Saturday, October 6, 2007


Sara, thanks for the offer. We've had a bit but no where near enough. It will take several years of normal rainfall to come close to getting our water table up. Many of our wonderful wildflowers never bloomed from late spring through the summer and even now and there has been very little production of fruit from trees. I've seen one buckeye nut and just a couple of acorns. That means the bears are in peril. Unfortunately that means they will be raiding garbage cans and bird feeders. They love sunflower seeds. My backyard birds disappeared from my feeders a month ago and have suddenly reappeared and are eating with gusto. A friend suggested as we work to solve all of life's problems at the quilt frames on Friday that the birds have to come to the feeders so ravenously because there are so few seeds available in the environment. That's a hypothesis that makes a lot of sense. We've not only had this horrible drought but we had a hard freeze Easter weekend that killed off all of the flowering that was going on then including the entire apple crop of the western part of the state. Of course, with my usually impeccable timing last year and this year I spent several thousand dollars having sizable beds planted with shrubbery that have been damaged by one or the other of the climate problems. I hate watering stuff as I'm dependant on a well. There are places in the county where wells and springs have dried up and the county is having to truck water to those folks. We are all hoping for a dreary cloudy rainy winter with some serious snow in between the rains. That would be a big help to the farmers next year and all of us for that matter. Normally they have three hay cuts in my neighborhood but there were two this year. That forces some to buy feed for the winter rather than providing their own. There are a couple of Hereford and Brahman herds on my valley. Risky business is agriculture.

Been out all day doing things that I'd rather not have been doing so I won't venture out tomorrow except for a good trudge up the hill. I've got to get back on the weight watcher track. I've been forced to eat really greasy suthen cookin' today at a covered dish I was obliged to attend. Yuck, fried chicken with super heavy breading full of grease, beans cooked for hours in water with fat back, breaded, fried ochra, chicken salad made with twice the mayo it needed and my tuna salad with half fat free mayo and half regular. I would have made it with the less than wonderful fat free stuff if I'd made it for myself. Gad, no wonder half the population here is dangerously obese. There were far fewer people there so I came home with about a quart of the tuna salad. Please tell me to cut my losses (thereby increasing my future losses) and pitch it out. I'll make some more with my last can of tuna with an absolute minimum of fat free stuff; just enough to hold the tuna together which is what my wise mother used to say. I have a couple of locally grown heirloom tomatoes called Cherokee black which beats the heck out of anything that comes here from FL or other places. The tomatoes have been few and far between this year. A good, thick tomato slice and good leaf or romaine lettuce are wonderful with tuna or anything else for that matter.

Tomorrow I will try to recover from having my grandson's laid out blocks all over the floor this morning when the block butler fell off the wall. The block butler lady told me on the phone to spritz it with water as it does not work well if it gets too dry. That's the last thing I will try before asking for a refund. I've already contacted the credit card people as the bill payment is due 10/19. It was much easier than it used to be. I simply took care of it on phone. Of course had to do the birth date, mother's maiden name etc. to convince them it was me and she told me to withhold the payment if the issue is not resolved by then. I still hope to resolve it as block butler is great if it works. So far I've had to have two of them replaced so their quality control stinks. At the frame Friday one of the gals said she had the same problem. If the moisture works I call her. Otherwise I'll get some cheap batting and simply tape it up there. Wish I'd done that in the first place. Flannel doesn't hold the blocks very long but I was advised (again at the frame) to use cheap batting. Sounds like a great idea.

I think I'll cut and paste the quilting stuff onto the BB so you are hereby absolved from any obligation to read it all over again. Why make two posts when one will do? Nobody's posted over there since Tuesday.

Well, I left at noon leaving behind a mess in the kitchen so best get at it and start tomorrow with a clean slate.


Rain,Rain go away

Remember back in May when I was saying how dry it was and we needed rain? We have had enough this week to last another 6 mo. Officially at the airport it has only been about 8 inches, but here about 20 or so. Several schools were closed on Thursday and lots of street flooding. I am grateful that our little subdivision has good drainage.
Last night DH and I drove down to St. Augustine for the little art quilt show. I have baked lots of home made goodies, and worked on Thursday there to help hang the quilts. It made me very humble to see the abilities of so many various quilt artists. Sort of like seeing the "Mother Earth and her children" quilt. Not even anywhere in a league a could join.
It was a busy few days and I'm happy to stay home and watch football on TV tonight. Right now my college is having a time out due to lightning.
My DH is determined that we are going to be having fun kayaking! We spent every spare min. this week researching then test driving SUVs that would hold 2 kayaks and 2 bikes. What a man,gotta love him. Well, since I had a very red Camray that was only 1 and 1/2 years old, my only requirement was that it be some shade of red.
I didn't care what brand, model, just red. The 2nd Toyota dealership we visited went out of their way to get a burgundy one the day after we were there, so now it is in the garage.
Now I just have to practice backing the big old thing up!

Hope you are all well, and I'll be glad to send the rain up to N.C. or any other place that wants it. The animals may start lining up 2 by 2 in another 24 hrs.
Sara in squishy Florida

Friday, October 5, 2007

Congrats, Grace...not startling news...great news!

Sorry that I won't be heading up to your retreat next September. God-willing I'll be heavily into a week at Wit's End Horse Trials but I hope that I may see someone on her way through from the west and who knows, maybe someone from the east may backtrack up here too.

Such a funny thing happened last night that I'm still chuckling over. The phone rang last night and I took it on the upstairs telephone, which doesn't work well at the best of times. A minute or so into the call, the phone downstairs was picked up and I couldn't hear at all on the upstairs phone for the static. I yelled into the phone as I couldn't hear the person at the other end; finally gave up and hung up. Came downstairs to relate the problem to Jock who said that his computer had voices coming from it. I pointed out that we had a separate phone line and a separate computer line...impossible for this to happen. But he was determined that he heard 'voices' I left it at that...feeling that maybe something weird was going on here and didn't say anything more. A short while later, looking for the portable phone and pressing the 'find-me' button, we could hear a muffled sound coming from the trousers that he'd been sitting on while at the computer (he'd taken them off to cut the wood outside in his shorts). Turns out he'd been sitting on the phone while I was talking. I couldn't stop laughing...the image of voices floating up from his bottom was too much.


Thursday, October 4, 2007

It is coming together

Me that is. Finally my team are pulling at the same speed and things are working out a little better. I feel as if I am reaching the goals that I am setting for myself. Not to complain but it sure has not been the best of summers, and we are not talking about the weather.

Yesterday morning driving in to town for some volunteer work I was looking around and I could almost feel natures anticipation for the next season.I know that sounds like a weird statement and who know I may be certifiable, but it was grand. The fields are empty, some of the trees are already bare and the rest are spreading all the glorious colour all around them. I do hope that we get the cold spell real soon so that we will have a nice period of weather yet before the snow starts to fall. Otherwise winter will be very long.

For those who mailed me back about having the Sept /08 retreat I hope to have some mail out by the weekend. Just some info and some questions. If there is anyone else who would like to join in my email addy will put you on the list.

Now for some startling news. We had a small quilt show here. It was the first one ever held and it was absolutely fantastic. The girl who put it on did a really grrrreat job.So far I have heard nothing but wonderful comments. Anyway since it was a first around here I never thought about it , so took 2 quilts and 2 wall hanging to put in the show. To make a long story short one of the quilts got two ribbons. It is a good thing I did not know about the judging because I never would have taken them. I have in no way been quilting long enough to even think about such an event. I was totally dumbstruck.

Now I better finish this rather long day and start over again tomorrow.
Take care all and hugs to all around.
Great to read all of you
Grace in Ont.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


I too, am a fan of autumn. I also like all four seasons, especially after living in FL for 27 years. It's always a marvel to me when the seasons are rolling one into the next. Thank goodness it is finally cooling off. The heat this summer has been the worst since I've lived here (15 years). The winters have been a bit mild for me the past two or three years. I don't do well in very cold environments (Raynaud's disease) but I do like the occasional heavy snow and three or four days of cold serious enough to produce an accumulation of snow in Caney Fork Creek which is quite a fast moving creek. It is so beautiful with the ice in the creek and snow on the every greens. However, after a couple of weeks of that I'm satisfied. Having the monster expensive generator and gas heat makes me a lot more complacent as a heavy snowfall here in the woods causes power failures so numerous that it can be the better part of a week before everyone is back on line. In my part of the country it seems to me that fall and spring, the two best seasons, predominate rather than winter and summer. I'm not speaking technically of course. In Ann Arbor in southeastern MI spring might be around for a few weeks and suddenly it would be summer. Same with autumn. At least that's the psychology of it.

We are not getting any color this year as the drought continues. There is terrible fire risk and the leaves are just turning brown for the most part. However, we've had some gorgeous clear pleasant days after the last few months at high 90s. That is very much atypical. Now that I've said I like winter watch me have to eat my words. One of the nice things about winter, which was once the nice thing about summer in FL was that the population drops by half or more. That's no longer true so much there. The traffic is congested even in little old Sylva and I hate it. There are subdivisions going up all over the place here. Darn it, Al and I kept trying to find the best place to live and thought we had done that in '66 when we arrived in Clearwater, but the subsequent population density drove us out. In '85 when we bought vacation land here we thought so then too.

DORIS, have you tried allergy shots? I started in about June and so far this has been the nicest autumn I've had in years in terms of breathng. That's always been my worst allergy time although I have some problems year round. Dust mites are with us year round. But I'm sensitive to numerous things that grow so that's a seasonal problem. I'm very pleased. Haven't had a sinus infection since I started the shots. Going to and from the doc's office is a pain as it's a 35 or 40 minute drive from home but I'm in and out of there in 15-20 minutes.

Still can't seem to get to the boys' quilts dammit. I ordered a 6x6 block butler to use for that purpose and the first one was defective in that I couldn't get the plastic cover that keeps the tacky part from sticking to itself while handling or packing it, off of the darn thing. When I called they said that they'd become aware of the defect after they'd sent it and they would send another. Spent another several hours getting the new one up and it is now falling off the wall. I have a 4x6 one that works fine but that was a replacement of the original which was also defective and wouldn't stick to the wall. I wanted the big one for the bed sized quilts as they are scrappy and I want the lights and darks distributed in a balanced way but I can't wait forever. I have a lot of seam allowance to cut for these rag quilts. I cut the 6x6 block butler into four 3x3s so I could use just a small one for small projects and all together for the biggest ones. It's also much easier to handle that way. Rats, another phone call and wait for another replacement or a credit.

Time for bed. Weight Watchers tomorrow and I think I screwed up for the second week in a row.


Autumn here too

But not down under, Marion and Bee are beginning their spring. Like you, Anna, I love fact I love all our four seasons here in the southern part of Canada but winter overstays it's time and April I'm ready to fly to the coop. It's a beautifully warm and softly breezy day. The trees are dressed in various hues of red, orange, yellow, green and brown. The grass is still green and driving along the country roads seems perfect with the gravel roads and colourful trees dropping their leaves on them...somehow, pavement doesn't cut it...mind you, our gravelly roads do get washboardy very quickly after a grading and we're back to cursing the gravel roads again.

Just home from a luncheon at The Globe Restaurant where we had a public & highschool reunion, seventeen of us upstairs where Rosey's Retreat had the supper function. Came home and walked the dogs through the bush and while our ragweed is blooming full tilt it hasn't bothered us much at all, sorry Doris that you're being so affected down in Tennessee.

The weather is delicious today. We're enjoying it while we can.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

My Favourite Time of Year

Like Snoopy, I am hooked on autumn! The days get cooler, and shorter. The sky turns grey and it even rains sometimes! I can walk, and drink tea, and sleep at night. One cup a day of tea, and no coffee, ever--but I sleep better. The first vegetable soup of the season is on the stove, and boy does it smell good!! I call it "one soup"-- a quart of good broth with "one" of whatever I've got in the fridge. It changes every time, of course. I love it with a good dollop of miso, especially when I'm coming down with a cold or just want to feel comforted. What is it about miso, I wonder? When I'm overtired or unwell, it's what my body craves. I've even eaten it on toast. And to think I'd never heard of it about 18 mos ago! I was coming down with a cold and my friend in the Asian grocery said, "Here, try this." It's salty, but stirred into a bowl or cup of soup it gives it a special something that is very satisfying.
I am the silliest womble on earth. I'm supposed to speak again on the 21st, and someone suggested I re-present a previous talk with transparencies, which the first time I gave it there were only about 8 people present. Do you think I could find the silly things? I looked and looked, knowing they had to be in the large hutches in the lvg room. I looked everywhere I could think of, twice. Some places three times. So today, I decided to take down all the books, take out the drawers and just go through everything until they turned up--dusting as I went. I was 3/4 of the way down the row when they appeared--in the video cabinet, if you please!! Ye what? That's right, laying on top of the few commercial videos we still have. How they got there, I would be the last person to ask. Probably in a moment of abstraction...this is the same doofus who dropped her (my) keys in the clothespin basket and spent the rest of the day looking for them. I looked, my neighbour Bea looked, DH looked--no keys! I began to think I had put the silly things in my mouth and swallowed them. Can't remember how I found them, but there they were of course. I remember it had been raining when I came home and I dashed to get the washing in off the line. What price absent mindedness?
Congrats to all who are losing weight. That isn't happening for me just now, not helped by the fact that we have had 2 lunch guests last week on different days, were guests ourselves one day, and had a fellowship meal at church Sunday. And tomorrow--you guessed--another guest for lunch. But I managed to eat mostly veg on Sunday and there is no more icecream for tomorrow. I AM doing better with the walking since it cooled down.
So far only 2 students, another may come tomorrow, we'll see. Of course NOW the city has dug trenches all along our street, right by the doors to the buildings. They had all summer to do this, but today was the day. My new student will be horrified. I just hope they get the job done, quickly (dream on.) And the latest porkbarrel posters read "Sevilla, the city of people." City of machines, you mean!!
I almost forgot to mention, I have finally seen the Cohen bros film "Fargo." OK, yeah, where have I been, but it was on the sale table. For 4 bucks, I dared buy a movie I'd never seen! I liked it...not least because I grew up in the Midwest. (Jeez, ya know? Yah.) And I liked that the violence was there, and noticeable, but very French in its filming--suggest, let the audience get it, and move on. No closeups, no slow motion, very little blood visible. Well cut, well made. Not what I would call "funny" but amusing because I grew up with people like that. (Not the killers--the other folks.) And three cheers for the actors. The extras were great, and gave me all the info I needed to know that I probably *won't* be seeing any of the other Cohen bros. productions.

Tuesday in Florida/Ireland qustions

I'm not quite sure what a "Nor' Easter" is, a lot of rain and wind, but we have been having one for 2 days, and look like we are in for another day of it. Rain, lots of it, for 30 min, then sun and nice, repeat all day long.
Since I stayed up late to see football on Saturday night, took a long afternoon nap on Sunday, and again yesterday. Trying to get inspired to work on another quilty project, but nothing just yet. Cleaning out a closet, now that is a rainy day project.
I put up all the fall decorations, but the wind is blowing them down the street, and knocked over the bird bath. At least I don't have to run out and water the plants, as the drought of May-June is over.
Last night I caught 5 min, if the national news to see that Big Ben is back in working order. It is such a symbol of London. I loved walking along the river there in the evening and looking at it.
Doris-I see that you are teaching ESL. We have an active group here, but I'm no teacher. Lots of Brazalian people, our church is located next door to a Brazalian food market, evidently the only one in town. Do you have any sugestions on Ireland must sees? I think we will skip the Waterford factory, and DH doesn't want to kiss the Blarney stone. (Although I would like too it it's not too far out of the way). Did you go to Northern Ireland any?
We want small town with B & B's and lots of little shops to go into. DH is a people watcher, and he will leave the golf clubs at home. We will book our flight in about 2 weeks, going to break the bank and go first class so DH can have leg room. Evidently if a person books 11 months ahead they can get 2 found trip tickets for one. Not cheap, but not that much more than coach.

The leg is about healed up, not required to wear ther surgery stockings today. Yea!
Tonight is quilt guild meeting. Will hopefully get the post cards of our art show that will be Friday night.
Where are our posts from Vietnam, and other countries? Are NZ and Spain the only onnes who can get access to this new board?
Sara is squishy Florida

Monday, October 1, 2007

Ah, fall . . . . and ragweed .... etc.

We finally are having some autumn-like weather here. We had a beautiful weekend with low humidity and highs in the 80s. There is a bumper crop of ragweed this year. Ugh..... Half the population is feeling the effects, including myself. My allergies take on flu-like symptoms.(Boooooo! Hissssssss!) I hope all y'all are faring better.

I bought a new sewing machine with embroidery module and have been learning my way around the 'broidery part. Some of the designs that came with it are Maple Leaves in fall colors. I'm really excited, because now I'll finish the quilt top from the friendship blocks we exchanged at Rosey's Retreat, and I can embellish it with the embroidered leaves! DH is excited over this new toy also, and keeps asking me when will I know how to add some lettering to a golf shirt. LOL Not a problem, since he approved the purchase.

I've got the Auburn University wall quilt top finished, which I will complete and give to DS for Xmas. It's hard to believe it's less than 90 days awaaaaayyyyy......

Welp, I'm off to teach the ESL class at Adult Ed. today. School has begun again and so has my volunteer work.

Hugs to everyone,

Doris W. in TN

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Joleen's Blocks

I copied this from Jill's original post on Yahoo.

Here are the specs & please email me for Joleen's address.
I'm easystitches at the yahoo thing.

9 1/2 inch unfinished block
unbleached Muslin or similar fabric for back ground
for the block think "Garden" as Joleen is a talented,
compulsive gardener.
Please sign your block.