Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Turtle Comes For A Visit (Coffeyville, KS)

We were relaxing outside with all the cats two weekends ago when we noticed Dusty alerting on something near the back fence.  A comical sight.  Here's a 22 pound cat with his tail twitching, thumping what look like a rock, hissing and jumping backwards.......and it turned out to be this little guy trying very hard to make himself invisible peeking out from inside his shell.  
We moved Dusty away thinking he would forget about the turtle, but he was back over there once again hissing and thumping on the poor guy's shell.  Did you know turtles can hiss?  I didn't.  This guy can hiss better and louder than Dusty!

Finally, Dan decided to move the turtle to the edge of the park's pond that is only five sites away from us.  We know it is not a water turtle, but we thought he would be safer there.  Plenty of vegetation, tall grass, and water.  It already looks like he had one run-in with a human from the looks of the crack in his shell.  Maybe a lawn mower or a bike's wheel?
Two days later, our next door neighbor sighted the turtle behind his rig.  Yep, the same turtle had made the long trek back to the same spot near the fence,  He probably did not appreciate the long walk back.  

There is a big gap under the fence that we blocked to keep the cats from going under, so Dan set the turtle near the opening.  The next day he was gone.  Hopefully, he found his way home on the other side of the fence.
Dusty - our protector
But Wait!  The story doesn't end there.  The turtle disappeared for a couple of days, but he has returned to the same spot.  Yep, he is back!  I do believe we will be sharing our side yard with the turtle until it gets cold and no, we will NOT be adopting him!

On The Cutting Board
Speaking of turtles - I started quilting my Hawaiian turtle applique.  It's amazing.  I am actually getting more work done at night.  Lots of quilting and sewing getting done.  Plus, I am getting some work done on the internet.  But only on weekends, my brain is mush after 10 hours of working!  The best part of staying up late is that I find I am not as distracted with going outside or running errands like I do during the day.  The WiFi is great at 2 in the morning!  Yes, I am writing this at 2 am.  
Last week was rough because I tried to switch back to days during our weekend off.  By our second night shift, I was a mess.  I felt like I had a bad case of jet lag.  I wasn't sleeping or eating.  So this time, I decided to stay up nights during our days off.  This is not easy to do....staying up until 4 am, but I am adjusting.   I'm usually up by noon, so the day is not a total lost.
This Witch wall hanging is almost done and I have a couple of Happy Campers that are ready to be finished as well.
I can see me pulling out the sewing machine soon and sewing til early dawn.  I'm surprised that I am enjoying this new night life of sewing and posting.  The job?.....well, I'm still adjusting to the long hours, but at least I'm not as sore as I was the first two weeks.  I might finish this winter standing on my own two feet with a nice selection of new items for Etsy!  Whoo-Hoo!
Happy Quilting!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Welcome to Amazon (Coffeyville, KS)

Alrighty then!  We made it through our first full week of Amazon. AND we can still move!  What's an even bigger surprise is that our muscles are not as sore as we thought they would be at the end of our first full week.  I am feeling some muscles, but nothing major....whew!  Switching to night work and sleeping during the day only took me two days of adjustment.  I was dead by the end of our second night.  I'm pretty sure I would have slept through a cannon being fired.  After that it was just a matter of dealing with tired sore muscles and hurting feet on the last two nights.
Let's do some exploring
I'm still not looking forward to working those 10 hour nights, but our new co-workers and their great attitudes make the nights go fast.
His Royal Highness has his throne
Even our cats are getting use to our new schedule as long as they get fed and get to spend some time outdoors.  Especially for Dusty.  He loves sitting outside.  We started tethering him with a 25 ft light weight cable and we could not ask for a happier cat.  We ask him if he is ready to come in and he lets us know by jumping into the chair while 'meowing' his 'no way!'.

On The Cutting Board
See - I am getting some sewing done on a few projects.  Setting them up ahead of time worked out well.  All I need to do is  pull out a project and start sewing.  I'm almost done with this witch.  She is now layered and being quilted.
I want to try making my owl mug rugs again.  I have re-designed the body a little.  I'm working on the eyes now.  There are four layers to the eyes so I thought this might work a little better.  Fuse and sew one layer at a time.  Easier on my fingers, that is for sure!
Of course, I am working on some new Happy Campers.  Here are two of them.  I did the paradise birds a little different this time and I plan to add a window box filled with flowers.
This is a new design.  I found the lotus design in the tattoo website.  I'm already thinking about using the same lotus design in a different setting.  
I don't have a lot to say.  I just wanted to let you know that we are doing well and even though our jobs are physically demanding, it has also been a little rewarding.  Nothing like getting paid for exercising with plenty of walking, lifting, pushing, and squatting.  The squats are killing me!  LOL!  We should be in good shape by the end of this year.

Well, it is time for bed.  It is only 2 am, but I should try to get a little extra sleep on our days off.  I will post this tomorrow morning.

Plus, I will have plenty of time tomorrow to do some more quilting...
Happy Quilting!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Moved to Kansas (Coffeyville, KS)

We said our good-byes to Hot Springs, SD on September 2.  We found Hot Springs to be a unique and tranquil town.  We will miss our new friends and many of the friendly locals.  

I wanted to share a photo of the Hot Springs Library.  Isn't it gorgeous?  The library allowed us to sign up for a lending card since we were doing seasonal work for USACE and they also offered free WiFi.  I loved visiting and wandering around to look at the log home structure as well as being surrounded by books.  A real book lover's haven!  The back side in the main area has floor-to-ceiling windows with plenty of comfortable sitting areas.  Very inviting.  I found out on my last visit that a group of women would meet on Friday morning to work on a variety of hand made items.  I wish I had learned about this group earlier.  It would have been fun to join them for a couple of sessions.
Another thing I waited too long to do was to stop by Ace Hardware to see Fall River Fibers.  I had read about a spinner/weaver - Terry Slagel in the Country Register.  Every time we drove by, I thought about how I needed to stop in to see her shop at the back of the hardware store along with the basement area where a variety of classes are held or people can use the area to work on their projects.
photo from Fall Rivers Fiber
I was lucky to meet Terry on one of our last days in Hot Springs.  She was happy to show me around her shop and basement.  She spent time explaining to me about collecting bison hair and what spinners did with the bison hair.  She told me about one fiber/yarn maker and showed me some of her items.  I also have the bison fiber links:  About the fiber artist and her products.  I even got a chance to feel and squeeze a ready-to-be-spun ball of bison hair mixed with 85% alpaca.  It was very soft.  I was tempted to buy it except I did not have a clue of what I would do with it.  If we make it back this way, I hope to have an idea of a way to incorporate it into one of my projects.  I feel a fiber art project in the making.  So, if you happen to be in Hot Springs, SD make sure you stop by Ace Hardware and walk to the back to visit with Terry and her shop.  Also, don't forget the friendly quilt shop - HeartSong Quilts!

It took us four days to get to Kansas.  The weather was decent with blue skies and no rain.  Thanks to one ranger's suggestion, we stayed at a couple of USACE campgrounds.
On the road
We were a little envious of the campground hosts because of their shady spots and lovely locations, but they also had 100+ sites and too many day-use areas to maintain.  I bet they were very busy during the summer between campers, fishermen, and boaters.
A short walk from our site in Nebraska
I preferred being the camper to being the host.  We and the cats enjoyed all the campgrounds along the way.  You can't beat the views!  All our sites were large, shady, and close to the water.  The Corp of Engineers do an excellent job of building nice campgrounds.
our second site in Kansas
We're in Kansas Now, Toto!
We settled into our new site last week.  The campground management is working with Amazon to make our stay here a little more pleasant by assigning alike shift workers together.  So all our neighbors work the same night shift as us.  Yep, we are working from 5 pm to 4 am.  I'm not sure how much sleep I will get since I'm not use to sleeping during the day...not even a cat nap...hmmm.
We started work this week.  Since we are starting with orientation, safety, and training, we are only working 5 hours a night.  Not bad, but I was feeling my feet and legs when we came home.  I'm feeling fine this morning - no soreness - yet.  I definitely plan to keep my yoga schedule.  My muscles were very stiff and the stretching felt very good this morning.  We are getting a lot of advice and warnings from experienced employees on how to survive our first 40 hour week.  One of my friends has a motto: One Day At A Time.  I think I will take it one hour at a time with this job!

Our WiFi is very spotty here which is our biggest disappointment right now.  We thought being in town would give us a stronger signal and that is with four different broadband sources to choose from.  I will try to post when I can.

Cozy Mystery Readers
Before I close, I thought I would share this website I found.  Cozy-Mystery.com is an excellent source of every kind of cozy mystery that has been published as well as a list of soon-to-be-released.  I can tell this website is a real labor of love.  I usually browse through Amazon's suggestions, but I find this site to be more organized.  Not only can you search alphabetically, you can search by theme, country, hobbies, holidays with descriptions and links to Amazon.

I have been searching by theme for something from the British-English Cozy section.  I had seen M.C. Beaton's books in a store, but there were so many that I could not pick just one, so I decided to wait.  Now that I have this list, I can start a whole new series!  Well, after I finish the Sheriff Longmire series which isn't included in this website, but J.A. Jance is listed.  The website owner says she is more than happy to add suggestions from other readers, so if you don't see your favorite cozy mystery author just let her know.

Even Jan Karon is included in the list just because "Her Mitford series is very cozy, but isn't a mystery series" according to the description.  I believe I will be spending quite a bit of time looking through this site when I am able to enjoy the internet.  Oh, and I am getting a little sewing done every day.  I'll try to post a few project photos next time...
Happy Quilting!

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