The last thing you expect to see while dining out is a water tornado.
While sitting on the porch of the Crab Shack in Pensacola, we had an uninterrupted view of this huge water spout for about 15 minutes.
The cell phones all went off with an emergency alert, saying we were in the vicinity of a tornado and to take cover immediately.
How do you take cover on a porch or inside a restaurant that has nothing but picture windows towards the ocean?
The funnel was amazingly elegant, but the raw power left us all a bit in awe. My youngest had said before our American trip that she would like to see a tornado. Apparently this one 'counts' and she'd rather not see any more!
When it hit land it quickly dissipated without causing any damage. If we HAD to see a twister, this is the type this quilter prefers!
New Hampshire in the sunshine.
My darling husband and I celebrated our 27th anniversary this week. He surprised me with a stay at a bed and breakfast (and dinner) place for three nights, while my girls stayed with relations.
Circumstances had made the last two anniversaries a big non-event, so Jeff was determined to try to do something special this year, and he succeeded. It was lovely.
We had a couple of 'nothing' days just enjoying being tourists and relaxing. After dinner we even enjoyed romantic strolls through the long forested drive in the dark! Um..at least for the first two nights.
The last day of our stay we were driving and a few blocks from the b&b saw a large black bear lope across the road - in broad daylight, in a residential area. Guess who gave up the last romantic late-night stroll? LOL
Perhaps the bear was having a feed on on these lovely wild blueberries that blanket the roadsides!
On Sunday several families came for a shared lunch along with their bunch of smaller people. The day wasn't overly warm, but warm enough for the little guys to eat and play outside.
When the little guys became bored with the whole scene, one of my visitors suggested I let them paint. Honestly? Sure! The suggestion was: fill a container with water add a few drops of food colouring, give them paint brushes and set them to work on the stones of the walkway.
It was magical. We had to rustle up paintbrushes for the five youngest, but they spent AGES painting until the whole walk was 'beautiful'. Fortunately when that project was finished we also had an easy access brick wall in the front garden that needed the treatment.
Their little faces were the picture of virtue and fortitude as they brushed coloured water on rocks with their one to two inch wide brushes. They seemed pretty impressed that they were allowed to 'paint'.
I wish we had thought to grab a picture of them all at work, but while they worked away, those who had stayed (after the meal) got out some sets of Monopoly deal cards and played a long time unmolested.
What a useful child-occupying idea! thanks to clever Holly...
Of course we made it out of cake, and moulding chocolate and such. What a LOT of work. My sister is somewhat genius when it comes to cakes. If we lived any closer this could be dangerous!
Building this car was an interesting learning curve. So many details one does not often notice in a car.
My older sister also was the one who started me on quilting, in stain glass work, in American sign language and for all practical purposes most of the interesting bits of my life.
One year Barbara brought over (on a visit) some kits for making re-born dolls. My doll days took me away from quilting for a short time. Dolls were not enough to keep my interest overly long.
One good thing about these dolls is that they are treasured by nursing homes, and some have found their way into the homes and hearts of the elderly.
(I'll only post photos if someone asks. ) They are pretty cute...but all mothers think so of their own!
Has anyone ever found this sight in their smallest room? Not to name names, but this seems to occur as a result of a male brain disfunction.
The same male that speedily transacts difficult and tedious tasks becomes inert when presented with a cardboard tube and a few bits of soft paper.
Why is this? How is it? He can come through the door sweat drenched from man-handling heavy, messy outdoor items, patiently repair intricate electrical faults, compute flawlessly with monetary transactions, whisks away the trash without being asked, and yet freezes at that moment when the paper tube runs low?
There is no dervish spring loaded mechanism to thwart his efforts. No lock and key on the refills so close within reach. No far-off bin to receive the empties, it is literally within reach. The reason has to be male genetics.
To prove this is not a learned behaviour, please understand, my sons have the same affliction. They both can impress with the prowess of genius mathematically, scientifically. They both are athletic and gentlemanly. Both have incredible work ethics any mother would be proud of, but given the same dilemma? Same results.
I tell you they are hard-wired to view swapping toilet paper rolls with the same regard as handling some venomous snake. Bless their little hearts. What can we do but help them?
In my early confusion about this condition, I attempted to explain to the young and impressionable male minds of the importance of mastering this task. My explanations were thorough...with the young males admirably performing the job while supervised.
Imagine my surprise at discovering that they (like their father) had an inborn aversion - it seemed to hurt their brains to contemplate replacing the paper. In discussing this with other female relations I found that the males of my family were not unique.
One of my male cousins became so tired of his wife trying to convert his lack of compliance in this matter that he drove a huge spike in the wall and hung a commercial roll of paper from a wire coat hanger.
As far as he was concerned his heroic effort should have settled the matter. This, of course, came up at the divorce proceedings where the female judge ruled in the wife's favour in every matter.
My conclusion? With all the things the man gets right, I should allow for his inability to cope with this tiny task and be grateful he wasn't afflicted with leaving the seat up syndrome!
This voracious reader could be found perched just about anywhere with her book or kindle, like a cat in the sun...until today.
Today we poked her on an Australian bound plane and sent her off into the big wide world. The family on the other end receiving her is lovely and I'm sure her time of work there will be profitable in many ways.
As the third of the litter to leave, and the first girl, this is a momentous occasion. My darling finished school some time ago, and has worked hard to save for uni.
The only real consolation is that this first short overseas stint is only two months. After that we have Grace with us a short while before traveling to the states and leaving her in school with her brother while we return back to New Zealand and finish the last two years of our home schooling career.
The sunny spots are going to seem empty somehow...
Fresh Hot Caramel
Winter delights, Temptation
Crunchy Coated Treat.
(Unless you have a degree in poetry, don't even take issue with my attempt.)
That haiku was only an excuse to express my fondness for this addictive snack. *sigh*
While meeting with some new friends, one shared an experience that I think bears repeating...
This woman I will call Cathy. (names have been changed to deflect responsibility) Cathy had a neighbour with a lovely cat. The only problem was that the cat just didn't like her.
Normally cats liked Cathy so she was both baffled and bothered that the cat avoided her. Upon following some Cat Psychology advice she suddenly had this previously snobby cat winding between her feet purring away.
The advice? When the cat made eye contact, Cathy was to blink at the cat very slowly. Apparently in cat language this means "I might have a fish in my fridge with your name on it" or some such other message. The point was that the cat immediately responded to Cathy's advances with some of her own.
This begs the question. Does this work in other situations? I came to the conclusion that it works in the human population, but is much more effective if only one eye is employed...