Saturday, August 30, 2008

Old Houses vs. New Houses

Houses are built to reflect the way people live in them at the time they were built.

Not a very important statement in itself but think of some of the changes over the last 50 years. Fifty years ago, almost no one had central air conditioning. Some stores had it, they even advertised it on the front door! "Come in! Air Conditioning Inside!". Some newer church buildings had it, I really believe that is why our attendance on Sunday night was the same as Sunday morning! But very few houses had it. I remember when our neighbor bought a window unit...all the kids in the neighborhood lined up to visit the new room!

But then, they were built differently too. Houses had windows on all sides, great for getting that summer breeze inside no matter which direction it came from. The west and east sides of houses usually had large porches to keep the hot sun from super heating those breezes. Some houses had transoms to let the hot air escape to the ceiling and then on to the outside. My grandmother's house was built around a large central hall with doors on each end. You opened up those doors during the summer and got a great wind tunnel effect! Our favorite place to play.

There were large trees all around the house to keep cool outside (which is where we spent a LOT of time growing up) and some houses even had sleeping porches for those unbearable nights!

I now live in a house that is only 5 years old, in a newer subdivision built about 5 or 6 years ago. Practically all the trees were cut down and scrawny 'specimen' trees were planted in the front yard. No front porch to speak of, only a small covered area to get out of the rain when you unlock the door. We have a covered back deck, but it is so small the kids only use it to eat their Popsicles and then scoot back inside.The front of our house has only two windows! TWO WINDOWS!!! And they don't have screens on them (HOA rules!) so they are useless for breezes. Both sides of our house have only one small window each...unless you count the window in the bathroom that doesn't open. How useless is that? So all our windows are on the back of the house. This wouldn't normally be a problem because we back up to what once was a wooded area (new subdivision now going in...don't get me started!), but the sun seems to shine in those windows constantly!

Why does all this rate a blog entry you ask? Because my air conditioning went out on the main floor! Yes, we still have cool air in the quilt studio and in the basement apartment, but since my son moved back home this week, the apartment is kind of occupied. We have opened all the windows we can, used every small fan we could find, and turned on all the ceiling fans, and the temperature in here at 10:45 this morning is a stifling 95. You say it isn't that hot outside? How can that be? I think I slept during that part of science, but I think it has something to do with how wonderfully our house is insulated... meaning it is GREAT at keeping in the heat...

Some time around noon the Air Conditioning guru will pay us a visit, tell us what is wrong, how much it will cost to fix it (like we have an option!) and how long we have to wait for the parts to come in...remember this is a holiday weekend!

While I am waiting, I'll guzzle a gallon of sweet tea (no sipping in this heat!) and try to figure out how I can convince my family I NEED to be quilting!

Stay cool!


Saturday, August 23, 2008

So, how's YOUR week been?

So, how's YOUR week been?

Last Saturday, August 16, was our 31st anniversary! Since money has been tight these last few months, we were just going to stay at home and maybe have a nice dinner some where. Not our usual anniversary trip that we have been doing for the past 10 or 15 years.

Thursday night, hubby calls and tells me he is taking me on a trip and to decide where I wanted to go and get a reservation...he had arranged for Amanda and Korey to babysit the younger ones. Woo where to go?

Keeping in mind our very limited budget and the price of gas, it had to be only a few hours away. Trying all the normal spots we go to I couldn't find anything under $100 a night at the short notice. I had just about decided to just stay at home and go somewhere close around here on Saturday

I lucked out and got a room for $60 at Chattanooga...since we've never been there (only passed through) we thought we would give it a try. We had a GREAT time and found a lot of things we might like to go back for!

I have been busy getting ready for Alyssa's birthday this weekend...well not getting ready for it. Mommy is doing all that...all I have to do is show up!! I have two quilts to get finished. I used her old baby blankets and made a quilt for a 'big girl bed' (sometimes known as a double bed) and used a bit to make a quilt for her baby dolls.

I had a problem coming up with a design for the quilt. Mommy didn't have a specific pattern in mind and just kept telling me to do what I wanted. All I knew for sure is that I wanted to finish it in time for her birthday, but had no ideas. I ended up trying to do a scrappy patch. Nothing special and too light for my tastes. Somehow I ended up with too many of the same fabrics too close together and didn't notice it until it was already on the frame and too later to do anything about it.

(I now have decided to make a quilt out of her outgrown clothes and using either the Paper Doll pattern or a Sunbonnet Sue pattern)

I measured and measured and measured. After I pinned to the frame and started quilting, I didn't like the quilting and ripped it out and started over... well, I'm not happy with the quilting! And when I got to the end I discovered I was short about 6 inches of backing fabric. Went back to get some more fabric only to discover they were out (imagine that !) so I had to go with a different fabric that was on the front of the quilt. When I finally finished and took the quilt off the frame...I FOUND MY MISSING 6 INCHES!!!

Can you say I cried???

Anyway, I attached the binding yesterday (not an easy task with Alyssa running around underfoot!) and after a final wash, have discovered about 10 places where the binding is coming off! So I'll be reattaching the binding before we go to her party this afternoon.

Damien broke his big toe on his left foot on Aug 1, and it has not healed right. So the ortho surgeon put him in a cast up to his knee to give his toe a chance to heal. Hopefully we won't need surgery...but in the meantime he is using the cast as a weapon! Very dangerous to be around him when he is mad!

Well, that gives you an idea of how my week has been, and now I'm off to finish Alyssa's quilt. If I ever get it finished I'll post some pics!


Friday, August 8, 2008

Busy Busy Busy!!!

Busy, Busy, Busy!

That is the best way to describe how things have been around here these past few weeks. I've been working on getting some quilts ready for the Crepe Myrtle festival next June. So far I have pieced a baby quilt and a twin sized quilt. They are both in the Around the World pattern. It is one of my all time favorite patterns. It is the one that Grandma Fletcher always made. I've managed to tweak it a bit to be able to piece multiple ones at the same time. I can usually do about three in one day.

I've also been working on getting Alyssa's birthday quilt finished. It is a quilt for her big girl bed. I'm making a full sized quilt out of her receiving blankets. I also made a small doll blankie as well. I've quilted the doll blankie, but I am having problems with the full sized quilt. I couldn't come up with any ideas for the piecing. I didn't have enough 'yardage' for anything but a scrappy quilt, but still had problems coming up with a pattern. I ended up just doing scrappy 5 inch squares. It is ok, but nothing special. I now realize I could have made a Sunbonnet Sue and it would have been spectacular!

Next time!

I'm also making some stockings for the entire family. We will use these at Amanda's house for our family Christmas Dinner. I want to be able to embroider everyone's names on them so we can use them as place cards...we'll see.

Sunday night, Shawn and Tasha helped Rex finish up the living room floor. I now have the entry way tiled, the hallway and living room finished in the beautiful hardwood floor. We only have the dining room to go in the hardwood and we have tile for the kitchen/breakfast room. But that will have to wait a while! I'm tired of living in a construction zone and I know the kids are tired of helping out!

Alyssa got her cast off on Tuesday! Her tendons are still really tight, and we have to work on stretching it out. Now if we can just convince her to walk! Oh well, I'm sure it will happen when she is ready! Of course she is climbing now. Yesterday she pushed the little yellow chair up to the sofa an climbed up to the seat area and then proceeded to try and climb on the table behind the sofa. She wasn't so happy with Grandma when I stopped her and moved the chair!

Last Thursday Damien decided to break his big toe instead of going to sleep. Hopefully it is not too serious, but we are going to a specialist next Monday just to make sure. It is a clean break, with virtually no swelling and only a little bruising. He has his two toes taped together 'buddy' style and so far hasn't slowed him down much at all.

Well, this is not all that has been going on, but I don't want to bore anyone too bad! Hopefully I can get some pictures of the quilt tops so I can add something of the 'picture-ly' nature soon. I'm getting tired of all this typing and not many pictures!