Monday, July 25, 2016

3 weeks left

 It's official!  In 3 weeks, I will be sitting in meetings listening to how this is going to be the best year yet.  I will be wishing I could be setting up my classroom and planning how to get everything done and how to stay organized and vowing not to get behind in grading work, but knowing that by the end of the year, I will be piling papers into the recycling bin one more time.
 21 days before lessons must be planned and class lists of students will be poured over, wondering how the new year will compare to years past.
 3 more Saturdays and 3 more Sundays before I have to squeeze into my jeans again (I really shouldn't be eating that chocolate cake, but it is oh, so good) and putting on a fake smile and pretending that I'm happy to be out of the house and sitting in uncomfortable chairs.
 I better use these three weeks wisely.  I still have 70 quilts to get done for the Birthday Bash for the foster youth and rooms to clean.  It is like fighting the never ending battle of too much stuff.  I get one room done and turn around and the next room is full again.  I'm hoping the botox will help with the frequent migraines that slow the work down.  I go in on Wednesday to get the shots again and should be feeling better by next week, just in time for back to school :)
So far I've been able to resist buying new school supplies.  From all of my cleaning, I've found lots of supplies around the house and hopefully I'm set for the year.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

It's hot here

 So when the weather heats up, I think I will just stay inside and do some quilting.
 I'm also done organizing the kitchen and am now moving on to the quilting room.  That's almost done too and the next room is the sewing room.  It is a huge disaster that will take a week or so to get sorted out.  I still have to go through all of my tshirts and my youngest son's room and then I'm done!
The struggle will be to keep up with things once school starts again.  Daily attention to the clutter will be a must!  I have to make sure not to let things pile up and get out of control again.

Friday, July 22, 2016

trying to make plans isn't working

 Every day I keep telling myself I'm going to finish cleaning the kitchen and then I get a really bad migraine.
Every day I wake up with a new determination to really get things done because summer is almost over and every day my plans go off track.  Oh, well, at least I don't have to go to work yet and can rest on the couch when I'm not feeling well.
These 9 bags of fabric were donated yesterday.  Think of all the great quilts that will be made from all of these great prints.  This summer has been really great for donations.  Too bad summer has to end and time will be much shorter in the quilting department.  I better recruit more teens to help sew.


My kids are always embarrassed by my excitement when they get in the newspaper.  I always go out and buy a dozen papers and tell everyone I know.  Yesterday the newspaper came out and did a story on the robot camp my son is attending and took lots of pictures and my son got his picture and name in the paper.  I think it's pretty cool, he just wanted to hide behind me and not talk to the reporter.  We couldn't be more different!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

more robotics camp

 This morning I spent a couple of hours working in the garage while waiting for the lady who called yesterday to bring the fabric.  I finished sorting the last batch of fabric that was donated and sorted through fabric that has been sitting in the car for a couple of months.  I think if I can sort and put away fabric as it comes in instead of just piling it up, I can keep on top of the donations.  It is so much nicer to be able to grab a bucket of fabric and cut it up when I know what is in each one.  I have a new Accuquilt die coming that will cut 10 1/2 inch squares which will go perfectly with the 5 1/2 inch squares and make for some quick quilts.  Those quilts will be great for beginners to sew and will make quick work of lots of the bigger pieces of fabric.  It should be here soon and hopefully before school starts I can get a few kits made up and some tops finished for quilting for the Birthday Bash for the Heart 2 Heart group that is throwing a party for the kids who have aged out of foster care. I'm trying to get 100 quilts done and this one above is quilt #20.  The party is August 27, so I better hurry up!
 Today was day 3 of robotics camp and the kids got the robots to drive around.  There are three teens as teachers with 4 boys in the camp.  Pretty good ratio of teacher to student.
 Here's a video of the robots in action.  The robot is supposed to go forward across to the finish line, but my son's had a little trouble following directions.  The newspaper was there today taking pictures to write up a story for tomorrow's paper.  How exciting!
My son was a little grumpy because his partner didn't put in his fair share of the work and then wanted to hold the remote for the picture.  I was the mean mom who made him share.  There are other things to learn besides how a robot works.  Social skills are just as important.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

phone call

 I got a phone call this morning as I was sewing borders to the bottom quilt from a lady who will be bringing me 'a lot' of fabric next week.  Normally I get a call about once a month or so from someone who wants to donate fabric but this summer has been over the top.  I've received about ten large donations of fabric.  This lady was the second one to say that she tried contacting the local Project Linus and they didn't want her donation.  Even though we have a lot of fabric, I could never imagine telling someone to thanks.
 Several years ago, we got a donation from another Binky Patrol chapter that closed down.  The lady who ran that group had to be the most organized person alive.  Every piece of fabric was measured, folded and sorted into boxes by size and color.  They gave us 1,500 yards of fabric and it took us just about 2 years to work through all of that fabric.  So, when someone says they have a lot of fabric, I let them know we make a lot of quilts.  It may take us a couple of years to work through all that we have now, but if we stopped taking donations, we would run out and then couldn't make and give away so many quilts.  Have you ever been to a quilt shop and purchased fabric for one quilt?  When my mother in law got cancer, I bought fabric just for her quilt.  It was over $80 just for the fabric for the quilt top and that was a lap size quilt.  I'm thankful there are people out there willing to share in their wealth with kids who are hurting.

I've been working through the fabric donations this summer and as long as I can put some time in when the fabric comes in and don't just let it pile up in bags in the garage, I can get it out to people to sew into tops and then hopefully get at least 5 quilts done a week once school gets started again.  The road work is supposed to be finished August 4, which means my commute will be 20 minutes shorter each way this year.  Those 40 extra minutes can be spent quilting :) (or cleaning or grading or something more productive than driving to and from work!)
My little guy is enjoying Robotics Camp.  He says it is confusing (which means he is having to think!) because it requires everything to be perfect for the program to work just right. You have to have the right angle and distance and direction in the program for the robot to go where you want it to go.  It will only follow the direction you give it.  While waiting for me to pick him up, he was learning how to play chess.  The teachers (friends of my son from his robotics class at high school) made the chess pieces with the 3D printer at the shop.

Lake Isabella quilts

 My friend Carla took the 105 quilts we got done down to Lake Isabella this weekend.  She met in Bakersfield with a realtor from Lake Isabella who took the quilts to be given out.  The realtor, Rita D'Angelo, had to drive about an hour each way to pick up and deliver the quilts on the last leg of the trip.  How nice is that?
I think she is dropping them off at the First Baptist Church of Lake Isabella which is still distributing food to the fire victims.

I wish the news was filled with these types of happy stories instead of the hate and anger.  Maybe people would be inspired to help each other if they thought they could get on the news that way.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Feeling Blue?

 It is so nice when I have lots of quilts that are all about the same size and I have a really long piece of backing fabric.  I can load them all one after another.  The only limit is the number of quilts that can fit on the machine at one time.
 It is nice too because I don't have to change thread for the top or bobbin and just keep going and going and going.  Sometimes I don't even change the quilt design.  It's not like all of the quilts will be going to the same person, so nobody will know if every quilt gets the same quilt design or not.  Usually what makes me change design is how bored I get with the design of the pattern, or what seems to suit the quilt.  Each of these has a different pattern, because I did three of them yesterday and one today and I just couldn't seem to stick with the same thing over and over.  I was working in the quilting room cutting fabric while quilting so got a lot done.
 I love these 3 1/2 inch square block quilts because they are so scrappy, yet so coordinated at the same time.  I'm not sure who made them, but there is one more that is just a bit bigger so needs a different backing that is wider.  I have some 60 inch backing that will go on the machine today.  I have several quilts that will fit that.  Yesterday I spent an hour or so organizing the quilt tops, but forgot to count how many there are.  If I have time today I will do that.
My little guy has a robotics camp that starts today and then a tennis lesson later this evening.  After a summer of not doing much, this week will be a busy one for him.  The robotics camp looks like it should be fun.  It is taught by my older son's friends from high school and is held at the new store that opened downtown where I am dropping off more fabric and some quilting books.  I'm still finishing up cleaning out the garage and can almost declare it done.  The kitchen is almost finished as well.  I just have a lot of stuff and need to work faster through what I have to make room for all of the new stuff coming in.  I'm trying to recruit a couple of new people to sew quilt tops, but have to quilt faster to keep up with that as well.  Less than a month before school starts, so every day must be used wisely!

Monday, July 18, 2016

time for botox again

 I had another really bad migraine again yesterday so it must be time for botox injections again.  They worked really well this last time and I've enjoyed not having to deal with laying around most of the day not getting much done.  These past couple of migraines have come on really hard and quick.  It's weird how they morph as I get older.  The one yesterday came with nausea and even throwing up, which also hasn't happened in a very long time.
I have an appointment on July 27 so at least I don't have to wait very long and hopefully won't have one every day until the shots.  Hopefully this round lasts another five months like the last batch.  It's a pain to have to take time off work to get the shots and they are some of the most painful shots out there.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Pokemon Go

 Are you playing the new video game?  I have to admit that I don't play video games but I do enjoy this new one that you play on your smart phone.  It is really encouraging me to get out and walk because when you walk, it causes the eggs you find to hatch.  My son and I are playing together so I have no idea how to do most of the things that the game does, like taking over a gym or battling other pokemon, but I do like trying to catch the Pokemon.  I didn't realize you only get so many of the little balls to throw and I was using 30 of them to catch one Pokemon.  You have to walk past a Pokestop to get more balls (encourages walking again) and my son told me we were down to only 5 balls.
Now, every time I go out shopping, I have to make a couple of stops on the way home to pick up more balls.  With all of the crazy things going on in the world, it's nice to have a silly distraction that gets me moving.