Monday, August 27, 2012

Martina McBride Concert

     Last night I attended the Martina McBride Concert at the South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset, MA, with my friend Edith. It was without doubt one of the best concerts that I have ever attended. The show opened with a thirty minute set by one of her back up singers, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, and after a thirty minute intermission, Martina took the stage. She then proceeded to sing for a full, powerful ninety minutes. What a glorious, soaring voice she has! She sang all of her hits and a few by other artists. Her rendition of "At Last" was breathtakingly beautiful. Another highlight was an audience sing along of the Roger Miller classic "Trailers for Sale or Rent." She was absolutely lovely with the audience, posing for a photo with a gentleman who said this was the twenty-fifth time he had seen her in concert and leading the audience in a rendition of "Happy Birthday" for another audience member. Later in the show, she brought on stage a young woman named Becky who had been holding up a sign throughout the concert asking if she could sing with Martina.  The young woman appeared totally at ease being on stage and had a really good voice. I'm sure it was a moment that she will never forget.
     Martina spoke of how much she had enjoyed performing at the Music Circus last year, and how it had prompted her to have her people book her in similar, more intimate venues for this year's concert tour. While she usually plays in huge arena, she said it was wonderful being able to look out and see all the faces in the audience. 
     This was the last concert of the season for which I had tickets. In July, I had attended the Willie Nelson concert. How lucky we are on the South Shore to be able to see such superstars in our own backyard. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pretty Puppy Pose

    It's difficult sometimes to get a good photo of my little energizer bunny, but this afternoon I was able to grab this pretty puppy pose with my iPhone. Emma will be eight months old at the end of this month. You have to admit that she's pretty darn cute. Don't you just love her eyebrows!
     Soon afterwards, it was time to head to our fifth session of intermediate puppy school, and she did quite well. The best part of the lesson was learning how to have the puppy wait at the door, so you can exit first. Sometimes Little Miss Emma has been known to bolt out the door. The yard is all fenced in, and there are all those pesky squirrels to chase and bugs to find, so she's always in a hurry. At the class, the puppy had to sit and a "wait" hand signal was given; then after the owner stepped out the door, the puppy was allowed to follow on command. Emma seemed to pick that up fairly easily at class, but the real test would come when we returned home. Well, it worked at home, too! It's  definitely a very important lesson to keep practicing. Training a puppy sure does take a lot of effort, patience, and practice, but it is all worthy it.

Friday, August 17, 2012

World Quilt Show 2012 - Manchester, NH

     Today my friend Donna and I went to the World Quilt Show 2012 in Manchester, NH. Usually, there are many amazing quilts on display, and while there were indeed some stunning quilts, not as many as usual had the WOW factor. The venders, however, were very good. As you can see, I came home with just a wee bit of fabric. :-) In the pile are some lush, beautiful batiks, a couple of novelty prints, and some striped fabric, plus a package of silk sheets upon which you can print photos. 

      On Thursday, I had spent a fun day with my cousin and her family who are vacationing in Sandwich on Cape Cod. It was an absolutely perfect beach day, and a good time was had by all. 
     Finally, an update on the Old World Santas quilt that I have been slowly machine quilting.  Only four of the twenty-four blocks remain to be quilted. Then it's on to the borders and the binding. I can't wait for it to be quilted, so I can add some button and bead embellishments. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ronan Tynan and the Celtic Tenors

     Friday night about 6:00 a deluge of rain hit the South Shore. Reports indicate that my town received close to three inches in just one hour. Ordinarily, while very unusual, this wouldn't pose too serious a problem, but a friend and I had tickets to see Ronan Tynan and the Celtic Tenors at the South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset that evening, and many roads were impassable. We detoured around flooded streets, and fortunately, by 7:15 the rain had let up. We arrived with time to spare.

       My mom had been a big fan of the Irish Tenors, and indeed, she would watch their PBS programs whenever they were on whether she had seen the show before or not, and of course, we had their CD. How she would have loved Friday night's concert! Ronan entered without fanfare and just began singing with his big, booming, magnificent voice. Wow! What an incredible voice this man has!

     After an intermission, the Celtic Tenors took the stage. These three gentlemen from 
Ireland have been performing together for twelve years, and their harmonies were truly impressive. They all had fine voices, and they were funny, personable, and very talented. Having said that, I wish Ronan Tynan had sung on through the night. Don't ever miss an opportunity to see Ronan Tynan in concert.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cool Toy for Emma

      I've found just the perfect toy for Emma on a hot day, an ice cube. She loves them; batting one back and forth, pouncing on it, licking it, and in general just having a ball with it. Here she is studying the slippery, cool delight.

     I love this pose. It's the same one I see in the backyard when she is intently studying insects in the grass. My little entomologist!
     In case you were wondering where Emma was while I was on my trip to Maine, she was staying with a friend and her family. Thank you, Auntie Anne Marie and Uncle Bruce; I'm so glad Emma was a good houseguest. :-)
     Speaking of toys, here she is tonight with one of her very favorites. It's a cube with openings on all side. Inside are four, soft colored balls with squeakers. Actually, this toy was originally a Christmas gift from my cousin Kristin for my previous much loved dog Katie when she was just about Emma's age. Katie loved this toy. I think it was called an 'intelligence cube' based on how fast the dog was able to remove the balls. Katie was a whiz at it and so is Emma. Emma has the run of the kitchen and the screen porch during the day, but at night she gets to come into the living room for a while where this toy is kept. It's the first thing she runs to play with.

     The squeakers are fainter than they used to be, but this toy still has years of fun left in it. :-)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Quilt Shops, Lighthouses, and Lobsters - Part 4

     Here are just a few more glimpse of the beauty of the Maine coast.

     This pretty lighthouse below is on Southport Island. Hendrick Head Light is not open to the public, but you can view it from the tiny beach near it.

     I did manage to get a few sunset scenes. This was taken from the tiny Fisherman's Memorial Park across from the Catholic church in Boothbay Harbor.

And, of course, no Maine post would be complete without another taste of lobster.

This time I even indulged in the homemade blueberry pie.

Honestly, does it get any better than that????

   We stopped at two more wonderful quilt shops on the drive home to Massachusetts. The first was Mariner's Compass Quilt Shop in Bath, ME. There I saw a beautiful machine appliqué quilt on display. It was in the style of an Hawaiian appliqué. Yes, I left the store after purchasing the book and the fabric for the borders. It was a very cool multi-colored batik border fabric. I guess I'll just add this project to my growing pile. I think I'm going to do the blocks with hand appliqué. It will be a good take along project.

   Next it was on to Knight's Quilt Shop which is on U.S. Rte.1 in Cape Nedick, ME. Here I purchased a few more batiks and some great sports-related fat quarters to use in eye spy quilts. Since we were there, we headed over to Nubble Light, another lovely lighthouse. In December, they put up holiday lights. I'm going to put a December visit to this spot on my to-do list.

    Soon after this was taken, the rain or should I say a deluge began, so after a quick bite to eat (fried clams this time :) we headed for home. It was slow going due to the rain, but eventually as we approached Boston, the rains stopped. Unfortunately, so did the traffic. It was bumper to bumper. The bright side . . . I was able to shoot  this picture of Old Ironsides (U.S.S.Constitution) peeking over the buildings from the top of the Tobin Bridge where nothing was moving. I didn't really care though as Laurel and I had had a wonderful time on our mini quilt shop, lighthouse, and lobster getaway.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Quilt Shops, Lighthouses, and Lobster - Part 3

     Late Monday afternoon we drove out to Pemaquid Point.  I scampered carefully down on the rocks to get these images.

    It had rained the night before, so there were a few large puddles which created these classic reflections. Although the  slight breeze prevented a perfectly smooth mirror surface, I like them anyway.

   Tuesday morning, we visited the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, a truly beautiful spot.

   One more Maine post tomorrow . . . 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Quilt Shops, Lobsters, and Lighthouses - Part 2

     Monday dawned clear and bright, so off we went on a whale watch on the Pink Lady II.

We passed Burnt Island Light at the entrance of the harbor.

    We also passed the Cuckolds.

     The weather was absolutely wonderful, a bit cool and very breezy sitting in the bow of the boat. Unfortunately, our whale spotting wasn't too successful. We did see one huge whale which barely came to the surface.

     The marine biologist on board said this was about seventy-five feet long. We also saw a whale's  footprint. What's a whale's footprint? It's the mark a whale makes as it submerges. Sailor in olden days mistakenly thought it was an oil slick from the whale. I'm not sure you can see it well in this

photo, but it was interesting to see.

     Next it was time for lunch, lobster, of course, and a visit to two quilt shops (Maine-ly Sewing and Alewives Fabrics in Nobleboro which is near Damiscotta. 

Still later, we headed to Pemaquid Point. I'll post photos from there tomorrow.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Quilt Shops, Lobsters, and Lighthouses

     I returned home yesterday from a relaxing few days in the Boothbay Harbor region with my friend Laurel. We visited quilt shops, had our fill of lobster, went on a whale watch, visited the Maine Botanical Gardens, and drove out to Pemaquid Point. Over the next few days I will share photos from this mini getaway.
     When we arrived at the Brown's Wharf Inn on Sunday afternoon, the welcoming committee was there.

     I may be gullible, but I think everyone was happy to see us.

     Brown's Wharf Inn is a wonderful place with an awesome view. There are many other motels in Boothbay Harbor, but they are all seem to be a bit crowded in. Brown's is further up, but still within walking distance of the footbridge which leads into town, and it has a fine restaurant right there.

There are beautiful window boxes on all the balconies and other planters like this as well.

Then it was  . . . 

Yummmmmmmmmmm! More tomorrow . . .