Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hubby and I are home again after a great vacation. Now to wade though stacks of mail, mounds of laundry, and a few hundreds entries on Google Reader. But before all of that, I'm going to just snuggle with my puppy . . . . she was so glad to see me this morning.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm trying a new name on for size. Sometime back, I added the Feedjit widget to my blog just for the fun of seeing where readers came from. That's when I noticed a disturbing trend. I got the distinct impression that some of the folks that stop by here are not seeking out my latest quilting exploits, adventures in moving, happenings in the kitchen nor the speed with which Daisy is changing from puppy to full-fledged dog. No, these readers are coming to my blog looking for photos - not the kinds that you do find here, but searching for 'photos of simple girl' (in all manner of misspellings) ICK!!!!! It bugged me for a long time and finally a couple of months ago, I changed my blog name from A Simple Girl to A Simple Life and the number of creepy people seemed to go down . . . . but there are still a few out there. So this morning a new name came to mind -Plain and Simple. I've decided to give that a go and if that doesn't cure my troubles, I think I'll just switch over to Boring & Dull Quilt Making Housewife. That should do the trick.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What is in that box, Daisy? It smells like nothing this little puppy has ever come across in her short life.
Well, let me with you and Daisy, too - that box held some very precious cargo sent via Express UPS to us from The Princess.
Two dinners from our favorite places back in California - one Mexican and one Italian cuisine. Once the containers were opened, there was no time to take pictures of the food. But I promise it was the tastiest meal we have had in months. Thank you, Princess - your tiara never sparkled quite so brightly as it does today!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Thank you so much for all the kind words on my Lost Day post. Seems there is a LOT of frustration out there when it comes to customer service and the lack of it. Also insurance companies - they used to bring peace of mind. Hopefully one day (soon) we will see the return of both.
Now on to fun and exciting things in the world of quilting. You may remember when I put up this post. Seems that a lot of gals would love to make this quilt from near and far. As luck would have it, there are some of the 'near' gals that were eager to take a leap of faith and join me in person to work on it together.
Yesterday we had our first Folkart Gathering Gathering. Six of us met at The Quilted Crow for an afternoon of stitching, snacking, shopping and getting to know one another. Just look at what we did . . . .
My block -
I changed out the little half log cabins for some churn dashes that were stuffed in a drawer from an abandoned project.
McIrish Annie
Just look at those colors. Annie says she is NOT ready to let go of summer and plans to channel Freddie Moran with her quilt.
has plans to work only with fabrics she has on hand. Looks like she's got a wonderful stash just perfect for a beauty of a quilt.
Suz (no blog)
is even piecing her background by hand! OMG - such an impressive undertaking.
Joan (no blog)
has a great eye for fabrics. I may have to ask her to make a few selections for me. I covet her sawtooth stars.
Last but certainly not least is Anne (no blog)
has another beauty on her hands. She took some license with the 1/2 log cabin blocks. I love that those blocks will make her piece totally unique from all the others. That really is part of what is so special about these designs - you cannot do anything wrong, it is folkart after all.
Before the day had ended, we scheduled two more 'gatherings' for October and may have added another gal who just happened to stop by the shop.
I'm so excited to make some new friends here in New England. Not only will have a quilt to show for our efforts, but hopefully we can continue getting together for quilting and friendship long after the last stitch has been taken in this first project. That's what quilting will do for you - keep you warm . . . . inside and out.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Caution! The content of this post is a rant tinged with a bit of temper tantrum. There are no pictures or quilting content. Proceed if you dare.
Yesterday I thought perhaps I had somehow descended into the 7th circle of hell. Do you ever just have one of those days? You know the kind that start out shiny and full of promise only to devolve into a wasteland of frustrations and wasted time.
Daisy was enjoying herself with seven other Goldens at the local doggy daycare. I had a nice lunch date planned with Hubby. Then just a couple of quick errands and a quick spin around the house with the vacuum would leave the rest of the day for me to spend with fabric, my sewing machine and my favorite San Diego radio personalities.
I was just about to finish up my running around when I had the urge to grab a nice triple-shot latte from Starbucks to keep me company once I was home. Nothing like the first crisp afternoon to have a girl's thoughts turn to a nice hot afternoon coffee. And then . . . . . . my truck wouldn't start. %#&*#%&*$#()%#!!!!!
I called Hubby to see if he could come back and give me a jump. No problem. I enjoyed my drink while I waited for him to rescue me. *sigh* There just wasn't enough juice in his battery to get me back on the road. So I reached for my AAA card and started dialing. That's when things really took a turn for the worse - first a little background.
Some long time readers of this blog may remember when we had some trouble with out auto insurance. It was a frustrating time but we secured insurance with a new company and thought our troubles were at an end. That held true until it was time to make our cross-country move. Then our new company (Automobile Club) became less than helpful and ultimately reached a point where we decided to change providers again - but we did retain the roadside service which was transferred by the company from Southern California to New England without us doing a thing and causing a little drama and confusion of its own.
So back to the Starbucks parking lot. I pull out my Automobile Club of New England card and using my cell phone call the 800 number. After a round of 'say this, choose that' I finally got a human who informed me that he would have to transfer me to an operator in MA as he could not help. He promptly cut me off.
Redial, re-prompt, new human, another transfer, more frustration. After getting settled with the dead battery issue (which would require an hour's wait, I was asked if anything else could be done. I decided to address the call-in situation and find out why I wasn't automatically routed to a New England operator. I was given a story that because my cell number has a California area code, I will always be routed there no matter what number I dial. I cry, 'Baloney!' If the equipment is SO sensitive as to know what number is calling it should also be sensitive enough to figure out what cell tower the call is originating from. We are after all a mobile society. Hubby and I are not the only people to move and not change phone numbers. Add to that equation the number of folks who travel far from home for business and pleasure. Thank goodness I was in the relative safety of a parking lot rather than sitting on the side of the Mass Pike with cars whizzing by me.
There are two bright points to this story - 1. The tow truck operator who arrived to give me a jump. He was friendly, efficient and no nonsense. He had me on my way in just minutes after his arrival. 2. I have 35 days left on my new car warranty which meant the battery would be replaced without the exchange of $$.
Now off to the dealer I go. Uh - oh. I don't have an appointment. They are not happy to see me. After pointing out that I would not be out of their hair should I turn off my engine, I was asked to go inside to speak with a service tech. I am told it will be at least two hours. Oh goody. If only I had a book or some handwork. At least I had my cell phone. I passed nearly two hours with email and a video game.
My name was called, I grew excited. Maybe I could salvage an hour of quilting time before day's end. Nope. I am instead informed that indeed my battery had failed, that Honda had 'approved' the warranty work. Now I need only wait for them to install it. *sigh* My cell phone is nearly out of battery, too. So I tried amusing myself by wandering the showroom looking at the new cars. Another hour passes before the service tech happily informs me that I can be on my way. Isn't it great that the part was under warranty? Won't I please give him a good review when the dealership calls for me to rate their service? Whatever . . . I just want my keys, I want to go home!
As I make my way around the corner to find my truck, I running through my mind the absurdity at the attempt to make me grateful for something that was replaced at no cost because it was defective in the first place. That's when I saw they had parked my truck under the sprinklers leaving it wet and water spotted. *argh*
Oh and the thoughts I had of changing my roadside service to another company. Well, that won't happen either. I checked into the plan offered through AARP (where I became a member this year) only to find that the service is provided by those not so 'good hands people' we left four years ago.
If you have stayed with this little diatribe all the way to the end, you deserve a pat on the back. I don't really expect anyone to do so, but I just had to get it off my chest. Stay tuned. I will return in the next day or so with some really fun quilting content.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Eureka! Today is one of my favorite on the calendar - September 9, 1850 - California became the 31st state admitted to the union. Even though I am far, far away, the words of Dorothy Gale never rang more true, "There's no place like home." And no matter where I roam, California will always be home to me.
Look at what arrived at my doorstep just this week all the way from the Golden State.
A friend there makes birdhouses from vintage and found items. She says this is California yard art. I don't know - I think this one will stay in the house, at least for winter. No matter where it is placed, it certainly is a most delightful and heartfelt surprise.
On the quilting front, I have been keeping up with Cheri Payne's (a quilt designer from California) Ashes and Soot sampler blocks.

You, too, can join in the fun. Just drop by her blog for the directions. Not only is it going to be another great quilt, but she is offering her design for FREE!
And last but not least, a recent photo of my little camera ham, Daisy.
While she may not originate from California, she is a 'Golden' Retriever. With a sweet face like that she can claim anywhere as home in my book.