Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer Things

John was contemplating cutting down this old honeysuckle bush - it has seen better days. Then we saw this big beautiful Tiger Swallowtail having lunch at the bush. The butterfly has seen better days too; his wings were pretty beat up. But the bush and the butterfly were beautiful together and we are going to do some thoughtful pruning to see if we can't preserve the bush for more butterflies to enjoy.

Then there is the square foot garden, put together out of leftovers and recycled etc. The soil is a mix of peat moss, vermiculite and compost. This late in the year, we just planted onion sets. Here is the link for the square foot gardening website; it is an interesting approach to gardening and probably the best for me and John.

I think the deer will leave onions alone. Sunday morning, however, we discovered that the raccoons or rabbits some such creature thought onion sets were fine eating. There are plenty left.

Stay cool, wherever you are!


Thursday, June 25, 2009

From the Bottom Up

You have to start somewhere. We replaced the old stove last summer and now want to replace the 30 year old linoleum in the kitchen, hall, laundry, bathroom. I'm sure it won't be much of a job (!!). These are the ceramic tiles we chose. John is going to do it himself with help from our son.

I am kind of stunned by the size of the project, now that the 21 boxes of tile, the 15 underlaying boards, the two bags of grout etc. are all in the garage. I hope it doesn't end up being a project that causes John a lot of stress.

In a way, it's kind of like patchwork...


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Reality Check

Well, it finally happened after 20+ years of teaching - John got very sick in Columbus and couldn't teach two of his classes.

He is better now and drove himself home but we are both sad that 40 students didn't get the class they planned to take. John is making up some kits for them and I hope it helps make up for some of the inconvenience.

These viruses, no respect for a working fella and his plans.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Indigo Storm at Sea

Kate and I just had an update from John who is driving to the NQA show in Columbus, Ohio. Yesterday he was lost in Iowa; today is a better day.

This little Storm at Sea wall hanging is John's latest project. It is made with our 9" Storm at Sea templates and is made from beautiful genuine indigo from our friends at Cotton in the Cabin Loring and Sandy are part of our vending "family" and John made this for Sandy's booth. He is hoping they will be in Columbus so he can leave the quilt at it's new home.

Our two antique ribbon cases came from Loring and Sandy also - right now our ribbon cases are full to overflowing with machine embroidery thread, beautiful! Sometimes I imagine a little girl in an old country store, pressing her nose up against the cases, admiring the ribbons and hoping her mother will buy her some ribbon for her hair. Oh, and a peppermint stick, too.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Signs of Spring

We had a hectic Friday, followed by a very peaceful weekend. John leaves Monday for the NQA show in Columbus, Ohio. After his last unpleasant airplane flights, I know he is glad to be driving. He is teaching Braided Borders, Arabic Lattice and, his old standby, Double Wedding Ring. Kate made pre-cut kits for all the classes; it makes the class a lot easier for both John and the students.

Rock Creek has come down a little and we had fish for breakfast again. John dug up an old and nasty gooseberry bush and some wild roses that were taking over by the foundation. I washed an indigo wall hanging John made for a vendor friend of ours. It still needs to have the binding finished but I will take a picture of it for the blog tomorrow before he leaves.

These are some of the flowers that are blooming right now. The deer have been eating the lilies of the valley we transplanted about 3 weeks ago. Silly deer, don't you know they are poisonous?


Sunday, June 7, 2009

June in Montana

We had our sew-in and barbecue in Red Lodge this weekend. Here is a summary; we ate, did Crosswords and Sudoku and read, we sewed, we slept, we ate waffles, we sewed, we fished, we barbecued and played games, we ate, we sewed and played games, it snowed, we ate and played games, we slept, we ate fresh caught fish, we sewed, we played games, it kept snowing, we ate, we sewed and played games and it is still snowing. I might have left out some of the times we ate.

Sorry, Peggy and Joan, that this isn't a better picture; we really enjoyed the weekend. John came within micro meters of hitting a deer on the way back to Billings. Did I mention it snowed?


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Little Red Truck

Kate, Kevin and I had a little adventure this weekend - Kevin drove us down to Casper, Wyoming to take a look at a used pickup. Well, it was just what they wanted so he and Kate bought it and now there is a perfect spot for the dogs to sit and back seat drive.

Casper is 4 - 5 hours from Billings and a little farther from Red Lodge via the interstate. I decided to come back on the secondary roads west of the interstate. I'm glad I did - I hadn't seen that part of Wyoming for so long. Some things have changed but not the mountain views. The Wind River Canyon outside of Thermopolis (world's largest hot springs) is a beautiful sight and I was thrilled when Heart Mountain came in to view since I grew up in a town east of that landmark.

I also took a photo of Red Lodge from the Bearcreek Hill which is east of town. You can still see the snow on some of the ski runs across the valley. You can't see Rock Creek but I could hear it from the hill; it is very high right now and roaring away. Well, it was a nice road trip and, wow, what a spiffy truck!

John got in late Sunday from teaching in North Carolina. What a total pain it is to fly anymore. I felt sorry for him since not one of the 4 legs of his trip went as scheduled. I know he worries about getting to the engagement on time and with his quilts; would be nice if the airlines were a little more predictable.