Thursday, July 31, 2014

It could have been worse.

I have no fun pictures this week.  This was a bad week.  Not the worst week of my life, but pretty bad.  To make things worse, it's all my own fault.  Sigh.

It started out pretty good.  The quilting room was nearly done.  The only thing left was the painting. I was looking forward to getting the room put back together. I couldn't wait to get started.  

So, I got up Saturday morning at got right to it.  I worked all day putting on three coats; one of primer and two of the paint.  In between coats, while the paint was drying I did housework, laundry and worked in the yard, so by the end of the day I was whipped.  After finishing the last coat, I headed  upstairs to the laundry room to clean the dirty paint brushes in the sink.

Now comes the fuzzy part, because I don't actually remember what I did.  All I know is that about forty minutes after I came up stairs, while I was finishing up some vacuuming, I happened to look in the laundry room and soapy water was overflowing from the sink all over the floor. It was everywhere!  

I screamed for help but then remembered I was alone. Kade and Matt had gone fishing and Minda was working. I frantically tried to call Matt but he was too far up the canyon for his phone to get service.  It was painfully clear that I was on my own.

It took me over an hour to towel dry and then wet-vac the laundry room carpet but I felt pretty good about getting it done all by myself.  That is, before I ran to the downstairs storage room.  

I don't actually remember why I had to go in there, probably because the scene I saw when I opened the door must have completely wiped my memory.  

When I opened the door there was water all over the floor and dripping from the shelving which holds our food storage, Christmas decorations, outdoor gear and all the quilting supplies I had temporarily moved there during construction.  

Apparently, not only had the water flooded the laundry room, it had leaked into the a/c vent on the floor and run down through the ductwork which led into the storage room.  

Guess what gang, ductwork seams, don't hold water. 

The sight of the flooded room was so horrifying, I was literally frozen in place for a minute or two.  What shook me out of my stupor was the sight of water dripping onto my beloved quilting machine.  That freaked me out enough to get me moving.  I started dragging it out from under the drip but just my luck, I was barefooted and broke my little pinky toe on the leg of the table.  

And that's when I started sobbing uncontrollably.  I just stood there and cried my eyes out.

About a half an hour later, everyone got home and we worked until 1:00 a.m. cleaning up the mess.  And, even though they were kind and supportive, I have never felt so stupid and humiliated in all my life.  

Looking back, I must have put the paintbrushes in the sink to soak.  I must have put the stopper in, turned on the water, stepped away to do something and completely forgotten that I turned the water on.  I still can't believe I was so distracted I just forgot.  I was pretty exhausted though, so maybe that was a contributing factor.  

Later, when it was all over and everyone was in bed, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself.  In fact, I was kind of crying myself to sleep when I had a feeling come over me that I was being pretty ungrateful.  

Wow, where did that come from?  After all, I had just been through a pretty harrowing experience, not to mention my toe was bruised, swollen and throbbing like crazy. I felt pretty entitled to a giant pity-party.  I also felt a little resentful against God.  I mean, where had he been during such a stressful time for me?  Why hadn't I felt any kind of warning or premonition? 

But I couldn't shake the feeling that I was receiving a message, so I calmed my emotions and listened.    Here's what I came to understand. 

Despite the amount of water, there was actually no major damage of any kind.  The carpet in the laundry room is indoor/outdoor so water doesn't harm it.  The water that flooded into the storage room miraculously stayed in only that room where the floor is concrete.  None of the water seeped under the walls into any of the other rooms that were carpeted.  The water that dripped onto the shelves landed mainly on plastic storage containers. We lost nothing except a few food items that were left in cardboard boxes.  The water that I thought was dripping into my quilting machine, actually landed on some bolts of fabric sitting on the table.  They acted as a protection and kept the machine itself from getting wet.  Best of all, there was absolutely no damage to the new drywall we just installed. 

It's days later now and it's almost like nothing ever happened.  

Being a woman of faith, I don't believe that's a coincidence.  I believe in a personal God, who cares about me, even the small details of my life.  And while he can't protect us from everything, especially those disasters we bring on ourselves through carelessness, exhaustion, or bad judgement, even in those moments he is there.  He intervenes, he mitigates, he alleviates.  

I know that in comparison to all the problems in the world, my disaster was a small one. But I learned a big lesson from it, one that I wanted to share.  I hope you don't mind. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Just Jammin'

With so much going on, it's been hard to find time to write.  But, if I wait much longer, I won't be able to fit everything into one post, so I'm up at 11:21 p.m. furiously typing during Jimmy Kimmel commercial breaks.

Let's see, where do I begin?

Remember the little flood in my quilting room.  Well, it's ballooned into a larger project than anticipated.  I decided that since we were going to be repairing drywall and replacing carpet anyway, we might as well take out this closet. The previous homeowner used for her personal tanning bed.
(Really?? Who has their own tanning bed? Melanoma anyone?)  
I've never really liked the closet. It isn't really necessary to the room and it just takes up valuable space.

Luckily, we were able to handle the project ourselves.  Matt & Damen handled the re-wiring while Christy stepped up to handle the drywalling. She's quite the expert.  Who new?

It's now finished and ready for me to paint.  I can't believe how much bigger the room is.  The closet wasn't that big, but taking it out really opened up the space.

With all the dust from the sanding, my machines have had to stay covered for the last couple of weeks.

Luckily, I was able to finish my Sparkle-Punch quilt top before then. 

I'm very happy with it.  I love the pops of blue & yellow amid all the green and red. I think it's a  modern spin on a Christmas quilt.   Once I get the room put back together, this will be the first thing I quilt.

In the mean time, I've been keeping myself busy with other projects.  I've spent the last three days turning all this...

into all this.  I think I've made every possible iteration of apricot jam.

There's regular apricot, low-sugar apricot, apricot/cherry, apricot/raspberry and apricot/mango.
I've sampled them all and the most tasty is definitely the apricot/mango.  It's so good, I'm thinking of entering it in the county fair.  I think it's a winner.

They all taste dee-licious on my homemade, whole-wheat bread.  It's so yummy I might just enter it in the fair as well.

And finally, it's that time of year again.  It's demolition derby time!  

It's a family affair for us.  This year we talked mom into coming and she cheered just as loud as the rest of us.  

There was smoke.  There was fire.  All in all, a pretty exciting evening.  

Believe it or not, this smokin' beauty was the winner.  

But, the highlight of the evening was definitely the junior derby.  These little dudes stole the show.

Mason wanted so badly to be down there with them.  Next year, Mason, I promise.  

I'm also excited about a fitness/nutrition bootcamp I've started teaching.  I haven't taken any photos yet, but I'll be sure to post them here when I do.  I've only got about 5 ladies coming but I like it that way.  A small group allows me to give more personal instruction.  It's nice to be putting my certifications to use. I haven't trained anyone but myself since I left California.

I've also been working on another project, but I'm keeping it under wraps for a while longer.  Once I get it up and running, I'll make the announcement here.  

Well, it's now almost 1:00 a.m. and I've got yoga at 7:00 a.m., so it's off to bed for me.  But first, I think I'll have a midnight snack.  Anyone else up for some toast and jam?  

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The 4th

The great State of Utah has seriously loosened their restrictions on fireworks. These lovelies are not part of a sponsored show.  No, they are what the neighbor was shooting off in his backyard.

Here is one of our own and we didn't even have to make a run to Wyoming to get them.  NOT that we have ever done that!
Anyway, this year our fireworks were quite spectacular.

This was Mason's favorite.

I mean, how could you not love a crazy, exploding frog head?

And, of course, sparklers.  I wonder if in his little mind he is thinking, "oh no, don't burn me!  Don't burn me!"

This little princess is a girl after my own heart.

Gramma loves her some glow jewelry!
I know it's not a great picture, but Mason (our budding photographer) shot it so of course I had to use it.

Actually, we did our family fireworks on the 5th because Matt and I spent the 4th elsewhere.

We spent the 4th with Jodi and her fam.  Here we are looking' all cute and "flaggy".  (No, we didn't plan it but we might have if we had thought of it.  We're just that corny.)

Anyway...Paris, Idaho a little town over by Bear Lake.  It's usually a pretty sleepy little place, but on the 4th it turns into quite a slice of Americana.  Jodi invited us up to share the experience.
The day started at the Tabernacle with a patriotic commemoration.  Even with the out of tune bugle solos and screeching sopranos, the program was still managed to move me.  When they recognized all those who had or were serving in the military, it kind of choked me up.

Here is the kindergarten class singing, "This Land Is Your Land."  The cuteness meter was off the charts.
The only awkward moment for me was when the local Pavaroti wanna-be broke into a version of this song.  It was just toooo sappy.
With lines like:

I'm sorry I couldn't help it,  I giggled.  In fact, I had to put my hand over my mouth and look at my lap the entire time just to keep myself from laughing out loud. I don't know, maybe I'm jaded.  As corny as I am, it was just too over the top for me.

What amazed me about it all was how the ENTIRE town showed up in support.  Yeah, that would have never happen in Southern California where showing patriotism is right up there with practicing Satanism.  Actually, Satanism might be more widely accepted in the name of "tolerance." (J/K to all my California friends.)

Next, it was on to the parade in all it's papier-mached yumminess.

We saw your typical cheer groups and local companies advertising with their floats.

Then along came this guy who was apparently advertising his position in the church.  Huh, waaa?

Jodi's son and nephew even got in on the act, throwing candy into the crowd on their four-wheeler.

I think this sentiment pretty much summed up the day.  Not only that, they wear police badges, and fire helmets as well.  Take that, Superman, Batman, Ironman, Etc.
It was a great day in middle America.  I think this might have been the first 4th of July in which I spent the day celebrating what it the day is really about.  I hope we can do it again next year.

I'm slowly making progress on my Sparkle-Punch Christmas quilt.  Right now I'm sewing all the
3 1/2 inch blocks together to make 20 larger blocks which I will sew together to make the quilt top.

This is the first quilt I've made that has required such extensive use of my design wall.  There is no way I could keep track where each piece belonged without it.
As far as the flood clean up, it has turned into a much bigger job.  We decided to take out an un-needed closet thus giving me a much less awkward space to work in.  We start the demo tonight.
Of course, there will be pictures.