Don't Drink It!

Trust me... it's NOT good. We opened the bottle of sparkling shiraz tonight, to drink with our dinner of delicious Orville Redenbacher popped properly on the stovetop.

Mom poured while I supervised the stove. There was a rather pink froth in the glasses, which wasn't terribly appealing. We each took a drink, and said "Hmm, that's not very good." It occurred to us that we didn't chill the bottle at all -- the recommendation was that it should be just cooler than room temperature, basically. Being the high-end wine connoisseurs that we are, we opened the freezer and grabbed a couple of ice cubes (one for each glass)! It was slightly less bad on ice, but the general assessment was a strong thumbs down. It was extremely dry and vinegary. All but four swallows (two each) went down the drain.



One rule - one word, that's it. I wasn't going to do this, but every time I read one, I learned something new -- and saw questions I hadn't seen before!

1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Your significant other? none
3. Your hair? colored
4. Your mother? helping!
5. Your father? home
6. Your favorite thing? quilting
7. Your dream last night? none
8. Your favorite drink? lemonade
9. Your dream/goal? happiness
10. The room you’re in? dining
11. Your ex? sweet
12. Your fear? many
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? smarter
14. Where were you last night? home
15. What you’re not? nice
16. Muffins? yum!
17. One of your wish list items? sanity :)
18. Where you grew up? Michigan
19. The last thing you did? cleaning
20. What are you wearing? jeans
21. Your TV? off
22. Your pet? George-the-cat (hyphens make it one word, right?)
23. Your computer? Dell
24. Your life? crazy!
25. Your mood? overwhelmed
26. Missing someone? family
27 Your car? Saturn
28. Something you’re not wearing? contacts
29. Favorite Store? LQS
30. Your summer? working...
31. Like someone? yup
32. Your favorite color? red
33. When is the last time you laughed? constantly
34. Last time you cried? recently

Thanks to Kate, Colene and Dorothy

PS - the shreds add up to 8 grocery bags, one shopping bag and the box my Christmas tree came in. Plus a laundry basket and trash bag full of the paper that didn't have to be shredded. Why-oh-why do I procrastinate?!


Update on George -- and a Winter Warning

George-the-cat is basically fine -- his hunger strike seems to be driven by anxiety. He's still not eating as much as normal, but he's eating some and he's definitely "himself."

That said, my aunt's cat Amos -- who is even bigger than George, and is indoor-outdoor -- ALSO quit eating. My aunt took him to the vet, where they did the same lab tests, but with a more conclusive (and unfortunate) result. Amos has pancreatitis, and he's not doing terribly well. Her vet has seen several cases of it in cats recently, and says it is caused by the cat licking shoes or lapping up snow melt from shoes or boots or shovels or whatever has come in contact with road salt and ice melt products.

I encourage you to be aware of this if you have cats yourself.


So, you know I'm trying to pack and organize for my move -- which is definitely a downsizing in terms of personal space! Of course I'm also a packrat, so that just makes this take longer.

One of my friends recommended just packing (no sorting or discarding), and then doing the sort/discard thing on the other end, when unpacking. I sort of get the logic -- the packing would go faster, and since there IS a deadline, that could be helpful.

My problem is that I'm moving from 1300 square feet with plenty of storage to 800 square feet with minimal storage. I'm pretty sure that if I just boxed up EVERYTHING and took it with me, there wouldn't be room to actually unpack anything in my new apartment!

To that end, I'm trying to sort as I go -- I have piles or boxes for pack, trash, donate/sell. Then I hit an ancient filing cabinet that has outlived it's usefulness. (I would have dumped it in the last move, but I needed it as a nightstand in the guest bedroom!) I emptied just one drawer of it today, and it took me TWO HOURS to shred everything in it -- most of which is 5-9 years old. Now I'm drowning in shreds!

Here's hoping George-the-cat doesn't decide to jump in the box and play with them... :-)


PR update

I knew it was a "reunion" week... but still. What is the point, other than to drag out the finale? Boring.


It's going to be a long four weeks...

At least :)
  • George is eating a little -- not his usual amount, but his personality is back in full force, so I'm much less worried. The vet gave us an appetite stimulant on Saturday, and he actually ate quite a bit last night. I can't believe he didn't want the chicken I made him for dinner, but he's still picking at the (nasty) canned food. He's still overly skittish, which isn't really a problem as long as I remember not to drop things!
  • I've spent a LOT of time in the sewing room this weekend... not sewing, but packing. Sigh. I'm down to mostly odds and ends. I'd like to get that wrapped up tonight if I can so I can fold up the tables and make room to take down the peg board and the design wall. That should be an easy evening project one night this week (I hope -- just have to ask dad how to get at the nails in the peg board. I'm sure we screwed the spacer strips to the wall, so that's no problem... or so I say right now!)
  • If I don't call moving companies tomorrow, I'll probably have to carry all these boxes to NJ myself! And that will not be fun.
  • In between the vet appointments on Friday, I went to the doctor myself... the sinus infection I had in January didn't completely go away, and it's back in full force this week. He prescribed three weeks of a different antibiotic, which hopefully will do the trick. I'm allergic to so many of them that I won't take them unless I REALLY need them...
On a completely different note: have you ever had Sparkling Shiraz? Someone gave me a bottle, and I'm not sure if it's a parting gift or a parting salvo! Apparently they're relatively popular in Australia... I found these notes, but would love to hear your experience


He ate...

Not a lot, but he did eat last night -- some of the canned food the vet gave us. He turned his nose up at it again this morning, but I'm definitely less worried today... right now he's sitting in one of his favorite spots in the living room (on the arm of the sofa, looking out the window), and he's been on my lap and running around a bit -- more like his usual self. I suspect the sub-q fluids yesterday (he was a little dehydrated) made a big difference, and maybe the antacid.


Does YOUR cat weigh 22 pounds?

Mine does. YIKES. George-the-cat is in serious need of Jenny Craig! (He's so handsome, but very hard to photograph since he's all black, except for a tiny white patch on his throat and about a dozen white hairs under one arm.)

Anyway. We had an emergency vet visit today because George hasn't eaten anything since Wednesday. I'm pretty sure it's anxiety related -- I brought home a whole bunch of boxes and papers that morning in preparation for packing, and he's been in a snit ever since.

They had to sedate him in order to get an x-ray, but fortunately, it seems clear. They also drew blood for the usual panel, and will call with results on Saturday. In the meantime, I'm to encourage him to eat anything, healthy or not, cat food or not. The first temptation was a bust, and he's probably gone back to the nest he made in the guest room closet. I'll try again after a bit, maybe with something else.

Please think calming, but appetite-stimulating, thoughts for George!

Read the comments...

on yesterday's punctuation post! Dorothy, I luv ya', but that was hysterical :)

And darling sister, I think you need to take the test again.... ::snicker::


What Punctuation Mark Are You?

You Are a Colon

You are very orderly and fact driven.

You aren't concerned much with theories or dreams... only what's true or untrue.

You are brilliant and incredibly learned. Anything you know is well researched.

You like to make lists and sort through things step by step. You aren't subject to whim or emotions.

Your friends see you as a constant source of knowledge and advice.

(But they are a little sick of you being right all of the time!)

You excel in: Leadership positions

You get along best with: The Semi-Colon

What Punctuation Mark Are You?

Considering this is almost freakishly accurate, what mark are you?! {Of course I'd agree with anything that affirmed my brilliance ;) }


Week #10 Project Runway Challenge

First, go read about Sophie's progress on the Week #9 Challenge... She's planning a little something for her inner diva!

This is a fantastic challenge -- choose a work of art as inspiration for your piece. Although PJ limited the source material to three wings of the Met (how harsh, eh?!), I won't set any limits. Find a piece of art that inspires you and make something.

Interestingly, there's a quilt exhibition with this theme at the Memorial Art Gallery right now -- click the link, then "preview the sale" to see thumbnails of the inspired quilts. None of the images are terrifically large, but there are some interesting works there. I'm still hoping to see this exhibit in person!

Another thought -- do you remember the idea of "slice quilts"? Groups would choose an image, slice it into sections, and each member would interpret their section before sewing them all together. Here's an example, and this one of glads in a vase is stunning (and a current project). The glads could be one of my all time favorites -- I do love glads!


Quilting in a smaller space...

I thought you might be able to help me. Right now, I have an entire large bedroom for my sewing room, and I've let my storage solutions expand to fit the space. I'm moving into a smaller apartment, with no separate space for sewing. The one bedroom is relatively small, so it will be dedicated to sleeping, although the ironing board will probably end up in there.

I'm looking for creative solutions for small(er)-spaces. For example, I'd really like to keep my pegboard, on which I hang rulers, rotary cutters, templates and a few other odds and ends. I thought I might hang it in the front hall closet (which is double wide and extra deep), but my mom suggested I might be able to put it on a wall in the dining area, and hang a quilt over it using a decorative curtain rod. (I've got a small double-bed CW quilt that would be perfect for this.) Then I wondered about doing that with a design wall... then my head exploded!

So, what thoughts or suggestions do YOU have for quilting in a smaller space? (And on the cheap, of course!) Here's the space, although my apartment is the mirror image of this diagram:



Some days are harder than others...

And someecards.com has got just the right greeting to get you through it! Some great Valentine's Day cards here, too.

Tons more on the site... absolutely hysterical, but generally not family-friendly.

via mental_floss.



I spent the day Saturday looking for a place to live in Jersey. I knew I'd be living in far less space than I have now, but reality didn't really hit until I saw just what those smaller places looked like. I have a three-bedroom house now, for just me and George-the-cat... I'm moving in to a one-bedroom apartment with just over 800 square feet. I know, it could be worse! But do you have any idea how much stuff I have?! Holy cow...

It's completely overwhelming to think I have to sort through it all and decide whether to move it, store it, give it away or throw it away. Good times, good times.

For now, I'm taking down the unused window hardware from curtains of days gone by. One more bracket in the living room, then I can move on to the dining room or kitchen... I'm hoping to get away with just touch-up painting on all the trim, in order to save time, since I've got to paint the walls before the house goes on the market. Fingers crossed :)


If your name is Juliet...

(rhymes with clarinet) email me, would you? Your comments keep appearing as no-reply, and I can't find your email address. You know where to find me...


You know what time it is... Week #9 Project Runway Challenge!

I know, I know... I don't have time for this. But it's kind of addictive! Plus, maybe I'll want to revisit this idea sometime in the future...

Wow -- I just realized we're down to six designers. Do you have a favorite amongst the contenders? Ricky, Rami, Christian, Chris, Sweet P or Jillian.

Um, the divas of the WWE? Their challenge is to create an outfit for the divas to wear in the ring. What in the world are we going to do?! (OMG -- they're going shopping at "Spandex House"!)

OK, let's do this: Design something that expresses your imagined self. While these divas are doing a job (albeit a non-traditional one!), they're also role-playing and living out fantasy lives. What do you DREAM of being? What do you want to be when you grow up? How do you see yourself? (This might be different than how the world sees you...) What is your dream job or aspiration?


A recipe for the files...

The Recipe For Amy

3 parts Passion
2 parts Dignity
1 part Enchantment

Splash of Delight

Limit yourself to one serving. This cocktail is strong!

Extra, extra... read all about it!

I've been keeping secrets, but that is finally over, so I can share at least some of the details! I was recruited for a new job at the beginning of January, and after a visit to the potential employer and a lot of thinking and soul searching, I decided to take the leap and accept the new job.

I'm very excited about this new opportunity -- the staff is very energized and excited about their work, and the VP that I'll report to is one of the good guys in my line of work. It's a chance for me to focus on the things I like and do well, with the support of a great team and some of my favorite vendors.

So, I've got a little less than three weeks to work at my current job, then I'm moving to the greater Newark, NJ area. (No, I'm not going to live in Newark, but I am going to work there.) I start my new job on St. Patrick's Day.

There's a WHOLE lotta cleaning and packing and painting and organizing to do between now and then...


OK, this is gross...

But I'm going to tell you anyway :) I will, however, spare you the details -- just follow the link if you want more information (and a picture!).

I woke up this morning with a subconjunctival hemorrhage (remember that the conjunctiva is the surface of the eye, and you can work out the rest!) Apparently they just happen sometimes, but try convincing yourself of that when you've just stepped out of the shower, put your glasses on for the first time, and looked in the mirror. Frightening. Seriously frightening. And so not the way to start a Monday morning!

Luckily, it's nothing to worry about, and will eventually go away. The eye doc said it'll look better in 2-3 days; the Mayo Clinic site says 10-14. Anyone wanna bet on how long it will take? Knowing me, it'll be 6 weeks!

I've got news to share, but it's too late tonight to do it properly, so I guess it will have to wait for another time. Patience, "they" say, is a virtue!