Friday, July 4, 2008

New Zealand pictures

Marion, the pictures are so 'picturesque' that I thought they were postcards, not pictures you had taken. They are absolutely stunning. Steady hands? That wasn't what was on my mind...the fact that you had the nerve to fly over the mountains in a single engine plane and take pictures of it all...I'd be having to check my underwear after a flight like that. You are brave.

I have muffins to make for breakfast and B&B guests tomorrow; it's 7:38 p.m.; I don't feel like it, I feel like sewing; I'm overly stimulated with all that is going on in the house...television left on when 'himself' tore half an hour ago to an airstrip nearby because a glider friend has landed out...supper taken off the stove, I ate mine, company for lunch with two standard poodles included...and I'm spaced out. Better focus on cleaning up the kitchen and baking those blueberry muffins. the older I get, the harder it is for me to focus and concentrate on any one thing and stick to it.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

more of the same..

Yes, I did take the photos myself Rosey. You sound surprised that my hands were steady enough !! Fact is, whenever I'm in the air, I go into a semi -zoombie like state, neither nervous nor excited, just sort of holding my breath and hoping to make it safely back to terra firma , without any complications...!! This photo is looking out onto the West Coast of the South Island. 25flying minutes from here (we live near the East coast) It's a very narrow Island and the Alps go down the centre of it.
Very cold here this morning, I have the fire going already. We usually don't light it until later in the afternoon. DH is out all day and I will work on my quilt. It would be nice to get it finished before the family arrive.
How lovely to look out of your studio window to see a deer and fawn Rosey. What a peaceful spot you have there.
Having recently been in Ireland and Scotland I will add my bit to the conversation about jackets.. Windproof and waterproof would be my choice . It shouldn't be too cold but the wind can have a chill factor that's worth guarding against.
Enjoy the w/end.

Gore-Tex type rain jackets

SARA in FLA - Gore-Tex and similar fabrics are waterproof and "breathable." Well, based on my experience the 'breathable' means it is not as hot & sweaty to wear as the PVC coated fabric type "slickers" we wore as children. Once the copyright ran out on "goretex" other manufacturers were free to make their own versions. Ultrex is one brand I can think of.

You do not need a down jacket for Ireland. It won't be that cold in September. You will want a lightweight *waterproof* type jacket or raincoat, depending on how much time you will spend outdoors. We do a lot of golf courses and outdoor sightseeing that frequently involves trekking through fields, visiting ruins with little shelter. My most memorable "trek" was a mile long through a sheep field in Scotland, in 2005. We dodged sheep "biscuits" everywhere(!!!) and the odor that accompanied their offerings was awful and I was gagging. LOL All to go see some wonderful ancient standing stones. That's why I always have waterproof hiking/walking shoes as well. My last pair was not gore-tex lined, so I treated the leather with NIKWAX, which I purchased from REI that waterpoofs the leather for us. It seemed to work very well. NIKWAX also has a product that will waterproof fabric outerwear. If you have an old raincoat, you could possibly treat it with this product. I wash my GoreTex jacket in it, to give it the extra treatment.

I can't be bothered with an umbrella and carrying one on the plane or packing one would be a real bother. I do often pack a little fold-up one and toss it in the suitcase, but rarely use it. Hence, the gore-tex jacket. I got mine on sale at REI, years ago, and REI is having a big summer sale right now where you can pick up a good rain jacket for a good price.

You'll be alright with a normal raincoat if more of your sightseeing will be the indoor variety. I would suggest bringing one very lightweight sweater. Either a thin merino wool (my favorite) or a cotton sweater. Dressing in layers is best.

If you are very lucky, you will have warm, dry weather.

Oh, my goodness

Awake much too early with a headache I seldom have and weather changing which I am hoping is the cause of it and then to see Marion's picture of the mountains and hear of her experience flying in them is incredible. Did you take this photograph, Marion, yourself? How brave of you to take a single engine plane into an area such as this. And then to see the picture of Ginny Byer's fabric shop with all those wonderfully vibrant colours...what a feast for my eyes at this time of the morning, which is, 5:14 a.m. on Thursday. And I await the dawning of this day, the sky behind the trees just now lightening up to a barely visible delineation between the two and the day will bring more rain again. It should be sent to Alabama to water Laura's plants; it could be sent to California to fight the fires in Big Sur. Our weather here has been very rainy over the past few weeks yet the summer last year and before that, were filled with drought so I don't regret rainy days for we need them. Two mornings ago, I lifted my head from the computer screen and looked out my studio window to watch a mother deer and her tiny fawn come into the field next to me. The baby's legs were wobbly, barely able to keep up with its mother who seemed to move ahead without concern for her baby following her. The colour of the mother, such an intense tan colour, the baby, speckled and I could have missed it all with my head bent over the computer keyboard. What a moment in my visual time.

Yesterday I tacked my studio tables with Windex and a cloth; put papers away, through papers out; still not enough room for what I have on the go in the way of projects but at least I can see some organization here and wonder why I don't keep it this way all the time. I know that my bookcase is going to need attention and reorganization for it's not functioning for me. Why is it that tidying up my space makes me feel so good?


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Travel Rain Gear

Rick Steves, the Public Broadcasting travel guru, recommends waterproof ponchos for travel. They are available from, come in lots of colors, are lightweight and easier to pack than a jacket. I have one that stays in a pocket in my suitcase and has been used more by kids who borrow my luggage than by me. It's bright red so I can always spot them in pictures.
Enjoy your tripl

up, up and away !!

My "flying" neighbour, Pam, rang on Monday morning and said she was going to take the 'plane up to "see the snow" . I was invited to go along. It was a perfect day and we had a lovely hour flying in and out of the mountain ranges. To be perfectly honest, a single engine 'plane has never been my favourite form of transport ! However, there are occasions when it can take you to places that nothing else can !!
It's still winter here (!) but we are past the shortest day so we are eagerly looking forward to Spring ! School holidays coming up and DD#2 and her three children are coming down for ten days.. I am hoping for fine days !?
Have a good day.

More Gore Tex questions

OK, there seems to be a glitch in my mouse. I back up or hit "enter" and that's all I can type.
Sorry--Laura in Ala. your pics of the fabric shop are wonderful. I'm sure it is as hot in D.C. as in Ala.
This is the first year in about 6 years that we are not having a drought.
There was a time when I had a list of WWQP people with their E mails, but it seems to have flown away.
I know Jane in N. C. travels and Doris in TN. also. (Jane, so glad you are going to Canada for the quilt retreat)
Open for advice on Gore-Tex or other jackets.
As you might tell, I usually only travel in hot weather spots, and know a bit of SPF and UVB protection, but not much about cool / cold / rain travel.
TIA for any and all help.
Sara in soggy north Fla.

Gore-Tex questions

Doris or anyone else who travels--
I have questions about Gore-Tex or Go-Lite jackets. I've spent over an hour looking at jackets on line. Does anyone know if I need just rainproof, light weight for packing, "Stormshell" type of jacket? Gore-Tex seems to be a brand as well as a type of fabric. I really don't think that I need a down jacket, and don't really want to spend over $100.00.
I have a nice Eddie Bauer jacket with a hood, front zip, pale blue. I also have a yellow Talbot's (old, very old) yellow jacket only it pulls over the head instead of having a front zipper.


I'm back from the DC area, where I watched my nephew graduate from high school. Since my parents were with us, we didn't do much tourist stuff, but we did visit Jinney Beyer's quilt shop. She only carries her own line of fabric. Isn't the color wonderful!
The weather here is alternating between nearly as hot as last year, and wonderful. We are still, however, in the midst of a drought. Thank God it's not as bad as last year.
Tomorrow I'll be driving to Montgomery to see my parents again before school starts August 1st. The week after that, I'm taking some of my students to Quiz Bowl camp. Then I have a final week of rest, and a week of helping with "Music Camp" at church. My summer break is almost over, and it went so fast!
I just found out I'm teaching 3 different subjects, Algebra II, Trigonometry, and Psychology. I haven't taught psychology in 15 years, but my bachelor's degree was in Psychology. That makes me "highly qualified," and apparently, no one else is. I certainly am going to have to review.
Saturday I went to see a local performance of Godspell. The director and all the actors were either just graduated or still in high school. They did a great job. Unfortunately, one of the actors fell off the back of the stage and hit his head. The last I heard, he was in the hospital with a concussion, and missed their last performance, but he will be OK. They had cast some extra people, and I don't think he had many lines, but it's horrible for him and for them. It definitely removed some of the joy of the show for me, and I didn't even know him.
My garden is looking bad. We've been asked to hold watering to a minimum, but we're not into enforced conservation yet. I put a bucket in the shower and when I run water to warm it up, it goes into the bucket. That goes onto the garden, but it's only one bucket. I refuse to weed when it is dry, so between the drought and the weeds, it's having a hard time. The only thing that really seems to be doing well is the poison ivy. I got out and poisoned it yesterday, and hopefully that will be the end of it.
I haven't done much quilting so far this summer. I guess I better get busy, because I surely don't have time during the school year!
Laura in Alabama

Monday, June 30, 2008

Continued--sometimes the computer has a mind of it's own.
I can always shop for fabric!
This past week was the birthday celebration where 5 of us girls went tubing in the Ichnetucknee River. That was on Wednesday. It was a lot of fun, great weather, and no sunburn.
On Friday evening DH & I and another couple and 1 single gal went down to Ocala to the Silver River, outside of Silver Springs and kayaked all day on Saturday. We got the kayaks into the water by 8:15 AM and it was 5:05 when we came back. There was a thunder storm just after we left the spring, so we paddled to the state park and took shelter under a seating area and ate snacks for about 45 min. We were all tired and ready for a break by that time.
This was a great upper body workout! Much more fun than going to a gym. It gave us a chance to talk and get to know each other more. After we got the kayaks back up and got on the road we stopped in Palatka for a great supper. I had the fried shrimp, we got an appitizer order of gator tail for the single gal. We all shared it. She is from Buffalo N. Y. and didn't really believe anyone ate gator tail. We had the world's best waitress!
I've been to fancy restaurants before, but this young girl was the best waitress in a little fish place in a little town. (Gator Landing in case anyone out there is ever in Palatka.)
Tired, doing laundry, catching up from the weekend here.
It's back to the normal Florida afternoon rain showers pattern. For the last 5 or 6 years we haven't had it, but this year we really are getting it. Thankfully!
OH! big news-after all the work in the front yard, side yard over the past few months, we got the neighborhood "Yard of the Month" award. A sign in the front yard for 30 days and a $25.00 gift certificate to a local restaurant.
All the hard work really paid off. Not to mention the 20 or so butterflies I see every day.
For 4th of July we plan to go with our dinner group to the restaurant on the river we first went to last year. I think all 10 of us will be there, not sure yet.
Time for a snack.
All the joging/walking is paying off. The pants are lose in the waist, but the scales have only gone down about 2 lbs.
I need to go grocery shopping, but can't bring myself to go out in the storm.
Maybe think out the quilting for one of the QOV that is finished -almost-.
This is too long.
Anyone read "Dear American Airlines" I just started it. Sad, funny, a few too much use of the "F" word, but I can't put it down.
Sara in Fla.

catching up on the news

I've been trying to post for the last few days, but today it seams to be working.
DORIS- Wow-too bad about going all that far and getting rained out.
We don't go until Sept 7th and return the 21st. That is why I'm not able to attend the Canada quilt thingy-will have just returned home.
I was going to borrow some Gor-Tex stuff from a lady friend, but now she and her DH are retiring and moving to Alabama. So I'll have to buy some stuff at Dick's or maybe Siera trading co. I really hate to shop, so it is painful for me to go spend $$ on a jacket, but know that I will need a new one before Sept.

catching up on the news

Sunday, June 29, 2008

It's still Hot Hot Hot!

Oops, I hit enter by accident!

It's way too hot here for I'm trying to decide what to do exactly.

I may even sew!

These are our 1st days(yesterday & today) in the 90's, so it's a bit of a shock!

Sounds like you had a blast Jean. Being able to go to Quilt Market here in Portland was just a thrill & also overwhelming!

Now I'm anticipating Sisters (my all time favorite quilt show) & also going to the big Seattle show in August.

Just got one of Karla Alexander's stacking the deck books from the library & thinking I may have to try one of these quilts, they look like fun!

Every year our library (all of Portland) selects a book & then has many city wide promotions and events surrounding it. I don't think I would have ever read The Kite Runner if it hadn't been the book that year & it's a must read, so good, as was his 2nd book......This years book is "Three cups of Tea" Has anyone read it? I'm still waiting for it, but haven't talked to anyone who has read it. Anyone here?

Movie reviews(out on DVD): On a clear Day delightful! Diving Bell & the Butterfly(french) sad, poignant, 360 degrees from the 1st!

Food review: A gal brought Paula Dean's Pineapple Casserole (easily found on google) to Quilt til you wilt Friday nite. Boy it's yummy, I'm making it today for DH as he loves Pineapple Upside down & I won't make it (too much work).

Probably have to add a garden picture, what a wonderful time of year, STAWBERRIES!


Hot Hot Hot!

VQF/Tin Lizzie

Got to go to the Vermont Quilt Festival today. What a feast for the eyes! Not only were the quilts in the show fantastic, but the samples that the vendors had in their booths were wonderful as well. I was on sensory overload most of the time I was there.

My 14 year old DS kept me from doing too much damage to my wallet at the vendors by virtue of the fact that he was ready to leave long before I was, but I did manage to come away with a quilting stencil (said hi to Hollice!), a pattern that combines quilting and embroidery (love that) and a denim shirt DH insisted I needed with the VQF logo embroidered on it.

I also tried out a couple of machine quilting set-ups. One was a Husquevarna that only had 8" of quilting space at a time, and the other was the Tin Lizzie, which had about 14" of space available. I had so much fun with the minute or two I tried the Tin Lizzie. I was doing a meandering pattern, and it was as simple as pie. The stitch regulator kept all my stitches the same size and made it look like I knew what I was doing! I was wishing I had the $7000 for the set-up. Has anyone else tried the Tin Lizzie? Pros? Cons? I can't really afford one this year (though they were offering two-year financing) but I sure did enjoy playing with it today.

Well, back to bed for me. Maybe now the dog will be quiet and not wake me up again? Heaven knows, I could use some beauty sleep!

Jean in VT