Thursday, September 29, 2022

Looking to the Skies

On Saturday evening at 7:32 pm, I had a chance to go outdoors to watch the latest Starlink rocket after its launch from Cape Canaveral which is about 100 miles (160K) from my house. Even though I've seen several of these before, they don't lose their wonder. 

Looking skyward also had us thinking about Hurricane Ian that bore down on Florida on Wednesday. For more than a week, we've known it was coming. Being more familiar with tornadoes in the Midwest, if given a choice, I'd rather be warned of a tornado. At least you can hurry below-ground, wait 20 minutes to an hour, and come back up to normal life. With a hurricane, it's the knowing and anticipating and wondering - "What path will the hurricane take?" - that drives one mad!

We followed Ian's projected path, first 91 miles to the west of us. Then 54 miles to the west of us. Then directly over us!

At that point, we moved outdoor furniture from the screened-in lanai into the house, put towels in the window frames on the south and east sides of the house to catch rain water that might be blown in, and waited. Rec centers closed at noon Wednesday. Grocery stores closed Wednesday, and are expected to reopen Friday.

Wednesday was spent glued to The Weather Channel, watching as Punta Gorda, Fort Myers, and Sanibel and Captiva Island were pounded by nearly category 5 winds (127 mph). This morning we're learning that possibly 100 people lost their lives. This news and the devastation are unimaginable. 

For me, staying-in meant keeping the TV on, emailing and texting friends who checked in on us, and sewing. 

I'm again working on my improv log cabin quilt. This is the one I'd thought to make and use neutral-colored blocks to fill in the four "points"/corners of the on-point center. But I chucked set-aside those blocks after a FaceTime consultation and brainstorming session with my improv guru-friend, Candi. 

I got the idea to make triangle-shaped log cabin blocks for the four corners of the quilt top. It's certainly going to be challenging to get them to fit together. And it's a terribly messy business cutting-up all the color and values, but I'm making slow progress.

Several days ago I finished machine quilting my #30daysofimprovqal quilt, and am now big stitch hand quilting with Wonderfil Eleganza, size 8 perle cotton. 

I absolutely love the texture the extra stitching is creating! This is so fun to work on. 

I also completed another Kawandi. It's the twelfth one I've made since learning how to make Kawandi in a November 2020 virtual workshop with Sujata Shah @therootconnection. This Kawandi is 14" X 20" and made with scraps in a specific color palette that coordinates with the backing fabric. 

The backing print is a retro kitchen utensils design. I'm thinking I'll eventually sew this into a zipper pouch or bag. 

Book Recommendations
Buried in a Good Book
 is the first book in a new series by Tamara Berry. I understand how it's a set up for future investigations with Tess, the protagonist. While the book is good enough, it's also difficult to score. The story is sort of weird, with some unexpected, inappropriate humor thrown into gory murder investigations. 

Tess is a famous author who has written a series of popular detective novels. She's just inherited her grandfather's rustic cabin in the woods of Canada. With her teenaged daughter, Gertie, Tess arrives at the cabin just as several loud booms disrupt the peace. Someone has been "fishing" in the pond behind the cabin, using explosives. When Tess is asked to identify the man doing it, she uses her sleuthing skills to help the local sheriff identify the arm that also flew out of the pond. The sheriff doesn't appreciate her help, nor her humor, but when Big Foot is sighted, Tess becomes more involved than ever. She befriends the local book mobile librarian, but later suspects the librarian is hiding something behind her innocuous job. 

I think the author is attempting to create an annoyingly adorable protagonist, but hasn't quite pulled it off. Or maybe the narrator is over-acting. In any case, I'm scratching my head, trying to decide whether I liked it or not. If you read it, I'd like to know what you think.

Linda's score: 3.5/5.0

The Dark Angel
 by Elly Griffiths is book #10 in the Ruth Galloway series. The stories are getting better and better! In this one, Ruth is invited to Italy by an archeologist friend, to help identify bones found in an ancient Roman dig. Needing a break from Norwich, mostly due to the death of her mother, Ruth takes six year-old Kate for a two week holiday, along with Ruth's best friend Shona and her little boy. Of course, the bones aren't the only thing Ruth must deal with. After she finds the body of a beloved village priest, she becomes  involved in the case which is most definitely a murder. When Nelson learns that Italy has suffered an earthquake, and he can't reach Ruth, he heads to Italy, leaving Michelle and his daughter Laura exposed to unanticipated danger since the release of a prisoner Nelson helped put behind bars. 

I've begun reading book #11 in this series, though this one means I'm back to e-book reading on my iPhone. 

Linda's score: 4.0/5.0

Each Sunday I continue to worship virtually with Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines, Iowa (my "home" church). I am also in a weekly Wednesday morning virtual Bible study. We're doing Gospel on the Ground with Kristi McLelland.

Hope has started a Book Club too. They're meeting in person, which of course I cannot do, but I noted their reading list for the next three months. I'll look for these titles, and thought you might be interested: 
  • Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
  • Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
  • The Shack by William P. Young
I've read The Shack twice, but gosh it would be nice to be part of a discussion about it.

As of this (Thursday) morning, the worst we've suffered through Hurricane Ian (now downgraded to a tropical storm) has been to listen to the wind blowing against the house making the kitchen and bathroom vents flap, and see a bit of rain water that was blown into the tracks of the sliding glass doors. 

Today is gloomy, spitting rain, with 17 mph winds gusting to 27 mph - a far cry from the Gulf coast winds of 156 mph! 

Our Bismarck palm suffered a broken branch, and we lost many blooms from Allamanda bushes, but as you can see we're fine - blessed.



Patty said...

Glad you've weathered the storm ok! Those poor people on the west coast. Love the quilting on your improv quilt!

Debbie said...

Glad you are doing ok! Fun to see those triangle log cabin blocks!

Quilting Babcia said...

You are very blessed! So happy to hear your damage was minimal compared with so many along the coast. Your triangular log cabin blocks would be fun to try with my 60 degree ruler, may have to try that sometime this winter. Your hand quilting looks so good, really makes the quilt so soft and warm appearing. Did you ever think you would be making kawandis in all your spare time? You have really perfected your process.

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

So glad all ok at yours, I've been thinking about you x

Jenny said...

So pleased the storm wasnt as bad as predicted when it went over your area. We have seen terrible scenes on TV as it passed by, so frightening, and dangerous to life and property.

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda, I’m so happy to read that you’re all okay and that it wasn’t too rough in your area. I love how your improv quilt is coming along and those triangle blocks are going to give it so much extra interest and sparkle.
Elly Griffiths books are sooooo good. I haven’t read any of hers for a while, so thank you for the reminder.

Anorina said...

Gosh this update on the commenting system is annoying. That was me up there, the anonymous one.

Val Laird said...

So glad you are safe, Linda. I immediately thought of you when I heard about the Hurricane - you are the only one I know in Florida! Glad you managed to make progress on your projects in the down-time - though you are always so productive at any time!

Many blessings.

Susan said...

I am so glad you are safe and there wasn't much damage to your property! Thank goodness for the distraction of sewing. Your improv quilt is going to be fabulous!

Susie Q said...

Have thought of you often the last few days..... so happy to have a post from you this morning. Lived through 10 years of hurricanes on Galveston Island so know one can only prepare and pray for the best. Sew we go today.

piecefulwendy said...

I've been wondering how you were faring as we've watched the news reports - and I wondered about your palm, too. Glad you are okay, but so sad to hear about the loss of lives and the damage from the storm. We were stunned to see the damage to Sanibel! You have some lovely improv projects going on!

Mystic Quilter said...

So pleased to read that you are safe and well.

Anne / Springleaf Studios said...

I'm so happy to know you are ok as is our family who also live in central Florida. Know that I thought of you often but didn't want to bother you with texts or emails when you might not have power and limited charge on devices. Rain is always a good excuse to sew. Great that you didn't loose power so you could still sew. Your improv pieces are looking sooo good.


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