Friday, May 28, 2010

To lighten a heavy heart...

Yesterday was a hard day here at our house...our Shelby dog has been going downhill for a while now. She had become totally deaf, had cataracts, and had a hard time getting up and down. Not to mention the times she just I made the final decision. It had been weighing on me for so long...
Anyway, I didn't want this post to be all poor me, so thought I would show you a couple videos of Bright Eyes...I hope they work cause they are acting kind of strange. Be sure and pay close attention to her facial expressions in the second one!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Nevins Bridge

I did a post of another bridge, and I think it was Jacob asked why they were covered. Sorry that it has taken this long to do the post...if I had know I would take this long to do this post, I would have answered the query with a comment.

Anyway, believe it or not, years ago I did a google on it, and found several reasons. Some of the reasons were: to protect the timbers of the bridge and keep it from rotting, to keep horses from being afraid when crossing the bridge, to have a shelter from a storm, and I am sure there were others but these are the ones that stuck with me through all the years. At that time, no one wanted gave a definite answer.

However, after having a discussion with Roger--he was just sure it was to protect the timbers, I did another google on it. This time the first two links I checked out both seemed sure it was to protect the timbers from the weather, so he was right. You can check them out here and here.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sing, sing a song....

A drive through the strip pits tonight resulted in these captures of a Dickcissel....
he was just singing and singing.
We really didn't see much out there tonight...we heard all kinds of pheasants but they were impossible to see. The grass/hay/weeds are just too tall. We saw deer crossing the road out ahead of us. They walked one at a time across the road...three in total. When they walked out, we had not seen the first one, and barely saw the other two before they stepped into the open. And when they crossed to the other side, after a couple of steps in the field of hay, we could not see them at all. I would never have believed the grass was high enough to totally hide them.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Another quilt...

Sorry to be posting two quilts in a row...but I just had to show that I finally finished this. I finished doing the binding yesterday evening, but did not take pictures till today. I wanted to take them outside till the quilting would show up better. It has been one of the most fun quilts to quilt because it is for us...I did not agonize over how to do anything...I just did it.
I like my backs to have a little something extra on them sometimes....and sometimes it serves a purpose other than just to add interest. In this case, I had all those blocks left over, I thought why not add interest as well as save cutting more material. Oh, yeah, see the white to the left of the blocks-- I caught an extra block of a different size in the quilting and did not notice till way late. Since this quilt is going on our bed, to use every day, I was not going to rip out those stitches to remove it. I just trimmed it real close to the stitching. After one or two washings, it will probably be almost gone.
I thought I would zoom in just a little to show the quilting a bit is just free-motion quilted. No pattern is drawn on or anything. I like it because it adds texture to the quilt. This is the quilt I used almost 1,000 yards of thread in the quilting...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Blogger's quilt festival....

I can not even remember how I came across The Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy's Creative Side...I have grabbed moments here and there through the day to visit quilting blogs and see what there is to view...for the most part I have not commented because I didn't have a post ready for it. And had not planned to do one till a friend pointed out that it is open till May 28th. If you want to join or just view some quilts and hear their story, click on the badge below.
One of the rules is to tell a bit about the quilt and why it is special to you. So here goes.
This is my River of Light quilt. I started it when I still worked at the apple orchard....I wanted to sew sometimes but was too tired to do anything that required thinking. I decided to make a string quilt in the quilt as you go method. I cut the backing and batting foundation over-sized. I drew two diagonal lines with a chalk marker to help me with the placement of the yellow. I did not measure at all when marking the lines...just threw my ruler down and ran the chalk marker along the ruler.
The only real restriction was I wanted the last yellow on each corner/end to be the same one. And a black and white print was to go next to the yellow. I think I cut the strips anywhere from 1 1/4 to 2 inches wide. As I sewed each strip to the previous strip, I would pull the thread up from the bottom and tie it in a knot, trim the ends, then press the strip open.
I just used old fabrics that I didn't especially like for the backing...just to use them up. If I had known I would like the quilt as much as I do, I might have planned the backing a bit better. After all the blocks were done, I made borders by a method similar to making the blocks. Then I made the little sashing strips to connect the blocks.
So this is my first entry for the Blogger's Quilt Festival...I have shown this quilt before but I do really like it....I think it is special to me because I really had not planned on liking it so much.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A turtle here, a turtle there

I did one drive through at the strip pits this evening..there are several little ponds or big puddles of water that are right next to the road. Later in the summer when there is less rain, they dry up...that is why I sometimes refer to them as big puddles.
Right now they are full of life though...I first seen a turtle headed across the road, but it quickly hurried back to the water when I came along.
On down at the next puddle there is this mound in the middle of it...before I got within photographic distance, one turtle slid off into the water. But this one stayed...when I looked through my lens, I quickly seen the other two little ones. If you enlarge this, you can see them better...they are still out of focus though.

Also seen but no chance to photograph were Dickcissels, a pheasant, a bob white, a muskrat, and a deer. One thing I have not seen out there so far this year are the beavers. In previous years, I did not fail to see them any time I was through there. I almost always saw more than I am really wondering what has happened to them. I was really hoping that I would catch a glimpse of one tonight...
Lorelei stayed with us just a little while this afternoon while her mom and dad went to a meeting. She cried so when her mom left, but it only lasted a minute...she was very easily satisfied. Below is a shot her mom sent me last you can see the fun is about to begin!
She really likes to climb...she climbed up in her rocking chair first thing after she got here. But Sarah set her down in it that first time, the rest of the evening she would get in it and set down. I have a clothes basket I use a lot of times turned upside down by my chair and if I have to get up, I set my laptop on it. So, I had set it there before they came...well, after her mom and dad got back we were sitting in here talking and she started climbing up on it and turning around and sitting down. She would sit there with her feet hanging over the edge and just laugh and clap her hands. (We clap our hands and tell her 'good job!' when she accomplishes things. )

While she was here she has this little book and each animal has a spot to feel...she brought it and got in my lap. As we went through it, she would take my finger and have me feel the fur. She is changing so much, sometimes I wish I could just press pause for a little bit.

Another story unfinished.....

When we were going to Bridgeton and Mansfield the other day....the first time...there was this cross at a country intersection, I think in Vigo County. The most I can find is that he was born March 31, 1982 and died August 5, 1997. It just made me wonder what he would have accomplished had he lived...and made me wonder what happened. I cannot imagine being his mom and dad...I don't even like to try to imagine.

I tend to look at the obituaries in the newspapers...mainly the ones from home. When someone has died in their 50's or younger, I can't help but think what a short life. And of course, I think Wow, they are are close to 100 yrs old when I see some one up in their 80's, and occasionally their 90's.

But no matter the age, I often wonder what their story was...everyone has one. I wonder what they did as children, wonder what their schooling was like, what games did they play. And on the obituaries I see up here of people that were born in some other state other than a neighboring state, I wonder what the story is behind them moving here.

I don't mean to be morbid...people and their life just interest me.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Roadkill Cafe or Buzzard Crossing

I spent some time trying to catch up on some of my blog buddies...I had to laugh when I scrolled down in Mary's post....there are so many times when I will be going to post a picture and she will post one so similar.
Most times I go ahead and post mine but sometimes I don't...
The past two or three drives we have went on, I have been trying to see an eagle but all I can see are buzzards. LOTS of buzzards. I have seen them perched on rocks and on logs at Bridgeton and Mansfield and I have never seen that before. So strange.

And then I saw all those perched along the river in Mary's post and realize I haven't seen anything yet. LOL
I had to do a couple things this morn, then I went down to Sarah's...we took Lorelei on her first visit to the library. She was attracted to some trucks and toys they had...and to the other kids. She just loves other little kids. One little girl was so quiet and so well behaved, but Lorelei made friends with her mommy. Another little girl talked to her a bit more.

What was fun was the drive there and back. Lorelei was in high form...she sat in her carseat doing her fake laugh trying to get us to laugh, which we did. It is just so funny to hear her. And she sang a little bit for us...such a sweet little voice.

I was sitting here looking back at some of the little videos of her...and Roger said 'you can almost see her halo.' I was also thinking how blessed she is to have her daddy. I was thinking about how when he walks in the room, her whole face just lights up...then I thought about that is the reaction she has when we she sees us. She sure makes life interesting.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The things you can see on a country drive....

We were headed to Mansfield in a roundabout way when I looked up with surprise and saw this bottle tree...last year I had never heard of them. Then this past March, Carletta of Round the Bend blog posted Carletta, I would like to have one. I wonder if they would make sound in the winds that blow through here. I wonder if Roger wants to make one for me...

Almost finished....

I got this ready to quilt back in April....but I have not worked steady on it for one reason and another. After we got our older daughter moved last week, and I got over being sick, I decided to get busy. I had got about half of it quilted previously, and the past three or four days have really spent time on it. The quilting is done, and I have almost finished the second spool of thread. They each had 500 yards of thread.

If I was just quick at making decisions, I could have had the binding made this afternoon. Instead I didn't even want to think about it cause I know how I agonize over what to use. Maybe I will get it done tomorrow...some people hate doing the binding but I really do enjoy it. I guess I enjoy the whole process of quilting, except for pin basting the quilt sandwich together.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Views from the inside.....

If I have said it once I have probably said it a hundred times...that I would love to be able to view the inside of this barn. Friday that opportunity arose.
When we passed it on our way to Mansfield from Bridgeton, a lady was there working on a flowerbed at the end of the barn. We ask for permission to see inside and she said to go right ahead.
It did not belong to her, but she had known the owner all her life...she lived close to it and said they always keep an eye on it.
She did know that it was over 100 yrs old and had been a horse barn.

I am so thankful to her for letting us look around...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Let's go for a bike ride!

I took this picture at the same place I took this picture of that real old you can see if you enlarge this photo there is lots of old stuff at this place. But this bicycle is in a class by itself. I would not want to ride it...if you had a wreck and it fell on top of you, you would not soon forget.

But it makes me think of my brother, Robert. No, he never built anything like this but if he had wanted to he could have. When we were young, he was not one of those brothers that wanted his little sister to have to stay at home. He never minded if I tagged along with him and his friends; we would go to the dump and shoot bottles, light bulbs etc with BB guns, or we would head to the woods to find a grapevine swing. I know we did other things when his friends came but these are the highlights for me.

When it was just us, he was always busy with something. One summer we decided to build a tree house up in the thicket. The thicket was this patch of cedar and pine trees just across the road from our house. If you will enlarge the google image below, the thicket is within the the edge of the circle 'x' marks where our home was. Within the circle is an 'x' that marks the general area of where our treehouse was.
I know we got the wood from home...I don't know if mom and dad knew we were using it. But they had to because we had to pass right by the house with it. Seems like I remember being warned not to lose the hammer. Our tree house was built between 3 or 4 trees...I cannot remember if it was more or less a rectangle or if it was a triangle...but 2 x 4s were nailed to the trees. Plank flooring was laid on the 2 x 4s...and there was an area that had a second level....we more or less had a tree platform. I don't remember actually doing much with it after it was build, the joy was in the building.

Another summer we built a playhouse...there close to home and the barn. Neal was laughing about it the other day...about how no room was level. I agreed that nothing was level, but I still think it was something that we built it with nothing more than a saw and a hammer and nails. And whatever else we could scavenge.

It ended up with three rooms and had windows. One room did not have any windows, and where the other windows came from I do not know. I can't even remember what they actually looked like, just remember the light coming through them. You could stand up in the rooms. We got a seat from some old car and that was our couch.

When Robert started driving, at that time it seemed to me he was always working on cars. And always wanting me to help by holding something and that was the last thing I wanted to do...I can remember saying, "ah, do I have to?" One time he switched out the transmission on a car. I can remember having the feeling that his cars would just fly if he wanted....

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Time slipping away

It feels like forever since I blogged any, when in fact it just now verging on a week. My older daughter's belongings are now here, she is now in Georgia and has done started her training. And I have been sick. Again. I am not going into details, but will just say there were a couple days that I was pretty miserable. I am pretty much back to normal, and I think a big part of that is due to our activities yesterday.

After breakfast, sometime up in the morn we headed out with camera and fishing equipment. We wanted to see Lorelei since we had not seen her since Tuesday so headed to Terre Haute first. We had not been there but a few minutes till she left and went in the other room, and here she came back dragging her jacket behind her! Roger was sitting in the floor, so she gave it to him and stuck her arm out for him to put it on.

He tried to distract her, but she was not having it. So, we put her jacket on and took her outside thinking that she just wanted to be outside...she went to our Rav4. We did distract her from that...not sure how she would have done had we brought her home. And I still was not totally back to normal, so didn't know how well I would keep up with her. But we really think she wanted us to bring her here. She is such a bright little girl!

We stayed and visited an hour or two, and headed out for a drive...taking roads we had never taken before with the ultimate destination nearby Parke County. We first stopped at Bridgeton to fish below the dam...I only caught a couple there and Roger not many more than that.

We left there and headed to Mansfield, which is just a few minutes away. The picture above is of the dam...and that is where I really began to feel like myself again. We each caught fish--so many we didn't attempt to keep count. It was a catch and release day for us...neither one of us felt like cleaning fish at the end of the day.

But there is just something about fishing that does me a world of good. I think it is because I focus on fishing only, on what lure to try next, or where I want to cast. I can have the worst headache in the world and if I can go fishing for an hour or two it will be gone. I came home yesterday feeling like a new woman...well, almost new! I was plenty tired, but at least I had been doing something.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Otti Doddi

Otti Doddi=Otto in Lorelei speak. I am not quite sure when she switched to calling him Otti Doddi, because she used to say Otto. But now if you ask her if she has a dog, she says "Otti Doddi!" Anyway, here are a couple of videos Sarah just sent me. Enjoy!

As you can probably tell, she loves him and he loves her. When they are playing with sticks, he takes them so gently from her.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Irises on Mother's Day

I wasn't going to post anything, then I thought I would take a minute and post these flowers
and wish everyone a Happy Mother's Day.
I hope everyone has a wonderful day today and get to spend it with your loved ones.
In addition to the flowers, I wanted to take a moment of your time and have you go and read this article from The Off Season. I ran across it a while back and meant to share it then but never got around to I am glad I didn't. It is a good story for a special day....Enjoy! I am proud that it happened a few miles up the road though I don't know any of the people personally.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Tools of my craft....

Most people that know me, knows I like quilts. I like to look at quilts, I like to watch shows about quilting, and I even manage to make a few quilts as I go along. I have liked quilts as long as I can remember...I remember playing in my moms quilt pieces before I even started school. If she watched TV, a lot of the time she pieced quilts while she watched.
Now we have so many more tools....we have the the rulers such as those pictures above on my cutting mats. They are acrylic and probably at least an eighth inch thick. Using those with the rotary cutter pictured with the scissors below makes quick work of what used to would have been a time consuming job. I have various sizes of mats, rulers, and rotary cutters. Pictured below is the 60mm rotary cutter. With it I will sometimes cut six layers of fabrics at the same time.
I just had to throw in a few of the empty spools...I wish I had all the ones I have ever emptied...and really, really wish I had a lot of the old wooden spools.
The above is the drawer to the right of my sewing machine...yes, we do use gloves in quilting. My fingers just tend to slip on the fabric when free-motion quilting, but if I put on gloves with rubberized tips, the fabric does not slip at all. That little plastic box is safety pins that I remove as I quilt....and there is the painter's tape...sometimes I use it to help me get an accurate quarter-inch seam.
And on the left side this is one of the drawers...just some of my thread. I don't have a lot more than this, but there are quilters that really have thread stashes also. Most of this pictured here is Essential thread from Connecting Threads....a place that sells quilting supplies. It is their own brand and is cheaper than a lot of other threads. I have heard a few people complain that it is the same as another brand of thread, but I totally disagree with them. I have been sewing with the brand they swear it is, and had to switch to this because the other brand keeps shredding and breaking.
And this is my much loved Juki 98Q! I had a Pfaff which I let Sarah take home, and I have a Husqvarna Viking machine and I love them both, but for quilting give me this straight stitch only machine. I seen one at a quilt show a few years ago, but didn't think much about it. I did not sew on it at all. There came a time when I wanted to machine quilt a baby quilt.

I actually did machine quilt two or three baby quilts, one full-sized quilt and also did a couple of the rag quilts...each time swearing I would never attempt it again. yet I always went back and tried. Some people can do fine on a regular sewing machine...but the area to the right side of the needle is not very wide and it is really a job to manage all the bulk of a quilt under it.

I am not sure what got me started looking at the Juki sewing has almost double the room to the right of the needle. I kept looking but there was no place near to test-drive one. Then I joined a Juki group on yahoo and read and read and read all the posts about them. Though there were troubles of course, but 99% of the time it was operator error. I decided to take the plunge, and bought one without ever sewing on it. I got a real good deal from a dealer on eBay....and it has made all the difference.

I sound like I one of their dealers, but I am not. I am just one happy customer. A few people have troubles and say theirs won't sew this or that thread, but so far mine is happy with any thread, except the old standby of JP Coats. And I can do regular sewing with it...just not free-motion quilting. I have enough fabric to keep me busy the rest of my life, if things ever settle down till I can concentrate on quilting.

Tomorrow is the big day...we move my older daughter's stuff home. I spent the day with her yesterday and brought home a load of stuff. She will have a couple days here before she heads to Georgia for her training. So my blogging will for sure be just a bit here and there for the next few days. I may get pictures loaded for my other blog...but this one will probably fall by the wayside for a bit.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

After a sprinkle....

I took these the other day after a light rain...I couldn't resist another of the above new iris...
The other two I have posted every spring before...I am always so glad to see them blooming each year. I will probably take pictures ever year for the rest of my life, or for the rest of the time I am able.
To me the above is the queen of the iris that I have...its petals make me think of a frilly dress.
Lorelei was here today...she was sooo glad to see us. It is hard to explain how she changes...I see it so plainly yet it is so subtle. The one constant that does not change is her love of laughter. Today when I had her in her high chair, I discovered something new to make her laugh. I would been down till my eyes were about 8 or 10 inches from her eyes...I would close my eyes for a few seconds, then open them suddenly and make them big. She thought that was so funny.

She always goes and wants to watch videos of herself on You tube, then that leads to a few others. She will watch two or three, then be done. Then later, she will run in there to the chair and beat on it and look back at me...that is her signal that she wants to see more. We always watch a few sesame street videos...and then just this and that. Almost always just a very few minutes at a time.

I thought late this evening to look up Olivia's sight...she actually sat in my lap and watched a couple episodes...and she laughs at the appropriate times. It is amazing to me that she will set that long. I think Olivia is the only one that will hold her attention that long.

Earlier she had sat in my lap and looked at books for quite a while...and then right before Sarah picked her up, she had sat in the swing for probably 15 or 20 minutes. I guess that is one of the things that might now reveal much to others, but to us it is a big change for her to be still that long. When she is playing with her toys, she is also starting to pick play with toys longer, rather than always going from one thing to another. She still does go from one thing to another, but there are times she settles on one thing and plays quite a while.

Well, that is the Lorelei report for right now...if I think of more I will add it later or in the comments.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Two for one....

First this little video of Lorelei right after she woke up from her nap this afternoon....have your sound up.

And then this picture:
I would love to have been able to get a photo of this old tractor without all the background clutter...but no matter where I stood to take a picture something else crept into the frame.

Sort of makes me think of my house....everybody says they have clutter, but can it be this bad. I kid you not, there was this gym bag type of bag that was given to Roger at work...not just to him but to all the supervisors or to everyone in general. What I am trying to say is it was not a special gift to him. It was of such poor design that it has sat here for at least 3 or 4 years unused. I have moved it from one spot to another numerous times. I came across it again today and that was it...I took it out, told Roger it was either going in his section of the basement, the garage or the garbage, and I didn't care which.

I really have no idea what the bag was supposed to be used was tall...with a round zippered section on the bottom...and a drawstring type of top closing. He looked at it and said put it in the garage...he plans to remove the nylon straps and any type of closures and then pitch it in the garbage.

I have a bag of purses setting to take to Good Will, some of them hardly used, but none of them less than two years old, and some much much older than that. I threw away a couple of small thermoses that I used to use for work. I quit work in the fall of 2005 and have not needed one since, so I got rid of them. (I do still have my half gallon one.) Other things found their way to the trash from that particular closet.

I also got into my 'baking section' of the has my cake pans, pie pans, flour, sugar, mixer...etc. And up until today it had two heavy wooden chopping blocks. I did use them at one time, but they are not really considered as sanitary as the plastic ones. I have been using plastic ones for years and I pitched the chopping blocks. Roger helped me carry them out to the trash can in the garage, and he started to dig out something I had thrown away...I said 'don't dare pull out something I have finally found the nerve to throw away.'

Lorelei is coming no more clearing of the clutter.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Looking at the above photo, and knowing that I like to quilt and sew, one would probably think this was a post about my hobby. But as you look farther down, one sees an entirely different story. My husband likes to fly fish, but I think even more than all the fishing and hunting, he likes creating things.
He used to make spinner baits for bass fishing, and even back when he did that, he would take little bits of black foam and cut and shape it...and use bits of the living rubber to make legs and would make little spiders to fly fish with. Keep in mind when I am talking about fly fishing, I am not meaning for trout...I am talking about large-mouth and small-mouth bass, bluegill, commonly found around here.
Last summer he got into making flies big time...every where we went, even to fabric shops, he managed to find things he could use such as some of the thread. Department stores were goldmines. In the make-up department he found nail polish to paint heads and eyes, in the craft department he found beads to use for eyes..and other things I don't remember now.

Notice the spool holders above and below...the blue one on the end and the middle one with the spool of green thread...I think those were bought. But look at the others--he made them using things he already had.
And just look at the flies below...this is just a small sample of the flies he tied...some of these I think he came up with on his on...
Now we have just got to take the time and go fishing...seems like the older we get the less time we spend fishing.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

How quickly we forget

I was looking for something to post tonight and came across this...I feel chilled just looking at it. I at least feel sure I remember being cold while taking the photograph.

That is the thing about photographs...they are remembrances of things past...of things we have seen. Things that have brought feelings rushing to the forefront, that makes us want to capture a moment in time.

I feel compelled to take photographs. When I was young, I always had my camera with me....though at that time I did not have the money to take near all the photographs I wanted. Then through the years of raising our girls, working, and just life in general my cameras fell by the wayside. I did take a lot of photographs of them when they were young, and a few when we would go to Tennessee. But the camera was no longer my constant companion.

The past year or two the camera has regained its place...I take either either one or both of them with me almost every where we go. If I leave home without, most times I regret it. I see things that are just so beautiful, I want to capture that moment in time. Sometimes looking at things with the camera makes me see stuff I would not have noticed otherwise.

Also, I get so much enjoyment from looking at old, old photographs of times past, it makes me want to start recording things as they are now to leave for future generations. There is nothing I like better than finding digital libraries on line....specially when they are about Tennessee.