Thursday, 24 June 2021

Downsize??, Critter Heaven, Slow Stitching Sunflowers and Tumbling Blocks

From a distance I can hear a familiar summertime drone; a neighbour is mowing his lawn. This is the good neighbour to us as he often mows our section of the front lawn on the street to save Hubby having to go all the way out there with our mower. We are so sorry they are leaving. They sold their house quickly having discussed for ages and finally made the decision to downsize. The fact that they are much younger than us is not lost on us.  And some days we do question us living here and trying hard to maintain everything. 

I follow Patti on Youtube, RXSTRmom, and she is in her mid 70's.  They had downsized to a condo in Florida- a beautiful spot in a gated community. But they discovered condo living wasn't for them and have just purchased a house again. She grappled with the idea of house ownership at their ages but decided to go with it.  Everyone must suit themselves when it comes to these decisions I guess. 

The poppies are in bloom and they add flash to the front flower beds. Every summer I have to relearn that glaring sunlight is not the best for photographs.

 However it was the symmetry of their centers up close that caught my eye. What pretty colours too.
Frequent Visitors to the feeders are the male and female American Goldfinches.

It wasn't just a good year for mosquitoes. We've seen more bunnies this summer than all the other years put together.  
And down by the pond, more turtles too. Here the larger turtle is sleeping (?) on land which is rare to see.

 I've sewn a few more of my Tumbling Blocks together, still in their cardstock here.  Trying not to make the stitching too tight as I tend to do.  I always worry with hand stitching that it will fall apart and then over compensate by sewing too tightly. That's Neddy's Teddy there...a toy passed down from Hubby's mom's days.Gladi ( Gladi Porsche Quilts ) mentioned she uses foundation piecing when making log cabin blocks so I thought I would give that a try for the Courthouse Steps. I quickly bought and downloaded a pdf file for a Courthouse Steps block and have it set up in the sewing room for when I can get some time uninterrupted. This should be interesting.  I'll keep you posted; meanwhile enjoying slow stitching pretty sunflower petals. 
We gave ourselves a little treat after getting our second shots done.  The Crispy Spud is not far from where we live and we usually get cheeseburgers and fries there a couple times a season. I like how it's real fries and real hamburger, if you know what I mean. It's cash only, $25 for the two platters and drinks and there is always enough for a third person.  Do you have a favourite little stop like this near you that serves surprisingly good food?
Sadly the local strawberry farm, Beckwith Strawberries, that has a popular u-pick, lost over 70% of its crop due to cold and frost overnights lately. Strange weather...since last posting, we've had high humidity, heat, then cool enough to need a jacket on our woods walks again with single digit temps overnight. But today is sunny and I'm sure will warm up nicely. 

32 comments :

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

here the blueberry crops were lost and I wonder about the peaches - a lot of peach orchids here.That was because of the late freeze in February and again in late March.
I love those flowers.
I too think about downsizing but hubby has started and not finished so many things around here that I would need to hire someone to do finishes before I could think of selling - he won't hear it and keeps saying he will finish the projects which I know he won't do. So we can not sell and must keep struggling to keep up with the maintenance

Karen said...

It sounds like the strawberry farms in Renfrew Co. are not having a good strawberry year either. I haven't talked to McGregors yet, but I see their wagons around town now. My blackberries are LOADED so I hope to get a good lot in before the birds clear them out.

Home Sewn By Us said...

Hi Jocelyn! Oh, I'm sorry to hear that the strawberry crop was mostly lost. I used to love to pick our own berries. I've often wondered about whether we should downsize as well. It is an individual decision for sure. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

Sherrie said...

Hi Jocelyn,
I don't think I've told you, but I love your Blog Header...love all those pretty colors of yarn and threads.
Your Poppies are beautiful. My mother had poppies, I had them for awhile, but they died out. I'll have to watch for them at Lowe's, that's where I buy my plants at.
All your cute critters are, well Cute! We have lots of bunnies this year. But all the dogs running around the neighborhood kill them.
Love your Tumbling Blocks...so pretty! Your stitched sunflowers are beautiful. Have a great day!

Sherrie said...

Hi Jocelyn,
Love your Tumbling Blocks...so pretty. And your Sunflower piece is really pretty. What a collections of critters you have. Haven't seen a turtle around here. Have a great day!

Brian said...

Those critters are all so cute and fun to see and I do love those blocks, they look 3D!

Robin said...

We've thought about downsizing but our house is paid for and we live within a short distance of 5 of our 6 kids. So we'll host company with our guestrooms and manage the yard as long as we can. We didn't have the late frosts but we're dealing with a severe drought so the strawberries suffered this year. I hope the orchard growers will have enough water to plump up the fruit on their trees. I have never heard of doing foundation piecing with the log cabin block. Sounds interesting. Love the poppies too.

Ruth Hiebert said...

This post got me thinking. Many people think I should be moving into a seniors apartment, but even though I am technically a senior, I don't think I would fit in with these folks. I enjoy your posts and the variety you share.

piecefulwendy said...

The weather this year has certainly been interesting, hasn't it? We have had a long streak of very hot (mid-90s) weather, which we don't usually get until late July into August. Then on other days, it drops to the low 50s. So very strange. Sad to hear about the strawberry crop, especially for the owners who make a living from it. You have such beautiful property, I'd sure stay there as long as I could. I'm sorry you are losing such good neighbors, too. I hope the new neighbors are nice too. We have a little place called Quarterback Chicken, which serves broasted chicken. It's been around for ages, and it's a local favorite.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

I would have a hard time leaving such a lovely place like yours with all the wildlife and green! My hubby would like less yard work, but that means more people closer by. Your tumbling blocks look amazing, Jocelyn!

LA Paylor said...

congrats on your second shots! Neddy's teddy is so cute, and your tumbling blocks are beautifully graphic. Love love love your nature pics. We discussed moving again and both agree, no downsizing! We love having a spacious home with an office for him, a studio for her/me, room to run for Milo

Carol Andrews said...

Jocelyn those poppies and your critters are so pretty. I love your posts and being able to see what I used to see outside our doors. I still miss the space we had on the acreage, but don’t regret downsizing to our little apartment. It’s in the walk in basement of the clubhouse my DH built 30+ years ago. As long as DH is mobile enough to play golf we will remain here. It’s perfect for us for this stage of our life. Now I have more time for my Guild, quilting, knitting and whatever new crafts I choose. You’ll know when the property becomes too much. For now enjoy it. So sad to hear the frost got the berries. I think our BC crops were fairly safe but some were damaged, too.

Linda said...

I really enjoy seeing your tumbling blocks and the 3-D effect. Love the views you have around your property too. We both turned 73 and of course we picked up and moved last October. We downsized just one bedroom, but we long for that 4th bedroom! We have always been wanderers, which may be why both our kids have been in the same houses with their families for many years. ;) When we think about moving into a condo or apartment, it just seems depressing to us. Those hamburger "joints" are always THE best! We discovered an older diner near us that serves our favorite old-fashioned breakfasts, and we prefer it to the chain restaurants.

PaintedThread said...

Ooh - flowers and wildlife. You take some great photos. The tumbling blocks are looking nice. Waka-waka - that Neddy's Teddy looks a lot like Fozzy the bear. I love good little eateries like that - we have one we stopped in for ice cream, but the food looks interesting so we'll have to return. Bummer about the strawberry crop.

Chopin - A Passionate Quilter said...

First, your pictures are so pretty! Love seeing the little critters, flowers and even the turtle! Your cross stitch is really taking hold and is so bright and pretty. Each time I see your tumbling blocks it makes me want to make one.... hum..
We have Chester Burgers in the SA area and I used to love them. Made fresh FRESH and their fries were wonderful. Miss that food!

Now on downsizing. I have lived in the Country since 1981 with exceptions in 1993-1996. We have 5 acres, leave 4 acres to Mother Nature and live on the remaining cleared acre! We have our Studio where we spend our days, me quilting and hubby doing his hobbies. We stay very busy each day. We would not be good apartment dwellers as we love our space and being in a Rural County and not in the City - less hassle and fewer taxesi. We are hoping to live here until our time is up. City living is just not healthy anymore and not like it was in the 1970's. We shall see if our desires are possible!

Have a wonderful day - love all of your projects, and yes, your header is very pretty with all the colors! Hugs

Deb A said...

That downsizing decision - I think it is not for everyone! My parents are in their 80's and have the big house and camp that they use with lots of help maintaining from the 4 kids that live nearby. I'm not sure I would like to downsize so that will be a fun chat with hubby when the time comes! So fun seeing all the nature shots and your tumbling blocks are pretty. Glad you got that second jab.

Susie H said...

I like to stop by little mom & pop restaurants and shops too. Last week's crawfish boil was purchased at just such a spot. So sad to hear about the lost strawberries. I was just thinking earlier that I need to get out and buy some more. I love them with a little powdered sugar and then stirred into my yogurt. I'm going to try that with some leftover peaches! Sorry to hear about your nice neighbor moving. Who knows? Maybe the new ones will be even nicer!

QuiltGranma said...

When we moved out of our over 240 sq ft house almost 10 years ago, my friend who has moved practically every year of her 45? years life helped. She brought over her large horse trailer for donations to the thrift store, we had the garbage folk bring in a huge metal bin which we FILLED. and so much more went into our 2 large cargo containers.. plus a former U-Haul van which we bought used. These 3 storage are more full now than 10 years ago. We're living in our 40' 5th wheel travel trailer since then. Since we moved in I've taught my retired hubby how to make quilts. I have yet to finish a quilt top but have been busy over the years. Last year I was diagnosed with a hip that needed to have metal replace the joint. I finally got that done, then fell and broke my wrist. Now Hubby recently had his shoulder have a similar surgery. So nothing has been made lately. Crrently working on rehabbing his shoulder my hip and wrist.

loulee said...

Your tumbling blocks are looking great.

Libby in TN said...

I understand your fascination with those flowers. Also commiserate with your quandary over caring for a large property. The beauty of your surroundings would be hard to leave.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Regarding downsizing, we currently live in a 2 bedroom apartment and mostly haven't regretted our decision, at least not until the past couple of years. Our building has changed ownership several times with each time being worse. It's pretty much impossible to get repairs done now (we waited over 2 years to have the peeling paint on our balcony re-done and then they just painted over the peel....been waiting since October to have our off-the-rail closet door fixed...and we've had our postal cubby vandalized again and have a work order in for a new lock which we don't anticipate happening for a very long time). That's only a few of the things we're dealing with. We would happily move but the rent prices here are now much higher than what we currently pay so we are pretty much stuck. In hindsight I guess we wish we'd hung onto the house even though the upkeep was too much for us.

eileeninmd said...

Hello,
I often think about moving, to a smaller place and less to maintain. Poppies are so pretty, I wish I had some growing here. Cute shot of the bunny and goldfinch. The turtles are always a treat to see. Your needlework and tumble block quilt are beautiful. We do have our favorite local places to eat, burgers and fries are one of my hubby's favorite meals. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a happy weekend! PS, thank you for leaving me a comment.

K Reeves said...

I love your eclectic posts, Jocelyn, they always give me a smile and an idea or two! Tumbling blocks is looking great! Our spring was a little closer to normal this year, we will have plums, the first time in three or four years I think!

Quilter Kathy said...

Loving the tumbling blocks! I have one of those in progress somewhere... probably deep in the UFO closet!

Rain said...

We've had some really cold nights here too, down below 10C...not usual for this time of year! The bunny and turtle photos are so nice!

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

Those tumbling blocks are really cool - Hand pieceing them... shew you have some patience!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

That's sad to lose so many strawberries! The weather has been hotter in other parts of the country that down South but we are getting a few pop up rain showers when we least expect them! I like living in a smaller house with lawn service. Less to take care of and more time to do the things we enjoy. Hugs!

Jocelyn said...

I enjoyed watching Patty's video. My son had the same problem with finding a house. The condo where he and his family were living practically threw them out with higher rents and signing a longer lease. He tried to find a house to buy, but had the same situation, every place he put an offer in, there were dozens more on top of his. The only reason he was able to find a home, is because my niece was moving to another state and she held the house for him. He has three little children and they are finally enjoying a yard to play in.

Anu said...

Hello. I enjoy your colorful post. Thank you for sharing.
Take care.

gladiquilts said...

Hi Jocelyn. Good luck with your foundation paper piecing for the courthouse steps blocks! People seem to either love or hate the method and I’m in the former category. I enjoy the process and love the accuracy. When it comes time to sew the blocks together, I remove the outer layer of papers so they don’t get caught in the seams as those are the papers hardest to remove. Then I remove the rest of the papers after the blocks are sewn together. Love your wildlife pictures as always! My husband and I are in our early 70’s and plan to stay in our house absolutely as long as it’s physically and mentally possible! We are, however, trying to pare down our possessions and not accumulate new ones. My major temptation is fabric 😊!

Scrapatches said...

Beautiful poppies! Your tumbling blocks quilt is looking wonderful. We are having a high heat wave and are hoping for rain and relief soon. It is a task to keep the gardens (and us) hydrated. I like foundation piecing as it helps to keep my seams on the straight and narrow. Thank you for sharing in my linky party ... :) Pat

Nancy said...

Your weather sounds crazier than ours. We've had ups and downs but not down to single digits!
Downsizing is something I think about, not as far as moving, but in passing on some of the excess possessions we have. It's so easy to add without realizing it, and then have too much. Well, and my husband doing the yard work, too.
I love to see the details in flowers centers. It seems like a close-up with a camera often reveals more than the natural eye can see, even with a magnifying glass.
Your quilt and fabric pieces look wonderful. I especially like the pincushion.
All the best with your paper-piecing. I know lots of quilters who love it but it's one of those techniques I'll leave to the rest of you.
Love your nature photos!