Friday, June 29, 2007

It's summertime!

It's summer, full-blown summer! I want to know how that happened since Christmas was only a couple of weeks ago and then we had that big freeze here in Tennessee that did so much spring, really.....but now the temps are in the 90's and it's D R Y (we're umpteen inches below where we should be in rainfall).


Seems like I've only spent a few brief periods at the pool and yet I've been watering my few flowers like mad (fortunately we have free spring water) and watching things die anyway. The farmers around here are really suffering - the beef farmers are already feeding hay because of the lack of pasture (and a pitiful hay crop in the works for the current year) and the row crop farmers are seeing tiny seedlings and plants die for lack of moisture. Our corn is tasseling at about 3 feet in height - no ears....the beans won't bloom or have beans without rain..

Things have continued to be really crazy at work - sick folks and vacationing folks - just staffing holes everywhere that have to be filled by already busy people. And insurance companies get crazier and crazier in their journey to paying fewer and fewer claims and those at lower and lower rates. Times are really tight for physicians.

But here's a lovely sight . . . the lowly marigold in all its beauty. And, you know what? Both Evan and I love the scent of marigolds, even though most folks do not. The scent is kind of pungent and reminds me of tomatoes and geraniums....which remind me of the smell of electricity - as in from the transformer of my brother's electric train.

The tablecloth is one from my childhood . . . and it was old then . . . so it probably came from the 40's. I got the little blue jar in a set at Pier I - I LOVE colored jars, vases, etc...and these tiny ones came to about $1 each in the set.

OH - almost forgot! The new wren nest is not in my old backpack but in my hanging pot of lantana!!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

As the journeys continue . . .

A dear, sweet, precious friend ended her earthly journey last week . . . one of the most beloved of all our nurses left us very unexpectedly. She worked Thursday as usual and was her normal fun-loving self. After the day's work, she sat in her recliner with her Yorkie "children", ate a bowl of ice cream - one of her favorite vices - and . . . went home. Journey ended. She was ready emotionally, having lost her beloved husband about a year previously. More importantly, she was ready spiritually. She truly went home.

She was 74. We are all still in shock. We are grieving at our loss, for we know she has gone to a better place. We will all miss Becky.

The little birdies left the nest last Sunday morning - around 5 or so in the morning I heard much wren music and noise and speculated that the babes were being ousted from the nest. It was fairly late in the evening - like 7 pm or so - before I had a chance to peep into the backpack home to find it empty. Sniff, sniff. But maybe they'll rear their next round of babies in there, too!! I hope, I hope!!

One journey ended, another one begun.

I thought I'd stick in a picture of some handkerchiefs belonging to my grandmother (and maybe great-grandmother) that have lived in a lovely cardboard box (I forget whether it originally held candy or fruitcake or what) as far back as I can remember into the dim reaches of my childhood. Nonnie always had this box on her dresser, a lovely huge walnut thing with a tremendous mirror, and I've treasured it for over 30 years myself. And, BTW - they still live in the same box!

The lighter strip across the top is where something was laid on it for a time...maybe a mirror handle or something....the thing in the frame just barely visible is a note my grandmother wrote on the back of a picture of my uncle in the Marines just after Pearl Harbor in 1941....these are things with no monetary value but with great sentimental value....items from journeys . . .

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Almost Ready to Leave the Nest

Well, the babies are growing by leaps and bounds. Both mom and dad keep the airways hot with their frequent trips back and forth with luscious bugs and such for the little ones. As mom flies away, dady flies in. When I'm there at the table, dad, the more intrepid parent, just hops on up and into the backpack to feed the babies. Mom, on the other hand, hops all around, fussing loudly. She'll even hop up to the backpack and then back down. She could feed the babies two or three times in the time she takes going back and forth while she fusses at me. If I stay nice and still, she'll eventually take her goody to the babies, but she sure makes a big production out of it.

Daughter Beth informed me a couple of days ago that these birds had a two story condominium and so evidently were a bit floocier than the others we've had. So I looked inside the bag again and saw she was quite right! Due in part to the way the backpack is not sitting completely upright (it's fabric, after all, and not full of stuff) and that my small umbrella (to be with me at all times during jaunts around and about whilst in the UK) is conveniently near a wrinkle in the side of the backpack . . . they've been able to spread out as the babies have grown. Quite convenient, because we've all looked at nests that were fine for a few little eggs but then were overflowing as the little birdies developed and grew. ANYWAY - there are babies on two levels now.
The birds in the picture have quarters in the upper story. The moss to the left leads down to the lower level.
I guess that's enough of The Tale of the Carolina Wrens for today. More than enough!
We had a lovely storm yesterday evening and were blessed with just a tad over a half inch of rain. I hope some of the rest of you got a little rain, too. The farmers around here are seriously worried, both the cattle farmers and the crop farmers. I even heard that Jack Daniels, which is just up the road a piece, is talking about cutting production because the famous spring which has supplied their water for lo these many years is geetting very low. Now that's a first! (Personally, that doesn't concern me like the plight of the farmers - just mentioned it because it's indicative of just how low the water table is and how serious the water situation is.)
Got chores to do - better get up and at 'em!
Hope everyone has a wonderful Saturday!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


We have babies!!!!

Sweet little naked Carolina wren babies!!!

Seems like only a few days ago she had only a nest in my backpack on the porch table without even eggs yet, but yesterday when I looked in - there were babies! Still so tiny as to not have perpetually open mouths, as to be silent, as to have no down, let alone feathers! Wow!!

They're soooo precious! Mom and Dad are both hauling in little bugs to feed the chilluns. Dad is braver and hops on up with his offerings, but Mom is more cautious and MUCH more vocal as she approaches and then leaves (kinda) and then comes back, fussing the whole way....several times back and forth before finally getting there with the grub. Whew! (just knew those babies had to be hungry!)

Sorry the pic is so blurry....I was having to hold the camera over the bag where I could not see....dark except for the

Sunday, June 3, 2007

another inspirational piece

This precious little doll was made for me by a very good friend and presented to me naked - she knew I had some treasured family pillowcases, and that's what she was making the dolls for - so she gave the doll to me naked one Christmas so I could choose the pillowcase to be used. It was really no choice, as this was the MOST favored one of my childhood and one I had managed to have on my pillow more times than not (I slept on a twin bed, one of 2 lovely Jenny Lind spindle beds long in the family that I later refinished for our daughter Beth). Saturdays meant changed beds and all clean linens at my house while I was growing up, but I managed most of the time to get one of this pair of pillowcases on my pillow! Who knows why it was my favorite and who knows when my grandmother stitched it - the point is that it was my favorite for years and years. I finally realized how thin it was getting and left it in the linen closet.....and was thankful some years after getting married to be able to take it with me. (with my mother's blessing {it was her mother who had stitched it}) But I kept it in the linen closet and did not use it - just enjoyed seeing it when I got linens out of the closet. My grandmother Nonnie, who stitched this, is the one who taught me to embroider, and I have many lovely memories of sitting with her and stitching on various dresser scarves and suchlike. This after my very young years of sewing straight stitches to spell out my name and various family names to begin my stitching practice. Nonnie would have me write the name out with a pencil on a piece of old sheet and then stitch it. I am blessed by having a few of these still. I am even more blessed to have numbers of linens (like dresser scarves and small tablecloths and napkins and other small items) stitched by my grandmother, some edged with homemade lace or crochet edging. I even have a few things done by my great-grandmother - a length of tatting, for instance.
These are all true blessings!!
(just previewed the post and have no idea where the blue lines come from on the doll picture - they don't exist in reality!! Probably something wrong I did with the camera)

Ta Da!

Finally! Just had to monkey around to try to get this silly thing upright. It's not that it's any great thing - but it was so annoying for it to be sideways! I remember that when I got it finished I was so disgusted to see the mistakes which are so obvious now but were not obvious during the stitching. Ah, well, that's just how it goes sometimes. The words are much more important than the medium anyway.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Something that inspires me

This was meant to be the top for a cushion, I think, because of its mother-in-law or grandmother-in-law probably made it. It's pretty much guaranteed that the fabric pieces are scraps from various and sundry sources, whether it be leftovers from something made at home to salvaged scraps from a worn-out something-or-other. I love the tiny squares and the precion of their setting-together. I rescued it from an attic-clearing-out at the beginning of the year when my sister-in-law was getting rid of stuff in a major way. There were so many handmade things, from a crocheted rag rug I salvaged (pic later) to this to all sorts of quilts and quilt tops I didn't feel like laying claim to since I'm just an in-law.....however, I'm a little worried as to what has happened to them in the meantime. Anyway, I did manage to scrounge this little goody and haven't yet figured out what in the world to do with it. I'm NOT a seamstress, so the idea of making a 3-dimensional pillow scares me. (Don't know if you can tell, but the clever maker has already rounded the corners and worked down so that there are short sides - like for a square cushion. If it were flat, I'd have no problem.) Simple suggestions welcomed here!
I hope everyone is having a good weekend. I've been at work all day (end-of-month blues) and will be at work tomorrow afternoon after church. I've still managed to enjoy a bit of conversation with my sweetie and hope to take a few stitches a bit later.
Enjoy!! Life is short!!