wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


12 Comments

Late for Dinner

My reward for going outside to sweep off the back deck was to see the pileated woodpecker fly in and land on the nearest tree. I hurried inside to get my camera thinking the same thought I always have at a time like that — Should I stand here and enjoy the sight of the bird, or should I maybe miss out and have him fly away while I go get my camera. I took a chance that he’d still be there, but I was in a hurry to snap any photo I could get. Haste makes waste, they say, and sure enough, the photos were not as sharp and clear as if I’d taken the time to take a good steady picture.

But he does look like he’s about to fly away any second, doesn’t he?

 

And he did. Right over to the birdfeeders where all was empty. I was running late with  the refilling of the feeders and now I would pay for it by having the woodpecker fly away. He looks shocked at the empty cage where the suet block is usually kept. I don’t think he’s crazy about the seeds, but he must have wondered why I hadn’t replaced the suet.

As he wondered what to do, he noticed the truck tire so close to the birdfeeders.

“Yikes! It’s the invasion of the human truck drivers. Looks awfully close to the feeder. Maybe he won’t see me if I stay hidden behind this post.”

Seeing his dilemma, I brought out more suet and more birdseed as soon as the coast was clear. He had already left, but I’m sure he’ll be back.


31 Comments

The Backyard Supervisors Again

We had some wood delivered the other day. A tree (not on our property) was deemed to be unsafe where it stood and so was taken out. This is an older picture of the wood splitter we would need to use again.

The Captain hauled the wood splitter closer to the wood shed and started work. The pieces of wood were too heavy to lift, so after rolling them over to the splitter, a little help was still needed to get the wood up onto the splitting beam. See the small plank leaning on the side of the wood splitter? That is for rolling the rounds of wood up into place.

Since this wood was going to be a good deal and excellent for heating the house next winter (as long as we did all the work), we had the rest of the tree delivered as well.

And who is supposed to lift THOSE? A power saw to make a cut when needed, and a splitting maul to crack the rounds into four pieces might make them more manageable. And now we have our work cut out for us. Even the job of splitting the wood will warm us up.

Thank goodness we still have the backyard supervisors to help us do it right. The picture of the supervisors was taken about five years ago when Emma (with her ear flipped back) was about one year old and Ruby was eight.

As it happens, today is Ruby’s 13th birthday. She’s a bit grayer around the muzzle and has a few lumps and bumps on her body, but except for being deaf, and sleeping more soundly, she is still managing to hang in there.

Happy birthday, Ruby!

 


15 Comments

Glad She’s Back

Quick! Hide! Oh, it’s okay. Goodie! Anne-li is back. She asked the Captain to feed us while she was away, but Anne-li is not as scary as he is. She talks to us softly. The Captain makes a scary chirping sound with his mouth and it sounds like a mink coming after us. I once heard Anne-li tell him not to do that.  “It’s too scary for Lincoln,” she said.

Well, now I know she’s back, I can relax. I’ll have the shell off this sunflower seed in no time.

They sure are yummy!

I have a special treat, but it’s in a secret place. See me up here where that pole comes out of the woodshed. I’m tiny and you might not be able to see me on the crossbeam by the pole.

I had this walnut stashed away for some day when I felt like a change from the same old sunflower seeds.

But I do appreciate the seeds too. Thank you Anne-li! And I’m glad you found out that peanuts aren’t good for us squirrels.

And of course, Lincoln is welcome to as much as he can eat.


38 Comments

More Retreat Goodies

You would be hard-pressed to find a more idyllic setting for a quilting getaway than at a lodge situated above this view.

The truth is, most of us had little time to look up. We were so busy looking down at our sewing machines.

Here are some of the end results of the quilts made at the retreat. The challenge was to use only fabric from scraps of materials in our stash. Here is one flimsy in the works, laid out in front of the huge fireplace.

A closer look will show you the challenge that the quilter probably faced in trying to get squares and triangles into a heart shape.

Not satisfied to merely sew scraps together, this quilter found a more complicated design and used mainly blue scraps with a few other colours for highlights. The border of tiny triangles gives me a headache just thinking about the work involved in sewing it.

Strips sewn into squares, in a variation of log cabin style — lots of thought went into the design and placement of these colours and squares.

Only a little bit of material left over? Why not make a table runner?

Making up the layers of the quilt: The backing material is taped to the table. Then the batting is laid over top, always brushing it smooth to get out any wrinkles. At last the flimsy is laid over top and clamped down, starting at one end, smoothing it, and adding another clamp and another as the wrinkles are smoothed out. Then comes the job of pinning it through all three layers to keep it them in place. See the pins (like safety pins) already in place on the side of the quilt that is hanging down? Only then does the quilting begin.

Some half-finished quilts are hung up to inspire us.

More quilts, and an apron.

After four days of sewing, most of us got plenty of work done, with only a bit of finishing up to do at home. Great camaraderie among the quilters makes these trips a lot of fun.


38 Comments

The Bag Lady’s Scrap Quilt

Just back from a four-day quilting retreat, I have to show off what I accomplished.

The challenge this year was to make a quilt from old scraps. I got the top (the flimsy) done except for a bit of border trim. Once I get that done, it will be time to put some batting and backing onto it and start quilting to hold the sandwich of flimsy, batting, and backing together.

I had pre-cut fabric for making bags last year, in case I ran out of things to sew. The first bag I made this weekend was the light green one with strips of dark green. It had been a while since I made a bag and I forgot to put pockets on the inside of the lining of the green bag. So I guess it can be a book bag or something like that.

The others all have pockets in them. The smallest bag has a Japanese design in the center; the other side has a different design on it.

Here it is again, turned the other way, so you can see the back. It’s also a Japanese theme but this time a floral design. The bag is a bit narrow, but one of the quilters suggested it would be practical for bringing a bottle of wine if invited out for dinner.

The next post will have some of the work done by other quilters at the retreat.

If you’re still in a Valentine’s Day mood, it’s not too late to check out my website for more about my books. They are all about love and drama, three on the west coast of British Columbia (The Wind Weeps, Reckoning Tide, Marlie), more love and drama on the Baja Peninsula (Orion’s Gift), and a love triangle in postwar Europe (Julia’s Violinist).

As Adam Sandler said in one of his movies, “Love, love, love.”

Find out more at http://www.anneli-purchase.com


20 Comments

On Retreat

Ahhh! Peace and quiet, and even a ray of sunshine as a bonus. What a lovely moment’s reprieve from Mrs. Flicker’s bickering.

Uh-oh! I may have spoken too soon.  I was SO enjoying a moment on my own.

You say she wants me to get home and help with the dishes? Can’t you see I’m on retreat?

You’ve got a nerve, taking her part. You go back and tell her …  tell her …. Oh, heck! Tell her I’ll be there in a minute.

And like Mr. Flicker, I’ll be away for a few days on retreat, quilting up a storm. Back soon.

Meanwhile, check out my website for more about my books. Three of them with love and drama on the west coast of British Columbia (The Wind Weeps, Reckoning Tide, Marlie), more love and drama on the Baja Peninsula (Orion’s Gift), and a love triangle in postwar Europe (Julia’s Violinist).

Find out more at http://www.anneli-purchase.com


40 Comments

Spa Day the Old-fashioned Way

We had a muddy day after the hail melted and the dogs, after being cooped up in the house for days, had some time outside. Ruby, the old springer spaniel, stayed near the door and waited for it to open so she could duck back inside, but young Emma, the English field cocker spaniel, tore around and explored any places where she could dig.

Emma is black with a smidgeon of white, but after her afternoon of digging and tearing around the yard, she was blackish-brown with a smidgeon of … well … blackish-brown. Her feathered feet held a ton of sand and dirt. She was in desperate need of a spa day.

But since she’s no French poodle, spa day for her meant a bath in the tub.

Towels were placed everywhere, to catch any shakes and splatters, or rolled on soppiness.

A couple of small tubs of lukewarm water, some Axe shampoo,  and a plastic container to use as a water scoop, and we were ready.

Luckily, Emma loves the water. I was careful to keep the soap out of her face, and the water out of her ears, so she was happy enough.

Just look at the brown sauce coming from her feet! And that was just a fraction of the whole mess.

But now she’s beautiful again. Clean, clean, clean.

DSCN8270

Ready to go out and get dirty all over again.

But what fun!

PS  After all that wet dog business and the splattering shaking that followed, it was my turn for the spa treatment.