Tuesday, March 31, 2015

An Unconventional Place to Hang a Picture

We finally hung up quite a few pictures, prints, cross-stitchery, posters and more around the house. I still have a few that need either work or need homemade frames because they are not your typical size pictures or posters. Anyway, I chose an unconventional place to hang a print on the wall and I am absolutely tickled. I know. I know. I may be weird; but, that is okay, correct?

I love how at certain angles (e.g. sitting in a chair), it looks like the smaller cat is hanging off the tree greeting the larger one. The cat tree is "permanently" placed here; so, no worries about the poster ever looking like it is in a weird place or hung up too low (or wrong).

By the way, I fell in love with the print (poster) from Itty Bitty Kitty Committee ages ago and purchased it from their shop when they had a sale. Portions of the proceeds go to support the shelter.

PS Do you see my Abby Gail on one of the top perches? She's curled up asleep as happy as can be.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Macro Monday (Diamonds on a Wildflower)

I was out early on March 23 photographing some water diamonds (thousands upon thousands of dewdrops) as the sun was rising. I came across this flower loaded with water diamonds and thought to myself it would make a pretty picture even though the color is a challenge for me. By the way, the second picture below is my favorite.

{To see a larger image, go here.}

{To see a larger image, go here.}

Friday, March 27, 2015

Feline Friday (The Digging-est Cat)

One of my favorite beginners book is called "The Digging-est Dog". I used to read that book along with "Are You My Mother?" over and over when I was a very little girl.

I call Abby Gail my Digging-est cat due to the fact she frequently digs outside. Dan recently captured Abby Gail doing this very thing. She would stop in her tracks, sniff around and then start digging uncovering gopher holes or tunnels.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

2015 Pirelli World Challenge (March 8)

We went to Austin the weekend of March 7 – 8, 2015. I had some shopping (browsing) I wanted to do in Austin because San Antonio can be limited when it comes to stuff like tiles and cabinetry. Anyway, we planned a getaway to coincide with 2015 Pirelli World Challenge at Circuit of the Americas (COTA). The one thing we did not count on was the cold and rain!

The first race was composed of slower cars. Dan’s coworkers could not be bothered to show up for this race. However, they did show up for the other faster cars. I thought the slower cars were rather interesting. Of course, I am not into racing like my husband is; so, I am sure it can be boring to those who love FAST.

I have actually witnessed a spinout this major curve (pictured above). Three cars spun out at the same time. Fortunately, no serious accidents occurred at this spot.

This is the last curve in the track.

We could one see a very small portion of the track. The rest were on huge screens. So, we were basically watching the race on TV. I thought it was poor planning of the builders because the building(s) blocked the majority of the track. But, you still get the experience of the sounds and feelings of a race. I actually had to wear ear plugs in spite of being without an hearing-aid because the sound of cars roaring by actually hurt my ears. Yes, make that plural. It even hurt my dead right ear!

PURPLE! I loved and privately cheered for this car in spite of it being nearly last in the race. If you don't know, purple is a favorite color of mine.

The second race was composed of much faster cars. I was interested in the first race; but, once this race started, I understood why people prefer fast over slower cars.

I wanted to animate the above two pictures; but, I did not make the time to do so.

I did not take pictures of every single race as it was extremely cold and miserable. In spite of feeling miserable on account of the weather, I had fun! It was seriously raining the last race I took pictures. I was completely floored when all the cars started. The backwash from cars was seriously horrendous. I looked at Dan with wide eyes after they all turned the corner and he was grinning and exclaimed “that was so awesome”. Seriously? All I could think was it was extremely dangerous.

The above video was shot by Dan with his iPhone. This was the second start up of the race as there was a major accident that forced them all to slow down.

Word to the wise about COTA: if you are gluten intolerant or have Celiac disease, you will need to do some serious planning concerning food because COTA does not allow food to be brought in and every single food merchant was full of gluten. Granted, not many food merchants were open that day; but, still… I could not find a single item that could potentially be gluten free with the exception of drinks. I ended up eating some food with gluten and paid the price. But, I have to say it was worth the price of brain fog, bloating, stomach troubles and joint pain!

Footnote: Dan says that on days of major popular races (e.g. Formula 1), there are many more food vendors and many are huge. So, there may be some gluten free options for those types of races. He mentioned a 18 wheeler truck full of whole chickens roasting.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Macro Monday {Paintbrush and Bluebonnet}

{To see a larger image, go here.}

All shot on March 4th, 2015. And, of course, my favorite is the bluebonnet.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Slapdash Saturday

  • Sacred Heart quilt

    Zentangle inspiration! I immediately thought of Zentangles upon seeing the quilting on this quilt. It’s awesome!

  • Eight of History’s Greatest Cat Ladies

  • Patchwork Pincusion Tutorial

    {Sewing; Quilting}

  • It’s Okay to be a Craptastic Quilter

    {Warning: Language!}

    If you make the f*cking Quilt you are a quilter and I encourage you be to the very best ( read that as happy) quilter you can be and not to let the quilting of others make you feel bad about the work you are doing now.

    If you are happy with the quilting you are doing then power on. If you want to learn more then dive in, there is a world of resources out there from you LQS to online classes and books.

    As quilters we can be the greatest support or the worst critics of each other and each day we can choose which sandbox we want to play in. Personally I am choosing the one that lifts all quilters up.. feel free to join me, I will be in the one in the corner with the cookies and a Margarita.

  • Why I’m Coming out as a Christian Who Doesn’t go to Church

    {Inspirational}

    But the truth is I don't think I'm alone. I think there are a lot of us out there. Jesus lovers who don't fit the sunday-church-goer-midweek-meeting-mold and who are scared of the reaction other Christians will have towards them if they knew.
    I'm coming out as a Christian who doesn't go to church, but is still deeply in love with a God who hung on a cross to ensure I would live with him forever.

    I'm coming out as a Christian who doesn’t go to church, who still has doubts and fears and questions about God, but loves him anyway.

    My only salvation is Jesus.

    My salvation isn't about what I do on a Sunday, whether I write devotionals, if I have a whole book of the bible memorized. It's Jesus plus nothing. Always.

  • Not All Olive Oil is Created Equal

    Fraudulent olive oil has been in the news. What’s being done about it?

    Fraudulent oil is an ongoing problem in the U.S. University of California at Davis did a study and found out almost 80 percent of the generic brands were found not to be extra virgin.

    What is the government doing to prevent this?

    In Europe you’re breaking the law if you’re mixing refined oil with extra virgin. Producers can be fined and penalized for that. But in the U.S., no one is pulling oil off the shelf to test olive oils. If that did happen, there would be little to no repercussions. I consider it the Wild, Wild West in the U.S.

  • When God Makes You Wait

    Wherever you are at today know that God is right beside you and that there is a purpose for you. Even if that purpose is to wait.
    Don’t give up just because you don’t see anything happening today.
    Don’t allow your waiting period to make you hopeless about what tomorrow will bring.
    Instead, let it build your faith and give you even greater hope for what God has prepared for you.
    He made some of the greatest men of faith wait.
    Don’t be discouraged if He makes you wait as well.
    He will come through for you, just like He came through for them.
  • This family has two sets of twins and that’s not even what makes it so incredibly unique

Friday, March 20, 2015

Feline Friday {Dry Sink}

I had put an old quilt that I bought at a steal years ago in my mother's dry sink in hopes the cats would use it as a bed and leave the rest of the room alone. Nope. Gracie prefers harder surfaces like one of the kitchen chairs that we placed in my room. And Abby Gail tends prefer to be up higher such as my cutting and sewing machine table.

But, when I fixed up a shadowbox and placed it in the dry sink, I discovered that Abby is now using it as a bed.

What is it with cats? They are never happy unless they think they are where they do NOT belong.

By the way, that shadowbox is a kit that I won years ago and I finally put it to good use. I was originally going to use it for something else once we settled down; but, I decided it was better to use it for the wooden roses I gave my mother and the card she kept along with them. The framing just reminds me of my mother and it was just perfect.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wordy Wednesday

I have been both real pleased and disappointed with the wildflowers this year. Our next door neighbor's land is full of phlox and yellow flowers whereas ours is kind of bare of them. Dan speculates that our neighbor has let his land go for years and ours will look like that in several years. On the other hand, we still have our bluebonnets and those have spread all over our land. In addition, we have more paintbrushes this year. In fact we have two large clusters of them.

The following are poor quality pictures as it has been rainy and cloudy for weeks on end. Both were shot on March 16th. In spite of the quality, they should give you an idea of what is what around here.

{To see a larger image, go here.}

Those white specks you see are actually white bluebonnets! Yes, the cluster of rare white bluebonnets is back and I'm mighty pleased with that fact. I call them my ghostly sentinels because they are located out front yard and are practically in line with the front door and porch. You can look out the windows of the front door and they will be there. They are more noticeable in the dawn while it is still somewhat dark and on gloomy days.

{To see a larger image, go here.}

This cluster of paintbrushes is out front of our house by the driveway. We also have another slightly smaller cluster way out back of our land.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Macro Monday {Bees Amongst Clover}

Here's another tribute to St. Patrick's Day which is tomorrow, March 17th. I was walking out front and glanced down and noticed a bee flying amongst clover. My first bee sighting! I was thrilled. I took quite a few pictures hoping two or three would be decent. Much to my surprise, nine of them were decent! I must either be getting better or got lucky. I think it is the latter. I could not decide between the nine; so, I am posting them all. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Feline Friday {Amongst Clover}

I know. I know. I am late with this post. Life is busy and extremely stressful for me at the moment. I may or may not get posts posted on time (if ever) over the next couple of months. But hey! At least, I am posting, correct?

Since March 17th, St. Patrick's day, is coming upon us fast, I thought the following pictures are appropriate.

Gracie

Abby Gail

Both were taken on February 25, 2015. We have a huge patch of clover out back. It is kind of unusual rectangular shape and I speculate that the owners before us had a garden plot in that particular spot because it is the only bright green area on our land.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Winning Love

This is to give bloggers and their giveaways a shout out and it is my way of giving additional thanks to them.

  • On February 28, 2015, I was notified via email that I am a winner of a $25.00 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop in a Sassy Saturday Giveaway on The Sassy Quilter blog. I have received the gift certificate; but, I have not used it yet. I am waiting for that special time. :-)
  • Early in February, I discovered I won a book via The Book Club, Inc.. That giveaway was held in January. The book is Emissary by Thomas Locke who also writes under the name of Davis Bunn. I read a few of Davis Bunn’s books and am looking forward to reading this book. By the way, I had to do some research when the book arrived In the mail because I was like "why?!". Ha!
  • The following is the most embarrassing win to date (notified on Janury 23). You see, I enter giveaways and sweepstakes (with no expectation of winning) when my friends share giveaways so that they can get extra entries. Well, It turned out that I won a box of Red Velvet Oreos in the Oreo Red Velvet Rope sweepstakes. Egads! They shipped the prize and it arrived without much fanfare. Since I cannot have gluten, I gave them to Dan. He tried them and has not finished the box. That tells you how much he liked them. NOT! By the way, he’s a HUGE Oreos.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wordy Wednesday {A Peek}

The Current State of Things. The view is from the kitchen, back door entrance area.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Macro Monday {Paintbrush}

{To see a larger image, go here.}

First sighting of an Indian Paintbrush (or Texas Paintbrush). These were shot on February 22, 2015 on our land.

I suspected that since it was early, it would be stunted. I was correct in my assumption. Soon after this sighting, I discovered a few more several days later out that were gloriously perfect!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Foul Friday {Pepe Le Pew}

It was a cold (38* F) gloomy rainy day (February 28, 2015) and we were having issues with our A/C and Heater for my room. It just would not work. And, we also were also trying to figure out where a musty smell was coming from in my room. It smells like my Grandmother's basement (dirt floor) in Maine and brought back memories for me.

I think the fact that my room was a garage in previous life along with the fact that it has been cold and wet (rainy) for days on end contributed to the smell. We are going to invest in a few things including an humidifier.

Anyway, Dan went outside to investigate and I was behind him. I looked up and immediately was in shock upon seeing a rare sight. I yelled at Dan to come back inside because Pepe Le Pew was only about 30 feet away from our back door. For real!

Taking pictures of the critter was not easy because of the constant movement along with the fact that it was gloomy, rainy and I was extremely nervous. But, I managed to get three decent pictures out of the kajillion I shot. I would estimate that the critter was about 20 feet away when I took the last picture above.

I let the cats out the next day after making sure no critters were out there. Pepe Le Pew made another appearance from the neighbor's land approximately 25 feet from Abby Gail. I calmly and quickly went after Abby only to scream when she started to take after Pepe Le Pew. Fortunately, my scream stopped Abby in her tracks and I was able to grab her before she could think about Pepe Le Pew again. I then chased Gracie back into the house with Abby growling on my arm the whole way back.

I will now be extra vigilant and will let the cats outside only when I can make the time to be out there with them (I usually multi-task keeping an eye on the cats while doing chores). I feel like I am going insane because the cats are stir crazy and I do not want to be out there in the cold rainy weather.