Sunday, March 30, 2014


This is the pond early yesterday morning.  It was a dreary day to begin with and then ended with some nasty storms.  We were under a tornado watch but down at the Other House there was a tornado warning and ED, LZF and the Viking had to hunker down in a bathroom with the dogs and cats for a while.  It was not nice watching the progress of the storm on TV as it passed so close to them.  I kept texting them updates and was finally able to tell them when it was safe to come out.  Whew!
I didn't take a photo today but the pond looks pretty awful.  Very brown and full of debris.  Lots of "stuff" collected on the top of the standpipe when the water got high and the loud sound of the roaring water was very creepy.  After the rain stopped we went out in the dark and fog to take a look.  I stayed under the streetlight but The Tramp disappeared into the mist to see if the pond was overflowing.  Behind me the house was lost in the fog too.  VERY unnerving.

I finished a double sided t-shirt quilt today.  This one is from a few weeks ago.

This double sided one was fun to work on.  Blue and "mango" on one side and "mango" and blue on the other side.  It's big too!

This is the pair I finished tonight.  Hard to see, but the black is actually a polka dot.

I've been seeing quite a bit of The Viking now none of us are sick with a cold!  Yesterday he was squished in the back of the car between me and ED.  Well, I suppose we were the squished ones, he was very comfortable in his car seat.  Despite no nap, he entertained us all the way home.


Playing "stinky feet."


And just being generally cute.  :-)

This week the Sailor Son replaced his totalled motorcycle.  He didn't total it, someone ran it over while it was parked in front of his home.  :-(   He says he likes the new one better.  :-)

Hard to believe when I look at the photo, he was once as small as The Viking.  Sigh.....

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Today was a gorgeous day.  Chilly though!  Very chilly....but gorgeous.  Nothing of note went on in the Sandbox besides work on another t-shirt quilt so I'll share a few other recent sewing related photos.

The Vintage View Quilt Show, was put on by the Capital Quilters Guild and the Carolina Longarm Association two weeks ago at the NC State Fairgrounds.  What a fabulous venue!  We had almost 500 quilts and a great collection of vendors.

Between us, Mom and I entered 14 quilts.  Mom won Honorable Mentions for her Fox Chase (Maggie Walker) and the Martha's Vineyard quilt she gifted to The Tramp and I when we got married.  Lucky us.  :-)

My Lilly Pilly (Don't Look Now) won another Second Place ribbon.  Thrilling in itself, but....I was absolutely speechless to discover I had won Best Machine Quilting.  How about that?  I spent quite a bit of time walking through the show shaking my head and muttering, "That can't be right, that can't be right!"  LOL  It really is amazing though, considering the amount of talent in our guild.  Wow.

ED and I wondered how The Viking would enjoy being dragged around a quilt show.  He quickly demonstrated his interest by lounging back in his stroller and falling asleep.  We certainly didn't complain!

Quite a while ago I had promised ED I'd make her a new purse.  So I finally got to it last week.   It's the Dog Under My Desk Zip and Go pattern.

A little fun with yellow for the lining.

I was also itching for a new purse for myself.  I dragged out a whole pile of florals from my stash and had the best time coming up with something "pretty".  I'm also pretty sure the light colors are going to get dirty way too quickly, but I'm going to enjoy it in the meantime!  :-)

I've been doing the applique on two of the borders of our 2014 Heritage Day Auction raffle quilt.  I'm too lazy to go take a photo of the part I've finished but you can see the squirrel and parts of acorns on the table.

Dear Jane is coming along very slowly.  I have a feeling I will be trying to catch up with the rest of the club by taking a few months worth of blocks with me on retreat in May!

Back to today.   The sun came out!  And the blossoms are surviving the unusually cold nights.  Yay!

After I posted the photos of the concrete wall blocks the other day, The Tramp and I looked more closely and suddenly realized that the Sailor Son had managed to purchase and sneak a few more blocks on the pile when we weren't looking!  :-)  I'm sure he was wondering how long it would take us to notice.

The view of the pond is a bit different this year.  There are four trees less.  One bradford pear, two plums, and the willow bit the dust.  I'm guessing the rest of the bradford pears are reaching the end of their lives as well.  At about 20 years old they abruptly start falling apart.  Not such an issue here as it is up north, no ice and snow to hasten the process, but the day still comes.  Sigh.

The bluebirds have built their nest!

The dogs are loving the sun too.  Of course that doesn't stop them from slobbering all over the glass doors when they want to come in.  Ewwww.  I just cleaned those!  :-)

ED regularly texts photos of Viking mischief.  He has twice wedged himself in Bella's crate and been removed with some difficulty.  I'm not sure if the lesson has been learned yet.

She sent this picture today.  Fat and split lip, bloody nose, bump on his forehead and scratches under the eye.  Apparently it was quite a morning.  She assures me despite it all he's his usual cheerful and active self.  I don't doubt it.  The Energizer Bunny in the flesh.  I'll get to see for myself tomorrow.  I suspect they both need some time out of the house.  We'll see what kind of entertainment we can find.  :-)

Monday, March 24, 2014


Despite the fact, at this moment, we just happen to be listening to the song, "Yesterday," on television, I'm trying to focus on today.  Family is telling me they are very tired of checking my blog and still seeing "Dirt."  Tee hee.

Therefore.  Since the very thought of catching up back to February is way too daunting I thought it would be best to deal with just one day at a time.  In other words, Today.  Well mostly.  (I am trying.  Really.)

So today was a day of haircutting, errands and lunch with Mom and Dad.....all with a major set of sore muscles.  (Whine, whine, moan, moan.)

I keep meaning to go out while the sun is shining and take a few photos of the flowering trees around the pond while they are looking their best.  And they are looking lovely!  I let time and sun get away from me again today so I snapped a few with my cell phone late this afternoon when we walked the dogs.  Just in case.  Who knows what they will look like if it really does snow tomorrow.  (Can you believe it??  Cue more whining.)

Some pink trees and the forsythia are out too, along with the daffodils.  I should really turn the top of that birdbath back over so it stops looking like a white toadstool!

As to the sore know....the kind that hurt more than they should when you sit down in a chair or especially that torture device called a toilet seat?  Ouch!

No matter how many "pretty" little things I decorate the yard with....

It's still a mess.  Ugh.  The topsoil has been washing away toward neighbor and pond since the house was built.  We aren't excited about the idea of a lawn so have made a start on a series of terraces/retaining walls.  We have no idea what we're doing so we're winging it.  Not without some differences of opinion of course.  :-)  What you don't know can't hurt you.  Right?  Right??  The Sailor Son came to help us get started with his handy dandy pickup truck and the retrieval of the first load of sixty blocks from Lowes.

On Sunday morning before the rains came we got this far.  Oh my.  That soil is solid clay.  Wet clay in fact.  I usually spend my time hiking from cutting table to sewing machine to ironing board and back,  lifting lovely delicate things like pins and scissors, not hand digging clay and placing 27lb blocks.  Hence my current trouble with stair climbing, bending, and needing to sit gingerly on round seats.  Yeesh!  :-D

About half of the sixty concrete blocks are still waiting.   Taunting me each time I open the front door.  (How did we manage to place them so they would grin at us so evilly??)

Fie on you evil concrete.  Tomorrow is all about sewing.  So there!

Maybe by next weekend I'll be sitting pretty on that round thingy again and ready to beat more concrete and clay into submission.  In the meantime......

Monday, February 10, 2014


This weekend was all about dirt.  Potting soil type dirt.  Not only did some of our few houseplants need a repotting but we decided that more green in the house would be good for everyone.  It's hopeful all the greenery will do it's job of scrubbing the air and adding oxygen.  :-)

Not having any place else to do it, all the dirty work took place at the kitchen sink.  I'm hoping The Tramp will put up some glass shelves in the kitchen window.  I don't think plants balanced on the cleaning wipes or taking up valuable counter space is a long term option!

Pardon the photo quality.  Quick snaps in the evening with a cell phone isn't the best way to show off photography prowess (assuming one has some!).  This pothos was reaching for the floor.  Don't ask me how, as it was still in it's original pot and had almost no decent soil left.  All fixed now.

The Thanksgiving cactus plants love the picture window and show it by growing.  This one really needed a new pot.

Now we have a whole window full of plants.  My dad made the bench a long time ago and Mom used it with her quilting frame for years.  Now it has a new life.  :-)  That's Ivy laying between the bench and the window.

This way she can pop up to look out the window and keep and eye on things.  I have no idea what she was staring at so intently.

A much happier room.  As long as my green thumb doesn't fail me of course.  :-)

We read the reports (and watched the TED talk) that you should have lots of sansevieria in your bedroom to boost the oxygen that gets depleted at night.  With five of us breathing in there it seemed like a good idea!  The recent moving of the bookcases gave the perfect location under each window and cheers the room up too. cheers me up anyway.  :-)

The bears and bunnies don't mind either.

 To add to the excitement it seemed time to make Ngaire's bed a new cover.  I hope The Tramp's choice of fleece cheers Ngaire up!  Hmmm.  Maisy's beds could use some stylin' too.

I was going to say.....  Because the kitchen floor was already filthy from the potting episode (almost 20 pots is very mess-making) today was a good day to make chop for Charlie.  Actually it was a good day to make chop because I had already bought the ingredients and Charlie was down to his last little baggie of chop from the batch I made over a year ago.  The fact that I make a tremendous mess in the process is besides the point.

The dogs love it though.  All the cooking, chopping and mixing means plenty of bits knocked to the floor for them to find.  Let's see.  I cooked amaranth, quinoa, wild rice mix, bulgur and 13 bean mix.  There is oatmeal, two whole cereal mixes, oat groats, peas, coconut, carrots, sweet potato, kale, corn, edamame, ginger, sugar snap peas, turnip greens, radishes and tops, broccoli rabe, various hot peppers, hot pepper flakes, chia seed, celery, hemp, parsley......and other stuff.

After his long workday The Tramp was sweet enough to help me bag it all and get it into the freezer.

Another year's worth done.  Phew.  You'd better like it Charlie!

So tomorrow I'll need to get the "dirt" off the kitchen floor.  I'm glad you can't see it!!  Of course it's supposed to be ugly weather for the next few days and 12 dog feet mean it won't be clean for very long.  Sigh.