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Smoke break w/out cigs

My swim sewing revelations worked perfectly. I was working out 3 problems to solve.

1. What to do with that nice jersey I bought.
2. Easy t-shirt that fits.
3. Jacket pattern in something for summer.

So I used 2 to see if 1 might be the answer to 3. It is!

The pattern I made in the garment cloning class is my key.

I have a hard time getting tshirts to fit. I have gigundo hips and teeny weeny shoulders so to clear my hips, the shoulder seam falls about in line with my elbow and looks as bad as it sounds. And I wanted the bottom curved and I wanted it plain enough so that I could change it easily - more ease in the back for a trapese-y look, longer sleeves, collar, etc.

SO... tweaked the jacket pattern to turn it into a tshirt. NOTE how the shoulder fits perfectly???? And the nice curved hem? Then I made a pattern out of the new tshirt.



The tshirt also convinced me that the jersey will make an excellent jacket for summer. So I cut out all those pieces and might just put it together tomorrow.

I'm quite pleased with myself. This was the only decent knit the fabric store had or else I'd go right back and get more today. But, there are better knits and better deals online so I'll order. I'd like to have a few more nice tshirts.

Saturday

I had several sewing inspirations while swimming this morning. I have this wonderful jersey print which needs to be made into something. But, I have not been able to think of what. And then, this morning, I thought of two different 'what's this morning. I don't want to practise on my good stuff so I stopped at the fabric store on the way home from the pool to get some cheap fabric to try out my ideas on.

So that's what's on the agenda for today.

I think it's a great luxury to dream up something and then have the whole day and the resources to try out what you dreamed up.

I had a researcher, not long ago, ask me 'if money were no object, what would you buy first' and, you know what? I couldn't think of a thing. That coupled with freedom of time just equals one perfect life, if you ask me*. I am very grateful.

*of course, it also could be an indication of zero imagination... so there's that.

Memorial Day

We didn't have Memorial Day when I was growing up in the south. My freshman year in a Yankee college, kids started making Memorial Day plans in January. I was really confused.

During my working years, I learned to love it for the long weekend.

Now it just means that the gym will open late on Monday. I'm such a sentamentalist.

I made cheesy egg muffins today that were ok. I hadn't made any in a long time and lost my touch. BUT I only made 6 and my tongue reminded me of where I went wrong (needed more cheese, cayenne pepper (I added a little siracha but that didn't work), and less time in the oven.

Here's the recipe I'll use this weekend for 6 muffins:

I use large silcone muffin cups and put a half a strip of bacon in each and nuke for 1 min.

Then I mix up the following and evenly divide it into cups. This will rise so better to have 7 cups then fill to the top.

6 eggs
2(ish) cups shredded cheese
3/4th(ish) cups Bisquick
1/4th to 1/2(ish) cup heavy cream
healthy dose of caynne

350 degree oven for 30 mins. These beauties freeze beautifully.


Today's dolls:





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Friday

All day yesterday, I thought it was Friday. Imagine my surprise today!

And it was another day of mostly just me in the pool. My friend Barrie has been taking care of her granddaughter all week and I haven't even seen her. I suspect she'll be there tomorrow morning. There are a couple of other regulars who have been MIA as well. I hope they aren't gone for good. I miss them.

When I go through the McDonald's drive through I hand them my money and ask them to put the change in the donation (Ronald McDonald House) box. I cannot reach it from my car or I'd do it myself. Every time. Every time. Every time, the person taking the money looks me dead in the eye and gives me a smile and tells me thank you. And not just a haveaniceday thank you, either. This morning, she smiled and said with a lovely smile, 'That's very generous, thank you so much.' It was 4 freakin' sense.

I do not go to McDonald's often but the one closest to me is the best one on the planet. A few years ago, after I had actually gone in and sat down to eat, I was so impressed with the experience, I looked up the franchise owner and sent them a letter praising the store crew.

Based on the reaction I got, I surmise that even as good as they are, they don't get a lot of thank you notes.

Google Music sprang a Harry Chapin song on me this morning. I miss that sentimental old fool. Oddly enough I can remember exactly where I was when I heard he had died. (In the kitchen trying to avoid my husband who wanted again to 'discuss our relationship'.)

The Mariners were off yesterday and I missed them. I could never be a football fan. Once a week is just not enough playing to sustain me. We're playing Minnesota. I'm ready.

I broke down and ordered one of the new Pebble watches. I should have ordered some self control but I couldn't find the buy button for that.

Now I think I'll go make a doll.

Another couch full

New Dolls

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Task Rabbiting here...

Jesse is hard at work and making great progress. I showed him the task and the tools and he was kind enough to close the door after he went out to get to work. I didn't even think about it but it's a good thing he did. I can see the dust flying.

Zoey is watching him like a hawk.

The second part of Jesse's job will be to wash the windows. It's a nice cloudy day out. I've always believed that windows should be washed on a cloudy day. I read recently that it's because in the sunshine the moisture dries too fast and so leaves streaks. I don't care why, I'm just glad it's cloudy.

My last three Amazon orders have all arrived one day later than promised. Well two of them. The third one was supposed to be here today but ain't. So I just wrote Amazon a nice letter explaining that I found this unacceptable. I asked that they pass along my discontent to the people who deal with USPS and with the people who decide what delivery date to add to the website AND I asked for $3 of digital credit for no rush shipping since that's really what I got. I'll be kind of surprised if they don't give me the $3.

[Edit less than 2 hours after email: They did, indeed, give me $3 AND they extended my Prime Membership an extra month! It's no wonder they get all my money. They earn it!]

Jesse's done. He did a great job on the rug. Not so great on the windows but not terrible either. I'm glad to have it all done and still be breathing.



The carpet he replaced was gray - filthy dirty gray. I like the brown. I need to wash down that table base. I washed the table and chairs down so now the terrace is actually usable! Until it rains/leaks again.

Back to dolls.

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Dust hangover

I really don't understand the science behind breathing and how the lungs work. I think it might be smart for me to learn but living in the land of denial is usually a pretty cushy existence.

I spent several years considering myself a walking invalid. I could barely get to the end of the block without having to stop and rest. I sucked down two inhalers every day plus I used a rescue inhaler lots. I was always afraid of not being able to breathe.

And then I got better. Way better. Invincibly better. Until I hit the Dust Bowl of 2016 last night and was reminded that better is relative.

It's actually no big deal. So I can no longer work in dust. That's a bad thing? I can afford to pay someone to do it. Everything else in my life is better and better. I'm not sure why I am so bummed about this whole thing.

Swimming this morning really helped. Having my face in the water for an hour felt very cleansing.

There was an older couple I hadn't seen before walking the lane next to mine. After my shower, while I was getting dressed, she stopped me and wanted to know where I got my suit. I told her that I had made it and turns out she's a sewer, too, and just yesterday saw some cute 4 way stretch fabric at JoAnn's. I showed her all my tricks and how/why I did it all. She loved the fabric of my suit but really loved the cut and shape. I think she's off to make her own this afternoon.

Baseball, so far this year, is just fun. The Mariners are one of the two teams in Major League Baseball that have never once even been to a World Series. Most years they have worked very hard to move up from sucks to just bad. Most years they don't even do that. And I've watched or listened to most all of the games - win or lose.

But, this year... new players, new manager, new owner. And, wins. I have to admit, winning is way more fun than losing. Way more fun. It could turn to shit tomorrow (they don't play today) and I need to make sure I wallow in these heady first days of the 2016 season.

This morning I'm off to the sewing room to dig into more of that Goodwill haul from yesterday. The Task Rabbit guy will be here at 1. I have some more teeny weeny potatoes so there may be some potato salad making at some point.

2 pronged fix

I'm still clearing shit out of my lungs but it's way way better. Turns out a slice of pecan pie with ice cream works wonders!

Also Jesse L. from Task Rabbit will be here tomorrow at 1 with good, young, lungs to finish my work.

I'm delighted to be breathing and to have a fix in place but I'm really kind of bummed. I had pretty much convinced myself that my lung issues were history. Oh well.

Trying to kill myself

The house is so clean but the terrace is a mess. I was kind of waiting for the leak to be fixed but I can't stand to look at it. So I decided to clean it. First, take up the old carpet and then lay down the new.

Except.

Dust.

My not so healthy anyway lungs were having NONE of it. I got half of the carpet up and then could not stop coughing. Hard. There is just too much dust and floating grime collected out there. I quit. I sucked down a couple of tokes off my rescue inhaler and drank a swimming pool of water and just sat and tried to breathe.

As soon as I finished coughing, I fired up Task Rabbit and found a guy who is available tomorrow to come finish the job. I'm supposed to hear in 30 mins whether or not he accepts the job. If he doesn't, there's another service I've been wanting to try so I'll do them.

It's stupid. It will take him, likely, less than an hour to finish. But I'm afraid it I try it, it will be my last hour. Holy fuck. Sorry, lungs. You've been great and I should not have asked you to try this.

My breathing is way better now. I'm just going to enjoy that.

New Dolls

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So many little things

My house is SOOOOOO clean. YEAH. Seriously, this gives me such joy and peace that it's nearly silly.

I went to Goodwill and dropped off my car load and then went inside. That cost me $50. Well, $25 worth of great stuff and $25 worth of donation. I always look in the linen aisles for cute fabrics. Pillow cases often are adorable. And used ones are so soft. The close weave of that kind of fabric is perfect. Today there was a fuck ton of adorable pillowcases. Camo Snoopy!!! I finally had to quit looking. I knew it was a mistake to make more room in the sewing storage.



Also I decided that my fleece jacket will need bias tape around all the edges and it needs to be black knit fabric bias tape which you have to make. While I was in Goodwill, it dawned on me that the men's section has giant sized black t-shirts that will produce excellent, plentiful black knit bias tape. So I scored a couple but then I found am Obama Hope black t-shirt in my size that I just had to buy. I may use the back for tape and the front as applique or I may just wear the shirt. So all in all a great haul.

Then I went on to get gas. While I was getting gas, I got an email that a book (actual tree book) I had on old was ready at the library not far from where I was. So on to the library where I picked that up. Then home.

Along the way I saw that Seattle has an Eritrean Restaurant. I had to look up where Eritrea even is! (Found it over in East Africa.)

And I saw a guy in a bright apple red suit (think pimp suit) what looked to be not only brand new but also pressed by the best ironer in the world with a bright apple red derby on his head polishing the wheels of a bright, shiny apple red Camero. I will forever regret not stopping to take that picture.

This 'n that...

I'm watching the British Sewing Bee and watched the first half of episode 2 last night. They made 'baby grows' which was a term I had never heard before. It turns out to be a kind of onesie with legs that opens all the way from ankle to neck instead of crotch.

When I googled 'baby grow' this morning, I got images of onsies. Oh and I learned that snaps are called poppers which is kind of delightful and makes just as much sense as snaps.

And, finally, this guy made a kind of simplified down vest only he called it a bomber jacket and then used another french sounding word for it. I can get on board with baby grows and poppers but I'm not buying short down vest=bomber jacket. Those Brits must have some weird bombers.

I do love the show so much. I like the sewing a lot. I like hearing new terms and words. But mainly I like seeing all the people and watching them work together. They do not compete against each other but against the best versions of themselves. At least once a show some contestant hollers out "Can someone help me here?" and always more than one of the other contestants fly over to help. And there is NO sniping at all. none.

I still have half of this week's episode to watch. It's like knowing you still have half of the most delicious cupcake squirreled away and waiting for you.

As I pulled into the garage this morning from the pool, I noticed a little odometer treat.



I'm really piling the miles onto this little car. I've only had it 5 years and already more 16,000 miles! My car before this, I had for 12 years and it only had about 25,000 miles on it. I need to get gas. I hate it when gas gets below half a tank. The tank only holds 8 gallons so if I keep it topped off, gas station visits aren't such a pain.

The house cleaner comes today. Her last date was canceled because there was an afternoon game and the viaduct was down so there was way too much traffic and no parking. I suggested she skip and she did. So it's been a month and boy, does it look it! She comes every two weeks and I often think that's too often. This reminds me it certainly is not!

After I finish my coffee, I'm going to grab the rest of the stuff to donate and go make a Goodwill run while they clean.

The rest of Tuesday

I finished two dolls but then I had to take a break. Cleaning out the fabric scraps turned into a BFD. I had to debate each piece. If I had a big sewing room, probably Goodwill would be wanting but I don't so they won't be. I hauled the big bag down to the car - whew. I have another bag of stuff to add to it but I'm going to wait until just before I actually go to Goodwill. My Smart Car has no more spare storage than the sewing room!

I had a really interesting research interview with Google this afternoon. It was one of the most interesting I've done. And pays $75. Nice.

In the course of that interview I discovered that the headphone jack on my Pixel chromebook is a dead duck. I'm on hold now with the second tier support at Google. I'm guessing it's going to be a replacement. Happily, my warranty still has some months on it. Google has some really odd and not very pleasant hold music.

Ok, so, hold music over and, turns out, so is my warranty! Yikes. It ran out at the end of March but "since that was not so long ago" Andrew approved me for a one time exemption and is sending me a new Pixel. Sweet.

It's 5 pm already. wow. This day got right by me.



Yes, except when...

I am on hold with the post office. I know it's a waste of time and the hold music is annoying... Well, just got a guy, told him my issue, he acknowledged it and then we got cut off (or he hung up on me). Oh well. It's a package coming to me from Los Angeles. They sent it to San Diego where it has been for a week.

Hopefully, he'll punt it out and up to me. At least I have the tracking number and can go back to the seller with proof I never got it. Annoying but not fatal.

I love my Pebble watch. There are things I wish it did better and I wish it was smaller. Today Pebble announced a bunch of new stuff including a watch that has a few advantages over my current one. A few. But it's new tech! A new toy. And not outrageously expensive. But I think I'm going to pass on it. I've looked at all the info and it looks like a fine replacement for this one WHEN this one dies. I rarely use 'I don't need it' and as excuse for not buy tech. Hell, I rarely don't buy the tech but today... it happened.

Today was the second day at the pool when it was nearly empty. Very weird. Maybe everyone took this week off instead of next for Memorial Day. Ok by me.

Tonight's baseball game includes a guest broadcaster who gives me the nails on chalkboard feeling so I will not be watching that game on TV. At least they gave me fair warning in last night's game so I don't tune in to get slapped in the face by that asshole. (Not that I feel strongly, mind you.) I'll "watch" by keeping an eye on the computer real time simulation and watch something else on TV. He only pollutes my game a couple of times a month so it's not a huge deal. Just annoying.

Before I start to sew today, I need to work on my storage situation. The new fabric that was delivered yesterday has no home. I have a lot of scraps that need to go to Goodwill. That's going to all happen first. My sewing space is not big. Plus, it needs to disappear on command and turn into a guest room. So everything must fit into a place or it cannot stay. Those are the rules.

Here's the latest bear.


Delivery and other pix

I've been looking for something to help the sink clutter for a long time. I ordered this from Amazon assuming it was not going to work at all - not fit the sink, not work around the faucet, just in general be a Send-It-Back-Immediately. Instead, it's a keeper and I love it.

Finally, some order back there!



After I took my clothing cloning class, I ordered some fabric. I wanted some fleece to use for a jacket and some more fleece to use for a vest and then I a nice swimsuit fabric on sale and a great knit for a top or something that was really on sale. And it all came today.



Looks like I'll be doing some adult sewing soon. No rush. Nice to have good fabrics on hand.

Today there were dolls.





There will be meatloaf

My Mom was a fabulous cook. She could whip up a gourmet dinner for 12 using only grape jelly, tomato juice and the 4 olives left in the jar. Probably an exaggeration but still, she was good. Really, really good. And she really didn't enjoy it. But she did it and did it well. For years, they lived in places without good restaurants so when Daddy needed to entertain for business, Mom laid out the spread. Over and over again.

And family meals were always spectacular. But, her meatloaf sucked. It was boring and dry. Chef Anita, who, for years, came in and cooked and filled up my freezer every other week, made delicious everything. Her meatloaf was better than my mother's but not as good as mine. I make the best meatloaf in the world. I just never do it.

Today, after my swim, I stopped at the grocery and got the goods and today I'll put them all together and bake and then slice for eating and for freezing. YUM.

Oh and the grocery that took Diet Dr. Pepper off their shelves? They have seen the light and it's back on the shelves now. I didn't really need any but I bought a six pack as a way to say thank you.

My swim was good. I had the pool to myself. A couple of guys came in and used the spa but no one was in the pool. Yesterday it was packed to the gills. Today. Just me.

I've had this increasingly annoying issue with the pool and my mouth. The chemicals in the pool make it feel weird. Yesterday, I picked up some mouth wash and this morning, when I finished my swim, I swizzled some around and while the taste was horrific, now, an hour and half later, it really seems to have mostly fixed the issue so yeah!!

After my shower today I was drying off and noticed a black spot on one of my toes. I tried hard to get it off only to figure out it is a horrible bruise that I have no memory of acquiring. Weird.

I think I'll go ahead and make the meatloaf before I even start sewing...

Latest Bear

New Dolls and their +1

She tries to move the doll out of the way. The minute I move one, she moves in.

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Sunday

Last night's sleep was rough. I couldn't get comfortable and kept sleeping on body parts that weren't appreciative. At one point I woke up and my right arm was just screaming and then I couldn't get back to sleep because I worried that it would impair my sleeping. But now that I've been up for an hour and had coffee, I can breathe again and my arm and other body parts feel fine. Some nights are weird.

It's still about a half hour before time to leave for the pool. I'll come on home right after and make breakfast here. The ballgame is at 10. I'm thinking about eating out tonight at a chicken/biscuit place. I've been there for breakfast but never for lunch or dinner. I think I'll try them for dinner tonight.

Besides the ballgame, and some doll making, judging from the stuffed dirty clothes hamper, today would probably be a good day to strip the bed and do laundry.

But first, a swim...

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New Dolls

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Saturday

Barrie and I had a long visit this morning because the Mean Guy™ wouldn't let us into the pool early. But we both managed to get our swims in before the crowd arrived. LOTS o' swimmers like to show up at 9, apparently.

Then I took myself to a new (to me) restaurant for breakfast, to Walgreens and to the Dollar Store. Now I'm home and all is put away and I'm internet caught up. And the baseball game starts in 15 minutes.

I do love my new kitchen set up. I love the clean and tidy of it so much. Tidy places are so much easier to keep that way. And since my kitchen is in the middle of the loft, it's the room I see most often. Nice to see it shiny.

It's a cool and rainy-ish day which is great. Except, I keep hearing the kitchen sink drip and getting up to fix it only to find it's the drip on the terrace that I'm hearing... drip drip drip.

Soon the game will be on and all drips will be drowned out!

New Dolls

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A wild hair

I don't have a pantry. I have two very deep drawers (where food hides under layers of other foods) and a couple of cupboards (where only one shelf is really get-to-able) so dry food storage is always a problem.

A while back got I got a bunch of canisters and that helps a lot. If I can see the cereal I have on hand, it does not get school aged before I eat it.

BUT, I hate hate hate cluttered counter tops. They give me claustrophobia. So... finally today, I made a pantry out of the shelves opposite the kitchen. I cleared off 4 of them and moved all the canisters to the new make shift pantry.

The kitchen looks and, better yet, feels so much better! Ahhhh room to breathe!



And still I can see what's on hand.



I've had my kitchen cluttered with those canisters for years. I have no clue why, today, I decided to fix the problem. But, I'm glad I did.

Today's baseball game looks like it's going to be rained out. Bummer because it's against a National League team in their park so we get to see our pitchers bat which is rare. It hasn't been called off yet but is in the "likely to be rained out" box.

I think I'm going to go make one more doll while I wait to learn the baseball fate.

Slow start but penalty free

I got my swim in and stopped at Trader Joe's and came home promptly and then fell into the internet hole. But, I've got nothing going on today so no biggie.

Last night I watched a massive rain storm come in from the east. I've always had spectacular clouds out my windows which are east facing. It's a great perk of this place. Last night they were very dark gray and then they cleared up and the bottom fell out. It rained hard. The kind of rain that my Mom would get her car out of the garage for "Let God wash it".

I noticed a guy in the apartment building across the street four or five floors higher than me. As the rain started he came out on his small covered terrace with his beer and sat down, by himself and just watched it rain. It was a very peaceful tableau.

It reminded me of the joy of cigarette smoking. Those pauses in the day when you just sat down and lit up and did nothing for five minutes. They were great and I've never been able to replicate them without the cigarette.

I also miss the socializing of smoking. Schmoozing over a smoke with smoking buds trading snark about the holier than thou non-smokers. I had a non-smoking boss once. He was the top executive over 6,000 employees at a software lab. He hated it when my buddies (his other staff members) and I would go out for a smoke. He could see us in the courtyard from his office. He'd always grill me about our conversation content. I always told him we were plotting a coup.

I had one of my most fun long-ish term relationships that started when the guy next to me at a baseball game whipped out is Zippo to light my cigarette.

Yeah smoking fucked up my lungs and probably will shorten my life and, in the end, got really expensive. There's no way I cold even choke down one drag today, but, my memories of smoking are nearly all good and happy and joyful. If I had it to do over again, I'm not sure I'd not smoke.

Ok, enough time frittered away... time to clean up the kitchen, put together a shrimp salad to marinate until lunch and then wash the dishes before I head back to the doll factory.

Oh, here's the latest bear

Perfectly lovely day...

I just found this picture I took last night. Zoey has taken to watching TV on the chair next to me at night. It cracks me up.

Zoey finished up this season's NCIS last night.



The Mariners won again. Really, it's quite amazing this season. They have had some typical Mariner losses but so many many wins. For the past few years, I'd turn on the game and then guess haw many innings we'd get before they'd start losing. A victory was declared if they could hold off until the 4th or 5th inning.

This year, every game is great to watch. I don't expect it to last but I'm sure enjoying it now.

Tonight is baseball free. TiVo is still pretty full so I'm not worried about finding entertainment.

I think today's dolls are cute.



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Thursday

I spent a lot of my swim going over my grocery list and then remembered thee is a baseball game this morning and I really didn't need anything so I scrapped the stop.

Barrie was there and said they have confirmed her granddaughter's infection is MRSA. They operated last night and changed antibiotics and the surgeon had only very hopeful things to say. She said that her little 3 year old personality is back already. When she got there yesterday she asked the little girl if the doctor had been in and she reported there were 'lots of them! it was like a birthday party!'

Here's hoping it turns very quickly to clear road to recovery.

I wore different goggles and still got goggle-eye which is still have now an hour and a half later.I really don't like the goggles I wore today so I'm kind of glad they didn't fix the problem. I'm sure having old, fat skin does not help the situation and since I have no photo shoots scheduled, it's not a tragedy.

It's lovely and chilly out today and rainy. My drip is dripping good today. I'm guessing it will get fixed soon. I'm not stressed about it. Just grateful that it's outside and that it's being handled.

In fact, I think I'm going to hop out and walk around the block before the game starts. Then I'll do some sewing probably...

Misc

My goggles, this morning, made a dent in my face that is even still a little visible. My goggles never give me goggle eye. More than once I've had people ask me how I manage that. I'm careful to keep them not tight but otherwise don't think about it.  This morning about 2 hours after I came home from the pool, I was in the bathroom and had hand cream on my hands to I rubbed it in my face and there it was ... goggle eye! Only one. Weird. I've also been sneezing and my eyes are itchy so it's probably all related... and fatal. hehehehe But, so far, I'm not dead yet.

Adam the roof fixer found the leak source pretty quickly. He recommends a quick and easy fix as a first try and if that doesn't work, then try more. Sounds cool to me.

I downloaded the beta version of the next Android OS onto my phone. I've been running it on my tablet for a while but wanted to wait until they got to a more stable level before I loaded it onto my phone. They did. I did and so far, so good.

I'm coming to the end of a lot of my favorite fabrics - like this skateboard print. It was the hem around a pillowcase I got at Goodwill. I managed to stretch it out to three dolls.



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Clearing the decks for Beyonce...

There is a Beyonce concert in the football stadium tonight. When I came back from my swim, I noticed that prep has begun... porta potties, strobe lights, fencing and signs all over the parking lot and grounds. It's supposed to rain. It's an open air stadium.  There will be action in the 'hood tonight. It might me cool enough to close the doors or hot enough to close the doors and turn on the A/C if it gets too loud. I think I'm covered either way.

The stadium is close enough to here that I can see, even from where I'm sitting now, some of the seats but not the field.  When they set up for concerts the stage is set so that the back of it faces my way. So I can generally hear the noise but not the music. I'm not a Beyonce fan anyway.

Before Beyonce is Adam. Adam is the guy who fixes ceiling leaks. He's coming here at 10 this morning to look at mine.

And then there will be sewing until baseball at 4. My friend, Barrie, was not at the pool today. I am so hoping that does not mean her granddaughter is in peril. I cannot imagine what it would be like to have a beloved 3 year old in a health crisis.

This bear got finished last night.