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. 
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. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Yard Work and Stuff

This is one of those days when you can't sit inside.  I mean, the sun is shining, there's the tiniest of breezes and its about 70 degrees outside.  The yard calls.   Hubby helped and we trimmed up some plants and shrubs that had been neglected.    My fatsia bush has been overtaken by sooty mold and was looking quite ragged, thanks to old age and disease.  I whacked it down to the ground where new shoots are already appearing.  I also thinned out the ragged cast iron plants next to it.  Now, I have to treat both areas with some kind of horticultural oil in hopes of killing whatever is attracting the mold.
The fatsia is the big plant right behind the tree.  Didn't look like that now, though.  This picture is from May 2010.   I love those plants.  The stand up to our heat and humidity well and to our cold weather, too.  Although I think the extra cold we had this winter helped speed along its demise.  But, the thing is about 13 years old, so I'm not complaining.  And the little ones are sprouting up already.    I'd recommend both the fatsia and the cast iron plant because they thrive on neglect and in shade.   Once a year or so, I'll do a clean up and throw a handful of fertilizer of some kind on them and forget about them.  My kind of gardening.   

We're trying to empty out the garden house and use up the bits and pieces, but I ran out of fertilizer, so had to make a dash out to get some more so I could finish feeding all the plants outside.   I am so lazy.  Shoulda put out some kind of organic compost during the winter but didn't do it.  I have access to free horse manure and I'd bet he'd even haul it down here, provided I took a truck load.  But then, what the heck am I gonna do with a truck load of manure?!?!?   (Oh, he's my brother, so he could be called on for that kinda thing.)  I don't know if he still has these two horses or not.  You know how horse traders are.   But, he'll have horses till his dying day. His wife, too.  

The oak leaves are falling like rain.  We've already raked the west side of the yard about four times and it may need another one to finish them off.  The trees don't lose their leaves at the same pace, so we're raking leaves in the spring for a good two or three months.   I sure hope the oak blossoms hurry up and finish doing their thing.  Hubby has a real problem with them.  He's wearing a surgical mask for the first time this year and it is really helping.  

I have absolutely no pictures to fit in here but what the heck.  Here's an oldie that I like. 
This child (oldest granddaughter) is now a freshman in college!!

Y'all take care and I hope spring gets to your house real soon if it hasn't shown up already!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Utter Chaos

You oughta see my garage!!  Looks like a junk shop, albeit what I'd call a high class junk shop.  Finally getting around to that garage sale I first mentioned back in October.  I'm committed now, so no backing out.  Most everything is priced, unless I find more stuff to add.  

The bad thing is that you have to gather everything up, put it on tables and price it.  Then, on the morning of the sale (in the wee hours, I might add), you have to put empty tables out on the driveway and then move every-little-piece out to those tables, and then move those tables out to the driveway and move more little pieces to them!   Whew.  Makes me tired to just think about it.  Got friends coming the afternoon before and staying over so they'll be here to help with the stepping and fetching the day of the sale.  Thank goodness. 

We've decided we're going to keep the stained glass window.

This is the very first garage sale I've ever had so it ought to be a real learning experience.  Wish me good luck. 

Y'all take care. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

C.O.W. Jumped Over the Fence

Can I just jump right back in here after my absence and be a C.O.W. for a minute?  (That's Cranky Old Woman, in case you're wondering.) There was just a story on the local news about whether cursive writing should be taught any more in schools.   Well, color me old fashioned and backwards, but nothing ticks me off worse than to see someone in high school, college or beyond struggle to write something a fourth grader should have mastered!!!  Are you impressed by a sharply dressed and coiffed executive who can't write their name legibly or put together an intelligent sentence?   Me neither.   Being computer literate and proficient is not enough.  This is not an either/or situation, people.  Success requires both "real" writing (as we used to call it in second grade) and computer savvy.  Don't even get me started on people who don't read beyond grade school level and think they're all educated.  Okay, the C.O.W. will jump back over the fence and go on about her business now. 

Hoping to have several of these blooms this year.
I'll be back shortly with much better vibes, I promise. 

Y'all take care.