A Weekend of Slow

Pretty much the only exciting thing we've done at the Three Cats Ranch this weekend is to walk to the mailbox. Just yesterday I mentioned to one of you that the build-up to Thanksgiving and the work involved is so great (fun, though it is) that the degradation into slughood that follows is a welcome relief. Slughood: it's the watchword of the weekend.

So what's exciting about walking to the mailbox, you ask? Well, a few things, actually. First, the snowberries are growing in abundance right now. Their snotty Latin name is symphoricaros, but I can't pronounce that, so "snowberries" is the name I'm using.

These are toxic to humans, so please don't eat them. However, they are an important winter food source for certain birds, including quail, pheasant, and grouse. They are about the size of a holly berry, and you can read more about them right here.

Also, I received a package in the mail from Red Rock Threads, and this requires that I tell you the back story...a good customer service story.

You might recognize this white metallic thread as the same thread I'm going to use when I quilt the Gingerbread Square quilt.

Several different threads were ordered to test their performance and appearance. The Sulky Thread came from Red Rock Threads. Initially, I ordered the smaller spool which was advertised on their website as being 165 yards in length. When I decided on that thread, I ordered a larger spool since 165 yards wasn't going to go very far on a large quilt. The larger spool was listed on the website as being 1,000 yards, which should be plenty. I ordered one spool, but when it arrived, I was surprised to see this:

750 yards...hm...I said to myself. I thought I ordered more than that. So I checked the website, and sure enough. It was supposed to be 1,000 yards. And, just to be clear, this thread ain't cheap. To be shorted 25% was significant. And then I was curious about the smaller spool I already had. It was supposed to be 165 yards, and yet...

And if you do the math on that, you'll learn that it is again 25% shorter than what was promised when I ordered it. So now, I'm a full 305 yards short from what I thought I paid for.

Well, this is already a long story, and so it's too late to make it short. For your sake, I'll finish quickly by saying that it took a few days, but Red Rock Threads sent me three small spools to make up the difference, no questions asked. This morning I checked their website, and changes have been made to all the spools. I have a feeling their vendor wanted to raise the price in a sneaky kind of way by simply decreasing the amount of thread on the spool. Have you noticed that sugar now comes in a four pound bag, rather than the previous five pound bag? Cans of tuna are now 5 oz., instead of 6 oz. The thread vendor probably made the change without telling the merchant, and so the merchant had to update their website. 

So all of that to say that Red Rock Threads treated me well, and I can continue to recommend them as a good source for thread...specialty threads, in particular.

But to get back to the boredom...even the kitties are bored. Yesterday, I put on a kitty game app on the iPad, and they went to town. They were entertained for a good half hour. The red dot can only go so far, as you probably know.

The only excitingly productive thing I did yesterday was to finish the Sunflower Sampler. 

It's so much fun making these little samplers...way more fun than just plain practicing. Practice I must, however, because Mike is setting up the sawhorse work surface in the garage so that I can sandwich the Gingerbread Square quilt. Today I'm hoping to get a little time to practice some more snowflakes in preparation for quilting it next month.

The only other project left on my November to-do list is the little barn quilt, so long ago put away and forgotten.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I took it this far and then got stuck. Here's the original image I'm working from:

I want to add the cupola on top of the barn on the left. I still need to add the roof and chimney to the structure on the right. It's the leafless tree in the middle that was giving me pause. It's kind of ugly, and so I wanted to do something else there. Also, the brown barn is kind of boring, and so I wanted to dress it up some. For the brown barn, I decided long ago to add a quilt block, as if it is part of a quilt barn trail. Still, I've been stuck about what to do in place of the tree. I've considered a rain barrel, a trellis with flowers, but suddenly a few days ago, it came to me. Now, I know exactly what to do. But I'm not telling. You'll have to wait and be surprised. I know...I'm mean that way.

So off I go...continuing with my weekend of boredom...which is sometimes the best way to spend one's time.


claudia said...

It's so much fun to read your blog! I'm glad that I added you to my list of Internet BFF's. I love good customer service stories. I have a few myself, but they are long stories and not for your comment section. I can't wait to see what you put in the place of the leafless tree, so I will stay tuned!

quiltzyx said...

Good to know that Red Rock Threads rock the customer service department. I think Auntie's Ceramics has ordered from them too for her machine embroidery.
I am looking forward to what will replace the tree from your photo in the quilt!

Pam said...

I have a slight case of dyslexia so to match your thumbnail photo of while balls I read your header as a weekend of snow. I agree that Red Rocks is a good place to shop! And I am glad you are back to your barn quilt-looks like it has a lot of potential for fun.

Pam said...

PS your sampler turned out very nice. I did that one also and am looking forward to Jeanne Harrisons new sampler. We are REALLY learning! Yippee!

Brown Family said...

It is so nice to know that some vendors are good to their customers!

Debbie said...

How astute you are to catch the difference! Good call and glad to hear they treated you well by it. The barn block is so great.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Love the barn scene - curious as to what you have planned.

Dana Gaffney said...

How I would love to give into slughood, nice word your royal sluginess :)
The berries are poison oak are like that, very important for certain protected birds so the tree is protected too. I'm glad Red Rocks came through for you, they're a good store and I'm sure they were hoodwinked.

Kate said...

I've never seen snow berries, they do look a bit like fluffy snow. Hope you really enjoyed your slugdom last weekend. I agree, that's exactly what you need after Thanksgiving (My Guy doesn't support that view point however).