Thursday, January 10, 2008

This and That

There have been a couple things going on the last few days that by themselves, didn't really make for much of a post, but I thought I'd do a little mish mash of catch-up items tonight.

First a little story. This was pretty amazing to me, but I'm not sure I can tell it in such a way so as to convey the heart pounding sense of excitement to you. It may just be one of those "you had to have been there" things. Bummer for you if it is, 'cause I'm telling it anyway!

Tonight I was driving from my office to the quilt shop for my monthly Thimbleberries meeting. Now, I know most of you don't know Sacramento, but for those of you who do, I was traveling down Folsom Boulevard toward Bradshaw. To my right was the light rail line, which parallels Folsom Boulevard all the way out to Folsom. During commute hour, which is usually when I'm heading out that way to the quilt shop, I'd say about 60 percent of the time, I have to stop at Bradshaw, waiting to turn right, until a train passes.

As I approached my turn at Bradshaw tonight, maybe a couple city blocks distant, I noticed the railway lights flashing and saw the guard rail arm coming down. But wait! Something was wrong! It took me a couple seconds to figure out what was going on because I had to get a little closer, but I soon realized that the guard rail arm was coming down on top of a semi truck/trailer. In fact, by that time, I noticed the semi seemed to be dragging along the wooden railway crossing sign. With the railway lights still flashing their warning, the semi came to a dead stop right across and blocking the rails, and two men jumped out of the cab. Had they stalled? Were they jumping out of the cab to escape an approaching train? Was the train going to slam into the side of the trailer and push it toward me? YIKES! Yep, my life started flashing before my eyes along with those flashing red warning lights, and I started to think about possible evasive maneuvers.

Looking in either direction, I couldn't SEE a train, but I knew those lights were flashing for a reason! Just about that time, the semi lurched in a decidedly bumpy manner and crept forward, dragging the crossing arm and the wooden railway sign until it came to a stop on the other side of the tracks. I realized then that the truck, in making its right hand turn, had taken out the entire light rail control box and just about everything else on that corner.

Eventually the cars in front of me cautiously completed their right turns, and then it was my turn. As I passed the truck, I noticed the logo blazoned across the side: Western Trucking School. Somehow, I don't think that guy got an "A" for today's driving lesson!

When I passed that way again some 2-1/2 hours later, there were about eight light rail maintenance trucks out there, trying to repair the damage. Uh oh!

* * * * *

Remember our back fence that blew down in the big storm last week? On Monday, just before I left for work, I saw a guy out there wearing a tool belt and messing around with a pick ax. I'm not much of a carpenter, but I haven't seen a whole lot of fence repair done with a pick ax. We don't know those neighbors and no one had come over to talk to us about repairs--or ask for a monetary contribution for that matter--so I just figured "whatever!" Rain was due again, and I didn't really think the guy planned to do any serious work anyway. Besides, it was time for me to get to work, so I didn't hang around to find out what the guy with the pick ax was doing. When we came home that night, though, a brand spanking new fence section was up, replacing one of the five sections that blew down.

Tuesday morning, the same thing. Except there were TWO guys and no pick axes that I could see. Again, I noticed this activity just as I was getting ready to go to work, and again we were expecting rain--in fact, the weather people were predicting another pretty good storm with 40 mph wind gusts, so I didn't think they'd get very far with the fence. That night we came home to find the rest of the fence posts set as well as some of the cross pieces.

Wednesday morning, no one was out there. Nevertheless, when we came home, we found that two more sections had been put up. Now there are only two sections left. The curious and somewhat amusing part is that these mysterious fence repair guys propped two of the old fence sections up where the new sections will go, and the two "missing" sections are ones that need to be nailed from our side. My husband figures this is a silent message to us that it's our turn now to complete the job. I wonder what they'd do if we just didn't do anything? Kind of makes me want to leave it as is for a few weeks and see. But they DO have pick axes, so I don't think I want to make them mad. And we have some fence boards left over from a prior project, so we'll probably pick up a few more and get our son out here to pound a few nails. Since he installs cabinets for a living, I'm pretty sure he has some handy dandy power tools that will get those last two sections installed in about 10 minutes.

* * * * *

Annemiek of Carpe-Quiltem awarded me the "You Make My Day" Award. I am flattered!

The rules for this award say to choose up to 10 people whose blog brings you happiness & inspiration and makes you feel happy about Blogland. Let them know by posting a note on their blog so they can pass it on.

I'm glad to know that my blog brings happiness and inspiration to some of you who take the time to come visit me. And speaking of those of you who come visit me, I wanted to say "hi" back to some of my newer commenters! Thanks for leaving me comments--I love to hear from you, because it means that the time I spend writing down my thoughts, sharing my quilts, and telling my stories isn't wasted. Unfortunately, some of you are "no reply," so I can't write back. Still, I wanted you to know that I appreciate each and every one of you!

I've never counted how many blogs I read on a fairly regular basis, but I DO know that it's LOTS and LOTS! I don't know how to narrow down who I'd give the award to because I love reading about what all of you are doing, and I enjoy feeling like I'm part of a global community of quilters--and even a few non-quilters. Still, I'll mention a couple bloggers and tell you why I've listed them. Most of you are probably familiar with the blogs already, but maybe you'll find one or two that you didn't know about.

Vicky at LA Quilter. Waaay back a couple years ago, I started reading a couple blogs occasionally. Then, and I can't remember why, I stopped. Later, when some friends of mine started their own blogs and I got interested again, Vicky's blog was the one I remembered reading before and wanted to find again right away. I'm not sure why, but I think it's because she's so honest, funny, warm, and friendly. I've never met Vicky in person, but I feel like I know her. If I only have time to read a couple blogs, Vicky's is one I'll pop in and check out.

Cowguy Jace over at Saw Dust and Cow Pies. Jace isn't a quilter but maybe his wife is--at least I know Vicky knows Jace and his wife, so they must be okay, right? Cowguy is a new blogger and talks a lot about cows, sheep, poop, and other stuff that's about as far from quilting as a person can get, but he's pretty amusing and tells some good stories.

And while I'm thinking about amusing people and cows, I guess I'd give the award to Sharon over at Red Geranium Cottage too. The "cows" part would involve a long explanation but we first "met"--or started chatting at least--because of cows. Zany Sharon always manages to brighten up my day!

Then there's Anna over at Thimbleanna. I love her writing style and her "nicknames" for the people in her life that she writes about. I love her blog content--she's very talented. I don't like the fact that her photos are so much better than mine, but what can I say? I can't hold that against a person, because if I did, I wouldn't like anyone much!

I think the last one I'll list now is Angie at The ThreadCatcher. You probably all know Angie, but for some reason, she's a recent "discovery" for me. I think I really want to give her this award just for her infatuation with red shoes. Red shoes really deserve something, right? But she also cracks me up. And that makes my day!

There are so many more of you I just love--the bloggers whose blogs "everyone" reads and knows about, the bloggers with fairly new blogs and not too many readers, the bloggers in other countries whose mastery of English amazes me and delights me as well because I can learn so much about quilters in other countries . . . . Well, the list could go on and on, and does--the links between us and the sharing of ideas here in Blogland is tremendous! Truly, you ALL make my day! Thank you for including me in your lives!


Eileen said...

Wow Kim, What a post. I would have been scared to death seeing that truck stalled on the train tracks. I doubt if that driver got his license.

You must have a terrific long list of bloggers. Mine is 30 and I try to get to them most every day or two and I have a whole lot more time than you do.. You know how I feel about you and your blog. Thanks loads for the ride.

Vicky said...

Well, I'm surprised! I've certainly enjoyed getting to know you, Kim, and I always head over to your blog when I need a chuckle! Isn't blogging just the best?!!

I'm sure glad no one was hurt in the train crossing incident, but it IS funny! There's one of those schools down the street from our plant, and I always hold my breath when they come lurching by with new students driving!

I've put Anna's and Angie's blogs on my favorites list. Oh, and Cowguy -- yep, he understands quilters because he's married to a wonderful one!


Cowguy said...

I still can't believe that I'm an award winner. I'm just gonna wait out in the driveway for the UPS man to bring it here. Meanwhile I've colored a badge proclaiming the honor and Sal laminated it for me. I'm king of the world!

Seriously, thanks Kim. Glad I brighten or bemuse your day.


Crazy for Primitive Quilts & Gardens said...

Kim, I agree, you definitely deserve the Make My Day award. I am newer to blogging, and your stands out as so funny and well-written. You definitely make my day!


Thimbleanna said...

Aw shucks, Kim -- now You've made MY day -- and it's certainly not the first time! I was reading along thinking about how I'd be commenting about that scary train scene (sure glad it wasn't what it appeared to be and you didn't get squished LOL) and then you surprised me at the end! (And btw, you cracked me up with the driving school comment -- the whole thing would make a good youtube video!) Congrats on your award and thanks for mine -- YOU definitely deserve it!

The Chicken Lady said...

The truck story cracks me up because I've always wanted to be a trucker. I want a Bright Blue Kenworth T2000 and I want a flatbed trailer so I can haul my van (truck to be the same color as my van) so I can park at a truck stop and drive the van (gas savings) around to quilt shops when I drive across the country! :) I don't think that guy was having a very good lesson that day. That stinks.

Did the fence get fixed?? That's pretty funny about the mystery guys.

Congrats on your award! :) It's nice to be able to inspire others, huh?

Red Geranium Cottage said...

Well..............what should I say first? The fact that you compared me to cows????????? I am not sure that is a compliment but hey if it made your day...........MOOOOOOOOOOOO
Seriously though we just hit it off from the get go and I'm glad we did. I love teasing you and lordy I know you love teasing me.
Thanks KIMMER!!!!!