Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Easter and Past

Celebrating Easter online is better than nothing. My church leaders made the sunrise service and regular one available on Facebook. The glorious music was there, too. The Flowering of the Cross is a tradition that I feared we would have to forego this year, but even that was made available. It is a wooden cross covered in chicken wire. We are invited to bring flowers from our yards to cover the cross. Several people came by to cover the cross in flowers.
Pastors Kat Kimmel and Brett Harris
Flowering of the Cross
Our amazing pianist, Zhaolei Xie, and four USM orchestra students, Alejandro Junco, Marlene Gentile, Cecilia Araujo, and Patricia Venucci lifted my soul. These are not only great musicians, but dear and treasured friends! 
Late in the afternoon two tornadoes ripped through South Mississippi only about 30 miles from me, leaving 11 dead in the state. This tragedy seemed another insult to already suffering residents. 
In spite of the rising death toll and weather damage, the temperature has been pleasant, and being outdoors can be beneficial to us physically as well as mentally.
 My amaryllis has opened all its blooms--seven total. When the storm was predicted, I covered it with a garbage can. The can was barely high enough, but it did its job. Here are pictures over several days as the blooms opened.

I thought all my irises I got from Ella Lucas were purple, so this soft yellow one was a surprise.

Along with making face masks for local hospitals and friends, I was involved in making straps for a newly developed mask, called The Hub Mask, by Dr Anna Wan and USM. Her team has made at least 1,600 masks in a few weeks (from initial concept to prototype to first product) that have been sent directly to health care workers on the front lines in Hattiesburg. The story of the creation of the Hub Mask can be found here. Several sewers from the community cut donated red t-shirt bottoms according to the specs needed.

I enjoy having a jigsaw puzzle on the table to work on for diversion. During this quarantine period, puzzles have become a mainstay for entertainment. But I am giving up on one--something I have never done before. It is a beautiful scene of Lake Kawaguchi and Mount Fuji, and I got a pretty good start but now have to admit defeat. Even in finished large sections, I can see a slight looseness and will swap two pieces and get a perfect fit. Finally, I cannot find anything that will fit--or find several pieces that will fit, only to have to remove later. I think it's time for me to yell out "calf rope," a term I grew up hearing in Texas.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

It's Palm Sunday

It's Palm Sunday, and I cannot recall ever not being able to attend worship services and see little children walk down the aisles waving palm branches. Our choir will not sing a moving Maundy Thursday service ending with "Christ We Do All Adore Thee" as the room is gradually darkened and the Christ candle is removed, leaving the room totally dark.
Next Sunday we will celebrate Easter by watching on computers and cell phones as our ministers and musicians remind us that the message that Christ Is Risen is still the hope of the world. Praise God.
I make the best of our shelter-in-place and physical distancing by sitting on my front porch, walking around my yard and over to the walking trail a quarter-mile away. Of course, my fabrics and machines are a source of enjoyment, especially as I have been able to supply masks to friends as well as participate in an innovative project by the polymer science department at USM which will benefit surgeons as hospitals are stretched to their limit. 

Here are some growing things I enjoyed today. Actually, from two days' walk:
Swiss Chard
First, my Swiss chard growing and harvested. in my yard there are tiny hostas pushing up; milkweed blooming, wisteria sending out long stems trying to reach the holly tree. The amaryllis is swelling. 

I cut some, hoping to encourage more growth




Yellow milkweed

Red milkweed

Wisteria bush after blooming
First, before heading out, I must have hand wipes in my pocket. No telling what I might want to pick up.

 Three people were catching some sun. Their two beautiful dogs really wanted to be loose from their leashes.
The next day the city had put yellow tapes around the gazebos to indicate people could not gather. Walking on the trail is still permitted.

It is okay to sit but not congregate
   On the second day, there were yellow tapes around the gazebos to discourage people from gathering in the park. Walking on the trail is permitted during our Shelter-in-Place orders from the city and state.
 Back at home, the amaryllis continues should be open in another day.

The little orange kitten has not been at the park again, making me think he surely lives at the house just behind the woods adjoining the trail. 🐈🐈🐈

Friday, April 3, 2020

On My Walks (with correction)

Another update on the little orange cat.  He hasn't been on the trail the last two days, but I left food just in case. I hope he Iives at the house behind the woods.
It is so refreshing to get outside to enjoy some fresh air. There was an unusual bug on my porch railing. I called Christy and she identified him as a Click Bug or Click Beetle. If he gets on his back he clicks to help him turn over.What interesting pink and black spots he had, and big black eyes.

Oooops! Christy called me back saying this guy is NOT a Click Bug, but a Pine Borer Beetle. Rats! My house is surrounded by a couple of dozen giant pine trees, and this guy is the enemy, even if he is attractive. This is the first time I have seen one, and I moved into this house in 2004.

I love to notice how different the trunks of the crape myrtles are--from two or three very large ones to many small. This snowball bush is adding more flower clusters. The tight beginning green ones are as beautiful as the open white ones.

 Yesterday there was a couple having a picnic on a blanket on the grass, and as I got closer I saw they each had a canvas to paint on. It was pleasant to see them enjoying an old-fashioned day in the park, almost like they were in a painting!

After no makeup or earrings for a couple of weeks someone mentioned we need to wear earrings so the holes won't close up. Good idea and good reason to wear the Native American handmade sterling silver ones I bought on my trip to Arizona--the tag says: "Ancient Twig Deer. Many years ago a 4,000-year-old split-twig deer talisman was found in a nearly inaccessible cave in the Grand Canyon. These people lived in hard times and undoubtedly felt compelled to pray to their gods, by creating these kinds of figurines and hoping this would help them provide food for themselves and their families. Handmade by Jimmy Jensen"

I had a laugh at my cats last night. I went to the computer room and found both chairs occupied, with Tarbaby walking around looking unhappy. Then he jumped up on the table and protested loudly to me as if to say, "Where am I supposed to sit?" After we moved them off, he got in his favorite place--on my shoulder.

It is time for Eric to add blue and purple streaks to my hair and cut it. But with the quarantine in place since March 15, this will have to be one of those things to not worry about. I have a little blue left but it doesn't show in this picture. I wish my gray would turn as beautifully white as my mom's but it hasn't yet.
  I finished a small thread-painted flower and mounted it on a 12" gallery-wrapped canvas. I like this presentation. I am working on another similar one and plan to use the same type of mounting.