Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Summer Days Update

I've been working on my Summer Days WIP (Work In Progress) quite a bit this past week. I've finished 2 borders and am working on the third. I took a picture of it on my design wall, none of the borders or corner pieces are sewn on, just pinned to the wall:

Hahahahah!! I just noticed there is a wayward leaf pinned to the center block!! I'll have to get that back in it's correct spot!

Here is a close-up of one of the borders that I have finished:

I've been getting things done pretty quickly due to the fact that I finally got the next book on CD from my local library in the series I've been listening to. I'm on the 8th book, Naked Empire, by Terry Goodkind, in the Sword of Truth series. I like the fantasy genre sometimes, and these books are long enough to keep me occupied for a week or so of evening sewing sessions.

I'm trying very hard to finish these last 2 borders before starting a new quilt, because I'm afraid if I take this one off the design wall, it will languish in the WIP bin for a long time before it sees the light of day again. But when it's done, I'm going to start working on the big boy quilt for my nephew. My goal is to present it to him when he moves from his crib into his big boy bed. I'd better get moving!

Sunday, July 26, 2009


When I was newly married, my DH and I lived in an apartment that backed onto a pond. This pond was very active with wildlife, with everything from fish to swans. There were lots of mallard ducks there, and occassionally we'd have some Canadian geese decide to stop by, but that always got Gus (the male swan) so upset, he'd spend all day chasing them from one end of the pond to the other until the geese finally decided to leave, with much honking accompanying them! I remember one evening looking out the patio doors to see 2 deer drinking from the pond - it was such a serene sight. Another night, I saw a fox trotting over the frozen pond on his way to the field on the other side (to hunt mice maybe?).

Through all this, there was the constant sound of crickets and bullfrogs in the background. It was a constant sound in the summers and one I came to enjoy very much. Since we moved from our apartment into our house in the middle of a small town 8 years ago, I've missed the sound of those frogs singing me to sleep. Apparently, my sweet DH knew how much I missed them, because one day a couple of weeks ago, I got a call while at work from him, telling me that there was a bullfrog in our back yard!

When I got home, we sat outside for a bit, waiting for the bullfrog to announce himself. It wasn't very long before he did! He was against the cement wall that backs our property, under a lot of weeds, near our woodpile. Well, immediately, Mookie, our outdoor kitty decided to investigate - which caused Pips, our Australian Shepherd dog to wonder what the fuss was about, too. So, DH and I had to play rescue the wildlife and try to find this bullfrog before he got eaten!

After a bit of weeding, DH spied the guy. He was huge!!! When I picked him up, he filled my hand! And he was perfectly content to sit there - even when I let Pips get a sniff of him...maybe he was in shock, I don't know. Well, anyway, DH put a bit of water in a bucket, and I decided to take him down the street to the creek that runs under our road. He sat very contentedly in that bucket until he heard the sound of the water, then he tried to jump out! His second attempt took him 6 feet into the air and landed him about 3 feet from the water's edge. When I stepped up to him, he took one hop, landed directly into the middle of the creek and sat there like he'd been there all day! It was hilarious! I only wish I had remembered to bring my camera.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Garden Project...

Or, otherwise known as the Project That Killed Me. Well, not really, but my legs really hurt when I was done!!

It all began in June. DH and I were enjoying a fire in our backyard one evening, and it happened. I had an idea. It was a good idea at first. Before I realized the amount of work it would entail. But, I forged ahead with voicing it anyway. "What if we transform the plot of grass between our house and our neighbor's house into a perennial garden?" Well, DH was all for it. So, we approached The Insane Gardener (a.k.a. our neighbor) and she really liked the idea, too. In fact, she already had plans of expanding her perennial garden in that section out further, so this just fit right into her plans.

We all decided that it would be best if we each had half of the available space to do with what we wanted, separated by a footpath that we would leave grass. DH jumped on that part of the project and immediately ran a guideline and staked out what he thought was an acceptable path. After showing off his work to The Insane Gardener and me - we explained what he had done wrong. There weren't enough curves in his path - it needed to meander more! So, DH set to work again and came up with this (June 9):

Both The Insane Gardener and I liked this layout much better. Notice the cistern cover in the middle of the picture? Yeah, we had to navigate around that. We made the footpath about 4 feet wide so DH would still be able to get the lawn mower out of the garage and into the front lawn.
We began getting the sod out a little bit at a time, after work in the evenings and on the weekends. It wasn't an easy job, but it was getting done. After roughly a month, it looked like this (July 7):

Apparently when we got our side done, it was enough motivation for The Insane Gardener to get to work on her side and within 4 days, we had it to this point (July 11):

I started to buy plants at the local stores for our side and was planting them as we bought them, but it was apparent that I would need many more than I had by the time the big day hit. It had worked out that all of us (DH, The Insane Gardener and myself) had a long weekend off from work, so we decided to tackle The Project and get as much of it done as we could. We started off the day at 10:00 a.m. with a trip to my uncle's farm to go through his rock pile for the third and last time. That resulted in one smashed toe (mine) and some scratched arms (The Insane Gardener's). We got everything home and unloaded and got to work. This is how it looked at 11:30 a.m. (July 18):

After working long and hard (with many breaks mixed in) all day, we finally had this to show for our hard labor:

We lined the path with rocks from my uncle's rock pile. DH put together an arbor which he spent the day applying polyurethane to. He also made the structure level (very important). I got all the plants I had purchased in the ground and a layer of mulch over everything. I can't wait for the morning glories to start climbing the arbor!

The Insane Gardener spent much of the day moving items around in the garden that she already had established. She called it giving her plants "room to breathe." She didn't get everything moved around the way she wants it, so the mulch is waiting a bit.

Oh yeah! DH also made us these awesome trellisses for the gardens! You can't see them in the above pictures, but they're planted behind things that say they need staking up - I love my handy hubby.

And now that our portion of the Project That Killed Me - I mean the Garden Project - is over, I am very very thankful. There will be no more gardening from this chicky for the rest of the year. Although, I think I heard DH mention something about putting in another perennial garden along the back wall next year?? Uh oh....well, that's next year. For now, I'm enjoying watching my little plants blossom as they enjoy their new home.

Elevators - Do They Confuse You??

Are elevators truly confusing devices? You wouldn't think so. Well, apparently today they are baffling to me - even though I use one (the exact same one!) every day!

This afternoon, while on my way to lunch, I was waiting next to the elevators with another woman (there are 2 elevators next to each other). She had pressed the button to go down by the time I arrived. Both elevators opened at the same time and at least 3 people got off each elevator - emptying both of them. Before either of us could get into one, they both shut in front of us! How can 2 people miss 2 elevators that are empty when we'd been standing there waiting for them? We couldn't even use the excuse that we were talking and got distracted!

On my way back from lunch, I entered the elevator to go back upstairs with 2 other men. They were going to Floor 4, I was getting off on 3. When the doors opened, a woman was standing in front of the doors, waiting to get on. So, I quickly got off so she could get on before the doors shut again - only to find myself standing on Floor 2!!! As I did an about-face - I looked at those 2 men and said "this isn't 3!" Um, duh. Thankfully, they both had a sense of humor and we all chuckled about it on our way up another floor.

So, why are elevators baffling me today? Am I out of sync with the mechanics of the building? Did the solar eclipse today throw off my internal timing? Or am I just missing a clue? Who knows - I'm just glad my DH drives me to and from work every day or I might not make it on my own!

Monday, July 20, 2009

This is it!

I am new to blogging and I've got high ideals. I hope I can live up to them.

I have a lot of UFO's (UnFinished Objects) in my quilt room, and I am currently in an attempt to get some of them finished. I've been at it since the beginning of the year - but it's getting hard! I've got at least 3 new quilt ideas bouncing around in my head right now and it's hard ignoring them!

I am curently working on this piece:

(a closeup of one of the blocks):
I found this pattern in Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, Sept. 2003 issue. It's called Summer Sweet and was made by Linda Neustadt. I am currently working on the third border for this one. It has been in my working queue since sometime in 2005.

I hope to include stories about my wonderful DH, my pets and my hobbies. I hope you will enjoy visiting my little piece of the internet.