Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Going, going, going along smoothly...

My schedule is still rather busy and the days are just flying by. Actually got out to do some yard work with DH this am since cardiac rehab doesn't happen on Tuesdays, Mom is visiting a sister in Vt and the grand kids are now at day care. Felt so nice to work several hours without any interruptions, just the times needed to take a break with our health issues. We actually transplanted rhubarb and created a newer bed near the grape arbor.

The technique to make this raised bed was done by the mode I learned last year on the garden tour. A gentleman with an absolutely gorgeous raised bed gardens told me how he did his so we are trying that this year. His method was to cut the sod in a 10x10 area on three sides and then flip it onto the tops on the neighboring sod. It allows an edge around the garden perimeter while elevating the interior of the garden. He said that by flipping the sod it kills the grass especially when mulched. We did leave one rhubarb plant alone since it is rather hot for transplanting. For the rest, we actually cut off the rhubarb vegetation and nested the split roots into a manure compost before burying them with thick layers of newspapers and finally topping them off with mulch. I hope this works, time will tell.

The island garden where the rhubarb was, had overgrown badly with weeds, so I suggested we cut it down and then start working the soil. While in the middle of doing this, I thought, why bother having this garden here at all. We could have the perennials planted as edge type along the property boundary. So we plan to move the rest of the perennials in the spring, when we have more raised beds ready. It will be so much better than these smack dab in the middle of the backyard. As for the camper, instead of storing it near the back boundary of the woods, we could park it behind the garage, away from the eye sight line while on the decks,m but readily available and much handier behind the garage.

Last week while Mom and I had a few hours we managed to make these small purses. Guess what the fabric is?

They are Dish towel Bags. What cute towels. Mom brought these towels up with her from Florida thinking that it would be a fun and quick project and she was right. It took more time thinking about how to make them than it did actually making them. There is an outside pocket that has a separating seam down the center and the inside of mine, I also placed a pocket along one side, that's the aqua one. Mom place a smaller pocket inside her cahrtreuse one too.

Here are a couple of snaps of my current focuses:

Shabby Chic's BOM and I finally got the January block embroidered!

The quilt I am making for Cheryl's nephew Chris.

We did have a couple of family BBQs this past weekend. DH and our son stoked up the smoker grill and we dined on turkey, pork butt, bratwurst, kielbasa and even a few Chicken breasts. We didn't actually have all of that at one dinner, just smoked them all at once while it was smoking. Makes meals easy this week with everything all cooked, I just needed to throw some salads together. What a breeze!
While the smoker was cooling down, the grand kids decided to have a little race, even the fourteen year old had fun. Of course I was still in the kitchen picking and washing up, so they called me outside to have a chuckle too!

The 14 year old (PGS#3) actually was riding the hot Diego hot wheels too! Kids! Gotta love em!


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Like it:

“Getting started, keeping going, getting started again—in art and in life, it seems to me this is the essential rhythm.”

— Seamus Heaney

Great source for counted cross stitch questions is here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Enjoyed the 4th!

We got back home in time to celebrate the 4th at home. It is always nice to get away but even nicer to get back home. On this trip we went to Rhode Island for my brother's wedding.

What a beautiful ceremony and his bride is a sweetheart. I wish both of them many years together with health, happiness and love. The next snapshot is a picture of all of my siblings (including myself) with Mom and the newly married couple. It was grand that all of us could make it. Some traveled with spouses, some without due to other commitments elsewhere so it was nice to see all of us together for the occasion.

Before the actual wedding ceremony we spent a day sight seeing Newport, RI. The Newport Tower is an architectural structure that I have heard about on different historical documentaries and have always wanted to visit. There are mysterious conjectures of why and who built it which still remains today. Here is a link to an article about the tower with another link here which jump starts you onto more links and pages of information about this structure should you wish to learn more. Here is an additional link discussing the Kensington Runestone and it's coorelation with the Tower in Newport, RI and this stone was found in Minnesota! Common information regarding this runestone is that in 1898 the Kensington Runestone was found on the farm of Olaf Ohman, near Alexandria, Mn. Initially thought to be a hoax planted by Olaf who lived with critisism throughout his life, even being thought of as a hoaxster who falsified and carved the stone himself.
The Kensington Runestone carvings allegedly tell of a journey of a band of Vikings who arrived in the area in 1362. The debate about the Runestone's authenticity continues to this day. Alexandria chooses to claim its historical truth and therefore proves that the Alexandria, Mn area was "discovered" long before Christopher Columbus arrived 130 years after that.

Would you believe they have dogwoods here and the most blue hydrangeas I've ever seen. Luckily, my Mom was able to visit these sights with us. She is amazing especially for her age (shhh..78)!

And then here is my honey acting a bit silly. Imagine him doing this and he with an Indian heritage! LOL

Other highlights of Newport were some of the Newport Mansions. Amazing! I did get a chance to see "The Breakers" finally. This mansion was a summer home for Cornelius Vanderbilt. Of Course there was NO Photography allowed within the structure, but I was able to capture a photo of the ceiting of the lanauii(sp?!) aka the second level porch.
The mosiac tile inlaid into all the surfaces there were very detailed as you can see from this ceiling snap.
Inside the mansion was so grand: Cherubs, dolphins, acorns (a family icon), gold leaf, platinum leafing with the greek muses engraved for panels within a wall decor, the library, music room, gaming room, grand sweeping staircases all from decades gone by with the lifestyle that has as well. I really can't imagine living in that period. What a structured lifestyle and I didn't see Mrs. Vanderbilt's sewing studio anywhere!

Two other mansions we visited were Kingscote and the topiary gardens.

While visiting the gardens I inquired what the state flower was since throughout the state, BLUE Hydrangeas were in there blazing glory and evident all iover the place. The "dog earred violet" is the state flower according to the gardeners there. Here are just a few of the photos taken at the topiary Garden sight.

It was so hot that we sought shelter from the sun in some gorgeous Huge shade trees that could grow in our zone but we have never seen before.

They were the Weeping Beech, The Cooper Beech and also the London Planetree. All of them were so large that the trunks' diameters had to be at least 15 feet (guestimation) probably larger. The actual shade they offered seemed to stretch at least 25 yards and they did help ease the heats' effects.

We left early the next morning to have lunch at the ocean Ray's Seafood in Rye, NH and to visit two statues of Hannah Emerson Dustin, an ancester within my husband's blood line.
This first one is located in Haverhill, Mass. was was erected in 1879 soon after the NH statue was done.

The second one is located in Penacook, NH.

It is an interesting story of one colonial woman, to paraphrase written by link free or die "The ordeal of Hannah Dustin (also Duston) is among the most horrific in New England colonial history. According to an early account by Cotton Mather, Dustin was captured on March 15, 1697 by a group of about 20 Indians and pulled from her bed" just 6 days "after giving birth to her eighth child", Martha. "Her husband managed to get the others to safety. The infant was killed when a member of the raiding party smashed her against a tree. Hannah Dustin, her nurse, Mary Neff and small group of hostages were marched about 60 miles from her home in Haverhill, MA to an island in the Merrimack River near Concord. Enlisting the help of others, including her nurse and a 14 year old English boy, Samuel Lennardeenwho also was previously captured. The group amazingly managed to kill 10 of their captors." Dustin sold the scalps to the local province for 50 pounds in reparation" and as proof of her ordeal.
A monument to Dustin can be seen in Haverhill as well as the site of her escape with companions Mary Neff and Samuel Lennardeen can be seen in Boscowen, NH. The Hannah Dustin Trail in Pennacook leads to another monument on the island on the Contoocook River.
Years ago, a second or third cousin of DH's sent us an article about Hannah Dustin and mentioned that she was the first woman in United States history to have a statue erected in her honor. I'll have to further investigate this to verify it, but at the time, she had sent a newspaper article to us that stated that truth, I jsut don't know the source of it now. If you want to learn more of course here is a wikipedia link about Hannah and you could always google it.
I think I just found one reference, it says "177 years passed. By 1874 New Hampshire had become part of the U.S., and Hannah had become an object of civic pride -- the "Granite State Heroine." It may seem strange, but of all of the women who had ever lived in America, Hannah the Indian killer was the first to get a statue." Taken from here.

One thing of interest is that while we visited the first statue in Haverhill, Mass, while trying to find out which direction the statue was on Main Street, I asked several people including a manager of a drug store of where it could be found. No one knew. It was a shopper at the later location that said "oh yea! it's just 2 blocks in that direction."
So with that info, we went to the park that held the statue and I noticed 3 people looking at the statue and taking photos. Interestly enough, 2 of them were from California that were visiting the area and the man was related to Hannah Dustin by a great, great grandmother's aunt or something along that line. To travel that far to see it and the locals that I talked with had no knowledge of ...humm......makes you wonder.

Lastly, I did get to shop at Bush Mountain Stitchery in Ware, Mass as we went to Rhode Island. Deborah, a friend in cyber space very kindly sent me info. on where I could find them and another shop called Chris's, which I wasn't able to get to this time.
This last photo is of the items I purchased at Bush's Mountain Stitchery. Stash acquisitions were done with the Tree of Stitches SAL in mind. I didn't deviate too much in the shopping and could have gone absolutely crazy, but I am really trying to exhibit some self control. I also received a Just Cross Stitch magazine that I won from Deb's giveaway. Thanks Deborah! I really appreciate it besides the information.