Monday, March 24, 2014

a treat for me...

new Nespresso Pixie
I have a new toy!  It's the Nespresso Pixie that makes great espresso coffee.  You would laugh at how I've gone back and forth over buying this machine for the last few years. DH loves coffee, but doesn't like espresso... so it's just me (and I love it). Well, I just couldn't see spending the money on something that was really just a luxury for me. But *once* (about a year ago) they had a sale at William Sonoma and I just couldn't help but buy it. However, after I got home and thought about it, I decided that it was a bad idea and returned it the next day. They haven't had another sale like that for years (I know because I've kept a constant watch)... until this weekend.  And I went back and forth on it again for 2 days (it was a 3 day only sale).  I would buy it, then I wouldn't, then... on Sunday morning... I couldn't go another 2-3 years waiting for another sale, so I did it. Not only did I buy it, but I've already had a cup of espresso this afternoon!

machine quilted tablecloth

Finished the machine quilted tablecloth for my kitchen table this week.  It looks like little teabags on one side and just little white dots on the other.  I like it fine... the colors are just right for my kitchen. But I've already found some new fabric and plan to make another one as soon as I can.

What do you think? The apple print will be one side and the green vines (hard to see in the pic) will be the other.  We're going to do this one a little differently - it will be quilted without a border - kind of like doing a pillowcase I'm told. We'll see...

Now for some more backyard bird (and critter watching)...

  Dove in bird feeder

 Cat watching dove in feeder

  Squirrel watching cat watching dove in feeder

 Meanwhile... crow is stealing catfood from cat dish on ground

 While blue jay sits overseeing it all...

and this guy (Starling?) struts around the yard...

I'm not kidding you, all this was happening in our yard just this morning. It's like a Nature Film up close and personal.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

an abundance of wildlife...

crow cawing at cats or calling his friends...??

Spring does seem to have finally come to Texas and the critters have been visiting our backyard pretty heavily.  This week I took pictures of crows, blue jays, doves, thrush, robins, as well as squirrels, feral cats, and one lone possum.

This little dove was fearless with all the feral cats that hang around our yard...

and this Thrush was so pretty... like he was posing for me.

 A black feral cat sitting on our fence

Recently one of our *neighbors* (meaning they live somewhere in our area) wrote about the dangers of having coyotes in the vicinity.   They had reported coyote spottings close by to our local animal control. And it's true that we see coyotes running the streets and alleys occasionally (we do live on a creek and green back area).  The AC people try to trap and relocate them, but without much success. This particular person was concerned about the dangers to small animals (dogs and cats) as well as young children. They were told that even a 6 foot fence can't keep them out. 

Well... I have no problem with coyotes being *relocated*, and have even seen one in our own yard a few years ago. Poor thing looked like he was starving and suffering from a bad case of mange. And we certainly don't want the cats and other critters to be in any danger. But since we put up our 6 foot fence, we've yet to see another coyote in our yard. We do hear them howling at night, and it's a strange forlorn sound. I guess what I'm getting at... is that it's *us who have invaded their space*, not the other way around and to be complaining about their presence seems... I don't know, ... a bit arrogant.  Can't we try to be more tolerant to the nature around us... not want to get rid of it... but learn to live in harmony with it? Is this just me or do others feel the same?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

a few favorites...

These are a few of my favorite pictures... taken from Pinterest.

Is this not *adorable*??

and then there's this one...

Precious, yes?

These next 2 are for Dee... (and her hearts at One Foot Out of the Box)

and then this poster is one I sent my daughter as it *says it all* for me on many a day...

and finally the unusual...

Isn't this something?

Friday, March 14, 2014

stuffed artichokes, squirrels, and of course, cats...

Stuffed Artichokes!
We love stuffed artichokes.  I don't make them very often, but when I do... they're gone pretty quick.

Squirrel eating catfood

I was watching this little fella eat as I washed dishes in the kitchen.  He didn't seem to mind when I went for my camera and started taking shots of him.

one of our outside ferals
And with the weather so nice this week, this young black cat was racing around the yard jumping at ? (I would say *bugs*, but it's been such a cold winter, I really don't know what he was chasing.)

It was hard not to buy herbs at Central Market this morning.  Their herbs look so nice and healthy. But I'm afraid that we're not free of winter's grip yet... and we've already lost our night bloomers, so I would not like to lose any more plants by putting them out too early.

Had coffee with some friends from pottery class yesterday. Our ages ran from 55 to 69 (me being the 69).  I didn't know women could talk so much! We got there at 11:00 and before we knew it, it was 2:00. But it was fun... and we plan to do it again soon.

BTW, I have a question for those of you out there on Pinterest. My grand daughter (the 12 yr old) got me on it, and now I'm hooked. But I was wondering... can you save an image off of Pinterest so you can share the pic with those who may not be on it (or put the pic on your blog)?  I know that you can share with others registered with Pinterest, but can't figure out if the other is possible.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

2nd post of day...

You know what's really great about *blogging* (and I know you do) versus *journaling* (which I've been doing my whole life)?  It's the wonder of technology as well as that little *bing!* that tells you that someone has read your post and and taken the time to comment. It's like Pavlov's dog... when it bings, I smile.

I have to admit that I read only about 10 blogs regularly, check in once in a while with a few others, and comment only on about 6.  Like Facebook, which I check in on only about 4 - 6 times during the year and have about 20 friends (not 200+ like most people), I'm happy with my chosen few.  However, I do "try" to read more blogs and am not against joining more sites, but by the time I've read the ones I have and then comment and write my own, I'm usually *blogged out* for the day. Maybe I could try to read at least a few more new ones a week. That could be a goal. We'll see.

The way this post came about is that DH and I went walking today... and halfway into our walk, my phone *binged" and I smiled. And I thought, "hmm-mmm, it's funny how a little *bing!" can make you smile."

Oh! - now my timer just *dinged* and that means our steamed stuffed artichokes are ready... gotta go!

Easter momento/memento?

I found this cute little lamb at the grocery store this morning.  We have a window on each side of the fireplace and I keep the little wood tulips there year round. I know that I should remove them after Easter or Spring, but they brighten up the place - so I don't.  Anyway, I thought the lamb would look good there... as a momento/memento of Easter/Spring.

This *pull string* bunny has been hanging here for years. It has amused many a grandkid.  Now it is a favorite of youngest grand daughter (almost 14 months).  She grabs that string and janks it so hard that his little bunny legs fly up over his head! (and it makes us both laugh)

Easter bunny pull string

Easter bunny pull string on cluttered china cabinet

We used to have several china cabinets. I always had this one and when Mama came to live with us... she had 2.  We have given the other 2 away in an effort to 'down-size', so my existing one is a bit cluttered.

This morning (Sunday) I was making waffles for DH and I when I saw this crow in the backyard. As you know, I have an affinity for crows - so I ran for my camera.  He sat in the tree for a bit, then got bold and flew down to the yard to partake of the dry catfood available there.

... and I wanted to show you the pretty artichokes we found at Central Market Friday morning.  I plan to stuff them later this week. DH and I love stuffed artichokes!

artichoke plant (not mine)

Also as reported by my cousin in New Orleans, Mardi Gras day this year was cold and rainy... so she stayed home. The weather doesn't usually dampen the mood of the hard-core merri-makers, but as you get older, it definitely does. Growing up we always went to the day parades that gathered around City Park on the week-end before Mardi Gras (and did venture to a few of the night ones - people dancing around twirling lighted torches put me off ). And then when in college at LSUBR, we always went as a group - sometimes tying ourselves together with a rope to avoid getting seperated in the crowds. It was rowdy and fun. (When in the French Quarter downtown, one always knew where it was safe to go and where it wasn't.)  That has changed a lot.  The place has been cleaned up and looks pretty darn good last I saw... possibly thanks to Katrina (even though the Quarter wasn't hit that hard).

cold rainy Mardi Gras day in New Orleans - note umbrellas!
DH just handed me the camera and said that he took a few pics of one of the outside kittens playing in the tree out back.  So here they are:

Have a great weekend !

Monday, March 3, 2014

Sun's out... but it's cold

This blue jay has catfood pellets in his mouth. Despite the fact that we put out birdseed, they (as well as the raccoons and possums) seem to prefer dry catfood.  And they seem to have very little fear of the black cats that are over this yard.  But if he glimpses me inside the house with a camera pointed at him, he's off in a flash! I had to stand back a bit, hidden some behind the door jam to get this pic.  You can see the ice pellets all over the grass from the frozen rain and sleet we had yesterday. This morning the sun is out and although it was 16 F earlier, it's supposed to get up to 31 or 32 later today.

outside cats' frozen water bowl

I didn't get any pics of the outside cats this morning, but here is one we took a few days ago... when the weather was better.

When the weather is bad, they pretty much stay on the back porch under the heat lamps or slip inside the garage where there's plenty of hay and blankets for warmth.

So goes another day with schools closed again due to icy roads.  I spent the morning playing around with my clay - sculpting little Easter bunnies - just for fun.  I have underglazed these 2 little ones and have not totally finished sculpting the 3rd. Here is a pic of the first 2. Remember, they are still clay with a little underglaze on top... haven't been fired yet... and then will need a coat of clear glaze and be fired again. But it kept my hands busy as too much crochet or TV sometimes gives me a headache... so I'm trying to keep away from both today.

And as I walked past our bedroom, there was Ghost curled up on my pink bed jacket.  As you can see from her face, she didn't like being disturbed.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

the winter that wouldn't die...

We have been enjoying beautiful warm days this week (I know... and feel bad for you guys still out there in cold and snow). BUT apparently we're not out of the line of fire yet - as our weatherman just announced another winter blast coming our way! It was 83 degrees yesterday and today will be in the 70's... and we're supposed to go down to 28 Sunday with possible sleet and rain/snow?  Then down to 20 or so by Monday morning...   Really???  Is all this erratic weather climate change?

This morning the news also showed a picture of a dense fog that engulfed only a small portion of downtown Dallas. It was thick and low to the ground (only .3 mi limited visibility) and it was eerie looking.... you could only see the top of reunion tower.... almost looked like a giant ball floating in the sky.  Wish I could show you the pic the news showed, but here is a picture I took last Saturday coming back from Weatherford on a clear day...

Reunion tower is building in center with ball at top
Anyway, it's beginning to look like this winter is endless.  They say that March comes "in like a lion, out like a lamb".  The lion part seems to be coming true... hope the lamb part is also.  It has been a long cold winter... (even more so for some of you). But I think everyone is ready to see it go. This is one Spring that will be very very welcome.

Here is a photo of Ghost by the fireplace.  She can stare into the fire for long periods. The following is a video of her doing this.  It may be a bit too dark to see well...

And lastly, here is a picture of the fabric I'm using to make a quilted tablecloth for my kitchen table. The teabags are the top and the green is the backing... but it should be reversible.  So far it's completely done, except for the binding (and it is machine quilted as I've given up on hand-stitching).

... had to make it large so you could see the little teabags