Friday, April 6, 2007


On Monday we had temps in the 80's. Here's a picture from yesterday when the high was 32. The snow melted today when it got to a whopping 35 degrees. Tonight's low is to be 11. I want spring back!!!

Kind of having a hard time with missing Mom on the first holiday. We went to church this evening, then went to the Dairy Queen for treats. Mom always treated us to DQ after church on Good Friday. We bought a blizzard and took it to the nursing home for Dad. He made quick work of it.

Sunday will be tough -- not having anywhere to go on my side of the family. I've decided to order out Dairy Queen and take it to Dad at the nursing home for supper.

I spent much of yesterday in my sewing room working on a quilt for my Aunt that did so much for Mom. My sister and I chose the "Sister's Choice" block.

Hugs & Happy Quilting!

Karen in KS

Spring, how 'bout summer!

Wow, it was almost 80 here today in the NW.
What a glorious day!
One of those rare ones you wish would last forever.
Here's Dyna on her walk today, when it's warm she will do up to
10 DFR's (drop-flop and rolls) ah, a dog's life!

Spring-Butterflies and Lilacs!
I took this photo on Monday and it sure felt and looked like spring to me! Although it still looks like spring outside my window, it sure feels like winter! Brrrrrrrrr... I saw on the news where a lot of you may have gotten snow! Yikes! I wonder where the butterflies are keeping warm...
I loved the colors in the photo and just wanted to share! Hope everyone is having a good day!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

It is dangerous

to have a bored day. I get into trouble.
Yes Kathi I am doing the Planet Patchworks.I just love the stars and I managed to find a black background that I really like. This is one that I think I am going to keep to give to #2 DGS. He is a sparkly little guy and the quilt just speaks to me that way. I am also doing the one one this web site I am really surprised that it coming along so nice. I was afraid of the fabric I choose because I wanted to use what I already had , but I really like it. I am also doing 2 wall hangings. See what I mean about it being dangerous when I am bored( actually I was really tired that day and I started web surfing quilt sites) One wall hanging is a Debbie Mumm and the other is from a German web site. So far I have had no trouble keeping up as I am already all done for the month. Please do not tell me there are other sites. It may not be so bad now but can you imagine what will happen at the end of the year and all these puppies have to be put together and quilted. Oh my goodness.
Most of the province today had snowstorms and we had lovely sunshine. we were so blessed today, but I am sure our day will come.
Now before I break out in song I think I should say Good night and have a blessed Easter to those who celebrate.
Have a good weekend.
Grace in Ont.

To Jean from Jean

Jean at Mills Bay, you're being so good with your diet! Mine is foundering a bit. I, too, lost 2 pounds a week there for a while in January and February. I went down 12 pounds (!)--and then got stuck. I keep gaining and losing the same pound or two now for the past several weeks. Hmph. All I want to do is lose 5 more pounds; you'd think after 12 that would be no big deal. I guess I've reached a sticking point. I've got to up the exercise and "down" the snacking. UGH.

Keep up the good work! My 12 pound loss put me down a jeans size (pun intended). I LOVE buying size 12 again!!

Jean in VT

Another Thursday

...and another 2 pounds gone! 8 pounds in four weeks -- I think I will eat some ice cream or something when I hit 10 pounds! Yesterday was interesting. I was the one designated to take goodies to my design group meeting and I decided if I was doing goodies I should do something that I *really* love, so I made sour cream lemon pound cake. And then in order to be able to eat it with a clear conscience, I lived on cantaloupe and lettuce yesterday. Definitely worth it! In a moment of self preservation I left the leftovers behind -- there is no way I could resist the stuff if it was sitting at my house.

I have started on the sewing room clean up. Yesterday I delivered a garbage bag full of fabric scraps and oddities to a lady who has a program doing crafts with disadvantaged kids and I have promised her more stuff as I pack it up. I have another bag full of dressmaker fabrics in good usable lengths, left over from the days when I sewed my clothes for work, and those will go to the Salvation Army thrift store later today. That will clear a little more working space, so I can continue to sort the contents of the closet. I can not believe how much stuff I have squirreled away in there! LOL And then there are the magazines... I might put those on Freecycle, along with a big box of clothing patterns that I will never use again. I find it is a lot easier to acquire stuff than it is to get rid of it! Does anyone else have this problem? Is there a 12 step program?

The sun is out today -- we have seen very little of it so far this year -- and if it gets warm later I will be in the garden. The weeds are getting the upper hand already and it is only April! But first I have a session at Curves to do...


Wednesday, April 4, 2007

West Michigan checking in

Jane, I love seeing all your pictures. Mother Nature forgot it is April.
It has been snowing and blowing all day. I don't think we will get as
cold as you Jane but I'm sure the wind chill is down there some where.
Mary, I hope you have a wonderful time and will look forward to reading
all about it when you get back.

Good morning!

It's been so long since I posted that I feel like I'm re-learning everything this morning. :-) I've LOVED the beautiful flower pictures, Jane. I'm one of those people that can be driving down a road at 60 MPH, see a touch of color and come to a quick stop to see the flower. LOL I can seldom remember the names of the flowers but truly enjoy seeing them. Particularly wildflowers.

I leave in two days for my trip to Australia. This week has been quite twitchy for me. I'm not sure how I'll get through the next two days but I'm sure the time will pass even faster than I'd like. I saved cleaning the house for the last day or two. Then I go into panic mode and hustle around doing a fast cleaning. :-) Hate to start TOO early as then I'd have to do it again. LOL

It will be wonderful catching up with some quilting buddies in the Melbourne area. Then off to Adelaide to meet up with Fran and Graham. I'm SO looking forward to our time with them! Fran has planned out some wonderful adventures which I know we'll all enjoy very, very much. I've been truly lucky to have her help planning that section of the trip. We'll be doing things I would never have thought about or even known to do. Thanks Fran!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter! The weatherman still isn't sure what sort of weather we'll have here. I hope it's nice as my DH is planning an Easter Egg hunt for the grands. It's much more fun to have it outside. :-)

Take care,
Hugz to all, Mary in Oregon


Raeann and anyone else who's interested there's an extremely informative article on In the left column with the links click on Mountain Voices and there you will see George Ellison's article of 3/28 that will answer all your questions and then some. He's the guy who taught me all I know about wild flowers. He knows where every species is blooming and when in about three counties. Interesting guy.

By the way, my prediction was right. I've been relishing the spring and bragging and we are now expecting night temps as low as 18 degrees Fahrenheit in the next few days. That might damage the strawberry and apple crops but I'm not sure if they've flowered yet.


Tuesday, April 3, 2007

BOM, etc.

Grace - which BOMs are you doing? I've done the first two blocks on the Planet Patchwork one and am ready to do this month's. For some reason I haven't been able to get geared up to do much sewing....must be spring fever.

And yes, we do have spring in this part of Idaho right now. DH is bemoaning the fact that the people we bought our house from didn't plant a flowering tree in the front yard. The Scarlet Hawthorne in the back has yet to come into bloom, but should be making him happy in the next week or two. Hopefully I'll be able to get a good picture of it. Love that wonderful color!

We spent our spring break last week at the cabin, where he did a great deal of fishing and I did a great deal of reading. Only managed to make two quilt blocks, and I'm not too sure whether I want to do an entire quilt of either one. Tomorrow I'm leaving to spend a week with my two older kids in California and the five CA grands. DD is almost finished with their house remodel, so I'll be anxious to see it. DS#1 has decided that taking a three hour train ride between their two houses would just be too much for me to do (where did he ever come up with that idea? I thought it would be an adventure), so he will pick me up on Sunday and transport me in the car. LOL.


Posted on wrong board yesterday

Well, I got so excited about Jane's pictures yesterday I posted on the wrong board.
Loved the pictures of the spring flowers.
Jane-there is a quilt shop called Piece Gardens in Ashville that is going out of business, if you happen to get into Ashville before April 21st. I'm on their mailing/E mail list. Lots of brights and batiks.
Yesterday I did way too much, and today having more sinus crud. Going to go nap on the couch for a bit. In case I don't post again this week, happy Easter everyone.
Sara in pollen -crusted Florida

Jane Thank you for the pictures. I keep looking for some colour but all we have yet is mud and brown grass.I know I sound impatient, but now we are in for snow again. UUGH.
Shadow looks like a very handsome dog. I do not know anything about the eye disease. so I will just send doggy hugs.
I finished my eagle wall hanging and now have to take the paper off. LOL that will be a job.I have started on a couple of BOM and one of them is turning out to be really neat and I will keep it for one of my DGS. It suits him to a T. Somehow I enjoy doing BOM. I can actually keep up. Have no idea what will happen at the end of the year when they will all be finished at the same time. Will cross that bridge when I get to it.
Not much happening around here otherwise.
I shall go and get my day started. All the friends and family that have wintered down south are on the road coming home this week, so reunions are the events coming up. Should be lots of chattering for some time.
Have a good week and Happy Easter to every one.
Grace in On.


Thanks Jane, the picture is beautiful. For some reason I thought it would be red. LOL

Raeann in MO

Monday, April 2, 2007


Here's your bloodroot. Isn't it a beauty?

Shadow & her flowers

Jane, Thanks for sharing the wonderful pictures!

Best of luck with the specialist. Even if they can't
do much it's so comforting knowing what is going on
& what to expect.
Bless her heart, give her a good butt scratchin for me!

I was so disappointed to see that some folks on my walk
route have acquired a new German Shorthair Pointer, a
puppy. Their last one has been gone a while, but I don't think
that poor dog ever left the back yard. When I would go by he
would jump about 5 ft high trying to clear their chain link fence,
he wanted to be out so bad. Maybe this one get better care, I hope


Jane, the photographs are lovely. None more so, than the one of your happy Shadow, rolling around in the leaves ! Live for the day indeed ! What a message.

What a joy to be surrounded by so many wild flowers. They are beautiful. More photos please.

Rosey, I was interested to hear about the course you attended. I don't think we have such a course here. I'm sure we should, shooting accidents are not uncommon. DH used to be a keen hunter but has lost the desire to kill, of recent years. The first holiday I ever went on in NZ. was a hunting holiday ! Quite a shock for a girl out of the UK. We went into very remote countryside with another couple. The other wife and I were very happy for the men to go without us, but they insisted that we would "love it " Wrong... The countryside was beautiful, the mountains and the lakes quite magnificent. We were hunting deer. Fortunately we didn't see many (the men blamed us ofcourse, for making too much noise as we slipped and fell in the dense undergrowth...) At the end of the week the " other husband " shot a deer (who turned out to be blind in one eye ) We made a sorry sight as we trekked our way out of the bush, me with the two guns over my shoulders, the men with meat over theirs and my friend (whose husband had shot the deer) also had the pleasure of carrying hot meat out on her shoulders... Is that too much information ? Sorry . 43 years later the memory is very clear !!!

A cooler morning here this morning but I expect it will be warm later on. I am making good progress with my "sailor" quilt and will have it ready for backing by the end of today.. I've been up late working on it and have spent many hours on it, during the days. The house is looking rather neglected and the meals have been scrappy... It will be nice to have it finished !

Another holiday w/end coming up, enjoy the time with your family Jane. How nice that they are able to visit.


A note for Shadow

Jane please tell Shadow she won't notice a THING.Our English setter was mostly blind and we didn't even know until we took him to another beach to give him a change of scenery and he wouldn't get out of the car.A first as he was always ready to run. Our vet told us he would manage very well but don't move the house around. We took his advice and he was so happy. We used to go to a bach(cottage) miles away with heaps of room to run and we used to have to tell people that he was blind as no one ever could tell. Shadow will be as happy as ever and will manage her blindness if you don't move the furniture around . The vet told us dogs can live a perfect life as their noses are as good as eyes. A dog's memory is very good and she will remember the area where she runs and won't need a leash. Contact me if you need anymore help. Hugs Bee.

You are so right, Jane

Shadow most likely isn't bothered by the possibility of her sight going. We have some good friends whose Labrador went completely blind by age five. They lived on a sizeable piece of property, and never realized that "Bump" had lost his sight until they took him to an unfamiliar place. He had apparently lost it gradually and just knew where everything was, so kept on going as usual.

One of the dogs that goes with Gus and me on our daily walks has been blind since birth. He has absolutely no clue! He just chugs along with the rest of us like he is totally enjoying the scenery.

Hopefully Shadow's news will be better, but just in case, I thought I'd let you in on these two "happy" cases.


Mountain Flowers

Jane, I am enjoying the flower pictures. Some I am familiar with and some not. Do you have pictures of "bloodroot"? I've always been curious as to what it looks like.

Raeann in MO


Oh the joy of a good roll in last year's dead leaves. C'mon and be HAPPY!

Love, Shadow


I'm back from the vet with bad news. I was right but not completely right about Shadow's vision failing. Not only are there cataracts but her irises fail to react adequately to light so that in the bright light she's letting in much too much light. The retinas don't look good either. Aunt Harriet (see earlier post) claims no ophthalmological expertise so Shadow and I will go see the doggie ophthalmologist from Charlotte when he does his one day a month in Asheville on the 24th. However, Harriet is not optimistic. She also claims Shadow will handle the loss of vision a whole lot better than I will. I'm sure that's the case. I'm sitting here really bummed out and she couldn't care less. Live in the moment is the message we should all learn from our hairy or feathered friends.

I will be sure to keep her in when the sun is super bright which in my yard is mostly true between noon and dinner time. I'm not nuts about the afternoon heat anyway and will be sure to get our hike in early as we are on the southwest side of the mountain. Eventually I will have to keep her within my view and I suppose eventually on a leash. I'll be forced to change my slovenly housekeeping so she won't be bumping into things.

Sorry, I shouldn't obsess until we see the ophthalmologist. (Then I'll obsess).

The mountainsides have a sudden burst of green. The trees must have leafed overnight.

Jane in NC

Spring flowers

Jane, your photographs of flowers are absolutely wonderful and I can enjoy spring before it arrives here in Southern Ontario, Canada....This morning, I went for an early swim at the conference centre and the robins were singing in the trees. The birds are pretty much silenced in winter so it's always such a welcome sound come spring.

As to hunting, I have a greater respect for the training these hunters must go through. I also feel that it does no good to oppose something that I don't fully understand. While I couldn't shoot anything live unless threatened, I am seriously concerned for the safety of residents here. It is too populated an area for hunting to occur now but it is still allowed. It is up to the residents to become better educated as to when these seasons occur.

The commissioned quilt is out at the handquilter's home now and I am floundering with creative burn-out, I guess, and trying to step into my next project. Sorted through the studio yesterday. At least I can walk around in here now.


Sunday, April 1, 2007

More Flowers

Forgive me. I can't help myself. Sorry about the fuzzy anemone image in previous post. These are from top to bottom: obviously the yellow violet the exact species I don't know, Dutchman's britches as you can see they look like a pair of old fashioned Duch pantaloons hanging on the line, last but not least larkspur (a wild delphinium). Now I'm just getting warmed up but Idon't want to occupy too much space and I'm falling asleep. If there is demand from my public I shall continue to post my flowers.

Rosey, I’m glad to see that you have benefited from seeing the other side of the hunting coin. Having lived with a very careful and ethical hunter all those years brought home to me the fact that they are not all idiots running around with loaded guns shooting randomly at anything that moves. Neither he nor any of his buddies would think of shooting an animal out of season, nor of shooting a firearm without the greatest possible care. I don’t think that any of those guys left so much as a used kleenex behind either. I think Al’s Dad pounded that into him long before he had a driver’s license. Hunting and driving are not very different when it comes to safety concerns. Anyone with a gun should be trained just as an operator of an automobile should be trained. I think it would be a good thing if all school kids at least before graduating from high school, should be taught the basics of gun safety just as they are taught driver’s ed. Even if they never own a gun it is something everyone should know. We all know how most teenagers and males in particular tend to take chances and they shouldn’t be allowed at large with a firearm without trained adult supervision. Here in NC there is a fairly rigorous course in hunter safety and ethics that is required prior to applying for a hunting license. Al was incensed that he had to take the class despite his experience. Of course, NC had no way of knowing what he knew about the subject even if he’d been licensed in at least three or four other states. Despite his complaints he came away impressed and admitted that he learned a lot about species identification and other things that he didn’t know. He was very pleased to see a lot of dads who were already licensed attending the class with their sons and daughters. That’s a great example for the kids. As for hand gun safety, a class is required here in NC prior to licensing. In it there is not only coaching in the gun handling but also about the law regarding self defnse and other pertinent law. By the way, there is very little if indeed more than a modicum of gun violence committed by licensed hand gun carriers.

Spring continues apace here. Heat’s off and windows are opened most days and even nights at my house. There were three or four new species of flowers out today including one of my favorites, the large leaved trillium posted here. There is a lot of mountain anemone another very sweet looking delicate white flower. I am very partial to the early spring flowers as you might guess. Of course there are the violets too. Common blues (actually purple), Confederate (a white color morph of the common blue) and one of the yellows are making an appearance. I haven’t yet found the box that contains my field guide so I’m not sure about the yellow one. There are several species of those that grow here and I’ve forgotten the differences. Can you endure some more pictures? I haven’t had much luck with the anemones. I get kind of wobbly when the flower is small and close to the ground. I’m just not very agile with stiff knees and I tend to sway a bit so that picture is not quite in focus.

Weighed in today. Down 1.5 pounds since last Sunday making a net loss of four pounds in three weeks. Not record breaking but a whole lot better than an increase. Since I’ve had a protracted birthday celebration that ain’t bad.

The gym has been closed for three weeks but I’ve been walking with Shadow. She is definitely slowing down a bit and is sometimes a tiny bit gimpy after a hike with me and another with neighbors the same day. I give her a coated baby aspirin and that seems to be plenty. I hope to find the gym open tomorrow after I have the oil changed in the old buggy. They’ve done a major enlargement of the whole facility including doubling the weight training space. There will be free weights as well as the machines. Those machines are made in a generic size which is often unsuitable for me because, despite my girth I am small boned and narrow of shoulder. The arm machines are jus too big. I much prefer dumbbells for that purpose. As one gets stronger the weight should go up in small increments so it’s good to have them in all sizes. Will this be the year of the bikini? Don’t count on it. I’ve been asking that question since I was 15 and it hasn’t happened yet.

Grands and DD#1 will arrive on the 8th at mid day and I’m really excited. They are such fun. Now that they are teenagers I will have to get a carload of food to keep them happy. Unlike so many of the children around here they are very active and can eat their own weight in a day and remain very slim. DD and her ex deserve a lot of credit for that as they are both good healthy cooks and limit TV and computer time while supporting sports activities.

Shadow will go to the garage with me tomorrow and we’ll play in a nearby park while the buggy is being serviced. Then we go to see Aunt Harriet (the vet) for a Lyme disease shot and parasite check. Lately I’ve become concerned about Shadow’s vision. There are times when she pesters me to hit the ball for her and I comply with her wishes but she stops dead in her tracks and doesn’t pursue it. It has happened in the afternoon when the sun is shining at her face and in the evening when I turn on the porch and garage outdoor lights. Just yesterday I was “loving on her” as they say in the mountains, when I noticed that her eyes or rather the pupils seem a bit clouded. I am afraid it is cataracts. She’s 10.5 years old. The incidents of her not seeming to see the ball made sense as I know that cataracts interfere with clear vision in glare. I’m bummed about it but am trying to keep rational until Harriet takes a look tomorrow. I’ll be back here crying the blues if my fears are well founded. Hmmm. Does that mean that I am rational at other times? There are those who might question that.

Jane in NC

In passing....

Not deserving of comment, yesterday found me in a situation and place a year ago I'd not thought to be. As some know, our good friend, Marianne Schmid, died November 6th last; shot in the abdomen by a careless hunter on the first day of deer hunting here in our area. Twice I addressed our local council, who in the end, have abstained from taking any positive stand on a firearms by-law; the last of which time I walked into a meeting room with standing room only of testosterone-filled males in hunting jackets and hats. However, from that came an invitation to attend the local anglers & hunters firearms safety training course and yesterday, learn I did. I have a greater respect for the training that hunters-to-be go through to get their licence. I also realize that one bad apple spoils the bushel and the irresponsible hunters who come into our area and hunt where they are not allowed or wanted, who are rude and frighten residents, spoil it for the rest. It was an absorbing day for me, ending with the explanation of each gun presented, a 12 guage pump, similar to one given to me years ago, a 22, a 30/30 I think it was. While I don't agree with killing a live animal such as a deer, I would not hesitate to kill anything, should I have the means to do so, if my animals and I were threatened. Hunting, to me, is not a sport, but it is to many and I go with that. I feel that it does no good to oppose something that I don't understand and I don't oppose legalized hunting; just the careless use of firearms and the aggressive approach to the rights of hunters who disobey the law. And unfortunately this happens all over our area and with regularity. During the morning break, a younger man came to me and asked why I was there. I told him that I was a 'mole'. He said that he thought so by my questions and smiled. We talked more and I found that his father had committed suicide with a gun and we hugged as we parted company at the end of the day. Sometimes good things come of the unexpected. I know it's not quilt related but I am sitting in my quilt studio as I write this.

Marion, your balloonists remind me of the fact that we have balloonists fly over the valley on very calm mornings and evenings during the summer months and I'm told that, again, a fundraising event of balloonists and guests will take place here this summer as it did the summer before last. I well remember the day when Jock's daughter, Olivia, said, with a great sigh of boredom: nothing ever happens here that is exciting. Well, that day a helicopter landed on our back meadow accompanied by a balloon floating by overtop. Can't be that if you lived in the city...but I think that she found the country pretty dead as a teen living here...couldn't blame her either. For us, it's a wonderful place to be; for teens, not.