Monday, June 30, 2014

39th Anniversary (Hot Springs, SD)

We celebrated our 39th anniversary today by eating out at a Mexican restaurant.  Good food and good service.....and then we spent some time picking up trash around the park(part of our job).  It's a shame that people don't feel a need to pick up after themselves.  I would hate to see how their home looks.  Do they drop a soda can in the middle of the living room and just leave it there?  Overall, this area stays clean..thanks to the rangers and camp hosts.
Well, enough about that subject.  Here are some more photos from our drive through Custer State Park.  All the animals look like they are still trying to shed their winter coats. There were quite a few buffalo calves running around.  
They did not seem worried at all about the people or cars stopping to watch them.  Of course, the people outside their cars had more to worry about than this calf.  The buffalo were very close to the road, so I took all my pictures from the car.
This big guy was getting too close to the car.  I'm not sure if he was curious about us or if the grass just looked tastier than the rest of the plains.
We also came across a couple of antelope near the road.  I have never been so close to them.  Usually, they are just a tan and white spot on the plains.  We did see one running down the road while we were driving to Casper one day, but she took off into the fields as our car got closer.
Interesting looking fellows.  Maybe we will get to see them up close again.
On The Cutting Board
I'm slowly getting back into my sewing routine.  I have four Happy Camper tops ready to sew together, but I might do a few more before I sew the layers together.
My window box flowers came out well.  When I started the flowers I had no plan of what I would do except that I wanted to have a rose or two in the window box.  I bought some new lace to use for the curtains.  I'm glad I bought a lot of this lace.  It really gives the Happy Camper a cozy yet romantic look.
Well, it is a windy day and the cats are not liking the 25+ mph gusts, so I think I will get some more sewing done if I can find a seat since all the cats are in the living room.
Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Not So Wordless Wednesday (Hot Springs, SD)

I'm a little behind on posting.  I thought I would get you caught up by posting photos from last week....
The Burro Gang Strikes Again!
And again.....always looking for the mother lode of perfect apples.  We drove through Custer State Park last week.  Our biggest hope was to see the wild burros.  There was quite a large group of them and people were outside their cars taking photos and feeding them.  The burros were very accommodating.

"Say Cheese!"....
 "Come on lady!  I said cheese!  Where's my carrot?"
There were so many cute little ones.  I wonder how the cats would feel if I adopted one?  Did I hear a hiss?
 Lucky for the cats, there is no room.  I'll just have to go back to visit them again.
 I hear they love carrots too....
New Site - New Job
We said good-bye to the Head Ranger on Saturday.  She and her husband are going to travel part-time in their trailer with three cats and a dog.  I'm sorry to see her go.  I think we would have had a great time together.  Safe Travels!  Her replacement will be coming in later this week.  In the meantime, we will work with the two younger rangers.

The old camp host decided to leave a day early so we were able to move to full hook-ups on Sunday.  We spent part of Sunday and Monday working with two rangers.  With the campground was full during the weekend, we have a very good idea of what will be expected from us.  We probably won't have a problem finding things to do for our 20 hours per week.
Our new site
Still no shade.  Since it isn't as windy here, we can keep our small awning out.  The afternoons have been getting a little warm, but it cools off in the evenings.  I certainly like our views a lot more than the last place.  Our cats certainly like our new home.  They are begging to go outside two and three times a day.  I can't blame them.  It's nice outside!
One more photo of Cold Brook Lake taken from the dam side.  It is a small lake, but very clear and a nice shade of blue.

I'm getting back into my sewing.  I'll try to post some photos of my latest projects soon.
Happy Quilting!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Perfect Timing (Hot Springs, SD)

We are all settled in at Cold Brook Lake - Corps of Engineers park.  
We are only one mile from Hot Springs SD.  A very interesting looking town with sandstone buildings with a river and a waterfall in the downtown area. Yes, I do plan to take pictures of the area soon, but I'll be limited on posting photos since our internet is very slow here.  I might need to find the local library and look into using their WiFi.
We like this area a lot, but we are dry camping.  This campground is not setup for large rigs or for hook-ups (no utilities).  I can handle a couple of weeks of dry camping, but not too long.  Having to ration water/showers, turning on our generator to power heaters or my iron has me daydreaming about the convenience of flipping a switch for POWER.

So, here's the perfect timing.  It turns out the camp host is leaving on Monday, 23 June, and the lead ranger asked us if we were willing to fill in.  Can we?  You bet...we can stay until September!  The best part - we get to move into the camp host's site...a very nice site with water, 50 amp electric, and a sewer dump into the pit toilet vault via a sewer solution hookup (a little more work).  The best of two worlds - we can stay and have full hook-ups!

The trade for the site is simple, help any arriving campers who need assistance with self registering, be a on-site presence and call authorities with any problems, minor restocking of pit toilet supplies, and minor trash pickup.  Two summer interns do all the major duties around the large park.  The park itself is large and spread out, but the camping area is smaller with only 13 total sites.  The day use area at the lake gets the most usage from the locals, and there is an archery range.
The weather has been a little crazy.  It goes from hot and humid to cold and wet then back to hot and humid in one day.  Hmm, a lot of changing of clothes.  A couple of nights ago, we had thunderstorm warnings with a chance of golf-ball size hail.  Dangerous for pets and people so stay indoors.  There were a few tent campers and of course, I worried about them.  One family packed up and left.  The other group left their tents and went for a drive.  The hail only got to the size of large peas which can still hurt, and the heavy rains lasted a couple of hours before it passed over us.
In the morning I peeked out to see a clothes line strung from one end of the camping area to the other side.  It looked funny, but if you don't have access to a dryer...well, you got to do whatever you can to dry out your gear, right?

On The Cutting Board
Ironing is out for awhile, but I am getting some hand-work done.  Actually, this is my quilt therapy for stressful times.  It seems to be working quite well.  I went from sleeping a couple of hours a night to sleeping in late.  Even the cats could not wake me at 4 am for an early breakfast.
Variation of the Lover's Knot pattern
I have been working on this project for over a year.  It seems to be the one that I enjoy doing the most when I need to calm down and relax.  Plus, it is very portable so I am taking it outside while I enjoy the sunshine and the sound of birds.  I tried to sew while watching one of the cats, but they are not cooperating.  If I stand with one of them, they just lay in one spot.  I sit down to sew and the little turkey decides it is time to go for a walk.  It doesn't matter which one I have outdoors.  They all do it.

Okay, I'm all caught up for now.  I'm looking forward to doing some more exploring of the Black Hills area, to our new jobs, and of course, to making some more quilts!
Happy Quilting!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Rock In The Glen (Glenrock, WY)

We are leaving Glenrock and moving tomorrow to Hot Springs, SD.  We are moving to the US Army Corp of Engineers - Cold Brook Lake Recreation Area.  It's been a long couple of days with a round trip to Hot Springs on Friday, making a decision to leave our present jobs, and finishing up the rest of our work week.
 Of course, it doesn't help that I haven't slept well for a couple of nights in a row thanks to thunderstorms, noisy neighbors, and a restless cat.  I have a feeling that will not be a problem tonight.  I am very tired.
You know I must be tired if I haven't touched a single project in several days, so I'll show you photos from Rock in the Glen park.
  I thought I better show you some of the photos I took before we leave the area.
A couple of weeks ago, Dan and I went for a walk around the Rock in the Glen where many settlers along with Kit Carson stopped to rest and left their names in the sand rock.  We did not find the names.
I like the rock's surface.  It is very unusual.  
Deer watching us
We did some exploring and climbed to the top to get a lovely view of the area when we realized we were being watched by a deer right below us.
small tree big root
We came across several trees growing in the cracks in the rock.
colorful lichen
Lots of colorful lichen and beautiful wildflowers.

Okay, so I need to finish packing.  I'm looking forward to moving to Hot Springs.  Lots of photo ops of the town and the local area.  Soooo....Happy Trails!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Going Wild For Flowers (Glenrock, WY)

Wild flowers are popping up in the fields nearby.  All the latest rains and sunshine are working their magic.
 Since this has been a slow week for me, I thought I would share a few photos of the flowers.
This little guy was quite busy collecting pollen.  He buzzed by my camera lens a couple of times.  It's too bad I could not get the lens to focus on him when he was hovering in front of it.  Wouldn't that have been an interesting shot!
On The Cutting Board
Inspired by all the wild flowers, I decided to add a potted plant with the puppy in the window.  Thanks to our small living space, our cats are always knocking things down.  Why should a puppy be any different?
Besides I had to try a new stitch I found online.  The flower is made from a Brazilian lace stitch.  Two threads are cast onto two large needles and .....well, it is better if you go to the link.  She has pictures and explains it better than I do.
It is pretty simple to do.  I practiced making two flowers before I did this third one on the mug rug.  Now, I have a dimensional flower.  I think I'll make the next one's petals a little bigger.
I have been working on other projects, but I'm not ready to show them just yet.  So back to my projects...
Happy Quilting!

Friday, June 6, 2014

A Cat-ty Sweater? (Glenrock, WY)

I'm working today and we have family stopping in for a visit tomorrow.  I'm looking forward to seeing my SIL and hubby.  They have a new Airstream and I'm hoping to get a tour.  Plus, Dan is finally getting two days off from work which will be very nice.  He has been working some very long hours with a lot manual labor while I spend most of the day hanging around the motorhome with the cats.

Spinning Forward by Terri Dulong
I'm still reading this book, but since I took a bunch of photos of my cats, I decided to tell you about what the main character, Syd does in this story.  
Dusty - you called?  I'm special!
Syd likes to spin her own yarn.  Her specialty is yarn made from owners favorite pet's fur.   She has a technique but doesn't go into detail except to tell owners to save their pet's fur from being brushed.
Hitch - my fur?
With my four cats in the fall and spring, I could probably produce enough fur for an adult size sweater in a few years.   But, I don't think the the three colors would mesh too well , so Max would have to be a separate yarn.
Max - Hide!  must Hide!
 Which is too bad because he is the biggest fur ball.  I swear he releases a fur bomb whenever he is upset.  POOF!  You are covered in Max-fur!
Squirrel - I'm old. I'm tough!  You can't have my fur!
Tell you the truth, I wear so much cat fur and go through tons of roller tape that the last thing I would ever want is a sweater made from their fur.  So, relax guys.  It's just a story.
Dusty - Not funny to tease kitties!
Oh, and the book has been okay.  It is very similar to the British knitting series by Gil McNeil.  Wife finds out she has been wronged by dead hubby.  She moves to start a new life and pursues her love of knitting by opening a yarn shop.  Finds new friends, love, and a new life.  I think I like Gil's stories better even though she makes my fingers itch to start working with a crochet hook or to take up knitting...heaven's forbid!  I don't need a new hobby.  Gil likes to include lots of knitting projects while Terri tends to focus more about Syd finding herself a new life and life on Cedar Key.  It is still a good story and probably not as dangerous for me to read. 

On The Cutting Board
I started a new quilt yesterday.  I did not realize how much I have missed the challenge of coordinating fabrics to match a quilt pattern, and the thrill of watching it come together.
I just love the bright colors I found in my stash.  Hmmm, I might have to sell this quilt with a pair of sunglasses for the baby....
Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Quilts For The Summer (Glenrock, WY)

We had a small group of American Goldfinches stop by yesterday.  I will be able to do a little bird watching here.  I watched two Red-tailed hawks chase off a Bald Eagle down by the river.  It was one of those moments when I wish I had my camera.  Then again, it happened so fast, I'm not sure I would have been able to get a good shot of the fight.
On a different day, there were three Bald Eagles doing large slow circles over the campground, up the river, and over the town.  They did this several times while I was outside with the cats.  You can bet I kept my eye on them when they were over the campground.

Doesn't this dried out Yucca pod have some interesting texture?  I was tempted to pick a few, but what would I do with them?  I decided a photo was a better idea.  Best to leave them alone and let Mother Nature do her thing.  Besides, the cats would have chewed them to pieces.
On The Cutting Board
I took a break from making Happy Campers since the interest in them has slowed down.  Time to get these quilts in my shop.
Scrappy Sunbonnet Babies
This time, I decided to pre-wash all my finished lap quilts.  All the photos are after being washed.
Jungle Stars
I thought washing all the quilts might help anyone who is worrying about how well my quilts will hold up to washing.  Colors did not run.  My applique's and sewing did not fall apart.  My quilts are made to be used.
 Now that the weather is starting to get sunny with less wind, I got some good photos of all of them.
Summer Siesta
 I changed the names on some of the quilts with the hope that it will attract more views in Etsy.
Spring Fantasy
So, I have six quilts listed my Etsy shop.
The Penguin's Snowball Dance
Oh!...I almost forgot....and one new wall hanging...
Bad Kitty's Welcome
Dan is working some long hours helping out the owner meet his deadline.  They are trying to get four full hook-up sites in by mid-June.  In the meantime, I am off until Friday...soooooo, I think I'll get out my scrap bags and get a little sewing done.
Happy Quilting!

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