Monday, June 30, 2014

Put a Line Through It!

Let's call this one "Done!"  whew!

I've been keeping track of my UFO's since around 2005.  Perhaps it's been longer, but I've kept the lists dating back to then.  In 2005, the pansy quilt debuted at #8, though I started it in 1997.

In 2006, it was #21, in 2007, it was #18, in 2008, it was #11.  It usually hovered in the teens, falling to 14, jumping to 12, dropping to 24, then climbing to #18.  Last year it was #20, this year it was again #20.  What does the number mean?  It's a ranking of priority.  You might think that #20 is low on the list, but it was actually mid-level.  This year's list has 39 entries.  (My high has been 47.)

Here it is, in 2009, on the top of the pile.  These were the half-quilted hand-quilting projects on my list.  The other two have yet to be finished.  hey?!  Maybe the black one will finish itself during the World Cup too!  That one is even older, seeing as I started it in ... are you sitting down?  1988.  groan.

In my mind, the pansy quilt was the most boring quilt on the face of the planet.  Not only are the blocks ridiculously simple, but I'd set them in camouflage fabric.  The only quilting that showed was in the white, and there isn't much white.  In addition to the quilting being invisible, I chose to quilt in the Baptist Fan pattern.  It's a historic favorite, so I thought I'd give it a try.  I quickly discovered that I detest it, but I was committed.  It took a ridiculous 17 years to quilt. 

How long does it take to make a quilt?  REALLY long, if it's boring the quiltmaker!!

With all this build up, it had better be good, right?
How's about if you tell me?

Now that it's finished, it's actually kind of cute.  Had anyone else made it, I wouldn't declare it as mind-numbingly boring as it's been to me.  The border is green and purple hyacinth print.  It's looking a bit grey in the photo.

So.  BOOM!  Knock that one outta here and off my list.  The snowball crept forward again this month, and it feels oh, so good!!! 

Friday, June 27, 2014


I confess.  I'm a World Cup addict.  I was introduced to it in 1994, and have watched it every four years since.  Love, love, love it!  I claim that basketball is my "favorite," but I think it's my favorite sport to play.  Watching good soccer is a treat.  So much so, that I even watch it in Spanish, a language that I don't speak.

While tuning in, I've done some hand applique.  To be fair, I've done a LOT of hand applique.  I finished the head of hair.  One of these days I'll get around to choosing fabric for the body.  But not today.
In the down time, between games, I finished a few postcards.  Wanna see?

Most of the tops had been already attached, they just needed some stitching, backs, and satin-stitched edging.

Today's our 33rd anniversary.  wow.  Happy Anniversary to us!
Monterey, 2007

And now it's time to get ready to head out.  Chat at you later!

Monday, June 23, 2014


I'm not sure the above needs any commentary.

As I sit inside with my hand projects, watching the World go by, the sun beats down on our yard.

You may think, after seeing the well project and the water flowing freely under the walnut trees, that water is plentiful or that I think that it is.  Au contraire, it is in limited supply and we conserve as much as possible.  My backyard/home goal is to keep the trees alive.  The lawn is a lost cause, and I've already pulled out a number of bushes. 

Hot, hot, hot!

I've got another hour to prepare, before Mexico meets Croatia.  Congratulations to Netherlands - your team is looking quite impressive!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

This n That

After last week's intense experience with the well, this week seems pretty uneventful.  Last week was exhausting, and stressful, and I didn't even do any of the work!  This week, I am apparently content to sit in front of the TV for hours on end, watching the Spanish-language station (I don't speak Spanish).
Why would I do such a thing?  We don't have cable, so I don't have ESPN.  But Univision is free, so I'm watching the World Cup.  In Spanish.  Goooooooooooooooooooooooal!

It has been quite entertaining, but I find that I have to look up a lot more when I don't understand the commentators' chatter.

I finally had the new ceiling fan installed in my bedroom.  The old one broke in October? September?  The old one broke months ago, I ordered the new one in January.  It's been sitting in a box on the floor for MONTHS.  It was finally installed on Monday.  yay!
It's a lot more comfortable in there now.

We're going to have the house painted in July.  I've been washing outside walls and trying out paint.  My camera sees color differently than I do.  I'm going with the medium color. 

It was my first choice, but husband thought it was too dark.  "Go lighter!"  So I put on the lighter color, and it resembled the local trash trucks.  ew.  He said, "Go darker!"  And the dark was just a bit too much.  Then he told me to "Paint an entire wall!  I can't visualize it."

I almost told him to go jump in the pool.

Instead, I painted part of a wall.  This is all the same color, but the camera sees it differently than I do.
It's hard to believe, but I am confident that once the house is painted, it will recede into the background of the neighborhood.  When we bought it, it was a dreary grey.  We painted it what we thought would be pale blue.  Instead it was almost a glaring white.  Our house literally jumped onto the street.  It had been invisible, suddenly it was THERE.  I am hoping to fall back to something less noticeable, and "Acapulco Cliffs" (Pittsburgh Paints) seems to be just the ticket.

My Nana had brightly colored houses.  She said she didn't care what the neighbors thought, she just wanted something that made her "happy" when she looked at it.  This one makes me happy.  :)

Quilting also makes me happy.

I'm in the process of starting some of the applique from the David Taylor class last month.  I haven't finished picking all of my fabric for the entire image, but this part gives me some handwork to so, while I sit in front of the TV.
I definitely have a lot of work cut out for me.  It's all good.  Happy Quilting!!

Saturday, June 14, 2014


Yesterday the well was put back into service.  It was nothing short of miraculous. 
This was the waterflow we had one week ago:
Notice the difference in output!  We are now pumping from 183', instead of 120'.  Our reach has extended as far as it will go for this particular well.  We pray the future holds rain, lots of rain.  The aquifer needs to be replenished.  If the level of the water table continues to drop, we may find ourselves needing to dig a new well.  Today's rate for digging a 12" well (what we currently have) is in the neighborhood of $120-$130/foot.  People are digging 400' and more, looking for water.  Pray for rain!  Yes, I know it's June.  God can do the impossible.

I was fascinated to see what the new pump looked like.  This was the old turbine pump:
We used the same head, but now it looks like this:
 This is what the new submersible pump looks like:

 It was inserted into the hole first:
The first new section of pipe was added:
The electrical wiring was  attached and put into place:
 And it was lowered into the hole piece by piece, until all 11 sections of pipe were sunk, with the head holding them secure on the pad.  It took about 4 hours to get the pipes into place.  Then the electrical needed to be hooked up, both at the meter and at the box.  This took another hour or so.

It was close to 4pm before he pushed the button.  We waited.  And waited.  And waited.

The old pump was VERY noisy.  It chugged and glugged and let us know how hard it was working.  The new one?  He pushed the button, and there was nary a sound.

And then...15 or 20 seconds later...there was a gurgle, and water burst forth into the standpipe!
From there, it travels to our underground irrigation system, and comes bubbling up under the trees.
Within 20 minutes, it had already traveled the length of three trees!
Everyone was happy!

The most thrilling thing was to be out there before the dogs joined us and to listen.  Birds went NUTS.  We saw them fly as quickly as possible from the house to the orchard.  I watched and listened as they drank and bathed and flew and celebrated.  They were SO excited!  I had my camera with me, but it was tough to capture any images.

All in all, it was a wonderful life-giving day.  The trees are happy,
The dogs are happy,
Everyone is happy.  May it last and carry us through until the rains come!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Thar She Blows!

When last I left you, our ag well was simply a hole in the ground.  On Monday, the Web Spy dropped a camera down, to see what there was to be seen.  Everything looked good, with one exception:

Sometime, someone dropped a 100' measuring tape down the well.  There it is, at 198.8'.  All 100 feet of the tape were loose, making a wicked web, to catch anything that might not want to be caught...say a submersible pump?  Can you imagine if we hadn't known this was down there?  The pump would have jammed and we would have been at a loss to explain it.

The well itself, is dug to around 204'.  The casing (metal sleeve, into which the parts are inserted) reaches down 200'.  It is an "open bottom" well, meaning that below the casing it's, well, it's open.  Unfortunately there was a lot of sand and silt build up, which we were highly encouraged to remove.

First, they went fishing.  This hook was lowered 200'.  The cable was twisted, then let go, twisted, then let go, allowing it to spin and snag (hopefully) the tape measure.  They spun the cable a half dozen times, then brought it up.


The next step was to lower 200' of 4" pipe with an air compressor hose attached to the bottom.

Section after section was added.  (See the pipes behind him?)  They used all of the 4" pipe.  Once it was all lowered into the well, one section at a time, they added an elbow.

Once it was set into position, they turned on the air compressor.  Fire!
Water would gush out, then stop, then gush, then stop.  All the while, they were lowering the pipe up 12' then back down to the bottom, then up 12' (by 4' increments), then down again, trying to flush the mud and silt and sediment from the cavity.  This went on for over an hour.

When at last he was satisfied with the output, he had to once again remove the 200' of pipe and haul it away.

Our sons have also been trenching, to lay larger wire to handle the larger, more efficient pump.  Today's goal:  to have water flowing for irrigation by sundown.  Goals are good!

On a quilting note, I may have promised quilt pictures.  This little quilt is ready for delivery.  I finished it last night.

One more item checked off the quilt guilt to do list.  woohoo!