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Archive for June, 2009

Baby birds

Bill made a couple of bluebird boxes earlier this year and we “planted” them next to the grass in the rear of the house.  There wasn’t much interest for awhile but finally the chickadees took note of one of them and started spending lots of time going in and out, in and out.

Bill really thought they were nesting.  I have had experience with bluebirds, swallows and wrens, but never chickadees.  I peeked into the box the other day and found these…

baby chickadees 6.25.09

baby chickadees 6.25.09

I’m not sure how many there are but I’m guessing 5 or 6.  I don’t think they were very old; born within the last week I’m pretty sure.  I’ll try to check again next week and post an update.

Thanks for stopping by…

;o)

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Today I celebrate having enjoyed 60 summers and surviving 60 winters.  It seems to me that the winters are always so much longer than the summers.  It must be because I’m a summer baby (guess that should be…was a summer baby) and I just like summer better.

I already blogged about the surprise party the other night.  I had to work tonight and the guys on my shift surprised me with cake and ice cream.

Happy Birthday You Old Bag

Happy Birthday You Old Bag

As they pointed out…anyone can be nice to you on your birthday. In case you can’t read the writing, it says…”Happy Birthday You Old Bag”.  Apparently they think 60 is old.  Of course, when you are only 30 something I guess it is old.  I used to think it was old, too.  But as they say: age is a frame of mind.  I don’t feel like I used to think someone 60 would feel.  And to top it off, Wendy stopped in to see me and brought me a gift certificate for a massage and a pedicure.

I had a really, really hard time when I turned 50.  I was depressed for 6 months prior to my actual birthday.  Once it arrived I was okay with it but it was a long 6 months.  I didn’t feel that way this year.  I keep telling everyone that I’m that much closer to more discounts.  ;o)   On my 50th birthday I spent the day rock climbing for the first time.  What fun.  I climbed regularly most of the summer and for a couple of additional summers but it’s been awhile since I found myself “on belay”. I miss it.

It rained today.  AGAIN!  Soooo, I didn’t spend any time sitting in the sun reading a good book.  Actually, I’m not even reading anything right now.  I just finished Natural Girl by Carl Hiaasen.  He has such a weird sense of humor.  What’s a girl to do on her birthday when it’s raining?  Shop, of course.  And what better place to shop than the quilt shop.  And what’s better than a quilt shop having a 25% off EVERYTHING sale.  That’s what I’m talking about.  I spent a good hour wondering around the shop, just looking at anything and everything.  I came out of there with two books, a pair of quilting gloves and a nail file.  One of the books and the file are for my MQR secret sister gift which is due to be mailed August 1.

Fast, Fun & Easy Fabric Dying plus 100 Tips from Award Winning Quilters

Fast, Fun & Easy Fabric Dying plus 100 Tips from Award Winning Quilters

All in all, it was a good day and a good year.  The coming year will be exciting and eventful; at least that’s my plan.

Thanks for stopping by…

;o)

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That is quite a title, huh?  We or rather Bill, has been planning a cookout for a month or so.  He has wanted to have one for several years and decided this was the year.  Soooo, we sent out some invitations to people we like…coworkers, family, friends, neighbors, etc.  Altogether there were about 40 people and most responded with “yes, we’ll be there.”

Last night was the night.  It has rained here for the better part of the month but yesterday it was sunny and warm, not humid and not…one…drop…of…rain!  The cookout started at 6.  The kids came, along with beautiful Ella.  She is pulling herself up now and says a few words.  She is just so cute!

There was tons of food…

misc 012misc 013

and everyone seemed to enjoy the new firepit.

enjoying the new firepit

While I was snapping this photo, Bill announced to everyone that this was a surprise birthday party for me, as I’m turning 60 on Monday.  It was a surprise to everyone except the kids.  It sure was a surprise to me.  Some of my friends had brought along a card or gift, but we exchange on our birthdays anyway.  I didn’t think anything of it.  I was very surprised.  I have said it before, Bill is an incredibly generous man.

My sister-in-law (actually x sil) brought me this beautiful basket.  We have remained close friends even after my divorce.

misc 024

misc 025

misc 026Isn’t it beautiful?

Bill gave me a new iTouch.  I’m looking forward to playing with it.  One more thing to keep me entertained instead of quilting.  Oh no.

Greg and Vanessa gave me a $100 give certificate to the local quilt shop.  Oh my, what to buy, what to buy.  That was way too generous but I will spend it well.  I almost broke down and gave Greg his quilt, even though it doesn’t have a binding.  However, I held off.  I really want it to be done before I surprise him with it.

My former Captain brought me my favorite candy…non-pariels.  The joke was made…if these are non-pariels, what are pariels?  haha

It was a really nice evening.  After everyone left and the “kids” went to bed, Bill and I sat by the fire, alone, just enjoying the quiet.  It was a special night, with family and friends, good food, warm fire and No Rain.  What more could one ask for?

Thanks for stopping by…

;o)

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Anyone reading this blog knows that I have sold my condo and moved into Bill’s house.  Finally, the closing took place on Thursday and was bittersweet.  I have mentioned in earlier posts that I hated to sell my little piece of the world but now that it’s over and done; I can look forward to retirement in the fall.

The garage looks only slightly better than it did in an earlier post and the sewing room looks worse.  It will probably be at least a couple of weeks before I get it cleaned up enough to get some sewing done.  That makes me grouchy.  Unfortunately, another post with no quilting news.  Oh wait!  I got Greg’s monkey quilt back for the LA quilter and it looks great.  Now to find the time and space to get the binding on.  He will be here for the weekend but he won’t be getting it this time; maybe before the summer ends.

It rained for most of the month of June, effectively cutting our short Maine summer even shorter.  GGRRR!  Many of the potted plants, along with those in the garden, are moldy and being eaten by slugs.  GGRRR!   The sun finally came out yesterday and I was able to shake some slug bait into the gardens.  Hopefully that will slow them down.

Bill has been wanting to have a cookout for the past several years and tonight is the night.  I am working all day but he recruited Wendy to help get things ready.  He is grilling steak tips and turkey tips, along with smoking some ribs.  There will be several salads plus whatever our guests decide to bring along.  I told everyone that all they really needed to bring was chairs and a beverage if they didn’t want beer or soda (pop for those of you west of the Mississippi).

We spent some time yesterday getting the yard in order and putting some lights up around the canopy.  The weather has cleared since our weeks of rain.  We had a thunderstorm yesterday afternoon but the evening was perfect.  I’m hoping for the same tonight.  It is not as hot today and the radar doesn’t show any storms approaching.

We have a nice firepit for a campfire and the yard is surrounded by torches, which we hope will keep the bugs down if they become a problem.

I’m not much for parties and look forward to it being over and everyone going home.  However, once I get home and everything falls into place, I will have a good time along with everyone else.

Thanks for stopping by…

;o)

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Finally, I  finished moving everything from the condo, cleaned it up and locked the door for the last time yesterday morning.  As I was sitting in the driveway seeing “my” place for the last time and remembering the last four years and how much I loved this place, I knew that I had left it better than I found it.

I added an additional patio in the back, a shade garden next to it and a nice perennial garden along the side of the building.  When I moved in there was nothing but poorly growing grass.  Last year I planted some tall growing ornamental grass that will add some privacy to the patio area as it grows larger each summer.

I remodeled both bathrooms (actually, Bill did most of the work but I provided the cash and I did a lot of cheering on).  Both rooms got new tile floors, maple cabinets and new larger medicine cabinets along with updated light fixtures.  I put down new carpet on the bottom floor.

Bill also added a pull down ladder in the bedroom which opened up a ton of attic storage.

It’s unfortunate that I chose to sell this great little condo (1200 sq. ft.) at the bottom of the worst recession in the past ten decades.  That’s the way I roll ;o(   I think the new owner got a great deal and I’m sad to see it go.

I made the decision that I wanted to retire this year after 25 years in the fire service and there is no way I can pay for two mortgages.  I also own a small condo in FL which I bought five years ago as a retirement investment.  I didn’t buy that one at the top of the market but it is probably only worth what I paid, if that.  Six weeks after I purchased it Hurricane Charley destroyed it.  It was a very stressful year trying to get it repaired but it all turned out for the best.  Most of that one was remodeled with insurance money.  I have been fortunate to keep it rented most winters but hopefully we will be the ones there this winter.  After all…that was the plan when I bought it.

Tonight, after weeks of packing and moving during most of my free time, I can sit on the couch “at home” and not worry about what needs to get done tomorrow.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty to do and lots of boxes to unpack but I’m here and I don’t have to go anywhere else.  It feels good.

A little more work to do on the garage

A little more work to do on the garage

Thanks for stopping by…

;o)

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No, I haven’t jumped on the giveaway bandwagon; however, if you check out Sheree’s blog you will find tons of scraps in her giveaway.  She has some really nice patterns and will have a booth at the Houston Quilt Market in October.  It’s all very exciting.

Thanks for stopping by…

;o)

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With all the moving I have fallen behind in my Doodle Day posts.  For one thing, I keep getting bumped off the blog and have trouble posting a new doodle.  Helen Suzanne has been very helpful in reinviting me but the problem persists.

Here are my entries for the last two subjects…

Clock Doodle 6.8.09

Clock Doodle 6.8.09

This is a weird clock but I doodled it from my own clock.  It is a little strange but it wakes me up and that’s the point, right?

Silhouette Doodle 6.19.09

Silhouette Doodle 6.19.09

That catches me up on the doodles but I still can’t post them to the blog.  ;o(

Thanks for stopping by…

;o)

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