Monday, May 13, 2019

Church 60th Anniversary

My church celebrated its 60th anniversary the first weekend in May 2019 with a special Back Door Coffeehouse featuring many of our international orchestra friends and some exciting music, then a fun day with activities and lunch, then a beautiful worship service and lunch. I have been a member at University Baptist since 1975 and have enjoyed being part of the choir under great directors.
One of the very special things about this service was the altar flowers prepared by Gena Lott. In addition to the live flowers, she had placed photographs on cards on long stems along with a sign saying "Surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses." This was a beautiful reminder and tribute to those saints who had been a vital part of the church and who had gone on before. Roy's picture is the one on the far right. There were the Kelleys, the Bullocks, the Dales, the Popes, John Green, Virginia Van Wart, Tom Thoms, Jim Bishop, the Gandys, the Garners, Jane Rey, and many, many more. . . . Precious memories!

These musicians are great entertainers! They played music from Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, and Cuba. Then on Sunday a string quartet added to the worship music.

To bring some color and warmth to our Fellowship Hall, I was asked to display some of my art quilts. Gena Lott and her committee decorated the tables beautifully, and it was my pleasure to share the quilts to help brighten the room.

East Wall--In the Beginning, Travel Poster, Mississippi Orange Peel

West Wall--Fish Eyes, Crayon Challenge, High Rise

High Rise, 40" x 40"

Crayon Challenge, 52" x 62"

Fish Eyes, 40" x 40"

Mississippi Orange Peel, 48" x 48"

Travel Poster, 48" x 67"

In the Beginning, 35" x 41"

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

And Then April Flew By

April could be my favorite month. Well, at least this year it is. It has been filled with pleasant low-key creativity (meaning without deadlines--self-imposed and otherwise). The weather has been ideal for porch sitting. There is sadness and pain in contemplating the hatred and prejudice and violence happening, so some days the porch is a welcome respite from TV.  Lent and Easter came again to remind us of God's love. I had Eric add some purple to the blue. I called it my Easter Basket hair.

 The porch can be a great place to watch the rain even when there has been too much.

Some of my plants survived winter and are thriving, and I have added a few new ones. Seeing the buds coming on the hydrangea (that has leafed out after the dead-looking stalks) excites me every day. Hostas push up through the mulch, and parsley is looking like an advertisement for a seed catalog.

Quilting activities were varied. There was a Ghost Quilted Blue Flower. 
 I have been concerned about using so many plastic bags at the grocery store so I made a few mesh ones to try. The trick will be to remember to take them to the store. Fruits/veggies can be washed and stored in the bags.
 A couple of Interleave Xs.
These are color block/stitch studies.

And a few little zipper bags.

Many talented musicians at USM are also friends at my church. They have recitals and performances that are open to the public. Spring is a busy time for them (and for me to hear them). This picture is at the end of the Strings Chamber Music Competition. I think "Where else could one hear such fine music??!!"  Hattiesburg and USM are fortunate to have them.
My cats are five years old now and entertain me with their presence every day. Tarbaby loves to perch behind me on my office chair (covered with pillowcase to protect from his claws).
Elizabeth is my constant sewing companion and finds a good sleeping place wherever I am.
Rahrah most often curls up in a small plastic basket lined with fabric. It's a tight fit but she loves it that way. I give her new fabric occasionally.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Spring is here

Everything is so green now! The trees are covered in leaves; azaleas are blooming in many yards, and the temperature is perfect for sitting out on porches and patios. Here is the view from my front porch. I even spent several days power washing the paving stones along the front. I may be the only one who sees them, because everyone except the mail carrier and UPS guy use my back driveway. But for springtime it seemed like a neat thing to do.

In my backyard a Lady Banksia rose bush is getting established and I am training it to run along the fence.

We don't have Texas bluebonnets, but this little ground cover, Ajuga, is making a nice substitute.
 My pansy bed was planted in November and I have enjoyed blooms ever since. There is a huge parsley plant (enlarge to see) and lots of oregano; I added basil and a rosemary plant. My "Rosemary Christmas Tree" didn't survive the winter.  You can see it here if you want to look back.
The oxalis (fighting for space with oregano) looks like large clover that I want to pull like weeds. But then it has these lovely little pink blooms that make me realize I shouldn't think of it as a weed after all.
The hostas die down and are covered in pine straw for protection over the winter. It is exciting to see them beginning to fight their way through the straw.
I have only one houseplant--a Christmas cactus. It lives on a table by an east window all year. Even though it is supposed to get a certain amount of dark in order for it to bloom, it forgave me for this neglect and produced a slow but constant blooming period from November through March. Here it is at the end of March with perhaps its last three blooms.
Two blog posts this month! There is hope I will do better next month.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Marching through March

Or maybe I should say Zooming through March! Winter officially ended after only two below freezing nights to worry about protecting the orange tree and geranium. The geranium seems to love winter and is covered in blooms.
Geranium (with pine pollen on leaves)
My youngest granddaughter got married in Texas, and Linda and I had a lovely trip over to see all those Texas folks. We were a couple of weeks too early for bluebonnets, so I will enjoy pictures.

Mark and Melody Ginn with all six daughters and families
Nephews almost stole the show with their cuteness
I've been playing with fabric-wrapped cord bowls; the wrapping takes more time than sewing, but this was a good diversion for the trip. Elizabeth had to try this one on for size.

My life is usually pretty uneventful, but this week had some unexpected excitement. About midnight one night I was getting up from the computer and was startled to see a SNAKE coming out of the wheel of the other chair in the room. He wasn't actually coming out--but about 24" of him was sticking out of the slit in the wheel.
Diamond black king snake

 Another part of him (containing the tail and some skin) was on the floor nearby. I have no idea how he got there and particularly how he was so tightly bound inside the wheel. What to do at midnight? Who could I call to come? The chair would not roll with the snake tangled up inside one of the wheels. He did not have a triangular-shaped head (indicating a poisonous snake), and I thought he was a king snake, which is known to be a good snake which eats bad ones. My solution was to get a thick wad of paper towels and grab him and pull him out--easier said than done, but finally done and stuffed into a box and tossed into the garage. The next morning I saw that he had survived long enough to try to get out of the box, but the pulling and stretching had done too much damage for him to survive.

Enough excitement for one night.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Finishing Up Some Things

Isn't it satisfying to finish something! To claim that you have finished seems to imply that you faced challenges and overcame difficulties. Sometimes it just means that you showed up and persevered.
Lately I have finished a couple more Interleave quilt designs, a jigsaw puzzle, and some yard tasks.
Moon Over the Mountain Interleave

Interleave #4-Buildings
It helps to iron after adding each strip, and this miniature iron was very handy
 by the sewing machine
Tarbaby demanding attention
Azaleas are starting to bloom. We'll hope for no more frost. The loropetalum bush is about to be covered in color.
Early azaleas

 On some rainy days, a puzzle was entertaining; however, puzzles can be so addicting that a few spare minutes would often lead to hours into the night. And I had to discourage cats from napping on it.
The finished puzzle

Rahrah staying out of the way