Friday, August 29, 2008

Another progress report

After many many trips up and down stairs, and thanks to my strong manly son and hubby, all of my fabric shelf units are now on the second floor in their new home. Two of them are already full of fabrics, and as soon as I am finished writing this, I will start filling the third one. Hopefully all of my fabrics will fit on these units with a little bit of extra room for some kits, class samples and WIPs.

Tomorrow, hopefully, John will purchase the needed boards to build the final cabinet, one that will house all the bins of fabrics, scraps, UFOs, and what ever else I can fit on there.

Then I will sort out my magazines and books, decide which ones to keep, what to put on, and what to just plain toss in recycling. Then I will bring up the two remaining shelf units, which will house books, magazines, patterns. Etc.

Then I will sort through the piles and piles of “stuff” which have accumulated around the room, and find homes for everything, or just get rid of it. I already have a pile of fabrics I will take to the retreats and hopefully find homes for. Or maybe eBay!

Sooner or later the sewing machine and cabinet will come up… I hope I have room for it!

I’ll post a photo later, maybe even one of the finished corner… but it may not be until tomorrow sometime!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Mystery #5

I don’t have anything to say today, too busy moving stuff still. (Goal for today is to empty two shelving units so John can cut them and bring them upstairs tonight… then I will have all day tomorrow to fill them, and get organized.) So, since a few people asked, here is a teaser about Mystery #5 which will be presented on my Mysteries For Relay group.

This is a fun project and again, one that is very easy and one that will look more complicated than it really is. You may use just three fabrics for this project if you like using new stuff. Or you may use up some of your scraps to make a darling scrappy quilt. You will want three contrasting colors, and will want to stick to those three contrasting colors only for this project. You can make this quilt as big or as small as you want. The size quilt you make depends on the amount of scraps you have AND the amount of work you wish to do. You can also add borders to this quilt, and make it into a real work of scrap art!

As always, I will be giving you directions to make a wall hanging for the mystery. Since the holidays are coming up, I suggest you think of holiday fabrics, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentines Day. Or this is easy enough you could even do Halloween if you’d like and have it finished in time. I will give you the full pattern along with larger quilt instructions when the mystery is finished.

I already suggested holiday fabrics, which ever holiday is your favorite. You will need three contrasting fabrics. If you are doing a Halloween wall hanging, you might want to use orange, black and white. If you are doing Christmas, you could use red, green and white. As long as the colors contrast and you use the same color in the same place each time any color will work.

You can go totally scrappy with this project, you could even make it a charm quilt if you would like. (Charm quilt meaning that you only use each fabric one time in the quilt)

I will call the colors Color 1, Color 2 and Color 3. You need to label your colors so you know which one you are putting in which place. If you are doing Halloween, label your orange, black and white Color 1, Color 2 and Color 3. If you are doing Christmas, label your red, green and white Color 1, Color 2 and Color 3.

VERY IMPORTANT.. it does NOT matter which color is in which position, anyway you put them will work. (For Halloween, orange, black and white could be either Color 1, Color 2 and Color 3 OR Color 3, Color 1, Color 2. And for Christmas, your red, green and white Color 1, Color 2 and Color 3 OR Color 3, Color 1, Color 2) HOWEVER, what is extremely important is that you use the same color in the same position each time. Once your red, green and white are labeled Color 3, Color 1, Color 2 you must use them as Color 3, Color 1, Color 2 the whole quilt.

HINT, Color 1 and 2 will be the most predominant, Color 3 will be the color you see the least of in your quilt. Either color will work in either position, it is entirely up to you to decide which color to use where.

Precutting directions
Remember, this is for a wall hanging only.
From Color 1 cut sixteen 2 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch rectangles.
From Color 2 cut sixteen 2 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch rectangles.
From Color 3 cut thirty-two 2 1/2 inch squares.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I can happily report progress, the move is going well. As of tonight one large shelving unit is upstairs and already full of fabric, and another unit downstairs is 3/4 of the way empty. The smallish unit which was for extra stuff fit nicely next to the desk, and will be the perfect addition for larger things that should not be stored on the desk…

While moving I found a few more UFOs which I had never listed on my list, and I don’t think I will either. These tops were class samples, and leaving them unfinished doesn’t bother me at all. I will find someone willing to quilt them, and then donate them to charity or sell them for Relay. (Anyone want a sunflower garden twist table topper? I have two different sizes and colors) There were others too, but those were suitable for children so will go to Children’s Hospital.

To make it fair to myself, if I do decide to keep any of the UFOs I find, I will add them to the list. I’m almost afraid of what I might find next.

I am certainly getting my exercise going up and down stairs so many times. And I’ve been sleeping well too the last few nights. Maybe I will get to sew again sooner than I thought! Progress is great!

Today’s photo is some more beautiful wild flowers from our trip.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I came to a realization today, school starts soon, I can tell because our neighbors who run school busses are busy getting them cleaned up and ready for day one. For the first time in way too many years, I will not be sending a child off to school. Wow… even typing it now it seems so unreal. It was way back in 1986 that we sent the boys off to what was called “Mother’s Day Out” in our neighborhood in San Antonio. Jonathon was four and we didn’t know what school would be like in England (all day or what?) so we sent him out to get used to being away from home. And Mike soon followed him, mostly so he could also see what it was like being away from home, but mostly so he could learn how to play with other kids. He played well with Jonathon, but was so mature for his age we wanted him to learn to play some.

Both boys loved “school” and were more than ready to start when we arrived in England. Jonathon started kindergarten and Mike attended pre-school on base. A year later Jonathon was full time, and Mike started school in the British school system…

And now they are both finished….for now at least. Someone once had this on a signature line, and I saved it, it applies here. “Life is a succession of lessons, which must be lived to be understood.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Keep on learning!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Here’s a quilt post, Mystery #4

Friday was another mystery day on my Mysteries For Relay group, this is the quilt that they made this time. I got a lot of comments about it, and I think it says a lot about mysteries….

One quilter commented after the first clue “I was worried about what my geometric print would look like in an 'unknown' design - but it looks cool in this!” This was a fabric she’d had for awhile and couldn’t decide what to do with it, so she used it on the unknown, and was pleased. I liked her print I can’t wait to see her quilt finished.

Another emailed me that it was fun making something with just straight lines. I guess I’d burned them out on diagonal half squares (or half square triangles) with Mystery #3.

But another said, “When you said this project had no HSTs I thought boring, but I did it anyway. I love it, thanks.” No, thank you, I like surprising you with good old fashioned quilts.

“I would have never tired this had I known it was an Irish Chain, that pattern always scared me” Well I’m glad you got it out of your scare column. Never be afraid of something just because it was a lot of little pieces… see how easy it was!

“I'm having a great time with this particular mystery. I'm sure when it is all done I would never have tried something that had so many little pieces.” And that is what makes it fun, you didn’t know how many pieces and you did it anyway!

And let me say a big THANK YOU to all the ladies who have joined this group and donated to ACS. The purpose of the group IS to raise money to help fight cancer. And that it has, over $800 since it started in March this year. The mysteries and freebie designs I give you are my way of saying thank you for your donations. From the bottom of my heart, a huge thanks for making it so much fun for me.

Friday, August 22, 2008

How many days in a month?

Here is another one for you… son just signed a month to month lease on his apartment. The lease states it is good from 1 September 2008 through 30 September 2008 and on a month to month basis after that. However, they must give sixty days notice when they plan to move.

Let me see… from 1 September to 30 September is 30 days, so if they planned on moving 1 October (which they don’t thank goodness) they are already too late to notify the rental agent of this.

And this is a legal document.
Today’s photo… this is a Red Tailed Hawk from our trip through New Mexico. We were on 54 headed south when I spotted this huge bird fly into a tree on the side of the road. John screeched the car to a stop and I whipped out the camera and got quite a few good shots of this handsome guy. He even let me put on the telephoto lens to get up close and personal, although from this look I think he was saying enough.

At least I think that was what he was saying…. Funny how we think we can read what some creatures are saying, and others we haven’t a clue about. I have a friend who just proved to me you never really know what someone is thinking. We’ve been together for quite a few years now, taken trips together, gone out to lunch many times, spent hours in each others homes talking, laughing, sharing life’s adventures and much more. I admired this woman a lot, she offered much to our small group with her expertise and her knowledge and she was a delightful person to be with.

Now I find out that she is uncomfortable with our group and does not want to be a part of us anymore. “I've done a lot of work in/with groups for my job and it takes a lot to make them work successfully, and I wasn't up to trying to get it to work better for me” We are sorry we didn’t work out right for her, although we will forever wonder why.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Kind of a strange day… too many things going on at once, things I can't do anything about but....

So I have started the big move, sewing room upstairs to the largest bedroom in the house. It will make a nice sewing room, although in the summer it has a tendency to get a little warm. I’m thinking those hot days of summer I will either do hand work downstairs, or just set up my little Janome downstairs and sew. OR I will sew on my good old 404 which is nicely tucked away on the back porch.

With the stash I have, and all the retreat gear, and the miscellaneous “stuff” it won’t be an easy move. But I have every intention of cleaning inventory a little, and hopefully will be more organized in the new room.

Today’s photo … I sure hope you weren’t looking for one of the new room, it is still mostly a bedroom, and a big mess with the new stuff moved in. But here is another one from the trip, a beautiful view from the Flaming George in either Utah or Wyoming…

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I was sitting here at the computer this morning reading some of my Groups, seeing what everyone else was doing quilt wise, and nothing was striking me as exciting. My mind kept wandering back to an idea I had on my trip. The idea actually hit me somewhere in western Oklahoma and kept popping into my head off and on the whole trip.

So, since I had some time to kill this morning, I took the first step to this new quilt I would like to make one day, finding the pattern. I know I have the fabric for this, probably enough to make a king size, maybe even a reversible king size. I’ve been collecting this kind of fabrics for a few years now. However, I know I will need more, I don’t have all the colors I want/need. (There’s that addiction again… collecting fabrics)

Now I think I will start moving stuff so we can start moving rooms and maybe someday I can start working on this quilts… maybe…

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This morning started off kind of shaky, John was up and down a lot last night, and not feeling too great this morning, but he went to work and is now home, so ok for now. I’m hoping it’s not another stone… time will tell.

As soon as he left for work I was up and showered and out the door. I had forgotten tomatoes, lettuce and a few other things at the store, so rushed to get them. Came home and enjoyed part of my cup of coffee before I started "straightening up" before the SOBs arrived for the day. Unfortunately the rest of my cup of coffee went all over the back porch floor, so I added mopping up that mess to my "straightening up" list.

I was glad when Nancy and Charlotte arrived and I could sit down and relax. They wanted to see some of my trip pictures (no I didn’t twist their arms, they asked) so we did that, and were still doing that when Pat arrived. I had fun showing the photos (hardly any of them really) and sharing my trip stories and sure hope I didn’t bore them to death.

Soon it was show and tell time, and both Pat and Nancy had some nice things to show. Nancy has the scrap fever, probably worse than I do, and was showing some quilts and fancy borders she’s made recently. Pat was working on beading a cute little wall hanging she’s making for a gift, very pretty. They are such a talented bunch, I’m surprised they let me hang around with them. We had a great time, although missed Marilyn again.

Strangely, I didn’t do any sewing at all, and it doesn’t even bother me. I’m still on vacation mode I guess… but I’d better get back to it soon… as soon as we get the sewing room moved.

Today’s photo…
These are Prickly Poppies which we saw on our ride through New Mexico, such a delicate flower on such a harsh stem in such a harsh environment. Nature is amazing.

Monday, August 18, 2008


I joined a web ring today, something I said I would never do. But I have a good reason to join this one… I need Stashbusting reminders.

I joined the Stashbuster group back in 2004 because my web site was getting a lot of hits from that group, and I wanted to see what it was all about. I soon learned that they are trying to reduce their stashes and their UFOs, well some of them are.

What is a stash… oh my… piles and piles of fabrics, more than you can ever use in your lifetime, and something you keep adding to. That’s my definition of my stash. When I first joined I wasn’t that worried about my stash.

What is a UFO, an UnFinished Object. Now that interested me, a lot. I knew I had a lot of UFOs, but not how many. The Stashbuster group had a UFO challenge, and thought about joining it, maybe it would help. But it had already started for the year, and I was too busy and… well I decided to wait to join.

I lurked for a year, posting occasionally, and watched how the no-buy operated, and how the UFO Challenge went… and I decided to join it next time around.

First job was to inventory my UFOs… YIKES… I had count all my UFOs… that meant I had to find them first. At that time I just happened to be moving my sewing room from the smaller downstairs bedroom to the larger (former master bedroom) which helped in my counting. I made an inventory as I found them and gasp… I had way too many UFOs, one hundred and sixteen (I deleted the original list I was so ashamed of it, LOL!)

I immediately, well as soon as I was settled in my new sewing room, started getting rid of quilts I knew I would never finish. I managed to find homes for 15 quilts, and started the 2006 UFO challenge with 101 quilts. By July 1st I had that list down to 68 quilts, having donated quite a few more to Project Linus and several more to other charities. I worked hard and by the beginning of the 2007 UFO challenge I was down to 50 UFOs.

Now remember, please, that I design patterns. And to do that I HAVE to make samples. And most of the time those samples become UFOs, because my work on them is finished. So giving them away isn’t bad, really. However, until I make the break with them, they must stay on my UFO list… I started 13 more quilts in 2007 and only finished seven of those. And seven UFOs, which means my list stayed the same for the start of 2008. However, I found one quilt was listed twice on that list, and one quilt has disappeared (give away or just lost?) so my 2008 UFO list started at 47.

I’ve started 14 more quilts this year, and finished 5 of them, and five other UFOs, so I’m going no where fast. However I don’t feel too bad about it, since it is my business.

AND this leads me to another goal, reducing my stash. I have several new designs I am working on, some on EQ, some on paper, and some still in my head, which will help me reduce my stash. But…. it will increase my UFO list… oh woe is me….

Today’s photo, another animal we saw on our trip, while exploring the beautiful state of New Mexico. We were on a little what I would call back road here, Road 36 north of Fence Lake, and we came across a few animals grazing in a field…

When we got home Arden said they were Pronghorn Antelope!

And the red spot is a flower in the field behind this big guy, click on the photo to see a larger one.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Link to my blog?

I got an email from someone today, someone I have never met, never gotten email from, never “talked” to on line (that I know of) in any one of the 29 Groups I belong to who wanted me to add a link to her blog on my blog.

First of all, and I mean this kindly, her blog wasn’t anything I would want to read on a daily basis, let alone link to. (Sorry BC) Her blog had nothing but sports on it.. and I’m not that big of a sports fan. Heck, I don’t know who is in first place in any thing… except Michael Phelps of course.

Secondly, I have very few links on my Blog… most of them are family links. My son’s, my nephew’s and nieces’ and a sister-in-law. I like seeing what they are up to, and watching the kids grow. And then two friends, one I haven’t met, one I have. I like what they say, usually, and that’s why I have links to their sites.

Thirdly, if I had links to all the blogs I read even occasionally, quilting, photography, Delaware stuff, etc… I would have a list so long that no one could find anything on it.

Now maybe.... someday.... in the future, I will add some blog links on here. I’d have to categorize them for sure, quilt blogs, family blogs, photography blogs, Delaware blogs, etc. But then I might accidently leave someone out, and that someone might get hurt. So maybe not.

Do I want you to put a link to my blog on your blog… that is completely up to you. This is a free country (still), and I can’t tell you what to do and not to do. I won’t be offended if you don’t, and I may never know if you do.

And for Janie in AK who wanted to know if I will ever put quilting stuff on here…. Maybe, maybe not. Probably not ever a quilt pattern or design, although I might talk about making one if the mood strikes me. I have a whole web site with patterns, BOMs, etc, This blog is sort of my diary, thoughts, my feelings, my ramblings.

Here’s today’s photo
Someone asked me if there was really a deer in the photo I posted back on August 4th. Here is the photo I posted, and a photo of the deer in it. Of course it is fuzzy, he was moving and we were moving… what do you expect under those circumstances?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

"Updated what?"

I had a suggestion from a very nice lady today about my web site. She said I was pretty good at changing the updated date on the home page, but a lot of the time she couldn’t tell what I updated. She suggested that I put BOMs updated and the date, or Retreat page updated, etc. Well I thought about it and agreed with her. That would help me keep track too!

So, since I had an update to do, I took her up on her suggestion. I had finished a sample before we left on vacation, somewhere in-between John’s kidney stone and packing for the trip and hitting the road. I just updated my UFO list, and on the home page I added UFO list updated August 16, 2008. Thanks for the suggestion Sandy in MO.

About that UFO list… I am hanging my head in shame… I really haven’t done well with it this year. My goal was to finish everything I started, and get at least half of the UFOs finished. Well I have started 14 (there are two not in the list I’m so embarrassed!) and finished only five of them. And I have only finished five of the forty-seven UFOs I started the year with.

On the other hand I am very pleased with the new quilts I have made this year, and the new patterns I am working on. And I have quilt ideas bursting in my head from our vacation, including Crop Circles, Grand Canyon and Corn Fields. That might be all one quilt, or it might be three different ones, time will tell.

But before I can even start that, we are moving rooms again. We’ve decided we like the master bedroom on the first floor, and my sewing room has outgrown the old first floor master bedroom…. so here we go again. As soon as I can motivate my guys we will be moving the bed here to the office so I can start moving the sewing room upstairs. And as soon as the old master bedroom now sewing room is empty we will repaint it (it hasn’t been painted since we moved here in 1995) and if we can afford it put down new carpeting. Then we will finish moving bedroom furniture to the old master bedroom, now sewing room, soon to be master bedroom again.

Why didn’t we do this in the first place… I know John and the boys have asked that…. Honestly, I didn’t think I could manage the house if my sewing room was upstairs. I have put dinner on and gone back to sewing and completely forgotten about it until I smelled the smoke, and I am/was just down the hall from the kitchen. Once we move the sewing room upstairs I will just have to force myself to either stay downstairs when cooking, or not cook… sounds good to me!

Today’s photo… this was taken very early in the morning (6:06 AM) on August 1st as we watched the sunrise from the Lodge on the North Rim. I had walked (hiked?) down to a view point to shoot back up at the Lodge and saw this plant hang on the edge and snapped this quickly… wow… what a shot, imagine if I had taken time to focus better.

And here is the photo I took this hike to get.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Where did you go?

This is to answer Peggy in Maryland....

Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, Tennessee on Day 1
Arkansas on Day 3
Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico on Day 5
Arizona on Day 7
Nevada Days 9 10 11 12
Utah, Arizona Day 13
Utah Day on 14
Wyoming, Utah, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado on Day 17
Nebraska on Day 18
Iowa, Illinois on Day 19
Indiana, Michigan on Day 20
Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland and home to Delaware on Day 23

Total miles 7044
21 states, and the Capitol
7 new states for me
10 new states for John

Mysteries for Relay

The title should probably read Mysteries for ACS, but that just didn’t have the same ring, so I went with Relay. This is a group I started just as an idea, to see how it would be accepted and what might happen. My thought was, I am “selling” patterns to raise money for ACS, why not a class. But how can I “charge” people fairly and give them something they want to do.

And the answer to that was by “charging” them for mysteries. This way they have no preconceived idea of what they will be making. They get to choose their own fabrics, and can ask all the questions they want about the fabrics, placement, etc. So far each mystery project has been loved and there have been no complaints at all about the “charging”

I am pretty sure that is because everyone has been touched by cancer in some way, and everyone is so willing to help find the cure in some way. There are a few cancer survivors in the group, and a few family members and/or caregivers also.

We have two things that bond us together, our hatred of cancer and our love of quilting. And that makes it a special group.

If you want more information on Mysteries for Relay, send me an email, or stop by The next mystery starts on August 22nd

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Back to the routine

Back to the normal life, doing all the normal things… thinking about the last three weeks still. I went grocery shopping this afternoon, and I couldn’t find a darn thing in the store. I know it has been three weeks since I shopped there, but still… of course they are rearranging again, that has to be it. Eventually I found everything.

We had to go grocery shopping on our trip too. When we headed out of Grand Canyon on the way to Vegas we…well John decided we should do laundry. We’d stopped for gas and there was a little Laundromat next door, so he thought it was better there than me doing it alone in Vegas somewhere. (And who knows how much that would have cost!) If you are going to do laundry you have to have soap, and I wasn’t going to pay $2 for a little tiny box that did a half a load, so we went to the grocery store.

The ride down the main street was quite interesting.
Sadly the grocery store could have been anywhere in the US, a brand name store with absolutely nothing inside to show we were in Arizona just outside of the Grand Canyon. Gee, even the McDonalds had Grand Canyon pictures in it.

That is one of the things that really disappointed us on the trip… so many of the towns look alike, nothing to make them any different than any other little town.
But I will admit, Williams may have had a boring grocery store, but I didn’t see any women hanging out of any other main street windows on this trip!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


That is what I’ve done all day…first with myself over which car to buy. I narrowed it down to two on the lot, and then drove each one home. Put it in the garage to see how it fit, and drove it around the neighborhood to see how it handled. Took it to Pop and Arden to get their opinions and took it to the hospital for John to look at.

In the end I decided that the Edge's light color dash which reflected horribly on the windshield and the higher mileage (10,000 more) and additional year in age came in second.

I went for a 2008 Taurus X and then negotiated the price, additional warranty and anything else I could possibly negotiate. But honestly, what really won me over on this car was that I could easily fit all of my retreat gear (tables, numerous suitcases and boxes and who knows what else) in the back and still have seating for four people.

AFTER I had signed on the dotted line I found out more good stuff. It was automatic climate control, meaning I can have my side set at 72 and the passenger can have her side set at 62, and even the two back seats can set their own temperatures. I’m still waiting for the wall to come up and separate the four different climate areas to keep the temperatures from mixing.

It may be a month before I get my vanity tags on this one, so don’t look for Delaware Quilts on the road for a while… but it will return!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hey Sue

I know I already posted once today, but this is for my friend Sue who is out in Washington not finding any birds. I have some advice for you…. Don’t look for them. I wasn’t really looking for them, and I saw quite a few. (Can’t wait to show you my bird photos, hurry home!)

This is the perfect example…
we were just sitting around
and this bird flew on to a
branch in front of us, I’m
pretty sure this is a
Clark's Nutcracker.

Oh, we weren’t bird watching, honest, we were watching the sun set… here is the full un-cropped photo.

Click to see a full size photo

August 12

So what does one do on her first day back from vacation…unpacks her suitcase, all the clothes were clean thanks to Tara (Thanks again Tara!)

I also had three weeks of mail to go through… do you know how much mail you can get in three weeks…. One pile to be shredded, one pile just trash, one pile all magazines and catalogs to toss out later, a pile of newspapers, thank goodness it only comes twice a week, a pile of bills, another pile of personal mail, a small (very small) pile for Mike, and a pile for Jonathon, including one very interesting looking very large envelope from UD.

I had to cook, imagine that. And no one waited on us, no one came and asked us if everything was ok… it was boring

I also looked through the thousands of photos we took and tried to remember every minute of every photo. Where were we, what were we doing, what was the weather like…

We were in Socorro New Mexico getting gas on a very warm day, no, make that a hot day. I was talking to Jonathon on the phone, and we were pulling out onto the highway when I saw something moving..

And what am I doing today… car shopping… don’t ask.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Trip Notes

How many miles, almost exactly 7000. When we picked up the rental it had 500 some miles on it, and when we pulled in the driveway Saturday night (8-9) it had 7550 miles on it… quite a ride.

How many pictures, 4666 is how many… although I will admit, there are a LOT of duplicates, two cameras and two photographers at the same time in the same place. I will be doing some serious editing before I make any DVDs of this trip.

I have gone back and added a few photos to some of the older posts. Check 185 Miles for some good ones…

Where did we go on Tuesday that it was so cold.. Rocky Mountain Nation Park, and it was that cold, honest! But what beauty we saw.

When we woke up that morning it was a brisk 63 in Steamboat CO, and this was what we saw from our hotel window, the ski lift, since we were on the mountain, hotels on the main street were all booked, so we had to go higher to find a room… what a break!

Soon the temperature was falling and the altitude rising, and the views…

We saw some interesting birds up there too
And lots of wild flowers. How lucky am I that we happened to be there during the two week period that the flowers bloomed… you will see many more of the wild flowers I’ve seen later.
We left Colorado and saw a little bit of Nebraska before bedtime, very little since it was dark.

Some of our time in Michigan was spent playing with Jared… wait… most of our time in Michigan was spent playing with Jared.

And then we came home…

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Yes, we are home

Yes, we are home, and that is exactly why you haven’t heard from us… sorry. We arrived home about 7:30 last night, and had just finished unloading car when Jonathon and Steph arrived. From then till bedtime we talked, about our trip and about Jonathon’s plans for things he is “thinking” about. Then we went to bed, and I will say it was very nice sleeping in our own bed again.

Then morning rolled around and we’ve been looking at photos, talking about the trip and much more… then Mike arrived and we started all over again. Now we are all starving and there isn’t any food in the house, so we’re going out to eat.

I promise I will post something soon… life should resume some normalcy tomorrow when everyone is gone but me.

wow.... do I have a lot to share! Over 7000 miles....

Friday, August 08, 2008

“Hey Marge, where the heck are you?”

I said we would be in Michigan for a few days. I guess what I forgot to say was that we would be too busy playing with Jared to post anything… and that is exactly what has happened. When we arrived here Thursday afternoon we had to get acquainted again with Jared, now age 3 1/2. Then after he had gone to bed we had to catch up with Tara and see their lovely new home. (Sadly we missed Scott who is off at a conference) Then it was off to bed.

Now it is Friday, and we’ve had a good night sleep, had breakfast, toured the back yard, gone to the park to play, gone out to lunch, played with trains, and now here I am. I have photos, but no way to download them. You all will have to wait till I get home to see anything else…

Home, tomorrow, and then I guess vacation is over. At least I don’t have to do laundry, Tara allowed me to use her washer and dryer, so there won’t be enough dirty to do until sometime next week. (Thank you thank you thank you!!!!)

Oh, Happy Birthday Jonathon! Hope to see you and Steph tomorrow night.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

10:00 local time (I think) Aug 6

When we looked out the window this morning, we saw corn, and that’s about all we did see all day. Sure the corn was on flat ground when we started, and it gradually changed to rolling hillsides, but corn is corn. Now we grow corn in Delaware too… well not “we” but other people… but we probably saw more corn today than all the corn grown in Delaware in ten years, maybe more.
We’ve gone from Nebraska to Iowa and into Illinois. Tomorrow Michigan, and we’re really looking forward to it. Besides being able to get out of the car for a little bit, we get to see John’s sister and her son… it’s been way too long!

11:33 Central time, Tues Aug 5th

Well we’ve just checked into our home for tonight, North Platte NE. I am way too tired to post any photos, but I’ll give you a brief low down on our day… first the weather report. When we woke up it was a brisk 63 degrees, and before we knew it it had dropped all the way down to 43, and it started to rain/hail. Cars coming in the other direction had snow on them, but we never saw any fall ourselves. Soon it was back up to a warm 82 and as we pulled in here tonight it was a lovely 72.

I will try to add more tomorrow, but may not have time. We have two long days of travel ahead of us so we can get to Michigan. I promise to catch you all up soon, but it may not be until we get home.

And I promise many many many many many many many many many many many many more photos later!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Oh by the way

Guess where else I went yesterday…. Our friend Ed recommended this place, which was recommended to him by the lady across the hall at work. And since I had not been in one single quilt shop the whole trip I decided to have a look.

Boy am I glad I did, what a nice shop. The fabric was so nicely displayed, and there were quilts hanging everywhere. All of the quilts were colorful and had the pattern name and/or class name attached to it. The help was very friendly, and I will confess, it was very very hard not buying any fabric.

I resisted the urge to buy fabric and only picked up two patterns which I had never seen before, and a little something for the SOBs… very little ladies, don’t get too excited!

And Barbara, I expected to see you in there, since your car was parked outside...

Monday August 4th

We left Utah about 9 this morning, after a short stop at what I think was called the Devil’s Slide, neat looking rock formation. While there I caught this bird shot

We headed into Wyoming, just so I could say we’d been there. Well we liked it so much we went there twice, after making a wrong turn at one point. But what a scenic wrong turn it was, and well worth the extra miles. The Flaming Gorge is beautiful, and the dams and lakes just add to the beauty. We saw deer napping under the trees just a few feet off the road, and even caught this guy looking for a place for his nap. He's there, I promise!

We also spotted Mountain Bluebirds, four of them flying together looking for a snack.

Of course we had to make a stop in the Dinosaur National Park, although it was way too hot, and time was way too short for us to make the hikes to see any dinosaurs. After seeing no dinosaurs I was tickled to see a Bald Eagle soaring overhead, no photo though.

We HAD planned on spending the night on the east side of the Rocky Mountain National Park, but the road was much slower than we anticipated, so we’ve only gotten as far as Steamboat Springs. There seems to be lots going on here, and finding a place to stay was almost impossible. However we managed, way up at the top of the hill, adjacent to the ski lift, and I can’t wait to see the view in the morning!
Tomorrow the Rockies or at least some of them, and then Nebraska and Iowa, not sure how far we will get, or what we will see.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Sunday Drive

I can't even begin to tell you every where we went today, but we got in the car after breakfast around 11, and rode rode rode...

This was in the Great Salt Lake

And so was this... and there were thousands of these little birds... I can't believe I forgot my bird book. I also saw Magpies and I am 99% sure I saw an Eagle soaring over us at one point in the mountains. We’ve seen many of the Olympic venues, downtown Salt Lake, and so much more. I think we’ve worn Ed out, and he’s gone home to take a nap. Dinner time we’re getting together again, and eventually we’ll have to say goodbye…. I’m not looking forward to it one little bit.

Sunday August 3rd from Layton Utah

This is mainly for our boys and the Driskill family.... here he is in all his glory... Uncle Eddie

For the rest of you, Ed was like a family member when we were in England, and we've been going over old times and having a great visit since we arrived.

Ruthie, don't you worry about me, I am not spending all my time here on the blog.... I'm having a great time, and doing less work than John... poor guy is doing all the driving and did that conference, and all I've done is played!

Margie in Tx, thanks for you comment. Glad I brought back great memories to you.

Debbie and Candy, don't worry, it is me. Me the fun one, not the quilter. Although Ed has recommended a quilt shop somewhere on our route out of here that we have to stop at, as per the gal across the hallway from him at work.

Anne, Ed is still Ed, and if your ears were ringing, we were of course talking about you and Jon and other people at RAF Fairford.

Peggy, almost 5000 now. And we haven't decided which route to go home.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

On the road again

Here we go, off to see the rest of Utah and who knows what else. Now remember, we probably will not have internet again until Monday night. Don't worry about us if you don't hear from us.

Family, you have our cell phone numbers, use them. Especially my sons, Uncle Eddie would probably love to talk to you for a minute...

Friends who have that numer are also allowed to use it. Remember please we are visiting another friend until Monday morning, so please allow us our time to catch up. You can call us anytime Monday,. we'll be on the road and a friendly voice will sound nice.

See you all Monday, hopefully we'll have internet!

August 2nd

Amazing what a good nights sleep can do for you. I feel almost human again. It’s not that I didn’t get enough sleep this last week, it was just brain and body overload the last two days.

Like I said before, after we left Vegas we headed to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Just the ride there was beautiful. At first it was desert, and almost depressing looking lands, but typical of that area. Catching a glimpse of a coyote was fun, and all the wildflowers blooming in that desolate nothingness.
Then came the meadows, miles and miles of beautiful tree lined meadows with all the wild flowers you can imagine on them. Colors as beautiful as any quilt I’ve ever seen, honest. (yes another quilt idea)

When we finally entered the park we rushed to get to the rim as fast as we could, we wanted to see the sun set. Well that was a mistake, for us ocean dwellers at almost sea level, the high altitude was a bit much. Walking faster than normal speed took all the air out of my lungs. Even walking down hill hurt, and I knew I would have to walk back up sometime. Finally we found a perfect spot to sit and watch the sun set. There was even a bench there. However as soon as I sat down and got my breath again I looked down… and I do mean down. My head did this whirly thing and my heart skipped a few beats and my stomach went where it has never gone before…. and I had to close my eyes and not look but that just made me dizzier. John said it was the closeness and the extreme drop, but all I know was for the first time ever that I can remember I was afraid of heights….at least that one.

Did we move, heck no. You just read what I said, we wanted to see the sun set, and we had a perfect seat and view… just one angle of it was frightening so we stayed put. And I took a series of photos showing just how Mr Sun changes the view as he heads off to the other side of the world every night. As long as I only looked out over the distant canyon I was fine, and I did my best not to look straight ahead which was straight down.
When the sun was finally down enough that the colors had faded for the day we hiked back up the 5000 mile trail to the lodge… well it felt like it was 5000 miles. I can proudly say I wasn’t the only one huffing and puffing up that trail, there were others who were as challenged by the altitude as I was.

The lodge, wow… a huge old stone building sitting on the edge, literally. The dining room was huge and beautiful and over looked the canyon too. We didn’t even mind the hour and a half wait for a table… we used the time to check into our room for the night. We didn’t get a cabin, since we were only sleeping there, and not living in it for a few days. The room was sufficient and quiet. After we checked in we went back to the view, and chatted with some other visitors, a family from Boston and another family all the way from Scotland. Finally there was a table for us, and we had our dinner sitting on the edge. Ok… we were inside and it was dark and I was really hungry. Dinner was very good and we didn’t even have room for dessert, which looked great too, but we honestly had no room left. After dinner we wandered back to our room, and were soon asleep, at least I was.

Then the alarm went off and we jumped out of bed and rushed out of the room, afraid that we’d miss the sun rise. Lucky for us, it was just starting to light up the canyon. I even ventured out to take a photo of the lodge, (in the other camera sorry) and then hiked back up again. We sat and leisurely watched until the smell of breakfast got to us, and we went inside to eat. We had a seat right next to the window, but breakfast took our minds off the view. Now how we could be so hungry was beyond me, considering we didn’t eat till almost 9 and it was just 6, I guess it was that altitude thing again.

After breakfast we checked out and headed to see some more views. Unlike the south side where views are quite close together, on the north you drive for miles to get to the next vista. But what a drive! I think I took hundreds of pictures on the way. And the view was worth the airless, hot and treacherous hike to the rim…. we learned to walk slow, take it easy, take water, and wear hats. The torture was worth it.
We had no idea that we would not get to every vista point on the ride. Or that it would take us so many hours to see everything we wanted to see, and all the stuff in between. Before we knew it the clock said it was 1:30 and we knew we had to leave. We missed the last view of the canyon, but what we saw on the road made up for it. The Vermillion Cliffs and the miles and miles of views between there and here were spectacular.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Friday night update

Thursday July 31, 2008 8:38 AM Pacific time

I believe I ended by telling everyone John had the evening off last night, and that we were going on a Vegas adventure. And that is exactly what we did. I showed him how I spend my Monday and Tuesday, hopping from casino to casino gambling away our money. He must have been my lucky charm, because I couldn’t lose last night. It was hard getting the penny tickets I was aiming for, because I kept winning… and winning and winning. Now family, don’t get too excited, we only came back to the room $15 richer than we left. Although if we hadn’t treated ourselves to Hagan-Dazs for dessert we would have brought back another $10.

It was a lot of fun, and we managed to get in 12 casinos, although a few I had already visited alone. These were ones I thought he would enjoy seeing for himself, and he did. We even managed to catch the fountain show at the Bellagio, even if it was from the middle of the street…don’t ask.

And for our dinner out, pizza and the ice cream, the ice cream cost more than the pizza. But we were way too busy having fun for some fancy sit down dinner.

Now John is at his final meetings, and I am waiting for a bellman to come pick up our bags so I can check out. Then I will have a few hours to kill before John is finished and we can leave here… guess where I will be spending time and hopefully winning!

Friday August 1, 2008 9:50 PM Utah Time, which I think is Mountain

Didn’t happen the way I hoped, I lost everything we won but it was fun anyway. Then I started getting impatient, John’s meeting was running over, so I sent him a text message… I knew he wouldn’t read it let alone reply, but it took time for me to do it… I’d never sent one before, LOL! That fun soon passed, so I decided to call him… imagine my surprise when a woman answered the phone. Of course I called while he was speaking to the group, so he’d handed his cell to a event planner… joke was on me, and I am still giggling over that.

Eventually we got out of Vegas… it took way too long, and soon we were on our way to the North Rim.

NOW… I know I said I would catch up, but honestly, I am SO tired I can’t see straight. And I have a not so great connection here, so you will all have to wait till the next time I can get on line… which may not be until Monday. Why am I so tired… John and I were up at 5 AM Pacific time to watch the sunrise, again, over Grand Canyon. I will leave you with this tease… sunrise from the North Rim of Grand Canyon.