Saturday, April 22, 2017

Good-Bye To An Old Friend (Lathrop State Park, CO)

We had to say good-bye to our oldest cat - Squirrel.  He wasn't doing too well this last year.
Squirrel 1999 -2017
As a matter of fact, it was this time last year in almost the same location that we started noticing the changes.  He wasn't ready to give up the fight to live though.  He was always a fighter.  He fought to move into our home by running away from our next door neighbor's house several times until we asked to keep him.  He knew what he wanted and there usually was no compromise once he made up his mind by telling us he wanted it 'Now Mister!'.  He argued with us every day to go outside and explore the area whether it was rain or shine.  He never allowed us to close the blinds because he needed to see outside at all times.  Despite his arthritic hips, he would still chase after birds or one of the other cats.
riding with Dusty through Wyoming to Montana 2016
Last week, we saw the fight leave Squirrel.  He was tired and ready to go.  I wasn't ready to say good-bye, but I knew he needed to rest.  I hope he is enjoying his new home chasing butterflies in catnip fields.   I will miss our little fighter.
Hitch
Tomorrow is a travel day.  We spent four days in Lathrop State Park, CO while waiting for the latest cold front to move away from our northern route through Wyoming.  While we waited, we spent quality time with our cats especially with Max.  He was Squirrel's shadow from the moment Max joined our family.  Squirrel wasn't too thrilled with the little punk, but he tolerated him....most of the time.  :)
Max
If the mountains look familiar, it is because I posted different pictures of them last year when we stayed for two nights to give us all a break from our long travels from Florida.
View from our dining room
We walked around one of the park's trails yesterday.  We didn't not see any wildlife, but the views were fantastic.
I am happy to see snow-capped mountains again.  The cold weather....I would have been happy to miss until next winter.  I'm sure it will start warming up soon.
I haven't been sewing as much lately.  I seem to have lost my enthusiasm for the moment.  The Black Cat quilt sold as soon as I let the interested customer know it was ready.  She sounded quite happy with the quilt.
Maybe I will find my muse again along the highway going north.  With all the scenic views, how can I not find it again?
Hugs to all

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Spring Time In Texas (Bridgeport, TX)

Between the heavy rains and warm almost hot days, everything is turning green and blooming!  
 
My nose is itchy and my eyes are watering...it is definitely springtime in Texas!  😄
We had visitors last week.  My brother came down from Illinois with his dog, Frodo.  Frodo is such a sweetie for being a puppy.  No chewing, barking, or accidents.  He tried to be friends with the cats, but they were stubborn and just hissed at him.  Dusty did spend more time watching Frodo and they even got nose to nose a couple of times.  They might have been friends in a couple of more weeks.  Oh well.  We had a great time with both.  Yes, I did spend time with my brother too.  
We had lunch at the Down the Alley Cafe in Decatur.  Dan and I had lunch here in December and I wanted to go back again.  
Sitting outside
 I love the way they decorated the outdoor sitting areas.   We decided to eat outside and enjoy the peaceful afternoon while watching birds and cats in the gardens.
A watering can tree?
The food was delicious, but we were told that they were turning their cafe into a beer garden and this would be the last lunch served.  Darn!  It is so hard to find a place that serves a variety of flavorful vegetarian meals.
After lunch, we walked around the downtown Decatur square.  I have to say that the Wise County courthouse is the most unique one I have seen so far.
I probably took too many photos of this building, but I could not help it.  The good news is that I did cut down on the ones I was going to post here.  Lucky you!

Each side had a different look.  Giving me the feel that I was looking at a different building when viewing each side.
I read that you can take a tour of the clock tower.  Visitors get a view of the 2,000 lb bell hanging in the tower on their way to the top.
Two more photos of what looks like a stairwell...... 
...and the details in the stonework....amazing!
Okay, I had to share a few more photos of Frodo.  I took these while he was waiting for my brother to come back to the couch.  He is so cute!
Looking for a fun easy read? Try this cozy Oxford Tearoom Mysteries. 
Oxford Tearoom Mysteries (5 Book Series) by  H.Y. Hanna
  Oxford Tearoom Mysteries
I just finished #4 with only two more to go. I love the descriptions of village living. The food served in Gemma's tearoom along with the local restaurants sounds scrumptous. Of course, being a cat lover - Gemma's mischievous cat, Muesli has me laughing and going 'yep that sounds like something our cats would do' except they do not point us in the right direction to solve a mystery.
 
There's quite a selection of colorful characters like Gemma's overbearing matchmaking mother, her artist friend/co-worker, and the four "old Biddies" (Gemma's reference not mine) who consider themselves the real Miss Marples of Oxfordshire, England. I also like the fact that it is written with British English spelling and usage making the story feel more authentic. So far, I have only had to refer to the Glossary of British Terms a couple of times at the end of the book. 
Remarkable Creatures Audiobook

I'm so happy a friend recommended this book to me. I really enjoyed listening to this audio version with two narrators.

Based on true facts and science records, this is a story about Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot living in early 19th century England in Lyme Regis along the coast known for its fossils. Through their love of fossil hunting these two women became friends despite the differences in their age and social status. 
Meet Mary Anning - The Greatest Fossil Hunter Ever Known (sadly, of course, she rec'd very little credit for it in her own lifetime).:
Mary Anning with her dog Tray source: Pinterest
Mary's father taught her how to look for special shells and fossils to sell in the family's store to the tourists.  She grew up knowing how to hunt after storms and often showed others how to look during low tides.  Elizabeth Philpot came from a higher social status.  She and her two sisters are unmarried and supported by their one brother in London.  When their brother decides to marry, the three spinsters move into a small cottage in Lyme Regis.  They are still supported by their now married brother, but have a limited lifestyle since there is no man in their home.  Elizabeth finds solitude in her painting and in hunting for fossils along the beach when she becomes friends with Mary.

The story also covers the constant battle of gender inequality and social power that both faced with the scientific community especially with the Geological Society of London.  A time when women could not vote or go to a university for an education.  

 Mary's discovery of the Ichthyosaurs would have made her famous and her family wealthier if not for the men of the time taking advantage of her being a woman. This did not slow Mary down. She spent her whole life looking and categorizing fossils. Even endangering her life by hunting along the cliffs after major storms. She lost her dog, Tray in one landslide while looking for fossils.  **The death of her dog was not covered in the book.
Monmouth Beach, Lyme Regis, UK. Must visit there to look for fossils!:
source: Pinterest
I looked up Lyme Regis and I was quite surprised to see recent photos of so many fossils on the beach.  I wonder if visitors are allowed to leave with their finds or if they are asked to leave them like they do here in the states?  Wouldn't that be an interesting place to visit?

On The Cutting Board
I finished another black cat quilt.  I wasn't so sure about how I was going to tie together the different colored cat themed fat quarters.  I think keeping the colors together worked out better.  I hope the customer interested in this quilt will like it too.  I plan to send photos this afternoon.  If not, I'll be listing it in Etsy!
Well, I just got a new computer.  I have been busy uploading new software, working out problems with old software and I still have so much to do on it.......but I am ready for a break.  Time for a little relaxing and sewing.........must sew now........
Happy Quilting!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Almost A Full Circle (Whitney, TX)

We are back in Whitney, TX.  Travel day was very dreary with some very nasty accidents on the highway.  I wish people would learn to slow down during rain storms.
The weather has been crazy this winter.  A couple of days of hot humid weather followed by a cold front that plummets the temps a good 20 to 30 degrees.  I had so many different clothes hanging up in the closet that I would wear for a couple of hours before changing into something cooler/warmer that the poor closet door would not close anymore! 
I'm not complaining!  I prefer this weather over the heavy snowfalls many of our friends and family have been dealing with this winter.  I actually find it funny that we need to consult our weather apps before going out for the day or before going to bed or before going for a walk.
We did a big circle through Texas while staying in the Thousand Trails RV Resorts except for the last two weeks.  They were spent in Nacogdoches to get some work done on our coach.  We started by parking overnight in the Old Town Motorcoach's lot.  We had another lucky breakdown.  This time it was our slide's air bladder.  It had a leak.  Making it impossible for us to get the slide-out back in.  It took Dan a good hour of working on the bladder to finally get it to slide back in.  Oh, and did I mention, we had some good downpours during the night?  Yep, I had water leaking into our dining area after the slide-out came in.  

Our luck was still with us when the Old Town staff said they would be able to replace it for us.  They thought they could have it done in one day, but it turned out the new air bladder was about 7 inches too long!  They were sorry for the delay and offered to let us stay inside their garage with our cats instead of having us spend the night in a hotel.  We were also happy that the coach was inside the garage since there was a good 2 inch gap around the slide out and a good downpour going on outside the garage!
Old Town Motorcoach
Old Town was able to finish up their work late the next day, so after spending one more night in their lot, we moved over to Foretravel of Texas camping area for two free nights offered to members.  We spent some time walking through all the coaches for sale on the lot and we toured the Foretravel factory as well.
Foretravel
From Foretravel, we moved to Motorhomes of Texas to have our dinette seat cushions fixed.  We spent a week in their parking lot.  They offer full hook-ups for their customers, so we and the cats were quite happy with our quiet spot in the back.  
Motorhomesof Texas
We were able to walk to the upholsterer's office to watch the progress on our benches.  It was also a lot easier for Trina to get hold of us if she had questions for us.
Dinette in pieces parts
I should have taken another picture of the seats before they pulled them out.  I'm not sure if you can see the difference.
 Before - old dining booth
The original dinette booth was great, but we were finding the cushions too thick and uneven which would push us to far forward and up, not to mention, leaving us seating crooked.  We were relieved to hear that Trina was able to use the same fabric with our new firmer cushions.  I like this fabric and the rich chocolate brown.  The best part - the cats are not using the fabric for claw sharpening!
We are quite happy with the finished product.  They are a lot more comfortable and the fabric looks great.
One last photo of Max enjoying himself behind MOT.  He liked exploring the parking lot.....
.....and rolling in the dirt.  yuk!
On The Cutting Board
With all the work being done on the motorhome, I could only spend time doing hand needlework.
I got a little bit further along on my A to Zzz Snowman Quilt....
and I got quite a few Happy Camper tops embroidered.  Now that we are settled in a campground for the next few week and the motorhome is back together, it is time to do some sewing!
I've got 3 quilts and 7 mug rugs to sew together.  I guess I better get to them...
Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Warm Winter (Conroe, TX)

We woke this morning to severe thunderstorm warnings while tornado warnings were south of us in the Houston area.  Other than a couple of freeze warnings and this one bad storm, we have had a very pleasant winter.
View of Lake Conroe from our dining room table.
Not bad too shabby, right?
So, where have I been lately?  Well, if I am not outside walking or watching cats, I have been very busy sewing and getting use to our new home.  I have been very bad about taking photos, so here are a few that I took with my phone recently.
These two photos were taken back in December.  Dan took me to a quaint little restaurant setup in an old house.  After lunch, we walked around the outside to view their yard art.
I took a lot more photos, but these two are my favorites especially the teapot man.
Squirrel
The cats have adjusted well to their new home.  Squirrel is starting to show his age.  He must be around 17 or 18 years old now.  Every once in awhile, he will act like a kitten and start running around, chasing bugs, jumping up on furniture, and howling then he goes back to acting his age again.
Max ~ Like dis!  See!
Max has become my yoga partner.  He is a big help.  Here he is showing me the Cat Down pose.
Dusty ~ Mine!  All mine!
Dusty loves the new scratch post.  He also loves the fact that he can lay on the sofa and hug the post.
And he really loves playing string with us.  He hints first thing in the morning, again around noon, just before bed, and...okay, just about every opportunity there is when we walk into the living room.  😻
Hitch ~ Come on!  No more photos!
Hitch is being his typical punk self.  He is still bugging the others, trying to sneak outside with no leash or taking himself for a walk.

On the Cutting Board
I finished three custom orders for three different customers!  They all sent in requests on the same day, so I decided to work on all three together.
I made this one for a customer after she sent me a photo of her Patriotic Shasta.   I might make more Red White & Blue Happy Campers.
This one is for a small Airstream with no side windows.
The last one is for a cute vintage trailer done all in pink and lavender.
I had started working on some new pillow covers for our motorhome.  We found that we will need a couple of more pillows for the dining area.
I'm also working on two quilts and two wall hangings.  So much to do!  So I better get back to the cutting board!
Happy Quilting!

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