Thursday, October 29, 2009

Busy busy busy!

Back from vacation and I'm afraid I hit the ground running! I finished the anniversary quilt for L&J - 5 years last week. It was a kit I bought for L to work on because it WAS NOT MY COLORS! The picture is kind of dull - believe you me, that quilt is bright! She picked out the kit at The Pine Needle in Lake Oswego, Oregon. It was just 10 inch squares. After she sewed the 'twosies' under supervision she never had time or the inclination to do more. So I spirited the blocks out of the house and finished them. Had M long-arm it. and ta-da! A surprise anniversary present! I decided I'm giving my kids a quilt for all anniversaries divisible by 5! Of course, since A&J2 are getting married within 8 months of L&J's 5th ... I'll be scrambling every 4 years!!! Typical me!

Today we finished binding the recovery quilt for Suzanne. I led an intrepid group of mainly non-quilters to make this cheerful checkerboard quilt. They were troopers! And my goal was to have it done in a month and we did! Didn't they do a good job!

Winter has set in here - there's been snow up in the ski areas. Mainly grey, grey rainy days these last two weeks. We'll have to adjust our attitudes - and turn on the lights!!!

I'll leave you with a Miss P statement. Papa is no longer 'Papa'. He's now "Gamp-pa" because "he's all grown up now!" LOL! I'm still 'nana' and I don't know what that means!!! I walked into the family room where Miss P and R were playing with a farm set. R had the fence on his head as a hat! I remarked that I didn't think he was very grown up! But Miss P insisted he was!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Just a walk in the park

Hi from the road! We've had a wonderful time despite a few days of rain. Bend was rainy and COLD! The first morning we woke up to 29 degrees. It was at that moment R canceled his tee-time! Discovered the Old Mill Shopping district in Bend and loved it! Saw two movies, window shopped to my heart's content and ate at a very fast pasta restaurant.

Wednesday was rain and semis most of the day traveling. Those two do not go together! We didn't go up to Crater Lake. Only in the 40s and rain down on the highway - didn't want to chance 20s and snow up there! But fell in love with Route 66 - Oregon style - coming over the mountains to Ashland. No semis on that stretch - in fact, very little traffic of any kind.

Today was the perfect fall day - exactly what we were envisioning when we planned our "Fall Grand Tour". R went golfing with his friend and I roamed the park for hours. Here are some pictures for you to live vicariously!

Lithia Park starts out very civilized - you often find musicians and hackey-sak groups lolling about on the grass. You can sit and watch them, people sell their wares from towels - just a great gathering spot.

The playground is surrounded by colorful trees today. Children come to play on bikes, behind parents on bikes, in strollers, in slings ... a beautiful day like today brings them out in droves! No pictures, please - it makes the adults nervous!

There are a dozen bridges back and forth across the creek. Which side should I walk on? It's beautiful on both sides! Just pick and keep going!

And if you're lucky ... you'll see some shy Ashland residents. Look closely in the middle and you'll see the pair of deer that startled me as I started them! The park office estimates there are 100 deer living in the 42 acres that make up the park! And I'm sure they're telling all their country relatives to come on in - where it's safe during hunting season.

Don't worry - I also managed to get some shopping done! Probably too much according to DH! The forecast is rain on the coast when we're in Brookings ... so we'll be sitting in the alcove, reading or stitching this weekend. Maybe, just maybe it will be clear during low tide? Please???

Saturday, October 10, 2009

What a quilt-y week!

We left on a very PACKED 30 seat bus last Sunday. And we thought we were traveling light! A good day for traveling and the bus had huge windows for us to enjoy the view. We stopped at Greenbaum's in Salem on the way. A favorite store to stop at. And still arrived at Menucha an hour early!

This is the view from the pool area - Vista House. One of my favorite places in Oregon - there is a plaque there that says something like, "We must find the most scenic places and get the people to them." Gotta love the Corps of Engineers - they had their work cut out for them in Oregon!

If you ever get a chance to attend something at Menucha - do it! The staff was friendly, the food was good and the views were spectacular! And we got to sit and quilt, quilt, quilt with a room full of other quilters! Heaven, indeed!

In 2 and 1/2 days I got 48 of 100 log cabin blocks done for A&J2's wedding quilt; sewed smaller checkerboard blocks into bigger checkerboard blocks for the 'cancer recovery quilt' and pieced a Christmas wreath wall quilt that had been languishing in it's box since Nebraska. Thanks P! It's awaiting quilting but is DEFINITELY going to be done by December. It's just the right size for the one place I hang quilts! A very productive retreat.

Got home to an iery-ly quiet house - R was on a golf trip. The silence was just what I needed after sensory overload on retreat! Thursday I got up, went to water aerobics and then stitchery. Thanks to a group of women that I pushed around (:>) we got the 'cancer recovery quilt' top completed. After my "Fall Grand Tour" we'll tie it with prayers, bind it, take it's picture and present it to S. By the way - it looks wonderful!

Thursday night was guild meeting and Friday was an all-day workshop! That's right - counting packing last Saturday - that's seven FULL days of quilting. Just the right amount! LOL! AND I quilted Mr M's new quilt today by machine! Nope, not tired of quilting yet!!!

Tomorrow we leave for 8 days of exploring our favorite places in Oregon. More from the road later!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fall resolutions!

Time has gotten away from me lately - don't know that I'm any busier - maybe just lazier! I'm going to get back on schedule and post at least weekly - I promise.

That being said ... I'm headed for a quilt retreat tomorrow and after next weekend R and I are going on our Fall Grand Tour. So when I do post - it will either be a quick one on stolen time OR it will be in a couple of weeks with lots of news and pictures.

This weekend the guild here is having a retreat and I'm really excited - of course, I just hope it lives up to Gretna standards! 48 of the coast quilters go to the Gorge area - on the Columbia River outside of Portland. 3 hours away And the Portland shop retreats come to the coast!! To a town 20 miles away from us!!! I'm making a note of where they stay- just in case the retreat center we're going to isn't great. Half of us are going up in a bus so we're going to be taking alot less than I'm used to! I'm already starting to panic! After all, I'm used to a choice of 'too many projects' to choose from. We don't have to take bedding and towels, etc - but that never did take up more than one bed roll!

So I narrowed projects down to my son's wedding quilt - still piecing, machine quilting a baby panel for Mr M who will be ONE in November! AND a checkerboard red/white lap quilt my small group of non-quilters is making for a gal with cancer - I think I can pin the blocks together and get the center of the top done and ready for the group to piece the border blocks together next week. The retreat starts Sunday afternoon at dinner and ends Wednesday noon! I'm used to long weekend retreats but I guess most members here are retired and when you live at the coast you have alot of weekend company! But it seems so strange!

It's hard to tell when the fall leaves are going to be good. Last fall we hit the road at just the right time. This year the weather has been crazy - it was actually 88 degrees HERE at Newport just two weeks ago. I talked to G that evening and said we had Nebraska weather today - 88 and humid. She said, "No you didn't, it was beautiful and 70s here today!" Thanks, G for rubbing that in! But that weather has gone and the East Cascades are getting snow!! Who knows what the trees will do!

Our grand tour starts out going down the coast an hour to turn up the McKenzie River Road and follow it all the way to the Sisters and Bend area. After a couple of nights there we'll swing down thru the Crater Lake Park and down the Rogue River Valley. That's a great road with scenic stops in the forest where the river is especially gorgeous! On to Ashland where we will see one of R's golfing buds who moved there this summer. Oh, and of course, A & J2. THEN since we're so close ... on to Brookings thru the Redwoods (one of my favorite parts). We're staying at the condo we used to rent on vacation. By the time we get back (seven days on the road) we'll be longing to see Miss P and Mr M. And since L&J's 5th anniversary will be upon us, we'll have an excuse to head up to Portland! It'll be fun, fun, fun!

Whales were around alot in September - I saw spouts everyday from the beach or from our dining room table or even as a reward for doing dishes. It was so much fun - I love seeing them. Then we heard that they were feeding off of Rocky Creek Viewpoint so we went on a day trip. Yep, they were there! 5 of them and close enough to hear them spout. (That sound always gives me goosebumps!) We haven't gotten the trick of catching the spouts on camera but you can see the ghost of the spout in the middle of this picture. The rock-looking hump there is the whale back as he heads back down for more food. It was a gorgeous day. The waves were huge and the "splooshes" were awesome against the rocks. I could stand or sit forever and watch them but we were getting hungry so back to the car and we drove on to eat pizza and then hike on Cascade Head. We did stop on the way back home and communed some more with the whales.

Then Miss P was here for 3 days. We're potty trained now but we expect M&Ms afterwards. She talked to mommy and daddy on the phone and mentioned that she had gone potty but there were no M&Ms. Daddy assured her she'd get them when she got back home. We do cake when she's here so there was no lack of sugar - in case you were worried. When we took her back home, Mr M was all smiles - he knew something was missing and was glad to find her again!

I cheated this fall with my fall post cards. I used preprinted panels that I'd had forever and hadn't used. They turned out great. G sent me Halloween buttons last year and I put them to good use.

Happy Fall Everyone!