Sunday, April 22, 2018

Yesterday's trip to Wickenburg for the Cowgirl Up exhibit at the museum was a roaring success;  Wanda likened it to a vacation!  It runs through May 13, and if you get a chance to head up there I highly recommend it!

Cowgirl Up! captures the imagination of just about everyone who is attracted to the lifestyle and spirit of the West.  Over the course of the past decade, the show and sale have become the most important event for Western women artists in the country. Regarded for the breadth of extraordinarily talented artists invited annually as well as the enthusiastic and loyal patrons who support the museum’s passionate vision, DCWM is privileged to carry the banner for the West’s most noteworthy women artists.  ‘Cowgirl Up! Art from the Other Half of the West’ garners international acclaim from collectors and connoisseurs across the globe.  Since 2006, when Desert Caballeros Western Museum identified the need to step forward on behalf of the West’s women artists, this nationally hailed exhibition has gathered more than 50 of the region’s celebrated contemporaries, in recognition of their enormous contribution to the cultural legacy of the American West.

 One of the showcased artists, Sue Krzyston, is a friend of Wanda's. 
Here they were enjoying a recent lunch together.

Surrounded in her home and studio by the American Indian artifacts she collects and paints, Sue Krzyston believes these objects represent the “soul” of the people who create them. “I strive to capture that soul on canvas. I want to take something alive, something from the earth, and make them come alive in my still life paintings.”

I didn't take my camera (thought I wouldn't be allowed to snap photos) but that wasn't the case.  However it turns out that their website has MUCH better photos than my flip phone!  Here are some of Sue's paintings, and of course even the professional photography doesn't do them justice.  The beadwork on the moccasins is SO realistic it really looks 3D! 

After lunch we made a stab and seeing the rest of the museum, which is also wonderful. However it seems we only made a dent before we got overloaded and headed home... never even making it over to the other building!

I hope to post more pix of the wonderful artwork later.

Alex surprised us when he appeared late last evening since I wasn't expecting him until Monday or even Tuesday.  He had a great trip (showed me some of his pix and video of the BIG boats) and now has a little time at home before blasting off again for the next job.

I know he's got plans to do stuff with friends, but we'll get to see him at least once <g> since Tom plans to cook up some of the fish that they caught on their recent trip to Rocky Point for dinner one night.

Mom was (eventually) able to get Amtrak tickets to NY via their website, but apparently it wasn't very easy.  I remember last year Barbara and I spent hours (and hours!) trying to navigate the site to get tickets, so I truly understand Mom's difficulty and frustration.  (She's already let me know that next year I can have that "fun"!)

Friday, April 20, 2018

During one of the discussions at lunch yesterday,
the four of us somehow got onto the subject of raising teenagers. 

(At least since the technology revolution we have discovered that
there actually is a 'purpose' for teenagers.... to help their clueless parents!)

Of course we all had teen stories to tell, but this one of Mary's (when all three of her kids were teens at the same time) really cracked us up. 

Her husband Jack was arguing with her about something, and she said to him, "STOP! I'm the only friend you have in this house."

Only thing on today's agenda is the gym.  Yesterday afternoon/evening I experienced a couple of very mild (and blessedly brief!) episodes of vertigo. 

It was the first time in about a year that had happened.  I have NO idea what could have precipitated it, and happily I seem to be just fine this morning.  But of course at the first sign of any recurrence I will definitely stop exercising.  

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Tom had his regular appointment with the cardiologist yesterday, and his EKG was normal.  But it would be an understatement to say that I don't think they're worth the paper they're printed on. 

Dad's EKG was fine that last day, though just a minute or two later (after the doc had stepped out of the room for some paperwork) Mom and I watched Dad experience an episode where he went pale, perspired, and was obviously experiencing severe chest pain.  Of course we mentioned it when the doc returned (by which time the episode had passed) but were assured all seemed fine.  Bottom line: about 15 minutes later, back in the apartment, he dropped dead.

(He had just been released from the hospital two days earlier,
after what had turned out to be a dissected aorta.)

At least Tom did mention how incredibly tired he's been, so today he went back for some additional heart tests, and then to the lab for some bloodwork to rule out some other things.  "Dr. Bobbi" (with all of her medical "training") has her own diagnosis: his arteries are clogged, and his heart just isn't getting enough blood.

Mary and Marcie finally got to meet this morning (looks like the start of a beautiful friendship!) and we got the 1.5" strips for her Log Cabin project cut easily and quickly.  Then it was off to meet Wanda for lunch, when we introduced Mary and Marcie to Saffron Jak.  They were most impressed with both the food and the portion size, and are looking forward to another visit.

Wanda brought along the two adorable paper-pieced chickens (from a book she borrowed from me) for a bag she's making, and it will be adorable.  But Wanda pretty much feels the same way about paper-piecing that I do.

Mary brought along  her Judy Martin's Incredible Log Cabin Quilts book that has an amazing number of creative patterns.  I've now added (at least) a couple dozen quilts to The List <g> and though Mary has kindly offered to loan me her copy, I obviously need <g> my own.  Marcie feels the same way, and is also going to order one for her library.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

One less crisis in my life...

I did take the camera battery charger with me to the quilt meeting on Saturday, though it turns out I never needed to use it.  Once the meeting was over, I (obviously!) decided to lighten my purse’s load before quick visits to the two quilt shops in town by putting it into the car console, and “somehow” it drifted to the bottom.

In other good news, the colors in the border fabric I bought that day perfectly matches the colors in my Round Robin.  Marcie was most impressed.

Very enjoyable meeting at Busy Bees today.  Naturally it was especially fun to have my two completed UFOs to share, plus the three quilts I bought at the auction last month.  Everyone was glad to hear that this year's auction went SO much better than last year (and earned AQG quite a bit of money) mostly because they incorporated virtually all of the suggestions from the letter we wrote after last year's debacle. 

The general consensus was that I really scored
on the quilts that came home with me.  

Sandy's demo on Crumb Quilts was fun, though not quite what she had planned.  She found it a tad difficult to sew without thread or a bobbin!

She did, however, remember to bring her notes:

These ladies brought in their Churn Dash projects:
Sharon, Nancy, Ada, Jan, Betsy, Louise, Monica

Jan has already put her top together from the recent apron block exchange.

Now that I'm back from my weekend in Lake Havasu and Parker I can focus on getting ready for my next trip, to Maryland the beginning of May. 

On Monday I made lots of phone calls, coordinating everyone's schedule to set up the nonagenerian lunch for this year.  Ann, who turns 99 in May (but still lives alone and is going as strong as ever) offered to make lunch for all of us (like last year!)  However, I figured it would be easier if we lunched at a restaurant and let someone else do the shopping, cooking, cleaning up!

My uncle, who turned 96 in March (he also lives alone - and still drives!) is also doing great.  The only concession he seems to have made to age is that I finally no longer need to worry about a possible broken rib when he hugs me. 

And of course Mom (yes, she too lives independently) will turn 91 while I'm visiting. 
It's quite the hale and hearty lunch bunch!

This year, however, I will not be the youngest in the group.  That honor will fall to my cousin Rachelle (Allen's daughter) who is two years younger than I am. Now that she's retired she'll able to join us and make it a five-some. 

On Tuesday I was e-mailing back and forth with Barbara, finalizing the arrangement for the trip up to NY with Mom to spend a day with Suzanne, Barbara's mother.  The two of them are the only remaining Bronx Beauties, a group of seven childhood friends (and later included their husbands) who remained close all their lives.

Mom is now tasked with making the hotel reservations at The Andrew (easy enough) and also getting the Amtrak tickets for our ride up to NY.  (The day of our return Thursday we'll just see what time we get to Penn Station from our ride in from Long Island and buy tickets then.)  We're looking for a mid-morning trip up on that Tuesday so we'll arrive with plenty of time to make the transfer to the LIRR before the craziness of rush hour that afternoon.  But as soon as I said "it shouldn't be too busy then" we both uttered (in unison) Dad's "immortal" words: "Nobody flies to Denver on a Sunday."

which made us laugh almost as much as  the mere mention of Petaluma!

We now have a lovely bamboo shade hung over the sliding glass door to the family room.  (Tom had  tossed the trashed plastic one at the end of the Sun Season last year.)  What a difference it makes, keeping the afternoon sun from ramping up the temperature in that room.

BUT rehanging the design wall was a major production - and once it was (finally!!!) up, Tom pulled it down too far trying to snap it back up, at which point the spring gave up the ghost.  Looks like I'll be shopping for a shade then then gluing new flannel onto it (though Marcie was kind enough to bring me her left-over gridded flannel, which is a great start.)

On the way home from the gym yesterday I made another library trip, and then stopped at the new neighbors' to introduce myself - and discuss the early arrival of our water on Friday morning.  Brianna insists she let the water go at the appointed time, but "somehow" it arrived here early - and we got so much extra water that for the first time ever (in 20 years) water reached the house foundation.  

Next cycle I will (of necessity) have to monitor our flow from the beginning of our time slot in order to document when the water actually arrives at our property out back.  It's also possible (though not very likely) that WMID has done "something" which has dramatically increased the water pressure.


I knew Marcela was starting her new job on Monday, so I sent her good wishes for that on Sunday.  Yesterday she called to update me on how it went, and we talked for well over an hour.  As expected she's doing well (one of the strongest women I've ever known) and moving forward bravely into her new life without Steve.  One of their last pix together, in October, before he went downhill fast.

Almost time to head to quilting.  I wanted to recharge my camera battery last night so I'd be ready for Show & Tell this morning (took lots of pix this past weekend) but my charger in MIA.  Thought I'd taken it with me to Havasu since I knew I'd be snapping pix of the trunk show, so called Tami to see if somehow I'd left it behind.  But her search of "my" quarters did not turn up anything.  It was a last-ditch attempt since I'd stayed very contained and was reasonably certainly I'd packed up everything Sunday morning.  Looks like I'll need to go shopping for a new one before my trip to Maryland, where I will be snapping lots of family photos and definitely need to recharge the battery!