My mother's funeral!

We lost another friend this week and I was totally amazed at all his accomplishments that were listed in his obituary.. We'd only known him through bridge the last 8+ years and had no idea of his life before that... I'm hoping his funeral will be a celebration of his life as he made a real difference in this world.

My mother is 90 and very strong-minded and in control....no sign of dementia there... She has strong feelings about her own demise and last fall she took my sister and made all the arrangements.. I haven't a clue to what was settled as I was not only not invited.. I was banned... I'm sure the funeral director will whisk her away in the dead of night and she'll be buried before morning without any ceremony whatever. I am forbidden to have anything to do with it as she's sure I'd turn it into a celebration of her life...

She's right of course...I would. She started so poor with so little education and achieved so much by hard work and determination... So I'll probably have a party instead of a funeral and invite all her friends and celebrate her life anyway. Please don't tell her or she'd be absolutely furious with me....

In this photo they were on their way to follow the fruit harvest in the orchards in central Washington. My mother is the girl in the back with the white hat... Notice the wheels...the wooden spokes had to be wrapped with wet rags to keep them from drying out...


The girl has style......

My youngest granddaughter Skylar just turned three.... Here's she's all ready to go to a wedding...check the gloves, ribbon and fancy dress..... and then the feet.

If you didn't find her!

Heard from folks who had trouble finding my friend....This should help!


If you kiss enough toads.....can you find my friend?

My picture taking is pretty much functional...documenting work or events... but every once in a while I get a unplanned spectacular shot and this is one of them. Can you find my hidden friend?
She's about thirty feet from the house escaping the heat and munching on gooseberries. The 200-acre farm next to us has been bought by developers and will soon be houses. I know the first thing the new residents will do is complain about the deer when they built on wheat fields that deer have grazed for 100 years. Wouldn't this make a great jigsaw puzzle?
This is a post from a couple years ago, but since I was talking about the garden going wild it seems a good time to post it again. I love this photo as it says so much about the garden....


Miss Molly being mama!!!

We were holding our breath on how well Miss Molly would adjust to a pesky puppy.. For those who didn't know, Molly is a rescue dog and we're her 3rd home so obviously she has some issues... mainly being hyper and neurotic. First her herding instincts took hold. She constantly followed and watched him but never let him close...

But at the end of a week her mothering instincts came out and she is in full "mother mode" now... Isn't this picture just precious? Now she lets him jump on her and roll all over her. She lets him nibble on her ears, cheeks, nose, toes and even her tail... She plays chase and tussles with him for long periods of time...never losing her patience or getting too rough....

But when she's had enough she get on the couch just out of his reach... He barks, whines, whimpers and leaps at the couch but she just stays there...enough is really enough!!!!


Just a reminder about my garden for birds!

If you have been following from the beginning you will remember that my initial plan was to plant the 20 acres and let it go "wild" which is what I did........ So pictures I show in my story are over a thirty-year period and the "glory days" of the roses was before I let it go wild... I will have a whole installment at the end on "letting it go" and what survived and what didn't and the garden today... Just stay tuned as it only gets more unbelievable.

I talk a LOT about "species" or native plants... I just ran across this photo of a wonderful rose as a prime example.... This is Rosa woodsi - Fendleri...one of the survivors...... It has a small, single, unremarkable pink rose in early summer that has a very short period of bloom time... But it's real extravaganza is it's hip display in the fall which hangs on for weeks and carries on into winter. Rose hips are highly nutritious and almost all the birds in the garden feast on them and lots of migrating birds stop here just for feeding on plants such as this rose...


How Morris keeps from getting bored!

Who me? I'm too cute to make this mess!

Crazy Quilt seams book is extra tasty!
Mom's apron strap is my favorite!

And what is Miss Molly doing during all this puppy mayhem? Just watching...

Number quest continues...

Well I found a phone so our home phone is safe...so far at least... This was more difficult to take apart than I thought it would be but the buttons are the right dimensions except for height...too tall... I tried to make them shorter using a different razor blades but they're a very tough nylon.

I can sand them but doing them by hand would take forever so I'm going to put the belt sander in the big vise to hold it steady and try that... I can get a good grip on the small number buttons with pliers so it should work... If I mess up I'll be looking for another phone to disassemble... I'm always leery of the belt sander because I did catch a finger in it once and had to have extensive plastic surgery on that finger...

Numbers Game - Alliance Quilt Progress

I'm slowly making headway on my entry for the AAQ contest - my theme "From fan messages to text messages." The seams are mostly done except some need more beading but I'll wait until motifs are in place... I'm trying to resolve 2 problems... One is the black lace.around my granddaughter. I have been through my lace stash about 3 times and nothing speaks to me. I'll make a thrift store run today and give it more thought..

The immediate problem is the cell phone... It is a little more than twice the size of a regular cell phone and I'd like to start beading it....The problem is the numbers on the phone. I ordered "number" beads but they were too small and not the right shape and I couldn't find anything larger. The number on an electric calculator are a tad too big which is too bad because I have a couple old ones I could disassemble... Then I'm looking at my cordless phone...just absolutely perfect... Am I obsessed enough that I will disassemble our home phone for a CQ project......... Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm...... I'm thinking about it... Before I do though I will see if I can find one at the thrift store and if not I will go to Earthworks (our recycling spot for such things)...


Meet Morris!!

Well he's not Puppy #8 or even Puppy #7... but he's definitely now #1...... I was so distraught when the breeder told me I was third in line for 2 puppies after waiting 2 months....and the more I thought about it the angrier I became... Then Saturday one of my very best friends called... Her husband had learned of corgi litter while at work. I called and they had ONE male and I jumped into the car and scooped him up....7 weeks old and adorable...

The place was very close by and was a stable and they also had sheep.. Their corgis were working farm dogs which made me soooooo happy... Absolutely no feeling of "dogs for dollars"

A tri-color hadn't been by first choice for color but now that he's sleeping on my lap... it's my very favorite. He drags around a big roll of silk from my stash and is chewing on a CQ book... How perfect is that...?


Bead Journal Project - April

Everyone knows that if daffodils had wings they'd be goldfinches... Since my bird garden is festooned with daffodils in April it's only fitting that my April BJP be a goldfinch. The color is off in this photo.... The background beads are actually an iridescent peach but try as I might I couldn't get it or adjust it.....

I know that without this project I would have NEVER gotten around to documenting the development of my garden for the birds and how it changed my life... My first plan was to use part of the story with each finished bird but now thinking I'm going to use the birds for a cover for a book about the garden... Then I will make copies for kids and grandkids...

Following post is installment 4 - Hips! Hips! Hooray for Roses!

Hips! Hips! Hooray for Roses! - installment 4

Installment 4 - How a garden for the birds changed my life!

In keeping with my criteria for plants (hardy to zone 4/5, drought tolerant and natives) I began looking for species or wild roses that produced lots of hips for the birds…. These were not easy to come by and you’ll never find them at your local nursery. But there are many and both the flowers, bushes and hips are very diverse in size and color Hips not only provide food for the birds, they add interest and color to the garden in the fall… Then I started planting Scotch roses, tough rugosa roses and a rose called Harison, a yellow, thicket rose that you see surviving on farmsteads after the farm is gone..
But I also was blessed with this wonderful hardy climbing rose that came from my grandfather’s homestead in the mountains of northern Idaho…I had no idea of it’s name and it wasn’t available commercially. So I covered my tiny chicken house with plastic and began propagating and selling my grandfather’s rose on a very small scale by mail order. Then I discovered another category of roses…Albas, the smallest and oldest class of heirloom roses with documentation going back to the 1400s… Drought tolerant, they grow into large shrubs and thrive on a dormant period during the winter…perfect for my garden. Unfortunately they were very difficult to find. I searched sources in Canada and for cuttings from private gardens until I had about 25…. The largest single collection of Albas in this country were in my garden… Doesn’t that sound silly that 25 roses in one class could be considered a large collection? But it became very important later.

I knew I was pushing the limit on hardiness but I began adding other heirloom roses such as gallicas, centifolias, and damasks because I could propagate and sell them… At that time there were NO sources in this country for heirloom roses propagated on their own roots and interest in old-fashioned roses was just beginning to swell. Again my “garden good witch” had me in the right spot at the right point in time… After a few years the garden was looking like this:

All the while I was building trellises, arbors, etc. in addition to more mulching as I still had a limited supply of water. This sequence of one rose bower speaks for itself….

Then people began to show up to buy roses and see the garden for birds and a bigger decision had to be made.
And remember this area looked like this when I started......


Golf ball Crisis!

As a child I loved absolutely everything about my grandfather's farm.. the smell of the barn, the animals and especially the chickens and gathering eggs. In some nesting boxes there were gorgeous marble eggs to encourage new layers... I was always fascinated by the marble eggs.

So when I first got chickens years ago I bought 2 beautiful marble eggs... My chickens wanted none of it and tossed them out of the nest. My neighbor gave me some golf balls and those were OK with the chickens. Over the years every time I get a new batch of layers I tried to sneak in the marble eggs and the results are always the same....out they go... So each of the two nesting boxes always has a golf ball in it..
Somehow (and don't ask me how) one of the golf balls disappeared... Then all the chickens would only lay an egg in the box with the golf ball in it...if I moved the golf ball to the other nest they laid their eggs in that nest. They actually waited in line for the box with golf ball and sometimes had to lay their egg in front of the box while waiting their turn.... So today a golfing friend brought me some extra golf balls and the crisis is over... Thanks heavens.... such drama on the farm!


Pure whimsy!

This DYOB RR had vintage valentines belonging to Cathy L's mother as their focal point.. I loved the little chef with her perky hat.... Since it was encrusted I could just embellish away... I managed to get 5 pieces of lace on a 6" block.
The cupcake paper is the ribbing that I searched for in the thrift store to get the right texture and color... Now that I look at it on screen I see the frosting needs a few sprinkles... I will do that.... I'm taking a break from the AAQ entry...

As I was basting elements I knew I wanted to repeat the sunshine yellow of her dress and dyed a ribbon to match.... then since it was such a long, strong seam, I broke it up with the cupcake.... I also used the cherry heart and the stem to bring the eye back into the block.... but you saw that..right?

Wool for nests

The sheep are pretty shaggy right now... As soon as the last lamb arrives I'll have them sheared.... But for now there are bits of wool hanging on the fences and around the pasture... But as soon as they fall some nesters are scooping them up...especially robins....


This and That!

The twins are enjoying the warmth of the lovely day. They are always together. The little one is doing fine though still very small... But his little tummy is fat and full and he hops around the pasture full of engery...

Last summer I cleaned out the center of the barn which was still full of leftover stuff from the nursery.. This year my goal is to clean out what used to be the gift shop and tea room (now a sewing mess)... In the process I found this old card file with shallow drawers I had used to store pressed flowers... I brought it into the house and it will be perfect for buttons and then I saw I have another one that is even a little bigger.... Who knows what other treasures I might find.....

Last but not least I made a trip to my favorite produce market (Winco) and got leeks and yukon pototes for the potato leek soup but when I add some chicken it becomes "Cock-a-Leekie" soup" In Scotland it was made with barley but in England we had it with potatoes in it... I also bought a big bag of beets to make borscht and we had ham today so there will be a bone for bean soup... By the time I go to Alaska in May there will be lots of soups in the freezer....


Seams, seams, and more seams...

I'm still plodding away at seams a little each day and only have 8-10 more to do... Very anxious to get to the fun stuff....motifs, buttons, etc... Started the 2 seams on the upper right last night and will finish them tonight...


Predictable dialogs

We've been married a long time and little routines have formed over the years... I keep a stash of home-made soups in the freezer for days I can't cook and when it about gone it goes something like this:

he: The soup is about gone. You can make some more any time.
me: Sure, what would you like?
he: Anything you want to make is fine.
me: Sure? I can make anything you want.
he: Anything is okay.
Loooooooong pause
he: Well, potato leek would be great.
me: That's fine.
Looooooooooong pause
he: It would be good with Yukon Gold potatoes
me: Sure!
Loooooooong pause
he: And maybe you can add some chicken and leave some of the potatoes in chunks ..... and remember last time you added cilantro instead of parsley.

We go through the same routine when he goes to town.

he: I'm going to town do you need anything?
me: No, I'm fine!
he: Sure?
me: Well maybe you can stop at the post office
loooooooooong pause
me: And my books are due at the library
looooooooong pause
And by the time it's done I have added 6 things to his "to town" list....

I find these repeated routines very comforting. It says something about our marriage. I'm not sure what but it's good...
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