Saturday, August 29, 2009


We have an apple tree in our backyard, and it surprised us this year by producing...apples!

Last spring, we noticed the beautiful blossoms on this tree, and once they faded, the tree was just...there. In the corner of the yard.
This year, the blossoms came and went as they did last year, and we thought nothing more of the tree until Tom starting getting is head bonked by low-hanging fruit while mowing the lawn. So yesterday was harvest day. Tom grabbed a long pruner thingy, and he cut down the apples while I gathered them in a basket.
Georgie helped.
We got this basketful--and the tree still has ten times this many. The apples are quite tart and crisp--perfect for cooking and baking. I used a fraction of these to make a gorgeous apple pie today--I should have taken a pic it was so perfect looking! And it was delicious!
So--if any of you out there have a bushel basket and love to make apple pie, come on over!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nothing New

Well let's see. What has happened since my last post?
I don't remember.
My entire being has been caught up with doing a quilt for a group show that I just finished yesterday. So I've been mostly posting on my other blog. In my non-art life, things are fairly quiet. Let's see if I can come up with anything exciting.

--The kitchen reno continues. Tom has built a couple of cabinets to add to those that are already in there. They look great! We've picked out tiles for our back splash, and have hired a friend to paint all the kitchen walls.
--Juta and I are getting along. She has become more comfortable living here, and no longer acts like a guest. She'll actually go to the fridge and get herself something to eat instead of waiting for me to ask her or make something for her. On one hand, that's good. On the other hand, she ate my leftover noodles and shrimp the other day. I was looking forward to having them for lunch yesterday. Oh well.
--Georgie continues to chew my sandals. He ripped up my good Tevas that other day. Sigh... I ordered another pair to the tune of $48!!! That makes NINE pairs of shoes/sandals of mine he's ruined in the last four months. He's also chewed up two pairs of Juta's and one of Tom's. He's turning out to be an expensive dog.
--Since we've been so busy with the kitchen and quilting, our garden has been totally ignored. I'm lucky it rains every once in a while or everything would be crispy! The flowers are blooming very well, as are the weeds! We have bees in the gutters and chipmunks living under the stoops. But Tom pulls zucchinis and tomatoes out of his veggie garden, and our apple tree has produced a bumper crop this year. I'll be making apple pie soon...
--My phone crapped out the other day and after a few days of farting around with AT&T, I now have a brand new one!
--I am looking forward to a short vacation, just me and Tommy. We're going up north for about five days of sitting still. Ahhhhhh....take me away...(of course, Tom will have his laptop and I will have my handwork. We never really sit still...)

So see? Nothing much new. Just regular life stuff. But that's good. Life is made fun and interesting by enjoying all the minutiae of the day-to-day. It is then we feel alive and connected and relevant.

For interest, I'll post a random picture. This is Pig at the Space Needle during my first trip to Seattle. He loves sightseeing.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Blooming things and Iowa

Things are settling down around here. Tommy, Juta and I have developed our daily routines. The critters are all getting along. It's all good.
So about a week ago, I took a little quilt-shop-hop trip into Iowa with my friend Jeanne. I drove to her house in Barneveld last Wednesday evening, stayed over night (where a gang of cows gathered outside my window very early in the morning--something that rarely happens in the Milwaukee suburbs...), and we took off in Jeanne's car Thursday morning. We stopped at a few places around SW Wisconsin, then drove to Cedar Rapids to shop at The Pine Needles (actually in Marion, IA).
We continued on to Kalona where we stayed at the Pull-r Inn. No, I am not kidding--that's the name of the motel. It was very nice. We found another little quilt shop "downtown", then went to Washington, IA to have a really good Mexican dinner in an old house. The next day, we planned to drive up to Amana, but not before one of Jeanne's co-workers, Firman, who lives in the area, took us for a ride in his dad's Amish buggy. Firman and his dad were very gracious--I even got a picture of them. The countryside around there is just like a picture book--green cornfields dotted with cute white four-square houses with tin roofs and red barns surrounded by 200 year old oak trees. Beautiful!
We poked around the town of Amana for a bit, and, of course, hit Heritage Designs, a quilt shop housed in a 150 year old barn. It is a gorgeous store, and I did a bit of damage to my pocketbook.
On the way home, we made a stop in Iowa City again, then drove back to Wisconsin. Before we got back to Jeanne's house, she took me on a little tour of the farm that used to belong to her mother's family. The homestead it was actually nestled in a hill overlooking a pretty valley near Fennimore. It was beautiful, and I took a pic of Jeanne's Little Valley. It was a fun couple of days, and now that the vessel is filled with lots of inspiration, I can back to my quilt projects with renewed enthusiasm.
I've also been watching lots of things bloom in my garden these days. The big news is the hydrangeas are here...and they are blue! Last fall I sprinkled some special fertilizer on the bushes to change the pH of the soil. That's what makes the blooms blue! I was sceptical, but it worked! I have one bush full of big blue flowers. The other one has pink blooms, and together they are beautiful!
The other big garden news is my clematis came back! It is growing in a flower bed that Tom cleared at the beginning of summer in order to kill the weeds. I thought they were lost, but they popped up, and now are climbing the garage with strength and vigor!