Wednesday, August 25, 2021

172 I Like Thursday Posts

 Welcome to my 172nd I like Thursday post.  Thank you LeeAnna for encouraging us to find things each week that we like/love.  

We have had a hot humid week, which is weird since just the week before we were in the low 70's and in the low 50's overnight.  This week we are in the high 80's to low 90's with high humidity.  Even the rare thunderstorm and accompanying rain isn't helping it a whole lot.  My volunteer sunflower is looking kind of droopy. It has 26 blossoms.  I decided to take a picture from every direction.

One of my Rose of Sharon bushes finally bloomed.

I find it interesting that these blooms remind me of the hibiscus you see on Hawaiian prints.  

I have been trying to carve out at least 15-30 minutes a day to sew.  I finished up step 4 for On Grassy Creek.

This is one block set of 4 out of 25 total.  I need to work at squaring them up, and clipping the dog ears.

I used part of step 5 as a leader and ender while I was sewing step 4.  I have actually been digging through my bin of 1 1/2 inch squares.  I need 35 total, I have made 10 so far just from the scrap bin.

Halloween dog costumes are arriving at the store.  

A Dinosaur.  It reminds me of Little Foot from the movie Land Before Time.
I am going to call this a Gecko.  I like the fabric.
A Llama!  I love the blanket with the little ball fringe.

A taco....loaded of course.  

I like drinking cold brew, but it is kind of expensive to purchase.  I have tried to make it using the insta pot but it isn't very strong.  I decided to purchase a jug to try it.  First I needed to grind some beans....4 cups of coarse grounds are needed.  

I love this grinder that I purchased a year or so ago because I can change the grind from very coarse to very fine. 

Next you fill the filter which is a very fine mesh metal, with your ground coffee.

Next you pour a gallon of filtered water over the grounds.  Which sounds simple right? 

Nope because you can only pour a small amount of water into the coffee grounds at a time.  I will say it took approximately 1 hour of pouring off and on to get the gallon of water into the pot.  Once you have your water in the jug, place it in the fridge with the grounds in the filter for 24 hours.  

My glass of cold brew with some cream and Coffee Mate Sweet Bliss Vanilla Coffee creamer.  I am pretty impressed even though it took some time.  

This is my youngest grandson Cayden.  He turned 8 on August 15th.  My mom, his great grandmother took him and his family to the beach to beat the heat and celebrate.

On the 25th my oldest grandson turned 14.  Wow how time flies.  How unfair that this boy has this beautiful red  hair with gorgeous curls.  But beware!  He has been known to steal your hair tie/scrunchie! 

I love the personalities that these boys exhibit!  Smart, loving, kind, both of them.  

My books....


Assault and Batting by Tess Rothery.  Taylor Quinn returns to her small hometown in Oregon to run the quilt shop that her mother had once owned care for her elderly grandfather, and teenage sister.  Taylor's sister Belle insists that their mother's death was not an accident.  As small town secrets come out Taylor begins to believe Belle may be right.

Be Still My Bleating Heart by Hannah Reed. This is the 4th book in the Scottish Highlands Mystery which features Eden Elliot, an American that has escaped to a small town in Scotland to write her next romance novel.  While many have heard of the Burn's Night Dinners not many have heard of the Sir Walter Scott Dinners.  When one of the attendees is discovered dead Eden must unravel the mystery before she ends up as the next victim.
Cappuccinos, Cupcakes, and a Corpse by Harper Lin.  This is another book that I reread because I wanted to read the 2nd book and it had been 5 years since I had read it originally.  Francesca Amaro moves back to her hometown of Cape Bay, Massachusetts to run the families coffee shop.  When she discovers her neighbor sitting in a lawn chair dead, it is up to Francesca and her friend Matty to discover who would have wanted to poison him.  
Crossed by Death by ACF Bookens.  Paisley Sutton crawls through and old building that she has received permission to salvage, she discovers an apartment, set as if the person just walked away, and a body.  Paisley starts to research the gas station and town history and people's personal stories that perhaps they would prefer to remain secret. 
Little Bookshop of Murder by Maggie Blackburn. Shakespearean Professor, Summer Merriweather returns to her hometown of Brigid's Island, NC to take over her mother's bookshop called Beach Reads.  Summer has always looked down on the books which aren't real literature in her mind, so she can't wait to get the shop ready to sell.  When Summer discovers threatening notes to her mother Hildy, and how can such a healthy vibrant woman die suddenly of a heart attack.  Perhaps her death wasn't natural after all.
On Borrowed Crime by Kate Young.  Lila Moody loves her small town of Sweet Mountain, Georgia, and especially her new job working as a receptionist for her uncle's private investigating firm.  A strange encounter with one of the Jane Doe Mystery Book group who is reported missing a few days later and some interesting clues referencing some Jane Doe murders.  When Lila's lost suitcase is delivered to her apartment with the missing Jane Doe group member who was reported missing, Lila is convinced they are related. 
Welcome to Spicetown by Sherri Richey.  Spicetown a small town in the hills of southern Ohio has a sweet mayor Cora Mae Bingham, and Police Chief Conrad Harris that look after all the town residents.  Missing fireworks, an complaining senior citizen who starts to act strange, and a new shop that is selling items that aren't quite what they claim to be. 
Now head over to LeeAnna's at Not Afraid of Color to check out the other I Like Thursday posts. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

171 Weeks of I Like Thursday

 171 Weeks of I Like Thursday.  Sure I have skipped a week here or there, and one year instead of doing an I Like Thursday post I did a whole month in November of Thankfulness.  What is I like Thursday?  LeeAnna of Not Afraid of Color has been encouraging us for almost 5 years to create a post weekly and share the things we have found during the week that make us smile, that we like/love.  Our ranks fluctuate as people's lives change, we drop out, drop back in, take sabbaticals but LeeAnna has been our constant.  Thank you so much for doing this!

I shared last week that I had started doing some local hikes, and Bobbin gets worn out.  So I have bought a couple of different packs to try.

This is a backpack made by a company called K9 Sports sack.  They have several different models, this is the more rugged one.  We have yet to take it out for a spin....I will get into that later in this post.  Bobbin seemed to like it, but she kind of ends up sitting on her haunches in it.  

This is a front carry pack made by a company called WOYYHO.  I put her in it quickly to snap a pic, and carried her around a bit, but not long enough to see if she liked it or not.   The front pack has a hard bottom, which is covered in a soft fabric so she can sit or lay with her head out.   Neither of these are so she can be carried the whole time, just when she gets tired.  The first has lots of pockets for poo bags, a water bottle, her water dish, a jacket.  The front carrier doesn't have as many pocket.  The front one is easier to get on.

Bobbin is still having problems with her anal glands, and we had an emergency trip to a different vet because of  diarrhea and then a huge bloody stool the other day, and her vet is out of the office on vacation.  She doesn't act sick, but she has had 2 antibiotic shots, and an anti-diarrheal  shot, no food for 24 hours (angry little girl).  She is back on another oral antibiotic for the next 8 days.  So Bobbin will be staying home for the foreseeable future, until we get this situation under control.   

 While I know she can't help being sick it put a crimp in my plans on my days off.  But I did use the time to watch her, and sew.

I got caught up on the SAL I am doing with my girlfriend.   I don't think I have been caught up on a SAL in forever!

Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
All the blocks so far.  I have been using scraps and stash in this quilt. 

I finished all the units for step 3 on the Bonnie Hunter not so mysterious On Grassy Creek, and started cutting fabrics for step 4.  

While I have been sewing blocks I have been trying to tame my string containers either by grabbing stuff to use on my pineapple blocks or a string block.  It works great for a leader and ender. 

It does need to be squared up.  I cut my foundation to 7 1/2 but I will probably trim down to 6 1/2.  

Today I decided to try to use one of the local metro parks to hike.  There are many and one of them (Willow) actually at one time was Jeff's Great Grandfather's land.  I went to enter a park called Oakwoods, and there was no one manning the booth so that I could pay, or even buy a yearly pass.  Went to the nature center, it doesn't open until 1 pm.  Came back out, drove down the road about a mile and entered Willow, again no one at the booth, drove through the whole park and was heading to another section of Willow which is about 5 miles away when that booth was open.  So I am legal at least.  

I shared about the app All Trails and if you use it correctly it will actually show the trail you walked/hiked/biked, and how many miles.

According to the stats I hiked 2 miles....I refer to it as feeding the mosquitoes though.  I tried one bug repellent without any chemicals that I bought at work.  It wasn't too bad, it was a name brand it has natural botanicals.  I have ordered another one which I have read good reviews.  I had read up about how to not attract mosquitoes, no perfume, wear light colored clothing, which is loose.  I still got a few bites, but the swarming around my face and head was very irritating.  

The hike was nice.  There were some flowers.

This is called Yellow Ironweed or Wingstem the botanical name is Verbesina alternifolia.  The butterflies and bees seemed to like it.

There was an interesting log with little tiny fungi clinging to the sides.  When I saw them I thought of fairy stairs leading to the top of the downed log. 

The Huron River, and if you look carefully there are a few swans swimming in the swampy portion.

On the home front, the zucchini has gotten out of hand.  I need to remove some peel and shred for zucchini bread this winter.

I wandered out to my poor pathetic orchard.  The apples are still struggling.  I need a year when the weather cooperates just a wee bit so my trees can get sprayed at the appropriate times, and I need to run an irrigation system out to them.  The pears trees.  One died this past winter, but the other one has made up for the lack.  

These were just gathered up from the ground that had been knocked down from the last few big storms.  If there were any holes or anything another armload went to the chickens. 

My one field looks like a fortress with a wall of these.

Cutleaf Teasel or Dipsacus laciniatus.   These are easily 6-8 feet tall.  What is funny is once you get past the wall of teasel the field is fairly open, wild roses, some trees, grass.  I can see where animals have been using it and bedding down so they feel safe.  

The volunteer sunflower is blooming like crazy.

There are so many flower heads all up and down the plant.  

I love the Anise Hyssop.  

It took over a planter, and completely moved from the bed.  Did you know that hyssop was an astringent?  That it was mentioned in the Bible six different times?  I know the bees and butterflies love it, and I love the licorice scent.  

Books for the week.  I have a couple of re reads so I could move on in the series.

Death by a Honey Bee by Abigail Keam.  I don't know why I haven't read more of her books, because I enjoy the main character Josiah Reynolds.   I decided to re read this book so I could read the next in the series.

 I think the publisher's blurb is the best.

The Josiah Reynolds series is not just another formulated mystery series. They are not cozy or fuzzy, but they do try to be humorous and witty. Sometimes they succeed. Each novel/novella has a stand-alone mystery, but the stories are also about the continuing life saga of a middle-aged Southern woman as she faces many serious obstacles. Josiah faces the world with sarcastic humor and a number of quirky, oddball friends that can only be found in the Southern town of Lexington, the heart of the Kentucky horse country.

In this book you are introduced to Josiah  a middle age widow, that raises honeybees and sells her honey at the local farmer's market. When her nemesis is found dead, face down in one of her hives, the local policeman is in a hurry to pin the murder on her.  

The 2nd book in the Josiah Reynolds series is Death by Drowning.  Josiah is recovering from her previous run in with Detective O'nan when she is asked by a friend to look into the death of her nephew that has been ruled as an accident.  Josiah with her hunky live in physical therapist/body guard make up an interesting team.

I am looking forward to the next book.  

Since I seemed to have a bee theme going, and it is set in Oregon.  My next book was Death Bee Comes Her by Nancy CoCo.

Wren Johnson runs the honey boutique called Let it Be where all things bee, and honey related are sold.  Beeswax candles, cosmetics, honey candy just to name a few.  Wren's life is turned upside down when she stumbles upon the body of Agnes Snow who is clutching a label from one of Wren's beeswax lip balms.  

Murder of a Small-Town Honey by  Denise Swanson was the next book I read. 

Skye Denison left Scumble River with big plans, and one of them is to never return.  After obtaining a degree, and a career setback, she is back in Scumble River working as the psychologist for the local school district.  

When Skye stumbles on the body of a dead TV personality, whose persona is not what was presented, Skye must find a way to clear herself of the murder. Who is this person really and who would want to kill her? Unfortunately Skye discovers more people wanted her dead than alive. During Skye's snooping lots of small town secrets are discovered.

Lethal Licorice by Amanda Flower is the 2nd book in the Amish Candy Shop Mysteries. 

Bailey King has recently returned to Harvest, Ohio to take over her families candy shop Swissman Sweets and care for her recently widowed grandmother.  In this book Bailey is allowed to enter the Amish Confectionery Competition in place of her recently deceased grandfather, but there are many that feel that an Englischer should not be allowed, especially out of town candy maker Josephine Weaver who has been the most vocal.  When Josephine is found dead in a local churches organ--killed by licorice which is it well known that she is allergic, her niece a young woman going through her rumspringa, or running around time, and Bailey herself are the top suspects.

My final book is Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander.  Set in the small town of Ashland, Oregon where the world renown  Oregon Shakespeare Festival is located is the first in the Bakeshop Mysteries.

Juliet Capshaw returns to Torte' her family's small town bakeshop to lick her wounds after suffering from a broken heart.  Juliet discovers Nancy Hudson dead in the shop one early morning, there is something definitely rotten in the state of Denmark.  Nancy was the new board member of the OST as well as the fiance of the man trying to take over Torte'.    

Now go and check out the other I Like Thursday posts at LeeAnna's blog Not Afraid of Color!  


Wednesday, August 11, 2021

170th I Like Thursday Post

 Life has been busy, really busy.  My oldest daughter was coming to Michigan for 48 hours to pick up the grandchild and carry them home.  In order to spend the optimal time with her I asked for a weekend off which meant that I worked 7 days in a row.  This is the first time one of my two older children came to visit since I moved to Michigan over 18 years ago.  Throw in arranging for a last minute flight to Oregon for the youngest daughter since their grandmother on their father's side was placed in hospice it was even more chaotic.  The house is quiet now, Bobbin is missing her people to hang out with, and life is getting back to normal.

The baby chicks are getting big.  We tried to put them in the pen with the rest of the chickens, and the next thing you know, they are out and about.  I think one of them is a male, it is always standing off from the others almost like it is on watch.  That is what roosters do. 

I have taken a few days to clean up a bit, work a bit and figure out life a bit.  

Do you Tik Tok?  I am not a creator, but there are so many fun thing--Funny things, educational things, informational things, just to name a few.  One of my favorites is hikingtok, especially women that hike and travel alone. All of them have doesn't always turn out the way you imagine.  If you wait for the right person, or the the right time you miss out, so you must learn to be fearless.  I have seen several creators refer to All Trails, it is an app which show trails.  Imagine my delight after downloading the app to see many hiking trails nearby.  

Since my diet and weight loss has kind of stalled, and it is important to keep moving, and frankly when it is hot, the treadmill is just not cutting it. I know that I am going to have to start going to the gym sooner than later, and to quote Game of Thrones "Winter is Coming" I knew I needed to make some changes.  Today I decided to go for a hike at Point Mouille Loop using the All Trails App.  It is a 3.8 mile easy hike through a wetland, down the estuary of a creek that empties into Lake Erie, along the lake, then circles around and comes along the wetland.  I checked the weather before I left, loaded up Bobbin, a gallon of water, a travel dog dish, and doggie bags.  The walk was hot, but windy so it wasn't too bad.  There were some neat flowers along the way.

Gorgeous pink morning glory.
Purple Loosestrife
 Spotted Knapweed.  

There were tons of bees, butterflies, and dragonflies of so many colors--,blue, green, black, brown, even an orange looking one.  I just wish they sat still long enough for me to get pictures of them.  

With the wind blowing the lake had waves that reminded me of the ocean.

Unfortunately Bobbin was not thrilled with the hike.  We hit a spot and she found some shade.  

I just can't go on mom.....

You go on......leave me yourself. 

I picked her up and carried her for almost a mile.  Then I got a chime on my cell phone, which indicated that a severe thunderstorm was on its way.  We needed to get back to the car.  Let me tell you, adding 12 lbs of dog and about 6 lbs of water helps you get zone minutes easily.  We got to the car just as the skies opened up.  I think I may need to buy a doggie backpack.  It is a pack that carries things, but also can carry a pet too.

My hydrangea actually bloomed this year.  I was so thrilled.  I will say there is a lot of weeding to do, I started to weed yesterday, but suddenly there was a huge ant's nest and they were having none of it, at least me disturbing their home.  Soon my legs and feet were covered with tiny biting ants.  I read recently if you use artificial sweetener that it will destroy ant nests.  I used to put Sweet & Low in my coffee, but over the past few months I have began using PureCane sugar which is made from sugar alcohol, so I have plenty of artificial sweetener to use on the ants. 

Hopefully it works. 

I have a pile of mulch that needs to be spread, but it has sat there, and has some volunteer plants growing, yes it has been there for a while. 

I decided to leave them and the sunflower has many heads waiting to bloom, but this one opened up today.

I finally had some time to sew today, since Bobbin seems to think that 5 am is a great time to get up.  

I made the 4th block to a QAL I am doing with a girlfriend's group on Facebook.  It has taken me almost a week to just cut this out and sew it.  I have been that busy.  I will say that it only took me about 1 hour to make it once I sat down to sew. 

The name of her QAL is Joy in the Journey.

These are the four blocks that I have made so far.  I am still a couple of weeks behind.  Week 5 has four sets of blocks, I have one set cut out, chose fabric for the 2nd set and will shop my stash for sets 3 and 4. 

I also managed to make another 6 1/2 inch pineapple block.

I have many more to make.  I do like that I have been using up scraps to make these.  I have a lot of strings that are 1 inch to 3/4 inch which I need to start to use up, perhaps making string blocks. 

I did manage to finish something recently.  All the quilting was done in August of last year, even the binding was on, I just needed to hand sew it down.  Vintage Glory.

I have my chicken pillow to finish, and I recently purchase some really cool fabric for the back.  I love the packaging that it arrived in.

Books, oh boy have I been reading and listening to books.  I discovered ways to listen to my books on my Iphone and so I listen to almost one book a night if not more at work.  

Not my normal type of books which are contemporary romance but I read two in this series by Jill Shalvis.  

Instant Attraction---Katie Kramer is a a good girl and after a traumatic event has decided that she needs to make some life changes and live life "balls out".  Her first change is she quits her job, and after landing in Wishful, California with a job as a temporary bookkeeper at Wilder Adventures and Expeditions.  Katie wakes up one night with a gorgeous man standing over her.  The man is Cameron Wilder, a one time bad boy snowboarder and thrill seeker.  Cameron needs to get back on the snowboard after a terrible accident, and come to terms that he is no longer the number one snowboarder in the world.  Can Cameron help Katie learn to live in the moment, and can Katie help Cameron get back into his world of adventure?  I will say that I enjoyed the book, and the Wilder family and everyone that works at Wilder Adventures and Expeditions. 

Instant Gratification is book 2.  Cameron and Katie are off on a pre honeymoon world tour rock climbing, hiking, and enjoying life.  Dr. Emma Sinclair has returned to Wishful, California to cover her father's medical practice, and urgent care while her father is recovering from a heart attack.  Enter Stone Wilder who is brought in by his brother T.J. after a hiking accident.  Dr. Sinclair has to deal with Stone's injuries, while Stone thinks a band aid will be enough.  Emma can't wait until her father heals enough she can return to her New York life, and the adrenaline of the emergency room. 

After losing a bet Emma has to learn to loosen up a bit and Stone is losing his heart to this woman that is planning on leaving soon.  

Over Her Dead Body by A B Morgan.  Gabby Dixon is dead which is a surprise to her.  After her recent divorce and the loss of her mother, she is trying to start her life over, when everything stops.  Her bank accounts are frozen, and then mysteriously all of her personal identification is stolen.  How do you prove who you are when you don't have all of the necessary paperwork.  Gabby who is always in control and life is completely planned hires Peddyr and Connie Quirk to assist in finding how this all happened and to get her life back.  

The Shadow Catcher is the 3rd book in the Sheriff Lansing mysteries by Micah S. Hackler.  Single father, rancher and Sheriff Lansing is facing a serial killer that leaves an owl feather and a young boy that seems to foresee the deaths.  What I really enjoy about this series is that it covers several different Native American cultures and their legends.

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia Manasala. This book was read by several people recently and has been considered a hot summer read.  I will say the book is written well, I enjoyed the characters and the humor. 
Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor.  London September 1666 during the great fire.  The son of a disgraced printer, James Marwood is watching St. Paul's burn.  In the aftermath of the fire a body is discovered and Marwood is tasked with finding the killer.
Lady of Ashes by Christine Trent.  Violet Morgan is an undertaker in Victorian London.  Violet's husbandGraham is more interested in elevating their position within society, while Violet is cultivating a sterling reputation for Morgan's Undertaking.  Graham all but abandons Violet as he schemes revenge, and Violet begins to suspect some of their recent cases were murder.  Violet receives a royal commission and tries to find a murderer. 
Fellowship of Fear by Aaron Elkins.  Anthropology professor Gideon Oliver is offered a teaching fellowship at US Military bases.  On his first night he fends off two black clad attackers in his room.  He soon discovers the previous two professors met untimely deaths.  

Murder on Mustique by Anne Glenconner.  Anne Glenconner was a lady in waiting for Princess Margaret, and recently wrote a book called Lady in Waiting.  This book is a fictional account of a murder on the Isle of Mustique a real location that Anne Glenconner's husband developed and the ultra rich and famous lived and played.  

Their Chilling Fall by  Mary Ann Trail.  This is actually a 2nd book and takes place with a shipwreck off the coast of Cape Breton in 1804. Georgina and Jeffrey Chadwick are on their way to Boston to start a new life.  After being shipwrecked on Cape Breton, there are a few people who died, but one was definitely murdered.  The survivors walk the 25 miles overland to the biggest city, Sydney which has a fort.  Jeffrey Chadwick is tasked with finding the murderer.

I chose this book because I spent a month in Sydney, Nova Scotia on Cape Breton when I was working for GM, so I thought it would be a fun read.  

Thank you LeeAnna for encouraging us to find things to like/love during the week to share with others.  Now head over to LeeAnna's at Not Afraid of Color to check out the other I Like posts.