Monday, December 20, 2010

Visited by Elves

It has been a tad bit stressful around here since December 2nd.  My parents ended up in two different hospitals in Boston for a little over a week and are currently at a rehab facility, thankfully the same place but different rooms.  Needless to say, it hasn't been looking very Christmas-y around here as I have been living at my mom's, then a hotel in Boston.   That's starting to change.  First, with the arrival of hubby home from Afghanistan....he's been gone a LOOONNNGG time!  The grandbaby looks at him so adoringly and was not afraid of him at all.

He came home for ten days in August and we have been doing video chats as best we can.  So nice to have him in person!!
       Our young warrior, who is now finished with his four years in the Marine Corps but has settled far away for school and work, arrived two days later to spend a week.  Seems to be just what the doctor ordered for the baby momma.  I came home from church last night to find elves busy at work with much laughter and a chocolate war....lights were on the tree, in the windows, and peanut butter balls were being made and dipped.   My cup is full and overflowing at the moment.  Hopefully, we'll get my parents home for Christmas!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sounds of Christmas

 Merry Cajun Christmas, Vol. 1 & 2 -  various artists

The most fun Christmas album hubby and I ever purchased. You should be able to check here to hear some samples.  I must find my record player and stash of Christmas records.  These three round out the playlist.....and oh the memories they bring to mind.

A Christmas Together

DecemberA Charlie Brown Christmas

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What happened to November??

Well, I realized I can't knit very well on circular needles.  No tension and the stocking ended up ridiculously large and baggy!!!  The foot is great - that's on double pointed needles and nice and snug....although I goofed and didn't start the red for the heel till it was almost too late!  I have been pulling out the quilt some evenings to hand quilt a block or two.  I'm in no rush to finish it at this point.  Other than that, I've been trying to fill in for the baby momma who injured her shoulder and so I'm exhausted....

Friday, November 5, 2010

Nice Things Come In Small Packages

I participated in my first stash swap hosted by Aoife at little pink room.   We had the month of October to get in touch with our partner and get our packages mailed.  October was a CRAZY month!  MommaSkye helped me go through our stashes and found some we thought Hollie might enjoy, put it in a little box and sent it out on the 30th.   I was relieved that Hollie had an equally busy October and so excited to find her package waiting for me yesterday when I came home from North Conway, NH.  It was a delight to open after driving home on a very chilly, gray, rainy day.


I love the geometric prints!  And do you see the extra goodies?  The adorable basket, a package of straight  pins, curved safety pins, and a gorgeous spool of multicolored thread.  Hollie is amazing!  Thank you so much!  I was so undone when I found her package because she sent it priority mail and mine had gone first class.  Traveling from one coast to the other, I never expected mine would reach her until the end of this week. Phew!  I was so relieved to find that it had.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Falling to Pieces

 I haven't quite finished the Christmas Stocking, but I couldn't resist playing around with a pattern I found in a quilt magazine using leftovers from a small quilt momma Skye is making for her daughter.  These tiny stars are adorable and supposedly easy....mine are FAR from perfect, but I have a lot of tiny pieces cut and will continue to practice when I have some spare moments.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Progress Report

Well, the quilt sandwich was taped to the floor and pinned together.  (The blue is the painter's tape, not part of the quilt)  Now it waits for quilting, I'm attempting to quilt by hand, but first a knitted Christmas stocking for my son-in-law needs to be finished! 

Saturday, October 9, 2010


After a long hot walk on the National Mall in DC, we were happy to see a water fountain......until we got closer. (from our DC visit in September courtesy of my son)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Turning A Corner

Last week I found myself driving through the woods on a hard-packed dirt road....up a mountain.  

Yes, I have to admit, we passed a sign like this only quite small and way up high on a tree.  Proceeding ahead with doubt, a car passed by from the other direction, and so my sister said we were fine and obviously the road wasn't closed!  We soon found ourselves climbing ever higher, encountering a few ruts and more cornering.  We finally reach the top, the road flattens out a bit and I am in a panic but my sister reassures me once again as a delivery van comes our way (how he passed us is a eyes were shut as the road had considerably narrowed by now).  I'm trying to breathe, my mom (in her 80's) is doing her big sighs.  My sister is in the back seat.  She has no clue what lies ahead.  A sheer vertical drop!  Muddy and very rutted!  And a hairpin turn for good measure!!

I stop the car and announce that I am done and I was not driving anymore.  

Thankfully my sister climbed into the driver's seat and somehow (my eyes remained closed) managed to get us down the mountain.

A week before this hair raising experience we received a diagnosis regarding my granddaughter that has been a year in coming.  Thankfully God is in the driver's seat with my daughter and her husband as they face a sheer drop and hairpin turns.  I'll be close by, probably with my eyes shut, praying for strength and peace for them as they face decisions I do not want to face.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Keeping Busy

Welcome Fall!!
A wool felt pin-cushion kit that was a Christmas gift two years ago!  A gift from my sister, the goddess of hand sewing.  It only took two years, but I actually traced and cut and ironed and embroidered and sewed and stuffed all by myself!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Leave Was Short

I've had some issues trying to update my blog lately. We'll see if today is successful.

Leave is over. We had lots of things we wanted to do but ended up just being although we did go to Children's Hospital Boston, walked around the Public Garden and enjoyed a ride on the Swan Boats.

My two warriors overlapped at home for a few days which was a treat to all be together even if for a short time. Four years ago the Old Man came home from a 16 month deployment during which the young warrior graduated from high school and enlisted in the Marine Corps. Before he went to boot camp we hiked up Mt Monadnock together because that was my son's release during deployment. He would come home from school and just go....rain, snow, ice, didn't matter. So, even though the weather was ridiculously hot and this warrior mom has only hiked once this entire summer, we did the hike again. I survived, barely, and ate up the whole day because I'm so out of shape, but it was worth it.
Leave ended with Labor Day weekend in Washington DC to visit soldiers at Bethesda and Walter Reed. Unfortunately for us several were well enough to have passes to go home for the holiday weekend but we were able to visit two. That was encouraging! Our son is finishing up his four years of active service and relocating to Virginia so he drove us down and spent the weekend with us. Being dyed in the wool New Englanders, we left many things unsaid but just being together was priceless.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Life Is Good

These two pictures are from a week ago Wednesday!  I've just been enjoying the husband home again and haven't thought to post!  He's been gone from here since January, but mostly gone since last October and in and out (more out than in) since June of 2009!  A short visit, he'll be gone again before we know it but we'll take what we can get.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

First Attempt

Sewing intimidates me!  I've always considered a sewing machine to be right up there with a standard transmission and organs - terrifying!!  Give me a piano and I'm in control but these things with motors and foot pedals and I'm paralyzed with fear.  Over the past few years, I have overcome my fear of the organ out of necessity, filling in for our ailing church organist.  Four years ago I was inspired by my sister to by some fat quarters and a quilt pattern.  That's as far as I got, the giddy groupings sitting in a bag gathering dust in a corner of my bedroom closet.  Last year for my birthday, my husband gave me a sewing machine thinking it would keep me busy while he was deployed....that too has been gathering a bit of dust sitting in a corner of the music room.  Well, he is coming home on leave next week!!!  Motivation!!!  
So, here is my first attempt in progress.  Giddy and random!!  I am not showing my sister (sewing goddess extraordinare) until I have the top sewn!!  There are still corner and setting triangles to be added but I am impressed to be this far!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Tiny Terracotta Treasure

Well, she stayed for a month.  It was amazing to watch her repair her web most mornings.  To be on the other side of the window at eye level to her web workings was just incredible.  I attempted to take some video of her intricately weaving her web - three different techniques to complete it - but I cannot seem to master the focus!  The camera would focus on the trees beyond her and she ended up a big blur.  She disappeared a few times last week, apparently to the top of the door frame.  Then on Friday, she left a big bug all wrapped up in the center of her web.  Coming down Saturday morning, the above sight greeted me.  By eleven Saturday morning, she was back in the middle of her web, snacking on the bug.  Sunday she had completely repaired her web, just moved it up a smidge higher to be closer to the egg case.  Today, however, she is nowhere in sight.  Not only is she nowhere in sight, her web is completely gone!!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Brain-Fried Friday

Yup, this is about how I feel today!  Utterly exhausted, upside down, deep-fried brain.  Drove into Boston late yesterday afternoon to deliver my grandbaby and her mom for a sleep study at Children's.  Traffic going INTO the city was unexpectedly and unbearably heavy!!  Decided to get a room near the hospital to make it easier.....the parking garage had to be a level in Dante's Inferno!!!  It was HOT, and dark and low.  The back door of my compact wagon could not go up completely as it was hampered by rubber coated pipes.  As I reached up to pull the door down, I expected to see rats running along the pipes.  The garage was also not very accommodating for a stroller, plenty of stair entrances to the hotel were marked but we had to wander around till we were back at the garage entrance to find a handicap accessible entrance. When we left this morning valet parking had double, triple parked in the garage so we had to wait for a valet to come move vehicles so we could leave!!!  The hotel only had one entrance that could accommodate a stroller and our room doorway was barely wide enough to fit the stroller through....on and on and on.  Needless to say, the Babymomma didn't get much sleep although the grandbaby did as she was stressed out beyond measure by a heartless technician who was determined to do his job and lost sight of the fact that he was working on a little human being and not a mannequin.  The Grandmother was a little undone being in a hotel room in the city by herself.  I kept turning on the light expecting to see bugs or mice escaping the bright light.  I was going to open my drapes to let the city lights in but my window opened onto a roof with a ladder coming over  from the next rooftop so that completely unsettled me, sending my imagination into overdrive and the curtains were left drawn tight.  We are finally home.  At least the ride out was easy, hitting all the green lights on route two!!
So, if you don't mind, I'm just going to flop down and nurse a cup of coffee.  If it were sunny out, I'd join this beast.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sweeping Away the Cobwebs.....Or Not

For a week, I had been unsuccessfully reminding myself to sweep around the front door.  The cobwebs were out of control, catching debris and just not a welcoming sight.  It greeted me every morning as the front door is at the bottom of the staircase.  July 9th, this beautiful creature had taken up residence and I have left her undisturbed.  It has been amazing to watch.  During a ridiculously hot, humid stretch I thought she was a goner.  She had been moving every day - at night she would be on the yard side of her web, and during the day she would be on the house side.  This past weekend she stayed on one side and didn't move.  Her web had massive holes and was torn and hanging in lots of places.   A dry spell with cooler temperatures has moved in for a few days and yesterday her web was amazing.  It spans two panes of my three pane side lights next to the front door and her zipper is quite long and filled in.  Lighting hasn't been sufficient to get a good shot but perhaps I'll try later.  These two shots were taken the first day we met.  Sweeping the front door is going to wait till she has moved on.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

July, So Far

My sights are so different this summer.  My flower gardens remain unweeded but watered, at least, thanks to my son-in-law.  I have not been down to check on life in the swamp for a month now, at least.  I have not hiked at all.

I did take my grandbaby out on a hot, sunny afternoon and enjoyed watching her experience sunglasses for the first time.  She cried and would not open her eyes.  So, we went back into the house and found Grammy's sunglasses and stood in front of the bathroom mirror.  She decided they were ok and so back outside we went.

Last summer, I had a summer reading list and enjoyed finding a diverse selection of books to devour.  This summer it's "Hippos Go Berserk" and "Moo Baa LaLaLa!"

Friday, July 2, 2010


An oasis in the midst of a very noisy and chaotic part of the city and a respite from the hum and whir and beeping alarms of a hospital room. The Prouty Garden at Children's Hospital Boston. The picture of the Blue Hydrangea above was taken out the window of the third floor family waiting area the day of surgery. A bleak and gray day, these were a treasure to see. Coming back from supper one night when the grandbaby was in ICU and sedated, we were so very surprised to find "Wally" when we pulled back her receiving blanket. The ICU nurse uses children's stuffies to snuggle their legs and keep their legs from sticking together. I don't remember when we discovered the garden, but it was a delight to eat lunch or supper in or just stroll through and find all the statues tucked in the hedges. Looking forward to sharing it with the grandbaby when she is old enough to discover some of it by herself.

Is it really July already?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Off to Children's

Headed to Children's Hospital in Boston with the Grandbaby girl.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Baby Hughie, Other Babies, And New Nesters

This is the first turtle of the season, or at least that I've spotted.

They come up the steep hill from the swamp, spend the rest of the afternoon looking for THE spot, and then  an hour or two digging a hole, laying 5 or 6 eggs, and then filling it in and covering it so amazingly that it is impossible to find!  I am not sure if there have been successful hatchings or if they just get dug up and eaten by nocturnal marauders before they can hatch.  

There were three baby bluebirds frantically following this parent.  Somehow my son-in-law and I had NO success whatsoever in capturing babies and parent together.  So, we have a single shot of parent above and shot of only one baby below, blurry at that.

Nuthatch family has been a delight to watch!  This was a group of about 4 or 5 babies ~ always on the move and very hard to count!  I think this may be parent eating at the feeder and one brave baby at the top.

Downy or Hairy Woodpeckers, not sure which.

Baby Hughie!  This is a Red Bellied Woodpecker baby.  All last week it would just cling to a tree and wait for the parent to feed it.  This week it is making it to the feeder, but it just clings and waits to be fed.
A VERY short clip of the Red Bellied Woodpeckers.  I didn't realize the camera was on video and thought I was just taking a snapshot!!  But, you can see how "Baby Hughie" compares to its parent.