Monday, April 21, 2014

Have You Seen This Man?

Our cousin, Joe Kelly, has been missing from his home in Billings, MT since last Monday...

He may have been seen yesterday (4/20) -- but it's not certain.  The vehicle he was driving is behind him in the photo.
    Cousin Jane and her son Miles are worried...please write me asap, if you've seen Joe.

go here for the video.

Quick - Register Before 4/23!

Target is offering a free one-year credit monitoring service, if you've used a credit card at their stores. 

It's easy to register...and you don't have to worry about submitting receipts or any such rigamarole. Just go here and register -- but do it quickly. Their offer expires after Wednesday (4/23).

A Thought...

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Spring-ing into Gigs

It's been a long few weeks. 
     I'm grateful I didn't head to Paducah this year, for the annual American Quilter's Society funfest...not sure I could have done it. I find myself increasingly exhausted, just keeping up with the batch of gigs that's come along in March and April. After Deer Trail and Estes Park, I did another talk at the Byers library on "Quilts with Secrets." It was made even more interesting, by someone bringing her family's Crazy quilt for me to puzzle over. She planned to finish it, and wasn't sure where to head next. 
     I brought some old handkerchiefs, too, just to pique people's interest. One was an 1850 treasure from a sailor's estate -- it was a map of England, so he could make his way around whenever he landed there at port! 
     This week is full of appraising gigs -- but at least I get to stay at home. Sort of. Meanwhile:

What it's like to live in your New York City. On a related note:

Waking up in Wal-mart. The parking lot, that is. A photographer spent three weeks traveling to various lots...and here are the people he found. (I wonder if he hit our local Wally -- it's on a hill, and has an incredible view of the mountains. My folks used to joke that they would take their RV around the country, and just stay in Wal-Mart parking lots. Obviously, some people do just that.)

What vehicles should last the longest? Five Cent Nickel weighs in with the top five (actually six).

Ten things not to buy in 2014. (Well, at least to think harder about before you get out your wallet.) 

A couple of 17th century pirate hiding spots rediscovered in Ireland. Complete with concealed steps and niches for lanterns.

I've grown to love this enigmatic country. You would, too.

Ten amazing underwater discoveries. Cities, planes...even two locomotives no one can figure out!  And from the same site:

Ten lesser-known American mysteries. Including missing treasure, mysterious deaths...and another Bigfoot sighting!  (Or have fun with these other Bigfoot sightings from around the world.)

The 2014 Pulitzer Prize winners. Including a guy from the Gazette in Colorado Springs!

"Help! My significant other makes me pay for everything." Advice from Making Sense of Cents. (Ta da -- not having to deal with this is one of the perks of true partnership.  We deal with things together.)

How to make money buy happiness. And it's not by buying what you think! (From Mr. Money Mustache) 

Nine ways to get stuff for free from Amazon. I've earned literally hundreds of dollars of giftcards from Swagbucks over the years -- you can, too, and it's really easy. Click on the 'Swagbucks thang' at right to learn more. (From Cha-Ching on A Budget.)

The art of asking for a discount. I'd never thought of asking about leftover breadsticks at Pizza Hut! (From Save Outside the Box)

Reclaimed wood projects. I love Funky Junk Interiors' stuff anyways -- all that texture and patina -- but she really shines in this area. And so do her contributors, including this wonderful spool table. ( me ideas...) Plus, if you're going to work with reclaimed wood, a way to:

Minimize 'tearout' (splinters) and raggedy areas. (From Follow Your Heart Woodworking)

Quilt-Speak: a graceful (and grateful) look at how one person began quilting -- and appraising. (Thanks to my friend and colleague Ann Nash.)

Could there be money hidden in your walls? (From the Penny Hoarder)  A girl wrote me one time -- she and her husband were renovating, and when they broke the wall open, a newspaper clipping floated down at their feet. It was a quilt pattern. The girl was a quilter, had thought they might have a resident ghost...and figured "Lucy" wanted her to have the pattern!

Have a great week.  

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Easter!

Christ is risen... He is risen, indeed. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Tulips Are Blooming In...

Springtime breezes bring up a cheerful flower that's surprisingly durable: the tulip

These blooms, from the genus tulipa, come in a whirlwind of colors. Once planted, the bulbs will produce a flower, year after year. In fact, some countries produce swaths of blossoms every spring. Holland is famous for its multi-colored tulip fields, which are a major tourist draw. Like here.

Although tulips were raised in Persia, much earlier, they aren't mentioned in print until 1559. They gradually gained prominence and interest until their peak in the early 1600s, when tulip-collecting became a frenzy. Tulip bulbs then were literally worth their weight in gold! They were also used as a kind of currency.
     Eventually the speculating imploded, and tulip bulbs became affordable for everyday people. They've remained especially popular in the Netherlands, one of the countries most involved in the mania; in fact, many cultivars are known as "Dutch tulips." You can see the world's largest permanent display in Holland at the Keukenhof.


 Growing up in Michigan, we often visited Holland in springtime for the tulip festival. Fields of blooms, wheel-turning windmills, and pretty Dutch girls sweeping the streets, wearing klompen (wooden shoes). The song they sang still reverberates:

"Tulips are blooming in Holland -- Michigan..."

Today, a ten-dollar bill will buy a whole basket of tulip bulbs -- most are 50 cents or less a bulb. Although they're easiest to find in the fall, just before the first snowfall, you'll find tulip bulbs now, as well. Dig a shovelful of dirt, then plant them in clumps. Or throw them up in the air, then dig holes and plant them where they fall. You won't see growth until next spring...but it will be worth waiting for.

Even better, plant tulips near hibernating bushes and perennials. They'll be a cheerful show while more warm-weather greenery are growing into place. Then the leaves will gradually fade from sight, while summer flowers start blooming.

While you're waiting, there's always:

Thursday, April 17, 2014

He's Right!

(You can buy this wonderful metal plaque here.)