Sunday, March 27, 2011

Doesn't look like much ...

This little heap of fabric scraps represents most of my day today. Yeah, I know ... doesn't look like I accomplished much. Trust me, though, it's a big deal for me. At least is shows I am making progress on my newest quilt project, albeit painfully slow going.

Actually, it was how I amused myself while Karen and Michelle worked on their quilts here today. They finished M's birthday quilt together. Then they worked on another. You should have heard the giggling coming out of that room! (Sorry the picture is so blurry. It's hard to stand still to snap a photo whilst sniggling.)

From the "Thanks Again, Uncle Sam!" Department: I did NOT get excused from Federal jury duty. So much for the claim that being self-employed is an automatic "get off the hook" card. Pbbbbbbblt ... it makes me NUTS just thinking about it. So I will quit. Thinking about it, that is.

It is a mistake to try to look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time. - Sir Winston Churchill

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Is this really necessary?

Now, you're probably thinking I'm referring to the 6-inches-and-still-falling snow. Yeah, that too. But in reality, this is what it looks like here in early Spring. Snow. Or mud. Of the two, hate mud WAY more than I dislike snow.

But what I'm referring to is the mailbox sans door. Back after the 9-1-1 ordeal, we were notified by the post office that we had to remove the door on our rural mailbox, as an anti-terrorism measure. C'mon, now. If a terrorist went to the trouble to drive all the way out here in the boondocks to do some damage, does anyone really believe (s)he'd be deterred by the fact that there's no door on the mailbox to hide the bomb or poisoned package? So, patriotically conforming to the silly law, we removed the mailbox door. For me, that began a number of years of soggy junk mail to dispose of and drippy bills to pay. Thanks, Uncle Sam.

A few weeks ago, I saw something on TV about a man who was studying how many words a dog recognized. The Border Collie (Yea! Border Collies!) was able to discern one toy from another, by name. My foreign-born sister-in-law says my dog understands English better than she does. This morning, I decided to see if Tuck would know what I was asking for if I had a mix of items on the floor for him to choose from. I have to tell you, I often tell him to "get my socks" because I'm too lazy to bend over and pick them up myself, and he happily does that for me. So this morning, I put two socks, a dishtowel, his beloved toy rabbit and my gloves on the kitchen floor. I went to the other room and asked him to go get my gloves. He ran to the kitchen, picked up the towel, growled and shook his head to toss it aside. Then he grabbed one glove and brought it to me. I said, "get me the other one" and he did.

Now, granted it doesn't take much to amuse me, but I find this dog to be a constant source of entertainment. I'm SO not used to things going my way, it's a delight to have this dog who is always eager to please. Sorta like supermarket cantaloupes -- they're usually such a musty-tasting disappointment that when you get a good one, what a treat! (Where did THAT come from? I don't know. Maybe I'd better go eat some breakfast to fuel my failing brain.)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Time flies ...

It's been a week since I've been here, posting. It's been a busy week, but I managed to get away and visited the quilt show in Lancaster, PA. There were some very impressive quilts to be seen! I don't know whether to be inspired to try to aim higher like the people whose talents are so evident, or to give up, knowing I'll never do that kind of work. Oh well, I quilt because I like to, not because I'm good at it. So I guess I'll just keep doing what I do.

Here's what I did to Julie S's pretty little quilt: (double click the picture to enlarge).

A funny, heard at the quilt show. Someone visiting an Amish shop last year when it had been very windy there in Lancaster asked if there was a public restroom. The answer was, "We had one, but it blew down last night." Hold onto your outhouse!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I've got all I can handle ...

... but if you're looking for a pet, here's something you can try. More than 320,000 pets are waiting for homes on

But please, PLEASE ... if you get a pet and later decide you don't want/can't keep it, DON'T drop it off in front of my barn. So many people have already done that, we're on overload with cats.

Why do people do that?!? Do they really think cats are all so independent they'll live on mice they catch in someone else's barn? In our experience, it doesn't really work that way. Be kind, and be responsible.

Drop-off cats are bad enough, but more than once we've found that someone left a pregnant dog here. Once it was a Dalmatian who had six puppies. We were able to find homes for all of them. Another time, a sweet mutt was left, obviously ready to pop at any moment. We planned to take her to the animal shelter the next day, but she had other plans. She deposited THIRTEEN puppies by morning. We kept them all here for six weeks, feeding and caring for them. We managed to find homes for all but four. I really felt bad about having to take them to the shelter, but it had to be done. The worst time had to be when my husband discovered someone had put a litter of pups into a feed bad and dumped them along the road here. At least when the mother is with them, she takes care of the nursing part. If you know the culprit who did that, please don't tell me. I am not sure I would be kind to that person, putting it mildly.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Novel Idea ...

Sunday night into Monday, we had a tremendous amount of snowfall, made worse by winds that created deep drifts. There was so much, a big barn down the road collapsed presumably from the weight of the snow on the roof, causing quite a disaster for the farmers there. Thankfully, most of the cows were rescued, and nobody was hurt.

The fellow who plows me out came and did what he could, but because the snow was so deep and so heavy, he couldn't get the studio driveway cleared except for the first 10 feet. The driveway is a straight shot from the road and about 700 feet long, I should mention. (Can that be right? Sounds like a lot. But I think it's correct.) I've been trudging through stuff that's up to my knees. Ugh. (Note to self: think how good for me all this exercise is.)

With the rain we had yesterday, the deep snow became deep snush (snow + slush = snush). I've mentioned how I hate wet feet, right? So yesterday morning I donned my layers and layers of clothing and plastic bags inside my boots, trying to keep dry, and headed out. Along came a friendly neighbor who stopped to chat. (Of COURSE someone would come along when I'm out looking like a psychotic bag lady!) He asked how I liked the current state of affairs on our township's roads. We talked about how it is nigh unto impossible to get there from here if you're trying to head west. The main road has been closed awaiting repair (maybe until October?!?), and the alternate routes are an absolute mess from all the rain and heavy truck traffic.

I explained how I don't go out much, so it's not as big a problem for me as it is for the folks in the area who have to get to work in the main town near here. I told him how the trek up to the studio was a chore for me. He came up with a novel idea! He suggested that because the snow is so wet and heavy, it is good packing snow. I should go to the top of the driveway (from the road, uphill all the way), and make a snowball. Then start it rolling down. It would pick up all the snow and carry it away. Only one problem: it would probably cross the road and wipe out the house across at the bottom of the hill.

It was a mental image that kept me chuckling all the sloppy wet-and-getting-wetter day.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Starry, Starry Night ...

Nancy H's stars:

. . . a closer look:

And that's all for tonight!

Monday, March 7, 2011

A little problem ...

You can't tell by this picture,

but that snow has drifted to about 3 feet deep there in front of the steps. I used a dustpan to to dig out the stairs.

The problem is that my snow shovel is in the back seat of my car. There. That one.

I hate wet feet. My boots are not tall enough to get thru that snow without it going down inside the boots. It's really, really hard to shovel deep snow with a short-handled dustpan. Guess I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and go fetch. Waaaah!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Copper. Really?

Natalie (the adult one, not the child one) sent a quilt for me to do, with instructions to do something to "soften" it. She said she would trust my judgment. That's always a risk! I decided to use copper colored thread on her pink and brown quilt. I doubt she'd have chosen it herself, but I think she will be pleased with the outcome. I am.

I auditioned a variety of colors of thread for this quilt, starting first with the obvious browns and pinks. Then I looked at a "neutral" color because I thought the brown was too dark on the back (pink) side. The pink was too light on the dark browns. Neutral creams, tans, etc. just didn't speak to me at all. Then Copper jumped itself off the shelf on onto the quilt, screaming "Pick me! Pick me!" Sure enough ... it seems to be just the ticket.

Front (above), and back (below).

Lesson: don't always go with the "obvious" choice when picking thread. Step out of your usual comfort zone and you may find something serendipitously perfect. (Did I just make up a word there? Anyway ... you get what I mean, right?)

Quilters are coming out of hibernation around here. Speaking of coming out of hibernation, Penny came with her bears. This one will be raffled off at an event called Women of the Wild ... no, that's not right. Maybe it's called Women In The Outdoors? Anyway, something like that -- you can check it out , buy a ticket, and have a chance to win. Penny quilted it here with a pattern that includes bears, pine trees, and such. Bear-y clever!

Becky has been piecing a quilt for Natalie (the child, not the adult) from her old baby blankets. It's becoming quite the large project. Here's what she has done so far:

More quilts to show. Tomorrow. Or the next day?