Friday, February 26, 2010


We headed down to Nashville, Indiana day before yesterday. We just wanted to get out and see something else for a change. I wanted to go for one reason, but didn't want to because on the drive down there, there is just no opportunity to stop and take pictures. It is a fairly busy road with no place to pull over.

So, we were past Terre Haute, but not to Spencer, and came to a major 4-way stop....I asked Roger did he mind taking a different we head south still on a major road for a ways. Then we started through the country. Though I still didn't take a lot of photos, we sure seen some beautiful places. Places I want to go back to, preferably in the fall...I think the ridges and rolling hills would really be beautiful.

However, I seen this isn't beautiful or anything. I have no idea what it means, but I thought it funny....and would love to know the story behind it.
We had little Miss Busy Body with us all day yesterday...when she is here she just stays busy. When we got her in the house, we could not get her out of the car seat quick enough to please her....she was straining at the straps. I told her mom, when she is standing by something such as an end table or whatever...if you watch her feet, one of them is constantly feeling for something to climb up on. I bet she will be able to climb trees by the age of two...well, maybe not that young. But she will want to.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A bath--who needs one?

Sarah sent me this short little video this you can probably guess by this, Lorelei loves to take a bath. And she gets mad if it gets shortened for some reason.
She also sent this little picture of her relaxing and watching Sesame Street.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

One week ago....

This is a scene from a week ago....if they were closer, I would be driving by to see if they are still there or all melted. I feel sure they have at least fallen to the ground. Even though we have had a lot of melting, we still have snow on the ground. We had snow flurries this evening, and we are supposed to have snow showers tomorrow.

I have seen buzzards, but I am still watching for my first robin. I think I usually see the first ones in February. My lilac continues to have big buds, and somewhere we were I really noticed a big tree starting to get lots of buds. I suppose it is the number of daylight hours plus sunshine that triggers the growth.

Meanwhile, I will try to wait patiently for spring to appear.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A road not taken

This is not the road we followed today, however I thought I would show it to you. I like the gentle curve and the feeling of expectation of wondering what is to come...

What we did do was run...almost all day long. I had a couple things due at the library in Terre Haute so we headed that way this morn, but first went by the bookstore. I picked up a couple books for Lorelei, then on to the library. Even though I didn't need to get anything, I still found 3 or 4 books I could not resist checking out.

From there we went and seen Ms. Hollywood....she was sitting in her mom's lap when we got there, but she got up to look at her new book. Sarah said she had been laying in bed one morning saying 'cat' or 'kitty cat' over and over. She did take a nap while we were there...then got up and played in her big box and with her phone. Her box is just a cardboard box and she really likes it....I can remember our girls sometimes liking the box something came in more than they did the toy.

She would take her phone over to her mom or to her Papaw and have them talk on it, then they would give it back to her and tell her someone wanted to talk to her. She would hold it to her ear, and pretend to talk. It was so funny and cute. Just so you know, her mom liked to talk to her grandma when she was about 2 years Lorelei promises to be a chip off the old block.

Other than that, I have been settled in watching the Olympics...tonight has probably been my favorite night except for the snowboarding. The free skate in the dance is just finishing up, with more to come of the freestyle skiing qualifications later on. So, I think I will publish this and settle down to watch the rest.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hollywood and homespun

Sarah sent this little snapshot of the toot toot a few minutes ago...I cannot resist posting it. I suppose Lorelei will never know her name, or else answer to any and everything cause we have so many names for her.
On to why I haven't been blogging the past day or two....I have finally finished the quilting on this...I would love to know the hours I have spent, as well as how many yards of thread. I bet it is close to a thousand yards counting top and bottom thread. I know I spent at least 4 hours yesterday, another hour today....and I just had a little bit left to do today. I only had to take a out a few stitches a couple time was not wasted on redoing stitching.

I have listened to 7 CDs of an audio book while doing it and each one is approx 75 minutes long, plus I have watched TV some of the time.
I still have to make the binding...making a decision on what to use will be the first hurtle. The cutting and stitching the lengths of fabric together, then folding lengthwise and pressing in half will take a bit of time, but not much compared to actually doing the binding. First, I will sew it around the perimeter of the quilt with the sewing machine...not such a long job. But, then I fold it to the back and stitch it down by hand. That will take a lot of hours. But I do enjoy it...I watch TV and just stitch away.

It is not perfect, but hopefully it will be finished one of these days.
On the subject of snow, we only got a little bit of frozen ice Friday night, and it did not last. A lot of snow melted yesterday, and today it has rained lightly all day long. More snow is gone...while our neighbors yard is almost bare of snow, ours still has inches on it. From the drifting, I suppose. It is 40ยบ as I type this; if it stays this warm the rest should be gone soon.
I have a question for everyone. I love the pop-up window comment form, I use it on mine, but the other day all of a sudden whenever I clicked to comment on a blog, including my own that had the pop-up window type of comment form, it pops up but as a whole new window! I have not changed anything that I am aware of. I have been looking on the settings trying to find a way to change it, but not finding anything.

It does not do it when I use Explorer, so I am wondering is it a blogger/Firefox issue. Other sites that have pop-up windows are not effected while using Firefox. This makes me think it isn't Firefox, which I had first thought. Is there something I am missing???

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Lorelei report

This photo is from day before yesterday....
Since I was MIA yesterday as far as blogging goes, I thought I would share the reason why. We went and got the Lorelei yesterday morn and kept her till her daddy got off work at 5:00. I did do a load of clothes while she was here, but basically chased after her all day long.

One of the first things she did when she got here was to go give her Mickey Mouse plush rocker a hug. She doesn't like to sit on him, but she likes him. She will go and turn him around and hold him by his ears up to her face...or she will sit right in front of him and just look at his eyes and nose. Sometimes she tries to hang stuff on his nose. Others she pushes him around by his rockers.

She loves it when one the cats comes up to the window on the other side and wants in...she gets right in the window and jabbers. If she is doing something else and we see one come up to the window, we can say Lorelei, look at the cat in the window. She gets to that window as quickly as she can.

She does not like to give up and take a nap, so later in the afternoon she had just been yawning, and yawning. She got her little plastic turtle out of her toys and was walking around chewing on it. She stumbled over one of her other toys and fell...she just rolled over on her back and kept laying there, chewing on the turtle and looking around. I thought sure she would fall asleep like that, but she only laid there about 10-15 minutes, looking all around, and up she got.

Not long after that she went to sleep in my lap and slept for about an hour and 20 minutes. When she woke up, she didn't know whether to be happy or to cry...just kind of grumpy. Then I said the magic words: "Look at Bubbie in Papaw's chair!" Her eyes lit up and she wanted down, went over and started jabbering to him and just smiling. She didn't pet him...just talked to him. And he just looked at her.

I have a feeling she is going to be the best friend those cats ever have...they just don't know it yet. And I told Roger a while back, I don't think I have ever seen a child that doesn't like cats. And dogs, too, for that matter.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hanging on

Today wasn't too cold, but the snow hangs on. And more is headed our way in the coming weekend. The meteorologist is not saying how much he thinks we will get, but he seems positive we will get some. I know I will feel the same thrill I always feel when it starts to fall, but in the overall scheme of things, I am ready for spring.

I am ready to sit on the front porch and have my morning cup of coffee.

I am ready to see an actual sunrise, not just the gradual appearance of light, with no show of the sun.

I am ready to feel the warm rays of sunshine on my face.

I am ready ready to cook on the grill without having to wear a jacket.

I am ready to dispose of layered clothing.

I am ready to smell lilacs!

I am ready for a nice spring rain.

I am ready to go fishing.

I am ready for these things and so much more, but

Most of all, I am ready to be outside with Lorelei.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Look at these baby blues...

Look at that face! That is a monkey she is holding..if you squeeze its belly, it screams like a monkey. Lorelei always reaches for it and gives it a good hugging.
She played and played with it, and could not get it situated on her truck the way she wanted it...but she didn't want any help from us.
If you don't enlarge any of these but one, enlarge this one and take a look at those blue eyes! Aren't they gorgeous?
We were at Sarah's till late yesterday evening...I didn't do any blogging except to check in with Betsy and George to see where he took her for Valentine's day.

I wanted to quilt on my quilt just a little bit before I started watching the Olympics. There was quite a bit of figure skating, so my eyes were on it. Though I must say, I don't have a favorite skater and I miss that feeling of really cheering for someone. Though in all honesty, I really hate to see any of them not win.

I am trying to get these ready to post....going to help Roger replace the exhaust fan in the bathroom. It shouldn't take long once we start. At least I hope not.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mansfield Covered Bridge

This is a different view of this bridge...not the normal one seen at all. I am sorry about the quality...not sure what happened. I worked on it with Photoshop some, but grew weary. Nothing seemed to really work. Still, I like the view.
We are watching the Olympics, so not doing much else at night.

I did work on my quilt some today....I brought it upstairs to spread on the bed to see how much I had gotten done. I was happily surprised to find I had more done than I thought. It will still take a good bit of time to finish...just not as much as I thought.

Tomorrow we are heading to see Lorelei for a bit, so I may not be visiting any of the blogs I follow till tomorrow night.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Look what we saw today

Click to enlarge for a better view.
We went for a drive today...and were almost started home. We were coming to this one side road and I told Roger the next time we were near, I wanted to see where it went. When he asked if I wanted to go today, I could not resist. We were not even a mile from the main road till he spotted this fellow!

I had mixed emotions...I couldn't believe my eyes even though I had seen one adult and one juvenile not too far from this location a couple or three years ago. This is the first one we/I have seen in that area since then. Someone told us they had a nest somewhere close there but they didn't know just where.

I cannot believe they are actually there! In my childhood, I could only dream of seeing one. I don't know when they came to Indiana. One of the local power plants has an eagle viewing weekend every year, and I have yet to attend it. We have seen an eagle or two up in that area also.
I wanted to get Lorelei a drum for her birthday...but could not find one that sounded good...except these bongos. Well, there was one that didn't sound bad that was for kids, but it had this lip of metal that I could just see her falling on, and it would really have hurt...maybe causing a cut if she fell hard enough.

So we seen these, no sharp edges, they make good we got them. Here is the result (be sure to have your sound on:)

Birthday girl

Lorelei's birthday party was today, even though her actual birthday was Tuesday. Her dad managed to get her to smile for this photo...she did not like the mess. Sarah sat the cake in front of her and she got a little bit of icing in her hand. Immediately this look of oh, yuk came across her face. She did not like it one bit.

There were several other little kids that is Jackson's age, (born this past Dec.), one nine months old, another one I am not sure of, but younger than Lorelei, and then there were at least 4 others there, one soon to be 2 years old and the other were in the 2-3 yrs of age category.

Sarah's best friend's son is the one soon to be 2 yrs. old, and he gave Lorelei a kiss...someone asked Lorelei if that was her first kiss, and his mom said, Oh, no, no, no--he has been kissing her a long time. He is so gentle with her....and always has been.

Overall, I think Lorelei had a good time, but I think she was a little overwhelmed by everyone...just so many people at one time.

Friday, February 12, 2010

She came, she conquered

Bright Eyes was here today...she came around 10:00 and did not leave till about 6:00, or a few minutes later. She did take an hour and a half nap, and she ate, but other than that...she was barely still. Here she was playing with some of her toys and watching something...but she did not stay still long.
She was from one thing to another...first the cats. Except if Bubbie is sleeping, he doesn't pay her any mind so she gets bored. But let Mama Cat or Puss Puss walk through and she is right after them.

If not them, she likes to go in the kitchen...she will walk all around in there, then come to one of us and want to be lifted up till she can see the magnets on the fridge, cat magnets to be specific.

She also stops and plays with my old churn part of the time...when she first discovered it, she could not pass it by but now she just occasionally goes to it. Oh, she also liked to stand and look out the back storm door...especially if there was a cat or Shelby on the other side.

She will now show us her feet if we ask where her feet are, she gives high fives, and today I ask her where her belly button was. She immediately pulled her shirt up and showed me. Well, we have not tried to teach her, but we think she has picked it up from one of her favorite books.

I am going to cut this short...I was just totally wiped out when she left. Tomorrow is her birthday party! So we will be gone a big part of the day.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Introducing Jackson....

Back in December when I was only blogging every now and then, my great nephew Jackson was born. He was born on December 1, 2009....weighing 9lb and 4 oz, and he was 20½ inches long.
Look at him now...don't you just love the photo above. He weighed 15 lb 1oz a few days ago and is now 24 inches long. He is growing like a weed...
He is always in a good mood and takes plenty of naps. You can just tell by the photo above that he is a pleasant little fellow to be around. He is will sure be a fisherman and hunter with my brother as his grandpa...well, the fishing comes from his mommy and mamaw, too, but I am not sure if his dad likes to fish or not. Truth to tell, I think almost my whole family likes to fish...

I feel like our families have been blessed beyond measure with Lorelei and Jackson. I knew I would love her, but I did not comprehend how just thinking of her could make me smile, and sometimes laugh out loud...anywhere, any time. I think I can say the same thing about Jackson's mamaw....
I am getting ready for my little toot toot to come tomorrow...Sarah says she was on the go constantly today. So I have been trying to get anything put up that she might get into. I cannot do anything with the cats though, and Sarah said she was after Diesel cat all day long today. So it will be fun tomorrow. I told Roger we best eat our wheaties to have energy to keep up with her.

I so wish it was warm enough to take her in the stroller...

Thinking on things that make me happy...

I read this post earlier. It got me started thinking of all the things that make life pleasant. Of how it isn't the things money buys, although it can help. But honestly, there are things that have no price. I even think I did a post similiar to this last year...but it really does a body good to dwell on the pleasant things in life. So I am doing it anyway. And since family and friends are on everyone's list, I will assume that you know they would be at the top of my list. How could you not with all the times I post Lorelei....

Even though I have had time to think this through, I haven't. So here is my list off the top of my head...I'm attempting to do a list of ten.

1. I love the way evening light hits things...there is a glow about it that can not be reproduced. It makes even the most boring subject beautiful.

2. I love the feeling I get when I finish a quilt. (How boring is that?) I can't help is such a feeling of accomplishment..

3. I love the big puffy clouds that are dark with a silver takes me back to younger days. One of my very best friends in life and I always loved them and we always quoted the lines,
Be still, sad heart, and cease repining
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining.....
So any time I see that type of clouds it immediately transports me back in time.

4. I love finding new music that I love. And it is even better if a song mentions Tennessee.

5. There is nothing finer in life than to be able to sit outside in the swing and have a cup of coffee, and have breakfast out there. Or to just sit outside with Lorelei.

6. Finding ginseng. I just like to see it growing. I hunted it as a kid, to sell, to help buy school clothes. So any time I am in woods, I look for it. But I very seldom dig any...I just like to see it grow. At one time I had some growing in my yard...actually in a corner by the porch. A dog dug it up, and no I didn't get mad at her. She was a collie that had been abused...not mine, but she stayed with me here if I was home.

7. Seeing cats curled asleep ...there is just something so pleasing about that.

8. I love have a cake or brownies, still warm from the oven....with butter!

9. Wrens make me happy. Just their big happy song from such a little body. Who can resist them?

10. Finding a new author is always a joy. Or a new book by one of my favorite authors!

11. I cannot leave out smells...the smell of wood smoke, the smell of new mown hay, how it smells so fresh and new after a rain...and there are more...but need to finish...

I am sure once I publish this I will think of half a dozen things I wish I had thought of. But it is late, so I am going to click 'publish' and be done with it.
edited to add:
BTW, Betsy just gave me a new name...and Fishing Guy followed suit...but that is okay. I like Ruth just as well as I do Rose. haha

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

She's a year old today!!!!!

First a little video of how Lorelei's day starts:

Today was the Lorelei's 1st birthday...her birthday party will be Saturday....but we could not miss seeing her today. BTW, she is happy in the photo above....
We got more snow last night, probably about 4 inches. And we got more as the day wore on. If you enlarge this, you can see the snow that was falling as we went to see her. We just stayed a little while and headed home.
Roger took these two of her and her mommy right before we left--I just love the one above.
When we headed home, this is what it looked like driving home.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Progress in two areas...

After a bit more fiddling with my machine this morn, I actually started quilting in the afternoon. I am a bit disappointed in myself because I am just meandering, and not actually trying anything new. I have no one to blame but myself...I should have had a warm up quilt to start on. It takes a bit to get used to handling all that material under that arm of the sewing machine.

I am trying to become proficient at free-motion quilting. For those that don't know what that is let me explain. Normally, the feed dogs are up and the pressure foot has pressure, when you put the fabric under the pressure foot and put the pressure foot down, the material is pressed against the feed dogs. When sewing, the feed dogs pull the fabric through at a precise rate.

In free-motion quilting, FMQ, the feed dogs are dropped or in some cases where machines don't have that capability, they are covered up. And the pressure of the pressure foot is reduced, and for some machines/some people the stitch length is set to zero, and a hoping foot or darning foot such as the one shown above is put on the machine to take the place of the regular pressure foot.
There are stitch regulators/speed controls that can be bought. The stitch regulator will keep your stitch length consistent no matter what what speed is sewn. The speed control is just that...keeps the speed of the needle the same consistent speed and then all left to the operator is just keep his on speed consistent.

I don't have either of it is all left to me. I have to try to keep my speed and my motions in sync to keep a consistent stitch length. I have not mastered that yet....but so long as they are not toenail catchers, I am happy. When the quilt is washed, they more than likely will not show up.

If you enlarge the photo of the quilt above, it appears that I have used a dark bobbin thread but I haven't. I had to use a large jeans needle and it leaves holes in some of the cheaper fabric; again I think once it is washed they will close and not be noticeable.

Someone ask me if I had any recent photos of Mama Squirrel, so I got the camera out this weekend and tried to snap a photo or two. She was slightly jumpy and this was the best I could do. When I turned around to go in the house, there was Puss Puss, so no wonder she was slightly agitated.

But to the progress in that area, at least I hope it is progress. For a little while now, I sometimes try to pet her....not with just my finger as she gets food out of my hand. I try to rub her back...she always moves back about 18 inches or a couple feet....she never runs completely away. Well, this weekend, I waited till she had a nut and was eating it and I just placed my hand on her back and left it a few seconds...then I start to pet her. I got a couple little strokes in and she hopped down to a different level, but was right back up. Maybe one of these days she will realize how good it feels to have her back scratched!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Original Cougar, geese, and strip pits...stated randomly

I often do posts from the strip pit area...this one among them. But in the end, there is a more intimate tale involved this time. First off, we drove around out there last night till the sun was setting...the first thing we noticed were the geese...they are back in larger numbers. The sound was incredible. I wondered aloud if I lived close, would I get tired of their incessant honking.
Even if you click and enlarge the above photo, it appears compressed. It just does not show how big the strip pit is, nor can you get the full impact of how many geese are there.

Below, is an image from google earth that shows the area out there. The strip pit above is is in the upper left-hand corner of the image. BTW, it is in Illinois. I really hope you will click on it at of these days I am going to think and see how long that strip pit is by hitting the odometer on the vehicle I am in. I am pretty sure it is at least half a mile long, and probably longer. Just east of the strip pit is the road we take about half of the time to enter the area.

We have been going out there for years, though originally, it was being mined so we only drove through it every now and then. If you will look in the lower righ-hand corner, I have a strip pit marked as where we got our original cat named Cougar. Before the mining stopped, we could get permits to fish that strip pit.... I have spent more happy hours fishing there than any place else on earth. I never once got to stay as long as I wanted to stay.
Anyway, that is one long strip doesn't show it here so much, but it was big and it was deep. Where the arrow is pointing, there was a pump house close to there. The part of the strip pit to the east of the arrow is where I fished the most....but I did fish on south also. Right where the arrow is was just a narrow strip of water leading from one part of the strip pit into the other. A boat could go through, but it would have been close for two boats to pass each other, though I am not sure they could have.

Anyway, one evening we were out there fishing and kept hearing this sound. Over and over. Right there where that arrow is. Well, we fished for quite a while, and before we left, for my sake Roger went across to find out what was over there. I think he could wade most of it chest deep, but had to swim a few strokes...
Anyway, he got over there and found it....a little tabby cat. Its voice was so hoarse from meowing so much. As he held it above the cattails for me to see, he said, "Do you want it?" Dumb question...I had never seen a cat I didn't want. Just some I didn't need.

Anyway, so the kitty went home with us, to become Cougar Lee. He was literally on the point of starvation...I have only seen one other animal in my life as bad off as he was. You could see almost every bone in his body. His backbone was just so prominent... And he was SO sick....congestion and his little eyes all matted.

There was never any doubt that he was my kitty...from day one. It was a weekend so no going to the vet....and besides that I don't know if we went right away or if we waited a few days. I do know that right away, I made warm salty water and wrung a washrag out in it and would wash his eyes 3 or 4 times a day. Salt water will do miracles for some things...and it did help.

But his cold/congestion was another story. I don't know how many times he was to the vet to get rid of it. It was over a period of a few weeks, and at one time he and I were on the same antibiotic....only his was just once a day and not as strong as mine. It was this antibiotic, ampicillin that finally cleared his congestion.

Cougar was sure an original...when he was little, if I was standing washing dishes or doing something in the kitchen, he would climb up my jeans to my waist and just hang there till I got to the point where I could stop and hold him a few minutes. He slept with us/me, at first he laid across my forehead and I wondered how in the world was I ever going to get used to that.

You would not believe how quickly I became accustomed to it, I would have to feel my head to see if he was there or not. As he got older, he gradually stopped doing that very much, but graduated to curling himself around my head, or somehow till his one paw would be across my neck. Honest to goodness. He had to be touching me.

What is so funny, he jumped on Roger when Roger was asleep and it startled Roger and made him really mad at Cougar. From that time on, Cougar never, ever touched Roger unless Roger was awake. He would sniff towards Roger and somehow or other could tell if Roger was awake. If Roger was awake, he would put a paw out and touch him.

As Cougar got older, he was neutered, of course. He loved to spend time outside in the summer...we always thought when he laid in the garden under the tomato plants, that he thought himself in the jungle. He was not much of a hunter...which was fine by me. He loved all of us, and was never afraid of strangers, but I was always his favorite. He could be sitting with anyone else, and all I had to do was say his name and he would come to me.

Cougar was the smartest cat I have ever known...though I am trying to think of examples and having a hard time. He did know his name...if he was out in the yard...all we had to do was open the door and call his name and he came. He knew what the word 'no' meant, also knew what we meant if we said 'get down.' I also think he showed how smart he was by not bothering Roger when Roger was asleep.

He loved tomatoes or things cooked with tomatoes. If we had spaghetti, he literally came running. He always got a bite or two of it. He really didn't want much, but had to have a taste or if we had a pizza, he had to have a bite. If I cut a tomato in half and left it laying, he would lick the whole inside of it out. Even if it was a medium sized tomato.

If I was sick and sleeping on the couch, he watched over me...he would sleep on the back and talk to me if I was awake. Oh, that is the other thing. He would really try to carry on a conversation. Not the constant meowing that some cats do, but an exchange. We could say something and he would say something back...with what we called a meow-purr. Not loud and disturbing, more like, hey, what are you doing. And he would stop and wait for our reply.

He also was a guard cat...did not like other cats or dogs in our yard. Even though he was neutered, he would fight any cat that came in the yard. Yet if the kids brought one home, he wasn't jealous. And luckily, all the dogs he chased out were so surprised to have a cat come after them, that they ran.

During the last years of his life, he started to sleep under the cover...always against my side with his head resting over my arm. And always between us...never on the outside edge.

A couple times he almost died. One night he was fine, begging for hamburger. The next morn, I happened to be up and about to leave for work and went downstairs for something. Cougar was sitting down there...he never sits down there. Just never. I could tell he was dieing.

I called the vet, and got him in that evening. We never really knew what happened to him...the vet kept him a couple days and did find that he had inflammation but could not find what was causing it. He gave him a vitamin B shot, and that did the trick. That was the strangest thing...he was perfectly fine the night before and I am positive if I had not taken him to the vet the next day, he would have died. No doubt in my mind.

And we had a repeat of that episode the following spring. Went through basically the same scenario. Again, the vitamin B shot brought him out of it.

During the last few months of his life, he lost weight...and he never had any weight to lose. We always assumed it was from being almost starved to death in his youth. Cougar just stayed a long, lanky cat. So, with losing the weight, he really was skin and bones. I had him to the vet, and it was just basically old age.

I knew I needed to make the decision, but could not do it till one morn, I heard him hit the floor. I will not go into details, I will just say I promised him then he would not have to go through any more. When the vet opened, I called and made arrangements to take him to be put down once Roger got home from work....I dug his grave in the garden so he could have his final sleep where he had spent so many enjoyable hours.

For two or three years, I did not even want to pet a cat...just didn't even want to look at one really. His spirit stayed with us. In the two or three years between losing him and getting the kitties we have now, Roger and I both felt him. There were a couple times we both, at the same time, felt him jump up in bed with us, and we both moved apart and started to raise the cover for him to go under. This was not right after he died, but months later.

Another time I had one of those colds where I coughed and coughed and coughed, so was trying to sleep sitting up on the couch...Cougar was there with me. I heard him talking...and looked to talk to him before I thought. Even after I realized, I kept hearing him.

His spirit doesn't visit us any more, not since we got the cats we have. Except my new Cougar loves tomatoes...does anyone else have a cat that likes tomatoes? I have never heard of it I think it sort of strange that I have had two that likes them.

edited to add: I wanted to add that Cougar, the original, lived to be approximately 17 yrs. old

Ready and waiting on me....

I still have not started my quilting, though I do have my machine ready....I think I am just going to have to start and see what develops. I wish for once I could decide how I want to quilt something before I start.
Before I start free motion quilting, I always do a test on a small quilt sandwich....luckily I still had this from before. I have to make sure that the tension is right and which size needle I want to use. So far, it really doesn't take much to get the Juki ready to quilt. I got it ready Thursday night....I had plans to just get up and start Friday. Instead I had a phone call from a friend that I had not talked to in several months. We talked at least two hours.
Did I say the snow started yesterday morn--but it was so wet and I suppose warm, that it didn't start sticking till later in the day. Roger was working in his shop, and I was looking at quilting on the computer....I finally made up my mind that maybe I just needed to get out. This is what our little town looked like as we left....
and this is what it was like out. This road...I bet I have driven up and down it about a million times....maybe not quite that many. But it is the road I took to work. I will be posting another picture from it on Time Stand that I like even better.
Lorelei was here Thursday. She is walking more and more...and just busy. Usually she will sit and play with her toys, but Thursday she was just from here to there. Every day it crosses my mind that I cannot believe she will be a year old Tuesday! Sarah is having her party next weekend. We are both wondering how she will react to so many people in her house....and we are both hoping she doesn't turn all shy.

Sarah said every time Lorelei hears her dad come in, she does her yell of "DA-da!!" She also said one of Jeremy's friends stopped by and Lorelei had him totally entertained. I guess she was laughing so hard at Diesel their cat...and you know how contagious her laughter is.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Strip pit report

I have not been to the strip pits near as much as last year...BL (before Lorelei), but we are still either through there or by there enough to get an idea of the geese situation. These were taken a few days back, but I passed through there today and there are not even as many as there were then.
Look at the the two top pictures, then click here to see what this strip pit featured last year. I don't know what happened this year, but I have never seen so few geese out in that area. The area I am talking about includes these strip pits and just a few miles over in the Illinois farmland. In previous years, the sky would be just filled with the geese. Even though I seen it every year, I was always amazed. This year, I have wondered over and over what happened.

I see the Northern Harriers every time I am out there, and I did see some owls at the beginning of winter but have not seen them lately. Again, I have not been out there as much so probably not been there at the right time.
If nothing happens Sarah and Lorelei are coming tomorrow...I will probably have new Lorelei tales to tell, so bare with me.

I have did nothing more with my quilt. My hips didn't hurt today, but my knees feel stiff. And I have other aches and pains that I have never had before, but I know what I did to cause them. The only thing, I don't think I could have did anything different. Anyway, with Sarah coming tomorrow, I probably won't do any quilting.

Hopefully I will get started sometime this week. I did check and I have thread that I can use. I did get the lent cleaned out of my machine, which is not a big job. I keep it pretty clean all the time. I am looking forward to doing the quilting...somehow or other, I just want to do my quilts from start to finish. If I had a close friend that helped me or a daughter or if my mom were alive, that would be okay.

I don't really get all that many finished, and almost anything I have ever made has been given away once it is finished. You could almost say I am one of those people that are all talk....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Lorelei definitely thinks kitty cats are funny!

I just have to post this new little video of Lorelei...Sarah sent it to me this morn; I have watched it several times and it always makes me laugh. she is such a hoot. From this and the video I posted the other day, I can definitely say she thinks cats are funny.... hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

We went down to see her and Sarah yesterday, and we all went out for breakfast. Lorelei entertained everyone around her and enjoyed it all. She first started playing peek-a-boo with the couple behind us...they had 11 grandchildren of their own. When they left, Lorelei watched them as far as she could see them.

Isn't it amazing how babies just form a bridge to make friendships on...

Anyway, the hostess came by to see her two or three times. I forget how many grandchildren she had but they were all boys. And there were a couple men seated across from us and she was having a good time with them.

I Did It! I actually got the quilt ready to take to the sewing machine to quilt. I may be too stiff to even move tomorrow after all the crawling around on the floor that I did. I took ibuprofen trying to ward it off and will take another dose before I go to bed.
In the photo above, you can get an idea of how many pins I used...I didn't place them as close as i normally do so am hoping I don't regret it. And I used a kind of cotton batting I have never used before and though I think it would be a dream to hand quilt through, I was not real happy with it in other ways. The edges kind of wanted to ruffle...and I could not actually stretch it across the floor...I just had to smooth it the best I could. But I will withhold final judgement till I am done quilting it and have washed and dried it.
Just thought I would show a bigger area of it here. I have not decided how I am going to quilt it yet. When I made this top, started with no plans. I started making the little 4-patches. From there it grew. I decided to use the 4-patches as the corners of 9-patches...and then went from there. Not even deciding how big I wanted to make the quilt till I started sewing it together.

Well, I had a few blocks left over when the top above was as big as I wanted I put those leftover blocks together and made the little quilt seen here. If you go and look at it, be sure and click on the photos to enlarge them and get the full effect. I don't remember the exact finished size...I think it was about 60 inches long...maybe a little longer. I sent it as a surprise to a friend in Pennsylvania.

Plans and dreams....

I have an appointment right before lunch tomorrow...and then I have plans....I have decided this is the quilt top I am going to quilt. It has been waiting for quite a while...but not near as long as some I have. I made it about three years ago, and had plans to machine quilt it. Then life got in the way, things happened and I hardly touched my sewing machines, or sewing of any kind for the past two or three years. Except to make baby quilts.
Tonight I rearranged Lorelei's room till I could spread everything out and get it pin basted. This is a big quilt, approximately 90 inches square so it takes a big area. First I spread the backing out, right side down. I use t-pins and stretch it out on the carpet. This is time one on one side, then go straight across to the opposite side and do another. Next, do one on the other two sides. From there, I place one about every 12-18 inches.

Then I spread the batting on top of that and smooth it out. I use a few T-pins but not near as many as I use on the backing. Before I use the batting I will throw it in the dryer on the Air setting for a few minutes to get it to relax.
Next I spread the top out and smooth it...and then go about using the T-pins to keep the top stretched out. Then comes the real time consuming part...I use the bent safety pins and pin the three layers together about every six inches. (You can't do this if you have looped carpet...I have enough trouble doing it on regular carpet..)
(This is only a small fraction of the pins I use.)
That is my if I can just follow through. The past few days, I have been trying to decide which quilt top to quilt...I had planned to do the top I just finished but thought I should do this one if I am going to work on one. It will take a while to quilt, even if I am machine quilting it. And I will have to make the don't expect me to show you the finished product any time soon.