Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 30: Just a Quick Thought or Two

Finished the storage pillowcase for the t-shirt quilt and had my husband mail it this morning.  Just realized I did not photograph the pillowcase.  I will ask for a photo when my friend gets the box.

This box is another one of Kevin's class projects.  It was turned on a lathe.  The wood is all from the same piece, but by the time Kevin turned the top section, there was no more of the wax that he used on the bottom, hence the color difference.  I kind of like how it turned out, but he seemed to be a little disappointed that he could not finish it all with the same wax.

Finished another binding.  This is made up of all the leftover fabrics from a number of quilts made for women with ovarian cancer.  I was experimenting with a pantograph. This quilt is just for me to use on cool nights while I am doing needle punch or hand piecing.  I have already napped under it, so I know it will be just right.  lol

Working on a Christmas fabric Twister quilt today.  Goal is to do all the recutting and piecing today, so I hope to have a photo ready tomorrow.

Received a quilt top from my daughter in today's mail.  It will be quilted this week and put back in the mail on Friday so she to bind it before Christmas.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 29: Purchases of Significance

 On Black Friday, we had one mission.  We went to Woodcraft to purchase some carving tools for me.  It was not a sale item but more the fact that they carried the tools I wanted and there is no Woodcraft store in our area.  I also bought a couple of magazines and a carving book.  Kevin got a magazine that had information about salt boxes.
The other stop was a quilt shop of course.  In Chesapeake, VA where we used to live, Battlefield Blvd has numerous little shopping centers.  When we lived there the Hancocks was the one fabric place, but now there is a place called The Quilting Bee Inc.  It was a pleasant shop, but had only limited fabrics and tools.  The ladies were busy with teaching, and it appeared to me that was the shops focus.  Everyone who was there was in a cheerful mood.  I purchased one more fat quarter for that illusive quilt that I plan to make after our year in Vermont.

November 29: Car Troubles

As we headed home on Saturday, we had plans to stay in a hotel somewhere in New Jersey and finish the drive on Sunday morning.  About 4 minutes before this photo the check engine light came on and we also got a quick beep.  We had been on the road for about 60 miles, so we decided we better check for a dealer.  I started the search and was coming up empty -  The Eastern Shore does not have very many auto related businesses.  We had just decided to check for a regular garage when the car stopped and Kevin barely managed to get the truck to side of the road in Exmore, VA.  There was steam coming from under the hood. Although we did not know it until the mechanic told us, we had blown the #4 fuel injector tube and were really lucky that we did not have a flash fire in the truck.

Used our towing service to take us to a garage in Birdnest, VA.  John actually was not open, but took pity on us.  Unfortunately it was not just a Saturday, but the Saturday after a holiday, so the extended warranty people were not working, and the part needed was only carried by Dodge dealers. There were no motels in the area that had openings and no rental car places open until Monday and to tow the truck to the other side of the bridge-tunnel would have been extremely expensive.

Enter our knight-in-shining-armour!  Benjamin drove over and rescued us.  We had just extended our visit with Lin and Greg!  Kevin had the start of a sinus head so he napped as Benjamin and I chatted all the way back to his parents.  What a remarkable guy he is!  We talked about lots of different topics including some very deep thoughts on his future plans and of course the gorgeous sunset that I did not have the camera available to capture.  Benjamin is a very caring and compassionate human who really cares about doing the right thing. 

The rest of Saturday and Sunday were very relaxed.  We ate more pie, watched some movies, and just chatted.  On Saturday Greg mentioned that he wanted to learn how to make a good meatloaf.  (Lin is a vegetarian.)  So, on Sunday, we bought the ingredients, and I supervised as Greg made my meatloaf, baked potatoes, and veggies.  He did an excellent job and will be able to have a few meatloaf sandwiches this week.  He cleaned up as he went along, so there was not even any mess to deal with after supper.  Guess he is pretty domesticated.

On Monday morning, Greg drove us to a dealer in Tidewater and we purchased the part.  Then he took us over the bridge to John's and while the car was getting fixed, we drove into Exmore for some breakfast.  We were on the road home about 10:30. 

About 12:30 we decided that we really had to try and wash off a little more of the diesel smell, so we found a car wash.  We also decided that even though we had eaten only 3 hours before we would stop for lunch at one of our old favorite places.  Don't ever see these so it was the second time since leaving Minnesota in July.  YUMMMM!

I had a naggy headache most of the drive home.  Probably was related to the fumes, but finally did breakdown and take something.  Traffic was heavy in New Jersey, but then we had experienced that on the way down so we were not surprised.  (Funny how we sort of forgot about real traffic since we moved to Vermont.)  We drove the whole trip in one day because Kevin had already missed one day of school.  We arrived at our door at 10:54 and quickly unpacked.  Then we fell into bed thinking about how nice it was to NOT be sitting in the truck anymore.

LOVED the visit, but now I am ready to do some sewing, again.

November 29: Scenic Photos of Our Trip South and Part Way Back

We left Vermont before the snow and came home to nothing left on the ground.  We wore short sleeve shirts with an occasional light sweater, and enjoyed lots of sunshine.  Even so, we both noted that we missed seeing the mountains and the Vermont skies.  The further we went the flatter the land became, but then too, there were still colored leaves hanging on many trees in southern Virginia.  I have included lots of Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel shots because as a young Navy wife, I was pretty much terrified of going under the water in the tunnels, and even saved my coins so that we could pay the toll to finally face my fear.  Now I am just fascinated by the whole idea of how these tunnels and bridges were built.

Looking toward the ocean side of the bridge

The first time we travelled on this bridge-tunnel we stopped in the
middle for ice cream and then headed back.  It still amazes me
that we drove out there and had a snack.

In the background is the other end of one of the tunnels.  The
large ships can pass over the tunnels to head into Norfolk.

Note the sand --- No Mountains here!

Headed back toward the bridge

All the white spots are boats with fisherman trying for the catch
of the day.

November 29: Where Do I Begin?

November 22 we left on our adventure to Chesapeake, VA, to see our first Navy friends and share our Thanksgiving.  Lin and Greg were living 2 doors down from us in our first apartment complex as the guys started their Naval careers.  We became fast friends and have remained friends over the the last 30 years.  Our paths have criss-crossed many times and we have been stationed in the same area on several occasions.  Lin learned to diaper by changing Jamie's (First one went on backwards.)  We were there when Brandon was born and took care of Brandon when Benjamin was born and going through his medical situations.  When I could not meet the ship coming back from a Med deployment, Lin went in my place (That is a whole other story!!!) We have a very long history together.

Check out Brandon eying his beautiful bird!
 On Thanksgiving, Lin who is an exceptional cook prepared most of the meal.  Her sons have followed in her foot steps and did their part as well.  Brandon was in charge of the grilled turkey and Benjamin handled the mashed potatoes and ham.  The guys' girlfriends each had a part in the cooking as well.  Amy chopped carrots and apples to perfection and then Sammi sauteed.  Lin was the perfect mother hen clucking away and guiding the girls through their tasks.  The boys did it their way.  The meal was superb.  Kevin will attest to the desserts - pumpkin pie, apple pie, peaches and cream.  I loved having 3 different types of cranberries!

The whole day was wonderful.  The boys have definitely grown into charming young men and have each found a wonderful young woman to share this time of their lives.  No pressure guys, but we think they are keepers.

Benjamin and Sammi

Amy, Max, and Brandon
Friday was a little more laid back, with Kevin and I going to Woodcraft and then back to our friends' for lunch before heading out to explore.  Lin is the executive director of the Great Bridge Battlefield and Waterways History Foundation, so she took us to the park and welcome center the foundation is building.  It was obvious to us that she is fully invested in its success.   We strolled around the paths as she pointed out what was taking place in each area. 

From there we did some driving around and reminisced about past adventures.  Then we went to the marina and met up with Brandon and Amy at his boat.  Until recently, he lived on this boat all year, but now he has taken a different job and will just be using it as a weekend place.  (Nice digs!!!)

Benjamin and Sammi had to work, so they did not join us for dinner and cards.  We played Phase 10.  In the end, it became a competition of sorts for Brandon and Amy.  She pulled off the win, and that lead to me building her a very special trophy which was presented the next day.  She loves mashed potatoes and I teased her far too much about them, but the potatoes were the perfect medium for sculpting her trophy.  We actually sprinkled it with edible glitter and then put it in the freezer to make certain is was firm.  As you can see she was tickled.
Lin and Greg have always been cat people.  The first cat we met at their house was Burpie aka Admiral Burp to my kids.  There were others along the way, Buttons (a very strong willed cat that I referred to as Butthead) and Pockets.  Currently the cat of the house is Bear. (He is all hot air and a push over for a quick scratching.)  However, when Greg retired from the Navy a couple years ago, Lin got him a Sheltie named Sadie.  Sadie worships Greg and always wants to know exactly where he is.  They are very cute together.  I loved it when they told each other secrets and when they played hide and seek with "Hedgie" a stuff animal.  Having Sadie is something that has really brought out the playful side of Greg.  As you can tell from this picture, Sadie also knows who is the biggest pushover for treats.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November 22: Next Couple of Days

The next few days will be filled with all the Thanksgiving traditions and visiting, so I will probably take a break and update later in the week or maybe even on Monday.  For now I have bindings to stitch and moments to contemplate all the reasons I am grateful and feeling so blessed.

I hope that each of you have a special celebration.  Whether it is big or small, remember that as a nation we are so fortunate and so blessed.  The road may be rocky at times, but as far as I can tell we all still have access to it.  Please remember those going through tough times and include them in your prayers.

 Also, say a prayer of thanksgiving that we have men and women who are willing to accept military service and all the sacrifices it brings to them and their families.  I remember just how alone you can feel during the holidays, but I also remember some of the crazy gatherings that happened when we were invited to join in celebration with others. If you have an extra place at your table, invite a vet or someone else that has no one close to share this special day of thanksgiving!  You will be amazed at just how much better the day is when you share with others.

Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels to all who will be traveling.  Instead of rushing and getting stressed, enjoy the travel and observe the speed limits. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21: Finishes

The last 4 days nobody was here to clean, do laundry, or even care whether we had vacuumed.  So, guess what I should have done all day?  I did do laundry, vacuum, and do some hand sewing, but there is more to do tomorrow.  With all the wood coming into the apartment, I wish I loved to dust, but.........

Anyway, here are a few finishes.
Rachel's patched woodworker apron - I added many patches
simply to cover up all the holes.  Then I added the little flowers
to make it a little girly.  They could be snipped out in moments
ifs she does not like it, but it does make this salvaged apron a
little more special.  lol

This candlestick is two different turned pieces.
The spindle is cherry and the drip plate is maple.
This was today's turning project for Kevin's class.

This box is spaulded cherry with walnut splines.  The lid is a spaulded cherry frame and panel.  The feet are walnut. It is finished with several coats of polyurethane and a coat of wax.  There is another box of the same wood combination that is being worked on that is waiting for an inner tray.  That will happen after Thanksgiving.

  My quilter's side table has finally arrived.  The base and drawers are made of cherry.  The color differences has to due with the way the grains run and the fact that the pieces came from two different boards.  The top has a cherry frame with an Ohio Star pattern created with curly maple and a mahogany veneer. Because the grains in the veneers run different directions the light refracts differently from various angle, which is why the lighter triangles appear to be different colors.  However, when you have a bird's eye veiw the woods are more consistent in color.