Wednesday, December 29, 2010

47 Years and Still Going Strong!

Today, we celebrate our 47th anniversary!!   And just where did those years go??  We figured that we have spent two-thirds of our life together!  Unbelievable!  We really knew very little about each other when we got married....had been friends for over a year but had only "dated" for a few weeks before we decided to get married.  I guess something must have been right because we seem to be getting along pretty darn well!!

I was all for a small wedding with little "fal-de-ral" but my mom was all for the big formal wedding...well, as big as weddings in a small midwest town get!  We chose December so Dick who was in the service could also be home for Christmas, too....always being practical!  He was stationed in Reno, Nevada and I went out there in the summer of 1963 to try to get a teaching job....that was not to happen, but I stayed..working as a salesgirl in a JC Penney' my mom literally made all the wedding plans which was quite alright with me!!!

And now, 47 years later, we are still very low key on celebrations!  We are planning on going out NEXT week when all the kids are back in school...take in a movie and dinner..would like to see "True Grit" and we have a coupon from Red, Hot and Blue for dinner!!  Still being practical!!!

I can honestly say I would not change a thing...we have had (and continue to have) a wonderful life...terrific kids, grandkids, family and friends.  We love our home...our "car" trips...our "hobbies"...  Life is Good!!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Eve Eve

        Scottie dog made for Kathleen while she was in the hospital.

 And this is a Scottie dog made by Dick's Grandma Shirley about forty years ago.  Grandma Shirley lived to be almost 102.  She had five grandchildren...and she made four Scottie dogs for the four who were married and had children.  She also made a little kitty for each of the great grandchildren.  My daughter found a pattern of a Scottie Dog Quilt which also had the pattern for the little stuffed dog.  I plan to make one for all the grandkids' the one I made for Kathleen.  I might be able to get them done for NEXT Christmas if I  get started right now!!  They are actually pretty easy to make once the 2 1/2 inch squares are cut.   Grandma Shirley's Scottie may be "only" forty years old, but the fabric she used is much older than that! A true vintage puppy!

And this is the 23 of December....making tomorrow the 24th!  I have finished all my shopping..and have everything wrapped and under the tree.  We are decorated and ready!! Dick found an old electric train up in the attic that belonged to our girls and has it set up on the dining room table.  Thought the kids might get a kick out of it.

Tomorrow, I am cooking...the Christmas menu is I will do all I can ahead of time so I can enjoy Christmas Day.  Yesterday, I went to the kids' house with the sugar cookie stuff...they usually come out here, but because of Kathleen's surgery, I took it all there.  Had a big time as usual...I think I enjoy it as much as they do.  Decorating sugar cookies is an old family tradition.  When my girls were little, they would sometimes invite one friend over to decorate with us.

I didn't get this finished yesterday, so will continue with it today.  We had a wonderful day with the kids.  Andrea spent the night...Marti and family came over about 11:00..we did stockings and then presents while dinner was cooking.  After eating we played a couple of games the kids had gotten for Christmas.  Much fun had by all!!  Then, before we knew it, it was evening and time for them to go game to watch and dog to let out!

So..Merry Christmas from my house to yours!!  and have a great NEW YEAR...2011!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Open House

Several years ago, we started hosting a Christmas open house for the neighborhood. There are 12 homes in our area...10 of the occupants and their families always come.  We all bring a dish to share, cookies to trade, and sometimes have a cookie decorating activity for the kids.   The past four years, other neighbors have taken turns hosting the event.  We will probably have it next year...we thought about having it this year, but because we wanted to be available to help with whatever Kathleen and family needed, we let some one else have it.  Great fun had by all!!!

Okay, six days until Christmas....I think tomorrow I will begin to wrap presents.  My poor little Charlie Brown tree looks a little bare!!  Colin helped me decorate it last Sunday and he thinks I need more ornaments and a bigger tree.  I just downsized last year...a large tree was just getting too difficult to get up and down from the attic, plus I wanted a pre-lit tree.  Hanging the lights was the one thing I really didn't like to do!!

Our Christmas party at my guild was Friday...much fun!!  We don't have a speaker at the December meeting, just a BIG Show and Tell!!  There were 62 people with quilts/sewing projects to show and many had more than one!!  And of course everyone brings FOOD!!  That seems to be what the holidays are all about!  EATING!!

And I had a glucose tolerance test last Wednesday, so I am trying to be better about the sugar intake!!!  Boohoo for me!!  I LOVE sweets...and that is probably why I have a little bit of a problem.  Am anxious to hear the results.

The other little "chore" I am going to work on this evening is addressing the Christmas cards I got last year to send out this year!!  And the needlepoint stocking I am making of a nephew's new baby is going to be a little late for Christmas, but since she isn't even one yet, maybe she won't miss it!!!

One of my New Year Resolutions is to become better prepared for Christmas next year!  Hmmm...after 65 years of NOT being very you think that can change!!!!  Well, being the eternal optimist, I am going to say "YES"!

I am watchin "60 MINUTES"...they are doing an episode on MEMORY...people who can remember everything!!!  Very interesting...I would love to have a memory like that....mine is very shakey!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Kathleen got home from the hospital yesterday...she is such a trooper! She is still pretty sore, needing to learn how to reuse some muscles, getting used to her new "shape", but every day she will be stronger and get to feeling more secure.

Last night, Colin had a band concert....he is a tuba player.  Auntie Andrea came all the way over from her house which is about 75 miles away to stay with Kathleen so all the parents and grandparents could go to his first concert.  I think we have such a great family...all pitching in together in a crisis be it little or big!  And I include the extended family also...we have become very good friends with the "in-laws".

And the concert was stellar!  It is just amazing how the directors can get so much out of these kids in think that four months ago the beginner band kids had never played their instrument of choice before and now they are actually making real music.  These are seventh graders for the most part.  And the school has a jazz band that was really good..cannot believe they are just 13/14 years old!

We kept the kids' dog while the hospital event was going on so they wouldn't have to be concerned about her care.  Saturday, Colin came out to spend the weekend with us.  This doggie, who is an indoor dog, has the run of our yard and sleeps in Dick's shop at night.  When Colin was here, Sadie (the dog) was so excited to see him...when he put her in the shop later Sunday when he was tired of playing with her, she just howled!!!  She NEVER does that with just us here.  Then we took him home Sunday evening; when we let her out, she ran all over looking for him...once she was satisfied he was gone, she was OK.  Then today, the kids' mom came out to get her and take her home....she was just a mess...yipping and would think we were abusing her!!  Just shows how crazy she is about her "family" and it is mutual!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fifteen Days to Christmas

First the really good news!  Kathleen's surgery went very well.  She will still be in the hospital for several more days at it was pretty extensive and healing time will take quite awhile.  Her hospital stay may be from five to seven that will get her home in plenty of time for Christmas.  We are going to go visit her tomorrow then bring Colin home with us to spend the rest of the weekend.

I do have a complaint about user manuals.  The computer "people" assume that anyone who has a computer has a working knowledge of the instrument...well, I know a little but certainly not enough to figure out a new (for me) system!!  The manual for my new computer is very vague!!!   I still haven't figured out several things and I am a big chicken when it comes to just punching buttons!!!  I am used to Windows which will ask you at every move "are you sure you want to do ???????"  But I am not sure that Apple will warn me like that!

The temperature today was nearly 70!! A little crazy for mid December!  But tomorrow it is to be COLD!!!  I don't think we will have a white Christmas...we may be heading for a drought time...we had such a great couple of years, but about every three/four years we have  a drought!

I am working on my kaleidoscope quilt.....I really like the way it is turning out...I have added another section...then after getting it on, have decided to add another may get very large!!!

"Modern Family" is on right now....what a laugh!!  So...have to close.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pearl Harbor Day

This is the day when America was forced into WWII...and my grandmother's birthday.  My dad served in the Army.  He drafted when he was 30plus with two little girls..he could have gotten a deferment but felt an obligation to serve.  I don't remember his leaving..I was two when he left and he came home right around the time I turned five.  He was probably home on leave before he was shipped overseas...the European campaign...but I don't remember that either.  I do remember when he came mom borrowed my grandma's car (we didn't have a car while he was gone; we walked everywhere and milk and groceries were delivered back then) and drove to St. Louis to get him.  When he came home, he was in uniform; we lived just two houses down from where my big sister was in school...second grade.  Daddy lifted me up on his shoulders and we walked down to get Judy at school.  The kids were all out for recess and started shouting.."your dad is home!" We walked up the stairs of the school to go tell her teacher that we were taking Judy home early.

My memory from that date on is very vague until I was starting first grade a year later.  I know we still lived in a small, one bedroom apartment for that time period; I think Judy and I slept on a pull out couch in the living room.  So I think I blocked out that time because this strange man had displaced, Judy and I had all slept together in the bedroom before then!

I do remember a trip to St. Louis...that was the largest city near our little town in Illinois...and I remember riding the escalator...the magic stairway!  Escalators were very new then...a friend of my mom's gave me a  book entitled "The Magic Stairway" which is about a department store with an escalator...I still have it...a real antique now as it would be nearly 65 years old!!!

Tomorrow is Kathleen's surgery...hard to think of anything else for now.  We are all on schedule for getting Colin where he needs to, home, swim practice.

I am loving the new computer but have a lot to learn...nothing like windows at all!!!  I have downloaded some pictures, but haven't figured out how to post them here.  Will need a little daughter tutorial on that process, I think!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

New Computer!!

Santa came early for me this year... I have an Apple laptop which I think I am really going to like!!  It will take me an age to figure it all out, but so far so good.  I have heard Mac's are really good for graphics etc and that is what I like to work with mostly so we will see what fantastic things I can come up with...right now just trying to get the basics down.

My daughter, Andrea has a Mac so I am hoping for some very good tutoring from her! (I can hear her groaning already over that!)

We finally are having some cold weather!  But it is sunny so doesn't feel so bad...we are keeping our grands' dog while they are "off schedule" with Kathleen's surgery and she doesn't even want to get out!

I am going to try to get some pictures downloaded in the next couple of days so I can get some posted on here.  I have been working on a couple of things for my Guild and for grandkids, nieces, etc. that I need to photograph.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Is Christmas really this month???

Well, here we are...five days into December and this is my first blog of the month!  I do have a couple of excuses...we are down to one computer as the Dell with the tower went blue screen and died!  And the laptop which I use, had a virus....we now have everything on this one cleaned up and am looking for a new one for Christmas so we will be back to two.  Amazing how quickly we got used to having two around to use whenever!!

And we have had a couple of social was our turn to host poker last week.  Had a great time with our buds; I lost pathetically but fortunately I don't play to make money just to have a  fun time which we always do...a bunch of ol' dudes like us just sitting around getting really silly and laughing our hinies off!!!

Then we also had a Christmas open house Saturday night...that would be last night.  This is couple who really decorate their is a true Winter Wonderland and we always enjoy going to see everyone and eat their delicious food.  And speaking of decorating...I guess it is time to put my Thanksgiving things away and get out Christmas stuff....and perhaps do a little Christmas Shopping???!

Wednesday of this week, my darling granddaughter is going into Scottish Rite for her back surgery.  She was diagnosed with scoliosis and worn a brace since she was seven years old.  Now that she is 16 and considered "mature", they are having the surgery done to straighten her spine.  She has a double curvature which was not going to go away without the surgery.  She is such a strong spirit..I call her my little hero...and she is surrounded with so much love and encouragement from family and friends that I know she will get through it all with flying colors!!

Scottish Rite is a remarkable hospital...they are the experts in children with osteopathic concerns so we feel very fortunate to be living in one of the three areas where they are located in the United States.  They are one of the most worthwhile non-profit organizations I know of.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Where did November go???

This is nearly the last day of November...which means only one more month in this time does fly!!!!  And that means Christmas is nearing!  I still have Thanksgiving decos up and don't plan to do anything different until at least next weekend....or later.  I am not a big fan of Christmas decorations being put up until closer to the actual date! At least not for me...I don't mind others putting theirs up.

Thanksgiving was great..wonderful company..good food and lots of it!!  We have both UT (University of Texas) and Texas A & M fans in the family so my loyalties to the game were divided...meaning I was happy with whoever won! And TCU (Texas Christian University) won really big on Saturday so most everyone was pleased with football this weekend....except for the loser Cowboys...but I really like college ball better than pro ball...those kids really have heart!

I was watching a PBS show on Folk Music while pressing out some blocks, getting them ready for the quilt to give away at our Guild Christmas party.  The show really made me nostalgic!  The Kingston Trio/ Peter, Paul and Mary/ Joan Collins/ Bob Dylan/ The Brothers that is a group I saw when I was going to Illinois College for a year.  Back in the good ol' days, girls had "hours".  We had to be back to our dorms by a certain time.  After the concert, the Brothers showed up at this small bar where all we "cool" kids hung out.  We girls only had about half an hour to get back to our dorm...but we stayed around until the very last moment.  None of us had cars so we had to run back to get there on time!  We made it as I recall, barely!  Illinois College is a small college in a relatively small city...the college had about 1000 students (maybe not that many) and the town was about 45,000 so we could get around pretty good.

But the protest songs I heard today really brought tears to my eyes!  Nothing has changed, I am afraid...we are doing the same stupid war things we protested about in the 70's!  There is that line..."when will they ever learn..." and I don't think" they" ever will!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Is Coming

Thanksgiving is coming...the goose is getting fat...oh, wait..wrong holiday!!  It is the people who will be getting fat!!!  In my article for TVQG newsletter I gave out a couple of is really my article from the library but I usually try to add a few other things for interest...after all there is only so much you can say about books.  But..I digress...the websites were one for Paula Deen's Southern Cooking and the other was for Weightwatchers!!  How mean is that!!

I started the big cooking thing today...have the cranberry sauce done, the meat for the dip (snacking after the game) done, the cake baked...I am making an orange cake like my mom used to make. It is my favorite and one of my daughter's had tried to get the recipe to make one for my birthday....her daddy looked virtually every where and could not find it!  He finally asked me about it and I had to say it is not written down...just in the head!!  So I told my daughter I would make one for Thanksgiving as it is a big cake and would write down everything as I did it....that means I will be expecting an orange cake every year from now on!!!!

I have the table clothes washed and ironed....I am looking for serving dishes that I haven't seen since last year.  Then tomorrow is continued cooking...the pecan pie, the pumpkin pie, the and green...the giblets...will set one of the tables...the other on Thursday morning.

We have such a great time with all the family and the extended family.  My son-in-law says this is his favorite meal of the year...he wants my daughter to take note so the feast can continue when I decide to give up the honor!! So it is food, football, and fun (games).

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Fall Colors and More

This is a pistach tree in our back is the most glorious red, but it is kind of hidden from is the first to turn in the fall and the last to loose its leaves.  We have two more near the front of the house but they are not nearly as showy as this little guy!

This is a baby quilt I just finished for a friend's grandson to be.  Both her daughter and son-in-law were students where I taught...great kids...the baby's room is done up in cowboy decor...this is a pattern my daughter has made for babies and I thought it was real cute...I added lil' cowboys in the corners.

My studioQ group meets Monday...last time we met we did an activity on designing kaleidoscope quilts.  I have been working on a pattern I designed to have to show using some of the fabric I got last year when we were in Juneau, Alaska.

Speaking of Alaska...I read in the paper the "great" Palin has a new book reading a little of the comments about the book, I see she has the audacity to say that John F. Kennedy had lost his faith when he was running for president because he said he was running as a Democrat, not as a Catholic.  In her usual ignorance, she showed that she had no idea of the political mood of the times and totally missed his point.  I was not old enough to vote for Kennedy by one year, but that did not keep me from campaigning for him as a college student!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

A new beginning!

Yesterday was a significant birthday for me...the big 70!!!  I had a card from one of my high school buddies mentioning that I have now caught up with the rest of them.  Being a November birthday, I was one of the youngest of my class...back when we started school, January 1 was the cutoff date, so everyone born in the same year started school at the same time, so I started first grade at five....we didn't have kindergarten or preschool then.  The card was from one of the bunch that gets together every five years in a different city to celebrate....we have decided that maybe we shouldn't wait five years though!!!

With a new year for me, some goal setting is in order.  I have a list of quilting projects I want to get finished this year.  I want to finally really organize my pictures on my computer and scan and make DVDs of some old ones.  I have a jillion recipes I have collected I want to organize and actually use!!  I had started a "life story" several years ago and want to continue with it for "legacy" for my kids!  There were so many things I heard from my grandmother that I don't remember, wishing I had paid closer attention or had written them down....and now there is no one to verify any of the things I do remember!  I only had one living grandmother when growing up...both of my grandfathers and my maternal grandmother passed away before I was born.

I enjoy reading obituaries...not for the morbidity of them but because I am amused  of how families phrase the death of their "loved ones", that's a phrase I really abhor!!!  It is so...I don't know...pretentious? maybe...I can't think of how to express what I don't like about....but it just leaves me cold!

And another gripe I have....I listen to talk shows and it really irritates me when those answering the questions say "Now, that's a good question!"  That has become such a pat response...why not just answer the question without having to preface with an inane comment!!

Boy, I guess I am getting kind of bitchy in my old age!!!  On a happier note...I attended my guild meeting today and really enjoyed our speaker...Deb Karasik....she is a paper piecer and does really fabulous work.  She also donated a book with a CD to our library.  She and her husband are from San Francisco, actually grew up in the Bay area so I had to chat with them about my daughter having just moved back from there.

Oh, and another goal...I am going to try to be a better blogger!!  I don't know how many people ever read my blog, but I like getting my thoughts down...clears my head for bigger and better (???) thoughts!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fall is here!!!

The best thing about Election Day is that now we will not have any more political commercials or phone calls for awhile....hopefully!!!  I am curious to see how the newly elected are now going to "fix" all our one said anything about what they would do while campaigning...just "dissed" their opponents.

Nice cool favorite time of the year.  Well...fall and spring!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

To Dream Perchance?

           I walk into the opthamologist's waiting room...I sign in and sit down..I am about 8min early.  The lady calls me to the desk...I am not on the list for appointments...They have no record of my ever being there or calling for an appt.   I am told they will take me but I will need to fill out a couple jillion forms...I sit back down and begin to fill out the papers. To my right is a black and white tv playing an old "I Love Lucy" show...I had forgotten how annoying her voice can be when I am slightly stressed!  Oh, and this man with a utility belt and a roll of electrical tape keeps coming in, going down the hall, coming back up the hall and leaving....several times.  I have finally filled out all the papers, have my ID cards photo'd; I ask how could this happen when I KNOW I have called and made an appt.!  The nice lady says "who knows, maybe they forgot to hit save"...I also notice everyone else in the waiting room is wearing a name tag. I am not given one. I know...I am having a nightmare!

        At least a half hour has passed and "I Love Lucy" is still playing!!!  I cannot decide whether to laugh hysterically or cry!  Finally, I am called back by the technician...I need to explain to her that I have not been to this office for probably 14 years...the doctor I had before has retired; they still have no records of my having ever been there....I explain that the reason I am there is because my optometrist and I have decided it is time to have my second cataract removed, but I had gone to another opthmalogist initially last spring.  I have to explain that I wanted to change Doctors because I had walked out of my third appt. this summer as I decided life was too short to spend nearly four hours waiting to be seen!! (Every time I had an appt., I had to wait for hours!!!  Not more!!!)

         Now...the truth!!  Everything I wrote about above is TRUE!!  But from the time I got into the back with my tech until I left, everything went GREAT!  I am so glad I made a change....once we got my appt. settled, and all the papers filled out, I could not have been happier. It seems they had a real shut down with their computer system three-four weeks ago, after I had made my appt. and they just had to take people's word for the times when they came patients that they could not get a hold of...I had extensive testing done very professionally; met my new Doctor...very impressed with her!  And now am set for the future health of my eyes!   Oh, and they didn't have my records because after so long, they put old records "in storage", whatever that means....and "I Love Lucy" was still playing in the waiting room!! I guess they didn't want to have any controversial shows on so they were running DVD's of old shows!!

I still need to get to DC for the Rally on returning to Sanity!!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Musings on This and That

"No individual raindrop considers itself responsible for the flood!"  Anonymous 

I like this quote...since it is anonymous...I think I will claim it!  I finished reading "South of Broad" by Pat Conroy ("Prince of Tides" author) and found it to be very good...a little of "The Big Chill" feel to it on a little different topic. 

And I am now reading "The Postmistress" by Sarah Blake.  I've not read anything by her before but will try to find more of her books....really good.  It takes place in a small seaport town off Cape Cod and Europe at the very beginning of WWII..1941 to be exact, before we entered the war officially.  I highly recommend it to all...just for the value of remembering what occurred in that time frame...the persecution of the Jews and our country's fear of anything "different" (immigrants from Germany, Japan, etc).  With the current feelings towards Muslims and illegals, we need to recall the error of our ways sixty years ago against those who were innocent of any crimes just because fear existed.  Unfortunately, it seems to me that even with all our sophisticated technology and supposed enlightened intelligence, we are still in the dark ages as to our compassion and understanding of other cultures and beliefs....a very closed minded attitude prevails, I am afraid! 

What I really want to do is to go to DC next week and participate in John Stewart's Rally for the Return of Sanity!!!!  That is certainly needed in this country!!

On a more cheerful note...had a great time playing poker last night with our buddies...I was actually ahead at one time, and almost broke even!  And...Texas Rangers are World Series bound!  TCU won their game tonight against Air alma mater, Missouri, tromped on #1, Oklahoma for the first time in 12 years!
Go, Frogs!!!

Rainy day here in our part of Texas...the North Crowley band was to play at Regionals for UIL today; I haven't heard whether they got a chance to or not....will talk to the kids tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Now Back to the Real World!

"Vitality is radiated from exceptional art and architecture!" Arthur Erickson

Just as I decide to blog for the first time in a week or so, the "moderators" have a note that the Image uploads is disabled due to maintenance.  And I love to see pics on blogs, so I may have to just do the writing now...knowing what pictures I hope to post.

I am watching the Rangers/Yankees fifth game as I write....not looking very good for the Rangers at this time, but there are still three and a half innings to"Go, Rangers!"  If they win this one, they are on their way to the World Series!  A big first for the boys!

I am having the Creative Crones..better known to the members as "studio Q" on Monday...we haven't had a full membership meeting for, quilt show, etc.  getting in the way.  We are going to do a little "design" activity...several already do design their own quilts rather than do patterns, but some do not so I thought it would be a good idea to share how to go about it!  We are also going to start our next "challenge".  Each is bringing a 12" batik square for each member of the club...then we will take all 12 squares as well as our own fabric and make a quilt to enter into the next year's TVQG other rules other than you have to use all the squares in some obvious way, can add one other fabric that no one else has...any size, any style, any embellishments!

I did finish a tote bag for my TCU fan daughter...The Horned Frog is a fusible pattern by Susan Cranshaw... ... a very fun pattern to do....then I just made the tote to put the little guy on.  She also has several other patterns for her "Desert Series"....I know there is a road runner but not sure what else.

And I am continuing to work on my project from my class at Arrowmont with Martine House.  I really like all the beading and other embellishment techniques she taught us, but it is kind of tedious so I have to break it up with other things to give my neck and eyes a break!!  The class I took from Larkin Van Horn last spring has been very helpful also.
This is "capturing the wild cabachon"!  (A Larkin term for beading around a large jewel (glass or button or whatever)  The background is one of my gelatin prints from a studio Q activity a few months ago.  I have quite a bit of beading done on top I will show at another time.

Looking back at the Moderators note...I realized that they are operating on Pacific time so I had a couple of hours to get ahead of them...must be a Silicon Valley thing!!!!

Closing off with another "Go, Rangers" this moment it is bottom of the 6th...Rangers-2/Yankees-6....the game is not over yet!!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

One more trip blog!

   "Art is not what you see, but what you make others see."  Degas

                                                       Quebec At Night

We came into Quebec late afternoon, got our hotel room, parked and took out on foot.  We were right in the heart of Old Quebec City, so we felt we really got to see everything we wanted.

The Interior of the Cathedral
This is probably the largest and fanciest church I have ever been in.  One of the sacristy lights was a gift from Louis XIV.  Very awesome...

Cannons on the Ramparts, Overlooking the St. Lawrence River
Quebec was quite a fortress in its early days...a perfect location above the river.  These cannons and many other artifacts remain to exhibit the power of the city.

Looking Down on the City from the Ramparts
And the river beyond...we also went up to the Citadel which was even higher above the city.

Quebec and the River from the Citadel
Quebec still remains quite a seaport.  All the signs everywhere are in French, although most of the wait people spoke English.  Where the striped canopy is in the center left is a pavilion area being renovated.  It was part of the walled city originally.

Toronto, Ontario
Toronto is HUGE!  It took us forever to drive through it and this was not even rush hour traffic!  It had been raining on us ever since we left Quebec but had cleared up as we got into Ontario.  Notice the weird clouds formed behind the buildings.  And this is only one little stretch of what went on and on!

It was good to get into some good ol' Iowa farmland...we had our fill of the big city life!!  Then headed on home to Texas!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

On to Prince Edward Island

                   "The power of Imagination makes us infinite." John Muir

The Coast off Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Cape Breton is the fartherest NE part of NS.  It is most rugged of the whole province and most of it is a National Park.  The coastline drive is reminiscent of Big Sur in California, but not quite as "thrilling"; the road didn't quite follow right on the edge as in CA!

A Farmhouse on the Coast on Prince Edward Island
We really like was very green and clean and UNtouristy!  To see a farm house right on the coast like this was an interesting sight for us.  It was not uncommon to see the horses grazing in the front of the houses.  This particular shot  reminds me of an Andrew Wyeth painting!

Surfing with Kites on the north coast of PEI
There is a National Park on the Atlantic Coast, north PEI that was basically closed for the winter but we could still drive around the coastline and get out at the beaches.  In the summer, it must be a very popular place to surf and sun as there were cabanas and boardwalks, etc.  As we came around one of the large sand dunes, we saw these three people out in the water surfing!!!!  The wind and waves were really high so they must have been having quite an adventure!  We enjoyed watching them from the warmth of our car!

Flowers at the Cairn's Motel in Summerside, PEI
Flowers were just lush everywhere!!  And we met the nicest people whereever we went.  A young couple owned and ran this motel...they were born and raised there and lived in a nice home right next door to the motel.  In Canada we were able to stop at the visitors centers and they would make lodging arrangements for us once we told them what kind of rooms, etc we were looking for...we were never steered wrong! 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

More of our Fab Trip East

One of the many lighthouses we saw along the coastline.
After we left Alma, on our way to the Hopewell Rocks on the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, we drove down a winding road to see the lighthouse.  The place was not open yet, so we parked and just got some pictures from above.

The Hopewell Rocks from Above
To get to the ocean floor you have to climb down MANY can see people walking around down there.  When the tide is out, people are allowed to go down and wander around much of the floor.  There are some cavelike areas which are blocked off that would be dangerous to go in.  Then when the tide starts to come in, everyone has to evacuate the area.  The water will rise 20-30 feet at high tide.   We got quite a thrill out of walking on the ocean floor!!
Standing on the Ocean Floor!
At low tide, the eroded rocks are very can see algae growing on them.  At high tide, the arch behind Dick would be almost invisible.  The visitors' center has pictures of people canoeing right in the same area we are standing!
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
After visiting the Hopewell Rocks, we drove to Nova Scotia.  When stopping at the visitors' center, we expressed to the aid there that we were not interested in the typical touristy stuff so we avoided Halifax and went around further to this charming fishing town of Lunenburg.  We stopped at the town visitors' center and the lady there set us up with a lovely little B&B run by a local couple who were very friendly and interesting....all within walking distance to the village. This is a picture of the town from across the bay at sunset.
The Academy of Lunenburg
The town was first settled, in the 1600's by Swiss and German families.  This building was built in the  1700's for the education of the more elite children.  It is still being used today as the town's elementary school....beautiful construction and grounds.
A Street in Lunenburg
Although a bit more colorful than many of the houses in town, these are typical of the architecture of Lunenburg.

The Fishing Boat "Cape Rouge"
I don't know how many fans of the tv show "Haven" are reading this, but as we wandered the piers, we came on this boat which we discovered is used in the show.  We were moseying along when this ol' sea captain came out and asked us where we were from..we struck up a conversation with him and he told us that the town of Lunenburg, and this boat of his were used in "Haven"!  The show is a kind of SciFi, which I do watch so that was fun to talk to him....then after getting home and watching some I had taped, I could really recognize a lot of the places in the show....including this boat!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Third Leg of Our Northeast Trip!

"There's no place like home!" Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz

Belted Galloway cows at Camden Maine
After getting our room at Camden, we drove around to see what we could see.  We came upon these cows, marked like nothing we had seen before so we had to check them out!

Penobscot Bay...Camden, Maine
We really enjoyed is not far from Acadia National Park nor Bar Harbor; although it is not as well known as BH, we enjoyed it more because it seemed less "touristy" to us...a beautiful harbor, many cute shops and places to eat.  As we were driving North into Maine, the traffic heading South towards Boston and New York was backed up, three lanes deep and at least 10 miles long!  Then we realized it was Labor Day and everyone was heading back home...we felt real lucky we were going in the opposite direction!

Acadia National Park Shoreline
Beautiful park..we left Camden and came straight here..we spent most of the day here before getting our lodgings for the night.

Lunch at Jordan Pond
This was a neat spot about half way around the park that is traditional for lunches. Around the turn of the last century, this is where the elite of the east coast would dine on the lawn when visiting Acadia and have popovers with ice cream so we did, too.  There is a large restaurant with many verandas there also, but eating overlooking the water was the fun part!

 View from Cadillac Mountain
Cadillac Mountain has the fame of being the tallest point from the top of the east coast all the way down to Brazil.....compared to the Rockies, it isn't that tall, but for the east, it is a mountain!  Very pretty...a drive all the way to the top but many hikers and bikers were making the summit.
Bar Harbor Marina
We went to our lodgings then walked around Bar Harbor...still liked Camden better!

Next stop....New Brunswick and the Bay of Fundy...home of the highest tides in the world!

Monday, September 20, 2010

After Arrowmont

"A woman has the age she deserves"!  Anonymous (hmmm...think about it!)

Norman Rockwell Museum

After we left the Smokys and Arrowmont, we traveled to Stockbridge, Massachusetts....Norman Rockwell country.  Beautiful country, in the Berkshires.  The museum is located a little out of town on land purchased several years ago to locate the museum and to recreate Rockwell's studio...a lovely setting.
                       Norman Rockwell's Studio in the Berkshires

We were not able to take pictures inside...but what a thrill to see the "originals" done by an artist I have always admired!  We could tour the studio in part, which was the real thing....just moved to the new setting.
             Mark Twain's Home in Hartford, Connecticut

Then we drove to Hartford, CT and visited Mark Twain's home where he wrote "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and others works.  There is a museum and then the house tour.  Our guide was a very entertaining young man who was just finishing up high school;  he was very articulate as well as amusing.  As I grew up near Hannibal, MO, I have always been a big fan of Twain's so found the whole visit to be very interesting.  The home was located in what once was a very exclusive area....Nook Farm...where the Alcott's and others of the time had homes.  Now it is kind of surrounded by a not so nice neighborhood....but the grounds immediately around the homes are still well kept.

                     A Statue of Mark Twain made of Legos!

Located in the museum is this statue of Twain made entirely of legos!  It is life grand son would love to see that...and try to duplicate it......being the "lego" King of Texas!  Both the museum and home were very worth the trip, to me...and Dick is a fan of Twain also so he liked it too.

The next stop .......... the coast of Maine and Acadia National Park!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

There is no place like home!

"Mid Pleasures and Palaces though we may roam, be it ever so humble, there is no place like home!" John Howard Payne
We just returned from a long trip...first went to Arrowmont Arts and Crafts School at Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  This is our fourth time to take classes there.  My class this year was with Martine House who is a wonderful, talented lady in the field of fabric manipulation, use of different kinds of fabrics to create texture, hand stitching and beading techniques...and so much more.  This is just a very loose beginning of my work in various  parts started there.   I hope to get back to work on it quickly so I can remember the different things she taught us!!!!

After spending a really great week at Arrowmont, we left there on an extended trip to the far Northeast...all the way to Prince Edward Islands via many other interesting sites!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Finally a cool day in Texas!

"I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that won't work!" Thomas Edison

Yesterday....105!  Today...79!  And Monday when we were in Granbury, our car temperature showed 113!  I don't think I hae ever seen a themometer read that high!

I just watched a short video that one of my quilter friends had put out on Facebook...It was an interview by Susan Shie at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England.  Susan's website is and her blog is .  I didn't see the interview on either yet but I bet it will show up soon.  I am interested in her technique more than I am in her final product...although it is very interesting, it is just a little way out for me.  But she is a marvelously creative spirit!!  I would love to take her workshop sometime.

I just finished reading "A Reliable Wife" is touted as a Gothic novel and, although it is set up similar to that genre, it is more contemporarily written.  It takes place in winter, Wisconsin, 1907...a gentleman puts an ad in the Chicago paper for a reliable wife and as it is described..."she is anything but reliable"!  It is written by Robert Goolrick, author of "The End of the World As We Know It".  This is his first fiction novel and is a very intriguing read.

I am now starting "The Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver...a book sent to me by one of my "blogger buddies" after I had mentioned I had not read it.  I think it will travel well with me as we head out.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Going International!!!

         "Knowledge speaks, but Wisdon listens!"  Jimi Hendrix

In addition to our daily crossword puzzles, the Tuesday newspaper has an additional quiz.  Today's "test" was to finish "famous Quotes".  Although we weren't real successful, I really liked some of the quotes so am going to add them to my "quote of the blog" list.  The above....Jimi Hendrix...who knew he could be so deep???

I just finished reading "Moonlight in Odessa" by Janet Skeslien Charles....and we are not talking Odessa, Texas!  This is her first novel and I am looking forward to more from her.  It was really of those "okay, what next!!"  kind of books...not a mystery, just human interest story but gave  a really good aspect of life in post communist Russia/Ukraine.  The author had lived there for two years and her writing certainly reads authentic!  A warning...guys, no automatic  weapons/ bombings/ you might not care for it as much as we gals!

The book I just finished right before this one was "The Children's Book" by A.S. Byatt.  She is a new author to me and I would read her again...not a  first novel.  This book takes place in England at the end of the 19th century into the 20th, around the time of the first World War.  Very good also... descriptive of the time period...historical fiction...and full of quirky characters...but as with many British authors, a little to wordy at times...sometimes TMI!!!  I am a pretty good scanner though so can move a story right along!

My last International thought is the Netflix we watched the other night..."Invictus".  A movie about South Africa and Nelson Mandela when he first became he got the country to get excited together over their National Rugby team...I highly recommend it!  I still do not understand rugby...seems a little odd to me.   I may have to check out the procedures on the 'net sometime!

Trinity Valley Guild Meeting going to show my "Chinese Coin" quilt.  No meeting in September as our quilt show is at that time.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Happy Birthdays!

"Growing old is compulsory - growing up is optional." Bob Monkhouse

At the pool at Andrea's

Getting ready to use that new grill!!

Happy Birthday, DAD!!

And Happy Birthday, Graham!

We had a great day with everyone today...celebrating out...much laughter..a little swimming for the family fish...seeing all Andrea's new, grill, etc.  Family fun is hard to beat!!!
What a good looking bunch!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I did forget to mention that it is hot!!! The weather report is on tv right now and they said this is the 19th day of over 100 degrees!   Our outdoor thermometer shows 106.9 right now at 6:25 PM.  Gotta' love Texas!!!
I am posting this to remind myself that it CAN be a whole lot cooler!

Finally finished!!

"The cardiologist's diet: If it tastes good, spit it out!" Anonymous

I can finally report I have some finished products!!!  Below are the small quilts I have finished for our guild show's Silent Auction.  We have a scholarship fund for college students we choose from several applications to help with their college expenses.  (See our website if interested in finding out more about it.)  The money we make at our Silent Auction goes towards our scholarship money...the more we make, the more we can give. 
The top Quilt was pieced by my daughter and quilted by me..24" X 24"; the bottom quilt...12" x 12" was  a leftover block from a previous quilt to which I added some more borders.

The top quilt is a block I was experimenting with to see if I wanted to make a larger quilt.  And the bottom one is from the Paula Nadelstern class I took a few weeks ago...some of the left over small blocks I had made...both are about 14" X 14".

And I finally have finished my Challenge Quilt...each year, the guild has a member's only challenge with a different topic...I think I have given the criteria in a previous blog.  My quilt turned out to be  21" x 42"; I have titled it "Chinese Coins: 170 X 2"...the title comes from the traditional block (my interpretation) Chinese Coins, and the fact that I have used 170 fabrics/six columns/ split in half which gives me 12 columns...thus the "x  2"!  And I added some fake Chinese coins and a little Asian script (which I have no idea what it means!) for some embellishments....also hand quilted with perle cotton thread.

Chinese Coins: 170 x 2
Two close ups of my embellishments.

I meant to make it kind of "crude"...not straight lines etc. so I am hoping that will not be taken as errors!!  But, oh well, I am happy with it!

Other distractions from my quilting...(not really complaining!!!)...Monday I met with about 15 of my ex-fellow teachers from when I taught....some still teaching; most retired as I am...We had a great time and are going to make it an annual event!  Second Monday in August.  Then Wednesday, we met with our poker time as always...we again weren't big winners, but we made a "not quite such a loss" comeback before we called it a night!  I am sure if we played for several more hours we would have come out way ahead!!!  NOT!!