Still Circling

Just one of our jobs got done yesterday. The crew showed up to top our trees bright and early. Mike amused me sitting there on his ATV. He usually reserves these big jobs for himself, but it seemed unwise for a newly-anointed septuagenarian to be climbing tall trees.

The window washer guy needed to be available for some problem with his elderly father. (He's nearly our age, and so I'm guessing the elderly father is *very* elderly.) He'll come next week instead. No problem.

I spent most of the morning making state park reservations for our trip to the Great Lakes region later this year. Some of the state parks have reservation windows, and North Dakota's opened up yesterday. I made a reservation at one of their parks, and then I decided to keep going with all the state parks. I'm kind of proud of myself for putting so many state parks into our next trip. They are destinations unto themselves, and so it will be nice to camp within the park boundaries. It will save us some money on fuel, but it will also save us some money on nightly fees. I was able to reserve almost all of them, but I'm still shut out by closed reservation windows on a few. It was well after lunch time when I finished up. When I went downstairs, I looked out the living room window to see Himself being very stealth under his "umbrella tree."

All of the cats at the Three Cats Ranch have taken advantage of the umbrella tree. It's a little dwarf Japanese maple tree. A few years ago a branch from a larger tree fell on it and broke it off at ground level. Now the larger tree and the original umbrella tree have been replaced. It has taken this one a while to get some size to it, but the kitties are using it again.

Mid-afternoon, I forced myself into the sewing room to prepare for my next "Animal Kingdom" art quilt. I always drag my feet getting started. These quilts are very detailed, and it can take many hours (even days) before the design begins to emerge. Yesterday's goal was to trace the pattern and to sort through my scraps for appropriate fabrics. Also, I selected some yardage that could be used as a background and a back. The printed picture was taped down, and I used the plastic sheeting to trace the design for the first time.

The plastic sheeting worked great. I have a nice big piece...no taping together of transparencies this time. Since it comes on a roll, I'd left it under my pressing mat, and then under my largest rulers to flatten it out. That worked great, and it was very easy using it. I always note the right side since I'm tracing it onto fusible medium from the wrong side.

There's a lot of detail in this piece. Even the eyes have tiny pieces. I'll probably choose a fabric that can do most of the work here.

Then, I went through my scraps and sorted them by value. I have a lot of good fabrics for this particular animal.

It's a little larger than I usually do, and so I got out the larger of my two pressing sheets. It too is rolled up when not in use, which would be fine. It's slippery though, and so I taped it to my ironing board cover to hold it in place. I'll build my animal here, and then peel it up to be placed on whatever background I decide to use. I left the tweezers there intentionally. The tiny pieces are best handled with tweezers.

I hadn't yet gathered enough fortitude to actually start working on it. These quilts are fairly difficult, and they are tedious, but they are also completely engrossing. Once I start one, it's hard to tear myself away. I'll probably get started on it today, but we have some things to do on our non-quilting agenda too.

For one thing, it's our 47th wedding anniversary today. Good grief. I can't believe I've been alive long enough to be married for 47 years. We have a nice dinner out planned for this evening. I can't recall if I've ever posted a picture of these children on their wedding day. 

Today, though, we'll spend some time cleaning out the greenhouse. It still has last year's wizened tomato plants, but the squirrels have been in there doing their mischief too. Mike has been threatening to dig a trench around and bury some chicken wire to keep them from digging under the walls. He's actually going to do it this year since I can't really use the greenhouse with squirrels getting in and digging in everything. They made quite a mess over the winter, and so it'll be good to get that cleaned up. 

I'm not growing tomatoes this year. We'll be leaving on our trip before they can ripen. Nevertheless, I'm planting some pickling cucumbers in large pots, and I'd like to keep them in the greenhouse for ease of watering. The squirrels will dig in the pots and eat the cucumber plants if we don't find a way to keep them out. Squirrels. They are adorable...and they can be a big problem.

So it's a busy and momentous day ahead. I'm hoping I'll have time to get started on my quilt. You'll only get peeks for now. The reveal is scheduled for August 1st.


Barbara said...

To keep your marriage brimming with love in the loving cup, whenever you’re wrong—admit it, whenever you’re right—shut up. ~ Ogden Nash

Sara said...

Happy anniversary! It's 45 for us and I feel the same way - How could I be old enough to be married that long?

Julierose said...

Happy anniversary--wonderful picture of you "young'uns";)))

I am always amazed at your precise piecing on your animal pictures...you are really so good at it...
I was able to walk in our field parking lot a bit this morning..so that is progress...I am forcing myself to get moving--hoping to strengthen my legs...
hugs Julierose

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you and Mike on your anniversary!! We are closing in on our 50th later this year! How could that many years have possibly gone by!!
Love your wedding picture!!
Looking forward to following along on your Animal Kingdom project! Your end results are always amazing!
Have a great anniversary!
Sandra B

piecefulwendy said...

Happy Anniversary to you two! I'm glad you hired tree guys to top the trees rather than Mike doing it. Much safe option. I could barely see Himself under that tree. I'm still thinking on my challenge quilt.

MissPat said...

Happy Anniversary and may you have many more. You're wise to hire out the tree trimming and window washing. Much safer, if more costly, but then that's still cheaper than broken limbs (human, not tree).

Quilting Babcia said...

Happy Anniversary!! What a sweet photo! Enjoy your special day - and dinner.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

First of all, and most importantly, happy anniversary to you both!
Secondly - regarding the squirrels eating plants...I read recently that you can dip Q-tips into peppermint essential oil and place them around your plants and it's supposed to deter them. Not sure how well it works, but you might like to give it a try in your greenhouse.

Sherrill said...

Babies, just a couple of babies!! Happy Anniversary and many more to come (that's why you keep Mike outta the trees! LOL). We only made it to 31 before he succumbed to brain cancer (2 mo. shy of his 67th bday and 3 moshy of our anniv). Those dang squirrels are major pains in the rear end. UGH

Lois Hendrickson said...

1975 was a good year!!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Happy Anniversary!

Christine said...

Happy Anniversary.... Those kids are sure good looking... Any relation?!? lol
My frontage is done, when I'm able to move a bit more I shall update my blog with photos.

Susan said...

Happy anniversary. I am glad you both left the tree trimming to the pros and I hope you find a way to keep the vermin out of your greenhouse.