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Let the good times roll…

In a few hours the first of our 4th of July guests will arrive. For the past 10 years all of our kids and other various friends and family have been joining us here to celebrate the Fourth of July. This year we will total 15 for the weekend and 20 or so for the actual Fourth of July celebration.

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We went to the market yesterday and will make 2 more trips before next weekend is over. It is a wonderful family reunion every summer. We will spend time on the beach, in the pool, and around the fire pit in the backyard. We will play games and tease each other and reminisce about visits to the emergency room during past visits. It seems that there is always one trip to the ER for some sort of injury, usually it is nothing life threatening but on one occasion it was an almost ruptured appendix – Elizabeth.

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The lounge chairs are out, the inflatable rafts are blown up, the flower pots are planted and the yard is looking beautiful. The menus are still being tweaked to satisfy even the pickiest eater, and I am getting excited. This is a tradition that I started to make memories. I wanted our children and grandchildren to always have the happy and fun memories of coming to Maine in the summer.

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Last night we started the first fire in the new fire pit. It was a very relaxing way to end the week and a great way to get into a vacation frame of mind. For Chuck and me it will be a “stay-cation” but to be honest there is really no where we would rather be than here surrounded by family and friends.

If you are traveling this weekend stay safe and have a wonderful trip. If you are enjoying a “stay-cation” have a great time.

Be Kind….
Faith

The windows are open….

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and after the damp cold spring and long snowy winter that is a wonderful thing.  It will require practically daily dusting to remove the pollen that is coming in with the fresh air from all of the surfaces in the house but it is worth it.  Summer officially starts in 5 days but in my mind as soon as I can leave the windows open summer is here.  I love this time of year – well, lets be honest I love every time of year.  I love all of the seasons for different reasons but that is a topic for another day.  Today is about how everything looks bright and fresh and happy outside right now.  I love the poppies and the irises, I love that the peonies will be blooming shortly.  I love the blue skies and the big puffy clouds.

This past Sunday was fathers day. I had a nice phone conversation with my father.  Chuck got 5 very nice phone calls from the “kids”.  It was a sunny day and the weather was beautiful.  We had a nice quite day.

I have gotten a lot  done the past few days.  I am working on a new quilt – it will be a gift but I am pretty sure the recipient will not see is here.  I got the pattern from the Missouri Star Quilting website.  If you are looking for a new pattern you might want to check out this website – there are a lot of fun easy patterns.  This is a picture of the blocks on my design wall – this is not the final layout just a peak at the finished blocks.  I will move these around a lot before I decide on the finished quilt.  It is so much easier to use a design wall than it is to crawl around on the floor.

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I have also been spinning again.  I purchased some wonderful fiber from Weston Hill Farm – www.westonhillfarm.com – but I haven’t really started to spin that yet.  It is so beautiful that I want to practice some more before I spin it.  I have been spinning some fiber that I purchased at the Common Ground Fair last September.  It is such a relaxing craft.  I really enjoy it and I will have lots of wonderful yarn to knit when we hit the next season that I love.

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I also finished a penny rug this week.  I have it sitting on top of my Treadle Sewing machine.  I will probably not leave it there forever because the sun will fade it too much, but I like it there for now.

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I am hoping that the weather stays nice so that my veggie garden does well.  We are trying something new this year.  We have black poly with straw over it covering the garden this year.  Our hope is that this will cut down on weeds, hold the heat in the ground for the plants and help everything grow a little faster and bigger.  I will let you know how it works.

Garden and Pool

Garden and Pool

the garden

the garden

I hope you have a nice day and that you are able to enjoy the sunshine.

Be Kind…

Faith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great weekend….

tulips

 

What a great weekend I had!!!  First of all Spring has arrived and by Spring I mean warm weather without humidity.  Happy Dance!

raffle quilt in progress

raffle quilt in progress

On Saturday a group of ladies from my quilt guild got together to assemble our Raffle quilt.  It is such a good way to get a lot done in a short amount of time.  It is also a great way for beginners to learn new the finer points of getting your quilt to lay flat. There is nothing worse than a wavy quilt.  It is impossible to get it to lay flat and it is equally impossible to have it quilted.

Georgette, Carol and Terry

Georgette, Carol and Terry

 

Denise, Jane, Iola and Judy

Denise, Jane, Iola and Judy

Here are a couple of shots of our group at work.  We had a wonderful time and when we were done the hardest part of the quilt top was complete.  I have a couple of borders to add but they are measured and ready to be sewn on.  I will then applique some flowers around the edge to make it even prettier than it already is.

Of course Sunday was Mother’s Day – there was also a Marathon that was going right past our road.  A dear friend from Albany who grew up with our son was in the area with some of his siblings to watch his wife run the Marathon.  So while they waited for Avery to complete the run (she did very well but says she will never do it again), they came to our house for a little Brunch.  We had homemade muffins and fruit salad.

George, Katherine, me, Tommy and George plus a little bit of Chucks finger.  ;)

George, Katherine, me, Tommy and George plus a little bit of Chucks finger. 😉

It was so beautiful that we decided to eat outside.  I have not seen these wonderful young people is a long time and it was so wonderful to catch up with them and hear about the exciting lives that they are living.

The crew with Chuck.

The crew with Chuck.

I am so appreciative of the friendships that our children have developed over the years.  They are friendships that will last for the rest of their lives.  It is very easy for them to communicate with all of the new technology – one of the positives of the times.

After the kids left we went up to Portland and Chuck purchased me a wonderful a unexpected surprise Mother’s Day gift.  It is a Ball Fresh Tech Canner.  I will be able to can goodies from the garden without all the steam in the kitchen.  I will post some pictures when I use it.

The day was completed with lunch sitting outside by the river at Run of the Mill restaurant.  It is a microbrew pub and it is in an old textile mill in Saco – great lunch.

It was a sunny, warm day and I really enjoyed myself.  I had great chats with my 2 darling kids and a nice conversation with my own mother.  So overall it was a great weekend.

I hope yours was as well.

Be Kind…

Faith

Spring is trying so hard to get here….

my view this morning

my view this morning

This was the view from the car window this morning on my way to the post office.  How beautiful is that?!?

We spent part of Saturday trying to get some work done outside.  It has been a very slow, cold spring here in the northeast this year.  The trees are budding and the tulips are above ground but is has been a slow moving process.

 

I am always excited to start to get some thing into the ground.  It is ok to plant lettuce, onions and peas this time of year.  They do not mind the cooler temperatures.  With that in mind Chuck and I decided it was time to get to work.

getting the garden ready

getting the garden ready

We like to use as much organic material in the vegetable garden as possible.  We will, after all be eating the fruits of our labor.  I am not quite so picky with the flowers as I am the veggies for obvious reasons.  I will give the flowers a shot of Miracle Gro every now and then but never the veggies.

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This is the product that we use and it has worked well in the past.  It just give the garden a pick me up.

Many years ago we bought a little tiller – actually I think the technical terms is “speedy hoe”.  It helps blend the compost into the garden a bit easier and more thoroughly than by hand.

Chuck hard at work

Chuck hard at work

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So my Lettuce, parsley and onions are in the ground.  We got some rain on Saturday night so everything is watered in.  Now we wait.  Hopefully we will have a productive garden this summer and we will have wonderful fresh veggies for our salads.

Enjoy the sunshine.

 

Be kind…

Faith

 

 

 

 

 

A walk in the Park….

Carriage Path

Carriage Path

Friday morning we loaded the car and took a ride.  After a quick stop in Belfast to conduct some business, we were on our way to Bar Harbor.  It was a beautiful sunny day, no wind, just sunshine.

We stopped by the closed Visitors Center to see what paths were available to snow shoe on.  We met 2 wonderful dogs one English Mastiff named Gwenny – she weighs in at 210 and another beautiful dog named Aikera.  He had had a botched surgery when he was younger so he had a contraption strapped on that allows him to walk like a normal dog.  He was a very sweet dog but I am not sure what his breed was.

I love to meet dogs

I love to meet dogs

We stopped for lunch at one of our favorite spots – The Side Street Café.

Blackened Haddock Sandwich Special

Blackened Haddock Sandwich Special

I got the special and Chuck got the Lobster Roll – as always it was delicious.  We have had both lunch and dinner here and it is always lots of food at a reasonable price.  I look forward to eating here.  We did a bit of shopping and I do mean a bit because most every shop in Bar Harbor is closed for the season – some open in April most open in May.  I did stop into Fiore – this is a wonderful shop that sells different olive oils and vinegars.  I bought 3 different oils including a Truffle oil – I can’t wait to drizzle that on some wonderful goodies.  The flavored oils that Fiore sells are a wonderful way to add something special to your meals.

On Saturday morning we had breakfast at 2 Cats – it is a wonderful breakfast spot.  We were there at 7:00 AM and we had the place to ourselves – Blueberry Pancakes for me and Apple Cinnamon Pancakes for Chuck.  We knew that we would be working it off so this was a no guilt meal.

Chuck on Snowshoes

Chuck on Snowshoes

Yours truly with Snow Shoes strapped on.

Yours truly with Snow Shoes strapped on.

We headed over to the Park to snow shoe – It was a beautiful day – bright sunshine, warm and perfect. The Carriage Paths are groomed so that you can cross country ski, snow shoe or just walk on the paths.  We met a few walkers on the path and a few dogs.  It was a great day to be outside and the views were amazing.  We felt very fortunate to be able to be outside enjoying the park on such a great day.

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We met 2 young men at the park – they were college kids who go to the Maine Maritime Academy.  They were wondering if there were paths that they could hike on.  We explained where we had walked and told them that there were lots of trails with good signage so they should have no trouble.  They then asked us where they needed to go to pay for the use of the park – I explained that it was free to walk on paths and enjoy the beauty of the park.  They were amazed and decided that they needed to come up to the park more often.  The Maritime Academy is in Castine, Maine which is not far from Bar Harbor.

We enjoyed the park for a couple of hours and then we headed down the coast.  We stopped at a few towns along the way to see the sights and have some lunch.  It was a wonderful way to spend a day and we felt very fortunate to have such a beautiful area to visit.

We once again decided that our move to Maine was a good thing – we love living here and we do not take for granted the beauty that is all around us all the time.  The weather was amazing and it gave us the feeling that Spring may not be to far away.

Have a wonderful day – enjoy the view.

Be Kind…

Faith

Oh baby it’s cold outside…

Big Old Oak tree

Big Old Oak tree

So I decided that I was going to write a post about warmer things. It will be mostly pictures of warmer, sunnier days. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the seasons of the year and living in the Northeast gives us the opportunity to experience them all.  So here are some warm memories.

Bonfire at the beach

Bonfire at the beach

I love the memories that we make in the summer at the beach.

Columbine

Columbine

Iris and Poppies

Iris and Poppies

I love the beautiful flowers in my garden.

wonderful memories with people we love

wonderful memories with people we love

The beach, the pool, the fourth of July!

the beach

the beach

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4th of July

4th of July

the pool

the pool

Just a reminder that the snow will melt and the winds will warm and more memories will be made.

In the mean time stay warm, bake bread, make soup and cuddle under homemade quilts.

Be Kind…

Faith

Snowy Owls….

Snowy Owl - Biddeford Pool

Snowy Owl – Biddeford Pool

Snowy Owls have moved south.  I have seen several news reports about these birds.  They have moved south because of lack of food in the Tundra.  I guess there are more owls than there is food for them to eat.  The reports have said that most of the birds are young males.  They are causing problems at the airports from Portland, ME to Logan in Boston, they like open spaces.

I see these owls almost every day on my way to the Post Office.  I drive down a narrow strip of land that runs between a large tidal bay and the ocean.  There are houses on both sides of the road.  I see these owls sitting on the chimneys, and power poles.  Today I saw 3 of them.

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sitting on the post

sitting on the post

They sit and swivel their heads around watching.  They soar through the sky, scanning for food.  Our backyard borders a Rachael Carson protected piece of land.  I see them flying over this area, swooping and diving through the sky.  They amaze me!

They have become celebrities in these parts.  The birders are out with their cameras and huge lens taking pictures.  Everyday when I see them all out taking pictures I say that I need to grab my camera and telephoto lens and get some pictures.  Oops… I forgot again.

I live in a place where wild life is abundant.  We see all sorts of birds, song birds, seagulls of course, loads of turkeys trotting along between houses.

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We see deer all the time, there was a set of twin fawns and their Momma in the yard this fall.  We even see the occasional Moose.

moose in the yard

I live in an amazing place – the views are breath taking, the animals are abundant and fabulous and the people are friendly and helpful.  I am blessed.  I am also going to put my camera by the door so that I can get a better picture of one of these owls.

Be Kind…

Faith

Celtic Christmas Part 5…

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I have been plugging away on Part 5 of Bonnie Hunters Celtic Solstice quilt. (http://www.quiltville.blogspot.com/p/celtic-solstice-mystery.html)  I am in the final stretch of getting this section completed. (http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2013/12/mystery-monday-link-up-part-5.html)  I am very happy with the fabric choices that I made and I made a serious dent in my Christmas fabrics, some of which are over 20 years old.  So far all of the fabrics are from the “stash”.  I love that the Christmas section of my shelves is a little emptier than it was before.  That means that I will need to buy more fabric to fill it up.  (Just Kidding Chuck!!!)

the backyard

the backyard

We are in the midst of a major winter storm right now.  The temperature is 4 degrees, the snow is falling and the wind is blowing.  I love it!!!!  The fridge is stocked and the fireplace is ready to light.  The only down side is that I have a miserable head cold.  I shouldn’t complain because I can’t remember the last time I had a head cold but I do feel pretty lousy.  Luckily I have no reason to leave the house.

Here are a few pictures of the chaos that is also known as my sewing table.  It doesn’t look like much but all of those pieces are strung together waiting for the next step.  In some cases I need to add the final piece, in others I just need to press and trim the final step.  I will get these done soon provided the power doesn’t go out.

organized chaos

organized chaos

some completed Part 5's waiting to be pressed and trimmed

some completed Part 5’s waiting to be pressed and trimmed

After Bonnie posted the final step of the quilt I just had to put a couple of the blocks together to see how they would look.  I am very pleased with the final product so far and I can’t wait to get moving on this quilt again.

2 completed blocks - I just love them!

2 completed blocks – I just love them!

If you are in the path of the storm stay warm and safe.  If you are in warmer climates enjoy the sunshine.  I am very happy to be snowbound on the coast of Southern Maine.  I think that I am going to make a big pot of Chili this afternoon – perfect food for a stormy day.

Keep sewing and

Be Kind…

Faith

Celtic Christmas part 3…

view of backyard

view of backyard

Good snowy morning from southern Maine.  Since Saturday we have gotten 2 feet of snow.  It is a winter wonderland outside and for the first time in several years we are going to have a white Christmas.  I realize that for a huge part of the world there is no such thing as a white Christmas but having grown up in the Northeast of the U.S., I love having a white Christmas.  Some would, and have called me crazy but I still get just as excited about a snow storm now as I did when I was 5.  There is some rain predicted for the weekend which could put a huge dent in my snowshoeing plans, we will just have to wait and see.

I have been spending a ton of time sewing lately – as have many of the Bonnie Hunters fans around the world. Here is the link to the latest mystery – http://www.quiltville.blogspot.com/p/celtic-solstice-mystery.html.  I have not finished Part 2 yet but I am definitely making progress.  To see everyone’s progress check this out – http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2013/12/celtic-solstice-mystery-monday-link-up_4572.html

some chevrons done other parts in progress

some chevrons done other parts in progress

String piecing progress

String piecing progress

I have also started Part 3 – I have all of my bits and pieces cut.  One of my good quilty friends Georgette, sent me the short cut that was mentioned here – http://quiltville.blogspot.com/search?q=gretchen.  Unfortunately, I had already cut all of my 2″ strips so I couldn’t utilize this helpful short cut.  I cut them all using the EZ-Angle as mentioned in Bonnie’s original directions.  I did speed things up by layering 4 strips of fabric at a time, so it took me less time than I thought it would, but I still need to sew them together.

bits and pieces

bits and pieces

As you can see I have made 1 pinwheel – yes I did sew it wrong the first time, and I know that I will again.  Pinwheels always give me some trouble.

one correct pinwheel

one correct pinwheel

I think that I am being very careful only to realize that I have goofed.  Hopefully the goofs will be few and far between.  Only time will tell.

I will be sewing again tonight – one thing that Bonnie’s Mysteries do for me is get me into my sewing room.  I get so many projects finished just because I am in my sewing space.  I am also usually digging through my stash which causes me to find long, lost and forgotten projects.

view from my sunroom - icy windows

view from my sunroom – icy windows

With winter here, ahead of schedule, I am anticipating getting a lot of projects started and finished this winter.  As I have said before there is nothing better than a quilt in your lap on a cold winter night.

I am looking forward to Part 4 on Friday morning – I do not anticipate getting very much of it done before the release of Part 5 but my head will be working on it.

Have a wonderfully Merry Christmas – keep sewing and,

Be Kind….

Faith

Celtic Christmas – part 2…

 

 

 

Our Christmas tree this year.

Our Christmas tree this year.

Bonnie posted part 2 of the mystery on Friday but before I could get sewing I needed to decorate the house, and Sunday was such a beautiful day we took Gracie for a walk.

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When all of that was finished I started cutting and stitching like a crazy lady.  I have been working on some Christmas presents but I have also been working on Celtic Christmas aka Bonnie Hunter’s Celtic Solstice http://www.quiltville.blogspot.com/p/celtic-solstice-mystery.html.

I am not finished sewing but I am finished cutting and marking.

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I have started to sew. Bonnie’s hint to mark all of the center lines does make getting a true rectangle much easier.

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I have put together a few of the chevrons just to be sure that I had the concept correct.

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As you can see I am keeping Bonnie’s instructions right in front of me because the potential for mistakes is very high with all of these angles.photo (50)

I have been saving the triangles that I am trimming off.  I haven’t decided whether or not I will use them but i just can’t bring myself to throw the out right now.  I have seen that many of you have completed this step already – one question – do you sleep?

I love to look at all of the different combinations of colors that everyone is using.  It is such fun to try to imagine what the end result will look like.

It is snowing a little bit here in Southern Maine right now and that is fine with me.  I have no where that I need to go so I can stay home and sew.  Enjoy the process.

Be Kind…

Faith