Posts Tagged ‘quilts’

It is hard to believe that the last time I posted here was before Thanksgiving.  I have been on line, too.  But somehow I have been sucked into Facebook and have found myself putting up little blips here and there rather than making a blog post.   I wonder how many other bloggers have been seduced by social media?

Since I posted, it has snowed and thawed several times.   I did get some pretty nifty snow shots during all those events.



We had a real cold snap before Thanksgiving, and the little pond froze with beautiful hoarfrost crystals.


We also had a small ice storm, no big damage although we did have a couple of elm trees that dropped a lot of branches.   The day after the ice covered stuff it was a lovely day and things were already starting to melt.   I took Ruby for a walk and the ice was positively magical.   Everywhere I looked the woods sparkled in rainbow colors.   This phenomenon proved to be shockingly difficult to photograph, but I did get one image that almost conveys how amazing it was out there.


During all this harsh weather, my neighborhood has been living up to its name.   All kinds of little birds, and big birds too, have been enjoying the shelter, food and water The Havens provides.  Actually, there are plenty of mammals also enjoying The Havens along with the avian population.






We had a sumptuous Thanksgiving repast.


At Christmas, Jesse and Lynette were able to get away from their Army duties and bring James to visit us.   They were here for far too short a time, and we loved every minute of it.


I saved The Quilt for a Christmas presentation, even though the kids knew I had made it and had enjoyed hots of it during all stages of creation.   They did not know about the pillow cases or the matching throw pillow, though.   Honestly, I think it makes a pretty impressive bed.


James approved, I believe.



One of my dear friends gave me an amaryllis bulb as a Christmas gift.   This week it started to open.



Today it looks like this:



So now you are somewhat up to date.

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Last time I talked about the quilt here on the blog, it wasn’t quite done.   Well, it is totally pieced now, and at the quilter.   This stage has been promised to be done in the first half of December, which would still give me time to put the binding on it.   Right now, while I am waiting for the quilting to be finished, I am working on matching pillow cases.

At any rate, this is the portrait of the finished quilt.


Here is a small detail picture that gives you a better idea of the fabrics.   The star fabric is quite magical, and doesn’t photograph worth beans.  The stars are printed on the fabric in a holographic ink, so they are iridescent when the angle of view changes.   Really cool.


I mentioned being visited by Twylla Alexander, the woman who walked my labyrinth.    She has posted about that on her own blog, the link to her post is highlighted.   There is a picture of me in the labyrinth and a couple of shots of it in her post.   She was so kind.  She brought me a quite beautiful rock collected near the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, plus a few shells from Auke Bay.


The yesterday, one of my clients brought me a rock she picked up at the Crazy Horse memorial.   They have a pile of rubble from the blasting near the museum exit for people to help themselves.    This is truly an outstanding piece of granite.   I have included a close up so you can see how beautiful it really is.



I truly have to be one of the most unique massage therapists in existence.   I absolutely love rocks, and all my clients know this.   This is not the first gift of a rock I have received from a client, nor will it be the last, I suspect.   They all know that I am happy to receive a rock as a Christmas present.   As a matter of fact, the following wonderful fossil is in a head sized rock that one of my dear clients gave me as a Christmas present last year, much to the amazement of her son.


We are no stranger to granite around here.   On our recent trip to Washington and Alaska,  Jim and it had a road trip day to Whidbey Island (north of Seattle).  There we walked on the beach near Fort Casey and collected several pieces of beach polished rock there.   Lots of different kinds of granite around Puget Sound.


This is not a new rock, I’ve had it several years.  But I always enjoy this little smiling caricature that lives in with my plants near the front door.


I have to report that the three animals have consolidated themselves into a family.   Impy and Mallory have been discovered sleeping together on my leather arm chair.


This is about the third shot, which is why neither of them is actually sleeping.  Incidentally, I believe that this arm chair is the epitome of “distressed” leather.   Its condition distresses me.   The patch behind Impy’s head is a spot where there was a small hole which was exceedingly exciting for a small kitten because it had white stuffing protruding from it.   Not only did she enlarge the hole, but she strewed stuffing all over the living room.   The patch is glued on, and almost matches…   Someday I will achieve new furniture.  Maybe.

Sometimes Mallory decides to “own” Ruby’s toys, much to Ruby’s dismay.    She almost seems to be saying, “Why did we have to get this cat, tell me again?”  in this photo.


I’d say that fall is pretty much over here in the Ozarks, as we have had several below freezing mornings here.   Most of the leaves are on the ground, and most of the ones here at The Havens have been gathered up and put into the mulching container.   I spent a productive day a few days ago running the compost grinder, grinding up the years accumulation of bark and twigs and garden clippings.   I have a pile of ground plant material that is more than a cubic yard that I need to move into the mulch container along with the leaves.   But that will not happen before my back gets over the grinding operation….

Meanwhile, I had a couple of really nice seasonal shots that I haven’t posted yet.   This was how the maple by the pond looked a couple of weeks ago.


When I walked down to the Big Piney River, I got a wonderful shot of the bluff with the trees turning.   I didn’t feel it was appropriate to include in the Trash Report, for some reason.


I guess this is as good a place as any to close this post.

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It’s hard to believe, but the time has come for the first Alaska cruise of my summer.  Yes, I did say the first, because I really am going on two!  This one is all paid for by my dear mother.   I am going along with her on a sea/land tour from Vancouver to Denali.   My two sisters will be on this expedition too.

Then in August, Jim and I are going on an Inside Passage cruise from Vancouver, which will be a mini family reunion for him: one of his brothers, his sister and their spouses will be attending that one.   I feel sort of like a jet setter this year.

So anyway, I will be off line for a couple of weeks.

I got busy and finished the top half of the son and daugher-in-law’s quilt.   I think it looks rather spectacular myself.


The two nests of baby robins I featured in the Snow in May post have developed nicely.  By the time I get home, they will be fledged and prancing about the lawn in youthful plumage.   Right now, they are rather cute.


The yard is wonderful.   The wisteria will be all done by the time I get home.  It is in the last flush of bloom right now.   When you stand under the pergola, it literally hums with bees.


There is a snowball bush in the stroll garden that is in full bloom right now.  Also, my clematis have begun their display.



And the rock garden is looking very nice.   I imagine I will have to dead head the candytuft when I get home.  And hopefully the dianthus will not be completely finished.  I just love to stand there and smell it when it’s in full bloom.


Well, you all stay healthy and happy while I’m off gallivanting, okay?

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It’s a grey day here at The Havens.   The gold finches are turning yellow, the robins are building nests, the daffodils are in full display and a light mist is drizzling.

As I worked on sewing strips together on the quilt, laying them out on the dining room table, I saw the opportunity to feature two of my passions in life together in one photo.   Fabric and Daffodils.   Is there any better combination?

Okay, maybe coffee and chocolate.


An example of the magic of the internet.   I was running over to the place where you can purchase terrible things like donuts, which seemed to be the breakfast of choice this morning.   As I went past the freeway interchange, I saw a semi truck pulling onto I-44 heading east.  Emblazoned proudly on both sides, it advertised the San Marcos High School Marching Band from Santa Barbara, California.   Smaller, but no less proud, lettering let you know that this was carrying the equipment for the marching band, flag drill team and percussion performance art department.

My first reaction was, “Wow!   They have a semi truck!”   Our local marching band is the proud possessor of an enclosed utility trailer which can be towed by a large pickup truck.  The high school I attended in Colorado was lucky to have a band at all, let alone a marching band.   I looked at pictures in the yearbook from 1970 and our band had about two dozen members.   Since many of them were also members of the various sporting teams and the Pep club, even a small marching contingent would be hard to gather together.

Anyway, the next thought  that crossed my mind (yes, I admit I was driving distracted, but at least I wasn’t texting) was “What in the world is the San Marcos High School Band of Santa Barbara, California doing in Lebanon, Missouri?”

When I got home I marched straight to the iPad and Googled the San Marcos High School.  There, on their website, under the Performing Arts department, I found the answer.    There, announced prominently, was the news that the Drum Line had earned a place in the WGI World Championships to be held in Dayton, Ohio, and soliciting contributions to get them there.  (I then looked up WGI, which stands for Winter Guard International, a group dedicated to drill teams, flag teams and drum lines.   Who knew.)

I guess they got enough money, because the equipment is quite obviously on its way to Ohio, and I imagine the members of the drum line are not far away.

And so, the magic of the internet answers random questions once again.


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You load sixteen tons, and what do you get?  Another day older and deeper in debt.  St. Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go — I owe my soul to the company store!”

Well, I don’t owe my soul to the company store, but I certainly feel like I loaded sixteen tons this weekend.   Of course, this is poetic license and hyperbole.  It was probably only one or two tons.   Anyway, water aerobics was a real trial today.   I went because I knew it would be good for me to move my sore muscles around.

So what was it that caused this state of events?    To sum it up in a few words:  Jim and I cleaned out the pond this weekend.   Mostly I cleaned it out.   It took several hours Friday, all day Saturday, and several more hours Sunday.   It still is not quite finished.

You may wish to go over to this blog post where I have several pictures indicating the history of the place.  A little ways down in the post there is a series of three pictures of the pond.    This one was taken right after I finished digging it.


Look over in the corners on the left and right sides.   Little did I know what a mistake planting those little clumps of cat tails was.   And I was so happy when they grew.


Every once in a while I would get into the pond and sort of try to beat them back from the center.   They continued to grow, however.


A couple of years ago, I noticed that one of the things that the birds had brought me was razor grass.   That makes beating back the marsh more difficult and painful.   But I finally steeled myself against the razor grass and got in there and really worked on getting rid of it.   I paid a high price for THAT one.

Needless to say, that experience made me reluctant to get into the pond when the weather was warm.   And my father’s decline and death last spring sort of took precedence over cleaning out the pond.   All last  summer, I was swearing to myself that  Something Was Going to be DONE about the pond this year.

And so it was.

We siphoned.   While the siphon was going, I began to hack away at the vegetative mass in the pond.   I used my trusty axe to cut pieces that were small enough to heave onto the shore.  I am about half done with the west side in the next shot.   The siphon has almost gotten to the point where it will no longer suck.


Observe the pile of cut pieces out on the bank.   The bucket contains the water lily, and river lotus, which I wished to re-introduce to the pond.   The water canna is still in the pond, just to the left of the bucket.  That mass in front of you is the east side marsh, which has not even been touched yet.

After a while, it became necessary to bail, as the siphon just couldn’t deal with the pond bottom.  It was hard work, but eventually  we got the water all out.


The above is looking at the west side.   It is completely clear of the vegetation that was in the shallow shelf.   Below  is a view of the east side.  I have already hacked a good two feet of vegetation back to where the shallow shelf begins.


A shot with Jim in it, for scale.


Here is a close up of that root wad that his hand is next to.


Back to the axe!   One must be circumspect about that tool.   Part of what makes the job difficult is lifting the mass of roots away from the pond liner so that when you hack through the roots you don’t also hack through the rubber liner.   When I bought that liner, it was over $400.   I can’t even imagine how much it would cost today, 17 years later.   I am just grateful that it hasn’t broken down over the years.

Another reason to be circumspect is the fact that over the years there have been rocks that found their way into the mass.  Big rocks.   Believe it or not, there was a time when the vegetation in the marsh was small enough that it needed to be anchored so it wouldn’t float around.   (Ironic laughter here)  Hitting a big head sized rock with the axe is hard on the axe. We tried to avoid that.   Fortunately, when you get close to a rock when you are hacking at the root wad, the sound changes so that you can modify your aim and miss the rock.   No axes were harmed during the project.

So anyway, we did not try to beat the east side all the way back to the edge the way we did the west side.   I decided the frogs and salamanders needed some marsh.  I left about three feet of it intact.   I know I will enjoy the water irises there when they bloom, also.

After we beat it back some, we cleaned the liner and refilled the pond.   I spent some time clearing the grass back from the stone “patio”.   That part is not done yet, but it rained in the night and there is a lot of water out there, so I will put that off for a bit.

This is how it all looked yesterday afternoon.


There are no fish in there any more, which means the salamanders and toads will have a much easier time propagating.   I know for a fact that there are seven salamander newts, because I meticulously saved them during the baling process and put them into the bucket with the lilies, and then carefully put them back into the pond after it was full.

A job well done.   And my body knows all about it, too.

Something a little less physical also going on:   The bargello quilt strips for Jesse and Lynette’s quilt are cut.


I have about 25% of the strip sewing complete.   I think I might just work on that today and let the pond and the gardens alone.   Just for today.

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