Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Time's up

Well my 24 hours is about up, you may not hear from us again for a few days. If I post again tomorrow, you will know that we won big tonight… oh wait.. you don’t know about tonight do you. John is actually free after 5:00 today, so we are going out together to see what we can see. I’d really like to see the fountains at the Bellagio and then maybe visit a few casinos I haven’t been too yet… only $1 per casino this time out. And we will do all we can do before we die of heat exhaustion or go broke.

Don’t worry about us if you don’t hear from us… we’ll be on the road and will post as soon as we can. In the meantime, know we’re having fun!

Same day another story

OK, I’m back from my gambling adventure. The $20 is now $10 but look how long I was gone. I played a few quarter machines and lost, played a few nickel machines and lost too. Seems I can only win on the penny machines, but never big. Oh well it was fun while it lasted.

My tummy finally settled down and soon was growling for something to eat. I spotted a deli and got in line… there were only three people in front of me. I couldn’t see the sandwiches they were making, and they were wrapped up when handed over the counter to the customers, so I had no idea how big they would be. I ordered and paid, and came back to the room. My bill was $18.32 for a roast beef on rye with Swiss cheese, lettuce and mayo. I also ordered a piece of carrot cake, which looked good on the sample plate they had….

When I walked out of the deli, there must have been 30 people in line…lunch hour rush I guess.

This sandwich is big enough to feed four people. It’s about 5 inches tall, and almost as round as a dinner plate. The roast beef is ok, I’ve had better, but it is tasty and not dry or tough. The rye bread is delightful and I wish I could order a whole loaf of it. It’s a good old fashioned rye bread like all ryes should be. Chewy crust and lots of seeds, just perfect. The slice of Swiss is about a quarter inch thick. Yummy sandwich, and I enjoyed about half. The other half will sadly go in the trash, no frig in the room.

The carrot cake will sit until I have room for it, probably later tonight… and tomorrow for breakfast, and then for lunch too… did I tell you it was a huge piece of cake? (Denny, remember the piece of cake I got with you that time, this is bigger, honest!) The piece on the sample plate must have been left over from cutting or something, it was about a quarter of the size of the piece I got.

About my decision not to go out today, I think it was a smart one. The TV just said it was 110 out and there is an air quality warning. Do you think that’s why I can hardly see the mountains today? I’m going to turn off the TV before it tells me anymore bad news… I’m on vacation.

Hour plus later

Money is all gone... every penny... sob sob sob

Not really, LOL! I played the whole time I was gone, and still have what I left with. If only I could get ahead.

I came back to the room to get a soda, my tummy was asking for one, and they don't serve Coke here. I'm really glad I brought my own drinks along, two reasons. One the cost, two the brand.

Oh well... I guess I'll finish my Caffeine Free Diet Coke and then go back to see if I can win any money. And by the way, I'm only taking $20 with me this time.

Wednesday July 30 8:15 local time

I just decided it was too darn hot to go out today, and besides my tummy is still not happy with last nights dinner, and I don't feel like going out in the heat. Who ever said you didn't feel the heat when there is less humidity is full of crap... hot is hot and it is hotter than heck here.

So I'm going to stay here in the room and take it easy, for a while anyway.

I might go downstairs to the casino. I found a machine here that is the same as my lucky machine at home. I'm going to really gamble big time... I'm taking a $100 bill down there and betting the max bet two or three times, and see how much I can win. I have a theory that when you put big money in you get big money out. It's worked in Harrington, let's see if it works here, LOL.

Oh don't go thinking I've lost my mind, nope, I just need to break that $100 bill, and the max bet is something like $8.40... I can afford that.

After two days of Vegas, I think I'm tired of it. Sure the casinos are beautiful, and the architect lovely, but every one has the same thing in it… I think I’ve seen the same stores, same food joints, and the same machines in every casino I’ve been in. Almost everyone has a Starbucks, and I hate Starbucks coffee. Almost everyone has a Pearl Store, yea, I really came to Vegas to buy pearls. They all have a Hagan-Dazs, overpriced overpriced ice cream. Even McDonalds, Quiznos, Pizza Huts, etc… same as the ones at home only overpriced. The “News Stands” are all the same too, same magazines, same post cards (oversized overpriced), and the same highly overpriced snacks. But then again those snacks are a real bargain compared to the snacks in your rooms… would you pay $6 for a 1.5 oz can of Pringles? So the $4 at the News Stand is a real deal!

And even the restaurants are the same, every casino has a café, and a buffet and maybe one fancy joint to eat at. All of those are pretty much the same, or at least look that way from the outside, nothing special to draw you into it. The only thing that makes them unique are their decorations and their specialty restaurants. And each casino has its speciality places, several. And those restaurants are so pricey you can hardly afford to eat in them. I looked at several menus and the prices are outrageous… what I spend for a weeks worth of groceries for one meal for one person.

In one casino I looked at a dinner menu… steak I forget what cut but it must have been a pretty darn special one, $120. And that included a twice baked potato with some kind of cheese on it, and asparagus something or other. That price didn’t include any beverage or dessert. Oh yea…. I want to eat there every night. Call me cheap, I don’t care… I’m logical.

Yea… I’m logical. Now I’m going to go downstairs and break a $100 bill on a slot machine just to test a theory and get change so I can buy breakfast at $10 an egg…. Yep… time to leave Vegas for this gal.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Email answers

A few of the many emails I had to read referred to this blog… here are some replies for you all to read

Peggy asked me how many miles we’ve gone now… I’m not sure because we haven’t been in the car since Sunday night. I know my feet have put on some miles, I’ve walked more lately than I have in ages. Yesterday I was smart/dumb and wore socks. Smart because I have a blister I’m doctoring, and they helped. Dumb because they were apparently polyester socks and I broke out horribly around my ankles, I’m sensitive to polyester.

Janie asked how many photos I’ve taken… interesting question and story. I have a 4 gig high def card in my best camera, it only has space for 100 some photos more. That is what my lap top refuses to read, so unless I can get them off of there, I may run out of space on the best camera soon. However, I have some just plain memory cards on another camera which is what I’ve been sharing on the blog. Takes good photos too, and I can download them on here. So how many… literally thousands. Honest!

Sue said she looked up the bird I saw at Grand Canyon…. there was a second blue bird too, so I am really sorry I forgot my bird book. I actually saw a few birds today too…these were at the conservatory at the Bellagio.

Charlotte asked “Don't you just love the west and the wide open spaces?” Oh yes, I certainly do. What a pity there aren’t four seasons and an ocean here. As much as I love the beauty and diversity of the west, I have to have my ocean.

Kathy asked how the food was… what I have eaten has been great. However, I have only eaten at cafes within two different casinos so far. Yesterday lunch and breakfast today. It’s now 5:00 local time, and I’m just now getting hungry. Gee, wonder what’s for dinner?

Carole wanted to know how much money I’ve lost playing slots… nosey… No really I haven’t done too badly. I think I have probably only lost about $25. Don’t worry, I can’t afford to lose money, so I am being really really really careful. Today was fun, at the Belligio I put in $1 and bet 80 cents and won $4.65. I cashed out, put $3.65 in my pocket, and another $1 in the machine. Then I won another $3, and played with that for about 35 minutes before I was down to pennies and cashed out again. At another casino, I forget which one, I had a similar experience. Funny how when you want to lose you win….

So that’s it for now. I will try to post again tomorrow before my 24 hours are up. After that I’m not sure when I’ll post again. We’re headed to the Grand Canyon north rim Thursday night, and then who knows where for one night, and I’m not sure if we’ll have net either night. Then we will be visiting a dear old friend from our military days, I sure hope he’s ready for us… but I probably won’t post there… then on the road again, and I will try to find hotels that have free net…

Tuesday July 29, 2008

Today John had to be up early, and since part of me is still on Eastern time I was up with him. And since I was up I decided to take advantage of the day while it was still only hot, not hotter than….

So back on the tram I went, then instead of crossing the street to MGM I went to NY, yes really, and later I went to Paris too… Vegas is truly amazing. I can’t even remember all the places I’ve been but I can sure show you some… I could have shown you more, but my camera battery wore out. Oh well I’ll just have to go back tomorrow!

Now a little about my devilish scheme.. Mike if you are reading this you will only spoil my surprise for you… so stop reading… please…

I know that Mike thinks I came here and will do nothing but sit in my room the whole time, especially since I am so horribly uncomfortable in enclosed spaces which have limited (none at all) windows and/or ways to get out of. Well I have proved to him and myself too, that I can do it. And to prove that I’ve visited all the places I’m going to tell him about, as well as some photos, I will have some tickets to show. I decided to visit as many casinos as possible, and play at least one machine at each one I go to. Sure, I’m only playing the penny machines, and I’m only putting in $1 but I am having a grand time.

Yesterday I was fairly lucky, but still came home with no money… I only left with $20, and I bought some post cards and played slots for quite a few hours, so I don’t think I did too badly. Today I did even better, I left with $20, came home with $19 and visited 5 different casinos.

John is conferencing and missing all the fun... today especially since he had a presentation to do, so was working. Later tonight they have some big “town hall meeting” at the Tropicana. I hope he manages to get some fun in there. Or at least enjoys himself.

Now you are caught up with our adventure..

Still Monday the 28th

Another day another dollar… wait, it’s the same day and it was a lot more than just one dollar! Just about the time I finished writing earlier John came in from his meeting, and had a few hours off before he had to conference again. So we went out exploring. There is a tram between this hotel and the next, Luxor, so we took it and then decided to go on to the next place, which is Excalibur. Did some looking around there and decided to go back to Luxor. There we had lunch, yummy and filling and decently priced too, at the Pyramid Café. Then we came back so he could have a few minutes to relax before he started up again.

He left and I was trying to decide what do to… I looked down at the desk and there were two cell phones, mine and John’s. Little hard for me to call him if I have both phones, so I decided to add taking his cell phone to him to my list of things to do… actually truthfully there was no list, I was just challenging myself to get out of the room. Which I did, and I even managed to find where they are holding the conference, all the way in the next state, or at least it seems that way when you are going there for the first time. (It’s right here in the same location, just twenty turns, fifteen escalators and ten hallways later) He was slightly surprised to see me, almost as much as I was to be there… been there done that and now I don’t have to do it again.

Then what… well I had the whole afternoon or what was left of it, and part of the evening, so I headed out to the strip. Yea right, it is 105 out and I wasn’t going out unless I absolutely had to. So I took the tram to Excalibur, walked across the street (only parts were outside) and walked into MGM. Lucky me I was there just in time for feeding the lions, which was really neat. I’m not sure which was more fun, watching the lions or watching the kids watching the lions.
That passed a whole half hour, now what. I decided to find the monorail and take a ride. I’m quite proud of myself, I found it and even managed to buy my ticket without messing up. I rode it all the way to the end, and then didn’t know what to do next, so I rode it back to the next stop, which was the Hilton. Somewhere between the end and Hilton I had a brilliant idea… I’ll tell you what it was later, and I proceeded to work on my devilish scheme. I’ll only tell you that it is my way of proving to some people, including myself, that I can manage this big city without any more crazy panic attacks.

Sooner or later (7:35 PM) I ended up back here in my room, and now you know how I spent day one in Vegas. Yep, that’s it for me, I’m going to run my self a nice bath and sit in there and watch TV till the water gets cold…. Can’t do that at home!

Grand Canyon to Las Vegas

Today is Monday July 28, 2008 according to my laptop and right now it is 1:58 at home, I know that because I haven’t changed the time on here, it’s my way of keeping touch with home. It’s about the only way… my body and head are quite far from home and reality.

Yesterday after watching the sunrise, we went back to the Lodge and cleaned up… yes we had just jumped out of bed, got dressed and headed out to see the sunrise without cleaning up… without coffee too, which John said he could never do. After breakfast and checking out, John said he wanted to see it all again, from beginning to end, so we drove the 26 (or what ever it is) miles to the Desert View and then all the way back again.

Eventually we were on our way, stopping in Williams for gas and would you believe laundry… yep. Next door to the gas station was a little laundromat so we washed our week’s worth of dirty clothes and then hit the road again. (Laundry was not a highlight of the trip but a necessity.)

The next highlight of the day was Hoover Dam, and the traffic leading up to it. Bumper to bumper crawling at 5 miles an hour for about a half hour (John says at least an hour..) But the slow traffic was worth it I think, because we got to check out the construction of the new bridge, which will be fabulous when finished for traffic, and the view. This trip we were on the old road, and were able to take our time and lots of photos too, crossing the dam.

Before we knew it, we were in Vegas and another adventure began. By that I mean finding the hotel entrance, unloading the car, finding the parking, then finding the way through the casino to the lobby, then finding the right hallway to the right elevator and lastly and finally, finding our room. We are staying at Mandalay Bay, the last place on the strip, and the first off the highway. Convenient, but that means that someone only gets to look at the highway from their room…we are two of those lucky people of course. But our room is all the way at the end of the hallway, as far away from the elevator as you can get (and the ice machine too) so there is little to no noise here. First thing I heard today was housekeeping doing the room across the hallway, so I asked if I could peek out the window. Those people get to look at the airport, so I think my view is nicer, at least I get to see mountains.

(Side note- I just now went the long trip down the hall to get ice, and when I came back housekeeping was in the end room…. gasp…end suite. There was a living room when you walked in, complete with a bar and a TV bigger than the one in our room, which is as big as my whole TV cabinet at home… and beyond the living room is the strip… I’ll let the photo show you)

So, John is now off conferencing, and I think I will go out and see what I can see. There has to be something for me to do around here other than slots… I’ve already lost $11 there!

Sunday July 27, 2008 7:45 AM Arizona time

Yes we are up, and we’ve been up for over two hours already, and we have photos to prove it. Not only are we up already, while on vacation, we have already walked more than two miles… along the rim of the Grand Canyon watching the sun rise.

It’s something I did a long time about, about 35 years to be exact, with John’s brother Joe. Long story short… we were stationed in San Antonia and Joe wanted to visit and see the west. We decided to make it a trip west to visit my brother David in Tucson AZ and John’s sister in Riverside CA. Joe flew out to Texas and while I was picking him up at the airport some world crisis came up and all military leaves were cancelled. So no trip for John, but he insisted that Joe and I go without him, and we did. We drove our 1970 Chevy Nova from San Antonio to the Pacific and back, with many side trips in between. One of the greatest memories of that trip was Grand Canyon.

Like typical tourists we decided to go see the Canyon, and arrived at the entrance well after dark… I seem to remember it was hours after the sun had gone down. The ranger on duty asked if we had reservations, and of course we didn’t. He said we could park in any legal parking spot and sleep in the car. Would could not camp, and he recommended that we did not go far from the car, as we could run into wild animals or fall off the edge. (Or something like that, enough to scare me into staying near the car!)

So all 6 foot something of Joe and I slept (or tried) in the Nova. I remember him trying the back seat, then changing and changing again. Neither of us could sleep, and then one of us realized the moon was coming up… let’s see what we could see. We walked a few feet from the car, and there it was, the Grand Canyon…. with a full moon seemingly rising out of it. I get goose bumps every time I remember it, even now as I type, it was just so beautiful. I was snapping away photos (slides) and looked at Joe and said, “I wish you were John” and he said back to me, “I wish you were Cheryle”. Not only did we watch the moon rise, we also watched the sun come up that same morning. And then we drove every mile we could to see all we could see. Somewhere in my attic we have a tray of slides to prove it.

Thirty-five years later I saw it again, this time with John. The scenery hasn’t changed much, and this time I didn’t have to sleep in the car… it was wonderful!

Alive and well in Vegas

Posted July 29th at 2:50 something Pacific time.

Gee, I can’t believe how many people are worried about us, or just plain mad cause I haven’t posted to the blog lately. I am pretty sure I said that there might be days we wouldn’t have internet, I just didn’t realize there would be so many.

Let me assure everyone that both John and I are fine and well and enjoying our trip. I may not have been posting, but I have been writing, and I have lots of photos to share. And now that I have internet, $16 for 24 hours worth, I will catch you up on our adventure.

And after I catch up the blog, I’ll catch up on email! There are over 120 emails to reply to.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Good morning

I’ve just realized something… if I post my daily message after 9 local time it shows up as being posted tomorrow although it’s still today where I am. So when it says I posted on Saturday, it was really Friday here, but already Saturday at home.

I slept great last night, and woke up before our alarm went off… way before. We were in bed by ten and I know I was asleep by 11. I don’t remember getting up at all during the night. When I did get up the sun was up, and I was sure we’d over slept. But the clock said it was 5:30 something so I went back to bed. I dozed for a few more minutes, but soon had that “we’ve overslept” feeling. I jumped up, it was just 6:15. He’s on vacation so I don’t dare tell him to get up, so I sat here and read emails quietly.

We may have adjusted our clocks, but we can’t as easily adjust our bodies. Mine is still on Eastern time, the computer is on Eastern time, my cell phone is on Mountain time I think, the car is on local time. Although I’m not real sure any more what time it is.. I think I’ll start every day when I feel like it, despite what the clocks say.

He's up, so we're starting today, which I'm sure is Saturday July 26th!

Sue, Happy Birthday tomorrow, incase I can't get on line tonight! Wait till you see my bird photos, I actually have a few to show you when I get home.

185 miles… (photos added)

According to all the road signs between Gallup and Flagstaff we’ve only gone 185 miles today. That’s where our day started and ended, but it doesn’t tell you anything of what we saw. Right now my mind is on overload again, and my body is confused about what time it is, and I have a headache the size of Texas…ok maybe not that big, but close. And for all of you who said it was a different kind of hot here, let me assure you, hot is hot regardless of the humidity. Sure there is very little humidity here, but when it is 103, it is still hot. And I have never welcomed rain so much as I did tonight… I’ve have nosebleeds for the last two days from the dry air.

Anyway when we got started today we were in Gallup and it was only 82, sort of nice.

Our first stop was the Petrified Forest National Park, and we visited every single vista. The scenery was unbelievable and ever changing.

And it got hotter every time we got out of the car. The last time I looked, at the Giant Logs lookout it was 101.

We had lunch in Holbrook at Bubbas Big Pig Bar-Ba-Que and John had a delicious pulled pork dinner…. I decided to try something different, a bar-ba-que bologna sandwich. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, but I can tell you this… I will wish Holbrook was closer in months to come. (Wonder if I can find something like that back home?) By the way, Bubba’s was right down the street from the Wigwam Village Motel #6 on Route 66.
We left Bubba’s and headed to Flagstaff to find our hotel, and then immediately left for Sadona. What can I say… Wow… beautiful, stunning… I’m running out of words. You will just have to wait for the photos, which I promise to post when I have more time.

And here are promised photos, added 8-11

Dinner was at the Blue Moon Café in Sedona, and was as yummy as Bubba’s only totally different. Veggie pizza with pesto instead of tomato sauce and artichokes…never had one like that on the boardwalk!

When we pulled into the hotel just now the car said it was 60 out and it was raining softly, and it was wonderful.

Tomorrow Grand Canyon, I hope 2 gigs is enough room for all the photos I plan to take. (I’ve already taken over 5 gigs worth)

For Peggy who asked me today how far we’ve gone, MapQuest says there are 2336 miles between home and here, but we’ve driven over 3500 so far! And we still have two weeks to go.

Friday, July 25, 2008

More photos

We woke up in Santa Rosa New Mexico yesterday, and today (July 25th) we are in Gallup, still New Mexico. We decided again to get off the highways and see what there is to see. My eyes hurt from all the looking and I’ve taken so many photos my memory cards are almost filling up fast.

This first photo was taken from our motel parking lot early yesterday morning. Just a hint of what was to come. We always thought New Mexico would be brown in the summer, but either our ideas are totally wrong, or there has been a lot of rain here. We saw so many colors of green yesterday it would be impossible to count them all.

We were/are fascinated by these modern giants, probably because some day soon they will be turning in our home town ocean. I heard so many bad things about them and how ugly they were, but found them quite beautiful really. The way they glisten in the sun is divine. And the way they use the wind to create energy, so much nicer to our environment….

This is what we saw a lot of yesterday, from far away and from on top. Get off the highway and you see so much more, believe me!
This is just a pretty train depot in the middle of nowhere, one of many such beautiful sites we saw.

A long time ago I crossed this line before, and it was flat…. This trip we were at a very high elevation.

Something I read on the side of a home yesterday…We don’t inherit our environment from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.

Our destination for today is just a few miles down the road, Flagstaff. But the way we go we will most likely put another 1000 miles or 1000 photos between here and there.


Our wheels this trip... so far so good!
Some quilts I saw in Arkansas, I think it was Lowell (wink)
Using the wind wisely!
Texas dinner, and it was YUMMY!

Sunset somewhere in New Mexico on I40

Thursday, July 24, 2008

About July 23rd

NOTE…. I wrote this very early this morning, and then could not get it on line… the motel we were at had wireless… but I swear it was wireless dial up…. S L O W and it refused to cooperate. So this is about July 23rd and I have a whole bunch to share about today, July 24 but right now I’m going to bed… see you in the AM.

We took the long road yesterday, and boy was it worth the trip. We left Lowell Arkansas and let the Garmin do the talking… yes she’s talking again thank goodness. She decided we should go via 412 which was ok by us since we’d seen 540, which was absolutely beautiful by the way.

The scenery on 412 was interesting to say the least, and it became more and more beautiful as we traveled. It was hard not stopping everywhere to see things, so we didn’t… just keep on going. Then we ran into a toll road, which we thought we only had in the east, LOL. It was beautiful, and John loved the speed limit of 75. Many miles and as many photos later, we were back on 40 headed west.

Oklahoma was so scenic I think I have whiplash from looking back and forth on the highway. We saw things we have never seen before, and the beauty was truly breathtaking. We made several stops, but finally made our way into Texas. There again the scenery changed some and we saw a part of Texas neither of us had seen before. Having lived in Texas almost nine years, it was fun being there again.

We stopped in Amarillo for dinner, more about that later, passed the Cadillac Ranch and headed into New Mexico where we had reservations for the night. Unfortunately all of our sightseeing got us in a little later than we’d hoped so we hit the sack and now are ready for another day.

Too many photos to share today. Maybe later when we stop for the night I’ll pick a few. It’s time to get on the road again….see you later from who knows where!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Later Tuesday July 22nd

Tonight finds us in Lowell Arkansas, where we spent a delightful day visiting my friend Marge and her husband Frank. Marge and I have our morning coffee together every morning when I am at home, she on her computer and me on mine… and it was a lot of fun to spend some time with her in her lovely home. John and Frank got acquainted and I’m not sure who out talked who, but John had a nice day, and I hope Frank did too.

One thing Marge and I managed to do was to get all my photos off my stubborn camera on to a CD to tonight I can share some photos with you of our trip so far….So you all can thank Marge Ark for these photos!

Starting back at the beginning of our trip,
the first state after Delaware was Maryland. And one of my favorite places in Maryland is the Chesapeake Bay, so here is a photo from the Bay Bridge on our way west Saturday morning.

And what better to show you from our Nation’s Capitol than the Washington Monument… yes we drove straight through DC, always do and love every mile.

Next state is Virginia, and here is a bit of the VA country side, I think this is right where I66 and I81 merge… I think.

Next comes Tennessee, and these are the Smokies… only this day they were more humid than smoke, but still very pretty.

Will someone in the Driskill house please tell me why we didn’t take any photos this trip? I think we were having too much fun… but that’s just my opinion.

In west Tennessee we passed through Nashville
and had dinner at Corky’s

and then passed over the mighty Mississippi River. More tomorrow!

Tuesday July 22nd

What a day we had yesterday! We sadly left our friends in Knoxville… we both could have stayed for a week there. We’ve known them forever, and Anne is like a sister to me, and the guys are good friends also, and their son is very special to us to… so we hated leaving them.

But if we didn’t leave there we couldn’t continue our trip so we had to. We drove through Tennessee, stopping in Nashville to see some sites, had dinner at Corkey’s in Memphis (yummmmmmmy ribs) and ended our day in somewhere Arkansas…

What can I say about Arkansas so far… I thought Delaware was flat, we hardly saw a rise in the road (or a turn or bend either) until we got to Little Rock. We did see miles and miles of rice and other low lying plants growing, it was very green and lush looking.

And hot.. the whole day was HOT HOT HOT!!! The car has an external temperature reading, and at one time I glanced over and saw 103, but when we got out of the car I was sure it was a mistake, it had to be 130…. I can’t believe we’re going where it is going to be even hotter. The heat and the air conditioning are really getting to me…

Sorry no photos again this morning, apparently my camera isn’t talking to my computer. And the Garmin isn’t talking at all, so I have to read her directions. Hopefully we can get both problems taken care of today.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Howdie from Tennessee!

John and I had a delightful trip down, stopping there here and a little bit of somewhere on the way. We had a much too short visit with Ken and Jane and arrived here at Anne’s about 9ish, and then of course we had to stay up half the night talking. Today Anne and I have done some fun stash hunting in her sewing room, then we took Cameron out to dinner for a belated birthday dinner and now home for more catching up and talking and just plain fun. It is always so nice to be here, and I so wish we were closer, but we’ll enjoy our visits with each other while we can.

Tomorrow we will hit the road again and I promise to post some photos here tomorrow night after we check into a hotel… I’m taking pictures in every state we pass through, hopefully some of them will be nice ones.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

One never knows

I have never tried to get my quilts published, I don’t want to go that route. A designer friend got into that big time, and it ended up being a bigger headache than anything else, and it cost her more money than it paid. Another friend in the business said that all being published got her was the right to say she was published, and some extra space in her sewing room while her quilts were away, for over a year, to be photographed. Nope, not for me… I make quilts to be used, abused, loved and worn out.

Imagine my surprise when I get a request from a national well known publishing firm to use one of my quilt photos in a book to be published in the spring of 2009.

I will share details later, when the “business” part of this is all worked out, they are making a donation to ACS I hope, and giving me a copy of the book. I’m not sure which one makes me happier!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"Marge what happened?"

"You posted for a week then quit?" No Sandy I haven't quit, honest! Remember day one I said "I might skip a few days here and there" well I just skipped a few.

Why, because I've been busy playing nurse... John decided he needed to get a kidney stone, and has been in pain and misery for hours which seem like months to me, and I'm sure years to him. This all started at 4AM Sunday, and today he is home on 48 hours bedrest after two nights in the hospital... but he's presently at work for a few hours... go figure.

So I am behind on everything, and trying to catch up before the weekend and the beginning of our vacation.

Stay tuned.....

Here's a pretty photo to make up for my missing a few days. Taken June 20th at Cape Henlopen State Park.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

July 12, 2008

John decided to take the boat out today...

Not our boat, it needs work, again. Actually it was lighthouse day. He's on the board of directors of the Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation and today was a tour day. It was also a tour day for the Kalmar Nyckel pictured here and luckily they were at the same time, and John got some photos…. Nice job I think.

Want to see some of his lighthouse photos, check out There are more, LOTS more, he takes about a billion every time he goes out. Someday, when I don't have anything else, I'll post a few here.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Comfy clothes

Today’s photo is an Eastern Bluebird, taken from the office window, shooting towards the deck and backyard.

I had the shingles back in January this year. No big deal, a little discomfort for about a month or so. And then it got worse, so I went back to the Dr. He tells me this isn’t shingles any more, but something left over, PHN. OK, I can handle this too I think. But it gets worse, so he changes the meds, and it still hurts, a lot. So I go back to see him, thinking maybe he missed something. He did, he missed telling me that it won’t just go away, the meds don’t cure it, there is no cure. The meds just mask the pain. He was wrong, well partially wrong, it only masks the pain some of the time.

Clothing hurts with my PHN, my neck goes crazy with even a t-shirt on, and my back hates the bra. One way to ease the pain a little is to put on comfy clothes. Last night was a bad night, so very early I put on my comfy pjs. Early last night, like 7ish. Of course that meant we’d get company, John’s sister and hubby stopped by. And to make matters worse, they were just stopping by for a quick hello, and John calls me to the door so I can come out an say hello back…. He was working in the flower bed outside and I thought he wanted to ask me his typical question, “flower or weed?” NO, he was calling me out to see his sister and hubby, me in my neckless flimsy comfy top braless… I shouldn’t be seen in public that way, heck, I should be seen in private that way!

So Tesa, I wasn’t being rude in not coming out to see you, I was being polite… I didn’t want to shock you any more with my appearance.

And by the way, John never asked “flower or weed?” He just pulled everything, some weeds, and some flowers. But he did leave some flowers, and mulched, looks nice. Wonder if he’ll do the other side next?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

July 10, 2008

For that friend who said she was tired of looking at my sunflowers… here’s another goldfinch photo on a different flower, LOL! Sorry, there isn’t much to look at around here other than birds, flowers and the occasional rainbow. This is my world.

Today I had lunch with my friend Sue. When I met her she wasn’t an out to lunch person, but I’ve trained her well, and now we dine out together often. Next week before my trip we’re going to Dover for lunch and some slot practice, something else she had never done until I took her one day last winter… darn woman always comes home with more money then she goes in with, usually just about what I lose too, LOL! But regardless of what we do together we always have a great time, and I’m glad our paths crossed when they did.

And Sue is a birder, so at least one person enjoys my bird photos!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

One of Mother Nature's wonders

After a good storm last evening we witnessed one of Mother Nature’s wonders, a rainbow.

And while I stood there in the drizzle which was making this glorious picture, she decided I should be rewarded with yet a second rainbow. You don’t see these often, but this is the third one I’ve seen this summer.

If you look at the second photo full size, HUGE, but only way you can see the cardinal in the top of the cypress tree, just between the rainbows! I didn't see it until I posted this and looked at the full size picture.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Same day, July 8, little later

Lucky me, I happened to look out the window and caught a male having a snack. Isn't he just so handsome? He sure thinks so.

Birds part of Birds and Bees

A few days ago I posted a photo of the bees on the sunflowers, here's a bird doing her part. For those who don't have this lovely bird, this is an American Goldfinch. We have lots of them around here, year round, and they are lots of fun to watch.

Today I am cleaning, rearranging and planning for our move. Room move, not house... I'm never moving from this house. In the first 25 years of our married life, we moved 22 times. When we moved in here shortly before our 25th wedding anniversary I said I was never moving again, and I meant it.

Monday, July 07, 2008

July 7

Today was SOB day. Not what you think at all, the SOBs are my quilting bee, four of the most delightfully wonderful ladies I have ever met, each special in their own way. We try to get together once a month, some months more and occasionally we skip a month, but we hate doing that. Today was Pat’s turn to host, and we all had a great time. We got to see Pat’s Alaska trip photos, browse some of Nancy’s old quilt magazines and just catch up with each other’s lives.

To me SOB day is just like Christmas, and sometimes Christmas times two… it’s that fun.

Today’s photo is another shot of the sunflowers outside the office window… I’ll miss them when they’re gone. But I know they will be back again next year, the birds will make sure of it!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Neo has left the building....

Today’s photo is Neo in his new home… not the cage, the location of the cage… now upstate with Jonathon and Steph, sort of where he belongs… sort of.

The story of Neo
Neo joined the family on Jonathon’s 21st birthday, or shortly after anyway. For the first few months in the house he sat in a tiny little fish tank, five gallon size, next to my desk. So we got quite acquainted, and I got to watch him a lot.

When he out grew that tank, he moved upstairs into Jonathon’s bedroom, and I only got to see him when I went up there… which wasn’t too often, that was boy territory and I left it to them. However there were many mornings I would be asked to feed Neo, and I did, a lot.

Son went away to college, and Mom kept Neo. Son came home, Mom fed Neo. Sons moved out, and Neo stayed home, and Mom kept Neo again… He moved into the office, and was my daily companion, bird watching with me and entertaining me a lot with his antics.

But now son is graduated from college and he sort of wanted Neo to move in with them, he and Steph. Well them and Bala, his gecko and his fish and his corals and who knows what else… And now instead of keeping me company and bird watching, Neo will be fish watching, and entertaining Steph and Jonathon. I hope they take good care of him.

I’m going to miss him.

A lot!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

A friend sent me a link to a blog with some quilts on it, and as much as I liked the quilts, I liked even more her daily photos… and it sparked an idea in my brain, why not do that on my own blog. Poor blog sits here neglected, so let’s make use of it.

Today is day one of my photo journal… I might add more photos, and I might skip a few days here and there. But I’ll do my best to keep up.

Today’s photo is a sunflower taken from my deck. The birds planted these for us, and have for the past ten years or so. I thoroughly enjoy watching them sprout out of the earth and shoot up towards the sky, then burst into color. As they mature the bees visit them, and then the birds, and the cycle starts all over again. (Yes Mother Nature, it is all about the bees and the birds!)

You can click on the photo to see a larger image, but you probably already knew that.