Sunday, August 23, 2009

Is It Any Wonder

I love them so much

We Love Quilts

Of course we do and here is a site with the name!

Please go register to (hopefully) win an autographed book by the industrious Eleanor Burns and check out the website itself. It's an awesome and inspiring way to spend the afternoon.

You can also see Eleanor online at

I have just finished picking fabric for a quilt by her out of Victory Quilts by Eleanor Burns
and look forward to making it this fall. I had bought the book a year ago and took it with me to the Houston Quilt market in a hope and prayer that she would be there and I could ask for an autograph. Now, it's a HEAVY book and every day there was a loonnnnng one so you can see how much of an effort I made to get that signature but alas! I never saw her. She might not have even been there at all, for all I know
. But I have been hankering to make it and Bright Hopes got the fabric that I wanted to use in it. Can't Wait!!!!

Cape Breton Island, part Deux

Oh I suppose I ought to complete the travelogue from our recent trip, seeing as Hurricane Bill is about to pay a visit there.

As we made our way counter-clockwise around the northern Cabot Trail, we were on the constant look-out for moose. If we were to see one at all, here would be the place. They were ALL hiding, clearly, because we sighted nothing. But this hiking trail wound around a boggy marsh and made for nice photographs.

It was also very quiet. Very still and quiet.

Here you find John walking along a boardwalk on the dune side of a beach. What you don't see are all the beach peas everywhere and perfectly ripe, sooooooo I picked two pocketfuls and we all wondered why no one had been harvesting them. Kathy and I ate a few and they tasted like tiny english peas. What could go wrong? (later that evening we called to ask someone to Google them and learned that they cause paralysis when consumed. Well done! and a few days ago we watched the film Into the Wild and the main character eats something in Alaska and has serious consequences. Let that be warning to you. Don't go around eating things you don't know)

One of the side purposes of this trip, the Cabot trail, was to see the Margaree River, home of brook trout and atlantic salmon fishing.

and we spent one night at the Big Invervale Lodge, a delightful home/lodge run by a Swiss couple out in the middle of, and I do mean this, nowhere. Actually, that should read "at the end of the loooooong dirt road in the middle of nowhere." It is beautiful and the owner is also the chef and does a fine job at both endeavors.

It's crazy, I know, but I didn't take any shots of the lodge. I did, however, meet the cats and one let me near enough to take this:

THIS!!! is Anne Morrell Robinson, who lives next door to the Big Intervale (which means 5 miles down the road as you are heading back out to somewhere)and is a FABULOUS quilt artist and hooker (hooked rugs, ya'll) who has been living there and making her mark in the quilt world for many years. She was gracious and allowed us to barge in on her the morning we were to head back south and showed us her studio and a pile of one-of-a-kind quilts that she hand-quilts.
The photo is lousy and she is wonderful and I really encourage anyone reading this to hit that link on her name above to visit her website. Her medallion quilts are lovely...

Then it's back to the cabin for a few days rest, cooking gourmet meals and quilting before we ventured out again to Isle Madame. But first, a shot of Marty attempting to fend off the wabbits from the newly planted raspberry shrubs.

Isle Madame is the small island of of Cape Breton that is very French and totally picturesque in every way. Now, it is entirely possible that I have messed up on photos and the lighthouse below is NOT the one on Isle Madame , but darn it if every lighthouse isn't the SAME, in shape and color and I have approx 18 photos of the derned things. If this is not there, it looks like the one.

We traveled just about the entire island and found so many beautiful spots before my camera batteries finally gave up

This last shot is a favorite. I found the typewriter in a "museum" somewhere on Isle Madame and I just loved the label attached.
Click to enlarge and do it justice.
I'll update this post soon with better photos from Kathy's camera.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Isn't it Obvious?

How brilliant I am, that is.

In Section A of the Times Picayune, Tuesday, there's a multi-column article regarding health-care co-ops! How some communities are already forming these as an alternative to the "crisis". Without alot of government intervention. Some but not complete.

See? My ideas are fabulous! And swift!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

We have recently returned from 10 days in Canada on an island where bad photography is nearly impossible.

It's an unusual island in that yes, it's surrounded by water, but it also surrounds a huge lake in the middle, Lake Bras d'or, which has many 'fingers' making many bays and coves. The lake itself has islands as well for exploring if you have access to a boat.
Cape Breton is quite large and rocky, mountainous in fact.

All of this makes it an interesting place to shoot shots. The photo above almost gives me virtigo. This is taken at Marble Mountain, from the pulloff. They call these scenic overlooks, "Lookoffs". And we pulled off many times. But you can only look outwards for so long and I started looking much closer and found beautiful wildflowers and wanted to test the close-up feature on this camera. I think it does a decent job!

We made our way around the Cabot Trail in the northern part of Cape Breton, stopping at lodges at night. The Chanterelle B & B was our first night.
This was a lovely place with terrific, delicious meals, all very healthy and organic and clearly made with care.

The rooms were beautifully decorated, individual in theme.

This spot we found for fishing was at the middle of a hiking trail not too far from the B & B but as we started out for it after dinner, by the time we came out again it was dark.

A very good hike, but treacherous to navigate in the dark if your eyes don't adjust and your depth perception is dodgy. No, I didn't fall but I came close a few times. Still, what a beautiful spot to fish. No fish were biting that night. The blackflies were. Sneaky creeps.

The two gazelles with us had sprinted ahead and found a waterfall above this fishing hole and the rocks were littered with blueberry bushes.

And a good handful were ready to pick.

Now this one thing I found lacking on CB. Such few berries. Oh where they were, there were plenty make the effort but I lived in Alaska, similar terrain and climate and lots of berries, everywhere. And I found so many wild strawberry plants and no berries at all. Some were still flowering though, but I thought this berry was eaten in early to mid-summer, not August. And lots of the raspberry bushes were just starting to fruit, and yet in some places they were ripe. I didn't think it was that big a landmass to have such a discrepancy in the harvest! So any berry we found that was ready was like a jewel and we the lucky lucky trolls, pouncing on them!

John in the ditch with raspberries. Lingonberries

Monday, August 17, 2009

I have created a nightmare

Remember those fruits that were growing up all over the garden and I couldn't determine what they were? Well, I still don't know what they are but they have friends. Lots of them. Hundreds of them and they are everywhere now. And each of them have a hundred seeds inside.

I didn't pull them (bad m0ve on my part) because I really hoped they were edible. So grow they did and now they litter the veggie bed (along with copious weeds) and I have to pick up and discard every blasted one of them so they don't reseed by the BILLIONS next summer.
Oh well.
C'est la vie.

At least I'll get the exercise. Lots of bending and lifting and tossing into containers.

Here's a Thought

All of the entities agitating for "health care reform" and underwriting (paying) the movement; George Soros, Democrat lawmakers, lobbyists, unions, pharmaceuticals, sympathetic celebrities et al. You have been throwing your money and rhetoric at this "problem" for many many years but I never have heard ANY of you offer this simple modest proposal.

How about all of you and your very deep pockets and concern band together and create this non-profit insurance company that ONLY those wretched individuals that you claim cannot make ends meet and pay for health insurance can apply for. It's such a WIN- WIN idea. These people can finally get the SAME health care that YOU guys enjoy and you all can have the satisfaction of going to sleep at night knowing that your efforts helped someone (and really, what's a few bucks less in your bloated bank accounts gonna matter to you anyway?) and the TAXPAYERS who already support MOST of you one way or another can keep a few more dollars in their own pockets at the end of the workweek. YOU ALL can pay for this thing you want so badly.

THINK ABOUT IT. You don't need a "bill" or an "act". You don't need a huge room of arguing, posturing old white men to do this. You can do it better than them! You can design the very policy that you want the Government to implement, right down the mandatory 6 month health-checks, the forced abortions (when necessary), the end-of-life counseling sessions. You clearly have the "support" of the AMA so you should have NO problem getting pools of doctors and hospitals to sign up and offer reduced rates for the poor. And with the continued contributions that all of these Pro-Health Reform advocates will make throughout the years to come, there will be no shortage of funding. You can even choose the "czar" and panels to "oversee" that the program is run ethically, money-wise that is. I am sure those people will do it for free or at the most, a token salary that they can turn around and contribute to the "lock-box".

And BEST of ALL, (why didn't I think of this earlier?) because it has not been created BY the Government, the Program CANNOT EVER be tinkered with or canceled by future politicians for their own questionable interests. It will go on and on and on and on. Or at least until the supporters get bored with it or end up in it themselves due to impoverished circumstances.

But hey, that can't happen to them! (No, you can't enroll in this NOW, you already have health insurance...what are you thinking!?)

UNTIL every congressman and senator, in office and retired, are enrolled in whatever Government-sponsored heath care reform policy we end up with, it should not be forced on the People. If it's Good for us, it ought to be Good Enough for them.