Thursday, May 20, 2021

I Like Thursday #34

I must apologize for being so spotty on the blog lately. We only returned from a trip out East about 10 days ago and here we are planning a trip out West. Both trips are college graduations and we are happy to see family and celebrate the graduates.

With that said, I do like Thursdays where a group of us post things that have made us smile and/or happy during the past week. Join us at LeeAnna's blog Not Afraid of Color. There are always wonderful things to see, learn, enjoy.

What made me laugh this week?

How about silly US Air Force cadets so happy to be done with finals that the roommates fell into a pool together while in uniform! I like that you can see snow in the background and I'm happy to say the pool is indoors. (The one in the back is my nephew.)

Every year I wait for these irises to bloom. I have never seen ones like this and they are gorgeous. This was taken a couple of days ago. This morning  I counted seven blooms! Apparently these iris require no care. At the end of the season, the home owner mows them down!

Anyone that knows me knows I love my birds. The other day there were two birds at the window feeder with two more waiting in the wings. I don't know if you know your birds but the three yellow ones are finches and that blue one on the right eating is an indigo bunting. We get lots of little birds at this particular feeder but I don't believe we've ever had an indigo bunting up there. I blew up the picture so you could see better!

I like that I'm making such good progress on this UFO. This was a BOM from Polka Dot Pincushion in Ohio that my friend and I signed up to make. The pattern is called Sew Spooky and is copyrighted 2012. I guess that means we started this project in 2012 or 2013 because the fabrics are identical to what is on the cover of the pattern. Anyway, when I got out the box that it was housed in, I found the individual blocks were done but not put together, nor were the corner triangles on the witch or the crow & pumpkin blocks. I dove into the box to see what else needed to be done and found that there is a bat border. I cut out the blocks that the bats would be attached to and took them on the trip out East. You may have seen my mention of them earlier. If not, here's a reminder.

Eight bats done with only six more to go!

Once I got home, I finished up all fourteen 5.5" x 14.5" bat blocks. I also noticed a candy corn border which intimidated me at the time. Yesterday I strip-pieced them, made the template, and cut them all out. I also cut the background fabric so I'm ready to sit down and sew those together. (I'm still nervous about starting them but I can't finish the quilt until I muster up the courage to give it a go!)

Here's a picture of the completed quilt to give you an idea. Adorable, huh? So now you can also see that, after the candy corn, I'll be adding a black/candy corn fabric border followed by the bats and a final border. I'm looking forward to a completed top!

We watched the Season Finale of Blue Bloods this week. We love that show and will look forward to the next (and rumored to be the final) season next Fall.

I finished my book "Sex, Lies, & Serious Money" by Stuart Woods. While reading, I kept feeling like I was going back in time to a black & white gumshoe book. Anyway, I enjoyed it. It was a light read. I wouldn't highly recommend it but would if you just want to kill some time with a fun story.

I returned "The Dry" and put it on Hold again. In the meantime, I've downloaded "Grandma Gatewood's Walk" by Ben Montgomery. Diann @ Little Penguin Quilts recommended it and the story sounded good. I'll let you know how I like it after I get into it this week.

That's it from here. I hope you have a wonderful, upcoming week!

Thursday, May 13, 2021

I Like Thursday #33

This is my 33rd I Like Thursday post and that makes me smile. I like the number 3 so this one is twice as happy for me!

Moving right along from the last I Like Thursday post put us on our way to North Carolina from Maryland. On our way we stopped at Oxford NC to see how that town might work out for us should we ever actually decide that we will move. It was very nice and there were some small, outlying towns nearby with some very pretty houses. It's also close to Kerr Lake (or Bugs Island as some call it) which would be very convenient for my fishing hubby.

On to my brother's house for a grand Cinco de Mayo celebration. He started me off with a homemade margarita, chips & salsa, and homemade spicy (from his last year's homegrown chili peppers) cheese dip. Happy Hour was followed up with steak tacos with all the fixings including lettuce from his garden, Spanish rice, and the most delicious black beans I've EVER tasted. I know he had his homegrown cilantro in there but I can't tell you what else. So good and I appreciated that meal very much. I should have taken a picture but my hands were obviously too busy shoving all that deliciousness into my face! Ha!

I toured his garden the next day and, if he ever moves, I know he'll miss all the work he has put into it and will have to start over. I did remember my camera this time!

Tall plants are cilantro he's letting flower & go to seed for fresh coriander.
There is squash growing against the side of the house.
Looking the other way is lettuce, green beans, jalapeno peppers,
poblano peppers, one chili pepper, okra, and tomatoes.

The main focus of our visit was to celebrate my niece's graduation from the University of North Carolina - Wilmington. She got her degree in Business Administration in Finance and accomplished this in only three years! Jennifer starts an internship later this month at a bank. We're so proud of all she's done in such a short time. I like how she was able to apply some of her high school credits towards her degree PLUS she was able to knock out a few credits attending the junior college while still in high school.

To celebrate, let us eat cake! I like cake, by the way!
Jennifer with her Grandma, Uncle Fred, and Aunt Sue

Cake with the twins!
Even though we were there for only a couple of days, on the recommendation of Joy from The Joyful Quilter, I made a little time (like a couple of hours) to visit a quilt store in the very town my brother lives, Pineapple Fabrics! My purchase was small because I was so overwhelmed with all the goodies inside and I didn't get any pictures but I did get a bag!
We got home on Sunday. Do I really need to tell you that I like getting home again, no matter how much fun we've had on vacation? While we were gone, Spring arrived. If you're tired of garden pictures just scroll on down. I liked coming home to everything blooming.
Rose bush all filled in and ready to explode with flowers.
Chairs in the background were picked up for garbage in Mom's subdivision.
I like chairs in the garden for potted plants to sit on and rickety, junky chairs are perfect!

Salvia but no bees yet

Weigela Wine & Roses
This poor plant was smashed and laying into the road
a couple of winters ago from the snow plow.
Last Fall I trimmed and staked it up, started watering & feeding it, and look at it this year!
I like using long selvage strips for tying plants up in the garden.

Allium blooms against a blue sky.

Dusty purple iris blooms outside my basement sewing space window.

Bird patio iris bed. One purple iris going strong and tons of yellow buds.

I cleaned up this corner of the house a little and set up this
handy hose holder, which is connected to my rain barrel for easy use.
I like it! It was a Christmas present from my son & daughter-in-law.

I finished my book "When the Stars Go Dark" Monday. I enjoyed it although sometimes I felt like it was more a YA book. There was also some spiritualism in it that I found fun but some may not like that aspect. The characters were likable and there was enough twists & turns that will keep you wondering exactly whodunnit!

I downloaded a short book ("Sex, Lies & Serious Money) knowing that a novel on my Hold List was going to be available in 19 days. Besides the length, my mother had already read this book so we could get it off our list. It started off quickly with a guy winning a super, duper large Powerball lottery.

Of course on Tuesday my Hold book became available. I like how I can Save books on a list to read later and I can put a book on Hold to be in the queue for reading it next. However, sometimes the approximate date available is a bit off. I waited several months for "The Dry" so I'll be downloading it today (Thursday) to start as soon as I finish "Sex, Lies & Serious Money". Oh brother! Good thing I like to read! Ha!

"The Dry" has had good reviews from several of my fellow bloggers so I'm very excited to start it ... later!

I like Laundry Basket Quilts by Edyta Sitar. I saw she was starting a mystery QAL on our first day back from vacation. I talked it over with my sister and we have both jumped on. My sister will be doing hers in blues & lights while I have decided to use browns & lights. Today is Day #4 and I'm still working on clue #2. That's OK. I like the process and it is not a race. Linda just started yesterday so she's a little behind also. Here's a picture of my progress so far.
Clue #1 on the left and partial Clue #2 on the right
If you've made it this far, congratulations!  I like my readers and I like my fellow bloggers! I also like LeeAnna of Not Afraid of Color for gathering us all up weekly to share our Likes. Sometimes, in the midst of life, we forget to be grateful for all the things we like! Hop on over to LeeAnna's blog to see some other fun posts!

Have a GREAT week!

Saturday, May 8, 2021

FNwF & a Brief Catch Up

Hello! I've  been offline lately because I've been out of town. First stop was to visit my sweet Brody, of course! Look at that big boy eating his yogurt with his spoon!

We always enjoy seeing the grown up kids too. Sarah managed to set us up to visit a winery - Running Hare Winery. The weather was beautiful, Brody enjoyed stretching his legs because kids were allowed, and we enjoyed leftover pizza with wine & beer. Unfortunately I had so much fun that I forgot to take any pictures except of the grounds when we first got there. Thank you, Sarah, for a wonderful day!

My son & DIL also have another new addition to their family -- Gus!

Gus is currently their foster bull terrier but it looks like he'll become a member of the family. He gets along with Brody and their other dog Sadie. He's still learning a few manners but he is the funniest thing! He literally bounces along and can leap along like a gazelle. I've never seen a dog this size move like Gus can AND he's a very sweet boy. He's also made himself quite at home. Pretty sure he likes his new home! Ha!

I'd also like to give a bit thank you to Cheryll for rounding up all the friends to stitch for Friday Night with Friends. While traveling, I've been working on #2 of the OSewPersonal UFO Challenge, Sew Spooky BOM. This BOM was started years ago and a lot of blocks are done. I discovered sashing that needs to be added and then some fun borders. Oh yeah! There's a Candy Cane border which scared the beejeebers out of me which was why this project was put aside. It's time to "man up" and get this one done. I prepped the 14 scrappy blocks with the wool bats as my project to work on in the car. The blocks are approximately 15" x 6" to give you a sense of size.

These 8 blocks are finished. I've got another that I've been working on today with my virtual friends. That makes five to go after that. It's a long trip home so whatever is left after tonight should keep me busy enough for the ride home.
As you can see, my favorite prep is using staples to hold everything in place. Would you like a closer look?

We'll be heading for home tomorrow and there will be stitching in my lap. I'll be back on the blog next week for sure!