Sunday, January 4, 2015

First Beach Trip 2015

Fonda and I went to the beach today...We went out in 70s weather and drove down to Oak Island.  about half way there, we ran into a fog-bank.  I thought it was rain...could have been.  Temps went down into the 60s.  We went to Oak Island Light

This is the lighthouse - I think they are doing some construction as the light was not lit and there was some material up near the light.  Fonda is hanging out on the deck/walk to the right.  The sploot on the left of most of these photos is the wet from the fog - I tried to clean it, but the spot persisted and I couldn't see to fix it - We both had to wipe our glasses several times while walking out/back.

 Some pelicans - they were too cool as they moved out of and back into the fog - hence the fact that they are at the bottom of the photo - ha, ha.

 Neat feather - too wet to bring back, and beautiful on the beach. There were several neat feathers

Waves on the beach - Not high, but neat and really just hard to see and man, was it windy.

Tonight's full moon is the last photo of today.  It was full at: 5:48 p.m. today :)


Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Year: 2015

I AM FREEEEEEEE...for about two days - why, oh why do I do this to myself? sigh.

I just finished the mini-mester - most did OK, and some just stopped.  I want to go on record to say that on-line classes can be good and they can be bad.  I would not succeed in an on-line class - I do not have the motivation to do it all the time.  I barely have the motivation to be the  And people who are on-line can be mean. Not just to the other students, but to the teacher, too (meaning: me).  I had a student who was just a big bully "golf professional."  If I have to deal with this guy in-person, I think I might just snap.  I have no idea why this guy is in school if he is such a big-deal golf professional.  Anyway - I need to keep him out of my brain...let it go, Katie, let it go!

OK, on another note...I did take a few hours to make a new quilt top :)  I used a jelly-roll-type chunk of 2.5"xwof fabric from my *favorite* quilt store (Cotton Fields, in Washington, NC)...the problem was (originally) that I thought I had enough to do what I wanted...because I am a dork...turns out I needed *40* fabrics, not *20.*  Sigh.  So, I collected some from our "meager" stash (ahem) and Fonda helped me to whittle the colors down to only 12, as I had decided to use only black-on-black and white-on-white for the insets (using the original rolls' b-on-b and w-on-w).  I used a simple pattern called Jelly Jive from Pieced Tree Patterns ( that I picked up a while ago and fell in love with then learned what not to do, but that is another story...Really easy directions and it goes together quickly. One thing I decided to do was find the center of each piece and sew that to the next, etc. - Seemed to work well and it is not too lop sided.

Of course, I had a little help from my friend:  

He just can't let me do anything without him (except I can go to the bathroom without *him* - there are others who take on that task)

This is the finished quilt-top (at a 90* angle from original).  Maybe.  I may still add a black border to frame it and give it some defined edges.  I think we have enough of one color of black to work.  We shall see. 

Plans are for us to head to the beach tomorrow - temps in the 70s and a 40% chance of NO rain...Today is a bit wet (predicted 60% No rain) and temps in the 60s.  Not bad for January, huh? 

Classes start on Thursday for me and I will be teaching only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but from 8am to 9pm with limited breaks - I hope this semester will be easier on the brain than last.  I really don't feel like I got much of a break, just enough time to get back into staying up too late (2am) and getting up really late (noon)...oh, well - Monday I need to get back on the alarm-clock roller coaster. 

I guess that is all for the start of the New Year...Peace to all!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Oh, yeah...

As Fonda-my-sweet reminded me: there have been a few unexpected expenses towards the end of the year...

1)  I grind me teeth at night (me stressed? Never)...This was discovered a few years ago when I woke with a broken molar.  I got a crown on that molar and a night-guard.  Eventually, I had a root canal under the crown.  Since that time, I have been "nibbling" away at the night guard and the last nibble caused me to ask about a new night-guard...well, a few days later, I broke another molar (opposite side)...this was overnight Tuesday/Wednesday before Thanksgiving...Lucky me, the dentist could fit me in and 3.5 hours/$2500.00 later, I had a new root canal and temporary crown...and an estimate for a new $500.00(+) night-guard.  Three weeks later: permanent crown installed and fitted for said night-guard to be delivered in ~2 more weeks... Let us hope that is the end of *that* drama. (Thank you to Care Credit and 12-months-same-as-cash!)

2)  Webster was starting to have an odor about him...Fonda finally smelled his mouth and figured out that it was coming from there.  To the vet...antibiotics (visit = ~$180) and a date for a dental ($400+)...They extracted three teeth (he had a dental YEARS ago and they extracted most of his teeth then) and cleaned the few that remain.  He is feeling better and seems to be more happy and interacting with us (and Paula, a friend) more - He has decided that Paula is a person he *loves* with head-rubs in her hair.  (Again, thank you to Care Credit and the 18-months-same-as-cash option!).  Please do check your cat's mouths - they may tell you a secret and if you take care of it, they will be happier and healthier and love you back!  >^..^<

3)  Fonda's Honda (1998) stopped working for some unknown reason - blue smoke and high-pitched squeal...time to use the other car (we are very lucky girls).  Finally got back to it and it would crank, but not start...AAA to the rescue and discussion that it might be timing belt (YIKES) - lucky us (again), it was an alternator and was less than half of what was expected as the *minimum* for the timing belt ($500.00).

4)  My Saturn (2000) was making weird brake-sounding noises...It stopped fine, but was a bit crunchy-sounding.  They looked it over and lubed it up - All is well = $35.00.

We are very lucky women.  We are lucky to have each other; we balance each other so well.  We are lucky to have our families that are so awesome.  We are lucky to have friends that like us.  We are lucky to have cats that we love, and love us back (most of the time).  We are lucky to have access to Care Credit (and I am lucky to have Fonda to figure out all the financial-bits!). We are lucky to have found a good mechanic-group.

Overall, I am one lucky fish-girl.  Peace.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas 2014

Here it is Christmas, 2014...We had a lizard on the window yesterday (temps in the 70s) and TONS of rain - at least 3.5"...translated into snow it would have been0: 24.5" - 42" (from dense [read: warm temps] - dry [read: cold temps]) but thankfully, we do not get much down here in SE North Carolina.

The Honda had an issue on 12/12 (squealing and blue smoke...).  We turned it off and left it until Tuesday...We tried to start it, it wouldn't start, but all the belts I could see moved...I had the *worst* feeling that it was a timing belt... AAA came and towed it to the mechanic...they called Wednesday morning and it was only the alternator! YAY!  So, I braved the rain (flooding in low-spots, saw one minivan flooded out and pushed by a tall truck) and exchanged it for the Saturn (front brakes)...Hope that one is as "YAY" as the Honda - smile.

I have a student who is making me crazy by being a self-centered snot ball.  I am really trying to keep my cool with him a self-professed "golf professional" (and I now know is rank and where he works because of a stupid "signature" he put into a bit of communication with me - not an email, where it might be normal to have one, but in a clunky bit of communication software used by our course communication program).  If this student ends up in one of my seated classes, I may have to quit or something. He is a first-class prick and I am grateful that I will only need to deal with him for another week!

It is amazing how *one* person can make *everything* bad just be being stupid and rude.  I need to remember what Dad always says: "Don't let the turkeys get you down."  Thank you, Dad!

Anyway...turkey is in the oven.  Cookies are made.  Nutbread is made.  An "orphan" friend of ours is coming for dinner and all is well.

I wish we could be with family now...I miss them.

I think I want to sew...I have not had a chance to sew at all this last semester and this coming semester I will be, again, teaching at two institutions with two different decisions on timing of breaks - BCC has break the last full week of March, while CFCC has break the first full week of April, and the Thursday and Friday before Easter...I am not sure what they are thinking, but they are messing me up. Ha, ha.  Lucky me they do start and stop at, basically, the same time - at least for me only teaching on Tuesdays and Thursdays...

OK, enough of the whining and Yay-ing - I am going to check on food and then cut my fabric (finally!)


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Why not post it everywhere? turn the volume DOWN/OFF

so...Franklynn was being really cute yesterday...turn the volume DOWN/OFF - we were watching bad TV and I don't know how to edit out the sound :)  This is the only time he has done far.

Yes, he is getting all four feet into this biscuit-making process...very shortly after this, he decided he was done and headed for the hills.

This was after a long day when everything seemed to go wrong...I think he likes me...I am a lucky girl.

Friday, August 29, 2014

What I did on my summer vacation...2014 version

Well...I was lucky enough to teach this summer, so summer was not the same as it has been in the past...I was busy with school until the last few weeks before classes started on August 18th.

I was still able to make a quilt-top or we go...

I had some 12-ish inch blocks with absolutely nothing in common and they were not really pretty...I really didn't like them much, but now they are a bit better:

so...that was 16 pieces and it became a "disappearing 4-patch" it started as 4 2x2 blocks and those were cut apart and re-sewn.  I am still not 100% with it, but it is better...I will probably add some kind of border and then quilt it and send it to the kitties or out to some other place...someone will love it. (message me if you want it after it is done) it is likely to be about 48 inches-square when finished - like a baby-quilt.

Anyway, I was not really happy with that, but I wanted the fabric to stop being in pieces sitting in the closet.

Then, Fonda and I went to the local quilt show in Wilmington in May, it was a combined show with the NC Symposium...of course, we could not afford to go to the symposium/classes, but we went to the show and venders - our friend Lori was there with fabrics and other things from her store in Washington, NC - about 3 hours from here (we really miss her and her store!!!)...But I also bought a "Jelly roll" (40-2.5 inch by width-of-fabric [about 42 inches]) of aqua/blue/green fabrics from a store in VA...I have been looking at this for quite some time and I got it. 

Then I had to figure out what to do with  I decided to cut the strips in half and sew the halves together each strip got a different partner.  From each paired strip, I got 8 2.5x4.5 rectangles - I paired them so I could get a 4-patch.  So, I ended up with four 4-patches of each color-combo.  Then I put them up randomly on my "design wall" (read: mint-green flannel pinned to the wall - don't laugh too hard, it works [ha, ha!] - you can see it in the background of the photo, above).  I had thought to make it more value-oriented, but really just couldn't do it (it is a lack of patience/understanding of value) and there were more than 600 blocks and it was very intimidating. Anyway, I ended up getting them all put up there and edited a few times to get balance and random.  It is amazing how a photograph can help with placement/rearrangement, of even 1-2 blocks. Of course, I guess I deleted the photos I was using for placemen and sewing.

I was happy with the placement, but it was too AQUA...I had just posted a color-wheel up on the design is the complement of  So...I found some oranges, and I was lucky enough that the orange I had the most of was a great match for this!  I am a lucky girl.  I didn't want this to become an orange-quilt, so I used only 1 inch strips (1/2 inch finished) of orange between the blocks on two sides...progress below:

I added the 1" to the right side (you can see it on the left-side of the photo above) and then added the same orange to the bottom and then sewed them together as I finished each is 11 blocks by 14.

Progress... you can see both the mint-green design wall and the color chart (thank you, Mom!)

Ok, so now it was done, but it wasn't done...I was happy with the addition of the orange - it helped to diffuse the aqua a bit.  I decided to add a small, same as between the blocks, orange strip.  I also found the absolutely perfect aqua border...alas, there was not enough of it...I tried the original store and people who might have bought some of it and then the store where the jelly roll came from...alas, it is really a pretty fabric and no one had anymore...Sigh. 

So...we ended up going to Ohio to visit Cathy.  

While there, we found some fabric that works...I decided that I would put some of the left-over blocks (there were 5 that did not fit in the original) on the corners...

that works, but it is not quite right...I am not happy with it yet...I lived with it for a while and then had an epiphany!

And this morning I added the small (1/2 inch finished) orange around the blocks at the corners!  Yay - I am 100% happy with it now.  The binding will be the orange just to tie it all together, but I have no clue what will be on the back yet.  This has been a long-time in happening and this has been the main thing I have been working on this summer.  I am happy with the outcome of this.  I hope you enjoy it, too. 

And to finish off, I will end with a photo of Fonda's brother Aaron's dog Toaster/Toby...he is very cute and sweet! Even Fonda liked him (sort of).


Monday, June 30, 2014


So...we had visitors last week - I don't want to post too many child-photos (we had a total of seven additional people here - two adults and five children, ranging in age from 16yo to 11.5 months).  That is for Momma to post if she wants, but I want to post some of the other photos I took while they were here...

First I finished a quilt-top before they got here...a disappearing 4-patch

We shall see what happens with this one...
Sera being cute - that belleh!
Franky-baby taking a break from the family to rest on a home-made cat toy-snake : )
Ms. 15.5...She was very quite on the trip, very good all-around.  Beautiful young woman!
Ms. Just Turned 14...Another beautiful young woman
Ms Eight. A sweetie and beautiful!
Mr. Six...A goof-ball par-excellence.  This guy will be a knock-out
This boy... Mr. 11.5 month - he has the most beautiful blue-eyes!
 Franklynn was a sweetie with the Mr. 11.5 month - He walked up to him and gave him a head-bonk...and he was VERY patient with this boy : )
A selfie on the ferry...I was just being stupid...But I wanted to be stupid : )

These women were feeding the gulls (on accident) the passenger was trying to feed a grackle and these guys butted in and actually bit her finger...they actually had three gulls on the roof of the car at one point.  I can't believe they didn't bite the driver's hand - she kept rolling her fingers around...

Weird, just weird.

A green moray eel in the large tank at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher

A turtle in the pond on the way out...there were a dozen or so sunning themselves. I was looking for the alligator, but she was not there in the sun...

A fun fish-cloud on the way home from school : )

See, he was a good boy...She (Ms. Eight) was a very patient girl, too...he was making her too warm, but she didn't know how to get him off her..I had to help.

 We had a really good time...we are happy that they came and happy that they stayed and happy that they got home safely.  We spent quite a bit of time at the beach and the girls got a chance to take a surfing lesson - they had a great time. I am still in the process of putting-back what was rearranged for them to be here...ha, ha.

Five more meetings of summer-school...Then no paycheck for two months...we shall see how this goes...I still want a full-time job...I have been applying, and applying, and applying...I changed the format of my CV, etc. and we shall see if that has any affect on the application process.  I have no idea how that might change it, but if it works, yay...Only time will tell.  Sigh.


the fish girl

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Leland, North Carolina, United States