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And So the New Year Begins

When you are sewing all the time, other activities take a back seat, one of which has been cleaning my house, while the other is not taking photographs incessantly. Neither of those are good, but one is worse than the other. Can you guess what order of importance I place on the above? 😀

It was kind of weird having the holiday on Monday wasn't it? I began the day by getting back out on my bicycle, and as I rode down our street, immediately I saw a large bird fly into my neighbor's gigantic Pine tree. An osprey!
This is the same neighbor who last year played host to the Heron's nest, however, sadly the dead tree was taken down during the fall, so we won't be watching the Great Blue Heron have babies again. By the looks of their driveway, this is not the first time an Osprey has been on those branches! Always look for the poop!

Once he/she took off, I decided I needed to visit the owl, and see what I could see. As you can see, the owl was having no part of my visit.
Whether this is the female or male, I haven't a clue, however, it won't be long before they are laying their eggs again, so we have that to look forward to. Well, two big birds, why not check for a third? As I was riding down Waterwitch on my way to the eagle nest, I heard a loud call and, yup...another raptor! Using both my zoom lens, and a little bit of cropping, we are able to see the hawk pretty clearly; I am pretty sure it is a Red Shouldered Hawk, although I would not suggest quoting me on that.
So this was all very exciting, and I rode on with great expectations, only to find not an eagle in sight! Last year the house was vacant, however, that is no longer the case because a young family has moved in this fall. I was hoping for an eagle, but instead I got to talk to these absolutely adorable boys riding in their front yard. Oh my gosh, they were so cute!!
Brings back fond memories of having little boys around. :)

Heading back from whence I came, by golly, an explanation for all those droppings on our neighbor's driveway appeared right before my eyes. Although the Osprey was in the same Pine tree as I rode up, it was not long before it flew onto the branches of another tree, joining up with another Osprey!!
I was dying!! When I did get home, I asked B if he would like to accompany me to Leu Gardens so I could take some photographs. "Nope, but I would like to go look at cars", he replied. We have been talking about him getting a new car for a while because, although low mileage, the BMW is 10 years old now, and showing some age. Plus, he'd dreamed up a plan where he would get a truck, so we could have a vehicle to haul stuff around, while I would trade in the Pilot, to once again drive a MINI Cooper!! Long story short, we got neither, but I did test drive this used funky MINI Clubman.
If you are new to this blog you may be unfamiliar with my MINI Cooper obsession, fueled by my previous ownership; an art business will put a damper on owning a MINI, or in my case, a trade in! I will keep you posted...

So, I mentioned I received some super great gifts, not all will I show, however,  there are a few I wanted to highlight, including this cool light catcher Jon and Alissa got me while visiting New Orleans this year.
The question begs to asked...Did Matt and Tom buy this mug, so perfectly matched to my new dishes, before or after my purchase? The match is uncanny!
They definitely know the saying on the cup..."You Cannot Drink Too Much Tea," rings true for me! Design by this British artist!

Books!! Six new books!! (atop my awesome new ironing board)
It is hard to explain, but every now and again, when I open a gift I immediately break into tears. When we were first married Bruce gave me a set of cookbooks, Woman's Day for those wondering, and I bawled. Then again, one year Bill gave me a Crock Pot, that of all things, brought me to tears. So it was this year that I began crying when I opened the top book, short stories by Colum McCann given to me by Matt and Tom. He is definitely one of my most favorite authors, and a signed copy is icing on the cake! Please note the Kafee Fassett book given to me by Jane and Ray for my birthday as he will feature in this post soon.

Speaking of my birthday, perhaps because I'm getting older, people are sending more cards? I don't know if that is true or not, but this year I hit the birthday card jackpot!
They will remain on display for weeks I suspect!

So, the weather has been unbearably warm and muggy, but you know who has been loathe to turn the ac back on. I'm stubborn like that. Yesterday morning I was diligently cleaning, sweating up a storm, as I finally got around to mopping the floors. Glancing at the clock, rather than a calendar, I saw the time was 9:20, and panicked. Oh my gosh, it is Modern Quilt Guild meeting day at 10! Dashing into a very quick shower, and flying down the highway, I arrived at Sewing Studio with a few minutes to spare, and a whole lot of empty parking spaces. Good grief!! It was only Tuesday, not Wednesday!!! Since I'd driven all that way, I decided to carefully browse the entire store, not once, but twice. I came away with some solid colors that I incorporated into this new pillow cover. Disclaimer...totally stolen idea!! At some point in time, I'd come across this amazing quilter  and fell in love with her work. A couple of years ago J & A gave me a signed copy of a book called, Steal Like an Artist, which I have certainly done here.
Bruce left for the airport at 5AM this morning and I decided to start my day then as well, beginning with cleaning up my sewing table which was a huge mess. I organized those solids in one of the sturdy boxes that held my beautiful new dress Bruce gave me for my birthday.
Later on  I went to the actual meeting; it was as inspirational as ever. Plus, they presented a slate of officers for next year, and guess who will be President? Sharleen's daughter! As in THE Sharleen, organizer of our Days for Girls chapter. Proud Mama is looking at her sweet daughter Sarah's handiwork.
Today I met another fantastic quilter, who if you are interested and on Instagram, you can follow here. During the show and tell segment, Debra presented this fantastic work.
Guess what? The fantastical fabric on the top left corner, (the back of the quilt), is none other than Kaffe Fassett fabric! So amazing!

Irene is on her way over just now. You can bet we will be talking sewing!

Not sweating as the humidity has abated,

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