It continues.

Yesterday, I was going to have some uninterrupted Me Time since tutoring hasn’t really started yet. I have a few students here and there, but because schools aren’t fully in session yet or into the curriculum yet, my schedule won’t be totally full for another week. So I was going to quilt and scrapbook during the holes in my schedule yesterday.

Helen came upstairs at 3am with a 102 fever. So I was thwarted again.

Today, Helen and Alice were going to go to Nannie’s house, as usual. Since Helen had been fever-free for about 20 hours, I went ahead and drove them out there at the usual time, 11am. Helen had an absolute meltdown in Nannie’s driveway and refused to stay and play. Because she wasn’t feeling good, I humored her (ordinarily, I would have left her there, because I know she’d be fine within 5 minutes). So Alice stayed with Nannie and Helen went with me to Mailboxes Etc. and to Weight Watchers, and then stayed downstairs while I had a tutoring student (a session rescheduled from yesterday). She did not nap, though, so I did not get any Me Time — I can’t go into the sewing/scrapping room if she’s conscious because she stands at the door and begs to be let in, and then gets into stuff.

Tomorrow I had a chunk of my afternoon available, and now it’s suddenly filled with tutoring. So now I don’t.

So help me God, if my Friday morning gets stolen from me, too, I’m going to crack some skulls. It wouldn’t be so bad except that I’m COUNTING on this time to keep me sane, and it keeps getting ripped out from under me. And so then I look to the next one, and it gets thwarted, too. And so this has happened for eight days in a row now (not counting over the weekend). If I knew I wasn’t going to get any time to myself until next weekend, I could just look to next weekend and be fine about it. But I keep holding out hope and that hope gets dashed. Over and over and over.

Whine whine whine, I know. But it still pisses me off.

Because I Can

You know the questions that are always asked at the end of “Inside the Actor’s Studio?” One of them is, “What turns you on?”

My answer to that would be: “Color.”

I get a thrill out of playing with color. With watching how colors affect each other, how one color can be a light color and then a dark color, depending on the other colors you put with it. And how the characteristics of that color can change as its neighboring colors change.

My absolute favorite color is probably orange. That and lime green are the colors I seem to gravitate towards when I’m making quilts…. To the point that Jerry started making fun of my lust for brights by naming all of my quilts with some sort of mocking title (“Again With the Orange,” “Not Enough Orange,” and “Oh! My Eyes are Bleeding!” are some of his titles)… My favorite colors to wear are orange (which I wear Because I Can — those of us that can actually wear orange are apparently rare, but it’s one of my best colors) and lime green, too. I probably have about 4-5 orange shirts and at least that many lime green ones. It’s a disease.

This past week, I’ve been working on a quilt that will be a 40th birthday present for a friend. There are 16 fabrics in the quilt, arranged roughly according to value (lightness/darkness). She chose 6 of the fabrics based on the colors in her home (she chose fabrics 2, 4, 7, 8, 10, and 12 in the run shown below), and I supplemented with the other 10. The oranges were my contribution, of course, because I felt that the fabrics needed a shock of color to make the quilt interesting, and what better way to do that than with my trademark color?

color run

Once I put the blocks together, I started playing with them on the design wall. What was fun to me was seeing how the same exact blocks could provide such different results, just based on placement. (Ignore the quilt in the background — my “design wall” is simply a chunk of extra batting pinned to another quilt that’s hanging in our living room — the blocks stay up just using friction, which is great when you’re experimenting with different design possibilities.)

gradient in frame

And then….

simple gradient with spillover

I liked how the shards of orange found their way elsewhere in the quilt, making it seem like light is hitting ridges and spilling over into corners, making the quilt “sing.” This kind of stuff makes me happy. (And yes — colors have sound… taste… feeling… it’s not just visual for me. Never has been)

Of course, I had helpers. Alice and Helen both like to get involved when I play on the design wall, which can be very frustrating when I’m planning a complex design or colorwash. But we all had fun anyway.

Alice on the Design Wall

Girls on Design Wall

The final design decision was made (and I’m not telling you which it was, either), and the quilt top is all sewn together now. So now I just need to make the back (or buy yardage for the back) and move to the next step.

And I have a feeling I’ll be doing another one of these quilts very soon. Maybe in all yellows and oranges. With a splash of lime green.


Monday, the girls went to school, and I planned to clean most of the day. I did pretty well with that, but didn’t get as much done as I had hoped to do.

Tuesday, I was going to work on scrapbooks I’m doing for a friend while the girls were at their grandmother’s house. But their cousin is in town, so they wanted to come back home and play with their cousin. When I got back from Weight Watchers, they were already here, and it seemed rude to go hole up in my room while they and MIL and my mom and niece were here at the house.

Wednesday, Alice was at school in the morning and Helen was there all day. Because Helen’s sleep schedule has been so completely disrupted lately, I haven’t been sleeping well, and several weeks of disrupted sleep finally got to me. I had a complete and total meltdown over a small issue, really, and was pretty worthless for the entire day. My intentions HAD been to work on the friend’s scrapbooks again.

Thursday (yesterday), we kept the granddaughter of a dear friend who had to go have a chemo treatment. His wife, who would have been watching the child, needed to be with him for support, so she called us to ask if we could keep Anna. Anna was here from about 9:30am until about 4pm, and coordinating naptime was a total nightmare. And then I taught a PSAT class at 4pm, so the day was pretty much shot. And our niece stayed overnight with us last night, so again, I felt that it would have been rude to go hide in my room and work on those scrapbooks.

Today, the girls ordinarily would be going to play with FIL and step-MIL, but step-MIL’s fourth great-grandchild was born this week, so she went over to Georgia to meet the baby and help out. So last night I discovered that my morning today, my last holdout for my “vacation from tutoring before school starts” was shattered. I had *planned* on working for three hours solid on Connie’s books. Curses, foiled again. So instead I took Helen and Alice and Brandi out to run errands (Helen LOVES to run errands)… We went to the bank, Target, CVS, and three stores looking for Crocs in the right size and color for Brandi (her 13th birthday is at the end of the month). When we got back, Helen said, “That’s too much errands, Mommy.” I agree, Helen.

Brandi has gone off with her grandparents now, and I’m insisting on naps from both of my girls. Maybe I’ll get an hour to myself while they sleep. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Fifteen and Ten

The week of Mother’s Day I got fed up with the way my clothes were fitting. Or NOT fitting, in my case. Everything was tight and uncomfortable. I was dangerously close to having to go up a size in underwear, which is NOT ALLOWED.

So I started Weight Watchers.

Twelve weeks later, I have lost 15 pounds, or 10% of my body weight, and I’ve maintained my goal weight for three weeks now (actually, my personal goal is 5 pounds under the goal I told WW, so that I can hit Lifetime Member sooner, and I’m only 3 pounds from reaching my personal goal). I got a keychain at the meeting on Tuesday, lots of cheers, and a congratulations postcard in the mail from the leaders today, telling me how healthy my recent success has been.

I have dropped two sizes, going from a 12 to an 8, and even some of my 8s are getting baggy. I have gone down a band size on my bra (sorry for the TMI, guys), which thrills me. Now I can buy bras in the stores and not have to order them special (I have a large ribcage but the cupsize was too small to stock for “average” people in the stores). That also thrills me.

I feel sexy, for the first time in years.

And I’m no longer eating portion sizes that are inappropriate for my metabolism.

Weight Watchers is not a diet, but an eating strategy. You can eat ANYthing you want as long as you plan for it. And I’m really REALLY loving the results, and want to encourage anyone out there that’s frustrated with their tight undies to consider joining — the support you get is incredible (if you find a great leader), and if you follow the program IT WORKS.

Just realized I hadn’t updated you guys on my progress, so I thought I’d fix that. 🙂