Saturday, June 30, 2007

More Birds

Dear Mary,
In answer to your many questions about my I.D. photo. I am at Hawk Ridge in Duluth. Remember you and the old bear couldn't find it? Anyway you get to 'adopt' birds that they have caught and banded. Then you get to hold it while they take your picture and then let them go. I paid $20.00 for that first year male sharp shinned hawk. My name is the contact name with his band number and if they recatch him (Or, horrors, find his carcass) I will be notified. They have a sliding scale and 'sharpies' are really cheap. Some birds are $100, $150 or more to adopt.
I had another wonderful birding adventure today and I didn't even have to leave the house. Well, first I had to water the garden but then.....then I saw a rare
bird for our state. I had a male Scarlet Tanager in my backyard. I got a picture with my new camera but I had it set wrong so it is not perfectly focused. I am still learning darn it all. Anyway, for what it is worth here is my Scarlet Tanager. And YES I AM PROUD!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Iconic Whitefish, Montana view - with a little history thrown in.

This is it: the train yards, looking east from the viaduct one evening. The gap between the two mountains in the foreground is known as Bad Rock Canyon. The mountain to the left is Teakettle, to the right is Columbia Mountain. The big mountain you can see through the gap is Great Northern, which is in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. Check out those last two webpages. That guy has fantastic photographs.
But I'm just a home town gal, so I like my picture of trains with a view. Anyone who goes over the viaduct to go to work can see this view twice a day, pretty much. It's good for the soul.
Here's another picture you'll recognize, Nancy:

Amtrak's Empire Builder arriving in the morning - late, as usual. This was taken from the fire escape from the third floor office of the Stumptown Historical Society, which bought the Depot for a dollar a few years ago, restored it, and now maintains it as a working passenger train depot, offices, and of course, the Stumptown Museum.
P.S. I just noticed that in this second picture, you can see where I was standing when I took the first picture the night before. See the concrete curve of the bridge? I was at the right end of that curve, facing right to the depot.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Caterpillar Chronicles

Hi there Mary,

I have been out in the yard and garden playing with my new Sony Cybershot H7 camera. Yes I am being snotty about it. I saved my Christmas and Birthday money for 3 years. (I had a little trouble with that but ended up with $550.00 to spend and blew the whole wad.) I also got Adope Photoshop Elements and a 2 gig media card.

So anyway now I have really high resolution photos and so I went into the yard and took pictures of my monarch sanctuary. (Or my weedy milkweed patch.) Here are some photos.

My favorite is the chrysalis. I have never even seen one in the wild before. Only captured ones so I am watching this one eagerly. It is right in the middle of the shot in the shady part of the picture.

Then I wandered around the milkweed patch (above) and looked for caterpillars. You have to wander 'around' it as you can't get into it. Sheesh, there were tons! Here are four. Any more would be boring. heheheheh.

And of course for a finale....


Friday, June 22, 2007

Remember the iris?

Howdy Nancy,
remember a couple of years ago when ol' bear and I drove to your place and you gave me some iris from your garden? They were in a plastic grocery bag, and when we got to Minneapolis, I shoved them under Mom's rhododendron to keep cool for the week we were there. Remarkably, I remembered to retrieve them when we left. Then they traveled all the way back to Montana with us. The biggest miracle, of course, is that I actually planted them after that. So here they are, growing tall and straight amongst the columbine, along the walk in front of the garage They sure are pretty.

Love, Mary

Baseball Books

Dear Mary,
Not only do I have a Shoeless Joe fixation but I also really like the baseball books written by Mark Harris. The Southpaw is the first one I read but my favorite is Bang the Drum Slowly which is a sequal to The Southpaw. They made a movie of it with DeNiro and it is almost as good as the book. I read once where Mark said he wrote Bang the Drum Slowly in about 3 weeks when he needed some money. It is a great book.
Harris has a quote at the beginning of his book that is from the book The Huge Season by Wright Morris. I might have to find that one too.
When I lo0ked up Mark on Wikipedia I saw that he just died this May 30th.

I also really like The Year The Yankees Lost The Pennant by Douglas Wallop. You may have seen the movie Damn Yankees.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Major Leaguers of 1916

Clouds last night as seen from Baker Av Viaduct

Howdy, Nancy.
Do you own this Major League Baseball Players book that you have in the book list? It looks like a good book for a library! We're always looking for ideas for books to order. Of course, it's a perfect book for someone (such as yourself) with a Shoeless Joe fixation.
Actually, what I really want is a scorebook; one that I can take to every game I go to and keep score, and thus have a record of all the games and teams and players I've seen. The ol' bear and I usually go to at least one major league game a year, if we're in Seattle or Minneapolis. His favorites are the Mets, and worst foe, the Yankees. The Twins can be my faves, but also their own worst foe sometimes. Also, we both root for the Mariners. That Ichiro is just a peach of a player. It was great to talk to you last night. I love you, Mary

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I dither, therefore I am.

Wow! Actual knitting! I've been in the longest slump. I'm glad you're working on that vest because I love that yarn. I liked the previous cable too, but one must fix what one must fix. Good luck with it.
I've been in such a slump that I haven't even posted about Sally Melville's classes. She's gotten me practicing knitting with my right hand again, since she pointed out how much less cramped it gets when you let go of the right hand needle each time you throw the yarn. That was interesting, but I'm not sure I'll do that exclusively. Besides that, nothing has been happening, only
1) yes, I'm accepted to grad school, and got the scholarship, so I'm starting to get ready for that.
2) Brian has now been out of work for 6 months while he's been at school and money is really tight until he can pass his license tests for third mate and get a job (in about 3 weeks, we hope, then about 4 more weeks to a paycheck, we hope). But maybe it's not a problem because
3) finally got an offer on the house, just when we'd decided what the heck we've gone this far we may as well keep it. But the offer is very good, so we'll take it and we're pretty excited about what we may do next which is only about 10 different options. We haven't decided on yet but when he has a job we'll know if I stay or go. But we do want to keep something in Whitefish.
4) but we have to find someplace to live except not yet, as the seller has to jump through all her hoops and we have to make sure she's able to do so and
5) I get to pack and move. No matter what, I've got to do that.
6) I lost 17 pounds which is 10 percent of my body weight (well, what my body weight used to be) which sounds very good but I just got my cholesterol checked and
7) I should be dead.

I think too much is happening. When too much is happening, I don't knit. I do read a lot of books, though. Soooooo. I'm sorting through things in my head. No surprise, my house is a mess, just like my head. What I need to do is thoroughly clean the house, and then my head will follow. I hope. I think. I hope so. I did do my yoga this morning. So now I'll go to bed and read because I need to be up at 5 am to work at the Buff. Argh! And I work 6 days this coming week due to others' vacations. Yep, waaaaay too much is happening. And one other thing. I can't keep track of anything. I'm beginning to suspect Mad Cow disease because my brain seems to be as holey as an old sponge, except retains much less. Does that ever happen to you?
- in a dither, Mary

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Knitting again

Well, not really knitting. I just finished ripping out the middle of the silk vest I started on last fall and stopped working on this spring. I just didn't like the look of the cable. It didn't seem to me to look like the picture. Well it isn't. The person who made the sample did a single cable over 16 stitches and the pattern calls for two cables. After a while I knew something was wrong but had to wait for my brain to remember cables.

This morning I took it out once more and the end result it this. Now all I have to do it knit it up correctly...or at any rate the way I want it to look. My only snafu is that, of course, I had a join half way through this mess. Oh well, it will be the only other loose piece of yarn right? How hard can it be. YIKES!



Monday, June 11, 2007

love the booklist

Hey Mary,
I just love the booklist and the links. I have no idea how to link them and figure you don't need a link to my current title anyway. I am rereading them all to get ready for the last one. I also ordered an audio cassette copy for Mom. It should come on July 21st too.
So, how many copies is your library ordering?

I have a new camera ordered and hope it comes before I leave for the Minnesota Quilt show on Wednesday. I want it so I can practice up before the PGI convention in West Fargo this August.
The last time the Pyrotechnics Quild was here it was so-o windy I didn't get very many good shots. This is from the time before. Part of the finale. Imagine it. Two hours of the very best fireworks from all over the world. Each presenter trying to do better than the others. And this is just the last of FIVE days...or should I say nights, of fireworks.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Jim has a new cat

Hi there,

Jim and I went to Fargo yesterday to take Quonset (the cat) in to be tested. He didn't have feline leukemia so he was allowed to become an it. He is an outdoor cat and I have no idea what Jim will do with him in the fall when we leave.

This is the picture we used when we advertised for his owner in the Traill County Tribune last week. Several people talked to me about him but only to ask if the owner had been found. Drat!

I have been cooking lately. Enough of my taste has come back that I want to do it now. I really haven't wanted to for years. I made Jim cookies twice (he is quite happy about that and hoards them in the freezer) and even made bread once. The bread didn't work out too well (but it looked good) so I will have to try that again. Maybe a different recipe.

What's up with you? Any more news yet?


Monday, June 4, 2007

Quilt in a book

Yes I am so excited. Maxine Rosenthal, the quilter who wrote the popular "One Block Wonder" quilt pattern/book is doing a second one showing variations and she asked me if she could use my black and white crane quilt in it. (This quilt book is a cult classic already, people are traveling across the country to have one block wonder meetings).

I said yes of course.

So I had to send the quilt off to California to the offices of C&T Publishing and they are having the quilt professionally photographed. Then they send it back to me and I donate it to Operation Migration for their raffle quilt. Maxine and her co-author, Joy, also asked me to write a blurb for the back of the book cover. They admitted to using my name. I admitted to using it too so we were all happy.

I suppose the book will be out this fall. If things go well it should be out by the International Quilt Market in November but I don't really know when it will be published. I get a signed copy.