Sunday, March 31, 2013

quilt borders and mildred

ok, first it's one of those "i just can't help it"!  one of those finds on facebook that i could not resist.

and then we're back to the never-ending-quilt.  i can't even count the times at this point that i've created problems for myself and creativity because i just cannot seem to plan out a whole project before i start.  so everything is going along just fine until i get to that point where i have to start correcting for lack of planning.  if i ever get this completed, it will be a fucking miracle.  i had to remove the back because i'd sewed it on crooked AND hadn't planned for how big the finished thing would be after i added some borders.  i won't go into details because it gets too depressing.... plus can't even remember them all.  this isn't a style and color combination that everyone would like... but i totally love it and want it to be finished!!  so, the borders are sewed on, i've added pieces to make it fit, am trying to figure out mitering the corners and then will add the new backing.  so, what i've learned is that my casual approach to creative projects usually works out with knitting, but is not working with quilting.  any bets on whether i'll change my ways and have a quilting project planned out before i start cutting??

Thursday, March 14, 2013

yes, there is a man on an extension ladder in my living room.  i can't see a superman or spiderman costume, so guess it must be my dear hub-unit.  we live at the edge of a woods and have long battled carpenter ant invasion.  they are insidious and we finally hired a bug man to come out every 3 months to spray around the base of the house to keep the ants out.  in early spring, tho, they go into super invasive mode and the flying ones start swarming.  it drives me totally batshit crazy to be sitting in the living room and suddenly have one of the buggers land on my knitting or book or arm ... seemingly from out of nowhere.  so, their main gathering and launching place is the skylight.  and, by the way, if you ever build yourself a dome home and want to have a skylight, it would be a good idea to have an easy and safe plan for accessing said skylight.  we did not do that.  so, periodically the extension ladder gets brought in and while i stand by with the phone in hand and ready to dial 911,  Jim goes up to the skylight.  i hope this is the last time he does it... he is almost 75 and that is pretty extreme activity.  the center of the dome is 26 ft up and he wasn't quite that high... but close to it.  what you can't see is the vacuum cleaner that he has tied to one of the upper steps on the ladder... so, he got a whole bunch of the ants sucked up and got down ok.  and the bug man is scheduled for next week.  there are many things in life that i'm fearless about... going up ladders is not one of them.  but i will say that when we built the house i went up the scaffolding to the very top and put in the final bolt in the framing.  that was a long time ago when i was much younger and more fearless and crazy than i am these days.  that feat may have involved a glass or 2 of wine... not sure anymore....

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

is it spring yet?

well, not really... but there sure are some signs that it's on the way!  like several days in a row of sun (!) and 60's.

this is a gallon size plastic bag filled with water and hanging from a rafter in the greenhouse.  Carla hung it up there during her first stay here with the dogs while we were in Crete.  we had always had a really bad problem with yellow jackets in there... they seemed to move in as soon as there was any sign of sunshine/warmth, built their nests, invited their friends and multiplied, making it an unwelcoming place for humans.  Carla had read/heard that if you hang a bag of water, it messes with their radar and they stay away.  i had my doubts, but it's been there for 2 years and there have been NO yellow jackets.  so, i'd say that for whatever reason, it keeps them away.  she also put one in my studio with the same results, tho the problem had never been as bad as the greenhouse.

little insecty flying bugs are starting to show up in the salad greens in the greenhouse.  i've been meaning to buy of bag of ladybugs, and haven't done that yet.  in the meantime, i happened upon 2 of the cute little bugs in my rose bed and quickly transplanted them for a feast among the greens.  this one set off exploring the around the soil and seemed inclined to stay in its new home.  the soil looks pretty lumpy, but the photo is greatly magnified.  so, instead of watching the grass grow, i watched the bug explore for awhile.  ah, i do love retirement and having the time to enjoy watching bugs and smelling the roses.  the rose bushes are putting out leaves, so i do believe that there will be roses!!

somewhere i saw a gardening tip suggesting saving egg shell halves and planting seeds in them, then just plant the seedling in the shell so the fragile little roots aren't exposed to transplant trauma, they grow, the shell disintegrates and nourishes the plant!  what a plan.  so, i planted some kale seed and i can already see the beginnings of plants!  wheeee.  fresh, organic kale will be most welcome since i started making that weird looking green drink in my new juicer, and it pisses me off that i have to pay $2 or $3 for a bunch of kale at the grocery and i don't know how fresh it actually is or how it was grown.

Monday, March 11, 2013

friends = life treasures!

it's a bit humbling, really, to have a friend who would knit a lace scarf and give it to me.  and it's so soft and so beautiful and feels SO luxurious and feels so fine around my neck.  she knows that i struggle with knitting lace and using tiny needles and fine yarn... and that makes it even more special.  that friend is Jan Prewitt.  she was in one of my spinning classes a LONG time ago and became a friend and twisted sister.  thanks, Jan, for a lovely gift!

after i saw Jan on saturday, i went shopping for clothes for the upcoming trip.  lo and behold... everything i bought works well with the new scarf... hmmm... how did that happen??  this trip will involve a LOT of dragging ourselves and luggage thru lots of airports and to several destinations... so, i need to pack "smart" (ha! me?) with lightweight clothing, wrinkle resistant, easily washed and dried, and fit into one (1) medium-sized suitcase and one carry-on. so i did some mega-extreme shopping.  prices were rather shocking, so i tried not to look, but did note that one pair of pants that i bought on SALE, was almost 4x what i usually pay for britches at good will.  oh well, i was working with a secret stash of $$ and went balls to the wall on this shopping extravaganza.  and did this excursion feel good??  oh, yes it did.  didn't buy a lot, but bought what i wanted.

most definitely an outstandingly good day.  and also when i got home, found that Pam had been here and had cleaned up all my flower beds... i mean... what a good day.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

a whole flock of stuff

 feb. 24 there was a "vineyard work day", which was organized by our friend Ryan in an effort to help Jim get grape vine stuff done and introduce folks to the process of getting from taking care of the vines to drinking the wine.  Ryan and Sonia brought their little sweetie, Naomie, and Rachael and Matt came with Donovan.  both these kids are about the same age and we enjoyed watching them together, which did not involve much "together play", but the interaction and toy grabbing was interesting (all is totally normal for their age).  the kids didn't get involved with any of the vineyard work, but everyone else did!

 from Wildwoman Creations Art and Craft Gallery
"There are no boundaries except those we create in our mind..."

i saw this face on facebook and am fascinated by her.  she looks to me like she's got the secret to all.  beautiful.  makes me want to know more about her.
pink flamingos!  21 of them now living at the Oregon Zoo.  sad to say, they are all male so no prospects of increasing the flock.  i'm looking forward to an in-person viewing of these beautiful and colorful creatures..... soon, like next week!

and in my queendom, definite signs of spring, which makes my heart sing.  also makes my back hurt and my hands ache.  i spent a few hours yesterday pruning some plants that Jim put in the garden a few years ago... in the garden that is now my domain since he started the HUGE garden out in the pasture behind the barn.  anyway, there's an Oregon Grape totally out of control, giving too much shade to areas i want to plant and not pruned in a long long time... until yesterday.  it is not in the right place and drops nasty sharp pointy leaves... and has now been pruned within an inch of its life.   some of the branches were really too big and thick for my puny clippers, but i persevered and have to show for it many sticks with sharp pointy leaves and achy hands.  i'm still waiting for comments from the planter of this bush-which-became-an-out-of-control tree, but so far silence on that subject.

the ever faithful primroses which keep on giving, year after year and are a really cheerful presence... and don't demand much attention.

another sign (and easy keeper)... the violets are popping up everywhere.  their sweet fragrance is intoxicating, as is their delicate form.

ah, spring!  it cheers and bring joy to the gray, wet,
ever hopeful depths of my soul.  our earth mother goddess rocks!!

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Humans of New York

here's a recommendation for a blog written by a guy in NYC who is a wonderful photographer and seems to be a man with style, talent and lots of class.  many of his photographs make me smile, some tug at my heart and all of them seem sensitive to the person in the photo.  he's someone i'd like to know.

my recommendation is that you check out his blog.  he is also on facebook.

Friday, March 01, 2013

life, etc and the blue footed booby

Meet the blue footed booby. Yep, you pronounce that exactly like it's spelled. They are found from the Gulf of California down along the western coasts of Central and South America to Peru.
Their bright blue feet are a sexually selected trait. The brighter a males feet, the more attractive he is to a female. To attract a female, they have an elaborate dancing ritual to 

display their feet, first lifting one foot and then the other.

that is one of the cutest critters i've ever seen!  
that face is enough to send me into uncontrollable giggles.

ok, i've joined that group of folks who spend uncountable amounts of time juicing vegetables and fruits.  til now the thought of "green drinks" was enough to make me gag.  not much better when i saw that bile green in a glass in front of me.  but, i have to say it's not all that bad.  i bought a juicer last week... a big intimidating piece of appliance and then yesterday went shopping for a variety of green veggies.  today was "launch day".  so, not quite sure what i was getting into... just knowing i needed to do something that would raise my energy level... i started pulling the green stash from the refrig and prepping and washing 2 kinds of kale, carrots, celery, ginger, an orange, and lemon...then began stuffing them into the feeder chute of the juicer machine.  Jim was fascinated enough by all this activity that he agreed to try some.  the happy surprise for me was that it really didn't taste as bad as it looked.  the advice in the instruction booklet (yep, i did read it) was to start slow with this healthful madness as it would take the body some time to become accustomed to receiving all this goodness.  seriously, i believe this routine will be a good way for me to get the recommended amounts of veggies and fruit.  oh, dear goddess! what's next? a 2 mile walk every day??  well, i suppose it wouldn't hurt.... after all, i do need to prepare myself for all the up-hill walking when we get to Greece in may.

 the purple kale really is pretty!!  i'll be starting some plants in the greenhouse really soon!  paying $2 for a small bunch isn't working for me. far better to have home grown organic... and lots cheaper!

yum!  green and frothy!