Friday, July 21, 2017

Terry and Steve both liked the Nectar Dots (for hand feeding hummingbirds) I brought them, and set them out today for the hummers to get used to.  We all expect great success with them here.

Neil recently stopped being able to stand, which has made everything that much more difficult.  So today Terry drove into Salida and rented a lift.  After dinner she practiced on me, transferring me from the bed to the wheelchair.  In order to make it as realistic a test as possible I didn't 'help' at all, because of course Neil won't.  But I didn't fight her either, which he is very likely to do. Slings come in a variety of shapes/sizes, and the one that came with the lift was long for me - but of course Neil is much taller.

Guess you could say now I've been slung?

When it was time for bed tonight, Terry transferred Neil from his wheelchair to the bed, with Steve standing by "just in case". But the process went considerably better than the 3 of us expected, and should get even easier with practice.

On my way to soak this morning I stopped by the bathhouse to post the flier about the Foothills raffle quilt.  In the parking lot outside Oak House I snapped a pic of this bumper sticker.

 I started off my day with a soak in the Apple Pool.  It's the perfect way to start a day.  Then I headed over to the swimming pool (before it got crowded) and swam some laps. Not as many as I had hoped, but 6 lengths of the oly-sized pool is better than none, right?  In theory I will up that number each day.

I rewarded myself with a soak in the Party Pool, which was pretty empty when I arrived; the only ones there were Saddle and his 'dad'.   

The sunflowers are not as heavy as I expected, but of course as the weeks pass there should be more and more of them.

There were a couple of goldfinches flitting around, one'chasing the other while making a lot of noise.  The general consensus was that Mama was teaching the youngster what to eat.  Today I tasted one of the squawbush sumac berries ("full of vitamin C") that grow along the edge of the pool, and was surprised at how sour and tart it was on my tongue.  No wonder some folks call it lemonade berry.

The sky was clear when I set out this morning, but the puffy white clouds started appearing over the western mountains as the morning progressed - and no doubt by later this afternoon we'll see more rain.

I finished up Ivy's bib this afternoon, so I'm all ready for her expected arrival tomorrow.  Yesterday Terry was showing me pix from her birth and earlier visits when she was tiny, but now Ivy is a "big girl" of four-and-a-half months.

I did wake up quite early yesterday, but luckily they started serving complimentary full breakfast at 6:00 (and for the outrageous price they charged for the room I wasn't going to pass that up) and then I was on the road by 7:00.  Refreshed from a good night's sleep, I had a relaxed drive to Cortez through all the wide open spaces.  It was a pleasant surprise that when I stopped at the quilt store there right at 9:00 they were just opening the doors (several women had been outside waiting); I figured they would open later and I'd just be on my way.  Then in Durango I hit both the quilt stores.  At each stop I picked up the (free) Row By Row pattern (my "reason" for stopping), and I'd like to say I got out without doing any further 'damage'.... but I'd be lying.

My one scare during the 625-mile drive here came between Durango and Pagosa Springs (that's the same stretch where we hit the deer on Mother's Day in '91 - when baby Lisa slept through the entire crash.)  It's pretty much one lane in each direction, with only partial shoulders.  I was clipping along at a good pace, enjoying Roy Zimmerman's wit, when I noticed that the blue pickup heading toward me was crowding the center line.  Then sure enough, about 1/3 of him "drifted" over the line.  I scooched over to the right as far as I could (which wasn't much) and laid on the horn, and the driver made the appropriate adjustment.  But it sure ramped up my heartbeat!

I had planned to stop at Treasure Falls before climbing up over Wolf Creek Pass (the kids always enjoyed that stop), but the pretty white clouds I had been enjoying all day were black over the pass, and I did see some lightning, so I decided to just press on and hopefully beat the storm... which was waiting for me at the top. <g> So I had heavy rain all the way to West Fork, but at least I had a clean windshield after that.

One last stop at the quilt store in Del Norte, and then on to the springs!  Great to see Terry and Neil, though not surprisingly there has been quite a deterioration in his condition since last summer.   The weather was threatening (and we did get quite a heavy downpour in the late afternoon and evening) so I haven't yet soaked.  But we sat and talked and caught up on stuff, and then Terry (as usual) whipped up a delicious dinner.

Now I'm off for my morning soak, starting at the Apple Pool. 
Let the relaxing begin!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

I was definitely not thrilled to wake up shortly after 4:00 this morning -
but <sigh> 'them's the breaks'. 

At quilting I showed the mesh bag (again), which was when Monica and I found out that not all of the ladies had gotten the e-mail with the supply list for my class; she sent that out again this afternoon. 

Joanne did a trunk show; we all loved her flamingo quilt!

watercolor piano


hearts for Valentine's Day

 a similar pattern for Easter eggs

cute snowmen
and cute houses

There was not a lot of Show & Tell so the meeting ended early. But I did want to share this gem that Grace found at the Brass Armadillo (a consignment store) for just $3!

I was home for lunch by 11:00, and on the road by 11:30.

The clouds were absolutely stunning on my drive to Flagstaff, another perk of monsoon season.  But the sky darkened as I drove north, and sure enough it started to rain just as I was leaving Flagstaff.  Luckily the rain wasn't heavy (and neither was traffic) and didn't impact my drive.


Saw a 'well-behaved' teardrop trailer; it had a sign on its back that made me smile:

By the time I was nearing Kayenta I had started feeling rather tired, and since there's nothing after that until Cortez, CO (117 miles and two hours away) I decided it would be prudent to stop for the night.  While I had hoped to make it to Cortez today, I did drive almost 300 miles this afternoon.  Assuming I get another early start tomorrow I should be at the hot springs well before dinner. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Jim went easy on me at the gym this morning.  It may need to be another story when I start back up again after vacation!

After picking up a few items at the store (wouldn't want to starve on my drive, plus I got some needed cash) I gassed up and cleaned all the windows.  However I was somewhat distressed that the oil gauge was still reading only 20% oil life.  After my post-workout smoothie Tom and I checked the oil. It was a nice clear amber (you do not want to know how old I was before I learned that motor oil does not start out black...) and seemed to be reading full; incredibly the dip stick has NO marked 'full' line!  So <sigh> I drove back to Firestone.  Luckily it turns out that they just hadn't reset it the gauge, and happily that didn't take more than a minute or two. Now it reads the expected 100%, and I feel better about setting off tomorrow.

On Sunday morning I was laying out clothes for my trip on the bed, and had put the 2 (tiny!) hand-held hummingbird feeders with them.  (I found them at the bird store in Flagstaff back in January, and had been saving to bring them to Terry and Steve.)  Since they were so small I wanted to put them in something safe so they wouldn't get misplaced, but "somehow" they seem to have disappeared after I got the clothes packed before I headed to dinner and the concert Sunday night.  I kept track of them all this time, and then on their way to being packed they disappeared into thin air.

It was a great concert Sunday night! A big Thank You to Amy for inviting me, and introducing me to Roy Zimmerman's music; he's quite the entertainer!!!  Every selection he shared with us was pertinent and witty, and each song he sang seemed better than the last.  I bought his CDs, and look forward to enjoying more of his wit on my drive to Colorado.  (I shared many YouTube links of him on FB, but if you missed them there you can just look him up on your own.) With the daily clusterfuck coming out of the White House he certainly has no lack of material from which to draw, though of course his newest songs haven't yet had time to be recorded.  Guess I'll just have to watch for his next CD!

On the way home Sunday night there was a lot of lightning in the sky, though I wasn't expecting much more than a lightshow.  However we did actually get quite a bit of rain (I was glad the downpour waiting until I was safely home) which naturally trashed the pool that I had cleaned earlier in the day.

During the day I also finished binding Lisa's quilt,
and also made substantial progress on the 3 mesh bags.

On Monday I had more things to add to my To Do List since I'll be driving myself to the hot springs (for a multitude of reasons Tom won't be going this year.) I called Fletcher's this morning to see about getting my oil changed. Sometimes they are so busy I have to wait days for an appointment, so I was quite happy that they could get me in yesterday afternoon at 2:00.  But I was not happy upon arrival to find that the new Firestone sign actually signaled a change in ownership, and my pre-paid oil change card that had a number of punches left on it was no longer good. In addition Fletcher's always included a free tire rotation, but Firestone charges unless I bought the tires from them. Not thrilled, but I need the oil change (which, being a turbo, is naturally more than the regular $25) and so was glad that I was able to get it done yesterday.

And guess my resigned-rather-than-angry attitude worked, because Cissy decided to honor my card after all! I was happy, and they should be also, because her decision pretty much guarantees I will become a new customer.

Unfortunately they could not rotate the tires, because the "thingy" that lived in the glove box (and was only used when the tires were rotated at Fletchers...) apparently had not been returned after its last use. (They looked, and then I looked - and then I also emptied the console, 'just in case' is was mis-filed.)  So I will need to get a replacement at the dealership upon my return. Can only imagine what they will charge for that little tool. Sigh... At least the tires are in good shape.

At 3:00 they told me that I needed a new air filter (they did show me how "congested" the old one was when I tried to find the tire thingy) - but (of course) they didn't have one in stock. That meant an additional wait while they found one somewhere else. Had I known I was driving my car I would have taken care of all this last week.... I really DO try to plan ahead!

Marcie had called earlier in the day, and so after my fun getting the oil changed I stopped in to show her Irene's handiwork on Lisa's quilt (she loved it.) I also wanted to see how "moved in" they are these days; her sewing room looks great, and we're both looking forward to getting together and playing in September.

Her AccuCut machine is all set up, and she pointed out that the die holder still has room for more, "once we decide what we still need"!

Latina was beyond thrilled to see me (not her usual behavior with visitors) so Marcie said it was obvious she remembers me from her visits over here.

Yesterday I did manage to muck my sewing area (and 4 tubs of stuff have been relocated to Alex's room so it won't 'offend' Tom when he's watching TV while I'm gone.) 

I saw this on the internet this morning, so it MUST be true. right? <G>

In the meantime, with Benny's help
Tom moved some of his equipment into the living room.

Later this morning I have my last gym session for quite a while (of course I can always hike or swim laps or otherwise exercise while I'm at the hot springs.... but WILL I?)  I also need to pop in to Winco after the gym for a few things to bring with me, but otherwise the day is free to finish up packing.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The dinnertime news last night was overwhelmingly about the monsoon, and focused on our nearby intersection of the Loop 101 and I-17, stressing the dust and limited visibility impacting rush hour.  We did get LOTS of wind (Tom was grilling chicken outside) but <sigh> nary a drop of rain.  

When Wanda came over today she brought her iPad in the hope that I could help her.  She wants to put a shortcut to my blog onto her desktop.  Should be simple, right?  After more than half an hour and many Google searches we eventually gave up.  She did (at my suggestion) make an appointment for tech help at the Apple store, and they should be able to show her how to do it.

This afternoon I got Lisa's quilt bound (all except for where I still need to join it), then took a break to make a run to the library.  On the way home I stopped in at 'my' ACE - and got 3 keys made for the gate lock!  It was more important than ever, because Terry called earlier to let me know that there are schedule snafus with him doing two of the irrigations while we're gone.  So I am going to have to tap some of the neighbors after all, each of whom will need a gate key.

Late this afternoon we got a whole bunch of wind. Then for a couple of minutes we actually got some rain, though just for a couple of minutes - basically just enough to wet everything down.