The Beauty of Nature

One of my moon flowers opened 12 blooms last night.

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This particular plant is amazing.  It started the year as a seedling, no larger than your pinkie finger, from the “mother” plant.  I wasn’t sure if the seedling would survive in this newly constructed plant bed.  The child has surpassed the parent, just as it should be.  The “mother” plant is full of buds but has yet to open its first bloom this season.

Each night I look forward to see how many more blooms will open.  The moon flower only blooms at night and only lasts one night.  In order to photograph them, be prepared for a possible encounter with lizards, toads and slugs, oh my!

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Hummingbirds amaze me.  One of my feeders attaches to the exterior of a window.  If my cats are watching when a hummingbird stops for nectar, (1 part sugar to 4 parts water) it offers them a small amount of entertainment.  I run for the camera.

This ruby-throated hummingbird stopped by today.  I wonder if the birds talk about the crazy sights they see through the glass.

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Tuesday, Taking Care of Girls

Tuesday morning began with a trip to the mobile mammography van.  Time for my own “girls” to have their annual squish-o-gram.  I am happy to see the feedback from so many of you who take care of their own “girls.”  It’s a quick, relatively painless, exam that can save your life.

From Lexington Medical Center, it was a short drive to Northeast Presbyterian Church for the monthly luopad sew day.  “Girls” in Columbia, SC, empowering girls in Zimbabwe.  I was so happy to see Tonya, Avery and Serena Romriell, Theresa Justice and meet her friend June McAlhaney.

Susie Necker reports we had 26 attendees today with 16 sewing machines.  Seven volunteers attended for the first time.  We loved having you join us and hope you come back again.

109 pads completed today with a large box of almost finished pads ready to top stitch next month.

249 pads made at home (200 already with snaps attached).

358 pads ready for delivery today.

 

This brings the total of pads made by NEPC Ladies Freedom Project Volunteers to 3022.

Mark your calendar for our next sew day on Tuesday, August 23rd.  You don’t need to know how to sew to participate.  There are many non-sewing parts of this project that you can help with.

A definitely productive day.

The Week In Review

Late afternoon Saturday brought another storm.  This is a daily occurrence when the SC temperatures are in the high 90’s and above.  The storm ended and so did another router/modem.  Fried like bacon.

What is going on?  Today will be my fourth device in less than two weeks.  The TV and Direct TV receiver/DVR are plugged in to the same surge protector.  They work fine.  I am beginning to question Time Warner when they say “We are not showing any problems with our line.”   Is it a coincidence that I never had this issue when I rented their equipment?  This has only started happening since I purchased my own modem.

It was a busy week.

Monday – Three tops for Quilts of Valor finished.

Many of you give me your scraps.  You just might recognize one or two in the Jelly Roll Quilt.  Carol W., do those half-square triangles look familiar?

Logan Guild met Tuesday.  My quilting sisters blow me away with their generosity.  One member, who wishes to be anonymous, made 14 Small Kennel Quilts for shelters in need.  My arms were full with quilts for the Ronald McDonald House – these will be delivered tomorrow.  I also came home with two Quilts of Valor for a special project.  You ladies are the best!

On Thursday “Patriotic Pals,” the local Quilts of Valor sew group met at Pieces & Patches. Everyone was busy, myself included sewing strips for another Rail Fence.

I was asked to present a Quilt of Valor to a Korean – Vietnam war Veteran.  Considering this an honor to be asked, I checked the stats on how many quilts have been awarded, (over 141,000) and readied myself for his arrival.  Marion Fisher was completely surprised.  He thought he was stopping at the quilt shop to bring lunch to his wife.  A humble man.  He felt the quilt should go to those who came home in body bags or never came home at all.  We were all in tears.

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The Quilting Expo opened on Friday.  I arrived early to drop off three Featherweights to John Bryant, aka, Featherweight Poppy.  Minor tune-ups on two and a new switch hook on the one I bought on eBay for $125.00.  It was great seeing so many friends at the Expo.

This week will be equally as busy.  I am busier in retirement than when I worked full time.  And I am L-O-V-I-N-G every minute of it.

When It Rains, It Pours

I remember this phrase from Morton salt commercials when growing up.  If I have any younger followers out there, you will most likely associate this phrase with the rap group 50 cent.

I imagine the rain that drenched Northeast Columbia yesterday was what was happening while Noah was building the Ark and gathering animals.  It was horrific.  The lightning and thunder sounded like it was right over my head.

July has been a month of money pouring out of my bank account.

After all the insurance was filed and co-pays made, my cataract surgery cost me $4k.  Everything is billed separately, the ophthalmologist; anesthesiologist; surgery center; eye clinic, etc.  Each comes with a co-pay that I had not yet met this year.  This expense after spending over $1,000 on new glasses in January.

I’m still healing from the surgery and my vision isn’t 20/20 yet; but, I cold sure read that personal property tax bill that showed up.  Even with all the reasons I expect it to be lower, Richland County explains that I drive a hybrid which “is a more desirable vehicle.”  For this, SC penalizes me with a higher tax.  California is looking really good right now.

It warmed up enough for Pool Patrol to repair the pool from the October, 2015 floods.  Why is my Polaris not working?  It worked fine when we shut everything down in October.  No one knows but I need a new motor, $600.

We had to drain the pool to make the repairs and then fill it again.  Something good, the well held out long enough to pump 100,000 gallons of water out of the ground.  A few days later I notice the irrigation system is not working.  Hmm.  The pump on the well died.  Mr. West told me I did really well, my pump lasted 14 years.  The life expectancy is 10.

My parents lived in the same house for 50 years and they never  replaced anything on the well.  Are manufacturers building obsolescence into their equipment to keep themselves in business?

The technology in my car lets it talk to me.  It sends me text messages, sometimes annoying, other times appreciated.  One tire was low on air.  I filled the tire.  Last week I get another message the same tire is low on air.  I need my car washed anyway, so I stop by the dealer and ask them to check the tire.  Of course I have a nail in it and it only fits in with the theme for July that it is in the inside of the tire and cannot be repaired.  Lucky me, I need a new tire!  And not just any tire, no, my car came with some special tires that have to be special ordered and shipped in.  At least I was given a loaner for two days while my vehicle was down.

After the lightning and thunder and power outage my internet went off-line.  To be expected in severe weather.  This morning, no internet.  Time Warner isn’t experiencing any outages in my area.  We are off to buy a new modem and router.  I will give kudos to Dawn (located in the Philippines) at Time Warner for helping me get the new combo router/modem connected.  I always unplug my electronics when we have bad weather.  Honestly, I never thought about the modem and router, even though I have this special surge protector recommended by my electrician after we were hit about 10 years ago.

As my good friend Lupe Ponce would say, “You can’t take it with you.”

More Quilts of Valor

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It was an honor and privilege to present Quilts of Valor to four retired MP’s.  The ceremony was held at the 81st RSC, Fort Jackson, SC.  Tony Johnson, John Roach, Carlos Garza and Eddie Magwood retired in four different states; getting them together at the same time was a little challenging.  Thanks to Laura Steele, David Gallo and SFC Litchfield for helping make this happen.

Thank you to retired Chaplain (Colonel) Sam Boone for wrapping John Roach; retired Navy Petty Officer First Class Julia Tansey for wrapping Carlos Garza and retired LTC David Gallo for wrapping Eddie Magwood.  I presented Tony Johnson his Quilt of Valor.

Quilted by Donna Royson, I made the quilts specifically for each Veteran.

Too Many Projects

The amount of sewing projects in progress is out of control.  It is not unusual for me to work on 8 to 10 projects at any given time.  If I feel too much is going on, you know it is time to pull it together.

This is what I have been working on this week.

These are the first six projects completed.

Framed Up from the book Simply Retro.  All of the fabrics contain sewing notions.  I came across the completed rows in a project bin.  Having no idea when I started this, it is now a finished project.

I was given several orphan blocks to use for kennel quilts.  Four were made from the same fabrics, and our guild, in need of quilts for the NICU, I added sashings and borders and two goals accomplished.

Donna Royson, Logan Lap Quilters, created a “NICU Variation” of her pattern Bricks and Squares.  Two of these are kits I picked up at the last guild meeting.  The other two are made with juvenile fabric included in a bundle purchased at the June sale and auction.  These are ready to be turned in at the next guild meeting.

Tonight I plan to finish the last of four Quilts of Valor.  All quilted by Donna Royson, they are scheduled for presentation next week.

Then it’s time to work on kennel quilts and finish two more tops for Quilts of Valor.

Sew Day for Kennel Quilts

Despite being a small group, happy to report a total of 84 kennel quilts were completed at the Pawmetto Lifeline Sew Day.

They provided us with a great classroom, excellent lighting and space.  We even had some dogs and cats serenade us with woofs and meows.

The Heart & Quilts of Valor

DSC_0120Wrapping a Veteran in a Quilt of Valor touches the heart; not only of the recipient but the presenter and those involved in the piecing, quilting and binding of the quilt.

My doorbell rang early this morning with a delivery from Simplicity Floral of the most beautiful and fragrant flower arrangement I have ever received.

The flowers are a thank you from the recipient of one of the Quilts of Valor I pieced and bound.  (Quilted by Donna Royson)  The flowers included a card that expressed how much this quilt means to the recipient.  Another teary-eyed moment.

I am fortunate that South Carolina has an active QOV Program and I am able to participate.

Done

DSC_0116Except for pressing, the scrappy medallion Quilt of Valor is finished.  It turned out much nicer than I imagined.

This is why you have to go to the Quilt of Valor sew days at Pieces & Patches in Lexington, SC.

My “finished” quilt was smaller with two borders.  Nicki (Nicholl) Ransom and Barbara Webster suggested adding one more row to the top, bottom and sides using background fabric to frame the design.  Thank you ladies for the wonderful suggestion!

On to the next scrappy quilt.

Pillow Panel Quilt of Valor

If you have shopped at the Foust warehouse sale, you have come home with an appreciation gift.

Several sales ago they gave out these patriotic pillow panels.

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My gift sat in a QOV stuff Rubbermaid tote for a while.  Just as I thought who I might give them to, that individual gave me a gift of the pillow panels she received.  They were multiplying and I just didn’t know what to do with them.

The QOV Foundation tells you to keep the quilts neutral, unless you know specifically who it will go to.

I mentioned the challenge these pillow panels presented at a QOV Sew Day.  It was suggested I cut them in half and border them with strings.  That’s another reason these QOV Sew Days are so valuable.

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I do know who this quilt is for.  And I know they will appreciate Psalm 4:8 as part of their quilt.  The recipient is over 6′ tall, so I’ve made this one pretty large to accommodate his stature.