Big Lou update

Today Lou went to have his broken paw checked, recasted. He was good waiting and waiting until a small boy started jumping around swinging toys. It was all too much! Lou being my protector, snarled and grumbled, never taking his eyes of the boy. Then dog after dog arrived and being nervy already Lou and I waited in the inner office hallway. Grumble, grumble. Once inside he was as cool as a cucumber, got his cast off, paw washed and dried. Then his new cast.
It’s been a funny dog week. While out on errands we came next to a convertible with a Pomeranian standing on the back of the car. While I snapped a photo the owner, a nice lady said Desperado loves to ride standing up. The light changed and off they went. The dog harnessed of course, was in no danger. He loved every minute, fur flying in the wind and leaning with each curve.
On the garden scene, I am a bit remiss and I did not take May photos. I did manage to catch the end of some nice peonies.
It’s kinda cool living in weekenderville sometimes. Except on Fridays of course when you can’t get around town, but we saw some cool stuff.
these rusty flowers made from hose spigots. I’m always after my son to make things like this. He’s a welder and these weekenders think nothing of spending big bucks on these kinds of things. Even the local package store had some fun stuff. and the back side said

No sewing or quilting to speak of. Just a little appliqué each night to finish up a border block for a raffle quilt. I’ll post a picture later.

Tags: Dogs gardens

Eventful weekends continue

Another milestone birthday at our house again this week. Due to a wedding my sons 25th birthday cake was put off a few days. My daughter turned 30 so we had two cakes!
a lovely raspberry lemon cake for my daughter and a magic chocolate cake for my son.
Both recipes can be found here on this awesome cooking blog
http://clairekcreations.com

The yard filled with laughter, young friends lasted into the evening. My daughter had my husband make a ” corn hole” game. That kept up the brevity into the darker hours. It’s was so much fun they had lanterns lighting the yard just to play.
Earlier this happened. It is summer and Lou must have an expensive vet visit.

It’s a yearly event four years running!

A funny day with a funny(strange) story

Today was a nice day. Working outdoors, girls mulching and I was planting containers.
I looked up and saw this female mallard duck watching me and wandering back and forth along the slope of lawn across the stream. I’ve never seen ducks or geese in the yard. There is a lake across the street, but it is not close or easy for any fowl to navigate the stream.

Not a great photo, but you can see its a duck. We broke for lunch and after I did not see her.
I went up to the upper garden to spray deer repellent on the hostas. I was cautious not knowing if the duck had a nest someplace close by. I mean, why else would she be pacing back and forth?
As I scan the surroundings I catch site of ears in the foliage.

Hard to see, but I saw ears. But of what? rabbit, bobcat?

This was the smallest fawn I have ever seen. It was the size of my jack Russell.
So the duck, was it a babysitter? It had just been pacing back and forth right in front of the spot this wee fawn was sleeping?
Have you ever heard or seen anything like that?

The days just fly

I do apologize for being an intermittent poster. Being spring, there’s work and events.
We have been gardening hard lately between the rain days. It seems we lose at least a day a week to the rain. It is needed so we can’t complain much. We are getting on top of the work, or at least keeping up with it all. At home here that’s another story.
It’s hard to tackle more gardening after a day of it elsewhere, but it’s coming in dribs and drabs.
I’ve been getting the raised beds ready for vegetables. There was a bit of weeding to do first, before I can even think of adding some more amendments. Even though I have explained several years that the compost pile must be sifted and we should cover it, it is still dug and added. Hence the need to weed.
Here’s my buddy giving me a hand. I did have a funny video to post. ( still can’t get that done)
This dog seems to go a bit bonkers when I have a hand tool and use it in the soil. He has to dig at it, bark and cry until he has the tool. He never does this any other time and once in a while it is comical. Then other times I wish I could just get the job done.

Still it’s hard to stay annoyed for long. Just look at him!
The vegetable boxes may be a sight still, but the front gardens are looking good.
This from the upstairs window.

Here is the next to last bloom on my tree peony. It smells delicious. It is so nice to be outdoors these past two weeks with the cool temps and the fragrance of lily of the valley and lilac.
It was a beautiful day to spend at an outdoor wedding celebration. Gathering of friends, family, good food and best wishes to the young couple starting their own adventure.
May there be so many more sunny, pleasant days ahead for them.
Here’s a younger friend enjoying the floral arrangements. He had taken to the bleeding hearts and had to show all his discoveries.
A quilty and garden friend of mine had collected all the flowers and arranged them for the event.
She did a very fine job and I know the family was so pleased and thankful.
As the sun sets

I may just get some hand appliqué done.
All for now.

Springing up all over with weeds

So it’s funny I am always asked, can we skip mulch this season. My answer is ” well it will mean more weeding later” For a time it looks ok. We edge, divide / transplant or plant or plant a new , weed then mulch. This year there is a boom with the weeds. Then I remember, ” let’s go lightly on the mulch this year” Voila!

Gout weed my absolute(not) favorite. Here’s the thing, the homeowner sprays roundup. It kills back the weeds this season. Next year the weeds comeback, but the perennials near the area sprayed don’t.
They were not sprayed, just the weeds. Somehow they have absorbed the herbicide. Even though they claim it’s topical, you spray it on the foliage and it kills only what you have sprayed. That’s BS and I have seen blank areas that once had many perennials which now have a bit of weeds coming back that were sprayed.
I never use roundup. I don’t believe the claims it’s safe. We hand pull, burn and will try vinegar solutions. No herbicides. I’ve vented now, thanks.
Spring means lawn mowing, also one of my peeves. Who needs lawn? I guess people like it.
So the gang here has been fiddling with old rejected lawn mowers. Getting them going, taking from one to make another work. To me it’s just more junk to contend with but there are funny moments.
I have a video of my son with his dog in a trailer behind the mower that’s hilarious. If I figure out how to upload the file here you too can have a chuckle. It just keeps saying it’s too big or the wrong kind of file.
Here’s the dog with a new friend ( for him anyway) he’s such a good boy and loves the attention.

Tags: Spring mulch dogs

Macarons or macaroons

I am not sure what the right name is for these cookies, but I do know they seem to be the rage and are showing up everywhere. We made some over the weekend, not because of the recent popularity, but because it looked like a challenge and we are always trying something different, out of the norm. For us anyway.
I am so fortunate to have these wonderful ladies in my life. Friends or family, whatever, makes no difference just that we are connected with a deep bond. We have such a good time together.
When our lives were less complex, stressed and we had more free time we always got together once a month for international night. Each month we chose an ethnic cuisine and had a pot luck.
It was great trying exotic foods, and challenging ourselves with not only the recipes, but also finding the ingredients. Great fun!
Is been a while since our last get together, probably thanksgiving. So this time it was macarons.
We had a blast even though we were missing two of our gang. That’s ok, next time!

The blue ones had blueberry cheesecake filling and the brown were chocolate with either Nutella or peanut butter filling. Oops someone forgot the heavy cream otherwise it would have been a ganache filling. Still absolutely yummy.

It’s been ages

Well it’s been a while, but it is spring after all. Once it hits the fan here, it really does.
Still we are a few weeks lagging with the weather and the plants are showing it.
Luckily for me and the gang. Perhaps we will get caught up in between the drenching rain days?
I used to work in the rain, gear on and wellies. It’s silly, soil compacting and weary on my arthritic joints. Those days are for stitching if my hand allows it.
Part of my anxiousness is the fact that ” landscapers” have everything, cut down , preened and mulched to the gills by now. That’s not gardening or landscaping. Anyone who has a truck, mower, wheelbarrow and shovel calls themselves landscapers around here.
It’s fine for the island beds at the local grocery or gas station, but not for the place you relax, entertain and for the nuttier people like us, toil, ponder and love.

I love ferns! These are not mine, but I do toil here. This is my favorite part of the year. All fresh and new.
Because of issues at home with my Dad, I do get home early sometimes. I did manage to do a bit around my own beds before my back and everything else began to complain.
It’ll take time, maybe all summer but I will get there.
A poor attempt to show my epimedium blooms. One of my favs.

Also perennial sweet pea

Triangles on!

I’ve got the triangles on. Next is very small flowers with stems and leaves. I may embroider the stems. Will have to see how the sample goes.

Basted down and on the go


It’s a quick job needle turning these triangles down on my LE. It is a awesome project and the yahoo group that is working on it are so willing to share their progress. Most are almost a year into this appliquers dream. There are some newbies to the scene and the group is growing everyday. Over 4000 strong now.
The owner and designer http://estheraliu.blogspot.com
Offers this BOM free to anyone. You just need to join the yahoo group. She puts up free patterns frequently. There’s a new one for a table runner just recently posted. See her blog.
I looked over many member blogs to see how they approached each step. It’s a project where you make it your own. Whether by technique, color or type of fabrics. There are some made in silk, some by machine, some by needleturn. The choices are endless.
I have always used a pattern overlay when I do complicated appliqué patterns.
I learned that at a Becky Goldsmith class. There I learned to use pins, lots of them to hold down my pieces. Thats good for one at a time of a few. But 20, connecting pieces?
Looking over the blogs I found that this lady uses close to my techniques, although perhaps more evolved than mine at the moment.
http://janesthreads.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Love%20Entwined
She does such beautiful work. I love the fabrics and patterns she chooses and that she uses needleturn. I adore that technique. It fulfills me and is very rewarding. My hands just itch to do it.

Sew and go

Been so much going on here I’ve been slacking in the quilting department.
Back to work, family health crisis and all that goes with it.
Since I’m sitting and visiting at the hospital I thought I better get my ” on the go kit ” more organized and prepped for easy piecing.
With my awesome Meredithe Clark templates it was a snap. Look for them on the tab on her blog
http://pomegranateandchintz.wordpress.com/templates/

The night before all heck broke loose I managed to baste guidelines on my Love Entwined project and set in the compass. It sat for a week and I finally got going on the next step.
I made a pattern over lay. Then a day or two went by before I got out the freezer paper and made templates for the next part. Triangles cut, finger pressed, pinned then basted on.
I am finally on the appliqué sewing. This may be my ” on the go this week”.
With the pieces all basted there is no chance to loose or have the pieces shift.