Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Good Dog, Barkley!

Barkley doesn't bark at every little thing, but it's not unusual to hear him barking out here in the country. When it goes on for a while, I usually think "What the hell is he barking at?". That happened this afternoon. I happened to voice that thought to my hubby, who went to investigate. What he saw was Barkley barking at something on the ground. That is never a good sign.

If he's barking at the trees, it could be a buzzard or a squirrel, a raccoon or even a opossum, depending on the time of day. On the ground, it's normally a snake. I have a healthy respect for snakes. They do a lot of good out here and I like what they do. Especially the eating rodents part. I try to leave them alone. So when we see a snake near the house, we do try to identify it (from a safe distance) before acting. If we're lucky, it's a nonpoisonous snake and we just get the dog in the house and the snake goes it's merry little way.

Today, it was a cottonmouth! We've never had a cottonmouth up close to the house before. At least not in all the years we've lived here. I heard my hubby in the closet (he was getting the shot gun) and asked what was wrong. He told me that Barkley was barking at a poisonous snake. I yelled at him to let me get my camera, but he didn't hear me (or didn't care to wait) and I wasn't quick enough. He shot it before I got there. We are not some of those people who believe that the only good snakes are dead ones, but we do indeed kill a poisonous snake if it's in the yard and we happen upon it. The last thing we need is to get snake bit by a poisonous snake!

I didn't get to see the snake alive. In fact, this was the first cottonmouth I've ever seen except for in water at a distance. Hubby said his mouth was white and his fangs came from a folded up position each time he opened his mouth. He also hissed and had been coiled up like a rattler. Even shaking his tail like one. He definitely had the puffed or triangular head shape too. When I carried it to throw it over the fence, I looked at the patterning on it's stomach, it looked like it had a diamond pattern like a rattler on the underside. The top was just dark. I wish I had seen it with it's mouth open, so I could be better prepared in case I ever run in to one again, but just the same, I get chills whenever I think of it. Hubby killed it on the bottom stairs to the deck.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


My virtual retreat here at home is over. It wasn't nearly as fun retreating alone, but I did make a little progress. As in most retreats, not as much progress as I had planned, but there is always next time.

I finished piecing the Stormy Weather pineapple miniature. I have it layered and ready to baste for hand quilting. I've got a batik on the back and I plan to bind the quilt in the same fabric that I used for the borders, which happens to be the fabric used in the "light" part of the pineapple blocks. The quilt is 12 and a half inches square.

I never even got to bring out the second project I had hoped to work on. It will go to the top of my list. Although I am behind on some blocks to send out to friends going through rough patches right now. That won't take long once I actually pull out the fabrics and print off the paper to piece them on. I'll try to get those done and in the mail this week. I also hope to get the photos taken for the rosaries I've made so that I can get them in my etsy shop by the first of July. I'll let you know how all of that goes in a later post.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Virtual Quilt Retreat

I was invited to a quilt retreat this weekend. I'm trying to save money for my birthday weekend with my girlfriends in January, so I probably won't go on any more quilt retreats this year. That won't actually stop me from having them though. For the rest of this weekend, I'm going to be on a virtual quilt retreat in my bedroom. I've got the gate on the stairs to keep the dog from coming up. I'll try not to go downstairs (except for food). The guys are on their own and I'm on retreat. I have two projects that I'd really like to finish up. So, it's time to get off of the computer and start working. Pictures will follow on all finished projects.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Photo of the week 12 of 39 -- Spelling Errors

This is my favorite of my spelling error photos! Despite the "Kereoke" on Thursday's the club went out of business. It's now for sale.

You'll have to click on the picture to enlarge it in order to see this one. I find an amazing amount of misspelled or wrong words in books nowadays. It always makes me wonder just how quickly they are proof read. The error is in the seventh paragraph, second sentence --" Godwyn could not helping feeling criticized by Saul's piety."

This blue and white bumber sticker sounded a little kinky to me. I wonder if she gets a lot of obscene phone calls.

Next week's photo theme is "Nostalgia".

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake Needs your help!

I don't watch the news or read newspapers. Too much bad news makes me very depressed. My quilting friend Phyllis sent this to me over the weekend. I wish I had thought to put it on here sooner. Please help if you can. I hate the thought of adoptable animals being euthanized for no good reason.

07:23 PM CDT on Saturday, June 20, 2009

WFAA-TV staff reports

A North Texas animal shelter may have to euthanize more animals.
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Tool says it's low on food, and without immediate donations, it will have to start euthanizing adoptable animals.

If you want to help, you can call the shelter on 903-432-3422 or go by the shelter on County Road 24-03.

You can also go to the website for the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Conversion Disorder

Today, I've asked my niece B to tell you a little about Conversion Disorder. We're grateful to finally have a name for this horrible group of symptoms that have been so painful for her and all who love her........

I'm B, Sharon's niece, and I live with something called Conversion Disorder. It's a debilitating mental illness. There are different symptoms depending on the person. For me, it's seizures and black out episodes. They started out of nowhere, and I've been told that I will have this for the rest of my life. I did recently find out something that I never knew before about this illness, and that is that people who suffer from Conversion often have a close family member who also suffers from a chronic illness. For me, that family member is my mother, who lives with Scoliosis. And because of that, I didn't develop any coping skills as a little girl, and I don't quite know how to handle life all the time. So, now I'm sick. I've been sick for a year now, and it doesn't get any easier. I now have chronic pain from all the seizures, and being a 20 year old in an 80 year old body is really hard. I can hardly get out and do things with my friends. But it hasn't kept me from trying to stay as positive as I can. I'm currently working on a memoir about living with Conversion. All I want is for the word to be out.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Photos of Re-enlistment

With my hubby's help, I have now added photo's of our son's re-enlistment signing and extremely small ceremony. If you would like to see it, click on the link.

Stormy Weather

I had big plans for this week. I had been cleaning my bedroom that also houses my computer and sewing, plus all other crafts that I actually do, such as beading. I had hoped to complete the cleaning out of fabric and oddities which would have gone to the Goodwill. I'll be taking the fabric to my quilting friend Connie. She has many projects that she does with her quilting and she knows who to give the remainder of the fabric to, if there is some she can't use. I'm sure that some will end up going to her co-worker and another of my quilting friends, Joan for Project Linus quilts and that makes me happy.

Unfortunately, I've had some problems this week with my knees and now my allergies. I just got over bronchitis, so I'm not at all happy about the allergy problems. The last thing I need is to end up with bronchitis again! Needless to say, I haven't done much of the cleaning out that I had wanted to do or even any of the sewing I wanted to do. I've been reading though and enjoying that. One of my all time favorite books is The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet and Mr. Follet came out with a sequel to that book a year or so ago. I found it at the library and am very happily reading it now. I can't pass judgement yet as to whether World without End will also be on my all time favorites list, but it's sure keeping my interest.

Since I've felt less than "up to par", I haven't worked on the two quilting projects that I am most interested in finishing soon. One of them is this wonderful pineapple miniature that I started last weekend at retreat. The fabrics are two different hand painted fabrics from Skydyes by Mickey Lawler. The darker fabric was a fat quarter so that will limit how big I can make the quilt, but the lighter fabric was probably a yard and that opens all kinds of possibilities. I could set it on point with setting triangles or use the rest in another project. I had originally planned to sell this as one of my first minis on etsy. I now have my own etsy shop, but I haven't put any merchandise in it yet. I'm in the photography stage and hope to have some things listed very soon. I will definitely let you know when it's open. But that leads me back to the dilemma of this little mini. I've been calling it Stormy Weather and I don't know if I'll keep it (I've never kept one of my minis) or I'll sell it.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Photo of the week 11 of 39 -- Logs

I live in a cedar log home that my father built on just over 27 acres in rural Texas. We have a 1/4 acre cemetery from the 1860's on our property. Unfortunately, when the highway went in, the cemetery was abandoned and headstones were stolen and destroyed. Many were used for house foundations and porch steps, according to cemetery records. Others were just broken to pieces. There is one headstone still standing. It has a father and two young sons listed on three of its four sides, but we don't know if it's in the correct place. It had been knocked off of it's foundation.

If I had known when my dad was building this home, that I would one day live in it, I would have helped him design it. I would have a window over the kitchen sink and lots more storage. I would have a proper upstairs bedroom with a door that closes for quiet and privacy instead of a loft bedroom. My kitchen would be twice the size it is and I would have room for a real table to eat at instead of eating at the bar between the kitchen and living room. Most of that is just piddling little wishes, but the biggest real changes I would have made it that I would have at least one white wall and the logs would not be rounded. You have to vacuum these logs because they catch dust and dirt and believe me, there is a lot of dirt in the country! It drives me totally nuts, and the logs get truly depressing in February when everything is so dark.

The picture is of a couple of the logs in the bedroom. I love this log because it looks like it has eyes looking out at me. To me, it's the soul of the house.

Next weeks theme is "Spelling Errors".

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Passing the Test

My son just called. He passed the test! He's a Tech Sergeant! Or will be as soon as he can officially sew on his new stripe. With that comes a pay raise and, I'm sure, more responsibility. He's 28 years old and has been in the Air Force for 10 years. I'm told that making Tech at this age and this soon is fairly rare. I don't know if that is as true now as it apparently was when his father was in the Air Force, but regardless, I'm his mother and I'm extremely proud.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Springhill Retreat with my Quiltingfriends

I can't believe I haven't posted yet about my quilt retreat last weekend! It was loads of fun. I started a new project and finalized plans for the one that I had worked on at the last retreat. I promise to post pictures of both soon, but until then, I have pictures of the projects the other ladies worked on and completed.

We don't just quilt when we're at retreat. We knit too. Socks were the project this time. I loved seeing how they were turning out! I can't knit, but it's on my list of things I want to learn. This group of ladies is so talented!

L to R: Debbie C, Phyllis, Sandy, Paula

Krissy and Laurie

Donna B (seated), Micki, Paula

Jan T, Carol Mc, June

All this fun can be exhausting!

Black and bright Bull's Eye! I love it and of course, seeing it in this stage, makes me wish I had gone ahead and participated in the swap. The mistake was pointed out to Sandy and she fixed it.

Phyllis made these wonderful little purses. We all wanted them, but alas, they were destined for others. The pattern is called Paula's Purse, available at Quilt Country.

Hopefully, I'm remembering this one correctly. It's Debbie L's Hip to be Square, a Quilt Country pattern.

Diane's first Judy Niemeyer quilt! She's not quite finished, but she's sure making good progress. She likes it so much, she's signed up to take another class with her and make another of her quilts.

Micki made this one. The picture doesn't do it justice. It is absolutely beautiful in person. Very sophisticated. Eclipse available at Quilt Country.

Debbie C's friendship hearts swap quilt. Mine is still in "blocks" form.

A Blooming Nine Patch class sample, completed by Jan T.

Paula's sock.

Donna B's sock.

This beauty (and the one below) were both made by Carol Mc. The pattern is called Over and Under, I do believe. It's available at Quilt Country. I find this pattern very confusing to look at. Visually, it just doesn't look like it should fit together to me. I want to make one similar to this one. I have lots of batiks and love the look with the black.

Carol made this one as a wheel chair quilt to donate to a wounded soldier.

Another Judy Niemeyer quilt. This one made by Paula as a class sample for the Judy classes coming up at Quilt Country next week. I'd like to try to make this one first, even though I've already purchased the large 104 x 104 Amazon Star pattern. I'm a little intimidated by it. I had signed up for the class next week, but had to cancel. Money is just too tight right now to buy all of the fabric I needed for the project. I think I could make this one mostly in fat quarters, which is what I tend to buy.

Monday, June 15, 2009


My son sent me pictures today of him at his re-enlistment signing on the tenth of this month. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to copy them to the blog yet. He's been in the Air Force for 10 years and just signed up for 6 more. This is his second re-enlistment. The second time he has completed his commitment and could have come home to live near his family and be free to do as he pleased when he pleased. He re-enlisted to provide for his family and serve his country. I cannot begin to tell you of my pride in my son and I cannot begin to express my sorrow at having them far from home for another 6 years. Especially since I know there will be at least 4 more after that. He told me before the first four years were over that he planned to make a career of the Air Force. Time is flying by, but seems to drag on a daily basis as they live their lives away from us. The children grow up knowing us only from visits and phone calls. This is not what I pictured when I pictured having children and grandchildren. I thought they would live a few miles from us. We would have them on occasional weekends and some nights so their parents could go out. Life doesn't always turn out like you plan, but it's still good and I'm thankful for what we do have. ** Photos added on 6/20/2009.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Photo of the week 10 of 39 -- Black and White

I didn't get to go take a picture of the cows I had hoped to find. And I'm not overly happy with the one I took of the cat at Petsmart either. He's a sweetie, but I just didn't get that great a shot. So, that got me to thinking of my early photos of Elly and Barkley when we had just brought him home. He's sleeping on her tail here and she even has grass stuck in it. Neither of them seemed to even notice it. I sure do miss that girl!
Next week's theme is Logs.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hairy things

I'm starting to get used to my hair being all cut off. I was amazed at how cold I felt when I first cut it! Don't get me wrong, I still get really hot and sweaty, but I'm cold much more often than I thought possible for this time of year. I haven't brushed my neck even once, but I do forget occasionally and reach up to take the clip out that is no longer there. I haven't used too much shampoo either. What I have may last the rest of the year or even longer. It sure feels weird to wash!

I was never one to wear much makeup. In school, I usually only wore mascara. I stopped wearing all make up and perfumes when I moved to the country. Everything would melt on me when I was outside and I'd rub my eyes only to find later that I now looked like a raccoon from smearing melted mascara all over my face. That can be really embarrassing if you notice it right after getting home from the grocery store. So, I very seldom wear even mascara now. I stopped with the perfumes because of the bees and wasps. Then I realized I have allergies, so I can barely tolerate even being around someone else wearing them.

I may have to start wearing mascara again though with my new hair do. I just can't get used to how I look! I like how short it is because it feels so much better. I like that it has more curl, but it really wasn't cut for the curl. It's been so long since I'd had my hair really cut, that I neglected to tell her that I needed a do that was really simple to care for. I don't like to fuss with it. I want to wash it, dry it and go. Sometimes I even let it air dry and go while it's still wet. I'm thinking mascara would dress me up a bit and that might look better. I may give it a try. Regardless, it's nice to be doing some of the things on my 49 List.

Thursday I get to start a new volunteer job with the SPCA! I'll be helping Allison when she photographs the dogs and cats each Thursday morning from now on. I'll still be tending the cats afterward too. I'm looking forward to it. I missed seeing the little ones and holding puppies. Now, if they have new puppies, I get to hold them.

This will be a short week. I'm going to a quilt retreat on Thursday afternoon. So, I'll be posting my photo of the week tomorrow. It's not the one I had originally wanted to post, but I've been too busy to drive around looking for what I had planned.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Photo of the week 9 of 39 -- Sunset

I had hoped to be near home in time to take sunset photos yesterday. Driving back from Dallas, if I time it right, the sun sets on the right side of the car for several miles. I thought I'd be able to stop and take photos with pasture land and beautiful skies, but my timing was off. So, at the spur of the moment, I took these. Reflections of the sunset in the car mirrors (as I was -- very carefully -- driving). I actually kind of like how they turned out. I wish I had planned beforehand though, I would have washed the side mirror.

Next week's theme is Black and White. I know what I want to shoot for it. I also have a back up plan.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Power Day

I happen to glance at a month long horoscope today for Capricorn. It said that today (of all days of the month) was my power day. Who knew?

I took care of "my" kitties at the Petsmart today. Had lunch. Went to get my glasses repaired (I can see to use the computer again!) and then to a Dr. appointment. After that, I cut my hair for Locks of Love! I've wanted to do this for a while and I've been growing out my hair for it. I had originally planned to grow my hair about 3 more inches and have what was left end up being shoulder length. But I reconsidered when I started to sweat to death over and over this spring. Sweating to the point, that my hair was just soaked. I'd had enough. Summer is only just beginning in Texas after all, and I don't plan to suffer, more than I have to, in the heat for the next 6 months. So, I had it all cut off! Locks of Love got my hair and I got a cooler do. I do not like how it shows off my (over) weight, but hey, we all make sacrifices for what we really want and I want to stop having soaking wet sweat hair. Besides, just maybe seeing my double (or would it be a triple) chin so clearly now, might get me on the truly eating healthy and exercising band wagon. Cross those fingers for me.