Tag Archive | In Nature

Calgon, take me away…

My bathtub is back.


It only took four days for me to realize having the duckies inside was NOT going to work long term. It did get them past the worst of the cold, I think. And I am more confident now about keeping them warm when the temps dip down, as the forecast (if it can be believed) indicates will happen at least a couple of nights this week. I still have some things to take out to them in Chicky’s shed, but for now they are dry, fed, watered and very warm.


As you can see, they’ve already grown. It’s quite amazing because every morning I could tell a difference in their size. In a day I had to go back to the larger water trough, as the smaller containers just weren’t working out. The large chick feeder also had to go. It was just too long and the duckies had the habit of going from food to water, food to water, food to water, so that the food was getting soaked and the water was, well, disgusting. I know the water will still be disgusting…ducks are messy…but I’m hoping keeping the food and water apart will slow them down a bit, give them a little of a journey so they exercise more (they are already tired of being cooped up in this tub and can you blame them?) and make less mess for me to clean up.

I know I can’t call them the duckies forever. I didn’t mean to name them. I didn’t want to name them. But, I ended up naming them, pretty much on the first day. Like most small things, anything can happen to them and I didn’t want to get attached by naming them, but, too late, it happened automatically.

When I thought of potential names, an old store that used to be here when I was a kid in the 70s popped into my mind. TG&Y it was called. Its nickname was “Turtles, Girdles and Yoyos” because you could get just about anything you were looking for there. I like the nickname and used it as an idea for naming the duckies. They are now: Myrtle, Gyrtle and Yoyo. (Turtle just wasn’t working for me.)


Now that MG&Y are back in the shed, we will see each other less. To make up for the time away and to keep them used to me (hopefully) I decided to spend a little time every day reading to them. I’m not much of a talker, but I can read. Today they got to hear about crushing grapes at Cecelia’s place. They settled right down, snuggling into their grass and pine chips for story time. Yoyo (the one with the yellow band around its neck who I suspect may be a drake/boy) even fell asleep.

While in the shed I noticed the Asian lady bugs that wintered over there were up and swarming, trying to find their way out.


I could have opened the window for them, but why deny MG&Y the fun? They love pecking at bugs. Maybe they will even eat a few.

On the sewing front, I had some fun with In Nature this weekend. I started adding lace…and couldn’t stop.

While playing with lace I was reminded of another time when I got to play with lace. I stopped by the home of a wedding dress maker I knew, back many moons ago when I was a 20-something and worked at Hancock Fabrics in Texas. This lady would come in and buy yards and yards of brilliant white satin for the gowns she made for new brides.

This night when I stopped by her house – it was so long ago I don’t remember why or even what her name was…Anne, I think – she was working on a dress and, so she said, wasn’t getting anywhere and what did I think. I looked at the lace pieces she had scattered about and began placing them in a dramatic yet orderly fashion. There was a lot of lace as it was a huge train she was attempting to decorate. When I was finished with my masterpiece, Anne said that looks great and thanks that really helped. I’m sure she was just being polite and had her own vision firmly in place, but it really was a lot of fun.

I really loved all these pieces surrounding the center square…and left them for a day or so just to enjoy them.

I was surprised how nicely the purple worked.

In the end, I decided to go with this one, although it’s not stitched on yet.


We’ll see. I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

P.S. H knows now. Nothing I do really surprises him any more.

What the tea did…

Here are the bits I tea-soaked yesterday…


I put samples of the originals next to the tea-dyed ones. Pretty dramatic change on the blues…not so much on the yellow and white piece. Hardly anything at all on the tatted flowers. You never know…

I’ve been trying out some ideas on In Nature…

Last night I got it basted to the larger cloths, both of which were also tea-dyed yesterday. I actually stitched on the wrong side of the white one…shhhhh…don’t tell anybody.

I really like that green silk. Is it obvious?

My ipad has a nice drawing feature. I know, it’s taking me forever to learn how to use that thing.

Idea one:


Idea two:


What do you think?

Ok, I’m trying to write the rest of this surreptitiously. I’ve got the screen shrunk down to a small square because…H still doesn’t know. He’s busy getting ready for an event he’s working tonight. So, I’m typing bits here and there when he’s out of the room. It’s not that I’m trying to keep the ducklings a secret at this point. I’m more interested in seeing how long it takes before he notices.

I’ve officially kept them alive for two days now. It’s also clear to me that they’ve already grown.


This is bath time. They love it, of course…like a duck to water and all that…I throw in bits of grass for them to nibble on. The water was a little deeper today so they could actually do a half swim scoot through it. It’s really impressive how fast they can move.


The plate is there so they can get out of the water and rest if they want to. Ducklings can get tired quickly…they can also drown. So, bath time is supervised closely.

While the duckies are having a bath, I’m busy cleaning their tub, which is in my bathtub. Still not real thrilled about that one, but it has to do for now.


How do you like that fancy watering system? It actually works great. Until they have a bigger space and I can use the gallon size one I bought, these will be fine. You have to be careful not to cut the hole too large, otherwise they will climb in. A couple of them have already tried.


I did just have the small container, but I added two more. One is on the end towards you in this picture. Now that they have 3 watering holes the entire tub is now soaking wet, instead of just one corner. Oh goody. That means more to clean up. Keeping them supplied with water is very important, but I am now rethinking that 3rd container.

I also realized today I did jump the gun on getting these guys. If H gets offered the job we will be traveling to check things out and likely gone for several days. If our friend has time to keep an eye on things for us like he did last time, all will be well. If not, we will have to rely on family, which would be both fine and also a worst-case scenario. Maybe the duckies will be going with us. I’m only half kidding. Either way, if he doesn’t find out on his own, H will have to be let in on the secret soon…

On the plus side, I highly recommend the experience of owning ducks and/or chickens. Watching them, I can literally feel my blood pressure going down. It is so relaxing. Today I asked them Are you having fun? They all stood up straight, flapped their tiny wings, peeped at the top of their tiny lungs and ran around the tub like lunatics.

It was great.

I’ll tell H soon. He wouldn’t want to miss this.






Cool days…I love them…

It’s cool and damp today, as was last night.

I love weather like this. I always have. I think I was made for living in the UK…or Oregon.

But, here I am, in Kansas. I do love the natural environment here, and have lots of wonderful memories of my time on a farm not too far from here. Before I leave here I’m going back to the farm to see if the current residents will let me take pictures. Last time I was there…maybe 8 years ago? No one was home and I drove up the longish drive just to see things. Everything seemed different, the way things do when you were around them when you were young and haven’t seen them since. Everything had shrunk.

I was very impressed with the neighbor’s front yard, though. When I was about 15, a large family moved in there and the parents planted trees everywhere. Now those tiny saplings are a tall, mature, beautiful forest. Maybe if I time my visit right they will be leafed out.

I had been lamenting the fact of not having a good enough camera. My cell phone takes ok photos, but they could be better.

This morning when I woke up I threw on pants, a long shirt, made tea and headed outdoors. Cool and damp…I couldn’t resist. I took the ipad, too. The one I’ve been using for months…and took this:


Now, doesn’t that look like you could just reach right through the computer screen, snap off a fresh lettuce leaf and chomp on it? I know! I’ve had this ability to take much better photos all this time…harrumph!

I’m currently making crostini…or trying to. It doesn’t want to brown, but I have to go check on it. In the meantime…look what I have to do to keep the cats out of my new vegetable beds…


The crostini is still not brown…dripping with oil, crunchy, but still not brown…and, yes, Olive would be right in the middle of that soil…doing you-know-what…if those sticks weren’t there. Still, they get as close as they can.

If I leave here, the garden will be my biggest disappointment. I have so many plans for it.

However, the stitching will continue, no matter where I am. Here’s the latest on In Nature. I practiced a few faces before stitching one on. It was the only drawing I did all week…and my next class is today. I will have nothing to show Mr. DeBeverly.



I’ve been wanting to do a critter for a while now. Jude is so talented and her beasts are such an inspiration. But my critters will always look like my critters…and I am ok with that. This piece has been a lot of fun…and I’m not finished yet.

Today is the last day for stitching any more February words on the word cloth. And I have several I’d like to do. I will probably start on this instead of drawing. What a bad student I am this week.

Speaking of other places, I like a lot about Oklahoma. I love the wild green cedars dotted across the rolling burnt red landscape. It is truly beautiful.

Norman, which is a good-sized college town, also has better food than we do. My favorite store discovered on our weekend trip was Sprouts where we found these white rose potatoes:

They were so creamy and delicious, simply sliced and baked with a red onion and oil. Half the bag is already gone. I ate last night’s leftovers for breakfast.

The crostini has now been in the oven forever. Last time I checked it still wasn’t browning. I’m going to take it out anyway…I’m tired of waiting. And then I’m going to take a grapefruit outside and eat it and enjoy the cool and damp…and perhaps I’ll ponder some more about the near future. H told me last night we will know if we are moving sometime in the next 10 days.

In the meantime, look what’s happening outside:


They like the cool, damp, too.

Crostini update: slightly golden brown, sprinkled with Fleur de Sel…and cooling.