Sunday, May 8, 2011

...and now, it's May!!

Well I am starting off with a picture of me wearing my Fascinator that I made for the Royal Wedding. You will have to take it from me that it looks great with red pyjamas. I got up at three-twenty a.m. and promptly made tea and had it with Thistle Scones that I made the night before, and with an incredible blueberry/lemon/ginger jam. At four, my son and daughter in law from Saskatoon rang me up on Skype and we watched the whole thing together on CNN for the next three and a half hours. That was far better than watching it alone, which was Plan B. I guess the little hat will go away now until the next royal wedding. I only wish I had bought feathers in Florida so that I could have done a 'better' job!!

I I have not been the most productive quilter this year. There are reasons; none of them good enough. Already I have plans for the next twelve months and I intend to be more organized and busy than in the past.

In the last while I have managed to finish a few things; the little square project was made with a Christmas Charm Pack and turned out rather well. The paper pieced wall hanging will go to the Gyro International Convention in Halifax in July, something for them to sell or offer for auction at the event. I have a few other things that are still on my table to go with the little hanging. I call it "Atlantic" for all of the visitors.

The pink piece is what I did for Sheila as part of our Brown Bag Challenge. I love the way it turned out and will do one for myself. This can be made in three sizes and the one I did is the middle one. I guess it's difficult to determine just how big it is from the photo but essentially it's a table topper or would look fine on the back of a chair for want of another place to put it. The Brown Bag Challenge is one of my favorite projects in our Guild. I wish more people would participate. This year only 12 people took the plunge.

More to come; I have a few pics to take and an hour to find!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Things to remember for next time

It happens quite often...Mike and I will be coming home from something or other and we are already correcting a mistake or two. This year was the same: we have mentally made the corrections for next year, or at least we have noticed what we want to do differently.

Next year will definitely be a longer stay but in the same place. We loved the condo and will be booking ourselves in for the month of March.

I have to shop early and not leave things to buy in Maine. By the time we get there I just want to be home and I can't focus on the shopping.

We will come home in three days. That way, one of us will be very happy and the other one of us will tolerate the long days. It's certainly doable; we just have to start earlier in the morning, not at eight but at six, and stay on the road longer, getting off at six or seven and not at four. YOu can do anything for three days.

Next year we will play golf while we are in Florida.

We will have to find accommodations for the cats. It's too hard on Baby to be alone in the house for a month. The Jazz probably doesn't know we are gone but the older girl is a wreck when we get back. Not good for her.

We want to spend more time with family and extended family. Chris and Laura have been married for three years and we still barely know her parents.

Actually this was a great trip but not long enough.I am not sure it will ever be long enough but a month will be an improvement and we will add on the travel time. HOpefully next year we will have guests; Brian and Leslie may visit and our friends Terry and Norma might come along as well. Already I can't wait to go back.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Back in the nest

Yes it did snow in Bangor last night. It snowed a lot. The parking lot was plowed when we got up at five forty-five and after breakfast we hit the road. There wasn't an option and we figured that if the plows were out, the roads would be passable. There was always a black strip ahead of us; sometimes it was packed with snow/ice but by Houlton, the roads were bare and we were off and running. No problems at the border and as usual, when we cleared, we looked at each other and said "we should have bought more". I eventually got tired shopping except for that foray into the Maine Mall in Portland which I mentioned previously.

Nothing exciting on the drive home. We arrived at The Ranch at about three thirty and the next couple of hours were devoted to settling BAby. She was totally distraught when we got here. She doesn't like being home alone and I feel this is the last year we can do that. Even with Mary coming in every couple of days, that old cat is not in good shape when we are gone. She needs to be with someone...anyone for that matter. Jasmine went out when I opened the door and has been in and out again since. She is pretty adaptable but Baby is on me, beside me or following me since we arrived. She is needy anyway but worse when we have been away.

So the first laundry is done; the unpacking is done. There is cat hair EVERYWHERE. The table in front of the living room window is covered in paw prints. I left the curtains open so that Baby could sit on that table and watch the world go by and it appears that she did just that. Tomorrow I will get out the vacuum cleaner and get rid of the hair on the furniture. I took up scatter mats in the bathrooms and laundry room to prevent the piles of hair on them. Tomorrow then, clean up. Going out for a walk early to get back into that routine. The vacation is done and the blog is almost done too, except for one more entry I am orgainzing in my mind. That one will be for tomorrow.

I hope it served the purpose I had intended. I think it's a good idea because I now have a record of what we did and some of the details I might forget over months are recorded. For whatever reason!! Thanks for stopping in; I have enjoyed rambling on about simple things. Didn't get around to saving a life or performing brain surgery...I'll leave those for next time. Tomorrow is the summary...Till then.....

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday in the snow

We started the day in snow and we finished it in snow although in between, we drove into it and out of it and into it again and out of it...and it went on. In New York state we stayed in Middletown which was past Scranton and in a very nice area, although it looked like a little dot on the map in the beginning. When we got up, Mike said to me " it didn't snow last night did it??" and I looked out the window to assure him it hadn't and everything was white. Breakfast was a disappointment; the first time we had stayed at Hampton Inn and had a less than great breakfast. I had lost my appetite when I saw the snow so the yogurt I had stashed in the fridge was all I could manage. Anyway on the road and off we went.

I always say I don't like shopping. There was a store I wanted to visit in the Maine Mall in Portland and we stopped there in the rain/snow mix. Well it was like I had landed in my favorite spot in the world. All the pretty shiny things!!! But I was on a mission at Coach, and after succeeding, I pulled myself out the door and headed for the car. I could have done some very serious shopping in that store for sure. It was like a miniature version of The Florida Mall. Even a TeaVana with better tea pots. I had already done damage there in Orlando so I just peeked in the window. Then to Bangor.

When we checked in the clerk told us not to park close to the door so that the plowing could be done in the morning. YIKES!!! I hope he is mistaken but only the morning will tell. We expect to leave early and get back to the ranch early. I hated to leave Orlando but now that we are close to home, I can't wait to get there. Lots of things to do. I bought some fabric at Mardens but didn't manage to get things on my list. A few requests from friends weren't found and I am disappointed about that but I looked and didn't find. All I could do!

So it's almost time for bed but Dancing With The Stars has started and that's the next two hours booked. More tomorrow.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday on the road

After a good sleep last night in Selma NC, we hit the road early and drive for ten hours again today. The myth of travelling on Sunday is a real myth as far as we are concerned. We were in traffic all day except for the last two hours when we seemed to be the only people on the go. We listened to the race at Bristol Motor Speedway Baby today as well remembering how we were there last year and just how cold it was there. In spite of the busy drive, I enjoyed the geography of Virginia and Pennsylvania. When you are the passenger, you may as well find something of interest and entertainment and for me, it was observing the geography of the region. Very hilly in Virginia and apparently, full of coal. Likewise into Penn as we drove through mountains and discovered amazing cities tucked in valleys and at 2000 feet. So much coal; then the power plants; then the industries. ... and the population to support all of it. As we looked down at these cities in valleys we also looked across to rows of windmills generating clean power, beside the plants burning the coal. In the cuts where the road went through hills in incinvenient places, you could see the layers and layers of rock that accumulated over millions of years and the forces that drove the mountains up were quite evident in massive layered rocks protruding from the earth at unbelievable angles. I was fascinated. It's still brown in the north, but in both NC and SC the gras is greening up and it's looking like spring there. We saw ice on the rocks in Penn and ski hills still operating although the rest of the landscape is devoid of snow.

Tomorrow I know MIke wants to make it home. I don't think it can be done. I have a few places I need to stop and show. Perhaps my next note will be from the road, at least I hope so. Trusting your day has been a good one; I am too tired this evening to be creative n my writing. The facts today; just the facts!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Ten Hour Day

The first day on the road is always a hard day. This morning we started off badly by oversleeping. Whereas we intended to be on the road at seven, we didn't wake till seven-twenty so already we were behind. Starting the drive at nine wasn't bad in spite of the late rising but we pushed till seven this evening and it seems long. I did only two hours today but it broke the drive up a bit for Mike. So we are in Selma NC and tomorrow we will go on 95 to Fayetteville and then head away from 95 and the cities of the northeast for a route that's a little more driver-friendly. I imagine we will try for another long day tomorrow but no more than ten!

Yesterday, Friday, we picked Chris up from work and had supper with him and Laura and Jocelyn. We had fish cakes and beans with cole slaw...a hunter's breakfast for supper. It was delicious! Then we had a key lime pie for dessert. On the way home, we were caught up in the monster traffic jam on highway 4. Ordinarily it takes us about 30 minutes to get back to our condo from Luge Lane. When we took the ramp onto #4,it was already in a parking lot. It took us an hour and fifty five minutes to go five miles. There was an accident at the on ramp at Sea World and the traffic was down to one lane, at seven o'clock on a Friday night. UGLY BEYOND BELIEF!! Chris had often said how that hightway could be jammed but until you are driving 1.5mph you just don't understand what that means. We got home safely but I was starting to have feelings of panic after the first hour and a half in stop and go...mostly stop! We packed up the shed pretty well before going to bed so when we got up this morning, it was mainly moving things.

So day one of the return is done. Tomorrow should be a good day and then a hard day and then home. MIke is saying he would like to get to Waterville tomorrow but I don't believe that is humanly possible. I can't imagine getting home in just two more days.

As they say, stay tuned. I think we will be back at 124 on Tuesday. Time for bed; thanks for checking in.