Happy New Year!!!!!

I first wish each and every one a Blessed New Year and a belated Merry Christmas!  I am starting mine off with a Big Bang and a bag full of happiness!  My back is doing extremely well with the TENS unit so I am good for now.

During this month we were so blessed to have sold our 36′ fifth wheel and our Dually truck to a very nice couple who will continue enjoying trips like we did.  Clay and I decided to shop for a new vehicle to replace the truck for future trips (shorter than 3 months at a time – and no loading and unloading) and purchased a beautiful Lincoln Navigator.  It is like driving a computer – what an experience.  It will be great for trips, plenty of room for suit cases and all the necessities when on the road!

Last Thursday as I sat in my Studio having my morning coffee, I realized  that things had to change because I had (again) stuffed too many things in nooks and cranny’s was overwhelmed with the clutter.  I would have absolutely no place to put the birthday fabrics I purchased in October!  No wonder I lost my creativity and desire to work on a project (well, OK maybe a few other things had gotten in the way) the last 2 months.  Clay and I discussed the problem and thought about  purchasing a portable building to use for extra storage space, but that idea went away when I started thinking seriously about doing that.  It would have ended up being a 2 month project and I was not going to start my new year that way!  So we discussed the idea of changing our music room into a “quilters storage room”.

This would mean selling guitar amplifiers and speakers and totally cleaning out the closet that had been such a mess for quite awhile.  Long story short, we ended up cleaning out the storage units in the Laundry Room (where I had stored 15 years of quilting magazines), cleaning out the Computer room file cabinets (anyone else keep paperwork on things purchased in the 1990’s?), and the wall to wall 4′  deep closet in the “now old” Music Room.  We also cleaned out some of the “things” in the Barn and what a difference!  This project was a tremendous amount of work, but we are finished and it so nice to have space to store things OR just great to open a cabinet or closet door and see organization.  I have now cleaned out the closet clutter in the entire house and it feels great going into the New Year with that chore completed, rather than starting off winter cleaning at the beginning of 2017!  Hope the Garbage men do not hurt themselves – those magazines were heavy.  We caught up with them and gave each of them a small Christmas gift and profusely thanked them.   I have kept the Quilter Newsletter collection hoping to find someone who wants them – otherwise – they are going in the trash can!

I had already cleaned out the room in the Studio where I keep my books and patterns, so the very last thing to clean out was the larger room that had become a mess!  I have one of the original Husqvara Designer 1 sewing machines (with the floppy disc) and never use the embroidery unit.  So I am selling it plus all of the software designs and extra hoops that were never used!  I used the unit 4 times and quickly decided that was not for me.   I am now thinking about selling one of my Featherweight sewing machines since I cannot sew with 2 at a time (LOL).   We have a lot of things that we have listed on craigslist and hoping to sell them.

We finished the 2016 clean up yesterday and it is so nice to have open spaces and more organization.  I believe that when we reach this stage of our lives it is time to do this type of “cleaning” and try to weed out things that can be passed on to others who might need them.

Here are some pictures of the finished product!

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My ironing board and Elfa Storage System

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Nice to see the table a little cleaner.  I will be cutting up the batting scraps into small 4″ x 4″ squares.  I keep them in a drawer and use them to clean off my cutting mat when trimming HSTs, etc.

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All containers and other things away from the long arm table and by the TV!

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This area held a LOT of batting and bolts of fabric and muslin. The flannel and black card boards are for the new storage shelves. I now have 2 more electrical plugs to use!

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My favorite spot in the room – my bay windows. I can watch the deer and the birds eating and the seasons as they change! How spoiled I am.

Here are the pictures of the new “fabric storage room”.

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The piano will stay and maybe I will take some time this year to play!

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The “For Sale Corner” Hope they go quickly. I convinced Clay to not sell his Taylor or Dean Guitars.

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The Closet. Clay built this room in 1995 and there is sound soak on the walls (a type of carpeting).

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Found a place for those big rolls of batting and there are 4 boxes of knitting yarn. I could not part with our record collection of ’78’s or our cassettes. Just too many memories, along with my music books.

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Found a place for my quilts and Clay has a beautiful telescope on the bottom shelf that will always stay. I may move some of the remaining yarn to the shelves, but that will be later.

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The new storage shelves! The bottom rows hold yarn and my 109″ muslin and backing fabric. The fabric on the top 2 shelves on the left are fabrics that have to be washed. The “birthday” stash! I was shocked to see how much batting packages had been stored behind the ironing board and under my sewing table!

The next important project is to clean the house.  My cleaning lady is having back surgery, so now I have to do what I can until she comes back, or unless I am lucky enough to find another person to clean for me.

As of now, my goal is to finish preparing 4 more CWB (Bird of Paradise) blocks, Ms Potts, and another section of Stonefields.   I am going to make one more attempt at Circa 2016 and if I do not have a good feel about it, the blocks will go to a young lady who sent me an email last month!

Have a safe and Happy New Years, don’t forget the black-eyed peas and cornbread (I forgot but my cousin Kay reminded me as I was headed to the store the other day – Whew!).

Happiness is Quilting, Knitting, and No Back Surgeries! Hurry Up 2017!

I will be the happiest person to see 2017 arrive!!!  I remember in 1992 I felt the same way and 1993 and beyond has been great (OK, there have been some hiccups).  I love New Year’s Eve because I know the next day is will be the beginning of a new year with a clean slate and going forward!  I do pray that 2017 is going to be a banner year for traveling, quilting, and just having fun!

There are a lot of movies that start off with the ending and then fill you in on the story.  So without having to go into the wonderful details of where I have been since the 3rd and 20th of November – here is the story in a nutshell.  I had my RF treatment on my back (they cauterised the nerves from the waist down – easy procedure and this was my 3rd one) on 3 Nov.  After the procedure I began to experience problems with walking in the morning, more pain, and overall muscle weakness.  My walking finally ceased because I could not walk without pain. Because I have had 4 fusions in previous years, I figured I had some herniated discs and would be headed for surgery.  A new MRI which showed only 2 bulging discs and they are the ones that connect the Lumbar and the upper torso (not good).  I made an appointment with Clay’s  surgeon and he advised me about a surgery that would fuse my entire back by redoing some of the old surgery (ouch) fusing 6 discs, adding a rod to put a “curve” in my spine and those love screws (8 sets).  OH BOY – sign me up! He told me that he did not do that type of surgery and did not recommend it but referred me to the surgeon who would if I was interested!  Based on that information I contacted my original surgeon (retired now) scheduled a visit with him for guidance and he agreed that an intensive surgery like that would be the final choice and that my situation was not at a point where I needed that extensive surgery!  WHEW!

By the time I was able to see the doctors, I was beginning to function again except for the shooting pains at the base of my skull.  I made an appointment with my pain management doctor yesterday who did the RF treatment.  I told him what I had experienced, and he looked at me and said, “out of the 500 or so RF treatments I have done ONLY TWO PEOPLE have had this reaction!!!!!  Well, hello to lucky me – where is that darn Black Cat?   I was relieved because after a while I began to think I was nuts and all of the pain was in my head!  I am grateful to the 3 doctors because they are all conservative in treatment choices and told me only as a last resort.  I now have a plan of action to prevent things from getting worse.  I am now going to have a brace to wear when I do my morning walk which will help hold my back straight, and am going to use a TENS unit (already noticing some good from that), continue stretching each morning, and continue in 5 months with another RF treatment and of course more and more walking!  I am truly blessed!

So now you can understand why I am so ready for 2017.  I look forward to feeling better with my old energy level back and knowing that I will turn over the house cleaning to my new housekeeper.  Shucks!!!  I do hope I find my creative juices flowing again and begin to enjoy quilting again.  While I was “resting” I did finish knitting a scarf that I had started a few years back.  But after taking Circa 2016 apart I have not touched anything that had to do with the word Quilt!

Two weeks ago I listed our Rig (truck and trailer) for sale on Craigslist, and within 2 days we sold it!  Monday morning Clay and I decided to look for a new vehicle – just to LOOK! HA!  Choices were an SUV or Truck so we would have a vehicle large enough for our future trips (and staying in hotels).  We headed to the Lincoln dealership first and then to the Toyota dealership to look at trucks.  We never made it past the Lincoln dealership as we purchased a Lincoln Navigator!  It will be the perfect vehicle for us when we want to take a trip.  Now I just have to learn the Navigation System since we have not had a vehicle with that capability.  It has been a very busy two weeks and we are both glad that it is over.  Clay and I are so blessed that we made the decision to sell the rig because those trips did affect my back issues and it was getting more and more of a chore rather than enjoyment to go on a trip.  A new phase in our lives!

I want to wish each and every one who reads my Blog a Merry Christmas and a very Blessed New Year.  I plan on getting back to quilting in a few days and line up my projects for 2017, most of which will be to finish up 2016 projects and prepare a couple of quilts to enter in the San Antonio show.  I also have a lot of new fabrics that need washing, pressing, folding, and then I will have to re-arrange fabric drawers.  I feel that I have more control over things now and hopefully I will be able to finish the UFOs.

Until the next time, have a great week and week-end and enjoy Christmas shopping.  I am looking forward for more cold weather (at least Texas cold).

PS – I think I have learned something about WordPress, or maybe any blog.  If I delete media from my files affects previous posts – won’t do that anymore!  Live and Learn!