Monday, June 8, 2009

Strawberry Pyramid

Strawberry Pyramid
Originally uploaded by jannza
My strawberries are growing nicely. This picture was taken last year when we first set up the bed. Runners can be encouraged to grow on lower levels. (The variety I planted was the ever-bearing strawberry.)

My husband built the pyramid and eventually made a pvc frame which fit over it so the birds wouldn't eat all of our juicy treats!

This year it is doing even better and has many yummy strawberries quickly approaching the ripening stage. I have more plans for these berries than I'll end up having berries, I'm sure. At least I'm guaranteed none will go to waste.

Yikes! Waste strawberries? They send you to jail for that, don't they??

Cut and Ready to Go

Cut and Ready to Go
Originally uploaded by jannza
I have more than enough strips here to work on the Old Red Barn Co. sew along. I'm intending to make this larger than suggested.

I have made more quilts lately that are on the medium side and I'm looking for MORE COVERAGE! These desperately difficult Illinois winters get the best of me and I need help!

It's exciting to cut the strips and know that the actual sewing is just around the corner. Am I the only one amazed at seeing little pieces of fabric come together to create something beautiful and comforting?

Meet Mrs. Responsible

Meet Mrs. Responsible
Originally uploaded by jannz

I joined a wonderful quilt-along group and am using fabrics I already have as opposed to purchasing new ones. (Old Red Barn Co. Quilt Along)

It isn't that I wouldn't want to go to a quilt shop and find something delicious. I'm just trying to be "Mrs. Responsible" and do my part to use what I already have. It is so fun to buy more but it will feel good to see it all used up too.

My mother gave me some of her favorite fabric pieces a long time ago. She'd been collecting yellows and grays for a project that never came to fruition. I thought these would be nice to use and they'd find themselves in a quilt where they belong. That makes fabrics so darn happy. : )

Cutting is next!

Short and Sweet......Bittersweet

I always know when the boys aren't home. I have a cupboard full of glasses. I have so many clean glasses that they won't all fit on the shelves!

I love having the choice of what to drink out of.
I love knowing the glasses are clean and not sitting dirty hither and yonder.
I love seeing things put away where they belong.

I don't love missing my boys.
I don't love their time away from home.
I don't love the lack of porch music.
I don't love days that go by without seeing their smiling faces.

Spoken like a true mom,

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Turn the Page.....Tuesday

It's the first Tuesday of the month again. I get so excited thinking I have a little homework to be working on through the month and I picture the others diligently working away on their homework assignment too. Pages flipping, plots, the juiciness of it all. More books waiting patiently for us to discover, and sadly, some worth leaving alone.

In my normal routine excitement (can excitement be routine?), I rushed home with my monthly book from our very sweet but very accommodating library. Like a wise student I began reading early in the month. After only a few chapters I quickly realized this book WASN'T going to do it for me. And you're probably wondering which book I'm talking about. (We could have a Don't Turn That Page.....Tuesday sometime but not today! And I'm not the "boss" of this class anyway.....though she is a lovely person. : )

Pressing on......I quickly drove myself back. This time I walked the isles trying to find something that would be newish and interesting to those of you out there who love to spend your time reading and would be willing to try a new book based on someone's (my!) recommendation.

I picked up several and decided on: I'm still working on history, just a very different time period. Go back with me to the Gold Rush days of 1880. It's difficult to imagine just what life would have been like though we have many books and movies to help us.

Mattie O'Keefe decides to run when her present life is too threatening and a male relationship is too dangerous. Her best option is to meet up with her brother in Deadwood, South Dakota. Bravely travelling alone, Mattie finds that even her anticipated life with Dillon, her brother, is not turning out as expected. Quickly left on her own due to an unexpected death, Mattie must now find a way to survive in this rough society or leave again into another unknown.

Pulled in by the lure of gold, Mattie decides that working her brother's claim might be a way to survive and thrive! Dillon's claim is prosperous and she begins to believe that enough gold might see her through to better days.

Swede, a female teamster who is hauling frieght to the Deadwood region, is moved to compassion as she understands the need to exist on will alone. She begins to help Mattie and comes to count on Mattie's help with her own family as she must continue her trips to bring in more supplies in the hopes of becoming one of Deadwood's new stores.

One by one Mattie is taken in by a few of the town's members and made to feel a part of a community. Tom English is a kind-hearted man who respects Mattie and wants to see her succeed. Aunt Lou, a godly woman, can always be found in the one town restaurant cooking up delicious dinners as well as thought-provoking advice. And Aron Gallagher is determined to preach God's word in spite of the ridicule he receives from the town's people. As much as Mattie wants to trust people, she finds it quite difficult in light of her troubled past. In all of this, the deadly relationship of the past hovers over Mattie and threatens her again. Deadwood isn't safe from "him" and it isn't safe from disease. Both plague the town and bring havoc from which to flee.

Stephanie Grace Whitson is a delightful author. My interest in her peaked when I found that she started to become interested in writing as she taught her home-schooled children how to write. This lady has a life filled with kids, grandkids, quilts (I LOVE quilting), books, a devoted husband (sorry to put him so near the end of the list as I'm sure he really doesn't rank there) and a love for the Lord. I can't leave out the fact that she is a public that too! We could be sisters! Well, not exactly, she doesn't even know I exist......

Hope you'll consider reading some of her collection. She has several series to choose from and I don't think you'll be disappointed.

I was tempted to write a non-fiction book myself this month about a very cold and wet spring that doesn't seem to want to warm up. But it would sound like I was complaining too much and truth is, I've been inspired to be a part of my first-ever quilt-a-long with the Old Red Barn Co. I'll be blogging about that delightful fun-filled adventure soon, so soon. And I can brag a bit as I'm using fabrics from my "already-here" collection instead of supporting the economy and buying something completely delicious. (sense my responsible side speaking?) Pictures of the fabrics (and sewing progress to come) are already showing up on my flickr account.

For more reviews, check out Some of a Kind and have a wonderful time this month turning your own page. Remember to keep your brain (and body) active. The best is yet to come!