Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August 31: Studio Set Up

Well, I worked for about 5 hours washing the walls and starting to put things away.  I have a plan but it all takes time and occasionally more muscles or hands that I have.  I had to move a number of boxes to get to a few walls.  My back knows that I did not do all the lifting properly, but I have recovered.  I do not really know how long it will take to get everything where I want it, but I may have to take time to make a few curtains before I am really ready to quilt.
Where do I begin????

Found my machine.....

Out the window of the studio looking left - brick building
 is our church--further back is a mountain top

Through the side window of the studio --
se the mountain?

August 31: Already Had Internet Problems

We just got the Internet up and running yesterday afternoon.  By the time we got home from buying groceries we were once again without.  Turns out the people in the other apartment had theirs shut off because they moved out this weekend.  Something about there being only one line rather than 2 into the place.  The nice guys that came out to fix it today showed me everything and explained what they were going to do to make it right.  On top of that I will get a $20 credit because they needed to make this second trip.  Thank you, Comcast Guys!

I am working on setting up my studio today.  I want to get some more done before Kevin gets home.  Need to use his muscles for a few things so I better get moving.  I will either blog with before and after pictures tonight or tomorrow.  Just excited about being up and running again.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August 30: Lets Talk About Filth and Cleanliness

Before you read this, please note that we are still thinking we are on a grand adventure!  We all need to have challenges to be able to see all our blessings.

We took possession of our apartment on Saturday.  I knew that I did not have expectations of grandeur, but I did expect it to be clean and be ready to move in with just a quick wipe down of all the surfaces.  That is not what we got, but others tried to help make it right.  Today is my first sit down day since we entered this place.  The guys who moved out told the landlord that all they needed to do was a quick sweeping and they would be ready to turn things over.  Obviously they were not Boy Scouts or related to anyone in our families.  Both of us have always been told to leave a place better than you find it.  THEY HAD NOT OR CHOSE TO IGNORE IT!!!  The actual landlord said that this is what he sees when people move out.  We told him to expect more or to withhold the deposit.  We also considered our options on where we could live.  I am not a germaphobic, but I do have standards.  We asked that he replace the hall and stair carpeting as part of our move in and also asked that he allow us to paint the rooms that needed it the most.  The carpet is in and the painting is planned.

We have scrubbed and scrubbed and swept and vacuumed, and scrubbed some more.  We have used 2 large bottles of Pinesol, several pairs of rubber gloves, lots of Soft Scrub, and a bottle of toilet bowl cleaner. I even bought a kneeling pad to make all of the crawling around easier to take.  Am I proud of all the work we have done?  You bet ya!   Are we done, NO but today is a break!  Tomorrow I am going to do the first work in the studio -- It is mostly clean and ready to set up, but I do have some wall washing to do and some windows to clean.  (I generally say I do not do windows----I move.) This weekend we are painting the kitchen and shampooing two rooms. Is this the kind of place I want to live in forever - No Chance!  I do find older homes charming and would consider one in the future, but not a upstairs apartment with 16 steps to the living space.  However, it is now clean and becoming our little home away from home.  We can do anything for a year, and once we actually hang some things on the walls it will be kind of cozy.

Kevin and I did not bring lots of furniture and stuff, but with the 16 steps to be considered, believe me when I say we were exhausted after hauling it all up the stairs.  The last boxes seemed to weigh 10X what the first ones did.   I was really sweating from hard work not because of temps. Everything we brought with us was carried in on Saturday simply because all the rain was expected on Sunday and the carpet layers were expected by 10:00 AM on Sunday.  We had visions of working around them even though the stairs and hallway are smack in the middle of the apartment, and we did what we could.  (Going back to sleep at the Bed and Breakfast was the best idea I heard all day!!!)

A strong indicator of just how I was viewing the steps on Saturday evening would be that I had carried several items including a 6-pack of paper towels up to the top of the steps.  The paper towels slipped from my hand and bounced all the way to the bottom of the steps.  I stood and looked at it and found myself wondering how it was going to work its own way back up the stairs.  Pathetic, right?

My grandson will wonder why I do not have any photos, so here is a shot of our new carpeting for the 16 stairs and hallway.  =0)

August 30: Back on the Air

Actually, we were just waiting for the internet to be connected.  I realize that a lot of you have seen the nightly news about all the hurricane related issues in Vermont.  For us there was quite a bit of wind and rain, but not like some storms we have been through.  The rain and run-off did affect the falls that I photographed on our arrival in Fairfax.  Here is that before photo and the shots we took yesterday afternoon.  Note the rainbow and the promise it represents. 
On Sunday, we did watch the trees sway and the small branches fly through the air, but it is to be noted that our apartment stayed intact and dry.  I do not take storms lightly, but I also do not panic or try to worry too much about what may happen.  I said a few prayers for us and for those who might need protection, but there was a lot of unpacking to do, so I focused on that and on staying dry.

For those who are facing hardships and suffering because of the storm, my heart and prayers go out to you.

Friday, August 26, 2011

FYI for Faithful Readers

I have decided not to blog on Saturdays and Sundays.  I am amazed at how much time I have actually spent putting each post together. I intend to keep up my photographing and make a few notes during the weekends, so you will not miss anything (even if you wanted it that way)
I may post on Sunday just to let you know that we have any issues with the hurricane remnants like the weather reports seem to be suggesting.  However, I am not going to panic or even worry about it until we see what happens.  If I were right on the coast I would be more concerned, but I do believe that God will here with me. 
Tomorrow we are expecting to spend the day moving into our apartment and we will be very busy with all of that this weekend.  I will take lots of photos and blog about it once we have our wireless hooked up on Tuesday
We are having Internet installed in the apartment, but we are going to skip the TV and phone.  Decided to see just how long we can go in each other's company without having the TV distract us.  Of course we will still have the possibility of renting a movie on the odd occasion.   We also hope to spend lots of time exploring, playing cribbage, using the Wii, biking, hiking, lifting weights, and getting used to civilian life.
Soon I will have bits and pieces to share about Kevin and his woodworking school experiences.  Classes start Monday.  He already has his backpack and has even asked for certain items for his first few lunches.  Remember what it was like on the first day of school?  (The Byrnes girls all got new underwear and socks along with paper and pencils.  How about you?)

August 26: Almost to Canada and Back Again

Actually, it was a rainy morning, but we decided to venture north and check out two more quilt shops.  The fog hanging over the mountains was a new sight for us to see.  The roads were pretty steep but they were not nearly twisty as the ones to Smuggler's Notch.

The first quilt shop was in New Port, VT.  It was called Countryside Fabrics.  We used our GPS to get almost all the way there, but it could not pinpoint the store, so we had to call.  If the trees had not been in the way, we probably could have seen the shop from the car.  It was a nice shop with a friendly staff but a little out of the way for every day shopping.

As we were driving to the next shop we saw one quilt block on a barn.  We also saw a covered bridge, signs that said "Moose Crossing" and "Alligator Crossing".  We also saw several signs that the leaves are starting to turn but we are hoping we have a couple more weeks before we need to start snapping the camera like crazy. 

In St. Albans, VT, we visited Forever Bloon Quilt Shop and More.  This place is within driving distance, so it could become another regular stop.  The talk in the shop was more about the impending hurricane residual effects. 

These are my purchases for today.  When the quarters are all together they look good, but when I photograph them they don't have the same appeal.  Decided today that I will use a little of each fabric to make myself a purse as well.  Thanks of inspiring that thought, Sharon.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

August 25: Some Interesting Thoughts

It is obvious that we are in New England.  I love the old churches.  There is supposedly an old Catholic parish right across the road from our soon to be apartment.  We will check it out in the next couple of days.  I am truly looking forward to the idea of walking to church.
 Once I know more I will share what I learn.
We are staying at Suzanne's B & B in Cambridge Village, VT., until the apartment is ready for us to move in.  The house was built in the 1890s and has maintained its charms even with the necessary updates to bring it to code.  Cola, the owners' rescue dog, is kind of like a watchdog and a side kick.  He seemed a bit disappointed that we did not bring a dog with us.  This is a very pet friendly bed and breakfast.  The proprietors are charming and have helped us to figure out a number of solutions to things while we are finding our way around.  If you want to visit us, this B&B actually accepts kids and pets.
(We may have to reconsider something like this or a retreat house.  I am really liking our experience, but time will tell.)
This is where we are going to live in Fairfax, VT.  The students that are in the upstairs apartment are in the process of cleaning and moving out.  The place has a potential to be cozy and homey, but it will take us a little effort to achieve it.  Photos will probably not be sent out right away.  There are curtains to be made, rugs to be considered, and several other items to acquire.  Might actually be able to have the full long table for my HQ.  Life is good!

August 24: Welcome to Vermont

This morning we left the hotel and looked down the hill to see this beautiful site.  It is looking back at New York.  Lake Champlain is what divides the states.  We did not take the ferry, but it was an option.

The photos that follow are of what we saw as we approached Fairfax, VT.  This is where we will be living for the next year.

Back of the classroom shops
The next group of photos is all about why we are in Vermont in the first place.  We left our trailer in the back area at the Vermont Woodworking School.  So that is the first photo.
 Note that I had Kevin pose for one shot so that everyone would be able to recognize him in later posts.  For those who have seen him in the past 36 years, this is one of the few times he has been without a mustache.  We had a deal that he would reveal his whole face to me after retirement.  (Don't think he will keep it off and am expecting a beard to match.)

We don't seem to be able to stop at one thing, so we decided to travel up through Smuggler's Notch and on to Stowe.  The plan was lunch, a quilt shop, and wait for it..................


BEN AND JERRY'S  ice cream factory tour which included sampling a new ice cream!

The drive up the Notch was interesting.  There seemed to be a number of switchbacks to negotiate.  Glad the trailer stayed at the school.  We also saw a unique treatment of hail bails---wrapped in white plastic.  There rest of the photos are just for your enjoyment of that part of the trip.

In Stowe, VT, we enjoyed all the sightseeing available and promised ourselves more outings to see what the area has to offer.  We when to one quilt shop called Stowe Fabric and Yarn.  This place would satisfy my knitting friends and  my friends that love but don't make quilts.  There was not nearly the quantity of fabrics as we have found in some shops, but they did have a nice selection.

We ate lunch in a small town.  We are keeping menus of all the places so we will have places to recommend.  The lunch was wonderful and filling.  Kevin seems to be a little anxious that he had eaten too much to truly enjoy all the ice cream offerings of the day.  I told him he would need to pace himself because we are hear for about a year!  We enjoyed  few minutes of antiquing, but as usual did not buy anything.  Love the memories but don't need more "stuff".

Off to Ben and Jerry's next.  The tour was interesting, the taste was filling, and the extra scoop of Cherry Garcia completely made the day for my husband.  Kevin smiled for a long time afterwards.  Visitors will definitely be going with us to that stop!

The drive back to our new home area was done on the interstate.  Not nearly as twisty as the road up through Smuggler's Notch, but beautiful, as well.  Fall leaves arrive in about a month.
Our second and last quilt shop of the day. Yankee Pride Quilts in Essex Junction, may well be the shop that I use most often while we are here.  The owner already shared information about an area guild and may have enticed me to take a mystery quilt class if time permits.   They have a little of everything that I love!.
I only purchased two fat quarters today.  There are re two other shops fairly close by, so we may check them out today, but then we start moving into our apartment, so I will be looking for drapery fabrics for a while.

Tomorrow I will share all the information about this cool bed and breakfast and also share a few of the apartment after we have a tour.  We hope to be moving in on Friday.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

August 23: New York to Vermont (Not the Plan but....)

We traveled the New York toll road for most of the time we were in the state.  The only problem with that was making certain that we had enough change to do the job.  The drive was smooth and everything was fine on the toll road.  The reason that we did not stop in New York for the night was simply that we could not find any hotel that had space available.  Not a big deal, but I did plan to catch up on my blogging last night.  As it was we ended up arriving in South Burlington, VT, around 8:30 ET.  By then I was too tired to do all the photos, etc. 

We did a good bit of driving before we arrived at our first quilt shop.  I still have not taken time to figure out which mountains are which, but I will research it tomorrow and clarify for all those who have never been in this part of the country.  Sorry to those who are better informed that I am.

The Ivy Thimble  Quilt and Gift Shop in Victor, NY, was a very charming shop both inside and out.  The building is an old train depot. Part of my fascination with this shop was probably that my Grandma worked in the train depot in Sioux Falls, SD.  This stop was one that was truly a treat for the eyes.

The next shop was in Savanah, NY.  Once again we decided to go off road.  The trip was 50 miles round trip.  We had the time, so we simply enjoyed what was offered.  The drive was beautiful but the roads were narrow.  Springdale Market and Fabric shop carried a variety of things, not just quilting frabric.  If I had a place to store it, I would definitely have purchased some of the fruilt.

Our third shop was Calico Gals in Syracuse, NY.  This shop had lots of character.  There were lots of things to see, but my favorite thing about the inside of the shop was the wooden rail balcony that was draped with a number of gorgeous quilts.  This shop also had the purse pattern I have been searching for since Sharon made my purse.  Thank you for making us feel welcome.

Our last quilt shop of the day was the Tiger Lily Quilt Co in Utica, NY.  As in most quilt shops there were a number of beautiful quilts and fabrics.  It also has some fun gifts for quilters.

Fat Quarters selected during our visits, today
The rest of the photos are scenes from our travel.  If you have not figured it out yet, you can click on the photos to enlarge the photos.  Enjoy.

Erie Canal from the car