Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Bit More Work on the Mudroom

The mudroom got a bit further along, but there probably won't be much more done for a few days. The forecast is for rain for the rest of the week. Sigh. On the upside, Abby the Ginormous Dog is settling in well. This was her agenda for today: lie down, walk around the kitchen, bark at the storms, lie down...repeat.

And, Happy Birthday, Aunt Nelle!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Teaser Tuesday--The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party

The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party by Alexander McCall Smith

She looked across the room at her assistant, who was frowning with concentration as she poured the boiling water into the teapot. "Very well, Mma Makutsi," she said. "Tell me what the trouble is. What has our young friend been up to now?"

What are you reading?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Quick Update on the Mudroom Addition

Here's a look at the progress on the mudroom: The foundation is in place, with the brick-work done. There is also a concrete patio to the right. The patio will extend over to the brick once the project is done. We're having a lot of rain right now, so I'm not sure how much work will get done this week. I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Meet Abby

This is Abby (the dog, not the kid). She's spending the weekend and maybe moving in permanently. Abby was abandoned at our vet's office a few weeks ago and is in need of a home with lots of room to play and maybe a few goats to guard.

We are getting to know her and letting her get to know us, as well as Frodo the Wonder Yorkie, and the cats, Domino and Jinx. So far, so good.

Do you think the children like her?

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Huge Pine Hit by Lightning

We had quite a lightning storm on Saturday night. The power was knocked out to part of our house and our air conditioner started to make a strange noise. An electrician came out on Monday to look at the power situation and spent the better part of two days rewiring part of our house. Thankfully, it's fixed now and no electronics seem to be affected. However...

Electrician: Do you hear that buzz?

Me: Nooooo.

Electrician: There. That. Did you hear it?

Me: Hmmmm...yes.

Electrician: It's coming from the breaker box. I think it's your air conditioner.

Me: Can you fix it?

Electrician: You need your heat and air people to look at it.

Me: Oh.

On the upside, the electrician is the neighbor of the lady at the heat and air place. So without my having to do anything, the phone rang the next morning and we scheduled a repairman. He came out this morning and had it fixed within an hour or so. I asked what had happened. He said, "Oh, it was the lightning." Of course.

The following pictures are of the tree, some distance from the house, that we think was the reason for the trouble. If you look closely, you can see where the bark was blown off.

And this was last night's dessert, made from angel food dessert shells (store-bought) and home canned pears and pear honey. Yummy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Work on the mudroom addition has started

The first photo (above) shows the back steps, which have now been demolished.

The second photo (above) is the back door, sans steps, with the ground cleared for the foundation to be poured.

This photo (above) is of the foundation, ready for the cement truck to do its thing.

As of today, the concrete is in place and will need several days to cure before more work can be done. Now, if I can just remember not to use that back door...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Teaser Tuesday--The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

"Recently dead, poor love, she thought. It's always easier to die gently, to wake in due time in the place you were buried, to come to terms with your death and to get acquainted with the other inhabitants."

The Graveyard Book was a recommendation from the Cousin-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named (pictured below with his mom). It's by the same author as Coraline, and is written for a "tween age" audience. It's a great story, although a bit intense for younger children, and is a good read for anyone over 12. Including me.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Goat Adventure Begins...

We've been talking about getting goats for a while now. I'm not sure exactly how we got to the point in our lives where we have a serious discussion about having goats, but here we are.

So, we've bought fence posts. I mean, we can't just rush into this, right? Anyway, we're starting by putting in a fence. I'm not convinced that this fence will hold goats, but I'm no goat-confinement expert. I've heard that "if it won't hold water, it won't hold goats". Or was that "sheep"?

I'll update you when we actually get the posts in the ground. Now that I think about it, getting actual animals may have to wait.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring is Here!!!

Happy Spring!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

It's Chicken Run All Over Again!!

I went out to visit with the girls a little while ago. We have 22 chickens who live in a coop out back, with a fenced yard where they can scratch around. They have been falling down on the egg-laying job lately. I'm hoping that they will pick up the pace once the days get longer.

Anyway, here they are, gathering around and hoping for a treat. Sorry, ladies, I don't have anything right now.

This is a view of the back of the coop and their yard. See that hole in the back corner? I think they're trying to tunnel out.

We're not going to eat you, honest! Just lay some eggs!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Let's Take a Walk Around the House

Frodo the Wonder Yorkie is too busy catching lizards to come with us, so we'll go on without him.

Here's the loropetalum at the end of the house. It is covered with hot pink flowers right now and will provide shade for the hostas this summer.
Speaking of hostas, here they come now!

The Lady Jane tulips bloomed just this morning! They are the official "spring is here" flowers at my house.

Here's three small azaleas (below) that have been added around my October Red maple tree. There's also a forsythia there now too. I've been wanting one for ages!

This flower bed (below) backs up to the woods, so I wanted something as a bridge between my yard and The Wild, so we went with big azaleas. The guy at the nursery says they'll get 7-8 feet high. I'll let you know.

And, to conclude today's tour, the heucheras are looking very healthy in their container on the front steps. (I know, they're covered with pollen. I'll rinse them off tomorrow. Maybe.)

Anything blooming at your place?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Mama's Got a Brand New Bag

I made this bag for myself yesterday. I've had the fabric for ages, even had this bag cut out, but I just hadn't made time to sew it up. It's a big, slouchy sort of tote with a very long handle that can be left long or tied to a shorter length. The fabric is bright orange, green and hot pink. It has palm trees and hibiscus flowers and just needed to be finished before warm weather.

Any new projects around your place?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

More Amazing Artists

As promised, here are two more artists I met at the craft fair this past weekend.

This is Randal Spangler. He grew up in the heartland of America, exploring his family's attic and barn and enjoying fresh, homegrown vegetables. Those experiences, in a quintessential American hometown, shape his creative view. So much that something as fantastic as a dragon in a library can seem oddly familiar. A cat holding a cupcake? Naturally. A fairy having tea with a dragon? Of course!

Randal's art is at once elegant and playful, appealing to a sophisticated adult as well as an imaginative child. And he's a really nice guy, too.

I also met Shengzhu Berdardin, a fabric artist. She dyes her fabrics in indigo, to create fabulous designs, then sews the cloth into beautiful handbags, totes and duffel bags. She's friendly and always ready to answer questions about her work. There's a series of pictures on display at the front of her booth, to show her at work on each step of her process. Her business is called True Blue, blue and white cloth art.

Monday, March 7, 2011

24 Hours of Dulcimer Music or My Weekend at the Craft Fair

I spent the past weekend at the the Carolina Craftsmen Spring Classic, 10 am to 8 pm on Friday, 10-6 on Saturday, and 11-5 on Sunday. A total of 24 hours. With dulcimer music playing in the background.

Don't get me wrong, I really like dulcimer music. But by Sunday night I was ready for a change...and I got it. The Gilmore Enterprises people, the nice folks that run the show, clearly demonstrated their experience and sense of humor. As soon as the doors closed to the public, the music changed to the William Tell Overture. That's the one from The Lone Ranger. It got us in the right mood to get our booths taken down and packed up quick.

Before the Big Packing Up, I took some photos of the booths of fellow crafters. I'm always amazed at the clever ways people display their creations. Here's a display from Troy and Kathi who make beautiful yard signs. They customize the sign for you at the show, with your name or house number. Don't you love their set up?

Another amazing artist I met is Joe Foley. He is a welder who gave up industrial work for making flowers. He tells customers that his flowers are easy to transplant and very cold hardy. His business is called Steel Blooming and the flowers are gorgeous. Here's a link to a television interview with Joe--WCHS interview.
Joe's display is quite basic, not even his own side walls, but clearly it's not necessary. Joe's flowers speak for themselves and I was blessed to be just across the aisle from him. I got to admire his work for three solid days. Aren't you jealous?

Stay tuned! More artists tomorrow!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bede Sisters's Booth at the Craft Fair

Here's our booth at the Carolina Craftsmen Spring Classic:

Traffic was a bit slow today, but we talked to some very nice people, both customers and fellow vendors. We're hoping for a big day tomorrow; I'll keep you posted.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Carolina Craftsmen Spring Classic--This Weekend!

Just thought I'd stop in for a minute to let you know, I'm at the Carolina Craftsmen Spring Classic in Columbia, SC, this weekend. It's a HUGE craft show, held every year at the state fairgrounds in Columbia, in the shadow of Williams-Brice Stadium. This is the first time I've been a part of this show and I'm really excited. I'll post pictures and show stories when I get back.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


The month of March is bittersweet for me. I absolutely love spring. I like to walk around my yard every day to see what's peeking out of the soil. I like to see the fresh green leaves on the trees and hear the birds singing through open windows. The tulips and daffodils are the first to pop up, and I check them almost every day to see how they are doing. My daffodils are transplants from my parents' house.

However, daffodils hold another memory for me. My parents planted daffodils at my childhood home years ago and they took over the side fence area and bloom in masses this time of year. Just before my mother died, my father cut a bouquet of daffodils for her, since she was too weak to go out and see them. She died just as they were at their peak.

Only four years later, my father again cut a bouquet of daffodils to take to my aunt's cabin. They, along with another friend, were spending the day in the country, welcoming spring. Shortly after that day, my father too, passed away.

As I watch the daffodils start to bloom in my own flower bed, I hope that they will take over the side of my yard. They seem to have a history of that.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

We survived the storm and the racoon came back

We survived the storm just fine. The worst of the thunderstorms went around us; even the daffodils are fine. The grass is getting very green and a few things are in bloom: the daffodils, of course and the spirea; the chives are coming up and the daylily leaves are starting to peek above the mulch. Ahhhh....spring.

Also, the raccoon made another appearance Sunday night. We were all still up (so it was before 9 pm) and Frodo the Wonder Yorkie started barking. We looked out the front window and sure enough, he was back.

So we released Frodo. He dashed out, feet barely touching the ground and chased the aggravating little thief back into the woods. A minute or so later, Frodo came racing back up the porch steps, looking rather more relieved than triumphant. I must remember, he's a "Wonder" but he's still a "Yorkie".

Did I mention, it will officially be spring in three weeks?