Saturday, October 29, 2011
I THINK I spotted this winter visitor last week! The White Throated Sparrow has been a regular winter visitor for many years - but for some reason, I never spotted them last year. I'm wondering if they headed further South because we has such deep, deep snow. They tend to feed on the ground and stay very close to cover. I hope to get another look at this fellow this weekend to make a certain identification. I sure hope he sticks around this year!
The Juncos are also back for the winter. I love how they twitter and zip around below the feeder. Am seeing lots of Chick-a-dees, Red Breasted Nuthatches and Downy Woodpeckers - though I see them year round. I put out suet, which is always popular with this crowd.
I've tried to pay attention to exactly when the robins head south. So far, they are still here in Southern Wisconsin. Saw one today, in fact.
The Starlings, Grackles and American Crows are forming good sized flocks. Its hard to know if they are local birds preparing to migrate, or perhaps birds from Canada passing through on their way South. Speaking of Canada, today we saw many, many geese on even the tiniest bit of water.
Will be keeping my binoculars close at hand! :)
I'm not exactly a whiz with computers, but can usually figure out how to do what I need to do. Unfortunately, since I changed my email address a few weeks ago, I'm not getting my bloggy friends' comments by email - which of course, makes it hard to respond.
Google Blogger says it won't post emails to yahoo.com. And it won't let me change my primary email address. It'll only list the new one as secondary.
I WAS getting a copy of all my bloggy friends' comments at my old email address, but have not received a single comment since changing providers and my address. I looked in my spam folder to see if the new system didn't categorize the messages correctly and they aren't there either.
Anybody know how to correct this? I'm stumped!
Thanks in advance! :)
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Have you been following this controversy?
A team of high school cheerleaders made up these shirts to wear while collecting money for Susan G. Komen March for the Cure. But guess what? The principal banned the shirts from school. I gotta wonder if he knows how prevalent breast cancer is, and that it can be detected early by doing self-exams?
Undeterred, the girls have gone on to sell the shirts on a national scale. More power to you girls!!!
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
So my 2011 garden comes to an end. The only things I covered are the flowers and pumpkins around the front lamp post. I'm not ready quite for winter, but I AM embracing late fall. I find being in touch with the natural cycle of things is very calming. (And its a good antidote to the increasingly premature Christmas displays in all the stores!)
This pilgrim is grateful for a good harvest - and is VERY ready to do some quilting! :)
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1/2 c. brown sugar, loosely packed
1/2 c. chopped banana chips
At the last potluck I attended, I was horrified that someone dropped brownie crumbs all over my clearly labeled plate of gluten free cut out, frosted cookies. With one careless action all my hard work went down the drain - the cookies were no longer GF. I wanted to sit down and cry! Instead, I removed the GF label and bit my tongue (hard). There was no undoing it - so why make a fuss?
So THIS time I got smart! I put each muffin in a ziplock sandwich bag, labeled Gluten Free Banana Nut. Not only did the few of us that are GF get to enjoy the muffins (sans cross contamination), but a number of people who do NOT have celiac disease tried them and liked them. Success! :)
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Here's my brand-spankin' new composter. Ain't she a dream? I told my son I have compost fever. Tho he thinks I'm a little kooky, he DID build this for me. FYI - we spent about $100 on raw materials and got 3 bins measuring 3 x 3 x 3 feet. No commercially produced composter will give you that much space for 100 bucks.
The plan for this composter came from Crockett's Victory Garden, by James Underwood Crockett, published by Little, Brown & Co., Boston/Toronto, 1977. Crockett's approach to gardening was geared to maximum production in minimal space - allowing people to grow more of their own food in lean economic times. Very fitting today!
Though Mr. Crockett passed away in 1979, he recorded his wealth of garden knowledge in many books and in a television series that's available on video. I just googled "Crockett's Victory Garden" and found the book is available for anywhere from $5.00 to $292.00. WOW - I knew I liked this book for a reason!
For more information on composting see this (one hour) instructional video:
I found it most helpful. Hope you do too! :)
Hey - Did you know its Breast Cancer Awareness Month?
How could we possibly NOT know? Pink lights on the capital, pink grocery bags, pink football uniforms...pink, pink, pink! But maybe some of us need to be beat over the head - maybe it will prompt those of us who neglect to do monthly breast exams, and postpone our mammograms to be more proactive.
One in eight women will have breast cancer in her lifetime. And sure enough, last week I learned of another friend who is a breast cancer survivor - and she had her treatment about the same time her stepmom was having a double mastectomy and aggressive follow up care.
So I'm making another batch of origami bags in this year's pink ribbon fabric. The bag at left was made last year. I'll be making 8 bags. Some will go to a church craft fair, some will go to a fundraiser at work and some will be tucked away for family or friends impacted by breast cancer in the coming year. I hope I won't need as many this year as I did last year. To make that happen, we need to know the facts:
I'd like to point out this is not just a women's issue. Men can also get breast cancer, and they are most certainly impacted when breast cancer strikes a wife, partner, mother, sister, daughter or friend. We really must spread the word to anyone who will listen.
I'll be tucking a copy of the CDC fact sheet in each of the bags. According to the CDC, I need to make some lifestyle changes. I hope you'll join me!
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
In the gift swap, and received a set of coasters and some plum wine.
I need to take a few weeks off of work so I can quilt!!! :)
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
This weekend we celebrated my Grandma Clara's 102nd birthday! Here she is talking with my cousin, Rob. Apparently she had been quite perky and talkative the day before the party and I think she may have worn herself out. She was tired when the party began. But in true Grandma Clara form, she perked right up when it was time for cake and pie - and she didn't miss out on petting my sister's dog. Grandma LOVES babies and animals! She taught me all the basics of sewing, knitting, crocheting and hand embroidery. Some day, when she is no longer with us in this life, her love, lessons and legacy will be with me always - and will continue to shape the course of my life when someday I am a grandmother. :)
Sunday, October 9, 2011
I need to go on quilt retreats more often. Here's what I accomplished:
Quodlibet Quilt top is complete.
Made my first ever mini quilt block.
Got 8 origami bags stitched.
Still need to pick up the cording for the draw strings.
Any excuse to step foot in a fabric store..... :)
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
I tip my hat to Brad Paisley, Mrs. Paisley and Elmo for calling attention to this serious problem. There's an easy way to give this time of year. If your garden is overflowing, please share your bounty with a neighborhood food pantry or homeless shelter. In these tough economic times, there are good hardworking people that need a helping hand. No child should have to fill her stomach with water until it feels full.