Sunday, October 30, 2011


There's frost on the pumpkins this morning. And on everything else, too. As I walked out in my nightgown to get the newspaper this morning, my stockinged feet were made aware it's a lot colder this morning than yesterday. The last of the flowers had a coating of frost.

And the water in the bird bath had a sheet of ice over it.
What do you do when you're home alone for days with no Patient Husband to talk to? PH is enjoying Florida with his brother and sister-in-law this weekend. I didn't go along. I had a long quilt weekend just two weeks ago and didn't think I should/could be gone from my job again. I know, life is short and I should have gone, but oh, well. He's having a good time, it's warmer there than here and he needs a break.
So, I've been reading, sewing, not cooking, eating in front of the TV, watching girl movies while I sew, and it's been very lonely.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Beware of Dog

I have one more story about our quilt weekend.

On the way there Friend Marilyn and I stopped at a pottery studio. It was beautiful, looked like a fairy house set into a tree.
When we got out of the car three dogs came gamboling over to welcome us, a shaggy dog and two golden retrievers. They were a very energetic welcoming committee and I gave them lots of pats and coo talk. One of the goldens just had to show me the pond that is out of this picture but directly to the right. He went bouncing in and began pouncing on something.

Finally I realized it was little frogs he was chasing. They jumped in, he dove for them. I got my camera. I found a little frog sitting on a rock.
I got close. I got the dog's attention. I pointed to the frog, "Here's one! Look! See? Here's one!" The dog saw me, he waded over to the rock, and GULP! He ate the frog!!!!!!!!!
I screamed! Friend Marilyn burst out laughing, I started laughing and screaming, we were both hopping around the pond crossing our legs for bladder control yelling back and forth, "He ate it! Oh, no, we're too old for this! Our bladders can't take this! I hope they have a bathroom! Oh, My God, he ATE it!! I'm sorry little frog! He ATE it!" We were more than concerned about our bladders, we couldn't stop exclaiming in hysterical shock (you know how it is when something just overtakes you.) Never did I dream that the dog was going to EAT that little frog! It never knew what hit him. And the dog didn't just swallow, he chewed. I've never seen anything like that.
A dog ate a frog.
There could be a children's story in that line, but the story wouldn't have a happy ending.
I'm sorry, little frog.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Show and Tell

Here are some of the projects some of us worked on during retreat last weekend.

This is Joyce's amazing wall hanging for her hubby for Christmas. The big white 'S' stands for State, as in Michigan State University. Let me tell you, this girl had smoke coming out of her fingers! She came in with a pile of fabric and the instructions for this and FINISHED the top in 2 1/2 days! She had her nose to the needle!
Barb made this really beautiful wall hanging. When she finished quilting this she resumed an applique piece that will be stunning. I was not quite as camera busy as I should have been, but we'll get a picture of it finished.
Janet was growling at this piece all weekend. Apparently she cut all of the pieces during one long week on an island in Maine, and saved the sewing for this weekend. It's all on the bias so her growls were accompanied with teeth gnashing. There are many rows of colors that radiate from this rose red center.
Marilyn brought several projects to work on in case she got tired of one thing. On this one she is hand quilting a round robin project from a year ago. Marilyn hand quilts with the stab method. I don't know how she gets anything done, but she does. I tried it once and my piece looked like I gave the needle to Adelaide and told her to work on it. I went gratefully back to the rocking needle approach.
Val has been working on this for a couple of years. Her parents passed away within three days of each other exactly two years ago. She took some of her father's shirts and made three quilts from them for her two sisters and herself. He was a pilot so she chose airplanes. In the middle of the quilt she put a patch of pink tulips made from her mother's shirts. She had five squares left so she's making five pillows, one for each niece.
Sally began with this Christmas mantle piece. She finished it and moved on to appliqueing a baby quilt for her new granddaughter. You can see that quilt on Monday's post "R and R" Sally is standing in the front with the quilt.
But what Sally is known for is her itsy bitsy pieces. You can see from the spools of thread these little pinwheely things are tiny.

I can't show you what I was working on because it's a secret. But I did finish it! At a later date I can reveal.

Monday, October 17, 2011

R and R

We went on a quilt retreat this weekend. Not a store sponsored one, just a group of friends in need of a little R and R. This is our third year and we've got next year booked. We were at this wonderful, peace filled place called The Inn at the Rustic Gate. We walk in the door and place ourselves in the care of the inn keepers, Marsha, Pat and Sharon. A place filled with care, love, peace and quiet...until we get there! Then things get a little rowdy.
Outside Friend Marilyn and my bedroom we have this view.
I'm sorry I didn't make the bed before taking this picture, but you get the idea. Bright, airy peaceful rooms.

This is the dining room where we are indulged by the inn keepers, Marsha, Pat and Chef Sharon.
This is the kitchen where Sharon works her magic. Marsha is helping Sharon string beans. While I was watching and talking with them, there was a little 'discussion' from Sharon about Marsha "doing them the way I want them." Only the best! When I walked in just before lunch I said, "This must be what heaven smells like. And if it doesn't, it should!" Oh, my, the things Sharon sets before us for each meal. Real button busting meals.
We have show and tell for Marsha, Pat and Sharon after our Saturday dinner. This year the wind and rain kept us from the traditional porch setting for our group shot, but the stairs worked, too!
We each made three nine square blocks to use as currency in the game LCR (Left, Center, Right), where you roll the dice and have to pass a block to either the left, center, right or keep. A fall palette of colors was chosen and it was a beautiful selection- I would have loved to get my hands on these.
Winner takes all!!! (It wasn't me)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


School pictures were taken recently. This little darlin' showed up wearing cherry red lipstick that she proudly put on all by herself. Oh, I can't wait till mom sees this! I hope with all my heart she doesn't ask for retakes. I hope she sees the value in this moment. I remember a few years ago a little guy - at the very last second - pulled out a pair of Men In Black sunglasses and put them on. That mom kept that picture. Seize the moment!

I wish I could show what I'm working on but it's a secret......shhhhh!

This coming weekend I'm going to join some friends on a quilt retreat weekend. This is the most looked forward to weekend all year. It's put on the calendar in big black marker. I save for it. I yearn for it.

I'll have pictures next time.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Weekend wonders

I helped out at a quilt show Friday night in the little town of Zeeland. The Pumpkin Patchers bee showcase their quilts every year at this show and I though I'd show you a couple of them. The quilt above was part of an exchange these girls have. Each person furnishes a focus fabric and makes one block. Then, every two weeks the bag o' fabric is handed off to another person to make a square for the quilter. Sort of like a round robin hand off but each person is making one square. I loved the quilt above. The quilter chose a bird fabric for her focus and each person honored those little birds in their square. Up close it was really beautifully done.
This is one of the squares. Isn't is lovely? The one below is another.

I'm very partial to blue and this was so pretty, so crisp. Someday I hope I have the patience to deal with little squares like that and do a quilt like this.
This hand quilting is something I can only aspire to. Impecably tight. (did I spell impecably right?)
This was such a beautiful fall weekend. The temperatures brought zillions of Chicago people to town for the weekend. Our neighbors wanted to go with us to get fresh eggs, see the many animals and the pottery studio we took the girls to. I wish when we had Adelaide and Elizabeth with us we had known this place also had a horse named Dude and a Llama named Sheba. They would have LOVED seeing them. Sheba, apparently, wants all of the attention and when Dude comes to the fence for a little conversation she spits at him. With lots of projection. I had a nice gob of llama spit on my shirt the rest of the day. Charming.
The eggs were the freshest! We even gathered them! The owner even stuck her hand under a hen and pulled one out while momma hen was still sitting on it! Now those of you chicken owners and farmers might think this a chore but to us, it was a whole new experience. I hope next time we have E. and A. there with us we can do this again!
We stopped at a goat farm for some fresh goat cheese. It was fresh and tasty and that rectangle piece at the top was water buffalo camembert. Water buffalo. All I could picture was the yaks in Mongolia. I DID taste it and if I hadn't known what it was I would have said it was tasty. With a bite to it. But since I knew what it was, I didn't have lots.
Could be the last nice day for a nap in the hammock. No, I didn't put those leaves there. They are falling so fast you can hear them swish past each other. I looked out the window and saw he was oblivious to the decorations so I tip toed out to get this picture.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Oh, what a night

Sometimes you just have to take the bull by the horns and stop talking about doing something and just DO it. We did that last Thursday night. We've never booked tickets, a hotel and taken a day off work to have a little fun. But last Thursday, with friends Marge and Harry, we saw one terrific show. I've been humming songs all weekend.
Isn't this gorgeous? Just one mile from my house we have orchards like this.

Friday was Adelaide's second birthday. She had a big family party on Saturday and was the belle of the ball. Sweet, polite, a bit overwhelmed by the fact this day was all for her.
She wanted a blue cake with Elmo and she picked out her candles. Yewwow and Blue.
She (and Elizabeth) love visiting the blue cow. But who am I kidding? I love ice cream, too! This cow is life sized and painted the color of blue moon ice cream.
Adelaide's favorite, the one she requested for her birthday and had two helpings of. Happy Birthday, Petite.