Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Mid week in Mid July...

 It is the time of year for the Tour de France.  I like to watch here and there while Ron is absorbing almost every moment.  The tour gives an amazing view of the French countryside and mountains and coastline.  Having never been to Europe I am continually amazed at how neat some of the towns and villages are clustered... and how green everything is. The architecture of some of the structures is totally amazing. Oh yes, and there are some amazing bike riders out there.

I am trying to start a new trend... fresh flowers for my countertop.  I think it is into the third week since my first bouquet on my new counter.  I have been buying my cut flowers from the floral department at the grocery store.  At $3.98 a bouquet, they are my little ray of sunshine for a minimal cost.  They last about a week and they make me smile.  I added the green ones today.  There were a couple of the yellow left from last time that are still looking pretty good.  It would be neat to be able to cut flowers from my own garden... one of these days.

A cool gift we recently received... Ron thought the mirror behind the counter would create an opportunity for a neat picture to show both sides of this cup.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Quilts hung and empty nest.

Official first quilt to be hung in the new house.  Now I have had a couple small quilts up already, but they were put there with tacks for temporary enjoyment.  This quilt is in the bedroom, my Baltimore Cousins quilt, and it fits perfectly above the bed between the two windows.  For the first time since I finished this quilt, it is in a location that allows all the blocks to be seen. 

This is the quilt room with a couple more quilts on display.  The lighting in here was a little lacking, so the light fixtures you see are all new.  They are LED and linked together.  They provide totally awesome lighting.  We installed a gridwall in the closet to accommodate my collection of thread cones and the smaller mini-cones are on racks behind the door.

The Mamma dove was having a hard time fitting in the nest with her two babies.  It was hard to see up there, so I am not sure exactly when these two hatched, but based on the size of the eggs, I am presuming these guys were up there much longer than I was aware.  This afternoon I went out with my selfie stick to prepare to take another closer look and the two of them flew off together right in front of me.  

Empty nest means we can now take this light fixture down and replace it with the new one we have been waiting to install when they flew the coop.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018


Figs are relatively new to me, cooking with fresh figs anyhow.  Fresh figs are not something you would typically find up north. After moving here, a few years back a friend gave me some fresh figs and someone else suggested I could make a fig cake... which I had never heard of.  I found a recipe and made a fig cake and I remember it was a really awesome cake.  Time has a way of making a memory become fuzzy sometimes.  I remember making the cake and that it was really good, but that was the extent of my recollection of a fig cake.  Since that time I have tried a few times to grow a fig tree so I could have my own figs, but the cutter ants seemed to like to strip the leaves off before it ever got to the fruit stage.  Since our move here this time, I found a neighbor that has a fig tree hobby and he has offered to give me a couple fig trees, which got me wishing I could get my hands on some fresh figs to try my hand at a fig cake again.  Seems that Sophie, the original source of my figs, just happened to have some fresh figs ready to be picked and dropped off a container of fresh figs yesterday.  When they are freshly picked, they have to be used quickly.

I made a fig cake today.  It was every bit as awesome as I remembered.  I found a super easy recipe online... cause I have no idea where the recipe is that I used way back then. 

On another note we got a problem resolved today.  I was concerned that my dryer was taking too long to dry the clothes.  We investigated and found the dryer vent was a good place for birds to build nests.  We tried to clean out the vent, but there is a closet behind the washer/dryer area, which means the vent goes up and over the bedroom closet before it exits at second story level outside.  We decided that there were likely more nests in the vent than we were capable of getting to, because our efforts didn't improve the drying time.  The vent guy and his helper came this morning and cleaned all of the nests out of the vent... and there were a few.  He used a rotor rooter type tool and a really powerful blower which did the trick. After they left we went to the hardware store and bought a vent cover that has a mesh across the opening to keep the birds out.  I also did a test washload to run through the dryer, and it dried perfectly in half the time.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Let the quilting begin!

This small quilt was finished today for a very dear friend.  The significance of this quilt is it was the first to be completed on my longarm in its new location in my upstairs quilting room.  I now have both my longarm and the embroidery machine up and running.  The quilting room is smaller than either of the previous two locations for my longarm, so it took time to organize the room so all would fit comfortably. We also installed new LED lighting which is awesome. Lighting can make such a difference when paying attention to detail.

It still may be a little longer before I am able to get into any serious quilting, but having my machines set up and ready for action is encouraging.

Blocks and borders are not limited to quilting... counter tops can present an opportunity to create a different kind of masterpiece. This was a joint effort, but I think it turned out marvelous. 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Doors and more...

It will take a while to get things situated where they need to be, but little things can make a new home start to feel more comfortable.  I have several quilts that need to find their place on the walls of my new gallery, so tacks and pre-positioned nails are helping my front entrance to look a little more like home.

  Christmas cactus likes the light that comes through the door, and that silhouette quilt might just stay where it is...  it kind of looks like it belongs there.  I am thinking a quilt needs to go around the corner on the wall above this smaller quilt.  That might take some figuring as I have never hung a quilt around a corner before, nor one quite so high up.

I have two back doors, one goes into the garage and the kitchen has a door to the back porch.  My sister sent me a table topper that has ended up... at least temporarily, as a door topper over my washer and dryer.  Those bi-fold doors are new... previously there were sliding doors that somehow just don't belong in front of a washer and dryer.

 I won't get around to a garden quite yet, but my garden art needed to get out of the garage and my porch said dress me up. Seems there is a good breeze that comes through my back porch and makes my wind chimes sing.

One of our projects will be to replace the outside lights as they are all missing their tops.  Of course this makes the birds happy with a nest protected from the sun and rain, and high enough so the wind is minimal.  The close-up here is from the light fixture by the door and I used a selfie stick with my phone to see if there were any eggs in the nest.  Mamma wasn't too happy, but I didn't disturb anything.  Once the babies have flown the nest, these lights are on their way out. This nest belongs to a dove... the other nests around are barn swallows, of which there are many in the neighborhood. 

Friday, June 22, 2018

Welcome to Our New Home

This is a picture of our new home in Floresville Texas, which was actually taken before we moved in.  It is not a brand new home, but as you can see, not much had been done for landscaping.  This is what we had for a start when we arrived in mid-May.
Now a two story house was not in our plan, but we had both agreed that we could consider a second story, if the master bedroom was downstairs. This is a 4 bedroom house with the master bedroom downstairs.  The master bedroom also has a very large bathroom and 3 closets... a linen closet, a miscellaneous closet and a large walk-in closet.  The master bedroom, with all its amenities, won me over.  There is a bathroom upstairs with the 3 additional bedrooms.  A two car garage is accessed from the back side of the house, and there is room for a small garden. Did I say that we have two porches?

The house is situated in a sub-division on a golf course, only a couple miles from the center of our little town.  It is a quiet neighborhood with a multitude of choices for safe places to walk or ride our bikes.
Moving is lots of work no matter what condition the house is in.  This house was not bad considering renters had been its occupants for many years.  Lots of cosmetic work, inside and out, will have to be done, but in the process we will be able to make this our house... hopefully our home for many years to come. Ron asked if I had documented any of the work we have done so far, and other than a few pictures I have taken here and there... I pretty much have not. 
I figure that we are not that far into this whole new adventure, and that if I start now to try posting our progress... not only will you be able to see what is going on, but we will have something to look back to for reference.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Getting ready for another move...

There are lots of things you have to consider when you make a move.  When you have three kitties, it is important to try to minimize their trauma.  We have three cages to attempt to keep them safe during transit... but two days on the road is a long time to be confined to such small quarters.  I have their cages airing out, and thought it would be good to let them get some familiar smells on the blankets that will go inside.  Didn't take long for all three to be camping out on those new blankies that just happen to be on the floor just for them... mission accomplished.  Shorty definitely claimed the blue one.

By the way, in case you didn't get the update... Ohio turns out to not be where we feel we should be.  We are in the process of moving back to our great town... Floresville, Texas.  Six months of Ohio winter was enough to get the momentum going for our return to sunny south Texas. Spring is here in Ohio and things are greening up real nice, but winter will be back in a few months.  With our last move very fresh in our memory... I told Ron that I thought it would be good to have some cots to get us up off the floor.  Getting up off the floor, even with a thick fluffy air mattress to sleep on, is not fun at our age. Besides, the last time our queen size air mattress sprang a leak and we ended up on the floor.   Ron's memory of sleeping on a cot was not favorable, as he said it was like sleeping on the hard floor... that's where the new cot size air mattresses came in.  I got online and ordered our sleeping accommodations for our last night in Ohio and the first few days after we arrive back in Texas before the moving van arrives.  We could stay at a hotel, but that means the kitties would not be happy. I'm thinking we should be pretty comfortable.

We have been doing lots of running around as we are preparing for this big move.  Most the time when I go by the corner where this bike shop is, I am driving so I can't take a picture. Ron was driving yesterday when we stopped at the light at this intersection.  Not many bike shops can have a bike from this vintage on display.  Lancaster is a very old town with lots of history.