Monday, November 29, 2010


Oh, I am a happy camper!!!  I totally pulled off the surprise for my husband's birthday.  When I got home from my errands last Sunday, the kids walked around the corner of the house and asked "what are you doing raking leaves?"   Hubby was stunned.  Then, Sunday night we got him playing cards so we could keep him up late enough for the other one to arrive!!   When he knocked on the door about 10:15 p.m., my response was "what's that?"   Son-in-law said "somebody's knocking on the door".   The three of us just sat there and expected hubby to get up and answer it.  He went to the door and looked out the peep hole but the visitor had it covered with his hand!  So, we piped up from the kitchen "well, aren't you going to open the door?"  The three instigators got up and went into the living room so we could see the door, and finally hubby opened it. (I had previously turned on the outside lights so our visitor could see.) Hubby stood there staring a full 10 seconds before he could comprehend who was standing before him, and his response was "what are you doing here?"   Hubby was so happy to have them here, and it was such a joy for me to pull this one over on him!!  

Next day, I put the three "kids" to work helping with the last minute details for the birthday party.  All  are willing workers and really made things a lot easier for me through the party.  The day after, I gave them a break and we headed over to the beach. 
We spent some lovely time just hanging out over there and it was a real treat for the kids, since one is from near Bellingham, Washington where the weather was very nasty at the time, and the others are from Des Moines where winter has already arrived.

Before arriving, stepdaughter had asked for a "honey do" list for while they were here, so I obliged them!!  Surprise!!   I got my pitiful yard aerated, leaves and acorns raked, a new sprinkler control and rain sensor installed, the bird house taken down and cleaned, a new digital thermostat installed, and the big flower bed partially cleared and redone.  

As enjoyable as the week was, I think hubby and I are both very glad to have our house back to normal.    It has been a very busy week all around and as soon as we got back from the airport this afternoon, we both crashed for a long nap. 

Y'all take care. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Birthday Boy to Turkey Day

Been working on Hubby's birthday celebration.  He's gonna be 70 on Monday and we've invited about 30 friends and neighbors over.  I'm trying to spread all the work out over the days so I won't be a stressed out wreck come Monday evening.    That's fun, but the absolute best fun part is that two of the kids are coming, and he doesn't know it.  So far, we've been able to keep it a surprise.   Now to just get through Sunday morning and a run into town (without hubby) to pick up "party stuff" a/k/a one of the kids!!!  The other one arrives Sunday night but he'll be renting a car and will drive himself out here.  Oh, I'm so excited to see if we can really pull this off.  He's hard to surprise. 

Hubby is feeling better.  He says that this is the best he's felt in over a year.  There is no cure for genetically based coronary artery disease and you just have to deal with it as it progresses.  He is on various medications, his cholesterol levels are way beyond excellent, he exercises and yet his arteries want to clog up way too frequently.  We have no idea how long this current bout of good health will continue, but we're going to take advantage of it and take some trips.  During the winter, RV travel is somewhat limited for wimps like us.  We certainly aren't headed to anyplace colder than where we live, so that greatly reduces our options.  I'm sure we can find someplace, though.  The rig hasn't been used much at all this year.  

It is becoming more evident daily that we may need to be moving.   There's just too much work involved in keeping up a house and big yard.  Of course, neither of us has any idea where we'd like to move.   Both of us would consider a townhouse, provided that it was one floor and had a bit of outdoor space and lots of trees around. There are very few townhouses in our area, and certainly none that meet that criteria.    But, it is something that we have to be thinking about.

Do you remember thinking as a child what fun it must be to be a grownup?  Grownups got to whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted.  Now that we're the grownups, we see that's not quite the case.  There are some real responsibilities that come with the privileges of adulthood.  

Not much picture taking.  But here's a shot of a pileated woodpecker at the birdbath in the back yard.  This is one of TWO pileateds that were on that pine tree at the same time.  That was the first time in twelve years that we'd seen them in our yard.  It was a glorious treat and I was lucky to have time to retrieve the camera and catch even one of them!!  

If I don't get back before then, I wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, good food and joyous times. 

Y'all take care. 


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Creeks and Curves

It has been a very busy week.  I went birdwatching on Monday up to Blackwater State Forest, helping my friend, the Birdlady, with her survey.  This time we were specifically looking for sparrows -- checking to see who had arrived by now.  Turned out not many have arrived yet. 

So, although the birding was not fabulous, we did have a fabulous day weatherwise and just thoroughly enjoyed ourselves -- as usual.  There are stables and a campground up there that I had never visited and Coldwater Creek runs right beside it.  Oh, what a beautiful creek!!!!   I wanted to just splash right into it. 

This same creek is one of several waterways in the area renowned for canoeing and kayaking.   The water levels are low right now thanks to a combination of lack of rainfall and typical fall/winter levels.   I've never understood that, but it happens.   In the sound and on the gulf, the water levels drop significantly during the winter months.   

My quilt guild met today and there was a workshop afterwards.  Lisa Moore, quilt designer, from Sitka, Alaska taught a technique and method of curved piecing that is just plain slick!!  I've never worked with curves before, mainly because of the difficulty of getting curved seams to lie flat, and the problem of easing in the fabric.  The magic moment is created by using what's called a Fabric Folding Pen.  The liquid in the pen allows the fabric fibers to relax so that they can be curved easily.  Neatest thing I've seen in a while.  

Here a couple of shots of what I've done thus far. 
That curved seam is probably smoother than any straight seam I've ever sewn.  Yes, there really is a seam in that curve.
I am using a kit that I purchased from Ms. Moore, but some of the other ladies were using fabric of their own choosing and the outcomes are going to be more than gorgeous. 
 The curves are in the body of the quilt and the circle is part of what will be a full moon when completed.  

Also on the quilting front, I've purchased the fabrics to make my aunt's quilt.  It's going to consume a great deal of my quilting time for a while.  I'm going to have to learn how to multi-task, because I don't want to stop working on the curve technique before I've totally mastered it and it is engrained in my brain.  There's nothing difficult to it, but remembering the sequences is important for recall later.   It's my normal routine to work on only one project at the time, from start to finish.  Guess I'm weird that way.

And my brother's quilt is being worked on by the quilter as we speak.  I should have it back this weekend and it'll be ready for the binding.  His birthday is fast approaching and I am determined to have it done before then so that I can deliver it on time.

Y'all take care. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Today I attended one of the semi-annual gatherings of my siblings and assorted children and grandchildren.  Before my mother passed away three years ago, we always celebrated Mama and Daddy's birthdays near the first of May since their birthdays occurred then and were only eight days apart.  And we always had Thanksgiving at Mama's house.  Now that they are both gone, we still celebrate their birthdays but have moved the Thanksgiving gathering to earlier in the month.  We take turns hosting and since there are 7 of us in the mix, nobody has to do this very often.  We lost my oldest brother in January but his wife is continuing in his slot.  The host does the planning and usually provides the entree, and the rest of us furnish everything else.  

Today we had 30 members of our family present.  We ranged in age from 75 down to just over 3 weeks.  What a melange of characters!  And another addition is expected around the first of next month.  

These gatherings all take on their own personalities as they unfold.  Our host this time didn't make any plans until about two weeks ago and held it at his home, which was a 3 hour trek one way for a couple of us.  Hubby and I broke our drive up by spending the night with another brother who lives about half way there.  We had an enjoyable visit and saved ourselves half of the drive today on the way up.    

Since we are in the middle of our first real cold snap, we couldn't spend time outdoors like last year.  So, folding tables were up everywhere inside and extra chairs commandeered, but we all sat down to share a meal together.  Thankfully, my brother has a big house!!   It truly was a wonderful day.

There have been times over the years when we siblings haven't always agreed on things and there has been some tension at times.  But we all are seeming to realize more every day just how fragile life can be when taken for granted.  And we are making the effort to let unimportant things pass by without comment and remember only those that deserve to be remembered.  So, I'm thankful today, maybe a little more than usual, for the people I have in my life. 

I hope all of you will use my good fortune today as an opportunity to reflect on the good souls in your lives.  And, then tell them how much you appreciate them.

Y'all take care.