Saturday, August 6, 2016

Big Sigh of Relief!

After three months of living with a disaster in our front yard, all water issues are resolved, we have a brand new flower garden, the house has new siding and a new roof, and our home looks better than ever. 

It started in May with the strongest thunderstorm our city had seen in almost 100 years. We were lashed by wind, rain and hail for several hours. A tornado touched down only a mile from our house. When all was said and done, we'd had 8 inches of rain. My sewing room and a bedroom in the unit next door were soaked with water that had poured in under our front porches. We also had hail damage to the roof and siding, but the basement water was the biggest issue.

Every contractor in town was swamped, and we couldn't find anyone who could get to us in less than a month. One company told me that they'd had over 1,000 calls in just the first two days after the storm.

The carpenter/handyman who had done beautiful work for us during the last fifteen years volunteered to take care of our problem, and we were relieved to know that all was in good hands. Huge mistake!

the mess left by our handyman
I don't know why this man thought he could fix our water issue. His carpentry is amazing, but he had absolutely no clue what he was doing in the yard! He abandoned his plan after the first morning. From then on, each failed idea only increased the mess. After three days we had to fire him. I think he was just as relieved to be gone as we were to have him gone. He'd laid a rubber sheet down, and that kept most of new rainwater at bay. Since both units were still getting a bit of water with each new rainfall, I picked up an extra shop vac for the neighbor. We could survive until the right contractor was found.

Sometimes I think our daughter knows everyone in town. She recommended a very reliable landscaper whose sister had been her student teacher several years ago. He couldn't get to us for three weeks, but roofing and siding crews were scheduled to begin work, so it was better to wait for them to finish.

What a difference!

It took from early May to the beginning of August, but our house and yard have a brand new look. All's well that ends well.

Do come on over and join me for coffee on my front porch. 

I'm definitely ready to focus on something else!
Sewing room, here I come!!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

A Week Saved by an Email

I keep waiting for this summer to end. I would love to keep the sunshine and warmth, but if leaving summer means leaving the craziness behind, I'm all for calling up autumn.

Progress is slow, but there finally is progress on the work being done in my yard and on my house. Rain has interfered with putting up the siding, and that has, in turn, delayed planting a new flower bed.

We don't need workers carrying siding up and down ladders in the middle of new plantings. So, siding and a dumpster sit in my driveway waiting for sunny weather.

In the middle of all of this I came down with an intestinal virus. It's been years since I had this kind of flu, and I'd forgotten how it can really knock the wind out a body. My new mug rug isn't making much faster progress than anything else.

It's always surprising, but when you are feeling stressed, a kind word out of the blue often comes along and gives your spirit a boost. I received this email from a customer a few days ago. It couldn't have come at a better time. 

"Good evening, Ms. klee2strings:

"I wanted to let you know that I purchased a few of your patterns a few weeks ago, and I was able to make one of the items today (rooster from Sun's Up). Your directions were very  easy to follow - I am a beginner and I had no problems. I decided to turn the mug rug into a placemat with a pocket, see attached photo, and it worked out great. I now know to make the pocket longer next time, things you learn along the way (by making mistakes). Anyway, I wanted to thank you for continuing to teach in your years of retirement - it is evident that you were a teacher, as your directions are clear and your handwriting is neat!  I look forward to making the hen and the other patterns I purchased from you  (Calico Cats, Stitching Stuff, and Tooth Fairy Mug). My mother-in-law is an avid quilter so I am looking forward to making the Stitching Stuff mug rug for her.

"Again, thank you for being a teacher (then and now) and making beautiful projects."


Though I do love quilting, when it comes to professions, teaching has always been my first love. It was wonderful to have this assurance that after nine years of retirement, I can still help people learn. Kind words can make a world of difference.

I hope to finish the newest mug rug next week. Fingers crossed!

Happy August, everyone!