Friday, June 1, 2007

Civil War Fabric

Any of you who have worked with civil war fabrics, have any scraps you want to donate or trade? I am using up every crumb of my leftovers from Dear Jane in a log cabin pineapple scrap quilt. I can use anything if its at least 2 x 3 inch and on up. Strips are all 2inch wide and smallest one is 3 inch length. The more variety the better. Thanks.
raeann at missvalley dot com

Raeann in MO

oooouch !

What a tale of caution ! I've never been a cat fancier and avoid them if possible ! (sorry to all the cat lovers out there...) It seems to me to be totally in keeping with their nature to seduce then attack !! Poor Jane. A very frightening episode to have your quilting hand under threat like that . I do hope you recovered well enough to enjoy your time away. Looking forward to the photos.

Had a day in the garden yesterday, shirt- sleeve weather for the first day of winter... Busy with the autumn tidy-up. It's very dry out there, the farmers will be getting worried. We are surrounded by irrigated land so it's easy to forget the real consequences of this period of fine weather. We are heading north tomorrow for a Christening, back to the area where we used to farm. It's a pretty, hilly area , the farmers there will be hoping for a significant rainfall before the ground gets too cold for the grass to grow...

Must take the dog for a walk, she's at my feet looking hopeful !
Enjoy the day.

West Michigan checking in

Just wanted to congratulate everyone who is losing weight.
Good for you. I just don't have the will power at this point.
Raccoons must be problems every where. We've live trapped
4 coons and 1 possum in the last few weeks. One was a big
female ready to pop. Glad we took her out of town before she
had her babies.
Jane, that was a scary episode with the cat. Hope you don't have
future problems. Our SIL was scratched by a cat and got Cat
Scratch Fever. He has reoccurring problems with it.
Our GS graduates from HS tonight. His open house in on Sunday.
I've decided not to dress up tonight as it is too warm.
Hope everyone has a great weekend.
I go to FL on Thursday to pick up my lady. Hope we have good weather
to come home in.
Hugs to all, Mayme

Thursday, May 31, 2007


of the news of the past two weeks.

I’m back after an interesting couple of weeks. As mentioned previously, I had an unplanned stay at the local hospital. I’d been invited to have Mother’s Day dinner at the home of neighbors who are good friends. They have a couch potato cat that is seldom outdoors beyond the porch but he does ramble in the yard occasionally. He’s aloof and I’m not much of a cat person. On this occasion he was lying on the sofa with the lady of the house. He’s so fat he spreads like an oil slick when he lies down. She was petting him then said he had “that look” and she left him alone. I wasn’t offering to pet him but he seduced me as I stood by the sofa accepting a glass of wine from the host. The cat put his head under my hand and seemed to be asking to have a pat. Almost unconsciously I responded by gently stroking his head and back. Next thing I knew he was sinking his teeth into my hand. I yelped, spilled my wine down my blouse (fortunately it was white). The host, swearing at the cat went to the bathroom for anti biotic salve and peroxide. I thought that was a bit of overkill but after rinsing in sink and wiping with paper towel accepted the first aid and a band aid to keep from dripping blood on the carpet. They apologized profusely and I brushed the incident off having received many a puppy bite in my life. It didn’t hurt much at all. Next morning the top of my hand was swollen and was a very angry red, almost purple. I though possibly it was infected but went on to guild meeting. I happened to sit next to a nurse and I asked her if she thought it was infected. She was rather alarmed, I thought unnecessarily so, and told me to get to my doc right away. After the meeting I had lunch with a friend and noticed that the red swelling was beginning to spread up my arm so called my doc and headed her way. I did stop and buy an outfit for the Callaway trip on the way as they said they were booked for the rest of the day and that they’d “squeeze me in”. Doc saw me at about 4:30 and she saw the infection was almost to my elbow. I figured she’d give me a prescription and send me on my way. WRONG. She told be to get to the hospital immediately and that I needed to be on intravenous antibiotics as soon as possible. She told me not to go home for clean underwear or to feed the pooch.

In the parking lot I call my dear neighbors who said they’d rescue Shadow and bring the necessities in the next morning. Shortly after I was admitted an orthopedic surgeon came in at my doc’s request to examine the hand. He said cellulitis, which is a very common result of cat bite, can spread into the sheathing around tendons and other stuff I didn’t really understand and if so it requires immediate surgery to prevent permanent damage and loss of use of fingers. Yikes. This was my right hand, the one I quilt with. However, he thought we’d caught it in time. He checked three more times before I was released on Wednesday at mid day with a prescription for the continued use of the anti biotic cocktail I’d been getting in the arm. Apparently this is not unusual in the case of cat bites. To add to the chaos, my doc called animal control. I called the friends from the hospital and told them what had happened so they would be prepared to hear from animal control and have the cat’s shot record handy. Guess what; the cat was two years overdue for a rabies shot and spent the next ten days in quarantine at the animal shelter. The owners let me know while I was still in the hospital that they were angry with me because I’d “been told to leave the cat alone.” That response made me very angry but fortunately I didn’t respond. The cat is out of jail, my hand is healed without having needed surgery and the cat was inoculated at the animal shelter. During the Sunday dinner after the bite the hostess commented about how mean the cat is and that she has the scars to prove it. They have grandchildren in that house several times a year. I think they ought to shoot the beast but they didn’t ask for my opinion. Anyway, I walked down to their house today and we kissed and made up. I’ll never go near the cat again but I can’t understand keeping such an aggressive, uninoculated pet around especially when there are children present.

Jean, perhaps you have some idea why a house cat is more likely than a dog to cause such an infection. Cats are such finicky eaters and so clean in general while most dogs will eat almost anything. My Molly ate carrion at every opportunity. Playing with her and giving her a treat which she was very rough about taking from my hand she broke my skin with her teeth many times and I never had the least infection from her. She was a pig and would eat dead animals (when she wasn’t rolling in them) and when she was young delighted in eating her own and other animals’ feces. She really was quite disgusting. You all know how I managed to love her. I suppose the neighbors love their cat but I hope they don’t let the shots fall behind and that they keep him away from grandchildren.

More later about the trip. I have an obscene number of pictures of the gardens and will cull through them and post a few of the best. I don’t want to make any post get too long although I suppose I’ve already done that with this one. Rosey, I have a tip for you about the masked rascals.

Jane in NC


We've been without the computer for a few days this week and I feel quite out of touch !! Good to catch up with the news. Seems that the wild- life is causing a few problems !! Good luck with those raccoons Rosey !

It's official ! May was the warmest since records began, 150yrs ago. I thought it was special.

Jean, you are such an encouragement ! When you said you wanted to lose 20lbs , it sounded very ambitious ! Now you've very nearly done it. Well done. I think I also have you to thank for my smart new sewing table !! Such a surprise ! It was delivered to my door last week Seems that my DH saw one when we were away recently and ordered one, then and there ! All without me knowing ! I had my head down, looking at fabric at the time ofcourse ! I think he was motivated by the photo of your sewing room !!! I showed him the photo and even he could see that it was a great improvement on my 'set up' in the spare bd.rm..... (a sewing machine on top of an old tea trolley....) I know he would like to provide me with a nice sewing room but we do have lots of visitors, so I am reluctant to totally take over a room.... I do have the alternative of a windowless attic but, for obvious reasons, that really doesn't attract !! Most of my work is hand quilted and appliqued, so it's not really a problem. I do like my new sewing table though ! It's very smart and (fortunately) just what I would have chosen if I had thought to buy one myself (!)

Kathi, I loved the pretty photo. It really brightened up the page . I'll be looking forward to seeing colourful photos of the Northern Hemisphere gardens to help me through our winter ! There's not much colour in my garden at the moment but the spring bulbs are up already so that's encouraging. !!

Time to start my day. Enjoy your w/end.

Racoons, trees, Hurricane season

I have had my battles with racoons also. Traped two large ones a few years ago and took them out of town. One was about 30 lbs, the other about 20. However, they breed, and there are more back now. We have resorted to a bungy cord over the garbage cans. They can tip the cans over, but not open them. This is the time of year for moles to dig into the yard, garden, and so on. Can see their destruction, but not them. (The garbage cans are the hard PCV type, do DH drilled holes in either side of the area where the top joins the can and the bungy cord holds the top on)
We are collecting estimates for having two tall sweet gum trees taken out in the back yard. After several years, and several trees taken down, decided that these have to go also. They are way overgrown, and a wind hazard. Hurricane seasons starts on June 1st, and they would fall on the deck and the house and do some major damage. So far the estimates have been from $1700 to $2300. A big spread of $$ there, I'm hoping the man who is coming this afternoon will be less than $1700. If we had done it 2 years ago it would have been $1200, but at the time thought that was too much money. Gosh!
Have finished the top of the DGS's skateboard quilt, waiting for the Shiva paintsticks to arrive to stamp skateboards on the backing before doing the quilting.
Finally after 6 months, just had lunch with a neighbor across the street. She had to stop work on disability due to pinched nerves in her neck. We had a good lunch at a salad place and then walked around an antique store.
The arms are getting stronger with the workouts from the kayaking.
Way to go on the weight loss everyone! I'm proud of you. It is harder every year for the pounds to go, and they come faster.
OK, there was more in the brain, but forgot what it was.
Sara in Fla.

Almost there!

It is the Thursday weigh in and the news is all good! One pound to go! 19 lost since I started in mid March! By next week I should have hit or passed the target of twenty pounds -- and since this is going so well and since DH is going to be away again for a few more weeks, I think I will just carry on. It is not like I don't have more weight to lose!

The twenty pound target was for a specific purpose. Last year I toured the local raptor center (Pacific Northwest Raptors -- they have a website) with a friend and that reminded me that after watching a display of falconry in Europe a number of years ago, I had said that I would like to learn to do that. Turns out the local center offers courses, so my friend and I informed our husbands that we wanted to take a falconry course and they could get that for us for Christmas. Being sensible lads, they did! We now have a date set for the full day class -- and I have dropped enough weight that it is going to be much easier to scramble around the rough terrain with a very big bird on my arm! Between Curves and the diet, I am feeling quite fit these days.

Yes, raccoons can get very big and can be very aggressive toward other creatures. You never want to corner one! We have had losses here, as Rosey mentioned, and I really do not like them! They will kill for the fun of it, and there are few sights as heartbreaking as the carnage in a chicken pen after they have gone on a killing spree. I try very hard to share my world with the rest of the creatures God put here, but it is a stretch with the raccoons!

I have company coming for the weekend, so I am doomed to spending this wonderful sunny day getting my house fit for guests. Yuck! Maybe if I work fast, I will be able to get outside for some quality time with the weeds...

Jean, who adopted out another of the foster kittens yesterday...

Masked bandits

Rosey - my kitty problem pales in comparison with your furry visitors. I do know that raccoons can get up to about 50 pounds in size. An animal that large can do considerable damage. A friend where we used to live would regularly lose her cats to the 'coons. They finally had to resort to trapping them and having Fish and Game haul them away (the coons, not the cats LOL).

We tried a new remedy for our kitty outhouse problem. A neighbor told us to scatter cinnamon sticks throughout the beds. Worked for about two nights, but.......they're baaaaaaaack!

This past weekend we worked at installing a water feature in the back yard. I took this picture just after it was watered, so the mulch looks quite a bit darker than it actually is.
Yesterday DS#2 came over and helped erect a pergola. As we were sitting outside having coffee this morning, we both looked at the pergola and decided that it should switch places with one of the trees. Anyone know how long it's safe to move a bare root willow tree? It's only been in for about two or three months, but it's putting out quite a few branches. Don't know how extensively the root system grows in a few months. Even though it's nearly impossible to kill most willows, I'm afraid that we probably could manage!

Wow, Rosey!

You sound like you're having fun with your raccoons. I didn't think they would be strong enough to tip over a can full of seed. Do they work in teams? I've only ever seen pictures; how big are they, compared to a cat? I know they are very dexterous with their paws.

Up here, we have problems with bears. They are very strong and will go to great lengths to get into garbage. I also burn off my barbeque as soon as I'm finished cooking, and I have stopped composting (it makes me so mad to have to do that) because I feel it's like putting out a buffet. Bears who come into town or to the dump are very attracted to the rotting fruit and vegetable smell. At camp, we dispose of our bacon grease, etc., quickly and lock up our garbage. I don't even compost there are even more bears out in the bush.

It's a big year for bears so far. My DSIL took some pictures of a bear on the long weekend. It came out onto the highway, so he stopped the car. He said it circled the car several times, sniffing aroung, looking for all the world as if he were thinking about buying it! We just pray for a bountiful berry crop this summer.

All that said, it's worth the hassle to live in the beautiful bush. Just annoying sometimes.
Brenda in Nn Ontario

It's war!

Yesterday I came to understand that the term 'stove polish' means that after the black is applied to the surface of anything, polishing is the next thing that needs to occur. I've used some black stove polish on surfaces that did not need polishing...and where was that product when I went searching for it again in the stores? I applied a new stove polish product to our outside wrought iron wood storage unit on the porch beside the front door...a solid base with wrought iron sides, a 'U' shaped unit...and in summertime I put pots of flowers there instead. After a winter's usage of wood storage, I have to apply stove polish to blacken it again. Trouble is, the black polish kept coming off on my hands and it never occured to me to wonder why. After coming into contact with my new quilt yesterday and leaving marks on that (which has mostly come out with an application of soap and water) I polished it last night. It has come out nice and shiny. Imagine that...another example of my not reading the small print and instructions which is why I find sewing machines frustrating. I have to read the instructions on how to operate them. It must be a mind-set just special to certain people who like to frustrate themselves.

I've awoken to the realization this morning that we are in full battle mode now with raccoons. One has taken our metal garbage can full of bird seed, taken the bungy cord, which was impossible for me to budge after Jock managed to secure it tightly over the top of the lid, turned it upside down and taken thirty feet away from it's location. At the front of the house, the composting pail is turned upside down, too. It was empty as garbage day was yesterday. It is war.

I guess if it's not cats using gardens for kitty litter boxes, it's raccoons looking for a midnight snack.


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Back from Chicago

I arrived safely home at about 1:30 AM yesterday morning. The QuizBowl team did OK; they won 4 and lost 6 at the national level, putting them just below the middle of the pack. Now that we've been there, we'll be better coaches for the next group with potential. There's a couple of things we could have done to help them to do better. The kids' behavior was super. Don't ever let anyone tell you that American youth don't know how to behave! Some of them behave better than the random adults around them.
If you get a chance to go to Chicago, make a point of getting to the Art Institute. They have an exhibit of miniatures that has to be seen to be believed. We were told that Mrs. Thorne required the craftsmen to use exactly the same kind of wood in creating the miniature that was originally used in the real furniture. Therefore, each piece is an exact duplicate of the original.
"Thorne Miniatures at the Chicago Art Institute:

The 68 Thorne Miniature Rooms enable one to glimpse elements of European interiors from the late 13th century to the 1930s and American furnishings from the 17th century to the 1930s. Painstakingly constructed on a scale of one inch to one foot, these fascinating models were conceived by Mrs. James Ward Thorne of Chicago and constructed between 1932 and 1940 by master craftsmen according to her specifications."

We also got to the Museum of Science and Industry, the Frank Lloyd Wright Home, the Chicago Symphony, the zoo, and did an Architectural boat tour. I could have spent hours more at the museums, but this was a really short trip and we tried to cram in as much as possible.

I have done no quilting since school let out last week (I wonder why? LOL) My machine is still not back from being repaired. I think I might try to do the prep on my drunkard's path blocks. I'm using a freezer paper method, and I could prepare a bunch of blocks and be ready to sew once I get the machine back.

Laura in Alabama

Sunday, May 27, 2007

hello before we leave

Hi all,
well we had a good visit in S. Ontario. We had great weather there and my DM is doing okay. We do see her slowing down a lot though and I found that she had aged a lot this winter. She is 93 now and doing as well as can be expected. She fell and broke her arm but we are very happy is was only that. It could have been so much worse. Then once we got home got word from my DS that in her room was a resident that was a staph carrier. Well the family down home was all up in arms and I think some strong letters and phone calls were made because I have just received word that the said resident has been moved to a private room.

So needless to say I have not been very creative these last few weeks. Took my sewing machine baby in to be worked over while I am away for the next three weeks. We leave for Duncan BC on Tuesday morning. I am so looking forward to the trip. DDIL says that they have lots planned and I even get to meet some red hatters . we are taking our passports hoping we can take a weekend and go to Seattle while we are on the west coast. That would be so neat. Three weeks will go so fast, but I am sure we will cram lots into it.
Then we will come home for the summer and sort of just stay put. All my groups shut down for the summer so maybe I can do a little catch up.
Hope every one here is doing well and I am sending hugs for those who need one. Grab one while the going is good. Hugs are so fantastic.
Take care and hopefully I can keep up reading while on the west coast I just can not post.(as if I post so often LOL)
Grace in On, who is hoping for an uneventful flight across Canada.

Cat troubles

Kathi, I was going to suggest the Scarecrow, but I see Jill already got there! I don't have one, but if the deer and rabbits don't stay out of my garden I am getting one.

Jill, the solution to your door and other small areas where you don't want cats is a device called "Ssscat" -- Google that word and you will get the information. It works brilliantly to keep cats away from anyplace you don't want them -- I use mine when I am training a new kitty to stay off tables and counters and sometimes I set it up outside my bedroom door so I am not bothered by cats during the night. All of the older cats here won't approach if they see the thing -- I don't even have to turn it on anymore! LOL It does not have enough range to do a garden, but it sure would take care of the spraying around the door.

I have had the best day today! Went to a quilt show with a couple of friends and then did a bit of shopping. None of us spent much but we sure had fun! And this morning DH phoned to say he will be home tomorrow, at least for a few days. That is a very good thing, too!

Jean, heading off to sit down with a new book


Does anyone have any ideas for keeping the neighborhood cats from using our newly landscaped front yard as a litter box? The back yard is pretty safe, as Gus does his regular patrols. I'm just tired of the buried treasures that keep appearing in the front planter beds.



Well, drat, no pounds off this week, but did get rid of another 1/2" off measurements, so that's a good thing.

We're going to pick up Mom this afternoon, go to see "Pirates", and then out for supper. I must stick with the right food!

Pat in Rockport, TX