Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Wk#26 - Stash Report... finally

The only yardage I spent any quality time with this past week was 33 yards of 1 inch Chicken Wire.  I'll take fabric any day of the week - putting up even a short fence is hard work... especially if you are already hurting.

Good news is that I haven't been fabric shopping... so no fabric added.  YaaaHooo!

I did a little bit of sewing this weekend - not much as I quit when I started to hurt - but a little bit is is better than none.  I'm working on the "Stars in My Garden" strip quilt.  A quilt I really am looking forward to getting made - more about that another time.

I also started getting the details of my "Take a Number Please" Challenge.  Something I've been pondering for over a year and mentioned last Feb. in the Week 8 Report.

Details will follow for any who are interested... it would be a good way to use up some stash and have fun along the way!  Over the next week or so I'll reminisce about some past Challenges I've participated in...

Until then... zip in and zip out...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bunny Tales...

It's been a busy week.

Last Tuesday after I published my last post telling you about the 4 baby bunnies in my yard I went out to work in my vegetable garden.

This is what I found...bunnies 013

That wilted zucchini plant is suppose to be closer to the stake in the foreground... and up right and healthy too.  It's hard to tell from this picture but the grass is the lining for the nest a different rabbit was building... she plucked out the plant - dug out an area about 4 inches deep and about 10 inches long.  I watched her go back and forth several times... then I told her that her application for lease of this garden apartment had been denied...

bunnies 014

She ran off to the pine tree in the corner of the property... I hope she found a more suitable location... not in my yard - before she had her babies.

The rest of the day was spent building a fence around the bunnies 018garden... which was not good for me because it required a lot of bending over - which only aggravated the pains I already had from falling on the iron gate last week.

My 4 little baby bunnies were safe and secure in their dog crate... I'd leave the door open each evening and lock it up again in the morning to protect them from the dogs.  Momma bunny was taking very good care of them because they were growing quickly and getting fat.

bunnies 6-25 030Thursday night they were out of the nest and OUT of the crate... I slipped them back in and they were all safe and secure in the nest Friday morning.  During the day they stayed put but were out and about again in the evening... one of them flew the coop left the yard Friday evening just before bed check - after looking with flashlights we decided he was long gone.

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Saturday morning it was clear that we could no longer safely contain them in the crate in the fenced yard - so we hauled bunnies 6-27 039them and the crate to the back yard beyond the garden.  This is the last picture of the 3 of them... just as we turned to walk back to the house the first little bunny took off like a shot and headed over to the pine tree in the corner of the yard.  The second little bunny left about a half hour later...  and the third little bunny was the littlest little bunny and he cried... ummmm no... but he was a little unsure of what to do.  He left the crate but was just resting out in the yard.  So I scooped him up and took him over by the pine tree and let him go there.  I hated the idea of a hawk finding him sleeping out in the yard.

I hope they were ready for the big wide world - or at least found Momma if they weren't.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Just call me Auntie Bunny...

I think I mentioned in my last post about my 'yard of bunnies'...

Last Friday when The Engineer was scooping dog poop preparing the middle fenced yard for mowing he heard a funny little noise and saw the grass move.  This is what he found...

bunnies 002

6 baby bunnies... in a small hole in the yard covered with grass and fur.  We have 2 dogs - this is their yard to roam.  I still don't know how the dogs hadn't found them yet as the nest in right in the middle of the yard?

The Engineer took the bunnies out of the nest so that he could mow - (I know there are only 5 here - I had put one back when I thought to take a picture) - later we put them back and I put a step stool over the area so that I could easily see if the dogs were around them.  I checked them the next morning and could tell that the mother had taken care of them during the night.  Unfortunately my dog did finally find the nest and pulled two of the bunnies out - killing them in the process.  On one hand I am appalled that she could do that - but on the other hand I realize that she's a dog... I'm mad at myself too.

So we took the 4 remaining babies out of the nest and they spent the day safe and snug in the house until I could decide just what to do.  I knew in my heart that trying to raise them myself was almost surely a death sentence for them... raising wild bunnies is not easy.  All that I read via the Internet confirmed that. 

My plan was to put the babies back and finagle a means to keep the dogs out and let the Mom in.  First order of business was to dry some grass to reline the nest.  I had taken as much as I could when I took the bunnies but the dog had dug out the rest.  It had also rained all day on Saturday so the ground was very wet.  The Engineer fetched me some of the fresh mowed grass from out back and I dried it in the oven... really - I kid you not!bunnies 004 

I cut the handle out of a laundry basket and we staked and zip tied that over the nest to keep the dogs out.  Late that evening I relined the nest with the fresh dried grass - laid the babies back in - covering them with their nest material and a thin layer of the fresh dried grass.

The next morning it was again clear that Mom had been there to take care of her babies as she had mixed her fur in with my fresh dried grass.

What was also clear was that my dog was intent on getting back at the bunnies - she had chewed the zip ties and was gnawing on the stakes.  That wasn't going to be acceptable... so Plan B...

I put together a dog kennel that my MIL had recently given bunnies 006us.  It's a wire kennel with a removable pan and a larger wire grid on the bottom - just big enough to center over the nest to allow the Mom access to her babies.

The outer grid keeps the dogs awbunnies 005ay.  I keep the kennel door latched during the day and each night when I lock the dogs inside for the night I go out and open the kennel so Mom can visit.  So far this seems to be working.

Wanna see some baby bunnies?

Now if I can just keep Mom out of my strawberries...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Stash Report #25

Seems like the only thing I could do this week was buy fabric...

I can't work in the garden until my ribs stop hurting... I certainly can't move on to painting inside... I wasn't able to work at the quilt shop last week either... so I took my sister over to a fabric sale at Sauders and there I found a pretty floral for $1.95 a yard.  It will be a nice backing for a floral strip quilt I started this winter.

What I think I'll do is venture upstairs to my sewing room and work on that quilt this week... it's all cut out so all I have to do is sit and sew. 

There are also the directions for a 4 Patch Stacked Posie quilt my sister in TX wants to make.  She will be setting the posies in the center of a variable star.  I've drawn it up in EQ6 - but now need to write up the directions.  I don't mind flying by the seat of my pants when it comes to quilting but she'd rather have a pattern to follow.  It will sure be pretty when she gets it done.

I should be able to go back to work this week - I need to machine quilt a small Christmas Panel that I added a braided border to using a printed foundation... sorry for the bad picture - all I had was my cell phone - I'll take the digital camera in this week.


So 12 yards in... nothing out!

Check in later this week and I'll tell you about the 'yard of bunnies' I have!  LOL

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I figured it out...

In my last 2 posts I mentioned that my back was still sore from tilling up the garden boxes a couple weeks ago.

I figured out how to not feel any pain or discomfort in my back...

On Monday morning I was outside working in the flower beds up by the house - trying to get more of these silly lovely flowers planted.  I had the hose in one hand and leaned over the iron gate to retrieve a hand tool from a basket on the porch.  I had to lean way over... then the gate latch gave way... and the gate swung open... I lost my balance... the gate swung further... with me flailing on it trying to get my footing again.  Probably looked something like a slap stick comedy routine - all arms and legs waving around.

Although - I wasn't laughing... actually by the time I got my footing and could stand up it was all I could do to breathe.

Good news is that my back hasn't hurt since then!  At least not so much that I'd notice... my ribs on the right side however are a whole 'nother story.

An x-ray on Tuesday showed that I didn't have any new fractures.  I've got a pretty bruise just above my waist line and I hurt to about mid chest.  I only hurt when I move or breathe...

My sister had come over to visit Monday night and stayed until Wed afternoon.  She took great sympathy on me and got the edging done along 2 flower beds, poked all the plants in the ground, and spread a yard of mulch for me.  All that while I took a drug induced nap or supervised from the sidelines.  Put this plant here... that one over there...

I think I've got this supervising thing down pat... LOL <ouch>

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Stash Report #24 - 7/8ths and 20

The 7/8ths was a pretty little piece from the sale table this week... it is a nice bright print destined for the strips bin.

The 20 yards are PVC pipe (glad I don't have to report them).  They are for a watering system for the grow boxes that The Engineer and I built this weekend - pictures later this week...  if it ever stops raining around here so I can use them.

I think I will head off to see the Dr. tomorrow about my back ribs... I'm not healing as fast as I'd like - maybe a trip or two to Physical Therapy for some ultrasound treatments will help get things on the mend quicker.

Sitting and sewing would certainly be easier on my poor body... just need to finish getting these flowers planted... oh and a couple 'yards' of mulch flung around this week as well. 

Good thing a bag of quick concrete mix is too heavy for me to haul around... I might just be tempted to scatter that around the yard and water it in!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I'm Not Contrary...

And my name's NOT Mary...

But look how my Garden Grows... LOL

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It's been a little more than a week since I poked seeds in the ground... and look - my corn is growing by leaps and bounds.

My strawberry plants are making strawberries...

garden6-10 009

The onions are growing...

garden6-10 005

I know... I must sound silly... but I haven't been able to have a garden in ages so I'm excited with all this.

I've also planted tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, cantaloupe, and fairy tale pumpkin.

I'd be jumping up and down with glee if I could... but I seem to have a pulled muscle in my back left ribs... as long as I don't move like this <ouch> or breath deep like this <ouch>... I'm good.  Walking down the isle and working the tiller off to the side in the grow boxes was just a little bit too much of a stretch I think.  I would have thought that by now I'd be feeling better... but that's not happening yet.  Maybe when I'm done planting flowers and slinging mulch around...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Sad Little Tale...

Little did they know when they fell asleep that their home would collapse in the middle of the night.

Their home was old and rotten - a concept they little understood.  It was a single small space that provided a safe haven for the night - that was all they needed.

The rains from the past week strained the already rotten wood and without notice on a clear night their safe haven fell out from under them and landed with a thud on the pavement below...  all residents were killed on impact... 4 full grown birds.

The Engineer and I heard the thud outside... and after checking the yard along the side of the house with a flashlight we finally saw the tree limb laying in the school driveway next door.  It was late - so we left the chore of dragging the limb aside for the morning.

We found the birds early Saturday when we went to clean up the driveway.  There they were - all together in what remained of their nest in the hollow of the tree limb.  No indication at all that they even awoke... they were just laying peacefully - wings folded to their sides - their home a broken shell.

Poor birds...

Stash Report #23... A New Category...

In my last report I confessed that there were a couple fabrics on the sale table at the shop that had been calling to me... I didn't buy them at the time but honestly figured I'd get a couple yards of each when I went back to work this week. 

But someone came in early in the day Wednesday and bought a sizeable amount of both of them... nearly finished both bolts.

One had a bit more than a yard and the other was a bit less - so I pulled them off the bolt - marked the yardage and set them on the counter... figuring I'd buy them later.

Well.... it was a busy day at the shop... and since they looked like remnants someone came in, picked them up and bought them... both!

So I'm going to start a new category:

The fabric I DIDN'T Buy this week: 4 yards...

What I did come home with was 2 yards of a (sale) red/green/tan plaid that will be a nice plaid to have and a great one to use for bindings in the colors I like to use.

Only sewing I've done is at work for shop samples... and because we've been busy - even that has been slow!


I hope to share some pictures of the 4 Patch Stacked Posies that my students have been making this spring... maybe later this week I'll have a chance to go through my pictures and get them posted. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Altitude... and other thoughts

Did you know that altitude effects the weight of an object?

I learned this practical lesson the other day while pounding 7 ft. gardening stakes in the garden with a 3 pound sledge hammer.  I had placed a sheet of plywood over the gardenbox and put a step stool on it to get me closer to my work but...

I know that hammer weighed waaaay more than 3 pounds as I lifted it over my head to pound in the stakes...  by the time I finished it must have weighed 200 pounds - I can't believe I'm that strong!  LOL

Another lesson learned this week... if you forget to wear sun screen - you will get a sunburn if you stay out from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm.  It doesn't matter if you've already gotten a nice base tan - that sun is brutal.  Long gone are the days of my youth where I could lay all day in the sun slathering on baby oil - my Italian and Choctaw heritage have always done me well in the sun - but this sun is different and so am I... I'm too old to not wear sunscreen.  Funny thing - in addition to my farmers tan (I do need to find my sleeveless shirts) I noticed that I have a glove line... who ever thought that would be an issue?  LOL

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Strike Three...

I have been bit 3 times this past week by a black ant - this means war...

One bit me on a finger as I reached in to unlock the shed door... another bit me as I was cutting one of the peonies - little twit didn't want to give up his flower - came running up the flower stalk flailing his arms at me and then he bit.  The third and hopefully last bit me Monday as I was trimming back some errant weeds hiding in a shrub... that twit bit me on my waist.  Needless to say I was doing a silly little dance in the middle of the yard while I hightailed it inside to strip off my shirt and make sure no other ants were planning their attacks.

I don't seem to have any residual effects of the bite after the initial ouch wears off... but enough is enough!  That ant killer stuff is getting spread around this week...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Stash Report Weeks 21 & 22

I wish I could report the 204 yards I've used over the past two weeks...

But 200 of it was landscape fabric and 4 yards were cubic yards of sand, sawdust and peat moss... not linear yards.

All I can say is I'm glad we don't measure fabric in cubic yards... but if I had to guess - I think my stash occupies about 3 cubic yards all total...

The quilt shop was closed last week - which was good timing for me as I was able to complete the gardening out back.  I did manage to not buy several yards of fabric that landed on the sale table the week before... but if they are still there I might not be able to help myself this week - just being honest ladies!

So - nothing in and nothing out - if I can only count fabric linear yardage over the past couple weeks... I do so look forward to getting back to sewing... it's not necessarily a heavy lifting, bending over, squatting, working in the sun hobby that gardening is... I have quite the farmers tan going!