Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tomato Dreaming

Those are my tomato plants there, in the cardboard tubes, and I'm dreaming of tomatoes. Lettuce and tomato sandwiches on whole wheat toast with mayo. Sliced tomatoes with fresh basil and mozzarella cheese. Chili mac made with fresh tomatoes and Huron County beans. Salad, salsa, marinara -- the list continues.

On Tuesday morning Ed tilled the lake garden for me. I got busy and planted green and yellow beans and two kinds of lettuce, Mesclun mix and some sort of romaine, under the anti-deer tepee assembly that you see in the background.

I use stubs of chives plants as row markers. One of those is visible in the foreground to the right. The rectangle of stones is where I planted an entire package of basil seed -- sort of a raised, warmed-by-stone bed. There are radishes and beets in the first row.

Ed suggested that I write down everything as I planted and I thought that was a good idea. I remembered that I bought one of these "write in the rain" spiral notebooks about five years ago.

I resurrected that notebook and sketched the garden layout. I kept turning the notebook so north would be north, so some of the writing ended up upside down but it made sense to me and to the diagram.

Then, and only then, did I venture up to Dorothy's Flowers on Schock Road south of Harbor Beach to purchase tomato plants. Twenty dollars and seven plants later I was piercing holes in the black plastic and tucking plants into the ground. It was windy, though, and I knew the plants needed protection.

So I devised a way of curling cardboard into a sort of protective anti-wind column that I wound around each tomato cage and taped in place with packing tape.

From a distance the garden looks like a small graveyard. Those tomato plants are pretty glad for a chance to concentrate on growing roots instead of drying out in the winds.

Here's a list of the tomatoes that I planted:
  • 1 -- Yellow pear
  • 2 -- Red grape
  • 2 -- Box Car Willie (heirloom)
  • 1 -- Pineapple (heirloom)
  • 1 -- Sweet 100
With all the travel in May, I didn't attempt to raise tomato plants from seed, so I was very pleased to find this kind of variety of plants close by. This garden is largely in sand so it will need frequent watering. Ed plowed up grass two years ago to make this plot so I will be battling weeds and quack grass all summer. I'm going to put squash and sunflowers on the south end and maybe add some rows for some errant perennials that need a place to spend the summer.

Anyway, the garden is in and I'm dreaming of tomatoes.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Beverly Sills Iris and More Hummingbird Talk

The clump of Beverly Sills bearded iris began blooming over the weekend. The lovely soft pink is welcomed each summer at the Cedar Bluff gardens.

My recollection about buying this iris is that we met Mom and Dad (Val and Stan) at the green house in Clare, Michigan that we all liked to visit. I'm thinking that Dad and I picked out this iris for the gardens at Graywood Farm. It has been a great choice as it blossoms year after year, always reminding us of the soaring soprano voice of opera star, Beverly Sills, for whom this plant is named.

Here's another image of the hummingbirds from the same gardens. This little guy perches on the shepherd's hook that holds the feeder. He will pause there and then dive to the feeder. I know that the photo could be clearer, but am sharing it due to the coloration of the little bird and the evening nonchalance that his pose shows. The tilt of his head says "I own this garden!"

Sister Heidi left a comment on yesterday's hummingbird post asking about how we came to attract the birds. I really can't remember a time when the hummers didn't come to the feeder at the lake. Maybe the neighbors (not really close to us, but across the highway) were feeding hummers. Maybe it is the combination of cedars and ashes and cottonwoods. Maybe the wildflower and weed blossoms attract them.

Whatever the situation, we put the feeders out in spring and the birds come. This year they were buzzing our heads even before the feeder went out. One of my golf friends says that the progeny return with the parents year after year.

I don't use red syrup or add red coloring to the syrup. The flowers in the garden that attract bees seem to be what also attract hummingbirds. Right now the chives (lavender), iris (pink, blue, white, purple), and salvia (purple) are blossoming, so maybe the red isn't as important as the blossoms.

This oriole found the feeder, too. The hummingbirds soon ganged up on the oriole and reclaimed the feeder. I guess my advice for attracting the birds would be to keep trying. That's what we did at the farm and eventually we had several that return year after year.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Baby Hummingbird

I counted five hummingbirds flitting and swooping around the high and low gardens at Cedar Bluff yesterday. Some are adults; some are juveniles.

This little bird has a slight blush of the characteristic ruby red just below the base of the beak. I would identify it as a juvenile ruby throat hummingbird, but I am a novice birdwatcher.

We've had feeders placed around our property for over five years. The birds know where the feeders are and return every year.

I prepare a mixture of one cup of sugar to two cups of filtered water for them. I boil the syrup until the sugar has dissolved, cool the syrup and then fill the feeder. They love it.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sycamore Tree at Adams Field

We walked across the MSU Campus on Sunday. There is a huge steam plant renovation underway so lots of West and East Circle Drives are closed.

Adams Field, where the Spartan Marching Band plays before football games, is partly torn up. Our family always meets at Adams Field under "the tree." So, we walked to the tree to view the construction and get an idea of what things might look like by this fall. The photo gives a good idea of how big the tree really is and you can see some of the construction in the background.

The tree is actually an American Sycamore or Planetree.  We saw lots of planetrees in London earlier this month and were delighted to learn that the London Planetree is a relative of the American Planetree. So the MSU trees have cousins in Great Britain. Pretty cool thought.

Copywrite 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Sunday, May 27, 2012

CD Stack

I'm mising my daily dose of pipe organ. After the thirteen days of hearing organ music in Great Britain, I'm having to resort to the Bose radio and the stack of compact disks that we accumulated as we participated in the Pipedreams 2012 Tour.

Last night we listened to a John Ireland composition from a Bath Abbey recording with Peter King as the organist. It's pretty cool to picture the visit to Bath Abbey and hear the organ again, even if what I'm hearing is a recording.

My goal is one organ piece per day when I'm at the lake house. I plan to listen at a calm time of the day, usually morning or evening, I'm thinking.

There are eight CDs to work through, so that should give me a summer's worth of pipe organ music to savor.

Michael Barone's PipeDreams radio program is broadcast on Monday nights of lots of public radio stations or you can stream Pipedreams from the website.

One last comment. Yes, that is dust on the table next to the stack of CDs. Music is taking preference to housekeeping this week.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Saturday, May 26, 2012

On the Shoal

An upbound freighter on the distant horizon, fly fishermen on the shoal, marble morning skies -- it is a Pure Michigan morning at the Lake Huron Shore.

Photo taken south of Harbor Beach in Huron County, Michigan.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Friday, May 25, 2012

2012 Iris

I have been keeping the kitchen window open all day so that I can smell the iris in the upper gardens. Two varieties -- purple/white and whites -- are in full bloom and their summer sweet smell drifts into the kitchen at the slightest breeze.

Yesterday was the start of the catch up weeding. After being gone for two weeks, the weeds have a bit of a start in the garden beds. Rainfall in mid-May has been slight. Only 0.3 inches since May 9th, so the ground is quite dry.

List of plants in this photo (most have been in place 3-4 years):

--Iris, from Plant Farm, Bad Axe.
--Variegated hosta, from Dad and Mom's farm, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
--Chives, from Ed's Grandma Clara's garden, Pigeon.
--Blue salvia, from Loewe's, Fort Gratiot. (I buy plants everywhere, even from big box places.)
--Russian sage, from Huron's Finest, north of Bad Axe.
--Low juniper, from Esch Landscaping, north of Pigeon.
--A few weeds, ever present, soon to be pulled.

--Not a plant, but a part of the architecture of the gardens at Cedar Bluff, Bay Port quarry stone, with some bird spots.
--Last, but not least, the field stone edging. We are using field stones to define the edge between the river stones and the soil. Eventually there will be mulch on the soil.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Time Whacked and More Pipe Organ

I'm up way too early today. It's 4 am and the world is still asleep. That's what happens to me after travelling through five time zones in less than a day. My body's circadian rhythms are trying to catch up with where I actually am.

Today's photos show the Diamond Jubilee window that has been installed at Southwark Cathedral in London. Honoring the Queen's Coronation 60 years ago, this window will be dedicated soon.

The window is located on the right side of the nave, beyond the altar. I read about it on the Cathedral website and in a BBC article.

The window, up close and personal, is a progression of color from deep cobalt blue at the bottom to a burst of yellow gold at the top.

Sparkling prismatic circles of thick glass dot the entire expanse of the window and add texture to the surface of the stained glass.

The inscription reads "Vivat Regina! Defender of the Faith Diamond Jubilee 2012." I like the exclamation point at the end of the Latin. The Queen is certainly deserving of that punctuation mark.

All of these photos were taken on Monday, May 21 which was the last tour day for the Pipedreams group. Anyone who had not been on an organ bench was urged to slide on and have their picture taken.

Here's Ed at St. James Bermondsey at the console of the 1829 Bishop organ which has been restored in 2003 by Goetze and Gwynn.  This organ has a fourth, smaller keyboard to the left of the three manuals. The smaller keyboard allows the pedals to be played from a keyboard.

We heard many, many instruments like this organ. These old instruments speak across centuries. How incredible it is to have these historic instruments in fine form and used on a regular basis.

Great Britain's history has a treasured voice in its pipe organs and the dedicated organists whose talent and skill bring that voice to life on a regular basis. 

I realized on Wednesday that I had not heard a pipe organ on Tuesday, our travel day. After thirteen days of music, I missed the sound.

So yesterday morning I removed the cellphone wrapper from the first of eight new disks of organ and choral music that we brought home from the trip. Our Bose radio/CD player does a pretty good job of bringing the majesty of the pipe organ, king of instruments, into the great room at the lake house.

It is a marvelous contrast to hear the sound of a pipe organ while in the presence of Lake Huron's expansive horizon. Somehow it seems as if the two belong together -- great organs and a great lake --linking unknown places of the soul.  

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Big Day for Finny

Grandson Finn graduated from the First Presbyterian Church Children's Care Center Preschool in Howell, Michigan yesterday. Finn and his classmates were the center of attention as moms and dads  whipped out their cellphones to capture photos of swinging tassles and graduation t-shirts.

Liesl said to me a few weeks ago, "Mom, Finny's graduation from preschool is the day that you fly back from England, but don't even try to make it. That will be a long day for you." But, in the spirit of all things serendipitous, Peter, who became the fetch-us-at-the-airport child this trip, worked out a car and parent retrieval schedule that included a stop by Howell and the graduation ceremony.

Now, I'm not very good at long flights through multiple time zones. We left our London hotel at 6:30 am London time yesterday, connected through Amsterdam and on to Detroit, so there was a awful lot of, to quote John Denver, hanging in the sky time.

By the start of the graduation at 6:30 pm Eastern Daylight Time, it was 11:30 pm back in London and I was feeling the effects of not much sleep and too much flying. Finny's big day and his sweet smile took care of my fuzzy head and brightened a long day of travel.

When did we get home? Well, Ed has amazing ability to stay awake. He drove from Howell to the lakehouse, another 140 miles. We arrived home at 10:30 pm, just as the new moon was setting. We hadn't seen the moon or stars all the time we were in Great Britain, so stepping out on the terrace and seeing stars so bright you could pluck them from the sky was a treat.

Total time in transit was 21 hours. It was a big day for Finny's graduation and for Grandma's travel. And it is good to be home in Michigan.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

London Window Boxes

London is getting all spruced up for the Diamond Jubilee Celebration of the Queen's Coronation. The window boxes vary all the way from formal greenery arrangements of boxwoods and ivy to colorful collections of yellow pansies and white petunias. We've seen pink geraniums and lavender hydrangeas, too.

The Queen should be quite pleased with the spiffed up city, come Jubilee Day in June.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pulling Out the Stops

This descriptive English language of ours is loaded with idioms. After more than a week of listening to pipe organs and learning about the mechanics of how an organ works, I have a revised picture of the English idiom, "pulling out all the stops."

Organists have been geniuses at multitasking long before computers and smartphones came along. The organist's eye darts from page to keyboard to pedals to stops. The feet dance along the pedals. Hands lift and lower from one keyboard to another as fingers pull and push the stops.

Watching an organist pull out all the stops with speed and grace makes one realize that to "pull out all the stops" is a compelling, all encompassing event in music. It's a great idiom, this phrase that comes from music into general use in our colorful language.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Church Fair

St. Mary's Parish Church in Woodford put on a great Food and Fun Day yesterday. Our Pipe Dreams tour coach pulled up in front of the church on High Road where a succession of tables and booths selling garden plants, tea towels, handwork items, church souvenirs and food greeted us.

You could try a crepe with sugar and lemon juice, or chicken curry, or vegetable soup, or pulled pork sandwich, or a hot dog sausage. The sweets were plentiful. Scones, pies and tortes lined tables upstairs and down in the church. I tried the curry and it was excellent. The scones with clotted cream and jam were tasty, too.

We stood outside in the churchyard among the tombstones to eat. Tables and chairs were set up on the stairs and on the sidewalks. Children's games and sales tents lined the walks.

There has been a church on this site since the 12th century. In 1969 a fire destroyed most of the building so that the inside of the rebuilt church is now contemporary worship space. The outside retains the old stone structure so that the new interior is a striking contrast to the historic tower and crowded classic English churchyard with monuments and stones.

Our Pipe Dreams group enjoyed hearing the neo classic organ, built in 1972 by Grant, Degens and Bradbeer, an English organ firm. Organist Tom Bell took the bench to play a clever improvisation of "God Save the Queen. Tom's improv not only demonstrated the depth and range of the organ but also contained delightful dissonances that played to the strength of the pipe organ.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Punting on the Cam

We waved to this bride and groom who were punting with family and friends on the River Cam in Cambridge on Friday afternoon. The whole party was quite festive.

Punting in the US is something we see on a Saturday afternoon at a football game. In the UK, punting is poling a flat bottom boat on a river or canal, something you even get to do on your wedding day.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Friday, May 18, 2012

At Christ Church Cathedral

Porter at the gate into Christ Church College in Oxford

Pipe Dreams tour group listens to organ at Chrst Church Cathedral

Carving in choir stalls -- Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford
Ironwork, stone work, fan ceiling, rose window
Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Details, Details

I haven't said much yet about the skilled woodworking and metalwork that come together when a pipe organ is made. Here's the Aubertin organ that is in the chapel at St. John's College, Oxford. Aubertin is a French company.

There is crown molding on all the cases that hold the pipes. Several collections of ornaments with a celestial theme (sun, moon, stars) adorn the tops of the cases. There are two "lightning rod" type ornaments. I counted ten orbs. topped by a star or something else.

Even the pipes have a touch of ornamentation. The front pipe has a twisted accent, almost like a Dairy Queen twistee cone, with a cluster of beads at the top and a single descending bead at the bottom. The detailed craftsmanship on this pipe organ is just outstanding.

Since we're focusing on details, here is a half square triangle pattern in a marble floor, found at the cathedral in Bristol. Those are my shoes, black and white Uggs that are proving to be pretty warm here in the cool and sometimes rainy late spring in Great Britain.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bristol Album

The organ console (center) and part of the organ at
St. Mary Redcliffe in Bristol, UK
I probably should be tired of pipe organs by now, but today's instruments in Bristol were a wonderful blend of the old and new. St. Mary Redcliff was the absolute highlight of the day with classic architecture and a great English Harrison and Harrison organ that many of the tour members played.

Oops! How did that guy get in here?
Daniel Moult, Ed Eichler and Michael Barone discuss the fine
points of the trumpets on the Christ Church, Clifton pipe organ
The organ at Christ Church, Clifton brought on a discussion about where the trumpet ranks are installed, how loud they can or should be and how they are made. This organ was brilliant in sound and we heard repertoire that leaned toward jazz and gospel played here.

Detail -- Stained glass window -- Clifton Cathedral
Clifton Cathedral's stained glass windows were spectacular, as was the 1973 Rieger organ at the Cathedral. The organist's shoulders and back are clearly visible as the organ is in a raised loft, so you see the movement of the artist as well as hear their music.

It was a full day of music that ended with an evening concert of Schuman, Sebelius, and Beethoven by the Berlin Symphony at Colston Hall in city center Bristol. Wow, another incredible day.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tuba Angel

Art is everywhere in Britain. This tuba angel, part of the "Angel Quire" at Bath Abbey, took my eye yesterday. The angel and eleven others like her decorate the screens in the choir at the church.

Each angel is different. This one is blowing her heart out, forever, on a valved tuba while curling her toes on the edge of the cornice not too far from the great organ and its tuba ranks. Who knows, maybe she is the patron angel of the magnificent organ at Bath Abbey.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Monday, May 14, 2012

At St. Paul's Cathedral

The organ loft overlooks the choir area in the nave of St. Paul's Cathedral, London

On Sunday the Pipe Dreams Tour group attended the Eucharistic Service at St. Paul's Cathedral. After the service, organist Simon Johnson explained his role and work at the Cathedral and then played for us. Most of the organists whom we have met are young men, maybe in their mid-thirties.

Stairway to the organ loft

We toured the organ loft, which basically means that we scuttled up the narrow stairway to the loft and viewed the console with five keyboards and tons of stops. Pipes "live" in two huge cases hung on both sides of the cathedral in the choir area. These cases date from the time of Sir Christopher Wren, designer of the Cathedral. Additional ranks of pipes are located in one transcept and at the back of the Cathedral. It is quite an organ.

The "Willis On Wheels" at St. Paul's
St. Paul's also has a pipe organ that can be moved, not easily, but can be wheeled from place to place. Called the "Willis on Wheels," the massive, yet portable, organ is used for smaller events at St. Paul's. The organ builder's last name is Willis, hence the name, "Willis on Wheels." The Willis Company built over 2500 organs. In Britain, when you say such-and-such place has a Willis, they know what you mean.

The absolute highlight of Sunday's visits came at the third church we visited when Daniel Moult, organist of excellence, played the Mendelssohn Organ Sonata #1 at St. Anne's, Limehouse. There are six Mendelssohn organ sonatas and they were favorites of the Victorian Era.

Daniel's playing virtuosity was heightened by the pure clarity of the historic organ, an 1851 Gray and Davison. It was a musical moment to be treasured as we heard music from the time of Queen Victoria played as the parishioners who sat in the pews of St. Anne's heard that music over a century and a half ago.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Incredible Day

1723 Jordan pipe organ -- St. George's, Southall

That's a small pipe organ behind organist Tom Bell. Built in 1723 by Abraham Jordan and restored in 2008 by the Mander Organ company, the sounds of this historic organ at St. George's, Southall, began an incredible day in London on Saturday.

Wanda Hayes Eichler plays the 1723 Jordan organ

Since the Jordan organ had no pedals and only two keyboards, it felt more like the reed organs that I've been used to playing. Ed took this photo of me playing this historic instrument. I played two hymns from The United Methodist Hymnal. Michael Barone, organiser of the Pipe Dreams Tour, did the honors of pulling stops to complement my playing. It was an honor to be at this keyboard.

One set of organ pipes at Westminister Abbey

Later in the day we participated in Evensong at Westminster Abbey. Our group had reserved seating for the service and then stayed for a presentation about the organ that was given by Robert Quinney, sub organist at the Abbey and organist for the Royal Wedding.

After a short introduction to the massive organ, Robert played the Coronation March written for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1952. Listening to the majestic music I tried to imagine a young woman, now the Queen of England, leaving the Abbey sixty years ago with a new crown and new responsibilities and the strains of this music in her memory.

Console for the organ at Westminster Abbey

Our group then had the privilege of climbing up into the organ balcony to see the magnificent pipes in their very ornate cases and the console. This 1937 Harrison and Harrison organ has 109 ranks and five keyboards. The orchestra for the Royal Wedding played from the organ balcony which is about half way up the nave of the Abbey.

It was an incredible day of the sights and sounds of historic organs.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Little Pulpit

St. Giles in the Fields Church in London has two pulpits. There is the larger one, quite central to the altar and chancel setting.

Then there is this one, moved to the church from a former chapel nearby. The inscription tells who preached from this pulpit -- John and Charles Wesley, those rebel Anglicans who started the Methodist movement.

Ah, evidence of the Wesleys, centuries later, in an obscure corner of London Town. How their influence has gone beyond a simple wood pulpit in a chapel.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Tour Begins

Chwen-Huei Tsai of Taiwan plays at St. Michael's, Eaton Square
Tour participants watch and listen in the organ balcony

We heard pipe organs in London today. Stops, sounding boards, ranks, pipes -- all kinds of pipe organ words are floating through my head. Today I stood under the exposed tracking system of the organ at St. Peter's, Eaton Square, and watched the mechanical action of the organ.

It reminded me, in a way, of the old step telephone switch at Pigeon Telephone way back in the 1970's when Ed's Dad first bought into the telephone industry. Pipe organs have mechanical linkages from the keys to the pipes. Simply put, these linkages "track" the action of the keys that the organist pushes to make the music.

It isn't quite all that simple, but learn along with me in these next few days of the Pipe Dreams 2012 Tour.

Daniel Moult, Organist
St. Peter's, Eaton Square
We heard (and some of the tour participants played) two organs this afternoon. The first organ, at St. Michael's, Chester Square, is in the neighborhood where former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher lives. Very cool.

The organ was built in 1994. Tom Bell, organist at St. Michael's, says at the loudest, the organ measures 93 decibels, louder than the 83 decibels measured by the band with drums that plays for the contemporary worship service at St. Michael's.

Later, we walked to St. Peter's, Eaton Square and were blown away by the 1992 Kenneth Jones 66 rank organ. I braved the stairs and took some photos at the console with Daniel Moult playing. Also very cool.

This organ had two ranks of 32' pipes which produce a very, very low bass sound. Think incredible tone and rich depth.

I'm including two photos that are not organ related in today's post. The first is of a stained glass window that I thought my Dad, Stan Hayes, would enjoy. The window is from St. Michael's and is of Christ praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. The cobalt blue in the center of the window just glows.

Gethsemane window, St. Michael's, Chester Square

This second photo is of the Caffe Ritazza barista at who fixed me a latte with the milk forming a heart in the foam on top. I had never seen anything like this and congratulated her on her artistic touch. She agreed to a photo and gave me a great smile.

What a joy her daily work must bring to hurried Victoria Station commuters as she hands them a coffee many times each day.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Wicked in London

We did our first London walkabout on Wednesday and realized that we could go see a stage show in the evening. Our hotel room was ready for us when we got here so we could take a shower and a teeny nap. We had planned to hear Joshua Bell and Jeremy Denk (violin and piano) at the Barbican, a concert that would have meant a taxi ride or travel on the Underground.

In the afternoon we dropped by the box office of the Apollo Victoria Theatre on Wilton Road and bought tickets for the evening performance of the musical "Wicked." Both "Billy Eliot" and "Wicked" are very close to the Grosvenor Hotel which is the first hotel that our tour group is booked into.

Double decker buses queue outside Victoria Station

So, last night we moseyed down the lift (that's the elevator), through Victoria Station (busy in the early evening), across Wilton Road and into the Apollo Victoria we went for a delightful evening of musical theatre.

One interesting happening from last night -- I waited 12 minutes in line to use the ladies' room. Just like at International Quilt Festival in Houston there were long lines of gals outside the restrooms. I don't think I've ever waited that long at a Michigan State football game, but, then, there are only 60, 000 people and lots of restrooms at Spartan Stadium.

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Projects Completed and Jim-Jams

I had projects to finish before we left yesterday. I am a typical Child of Val, sewing and hemming and knitting just before a big event. I'm sure that I was hemming prom dresses and wedding gowns right up to each big day.

Max's quilt is finished. Liesl and Max picked out the fabrics, Liesl pieced and I quilted. It's a long twin, 72 inches wide by 101 inches long. Great job, Max and Liesl. I had a great time with the threadplay that went into quilting this starry quilt for Max.

Miss Vallanee Rose has her first cardi from Grandma Wanda's knitting needles. Vallie is growing fast and I scuttled to get her sweater done and delivered to her house before we left for England.

The redeye flight from Detroit to London was crammed. I had a movie ("Joyful Noise" with Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton) to watch on my Kindle Fire. I slept an hour or two. It was very cool to see the waning moon, still quite bright, floating in the clear dark sky over the cloud deck above the Atlantic.

Here's a British word to consider -- jim-jams. We saw this sign advertising a hotel chain while waiting for the Heathrow Express to take us to Paddington Station. The signs says "Jury's Inn warmly invite you to finish your presentation in your jim-jams."

Jim-jams. After a trans Atlantic flight, five hours of time zone change and adjustment to the city surroundings, I'll be ready for my jim-jams tonight!

Copyright 2012
Wanda Hayes Eichler