Thursday, December 27, 2012

"Get a refund!"

All customer Xmas quilts were done and outta here on time, I'm happy to say. That left time for the last minute rush of quilters who needed to come and finish their projects here for their big day.

Cathy got three wallhangings finished. I don't envy the marathon of binding she'll have!

Here's Dave, finishing up two for Rose.

I am proud of him for using great restraint when it came to choosing thread. Rose is more of a "let it blend in" kind of gal, while Dave, if given a choice, would pick high contrast -- or maybe even the glittery gold! I suggested he piece a quilt for himself so that he can jazz it up any way he'd like. We'll see it that happens!

Holly came with a heap of quilts to get done, and brought a helper for pinning.

The Fusion machine she likes to work with requires quite a reach. No problem for this guy -- he's very tall, AND very accommodating to Holly. They knocked three off their list that day, but I'm afraid it was a bit much for Rich:

I picked up the grands on Friday. The load of snow gear fit nicely into the van. Too bad we're dealing with a round of colds -- we got plenty of snow yesterday, and more is coming today. We spent much of our time dealing with sniffles, sneezes, fever and other unpleasant stuff -- and playing board games.

Playing Monopoly with kids who range in age from 6 to 16 is a hoot! One (who shall remain unnamed) is a complete miser. The child refused to trade, sell, or otherwise dispose of any of the properties gathered, making it nigh unto impossible for the game to proceed in the usual manner. As if Monopoly isn't long enough to begin with! The youngest tired of the game, even though she was raking in the most $$$ due to the fact that she held the railroads and everyone else landed on them repeatedly. PaPa couldn't coax her to make a deal for real estate. Her sister knew how to get through to her. She offered her $100 and a cookie! She snapped up that deal in a heartbeat. The child loves her cookies!

I got a tip from a newsletter recently that there's a new, fun family game out. So I sent for it and we were all anxious to give it a try. It's called "For Sale," and involves buying and selling real estate. Problem is, the instructions are ridiculously lacking. We couldn't figure out how the game is supposed to be played by reading the rules, so had to make up our own. Needless to say, it was not a big hit with this family. The oldest commented that he hoped I hadn't spend much on that stupid game (implying the huge waste of money if I had). I told him that, sadly, I DID spend quite a bit for it. The youngest piped up, "Get a refund!:

Oh, hah-ha-ha ... these kids just crack me up sometimes! Makes it all worth dealing with the hacking, sneezing, nose running and everything else going on this week.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mrs. Lynch woud love this!

I've been reading a book, Folks, this ain't normal by Joel Salatin in my spare minutes this week. For the life of me, I cannot figure out how this man has managed to suck the thoughts right outta my head and get them to land on the pages of a book! He writes about what's wrong with things in this world, particularly about how our food is produced and handled in this country.

In passing, he mentions a toilet that is available in Australia. But first, let me give you the background here. My first grade teacher was a woman I shall never forget. She was my first encounter with a terrorist. A few examples of the things she did that caused me great distress at the age of six follow.

First off, she insisted I put my pencil in my right hand. Who knew school was going to be like this?!? I had always used my left hand before, and now she expected me to give up all that was right and natural for me, and put that d@&^ thing in my other hand and try to get the business end to go where I wanted it to. What the heck?!? Something told me this was not going to be the best year of my life. I went home and told my parents what a witch she is, was scolded for saying such a thing about my teacher, and thankfully was given a chance to explain before the measuring stick of appropriate behavior was applied to the seat of education. My Dad called the school and told the Big Guy In Charge there that I was to be allowed to write with my left hand henceforth. Whew! That was a relief.

I don't know if that had any effect on The Hag's outlook on me, but I'm guessing it might have. Next thing I knew, I was allowed to write with my left hand. One hundred times. I was to write my name one hundred times on sheets of paper with solid lines and dotted lines that show where the letters are supposed to sit on the paper. Okay. I was eager to do well in school, so proceeded to complete the assigned task and turned it in with glee, expected praise for a job well done. When I got it back, it had a great big red 0 on top. Zero! Zero? Why did I get a Zero? I did my work, turned it in, and she gives me a ZERO?!? Her explanation: You spelled your name wrong. Huh? I checked it all over very, very carefully and could not find a single place where I put any of the letters in the wrong place, nor had I left any out. Oh ... help. I took it home that afternoon and asked my Daddy to look for my mistake. There was none, according to him. Next day, I told the teacher (who was built like a fireplug, by the way -- just sayin' ...). She informed me that I hadn't used a proper name. She claimed that my name HAD to be spelled J-U-D-I-T-H and that nothing else was a proper name according to her Catholic rules. Mind you, this was a public school and I was not Catholic. Oh boy, Dad was hoppin' mad about that one!

One more example, and then I promise I'll quit. She had rules. Tons of them. And as far as I could figure, she only made them to give her reasons to punish people. Just DARE break one of her rules in class -- you'd be sorry! One rule was that if you needed to use the restroom, you had to put up either one finger or two, indicating the reason for the visit. If you only had to pee, she would often deny permission to leave your seat. WHO DOES THIS TO A KID?!? I swear, she was the original terrorist! I figured out that my only line of defense was to keep quiet until I got home where I could tell my Dad on her. He was a strict parent, but would step in to stop the injustice being done. So the day I told him that Mrs. Lynch made Susie D pee her pants was the last straw. "How could she make someone pee her pants?" he demanded to know. I explained that she had not allowed the girl to leave her seat in class to use the bathroom, and Susie held it as long as she could, but cried and was embarassed to make a puddle around her feet on the floor. He blew a gasket, and at first I thought his anger was aimed at me. Was I ever relieved to realize he was planning a trip to the school to get to the bottom of this on behalf of about 25 little first-graders.

I think the tightly permed blue hair was the only thing that disguised the horns that surely grew from this woman's head!

So anyway, back to the Australian toilets ... they have one that has two flush buttons: No. 1 and No. 2 -- to be determined by the extent of business at hand. Mrs. Lynch: if you're still alive, go to ________!

(I meant Australia! What were you thinking? If she's died by now, I think I know where she went.)

Gotta get back to melting polar icecaps (raising cows whose burps are the bane of the Earth). Later, Dudes!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Oh, yeah ... I want THAT!

I was just perusing the website of my favorite yarn shop because they sent me a message advertising a sale. Yes, I confess -- I'm an impulse shopper and they know how to tease me. But would you get a load of this?!? (And don't miss the "regular" price X'd out -- it's reduced to just 29.99 now!)

I think I'll order several skeins and place them strategically around the neighborhood for fun. Is it just me? Or does anybody else see a skunk?

The quilters are busy, trying to get everything finished before their holiday gift-giving begins. Here's Melanie (doesn't she remind you of Bonnie Hunter?) -- note the time on the wall clock. She's winding down to the end, still with a smile on her face.

And while she was quilting, Holly was knitting up a scarf. She finished before Melanie:

On Tuesday, Nancy did another of her very large quilts:

The quilt, ready for binding and wrapping paper:

Did I show you the clever way Carla used up scraps for the backing of the "comforter/quilt" she made for her son?:

And this baby is on its way home to Ann via the Merry Mailman:

Now I've got to get back to work. Tomorrow's going to be a big day!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Work, work, work ...

That's all I ever do. But what fun work I have! Here's a sampling from yesterday:
Wanna see the back of it? Here:

This table runner is for the same customer. She had thought she'd quilt it by hand, so didn't leave any extra backing, and spray-basted her layers. It wasn't hard to pull apart, but mounting it on the frame for quilting was tricky. I think it came out okay:

Barn chores are finished, so after I have some breakfast, I'll be back at it. Ta-ta!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

On opening day ...

Monday was opening day of rifle deer hunting season here in NE PA. I was busy quilting, but thought it was odd that there were no shots fired nearby. Usually I am startled half out of my skin several times when hunters fire a round not far away out in our woods. I glanced out the window, and here's who I saw:
Actually, there were four of them just outside the window most of the day, and nary a hunter to be seen.

Speaking of being scared out of skin, I just saw the funniest thing on TV. It was a prank being pulled on people in an elevator, one or two at a time. The elevator would stop, the lights went out, and when they came back on, a ghoulish little girl who looked like something from a horror movie was standing there (she entered thru a secret door while the lights were out). When the people in the elevator turned and saw her standing there, they screamed like crazy. Oh my ... it was soooo funny. I don't know about you, but if I were in an elevator that stopped and the lights went out, they wouldn't need to sneak a little ghoul in to make me scream my brains out!

I've been noticing a few trends in the quilting thing lately ...

No ... these are NOT my quilts. I just quilted them. But there's definitely a pink-and-green phase blowing through the area.

Another trend is toward the "pouffy" -- here's Carla's -- you might see the pouf better if you click to enlarge the photo:

Val was here last week and did a ginormous quilt with three (yes, THREE) layers of wool batting. Talk about pouf! She's coming back tomorrow to do another just like it. I will get a photo while she's here this time. Wait for it ...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Silly stuff ...

My new boots:

(Now hush up! They were 65 percent off, and I'll be wearing them to the barn!)

My new fabric:

(It was not on sale at ALL, and I have no clue what I'll do with it. I just HAD to get it -- to show Joey and the Grands.)

I'd better get crackin' -- the quilters are coming at 9:00 and I'm not ready. Whoosh! (Did you see that streak of lightnin' flash by? It was just me, putting it into high gear.)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I guess I'm just special ...

Mike Huckabee, Pat Boone, the governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer (and why don't we call her "the Governess"?), Mrs. Tom Smith and then their daughter -- was it Kim? -- oh, there've been so many calls I can't remember. I'm really sorry I missed the call from Paul Ryan -- I really wanted to chat with him. He didn't leave a callback number. Maybe he'll call again another day?

The antics the politicians go thru amuses me. If only they'd spend as much time and energy solving problems as they do campaigning for office! One thing I noticed is that Mr. Romney never looks tired, which amazes me. Have you seen the TV clips of the Obamas running to the microphone for their appearances? Are they trying to show that they have as much energy as Mitt? Michelle even looks like she's tearing toward the finish line in one of them. Gotta wonder what kind of vacation they're going to take after the election to recoup! Golfing in Hawaii, perhaps?

Melanie (Holly's friend) came back Sunday to quilt. It's her first, and no small task. It was 112 inches by ___??? (some big number) -- all batiks, including the backing. At random, she chose an all-over leafy design which turned out to be beginner's luck: turns out the pattern is quick to stitch out, so even though it was a very large quilt, she was finished and on her way by about 3:00. If you know Melanie's daughter, DON'T tell her you saw this here: it's going to be a surprise gift for her.

And now M is working on another surprise quilt for her son. Heh-heh ... she's hooked. Blame it on Holly.

Can you see the sinister grin on her face? Or is it just me?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Go ahead, make my day ...

If you've been trying to call me today and have not been able to get thru, I apologize for the continuous busy signal. It's been a marathon of phone calls all day! Imagine my astonishment first thing this morning when I got a call from Clint Eastwood! I'm afraid I was rather rude to him (I hung up on him mid-sentence to go finish my breakfast). It's not that I don't like Clint Eastwood, but unfortunately for him, I like my oatmeal even better at 7:00 a.m. I guess he didn't take it personally, because he called back later in the day. I was much more polite that time. I just can't figure out if he's getting senile, or what?!? He called back a THIRD time and just repeated himself. DH has always been a huge fan of that guy, so when he came home I asked him to speak to his buddy and just ask him to stop calling me here at home.

When the phone rang during dinner tonight, I told DH it was his turn to answer it. It was probably Clint calling again, and it would be a good chance to talk to him about calling me so much when my husband isn't home. Well ... THIS time it was Mitt Romney calling. DH got all puffed up when Mr. R addressed him by his first name.

Oh ... and you can just keep trying if you've been trying to reach me. But it may take another four days to get thru.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sudden Nakedness ...

The trees are startlingly naked this morning. We came through last night having been spared the wrath of Sandy. Except for blowing all the remaining leaves and a few branches off the trees, and causing the power to flicker out a couple of times in the night, we were left unscathed. Thankfully. That storm has been devastating to many in other areas. Having lived many years along the NJ seashore, I know full well how terrifying a hurricane can be along the coast, and my heart goes out to people hit hard.

Sunday was a busy day for some quilters here. Holly is really cranking out the quilts ... and every time she brings one, she names another somebody who will be the recipient. This time, she FINALLY said, "This one is for me." It's a pattern that has become pretty popular around here -- they're making them like hotcakes, in all sizes and different kinds of fabrics and color choices. At retreat last winter, many were making them into heart-shaped wallhangings. Here's Holly's, made with a Christmas theme (many of the flannels incorporated here have holly prints, appropriately enough).

Melanie came with Holly and played with the Avante in the other room, but here she is, trying to scoot sideways to get out of the view of the camera when she realized I was about to snap the photo:

We were marveling about how smoothly the Minkie fabric Holly is using lays on the back. We've heard bad things about stretching possibilities, but as you can see, there was none of that going on and it made such a scoochie quilt for Holly's niece.

When I first met Melanie, she reminded me for all the world of Bonnie Hunter. (Being a new quilter, M didn't know who I was talking about, but quickly found out when I showed her BH's Shirttails ... book.

Friday, October 26, 2012

In and Out ...

I met Marcia last month at our quilt show. We made a plan for her to come and do some quilting here. She came yesterday -- made her way through the fog (and how unusual is that in late October?!?) -- and got started right away. We loaded her first project while giving her a "refresher" on HOW TO. By lunchtime she had that one finished.

After lunch, she loaded a larger quilt. When she pulled it out of the bag, it inspired a conversation about how much we both admire Bonnie Hunter ... and how DOES that woman get so much done ... and BH would probably LOVE this pattern ... Would you just look at that border?!?

Here's what Marcia accomplished by end of day:

5:15 pm -- and she's outta here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Herding Turtles In the Rain ...

"Herding Turtles" ... saw that on someone else's blog and thought it was the perfect phrase to describe what it's like to get our bull to move his butt from one place to another. I call him Slo-Mo, and for good reason. He acts like he doesn't have the gumption to get out of his own way. He cannot even be enticed to pick up the pace with grain, like most of our other critters. This morning it was pouring rain, and the dog and I had to go push him along across a field so he could join the other cattle back at the barn and out of the rain. We got drenched. (Why do I care if HE gets soaked?!? Certainly, the concern is not mutual.) I was tempted to slap him in the @ss with a stick to prod him, but we ARE talking about a bull here -- and he has pointy horns. I dared not tempt fate.

Peggy came and quilted a limey piece for someone in her family. We both thought it looked pretty clever when she got done.

I worked on Sue P's two quilts -- a wallhanging and a larger one to match:

Wanna see that up closer?

Tonight, I started another but decided I'd finish it in the morning. I'll post a picture when it's finished. Just don't hold your breath ... it's wood stacking season here, and DH and I are apparently in some kind of competition to see who can keep it up the longest/fastest. (He cuts and dumps it in a heap, I try to stack it before he can get back with another load.) So why am I not skinny as a rail? It's unfair. I'll sue!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Honey! I'm hoo-ommme ...

Seems like forever since I've posted, but I've been up to my ears. The weather has given us about a month of extra gardening time this year. I've been busy squirrelling away what we couldn't use up. I'd almost forgotten how time-consuming canning is. And there was the local guild's quilt show. I've gotta say, if you missed it, it was a good one! We had over 350 quilts hanging. Now, let me tell you, it takes a lot of willing hands to put that many quilt frames together and get the show ready forthe next morning's opening -- especially since we can't start until school's out on Friday afternoon. But like they say, many hands make light work. (None of us there would have minded if it had been a little lighter, but we did it with the help of some very nice husbands who came armed with power tools).

I'll not whine about the weather except to say I'm having a hard time keeping dry socks on my feet.

And ... would you look at this? The chickies are finally growing up! First attempt at egg-laying for this year's pullets:
The yolk was the size of a dried lentil. I could probably get bigger eggs by robbing pigeon nests in the barn! But I'll try to be patient.

On the knitting front: I started a shawl about a month ago as a KAL with my sister. I chose this particular pattern because it had a pretty, lacy border but was mostly straight knitting. I thought it would be simple and fast. It wasn't. I've about worn the yarn to a frazzle pulling it out and starting over so many times. I could not get past row 13 of a 42-row lace pattern. My sister finally came to my rescue and figured out I was missing a page. Ugh! I decided to rip it all out and just start over. I'm pretending that other mess never happened, and we shall never speak of it again, thank you very much.

Gotta get back to work. Customers' holiday quilts are piling up. Before you know it, the snow will be flying! I'm ready: I have projects all picked out for those days we all need to stay inside, bundled up in our woolies and simmering soup to warm our bellies with.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Aaaaahgk ...

I just took a giant tumble out in the yard. I was headed out to photograph my big, fat carrot and was busy musing about what kind of silliness I could post about it. I never noticed that the willow tree dropped a big ol' branch in the path, and went flying ass over teacups in a flash when I stumbled over it. The carrot went soaring, as did the camera. I now look like I've been drinking silver -- my leg has turned a gruesome shade of blue -- how do bruises form that fast?

Anyway ... about the carrot. It has a few extra "bumps" on it that, if your squint your eyes and let your imagination run wild (like I often do), give it a "face" like something you'd see on The Muppets. One of the bumps got broken in the tumble, but see? Couldn't they be eyes? And that other little appendage, a tongue or something? And the little root ... that could be a ...

I was also thinking it is such a chubby carrot that it would be enough for a small meal ... which got me remembering something out of Don Quixote ... where he and his little sidekick are about starved, and trying to figure out what they're going to eat when there is seemingly no food to be had. One of them (I think it was Sancho) said he had an onion.

Being completely enthralled with food as I am, that just absolutely made me howl when I read it. An ONION?!? What kind of a meal is THAT?!? Oh ... I just love that book, and think I may have to re-read it this winter. It just cracked me up the first time.

"OF THE SECOND SET OF COUNSELS DON QUIXOTE GAVE SANCHO PANZA  ... 'Eat not garlic nor onions, lest they find out thy boorish origin by the smell ...' "
-- from Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

I've gotta go work on a quilt.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Quotable Quotes ...

You know how you read something you find especially amusing, or apropos to something going on in your life, or just plain clever? I see those things all the time -- in a book, on a T-shirt, bumper sticker, or whatever. Then I store them away in my brain for future use. After a while, I forget all about them. So here are my two current favs, given now only because I will forget to mention them when the appropriate time comes along.

"Face your problems, don't Facebook them." -- on a T-shirt worn by a guy at the county fair.

"Trust in the Lord, but row away from the rocks." -- now I can't even remember where I saw that one, but it's a keeper!

I used to carry a little notebook around in my purse to jot such gems down, along with all sorts of useful information I felt a need to gather. I had a whole slew of adages I was collecting to help me wend my way through my then-new country lifestyle. I still have the notebook in my dresser drawer. Some of the pages are stuck together, the result of a prank played on me at work by my BIL 30+ years ago, when Green Slime was a fun new toy on the market.

That's a story for another day. For now, suffice it to say it's a wonder the man lived to tell it.

P.S.: I bought a new little notebook today. When you see me, tell me your favorite quote (or email it to me) and help me fill it up with good ones.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hey, Baby ...

Can I give you a lift?

(A friend sent me photos of some odd-looking tomatoes from her garden last week, so of course I have to jump on board with my silly tomato with a "nose.")

A quilt guild I belong to is having a show next weekend in Athens. We will have approx 300 member quilts (including a couple of mine!), a display of Marilyn Belford's incredible portrait quilts, a Civil War quild display by Betty Neff (antique and repro), the new Hoffman Challenge exhibit (40 quilts), and a bed turning of antique quilts with modern counterparts. I hope you can come see the show! Click the link for more info:

Oh, yeah ... I'm bad. Uh-huh!

Friday, September 7, 2012

A lot like her grandma ...

This one may have the pretty looks of her maternal grandmother, but she certainly got some of her genes from Daddy's side of the pool! She's a busy gal, and has a variety of interests. She'd much rather be out doing chores than sitting on the couch watching television.

Last year she started a quilt using fabric choices very similar to my own. This year, she wanted to finish it up in time to put it in the quilt show, and waited till summer was almost over. Just like me, she works better under pressure of a deadline!

She's a little short on one end, so had to have some help loading the quilt onto the machine. And we decided a chair to stand on would be a good idea.

First, she chose her pattern and learned how to load it into the comuter.

Time to position the machine just right ...

... and measure carefully for the next row.

Happily, the quilting got done without a hitch and is now ready for the binding lesson. 
She started another quilt this summer and has accumulated a "stash" of purple, blue and turqoise fabrics and threads for it. She made sure to set it all aside and tell me they were for her work in progress so I wouldn't get into it.

Oh, and when I have time, she and her little sister would like to learn to knit.

"The best inheritance a (grand)parent can give to his children is a few minutes of their time each day." -- unknown

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

They were here and now they're gone ...

The hummingbirds. Years ago I made a note of when the hummers arrive in Spring – it’s May 2 most years. But I’ve never remembered to watch for their departure date. It seems they left after they topped off their tanks Sunday morning, which was September 2. I saw them that day, and have not seen any since.

The grandkids. They spent a lot of time with us here this summer, but they, too headed back to school and so we had to say good-bye to them on Sunday as well. The youngest was excited to get back to school. The oldest: not so much. The other two wouldn’t admit it, but I think they’re glad to go back.

The quilts. Tina C is an accomplished quilter in our area. I had three of her quilts here and finished them up. She came and got them this week, so now they, too, are gone. BTW: We saw one of Tina’s quilts with a “Grand Award” ribbon at the county fair. Good job, Tina!

Now if only I could get the fruit flies to follow the trend. They are just lovin’ the huge tomato harvest. I'm tempted to get those old-fashioned sticky fly-catchers that hang down from a thumbtack on the ceiling -- they're driving me nuts! I'm processing those 'maters as fast as I can, but apparently not fast enough to foil those little creeps.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Verbatim ...

We took the grands roller skating the other day. A little boy about five years old came in and began a conversation with DH and me while he put his skates on.

Boy (to DH): "Are you going to skate?"
DH: "No."
Boy (to me): "Are you?"
Me: "No."
Boy: "Why not?"
Me: "Because I don't want to fall."
Boy: "Why? Are you afraid it will hurt?"
Me: "Yes, I am. I broke both of my arms once and that hurt. I'm afraid that if I fall, I will break them again because I'm kinda old."
Boy: "Oh. Did it hurt a lot?"
Me: "Yes, yes it did."
Boy: "Did you cry?"
Me: "Yes, I did."
Boy: "I hope I don't fall down and cry."
Me: "Oh, you look like you'll be a good skater. I don't think you'll fall down and cry."
Boy: "Oh. When did THAT happen? I mean, when did you fall?"
Me: "A long time ago, really."
Boy: "How old were you?"
Me: "Fifty."
Boy: "Whoa! Hold old are you NOW?"
Me: "Sixty-one."
Boy: "WHOA! Do you think you'll live to be 100?"
Me: "Oh ... I hope not."
Boy: "You look like you might live to be 100."
Me: "You think so?"
Boy: "Yes."
Me: "Oh dear ..."
Boy: "Well, I'm going to skate now. I hope you live to be 100. I think you will."

Well, if I DO live to be 100, I hope I run into more little fellas like this one.
I rather enjoyed our little conversation.

“If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day,

so I never have to live without you.” 

-- Silly Old Bear

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Teaching by example?

"Wouldn't it be fun if PaPa could fix up the old pony cart and we could get Joey to pull it for us?" (notice the wheels procured by cannibalizing old bicycles)

Now, it seems the cart will work. But will we be able to convince the donkey that this will be fun?

(I think Joey is saying to the little lamb next to him,
"They've got to be kidding me, right?"

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Oh, help. I'm drowning ...

... in tomatoes. Here's what I picked this afternoon. I ran out of time before I could get the rest. (Actually, I'm bragging here -- not complaining! It's what gardeners do, right?)

This morning I worked on the 'maters I picked Friday whilst the grands played together. Tonight I'll be quilting (tired of tomatoes for now).

Look at this perfect little quilt made by Nancy C and given to me when she was here last week:

Don't fail to notice the background fabric is a flock of sheep. I LOVE it!

Friday, August 24, 2012

"I don't know why ..."

It’s a stupid habit …

When I go to the barn every morning, I first pour myself a cup of coffee and take it out with me. I set it up on a tall fence post where the horse can’t reach to knock it down. I’ve learned. The hard way, of course. The horse (yes, the same one that steps on my foot every time I try to lead him anywhere on a rope) WILL knock my coffee cup off the fence post if I leave it where he can reach it. But the post that holds the gate is much taller, and has a good flat surface on which to plop a cup of coffee. I can grab it and take a swig every time I pass the post – heading for the chicken coop, the sheep pen, the goose pond … whatever. But this has GOT to stop. I absolutely MUST get out of the habit of taking coffee with me.

It’s not that I intend to stop drinking the coffee. It’s not even that it’s sillier than all get-out to have to play this game to outwit a smart-alek horse. It’s the bugs. Twice this summer, I grabbed the coffee and took a big gulp, only to wind up with a bug in my mouth. Once, I’m certain it was a fly. Oh, gag! I wanted to barf, and just couldn’t get the idea out of my head for HOURS. Even though I was sure I spewed it back out without swallowing it, I could “feel” it in the back of my throat. The ditty “I don’t know why she swallowed a fly … I guess she’ll die” kept spinning around in my head. Just thinking about it now makes me creep out – it is SO-o-o- repulsive! And then this morning, I don’t know WHAT it was, but I’m sure it was a bug. Something tells me it was a spider. (oh, yes ... PLEASE tell me it is truly just a myth!)

Speaking of spiders, we have most of the spiders in the universe right here on our farm. At this time of year they show up everywhere. I see some fantastic webs in the early morning when the dew is on them, making them impossible not to notice. Those black and yellow garden spiders make the most fantastic webs. They are huge, and look like there’s a zipper in the middle! Too cool. But also kind of creepy to happen upon unexpectedly when bending over to pick tomatoes and finding your nose an inch away from it with Madame BlackandYellow at home. Oh … and there’s a spider who lives behind the mirror on the side of my car. Every day I wipe it’s web off, and every night it spins it back. Crazy-persistent thing!

Nancy C spent a long day here quilting her CW quilt.

We found designs she liked and she was off and running. It was worth the trouble, don't you think?

Here's a close-up of what she put in the center of the quilt -- I darkened the photo hoping the stitching would show up better. It's all kinds of CW motifs grouped together: Confederate and Union flags, a canon, a soldier's cap, a drum, a pistol. See 'em? Maybe it's clearer if you double-click to enlarge the picture.