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Friday, September 28, 2007

No Joy in Mudville

"Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville—mighty Casey has struck out."

Rockies fall short of win No. 12

By C.J. Moore / MLB.comDENVER -- Brandon Webb, Conor Jackson and the Diamondbacks got in the way of what seemed to be the Rockies' destiny on Friday night in front of 48,190 at Coors Field.

The Rockies' 11-game winning streak came to an end with a 4-2 loss.

The Rockies' playoff dreams didn't end with the loss, but they're not much more than dreams with two games to play. If the Padres go on to win on Friday night against the Brewers, the Rockies will need to win their final two and have the Padres drop their final two to tie for the Wild Card.

While Francis (17-9) wasn't at his best, giving up four runs over six innings, the Rockies offense also lost the magic that enabled the 11-game winning streak.

After the Rockies had scored 76 runs in their past 11, Brandon Webb muzzled the Colorado hit attack.

Matt Holliday's RBI single in the third inning and a Brad Hawpe RBI in the seventh was all the Rox could muster against Webb.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Rockies Homepage
I haven't followed baseball since a child, when Joe DiMaggio slugged for the New York Yankees. In those days the Dodgers were in Brooklyn and no major league baseball took place in Denver. This summer I started watching the Denver Rockies play on TV, because Joe was watching them. It is no exageration to say that they have been a joke since their beginnings a few years ago. Toward the end of the season this year they caught fire. They won their series against the Yankees, the Phillies, and then the Dodgers. They were up for a Wild Card in the World Series playoffs.
I actually know the names of a lot of the players, which position they play, and how well they can bat. I scream my throat sore! And tonight, with all of Colorado, I crossed my fingers, and hoped they would beat the Phoenix Diamondbacks in the first of their three game series at home in Denver, their last series of the season. Oh well, there is always next year. I'm used to that; after all, I'm a Broncos fan!

New Names of Jesus Blocks

Here are my latest blocks for the Names of Jesus Quilt Study group.

For week 15 the name is Lord/Kyrios and the block is Royal Cross which I fused and machine appliqued with richly patterned fabrics to represent the awesomeness of our Lord. It makes me think of a richly decorated gold and enameled cross from the Renaissance.

"that at the name of Jesus every knee whould bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." -Philippians 2:10-11

Friend is the name for week 16 and the block is Friendship Circle. This block was fused and machine quilted with fabrics in shades of blue and turquoise on the cream on cream background. For some reason blue seemed to me to be the perfect color to represent a friend.

"The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and 'sinners.''" _Matthew 11:19

"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends" _John 15:13

Under the influence of Kaffe Fassett, I am attempting to be more bold in my use of fabrics. I've always loved richly colored and patterned fabrics but had no idea how to use them in my quilts. Now I'm putting patterns and colors together that I never would have in the past, and I usually like the results. I'm even cutting up large patterns into very small pieces and letting them lie as they fall in the pattern without trying to fussy cut and carefully arrange each piece of a pattern in the parts of the block. Believe it or not, that center medallion in the Friendship Circle was not planned, it just happened and pleasantly surprised me.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Happy Autumn

Here are some early Autumn in the Rocky Mountains photos I took coming home from Pueblo the other day. Keep in mind that although the days are shorter and the nights cooler we still had a couple of over 90 degree days this week. It was cooler and cloudy today.

This photo shows sailboats on Lake Pueblo, in front of the Wet Mountains, from Liberty Point.
[Please click these photos to enlarge so you can see the details better. It's hard to get so much huge scenery in such a small photo.]

One of the first signs of Autumn here are the yellow blooming Rabbit Brush which cover the valley slopes and the foothills. The cottonwoods will not turn gold yet for a few weeks, although I did see a few yellow leaves here and there. Today I could see the Aspen,that have begun to turn gold, on the front slope of the Wet Mountains, south of Toad Haven. The weather experts tell us that the leaves are turning later than usual, due to the rains we've had, but should be brighter than usual when they do change. You can follow the changing leaves from the high altitudes of the mountains and on down, until finally the cottonwoods along the streams and rivers, and the other lower altitude leaves, change. The native vines, Sumac, and Scrub Oak leaves turn red, but most of our other native trees and shrubs turn golden.

Here are masses of white Ironweed, with tiny daisy like flowers, and other brush along the banks of Beaver Creek, south of Florence, with a pair of gorgeous Paint horses in the back. On the left edge of the photo is one of our remaining old Cedar fence posts. These are rapidly giving way to steel posts as the Cedar finally rots in the ground.

This lovely little yellow daisy flower is quite common this time of the year. I'm not certain exactly which plant this is, but it is one of several similar members of the Aster family that are listed in my native flower book. It might be Goldweed, also known as Cowpen Daisy, as it is common in corrals and pastures.

By next week I will probably be able to post photos of the golden Aspens and later, the red Scrub Oak covered hillsides and the yellow Cottonwood leaves from the riverside woods. The Fall colors always get my creative juices running.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Kids, Don't Try This At Home

The Baby Bunting block that I did for the name, Child, in the Names of Jesus quilt study, was paper pieced and required some set in seams to put the pieces together. I was so happy when I had it all sewn; then I turned it over and my heart dropped. Something was terribly wrong. One of the triangle segments was set in backward and made a seriously disfigured block. I laid it aside for a couple of days while deciding whether to try to save this one or start all over again. I finally figured out how to rip it apart and put the triangle segment on the correct way.

Here is the way it was meant to look. It is still not as precise as I'd like it but I am trying to accept that I will never reach perfection on this earth. Each time I do set in seams it gets a little better, so I hope that I will eventually get it figured out and not be so horrified by those pesky seams.

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given." _Isaiah 9:6

"In a loud voice she [Elizabeth] exclaimed: 'Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!'" -Luke 1:42

Thursday, September 13, 2007

More Names of Jesus Blocks

Here are 3 more blocks that I did this week for the Names of Jesus Quilt Study.
For week 1, Immanuel_God with Us, I paper pieced the background of the block designed by our leader Karen, and fused and machine appliqued the heart.

"All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 'The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel'_which means,'God with us.'" --Matthew 1:22-23
For week 2, "Light of the World" I chose to paper piece an alternate block, "Light and Dark".
Scriptures for this name:
"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." _John 1
"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'" _ John 8:12

For week 14, "The Lion of the Tribe of Judah", I Paper pieced the "Brave World" block in gold and black fabrics that give the regal, awe inspiring feel of this name.


"I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, 'Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.'" __Rev.5:4-5
The Lion of the Tribe of Judah reminded me of an old favorite book by C. S. Lewis, who has greatly influenced my life, "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe."

I can't tell you all how great it is to feel like doing a little quiltmaking and I am endebted to Karen and Keri for doing such a great study that inspired me to get up and at it again. I also thank Denise for having the beautiful display of these fabrics at her store, The Creative Cloth Closet in Canon City. This fabrics are grabbing me to do "just one more." Last night after I had done some reading in bed, I kept looking at the fabrics I had chosen for the next block, and had to get up and cut out pieces to be sure they would look the way I hoped when pieced. I still have to paper piece the block but the right sized pieces of fabric are ready. As I left the cutting table to get back into bed I noticed that all 3 cats were helping me in my quiltmaking. They are really good at this kind of help.

We are the Phone Company & we are Omnipotent!

Remember this hilarious line by Lily Tomlin on Saturday Night Live ages ago? Well in this case it was the Cable company.

For the last few weeks there have been mysterious yellow and blue paint marks on our and neighboring streets. Last week there was a noisy truck parked and doing something at the intersection of our street and Main Street. Joe said they were tunneling under the street for some kind of cable to be run through.

This morning Bresnan Cable workers and equipment showed up on our street and a man was digging through some of my prairie border to get to cables that run up the post next to the driveway. Joe drove his business van down the street into our rear drive for lunch and when he went out later to go back to work there was a trench across the street and he couldn't get out to go to his appointments. By this time all the workers had disappeared and there was no one to explain the situation to. No one had warned us, and how could they trench clear across a City street without providing access? Needless to say Joe was perturbed (polite word)!

I called the 800 service number for Bresnan Cable and aafter hearing how important my call was to them I had to go through the press 1, etc. routine and wait till I got a disinterested and then rather huffy person who said she would call the local crew about it. I told her she'd better tell them to do something quickly because I was calling City Hall to complain about a street being trenched without notice to us, and probably no notice to the City. That's when she got huffy. After all, they are doing it for our sake so our cable TV and high speed internet would perform better for us. Be that as it may, if my husband cannot get to his scheduled business appointments, someone should do something.
I then called my friend who is the editor of the local weekly newspaper and suggested that this could be a story for the paper. He came over and took photos and was surprised that this had been done, and told me he had also called to inform the City Manager.

My this time Joe had gotten impatient and driven through the weeds and across the old railroad tracks that run next to the street in order to get to his appointments.
I discussed the situation with the workers when they returned to work and then the crew superintendent talked to me and apologized. As he told me how this was to improve our service and how Bresnan really wanted to please their customers, a car turned off Main onto Circle Drive and nearly drove over their big red cable lying across the road, getting the attention of all the workers running to yell and stop the car. I pointed out to the superintendent that if there was some kind of sign at the entrance to the street, those things wouldn't happen.

I then went in to phone a prescription to the pharmacy and discovered that my home phone had no dial tone, so I went to check the business phone. No dial tone there. I rushed out and called to the workers that they had another problem. First they asked if I had Bresnan phone service and since I didn't they suggested that I call Quest service. I explained that everything was working fine until they did their trenching. They checked, and sure enough, a main phone cable had been cut and the whole neighborhood was without phone service. Now my neighbors are talking to me and to the Bresnan workers. Lots of people are unhappy with Bresnan.

The Bresnan Superintendent checked my cable TV and internet service before they left for the evening and so we do have those services again. More phone company workers were here and told me they would get the phone service back on, but they told my next door neighbor that we might not have phone service until 8 pm tomorrow.

I am normally a nice peaceful grandmother but I figure that after big business steps on me several times I have the right to bite their ankle. Of course, I'm so insignificant to a big company like that, but I aim to get the word out as far as I can. I'm tired of all the TV ads about what wonderful customer service these big companies provide to us; I'd much rather have them prove it in the way they treat me. If customer service is good, they don't need to advertise to explain it to us.

Now, back to quilting, to lower the blood pressure and make me feel good again.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Saturday, September 8, 2007

New Starts

It seems appropriate to me that the Jewish New Year is celebrated in September; it has always seemed to me that September was the start of the new year instead of January. I suppose it was because of school starting and the relief of cooler weather after the exhausting heat of summer. Here's to new starts for all of us.

We spent the Labor Day weekend in Denver (actually Wheatridge) at my oldest daughter, Michal Ann's home. She had her new deck, overlooking the back yard and facing the Rocky Mountains, constructed but not sealed yet. It was a vast improvement over the old rickety and splintery one. It was so great to visit with family and watch the grandchildren and great grandchildren play, as well as snuggling our new great grandson, Shaun. It is a blessing that he is such a good baby, who allows Lindsay and Derek to get 5 hours of unbroken sleep at night. 5 year old sister Kaylee is very proud of him.

It was a special treat for me and my farmer father to get the grand tour of Lindsay's and Derek's veggie garden and punkin patch. This is their first garden on their nearly acre lot, that was the home place of the original homestead in this area of Wheatridge in the days when it was still an agricultural community, rather than a contiguous suburb of Denver. For beginner's their garden was impressive. I am so thrilled and excited that this love of growing things is passing on down in the family. Look at the cantaloupes in their own little pantyhose hammocks. Derek liked my heirloom Little Yellow Pear and Green Zebra Tomatoes so much that he wants me to save seeds for him to plant next summer.

I'm also amazed that my daughter, Kat (Mandy's mom), has been bitten by the quiltmaking bug. She has hand stitched all her nine-patch blocks together and is in the process of adding the borders and talking about getting fabric to start another quilt. She is hoping to take some lessons at the quilt shop in the neighboring community of Strasburg. She loves to hand stitch while watching TV with the family in the evenings. I had thought that the love of quilting had jumped a generation but am pleased that one of my daughters is now into quilting as well as my granddaughter.

The veggie garden was full of goodies ready to pick when we got home from Denver. We had so many tomatoes that I took some to the gals at the doctor's office when I went in for an appointment this week. A big portion of the joy of gardening is having enough to share with others. [Tigger just jumped up onto the keyboard and typed some gibberish so I had to put him back down on the floor and do some editing.] Those round yellow things in back are the lemon cucumbers.

Now that I have completed the Women of the Bible study, I have started a Praying the Names of Jesus study and quilt group online. We are using Ann Spangler's book, "Praying the Names of Jesus" as our daily guide. The leaders of the Yahoo group are the Canadian woman who led my WOTB4 group and one of the U. S. women who was also a member of that group and they have chosen wonderful blocks to represent the names. While I've been doing the daily studies, I didn't get around to making any of the blocks until today. I had purchased a group of gorgeous, rich patterned fat quarters at the Creative Cloth Closet that I thought would be good for these blocks and last week found a couple of cream on cream fabrics to go with them. This evening I was able to cut out, fuse and stitch this weeks block, Morning Star, for the name, Bright Morning Star. I'm only 12 blocks behind, but I will get caught up, hopefully soon.

Friday, September 7, 2007