Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Arizona to Texas (Lakehills, TX)

I have quite a few photos to share.  I have missed being in the southwest desert and being able to view Mother Nature in action.  Don't get me wrong.  I love the northwest, but the foliage is so thick that it is hard to see even a bird sitting in the tree above me!  

Before we left Benson, AZ, we had a couple of visits from Ma and Pa Quail with their brew of chicks.
I counted nine of them one evening.  Ma and Pa were funny about getting our attention away from the little ones by running back and forth while making sounds.  I used my 500 mm lens so they would feel comfortable enough to move their little ones from one bush to another.
The cats?  They would watch, but for the most part found it too hot to chase after the birds.
On one of my morning walks, I noticed a Roadrunner (RR) standing at the edge of this site.  From this angle, you cannot see the owner of the Minnie talking to his cat.  The cat was ready to go in and was sitting on the step waiting for the door to be opened which the owner was taking his sweet time doing (according to the cat).  
In the meantime, RR was slowly moving closer towards the two.  He seemed quite curious and managed to get within a couple of feet when the door opened for the cat to enter.  The cat's owner said that usually there are two roadrunners following his cat around.  Both birds seem very curious about his cat, but never get too close.
We spent one afternoon walking the trails in Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve.  We haven't been there since our camp hosting days in 2013.  The place looks great.  They have added new artwork around the office area.  The hummingbird thought this was an excellent idea to have artwork near the feeder.
The improved wider trails had new signs making it easier to follow along with plant info and history.  The new manager has done an excellent job and I would recommend stopping by if you are in the area.  A great place to view wildlife and bird sightings.  Although, we did not have much luck since it was later in the spring for wildlife migrations.
We left Benson a couple of weeks ago.  It took us five days to get to the Thousand Trails RV Resort on Lake Medina.
Dusty was happy to hear we were settled in for the next three weeks.  He was tired of being used as a pillow during our travels.
We spent one day walking around Bandera, the Cowboy Capital of the World.  
I love visiting the old Bandera General Store.  It is a small store packed full of unique gift ideas, salsas, jams, and used boots.  Plus, they have an old-fashion soda fountain. 
gently used boots in all sizes
I also visited Gone Quiltin' in Bandera.  It doesn't look like much from the outside, so I was surprised to see how big it was on the inside.  Filled with a wide variety of fabrics, notions, and books complete with a longarm room and a classroom.  I'm not sure how I missed this great gem of a quilt shop the last two times we were here!  You can bet that I will not forget the next time I am in the area!
shells on the table from Lake Medina
The first time we were here, this lake was nothing more than a stream at the bottom of a steep valley.  We even saw cattle grazing in it.  It certainly is nice to see it filled, but the water is noticeably going down due to usage and hot weather.  I would not be surprised to see this lake drained by the time we come back through the next.
Doe eyes
Okay, a few more photos of the deer in the campground.  The deer do not fear the people since we are allowed to feed them corn bought at the campground's office.
Even the fawns are not as shy as most wildlife.  Mama came up begging for food while the little ones watched from a distance.
I look forward to my morning walks with hopes of seeing a fawn.  I have had quite a few sightings.
On The Cutting Board
Since the afternoons are too hot and muggy, I have been spending quite a bit of time indoors with my sewing.  I finished four Happy Campers and....
 applquéd another quilt top.  I think I will call this one Baby Sweet Pea's Garden.
Well, I am in the middle of appliquéing the vine on another quilt top, so I better get back to it.
Happy Quilting!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Having a Senior Moment (Benson, AZ)

I received an email from my friend a few days ago.  She wanted to let me know that she had a great time visiting me and mentioned photos of her visit.  Talk about having a Senior moment.

I had totally forgotten to post photos of our visits to Cottonwood and to Phoenix.  For some reason, I thought I had already posted to my blog about our visits with my friend and with Dan's sister and her husband.  We had a great time visiting and catching up with everyone. So, for this post I'm doing a little backtracking.
it's called a senior moment
Below are a couple of photos of from the trails above the Verde Valley RV Campground near Cottonwood, AZ.  My friend and I did a very early morning walk.  It got up into the high 90s, but the mornings were wonderful. 
You can see the tops of the rigs among the trees in this one.
We also visited Tuzigoot National Monument.  We did not stay long as it was getting close to noon and getting very warm especially out in the sun.
After our stay in Cottonwood, we moved south to Phoenix to visit Dan's sister and her husband.  We had a delicious homemade lunch for Mother's Day and a tour of their house.
Dan had no problems getting us reservation at the Usery Mountain Regional Park.  We stayed a few nights enjoying the quiet beauty each evening.
The Saguaros were blooming, but were so tall that I had to use my 500 mm lens to get close-ups.
I managed to get a couple of good photos of one bird enjoying the flowers.
There must have been something moist inside the flowers because his beak was dripping when he pulled it out.  If this bird had lips, I would swear he was smacking his beak.  Must have been some tasty juice in those flowers.  I wonder if it was fermented.  He had no problem flying a straight line. 😄
Dan caught this photo of Max chillin' after an early evening of exploring our site and chasing lizards.
Whew! They say it is a dry heat, but I am worn out!
I might joke about being forgetful, but I will never forget those who gave their lives for our country.
Home Of The Free Because Of The Brave Pictures, Photos, and Images for Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Twitter
On The Cutting Board
Not much luck finding a good location to take photos of my finished quilts.  In the meantime, I am finishing up two more Happy Campers.
I'm also working on a new pattern called Twitter by Meags & Me
Okay, I do believe I have covered everything this time.  We leave Benson next Tuesday, so I better get back to my quilts and mug rugs. Have a Safe Weekend

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Desert in Bloom (Benson, AZ)

We are settled in the Escapees Saguaro SKP Co-op in Benson, AZ for the next couple of weeks.  Our timing was perfect for viewing many cacti in bloom.
I have been going for a walk every morning and can't stop myself from taking photos.  I have noticed that I look forward to my walks between the blue sky, the views of the valley below us, the different textures of plants, and colorful long as I get out in the early morning's cooler temps.  By the afternoon, I am not so enthused.
I actually have a sore neck from trying to look at everything during my morning walks.  So much to see between the wildlife and the park settings.
Almost every plant in the common areas has a name tag.  I really appreciate the park's volunteer gardeners spending the extra time to tag each plant.  
Prickly Pear
It certainly makes it easier for guests to learn the different kinds of cactus along with other desert plants.  A lot of repetition.  That is dedication!
Yellow Bird of Paradise
I turned the photos below into a collage so I could share more photos of the park.  We are on two waiting lists for a site.  One in the northwest and one in the southwest.  Our plans are to take a permanent site after our travel days are over. 
our temporary site with a view
It has not been an easy decision between Sutherlin, OR and Benson, AZ.  So, many pros and cons for both and neither is winning more pros than the other!  Besides the better winter weather, I love the Casitas built on each site.  Each one made unique by the site's lease holder.  Below are views of some of the different style Casitas from the road.  The bottom left photo shows the space behind the sites with more plants.
The next collage shows the fountain and garden near the Club House along with more blooming cacti.  The lower left photo is a back view of our coach between two sites.
Granted this area is hot and dry.  Water shortage is also a problem, but I still love the desert, the colors, the dry air, and the many different birds. Okay, so the House Sparrow below is more common, but I have seen roadrunners, quails, and others that I could not identify.
And yet, I love the northwest area as well.  We could become snowbirds and summer in OR with winters in AZ.  Hmmm, I'm glad I don't have to decide today, but I know that day is coming soon.

On The Cutting Board
Four quilts done!  Here are some quick photos of each one.  I will need to find a better spot to take photos for my Etsy shop.  The fabric collection in Cosmos quilt had me wondering what I was thinking.  It sat in the closet for quite a long time because I thought the collection was too dark for a child's quilt with so many browns and sage greens.  With a little yellow, a flash of red, and white background added to the mix and...Ta-Da!  I do believe Cosmos, the Star Puppy looks quite cheerful. 
Cosmos The Star Puppy
The Giraffe quilt is done!  The blocks were easy to do and the giraffes look quite cute, but I'm pretty sure I will not be making this quilt any time soon.
Giraffe quilt
Peek-a-boo Bears - done!  I love the way this one came out.  The scraps really pull the whole quilt together.
Peek-a-boo Bear
The last one is the Zoo panel that I have renamed Hippo and Friends.  I plan to give this one to a children's charity group since this fabric was given to me by a friend.
Hippo and Friends
That's it for now.  I have more quilt tops needing appliqué work.  I hope to have some more to show you in my next post.
Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Hot Time in Palm Springs (Cottonwood, AZ)

I have been enjoying this gorgeous weather during our stay in Desert Palms.  Lots of sunshine and blues skies!  It did get a little warm a couple of days.  Like into the 90 to 100 degrees...yep, even the cats said they were ready to go inside.  Coming from cats who love spending hours baking themselves on the dash....that is hot!  😄
Palm trees lining the campsites
We got a little shade from the palm trees, but we had to time it just right to have the 2' wide shade in our site.  I was tempted to line up the chairs facing forward like we were sitting on a bus.  I wonder what our neighbors would have thought about that.

During one of my walks, I noticed one of the cactus was in full bloom.  I had to take a photo, of course.  It's too bad we missed the blooming season in the desert.
We spent some time exploring the area.  One morning was spent at the College of the Desert's Street Fair.  It's quite large, so we did a lot of walking.  I'm glad we got there early before it became too crowded.  I saw lots of things that I did not need.  With extra restraint, I only bought one new pair of reading glasses.
Came across these cute guys in Blair Station RV
On our way home, we stopped by the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve.  We could see the oasis long before we got there (upper left).  The totem pole is made from one of the California Fan Palms that cover the area.  On the far right, is the inside of a house built from the palm trees.  It turns out that the inside of the palm trees are porous and lighter than wood, but durable.  It was amazing how cool it was inside the house with the doors and windows sitting wide open.  The history of the house and the preserve is in the website.
This was our first time to the Joshua Tree National Park.  We started from the south gate near I-10 and made our way to the northwest gate.  I was a little disappointed that the cactus were not in bloom.  Oh well..  I noticed that the Cholla Cactus isn't looking too good with all the black fungus growing on the lower stems, but the Joshua Trees seems to be doing quite well.
 Below are two rock formations that caught my attention and imagination.  Okay, so tell me that you see a whale breaching the sand in the top photo and an elephant with no ears in the bottom photo.
We had to spend one day walking the main street of Palm Springs.  I'm pretty sure the palm trees are the same ones from the preserve with a good trimming.
The views of the mountains were beautiful from the downtown area.
A few more photos of interesting views from our walk.  
I'm in love with a polka dotted bike!  I would like one in Aqua or Teal, please!
On The Cutting Board
I added three more Happy Camper mug rugs to my Etsy shop.
Lavender Vintage Trailer 

Pink and Aqua
I did find the Ocotillo blooming.  Usually, there are dark green leaves covering the Ocotillo.

I love this desert bush.  It has such a delicate look to it until you get up close and get a view of the long thorns on it.  They are definitely part of the southwest and add a lot of character to my SW campers.  I also added a couple of more of my favorites - a roadrunner and a ristra as well.
Peach and Teal
I'm getting ready to bind four quilts.  I'll post photos of them next time.  I saw one cute pattern called Lovely Giraffes in Craftsy.  I thought this pattern was perfect for this material.  But....
I wasn't so sure about appliquéing the ten small giraffes and I was right.
By the time I had finished appliquéing the fifth giraffe, it was starting to feel monotonous.  The pattern was really made for fusible webbing and machine appliqué.  If and that is a big IF....I decide to make this quilt again, I plan to embroider the mane and tail instead of trying to get all those tiny curves just right.
I'm happy to say this one is about done.  Whew!
Well, I hear the quilts are calling to me.  Got some binding to do.  Let's get it done!
Happy Quilting!

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