Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ireland, gasoline, etc.

Today was the first day I've had my windows open in years. What a beautiful, fall day. The first cool air since at least last April.
There is plenty of gasoline in Jacksonville, Fla. Come on down.
Ireland was beautiful, what I could see when it wasn't raining. I guess that's why it is so green.
Our favorite places were Galway Bay, pretty even in the overcast skys, and Ross castle and Muckross House (close by each other)
By the time we were finished going through Muckross House it was about 4:30 PM and the wind and rain had picked up. Didn't make it to the tradional Irish farm, which was on the property.
In Galway we stayed at Rick Steve's favorite B & B and took lots of pictures. The "Trad on the Prom" Irish music and river dance type dancing was a highlight of the entire trip.
The rich butter and scones weren't bad either! Their beef is wonderful. Loved the Guiness beef stew.
My DH liked the Guiness, but I hate beer, so I drank a lot of tea.
Everyone was nice to us, they like Americans, and other tourists there.
Loved Aerlingus, the Irish airline. Such service!
All of you going to the WWQP retreat have a great time. Next year I'll put it on the calendar at least 12 months in advance, so can't compete with anything else.
I've decided to give myself a 60th "Tea Party" birthday party next month.
Some of our red hat sisters and I got together for lunch yesterday, and we all thought we needed more fun in our lives. Maybe I can get the girls to dress up in hats and gloves (?) - I doubt it.
OK, going to have some chicken and brown rice for dinner tonight.
Maybe some green beans, I missed green beans for some reason.
Sara in Fla.

B&B Guests

Doris, not a word from them though they promised to let me, I may yet hear. Traveling with dogs in the heat that they were going into heading into Florida coupled with a gas shortage, I wouldn't start out myself. I have guests overnight, their lives enter mine, then pass through and out, sometimes never to be seen again. I still have one full to the brim small suitcase that a rider left here last May. I've connected with her once...oh yes, she said, I forgot all about that. Many emails later and they are now returned to my inbox. The suitcase has gone to the basement and if I don't hear from her by next spring, the contents will go out in the garbage. Last week's rider left her riding boots, haven't heard from her either but then the farrier created lameness in her horse so they may have their minds on other things. The one item that I won't return and won't mention are the men's pyjama bottoms that I found in the queen sized bed. Thought he might have been a bit embarassed about that one.

Wit's End Horse Trials are on again and I'm involved everyday until Sunday night. The funding has been tight this year because of the stock market; the entries on the higher levels affected by the fact that this is an Olympic year...horses are tired and people don't need the points they'd gain by competing here. We all hope this wonderful event will survive the tight financial times as it's very expensive to put on. Tons of yellow and orange mums around the grounds beside jumps, in our hospitality tent, which I'm assisting in, everywhere is a bower of brightly coloured mum plants. Dressage was held today and Darren Chiachia, who had a serious accident at Red Hills in Fla. earlier this spring, was in the ring today. What a beautiful rider and after nearly being killed, he's back on a horse again. Sat. is cross-country and I'm out on the course as a jump judge, which means that I call in any refusals, falls, etc. and I'm hoping that I don't pull a dangerous jump. I could cope with a rider coming off; I couldn't cope with seeing a horse fall. There is a horse ambulance provided by the Mass. Humane Society and there are facilities here at several vet clinics to operate on large animals if needed. Three day eventing is a dangerous sport, no doubt about it. In my next life...will I have time to become a champion rider and figure skater?



Here's Asheville: and Atlanta is, Johnson City, TN is, Nashville is

NC Gas

Item on the radio this afternoon -- the oil companies have gotten together to try to take care of North Carolina and the situation should be resolved in a few days.

Gas burning clean

The deal is, there are various "grades" (for want of a better word) made for the areas in which the gas is to be sold. Some (like California) have higher restrictions than others. The gas is all good, nothing wrong with it, just whatever the area requires, and apparently the state EPAs are loosening the requirements so there will be a supply.

gasoline (again)

It seems to be all right here, have only seen a few stations with no gas. The price yesterday was $3.79 (up from $3.53 before the storm and a high of $4.59 in Bristol). However, it is 50 cents cheaper in Knoxville...go figure. There was a local report last night of people driving over from North Carolina to get gas down in Unicoi, we're not very far from the NC line. Guess we should Google the various areas' newspapers and see what's going on. DH and I are down with a bad cold so not going out anyhow. But had hoped to go to meet a 3rd cousin I found doing genealogy who is flying from California to Atlanta next Monday. Atlanta is the last place I'd like to be stuck in, other than eating at Ippolito's if it is still there off I-75 at the first exit north of ATL. Hmmm my cold must be getting better, I'm thinking about FOOD, LOLOLOL. Hugs to all. Lavinia-TN

gasoline problems

Welp, I almost wrote "gas problems" in the subject title, but changed it for fear y'all would think I've been eating beans. Ack.

Some local governmental muckety-muck wrote a fast bill or something saying we could use the normal blend of gas that does not burn as clean but could be delivered to us much faster, more gasoline is arriving, and things are getting back to normal. While walking this morning, we were almost mowed over by all the high school students driving to school. Apparently they've been taking the bus for the past week, with the gas crisis, and it was nice. Now we're back to dodging the speedway cars, a/k/a high school students driving to school, in the subdivision.

I'm really on the home stretch with my dress.... zipper is in as of yesterday at Sit & Sew. I have some finishing work to do at the neckline/facing/zipper top area, then side seams to sew on wool and lining, and then the hem.... and then I'm done. The quilt I'm making for the kids' wedding gift is sitting patiently while I finish the dress, knowing it will be the very next thing I work on. :-)

JANE IN NC - If you're reading, how is the gasoline situation in your area? I've been reading horrendous reports about Asheville's problem.

gas and costume option

Here in Huntsville, we have not had the problems Doris is describing, thank God. We've had stations raising the prices to exorbitant levels, but they have plenty of gas now. The stations charging reasonable prices, on the other hand, run out very fast. We're a much smaller city at about 180,000 in the city proper and 500,000 in the immediate region. I've been hearing about Nashville on the local news, though.
We're doing Homecoming at school this week (American football), and have a dressup theme everyday this week as a show of spirit. Yesterday was "super hero, super villain day." I took a green T shirt, cut some question marks out of black felt, and glued them on with quilter's basting spray to be the Riddler from the 60's batman series. I wasn't crazy enough to put green tights on this 5o'ish body, so I just wore black pants! The question marks adhered all day, except for one dot. I peeled the rest of them off easily when I got home. I haven't washed the shirt yet, but it looks like everything "should" wash off. I see poodle skirts, etc for future use.
Laura in Alabama

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thanks Judy

Thank you Judy in Arizona for connecting we with Raeann.
Sandra from SC

gas shortage

Rosey - what did your B & B guests end up doing?

Our son who lives in Atlanta called last night. The red "Fuel" light on his dashboard has come on. I hope he can find gas to get to work and keep his job. Metro Police have been called to many gas stations around here to curb violence. On another sewing board, a poster in Asheville, NC said colleges have closed because profs and students cannot get gas to get to work/class and the National Guard has been called in to help with violence at gas stations. This feels like a Mad Max movie.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Catching up

A very quick and personal thank you to Doris, of Tennessee, who kindly responded to my query about gas shortages for my guests returning to Florida this morning. One of the guests owns an accessories shop in southern Fla. and has to be in Paris in one week on a buying trip. That, plus the fact that they are traveling with her two Irish Wolfhounds and the gas shortage, has given them pause and cause for concern. Their experiences in gas shortages in Fla. is that two women traveling alone is risky; the heat for the dogs at this time of year traveling and in the car means that with the possibility of running out of gas is dangerous for them. The fact that they've had the gas in their cars siphoned out of the tank in the past is giving rise to the thought that the two dogs and the other woman may stay in Toronto with the shop owner's brother for the week, while she flies to Paris, before driving to Fla. I had not realized the seriousness of the gas shortage in the US.

Jill, I loved the photograph that you put on the board and Ronna, such a heavy heart that you must have with the news of your sister's recurrance of cancer; I'm sorry to hear this.

Grace, when the retreat comes to an end, would you kindly steer Jean in the right direction towards the Farmer's Walk. We don't want her looking for 'Tom Thompson' in Algonquin Park and her passengers never to be seen again. Enjoy yourselves, all, who are going to Pembroke, Ontario and Grace's Retreat.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Think good thoughts for Lisa on Friday

Wednesday I go out to visit Lisa in CA. Her surgery is on Friday. She is keeping herself busy setting everything up ahead of time. For me, the kids, her DH..... Just like a mom, huh? Keep her in your thoughts on Friday.

I'm glad that you Coastal and Texas gals have come through the storms ok. Our turn in the Northeast will come in the winter.... during the ice/snow storms. This year, I'm sure that heating oil will be *very* expensive. This will be the first winter in a while where I have not pre-purchased the oil. When they sent the contracts out at the end of August, it was when oil was at its peak and 4.50/gal was twice what we paid last winter for heating oil. Guess I'll just have to see if it is worse than 4.50 this year during the winter. Right now, it is at 3.18/gal.

Welp (as Doni always said--- has anyone heard from her?) Time to go to bed.

Ronna in Happy Valley

Have You Information

Does anyone have information about Raeann L. from MO.? She and I have made a few trades in the last 2-3 years. I've tried emailing her, but each time it came back. I know that she has a lot of medical problems. When she never answered my post on the quilting page, I became concerned about her health. I hope she's doing OK.
Sandra from SC

Gas shortages in the US

I have two B&B guests staying here tonight who are leaving from Ontario, Canada and driving to Florida tomorrow. They would like to travel through the mountains of West Virginia, Virginia, North & South Carolina and Georgia. Has anyone here heard of any news about gas shortages and gas availability in these areas or on the east coast?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Race for the Cure & the Retreat

I want to wish all the retreaters good travels & tell you how jealous I am!Wish I could be there. Maybe the next one????I had the greatest time at the Michigan retreat a couple years back.We share such a unique & special bond.We are very lucky, us quilters.
Today was our Race for the Cure . It's a pretty special day for my dearest friend Debbie & I. So thankful that we can still share times like this together. I'm 5 years out.......time sure flies. I am so lucky to be cancer free & so lucky to have a best friend like Debbie that I can share the moment with, lots of hugs & tears today!!
Another happy event. We placed a special doggie in a new home yesterday. She belonged to an elderly lady with good intentions. But, unfortunately Daisy has grown up secluded in a bedroom for her 1st 8 mos of life. She was covered with fleas, unhousebroken, & weighs about 3 times what she should. We think she may have been living on "Meals on Wheels"! Her new owners live on 3 acres, all fenced, are retired & have hearts of gold! I can't tell you how elated I am about this. Oh, the 1st owner is going to assisted living & gets to take one dog with her.
Jill (on the left :) )


Just stopped in to check quickly. Glad to hear you made our okay with Ike Pat.We have friends who winter in Texas and we were there last winter so I have a little idea about the area. It sure sound scary living under those conditions, but it is very nice there in the winter for us.
This is the countdown week for the retreat. I am so hoping that I have everything ready. Of course I did not get made what I wanted for the goody bag. Just ran out of time, but am so looking forward to seeing all.
Like Joleen I am also looking forward to the next one because I will do almost anything to be able to go. Not only is it fun to attend , but I have had a great time planning this one.
Not much more I can say now, I also believe there are computers @ the hotel, and if not we are coming to Golden Lake for one evening and if nothing else we will have to post from the house here. That is if DH will let me in the house after leaving him for three day alone. LOL. I am already getting the good natured grumblings. I am sure you can imagine..Take care

Checking in

I don't visit every day anymore, but still stop in every week or so. Nice to see Ronna posting, but sorry to hear about her sister's recurrence. I have a friend in MI who is also going through chemo again. She had breast cancer many years ago and did have reconstruction, and was very happy with it. I don't think I would bother, though.

Ike went north and east of us, thank goodness. My brother lives on a channel on Key Allegro here in Rockport--the storm surge was about 5 feet, covering his dock and coming up to the first step up to his back porch, but very little wind and not enough rain to measure. My niece in Sugar Land southwest of Houston just got the electricity back yesterday. They didn't have any damage to their home, but did lose some plants in their yard. I've heard from almost all my friends in that area, still a few left to check in. I hope they're okay. We were all prepared to evacuate, got up at 0400 Friday morning to check the weather report one more time, and found we didn't have to go. My mother, who lives in Corpus Christi, had been evacuated on Tuesday with other folks with medical issues (she is on oxygen all the time now) to a church in San Antonio. We had thought they would be taken to a military base up there, and didn't know where she was until she borrowed a cell phone (she won't have one, don't ask) and called us Saturday to tell us that the bus was supposed to come to take them back to Corpus that afternoon. I tried calling her that night, but she wasn't home. She called at 5:30 pm Sunday, to tell us that the bus, which was supposed to be there at 3, still hadn't come, and would I please come to get her? Well, of course I would, so got ready and left home at 6 pm, got her and 4 of her friends, stuffed them and their luggage in the van with a borrowed tank of oxygen for Mom, and hustled them back to Corpus, got home a little after midnight. Next time, we will have arrangements made to take Mom with us! If we get a few of the regular green oxygen tanks on a little cart, and have them put a demand valve on, they will last until we get to wherever we are going (probably a LaQuinta, since they take pets), and we'll take her room air concentrator to use in the room and save the tanks for going out to eat. What a mess. We always start our prep for hurricane season by the end of May--have about 6 cases of bottled water tucked on the back porch, and canned stuff that we could subsist on for a few days, etc., keep plenty of dog and cat food in double plastic bags, all important papers in two plastic file boxes to grab and toss into the van if necessary. We had the window coverings on, did those on Wednesday. We use plywood on the downstairs windows--when we bought the house, we had a fellow put stainless steel bolts around the downstairs window frames and cut plywood to fit, with holes drilled to go over the bolts, so all we have to do is put the plywood on the bolts, add large stainless steel washers and wingnuts, and those windows are done. We had roll-down shutters put on the upstairs windows--would have liked to have them downstairs, too, but they're pretty expensive. There are still signs up on the major roads around here telling folks not to try to drive to Houston or Beaumont, TX because of damage and low fuel. We haven't had a problem getting fuel right here, but we live only 30 miles or so from all the refineries in Corpus.

Wow, this turned into a book, sorry, just glad to be able to check in.

Pat in Rockport, TX, who wishes she could have gone to Grace's retreat.

Grace's Retreat

Grace's Retreat hasn't officially started but unofficially the fun has already begun. There has been a flurry of activity on the Yahoo retreat site as well as personal e-mails with people arranging locations to meet at the airport in Ottawa, Grace updating us on the whirlwind of activities she has planned, etc. Betty had to bow out this week due to a family commitment - we will miss her! - but she still sent items for the goodies bags to Kathi so they make it to the retreat even if she can't! Everyone will be arriving on Thursday the 25th - Celia P., Jean, Kathi S., Celia B., Marie, Jane and myself all flying into Ottawa, Nellie driving a total of about 14 hours (one way), Brenda, Brenda's sister, Grace and several of Grace's friends all converging on Pembroke. I probably forgot some but I know there will be fourteen. If we have access to a computer you will be hearing from us by the end of the week. I'm already wondering where the next one will be. Joleen in MN