Monday, June 15, 2015

Hello and Thanks

I'm still alive and well.  Seems my posts only appear in my head and never on here.  

I'll be back soon to try to catch up.   Thank you to all of you who have hung in with me.  

The view from below (on the walkway downstairs)
My knockouts came roaring back after being pruned severely.  Now, I'm afraid the Japanese Beetles have found them and I'm fighting that.

Y'all take care

Monday, April 27, 2015

A Room With a View

It's that time again and I'm loving my first spring as a resident of the north Georgia mountains. 
View from the front deck/porch
Hubby is suffering from the pollen levels but I'm not having too much trouble with it.  We both agree that its a small price to pay, however, for living in a place we love. 

The azaleas really put on a show.  Too bad the don't last longer. 

The hostas seemed to just burst from the ground. 
Hostas on April 9
Hostas on April 21

With spring comes the migration of little feathered friends, too. 
Flying little pigs 
First Rose Breasted Grosbeak of the season 
We're having a good number of Indigo Buntings but no picture worth sharing yet. 

Yesterday I counted fifteen different species of birds from either my sewing studio or the living room upstairs.  And I wasn't even looking toward the feeders farther out in the yard. 

Y'all take care. 




Tuesday, April 7, 2015

And here she is.........at last.

Hey, everybody. 

I've been fussing about my landscaping the last few week.  There are things I want done and the folks I've called are s-l-o-o-o-o-ow in getting back to me.  Finally, the nursery guy came today and started on the new raised bed I want.  


Please forgive the pictures.  It was dusk when I took these. 

I'm also going to have creeping phlox put on this bank near the mailbox. 

This'll serve as my before shot.  The hostas there along the wall are coming up nicely.  They were gorgeous last year and I'm hoping they'll be the same this year. 

I had a hard time holding off so long, but over the weekend I finally broke down and planted my garden.  A whole three tomato plants!!! 

They're in a narrow bed right beside where my husband parks his car but they get full sun there. 

We're seeing more buds and some leaves but we're still waiting for the big burst. 
Winter view 
I noticed tonight that the azaleas have buds and will be bursting out in a few days.  There are a few rogue clumps of creeping phlox around the yard and they're looking good. 


I've been sewing a bit but nothing I can show you at the moment.  I've been slow getting back in the groove.  The month of April is a very busy one for me and I'm in and out of town the whole time.  Poor hubby has to stay home.

I'll be doing fun stuff the next while and I'll try my best to take lots of pictures so I can share them with you. 

Y'all take care. 



Thursday, March 19, 2015

More Maui

I fell in love with the island of Maui when we were there.  Can't really explain why I like it so much, but I do.  We stayed in a lovely little free standing cottage just about a block and a half from the beach.   We could actually sit on the lanai out back and see the ocean in the distance.  We spent a lot of time out there looking at the birds and whale watching. 
High stress living
You could walk to the beach easily if you didn't want to drag along your chairs and stuff.  As it was, we drove down and parked in a PUBLIC parking lot next to a PUBLIC beach park.  What a surprise that was.   The other lovely surprise was there were trees along the beach and beachwalk.  If you wanted sun you had it.  If you wanted shade, you had that too.  Couldn't ask for better. 

I sat in the shade most of the time and watched the whales.  Never a dull moment for me. 

We took a day to drive the Road to Hana.  The actual distance is something like 60 miles but it took us more than four hours to drive it.  We stopped frequently along the way and due to the curves, we could only travel at maybe 20-25 mph most of the way.  




While there were breathtaking sights along the way as these photos attest, there were also long stretches when you saw only the curves of the road and the dense jungle like foliage on each side.

We did stop for fresh banana bread at one place and it was still warm.  I think that was a highlight of the road trip.  Now that we've made this trek, I don't think it is something I'd repeat.    We left our cottage at 7:30 a.m. and we got back home around 5 p.m.  

We couldn't go to Maui and not take a whale watching trip.  We booked an outing with the Pacific Whale Foundation on a rigid bottomed raft.  The raft held a maximum of 31 people and we were down near water level for the trip.   There were humpback whales everywhere!!  The strait between the islands of Maui, Lanai and Molokai is a primary breeding and calving location for humpbacks.  Thousands of them come there every winter.  In the summer they travel back to Alaska to feed.  They do not feed at all while in the Hawaiian waters.  



Coming back into Lahaina Harbor 

This was our second trip to Hawaii and I loved it.  The trip itself is a real bummer due to the length of it, though.   If you've never been, I'd highly recommend saving the pennies and going there at least once in your life. 

Y'all take care. 


Friday, March 6, 2015

Sun and Surf

I'm back!! 

We were fortunate to spend a couple of weeks in Hawaii and missed the whole winter storm affliction for our area!  We've had a very mild winter, actually, and it was merely a fluke that we were gone when the only bad weather of the winter came to town. 

Instead, we spend a lot of time in the sunshine.  It sure felt funny to put on sandals and capris instead of jeans and sweatshirts.   But, after a day or two it felt just right. 
Hubby in the surf
The first week, we were on the big island of Hawaii and stayed in a condo.  It was nice enough but it did not have air conditioning.  Since it faced due west and the daily temperatures were in the high 80's, it got hot in there every afternoon.  Thankfully, it did cool off at night and we slept with the windows and sliders open every night.  Loved that. 

We had wonderful birds come right to the edge of our patio and I added a couple to my life list. 
Saffron Finch
These guys are truly this bright and there were lots of them around.  I also saw Java Sparrows but could not get a picture of them.    In addition to these two, I saw Pacific Golden Plovers on several occasions. 
Pacific Golden Plover
I also saw Gray Francolins but, again, no pictures.  That made four life birds for me on this trip.

I'll be back with more.   Y'all take care. 





Thursday, February 12, 2015

Time is Flying


Where does the time go???  Seems every time I turn around another week has gone by. 

My birding pals, Birdlady and Larry, spent a few days with me.  We had a wonderful time.  Every day was filled with birds.   It was so good to see them.  We wandered all over the place, up mountains and over mountains and over to Tennessee. 

We took a day and went over to Hiawassee National Wildlife Refuge which is northeast of Chattanooga, Tennessee.  There we saw thousands of sandhill cranes.  These are just a few.  
Sandhill Cranes, photo by Larry Goodman
In flight, photo by Larry Goodman
Sandhill crane, photo by Larry Goodman
Both of them were just astonished at the number of birds that come to my feeders every day.  
Mourning Dove, photo by Larry Goodman



Carolina Chickadee, photo by Larry Goodman

White breasted nuthatch, photo by Larry Goodman
Northern Cardinal, photo by Larry Goodman 

Another of our forays was up to Brasstown Bald in search of ruffed grouse.  We hit heavy fog on the way up the hill but punched right through the layer and found bright sunshine up top. 
Sunshine and Ice 
It was bitterly cold due to the brisk wind.  The sun tried valiantly to warm the air but with no success.  The birds had better sense than to be out and about on that morning, so after a short stop, we headed back to the warm car.  
Lovely scene, but brutal




The warm was melting the ice just enough that the brisk wind had the ice coming down constantly. 

I'll be out and about the next couple of weeks, so may not be checking in too often.  Meanwhile, Happy Valentine's Day to all of you. 

Y'all take care. 





Friday, January 30, 2015

Exploring

A couple of days ago I took a drive over to Franklin, NC to check out a couple of quilts shops.  You always want to know where the good ones are.  I visited A Stitch in Time where I bought a new book by Kim Brackett and a couple spools of thread. 
I've been browsing through the book and I'm finding several patterns that simply call to me.  I have a tendency to only make bed sized quilts.  I guess its a throwback to the fact that Mama only made utilitarian quilts for our beds.  I'd really like to make smaller lap quilts and throws, even some wall hangings.  I've got the perfect place for a hanging quilt rack and I'd really like some things to put there.  If you're a quilter, take a look at this book.  I think you'll like it. 

I also went to Deb's Cats and Quilts and I LOVE that store!  I'll definitely be visiting there again.  I found a batch of fabrics that just called to me and insisted on coming home with me. 
from Deb's Cats and Quilts
Black fabrics don't normally appeal to me but there's two of them in this bunch.  The one on the end has tiny, muted red flowers in it.  The other one has brighter colors. 

I've also been taking classes in a program called OASIS this winter.  It's a community outreach program through a local church and its huge.  There must be 200 or more folks in and out of the building on class day.   I'm taking beginning basket weaving which I absolutely love.  I've finished one basket and am well on the way to finishing another one.  Here's the first, called a napkin basket, but I'm using it to collect half square triangles down here in the QK (that's quilting kingdom).
napkin basket 

This basket still needs to be stained but that's a project for another day.  I'll wait until the market basket is finished and do both of them at one time.   

I'll definitely be signing up for more basket classes.  I am amazed at how much fun they are. 

I am also in a painting class/workshop.  Mostly we just gather and work on whatever we want.  We have a couple of "instructors" who are available to answer questions and help out, but mostly we're on our own.  I'm definitely not talented when it comes to painting but I've done one little piece that I'm okay with.  I think its going to my Birdlady friend, since the loves the picture that this is adapted from. 

I took the picture of the thrush on our trip to Texas in April of 2012 and she put it on the front of our trip photo book.  Looks like we'll be trekking to Texas again this year.  Yippee!!!!!  This will be four or five years in a row.  

My fireplace in the KQ has been so nice this winter.  I turn it on in the morning and get the place warmed up and then its usually off until the evening when the space cools down. 

Y'all take care.