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!