All creatures, great and small…

Lorna came in this morning and told me to get my camera. There was a picture-worthy spider to go see! Actually there were two spiders but only one was in good light. This one is camoflaged by greenery but its web is at least 36" wide…


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We get these big spiders most summers. I've been so busy this year that I haven't spotted them but I'm happy to know that they are out in the yard. That said, I would not want to walk into this web. I did that once and about had a heart attack. Probably scared the spider to death.


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He (or she) had caught a bug and was busily wrapping it up. Very efficiently.


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I went out this afternoon and the light was better. Click the photo and you'll see a bigger image. The spider is both scarier and more impressive that way :-). It's around 2 1/2" long.


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There are also big bees buzzing around the blue salvias. The bees don't bother anyone. I wouldn't grab one, but I am not scared by them. I suppose that's because we've had them in the yard for so many years. Wasps and hornets, however, are to be avoided at all costs.


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It may look like we live in the country, but we don't. We live in a smallish house (1780 sq ft) in a neighborhood of similarly sized houses on average sized lots. Our lot is different in that we no longer have grass. We have rocks and trees and shrubs and flowering plants of all kinds. I've ignored the front and side yards for weeks and I realize that I should get out and cut the dead flowers back. That said, it still looks good. If the sun was in the right place, I'd go take a picture. That will have to wait.

I'm going to try to force myself to work on real work now. I've managed to fritter away most of the day. Tomorrow, as Scarlet says, is another day – and I'm going to have to use every minute of it.


 

 

A very fine place…

Many of you know that Steve's dad had Alzheimer's. He died last week. It was not entirely unexpected. He didn't suffer at the end which was a real blessing.

Steve's dad was an engineer. He was a bombadier in WW2 who narrowly escaped dropping any bombs. He had a sharp mind and ran his own construction business for many years. He was married to Steve's mom, Edith, for more than 60 years. His family loved him. 


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The funeral was very nice. Odd to say, but true. When someone has Alzheimer's, they lose who they are long before their body catches up. As I visited with old friends and family members, listened to the eulogies, and looked at the wonderful photos in the slide show, I was reminded of the man I knew 'then'. We all were. Speaking for myself, I'm happy that the 'old' Craig is firmly back in my mind. 

Craig and Edith lived for many years on a 5-acre lot. They had an enormous garden. Here's Craig with Elanor about 7 years ago. 


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Craig grew up in Stigler, OK. Edith grew up nearby in Hoyt. These are two small towns. Very small. Back in the day there wasn't a big lake nearby, and no interstate. There must have been a reason that the towns came into existence but I don't know what it was. That said, it is still a real pretty part of Oklahoma. Here is Hoyt's main street, yesterday…


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Craig and Edith didn't meet until he got out of the service and they got married not long thereafter. They moved around a bit before settling in OKC where they lived together for more than 50 years. But they both made plans to be buried in the Hoyt Cemetery. It was a 2+ hour drive from OKC to Hoyt but many made the trip.


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It's been many years since we were here for Edith's mother's funeral. I don't think it has changed since then. There are some very old headstones and there are newer ones. The views are lovely. It's quiet and peaceful. If it wasn't so very far from us I would happily be buried here.


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Death is the one of two things that happens to us all. So many people avoid thinking about dying and I think that's too bad. Edith and Craig planned – and paid for – their funerals 20 years ago. As Steve's sister, Jane, said – it did make it easier because they decided what they wanted and made it happen. Edith seemed very much at peace, yesterday, with the funeral and the burial. I think if Craig had been there, he'd have considered it well done.

We'll all remember him with a smile. 

PS – in case you read this quickly and think that Edith is already in heaven… she's not. She is still happily with us. And we are glad that she is.

 

 

 

 

Never out of style…

That would be blue and white. I grew up with my Mom's blue onion dishes (which she still uses). I fell in love with Royal Copenhagen as a young woman (never could afford them). I have flirted with blue and white in my home and, even now, see it every day in our breakfast room…


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I have to say that I have been taking blue and white for granted. But maybe it is coming back! Martha seems to think so…


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It's interesting how her lower half sort of blends into the wallpaper. That's not usually what a person wants to do but it works in this ad.

After making note of blue and white Martha, I got this from Linda in the mail last week…

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She found the page in her notebook and shared it because it is so very much like both Spinning Wheels (hand sewn, english paper pieces) and Spring Wheels (machine, foundation paper pieced) – both Piece O' Cake patterns. Our patterns have a hexagon at the centers of the wheels which 1) makes them easier to piece and 2) adds a bit more accent. This one feels fresh and clean and nautical.

I just love this design and would make another one with blues and whites if I only had the time!


Cars and trucks…

Perhaps it is because my plain white car is so boring that I keep noticing interesting cars and trucks. In fact, I need to remember to keep my phone or camera handy so that I can snap a picture before they drive off. I sat and looked at this car, with the statues glued to it, for many seconds before I thought to take a picture. I got it just as it was driving away…


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I couldn't quite see what was glued to the top – and sides! – of the car but I do wonder what sort of glue they used. And, while it would make my car easy to spot in a parking lot, I can't see myself ever doing this. I'd feel too bad if one came flying off as I was driving down the highway.

The little red lights on the tailgate of this old Chevy pickup caught my eye. I noticed them before I realized how old the truck was. As I sat behind it I could almost imagine myself in an earlier time. 


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I took this next photo thinking of Donna, my nail tech. She is a car person who appreciates good wheels. 


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The wheels dress up what is, to me, an unspectacular car. I could love those wheels on my own boring car! 


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The more I looked at the wheel, the more it looked like a very nice quilt block. What sets it apart from similar designs are the circles in the center, especially the 5 little ones. The odd number seems different to me. If I had drawn it, I would have had an even number of circles. I'm going to remember this…

PS – Steve told me that the little circles are the lug nuts. I never would have guessed.


Men, laboring…

First, let me apologize for not catching the fact that yesterday's video was not marked 'public'. I fixed it. Scroll back to yesterday (boy, don't you wish you could do that in real life!) and click. Or just go to the Color Scheme Designer 3 and play.

Since I have a full afternoon and not much time to post, I thought today would be a good day to share this…

 

If you watched it all the way to the end you will know why I always call my mom and say "thanks!" on my birthday. 

 

Don’t miss this color fun!

CSD3 (that's Color Scheme Designer 3) is an addictive site. I've added CSD3 to the Color link list at right. Here's a very short movie of me moving my cursor around and choosing different color options:

 

Play with this – it's wonderful! When you have time, check out the other 'It's all about color' links at right. Even when you are confident about color, these can be fun diversions.

In other news, I spent much of today* doing the painting that I promised I would do in the remodeled bathroom at Chris and Lorna's. Done! I also went to pilates early (after being gone for 4 weeks) and I walked with Laurie before the crack of dawn. I'm tired! If it wasn't already 6:20 PM, I'd take a nap. But the painting is done and tomorrow I have high hopes that I can turn my full attention to the new book… after a haircut, a manicure, and a tour of the new science building (IDEA Center at Austin College) that has taken up so much of Steve's time over the last many years. I still have not seen the whole thing, not even Steve's new office.

*I also played with the grandkids. There are 3 of them, 5 years apart. Different things with different ages. And I visited with Mom; and Chris and Lorna. These are the things that add spice to life but that also take time. It's hard, is it not, to balance work and play?

 

Between Athens and Franklin…

That would be Athens, GA, and Franklin, NC. I was in both cities teaching for much of last week. I have not visited that part of the US before and let me tell you – it is very nice indeed! That is Smoky Mountain country and it's easy to see where the 'smoky' comes from. There is a seemingly perpetual haze or mist that makes the mountains appear to be shrouded in smoke. I tried to take pictures but it's hard from a moving car when you are the driver.

Needless to say I had a lovely time with both guilds. Did I take pictures of any of the classes? No – I am always way to busy for that. I did, however, take some pictures on the drive back to Atlanta.

I was told that I should definitely stop for ice cream at the Spring Ridge Creamery in Otto, GA, just south of the state border. I got one dip made from 3 flavors – chocolate, rum raisin, coconut joy! Have you ever had a place that would do that for you? I have not. 


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This family was sitting outside enjoying their ice cream. They looked so content. Once I started eating I understood why. I would love to have a lot more of the rum raisin…


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There was a place I had noticed on the drive north. You have probably all seen those roadside businesses that sell yard art, usually made from concrete. This one is different… it has mostly painted metal animals and other yard art…


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You know, there is a part of me that just loves this stuff. Steve very rarely loves this stuff so it's probably good that I don't live nearby. Here's the studio that is farther back on the property…


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It's a good thing I don't have more time on my hands. I have some exterior walls that might be fun to paint. Steve would not be happy.


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I was snapping away through the fence because they were closed. I don't know if you can tell but that's a herd of white metal goats (with horns!) below. The owner's husband was there and he came over at about the time I spotted the 3 face planters back in the distance.


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I knew that I needed those head planters. His wife (the owner) was still there and we exchanged information. She may be able to ship them to me, or not. Today I found them online from a place that for sure ships. One way or another these fine folks are going to be near my pool, enjoying the view.


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More tomorrow, or the next day…