Thursday, August 21, 2014

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning

Oh, what a beautiful morning!   Oh, what a beautiful day!

Can't you just hear that song now?   And the bluebirds singing??

Its another gorgeous day here in the mountains.  There's lots of foggy mornings, but it usually burns off very quickly.  I just came in from replenishing a hummer feeder.  The little buggers eat voraciously.  

I've been hoping to see critters here and a few nights ago I got my wish. 


We had just finished dinner when I happened to look outside and this is what we saw.  I've seen does with twins before, but this is the first time I've seen triplets.
Pileated Woodpecker 
A week or so ago, I was sitting outside with my coffee and taking in the the morning when I heard pecking.  I got up and looked around the end of the house into the trees and saw a pileated woodpecker.  What a treat.  Then, to my amazement there was movement a few feet away from that bird and there was another one!!!!  Obviously a pair, or at least I hope so.   I've heard them frequently and seen them flying but that's the only time I've seen them so close up.  Just thrills me to know that they're in the neighborhood. 

I feel like I'm living in a tree house.  There's trees all around, except for my wonderful views, and up here on the main level I don't see tree trunks much.  It's all branches and leaves of all kinds.  I haven't unearthed my tree book yet so that I can start identifying the ones I don't know.  Hmmmm....wonder what box that thing is in?

Anyway, I'm one happy camper right now.  Hope all of you are the same. 

Y'all take care. 


Sunday, August 10, 2014

New Digs

Hello dear blogger pals.  It has been a whirlwind, let me tell you. 

From June 25 to July 26, we went under contract on a new house, negotiated the sale of our old house, closed on the purchase of the new place, packed up our 15 years of accumulation and MOVED 450 miles.

Needless to say, this has consumed all our time and energy. 
Somehow, the pile of boxes doesn't look so big in this picture.  Maybe that's because we were busy unpacking the ones in the kitchen at the time. 
On Friday we finally got all the boxes out of the living room and got the furniture arranged.  My great niece and her family were stopping in for a short visit yesterday, so it was a great incentive to get it done.  

I know that as time goes by I will be rearranging things all over the house.  I haven't even begun the process of putting the downstairs half of the house in order.  

My stepdaughter and her husband (who helped us move) started the repainting project down there but just didn't have time to finish it before they had to leave.  Hubby will be finishing it up this week. 

When the company was here, I snared the two young men to move some of the furniture around downstairs and give me a head start when I finally get to the unpacking down there. 

I'm sitting on my front porch right now listening to the raindrops dripping from the many trees nearby.  The clouds are forming, changing and disappearing over the mountains in a never ending dance.  Try as I might, I haven't gotten a good shot of the view.   Yet. 
cloud/fog layer in the distance
There are tons of ruby-throated hummingbirds coming to the feeders.  The other small birds are around but haven't quite gotten used to the feeders yet.  The prior owners left in October for the winter and due to circumstances, never came back, so the birds have to learn the routine again.

I have longed to live with hardwood trees, rolling hills and four seasons for nearly twenty years.  Even when we built the house in Florida, it was a stopgap measure until a later date  Then, when the agreed upon date came and went, health issues for hubby cropped up and delayed the move for a few more years.  Finally, it was just time to do it or forever relinquish that dream.  I couldn't give it up, so here we are.  

I sure hope all of you are having a wonderful summer.

Y'all take care 


Monday, July 28, 2014

Still Here

I'm still here.  LOTS of big changes happening and too busy.  I'm thoroughly pooped and I'll be along one of these days with the details. 

Meanwhile, hope everyone is enjoying their summer. 

Y'all take care

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Just Checking In

Oh, me.  Where to start.  There's lots going on here.  Won't go into details until later but let's just say there's lots of boxes involved.  

When I was at quilting retreat, I worked on a pattern called Falling Charms.  It was SO easy.  Its one of those things you can do and still talk til your heart's content.  My kind of pattern.  This lousy picture does not do it justice.  I really like this one. 

It's a very large throw size, or nearly a twin size.  

Also, had a real treat this year gardening wise.  I've had this plant for many years and mostly because I neglected it, it has bloomed only once before.  It was given to me by a lady I dearly adored when she moved to Virginia to be near her daughter in her last years.  This year I paid attention to it and was rewarded grandly.  I don't remember the exact number of blossoms it finally put out, but was between 15 and 20.  

Each of these blossoms is bigger than my outstretched hand, so probably about 8 inches across. 

I also had the girls over for lunch one day.  Figured we'd do a lot more talking here than out at some restaurant.  And I was right about that!!   Can you imagine four women talking a lot??? 

Lots to do around here, so I'm off to get the day started.  

Y'all take care.  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Uh Huh, a Post at Last

Hey, everybody.  I've missed all of you.   We've had a busy time lately.  Shortly after the quilting retreat, my stepson and his family came.  They love being at the beach so they rented a condo over there and we just saw them frequently.   The girls (4 & 5 year olds) are growing like weeds. 
Fun with Uncle D and Buster last year
 Their older sister has just finished her freshman year at Iowa State.  Can't believe that kid is nearly 19 already.  It was a really nice visit. 

This was the first trip they've made where they drove from Iowa to Florida.  We knew they were in for a surprise and just about the first words out of Andy's mouth were that he had a whole new appreciation for all the trips his Dad and I have made to Iowa.  I think they've always just figured that since we were retired and "didn't have anything better to do" we could just drive up to Iowa.  Now, he knows its not quite so easy or so much fun.  

Andy helped his Dad with some tree trimming and cleaning which was a good thing.  I'm not fond of hubby being up on the roof these days. 
Up on the roof..........
I've been terribly remiss in that my camera has stayed in the bag way too much.

Anyway, after they left we spent time working around the yard and house and preparing to come to the North Georgia mountains for the summer.  Very shortly after we arrived, my stepdaughter flew down to spend a few days with us.  I think curiosity got the best of her in that she wanted to know what the area looked like, since we are looking at cabins up here. Her visit gave us our first opportunity to see the Atlanta airport from the land side instead of being a passenger on the way through.  It's a totally different experience.

Y'all take care.  

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Quilts Full of Love

Since I'm behind times anyway, I might as well just carry on. 

In addition to the birding trip in April, I also had my semi-annual quilting retreat.  I was the coordinator for this one and there was a learning curve.  I think I've about got it figured out now.  


Just after our last retreat, we decided that the two ladies in the group who are veterans needed their own Quilt of Valor.  The owner of our retreat center, Elizabeth Mathews, is the Alabama coordinator for Quilts of Valor.  So, all sneaky like the word went out for blocks.  They were collected and put together by two different members of our group and were presented to Sara and Char at our retreat.  Boy, did we pull a good one on them. 

Sara's Quilt of Valor


Char's Quilt of Valor
These ladies never suspected a thing beforehand.  

In addition to these two special quilts, another quilt was presented to one of our girls who lost her husband back in February.  The call was put out on our online forum (not just our retreat group) and over 80 blocks were hurriedly made and sent to Char who put it together and quilted it.  Then she came over to present our gift to Margot. 

Margot's quilt 
By the time all three quilts were presented, there wasn't a dry eye in the building!!!   We love these girls so much.  

Aw, heck, I might as well go on and tell it.  In addition to Margot losing her husband in February, another local quilty friend Nancy lost her husband on March 20.  Then, to top it off, yet another local  friend Winnie (who is also a friend of Nancy) lost her husband suddenly on April 12.  She was working at the quilt show when he had a massive heart attack.  All that would be bad enough, but then I lost one of my favorite aunts on April 26.  All those losses together in so short a time just about did me in.  I still don't think the loss of my aunt has really sunk in just yet.  I know that these events have surely gotten my husband's and my attention. 


Here's my Aunt Dean and the king sized quilt I made for her three years ago.  These were the colors she wanted (batiks)and she was thrilled when I gave it to her.  She used it on her king sized bed all the time. 



I guess what I've had reaffirmed for me is that we should never take a day for granted.  We should cherish each one of them and cherish our friends and family.  

Okay, enough for now. 


Y'all take care.  


Friday, May 9, 2014

Texas Birding Trip, Spring 2014

Oh, how do I begin?  It's been a long time and as each day goes by, I seem to be more intimidated.   Anyway, here goes. 

The last few weeks have been very full.  I traveled to High Island, Texas in mid-April for my annual bird migration trip.  Had a great time, as usual.  After a few trips, you get familiar with the area and terrain and its like going home.  You never know what you'll see on these trips and that is the thrill of it.  
Male Red-Winged Black Bird showing off for the ladies 
Besides, catching migrant birds as they just reach the shore after their trans-gulf flight allows to seeing things you might not ever get to see at home.   

Male Scarlet Tanager (with leaf in the way!)
Male Rose Breasted Grosbeak
I have to admit that I like being in the presence of so many other birders.  It's the same among anyone with a shared passion, I suppose, whether its birding, painting, or baseball.
Heck, you don't even have to get out of the car to see good birds, as evidenced above.  

Anybody care to count how many birds are in this next photo?
Rookery at Smith's Woods, High Island, Texas 
In addition to the obvious birds, there was lots of other interesting and gorgeous scenery to take in. 
Bluebonnets
This was the only patch of bluebonnets anywhere around, but there was fields and fields of Mexican primroses.




Thistle in bloom

I'll quit boring you for the moment.    Y'all take care.