Sunday, April 28, 2013

Walking Through Zion (Zion National Park, UT)

Doesn't Dusty look peaceful?  He was until I took his photo, but it didn't take him long to get back to his cat nap.  As my Fabric Inspector, he deserves a break.  I haven't lifted a needle since we got here.
We have been hiking and visiting every day since my brother Jay arrived with his fiancé Beverly.  Lots of catching up to do with Jay and getting to know my new SIL-to-be!
Beverly, Jay, Dan
I'm getting ready for another hike for today so this will be short.  I am posting some photos from our first hike to the Lower, Middle, Upper Emerald Pools.  I was surprised that I wasn't more sore the next day.  What a shock it was to realize that I was more than ready for more hiking the next day and the day after and today.
Middle Emerald Pool falling into the Lower Emerald Pool
I do feel a little exhausted after our hikes, but in a good way.
Lower Emerald Pool
 Funny, I haven't felt a need to get more sleep.  If anything, I am sleeping less.
I guess between the views, the company, and all the fresh air, I am feeling extra spry.  Now, if I can just bottle up the extra energy for later...
Jay, Beverly, Dan, and Me
The squirrels are very aggressive in the more heavily visited areas by tourists.  At the Upper Emerald Pool, a couple of these little guys were looking for fallen crumbs, blatantly begging for food....
or stealing the food when people were not looking.  One squirrel sat between Jay and Beverly while they were having a snack.  One even poked at Beverly's back and managed to steal some of her trail mix!
We think the squirrel should be fined for stealing her food.  See, I even got a picture of him breaking into another person's bag.  Yep, caught red-pawed!
Happy Trails!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Zen In Zion (Zion National Park, UT)

We made it to Zion National Park around 4pm.  What a view!  It has a Zen feel to the area and I need that right now.
I wasn't feeling to Zen when we were on the road yesterday.  The night before our travel day, I woke around midnight to high winds shaking our motorhome.  Yep, 65 mph can rock this big rig.  Plus our small awnings were out, so Dan went out to roll them up.  Of course, the winds kept me awake wondering if we would be able to travel the next day.  Big Yawn!!
The next morning, the local news said the wind was on schedule and would slow down to 15-20 mph by noon.  So nice to know the wind stays on schedule....riiiiight, I don't think the winds did such a good job because it was still blowing pretty good when we left around 11 am.  Dan wrestled gusts of winds all the way to Zion.  I think we were both worn out and ready to be off the road.  
Our site is on the Virgin River.  It is a little muddy, but the sound of moving water while sitting outside is wonderful.  We rarely have this kind of opportunity.  We had to pay extra for the river site and it is worth it.  We are not far from a pedestrian bridge that takes us out of the park and into the town of Springdale.  The town looks very interesting.  I would not mind spending some time exploring it too.
This looks like a good place to relax and get our energy back. And yet, there is so much to little time. Wait!  Why am I sitting here typing?????

On The Cutting Board
This has been an ongoing project for the last couple of years.  I started this post a month ago.  Here's my progress so far....

My scraps are out of control!  They are busting out of the seams of the 2 gallon baggies and now the 13 gallon bag is showing a lot of stress as well.  I swear I keep trying to use them up.  For every small scrap I use, there are more scraps, not to mention, bigger scraps waiting to go into the bag.  Darn it!
I have been using this crooked log cabin block for many of the scraps, but it is only a 8-inch block.  The bad thing is that  it doesn't use up the scraps very fast.  The good thing is that I will need a lot of these blocks to make a quilt.
Decision time!  Keep going with the same routine and slowly bury us in scraps or find a way to use larger scrap pieces and start trimming that scrap bag down to a more manageable size.  I chose to trim down the bag.  The Crazy 8 quilt pattern will be a great scrappy quilt.  It needs 5 1/2 inch squares.  Yes, I did have some scrap pieces that are big enough to cover the squares.
I also wanted to do the quilt on the cover of the "Quilts From the Heart".  Then I realize the small scraps are only 2-inch squares.  I really want to make this quilt, so I'll start collecting the 2 inch squares.  Once I have a small baggie (as in sandwich size), I will cut up the 3 1/2 inch squares and start assembling the blocks for this quilt.

Better to have blocks sitting around than a bag full of scraps, right?  Okay, I'm out of here....the birds are calling....the cats are begging.....the sun is shining........
Happy Trails!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

No More Cold Fronts (Sedona, AZ)

I spent some time watching up to five hummingbirds swarming around our front window.  They have been so busy at the feeder that the cats have become quite blasé about all the activity.  In the meantime, I am refilling the feeder everyday to keep up with the hungry little guys.  This is the first time I have had so many hummers in one spot.  I would love to stay longer just to watch them, but it is time to move on.
We spent some time in Sedona this week.  I just love the views the people have here.  I know I would not get much work done because I would spend all my time staring out the window.
The cold front was finishing up so it was a little windy and chilly on the day we were in town, but the clouds added more drama to the already dramatic landscape.  I'm hoping this will be the last cold front for this spring.
I love what they did to the javalina statues.  This one is my favorite.
Actually, there are quite a few statues.  Sedona is just oozing with artistic talent.  So much imagination, but this place is just too busy.
Shopping and eating can take a while with the crowds.  Yet, everyone seem to be very relaxed and happy.
Including this big fellow.  He looked quite happy to be out for a walk.  His owner was telling another admirer that his dog had back surgery a couple of weeks ago.  He certainly healed very well.  What a cute guy, but I would not want his food bill!  Biiig food bill...
We all scream for Ice Cream!.....sorry, it popped into my head as soon as I saw this statue.

On The Cutting Board
I'm working on a couple of wall hangings.  I will try to post them soon.  I'm also working on another quilt for donation.

I started listing my finished mug rugs on Etsy.  I'm doing one a day with hopes that I will get more views that way.  So far, I have posted two Uncle Sams because July will be here quite soon.  Oh, and one rabbit.
Uncle Sam Mug Rug Sparkles

Uncle Sam Mug Rug Red Polka Dots

Spring Time Rabbit Mug Floral Pink
Travel day tomorrow!  We are heading for Las Vegas then on to Zion National Park.  According to some reviews, we should have good Verizon reception, but how good will it be for our WiFi is another question.  Anyway, I hope to post while we are there.  If not, I will as soon as we are in a good location.
Happy Trails!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Clear Vista Views (Cottonwood, AZ)

We needed to get out after the cold front that came through this area, so we drove north of Sedona, AZ to Oak Creek Vista on 89A.  I think the best views are in or near Sedona, but I did enjoy the drive all the way up and back again.

At Oak Creek Vista, we checked out the vendors tables filled with Native American artwork exchanging talk about the best weather we have had all week.
Quite a panoramic view from the Vista.  I had more photos, but this is my favorite...
There were apple trees blossoming near the highway inside a state park.  Really amazing to see them in a canyon area surrounded by red rocks.
The last two photos are just north of Sedona.  I found the trees as interesting as the landscape.  I'm not sure if they are alive anymore, but they were very gnarly and droopy.

The red rock is so amazing here especially against a blue, maybe next time there will be less clouds.

On The Cutting Board
I'm trying to get my finished projects loaded onto Etsy.  With some luck, I should have them all loaded, but not posted/listed before we leave here.  I plan to release them one at a time.

This lamb is from the "Born In A Barn" series by Fayette Terlouw.  I made two of the lambs.  Next time, I plan to make the lamb more round and less curvy.  It'll also make it a little bigger.  This is my smallest mug rug right now.  I also wanted to do something a little different on the backside, sooo.....
......I added a tail and "Especially for EWE".
I also finished "Just Chillin'" Penguin.  Isn't he cute?  The penguin is designed by Laurie Furnell.  I hope to incorporate a few more of her penguins into some more quilted ideas.  
A wall hanging..or appliqued to a quilt...  Oh, I'm sure I will think of something.
Happy Quilting!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Castles in the Air (Cottonwood, AZ)

We visited the Montezuma Castle and my first impression was a "Wow" moment.  I have been to Mesa Verde twice and I guess I never tire of seeing the old pueblos.
 I wish we could visit the inside and see the view from above.  Plus, I just love walking around the ruins trying to imagine what it was like to live there.
Of course, I can't imagine having to climb up or down to my home everyday with water and food except that I would be in very good shape.
There was one cactus blooming outside the Visitor's Center.  The deep colors caught my eye as we were heading back.  How did I miss this beautiful cactus as we were heading outside?  I guess my head was already in the clouds!
Look at the center of this is almost a shade of lavender with lime green.  Hmmm, sounds like a great color combo for a quilt - bright red, lavender, pale yellow, and lime green.  Oh!  I'll have to keep that one in mind the next time I search through my stash!
We also visited Tuzigoot.  This two-story pueblo is built 120 feet above the valley.  Now, that is quite a panorama view.  We were able to walk among a small portion of the ruins. The floors are cement instead of dirt with only the remaining walls.  One building did have a ceiling, so it was a little harder to imagine the old living quarters.  Still, it is worth the visit.
The museum was quite interesting with many found pieces of woven cotton, baskets, and pottery.  Some of the woven cotton was so small that I found myself getting closer and closer to the, I did not leave a nose smudge on the glass!  I did steam it up though.
Have a great weekend and Happy Trails!

Monday, April 8, 2013

An Odd Interlude (Cottonwood, AZ)

The weather turned very bad today with high winds that brought cooler temperatures.  I wish I could say we had lots of rain, but the rain was barely getting the ground wet.  Since we were having such odd weather, we decided to spend the day inside our cozy home.  I pulled out my sewing machine and worked on a couple of quilts while watching some old DVD movies.

A couple of days ago, we were going to visit Montezuma Castle, but the small parking lot was full, so we will go back later this week.  Instead, we visited the Montezuma Well.  Yep, I took a few photos.  The water is a beautiful shade of blue-green...lovely.  The water seeps up through the rocks into this deep well.  It receives over 1.5 million gallons a day and holds over 15 million gallons.
This was a perfect desert oasis for animals and humans.  We saw a few ducks swimming around despite all the people.  The cliff dwellings are actually inside the well's wall.  You can see them on the left side and the well on the right.  They say people lived here more than a 1,000 years ago.
Cliff Dwellings and the Well
Over the years,  30 rooms were built along the rim.
Close-up of Cliff Dwellings
The well also has a natural outlet to keep it from overflowing.  The following photos are the man made canal on the outside wall leading to Beaver Creek.
Outlet to Beaver Creek
And one more of this leaning tree that I thought the bark was quite interesting.  The tree is more horizontal than vertical...that's why I left it in landscape.

Odd Interlude by Dean Koontz

This one was a little odd.  It is like Odd Thomas was traveling along to his next destination and had to stop to get some rest.  Except instead of rest, he is busy once again fighting strange forces.  Definitely an interlude, because this story doesn't seem to connect to the last two stories except for Annamarie  and his ghost dog - Boo.  Annamarie is even more confusing in answering Odd's questions.  I'm hoping in his next book Annamarie will start revealing her past and who she is without all the riddles.

Anyway, I found this to be a typical Odd sense of humor and even more fun - Odd meets his match in a 12 year old girl.  She thinks and sounds a lot like Odd, but without the help of ghosts.  I would love to hear more about her someday.  Maybe Mr. Koontz will start a new series just for her.

Odd finds himself in a small town run by a sadistic mind-controlling person and of course, the only person that might be able to help them is Odd.  This was a short and easy read.  If you enjoy Odd Thomas, I'm sure you will like this one too.
Deeply Odd:  May 28 release date.  Can't wait!
and now, back to my sewing machine.......Happy Quilting!

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