Saturday, April 11, 2015

April update

It feels like forever since I have posted...well, it has been.  I have been busy with school and this year I am teaching at two community colleges and they did not have overlapping spring breaks, so I have not really had a chance to sit down and do NOTHING like I have in the past.  Starting on Tuesday, I will be back to both colleges again, so back to leaving the house ~6:45 a.m. and not returning until >9:30 p.m.  Sigh.  I think I need to figure something else out for next time, but it all depends on what they can/will offer me.  The two days-a-week are good (I really like having a 4-day weekend, after I recover a bit). 

I have done little to no sewing this semester (with some small exceptions, which I will post in a bit).  This makes me frustrated.

I have had two interviews for two different community colleges - one in PA and one in N. VA.  I am unsure about the N.VA one as it was a "virtual interview" where I had to answer four questions via webcam from a canned (recorded) interviewer. I read this as a college that may be bigger than I want to deal with (classes larger than 40 or so students).  I sent a Thank you email to what seemed to be a blank address (weird address, I was unsure if it was a real person).  I stated within the email that I would follow up on the following Wednesday and so, I did.  I was 100% surprised when I actually got a response from the second email.  The woman said that the committee is still reviewing the tapes and I should hear in a week or so. 

The other was more personal and I think everything went well...I don't think I giggled and laughed inappropriately and I think I was personable and answered their questions well.  I was the first to interview and of course, there were some glitches (one person was ~5-10 minutes late, and they could not see my presentation - the problem was on *their* end [thank god]).  They said that they would complete the interviews as of 4/3/15 and then make recommendations to the Dean(s) and then it would go from there "maybe a week or so" - it has now been a week and I am totally freaking out...

I have come to the realization that I hate interviewing.  It makes me feel really inadequate, stupid, and like a failure when I get the "thanks, but no thanks" letter or email (and sometimes before).  Interviewing is one of the most horrible experiences I have ever had to go through.  Having applied for more than 150 jobs (I am keeping a record in Excel) in the last 3 years, I can tell you it sucks.  It is really hard to keep a positive outlook and want to even try and apply to more positions.

Then...I had two(!) students recommend me to speak to two groups of honors students!  Wow.  I never even thought I was getting through to some of them and now there are two who think I am worth it.  So, on Wednesday, I am going to speak in front of a group of cc students who are being inducted to Phi Theta Kappa and the National Technical Honors Society.  I am going to talk about being a failure...And how that can change when you figure out what you want to do and have the opportunity to make it happen.  We shall see what I can do with my 15 minutes of fame. 

I am also going to submit my name again for the Adjunct of the Year 2015-2016.  Why the hell not? LOL.

OK, so I have done a little sewing this semester.  You might recognize the following from the end of last year:

well, it needed, when Fonda and I went to Greenville, NC, we bought enough black to make a border and some sale fabric for the back (I will post once it is quilted).  And then this happened:

I am very happy with this :)  I think it helps to define the quilt and I just like it.  I will be quilting this one myself and I will post it again, when I am done.

I also made a postcard for my MIL, Cathy Hausser, who really likes sunflowers and is missing her sweetheart, Gorden, who died last summer...We have been sending her sunflowers (and sunflower-like) pictures several times a week and I wanted her to have one more permanent...

it is raw-edged fabric sewn to a base fabric and then the addition of French knots for the center and then quilted onto a piece of very stiff material, made for this kind of application.

That is about all for the sewing...Fonda (and I) have been cleaning up/out the back crafting area - see Fonda's Blog for more amazing clean-up/out descriptions and before & after photos.  I am amazed at what we - mostly Fonda - have done!  This is something I never would have attempted by myself.  From this room, we do plan to move to others - the back bedroom (scary!) and the pile of "naturals and decorating" boxes...then onto the sewing room. 

The upshot of this has been that we have been able to make some cards and we got the chance to make some fobs for a woman in Columbus (through Cathy)...we are doing background stuff that needs to happen before we can get back to 100% crafting :) 

We went through our(!) quilt tops yesterday and found many that had backing material with them (they just need to be sandwiched and quilted - sometimes easier said than done) and several that did not have backings yet.  I am afraid to actually count the number of tops...I will, but not yet.  We took 5 to a local quilt store and found sale(!) fabric for backing them today (spent ~$140) and bought ~15+ yards of good-quality cotton fabric (there were 2.5 yards not on sale - ha, ha - but only 1 yard [2, 1/2 yard pieces] that were not for an in-progress project).  So, we are feeling virtuous and not too guilty.  One of the tops was a store sample Mom had made that was not supposed to be pink, but is...I thought we had completed all the Mom-quilts a few years ago.  Amazing what you can find when you go looking :)...sigh.

OK, enough for today - enough of an update for now, for all involved, I hope.  Peace

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).


the fish girl

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Leland, North Carolina, United States