Friday, July 29, 2011

Old in Age, Young in Attitude

Some of you know that I have a horse that is 32 years old.  I have had her for most of those years.  She can't eat quite as well as she used to, but can still be ridden lightly .  With the heat like it has been, I have started taking her for walks and only ride if it really cools down and there is a breeze.  She has a large pasture that she is in all day, but she really likes to get led up to the house and see the sights.  You wouldn't know her age from seeing her walk, she is full of energy and the sense of adventure.  Anyway, I know many who quilt have favorite pets, too, so I am sharing the tale of Sugar with you.  Here she was about a week ago right after having her bath.  Looking pretty good!  It's the young attitude that does it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Hot Weather is Back

After those few cooler days that we had, the hot (hot, hot, hot) weather is back.  I knew it couldn't last.  I believe it went up to 102 today and that was the actual temperature, not the heat index.

Anyway, aside from the heat, I have been having a great time.  I went to Rock Hill on Monday to present a lecture for the York County Quilters.  What a nice group of quilters and they had wonderful items for Show and Tell!  Thanks to each of you for your warm welcome and your hospitality.

Here is one of the quilts I completed recently - it is a cheater fabric that was sold by Windham Fabrics in 2009 and is a reproduction of a Signature Quilt presented to Clara Barton by soldiers who she nursed during the Civil War. The original is on display at the Clara Barton Museum.  It's a lovely quilt and the thought behind it is special.  Although this is the first time I ever used a cheater fabric, it's wonderful to have a copy of this quilt for my collection!

I was able to see my daughter for a few days and she and I had fun trying out new feet on her sewing machine, shopping, and talking "horses."  She taught me how to make truffles.  She is a wonderful truffle maker!  (Isn't it great when our children grow up and can teach us some special things?)

Hopefully I can get out in the garden early tomorrow to see how things are doing in all this heat.  I managed to pick two cucumbers today so if I water about three times a day, my plants should be okay.  Now you know what I will be doing until this heat breaks!

Stay cool, everyone!

Friday, July 15, 2011

What a beautiful morning!

What a beautiful morning today!  After having so much heat and so little rain, things reversed themselves for a few days.  We had some thunderstorms this week and got some rain that greened up the grass and made all the plants look better.  I went out at 10:30 a.m. today and it was only 78 degrees and cloudy!  You cannot imagine how good that feels after the high 90's and slightly over 100 that we have been having.  (The high temperatures included hot, baking sun.)  There was even a little breeze today.

The daylilies are coming to an end, but they
have been so pretty this year!

Earlier this week (on one of the hot days), we shipped my younger horse, Lyric, up to Durham, NC, so my younger daughter can ride and enjoy him.  It has been very sad thinking about him leaving because I got him when he was 6 months old and he is 16 now, so he has been a member of the family for a long time.  He has lots of intelligence and personality, so he is a special horse.  However, I also have a 32 year old horse and don't ride much, especially in the summer, so it seemed like it would be good for my daughter to enjoy having him up. there - and she is really enjoying him and the trip went fine.
Horses are herd animals though so I worry about my 32 year old getting lonely now that she is by herself.  The better weather allowed me to go for a ride on Sugar and take her for a walk and then I led her around so she could eat some of the pretty grass outside the pasture fence.  After that I picked blueberries and checked what was going on in the garden.  Such a treat to be able to do so much outdoors.
I go outdoors when it is super hot - but mostly because I have to ... it was nice to be out there and enjoy it!
I hope everyone has a good weekend.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Staying Busy and Staying Hot

It's no surprise to anyone in South Carolina that it is hot, hot, hot at this time of the year.  Sometimes I feel like I should hibernate for the entire summer, but obviously I can't do that.  I garden so I have to get out there to water my plants every day (and sometimes twice a day.)   If we are lucky, maybe a few days during one week of the month we get some thunderstorms that roll through, but the rain is not very reliable.  It's very frustrating when the wind kicks in and you can hear the thunder, but the rain doesn't fall where you are!  

I have been busy putting the finishing touches on a lecture that I will give to a quilt guild next week.  I am looking forward to seeing them!  I also did some sewing.  I worked on some of my quilting UFO's and did some redwork last week.  What is new is the redwork!  I hand embroidered before but never specifically did redwork.  Awhile ago I ordered a book on Presidential Redwork.  I stitched my first presidential portrait last week and it was fun and didn't take long.  I think I will make some more - and who knows, maybe eventually I will have enough to make a presidential quilt!

This is President William McKinley.

  The redwork is not actually framed, I just did that with my photo software for purposes of posting the picture.  It's a small block of muslin intended to go into a quilt later on.

McKinley was the 25th President of the United States.  He was the last president to have served in the Civil War.  When he went to Buffalo, NY, for the 1901 Pan-American Exposition, there was a reception held for him and tragically, Leon Czolgosz, an assassin, stood in line to shake his hand.  Czolgosz's hand was wrapped in a white handkerchief with the gun hidden inside.  As McKinley reached out to take Czolgosz's "bandaged" hand, Czolgosz fired twice at the President.  McKinley remained standing and was taken to the hospital on the Exposition grounds.  One bullet produced a superficial wound, but the second bullet hit McKinley in the abdomen causing many injuries.  The doctors were unable to find the bullet, left it in his body, and closed up the wound.  At first McKinley appeared to be getting better, but eight days after he was shot, his condition rapidly worsened.  He died at age 58 from gangrene surrounding his wounds.

Why did I begin my redwork with William McKinley?  Well, there were two reasons.  First of all, I will be talking about the Pan-American Exposition in my lecture next week and secondly, for a number of years I lived in a suburb outside Buffalo, NY.  When you go to Buffalo, you can't help but notice the McKinley Monument.  It is located in front of City Hall and  is a 96 feet tall obelisk surrounded by Italian marble lions, each 13 feet long and weighing 12 tons.  Many of the streets converge on its location - Niagara Square.  The monument was dedicated in 1907 to the memory of McKinley.

It is so tragic that several of our presidents have been killed as a result of being out and about and meeting with the American public.  Shootings are not limited to presidents either.  I can't help but think about Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords who was shot while meeting face to face with her constituents or the bystanders who were killed at that time.  No, we can't hibernate, but it would be nice to know we are safe! 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

4th of July Weekend

I hope everyone is having a safe and fun 4th of July Weekend!  My younger daughter was here for a few days and I haven't seen her for many months so it was a fun time together.  We went to the parade that was held in Columbia for the Univeristy of South Carolina Gamecock Baseball Team - hopefully you know that the team just won the College World Series Championship for the second year in a row!!  That was lots of fun and I was certainly glad someone had planted all those nice trees on the State House grounds so we could stand in the shade from time to time.  I took about 98 pictures while I was there.  You have to love digital cameras!  Anyway, here are a few.

The University of South Carolina flag flying atop the State House.

Coach Tanner's arrival.

..and finally, the players and the trophy!!!

We went out to eat after the parade and stopped at a fabric store which had some great sale prices.  One thing on our list was to get flannel fabrics to make more burp cloths for my triplet grandsons who live in CA.  It was nice to sew together and we got those burp cloths completed that evening and have them ready to be mailed.  I should have thought to take a sewing related picture to post, but I guess even cute burp cloths are still just burp cloths.
Well, now that the fun visit is over with, I think I'd better get some things done around the house and yard.
Continue to enjoy your weekend!