Monday, December 15, 2014


                                RIP Woodrow
            January 1, 1988-December 14, 2014

What an honor to have been your caretaker these many years.  Your trust in me, your willingness to try new adventures and your fire on the trail will always be in my heart. 

 I will never forget you, my most beloved equine companion. 


Woodrow lived for 26 years, most of it with me.  I found him accidentally when looking at another horse to buy.  He was sad, and broken, and angry and depressed.  After effort on both our parts, and lots of vet care and TLC, he blossomed into the best companion I could have hoped for.  He wasn't easy, but he was always careful of me.  Though he did manage to leave me in the woods twice with no backward glance!

Helping Woodrow become the horse he was meant to be, and to learn to trust people again helped ME learn to trust and to be the woman I was meant to be.  We were truly meant to be together and I will be forever grateful that he allowed me to be his caretaker and friend.  RIP dear friend.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Redecorating my life

Years ago we had hamsters.  Also a series of rats, which make lovely pets.  Hamsters are skittish, whereas rats love to interact.  But, I digress. 

We had hamsters.  Hamsters love to make their homes extra special.  If you change anything in their habitat, they will fuss and fume until all is put back exactly the way they want it.  We would call this "fiddling with the nest", a phrase that now is in our own lexicon.  Hamsters are also nocturnal and we would go to sleep listening to this furious activity.

I have been "fiddling with the nest".  Do you like the changes?  Besides the background changes, I added a fun widget from Pinterest.  Go click on the separate photos, or just the title.  It will give you a preview of what is in my sewing room right now.  This little widget makes such sense to me...I could write a blog post occasionally outlining my plans.  It seems much easier to just have this link, which will get updated automatically each time my plans change!  

Another big change is that I am moving my horses to a stable down the street from my townhouse.  Why did I not board there in the beginning?  One giant reason was money-it is $75 more per horse than most other stables.  So, I weighed my options and chose a place which was cheaper but 45 minutes away from my home.  I have friends on that side of town, and the barn is surrounded by trails.  But 90 minutes a day!!!  No wonder I have been feeling a bit harried.  Google says Sunkist Stables is 8 minutes from my home, but it is really 4 minutes.  If I walk, it will take about 25 minutes.  There are miles of trails, and we are about 20 minutes from Catalina State Park, which has superb riding.  My horses will need to get used to being tied at the
Nick will be in one of these to start, as he hates stalls.
Dairy Queen, as that is a popular Saturday ride for some boarders.  

AZ horses are almost always on dry lot, usually small pens.  Also notice most horses have fly masks on, which are essential.  The smells are not as nice as areas where there is grass pasture as urine pools on the sandy ground, and manure must be hauled off.   I have had to get used to a different style of horsekeeping, and trust that everything will be ok.  

I will be close, and can take care of details much more easily now.  Woodrow has had a number of health issues (habro or summer sore, and a colic incident), and I have driven out to the barn every day to put medicine on his sore, which takes 2 minutes.  In a small town, the barn owner would have offered to do it for me...not here in the big city :-(  One of my riding buddies offered, but I know she is busy teaching and so I said no thanks.
turnout, round pen, arenas, trails
I am excited to have a new place to explore and while I miss the open land and wilderness areas of Klamath's fun to ride in a busy place too.  

Hoping to get Nick in one of these bigger corrals soon.

Woodrow will have a stall in the barn with turnout attached

After Monday, I will have 90 minutes more each day to sew :-)  Mary

Saturday, November 22, 2014

What I'm wearing (when not covered in horse hair and dirt)

Vogue 8691 in a grey ponte.
 I had high hopes for this top, but was disappointed by the fit and the neckline.  There is a lot of extra fabric under my arms-not a good look on a muscular build to start with.  Then, the neckband was too wide, and did not lay (lie?) correctly.  I ended up folding and stitching some detail into the front and adding a tab.  

I think this particular pattern will look MUCH better in a lighter knit such as a jersey.  

Who hasn't made Kwik Sew 3115, the yoga pant?
 Here they are in a basic black.  Perfect fit!

Finally, some Clovers in a novelty denim.
 I love this pattern, but these turned out just too big.  In an attempt to save them, I washed them and ran them through a hot dryer...they fit a little bit better now.  I did not have the pouchiness in front last time I made these.  Could my thighs have become more muscular in front and causing the fabric to not fall fluidly? If so, I blame this entirely on riding in a western saddle for the past few years.  

Enjoy your weekend everyone-I am off for a short trail ride and then finishing up a Katherine Tilton tunic. fondly, Mary

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Still here, and checking in with you

Hi Readers,  I am still here...recovering well from my bout of pneumonia, sewing some nice pants and tees, riding and in general, enjoying my life.  I have a backlog of posts and pictures to computer is in the shop and for some reason, I am having trouble with my camera/laptop relationship.  As Rosanna Rosannadanna said, "It's always something". 
Our house is becoming a home slowly.  We had a brickmason come in and reset our front patio-what a difference!  No more broken pieces, big dips, or unparallel lines (there is probably a construction term for that).  We also had the windows professionally cleaned until we can replace them and had some screens made.  The front of the house has been sealed, so we are ready for next year's monsoons.  These are all projects that cost bucks, and don't have a showy value.  But all together, they make the house look a bit more cared for. 
MONEY...we have now spent most of our profit from the Oregon house. 
1. one serious piece of art
2. some inexpensive pieces, and some folk art
3. furniture for the dining room/office combo
4. furniture for the sewing room (I put together)
5. landscaping front and back yards (we did lots of this)
6. servicing AC/heater combo and setting up service contract
7. repairing garage door and header (Ross did this)
8. new blinds for living room, dining room and sewing room blinds repaired
9. drapes for our bedroom
10. repairs to roof (flat roof needs upkeep), and parapet
11. minor plumbing repairs (Ross did these)
12. repair wall, windowsills, woodwork (we are doing this)
13. paint as above is done (we are doing this)
I shipped my horses here from Oregon, and that was a needed expense.  The cost of boarding is a bit higher here, and vet/farrier care is quite a bit higher. 
We drive more here, but have a Prius which averages 56mpg. 
There are so many places to go and things to see!  We are spending more on entertainment, and also on gym membership as we found that necessary in the hot summer.  We've also gone to the movies more here, and spent more on take out.
For those of you contemplating a move such as ours (from rural to city), there are costs to it.  Those costs are offest by the excitement of restaurants, theatre, dance, art and culture.
We are excited about our new life as desert dwellers, and love seeing our home develop.  I can't imagine not doing this.   

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fever dreams

I somehow contracted pneumonia.  I have been feeling poorly, and last weekend I crashed, ending up in the ER.  Since that time, I am drinking ice water, juice, soda (I know, I know) and a little bit of coffee.  Food?  I am trying.  Fruits and raw vegetables are mostly what I want, though I do eat a little lunch and dinner.  This is halfway through my antibiotic course and I am praying to see some improvement from today on.  

The nights are very odd, with fever spiking and sending me into night sweats.  My dreams are long, meandering journey dreams with no real conclusion or satisfaction found.  My husband, who is a wonderful musician and music lover, posted this video on FB the other day and I thought he could see into my dreams!  Of course, the night before I had read a bit of Rose by Martin Cruz Smith. There was a scene in which gorilla hands were displayed to a gathering of upper class English mine owners.  Obviously I saved that little snippit for my nocturnal journey.

I sleep most of the night, waking at 4, and reading a little.  Then, I try to sleep some more.  If I get up, and do anything, I'll be paying for that expenditure later in the day.  Today I slept from 9-12, and here I am talking to you before nap #2.  

My old jack russell Nick is in heaven.  The rule about sleeping on the guest bed?  What rule?  Up he comes for his own fever dreams!

I sewed some pants though, and they fit.  I still need to hem them but every time I move my head, there is a little rush of blood pressure adjustment which is not fun.  I'll wait.  I used this pattern and some black ponte from Fabric of Vision (very good knit).  

I sewed View A, medium through the high hip and small/medium down the thigh.  I then straightened the flare, using the small line, a 1/2" SA everywhere and some artistic license. There were notes on the pattern pieces, though I have zero memory of making these previously.  But, the notes led me to a good result.  

Some Clovers are also waiting their turn.  I cut them out in a cool denim from Sandy at FOV.  The denim is very strong, and has a teeny herringbone pattern throughout.  I have made a number of Clovers, and so I just went for it and cut them, not checking the waistband fit but hoping that all would work out...fever dream?
I will check back in with all of you, and keep you updated on my sewing progress, and if my immune system is kicking into high gear.  Stay healthy-get your flu shot-and wash your hands often.  love, "mom"