Wednesday, October 31, 2012

We're Tilted...But we're here!

We are super grateful these days.  We weathered Superstorm Sandy and we are safe as are our loved ones.   I'm still stunned by the images of the storm.  Without power, I could only listen to the news by radio which seemed horrible enough, but the photographs and video stun me.  We have endured losses in Pennsylvania, but we are so lucky.
Most of the damage around here is from fallen trees.  During Hurricane Irene and the monster snowstorm (October 2011), many branches fell and cut power off.  This year, we simply see trees uprooted.  HUGE trees uprooted and they are all over the place, sometimes tenuously leaning on wires.
Trees are still falling.  My friend called me to tell me that there one just fell on her street today.  I know this is a possibility for a few days so we could lose power again.  Good things are happening too, the utilities companies with help from the local grocers are footing the bill for water and ice for folks:
And despite everything, some folks know how to put a smile on our face.  The DaVinci Science Center sustained minimal damage compared to some places but one of the things that happened was their sign blew over:
The sign still works though, it just lights up and says, "We're Tilted" and then it flashes, "But we're here!"
Yes, even if we are all a bit tilted right now, we are all super grateful to be here.

Monday, October 29, 2012

My world and welcome to it...

This is my mantra these days.  My girlfriends often joke about how good I have it at home.  My husband travels most of the time with his job and I am left to do what I choose.  When he is home, the world pretty much revolves around what he wants to do (usually just REST, eat homecooked food, watch sports and see the kids).  

I was single for about 16 years between marriages and his schedule gives me the break and alone time I had become accustomed to while raising my son.  The only downside is days like this when we are expecting a "superstorm" and I have to experience it alone.  It's just a bit scary, especially when you listen to the news.  

So I'm keeping myself occupied and thought I would post some photos of the updated sewing room and some other things.  My other new mantra is "use it or lose it" so I'm choosing to put a lot of my treasures on display these days.  So let's go up the steps to the sewing area...
Here's what hits you at the landing at the top of the stairs.  The child's hutch holds my sewing notions and I needed a place to put some of my linens.  I have a lot of doll and baby quilts and some are in the bed.   I can't wait for Helena to come over and play.  I think she and Miles will have a lot of fun here.
Still the landing-- but see this big quilted pillow?  It is resting on my new ottoman.  My best friend (more like adopted sister) and I swap furniture all the time; she was yearning for my trundle bed and I was yearning for more space up here.  So she got the trundle and swapped me for this ottoman  which unfolds into... a bed!   My son slept on it and said it was very comfortable.  Anyway, when Helen and Miles play house up here, they can use it for a couch (with that big quilted pillow) and their story books are stored in that bookshelf (a nice place to read, don't you think?).
********************************TA DA!
Here's my main sewing room and yes, it feels like a dance floor there.  It's my little space under the eaves and I really love it.  And now for something completely different..  

Here is our tiny kitchen:
 One of the things I decided to do was use more of my linens.  So I am using them in my cupboards more.  Martha from "Q is for Quilter" introduced me to museum wax for holding up antique figurines but the wax is useful to hold my blue plates up in the back of the cupboard as well:

My next project will probably be to paint the cabinet on the left.  We bought in Plymouth, Mass.  many years ago and I've put off painting out of deference to my husband who loved the beige when we bought it.  I doubt he remembers that now and I want it to be more in keeping with the rest of the kitchen.  The cabinet on the right he made before we got married and it was a matte brown/rust color at one time.  My vision for the piece on the left is a white cabinet with red gingham curtains (for the top door).  
So that is some of my little world.  Hope you enjoyed the tour.  I guess I will go sew and try to not listen to the news for a while.  I have lots of "no power" projects ready but think I will sew while we have electricity.
Stay safe everyone and hugs to you all!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sandy, the aurora is rising behind us....

Greetings from Eastern...

For two days I've been humming the old Bruce Springsteen song as Hurricane Sandy approaches.  I'm still not sure how much rain we are expecting.  I hear things from 2 to 8 (or more) inches.  Say some prayers for the folks in New Jersey, Delaware, and New York who live along the shore and hopefully have evacuated for safer havens...
My husband and I live on top of hill so the only flooding we will experience will be the normal leaks and creaks you get living in an old house.  My brother lives down the street (and down the hill from me) and I know he will keep me posted on how the creek is doing.  Personally I wish he and his wife would stay up here with me but I get that they are more comfortable in their own place.  We live surrounded by small bodies of water--creeks, ponds, so its not unusual for us to get locked in because of flooding around us.  My brother's house is high enough to avoid flooding as long as he moves his car to higher ground.

We will surely lose power as we live in an old city with a lot of old trees and folks who don't drive wisely in this kind of weather.  We tend to lose power on a regular basis anyway so we are always prepared with the usual batteries, radios, and plug in phones.   I'm charging up the old laptop so I can at least write during the black out.  So we are prepared for the worst but hoping for the best!  

Hope all the rest of my blog friends in the path of this Nor'easter stay safe and dry!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A World where there are Octobers

“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
from Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
In our small city in Pennsylvania, it always seems like autumn happens overnight.  One day everything is green and then suddenly (or so it seems) gold, auburn, and orange are everywhere.  
 The weather folks are predicting a harsh winter and I am apt to believe it. Our squirrels have seemed frantic since August and I am seeing a lot of woolly caterpillars (and who move surprisingly fast on our front step).
Big Blue, our local Great Blue Heron(s?) is still fishing and we will be watching to see if the heron migrate.  We aren't sure how many live here, but we really enjoy seeing them.  They are often hard to detect but I'm getting better.  Surprisingly, the dogs remain calm when they see them:
The end of this week will be warm and I will be putting the garden to bed for the winter.  I'm ready to hibernate, how about you?

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Been a lot going on here which is why I haven't written often.  My stepson was ill and in August we had the grandchildren a lot.  More recently he stayed here but is finally now at home with wife and kids.  We've been juggling a lot and today I am going to reclaim my sewing room and reorganize it.  
This is how my sewing room used to look:

Nothing is simple at our place so of course this summer I finally decided to use this as a sewing room and cut the guest room part out.  Did I mention this is a really small house?  Anyway, I gave the bed away, passed on a lot of fabric, quilts, and patterns, and did a total clear out.

Which of course was good because when my stepson came home, we had everything but a bed for him.  So again, back with a bed, etc...Now he has gone back and guess what?  We took the bed out...last night I couldn't sleep so I attacked the room again.  I don't function well in a disorganized area so I had to take pictures of my room all messed up (okay pulled apart, bringing things back, moving others out).  Just look at this mess!!! :) 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Blue Herons and Autumn Days

Here is Seamus.  We go to the park at least once a day together.  I love walking and so does Seamus.  He does this posing thing, like he is Rin-Tin-Tin. :)
Today we looked at this fellow across the creek:
That's a blue heron and they have been around here since before my husband and I moved to this city.  There are many parks in our region and the heron are quite happy to fish our creeks.  My neighbor down the street actually walked out of her house one day to find some heron in her backyard pond, eating her koi.  Sometimes they fly overhead and you can hear the whooshing of their massive wings.  It always made my late dog Paddie stop and look up at them.  
Anyway, we have some lovely parks in Allentown and the dogs love exploring them with me:

The first real frost is expected tonight but for now, everything is remaining green!  How is autumn where you are?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sunny days needed

We've been homebound for far too long this month.  The weather has been wet, cool, and miserable.  I didn't mind the approach of winter but thought I would at least have time to work on the garden.  The poodle boys are rammy from being in too much even though I walk them whenever there is a break in the weather.
Now DH just called and he is unhappy because the weather is inhibiting his hunting.  Anyone know a song or dance that brings out the sun?

Monday, October 8, 2012

I say tomato and you

Is there anything quite as wonderful as apples in October?  This year, our family is particularly fond of the honey crisp variety and are fortunate that our grocers have some nice ones in stock.  I'm buying nearly a dozen every few days because my guys are gobbling them up.  It made me think of this quilt:

Seamus and the vintage fruit quilt
I call it the tomato quilt because with the yellow background, it reminds me of vintage labels of canned tomatoes.  Everyone else calls it the apple quilt.  Which ever fruit it is, the quilt sure is fun and different and I just love it.  Which fruit do you think it is?