Monday, July 15, 2013

Good Morning Monday

The next couple of weeks will probably feature really little quickie posts.

I hope that you'll stick around until my schedule calms down a little.

Busy, busy at work. Good busy. Very good busy.

Work we've been waiting on this side of forever has finally come through and, as with many projects, the beginning is the busiest. There is a season for everything.

And (praise God!) this also equated to a promotion for me and a new position! It's nice to be in a company that really looks to advance your career and mentor you to get to new places.

But that's not what I wanted to post about today.

Just wanted a quick share.

As you know, I've been working on my Bloom Bloom Pow Quilt for a friend who is about to have her first baby. You may or may not know that I like to use (at least part-I'm being honest here, I'm FAR from perfect with this) time making things for other people to remind me to pray for them.

It's exciting to be able to pray for a new baby. For health, for the mommy and daddy-to-be, for their marriage, their faith, their ability to raise their new little one. For so many things.

Tonight, I had a few minutes to work on the quilt. (Piecing the blocks together is often the most frustrating part for me - more on that another time.) While I was sewing and praising God for this new little life, He reminded me of this verse:

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek with all your heart.'"

He knows this baby.

He has plans for him or her.

And that applies to you and me, as well.

Even in this imperfect life, with all its bumps and bruises, our God is there. With a plan. A plan of hope, of salvation, of love, and of life.

How reassuring.

Hope you all enjoy your Monday!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Let's Go Nats!

So, I thought I worked a lot last week?

No, I'm working a lot this week.

But it's all good.

I really like my job and I love my company. I have room for growth there.

Plus I don't work like this all the time. This is just a busy season (with a lot of opportunities!).

So, in honor of my Nats winning last night (finally!!), I shall share my pictures of the Presidents' Race with you.

We are at the second half of the season now, guys. Everybody's healthy again. I respectfully ask that you get it together.

Sadly, no pictures of Teddy. :(

I think he had already fallen down and lost by this point in the race.

I think these are from May when I went to the game?

I won tickets from my company (See? Told you I liked my job).

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Giveaway over at Charming Lucy

So...I think Susan is my first virtual blogging friend... :)

I feel almost like a real blogger saying that.

I visited her blog through the Funday Mondays link up over at my blog/in real life friend Molly's blog a few weeks ago and she kindly returned the favor and checked out mine. 

And left me some super comments full of sunshine. Don't you just love that?

Her blog is super cute. You really should check it out.

Plus, she's having a giveaway that you should check out.

That's all I'm going to tell you so that you head over there.


Works in Progress Wednesday 5

Making major strides on my Bloom Bloom Pow quilt.

Finished piecing the "starter blocks," cut them up into triangles and pieced the triangles together in half hexagons.

I should take more pictures between steps, just for my own benefit to see the progression, but I get excited and have to keep going.

More in the stack, but I decided I didn't need to spread them all out for photographing at this juncture.

I think I'll be done soon. At least with the quilt top.

Eye spy with my little eye, something Phi Mu related!

Can you see it?

Bloom Bloom Pow Quilt-Along at Freshly Pieced

New fabric arrived for my next endeavor.

Actually, I think I'll be working it concurrently with a couple of other projects.

I just love the bright colors. While I do like the look of solids in quilts, I love bold pattern so much that I couldn't resign myself to just solids. So, that hot pink zebra print? Yeah, that's for the backing. :)

More bright zebra print. That's for the back of the Bloom Bloom Pow.

Yes, it will be loud and proud.

I'll explain it, but I have to wait.

The lime dots are for the binding. A smidgeon tamer. :)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Also linking up with Kelly for Needle and Thread Thursday

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tomato Tuesday - Why your veggie garden should always have flowers

My garden is really coming along.

I've got these little mini peppers ripening.

I'm about to pick them, actually. Gotta figure out what I'll do with them. Mmmm...

And lots of 'maters. 

We had a couple of the cherry ones already. They were GOOD.

Yellow squash is blooming.

And I've picked one zucchini so far...

Pumpkins are starting to flower.

And bush beans are starting to grow.

Here's my secret...


Lots and lots of flowers!

Veggies ain't gonna grow without pollinators. 

It's not the birds and bees talk for nothing, folks. ;)

Bees and butterflies are always welcome in my garden.

Squash vine borer is another story, but we'll revisit him another time.

How do you attract those bees and butterflies?

With food!!

Which, for them, means lots of flowers.

Fortunately, my flowers are looking quite lovely, if I do say so myself. So I'm just going to give you some eye candy and call it a Tomato Tuesday. ;)

Hope you enjoy!

I attempted to grow a number of violas last fall and didn't get them in time before frost. But they all popped up this spring. A number of them appear to have interbred and made lovely numbers like this one, which I did not plant myself. Just popped up.
Good heavens, I'm a sucker for zinnia. 
Amber's Kiss Viola

Oh that color.

Some lettuce still hiding in there. It's starting to bolt.

Mmm marigold. A gardener's best friend. A lot of the nasty beasties  hate the smell, so they stay away.
This little sweetie is getting ready to pop soon!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Backyard Bliss - Progress

Friends, I would like to take a moment to recognize Mr. Gardener.

Not only is he a steller husband. (And in my opinion, hot like a muffin straight out of the oven - you need not feel inclined to agree with me there. ;) He is spoken for, after all.)

But he has spent a good deal (several Saturdays, most of the Fourth, he had the 5th of July off, etc.) of time working on our backyard (as I mentioned previously).

He tore out the posts from the old, hazard-to-humanity deck, including the concrete. 

He pulled up all the pavers. (These just don't work with our lovely, heavily rooted cherry tree.) They are going to live at my parent's house.

He took out the little dogwood tree. Let me explain. We are not tree killers. I am a Virginian, so I do appreciate my dogwood. But the previous owners planted it pretty much underneath the gargantuan cherry tree. And it was just struggling there. It couldn't get the light it needed, nor the space, so it had started growing in a crazy configuration and it just wasn't going to thrive there.

So here's some of the before (above).

And the after (below - 2 pictures).

It looks similar, but look at the gone pavers. The gone weird built-in bed thing they had going on (lower right hand corner). Random trash they left behind (under the hazardous deck) gone.

He also repaired, powerwashed, and stained the fence.

Gold star, Mr. Gardener!

Lots of hours of manpower in the heat and numerous-I-lost-count trips to Lowe's later, we're getting closer to Backyard Bliss.

The deck people start on our deck today, too!

Wood for the deck. They delivered on Friday. Fortunately, our neighbor is nice and let us use her extra parking spot in the meantime.

For additional perspective, I will show you a bit of what our front yard used to look like:

Yeah...tree stump.


Oh and a mess of mint in our yard.

I love mint. 

But, let me tell you, for you aspiring gardeners out there. Mint is supremely aggressive. And invasive. It grows and grows and grows, like nobody's business.
It's great if you can't grow anything else. I can almost guarantee, you, too, can grow mint. 
However, that being said, grow it in a pot. And don't let the growth touch the ground or it will root there and spread like wildfire and kill off anything in its way. Grass included. And your neighbor's grass.

So, just don't do it. Don't plant it in your yard. Contain it. 

(That goes for bamboo, too. Fair warning.)

So...old yard (and a local bunny - fewer of those around now - the fox population has increased. Circle of life, people.)

New yard. 
I think it looks leaps and bounds better.

Grass is a little brown because the "nurse" grass (seasonal and intended to help the perennial grass get started) is starting to grow.

Mr. Gardener LOVES his grass. It is like his child. I could write a whole post just describing his love for the grass.

Hence part of the reason I started calling him Mr. Gardener here. ;)