Monday, April 25, 2016

Weekly Recap #16

{April 18 through April 23, 2016}


  • I harvested the first strawberries Wednesday (the 20th) – three in all! The lemons, tater (potatoes) and the peas all have flowers. I need to weed the garden areas as it is rapidly getting out of control.
Quilting; Crafts

  • I picked out, cut and sewed up fabrics for a Courthouse Steps block which is in Section 2 of the Gypsy Wife quilt. I also picked out and cut fabrics for a Bordered Square-in-Square block.
  • splish splash stash

Red Poppy Festival, Georgetown, Texas

  • The Red Poppy Festival in Georgetown has been marked in my calendar for months. We decided to just go on April 22nd and use this event to celebrate our 22nd Anniversary a week late. It was a lot bigger than we expected and reminded me of Huntsville's Fair on the Square that is held every October. There were lots of things for kids to do along with tons of arts and crafts booths. The biggest event was the car show which is a judged event; so, there were a lot of a cool looking vintage cars! I did not take any pictures this time around as I did not think there was anything picturesque to take.
DIY Shed aka "The Barn"

  • We had just a partial weekend as we took Saturday off to celebrate our 22nd Anniversary a week late. We did work Sunday. We managed to get all the siding put up on the remaining two walls and Dan got the door openings cut out. It is beginning to take shape.

  • I had the permanent crown put on my broken molar last Thursday and am so happy that is done and over with!
  • We had an electrician come out and wire up a ceiling fan box for us in the Studio. I am getting real excited about putting the cute little thing (ceiling fan) up in that room!

By perseverance the snail reached the ark.

Charles H Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wordy Wednesday {The Barn Continued}

The Beginning
Continued I

Note: The weekend of April 10th and 17th was cloudy not to mention we had storms on the 17th. So, all pictures reflect the gloomy (cloudy) days and are not all that great.

The floor of the barn and the deck of the porch was laid and completed on the April 10th.

A closeup shot of the flooring and deck. We plan to stain the decking in the future to further protect it from the weather.

The first wall (back wall) was built and put up on April 16th. We managed to do this all by ourselves against the wind. I was amazed and impressed with what we managed to do!

The front wall was built on April 16th and put up on the morning of 17th. We failed our first attempt. It was a little heavier on account of the header built for the door. The Gardener must have seen our humiliation because he offered to help. I am thankful for his help because we got it on the second attempt.

The other two walls were built and put up in between storms on the 17th. These were a heck of a lot easier to put up! We were extremely tired, wet and sore folks by the end of the day!

The barn door side view.

The plan is to take off Saturday and finish putting on the siding this Sunday (April 24). We may even get started on the joists that will support the ceiling and loft.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Weekly Recap #15

{April 11 through April 17, 2016}

Just an advanced warning. I am real tired from not getting enough sleep overnight on account of pain. So, please excuse any spelling and grammar mistakes that I have not caught via editing.


  • The gardens are still sprouting. The tater (potato) plants are huge and have sprouted tiny flowers. Yes, I buried them quite a few times until I felt I ran out of room in the tater box to keep filling with dirt. The peas have shot up practically overnight. And, we got a few strawberries. I am pleased.
Quilting; Crafts

  • My first attempt (left) on the Pershing block for Section 2 of the Gypsy Wife Quilt was not great. It is badly skewed (not squared). So, I made a second block with the help of tips and notes off the interwebs including one from a facebook friend. I am real pleased with my second effort. This is all I did for a week! I do not think I will ever make another Pershing block as it is very difficult to make!

    I am saving the block I scrapped for the backing. I tend to use leftover blocks and fabrics to make the backing. So, we shall see.

  • splish splash stash

DIY Shed aka "The Barn"

  • I never did post pictures of the progress of the barn, did I? Oh well. We now have all four walls up in spite of threats of storms. In fact, at one point, when a flash of lightning appeared a ways off, I yelled "I'm out of here", dropped my hammer and nails and ran for the door. Dan laughed; but, he calmly picked up the tools and headed for indoors too. I may laugh about it now; but, thunderstorms make me extremely nervous.

    Anyway, I am thankful the gardener (neighbor) helped us put the second wall up because we failed on our first attempt. We had no troubles with the "side" walls as they were much lighter. We put up the last wall after the thunderstorm passed through. Another one was brewing while we were finishing up securing that wall.

    I plan to post pictures of the progress soon. Key word is “plan”.

Heaven is not for good people. heaven is for forgiven people.

~ Greg Laurie ~

Friday, April 15, 2016

Green Lynx Spider Spiderlings {Peucetia viridans}

Last week, I posted about the Green Lynx Spider and her egg sac I encountered last October. I was keeping an eye on the sac daily and the female spider was guarding her sac for a long time.

In early December, I discovered that spiderlings have busted forth from the sac. I was extremely surprised because Garden Spiders stay in their sacs for a very long time. But, I have since learned through research that the Green Lynx spiderlings come out of the sacs about four weeks after being laid.

It was difficult trying to get a decent picture because they were active little buggers not to mention microscopic! But, I think I managed to get a few decent shots.

{To see a slightly larger image, go here.}

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wordy Wednesday {3 Chartreuse Buzzards....}

Three chartreuse buzzards.
Sitting in a dead tree.
One flew away, what a shame. How many are left?

Two chartreuse buzzards,

~ partial lyrics from an old camp song ~

Actually, these are turkey vultures. I looked out the back window and was shocked to see them sitting on some old fence posts. They looked like little old ladies gossiping.

This was the only picture I managed to snap before they flew away. As a result, it is not the greatest picture I could have taken because I did not take the time to set the camera up properly.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

2016 Finish-A-Long Q2 {List}

I utterly failed at accomplishing any of my Q1 Finish-A-Long goals. I almost did not do this because I am embarrassed. But hey! I am only human with many other projects (e.g. the shed and gardening) going on in my life. Also, I got sidetracked with the Gypsy Wife Quilt. One of my biggest weaknesses is that I really enjoy piecing above all the stages of making a quilt.

I am just going to narrow down my list to two things this time around.

The Green Quilt

1. Finish Hand Quilting Dan's Quilt

I have been working on this and just got completely sidetracked. I think I have made good progress and just need to continue working on it here and there in my down times.

top left: extra square-in-square block and an Unpieced Pershing block for Section Two
top right: Section 1 completed
bottom left: saved selvages for documentation and use later
bottom right: strips cut and ready to go per the Quilt-A-Long tips and whatnot.

2. Gypsy Wife Quilt Top

I am not exactly doing the quilt-a-long (QAL). I mean, I am following along and using the tips and whatnot; but, I am doing this at my own pace rather than with keeping up with the others participating in the QAL. I believe they are now putting sections 3 and 4 together whereas I am still cutting fabrics and piecing blocks for section 2. At the pace I am going, I am not sure if I will be finished making the top by the end of this quarter. But hey, I am going to plug away at making the top and enjoy the process.

splish splash stash

Monday, April 11, 2016

Weekly Recap #14

{April 4 through April 10, 2016}


  • The gardens are coming along fabulously. The lemon tree that split in half is still doing great and has many blooms. The apple tree has a couple of blossoms; but, since this is the first year, I do not expect either of them to bear fruit. Our old pecan tree also sprouted leaves. Both Dan and I were worried it did not survive due to gopher damage. But, it seems to be doing rather well! We also have lavender, taters (potatoes), cucumbers, peas, and a few other herbs such as Basil growing. I spent some time this past Sunday doing some heavy weeding in the main garden in spite of a storm threatening and Dan said there was thunder. (He came to help me after he finished trimming the plywood on the barn). The storm was all threats and bluster because it never did directly hit us.
Quilting; Crafts

  • I cut fabric to make a Pershing block for Section 2 of the Gypsy Wife Quilt. I think it is going to be one crazy cool block when it is finally sewn together. I struggled the rest of the week due to stress and anxiety related illnesses. (See “Miscellaneous” below.) I plan to sew the block up either today or tomorrow.
  • splish splash stash

DIY Shed aka "The Barn"

  • Progress was a little slower this weekend due to the fact

    1. We went to the city to shop for windows at Habitat for Humanity. We did not find any windows that were the right size – most were way too big. However, I did shop among the rugs. I found a 9 x 6 rug would work for the cats. Yes, I am that crazy cat lady. I bought a rug for the cats. They immediately took possession and raised Cain. How do I know this? The rug was askew when I went into the room check on them. And, this happened twice! Dan put some non-skid stuff underneath to prevent it from sliding around the room. Gracie loves to lay belly up on the thing and Abby goes nuts with toys especially when I use a particular toy to play with her.

      Anyway, we ended up going to Lowe’s for the windows and we found some that were not expensive.

    2. I was sick and unable to help Dan do heavy work. In spite of this, I managed to help hammer in nails in the decking material for the porch on Sunday! I could sit and just hammer away in spite of stomach troubles.
  • I plan to post pictures of progress soon.

  • I neglected to mention that I broke a molar in my last recap post and it happened on a Saturday morning! I was eating a breakfast bar that had almonds. I crunched on an almond and my tooth broke. I was shocked. It didn’t hurt; but, it felt funny. It was also slicing and dicing my tongue.

    I went to see the dentist first thing Tuesday morning. The almond did more than just break the corner of my tooth; it cracked it practically in half which means another corner of the tooth is weak. As a result, I must have a crown put on to save the tooth. He filed down the tooth a little so that it would not slice and dice my tongue anymore. The work for the temporary crown was done Thursday morning. Fun and games. NOT!

    Anxiety and stress over getting shots to numb my mouth and the actual work to be done made me sick. It took my body about four days to recover. I was still suffering stomach issues Sunday morning.

    Anyway, I go back to the dentist on April 21st to get the permanent crown. I am not looking forward to it; but, I know from past history, it is not as bad. However, I do not know this dentist well and I do not know what their procedures are for putting on permanent crowns. So far, they have been great!

Some Links to Share

A perfect faith is nowhere to be found, so it follows that all of us are partly unbelievers.

~ John Calvin~

Friday, April 8, 2016

Green Lynx Spider {Peucetia viridans}

I have recovered most of the data from my old laptop (thanks Dan!) and can now use the pictures I took late last year. These pictures were all take back in October of 2015.

At first, I did not know what to make of the odd "debris" in my Lavender plant; but, upon a closer look, I was thrilled to have determined it was an elusive Green Lynx Spider with her egg sac. This is a first for me!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Wordy Wednesday {The Barn Continued}

This was Dan's setup for cutting the wood. The lumber was stored in the "hangar" (garage) and there was virtually no room for him to work. So, outdoors he went!

Finished joists for the main structure on Saturday, April 2, 2016. We also established most of the concrete blocks that will support the porch on this day.

Finished the joists for the porch on Sunday, April 3, 2016.

This is the side view along with its porch.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Weekly Recap #13

{March 28 through April 3, 2016}


  • The lemon tree that split in half is doing great under the circumstances. I am real pleased. the flowers have burst forth from buds. But, since this is the first year, I am not sure if they will become lemons. We are pampering the silly tree (along with the others). I have even added organic food spikes to help nourish it. I might have to add magnesium (via Epsom salts) if signs indicate the need for this nutrient.
  • I also did some yard work by weeding some nasty dandelions. These are the ones that hog the lands and water for themselves starving wildflowers and more from growing. I do not touch the false dandelions as I like these very much and they do help butterflies and bees. It took me two days to pull them all up along the driveway. The first day, my muscles started to hurt. I mean, pain hurt. So, I quit. The second day, I just got real tired and had the shakes after I finished the work. Now, it is just maintenance (getting rid of new ones).

    I have been seeing small little sunflower plants popping up since I pulled the nasty dandelions. I looks like I might have a decent border of sunflowers again this year in spite of the fact these weeds existed. I am usually vigilant and pull them whenever I see any pop up. The backyard is practically free of them this spring. There are some around a crepe myrtle tree out front that I need to pull up. But, all in all, the result of two years of effort is making me happy.

Quilting; Crafts

  • Finished Section 1 of the Gypsy Wife Quilt. I blogged about it here. I was extremely pleased with what I've done. Now, onto section 2.

    splish splash stash

DIY Shed aka "The Barn"

  • We finished establishing the joists for both "the barn" and the deck (porch). Let me tell you, I felt victorious when I managed to dead lift the joists for the deck of the barn. It made me think of my oldest niece who is into lifting weights. Even though I managed to lift it, I could not shuffle sideways. Sheesh. But, I was able to place my end on where we wanted it to go and slide it the rest of the way. I most likely will post pictures this Wednesday if I can find the time and inclination to do so.

  • I started and finished reading One Good Dog by Susan Wilson. It was a fast clean read and I finished it in two days. I think I could have read it in one day if I did not have other things to do.

    This book was both sad and victorious. Susan Wilson has a way with written words and an ability to get into what could be a dog’s thoughts. This is the second book I have read by this author and I picked up this book at Half Price Books.

    You can read more on what the book is about on both Goodreads and Amazon.

    I gave this book four stars on Goodreads.

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...and sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.

~ The Doctor (of Doctor Who) ~

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Gypsy Wife Quilt: Section 1

Bordered Hourglass Block - 6.5" Unfinished

I started out a little shaky as it was my first time using Ken, my mother's Kenmore machine. But, with each block sewn, it got better especially after I got a few cheap tools to help me out since there wasn't a 1/4" seam guide on (or foot for) her machine.

Puss in Corner Block - 5.5" Unfinished

You can see that I fussy cut the center square. Cute, huh?

Bordered Square in Square block - 5.5" Unfinished

Pinwheel block - 4.5" Unfinished

Square in Square block - 3.5" Unfinished

I divided up Section 1 into three logical mini sections and proceeded to choose fabrics for the strips for each mini section. I then cut and numbered them at the same time to keep them all organized.

While sewing the strips, I decided to switch back to using Jan (my Janome). In the meantime, I will take my mother's machine in to be serviced as I believe it has never been serviced in its lifetime.

Section 1 Finished

It is not perfect; but, I am fairly pleased with what I have done so far. A partial seam made it challenging and is a first for me. I am thankful for the ladies hosting the Quilt a long because their tips and documents were so helpful!

This is the first quilt that I am working on I that I have thought of as "mine". The others are either for Dan (the hand quilted one in progress) or for fun.

splish splash stash