Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sewing, Quilting, Clean-up, Company & Birds!

Bill and I were thrilled to have son John here over Christmas - but even more thrilled to meet his girlfriend, Vanessa. She is definitely a keeper!

We drove to Tampa to spend a day with them after they returned from their New Year's weekend in Fort Myers and Key West. Vanessa had never seen a Manatee so we took her to the Manatee Viewing Area in Tampa. You can see the huge power plant in the background that generates the warm water that the Manatees are attracted to.

We saw lots of Manatees including this guy doing the backstroke. The water was clear and the viewing was much better than at Manatee Park in Fort Myers.

Bill challenged me to get a shot of this Pelican in flight. Not too shabby if I do say so myself!

There were tons of fish swimming around - but look how they kept out of the way of this stingray!

I had never seen a stingray swimming around before - so I took lots of pictures! The stingrays are actually quite cute.

Afterwards, we went to lunch in Ybor City (an historic neighborhood in downtown Tampa) before saying good-bye and heading back to Ocala.

Back at the compound, I've been busy sewing. This is a jacket that I made at a class over at a friend's house. It began life as a all black man's shirt.

We covered the collar, cut off the sleeves and added cuffs, tucked the back, cut off the hem and faced the inside. Later, I changed the buttons and added the handkerchief. It was fun to see how differently each of our projects turned out.

I've also been working on another quilt - this one will be as bright as the last one! I have all of the squares assembled and put together - I just need to add the border and assemble the back before it goes out to be machine quilted. My beginner quilting class starts this weekend so I can learn all the things I'm doing wrong.

We had a "minor" problem earlier this week. We were heading out and while I was getting ready, Bill decided to start the dishwasher. I had complained that the dishwasher wasn't doing a very good job - so he was checking it out. A few minutes later, I heard him yell that we had bubbles everywhere! Bill had added Jet Dri (or so he thought) to make it rinse better. Long story short: he actually added Dawn dish-washing liquid into the Jet Dri compartment. His reason? "It was blue."

This is Bubba - an adorable Havanese puppy that belongs to our very good friends Larry and Wendy. They were here visiting for the weekend. After returning home, Bubba fell into their pool and nearly drowned. Poor Bubba - I sure hope he's going to be okay.

I haven't forgotten about my birds. This is a Red-bellied Woodpecker and if you look closely, you can see the faint red on his chest that gives him his name.

Our back-yard feeders are busy all day long. I love sitting out in the Florida room watching them.

We have lots and lots of Bluebirds - and they get bluer and bluer the closer we get to Spring.

We enjoy the backyard feeders so much that I added a feeder in the front yard. Squirrels are not a problem, so I hung it in the Oak tree. Mrs. Cardinal found the new feeder almost immediately.

And so did this adorable Titmouse who paused from his lunch just long enough to pose for a quick picture. The bird on the left is a Chipping Sparrow and they arrive at the feeders in flocks.

I think I took this picture of a Common Moorhen on one of our walks. Funny, but my sister Beth seems to see the same birds at the same time when she walks the beach in North Carolina.

This picture is for my sister. This must be the year of the Armadillos! We've seen at least one on each of our walks - but none as cute as this one - standing up and posing for a picture. They do not have very good eyesight, so if you are very quiet, they just go on with their business. I thought they would be slow - they just LOOK slow - but once they hear you, they scurry off in a hurry.

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