Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Year goes out!

You all know the old saying that March comes in like a lamb and goes out like a lion.  Apparently 2015 knows it as well or wants to be remembered forever!  Before Christmas there were tornados in the south of the US-while I am technically a southerner I live at the far northern reaches so it's too cold for them here.  Although what with global climate change one never knows!-Beginning on the 25th/26th torrents of rain have fallen on Missouri, some folks got 7 or 8 inches.  (Not here, Ann, we just got maybe an inch of rain and a couple of inches of sleet and snow mixed.)  That said every river, pond, lake and reservoir is flooding.  The eastern part of the state is seeing the worst flooding since 1993.  All along the highway to Columbia I saw standing water, water covering roads and parking lots.  That was before the really big rains came.  Many people have lost their homes, businesses, autos, etc, in fact everything, some are still being retrieved from rooftops!  Interstate 44 is flooded so much in places that the overpasses are threatened with water as well.  The Mississippi will flood next as all this water drains into it so the disaster has not ended.  Now add to that the fact that winter cold (High temperatures in the 20F when the norm is 40F) arrived.  Things are horrid for these people!  I haven't heard the number of people affected but it has been declared a disaster area.  There is a John Denver song (may he rest in peace! I still miss him) called Falling Leaves that is about refugees (you can listen to it on Youtube just search for John Denver Falling leaves there are several) and one line is "They could be you and me." This really hit home with me (before the flooding) in light of the 51+million displaced persons in the world today.  That number has gotten just a little bit higher this week.  US Refugees will have government help re-starting their lives, folks here will race to lend a hand, the Red Cross is likely there already, Churches will send food etc, quilts will be made and delivered, etc.  One of the best things about us is that we lend a hand in such emergencies.  It would be lovely if the same concern would apply to the homeless, the poor and refugees the world over, and that lack would be one of the worst things about us.  I find myself afraid. Not something I'd admit to often I can tell you and something that does not stop me from living life as I choose.  What am I afraid of?  The biggest is the horrid split in this country, which may soon be bigger and deeper than the Grand Canyon.  My Country is broken-I don't think we can be fixed.  That is my greatest fear, That we will turn on one another completely for only by pulling together can we hope to face the challenges of the future.

Monday, December 28, 2015

More SSCS!

I forgot yesterday that I needed to post a photo of the pressies I sent to Noela in Chookyblues SSCS!
So here they are!  A square table mat (or wall hanging-I did add a hanging tube) with a matching mug rug.  The ornament of hexes and a couple of extras:  a scissor fob-to keep those little snips from running off! and a Missouri pin from this past summer's traveling Quilt Along.  I also sent chocolate which I sincerely hope did not melt!

I think I might have to make one for myself, if I could find 25 little things I could use it as an Advent calendar, hum.

I'm still recovering from all the hoopla today, it doesn't help that sleep has been hard to come by for the past week!  I've been neglecting my shoulder exercises and that is causing me pain in the night-at least until I realize that I should get up and take a pain pill!  Maybe I'll go down to the studio and start the purge or maybe I'll just take a nap! Oh, and do those exercises!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

SSCS and some Christmas

Finally the day arrived that I could open my package from Simone!  Inside I found this
Lovely table runner!  The photo doesn't do it justice but I tried several times and this was as good as it got!  The colors will be just right to put it in my bedroom on the chest of drawers.  I've been intending to make a runner for there-now I have this one!  Thank you Simone!

Christmas is a busy day!  I always make a blueberry coffeecake (actually blueberry buckle but we've always called it coffeecake) I think my children would complain if I didn't make it!  My big boy grandsons won't try it because they think it has coffee in it, I think that's very funny!  We also traditionally  have an sausage and egg casserole.  We eat brunch and open gifts at Beth's house-it's bigger and has three boys living there!  It's hard to drag them away from their toys so soon.  We had Scott, Bri and Ryan this year so we waited for them to drive up from Columbia to open gifts.  Then I came home to finish dinner.  This year we had our big Mexican feast which is a lot of work doing mostly small things, like chopping olives, that just take time.  Plus we had to set up the studio for eating and tote everything downstairs.  I don't know which is worse taking the studio down and replacing it or moving the living room furniture into the kitchen and the kitchen furniture into the living room-my house just isn't set up to feed 14 easily. (Or even 8 truth be told.)  My Dad and brother, Bobby, came as well as the children.  At 87 my Dad finds our noisy crew a bit much I think, but he loves getting to see the boys and Ryan made up with him.

Everyone went home and I went to bed!  Even Quinn was tired-she'd been with at least three other dogs all day running in and out and all about!  I was awake before she was and that doesn't happen often.

Today we celebrated Ryan's first birthday in Columbia.  He was actually born on Christmas, best present ever.

Tomorrow, I start "Un-time" and I have several things I want to do to be ready for 2016!

PS I consider the week between Christmas as "Un-time"  it doesn't feel like 2015 but isn't 2016 so it's Un-Time.

Monday, December 21, 2015


According to multiple sites accessed by Google tomorrow is the Solstice.  Winter for me, summer for my friend Ann who lives in Australia.  A lot of folks are say that it's today-who knows?  Anyway, every year after the holidays I swear I'm going to have a party for the Solstice,  because I think it would be different and fun and because the special events that make up the holidays are really thinning out by now-everyone wants to get it in early.  I never manage to pull it off though, actually I never even try to pull it off!  (I'm always afraid that no one will come and I have precious few people to invite, sigh.  It's remarkably difficult to make friends these days.)  Regardless, I'm always grateful I never got around to it as this week is always packed with baking to be done-I don't even begin until this week-packages to wrap, projects to finish, etc.  I do have all the packages wrapped, all those that needed to be shipped have flown away and been delivered.  The Christmas cards have likely made their way to their destination.  The cookies are done but the breads can't be made before Wednesday at the EARLIEST.  While baking cookies I tried to put all my Christmas cds onto iTunes and then onto my iPhone so I'd have a Christmas play list.  I did FINALLY manage but it was a process rife with difficulties.  About half way through I found myself wishing for a good old stereo with a multiple cd player that I could just set on shuffle.  Sometimes technology is not my friend!

 I am cross-stitching my little fingers to the bone trying to get Kolby's stocking finished before Friday, but I can see it won't happen.  I'll have all the x's in but the backstitching and assembly won't be finished, sigh.  I do plan to keep on with it and hope to at least be able to pack it away with the others for next year.  (Then I will have three more to do but I have to go buy fabric before I can start Nora's.)

This little cutie was finished and shipped off to one of my favorite authors, Suzie O'Connell, as my version of a "Northstar Angel" along with some other goodies.  Suzie writes the Northstar romances (Mountain Angel) and I beta read for her.  I also NAG her daily to write on her new book.  Mostly, that's just fun and encouragement but I call it nagging.  It arrived in Montana last week and she loved it!  It's always a bit hard to send something to someone you know only a little (although we did meet in person last summer), always wondering if they'll like it or hate it!  Luckily, she has a little daughter so I was pretty sure this would be a hit!

Along with all the holiday comings and goings I've been going to physical therapy for the shoulder three times a week and I'm all finished with that!!  I'll still do the exercises at home for quite some time yet as I can't reach behind me yet, and have been told that that will be a while in coming.  I'm just glad that the painful soreness has relented!

Today, I took my two big boy grandsons to the National Toy and Miniature Museum.  All I can say is Oh, My God.  That place is amazing!  An entire floor dedicated to fine art miniatures in various sizes.  I was just blown away.  I'm still standing amazed at the blown and cut glass vases, glasses, bowls and such some done in the 1:48 (that's 1"to 48") scale and even the 1:12 (normal dollhouses) had some pieces so tiny you'd have to use tweezers to move them. One artist was quoted as saying it was "like trying to hold a gnat while you clipped its wings."  Brayden was really into them, Kolby not so much.  They did like the second floor, which was toys through the years.  The pedal cars especially.  I found it interesting that toys my children had were to be found in several cases.  All Steve's Star Wars toys from the first time around and the big wheel they all had to ride on!  Then there was my Betsy Wetsy and other dolls that I had.  I'll be going back as we ran out of "Good" before we ran out of museum!

Enough rambling, sleep calls and I have to make the bed first!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Santa's Sleigh has landed!

I decided this year to join Chookyblue's Secret Santa Swap and have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of his sleigh with my parcel!  So I was delighted to open my door after the postman came to see that it had arrived!  All the way from New South Wales, Australia and Simone Harding!
Inside I found these:
This package goes Under my tree until Christmas Day.

The ornament, which Simone says is made of Australian Wool (Whoot), is already hanging in a prominent place on my Christmas Tree!  I love it!

Thank you Simone!  

Thursday, December 3, 2015


I've been stitching along on Kolby's stocking.  I thought on Monday I was going to have to start over!  Every time I put in stitches I spent about double that time looking for the mistake, sigh.  Finally, I pulled a lot of the stitches out and began from that point.  (Only because the one place I can get the fabric for them is closed on Monday! Or I would have gone on and started over.)  Everything is moving along much smoother now, thank goodness!

I've also made some of these:
Funs little candy sleighs!  Some have already gone home, shoot some have probably already been eaten!  They are cute, even though the runners (aka candy canes) don't really want to stay on or in place.  The instructions I followed, sort of, said to use a glue gun but then they weren't for eating so instead I used double stick tape.  That worked well for everything except the candy canes.  Oh well, I had fun and everyone is enjoying their Christmas candy!

I've also been dressing a little bear that I've had around here forever.  She will soon be taking a trip to the mountains.  No photos yet, maybe when she's been received.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Finished, finally!

I finally finished Ryan's little I-Spyish quilt!  I started it a year ago, decided I'd hand quilt it.  Got a ways on it when Ryan was born a premie with esophageal atresia (long gap in his esophagus).  Then since he wouldn't be home until summer it got put on the back, back burner.  After shoulder surgery I could do hand work but was a bit leery of the push-pull of machine work so I finished it up!
Here's a collage of the blocks:
I'll be taking it to him tomorrow, weather permitting, hope he likes it!

I'll have to say that my quilting did get better (although no one should ever look at the back of this quilt) but not faster, sigh.  
I've decided to make Sundays for handwork only.  Hand Quilting, hand piecing, cross stitch etc as I want to keep my progress with hand quilting moving along (I have a BIG quilt that will need hand quilting at some point.)   Today, I'm going to pin the borders on my Missouri Puzzle quilt for hand quilting.  Everything is cut and ready to go I just need to make the sandwich and stitch.  I also have a few blocks on the Civil War Sampler that need hand piecing-as all the rest is hand pieced and four more Christmas stockings to cross-stitch.  (Kolby's will be done by Christmas, I hope, leaving three more (Nora, Ethan, and Ryan.)

Now that the house is mostly ready for the market and for Christmas I have a LOT more time for stitching and other crafts and I think naming a day for slow stitching will be really helpful.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!  Hope your day is blessed with family, food, and fun!  Don't forget to actually be grateful!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Things in the Mail

I always forget how much is costs to send something in the mail!  Oh well, good things come in the mail (occasionally.)  I'm thinking of mail because today I sent this off to it's new home in Australia!

I can't tell you what's in it or who it's for but here's a tiny seek peek!
Off to make some dinner then binding!  You know what that means don't you?  Something is almost finished!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Finished Project

Surgery on Friday went well and I am back at typing with both hands! Yeah!  I guess I'm an oddity (everyone who knows me well already knows this!) but there has been little to no pain.  The Doctors and nurses were adamant that I take the Percocet pain pills before the block wore off so I wouldn't chase pain so I took a few but really they didn't do much but make me sleep-not a good sleep either-I was, and am, sore and mobility it limited- although improving- but I am not in pain.  Pain was the Bakers cyst removal, pain was what I had this time when I twisted my arm, Pain puts you on the floor crying, sore just says "Oh, don't do that-ouch."

I wanted to show you my finished cabinet in the kitchen.  This space has undergone several attempts at use, three in the past few years who knows how many before that.  This is the latest-and I hope last!
I've already filled the drawers with kitchen supplies, some are not even full thanks to my purging efforts of the past couple of years.  The top is an IKEA table top, it's still to be attached firmly but I'm thinking I'll leave that for the next owners as they might have a different sized refrigerator.  The large overhang on one end helps to keep me from kicking Quinn's food and water dishes and creating a puddle to clean up!

I've been stitching some, hand work only.  I've finished my main gift for Chooyblues Secret Santa Christmas Swap and will finish the ornament for that today.  Probably get them wrapped up as well, it goes in the mail on the 23rd.  While not perfect, sigh, I am pleased with the gift and only hope the recipient likes it as well.  After that I will work on Ryan's quilt.  I hope to finish that this week as well but that will depend on whether I can use the machine to stitch down the binding.  I have a bear I want to dress as a dragon-I have crazy ideas, sometimes I can actually make them work!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

All the home repair finished!

I have finished with all the bazillion little things that needed to be done on my house!  Okay there might be one or two more.  Most of the cleaning is done as well, whew.  I've also put all my Christmas decor up!  Five trees, North Pole Cottages, Santas, etc.  It's early for them to be up and I won't light them until Thanksgiving but I'm to have shoulder (left thanks goodness as I am VERY right handed) surgery tomorrow and will be in a sling for an unknown length of time so I didn't want to wait.  I figure I can still hold fabric with one the hand in the sling and stitch so some hand work will be done!

I have nearly finished my little gifts for Chookyblue's Christmas swap and have picked up a few extras to send along.  I really hope she likes it,  for a tiny hint it's festive!

Thursday, November 5, 2015


I survived the big parade! It was a sea of blue!  It is now estimated that 800,000 people attended the parade and rally for the Royals on Tuesday!  It helped turnout that it was a glorious, sunny, 70F, day.  Plus, all the Metro schools had a "Blue Snow" Day and called off school!  The population of the Kansas City Metroplex is around 2.2million (we're what they consider a "small market") we mostly think the 60,000 that fit in the football stadium to be a really big crowd so 800,000 is really beyond our belief.  I can't say that it was fun but it was certainly something I will never forget!  Amazing as it seems there were no riots, no burning, no looting (as so often happens in cities where sports teams win the World Series or Super Bowl) in fact there were only 3 arrests.  Kansas City is a pretty great place to be right now!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Parade Day!

For the first time in 30 years the Kansas City ROYALS have won the World Series! (That's baseball, Ann.)  The fireworks after Game 5 - won in extra innings, just like Game 1 - lit up the National Weather Service Radar!  Today there will be a Celebration Parade and Rally - Yes I'm going!  It may be crazy as several hundred thousand people are supposed to attend but I wouldn't miss it for anything!  It's become a Parade Day-like a Snow Day- No School in most of the districts in the area.  I stood in line for an hour to buy T-shirts and other World Series gear yesterday- it was like Christmas only without grumpy other shoppers!  For photos and articles on the Series, Video of the last out and today's parade go to MLB.Com.  Gotta go get ready, I'm so hyped!

Friday, October 30, 2015

New Toys

The new toys, I mean tools, came!

I'm not quite sure about the impact driver and the light but otherwise they are awesome! There's a circular saw-which I have needed more time than I can even list-an oscillating saw and a drill.  All cordless and all fit in the bag they sent along with the tools. Now to get sawdust on some of them tomorrow!  I plan to build the spacer for the new cabinet tomorrow.  If I decide to paint it in the kitchen I might install it-it's oil based paint and I'm a messy painter so I haven't decided.  Most likely I will as I can put the drawer pulls on and load the cabinet.  That will help get things back in order in the kitchen-never an easy thing for me.

I went out today and ordered a new dishwasher-it will be two weeks before it gets to the store and then they will set up installation.  I could do without one if I wasn't selling the house.  I don't have many dishes most of the time.  While I was there I ordered the measurements for the door between the house and the garage.  For it to be code it has to be a fire door and because my basement has only 7 foot ceilings (instead of the 8 foot now standard and for which doors are made) the door has to be custom made.  That wasn't as expensive as I thought it would be.  The door is the last big improvement I need to make before listing the house.  I am plodding along on the small, actually tiny, things everyday.  When I looked at the schedule for next week and the following I have days where there is nothing!

Last night I sewed on the blocks for the Chookyblue swap, tonight I should get them all sewn,  trimmed, and up on the design wall.  Things are looking up!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Still not finished, sigh

That just about says it all!  Although I'm getting really close.  Every Sunday I look at the list and think, this time next week I'll be finished.  I've been saying that for the last three weeks!  I finally feel like I'm over the hard work of last week.  I'm glad I put so much concerted effort into things as many of the "big, time consuming, I really don't want to do this but I have to" projects were finished! Every book I own is now on a shelf!  I had six boxes of books stored and they are all unpacked. There is still room on all the bookshelves!  I think from here on out I'll just pick one room and finish it up then move to another.  The kitchen will be last, of course!  I also want to photograph all my furnishings and add them to a spreadsheet for insurance purposes, been meaning to do that for quite a while now.  (Another 15 minute project once all the photos are taken.)

We are in World Series Fever around here as our Kansas City Royals are playing!  We won the first game last night in 14 innings (wouldn't want to just take the regular 9 to win it) and tonight we are winning as well.  The New York Mets don't know what hit them-apparently we never give up, very rarely swing and miss,  and rarely strike out.  Best of seven games, after tonight they take the games to New York for at least two games-three if the Mets win one and will come back here if necessary for the last two.  I love baseball, of all the sports I love it best and it's the only professional game I enjoy.  There is a poetry to it that is just special.

I did manage to sit at the sewing machine a bit tonight!  Mended the bed skirt for my bed--another thing off the list! Also put it back on the bed, although it still needs adjustment.  I also worked on the swap project, really hope this turns out the way I have planned!  I'm not sure about the fabrics.  I can never tell about a quilt until it's almost done, if I hate it I'll have to start over!  Luckily for me it's not terribly large.  Perhaps a sneaky peak will be coming your way!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Getting it done-nearly back to normal.

Last week I worked really hard at getting stuff done from the list.  All the big heavy stuff is done!  I do have to finish the cabinet in the kitchen but am waiting on the new power tools I'm buying to get here.  Larry had a bunch of tools but most need to be replaced now.  I do quite a bit of woodworking and home decor and I want to try some pallet furniture next summer.  I believe in quality tools-they make a job so much easier whether is setting a screw for sewing a seam.  The trouble with working hard is that I am worn out.

The hutch and bookcases are back in the living room, filling the end wall.  As soon as that is looking decent I'll post a photo.  I had Brayden and Kolby on Friday as they were out of school so I put them to work adding books to the shelves.  They had two totes of children's books to unload and I showed them the two shelves I wanted them on--they had other ideas.  I had to smile when I heard them organizing the books.  "Let's put all the Christmas/holiday books here.  This one's poetry put it with the other poetry.  Gift Horse, my favorite, I want to put it here so I can find it fast."  In the end they had used three shelves, although one had only two books.  I'll be rearranging things this week!  The boys also helped be get the rug back down and under the sofa.  They'd have done more but I ran out of steam.

A trip to IKEA netted me two "Billy" bookcases for the office and I have them put together and in the room but the shelves are not in and there are no books on it yet.  I also picked up a table top to use for the top of the cabinet I'm adding in the kitchen.  I intended to cut it down width wise but now that I have it resting on the cabinets I really like the size-a really great work space.  I will have to build a spacer for the back of the cabinets, though.  Got a couple of there little things as well, that place is dangerous!  It's a good thing I only go occasionally!

The house (except my office which is buried) got cleaned up for Rob's birthday party today.  He picked the menu:  Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches, watergate salad, veggie nibbles, apple crisp and ice cream for dessert.  Easy and yummy! Everyone was here except my California crew, we always enjoy getting together and seeing Ryan is a treat.

Now I've to clean up the kitchen a bit, mostly put away the leftovers-what few there were. I will do the dishes tomorrow.  I think the dishwasher may have quit today-there was an odd smell and the water didn't all drain out!  I just replaced the garbage disposal and the kitchen light.  What will break next?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Reprise: Of paint, floors and windows

Remember when I said I'd be sore?  I am.  My arms hurt so much last night that a pain pill was taken.  The FLOORS are done!  Man, does it feel good to say that.  It felt even better to mark that off the list.    They will never be shiny, I don't have a floor polisher, but the wax sinks deep into the wood (these floors are in horrible shape) and fills in some of the holes and leaves behind a hard surface that doesn't store dirt.  If it weren't for that I might not have done it.  A second coat would be lovely but not happening!

The cabinet sections are ready to come upstairs, but the drawer fronts still need paint.  That one comes off the list by Saturday!  As well as the touch up painting and windows.

With the cleaning as I re-set the furniture from the floor project my lists will be almost done.

I have decided to move the hutch and two bookcases back into the end of the living room.  I moved them out last year for painting and to make the room look larger but I HATE it.  People looking at my house will just have to imagine the room without them--I still live here and I'm tired of being without some of my things.  Also, I'll be re-hanging the shelves over the new cabinet, taken down in order to put the hutch there and two of the spice shelves I took down.  Again, I live here!

The studio has stayed clean, wonder of wonder, but that's probably because I haven't been working on anything much.  Once the cleaning is finished I'm going to spend a whole day binge watching movies and sewing.  Can't wait!

I'm off to IKEA for more bookshelves-I have a lot of books! The counter top for the new cabinets and some assorted things, some of which I don't have on my list!  I always do that at IKEA!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Of paint, paste wax and clean windows

This past few days have been totally about paint.  The ceiling in the living room had to be repainted as even though I still had the original paint the paint on the ceiling had yellowed so the patch stuck out like a sore thumb!  I do have to say though that the patches look amazing!  It was worth all the pennies I had to spend to have it done.  I'm also painting some base cabinets that Larry had in the garage but that I am moving to the kitchen.  That project will go on all week I'm afraid but when it's finished (and I make a trip to IKEA for a counter top) I will have 12 drawers to put things in and you will here me cheering where ever you are!  I've touched up some places on walls etc and there are a few more to do.  These little jobs are a pain, takes longer to clean the paint brush than to actually paint!

Next up was to put paste wax on all the horrid, old, need to be refinished or replaced oak floors.  This is a two part project as the floor must be scrubbed first, I did that today and tomorrow I'll do the actual waxing.  I expect to be sore.

I started washing windows and screens in the "in between time" while waiting for things to dry.

By the end of this week I should have the list nearly done!  It depends on if I decide to move the bookcases and hutch back into the living room.  I moved them out last year to make the room look larger when I put it on the market but I really HATE it!  Plus I've no place to put the cottages or stockings without it.

The weather remains warm, although it did cool off enough for the heat to pop on for a few minutes that past two mornings.  Trees are turning.  House plants are inside.  Fall is coming, isn't it?

Tonight after dinner I'm going to cut some fabric.  I Joined Chookyblue's Secret Santa swap, my first ever swap, and I have to get going on it.  At least  know what I am going to do and the fabric I'm using will be from some charm squares I bought at last year's Guild show.  There's no excuse for putting it off.  Also I'll do some stitches on Ryan's quilt.  I'm slowly nearing the end on that one.

Off to make dinner, scrambled eggs with bacon and toast--yummy.  Then Rob is coming over to replace a light fixture and the garbage disposal that both died this past week.  I hope nothing else decides to give up the ghost!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Catch up on the catching up!

I've been keeping busy, trying to finish up any number of fairly small things around here.

I've finished pulling weeds, well one never really finishes pulling weeds but for the moment, and getting things done up outside.  It's been cool here and enjoyable to work outside.

Then I cleaned the garage.  How does a two car garage-which by the way isn't big enough for my smallish truck-get SO messed up?  I mean there isn't even a man around! Just me, sigh.  Right now I still need to finish clearing the bench but one can safely walk through now!  I have things stored down there that I have packed to move plus empty totes and knocked down boxes to use for packing. Right now though I've taken everything out of the house I feel I can live without.

I cleaned the laundry room--boring.  Have the lights and racks set up for the plants that will come inside soon.  Moved the washer and dryer back to where I like them, they like to walk about for exercise.

I finished the mending on Brayden's quilt and one more block on Ryan's.

Most every day I've taken Quinn for a walk in the park.

Yesterday, I picked up Ceili (the trailer) so that I could take her to the dealership for repairs this morning.  I don't suppose I'll get her back for a couple of weeks anyway.  Oh, by the way, Ceili is pronounced Key-Lee and is the Irish word for a party!  My Ceili is a party animal although I usually forget to turn on the music!

I made it back to the Trails Museum to work at entering the collection to the archives!  Yeah!  I think I'm down to single digits in the number of boxes left to do.  I always think that and then I find many more diaries to be entered, sigh, today was no different.

Today was release day for Nalini Singh's new book Rock Redemption so after I got home from the museum and the pet store (You'll be happy to know Quinn will not starve-and no Ann she's not eating Kangaroo) I just sat down and read!  It was a great story and if you're looking for fiction you can not beat anything written by Nalini Singh!

Tomorrow, I'll hit the studio for a good clean up!  I've feeling much more productive these past two weeks.  I've been focusing on one thing at a time and that seems to be helping me not get overwhelmed.

Well, I seem to have written a tome-sorry about that!

Monday, September 28, 2015

EEK! Where has the time gone?

Since my last post!  Almost 2 weeks!  Egad!

All because I have nothing to say, sigh.  I have been babying the sore shoulder and lying about reading.

Except for the past two days when I have been pulling weeds and trimming roses trying to get ready for winter.  I decided that the out of doors was to be my priority for this week.  I will still have to mow and do other things but the weather is changing this week into the more seasonal 70F area with cool nights.  Maybe I can turn of the air conditioning at last!

The last sunflower of summer--gone now (like me!)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

A little mending.

You might remember way back in February of 2009 I posted this quilt.  Made for Brayden who was just three a few days before.  (Cute little boy on the right!)
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Brayden in now 9 and will be "Double Digits" (10) in February.  The quilt has been well loved!  Part of it had nearly come off so Beth asked if I could mend it.  When I began looking closely at it more seams than not had at least one place where the thread was broken.  It might not have been coming apart there yet but it was only a matter of time.  Not wanting to mend it again in the near future I pulled the long seams out to re-sew it all.  I'm taking each row and pressing the rags to make it easier and then sewing the seam twice with a narrow zig-zag.  It doesn't take that long.  Hopefully, it will hold up for another six or so years!  Kolby has one of these as well but it's not quite as old.  I'm making them new rag quilts this year in red and black with bigger blocks--those will get double stitched from the start!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

At Home.

I've been back now about three weeks so what have I been doing?

Well there was emptying the trailer, finding a place to store it and taking it there.  Backing into the space still gives me the heebee-jeebies!  I don't know if I'll be able to do it if there is a trailer parked on each side-as I'm told there will be, egad!  Looking for another place to store it.

There was cleaning the house, laundry and putting things away.  Mostly done except for the kitchen where I continue to make messes!  (Yesterday I baked bread.  It tastes lovely, has nice texture but its a seed bread and the seeds aren't involved in the tasting- they need to be more or bigger or something.) I have a growing pile of things to take out and put back into the trailer- I think Sunday.

There was attacking the weeds that had grown as tall as I am!  The tomatoes and peppers were found in the process and the tomatoes tied up.  Then the ground just got too hard, now we've had a bit of rain so I need to get back at it among the sunflowers which are done for the season so they go too. Need to mow, too. Weeds are a never ending thing-sort of like housework.

I've sewn patches on the boys blankets, still have mine to do-only two.  Whenever I sew on the patches I wonder what possessed me to make these quilts!  Especially if the patches have intricate shapes to them!  The boys love them though so I'll keep on sewing them on.

I stayed at Beth's house last week with the boys while they went on a cruise.  I am too old for getting three boys out the door to school!  Even if two of them do a lot of their own stuff to get ready.

About three days after I got home I was sitting in the living room about 9pm, which I rarely ever do but I had wet hair and was waiting for it to dry some before I got in bed to read.  It began to rain.  I heard, splat---splat----splat.  Water dripping somewhere, got up and looked for it didn't see anything wet.  Looked up at the ceiling--bulging drywall.  Stepped on the little ladder and touched it.  Instead of the hard drywall I expected I got soft and squishy!  Then the paint broke and the splat---splat was hitting the floor!  My roof was replaced in 2008 after a hail storm so it shouldn't be leaking!  Called the roofing company, they sent someone out straight away who went up on the roof and found the reason for splat---splat!  A BULLET HOLE!  From some idiot firing a gun into the air, they said it was very common-check your roof!  The company fixed the roof and even though it wasn't their fault didn't charge me.  Now I only have to have the ceiling fixed to the tune of $800, sigh.  At least the bullet went into my roof and not into a person.

Everyday I have wished I was anywhere but here!  Mostly, back in Montana.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Montana Adventure-Day 25-Home

Even though I wasn't crazy about the idea, I couldn't justify any extra days on the road.  Knowing I had to face everything at home.   I decided to focus on just one thing at a time-today's thing was to drive home.

Started after breakfast-had probably less than 300 miles to drive.  Stopped often.  Managed to hit Kansas City right at 5pm RUSH HOUR!  My timing sucks.  Luckily, I drove this stretch of highway for YEARS while Scott was taking ballet so I knew exactly which lanes I needed to be in and didn't have to attempt to squeeze in a pickup and a trailer!

Got home, started unloading, slept in my home bed.  Began "Normal" life, slowly, very very slowly.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Montana Adventure Day 24

The first leg of the drive home.  I don't want to go.  I know that when I get home I'll have a tremendous  mess of a house-first because I left it less that orderly and second because I'll unload most of what's in the trailer into the living room.  So that will need to be cleaned up plus laundry, plus weeds, plus finding a place to store the camper, plus. . . . You get the idea.  I've so enjoyed the past weeks of doing as I pleased without the burden of house and yard!  Anyway, home I must go as I promised to watch the Eiman boys while Beth and Lucas went on a cruise beginning 4 Sept.  I wouldn't have volunteered to do it except I had to be home in September anyway as both my driver's license and truck tags expire.

Colorado has the worst roads!  I thought Wyoming's were bad but Colorado's are worse.  So much traffic and the weather really create havoc.  I always feel like I've been on one of those old exercise machines with the belt that jiggles the fat off-actually I've never been on one of those but I Love Lucy  gave me the idea!  Normally, when you drive you feel each bump in the road twice and you have good shocks to deaden the bump.  In a truck the shocks aren't that good to begin with so you FEEL each bump twice, add a trailer and you feel each bump THREE times.  When the bumps are close together, well, vibrating machine.  I'm always glad I'm driving as being a passenger on bad roads leads to motion sickness!

Quinn and I got up, took our walk, had breakfast and hooked up.  This campground doesn't have sewer at every site so I had to go to the dump station and dump.  Then we hit the highway.  Once away from Denver's traffic the road improved (Thank the Gods!) and we just sailed along at 55mph.  Stopped in Limon for some lunch-had to park with the semis.  Now there's some folks who know how to drive!

Eastern Colorado is rolling hills of sage and some grass mostly used as cattle pasture.  For as far as the eye can see!  Western Kansas is more of the same only less sage and more grass.  Some crops are being grown, a little corn, likely some soybeans, the winter wheat is up and there was ONE field of sunflowers which made me think of Van Gogh.

We arrived at our campground in Oakley, KS about 3pm, just as planned.  Didn't unhook as we are going on tomorrow.   It's a nice campground, quiet for as close to the interstate as it is, with two places to eat just right here.  We'll rest tonight and head home tomorrow.

For those of you who might be under the mistaken idea that Kansas is FLAT

Also this one for fun--the biggest rig I think I saw on the whole trip!

Sorry about all the foreground!  Multiple attempts to crop and save have failed, sigh.  I really need a class on this stuff!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Montana Adventure Day 23

Today is my last day in Denver, I don't wanna go home!

Quinn and I again took a long walk.  Jim is off on a 60 mile bike ride and Jessie won't be back until later so off I went off to the antique mall.  Seriously I don't see how they can call this stuff antiques!  I was only tempted by one thing and it didn't come home with me, although now I kind of wish it had.  Picked up a Mocha (knew that was coming uh) and went back to the trailer to clean, organize and stow stuff preparing for tomorrow's departure.  I don't wanna go home!

After Jessie called I drove over to their place again-Quinn really does like their back yard! She and I chatted and ate Brie on crackers and drank wine waiting for Jim to get home.  Hours after he should have been back he finally called to say he had "Boinked" cyclist talk for hitting a wall.  When he got home though that wasn't what had happened.  He had been unable to catch his breath.  His riding buddy had gone on ahead and of course no cell service (or Jim would have given him the car keys to come back for him)!  Jim and I both have asthma--guess what riding a bicycle in the smoke causes, asthma attacks!  Scary.

After he got cleaned up we went out to Bonefish Grill for our last dinner together--I had lobster rolls, first time ever.

I still don't wanna go home.

(PS if anyone is interested I added the photos from Bannack and The grasshopper valley to Montana Adventure Day 14.  Finally.)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Montana Adventure Day 22

Up and about early, Quinn and I had another lovely walk along the creek.  This time passing three other small lakes and speaking with a nice bird-watching gentleman who identified the long-legged white birds I'd seen as egrets. I love the whole crane family but especially the Great Blue Heron-love those long legs hanging out there as they fly and their patience for fishing.  I mentioned to him that I had seen a loon on another of the lakes.  They are fun to watch dive and are rarely seen either here or there.   Breakfast, then a quick cleanup of the trailer.

Jim and Molly (his chow-chow/aussie mix) came to pick Quinn and me up for a jaunt up to Estes Park .  About an hours drive from Denver up into the mountains.  There was a bald eagle flying over the lake-so special since they were on the brink of extinction.  Now we see them more and more often everywhere there is water.  Sadly, I doubt many other folks noticed him riding the thermals that day.  Our family vacationed here for many years, had a second home here, and my parents lived here(actually I'm the only one to never live here!), so for us Estes is family.  I haven't been many times in the past few years but we went up to see the things that had changed-and boy have they!  We had great parking karma and scored a spot almost as soon as we got there!  I wanted to find hoodies for the grandkids-and Estes is the spot for all things touristy.  Jim kept the dogs outside the first shop while I bought hoodies and they had tons of attention from all the folks walking by.  Both of them were on really good behavior.  The next two shops we went into had signs in the windows "Dogs Welcome"  so they went in with us.  The shops had water bowls and treats!  Quinn, of course, turned her nose up at the milk bone.  Picky girl, spoiled girl!  We had lunch at a small Mexican place with a patio so the girls could stay with us-after a while they settled down took and all the attention as their due while we ate.  Then we drove around all the places that we once new o-so well and started home down a different route.

While we did not attend, this weekend was the reunion for Long's Peak climbers.  Both Jim and I have been up Long's Peak, and yes that's me. On top. A very long time ago.
Jim took a turn in the road through Ward, Co.  Tiny place, I'd never been there I don't think.  We continued along a road-all downhill, I mean ALL DOWNHILL.  Cyclists coming up were putting their feet down.  Neither on of us had ever been down this road but it turned out to be Left Hand Canyon Road, isn't that a great name?  Once we came out somewhere we recognized it was off to Denver again.  A stop by the trailer to feed Quinn and pick up the truck and we were off to Jim's for fun time in his back yard, then Dinner.

The Smoke wasn't too bad up in Estes but when we returned to Denver we couldn't even see the foothills.  Denver is notorious for inversions and horrid air quality but even on really bad days you can see the foothills!  The smoke was dense enough to filter the sun as well, really bad.  (and there are no fires in Colorado.)

Friday, September 4, 2015

Montana Adventure Day 21

First up this morning, well after tea and breakfast, was a long walk for Quinn and I.  We found a lovely trail that we could access from our campground and that went for miles and miles-we only walked for about 45 minutes.  It has been unusually hard to find decent places to walk for any distance so we really enjoyed this one.  Geese on the lakes, and lawns, a deer peaking out of the trees, ducks on the creek.  Very peaceful.  We'll be going back!

I have a love/hate relationship with GPS.  Last night it took me directly to my campground, no problem.  Getting to my brother's was not so easy.  Get off on one exit, get back on going the same way.  No factoring in the fact that it was (poor timing on my part) rush hour!  I got there because I know enough about Denver to be dangerous and have been to my brother's several times so I have a "fix" for his location in my head.  I fought Samantha all the way though!  Today, my brother needed to work and my sister-in-law had work and then a girls weekend wine tasting trip (no one knew in advance I'd be in Denver), so I decided to go quilt shop hopping!  Because I'm in a part of the city that is really unknown to me I gave Samantha another go.  Get on I-70, get off two exits later, get back on going the opposite direction-What?  No way I could get over four lanes of traffic in one block, so I took the first left.  She redirected me for miles and miles over one of the most circuitous routes I've ever been on- even got out Google maps at one point!  When I got where the shop was supposed to be, it was gone.  Tried the second one.  Not so much wandering about but again when I got there the shop was gone.  Quilt shops come and go or  move pretty quickly it seems.  I gave up, went back to the trailer, had lunch, walked Quinn etc.  After a while I decided that since I was SO close to Golden I'd go up to the Quilt Museum there and the quilt shop.  Fifteen minutes later I was on the main drag (that's what my Mom always called it).  Found a parking spot off the main drag and walked back.  Located the quilt shop first, boy if you are into batiks this is the place!  I'm not so much so no fabric came away with me, bummer.

Next I found the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum.  Small but interesting.  If you've read or heard about the book The Quilt That Walked to Golden its about this place.  They were having a quilt show/contest and voting on favorites.  They were 24x24 I think.  My favorite was one from Montana!  They also had some antique quilts on display and I took a few snaps of them.
 This is a close up of the tiny pieces the quilt maker used!  Not more than 1/4in wide sewn in strips going all directions.  Pieced and quilted by hand! Here's the full quilt.  Looks like confetti!

 This one was titled 10,000 triangles although it only had 8,000+ triangles in the quilt, like I care.  Length on one side was 1" maybe,  Here's a close up, anyone for 4,000+half square triangles?

I don't remember what this was was called but its tiny squares sewn together! Then the Baptist fan quilting-just fabulous! Here's a closeup-I think the squares were 1/2 inch.

You can tell I like the unusual ones!  There were several beautiful applique ones as well but I love these "Use it up quilts!"

After that I wandered a bit through some of the shops looking for hoodies for the grand kids but not finding any.  Did find a Starbucks-you know what happened next!  Cafe Mocha how I love you!
Headed back to town and the trailer, reading happened, dinner happened, Quinn was walked again, sleeping happened.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Montana Adventure Day 20

I began the day by calling campgrounds in Denver, my next stop.  I wanted to stay four days to visit with my brother, Jim and his wife, Jessie.  I don't know how many I called but I know it ranged far and wide and I thought I was just going to have to move on.  Literally the last one on the list for me to call had miraculously a site.  She thought it would be a back in, shudder, but I made the reservation.  Turned out I was only 15 minutes away from Golden, Co and about 30-45 minutes from Jim's house--Beggar's cannot be choosers!  Next time, I'll plan Denver for first and make reservations way in advance.

Had cinnamon roll french toast for breakfast-the hash browns were the highlight of that meal and started down  the road.  Normally, all of the front range would be visible to my right-Long's Peak most of all-but today the smoke that had drifted into Laramie overnight made the high peaks invisible.  (Just like the Tetons.)  Arrived at my campsite and found that the folks who were scheduled to be in the other half of my space had not arrived so I got to pull through!  Yippie!

Found the closest Starbucks-gotta have that Mocha fix- and a grocery store to replenish the pantry.  Back at the camper I open the frig door to store the perishables and the decorative front panel of the bottom door drops down to the floor!  What!  There are plastic parts (of course) that clip onto the frame and hold the panel on and I can not figure out how to clip it back on.  The panel is heavy and there isn't much room to work and since it doesn't affect the operation of the unit I just left it off.  The camper will be going to the dealership soon!  After all that Quinn and I headed over to Jim's to meet up for dinner out.  Quinn got Molly to run and play (an unusual event) and she loved being off leash in his backyard!! Soccer time!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Montana Adventure Days 18 and 19

I'm combining a couple of pretty boring days here!

I left Dillon and Montana on Day 17 drove down into Idaho then into Wyoming and over Teton Pass. The plan was to hit Grand Teton National Park-well, hum. Smoke blew that plan away!  The drive over the pass was a bit uncomfortable for both me and the truck!  The truck isn't real happy pulling the camper up hills, er mountains, fortunately the up on this one was short and the speed limit low.  Then there's the down-uncomfortable for me as I have a trailer pushing me along to greater speed!  Have to use lower gears to keep the brakes from getting hot.  Couldn't see a thing, could see where I was supposed to be able to see something but all was a smokey blur.  Wait, I did see a Mama Moose with her baby, and some hay stacks that had to have been made with a beaverslide. I didn't see the beaver slide though.  That pretty much covers it.  Spent the night in the middle of nowhere Wyoming before moving on to Laramie.

Day 18 was more of Wyoming with little to see-only some antelope and miles and miles of snow fence-just google Wyoming snow fence and you'll see what I mean!  Struggled to find the campground in Laramie-imagine if you will, my pickup truck pulling that 23ft camper along behind going up and down residential streets looking for a campground!  Turns out it was nearly where I got off the interstate and miles from those residential streets!  It was noisy.  Not too smokey in Laramie though.  Quinn liked this park as they had a dog play yard and she could be off leash there, she really got tired of that leash!

Can you tell I'm a bit cranky about here?  Over drove the first day due to said pass so started out tired and the mess trying to find the campground made me a tired, cranky mess!  Early to bed for me!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Montana Adventure Day 17

Today is the day I've been waiting for ever since I got to Dillon!  Today I had lunch with Suzie O'Connell!  Suzie writes the Northstar Romances and I've been one of her Beta readers for the last four books plus I send along a daily nag!  We've chatted on Facebook many times but had never met. She brought along her lovely 6 year old daughter Maddie for our lunch-Maddie was sort of taken by my tiger tail!  Long story short we had a lovely lunch and chatted until 3:30!  It's nice to meet someone in real life that you've "Known" in the internet way-and find that in spite of our very large age difference we have a lot in common.  Anyway, when I nag her now I know what she looks like!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Montana adventure Day 16

The alarm went off at 3am, I did not get out of bed.  Two late nights in two days and my bod was saying-"Are you nuts?  Go back to sleep!" So I did.  It was still really smokey this morning so I doubt I missed anything.

After our breakfast we loaded up and went to Nevada City/Virginia City.  It was a nice drive of about an hour through mining country.  Lots of round rocks piled up everywhere where they had dug.  You could hunt for garnets at one place.  Sunday, they weren't open.  We stopped in Nevada City as you come to that first and looked around.  I bought a cinnamon roll, yum-it was worth the sugar headache!  They were having a special living history event so we didn't stay.  There was a horse.  Quinn is not quite sure what to make of a horse.  She saw her first one on this trip, I got a very alert sheltie and I could almost hear her thinking "What on earth is that?!" The horse was very interested in her as well!  On to Virginia City we went.  It isn't far and on a Sunday morning not everything was open or dog friendly but we walked around and took it all in.  Quinn drew lots of attention, as she always does, and was polite with all the new people. Makes me proud! Before long we were headed back to Dillon. There was a small traffic jam as we caught the end of the parade for a county fair, fun!

We came back into part of Dillon I had overlooked previously, there was another market and all the gas stations, etc.  In the Safeway there was a - wait for it-Starbucks!  Had to stop and have one!

All in all a nice day inspite of the smoke.  We are being quite lazy on this trip, much reading is happening along with our walks.  I've picked up a needle exactly twice.  Boy did I bring way too much stuff!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Montana Adventure Day 15

Last night the wind blew and blew!  My little trailer only weighs 3700lbs so it rocked!  Sleep was a distant thought until the wind stopped-there was a little thunder and lightening thrown in as well.  I had books to read so no big deal, just read until the wind stopped or I was too tired to keep my eyes open.  This morning when I got up it was to SMOKE!!  That thunder and lightening last night started a fire about 12 miles SE of Dillon, sage brush and grass mostly but by morning it was already on the large incident fire report.  It seems that all of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and NW Montana are burning.  So many fires and resources are spread VERY thin.  The smoke was so thick I could not see the pioneer mountains and the asthma kicked in so most of the day was spent in the camper.  We did get a touch of cabin fever in the afternoon and went to Clark Canyon Dam and Reservoir.  This is a Lewis and Clark site-there are many in Montana and they have done a great job documenting them.  this is the only one we visited this trip-I've done so much work on Lewis and Clark with the Trails Museum that it no longer holds much appeal to me.  You'd think I'd be more interested but the truth is I've been to so many sites and they are mostly the same, this one a bit more specific to the site so it was interesting.  Plus Quinn and I got to take a walk somewhere other than the campground.

You can really see the smoke in this one.  Normally, there would be mountains in the background. 

A replica dugout
Tonight the northern lights are supposed to be visible-I'll set the alarm but I'm afraid the smoke will interfere.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Montana Adventure Day 14

I set my alarm for 3am to get up and watch the Persied meteor shower-which perhaps explains some of the happenings of later in the day.  Got up got dressed and went outside.  The sky was amazing and I saw two meteors before the cold drove me back in (also the campground had major lights which made seeing all of the sky a problem.)  I could have driven out from town but I had no idea where to go, sigh.  Went back to sleep.

Quinn and I headed out on a side trip today.  First to Bannack State Park where I discovered I'd left the data card for my camera in the laptop back in the camper, sigh.  Decided to use my cell phone.  Took a number of really good photos but for some reason I cannot get them to transfer to the laptop.  Many hours of trying later, I give up.   It was an interesting ghost town and Quinn enjoyed being able to wander around with me.  I found some odd things interesting-typical, I know- all the buildings save one began as log but some were covered with clapboard siding in time and some in shingles, you could see the logs in the places where the siding and shingles had fallen off.  Plus, when they added onto the buildings it was sort of haphazard and the new part settled differently then the old so you had a tilt to one part.  I imagine walking in them would have been interesting!
The two story white building is the Masonic Hall.  Apparently, they still hold meetings here and anyone who is a Mason can attend one special meeting there.  Folks come from all over.

Mining train


See the logs behind the clapboard?

And here are logs behind the shingles!

I wonder did they begin with this corner in the ground or did it happen later?

Quinn enjoys the shade-it was warm walking around in the sun!

Love the door on this whitewashed cabin!

Grass growing on the roof!  I think this had bars on the windows-so maybe the Jail?

This one sank in the middle!

This one sank on the back end.

 After we left Bannack we drove to the town of Polaris (for neat pics) in the Grasshopper valley on the Pioneer Mountain scenic byway.  (Also the site of the Northstar novels by Suzie O'Connell!)  Gorgeous drive through the national forest, saw some wildlife, er cows, roaming free in the woods.  Not much traffic either.  Decided that I'd go back the next day and take a fully functional camera!  These were all taken towards the north end of the Pioneer Mountain Scenic Byway.