugging Mrs. S. It is a memory burned into my heart.

Good memories.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I'm a bum

I have discovered that left to my own devices, I sleep 8 hours a night. No matter what time I go to bed I don't wake up until 8 hours have passed. It is a lucky thing that alarm clocks have been invented. For the last number of nights, I've been unable to sleep. Consequently, I fall asleep around 1 or 2. It is a good thing that I haven't gone to work because 1:30 + 8 hrs. = 9:30 in the morning! What a bum!!! For the last 3 days I have not woken up until at least 9:30! I feel like a crum! Half of the day is gone. Today is the last day of Passover and a holy day. It is a day that you go to synagogue. While you are there you say a special prayer for the dead. Am I there? No. I was sleeping. What a CRUM! I have no choice now, it's too late to get dressed and get there but sheesh. I thought I set my alarm.........

Last night I went to my guild meeting and won a door prize. I'm very excited about it because it is something that I have always been to cheap
to buy. It's a quilting calendar. It's one of those things that are nice to receive as a gift but you can't justify to buy for yourself. It's a silly thing but it makes me happy.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Getting there, getting there

Ahhhh....I am nearly finished with the quilt from hell. This silly soduko quilt has been the bane of my existence. I sew together a soduko quilt as well as I solve a soduko puzzle. I have pieced, ripped, ripped, pieced until I am blue in the face. Don't ask why in the world I had so much trouble getting it right but.....even after all that ripping....even after all that checking....there is STILL a mistake in the thing! URGH! Because my rule of not showing something until it is finished can be so annoying, I decided to bend the rule and show it in the process of being quilted. I was quilting away w-h-i-r, w-h-i-r, and wondering why it was taking so long. Then I remembered that I bought this fancy schmancy machine that flys. I put the pedal to the medal and wwwwwwwwwhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Off I went.
I still am only 1/2 done but will try to finish it tomorrow. If I must say so myself, I really like the quilting on it.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Prep Work

BEFORE........... AFTER...........................
I forgot to take the picture of the in between stage. I don't know what it is about horseradish over the past few years but it is definitely not as hot as it once was. Although I needed to open the door and point the fan outside for a few minutes and I felt as though my nose would explode when I opened the food processor (it probably would have helped if I'd not had my head over the bowl), the final product is not really hot. It stings but not that nose frying, sweat producing short burn I really like.

The prune bowl

This bowl was a wedding present of my parents. My mom always used it for prunes & oranges at Passover. Other then prunes, I never remember anything else ever going into this bowl. Until one Thanksgiving when I walked in the door and there in the bowl were mashed potatoes. When I asked my mom how she could dare to put mashed potatoes in the prune bowl, she got all indignant and said it was NOT a prune bowl. My sister walked in and I asked her "what goes in this bowl?" "Prunes." My brother walked in, "What goes in this bowl?" "Prunes." From that day forth it became known as the prune bowl. After my mom died I took the bowl and use it every Passover to hold...Prunes!

Soup a simmering
The soup is in the fridge, the matzo balls sitting in the bowl next to them. The gefilte fish has been doctored and is cooling, the chicken is seasoned, the brisket sliced. The vegetables are waiting to be cleaned and cooked. The tables are almost finished and Ms. A is on her way home. I'm tired, very tired. My wrist is killing me and my back is threatening to boycott. But tomorrow night my family will gather, tell the story of Passover, sing songs, eat, laugh, tell stories and be together. 24 hours of bliss until Ms. A needs to go back home, DH gets on a plane for Anchorage and quiet descends again. Tired...who cares. Being together during the holidays is worth it all. Life is good.

A little oops

I went back and couldn't find my explaination for why this is called fat quarters. Maybe that's why you use tags.......

When I was trying to come up with a catchy name for this blog, DH was watching tv. He sat in his chair and quietly listened as I whining and muttered about a name. I had also been whining about how fat I'd become (I'd lost a significant amount of weight a few years ago and gained it back). After whining and whining ( I do this alot) I hear from the other room, "How about Fat Quarters?" Well, I about died of laughter. Just about the time you think they are not listening, have no idea what is going on in your life,, they come out with proof that they get it! I had no idea he even knew what a fat quarter was! Too FUNNY!


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