"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Friday, April 13, 2012

Pearly Has a Hoodie

Yes, that was in incredibly poor taste, these days.  But sometimes, a hoodie is just a hoodie. 

I managed to finish the shamrock quilt in record time.  I did it because I machine stitched the binding instead of hand stitching it.  It isn't perfect but it is better than my last machine binding attempt AND it is done!

Here it is getting ready to be put on the longarm.  I am actually fairly amazed at myself.  I quilted it in a day and slapped on a binding a couple of days later.  

 Here it is, right after I finished quilting it but before I trimmed it up:
Here is the back:

 This is right after I washed it:

Pearly had been doing very well with her eyes but Mr. Wonderful claimed she was looking a little buggy starting a couple of days ago.  I couldn't really see it.  Yesterday, however, I felt like her eyes were looking a little cloudy even though she was seeing just fine.  By last night, the whites of her eyes looked pink.  We weren't sure if it was just pollen, which has been heavy, or a relapse.  She's relapsed about two weeks after going off the oral prednisone three times, now, and this would be the fourth.  The photos in this blog post were taken last night so you can see that it isn't really obvious that things weren't right. 

When we looked at her this morning, the whites of her eyes still looked pink but not as much.  Her eyes, however, looked decidedly more swollen and I could see they were getting cloudy and blue.  When her eyes get inflamed, the dead cells fill up the cornea making it look bluish.  So we called the specialist and they put her back on oral prednisone for the next week.  We hate to do it but it is better than the alternative.  That was about four hours ago and the whites have already cleared up and the swelling looks to have diminished.  I haven't been able to see if her eyes are less cloudy because we are having area thunderstorms and it is hard to see her eyes with lights from the lamp.  I wouldn't expect them to clear up for several days, regardless. 

She's such a darling.  I am sorry she has to go through this:
Happy Quilting, Penny, Evelyn and Pearl

Monday, April 9, 2012

Piebald Pearly

This morning, I finished the Shamrock quilt top and am fairly pleased with how it turned out.   It is a really easy pattern.
The shamrock is just three modified snowball blocks (three corners instead of four). 

The fourth block is the stem.

These are 4 inch, finished, blocks.

Pearly grudgingly modeled it once I finished pressing the border seams.
 The border is super simple:
 I think it will look nice once I get it quilted:
Evelyn helped a bit but this was mainly Pearly's project, this time.  
I went out to the property a couple of days ago to check the trail cam, expecting to find a slew of wildlife photos since it had been out there for over a week.  When I walked up to the cam, I could barely see it attached to the tree because the grass and grown up so fast during the week.  My first thought was that I wasn't going to get as many photos because the lens was blocked.  Still, it would be interesting to watch how fast the grass had grown.  Unfortunately, I discovered that I'd not turned it on so I got nuthin.'

Here's a photo of the horses in the dilapidated barn, next door:
 Bobby's wheat is starting to ripen.  It really looks beautiful, in person:

On the way home, I stopped by this brilliant yellow field.  Blessedly, I am not particularly prone to allergies but even my eyes were getting scratchy:
Another barn I passed:
 This barn is right down the street from the yellow field:
 I think the field is just beautiful but am glad I don't live right next to it:

 When I drive out to our property, I look for this silo and that tells me when to turn north:

We continue to get amazingly beautiful weather.  March, like much of the continental United States, was unseasonably warm but April has gone back to typical high and low temperatures.  I was tickled to pieces, this morning, because the first hummingbird showed up at the feeder.  It was zooming too fast for me to catch whether it was a Ruby Throated hummingbird or a Black Chinned one.  I hope it was a Black Chinned one because they were here, last year, and I got fairly attached to them. 

Off to go look at my fabric and decide on a backing.

Happy Quilting, Penny, Evelyn and Pearl

Friday, April 6, 2012


I just passed my fifty-fourth birthday and am seeing the greenest spring of my life.  
The color is just stunning and it stops me in my tracks whenever I step outdoors.  Last year's drought was so severe that it makes me wonder if this is our planet's way of fighting back to life. Never bet against Mother Nature in the long run.

Here's a simple shot out in the pasture:
Another from out at the property:
Typical north leading Oklahoma tree:
Madam Jay, in the front yard:
 My pal, Mr. Red Bellied Woodpecker:
Two days later - note the difference in the size of the leaves:

All six of my "baby" Caddo Maples are putting out seeds.  How wonderful is that??  Mr. Wonderful plans to collect a few to try to raise.  He's done it before and figures he can get them up to about 15 -20 feet, at least, before we croak.  Something to remember us by.  
It is incredible that it is already time to set out the hummingbird feeders:
The honeysuckle is thick and waiting for them:
Chirpie, my little Black Chinned Hummingbird buddy, should be back soon and I can't wait to see him.  If he had safe travels and survived the migration to and from Mexico, he should be arriving back to easy street, this week.  I put up the feeders about a week early because it has been such a mild spring and I know he'll be hungry when he gets here.   

Yesterday, I saw three Cattle Egrets heading north.  I'm not a big fan and am never sorry to see them head out when they migrate in the winter.   But welcome back, anyway, I suppose. 

Happily, I also saw a Brown Thrasher, yesterday evening.  Brown Thrashers allegedly don't migrate from here but I haven't seen these guys in months although they were active yard singers all last summer.  This year, I have a new birdbath and the Brown Thrashers, of all our yard birds, love to bathe. 
I bought the birdbath, used, off Craig's List.  The old man who sold it brought it out to the car on a dolly and helped me to load it in the back.  He was a small, thin, shriveled up looking little guy who must have been 85 years old if he was a day.  He wore faded jeans and a big lumberjack flannel shirt over a tee shirt even though the day was quite warm.  As I looked him over, trying to not be obvious about it, I noticed that the hands that fell out of his sleeves were big and brawny as catcher's mitts.  It wasn't that they were arthritic - they weren't.  It was just that the bones, themselves were big.  I suspect the old man used to be a strapping young stud muffin and the hands are all that are left to tell that secret besides old photographs and ancient memories.  And at his age, I imagine most of the memories of his youth held by the ladies have gone silent.  

Despite his age and apparent frailty, he hoisted the heavy concrete base of the bath into the back without complaint or apparent distress/effort.  I've learned that if they are moving, these old geezers/geezettes will fool you.  They'll keel over if someone sneezes on them but likely work you into the dirt if they've lived that long and are still on their feet. 

The sparrows and bluebirds are already working on their first batch of babies.  The four naked baby bluebirds just hatched and the sparrows are working on their broods.  Yesterday, I looked in one of the houses that a sparrow took over, and the mama exploded out and hit me in the face.  Served me right.  I love how deep they build their nests:
All this green inspired me to work on a shamrock lap quilt for Mr. Wonderful's godson/nephew.  Nephew is a highschool football coach for the Irish so it seemed appropriate:
Pearly is now completely off the oral prednisone so we are somewhat anxiously waiting to see if she has another relapse.  With the first specialist, she twice relapsed within two weeks of being off the oral prednisone and we hope the new specialist has better success.  We don't want her to have to go through all that, again.  So far, she seems to be doing beautifully and has all her eyesight back.  We should have a better idea by the first of May if she is going to do better, this time. 

I've not been out to the property in the few days to check the trail cam but here are a few from the yard at the house:
We'd just had the yard sprayed for weeds so the grass isn't as green as it would have been, otherwise.

 Three Foot is still in the vicinity.
 As is Blackie, the Fox.  We've also seen Whitey around (she has white on her feet).
Mr. Wonderful is taking me to the Museum of Osteology as a birthday present.  Yes, this is where they make fake skeletons and strip real ones of their flesh, and yes, this is what I asked for!  I have a skull I want them to identify for me. 

I hope to finish the Shamrock quilt top, today.  I think I might piece the back but haven't made a final decision. 

Happy Quilting, Penny, Evelyn and Pearl