Archive for April, 2007

Frog songs and a salamander

I was out walking with my brother today and we came upon the most magical sound. It was coming from a small pond about 100′ from our rural dirt road. It was loud, in complex rhythms that were ever-changing. We decided to check it out by getting closer to see if we could get a glimpse of the singers. When we reached the edge of the pond we could see many small frogs floating on the surface and as we stood still and watched and listened we could see several pairs mating by the far shore. It was hard to see what kind of frog we were observing but we stood and listened to the cacophony for a long time.

Farther up the road toward home we came across a spotted salamander in the road. The sad part about this one is that it was dead. It made me sad since it is unusual to see this kind – it spends most of its life underground. You can see a previous post about one I found earlier with a great picture here.

What an amazing Creator we have! I’m so thankful to God for the beauty and variety we have in our world and the senses we have to enjoy it. Take time today to stop and observe, to listen, to touch, to smell, to taste – to appreciate what we so often take for granted.

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Artgirlz doll

While I was in Chicago at the International Quilt Festival two weeks ago, I picked up a sheet of directions to make a little doll pin by stamping designs on card stock. I didn’t want to purchase the stamps, nor did I want to make it out of card stock, and I already had the cute little metal arms and legs (by Artgirlz) from last year. So I got creative to make my version of the doll. I had bought the polymer clay face bead some time ago and decided to construct the body out of timtex to give her some structure. Then I had to make some clothes and put her together. Here is the result. Fun!artgirlz doll pin

Progress 2

There were no workmen here today since the weatherman was predicting lots of rain and thunderstorms. It turned out to be mostly foggy and heavy mist, still pretty nasty to be out in and I’m sure they were happier in their indoor job. But here is what the barn looked like yesterday. There is a lot of little finishing work to do at this point before the sheathing goes on and the end walls are erected on the second floor. But maybe, with some good weather we’ll have a roof by the end of next week.  And actually, if you look really closely at the trees in the woods you can see budding trees.  Ah, the colors of spring!

barn progress

Progress

barn 1barn 2
After a short period of deconstruction to make access for under-the-eaves storage, it’s starting to look like a barn.

Shoots

bleeding heart shootsPerhaps Spring is finally on the way. Trees in the woods are decidedly redder and buds are just beginning to swell. Up on our mountain the snow is slowly retreating thanks to bright sunshine and 60 degree temps, allowing small patches of grass to show through. There is the gurgle of streams everywhere from winter run-off. Many of our shrubs and perennials out by the stone wall are still covered in white but we were out poking in the garden by the house today and discovered shoots – real honest-to-goodness shoots coming up out of the ground where we planted bleeding heart plants. Most everything else is still closed up tight against the elements, but these little shoots are an encouraging sign. Perhaps…

Dormers, mud, and Mt Washington

dormersThe builders have made some noticeable progress on the second floor of our new barn. We have about half the upstairs walls, including the three dormers on the front. The workmen have many of the boards cut and ready to go and the walls are going up quickly. I checked on the work this morning, climbing up the ladder to see the second floor and noticed our fabulous view. It is amazing what we can see on a clear day.Mud puddle

Mud season is again upon us. The melting snow is producing rivulets in lawns, fields and along the edges of roads. In some cases the erosion is pretty severe but the road grader has been diligent in keeping the pot holes and deep ruts under control. On my walk today I found this mud puddle with interesting sediment patterns. Now how can I show layers like that in a quilt?

Oh, and the view from those dormers? Was I ever surprised to learn that we could see all the way to Mount Washington in NH on a very clear day. Click on the photos to enlarge them so you can read the fine print and actually see what the arrow is pointing at.

Mt WashingtonMt Washington 2

Survival

It has been an interesting week. While I was away at the International Quilt Festival in Chicago, a huge nor’easter was bearing down on New England. It dumped about 16″ of heavy, wet snow on our mountain home, with fierce winds and power outages. Fortunately we have a generator that kicked in after some prodding and ran for 20 hours. Also, we somehow dodged the real brunt of the storm which really did a number on Rutland and Brandon. But since I was arriving in Hartford, CT in the teeth of the storm, I decided to head south to James’ place to spend the night, rather than attempt a 2 hour drive north in the dark in deteriorating conditions. Monday I headed home in heavy rain most of the way, but made it just fine. The storm dealt a lethal blow to our modem and we waited until yesterday for the new one to arrive. It is amazing to me how dependent we have become on the internet and email, that to be without it for several days left us feeling inconvenienced and disconnected. How did we ever cope before?

subflooringThe workmen didn’t come on Monday and were diverted to another indoor job on Tuesday. They came yesterday and worked through the dreary day reinforcing the ceiling beams. Today was a sub-flooring day and it was warm and sunny. It has been a while since we’ve seen the sun and it was a welcome change, not to mention the temps in the 60’s. Wow, what a day!

The quilt show was fabulous as always. My friend Colleen from Grand Rapids, MI met me in Chicago to see the show and we had 3 glorious days taking classes and workshops, seeing the incredible works of art – the quilts – and checking out the vendors with all their tempting wares. I came home with several pieces of silk, some hand-dyed cotton, some fun beads, 2 hand made art buttons, and an assortment of very cool fibers. The trip was such an inspiration and it was so good to spend time with Colleen to renew our friendship. Can’t wait until next year!


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