Monthly Archives: September 2011

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RIP Pretty Trees

*Warning:  Picture Heavy Post*

It was a sad weekend here in ThimbleannaLand a few days ago.  You might remember that I’ve mentioned the Emerald Ash Borer in previous posts and how they were happily eating their way through our ash trees.  This past weekend was the day for the tree cutters to clear out all of our dead trees.  Mr. Tree Cutter and about 6 of his buddies showed up bright and early in the morning.  When they cranked up their chain saws, the kitties ran to the windows to find out what all the commotion was about.

Trees

They started in the backyard where the tree cutting was a little more difficult.  For various reasons, they couldn’t just drop the trees in the old-fashioned way.

Trees

I was fascinated, watching them all work.  There were two guys who climbed the trees.  This guy scaled this particular tree, cutting limbs as he ascended.

Trees

Trees

Once he had most of the branches off of the trunk, he backed down the tree a bit and started working on the trunk.

Trees

When he’d cut through the trunk, he would drop his chainsaw so that he could push the trunk over in the best direction.

Trees

It seemed like there should be some sort of dangling chainsaw ballad playing in the background.

Trees

Working his way down the tree.

Trees

In the meantime, there were guys on the ground, sawing the tree into pieces and loading them onto a trailer.  Branches were fed into a giant grinder/mulcher/thing.

Trees

After the they finished the trees in the backyard, they moved to the frontyard.  I moved across the street and sat on a rock.  I channeled my inner PW and took a picture of Marlboro Man the tree climber in his chaps tree straps.  (Hey, there has to be a little levity here, ’cause this was not a happy day.)

Trees

The front yard was a different operation.  There was room to let the trees fall.  Here Mr. Tree Cutter cuts the traditional notch in the tree.

Trees

They tied the tree to the front of a pickup and used the pickup to pull it in the right direction.

Trees

You may remember seeing this particular tree before.

Trees

It’s the tree that provided a safe home to the baby Cooper’s Hawks a few years ago.

Trees

This tree made a huge crashing sound (all those limbs breaking) when it came down.  Not gonna lie.  I sat there on my rock and shed a tear or two.

Trees

Four more trees and they were finished.  Three hours total work to take down years of tree growth.  We’re left with 9 stumps.

Trees

There is one little ray of sunshine though, at least for now.  For some reason, the tree below hasn’t been dying like the others.  I was just sick about three weeks ago when I noticed a few leaves gone and realized that it too, is an ash tree.  I LOVE this tree.  It’s so different and people comment on it a lot when they come to visit.  It stands there tall and straight all by itself.  It’s fun to stand under it and look waaaaaaay up to where the leaves start.   Just four days before it was scheduled to be cut down, a tree guy was here for another reason and he suggested that we try to treat it.  He said they’ve learned a lot about treatment in the last year (we’d been told a few years ago that it probably wouldn’t work) and they’re having great success.

We’re one of the first states to have the EAB and it’s estimated that we’ll lose 20% of our canopy here.  That seems high to me, although we see dead trees a lot.  For us, it’s probably about 25%.  Hopefully, by the time the EAB spreads much farther, they’ll have treatment perfected.  It costs about as much to treat a tree as it does to cut it down, so there’s not much to lose!   Anyway, we’re really hopeful (well, I’m really hopeful — TheManoftheHouse doesn’t seem to be terribly attached to the trees like I am) that our one remaining ash tree will survive.

Trees

So, we’ll see.   If you’ve made it this far, thanks for sticking with me and the tree cutters!

XOXO,
Anna

Pink Socks from SpiderWoman

I’m a lucky girl and I have some really good friends. Some are even invisible. One of my oldest (as in longest known) invisible friends is the famous Ms. Brigette (aka SpiderWoman). Brigette leaves fabulous comments, aids and abets my fabric obsession, and sends me sock yarn gifts. Some time ago, she sent this pretty pink and green sock yarn and I’ve just now finished these socks. (I know, I should be knitting pretty fall colors, but I’m always a season behind.)

Pink Socks

I’m not sure what kind of yarn it is. It’s so soft and comfy though, and it behaves just like Lorna’s Laces (note the pooling), so I’m guessing it’s a Lorna’s Lace Sock Yarn.

Pink Socks

The pattern on the main part of the sock is actually from a man’s sock pattern in the book Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush. I chose it because it reminded me of half-square triangles. Can you see them if I zoom in on the sock?

Pink Socks

The half square triangle look is pretty much lost with this yarn, but that’s ok. I still think they’re pretty. I’m hoarding a piece of Meadow from the Children at Play fabric line so that I can make a matching shirt next spring.

Pink Socks

Dear Brigette,

Thank you for the beautiful yarn! But Really. You didn’t need to go and get that spider to bite for us all to call your SpiderWoman. I’ve always thought you are AMAZING and I’m REALLY glad you’re finally feeling better. So, no more death-defying acts — ok? We’re perfectly happy with your awesome recipes and beautiful quilts!

XOXO,
Anna

Sheepies!

Hi there Kidlets!  I hope you’re having a good week — we’re past the middle mark (Yay! – not that I’m wishing my life away, but we do love the weekend around here.)  My week hit a high point when I collected the mail and found this treasure cuddled up in an envelope.

Tea Cozy

Isn’t it cute?  It’s a Sheep Tea Cozy, all the way from Anne in Scotland. (Anne always posts pictures of sheep in Scotland and I love it.)   It’s all soft and squishy and, um, cozy.  Just like it’s supposed to be.  And look at Anne’s adorable little tag that she tucked into the seam.

Tea Cozy

I LOVE it Anne!  Thanks so much for such a fun surprise — you’re the bright spot in my week!  This little tea cozy reminded me that I never posted the pictures of sheep that I took for you when I was at market in Utah this spring.  You know, just so you could see what American sheep look like LOL.

Sheep

My cousin took these first few pictures.  She had to hop a fence to get close enough to them — I couldn’t get my fat ol’ butt over the fence (and it wasn’t that little one in the background either, thankyouverymuch).

Sheep

I love it when they have little black faces.  So cute.

Sheep

Hey Anne — do birds sit on sheepie backs in Scotland?  My cousin really liked this shot –  me too!

Sheep

I spotted these little lambs when I was driving down the road.  (Bonnie – do you recognize that rock pile?)

Sheep

They didn’t stay on the rock pile very long after I arrived.

Sheep

Might have had something to do with wanting their dinner!
There are sheep everywhere out in Utah, but I don’t usually see sheep here in corn country.  I actually saw some the other day though,  when I was driving out in the country.  It was a very pleasant surprise — I think they’re adorable!

XOXO,
Anna

Another Little Purse Thingy

Well, hello there — I hope you’re having a nice weekend! I’ve had a great one so far — I spent the day with my VBFF’s, the Quilty Peeps. Gurney hadn’t been to the Sock Yarn Store yet, so she jetted in to town to check it out. Then we went to a few other yarn shops and one quilt shop. Throw in a fab lunch and it was a perfect day. I do love my peeps — Thanks ladies for a fun time!

I managed a leeeetle bit of sewing this week. As you can see, my little coin purse was getting pretty ragged. I use it all the time and I was afraid it might fray all the way through if I used it much longer.

Purse

So, I made a new one (instructions here). This time I used a black and white fabric, to match my backpack (sitting there in the background). You can’t really tell, but I decided to try a scrap of black vinyl in place of that part that was fraying out. We’ll see if it lasts any better this time.

Purse

Hey — did you notice my sock monkey keys? I had two keys that I constantly mixed up, so when I saw these key covers, I thought I’d try them out. I think they’re really cute!

SockMonkeyKeys

And finally, it was a good mail week here in ThimbleannaLand. The Ruby Charm Packs that I ordered forever-ago finally arrived. (Which meant I could finally ship off the prizes from the guess-the-stove-knob-color contest – Yay!) The official Moda story is that Ruby won’t show up in your local quilt shop until October 11th, but we saw some in our local quilt shop today. And, if you’d like a charm pack or two, I’ve put some of these in my little shop.

RubyCharm

If you buy two or more charm packs, I’ll throw in a pair of those cute polka dotted scissors that I’ve been hoarding. (If you haven’t seen them, they’re pictured on the Ruby order page.)

Now I’m off to curl up with the latest Martha Stewart magazine that arrived earlier this week and was put aside until quiet time. I hope you get some quiet time too!

XOXO,
Anna

242 and 243

Did you all have a good weekend? Here in ThimbleannaLand it was a fun weekend of work around the house. I read on someone’s blog this weekend that the change of seasons causes a nesting instinct and I think the same is true for me. So I spent the weekend doing lots of little odd jobs that take up lots of time. All the work was made more fun with the help of the internet:

Reason #242 Why I Love the Internet:

People post cool cleaning tips.

About six weeks ago I decided I should try and clean the dingy blinds that I took down when I painted the kitchen. I had no clue how to do it, but the internet said they were washable. I rigged up some ridiculous contraption to hang them in the shower and proceeded to wash the first one with some soapy water. It was a miserable experience that involved the blind crashing to the shower floor more than once — and the after didn’t look any better than the before. I decided it would be a two-day job per blind when drying times were considered. But then, luckily for me, I never got around to the second (of five) blind.

Then, in a serendipitous moment, Pamela posted her method of cleaning blinds a few weeks ago. Never in a million years would I have come up with this idea. I was a little worried that this method might not work since our blinds arethe honeycomb fabric type, but I decided I didn’t have anything to lose.

Blinds

And how simple is this method? Suspend the blind between two ladders, spray it with Krud Kutter and then hose it down. I added a third little ladder while drying the blind, so all the water wouldn’t pool at the bottom of the blind.

Blinds

And here’s a shot of the magic elixir. Krud Kutter. I’d never heard of it before, but Oh My Gosh. I didn’t know my blinds were so dirty! This stuff is amazing.

Blinds

THANK YOU so much Pamela for posting your great idea. I think sometimes as bloggers, we wonder if a post will help anyone. Pamela — you saved my blinds!

Reason #243 Why I Love the Internet:

You Meet Wonderful People Even If They Aren’t Bloggers

Enter Linda Noblog. You’ve heard me mention her here before — she’s probably reason 80, 121, and 157 too. We’ve had some great e-mail exchanges and I’ve learned so much from her. Last week she told me I needed to try the Banana Struesel Muffin recipe from the Sono Baking Company Cookbook. I made a quick batch on Sunday morning and they’re perfect. They remind me of my favorite Chunky Monkey ice cream! THANKS for another great tip Linda!  (And please don’t look at my cupcake papers — I know they would look much more professional sans papers, but I was l.a.z.y.)

Banana Muffins

I hope you all have a good week. Sneak in some internet time — I’ll bet you’ll find a Pamela or a Linda or more!

XOXO,
Anna