Friday, July 28, 2017

When the Going Gets Tough

This is a week that I am happy to say (in the parlance of someone who has spent too much time on the road the last couple days) is in the rear view mirror. I am not sure that after traveling through Lake Havasu, AZ and Las Effing* Vegas, I will ever be cool - as in temperature - again. Of course, I`m otherwise cool; just ask my grandkids.
*Effing: in this case means F-ing or FRUSTRATING. Get your mind out of the gutter. 

It was a safe trip. It was a purposeful and successful trip. It was an effing (see above) HOT trip. More about that toward the end of this post.

But first, let’s talk about one of my favorite (and yours too, I bet) subjects; quilting and sewing and the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I`m linking up to Angela`s Scrappy Saturday gathering, where lots of us “cool” people are showing off our blue scrap fabric projects.

In July, I got a lot of blue blocks sewn for my Rainbow Scrap projects. In the collage below:

Top: (3) Bookshelf quilt blocks, (16) 6.5” Plus blocks and (16) 4.5” Bowties
Bottom: (2) Geese Migration Blocks, (42) 6.5” Friendship Star blocks and (8) 8.5” strings blocks. I actually had two string blocks from last year, but I did sew 2 more after this picture was taken, so I have ten total, 8 of which were sewn this month.

And then there was a selvage and fabric column, folded back upon itself to fit into a reasonable picture.

And 2 slabs of scraps that will eventually go into the making of kennel quilts.

That, brings my July Blue Blocks total to exactly 90. Whew. And then, I was able to finish my 24 pineapple blocks for the pineapple quilt. Currently they're on the design board in no particular setting. They're just having a Kumbaya moment together before being sashed and sewn together permanently. I hope to work on that in the coming week.

And, naturally, I am waiting anxiously for Angela to announce the color of the month for August. As I recall from the discussions at the beginning of the year, we still have pink, light neutrals (whites, creams, low volumes), orange, and dark neutrals (black, brown, gray) left. I`m down with any of them, but am secretly pulling for one in particular. LOL.

On Wednesday I flew to Lake Havasu, AZ where my brother Steve lives/lived. We went out to lunch, then he took care of his final business there in town while I read and napped. I do that so well. It is absolutely sweltering this time of the year in Arizona and Nevada. In the evening, he said goodbye to all his friends and we prepped for an early morning departure. Steve drove the U-Haul with a trailer attached. On the trailer was his 1930 Ford that he has been converting to an old-time custom hot rod for the last 10+ years. It’s a labor of love named “Hellion” which was a nickname for our deceased mom Helen. I drove his Toyota truck with camper shell.

Rim and sidewalls ...
We left about 7 am in the morning, and at 9:30 a.m. or so, out in the desert about 9 miles south of Henderson, Nevada (a suburb of Las Effing Vegas), a tire on the trailer blew. Spectacularly. I flashed my lights, our prearranged signal, and we pulled over. He hadn’t even known the tire was gone. But it’s a good thing we didn’t try to keep going; much of what was left of the tire was wrapped around the rear axle and brake line. You can see part of it in the shadow in the lower left of the picture.

Anyway, we called U-Haul, who called a local contracted tire dealer, and they were out to fix the tire lickety-split. If you call TWO HOURS in the heat (ranging from 93-99 degrees over the 2 hours) lickety-split. To be fair, U-Haul had to filter the claim down from a national number to the local dealers to the appropriate contractor, who was in North Las Vegas, a 40 minute drive away. And they did keep in contact by phone every 15 minutes or so to see how we were doing and keep us updated. The guy who came out (Hector, a god in our books who was nicely tipped) had it fixed in 15 minutes and had brought us four icy cold, refreshing bottles of water. Yes, we had water packed along (packed being the operative word) and a bottle each up front in our cabs. But it is hard not to drink a lot when you are sweating buckets.

So, after that there wasn’t even a hint of a problem. We did the speed limit, stopped about 3 times for gas and potty breaks or to grab and split a sandwich. By 8:00 in the evening we were home, with almost an hour of light left to unload the hot rod and Steve’s overnight essentials. On the left is a picture of my view of the truck and trailer with the hot-rod on it, taken through the windshield (sorry if there are smashed bugs on the windshield, hehe).

On Friday we returned the trailer so he could begin unloading the van, and we are more than halfway done - arranging things in our storage sheds, etc - as we go. I`m getting rid of an old antique washstand that I had in one of our guest bedrooms - I think cousin Kim is taking it because our kids didn’t want it. In its place is an antique (forties-era, lovely but not noteworthy) desk that belonged to our grandfather, then our mother in turn. When the desk is properly oiled and ready to begin its new useful life, Grandpa`s old red and white paperweight - the one that started my collection - will return to pride of place on its desk.

Finally, to end this post in another recap, I promised I would only give periodic updates on my progress on Weight Watchers, and I have chosen the end of the month to do that. As of last Tuesday (which marked my 5th full week on the plan), I have lost 8.6 pounds. Again, my goal is to change my lifestyle by eating healthier and moving more. There is no competition or race involved. So, I consider it a successful July. And a hot one that I don`t wish to repeat!
Cathy maroon


  1. Bowtie and Friendship Star. Today those blocks are mesmerizing me. Gosh I love the mouse on your bookshelf. Cute idea. For some reason I was thinking it was Bruce's brother that is coming to stay with you. Corey has some items he is coming to pick up including his motorcyle. I think that HE thinks he can put it in the back of his truck, but Terry measured and it's 9' long and his truck bed is 8'. It would be smart to get a U-haul. Who KNOWS what kind of weather you could run into driving half way across the country. I'm glad you made it OK with only one minor catastrophe. Hope the August color is the one you're pulling for.
    Have a great weekend.
    xx, Carol

  2. Wow! You have been a very busy lady! Bummer about the flat tire--if it had been a beautiful spring day--that probably wouldn't have happened. Love your little mouse on the book shelf. I am not sure what color I am hoping for next month. Dark kind of scares me,but I am up for any of them. I am hoping to have time to cut out yellow scraps for some pineapples! Congrats on the weight loss! Well done!!

  3. 90 blue blocks for this month's RSC project. Amazing - all gorgeous. Your Pineapple 🍍Quilt is looking great, love the one pink pineapple. Your trip sounded eventful. Glad your are now home safe and sound. Congratulations on the steady weight loss - that's the way to do it.

  4. Whew! Glad you made it home safely. We were in LFV a couple of years ago and it was 102. YUK! And Nevada is the brownest state I've ever seen. We were very happy to get to the Utah mountains after a few days. I LOVE your pink pineapple! It just makes the whole collection. I don't know how you get so many blocks done each month. And if they're all scrappy, where do all the scraps come from???

  5. girl! You got so much accomplished! Im in awe! And survived the heat!

  6. That's an amazing showing for blue month... way to go!

  7. SEW many BLUE blocks!!! You are incredible. I'm loving your Pink Pineapple Surprise!! (Sounds like some kind of interesting dessert, not to be confused with the desert you drove through this week.)

  8. Happy to hear you made it home in one piece! Except for the tire delay, it's sounds like a relatively uneventful trip, which is always a good thing!
    You always amaze me with all the blocks you get sewn in a months time! The cool blues look terrific! Can you please share some of your sewing mojo??? PLEASE?
    I just have this weekend to get through and then my only goals will be to start getting caught up with all the sewing I sadly have not been able to do and then get moving on getting a new manufactured home on my other piece of property so my daughter has a place to live come February. (Just getting that all set up is a full time job with lots of overtime!)
    So happy you are home again!!!

  9. Lots of lovely blues and what an effing adventure!

  10. Love all your projects going on there...that columnar one is so original--great use of selvages...
    good for you on the weight loss. I am in dire need to drop some "lb-age"...;(((
    do you FitBit, or just move more??? hugs, Julierose

  11. Well, you've had an exciting adventure! I love your blocks especially the books with the little cute! You sure did a lot of blue sewing.

  12. Whuff! Lots of blue blocks - lots! - and an arduous trip. I can just imagine how happy you are to have this particular July in your rear view mirror!

  13. Cathy, you are amazing! You not only survived the desert breakdown and the drive, but you surpassed yourself once again in your piecing accomplishments. Wonder Woman must be your alter ego.

  14. So many pretty blue blocks - isn't the blue restful and calming? Just what we need sometimes! Your story about the road trip reminded me of one with our oldest son about 5 years ago. He was moving to take a new job so we brought the truck and a trailer, about 7 hours drive, hotter than blazes, July, so similar to your trip. When it was all over, he said he didn't know what he would have done without us. Of course, that made it all worth it! :). Glad you got home safe and sound!

  15. A sea of calm, pineapples and an adventure! I'm glad you're back safe and sound so I watch you outdo yourself again.

  16. Beautiful blue blocks and I love the punch of colour in the pineapple quilt. Are you trying to influence Angela? What an eventful trip! I know you're hoping there won't be a repeat of that adventure any time soon.

  17. Love all your blue blocks. You did really well, 90 blocks is nothing to sneeze out. Glad the blow out was the only problem you had on your moving trip. Congrats on the weight loss. It's not easy, but it's very worth while. I've lots 50 lbs in the last year just by changing my eating habits and getting in at least 2 days of gym time/walking each week. My biggest hint is to not give up if you mess up. Just get back on track the next day.

  18. Ditto the love of ALL your blue blocks. Glad your trip did not have any more problems.

  19. Wow - such a busy month! Glad your desert adventure turned out OK - I would not have been a happy camper if I had to deal with a blow out in the desert!!

  20. Love Vegas memories! It was 107 while we watched the Pirate Show at Treasure Island and Quiltique in Henderson was amazing! Hope you get another nap this afternoon.

  21. All I can say is that I'm very glad I'm always sitting down when I read your posts! So sorry about the desert adventure - not something that could have been the least bit fun. Just glad you are safe!

  22. Such beautiful blue blocks! That kind of heat can be so draining, it is a good thing you had so much water. Glad all turned out well in the end.


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