Monday, December 31, 2012


You can tell it's early in the snow season by my enthusiasm!  Later on it will be "more snow, ugh" but now it's "Yeah, it's snowing!"  It has snowed off and on all day, a lovely wet snow that will nourish the ground.  Not too cold, just at freezing, an no wind. It didn't stick to the roads but it did stick to every branch and needle of every tree and bush making for a really beautiful sight.  Quinn and I took two walks in the park with the snow falling around us-just gorgeous.  Quinn will probably never lose her excitement over snow!  Tomorrow it may be to cold for a walk until afternoon.

I had planned, sort of, on going to the movies late this afternoon and taking myself out to dinner but I really didn't want to leave home so I had leftover beef stew and I'll be stitching while listening to movies.  I MIGHT stay up until midnight, or not, I'll see.  Quinn will crash about 9 whatever I do.

Today I cut some pieces for little houses, about 30.  I'll quit with these I think, although 365 was the goal I'll be happy with what I have, nearly 100 I think.
I'm going to sew the window units together tonight then do some cross stitch and English paper piecing-hexis and the secret project.  I find these really enjoyable and not at all boring.  This surprises me as I don't really like doing the same block over and over.

Enjoy New Year's Eve but drive safe if you're out and about!  Blessed Be!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The last of the gifts! I promise.

Tonights installment of gifts came from both my oldest brother (Jim and wife Jessie) and Beth, Lucas and the boys and all are for my bicycle, Annie!  A lovely basket, I had hoped it would be large enough for Quinn but I don't think so, a mounted holder for my cell phone, rear view mirror (for safety), biking gloves and really cute pink pompons for my handlebars!  Can't wait for it to warm up enough to deck Annie out!

As for gifts I gave, the boys got boring guy presents!  Rob a drill, Scott a drill press, Lucas a messenger bag, and Steve two parts for his ham radio--See Boring!

I did make some jacket protectors--if anyone wants to keep dust off their suit jackets, winter coats for dark blouses etc, just buy some flour sack tea towels (or similar small towels) and put at buttonhole in the center, then slip a coat hanger through the buttonhole and spread out the towel--nearly instant dust covers! I also made each of the girls here a couple of hot pads--
Just using up scraps and playing around with machine quilting.  Useful, although I did tell Tanya she had to USE them and not save them for posterity.

Friday, December 28, 2012


No one understands my concept of "Un-time" but that's what I consider the week between Christmas and New Years.  Too late to lose a 100 lbs or finish most things you wanted to do in 2012 and too early to begin work on 2013.  A time for a bit of planning, sleeping late, eating whenever, stitching and reading.  I love Un-time.  January 1 I'll be up and running but until them it's time to take it slow and easy.

Today, I took Tanya out to "Jared's" to purchase the proper size bracelet.  I gave the girls in Missouri Pandora bracelets and one charm.  I love the one I got for Mother's Day and they had all hinted large that they would like one.  The California girl got a necklace-one she'd apparently put on her list for my son to give her and I beat him to it!  Rob and Tanya gave me another charm for mine.  Green for Ireland, along with a calendar of Irish places.  I do so long to return to Ireland.  They also bought me a smaller crockpot-I don't need the biggest one they make too much any longer as I'm cooking for one!

Kolby and Nora (both three) received castles!  Melissa and Doug make some cute things.  They seem to have been a hit, Kolby was hiding things in the dungeon and Nora had her dinosaurs attacking the castle.  I took a chance here, as neither had it on their wish list but they were just so cute and so designed for creative play I couldn't help myself!

I've been lazy long enough today-wait who am I kidding?  One can never be lazy long enough!  I do want to finish up a smallish project or two in this un-time so I'll think I'll scoot my chair over to the sewing machine and get to it!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tipsy bakers and other Christmas gifts!

I collect cookbooks.  I especially like cookbooks where the recipes are for scratch cooking things most folks buy.  Scott and Bri, I think, like to by me books off my list with odd names.  Last year it was The Human Powered Home,   this year it was Make the Bread, Buy the Butter by Jennifer Reese.  Jennifer's blog is on the sidebar as The Tipsy Baker!  She's amusing and evidently fearless in her cooking endeavors-as well as being a fellow cookbook collector.  I'll be trying some of these recipes-the only downside I've seen so far is that she's from California and they tend to add bizarre ingredients and twists to things which should be left alone-in my opinion.  Also from Scott and Bri I received a tome called The Principals of Knitting, every question I could ever ask about knitting should be answered in this book!  I used to knit quite a bit, got out of the habit when the children were small and I had neither time nor money, but I'd like to take it back up and this should help fill in the gap from my Great Aunt Daisy teaching me how to cast on, knit, purl and bind off when I was 12 until now!  They spoil me (all the children do) and also got me a lovely silver and blue bracelet--blue being my favorite color, I might have mentioned that a time or two.

More stitching done by me--Braxton's Travel memories quilt, a simple brick pattern in brown and orange flannel backed in fleece (forgot to get a picture!) with his first 5 patches sewn on.  Those patches collected on my trips last summer.  I also dressed a bear for him, as I have all the grandchildren.  That I did take a picture of!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A little recap!

Christmas was a lovely day, I'm just sitting here drinking my morning tea and thinking about it!
Speaking of tea, I don't drink coffee.  Larry drank coffee, my parents and grandparents drank coffee, so I drank coffee-for about 40 years!  For years I tried to find a really "good" coffee, no luck.  Finally, I realized that I just don't like coffee and went back to tea-which I love! Always have, even as a very young child.  I have to wonder what took me so long, I think it's the fact that coffee smells so amazing! I received some lovely "Tea"related things for Christmas: an electric tea kettle from Scott and Bri, a perfect tea maker (by Tevana) and a pound of Keemun tea! (from Steve, Candice and Nora)  I'm all set now, perhaps I'll actually use some of the tea pots I've collected over the years.

I'll tell you about my other gifts in installments!  Maybe that will keep me posting!

Scott and Bri came up Christmas Eve, being the first to use my new guest room!  On Christmas morning we descended on Beth and Lucas!  It's easier to go to them than for them to haul the boys and gifts here and they have a bigger house!  Although, it took a great many trips to unload all the cars (and then re-load them in the evening-a bit lighter.)

Amazingly, I completed all the sewing projects I decided to make for gifts!  I wish I didn't decide at the last minute to add projects to the list!  Brayden wanted his room decorated in University of Missouri (MIZZOU) stuff and I decided to give him that.  Buying sheets, blanket, a big 3x5 foot flag and other wall art then I made the curtains and a valance that has the chant the boys made up apliqued on it.  It was cool that Brayden recognized the chant as soon as he saw it!  Did I mention that he reads chapter books now?  In the first grade!  So cool, another bookworm in a family of bookworms!

More about other gifts later!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Christmas!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Where in the world have I been?

Home!  I can't think why I haven't posted, possibly because I can't think of anything to post!

Really, I've raked a small mountain of leaves.  More this year than usual I think.  The oaks are shedding more of their leaves in the fall when they usually hang on to some of them until spring when the new leaves push them off the tree.  I'm done for now though, it's been two weeks since I raked the front and it still looks ok.  I could mow leaves but I don't think I will.  Poor plants are so confused-I have peonies with buds pushing up through the ground.  The weather just has things messed up.  It is colder today, but we really haven't had a killing frost that hung on for more than a day or two.  It should be colder and wetter.  We are still well below normal in precip for the year.  I'm concerned.  Without serious cold all the bugs will be worse AGAIN next summer, and ticks have been especially bad this fall.  While the warmer winter is nice for my heating bill, if it also means we have another HOT, HOT summer then the cooling bill will more than make up for it.  I don't think I can take another HOT, HOT summer.  I guess it's like the "fiscal cliff", absolutely nothing I can do about it except deal.

I read a great deal, more than I should if I want to get things done!  I just finished up a series by S.M. Stirling called Stories of the Change.  Science Fiction where suddenly machines just simply do not work, nor do guns etc.  They were interesting books full of lots of  sword fights, etc.  But they made me think of what I would do if suddenly the electric grid just went out without warning.  (A good book is one that makes you think "What if.")  Scary idea no electricity (among other things, no electricity means no air conditioning-see above paragraph!)  I've always been interested in learning the old ways of doing things and I've always thought that I'd have NEED of them.  Not just to be frugal but to survive!  Perhaps there are some life-changing ideas in there?

I've done some little sewing-really must get a fire lit under me!  Most things right now are for silly gifts so no photos.  In fact I think I'll head for a comfy chair to stitch, I'm already wearing my comfy pajamas!  Some TV and I'll be good--I think there's a new Hallmark Christmas movie coming on, gotta run!  (need to see it now in case there is a huge event that shuts down the electric grid and I can't see it later!  HA HA!  As if missing it would even occur to me in such an event!)

Friday, November 23, 2012

After Thanksgiving thoughts

While this will likely always be remembered as the year Lucas open a new bottle of Ranch Dressing only to have it "explode" all over his face, clothes, the table AND the living room curtains, the year the always dependable rolls failed miserably, the year we left the green beans in the microwave and Zoe, the golden retriever, stole a piece of turkey off the platter, it was without a doubt a great day.  I was, and am, tired, the cooking isn't so bad the clean up is pretty rough when all I want to do is sit around, chat and drink wine!  That's the downside to using my Mother's bone china-can't put it through the dishwasher.  I know that going in but I still use it!  To have the family gathered in love (And relative peace) is a gift.  Then they all left taking their children and dogs with them and that was a gift as well. "VBS"  I wandered through my house shutting off lights and locking up last night thinking that the finished space in the bedroom improved the day by spreading us out and that made all the work worth it!  Then I walked into my room and found one of my measuring cups lying on the floor by my bed and had to smile!  Brax gets around!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It's finished! Mostly.

I'm sure you all thought I'd fallen off the edge of the world!  Really, I only fell into the basement.  Once Rob and Tanya moved into their own place their old space looked like this:

 Half carpet half mastic coated cement floor!  Ugly color on the walls!
 Under stair area closed off!  No place to hide in a big storm!

Now it looks like this:
 New floor tile, all 436 tiles laid by me.  New paint on ceiling and walls.  Trim along floor added (also new door to laundry room-old one had a cat door in it I no longer need.)  A big toy for the big boys!  My Dad's pool table.  Boy was that fun to put up, NOT.
 TV viewing area!  I nearly have a chase lounge there on the end.
 New place for the children's books, puzzles and toys! A place for game playing. (Now I can have a guest bedroom upstairs!)
Under stair opened up, for a hide-away in case of a tornado, or for the boys to play in!
There are a few things left to be finished up but it's waiting until after the holidays, I'm beat.

Tomorrow, it's time to prep for Turkey Day!  I do hope to get some time in the sewing room/office, although it will mostly be clean up.  That needs to be done so badly!  I plan to sew all day on Friday with one dvd movie after another on my little tv.  I'll take time out to walk with Quinn and eat but that's about all.  I need a break!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A tale of three acorns.

Every year I complain about acorns!  So here's why---

Most acorns lose their cap when they fall off the tree, either they leave it on the tree to fall later or it comes off when the acorn hits the ground. (Sort of like a child's cap does in the winter!)  Any way you look at it you have two pieces of acorn on the ground.  It isn't a problem in small numbers but after a while you begin to slip on them as they roll under your feet!  Mowing, or raking,  the leaves is necessary every week and this past week I started slipping on acorns so I had to rake them up -couple of 5 gallon buckets I expect just in the front.  The ones that land in the gardens have a tendency to sprout come spring and then I get to dig up little oak trees, it's easier to deal with them now!

There are three kinds of acorns around here:
On the far left are a couple of Burr oak acorns, I pick these up in the park on our walks, these are somewhat small due, I think, to the hot dry summer.  The middle ones are Red oak acorns from my front yard,  I finished cleaning them up on Saturday, there are more today.  The ones on the right are from the Pin oaks in the back yard-I have three.  I looked and looked for some with the caps on but no luck! These guys don't rake and are so small you just can't pick them up!  They can cause you to slide down the terrace, an exciting ride to be sure!  Squirrels love all three as do the deer-glad some one does.  I've heard you can make flour from acorns, perhaps I'll give that a try someday-NOT!

I've been busy but I have nothing to show yet--by this time next week I hope to have the basement room finished!  There will be photos!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I thought I'd finished with Halloween costumes (like spike-tailed dinosaurs, ET, and clowns) when Scott decided he was too old to Trick-or-Treat but it seems not.    Brayden wants to be Indiana Jones this year.  Tanya got into the act and I was asked to create a satchel for the candy!  It isn't my best work but he likes it-so go me!

Happy Samhain---Halloween, too!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Another Project Completed!

First there was this:

Old rickety, soft deck!

Then there was this:
No deck!

Now there is this:

Beautiful, sturdy, big new deck!  Yay!  Quinn and I love it, we don't have to go to the basement to get out!  I removed the "Do not open this door" sign and all is well  (Okay , I have some touch up painting to do but otherwise it's done.)

It looks massive to me at the moment, and I expect it will until I move the table and chairs back up but that won't be until Spring!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

On being an empty nester

I am new to the empty nest.  I am also a widow.  Those things combine to make me very busy!  I enjoy the time to myself, the freedom I have to do what I want, when I want.  That said, the downside to this is that there is no one but me to do a thing.  Anything.  Everything!  I am very busy and longing for a day to sew, sigh.

Among the things I am currently doing:
Volunteering two (soon to be three) afternoons a week at three different places (I do need to be around folks and feel useful!)

Preparing the yard and garden for winter.  Nearly finished with this one thank goodness!  Still have leaves to rake/mow for a few more weeks, bulbs to plant now that the high has dropped below 60F, some clean up to do and get "Hank" the snowthrower out.

Getting my truck ready for winter-haven't even started but it's a very short list.

Giving the basement room a facelift.  This won't really take all that long, just paint etc.  I just can't decide what to do with the floor as I don't want to look at the remains of black mastic for very long.  I'm picking up the pool table on Sunday and storing it in the garage until I decide about the floor and have the painting done.  I think there will be some pressure from the "boys" to get done so they can play!

Finishing the laundry room.  The walls have never been covered.  I'm adding a second stove and some counters in here as well as a few other projects.  This one will be more labor intensive that the big room--Oh No.

Fall deep cleaning of the house.

Stitching.  A couple of pretty small projects for others and the quilts in the pipeline.

No wonder I'm beat when It's time for bed!  No wonder I haven't the energy to blog!  I'll try and do better, for now I'm headed to the chair to watch the boob tube and stitch.  Blessed Be!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


I was finally bitten by the hexie bug this summer!  It took me a bit to find the size I needed-the first I used were too small and the fabric lost the flowers so that everything looked either green or white!  The fabric is Texas Hill Country that I bought in 2009 in Fredricksburg, Texas (appropriate, huh?)   I've only finished six so far.  They're my "take-along" project.  Here are close ups of two:

And a photo of them all.
These are just pinned up on the top of a dark blue, I think I'll use that for the joining hexies although I quite like them just fastened together so who knows.  I really think the dark blues pulls out the blue flowers and makes the whole "pop" though.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Catch up, Again.

I'm just home from visiting with this little imp!

Nora, opening her gifts!
She really likes the bows!

And her Momma and Daddy as well!  Nora turned three on the 14th, I can't believe how big she's getting (although compared to Kolby she's still a lightweight-thank goodness!)  As usual I brought rain with me to San Diego, which cooled things off and kept the crowds down!  We visited some of my favorite places-the San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park, and the beach.  I think the Wild animal park is the closest I will ever come to seeing rhinos, giraffes, etc in the wild as I doubt I'll ever make Africa!  This time we took a cart ride into the Asia exhibit, much better than the tram ride through Africa as we had only 10 people on the cart and a Zoologist for a guide.  Next time I'm paying the bucks for the truck ride into the exhibits-and I'll be sure my camera batteries are fully charged!  After Nora's party on Sunday, Steve and I took her to LaJolla Shores beach-I never feel like I've been to California unless I hit the beach at least once.

Now that I'm home it's back to work on the basement rooms and deep cleaning (everywhere I look is disgusting it's so filthy!)  My sewing room is the worst, and I still haven't turned on the machine.  I am working on some hexies and another English paper piecing project which is an experiment and a gift so no more on that!  I think I'll head back there now, put on a movie and do some stitching-Bri's sock is calling me.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Deck is GONE!!

 I began the day with this deck.  A shaky affair with flooring (and floor joist) so soft that Quinn had dug a hole clear through!  I mean I could see the ground through her hole.  Silly girl.
 The guys got right to work and soon had most of the railing off and started in on that soft floor-no more holes (at least on the deck) for Quinn!
 The supervising crew:  Kolby, Brayden and Braxton!
 The floor joist are going!
 Rob is removing some of the MANY bolts he and Larry put in a few years ago.
 The Supervisor is on the job, this time just Kolby.
 The stairs took the longest but soon they went as well and Rob is breaking up the cement pad at the bottom.  It had to go, to make room for the new deck foundations but I'll miss the handprints to be found there!
 Shawn and Jason toting!  Much work was also done by Tomas and Heather!
 This is what is left, waiting for the new deck scheduled for Oct 17th.  In the meantime---
 It's very dark but it says DO NOT OPEN THIS DOOR  A reminder to me that it's
A long way down!

After all the work was done, and the roll-off full, we had a Mexican dinner!  My kids love it when I put on a full feast so that was their reward for all the hard work!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Flying Time!

It's amazing how quickly the days pass!  And now autumn has arrived!  Hurrah!! My favorite season, followed closely by winter.  I have nearly finished tidying the gardens (only one half of a front garden and the ground bushes left).  I will be working at digging out the corner of the back in the spring still, but that's okay, I can only haul three short loads of dirt up the hill in my lovely wagon then I'm done.  I had to cover the Mums today as we are to have widespread frost tonight!  I was quite chilly at the soccer game today.

Yesterday, a big roll-off waste container was delivered.  Tomorrow is the big deck tear down!  The existing deck is unstable and becoming unsafe so it will all come down and go into the big roll-off container!  Then on the 17th the company will come to put a new one on.  One more thing off the check list.  I've been cleaning the garage (one of my least favorite jobs) as parts of it haven't even been swept in several years.  Some junk from in there will hit the big roll-off container as well.

I've begun my second volunteer position, working in the archives at the Merrill Mattes Research Library, housed in the National Frontier Trails Museum.  I used to work there part time so this really feels like going home!  The director resigned last fall and lots of new and exciting things are going on so I'm excited about going on Monday afternoons.  I still work on Tuesday afternoons at the Jackson County Historical Society typing the accession books into a spreadsheet.  I think I might finish that in my lifetime (or not) but I'm sure there is another project just waiting for me!

On Monday, I'm taking Quinn to Camp Bow Wow for the day and going to the Quilt Guild in Lees Summit, Mo.  I need motivated!

I did work on Bri's sock yesterday and will again tonight.
I'm off to shower the grime of garage cleaning away, then start a load of wash as I'm nearly naked!

On Thursday I fly to San Diego!  To see Steve, Candice and Nora and to be there for Nora's third birthday.  I'm looking forward to it!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Another Sunday.

I feel particularly un-inspiring, or even interesting tonight.  I've spent the past two weeks trying to get the yard and flower gardens cleaned up and the grass reseeded and I am still not finished!  The list is growing shorter though, thank goodness.  I won't get back into the yard until Thursday and then only if it doesn't rain.  Well, I will have to water grass seeds and baby grass, some each day.

I want to begin deep cleaning this week, a bit at a time, and begin cleaning up the garage, rec room and laundry.  Spaces vacated in part or whole when Rob and Tanya moved out.  Big plans for those rooms!

I have made some hexie flowers and taken a few stitches in Bri's stocking.  But I still haven't turned on the machine!  I did begin to line up the pink squares only to discover I had cut the white pieces for the alternate blocks incorrectly.  I've started to re-cut them so perhaps I'll get some work done soon, I need to make my orange blocks as well, sigh.

With the return of cooler weather and all the yard work came the pain in my knees and hips so I'm back on Celebrex which is helping,  I can sleep most nights anyway!

One really odd thing is happening, the violets in my front lawn are blooming!  They usually only bloom in the early spring, what could this mean?  I'm hoping for a real winter this year to kill off the bugs and help the water table!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

One year old!

Happy Birthday to my beautiful Quinn!  One year old today!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Empty Nest!

It's official,  I have joined the empty nesters!  My last son, Rob, and his girl Tanya moved into their own place on Sunday!  Rob was the one that left and came home, left and came home, but this time I think leaving will take!  I'm happy for them.  Everyone should get to grow up and live on their own.  I'm a little sad for me, a little happy too.  I have my whole house to myself-the last time I lived alone was 1976 and then I lived in my parents house (they were living in Colorado, the house I lived in was in Independence.)   This time I get to decided how to use the basement spaces and all that.  So that's exciting.  Also gets some more things off the "This must be done before I can sell this house" list.  I have lists for everything!

Although I have quite a bit of work ahead on the inside besides the basement (like a really good cleaning) I decided to concentrate on the lawn and gardens this week, and probably next as well.  The extreme heat and dryness of the past summer left me with a lawn of weeds and bare spots.  Although the bare spots are quickly being taken over by dandylions!  Today, I put the de-thatching blade on the mower and tore up the front yard but good!  Then I had to rake all that dead grass up and put it into bags for the trash folks.  I' m tired.  Tomorrow I will buy some top soil and a great deal of grass seed and Wednesday I will fill in holes and over seed it all then it will be water, water, water unless I get lucky and it rains.:)  Oh, and after all that I have to do the back, sigh.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Finally, fence!

When we moved into this house 12 years ago one of my conditions was to complete the fence.  The yard was fenced on three sides (by the neighbors some time ago) so all that was needed was to finish the house side.  Much discussion followed.  I insisted that I be able to let the dog(s) out from the house directly into the yard-no way did I want to walk outside at 6:30am in the pouring rain or freezing snow in my nightie to open a gate into the yard then repeat that when they wanted in!  All others did not want to gate the driveway!  Standstill. For 12 years.  This year, I decided it was going to be done and the simplest thing was to gate the driveway so----

It's finished!  Quinn is now safe in the yard (as long as both gates are closed) and Zoe, Coco and Mac can play safely when they visit.

Now it's on the the replacement of the deck!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Catch Up!

I've been home a couple, or three weeks now and I've done things like get the side window of the truck replaced (turns out the latch I broke getting in is integrated into the window so fixing it requires a new one!) While I was dealing with the glass folks I bought two pieces of table top glass, this had been on my list for 10 years maybe.  I didn't measure well enough for the one and it's not a great fit but it will protect my soft, pine, Daddy-made, kitchen table from any more dents! Te small one is to protect my Irish linen and lace tablecloth for my bedside table.  I think it took me one whole week to get my body functioning in the correct time zone and that was a blur.  I did contract with someone to finish fencing my yard.  That is proving somewhat of a problem, in spite of numerous calls to the company he has yet to show up.  He has until Friday or I'll look for someone else and get my deposit refunded.

I spent from last Thursday until Monday in Denver helping my brother celebrate his 60th birthday.  His wife Jessie put on a really nice party and I helped set up, decorate etc for that.  Saturday, I met a friend from the last time we lived there (92-93) for lunch and to catch up-that was very nice On Sunday he and the other members of Team Hickam rode in a bike ride to raise scholarship money for CU.  He rode 101 miles!  While he did that I took my rental up to Estes Park.  I feel like I grew up there, spent many summer vacations there and then my parents bought a summer home before they moved there.  I was in college for most of the actual living there but Larry and I were married there.  It's a tourist trap but it's my tourist trap.  Things had changed, yet there are about 10 businesses that have been there forever!  I had lunch at one of the restaurants I worked at during college vacations and talked to the owner-couldn't believe he was still working, he's older than I am.  Then drove through Rocky Mountain National Park and back to Denver.  I enjoyed my trip down memory lane!  We are thinking of organizing a "Family" vacation there next summer-some of the kids have never seen a 14,000ft peak.

I've only picked up a needle about three times since I left for the coast, haven't touched my machine at all.  But the weather is finally cooling off so I'll be back to high energy for the next few months.

I get Brayden and two of his friends off the bus one afternoon a week, continue to volunteer at the Historical Society and will begin volunteering at Brayden's school soon.  Live is getting busier and I am adding more physical activity to the mix.  Will be getting myself a good bike, maybe next year I can ride with Team Hickam (not 100 miles though, one of the shorter ones)!  Heading back into the gym more, getting the yard and gardens in shape-including adding a large vegetable garden and some fruit trees (inspired by Jim and Joanne).  I'll get more sewing done as well since it's getting darker and evenings are my prime stitching time!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Washington Coast 21012 Day 15 HOME!

I am anxious to be home and today will be very ambitious!  I have an 11 month old dog traveling with and we have 658 miles to go until we can sleep in our own beds.  On wait, Quinn has had her bed all along, I'm the one wishing for her own bed!  (Not to mention the fact that I don't have to make what seems like a hundred trips between car and hotel room with our junk!)  I didn't want to drive across Nebraska--so much corn! I wanted to drive across Kansas-I think I like that drive so much because I know where the best places to eat, get gas and stop to stretch legs are, although it is beautiful.  I asked Sam to pick the shortest way home instead of the quickest thinking we would angle off across Wyoming, Colorado and western Kansas until we hit I-70.  That's what I get for thinking.  After she had me get off, cross the road, then get back on I-80 TWICE I gave up and took I-80.  At least as far as Lincoln where I take a more direct route to the Missouri River and home.  We got home after dark, I don't usually drive after dark as the cataracts make seeing difficult but I was too close to stop.

I can't say enough how good Quinn was on this trip!  She mostly laid on the seat next to me-always had her butt up against my leg.  Sometimes, when she was getting tired of the truck she'd sit up and lay her head in the crook of my elbow giving me a very "Poor Puppy" look!  Sometimes she'd sit up and look out the windows, a few times she tried to sit on my lap (that one ended really quick-she's too big!)  She din't bark in hotels, even when I took a shower (she goes nuts when I take a shower at home), she happily walked and played where ever I could find a place even though she rarely got in her full 3 miles like she does at home.  She wasn't perfect but she was darn good!

I learn something on each of these trips so here's what I learned this time.  Driving vacations are not fun!  Especially if you are alone-sorry but as good as Quinn is she isn't much of a conversationalist and she can't help drive.  So, no more driving vacations.  I will drive no further than two days to a specific place where I can stay put for a week (or more).  To hit the west coast again, I'll fly and rent a car!

I also learned, not to leave the cell phone in the truck when I hit a beach!

I'm home and happy about it.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Washington Coast 2012 Day 14

After a really bad night of about 4 hours sleep (don't ask me, it just happens) We started out for the day.         Driving through a bit more of Utah and then Wyoming to Cheyenne.  It was brutal staying alert, and I'm sure all the other drivers were laughing at the crazy lady driving with a cold wash cloth on her head-but hey, it helped!  Just dunked it in the ice chest melt, wrung it out and stuck it atop my head-I don't know why it worked but it did.  After Quinn had a little romp in the dog park I hit up Outback for take out and while it cooked had a Jameson's and Gingerale.  (Fell in love with that in Ireland, still drinking it.)  Ate in the room took a short walk with Quinn and crashed.

Washington Coast 2012 Day 13

We were up and about early and headed east!  The only Stop we made was at Baker City to revisit the National Oregon Trail Interpretive Center .  Quinn and I had a walk on their paths around the hill.  The Center sits high on a hill and one can see the remains of the Oregon Trail from the top.  It's a very nice center and tells the local and national story quite well.  Actually tells the Independence story better than the Trails Museum here does, I think.  It helps that they had a big helping hand from the Bureau of Land Management, of course.  Like Lewis and Clark, all the trails centers tell the same story and after a while only the manner they each tell the story is interesting.  After purchasing a nice blue and white tea canister, some pencils and more patches (that's a total of 4) we are off again.  Ending the day in Odgen, UT.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Washington Coast Day 12

Sometime in the night I decided that I hadn't come this far to leave without time with the ocean.  I really wanted to see what Quinn would do!  So, after a stop at Target (I think there might be a theme here) for duct tape to hold the window with the broken latch in place and a few other things we left Washington State behind and headed for the town of Seaside, Oregon.  Having been there before I knew there was plenty of access to the beach.  All of Oregon's coast is public but you shouldn't walk across private property to get there so access points are important.  We arrived about 9 or 9:30 quickly found parking and walked to the beach.

Quinn loved it!  Take a look:

Just one of many holes she dug and then stuck her nose into!

The tide was out so there were lost of shells and sand dollars to look at and for Quinn to sniff!

Normally Quinn doesn't mind getting wet but she wasn't crazy about this water with the edge that kept coming closer!  She did get wet up to the knees a few times before she caught on then, just like a little kid, she would run up to the water's edge then crab walk, hop, etc back to escape!  Very funny to watch.

After a couple of hours the beach began to get crowded with people and dogs and the retractable leash got to be a problem (I don't trust her off leash in places she's never been but could run for miles!) so we headed to the truck.  The people on the beach were just a few of the folks in town!  They were driving around and around looking for parking spaces and when we hit the highway it was bumper to bumper, stop and go traffic for several miles in either direction!

I had planned (sort of) to head to Scio, OR next as my great-grandfather is buried there but that would have meant 2 days on two lane roads (slow, slow) and I just didn't have it in me.  (Besides, I'm planning to meet Jim and Joanne in Sisters next year for the Quilt Festival and it's not to far from there.  Oh, I'm flying and renting a car!  Jim wants to go to Scio  as well, I think, since it is his grandfather and he has other family buried there.)  I programmed Sam for HOME and let her lead the way.

We settled in for the night at Pendleton, OR (Yes, home of Pendleton Woolen Mills-no factory outlet, darn it)  Watched night fall on the prairie and horses being trained before we hit the sack.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Washington Coast Day 11

We are off early for the Pacific.  Headed south on the I-5 (the same one that goes to Steve's in San Diego-NOT going that far!), crossed the sound on the bridge to Anacortes On Fildago Island, one of the San Juan Islands (or at least that what the tourism lit says-it isn't one of the islands on the site for the San Juans.)  The ferries start here for the other islands.  We were early, too early for the quilt shop -darn it, so we found a nice park so Quinn and I could get some exercise.  Then we were off down the west side of the island over another bridge to South Whidbey Island.  At virtually the end of the road we caught a ferry for Port Townsend-it was a really smooth ride, a nice to the last ferry I was on (crossing from Inish Muir in Ireland!)  Quinn didn't mind but she did back at a few folks.  At the landing we went to Olympic National Park  I was surprised by the snow capped mountains!  I bought a nice book on Women in Washington during the 19th century (one of my continuing interests in history) and of course patches (bringing the total Number of patches for the blankets for this trip to three-not nearly as many as in the past.)  For there we headed west and south towards the coast on a "Scenic" byway.  It was very scenic-if you like tree tunnels and a very occasional glimpse of water.  I was bored within 15 minutes but I kept on, I find it difficult to change directions once I've decided on a path.  Pulled into Aberdeen,WA about 3pm with the sure knowledge that I would never make my evenings destination!  So I called and cancelled that reservation.  Somewhere along the way I hit the breaking point.  I was done with Washington, the West Coast and the trip--I wanted to be home.  I called the friendly folks at Motel 6 (where they leave the light on and happily take pets) made new reservations for Centralia-cancelling my plans to go further south along the coast, at least in Washington.

We arrived at Centralia in time for dinner-I was starving.  I ate my only sit down dinner, not counting Jim and Joanne's, of the trip as it was cool enough for Quinn in the car (with her fan going, the windows open a bit and her shade.)  After we checked into our friendly Motel 6 we took a walk around the outlet mall across the street and settled in for the night.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Washington Coast 2012 Day 10

Hang on to your hats this was a day to remember!

When I visit a costal city/town I wan to see the WATER!  I can hardly tell the GPS to take me to the ocean!  I've had pretty good luck with my method-head west until the road ends then choose another road to take me west until I can see the water, then I look for a beach!  Unfortunately, I could never find my way back to that particular beach and I never truly know where I am.  (This is important later.) So after a quick stop at Wally World that's what Quinn and I did.  And we did find the beach, or rather the shore as it was a rocky beach not a sandy one.  Quinn had a blast on her retractable leash, running and investigating everything and we walked all over the place.
Squalicum Beach, Bellingham, WA
A happy Quinn!  So much space to run, so much to smell!
San Juan Islands in the distance.
A Rock with barnacles

That's a smokestack in the distance, not a lighthouse.  Darn it.
A driftwood treehouse!
Blackberries on the beach.  Not quite ripe!

Then it was about time for lunch so I started back to the truck only to discover my keys missing!  I carry my truck key and the tonto cover key on a springie, spiral thing on my wrist and apparently it broke and fell away.  I didn't notice it as it is very light with just the two keys and I was struggling to keep my balance on the rocks.  Back out to the beach we went to look for them, on a sandy beach I would likely have found them but on a beach full of rocks the size of grapefruit and melons it was a hopeless cause.  At some point I also realized that I had forgotten to pick up my cell phone (it just gets better and better).  Many of my shorts don't have pockets so I'm constantly looking for my phone at home and when I travel I have a slot in the dash were it fits nicely and I just didn't put it into the bag I carry with Quinn's stuff in it.  Top that all off with the "I have no idea where I am"  and the insurance card with the number for roadside assistance was in my purse inside the locked truck and I was in a pickle.  Luckily, a very nice lady who was walking her dog told me where I was and let me use her phone to call State Farm (she had state farm as well).  In all the craziness I discovered I had not locked the tonto cover on the back end and with some help from tools back there and the fact that the vent windows in back were open I got into to truck.  But, all was not well as I broke the latch on the window doing it. (more on that later)  Anyway, State Farm sent a locksmith out.  While we waited in a lovely spot on a lovely sunny day we had lunch.  I put Quinn in the bed of the truck with her rug, food and water, and set up her portable, battery operated fan (when you wear a  parka all year you need help staying cool) so she was good.  Then I put a foam rug and a towel on the tailgate and had lunch (peanut butter).  Quinn got lots of attention from other beach lovers and her fan got lots of attention as well!  Several people asked if we needed help but by then it was just waiting.  The locksmith came, made me two new keys and we were soon on our way, me somewhat poorer!

After the beach adventure, I asked Sam (the gps) to take me to Quilt shops (I needed retail therapy).  After we went to the address of at least 4 others (no longer in business or something-it happens) I finally found one!  It was a nice little shop but I only bought some larger papers for hexies there.

Then it was back to the hotel for a NAP!  After that and dinner we headed back to the Lake Bellingham and walked all the way around it before we settled in for the night.

I decided to head on the next morning- for the actual Pacific ocean (not the Puget sound or Bellingham bay) so I spent some time studying the map and thinking about where I could stay the next night.  Even made a reservation!

So ends an eventful day--thank goodness.