Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Macros: The wheel bug, Arilus cristatus (Linnaeus); Eggs and Nymphs

I was outside with Abby Gail in my arms yesterday. She wanted to sniff and smell the branches of a crepe myrtle tree and I obliged her by getting closer and lifting her up. It was then I spied a weird hexagonal object on one of the bigger branches. Since I could not see it well with the naked eye, I grabbed my Macro lens and shot a few pictures.

I then noticed a few of the critters above the weird object and snapped a few pictures of them.

I did some research for this blog post this morning. When I discovered it is the Wheel Bug, I exclaimed, "holy sh--"! If you know what the Wheel Bugs are, you will understand my initial dismay. They are the assassins of the insect world and can have an extremely painful bite. However, they are beneficial critters for organic gardening (which I attempt to do since I do not like using pesticides.)

I can recognize the adults. I just never seen the youth and egg sacs until now. Just keep them away from me and I will be a happy person. Sometimes ignorance is bliss because if I had known what these were, I would have not gotten so close to snap pictures.

Here is a good article about this insect: The wheel bug, Arilus cristatus (Linnaeus)..

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Gypsy Wife Quilt; Section 4; Courthouse Steps


Picked out fabrics for next block...

I wanted a light red for the last round; but, I did not have any fabric that would work from my stash; so, I picked out the light purple chevron fabric.


Cut and ready to be sewn


All sewn up!

I am extremely pleased with this block. I now moving onto fabric choices for the next block which is composed of sixteen half-square triangles. Egads!

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Deep Sadness

He was only 58 years old. His illness and death came on so suddenly and shocking for so many close to him and even to those who were just acquaintances. He was one-in-a-million, one person in a million per year, diagnosed with Cruetzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD).

I remember the first time I met him at a college graduation ceremony over thirty years ago. He was rebellious looking. He took the time to converse with me making sure I understood him. I liked him. Over the years, with each encounter, my respect for him only deepened. He was kind, compassionate, loved his family, hunting and dogs. He always made the effort to make sure I understood the conversations.

I deeply grieved for those he left behind -- his wife and daughter, his only sibling, and his father. My heart is eased knowing he is a believer and did not fear death.

Learning of this news, with additional news of the death of the mother of a brother-in-law's wife (that was a mouthful), and the hospitalization of my own husband's mother, all over the span of a long weekend (three days), intensified many things for me. I had to retreat from everything. My thoughts were introspective. Dan was even affected by everything happening seemingly at once. He rarely lets things get to him.

Fortunately, my husband's mother is fine, stable and is back home. Unfortunately, they do not know what is wrong and this is the second time in just three years this "illness" has happened to her.

I had planned to attend Heart of Texas One Stop Shop Hop in Waco, Texas for a couple of months now. This event is happening today and tomorrow. I am still planning to attend tomorrow. However, the excitement of attending this event is replaced with sadness.

Recently, while watching a rerun of an episode of Elementary, a quote really stuck with me. So, I will leave you the following quote:

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep;
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

~ Robert Frost

Christmas Ornament

I recently completed this beaded and sequined ornament. This was part of a kit (set of three). The instructions had mistakes, not to mention the ornament does not match what is pictured. The bugle beads would slide up inside the red faceted beads. Fun. Not! I had to come up with ways to prevent this from happening. I used glue in some sections and rocaille beads in others. I made it work.

I am once again disappointed with a kit. Also, I am seriously irked with the deception on the manufacturer's part (picture and supplies do not match what is actually received).

With all that said, I will be making at least one more out of this kit. But first, I am returning to the Gypsy Wife quilt now that I am feeling better. (I made this ornament while resting and watching TV).

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Gypsy Wife Quilt, Section 3, Completed


Section 3

I am fairly pleased with the result of my efforts. I plugged away sewing everything for this section two days ago and finished it yesterday.

To recap:

Section 3 on the left; Section 1 and Section 2 on the right

These three sections will be sewn together as pictured in the distant future. After all, I have seven more sections to do, some of which are difficult and others easy.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Today I Am

::heartbroken:: that a family friend will soon fly away to that home on God's celestial shore.

::scared:: or ::worried:: about the future of Rackspace.

::sewing:: -- it's therapetic. I am currently ::working:: on Section 3 of Gypsy Wife Quilt.

::cross stitching:: here and there on a small project.

::thinking:: about starting up another Christmas ornament kit.

::wishing:: Gracie was feeling better. She is still having itchy fits.

::wondering:: if I did something wrong in some friendships. At this moment, I cannot worry about what they think of me as I have enough on my plate. It is what it is. At least, that is what I try to tell myself.

::in pain:: from a stickerburr hitting my left hand (knuckle) several days ago and holding my phone too much in my right hand. The stickerburr most likely went into a tendon or muscle and the knuckle is currently inflamed. It's not much fun when both hands are hurting.

::thinking:: about selling off my extra Christmas beaded ornaments I made. I would sell them at cost plus shipping just for them to go to a happy home and be used.

::eating:: homemade gluten free pizza for dinner tonight. Pizza is comfort food for me.

Finished Craft Project (Christmas Ornament)

This is not a very good picture and it does not do it justice. I finished this ornament yesterday (February 6, 2017). I am fairly pleased with the thing. At first, it was hard to let go of perfectionism; but, that is exactly what I needed to do with this kit. I realize that the tree is perfectly wonky; but, hey, that is how real trees are in life.