Saturday, May 13, 2017

And Then There Were None

Three nests.  Nine eggs.  Two babies. 
 
 
One raccoon. 
 
No birds!
 
  😢   
 
A couple of weeks ago, I found the nest of a pair of Mourning Doves in one of the bushes I was about to chop down.  It was wrecked and the two white eggs smashed on the ground. 

Last Saturday night or Sunday morning a raccoon found the Robin's nest in the Blue Spruce and had himself a meal.  We discovered that the eggs were missing later in the day when we noticed that the mama bird was nowhere to be found. 
 
Since two of the Cardinal eggs had hatched in Alberta Spruce, we were particularly worried.  Himself went out after dark, looking for the offending creature.  He happened upon it and scared it away.  Tuesday evening I borrowed the rodent trap from my dad, hoping to catch the beast.
 
For a couple of days it stayed away.  We hoped we were in the clear.  The baby birds' eyes opened, they were getting feathers and were very vocal when it came to feeding time. 
 
Then on Friday morning, first thing after I got up, I went to check the nest.
 
And found it on the ground.  Empty.
 
If anyone ever tries to tell you that raccoons have some, any, even one, redeeming qualities, don't believe them.  It's a lie.
 
 
AMDG

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

WIP (#6) - Bushes and Birds

WIPs lately have moved from inside to out.  Over the last couple of years I have been redoing the landscaping in the front of the house.  Shrubs that were supposed to be slow growing and small (2-3 feet) grew well past six and seven feet.

I started cutting down and digging out the last of the Gold Thread Cypress and Yews.  I still have a few more to do, but a mama Robin and a mama Cardinal also have their own WIPs in two of the bushes!  Thankfully Himself found the well hidden Robin's nest before I chopped that bush, ironically called a Bird's Nest Blue Spruce.

Robin's nest

Mama Cardinal 
AMDG

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Photo Blogging Challenge (April 2017) - Color


When I saw this month's theme, Color, I loved it immediately.  I knew right away what I wanted to shoot, all the spring flowers and plants.  But, when we got blasted earlier in the month, I wondered if there was going to be anything left.  Not to worry.  We had a lot of damage to trees and shrubs from the storm, but the plants made it through unscathed.

We have Narcissus in a couple of gardens.  These, in the grass garden, are still doing well.

The Redbud tree on the front lawn is the best it has ever been.  I think it has got to be my favorite of all the spring flowering trees.

These tulips survived the deer, who thought a couple other plants in this garden made a tasty meal. They were drooping in yesterday's long rain.

One of my WIPs this spring is re-landscaping the front of the house.  Our new Japanese Lace Leaf Maple was delivered on Friday.  Now it just needs to dry up so I can plant it.

Just after we moved into our house thirteen years ago, Mom gave Himself  a small clump of flowers from her garden that he liked, Myosotis.  What started out as a small plant only about two inches in diameter, has now spread all over the yard.  The garden where it was first planted glows in blue this time of year.  The common name of this plant, Forget-Me-Nots, is appropriate today.  This would have been Mom's 76th birthday.  

To see more, visit A 'lil Hoohaa

AMDG

Friday, April 7, 2017

April Fools?

This would be pretty, if it wasn't in April.  Is it some kind of joke??

AMDG

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

WIP (#5) - Getting Organized

One of my projects this winter was to organize, and cull where appropriate, all my sewing supplies.  Everything is the basement and I would head down there for an hour or two at a time.   Lots of patterns, material, and magazines are headed to our garage sale this spring.  The rest was sorted, boxed, and labeled.  Well, everything except for the thread.  That was a big mess.
 
I needed a way to get at least some organization to it all.  We had a bunch of containers that the Hairy Beast's treats came in.  I cleaned them out, removed the labels, and covered them with some appropriate fabric - spools of thread.
 
Six tubs containing thread sorted by color now sit on the new-to-me heavy duty wire shelves I snagged from work.   We're closing down part of the office and the shelves were either going to be thrown out or given away.  So who better to give them to than me? 
 
 
To have a little fun I made  one of the cloth baskets from Faith and Fabric to hold the soon to be sorted jars of buttons.  And, yes, those are buttons on that lining material. 
 

I've been doing the Happy Dance now that this project is almost done.  Am I the only one that finds neat and organized to be calm and peaceful? 
 
AMDG

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

For Granted or Gratitude?

Just after I got to work yesterday, I went into our break room to make a cup of tea.  When I came back to my office I found that an envelope and silk rose had been left on my desk. 
 
The envelope contained a thank you card signed by my coworker, Linda, and her daughter, Olivia.  The only note inside, written in marker, again said thank you.  For what, I wondered. 

When I asked Linda about it, she said it was "just because" and "for being you."  I've promised to teach Olivia how to sew and she was excited to share with me the flower she made out of fabric. 

“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take
things for granted or take them with gratitude.”
—G. K. Chesterton

Sometimes the best lessons we get in life are taught by ten year olds and long dead writers.  Don't take things, especially people, for granted.  Be thankful.  Let them know.  Pass it on.

I am really looking forward to those sewing lessons! 
  

AMDG

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

WIP (#4) - It's Coming Together

I was able to get the squares put together.  I just love how it looks.  I have a few other projects that are time sensitive, so this is going to get put away for a little while. 

AMDG

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

WIP (#3) - How Many Quilts?

Three.  I have three quilts in process at the moment.  That's not too many, is it? 
 
One is set to go to the shop to be quilted.  That's the one I can't show you yet. 
 
One has been pushed aside so that I can work on the other two.
 
Then, there's this one.  Boy is the Irish Chain quilt a fun pattern!  Really.  It looks complicated but it's not.  In two evenings I had almost all of the block B's done.
 
Block B - sewn strips

Block B - strips cut
 
Block B
 
preview
 Someday I may actually write about something other than quilting.  We'll see.
 
 
AMDG

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

WIP (#2) Irish and then some

I've been busy sewing this past week, busier than the picture below would have you think.  I finished all of block A for the Triple Irish Chain quilt, eight in total.  Once I had a system going, it came together rather quickly. 
 
 
Block B will have to wait a while.  I'm working on couple other, time sensitive, projects.  But I can't show them to you.  Not yet anyways.
 
 
AMDG

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

WIP (#1) Irish Triple Chain

On Wednesdays I am going to try to do a WIP - Work in Progress - post.  I have a lot of sewing projects in process and it's really been what's keeping me busy lately.  If anyone else is interested in showing what they are working on, we could turn this into a link-up.  It doesn't have to be sewing.  It could be needlework, gardening, knitting or crocheting.  Whatever keeps you busy.  Let me know.

A Facebook group of which I am a member, Catholic in Stitches, is doing it's own take on the Block of the Month club.  Instead of twelve different blocks, we are all working on Irish Chain quilts.  I decided to join in a little late after I remembered some material I had in my stash.

A couple of years before we lost my mom, she bought all the material and thread to make this quilt.  I love the fabric and color.  Well, almost all of it.  I don't like and won't use the ribbons.  Sorry.  Just can't do it.

I think most of the FB group is doing a Single Irish Chain, but I decided to do a Triple, given the fabric I am using.  I bought a white-on-white fabric to replace the ribbons and got busy this past weekend.

After looking at a number of websites for directions and guidance, I decided to use these directions. Whoever put the webpage together did a great job.  It's not too wordy and has charts and graphs - perfect for my IT, techy brain!

The sewing is pretty simple, lots of strip piecing and chain stitching.  But, with the design and number of fabrics, it's taking some effort and concentration to make sure all the fabric pieces are in the correct order.  Sticky notes to the rescue!  
WOF (width of fabric) cut into 2.5" wide strips, A is sewn, B-D are staged

2.5" wide strips cut from the sewn lengths above
Block number one done.  Only seven more to go of this style.

AMDG