Thursday, May 31, 2007

Last Quilt Meeting for This Year

Our Quilt Guild held it's last meeting for the year on Tuesday evening. Someone, in her infinite wisdom, decided to change the venue! This meeting was to be held all the way out in Ajax, about a half hour drive from my place. To make matters worse, it was to be a pot luck dinner and I was supposed to bring a dessert - enough for about 6 people. That should not have been difficult, but I had no time to bake or prepare anything. I had been busy in my garden all day! I did not want to show up without a dessert! What to do? What to do? I decided to do the only thing any conscientious, hardworking gardener, covered in soil and dirt, would do! I decided to stop at Tim Hortons for a box of Timbits! I hate it when people are so lazy and just buy something stupid, like Timbits - those little dough balls laced with oil and fat! Yuk! But what could I do? Ordinarily I am a quilter! But after the May two-four weekend, I turn into DADA! SUPER GARDENER! I can think of nothing else than the plants in my garden! My nails get dirty and chipped! My hands won't come clean anymore! They are hard and calloused and dry! My skin gets tanned from too much exposure to the sun. I forget to drink water and get dehydrated! And my feet get so filthy that I must wash them before entering the house! Like my hands, they will probably never be clean again! Not until the arrival of the first frost anyway!

I tried my best to look like a quilter for the evening! I took a shower and cleaned my nails! I changed into clean clothes, put on a quilted vest, combed my hair and brushed my teeth. No one would be able to see that my first hobby had taken second place to my new hobby! But try as I might, I was still late getting to the meeting. And on top of that, the meeting was to start half an hour early, and I had half an hour farther to drive to get there.

As I was getting into the car I realized that I was out of gas! What else could go wrong? On, no! I had no money! Not even the $2.25 for a pack of 20 Timbits! So I stopped at the bank machine, went to Timmy's, and got gas at the only station that still puts it in for you! After all, I didn't want my hands to get dirty again!

I could only drive slowly along highway 2. I had to fight rush hour traffic combined with construction all the way to Ajax! I parked my car in the last space outside the church and as quietly as I could, went inside and sat at the back of the room. I hoped I would be inconspicuous, but some members had already seen me and started waving! I waved back - sort of low down - to avoid making a spectacle of myself. Our president was speaking at the podium. I waited politely until she was finished. As soon as I could, I handed in the two quilts I had made for quilts from the heart (quilts that will go to charity), paid my dues for next year (I will again become a quilter in September!) and put my Timbits on the dessert table, being careful to do so when no one was watching!

Aside from the pot luck, the highlight of the evening was a singing quilter, named Cathy Miller. She and her husband, John Bunge had come to entertain us! They sang songs about quilting and the special things that go with that. It made me feel proud to be a quilter, even if it is for only half the year!!! Most of their songs made fun of what we do - like buying too much fabric, having a stash, avoiding housework in order to quilt and disguising new fabric purchases so as not to evoke the wrath of our families! It all sounds so crazy when someone sings about it! Included in their lyrics were acronyms like UFOs (UnFinished Objects), PIGS (Projects In Grocery Sacks), and WIPs (Works in Progress). We all enjoyed it immensely! At the end we gave them a standing ovation, in the hopes that they would do just one more song. But, alas, they didn't. It was time to go home! It took me until after 10:00pm before I drove into the driveway. As I reflected on the evening, I was glad that I had conquered all the obstacles in order to attend the last meeting for this year! It had been most enjoyable. Good food, well except for that box of Timbits someone had brought! Good company - quilters are the greatest! And..... I still had some cash left over from my trip to the bank machine. I had a car full of gas, a box with about 8 Timbits left in it, (I saved them to have with my coffee the next morning) and a case of hiccups from laughing so much during the performance! Tomorrow I will spend that bit of left over cash on some more plants. After all isn't that what every gardener needs- more plants? Just like a quilter needs more fabric! It makes me glad to be a quilter AND a gardener!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

What is Life?

Life is the blossoming of flowers in spring, the ripening of fruit in fall, the rhythm of the earth and nature. Life is the buzzing of cicadas on a hot summer day, geese flying south against a cerulean-blue autumn sky, fish swimming in my owner's aquarium. Life is a soft bed, a window to look out of, a cool drink from a toilet bowl. Life is a nap in the sunshine under a flowering bougainvillea. Life is the joy of a catnip mouse! And better still, a fresh sprig of nip from the garden in spring! Meow!!!! I love that! Life is all things! Love, Mimi

I Finally Found Some Trilliums!

This is a Crazy Place for Trilliums to Grow!
I found some trilliums! It's the strangest thing! I found them in a woodlot, in front of our Civic Centre! Aren't they beautiful? Yesterday I looked everywhere in the park, where nature seemed undisturbed and deer prints covered the ground. And yet I could find none there. But here, in this busy area of our city, there were plenty. This is a place where lots of people walk every day. A pathway connects the main road with the buildings. I didn't use the pathway, although I think I probably should have. But I was careful not to step on any plants growing on the forest floor. I stood in the middle of the woods. It was the strangest sensation! I could not see the buildings around me. And I could not see the traffic on the main road, but I could hear it. I was in the middle of a forest yet I felt as if I could get run over by a car at any moment. The noise from the road seemed much too loud.
But inside my secret woodlot, the air was clean and clear. I closed my eyes and imagined myself in the deepest woods! The birds were chirping all around me. I could smell the sweet scent of forest floor and herbaceous plants. It was breath-taking! I took photos and sat on a fallen log to admire a chipmunk, scurrying about its business, digging in the crunchy leaves. A robin sang from the tree above me, a lovely song of freedom and happiness and love, announcing the arrival of his two new offspring! The wind whistled through the overhead branches and blew across my face as if welcoming me to this wonderful natural Paradise. Only the sound of a car, honking its horn, brought me back to reality.
The sounds of the city were all around me. I was in two worlds. The world of nature and the world of mankind. If a car travels on a road beside a forest, can anyone hear it? I tried not to! The nature sounds were much nicer!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Where Have All the Trilliums Gone?

I went for a walk, in the woods, with my camera today. I had a purpose! To photograph the trilliums that are in bloom at the moment. Our provincial flower! I wanted a photo of them - lots of them - growing on a hillside, dappled sunshine making their white blossoms sparkle, their smiling faces reflecting the light. the deep green of their leaves a stark contrast to the brown leaves of the forest floor. But I found none! Unbelievable! The park I went to used to have millions of trilliums. I had photographed them with my old camera a few years ago. Now, with my new digital, I wanted to get lots of shots, so that I could print them and frame them and decorate my walls with them. But I could not find any!!! None! Only a group of May Apples, growing in some dry dirt. This was not the forest I remembered! Don't talk to me of global warming or garbage that is being shipped to Michigan or those curly lightbulbs that will save energy! I only want to know what the heck has happened to the trilliums? My trilliums!
If you know where they are. Could you bring them back? Please!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Cherry Blossoms!

My cherry tree is in full bloom. I couldn't be more excited! Since we have been hosting girls from Japan over the past few summers, I have come to really love cherry blossoms. Mine are white! Most of the cherry blossoms in Japan are pink. Or so I have heard. If all goes well, in a couple of months my tree should be loaded with fruit. The cherries from my tree are sour. Very sour! But that is alright with me! I like the odd cherry when the season is upon us, but whole tree full - even that would be too much of a good thing! So I just use my cherries for making jam. It is delicious! I will probably make two batches with all those cherries. And if there are any left over, I will leave them for the birds. They like them too.

Before we started to host students from Japan, I had not thought much about cherry blossoms. Now I have come to look forward to the cherry rituals of the Japanese. Cherry trees signify the beginning of a new season! It is like a re-awakening of nature. They have picnics and sit under the trees and take photos. Mount Fuji in the background! Beautiful! When their new school year starts, they hope that the cherry trees are still in bloom since they bring good luck for the new year. But for me the blossoms only signify a crop of cherries! And some delicious jam!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Folk Dance Jamboree!

The schools in our area held a Folk Dance Jamboree tonight. The kids have been practicing their dances since January. They were great! Everyone performed well. It was a beautiful evening. The weather was just right. My daughter is a teacher and I used to be one too. So I really enjoy these little extra curricular activities and take every opportunity to join in when I can.

Mimi didn't go with me. She would have been scared by all the activity and noise. So no comments, please, Mimi! Mimi stayed home and napped, ah, oh, I mean, protected the house! There were a couple of thousand students at the Jamboree. The colourful outfits, which represented their school's colours were breathtaking. The music was a bit loud, but the kids had a wonderful time anyway. They like their music loud! Great fun was had by all.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Pink Hearts and Yellow Stars

We finally have nice, warm, spring-like weather. The forsythia are in bloom. Their bright yellow blooms are a nice change from the dreary grays of winter. I took this photo from my neighbour's yard. He is holding the quilt up for me. Thanks Micheal!

I started this baby quilt last summer. The hearts and stars are appliqued by hand. I love doing hand applique! But I think I have said that before! I also like simple piecing. So I designed this quilt using those two techniques. It is very simply machine quilted with stitch-in-the-ditch, outline quilting and a few extra lines of stitching to hold the whole thing together. This quilt is definitely a girl quilt, although I have no idea for whom I was making it. When I found it in my UFO basket, I decided to finish it and hoped that I would remember who the precious baby girl was supposed to have been. Perhaps I was just making it for the fun of designing and using some fantastic fabrics. Don't you just love the colours? They are so pretty and soft.

Do you have anything to say about it Mimi?


Quilt, meow, what quilt? Oh, not now. Please! Can't you see that I am taking a nap in the sunshine. Meow! I'll get back to you later.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Quilts From the Heart

These quilts are for charity. They will go to a local women's shelter. Some of the women at our Guild, who organize the 'Quilts from the Heart', will deliver them. These quilts are not complicated. They are just simple patterns in bright and cheerful colours. Hopefully they will provide comfort and security to a small child who is trying to escape the violence and abuse of his or her daily life. Everyone is entitled to a safe and happy environment. No one should have to live life in fear!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Spring Has Arrived!

After a long, cold winter, it seems that spring has finally arrived here in TO. My garden is calling to me. Can you hear it? I try to spend as much time as I can digging in the dirt, cutting down last year's growth, pulling up weeds and dividing and transplanting my perennials. That means less time for quilting and other indoor things. Too bad! But also less time for housework! Hurrah!!!
I was not alone in my garden today. A beautiful yellow goldfinch whistled to me from the peach tree. A bright red cardinal landed in the apple tree and sang a spring song, especially for me. A black bird took a dip in my bird bath. Very cute! And a robin helped herself to a nice, fat, juicy worm as I dug up some disgusting weeds that were threatening to take over the garden. It's nice to have friends.
Mimi watched me from the window. I know that she would have loved to come outside. But I don't trust her. And.... I like my little bird friends too much! I know Mimi does too! So she has to stay indoors. I brought her a fresh piece of catnip when I went inside. That seemed to appease her.
Meow! Mimi here! I sat on the window ledge and watched my owner, working in the garden. She was covered in dirt and kept wiping her muddy hand across her face. Wouldn't it be funny if someone had come over and seen her like that! Meow! Meow! She should have licked herself. I always keep my face nice and clean! Humans are so disgusting!
There were lots of birds in the garden today. My owner seemed pleased as they rested in my trees. It was all I could do to contain myself. If only I could get out there and catch me one of those tasty, feathered morsels! You know! Chase and hunt! Do what cats are supposed to do! That robin sat about three feet away from her and did not even seem afraid. I could have caught her, given the chance!!!!! I have sharpened my claws a million times just for such an event! I am ready! Just open the damned door and let me out!!
She brought me a piece of catnip when she came in. A tiny piece that I had to share with my 'brothers'. Gosh! What does she think? A tiny piece of a green herb will appease me? Meow!

Thought of the Day

The idea of calm exists in a sitting cat.