Sunday Chat – Garden, Birds, Books & QOV

Last week I showed you my Thanksgiving cactus, and it continued to put out more blooms. Several more golden yellow ones appeared, along with many more pink and red.

These flowers are just so interesting in their forms. Here’s a look at the underside.

I do marvel at the intensity of the colors.

Near the cactus, the amaryllis put up a new leaf. It should have gone dormant by now, but I think it will do so soon.

It turned chilly this week, and it was a good time to finish off the latest book. I had mixed feelings about this first one. Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen – On one hand, it was a deceptive story, where the heroine who seems to be meek and easily duped, turns into a mastermind about halfway through the novel. We discover she is spinning a tale of lies to the detective investigating her, and her accomplice is also not what she seems. On the other hand, I did not like how it seemed to glorify counterfeiting and criminal activity without any remorse on the part of the protagonists. I found the writing off-putting in its stereotypes. It might be one that others would like, but I am ambivalent as to whether or not to recommend.

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel – Interesting sci-fi story with a time travel theme, as a man from the 25th century is sent back in time to investigate an anomaly in time occurring over three different moments in different centuries. More than just a story, the book explores themes of isolation and connection between individuals amid the isolation of moon colonies or a pandemic, the constraints of an Edwardian society or a lonely farm life of the future. How are the anomalies connected? Which leads to the question, what is real? And what makes a paradox? This is an easy read with certain lines that will stay with you for some time after.

Watching the bird feeder this week to begin my Feeder Watch counts, this Red Bellied Woodpecker was a frequent visitor.

I was able to count his mate as well, as there was a moment when I saw the two of them together. Her head is more grey, with just touches of red. You don’t enter the gender of the birds, only the number. But you have to see them together to count as two, as many bird species have no distinct gender markings.

Then a fun surprise, a robin was hopping around the base of the feeder, and posed for the camera.

These guys travel in flocks, and there were dozens of them! They were hopping around the meadow en masse. There are at least a dozen in this photo.

They were in the trees too. I took a bunch of photos, and did several counts using a grid technique to estimate how many there were. I reported 48 in the flock, but there could have been even more hiding in the upper branches of the trees.

Later, I spotted a house finch at the feeder. I know there are more of these, but I could only report one on this day’s count.

There was a Quilt of Valor ceremony yesterday, and I had the honor of presenting three of the eight quilts awarded to these veterans. They were Vietnam and WWII vets, and we held the ceremony at our local library. It was very well attended, with lots of family and friends honoring the service of these brave men, along with some family of our presenters. The veterans honored were David Fox. Marvin Huchzermeier, Noe McHone, Jr., Gerald Moran, Jack Sutton, Alan Bruce, Dennis Taylor, and R.J. Del Vecchio. That is not the order they are shown here. I pieced and quilted the quilt for Mr McHone seated on the left, and I quilted the one for Mr Sutton seated next to him. It is always a privilege to participate in a QOV ceremony.

I got quite a bit of sewing done this past week, and will share all that with you soon. I finished the Christmas Moose quilt, and made good progress on the wearable art ensemble. I’ll have a bit of sewing time Monday and Tuesday, then Wednesday will be a cooking prep day for the big turkey day feast and nibbles, breakfast and dessert. The prep cook day is as much fun for me as the holiday.

What are your plans for this week?

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14 thoughts on “Sunday Chat – Garden, Birds, Books & QOV

  1. Mary Stori

    I agree, a day preparing for any large feast in the kitchen is fun……allows me to enjoy friends and family on the big day!

  2. Julie

    There’s nothing as happy as a flock of robins. They are such cheerful engaging birds. Plans this week are sew, sew, sew, with some time out for cooking. Your butternut lasagne with Alfredo sauce has acquired a lot of fans. It’s the top request for Thursday as we like to give turkey a day of rest.

  3. JoyceLM

    Thanks for the book recommendation; I’ve place a hold on it. Last year you recommended the Season series by Melanie Lageschulte. I was able to borrow them from the Spangler Library via interloan & loved them. I noticed that the library didn’t have 2 volumes in the 10 volume series so I ordered them & will try to get them in the mail this week.

  4. How much fun to watch as the birds come to your feeder! I just finished an audio book “When We Left Cuba” by Chanel Cleeton. Interesting look back at a family who left everything behind and was rebuilding their lives in Florida, and the experiences of the eldest daughter, her anger at Fidel Castro and the actions she took in her life. She became a strong woman, broke the role and the rules of her gender and culture. I love to listen while I sew. #AutumnJubilee2022 quilt along is ready to bind.

  5. Your cactus blooms are gorgeous, Carole! Such interesting blooms. I’m glad to know you read and liked Sea of Tranquility. That is one of the few books I’ve picked up this year and abandoned – just could not get into it. And I loved her Station Eleven. We’ve got the flocks of robins at our house, too! Dozens of them is right. They like to sit on the gutters of our house and drink water out of them – probably melted snow from our snowfall Thursday. Happy Sunday!

  6. Shirley Marvin

    I have never seen a cactus with all those color of blossoms, how does that happen. The cactus that I have – given me by brother who propagated it from on that our mother had- has never set a blossomed-neither have the ones he gave to siblings. mystery.

  7. Patty Brenner

    What an honor to present the QOVs ❤ Your Thanksgiving cactus is lovely, I didn't realize they did different color blooms like that. I had a large flock of robins in my yard during the Feb 2021 Texas snowpocalypse (our week below freezing with snow and ice everywhere). I didn't even know we got robins in Texas until that event. I got a few pictures and some fun video of them frolicking in my snowy back yard. They are cheerful birds! My sewing this week will be machine embroidery/quilting: I got a new machine a couple of months ago and just received an upgrade for it, so it will get a workout. It's a babylock that has built in quilting designs, so I'll be trying it out on a throw size Christmas quilt 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  8. Joan Sheppard

    Finally finished a very simple 16 block quilt with puppy shadow appliques every other block. Also sent my 2 fosters pups on to their forever home so will take the rest of the day to cry and miss them then get back to work knowing they are well taken care of. And back to sewing – puppies can really eat up a day – but like quilting – you make it and send it on it’s way. All worth it though.

  9. That cactus is fantastic! And all those birds! You are clearly doing some thing very right indeed! I love the photo of the veterans. I’m sure they loved their quilts. Happy Thanksgiving Week!

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