It's been sprinkling since this morning which is a good thing. Those aren't clouds; that's smoke. This photo is from Monday. We've had a number of fires break out around the province and because it's been pretty dry, they quickly spread. Coming home on Sunday we had to roll our windows up and turn the air on because we were having so much trouble breathing because of the smoke. And we weren't anywhere near the fire. The smoke was just that thick for miles and miles. Ugh
Sunday night I woke up coughing and couldn't stop. Smoke was penetrating our closed windows (not the tightest house ever). Smoke is the biggest trigger for my asthma and Ivan was worried that we'd need to get dressed and drive out of town in the opposite direction of the smoke. But a half a glass of water later, the coughing subsided and we were able to get back to sleep.
Not sure how many acres have been scorched but it's a lot. Wild fires are a problem every year, some more than others. Winter (a.k.a. the dry season) is only half over so we'll see how it goes.
You can see why we're happy to see the drizzle. Wouldn't mind a good dousing rain but that doesn't appear likely.
Ivan and our friend who helped with the plumbing have gone back out to Sta. Rosa today to work on running new gas lines. Right now whenever someone uses the house they have to haul a big gas tank from the garage to an outdoor cabinet by the kitchen where they hook it up to provide gas for the stove and hot water heater.
We have to do this because we cannot leave the gas tank in the cabinet by the kitchen all the time or it would be stolen when no one was there. As it has been in the past (multiple times I believe). That's a problem with a house that's only used part-time.
Anyway, in an attempt to make the house a little more "turn key" Ivan had the idea to make it so we can leave the big gas tank in the garage all the time. Hence, they're running a new line from the garage to the house. We took measurements while we were there last week and they left prepared with what they hope will be sufficient piping and fittings. It's really nice to have a friend who knows how to do this and can guide the process.
Meanwhile I'm working on baby quilt #2. That's because I FINALLY, AT LONG LAST FINISHED BABY QUILT #1!!! At 8:45 p.m. yesterday to be exact. At which point I did a happy dance :-) While putting ointment and a bandaid on my poor little left index finger that felt like a pin cushion. Maybe because I'd sort of used it as one during the hand quilting. I think I have a total of about 20 hours of hand quilting on that quilt, with six of them from yesterday.
IS IT ANY WONDER I'M PLANNING TO MACHINE QUILT THIS ONE?
I just finished pinning it really, really well so hopefully it will not shift during the quilting process. I found the most darling fleece to use for the back with little white teddy bears against a blue and orange background. But fleece is a slithery, slippery fabric so I used more than twice as many pins as I normally would.
But before I start sewing I felt the need to take a deep breath... or forty eleven. I've never actually machine quilted anything except a cushion cover so I'm a wee bit nervous. My fall back plan, if the machine quilting goes awry and turns into a disaster, is to not quilt it at all but simply tie it off. Which is fine for a baby quilt but I really want to give machine quilting a try first.
Do we detect a defeatist attitude?
And I'm trying so hard to be positive.
You see I have TRIED machine quilting in the past. It wasn't pretty. But that was with my old, inferior sewing machine and I even have a special quilting foot for my "new" machine (bought used on ebay) so I have high hopes that things will be different this time.
Quite honestly, sewing on this machine is totally unlike sewing on my old Brother. It's like comparing apples and oranges. And my Pfaff is a mango!
Yes, I have very high hopes indeed.
And writing this post has been very helpful. I feel FORTIFIED, MOTIVATED and PREPARED to CONQUER machine quilting!