Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It's Raining Cats and Dogs (Patagonia, AZ)

Gosh, can you believe this month is almost over?  We have certainly had some crazy weather for winter.  One day we are bundle up against freezing temperatures and the next day, we are wearing t-shirts trying to stay cool.  For the last two days, we had rain with a dusting of snow this morning.  Well, all I can say is this - the weather knows how to keep us on our toes!

Before the rain started, the deer and birds were enjoying the sunny afternoons.  Doesn't this look relaxing?  A little nap in the sunshine....
Some time spent down at the creek for a little snack.... 
And one Gila Woodpecker playing peek-a-boo with me.  Ha!  Gotcha! 

Wool - the series by Hugh Howey
I finished the last three of the Wool series.  I loved all five short stories.  I decided to wait until I finished the last three to tell you about the rest of the Wool series.  You can get the whole book  on Amazon or buy one series at a time.
Wool 3 - Casting Off
Wool3 The Casting Off
Each series revealed a little more about this underground community living in a silo.  How did they get there?   Who built the silo?  Were they the last humans on earth?  Could they survive outside?

Can you imagine never experiencing the warmth of the sun on your face or wind messing up your hair or to watch snowflakes floating to the ground.  Imagine never smelling a rose, listening to a bird's song or grass tickling your bare toes.  It seems a little depressing and yet life in the Silo goes on because they don't know what they are missing.  Their community in the silo is strong only because they are kept in the dark, but that might be a mistake.  People are naturally inquisitive and the government is naturally secretive.   To keep their secrets, the guilty are sentenced to "the cleaning" or being cast off.
Wool 4 - The Unraveling
Wool4 The Unraveling
The ones with power start abusing the trust empowered to them by underestimating how well people will follow without questions causing an unraveling of their structured society.  Once people start to discover the dark secrets that have held this community together, it could be the beginning of their end.
Wool 5 - The Stranded
Wool5 The Stranded
I won't say anything about the Wool5 because I will spoil some of the surprises in the first four.  Quick note:  there is swearing, but no sex.
These are the links to my first reviews:  Wool and Wool 2.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Tuesday Treasury
Well, it has been raining cats and dogs.  So many cute critters to pick from in Etsy!  So here's just a few.....

Happy Trails!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Red Sky in The Morning (Patagonia, AZ)

On Wednesday, this Preserve hosted a group of Conservancy workers.  They were here for two days to help map our old cottonwoods.  The weather was co-operating with low 70s during the day.  Even the nights were nice, but I was really enjoying the warm sunny afternoons that made me forget all about the recent freeze.  On their first evening, we were invited to join them around the campfire.  It was nice to stare into the flames, soak up the heat, and listen to the chatter around us.

We woke up the next morning to a pink sky which had me wondering if our beautiful sunny weather was leaving us again.  It did, but the dark clouds and rain did hold off long enough for the field work to be finished.

Of course, by the time I took the photo most of the pink was gone.
Thursday Morning's Sunrise
So, we are getting more rain today and not too many visitors on this quiet Saturday.  Even the birds and critters are feeling a little lazy today.  I went for a walk and sighted only two deer with a few birds.  No pictures from this walk.

We have less than a month left here and I am ready to start traveling again.  This has been fun and definitely a lot quieter than any campground, but not as great as our first winter here with so many different critters to see.  Well, I have at least three weeks left.  Maybe, I'll see some Coatimundi before we leave here...fingers are crossed!

The following photos were taken earlier this week...

There was one Bridle Titmouse letting Dan know he was being too slow on filling the feeders this week.  The little guy was hanging from a branch above his head and chattering up a storm - "hurry up! hurry up!
Happy Trails!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Not So Wordless Wednesday (Patagonia, AZ)

Surprise!  I'm actually going to do a Wordless Wednesday....Enjoy!

Northern Cardinal
Red-tailed Hawks

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Happy Trails!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Warm Weather and Feathered Friends (Patagonia, AZ)

The weather warmed up immensely and business has picked.  I guess everyone is tired of being cooped up.  I know the sunshine feels very good right now.  Since we are a little busy on this warm Sunday, I plan to keep this post short.

Here's a few photos of some of the birds and one deer I have seen recently.

With the weather warming up, we are seeing more bucks hanging around the does.  The bucks are very shy when it comes to people.  I find it funny that the males run off, but the females will stand their ground and stamp their hooves as a warning.
I dare you to come down this trail...
On The Cutting Board
I finished the border with more stars to Cuddly Critters quilt...actually the name in the magazine is Starbear Friends, but I like Cuddly Critters better.  This green border has a lot of different colors in it.  Almost any color scheme will work with this border.
And I started embroidering the faces.  Of course, I had to start with the kitty!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cuddly Critters (Patagonia, AZ)

Recently, I spent some time going through the last couple of months of photos and realized that I had not shared some of my most prized bird shots for this winter...so far. 

This Gray Flycatcher has been spending quite a bit of time in the wetland area. I do believe he is posing for me.
Gray Flycatcher
This little guy was a big surprise for me.  I had been watching another bird along the creek when I saw a flash of yellow go by me.  He landed on a limb just a little too far away, but I managed to get one decent photo of him.  I never did see his rump for the yellow marking, but none of the other birds fit his description.
Yellow-rumped Warbler?
I spent most of last winter chasing Green-Tailed Towhees.  They are not easy to photograph since they spend most of their time hidden in bushes and thickets.  I would see flashes of them in the underbrush, but I never got a clear shot of one. 
Green-Tailed Towhee
I could not believe my luck when I came across this little guy busy eating out in the open on the trail.  I was even more surprised at how close I was able to get to him.  He must have been very hungry or he was use to humans being around him.
you looking at me?

On The Cutting Board
I have been looking at this one baby quilt (cover) since I bought this Quiltmaker's All-Time Favorites magazine in Spring 2001.  It is so cute with four little critters hugging a star.  There is a cat, a dog, a bear, and a raccoon.  I can't stand to just look at it anymore.....I have to make it!  

It has been a long time since my last traditional quilt.  My star's points are far from perfect, but it is coming out a lot better than I had hoped.  I have one more star border to add and then I need to gather some browns to applique the cuddly critters.  Gotta go...the quilt bug is alive and well!
Happy Quilting!

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Day At the Movies (Patagonia, AZ)

When it is just too cold to go outside, I like to curl up under my quilt hoop with a cup of hot tea and watch movies....when I'm not working, of course.

Thanks to a major cold snap of freezing temperatures in the low teens, the Preserve has been very quiet.  An excellent time to catch up on a few new releases.  I have three new favorites.  Which means I will enjoy watching them again and again.
Hugo PosterHugo
Have you seen the movie "Hugo"?  I know I am way behind with seeing this movie.  I do remember seeing the trailers and thinking another time-travel or fantasy-based movie with too many special effects.  I'm happy to say it is neither.  It was a mystery, an adventure, and a history lesson.  All done in a brilliant fast-paced setting of the 1930's filmmaking style.  I actually sat and watched the whole movie without sewing.  Very unusual for me.  I have watched it twice in less than two months.
Still of Chloë Grace Moretz and Asa Butterfield in Hugo
Hugo, an orphan lives inside the Paris train station's walls with only an Automaton for company while keeping all the station's clocks on time.  The Automaton was the only thing left by Hugo's father.  He is convinced the old broken-down robot holds a message from his father.  Hugo spends most of his time keeping out of the Station Inspector and his dog's sight while scrounging around for parts and food which makes for some funny chases through the station.  That is just one part of the story.
Still of Chloë Grace Moretz and Asa Butterfield with Automaton in Hugo
Automaton robot
The big surprise was getting a history lesson about one of the first film makers.  I have seen a clip of the silent film with a rocket landing in the eye of the moon, but no movie or show has ever explained where this film came from or who made it.

So, the other part of this movie is about a French filmmaker Georges Méliès and what became of him after his life work in films went bankrupt. I found I was very interested in learning how the first films were made and about Georges Méliès.

1902 French silent film "A Trip to the Moon" Georges Méliès

I don't want to spend too much more of your time talking about movies, so I'll just mention the other two that I really enjoyed.

Another feel-good movie by Rob Reiner.  Morgan Freeman has lost his inspiration to write when his nephew decides his uncle needs a change of view and moves him to Belle Isle.
Magic of Belle Isle
They can't afford to live on their retirement pay.  Younger family members want them in homes or don't know what to do with them at all.  An excellent movie about retired Britons looking to start a new life in India with a limited budget only to find their new home has seen better days.   They soon find they have many new challenges and are far from being worthless.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Okay!  Another cold day, so I'm off to get some quilting done and watch some more movies.
Happy Quilting!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Found Cat Needs a Good Home (Patagonia, AZ)

We found her a new home.
Found cat on Blue Haven Road, Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Nature Conservancy.  Friendly lap-warming cat with nice demeanor.  I wish we could keep this one, but 4 cats in a motorhome is a little crowded.   About an hours drive south on hwy 82 from Tucson.  A half hour north of Nogales.  If you are interested, please call our office 520-394-2400

Friday, January 11, 2013

Just Imagine (Patagonia, AZ)

I love seeing people's imagination become a reality.  Whether it is a story like J.R.R. Tolkein's Trilogy or Peter Jackson's movies of Tolkein's Trilogy....or artwork or music...the imagination is unlimited.  The artist opens up his or her imagination for all to view.  I am always amazed and inspired by what I see, read, or hear.  And I cannot wait to see "The Hobbit".  Actually, I'll probably buy the DVD without seeing it first because I know Mr. Jackson will do an excellent job of bringing Tolkein's "The Hobbit" to life.
Okay, back to imagination.  Even the most ordinary thing that you walk by every day can change with just a little imagination.  Like chips of wood made into an Owl or paper made into a Troll.  Imagination makes the world a brighter and more colorful place to live.
I wanted to share some of the artwork I have found through Pinterest.  The Owl below is the work of Sergei Bobkov and he explained:  "It's not too interesting to do what others can, to create something out of nothing in a completely new way is far more inspiring." Here's a link to a few more photos of his creations.
Source: google.com via Sandy on Pinterest

This Alice in Wonderland doll won the 2011 Award at the Dutch and Belgian Institute of Doll Arts.  The artwork on this website is amazing.  This doll is my favorite though because Alice is recognizable and yet different from all the other versions I have seen over the years.  Oh, and I love Tim Burton's remake of "Alice in Wonderland" as well.

Source: dabida.eu via Sandy on Pinterest

This benign Troll is made from Paper Mache by Kim Graham. Her website is not available right now, but here's the link just in case she does re-open it. I hope she does. I would love to see her work in person someday.

On the Cutting Board
My own imagination has been on overload lately. Visions are swirling around so fast that I feel a little dizzy at times, not to mention, a little frustrated due to time and space limitations. As you can tell from this posting, I can bounce around quite a bit. Multi-tasking can be a curse at times....I'm trying to focus on one item at a time so I can have something to show for all my whirlwind activity. Yea, I'll let you know how that goes.
I am down to the last border on my granddaughter's quilt...Finally!!  I was going to do a pebble or cobblestone design as a finished pathway to her garden quilt. What I came up with...well, it just wasn't appealing to me. 

Then I saw another quilter's finished quilting with swirls and circles between her flowers. I thought how garden paths are rarely free of fallen leaves and flowers especially on a pebbled pathway.  I also looked at my quilted blocks with echoes and flowers.  I pulled out a few of the old templates of flowers and  made a couple of swirling templates.  I will use the templates to keep a continuation of the quilting design, but the fillers will be free-hand drawings of whatever strikes my fancy.  Oh! maybe I should add a lizard or a butterfly....or...well, the imagination is neverending....
Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tuesday Treasury (Patagonia, AZ)

I decided to start posting my Etsy Treasuries again.  I enjoy window shopping online and I like sharing what I find especially in Etsy.

The birds are starting to return to the Preserve.  We are seeing more activity and the Birders are reporting more sightings.  
Says Phoebe
No more sightings of the lion, but he did leave a paw print a couple of nights ago.  He was just letting us know he is still around.  I'm not sure if the lion is a he or she.  I'm too lazy to type he or she each time.  Knowing my luck, the lion will turn out to be a female.
Rufous Crowned Sparrow?
I don't know my Sparrows, so I'll leave this to my birding friends.  So many of them tend to look alike...
This Canyon Towhee has been spending a lot of time under our motorhome.  He is a brave little guy.  He comes within a few feet of the cats.  He runs out when they are not looking to eat some of the seeds on our mat.
Canyon Towhee
He is not very quiet between his running and crunching seeds either.  As soon as one of the cats sees him, he runs back under the motorhome.  Sort of reminds me of the Road Runner and Wiley E. Coyote.  All he needs to do is exit with a Meep! Meep!
Tuesday Treasury
In honor of all the tea drinkers around the world including Arlene's quilting friends from Harriet Truman's Loose Threads Mysteries and me!  Time to steep a pot of tea, curl up in a favorite chair, and read a good cozy mystery...or quilt.  Hey, I'm not picky!   By the way, here's Arlene Sachitano's link to her blog.  Happy Tea...Happy Reading....Happy Quilting

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Quilt by Association (Patagonia, AZ)

The new year is starting off well.  I finished another quilting murder mystery and a quilt.
Quilt by Association - Arlene Sachitano
Quilt by Association (A Harriet Truman/Loose Threads Mystery)
I always enjoy a good mystery with quilters and I wasn't disappointed.  This time the theme of the story is on charity quilts for animal shelters and adoptive children.  The Loose Thread quilters are busy making quilts for the Humane Society's charity with one special quilt being picked for a raffle while others will be sold or used as dog blankets.  Their first mystery is how the competing quilters are coming up with the same designs...hmmm...
White Breasted Nuthatch
The second mystery shows up as a young African woman saying she has brought her dead sister's baby to the baby's daddy.....and the baby's daddy happens to be Harriet's boyfriend.  The mysteries just keep piling up.  So, begins the sewing and solving of another quilting mystery.
The third mystery comes with an adopted child and her quilt.  Wow, had me a little breathless at times trying to keep up with everyone and all the clues!  Despite all the mysteries and clues, Arlene doesn't lose the reader along the way.  She actually surprised me at with the "who-dun-it" ending.
I love reading Harriet Truman's mysteries, but one thing bugs me.  The quilters in this series are either the most amazingly patient characters or addicted to tea because whenever someone announces they have just found a major clue that, one of them always says "hold that thought until we have made some tea".  Really?!  If it was me, I would have them by the collar saying "the heck with tea, spill the beans!" then we can have tea. :0)

On The Cutting Board
And here's my finished Bear Hugs quilt ready to be added to the Project Linus pile.  Okay, I only have two for PL, but I hope to add one more to the pile before we leave here.
Bear Hugs
Happy Quilting!

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