Saturday, December 30, 2006

I'm mostly back

I've been trying to upload more photos the last couple days but Picasa, Hello, and Blogger have been giving me fits. So I decided it was time to talk instead, lucky you! (And if a picture is worth a thousand words, that must mean a thousand words equals a picture, so we're gonna be here awhile.)

One of the photos I'd intended to post was of the flannel rag quilt I made for Jim, similar to the photo down below of the ones I made my girls. When I started cutting out squares back in October, he was really into the project. At one point he wistfully commented that it would be nice if I could make one for us *someday*. I truthfully told him I didn't know if that would ever happen as I was taking pain killers most days to keep the arthritic neck and shoulders under control (not to guilt my girls too much!) But it took me less time at the sewing machine to complete one quilt than I'd thought and I began to consider the idea of making a third one before Christmas.

I wanted to surprise him, and because he works out of town, that seemed possible. I decided that if I could find the right fabrics for it quickly, I'd push through and do the third one also. I figured I could just slow down on Jen's quilt and work on Jim's when he wasn't home. That way her quilt would still be the one laying around on the kitchen table, legitimizing that the sewing machine was still there. And it worked!

My last week at work (after I'd finished writing The Girl Who Cried Squid) I spent three and a half days snipping the seam allowances for the ragging on all three quilts. I truly wished I hadn't left them all to do at once, as I was sporting bandaids on thumb and fingers to keep the rubbing (from the scissors) from blistering. But done they were, and Jim was really surprised which was very worth it. I'll try to get the photo up yet, because I love the quilt so much, but its dark green with green and tan patterned squares. Gorgeous.

I was planning to post the photo of Jim's gift to me when I told about it, but that is the second photo that won't upload. So I'll just have to tell you about it! He bought me a Palm Tungsten E2 with a folding keyboard. Is this thing ever cool! I have a lot to learn about using it still but I'm loving the process. One of the truly neat things (besides that exceptionally cool little keyboard) is that it supports Word and Excel files to go. I'm looking forward to being able to tap in notes and stuff, especially during worldbuilding and outlining stages. Though some say they use a handheld for editing also, I'm not sure my eyeballs and brain would be up for long periods with it. But I'm really excited to try!!

I'm so thankful for Christmas this year. The only thing that could have made it better would have been if Jim could have gotten a couple extra days off work. As it was, he arrived home the morning of the 24th and left the evening of the 27th (the kids all cleared out the following morning). He tried to take off his night shifts on the 22nd and 23rd for my family's Christmas celebration but wasn't able. Still, the kids and I did have a good visit with my mom, my sis and b-i-l, their granddaughter, my niece and her hubby.

What a treasure for me to have my family together for five days: daughter, son-in-law, son, daughter-in-law. Words just can't express how much this meant to me. We haven't ever had Christmas together before, though it's the third Christmas since J&J were married. Many moments, many memories, many snapshots (on camera and in the mind) to tide me over until we can all be together again.

I still have a few days before I go back to work. I've started in on reading a stack of novels (the next few blog tour books are here) and a couple of writing books, The Writer's Guide to Fantasy Literature and Holly Lisle's Create a Culture Clinic. And I'm working some more on my website. Never a dull moment in Val's Little Worlds.


Jean said...

The quilt sounds gorgeous. What a wonderful surprise for Jim.

My Palm was wonderful for getting writing in on NaNo while hubby was here in November -- and the keyboard is wonderful for easy text entry. I didn't want a laptop or the computer interfering with our time together, but I could easily power on the Palm and capture a few words here and there. It's a wonderful tool. i'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Maripat said...

That sounds soooo sweet of Jim to do that for you. It'll be easier to move around than a laptop I would imagine too. Enjoy!