Monday, July 03, 2017

The Gifts of July.

Sadie waits patiently about half-way down our lane way as I yet again, make another stop to turn my phone to camera mode and attempt to capture what I see before me.

I remember when camera phones first came out, and I couldn’t figure out why anyone would want one.  A camera is fine all by itself.  A phone is fine doing what a phone is supposed to do all by itself.  Why do we need to combine the two?  No one is ever going to REALLY need both together, are they?  It’s just not going to fly….

And here I am with this blog going into its 13th year (We celebrated 12 years last month, did you know? It passed me by too!) and my phone and I are inseparable.

Not because of the phone part.

I could leave that behind.  That is what voice mail is for.

But for the camera part.  And the cameras keep getting better and better.

And I can't stand to be without mine.


Capturing the grazers of green!

Sadie and I on our road-hike yesterday, a distance we have finally worked out for ourselves that works.  Even if it is uphill most of the way back with the worst hill climb at the very end.

And every time I am up here, I am amazed at how surroundings change in this beautiful corner of Virginia week by week.

Abundantly green.  Wonderfully green.


Following the fence line.

This road is very quiet, and was newly paved last fall. Past farms and barns and fields and fences we walk.  The hilly areas are dotted with Christmas Tree farms, with the trees all trimmed to give their best shape.  It gives the hillsides a “crew cut” look – the trees as little soldiers all standing sentinel in straight rows keeping watch.


And all along the roadside, just on the other side of fences – runs Grassy Creek, heard by ear more than seen by eye – burbling and murmuring and keeping us company as we walk on.

July has entered the scene, and is blessing us with her best nature's beauty.


Saying hello to my equine friends!


Glorious in the cool morning air.


Periwinkle wild flowers against the green.

Quilt colors, maybe?


Still working in neutrals.

It was a hard afternoon yesterday.  I’m glad I got my walk in while I did, or I would have completely lost my gumption and desire had I waited.  

I wrote on last night’s post about Chloe’s passing.  Poor Jeff.  I am so grateful for him. 

This is twice that he has had to fill the role of kitty undertaker. We don’t know what got her.  Maybe she ate something she wasn’t supposed to eat.  Maybe she got bit by a snake, the same way we lost our Buddy dog several years back.  Being a designated outdoor kitty has its own set of checks and balances.

Whatever it was, Jeff has manned up while we are away and dealt with it.  RIP Chloe. 

We also got word that Dave’s cousin Craig who is just a couple years his senior lost his battle with cancer.  They were childhood best friends. It was just a tough day.  So many feelings floating around, and wishing we were able to do more in both situations.

And so I stitched string blocks, and more string blocks.  I couldn’t even get into any kind of story line shows on Netflix, so let the documentaries run and lost myself in something about Irish Castles.

If the machine above looks different than the one I posted yesterday – that ALSO added to the day’s upheaval, though on a fixable note – just not right now.  

The belt on the aqua White machine went, and I didn’t have a spare belt up here with me to fix it.  (More spare parts for the cabin have been added to the to do list.) So machines were swapped out and I continued to string piece on the Singer 500a  Rocketeer, a testament once again that not only do we need spare parts on hand, but spare machines as well – for just THIS reason!


Barn love.

And wildflowers.

And grey rain clouds gathering.

I awoke this morning to the sound of songbirds at dawn.  The sun is gently filtering though the trees, when passing clouds allow, and another new day begins.  A bit slower, a bit more thoughtful, a reminder to appreciate every moment, and love those you love hard, with every thing you've got.

To focus on kindess, understanding, forgiveness  - and by all means - with a sense of humor.

And I’m grateful for my quilting passion – especially when it is a place to focus my thoughts and keep my hands busy when life gets bumpy.


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Vintage Irish chain quilt shared by Catie in Ohio last week.

Interests become passions, passions become skills and accomplishments.

They also become our life line when needed.

Embrace the learning curve!

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  1. So sorry for your losses, Bonnie. A really hard day. It's good we have quilting to get us through the hard spots of life.

  2. So sorry for your loss. Fiber therapy is currently helping me with the loss of my sister, who passed away 5/25. Love your string quilts for this... I will never toss out another end cut! Also using the leftovers from my En Provence, which I just finished binding this past week.
    Peaceful thoughts coming your way.

  3. Quilting therapy has saved me more than once, it really is a godsend when
    your heart is broken and life has thrown you some hard curves.
    So sorry for your losses, warm wishes for a peaceful heart.

  4. So sorry about Chloe. My cats have all been indoor/outdoor cats (They have their own cat door in the window). So I have lost some of my precious babies to unexpected events along the way. Leaves a hole in your heart. But I'll continue to take in and love on the occasional stray who find its way into my home and quilts!

  5. Bonnie - just to let you know, those glorious little periwinkle blue flowers are wild Flax plants :) I hope that their beauty helps your heart heal from the loss of your sweet kitty.

  6. Life is a journey of unknown length or destination. Sometimes the joy is overwhelming, sometimes the heartbreak is overpowering. We all hope for more joy than heartbreak. Peace

  7. Bonnie, so sorry for the tough day...but on a lighter note, about the camera/phone why would anyone want one? I felt the same way when bottled water first came about... wishing sunshine and cool breezes for you today.

  8. I had a reflective weekend as well. We need to enjoy each day we've got and appreciate each person for the joy (or angst, sometimes!) they bring to us.

  9. My sympathies are with you, i also use fiber therapy. But on a brighter note,,, just got my cutting corners ruler this morning, cant wait to get started on adding corners to string blocks. Cant decide which pattern yet. Thank you so much for all you do. You are loved by many, my quilting sister!!
    Linda Terry , Charlotte NC

  10. I remember seeing the first video camera on the Tonight Show and I thought why would we need to see again what we just saw! How naive! Also I always carry two machines when I travel, you never know. Pets are just a big part of our lives. So sorry about Chloe.

  11. My sympathies for your two losses. Fiber therapy can be a help. Take care.

  12. The periwinkle flowers are not wild flax plants. Flax does have a blue flower but it is tiny. The plants you photographed are common chicory (cichorium intybus). See here for a discussion and photo of the plant: https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/chicory. For comparison, here is the flax plant: https://www.britannica.com/plant/flax. Interesting as both plants are cultivated by humans. Chicory is an extender for coffee and gives the distinctive flavor to that drink as brewed in New Orleans. Flax is a plant that produces a useful fiber used to make linen. Every part of the plant is used, though - oil for dyes, paint, cosmetics and floor coverings. Blue flowers are relatively small in number compared to other flower colors and I feel ii is most beloved of all flower colors - at least by me.

  13. Bonnie, I am sorry for your loss. Quilting is a good therapy. Take take of yourself.

  14. Thanks Mary Ellen. I had not finished Bonnies blog when your comment came up. Here in the Pacific North West that blue flowering plant is a Hickory plant as we have many many of them growing"in the wild". Pretty but to me a pretty weed! Growing up in New Orleans I remember the chicory coffee being very BITTER! Oh how we like our Seattle Best here in the PNW. Bonnie sorry for your lost of Cleo what a beautiful cat she was.


  16. Bonnie, thank you SO much for sharing your thoughts and insights and beauty that lies everywhere. You certainly are an inspiration to me. I am sorry fo your losses.

  17. Chloe had a look of I am being loved by humans, but I am my own person. She had a good life when she found you. RIP Chloe. Sorry Bonnie for your losses. I have lost five relatives since May, one being a niece who lost her seven year loss to cancer at the age of 30. I also lost my precious kitty Pongo too. We have to take it one day at a time forward, keep their memory in our hearts, and push on making new memories. One day I will be with them all in Heaven. what a reunion it will be!

  18. What a Day! Sorry you had a belt go out, but SEW Happy you had a spare Machine! Somedays require the solitude of Stitching. I am Voiceless so my house has been very Quiet. Cloe was lucky you rescued her. Thanks goodness for your Jeff! Have a great Independence Day! Hope the fireworks don't scare Sadie Jane too much in the Mountains of VA.

  19. Quilting has provided comfort and distraction for most of us at one time or another. I am so sorry about your challenging day. Loss takes a lot of emotional energy.

    Thank goodness for your son Jeff. :)


    sao in Midlothian

  20. Condolences for your losses...life can be difficult sometimes. But thank heavens you have your sewing--
    I love that vintage irish chain..I made that pattern-- only in pinks, beiges and off white as my first quilt for my Mom...who has since passed away--two years now...and every time I look at it, take it out, touch it, refold it--I think of her...
    Keep your memories close to your heart...hugs x2, Julierose

  21. So sorry for the loss of your sweet Chloe and hubby's dear cousin. It's times like these where needle and thread are good for the soul and help to mend an aching heart. Hugs and prayers to you and your family. 💕

  22. Such a painful day. So sorry about your losses.

    You have such beautiful land to trek through. That creek is magical.

    Unfortunately, when I had my losses (two dogs in the same amount of weeks) my head went the other way and I could not put one stitch to fabric. I just realized the reason yesterday. My little 13 year old furbaby that passed used to sleep at my feet when I was in my sewing room. Many times I tripped over her to go clip something or iron a piece. Subconsciously, I think I knew that wouldn't be happening anymore. Slowly, but surely I am getting back to my machine where I belong!

  23. Sew sorry for your losses. And I totally agree that we need to enjoy and cherish every moment we are given.

  24. Thanks for sharing your lovely thoughts and insights Bonnie, my baby nephew had more surgery yesterday and although he is doing well he still faces a lifetime of challenges. I was feeling down and your words lifted me up. I'm going to focus on "loving hard" all the members of my family and dear friends I have been blessed with. And I'm headed to my sewing machine! Love you Bonnie!

  25. So sorry to learn of your family's losses. Soothe yourselves any way you can. Rest and relaxation are good.

    Out here in Kansas, that beautiful blue flowered plant is known as Chicory. I love to see it along the roadsides.

  26. Your cat looks exactly like my Penny, also in Kitty Heaven. They are Ragdolls, a lovely breed of cat, but not the friendliest. So sorry for your multiple losses, a part of our life that is hard to take at times.

  27. Oh, dear. A bumpy road indeed... wish i could come up with some soothing, healing words to ease the pain, but golly, you've done that for yourownsweetself, and your family -- kudos to you all for being able to notice the beauty and upside while being bombarded with the down... and most important, being there for each other... Hold tight, the sun will come out tomorrow!!! Love all you do and share, it's no wonder people think they know you... <3

  28. It is so hard when one of our fur babies goes over the rainbow bridge but we know at the beginning of their time with us their life will be shorter than ours and I believe it's because the condense so much love and care in their life they get burnt out earlier. As you have said Bonnie, quilting is there for us and I know how much it has helped me over the past decade that I found and it's soothing nature when life gives us a bit of a nudge. Sleep well Chloe you were a fine, albeit feisty natured fur baby.

  29. Just finished En Provence.


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