Archive for February, 2008

Kentucky visit

Last year, Liz and Paul bought a small farm in southern Kentucky. It came complete with a young horse named God’s Will and they’ve been spending large blocks of time there, dividing their time between the farm and Florida. Last week we were invited to visit and check out their new little spread.

rolling hillsThe weather proved less than lovely: damp, gray and overcast, with periods of rain and snow alternating. Several days we had a dusting of snow in the morning and the day we left, everything was white. Needless to say, our Florida family is thrilled to experience winter at their home but we were missing our lovely, cold and crisp New England.

Liz and Paul showed us around and the countryside is lovely, in spite of the weather, with beautiful rolling hills dotted with livestock. GeocachingWe had a thorough tour of the property, including a hike down to the creek that flows along one side. We went geocacheing in the state park nearby and found two of the three caches we searched for. We had a pit BBQ lunch at a restaurant called Big Moose and ate fried pickles at Little Taste of Texas. We went to visit God’s Will at the farm where he is being broken and trained. Fried pickles at Little Taste of TexasDeb, the trainer calls him William and he peeks out his little window to the outside when Liz calls his name. We watched Liz, Paul and Steven’s first riding lesson: learning how to brush a horse and tack up. We put together jigsaw puzzles and played games and generally had a wonderful time with each other. It was good to spend time together since it’s been a while.God’s Will

On several of our jaunts, we drove by agricultural fields with large flocks of large gray birds. Most of the time they were too far away to see well, but we came to a corn field where they were close to the road and we could get some photos. How fun to see these large flocks of migrating Sandhill Cranes on their way from Florida to their Canadian breeding grounds. We heard their rattling call and saw the graceful display dance they do. What a treat.

Flock of Sandhill Cranes

We returned home to a foot of snow and more is expected tonight. Spring is still far away but it feels good to be home.

Winter continued

We’ve been away for a few days. Most people go someplace warm and sunny to get away in February. We chose to go to Kentucky. Further south, you say. Must be warmer. That’s the theory but in this case not so. We had 5 days of clouds and damp dreariness, sometimes rain and sometimes snow. And cold. Our Florida family, who recently bought a small farm there are thrilled with their new-found winter. But we missed our cold, crisp days. And in fact, we missed 12 inches of snow.

We had arranged to have the driveway plowed while we were away. It’s good we did or we would not have been able to pull in. With the 12 inches of snow plus the drifting, snow was easily 2 feet deep. And we arrived home in the dark. But the downside of having the driveway plowed is that there is no place to push the snow. Yes, we could pull up to the front steps, but there was also a very large pile of snow blocking the garage door. When I stepped out of the truck, I sunk in up to my knees and waded to the front door. And I was wearing clogs, you know, so that the airport routine would be simpler. I shoveled a quick path so we could pass in the bags and groceries, then proceeded to clear the steps. Roger had dreams of moving the massive pile so he could get the truck in the garage. Alas, I persuaded him to wait until morning.

snow1thumb.jpgsnow2thumb.jpg

So this is what it looked like this morning. You can see Roger is almost finished with the huge mound. And we’ve shoveled out the paths to the barn. But the mounds of snow are taller than the truck and almost covering the windows on the side of the house.

snow3thumb.jpgsnow4thumb.jpg

Our birds are a little confused about the approach to the feeder. When it is empty, I’ll be crawling on top of the snow to fill it. That works better than sinking up to your hips trying to walk there.

I’ll try to post pictures of Kentucky tomorrow.

Total Lunar Eclipse

total lunar eclipse 2/20/08I have always been fascinated by stars – that includes the moon and planets and all the other stuff out there. Tonight was a total lunar eclipse, the last one before 2010. It was cold and I didn’t think about the telescope soon enough – it’s too hard to set up quietly, in the dark, by myself, etc – maybe I’m rationalizing… Anyway, I did get out the camera to try some very long exposures.

You can read articles about the eclipse here and here. The two “stars” in the photo are Saturn and Regulus. The telescope sure would’ve made Saturn’s rings a little more visible, but it’s impressive none-the-less. The photo was taken at about 10:15 pm EST.

Fractured Quilts 2 Challenge

I’m finished! And 2 weeks before the deadline! Must be some sort of record for me.

The idea was to make a quilt top (divided into 4 predetermined sections) of a designated flower photo, send it off and receive a basted top that contains four different section by four other participants. We were then to finish the quilt and post pictures. You can see the four sections I made and submitted here. This is the top that I received. Makers of the sections clockwise from top left are Judy Whitehead, Kathy Leever, Sandy Sue Anderson, and Priscilla Stultz.

fractured quilt top

To me, the whole idea of a fractured quilt is diversity, each participant interpreting the subject as they see fit, yet knowing that their piece will be part of a greater whole. With that in mind, I wanted to preserve as much as possible the pieces as they came to me.

After adding small pieces of fabric and extra stitching to places where the petals didn’t match up, I decided that the quilting would have to be the unifying factor. I heavily stitched the center with several colors of thread. Then I outlined the petals and quilted them. A free-motion “leaf” pattern brought the backgrounds together. Finally I added beads to two of the sections which didn’t have the white accents. I chose different beads for each section based on the character of each one.

The quilt is finished with a thin orange flange and a narrow pieced binding. The binding is made from leftover squares that I used to make the background for the fractured pieces I submitted.

finished fractured quilt

Click on the thumbnails to enlarge details.

detail 1detail 2detail 3detail 4

Weather

My friend Steph posted to her blog: “How’s the weather where you are?” Just thought I’d share what we woke up to this morning. Hmmm. I seem to recall a big storm last Valentine’s Day?!

ice storm 2/13/08ice storm 2/13/08

Happy Valentines Day

I’ve been making valentines lately but I’ve delayed posting them so that I didn’t spoil the surprise for those who received them. Now here they are for all to see. These heart motif ones are similar to a class I taught recently at Six Loose Ladies yarn shop.

heart valentines 2008

Some time ago I made pillows out of monkey face fabric. I had a few little monkey faces left over. Cute, aren’t they? And the sock monkey fabric was leftover from the pillow backs.

Monkey face valentines

sock monkey valentines

Two other odd ones: The one on the right was made for a friend who gave me a whole box of tatted and crocheted lace made by her mother-in-law. The lovely red edging was part of the assortment.

black and white valentines 2008

Snowshoe Walk for Breast Cancer

Romp to Stomp out Breast Cancer finishThe day dawned cloudy and calm, perfect for a walk in the woods. Ellie and I got up early and drove to Stratton Mountain in southern Vermont. The event was sponsored by Tubbs snowshoes to benefit the local breast cancer affiliate of the Susan G Komen race for the cure. We took on a 5K walk through the beautiful wooded Nordic Ski trails in the Sun Bowl area. The walk started at 9:30 am and took us about 45 minutes. This year there were 465 participants, about 200 more than last year, and we all raised $63,000 that goes directly to pay for mammograms for women in Vermont who cannot pay for them. How exciting to know exactly what our monies will do.

moose!Ellie and I had a fun time. It was the first time Ellie had been able to use her snowshoes (no snow in CT) and she did just fine. You can see by the photo that, in spite of the fact that at the beginning we were bundled up and toasty warm, by the time we finished, we had shed lots of accessories and opened our jackets from our brisk walk. Along the way we had an unexpected treat – a moose sighting. It was a young one, about a year old and close to the trail so we could see him.

celebration/memorial sheetI walked to celebrate life – mine – and to remember those who have survived cancer and those who have succumbed to the ravages of the disease. Frankly, I know way too many people who have been touched by breast cancer and I ran out of room on my celebration/memorial sheet.

Get those mammograms, ladies. Do your self-exams. Know your body and check out concerns because special people love you. The best prognosis is an early diagnosis.


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