Breathing Again

The weather turned warm this week, with sunny days in the upper 60s (20ºC) and more crocuses showed their pretty faces. As I stood on the veranda enjoying the fresh air it seemed like the load was lifting. The warmth outside led to a couple of walks in the local parks this week. Long months of isolation are coming to an end soon. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and it is sunlight.

I took the opportunity to have a grand day out. Emailing friends in the longarm group, four of us met for lunch outside, still safely social. I put the top down on the MINI, and cruised up the Blue Ridge Parkway with my favorite tunes on the radio. The parkway isn’t that pretty now, with still no leaves on the trees, but it still felt like I could breathe again, like the world was opening up for us again. We did keep our chairs at a distance from each other, as I haven’t had my second dose, and one friend hasn’t had any yet as she is too young.

Two hours went by in a flash. We laughed, chatted and told stories, talking non-stop. We all brought take out, and had a lovely lunch in the sunlight and fresh air. I mentioned that it seemed like I could breathe again, and they all agreed. We’ve all been cooped up so long, it was wonderful to have some time to socialize, face to face. We brought some show and tell to share too. Linda made these stunningly beautiful styrofoam Christmas balls, lovely with fabric and beading. It is hard to tell in the photo, but the beading sparkled in the sunlight.

She sewed this quilt top, and will be quilting it soon. The quilt pattern is Cut Glass Echoes by Barbara Eikmeier.

And she had this completed quilt, such bright and cheery colors! The pattern is Over and Under Rainbow by Gyleen Fitzgerald.

Chryste was inspired to dust off her embroidery machine for some small projects. And she has been doing a bit of knitting too.

I showed my little Low Volume Quick Quilt. I also gave them a sneak preview of a new project I’m doing for Hands2Help (starts today!), and a recent find which will save me hours of time and lots of money for a Halloween costume. It seems like maybe we can begin to plan for fun times to come.

Another delightful cruise back home on the parkway, I was enjoying the feeling of freedom. I took care of some errands that day too, with the top down all day. I can’t wait to be able to do some things with our car clubs again. Next month, we have two drives planned, something to look forward to after months of not being able to do anything. No wonder I feel lighter. Happy daffodils greeted me as I came back home.

Oliver wanted to make sure his presence was known one morning this past week, sitting on the kitchen window sill. Little beggar. Yes, he got his peanut butter sandwich. Then I didn’t see him again for a couple of days.

On the feeder, My Sweet Babboo got some peanut suet cakes for the birds, and is keeping the feeder well filled. A male bluebird stopped by for a meal at the suet cake.

Another day his mate came by, sharing the feeder with a downy woodpecker. You can see they have worked over that cake pretty well in just a day or two.

On the frame, I have this top to quilt for a customer. It is all hearts, each one a separate theme representing an aspect of her daughter’s life, work, family, and interests. What a fun concept! I’m going to encourage her to enter it in the fair. Yes, the State Fair will be held this year! Something more to look forward to!!

The cardinals are coming by regularly now, they really like the sunflower seeds. I stood on the veranda with a hot cup of coffee listening to the birdsong on a warm morning. They sang cheeeer!-cheeeer!-birdie-birdie-birdie-birdie!

I needed to deadhead the hydrangea now that it is beginning to sprout leaves, and get more dead leaves out of the flowerbeds. So I worked on those things while it was warm this week too.

More daffodils are on the way.

One more photo of the bloomers right now. The flowers are a happy sign that spring is soon here. I breathe, taking delight in the airy lightness, and look forward to better days, now within reach.

What is going on in your corner of the world today?

36 thoughts on “Breathing Again

  1. Mary Stori

    What an enjoyable, colorful, and inspiring post that does reaffirm the world has not ended….we are slowly getting back to normal. (Whatever that will now look like!)


    Wonderful day out with your quilting friends. We had a blue bird come be last year but he didn’t stay.
    My husband noted the date , so he made two bird houses. Seeing the picture of the female, we may have scared her away. I hope not.

  3. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    So happy you had a day out with your friends! Sounds like you had an awesome day. It is time to pop that top and enjoy the sunshine! I’ll be glad when Gary gets a new battery for Boomer so we can pop his top on a nice sunny day. It’s been getting into the 70’s and 80’s here, so it’s been good. We won’t uncover him until tornado season is over as it’s supposed to get bad here this week. If we do, we cover him back up for heavy rain and winds. The bradford pears are in full bloom in our neighborhood and red bud trees are coming out too. Daffodils are out and beautiful. We have dense woods around our house and we hear that birdie, birdie, birdie, birdie quite often!! Love to sit on the back porch with coffee and listen to them!!

  4. Linda B

    How nice you had such a fun outing! I think I need to pull more leaves back from green shoots popping up…our weather for the next 10 days looks pretty stable. This is the first year we pruned the knockout roses on Valentines Day, before they started budding, so feeling pretty organized for a change. Lilacs have little buds on them too. I may go to the garden center and buy more pansies. They are so cheerful—anything that gives us a lift is welcome!

  5. karenfae

    isn’t it nice being able to get outside and meet someone – take your quilting out and eat lunch. I really need to tackle some garden work and have more things to plant or move while I can.

  6. The coming of Spring always makes a difference to me, even in “normal” years! I enjoyed your post, Carole! So glad you had that time with your friends. I’m looking forward to that, too. We’re in a blizzard right now – at least a foot of snow with it continuing all day. We’ve lost some tree branches already, so that will be our next outdoor chore to take care of. Hope my tulip and daffodil shoots survive this!

  7. Patricia Teska

    Your daffodils look like they are planted in seed starting trays.Did you force them in those trays, and if so, can you then move them into different decorative pots. I have had good luck forcing the Tete-a-Tete variety, but if I can start them then move them that would be great! Thanks, yours is the best site!

  8. Love seeing you and your friends out in the sunshine. I’ve started a Judy Neimeyer quilt yesterday, going slow with it.
    and of course now’s the time to start cleaning out the garden of all the dried leaves.
    hope your day is a good one.

  9. What an encouraging post! We had spring like weather here in NW Ontario Canada yesterday the sunshine was such a treat! Unfortunately we are currently a covid hotspot so are on a lock down and probably will be for a while…The vaccine is rolling out here.
    I loved all your pictures….we have a couple more months before we will see what pops back up in our gardens.

  10. I think you must be feeling Spring-like! Such a positive sound to your written voice! We are starting to see people venture out. Many of my friends have had both shots and passed the waiting time, so they are getting together in smaller groups. I enjoyed visiting with 3 friends last week as well. Our weather is “changeable” but I need to take advantage of the warmer days and clean the flower beds! I have dafs popping up all along the fence, pushing the leaves out of their way! Another week and they will be blooming. Last year there were blooms in February, but we have not been as warm this year. So happy you were able to get out and breathe!!!

  11. Jo Anne Seccurra

    Thank you for sharing your outing with friends and your show and tell! Appreciate you citing the names of the pattern and the designers. I hope it will become more common place for quilters to share pattern and designer names as designers deserve credit.

    Your pictures of Oliver, spring flowers, birds, projects, etc. really lifted my spirits!

    My hope gauge is rising! Spring is around the corner and vaccinations will hopefully stem the tide on the pandemic!

  12. Julie

    Thanks for the vicarious spring outing with friends, including the birds, Ollie, & daffies. I like the fresh daffy sprouting through last year’s fallen leaf.

  13. So much to smile about reading through your post.This past week was loaded with happiness and gorgeous creations! Thanks for making me smile with happiness 🙂

  14. Gretchen Romanelli

    I love seeing your post about your meeting with longarm friends. I was in the Virginia part of the Blue Ridge Parkway many years ago..
    We got a brief glimpse of warmer weather in the Northeast. with two 50 degree days and one 60 degree day last week with lots of sun. Back to upper 30s and 40s next week.
    Checked on my new daffodil bed and they are just crowning out of the ground. Hosta and iris in front of house making an appearance too.
    I had first covid shot two weeks ago, dental cleaning, and much overdue yearly exam and blood work. Am seriously overdue for routine and other maintenance on this body but glad I am able to make appointments and plan to get everything up to date within this year.
    Hopeful and grateful are my words for now. Looking forward to summer.
    Happy St Patrick’s day and summer solstice this week.

  15. CarolE

    It was lovely seeing you and your friends enjoying a real visit together and sharing the projects that you so enjoy doing. We are coming out of the dark and there is so much hope on the horizon! Have a wonderful Sunday!

  16. Darlene S

    I too am in total delight with this feeling we can breath again. Still social distancing and cautious, but every breadth is just so much more special. I love all your pictures and good cheer. Glad to hear you were able to enjoy lunch outdoors with quilting friends and share what you’ve all been working on. Amazing projects.

  17. Cathie J

    It is so nice to see and hear the signs of Spring all around. How wonderful that you were able to have a socially distanced outdoor lunch with some of your friends.

  18. Jean McKinstry

    Spring bulbs are so welcome, and to have a day out must be like a Christmas Gift, so good to see friends in real life, and staying safe at the same time. Here, mornings are darker, cooler, and still warm during the day.

  19. My little daffodils appeared OVERNIGHT last week and it looked so cheerful as I drove into my driveway! I plan to get out soon….still inside and with a little anxiety about venturing out. If I remember correctly, I’ll have to ditch pajamas and wear something more “fitted” and also wear street shoes. I’ll be trying hard to remember how to do my hair and make-up!!! I so glad you and the Longarm folks were able to re-connect and have such fun!

  20. Kathleen Crigler

    Loving this blog!! These spring flowers, and photos remind me that spring is just ahead. Very refreshing!

  21. It does make you feel better knowing that all the restrictions will be gone soon and that we can safely be together again.
    Your car park catch up looks like it was a great day. Love seeing all the show and tell. A lovely collection of quilts and stitching. That Christmas ball is gorgeous.
    Lovely to see all the bulbs popping their heads up. And I always enjoying seeing the wildlife in your garden.

  22. I am glad you can breathe once again getting out and about, enjoying being with friends, a nice drive with the top down. Isn’t it amazing after being cooped up how much that we took for granted is now such a blessing!

  23. Debbie

    Your daffodils made me smile…thank you! What is the purpose for the green mesh in the photo of daffodil leaves and buds?

  24. Thank you for this post. There are so many signs of hope around us now after a very long, isolated Winter. Here in the UK people are getting impatient for lockdown to end. Now we are allowed to meet one person outside for a sit down – take away – drink. The weather is a bit changeable but hopefully we will have more opportunities to meet up. By the end of the month we will be able to meet in groups of six outdoors….

  25. Jocelyn Thurston

    A delightful post, Carole. Thank you. I can hear the lightness and happiness in your words. What a marvelous day out! Everything good that can be squeezed into a day is there. Also wonderful to be seeing buds…a while yet for us here in Ontario, but the snow is melting and the sun is shining so I am feeling lighter as well!

  26. Sue Hoover

    I love the idea of cruising along with the top down on the Mini! My crocuses took a beating this past weekend with our rain. Today no rain expected so hopefully they’ll perk up for a few more sunny days. The daffodils have buds and I noticed some little red leaf buds on the rose bushes. Spring IS coming!

  27. Ruth Susan Scaccia

    This post was such a breath of fresh air – Thank you! And so glad you were able to see your friends.


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