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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Nice Sunday Morning - Splitting Organizing Tasks Fabric/Apps

Sunday, December 9, 2012 @ 7:04 AM

Good morning.  This is us … and perhaps you can see what we’ve been working on.  YAYYYYY SCRAPS!  It’s been awhile and it felt real good to get back to it last night.  What we found ourselves doing though instead of cutting them all up was to just be straightening them.  We worked a little farther into the plastic bin pictured, but we’re probably only about a 10th of the way through the project – WITH just this bin … there are 9 bins this size total.  Yup yup … that means we’re just over 1% through with the project and the one bin in particular – left on top of the stack is a nail biter!  Yeeks.  The bin we are working on now is one of Linda’s two.  I think some of them are left over from somebody in her family another couple generations older.  They are like the vintage of my Grandmother’s fabrics, and so have been really fun to work through. 

One of the things that is so amazing to me is how many varieties of fabrics she has.  Every once in a while, you will come up with a certain fabric that there is a set or series of, but the majority of the pieces are just a few pieces of any one, meaning to me that someone has taken good care to use up the scraps and we’re the most thrifty of quilters in salvaging sometimes just one 2-3” square at a time.  Another thing that is noticeable is that some of the scraps appear to come from very worn clothing in that they are just paper thin.  I think when we get to separating things out, that will have to be taken into consideration – that is separating fabrics by texture AND color.  There will be so much to go through yet. 

I do realize that we have left our other projects in the lurch.  You know which ones we are talking about – the Christmas ones.  We’ve still got 2 ½ quilts to bind and then 5 applique to satin stitch and 6 applique to bind.  Still within reasonable limits, but we’ve only got just under two weeks to finish the majority and we’re still thinking we need to get our mother’s quilt to her before Christmas.  It would really make her day I think J  I feel a little guilty now in thinking that we’ll have to leave this project of scrapping sort of mid-project to finish the others, but it is easily enough taken down.  The bin is on wheels and will roll back under our bed, the ironing board will come down and the drafting table will roll back in its place.  We’ll probably store the ironed scraps back in the container until we’re ready to sort all that out.  I’m thinking it would be nice to get through both of Linda’s bins before we sort, so that we keep like-pieces together.  It’s really a testament to how much she’s collected.

One of the things that has pushed us further with the project is the renewed interest in scraps since we’ve been on this last retreat.  LV Linda gave us some scraps from Ann and we gathered some more scraps from the girls and another Ann on the trip.  It was really nice that they would do that for us.  I would like to connect with the other Ann at the retreat … I forgot her last name, but she was really generous with what she had left.  Some of the appreciation came with the twins being here and asking to see the collection of scraps collected by LV Linda at retreat.  They felt the same way as us in that it is like eye candy to quilters to visually and texturally see and touch the different pieces.  I think it was Jean, but she went through every piece straightening the pieces in flat bunch.  It was very gratifying for both of us to realize how nice some of the pieces were.  And, then the other part of it was that LV Linda let us know in the last correspondence how sorry we would be that she now knows that we are into scrapping.  Yeah yeah … Bring it on babe!  Hehehe

I also have to think in line with actually using the fabric in quilts.  It is part of the project.  I’m thinking that in-between things, we will pick up a few more books on scrap quilts.  I think the variety in fabrics is just the most amazing thing.  We would love to showcase the quilts.  I’m not sure though if we will want to give these quilts away.  Maybe.  I don’t think that most people will want a quilt of very old thin fabric, but we would really like to do something with it.  In our minds, we are piecing together collages of fabric in various shapes and forms.  We’re trying to think through how to make the most of every piece.  We also have to keep in mind that along with piecing we would have to quilt also and I’m thinking that in that case … we might want to conserve on fabric and just have quilted scraps on both side.  That way we would preserve the integrity of the fabric.  It’s just so much fun.  I’m afraid that we’ll never have enough days in our life to finish these projects.

There is a spare thought here that comes up and thinks about the quilts my Grandmother used to make with her church ladies.  I’m thinking of how they collected scraps and other pieces to make quilts for people in need in other countries particularly through Lutheran charities.  Oh how much fun it must have been to be a part of all that – and all the conversations that would have been held in the process.  This is where thoughts of having the twins over become such a big deal.  There’s so much to do and talk about and experience together.  And, it also seems that it was part of the beauty in being together for such a nice 24 hour plus period of time in that after a short while, you stop talking about just the experiences we’ve just had over this last period of time and you start just talking about the quilting projects underfoot and comparing one thing and another and after a while – you are just so far into the Zen of it that it’s like being super alive.  You are running in the current of being in the middle of life.

AHA!  I remember the other Ann – the one that added conscientiously the scraps … Her name is Ann Walker … hmm, no … that’s not it … that was the 4th Ann on the retreat.  I’ll have to ask Linda this morning who the other Ann upstairs was … thinking it started with a “P”, but I’m not sure.  We’ll have to wait.

AHA!  Now Rich is up.  Actually, he was sort of up about a half an hour ago.  But, in truth he was just rustling in bed.  SOOOO we went in and gave him a half an hour back massage.  He fell asleep again, but then after we finally stopped, then he woke up.  Maybe it was inevitable because Missy was meowing and I thought for sure that would wake him up.  She can be so noisy in the morning.  We saw one of our old high school friends when we’d gotten back to the computer.  She’d left this not on FB and we had responded to it.  It gave us the giggles this morning.  I know that Deb is like DEFINITELY a “NEED COFFEE IN THE MORNING GIRL!”

Hehehe – just showed Rich the picture as he walked by with another refill of coffee – well at least for him.  We’re like on our third cup.  Yup yup … it’s going to be like that.   Now Rich has gotten up…

Ok, let’s make that our 4th cup of coffee and the pot is empty.  It’s now 9:25 AM.  Rich has been up for about 1 ½ hours and we’ve talked to Linda for a bit before she had to be off on her way.  She’s going on an overnight with Tony to Iowa.  WooHOOO!!!  We’ve also had the talk with Rich as to our plans.  He said that he wasn’t ready to go to the fishy store, but that he would call his mother after his morning show now almost over.  He thinks we’re going to be at her place by about 1 – 2 PM, and he says we’re only staying a couple of hours.  That will give time for a visit and to pick up anything they might need.  THEN we’ll go grocery shopping with us out in the car.  I know how exciting can that be.  I might bring with me the hand sewing.  It’s a little bulky, but we’re thinking that Rich is going to be gone for a while.  We read a couple books totaling only about 120 pages from Kindle.  We were disappointed with them.  One was probably the worst e-book, we ever read.  The author was just a kid and sounded like it especially in her stories and mannerisms of talking, AND in spelling errors.  We had the impression that she’d written it and then just let it go.  I can’t believe she didn’t spell-check.  *sigh*

Anyway, Rich said that we’ll leave between 12-1 PM.  I’ve still got a while before having to get showered.  We tried something different the other day slipping into the shower with Rich.  Ok, that’s probably more private than we’re making it, but you just get regular ideas of what a shower was and then one day you get a bright idea and think why haven’t we been doing that more often!  Ok, shhh, and no nothing over happened.  I do like touching him though.  He’s like hot stuff!

Ok, girls … better calm down – or, we’ll NEVER get past this page!

Maybe it’s time to wonder if there is anything that we really want to say about the time that has last past.  I don’t think we said, but we didn’t have much of a Dr. Marvin’s visit this week.  We’ve been going through so many ups and downs and we were down on Wednesday afternoon when we were supposed to go in for our single appointment of the week.  We couldn’t make ourselves do it.  The connection – phone between Dr. Marvin an us was poor and he didn’t realize we’d sent a message until about 20 minutes after the fact, so it was a short conversation.  The only thing we can really remember about it was getting the sense that it was ok to be feeling the way we were … that it wasn’t a bad or unnatural thing.  We felt at the time going into it that we were doing ourselves some kind of disservice for not being able to hold our “higher” feelings we’d been racing through with all the excitement between the twins and Rich.

Excerpt removed here due to being overly critical and public of CS 

We’ve just reminded Rich that he put off calling his mother and said he’d do it after the last show and now we’re a half an hour past that.  Just that I want to lock in my schedule of the day.  Soooo now he’s calling her.  I’m feeling frustrated with the last series of thoughts and we have to think of how we’re going to put ourselves in a better situation.  Rich is talking to Bud and more like told him we were coming by at 1 PM.  Well, that’s almost like asking.  When I called Rich on it he said that if you don’t tell them, they would rather than tell you they wanted you over for 6-8 hours.  That be like way too much.  Rich just said we’d be there for a couple hours so we could go shopping.  That’s true, we are – or at least he will go shopping.  I’m not sure with the smoking though if we want to bring our blanket.  We know that we wouldn’t bring it inside, but we have to look at the part that we are going to be the smelly on after being in the house.  

Excerpt removed here due to being overly critical and public of CS

Probably time we stop digging ourselves into the ground and move on.  Just so much negative we can do.  Even with our thoughts on housekeeping it’s like we have to meet goals and then move on – and then, we are looking for the positive that’s come out of it.  Can’t live in the negative.

I think that’s why it’s been so problematic of late being in a depressed mode.  Being conscious of the mood means that you are part moving toward the reality of either accepting it and feeling your way through it.  I don’t believe you can control all your moods, but I do think we are very assisted or not assisted in length of time or scope of the poorer spaces our brains hover.  Thinking now of even being so far down with the medication Dr. Marvin had us on keeping us so negative or sleepy – we watched it long enough to pin-point it was the medicine making the changes.  I remember telling Dr. Marvin, we’re sleeping until 9:30 AM, then 12:30 PM, and then we were falling asleep at 7:30 PM.  There was a relative long period of time trying to work past that while on the drug, but the bottom line was that within a month’s supply, we were knowledgeable both us and doctor that the drug would have to be changed back out.  So during that phase we were going through other possibilities like how were we going to be able to pay for the $4-800 the regular medicine was going to cost. 

We’ve gone through things like working through the problems with the UIC program MAP program.  That’s had several downfalls, but the positive would be that we can afford the $55 they are charging us for our six medicines we use monthly.  Because that is not a problem, it frees up time to be working on other things now that are so much more productive – like in opening with our excitement for cutting the scraps or sewing on the regular quilts or applique pieces.  I think that’s the positive we keep getting back to as well as being back to our writing.  I know that if we’re getting thoughts down we are doing what we most enjoy doing.  The part of us that makes us feels like a fish in water.  Always we’re trying to get back to that smiley place.  I think that was a big part of the session with Dr. Marvin – he had been trying the new headset so that part wasn’t going well, but the tone of his conversation – of just being accepting of us being in our life no matter up or down feelings.  Sometimes we forget that when we’re down it’s only temporary – but carrying that knowledge we can get to the more positive, pleasant feelings.  I think it’s the same with CS.  I know that we can be in a happier space with her.  I don’t know though if she appreciates that not “getting out of the space” where holidays are something not to like, that we have to repeat it with her each time it comes about.  We’d hoped so much this last year she could catch more of our positive rather than catching her negative.  I think she would agree that there is just not that much family, to ignore what is given.  It makes me feel insufficient when we offer ourselves and are not accepted.

Ok Ok, shhhh we’re back to all that.  I guess we’re in the stage with it that we’re trying to be more conscientious so that we can get past something that is being problematic.  I’m also realizing that we’re probably being overly analytic because this has been on our mind now for about eight days.  That’s a long time to carry something without making progress on it.  I refuse to feel bad about it for putting the thoughts out there.  I do apologize that so much of our thinking is done out loud as we blog.  That’s one of the difficulties of being a writer.  Maybe some time in our past we’ve come to think that talking instead of writing is more risky.  If we have a thought I’d rather have it put down on paper/screen where we can deal with it and explore/re-explore until it makes sense, hmm?  Maybe we appreciate just the accountability. 

But, as for now we have other places now to go.  Hmm, Rich seems to be done with his morning TV.  We hear the Christmas music has been turned on.  It’s about 10:30 AM … Hmm, isn’t the Christmas tree on yet?  AHA!  There it is.  It’s probably also going to be caught with Sir Sweetie that someone is popping pop corn already.  Hmm, better get some pop with that.  It’s just that we’re trying to get our regular afternoon in before being dislodged from the comfort of our spot.  I kinda wish that Rich had just left me stay at home, but I know he’s already told Bud we were coming – and we probably should take a turn in getting out there.  It’s only been a couple of weeks though.  Maybe we will call our mother on the drive … that’s probably then been a couple of weeks too.  If you’re going to do one mother, you might as well be doing two.  It seems to be the most comfortable spot we have at this point in calling her.  Sometimes it gets caught up with Rich being on the phone with someone else as we are talking, but then we have him to help us get through the call if its another bad one – meaning more negative feelings for us to sort through.  I can’t say enough how important it is that people get back to positive feelings and try to avoid some of the negative feelings as they become overwhelming.  Then we think of like Mother Theresa and all the people in poverty she helped.  In a sense she did not become overwhelmed easily put in very negative situations.  But, fortunately, we don’t have to hold ourselves to those kinds of worldly standards – Pswhoo!

Yup yup … Pop and popcorn for brunch.  Let’s for the record mark that as a positive ;)

I think we wrote a little about this next subject the other day … but, yesterday we spent more time looking at a few apps/windows programs.  The three being investigated are Evernote, Springpad, and Astrid.  They are all productivity programs, and there are cross-overs in platforms though Astrid might be considered the only actual to-do list.  We spent the least amount of time with that of the three, but they all have to be considered as a set.

Ahh, someone after my own heart and adding in Diigo and Google too and GTD!


Astrid + Diigo + Evernote or just Springpad?

In my book, a good GTD solution must have a reminder, calendar integration, subtask (coming for Astrid/checklist acts as subtask for Springpad), note comment adding and media attachment (useful for projects), a fast UI, hyperlinking contact details (Astrid does this on the mobile app albeit being buggy)

Both of these services mentioned offer almost all of this - one may excel at some of these features while the other may not and vice versa. Springpad isn't really a GTD solution due to the lack of a Today grouping which is fairly standard in most GTD apps; however that doesn't mean that it can't be used as one. I consider it more of a universal hybrid and had I not already been a Evernote and Diigo user - I would probably have adopted Springpad right away.

Memory/Information/Data/Content Dumps are great but only if they help you retrieve back the information you had previously stored. Diigo's Website and Firefox Extension has a auto suggest as you search, Evernote's desktop filters your notes as you search - these little things make it easier and faster for you to locate what you are looking for - Unfortunately neither Astrid nor Springpad offers such an ability however I feel Springpad would be the one impacted more by the absence of this feature due to the role of it as a one stop dump for everything.

This is how I use the services mentioned:
Astrid - To do/Project Management
Diigo - Bookmarking/Product Research (Annotation is a plus)
Evernote - Notes/PDFs/Manuals/Random Images/Some Audio Notes and Clips

I tried Spring, however I don't think it can replace Diigo for bookmarks. Having to upload screenshots/clipping/
PDFs is not a good transition from Evernote either where I can just drag and drop. I particularly need Map / Email / Number / Web Address hyperlinking on my mobile app which is where Astrid excels over Springpad at the moment though it is not without its flaws.

So tell me what you use and what your takes on these great apps are.

Shoot have to go … we’ve found ourselves reading and reading about the differences between all these applications and have run out of time.  It’s now 11:45 PM and Rich is out of the shower.  That means we have to post, dress, use the washroom and be out the door in 15 minutes.  Shoot, shoot, I hate that when it happens.  AND, I should have charged my phone earlier.  Sure Rich has a charger in the car, but it would have been better to update charge closer to the top.  The advantages?  I do get an hour coming and an hour going in the car with our Sweetie … AND our gadgets!  WooHOO!!!  Time to play!


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