Friday, June 29, 2012

Cool Colors for a Warm Day

     The weather over the next few days here in New England is expected to be in the nineties, but you won't hear a word of complaint from me what with all the rain folks have been having in Florida and all the wildfires in Colorado. I'll take hot, humid, hazy New England.
     Here a few spots of cool color.

     In the same color family . . .

     Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of this rose, but it has been faithfully blooming in my garden for years .

     Emma is now six months old and a total joy.  She's  always trying to be "helpful" while I'm gardening,  making holes and digging up my newly planted flowers. I'd much prefer that she just  play  a supervisory role, but nevertheless, her company is always appreciated.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Legend in Concert

     I have been a Willie Nelson fan for many years and have always wanted to see him in live performance. A few years ago, I had tickets for a concert, but it was abruptly cancelled. Last night, I finally got to see him in person and what a concert it was!!! He performed at the South Shore Music Circus, which is a wonderfully intimate venue in Cohasset, MA, and thus a great place to see a show. I have to admit that at first I was a bit disappointed as Willie seemed to be more speaking the words than singing them, but as the music rolled on his voice became stronger and stronger. It was ninety straight minutes of pure music, one hit after another.

     Most people know Willie as a prolific songwriter and singer, but he is also an incredible guitarist. His fingers have not slowed down a lick as he coaxes mighty sweet music from his beat up old guitar. Kudos also go to his harmonica player who is masterful. My dear dad played the harmonica for fun, but nothing like this.  The harmonica was key in each and every song.

     Red Molly was the opening act, a trio of three lovely singers/musicians. If you haven't heard of them yet, trust me, you will soon. They are that good!!! Their sound was a blend of traditional country, bluegrass, western swing, and a touch of Allison Krauss. Each singer performed a solo, but it was in the blending of their voices in sweet harmony that created pure magic. You can check their tour schedule on their website.  They will be in Massachusetts again in November, and I hope I will be able to attend their performance.   

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Second Trip to the Groomer

     Emma made her second trip to the groomers yesterday. The first time six weeks ago she just got a trim, but yesterday I decided to have her get a real schnauzer cut. Though I love the scruffy puppy look, this look is even cuter. She was groomed by Cheryl at Pooch Paws in Hanover. I had taken Katie there for many years, and Cheryl had always groomed her beautifully.

      Isn't she adorable!!!

     Speaking of adorable, here is a peak at a newly hatched house finch surrounded by three, as of yet, unhatched eggs. I started out today by meeting friends for breakfast. Next, it was time for my flute lesson. My ever patient flute teacher showed me this wondrous scene on her balcony. She has a wrought iron planter that holds three large pots of flowers. Mr. and Mrs. Housefinch are using one as a nursery. This is the second time this year that this same plant has hosted a family. The balcony is high up and under cover, and they have selected the plant which is furthest back so it is also out of direct sunlight. Mr. and Mrs. Housefinch chose wisely when selecting this spot to build their nest.
     After my flute lesson, it was time for some Italian conversation at a local coffee shop. Usually there are four of us who meet to attempt to converse in what we hope is good Italian. :-) Still later, I quilted with friends. It was a very busy day. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Christening Gift

     This morning, family and friends gathered for the Christening of Desmond, the newest member of our family. All the babies who were brought to be baptized were adorable, but personally I think my cousin's little boy was the cutest of all. My gift to Desmond was this very vibrant "I Spy" quilt.

This quilt made me smile each time I worked on it.  Here's a close up view. Each block was a fussy cut 6.5 inches square, and each design appears twice in the quilt.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Doggie Play Date

     On Thursday, my friend Nancy brought her standard poodle Raeley  to meet Emma. 

We were both a bit concerned about how they would get along, but we needn't have worried as they had great fun dashing round the backyard. You would not believe how fast Raeley can run; it is really something to see. Of course, Emma couldn't possibly keep up with her new friend, but she tried her best to take shortcuts to head Raeley off around the gardens. When that didn't work, she would just sit, bark, and stare at her in amazement.

     Raeley has a wonderful disposition and patiently endured all of Emma's puppy nonsense for about an hour, but then she had clearly had had enough and her eyes were pleading with Nancy to take her home.  

     As you can see, Emma's coat has gotten quite long, so she will be spending some time at the groomer's this week. I like the scruffy puppy look, but she definitely needs a trim. 
     All in all, it has been one very busy week.  Besides the usual items on my schedule, I went to a  kindergarten graduation on Tuesday, a quilt presentation at Quilters Stash in North Attleboro on Thursday evening, a retirement party for a wonderful former colleague on Friday, and a workshop with Carol McLeod of Aunties Two at Heart in Hands in South Weymouth this afternoon. I had spent five hours working in my garden and almost totally forgot about it. Fortunately, I remembered and I was able to catch the second half of her presentation. If you have been reading my blog for a while, you may remember the tote bag I made last summer using yards and yards of clothesline covered with brightly colored batik fabric. Carol was the designer of that pattern, and she showed some new patterns for bags and table runners. I purchased two patterns and some other items, and now I just need to make time to work on them.

Monday, June 11, 2012

"Norman Rockwell: Beyond the Easel"

     This morning I went with friends to see the special exhibit, "Norman Rockwell: Beyond the Easel " at the Sandwich Heritage Museums and Gardens. Here's a photo of us snapped by a passing motorist as we were driving down to the Cape.  . . .  Not buying that? Okay, it was taken by a docent in the gallery of antique cars. You are allowed to climb into this old Ford.
     My favorite car was a shiny, black 1932 Auburn Boattail Speedster. Isn't it snazzy?

The original price in 1932 was $975. As a point of reference, the average annual income in 1932 was $1,141. The museum even has cars formerly owned by celebrities. There is one which was owned by the actor Gary Cooper and another by WW1 flying ace, Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker.

     Next it was on to the special Norman Rockwell exhibit. Many of the artist/illustrator's famous works are on display along with black and white photos and sketches which show the artist's process. It was fascinating. This definitely is an exhibit not to be missed!

     The grounds of the museum are beautifully landscaped, and there were still a few rhododendrons in bloom. It was a lovely way to spend a beautiful spring day.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

In My Garden This Week

     Here's a lovely bright spot of color blooming on my porch. For those who don't know, it is a mandevilla vine which will keep blooming right through to frost. Last year I had a white one, but this year I went back to pink. We had a few wet, dreary days, so nothing much got accomplished in my gardens this week.

The pathway along the side of the garage is a riot of color with snapdragons, stella d'oro daylilies, and blanket flowers.
     The mock orange bush is in full bloom.

     And last but not least, this rose campion gets the award for tenacity. This old fashion flower is said to grow best in "moist, fertile, well drained soil." H'mmm. . .  Someone forgot to tell this plant as it is growing in a two inch crack along the porch foundation.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

     Yesterday, I went to lunch at the Inn at Bay Pointe with a group of fellow teacher retirees. Upon leaving the restaurant, the skies opened up, and I made a mad dash to my car. This shower wasn't a good sign as I had plans for the evening. The company where my friend works had given out tickets to a Red Sox game, and so we were headed for Fenway Park. Not being sure of what the weather would be, I brought plastic bags to sit on, layers of outerwear, and a rain slicker. By the time we made it to the Kenmore station and started walking toward the park, the weather was downright balmy. It turned out to be a wonderful spring evening for enjoying a game.

     Clay Buchholz pitched a four hitter for his third career shut out. It was great fun to attend a game in person. For those readers not from this area, it may interest you to know that this grand old ballpark this year is one hundred years old. I celebrated by enjoying a delicious Fenway frank. :-) 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Dog's Purpose

     I recently finished W. Bruce Cameron's A Dog's Purpose. It was a truly wonderful read. If you have ever loved a dog, been loved by a dog, thought about getting a dog, or even casually wondered about the intense bond between dogs and their humans, then go ''fetch" this book and give it a try. It is not an ordinary dog story; this book will make you laugh and cry, and perhaps even cause you to contemplate the purpose of your own life.
     My Emma is now five months old, and the happiest puppy you would ever want to meet. Her purpose is clear; she makes every day. . . fun.