Back to the blogging world

It’s a dark, icy world outside tonight. While I’m waiting for my flannel sheets to come out of the dryer nice and warm (this is attempt two, mind you, since they balled into a damp mess the first try), I figured I’d jump back into the blogging world. In the rush of the holidays,  I figured I wouldn’t have many sewing projects to show off, but I didn’t figure on dead blog silence. Life has been a bit crazy though. My mom went in for eye surgery to radiate a suspected cancer spot the Thursday before Thanksgiving. Just two days before the surgery the doctors called to say they found spots on her liver and lungs during an MRI. That changed everything; I thought I’d have a weekend at home to get ready for Thanksgiving, but as much as I tried not to borrow trouble, I definitely walked around all week expecting to hear some of the worst news of my life and wound up going to be with my family in Philadelphia for the weekend. I took off early on break too, so I could be with them as the family doctor interpreted the scans. It turned out that the small lung spot didn’t even show up in follow-up scans, and the doctors are fairly confident the liver spot is nothing to worry about. Whew! That news came right in time for Thanksgiving, but it was exhausting to be in limbo for an entire week.

Thanksgiving followed right on the heels of the good news at the doctor’s office, and 34 people flooded into my parent’s house. My mom was even more restricted after the surgery than expected. Dad helped with the turkey, and our family always brings food since there are so many of us. Mom managed to make her famous green beans, but it fell to my sister and I to set out the appetizers, clear them, pull out the main course that we had juggled in crockpots and on warming trays, and then to reset one final time for desserts. It was a very busy Wednesday and Thursday, but now we know that mom trained us well (though she did say we wouldn’t have had such an overload of gravy if she had been in charge). I spent a good bit of time out shopping on Friday and Saturday, which means my Christmas shopping is almost done. I do have one large homemade gift to make and the presents still need to be wrapped.

Then, it was one week of classes to survive after an exhausting break, and then a trip to Las Vegas for the National Finals Rodeo. So. much. fun. I’ll post about that soon.

Now that I’m back and mostly over the late, late Vegas nights (since I was on East Coast time), I’m slowly getting through paper grading. Too. many. papers. I hope that tomorrow I start to approach the tipping point where I feel like I’m on a downward slide to the end of grading, but that’s probably a rather ambitious goal for tomorrow. I do this every year; it’s hard to work up the mental and physical energy to grade the papers quickly. I wish I could just blitz through them like ripping off a band-aid, a big, super sticky band-aid. But, I’m not good at that approach. Tomorrow though, I promise to do far less catching up on quilty blogs since I nursed my withdraw by catching up some today.

I did do some quilting the other night. Justine, my first quilting student, came over again to work on her quilt. We were determined to finish cutting out the fabric, so we could get it up on a design wall. After we both cut out a couple hundred pieces (or at least felt like we had), I pinned up the sorriest excuse of a design wall ever and let Justine get to work on her design.

Justine design wall

Doesn’t she look excited? Before she left, she had all 36 blocks arranged, which really was quite the accomplishment given the folds in the flannel-backed tablecloths we were using as a design wall. The quilt is going to be so vibrant and fun when she is done. The next time I see her, she can start sewing.

And, yes, part of the design wall is pinned to the cord of the bamboo blind to keep it up.

And, yes, every time pieces fell off the design wall onto the floor, I felt like we needed to brush dog hair off them since it’s just that time of the year.

And, yes, that is the pile of unwrapped Christmas gifts on the corner of the dining room table that we had to work around.

It’s the most chaotic season of all… Time to go get those flannel sheets and get my beauty rest for tomorrow.

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