Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Random thoughts................

Well, it's been a bit of a trial at Chez Barnes this week. In fact, I hate to say it, but the year hasn't provided too many chuckles thus far. Our power went out Sunday evening, and it took an electrician till 6PM on Monday to get it up and running. We haven't yet received the "bill". That is probably a good thing. A truly abyssmal fact, is that our central air is kaput. Finished. Done For. This is only April, but it's over 80 degrees in my house, and I am heatphobic. I keep reminding myself about the poor, suffering Japanese people. I realize that I don't have a clue what genuine misery is when compared with the utter devastation they are coping with. Even so, I'm pretty uncomfortable, and way too hot to quilt.

So, before I give up, and go back to sitting 3 feet in front of a fan, with my feet in a tub of icewater, I thought I'd just share a few wildly random thoughts with you good people. Sadly, no eye candy here, but head on over to Barb's for some truly inspirational photos.

 I have averaged reading one book every two days since the first of the year. I heartily recommend "The Weird Sisters" by Eleanor Brown, and " A Discovery of Witches" by Deborah Harkness. Also, all three of the Flavia De Luce mysteries by Alan Bradley, about the post World War Two adventures of an eleven year old sleuth. Funny, and touching. Phil, and I, both love this series.

 Here, in no particular order, are a few things you might not know about me:

1) I am adopted. It always seems that I should say I "was" adopted, but never mind. I was raised an only child.
2) I also married an only child.
3) We are both Aries, which isn't supposed to work, but has for going on 46 years.
4) My father was career Army, and I never lived anywhere longer than three years in a row.
5) We lived overseas in Okinawa, Panama, and Orleans, France, which you may know from Joan of Arc fame. They actually celebrate Jean d'Arc day there.
6) Due to a shortage of military housing we were "forced" to live on the economy...........which means rent from the French. Now, I ask you, which would you rather do, live in ordinary base housing, or in the two hundred year old millhouse on the Loiret river, where we were sublimely happy? No contest. Even though the only WC was downstairs, and we didn't have electricity for the first 30 days. The same swans nested, and raised their cygnets every spring right in front of us, and Wisteria absolutely covered the millhouse for several months a year. The mill was the Moulin St. Julien, and I will post photos when I can dig them out. I promise you it was heaven on earth.
7) I love all most things domestic, with sewing and cooking, being my favorites. I make a hell of a piecrust, and don't understand why people are afraid of making them.
8) We love escargot, but haven't been brave enough to try pickled pig's feet, even though my Daddy loved them.
9) We are stupid for animals, particularly dogs, of which we own five............or they own us. Our kibble bill is $100.00 per month, and we don't need to talk about the expense of  Heartworm, and Flea/Tick preventatives.
10) I grew up being motion sick on anything that moved, and still am, yet I signed up for the upcoming bus trip to the International Quilt Museum. Surprise, Lisa! I neglected to inform my roommate/seat buddy about this till now.
11) Lastly, for today anyway, I just finished watching all 3 and 1/2 hours of The Seven Samurai, directed by Kurosawa back in 1954. I had never seen it in the original, just the remake we know as The Magnificent know, Yul Brenner, James Coburn, Charles Bronsen etc. I preferred the Japanese version, though I did miss my son, Tony, who used to watch foreign movies with me, before growing up.

Okay, if you're still reading, I love you all, even though you have air conditioning, and I don't. Be well, and be happy. Michele

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Plumbing Inspector

Our oldest son, a wonderful, handsome, fellow, has just returned from a business trip to China. Nineteen hour flight, each way. A total of 6 plane rides in a mere 7 days. I would have to go to bed for a week! However, I digress. As a child, when taken out for a restaurant meal, he would disappear a third of a way into the meal, headed for the bathroom, not to be seen again until the rest of us were completely finished with our dinners. Thus, he acquired the nickname of "The Plumbing Inspector".

Well, guess what. Nothing has changed. He sent reams of photos to share with us, and fully half of them were pictures of the local plumbing. His dad, Phil, got to laughing so hard he was crying, comparing the child that he was, with the man he has become. I let most of the photos go by, but I thought I'd share a couple with you, my beloved readers. I hope you get a chuckle out of them, as I did.

I believe this one to be self explanatory. I was taken with a cell phone, so this was as large as I could make it without rendering it completely fuzzy.

I do realize, as a rule, the Chinese people are shorter than Americans.....................but ? I should step in here and mention that the hotel was a four star beauty, with a bathtub, and a shower, that were big enough for a family of four to share ablutions in. It was a high rise with a spectacular view of the ocean, and the ginormous pool.  

So, there's your cultural tidbit for today. I'm now going back to dive in to volume three of the Ladybug Farm series. It reminds me strongly of the Boxcar Children, only for adults. Very enjoyable chick-lit.

Oh, and thank you, thank you, thank you all, for you kind, encouraging comments concerning my blogging irregularities. I appreciate you more than I can say. You are the best!! Michele

Friday, March 4, 2011

Here's the thing..............

I've been blogging almost a year now, and I am not happy with my performance. Some of you gals are so wonderful at multitasking, working on numerous projects, switching back and forth, and generally keeping things interesting photo-wise. My idea of multitasking is listening to audio books whilst quilting. So, what happens is that I don't blog unless I have something new to "show" you. Henceforth, I intend to make an effort to blog, even if it's just a paragraph, or a few random thoughts, to keep track of my daily doings, rather like a personal diary that I don't mind you all reading. That, at least, is my intention. I can assure you, I will NOT be working multiple projects. I simply can not do it. One of them always ends up taking precidence, and since I do all my quilting, and applique, by hand, I'd never finish anything at all. I feel like I've been working on this border for my entire life. I'm sick of it. I like how it is turning out so far, but I'm very restless, and wish I could be quilting it already.

I am currently working the far right hand corner, which will be sewn on before completion, just like the left hand side. Also, I've determined that I don't want all four borders to be the same, even though that would make my life a whoooooooole lot easier. Oh no, I want them to differ. Go figure.


Many thanks to those of you who commiserated with my dental problems. I am happy to report that the dentist had me so stoned before drilling, that I remember nothing of the experience. I don't even remember the ride home!  Next week I go in for the crown, but that is no biggie.

I am getting quite excited anticipating my upcoming bus tour from Arlington, TX, all the way up to Lincoln, Nebraska. We will end up at the International Quilt Study Museum, receiving a "special" tour of behind the scenes. Naturally, pictures will be forthcoming. Along the way will be multiple quilt shop stops, and a visit with Terry Clothier Thompson at her studio. I am truly looking forward to this adventure. Lisa, who many of you know from her blog, is flying down from Michigan to go, and we are going to room together. Sounds like fun, and an opportunity to meet some really neat ladies, and hopefully make some new friends.

If you haven't checked out the Maltaville Album Quilt, I hope you will do so. Margaret is doing a fabulous job of drafting the 60+ blocks involved, and offering them as four blocks per month. It's a monumental work of love, and will be a real heirloom I feel certain. I have the first four blocks, but as I say, I'm not good at multitasking, so I'm trying to delay starting for as long as I can stand it.

Well, I must get back to that dang border. I love seeing all the varied, and wonderful projects you are working on. See you online, Michele
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