Sunday, February 18, 2018

February Musings

February has been a mix of weather here, freezing cold one day and mild and sunny the next.   I am loving the sunshine, it makes temps in the 30s and low 40s feel like paradise.  But oh, how my  heart sinks when the next morning greets me again with snow and ice!

We celebrated Mardi Gras, as we always do, with a King Cake delivered directly from New Orleans.   I've ordered one every year since my son and his wife moved back to Michigan because my grandson was born in New Orleans.    If you buy a King Cake where they are made, they are already decorated.   But when they mail them north, the bakery sends along the white frosting and colored sugars because the decorated cakes do not travel well.   The kids love decorating the cake with the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold and seeing who will find the "baby" -- this year my granddaughter got it in the first slice!  Thank goodness they use a lot less sugar now that they are old enough to be aware of healthy choices -- when they were small, it was a challenge to keep them from sending us all into sugar shock!
Valentine's  Day is not my holiday, and it's a good thing because it never seems to work out the way I want it to!   My sweetie sent flowers, which was so sweet, but circumstances messed up our plan to have dinner together and that was disappointing.  Oh well, shake it off.  

Honestly, the best valentine's gift came from the husband of a friend who knows that I like to invite as much nature into my messy yard as possible.   He made me a bird feeder and included a supply of dried grubs.   I can't wait to see who turns up to eat them!   But . . . gag.

My 13-year-old grandson won local awards for his science project and we are looking forward to his move up to regionals.   His project, titled "Music sets the mood, " considered " the effect of key signature on the perception of music."  He won best in category for behavioral science and first place overall for life sciences.  He doesn't place a lot of expectations on himself but he enjoys the competition, the talks with the judges and the chance to talk to other kids with similar interests.   He also really likes dressing up in a suit and tie, which he does as often as the occasion even marginally permits.  But he had to admit, it was fun to win!   And you can barely imagine how proud I am of him.
I've done only a little sewing.   I made a little rag baby quilt for no particular reason other than that I had the flannel in my scrap pile.
I found a few yards of other fabric that I had planned to use for totes and have decided to use that for a quilt top as well, but I haven't started cutting yet.  I finally got my Victorian sampler framed,
and I bought a sign from Etsy that had a motto that I especially like.   I can be impulsive that way.
I hope things are warming up wherever you are and I'm hoping to see some real signs of spring soon here in Mid-Michigan!!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Super Bowl Sunday and the Superb Owl

What a week!   Cold as a brass patootie, with lots of snow and temps hovering in the low teens almost all week.  School has been cancelled for tomorrow, not for the first time.   But, despite the cold and snow, there were a few interesting events.  
Last week, when it was a little warmer, we went to Chicago by train for a couple of days.    We didn't plan anything, it was a lazy, laid back trip, mostly to see  how traveling would work now that my sweetie has lost so much of his vision.   There were a few troubles, more than one wall was walked into, but we had a good time despite it and he came home willing to try some occupational therapy, which I hope will give him more confidence.   And of course it was good to get away and to eat a bunch of food that I need to stop eating again soon before I'm as big as a house.   I have truly enjoyed this slippery slope down sugar loaf mountain!

Bt now it is cold again.  Cold temps make me want to cook, so that part is always fun.   I started the week out by making granola after my sweetie's son wanted us to pick some up from the store -- the fairly plain 12 ounce bag of cereal cost $6 so I decided to try my hand at it and I was happy with the results.   My first try was a bit too sweet for us so I will cut back on the sugars next time, but I think I'm just a couple attempts away from a winner that will satisfy all of us.
And I finished another quilt top, more or less.   It still needs a border or two.  It's another finish using my AccuQuilt and some larger scraps from my stash.   That makes three stash-scrap quilt tops so far this year, in just over a month!   Not having to cut the pieces by hand is making SUCH a difference for me.
Superbowl Sunday was, as always, on one of our Dominoes days, so we had a double fun Sunday.   I don't know (or care, really) anything about football but I'm always happy for our grand finale of super bowl sundaes.  And my group of guys ate it up like crazy -- so crazy, in fact, that the one kid we have the games for had to go home early with a tummy ache.  We did watch the game -- my grandson and I, neither of us sports folk, texted each other back and forth with silliness, and I am always happy to see the commercials.  Unfortunately, we had some internet troubles, no doubt weather related, that cut into our screen time, with lots of frozen moments.   I guess it's lucky that we aren't super fans, it would have been very frustrating!

But even bigger and more amazing than the Superbowl (menu) was my Superb Owl -- earlier this week, when I finally, belatedly went to take down the Christmas wreath next to my front door, I discovered that a small eastern screech owl was using it as a perch.   The owl stayed all day and into the night after I saw it, long enough for one of my grandchildren to get out of school and see it, too,  and of course I have no idea how long it had been there up til then.   I would have loved to have it nest there and am sorry it left, but I'm so very happy that my grandson and I saw it, and it's going to be awhile before I am ready to take down that wreath!  There are owls in our parts, of course, and we hear them often enough,  but I have never caught a glimpse of one and it was a 'bucket list' item for me.  What's on your bucket list?