Wednesday, September 20, 2017

WIP(#10) - On the Edge

That quilt I started back in March is getting so, so close to being done.  Between bouts of canning, I managed to get the edge sewn on.  There are four borders that are sewn on all four sides.  It's not difficult, just a bit awkward as the quilt grows larger and larger with each successive strip.

This weekend I dropped it off at a local quilt shop to have the quilting done.  Time and the lack of a long-arm machine keeps me from doing it myself.  They called yesterday afternoon, and it's done!

You know where I'll be tonight.



AMDG

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Advantages of Carrying a Weapon

A couple of weeks ago we decided that we wanted to go see an Indians baseball game.  It's probably been at least five years since the last time we went, and for people who used to have season tickets, it felt like forever.  I looked for a game that still had good seats, at a reasonable price, available.  I decided that Tuesday's game against Detroit was a good choice and got us a couple of tickets.

We left early so that we would have plenty of time to wander around the stadium.  A lot has changed since the last time we were there.  We also wanted to grab some dinner and I was set on having a Rally Drum Red Ale.  


We took a few pictures on the plaza with Bob Feller and Larry Doby and then headed to the entrance.  They scanned our tickets and I walked through the gate.  Himself followed after me.  

Buzz!!!

They now have metal detectors at the entrances.  Those weren't there five years ago.  So he had to empty his pockets to see what was causing the fuss.  Wallet - no.  Keys - nope.  Camera - maybe.   Pocket knife?  Yep!  That was it.

With the size property we have, a pocket knife is just a useful tool we have gotten in a habit of carrying.  But not, apparently, good at a ball game.  Since there was no place to 'check' it and pick it up after the game we had to bring it back to our car that was parked about a quarter mile away.  No big deal since we had given ourselves plenty of time.  

After stopping at the car, we decided to take a more 'scenic' route back to the ballpark - through an old cemetery neither of us had ever been in.  Every time we have gone by it, the gates have been closed.  What an interesting place!

The almost nine acre Erie Street Cemetery dates back to the early 1800's.  Among its interments are veterans who participated in conflicts from the Revolutionary War through the Spanish–American War as well as many of Cleveland's earliest pioneers and leaders.






“An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; 
an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.” 
– G.K. Chesterton,  All Things Considered, 1908

Chesterton had it right.  Even before the game began, we had an adventure!

And, the Indians didn't disappoint.  Kluber's pitching was spot on and we saw victory number twenty - the game that tied the American League record for number of consecutive wins.

Go Tribe!




AMDG

21



We haven't had this much excitement since last October and November in these parts!  I love my Tribe!


AMDG

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Photo Blogging Challenge (August 2017) - Summer Fun


I haven't done one of the photo blogging challenges in a while.  I guess they were too challenging for me!  But, when I saw this month's theme, I was excited as I had a lot of ideas.  Paring down to just five photos was difficult, so I stuck with just one activity.

We finally went to the County Fair this year.  We have talked about going for a while, but something always got in the way.  Often the Chesterton conference was at the same time.  This year I took a day off and we visited on opening day.  And, boy, I'm glad we went!

From the pictures below it is obvious that my favorite part was the animals.  I couldn't take enough pictures of them.


This beautiful young woman was such a joy.  She was excited to pop in the picture of her horse and tell us about him.  Her dad, who was nearby, was just as excited and oh so proud of his daughter.  The horse's lineage goes back to one of the Kentucky Derby winners in the mid 1960's.  Dad mentioned the name of the horse, but mini memory that I have, I don't remember it.


I love goats.  They seems to have so much personality.  This cute one seemed to like to get his picture taken.


It was wickedly hot and humid the day we went.  The young people at this stand made a superb glass of lemonade - shaken, not stirred!


She had something to say and was telling anyone who would listen, and even those who weren't.


I had thought about entering a quilt into the competition this year, but didn't manage to get it done in time.  It looks like the competition was stiff.



Bonus.  Just because.


To see more, visit A 'lil Hoohaa


AMDG

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

WIP(#9) - Getting Sauced

Let the canning begin!

Yes, it's that time of year.  The tomatoes are coming fast and furious and wait for no one.  This weekend we picked, cleaned, roasted and canned over 120 tomatoes.  It is what I would call a good start.

I've been waiting for this.  We used the last of the previous year's tomatoes in the spring and I cannot bring myself to use store bought spaghetti sauce.  It's a lot of work, but so worth it.  There is something about home grown, home canned sauce that can't be beat.

Our scarecrow has done a good job watching over the garden.  His job is not done just yet!




AMDG

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

When the World Goes Crazy

With the events of this past weekend, I have felt sad, mad, troubled and depressed.  There are things I thought about saying, most likely not what you might think.  However, I was reminded during last night's Mass for the Feast of the Assumption, there is but one thing to do.  It is time to turn to Mary, patroness of this country.
 
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.

For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness;
behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.
The Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is from age to age
to those who fear him.
He has shown might with his arm,
dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart.
He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones
but lifted up the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things;
the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped Israel his servant,
remembering his mercy,
according to his promise to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.
 
Perhaps it is time to commit to prayer, even just one Hail Mary, one Ave, each day.  Won't you join me?
 
AMDG

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

WIP(#8) - Garden Goodies

The man standing in his own kitchen-garden, with fairyland opening at the gate, 
is the man with large ideas.
― G.K. Chesterton, Heretics

The gardens and yard have been a joy this year.  It may have taken us a dozen or so years to figure out what it takes to keep it up, but we learned.  Slowly.  It's been fun to wander out, pick a spot, and futz.  There are any number of jobs that need to be done.  I've spent more than a few evenings recently watering and weeding and deadheading spent blooms.  

Last night the Hummingbirds weren't too happy as I tended to the area around the butterfly bush. They buzzed my head trying to shoo me away.  That made me want to stay even more, to be near this flurry of flying energy.  What a treat!

We are beginning to see the fruits of our labor, literally.  Tomatoes and peppers are ripening and are ready for picking.  They are as pretty as they are delicious.

Taking care of the gardens, and fairlyland, has truly been a labor of love!




AMDG

Friday, August 4, 2017

Funny Foto #20: Rats!

Yesterday morning one of the women with whom I work asked me if I had seen the sign on the ladies room door.  Another one started laughing and told me I needed to go take a look.  I was just a little surprised at what I saw.



We think the cleaning lady left the note.  When we ventured in later in the morning, the offending rat was nowhere to be found.  I'm not sure I want to know where it went.


AMDG

Monday, July 31, 2017

Photo Blogging Challenge (July 2017) - Perspective - Timothy


Tim once again had great pictures for this month's theme.  Here is his guest post.
 
A peach and herb covered chop with a garden-fresh cucumber and potato salad lies awaiting my attention.  I took the photo to taunt my brother-in-law who is a devotee of my lovely bride’s culinary skills.  Point of view: “Git in my belly!”  

This next shot is from the perspective of our scare-crow looking over the vegetable garden.  The term “scare-crow” is a bit of a misnomer, though.  We have pictures of birds from the size of wrens to hawks sitting contemptuously on his hat.

We have been trying to simplify the gardening process over the years.  This season Donna suggested the use of annual rye-grass as a weed block and end of season cover-crop.  Awesomeness ensued!  A tenth of an acre of corn, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and carrots are progressing wonderfully.  Fifteen minutes of mowing beats hours of weeding.    

This is my point of view of the garden.  Love that annual rye-grass and the subsequent saved time for more important activities.  

I missed the different lenses and cameras challenge last month.  I intended to connect the Canon 7D to my 6” Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.  So, this month I took a shot of the waxing gibbous moon with that same set-up.  The terminator line where day meets night often offers some interesting features.  Here is an unique profile perspective of a lunar crater.  The upper-left corner of the shot shows the curled edge of the debris from impact which formed the rim.   

These two fawns recently visited and seemed to have different points of view on which way to head for a tasty snack before the next feeding time with mom. 


To see more, visit A 'lil Hoohaa
 
AMDG

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Have a Nice Trip

We decided to have an Independence Day party this year.  And, you know how it it.  There's always one more "project" that will make everything just perfect.  I decided that my never-ending-but-it's-going-to-be-finished-this-summer landscaping project that I thought was done still needed a little something something.

I bought a new clay pot and and bunch of coleus.  Since the the supplies I needed were in the garage, I put the pot together there.  Six plants and a bunch of dirt later, it was looking pretty good.  It just needed some mulch.  I always mulch my outdoor pots as it helps keep them moist.  It also keeps the dirt from splashing out during rainstorms or waterings.

Instead of bringing the mulch to the pot, I decided to carry the pot to the wheelbarrow full of mulch on the other side of the garage.  I had to walk out past the cars and then go back in.  Big mistake.

The garage floor is maybe an inch higher than the driveway, if that.  I've walked in and out of the garage hundreds, if not thousands of times.  I didn't do so well this time.

Have a nice trip!

Do you know how many things you think of in that time between tripping and hitting the ground?  A lot.
I hope this pot doesn't break.

I don't have time to go to the hospital if I get hurt, there's too much to do for the party.

Don't hit your face and break any teeth!  (That's my mom in my head.  She broke her front two teeth as a teenager when she fell roller skating.)

I hope the bruises don't show.  

Ugg, I'm going to have to redo this pot.

Did the plants fall out?

That's the snow blower there, don't land on it and break it.
There were more things I thought of in those two seconds.  Really.

The good news is that I wasn't badly hurt.  I had a few aches and pains and a bruised ego.

The better news is that the pot didn't break!


See you next fall!

AMDG

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Lost and Found

When I was digging out the last shrub of my never-ending-but-it's-going-to-be-finished-this-summer landscaping project, the shovel hit something that clunked unlike any of the roots that I was aiming for.  A couple more jabs and I pulled out a white plastic something coated in dirt and mud.

After I wiped off the muck, I discovered that St. Joseph has been right outside our front door for the last thirteen years!

Over the last few years we have developed a special devotion to this saint.  He is our "go to" guy for all sorts of prayers and petitions.  Every morning, Himself and I pray the following prayer:

St. Joseph, 
you provided for those who were 
given to your care in this life.  
Intercede on our behalf, 
so we may receive the grace we need 
to provide for those whom 
are given to our care, 
whether for a moment or for a lifetime.  
Amen.

Now I understand.  He's been standing guard all this time.

I cleaned him up and found a better home for him than the dirt in which he was buried.  He now resides in the flower pot just outside the front door.  If you visit, don't forget to say hello!



AMDG

Friday, June 23, 2017

Are You a Whale?

A couple of weekends ago we were at Sis' house taking advantage of their pool.  BIL had just opened it up for the season.  As I came up from swimming the length of the pool underwater, Sara asked "Are you a whale?  You look like one."
 
I could have been insulted, being a lady of larger proportions.  But she continued with her observations. 
 
If you were a whale you would have to be an Orca or a Beluga.  They swim underwater and blow bubbles like you did.  You couldn't possibly be a Humpback because they swim in groups and circle other fish that they are trying to eat.  Yep, you are either an Orca or Beluga.
 
Interesting observations from an almost-five-year-old.  You can tell what she was learning in pre-school that week.
 
Next swim, I going for the Dolphin look!
 
 
AMDG

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Time Marches On

I look at the calendar and am amazed that we are two thirds of the way through June already.  It feels like it should only be sometime in May.
 
In a couple of weeks we are going to celebrate my niece and God-daughter's fifth birthday.  I remember Sis and BIL bringing her home from the hospital and now Sara is about to start kindergarten.
 
Again I look at the calendar and remember that twenty years ago today, I met the man with whom I would spend the rest of my life.  Who knew that spinning the “Lucky Number Wheel”  at the parish carnival would pay such great dividends? 
 
The invitation I received in the mail recently reminds me that my college thirty year reunion is coming up this weekend.  College, people, not high school.  And thirty years?  That can't be. 
 
There's no stopping time.  I'm not sure I would want to if I could.  But, I often wonder if I am using whatever time our good Lord has given me on this earth well. 
 
Do the things that I do, and not do, honor God, my family, my faith?  It's as simple and as complicated as that.
 
 
AMDG 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

WIP(#7) - Digging It


A friend posted this quote along with a picture of his adorable toddler on his Facebook and LinkedIn pages.  Two year old Sammy rocked the overalls.  Me?  I don't have the overalls, but I certainly have had the opportunities.

I got the last of the shrubs dug out and new ones, along with a Weeping Redbud tree, planted.  Hostas were split and transplanted and everything was mulched.

I'm happy that it's all done, but you know what?  As hard, and dirty, as this job was, it was fun!  I had an idea of what I wanted to do and it came out even better.  The sore muscles and loads of dirty laundry were definitely worth it.  More pictures to come.

AMDG

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Photo Blogging Challenge (May 2017) - Look up - Himself



Himself was inspired by the theme for this month, Look Uphad some great shots.  Actually, he took a ton of excellent photos that I have been enjoying as backgrounds on my monitors. 


Harriet was a young wife who died in the mid 1800s at the age of fifteen.  Her tombstone collapsed recently in a local cemetery containing many old graves including those of Revolutionary War veterans.  Harriet was looking-up at a bouquet of daffodils earlier this month which someone planted near her grave.  I’ll be looking-up the local cemetery caretakers to see if we can raise up her headstone.


It seems every time we looked up this spring, down came the raindrops.  One of our redwood trees caught a few drops before they could reach the ground.


Various pollen seeds challenged the raindrops for supremacy of the skies this year.  Here’s a dandelion that did about all it could to contribute to the aerial combat.


A retired farmer recently donated his land to our county park system.  This is one tree in the many acres of trees which we now enjoy thanks to his generosity.


We’re looking up from the bottom of our favorite sledding hill.  It is deceptively peaceful on a quiet spring morning.  A few winters ago we terrified a cousin’s daughter from Florida with her first sled ride down the back of the beast.    


To see more, visit A 'lil Hoohaa

AMDG

Photo Blogging Challenge (May 2017) - Look up - Me



When I saw the topic, Look Up, I had every intention of taking a lot of photos throughout the month.  The full moon was beautiful.  Birds have been very active and I have seen some interesting ones, including a Pileated Woodpecker and a Great Blue Heron.  But, of course, I didn't have my camera when I saw all of these. 

The Hairy Beast was itching for a second walk last evening, and what he wants he gets.  On the way out I grabbed the camera and just started snapping.  Given that we just celebrated The Ascension of the Lord this past weekend, the clouds made me think of one of the readings at Mass.

When he had said this, as they were looking on,
he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.
While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going,
suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.
They said, "Men of Galilee,
why are you standing there looking at the sky?
This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven
will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven."

To see more, visit A 'lil Hoohaa

AMDG

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