Friday, July 25, 2008

The Big Lake

For the last five nights we have been to Lake Michigan, locally often called "the Big Lake" to end confusion since there are many lakes in west Michigan. Here is the view as we get close to the beach. We are so lucky to have sandy beaches all along the eastern side of Lake Michigan, and where the sand is WET is public land. So If you can once get on the beach at a public park, you can walk as far as you want.
And here is the cabin in the woods where we stayed. The beech trees, oaks, and maples are very, very tall--like the pillars in a cathedral.

I was so interested in watching the waves on the beach and enjoying the breezes that I forgot to take any photos there! So use your imagination. Lots of even, tan sand, and very few people.

It is largely farming country away from the shore, so we had good eats from the Farmers' Market, fresh corn, green beans, and a blueberry pie

I even did some shopping at a small quilt shop. Since these fabrics were on a table of 50% Off bolts, I naturally bought TWO yards of each of the red and tan Modas! These FQs were also half off, and a yummy new chocolate batik at full price with the Fossil Fern sample boxes of 100 5" squares (ready to make into easy charity quilts).

Tomorrow we leave to drive to St. Louis, Mo and pick up our granddaughter SaraRachel (10) for a trip to the Grand Canyon with intergenerational Elderhostel. We are preparing ourselves to be "Wow-ed" because none of the three of us have ever been there! (Nor to Las Vegas, where we will spend two nights.)



Still mobile, tho' my knees ache

Wonderful evening walk/sit on beach from 8:30 until sunset

Companionship of Charlie and friends

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lasagna again

I'm not really motivated about quilting projects right now. I am spending more time in the garden and reading. I have lots of started projects that OUGHT to be worked on and finished, such as finsihing the quilting on my Carolina Crossroads, and putting borders on Orange Crush.... but no enthusiasm.
In an attempt to get myself moving I have started another Lasagna quilt top.

I sewed a bunch of strips end to end, and then whacked them off at about 48 inches. Now I am sewing them together, and going through some old strips of patches to use them as well. I have enough for a Middle of a top in sections tonight. Tomorrow I will get them all togeher and think about a "stopper" narrow border before adding more strips as the major border.

And I need to get ready for our SpoolSpinner bee meeting this coming Thursday.

I have walked the labyrinth the last two evenings, using the time for meditation as well as exercise. This adds about 30 miinutes to my walking for each day.



Insect repellant

BLTs for dinner

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Orts and a Queen

An "ort", I now understand, is a very small scrap of food or thread or fabric. So this is an "ort port", or a place to park my little scraps from sewing or quilting.

As soon as I saw that it only takes four 2.5" x 7.5" strips each of two different fabrics. . . . I thought, I gotta try that 'cause I won't even have to cut the strips! Besides, I'm always missing the wastebasket with my tosses. I finished the project in less than a hour. This little gem now sits at my right hand at the machine and gives me a better target.

The tutorial with LOTS of helpful photos is from Leanne at

Thanks Leanne!

Queen of the Prairie is now blooming-- it stands about 6 feet tall, and this clump has been growing for four years now.
This is an authentic American plant, a perrenial, and I love it! Here is a close-up of the fluffy flower:
The only "problem" it presents is that after blooming the leaves begin to dry up and curl.

This spring I transplanted a couple of chunks out into the meadow. These are trying to flower at a height of about one foot. I'm hoping they can fight off the encroachment of other plants out there. So far I haven't done anything to help them so I will ring them with a spray of Roundup soon to give them a little space this year.


Bratwurst and saurkraut
Happy Returns daylilies
afternoon nap

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Time in New York City

Charlie and I were in NYC with our kids and their spouses for four nights over the long weekend. Our daughter, Martha, made the arrangements--starting with this brownstone (actually brick) B & B in Harlem on W.141st St.

Our rooms were on the second and third floors. Ours had a huge bathroom with a deck off the back, Peter and Lynne's room had a miniscule bathroom created in the old servants' staircase!

Martha got us tickets to see the play "Thurgood" on Broadway--a one-man-play with Michael Fishbourne as Thurgood Marshall.

I took this photo of the stage as the audience was coming in--and then an usher told me I wasn't allowed to take pictures.

The light colored flag in the background was used as a screen for photos and special lighting.

On the evening of the 4th, we went on a cruise in the New York harbor on a two masted ship. We were down at the dock early, so here we are having a drink: Peter and Lynne, Martha and John, and my Charlie.

The fireworks from Jersey City went off for the half-hour before the East River display (paid by Macy's), so we had a good HOUR long barrage of flashes and booms.

Then the sails were put up and we had a night time close-up of the Statue of Liberty. All in a light drizzle.

Saturday afternoon we participated in a "scavenger hunt"-like game or drama in lower Manhatten. We were to deliver four plane tickets to hoodlums so they could escape the city and get to a Caribbean island. Each one gave us the clues to find the next, and see different neighborhoods along the way.

At one point we had a fortune cookie with a fortune that was all written in Chinese. That meant we needed to walk into Chinatown, get it translated by someone, and then "pick-up" the required item for delivery. The translation was "I want a frog." At a fish stall, there was a barrel of frogs, and we purchased a whopper for $3.00 (which we had been given). Lynne carried the frog. (And you can see she is wearing on of the two identifying baseball hats members of our group had to wear.)

We spent about three and a half hours completing this exercise which led us from the harbor to City Hall, the Brooklyn Bridge walkway, Chinatown, Little Italy and to the edge of SoHo.

Lots of fun between our two meetings for the family foundation--one held at brunch in a Westend cafe cum pastry shop for two hours, and one in the evening at the hotel room with two board members in their pajamas. Great tiime together as a family. Good job setting it up, Martha!

Sunday afternoon Charlie and I met Chuck and Liz Howell, with their daughter Georgia, at the Tenement Museum in the Lower East Side, and then we all had supper at Katz' Deli together.


No travel problems for anyone.
Generosity of Grandmother and Grandfather
Electricity back on when we got home

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Labyrinth repair

I hired Nick for a couple of hours for two days retrimming the paths in my meadow labyrinth. I did not get out with my little push mower as early as I should have, and the paths became too overgrown for me to PUSH, I decided after lots of sweat. Unfortunately what was visible was confusing, so I also got OFF the paths with my attempts.

Now I have been bending over with a yardstick, measuring from the inner paths to the outer so that each path is centered 3 feet from another. Then I spray painted dashed lines for Nick to follow.

He got shoulders and arms that were very tired, and I got an ache in my back and thighs--and a lot of white paint on my pointer finger!

Boy! Learned my lesson NOT to let this go another year in the spring. [This is an eleven circuit labyrinth, similar to one at Chartres.]

I was done, but Nick wasn't quite when a tremendous thunder storm came up. You can see the clouds behind him. Lots of wind and rain. My gauge showed 9/10ths of an inch of rain that half hour, while I drove him home, and now I hear more grumbling from dark clouds in the west. More rain on the way!

We are going to New York City with our two kids and their spouses for the weekend of the 4th of July. We will be making our annual grants from a family foundation, and every other year we make a fun trip of it for adults only. This was our daughter's year to design the trip, and she has included a cruise on the Hudson in a tallmast ship to watch the NYC fireworks Friday night. I think we are sure to remember this holiday!



Roof to keep the rain off!

Young man to help with heavy garden tasks

Electricity still on at home

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Lily or Tiger lily?

These lilies were in a gift flower pot, oh, 10 years ago. I forget they are in among the evergreen bushes and hosta until they bloom in late June. They are not really my favorite color, but I couldn't throw a gift plant away! I thought I would move them another year so that they would not be right by the front door. Hmmm...after they bloom, I forget all about them, so they stay in the same place.

Once again they have come to life and bloom about the same time as the "ditch daylilies", which are also orange. Maybe I'll just call these my "Orange Crush" lilies, since that name has been around so much lately.



Progress on getting the labyrinth re-mown correctly


Pasta and pesto