Saturday, March 21, 2020

Where does the time go?

Where in the heck does time to?  Anyway, on to more of our travels way back in January.  Who knew?   Anyway, one of our outings as a family group was to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum.  We arrived in late morning which is not the best time but it took us a bit over an hour to drive there. 

Anyway, we all split off and went our own way along the numerous trails.  The arboretum has distinct groups showing desert habitat from all over the world with plants indigenous to those areas.

I didn't pay a lot of attention to which country the areas represented although I probably should have.  There were some very interesting cacti from all over the world, of course.

I though I would never forget the name of this tree because it was so unique but I guess my memory isn't what it used to be. 
Boojum tree 

They were so different. 
The bark was smooth and very pale.  

I am a birder.  Therefore I was as interested in any new birds that I might see as in the plants.  The Anna's hummingbird was gorgeous and there were several of them feeding and flying around feeders hung in the trees. 

After a nice walk, we all reconvened at the picnic area for lunch which the kids had provided.  Wonderful stuff.  We then all headed out again on other walks.  By this time, it was getting warm out and we were happy to return to the car and head home. 

I highly recommend a visit to this place if you are ever in the Phoenix area.  It is east of the metro area near a little town of Superior, Arizona.  There is lots of shade and places to sit and take it all in or rest.  There's lots of info about it at the website above. 

Y'all take care and be safe during these interesting times.  


Monday, February 24, 2020

A New Day

A new day dawned here in the mountains.  I'm hoping that it will be a better one. 
Yesterday's sunrise 
The past few days here on the hill have passed in a blur.  I came down with a severe stomach virus and was laid low.  Then just as I'm starting to feel a bit better, my husband is hit with it.  I'm still not out of the woods and he certainly isn't.  I guess this nasty thing has been hitting our community very hard according to a doctor's staff.  

There's been a lot going on in my world since you heard from me so you may get bits and pieces over time.  Other than the above, its all been pretty good stuff.   I'll do my best to get caught up but have some things that must be done today in prep for a meeting tomorrow.   I'm the first VP of the quilt guild and the president has to be out of town for medical appointments so I need to conduct the meeting tomorrow in addition to handling my normal duties as membership chair.  Got to get materials ready.

Y'all take care 

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Way Out West

Yeah, I know, its been a while.  We're in Fountain Hills, Arizona for a bit and the time has been flying by.  Two sets of the "kids" are here also.  One set  lives here and the other set is snowbirding for a while.  We've been enjoying the time and activities we share together. 

I've been birding a bit since a lot of the birds here are new to me.  Been doing my best but its like starting over as a new birder when you go to a new area.  

These are lousy pictures because my longest lens is only 200 mm and the birds don't care to pose close to me.  I've added a number of new birds to my life list and for that I'm happy.

The day we got here we had the opportunity to go down to the fountain park for the Balloon Glow.  It was a lovely sight. 

I lived in the desert at Las Vegas for 20 years but the Sonoran desert is totally different than the Mojave.  I like Sonoran best.  There seems to be more vegetation and, of course, the saguaros are so wonderful and majestic.  

Gotta run.  Things to do since the "kids" are coming over today and preparing dinner for all of us. 

Y'all take care. 

Monday, December 16, 2019

And Away We Go

Mere days after returning from the Jekyll Island birding trip I headed off to Houston for the International Quilt Festival for the first time.  That's one of the holy grail type events for quilters world over.  My friend and I stayed at the Hotel Icon in downtown Houston.  It is an old bank converted to a hotel and only blocks from Minute Maid Field where the last game of the world series took place the night we arrived.  

I had my first experience of using Uber to get from IAH to the hotel and it was a good experience.  So was the return trip.  Both vehicles were nice and clean and the drivers were very careful. 

As any quilter knows, the Houston show is a humongous vendor mall with a quilt show attached!  Not really, but it does seem that way at times.  We started our visit by heading to the vendors and spent hours working our way up one aisle and down the other, contributing to the economy as we went.  It is amazing to see so many quilting tools and supplies in one place.  It's also a good way to see new products and  how they are used.  As we headed out for the day, we stopped at the parcel desk and had them pack up and ship a box home for us.  Next day we were considerably more restrained and simply took those purchases back with us to the hotel.  Of course, I had stuffed another bag into my suitcase "just in case", you know.  It did come in handy when we were packing up to come home.  I wound up with some of my friend's clothing in the extra space in my suitcase and we split our purchases between our carry on bags.  We began our viewing of the quilts that day as well and returned on Saturday to spend the day looking at quilts.  I truly did enjoy the trip but its one of those things that once done doesn't appeal to me much any more.  We'll see. 
First Place -- Alphabet quilt & quilter

There was an exhibit on endangered species that I adored.  

One of the major displays was Sapphire meaning all things blue.  There were dozens of quilts in blue and white from tiny to huge. 

This pig quilt was totally fascinating due to all the beads and other embellishments that truly make this quilt what it is.  

One of my favorite moments came when we visited the  Material Obsessions booth and met Australian designer Wendy Williams.  I love her patterns and have several.  I'm actually working on one of them right now.  What a treat to see the designers themselves in the booth interacting with the customers rather than someone hired to do it for them.  Wendy, Kathy Doughty and John Doughty were a refreshing treat.  

Needless to say, we walked our legs off every day and returned to the hotel totally beat.  Thankfully our hotel shuttle picked us up and delivered us right back to the hotel door whenever we wanted them.  The next order of business after delivering our packages to our room was a tall glass of wine.  I found and enjoyed a cabernet sauvignon which I believe was called Stonybrook.  I'm still on the trail trying to track it down sufficiently that I can have a local beverage supply house order it for me.  I plan to call the hotel bar and ask since the admin offices haven't responded to my email inquiry.  

Enough for now.  There's more to be shared  soon.   Y'all take care. 

Monday, October 28, 2019

She's Alive

She's alive and well but not so on the ball.  I'm so glad that y'all are hanging in with me. 

It's been a pretty busy time around here, at least for me.  Our guild's biannual quilt show was held September 27-28 and I was kept busy from Tuesday of that week right through Saturday.  I was a worker bee for the quilt intake and judging which took two days.  Then on Thursday I helped transport the quilts to the show venue and work on setup.  The show started on Friday.  I worked admissions on Saturday and then helped some with takedown.  It was a busy week. 

I entered three quilts and one of them won a second place ribbon in its class. 
Picture doesn't do it justice but the colors are so vivid.  Working with all those aboriginal prints and colors at one time was a real step outside my comfort zone.  It's a big quilt so the top is folded over the hanger rod.    The second quilt is all hand applique.  I machine stitched the blocks together of course. 
Across the Wide Missouri
I started the quilt several years ago and used it as my means to learn how to do needle turn applique.  Just let me say that it was a journey that I'm still traveling.  This quilt was not judged, just displayed.  

Then, four days after the show ended, I headed over to Smith Lake near Cullman, Alabama for a quilting retreat.  Ladies come from several states for this retreat and I haven't missed one since the retreat began in late 2010 or early 2011.  Can't remember.  At any rate, it was 4 1/2 days of fun and sewing.  The only picture I took was of the quilt top that I made while there.  
Again, the picture doesn't do the colors justice.  The tan is much richer than it shows here.   I arrived back home on October 6. 

On October 11 I drove down to Jekyll Island, Georgia to attend the Georgia Ornothological Society's meeting and do some coastal birding.  I had never been to the Georgia coast so it was interesting to compare it to the other coastal birding I've done along the Gulf coast.  

We had a good turnout for the event and several days of birding.  I had met a few of the attendees at an earlier meeting but didn't really know anyone there.  The one fellow I knew who had planned to attend had to drop out at the last minute so I just headed on out by myself.   Our banquet speaker was Kenn Kaufman and he was a delight to be around.  The event was held at Villas by the Sea.  I drove back home on Monday, October 14, after a short outing to Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge.  

All this activity and traveling simply wore me out!  I was one tired puppy at that point and spent the next several days just resting up.  I had no ambition to do much of anything.    At this point I've had a couple of weeks of recovery but I'm off again on Wednesday for another adventure.  That'll be for another day. 

Thank you again for sticking with me.  I do appreciate it.  Y'all take care. 

Saturday, August 10, 2019

My Mountain Life

Good morning, friends.  I've been up to my usual doings here on the hill.  Summer is truly here and we're having our hottest weather of the year.  It's still a lot cooler than a lot of folks so we don't complain too much. 

Hubby has been walking at Meeks Park most every day and I go every other day.  It was a little warm and with the humidity we worked up a good sweat.  It's still a gorgeous place, though.
I took this picture through my sunglasses trying to eliminate the sun's glare on the creek.  Obviously it didn't totally work.  

Tonight there will be a movie night at the park with free snow cones, popcorn and hotdogs.  The movie will be Charlotte's Web. 

I've been  prepping a new needle turn applique project and am just now starting the stitching.  It's a gorgeous pattern and I hope to do it justice.  

Back in April when family members were here, I had a quilt hanger put in the master bedroom.  Right now it has my pig quilt on it because it happened to be the one I grabbed at the time. 
Its about time to change it out for something different. 

I've also canned some green beans that I bought from our friend who has a booth at the farmers' market.  I wound up with 21 pints of green beans.  They are so much better than anything you can buy at the grocery store.  
12 of the 21 pints 

Since tomatoes are at their peak right now, we like to have tomato pie made from local grown tomatoes. 

It was SO good.  We'll have more too. 

We have unfortunately had some visitors we didn't want.  This hornet nest was attached to the bottom of a shelf under the leanto back of our garage.  This one was over 12 inches long from the shelf to the bottom.  It had to go which is sad.  The nests are so gorgeous.  Some folks use the vacant nests as part of their country/ mountain decor.  Normally you see them up in trees.   

Hope everyone is having a good summer.  Y'all take care. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Fresh veggies and black bulls

Summer is here in the mountains.  We're having days of high 80's with higher than usual humidity.  Oh well, this too will pass soon.  At least we're not looking at months of hot, humid weather. 

It's that time of year when fresh vegetables are becoming more available.  I picked up some fresh bicolor corn and tomatoes at the farmers' market yesterday and we had them for dinner last night.  I sprinkled sea salt from the Camargue coast of France on them and it was delicious.   I discovered this wonderful Fleur de Sel while having lunch at a ranch in the Camargue where we saw the black bulls famous for the French style of bullfighting.  No bulls are injured in this style and they can go on to live long happy lives after retiring from the ring.  
Our trusty wagon pulled by a small Massey-Ferguson tractor

A field of champions, some retired some still active
We had a wonderful lunch at this ranch and it was during this meal that I tried the Fleur de Sel on a tomato that was included in the appetizer tray.

I thoroughly enjoyed the day but my friend traveling with me had come down with a nasty cold so she was miserable.

As my friend says, I drank more wine in that one week in France than I've likely had in the last few years!!  What can I say?  When in Rome...(or France as the case may be).....

Hope everyone is well and happy.  Y'all take care