I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Who is That in The Sunset

A few weeks ago, on one of those oddly hot and summer-like days, I left a note on the kitchen counter: sunset/ gone to the beach.

My friends stopped by, saw the  note and tracked me down on the dark edge of the ocean.

The following photos came in my email the other day. I thought I looked so alone...and lonely. But my friend said they are exactly "me" and how he sees me, pictures me---enjoying my beach. Which I thought was so cool. And much nicer than being a sad solitary wanderer...

And his iPhone pix are wonderful. enjoy.

If you look closely you'll see my head is tilted down, still searching, beachcombing despite almost total darkness, lol.



               gone to the beach

Thanks for the photos, M!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Tiny Survivors

Hi, everyone! Today we are having what we call a dry storm or clear storm here at the beach.

Gorgeous if chilly day, high winds at 40MPH plus.

But last week we had a classic coastal nor'easter. It blew in hard with torrential rain and very high tides and beach flooding because of the new moon. Hard to imagine the moon phases can affect modern life, but here on the ocean's edge, the tides do matter.

Especially if you're a teeny tiny endangered bird!

You all know how I fuss and worry about my beach birds. Many have been coming and nesting in the same spot for years.

So there I stood, in the dark windy night on my deck, with my binoculars watching the the surf roll closer and closer to the piping plovers' nests.

In the dark the white foam is very visible, especially as it rolls up the usually dry sand beach.

 Imagine if you're a tiny bird, no bigger than a sparrow. You've flown countless thousands of miles to your traditional, instinctive. exact same always! nesting spot here on the beach. (The nests are always within a few feet of the previous years.)

You've scooped out a small indentation in the sand..maybe near a clam shell, or a tuft of seagrass...but essentially your nest is on the open exposed shore.
You lay your eggs.

Your mate stands watch and sometimes even sits on the eggs while you grab a bite to eat [sound familiar?]. All is well until one very dark night the wind begins to howl. Rain pours down on your unprotected tiny body. The night is cold, and loud, and frightening. You tuck your babies' eggs under your belly...


And then the surf rolls in.

The waves come closer, closer, closer...your tiny brave heart pounds with fear but you stay. And stay. And hope your babies will survive.

After the storm...one nest: here, is abandoned, the waves washed over it as I watched that night.

These two nests....

 ..and this one further to the west, though the waves came within inches, have survived.

A miracle, despite the sadness of losing one nest...Courage. And instinct.

Below, a huge wind blown-in flock of sanderlings, a type of sandpiper. They are unharmed by our storms...they nest in the furthest arctic, above Alaska. This is just a brief stop on their journey home.


..............gone to the beach



Monday, April 23, 2012

Rainy Day Pulled Pork

Hi! Oh I was bummed out!
We haven't had any rain in maybe six months, but oh sure, the flea market begins and it just has to POUR on Sunday. Hard to believe last week was almost too hot to shop at the market and we BBQed on a warm sunny deck that evening. Today, grey, grey, big blobs, rain. And floods...the beach is under a flood watch because of the rain and new moon high tides.

An indoor day. Earth Day! Lucky  for me I have my Weather Bug thing and knew the rain was coming. A friend borrowed my Jeep to get to his job, so I was definitely stuck at home.

A good quilting day! So I wanted an easy meal for Sunday dinner: Crockpot Pulled Pork.

Last time we made Pulled Pork (what my mom would have called pork BBQ) it tasted great but the sauce was much too wet and runny. Nice pork roasts at the Italian market, really a very economical meat...I slow-cooked the pork overnight, with just a few seasonings---salt, pepper, dried onion, garlic.

The next day, at  your convenience, you take the meat out of the cooker, drain it really well and PULL it apart with a couple forks. Easy peasy.

A friend brought me Vermont BBQ sauce. So much easier than making yucky homemade! Lovely thick, smoky and rich!order here

See, they have a website! http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/

Hope I can order more. For a 3 pound pork roast, shredded, I used 3/4 of this jar, saving some to drizzle on top when serving.

I returned it to the slow cooker, on low, for 2 hours at 4 PM, dinner for the kids at 6.

I also made a huge bowl of coleslaw---to me, pork BBQ just requires classic coleslaw. Again, simple, fast shortcuts...a bag of pre-shredded slaw, plus shredded carrots and red cabbage. (The rest of the veg will be a ginger beef salad during the week.)

Used Marie's lo-fat bottled yogurt slaw dressing, just added a little lemon and celery seed. Usually I'd make my own slaw, all from scratch but this was to be an easy prep day so I could sew.

Yummy! And everyone was happy and cozy on this rainy day, always makes a mom's heart all warm and fuzzy, right?

As for the quilting:
I finished piecing the teeny tiny adorable quilt from Cheri's blog. I think the entire quilt is maybe 14" square. earlier post here

I love it! I paper pieced the sawtooth borders, and wished I'd paper pieced the tiny stars too.

...even though Cheri kindly assured me that primitive was the right look!  I am telling myself only I can see those crooked stars [so don't mention them, please..shhh!].


It will have this large scale print on the back. Handquilting  this summer, on the beach, of course.

I teadyed my red background fabric for my other little quilt from Cherie's blog. here I was pretty upset last week...I know I have the perfect red fabric, it's what I pictured---can only find the fabric in black, in my stash. So I had to dye a sub.

Then, for most of the day I worked on this folky Ships-and-Stars quilt. It's like a puzzle, fitting together all these antique and vintage blocks! I made nice progress though. Finally! And got smart and left myself little notes for making the rows the right size. I call them "shims" (my son has a new DIY book, I was reading up on installing beadboard wainscoting...): tiny strips...or large pretty pieced strips, or sashes, whatever is needed to fix the horizontal width.

I hope it's a success! I've been collecting the antique blocks and planning this for maybe 10 years! And of course I have way too many blocks, so now I'll have to think of a new plan for them.

Obviously the olden times sewing lady made much nicer stars than I did! [same star as in tiny mini/ crooked stars quilt...]

I don't sew in the summer, so time is slipping away.
Soon, soon...yes!--beach days and summer nights.

Hope you had a good weekend...and NO rain?



 gone to the beach..............


sky with V of ducks, maybe scoters?
see the leader [or trailer?] off to the right?
Not lost in the fog, I hope!
Every day should be Earth Day!