Friday, August 18, 2017

A Tree's Demise

Tuesday was a sad day. We had a tree trimmer come out and trim some trees that badly needed to be pruned and we had one tree that was dead and needed to  be cut down:

I'm fairly certain this was the first tree ever planted here and it broke my heart to see it cut down. And yes, tears were shed. This tree probably got the most water of any tree on the place because it was in the middle of the yard and received water from all sides when I watered. It's a Chinese Elm tree and although folks on town fuss about them due to allergies and disease, they make good ranch trees and out here in the desert, trees are few and far between and treasured. I've often thanked the folks who planted these trees. We've been here for 13 years and I loved this tree the minute we drove up here. It was not in the best of health when we moved here, and we've had 4 years of extreme drought during that time, but we babied it anyhow. The guys thought it had been hit by lightening at one time. Still, I hate that it died on our watch. I know too that it has seen many family gatherings and children have played beneath it's branches for decades. The birds were especially fond of it and I am a little surprised at how attached I became to a tree. 

There were three guys that came out at 10 and they took out the last load at 5:

Just as another rain shower came rolling in, carrying big, fat drops that soaked us all in  less than 10 seconds and left another 0.5" in the rain gauge:.

One man was the designated tree scaler:

He is 58

and climbed those trees like a monkey:

His brother owns the company and he said that's what everyone calls him, the monkey.

I was fascinated at how agile he was.

And, not being a fan of heights, I held my breath on more than one occasion

As the sawdust flew

He told DH that he ate a lot of rattlesnake and that's what kept him in shape. I laughed, but he was serious and they asked DH to call them if he caught any rattlesnakes and they'd come get them.

Ummm...ok. And rest assured, this will take place. Harvey was determined to help when they trimmed the bunkhouse trees:

We had to get these trees tended to and the one tree really needed to come down. It's branches had grown through the electrical lines and over the roof of the house and it was just a matter of time before the winds broke them off and caused some damage. Every time we had a storm, I was out the next day, hauling off some pretty big limbs. 

I had the words from this poem, by Joyce Kilmer, going through my head as I took pictures


I think that I shall never see,
A poem lovely as a tree;

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest,
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear,
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain,
Who intimately lives with rain;

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

And now I am collecting and sorting through ideas for what to do with this stump. If I had any artistic ability at all, I would carve it into an eagle or something, but alas, my chainsaw and chisel skills are nonexistent. It is 31" in diameter with a 99" circumference. I asked them to leave it as this height (40") with thought of making it a bird bath, planter or a wishing well. It sure did leave a lot of empty, blue sky:


I think I can fix it up, but truth be told, I'll be a tad sad every time I look at it:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Indian Summer Quilt

This quilt began back in October 2015 when a friend and I spotted this fabric at our little local quilt shop:


We both  fell for it immediately. I had been eyeing this pattern:


And the 2 just seemed like a good combination although I altered it a bit and used a single square for my square in a square blocks. I wanted something that would put that floral in the spotlight and when I placed it against a brown solid, it just shone:


To make it scrappy, I pulled possible fabrics from my stash when I got home and began cutting strips:


My friend and I exchanged some fabrics as we found ourselves in various shops throughout the year and gathered a few for more variety.  I  really wanted this for a backing, but couldn't get my hands on enough of it


so I settled for this green that I found on a clearance rack:


It's not my favorite, but it was 108", and I guess the green is a nice compliment to the salmon-y pinks, and it works. I don't know why, but I do not enjoy piecing backs. Jackie quilted it using a black thread and a pantograph called  Linna's Charm:


And it is 86" x 98", perfect to brighten up the guest bed in late summer, although it looks awfully nice across the back of the glider my FIL made for us:


I am still completely smitten with the inspiration fabric and have enough left for something else and I'll make it just big enough to use that backing I love. :)

This past weekend when we were at my in-laws' home, I had lots of quilt holders at my disposal


as well as a lovely setting to photograph this finished quilt that makes me smile every time I look at it:


Monday, August 14, 2017

A No Sew Day

We received another inch of rain throughout the night on Friday, into Saturday morning, saturating the ground and making for a lovely day to sew. DH had a Safari Club fund raiser to work, in another town, so he left at 6. The rain quit at 6:30 and the pups and I headed out on our morning adventure. It was such a pretty morning. Doesn't look much like a desert these days:


Ya'll are going to get tired of seeing puppies splashing through the marshy water,

 but right now, this is my life and I'm not complaining.


 I just get so tickled watching these two

When we got back to the house, I tended to some cleaning, called my mom to visit, and cleared the rest of the day to sew. I had big plans. Then the electricity went out at 8:30. Hmmm. What's girl to do? Why, cut out new projects of course!

Ever since I saw Carole's, at From My Carolina Home, mystery quilt from a few years ago, earlier this year, I've been itching to make it using 30's in my stash so I pulled out my bin and started cutting:


Then, still no electricity so I began to pull out fabrics to make this quilt:


In this book, which is my favorite ever:

Pulling fabrics from my stash is probably my favorite part of making a quilt. It takes me forever, and in the end, about all I accomplish is making a big mess, but it's just such fun.


I still need to cut sub-cut these, but there's just so much cutting I can do in a day. I cut on the dining room table and my back doesn't like it after a while. I need to fix up a table that allows me to cut at a proper height.

The electricity came on at 6 p.m., just in time to shut things down for the day. The electric company mudded their way out and eventually found a pole down. So not a stitch was sewn, but new projects are ready and waiting in the wings.


Friday, August 11, 2017

Adventures With Skeet and Harvey

I had too many photos for one post about the rain and I really do think the puppies deserve their own post because they just had way too much fun after the rain


can you say happy?


They were completely perplexed by the sound of the croaking toads. The toads are in the water and can't be seen, but their serenade can only be described as deafening and the dogs just couldn't figure out where the offenders were located


Skeet spent much of his time in full alert


And Harvey spent his chasing after Skeet


Oh, those 2 had more fun than a barrel of monkeys and I think Harvey is enjoying being a ranch dog


At one point, the dogs were on the opposite shore from DH and I and he whistled to them. Harvey dove right in




oh, I spy a nose!


and swam 20 yards


across the dirt tank that's about 6 feet deep, using his tail as a rudder

But Skeet whined for a second and then made a beeline around the dirt tank


splashing through the shallow edge:


We cheered for Harvey as he reached the shore:


Skeet loves the water as long as his feet don't leave the ground


Although he doesn't mind being airborne:


Go Skeet!


I got as much joy out of watching these two kick up their heels as they did playing


This is what pure joy looks like

Our girl is in Hawaii this week and she's been sending us pictures. I texted her and jokingly said, "You're not coming back, are you?" and then I sent her this photo with the caption: Harvey's on his way. :)

I can't think of a better way to spend the morning and I think these two are definitely living life with gusto:

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