Yellow is one of my favorite colors

And this is the reason why. Yellow is such a happy color. The sun is shining more now that the days are longer — yellow. The warmth of the sunshine has made the daffodils spring forth from the ground — yellow. I’ve been doing a lot of quilting in my studio on the Cape — Totally Tulips, with yellow tops! Yes, yellow — a happy color.

Daffodils on the kitchen island at Heron Cove.

Here comes the sun

At least we hope so. After 7 days of clouds and rain (when your sky is dark and pours the rain — from “Come to Jesus), we saw sun this afternoon. And it’s supposed to be here for about 4 days. Hooray! and Hallelujah!

Did you know that old poem is almost in the form of a haiku?
Rain, rain, go away
Come again another day
I just want to play

…. or something like that. I do want to play — golf, walking, walking, gardening, sitting outside on the deck or by the pond. All the above, very difficult to do or enjoy, at least, in the rain.

Here’s hoping for a good week.

Sunflowers in August

Hubby planted some sunflowers at the end of our veggie garden. The seeds were a Valentine’s Day Gift!! So different and thoughtful. Well the sunflowers are at full height and the blooms are opening. Only the yellow ones are open now, the red ones (shorter) are yet to open. And the photo illustrates just how tall they are. I’m looking up at them to take this photo and am zoomed in a bit on my iPhone. They are about 4 feet taller than me. But OH SO PRETTY!

Sunflower with bee
Sunflower with bee

Markers of Spring

Yes, spring is here! Spring is (finally) here!
There are indications all over our yard.

The PJM azalea is in bloom. Beautiful purple right outside my kitchen window. I call this my “thermometer plant” as I can tell how cold it is in the winter by how curled up the leaves are. This past winter was really hard on it and leaves and blooms are scarce, but it is still alive

The marsh marigold plants are in full bloom in the pond — beautiful yellow.
The forsythia is solid gold up on the hill and by the driveway.
The daffodils are also in full bloom.

Oh yeah, and I’ve played 2 rounds of golf so far. Lots of bogies, which are good for me. Don’t know where this good golfing is coming from, but not worrying about it too much less it go away. 😉

Yes, at last, spring is finally here

(photos to be added later)

Spring! Spring! Spring!

Windows were open today and some spring cleaning has begun.  Things are really waking up around here and today’s (or this week’s discoveries) include:

– at least 21 of my BFFs are alive and well and swimming around (Best Fish Friends)

– at least 5 frogs have survived the winter including the original pair who have created the family we have — Yes Phinneas and Phillis are back!

– several daffodils opened today

– lots of day-lilies are showing thru the ground

– and hubby has found the first deer tick on his body!  oh boy, here we go again

And I did some “airing of the quilts”.  These are destined for the Hospital Avenue Housatonic Habitat homeowners.  A friend of mine has a friend who wants to do charity quilting for Habitat so she gave me 5 of her quilts.  They have been in this friend’s house since completion and the house has a big hairy dog.  So, I’m tumbling them in the dryer to remove dog hair and airing them out.  They now look and smell great!

Four Habitat Quilts getting their spring airing out
Four Habitat Quilts getting their spring airing out

The Great 2013 Windows Project – Day 0

Outdoor scaffolding arrives!  In “contractor time” this is July.  The windows that were to take 6 weeks to arrive were received by the lumberyard last Thursday.  In “real people time” this is the end of October – 4 months later that was planned.  Watching all the good weather go by with no work on the house . . . . . . . whatever.  It’s finally about to begin, along with the serious praying for good weather and for not too much rotten wood in that east wall.

So – let the photo blogging begin.

outdoor scaffolding arrives
outdoor scaffolding arrives

In the mean time, work has been progressing on the landscaping. Our landscaping crew cleared the lower yard.  This is the view from the deck, but the view from the chair where I spend most of my time knitting is similar.  It is fantastic!  I didn’t take a “before” picture, but this new view is not to be missed.  Upon closer inspection, the area is a long way from being ready for grass planting, but that’s for next spring.

lower yard cleared and ready for spring work
lower yard cleared and ready for spring work

The area I’m calling the island is where a huge decorative fir stood that Superstorm Sandy got rid of last year.  Hubby did all the work cutting and taking the tree away – many trips to the dump with the pickup truck.  The tipped root ball is still there and the area had been totally overcome with blueberry and other vines.  Alonso, one of our landscapers, is in this photo somewhere — only part way through the clearing.  In our version of “Where’s Waldo?”, this is Where’s Alonso?

Where's Alonso?
Where’s Alonso?



First Fruits – and Completed Commitments

Today was a busy Saturday.  Hubby was up early for a swim.  I was in town to visit Ridgefield’s Summerfest on the way to a rehearsal.  Lunch on the patio of a local restaurant.  Trip up north to the pond supply store.  Home to sit on the deck and read (Hubby) and knit (me) for a while.  Then gardening for Hubby and baking for me.  Then dinner cooked on the grill.  A run to the grocery store for missing ingredients for cupcake frosting.  A stop at the Carvel!!!!  And home to frost cupcakes and watch le Tour de France.  Whew!  No wonder I’m tired and Hubby is sleeping in the chair with his computer in his lap.

Some random thoughts and photos before I close the lid on this laptop and head off to bed . . . . . . . . . . .

This picture is of some of the first fruits of our garden (gathered and eaten today), though we’ve had some zucchini prior to today.

First fruits

In the completed commitments category are the two quilts made for the two new homeowners of the Linden Place homes built by Housatonic Habitat for Humanity.  The home dedications were in June and I made a quilt for each of the two homeowner families.  I haven’t heard that a CO has been issued for either home, but I’m sure they are anxious to move in.  Here is a photo of me by our pond with the two quilts in my arms.  They are about to be loaded into the car and driven to the dedication ceremony.

Me and the Linden Place quilts

I really enjoyed the quilting and finishing of these quilts.  They were done in beautiful weather and in my wonderful quilting “studio”.  Doesn’t this look like a great place to work?

My quilting studio

View from the "drivers seat" as one of the quilts is being quilted


Big announcement from Mr Wren

Hubby and I spent some time sitting out by the pond yesterday and watching the male wren work.  He was tireless and his routine was unvarying.  He’d be gone from the nest area — then we’d see him come back and fly straight to the birdhouse and hop inside — then out he’d come and he’d hop onto the same tree branch and sing his delightful song.  Off he’d go in search of more bugs for his mate who was apparently in the birdhouse sitting on the eggs.  And he did this continuously the entire time I sat outside (which was over 2 hours) and was still working when the mosquitoes drove me inside.

Well — sometime, I would say this morning — something changed.  At about 9 am — I heard the male sitting in the tree just singing that same song over and over and over and over and, well you get it, over again!!!!!   I thought something was wrong and went downstairs and eventually outside to watch and see what was up.  Little did I know that this was the “THEY’RE HATCHING!!!!!” declaration.  I heard a second, different wren voice also and by the time I got out to watch, both the male and the female were flying to and from the birdhouse.  Not as much singing now, though there’s still some, as there are mouths to feed.

In the photos below, the female wren can be seen peeking out of the box before she leaves it to go search for bugs.  She seems very careful.

Just checking before she leaves the bird house

Feeding time


Yes, it’s a beautiful time of year.  I managed to go outside and in the space of about 30 minutes, take 91 photos worth keeping.  Here are the Stella de Oro day-lilies from beside the pond.  Could have stayed out there all day!

Pondside beauties


Firewood from old driveway oak

Work continues on the cleanup from the end-of-October show storm.  The latest effort was borrowing the neighbor’s log splitter (and the neighbor, who claimed he was having fun!).  This truckload is far less than half of what was split from the fallen oak and the giant trunk is still standing.  By my estimates, the remaining trunk is over 15 feet tall and I cannot reach around it.  By hubby’s estimates there’s over a ton of wood left in the standing trunk.  Perhaps you cannot tell from the photo, but this was a huge, once beautiful red oak.  I counted rings on one of the upper “branches” (that being a relative term since I couldn’t reach around it either) and found the branch over 60 years old. Neighbor thinks the tree was probably 100 years old.  When the trunk is cut, I’ll count the rings there too.  And my guess is the arborist will also be interested in dating the tree.

Got firewood?  Yes, but for next year, and the year after, and . . . . . . . .


Sunrise over Devastation – Day 5

Oh my.  I’ve been busy and haven’t posted anything in this blog since the day that power was restored from Hurricane Irene after 5 days out.

And GUESS WHAT?  It’s Day 5 of our power outage from the freak snowstorm that happened on October 29th — almost exactly two months since Hurricane Irene.   And WHY does everything have to have a cute name?

Nor’easter Alfred — okay, well the meteorologists feel they have to name major storms.  But, Snowtober?  Really?  Trust me, it’s not funny and there is nothing cute about what I see outside my windows and as I drive around my town.

Feeling that a picture is worth a thousand (or more) words and having nothing to do until my volunteer shift starts at the Ridgefield Emergency Shelter (might as well volunteer there — they have power, light and heat), I’m posting a few.  Borrowing power and a table (for the price of a slice of quiche and a glass of iced tea) from Tazza Cafe.

The west side of our house is like a botanical garden in the spring with mature, 30-year old ornamental trees that still all had their leaves on when 20 inches of heavy wet snow (yes I said 20 inches) fell on Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning

Kousa dogwood bows down

So we are not sure that the kousa dogwood will recover.  The snow is off it now, but it is still quite bowed and may not straighten up.  The Jenny Wrens have a house in there and raise a family there every year!  Crying a lot of tears over this bird habitat.

The kwanza cherry needed a little pruning, but this wasn’t what we had in mind.  One big branch (not shown here) off to the right broke off completely.  This branch is now free of snow and much higher, but the tree’s eventual fate is unknown at this time.  Spring will be the telling factor if it lives through the winter.

Kwanza cherry blocks the front door

And the following photo — well it really says it all.  This WAS a weeping cherry right outside the front door.  All its branches are in a pile in the driveway by the garage.  It was waaaay to sad to take that picture.

Former weeping cherry -- now we are the ones weeping

So, the power is off here and the latest “robo-call” from town hall says that CL&P (our power company) is committing to 99% of the town being restored by Sunday at 11 pm.  The bad news here is that this morning, the prediction was for the same level by Saturday night.  The good news is that weather is quite good – perhaps a little cool for November, but there is all that snow on the ground making things quite chilly at night.  It is slowly melting.  Good thing – we have a lot of weekend work to do.  The giant oak tree that fell straight down the driveway was cut up (by Hubby and a helper) with a couple of chainsaws (ours and the neighbors) and a lot of manual labor.  The neighbor and I lined the driveway with the branches that Hubby cut off  and the trunk sections were rolled just to the edge.  Lots of wood splitting to do.  And lots of firewood for next year.

So, I’m babysitting the generator and we’re enjoying quiet evenings (well, if you can tune out the roar of that generator motor) reading and watching candles flicker.  This big blown glass item is from Newport, RI.  We have two matching ones with small oil lamps in them.  Nice and restful.

I call this photo – might as well enjoy the candlelight

Might as well enjoy the candlelight

(Note that the funny black line on the candle globe is not really there.  Some artifact appeared when I edited the picture and I’m too lazy to go fix it at this time).

And this morning, Hubby took the 6 am wake-up call and fired up the generator.  Wonderful guy let me sleep for a while before he woke me back up to come downstairs and begin my day of generator supervision.  It happened to be before sunrise and I happened to look out and see a beautiful pre-dawn sight to the east.  The camera didn’t quite capture the vividness of the red color, and I was in a sleepy, grumpy mood as I began day 5 without power, phone, or cell phone, so I named this one “Sunrise over devastation”

Sunrise over devastation

As I was taking the photos and watching the sunrise and watching Hubby drive down the driveway to the land of light and power and heat (also known as his office),  I was reminded that God is always with us and when we aren’t paying attention he is sending us messages.

So the beautiful pre-dawn light is reminding me that —

– I should be thankful for each and every day.

– That if we are lucky, there is always tomorrow.

– There is very little that can’t be fixed or overcome if we look at it the right way.

– And that everything that we have actually belongs to God — and he just really made a mess of his yard!  But we’ll ask for his help while we clean it up and wait for spring to see what things look like, and replant, and start over, and be thankful for all that we have!

And, I’m reminded of the words I heard after Hurricane Irene —

Of course I have POWER – the power of compassion, community, love, — and I could go on and on.

It’s electricity I don’t have (and phone and cell), but you get the point!