Tuesday, July 26, 2022

My Familiars

fa-mil-iar  /fǝ'milyǝr/  noun  plural noun: familiars
1.  a demon supposedly attending and obeying a witch, often said to assume the form of an animal.
"her familiars were her two little griffons nested in her skirts."
2.  a close friend or associate.

While it has, on occasion, been said of me that I keep familiars of the animal kind, this post is not about such gossipry.

{Asiatic "Landini" Lilies...or not. They may be my "Blacklist" Lilies...I confuse those two.}

This is about lilies: Those steadfast perennials that return so faithfully each year and I welcome them as I would an old, familiar, friend whom I haven't seen for a year.

{Hyperion Daylily}

{"Nettie's Pride" Asiatic Lily}

After such a long absence, I confess that I have forgotten how very beautiful they are.

{"Pink Luxury Lace" Daylily}

{Another Hyperion Daylily, albeit smaller. This one almost reminds me of  daffy.}

So many different faces, but all so familiar.
(My "famililies???)

{"Stargazer" Asiatic Lily}

And then there is this wonderful familiar.  He is, indeed, of the animal kind, and he is, indeed, a close friend.
A very, very, close friend.

{Do you see the orb by the tree? It was so solid it gave me pause.  It almost seemed that Snowdog saw it too.}

My precious Snowdog is struggling these days, but today he is celebrating his 13th birthday.  Well, I am celebrating his 13th birthday.
He got a new bunny (one of his very favorite familiars) and lots of snacks...and maybe pizza is on the menu for dinner.


While we are on the subject of familiars, I recently finished up The Familiars by Stacey Halls.

It is a historical novel set in 1612 Lancaster, England amid the all-too-true atrocities of the Pendle witch trials. (Yes, before Salem, there was Pendle.)
While it fits squarely within one of my most loved genres, it was somewhat unique in that the main protagonist, Fleetwood Shuttleworth, and other main characters were real people and the novel does an uncanny job at weaving the story around very factual aspects of their lives.

 (Of course I had to go research the "real" people and places and was surprised at the accuracy of some details.  The fictional details, however, are so very plausible, that it makes one wonder how close to actual history they might be.  It also gave me a glimpse into what may have become of the fictional Fleetwood.)

In short...totally loved it and would definitely recommend it.


Ok, off to see about that pizza.  And maybe a doggie sundae later.

I love that dog.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Playing With Angels...


Now that I no longer am baby bird-sitting Bébé, I have more time to do other things.

But...nothing seems to be getting done.
If I wait, however, until something does get done, then no blog posts would get done either.
A Catch-21.
(Not really a Catch-22, but close...very close.)

So, here's a quick recap of what I've been doing...(other than Bébé-sitting).

I finally fully finished Centennial Eagles. Wow - did I drag this out or what?  I started it and stitched one eagle, then left it sit for a long, long, time.
I eventually pulled it back out and finished the other eagle, but then put it aside again as I wasn't sure how I wanted to finish it.
I have limited wall space (too many stupid windows) and was set on a flat finish (3/4ths of a yard of fabric "set on") but then decided that it was really too large for a flat finish.
Thought of just backing it in that fabric I had bought for the flat finish, but wasn't completely convinced I wanted that since, after all that time, I wasn't sure I even liked the fabric I had gotten.
So one rainy Saturday, I decided to do a simple turned-under hem.

The hand stitching (sans counting) was soothing, and.it.is.DONE.
And done is good.
And you will never have to look at it again...I promise.

And since I was (briefly) in a patriotic state of mind, I stitched up (and, actually, also fully finished) this little God Bless America tuck.  It is a modification of a freebie pattern from years ago by The Nebby Needle (Bonny Woomer).

{The two smaller tucks in front are older...}

I also started a large Halloween piece I have been wanting to do for some time - Halloween at Hollowberry Farms by Stacy Nash.

{My apologies for all the wrinkles...I don't have a large frame/hoop and this fabric is a hot wrinkle-prone mess.}

But YIKES...that border about did me in and it isn't even half done.
Talk about monotony.  Edgar, I know know how you can love borders as much as you do LOL.

So that got put aside.
(Can you say "AADD" ??)

From there, I moved on to One For The Crow, a With Thy Needle & Thread design.
(This is actually the smaller of two pinkeeps in the pattern. And, yes, I do intend to do the other...sometime...soon...maybe?)

Now that, too, resides in the unfinished pile.  
(Hey, 2 "out" warrants 2 "in," no?)

And now, Welcome Cats is back on my hooking frame.
(AADD is real...and so is the struggle.)

Frankly, that's all it is: Back on the frame - not much further along since you last saw it.


The one thing I do not seem to have any difficulty finishing is books and I am remiss in my "recent reads report," that it will take me a while (if ever) to catch up. 

I finished this one several weeks ago...and it took some willpower to, in fact, "finish" it.  It was some kind of "intense"...not in the action department, but in the head department.  I was hopelessly out of my element on the geopolitical front here.  
It is the (true) story of Abdel Kader Haidara's (and other dedicated archivists') mission to preserve and rescue tens of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts first from the trunks and earthen safe rooms of pastoralists and farmers and later from the even more ravaging destruction of war and the rise of Al Qaeda. 

I have to admit that even the tedious Securities & Exchange Commission regulations did not hurt my head as much as this book sometimes did. 
I'm not ashamed to admit that I knew little of this history...or of the geography or culture.  And there is a great deal of detail packed in this book.
I think, though, it was the names that frustrated me the most.  
Everyone has at least 3 unpronounceable names that I struggled to keep straight. 
But...wow...there is a world out there I knew absolutely nothing about. And the beauty of these manuscripts is absolutely amazing. (No, it's not an illustrated book, but I had to do some research you know.)
And, yes, there is a real place called Timbuktu.  At least that part I knew.
Would I recommend it? Ummm...well??  Not unless you are very strange like me.


As for other things I have been doing...well, you know - watching the clouds in the sky, falling in rabbit holes (sometimes literally), and spying on the moon dancing with the fog at 2 in the morning.

Oh and, yeah...I play with angels.

Monday, July 4, 2022

July 4th

Freedom is a fragile thing and it's never more than one generation away from extinction.  It is not ours by way of inheritance; it much be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. And those in world history who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.  Ronald Reagan

Happy Independence Day.