Sunday, February 27, 2011

Nature Quilt Square

I finished my sister's quilt square she asked me to do for her.  Judy needed a quilt square for her friend's son's graduation and she asked me to make it for her.  I only had a few days to make it so I didn't quite add everything I wanted to put in it.  I wanted to add the scripture verse that is his favorite and I also wanted to add some colonial knots to simulate snowfall.  I ran out of time.  Anyhow here's the picture.
Ross' quilt square
 Ross, the young man who will be getting the quilt is graduating from high school.  Acording to Judy, the ladies in his church make a quilt for each graduating senior.  He loves the outdoors so my sister wanted a square that would remind Ross of Alaska.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Big mistake!

Tonight when I came home from picking Evie up from piano lessons, I drove into our parking area at the house and saw the empty spot where I park the 1992 Subaru Justy.  To somewhat justify the ridiculous mistake I made...I am usually the one driving the Justy.  Tonight, however, I was driving the Toyota minivan (not all wheel drive). 

O.K. now back to the empty Justy parking spot...I saw the empty spot and my brain told me to drive into the empty spot and park.  Within seconds I realized I was driving the Toyota minivan...I'll add again...without all wheel drive.  Well, well, well, I got that Toyota minivan without all wheel drive stuck deep in the wet snow.  I should mention that it rained a bit today and with evening approaching; the snow was starting to ice up.  I tried backing up and going forward and backing up and so on but I just kept getting deeper into trouble.

To make matters worse I was now blocking our big 3/4 ton blue Ford 4X4 truck.  Sadly there would be no help from that behemoth.  I called all the kiddos outside and we started to dig.  While digging I was wondering why Lindy took the Justy out.  Of course, it didn't matter why, just that the spot was empty and my 'ole brain clicked into automatic and my hands steered the wheel into that spot.  I could have kicked myself in the proverbial backside for what I had just done.

We dug and dug and we were no further ahead (or should I say behind) in backing the minivan out of this mess.  Lindy arrived home to see five of us digging and pushing.  She must have thought I had lost all my marbles to have driven the minivan in there.  I had!

We conferred and decided that we needed to see if the little 'ole Justy could pull the minivan out.  The kiddos got inside the truck and found the tow rope.  To complicate the matter the tow rope had one metal hook missing from one end when several years ago we were trying to pull a truck out of a tight spot and snapped the rope.  I had tied a loop on the broken end and we've used it that way ever since.

Towing the minivan sounded like a swell idea until we checked underneath both rigs and could only find toe holes but no tow hooks to slip the self-made tow loop around.  Then Lindy came up with an idea...slip the tow hook end into the tow hole in the minivan and put the tow loop end into the door of the Justy and close the door.  That should do it.  Right?  Wrong!  The minivan was stuck so tight that the tow rope just slipped through the door. 

Back to the shovels.  We dug and dug.  The snow was walled up around the running boards and the minivan was somewhat high-centered.  Every so often we stopped digging and Lindy would rock the minivan while we all pushed and then Lindy would put it in reverse.  We did make some progress doing that.  For the next 45 minutes or so we dug, pushed, dug, pushed, dug and pushed and indeed we continued to make slow headway.  Sadly we got to the point that we were so close to the truck that we could barely slide the shovel between the two vehicles. 

We admitted defeat and tried calling some friends...of course it's Wednesday night.  No one was home.  While my sister was calling friends, Hammie and I went to the Justy.  Hammie shone the flashlight under the rig while I lay flat on the snowy ground and examined the belly of this little beast.  We found one tow hole that might be big enough to slip the loop through which would allow us to slide the hook through it, tightening it like a belt.

I hollered for the other kiddos to bring the tow rope over and Hammie and I went to work while praying for this to be successful.  It was.  Hammie and I whooped out a yell of success and I backed the little 'ole Justy up to the rear end of the minivan.  Martin slid the tow hook end into the tow hole of the minivan and we had all kiddos take their positions at the front of the van to push with every ounce of their being.

When the kiddos gave the countdown I was like the NASCAR racer putting the pedal to the medal.  The Justy took off and quickly leapt off the ground and stopped dead in its tracks.  I failed or so I thought until I heard a cheer rise up.  Apparently the minivan gave a bit of a jump backwards too.  We repeated the process several more times until that final pop when I was able to keep the Justy rolling and the minivan was free!  Wow!  It worked!

We quickly set both rigs free of the towrope and I parked the Justy while Lindy drove the minivan into the garage.  As I was able to let all my stress go I suddenly realized that I had to use the restroom IMMEDIATELY!  I quickly surmised that there was no way I could make it inside the house to the restroom.  Yes, folks I had an accident right outside in the snow.  Once it started, there was no way I could stop it!  The dam had burst!  When everyone realized what had happened they looked at me not quite knowing if they should laugh or not.  Everyone looked around at each other and then I heard a little bit of a chuckle come from someone and then it became quite contagious and within seconds everyone was laughing.  I must admit it was funny. 

We're all inside and warmed up.  Supper is in the oven and we'll eat and then head right to bed.  Oh my, what a night.  Two nine year old boys, two thirteen year old girls and two old ladies from Alaska actually pulled that Toyota minivan, without all wheel drive, out from its seemingly snowy grave.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Finished Reading a Good Book

     I just finished reading a good book called, An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor.  Barry Laverty is a brand new physician and wanting to take a job as an assistant in a rural village practice in northern Ireland.  The author paints a wonderfully and funny picture of the village of Ballybucklebo.  I wrote a review for this book which you can find on my website:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Woes of the worrisome automobile

We have a 1992 Subaru Justy.  This old beat up little bit of a car has such wonderful gas mileage that I try to use it for many errands.  Friday night I drove to town in it with Martin and Evie (my two kiddos).  On the way home I was pulled over by a state trooper for not have current registration tags on the license plate.  He asked to see my proof of insurance and he informed me that it had expired near the end of December, 2010.  O.K. so now I have expired tags and no current proof of insurance.  Then he tells me my front right headlight is out.  This is going downhill very fast.  I know I'm doomed.  While the trooper takes my license, etc. to his unmarked trooper car to run the plates Evie and I search the glove box for a current insurance card. 

The trooper returns (after a lengthy absence I might add) and asks if I found the current insurance paper.  I show him that I found 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and he's hold 2010 but no I don't have current proof.  I see in his hand a piece of paper that looks like a ticket to me.  I'm doomed!

He tells me that he's giving me a citation for not having proof of insurance but I can get it cancelled if I show proof at the police station within 30 days.  He ran the tags and discovered that I do have current registration tags but then are on the new license plate that we ordered and was sent in the mail.  He let me off on that one and he told me to get my headlight fixed.  I drove home constantly looking in my rear view mirror waiting for another trooper to stop me.

Monday morning I got the proof of insurance and went straight to the police station.  The officer takes the citation and comes back later and says that everything is in order and I can go to the court house to register the clearance of the citation and that will wipe it clean and I won't loose six points and have to pay $510.00 in fines.  Then he tells me that my tags have expired (which I knew about because of the mail) and also told me that my driver's license expires in two weeks on my birthday.  That I didn't know.

Next, I hightailed it over to the courthouse and waited in a, thankfully, short line to get my citation forgiven.  When she stamped it and gave me my copy I breathed a sigh of relief.  I did not want to loose six points and pay $510.00 for not having current proof of car insurance.  Sometimes I'm such a idiot for not checking these things on a regular basis.

Anyhow, next stop the DMV - Department of Motor Vehicles.  I parked and Martin and I (Martin was home sick because he was having repeated asthma attacks from a cold he was dealing with) went into the DMV expecting to have a long wait.  There was one person in there and he was being helped.  I pulled the number ticket to get in the queue and they called my number before I could even get the papers I needed to fill out.  That is one very good thing.

The lady at the DMV was very nice and I explained all the reasons I was there and I begged her to make me legal the cheapest way she could.  After filling out a multitude of forms, waiting a bit when the computers went down and then having to take an eye exam and get my photo taken I was out of there.  I am now $157.00 poorer but can drive legally about town.

All that happened Monday...move to yesterday...Tuesday.  I'm subbing a half day for Lindy while she goes to the dentist.  I leave the house at 11:00 a.m. to make the 10 minute drive so I can be there a tad early.  I hadn't really looked outside the entire morning and I was quite surprised to see quite a bit of snow coming down and a good amount of fresh snow already on the ground.  I go to the Justy, wipe off a large amount of heavy snow and plow my way out of my driveway.  The Justy struggles to stay on the road with the snow being quite deep.  The snow truly reached up to the bottom edge of the car doors.

On the drive to the school the car really struggled to make it through deep snow.  Twice the car just died while driving and I had to pull off and baby it to get the ignition to turn over again.  When I arrived at school I pulled into the entrance and the car died again.  I end up gliding to a stop right smack in the middle of parent pickup.  I will not restart.  I call Lindy on Evie's cell phone since my iPhone died and I have to borrow Evie's little phone.  I tell her that I'm at school but the car's dead and blocking parent pickup.  She says that she's got to leave and I tell her that I leave the car and let the custodial know and head right into her classroom.

When I opened the car door to get out I turned the key once more for one final try.  The engine turned over so I slammed the door, put it in first gear and drove into the first available parking spot.  While turning into the empty space I heard a pop and saw my right windshield wiper pop off the car and fly through the air.  Oh my goodness, now I've lost a wiper blade. 

I got out of the car, found the wiper blade and high-tailed it into her room.  She quickly left so she wouldn't be late for the dentist and I finished teaching her lesson.

I am fed up with car troubles.  I know I'm blessed to have a car but I must admit that I'd love to have one that is trustworthy!

I will add that after school I went to the car, put the key in the ignition and it turned over just like that.  I drove home in a nasty snow storm with one wiper blade and the other wiper blade holder nastily squeaking on the window glass for each sweep it made.  I will have to get out the good 'ole duck tape and tape that wiper blade back on. 

If that doesn't work maybe I can Gorilla glue it back on...just a thought!

Happy Birthday...I have a teenager

My Evangeline Ruth turned 13 years old today.  Oh my goodness I'm amazed that so many years have gone by since I brought that scrawny six month old baby home from China.  So many amazing and wonderful changes she has brought to my life.  Now I need to learn to deal with teenage "attitude"!

We had a nice family birthday party and Evie selected her favorite meal for supper; tuna noodle casserole and crescent rolls from the tube.  I must say that this was a very easy meal to put together.  She designed her own cake and a co-worker of mine made it for her.  It was just darling and when I figure out how to get photos from Evie's camera to this computer I'll post some pictures of it and her birthday celebration.

But for now...Happy, happy birthday my sweet sunshine.