Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dr. Doolittle lives here

As most of you know, we found a puppy running loose on Christmas Day and decided to keep her.  Our cat, Puff, wasn't thrilled about the idea but she's beginning to warm to the idea slightly.  Puff speaks cat and Macy speaks dog while an 11 y.o. "translates".    Never a dull moment at my house.  

Macy wants to play 'chase me', while Puff thinks Macy is on the attack....so Puff scratched both of Macy's eyes tonight.

Emergency vet bill: $154
Puppy anitbiotic, puppy tylenol and eye ointment: $125
Cone around her head (I.e.: can't chew shoes, toilet paper, etc.): PRICELESS

Can we keep the cone on until she's through puppyhood?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Trooper home from the hospital

It was not a surprise when residents rushed to the aid of this trooper in the hours and days after he was shot last week.  I’m grateful he’s at home healing and anxious to get back behind the wheel.  The men and women who work to protect us on the road are under-appreciated and under-paid.  It was more than heartwarming to watch one of our finest troopers experience firsthand the spirit of North Carolina surround one of our own and help get him back on his feet.

I hope this speaks to all law enforcement officers.  Imagine the long hours our police officers spend in a car, helping to change a tire in the rain, bringing hope to someone who ran out of gas, besides the thankless job of handing out tickets, reminding the rushed to slow down and be safe.

 Along with keeping them in our prayers, we can lighten their load by helping ourselves.  Drive the speed limit.  At home, keep your doors locked and the bushes trimmed away from your windows.  Our family added a watch dog to the list of things we do to stay safe.  On Christmas Day we found a stray dog, and after searching for an owner, and finding none, we decided to keep her.  Macy is a great watch dog.  She's a wonderful addition to our family in more ways than one!  My daughter took her for a walk on Sunday morning, and forgot to lock the door when she came back inside.  A few hours later, I noticed it, locked it and went on making lunch.  Not 5 minutes later I heard the door handle rattle, Macy heard it too and ran barking and growling to the front door.  I thought I had locked someone out of the house, but by the time I reached the door they were gone.  When I noticed both kids were in their rooms, and it wasn't dad, I called 911.  I made a police report.  I'm convinced Macy's barking and growling sent whoever it was on to someone else's house.

The Lord takes care of us in ways we don't realize!  I have a sister one year younger, who bought a house in the country, and lives alone.  She went out to the mailbox the other night and a 'voice' told her to look over at the side of the house.  She looked and saw someone crouched at the corner of the house.   He was fairly easy to see because there was a full moon and snow blanketed the ground.  She assumed he saw her come outside the house, and indeed, the man was looking in her direction, but she could tell he couldn't see her.  So she walked down the road in front of the house until she was right across from him.  She stood there staring at him.  She watched as he was doing something on the side of the house, when he finally saw her and froze in his tracks.

Now I need to explain, when we were growing up, my sister created a sound with her voice when she was 13 and our younger brother was 9 years old.  She can drop her voice to a deep base that is almost like it's electrified with vibrato, and it's extremely loud.  When you hear it, the hair stands up on your neck.  When she used it on my poor brother he ran to get mom, screaming that demons were hiding in the bushes.

As she stood there staring back at this man crouched by the side of her house, she decided to use this voice as she told him "What are you doing there?  Get away from that house and don't come back".  The man couldn't get out of her yard fast enough!   The next morning she went outside to check the house and found footprints in the snow.  The man had been pulling the cables off the side of her house, probably for the copper.  She started reattaching the cables using a ladder, and as she went higher on the ladder she looked back at the footprints leading away from the house.

It’s reassuring, knowing our law enforcement officers are always there, ready and more than willing to provide back up when our own defense systems aren’t enough. Thank you to every officer who may be sitting in a car right now, anxious for the clock to move a little faster so you can get home.  We appreciate you!  And we’ve got your back if you ever need us.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Scrapbook pages 6-7

As you know, I'm making 6 Civil War scrapbooks to go along with the 6 quilts I"m making to honor my GG grandfather, James Monroe.  Here are pages 6 and 7:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Think Nemo was bad?

Now that the blizzard has blown itself out, the streets are becoming clear, the 10 foot piles of snow on the sidewalk have melted to a mere 8 feet, I'd like to share this with you:

A video posted online yesterday shows thousands of spiders "raining down" in the southern Brazilian town of Santo Antônio da Platina.  Apparently, in Brazil, this phenomenon is normal.  Personally, I would not use the word 'normal' to describe a spider downpour.  Earthquakes are also normal but I've never seen anyone in the history of the world use the word normal to describe an earthquake.  Can you see this as a headline?... "A normal earthquake hit Japan today, killing 5,000."    I don't think so.

I will never, ever, ever complain about snow again for the rest of my life.  At least not until the next blizzard hits.

I've been working on a new American Hero quilt today.  This is my first try with rulers.  When I loaded this one on the frame, it called out for ruler work, don't you agree?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Noses are on sale, if you can make to the store!

My readers up north are getting slammed by the blizzard of 2013 today. It is predicted this blizzard may be like the blizzard of 1978.  I remember that one. We had a snow drift that covered the south side of our house for a month.  I was on the farm in Iowa then.  North Carolinians have no idea what a real blizzard is like.  If there is a rumor that it 'might' snow, I make my appearance at the store, to perform my southern duty to help clear the shelves of milk and bread.  Not because I have to, I am a northerner after all.  But you do what's expected of you when you live down here.  Neighbors expect to see their neighbors at the store for a chat, and if you're not there, they wonder if something is wrong at home.

The blizzard of 1978 lasted 3 days and the snow came down sideways.  Our farm was in town, believe it or not.  
When I want to impress people, I tell them "Yeah, our farm bordered most of the town I grew up in".  What I don't tell them, our town had a grain elevator and one street lined with a grand total of 12 houses.  That's it.  One of the driveways on this street was our lane, which was 1/4 mile long.   We'll just keep that between you and me, all right?

My grandfather worked for the railroad during the blizzard of 1936.  That was the blizzard to beat all blizzards. He drove a road grader, a machine with a large blade to resurface or "grade" a gravel road.  This was done to fill in ruts or holes, and to move the gravel back to the center of the road

On February 6, 1936, a blizzard stopped all activity in the region.  Temperatures dropped to 25-below-zero and the train was held up in Worthington, Iowa for nine days.  There was no relief in sight from the snow and high winds for days to follow.  It filled up valleys and produced huge drifts that blocked roads and even had the railroad at a halt.  This caused depleted supplies and many families had to risk walking into town to get needed supplies that may or may not be available.  Schools were shut down indefinitely and shoveling produced snow piles ten to twelve feet high in front of businesses.

Doctors couldn't get to ill patients and the farmers organized to drive in shifts to get the doctors around.  Getting the doctor from place to place took thirty-eight men and twenty horses just to go eight miles in the blizzard. The horses and men simply got mired down trying to get through such harsh conditions. 

When the trains were finally moving 2 weeks later, with plows mounted to the front, they had to barrel through the drifts at 35 to 40 miles per hour to get through.  The depot had to board up windows to prevent them from breaking when the trains blew through.

Early on in the blizzard, my grandfather heard news that 3 men driving snowplows on Hwy 69 were buried in snow, trapped and no one could reach them for rescue.  He worked his road grader for nearly 2 days, with no sleep, to reach the men. Iowa Governor Clyde Herring honored him for the extreme measures he took to save his co-workers from certain death.

My grandfather was a great man.  He was humble and quiet, and when he spoke he usually had something good to say.  In fact, I had him in my life until I was 29 and never knew he had been honored by the governor of Iowa.  The story was told at his funeral, to the astonishment of all his grandchildren.  I wish I had spent more time listening while he was still living.  Perhaps he would have said more.

Blizzard of 1936 - Iowa 

Well, I should sign off now.  There's a rumor going round that it "might" turn to sleet tonight and I have an appearance to make.  I need to do my makeup and hair.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Christmas and treasures

Several of you may recall we found a dog running loose on Christmas day.  After going the usual routes to find the owner, and finding no one, we decided to keep her.  My son named her Macy.  She's an adorable little thing, but within a few days it became apparent that she is not a Christmas dog.  9 rolls of shredded toilet paper later, plus numerous treasures from the garbage can tucked neatly under the dining room table... it appears we do not have a dog on our hands.

I was taking photos this morning for a column I wrote for our local newspaper.  The editor had a moment of temporary insanity and asked me to write a few columns for him.  In this one, I included a link for a recipe of mine called Chow Chow.  Southerners know what Chow Chow is, if you're a Northerner, click on "Gardens" at the top of this page and you'll see the recipe, as well as the column.

While taking photos for the article, I noticed the snowman I was using in the display.  The poor thing had been removed of his arms.  Unbelievably, there they were on the floor, lying in broken pieces, covered in dog slobber.  A friend of mine inspected her teeth, low and behold, several were still un-erupted... so we have a Christmas Puppy on our hands.

I think we'll keep her around another year or two, and see how it goes.  Something I've also said to my children since they were born, and I ended up keeping them... but we'll see...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I'm a mother. 20 years later.

My mind couldn't wrap itself around the thought back then, when a few people said tyranny had come to America.  I remember being unable to contemplate the thought that my government would ever begin to treat it's citizens the way Russia or China or South Vietnam treated their citizens.  This was unthinkable.  I clearly remember putting the thought of an unarmed mother holding her baby out of mind, and I went about my life.

I'm a mother.  20 years later.  And I think back on the murder of an unarmed woman holding her baby.

Her last photo
An unarmed woman holding her baby was labeled a threat by my Justice Dept at Ruby Ridge.   20 years later, my Justice Department is making an attempt to legally label someone else a threat... without due process... to legally murder anyone they label a threat.

NBC: Justice Department memo reveals legal case for drone strikes on Americans

Randy Weaver and his family were just another set of "troublemakers" who wanted to be left alone.  While I, and most of Americans like me, paid no attention to the atrocity, a substantial minority on both sides of the political spectrum did pay attention.  They were outraged and wouldn't forget. And dear Lord, forgive me, I want to forget.  I don't want to remember.  I remember seeing the funerals on the news.  Yes, I prayed for the baby who would never know his mother.  I remember.

The actions at Ruby Ridge were studied long ago.  And, damning as the Justice Department investigation was, officials are believed to have destroyed evidence to keep it away from investigators. The Justice Department completed a 542-page investigation on the case in 1995.  Then hid the report from the public.  However, the report was acquired by Legal Times newspaper, which placed the report on the internet.  The report revealed that federal officials may have acted worse than even some of their harshest critics imagined.

Federal officials claimed a violent confrontation between the Weavers and the government began when the Weavers ambushed federal marshals, but the report tells a very different story. A team of six U.S. marshals, split into two groups, trespassed onto Mr. Weaver's land on Aug. 21, 1992. One of the marshals threw rocks at the Weaver's cabin to see how much noise was required to agitate the Weaver's dogs. A few minutes later, Randy Weaver, Kevin Harris, and 13-year-old Sammy Weaver came out of the cabin and began following their dogs. Three U.S. marshals were soon running away through the woods.

At one point, U.S. Marshal Larry Cooper "told the others that it was ['expletive deleted'] for them to continue running and that he did not want to 'run down the trail and get shot in the back.' Cooper told them to take up defensive positions. They took a position behind a stump and waited.  As Sammy Weaver and Kevin Harris came upon the marshals, gunfire erupted. It was Sammy who was shot in the back, killed while running away from the scene (probably by Marshal Cooper, according to the report).1

Does tyranny begin when an angry young man, remembering Ruby Ridge, blows up a federal building filled with babies in a daycare, along with men and women innocently going about their day?  Or would that be anarchy?

When does tyranny begin? A dad, a 13 year old boy, his mother and his baby brother were innocently going about their day, too.

My government wants legal permission to send drones, instead of federal marshalls, to kill Americans they think are a threat.  And I want to be protected!  I want my government to do a good job keeping my family safe.  But what happens when my government runs amok?  They want to control who gets to buy automatic weapons, to protect me they say.  Like they protected me from an unarmed woman holding her baby?

Slowly, like a child testing the weight of ice on a lake in winter, my government has tested the waters of tyranny, to see how far they can go.

The U.S. Supreme Court said "It is not the function of our Government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the Government from falling into error." - in American Communications Association v. Douds, 339 U.S. 382, at 442.

Please God, please help the American people ask what I'm asking now.  And dear God... please let the powers in Washington listen to the American people they serve.  Please let them ask, when does tyranny begin?  No, better still, let them ask what will the anarchy that follows look like?

1.  source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby_Ridge

Monday, February 4, 2013

Thread problem solved

Update: Once the humidity went up, the thread stopped falling off the cone.  How did I know this was a factor?  When you try threading the needle, and the thread is drawn away from the needle, landing on the metal hopping foot, then you know static is a problem.  Put humidity in the air, and this solves the problem!  And your nose will thank you as well!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Tension problems?

I'm trying to use a new thread this weekend, a 50 wt So Fine variegated with luscious colors.  I'm having fits with it though... arrrrgh!  The thread is falling off the cone too fast, gets caught and 'snap', the thread breaks.  I have 2 variables that could be causing the problem.

I placed a thread sock on the cone, but the thread is still loose near the top of the cone.  With the thread sock, the thread doesn't fall off the cone, but the thread is loose as it unwinds near the top of the cone.  I also have high static electricity in the air, so that could be the problem as well.

I placed a pot of boiling water on the stove to put humidity in the air.  We will soon see if static is the problem.

While taking a break from the break, I found a great video on tension problems.  You don't need an expensive TOGO tension gauge, it's simple!  Take a look and let me know what you think?

Update: Feb. 6th Here's the url, for some reason over 700 of you visited my page today, and blogger is having a temper tantrum over it.  (smile)

He really knows tension!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Long arm in action

This post ties into the last post.  I found a video that can help the non-quilters visiting my blog see a long arm quilting machine in action.

Long arm quilting is sooo relaxing.  Beginning quilters can easily use a long arm quilting machine. I use a Tin Lizzie 26" machine, but there are several brands available.  I like Tin Lizzie because it isn't picky, doesn't fuss when I switch thread weights, in fact, I don't even need to adjust the tension.  Thread the machine and just go!  Tech support is Faaaabulous as well, I was very impressed when I needed to call tech support.

If you have a long arm dealer nearby, visit the shop and test drive a machine.  You'll see how easy and relaxing it is.  It doesn't matter which brand is near you, all long arm machines use the same basic machinery, it will be the options that are different between brands.  Whatever's Quilted, in Wake Forest, is my favorite shop, along with Bernina World of Sewing on Glenwood Ave. in  Raleigh.