Friday This and That

Look for the November NewFO Linky Party and Giveaway right here.

Today was my regularly scheduled walking day with my friend Sue.  Since it was raining sideways most of yesterday, I wasn't terrifically excited about our prospects weather-wise.  The forecast put our chances of rain at 100%.  (Query:  Do these percentages mean that the chance of rain is 100%?  Or do they mean it will rain 100% of the time?  This question haunts me in the dark of night.)  With that in mind, I wrote an email to Sue and told her that if it was raining sideways this morning, I would be happy to reclaim the perpetual Weenie Award.

If you don't know what the Weenie Award is, you can read about it here.  One time, Sue gave me a free weenie pass for my birthday, but I've used it already.  Next time I weenie out, the weenie award is mine.

Clearly, walks are brutal business between the two of us.  All of that to say that Sue emailed me back and said this:

I have missed our talking and our walking. So, try real hard not to weenie out! 

We haven't been able to walk for several weeks because my knee has been giving me problems.  As is usual for my knee, the problem disappeared as mysteriously as it came.

So...(I am getting to the point.  Really.) This morning I decided that I wouldn't be opposed to gearing up in rain gear from head to toe as long as the wind wasn't blowing.  I can take the rain.  Even the pouring rain doesn't bother me as long as I'm wearing my rain gear.  But blowing rain is the pits.  I'm too old and crotchety (not to mention decrepit) for that.  I looked outside and saw that, indeed, it was pouring rain, but I couldn't honestly say that the wind was blowing.  I set about pulling out and putting on my rain gear.  I was nearly out the door when a huge gust of wind hit the house.  Grumbling to myself, I said, "The conversation this morning had better be scintillating."

It is a half hour drive for me to get to our meet-up point, and it continued to pour rain all the way.  About half way there, the sun came out, although the rain was still coming down in sheets.  But when Sue and I pulled up and got out of our cars, the clouds parted, and the sun came out.  We walked for two hours and felt nary a drop of rain.  Simply amazing.  It was bright enough that I wore my sunglasses.  Sunglasses.  In Oregon.  On the last day of November.  I've told you this before, but our luck with the weather is legend.  In the many years we have been walking, we've walked in the rain only a very few times.  But I think it's a good idea to keep the weenie award just for insurance purposes, don't you?

So here's what we saw on our walk:

The requisite Canada geese both flying overhead and rooting around on the ground for our luscious, tender, and tasty Oregon slugs.  And speaking of legends, we have legendary slugs in the Pacific Northwest.  There are even cookbooks written about them!

Let's see...what else did we see?  The ever-present ducks in even the smallest body of water.  I always half expect to see them when "Lake Cat Ranch" forms in our driveway.  

And take a look at this!

This is a big tree that has nearly been felled by the beavers that inhabit Fanno Creek.  Those are fence posts, and so you can get an idea the size of the tree.  I'm estimating it is at least 24 inches in diameter...maybe even larger.  We saw at least two big trees that look like this.  I'm charmed that we have beavers living in Fanno Creek, but they can be pesky little varmints.  Did you know that they are our state animal?  We actually have a beaver on the reverse side of our state flag.

So in other cat ranch news, I received this wonderful surprise from my friend Lisa yesterday.  She attended a craft show and thought of me when she saw these crocheted fingerless mittens.  So pretty, warm, and cozy.  I wore them this morning while Sue and I walked, which allowed me to operate my iPhone camera.  Nifty, huh?  And take a look at the little card she sent with it.

The design is paper-pieced.  I've done cards like this before, but I've always used the Carol Doak keepsake frames for the card stock.  This one is done on regular card stock, trimmed up even on all sides, and then the card maker did a machine herringbone stitch all around the outside edge.  Cute, huh?  I actually like this way better.  And you could use other decorative stitches as well.  So, thank you for these fun and useful gifts, Lisa.  They are wonderful, and I am both touched and grateful that you thought of me.  {{{Big Hug}}}

So, I haven't blogged much about the sewing I'm doing.  That's because I'm determined to quilt my Bow Tie Bonanza quilt, and I've been working at it with dogged determination.  In my mind, the hardest part of getting going on quilting any quilt is making the quilt sandwich.  For larger quilts, I've been known to tape the back to our hardwood floors and then crawl around on my hands and knees making the quilt sandwich.  More than anything else, I think this is what causes me to procrastinate on getting these flimsies turned into actual quilts. When I could think of no more excuses for not quilting at least one of the three flimsies I have, I got the bright idea to see if I could make the quilt sandwich by clearing off my ping pong table, and it worked!  It was so much easier than crawling around on my hands and knees (see reference to old, crotchety, and decrepit above...emphasis on decrepit).

So that's what I've been working on.  And I've had lots of help, let me tell you.  Here's Gracie luxuriating in the medicine-free zone.

I'm about half way finished with the quilt.  I'm sticking with a diagonal grid and some "x boxes" in the center white areas.

It's probably easier to see it from the back.

I'm still considering what to do in the outer border, but I'm thinking I'll just stick with some straight lines.  Maybe it's just me, but I don't think any kind of meandering would look right when the rest of the quilt is all done in straight lines.  Anyway...that's what I've been working on, and I probably have at least one or two more days before it's finished and ready for binding.

Any plans for the weekend?  I have a few chores to do, but then I'm going to have at this quilt again.


Samantha said...

Glad to hear Gracie is feeling better. Those mittens are great!

I love the veggie blocks in your bow tie quilt. :D

My big weekend plans are run a zillion errands Saturday. Family dinner with whoever shows up on Sunday and then more errands on Monday. I'd rather be at home quilting.

Teresa in Music City said...

Wow - luck of the Irish! So you don't have to be Irish to get that luck, do you? Anyway.....Gracie looks healthy & happy - yay!!! And great work on your quilt. I think the quilting you are doing is the perfect design, it looks great on the back too. Absolutely agree about using some type of straight lines in the border. Just in case you were looking for opinions :*D

greelyrita said...

How excellent about the clouds parting for your walk!! I'm happy for you that you found a better way to create the quilt sandwich. I put my quilts on the quilting frame and except for needing to make sure that the top and bottom are square, those rollers stretch everybody tight. It takes under half an hour and I'm quilting. The holdup for me is getting the sewing machine which weighs 45 lbs onto the frame. I use it to piece and make the ringette pants too.

The quilting on your quilt looks great, btw.

Why isn't anyone protecting these larger trees in the park with some wire fencing?

Is it just me or does Gracie still not look happy and relaxed. To me she looks slightly annoyed and ready to get really annoyed.

And last, tell me no one eats slugs, please... total ick, no?

quiltzyx said...

The weather gods were looking out for Sue - in letting her keep the wienie award! lol It looks like the beavers chewed so fast on that tree that it caught on fire....
We get some geese here too, they like to hang out at Cal Poly Pomona. Amazing how much noise they make when flying by, almost as much as the flocks of parrots we have locally!

LethargicLass said...

until now, I didn't even know flags had backs to them LOL

I can hardly wait to see the bow-tie finished... I really love looking at it and think I may have to make one someday...

Working on Christmas gifts... it's a little hard coming up with ideas...

Kate said...

Good for you for not wimping out!

The Bow Tie Bonaza is looking good!

Anonymous said...

What a jam-packed post! So much is going on in your life all at the same time. Love that little slug recipe photo. I was waiting for a recipe - not that I'd ever be fixing or eating it! Your iPhone takes great pictures.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I sure would have 'weenied' out on that walk. Glad the sun came out for you.