Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Waterloo Trip - Part 2

I would like to be able to say that I deliberately saved this post until the dead of winter so we could all enjoy the beauty that is Ontario in June, but I must confess, that it is only due to procrastination that brings you all this color right now when our world is so black, white and gray.  Nonetheless. I began telling you about our trip to visit my sister, Margaret, last June, and now I bring you the rest of the story.  Margaret's front porch window boxes gave us the most spectacular greeting.  

These beauties were on the porch right below the window box. Take note of the forget-me-nots. They are everywhere in Waterloo.

A two minute walk from Margaret's house, are the community gardens. They are such an oasis of loveliness that we had to walk through them several times during our visit. Many of the residents spend countless hours raising vegetables and the healthiest specimens I have seen anywhere. It was so nice to see residents sitting on benches in the gardens to enjoy serenity, the birds and butterflies.
Add On her living room coffee table, Margaret has this big basket filled with "friends"....all hand knit by friends.  Although they look very real, the sweet kittens are not about to jump out.
As well as her inviting back porch, there is a private terrace with garden at the back, and even a cute resident bunny.

We really enjoyed the terrace with its new pergola shaded by Virginia Creeper.




APretty flowers everywhere.


...and, more



My loving chauffeur enjoying a chocolate chip cookie!

This lovely quilt hangs in Margaret's living room over the sofa. It was  made as a gift by the Sew and Sews - Margaret's quilting group.

A William Morris quilt made by Margaret hangs on the far wall of the dining room.


During our visit there was a pick-up day for unwanted item, and I was lucky enough to find this nicely framed print. It is now in my sitting room, and a lovely reminder of our trip.

As always, Margaret was working on quilt blocks while we were there. Her work,a ll by hand, it so detailed and interesting. These pieces have a lot of hand applique.

These circles are all appliqued by hand, and perfect!

These little flowers were my favorites.


Love the owls!

All too soon, it was time to head home. We planned our route to take us south through Niagara Falls,  then north to Fort Niagara, and east across the lower shore of Lake Ontario. We always like to choose a way we have not driven before. All the way east to Syracuse/Rochester area we were driving close to the shore of the Lake and it was the most beautiful, serene and lush countryside. We passed hundreds of miles of fruit orchards - apples, peaches, pears, cherries and others.  Very rural, yet thriving with business.

We came across this little honor system farm stand and, of course, we stopped to buy strawberries and asparagus. Two of our favorite foods!

Along the way...

By noon we were getting hungry and this lovely farm popped up just as a very heavy thunder storm began. We pulled in and made a mad dash through the rain drops. It is a strawberry farm, and I only wish I could convey the essence of strawberry that filled the air. We enjoyed a delicious lunch of BLT's on homemade bread served with just made potato chips.


This doisplay was adjacent to the table where we ate lunch.

Looking out to the strawberry fields and apple trees beyond. 


Obviously a popular destination for delicious food and home made ice cream.

Very close to Lake Ontario at this point



I cannot remember the name of this quirky little town but loved these windows above an old store.



Two happy sisters!!

 
Thanks for coming along with us....PEace and love.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Morning After

Just came in from cleaning off Lou's car, and mine, too! Snow up to my knees to walk through. There was a very large tree limb on top of my car but we think it fell after the heavy snow had left padding enough to avoid damage. Wind is so cold and blowing snow in one's face. We are attempting to clean the driveway snow so that I can leave for home later today after the Pats game. We can do it.....I think!!
We had to clean the eaves areas first to avoid ice dams, now Lou is using his little electric snowblower to do the driveway.
 
Ms G is lurking around following the sun to each of the windows.  She slept under the quilt for awhile last night while the wind howled.
 
All is well.......

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Snow

The big storm is just beginning to rear its head here on Cape Cod. It is nearly dark as night and we have heavy winds and a few flakes, but it promises to be much worse in the coming hours.

My Saturday morning board meeting was canceled, and I am now at LM's house hunkered down with both of us hunkered down with Ms G.

LM just brought his electric snow blower and cords in to the house and has all his other clearing tools in the kitchen. Cars are backed in to the drive, and we have plenty of food.

Our biggest concern is a power outage and not being able to watch the Pats vs Broncos game tomorrow. Life is good.

I will report back in later.  Stay safe and warm everyone!!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Winter Calm

While the mad scientist is at work in the kitchen at home, I have been spending a cozy happy weekend with my beloved LM and Ms Graysea.  She is right by my side at this very moment, cuddled in her favorite fleece throw. 
We are slowly moving toward taking down the Christmas tree this afternoon, and might watch a movie. I do know a certain someone who will be watching more play-off football later today (he barely survived the agony of watching the Patriots' Game yesterday), and I may or may not cook a meal at some point.  Meanwhile, I am enjoying the quiet before football din takes over later.  At that point I can retreat to the comfy wing chair in the kitchen to continue reading my current book, Orphan Train, by Christine Baker Kline. It is a compelling book, if not exactly upbeat, but I am learning about a time in this country of which I had no prior knowledge.  In the 1920's when the children of immigrants(in this case Irish) were sometimes taken away and placed on "Orphan Trains" that traveled to the west and middle west and left these children with other very poor settlers. The book came highly recommended to me by my  brother, and I always trust his judgement on books!  Hoping to finish the book today, as I am anxious to start another of his faves, "The Nightingale." 

My project of organizing and discarding some my quilting fabrics, went very well last Thursday.  I managed to find everything I was looking for, and to pare down my collection of fabric.  The process got me all lined up to finish a quilt I began the day my father died in 2009.  Intentionally it is a fun quilt, and I hope will go to Teddy in a few years.  This quilt contains cats from my extensive collection of cat fabric, and a few donkeys, too. A lot of my favorite things! I madly sewed 25 log cabin blocks in a very short time, and needed 3 blocks to make the size right. I couldn't even look at the blocks without feeling deep grief.....now that has eased.  Fast forward 7 years.. I've been having a terrible time choosing border fabric.  I kept wanting to use a dark fabric, but in the past few weeks I realize that the busyness of the blocks really needs a white border to allow them to expand and float. The plan is to use a white fabric with  tiny and faint black pin dots.  The binding will be a very thin strip of orange.  I am hoping to have this quilt ready to enter in a show this summer.


 With everything else going on, I do struggle with focus, so it helps that I now have the remaining work  all set to begin.

In the meantime, I think I wrote somewhere about becoming a member of the board of directors for a new art center that is opening in our neighborhood (literally a less than 5 minute walk from my house).  The wheels are turning fast on the project, and I am very excited for the opportunity to play a small role in bringing  new vibrancy to a much loved old school.  Here is a link to some photos taken last week when a group of local and state government officials came for a tour. The building has the most wonderful light and huge windows.  There are many classrooms, a gym/auditorium, a cafeteria, etc, and a lot of land on which to expand.
http://www.capecodtimes.com/article/20160114/NEWS/160119687

I do believe, I titled this post Winter Calm, even though it does seem like a pretty hectic pace, but it is all things I love, and reflects calmness in my spirit to be creating.

Tomorrow, LM and I are taking Teddy and Samantha to Rhode Island for the day to visit Kristi. We haven't seen her for awhile, but she is doing so well in her foster home.  I will get some photos.  Now if the snow storm being talked about moves a bit north to give us safe travel.....we shall see.

Alas, Ms G's peace has been disturbed. LM is now taking down the tree and he placed one of my vintage cat glass ornaments next to her face, and her peace has been invaded by another "cat."

Peace and love......

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Driving

From the vantage point of being retired for 18 months, it seems almost impossible that my life has become so different. Most days I love it, some bring a trapped feeling, but others (and today is one) give me such a feeling of freedom. I can choose to do whatever I want, be around others, be completely alone, just being ME......and, being me can be very strange, say I laughing out loud, as I did this morning.  It is a bitter cold day with very heavy wind, but the sun is so bright and beautiful.

After getting Mr T off to school, at 8:30 I came home to lovely quiet, with the morning sun pouring in to my sitting room, and while finishing my morning tea, proceeded to go through my paper pile that always accumulates on the table beside my chair.  I consolidated lists, checked off a lot of things now done, entered movies to see and books to read into my computer files, wrote some notes to friends, paid bills, and worked out some budget matters for the month, and ordered some border fabric for my current quilt project. While preparing to leave the house on the expedition of the day, I pulled out my collection of fabric. It is all stored in a small clothes closet, and tonight I will go through each box and weed out fabric I will never use, and donate it.  So all that took me about 1.5 hrs, and I was out the door with a small list of things I needed. 

After the little errands were done (and how nice to not feel rushed, and be able to look to my hearts content.....today's haunts were TJ Maxx, and Michael's.  As I walked through the icy wind back to my car, I thought, hmmmmmm, I can now pursue my favorite past time and have no restrictions, except a tad of common sense, of course......I LOVE to drive around and look to see what is happening. Today took me all around Middleboro, Wareham, Rochester, Bourne, and a few other places. With only natures bones exposed at this time of year, there is so  much  more to be seen and savored,  There were lots of cranberry bogs to be enjoyed, some flooded to protect the vines from freezing, others just beautifully glowing in their deep red winter coats, and others being worked on with sand, new soil and plantings.  Very interesting. Soon some of them will be covered with ice skaters.  I found restaurants I have read about, and new businesses going in, and others, sadly being torn down. One particular old favorite, The Chicken House, in Middleboro, being razed to make room for a solar project. I was literally driving for 2.5 hours and kept thinking how lovely to have the time to enjoy something that has been a part of my life since I can remember.  First with my grandparents and parents, then with various partners, and so often alone, driving and looking (carefully, of course) has saved me, delighted me, and taught me so much.  There is always a book by my side, and if a beautiful spot arises, I love to pull over and read for awhile.

I took no photos, as I just stayed in the moments and yet, "photos" of my travels today, will last forever in my mind, and serve my sanity well.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Teddy Snippet



Having tea in my sitting room this morning, when Teddy walked in with his camera. He began opening drawers to photograph the contents.  "Teddy why are you taking photos of Nana's things?" (pens, packing tape, old address books, quilting supplies.....go figure.  I have no claim to how his very active mind works.

"It is just surveillance, Nana!!"  He also mentioned that it might be too hard for Aunt Margaret to climb the stairs when she visits in May, so he could show her my things by scrolling through photos.  Sweetness!!
Here is my dynamic and SWEET duo at dinner last weekend

Mg G feels it is her job to keep LM's computer warm at all times.


The perfect vantage point and with just a slight turn she's spying on the neighbors, but her favorite task is keeping her "people" under surveillance at all times. No wonder Teddy is doing the same thing!

Settling back in to school schedule again, after what seemed like a long holiday vacation. My days are mostly revolving around Teddy's schedule, but there is some time for cooking, thrift shopping, and seeing friends.  Life is so good!!  Went to a Savers' store in Plymouth today with a neighbor, and we were very successful. I found a great new crockpot, and some lovely insulated drapes for LM's house. We will use them to block off the stairway to the second floor, to keep the downstairs cozy for the winter. Ms G still likes to go up there to sleep during the day, and she can just push the curtains aside to gain access.
Wishes for health, love and peace to you all.

 



Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Funnies

HAPPY ALMOST CHRISTMAS to everyone!!!!   Teddy is so excited that Alison is still struggling with trying to get him to sleep tonight. Who knows what will happen tomorrow night.

Meanwhile, LM is at home and calling me every two minutes. He has been laughing so hard for the last 35 minutes and is so upset that I am not there with him to share Ms G's antics. She has become quite a regular TV viewer, and really likes watching other animals. They will hold her attention for quite a long time. Tonight, though, is the best yet, as LM is watching PBS Nature and it is all about snowy owls.  There has been frantic running around, meowing, and leaps at the TV.  I am hoping some of her antics are being recorded, as the descriptions I am hearing sound to be You Tube worthy.  That girl is so funny.

Most of our holiday plans are in place, and LM will arrive tomorrow afternoon to stay over so he can be here to watch Teddy open his gifts on Christmas Morning.  After that, we will return to LM's house to have a quiet day and work a little on the food prep for our open house on Sunday with our children and other grandchildren.

It is pouring rain here and very warm, with temps near 70 forecast for tomorrow.

Wishing everyone peace and love all around.