Welcome to American Homestead. I'm happy you have found my blog. Make yourself comfy and see what's been happening around here. I write about the things that interest me ~ creativity, travel, food, nature and a happy life. I'd love to read your comments.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Me Time ~ September 24, 2013

I'm finally back home for a little while and
headed off to Me Time today.  Someone
celebrated a birthday recently so it was a
perfect time for cookies and presents.
There are some new things in the shop
since the last time I was there.  This one
makes my head hurt, the squares are tiny!
This is a quilt made with a large scale block
which is much easier to make than it looks.
Here is a sweet small basket quilt.
This will be a pillow.  I love the stitching
on the rick-rack.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Never Lose Hope...

My late Mother-in-Law started a tradition of
giving a Claddagh ring to each of her many
grandchildren when they turned 13.  Our son,
Brennan got his on his 13th birthday and one day
while playing outside at my Mum's house it
slipped off his finger and was gone.  He thought
he lost it in the back yard since that was where
he was playing so we searched and used a metal
detector but no luck ~ it was gone.
But yesterday as my sister was weeding the front
garden, under an evergreen she spied this!
It was Brennan's claddagh. 
For the Irish, the claddagh represents Love, Loyalty
and Friendship.  The way you wear them can have
specific meaning as well:
On the right hand with the point of the heart toward
the fingertips, the wearer is single and may be looking
for love.
On the right hand with the point of the heart toward
the wrist, the wearer is in a relationship.
On the left hand with the point of the heart toward the
fingertips, the wearer is engaged.
On the left hand with the point of the heart toward
the wrist, the wearer is married.
We are all thrilled that the ring has been found after
so many years and look forward to returning it to
I guess that was the luck of the Irish!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Treasure Hunting

I can't help myself... I love shells.
I always have, from my days growing up with
our summers at the Jersey shore, to discovering
the shell rich shores of Florida's Gulf coast, to
searching for treasure in Europe and Asia. I am
a beachcomber ~ shells, driftwood, sea glass and
even some pieces of antique transferware china
that have been tossed about in the sea for decades.
Today I continued that tradition in Cancun, I am
thrilled to find a new variety, I get to talk to lots
of people who are interested in what I have found
and I get shells!
Those who know me, know I think you should
always have dinner by candlelight.  I brought
a glass jar and some votive candles to use in
our condo in Mexico, I thought I would fill it
with sand and push the votive into it.  But when
I started finding beautiful tiny shells in the water,
I thought, they would look better than sand.
The photo above shows my findings from today,
hopefully by the end of the week I will fill the jar!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Turtle Hatchings in Mexico

It is funny how some of the best moments in
life can be the simple things you just stumble upon.
We were taking a pre-breakfast stroll along
the beach this morning and noticed a large
sea turtle nest conservation corral.  A worker
from the resort invited us to come in to
witness the dig of one of the nests.

People were digging in holes and bringing up
 the baby turtles and some eggs that haven't
yet hatched.
The eggs are soft and rather rubbery, not at
all like a chicken's egg.  The hatchlings are
so adorable that generally everyone present
was oohing and ahhing ~ it was a special moment.
Look at them all!  Tonight at 8pm they will be
released to the sea.  It is best when they go to
the sea at night since there is less chance of
predators in the dark.
The hatchling's flippers are constantly in motion, I
suppose it is instinctual to move to the sea.  The help
from conservation groups hopefully will allow many
of these babies to reach maturity.  For the females that
survive, they may return to this same area in a few decades
to make their nests.  There is a little claw on their flippers
so they could move very quickly, even on our skin.
Best of luck Babies!
I think this may be the highlight of our trip!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013


I did it!
I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish
before our vacation.  I have everything ready
to go to Quilt Market in late October.  The
projects are made, the patterns are written
and printed, the brochures are designed and
on their way here, the booth is designed and
everything is made and fireproofed and packed.
I now can go on vacation and relax...
So by lunchtime, this is what I
will be seeing.
I plan to enjoy a few of these.

I hope to be up to watch the sunrise each morning.

And I plan to thoroughly enjoy the food, the
flora and fauna, the lovely people and the
beauty of Quintana Roo.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Why Do We Always Break the Things We Love?

As a gardener, a lover of flowers and all
round general collector of tchotchkes,
I have a lot of vases.  Ohhh, do I have
vases.  So why, while I was cleaning the
kitchen did I have to hit this vase with
the copper kettle and send it smashing to
the floor?  I loved this vase, it went so
nicely with my sunny yellow kitchen and
could hold a giant clump of wildflowers
and just look so perfect... and it was the
blue I love... and it was polka dots!
I knew I shouldn't have bothered cleaning
the kitchen.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September Morning

You can tell September has arrived.  We are
on the path to Autumn.  Last night before bed
we went outside with the pup and to look at the
night sky and the air was deliciously crisp.  We
came in and opened the windows, knowing we
would enjoy the coolness in the morning when
we woke up.  Snuggling under the covers on a
cool morning is one of life's simple pleasures
that I don't want to miss.
We both have much to accomplish today so
we were up and headed for an early morning
hike.  There was a mist on the fields today.
And also on the river.
Look at the fabulous funghi we found.  I think
it would be a great shape for a serving bowl.
Out in nature we can still see new growth
along side the spent blooms.
As Summer fades we can have hope in the
seeds that will bloom in the Spring...

Monday, September 2, 2013

When I'm 64...

I guess it is time to rethink the phrase,
"When I'm 64".  Today Diana Nyad,
long-distance swimmer, author, broadcaster,
traveler and just all round interesting person
completed a 110 mile swim from Cuba to
Key West.  She is 64 years young.
I first encountered Diana 35 years ago when
my sister and I were traveling around Florida
and Diana was making her first attempt at this
swim.  I remember we followed her progress and
we were so disappointed when she did not succeed.
This was her 5th try at the swim and she did it
without a shark tank, wetsuit or flippers.
I have done a mile swim in the Atlantic and it
was exhausting and I was probably 50 years
younger than Diana is today.
We all need to remember to NEVER give up on
your dreams.  And perhaps even more important
is to have dreams in the first place.
Congratulations Diana!!!!