Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Margy's Quilt...and more!

This is my sister Margy's Spiders'-Web and Stars paper-piecing quilt which is to be hung at her favorite quilt store. I'm so proud of her; I could just bust my buttons! She's been quilting for only a year, and is SO talented.
While I was visiting in the west of Oregon and Washington Margy and I trekked to McMinnville for some shopping at a store called Boersma's, a HUGE store on one street for quilters and another across the street for knitters.
This jungly quilt on display caught my eye with its engaging colors and style.

I spent my time chosing sock yarn which Isabella wanted to fondle and count and hold. She has ordered up a pair of purple socks for herself. They would match these pajamas, of course.


Displayed in the comfortable loft were these knitted treasures I couldn't help but photograph for future ideas when I max out on socks.

The three women in the store were immeasurably helpful and encouraging, pointing out the best books, showing me new techniques, and laughing with me about my knitting foibles.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

'Baby Blueberry' Blooming!

Last week I flew to P'land in Oregon where I visited with family (sister Margy, daughter Kimber, granddaughter Isabella) and attended a Beth Moore Conference with my dear friend, Margaret. All my 'playdates' were held in sunny, warm locations. Below you will see a picture of Mount Adams from the plane window. Mount St. Helens and Mount Hood were equally stunning.
Isabella and I played in her yard where I swung her, taught her to 'pump' and discovered a vast array of blooming shrubs.

One of the highlights was attending Isabella's gymnastics class with her. We were forced to sit above the arena in a railed yard for parents. I got a kick out of the little ones doing pretty advanced moves. Below, Isabella is warming up with her crew of peers before going to the trampoline and the beam.

The main reason I took a flight was to be with my daughter at her first ultrasound appointment. Her DH has begun his training for a year in Afghansitan, so he isn't home for the joys of this pregnancy. Kimber's doctor is careful, needing to know if this baby is doing well. At seven+ weeks we have a strong heartbeat and development at the right pace. The baby is the size of a blueberry right now, so we refer to it as Baby Blueberry. You can see Isabella holding Kimber's 'Blackberry' with the photo. A recording of the heartbeat on the Blackberry is to be sent to daddy too. The yolk sac is the bottom circle, and the baby is above it.

To help Isabella (age 4) with all the news, Kimber got out her baby book to look at the same pics of her at this stage. We enjoyed looking at baby clothes she wore when she first came home at just 5 pounds and smaller than the doll I'd bought her.

Because daddy will be out of the country for the duration of the prenancy and early life, I've signed on as a helper, to 'be available' when the need arises. I look forward to the budding and blooming of my daugther and of Isabella as a big sister as well as Baby Blueberry. Kimber tells me the next stage is 'grape'. I am amused by all the names chosen before they finally land on the real one, which I know, but I'm not allowed to use yet.
...to be continued

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Weather Outside is Frightful!

As I write this post there is a blizzard going on outside with 2 inches of snow in the forcast. On the flip-side, just last week Rachel and I visited Connie's warm and sunny garden as a 'pick-me-up'. It was almost as refreshing as that first cup of coffee in the morning after a long night.
Connie is able to begin early with her pansies.
And this baby Lupin is just forming up.
Of course, the prettiest blossom in the garden was Our Rachel!

How about this darling bit of spring to lift our old and tired spirits?

And the final bit of sunshine in MY garden bed on Easter were these bouquets, brought in for the porcelain vase and toothpick holder I brought back from China.

As I said, it is blizzarding outside. The advice I gave to my daughter-in-law, who called to wish me Merry Christmas this morning, is to take a bowl of popcorn and a cup of hot chocolate to the lounge chair and watch a movie in her pajamas. And then she can pull out a gardening book and make plans for July.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

"The Time Has Come," the Walrus said...

We might as well talk about whether pigs have wings, as Lewis Carrol did in his poem called The Walrus and the Carpenter. The quail on lookout below is one of many in our yard looking for something to eat as it snows EVERY DAY, usually melting off by late afternoon, and then we awaken in the morning to more on the gound or more falling from the sky. Our hearts are heavy with longing for some color on the gound, some color in the sky.
Is gray a color; is white a color???? So, I am glad in my heart when things begin to perk up, poke up, and stand up in the sun room. These are a few of the different cukes and squashes presenting themselves out there.
And here are some of the flowers gracing the sunroom shelves leaning toward the gray and white outdoors. The tomatoes are slow (Rutgers being the slowest) in showing themselves this year, but they have popped up a little.

So! to lift our spirits my daughter-in-law and I planned a trip to Zim's Resort, a hot springs area south of us by about 2 hours. She fried up some chicken; I made potato salad; we packed up some other treats, and we gathered the men and children to have a vacation day. Lovella had just 'done' her hair and was afraid the chlorine would turn it green, so she unashamedly wore this perfectly wonderful head covering. We had a delightful day in the very warm pools with sleet cooling our shoulders. There was no sun, but I DID get a burn!

This eagle surprised us by landing at the top of this tree as we soaked. Most folks were off skiing, so the pools were ours most of the time. I'm not sure what the eagle was looking for, but he did observe us nearly the entire time we soaked, played and splashed around. Click on the picture below to bring him 'up close and personal'.

The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships-- and sealing-wax--
of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."
As silly as our weather is we might as well be reciting silly poetry while we wait for some sun, which, in my estimation, would be appropriate for April. We still warm our hands to a cup of hot chocolate; we still wear warm hats, gloves and big coats; we still have snowball fights and make snow angels. It may be time to play a Beattles song ("Here Comes the Sun"). Perhaps that will induce it to shine for us. We long for color!