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…


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


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:


I can’t even remember them being that little.

This is today:


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…


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…


And here’s Prairie Girl on Path…







Honey dreams…

We were at Costco the other day and guess what they are selling?

Beehive kits!

I told H I really wanted one…he continues to remain in a state of disbelief.

You have cats AND ducks and you want bees, too?

Well, yes, yes I do. (And a dog, in case you forgot!)

Yesterday we were in the backyard and I pointed to the ground.

See, I’ve already started my hive!


The look of shock on his face was priceless. He’s such a city kid!

In efforts to change my diet, I’ve taken a cue from Cecelia.


I’m not a huge fan of salads…all that lettuce, dressing, denying myself croutons…

But I am loving this cornucopia of fruits, nuts and veg. Why didn’t I ever think of doing this? I’m on day 3.

I’m hoping to do more stitching today. There’s not a lot else on the agenda and it’s beautiful out.

Here’s a look at the word cloth, stitched when it was, well…




Have photos…will share…

I am realizing how photo-driven my posts are.


Sometimes I find it hard to get started writing without one.


When I wrote for the newspaper for 6 or 7 years, I was a Copy Queen. That means I could churn out copy, i.e. news stories, like crazy. It’s also why I got burned out, but that’s another story.

I also happened to be an excellent photo journalist. I could tell stories with my photos. Even years after leaving that job I would hear once in a while how that newspaper never had a better photographer.

I am hoping that talent for photography will one day transfer here. The trouble is…taking pics with cell phones and ipads. It’s just different than holding a real camera in your hands, harder to tell a story. I’ve put out vibes for a real, inexpensive, perhaps older, unwanted, in great condition, used digital camera with a lens. Do you think one exists? Of course the older cameras had a delay that used to drive me crazy. That seems a bit weeded out with the newer ones, at least on cell phones. A split second can make a big difference.

Here’s a little doodling I did using the ipad:

I am finding it really helpful to draw before stitching.

In other news, I told H the other night I wanted one of these:


I mean, really, who could resist? Yes, it’s a Great Pyrenees. Yes, it will be well over 100 lbs. Yes, I know we live in town and already have too many pets.

H nearly fainted.

Well, that’s overstating it a bit. He merely had a major panic attack. He’s barely gotten used to the idea of the ducks.

Speaking of…TG&Y have a new pond! Here’s the old pond on the right compared to the new pond on the left.


Check out Turtle’s (or is that Gyrtle’s) crazy underwater maneuver!

See how big they’ve gotten? They outgrew the blue pond in two days. Really, they are already sized for a baby pool, but that will require me moving them outdoors…and I’m not quite at that stage yet.


They LOVE being able to submerge themselves in water. I hadn’t realized that about ducks, that they loved swimming under water so much, as opposed to just paddling on top of it. My favorite is when there is grass in there and Yoyo goes under and comes up with leaves all over his head. It’s adorable.

Playing with the ducks is a lot of fun. Even Noodle wants in on the duck action.


This is the view I have of her at least a few times whenever I am in there. Noodle – the pesterer of all pesterers – is NOT allowed. But she tries, oh, how she tries.

It’s sunny and warm here finally. I’m headed outdoors to dig up unwanted saplings growing along the fence line. I hope you all are having a wonderful sunny day.


How time flies…

Where has the week gone?

I wanted to write a full post since I am up late, having slept very early and am now up again, but I can’t find the keyboard we just bought for this thing. So I will peck at this screen for a bit before returning to bed.

Monday was spent clearing out the ducks shed, formerly chickies shed. I had known for several days TG&Y needed more space. Turtle had been telling me so, climbing onto the food container, pecking my leg and peeking over the side. Perhaps I was in denial over how fast they are growing. But, Sunday night, when she spread her minuscule wings, gave a loud PEEP and lurched for the top, I knew time had run out.

So, the next day I ripped out the cruddy old mustard yellow carpet, something I had longed to do for two years, swept up some ancient dust that had been hiding beneath it, and converted a chunk of space into a new duck pen. They love it.

TGandY, sorry the darn symbol button suddenly won’t cooperate, were thrilled. They flapped their teensy wings and ran around peeping like little maniacs…and then, THEN…they saw their POND that has WATER in it which they can access ANY TIME they want! Oh, the joy of it.

The pond, of course, is merely an old litter box. But hey, they don’t know that. Truth is, in just a few days they’ve already outgrown this, too. Tomorrow I will find a bigger pond.

Tuesday morning I was forced to do housework. Then there was my last drawing class. Then we went shopping. Both latter tasks took up the entire afternoon and evening.

Wednesday was cleaning up after the ducks, getting in a mile walk, cooking, running errands, and before I knew it it was evening and I was exhausted. I fell asleep at seven thirty…symbol button still not cooperating. Now I’ve been up for a while. Hopefully sleep will come again soon.


Cold again…

It was cold again today. Too cold for me to want to do much of anything outside.

Which is just as well, because I had a lot to do inside.

All I wanted to do was sit and stitch, but that didn’t happen for quite a while.

Dyed items turned out ok. I like violet.



I stuck those bits and pieces in after dyeing my Coldwater Creek jacket. The jacket dyeing was mostly a success. It’s certainly not orange any more.


Here are both versions so you can compare.

When you look up close you can see how they dye is mottled and did not spread evenly. I think I’m ok with that. I like mottled things. If it bothers me, I’ll try dyeing it again.

A new Prairie Girl emerged yesterday.


I quite like her.

A lot more stitching has been done on this one, but I will save that for next week.

The first dandelion made an appearance today.

And the duck’s tails are starting to feather out.

Lots of emerging…

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.






A day without wind…

The sun was out today. My face feels a bit toasted. And a gentle breeze, no wind. It was perfect.

TG&Y had their bath outside today. They loved it. They loved the water, anyway, in their tub. I’m not sure if they could tell they were “outside.”

Just two days ago it was a stretch to step from the bottom of the tub onto the brick I placed in there. Today it was no problem. They all climbed onto the brick and taller half brick this time and preened. Which reminds me I need to check they can reach their indoor water ok. It was completely filthy, so I placed the container on a couple of boards to help keep them out of it. Maybe it will work.

Olive and Noodle were interested in the ducks, although pretty respectful. Mostly they sniffed around the perimeter of the tub. A screen on top kept them from getting too close. They know the ducks are off limits. That’s clear. Soon they will be big enough the cats won’t be interested at all. At least, I hope so.

I also gave up trying to remember “Myrtle” instead of “Turtle.” And I changed “Girdle” to “Gyrtle.” I wouldn’t want to be named after a girdle.


Here is the brand new Coldwater Creek jacket I got for $2.50 at my local thrift store. It was wrinkly because I had washed it.


Such a nice spring jacket. I couldn’t pass it up, even if it was orange. I don’t wear orange. So, it is at this moment soaking in a pail of warm violet dye. I hope it takes. I’m trying to push it to coral, or at least just not orange.

Yesterday I managed to get 12 seedling pots started, of peppers and tomatoes. I also got the seeds out of the two okra pods I saved from last season’s plants. Those plants were grown from plants I grew from organic seed in 2014. This is some of the most beautiful okra seed I’ve seen, perfectly formed.


I have been dreaming about planting a forest of okra around the perimeter of Path. I have many other things planned for the back yard. Today I dug up more of those seedlings growing in the shelter of the fence line. And I got the outdoor table and chairs moved from upstairs to the backyard. If the weather’s nice I will eat out there tomorrow.

I’m so happy it is spring. I hope you all are enjoying it, too.