Archive | March 2017

Goodbye tree…

I woke up to this today…

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No electricity, cable and electric lines down, chainsaws and strange men in MY yard…with almost no notice. We knew the tree was coming down, but didn’t know when. Our neighbor, who was apparently informed of all the details, denied knowing anything when telling us the tree would come down “sometime soon.” We have suspected for a while he’s not playing with a full deck. The tree guy later confirmed the date had been set a week ago. Of course, he didn’t call me back and only called H late yesterday and left a message. Because H thought it was a telemarketer call, he ignored it. So, I had little warning.

So, now the big Mulberry…my neighbor insisted it was a cottonwood…nope…confirmed (just for grins) by the tree guy…is gone, leaving us a fabulous view of…

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the ugly building behind. Oh, well, the tree was falling apart while also growing up into the lines. We can’t have that.

The whole ordeal was, honestly, a fitting end to a tiresome week where everything felt off and nothing really seemed to go smoothly.

Anyway, the electricity was off the bulk of the day. Once most of the work was done, I spent a couple hours in the back yard with the ducks and the cats. So far they are co-existing pretty well. Weanie is funny. She knows the ducks are off limits, but couldn’t help herself and ran fast towards us in a big sweeping circle. I’m chasing the ducks…nooooo…not really….psyche…

This was a bit of my time with the ducks yesterday.

They like staying close to me. The chairs are on boards to keep them from sinking into the ground. We’ve had a lot of rain.

I put out the old litter box full water since they probably weren’t going to go in their pen for the water there.

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All three of them will climb in. It’s pretty funny.

They really love to forage. It is quite relaxing to be in their presence.

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I did have photos of my pillow progress, but they are being held hostage at the moment by my ipad and I cannot retrieve them. So, I’ll leave you with some views from the park today where I ate lunch.

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There are so many things blooming right now, the air smells like flowers.

Enjoy your weekend!

A cold, dreary, inside day…

Last night I had a migraine. It was not fun. I hadn’t had one in a while. Today I’m having to keep a low profile and not do too much, as when I bend over or get going too much…pound…pound…pound.

I’m not sure what did it? I might have taken too many probiotics and had a die-off/healing crisis experience. Or, H suggested it could be the barometric pressure combined with allergies. I’m treating it as best I can. Thankfully, I got 9 solid hours of sleep. I really needed it.

The ducks are out in their pen, the cats are out too, while I have mainly been stitching.

There’s Noodle peeking in the front door…

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I am really enjoying stitching on this pillow. I decided to tack down the edges I don’t want to ruffle, and I like how it looks. Stitching Noodle was really fun.

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Maybe I should put some more black in those eyes…

Here’s a patch I started for the Pillow. I think it will go on a corner.

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I really should name the Pillow. When she was little, my Aunt Sonna named her pillow. It had a satin pillow case and its name was Queenie.

And, just in case you thought I never finished anything, here’s Prairie Girl on Path…all done…

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Pillows…and peas…

Last night I was so tired, I went to bed at 7:30!

Of course, I didn’t stay there.

There were many trips up and back to get supplies for this…

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Yes, a new project! I was inspired by Jude’s pillow and wanted to make one of my own. I had just seen her pillow project and watched the video when H and I were at Walmart and they had a huge bin of…travel pillows! I have an upcoming trip…another workshop for the field I have entered. Maybe I can get it finished in time to take it along.

I went upstairs and found this beautiful soft rayon fabric I’ve had for ages. I think in its past life it was a thrift store skirt. Anyway, I thought it would make a nice soft base for my pillow project.

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The fabric is so pretty and luxurious, I almost left it like that! Instead, it turned into this:

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And eventually this…

I know I use way to much color. The thing is, I don’t have a lot of plain fabrics. I have always gravitated towards color. I just hope the finished product looks nice. I’m anxious to wash it and see how all those different fabrics make friends. I’m also hoping more of that beautiful fabric underneath will peak through after a wash. We’ll see.

In this week’s chapter of the Duck Chronicles…TG&Y are almost fully feathered out.

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That’s Yoyo at the bottom.

It appears my early assessment that I had two ducks (girls) and a drake (boy) were correct, which is funny because most people really seem to struggle with identifying what genders they’ve got. As it turns out, there are a number of clues to whether you’ve got a duck or a drake:

*Drakes will be a bit bigger than ducks, and Yoyo was always the biggest.

*At around 4 weeks their bills begin to change color. If you compare Yoyo’s bill with Gyrtie’s behind him you will see his bill is a greenish yellow, while hers is slate gray.

*Drakes don’t quack. It takes a while for ducks to develop their quack and when they do they can be quite loud. That’s usually at feed time or when I leave them and they are making the We’re all Alone!!! sound. At this stage, T&G still mostly sound like squeaky toys, but once in a while they can really get going…especially when there are Peas.

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As it turns out, peas are like magic for ducks. While Khaki Campbells are typically skittish by nature, they lose all fear when peas are on the menu. This has worked out very well for transporting them from the duck house (formerly Chicky’s shed…poor Chicky) to their pen across the yard. I just throw a few peas on the ground, they dart all over gobbling them up like little fiends, and they follow me wherever I go. Much to my surprise and pleasure, I discovered yesterday I don’t really need the peas. They followed me around for a long time yesterday and when I sat quietly sipping my tea, they flopped down on the ground, as they do, gently grazing, then snoozing, and when I looked down they were right against my feet. Ah, so cute.

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Peas and water…definitely their two favorite things!

 

Thread beads and blue…

Over the weekend I did a bit of dyeing. Not all of it was successful, but I do like these pieces…

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Those beautiful marks are made with rubber bands wrapped around the outside of the fabric. I’d like to repeat the experiment sometime with the fabric wrapped around a vegetable can and held on with rubber bands. I think it would turn out beautifully. These lines almost look painted to me.

 

A couple of blue silk moons in there, too.

I had a lot of fun stitching thread beads onto Aubergine and Green…

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I found it really helpful when changing colors, to keep the non-working colors to the right, doing all but one wrap for a bead and then putting that color to the side. When I was ready for the next color, I’d finish the last wrap stitch in the unfinished bead and then come up to the point next in line. Does that make sense? Maybe everybody already knows to do this.

Also, The Mountain has grown again.

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I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

 

 

I’m glad you’re here…

Guess what???

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There are…

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I’m SO excited!

Thank you to one of my regular commenters…Peggy…who suggested I put the Christmas cactus where the light was right! After my winter cactus bloomed I put Grandma’s cactus upstairs to enjoy the same light. It does appear conditions were perfect, as I’ve been waiting a long long time to see a single bud on this thing.

Believe it or not, I first tried to grow a start from my Grandma’s BIG, GORGEOUS, CONSTANTLY BLOOMING Christmas cactus when I was in college. That was over 20 years ago! And amazing on two points as I can’t believe it took so long and I can’t believe I’ve been around so long!

To be honest, I can’t remember if this is the very first start or if the first one died and I got another from my mom. My mom doesn’t even have one going now, apparently hers died, so this is quite an achievement! Both Mom and my Aunt Sonna want starts, but I’m not touching that plant until it’s done blooming.

After all this time, keeping it in the dark in a cold room with minimal light…carefully repotting it…again and again…transporting it cautiously between states…I think what it really needed was a south-facing room and diffuse light. Grandma kept her plant – which was so prolific I could open my arms and maybe reach around half of it – in a very cold south-facing bedroom, right next to a window where the light filtered through a sheer curtain.

Here are a couple more buds:

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Just little teeny ones in the center. I’ve counted maybe half a dozen buds so far, but from what I can tell, it is putting on more.

It also looks as if my winter cactus is going to bloom as well, as it also has buds!

As I was stitching those words this morning, I thought about my grandmother. She was alive when the Titanic sank. She wore her hair in 20s-style pin curls, the kind that look like waves. When she was young, she loved to run. She was such a fast runner, she could catch snakes! I’m not even kidding. Where she lived in Missouri, they had a well and when the snakes would hear someone coming, they would make a mad dash for the well. I guess they didn’t like snakes in their well water, so Grandma would run fast, snatch up the snakes, and throw them away from the well as far as she could! Grandma had an angel winged begonia, too. It was so big it was like a tree and she had its branches propped up on stakes. (I have a plant from this one, too.) One year Grandma enjoyed huge tomatoes growing outside her house that she hadn’t planted there. She had merely dumped out some veggies she hadn’t eaten one day the winter before…and, presto! A tomato plant grew. Grandma had one of the best locations for a house, in my opinion. It was probably an acre or two on the edge of town on a road that dead-ended at a creek. The creek, where all us cousins used to play as kids, had a walking bridge and across the walking bridge was/is a beautiful park. The park has a swimming pool, playground, golf course, lovely walnut trees with the best walnuts I’ve ever tasted, and the Senior Center where she used to eat lunch every day. One day, when she was 85 or 90 years old, she was about 50 feet from the door of the senior center when she spotted an old old classmate of hers. He looked at her, she looked at him, they both looked at the door, they looked back at each other…and they both made a mad dash for the door! Can you imagine??? Two 90-year-olds knocking each other over running towards the senior center just to see who could get to the door first? Yep, too funny.

Grandma lived to be 95. One of the joys of my life is I got to spend her last night on earth with her. When I arrived earlier in the day and said hello to her, she couldn’t see, she could barely talk, but she whispered to me…I’m glad you’re here. That night my Aunt Lois kept us entertained with her funny stories, and once in a while you could see Grandma shaking with the giggles. The place where she died had a cat who knew when folks were close to death and would come lay on their bed. The day she died I wasn’t there, but family later told me the cat had been laying on Grandma’s bed that morning and the moment she passed, the cat leapt from the bed, onto the window sill and looked out the window, and watched my Grandmother’s Spirit walk away…Her name was Leona.

 

 

 

 

A gray day…

I woke up early this morning – minus a couple hour’s precious sleep – to the most horrendous leg cramp I have every experienced in my life. Hours later, it still hurts to walk.

I think it must be the result of all the bending and maneuvering I did yesterday when fortifying the new duck pen. I don’t know how long I worked on it, but it is about as secure as I can get it at this point. And I have the chewed up hands to show for it!

I think I did a good job. Noodle volunteered to test it, so I locked her inside and watched for signs of possible escape. There were none. The cats are all very curious…they can’t really climb on top of the thing because of all the holes in the wire…and why did I give them such a big tub to drink out of??? They think everything is for them.

And while the pen is ready, the duckies are not. They still are not fully feathered out and it’s too cold to let them get wet, especially outdoors. I think tomorrow will work, though, as it’s supposed to be in the 70s.

At least things are looking prettier. I took this yesterday when there was sun…

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After refilling the duck’s food bowl, which was upside down and empty, TG&Y nearly choked themselves gobbling down their grain. Gyrtle managed to get a lump of it stuck in her craw…do ducks have craws?…and was in a bit of distress for a while.

In efforts to supply them with some more dietary options, I chopped up some leftover potato and half a banana for them and took it out just a bit ago. Turtle nibbled. Yoyo tasted. Gyrtie watched suspiciously from afar. When Turtle shook a tidbit out of her mouth and squeaked, they all looked at me like I was playing some kind of dirty joke on them. To emphasize her point, Turtle picked up a speck of green off the floor, dropped it and kindof pointed at it with her long nose as if to say, no…green, it’s green we like…see??…green!

So, I went out and picked them a bunch of greens. They liked those much better.

It appears I have picky ducks, as well as picky cats. Oh, goody.

Speaking of green…here is a bit of progress on Aubergine and Green

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I have never quilted much, but the stitching so far has such a nice feel.

The stitching I did this morning has, so far, been the best part of my day. Although, I just finished making a pot of curry soup, so I am looking forward to that. I love a good curry.

Sometimes when I am working with thread, the stitches tattooed across the surface of the fabric feel like an echo. Sometimes I feel a wordless communication in what I am doing as the elements with which I am working blend together. It is a conversation… the cloth asking, the thread answering.

I suppose it is my challenge to express what needs to be said, even if I, too, do not have the words to express it.

 

 

 

Slow going…trouble focusing…

I say “slow going,” but really I’ve been doing a lot. It’s like adding one more thing to my plate (the ducks) has watered down the amount of time I spend elsewhere.

It’s actually a good thing.

But now Spring is here, and I’m having trouble focusing. Yesterday was so beautiful, all I wanted to do was be outside. Since getting the ducks and warmer weather arriving, I have spent a lot more time outside.

Yesterday it was 90. Today it might be 70. We’re supposed to get rain…tomorrow? That would be great. We need a good soak.

See? Trouble focusing…anyway…

This was 3 weeks ago:

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I can’t even remember them being that little.

This is today:

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My, how they’ve grown…and fast! They are now as tall as their water container. (Which reminds me…they need a newer more duck friendly one…another thing to do today.)

Here is their new pen…

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It is not as big as I had hoped, but it was free, procured from H’s parents. It used to be their dog’s, who passed away last year. H was grumpy when he brought it home. It was, apparently, covered and tangled in weeds. And, it was hot outside. AND, before they could go get it, he had to wait 30 minutes while his dad put on his shoes…And then the truck’s battery was dead. Haha…poor H. But I do appreciate the pen.

A pen means duckies can go play outside. It means they can get used to being outside and being around cats and the cats can get squirted with vinegar and told NO! when they get too curious…so they also get used to being around ducks and understanding they are not prey.

And, as we have many predators…hawks, foxes…and I heard an owl screeching way too close for comfort last night…it is my job today to wrap the pen in chicken wire to assist in keeping predators OUT.

I am not actually looking forward to this. However, it must be done.

On the stitching front, I have managed to get some work done on a log cabin block…

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And here’s Prairie Girl on Path…

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