Thursday, June 30, 2016

Bibliophile alert and the challenge's end

Challenge prompt: "Have you read Gone with the Wind? Do you want to read it? What books do you read? What books have you read that you recommend? What books do you not recommend or will you not read? Give us your list of thirty books." 

My quilt-related thrift shop acquired publications. My favorite is Successful Scrap Quilts with my least favorite being the Georgia Bonesteel series (sorry Georgia). One would think just a couple of these books would be good enough, but surprisingly, I have found some tip or trick or pattern that was different and unique in each of them.

I was going to try and attempt a 30-minute free write, one of the choices of these prompts. I began a rant on politics and then deleted it (as interesting as this election has become here in the U.S.). Religion and politics are two topics I try to avoid in conversation and in the blogosphere. I also know that I don't like reading long, drawn-out blog posts unless they are humorous. I don't think I can be that funny for 30 minutes. I also type incredibly fast so I would end up posting a novello ya'll would have to slog through.

So we will talk books. Yes, I have read Gone with the Wind - in my teen years. In fact, most of my heavy duty reading was done as a teenager. I devoured at least a book a week, no light reading either, the majority of them were the classics. Rather than list those recommended, here is a link 50-books-to-read-before-you-die.

My reading of late has been college textbooks and doesn't leave much time for recreational reading. Of the books I would recommend that aren't on the 50 books list are (with the proviso that I was VERY MUCH into the horror genre for a number of years):

The Stand by Stephen King (I have read both the abridged and unabridged versions)
The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty. This was the first horror book that I ever read (at a mere 12 years old), and what a doozy. The book is infinitely more frightening than the movie (I know that is saying a lot).

I also like to read alternative publications from the 1960s. These types of books are extremely difficult to find, at least in the second hand shops.

I was so glad I could participate in this challenge. Even with my online college class, I was looking for a way to stave off boredom and Kathleen came to the rescue. Thank you to those who have visited me. Stay tuned for more fun and games in the months to come.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The train on track 29

Challenge prompt: "Have you ever ridden a train? Write a post about a train. Tell us about a train ride you have taken or one you'd like to take."

Mom and me in the last car of the Nut Tree railway, Vacaville, California, July 1969.
I have ridden Amtrak and one of the routes on my bucket list is Cascades route from Seattle to Vancouver. It is one thing to see it driving but another to see it from a train perspective.

The kids loved the Sacramento to San Francisco route (which included a bus leg) because they could move around the car and visit the loo whenever they wanted. Taking the train is great for excursions with mid-to-older aged children.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The games people don't play anymore

Challenge prompt: "There are 28 dominoes in a full set. Do you like to play dominoes or games? What are your favorite games? Tell us about a time you played a game with friends or family."

Board games are a casualty of internet-based technology. Why pull out a board game when you can go online and play any number of games, complete with sound effects?

Thrift shops reflect societal changes. What types of things are coming through or being donated? Board games, CDs, large heavy pieces of wood furniture, to name a few.

One of my favorite games was Trivial Pursuit. I am a font of useless information and was always successful on my Trivial Pursuit team. As a child, we would play Candyland, Operation, Checkers and, as I grew older, Monopoly (the shortened version where you would divvy up the real estate between the players).
I enjoyed playing board games. We would gather with friends or family and call a night of it. I think the reason we stopped doing that is other interests and activities have made a bid for our time and attention.
Do you still play board games?

Monday, June 27, 2016

27 sentences and how to survive on a State worker's salary

Challenge prompt: "Write about any subject but you must write exactly twenty-seven sentences, no more, no less."

How to exist on a State worker's salary, low compensation with retirement benefits deferred?
My no. 1 is shopping for clothes thrift. While I love retail and had an ongoing love affair with Macy's (they loved me when I was spending $200 a month on clothing) in the go-go 90s when money was plentiful. M and I are now once or twice a year lovers when lingerie is running low or needs to be replaced.
Find food at the farmer's markets. Luckily, we have a weekly farmer's market this time of year and there is one vendor in particular tucked away in a corner that cuts prices to the bone.
Buy day-old bread. Another find at the market is day-old specialty bread. This week's purchase was a seed bread with cranberries for $2.50.
Buy in bulk. A vacuum packer is your friend.
Bring a lunch. I know, a no-brainer but when all of the surrounding restaurants are calling out to you, "try me, try me," it is tough to pass them by.
Take public transportation. While not an option for me, I know many who do.
Carpool with a co-worker or other State employee. The agency I work for keeps a list of those interested in carpooling.
Live downtown. Many of the State agencies are located in and around the State capitol within walking or biking distance.
Live with a roommate. Easier said than done.
Work a second job. There are those who work the night shift at the arena and there are others who work at the tax agencies during that season.
It is not impossible to exist on a State worker's salary. It forces one to be inventive and to think twice about purchases, which is a good thing anyway. 
Are there any cost-cutting measures that you employ?  Do tell!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Merrily we quilt along

Challenge prompt: "A marathon is 26.2 miles. Marathoners don't start out running 26 miles, they start small and train for it. Tell us about something you worked for, something you thought you might never accomplish but did."

While I have never run a marathon and don't foresee that type of activity in my near future, I have completed 10 quilts ranging from crib to bed sized in the past year. My latest finish, I believe my best work so far, the Hello Kitty backed girl quilt.

I just used a straight stitch with the walking foot. The only free motion quilting used was to sign in stitch "Made by Tami 2016." If I had more time to work on this quilt, I would have added stitches to the sashing or used a higher quality material (live and learn). It took me awhile to see this mistake - I am missing a sashing at the bottom of the quilt, doh! (The Homer Simpson sound of frustration)

Linking up with crazymomquilts for Finish it Up Friday.

When I am quilting, I have to force myself to take breaks. With me, it can turn into a quilting marathon. Because the actual quilting part of the creation requires close attention and detail work, you can't let fatigue set in and ignore it. I can attest to that having severely injured myself while sewing a few months ago.
Fabric remnant organization continues with the gray, brown and beige tones.
Thrift shop finds included an aloha T-shirt, Merona navy blue skirt with big buttons, fabric remnants and a Quilting & Patchwork publication from 1974. Below is one image from that book.
Concluding this post with my orchid in bloom, one of five of my collection.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

My world and welcome to it

Challenge prompt: "Take a video about your world and share it."
I had hoped to share a video about me catching a fish but as fate would have it - we had a "Jonah day" on the ocean this past weekend. The Mr. caught one fish and I caught zero. Can't complain though as the waters were calm and the sun was shining so a perfect day on the ocean by my criteria.

Today is my birthday! I was lucky enough to be born 6 months from Christmas and on my parents' 10th wedding anniversary. Talk about timing!
I have much to be thankful for - I have good health, as do all of my immediate family. I am employed with no fear of being jettisoned because of my age. I live in the grand state of Caleeforneeya, known for its natural beauty and Mediterranean climate.  

Posting a glimpse of how I organize thread and fabric for quilting. After Googling "how to organize fabric" I read a few posts and then a lightbulb when off when one suggested utilizing an empty chest of drawers. You know I am all for repurposing and saving money whenever I can - so this was a great suggestion. I was looking into purchasing a bookcase but really don't have room for it.
My fabric stash before:
And after:
Remnants from the Hawaiian shirt hoarder

Scraps to be organized by color
and placed in tubs so they will stand upright in the drawer.

Thread in vases
I am non-discriminating when it comes to thread use in a quilt. I will use the color du jour left on my sewing machine to chain piece and join squares. I will buy thread retail for the quilt tops (with the exception of white - I seem to have enough of that color right now).

After I looked at a few suggestions by other quilt bloggers, I realized I am No Where Near SABLE (stash accumulation beyond lifetime expectancy) and here I was hyperventilating over the fabric I did have (gotta use it up - must make quilts NOW!!!).  I was amazed at the images of other quilter's stashes representing what seemed to be hundreds of dollars worth of fabric.

Continuing my birthday celebration by linking up with Beverly at howsweetthesound for her anything goes Pink Saturday featuring two pink pantsuit Patterns of the Day, the first from 1965 and the second from 1970.

Adding in a ballerina cake on my special day
A couple of shopgoodwill inmate dolls sporting pink.

Happy 25th day of June!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Treasured thrifts

Challenge prompt: "24 carat gold is valuable. Some value riches above all else. Tell us what is valuable to you. What do you treasure?"
This prompt is similar to an earlier one where we defined three things we couldn't live without so I am going to narrow it down further and post my most valuable thrift shop finds, mainly in the framed art category.
Beginning with the most recent, a framed embroidered piece of fabric that has now taken up residence in my bedroom ($5 from half off Saturday).
This artwork is displayed on my top shelf at work, no. 187/200, Florero con Banbu. Not the best image but a lovely print.
A thrift shop worker gave me an early Christmas present with a Maxfield Parish print priced at $200, sold to me for $40.
This Fred Draper acrylic on canvas continues to delight me (purchase price $6.50).
These are just a few of my treasured thrift shop finds.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

To phub or not to phub

Challenge prompt: "Have you ever had to choose In or Out? Maybe it was a job that you didn't like, or a business deal, or a relationship? Write about making a simple but difficult choice."
I will try not to phub. There was an article this month in The Atlantic entitled ignoring-people-for-phones-is-the-new-normal-phubbing-study. Phubbing, a new word to add to our ever-growing list of technology-related terms is phone+snubbing.
There is nothing most interesting than real-life interaction with people, imho.
While I will resort to gawking at my phone when I am alone, I try not use it around friends or family. In fact, I turn my phone off when I get home from work.
This certainly isn't a difficult but merely a simple choice I have made.
Do you engage in phubbing?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Fashion Bill of Rights

Challenge prompt: "We've heard of the 'Voter' Bill of Rights,' 'Patients' Bill of Rights,' and 'The Bill of Rights' made up the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Today you get to write your own Bill of Rights. What 'Rights' do you want to award to yourself or your family?"

hahaha When I first saw this prompt (Catch 22), I wasn't inspired, then I saw the "alternative" prompt, the one I've listed above and thought, "oh, am I going to have fun with that one!" Because, you know, I am going to parlay that into something fashion related. *grins*
I present the Fashion Bill of Rights!

Fashion First Amendment
Massive amounts of color must be worn on a daily basis. Black should be worn only for funerals or when you want to appear skinny.
Fashion Second Amendment
Banishment of the phrase "age appropriate." If you want to wear a halter top and mini-skirt paired with fishnet stockings, go for it!
Fashion Third Amendment
Be the body you are now - don't wait until you lose those few pounds to buy those wonderful, stylish clothes. People who love clothing and fashion admire how you interpret the style, not what size you are.

Only three amendments? Why complicate things?
Let's move on to thrift shop finds ~

A recent foray was at Thrift Town for their buy $20 get $10 off coupon. I spotted this Charter Club dress and filled in the rest with thread, a 1950's publication of Uncle Arthur's bedtime stories and a tie-dye shirt. The book is preachy and has some unusual graphics I will share in upcoming posts.

What type of Bill of Rights would you draft?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

21 gun salute to Vietnam War veterans

Challenge prompt: "The twenty-one gun salute is the military's way of honoring someone. Who would you like to honor? Who do you consider a hero?"
One gun will have to do for the day's image
Mr. VZ is a Vietnam war veteran. He volunteered to serve while others were drafted or dodging. He began his military service believing officers were gentlemen and enlisted were the knights Templar.
He ended his military service with the view that many died to preserve the interests of big business. He said as they were withdrawing from Vietnam, the deliveries of a name brand soft drink were coming in.
I never understood why our veterans, especially those from the Vietnam era were held in such low esteem. Granted it was an unpopular war, a televised war, but those who served did at the beck and call of the government.
A 21 gun salute should go out to all veterans from all conflicts but especially to those who served from 1955 to 1973.

Monday, June 20, 2016

20 minute chat and the great beyond

Challenge prompt: "If you could have a hot line to any person, dead or alive, who would it be? Who would you want to chat with if you only had twenty minutes on the hot line? What would you tell them?"

My father passed away over 10 years ago, I would love to have another 20 minutes to talk to him. I wouldn't care what we talked about, just to hear the sound of his voice, to hear his laugh just one more time.
I like to think he is in heaven looking down on me, watching over me.
Once I had a dream, not soon after he passed, that we were walking hand in hand along an ocean beach, enjoying that moment in time, and he caressed my cheek. I awoke from my dream. It was so real, down to the sensation of his touch.
I wonder sometimes if those from beyond can reach into our present reality for just that split second.
What you experienced contact of any type from friends or relatives who have passed on?

Sunday, June 19, 2016

No on the 19th letter and a man problem

Challenge prompt: "Can you be a blogging hero without utilizing the 19th letter of the alphabet?"
Hereforward, no on the 19th letter and what do you do when you have a man problem?  My man problem in particular - Mr. VZ.
Fight = mad = looking for new place to live.
Ad:  Golden Girl looking for luxury, low rent, free wifi/cable TV, no cleaning/watching duty involved, turnkey rental with locked room availability, pet ok.
Hard to find? you bet.
Luxury - big money for that benefit.
Low rent - exchange? ugh we won't go there
Looking on CL mainly 20er-30er or men wanting ...
Why did I ever unload my midtown bungalow?  Now I'm in a pickle. Oh, I remember a financially underwater abode with tree foliage in the yard that I am allergic to. Double ugh.
Why can't there be a place for a lady to live with another lady or two or three with nary a man around?
Anyhoo, all ok with the Mr. and me but he maketh me mad every once in awhile.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Photo day representing 18

Challenge prompt: "Post a picture representing the number 18. It can be eighteen items, eighteen people, the number 18, or even an 18-year-old."

I must admit this prompt had me stumped. I tried to figure out how to do a photo gallery (but failed) so I opted for eighteen items - some of the earliest compilations of California legislative business that reside in the certain State law library. This library isn't open to the public so I offer a rare viewing of these library tomes.
The topic seemed appropriate since I am currently taking a Business Law class and am scheduled to take a Legal Research class this fall.
What kind of eighteens are in your world?

Friday, June 17, 2016

Haiku youkoo deery day deery do

Challenge prompt: "A Haiku is a traditional Japanese form of poetry. It is three lines: the first and third lines have five syllables each and the second line has seven syllables for a total of seventeen syllables (often about nature). Write a Haiku, include a picture that illustrates your poem."

Deer eat my garden

Why did we build a greenhouse?

To keep them away
Counted cross stitch purchased thrift

Thursday, June 16, 2016

On the road again maybe

Challenge prompt: "Sixteen is the age at which you can get a driver's license in most states in the US. Was your first car a Ford? Tell us about getting your license or your first car - alternatively, write about a road trip."
Last year, the mom and I took a road trip up to Vancouver, Canada for a blogger meetup. I was apprehensive about attending such an event by myself and it was a great excuse for our first road trip together. Link to that event here.
She has encountered a few health issues that didn't allow for a road trip this year but I am hoping next year, time and money permitting, we can go somewhere fun like the Portland Jazz Festival or another blogger meetup in and around the Pacific Northwest area.
Any road trips taken or planned in the near future?