Friday, April 22, 2011

Love My Fridays!!!

It is Friday - always love Fridays!!! Who cannot love the beginning of the weekend? Of course this is a very special Friday. "Thank you for the cross, thanks you for the cross. Thank you for the cross, my Friend."

I think I have no words left in me this evening. I spent the whole day talking - 9:00 to 4:30 with just a lunch break. I met with the instructor taking my place, to "pass the baton." I know it was such a wad of stuff to try to absorb. She took lots of notes. Talked about Blackboard website, lecture notes, tests, clinical schedule, calendar, course overview, course orientation, hospital orientation, clinical paperwork, oneline videos, and lots of little bits of this and that. Am I going to be able to let go?????? I really am kind of a control freak. It is so hard to give that up. But I'm also so excited about being cut free!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Catching Up

Yesterday I worked to clean out my file cabinets. I gave the work-study students plenty of shredding to do for the afternoon. I tried to be sure what’s left in the files is at least organized. Today I finished the file cabinets and cleaned out my desk drawers. Have you ever left old rubber bands lying around in a desk drawer? Well, as they age, they certainly make a mess, sticking to whatever is next to them. They eventually get brittle and break into lots of little pieces. Either way, they sure make a mess. I found that papers I had saved for years, thinking I surely would need that went right into the trash with the rest of the stuff. I did save some of my very old lecture notes – just to someday look back look back as see how far we have come. I developed a “Computers in Nursing” course many years ago, when computers first started to become popular. Looking at those notes gave me a bit of a chuckle.

Today I picked up my Bernina from the shop. I plugged it in to see if there was a difference. WOW!!! It never sewed this quietly when it was new!! That was worth every penny of that $75. Also, when I got home, beside my door was this large package. I couldn’t wait to tear into it.

This is my new SewEZ table.
One of the ladies at the last quilt retreat had one of these, and I thought that was the coolest thing. I liked it because it was so study. So many of these portable sewing tables are so flimsy and get to jumping when you get to sewing fast. Now I’m ready – for an upcoming quilt retreat in July, for sewing with my daughter in SC, for taking with me wherever my husband happens to be working and living after I retire and can go be with him.

Last night I cut out the pieces for this quilt.

I always like to have some handwork to do. I want to do the applique by hand. If I want something to look really nice, I applique by hand using the needle-turn method. If I’m not really picky, or I have to put something together quickly, I’ll use the fusible method.

I need to go to bed early tonight. Stayed up too late last night cutting out the above quilt and could hardly stay awake today. Nothing more painful that needing to stay awake, but fighting sleep.

Good night y'all....

Monday, April 18, 2011

Another "Last" Today

Today was my last nursing school lecture. How strange is that? When I went in to class this morning, I wrote in great big letters on the white board, "Focus and Finish." I know at this time of each semester everyone is burned out, and they have such a hard time focusing. They just want to get through. I told them this had become my motto, thanks to one of the their class members who had included this in his weekely journal. It was meant for me as much as them. At the end of the morning, I closed my notebook, for the last time..... bittersweet, I guess.

Back to the Work Week

Saturday night when I went to bed, I wasn't the least bit sleepy. I thought,"uh,oh." what is going on? I got a cup on warm milk which always helps to make me sleepy when I'm wide awake. I even put a few dashes of nutmeg in it. I read this week that has something in it that helps to induce sleep. But no such luck. I read, I prayed, but sleep would not come. I kept thinking if I could just lie here very quiet long enough, I'd go to sleep. Every time, I'd just about get there, one of Mark's dogs would bark. I don't know what's up with them this time. They aren't usually barkers. I know what set them off early in the evening - fireworks at the Met - two different times. But in the middle of the night?! I kept thinking surely they would settle down and go to sleep, but they couldn't sleep either. FINALLY, at 2:40 a.m. I hit the floor, yanked open the back door, SNATCHED up both their beds, THREW them down in front of the TV in the living room and screamed, "GET ON YOUR BEDS AND SHUT UP!!" And I went back to bed. I never heard a peep out of them the rest of the night. But I still did not doze off until sometime after 5:30, and the alarm went off at 6:30. I thought back over what I had done the previous day. The only thing was I started back on the Allergra for my allergies, but took it about supper time. I didn't think that caused insomnia, because I had taken it for weeks when the allergies first started. But I did usually take it in the morning. I guess I won't be taking it anymore in the evening. I had had some tea for a late lunch that day, but I have a tea once in a while for lunch. Perhaps the caffeine and the Allegra ganged up on me together.

Church was great Sunday morning as usual. Had a great time at lunch eating with the Sunday School class at Olive Garden. They are just the nicest people in that class. It doesn't matter who you end up sitting with, you always have a nice visit.

On the way home from eating, I stopped to see Mom. She had been wanting me to do her nails. When I got there it looked like her nails had been done during the week. The polish she had on was not the usual polish I put on - it was darker. When I quizzed her about it, I didn't get a real staight answer. She didn't seem to be quite as sharp as she has been. So I removed the polish and trimmed her nails. It seems they really grow fast. All these years she wanted long nails and never could grow them. I guess now, she dosn't do anything to break them. So I trimmed them all up and repolished them. Just as I was finishing, a couple aides came in and chuckled saying, "Oh, you redid her nails! We just did them. Sunday is nails day." I said I thought they looked like they might have been recently polished, but she had been asking me all week to do her manicure. They may have polished them, but they didn't trim them. If they get very long, she gets dirt under them and can't get it out, so they really need to be kept short. I told her that her hair looked really nice. She had gotten it done the day before. She seems to be doing pretty well now, scooting her wheelchair up and down the halls by herself.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Another Saturday

I started the day off going by the accountant. That is never fun this time of the year. HOWEVER, this time, the news was good! Wow! I was in shock when I found out we were getting a return from the federal as well as the state. Can't remember when that happened last. What a relief that was!

From there I went to a Bernina dealer for my machine's "Spa Day" treatment. What I really wanted done was for him to adjust my needle-down function. That was not a 15-minute "treatment." So I had to leave the machine with him for a full tuneup. I had not had that done for several years, so it was long overdue. When he heard it run, he got this frown on his face and said it definitely should not sound that noisy. I told him it had always made more noise that my old Bernina. I always figured it was because the new ones are made with a lot of plastic where those old ones were all metal. But, perhaps not. We'll see when I get it back from its check-up.

Here are a few pieces I picked up on the sale table. Can't resist a great sale, you know. :)
Not sure what I'll do with this little beauty. At first I was going to get one yard, but because it was $2 a yard, I told her to go ahead and give me two. But then I saw there was just a little left, so I just took it all. The color looks a little more coral in this picture than the pink it really is. Just thought it was a pretty springy color. That's a quarter on the fabric, so you can see the flowers are quite large.

This truly was a pretty light pink - a little lighter than a bubble gum pink. Taking the pictures at night inside I guess makes them look a little darker.

This fabric is a mottled light pink and light blue. Guess I must have been on a pink kick today. :)

I got 3 yards of this tannish color with white flowers. I thought it would make a good background fabric in a quilt.

This was such a nice bright springy green piece. It reminded me so much of the new grass shooting up in everyone's lawns. I needed to add some green to my stash.

Below are three more sets of fat quarters that will be the shells for Jeannine's bags. I now have fabric for 9 bags. Just need to sew them up and get them to her.

Changing gears just a bit, today I took my scrubs out of the dryer and hung them up for the last time.
This is the name tag I've worn for so many years. In the middle is my nursing school pin from Fort Hays State University where I graduated from nursing school. Got that in 1968 - that's been a long-time friend of mine. The little gold feet next to it - those are the feet of a 10 week's gestation baby. I know, technically, it is called a fetus, but if you click on this picture to enlarge it, take a look at those perfectly formed feet, and try to tell me that is not the feet of a BABY! Maybe I can do something with this badge and a shadow box - or something. Just hate to throw it in a drawer somewhere to never be seen again. It feels like it is a part of my body.

Until next time.....

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Lot of Mixed Feelings Today

It seems my emotions ran the gamut today. It was my last day to have students on the mother/baby unit of Brookwood Hospital. I've been taking students there for over 20 years. Many of the RNs there have been former students of mine. It has been a great place to take students, and everyone has been so nice and helpful. So it was a little hard to tell some of them goodbye. One of the night nurses couldn't believe I was old enough to retire. She thought I was in my 40s!! Boy, I about hugged her! I didn't have as much trouble focusing this morning as I did yesterday. I guess it was because I was really busy today - on a the run constantly, so the morning went quickly. But as I walked off the unit at the end of the morning, I was thinking, "Ya HOO!!" If I had had a cap, I'd have thrown it in the air.

I was scheduled to take my Bernina in to have it cleaned, but the way the clouds looked and with the forecast of severe storms, I called to cancel it. She said she had an opening tomorrow, so I took that. I really don't like to schedule anything on Saturdays - that is my day of down time, and I don't even like to leave the house. But they had a special offer they called "Spa Day" for their machines, so I wanted to "treat" my machine. It has been awhile since I've had it serviced. For one thing, the needle-down function needs some adjustment. When the needle is down it is just barely in the fabric. I'd like to have it well into the fabric, so when you turn the fabric, there is no danger of it coming out.

As soon as I arrived home, the local weather man was wall-to-wall with tornado coverage. So that spoiled my whole evening. The enormous tornado that came across the Mississippi line was in a storm cell that came right at us. I spent a good bit of the evening in a bathroom with my pillow, radio, computer, and flashlight. At one point I heard a horrible noise. I ran to my kitchen window to see heavy marble-sized hail falling. That happened twice!! About 3 waves of storms came through. Finally the all clear occurred for us. The tornado in our area was JUST to the south of us. It was even closer to where my mother is in her skilled care facility. They had the residents all out in the hall. That facility sits high upon a hill. Not a place where I would have like to be this evening. They came through it all unscathed.

This weekend I have Mark's 2 golden reteivers. They've actually been pretty chilled this evening in the midst of all the storms. They've just been lying on their pads in the screened-in porch. Mark brought them over this morning. He took his oldest son to Memphis to a big soccer tournament. I'll be anxious to see how he does. Dylan is a dynamite soccer player. He's 9 but has always played with the older kids. His younger brother, Chris, is here at home in a tournament this weekend also.

Well, the ups and downs of this day have worn me out. Think I'll go to bed early. That's pretty bad for a Friday night. :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Focus and Finish!!

Ah, yes, Focus and Finish. That has become my motto lately. Actually I got it from a student in my class. Every semester at this time, the students (and the instructors) get a bad case of burn-out. They have two weeks to go with the last unit exams and then finals. We have a few days after that to get the grades in, and the we are FREEEEEE, too! But THIS time, I really will be free!! Today, I had a bit of a panic attack for a moment, suddenly realizing that I didn't have the calendar done for the summer term. But wait a minute....I don't have to do that. It feels so weird. I always have that done about a month ahead of time, and have it posted on my faculty web site so the students coming to the next class can make their plans plenty far ahead of time. I don't know if Diann has done that or not. These kinds of things just keep coming to me. Just let go, Sheryl!! Hmmmm....easier said than done.

Today was the next-to-the-last clinical day. Tomorrow will be the last. I don't know why I felt so antsy today! But I sure did. There were several hospital staff members that won't be there tomorrow, so I told them good-bye today and thanks for all their help through the years. I've had the best place to take my students. Everyone has always been so nice to me and helpful to the students. I will miss many of them. Several are nurses that I had in my class at one time.

Wading through all this Medicare maze is time-consuming - and confusing. I signed up for Part A when I turned 65. I didn't know that I needed to sign up for Part B at the same time. So I had to drive clear across town to a Social Security office just to pick up these two pieces of paper. They couldn't email or fax it to me, and the forms were not downloadable from the internet. ARGH! Come on, people! Get with the 21st century!! What a waste of precious gas, to say nothing of one's time. You walk in this office where there are (as I remember) 7 windows with women typing and 2 people being helped. You take a number and wait. My lady really was quite nice and very helpful when I got to her, but it still irks me to have to do things like that in this day of computer technology. I guess they just figure if you are going to get their services, you are going to have to jump through all these hoops.

I really don't do well waiting in lines. I remember going to grad school. This was back in the days when you had to "pull a card" for the class you wanted. You would have to wait in these enormous lines to get your card. Sometimes, you would finally get to the front of the line and find out you were in the wrong line all this time, or your class was now "closed." Another very distaseful line was/is the one at the car tag/license office. Sometimes it would be out the door. I would always take a book to read, because you knew you were going to be there for a very long time as that line just creeped along. I can't tell you the number of times I've finally got to the lady (who always took her sweet time), and I didn't have all the papers I needed. ARGH! At least now they do allow you to renew your tags online. BUT they charge you extra to do so. What's up with that?? Why should you pay more for the more stream-lined process that takes less time for them?? Whenever I have to intersect with any government official at any point for any reason, it is not a pleasant experience. That is just the long and short of it.

Wish I knew what to have for supper.....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Catching up on Tuesday

Didn't get to write last night. Spent part of the evening in a bathroom with my radio, computer, and a flashlight, waiting out the tornado sirens. Often tornados cross Alabama this time of the year, but most go north of us or south. Last night, this one was a little too close for comfort. I don't believe there was ever one actually sighted - just noted on radar. But several large trees were blown down in the suburbs north of us. Just high straight-line winds. It all sure interrupted Dancing with the Stars! Our meterologist, James Spann goes "wall-to-wall" covereage when theis happens. So DWTS was seen in a box on the screen along with James, but DWTS could not be heard. Well, thankfully, it all didn't last long, and we were in the all-clear.

Today I made it official - I signed my retirement papers!! I had to drive to the north side of town to meet with the HR person on that campus because they don't have an office on our south campus. He will send the paper on to the state, they will send me the next set of papers where I choose my option for being paid, and I'll be well on my way! 23 days and counting....

While on that side of town, I stopped by my favorite quilt shop. It had been so long since I've been there. I used to go quite often when I taught on that side of town. Guess it is a good thing I'm on the south end now. Anyway, I picked up some fat quarters to make a couple more bag shells for Jeannine. Below are the combinations. Hope to get those done along with the others sometime this week or next.

I got a call today that my taxes are nearly ready. The suspense is killing. I want to know, but I don't. I'm sure it will not be good news. Oh, well, what's a person to do... It's just like the price of gas - you gotta pay...and pay....and pay....

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Samplings

I was on my way to church this morning when I remember a conversation with Mom yesterday about how much she missed going to her church. I told her she had church there where she lives, but she said it was not the same. I felt really bad for her. So this morning before I arrived at my church, I suddenly thought, "Why not go get Mom and go with her to the church where we all used to attend?" I quickly called Colleen and asked if she was on her way, and she was. I attend Sunday School while she goes to the early service. She liked my idea, and called SR to see if they could get her ready to go by 9:30. She called back saying they could. Colleen just turned around to go make sure when they got her ready, she would have on something nice. I told her I would meet her there. Mom can get into her low car easier than my van, but Colleen has no room for the wheelchair, so I picked up the wheelchair. Mom was so surprise and so tickled to get to go. Colleen had promised to take her out this afternnon, but Mom never dreamed she would get to leave so early.

We got to the church, and everyone was sooooo glad to see her. She (and we) got so many wonderful hugs. It was great seeing old friends again.

We were then going to take her to lunch. She couldn't decide where she wanted to go, and Colleen said she had to go home first and feed her (diabetic) dog. So rather than stand there in the (high-pollen) air, I told them to go on, and I would bow out of lunch this time. I really needed to just get home and stick my nose only in the house. Since getting that shot yesterday, I feel better, and I don't want to push it when the pollen count report for today is 11.5!!

At least the views from inside my house are nice. Here is another Japanese maple that I see from my kitchen.
Here is another rose bush. This one I see from my kitchen window. It is literaly exploding with buds and flowers.

Talked with Guy when I got home from church. He is trying to find a church in Greenville, SC, and he told me about the one he attended today. It is so hard to go and not compare everyone of them to our church here (which we dearly love). He thought this one today seemed to be the best out of the 3 he has tried.

I guess that's all for now. I really need to go review my notes for tomorrow's lecture, but I'd rather go sew on a quilt. Which one do you think will win??

Saturday, April 9, 2011

My Little Trip Out Today

Friday night I had gone to the grocery store to get all my groceries with the thought that I was not going to leave the house all weekend except to go to church on Sunday. I was not going to breathe that pollen that the pollen report said would be 11.3. Now that is high!! Most years it will never get over 10, but this year has seen many days over 11. Makes my eyes water just to think about it. But then I got invited to a pizza lunch my sister, Colleen, planned with Mom in the lobby of Mom’s skilled care facility. Colleen’s birthday was this last week, and she had not really had time to celebrate it. So how could I pass that up?! We all had a great time. Mom enjoyed it so much. Colleen took Mom outside so she could smell the roses growing. She always loved all kinds of flowers. I passed up that little session, and headed to the car with a tissue over my nose. I know I look stupid walking around outside that way, but I don’t really care!

Anyway, I found several pieces of fabric. Uhhh….several is not exactly the number, but won’t say exactly how many that was. They were all 30% off, and one piece was 50% off. I really pitied the poor people behind me in this loooong line at the cutting table. I could almost hear the groans as I pulled out yet another bolt from my over-flowing cart. Most of the time they only had one person cutting. What’s up with that??? Maybe I need to apply for a part time job when I retire. Hmmmm….well not right away. This quilt I want to make just had so many different pieces of fabric, so I couldn’t help it. I only needed a half-yard of all but 3, and it was a yard of those 3. Actually, what I really needed was mostly a bunch of fat quarters, but they didn’t have those, so I had to buy a half yard in order to get the size of the piece the pattern called for. So I actually had to buy twice as much as I really needed. Ahhh…. but can you ever really have too much fabric???? Well, don’t answer that!! :) I’ll just add a bit to my stash.

Well, anyway, my fabric is all washed, dried, ironed, and neatly folded.Here are all the fabrics for the quilt/wallhanging called Fanciful Flowers. It is in the April issue of "Quilter's World" seen below.

These are enough fabrics to make Jeannine 4 bag shells and straps. I'll post those when I get them together. And then I'll post pictures of the bags she she adds her applique and embellishments.

It's a Beautiful Spring in Alabama

The sun was shining so beautifully this morning, and the warmth was calling me outside - for a few minutes at least - more on that in a minute. In the corner of our backyard is this gorgeous Japanese maple tree - one of a collection that my husband has nurtured over the years. I don't know the technical names of all the varieties he has.

Here is a smaller one with darker leaves, but just a beautiful. It really does have a beautiful shape, but the wind was blowing a bit making it look like the top is out of the left side, but it's really not.

This rose bush is loaded with pale pink roses, and it wants to take over our back fence, at least the south half of it. The stalk of this bush at the base looks more like a tree!

Here are the first two blooms on my red rose bush. This bush was planted at the same time as the pink one above, but it never has reached anywhere near the size of the pink one. Probably just a different variety.

Here are out little clematis purple beauties, and they are just blooming their little hearts out.

Here are some little potted babies that Guy is hoping I can keep alive while he is working away from home right now. I hope I can, too! I just love the lacey leaves of the biggest one.

Now, if I could spend some time out there in this nearly perfect temperature we are having, but alas, my allergies are keeping me a prisoner in my house. I'll probably pay for being out those few minutes snapping the pictures. I don't understand how all that beauty can make someone so miserable. ARGH! The South is gorgeous in the spring (and fall, too), but all this pollen sure makes a body (and soul) miserable!

I've battle a sore throat for a week now, so this afternoon I gave up and made my annual trek to the doc-in-the-box. Got a Z-pac, nasal spray (different from what I had been using), and a cortisone shot. I surely do hope that shot gets me over the hump with my eyes. I would be SO SO thankful if I could escape the occular rosacea this year!!!! He told me to use Claritin instead of Allegra since it was quite a drying.

Oh, my dryer has stopped so now I need to go iron several pieces of fabric. I'll have pictures of all that in the next post.

Friday, April 8, 2011

It's FRIDAY!!!

I LUV, LUV, LUV Fridays!!!! How I love Fridays!.....Oh, did I tell you how much I love Fridays? Well, after noon, that is. From 6-12, I'm in the hospital with my students, but come noon, let the weekend begin!!! Woo Hoo!! Being in the hospital with my nursing students on Thursdays and Fridays is all I've known for so many years. Now, next week will be the last week that will happen. I can hardly believe that after more than 37 years of teaching nursing, I'm retiring. It is just a bit scary. I find myself so often thinking about how am I going to pass this paton on to the next one? Will she get all the information I need to give her before I leave? Will she carry on as I've done it for so long? What changes will occur? Then I think, "Sheryl! What do you care?! You'll be outta there!" But it is really hard to give up - even as much as I'm looking forward to the time off.

I'm making my bucket list, but for the first few days, I'm going to do absolutely NOTHING - or whatever I WANT to do. Then I will travel to North Carolina to be with my husband who is a contract project engineer, currently working for a company there in Greenville/Spartanburg. This time I'll be able to stay for as long as I want. The nice part of that is that my daughter, husband, and two granddaughters live there! Isn't that nice?!! I'll be able to help her get some of her bags put together. When I have a chance I help by sewing the bag part, and then she puts on all the little creative touches that only she can do.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Some of my latest creations

Here are some the more recent things I've been working on. I saw this on the front of a magazine and knew I just had to make it. I'm usually a little more on the conservative order in my quilts, but just loved the brilliance of this one. It's the first time I've used rick-rack in a quilt. And I seldom use black and white fabrics.
I've eyed this little ditty for some time and finally dug into my stash for the colors. Still working in the zig-zag around the applique, and then after quilting, it will adorn my fireplace.

My daughter, Jeannine, has found her niche in the craft/sewing world making children's bags. She made some for each of her girls, and when her friends saw them, they all wanted one. She has an etsy site (, but can't get caught up, much less get ahead to list them there. They are all her original design, and each one is unique and designed for the person in mind. I love the creativity she has when it comes to adding the appique embellishments. Here are a few examples of her bags.

This little bag has a quilt block on the front that is left over from a fairy quilt Jeannine made Sofia.