It was a busy day taking care of grandsons. I feel so blessed to have been able to take my retirement at my earliest eligibility from my job in criminal justice, and be able to be so involved in their lives while they are still so young. I never got to be a stay at home mom with my son when he was growing up. Being able to step away from outside employment has also finally given me the freedom to pursue my career as a longarm quilter, a job I love and am passionate about it. Finally. I also do all the administrative duties for my husband’s and my small oilfield service company, so I’m retired, but not retired, if that makes sense. Anyway, I mostly popped in here tonight to finish posting pictures from my hike at the family farm yesterday. I’m certainly not a real photographer. I’m fully aware of that, but I enjoy looking for things that catch my eye and taking pictures anyway. Maybe someday I’ll be able to take a class and learn how to take better photos. For now, I’ll just keep having fun with it. I do have a fairly nice digital camera, but these were all taken with my iPhone.
The day dawned dreary and frozen here.
Noon-time has brought sunshine breaking through and the ice is releasing its hold on the captives it has encased in its frosty, glistening coating. Some is simply dripping away, and from time to time I hear large chunks crash onto the patio out back. It’s pretty to look at, but treacherous for travel so I’m glad it isn’t sticking around long.
It is a good day to get some sewing done!
This was my view this evening as I sat in my lawn chair and worked on hand stitching the binding on this one. I made the binding Wednesday, and I’m proud to say I’ve made good progress in the snippets of time I could find to spare for it. My goal is to have it finished before this week ends.
Last night, my 5 yr old grandson joined my husband, my 16 yr old stepson, and me for a sleepover at Casa de Ortega, aka Mammy’s house. I had chosen “Grammy” as my grandmother name, but it came out of his mouth as mammy, and it stuck. He has a Mimi, a Memaw, and a Meemaw, all on my daughter -in-law’s side, so it was really no surprise when he pronounced Grammy as Mammy. I had always heard that basically you can choose whatever you think you want to be, but your first grandbaby will call you what they call you and that’s that, lol.
After we dropped him back home to his mom and dad this morning, we spent the whole afternoon into the early evening out at a local lake, with one of my brother-in-laws and part of his family, and my mother-in-law. It was an absolutely beautiful day for some fishing, kayaking, and just sitting enjoying the beauty around us.
We don’t get my stepson nearly as often as we would like, because he lives 10 hours away and so we have to make the most of the too short visits we get. It warms my heart to see him and his dad having a great day together.
Last night, a storm blew in with a vengeance. I was about to drift off to sleep when the hail started pounding the house. It was fairly small, mostly marble size, but relentless. I stood watching out the patio door, helplessly wondering about the baby doves and my favorite toad, Zapper. He had not come to the patio last night, which he does about every other night, to eat his fill of June bugs and other insects, underneath the patio light. This has been his (or her) routine for the past three summers. I’ve grown very fond of this toad. I had seen him last, laying underneath the iris leaves, in the southwest corner of our yard, one of his favorite hangouts. When the hail finally let up, I threw on a rain jacket over my jammies, slipped on a pair of flip flops, grabbed a flashlight, and went to check on him. It was after midnight. It was raining. I know, most sane people would’ve gone to bed. It’s a TOAD. But, I couldn’t. I had to look. When I rounded the corner of the house, and the light hit “his spot”, I was so afraid of what I would find. The hail had completely covered his little corner, like a snow drift. I began to dig it away, and sure enough under about two inches of a solid pile of round hail stones, was Zapper. As I got more moved away, he wiggled his leg. I got him pulled out and he was so freezing cold. I went straight back to the patio with him, where I could get a better look at him. He looked ok, and once he got warmed up, he ate a couple of June bugs on the patio. Then he hopped off. I haven’t seen him today, so I hope he didn’t have internal injuries.
And sadly, at least one of the little doves is dead. I’m not sure about the other one. I *may* have seen it this morning as I was leaving for work, still alive, but I couldn’t be sure. I haven’t found it’s body, so hopefully it made it.
The yard is littered with leaves from our trees. This was the view of the backyard this morning.
And this is the little hole where Zapper was. He was literally buried in hail.
This is the front yard debris and a picture of the roof, where the doves used to be, covered with Mimosa tree leaves.
Poor little things didn’t stand a chance, it hit so hard & fast. But other than that, all is well. It could’ve been much worse. I know that. And I am thankful that it wasn’t. It’s all part of the circle of life, the natural order of things. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be a little sad for a little bird (or a toad) for a few moments, does it?
Meet a few of the new kids in the neighborhood.
Babies in the next door neighbor’s tree, that overhangs part of our front yard. Mama, Daddy or both were really squawking at us while we were looking up at them, and I was taking pics.
Of course the swallows came back to nest above my front door again. Oh the mess they make. But this is the 2nd batch of babies this year. Soon they will be fledglings, and I can clean it all up again.
And this is a pair of dove babies. They spend most of the time hanging out on my roof, underneath the mimosa tree branches that hang over. Once in awhile they fly over to the neighbor’s roof, and then back to ours, or a branch in the mimosa tree. Aren’t they little cuties?
This is a picture that has one of the parents in it, and they were on the neighbor’s roof, at the time.
Hope you enjoyed my Monday Mini Bird Show!
We have lived here just over eleven years and this is the first time we have seen a squirrel in the yard, or the neighborhood, for that matter. I quickly put some of Bunbun’s leftover food in the bird feeders for it, but as soon as it thought it was safe, it scampered away and over the fence next door. Darn! I wanted to watch it gobble up the goodies I put out for it.
21 more stars to go! I timed myself on the last two and it took me 35 minutes to get them done. I should have between 5 & 6 more hours of star sewing left to have all the blocks done. Then I can decide on the final layout and start getting those rows together.
The baby swallows have hatched and are growing like weeds. Hope nobody falls from the nest. There are five babies in this little nest.
The big toad has been gorging himself on june bugs. I love to watch him gobble them up. Quite entertaining watching him (or her?) and the smaller toad chasing the bugs in the evening. Look how fat he’s gotten!
Look at this gorgeous quilt top! It was made by members of the local guild, and is going to a rehab facility for wounded soldiers. I am donating my quilting services for it. I am going to quilt it with Baptist Fans. I think those will look fab on this, don’t you?
My customer picked up her state flower quilt yesterday and loved it. She hugged me three times, she was so happy. Which of course, made me so happy, too!
I finished up another fleece today, except for the “fringing”. Still need to do that part. This one is a thank you gift for a local business man that did a very nice thing for my son & the rest of the high school golf team. It’s one of those times where “thank you” just doesn’t seem quite enough, but what do you do for a man who has everything? So, I thought he might like a snuggly fleece blanket made by me…a gift from the heart. I laid it out on the grass in the backyard, in the sunshine, trying to capture the true color of it, but, the pictures do not show the true color…it’s a deep chocolate brown.
Ready for more birds? I worked hard yesterday to get these to share with you. My swallows are back to nest above my front door again. It gets a little messy, but I don’t have it in me to run them off. Besides, they eat lots of pesky skeeters. Enjoy the show!
And while I was sitting below in my lawn chair looking up, I spied this under the edge of the shingles. I had to share it for Jan 🙂 Praying mantis egg.
I have a stressful week ahead due to my day job. Think lots of good thoughts for me. It involves having to testify in a court hearing, in a county over five hours from here. I keep praying I won’t have to go, but I don’t see that happening…so you prolly won’t hear much more from me til later this week.
Spring is showing itself. This is on my plum tree.
BunBun is appreciating the change in the weather.
My BIG OLD Russian Olive tree hasn’t quite awakened yet, but soon it will burst forth with sign of life. I love this tree.
The birdies have been keeping me busy filling the feeders.
I finished the customer quilt I was working on. She LOVES it. As in so happy she CRIED. Good tears.
If you want to see more, I uploaded photos to my Webshots album, in the folder Customer Quilts 2008, http://community.webshots.com/user/AllenQuilts. Thanks for looking. 🙂
In weight news, I’m not sure how, but I lost another pound last week. I’m now at 143. That’s 11 lbs. total.
Have a great week! Maybe I will have time to post more this week. We shall see.