Sunday, December 26, 2010

White Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Actually today is Boxing Day....but it did begin to snow last night! We had a dusting a few days ago and that was exciting enough.

This however, is pretty darned amazing! On the news they are saying the last Christmas snow in our area was in 1947. And we don't even own a shovel! I suppose that's a good thing. If we had one I'd feel obliged to go outside and use it. :-)

Sadly though, the snow means no Christmas visiting. The Tramp and I had a very quiet day and are anticipating a quieter week than planned. I've got lots of sewing to do so I shouldn't complain.

The Tramp was served his Christmas bacon and egg breakfast.

We enjoyed opening our presents.
And Maisy took charge of all the new dog toys.
On Christmas Eve we went outside to help our neighbors decorate the neighborhood with luminaries. We placed them on both sides of the road all around the pond and along the access road to our subdivision. The kids (large and small) had the best time setting them out and lighting them. They lasted well into the night.

Our house is just to the right of the setting sun.
It got better and better as it got darker and all of the neighborhood Christmas lights came on. Since there was ice on the pond we didn't get the crystal clear reflection of all the lights, but it was gorgeous anyway.
This was the view from our front porch. It was tempting to keep running to the windows all evening to see if the lights were still there!
And just before Christmas, the latest project I finished here was to finally paint the TV armoire. We bought it on Craigslist and didn't realize until we brought it home that it reeked terribly of cigarette smoke. I couldn't go near it! So we figured we could solve the problem by painting it. It was mostly successful.
Not my best paint job. I was very tired from the oral surgery and pretty spaced out on Percocet. But since I couldn't go out, it made sense to find something useful to do that didn't require sharp things like needles, scissors and rotary cutters. :-)
And it looks just fine now it's in place.

Monday, December 13, 2010


I was kind of getting into the swing of things...blogging wise....then the tooth cracked. Last Monday evening. The week of agony is finally over, as of this morning said tooth is gone. 'Nuff said.

I did however, manage to get this little cutie made for my quilting bee Christmas grab bag gift. I'm glad to say she was well received. She is a PretTea Mouse Pin Keep from Happy Heart Patterns and was great fun to make. The pattern is well written.

Every day I still marvel that we live On The Pond. I never imagined glancing out my window and seeing a Great Blue Heron landing in my front yard! This time it didn't stay long as it was closely watching the parent and child walking around the pond towards it. Sometimes when I drive by it flies up into a tree. It's always surprising to see such a tall bird perching on a branch. :-)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Just so there is a mention of sewing today, the treadle machine on the left very recently came to live at our House on The Pond. It is a Singer and is one of the model 15s. I just haven't figured out which one. :-)

Not that I'm complaining, but this living with a parrot is very....interesting. I'm determined to make him comfortable and happy, well fed and well trained. To make him comfortable, he now has a new cage! We bought it on Craigslist from a pleasant young man who was moving and had no space for it. Yesterday (after I took this picture) we took the legs off the cage and it's now sitting on top of the dog crate. A much better use of space!

In this photo he's working his way through some Cheerios on a string and the crumbs are landing like snow on Ivy's back. :-) Parrots are messy but happily the dogs take care of most of what falls on the floor!

Feeding Charlie has been a challenge. He's pretty picky and I haven't got him on a full pellet diet yet. A complete seed diet is very bad for caged birds so I'm working through all the healthy alternatives. I've been baking pellets into birdy cookies and birdy bread in the form of corn muffins and I'm trying hard to get him to eat his fruits and veggies. It's about as easy as getting green stuff into The Tramp. Sigh. Yesterday I was browsing for recipes again and I discovered Parrot Nation and became very interested how she feeds her birds. So today I decided to embrace her methods and make what she calls Teenie Weenie Beanies. Not so teenie. Let me show you.

Today I went to three markets for ingredients. Good grief!

Patricia shows how to make a huge batch of the stuff and she does the final mixing in her bathtub! I wasn't so sure I wanted to do that so I scouted around the house for an alternative and found an empty plastic bin. Of course I had to take it up to the bathtub to get it nice and clean. :-p

I finally got the prep done and was at the mixing stage after dinner. I made a grand mess of the kitchen. Some went in fresh and some had to be cooked. My food processor earned it's keep!

I think this is a complete list of everything that went into the bin. Flax seed, millet, sesame seed, broccoli slaw, yellow squash, zucchini, red kuri squash, carrot, sweet potato, dandelion greens, cilantro, parsley, barley, red cabbage, okra, green beans, corn, quinoa, dried corn (boiled popcorn), parsnip, turnip, whole wheat pasta, 15 bean mix, lentils, garlic, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, orange bell pepper, poblano pepper, ginger root, oatmeal and brown rice. Phew!

After the bin is full (or all the pots, pans, packages and bowls spread all over the kitchen are empty) you roll up your sleeves and dive in and mix it. It actually smells really really good.

The last part is spooning it into plastic bags for the freezer. I filled almost 200 of the suckers. Urg! We lugged the bin into the living room in front of the TV and I set to work. After a while my fingers hurt from zipping the bags and I had to ask The Tramp to come down and help me finish. (love you honey)

The small bags filled six gallon freezer bags and at one a day it's going to last us a long time. Thank goodness!

It looks as good as it smells. So colorful. And it's tasty too! Just needs a little salt for my taste. The dogs were underfoot during the whole cooking process. I make stew for them so I suppose they thought they were going to get something when I was done. The Tramp gave each of them a bit in their dinner bowl and they loved it! Go figure.

The Tramp thinks I'm nuts. He also knows I'm not a particularly willing cook. So let's hope Charlie really likes it!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Leaves, leaves ....and MORE leaves!

Today was another glorious fall day On The Pond. Since all the leaves are down except for the oaks, we celebrated with rake and leaf blower....and by way of a mid-day break, a trip to Walmart. I suppose it's because of Thanksgiving holiday travel, but in our short walk through the Walmart parking lot we saw quite a variety of license plates. North Carolina of course, but also South Carolina, several from California, Alabama, New York, Pennsylvania, and even Alaska! Since the parking lot was full, I'll bet there were many more vehicles with interesting tales to tell....though maybe not as interesting as a driving to and from Alaska. My goodness!

Our street is a private road, one lane and narrow. And since our property is in one of the "corners" of the oval we have almost no frontage. Where to put all the danged leaves can be a dilemma...especially as we still want to receive mail. :-) We ended up having to pile some on the pond side of the road though I kind of hate to do that. These are the initial four piles. We made them quite a bit larger this afternoon.

But the front yard looks much neater now! I took this before The Tramp blew the driveway clean of leftover leaves and pine needles. Tomorrow we tackle the sides and back. Egads!

On a quilty note, yesterday some of us visited a local quilt shop that's closing. Sad, but I understand....I guess. Bad me, with a cabinet full of UFOs, couldn't resist a prettily put together kit. I took out the fabrics to stroke them today. Maybe I can do something with them tomorrow. IF, I survive the rake and leaf blower.......

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wow. It's hard to come back after a blogging hiatus. Enough said about that.

Today is a rather quiet day after Thanksgiving. We had a lovely dinner with Mom and Dad. White tablecloth. Fine china. Leg of lamb. Mint sauce. Sooo good.

The Sandbox is settled in it's new location on the pond. I took this photo last week at sunset. Glorious.

Autumn in general has seemed so much more colorful this year. I took this photo with my iPhone in a moving car. You just can't go wrong. Everywhere you turn there is another photo opportunity. :-)

Today is a dull day but outside my window was an all-over orange glow. I'm taking photos through screens so it's kind of hard to reproduce the effect but here is my view.

The dogs are adjusting. Maisy makes herself comfortable where ever she is. :-)

Ngaire is ever the lady, and Ivy suffers in silence....mostly. Right now she is clawing at my arm so I think I better go let them out. :-)

Our new addition to the family is Charlie. He's a Quaker Parrot and is doing his level best to make our lives more interesting.

Ok... Time to let the dogs out and then maybe some sewing!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ace in the Hole

It's done! And it's a slam dunk if I do say so myself. I'm so pleased. The Tramp helped me down off the ledge a few times, gave excellent design suggestions, rearranged my fabrics, and pulled out some poor choices. Love you honey! :-)

Next job is to make sure it gets signed by the guests at Middle Daughter's wedding. After which we move house. When that dust settles I will start stressing over how to quilt it and bind it.

Our little bit of "fun" this weekend was figuring out how Maisy the Innocent, Maisy the Unpredictible, Maisy the Weird, was ending up outside the fence. She digs, but only for voles and toads and smelly things. With her short legs she certainly isn't a jumper or a climber. How the heck? We walked the inside of the fence and didn't see anything. When she disappeared again later in the day we put the dogs back out in the yard and walked the outside of the fence to see what would happen. The Tramp found the broken spot in the fence when she stuck her nose through the hole! We just didn't see it earlier in the day. Sigh....if I can just keep her corralled until the move.....

Just call me Trouble.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Purple Rain

Rain? HA! I wish! It's HOT and HUMID. Sigh. I'm so ready for chilly weather. :-) We had an early Spring so I can only hope that means an early Autumn. We'll be moving house all through September so keep your fingers crossed for me.

The purple blocks are done! :-D Next step is to trim the excess backing fabric from the blocks and get them sewn together.
Hmmmm.... I may cheat and work on something else for one evening. Or else I could pack some more boxes. Not! :-)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Blue Moon?

No visible moon tonight...but the stars seem to be in alignment for us these days. :-)

The blue blocks are finished! Yay! The green was such a struggle but now I don't see what my issue was. The blues were easier but I see fabrics in there I don't like. I think I need to not look at it for a day or so and look again with fresh eyes. :-) Border fabrics are hanging to the side. They are growing on me too.

Speaking of blue..... Our new house is blue! And I love the red front door. :-) Only a couple more weeks 'til closing!

And even better...check out the view from the front windows. We will own a slice of that pond.

Sigh. Nice!