Hobby Club rides (er, flies) again!

Waiting to log in my feathered friends.
Waiting to log in my feathered friends.

Back on board this month with the Hobby Club.  This month is for the birds, literally.  The first week of May was to list 10 birds in our geographically area which we would like to identify.  Okay, so I cheated.  I already have identified several of these, including one of my all time favorite names, the “Yellow Bellied Sap Sucker”.  Now there’s a midwest moniker if ever there was one. (Just try saying that fast three times without spitting on someone…)crow-34211_1280

I might actually go for the badge on this one.  Yes, badges!  Totally yes! Specially designed badges just for the Hobby Club members. I still have my Girl Scout blood coursing through my veins, Geritol and all. The capstone will be to design and make our own birdfeeder, which will be a hoot, (pardon the pun), since power tools are not my best friend.  Doggone it, I’m gonna earn that bird badge!

But until then, I will content myself with just keeping the existing birdfeeders filled, and trying to snap those shots for my newly christened bird-watching field notebook (oooh, that sounds just so official!)  My husband and I enjoy this pasttime together, so much so that I bought him some field glasses a few years ago.  Here’s hoping I can get him in on the fun.  (He is NOT, however, sharing my badge!!)

Although I may reconsider, of course, if he finds the Yellow Bellied Sap Sucker….

Interested in Hobby Club??  Only $1 a month!  Check it out at:  tyler@hobbyclub.org 

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Life in the Recycled Bin

I love recycled things.  Most of my clothing is secondhand in some way.  Of course, when you have an inseam of 35”, it’s a little tough to find things at the mall like “normal” people do anyway.  That, plus the fact that frugality of budget is something I grew up with, so I turn to others’ castoffs to find my own brand of style. 

Here is my secondhand dog. IMG_20150220_160039564 His name is Buckley, the Mighty  Wonder Buck for short.  We found him at the local pound not long after he had been picked up and deposited there by the police.  He has nosed his way into our home and hearts.

This is a project from the Hobby Club that I’m a part of. IMG_20150222_071947978 Living in a small town, I do not have easy access to some of the different “ingredients” for the projects, so—that’s right.  Let’s find what I have and make it work!  (Or at least try it…!)  My NYC artist daughter made this cup as one of her first pottery projects in college.  Its newly recycled life is as a scented candle.

Quilting goes way back.  It’s a fine American artwork borne of necessity.  Why waste fabric if it could be turned into something useful for the family?  These two quilts have significance to me.  One is called the Crown of Thorns, quiltand the other is the Flying Goose pattern (my husband’s nickname is Goose.  Goes waaaayyy back.)IMG_20150131_120625791

I also have enjoyed making old-fashioned grandma booties.  Every scrap of yarn is recycled in some way.  Sometimes the yarn is “just leftovers”, sometimes it is unraveled from other projects that have been deemed damaged goods, excess baggage, or just no longer useful.  But they’re warm and fuzzy, like a nice hug for your feet. IMG_20150222_145722424_HDR

It’s all just a reminder that  this is exactly what Jesus does for us—taking what is otherwise damaged and despised, and turning it into something fabulous and functional.  So next time you feel your life is unraveling, trust it to the Master’s capable and creative hands!

And you might just get your socks blessed off!

And speaking of new tricks for old dogs…..

My first Hobby Club bread.
My first Hobby Club bread.

One of my New Yorker daughters signed me up for a Hobby Club, hosted by one of her work buddies, Tyler Riewer.  (That’s rEE-ver, for the uninformed, a very nice Germanic name, very much unlike Jones, which is so common as to be utterly boring…more on that another time.)  Mr. Riewer’s Hobby Club gives all the members a chance to experiment with new and different activities, one for each month of 2015.  Included on his website (check it out—it’s really fun!) are instructions for each undertaking after which we are invited to post our Instagram photos so we can all enjoy laughing at ourselves and each other.

This month of January, we delve into the floury depths of breadmaking.  Now, this is not an altogether unexplored territory for me, since I already make most of our own bread for health reasons anyway, whole wheat, no salt, no white refined sugar, all that.  But what this club is doing is taking the breadmaking art to a new level for me—they actually expect me to use (gulp!) measuring cups and a receipe!

What Mr. Riewer doesn’t know is that Instagram is, in itself, a new and different activity for me.  As are  many of the other cultural changes that have come about secondary to the birth of the internet.  I have embraced a somewhat love/hate relationship with the web, for example, but I suppose each new discovery and invention presents its own opportunities for good or bad.  Kind of like money, or guns, or parental authority; it’s all about the choices of those that use it.

But some things do not change, at least for me.  Like the joy of seeing my grandchild, (even if it is only on a video chat instead of in person).  Like the sound of football on in the family room.  And of course, like the smell of fresh bread baking on a cold January day.  ‘Nuf said.   I need to go make that baguette.

Thanks, Mr. Riewer!