Friday, February 15, 2019

Still Here!

Today's haul from the Farmers Market is brought to you by the Vitamin C.  Perhaps a strawberry-orange cocktail concoction will be prepared for this lovely Friday afternoon.  --cds

Monday, April 16, 2018


My,  what a fine blue and green day it is.  That phrase just popped into my head today -- I've read it before somewhere -- and it perfectly describes our weather.  After yesterday's line of windy, rainy thunderstorms blew through, knocking out our power for a bit, we woke up to a breezy, cool, sunny and bright as all get-out morning.  Shiny grass-green palm fronds waving against a bluebonnet sky are making me happy today.  'Course I believe I was thinking pretty much the same thoughts last evening, sitting here on the porch and watching charcoal-colored clouds race west to east and thinking how silvery and ominous palm branches look bending flat in the blow of a storm.  I do love weather.  And palm trees.

Speaking of trees, last week I watched as one of our neighbors out back had the beautiful magnolia in his yard hacked down by tree murderers.  And it was in bloom!  I couldn't bear to watch. 

Something much more pleasant -- updates on grandchildren!  First day of school photos from September 2017:  Isabella is a freshman, age 15;

Evie is in the 5th grade, age 10;

Ruthanne is in 2nd grade, age 7, and Marcus is in Pre-K this year; he just turned 5.

Both Utah and Vermont gathered here in Florida with us in December for our first Christmas together ever!  It was lovely, so much fun.

Morning golf cart ride in Christmas jammies.

Since January, Jim has been to quite a few Classic Car shows with his old truck.  I like to go if it involves travel to shows in more rural Florida -- we avoid I-4 and I-75 and stick to back roads through south-central Florida -- it is countryside worlds (ha!) away from tourist-Florida, just pasture, farms, beautiful old trees and swampy rivers. Lots of cows and horses, hawks, osprey, herons and egrets.  I am on a quest to spot a Florida panther.

I notice I need to do a little housekeeping on my blog.  Some of those "favorites" on the sidebar no longer exist.    --cds

Monday, September 18, 2017


I just took a few pictures of our community post-Irma.  No one's home was badly damaged, thank goodness.  Mom's roof lost some shingles, so she's one of the very few around here with a blue-tarped roof.  We'll get it fixed in the next few weeks.  So many people along the coast are still in bad shape, flood and power-wise.

Slowly getting my home back in order -- I had emptied the china cabinet and put all breakable treasures in the dishwasher; cherished books (ha! aren't they all??) and photo albums went into plastic bags-into suitcases-into plastic bags; frames and mirrors were taken down from walls; and since I've been trucking them around with me for nearly 60 years.....

Barbie, Barbie and Ken rode out Irma packed safely away in a suitcase.  Lest you think your Family Curator has not been taking her job seriously of late, rest assured that the dollhouse and other ancestry notes, ephemera and photos were safely packed and bubbled wrapped inside our shower stall surrounded by quilts and pillows.

So I'll be back at the unpacking job later today.  But first, a swim, then a smoothie.  Hooray for normalcy.  --cds

Saturday, September 16, 2017


Just popping in briefly -- after five sweltering days and nights, our power is back on.  Many many thanks to every lineman working out there in this awful heat and humidity on our behalf.  All else is all good here in our little sphere.  No real structural damage, no hurt neighbors, we have food and good water.  And now, coolness.  Think I'll google the inventor of air conditioning and set up a little shrine or something.

Back soon, I pinky-promise, because I have Vermont pictures to share.  --cds

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Gimme Shelter

Oh, of course this song has been running through my head the past few days.  So here is our updated, final, not-changing-our-minds, let's do this, hurricane plan.  For the past six days we have had various ideas on how to survive this nasty-looking storm, including hotel reservations just north of Atlanta (the closest I could find along the routes North, no lie).  That was Tuesday.  After a long week of careful consideration (panic, yelling, endless supply gathering, drama -- literal drama, too: Evie desperately wanted us to drive to Utah and after gently explaining that could not happen, she composed an interpretative dance for us via Skype that involved much shouting of "Death"  "Destruction" and falling gracefully to the floor), we agreed to stay in town, but head to the public shelter, our local high school around the corner.  But......, I kept visualizing ourselves spending two days in a high school gym with a thousand other people, waiting in a bathroom line for God knows what sort of facility.  Big ugh.  I have real trouble as it is just walking around our very odoriferous local flea market.

Therefore, in true Claudi-style, yesterday I tried making a last ditch reservation at a Disney resort and managed to snag two nights at one of their value hotels -- around a hundred bucks a night and so totally worth it to me!  Just one visit to a clean bathroom of one's own is something I would definitely pay for.

I realize I sound very shallow and persnickety, but I figure I'm quite willing to pay and get out and leave my space in a shelter for someone who really needs it.  And so, this morning we will head up I-4 through the already visible bands of showers and breeze and be safe and sound in a block building that hopefully will not blow down.

I'll be back tomorrow with an update on our encounter with Irma.  --cds

Sunday, May 7, 2017

It's May Already!

May is a busy birthday month in my family -- I would surely leave someone out if I tried to list them off the top of my head, so I'll just mention that here are a few happy flower photos from my vintage collection (delphiniums from my old Vermont garden, Dad's zinnias, and Grandpop's dogwood) for two important women in my life who celebrate May birthdays -- these two:

Auntie Claudia and Auntie Ann.  I would not be the person I am without either of them, and that is a very very good thing (if I do say so myself).  So Happy May Birthday, with enormous love and hugs.  --cds

Friday, January 20, 2017

Fairly Recent Sewing Output

So I haven't been too much of a slug in the sewing department lately.  Below is a pair of baby quilts for the cutest twin boys I have ever seen.  The fabrics are "Lion King" themed and the backing is a brown and white pawprint flannel.

The Boys are my nephew Jake and Lyndsay's babies born in December.  Now this photo was not labeled, but I believe that's Mason in the white sleeper and Jaxson in the green. 

Who knew pillow cases were such fun to make?  This is a Dr. Who design flannel for Isabella.

Marcus needed a big boy quilt for his big boy bed.  I was hesitant about this very soft fleecy Star Wars fabric because it had a bit of a pile, but it wasn't too bad to work with.  The design is all one piece, not individual blocks sewn together (I'm not that crazy). The back is a flannel, so I did not sandwich any batting in between figuring it would be warm enough as it was. I machine quilted following the block design, and it came together like a dream (walking foot!).

I also finished up a flannel quilt for Josh that I did piece.  This is to replace an old flannel quilt that I made him years and years ago that is ready for the rag bag.  I gave him permission to give it the old heave-ho, but he says he's keeping both.  Linus.

The Vermonters are always in sleepers, when not running around in underpants.  I made these a year or so ago.

It's feast or famine when heating with a woodstove.
The Utah girls stayed with us for about three weeks this past summer and since they had plans to attend the Salt Lake City Comic Con in September with Dad (where attendees apparently dress up as favorite comic book/cartoon characters?), Evie decided she wanted to make her own costume for Mabel from Gravity Falls.  This is Mabel:  purple skirt, pink turtleneck sweater with star and rainbow design, and braces on her teeth.
We got some pink fleece, purple cotton, felt for the applique, and pieced together a couple of patterns.  Aside from a little help with the pinning, zipper and applique, Evie stitched every seam and did a great job.


I told her she was on her own with finding fake braces for her teeth as I did not think Dad and Mom would spring for orthodontia just for Comic Con.
It's Inauguration Day.  I have the TV on, sound off; I hate to be shallow, but I'm here for the fashions.  I'd give my right arm to study Melania's powder blue church outfit.  I bet it's cashmere and silk and hand-tailored, of course.  It's gorgeous.  --cds

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