Beginning of the End

Mike's final week of work has arrived! Holy smokes. Each of us worried that it would never get here, and this month of April has really dragged. Day after day of rain hasn't helped. In spite of all of that, I think this week is going to fly by. There's a little send-off for him this Thursday, and I'm invited. Then Friday, he'll just go in for half a day and call it quits. For good. He hasn't ruled out the possibility of doing short-term projects in the future, but for at least the next year, his calendar will be free and clear of anything work related. We are both itching to get on the road and do some traveling.

But, alas. There's still the next few days to get through with the old mundane stuff of cooking, sewing, gardening, and cats. Always the cats. Sadie's new harness arrived yesterday. As you can see, she loves it already!

The dragged herself around on the carpet for a while trying to rub it off. This was actually a pretty good test. I was a little dismayed to see that it fastens only with velcro, and I worried how well it would hold. As it turns out, it's pretty stout velcro, and her pulling herself around didn't budge it. It has the advantage of being much easier to put on than the previous buckles. I just laid it on her back and then used my hands to wrap it around her little body, and voila! Fastened in! The challenge will be keeping the cat fuzz from taking the "stick" out of the velcro over time. Also, we'll have to get her outside to see if pulling at the leash will cause the tabs to pull loose.

She's quite fashionable, don't you think? That red bandana is very becoming next to her black fur.

Puh-leeze! Get it off! Get it off of me right now!

Wow Sadie...what did you do to offend the kitty gods? Can't help you with this one, my furriend. No thumbs, you know...

So, I took pitty and only made her wear it for a few minutes. She's a petite little thing, and the extra small size is just right. If she grows any more, however, we'll need a larger size. Her face is still kittenish, but we're not really sure about her age. She could grow a little larger, but time will have to reveal that secret.

Also in yesterday's deliveries was this new book announcing my newest thing-I've-never-tried-but-really-want-to-learn.

During CSA season, some of my fellow CSAers are into fermenting some of the veggies, and their concoctions always look so tasty. I decided I wanted to make an effort to learn how to ferment some stuff, and so I found this book, which is widely considered to be the bible of fermentation. It's something of a tome at nearly 500 pages of small print. There aren't even very many pictures! So...some light reading to keep me busy in our travels. I'll get a start on it some time today, but it's going to be a commitment to get through the whole thing. Possibly, I won't need to read it all in order to get started.

As for today's activities, I just have a couple of short housekeeping tasks to take care of. Also, I started my bread dough rising this morning. That will probably take most of the day before it's time to bake. As for sewing, I've been considering my options now that I have quilts for quilting. I'll probably put off starting on those until the beginning of May. For the remainder of the month, I'd like to work on some blocks.

Some weirdo started this challenge a few years ago called the NewFO Challenge. She even had a little gadget for it,

2014 NewFO Challenge photo 2014NewFOChallenge_zps5a31001d.png

and she roped a bunch of silly quilters into joining her in starting a new project every month with no need to ever finish anything! Can you imagine? And some of those quilters have never forgiven her for this foray into madness. And I had so danged many projects going that it was complete insanity, and so I actually had to put some of them on the proverbial backburner in order to start whittling the list down to a manageable size.

Fast forward to today, and I'm down to just about eight projects (not including embroidery and quilts to be quilted) with just two still on the backburner. That all changes today because I'm going to get back to work on those remaining two projects this week. First up will be the next block(s) for the Pony Express quilt.

That's how the quilt looks if I were to finish it in the same way it was made originally, but I had some problems with this pattern. Now I'm doing my own thing with it. I wrote about this some in a previous blog post. I'm embarrassed to say that the last time I worked on this quilt was at the end of March in 2014 when I made this block:

So after a three year delay, I'm ready to get back at it, and that's where I'll start today.

The other project I'm taking off the backburner is this little quilt called "The Birds Return." I was all ready to blame my friend Sharon and her "Let's Book It" challenge, but no. It's the crazy cat lady and her NewFO Challenge again. It's the cover quilt from this book:

When I was working on this "regularly" (as if there was anything regular about this), I was making a vertical row at a time. And I'm hanging my head in shame in admitting that the last time I worked on this quilt was in January of 2014, when I completed the second vertical row:

So, I'm kind of determined to get a little more accomplished on each of those quilts this week. On the bright side, these are both scrap quilts and my stash of scraps is bigger than ever!!!

Here it is noon, and I haven't done a thing. Better get to it.

15 comments from clever and witty friends:

Shari said...

Poor Sadie. hopefully she will feel better about the harness when she realizes that's her ticked to outside. Friday will be here before you know it. Have a great time at MIke's send off. I've been retired a little over five months and love it!

heartsease54 said...

It must be catching, I drug out my Dresden plate project and am sloooowly working on it. Have 2 completed plates and all the rest of the blades with just 4 wedges to be added. But it will be pretty when finished-if it ever is. Have a great time at Mike's big sendoff Thursday, you have both earned this retirement.

Kaelyn Angelfoot said...

Yay retirement! I hope you two have fun on the road. I'm only about 35 years out from retirement myself :p

Quilting Babcia said...

I think the challenge will be getting Sadie to actually stand up and walk in that new contraption. Her initial reaction is similar to my sister's cat who absolutely refused to stand up and walk when in her harness and leash while we kitty-sat for her. I hope Sadie understands this will give her much more outside time.

crazy quilter said...

I have to say I am a it jealous that Mike only has this last week to work. I wish it was me. I know you both will truly enjoy his retirement so you can travel a bit. Sadie does not seem fond of her harness , I do hope she learns to love it so she can have fun on your travels as well. Love these last two scarp quilts. I think my scraps multiply at night while I am not looking. I did just finish a sting quilt make from the scrab ban. It feels really good to use some of those scraps. I am anxious to learn about the fermenting so please share. I don't think I know what this is so Off now to google fermented veggies. Enjoy your day..

Brown Family said...

Sadie, you look great in that new harness! You will get use to if quickly and then you can go for walks with Mom and Smitty!

Good luck on the two projects you are picking back up!

Debbie said...

Sadie will probably never forgive anyone for that halter.....but safety first. We did forgive you for the NewFO and enjoyed seeing lots of inspiration from those who participated. Of course, I tackled easy projects that I could finish in a month or two, so it really is about the picking :). I remember the bird houses and wish you well on the finish.

Dana Gaffney said...

She looks beautiful in her new harness. I'm constantly cleaning Maya's thunder coat's velcro so if you come up with a gadget or trick on how to clean it, please let me know, washing seems to make it worse :)
I miss the challenges they kept me blogging, otherwise I never seem to find the time, LOL.

Wendy Tuma said...

Sadie does not look at all pleased, and somewhat confused. Good thing we don't get to hear what they are thinking, eh? That's what I love about cats -- they have so much personality! I hope the harness works out. Boy, wish I would've known about your blog when that challenge came around; I think I could've taken the prize on that one! Haha. I have a pile of UFOs that I keep ignoring. It's just too much fun to start something new. The fermentation book looks interesting. I have a recipe from a blog and a book with some fermentation recipes too; I'll email you that info when I'm back home (I have to look at the book, can't recall the title). Glad you get to go to Mike's party. How fun for you both!

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

The cruelty that emanates... well, let's just say, she acts really really well. Did she have a small part in Moonlight this past year? I'm certain I saw her onstage during that fiasco !~!

Good luck with the old UFO's. I'm trying to find motivation. If you locate an excess, drop some if it down the I-5 for us here just south of you, please.

Dar said...

Poor Sadie. I do feel for her since Smitty doesn't have one on and she probably feels she did something bad to have to wear it. I love that little birdhouse quilt. It should go pretty quickly since you've got two rows done. Tell Mike that I am celebrating his special day with you two, cause it's my special day too!! (Only for a different reason). I will raise a glass of wine on Friday night and be thinking about you two celebrating too. It's fun to be retired, but you will be busier than ever. He will wonder how he ever had time to work!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

What we need now is a UFO Challenge each month, to encourage us to finish at least one UFO. Most of us have quite a few, waiting their turn to be finished. I'm still starting the NewFO's without you.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I could never harness either of my furkids - furious nails and teeth on those two. But Sadie does look quite fashionable! Fermentation? Are you making your own hooch now - thought that was just bread. I'm not fond of those sorts of things, but you give it a go. Oh, I remember those two projects - good for you in getting them out again. A little here and there will get 'er' done.

quiltzyx said...

Sadie does look quite fetching in her bandanna vest. We'll just keep appealing to her vanity.

Good on ya for getting back to work on some of the ol' NewFOs. One of these days......

Junebug613 said...

I can't even imagine what it will be like when I only have a week left to work. I'm afraid it won't be for many years for me. Poor Sadie. I can't even imagine trying to harness most of my cats. Maybe Pickles would tolerate it, maybe. I miss the NewFo challenge. I actually started a lot of projects that I probably wouldn't have gotten to for years. Most of them still aren't finished, but that's this year's hope. Yes, I say that every year, but a girl has to have hope, right?