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Archive for the ‘family’ Category

Spring Hike

2/19

Well, it isn’t quite spring yet but it was a lovely day to be out!  A week of days in the 60’s and one in the 70’s are a very rare treat for us in February!!  We hope to have these days in April and often need to wait until May.

JP drummed at church this morning and in lieu of a selfie, he accepted having Dad take our picture.  Here is the best of 2 tries.  Neither one likes to be in photos or take photos.  😦

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After lunch… a hike and fun in the woods —
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I love the old stone bridge there.  Supposedly, Lincoln, as a presidential candidate crossed over this bridge before and/or after the Lincoln-Douglas debates not too far from us.  I find the whole amount of work they did to make this amazing!

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too much sun yet on my camera….

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and here is all the way to where they blocked the flow for a pond decades ago!

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I take my own photos as otherwise there would none of me!

With having many warm days, there was a bit of creek flowing from the bridge and all the land was muddy.  Going back up the hill, I slipped.  Phil was near so I offered him the other end of a stick near me to be my “lifeline”.  The old and dead branch snapped apart as he grabbed it so I slid down farther. Oh well, muddy jeans aren’t anything new to our washing machine.  It was a funny episode and all the laughter was good for us.  JP asked where the video was now.  I replied it was in his pocket!!

JP found this amazing fungus/mushroom!  Pure white as snow and blood red on the inside!  Stunning on the forest floor of hundreds of shades of brown.

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And now we know it is the Sarcoscypha coccinea, commonly known as the scarlet elf cup.  It is found on forest floors, often under  leaves and such in late winter to early spring.  Quite brilliant on the mostly brown ground.   

28This branch had 2 on it.   We’ve never seen these before.  Probably because they are there in early spring and we are busy with spring work and often aren’t out hiking.  Amazing color & a unique creation!

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We enjoyed the wonderful “May” weather in February by doing family things outside.

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Today we went to the Rock Island Arsenal for a tour.   We enjoyed the museum. We hadn’t been there since JP was young but he remembered this wall of guns & rifles from America’s whole history.  Of course, he remembered.  In his blood from early on!

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This is where all the DOD targets are printed even today!  Isn’t that amazing?

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I liked this quote from Mark Twain describing the island… 3 miles x 1/2 a mile.  Still the vast stone buildings and a lot of trees. Beautiful!

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The National Cemetery
The chimes were playing “God Bless America” while we were there.  I enjoy chimes, even the worn & minimal ones.

 

 

 

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With all the spring weather, the pussy willow bushes were opening!  There were 2 large bushes at the walkway to the Confederate Cemetery.

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The Island was a POW camp during the Civil War and in close quarters about 1/3 died from smallpox going through very fast.

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Stones 1, 2, & 3 ~  One hundred stones per row.

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Confederate cemetery in the bright sunshine.

 

15The Clock Tower

We also walked an artillery park there. The men enjoyed it and I sat on a bench with the sun on my face!

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I had suggested another stop at a lock so we could park and look for eagles.  I was vetoed.
However, we saw 2 sitting on ice that still remains in some backwater of the Mississippi River.  Beautiful!

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Afterwards, we took a short walk through Target, had mid-afternoon food at  C-fil-A, and headed home.  A good 6 hour day out & about and soaking in the warm air & sunshine!

 

 

 

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It is rare that I get a chance to piece a quilt.  But there are gifts for special ones that go out ‘in haste’ here & there.

This is for a friend’s first granddaughter that is due soon. A family friend found me via FB and asked if I and any of our group’s quilters would like to make a baby quilt.   Sadly, our friend died 7 yrs ago and we thought it would be sweet to bless the daughter with quilts from her quilting friends as her mother would have been doing.  I was the only one that sent a quilt. The baby’s room is painted a golden yellow with accents in navy, purple, and fuchsia.

I chose the accent colors from my stash but just could not find the right background fabric for this.  I could drive 1 – 1 1/2 hrs each way to a modern quilt shop to try to find something which adds up to “take a day trip” with 3 hrs on the road, lunch out, etc.  I could have looked online for awhile and ordered but then I wouldn’t have it in time.  Or… I could dye my own!  My SIL was here and I was asking her help with choosing dyes off my color chart. Nothing was quite right and I was also looking for yellow dyes in the storage drawers.  There NOT on the chart but in my inventory, was pencil yellow.  Yes!  That was the color we wanted and I had bought that on a special – no longer made deal.  Of course, now I love it and hope to get some more pencil yellow fabric from my amount of dye.

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The next day I dyed an extra amount of fabric than my plan needed just to be sure I had enough.  I was also making my own pattern so was just using my guesstimated amount of fabric needed.  I used about a 1/2 strength of dye.  I stirred the dye about every 15 mins for an  hour to have it more of a ‘solid but not quite’ coloring.  I was so excited as I think it came out perfect to what I wanted!
I cut the half-square triangles (HSTs) with my accuquilt Go! cutter.  LOVE IT!  I line up the fabrics that will be sewn together, right sides together, and they come out of the cutter ready to zip under the sewing machine.

Once I had all the HSTs sewn and pressed, I laid out part of the center design.

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Sewed the top together…

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And this also shows some of the quilting marks I made before I loaded it in my machine for quilting.  I had guidelines for the circles and divisions of 8 or 4 per ring.

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First the detail quilting in a variegated thread that stands out on the lighter fabrics.

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The finished quilt – quilted, labeled, bound, & washed.

12Close-up of a corner and you can see the circular designs.  The background fill thread was a matching yellow and a finer size thread.

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The back of the quilt. Once again, without going to buy the fabrics, I pieced the back from other fabrics in my stash.  🙂

I appliquéd the baby’s first initial and a heart, then pieced in the diagonal piece of fabric for an accent.

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I had help from my family & friends on the label verse but I found it fitting since the mom has never met me. It was just a gift from God, with love from one of her mom’s quilting friends.  Sent from Illinois to Mississippi.

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The one who contacted me and the new mother were surprised at how well it matched the baby’s room.  Yeah!  I loved this quilt and had a hard time putting it in the box to ship away.  It was a gift of love so I knew I needed to send it.  It sounds like it was well received.

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Ok… here is a wrap-up ~~

One of the last mornings before vacation was over, I lamented to my mom about all the recipes I’d printed out to try that needed redone to go into my cookbook.  Mom asked if I had a 3-hole punch and notebook.  “I could do that!”

This only entertained her for 20 minutes but how wonderful to have this!! Sorted by categories, I had a new package of tabs that she labeled.  A brand-new 3-ring binder.  So easy!  Why don’t we take 20 mins to do these things to make looking for recipes a bit easier?  (and the cupboard to look a bit neater?)  If your mom isn’t there wanting to help, I bet you have a child or grandchild to help you!

I’ve continued to print recipes and I save up only about 3 before I go punch the holes and add to my book.  (…which now needs to grow!)  And for right now, in this busy season of our lives, I’m OK that the pages aren’t all retyped and formatted the same!  🙂

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I continued to sew and she had her knitting and a snack as the morning progressed.  I have a master pattern (mostly) ready to make some tops and jackets. Hopefully, now I can get some clothes made even though I’m not there to tailor to her all the time.

A going-away lunch out with friends who wanted a chance to  visit with my mom before she headed home.

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Early the next morning, we met DBrother & DSIL at a parking lot to switch Mom’s seats and bags.  (….ummmm – where did that tank top weather go???)  DSIL was quite pleased with the new artwork coming to their house!

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We all had good vacation time.  They headed for a long drive home!  I did a bit of shopping and then chatted with a NY sister on my drive home.
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Another day, mom was asking some equipment questions so she got a Combine 101 class here at the house.  The Farmer brought the combine and both grain heads up to the driveway so she could see them up-close.

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He tried his best to explain and she tried her best to learn!

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Mom was amazed at the size of it all (we are small farmers!) so this photo is for a size comparison!  This “class” and the photos were not planned.  I just grabbed my phone as we went outside and took photos.  So we are all in real life, stay home, type of look!  🙂  The dog, who doesn’t like photos, really wanted to be with us!

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I assume you may be getting tired of all these photos so I made these collage sets for the rest of the combine class.

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In The Farmer’s hand are 2 sets of grain kernels that he found on the combine yet so he could show her the grains.

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I had the first week of MOPS for the school year while Mom was here so she went along with me.  My helper mom this year is my MIL and both our moms are friends so they enjoyed the morning together.

I had 3 kids in the room that day and reminded them that my “name” at MOPS is Mrs. M— and that “this one” will be our helper in the room each time and she is also Mrs. M–.   The kids were surprised!!  My MIL isn’t thrilled to be called that so we call her Grandma M as that is what I’m used to calling her.  To add more intrigue, I introduced my mom and they were so surprised that MY mom was there from so far away and that the other one was my husband’s mom.  It was fun!

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One evening we went to the PC Quilt Guild meeting.  It was an extra-special speaker that night and whereas most months we may only have 1 or 2 guests, this time my mom was one of 18 visitors to our guild!  Many, many of my guild friends (members at this one and members at the other one I’m in) were thrilled to meet her and introduced themselves.

Mom & I even had show & tell to share!  I prepared this embroidery for her to work on and she brought it back all done!  I still need to do piecing of trees for the border and quilt it for a table runner.

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She does beautiful work!  I couldn’t see a pencil line of the pattern left!  I’m not sure how she did all this of white & gray floss on white fabric!

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And I got her to initial it!  🙂

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The second Sunday she was here was an open day for Miss K and we all met in the middle for a wonderful dinner!

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Once again, mom was the charmer and attracted the attention of the owner of the restaurant!  He came to our table and welcomed us, shaking mom’s hand and then giving her a light kiss on her head when he left.  After we had finished our meals (well, as much as we could eat and had packed up our leftovers!), Mom & I visited with the owner again.  Soon our waitress came to our table with a full serving of their dessert beignets compliments of Mr. Vitalie!  Beignets with marshmallow cream and a chocolate swirl for dipping!  We were sure our stomachs had not one more inch of space but warm beignets fit in there just right!

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We brought home some leftovers and mom would heat a few each day for her mid-morning snack.  🙂  Of course, she made me have one too!  Maybe my next “meal” there will be just an order of beignets!  ♥

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During vacation, the Sisters group at church had a paint party and I signed up for myself, my mom, and a friend to come.  My friend claimed she wasn’t a painter and I said that it would all be fine and that my mom has probably never held a paintbrush in her hands.

For not fun reasons, my friend was not able to come.  I then sent a text to another friend, one of my MOPS moms, asking if she’d like to come.  It was my treat, she just needed to come.  She was thrilled and all the child care worked out easily for her.  So one friend was sad and one was blessed to tears by the opportunity to come to a Sisters event.

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I had hoped it was a paint party of copying the design the teacher had for us as I’ve seen many friends participate in doing.  However, it was a plaque/wall board and phrase paint class.  We used chalk paint and learned the benefits and the properties of it and it was fun.

This was shocking…. my mom doing a craft project!!

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About 40 were there, we had snacks but once we started with the project we were too busy to think much about more snacks!

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We had a good table of friends.  Fun evening and we were happy with our projects!

Mom was sort of a celebrity when I had her out for events.  She was thrilled to have “come the farthest” and everyone was thrilled she was out traveling and her age.

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I’m taking bets if she has this hidden in her room or hung in the main living area.  What do you think?
Mine is ready to be hung…. I need to choose what will hang on the wall area and do a layout.

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