Thursday, April 23, 2009

Nice Warm Day

Rake the leaves, see the green foliage.
Here's a quick snapshot out the front window that was taken the other day. My husband took some time to rake the leaves out of this part of the front yard. How amazing that after just a few days of warm weather to melt the snow that we have so much green foliage showing up now. This ground cover is what was hidden under all those leaves.

My friend said she and her husband stopped at one of the local garden centers to check on availability of new garden plants. Apparently there's not a whole lot in stock just yet. As soon as I get some plants and flowers I'm going to make up this big clay pot in the front. I'll be checking out my garden books and magazines for ideas over the next several days.

Here the yard looks so good after it was raked. It didn't take long with all the wind we've been getting to have more leaves blow in. Looks like my hubby will wait a while before he gets out there again. It's been pretty breezy lately and we're forecast to get rain over the next few days.

It was such a beautiful sun-shiny day outside today! I was out a few times. Took the dogs out for a good walk. I was out a couple times just to enjoy the day. I went to visit a friend for a short time, walked the dog, then went for a Mocha Frappuccino. When I got home I took another walk with all three dogs. Thus I had a fun visit with a friend, got some exercise to stretch my legs and a yummy, frothy drink to top it off. I'd say it was a perfect day!

Later in the afternoon I had an opportunity to gather together some of my machine embroidery designs and do a little sorting and organizing. I have some projects in mind, and wanted to locate the designs I want to work on. The other day I picked up some pleather (that's faux leather - if you didn't know - the artificial plastic leather) and also some real leather. I will be doing some pillows as a sample test-run of a few machine embroidery designs. I want to eventually put the designs on a jeans jacket. The pillows are my practice run to make sure I have the machine applique technique down and catch on to any 'surprises' in the way the designs are digitized before I commit to the actual jacket. I looked around a little bit at the mall for a jeans jacket and didn't find one I wanted to spend money on. I may go check out our local farm and ranch store tomorrow to find out their price on a jacket.

While I was at the mall I stopped at the RCC Western store. When we were there last weekent I fell in love with a pair of cowboy boots I saw. They've been on my mind ever since I saw them. I hesitate to pay the price that's marked, but I do really like them. I just might consider it a good investment if we spend much time on my husband's motorcycle this summer. They would protect my feet and ankles a lot better than the tennis shoes I've been wearing lately. I'll be giving it some thought.

Meanwhile, after much requesting from my dear hubby, I took a ride on the bike with him today. He kept insisting it would be less bumpy (from the potholes this spring) on a motorcycle than in the car. After our ride and a few serious bumps, I'd say it just isn't so. It was still pretty bumpy. Perhaps it's just too soon after the surgery to give a good objective opinion on this. My vote right now says it is just as bumpy, if not more so. Although it was a fun ride (we saw two wild deer along River Road coming back into town) I think I'll wait a few more weeks before I take another ride. A few serious bumps made me feel really tired out from that ride. I came home, took some Motrin and then settled into my easy chair for the rest of the evening.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pops of Color

Gorgeous Get Well Gerber DaisiesI've been enjoying this colorful potted Gerber Daisy that's now brightening up our front room. Thanks to a thoughtful friend who brought it to cheer me up during my recovery. Everytime I look at it, it cheers me. These are such fun flowers I just wanted to share it with all my blog peeps. I love the extra pop of color it brings to the living room.

The view out my front window-notice the much reduced snow level. Yeah!The nice warm weather has really made headway with melting the snow around here. You can see there's just a bit left in the front yard. There's more than this in the back, but at this rate it won't last long. Lot's a wind today means some of the moisture of the wet, soggy ground will dry up also. I'm loving it! Did you notice the decidedly greenish cast to the ground? It's not just all browns and grays - that beautiful green is starting to pop up!

Progress report on the 'Squares' quilt.Here's an update on my progress on the 'Squares' quilt. I am starting to sew the blocks together. So far they are attached in pairs. I tried to mix them up as far as colors go as I was sewing the pairs together. Looking at the color distribution, I think I may need to still do a little more shuffling. I love the random pop of colors from pinks, purples, aqua, orange, greens, etc. There's a lot of color here. They are all black center squares to anchor each block and give some sense of unity to all that randomness.

I am pleased with the overall look of this project. It is made from 2 1/2" strips cut from scraps. They are mostly small prints, tone-on-tones or solids with just a few bold pops of color from that large daisy print. There are enough squares here to make it a full size quilt - 64 squares all total. At this point I'm considering a black border around the perimeter with another bright, colorful border just beyond the black. I'll make my final border decisions once I get all the squares together. If you're curious, check out some earlier photos of this quilt's progress here, here, and here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

71 Degrees Warm Today!

My two chick planters.I purchased these two chicken planters at a local garden shop a couple years ago. They usually house some annuals like petunias or other simple kind of flower. I'll clean them out for replanting over the next few weeks when we're experiencing consistently warm days and nights.

Freeze damage shows on the smaller of my two chicken planters.Oops! Unfortunately this winter was a bit harsh on my smaller chicken. She lost a portion of her head. I'll have to rearrange their position so she faces the other direction this summer. She looks a lot better from the other side. Next winter they'll both have to move into the shed for better protection from the elements.

New growth in the rock garden.We've got a small rock garden along the west side of our patio. There are a variety of perennials planted among the rocks. I'm pleased to see them starting to shine. I will have to look closer at this tag to remember what type of plant this is.

Amazing that a few nice days reveals this wonderful spring growth.Another of the perennials in the rock garden. It's so exciting to see new green growth again.
We've got lots of trees in our area. Now with most of the snow out of the picture all the underbrush, leaves and dried plant material needs to be cleared. I'm hoping to be able to get outside to do that kind of clean up soon. I'm trying to pace myself; allowing enough recovery time post-surgery before I can be more active with all the bending, kneeling, raking and pullng up dried material.

Iris sprouting up along the west side of the house.These iris plants were relocated from the backyard to the side of the house when we put in the patio. I may relocate a few of them again this year. I think they may do better in a sunnier spot.

Yes! We've got strawberries peaking through the leaves along the patio border.We put in a few strawberry plants along the border of the patio. We've managed to pick a few berries just as they are starting to ripen. The birds are usually the beneficiaries of the fruit. They seem to keep a close eye on the ripening process. We have not bothered to put nets across the strawberries yet, but probably should. It seems they're all picked clean the morning we plan to go out to harvest them. Smart birds!

Ginger up close and personal.The dogs enjoyed going outside with me for awhile today. In fact they were in and out numerous times throughout the day! They got in some sunbathing while I took lots of digital photos.

Our two little chiquaquas waiting to come back indoors.The temperature reached 71 degrees today. It was such a wonderfully warm and sunny day I stepped outside a few times to take it in. Most of the snow has melted around here; with just a bit more to melt from both the front and the back yard. Here Sugar and Sparky are waiting for me to open the door so they can run back inside. They truly are "house dogs". One would think they'd want to stay outside longer with today's warm temps.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Seeing Green Again!

Evidence of snow meltingAll-right!! It is so encouraging to see this snow melting away! Here's a shot of the front sidewalk. The large clay pot to the right with its second tier planting basket was completely under snow this winter. It only peaked out a time or two when the sun or the wind beat down or blew away the snow.

We took a short drive today to check out the view of our new landscape, sans snow. There are patches of green across the yards along the dirty, muddy streets and sidewalks. How great is that!?! In another week or two it will look even better. I'm looking forward to that.

We had the opportunity to visit with our older son this weekend when he came home for a visit. That was nice to see him again. It was a long time since he was last home; we really enjoyed our family time together.

I've calmed down since my last post and managed to work it out with my email account. So yep, I have access once again to my email. Plus, because of the wonders of Microsoft and its new system I also now have another new email account. I have the feeling they'll be phasing out the original hotmail accounts in favor of their newer program. Guess that means I'll have to start using the new account one of these days.

Friday, April 10, 2009

No Access to Hotmail

Uugghh!!! I'm so mad at myself for updating my Internet Explorer. For some stupid reason I thought, "Oh, an update. Let's see what improvements Microsoft has come up with". Stupid, STUPID, STUPID!!!!! There was absolutely nothing wrong with what I was currently doing with Internet Explorer or my Hotmail service. I didn't need anything more, or new, or different about any of it. And now I have lost access to my Hotmail account and emails and messages from friends and family, including photos and various other info I had been saving in some of my messages. It's all gone now because I no longer have access to my Hotmail account!

Apparently now, now with the improvements, I have the "privilege" of signing up for a new account and a new LiveID. It presently won't accept any input to establish a new account or a new LiveID and locks me out. I am stuck not being able to access my previous Hotmail account and get my email or start a new one!

I am so mad at myself for being dumb enough to try the update. I should have left well enough alone!!!

Okay, sorry to be ranting here on my blog about it, but I am just SO MAD!!

To all my friends and family, sorry, I am not trying to ignore you and your email messages, I just can't get to them. Hopefully you stop by my blog here from time-to-time and will see this message. Once I do get an email account re-established I'll need to give everyone else I know something more to do in updating my email info so they can contact me. Sorry Every One, more work for you coming your way!!

Meanwhile . . . my day really has been going well (up until later this evening when I made the aforementioned stupid decision). Our older son came home for the weekend. We had a great day of visiting and getting reacquainted. I'm still getting my rest in (one REALLY long nap late this afternoon) and healing and recovering from my hospital visit last weekend.

The dogs got a bath and a fun visit to the vet today. We fooled them into being excited to go outside by getting the leashes out. They thought they were going on a walk. Ginger was the one to be most disappointed that it was a visit to the vet and not a walk. I think they'll forgive us if we actually take them for a nice outdoor stroll tomorrow. The weather has been warmer (mid 40's) so we'll likely do that tomorrow. I'm hoping most of the water from the snow and ice has had a chance to run off the sidewalk by then. Don't want to have to go through baths again with them right away.

Okay, so I'm trying to calm down. I'll try my email again tomorrow and see if I can make any progress. Meanwhile . . . anyone want to leave any comments about other email servers besides Hotmail they would recommend? I'm ready to make a switch to another company, I'm so mad! If I have to start all over I might as well do it through someone else. I might even switch Internet Explorer to Firefox or something else, too. Any Suggestions or Comments?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Floral Welcome Home

Welcome Home FlowersI'm working on getting back on my feet after a short hospital stay over the weekend. My friends at work supported me with a Get Well Soon Cookie Bouquet and my dear hubby brought me this Welcome Home Floral Bouquet along with a great hug and a kiss. It will be a while before I am fully recovered. I'm being told to take it easy over the next 6-8 weeks. It's certainly wonderful to be back home again. That phrase, "There's no place like home" is right on target. Coming home really refreshes your spirit!

I'm looking forward to being a bit more active as the days progress. Right now I'm just pacing myself. A bit of time on the computer, doing a bit of reading, doing a lot of sleeping. And that's as it should be in this recovery phase. While my body is resting, my mind is reviewing ideas of futures plans and projects I want to do. I think tomorrow might me a good list making day. Having this down time will be good to enable me to get in some pre-planning and starting the prep phase for my spring and summer plans.

As for now, it's time to wind down for the evening as I prepare for more sleep. Yeah . . . more sleep . . . getting drowsy . . . G'night all.