Sunday Seven(Seventeen)s or How I Spent my Summer Vacation, Part 1

We have recently returned after whirlwind of activity over the last couple of months; travelling to Wales to visit family and then to California for my daughter’s and sister’s weddings. Some of you have asked for pictures, so I will oblige. I thought using Natalie’s Sunday Sevens format would work, but I have far exceeded the picture “limit”. However, there really are few rules, and they are very loose, so here we go……..

Oh, Canada!

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We flew out of Toronto Airport, so our day began early with a three-hour drive. We stopped at Niagara Falls, but it was a very hot day and mama was too tired to move up for a closer look at the falls. Instead, we parked her walker in the shade, and watched the mist, listening to the roar of the rushing water. That was close enough for her, and we had lovely views of the both American and Canadian falls on our way to the airport.

Stopover at the Emerald Isle

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Quick stop, and then off for an even quicker flight.

Landing gear engaged

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Lovely Welsh farmland coming up to meet us.

Touchdown, Cardiff!

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Even though we debarked on the back tarmac for wheelchair access, the famous Welsh Red Dragon (Y Ddraig Goch) was there to greet us.

Home away from home

 

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After an hour and a half of drive time, we arrived at my cousin’s lovely bungalow, looking straight out upon the magnificent Brecon Beacons. Can you imagine a nicer view?

Remembering

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Grandparents and other relatives gone long, buried on the parish grounds.

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The Parish of Aberyscir. A recent refurbishment has left it absolutely spotless. Services are still held here, and it is open twenty-fours a day.

First home

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My mother was born in this farmhouse and she lived here as a girl. It made me a little misty catching the first glimpse.

And the view

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It made me swoon.

Little trekkers

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Can you imagine? These four little ones clambered over the fence, through the bramble, down and up hills, over the river (or around it when flooded) for four hours to get to and from school. Mom is the cute little girl on the left. She is the baby, and the last of the siblings.

Ysgol

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The school they walked to is now a private home.

A lovely little side trip

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You all know Ali, aka THIMBERLINA….we met up in Chester to shop for some fabrics at Abakhan. She has already created a lovely jumpsuit from one of her pieces. Mine have, at least, been washed and are still waiting for some attention. (I have projects!)

Cruising the canal

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In our one-hour cruise we saw lovely canal side homes with neatly manicured gardens, beautiful natural landscaping, wooden sculptures, lots of walkers, scads of dogs…

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…and this handsome fellow.

Fabric and craftiness

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Found a sweet little shop downtown, Bobbins of Brecon Fabrics and Haberdashery, and picked up a random assortment. (Now I have more projects.)

Schoolgirl chums

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Mom and her old friend from school reminisced while my cousin and I made fabulous discoveries in the shop attached to this little cafe. We were sorely tempted, but very strong and didn’t buy a thing.

 

We had guests over regularly for tea, enjoyed a marvelous Indian restaurant meal, and spent our last evening at cousin’s golf club. Cousins, nieces and nephews came by to see their Aunty for the first time in several years. We saw nearly everyone (one cousin even came from London), told stories, identified people in old family photos, hugged, laughed and cried. We knew it would be so difficult to leave.

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But leave we did, and after three weeks respite at home, headed off to California. Stay tuned.

Till next time, have a grand week!

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Sevens – 8.28.16

Hi all, and welcome to today’s installation of Sunday Sevens, created by the lovely Natalie over at Threads and Bobbins. It’s a loosely-ruled challenge: just choose 7 (or so) pictures from your week, and post them on Sunday (or any other day). Check out her site, and think about joining in.

In no order whatsoever, here are a few snippets of my week.

New toy

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Some people are easily excited by the most mundane things. I must be among that group of people, because I’m unnaturally thrilled with my new salad spinner.

Painting continues

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My contribution will be the window facings and baseboards, when all the “messy” stuff is finished and cleaned up. I got off easy, wouldn’t you say?

So pretty

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Haven’t had a cloud shot in some time, so here is dandy one for you.

Needles

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So, why would anyone be lining up their needles and photographing them? Perhaps because one’s glasses prescription is outdated and one cannot read the fine print on the needles, thereby being unable to determine which is the proper choice for a particularly fine fabric without enlarging the picture. I’ve heard that can happen to someone….

A new hamburger joint in town

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We tried a new place, and we were quite pleased. These three stooges gentlemen were apparently happy customers, too. (We did not eat any one-pounders.)

Curses

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One of my nearly new tires was slashed. I don’t know where, or when, or how, but it went nearly to the cord. Spent an afternoon getting a new one. Grrrrrrr.

Cutting out

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Oh look, progress! The muslin is finished, and the real fabric is now cut out and ready for stitching up.

More to come

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And look, some new cloth bits.

That’s it for now, everyone. Hope your upcoming week is outstanding!

 

 

 

 

Sunday Sevens – Aug 7 2016

Good morning all, and welcome to today’s Sunday Sevens. Sunday Sevens is a round-up of sorts, little bits of your week that don’t really need a full post. Pop over to the creator Natalie’s site, Threads and Bobbins, to see if you’d like to join in. It’s fun, easy, and has no real rules. What follows are bits of my last couple of weeks, in no particular order.

No more blue room

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Bedroom is now primed, and finish coats go on today. The color will be richer, a nice soft cream – this is just the primer – 50% saturation. Trim is glossy white. Hmmmm, what colors now to use for linens and such? I’m leaning toward a darkish shade of turquoise perhaps with printed curtains over white sheers? Maybe some coral? Any ideas?

Curvy corner closet

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This will be my closet. Since it is so tiny and shallow, we will opt for shelving with some hooks for scarves, belts, bags, etc instead of a hanging rack (that will to go in another room). The tiny corner shelf already in place will hold my hat boxes. That is, if I had hat boxes, they would stack there. I’ll surely find a good use for it.

Sewing

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This might explain why sewing has been so SLOW to get going. Until my sewing room is finished, I’m squeezed into a very warm (yes, it’s really hot) and crowded laundry/storage/”where-will-I-put-all-this-stuff-from-the-blue-room” room! Can you spot the sewing center in this embarrassing shambles?

In spite of the mess, I have started a new project…

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My new blouse! Pattern printed, assembled, and cut from muslin. Gotta love finally seeing some progress.

Transformations

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My oak leaf hydrangea outside the kitchen has transformed. Now that the bees have had their fill, the once vivid white flowers are now green, deepening to pink. So lovely!

Off to the races

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We went to the local racetrack. Our friend’s son was in the main event, and although he didn’t finish well, he did finish. And in a crash-filled race, surviving with body and machine intact was a huge accomplishment.

Scary seats

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The racetrack and the bleachers have been around for decades. It might be better not to watch your step when clambering around these seats; if you don’t see all the holes it feels less precarious. Pay no attention to the wobbly steps. Ack!

Relaxing weekend visit

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After a sunny, Friday afternoon followed by evening at the fire pit, I awoke to a wonderful, misty morning.

Bridging the gap

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We nearly drove past this jewel of a spot, but quickly turned around to see what it was…

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Was this originally a railroad bridge? A foot bridge? What is it now? Next trip, we’ll make time to investigate the surroundings and story of this old bridge.

Fun fest

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We made our first visit to the Park Avenue Summer Art Fest. The weather was ideal, there were arts and crafts, home services, and food choices a’plenty! We opted for poutine, a delicious mess of French fried potato strips covered in gravy. I chose the vegetarian version, and pretended it was calorie-free and absolutely healthy. The residents along the avenue were out in force, playing music, even offering cheap lemonade from front porches. Businesses also were open for business and they were packed! We found a coffee purveyor, serendipitous as we just finished our last bag. Timing is everything.

Well, I guess that just about covers the last couple of weeks. Hope your last weeks were lovely, and the next one even better!

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Sevens – Week 94

Hello All and welcome to today’s installment of Sunday Sevens, invented by the lovely Natalie of Threads and Bobbins. Why not give it a peek and see how you can join in.

Seems like a rather uneventful week…but I’ve been up with the birds every day and walking about in the neighborhood. Here are a few shots of what I’ve been enjoying…

Early morning sunlight

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This is one of my favorite trees, the light makes these puffy flowers just glow.

A tiny detour

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The surrounding woods offer paths and trails for hiking, biking, walking or running – or in my case, simply meandering.

Street art

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The whole intersection in this quiet family block is painted in such vivid, colorful, happy nature scenes.

Veggies galore

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Healthy eating can be a joyful experience…just look at the delicious beginnings of this 15-bean soup. Yum!

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Or how about a “deconstructed” salad, served with a little balsamic, cheese and homemade bread (there must always be bread).

Out my kitchen window

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The sweet aroma wafts in and fills the kitchen, and I happily share these blooms with the birds and bees.

We watched a bit of soccer

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Gareth!

Not really construction

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We are just painting a bedroom, but poorly done repairs by previous owners necessitated some new plastering, new molding, and new closet interiors. Just a quick peek into the entry. More to come.

The double rainbow in the feature photo was taken by my hubby after a recent, welcome rain.

Have a great week, everyone!

Sunday Sevens – Week 92 ( I think? )

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to my latest version (and I’ve no idea what the real number is, let alone my own) of Sunday Sevens, invented by Natalie, over at Threads and Bobbins. Check out the non-rules, and see if you’d like to join in.

It seems as if we’ve been housebound lately, but I do have some photos of short strolls and wanderings around the house and environs.

Feline Shenanigans

IMG_7071When one walks up the stairs, this little kid stops in front and demands a back scratch.

IMG_7073Upon reaching the first turn landing, she then needs her belly rubbed.

Breaking Bread

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My hubby is quite the bread maker…this lumpy darling is my first loaf. Yum!

Cleaning Up

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Lots of bare patches to fill in after recent street work was completed. One day as I watered, this little fellow jumped in for a quick shower.

Kiddie Garden

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The children work this garden in the elementary school around the corner.

Empty Room

IMG_7190Ah yes, more renovating. Much as I would love this to become my dedicated sewing/dressing room, I believe it will be the new master bedroom.

Wise Words

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This sign at the zoo is a bit hidden, I feel it should be more prominently displayed.

Out for a stroll

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All kinds of families enjoy a nice summer outing.

Have a most marvelous week everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Sevens – Week 89

Hello all, another week has passed and it’s time for Sunday Sevens (on Monday). Sunday Sevens is the great idea from Natalie of Threads and Bobbins. Why not check out the “rules” of Sunday Sevens on her blog and see if you’d like to join in?

This particular post is peppered with a preponderance of plant-filled pictures!

Walking weather

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It’s warm now, so walking is wonderful! Except for mama, who fell out of bed and has quite the goose egg (dinosaur egg) on her bum. Walking, sitting, even breathing is very uncomfortable, but happily the x-rays showed no breaks or fractures. So I’m walking alone for the time being. Love the sunlight behind these trees.

IMG_7036Had to capture this whimsical duo for you.

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Can you spot the butterfly? Light standards along this long avenue sport them in various colors. I like the subtlety of the green one here; it nearly fades into the background.

Flowers

IMG_7034IMG_7010IMG_6958We have tiny purple bunches, little pink bells, white petals up high.

Almost flowers

IMG_7022Soon-to-be beautiful peonies in white, blush, and my favorite – this glorious magenta!

Not flowers

IMG_7025These will have to go; they will be very tall soon, blocking out the rest of the yard.

Wedding updates

cropped il_570xN.859196870_ffojMy daughter is getting married in the fall. I have my MOB dress. And it’s black!! What? Yes, lovely daughter picked it out (MOG is also wearing black), and it’s beautiful – a long, flowy chiffon with soft ruffles. Now I’m searching for a cropped jacket (bolero? short kimono? shrug?) in a nice purple. Found one option – a lovely silk bolero in iridescent amethyst, but still undecided. Any ideas? (I’m rather afraid to make one from a delicate fabric.)

Words

IMG_7030Starting a couple of new books.

Escape from web weirdness

spam-ad-1940sAnd this is what’s been going on in my online world: I was sent to SPAM. And not the edible kind (ooh, wait, is there an edible kind?). At any rate, it is repaired now, and once again I’m free to spread my ramblings through blogland. I do still have earlier comments that are stuck spam jail cells, but from here on, we’re golden!

That’s it for this week. Hope you all are embarking upon a most wonderful, trouble-free week!

Sunday Sevens #87

After some sporadic posting lately, my Sunday Sevens post is ready early. So early, in fact, that it was nearly titled Saturday Sevens, but that seemed a teeny bit boastful, don’t you think? If you’d like to know more about Sunday Sevens, pop over to Natalie’s blog, Threads and Bobbins, and check it out. It’s fun, easy, and anyone can join in.

Street Work

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The City worked on our street for over a month to relocate the gas meters from the basements to new outdoor locations. Our tiny fence is countersunk so deep they couldn’t drill next to it to install the line; they had to go under the sidewalk instead.  IMG_6917Digging up the sidewalk was messy, but they poured a brand new one. IMG_6932

A day to dry, and our beautiful new sidewalk will be ready!

Around the Neighborhood

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Our city has many, many interesting sculptures. This one took my fancy.

April showers brought May flowersIMG_6866We have tulips

IMG_6840So many colors

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These are my favorite. Aren’t they spectacular?

Mother’s Day

IMG_6876Took mama out for dinner at a little bistro. We each had a fresh and fabulous salad, and took home this exquisite little pizza for tomorrow night. Yum!

A little outing

IMG_6940Just follow the signs to the alpacas….

IMG_6937This is Jenny and she’s just had her very first haircut. She was a patient client, with a patient, gentle shearer. Isn’t she pretty?

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This wool was from the first of 14 alpaca shorn; it is soft as a cloud. Stuff of dreams.

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Just added a few shreds of Romano cheese, a sprinkle of fresh parsley, and voila! A meal in minutes. Absolutely delicious!

They are not afraid

IMG_6807Out for a drive to a nearby park, we encountered a group of deer (poorly photographed). They watched as we slowed to a stop, and sauntered on up to greet us! Perhaps they are accustomed to receiving treats from travelers.

New fabric

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And a new tunic is in the works.

That’s all folks! Hope you all have a most wonderful week.

Sunday Sevens – Week 84

Hello and welcome to Sunday Sevens on MonTuesday.

sunday-sevens-new-logoSunday Sevens, devised by the lovely Natalie over at Threads and Bobbins, is a great way to share your week (or a couple of weeks…) by posting photos that don’t necessarily call for a whole post of their own. Check it out to see how you can join in.

Spring is springing!

IMG_6760In spite of some still chilly evenings, I do believe spring is finally here! Tender beginnings on the first front yard tree to bloom.

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This is the one I’ve been waiting for so anxiously. You may remember its scary dormant state, a far cry from this brilliant green becoming fuller each day.

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And what in the world are these things? They look like some sort of alien landscape, and will be about 2 feet high in a few days. Not a fan.

Walking around the neighborhood

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Clearest, bluest skies imaginable!

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Does anyone recognize these? Mom picked one up, waved it at me, and chanted “Obbly obbly onker….my first conker!” Had I reacted properly, we’d have had a little conker (sword) fight on the curb.

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Our City likes to jazz up the mundane. Here is a traffic signal all decked out.

Are you talking to me?

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Unless it’s a call to dinner, Ms Freida prefers to be uninterrupted.

Lake Ontario shoreside

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We took mom for a ride/walk out in the sunshine. This old place has been around since over 70 years, and hubby went there as a kid for “hots”, which is the local way of saying hot dogs. We sat outdoors at old picnic table and enjoyed a hot, for old time’s sake.

Ready for 5K

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Nazareth College hosted a 5k run/walk for charity. We were walking for Gigi’s Playhouse, which is a soon-to-be-built facility for people with Down Syndrome. A worthy cause, a lot of fleet-footed runners and not-so-fleet-footed walkers, a gorgeous campus, and a glorious day!

New digs

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Believe it or not, my new (temporary) sewing room is seeing some action! My machine was relocated from the dining table to a corner of the laundry room upstairs. It sits on one utility table, and two raised utility tables are cinched together for a cutting/folding table. Happy stitching to me.

Getting out the vote

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Our polling place for the presidential primary is at a neighborhood elementary school. Since school was in session, there was an official door-opener, and she didn’t appreciate me taking a photo, so this was hastily snapped.

 

That’s all for today, gang. Hope your week is most marvelous!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Sevens – Week 82

Hello everyone and welcome to this installation of Sunday Sevens, created by the lovely Natalie over at Threads and Bobbins. For any who may not know, the Sevens are a means of posting bits from your week that may not warrant a whole post. Pop on in to Threads and Bobbins and check it out. You may want to join in!sunday-sevens-new-logoLast week seemed to just fly by, so here are a few photos to see what was happening in my little world.

Mama’s 90th birthday dinner No. 1

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Dinner for the three of us at The Old Toad, classic British pub.

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Steak and mushroom pie for hubby, fish and chips for mom, and curry chickpea burger, for me. (yes, there is a bite – nearly forgot to take photos!)

Birthday dinner No. 2

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Brother and sister-in-law came over for a yummy dinner of tenderloin and roasted potatoes, with even yummier carrot cake for dessert (this time I totally forgot the photos). After dinner, this is all that remained. Oh my!

First knitting project for mama

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We have a lovely “nearly” family member who plays for her high school soccer team. Won’t this be a pretty little jacket done up in school colors (when we find out what those colors are) for chilly soccer evenings?

Next project for me

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A new “little project” to keep me going. (BTW, post coming up with recently completed little projects.)

When spring finally arrives…

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…we are ready to get the flower beds all spruced up.

Special visitors

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I just love it when my cardinal couple graces my gardens; Mrs is such a delicate brown and pink, and Mr is a brilliant reddish-orange.

Reading material

IMG_6610Just starting Dying in the Wool, which I picked up at the library. My sister-in-law loaned me Fall of Giants, book 1 of 3. She said it took months for her to read the series!

Pure silliness

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We recently watched Bride of Frankenstein, and followed that with Young Frankenstein. Mel Brooks was certainly a genius! Such funny stuff. We were inspired to update our face book profile photos. Yikes!

That’s all folks! Till next Sunday, here’s wishing you a most enjoyable week.

Sunday Sevens – Week 81

Hi all, it’s that time again…Sunday Sevens, which is the invention of Natalie over at Threads and Bobbins, and keeps a few of us (well, me) blogging while sewing posts are slim. You might want to join us in the Sevens, it’s fun and easy; pop over to her blog and check out the rules (or lack thereof).

I’ve taken a few photos over the last couple of weeks, and here they are:

Over the Top Easter Goodies

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We were overcome by the immense variety at our local chocolatiers (not to mention the mile-long line) and came home with a sampling. The little marzipan pig reminded mama of her childhood Easter baskets.

UK v US

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A recent blog discussion on the inferior quality of American chocolate (I tend to agree) included the mention of Cadbury Flake. I happened upon some of these bars at in import store and picked one up. Thoughtlessly I tossed the wrapper, so I don’t know if this an American version or truly an import from the UK, but I was sadly unimpressed.

On Baby Watch

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At the bend of the gutter next to the brick post, you can see a nest. A little brown mama bird has been adding to it recently, so we should have a passel of wide open, tiny mouths very soon.

Bulbs

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Daffodils! Or….are they Narcissus? They seem too small to be my hoped-for Daffodils, but they are all yellow, so maybe?

It’s Spring! Just kidding.

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It’s April 3, and this is what I awoke to this morning. And just a couple of hours later…

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…sunshine! But still oh, so cold! And every few minutes the clouds would obliterate the sunshine…mama was having quite the time reading the newspaper with the “lights” going on and off all day.

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

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And bay leaves and carrots and celery and onion and turkey. Making soup from Easter dinner. I had to save the wishbone, just like in the old days.

Line Up

chairs_IMG_6562My hubby likes to arrange things. These old chairs, which have wintered indoors, are moving downstairs and out  to the front porch. Right now they look like a time-out spot for naughty little children, don’t they?

That’s it for now, wishing you all a most wonderful week!