Saturday, June 15, 2013

Random Notions – Trying to emerge from a funk

I have just been so depressed the past couple of weeks.  I don’t know why, maybe it’s just the way the heat affects me.  But there have been a couple of things to stress me out lately-

Almost two weeks ago my car started acting weird – it died a couple of times on me in traffic and then it starting giving off a terrible gas smell.  I didn’t drive it for over a week because I was afraid to, and I was waiting til I could dig up some money to have it looked at.  In addition to the gas smell, I needed an oil change and the brakes needed work desperately.  It turned out that the charcoal canister that filters the gas needed replacing- it is supposed to weigh only 4 pounds, but mine weighed between 10 and 12.  To fix this, they had to completely remove the gas tank, and wouldn’t you know, I had filled the tank the day the problem started.  This alone was hugely expensive, and I had to do some quick thinking to come up with the required $1300 to have everything taken care of.  But, for a ten year old vehicle, it is running fabulously now.  It hurt to pay that much, but I keep reminding myself I would much rather pay $1300 once a year plus my cheap liability-only insurance than shell out $4000 - $6000 for payments plus ridiculously expensive total-coverage insurance for around $1500 - $2000 a year.  This car only has 120k miles on it and I want to hit 200k - 250k before I consider a new one- I love this car.  It has given me 10 great years so far and I may be greedy, but I want at least 10 more!

Driving to pick Layla and her friend up from school as the weather was heating up really beat me down.  The school is almost 8 miles from home, and then it was about 13 miles to take Layla’s friend home, and then about 8 miles back home.  This trip 5 days a week in the afternoon was really taking a toll as it was getting hot- I would be in the car for about 2 hours every day, and when I looked at my face in the mirror, I was so red, I looked like I was about to have a heart attack – and this is with air conditioning in the car.  All I wanted to do when I would finally get home was lay down for about 3 hours with the fan on.  I am so grateful school is out for summer.

I was stressing out about getting the blue kaleidoscope quilt finished because I wanted it for a gift soon- I found a lovely lady who does long arm quilting and she doesn’t charge an arm and a leg.  And even though she was booked solid through July, because my quilt was to be a gift and I needed it soon, she took pity on me and said she would do it in time for me.  I ran to her house while she was having a garage sale last week and got to see her longarm machine- it is totally awesome and now I really want one!   She has a two-car garage that the frame barely fit into – it was about 3 feet from the wall where she has shelves with all the to-do projects sitting and then cleared the garage door by about 1 foot – just enough room to move around it.  I can’t wait to see the quilt when she is finished.

I don’t know if it is just the terrible twos, but Harry has been a bit more obnoxious lately than before.  He has been really whiny and tired and I wonder if the heat is also affecting him.  This past week with Layla home he has been hitting, spitting, and throwing things something terrible.  I hope it is just a phase that will soon pass- he was always so good before, I want my old Harry back! 

And very sad- we had to put our 12 year old St. Bernard Chloe down.  That is really old for a St. Bernard, as about 8 – 10 years is more the average.  She was so sweet, but she had gotten to a point where she could no longer get up on her own, and she couldn’t stand long once she was up.  We all miss her very much.
RIP Miss Chloe (4/2001 – 6/2013)

The last couple of weeks haven’t been totally bad.  I got to watch an online presentation for the university I want to attend for my Masters degree starting in January.  I am even more excited about getting that started now.  However, even though the classes I will attend are online, I still have to go to an on-campus orientation meeting in December – if I don’t go, they will not let me in the program.  So thanks to the few excess funds from my current student financial aid, I was able to book the flight and hotel for that trip.  That has me a little pumped right now.  I am also happy that my current history class has only a couple of days left and then I get a week break. 

A few days ago, I tried starting another small wall hanging.  I was looking at these fabulous polka dot fabrics that I got at Hancock’s – I was getting one yard at a time every couple of weeks, just because I am so in love with them-
This is just 6 of the colors they come in- there is also pink, another brighter green, another darker blue, black, gray, brown, and tan- there could be more but that is all I can think of right now.  From the moment I saw them, I knew I wanted to make a rainbow out of them.  I was looking through all my blues, and thought that the fabric I had for the back of the blue kaleidoscope quilt would work because I wanted a cloudy type effect-
I loved this when I first saw it, because I was seeing butterflies in it.  It wasn’t until I got home I started seeing spiders in it too!  Oh well, it is really pretty fabric.  However, I started questioning my choice when I started putting it together.

Whenever I need something quick to work on to lift my spirits, I start in on one of those quick quarter quilts that I first saw Eleanor Burns do.  Fast, easy, and I (almost) always love the results.  When I laid the strips out, I saw that the blue sky fabric was a bit too dark-
I can live with it, and I have already decided I am going to see how some appliquéd green along the bottom and sides, like rolling hills, will look.  However, I was annoyed because I hadn’t thought of how angular it would look- I needed to cut wider strips.  I also needed to start with the blue on top of the red in the middle.  Oh well, live and learn, right?  I have more of all these fabrics if I wanted to try it again.  I have most of this part together, I only need to sew on a couple more strips and then I can work on the appliquéd bottom and sides.

So that is what has been happening with me - how's it going with you?  :-)


  1. I'm sorry about your dog; losing them is so hard. Hugs to you guys!

    1. Thanks, Chrystal. They do become part of the family, don't they? I am already dreading the day when something happens to my girls, and they are only 6 this year.


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