Monday, July 29, 2013


The Tramp and I had a productive chat today about setting some house rules for ourselves.   For instance, taking a walk or going to the gym/swimming everyday is on the list.  I'm also breaking one of the rules already by writing a weblog after 9pm.  :-P  Oh well.  It's a goal at least.

So.  We did go for a walk the other day.  It was a lovely evening, one of the few without rainstorms.

Everything is so GREEN!

Even this turtle is looking very green and "mossy."

We walked the long way "around the block" and stopped in Barnes & Noble for a quick browse.

And then walked home on the brand new sidewalks!  A great improvement, from our point of view.

Charlie has been worrying us for a few days.  He looks ok here.  But if he turned around you'd see that the colored feathers that are supposed to be on his back....

are here.  On the bottom of his cage.  This is just a few of them.

Not being sure why he was acting so weird and uncomfortable, we emptied his cage and took it outdoors for a good scrub down and spray with the hose.

Then I either threw out or washed all the bird stuff that was in his cage or stored in bins so we could rotate toys or make new ones.  I still have to give his play stand the same treatment.  He does seem much happier as of today so I haven't rushed him off to the vet....yet.  We're still reeling from the last round of vet bills when the dogs had tape worm.  (Ugh!  Yuck!  Gross!  Ewwwwwww!)  I'll be watching him closely though!

Also on the weekend we drove down to check on The Other House.  It looks like it's going to be occupied soon, but I'm not going to jinx anything by saying any more.  The neighbors are still watching over it for us so we stopped in for a chat and to say thank you again.  They have a splendid garden and took us out to see the big fat caterpillars on the fennel plants and all the new chrysalises hanging on the nearby canna lilies.

I smoothed out some of the stresses of the past week with a box of the newly resurrected Hostess Cup Cakes.  A blast from the past which I doubt I'll indulge in again.....but it was fun.

I finished another t-shirt quilt top.

And have moved on to another UFO on my challenge list.  I hung the quilt up there on the design wall for inspiration while I cut up the scraps that remain from cutting down all the 6" half square triangles swapped by my bee last year.  Everything in that quilt top had to be cut down!  Not the quick methods in Bonnie Hunter's instructions!

I'm working on a piano key border....sort of.

It's going to be kind of weird but at least it'll be interesting.  :-)

Announcing:  the birth of Wee Willie Wyvern.  Why Willie?  I have no idea.  :-P

After I got him together I messed around adding a few crystals here and there.

I don't know why he has a face on his tail, but then again, why not?

Love the blue talons.

All in all he came out pretty well.  I see what I'd change if I did it again.  Mostly to do with fabric choices.  But not any time soon.  This UFO is crossed off my list and now on to the next one!  :-)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Miscellaneous glories

It continues to rain just about every day.  I was beginning to wonder if my morning glories would ever bloom.  The plants themselves are going to take over the world soon, reaching out to grab at anything that get too close!  It could be too much rain and not enough sun this summer.'s because I planted them where they don't get morning sun.  Duh.  Anyway, I was surprised and pleased to spot some blooms yesterday.  Yay!

Glory be!  The massive double-sided Virginia Tech quilt is done.  97 shirts!  Both tops folded up in the bag were hugely heavy.  I can't imagine how many pounds it is once it has batting in it!  I'll have to remember to ask.  If they have to ship it they'll know.  The colors are very striking.  That orange is pretty glorious.

Charlie glories in his morning shower.  At least I think he does.  He certainly doesn't like to be left out of whatever is going on.  

Maisy, who HATES showers, worries and fusses outside the shower door whenever Charlie is in there.  If we peek out the door and ask her if she wants a shower too she reverses quickly out of the room.  It's hysterical.  Ivy, our Catholic dog (oh the guilt!), when she hears the word shower will slink into the bathroom practically on her belly, giving herself over to the inevitable.  Also hysterical.  Ngaire keeps a prudent distance from the whole thing.  Out of sight out of mind I suppose.  Of course as soon as we're not looking someone sniffs around the wet shower stall and leaves muddy footprints everywhere.  (Good thing I don't worry too much about keeping the tile gloriously white.)

I've pretty much finished the painting on the wyvern.  I planned to take photos today during daylight but never got around to it.  The tail and the face are done and I think all that's left to do is assemble all the pieces.  Cool!  I hope it will be a glorious success.  

Sunday, July 21, 2013


This morning I read an article in the Houzz weekly email about interesting items people find in their walls/ceilings/houses during renovations.  Both the article and the many comments were a hoot.  Unfortunately (or fortunately!) we haven't ever found anything more exciting than bad wiring in our walls.  The stories included finds from guns to love letters, newspapers, cash, liquor bottles, risque drawings, rat droppings and everything in between.  

But the one that had me laughing out loud was the photo of the head and arms of a large clown doll someone pulled out of a wall.  Pretty creepy if clowns are nightmare inducing for you!  It was kind of Bozo-esque but it wasn't Bozo.  

Do you remember watching Bozo?  Were you scared of clowns?  Apparently lots of people were/are.  I don't believe I ever was and I think I know one reason why.  Dad recently scanned all his slides.  So I looked through them to find these Christmas photos from 1957 (I think).  Yep.  That's a clown.  We won't mention the scary blue walls and green ceiling.  Yikes!  (it was a rental)

He was a pretty bizarre looking clown too.  I do remember his crackly red hat!  It was crackly, wasn't it Mom?

Now I look more closely there are several "interesting" characters here.  (and I see the pictures are backwards!)  The orange-faced roly poly clown, a rubber Minnie Mouse, I guess that's Pinocchio, a blue kitten and a strange colorless doll house family.  :-)

And what's up with the creepy Santa!  LOL  I remember most of these things fondly, but I really have to ask Mom about that Santa.

The Tramp and I are still on the road to recovery.  That didn't stop us from a real trip out on the road on Saturday.  Sometime last year we had a grand rearrangement of my sewing and craft stuff so I would have a place to mess with paints and clay that was away from sewing machines and fabrics.  In the Sandbox Annex I had a mirror on my table as it's nice to work on glass.  And it's tempered glass too, so it was a nice cheap alternative to going to a glass shop for the real thing.  It turned out to be not so nice though.  Because it reflects, all the lights in the room would dazzle my eyes.  I couldn't point my Ott light at my work so I could see what I was doing.  Frustrating.

What to do, what to do?  A quick look online seemed to show that a tempered glass top for my table would be quite pricey.  Darn.  Ok.  What about removing the paint and silvering from the back of the mirror?  This turns out to be possible, though messy and means nasty chemicals.  Double darn.  Now wait a minute!  People sell glass topped things all the time on Craigslist.  So after a flurry of searching we found a glass topped desk, for a price that just couldn't be beat!  A quick phone call to the seller and we were off in the car to Chapel Hill.  Hmmmmm.  Sounds like a replay of last week.  Even down to the weather.

In between the nice sunny bits it rained.  In the sun...

and without the sun.

And back to dry again.

So after a bunch of shifting things, here we are!  A comfortable place to have fun.  :-)

Dad built this cabinet and it's just right for my bottles of paint.

I figured out I've been dragging this lamp from office to office and house to house for at least 23 years! The brass base looked like it too.  So this afternoon I spray painted it black.  Spray paint is still my nemesis, but I think it looks just fine.

And even though the light reflects in the glass table top it isn't blinding me and that was the whole point  of the exercise.  So, Happy Dance!

While I fussed and sorted and moved things in the Annex a short lived but strong storm passed over.  The blue dot that is us, is right under the dark red stormy spot in the center.  Rain and thunder and wind.  And then it was gone.

More habitat for the mosquitoes though.  Sigh.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Feeling better

This time around The Tramp was well and I was sick.  However now he's sick too, poor baby.  I've spent most of this week sleeping, in fact now I think about it, today is the first day I haven't had a long nap!  I must be feeling better.  Yay!

Last week, while we were still feeling good we had a wonderful evening at Koka Booth Amphitheater. We arrived early to be among the first in line for places on the lawn.  Look!  I even got The Tramp to smile for the camera.  :-D

It wasn't overly hot and sticky, and the rain held off.  A minor miracle this summer.

Harry Connick!  As ever, a fabulous performance.

In the last post I said we'd gone off to buy something we found on Craigslist.  It was this table for the kitchen.  We had put in a "breakfast bar" which we never sat at, so we yanked it out and searched for a small table.  Much better!

The dogs are shedding heavily again.  Sigh.  Under Ngaire, on the "favorite stair," it's black.  Sigh.  All the time.  SIGH.

So I gathered the hairy ones together for a brushing session in the kitchen.  There are too many mosquitoes to do it outside!  But look, I didn't get very much.  Weird.  How can that be when I have to vacuum up black tufts every day??

The Laughing Dog let me give her a mohawk.  :-D

And then she went to settle down on the bird poop catcher paper and let Charlie do his thing on her.  They are so funny.

On the rainy weekend, The Sailor Son came for a short visit with the grands, and Mom and Dad came over for dinner.  The "new" table got a workout, and I was pleased it proved to be a good decision.

Sailor Son and I took Dad and the grands to the Dinosaurs in Motion exhibit at the Natural History Museum on Saturday.  I was very impressed and would have liked to linger, but as usual the young ones rushed us through.  :-)  At Batman's insistence, we did take some time to revisit the room with the costumes.  I'm not sure what he was expecting since he would only consent to put on the "calapitter" and t-rex costumes.  Five, in the background, was much more interested in things like the microscopes.  Still, I'm pleased they do remember being here last year when they were only 3 and 4 years old and hope they took something new away with them this time.

Back at the house it was mostly about Lego.  To keep the dining table clear for meals I set up a folding table for them.  They enjoyed sitting in front of the window and reporting each visit by the hummingbirds.

Ngaire usually stays away from bouncy small boys but the play rug must have been too much of a temptation.  :-)

Sailor Son reads to them all the time.  Here they are reading aloud to the same time.  :-)  It was wonderful listening to Five "read" all the way through One Fish Two Fish in the style of Fox in Sox.  Love my boys!

Then Monday came and I woke up sick, darn it.  Who knows were the germ came from but ugh!  Yesterday I managed to stay awake long enough to work for a while on a t-shirt quilt.  Today, however was all about my wyvern.  This is how it was coming together last week when I got all the parts sewn and stuffed.

And today, after a quick trip out to get some pearly paints I started the embellishments.  Fun!

We're looking forward to a quiet weekend.  It's supposed to be hot and stormy so I think I'll stay in The Sandbox and have some more fun.  :-)

Oops.  I hear the Goodnight Kiwi.  It must be bedtime!