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!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Not a Fun Adventure

The day started off pretty well.  We were off to Ft. Wayne for  Terry's appointment with a neurologist at the VA Hospital.  We hoped that we could find the cause of Terry's headaches there, after numerous visits to a local neurologist with no results. Terry also had an appointment with a podiatrist.  Our local VA clinic and the VA Hospital in Ft. Wayne are excellent.

We have been to Ft. Wayne many times over the years to shop or to visit the excellent zoo there.  It's a nice place to spend the day.  Our plan was to stop for a nice dinner when we left the VA. We got to Ft. Wayne a little early.  Since we were having dinner out, I didn't want to spend much on breakfast or have fast food.  You know you are getting old when you think to stop at a hospital cafeteria to eat. But that's what we did.  There is a hospital near the VA so we stopped for biscuits and gravy.  Two excellent breakfasts for under $5.  Very leisurely and quiet.

We got in for Terry's first appointment a little early and the doctor took a lot of time to explain to Terry that his headaches are migraine and probably being caused by taking short term over the counter meds for relief.  Basically the headaches are returning repeatedly  when the meds wear off and return with more force.  The doctor's explanation made sense for Terry's situation.  He took some meds away and added others.  He gave us a list of foods for Terry to avoid that can bring on a headache. We'll try his plan for a few months to see if it makes a difference.  We got more information from him that we got from any other doctor including our family doctor whom I LOVE and trust.

The doctor also ordered an MRI of Terry's brain.  All of the issues Terry has are on the left side.  The headaches, a nerve issue in his left arm and a slight loss of mobility in his left leg.  Terry had a TIA about 4 years ago and may have had another small one that Terry kept to himself.  I can't tell you how scary for me that is...his silence. He has had RA issues over the years and fears that he will become a burden and does not complain when he doesn't feel well.  I have a lot of things I say to him about that, but I won't go into.  If you know me at all, you know how devoted I am to him.  So we are going back for that and another x-ray on his feet.  He will get orthopedic shoes and a leg brace for his left leg.

Other things were going on back home, so we decided to forgo dinner out so we could take my youngest grandson to the eye doctor.

We don't usually go too far from home. Terry used to be a truck driver so I have always depended on him to get us where we are going.  Well, make a longer story short, we got on the wrong highway and had a "Two Hour Tour".  I am going to have to be the one watching for road signs now LOL.

Today we are staying home and I will be sewing...Yay!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

I Can't Believe I Started A Journal

I have never kept a journal, always thinking of it as a diary and I never wanted anyone to get a hold of my inner thoughts.  Then Kathy blogged about the most beautiful journal I have ever seen and where you could buy it.  She also post a link to Shroo and her post about "Why Do I Journal".  So I started asking myself all the questions about why "I" would journal.

Only I would read it.
Write down my thoughts so I can put them out of my mind.
Write down what I want to say to someone and can't.
Organize some things you want to keep, like Corey's first fight     card.
Keep quotes I want to remember on paper.
Document  ideas for future projects.

As much as I coveted a journal from the store where Kathy got hers, I just couldn't bring myself to spend the money on a journal.

I think I have kept every pair of jeans we ever owned since the kids were little.  Well, OK, not EVERY pair, but the ones with interesting detail.  I'll be doing a bit of re-purposing them into useful items.  Thanks to Pinterest for so many ideas. Anyway, off I went to Walmart to buy one of those composition books.  You know, the kind that the cover kind of looks like mini cow print.  I chose a 9x7 book.  I measured the legs on a pair of my old favorite jeans to make a cover that the notebook could slide into much like those Hallmark date books work. I'm not through embellishing it yet, but since I did all the sewing by hand, my fingers are a little tender.

January was a BAD month for us.  Much illness then a family situation that set us on our heals. The journal has allowed me to express my thoughts that cannot be spoken.  Writing them down has allowed me not to dwell on what I would say, perhaps without thinking first. In a sense, I feel liberated.

January set me behind on my CQJP2015, but it IS in progress.

Thank you Kathy for leading me to Shroo.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Grow Your Blog

Welcome to my cyber home.  This is my second year participating in the Grow Your Blog hop.  Last year I made several new friends that I frequently exchange emails with.  I'm so glad that Vicki offered the hop again this year.

When you meet someone, it's nice to know a little about them...just to see if you have anything in common.  So, I'll tell you that I have been married 43 years, lived in the same house almost as long, have 1 daughter, 2 grandsons (17 and 19) and three dogs. I love birds and enjoy watching them visit our feeders. I entice the Blue Birds, tolerate the evil English Sparrows and  dote on all others especially Crows.

My blog is just like my home...eclectic.  This is where I share a little of whatever I am thinking about except politics. My interests include my family (including my 3 dogs) and my home and yard including our fish pond and garden. We always seem to be in some stage of redoing both inside or outside.  I have creative interests besides the garden and critters...some may call them hobbies...are sewing, embroidery, crochet and beading.

My husband and I have been retired for a year.  Honestly, it took that year to adjust to not having a specific place to be at a specific time.  We lost a little momentum last year, but the creative juices are flowing again.  I hope you will come back to visit.  I love comments and reply to all. That's how you build friends, isn't it!?!

This year I will be participating in the Crazy Quilt Journal Project.  I'm new to crazy quilt so the challenge of embellishing a block a month is welcome.  Also, I met Madame Samm last year and will be participating in some of the quilting blog hops she has organized.  Madame Samm has also started organizing cross stitch hops.  I did cross stitch years ago, and I'm sure it will find it's way into my stitching this year because she has inspired a renewed interest. I most always add beads in some way to my stitching.  I don't know where else this year will take me, but I'm sure I'll be stitching.

How 'bout you.  How does YOUR blog grow?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Coyotes Live in Our Neighborhood

After our last snow event, my brother in law plowed our driveway.  He cleared an area off to the side in the grass where I could put bread for the crows.  Three LARGE crows live in a nearby pine stand and frequently visit our yard.

One morning I went out to get the newspaper and found tracks like these in that small clearing.  I had never seen any like them before, but since I wasn't over the flu bug yet, I didn't pay much attention to them.

In Sunday's newspaper, there was an article about Coyote living in DOWNTOWN Chicago in a field area.  An estimated 2000!!  National Geographic went in a put a camera on 6 of them to track their movement.  Video showed that they actually looked both ways before crossing streets.  They are nocturnal, so people don't really see them much.  In urban areas they feed on small animals and scraps of food they find.

In that same Sunday paper, their was an article in the local section about a trapper in Osceola (where I live) who was called to a farm in my area because the farmer what finding cat carcasses on his property.  He feeds the feral cats and they control mice in the barn.  The trapper has trapped 11+ coyotes on that farm in the last 2 years.  The farm is located very near a very expensive subdivision and golf course.

I live 3 houses off a small highway.  A friend lives on the other side of the highway.  Behind his house are acres of field.  He tells me that he sees Coyote back there all the time. We used to trap feral cats and take them to the Humane Society.  We started trapping them because they were just taking over the neighborhood.  They would have litters in the shed and under our deck. Sadly, we  would also find them dead on the highway.  Recently, we realized that we haven't seen kittens. So I guess, based on the tracks that I found, and the story in the newspaper we have a coyote visiting at night.  Luckily our property is fenced.