Sunset - June 2, 2020

Sunset - June 2, 2020

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tribute to Sasha

 Sasha - April 26, 1997 - August 29, 2011


Our Sasha - of the sweet and naturally perfect sheltie ears...
Who lived to play Frisbee endlessly...
Who had a built-in tummy clock for meal time...
Whose face lit up every time she saw her favorite person - our Dave...
Who traveled so well by auto - even as far as the Arctic Circle...
Who was always shy, but devoted and loyal and went through life with dignity...
Who was filled with a gentle temperament.
Our dear companion...

(Please visit all the other "T" postings at Miss Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday.)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Smorgasbord....

 (Note: this post is from earlier in the week...we are going through a difficult time with our oldest sheltie in addition to a commitment this weekend. I hate to miss Miss Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday so this is the best compromise for now...promise to visit the other "S" entries asap.)

You can tell summer is winding down...everyone seems to be pushing things into fast forward, trying to maximize each minute of the day. The gardens are finally producing in a manner that requires daily attention..zucchini mysteriously appear on everyone's doorstep, left quietly in the night by visitors...I think these got away from someone...
Actually, extra are appreciated as we shred the overgrown ones and freeze for future raw food prep used for our shelties. (No, you can't have my address!! :o) 

Last weekend was spent with my dear friend, Connie, from Elkhorn. She probably needed a day or two to recuperate from our full day on Saturday. We started out with one of Mr. Outback's fine breakfasts...Apple Pancakes...(he is soooo proud of these...just ask him!)

Took off for the LQS and discovered a tent sale in place...made a couple of quick purchases with a promise to return after lunch. Met both our Mom's for a Mother-Daughter lunch at our favorite tea room...Johanna May's; then returned to the LQS (promises made, must be kept!) and did some more shopping. Picked up another friend and headed to the movies where we met 3 more friends & watched The Help. Just as in the book, one moment you are laughing so hard and in an instant, you are in tears. Such a powerful story and the acting is excellent. Abilene and Minnie will steal your hearts. You must see it soon! After the film was over, it was growing late and we had about  a 50 minute drive home. Making an executive decision, we picked up 2 take and bake pizza's from Papa Murphy's, called Mr. Outback to let him know we were on the way and headed up the back roads towards home. Add in a couple of glasses of wine, and we were done for the evening! Any stitching thoughts were far from our foggy minds. Oh, we did muster up enough energy for dessert. I had made this pie on Friday - 

From Bon Appetit's current issue, this recipe is one of the most amazing combinations of tastes ever. I love making curds, lemon, lime, etc. The only change made was baking a graham cracker crust which seems to compliment all the other flavors - rather than a traditional pie crust which they called for. Oh Yum! (You can't see it, but there is a hidden layer of blackberries made into a compote underneath the lime curd mixture...oh yes!!) After this I need to double up on the cholesterol meds...

Sunday we were 6 for breakfast - Mr. Outback's famous omelets and Tasha Tudor's Blueberry Coffee Cake. After everyone left, I checked the garden for peas, squash and cucumbers and then collapsed the rest of the day...
Did manage to complete another of the BTCT blocks & can now check this one off the to do list...lots of little "fingers" made for a time consuming applique block but am happy with the results. 

And so the pace continues to accelerate...tomatoes & our apple trees have a hint of color, green beans and cucumbers multiply daily and recent nights have a little crisper touch to them...starlings are gathering, flocks of geese are moving and the eastern and southern fields are blooming with yellow tansy and goldenrod.

Have a wonderful week & as always your visits and comments just add so much to each day...come back again...lots of quilting stuff going on to share with you in the days ahead. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"R" Is For Rejuvenate

Two weeks ago we were in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (Negaunee) at a skeet shooting event.
Being at a testosterone-laden gun club for 4 days, finding a little "girl" time can be a challenge! Over the years, our numbers have shrunk and there are only a handful of skeet wives who travel with the husbands from event to event. There are a few of us "old timers" and it is always fun to catch up with each other and share some laughs over a glass of wine or Amaretto Slush. This year, I made a point to also go for a walk by myself, every morning. The gun club is somewhat off the beaten path and is surrounded by wooded and winding lanes. 
With my iPod set to some walking music and my earphones muffling the sounds of shot guns going off, I would head out in the coolness of the new morning.
Breathing in the fresh air and feeling the warming sun on my back, it felt good to stretch the legs, clear the mind of nighttime fuzziness and empty cluttered thoughts. 

Along the way, there were some discoveries...fresh deer prints in the sandy shoulder of the uneven road...a cast off winter stocking cap, even a few drink containers someone thoughtlessly tossed from a passing car window. I also found inspiration and things that brought a smile...little curving paths that led to someone's hidden cottage...

A simple mailbox that has been personalized with a painted northwoods theme...
Someone offers free housing for little feathered visitors...bed and breakfast?
And a rustic driveway marker - company is probably told to look for the old pressed back chair to know they have arrived at the right turn...

As I head back to gun club, my feet feel lighter, the heartbeat has settled down and the mind & soul have been rejuvenated - refreshed and renewed...all from a simple walk along a country lane.

Wishing each of you days of rejuvenation and don't forget to visit all the other "R" postings over at Miss Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"Q" Is For Quilter

A quilter (n.) is defined as someone who "....makes a coverlet or blanket of two layers of fabric with a layer of cotton, wool, feathers or down in between; all stitched firmly together, usually in a decorative crisscross design."

(Middle English - quilte, from Anglo-Norman and from Latin - culcita = mattress)
Mr. Outback defines a quilter as someone who is typically covered with stray threads, always has some type of piecing next to their favorite chair, walks around muttering words like,  "stash", "road trip", "fat quarter", or "blankety blank bias edges"....He wonders how a person can start a brand new project when there are others still in the works...
I define a quilter as someone who is hopelessly in love with everything that defines a quilt. 
In 1982, a friend of mine called me one day and asked if I would be interested in signing up for a Beginning Patchwork Class at our local quilt shop (LQS). Being budget wise, I said "How much does it cost?"
$5.00 for a 3 week session. Sure, sign me interests back then revolved around needlepoint, macrame and knitting. What could be so difficult about cutting up some fabric and sewing them back together?
A gazillion dollars  & trillions of cut pieces later...quilting is such a part of my life, I cannot imagine a day without it. Most of my precious friendships have been formed by this passion. We all speak the same language.
Somewhere is the original pillow that was pieced during that Beginning is packed away in a box. I do remember the pattern though - "Clay's Choice." Done in bright reds and a solid white background with a ruffle, it was very elementary but I stressed over that for weeks.
We still use the first full size bed quilt I made. 

 It has been relegated to the travel trailer and has provided warmth on numerous chilly nights when on the road. It is a sampler quilt and was pieced during an extended Sampler Quilt Class at the same LQS. In the '80's fabric choices were limited. You usually chose a main fabric, an accent and the background. The ubiquitous threesome. My blue border is even a cotton/polyester blend (gasp!) That would be a major malfunction now as 100% quality cotton is the only choice. Despite the drawbacks, the quilt is entirely handquilted and I can no longer achieve small, even stitches. I recall it taking about 2 years to quilt (not a speed demon, am I!)
The blocks look so large to my eyes now - especially compared to the nine patch quilt that appears above in my blog header...each 9 patch unit finishes to 1 1/2" and there are well over 1000 blocks in the quilt. 

As we grow in our "passion," tastes are bound to change. These days, I am trying to learn applique. I read somewhere that historically,  making appliqued quilts often comes in one's later years...the children are grown and on their own. There is time to devote to the more intricate projects. Choosing colors is quite different than piecing a quilt. Techniques are totally different and the quilter tends to linger over each block savoring the process.

This is the latest completed applique block in my Beyond the Cherry Tree Quilt.
 And a peek at one that close to being finished.
As I stitch, the bond of all the other quilters now and in the past is strongly felt. We are a sisterhood (but with many gifted male counterparts!) and I hope that in years to come...someone will look upon my humble work and feel that same connection...

"When this you see...remember me..."
A signed block from an 1840's quilt

Be sure to hop over to Miss Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday "Q" postings.

Have a good rest of the week and come back soon! Your comments are always a treasure.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Perfect Pea Pods

Our shelling peas are finally ready for harvesting. Despite the very cold start to our growing season and now day after day of hot, humid weather...this is what I was able to gather from an 8 foot row of Estancia peas (Cook's Garden). Not a lot, but they sure taste good. While shelling, I was struck by how uniform these little guys were. So neat and orderly - shoulder to shoulder...

Like two peas in a pod...(or more!) That phrase got me to thinking. Where did that come from? So off to to do a little research.
Actually the phrase "like two peas in a pod" is "quite old and versions of it date from the 16th Century...John Lyly used the phrase in Euphues and His England, 1580:
"Wherin I am not unlike unto the unskilfull Painter who having drawen the Twinnes of Hippocrates, (who wer as lyke as one pease is to an other..")
The word Pease was used as the singular form throughout Tudor England. The word Pea came into use in the 17th century, with the plural form being Peas. 
And that is what I learned today! Be sure to visit all the other "P" postings at Miss Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday...

Have a great weekend - we are off to Michigan's Upper Peninsula for a few days - time for a mini vacation.

Mind your P's and Q's everyone! I have done my "P's" and plan on a weekend of "Q" for quilting...will share the results in the next post.