Thursday, April 29, 2010

Takin' to the Air

Baltimore here we come!! Launching from Providence around noon today, LM and I will land around 2 and soon be with my brother and family for 4 days full of plans. Beautiful sunshine promises to warm the entire weekend for us, and that will be a welcome treat!
Friday will bring me, via Amtrak, to Alexandria, VA where I will have a long awaited reunion with my dearest friend from high school! We have not seen each other since the early 60's! We'll spend the day together, and with a little luck, LM and my brother will retrieve me from the train in Baltimore. My sister-in-law, Jenni claims that LM will be learning to knit and spin while I am away that day....sounds like he might be game. Stay tuned.....
Saturday will find Jenni and I at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival at the Baltimore County Fairgrounds. Sunday, we will attend opening day of the Baltimore City Farmers Market, and in the afternoon I will be meeting one of my dear blogging friends! Just a little bit of the fun we have ahead in MD.
Lot's of fun in store and next week, I'll take you all along, too.
Have a great weekend!! We're off.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hello Lisa....Happy Birthday!!

Very warm and sincere HAPPY BIRTHDAY wishes go out today to Lisa of Community Connections! Lisa is the dear friend and mentor to LM's daughter, Kristi. She has changed Kristi's life and given her so much happiness and stimulation for which we are ever so grateful.

May you have a very happy day, Lisa and know that we are all so very grateful for all you do.

See you sometime soon, I hope.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Weekend

We had a lovely sunny day here yesterday, and LM and I worked in his yard and garden almost all day. Cutting, lopping, digging, planting (some primroses), raking, and pulling out old rose briars, were just a part of what we did and my body is aching all over.....good feeling, actually. Even after all the work, LM cooked me a beautiful fish dinner last night and we collapsed in front of a DVD which we barely got through.....sleep was never so welcome.

Today we got up to dreary cold drizzle! What a contrast. I worked outside a little bit more and then cleaned and organized some kitchen cupboards. Late morning we headed in town to visit with Kristi and take her on some errands. After taking Kristi home we stopped and had a late lunch and then came back to the house where I intended to pack up my stuff and head home early, as I really need some time to prepare for our trip to Baltimore this week. We got out of the car and for some reason I went to the garden shed and got out the loppers and rake again...I am a glutton for punishment. All of a sudden we both had a huge burst of energy and went to the very back of the property where 5 scraggly pine trees have been annoying me for ages - they'd grown up under two other lovely graceful trees and due to no sunshine, they were very scraggly and never going to thrive. LM had been saying, no to taking them down, but today he caved and we began an hour of very intense work. We laughed and joked the whole time and it was the perfect way to end our weekend together. It looks so nice now! Needless to say, I am just barely walking right now, but at least I am home and about to get myself moving on some trip prep....maybe. Time is short as I am out tomorrow night at my wonderful new meditation class, and Tuesday night I am treating myself to a facial.
I'd been in a note so happy mood as the weekend approached, but the hard work really kicked that mood out and up.
That's about the story here. Cannot wait to be on the road to the airport. Wishing everyone a great week.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Loving Stitches

Sunday, friend Sue, took the quilt to some of the other quilters and they worked, quilting bee-style, to sew down the binding. Some of these beautiful women took their first sewing stitches.
Here, Linda takes her turn. This shot really shows the beautifully soft flannel backing, chosen not only for warmth, but to keep the quilt from slipping off Diann's (giftee) lap.
Jerre, Sharon (first ever stitches!!), and Linda
Jerre, our hostess
Sewing in unison are Sharon and Linda
Several others from trimming the edges on Saturday night at Sue's.

There are two more, Dorna and Debra, to put their stitches into the binding and Project D will be finished except for the dedication label. Jerre, our contingent artist, is using her expertise to draw a very meaningful design, and we will all sign it.
Thank you everyone for the encouragement and lovely comments about our project. If only love and a quilt could cure ALS!!! Stay tuned.....

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Memories of a Kiss, Toaster Oven Fire Makes Ms G a Happy Girl!

Last Saturday was a pretty gloomy day. We had a lot of things to do, and plans were interrupted by an unexpected errand, so I was not in the mellowest of moods. As we headed to the north side of the Cape to do the errand, LM took a detour and drove me to the site of our first kiss! What a guy....yes, this is the site, just in front of where that car is parked, sunset, August 12, 2007. Still makes my heart leap....awwwww. Last Saturday was really stormy, and what seemed like hundreds of seagulls, were resting on the beach. As I got out to take a picture, they all lifted off. An amazing sight and very noisy!

After that sweet little trip down memory lane, we returned to LM's house with our big purchase of the morning, a new toaster oven. Two evenings prior, LM got sidetracked and forgot he was making toast, until he heard the smoke alarm go off! Flames and smoke were consuming the old toaster oven! He was able to pick it up and get it out the back door before any more damage was done. Close call for the kitchen and LM.

Anything new is a great adventure for Ms G if it has tape and other noisy/sticky things inside. She immediately sat upon the new box and waited for the grand opening. (I mean, does it seem like our life is truly boring???? The cat is our entertainment?)
She's waiting, we drag out the suspense...
There is a lovely sticky tape handle on top! Oh, please hurry, she says.
The great unveiling. More tape and plastic to lick.
See all those boxes in the living room.....grrrrrr. I am practicing self-restraint (somewhat unsuccessfully) and not saying a word about them. They house only a minute fraction of LM's priceless collection of first editions of fishing literature. He'll get to it, eventually. Maybe sooner if I back off?

Can you see the hand of the instigator??
Someone else, NOT ME, stuck the tape strip on the coffee table. Mmmmmm good!

Truly amazing, the amount of money we spend to entertain this cat, not to mention burning the toast on purpose!

Guess who cleaned up the regurgitated tape on Sunday morning??

Monday, April 19, 2010

Down to the Finish Line

The quilt group passed the quilt around last week, taking turns on tying the "sandwich" together with their love for Diann. Sue picked it up on Saturday, and we made a plan to meet at her house for a light dinner, a little visit with Teddy and Jason, and to sew the binding on our project. LM dropped me off, as he was on his way to visit his son nearby. Sue had hardwood floors installed last week and we had a great time admiring the beautiful difference they've made in her sweet house. The resident feline, Jaxson, was NOT happy to see Teddy. For some reason he feels very threatened by children and there was much hissing, howling and growling, as well as baring of teeth!! Pretty dramatic. Poor Jaxson was banished to the basement until Teddy was on his way home.

Teddy enjoyed sharing a bit of our pita bread and wasn't too keen on the dinner being proffered by his wonderful Daddy. He was chattering away but we struggled to understand his happy words. He is such a joyful and loving child.

My mother's eyes!
Soon it was time for Teddy to be on his way home, Jaxson to be freed, and we were ready to square off the edges of the quilt and begin our evening's work. Working with these beautiful fabrics has been so inspiring, full of meaning, and fun, that we really wanted to savor every minute of these last steps to the finish line. To be doing this with my dear friend, just made it all the more special. Here we have the quilt waiting to be trimmed. The strips to be sewn on for the binding are in the foreground.

We kept finding ourselves sitting with the quilt, testing the weight and comfort level, as well as finding new beauty in each turn. At one point, deep in conversation (we always have lots to talk about), we realized we were sitting with the quilt covering us both.
My mother's and my grandmother's hands rest on the quilt. As well, as the incredible women who've worked on this quilt, there are also the hands of those who've inspired me to learn the little I know of this sister, Margaret, and my sister-in-law, Jenni. It reminded me how important it is to be in each minute of life, absorb all you can, as these times, will enrich your future a thousand fold. Don't ask why or how, just know it will be, and learn all you can.
Sue presses the binding strips as we prepare to sew them on. The simplest part of the process is so very special.
A finally freed, Jaxson, had fun watching us from a paper bag I'd brought. He also had a great time getting in the midst of our sewing.
The binding now attached beautifully by Sue, I taught her how to turn it and sew it down by hand. Now after Sue sews a portion, she will pass it to the other women for their stitches to bind this work of love.
We're not sure when the presentation will take place, as LM and I are going to Baltimore in 8 days (Hello Maryland Sheep & Wool, Jenni, Ev & Martin, Lynne and Kittie), and then there is Mother's Day, but know for sure, it will be recorded here for you to enjoy.
Meanwhile, Ms G had some big excitement last Thursday.....LM set the toaster on fire.....fortunately the smoke alarms went off, and he was able to get the flaming oven out to the back terrace. WHEW.....The best fun was yet to come, though, when we purchased a new toaster oven, and Ms G had all the sticky tape and boxes with which to play . Life is never dull with the little darlin'.....more news on that big adventure tomorrow. Doesn't take much to entertain us!! LOL

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Just a bit of Family Pride

How lovely to see this yesterday and just had to share this wonderful story. Jean Driscoll is such an inspiration and a very special member of our family.
My brother, Marty, coached her to 8 wins of the Boston Marathon, and now she is inspiring Marty's son, Sam!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tying with Love

I'm really loving these Sunday afternoons with the quilting group, and it will be sad when it comes to an end. There is something so fulfilling about helping these wonderful women to create such a beautiful gift of love and healing.
Last Sunday was a lovely day, and after some leisurely morning time with LM and Ms G, as well, as some gardening, I was on my way to Sandwich, to pick-up Sue first.

The quilt body being sewn together by Sue on Saturday:

Hanging on Sue's fireplace.....we are really going to miss these beautiful colors.
My godson, Jaxson, needed to show off for me. He was having a great time playing on the boxes of wood that were about to become new wood floors in "his" house the next day.
Next we were off to Jerre's house to begin the final steps. Jerre has been so kind through all this. Each week we are all greeted warmly, and invited to work in her lovely and naturally lit living room. Being surrounded by all her wonderful art is so inspiring, as well.

Sharon begins the day's process by trimming and squaring off the edges.
I'd brought "Teddy's quilt" to share .....Debra and I deep in discussion
Jerre had asked me to bring the book which details the first 10 years of "my" company's projects, so some of us did get off-subject a bit in discussions of architecture styles.
Holding the body of the quilt, now squared off, and ready for application of the first border.
Dorna irons...
Sharon samples some yummy peanut butter cookies
Jerre irons the border strips
Sue expertly sews on the first border strip. I just love that sunlight is shining on us all through this project.
Debra, Jerre and Dorna enjoy the view from the deck. The star magnolia, at its peak, was also lighting our day.
Dorna helps with sewing....lovely that everyone is having a hand in each part.
The top is done. As we all admire it we realize the photos make it look just like stained glass....a very memorable moment in the process....little miracles.
With all the borders sewn on, we are ready to apply the deliciously soft flannel backing.
Debra and Jerre prepare to cut the backing
The rest of our time was spent "making the sandwich." We cut the backing, then cut a piece of cotton filling to put between the back and the top of the quilt. Last part of this meeting was learning the process of tying the quilt together in random spots, using embroidery thread. I'd suggested sending the quilt out to be professionally quilted, but they all wished to use the tying method, making the finishing process more personal. This week, the women are meeting at convenient times to work on the tying and have it finished by Saturday. I will then return to Sue's to pick up this precious gift. Next step is to sew on the outer binding and have it ready to show them how to hand sew it down on the back. At our next meeting, we will sew on the custom designed label on which we will all have signed our names. Last but not least, we will present the gift!! Stay tuned for what I am sure will be an incredibly beautiful, poignant and tearful event.