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

Monday, February 27, 2017

Prayer Buddy Reminder

There's still time to sign up for Lenten Prayer Buddies.  See the previous post for details.  Match-ups will be sent out late tomorrow evening.


AMDG

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Prayer Buddies and Lent Ideas

Yikes!  Where did this month go?  I just looked at the calendar and realized Lent starts in less than 10 days.  Ten days, people!!
 
I haven't given much thought, yet, to what I want to do.  The food thing seems to be out since I'm already doing most of what I would have done for general health reasons - no sugar, no alcohol, limited gluten.  I'm open to suggestions.
 
- Maybe give up some TV?  Notice I said some TV.  All would be just talkin' crazy.
 
- Read something other than fiction?  I've had Everything is Grace, Mother Angelica Her Grand Silence, City of Saints, and Into Your Hands, among others, sitting on my bookshelf, unread, for quite a while now.
 
 
Two things I am definitely doing for this Lent are:
 
- Bishop Barron's Lenten Daily Reflections.  You can sign up here.
 
- Prayer Buddies.  Details are below.
 
 
During Lent, you can say prayers, novenas, and rosaries, light candles, and offer up suffering for your secret Prayer Buddy and whatever intentions he or she specifies.  On Easter, or shortly thereafter, you will let your assigned person who you are and how you remembered them.

Those interested in participating, please email me at:
I will need from you is:
Your first name or first initial
Your blog address (or email address if you are not a blogger)
Your intentions
Optional:
Your full name
Your address
(Address can be provided if your Prayer Buddy plans to send you a small remembrance at Easter)
DEADLINE FOR SIGN-UPS IS: Monday, February 27th.

AMDG

Monday, February 6, 2017

UFOs

When my mom died a little over eight years ago, I inherited all her sewing and craft supplies.  It took my dad a number of trips in his minivan to bring everything over.  There were three sewing machines - an embroidery, a serger, and a "regular" one, a sewing desk, a cutting table, and loads of material, notions, crafts and supplies. 
 
When I first got it all, I went through the material and got it sorted out and stored in tubs.  It was interesting to see when the fabric was purchased by the evolution of Joann Fabrics bags.  But, most of the stuff remained as it arrived, packed in a variety of boxes and bags.
 
When Himself's aunt started adding to my stash, I decided that it was time to get things better organized.  As I started opening some of the bags and boxes, I found projects mom had started but never finished.  There were several counted cross stitch pictures, a crewel embroidery one, a bedspread for what had been her newly redecorated bedroom, and a couple of clothing items. 
 
As I handled the items, it took my breath away.  Mom started these new projects thinking she would have more time.  She was optimistic.  The cancer wouldn't win.  But it did.
 
I got to thinking about what my unfinished objects, UFOs, are.  I have a cross stitch sampler from our wedding eighteen years ago that is half finished.  There are a few more cross stitch pictures in process, a couple of dress patterns with material waiting to be sewn, a quilted wall-hanging in pieces, a quilt started for our guest room, and yarn purchased for a crochet scarf.
 
But, those are things.  What about the phone calls left unmade?  Or the dinner plans postponed?  And the emails and letters left unwritten?  Maybe Mom had craft projects uncompleted because she spent her time with and for people, talking and listening to them. 
 
I think I'm going to work on a few of my UFOs this week.  Care to join me?
 
 
AMDG

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Time, Words, and Getting SMART

The last two weeks of December at work were really slow and quiet.  Maybe a quarter of my coworkers were in the office.  The rest were out celebrating the holidays and leaving whatever  needed to be done, which wasn't much, to the rest of us.  Let's put it this way - it was so quiet that the Hairy Beast came to work with me, twice.  The second time he even had a friend to play with!
 
Now it's the end of January!  How did that happen???
 
Once everyone was back in the office after the holidays, things got crazy busy.  I have a lot of projects going on, my manager was out of the office unexpectedly due to the death of his mother, and I moved offices. 
 
We've been fairly busy at home as well.  Christmas decorations were taken down and put away.  We move out all the living room furniture and shampooed the carpet.  Last Saturday we took advantage of the unseasonably warm sixty degree weather and drove down to Amish county to stock up on a few necessities.  It's been a blur of a month. 

Earlier in the month, many people were coming up with what their "word" for the year was going to be.  I wanted to come up with one that was positive and glorious and profound.  Hope and Change sounded good, but I think they've been a bit overused, no?  If I really thought about what I wanted for this year, one word stuck out - Reduce
 
I didn't make New Year's resolutions.  Those always seems to go by the wayside rather quickly.  Instead, I wrote down my goals for the year.  I tried to be "SMART" about them - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound.
 
When I looked at my goals for the year - lose weight, eliminate sugar from my diet, clean out the basement and garage and sell or give away what we don't need/use, spend less, shrink debt, exercise more, watch less TV, read more - many seemed to have one thing in common: the need to Reduce something. 
 
It's not a glamorous, sexy word.  It's not profound like I had hoped.  But, it is accurate and something that has been weighing on my mind.  And, it has the potential of having an impact on my life.  At least I'm hoping it will.
 
 
AMDG

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Links I Like (#2)

There has been lots of good food for thought this week.  Alicia Colon at Jewish World Review is fast becoming one of my favorite writers.  Her insight, coupled with experience, makes for an interesting read.  This week, she shows up here twice on my links.  Enjoy!
 
 
  - - - - - - - -
  
The totally insane reactions to Donald trump's election by the progressive left is proof that their brains have been wired to behave against traditional Judeo-Christian values. If it sometimes seems as if the whole world has been turned upside down and common sense has been thrown out the window, well, it has and we can trace this disastrous progressive movement to the 1940's and Nazi Germany.
 
  - - - - - - - -
  

At last Saturday's Women's March in DC any sign of humor was out shadowed by the stridency, anger and hatred spewed by speakers like Madonna and Ashley Judd who ironically stooped to the coarseness and crudeness they despise in our new president. I really can't imagine Susan B. Anthony and the other suffragettes uttering four letter words and reading obscene poems alleging incest at their rallies for equal rights.

Read more here.
 
  - - - - - - - -

Still, “pro-lifer” is a useful abbreviation. You try saying, “Eighteen anti-abortionists ate enchiladas in the open air,” five times fast. And “pro-lifer” has now been hallowed by decades of use. In case the consistent crowd didn’t know, that’s actually how words become standard usage – not by extensive attempts at twisted logic. So I am perfectly willing also to be branded as a “pro-lifer” – with the standard meaning.

Just don’t extend that meaning. If everything is a pro-life issue, then nothing is.
 
It's all here.

 
 
AMDG

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Links I Like (#1)

The internet can be both a blessing and a curse.  I find I can whittle away hours on Facebook, Instagram, Pintrest and whatever.  But, the web is also a great resource for sharing ideas and finding truth.

Have you ever read something and think "Yes! I get that." or "Hmm.  I hadn't thought about it that way."?  There have been a lot of good, no, great articles lately that have been like that for me.  I read them and find that they are worth sharing.  I'd like to do that more often. 

Since politics seem to be on most people's minds these days, here are a few with which to start.
 
  - - - - - - - -
  
His obsession was so out of touch that the Supreme Court, divided as it is, issued a unanimous ruling telling Obama he must find another way.  When Ruth Bader Ginsburg joins hands with Clarence Thomas to rebuke your fixation with forcing nuns to violate their conscience, you have reached the pinnacle of ideological extremism.
 

  - - - - - - - -
 
"When the Department of Justice used Operation Choke Point to target legal businesses because they disagreed politically with those businesses, the Democrats on this committee were silent," Cruz said.  "When the Obama Justice Department sent millions of dollars of taxpayer monies to sanctuary cities that were defying federal immigration law, the Democrats on this committee were silent."
 
   - - - - - - - -
 
While the environments may be completely different, the larger principle is exactly the same: Why should one type of person be supported for refusing to participate in something antithetical to her values while another is not and even organized and legislated against?
 
Read the rest here: Remember the Christian bakers

  - - - - - - - -
  
And just in case you think I can only post serious articles, please consider voting for this cutie

 
AMDG