Thursday, August 30, 2012

This has been a fast week!

  • On Sunday, I did a lot of reading in preparation for my first classes, but I also got Cassie's quilt top made.  We also managed 3 hours out on the pontoon.
  • On Monday, I allowed myself to be TOTALLY overwhelmed but this new school adventure.  Classes are not going to be the biggest issue, but rather how to get everything done each day and help with our business, and be a family player with conversation/relaxing outings,  meals, laundry, shopping, cleaning, and QUILTING!
  • Tuesday I was still in overwhelmed mode, but I was beginning to breathe again.  However, one of our business tasks kept me up until after 11:30.
  • Wednesday, I got everything together, at least for a couple of hours.  I finished the day  with a sense that things will come together, and it will all be more than worth it in the end.  Kevin took a part-time job working with a business that deals with cabinetry. (We are trying very hard to do this business without borrowing and he needs a wider planner and a wider jointer.) (Did you just think - oh my, they just got busier in so many ways?)
  • Today I had three classes.  Learned some cool new things to do on the computer.  Truly enjoyed knowing that I had all the reading and note taking done for the classes and knew what we were talking about.  Tonight we have a possible client coming by to talk about purchasing a bunkbed.  Before that I will complete my two fun assignments on the computer, wash another load of clothes, and do a little extra praying for myself and others.  After all of that, Kevin and I will get my HQ back up so that I can quilt Griffin's, Cassie's, and another quilt over the weekend.
  • Friday should be an easy day of class because I only have accounting.  I will spend the time before class taking notes on a couple of readings and try to complete my one assignment that could use better directions.  The afternoon will be spent either on homework or painting door harps, but the evening is going to involve nothing more stressful that making dinner and kicking back.  (Always like to dream of that idea, anyway.)

We really are enjoying our life here in South Dakota.  It has been all about adapting and being flexible, but I have always prided myself in trying to make the best of each of life's twists and turns.

Life is GOOD!

Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27: Some Changes Afoot!

Here I am am headed out the door for my first day of classes.  In my backpack is the world's heaviest laptop, along with two textbooks, two notebooks, assorted pens, pencils, note cards, and a calculator.  Just before this picture was taken, I had just commented to Kevin that if he waited a moment I might flip over and become a turtle on my back.  The bag was way too heavy to be carrying around from class to class.  And then there is the lunch bag...not too heavy, but there were 2 bottles of water, a roll-up sandwich, and an orange in it.

My two classes today were accounting and marketing.  I am by far the oldest in the classes, but that is not an issue to me.  I had less trouble with my computer than some, and I was prepared with paper to take some notes.  Loved all of it.

Afterwards, I had time before my dentist appointment so I went shopping.  Bought a couple of non t-shirts and......

wait for it............

I purchased.......

 My very own rolling computer/school bag.
Laugh at me if you will, but my one dumb move of the day was to lock my keys in the trunk of my car and had already locked my car doors when I got to the dentist.  Kevin was gallant enough to rescue me without too much teasing.  Once I got home, I went down to the shop and did more door harp painting for an hour and then made spaghetti for supper.
Now I need to go do some homework, make my lunch for tomorrow, and get organized for tomorrow's classes - business, selling, and computers (Office 2010 + the school's systems).  Although I am somewhat concerned about how to get it all done, I am already loving the learning!
Life is GOOD!

August 27: Day ONE

My pencils are sharp, my backpack is HEAVY.  Today is accounting and marketing.  Ho-boy?

Life is GREAT!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

August 25: Just So You Know

I am back in college taking a full load.  I am one of those that reads and takes notes on everything, so I am already finding myself waking up earlier to get more reading done.  3 classes - marketing, business, and selling will have quite a bit of note taking.  The accounting and computer class appear to be very hands on, so........ Anyway, if I miss a post or two, know that I have thought about it, but would hate to get a low grade just because I did not complete my reading and was not prepared for a test.  I compete hard, but only against myself.

Did paint 6 more door harps today.  Did not like some of the color combinations, so I will let things dry and do some re-painting tomorrow.  Cassie's quilt top will be together before I sleep tomorrow!  Just have to sew the rows together and add the borders.

Yesterday, Kevin installed our new bathroom sink and its fixtures.  The rest of the remodel will be done by a contractor.  Photos will wait, but the sink does look lovely!

Life is GOOD!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


What a great day I had, but  now my brain and eyes are going to rest this evening!!!!!  Today I went to something called JumpStart at Southeast Tech.  It was not the first day of classes, but rather the day to pick up our laptops, work out the kinks in our schedules, learn some more about our programs of study, and actually do some work with how the use of technology on our school's technology system. 

Pretty certain I am the oldest student in this department, but I do have more computer knowledge regarding the software than many of the younger students.  It should be fun to see if I feel that way after a couple of weeks in class.  Also, I know that I am probably more focused on being there to learn than some, and I know that 8:00 class times don't make me grumpy!  I have set a few specific goals aimed at developing our business.

Textbooks cost more than my first semester of school in 1971 - $600

Odd thing happened today.  About half way through the day one of the instructors asked if I had ever lived in Sioux Falls when I was younger and followed up by asking my husband's name.  We discovered that we had lived in the same apartment building in 1977 and that we had spent lots of time together with the other families in the building and at the complex pool.   I have been revisiting those fond memories for several hours.   Sure is a small world - makes me wonder why I ever lost touch with all those wonderful people.

Got a update on my HQ16.  Apparently I should have received more parts when I ordered so now I have to wait for them to be shipped an put together.  GRRRR!!!  Will I have to pay for this additional service since the place that is working on my machine is where I purchased the frame, etc?  The man servicing the machine said that he could not see any problems except the fact that we needed this part.  (It should have been shipped with the frame and carriage.)  Don't misunderstand, though,  I love my HQ16 - just get irritated when people don't do the right thing the first time.  =0(

August 23: Change of Pace

Made using Mini Scraps Quilt from Piece in the Hoop
Embroidery Designs
The project blocks for this mini quilt were made by my FIL on the embroidery machine.  He used a rather heavy wash away stabilizer  and a variety of white pieces as foundation, so I will have to work to get it pressed a little better before I do in the ditch quilting on it.  Then, once it is finished I will soak it goo and remove the stabilizer.  We are going to use it as a cheerful center topper on the kitchen table.

Dad loves working at his embroidery machine, so I try to encourage him.  He has been working on an eagle design set, but it is frustrating him, so I suggested he try these blocks.  They go together like foundation piecing except that you never take the fabric out of the hoop until it is finished.  He said they were okay, but some of the pieces were pretty small.  Each block measures 3" finished.

I have today through Sunday to finish up several other quilting projects as well.  Then I will have to fit things around school and working in the shop or doing paperwork for the business.  But, I am too young to need sleep, RIGHT?????  (59 is not old, is it????)  I actually love being busy and always have something that calls me to work/play, but rocking on the porch with a great book is calling to me, as well.  I know we are fortunate and blessed to be able to have choices AND our health.

Life is GOOD!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August 21: Last Free Day

Today is the last day before I start back to school as a student. I am so excited to get started, but there are a lot of things to be done around here both personally and business wise, so I have been busy.
  • Baked cookies for Dan's birthday - peanut butter oatmeal
  • Am washing 4 loads of clothes (got to do extras since I will be busy the rest of the week)
  • Did some antiquing on my project (see sample below)
  • Met with a rep to talk about a credit card reader
  • Played show-and-tell with quilts and woodworking (May have some jobs for later this fall)
  • Exercised
  • Have not had time to do any carving. Decided to put it on hold until later this fall - too many balls to juggle with school, quilting orders, and our woodworking business. Sad, but feel less pressed about it now that I have made this decision.
  • Working on schedules and trying to fit it all together
  • Plan to do more piecing on Cassie's quilt this afternoon
  • Took some pictures to share with you
Life is GOOD!
    This is the first White Drum fish that any of us had ever seen
    so we had to look it up. Seems controversially as to whether
    it is good eating or not. Only fish we caught besides bullheads,
    so Dad tossed it back, so.... Caught at Lake Vermillion.

    This is our prototype (Notice the drip on the spool?). It is a door harp.
    Now that we have one strung and tested, the others will be assembled.
    How many of you guessed what it was before you saw this photo?
    We will be selling these at the two shows we are doing this fall. Other
    designs will include several birdhouses and a few holiday themed designs.
    Custome designs will also be considered, but will not be available until
    after the early November show.

    Here are two of the unfinished quilt stands that Kevin makes.
    The one on the left is oak. The one on the right is maple from Vermont.
    Kevin designed and made several for me and others over the last few years and
    has had request from others that he did not have time to fill because of his
    Navy travels.

    Now that we have a woodworking business, he can build these and several other
    designs to fit quilters' needs.They are sturdy and can be finished in a variety of
    ways so they can fit most any decor. We will be selling these finished at
    our shows, but we will take orders for others that would allow you to make
    the choice of wood and finish.

    Monday, August 20, 2012

    August 20: Been Busy

    Can't really remember everything I did on Saturday, except quilt, antique my project, act grouchy because of a naggy headache, and work on our business brochure.  Kevin assures me I was busy all day. 

    Yesterday I was busy being lazy.  It was a great day for it.  We had a church picnic and then spent a few hours on the pontoon.  Besides getting a touch of sun at the lake, I finished my book, Digital Fortress, by Dan Brown  -  school starts in a week so I felt that I needed to get it done so I would not be tempted to read it rather than study.  The evening was a continuation of lazy - just watched a movie.

    Today I made a few jacket patches for a client.  Then I painted on another small group for my project.  These will be limited editions since I am making only 3.  (Doesn't that sound impressive?)  If there were more hours in the day or I did not love 8 hours of sleep each night, I would probably have time to do all the things that come to mind.  For now I will just head down to the studio and work on Cassie's quilt.

    Life is GOOD!

    Friday, August 17, 2012

    August 17: Just Back From a Family Event

    Just got back from SDSU in Brookings.  Kevin's cousin Becca had her nursing pin ceremony.  Got to see lots of Kevin's dad's family.  We also HAD to stop and have SDSU ice cream.  Great way to spend the afternoon and evening!

    Life is GOOD!

    August 17: What a Difference a Few Days Make

    Not too many days ago I was whining about the hot humid weather. Not now, it is gorgeous and all the windows are open bringing in some much appreciated cool weather. In some places the grass has some real green to it, as well.  Although the rain came too late for many of the crops, the view from the porch is pleasing to the eye. 

    Life is GOOD!

    Thursday, August 16, 2012

    August 16: Trying the Advertising Route Today

    Kevin and I went out to post advertising with little tear off strips, but we were not too successful with it.  Not many places seemed to have any place to display these ads.  Sioux Falls University was very willing but Augustana has just redone the rooms, so they did not think they needed any bunks, etc.

    We also  got the signs for the truck and trailer, so we do look a little more like a business. 

     Here is another view of our project, yet unfinished.  Are there any more guesses?

    Wednesday, August 15, 2012

    August 15: Better Day

    I have definitely had a better day than yesterday.  The machine is in the shop.  We have done some more advertising for our woodworking business.  Most of my paperwork is done, and we found a place close by that has the various woods we need at acceptable prices.

    Life is GOOD!

    Tuesday, August 14, 2012

    August 14: One of THOSE Days

    I was really gun-ho to get started with quilting the first quilt since we got the new frame.  I had a few setbacks, but I tried hard to hang in there.  The stitching was very erratic and nothing seemed to be right even though I was using the stitch regulator.I called the company for assistance, but the tech was not available at the moment, and I wanted to quilt, so I tried all the suggestions in the trouble shooting section of my owner's manual.  Then I started calling for help, again.  After several calls to different people, I am still very much in the dark about how to correct the problem or problems.  Therefore, I will now need to take the darn thing in and have it serviced.  It will take a a week, cost plenty,and it is most irritating! GRRRRRR....

    Even so, there is a silver lining of sorts. I will get my painting project done.  Also,  I decided that I would get Cassie's quilt top put together over the next couple of days. The first part of this quilt was figuring out how to cut this block with the best efficiency for me - took an hour to get it right, but I have already made 5 of the 20 block.  I guess it will all work out without too much stress.  The blocks will be batik blue and purple.  These are the colors she requested, so batiks seemed to be the answer. 

    Life is GOOD!

    Monday, August 13, 2012

    August 13: Yummy!

    Just wanted everyone to know that Dad's first attempt with the Bread Machine was marvelously delicious.  So glad that they have gone out of fashion so that we could get the machine so inexpensively.

    Life is GOOD!

    August 13: Errands and Painting

    I will be quilting later this afternoon, but I have a little more painting to finish before I retire my brush for the day.  Here is another peek at this project.  I have several others that are in the process, as well.  Have you figured out what they are, yet?

    Opened a business account this morning.  Took all our donations to the church thrift store.  Met up with Nancy to get some assistance in converting a VHS tape to a DVD (for exercising).  Also picked up some bread flour for Dad. 

    I bought Cory's bread machine at the rummage sale.  Dad had said he always wanted to try one but thought it was wasteful to make bread for one.  Now he can play with it to his heart's content and then I will pass it on to my niece Amanda.  We will be having fresh bread with our chicken tonight!  YEA!

    Life is GOOD!

    Sunday, August 12, 2012

    August 12: Bits and Pieces for Today

    Started the day with church.  The cantor had an awesome voice and drew me into the words.  That is what a call a gift from God.

    Next we went to my sister's and packed up the remains of the rummage sale.  I think I am surprised, but we made just under $900 between us.  Still, there will be quite a bit donated.  I feel great about the whole thing, but I can tell you that I will wait a long time to even consider doing it again.

    Kevin, Dad, and I had lunch out because it was after 12:00 before we finished.  Then we dropped Dad at home and continued on to Dan and Nancy's to deliver a TV.  After a few minutes of sweat and a bit of conversation we headed home and went to the shop to get some more work done.  I have not been doing my part for a couple of days, so I felt the need to work, and it also meant that Kevin and I had some time together.  The two of us are working on a joint project.  These items will be sold at the two shows we are doing in Oct and Nov.  (I am not making Christmas anythings, so keep guessing.)  I will be sharing them and offering them for sale to others but for now, all you get to see is the mess I am creating in the paint corner.

    Tonight we finished the final details of setting up the quilting frame and machine.  Leveling it was the longest process.  Adding the canvas leaders was easy, but I will have to get the longer leaders ready for doing the very large quilts, but I don't have any that size waiting so....... Tomorrow I will be doing my first test quilt.  I am excited to try it out, but I am also feeling like I have a lot of tops that are waiting, so there is a little press developing.  lol   (Classes start the last week of August, so I better get crack-a-lacking!)

    As soon as I sign off, I am heading down to the studio to do a little testing on some embroidered blocks that Dad has been making.  I am hoping that everything fits just right, but I am always a bit anxious when I make the first cuts on an experiment.

    Life is GOOD!

    Saturday, August 11, 2012

    August 11: More Rummage, with a Large Side of Quilts and Wine

    I have been busy again today.  I spent the full morning working the rummage sale with my sisters and nieces.  Even mu brother showed up briefly to bring a couple of items for the sale and deliver some fresh vegetables from his garden.  What an interesting way to get reacquainted with so many of my family. 

    At noon, Kevin and I headed out to meet our friend Nancy to go to a local quilt and wine tasting event. We had a great time looking at quilts and tasting different local wines. We followed up with pizza at Old Chicago, and then came home to talk about some quilting ideas and then had homemade ice cream and cookies when her husband, our friend Dan, arrived.
    All like a great way to spend the day.

    Life is GOOD

    See these two ladies toasting the day?  What a wonderful day
    The damp chill did friz the hair and make me put on my old
    "fat" sweatshirt, but we had a great time! Just as we finished the
    tour of the quilts, the rain started.  You would have been amazed
     to see how quickly the quilts were taken down from the vines.



    Friday, August 10, 2012

    August 10: Down time at the Rummage Sale

    Two sisters, a niece, a  new friend and I are involved in the 3rd rummage sale of my summer.  I don't know why I agreed to this one way back in mid-May (but the 1st shall be last), but when I  am done tomorrow it will be an extremely long time before I play again.  Of course, the best part is hanging out with people I enjoy.  During down time, we started putting together a puzzle.  Funny how everyone has a different approach to the task.

    Wednesday, August 8, 2012

    August 8: Hip-Hip-Hooray!

    First real activity of the day was signing up for my classes.  I was thinking that WAY BACK when I registering for classes at SDSU in 1971, I spent hours trying to create a great schedule and then found that most of the sections were already full when it was my turn to register.  In some cases, I even had to wait until the next semester.  Therefore, today when I registered and got exactly the schedule I had laid out at exactly the times I wanted, I was shocked.  Yes, Southeast Tech is a much smaller school, but I still expected some sort of challenge.  Guess the challenge will be in the classes and the studying..  16 credits is going to be plenty for this semester, but I can remember taking 19 and 21 a couple of semesters in my "much younger" years.

    Accounting I
    Principles of Selling
    Principles of Marketing
    Introduction to Computers
    Introduction to Business

    The second activity of the day was hunting down some paints for a project we are working on for the two shows we are doing.  It is not fine woodworking, but rather some fun things that will draw people in.  After all, our goal is to get people to come in and look at what wonderful pieces Kevin aspires to make for customers.  These items are just tempting little hooks.  I am painting one for ME.

    The rest of the day has been focused on rummage sale prep and creating a new design for Cassie's quilt.  I will be leaving in a few minutes to have dinner with my sister Wendy and then dropping off more things at my other sister's for the rummage sale.

    Where does the time go????

    Life is GOOD!  (Insane, but good!)

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012

    August 7: Hot AGAIN!

    WARNING -- Whining occurs throughout the first two paragraphsSummer is definitely my least favorite season.  They could cancel it if the farmers did not need it.  Pontooning is great fun, but it is best in the late spring and early fall.  Grilling can happen most of the year. Students and teachers could have longer breaks during the year instead of during the horrid hot summer months.  Grass would not look scorched.  Wild fires would happen less often.  Air conditioners would not be needed.  And just maybe, there would be a few less BUGS (insert the word "f-l-i-e-s).

    Don't get me wrong, I know some people love the heat and hate the winter, but I still believe that the world just might be a better place if people did not get hot and cranky because of  the weather.  And on the "glad game side" I glad that watermelon, peaches, cucumbers, and tomatoes make summer bearable.  =0)

    Enough on that line of thinking.  Today we have worked on a little more advertising of the business, gotten more organized for the weekend's rummage sale, and in a few minutes, I  am going to sew for the first time in 3 days.

    Need to mention that last night the three of us hosted the first annual neighborhood ice cream social.  It was a blast.  Dad made his chocolate chip cookies, he and Kevin made homemade ice cream, and I made really rich, gooey brownies.  Much was consumed, laughter was spontaneous, and everyone seemed to enjoy being with each other.  What more could you ask?

    Life is GOOD!

    Monday, August 6, 2012

    August 6: Education is NEVER EVER EVER wasted!

    Just think new pencils, pens, a new laptop, a calculator, and probably more reading glasses! Hooray!!!! (Do I "need" a iPad, too????)

    Some might think I am a degree hoarder or at least a collector, but education is NEVER EVER EVER wasted!  I love learning!!!  I already have three degrees, but this one is  help us build for our new future.  I am so excited about this plan.  Although I had considered trying to substitute teach one day a week, I think that the first semester I will be far too busy getting back up to speed as a student.  Maybe I can sub in December?

    I have been working on scheduling my classes.  I am going to work on an associates degree with a double major in entrepreneurship and marketing at Southeast Technical Institute.  It is a two year program and will help us to turn the things we love doing into businesses that will make a profit.  I love the idea of being a student and have been pouring over the course offerings all morning.  Once I go and register I think I will be in class from 8:00 to 2:00 most days, or at least at the school working on assignments. 

    Life is GOOD!

    Sunday, August 5, 2012

    August 5: Here Today, Gone Tomorrw

    Well, we did get the pontoon back and even got it out for some fishing today, but once again the motor had issues, so it will be going back to the shop tomorrow.  :0(

    Dad was the only successful fisherman today. 

    Friday, August 3, 2012

    August 3: Two Good Things

    Guess what has been fixed and is ready to go out to the lake on Sunday.

    The guys have been working most of the afternoon putting together my new quilting frame together.  It is not completely up and running yet, but it sure does have a nice even glide to it.  We have company coming for lunch tomorrow, so I do not think I will have much chance to try anything out tomorrow, but I will be quilting something on Sunday if things go well.

    Life is GOOD!

    August 3: Life Near Family

    How utterly cool is this?  My brother and his wife dropped off this wonderful surprise on our front porch last night.  There were more cherry tomatoes, but both Dad and I have been sampling this morning.

    August 3: Been Busy

    Some days are like that.  I have been busy for the past two and have not even found time to blog.  The 1st is always budgeting, bill paying, and considering all the options.  Added to that for this month, I was also doing the menu planning and building a master grocery check-off list that will work for the three of us.  Of course, I also squeezed in a couple hours of sewing.  Don't think I even turned on the radio.

    Found out that my quilting table will be delivered today, so yesterday, along with other errands, I needed to do some fabric shopping, etc.  We started by doing a little solid wood researching - where to buy, checking some stores, and talking to a few people.  Then we went to several different fabric stores to accommodate both Dad and my needs; thread, backings, pillow forms, batting, and of course fabric for piecing.  We also took a break while shopping to have lunch and then finished up with the weekly grocery shopping.  I ended up having to shop for the gray flannel I needed online.  We ending up the day washing 3 loads of fabric purchases and working on business paperwork.  We have more advertising put together and are getting closer to having our brochure ready for a final read.  Basically, we worked all day, but enjoyed it.

    Beyond my regular morning prayers and reflections, I did take time to give a little extra praise to God for working with my friends to find answers to their prayers.  I do not always mention such things, but I do believe that God answers prayers in His own time and in His own way, but only if you ask. He does hear and even when His answer does not seem to be what you thought you wanted, it always fits into the larger scheme of His plan for each of us.  Thank you, God, for being there to support my friends.

    Dad is going to attempt to make all his own blocks and then have me do the assembly of the top and quilt it.  Because each block will have something related to eagles embroidered in it, the actual quilting will be "in-the-ditch."  He is so pleased with his decision that I m certain he will have his part done in weeks, so I am scheduling my part for September.  lol

    Oh, I also took an hour to finish up some of my registration pieces for attending Southeast Technical Institute this fall.  I am going to spend part of each week for the next TWO years earning an associates degree with a double major in entrepreneurship and marketing.  I love going to school and this type of learning will definitely have an impact on growing our business.  I am truly excited and delighted that it is working out.  Learning new things is something I thrive on!

    Life is GOOD!