Monday, July 15, 2019

The Devil Dog - Killer formerly known as Harley

You've seen him before if you are frequent visitor.  You may remember how we got him.  How he claimed Terry for his person.  How he torments the squirrels.  Now I'll tell you that we HAD four baby squirrels in the big tree in the back yard.  Yesterday the third one went to Critter Heaven.  Terry says it is what his breed was bread to do...hunt rodents.  We find dead stuff all the time in the back yard.  Squirrels, birds, mice.  I live with that.  It's nature.

BUT

I moved my sewing machine to the dining room table so Terry will feel like he has company as it is widely open  to the living room where he sits.  HOWEVER, it means that I can't leave ANYTHING on the dining room table when we go away as the dogs have free access to the kitchen and dining room. Both of my Min Pin have power jumping abilities.  But Harley is the one that must do something to get even with us for leaving him alone.  His target will be anything we might leave on the dining room table. 

I few weeks ago, we only went out to take my sister's mail to her. (she lives across the street).  But then I asked Terry to drive past a friend's house who lives one block over.  She sold her home and moved in with her daughter and the new owners were doing extensive renovation to the entire house.  That lead to stopping to talk to my SIL who what sitting on her front porch. (all Terry's family live in this neighborhood).  We were gone about 20 minutes.

When we came home I immediately knew that Harley was a bad dog.  The other two greeted us at the door.  Turning the corner to enter the dining room I saw red.  No, not blood.  My current Endeaverour's project was in shreds.  Luckily the patterns I had made were not on the table.

So, with one month to go to the reveal I get a do over on a project I REALLY enjoyed.  But I am up for the challenge.  Dang Dog!!

Grateful:  Today I am grateful that I have three pooches that keep me on my toes and love me to death.

Do you have a furry friend that tries your patience?
xx, Carol

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Life is NEVER a Walk In The Park

The upcoming reveal for the Endeavourers group is coming up.  The theme is "A Walk In The Park".  The phrase depicts whatever you are talking about is EASY.  Well, not feeling sorry for myself at all, I would dearly enjoy at least a year of Walk In The Park.

As far as the piece I am working on I needed feet so here is just a peek at what is coming soon.

Terry and my life has been having too many bumps in the road, mainly regarding his health.  We have been struggling to keep his BP in line.  All the past few years we worried about HBP but for the last almost year, it's been an issue to keep it UP.  He takes a lot of medications so it's been a struggle to get it all right.  Here is a warning for you. He has had RA since 1976 and over the years has taken Ibuprofen and Nsaids to control pain and inflammation.  Well, they injured his  kidneys.  He is in stage 3 of the disease and we have been unable to control elevations that all have a part in his disease progressing.  There is no repair.  There are so many ways all of his illnesses affect his body.  Managing all his meds and doctors is just about a full time job.

Mostly if I were to rant, it would be against those that ask how Terry is doing.  We say "Oh pretty good" because we don't want to go into it.  Then THEY say "Do You Think He Could" then comes whatever they want him to do.  NO NO NO! It just ticks me off.

Okay, on the lighter side.  We have a family of ducks living under the bushes in our front yard.  I bet the parents are the ones I kept chasing out of the pond in the spring. I think they all waddled off to the river, but I never saw them go.  I could never get a picture.

Then there was a kind of black bird at the pond.  He kept diving into the deep end then quickly back out.  He was wet so I couldn't really see what bird it was it happened so quickly. (There IS a birdbath in the pond area too).  Anyway, I kept seeing it happen and then I saw it was a Cat Bird.  The Cat Birds always have a nest in our Honeysuckle bush that is next to the house and I consider it to be the pond area.  Anyway, it's fun to watch them.  Robins go to the pond a lot and always sit on a ledge inside the pond near the side to take their baths.  We have an awful lot of critters to watch around here.

Northern Indiana is HOT and HUMID.  Temps are in the 80s and we have 90s forecast for next week.

Grateful: Today  I am especially grateful for Terry's great doctors.

Tell me something fun in your comments.  I'm keeping my chin up and finding things to laugh about.
xx, Carol

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Saturday, June 29, 2019

All The Days

Every single day, at the end of the day, I wonder where the day went.

Like just about everyone, our weather has become something we are not accustomed to no matter what time of the year it is.  Here in Northern Indiana we have gone from a too cool much rainy spring, to 5 days rain then two sunny hot humid days and then it starts over again.

This is the view from my kitchen window.  It has taken a lot of work to get this area in viewing shape.  The weeds were a jungle, but I toughed it out pulling weeds, transplanting plants from the front garden and laying mulch.  We are eliminating the large garden in the front of the house.

The weather has wreaked havoc with the pond.  We are raging war on what our pond guy says is blanket algae on the bottom.  There are a couple of things that may have caused the condition and it is an understatement to say I am slapping my forehead for adding some fern kind of plants a few years ago.  BUT the pond lily are thriving and continuously bloom. 

We had a turtle visit for about two days.  He left during one of those 5 days of rain.  My frogs still live out there and I thank them every single day for their nightly serenade.  We have a snake (just one I hope)  that I caught one day and unfortunately dropped it.  Terry saw it again but he is elusive.  I tell that snake to just stay out of my sight and he might be ok.  I am of the belief that the only good snake in my yard is a dead one.  But then  I wonder about this:  My SIL that left this world a few months ago had a snake visitor in her yard.  We spoke with her about it often.  Now I am wondering if that snake appearing here is because she is thinking of us because when we see it we sure think of her.

Oh, one morning I looked out the window and saw a baby duck swimming from the middle of the pond back to shore.  He climbed out and hit in the plants.  I went out to check it out...why didn't I grab my phone.  Well there he was, very small and wet.  Not a Mallard baby, or a Canadian Goose baby.  What the heck.  Then I watched him from the window jump back in the pond, swim to the other end, climb out to the deck and go off the other end into the plants.  We never say him again, though I look all the time.  My Indiana bird book says he might have been a Wood Duck which would make sense because we saw an adult Wood Duck in there about a month ago.  A mystery that we will never know the answer to.

There has not been much sewing here and I haven't been on the internet either.  Terry has a lot going on with his health.  We have been battling to keep his BP where it should be. Too many other issues to talk about.  Terry, the yard, then sewing I guess.  And I caught the crud.  Geez, summer allergies did me in, lol.

Grateful:  Today and everyday I am grateful for technology.  My grandson who lives in California video calls for messages everyday.  We get tons of pictures of all of them.  So much better than "the old days" when you took a picture on film, had it developed, then sent the pictures in the mail to who ever you wanted to share them with.

Wishing everyone a happy and SAFE 4th of July.
xx, Carol

Monday, June 3, 2019

I Have My Limits

We have lived in our house for 30+ years.  Our land is 3/4 of an acre.  We have always had a Wheelhorse garden tractor.  Actually we have a few...more than one...a collection really.  I don't get it, but Terry DOES.  Anyway I have used all of them at one time or another.  Until Terry bought a riding mower like THIS one.  No steering wheel.  You pull one lever to go left or right, pull both forward or backward to go Forward or Backward!  Easy, huh?  Well it messes with my mind.  Well, Terry takes care of our yard and my sister's.  Last week when he mowed, he told me I'm going to have to start cutting the grass because he felt horrible when he got done. It jostled him around too much. I accept the challenge.  However, it has rained almost everyday since the last cut.  At this rate, I'll never have to use the green machine since there are 7 more days of rain in the forecast.

My mind works differently than anyone else I know.  Like my issue with road maps.  I know North, South, East and West using a map.  But I want the top of the map to be the direction that we are traveling.  You know, just like your GPS map.  I LOVE GPS, except when it takes us WAY out of our way...then I get out the trusty map and guide Terry to a better route, lol. AND I have poor depth perception.

I have a blog friend that posted about stitching with her grand daughter.  Lots of my blog friends stitch with their kids and grands.  I love that because it ensures that the craft will live on. That got me to thinking about how I learned to sew. I'm 67 so you can figure how long it has been since I was in school.  Personally, school came easy for me and I think our educational system back then in some ways was far superior to what most kids in this area have today.  I knew I would not go to college due to finances and family situation.  Clerical classes were offered in high school and I too all that were offered.  I also had an elective each year and chose to learn to sew.  In our technical age, kids have so much more to learn, so classes offered today are far different that back in the 60s.  However, like a lot of states Indiana offers a voucher system in which they divert public school funds to charter schools, but don't monitor the schools that receive the funds.  It is one of my pet peeves about living here.

I have to laugh when I think back about when my daughter was young.  She didn't want anything to do with sewing, probably because I used to drag her to the fabric store.  She DID love the clothes I made her.  She always told me she would never sew.  However, when here kids were small she asked for one of my machines so she could make the kid's Halloween costumes.  Let me tell you, what she created was amazing and without a pattern or any sewing education at all.  Once when she was laid off from her job during a recession, she paid her bills by selling re-fashioned clothes on Ebay.  She had an eye for creating Goth clothes and sold everything she created.  It was a fad at that time.

Grateful:  I am especially grateful to know how to sew and embroider.


Wednesday, May 8, 2019

There is Sun in California

There is sun in California.  How do I know?  My grandson lives in LA now and we video chat almost everyday while he is sitting in the sun on his balcony.  However, here in Northern Indiana our weather pattern has developed into 3 cool partly sunny days followed by 4 rainy days.  If you have read my blog, you know that we take a lot of pride in our pond area.  In most years, by now, my gardens would be weeded and ready to plant annual flowers when the time is right.  Sadly, this is a look at my pond from the kitchen window.  I woke up yet again to rain.

But nature carries on.  Birds are building nests and the frogs and toads are singing day and night.  We always have a Robin build a nest in a spot that is in an awkward place. We have a Cardinal nesting in our carport.  The catbird has a nest in our Honey Suckle.  There is always activity at our feeders, though a nightly visit from a cute Raccoon has made it a necessity to bring our suet in at night and refill the grape jelly each morning.  The elusive Cedar Wax wings come to the pond and is the only place I see them. Of course our beloved Blue Birds have again made one of the houses their home.  And my Crows come every day, though I think one of their offspring have separated and formed their own family.  I now have two crows and four crows coming daily.  The two are my originals because they look for me through my window when the squirrels have eaten their bread.

So, I patiently wait for the three sunny days, I revel in Nature bringing me the entertainment I  enjoy so much.  And stitch.

Grateful:  Today I am grateful that Nature has provided me a focus and the gloomy days have not brought depression.

How is the weather where YOU are.  Do YOU enjoy the entertainment that Mother Nature provides.

I DO admit that I'd rather live in a beach house.

xx, Carol

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Endeavourer's Challenge Reveal

RAIN DROPS KEEP FALLING ON MY HEAD is the theme for the May 1st reveal.

Before I started this piece, I re-read the mission statement for the group.  We aspire to share enthusiasm and inspiration, challenge ourselves, develop our own style and encourage each other.

Looking back on the pieces I have done for this group, this IS my style. I do challenge myself to try something I have never done in each piece. In this piece it's the Leaf Umbrella.  I wanted it to be 3D.  It stands away from the fabric. I found the leaves on fabric in my stash.  I cut them out and sandwiched them with batting and hand stitched the spines.  There is wire along the edges of the leaves to enable them to stand away from the fabric.

I'm not happy with the stitching on the piece.  I should have stitched them in a hoop before I added the fabric to the piece.  There are other things I might have done a bit differently, but I'm not going to pick the piece apart with criticism. I'm an optimistic person and I just couldn't think about depicting a piece about rain falling on me which usually denotes pessimism.  My interpretation comes from deep in my thoughts and from my heart. The rain is falling all around this frog with the drops plunking in the water all around him and he is happily enjoying his day.  But the frogs in my pond in the back yard HIDE when it rains. Go figure.

I have a history with frogs that started back in the 9th grade when my Biology teacher gave us the assignment to bring a frog to class to be dissected.  Since I always got As or Bs, his threat of a failing grade if I didn't show up with a frog sent me to a local creek to get one. Off I went to the creek that I crossed every day on my way to school.  I had seen frogs there and sure enough, sitting on a rock at the edge of the bank was a big old frog.  He didn't hop away when I arrived.  Brave frog that KNEW I wasn't going to net him, lol. I talked to him for a while, probably saying silly things that a 14 year old girl might say.  When I bid him goodbye, I wished him a long and healthy life. I remember that.   I didn't catch a frog, or buy the frog one of my classmates offered.  Right now I can see that teacher in my mind, but cannot for the life of me remember his name, as I told him that I would NOT be dissecting a frog.  I could not bring myself to kill an animal or any reptile.  He saw my resolution and offered the alternative of dissecting a CLAM.  If you have never seen the inside of a clam, if they have organs they all look alike. Why is that a memory that my mind chooses to remember?

That started my love for frogs.  I have quite a collection of frog figurines and will use this piece in a display I will put on my wall.

If you have been a long time reader here, you know that I often talk about the frogs in my pond and that they are one of my Spirit Animals.    They never jump in when I approach.  I'm pretty sure they like to hear me tell them how happy I am that they found a home in my pond and how pretty they are.

Grateful:   Today I am grateful for being a member of the Endeavourer Group.  It is a great group of fabric artists that are far more talented than I am, but accept and encourage me.





















Sunday, April 21, 2019

Ed and Bonnie - Good Neighbors



Today my friend Rose who blogs as Pics & Pieces posted a piece about her helpful neighbor.  It got me thinking about some of our best neighbors.  I think the one at the top of our list would be Ed. 

We moved in our home in 1976.  Ed quickly came across the street to introduce himself and bring us a whirly-gig he had made from yarn and dowel rods.  We cherished it until the weather just killed it from old age. We were in our early 20s while Ed had just retired from the local newspaper.  Shortly after we moved in, Terry was laid off . One morning shortly before Easter we woke up to find a ham on the hood of our car.

Ed became like a grandfather to us.  He would come over and ask Terry for help or to fix this or that.  Ed would bring us a gift of some crafty item he had made or some tool he told Terry he knew he would never use again but Terry would, like post hole diggers..  We had his wooden butterflies on our fence for many years until they also died a weathered death. Ed's wife Bonnie would bring us her specially decorated Santa cookies at Christmas.  Laurie would be sure to take them a piece of birthday cake when we celebrated birthdays including her dog's birthday.  They loved that.

We kind of resented Ed and Bonnie's son.  He was Terry's age and we hardly ever saw him come to see or help his dad.

When Ed died, he left a little monetary gift to us. We felt honored that he loved us that much, as we loved him.  He left the house to his son and his pride and joy his Model T Ford that Ed always drove in the local parade and their Air Stream travel trailer.  Soon the son and his wife moved in the house.  Sold the Model T Ford and the Air Stream RV.  He also came over and asked Terry to give him back the post hole diggers. On principle, Terry refused.

We miss seeing Ed and Bonnie across the street and our visits to pass a bit of time.  Needless to say we don't interact much with his son except for a friendly wave.  We DID take their trash can back up to their house when the son was in the hospital because that's what neighbors do.

I think we are good neighbors that are willing to help.  That is the Spirit of America, don't you think?

Grateful:  Today I am grateful that Terry and I have remained the good neighbors that we were taught to be.

Do you have a neighbor that is special to you?  I hope so.

Happy Easter