Saturday, April 29, 2017

Help, I'm being held hostage

For the past 3 days, this nuthatch has been flying up against the living room window, 
over and over and over and over and over again.
He seeems to stop when I drop the blind, which means on a sunny day like today, 
I either listen to him hitting the window 
or give in to his demands 
and drop the blind.
White breasted nuthatch through dirty window
 I'll be dropping the blind.
Last night one of my smaller bird feeders was pulled down.
I've been expecting it, 
but since not all the feeders were down,
I didn't think it was a bear.
Sure enough, the trail cam on the front steps caught the culprit.
I guess we start hauling in feeders at night now.

It seems like the inmates are in charge of the asylum now.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Raise a glass

It says on this highball glass 

"Between the dark and the daylight, 
when the night is beginning to lower, 
comes a pause in the day's occupation 
that is known as The Children's Hour. "

A glass Dad kept from the '50s, in it I'm enjoying a Manhattan in honor of his 95th birthday today. 

Maybe you'll do the same. 


Dad would have been 95 today.  
I still miss him every day.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Who's your favorite Super Hero

Jude is back at Mayo in Rochester for more exams and testing.
It was Super Hero day and he got an outfit donated by Love Your Melon.
Jude looks like he is having fun in these photos taken by his Mom & Dad.

I don't think you have to guess who my super hero is.
Sir Jude!

Monday, April 24, 2017

What a gem

After our quilt retreat at Oak Forest ceased to exist, we started looking for a new spot to land.
Mary & Sharon, my quilting pals, tried out a place in Minnesota but it was dripping in religion and and we just want to sew.

Somewhere, we heard about Kristi's Northwoods Quilt Camp and decided to give it a try.
Kristi runs several, maybe 12, camps during the fall and spring.  All are located at The St. Croix Inn at Solon Springs.  The pricing was similar to what we had been paying and this time we had motel rooms instead of a big room with bunk beds.  This allowed me to have my own room, which is what I prefer because of my sleep/no sleep patterns.

The St. Croix Inn Motel is adjacent to Lucius Woods County Park.  The setting is priceless.
The Inn has a pool, hot tub, deck out over the lake, and a bar with patio. 
There is a little quilt store in town within walking distance.
It is perfect!
St. Croix Lake - view from deck over the lake

But, we didn't know anyone here, we were nervous about how the set up would be, Mary is eating only glutin-free foods now because of a medical issue, we didn't know what to expect for food exactly and we had not seen the sleeping accommodations. 
My room at the Inn

But once we arrived, no worries.
The view from my sewing machine.

Once we settled into our sewing spots, which means toting in from the car several loads of sewing supplies, machine, fabric, etc, etc in and then setting up the machine, and finally making a comfortable place to work, then we start getting familiar with the other quilters.

We had joined Joyce at her group of tables.  Her sewing pal Colleen had to leave early, there were 3 open spots and she invited us to sit with her.  She was quiet, wearing headphones most of the time and was sewing some of the tiniest paper piecing squares I have ever seen.  But, over the course of Friday and Saturday, we got to know each other. I was sitting right next to her, so she got used to me interrupting her listening.  She turned out to be the best sewing friend.  She had been to the retreat 2-4 times per year for the past 15+ years.  This woman knew the ropes.  So, any questions we had, she knew the answers which was so perfect.
Kristi turned out to be a larger than life personality, who is a great cook and made us feel so welcome.  Everything that I had wished our last retreat to be, this one was.
Two meals a day, mid morning brunch and later supper.
A bar upstairs if you want a cocktail, which we took advantage of.
Or, you can bring your own wine/beer, no one seems to care.
Great food, and Kristi did a little prize drawing after every meal.

Mary & Sharon and I had not been there long when we decided this is our place
so we signed up for Fall and Spring 2018.

I love having my own room and at $60 per night, it is affordable for sure.
The rooms with lakeview have a little balcony, I might try one of those sometime as the view would be sweet, but truth is, we don't spend much time in the room so it's not too important.

This trip we sewed until 1:30 am the first night and about 1:00 a.m the second night.  I was up and sewing by about 8:30am both mornings, Mary & Sharon were up and at it a little earlier.
We got our money's worth in the sewing room.

So, here are a few of my projects.
Christmas table topper

Stand & Stow bag, size medium

Stand and Stow bag - Large

Snap Bag, this is upside down, but the white border is the opening

Cloth napkins - this was our Earth Day project.
I made these for myself, I'm going to stop using paper napkins and start using these little cuties.

Rain Fall is the the name of the pattern.  just 3 squares of a quilt but you get the idea.
It's all shade of coffee, latte, creams.

When we were doing the napkins, we learned a sweet technique for mitering corners.

Learning the miter spread through the room, many sewers learned a new technique.
After brunch on Sunday and when Kristi is done with her clean up, the quilters gather for Show and Tell.  Everyone gathers around the center of the room and each sewer shows a project to the group.
We didn't participate this year, 
but I can see this is part of the camaraderie and I'll plan for it next time.
Show and tell

37 quilters had been here.
One of her largest groups ever.
I think a smaller group will be kind of nice.

This was the cutest quilt.
I got on the road about 2:00 p.m.
I took a drive past The Sandcastle on the way home.
All was well at the castle.
We are lucky, no break ins, no sign of mice.
 The township must be working on 'firewise' clean up.  
Sand road had been brush hogged back about 10 feet off the road.  

I saw a little herd of deer of Connors Meadow Road.
Funny how they spring when they get spooked.

All in all, a really great weekend.
I am already looking forward to Fall at Kristi's Northwoods Quilt Camp.
Sometimes you find a gem up north.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

My favorite

There is no contest.
My favorite bird is the Northern Cardinal.
His song is beautiful and his feathers stunning.
I always am glad to see a cardinal in the yard and am ever hopeful that they will nest here.
My friend Betty and I had a fun thing going on about cardinals for a few years.
She lived here in Wisconsin and always had cardinals at her feeders,
I lived in Denver and wished I had a cardinal.
So, cardinals got tucked into Christmas boxes, and glove compartments and suitcases; 
it was silly and fun.
Every single Cardinal I see makes me think of Betty.
Maybe it is Betty checking in or checking on me.
Who is to say.
But I sure do love seeing a Cardinal like this one out my living room window.

Monday, April 17, 2017


Kris and Lora needed someone to spend an afternoon / evening with Anders and I was available.
I picked Anders up after school and we headed to Lora's apartment.  In no time, we were playing games.  Traffic Jam, Who's face is it, and Scrabble.  He showed me his collection of football cards and we talked about his favorite teams the Packers and the Seahawks.  
It was fun to have some one-on-one time with Anders again.  Most of the time when I see him, there are many other cousins around and he's busy playing with the kids.
We had his favorite for supper, pizza and then we played War.  
He is growing up fast, he'll be 9 in July so I think the next time I get some time with him, 
he can start learning Cribbage.
Anders is a big basketball fan and he has 3 hoops hanging off his bunk bed set.
He also showed me the hat that his older cousins had autographed for him.
Gage #22 & Jack #5
I hope those boys know what role models they are for Anders.


On the way home on Thursday, I pulled off the main road to look at some waterfowl.  The Buffalo river runs along Hwy 37 and the birds were plentiful.
I found a pond with an active eagle's nest.
I used the old cell phone camera with binoculars technique.

The nest is upper right, and one of the adult eagles is in the upper middle.

Returning to the nest.

I drove up the road a bit and was surprised to see a Sandhill Crane crossing the road.
When it saw me it backtracked to the marshy area by the road.
They are quite camouflaged this time of year.
Without those red caps, it would be pretty hard to spot these guys.
 I watched these birds for awhile.

Sandhill crane in Wisconsin
 After some dancing around, one of the cranes flew off.
These birds can really make some noise, I was there just in time to hear them vocalizing.
I was running out of time, so I had to move on, but I'll be going back to this area as I saw 3 active eagle's nest close by and there should be quite a few juveniles to see.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Spring in Rice Lake

I took a drive today after lunch 
while I was waiting for my house-cleaners to finish putting a sparkle on my house.

The birds are returning and it is good to see them back.
Just Cattails, but I always like to take that photo.

Geese on Rice Lake

Major population of nesting geese on Rice Lake.

Mallard Drake on Rice Lake

Mallard Drake on Rice Lake

Mallard Drake on Rice Lake

Mallard Drake on Rice Lake

Mallard Pair on Rice Lake

Mallard pair on Rice Lake

Mallard couple on Rice Lake

Muskrat on Rice Lake
The Osprey are back to their nesting platform on Rice Lake
 Around home, I am happy to see 
goldfinch back in their bright yellows
housefinch back in their bright reds.

Yay for yellow!

Mr. Housefinch

I should have hauled the old Christmas Tree to the brush pile by now,
but lucky I am a procrastinator because the Junco are enjoying pecking around in it.

Must be a little treat left in this old Christmas Tree.

Dark-eyed Junco
Yes, it is nice to have the birds back and soon it will be time to feed Orioles and Hummers.
Yay for Spring!


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