The Young & the Restless...

If you haven't checked in on the Decorah, IA eagle cam as of late,
you may be surprised
to find...
the little beigish-grey
fluff balls
now are all feathered
in their fine black jackets
of feathers.

They now can tear meat
just like
Mom & Dad.

And most noticeably,
they are
becoming curious
of life
beyond the confines
of their
on the edge,
if you will...
getting a
restless in the nest.

Something tells me
their instincts
are telling them
there are
streams to fish
and valleys to soar...

So take a little break
visit them
when you have a moment,
just enjoy
these beautiful
magnificent creatures.

You will witness
some wing-flappin'
jumping jacks
even "air time"

Have a good week everyone,


A day to remember...

When I'm Gone
When I come to the end of my journey
and I travel my last weary mile,
just forget if you can, that I ever frowned
and remember only the smile.

Forget unkind words I have spoken;
remember some good I have done.
Forget that I ever had heartache
and remember I've had loads of fun.

Forget that I've stumbled and blundered
and sometimes fell by the way.
Remember I have fought some hard battles
and won, ere the close of the day.

Then forget to grieve for my going,
I would not have you sad for a day,
but in summer just gather some flowers
and remember the place where I lay.

And come in the shade of evening
when the sun paints the sky in the west,
stand for a few moments beside me
and remember only my best.

~by Mrs. Lyman Hancock

Remembering today those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, those who have served, for those serving today and their loved ones, so that we may be the
land of the free
home of the brave.

Freedom does not come easy...

Enjoy your day,


Is there...

the house???
Hoping all is "well" with you all
have a fun-filled


My Helper...

Looks like I have a helper today...

But pardon me,
pussy cat
I don't mean to disturb you,
I need your bed of floss.

With thy Needle & Thread,


Sad News...

While watching the news on Monday evening I learned of the tragic & untimely death of Rob Macintyre (man in the middle), the president of the Raptor Resource Project (Decorah Eagle Cam). Raptor Bob (Bob Anderson, director) is pictured on the left, banding the falcon.
Rob died while helping tornado victim friends in the Minneapolis MN area. Here is a more detailed story about Rob. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and family.

It was this morning that the Raptor Resource Project also announced that as of 10:00 PM CST today, they will no longer be taking donations. They have received enough donations to cover the cost of the eagle web cams and funding for near future projects. They do not wish to take more donations then what the have a current need for.

It is at this time that I will also announce that the SOAR sampler pattern will retire slightly earlier, then first projected, due to this. The pattern will retire at 9:00 PM CST today. I will be making my final donations from proceeds made from the sale of this pattern this evening. I would like to say a big "Thank You" to all of you who purchased the Soar Sampler pattern. You enabled me to donate $1247.00 to this wonderful project. What captivated me the most about this little family of eagles, that live by a fish hatchery in Iowa is the coming together and the support and love of people....people from all over the world!

I believe, because of this project and web cam, a whole new awareness and love for our nations bird has been rekindled. Teachers are using the cam in their classrooms as a teaching tool, how cool is that....some things a science book just cannot teach! And for these very reasons, I thank Bob Anderson and his staff of volunteers at the Raptor Resource Project. You are a group of wonderful & caring people, on a wonderful mission.

Have a good evening,


What are you hungry for dear?

I run out of ideas from time to time when it comes to cooking.
Do you?
It seems like I get into cooking ruts...cooking the same thing over & over.
I then find my self asking the dear husband, "What are you hungry for?" This Sunday his response to me was, "those little bite-sized sandwiches". I knew exactly what he was referring to, Ham & Cheese Sliders. It was just a matter of remembering where the recipe for them was, oh dear!!

While looking for this recipe...

I came upon this recipe...

a recipe that I got from my sister Sandra years ago.

It happens to be our son's favorite salad...more on this later! So we enjoyed a Sunday meal of Ham & Cheese Sliders and Sandra's Cauliflower Salad. It was yummy and I kept reminding myself that I mustn't forget about these delicious, cute, little sandwiches ever again, or the salad either for that matter. They are delicious together!

While enjoying our dinner, I began to reminisce with the dh how mad I would get at the dear son. I can laugh about it now! Darn I miss this boy, why'd he have to grow up and move 2 states away?? Anyhoo some summers ago, I'd come home from Country Stitches for a quick lunch, of this very salad, only to find olives, green peppers & onions floating in the vinaigrette dressing. The cauliflower was gone, zip, zilch, nada, none, no traces of cauliflower to be seen. That is if I was lucky, often times the dressing too was missing...you guessed it, someone picked out all of the cauliflower and drank the dressing!! Hmmm...I wonder who did that? Matthew do you have any idea who did that??? Now my better mothering instincts tells me someone probably was eating this right from the bowl...

So today's post will be a recipe share with you all & Matthew too. Matthew hasn't called home yet for this recipe so I'm pretty sure he needs the recipe for his file. Note to Matthew, you may just want to omit the green peppers, olives and onions to save yourself some time & money.
I'm just saying...


6 white small dinner rolls
sliced ham
sliced Swiss cheese
mayonnaise or miracle whip (whichever is your family favorite, I use mayonnaise)
Poppy Seed Sauce:
1 1/2 tsp poppy seeds (use more or less to your liking)
1 T. yellow mustard (I prefer a dijon mustard, such as Hellmann's Dijonnaise)
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 T. minced onion
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Slice dinner rolls and spread both sides with mayonnaise or miracle whip. Place a slice of ham and Swiss cheese inside of each roll. Close rolls and place them into a baking dish. You want the sandwiches to be very close, or "nestled" together...this is important!
In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the poppy seed sauce ingredients. Pour evenly over all of the sandwiches. Let sit 10 minutes or until butter sets slightly. Cover with tin foil and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover and bake for 4 additional minutes to slightly crisp up the tops of the dinner rolls. Serve warm.

1 head cauliflower, broken into small flowerettes
1 c. sliced black olives
1 green pepper, chopped finely
1/2 c. chopped onion
3 T. lemon juice
3 T. white vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Mix dressing and pour over ingredients. Refrigerate before serving.


American Idol Fans,
Remember they've switched up the nights on us...don't forget to watch tonight!! Is your favorite still standing???


Down the home stretch...

a finish is in sight!
I can say
I will have a finish
this week...

just a few acorns,
oak leaves & bird beaks
left to stitch
on the
"Sampler of the Season - Autumn".

Release date for this 1st in the series of 4 patterns
June 20th
the first day of summer.
Winter's to follow,
on the
first day of Autumn.

our thoughts & prayers
go out to
our neighbors to the south,
Joplin, MO.
I know we have customers living
there and we are concerned
about you all and sending prayers
your way.

Have a good week,


Ducks on da wadda...

I had the pleasure of spending a few days helping out with Beckham, while his Daddy was in the Netherlands on business. I hadn't seen the little one for a couple of weeks and gosh golly, has this little one turned into a jabber box. I had to learn lots of new words, and more importantly, their meanings!
New words such as...
fo fen - Beckhams way of saying, fast forward (yep, even 2 year olds don't like watching movie pre-views...this totally cracked me up and I find myself saying "fo fen", just because it's fun to say and it makes me laugh every time I say it)
b & p - short for blanket and pacifier (these words are usually said when either tired or under distress of some sort, and amazes Grandma that he knows the first letters of these two items)
Tweeby - means Toby (Toby is the new train,from Thomas the Train, that Grandma B treated him to)
ducks on da wadda...

Their community has lots of little ponds throughout the neighborhoods. One sits at the end of their street, one is a couple of blocks from their home, one at the bank corner and one across from the John Deere plant, where they make (as Beckham says) "big cocka's", translation - big tractors.

you put this little guy in his car seat to head off to Target or the grocery store,

and he turns on his radar vision,

i swear.. .

he doesn't miss any body of water!

If you use any sentence with the word w-a-t-e-r
in it...
you guessed it...
ducks on da wadda???
Grandma even had to draw ducks on da wadda with chalk onto his sidewalk...

when he sees a pond or a fountain,
ducks on da wadda, ducks on da wadda
and the sentence is repeated faster and louder if he senses Mom's not stoppin...
so over the few days that I was there I would hear his momma say,
"if you eat all of your dinner, we'll go see the ducks on the water..."
" after you take a nap, we'll go see the ducks on the water..."
Sometimes when you're a momma, you have to bargain with a 2 year old...
we've all been there...
done that!

Have a good weekend,


Bird Brain?

Webster defines birdbrain as a stupid person or idea. Being the bird-lover that I am, I've always thought badly about this term. I think these little feathered folk are pretty smart. They can travel hundreds of miles each migration and know right where they are going, often returning to the same areas and nests...no Garmen or GPS needed! After watching the eagle cam it's also pretty clear they don't need no Weather.com either. Before each approaching storm you would find the parent eagles busily adding more grassy materials to their nests before the approaching storms... They also knew when it was time to add more sticks to their nest, making their baby gates taller, if you will...

But I've been put to the test the past couple of weeks in regards to this word, birdbrain. See the picture above? Look real hard....enlarge photo if you need to! See her? Yep, mother Blue Jay has decided to take up residence this year in the first crotch of a crab apple tree. Now if you aren't familiar with crab apple trees, the aren't overly tall. The first crotch is eye level to me, so let's say this nest is 5'7" off the ground.

Hmmmm....I'm thinking this might be a "first-time mom", what say you????

This tree sits approximately 4' from our neighbor's house.

A house where Spot lives.

Spot is not a dog.

Spot is a cat.

Spot climbs trees.

I guess you could call this nest location a birdbrained idea....

Have a good day,



Happy Birthday Erin!

Wishing you a day filled with happiness!
Love You,

Mom & Dad



Mystery Sampler - "Birds of a Feather", Part I... I'm being told, by our distributor, that some shops did order extras....


if the whole mystery thing scared you off and now after seeing a sneak peek you are regretting that you you didn't get signed up, there still may be time to take part in this fun summer-time stitching event...hurry though! Part II to be released June 10 and Part III, the final portion will be released on July 10th.

Have a good week,


Good Saturday Morning!

Everything is so beautifully green this spring morning, after a little overnight shower.

Everything got a little drink overnight. Yesterday it was a chilly over-cast day, the sky was perfect for picture taking. My picture taking consist of me, in my kitchen, taking pictures through the windows (they might be clearer if I'd wash my windows {sigh}) and my 18mm - 270mm camera lens...I can sneak up on the birds, without scaring them away.

But this little guy (Orchard Oriole) is a tricky guy to sneak up on, even from the inside of the house. He has a keen sense and any movement I make, and he is gone. I'm still trying to get a good picture of him. The Orchard Oriole's are the smallest Orioles...isn't he pretty in his rusty brown vest and black top hat?

And I was excited, beyond excited, to have a pair of these visiting today...

A pair of Indigo Buntings!
I only was able to snap a picture of Daddy. I'm surprised the photo turned out as well as it did, as I was shakin' with pure excitement! I have not seen one of these since I was a young girl. I will spend my Saturday looking for these two I suppose, and taking a picture or two, or three or four if I spot them... They are absolutely iridescently brilliant and their song is like no other...beautiful!
The birds were so nice and plump, with their feathers all poofed out on this chilly spring day...

their way of trying to stay warm...

And they are still hungry...
I'm thinking the old saying "eating like a bird" has taken on a whole different meaning in my humble opinion...
I'm beginning to think they are pigs!
Here is Momma Grosbeak...she looks like an over-grown sparrow, with a big fat, cone-shaped beak...
she's not too showy, nothing special, really...yet still very cute in her own little speckled way...
you must admit,
she's not nearly as pretty as her honey...isn't he stunning? He likes to show off his pretty red bib...

Everybody needs to behave and get along when they are visiting my yard, that is the rule...

Here is the Grosbeaks Boy Choir (as I call them)...all getting along so nicely. Aren't they cute?
and another, visiting right up and close to my window...pecking at a spent hydrangea head.

And here is the Baltimore Boy's Choir...they don't always seem to get along...always fighting over the grape jam and chattering at one another.
And since birds seem to be the top of discussion today...the Mystery Sampler "Birds of a Feather" part I pattern has now made it to the needlework shops! Have you got your copy yet? Inquiring minds want to know!
Have a lovely weekend,


Week 4 - Soar SAL...

Welcome to the final week posting of the Soar SAL...

Judy stitched and stitched trying to get hers completed for this week, but just couldn't quite get it done. She plans on sharing her finish on our 4th of July posting. Judy has just recently taken up cross stitch after taking a 10 year sabbatical...she is really glad she picked it up again!

I like what Judy has done to her floss choices for the stream, here are her substitutions-
610 for 640
300 for 3023
3011 for 3013
3866 for 3782
ecru for 644
for the water Judy used 926, 927 and 928 for a variegated look

Pat too came up a bit short of a finish. She too would have like to have stitched more, but life got in the way. Don't you hate that when that happens??

Below is Sharon's update. She too had the very same comment as Pat...life got in the way of her stitching, too. Sharon also had to do a little frogging on one of the fish!

Last but not least is Harriet's update. Everyone had good intentions of getting their piece finished, but it just didn't quite happen according to Harriet. I like Harriet's personal touch, she added IOWA to her sampler. Harriet hails from Iowa too!

And from Teena I just received an email, no pics...she has nothing new to share. Upon completing her piece she realized she was off by one thread. somewhere.... She was making frog noises too... rippit, rippit, rippitt....augghhhh, we all feel for you Teena!

And an update from the nest...

our little fluff balls are now pretty well feathered out in their adult colored plumes. Today the first hatched (E1) actually fed himself! There was lots of nest improvements made today, as well, by both parents. Mom & Dad just keep adding taller safety gates to the edge of this already "ginormous" nest, as their young ones get bigger & bigger.

Again I'd like to thank everyone for joining in and sharing photos of their pieces...it's been a joy! For those of you still stitching or for those of you just starting...remember I will post pictures of finished samplers on the July 4th posting...a goal to set for getting your sampler finished!!

Tis cold here again. We had 99 degrees a couple of days ago and today we have 50 degrees and back to running the furnace...how's that for some extremes??

Have a good weekend,



Thursday Musings...

One of my favorite autumn-time decorations is a sign that I hang.

It reads...
" I shall not go to town when the bittersweet blooms."

I love the verse and think of it often at this time of year.

It reminds me that I need a sign to hang for this time of year.

It would read something like this...

"I shall not go to work when the grosbeaks are in town."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
It's been a busy morning already...

I've put some of my morning stitches into the Autumn Sampler of the Seasons, it is progressing nicely...watch for it's release date on the 1st day of Summer, June 20th.

I've done my morning chores, bird chores that is. Feeders are filled, jelly replenished and juicy oranges are hung. Currently these feathered creatures are eating 8 oranges a day...yikes! I'm thinking it's time to start buying generic jelly...they won't know the difference between Welch's and generic, will they?

The website was updated too this morning...new applique/quilt patterns from Wednesday's Best and a couple of cross stitch charts from Pineberry Lane. Check them out when you have a spare moment!

Speaking of cross stitch...

remember tomorrow is our last Friday posting of the Soar SAL...send me pictures today folks of your wip's.

And lastly...

the Mystery Sampler, "Birds of a Feather" is released! The patterns are on their way to your LNS, as I type.

With thy Needle & Thread,


Grape Jelly????

In regards to yesterday's post, pertaining to the grape jelly...

I feed it, as is, straight from the jar. Both orioles (Baltimore & Orchard) and Robins love grape jelly. One of my feeders (see yesterday's post) holds two oranges with a small cup for placing the jelly into.

And I leave you with a few more pictures...
The bottom two were taken from my kitchen, through the screen door so they aren't as sharp as I would have liked, but I was afraid to open the door in fear of startling them. The photo on the left you will see both the Baltimore Oriole and a Orchard Oriole (upper left hand corner). The yellow one with the black bib is a first year male Orchard Oriole. They make lots of chatter when at the feeder, but seem to settle down once they realize there is p-l-e-n-t-y to go around for everyone.

A simple S-Hook with oranges threaded on it is another great way to feed oranges. The Orioles seem to like to cling when they feed. This particular S-Hook is about 2 feet away from my back door. The females are way less skittish & nervous, allowing my to slowly open my screen door and get clearer pics....good girls!
Once their bellies are nice and full, they will settle into the tall cottonwood trees that line the edge of our lake, as their nesting place. We then enjoy their song, once again, on our summer-time walks around the lake.

The orioles arrive in our yard just as the blooming trees are setting on their buds. I usually hear the Orioles before spotting them. They have a beautiful song. It is at that time that the oranges and jelly get hung. The feeders also get switched over to pure safflower to attract the Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks...there were 4 of them hanging from the feeder this morning when I awoke.

Off to take some more pictures...the Grosbeaks are calling,