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Monday, April 30, 2012

House and yard

I decided to take a picture of our home while the yard was freshly mowed. It looks a lot better. Now if we could just win the lottery we could afford to finish replacing windows and paint the place... oh and get the shutters back up. I took the shutters down years ago to repaint and then I went back into the work force and they have been living in the garage ever since. In time we will be able to catch up on repairs... and as soon as repairs are made a for sale sign will go up out front so we can move to our property. Until that point I will do what I can to at least make the lawn look presentable to keep the Neighborhood Association and City happy.
I moved the feeders and bird bath to a new location to let the ground recover where it had been all winter. And I decided my little gnome needed to seek refuge under the bird bath. Poor little guy is really starting to show his age; but then aren't we all.  The raised bed in the front yard contains my blackberries and mint. I've got to come up with a way to install arches to tie the blackberries up to make them easier to pick in the future. As I walked to the lower side of the house I saw a mocking bird feather in the grass and am hoping it was just a shed feather and not one lost to a near miss with one of the felines.
I walked around to the back yard which thrilled the dogs as they knew it meant fresh cold water and a couple doggie cookies. The garlic is starting to bloom and the stems to the blooms change with the direction of the sun. Sometimes it looks like they are in marching order and sometimes they look like they are just standing around talking in a group. Their leaves have started to brown and Scott is talking about harvesting them soon. We will have so much delicious fresh garlic... I can hardly wait

The potatoes are growing nicely and need to mulched heavily; perhaps I will get to the this week. I still need to get those iris back in the ground - I was just to tired to do it today and spent the time after work adding more to the secret project I'm currently putting together for a friend. All was going well until I ran out of adhesive. Isn't that how it goes sometimes?

Scott is hoping to gather seeds from this onion and is watching this bloom develop; it's going to be HUGE when it's fully open. And the last neat thing in the yard today was the appearance of the "dreads" - blooms on the chestnut tree. They always look like dread locks to me.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

WHEW! I beat my own fanny!

I AM EXHAUSTED and sore all over.I worked 5 hours out in the yard today and boy am I feeling it head to toe. Both the front and the back lawns have been mowed as well as the front yard of the house next door that is for sale. When I finally called it quits about 3 PM I had a good laugh over my feet when I took my sneakers and socks off. When I work in the yard I MEAN IT! Can't you tell from this photo of my feet before shower...

SERIOUSLY... I get INTO it! My sneakers went straight into the washing machine as I need them for work in the morning - I'm hoping they will be dry by then.

Of course while out there I saw a LOT more that needs doing but I just don't have an ounce of energy for any more physical activity and am happy as a clam to be sitting in front of my computer til bedtime which will be SOON.

This morning I opened some windows and could hear the Mississippi Kite's sounding off and I saw them flying over so I grabbed my camera and tried to get a few pictures but they are so swift that I only manage a couple and they aren't the best. The birds just looked like they were having so much fun sailing through the sky. They really are quite beautiful - sort of a blue gray with white stripes on their wings.
There was a mocking bird chasing them about as I guess it feels they are a threat to her young. And I believe the mocking bird became angry that I was oohing and ahing so over the Kites that she had to come and land in the top of the tree just outside my front door to give me a stern talking to... all I did was take her picture. I don't think she liked that as she flew off when I tried for a second photo. Birds are so much fun to watch and have so much character. Scott and I both love watching them.

Tomorrow it's back to work and lucky me - tomorrow I get to shift the wedding department all around... AGAIN! We just did it not long ago and 3 of us have just 5 hours to do it ALL. I sure hope I'm not as sore as I am right now. Time for some Aleve or Advil... whatever is in the cabinet will HAVE to work. I'm REALLY hoping it's just minor switches and simple label changes and not complete section break downs and rebuilds. KNOCK ON WOOD!

After work tomorrow I have to get some iris planted back out along the garage. I dug them up from out front where we had let some flower beds return to lawn and I want to get them replanted before they dry out. I brought them into the bonus room for the night - hoping I didn't bring in any lizards. I also saw a volunteer Zinnia that has come up next to the compost bins that I want to plant along the garage as well. The narrow bed along the garage will be nothing but flowers as I want a splash of color to draw bees to the garden to help pollinate our vegetables. Hopefully the neighbors won't poison the air so much they kill off the bees. I wish people would understand that we NEED the bees to eat... they are the pollinators that help the plants produce the "fruit" that we eat. Bugs may be annoying but they are truly NEEDED by us or other beneficial creatures on this planet for food.

OK OK... I'll stop the ranting.

Once I get the iris planted I may need a nap. I have some sewing I want to do as well and some fabric cuts that I need to make for swaps.

The little online quilting group I belong to lost a member this weekend - Anne Wintrobe you will be greatly missed. Much love and comforting thoughts are being sent to your family.

Paper Crafting and Zendoodling

Yesterday I had a day "home alone" as Scott had to attend his QA class all day yesterday and Greg is still in Mississippi on training duty so I cleaned up my paper crafting area and started work on a gift for a friend.I'll post more about it later after it's complete and she has received it.

I actually opened the ribbon rack that I bought several years ago (that is it at the back of the table); I will fill it up with ribbon that I currently have in boxes. 

 I also pulled out a sketch book and did a bit of "Zen-doodling". I actually used to do this with my cousin Heather in High School. We'd take turns working on the others' picture during class and then switch notebooks when we passed in the hall to our next class. I wish I still had those pictures. It is relaxing and fun to see what my mind can come up with. Drawing and painting have never come easily to me I like to work more 3 dimensional. I guess that is why I enjoy sewing so much - in the end it's a functional object not "just something to look at". Don't get me wrong I LOVE looking at art pieces strictly for the sake that they ARE Art but my hands and mind work better toward the creation of useful objects. I am trying to open up my mind to the more visual forms of art and trying my hand at drawing and painting again. I've even thought about taking the painting class at work since I can take ANY class for FREE I just have to buy the supplies for the class - hence the delay as painting items are expensive.

A "thumbs up" to you all for a good day!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Flowers for Leontien

A bloom from our "tulip Poplar tree"

Pyracanthis bloom
((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))))))) and well wishes to you!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bag Comparison

Can you see the difference? The one on the right is the first one that I made with the 2 1/2" squares cut out of the bottom of each corner; it has a "fat" bottom and is a bit shorter. The one on the left was made exactly to the instructions with just a 1 1/2" square cut from each bottom corner. I still think a bit of cotton cording pulled through the handles would only make these little gift bags better... perhaps the next one I will give it a try. I was going to make a few more this afternoon but Scott came home and has laid down for a nap and I don't want to disturb him as I had a nap earlier and know how much better it made me feel. We are both battling a head cold and continuing to go to work everyday. Naps are WONDERFUL!

It's 86*F here this afternoon and the wind is blowing the tops of the trees all around. the forecast says that the wind gusts will go to 35 MPH throughout the afternoon. No real rain in the forecast so I guess we will just enjoy the breeze.

Thursday Morning

I'm draggin'  this morning! I should be making breakfast but I am not in the least bit hungry this morning. My blood sugar was a little elevated last night so today it will be back to carefully monitoring what I eat. I made macaroni and cheese last night and ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich AFTER dinner and I know better than that... just too many carbs and sweet in that PB&J. The lancets I ordered are too short for my lancing device so I have to use it without the guard on and I HATE IT! I'm ready to just pitch the wrong ones in the trash and try again ordering some. I didn't even check my blood this morning as the lancing part is freaking me out a bit. Without the guard on I have to actually look at the needle and I still end up jabbing too deeply and it hurts like crazy... HATE THEM!

Yesterday I ended up working just 2 hours - hardly made the hour of driving worth it... takes me about 30 minutes each direction. Next week I'm only scheduled 4 days again and they will probably cut me back to 3... UGH! Oh well, it will give me more time for the garden. I have pumpkin seedlings ready to be planted out in the garden and tomatoes nearly ready to start their lives in the raised beds as well. I need to get some salad greens planted... kinda behind on those.

After work today I'm going to try to get some house work and laundry done. Not feeling particularly well this morning - I do believe I've managed to catch a head cold. For now I must get ready for work and eat a little something even if it's just a slice of cheese toast. HAPPY THURSDAY!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pleasant mistake

Yesterday after work I decided to make up one of the little gift bags. I was skimming the instructions and some how made the mistake of measuring a 2 1/2" square out of each corner instead of the 1 1/2" it actually said to cut out. When I realized what I had done there was no going back, so onward I went. I still need to add a button but I am toying with the idea of using a jingle bell for the button - they are Christmas bags after all. I will follow the instructions to the letter on the next one and will post a side by side comparison photo so you can see the difference that added 1" cut out causes. I AM thinking some cotton cording pulled through the handles would make them better... that's me never happy with the way things are written... always have to find improvements.

I was asked to go in later today and will only be working 4 hours and then back home. I will be helping with unloading the semi today and sorting the load for tomorrow. Then tomorrow will be truck processing and then home for the weekend... another 3 day weekend. If it will stay sunny my plan is to clean up the front yard so it's more presentable. For the most part my focus has been the back yard where the dogs live and our vegetable garden is located. I'm sure the neighbors will start complaining if I don't do something about out front. I would still love to turn the whole lot into an edible garden with little grass to mow.

Monday, April 23, 2012

It's Monday Evening

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful new week. The box I found for the pillowcases wasn't quite big enough but I have them loaded into it along with a note telling them I'm part of FNSI, an address label and tape. Tomorrow I will find a little larger box and box it up at the Post Office on the way home from work in the morning. They will get there in plenty of time to meet the deadline of May 11th.

My next project is going to be gift bags. I have two cut out and will sew them together in the morning. They will be small but if they turn out as cute as I think they are going to I will simply enlarge the pattern for larger items. I'm going to use up as much of the Christmas fabric in my stash for gift bags for next Christmas. What would be REALLY neat is if I can also come up with matching gift tags with each person's name on it in some way. I'll have to think on that one.

Perhaps I'll make some smaller bags using the Halloween fabrics for treat bags for next Halloween. We don't get many trick-or-treaters anymore as people would rather go to their churches for "trunk-or-treat". I have a problem with that as we try very hard to have our kids NOT walk up to cars with strangers offering candy. I still enjoy watching the children walking around the neighborhood WITH their children each year. Generally Scott and I dress up as Fred and Wilma. It's always a real hoot to see the kids reactions. Some parents take photos of us in our costumes - simply fun!

In between bags I will sew  sundresses or shorts and tops for myself as I need Summer clothes more now than I did last year. I'm absolutely determined to use up my fabric stash. We need to have it cleared out of the way... I may even donate some to some worthy cause.

I'm planning to make some Mother's Day cards since it's only a few weeks away. Perhaps some of those magical flip cards. I can make two of those.

Our wedding anniversary is also coming up on May 11th - I can hardly believe it's been 27 years. Time flies when you are having fun.

Stay tuned for my Crafty Adventures!

Blog Hop

Little Shack on the Hill is hosting a "BLOG HOP" would you like to join in the fun. Visit her blog for the details!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pillowcase Grand Total

I just finished sewing pillowcases for Conkerr Cancer and have 17 ready to be washed and mailed off. I took several photos from different angles so everyone could see them all. After washing them I will check for any loose threads and then iron them and place them each in a ziploc bag ready to be handed out to a child with cancer.

All ready to be placed into a box and mailed off to their destination... just need a box; I will get one at work tomorrow.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

701 CCA - A Day with Art

After dropping our son, Greg off at the Airport this morning for his trip to Gulf Port for his 2 weeks AT ; my friend, Gypsye and I went around town to visit the Art Studios of some of Columbia, SC Artists. It was an AMAZING day. So much to see and experience but I will only share a little so as not to slow your computers to a halt. I didn't take pictures at every studio but there were two that absolutely fascinated me. First was David Cianni ; his "recycled" robots were amazing and his exhibit was set up like Borg tunnels.

For this tour we had to drive all around Columbia to visit Artists in their studios. My nephew, Dougie would have LOVED it. So many beautiful, fun, interesting paintings, sculptures and oddities.

The other Artist that really spoke to me was Richard Lund; His studio was filled with organic "bowl" forms made of air dried clay and wire; then painted with iron oxide paint.  I didn't take any photos because his card contained the piece that I loved the most.

Richard Lund is located in the "Arcade Building" on Main Street in Columbia, South Carolina. I ADORE this old "mall"! It's architecture is so stunning; I believe I took more pictures of the interior of this building than art pieces. But can you blame me?

It was a fun filled day and I was exhausted by the time we got back to my house. I actually was in bed before the sun went down and had to finish this post this morning... I was up at 1 AM.  I may need a nap later today but right now I am WIDE awake.

Today I will be transplanting tomato plants; it won't be long until they will be big enough to put in the garden. And I want to finish the pillow cases... that should pretty much fill my day.

Friday, April 20, 2012

FNSI - Conkerr Cancer Pillowcases

9 Completed Pillowcases
Well tonight was FNSI (Friday Night Sew In) ; learn more about it here. I was able to get 9 pillow cases completed and I have 8 more cut out and ready to sew. I'm planning to finish those up over the weekend so that I can mail them ALL off on Monday. I used fabric from my stash and a lot of remnants that I had bought over the years at Jo-Ann's when I worked there. I ran into the problem of the design going around instead of across the pillowcase but I think they still look adorable and will send them on anyway. Hopefully they will still use them. I just didn't have money to go buy longer pieces of fabric and I am trying to use up some of my stash.
8 more cut and ready to SEW!
I hope that everyone that participated and a happy night of sewing.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Time on my hands....

Well my shift was cut short an hour again today and tomorrows shift cancelled all together. My pay check is going to be down right pitiful but I will take this time off to catch up on some projects around the house.

Scott just found two snakes in the garden and one had caught a toad and was swallowing it while mating... is this "having your cake and eating it to"? Poor toady! I have so many toads in my yard and it's simply nature for them to find each other in this manner. They were just Garter snakes and won't hurt us so we will let them be.

While I was out there in the garden I decided to take a picture of the "scape soldiers" all lined up - the garlic is nearly ready to harvest and we are going to be getting some HUGE cloves this year. Scott has all ready harvested the soft neck garlic. What is in the picture is a "hard neck" garlic.

I also saw that one of my red roses had 3 lovely blooms so I took a photo of those as well. Tomorrow I will mow the jungle (yard) and perhaps brush and bath the dogs. And clean house; might as well since I will be home all day. I think this is the fewest hours I've had since I started working there a year and a half ago.

I also have pillow cases to finish up so I will stay plenty busy. I hope everyone is having a good week so far. Take care.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Down side of working in retail

The down side of working retail is when the sales miss their mark payroll has to be cut... I was home before most people even get their day started today. I was asked to leave an hour early today and the rest of the week isn't looking good either. So I will have lots of time to get some things done around here this week. And the really bad part will be my check will be quite pitiful come pay day so I will have to tighten our belts a little tighter. Such is life.

I will also have plenty of time to cook from scratch... I all ready do for the most part. I will have time to really look through some of my old cookbooks as well as some old magazines that I have held onto because they contain some good recipes for people with diabetes. Scott calls the Light & Tasty magazine Light & Nasty as a few recipe's I tried in them in the past turned out to be not so good. But others have been wonderful and you never know until you try whether they will be "keepers" or "garbage". What I like about the magazines is that they contain the Nutritional information following the recipes so I can monitor the calories and carbs more easily.
I've been able to get my blood sugar down closer to "normal" just by watching my intake and if I have a HUGE jump I will know what made it happen and can add those foods to my list of "foods to avoid"; so far I have white rice and bananas on that list along with ice cream and baked goods. I would much rather control myself than "manage" the diabetes with medication.

I have a friend coming over in a little while to pick up her laptop that Scott wiped clean of Windows and installed Linux on so that she will have an operable machine that won't get all bugged up with junk like it did with Windows. It's crazy that people stick with Windows when Linux is FREE and actually WORKS! I love it! And I hope that she will as well.

Lakeside Cottage - By Sheldon Designs
The neighbors yard man is next door driving me crazy with that blasted weed eater... I wish he'd just finish up all ready - I am SO wanting to shove that machine somewhere the sun doesn't shine. OH to be up on our land in a cottage in our woods with REAL space between us and the neighbors. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Quiet Sunday Together by the River

Lunar Moth Wing

After breakfast Scott and I decided to take a walk along the river, The weather was GORGEOUS! And so many people were out enjoying the day with their pets and or children. Of course Scott and I took in all Nature had to offer and enjoyed watching all the people enjoying the day either on the walkway or in the river.  The flowers, animals and insects gave us a lot to look at and we stayed longer than we had anticipated that we would so it was lunch time when we arrived back at our car. After lunch we both took a nap and did not get up until we heard Greg arriving home from his Drill. Oh speaking of Greg; he has new uniforms but still needs his insignias for them so he said,"Mom I'm out of rank" but I wanted a picture anyway. Sorry the photo is kind of blurry but I had just woke up as he was leaving this morning and in desperate need for some coffee.

The remains of the last River Boat

Gervais Street Bridge

I can hardly wait for the Summer Music to start here.

Two cats, some soup and a dog

Tippy Howie Vegetable beef soup and cornbread My very first toy... a dog  On November 8th I decided to do surgery on the little dog that cam...