Friday, February 24, 2012

Sopping Wet Birders, No Extra Charge

We've always opened our home to birders, butterflyers, dragon and damsel flyers, moss experts, orchid geeks, and various other ne'r-do-wells.  Last night was the annual Owls of Oak Openings field trip by the Toledo Naturalist Association, and even though the weather sucked, 18 people drove and trudged around the park calling owls.  Alas, none were to be found by the hardy and/or insane birders.  They made our house the last stop, hoping to get the Great Horned Owls we've been hearing.  And since they could stand on the front porch or back deck to call for them, and stay dryer, they were all for that.  And the Big Bonus was our heated indoor-working-plumbing.  They couldn't believe we'd let all those soaking wet folks in.  Hey, that's why God invented those fantastic laminate floors.  Today the puddle marks don't even show.

And they loved the yellow spots I painted all over, trying to chose a new color for the dining room and foyer.  And today, Jason Tansel of Blue Jay Painters was here and got the first coat completely finished!  It's awesome!  and it's really Yellow! Pics tomorrow.. er, later today, I guess.

And a quick note, the Ranger Anderson Auction has ended.  I'll fill you in on that later. But for now I can say that I am truly blessed and humbled that anyone would pay anything for the quilts I made.  Holy cow.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Happy Thinking Day!

Today, February 22 is Girl Guide and Girl Scout Thinking Day, a time to learn about Scouts from around the world.  In lots of new troops, girls receive their WAGGGS pin, which is worn about their country's pin. For many children this is their first in-depth look at children in another country.  A great tradition!

In other news, my quilts in the Margaret Anderson Trust Fund charity auction on Ebay are going through the roof.  For the winner of the arrowhead quilt, I've also made a pillow that is similar, along with 4 matching mug rugs.  The Madison quilt winner will get a poster of OF from the WPA Ranger Guide series.

I am truly amazed at the prices being offered for the quilts.  I thought maybe maybe maybe at least one of them would fetch $50 (and if it didn't I would buy it back).  Holy cow.

So you have a day and a half to bid on these and many other way cool items.  The auction was organized by rangers at Grand Canyon National Park so there's lots of good Arizona stuff to check out.

Bid early, bid often!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Done! FTD's Log Cabin Quilt!

Check it off the WIP list!

The only thing left to do on FTD's log cabin quilt was the binding....  "just the binding."  How many quilters have these creatures sitting around because they "just need the binding."  Sheesh.

I asked my friend Lindy to come over and help feed the dang huge thing thru my machine.  DH has helped in the past, but he has all sorts of 'suggestions' on how I could do it better.   Since he retired 10 years ago, he's had all sorts of ideas on how I could do things better.  Pretty tired of it, I gotta admit.  Anywho, I asked Lindy if she had some free time and we had a wonderful afternoon catching up and sewing. And I totally missed that this was Friday Night Sew In day--we had an afternoon Sew In!

Did you know that having an extra set of hands makes mitering your corners easier?  And I got sooooo lucky when the binding fit perfectly at the end.  And it only took me one try to get it right!

So I sewed the binding to the front, pressed it flat and then also machine sewed it on the back.  There's no way you'll catch me hand sewing a binding.  Nope, not gunna happen.  (Ergo, I'll never be entering any quilts in contests....)

After all the heart and soul I put into this quilt, I'm very, very content now, knowing that it's on FTD's bed and will keep him snuggy warm for years to come.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Charity Quilting Time

I posted a while ago about the Ebay auction for Ranger Margaret Anderson's children.  I did get my quilt done, and the auction is now up and running.  They had a few glitches with travel certificates, apparently Ebay staff wants a bigger piece of that action or something, but all is good now.

And, since we're such good friends and all, and since I've just gotta tell somebody else, my Madison Junction Tree quilt is now up to $51.00.  I prayed and prayed it would go for at least that, and if it didn't I would buy it back for at least $50.  Whew.  But here's the news that brought me to tears last night.  My arrowhead quilt is up to $200.  I was in my crafty corner in the basement when I saw that, and couldn't catch my breath.  There's no way in hell it's worth that, so I'm making a pillow and some mug rugs to go with it.  Sorry for the hubris here, but holyshit.  Just thinking about it makes me weepy in an odd way.  Happy weepy that so much money is going to the Trust Fund, and also happy weepy that well, just because.  Also sad weepy that we have to be involved in such an activity.  I would much rather have made something for a birthday or anniversary or something.

Now back to the real world.

Anybody get engaged for Valentine's Day?  Need a minister?  Call me!  I'm all good to go.  Even bought a nice new, dressy black suit.  For me to spend any quality time in a department store is a Big Deal.  Not a shopper. . . .  but I like how it looks.  Anywho, it's been interesting having discussions about marriage and weddings.  I'm a believer in it myself.  Marriage, that is. Damn hardest job I've ever had, and also the most rewarding.

What the hell was I thinking when I bought iron on quilt batting?  Yuck.  Sadly, I have 2 queen size (I think) rolls of it.  I'll use it up for mug rugs and stuff, but blah.  Back to Warm and Natural for me!

Next up, the invites for All Things Danny Day are out.  It'll be Sunday March 11.  And of course, YOU are invited!  Oddly, he didn't want to invite any of the kids from his class.  He's all about grown-ups.  I think he's figured out that most of them have the skills to figure out what he's talking about, whereas kids, especially other kids with special needs, don't get him.  More about this later, speaking of rites of passage.

We finally got some snow--including a whole one and a half inches for Winterfest!  We only had half as many participants this year, but it was also a whopping 15-20 degrees with 10 to 20 mph winds.  I wasn't able to get any pics, but when I do, I'll share them.

Last up for random stuff, I'm boldly going where I've never gone before.  Sorta.  I'm going to put colored, yes colored paint on the dining room walls!  When we built the house, we had everything done in an nice white.  Crisp and clean.  And that meant we could put crap all over in various colors and it all worked.  So now I'm trying something new.  Actually, we painted FTD's room in 2 shades of green, and the master bath has 2 pale shades of yellow, green, and blue all blended in.  But the yellow we picked for the dining room is bold and warm.  Sheesh.  And we're gunna pay to have it done.  None of that being on 17 foot tall scaffolding for us anymore.  DH didn't even argue the point.  Well, he did, but only because he's programed to say it.  I just looked at him and grinned.  Silly old man.

Let's see... he can be outside playing with my chain saw or inside painting.... no contest there.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ranger Auction Begins Today!

Get your PayPal ready!  Today is the first day of the auction to benefit the children of Ranger Margaret Anderson who was killed in the line of duty on January 1, 2012.

There's lots of cool stuff so check it all out.  And most importantly, remember that all the proceeds from the auction will go to the trust fun that has been established by the National Park Foundation to help support Ranger Eric and Margaret's two beautiful little girls.

So why are you still reading this?  Go!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Turning 21 and Other Life Passages

My baby, my special delivery,  turned 21 this week.  He ordered himself a video game.  He asked to go to Friendly's for supper.  He asked me to make him cake and get ice cream. 

That's all of his wants.  At least that's all that I can tell he has, or that he can verbalize.

The kids at school all told him happy birthday.  His FB friends and family wished him well. 

FTD sitting on the shore of Lake Eire, enjoying the solitude.
That's all he needs to be content. 

It seems too little somehow.  While I'm glad he didn't get tanked on his 21st, I'm saddened that he has no friends with whom he just hangs out.  He still has 2 good buddies from his academic high school, but they are both in, or trying to earn the money to be in, college.  They still come over and play Pokemon and Zelda and something else.  They still engage in "parallel play," like toddlers do.  I want so much more for him, yet if he's content, what should I be wanting for him?

We've also discussed the concept of leaving him here this summer (but haven't even made a peep about this to DD, who will blow a cork), instead of dragging him to which ever park I land in.  DH and I discussed the pros and cons, and simply put, there are many more pros to him staying here.  My nephew will live here again, and with a certified waiver option provider hanging with him a couple of days a week, he'll be fine.

But will I? 

All moms know that their kids are going to leave the nest some day.  Okay, we're leaving him in the nest while we boogey, but still.  He doesn't get home from school until 4:30 and by 2:30 or so, I'm really missing him. How will I manage for 4 months?

I will be coming home for my BFF's daughter's wedding in mid-July, so FTD and I will have at least a couple of days together.  And DH will likely stay until Memorial Day, since DD says he wants to hang around until the end of school this year, since it's his "Senior" year and last at the academic HS. He'll attend the vocational HS where FTD currently attends next year, as will FTD, who'll only be there for the first semester, as he will age out next February.  So if this plan goes, I'll be driving to my park, and living alone for nearly a month.  Good news, bad news that.

DH was making squawky noises about how since we leave all summer he doesn't get anything done around here.  Um, he doesn't get much done when we are here, so that's a moot point.  I also cannot imagine ever again spending a summer in the heat and humidity and mosquitoes and ticks of NW Ohio.  When I'm too old and decrepit to stand for the 8 hours my job requires, I'll come home and sit in the air conditioning and look out my windows, but until that day, I'm outta here in the summers.  Folks around here who have never been able to escape in the summers don't realize that there's nice weather to be had in other places. 

Speaking of which, one of the other parks at which I applied isn't hiring any new staff this year.  It's a perfect location for a summer gig (even tho they have black flies).  I'm going to screw up my courage and call the other park to see if I've got any chance up there, too.  The calls are hard to make because I don't want to appear to be pushy, but I really need to know sooner rather than later.  And of course, my back up position is Yellowstone.  How blessed am I that that is the case.

If we do in fact leave FTD here, it opens the potential for a move to Old Faithful, if if if the one and apparently only 2 bedroom apartment is available.  I haven't been in it, but I hear it's smaller than our Madison apartment.  But being at OF means DD can actually get a paying job.  And DH can volunteer pretty much when ever he feels like it. He's not so interested in committing to a schedule, and um, well this is embarrassing, but even tho it's a volunteer job, some volunteers get free or reduced housing out of the deal.  We did in North Dakota and it was fabulous!  He was the Campground Host, so we got to live in the little cabin in return for him working at least 32 hours a week, which was a breeze and he loved it. (We'd so do that again, if the cabin were available.) 

Boy Scout Troop from Toledo raising the Flag at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Medora, North Dakota.  Our camp tender's cabin.

Our YNP apartment on a beautiful May day.
The housing situation for volunteers in YNP has been interpreted differently, so it seems that his working wouldn't be compensated.  Yeah, we know it's volunteering but the fact that some volunteers 'get paid' and some don't is kinda tricky.

Well, it's after 1 p.m.. Time to make those phone calls.....

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Ranger Margaret Anderson Ebay Auction for Children (New pics 2/9/1

As you know, Ranger Margaret Anderson was fatally shot and killed in the line of duty on New Years Day, 2012.  Her friends, her Church, the National Park Foundation, and others have created a trust fund for the care of her two darling daughters, ages 2 and 4.

Next weekend, these same folks are sponsoring an Ebay auction site to help to continue to raise funds. I'll be donating a couple of small quilts.

Here's the link at ebay:

Items will go up on February 14 and remain up until the 23rd of February.

You can also look at the FB page/event to show your support.

So I'll donate one of these:

The top quilt, as you may recall, is the motif that is on the Madison Historic Trailside Museum at Yellowstone National Park, now the Junior Ranger Station and Information Station.  It's an exact size copy of this:

Isn't is just the cutest thing?  I usually only make these for the super-coolest folks who have served at Madison Junction, but for Ranger Eric and his little girls, I'll donate one.

And here's the new one:

Arrowhead Quilted Wall Hanging 

So mark your calendar and get your PayPal ready!  I've also seen a few of the other items that are being auctioned.... the really, really cool stuff!