Happy 4th!



Settling in

Wow, it’s finally starting to feel like we’re home. 

First, I slept late this morning (a few interruptions but I didn’t get up). Then I went to my sewing room and worked on my HeartStrings blocks … This is a photo I took earlier in the day and I have a few more blocks up on the wall now. While HeartStrings blocks are a great project for mindless sewing, sometimes when I put them up on the design wall they ask for a little more thought. I noticed pinks, yellows, and oranges jumping out at me so I rearranged the blocks so those colors would create secondary diamonds.  I’m still rearranging as I make more blocks but I’m liking how bright and cheery this is turning out. 


Our plans for the holiday weekend changed – we finally got a date for Keith’s Mom’s funeral at Arlington National Cemetery where her ashes will be interred with his father’s. Chris, Becky, and Rae had planned to come for the 4th but now we’ll all be going to Washington DC the end of the month so they delayed their trip here and we’re hoping they’ll come for Labor Day. Of course this means I have more time for sewing so the goal will be to finish up these blocks and get the top assembled by Sunday or maybe Monday. 

I don’t let Chesty wander around the house by himself. He’s either downstairs with Keith or upstairs in the sewing room with me and we use baby gates to keep him where we want him. He was content to be upstairs with me until he heard Keith downstairs late this afternoon.  I almost hate to jinx it but I think he’s feeling a little better the last day or two. 


We topped off our day with a walk by the bay and around our new neighborhood, a drink on the porch when we got back, and I actually fixed dinner, for the 2nd day in a row … Yep, starting to feel like home. 


On my design wall

Today is the start of a new HeartStrings project so I briefly set aside my new bowtie project to get started. We’re doing light colored centers … White for blocks that are being sent in for group quilts and any light color if you’re making a full set of blocks.  I decided to go with light gray centers. 

First I found the bin with my bright scraps and strings and dug down to the bottom where the strings are.  Yep, now it looks like my sewing room with fabric slung everywhere. 


Next I started piecing my blocks and realized right away that my sewing table was on the wrong side of the alcove because I had to step around the bins each time I stepped down to press or cut. (That’s Chesty napping in the back before his grooming – doesn’t he look so much better?!!)

I quickly switched the desk to the other side …

…. and finished up my first 8 blocks. I’ll be doing a set of 48 for this quilt and for some reason, I also decided to deviate from our 2 inch center string and cut mine 1.5 inches. Again, variations are allowed since I’m making the quilt from start to finish myself. The design wall sits right behind my chair so it’s convenient but not the optimum spot for standing back and looking at my blocks. It’s the only spot I have to put it but I’m not going to complain because at least it fits in the room. 



Mobile grooming

Oh yeah, this is definitely the way to go. The truck shows up, they greet Chesty and in the truck they go. He didn’t even have time to get nervous. 

45 minutes later they’re knocking on my door and he looks great. I wish I could say he’s doing better but he’s about the same , at least he’s no worse. 

For those that are curious, I found them by doing a Google search for mobile dog grooming and then I did read reviews online before choosing them. The cost was just about $10 more than I was paying so I consider it a good deal – $75 + tip.


We have a bed!

We’ve been going nonstop all day – the movers arrived this morning and we’ve been organizing and unpacking. Chesty and I are tired and taking a break upstairs on the bed – yes, we’ll sleep tonight in our bed! 

Keith is an unpacking demon and is at work downstairs in the kitchen. My sewing room is set up and I plan to work on my bowtie blocks later this afternoon.  


You can tell that Chesty desperately needs grooming but as bad as he’s been feeling I haven’t wanted to take and leave him so I’ve got a mobile groomer coming to the house tomorrow. We’ll just shave him completely because he tolerates the heat better when he’s furless and let me tell you – it is hot and steamy these days in Tampa. I’ve already told Keith that next year I’m spending July at Big Canoe. It’s still hot but cooler there in the North GA mountains. 


My heart was set

I’d already told Keith that I was going to take a little time today to sew once the furniture was delivered so I was pretty disappointed to find out that they weren’t delivering our stuff today as promised. I had to run to the post office to try and straighten out the mail issues and she offered to check to see if anything was being held and I came home with some mail along with a couple packages, one containing fabric and a couple kits from Craftsy.  

Do you buy kits? I’ve gotten in the habit of looking at the ones on clearance. At first for my Mom, but this year I’ve been buying some for myself. Since I live away from my stash, it’s nice to have everything all together when I get an unexpected chance to sew like today. I realized that I had my tying table, my machine, my cutting mat and rotary cutter here … So I set it all up and pulled out one of the Craftsy kits.  

Sometimes I just use the fabrics and chose a different block or design but today I decided to make bowties. I didn’t realize at first the block had a square appliqué over a 4 patch but I ran out to the closest store – Hancock Fabrics – and bought some fusible web.


All set and ready to sew

My machine jumped around on the table so I moved it down over the legs and slowed down and it wasn’t too bad but I’ll be glad when my sewing cabinet arrives tomorrow. 

I’ve got all the 4 patches made although there’s plenty of fabric so I’m considering making the quilt a little larger by adding extra blocks. First, I’ll applique the ones I’ve already sewn and then decide.  I tried a narrow zigzag first but didn’t like the way it looked so I’m using a blanket stitch. 


Unlike the movers, Verizon did show up as scheduled so we do have internet now!



Our porch furniture hasn’t been delivered yet but we’re using beach chairs and enjoying the space today.  I looked for geraniums but Home Depot didn’t have them so I substituted these — they look great but let’s see if I can keep them alive. 



This is handy

I brought my rulers and rotary cutting mat over in the car — who knew they’d come in handy cutting shelf paper for the kitchen?! 


Chesty has to be in whatever room I’m in and goes looking for me if I walk away. Keith brought his bed into the kitchen while we were working but he couldn’t decide whether to nap in or out of it.  Thanks for sharing all your experiences with pets and kidney disease. We’re going to watch and wait for now but as I told many of you, we won’t let him suffer.  


We had our morning coffee on the porch – the mosquitos are bad and Keith was hot but we put the fan on out there and I sprayed OFF on myself and it was fine. I sat out for at least an hour. 


Roughing it

Our furniture doesn’t arrive until Monday so we’re sleeping on the couch. Luckily, it’s a big sectional so there’s room for us both although Keith claimed the longer end.  He’s been whining a bit about it which is funny since he falls asleep on the couch EVERY night but I’ve been too tired to mind where I’m sleeping. 



Moving day!

Are you tired of hearing about the move? I feel like it’s been my excuse for accomplishing nothing the last few months but the end is in sight. 

The movers should arrive within the hour and they’ll pack the clothes hanging in the closet and the dishes – everything else is is packed and ready.  


Chesty continues with his challenges. I’m curious if any of you have done long term subcutaneous fluids for pets with kidney disease? We’ve done them the last couple weeks just to get us through the move and our trip, first daily and then every other day and Keith and I are not planning to continue them because we don’t see much if any improvement and they’re causing multiple incontinence episodes in the house but the vet seems pretty insistent about the need to continue. 

We’ve made our decisions so I’m not looking to be convinced one way or the other but I am curious. 

Has anyone chosen NOT to give them if recommended? Anyone have experience doing them long term? 

Blog Rings