Thursday, September 6, 2012

Wool Gathering

Do you ever have something in your life that you don't THINK you're worried about, but once it's done and over with, you have such a feeling of relief and freedom, you realize you were more bothered than you thought? I had that happen to me today.

Remember my two carpal tunnel surgeries? I was off work for six months for the first (right) hand and about a month and a half for the second (left) hand. After the right hand, I signed workers' comp paperwork that I thought released that claim but I specifically asked that the claim for surgery on the second hand be kept open. I had the second surgery a little over a year later and I found out at that time from my surgeon that the cramping and achiness I was still experiencing in the first hand were likely permanent and were caused by muscle atrophy in that hand.

Needless to say, I was a little bothered that no one had mentioned I could have permanent damage aside from the possibility of continued numbness in my fingers, which HAD cleared up following surgery. So it seemed reasonable to me to hold off on dismissing my claim on the second hand until I was absolutely sure I was okay. Follow me so far?

The courts don't like to see any type of litigation drawn out, unless they're the ones delaying it. Eventually they get a little impatient and have the parties come in and explain what's taking so long. Well, today was a status conference at the workers' comp. appeals board. I don't have an attorney because to me, this isn't a huge deal and I'm not looking for big bucks--I just want to make sure I'm okay before I sign release and dismissal papers. I didn't think I was too worried about it, but boy was it a relief when the whole thing was over!

As it turned out, I met with the insurance company attorney and he advised me that I was still able to pursue a claim concerning the problems I'm having with the first hand, so the next step is to pick a doctor from a workers' comp panel and go in for an examination to see what's what. Simple enough.

What was really kind of fun, though, was that while I was waiting in this somewhat informal and small courtroom, I overheard the four attorneys next to me introduce themselves to one another, and I heard one of them identify himself as Richard Brophy. In California, there's a rather large workers' compensation defense firm known as Hanna, Brophy, MacLean, McAleer & Jensen with offices throughout the state--and this was one of the head guys. After the introductions were done, I spoke up and told Mr. Brophy that my first job as a legal secretary back in 1974 was with his firm's San Jose office, and we chatted for a minute or two about the senior partners in that office back then. Small world, eh? What a coincidence!

You might think from the title of this post and the way I've begun that I'm talking about wool gathering in a rather figurative, wandering-mind sort of way, but I really kind of strayed off the subject in telling you about my appeals board appearance today; what I really wanted to write about was our trip home from Pismo Beach and what I did after I got home.

When Soccer Son went to Cal Poly down in San Luis Obispo for a year or so, I drove down to visit a couple times, and on one trip, I was traveling by myself and decided to take a route that went by Clovis and Fresno so I could visit a few quilt shops along the way. Of course, it had been many years since I visited those shops, so for our quilting group's trip home, I suggested we go that way. Yep, just as I suspected, that sounded like a good idea to them!

Our first stop was at Cottage Quilts in Fresno. If you shop online, you may recognize them. At one time, they contributed prizes for the Schnibbles group Sinta (Pink Pincushion) and Sherri (A Quilting Life) started. They're also listed through It was fun to go into the brick and mortar shop and meet some of the people there. They also had a nice little supply of hand dyed wools that they price by the square inch, so if you only need a small amount of several different wools, it's worth stopping in if you're in the area. They don't really list the wool on their website, but if you're not in the area, you might give them a call and see if they can work with you to put together what you need. I think we left a little wool there for you.

Our second stop was in Clovis, about a 20 minute drive away from Fresno at most, at Quilters' Paradise. Quilters' Paradise also has an online store and they too contributed prizes for the Schnibbles group at one time. And I think they had even more wool in their shop. I say "HAD," because we might have bought a little more of it. But we left some there, and I know they were planning to restock a few of the patterns they sold out of.

I heard from a couple of you who were interested in information on where to get wool, and I mentioned that my friend Irene and I often buy wool garments at thrift stores and deconstruct them and felt the wool. There are other options, though. For instance, when I came home from vacation, I went right out to JoAnn's with my 50% off coupon and purchased two yards of their better quality white wool. That was Saturday. On Sunday, I divided it into nine sections and busted out my pots of wool dye.

When I dye like this, I've been using a product called Country Classics that I've ordered online from Paradise Fibers--I think they have a good range of colors and the prices are good.

The dyes are reasonably safe and simple to use.

Beauty, eh?

Finally, I wanted to tell you about one more website I think you might like. Actually, I wanted to tell all of you except Janet, because I know Janet's going to blame me if she clicks over there and buys stuff, so Janet, turn away, okay?

Nutmeg Hare. Click on their wool applique patterns. Then click on their wools. But WAIT! Get something to mop up the drool first, and THEN click over there to browse their catalogue.

And if you buy stuff and need an excuse to make you feel better about spending money? Just tell yourself you're celebrating my fairly positive Workers' Compensation Appeals Board experience. That's what I did when I was looking at the patterns over at the Nutmeg Hare, and I'm pretty sure I don't feel quite as bad about my order now.


Janet said...

Thanks for trying to distract me ... I actually have a few of the Nutmeg Hare patterns I've picked up at quilt shows, but hadn't visited the website....

I may have to celebrate your fairly positive WCAB experience after all!

Pam P said...

Is this your first purchase at Nutmeg Hare? Oh lordy - wait until your order arrives . . . like Christmas :) It took days for me to unwrap.

Brenda said...

I so want to try this.

Rabid Quilter from CA said...

Guess I should have looked away too. Nutmeg Hare is AMAZING! I've been collecting advent calendars for decades and theirs is so different from anything I have! Can't wait to start making it. (Found gifts for my quilting buddies too!) Thanks--I think . . .