Friday, April 20, 2007

Chirp Chirp

Smoke alarms are a great invention and I'm glad our house is well equipped with them. We have seven sensors in our house and they are all connected to the house wiring so if one goes off they all do. One just cannot sleep through the alarms blaring nor get away from the screech. They also have batteries and if I don't replace the batteries on time I hear that annoying chirp that we all love so much.

Our smoke alarms have been touchy lately. They have been going off at the slightest perturbation. That's probably because they are 12 years old and overdue to be replaced. It doesn't take much to discourage me from cooking, really, I'd rather go out to eat, thank you very much, but showering? Come on. A little steam is not something to get alarmed about. Really. We now walk nonchalantly to the whole house fan switch whenever someone is in the shower. And we don't cook, but that is nothing new.

Yesterday was such a pretty day. The sun was shining and the breeze was clean. Someone was either cooking or showering so we had the doors and windows wide open as a preventive effort. Besides, it was a nice day. Leaving the front door open is all fine and good except we have no screen on the front door. We do have the three dogs to let us know if anyone is approaching.

Well, we had an intruder and no one noticed. It started getting cool so we shut the windows and doors and went about our business. I heard a bird singing a stupid song, very monotonous. It only partly registered in my thoughts. Then Da decided to close the windows in the living room. I told him they weren't open, but he was sure they were. They weren't. But the intruder made him think they were.
There on the upper window trying to get through the glass was a very frantic House Finch. He was a male in all his spring splendor, very bright and intense. And very intent on getting out again. He was fluttering around the upper window and singing a very boring song like a dead battery smoke alarm. Ahhhh, so that was the stupid bird song I had heard. Poor thing.

I don't know how long he kept at it but it was hours. I quietly opened the window below him and took the screen out, but he would have nothing to do with the lower window. He wanted out the unopenable upper window. What to do? I got my long handled duster, which I obviously don't use for cobwebs and such, and carefully prodded him over to a corner of the sill and then he just stuck his little feet into the long fibers and held on so I lowered him to the open window and he happily flew away, but not very far.

He was so tired that he just made it to the fence and then stayed there resting for quite a while.

I know they are called House Finches, but I didn't know why, now I do.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Taffy and rosebuds

I am so good at procrastinating. I am the best procrastinator you know.

The notice for the "baby shower in a box" had a deadline printed at the bottom, three weeks away. Okay, I can do that, no problem. Then the writer of the notice told me personally that it was a soft deadline and that if I needed more time I could have it. Bad move, she shouldn't have said that. I took her at her word. I did no more than think about the project until the afternoon before the deadline. Then I wasn't happy with the fabric in my stash and had to go out (the day of the deadline) and buy more fabric. Then the store didn't have what I wanted. Then I got waylaid at the quilt book aisle. Then I had to eat the yummy dinner that En prepared. Then I started in earnest. It is done now and I like it so I'm happy.

Here it is, my latest quilt. It took me all of 5 hours to make. I would have had it done sooner if I had only started it before I did.

Doesn't it look like salt water taffy?

The backside is solid white flannel with little pink ties. Very delicate and feminine looking.

While it was in the washer I frantically called Chuggy to see if she had mailed the box yet. Nope, not yet. Whew, I made it in time. One of these days I'm going to miss a deadline and feel really bad. Not today, though. I know how to procrastinate and still make deadlines.

I told Kedge when she asked how it was going that I still had to wash it. That was true at least. I also had to do everything else, but I didn't tell her that. When she called the next day (the day of the deadline!) to ask a favor of me she found me in my car. She asked if I was on my way over to deliver it to Chuggy's, I said, "No". I didn't tell her that at that very minute I was on my way to the fabric store to get more fabric and I still had to cut it out and sew it and quilt it, too. My bad. I didn't want her to scold me, or take away my personally softened deadline.

When making a quilt for a baby I like to use flannel. It just feels so soft and cuddly. The problem is that flannel is not durable. It wears out so quickly. My solution is to use all the shortcuts I can think of so that I don't feel like I put a lot of sweat and tears into something destined to be short lived.

Short cuts:
use large pieces
use a simple pattern
tie rather than quilt
don't make borders
use the inside-out method
don't do hand stitching anywhere (except in tying)

It turned out better than I deserve.

Now I really have to get to work on the project for which I am taking a class. I am so far behind the others ...