Sunday, February 28, 2010

It's a Brand New Day!

The cutting table is waiting for an assignment...

The sewing table ready for a new mess

And the fabric for the 'Bloomin' Challenge' awaits.

Challenge criteria:

Each of the three fat quarters (the pink, paisley and teal) must appear on the front of the quilt in a recognizable amount. The maximum perimeter of the quilt is 160", any shape, or you can also submit a wearable any size (hmm....a little something for Barbie would certainly go fast....).

There is no 'theme'. I've never seen a previous challenge (this is 'Bloomin' Challenge VI'), so I'm flying blind. Does 'Bloomin'' refer to flowers? Ya' got me.

I love the paisley and I love the teal, so I bought extra. I also bought the coordinating's got kind of a 'woodgrain' look to it, so I'm thinking border of some kind.

The pink, ah the pink. HATE IT! And no, I can't use it for the binding. Well, I can, but it stil has to appear in the quilt top; in a 'recognizable' amount, which, thankfully, doesn't need to be much. (It will help if I just close my eyes and envision Tim Gunn telling me 'Make it work!')

Check back later to see what I've come up with. Not so much pressure on this one. I just need to turn in the finished size and a registration form tomorrow at Guild. I can slide on the photo. But I do plan to start on it before the weekend it's due. Maybe I can scan the color copies I made of the fabrics into EQ6 and use this project to learn EQ6---multitasking!!! Yeah, that's the ticket!!!

Stick around and enjoy the Rainbow Brite song selection, if you've got the time. And I won't tell you that the minute I loaded it up, it started to flurry outside. Sheesh!

Waving The White Flag Now

It is with deep regret that I admit defeat on the Diamond Challenge. Sadly, it was a waste of time, fabric, thread, and sanity. But it was a learning experience

I cut diamonds, I made butterflies out of them, all sucked. Nothing was working, so I got the bright idea to spend a couple of hours snipping batik fabric into confetti. I told myself that this was the last straw. If it didn't work, I was done. (The little plastic trays came out of chocolate covered cherry candy boxes. I save a lot of strange things, but when I saw these I was sure I could use them for something, and I was right--so the day wasn't a total loss.)

Now, the next photo is not pretty and it's not something I'm proud of. At this point, I'm over it. But this is what I then spent another 2 hours doing.

They are supposed to be the start of a flower garden. And then there was going to be a big confetti sun, and a couple of diamond shaped butterflies flitting about (strategically covering some double needle errors).  But it was just all too damn black (guild mandated black background for the challenge). I think that was my whole problem, I o.d.'d on black diamonds.

Not exactly the confetti job I was aspiring to. (Blech!)

Obviously Rick (the visiting grandpup) felt the same way I did (hangs fuzzy little head in shame and embarassment). You know, if your dog can't find something to like about the quilt you're working on, it's time to fold. Which is what I did. While I really wanted to throw it in the wastebasket, because I do not need to be reminded about how much time I wasted, the hubs said I should keep it. So I folded it up and packed it and it's remaining confetti away in the studio closet. One day I'll know the right way to confetti something, and I can use it as a practice base. (Save the planet and all)

So this is where I have been all week (actually, I avoided sewing all week because I knew I was heading for a train wreck, but I obsessed about it, just the same). I've learned a few lessons along the way. The sewing machine is dusted, oiled, and threaded up and ready to start the 'Bloomin' challenge tomorrow.

Let's hope I have better luck with that. Tomorrow's a new day.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Pincushion Tutorial and Tips

Since I've had a couple comments asking about the pincushions, thought I'd give you some details in an entry rather than a comment.

The pattern is from a tutorial on the NutMeg Designs blog:
which I used as a 'loose guideline' for construction.

I used 2 FQs and mixed the prints for the flap and straps on each. I also made my pieces smaller so I could get 4 (actually, could have probably made 6) out of the 2 FQs. My base pieces were more like 5.25x8.5. I just folded the FQ and cut it into fourths and then measured the finished piece, used my proportion wheel and downsized the straps.

Topstitch the straps down both edges to give them some stability, that way they won't flop around.

I also cut a sturdy piece of cardboard for the bottom of the cushion so it stands nice and flat and doesn't wobble. And I didn't use fusible fleece, I just cut a piece of cotton batting. I wouldn't use anything fusible in a pincushion that I would stick pins through, don't want to gunk up my pins.

For the flap, I just measured the 'bag' when I made it and cut two rectangular pieces of fabric, sewed them right sides together and then pinned a piece of felt to the top of the bag and the flap on top and the handles on top of that. She didn't use a facing to turn inside, but after making the first one with out, I just cut a scrap 2" strip of fabric that I was going to use to hide the stuffing and added that around the top before I stitched.

I tried to make the first flap hae rounded edges, but it just didn't work out for me. If you want to do this, cut it a bit larger than you think you're going to need. (I cut mine to the width of the front of the bag and came out not wide enough)

Once I sewed all the way around, I turned all that inside and edge stitched all around the top (and over the flap) to hold it all in nicely in place.

I used a scrap of a third fabric to cover the stuffing. I tried using the fabrics in the pincushion but it just didn't look right, The contrasting fabric just seemed to work better. And I did use a glue gun, but I used fabric glue in it. Fabric gluesticks melt to be more sticky and pliable. You can reposition and a very little goes a long way, so if you can find them, use them.

Have fun. My online group is making a different pincushion each month, and I've got some patterns I want to try on my own, so check back for photos as I complete them (which will mostly be after I finish the Guild challenge April or so will begin Pincushion Frenzy.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Night....Diamonds or Amazing Race?

Friday Night's Sew In was more accurately described as (Seam)Ripperfest.

It is not easy ripping out double needle stitching where the backing is two layers of black poly batting and the thread is black. I spent more time ripping out stitches than I did putting them in, and I didn't do the most excellent job of putting them in either. But I think I should be able to successfully mask all the little folds I stitched in with strategically placed applique (that is if I could only figure out what that applique is going to be). So no photo of Friday night's work on Diamonds because I'd like to keep those little mistakes to myself.

I did make 4 pincushions for a pincushion challenge in my online quilt group.

Little tote bags with tiny heart yoyos.

Under the little flap is a needle felt.

Anna and I had a nice time in Frederick yesterday. The yarn shop was a little on the minimalist side, at least in my opinion as a non-knitter. And both Anna and I found the 'event' to be just a tad 'granola-y'. Lots of spinning wheel action, and the live music was nice, calm Mother Earth kind of entertainment. What did surprise me was how expensive all this yarn was....There was yarn that was $69 a hank and Anna tells me you'd need 6 of them to make a scarf. And I thought quilting was an expensive hobby!

We stopped in Needles and Pins first (I know, I know....). Since Anna was with me I asked her to help me pick out some fabric for a baby quilt for her first grandchild. Since her daughter is being difficult and won't divulge the sex (she doesn't want to be bombarded with 'pink' or 'blue'), and she tells people to use gender neutral green....I picked out a little dusty pink, some dusty blue and green for the top,  and a kind of neutral, and not too cutesy back. What do you think? It's all flannel.

And here's a photo of the Tillett Design fabric my future SIL brought back for me from her trip to the Virgin Islands during Winter Break. It's hand printed. Jim Tillett was a well-known screen printer back when we lived in St. Thomas, so I was excited to have some fabric from his studio.

Not sure what I'll use it for, but I'm sure I'll find something.

Dinner last night was great--I made lasagna and salad Friday night to take the heat off the guys. Not that I needed to, but it just seemed to be the path of least resistance where everyone could enjoy themselves and not have to worry about meeting expectations. All that was required was to bake the lasagna, toss the salad and make garlic bread....oh, and pop the cork on the bottle of Veuve that's been tempting me since Christmas. Anna and I found a bakery in Frederick and picked up some cannolis, pecan pie and orange cream (like creamsicle) mousse, so after dinner we had a fabulous dessert. And today I am on a serious diet.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Can't Wait for the Friday Night Sew In

I think you can still sign up, so if you're interested, click on the link and join us.

No stitching for me this week so far. I burned out after the long weekend. Saving it up for tonight.

I'll be spending tomorrow with Anna, so no sewing on Saturday. We're going shopping in Old Town Frederick. I heard there's a knitting store with an 'event' there and she's a knitter, so I've volunteered to show her around. Probably will stay out of Needles and Pins, since I really don't need anything after last week's Sistos and Capital Quilts sprees, but I do want to hit a few of my favorite gift shops in the immediate area (Ecclectibles and Accents at Shab Row), just to see what's new. There's a new makeup shop and a pottery shop and new artist/crafters shop I haven't been to---might find something Spring and pretty for the studio. And of course, a stop at The Perfect Truffle is scheduled.

Then I think we'll lunch at Mimi's. I love Mimi' least I love the Mimi's in Viera, FL. The one in Frederick was just okay the one time I was there for dinner. They have the best salads, and muffins on the side. Yum!

Mimi's is in the same shopping center Coldwater Creek is in, so it's possible we pop in there after lunch. Chicos is in that center as well, and I think Anna likes Chicos. There's a couple things in the Coldwater Catalog I could use my $20 off coupon on.

Not that I really need anything, but, girls day out shopping.....can't come home empty-handed now, can we?

And we've planned a stop at Costco. The Costco in Frederick is a thousand times better than the one in our town (Gaithersburg). And bonus....English is their primary language.

The plan is that the guys are in charge of dinner. Now I have suggested that they fix dinner for us. The hubs can cook--most excellently. Dave can't. Dwight can cook and Dave can be in charge of libations, or Dwight can cook and teach Dave a little something along the way, or Dave can prevail and we can all go out for dinner. Doesn't matter much to me, but ideally, I'd prefer 'dining in', considering we'll be 'spending out' all afternoon :)

I'll check in later tonight and post photos from the Sew In. Then I'll be back on Sunday to report on the Diamonds Challenge progress. The clock is ticking and I need to remember that time stops for no one, not even the Queen of Procrastination.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Still Bordering (On Insanity!)

Just got done ripping out some diamonds to try and square up the background. Hopefully I'll be able to post a photo of it later this evening. I've got to take Bailey to the vet ($$$$$) at 3:00, so I'm working off and on today and keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't start snowing (yet again) before I get to the vet and back.

Just signed up for the Friday Night Sew-In. Click on the link in my sidebar if you'd like to join.

NEWS AT 11....

No photo tonight as I feel that I've spent the afternoon sitting on the jetty at Half Moon Bay. Too soon to tell whether the day was a total waste. Nothing that can't be fixed, just not happy with today's end results. As I've come to learn with this project, putting it away for the night is the best thing to do now. A fresh look in the morning can usually fix whatever ails it.

I've set the goal to be total completion of the background by the weekend, and that includes any funky embellishment and needle work.

On a positive note, I've met my goal for today (which was to get it into a passable square/rectangle form) and now I've got 4 nights to tweak it into some semblance of 'presentable/competitive'.

Maybe I'll feel it's worthy of a photo tomorrow night. For now, I'm heading for our cozy bed with a magazine or two. G'night.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Be My Valentine?

Happy Valentine's Day. I've got on my red sweater, my Tiffany hearts. The hubs went out to see Avatar. He asked me along, but I really need to be working on the Diamond Challenge as I'm running out of days. And, while I do realize that half the world thinks this is the greatest movie of all time. I'm not a big fan of the whole computer generated movie thing. I'd much rather be watching Johnny Depp in a ton of wicked crazy makeup as the Mad Hatter than some cartoon-like blue creature with Ridley's voice. I'd rather be doing anything else for 3 hours. Sorry.

Friday, I picked up a little more black on black print to add to the background, and while in the quilt shop I picked a key from a bowl of keys that opened the treasure chest and I then pulled an envelope out and won an Easy Angle ruler. Interesting, I'll learn to use it eventually. Apparently it is for cutting HSTs. I've only ever used Thangles, so it will be enlightening, I'm sure. I was tickled pink to win something. Once I'm done with these challenges, I'll give it a whirl.

Continuing on the lucky streak, I won Mega Millions Friday night. Well, only $2.00, but hey, it's a win. (Sadly, I did not win PowerBall yesterday.)

I then spent Friday night working on painstakingly piecing the diamonds together.

Finally figured out they had to be offset (precisely, no less) in order to align once stitched.

(no, that's not black nail polish, it's navy blue)

And then those little dog ears align to create rows where the seams from each are aligned.

And wah-la! -- you've got a nice big diamond of diamonds.

Yesterday was a trip to Sistos in Frederick for their sale. Bought a boatload of cotton thread, black cotton, black batting (for this piece), and a couple of FQs for an online pin cushion challenge. Also went to Kohls looking for some men's oxford shirts for a novelty quilt I'd like to do, but couldn't find any on sale for less than $15 each. The hubs, always the voice of reason, reinforced the fact that this isn't something I need to do today, and seems to think that if I'm just patient for a bit longer, I'll find what I'm looking for at half that price in a few weeks. We'll see.

So rather than sew last night I instead had to reorganize all my thread in order to find a home for all the new cotton. And I labeled each spool with the project it was bought for (sometimes I frighten myself, I'm so organized).

Today, in addition to coloring the hair (see new profile photo above), I've salvaged some of the silk/cotton strips and sashed that diamond block. Now I'm getting ready to cut out some hulking huge diamonds to turn this into a square that meets the challenge size requirements.

After that, it's anyone's guess to what happens. I'm not sure the red batik collection is going to play now. While rinsing haircolor in the shower 'Velvet Elvis' just popped into my head (I think it might have been the fumes from the L'oreal chemicals). Hmmm......

Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

(Pretending there is not 36" of snow outside)

Well, it's day 5 of the office being closed, and while I do check in every hour or so to keep my journal moving through production, I'm putting in a bit of studio time.

We've managed to keep our electricity, if not our sanity, through the storm.

There's a snowplow actually stuck in our neighborhood, at least he was stuck this morning when my husband ventured out, and he has phoned to tell me to stay home because he doesn't want me freaking out and getting stuck in the deep stuff getting around him. No problem.

Yesterday I got the quilt top finished for Kiwi Jubilee:

Here's the fabric for the back of it

And I've put on the Suz Zwizzle hat and I'm angst-ing over the diamond challenge piece.

Here's the first wasted hour from last night:

It took forever to figure out how to lay those little 1" strips between the diamonds and then once sewn, I've got a long wavy strip which will not be conducive to sashing together with more 1" strips of that spendy silk/cotton which is now destined for the wastebasket.

So I tried to piece them together without the sashing. Still difficult to line them up, but a little better. The worst was trying to line up the seams when connecting two pieced strips, I've worn out one seam ripper so far:

The call for help has been placed, and I'm going to soldier on for another hour or so and see if I can attach a third strip, but I don't have 19 hours to make the background, so if I can't conquer this demon shortly, I'm going to need to abandon ship and move on to the next challenge.

Back to tearing my hair out (and to check my email to see if there's any diamond enlightenment in it).

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

You can't run, you can't hide

Feeding Frenzy
 (The cardinals are a bit skittish today and won't let me take their picture, so we settle for 'vanilla' birds)

Sorry I didn't post yesterday, I did venture out of the neighborhood (because I could), and I did take the camera, but there was no way I could get out of the car to take photos anywhere. You've got to be very alert out on the roads. You'll be driving along on the highway and suddenly your lane will end without warning because they didn't get a chance to truck the snow they plowed from the rest of the lanes out of the one you're in.

I am heading out again this morning (because I have to). I'll take the camera with me. Who doesn't want to see photos of what they do with 28 inches of snow in parking lots.

As you might be able to tell from today's music selection, we are once again in the path of  'resistance is futile' and are preparing to be slammed with possibly a foot or more by the humorless, vengeful snow Gods beginning this afternoon. Hoo-ray!

Our office has been closed since Friday, and it's not looking promising for tomorrow. I'm a telecommuter twice a week, so at least I can check in and keep my Journal production on track --since 99% of my work interaction is with people who can actually see grass and pavement when they look out their windows---sigh, I used to wish I was in Florida, but at this point, I'd settle for Jersey.

I'm blowing off the Kiwi Jubilee class at Capital Quilts this morning. Seems kind of pointless to waste two hours that I could be spending in line at the grocery store, or driving all over creation looking for a snow shovel attending a class which turned out to be a bit redundant, due to the fact that you were required to purchase a totally comprehensive, easy to understand, well-illustrated pattern. (Not one of my brightest instructional investments, this class, but it won't happen again. I'll be asking if there's a pattern on the class list for any future classes I sign up for.)

Our homework from the first class last Tuesday was to go home and follow the pattern to make our blocks and the piano key border.

Once the pattern becomes your 'instructor', you're all threaded up, and the fabric is laying about, why stop and pack it up until the next class-- especially since you're snowbound. Just finish the darn thing. (Which I almost did).

It's hanging on the design wall. Just need to cut some 6.5" strips of that blue batik on the left to border the entire thing, back, quilt and bind (probably in black), and it's done. Not sure yet who's going to get this one or if it will stay at home (being the first Bali Pop quilt and all, and noting that the hubs seems to have an affinity for batik).

Well, I'm off to get dressed and slip and slide my way out of here before the Winter Storm Gods unleash their wrath upon us. I'll check back later. That is if we continue to be blessed with electricity. This storm is calling for high winds. We managed to stay warm and fed and lit last storm, not so sure it's going to be in the cards for us this one. I can only hope.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

snOwmg! - Day 2 - Afternoon

Happy, happy, joy, joy (I wasn't sure how to spell hallelujah). The street has had a lane plowed, (big ole front end loader took care of that with two small pickups with plows following after). The little plows assisted the hubs in clearing off the massive wall of snow at the bottom. That was pretty funny. The minute people heard the sound of a vehicle they all ran out to the end of their driveways and stood there. Most of the menfolk sent out the womenfolk (I guess they figured the trucks would be more sympathetic to the ladies).

The first attempt was quashed with one of our neighbors chasing down the street after one of the plows. Apparently the front end loader clearing the cul de sac didn't recognize a couple of driveways and commenced to dump ALL of the cul de sac snow in front of two of them (they must not have been shoveled yet, so he couldn't see them). We're talking 8 foot wall of snow. The two little trucks came back and cleaned it up and on their up and back they pushed a little off our driveway each time for the hubs. (He lives right).

This neighbor up the street had the right idea. She's a single, older woman, same driveway as ours. She just hijacked a mini front end loader to do her whole driveway.

He's now sitting across the street. I don't know, it appears he's either looking for storm drains, trying to give us 2 lanes of street, or just passing time until he can clock out for SuperBowl. Or maybe he knows we've got a 60" TV and the nachos are ready to go into the oven and everything's ready for the tacos for later--yum!

About the only thing left to deal with is the mailbox

Do we really want any bills next week?  Not really. And at some point we're going to need to tunnel in to the storm drain so it's got somewhere to go once it melts, but let's not think about that now.

Perspective for how high the hubs had to toss the snow. That broken shovel comes up to my shoulders.

The white horizon line you see there is outside the front door. That baby's not opening any time soon.

Okay, enough photos for now, time to put the nachos under the broiler and freshen my drink. It's been a good afternoon sewing. Hope the Federal Government allows me keep up the momemtum.....WOO HOO, the hubs just came in and reported that the Feds have closed tomorrow....that means no work for me (we loosely follow the Feds). Doin' the happy dance (spin, twirl, shake the booty). As much as I hate snow, there's times (like right now) that I think it's just swell!

GO SAINTS! (Hate the Colts for their middle of the night sneak out of Baltimore)

snOwMG - Day 2 - Morning

It's hard to believe we've actually been working our butts off outside and its not quite noon.

Here's the driveway (note the little path on the left to get out to the as yet unplowed street). The hubs went out after breakfast and promptly broke the shovel. What is it about men and patience? Plastic shovel, plastic handle, ergonomically bent so you don't hurt yourself and he wants to load it up with 2 feet of snow at a time, weighing roughly 30 pounds or so. Then he wonders why the plastic handle breaks.

Now he's left with the garden shovel and two extremely heavy metal and wood-handled plowing shovels (meant to push, not lift and throw). For perspective, you can park two rows of 2.5 cars in our driveway. He made it half way down and a roving band of kids with shovels took over for $20 (which explains the 4 foot wall of snow at the end and the little pathway for their escape).

We'll deal with that and  whatever the plow leaves when the time comes (which may not be until tomorrow night). At least the actual driveway is done and the sun has melted to pavement. Now we can pull the cars out of the garage up to the wall of snow and back them into the garage again.

My job was to clear out around the downspouts and shovel my way (using the garden shovel) to the heat pump and clear around that. On my way I took a little measurement:

26.5 inches in this spot, and it was 27.5 inches in another, so we'll call it 27.

Then the hubs took the camera and took a couple scenic photos. (Actually, he was all about the driveway photos and slipped in a couple other shots)

Obviously, you won't be ringing our doorbell (that is, if it worked---haven't bothered fixing it as the dogs are covering it) anytime soon. 3 of the front steps are totally buried.

And here's our little friend from yesterday. He's already taken off two corners of that suet block. At the rate he's going, he is not going to be able to achieve lift off. He'll be rolling home.

Speaking of rolling, I need to get rolling up to the studio before the day slips away from me.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snowmageddon - Day 1 - Night

Tomorrow we will have a new name for the atmospheric conditions around here. Check back. I think you'll like it. (Though it's going to be a tough one to find a tune for)

It was nice to be able to see the sky this afternoon.

Even Bailey couldn't believe that there was still a sun.

The hubs is NOT having any fun. (And he didn't get much farther down the driveway than this)

I shoveled a few inches off last night and he went out again a few hours later and shoveled again, so there's a little less than 28" to move, but it's still heavy, and there's still a lot of it.

Just heard on the news tonight that the County Executive is now saying they aren't sending plows into the neighborhoods until Monday night, so we've got some time to chip away at the shoveling. Or I guess I should say the hubs has some time...because I'll be continuing to work on

I love the design wall. Think I'll play around with the placement a little more before I sew it into 6 larger blocks. Then I've got to cut the piano keys and it's on to pincushions and the Diamonds challenge. Looks like Monday will be a snow day, so lots of quilty work should be coming.

Have a good to watch SNL.

Snowmageddon - Day 1 - Afternoon

Let's begin with saying I'm not amused at Obama jumping on the 'Snowmageddon' bandwagon. Seriously, he's got his own writers....jeez...come up with something fresh. (And besides, did it ever occur to you that maybe this whole 'incident' is the Gods' way of telling you they aren't at all happy with how things are going in Washington? Think about it.)

Okay what do you see in the photo below? (besides a giant glass of wine)

Hint: It's the same thing some nasty little rodent saw earlier this week, which is why we are blogging this subject to death in the first place.


Okay, now, wait for it.....


So it was short-lived, it's still snowing, but at a much slower pace. They say when it's raining and the sun is shining, the Devil is beating his wife, so if it's snowing and the sun is shining, does that mean she's kicking the crap out of him? Nonetheless, that few minutes of sol-estial joy brings us hope that yes, as Annie assures us, the sun will come out tomorrow, and this will all melt, eventually.

Now I am off to thoroughly enjoy that glass of Pinot Noir and continue piecing the batik French Braids...story at 11:00.

Snowmageddon - Day 1 - Morning

Only one photo so far. Rather than post a frame of nothing but white as far as the eye can see, here's a little something hopeful:
Of course, right after I took this photo all the snow above the bay window this tree is in front of came crashing down. I wondered if he survived the avalanche, and it was confirmed about 20 minutes later when I looked outside the office window and found that he had returned to the buffet line for seconds.

First thing out of bed  (even before I had coffee--the horror!) I had to pull on the boots and shovel some sort of path through 2 feet of the white stuff for the dogs. Let me tell you, they are not happy. Paco tried to run out the door the minute it opened, and disappeared into snow three times as deep as he is tall. Panic'd, he managed to turn around and tear back into the house. Once I shoveled a little path, it wasn't easy coaxing him from under the blankets in our nice warm bed where traumatized, he took refuge with his daddy. Short of tossing his little doggy butt out the door, he grudgingly complied with my orders to deploy outside. Maybe it was the threat of not getting breakfast unless he took care of business. At any rate, the dogs are going to need an area much larger than what I've cleared so far, especially since I can't foresee this melting for a month, but I'll get to that later. Or maybe the hubs will, but someone has to shovel the driveway in anticipation of being able to get out of here someday.

Speaking of the driveway, there is nothing worse than shoveling 30" of snow and then the plow finally comes up the street. (I usually cry). Effectively immediately I am claiming responsibility for all inside work this weekend, let the hubs be responsible for the outside (I can't remember the last time I saw him's time).

I'll be back later with more photos. Right now it's blizzarding and there's not much to see other than a sea of white. Stay tuned, and please join me in thinking happy, positive thoughts, that our electricity stays on (and is returned to the 76,000 people just up the road without power).