Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Gee's Bend

The day after visiting the gardens the weather was dreadful; heavy rains and wind were forecasted. A trip to the Missouri History Museum seemed a good way to spend the day. And look what was there! Part of the Gee's Bend exhibit. The quilts were much more vibrant than I imagined, such warm and rich colors. I know some quilters are unimpressed with the quilts, not liking the hodgepodge piecing approach used, but I found them rather amazing. Do you?

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Day of Remembrance

"The mystic cords of memory stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart...should swell into a mighty chorus of remembrance, gratitude and rededication on this solemn occasion." ~ Abraham Lincoln

As Memorial Day was first began to honor the memory of Union soldiers who gave their lives in the Civil War, I thought I'd share my pictures from the last stop on our return trip, Andersonville Prison Camp and Cemetery in Andersonville, Georgia. It is now a National Historic site and quite well done. It was originally intended to be very isolated and remains so out in the Georgia countryside. These are a recreation of the makeshift tents that the prisoners lived in.

About 13,000 of the 45,000 prisoners died at Andersonville as a consequence of the horrible conditions.

Each state erected statues to remember their fallen soldiers. This is New Jersey's.

Today, let us not forget those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice for this great country.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Garden Walk

More pictures of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Here's a view approaching the Climatron.

And the reflecting pool filled with more vividly colored Chihuly glass sculptures, walla walla onions. They are loosely tethered and gracefully laze about the water.

The colors are so intense it's hard to choose a favorite.

Here's one of the two waterfalls inside.

The conditions mimic a tropical rainforest with 1200 species of plants.

A Barbary Dove which allowed us to get ridiculously close for a picture.
The garden was such a pleasant surprise, I highly recommend visiting if you are ever in St. Louis.
I'll leave you with a quote from Dale Chihuly that I like, "I can't understand it when people say they don't like a particular color. How on earth can you not like a color?"
Next time, pictures from a quilt exhibition. Thanks for visiting.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Return Trip

We arrived home several days ago and have been busy unpacking and settling in. It was certainly easier moving in than moving out. The college had provided lots of volunteers back in August, which came in handy as my daughter was on the fourth floor of a dorm with no elevator. Move out was another story, 42 steps up and 42 steps down, not to mention the walk to the car. But it's done and here's the empty closet room.

This is a 12 foot bronze statue on Washington University in St Louis' campus, Thinker on Rock. I always visit it when I'm on the campus.

After 2 days of packing, sorting, and meeting professors, it was off to the Missouri Botanical Garden. We had beautiful weather and the gardens did not disappoint.

When I lived in Memphis in the mid to late 90s a friend introduced me to the work of Dale Chihuly. He is a art glass sculptor extraordinaire. As you enter the Gardens, there is a huge glass sculpture hanging in the lobby. It's just spectacular.

Little did we know we'd encounter more of his art later.

Here's the greenhouse.

A fountain in the Asian gardens.

And just flowers everywhere.

The iris garden was just breathtaking. There were over 1,000 different types and almost all were in bloom.

This is one of my favorites.

The Japanese Maples were witness to that gardening adage, If you have room for only one tree, make it a Japanese Maple. The foliage was something to see.

More Chihuly glass showed up in the Climatron. The Climatron is a geodesic dome with a tropical rainforest recreated within complete with birds and waterfalls.
More pictures and Chihuly glass next time~ thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Coming Home

I am leaving for St Louis this morning to collect my daughter from college. The school year is over! I am flying up, renting a car, loading it up and with a high school graduation in Memphis and a little sightseeing thrown in, driving back to Florida. See you then!

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Good Read

I did not expect to like this book. In fact I was rather smug in my knowledge of just knowing I was not going to like this book. I might add, my daughter is a big fan of the author, Jodi Picoult having read almost all of her books. Even that couldn't inspire me. Well, to shorten a long story, I picked up the book one day in the bookstore and couldn't put it down! It is so well-written with engaging real-life characters. She is a master at capturing the domestic tableau. I really related to the scenes when the parents were accused of child abuse. When my daughter was three and in preschool, a Quaker preschool no less, a boy pushed her down and broke her arm. It broke as if her arm had been twisted and I was suspect. After much discussion and phone calls to the preschool all ended satisfactorily. Anyway, it's a good read if you are looking for one.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I've Been Busy...

but not with anything to do with fabric! If it's spring in Florida, then the yard-Nazis are out and about! Let me explain, we live in a community where there are those pesky deed restrictions. Everyone must maintain his yard to meet the standards. Letters go out reminding the offending people to toe the line, or else! It seems I never manage to get to the gardening before the powers-that-be do their inspections. I spent 2 days ripping out ferns which multiply like crazy here, and mulching.

And another day trimming shrubs and palm fronds. I think when they landscaped our house, this palm was the only thing left on the truck so they planted it. I don't know if you can see but the fronds have 3 inch thorns on the bottom half. Besides being painful, a stick produces a bump that takes weeks to go away.

Prior to all this flurry of outdoor activity, I did manage to do something with that stack of Victoria's Scatter Garden fat quarters.

I was going to use that fabric that went so well with this line, in the border. I do not know how people choose all the fabrics for a quilt including the borders and binding at one time. I see them in the quilt stores and am in amazement. Never works for me. I ended up using a piano key border and am pleased with the results.

An update: both chicks were okay as of yesterday afternoon. The parents roam all over looking for food, which is about anything. The chicks are required to keep up. These two look quite healthy and seem to have no problem staying with the parents. One does seem more forward than the other and is always trying to steal food intended for the other. Three years ago we had a pair nest in the same littoral area. Both chicks were doing fine for the first 6 weeks and then one of them started lagging behind as the three others moved ahead. The other chick was also like this confident one, assertive at getting enough food. Keeping my fingers crossed.