Where does the time go?

I know I’ve asked that question many time before – but really!  Here it is the middle of March – how does this happen?

So what have you been up to?  Things have been pretty busy here.  I’ve decided not to put in a garden this year.  I spent so much time and money on last year’s garden, and I only got to harvest a few watermelon, 3 very tiny tomatoes and some beans.  The deer ate the rest.  I’m sure my neighbors will be sorry I’m not putting in the garden – the deer ate my veggies and left theirs alone last year!  I was going to put in a bunch of herbs, but since I’ll be traveling over the next few months I decided that wasn’t a very wise choice either.

I’ve been quilting up a storm – and yet now accomplishing much.  I’m working on 2 baby quilts now, Baby Boy is due in April and Baby Girl in May.  These little ones aren’t part of my family, but their Mums are special.  The first weekend in March my Mum and I met my Texas Sister in Dallas for the Dallas Quilt Show.  We all had a good time, and discovered a new restaurant.  If you’d like to see some of the quilts featured at the show, stop by my quilting blog, Quilt Gecko.  We also found a wonderful place to have breakfast, Cafe Brazil.  YUM!  While there I “test drove” all of the long arm quilting machines that were there.  I fell in love with Crown Jewel by Babylock.  When I got home I found a dealer in Shreveport and yesterday Friday I paid them a visit.

The shop, Shreveport Sewing Center (link is to their FB page) has the CJ set up so I got to see it again.  I spoke at length to the lady in charge of it.  I want it so much, but the price tag is WAY more than I want to spend.  I went back yesterday and spoke to them again.  A young man (14 or so) was there and he put a quilt on the machine and quilted it.  They rent the machine out at only $30/hour.  So, I’m going to rent time on the machine to do my quilting and we’ll see where that goes.

In April I’ll be going to San Antonio to visit Chelsea and then to San Diego/El Centro to visit Steph and family.  In May it’s back to San Antonio for Chelsea’s graduation (Master’s degree in computer science) and then to Georgia to celebrate grandson Gabe’s and Heather’s birthdays.  In June I’ll be heading out to Nashville for a yoga retreat.  I just LOVE being retired.

And I’ve decided to close my soap business.  There is too many things going on in my life and you can’t run a business when you do a lot of traveling.  I’ve got all my soaps on sale for $3/bar so if you are interested head over to the FB page or Etsy and stock up.  The business will code at the end of March.

Yesterday I stopped by one of the home improvement stores and boy was it CROWDED!  Apparently the shops have in the spring plants.  So I headed over to my favorite nursery, Ellis Pottery, and had a blast.  They have a huge space that is enclosed where they have their palms and other tropical plants.  It is my favorite place to be (if they put a comfy chair in there I’m not sure I’d ever leave).  I love these type of plants and while looking at them I thought it would be a great idea to get my back (east facing) porch in shape and have my own “palm house”.  So I did.  Here’s the result:

My Happy Place!!


Project Hallway

Last December, in preparation for putting new color on the hallway walls, I taped and primed the walls.  Many months passed and finally, around Feb or Mar, I did one short wall and one long wall.  Time passed and other things took priority.  Finally, with guests due in less than a week, I decided it was time to paint the other short and long wall.  So that’s what I did.

First I pulled off the painters tape.

Funny what you can get used to! Can you believe this didn’t drive me crazy?

It looked so much better with the tape down, I was tempted not to do anything else!

All the tape was down. It wasn’t as hard as I feared using the heat gun tip I found on Pintrest! Fingers got a bit warm tho. LOL

Finally, after numerous breaks and several cappuccinos, the work was done!

Photo doesn’t do it justice! The paint is Enlightenment by Valspar. The white bit on the right of the photo is the door way to the kitchen. The kitchen is red, trim white and that yellow looks amazing when viewed together!

Now I’ve only got to do the trim work (glossy white), touch up and clean up the drops on the floor.  Wonder how long that will take?


PS – My hallway is really long.  It took nearly a gallon to put 2 coats of paint on the one long wall and the wall where the doorway to the kitchen is!


It’s been an odd couple of weeks.  I finished painting the crown molding and other trim in all the rooms that my wonderful sister and brother-in-law painted for me while I was away playing in southern California.  I’ve started painting the hallway – which is a bigger job than you might think.  My hallway is over 30 feet long, then has a 8′ “L” shape.  I’ve got the “L” painted with 2 coats and one of the long walls painted with 1 coat.  And that took about a gallon of paint.  I had to buy another gallon and I bet there will not be much left (which really is a good thing).  So, for the first time in a long while all the rooms in my house are tidy.  Well, maybe the kitchen needs some help since I’ve taken up candle making in addition to soap making – but hey.  A little chaos is good for the soul.  Right?

The garden is coming along.  ALL the rose bushes I planted have taken and some even have buds and will soon have roses on them.  The garden beds (the raised ones) are full of little beautiful green things peaking through.  It is wonderful to see things starting to grow!

I have been having back issues (sciatica on both sides) and I’ve been going to physical therapy 3 times a week.  It is helping so much its really unbelievable (at least to me).

And what does all the above have to do with anticipation?  Nothing.  The anticipation is coming…

Tomorrow afternoon I leave to go to my sister’s in Texas.  We are going on a quilter’s weekend bus trip – going to tons of quilting shops in northern Texas.  Both of us took up quilting a few years ago, and it is really fun to have a creative outlet to share.  We have such different styles and tastes, but we can appreciate each other’s work.  I am cautiously optimistic because it is a bus trip, and filled with a total of 53 crazy quilters.  So… anticipation for sure!!

I hope you are well and are anticipating something exciting in your near future.

How many days until November? Yikees!

Time is just flying by!  My house is looking less like a disaster area and more like a home.  My youngest daughter and her BF did all the heavy furniture moving for me and now I need to clear the clutter and put away my treasures.  Some how many of my treasures now look like junk…..

SoapGecko, LLC is going to be one of the vendors in this year’s Main-to-Main, a 50-mile long event of artists, cooks, shops and FUN!  I’ve been busy making soaps for the event.  If you have a minute go over to the Etsy shop to see what I’ve been up to.  Also making Christmas soaps.  Frankincense & Myrrh and Oh! Christmas Tree are already on the curing rack.  Some one had forgotten to order the fragrance for Hot Toddy, but that has been remedied.

I’ve also found a great hairdresser who cuts my hair just the way I like it, and can bleach it out to white instead of yellow. But now I’ve decided I’m tired of white hair, so I’m thinking about what color (or colors) I want.

Anyway, it’s a busy time here in Minden.  Hope this finds you all well and happy!

First Xmas Project Of 2012

This is the Christmas Tree skirt that my daughter and I finished today. She did 99.9% of the work, I looked on and offered advice and opinions. It was a project that we’d hopped to have done for last Christmas, but didn’t make it. The third week of her post-surgery recuperation seemed like the perfect time to start (and complete) the project.

Here’s a few close ups:

and the back:

It was great fun – and I think it turned out pretty nice too.