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 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.


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.