Heat Wave

Just before I sat down to write this post, I checked the temperature. It's a balmy 32°F. right now...up from 26°F. when I got up this morning. Let the dripping begin. Here's the forecast, but keep in mind that those temperatures are for the valley floor. We are at 1,400 feet, and so it's colder up here.

With that sunshine in the forecast, things should be improving. Sue and I rescheduled our usual Friday morning walk to Monday morning because there's no way I can get off the hill today. In fact, we noticed one of our neighbors stuck on our shared driveway when we got up this morning. It made me think of this poster from the Despair.com website:

I would dearly love to go outside and take some pictures of the crystalline landscape, but it is simply too treacherous. You'll have to settle for the ones I could take through my dirty living room windows. See the oval-shaped void in the middle of the window here? That's where the hummingbird feeder hangs, and it blocked any ice from forming in that spot.

Now, see the dip void in the ice in this next image? That's where Smitty sat yesterday...breathing on the window and warming it up in that spot. He has too much sense to go out into freezing rain. Not so much today. The sun is shining, and he's been slipping and sliding out there, but apparently preferring that to another day inside the house. When he comes in, his fur is very cold, and he shakes off the cold like a dog shakes off water.

So, you can get an idea about the ice in this image. I'm going to estimate the ice is two inches thick where those rocks are.

I wish I could get some better pictures of this for you, but these will have to do. You can see the ice glistening on the tree branches in these next two images.

Mike took pity on the hummingbirds, who were using their little beaks as ice picks this morning. He brought in the feeder, thawed it in the microwave, and then hung it in the sunshine so it wouldn't freeze up again.

We have hummingbirds year-round, which is hard to believe, but true. Just the other day I read this interesting article about hummingbirds in the Seattle Times. It seems a new banding technique has allowed researchers to study them more closely than ever before. Check it out. Turns out they are tough little buggers, and they need to be.

Mike is the only one who can venture outside, thanks to his handy-dandy Yaktrax

We bought his when we were in Yosemite one year...not because we needed them, but because we thought they'd come in handy at home when an ice storm hit. Turns out they really make a big difference. In fact, they make all the difference, making it possible for him to venture out without risking life and limb (especially limb). So this morning, he thoughtfully ordered some that will fit my shoes. I figure that pretty much guarantees we won't get another ice storm for at least five years. But if we do, I'll be out there taking pictures. Bet on it.

So what am I doing? Well, you know I'm quilting and doing applique. I'm also embroidering. I wanted to show you that I've stitched past the seam in my Sticky Fabri-Solvy now. I believe it does help to overlap the sheets rather than butting them together, but I still got some slippage. It isn't bad, and this solution is good enough for my needs. Some of you mentioned basting, and I imagine that would help as well. You would need to baste the entire seam, however, and that's too much trouble for this lazy embroiderer. I'll just adjust my stitching as I need to and call it good. By the way, if you're wondering what that is, I consulted the Resident Engineer, who tells me it is the bottom end of a piston.

So, today I'm going to do a little quilting, and then continue on with the 8th Folk Art Cat block that I started yesterday.

I need to top-stitch the appliques, add hot fix nailheads for the eyes, machine embroider the face, and add the checkerboard sashing. The sashing will also mean making a mini-quilt-block cornerstone. I only have to add two sides of the sashing to this block, and only one cornerstone because it will attach in the middle of that second row in the image below. There is still another row of cats below that one. That row will go much faster because most of the sashings and cornerstones will already be finished when I get to those blocks.

Smitty definitely approves of the new machine. The machine is set up in the room I use as an office because I wanted to give it a window seat. I'm all outfitted now with a set of tools and a craft table where I can keep some supplies and thread. Mike even ordered a nifty clock for this room because I keep asking him what time it is. (I think he wants to assure that I quit sewing in time to make dinner.) 

Usually Smitty would be sleeping in the bed he has on my desk, but this quilt definitely has potential as a comfy napping place. 

As I said before, it adds drag to the quilt when one is quilting, and yes, it's one of the few times I shoo him away from me while I'm sewing. I might need to keep a stash of catnip on my desk next to his bed  to entice him away from the quilting.

Okay...time to get on with my day. Hopefully, the thaw will continue. Ham bone soup in the crockpot, and the day is my own, even if I am stuck inside.

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

Marlene said...

I cannot imagine having an ice storm. We are complaining about our Spring weather that has been very wet and windy but I think we better keep quiet! Love the picture of the ice on the trees and well done Mike for looking after the birds. Really loving your Folk Art Cats.

Andee said...

Smitty looks quite happy! I agree you won't get another ice storm for years now that you are prepared---seems that is how it goes! Folk art cats are cute!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

You can keep the ice - I can handle cold, snow and wind, but ice is a super no-no. We got a whisper of snow over night. Your temps look like ours on the opposite coast. Just love the photos, especially the ones with the icy trees.

Dasha said...

Where we are, we never get frosts, let alone ice like that! On the other hand, my dashboard thermometer told me it was 39C yesterday lunchtime on the way home from sewing. For you that is 102F. Much cooler this morning thankfully, but another hot one promised for Thursday.
Awesome photos - keep them coming!!

quiltzyx said...

Oooh! More gorgeous iced glass!! Especially lovely from this distance...

Can hardly wait to see more of the Folk Art cats too, it's one of my faves that you've been working on.

crazy quilter said...

No ice here in the great state of Texas but it is plenty cold. We don't usually get this cold until January so it is quite an adjustment for me. Had to try to dig out some winter clothes just two weeks ago I was in capri's. Glad Mike got you all taken care of in the shoe dept. You never know this polar vortex might keep on coming this winter... I do love the folk art cats, where did you find the pattern? Looks like a Laurel birch to me with those great cats. I bet Smitty didn't stay out in the ice for very long, those little white paws would be frozen! Stay Warm. Since it is finally Friday I get to sew tomorrow all day! Yes! Just what I need.

Janarama said...

LOL, looks like Smitty found a new home, right in the center of it all. Holy moly, that's a lot of ice. Don't blame you one bit not going out in it. I fell on a patch of ice when I was clearing the driveway last year. Luckily I didn't hurt myself. Going to go read the article about the hummers. Didn't know they are out and about in the cold weather too.

Deb A said...

Yak tracks are great on ice! I had them for walking int he winter in VT. Hope the ice melts soon and does not bother the power lines. Happy stitching while you are inside today.

Valerie Reynolds said...

We got almost a foot of snow over here in Eastern Oregon....that ice looks beautiful actually! Looking forward to a morning walk to capture our Fall snow!! Love seeing it on the pine trees. And...can't leave without lettingyou know how much I adore your cat quilt. Love the colors and checkered border!!

MOMCAT14C said...

Wow, that's some serious ice. I think more than any other type of weather (other than hurricanes), ice storms are the most fearsome. We had a nasty one a few years back, and all I could hear were the sounds of my trees breaking and cracking. Thankfully, they all stayed out of my house. My coworker has yaktrax, and swears by them. I should probably g et a pair, because I'm always the first to go down on an icy surface, and I'm too old to do that anymore.

Aren't slow cookers wonderful? I have bacon-wrapped barbeque chicken with apples in mine right now.

Jacque said...

Typically when other places get snowy fun, we get ice here in SC. Sure hope you all keep life and limbs intact, and thaw out soon!

Kate said...

You did get quite a bit of ice. I'm amazed you didn't loose power. That much ice usually brings the lines down.