My quilting friend across the street has two cats – Bonnie & Clyde. Clyde nearly always greets me at the door; the one time I had a camera with me he was much more interested in what I had in my hand than in having his picture taken (above). Bonnie typically ignores me but had just enough curiosity to sit up to see what was going on (below).
My sister’s family also has a Bonnie & Clyde. Not cats, though. Dogs.
All the dogs at that house are loved, but the favorite is clearly the English Bulldog. I was taking pictures of my nieces and nephews last fall when one of them insisted I take a picture of Gus.
So there you have it – a few pictures of animals that are keeping some of my favorite people company during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Oh, they’re back,” I thought as one Canada goose stood at attention and honked at me to stay away. Another was floating in the run-off pound. A third was sitting on the nest. Canada Geese don’t seem to ever fully leave this area; my thought had to do with the nest.
It’s a sign of hope. The pond used to be an excellent place for a goose to raise a family. Four or five years ago there would be six or more goslings there. Occasionally the parental units would stop traffic to march the young ones across the street to the larger neighborhood pond.
But then a medical building went up just south of it. And now new condos are being built to the west. I saw the geese and their nest a year ago. But never did see any goslings. Hope springs eternal.
The nest was my first thought for the Tuesday Photo Challenge of HOPE. So I grabbed the camera when my best beloved and I headed out for a walk yesterday. One Canada goose was on the nest; a pair of mallard ducks was nearby.
The walk itself – with proper physical distancing from whoever else might be out – provides a bit of hope in this era of COVID-19 pandemic. Getting out of the house to enjoy sunshine and blue sky is as much for our mental health as it is for physical well-being.
An annual sign of hope are swelling leaf buds. I marvel at the variety. Here are a few pictures from our corner of the world on the last day of March.
There are so many ways to take the Tuesday Photo Challenge of connect this week! I finally settled on a piece of jewelry. Every time I wear it – or even just see it – I am reminded of love and laughter and relationships that persist across time and place.
We were all together for Thanksgiving about eight years ago. Tanya had an empty bracelet chain for each female in the clan. And dozens and dozens of beads.
One by one Tanya handed each of us two or three specially chosen beads that said something about our connection, our interests, our family. She then instructed us to choose as many additional beads as we wanted to fill out our bracelets.
I picked glass beads based on my favorite color and how they would match the PROSTATE CANCER RIBBON bead Tanya had given me to honor my husband.
Those who know me will easily guess the meanings of some beads.
CROSS – I’m an ordained minister.
SIS – Tanya is my sister.
TEAPOT – My husband and I drink tea (not coffee).
BELLS – I have a bell collection.
The CAROLERS take me back to my childhood. We looked forward to Christmas caroling as a family every year. Dad would instigate it. Mom would have treats prepared (with help from the kids!). All five of us would go because it was a family thing. We would stop at friends’ homes, sing a carol or two, and invite them to join us. More often than not, they would drop what they’d been doing and go along. At the end of the evening everyone gathered around the fireplace at our house with mugs of hot chocolate and Christmas cookies in hand.
In this time of physical distancing, may you find ways to connect with others (a phone call? a text? an e-mail? a card?). And may you be reminded of love and laughter and relationships that persist across time and place.
“Spread” was the photo challenge word on Tuesday. As Frank put it “While the spread of a virus is not welcome, a nice dinner spread or bread spread or even bed spread might be appreciated!”
As a quilter I have plenty of bed spreads around the house. But I’d shown you stack of quilts not so long ago when the photo challenge word was “rest.” (You can see it here.)
Then I remembered these pictures of Grandma’s quilt. Actually, it’s my quilt made by Grandma Mary. The fabric came from left-over scraps from clothes Mom had sewn for me when I was a little girl. We cut the many triangles using cardboard patterns over Christmas break 1986.
When my beloved and I moved into our current home, there were no window coverings so Grandma’s quilt became the master bedroom curtain until we could get blinds hung. The only reason I have pictures is because of the reflection of the back-lit quilt on the glass of a framed doily!
Somehow I never got around to posting for the prior photo challenge, but I took some pictures!! So here’s just a bit of the action required for creating a quilt block using the pink square shown above.
SEW: Sewing machine needle at rest and and then in action. Note that the horizontal screw on the right holds the needle in place so it has go up and down and up and down with the needle.
PRESS: First with fingers, then with iron.
CUT: Stack two strip sets, cut into 2″ widths.
Sew some more. Press. Repeat as necessary.
Finished block! One of more than 100 I’ve made for the 2020 Stash Buster Challenge.
“Our wheelchairs are here for your usage and convenience.”
– Sign at the entrance to the Skyway to the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics from Parking Ramp 4.
Wheelchairs to the right (above) and to the left (below) as you enter the skyway from level 2 of parking ramp 4 at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics.
I’m always struck by the number of wheelchairs here. With an early morning appointment this week, they were still neatly lined up and ready to roll when we arrived.
Noticing how the arms of one wheelchair wrap around the one in front of it (see below), I thought of a hug. These particular chairs require a companion to transport the patient. It is a caring act – whether the designated companion is family, friend, or hospital employee.
Wandering on the Iowa State University campus while my beloved participated in a study, I was pleasantly surprised to find Beardshear Hall. From the stories he tells, Beadshear was his home away from home back in the day he was working on his Ph.D.
step through the gate to enjoy the tulips
I’m more inclined to take pictures of flowers than I am to photograph gates. But this gate caught my attention on a beautiful spring day at Reiman Gardens.
Having used neither a wagon nor an old truck as a primary mode of transportation, the photo itself doesn’t make me feel particularly retrospective. But it illustrates that times have changed!
On a personal level, the location of the photo – the ranch of family friends – reminds me that I will have to be very intentional to ever take pictures there again. The 2010s were when my parents moved from a small town in far eastern Montana to Montana’s largest city. We’re grateful they have better access to medical care and to an airport. But it means they now live 260 miles from a favorite place to play with the camera. Times have changed!
The wheels in the photo remind me that in 2019 my husband and I traded two cars and some of our savings to become a one car couple. We rarely need to be in two different places away from home at the same time so it works for us. Since the new car is a hybrid we feel a bit better about our carbon footprint. Times have changed!
Posted in response to the Tuesday Photo Challenge – Retrospective where Frank wrote: “Feel free to look back across 2019 or the 2010s, or whatever comes to your creative mind, when you are feeling retrospective!”