Friday, March 30, 2018

Finished Cross Stitch

Yah! I finished it. It's not a big piece and quite a bit of it was already done but it is another one to check off the list. It is no longer sitting unfinished in a tub.

Now onto the next one. The next one is a full kit that I bought several years ago. If nothing else, I am getting some of these finished and out of the to-do pile. I realise I am going to have to be more realistic about what projects I will actually be able to do and sort through some of the crafty mags I have. If I lived forever I don't think I'd get all the projects done! Am I the only one who does this or is it just part of being a crafter?

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Dreary Thursday

A cloudy and drizzly day today. I find that on days like this I find it harder to get going. I did get out for a walk. I put my hood up, my head down and trotted off for a little while. There weren't many people about, but there were a few. I don't know if the kids are off school but there were a bunch of rowdy ones on the trail. I made sure to keep ahead of them. I understand they need to get out and run and let off a bit of steam but I find myself having less patience as I grow older. I just wanted a little peaceful walk, maybe see some wildlife (the way they were screaming would scare anything off!).

I had good intentions today of cooking a nice meal. I looked on Pinterest trying to get new ideas. I ended up doing something quick and easy, one of the things I regularly cook. We really do need to lighten things up once spring and summer get here. I hate turning on the oven too much when it's really, really hot. There I go complaining again. Sigh.

I finished the cross stitch I was working on. I'll take a photo tomorrow when the light is better. I spent too much time again today taking photos of the back garden and all the visitors. We really do need some way of keeping the squirrels off. Even the chipmunk is at it now - climbing up the pole! Another photo for tomorrow. Lol.

This is one of those flowers from the bunch I posted the other day. I tried out my macro lens again - something I haven't used for a while.

Oh, I started watching a new YouTube vlogger. I love it so far. It's a knitting/crochet podcast. It's addicting. This man sounds like he's lived an interesting life.

Hand Me Downz Corchet and Knit

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Winter Album

I've got it finished! Just in time for Spring. Well, officially it's Spring though I haven't seen that much evidence here. I am patiently waiting for things to start to grow. When I'm out walking I'm looking for any sign of greenery in the local woods. Sigh. Nothing. Anyway, I have finished the album I made with some of the photos I took of our winter. If nothing else, I am keeping up on my goal of getting something done with all the photos I've been taking.

It's been fun looking back and seeing some of the sights we've seen and the places we've been. I am not a big fan of Winter, nope, not a little, but living in Michigan avoiding it isn't an option. Snow and ice is just a reality. Instead of just putting up with it, staying inside and hibernating, husband and I decided we were going to get out and about and try to see some beauty. I can't believe we're almost through it! Winter seemed so long (we always say that lol).

I'm still working on my cross stitch and knitting. Once again I've been distracted by the birds (and squirrels) visiting the feeder in the back garden. So many 'new' birds visiting! It must be the ones that left for the winter returning. I am going to have to find a way to keep the squirrels off the feeders. They are eating everything in sight! Hubby saw something about using a slinky on the post. Might try it. The darn things (though really funny to watch) are driving me crazy. 

After attacking the suet feeder they are now climbing on this one and sticking their hands in the holes. Sigh.

Hope everyone is having a good week!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

A Walk in the Woods/Childhood Memories

Hubby and I took a walk in the woods today. It was a new-to-us place where we walked, but while there we came upon this.

It looked like something kids would build, complete with metal pan on the front, perhaps something they would ring when to sound the alarm. It got me thinking back to my childhood and how we would spend hours in the woods amusing ourselves. My brother, who is only 16 months older than I am, used to have his penknife with him and we would strip sticks to make bows and arrows so we could pretend to be Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Mum never worried where we were. We didn't have a telephone when I was growing up and there weren't cell phones, so no ringing home to let Mum know where we were. We would take off on our bikes and play the day away outside. We were always back for tea - we didn't have any money and didn't have snacks between meals - so we were very hungry when it was time to eat.

Where I grew up in Ipswich was considered a 'new' estate. Stoke Park. There was actually once a large house and grounds situated there (how a lot of housing estates got their names). There was only one more street built up after ours and beyond that lots of greenery. It was being built up. I remember playing where land had been cleared ready to build on and we 'discovered' an old air raid shelter that we played in until one of the children told his dad who was a councillor and it was destroyed. 

One of our favourite places to go was down to Belstead Brook and the woods close by. We used to call it Bluebell Woods because of the abundance of bluebells that grew there. It was beautiful. We spent many hours paddling in the brook too. They are some of my fondest childhood memories.

A lot of the places have all gone now. The town spread out and the greenery has been built upon, row upon row of houses take the places where we used to play. Mum was reminding me today that when we first moved out there the buses didn't go anywhere near our house. They used to stop at Maidenhall (another estate named after Maiden Hall Farm) and we would have to walk the rest of the way (not close!). The last time I was home I stayed on a bus that went past some of the 'old' places (my sister still lives close to where we grew up). It was quite saddening. I wished I had taken a different bus so the memories weren't replaced by these fresh ones. 

I am happy that I grew up when and where I did. Things weren't always easy. I don't have a lot of childhood memories, but a lot of them are good ones - especially the memories of playing the summer days away in fields of green. 

Friday, March 23, 2018

Week Done

Another week flying by. We've had a lot in the way of sunshine this week so I've been out and about. I haven't got a lot done in the house. I have sorting to do but bending down low or sitting on the floor (and trying to get up) aren't exactly easy with the back ache. I keep waiting for it to ease up. Hoping once the weather warms up things will ease up.

I started on a new knitting piece. I bought quite a bit of yarn with specific patterns in mind but, silly me, I didn't place the yarn with patterns and now don't know exactly what I bought for which pattern (or what I did with them!). Sigh. I chose a scarf but with some stitches I didn't know. Silly mistake. Took forever to find out what I was supposed to do - Google is my friend. It's a yarn over pattern but the written description was really confusing - slip the next six stitches, dropping extra wraps off needle, cross first three stitches over next three stitches, slip stitches back to left needle and knit. I did find out what to do - complete with video which I really needed. Phew.

I haven't taken a photo of it, but I am doing some Still Life photography for the online course I'm taking and I stuck the knitting in there. Still Life isn't really my thing - too organised and planned. I'm not good at either.

And another of just the flowers. 

I'm looking forward to the weekend. Hopefully we'll get out for a couple of walks. Husband is going to a friend's house tomorrow afternoon so I'm hoping to do some more of that knitting - I have to concentrate when doing the pattern! Hope everyone has a good weekend. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Start of Another Week

Monday dawned bright and sunny but still chilly. I went for a nice walk at a local place. I expected to be able to walk the way I do when I go with hubby but surprisingly it was all flooded! It must have been all the melting snow and the rain we've had! I'm not sure if it's a regular thing or just a one off this year. We only 'discovered' the park this year.

This is called the Powerline Trail. It's usually completely dry. There is no water source really close by. As you can see it's completely flooded!

Son came by yesterday with his new kitten. So cute! He named it Basil. He is really, really tiny.

My cat was not very impressed by him. In fact he was quite put out. He's so spoiled! He ended up going in the kitchen and sitting on his mat - the same place he escapes to when Shasta visits.

I'm off for a walk this morning as, though cold, it is bright and sunny. Got to make the most of that sun! I'm also going to try to be crafty today! Hopefully I'll have something to share tomorrow. Hope everyone has a good day - stay warm!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Flying By...

The days seem to be flying by, merging into one another. The sun is shining here and the temperatures have warmed up a little this weekend. It's lovely to see the sunshine and listen to the birds as I stand outside while walking in the woods.

My son got a new cat today. He's really excited. It's his first pet in his own place. I think he's a little nervous too. When I get pics I'll share. The little thing looks so tiny. Son is a pretty big guy so seeing him holding the little kitten in his arms is quite funny. Son has been feeling down for a while so I'm hoping this will help.

I've been out walking - tripped over a tree root Friday and went splat. Luckily I managed not to stick my face completely in the dirt and the other tree root that I fell on (thankfully) only left a bruise on my chunky leg and didn't skewer it completely! My whole body ached on Saturday, still aching today but not as bad. Thankfully nobody but the trees and the birds witnessed my not graceful fall. It's not been my week. On Thursday my computer somehow slipped off the lap table I had it on and, as I was bending down, I managed to smack myself in the nose with it. I am now the proud owner of a rather lovely purpley bruise across my nose!

Finished another book and a basic hat, but otherwise haven't been too crafty. I have been out and about taking photos walking while the weather is good. I have started on another Unfinished cross stitch project. I'm not quite sure why I put is aside as there isn't a lot left to do!  

Hope everyone is having a good weekend with not too much snow!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Dreaming of Spring...and Summer

The sun is shining! The sun is shining! After two days of clouds, cold and snow showers the sun is finally out today. It makes me really excited. I just feel warmer and seem to have more energy when the sun is out. If only it would warm up - maybe by the weekend.

I did go out for a morning walk. I still dressed in my long undies, thick gloves and hat, but the sun felt nice on my skin (what little was showing!). I rang Mum today too - had to remember the time change (here). Instead of five hours ahead she's currently only four. She thought her clocks changed this coming weekend, but apparently not until the weekend after. We always do 5.30 her time so it's up to me to work out the correct time. It's really not that difficult, just confusing sometimes lol.

I booked my trip home to England so Mum and I had been chatting about where we'd go on holiday. We usually book a coach trip. We've decided on two five-day holidays this year - one to Torquay and one to Wales. I've been through Torquay (we went that way a couple of years ago) but not spent any time there. The only time I've been to Wales was on holiday when I was a child. The thing I remember most is losing my beloved doll somewhere near Llandudno. I'm excited!

Anyone else thinking of their summer hols?

Here's a photo from the birdfeeder. The Starlings can be quite vicious to one another but sometimes they don't mind sharing!

Monday, March 12, 2018


The weekend seems to fly by here. Sunday here in the US the clocks went forward and back home it was Mother's Day. It seemed to have come early this year - for some reason I thought it was later in the month. Luckily I looked last weekend and managed to get a card out to Mum which made it in time! I ordered her a couple of books and films from She said (as she always says) that she didn't want anything but I can't let either Mother's Day (US & England) go by without sending her something.

It was a lovely sunny weekend and now today we're back to snow showers and a grey day. We did manage to get out and about for a walk this weekend. Yesterday we seemed to get a later start due to the messing around with the clocks. This morning was so dark! I have to remind myself when I call Mum to get the time right - I'll have to google it.

My back was playing up this morning - the nights haven't got any better but usually the pain goes away in the daytime. I think it was because we walked up a LOT of steps yesterday, hundreds of them. Sigh. Not my favourite. I decided to not walk today and instead cleaned up from the weekend and did a little crafting.

I did my pages for February. Hopefully I'll keep going for the rest of the year lol. While I was sorting through a few things I came across this postcard from my collection. I actually bought it the other year here in the US from an antiques market. I thought it was very interesting. This one actually was sent. I liked how there was no house number or even street. I suppose the postie just knew where the person could be found! The writer had been to Petticoat Lane and was quite impressed how you could buy everything from postage stamps to a billy goat!

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Friday, March 9, 2018

End of Week

We're back to snow again - at least for a few days. Ugh. Things have to warm up soon, right? It will be the middle of March next week. I can't believe Mother's Day (England) crept up on me so quickly! It's Mother's Day here in the US in May but I try to do both for Mum. I managed to get a card out but not sure if it will be there in time (bad daughter!). I ordered her a few things from that I think she'll like. The shipping is a lot cheaper than trying to post things from here. At Christmas the cost of posting her box was just ridiculous. I was thinking of sending flowers but she'll get those from my sisters and I don't always know when she's going to be home and invariably pick the wrong time.

I haven't done as much sorting this week as hoped. I've been keeping up with my daily housework but not the extra I was hoping to get done. I've been too fascinated by all the back garden birds and trying to freeze flowers. Yikes. Yesterday I realised I'd been spending far too much time on both.

This little fellow keeps getting into the birdfeeder. It's amazing to watch as the feeder is on a thin pipe thing. I sort of feel sorry for it. The squirrel doesn't have much of a tail, just a stump and a patch of fur missing on his back. I think he must have been in a fight. 

The squirrel doesn't seem to detract the birds from coming to visit. Today I do have to finish a card for my sister for her birthday and (hopefully) get to the post office if the roads aren't bad. I'm such a chicken and won't drive in the snow. I want to sort out some more things to put up on Ebay. Things that don't sell will be donated. I want them out of the house. 

The snow is supposed to stop and the weekend be sunny but chilly. I'll take that. I hope everyone enjoys their weekend. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

This Time of Year in Michigan

Had to share these photos I got off Facebook. It sort of sums up this time of year in Michigan. We were greeted this morning with snowfall. Not too much but I will be glad to see the back end of it.

I did get out for a walk. The roads were clear at least and hubby was nice enough to brush off my car before he left for work. I should have been doing housework today and, to be fair, I did get a bit of sorting done and listed a few things on Ebay but spent the rest of the day trying to freeze flowers for A Year with my Camera grads project. It is not as easy as it sounds and it seems to take FOREVER for the water to freeze! It's driving me crazy as I am not the most patient person. Apparently there are tricks to getting the water clear. It's more like a science project than a photography one. Anyway I'm still freezing flowers. These are the ones I managed to do yesterday.

I tried some fruit first as I don't have any flowers here and had to go buy some. The fruit was cheaper if I messed it up lol.

I really will do some housework tomorrow!

Monday, March 5, 2018


I finished all my cross stitch. Phew! The backstitch wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. This one was fun to stitch. I have a goal to get some of the projects done I have sitting in my stash and this was one of them. Not sure how long ago I bought the kit. It is supposed to be a large card but I'm going to frame it and put it on my craft wall. Can't give Bagpuss away lol.

The weekend was bright and sunny if not a little chilly. It was nice to get out in the sunshine. It's supposed to be cloudy and snowy the next few days so I'm making the most of it. Daughter is under a warning for a lot of snow. Poor her. She said they were giving people the option of leaving early so you know it's got to be bad for Minnesota to do that lol. She's going to stay at work. Shasta, her husky, is having surgery today so she'd have to go out and get her when it's done so she might as well work. 

We had planned a long walk yesterday - up on the sand dunes, but we got to the State Park, started walking and there was still too much snow and ice on the trail! Couldn't believe it. We've had quite a few days above freezing - some days as high as 15C (60f) - so you can guess how much snow/ice we must have had. Hubby ended up slipping over on the ice and landing on his back. Thankfully he was okay except for a bruised elbow. Ouch. 

The path was solid ice. There was still quite a lot of ice along the lakeshore. 

It is gradually going. We hadn't expected to see any left this week so were quite surprised to still see lots of ice. 

My purchase this week. I keep taking photos of birds and have no idea what they are so treated myself to this little book. 

Hope everyone had a good weekend and a easy start to another week. 

Friday, March 2, 2018


My Mum's saying for this month is 'in like a lion and out like a lamb'. I think we're all hoping it will be that way. We didn't end up getting a lot of snow, but for a while there it was coming down like crazy. With all the snow we do get I don't remember every seeing snowflakes that big. They were more the size of snow balls (not as heavy or round lol). I'm glad it wasn't bad. I think things are supposed to ease off for Mum too. I'll hear more tomorrow when we Skype.

The temperature has dropped from earlier in the week but it was a lovely sunny day today.

The pond was almost all defrosted and the reflection was just gorgeous. There were so many birds around - I could hear them calling to one another and singing. It was such a lovely sound.

I finished the cross stitch part of my Bagpuss project. I still have the outlining to do but it shouldn't take long. I really enjoyed stitching this. The only problem was that it was a kit and the threads weren't sorted. It was a little difficult to tell the shades apart. There were about seven different shades of yellow. That being said I love Bagpuss. I remember watching it as a child. It was one of my favourite programmes.

With all the sunshine around the birds were outside at the feeder. Even a couple of squirrels were about. This one made me laugh. It was trying to chase the birds away. I think they got a little too close to the thing it had just buried. 

Any idea what he would be saying? 

Hope everyone has a good weekend. It's supposed to be above freezing and sunny here. Can't wait!