Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Is it a Blog or a Journal?

First, thank you to everyone that inquired if I am OK since I have not posted in almost a month!!  More on that later.

This wonderfully huge Petunia basket sits on my front deck in front of a patio window where we can see it when we look out from our recliners.  In the spring, my youngest grandson Ky asked me if I wanted to buy flowers from the fundraiser his church had going on.  Of course I said yes.  At $3 each I took 10.  What I got was 10 small petunia starts in the most amazing colors I have ever seen.  I quickly planted them in an appropriate size pot.  After a bit I thought they didn't look as healthy as they should.  Off I went to Walmart to look for a larger pot.  I came back with one of those tubs that we use to put ice and pop in for parties.  I wanted to drill drain holes in the bottom but ended up cracking it.  Well, that WAS a great water drain.  I had a birdbath in the back yard that had a leak so I brought it around to the deck and placed the flower bucket in the bowl.  Perfect height, and the perfect drain.  Each Monday I watered it with Miracle Grow.  Even in late September this plant is healthy and happy and measures 40" across. I have a couple of other birdbaths, so I think I'll put more of these on the deck next year.  The birds use the pond to bathe and get water from anyway.  Also, the humming birds chose this plant to feed from and ignored the feeders.

I have several friends that use their blog to document what is going on in their life so they can reference back to it later.  I hadn't really thought of my blog like that but I guess it is.

The last time I posted, Terry was having some health issues that we thought were caused by some virus.  By Sept 2 I took him to the ER.  The tests showed he had a kidney stone.  Neither of us has ever had one so we had no idea that's what it could be, but there was added worry because he has Stage III kidney disease so we have to be really careful about what drugs etc he takes.  So they sent him home with meds and instructions to call a recommended Urologist.  We did that an a few days later surgery was scheduled in a out patient clinic owned by the Urologists and was attached to the Hospital via a hallway.  The nurse got him all prepped but when the anesthetist came in to talk to him, she had a concerned look on her face.  She came in and out a few times.  When I told her he said he is dizzy, they laid him back and hooked him up to H2O.  I heard her ask if the ER had called back yet.  When I asked what was going on she explained his BP had dropped to 45/70 (I had been looking at the wrong numbers on the moniter).  They came from the hospital and took him to the ER. After tests the answer was that one of the meds they had prescribed for him the last time he was there can cause low BP.  Also he had been sleeping a lot and had not drank as much water as he should have the day before and that had caused him to be a bit dehydrated.  They sent him home with instructions to discontinue the med and drink at least 1/2 gallon of water every day.  The next day I got a call from the doc and surgery was scheduled again for the next day but at the Hospital this time.  The stone was removed and would not have passed on it's own.  It was 3 weeks from the time the pain began to when Terry felt he could continue his normal activities.  Between all this going on, family visits and other disruptions to our routines, I feel like life has been on hold.

My Go To craft for hospital stays is crochet so of course I started a new project.  I'll be back to show you that in a few days.

Grateful:  Of course I am especially grateful for the great docs we have. Terry's 45/70 BP scared the H*ll out of me. I LOVE that guy!
xx, Carol

Sunday, August 26, 2018

And Still August Drags On

The Good Part:
You might ask me what is Terry holding in his hand on that leaf.  Well, here's the story.  A few weeks ago we went to visit the kids...that's what we call Corey, Alyssa and Nic.  Nic had a cute little plastic box with holes on the top.  There were a few sections in it and what I would call a ferris wheel.  It's a worm house.  He had two fall bag worms in it and an Army Worm..at least that is what he told me they were.  So when Terry was pruning bushes, he found this neat worm. I say he has a Mohawk hair cut.  So we took it to Nic.  He called a few days later all excited because the new worm had cocooned himself on the side of the box.  I was excited because he can see what happens next.  It's pretty cool.  This week he added a spider to the box.

So Now Comes The Get Done With It August Part:

On the 23rd, Nic came to spend the night.  Most of their house was packed and ready to move and he wanted to spend time with us before they left.  The dogs are always excited when Nic is here and sometimes Harley gets a little out of control.  Nic is a small kid and it's easy for even Harley to knock him over. So as I was scolding Harley for jumping all over Nic, I got caught up in the little Devil Dog and Bosco in the dining room and pitched myself into the hutch. I slammed my face on the bridge of my nose into the ledge of the hutch.  Talk about seeing stars!  I really actually DID see a huge one like you see in the comics.  I laid on the floor calling Terry who looked at me asking What Can I Do.  Still a comfort that he was there as I looked at the puddle of blood on the floor. It was a LOT.  Luckily it was coming from my nose.  My head was not clear at all and he drove me to the ER just in case I needed to talk to a doc.  The ER was packed.  We sat there for an hour and still did not see the triage nurse.  Another hour went by.  By then I could at least raise my head so we went home...without being seen. I wanted to lay down and I felt nauseous.  The next morning I woke up and it's pretty apparent that I broke my nose.  There is swelling over my right eye and blood on the white of my eye.  Also a big cut on the side of my nose possibly from my glasses that are strangely crooked.  The lenses look cloudy and cannot be cleaned.  They don't look like they are scratched, but I am not going to have them looked at until the bruise on my nose is healed.  I'm pretty sure I broke my left thumb too.  Just another episode in this all too "crappy" August.  I use that word because we just had the septic tank emptied, lol.  See, I still have my sense of humor.

We did go to Walmart last night and I asked at the optometrist store if my glasses could be cleaned.  Nope...they are scuffed so it's new glasses for me.  These are not that old.  Yet another August expense.  Needless to say I am taking it easy as I still have a dull headache and swelled eye.

We have a list of 7 things to do for the kids that they couldn't complete before they left.  They texted last night that they are eating crab in Chicago.  Alyssa will have an ultrasound today to find out the baby's gender.  

Grateful:  Today I am grateful...really I am...that there are only 5 more days in August, lol.


xx, Carol





Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Will August EVER End

The best thing about August is it is our wedding anniversary month.  We have been married 47 years.  Terry always says he raised me, and I guess he is right because I was only 19 when we got married.  For me, it was new found freedom.  We have been very happily married.

Like most of the world, it seems, we have had very hot and humid weather with way too much rain at times, and not enough at others.  Our outside well went dry.  It is what we use to water the grass.  More importantly we use it to refresh the water in our fish pond.  For some reason, a hose from our house city water just does not flood the pond out the same way the well does.  I'm fighting a chemical battle that just is not doing the trick, probably due to the continual heat.  The fish are thriving even in the green water.

Our home is cooled nicely by a couple of window air conditioners.  One is in my sewing room.  Without it, it just gets too hot to use the room for very long, even though there is a ceiling fan in it.  Since my room has no outside window, the air conditioner is built into the wall.  Since Terry is not able to lift even the small unit in and out of the space, my grandson did the task.  For me that involved moving a few things out of the way.  Not such a big deal, but if you know me, you know that one thing leads to another and suddenly I had the whole room cluttered up while I organized that side of the room.  I found several things to donate and more to move to another area of the house to store them.  Clearing the created clutter is a major task.  Today I'll work at clearing off my sewing table.  I'm contemplating moving my favorite Viking machine to the dining room table so I won't be leaving Terry alone while I sew.  Now I try to catch time while he naps and that is not working too well.  I hate to leave him alone on days that he is not feeling well and vegges out in his recliner.

While all this craziness is going on, I have been working on my patched jacket.  I'd like to wear it this fall.  It makes nice slow stitching.

Nic (6 year old great grandson) has also had once a week sleep overs with us.  He is a lot of fun, but totally disrupts any sewing!  His mom and dad (Corey and Alyssa) will be taking an extended vacation in a week.  We probably won't see the three of them for months while they travel west to find a new homestead and then to Florida to see her parents (Corey has not met them yet) then back home to pick up items they have in storage.  Luckily they have a friend that will rent their home here.  Their baby is due in January.  That seems like tomorrow with all they have planned for the next few months!  It will be a very difficult time for us when they move.

Grateful:  Just every single thing.  And my Crows who are still visiting and bring their babies.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Some Days Are Diamonds

This is not the spiral I envisioned I wanted to make.  How do you draw a spiral that you can create in patches?  I admit, after some research it was still a mystery to me.  So I plodded along...with difficulty.  I will never divulge my pitiful process.

I can't make anything in these challenges, whether it was the Bead Journal Project, The Endevourers or any other group, that does not involve my deepest thoughts about the challenge and how it depicts me personally.

When the Spiral theme was selected, I was thinking of a spiral as being our path in life.  Each patch being a step, intentionally a little crooked and not uniform at all.  We learn as we go and as our knowledge expands, so does the spiral.  The stars in the background depict eternity and our life is just a moment in time.  There are little silver lined crystal beads sewn along the path.  I have a friend that absolutely loved John Denver.  Though I am not a fan, my friend repeated to me once a line from one of his songs that has always stuck with me.  "Some Days Are Diamonds".  So I have taken that phrase and over the years a good day is a Diamond.  The beads are only scattered close to the path, leaving room for future Diamond Days until we reach the end of our path.  I admit I ended this part of my path with a Cubs patch because I was born a Cub fan and will die a Cub fan...Die Hard they say were I was born in Chicago.

I have given some thought about how I could have achieved the piece my brain envisioned. Maybe I should have used a hoop when I added the diamonds, but in reality I should have used less tension on the thread.  Each bead is knotted after being sewn on.  I am so glad to be a member of this group.  I wonder what the NEXT challenge will be?  I'm pretty sure that I am going to explore another spiral piece, perhaps using hexies.

Have a Diamond Day!

Grateful:  Today, for an unexplained reason here, I am grateful my grandson and his family are safe.  Yesterday and today are not diamond days.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

When Mother Nature Gives You Rain--Sew

 Here is a sneak peek at the spiral piece that I am working on for The Endeavourers group.  You can see the spiral lurking on the edges.  The star fabric is the background.  If you can see them, I am hand stitching silver lined crystal beads among the stars.  If you want to know more, you'll have to come back on August 1, or visit the Endeavourers blog to read my Spiral Story.





I received the fabric I ordered for the purse I will make.  It is the top one in this picture.  It's "Black, White, and Bright" by Henry Glass. It picks up the black  and brights in the bottom fabric nicely. I just love these fabrics together.  I won't start the purse until I finish the Spiral, which I don't want to rush.  The pattern I selected was the Barbados bag by Pink Sands and Beach Designs.  I want to give the pattern my full undivided attention because I want to add to the pocket design inside and possibly outside and the size.








I leave you with a picture of my dog friends who are BFFs.  They make me miss my own best friends who have left this earth and I miss so so much.

Grateful:  Today I am grateful that I can watch these two interact with each other and that Harley is becoming such a good friend to Terry and I, just like Bosco is.   AND I am grateful for the friends I have made through my blog.

Tell me.  Did you ever "redesign" a pattern?  How did that work out?
xx, Carol

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Switching Things Up

Here is something weird that is going on  with a wind chime my grandson gave to me.  It is on the front deck and we have watched a wasp kind of bee go in and out a few times. It's close to one of the patio doors, so I sure don't want it and it's clan hanging around.  So, I went out to see just what that dang waspy bee was doing.  The tube was plugged, so I poked it through with a skewer and that thing on the top right picture is what the bee had been creating.  Anyway, it's gone now.  The bee has been back but is not re-building whatever that was.
Remember when I painted the living room walls when we bought new carpet.  Well, that was a few months ago and I never decided what decor I wanted to put on the one of the walls.  I dusted items that were on shelves in other rooms and gathered all my collection together and here is what I put on one wall.  I absolutely LOVE Bison.  If I HAD a Bucket List, I would definitely have seeing them in Yellowstone on the list.

I have always loved shades of aqua and turquoise.  When I saw a can of Seaside spray paint, I bought a couple of cans because I was absolutely positive that I would use it.  One of the things that I have wanted to do is to spiff up my laundry room which is really a room that leads to the garage and to the hall going to the back door.  There are closets along the hall.  The background of this picture is the louvered door to the hot water heater closet.  I plan to paint all the doors in the hall this color.  Then I saw the totes at Walmart in close to that color and bought two to replace the gray totes I keep dog food in.  And just because I couldn't resist, I bought a notebook binder in the school supply section. I have bedding this color and it looks really great in a room that has burgundy carpet.

I have been looking for other ways to refresh the look in the house.  I think I should "buy" this or that.  Then it just really struck me.  Why in the world would I even THINK about buying it when I should be thinking MAKE, or SEW.  Especially since I have some really great fabrics with this color.

I got the purse pattern that I ordered and selected fabric I want to use.  However, it takes three different fabrics.  I have two I love but could not fall in love with a third choice.  So I surfed my favorite on line fabric store...The Fabric Shack in Ohio...and OMGOSH am I really going to say I ordered fabric!?!!

Grateful:  Today I am especially grateful that I had a Mammogram and it was clear.

What about you...tell me what color attracts you the most right now.
xx, Carol

Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Spiral is a work in progress

I had an idea of what I wanted to stitch for this challenge.  I have difficulty in transferring what I envision to reality.  I'll finish this start with the thought that this group is a learning process for me.  Being engaged is part of the process.  I made a promise to myself to stretch my right side brain.  I admit that this project has piqued my interest in scrap quilting.  What a surprise!  I actually want to give matching seams of little pieces of fabric another try.  But not in a traditional quilt block sense...in a totally scrappy random sense.

But if I am truthful, I started off beautifully.  Truly dedicated.  Then we got the news that the cancer that Terry's sis who has been battling an aggressive cancer for the past three years is losing the battle.  Cancer has spread to her brain and liver and grown larger in her breast and lung.  More treatments and Gamma Radiation.  This is hard.  She continues to fight, but this is the first time she has said that she is scared.

I have always loved leather purses.  I am NOT that person that would go on Lets Make A Deal and find a random thing in my purse.  Travel light and carry the bare minimum necessary on a given day.  Adding the weight of my phone makes it feel HEAVY on my shoulder.  Then I picked up a cloth purse on the cheap at Walmart.  What A Difference.  So I ordered a pattern with pockets because I MUST be organized (its a Left Brain thing).  No more leather for me. I've made a lot of totes in past years so a genuine purse will be new to me.  I laugh at myself for thinking...Blackhawks, Cubs, Sugar Sculls, Valentine Hearts, Summer Beaches and so much more.  The only limits are in my stash.

And in a closing note, I'll tell you that the most handsome man I have seen in a long time is Harry Kane on the English Soccer Team.  Don't tell Terry.

Grateful: Today I am GRATEFUL that the weather person has PROMISED that tomorrow brings a break in the heat and humidity and I will be able to go outside and pull weeds.  I always have peace of mind when I am pulling weeds.

Have a great day.  What is catching YOUR attention lately.
xx, Carol


Saturday, June 23, 2018

A Little This - A Little That

This is what I see when I look out of my kitchen window.  The trumpet vine is filled with flowers that attract the Hummers all day long.  Unfortunately Black Ants love them too and they are finding their way into the house.  One of the many drawbacks of living on a crawl space foundation I guess.  I can see the pond from the bathroom window too, but when I look out, I mostly see the weeds that are taking over the back yard because we have had non stop record rains for the last two weeks.

I admit that I have avoided posting until Blogger had the comment issue corrected.  I knew they would fix it.  Though I am not a computer guru, I understand what they are up to and it's OK with me.  Keep it all in the Android platform and comply with all the rules the law has set up across the globe.  I have long favored Yahoo for my email, but admit that the enhancements to Gmail have me using it even more.  I have used Chrome for a long time and recently added an extension called Privacy Badger which has eliminated all those annoying adds that appear on the side bar when I am surfing the web.  You know the ones that haunt you because you happened to be shopping for something and the cookies keep the ads showing up even though you already made a purchase.

Since I like to respond to blog comments via a return e-mail, I am hoping the fix works for me.

***** Oh, I have one blog commenter who is anonymous.  Whoever you are, please reply to this post and include your email address.  Since I moderate comments, it won't appear on my blog.  You have previously asked me questions that I can't respond to and I rarely, if ever respond in the blog comments  IN the blog comments.*****

Here is a bit of news:  I am going to be a GREAT grandma.  I am already a great grandma, but now I am going to be an actual GREAT GRANDMA.  Corey's wife is about 2 months pregnant.  Too soon to know if it is a boy or girl.  I am keeping an eye on the CDC map of known ZIKA virus cases since they are planning to go to Miami to see her family in August.

When I get up in the morning I always grab a cup of coffee, let the dogs out and head to my room.  When they come back in, Harley always comes to my room to keep me company.  First he is chewing a bone.  The next time I look he is zonked out.  Then I look and Bosco is providing a pillow.  Pretty soon, they both get up and go back to bed with Terry.  It's our routine, lol.

Grateful:  Today, for my birds.  We have had two Blue Bird Broods and my Three Crows are now four.  Mom, Dad and Two Babies who have all come to visit.  I suspect my Third Crow has mated since I now have a second family visiting regularly.  Sorrowfully, I have only one frog so far as two have left the pond.

Tell me how YOUR June is going.
xx, Carol

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Most Current Info From Blogger on Comments

This is MY first post since blogger made recent changes to the Blogger Platform.  I have read a lot of posts of disgust that Blogger is yet again broken.  But my reply is they will work it out.  Here is a reply they made yesterday on the Blogger Help Forum:

Lucas - Community Specialist said:

Hi there,

Welcome to the Blogger Help Forum!

We're currently tweaking our emailing system, but we expect it to be working again within the next week. Thank you for your patience - we look forward to getting it out soon!

Appreciate your patience in this regards.

Regards,
Lucas

See, I told you help is on the way, LOL.

Grateful:  Today, I am grateful that Google still offers Blogger.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Weird Stuff Goes On Here

I'm not sure where to start this story.  Remember this picture of a Poppy I found growing in an unlikely place.  I'll tell you about it later.

Weird, unexplained things have always happened to me as far back as I can remember.  I'll only mention a couple of the things I have been thinking about recently that have happened since we moved in this house back in '76.  I make no claim to any explanation for them.  Our home was built in 1958 and only had one owner before us.

You know that we raised my oldest grandson.  When he was a baby he used to look up to the southeast corner of our living room.  As he got older, he would point there. When he was little he used to talk to and about the Blue Guy.  It never creeped us out and the Blue Guy was never his invisible friend...just a Blue Guy that lived in our house.  As time went on I had a dog...Dino..that used to stare at that same corner.  Now we have Harley and he stares at that corner and sometimes barks at it.

When my other grandson was little, he talked all the time about when he lived before.  He talked about things he did and what his job was.  We never discouraged him from talking about it.  We think he was talking about being a blacksmith.

When my daughter was in her late teens, I gave her my gas card to fill her car.  She told me she had put it on her dresser and could not find it when she wanted to give it back.  I always thought she probably misplaced it and cancelled the card.  About a year after she moved from our home, we found that card laying in the middle of the back hall.

I LOVE Chicory flowers.  Some call it a weed.  I call it a flower and have stopped along the road many times trying to bring some home to plant.  It never took.  All of my dogs are buried in our back yard in a certain area. (We have 3/4 acre of land).  The Summer after one of my closest dog friends Jack died Chicory grew on his grave.  I definitely didn't plant it there.

One of my blog friends recently posted a series of tutorials on creating a Stump Work Head based on a book by Fay Maxwell.  A few years ago I bought the book because I loved the heads that Queenie has posted on her blog.  While reading her recent posts I searched VERY THOROGHLY for that book.  I have a couple of magazine holders.  You know the kind that look like you could have made them from an empty cereal box.  I took every single magazine out of those holders hoping to find the book but no luck.  I stopped searching while I took a coffee break.  When I came back, there that danged book was...first one in line in one of the holders I just emptied.

When Alyssa moved into our home, she asked me several strange questions about the history of the house...did an older lady ever live here.  Did anyone ever die in our house.  Stuff like that.  Then she told me that several items in her living area have either disappeared or been moved to places she never put them.  She even made Corey burn Sage in every room, which made me mad because if I have a spirit living here, I do not want it disturbed.  There is room for all of us, lol.

Now that picture of the poppies?  Well, several times I have planted poppies and through no fault of mine they did not survive.  I have a small area of the pond area that I let just kind of overgrow with plants that supply food for birds, butterflies, bees and ground critters.  There that poppy is growing and I NEVER planted it there.

There are so many other things that happen that I would never mention here.  Things that go beyond the feeling that someone just passed through the room and no one is there;  Terry feeling someone poke him to get his attention;  hearing your name called and no one else is home.

You can spend a lot of time thinking and remember this stuff and have no answer for the happenstances.  But I'm telling you, if a spirit lives in my house, I sure wish it would find the quilt pattern I bought a long time ago that has crows appliqued on it.  If I buy it again, I bet the first one will show up, lol.

Today I am grateful for having an open mind.

What about you?  Do weird things happen around you?  What are you grateful for?
xx, Carol

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

A Mother's Day for Me and the Birds

Terry and I don't really buy gifts for each other for any occasion.  The kids get us little things and we have requested that they don't spend much on gifts they give us.  For Mother's Day I got items for the pond area including a copper cow bell wind chime.  For a while now I have been complaining that I can't find a tool when I need it.  Terry keeps his tools in the garage and believe me, to me it's a jumbled mess but HE can find what I want right away.  But sometimes he is napping or not feeling well so I avoid asking where to find what I want.  So, right before Mother's Day Menard's sent me an invitation (that's what I call sale ads) to come and buy this nifty small tool box, so inexpensive that it was almost free.  We put it in one of the extra bedrooms that were vacated when Corey moved out.  It is MINE and the only rule that I set on what can be put in it is that it has to be a tool that is used in the house.  Then, of course we needed a shelf next to it.  I have also asked for a peg board to be put on the wall behind it.  It's a perfect corner in a pretty large room (14 x 26) that used to be Corey's room to save a trip outside in the winter to find a tool.

I have mentioned here a few times how much I love Orioles.  In the past few years, they have been in our yard more and more.  They drink from my humming bird feeders.  I got the idea that I should put grape jelly out for them.  The orange slices I was putting out were not attracting them, but the ants loved them.  I didn't want to spend price most places wanted for a grape feeder when I got the idea for what I think is an excellent design using what I have at home.
This is the feeder I made using 1/2 of a suet feeder.  The hangers on the side are plastic wire ties held together with my favorite hooks...a shower hook.  The Orioles fly in and out all day long.  These two are young birds.  They are small and the male's glorious orange color has not come yet.  I was pretty surprised that two adult males often come to the feeder at the same time and actually fight on the deck.  I'm going to research Oriole bird habits because I didn't realize they were territorial.

On another note, you may remember be talking about my 3 Crows.  Lately, only one Crow has been visiting. I swear to you the other day he was sitting in the maple tree in the front yard staring into the house.  He actually kind of crouched down so he could see me through the branches.  I noticed there was no bread for him where I always put it.  He stayed there while I put bread out then he swooped down to get a piece.   After eating a bit of bread he flew off with bread in his beak.  I suspect he has a family in the stand of pines where I think they nest.  I'll be so excited if I have baby Crows coming to my yard. Little things thrill me, lol.

Grateful:  Today I am just happy and grateful that I am.

Later in the week I'll tell you something weird that has been going on around here.
xx, Carol

Monday, May 7, 2018

Just Stuff and Crazy Stuff

 My grandson (blue suit) and two of his friends went to the Kentucky Derby. He looked so cool.  I proudly altered the length of his suit pants.  Unfortunately he had a horribly rainy time.  The horse I gave him money to bet on did not win.  This picture is taken on the Ball State Campus where he met up with the friends he went with.
On April 20, we celebrated Terry's mom's 92nd birthday at the Blue Gate Restaurant in Shipshewana Indiana.  The restaurant was her choice.  Shipshewana Indiana is a little Amish town and a HUGE tourist attraction.  Frankly, I don't like the town much but Terry's family think it is perfection.  It's the first time I had been to this particular restaurant and I was not impressed.  I thought it was too highly priced and the food was mediocre.  We could have had a superb meal and stayed right in our own area.  But it was nice that all of Terry's brothers and sisters were there.

A couple of strange things happened in the animal world at my house.  We pick up the mail at my sister's house and put it in a box at her door where she gets it at her leisure.  Her house is kitty corner from mine.  When we were leaving her driveway, we looked over to our house and watched a hawk that I couldn't identify swoop into the maple in our front yard and fly off with a Robin's nest.  The Robin had been building it and I doubt if there were eggs in it.  The hawk flew to my sis's roof and seemed stunned to find no bird in his talons.  One of my three crows had watched it and followed the hawk to my sister's yard, then flew back to the maple.  When the Robin showed up, he flew off.  The Robin began building her nest again.  Unfortunately that evening we had a horrible rain storm that gave us 3" of rain in just a few hours and constant 30 MPH winds.  In the morning, the nest was gone. 

This morning we looked out the window and there was that same hawk on the ground at the end of the driveway eating bread that I put out for my crows.  I have never seen a hawk eat bread.  Today we got a closer look at him and I think he is a juvenile Cooper.  A car scared him off before I could get a picture.

There was a dead squirrel in the road a couple of houses away.  When we looked out we saw three scavenger hawks eating the road kill and a cat sitting on the side of the road in the neighbor's yard just watching them.  Cars didn't scare the birds away.  A couple of the cars actually stopped to take a picture of it.  Most people that travel our road are coming from the subdivision at the end of it.  They probably never saw scavengers up close.

I bought a new Hummingbird feeder that has an extra top that screws off where I can put grape jelly for the Orioles who are now VERY frequent visitors.

A few nights ago we had some really loud singing coming from the pond.  If you have read my blog for a while, you know that last year my blog friend Rose told me that what I THOUGHT were frog eggs we actually TOAD eggs.  When I researched toads I found that they attract snakes.  Since we have found a couple of snakes in or around the pond, I decided that this year we will not be a breeding pond for toads.  Early the next morning after the "singing" I went to the pond to check it out.  Sure enough there were A LOT of mating toads.  I got a net and started collecting them.  When I was done, about an hour later I had 32 toads!!  When Terry got up we carted them down to the river.  To the best of my knowledge I have one frog in the pond now, possibly two.  The toads have retreated to the grass where Harley likes to chase them.

Today I am going to be outside tackling the weeds and planting flowers that I bought from my grandson's church fundraiser.  I also have a really nice Poppy to plant.  Last year I planted 10, but they were trashed when the guys put the air conditioner in Nic's bedroom window.  I can't tell you how many times I have tried to get a Poppy patch started but one thing or another goes wrong through no fault of mine.

Grateful:  There are just too many things to list that I am grateful for today.  It seems to change by the hour.  Right this moment I am grateful that life is good and serene and we are happy.

What are you grateful for?  Have you observed any strange animal activity?  Are you starting a new project like I am but didn't mention it yet?  We all want to know!!

Have an awesome day.
xx, Carol

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Endeavourers Challenge -Change/Transformation

I gave a lot of thought to how I would depict the Change/ Transformation Challenge.  I researched, drew a draft of the piece, and selected fabric.  Then stalled.  I just could not start.

Another idea popped in my head.  I made notes in my journal for this group but that's where I stalled.

If you are one of my followers, you know that my family has issues.  I call them the Crazy Train.  I came up with the design for this piece after that last time the Crazy Train stopped at my house.

You may remember that my grandson and his family moved from our home to their own home.  Well, the events that lead up to that move were not so peaceable.  Corey is Bi-Polar and refuses to take medication.  His mood swings can be difficult to deal with.

This piece depicts my transformation after realizing that I will not have to deal with his crazies anymore.  It started with the Blah-Blah-Blah which exploded into flames.  The flames broke off in every direction.  I was left feeling relieved, relaxed, and free.  I let my spirits float to the heavens toward the Sun which is my personal Icon for "Everything Will Be OK".

The pieces on this block are hand appliqued using the Freezer Paper Method.  I need a lot more practice on the technique, but I pretty much like it.  If you hand applique using a different method, I would love to hear what YOU like.

Grateful:  Today I am grateful to be living alone in the house with Terry and our two dogs.  Corey took Tyson (who is his dog) and left Harley here because Harley and Bosco are BFFs.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Where Have I Been?

A few blog friends have asked me where I have been since I haven't posted in over a month.  Well, let me tell you a lot of things can happen in a month!!  A month ago I told you about a great sale at Lowes on carpet with free installation, they move furniture and they pay the sales tax.  I wanted to paint walls before the carpet came.  However, I injured my back which put me a week behind while I recovered.   Most of our walls are stained and varnished barn siding so one gallon of paint was way more than I needed.  I chose a really pale green.   I tested it in the bathroom first.  It was a hit so I moved on to the living room. Now I have new carpet and clean walls.  I had cleaned and dusted everything in the room from ceiling to floor.  Now I can't bring myself to hang anything on the walls, but of course I will.  See that Viking lamp in the picture?  My daughter bought it for Corey when he was little. (He's 23 now) and lost his love for the lamp a long time ago.  Terry and I love that lamp and it's been in our living room ever since Corey gave it up.  Our room is eclectic with a mix of American Indian and Big Cats...and that Viking Lamp.  I suspect it won't be long before I am watching furniture ads, but new blinds come first.  I guess I'll probably work over the whole house, but I'll take my time.  I have decided to sell a lot of the stuff we have been keeping for too long.  I have a 10 place setting of Fiesta Ware with a lot of serving pieces and their is a Pfaltzgraff set of Gourmet in the attic that can go too.  I don't want to leave a lot of stuff around to dispose of that the kids don't want.

I've carted off a lot of stuff from my craft to Goodwill.  I've sent some things and fabric to blog friends that I thought might like/use certain things I had.  I have a lot more to go, but need to find places that can use what I have.

Corey and his family have moved into a house they bought in South Bend.  I suspect they will continue to remodel it then either flip it or rent if they continue with their plan to  move west in the fall.  When they moved, they took Tyson with them.  He IS Corey's dog.  However, they left the Devil Dog otherwise known as Harley with us.  He and Bosco cannot be separated.

Now I start the task of getting back into the groove of stitching and plan to start a new quilt.

I leave you with a picture of the Devil Dog and a cute little story.

Sometimes Harley likes to jump up on the hamper in the bathroom to look out window to get a glimpse of a bird or squirrel.  While I was painting in the living room I heard him making a horribly vicious barking.  What in the heck did he SEE?  Well, it was another Harley that lives in the sliding mirror bathroom closet door.  He visits their often now when he is bored.
Today I am especially grateful for the entertainment our dogs provide.

How about you?  What crazy things do your pets do to entertain themselves?  Or, do you have Spring cleaning projects underway while not so patiently waiting for Spring to arrive?
xx, Carol





















Sunday, March 11, 2018

I Found New Energy

I admit it, I am not a Spendthrift.  The kids actually know me as being rather frugal.  I'm OK with that. I don't mind ordering from the $1 menu.  I comparison shop whenever possible, and use items to the end of their life.  But when I went on line and saw that Lowes was having a sale on Stainmaster Carpet with free installation, old carpet removal AND moving furniture in order to install PLUS they pay the tax I just had to look around on line to see what the brand had to offer.  That led to a trip to the store.  Of course I already knew that I would be buying new carpet for the living room because this sale was too good to pass up.  I would not admit to you how old the carpet in the living room is.  But you might guess it's age if I told you that we got it when my daughter was little.  I was going to replace it 5 years ago, but Corey brought 2 puppies home and the idea that it was a good time to get new carpet went right out the window. So new carpet wheels are in motion.  Which of course led to the purchase of paint. I could not pass up the opportunity to paint the walls and not have to worry if it drips on the carpet.  No, I'm not getting new furniture too.  It still has life and I'll keep it until it dies.  But, I DO look forward to switching up my wall decor.  I just hope I don't run out of steam before I tackle painting the dining room and kitchen and, and, and.

So how about you.  Are you getting the Spring Cleaning bug too?

Today I am grateful for my friend the Sun who has come to visit and lifted my spirits and made me smile.
xx, Carol

Thursday, March 1, 2018

They Called It A 500 Year Flood

The flooding in our area made the national news.  We received 6 inches of rain in two days.  That would translate to between 50 - 60 inches of snow if it had been  cold.  The rain melted the foot of snow that was already on the ground when the rain started.  The Elkhart/St. Joseph river began spilling over onto land as they reached flood stage level.  This first picture is of the small creek that wanders though the area and dumps into the St. Joseph River bay three blocks down the road where I live.  I live on the high side of the river.  My road drops about 15 feet just before the bay.
This is a picture taken from the bridge over the creek.  The creek would be on the right side of the picture.  This is the back yard of a home that is about 100 feet from the creek bed.  You can see a shed in the background showing the water level more than 1/2 way to the roof.  I have lived in this area since 1976.  I have only seen this house flooded one time back in the early 80s, but it was not this high.
This picture shows the back of the house.  The water was surrounding the house as far as I could see when we pulled forward a little.  The news interviewed the owner who has lived there before we moved to this area.  It showed what he had done since the last flood to keep the creek out if flooding should happen again.  But still he had about knee high in the lower level that is not a basement, but part of the living area.  The water has receded leaving an unbelievable amount of sand behind on this homeowner's land.  The head of Homeland Security toured our area and declared Elkhart a disaster area. 

I have been in a bit of depression.  Different than I can ever remember.  The kind that sends you to bed to sleep the day away.  Peaceful sleep that calms your mind but gives you crazy dreams.  Luckily it passed and I am back to normal with renewed ambition.

My grandson and his family have bought a house.  It's really temporary because they will be moving from the area at the end of the school year.  At that time, he will rent it to his best friend who's apartment lease will expire at just about that time.  On one hand I am so glad to have an empty nest again.  On the other hand I'll miss them and all of Nic's antics.  But if I had a scale, the pro side would definitely tip the scale.

Terry has suffered yet ANOTHER bought of the flu.  It's been a bad winter for us all health wise. 

Today I am grateful for Terry. His recent health issues have had me worried. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

They Are Cawing My Name

It's been a while since I talked birds around here.  For a very long time I have had three crows that have lived somewhere near me.  I think they live in a stand of Pines on the other side of the house to the west of ours.  I often hear them flying overhead cawing to each other.  But when there is a lot of snow on the ground, they perch in the trees across the street cawing like crazy.  I hear them and go outside to put out bread.  I call to them, Come And Get It, and go back into the house to watch.  One always stays in the trees to watch and call to them if there is danger.  Two strut around at the end of the drive way, making their way to where I have placed the bread on a tote lid so it doesn't fall deep into the snow.  The crows take turns getting bread, but one always stands guard in the trees.  I love these three birds.  I have no idea if they are the same three that have always come to visit and call to me, but I like to think that they are.  I have always said if I ever opened any kind of shop, I would name it Three Crows in honor of the birds that I admire so much.

Grateful:  And just to leave you with a smile on your face, here is a picture of two of my friends that have captured my heart.  They are BFFs and most always together and always touching while they sleep.  Here Bosco's butt is Harely's pillow.  I'm grateful that Corey brought Harley to our home.  He keeps me laughing with his antics.

Do you have a pet or wildlife animal that makes YOUR heart sing?  I love to hear your stories.
xx, Carol


















Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Nature- Endeavourers Reveal

You may remember my post about joining this group a few months ago.  We are given a subject to depict in a quilt of any size.

I joined to challenge myself in several ways, including focus, interpretation, trying a new technique and generally just to enjoy myself while doing it.  Our first prompt was NATURE.  I thought a lot about what I wanted the piece to be.  I started a project journal to help me organize my thoughts.  I totally threw out my first idea.  I took my first piece apart because I couldn't make the fabric say what was in my thoughts.

We had 2 rounds of the flu going through the house since November.  Today another one started.  We had a wedding here right after the first of the year.  I didn't procrastinate starting this piece, but I admit I didn't have as much time working on it that I wanted to.

I will never be a person that wants to create traditional quilts.  I do, however, want to pursue landscape quilts and this was my first attempt.  I wanted to try piecing it using fabric I had on hand, but honestly I didn't have what I would have wanted to use.  It is entirely hand stitched using the freezer paper piecing method.  I think my work will always include hand stitching and embellishing.  I'll get better at that and don't want pieces to look like a crazy quilt.  I'm really not done stitching on this block, but it's done enough that I could post about it today.

I know the mistakes I made and will definitely research before I attempt the next challenge.  AND, I will definitely start the project as soon as I get the prompt...and finish early.

Grateful:  Today I am grateful for Janine and Catherine who have established the group.  It's a great group to be in.

Click on the badge in my side bar to be taken to the group blog and see what everyone else is doing.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

This Is NOT Funny

I resisted getting a Debit Card but finally caved.  Then I started reading a lot of reports that you should use a credit card instead of a debit card because you are better protected if your card is hacked.  So I began using the card then paying the balance when the bill comes.  I really like that because I can actually keep better track of how we are spending AND I like the cash back credits we get.

I usually only read emails once a day in the morning.  But I was waiting for some information so I checked it about noon on Friday.  An email from Chase caught my eye asking to confirm a purchase to IHOP.  Crap...there's another one.  This one is Nordstrom's.com for $131.00.  What the heck..Nordstrom's for $131.  What can you buy at Nordstrom's for $131?  A pair of socks maybe?  After clicking to say they were not my purchases, I hurried over to Chase.com to check my account.  There was an entry for $453 and then a credit for the same amount to another .com.  Then one for over $1000 and again a credit for the same amount.  There were also several other charges that took my card right up to the balance.  I had just checked my statement and planned to pay the balance but got interrupted.  Good thing or the crooks would have gotten away with more.

So I called the Chase fraud department to close the account and get a bit of information.  I confirmed which charges were mine and which were not.  I asked how the hackers could use my card when I had it right in front of me.  Here is some of the information I got and I thought I would pass it on to anyone that is interested.

Hackers get your card info if you swipe it in one of those fake readers you hear about being placed on gas pumps. (I always pay inside).

Hackers get your info if they have hacked a business where you have used your card.

Hackers can hack the company that issued your card.

After a Hacker gets your information they will try several transactions at .com companies such as Walmart and Amazon and then cancel the transactions in order to find out how high your limit is.

The IHOP charge was made on line, then possibly the order was picked up.  It was made in Lavonia MI, at least a day drive from me.  All other charges were to .com sites.

I am not sure if I will be asked for more information to prove the charges are not mine.  But my card account has been closed and another card is being issued.  Since my card has a chip, Chase is sending an envelope for me to return the card to them.

From now on I'm going to check my email more often.  I'm going to continue to use my credit card rather than my Debit Card.  I'm pretty sure if all this had happened on my checking account it would have been more difficult to get my money back.

Monday, January 22, 2018

We Had Excitement, and Now We Don't

We had a wedding here on January 13, 2018.  It was a theme wedding, entirely planned by my grandson and his wife.  They are Vikings, wed outside with snow gently falling and temperatures not too cold.

It was actually a pretty perfect event with only her father and sister, his mother, brother and grandparents (that's us) and three of their very close friends.  The bride had cooked the food (I helped a little) but the Instant Pot was the star.

They live with us until his work contract is up in August, then they will move to the other side of the country.

The gift from the groom to the bride was a black Hummer3.

We raised Corey and he has always felt more like a son than a grandson.  Now we have a new daughter-in-law and grandson.

Today and everyday I am grateful that Corey has found someone to appreciate him and love him as much as he loves her...and their son.
xx, Carol

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

What Word? What Goals? What Resolutions?

Should I select a "word" this year?  Maybe a Phrase.  Maybe I should take it a step further and select a verb to eliminate from my vocabulary.  I decided I'm not going to select a word this year.  Who remembers the word YOU selected LAST year?  I don't.  I should have put it on my bulletin board.

This "word" thing got me to thinking about the concept of selecting a word to help you focus on the direction you want the new year to take. That made me realize that in every single year, the main thing I want is to enjoy what I do.

Then there are New Year Resolutions?  I NEVER make them.  The only one I have ever made and kept was to remember to write checks into my check register.  Technology has changed that.  Now I used a Card for just about every purchase and save receipts to compare to my balance on line.

And what about goals?  This is a hard task for me because basically I fly by the seat of my pants.

Word:  So if I did select a "word", it would be JOY.  Not to just enjoy what I do, but to find joy in everything, every day.  I will say NO to procrastination.

Resolution:  Eat less.  Eat more healthy food.  Say NO to nibbling and snacks, except for grapes.  I love Black Seedless Grapes.  To be willing to change things up in the garden landscaping.

Goals:  To participate in projects that I have committed to.  To always have more than one stitching project in process.  To get an early start on the pond landscaping.

Grateful:  That I am able to stay inside.  Yesterday our low temp was -15 with a wind chill of -33.  But I DID fill my bird feeders.

Tell me if you selected a Word, Set Goals or made Resolutions.  What are you grateful for today?

Happy New Year
xx, Carol

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Having Trouble Commenting Here? Please read

Today my friend Susan posted about a fix for some of you that have not been able to post comments here, or have had difficulty.  Please visit her page for an explanation and possible fix if you have the issue with your own blog.  I fixed mine, as I was unaware that the setting had somehow changed in a Blogger update.

Happy New Year.

today I am grateful for Susan's post.

xx, Carol