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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Miss Emma Gets Groomed


     I know I'm more than a bit prejudiced and I've said this before, but honestly isn't Emma just gosh darn cute? She has been one, busy little dog. Yesterday, my cousin and her two beautiful, little girls came for a fun visit. Both Emma and I love when they come for "Ladies Lunch." We all played in the backyard, then went to lunch, spent time at the local park, and then came back for more playtime with Emma. It also meant that I got some lovely new artwork for my refrigerator.


     Today, Emma spent the afternoon at Pooch Paws in Hanover where groomer Cheryl Purcell always does a beautiful job.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Butler

     Yesterday afternoon I went with a friend to see the new Lee Daniel's film, The Butler. The movie traces the history of the Civil Rights Movement and it's impact, in particular, as seen on the life of one family. As the title suggests, the father is a butler who spent many years working at The White House. The acting was superb, and this is definitely a film well worth seeing. I hope that young people will go to see this movie to understand and appreciate the long struggle for Civil Rights.
     The movie ends with the election of Barack Obama. It doesn't seem possible that this very week marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech in which he offered his vision for racial harmony in this country.
     Go see this film. My rating . . . B+

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Dancing Queens Do Lunch


     Seven members of the Dancing Queens had lunch at the Scarlet Oak Tavern in Hingham, MA. It's always fun when we get together, and so it was  today as we also celebrated the birthday of one of our group. Honestly, would you believe that the birthday girl (second from left) turned _ _ last week? She makes turning _ _ look good! True friends would never reveal another friend's age. :-)
     My mom always said that a woman who would tell her age would tell anything. It wasn't until she reached 90 that she would proudly admit to her real age.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Vince Gill in Concert in Cohasset


     I went with friends last night to see Vince Gill in concert at the South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset. It was two solid hours of mighty fine music. Lordy, that man sure can play the guitar! Speaking of guitarists, playing with him was Paul Franklin, a master steel guitarist. They have recently released an album Bakersfield  which pays homage to the Bakersfield sound of the 60s and 70s made popular by Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. It was nice to hear that steel guitar. The enthusiastic audience loved every moment of this concert.
     On Thursday, I had gone with a friend to the Lowell Quilt Festival. The quilts on display were wonderful including one by our friend Liz. While some people only like the traditional style of quilt making, I am excited to see the various forms quilting is taking today. There was a special exhibit of contemporary quilts by members of the Boston Modern Quilt Group. They also had on display three quilts which had been made for victims of the Marathon bombing tragedy. They receive 2,000 donated blocks (I made four), and they are still busy putting the quilts together. It was and is a wonderful display of support for those affected by this tragedy.
     Finally, something really cool happened this morning. I was out picking some cherry tomatoes from the pots on the patio when a hummingbird swooped in. I remained very still while it hovered looking me straight in the eye. Was he attracted to my red hair? There was a pot of red salvia in front of the pots, but he was definitely flying around me. I have a hummingbird feeder in my garden, but I have never been able to get such a close look until this morning. What a very special magic moment!
   

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Fence Sitters



     I know what some of you are thinking . . . enough already with the turkey photos, but honestly I couldn't resist adding these two. This morning I had just let Emma out into the yard for a few minutes while I finished getting ready to head down to the Cape with a friend. I heard Emma barking (not an unusual occurrence as my neighbors will attest), but this was a somewhat different kind of bark. It wasn't the frenzied bark when she spots a squirrel or the greeting bark she gives when someone walks by; this was different. Going to investigate, I saw Emma in the middle of the yard barking at the turkey family that was perched along the top of the chain link fence which runs along the back of my property. She wasn't moving toward them, just barking and observing. Quickly, I brought her inside, grabbed my camera,  and dashed back out. Sure enough, I had the wrong lens and had to go back for a longer zoom. "Don't move," I pleaded with them, and they didn't. When I dashed back outside, they were still in position. I tried explaining that if they would all just turn around and face me and perhaps move down a bit either into the shade or the sunlight that it would make for a better family portrait. Alas, my suggestion went unheeded. They were, however, quite content to let me approach closer and closer.


     There is a good size flock of turkeys that prowls a few streets over from me. I don't know if this little family will be the start of a flock in my area. Now, while they're young it's still cute; I'm not sure how I'll feel when they become full size.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Relax

   


     I made this small wallhanging on Saturday.  The pattern was from the Spring/Summer 2011 issue of Quilting Celebrations. 
     After going to church and doing a few errands, I decided to just RELAX and enjoy my Sunday afternoon. I spent the entire afternoon and evening on my sunporch determined to finish Giulia Baymen's Luce dei meo occhi. This novel, Light of My Eyes, is written in Italian, and I have been studying the language for a few years. The story was becoming more and more interesting, so I decided to just stick with it to see how it would end. I had managed to read her first novel, Primo di dire addio. Now, don't get the wrong idea;  I am so very, very far from being fluent in Italian, but I do enjoy the challenge of reading in another language.
     The Bayberry Quilt Guild had its annual show in Harwich, and my friend Edith and I drove down on Thursday to view all of the lovely work. There were quite a few venders, and I was able to purchase this basket along with a few fat quarters and a pattern.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Where Turkeys Roost


      Well, this morning Mrs. Tom Turkey was back strolling around my backyard. Her four little ones were in the backyard next door. One wiggled its way under the fence, but the other three were too big to manage that trick. They appeared quite agitated running back and forth along the fence trying to join their mother. Suddenly, one by one they took a running start, flapped their wings, and sailed over the fence. It happened too quickly for me to take a photo. Mrs. Tom didn't mind me snapping a few photos of her.


Once reunited the family headed to my other neighbor's yard where they spent some time scratching around under the bird feeder. That was the last I saw of them until this evening. There is a patch of woods behind my yard. I was sitting on my porch when out of the corner of my eye, I saw Mrs. Tom fly high up into one of the trees. The young ones followed, but they did so in stages, flying from one branch to another. Eventually, they all settled on one branch together. There wasn't much available light, but after a little computer magic, this is what I saw. The mother had her wings spread wide to shelter two little ones on each side. It was really quite remarkable. (You may always click on any photo to see a larger version; take a closer look at this one. It will make you smile.)


     I enjoy seeing the turkeys, but I am not nearly as enthusiastic as Benjamin Franklin was when he declared that the wild turkey should be named our national bird. The majestic bald eagle was chosen instead. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Emma, My Little Entomologist


     It's been awhile since I have devoted a post to Emma, my faithful companion and part-time entomologist. When she's not patrolling the yard and barking at squirrels, she seems to have a very real fascination with bugs of all kind.


I love how she assumes this position for further study of the little critters.



It actually comes in handy when an uninvited ant or earwig makes its way into the sunporch; Emma spots them every time.


Speaking of insects,  I spotted this little beauty the other day in my garden. I love the coloration. Because of its petite size I think it belongs to the damselflies family. Damselflies and dragonflies are elusive, swift little creatures and as such are sometimes difficult to photograph. Did you know that according to scientists who have examined fossil records, dragonflies have remained basically unchanged for 250 million years!!!