Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Birds and Frogs and This and That--It's Earth Day!!

 I absolutely LOVE this photo. Terry was sitting in his recliner which is next to one of our patio doors in the living room.  He caught movement out of the corner of his eye and called we over to see what was on the deck.  I looked through the window...nothing new.  Birds at the feeders then I caught a little movement near the floor.  I spotted this little guy.  He seemed to be waving as I snapped his picture.  Amazingly small, he is about the size of a dime.  That's TINY!!

After a few minutes he hopped away, heading for the pond I think.

We started hearing the frogs singing in the pond pretty early this year.  They are pretty noisy and sing in the day and in the night..ALL NIGHT...and LOUDLY.  Terry was determined to get some pics.  He spotted 4 large and 4 small frogs...all in this position.  After a few minutes it became apparent that we are going to have A LOT of tadpoles, lol.  There is a large fish community that I suspect will eat a lot of the tinies, but as those frogs get bigger we'll be catching them and carting them down to the river.  It's very upsetting to watch a frog lay in wait for a Koi to swim by and become the frog's supper.  Turn around is fair play, I guess, but frogs are free and Koi are not! It has been pretty interesting watching the frogs.  When they sing, the skin under their lower jaw puffs out like a balloon then you hear them sing. If you have been a long time reader here, you know that I LOVE frogs.  Absolutely!

 The blue birds have been here all winter.  I have a meal worm feeder hanging from the overhang in front of the patio window in the living room.  Even when there was a lot of snow, it was easy to open the door and add the worms.  We have several feeders in the front with a variety of seeds and suet and keep it all supplied all winter.

We make an effort to attract the blue birds and have been lucky to have a couple of broods each spring.  It goes beyond feeding and supplying appropriate housing.  You must be willing protect them as best you can from the Evil English Sparrows that fight over housing and have been known to steal Blue Bird eggs from the nest and drop them on the ground.  They will also kill Blue Birds if  they can.

This is one of several houses that we have for the Blue Birds to choose.  It is usually the house of choice and has made a nesting place for a Blue Bird couple for at least 7 years.  This year we thought we had a couple.  However, when they were making their nest, sparrows took over and made THEIR nest right on top of the Blue Bird nest.

Our blues decided to move to another house.  We thought be had a match.  But no luck.  So far, it's not happening.

I'm not too upset though because these houses are near the pond and we have a lot of work to do out there this year.  We usually defer to the Blue Birds until their family leaves the nest.  Since they have as many as 3 per year, it can deter us from working in the area until well into Spring.

BUT!!!  I read an article that mentioned that Blues will nest in natural cavities in trees.  Since I have seen them flying in the back yard, and not just bathing and drinking at the pond, I decided to investigate.  Sure enough, I think we have a nest in the old Maple tree in the back yard.  They we constructing a nest, so hopefully we'll have more babies.  Even if we don't, I'm happy to supply their food.

I'll be putting out the Oriole feeders pretty soon.  They feed until their babies are hatched, then we see them but not at the feeders.   We have a large variety of birds.  The pond is a huge draw for them and we spend a lot of time watching them.

And just a note here...please do what you can to save our earth.  Re-purpose when possible.  Send whatever you can to be recycled to keep it out of the landfill. Don't burn if you can avoid it.  Find a joy in nature.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Have A Latte Blog Hop

 Have A Latte Blog Hop

 Madame Samm is hosting  a Blog Hop and it's all about COFFEE!

Everyone that knows me knows that I live on coffee. My favorite is Maxwell House French Vanilla. I drink what the docs would say is too much...there is a pot going from the time I wake up until I go to bed.  It never keeps me awake.


 Our Cheerleader
Joan at Moose at Moosestash Quilting is our Cheerleader!

 When Terry decided to semi remodel our kitchen, I knew that my new decor theme would be coffee.

These are the curtains I made, however I am unable to hang them yet because the ceramic tile around the window they were made for has not had the finishing touches yet.

I have been collecting coffee material for quite a while.  I had the perfect coffee bean fabric to enhance this Have a Latte fabric.  This is the first time I actually made dish towels and I'm sure I'll be making a lot more!  They were a fun project.

Here they are again partnered with a casserole hot pad made from the Have A Latte fabric.

I bake and roast a lot when I cook and made this hot pad to the size of my favorite casserole dish...9 x 13.

I have a table cover in the works that I am not showing here because it's not done.  We will be replacing our booth with a table and chairs.  Since I don't know the size and shape of the table, I'll finish the table cover when we decide on a table set.

I'll be making small appliance covers when I decide which ones I'll leave on the new counter!

Jump on the hop and visit other blogs that are participating today and don't forget to visit everyone else while the hop is on.





And another thing about me is that I LOVE Maxine!  We both definitely love our COFFEE.

Happy Hopping!!
A Big Thank You To Joan and Madame Samm!!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

I Have Another Friend!

This is my new friend.  I have Viking that I absolutely love.  But since I have begun sewing steadily again, I decided that I wanted needed a second sewing machine. My current sewing project and the next few that I have planned will have me bouncing between a couple of different thread colors.  I really NEEDED a second machine to avoid switching thread color all the time, don't you think!?!

I didn't really look around much because I wanted a very inexpensive machine.  I had a brother in the past and it was OK.

This little machine is digital and easy to use AND inexpensive.  The stitches are uniform, which is an important quality.

I'd be interested to know how many of my sewing friends have two machines.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

February CQJP2015

Here's my February CQ2015 Block.

There's a lot to learn in CQ.  Even when you take a class..even a wonderful one like Kathy Shaw's, you still have to put what you lean into practice.

There are some techniques she taught that I didn't remember until I got into trouble.  I tore some stitches out, but mostly I left the errors I made in seam choices.  This entire project is a learning process for me.

I really like the colors in this project...remember it goes with my Princess on a Pea panel.

I'll start the next block this weekend.  It might be one of my favorite pieced blocks.  It has tiger print!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

January CQJP 2015 Block

This is the first Crazy Quilt block I have made with only myself to decide fabric, block construction, seam treatment and stitches used.

Years ago I did extensive embroidery stitching. But embroidery of that type was a lot different than stitching on seams.  It was more satin stitching a transferred pattern.  I have always wanted to learn to crazy quilt, but want to create a more primitive stitching, rather than the lacy and ribbon embroidered style that I love to look at, but does not fit my own preference of a more Bohemian style.

So I started this journey to help me learn the stitches I desire to conquer.  I don't like the first seam I stitched, bet you can tell which one it is.  But I kept it, because it is the "first" and my measure of how much I will improve.  I love this piece because it is a start.  It broke the barrier for me.  I am achieving a rhythm...creating a habit...reveling in an instant gratification that comes from satisfaction of conquering a fear.  What fear??  Well, the fear that you create when you compare your own skill to the skill of those you admire.  There are a few friends that read this blog that I particularly want to thank, though I am not calling out your names.  You encourage me to come to the fold, you encourage me to release my imagination and play along, you give guidance and creative suggestions that I appreciate.

I am just so happy that a hesitant start is leading to personal satisfaction.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I Got Bit By A Nasty Bug - Taplika

Oh, not THAT bug...not this time.  What I caught was a nasty computer bug called Taplika.  Don't ask me where I got it, or HOW I got it because I am a pretty careful surfer.  I feel pretty safe because I have Norton Security.

Taplika is a browser Hijacker that takes you where it wants to and replaces your home page to it's own and there are lots of places  on your computer where it inserts itself that you won't even know about. When I realized I had it, I did a complete Norton scan.  Still had it.

I remembered when one of the computers at work picked up a bug that was resistant to our security, our tech adviser told me to download this program:

It worked then and it worked for me at home this week. Now, my Norton keeps telling me some program is trying to attack my computer, so it probably has something to do with Taplika.  The scary thing is that I am now receiving phone calls several times a day from that scammer that calls you to tell you that they are from Microsoft and they are getting reports that my computer has a virus. My caller ID says they are from BUILDERS SQUARE!! I wanted to mention this here because I am just a little computer savey and I am so grateful that I didn't have to take my system to a tech to remove it.

Just remember when you are surfing, THERE ARE SHARKS IN THEM WATERS!!

Friday, February 20, 2015

We Had A Murder Here

 Oh, sorry.  Not THAT kind of murder.  We had a Crow Murder. Before the REALLY cold weather hit, there were too many crows in the sky to begin to count.  They like to hang out in the woods near the Elkhart County landfill. For some reason they hung out here for a few days. After we watched them fly circles over our woods, we may have seen them at the landfill later in the day.  There definitely was a Murder there too.

We have a stand of trees behind the houses across the street.  The Murder was hanging out in them for a long time, but every time I would go to the window to get a picture with lots of them in it, they flew.  The crows showed up a few days before the cold snap and hung around for a few days.  Occasionally we see them fly by on their way to who knows where.  I wonder..where do they go.

Now THIS guy is one of MY crows.  We have three that live in a nearby stand of huge pines.  They are always around.  When my brother in law plows our driveway, he always clears a spot in the grass near the road so I can put bread out for My Crows.  I love these guys.  There is usually one on the ground scrounging around and the other two are in the trees near by.  When I come out, the one on the ground doesn't fly off, the the two in the trees definitely alert him that danger is near, though I really do thing they know I feed them.  We have a maple tree in front of the house and about once a week I catch sight of one of them in my tree.

And if you wonder what my DOGS have been doing during this cold they are sharing one of the dog beds.  Check out Tyson's paws.  Even when they are sleeping, they entertain us.  Junior is sleeping close by, though not in this shot.

Bosco loves everyone, but he has picked Terry to be his person.  Ever since he was a puppy, Terry has taken him to sleep on his lap in the recliner. The chair is motorized so Terry calls it Bosco's elevator.  Sometimes Terry asks him if he want to ride the elevator and Bosco positions himself in front of the chair, paws on Terry's lap while Terry starts the leg lift and this is how they end up....Sleeping.  I love it that they have bonded, though when I am in my "room" where there is also a dog bed, Bosco is keeping me company whether I am at the computer or sewing.

Bosco eats in the kitchen, but we often find his bowl here hidden next to my chair in the living room. Its a circus around here!!