Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Rites of Spring

Good Morning!

The snow is melting, and rain is in the forecast. We've officially entered our "season of mud", and both Sox & Matthew must meet inspection before coming in the house.

I've been hard at work at the most uncreative task imaginable... income tax preparation. I'm blessed that Laurie-Ann keeps our business records up to date and as organized as could be. But, both Wesley & myself need to supplement her files with our "stuff", so we've been working on that. The good news is that we're nearly done. Hooray! One of the best feelings in my world occurs on the day that Wesley & I deliver our completed records to our accountant's office up the street. We walk back to the quilt store in the sunshine, hand in hand, feeling like a huge weight has been lifted from our shoulders. For us, it's an important "Rite of Spring".

What I've been lacking in creativity, Wesley & Matthew have more than made up for. With Wesley's help, Matthew has completed his first Cub Scout Pinewood derby car, just in time for tonight's big race. Matthew found a design template on the internet, ordered special stickers & wheels, and spent a big part of the past week in the basement, carefully sanding, painting, and customizing his car. The process can best be described as "Two steps forward, one step back", with a few mishaps along the way. But, the project is done, and his sense of accomplishment is immeasurable.

Wesley was approached by the Pack & Den leaders to help the Cubs make a quilt, acknowledging and thanking the American Legion for their sponsorship of the Boy Scouts. With Rose's help, the quilt was finished yesterday, and I think it is really amazing. First, Wesley contacted the Boy Scouts of America head office, and obtained graphics for each of the scouting badges. He printed the images on "Printed Treasures" fabric sheets, and the Cubs colored the images at the last pack meeting. Then, he used a variety of prints from the Robert Kaufman "Boy Scouts of America" collection to frame the patches into a cohesive design. Rose brought the project to completion, expertly quilting, binding, and adding a hanging sleeve. We still need to come up with a creative label for the back, and then the quilt will be placed on display at the American Legion, or in the Boy Scout area at the Dakota Buttes museum.

cubquilt6    cubquilt5  cubquilt3cubquilt4

I also need to thank Rose for stitching Matthew's patches to his uniform. The poor child was wearing a Cub uniform with safety pins holding the badges in place. It's a pity his mother doesn't know how to sew :) !!!

I discovered a wonderful travel piece online yesterday, as I took a break from tax preparation. Click here.

Entitled "Rites of Spring", the piece features "some of the best places to shake off the winter doldrums and (literally) smell the roses."

Unfortunately, I'm unlikely to visit any of these beautiful gardens this spring. I am going to make a list, and make a point of seeking them out during our travels. But, I'm pretty sure some of our readers (over 13,500 of you at last count) will have visited one of these spots. If you have, please send a quick e-mail with your personal list to (you can't just hit the reply button... this newsletter comes from a closed address).

I'll keep track of the replies, and let you know how many of the spots we've collectively visited.
I invite everyone to spend a few moments enjoying the beautiful photos... I think about walking those garden paths, sunshine on my face, the scent of blossoms filling the air, and spring doesn't seem so far away!

Top photo: Keukenhof, Netherlands, Slide show text by Amy Swanson, Bing Travel; photo editing by Connie Ricca.