Dave’s Aurora 2017

Dave’s Aurora 2017

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

OUR POND...

One day about 18 years ago, I took a drive to check out a property that was listed for sale. At the time, I owned my quilt shop and 7 day work weeks were the norm. If not at the shop, there would be sewing or tons of paperwork at home...Occasionally a day off was called for and just going for a drive by myself seemed to lower the stresses.

The real estate ad basically said "40 acres with a pond" and so off I went. At first sight, it wasn't much to look at - the pond was fairly new and nondescript. There was a large pile of clay filled dirt in the middle of the only cleared level area of the acreage. Any signs of the former brick farmhouse and barn were totally gone. Still, it was "up north" and definitely rural. On that first visit, a soft rain fell and as I stepped from the car, the silence was immense. The price was right, at the least, perhaps a good future investment??? And so we became landowners. The first year, Mr. Outback planted a couple of willow trees which the deer promptly feasted on until we installed protective fencing. The pile of clayfilled dirt remained and greeted us everytime we decided to "drive up to the  property." I don't remember exactly when we decided to build...we were so naive.  A year long project gave us the log home we had talked about for ages. (And more maintenance then we could have imagined!) The small willow trees survived and now line the grassy bank of the pond offering shelter to many birds. 

Our pond has become an integral element of this place we call home.
It teems with life. Eventually in a shallow area in the middle of the pond, water based vegetation began to appear and a small island was formed.
It has now become the site of annually returning geese who nest there.
The 4 kids - growing fast!
Turtles are abundant and spring peepers sing their chorus each evening accompanied by bull frogs as the summer progresses. This year we have had a large family of baby wood ducks being raised amongst the cattails. Occasionally an eagle stops by, sandhill cranes and bitterns. 


The pond is also an important source of energy for us. Submerged under the water is a complex set of piping that has allowed us to avoid buying foreign oil. Our geo-thermal system heats us in winter and comfortably cools us on a warm summer day. When we go without rain for lengths of time, I began to worry as the water level drops. Not so this week...we have received over 3" just in the last 2 days. The sound of rushing water is music to the ear as it flows down from a spring up in the woods. Excess water runs under the walking bridge and spills over the dam. Nature is at her most lovely state right now. Each morning as I come down the stairs, my gaze always goes to the pond - it is still there, constantly renewing itself and changing. 

 Mr. Outback keeps the walking path trimmed and our girls love to stroll along with us and explore...


And next year, the pond will be a backdrop as families and friends gather for the wedding of our son, David and his beautiful Jena. This past weekend, a lovely engagement ring was placed on her hand while they were in Cordova, Alaska. Our minds are all ready spinning with the possibilities of how to do an outdoor celebration....such fun planning ahead!



Thursday, June 14, 2012

Applique Withdrawal...

Most evenings for the last 19 months, you could find me settled in my living room chair, often by the fire...stitching away on the Cherry Tree quilt blocks. Now that the top is in the hands of the machine quilter for basting, there is time to step back into the real world - and low & behold, that world has moved on without me! Somehow, June has arrived & I have barely had time to stop and smell the roses....

Or admire a new blossom on the clematis...

Or thought about how to use recently acquired cheddars in the stash...

Rest assured though, it has not been an idle time at Taylorsoutback...

Back in May, our group put together this Comfort Quilt for our dear friend, Dee, who has just now returned home after 2 very long, challenging months...we presented her with this Churn Dash quilt while she was finishing up rehab at a local facility. Dee is wearing the denim blue shirt and is seated in the middle...

And two baby quilts have been in the works - I call them Coastal Baby Quilts...both little ones were born only a few days apart around Easter...the babies were pretty much on time - it is just the quilts that overdue!

The first one is going to a little boy who was born to friends of ours in Alaska. Dad is an Alaskan State trooper, recently assigned to Kotzebue for his 2 years of Bush Duty. Mom is an RN. If you look at a map, you will see that this family lives on the coast by the Bering Sea.
FABRIC IS FROM DUCK, DUCK, GOOSE COLLECTION BY JAMIE KALVESTRAN
The second quilt is going to our niece's new baby girl - "Olivia" and the family lives in Rhode Island - near the Atlantic Ocean...what a diversified culture these little ones will grow up in at opposite ends of the continent...wouldn't it be fun if they could meet one day.........


We also had a delayed Birthday celebration for my Dad who turned 94 in May...and unfortunately the week of his birthday, came down with the shingles...so we waited until he felt better and had an appetite again. This was his birthday cake - 
LEMON ICEBOX CHEESECAKE (HTTP://COUNTRYCOOKS.COM)
And finally, I finished appliqueing this eagle block which will go in the center of all those Civil War blocks I made from Barbara Brackman's weekly block patterns. I reduced the original pattern by Karen Witt to fit my own block setting.
This is the last of the applique for a while - which feels very strange and is causing me the withdrawal I mentioned...however, I all ready have another project lined up but it will have to wait a while as other things are calling; much anticipated company is coming  the last two weekends of this month  and we have a major trip coming up soon. Thinking I will be ready for a vacation! If only they made summers last forever...

All for now...wishing each of you a good weekend with family and friends and time to enjoy summer's pleasures.