Thursday, April 7, 2016

Long and stretchy

Our lawnmower died and the new one finally arrived yesterday.  When your lawn looks as ratty as ours does this is an exciting moment!

The Viking was in rare form today.  You never know what's going to come out of his mouth.  He stood there for a while considering the blocks on my design wall, then announced critically, "Nini, that isn't very right."  Geez.  They start young!

We did a bit of shopping with Nanny, then joined Nanny and Papa for lunch.  You might notice he is carrying a plastic boat.  Earlier this morning all The Viking talked about was going to the beach.  These days most of his questions include the word "why," or the statement, "no it isn't."  My trying to be the voice of reason cuts no ice with him.  Here is a much edited version of our conversation.  :-)

"I want to go to the beach!"
"We can't go while it's so dark and rainy."
"Why? I have to go to the beach!"
"It's too cold today."
"No it isn't.  I like to be cold."
"We have to wait for summer."
"Why?  It is summer."
"It's still spring sweetie."
"No it isn't."
"We have to wait for hot weather."
"Why?  I don't want to." 
"Sorry baby, we're not going to the beach today."
(through gritted teeth) "It's not warm enough."
"But I need my boat!"
(oh good grief!) "It's put away in the big bag with the sand toys, in the garage."
"No it isn't.  I want it."
"Well how do you ask?"
"Please.  I need it!"
"Ok.  I'll see if I can find where Grumpy put it."

Lucky me, the boat was within my reach.  He was so delighted he ran up to everyone we passed in the retirement community to show it to them, telling several, "Nini found it. It was easy!"  Of course he ate lunch with the boat too.  This is the look I got when I asked if I could take a picture of his gorgeous blue eyes.  :-)

We sat down by the pond for a little while this afternoon as it turned into a beautiful day.  Sun, pretty clouds, and a lovely breeze with a few strong gusts.  A kingfisher chattered and dived.  The koi were milling around.  Turtles bobbed up to look at us.  Some crows squabbled back and forth.  The great blue heron fished.  Mother Goose sat on her nest nearby and Father Goose swam over to watch us closely.  One of the larger turtles came up to see if we had any handouts.

And The Viking observed, "The wind is long and stretchy today."  Indeed it was!

No sewing to show as the immediate projects are gifts.

Monday, April 4, 2016


It was so gorgeous today, The Viking, Dad and I went to visit the WRAL Azalea Gardens.  Wow.  Just wow.  Always wow.

What a view for employees of the station.  (the gardens are to the left)

The Viking used his binoculars, backwards, as a camera.  Complete with sound effects.  :-)

"I take a picture of this leaf!"

It's hard to capture the gloriousness in a photo.

Dad treated us to lunch at Barry's.  Yum.  The firefighter memorabilia covering the walls and filling every nook and cranny fascinates The Viking.  Today several lunch tables were taken up by trainee firefighters and their instructor.  

After lunch was porch time.

On the sewing front, I worked on another UFO.  The rabbits are a bit fiddly, but I finished up three and there is one left to go.  So much for finishing before Easter.....three years ago!

Piglet made herself comfortable too.  :-)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Pollen, Playtime, Piglet, Preciousness, and Pieces

Yesterday I decided it was high time to tackle the pollen on the back porch with the vacuum.  It's truly amazing!  It didn't look too bad this morning so maybe the worst is over now.  We can only hope.

The Viking had a sleep-over at our house last night.  He was very excited about it and we had fun together.  While waiting for our dinner to come out of the oven we danced to the music in our dining room chairs.

A large part of his excitement was the opportunity to play with a different set of bath toys.  He did his best to convince me that he was stinky and needed a bath "right now!"  All evening.  :-)

This morning we danced in our chairs at breakfast.  This song was "Wipeout" and he energetically played the piano and the the same time.  :-)  (note the precious bath toy that slept with him all night and came to breakfast too)

And he was delighted to be given charge of walking Piglet.  :-)

If you click on the next photo to enlarge it, you will see Father Goose on the side of the road.  Mother Goose is on her nest two trees beyond him.  I carried Piglet past the geese on our first two rounds of the pond with no problem.  The third time I let her walk.  Father Goose was not happy at all and he let us know it!  I had to grab Piglet and The Viking and run up into a neighbor's yard.  Now I know why my neighbor carries a big stick when she's out with her dog!


Stardust looks so grown up with her new haircut.

And I can't believe how much these three little Kiwis have grown.  I'm so grateful we can talk to them often on Skype.

Now I'm concentrating on catching up with the 365 Challenge quilt so I slapped the blocks done so far up on the design wall.  I have almost 20 blocks cut out and ready for sewing this week.  Four of them are the borders around the center block.  I can't wait to see how it will look.  :-)

Friday, April 1, 2016


It's been spring since January, judging from the very confused flowering shrubs and trees.  But spring's in full swing now.....along with the pollen.  (Sigh.)

Mother Goose is on her nest not far from the bottom of our driveway.  The bluebird box has eggs too.

Shorts are again in fashion.

Everything is ablaze with color.  Tulips, azaleas, dogwoods, wisteria and more.  Every day the view is a bit greener too.  :-)

 Everyone is enjoying it.....from three to ninety-three!

I've been sewing too.  The Sailor Son wanted a flannel lap autumn colors.  He chose some flannel shirts at thrift shops and apparently this is his vision of autumn colors.  I bought yellow, orange, red and brown flannel for the center and back layers which adds a bit more color.  Once I got the shirts cut up into 6.5" squares I realized I had plenty to make slightly smaller versions to surprise Five and Batman as well.  Easy to sew, but boy oh boy, all that snipping wore me out.  Then washing them!  My washer and dryer may never recover.  The LINT!  Holy cow.

I decided to do a bit of garment sewing.  (it's been a long time!)  Three new pairs of jeans.  Nice pattern, but I'm glad I took various reviews into consideration, measured myself carefully (YIKES!) and altered the pattern to fit someone my size and age.  ;-)  I'm very pleased with the end result.

My woolen sheep finally has a blanket.  Now I have to make the other eleven.

I love this cute binding kit.  This will go into a gift exchange at my bee retreat.  I really want to make another for myself!

And I made my first biscornu pin cushion.  :-D

I've been recovering from surgery so have been spending lots of time doing hand stitching in my comfortable recliner.  Piglet insists on sharing the chair with me and the other day The Viking made her a "picture blanket."  :-)

The other hand sewing has been this Cindy Blackberg design.  I started the embroidery in a workshop with her and then put it away as a UFO.  I dragged it out of the closet a couple of weeks ago, finished the embroidery, cut out and hand pieced the flowers and appliqued them to the top.  Now it's sashed and bordered I'm so pleased with how it came out!  What was I waiting for??

"Ahhhhhh.....", says Piglet.  "I've finally got the chair all to myself!"