Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lovely Christmas

I had a lovely Christmas, lots of food and actually lovely company all three places while in Dauphin.  My sister's cats were well behaved until the last night when they started to fight mainly Blackjack picking on Toffee and again Boxing Day.  I rushed across the kitchen floor to stop them and wiped out and fell onto the raised metal join of the hardwood into the hallway on both knees and then continued to fall and smacked my sore shoulder and noggin onto the floor and started to cry as I ACHED and my knees were a burning pain.  Both cats stopped fighting and sat their with heads cocked sideways and stared at me!!!  FRUSTRATED I sure was and pissed at them!!!  It was as if they were saying "well you fell we didn't do it to you!!!"  When I called Wayne and Florence before leaving to check if they'd left already, they just laughed as they both said they can just see the cats reactions too and told me to get the icepack out and put it on the knees - which I did and it felt better!!!

They thoroughly enjoyed their vacation to Alberta and were so pleased to have me come out that they even paid me plus filled up my van before they left Saturday morning - I was shocked.  She was the one who always said I should pay them for allowing me to stay in their nice new homes with AC etc, never mind charging them.  NOW she sees why and says it was well worth it to know they both could go at the same time and know their babies were looked after the whole time and without arranging a schedule for her girlfriend and Wayne's son to take turns coming over.  This way they were more well behaved and not into so much mischief as when left alone all day long.  LOL!

Well all I can say is I'm glad my van had enough heat to be comfortable on my return trip home, but when the sun went behind me or down the temp dropped and I had to crank her to HOT and then was comfortable again.  Definitely NOT my baby of last week!!!  I was quoted $400 to start with and depending if it is a US part under the hood or a Cdn part it could be more, plus the thermostat and naturally the replacement antifreeze so for sure a $500 plus job @ CdnTire.  My mechanic was ticked and said not to do that, if there is enough heat to stay comfortable to wait till Easter and then go back to Dphn (maybe another house sitting for my sister too) and he'd work the weekend on it and replace it for lots less.  SO please pray that this baby stays somewhat comfortable for me till then!!!

So when I talked with my other sister Sylvia & Len, I was told since I had heat on the inside air circulation (can't drive with that as windows fog up horribly) to check the vents or filter as they might be plugged with leaves or even mouse nest (SHEESH - not into my vehicle too) and also to check the antifreeze (that was checked & OK) as both have happened to him before.  So hopefully this weekend I'll  check if I don't have time tomorrow night.  I'll be ticked if I froze driving to Elsie's and also Erlene's (45 min - 1 hr) there and then back and it was still COLD as it was -30C out!!!  I was COLD!!!  And that was with my parka, boots and mitts on!!!

Then it was back to work Thursday and Friday for me!!!  I survived and now I've the weekend off and Monday too!!!  Today I went over to Pat & Randy's for supper with all of them and tried a Ukrainian first for me - I made Nalysnyky (cheese rolls - crepes with cottage cheese filling) and took them over for all to try out!  They were delicious and only 3 little pieces left over!!!  Now I know I'll be making these again!  YUMMY!!!

So HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone reading this!!!
I'm going to relax and read or stitch these days away!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

ABC Nickel Charity Quilt Challenge

In the fall of 2011 Sue B brainstormed an awesome quilt challenge for our MPQ quild to bring in some adult sized charity quilts this past month, as our guild is awesome with smaller quilt donations!!!  So thank you Sue as I've enjoyed this first project and have now signed up for the next one too (well this time there are THREE sets of 10 each - WOW!!!).

So basically there were twelve of us and we had to cut up I think 12 FQs into 12 - 5 inch scrappy squares (called Nickel charms) - one of each in the twelve baggies.  Then Sue sorted them out and we all got an assortment of charms/baggies back and then it was pulling out the scrappy quilt books and the thinking caps and you had to come up with a twin sized quilt top.  Now some did their own quilting but I don't have the expertise nor the inclination for this size to battle on a regular sewing machine so Sue B very kindly donated her time to quilt some of these ABC charity quilts for us.  Now both my sister Sylvia and myself had lots of leftover charms after out tops were sewn up, so Sylvia managed to stitch up a second quilt (she did her own quilting) in time for handing in and I will stitch up a second top and Sylvia will quilt that one for me some times next year for the ABC project too.

A very warm thank you and hand clapping back slapping goes out to Sue B, Liz M and Wendy R for the three of them put together an awesome Christmas Card greeting and thank you card for us participants along with a slide show of the quilts.  See many of us were up there holding these quilts for others to see so we did not get to see them on parade, just glimpses when they were folded up and handed over to Kenna Ann for the ABC program.  Sorry no slide show but here are the quilts and again sorry as I don't know who's were who's!

1st two are Sylvia's, last one mine!

Middle - mine - HST madness for me!

An AWESOME gift for whomever!!!  Congratuations Nickel Challenge Quilters!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Another Crazy Patch

OK this baby is a might behind as it was received in September as I was madly purging and then packing from my 3-floors up apartment move!!!  Needless to say nothing was worked on it till a couple of weeks ago and now my CQd patch is finished and it will be mailed on after Christmas to the next person in this round robin.

First off I saw this lovely patch and it was calling for the awesome branches covered spider web and naturally a spider too that I found in Carole Samples "Treasury of Crazy Quilt Stitches".  I have admired that example for ages but just didn't have the opportunity to try it out until Katie's block arrived.  Now my attempt is no where near the expertise of Carole's but I'm very pleased with it.
So first off I embroidered the spider web with DMC metallic in backstitch and then with DMC floss embroidered the branches.  Then was the deciding point of how to add the leaves as I did not want them all the same.  The first ones were padded with batting and variegated floss in satin stitch and anchored for the centre vein.  The next were bought leaves whipped stitched in place over their loops and last were varied sizes of chain and fly stitched DMC floss leaves. Then I found these irridescent flower-type beads and anchored them in place with a gold seed bead.  VOILA I think that's enough - now the spider!
I wanted something I've not done before so I researched Google Images for beaded spiders and after seeing many I worked my needle magic and settled on this one!  This is the first time I anchored the body beads all in one needle pass through the holes and then anchored at the head with two seed beads before anchoring downwards on the next pass through.  Yes I like this attempt lots better as there is not such a build up of threads for each bead visible.  OK I initially thought this would be it but then decided not.
It just needed some of my tatting, so I again experimented with my favorite dragonfly pattern and enlarged it slightly then anchored it in place with some beads for the body. NOW my efforts are finished and it will be mailed on soon. Hope Katie likes how her block is growing in CQing beauty!!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

My 1st Christmas in 508

If only I had persevered and unpacked my stuff I'd have had lots of room to put out my Christmas decorations AND have a full sized tree so ALL my ornaments could dress it up!!!  OH well there is always next year.

BUT I did put up my flashing angel and my three star lighted window decorations which look just lovely when dark outside.  Then this year at Zellers I saw this "MERRY CHRISTMAS" battery operated garland and when I saw it marked down to $4.59 and then 50% off last ticketed price I picked up TWO - one for me and one for the office picture garland.  It has gotten lots of compliments from passers by!  Mine at home just fits across the two wall units where all my cards are on display for the time being - guess I should have shut the TV.

Now next year I'll make sure I decorate like I used too - my angels on my table with my fancy quilted decor out too along with my stand up stuffed fabric angels who've not been out for years along with my fancy cans etc.  OHHHHHHHH yes next year I'm going to dress this place up and maybe even have my Christmas "drop over for a visit" too!  Naturally that did not happen this year.

Friday, December 14, 2012

40 YEARS!!!

No not my age, - LOL! - but years of service for Manitoba Agriculture (uninterrupted)!!!

OMGG, today at work I just received a "heads up" email to mark my calendar for a long term service award event planned for May 3rd and I'll be there with bells on my toes, so to speak.  Even if I have to drive back from Morden's Quilt Show/Aurora's Quilt Retreat planned for that same time!!!  No way I'm passing that up - wonder if it's just a certificate, plaque or if we'll all get a gift?  Guess I'll have to wait and see.

OH MY!!!  It just dawned on me that next year, August 13th, I will have put in 40 years of work - nonstop for child bearing/raising, secondments, leave without pay, etc!!!  Yes sir, my years are accumulating and retirement is more and more in the picture and appealing!  WOW!!!

OK this calls for some reminiscing!  I found one "group" photo of the Motley Crew of the Economics Branch and cropped myself out of it and then the more recent one!

early 1980s      -     March 2011

Monday, December 10, 2012

Another Tatted Hedgehog

OK I tried this pattern again but refused to add the movable eyes period!  So the lighter one on the left is basically as the pattern with larger beads tied on with the ends and still did not like my effort.  Then I tried altering it and yes I like it much better.  Basically the darker one on the right, I added the larger beads for eyes into R1 along with the seed beads nose and then increased the number of CH rows increasing the picots accordingly - needed the picots a bit longer and would have been perfect.
The pattern can be found here at  Suzann Does It All  blog.

Finished I Spy Quilt

OK here is the finished "boy" type I Spy Fun quilted blanket - no batting inside!  I had a ball making this quilt as I knew who it was going to and I hoped it would become a learning tool for John (my deaf coworker) to teach his two small sons ASL and have fun too!  When I gave it to him I mentioned it was for the "three boys" - well his eyes popped as his youngest is only about 6 months!  I quickly signed that there were two small boys and one big boy - meaning the father to play with this gift!  He laughed.  
Well the next day he gave it to the boys and said the youngest Landon was just looking everywhere but Jadon grabbed it as a cape and started playing around.  Then he kept asking "what" and looking at John to sign till finally he said enough!  OH NO, maybe it'll be more of a pain than a learning tool?  I mentioned he'll have to set a limit to the number of pictures and questions!  LOL!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Work & Moving Update

OK today the higher authorities handed down the word that no more OT will be granted without full justification as to the what, why and how listed and forwarded for prior approval to the Director, no more just the Manager's approval as in the past.  So guess that means no more OT for me, who for the past 3 years has been doing half of an ex-employee's job who left for green pastures along with trying to do my own work too.  Oh well guess I'll continue packing in as much as I can into my work day and figure out priorities and let less important tasks fall by the wayside.  

I truly do not know what will happen when our staff retirements start to happen this March and into next year, see Treasury Board has decided to eliminate jobs through attrition - that means no replacement of staff who retire or resign.  Guess that'll be the end of our office as there are a number of us retiring in the near future and we are only about 14 staff as it is.

The good thing about no more OT for me is that I came straight home and unpacked all my fancy glasses and cups (5 liquor and 2 paper boxes) and they are all nicely put away in their wall units and newspaper/boxes will be dropped off into recycling bins at the depot this weekend. So maybe tomorrow I'll tackle the ornaments and arrange what I want on display on my glass unit in the corner - WOW that sure will be nice.  Slowly but surely I'll get this place ship shape.  I think my next step is to work in the sewing room so the rest of these boxes can be emptied and items arranged in appropriate places in there.  Then maybe I'll have my living room to rearrange as I imagined it to begin with. 

AND to top my day my great-niece Bethany came over and picked up my 1970's table and chairs and she also took a box of plastic canisters and another box of wine glasses that were hand me downs that I decided I don't need so many.  I don't have large dinner parties so the couple of sets of fancy ones I have are enough for me.  Now more room on my shelves too.  She was very happy to have the table and chairs and said her room mates will be too!  Everything fit into their vehicle and off they went!  YEAH!!!