Monday, April 30, 2012

Two Lovely Quilts

     As I have mentioned previously, once a month I spend a weekend quilting with friends at a local hotel. It's perfect. We set up our sewing machines and come and go as we want.  It's a wonderful group of talented ladies, and it's always great fun. It's exciting to see what everyone has been working on. I had hoped to post three photos of some stunning quilts, but I goofed and I have only two to show you.
     Here's Judy's beautiful log cabin. She did all of the machine quilting herself.

     My friend Maribeth has been a really busy beaver having completed three magnificent quilts in the last few months. I posted two of her disappearing nine patches back when we went to the Cape. Here's another quilt that she has recently finished. I'm not sure which pattern this is, but I just love the colors.
          [Update from Maribeth: It's called "Southern Comfort", a pattern for 2 1/2" strips, by Cozy Quilt Designs.] 

     Now in case you're wondering what I've been working on, it's a "New York Beauty Floral" wallhanging. I'm nearly finished quilting it and after I add a few embellishments, I'll post a photo of it.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

She May Just Have Been Plotting

     Just look at this sweet face. Do you remember my posts at the beginning of April about my little escape artist? I had to purchase a different gate to keep her in the kitchen. Things had worked perfectly up  until this afternoon. You would have thought that the other gate which is held in place by my upright piano on one side and a heavy armchair on the other side would surely be able to hold her. You would be wrong.
     I went to lunch today with a group of my retired teacher friends. When I returned home, Emma and I went for a walk. She has a new harness which is working very well. Anyway, after the walk I decided to spend some time on my Italian homework. Emma was in the kitchen happily playing with her toys, and I was in the dining room. Suddenly I thought I heard the sound of her dog tags rattling coming from the living room. Impossible. When I went to investigate, there she was in the living room looking up at me. She had managed to wiggle through a space behind the chair that trust me was only a few inches wide. Okay, no problem, I went downstairs and got a two by four which I wedged behind the piano and the chair to fill this gap, and went back to my studies. A few minutes later, the same thing happened. Houdini had nothing on her. Now I have a wooden step stool blocking the other side of the gate where she was making her entrance. So far, so good. Will it hold her? Only time will tell.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Herring Are Back

     "Each spring, millions of river herring migrate into Massachusetts' coastal waters to begin their annual trek up dozens of our coastal streams and rivers. They are returning to the place of their birth to spawn and create a new generation of river herring." from A Guide to Viewing River Herring in Coastal Massachusetts
     It's hard to believe the journey that these determined fish make each year. These photos were taken in Weymouth where there are a number of fish ladders to help the herring reach their spawning site in Whitman's Pond. 

     What this still photo cannot convey is the sheer force of the water rushing over these ladders. My trigger finger wasn't fast enough to capture one of these travelers leaping up the ladder, but trust  me, it is truly impressive. I'll try again another day to see if I can do better.

    There is a small park in East Weymouth where you can watch the process. The photo at the top of this post shows some of the fish in the pool underneath another fish ladder there. The fish rest here before continuing on their journey. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Artist Rendering of Emma and Me


     On Tuesday, my cousin Kristin came for a visit with her two little girls. While we were at a local restaurant waiting for our lunch, Lucy (age 6) drew this very fine portrait of Emma and me on the back of a placemat. I think it totally captures both my likeness and personality.
     For comparison, here's a photo taken on March 18th, one day after Emma came into my life. Look how tiny she was.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

One Pooped Puppy

     It was four weeks ago today that I brought Emma home. She is an absolute joy. This was a big week for Emma as she received her third set of shots which means it is now safe for her to be around other dogs. It also means that we have started taking walks down the street. She is doing pretty well walking on a leash, and it's good to be back taking daily walks even if they are, for now, shorter walks than I was used to with Katie.
     This afternoon Emma attended her first session of puppy classes, and I'm happy to report that she did just fine.  She interacted well with the other dogs, and she also went around to all the other owners for a quick pat. She was a true social success.  Of course,  I'm admittedly biased, but she really caught on quickly to everything the instructor was having us do.
     This photo was taken later on the sunporch when we returned home. Emma was one pooped puppy.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Another Beautiful Spring Day

     In case you've been wondering, the new puppy gate is working. I love this photo taken this morning. I was busy in the next room, and Emma just stood there staring at me until I went over and scooped her up. Really, who could resist that face?
     Here is one of many clumps of daffodils that dot the edges of my backyard.

     All in all, this would have been a totally perfect day had I not had to have a root canal this afternoon. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Very Busy Day

     Yesterday was a very busy day. It started with an early session at the gym. Then shortly after noon, my cousin arrived with her two adorable little girls who were eager to meet Emma. I don't know who was more excited the girls or Emma as they dashed around the backyard and played with the toys they had brought for her.
     After a while we left Emma to nap and went for lunch.  A trip to the local playground followed and a good time was had by all. Emma was wide awake when we returned, and so there was more playtime. Emma has sharp little puppy teeth, and I had been a bit worried that it might be a problem. She was, however, on her very best behavior and enjoyed cuddling with the girls.
     Finally, last night I also attended a fun quilt guild meeting at the Heart in Hands Quilt Shop in Weymouth. After the busy day that I had had, I was afraid I might be yawning throughout the meeting, but thankfully that didn't happen.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Beautiful Spring Day

     Yesterday was such a beautiful day that in the afternoon I drove to Nantasket Beach with a friend and Emma. We walked along the boardwalk, but I carried Emma as she hasn't had all of her puppy shots yet. There were many people out enjoying the incredible weather. This photo of Fort Revere in Hull was taken with my new iPhone as were the other photos in today's posting.
     This morning a friend stopped by to meet Emma who loved the toy she was given.

     The other day I discussed my little escape artist. The plywood, chairs, etc. didn't work, so it was off to the pet store for a puppy gate. The minute I saw the dog on the box cover I smiled knowing it was a good sign.

     I am happy to report that so far the new puppy gate is working very well. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Escape Artist

     Emma is now thirteen weeks old. The last two weeks have been very busy. Someone asked if she was trained yet, and I'd say at least one of is as I take her out every two hours. 
     She is proving to be quite the escape artist. I have a puppy gate blocking the entrance to the living room. It is held in place by the piano and a chair. . . so far so good. I had another lower puppy gate blocking the entrance into the dining room, but that didn't last long. I tried a higher piece of plywood behind the puppy gate. . . no good. Next I tried the plywood with a chair against it on the other side and the toy box in front of it in the kitchen. Secure. . . not even close. I was in the living room the other day practicing my flute when I glanced down and saw her right beside me! She had moved the toy box which is a wooden crate aside, pushed against the plywood, and somehow wiggled through a ridiculously narrow opening. She repeated this maneuver a couple of times over the course of the next day or two. There are now two dining room chairs against the plywood. Will that hold her? I think so, but I'm not counting on it. :-)