Thursday, April 28, 2011

Do Geese Sneeze?

I think I just heard one. At least it sounded like a sneeze ... what else would you call it?

From the NWS for our area: Hazardous Weather Outlook
Flash Flood Warning / Severe Thunderstorm Watch / Flood Warning

More of the same for yet another week, I’m afraid. This weather is getting to be a bit much. At least they’ve lifted the tornado warning.

We moved the sheep the other day to pasture that was green with grass growing nicely. Two nights in a row, they were subjected to severe thunderstorms. Now today, the forecast is for more – with the added threat of heavy hail. So this morning, Tuck and I brought them back home to the barn. In the pouring rain. We’re both soaked to the skin, but the sheep cooperated nicely and it wasn’t a problem moving them about a quarter of a mile sans PaPa.

I ordered new rubber shoes online and they came none too soon. The back yard:

(I'm not as brave as K who sent a photo of herself walking barefoot in similar conditions at her house.)

The barnyard:

Unfortunately, the garden looks pretty much the same. And we live on top of a hill that is at nearly the highest elevation in the county. I feel sorry for folks who live down by the river.

I saw on the news that the new Royal Princess roller skates! As a matter of fact, there was a photo of her, taken right after she fell on her butt.
Maybe she needs one of these: ! Or, if the budget is a little tight and Prince William is good with hand tools, he could make her one of those contraptions my little granddaughter used at the rink we went to last week – with a saw, some PVC pipe, glue and a few wheels. For the devotees of all things Princess-y, is having Kate on Skates enough to blast the activity out of The Eighties and into the modern decade? (Just curious -- I don’t really care. The grandkids love to go skating when they’re here.)

The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

Friday, April 22, 2011

A grand time ...

The grandkids are here -- that's a guaranteed GRAND time!

Yesterday we went to see a 3-D movie. They thought it was great, I had a hard time focusing. Must be my eyes don't work with those glasses on. (Do they come in bi-focals?) Things improved when I changed my seat so I was closer to the center of the theatre. Is that normal? The cost of the movie was a real bargain. It's the snacks that kill the wallet. I wondered if they sprinkled the popcorn with gold dust, or what?!?

The whole movie reminded me of a friend who has a blue macaw, amongst her fine feathered friends of which there are several. Some of them talk! It just cracks me up when she sends sound bites of them jabbering, or tells stories of their antics like hiding in a closet or making the dog howl by repeating the same word over and over.

Today we went skating with some friends. The littlest cutie-pie struggles with "real" skates (usually uses the things that just strap onto street shoes). But they had the most clever solution for new/wobbly skaters. They had lengths of PVC pipe joined to make a thing that looked like a little corner of a fence on wheels. It works like a walker older people use to steady themselves to get around. Perfect! Had they had one tall enough to accommodate, I may have tried on some skates again, myself. I was afraid I'd look like I really needed a walker if I tried one of the short ones, though. I'd have to bend nearly in half to use it. Not a good look for me, and I'm pretty sure it would be tough to straighten back up when it was time to leave.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Yellow things ...

With yellow things popping up all over the place, is that an indicator that Spring has finally decided to pay us a visit?

I dunno ... last night, driving home at about 10 p.m., we ran into a bit of snow. Nothing major ... just enough to make its presence known.

I've been given my warning (see the wings starting to flail on that guy on the right? I think he's saying, "Put the camera down and step away from the nursery."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Where’s a video camera when you need one?

Oh, the sights I see, living out here amongst all my creatures. I just witnessed something that would probably make the cut for AFV on TV, had I caught it on tape.

I was pouring myself a cup of coffee and looking out the window glass in the kitchen door. There was a cat snuggled up on a pile of leaves in a flower bed just outside. A big old goose came waddling up, stretched her neck out and pinched the cat right in the rear end. It’s probably one of those “you had to be there” kind of things, but the cat absolutely FLEW into the air, completely startled. When he landed back on his feet several feet away, he looked back at the goose as if to say, “What was THAT for?!?”

I wish I had caught that on tape. It was priceless. How does a cat do that, anyway? It went from being in a sleeping position to being several feet in the air, zero-to-sixty – apparently without its feet ever touching the ground for lift-off. On second thought, it’s probably a good thing I didn’t catch it on tape. I’d spend the whole day re-winding it and reviewing it.

EMMA WAS HERE ... Emma is Peg K's granddaughter. She's in the second grade, and likes cats. So she shall have cats on her quilt that Grandma made for her:

Hard to see the pink on pink, but it shows up a lot on the black!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What can this mean ... ?

When DH was leaving, he said, “… when I get home, I’m going to need your help with something.” Uh-oh. What does THAT mean? Remember, this is the guy who calls from another state to ask a “small” favor of me, and that small favor takes me half a day and all my energy to accomplish the gate-building-and-sheep-rustling task. (recall post from last summer -- it's in the archives)

So this new request can be just about anything. I’m guessing he wants me to be “the other guy” needed to reposition a barn door that has come off its rocker. Or whatever those things are called that hold sliding barn doors onto the barn. Said barn door is about 10 feet wide and at least as tall, made of wood, and weighs a lot more than I do. I’d better eat my Wheaties for breakfast so I’ll have superhuman strength for this job.

I finally managed to get some snow peas, and regular peas as well, planted in the garden yesterday. No. Small. Task. First, I had to build a new raised bed because the garden is actually still WAY too wet for planting anything. I hauled compost and relatively dry soil from a protected area, mixed it up, raked it free of rocks and debris and voila! Instant pea bed. Well, not really very instant – it took me the best part of a day to accomplish. I know: I could have just bought a bag of frozen peas and been done with it in a flash. Bite your tongue! Think of all the benefits: fresh air, exercise, and maybe even some fresh peas after several weeks of weeding, watering, and watching their progress every day.

A bag of peas probably costs about $2.99, and a packet of seeds about the same. So … why would anybody take the easy way out when they can struggle to grow their own?!? If you don’t know the answer to that, you’re probably not a gardener.

Brenda came to the studio for the first time, was a fast learner who wanted to just be taught the basics and then left alone to "learn by doing." Here’s what she accomplished:

Oh … and besides these, there was another small quilt, and a table runner that she even took time to put sparkly crystals on before she left. She e'd me when she got home, thanking ME!?! And she paid me to come and use my stuff. Why do I have the urge to recite, “Come into my parlor …”?

Friday, April 8, 2011

A roomful of lovely ladies ...

The gals who make a quilt each year to raise funds for our local fire department are getting an earlier start this time. They've been doing this forever. Each woman embroiders a block that is incorporated into a bed-size quilt that will be raffled off at the annual Fourth of July Celebration at the fire hall.

Some of the embroidery is exquisite. My embroidery skills leave much to be desired, so I volunteer to quilt and bind the finished product as my contribution.

Let me know if you want tickets for the raffle. They don't usually sell a whole lot, so your chances of winning are greater. E-me at if you want tickets.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

. . . as soon as the ground can be worked.

Doesn't look like that will be today.

The prospects of gardening any time soon don't look so hot, according to the forecast for the rest of the week, either. We're a full week into April and still getting a daily dose of winter -- just to keep us humble, I guess. When nice weather comes, it will be a battle to get "Spring" things accomplished. Posts and trellises will need to be righted, soil turned, seeds and seedlings planted, and so on. I don't know if the grapes will get pruned at all this year. Beneath that lovely white coating of snow, there's a treacherous lot of mud that makes any outdoor work nigh unto impossible. Hoping to not repeat the shoe-sucking episode for the third time, (yes, it happened AGAIN!), I tied my feet into plastic bags and THEN put on my boots this morning. That was in case I needed to traipse through the sludge sans boots again. Oh, give me strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow! I'm sinking fast, with all this mud. At least I kept my boots on my feet today, even though I sunk literally up to my ankles in the sheep yard. Makes for slow moving.

Here ... look at the back of one of Paula's quilts!

This makes me think of maple syrup! Folks around here would normally be busy gathering sap to make syrup now, but I don't think the weather has been very cooperative for that this year, either. Good grief! I'm not one to mind winter usually, but the siege seems never-ending this year. I shall go work on a very Spring-y quilt and try to ignore what's going on outside.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Wind Makes Me Nervous ...

Not sure why, but it does. The up side to wind: it dries up mud.

Mud. Everywhere. In shoe-sucking proportions. The cows hate it as much as I do, so to be kind, I decided I’d deliver their breakfast in the shed where they were hanging out to stay away from the muck. They seemed to like the idea. The problem came when I had to fetch the feed dishes back to prevent them from being pulverized by hooves. In maneuvering around “droppings,” I got myself wedged between the barn wall and a very large animal. Thinking I was trying to jockey for position at the feed trough, he started putting his weight on me to nudge me out. Ugh. My only recourse was to step into the muck. I didn’t realize that there, at the door opening, the rain had puddled and created a vile soup. Yow! I was rapidly sinking and had visions of being stuck up to my waist until help could arrive. Okay, so I have a wild imagination and it goes haywire at the slightest provocation. But when I pulled my foot up to take another tenuous step, I lost my boot. It had gotten slurped right off my foot. Ohhhhhhh no! I then had to make a decision. Did I need that boot badly enough to reach into the gluck to fetch it out? (It was sunk do deep it was filling up with the semi-liquid, disgusting slime.) If I were to pull it out, how would I ever clean it up enough that I’d be willing to put my foot back into it? But if I didn’t get it, how would I walk back through the barnyard to the house? In my socks? Oh, why me?!? I retrieved the boot, but couldn’t make myself put my foot back into it in that state. I flung it down on the barn floor and walked back to the house for a shower and a different pair of footwear.

I’ve been very busy in the quilting studio. As fast as I can finish quilts, more come in. That’s a good thing! But it leaves little time for other things.

One thing I will always make time for is to play in my garden. You might think it’s a tad early for that, but I am happy to report I got some spinach planted in a cold frame. And there are the babies in the cellar under lights:

I’m being called to duty by the fax machine, so off I go!