Recovering

So… in my last post I mentioned that DH was sick and I was trying my best to keep my distance and wear a mask around him but I started to feel ‘something’… welp, guess who got covid ๐Ÿ˜ฆ DH wouldn’t let me test him but I tested myself on Monday… yep, I was positive so I’m sure he is too.

UGH!! Thankfully we’re both vaxxed and had 1 booster late last year so our symptoms have not been bad. The worst of it is affecting our sinuses, it’s almost two weeks later for him and one week for me and we’re still battling stuffy heads and persistent dry coughs, yuck! Of course I searched Dr Google and although there are some conflicting timelines, these symptoms could last several weeks ๐Ÿ˜ฆ However, if this is the worst we have to deal with, I’ll consider us lucky!

As you might imagine, I have not stepped foot in my sewing room all week. It’s really hard to concentrate with a stuffed up head so I just spent my time watching tennis (Italian Open) and reading books. We have some AWESOME friends and neighbors who made sure to get us whatever we needed from the store โค I feel very grateful and blessed!

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That’s about all for now, have a great rest of your weekend!!

Sewing block?

Not a whole lot of sewing this week… I did get the back made for the Little Pink Houses quilt but that’s it.

I had wanted to have an equal amount of the leaf fabric and the pink grunge fabric in each section but of course I forgot to allow for the overage I’d need for basting & quilting… ugh… so that first leaf section will be smaller than the 6″ pink section, oh well :-/

As to why I’m not spending more time sewing… it’s as if I’m waiting for something else before I’m ‘allowed’ to spend countless hours in my sewing room. I can’t really explain it better. Every time I think ‘I’m going to sew all day today’ I come up with all kinds of excuses why I ‘should be’ or ‘need to be’ doing something different. But, Ha, do I do those things? No! WTH is going on with my brain??!! I’m hoping with more time I’ll be able to work it out ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Here I am retired and I can do ANYTHING I want with my time and I’m still not doing what I want to do, UGH!

I’ve been spending a lot of time on our screened porch enjoying the view and reading. I’ve pulled out my old Kindle Fire and have finished 4 books over the last month. I guess that’s something! Check out that adorable Elvis Gnome hubby got for his birthday ๐Ÿ˜€

Hubby came down with something this past week, he’s all stuffed up and has been in bed for most of the last 4 days (not unusual for him when he doesn’t feel well!). He will not let me test him for covid so I have no idea if that’s it or just some common cold bug. I’ve been wearing a mask whenever I’m within 20 feet of him but I’m not sure that will prevent me from catching it. I started feeling ‘something’ last night and I still feel it this morning…. F***!!! If it turns into anything I will definitely test myself ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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That’s all for now… enjoy the rest of your weekend and…

First ‘retirement’ trip

Let me start by saying how disappointed I am that I did not take out my phone to take pictures at any time during this trip… never, not once the entire trip ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

We took off on a road trip last Monday, my first Monday without a job – Ha! We drove to Savannah, GA which is about 4 hours from home. We had heard great things about Tybee Island and since it’s so close to Savannah we decided to eat lunch there before checking into our hotel. We followed the directions and I used my trust friend Google to look up out restaurant options. As we got onto Tybee we were a bit disappointed with what we saw… I don’t really know what we were expecting but we just didn’t get a good vibe. To us, things looks very run down and old. We followed the road to the end, turned around and decided to just go back to Savannah. Oh well, at least we can say we’ve been to Tybee Island :-/

It was still too early to check in so we walked down to River Street and found a cafe with outside tables where we ate lunch. We both ordered the server recommended Shrimp Salad sandwich and we were not disappointed! While we were eating, a HUGE tanker ship drifted down the river separating SC & GA…it always amazes me just how big they are when you see them that close-up! We finished lunch and walked back to the hotel, thankfully our room was ready.

We rested for a few hours and then went back out to walk through Savannah and decide where we’d like to eat…this is always the hardest part for us!! The few places we stopped were pretty crowded and we didn’t want to wait hours to eat so, believe it or not, we ended up going back to the hotel and ate at there!! We went back to the room and called it an early night.

The next morning we left around 9am headed to Tampa, the drive was uneventful and we found our hotel without issue. The first thing we noticed about Tampa was the traffic… my goodness, it’s just crazy!! The stoplights feel like they last 10 mins and it was bumper to bumper just about anywhere we went…and we were not even in downtown Tampa!!!

We met up with our friends from Maryland at the hotel and headed over to our other friends house that live there. That was the daily ritual, except for the day we went to the Sponge Docks and the evening we went to Clearwater for Hubby’s birthday dinner. We did a lot of catching up and reminiscing for those four days and Hubby really enjoyed that!!

We left yesterday morning to make the 8+ hour drive home…we hit a few traffic jams along I95 but overall it wasn’t a bad drive. We were SO HAPPY to be home.

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That’s about all for now… Have a great rest of your weekend!!

Officially Retired!

It’s here… it finally happened… I am retired!!!! Woooohoooo! Let the FUN begin ๐Ÿ™‚

I had a nice last few days at work, they threw a couple virtual parties for me. One with my direct team and another they opened up to anyone in the company that wanted to drop in to share a few memories. Both were great and of course we did the whole ‘back when I started…’ thing, LOL!! My boss made up a Jeopardy style trivia game and one of the categories was 1979, the year I started…Ha, I didn’t know any of the answers LOL

The company sent me a crystal vase with a nice inscription on it… I joked I could use it as a ‘cocktail’ glass!

But the best gift goes to the two women in my department, they sent me a very generous gift certificate to 5bucksayard. This is a fabulous small business in TX that sells fabrics at a remarkable price – I cannot wait to dive in and buy a ton of fabric!!

We’re leaving tomorrow for a road trip to Savannah for one day, then on to Tampa for the rest of the week. We’re meeting up with some old friends to celebrate Hubby’s birthday and my retirement… let’s hope we have good weather!!

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I finished the top for the March Color Blocks qal called Little Pink Houses. I decided against the extra borders in the pattern because I didn’t want to wrangle a quilt that big through my domestic machine.

This measures 52×63. When I posted pictures on FB one of my neighbors said she’d like to purchase it!! Wow! I’ll ask her input on backing fabric and quilting design as I finish this off.

They released the next number for the APQ UFO Challenge… and April’s number is 9. Squeeeeee, that’s my Sugar Blocks top from May 2017… I’ve been wanting to get this finished for a long time ๐Ÿ˜€

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I finally got hubby’s Medicare Part B all sorted out!! Phew! Early last week I found a phone number to our local Social Security office and spoke with a very nice lady there. She pulled his records and said his case had been assigned but she would take care of it immediately so everything would be ready for April. Wooohoooo, the very next day the website was updated to reflect his Part B would start 4/1. Then we enrolled him in the supplement plans… so now we’re all set!! Yay, but it really should not be this difficult!

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That’s about all for now… have a great rest of your weekend!!

Countdown…

This time next week I will be officially retired!!! Omgosh, I only have 5 working days left and I’m a free bird ๐Ÿ˜ฎ This will be the first time in 43 years I have not had a job…not been responsible to a company, boss or team… yikes, I have no idea what this is going to feel like but I’m looking forward to it!!

I’ve been thinking about all the “me” things I’d like to incorporate into my day/week/month like fitness, nutrition, hobbies, travel, pampering, etc – I’m so bad at doing things just for me… this is going to take some effort! LOL

In the meantime I’ll continue sewing & quilting and watching tennis… my two favorite past times! Speaking of sewing and quilting, I’ve made good progress on the Little Pink Houses pattern from the Color Blocks QAL

Omgosh, how stinkin cute is this??!! I just need to cut the horizontal sashing, piece it all together and add one 2.5″ border. That will bring the size to 52×60 – the pattern calls for two more borders but I’m leaving those off, instead I’ll bind it in a dark hue so it has a nice frame.

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I had a couple rough days this past week, really missing my Sammie girl. No clue what triggered it but I guess that’s just how it’s going to be ๐Ÿ˜ฆ โค

In one of the cards from the vet or the crematorium I received a heart-shaped piece of felt that holds wildflower seeds. I’m going to plant it this week between two bushes Sammie liked to chew on… I’m no gardener so I can only hope something will grow!!

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That’s about all for now… have a great rest of your weekend!

Back to sewing

I was back in my sewing room this week getting back into a routine of doing something every day. I looked up the APQ UFO Challenge number for March (it’s 3, how ironic!!) and according to my sheet that means I need to finish the Jelly Roll Race top I made back in Feb 2020 (ah, right before covid changed the world :-s). This was not made with traditional jelly roll strips, rather I pulled out all my solid fat quarters and left overs and cut them into strips, then sewed them end to end to make one very long strip. Then I started the jelly roll race :-p

I searched my stash for backing fabric that would play nice with the top and after digging to the bottom of my bin I found a multi-color numbers print that was perfect! I made franken-batting from leftover sections of batting and got it basted!

I wasn’t sure how I wanted to quilt this so off to Pinterest I went to look up other jelly roll race quilts for ideas. I found several with ‘organic wavy lines’ and really liked the look so I was sold! I chose to use a bright yellow thread on top and black on the back then I got started quilting on it.

I finished the quilting late yesterday and I knew I wanted to use a solid black for binding but wasn’t sure I had any… once again I started digging through my bin. I found a piece of black fabric 20″ wide and I only needed 15″ to make binding – yay! I got the binding sewn to the back last night, I’ll finish it up today and share outdoor pics next week ๐Ÿ˜‰

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An update on my medical benefits as I move into retirement at the beginning of April. I had been feeling less than confident about wading through all my options on healthcare.gov as well as choosing a medicare supplement for DH. I was reading an online article late last week and it mentioned a link to a website that listed certified insurance brokers that can help guide you through these choices – Yes please!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I clicked on that link and used the “find an agent” tool to find several in my area. Coincidentally, I had chatted online with a friend who recently used an agent to help him find insurance (as he is not 65 either), he shared his agent’s information but she was located about 40 mins away and when I talked to her we really didn’t ‘click’. I called one of the agents listed on the website in my area and I really liked her. The great thing about these agents is there is no cost to me for their service, they get their funding from the insurance companies. Since I had already been trying to do this on my own I was pretty familiar with everything she offered but I felt much better getting guidance from someone who does this on the daily!!! 10 out of 10 highly recommend!

I’ve signed up for a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan for the remainder of this calendar year and DH will be enrolled in an AARP supplement plan and a separate Rx plan. Now I just need to get Medicare/Social Security to speed up their part to get him enrolled in Part B!!! Ugh… why does this crap take so long!?!

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I decided to do a little more baking yesterday… a friend posted one of those altered cake mix recipes on Facebook and since she tried it and liked it, I jumped on the bandwagon yesterday. I used box carrot cake mix and apple pie filling (plus 3 eggs). It was easy enough, dump everything in a bowl, mix, pour in the pan and bake – LOL! The recipe calls for 9×13 pan but I chose to make it in a 9×9 pan so the cake would be thicker. The cake turned out really nice, fluffy yet moist. I only had vanilla icing in the house so that’s what I used… but it’s a little too sweet so both hubby and I scraped that off after our first bite, Ha!

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Lastly, I started researching prices for Aruba in Nov or Dec and boy did I get sticker shock. The prices for Dec are DOUBLE what they are for Nov… so if we go it will definitely be in Nov – LOL! We’ve racked up quite a stash of air miles over the last three years using our credit card for almost everything we purchase so we’ll definitely be using those to help offset some of the cost!

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That’s all for now… have a great rest of your weekend!

Retirement planning

I haven’t done any sewing this week because I’ve been distracted by other things.

First, we had friends stop by for a visit on their way home to Massachusetts from their 5 weeks stay in Florida. They pulled in late Friday afternoon and left Monday morning. We had fun catching up and just hanging out! Of course I neglected to take any pictures :-p

Next, my neighbor asked if I would dog sit for her while she took her son (50 years old) for tests out of town… It’s a very long story that I won’t go into here, nevertheless I agreed to keep her dog for 4 days. She dropped her off a few hours after our friends left Monday morning and I took her home Friday morning.

She didn’t require a lot of care or maintenance but I was told she might potty in the house so I kept an eye on her like a hawk! Her only annoying habit was she liked to get up early to go outside…like 4 a.m. early!!! Honestly that was the hardest part because once she was up she was ready to be fed, so those four days were not a lot of fun ๐Ÿคจ

I’ve got my house back now and I’m falling back into my routines so I’m hoping to get into the sewing room today. I want to update the blocks on my weight-loss quilt (nothing has been lost ๐Ÿฅบ) and to start a new pattern in the Color Block series from Debby Brown.

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I’ve just about got everything nailed down regarding my retirement coming up on April 1st. I’m 99% certain I’ll be getting medical insurance through healthcare.gov rather than Cobra. The main reason is cost – at the moment I don’t have any health issues and I usually only go to the doctor for my annual Gyn and mammo screenings so I can get a decent plan through healthcare.gov for A LOT less than what Cobra would cost me. I already pay out of pocket for my HRT patch and pill because using GoodRx is cheaper than my current Rx coverage (go figure!). I talked to my local dentist and they have a plan for $299 a year that will get me two cleanings and a full set of X-rays so I’ll be doing that as well. I will need to figure out what I want to do around vision coverage but I am not due for a prescription update for another 2 years so I’ll take my time deciding that piece.

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We’ve been making plans for the few months following my retirement and I’m getting really excited!! We’ll be driving to Tampa, FL to visit friends and celebrate DH 70th birthday the week after I retire and just yesterday we decided to leave a day early and stop in Savannah, GA on our way down. We’ve visited Savannah before and we really liked it so one day layover there will be nice… I mean, we’re retired so we can take our time right? LOL!!

Later in April we’ll be going to Charleston for a long weekend to attend a Corvette car show. Next, we saw an advertisement for a one-day Regional Tennis tournament that will be held in May here in Myrtle Beach so we plan to go watch. That’ll be my first live tennis experience. There won’t be any famous players but I’m sure I’ll still enjoy it. DH has also signed up for a car show here in Myrtle Beach in June, so the next few months will be relatively busy ๐Ÿ˜‰

We’ve also been discussing going to Aruba over the Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday. I haven’t done any research or price checking just yet but I think that would be really fun!

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That’s about all for now, have a great rest of your weekend!!

Woven Star progress

I finished quilting on Woven Star this morning. I chose to do straight line quilting in the star following the ‘woven’ pattern and then did free-motion meander in the background.

I pulled a couple pieces of remnants to audition for the binding and decided on this chunky stripe.

I should have this finished today and it will be off to the washer to rinse out the glue basting.

I’ve also decided I’m going to finish one of my UFO’s this month… and since it’s Feb I thought this one from Sept 2018 would be fitting

I have plenty of that blue print fabric for the backing so I’m making do with what I have!

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My self-imposed retirement date (April 1) feels like it’s rapidly approaching. I’ve got all the big things covered like health insurance and our finances are in order. I just feel like I’m missing something… I’ve checked with so many people and if there’s something I’m not doing, I can’t figure it out!!

We’ve already got travel plans made for the week of April 4 – we’re meeting some friends in Tampa, FL to celebrate Hubby’s 70th!! Then we’re talking about visiting other friends in Maryland in May… no rest for the weary, hahaha! Hubby has entered his Z06 Corvette into a show in June but it will depend on how hot it is that weekend whether I go sit with him. We went to this event many years ago and it was so hot I literally felt like an egg frying on the pavement… NOT doing that again!!

One thing that’s just dawned on me that I’ll need to change when I retire is to stop trying to ‘multi-task’ everything. When I stop working I’ll have 8-9 hours a day that will be freed up to do other things, so I need to shift my thinking from ‘what can I do while I’m doing X’ and shift to doing one thing at a time. I’m sure it’ll take some time to ‘un-do’ this pattern of thinking ๐Ÿ˜‰

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I’m still putting seed/food out for the squirrels and yesterday I had a visit from a flock of wild turkeys – I snapped this photo from inside through the blinds LOL… I knew they’d run off it I opened the back door.

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That’s about all for now… have a great rest of your weekend!

A little here, a little there

I’m slowly inching my way back into spending more time in my sewing room. I used to call it ‘my happy place’ and it’s starting to feel like that again – of course it’s still very empty without my trusty companion laying at the door but I can’t change that so I must accept it.

I’ve been keeping up with the โ€œWeight Lossโ€ qal hosted by Kirsten ofย Sew Fabric Love although no weight has been lost at this point – ugh! My goals are to drink at least 64oz water daily and to walk daily. I’m hoping I start seeing some green squares soon!!

I chose a striped fabric in my stash to use for binding the Christmas panel quilt. Now that this is done I’ll pack it up with the remaining completed projects and mail them back to my friend โค

I wanted a canvas print of my baby to hang in my office so I went online last week and ordered it. I had never done this before so I wasn’t sure exactly what size to get, I went with 24×18. I used easycanvasprints.com and they live up to their name! I think I may have zoomed in a bit too much on the original picture because her head in this print is almost as big as mine LOL!!!! I still love it… and when I’m ready I’ll try again ๐Ÿ™‚

A few other odds and ends… I started cutting 2.5″ squares for my next Color Blocks quilt. I’m making the November pattern called Woven Star. Debby Brown has added a new 2022 *free* course for more color block quilt patterns to help us use up our scraps. She issues one pattern a month and even provides suggestions for quilting. It was fun to follow along last year so I signed up again.

Lastly, I finally closed up the fabric ‘trash bag’ I’ve been filling up for over two years (it’s the floral print). I still have the one I closed up a few years ago so now I have two I need to take to the animal shelter.

That’s about all for now… have a great rest of your weekend.

This and that…

Couldn’t get much sew-jo going this week so I decided I needed to make sausage balls, for the first time… oooof! I googled recipes and chose the most popular one – it only had 3 ingredients! After buying the ingredients: a block of cheddar cheese, a pound of Jimmy Dean sausage and Bisquick I realized I did not have a cheese grater! So I pulled out my food processor that has a grating blade and gave that a whirl.

Unfortunately that did not work very well, unless the cheese was extremely cold it kept getting stuck on the blade and would not grate. After half the block was shredded I gave up – in hindsight that meant I only had half the amount of cheese the recipe called for…ooof!

I dumped the cheese in a bowl with two cups of Bisquick and a pound of sausage and used my hands to get it all combined. At this point I knew it was dry but I pushed forward making 30 sausage balls. I baked them for 30 minutes at 350ยฐ and here’s what they look like fresh out of the oven.

Not bad right? Unfortunately they turned out dry and dense and after trying a few they went in the trash ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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We spent New Years Eve on the couch changing channels between all of the New Year’s Eve shows and watching college football Bowl games. We managed to stay up until midnight but we didn’t even bother to open the bottle of Asti Spumante… we were too tired at that point! We kissed, we hugged and we went to bed hoping and praying 2022 will be a much better year!!!

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I decided to join Karen Brown’s “Declutter 2022” challenge which should help me clean up my sewing room and get things organized. I’m hoping this will reignite my desire to spend hours in my sewing room again…ever since we lost Sammie I just can’t seem to spend more than 5 minutes in there ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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Amazingly, I have kept up with the “Weight Loss” qal hosted by Kirsten of Sew Fabric Love but so far no weight has been lost – eeek!! If nothing else I will hopefully form new habits for drinking lots of water and walking everyday ๐Ÿ˜‰

And last night I finally forced myself to sit down and quilt the panel that has been basted for weeks. This is the last item I was sent to finish for my friend whose mother has stopped sewing & quilting. I agonized for weeks about how to quilt this and after getting some feedback I went with vertical lines of snowflakes. I’m SOOO glad this is done and I’m happy with how it came out. Now I just need to figure out what I’m going to use for binding…oh no, more decisions! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

That’s about all for now…have a great rest of your weekend!