Monday, April 27, 2020

Stay Home - Garden On

We've spent most of our time at home this month, as is suggested throughout the country.  Our son has also been here for most of this month, deciding it would be better to shelter with family than shelter alone.  We were so happy to have him home!  He watches some cooking videos and decided we needed to use up some yeast I had in the pantry.  He made pizza dough and ciabatta (both twice!). We even made personal pizzas for our family and took them up to my mother-in-law's, all under the 10-person limit, last Sunday.  She is now 'entertaining visitors' in her garage with lawn chairs set apart.  We do what we have to, don't we?!

Unfortunately, his state is reopening and he needs to get back to his agriculture customers. It's always hard when he leaves but we know it won't be long before he's home again.  Here are a few pictures from the past month.  So much fun! 

Jack and his Uncle Andy 

Andy harvested a turkey during turkey season.

Jack learns how to feed the chickens.

With the "Stay Home" orders, I've been able to concentrate on my flower beds.  Andy helped with the mulching.  I don't think my beds have ever been cleaned and mulched this early before but I'm loving how they are looking!

My Secret Garden with hostas, heuchera, iris, lilies and quince 
in their partial shady spot

I think I planted this Bleeding Heart  last year and it has really grown!

These two quince shrubs got quite a pruning last year and I hoped they would come out.  What a beautiful display this Spring!

Over the last several years, we have created a curved flower berm in front of our house.  It echos the curve in our driveway and has had several changes and additions over the years.  It is still in transition but we finally have the foundation plants in place.  The area in front of it, toward the gravel road, is full of wildflowers and will remain unmown.  J mentioned yesterday how much he likes this berm as it is a good transition from the 'wildflower area' to the more manicured area around the house.  The berm contains crabapple trees, peonies, ink berry bushes, Russian sage, ninebark and lilacs.  Perennials include coneflowers, rudbeckia, moon flowers, clematis and salvia.  I'm so happy these have all come back!  This is the view looking down one side of the berm.  It's actually twice this size and but I haven't figured out a way to 
photograph it all in one picture.

The crab apple blooms have been gorgeous this year!

Even with social distancing, we were able to share a Palm Sunday brunch with my MIL.  Andy shared the scripture for the day and we all enjoyed these egg casserole cups, fruit and blueberry muffins - all sitting 'appropriately safe distances' apart!!  The recipe was shared by Ann on her blog, On Sutton Place.
I substituted sausage for the ham as that's what I had on hand.  Those fresh eggs really made a great breakfast!!

During the rainy days, I've been a little creative making face masks (like everyone else!) and some bowl cozies.  These cozies are one of the big sellers for our retired teacher craft club.  We make and sell items to support our Classroom Grant program.  I've also been working on digitizing some family photos.
These bowl cozies are great to warm up soup in the microwave!  (Be sure all of your supplies are ALL COTTON so they don't catch on fire!)

What have you been up to during these pandemic days?  I'm hoping you, your family and friends are healthy!  I'm praying for all who have been working to keep the rest of us safe and healthy and special prayers of comfort to those who are suffering from this disease and for those who have lost loved ones.  

Until next time....  Zenda

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

How Quickly Things Can Change

Things can sure change quickly in a short time, can't they?  This time last month we were on our way home from a fun vacation to South Carolina and Florida.  Now we are laying low at home.  I'm hoping you are taking precautions and staying healthy!  

I did get to take a shopping trip with my sister before the STAY HOME order came through and I'm so glad we got to enjoy our day together!  Two days later, we were basically home bound.  Since then, I've been busy trying to finish up several projects and I'm happy to share my progress.  The first is finishing up my Square Knot Quilt. This was my first attempt at machine quilting and I can say I learned a lot during the process. Although there is room for improvement, I am pretty happy with it.

Remember bargello needlepoint from the 1970s?  I've been seeing pillows made using this vintage needlepoint style lately and thought it  would be fun to make my own. I worked on this little pillow top during our vacation drive and really enjoyed it!  I finished it up when we got home.

Another project I've started was embroidering a quilt top.  A cousin purchase these blocks and the blue floss several years ago but decided the project wasn't really for her.  I thought it would look good with more color and am pleased how they are turning out.  There are actually enough blocks to make two quilts.  I think the next quilt will have a variety of colored flowers instead of just yellow, like a flower garden.  It's been a long time since I've worked on a quilt top like this and it's fun to pick up and work on now and then.  

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you and your loved ones find creative and projective things to do while we also try to stay safe and healthy.  Let me know what you've been doing to pass the time.

These are frightening and historic times.  I'm pray for all who are affected by this pandemic - those who are suffering from the illness, those who have lost loved ones and those who are working so hard to help us maintain our lives.