Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fundamental Choices

Have you ever considered how many choices humans are faced with on a daily basis?

This morning for instance, did Mom want cereal or an English muffin? Simple choice for me, I'll have whatever wet can is next in the stack. Mom chose the English muffin with her black coffee. Coffee was the easiest, she only drinks it black, purist at heart when it comes to her coffee. Why would anyone want to detract from sheer perfection? Well, that is Mom's opinion on coffee, We know many people that disagree with her simple statement. Back to the muffin, with butter? with peanut butter? fluff? jelly? Now she is faced with choices, peanut butter it will be. Yuck, I don't know how humans eat that.

The day has barely begun and Mom is looking at the to-do list and thinking what was she thinking when she wrote this. Maybe another cup of coffee and this fog will lift from around her brain. That was easy, stall for time. I can sneak in a cat snooze now that she has decided to stall for another hour. It always takes her an hour to sip her coffee while she reads.

What does she want to tackle on her to-do list? The weather man says it will be ninety degrees so that definitely will limit my outside activities if I decide to tackle any at all today. I may have to lie under one of the giant hostas while she putters in the garden. My long fur has not begun to shed yet, I'm sure after this weeks hot spell it will

Looks like she has to get the tomato cages under control before the tomatoes get to big and lanky. They grew much more than they anticipated while they were gone over the weekend and with all this sunshine coming this will be an issue. That is probably the only essential task on the list.

Dad took Mom on a road trip to Niagara Falls, they were going to go on Mom's birthday in 2011. The migraines were so intense and she was in and out of the hospital that they didn't go. Mom had her 6th round of Botox on Monday, so on Friday, they threw some things together in a bag. Mom got out our self feeders and additional water dishes while dad handled setting up two additional litter boxes for us. That is always a sign that we will be home alone when they add more litter boxes. We don't mind, if they are gone several days but longer than that, not so much.

Mom looked so exhausted when they returned but I knew they had fun because they were all snuggly with each other and laughing as they looked at the pictures on the computer that Mom had uploaded. We all love hearing her laugh with Dad, she makes such a crazy sound when she laughs.

So back to today's agenda preferably this morning before the heat gets the better of Mom. My siblings are each curled under the plants in the bed, Quasi chose the iris bed, he likes the heat more than we do. Yeats is under the peonies, bet he won't be there long once the ants start crawling on him. Really, youngsters always have to learn things the hard way.

The tomato cages were indeed tricky since she procrastinated when she originally put the plants into their containers. Mom had to do some serious lower branch pruning to get the cages around the plants. She did not expect the plants to have spread out as much as they did. The humidity was a real downer outside. We didn't hesitate when Mom said, "come on babies." Even the old man (Quasi) got up promptly and went inside.

Mom immediately topped off our water bowls with cold water, which all of us indulged. Mom drank one glass down quickly and then filled another. Is it good to drink that quickly?

I can't say I am the least bit unhappy with her closing the house up and turning on the central air on. After all that work in the garden, a nap is in order but first I better check and see what Mom is going to do next. Phew, she is making a tomato and basil salad with fresh mozzarella. She can handle that alone, I really feel the need for my nap.

So much for sleeping today, she has decided to try to vacuum the main floor. Some day's she can do that and others she can't I better keep an eye on her. She loses her balance really easy if she bends over a lot. The good doctor has not fixed that yet. Even since she fell on the ice two years ago, Mom has had issues with balance along with her migraines.

I wish Dad was home today but he had to do an errand, and see his own doctor. He doesn't let Mom vacuum anymore. That frustrates the hell out of her but it does keep her from getting hurt. Most of the time she is able to catch herself on something before she falls and give herself time to refocus. He won't be happy with her trying again when he was gone.

I'll give you one thing, she is one stubborn woman. She has not curled up in a corner because her life has changed so dramatically. She tackles things everyday, some get finished some don't. She does work at a much slower pace than the pre-fall days but all of us do slow down. Mom's time just came earlier.

Thank goodness Dad is back, now I can snooze on that comfy leather couch. It feels so good to stretch out on.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Road Trip Adventure

Craziest Car Adventure

If your spouse ever asks you to take a last minute weekend road trip excursion? Do it.

We had so much fun this past weekend, riding, sight seeing and just spending time talking with each other. When you are in a relationship sometimes those special moments get lost with all the things happening around you.

We threw some clothes and toiletry items in suitcase and off we went around mid day on Friday. My darling spouse had looked online for several places to stay and found lots of choices. He used our Hilton points for the reservation at Embassy Suites in Niagara Falls in Ontario. Embassy Suites is one of the hotels that claim they have the most amazing view of the falls.

Now, from where we live it was a seven hour drive including going thru customs. It was early evening so we dined first and them went to see the falls and the firework display that we were told about when we checked in. Every Friday and Sunday evening in addition to holidays are a firework display.

Dinner at the Keg was delicious and the service was amazing. I have a serious iodine allergy and they were very attentive. Unlike in the United States they do use iodine in their sterilizing process so all of my dishes, glasses and utensils were washed separately without iodine. The cook prepared my steak without the usual salt coating they normally use and it was delicious. The amazing part to me was how quickly everything was done and we did not have any additional wait time. The view was beyond incredible.

I have to admit the walk down the steep incline was challenging for me because I do have balance issues left over from an injury several years ago. I was lucky to have had my Botox injection on Monday of this week or I wouldn't have been able to do the trip at all with my migraines like they are. I wish I could say the Botox makes them go away forever but that is not the case. They are done every three months and the first three weeks I have very minimal headaches, by the sixth week point they are steady and limit my activities. The last six weeks I am taking medication everyday and doing very little daily activities like vacuuming, dusting or even watching television. It is just to painful for me to move my head up and down or to follow motion. This time, when I reach the six week point I am going to have a nerve block to help me with the pain.

Sorry, I went off track there, we walked down, that is my husband and me to see the falls. The falls have such pretty lighting in purple and blues. Then to our surprise at nine o'clock the firework display began. Absolutely stunning display over the water, made the walk well worth doing even knowing we had an equally long walk back up the steep incline.

It was a full moon and a cool forty degree night but once you saw the view and the display you were totally absorbed and did not notice the temperature. You were just awe struck with the magnificent colors that my camera truly did not do justice too.
Looking over at the falls under a full moon sky.

                          My favorite pictures of the firework display that lasted a half hour.

I was far enough back from where they launched the fireworks and the sound of the water I did not have any issues with my head. Thank God and Dr. Silberstein for the Botox. Two years ago I tried to watch a firework and became violently ill because the pain level spiked so quickly.
The evening was perfect. Tomorrow I will share pictures of the day light view and Butterfly Conservatory. Can you imagine seeing two thousand butterflies all in one place? It is beyond your wildest dream.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Rambling Again

We had this heavy rain on Sunday night and it knocked my rose bushes every which direction when I looked outside Monday morning. It would have to wait until I got home from the doctors if I was up to it. The doctor's office is at Jefferson Headache Center in Philadelphia which with the road construction is an hour each direction. After the Botox injection for my migraines, I had so much pressure in my head I had to lie down so the roses would have to wait. Happily, that feeling subsides in one day and you feel so much better with out the migraine pain it is worth the one day of feeling the different sensation and unbalanced. By unbalanced I mean your equilibrium is kind off kilter until it dissipates some. Monday came and went without me accomplishing anything. I did manage to finish crocheting my granddaughters beanie she wanted for her birthday while I sipped my cup of tea before I went to bed.

 Tuesday morning I began weeding the flower bed in the front yard but with the landscapers out with the mowers I decided to wait until later. Once I came inside and started my online classes the day seemed to disappear on me so I didn't get to the backyard as intended. I found the grammar class interesting especially since for the life of me I could not remember exactly what were prepositions, conjunctions and interjections. About, along, behind, between are prepositions. In addition, furthermore are adverbial conjunctions. Because, since, whenever are subordinating conjunctions that typically introduce subordinate clauses. Now in writing and in talking I use these word plus the other examples all the time but if you asked me to break the sentences down in the parts of speech, I struggled. Yesterday it took over two hours to break down the sentences and label each part. The eight parts of speech if you have not done this in years is extremely challenging. I've decided that I will print out different articles and break the sentences down so it becomes instinctive to me. Writing should be precise and mine is not. I am so glad Nicky D. in the newsletter on recommended Coursera, I did not know these classes it existed for the best price ever. Free! There I used an interjection.

Wednesday ended up being hotter than I expected and I found it difficult to keep myself going with the outside projects. I felt like I drank a whole lake of water and still could not quench my thirst. I finally got my seven foot rose bushes tied up so they can withstand mother natures wrath a bit better. The funny part was that I did not realize until I came inside how many times I had been pricked by the roses on my facial area. I wore long sleeves and jeans so most of my body was covered well. I was washing my hands and looked up to see streaks of dried blood on my face and down my neck. The Botox really does deaden all sensation in the beginning. I touch my forehead, around my ears, and I have no sensation. Even combing my hair I have to be careful or I'll pull my own hair out. I pulled out the thorns and cleaned the skin with alcohol so I did not get infected.

 The roses are only supposed to grow to five feet, at least that is what the label indicated when I purchased them in 2005. I always in the fall sprinkle two pounds of cornmeal down and then add fresh compost around their base. In the spring I do the same before they begin blooming. MY grandfather taught me that roses do not get the typical diseases like black mold, white scales if you give them cornmeal twice a year. I have heeded his advice and my roses are breathtaking to see. They bloom profusely several times during the summer. I have been told that planting banana skins in the soil helps too, but I have not tried that. I do eat bananas regularly and add them to my compost bin weekly.

Composting makes all the difference in any type of gardening you try. Its a great way to naturally dispose of your, cut grass clippings, vegetable skins, coffee grounds and egg shells. All which are high in nitrogen, calcium and potassium. Every part that we can do to recycle our waste, and use it to grow new is what will make this planet thrive.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sleep Evaded Me

We could not get the horrific  damage in Moore Oklahoma out of my mind. Finally, we conceded and rose to mull all the emotions that were overwhelming us. Mom feels guilty for being blessed by the house we live in and that our children are here while so many do not know where their children are. Once things are in perspective that we will still feel sad but also very grateful for what we do have.

We are blessed to not reside in an area that faces potential tornadoes. It probably is very beautiful there when it is not peak tornado season, we don't know. Oklahoma is not a place we have seen for our self. We did learn that the state does not have good economic conditions and has lots of low income communities. The lives they face everyday are harder than what we know. This is very unfortunate and hopefully change will come their way.

We wandered around in the darkness touching our picture frames randomly displayed around the house and tried to imagine the horror they felt losing their priceless memories. We decided to make copies of every picture we have hanging and to place them in a waterproof safe place that they would not be affected by the environment. That was one goal, we set after seeing the footage.

Another goal we determined was important to us was to call each of our children, grandchildren and tell them how much we love them and cherish the time we have shared. We don't do that often enough but we will. That life can change in a moment and it is unbearable to us to waste that opportunity.

We donated to the Red Cross because we realized how important every donation is to a family in need. We cannot conceive losing all of our personal items, our clothes, our basic hygiene supplies, etc. Me, I cannot imagine not having my favorite cat bed in front of the living room window with the morning sun. The images of pets without homes is terrifying to us. We are so lucky to have found our parents, we were all orphans but that is a story for another time. So we can comprehend the loss of that security one needs to survive.

Mom is really fond of her fuzzy red bathrobe, she would be lost without it. She drinks every cup of coffee in the morning in that robe and its been that way for the last 13 years. Dad bought it for her, and she loves the way it feels around her. She teases Dad that it is like he is holding her close.  Yeah, they are silly that way and are always hugging each other much to our amusement. Dad hugged Mom a lot while they watched the coverage on the weather channel.

Why is it bothering Mom so much more this year? Our sister, you know the human one Amanda lives in Kansas so  (parental units) notice the weather more. One of our human brothers lives in Maine, he is used to the winter weather and all that icky snow. Our other human brother lives in Norfolk and Mom worries when hurricane season begins. He was there during Irene, they were lucky the storm did not affect them directly other than power outages.

We had Hurricane Sandy but luckily for us we live forty minutes from the coast and we live in a truly stone fortress. Out house is three floors high but it is indeed one hundred percent stone and did not lose power at all. We had friends that lost power at their house for over a week. They stayed with us while the power was fixed. In the area where they live was lots of trees down and storm damage because of the wind.

Mom told me that now that she has seen a disaster unfold that quickly in Moore, Dad and her need to make plan for emergencies. We know we live in a relatively safe ever but as it did in Moore it only takes a moment. We've decided on an emergency preparedness kit to have ready at all time. Things you take for granted blankets, pillows, flash lights, extra batteries, some non perishable food and water bottles.

What do you have in place in case of an emergency? Have you considered the what if it is us? Do we have all of our documents in a safe place. Do you actually have a list of what you take in case you are injured, it will make your treatment easier.
We're still thinking of things we need to do. What will you do in emergency.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Pray for the babies in Moore, Oklahoma

Last night ( May 19th) I could not drag myself away from the Weather Channel coverage in Shawnee Oklahoma and the damage there. I went to bed hoping that the damage was done and hopefully the weather will calm down. Peak season for tornadoes is right now but one can hope that it will not be memorable one
Sadly, today (May 20th) that was not the case for Moore, Oklahoma. A EF-4 level tornado struck causing damage in an area two miles long and two miles wide for what must have seemed an eternity but in reality was only forty minutes at two hundred miles per hour. The wind shear was so severe it stripped the bark from the trees. I looked at the trees in my yard and shook my head in amazement that the wind could do that.
Two elementary schools were hit badly one school the children luckily survived but the children in the second school are not accounted for. The death toll is up to fifty one at the time I am writing but it is anticipated this number will double if not more.. They are looking for the remaining children with the assumption there are no survivors remaining in the crushed building that was once their school.
In just an hour's time life for the residents of Moore changed dramatically. So many poor babies terrified, wanting to be with their mommy and daddy. I cannot imagine the terror they must have endured during those forty minutes of winds in excess of two hundred miles per hour huddled together.  I cannot imagine how the parents of the children feel knowing their children are trapped and presumed dead in the rubble.
If I was one of those parents I know I would be screaming their names over and over. I would be angry that I trusted my children to your care and you placed them in the hallway while the building fell down around them ending their lives before they really have begun.
I'm not even their parents and I am consumed with such rage that they died a senseless death. There has got to be better ways to protect our children in schools than outdated measures that don't work. How many lives does it take to realize that construction most change to meet the needs of the environment not the cost.
The pictures show so many houses destroyed beyond recognition. Even people that know the area are finding it difficult to recognize buildings. The images are horrific. I cannot begin to imagine trying to find pieces of my life among the rubble but the coverage has shown people  picking pieces of their prized possessions and embracing them. Some unfortunate people have already experienced this unimaginable horror..
This town has had a tornado in 1999, 2003 and now today. It is said history repeats itself but does it have to happen so often in one place. The news coverage estimates that of the fifty one death twenty are children.
I cannot write anymore, I wish I could bring myself to stop watching the coverage over and over. My mind says enough but my heart keeps hoping they will find more of the children alive. God, Please hear our prayers that the babies will be found alive.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Congratulations, Amy Gibson

This morning over a cup of coffee, we read about Amy Gibson's Museum Event in Denver. She talked about how surreal it felt to have her work on display in the Denver Art Museum. The exhibit is called Spun, Adventures in Textiles. If you want to see some amazing works of art check out Amy's blog We are so proud of her, too!

We don't live near Amy or even know her personally. We've taken a quilt class with her in Craftsy and over the past months have spent quality time with learning lots of new things. We've enjoyed reading her blog, getting to know her family as well.

There is something to be said about quilters, you are never alone. Quilting brings women and men together in way no other hobby does. Each pattern, or technique you try someone else has tried it too, and together you can learn from each other's mistakes. Quilters are very outgoing and willing to help another learn their craft or share their passion.

Have you ever Google Quilting? It is amazing how many sources are available to learn with. We lucked out by seeing a quilt posted on Tumblr that someone had done in Craftsy. We went and checked it out and now we are doing several classes. The video step by step explanations are exactly what we needed to learn new techniques because we can watch them several times or as many times as it takes for our feeble mind to grasp it. (That would be Mom's, for a 9 year old feline I am very alert)

Even YouTube has videos for many different quilting techniques to learn. The world is your oyster all you have to do is crack the shell. No worries we'll help you!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

In the World of Science, and Quilting Cross Paths

In the science world of news was a fascinating article about quilting that will be done in a very unique place. Karen Nyberg will be attempting her quilting project at the NASA Space. This will be very interesting to see how she accomplishes this work of art in zero gravity.

Thank you for sharing this article with us. We hope we will see follow glimpses of her work.

Yesterday, did not go as planned when it came to our quilting projects. However, today is a new beginning and we will be tackling our projects without further ado once we have breakfast. Yes, our morning routine consists of coffee and reading the news of the day, checking in on facebook and what our family is up too. We usually grab a second cup of coffee, have an English muffin or a bagel and fresh fruit. Today, was awesome because we picked 12 strawberries from our plants, rinsed them off and had them with our English muffin with butter and cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on top. Perfect beginning to our day.

Today, we decided to read several blogs one was Craftsy and the other was Amy Gibson's . We enjoyed seeing what she's been up to with all those hexies she had and was surprised to see them on clutches. They are very pretty indeed but Mom is a sack/large bag person. She likes having everything she wants or needs in her bag. If she goes out with our dad she has the perfect black coach bag that's all she will ever need.

The other part of her pretties as she calls them were the mug rugs. There was a really cool bicycle one perfect for the summer, not your typical flowerily type. A guy or girl would be comfortable having it on their desk or table. We have some really nice patterns I got from the Patchsmith, we've included her link as well. She has some amazing rug mat patterns for sale. Or if you are really good at creating paper pieced projects we are sure you can create yourself. Us, we are still  rookies so we need the patterns.

Anyway, this day is slipping away already and we have quilting projects begging us to do. Plus if we am going to have any of those awesome rugs on my table we need to get motivated.

Enjoy your day,

Purryl and Momma

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Black and White Secrets (Book) - Writing.Com

Black and White Secrets (Book) - Writing.Com

Applying myself to cooking. quilting, gardening and writing - Writing.Com

Applying myself to cooking. quilting, gardening and writing - Writing.Com

Improving Her Skills

We are very proud to say that we have enrolled in two classes to improve our writing and business skills at They offer free classes online to help people improve on their interests. Quilting is one of our passions, writing is another. Writing can be a  wonderful adventure but frustrating if you lack grammar skills. We hope this class in Basic Writing will help us improve.
It started yesterday, you do have time to enroll if you are interested. The best price tag ever-FREE!

The second class we enrolled in begins next week and it is to help your business plans become more productive, on target with your audience. Our Dad has his own business but we really aren't much help and that is about to change. We are going to try to be more involved so hopefully this class will give us the stepping stones needed.

Today's goal is to finish our paper piecing. We prepared the copy paper by piercing it with the sewing machine along the lines but Mom really had a bad headache so that is as far as we got. She took her meds and slept most of the day unfortunately after she did her initial participation class work on the first day of the Basic Writing.

We were very lucky last night to have missed the frost. It was down to 39 degrees a bit on the cool side for our garden but everything looks like it made it. Hopefully this is the last of the cold weather and we begin our warming cycle.

What do you hope to accomplish on this beautifully bright day? I'll supervise Mom for awhile but I know that the sun's rays on the deck are beckoning me. Hope your day is filled with goals accomplished and time to enjoy the beautiful day.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful Momma's out there, hope your day is everything you want and more!

Our Mom went out for bagels and coffee with Dad before they went to Home Depot. Today's project was the powder room toilet. Dad shouldn't have asked Mom what she wanted for Mother's Day if he didn't want to know the answer. Between you and I our family is a bit different than most if I do say so myself. Do women really want a toilet to be fixed over roses?

The toilet wasn't broke in like the functioning part of the appliance. The toilet would move, slide whenever you sat on it. The master plumber at Home Depot explained how to fix it but when you do, the bees wax gasket has to be replaced. It needed to have the flange screwed down tighter because it wasn't seated like it supposed to be. It ended up taking Dad just over an hour to fix it. The expression on Mom's face made it all worth while. If only everything in life was that easy to fix.

We planted the cucumbers, peppers and petunias today. The wind got to Mom because it was stirring up all the dust and pollen which made her sneeze and sneeze so we called it a day with those tasks. We have three hanging baskets filled with petunias in different shades of purple. In the four foot by four foot planter box, we have cucumbers seedlings with pink petunias. It looks really cool like that. If your wondering how we have that size box Dad and Quasi built the box for Mom as a Mother's Day gift about six years ago.(Quasi is my older brother, He's an eighteen year old Maine coon cat.)
Quasi kept watching Dad, climbing on the wood and he even took a nap in the box before it was filled with composted dirt and vermiculite. That made the parental units laugh.

We may live in a city but we do have an awesome garden,grape tomatoes, early girl tomatoes, roma tomatoes, peppers, green beans, swiss chard, beets, and my particular favorite catnip. In the rail planters, we have a very nice herb selection of old fashion oregano, greek oregano, cilantro, basil, marjoram, flat leaf parsley, thyme, chives, rosemary and mint. We also have two rail planters filled with strawberries that are good producers. We adapted to our situation and planned our garden well.

We are having grilled salmon, steamed clams, sautéed Brussels sprouts with garlic and garlic bread with fresh strawberries and ice cream for dessert. Yum!

Anyway, we hope your day is bringing smiles to your face. Me, I can't wait to have a piece of the grilled salmon. Yes, they do share!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mother Nature, Really?

There are so many things to accomplish on the weekend and you decide to dump these bursts of torrential rain on our parade. We have vegetable flats that really need to be planted, a table that needs to reassembled on the deck. Mom really isn't pleased with the direction this day has taken. Or me for that matter, I was really hoping to sprawl across the patio stone and take an afternoon snooze.

I have to admit I'm very pleased with the color choices Mom selected for our yard. We have pink petunias and these purple and white look like pinwheels petunias and candy striped geraniums. Last year, we were all about yellow. I'm all about change after all life is too damn short to have it be boring!

I was a bit worried when I overhear the parental units talking about what pet they almost added to our family today. I cannot believe they were considering a ball python. Seriously, I worry about our parental units. Were they thinking I would catch mice to feed this slithering creature? Or even worse frozen mice in our freezer with our cat treats? Yes, Mom keeps our treats in the freezer. All I can think of is that snake slithering across the floor and snuggling against me in the night. Thank goodness they came to their senses.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Accomplished A lot in a Day

If we do say so ourselves, okay Mom did but I supervised her every step of the way except while she was turning the compost bin. The sun shining on the warm lower patio stonework was just too tempting, I snuck in a short nap. Mom knows how to turn the compost, she's been doing it for over 30 years I think she's got it under control. Besides, I don't know about you but I have no interest at seeing shovels full of worms wiggling like crazy because they've been disturbed. I will admit the dark dirt had a delightfully rich aroma I considered rolling in it but then I thought about all the worms and changed my mind.

Mom pulled all the weeds between the paver stones under the bird feeders. That is always an ongoing project at our house. We love watching the birds but they make really big messes, seed everywhere and if you don't keep on top of that you have weeds. We did have an interesting visitor today, a red winged blackbird came to the large feeder above the upper deck. His red caps on his wings were vividly striking against his shiny black body. Usually we have the cardinal family, chickadees, finches and the mourning doves.

We finally finished the two twelve and half inch blocks using the drunkard path templates for Craftsy 2010 BOM. Mom cut them out one day, pinned another and then sewed both blocks today. She liked how the Chain Block came out but did not like the Cleopatra Puzzle Block. That particular block only has two colors so Mom thought she needed more of the royal blue in the quilt so she used that one against the slate blue background. The royal blue made the slate look more gray than blue. I shook my head at that block, I think it needs different colors. Mom is going to sleep on it and if she has enough background material left after she finishes the last two paper piece blocks she will redo it. I'm betting she will redo it.

The nice part of this quilt is all of the material came from her scrap bin from other projects. The background material was left over from another quilt that she was originally going to put on the back but then decided to use a printed pattern on the back. Mom is thinking about framing these blocks with black sashing with white squares at the intersections. I think the only thing she bought for this class was the template for drunkards path. Sweet!

She is working on the 2013 Craftsy BOM too  and using scraps for that one as well. The 2013 is going to have brown and different colors in the border. She wants some kind of pattern on the sides.

Originally, Mom was only going to do the 2013 class but then she signed up for a machine quilting class and the instructor Leah day was using the 2012 BOM quilt top to teach the different techniques so naturally Mom began doing both quilts. Its really kinda neat, you can work at your own pace. The class is always available 24 X 7. Who would have thought learning all these cool things could be so easy. if you are curious how the 2013 is going.

Well, this thunder and lightning is getting to Mom, so we'll say good night to everyone.
Disappearing Nine Patch and other thoughts
Mom and I just watched this amazingly simple quilt assembled on a tutorial by Missouri Star Quilt shop. Missouri Star Quilt Co. ( What a nifty way to use the batiks! There is video to watch if your like us and need visual.

We were so excited our Farmer's Wife Quilt book arrived by Laurie Aaron Hird. We can't wait to start assembling our travel bags, this is going to be take along project for honestly several years. That's alright Rome wasn't built in a day either. We love the idea that each block is 6 inches so we won't be overwhelmed with the block especially if we don't like it. There are 111 blocks in the book with simple instructions. What made it really a seller for Mom was the cd that was included with the templates so she didn't have to calculate each one.

Can you imagine in the old days how they created these blocks? Mom has done some on graph paper just messing around to see how a block would look without cutting the material up. It wasn't hard to do because she had the block measurements already calculated for her, she just worked with the placement.

Did I ever tell you that Mom lived in a very old house with more issues than good things? I'm not going to talk about the house, we'll save that for another day. I am going to tell you about her gardens, she was a farmer in a way. They didn't have much money, so she grew all their vegetables for the year. She canned and froze as much as possible. They had soups, pickles and lots of canned vegetables. The canning jars used to be stacked in boxes and labeled in the pantry so as you worked thru one box you'd put the empty jars back inside before going to the next box.

In addition to her vegetable garden, she had seven perennial beds around the yard. People would always slow down and look at her flower beds. The sad part is we live so far away now that the beds are neglected at times. People have been stealing from her flower beds and taking the plants for themselves. This hurts my Mom immensely that people would steal like that. She worked very hard to have those beds. She goes up when she can. Sadly Mom has had to transport her favorites down here to preserve them from vandalism. Isn't that crazy, that people see no one home and take whatever and say to themselves well no one lives here now so its okay. No it is not okay! Stealing is stealing no matter how you paint your picture.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

San Francisco Bay

Mom loves watching the sails furl in the wind as they skim across the water. We realize there is a lot of coordination and skill involved to make the boats glide as they do. Mom hasn't had the pleasure of sailing yet though it is on her bucket list of things she wants to do in her life.
Our thoughts are with the Swedish team Artemis and the family members of the man who lost his life today.

Cleveland, Ohio

I agree with Mom the men deserve the death penalty for keeping the three women hostage for ten years in such deplorable conditions. Obviously there is no remorse for their actions. Especially after pretending to be concerned and helping the family seek answers at the loss of their child while they knew exactly where their child was. These men deserve to be executed, no compassion shown.

We cannot imagine how the three young ladies feel sleeping in clean sheets in a bed after ten years of captivity. For that matter to be able to move freely without constraints must be incredible. We take these simple pleasures for granted everyday in our existence but when they have been taken from you, they matter immensely!

We feel the worse for the young child, life to her has been anything but normal. She hasn't lived in a happy stable environment. She is used to seeing her mother imprisoned so seeing people move freely, clothed and doing simple everyday things when they want without violence must be overwhelming.

My prayers are with each of the girls, that the adjustments they face become easier each day.

What a perfect day to be at the sewing machine.

It's raining like the dickens and every once in awhile thunder makes itself known. Mom, Yeatsie and myself have watched the video for the Ohio Star and the Double Star block on Craftsy this morning. We have all our notes scribbled on a piece of paper so we are ready to go. We'll be back later to share our blocks.

These are the two blocks we did together. Mom does seem to be improving on her points. Of the two squares I like the double star more. I have to admit once we got going the flying geese were easier than I thought they would. Of course the instructions on the video helped us immensely understand how to do the blocks. Thank goodness for Craftsy, we learn so much over coffee in the morning.
Just an update on the fish tanks, everyone seems to swimming and eating happily. I hope this means all the hard work at the beginning of this week paid off. Mom's neck muscles ached like crazy from all that lifting of the buckets of water to empty and fill the tanks.

The tanks look pretty amazing if I do say so myself. We do have one more tank to go that Mom thinks we should also had the under gravel filtration to and that is the loach tank. If you are unfamiliar with loaches they look eels. Loaches can grow to be nine inches long, ours are about five inches right now in a iridescent pink color. They have some tell tale markings on them but overall they look alike. Ours are named Voltimore, Draco, Snipes and Dumbledore. Guess, you probably noticed we are also Harry Potter fans.
We had Harry, Ron, Hermione, George and Fred but they came down with this thing ick and we lost them. Thank goodness we haven't had to go thru that again with the goldfish. Belachick, Ginny and Dobby are still with us. My big brother Chris is giving Mom his 30 gallon tank and we are going to restock our goldfish.
The rain was ridiculous at times yesterday. It came down so hard and then the sky would clear to a beautiful blue. Then before you knew it was pouring again. We are hoping our young plants can handle all this wetness. The herb boxes on the deck rails look like they faired well but the tomatoes look a bit droopy this afternoon.
I am really glad Mom did not offer to share her dinner. The smell of swiss chard steaming is not an appealing smell to us felines. We all wrinkled our noses and departed the kitchen leaving Mom to her own devices. What adult would voluntarily eat swiss chard for dinner with a slice of garlic bread. Nothing else, just those two things and be happy.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Here we are again, happy to say all the hard work we did on setting the tropical tank paid off. They are swimming around and eating again in their new upgraded environment. We took Aunt Marcia's advice and put an under gravel filter in the tank, then put brand new gravel in the tank. We then added the cleaned decorations and fresh water. We let the tank circulate for about 8 hours and then added our tropical fish. They were none to happy to be netted, and gave Mom a run for her money.

While we had the hospital tanks out, we decided to add the under gravel filter to the goldfish aquarium as well since that gives Momma a lot of grief. It's a 30 gallon tank with 3 large goldfish and 8 corey cats. This was a lot easier to do, we took some of the water from the goldies tank and added it to the 20 gal. hospital tank. We then transferred the fish into the hospital tank. Then we scooped the gravel out of the tank into a bucket, rinsed the inside of the aquarium really good with the sprayer.

You probably noticed I'm saying we, because in this instance it was we. I climbed up on the table and watched her put the fish in, and then I stood up on my paws and supervised the gravel scooping. I watched the goldfish for Mom while she rinsed the tank. I only licked my chops a couple times and tried to scoop one with my paw but Mom spotted me in action so I went back to supervising.

She laid the plastic gridding in the bottom of the tank, added the gravel and added new water halfway in the tank with this cool stuff called Quick Start. She then added some of the old water from the saved water in the aquarium. She let the filter run for about 4 hours until the water looked pretty clear. She checked the temperatures to assure they were close before she added the fish back to the tank. The goldfish were real easy to get in the nets. The corey cats on the other hand were like trying to catch a greased baby pig at a fair. I laid beside the tank observing this and was shocked to see how fast they could move inside that tank. It took her a half hour if not more to capture those little demons.

By the time, we got the fish in their tanks, and cleaned up the 2 hospital tanks, putting all the fish supplies away it was 7pm. Where did the day go?

Mom got us dinner and herself a cup of tea. When I finished my dinner and came to join Mom in her chair she was glancing thru Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume Seven. We ooed and awed together at the amazing blocks in this issue. I noticed Mom marked a couple that she is going to photo copy and do. She always makes copies of her projects so she doesn't mess up her books.

Between you and I she is a real fanatic about books. She gets mad if you bend pages or spill anything on any book. She says they are to be cherished and preserved for generations to come. Me, I wonder who she is preserving them for. Her granddaughters have absolutely no interest in saving anything or let alone learn how to do crafts. That leaves her daughter Amanda and her daughter-in-law who really don't have any quilting interest. Her daughter Amanda has already told Mom that she better start consolidating all of her books and craft stuff because she does not want to deal with it when she is gone. Mom was not happy with that response at all!

Oh well, I probably shouldn't be disclosing Mom's business but I must say her daughter does like to push buttons.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Oh, what an exhausting two days we've had. It all began with this white slimy, kind of like snot all over the rocks in the ten gallon tropical tank. I tell ya, Mom wasn't very happy when she saw that again. This is the third time it has happened in the past year. Mom replaced the tank, gravel and the decorations the first time. She thought that would make a difference. It actually did for about six months then it struck again. This time she took the tank down, washed everything with bleach and then air dried it outside in the sunlight. The tropical fish were not happy to be shuffled into a hospital tank sitting on the kitchen table especially with Yeats leering at them.

As you can see he was as close as he could get with that metal cover. I didn't climb up on the table or make any attempt to get to the fish. Really, that is so beneath me.
It looked like Mom had everything cleaned off, she reset the tank up and put the fish back in their tank. By that time, Mom had an annoying headache and went to bed. However, when she got up and came down the stairs she paused to look at the tank. I heard her scream, NOOOOO!!
Her neon fish were all stuck to the filter tube. She opened the lid and the zebra striped fish were floating on their sides. Mom started crying. Then she saw her skirt fish swimming and quickly filled the hospital tank back up with water and Quick Start. It is supposed to help make the water safe for the fish immediately. Mom quickly scooped her three skirt fish and the one surviving corey cat and put them back into the hospital tank.
She called Aunt Marcia and asked what she did wrong? How did the fish die that quickly? Aunt Marcia said the ammonia level must have spiked really crazy or the white fungus made them sick. She was surprised how quickly they died, too. They didn't show any signs of trauma. They talked about adding another filter to help keep the bacteria level balanced and since Mom had to take the tank back down and clean it so whatever was in there was definitely gone.
Mom wiped the tank down this time with bleach and rinsed it a lot. She then let it air dry and went to lie down again.
Her headaches are really bad right now she is taking her Compazine suppositories daily just to cope with the pain. I'm going to go check on her again. I'll finish telling you about the rest of the story, tomorrow.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Our parental units left us alone today while they went into the city, NYC. We wouldn't have enjoyed riding in the car but I am sure we would have loved the animals at the zoo in Central Park.
I sat in Mom's lap this evening and looked at all the penguins pictures. I think she might have gone overboard on the pictures. Though in all fairness she takes our pictures every month whether we like it not and then prints her own calendars of us so its not surprising that she took lots of pictures.
I told Mom to post only picture of the penguins so you could see for yourself how cute they are.
 I will give Mom credit for taking good pictures.

My brothers and I knew the parental units would be home in time for dinner so we had a very peaceful day, snoozing, and catching up on the rays. It's really fun having the house to our self. It doesn't happen very often now that Mom is disabled.

For Mom to do things, she takes a lot of medicines, which doesn't let her drive. On her really bad days she stays in a dark room because the light makes her sick. Migraines can be really challenging and downright uncomfortable. The doctor does this really cool thing called Botox which helps Mom a lot, it lets her do things in the beginning of the three month cycle but by the end Mom isn't able to do anything. The doctor tells Mom that overtime the migraines will become less painful. I hope so because I hate seeing her this way.

Did you hear about the limo catching fire out in California on one of the busiest roads? A bachelorette group going out to celebrate with the soon to be bride. The night did not go as planned, the limo caught fire killing five of the nine women inside including the bride while the driver had no injuries. I'm sorry but I have read this article several times and not once did it indicate the driver made any effort to help the passengers. Horrible, just horrible for all the families involved.

I've nudged Mom several times now, we have a busy day tomorrow and need our beauty sleep.
Sweet dreams!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Yay! We spent almost all day with the parental units outside. They were busy planting the garden today. Mom has boxwood basil, purple basil and sweet basil in one rail planter box. In another she planted cilantro and flat Italian parsley and finally in the last box rosemary and marjoram.  That was it for the new herbs. We still have oregano, thyme, sage, strawberries and mint from last year that are doing well in the cedar rail planters we got the 10 boxes from Maine Cedar Planters about ten years ago. They have really made it easy to have an herb garden in this gated community. We have a lower patio area and a large deck that comes off the main floor right by the kitchen. Mom loves that she can cook with fresh herbs all the time.
On the lower level, we have a stone patio with roses along the five foot fence that keeps us felines in the yard. Well, almost all of us stay in the yard. The rebel is Yeats, he likes to wander around a bit. They have large plant dishes with cherry tomatoes, early girl tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers.
We had so many cucumbers and cherry tomatoes last year Mom shared with the neighbor. It was really a good growing season. Let's hope this year will be as productive.
I should tell you Dad surprised Mom with roses last night. She was blushing. That's funny!
Okay, you would find it funny too, if you knew how old Mom is. Let's just say ancient.
We didn't get any quilting done today. The stack of 2 1/2 squares are still on top of the sewing machine table. Yeats hasn't knocked them off the table yet.
Hope you had an enjoyable day, we did. We are finishing this awesome day with a glass of Ecco Domani. Yum!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Another beautiful sunny day, we are waiting for Mom to finish her blocks so we can go outside to play. She is doing the Ohio star and the Double star for the Craftsy 2012 block of the month. The colors are really pretty together dark forest green, baby pink and blue. In the double star one she added a lighter green with the darker green, baby pink and the blue background material.

My brothers are such wizzes, I had to kill the mole myself. They just laid there and watched it. Not me I pounced right on it and that was that! Cats do have a responsibility to their owners to keep the environment free from rodents.

Quiltmaker has this interesting blog going about their magazine special edition 100 Blocks Volume 7. Mom enjoys reading all the cool blogs. There are so many talented quilters out there, she sighs when she sees all the amazing end results.

I overheard her and Dad talking about the increase in suicides among middle age people soaring. "A report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that the suicide rate among men and women aged 35 to 64 years increased by 28% — 32% for women and 27% for men — between 1999 and 2010. The greatest increases in suicide rates were among people aged 50 to 54 years (48%) and 55 to 59 years (49%)." 

They both agree that they are really tired of hearing about the Boston bombers, everyday is something more. Today, was the original date for the bombs was the 4th of July but since the bombs were easier to make they went ahead earlier than planned. Why do humans feel the need to hurt each other? Cats snarl, sometimes scratch or bite and its over with. We ignore each other for awhile and then we are back to normal, eating and sleeping together.

Oh well, we have fresh sheet on the beds and I'm going to race the humans to the bed.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Two days in a row with sunshine and almost 70's! Woohoo, spring is finally here to stay.
We got to go outside with Mom today, she planted some of her herbs in the rail planters. Fresh basil, marjoram, sage and some mint filled the boxes nicely. Our strawberries are really coming in nicely.
The best part of today was Mom filled two plant dishes with our favorite treat, yup you guessed it fresh catnip. I really do have an awesome Mom, she keeps our supply of catnip growing all year round. The one from this winter looks pretty scraggly but Mom will have it looking pretty snazzy soon or she start some new plants. What a beautiful day!

Mom was pretty happy that the Block of the Month for 2013 had the new block posted. She and I watched the video together on the deck with a cup of coffee. The block is called Strippy Spool. That sounds silly to me. Mom chose this group of four materials that each have a marbling pattern on them, one was lavender, blue, green and yellow. Her background color is a cream color. In this particular quilt there is orange, dark purple, red, blue, yellow, green and lavender, each with the same weird marbling pattern. It looks really interesting so far. There are so far in the quilt, a fan block, economy block, off-set log cabin blocks, split rail blocks, and the strippy spool. I will get Mom to post pictures so you can see what I am talking about.

The other sampler quilt Mom is doing is the Block of the Month from 2012. Mom wasn't planning on doing two sampler quilts but when she signed up for the machine quilting class they were using last years sampler quilt. So Mom said what the heck, I'll use the scraps I have lying around, lots of solid colors from different projects over the years. This one has a slate blue background. I think Mom posted a picture of that already. We can't wait to test Mom's quilts out, you know cat seal of approval.

My brother ,Yeatsie is watching the Loaches, something has them all riled up tonight. They are all over the fish tank, maybe they got into the catnip. They sure are swimming excitedly. I don't for the life of me see why he and Mom love watching them. They just look like small eels. Yuck!

Mu older brother is curled up beside my Dad at the desk. He's working on spread sheets again.  Oh well, I think I'll meander upstairs and help Mom with her blocks, she has 3 more to get down of the spools. They are only 7 inch blocks, so she had to make more of them.

Hope you are all having a good day, we are!

Yes, that would be checking out where I want to lie when she's done.



Wednesday, May 1, 2013

It's a Sunny Day

The possibilities are wide open this morning.
Mom laid all her squares out on the table so we could see what she has been working on for the last few weeks. She really loves vivid solid colors, kinda like the Amish quilts except she has no black involved. We can't wait to sprawl across this colorful quilt on the bed. Every quilt has to be cat tested you know.
Today, she is going to work on the modern version of the Dresden plate, it doesn't look as nice to me as the Dresden plate but Mom seems excited.
Especially after yesterday's hassle with the sewing machine. Mom fussed with it again last night and  made one more change. She switched the thread, and rethreaded the machine. I just had to go see when I heard her laughing. For the life of me I cannot figure women out. Dad says he can't either. There she was sewing away on her Dresden plate. The zig zag isn't perfect, it still has several skipped stitches but Mom says she will live with that since she will be machine quilting the whole thing and that will most likely not show.
My brothers and I like when things work out for our Mom. Don't ever think a cat doesn't notice, we are more observant than you think.
I'll give you an example if Mom is puttering in the kitchen, we all know that if she is fixing something on the stove then of course it's time for our dinner. We all meander into the kitchen to help her and she rewards us with the most awesome treats.
It's the little things that matter, that add up in the end with the priceless thrilling magic found only in a feline friend. :)