Thursday, July 31, 2014


I slept in this morning (maybe because Shadow didn't sleep with me like the night before?) so I got a late start on my soaking.  Terry and I got away from the house later than the guys, but we found them at the apple pools.  The sun actually came out, and I loaned by mini-sarong to a woman who had gotten too much sun yesterday.  I was the last one to head back down to the house for lunch, and learned that Steve had arrived and Tom was giving him a tour of Valley View.  Delicious lunch (pastrami and cheese, some avocado and peach slices - and the rest of those sea salt and cracked pepper potato chips) so I was ready for an afternoon of soaking.   But before I could go, more rain (with thunder) arrived.  So I decided to wait for a while, and (under protest from her) helped Terry out around the house.

Tom found a heartbreak of an arrowhead (tip broken off) and a flake just a few yards from where Steve pitched his tent, and then Steve found a couple of interesting pieces, which will be nice additions to the frame in the Visitor Center.

I never did make it up to soak - weather just wasn't conducive - but we had another great dinner (Steve joined us) with baked-from-scratch brownies for dessert.  When Tom and Steve went to soak after dinner (too cool for me) I got to see the pix from Terry and Neil's recent trip to Scotland (it was SO green!). Loved the old castles and scenery, though no sign of Brigadoon... Then we watched a Netflix, a French movie called The Grocer's Son, so it was a late evening.

FRIDAY, August 1

It's early, but there is some blue showing in the sky already, so it could be a nice day despite the iffy forecast.  Off for an early morning soak.  :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wednesday, July 30

I woke up early, to clouds, but around 6:00 decided to go for a soak.   I was heading for the party pool but only got as far as the new apple pools, which are delightful!  Just the right toastiness for a cool morning.  Around 7:30 I headed back to the house (I figured everyone would be awake and I was right) and a bit later Terry and Neil and I headed up to the party pool, where we found Tom.  The water was not as warm as I'd like (only around 96) but pleasant enough - especially after the sun came out.  Back to the house late morning to eat a little something, and then Neil and Tom and I headed back to the apple pools. They are very well done and a perfect addition to Valley View!  

There are deer around (a doe was contentedly grazing by the party pool this morning while kids were playing and splashing) and this afternoon one cruised by the apple pools with her fawn. Always fun to see the babies! Then Tom went off on an afternoon hike while I just kicked back and relaxed. I love watching the hummingbirds... There are dozens and dozens of them constantly vying for a spot at the feeder outside the kitchen.  And I thought there were a lot at Steve's on Tuesday!

We feasted for dinner.  Terry grilled chicken, made up a big salad, and we'd brought corn.  There was a big storm (with lots of thunder, lightning, and rain) while we ate.  Dessert was a blueberry crisp Terry whipped up this afternoon.  When I told Michael his mom was a great cook, he disagreed; "She's a fantastic cook!" Everyone is tired tonight so the party (Doug stopped by for a while) broke up around 9:00.

Steve never made it today as expected. (Terry had graciously invited him to eat with us.) It was pouring at his place all day and he figured it was the same here.  He should be here tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Monday, July 28

We had breakfast in Ridgway with Dwain at Kate's (I'd heard a lot of folks at Orvis recommending it, and so did Dwain) and then said our goodbyes and headed to Gunnison.  We bought some Palisade peaches at a fruit stand, and then cruised the antler store across the street.  I've never seen so many animals, and while the taxidermist had done a wonderful job, Hunting is not my thing and I felt badly about all the killing.  (Though not quite so much re the cougars and bears...) Then it was off to the Pioneer Museum, which does have a nice artifact collection that Tom had wanted to visit again.  There were many, many buildings with a wide array of exhibits (the antique car building had close to 50 cars, dating back to 1914) though I did wish the museum had more quilts.

By the time we left and headed up Monarch Pass we ran into some serious low, fast-moving clouds and rain; rocks were actually falling on the road as we were driving by. Radio said there was the possibility of flash flooding so we decided not to camp and instead got a room. 

With the addition of Wisconsin and Vermont today we are now up to 41 states.  I win! (We are only missing the Dakotas, and 7 small states on the East Coast.)

TUESDAY, July 29

This morning we listened to the news while we were gettig ready, and I liked the segment about the robot that's hitching across Canada..  As soon as I can get internet (it's very intermittent in our room) I want to read more about Hitchbot!  I was less thrilled with the weather report - more severe weather expected next 36 hours or so.

Before leaving Salida we stopped at the Espresso place (I got a mango smoothie) where a customer had made a lovely coffee quilt. I did take several pictures, of course. Heading to visit Steve (he lives near the Royal Gorge) we had to stop for roadwork: scraping mud/debris off the road after yesterday's storm.  The drive is alongside the Arkansas River (we've seen a lot of rafters getting ready to float) and we spotted a heron standing in the water.  

I now have a few more gray hairs.  A motorcyclist just passed us on this VERY winding road, and got back in our lane a mere second before traffic coming in the other direction.  Idiot!

Once on the back road we had to stop for a doe and her two fawns crossing near Steve's. He's got a beautiful place, and I really liked the artwork.  We had a nice visit, sitting on the porch.  LOTS of hummingbirds, and pretty white-breasted nuthatches.  We saw the bunny that had escaped earlier, into a brush pile, from a goshawk attack; he said the hawk actually tried to get into the brush for his breakfast but was unsuccessful.  We spent some time looking at some of his artifacts - I especially liked the rare corner tang.  He's going to meet us at Valley View (probably tomorrow) so the guys can continue swapping grubbing  stories.  As the crow flies he's probably only 10 miles or so from there.... But it's over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and you 'can't get there' that way.  Going around by car it's at least 2 hours.

On our way back to Salida mid-afternoon we did see some rafters on the Arkansas; Tom had thought they might all be done for the day.  Groceries and gas ($75 to fill truck and quad) and a quick bite and we're off to Valley View.  It was raining fairly hard (looked like the hot springs were getting hammered) and we saw a rainbow, but not in the sky... down low, with the trees in the background!

 Great to arrive at one of my 'favorite-ist' places, Valley View Hot Springs, and see Terry & Neil.  Before dinner (Michael had made a couple of delicious pizzas) we went to let the staff at the visitor center know we'd arrived, and ran into our old friend Doug.  After dinner we spent the evening reminiscing about 'the old days'.

Haven't yet made it to the pools to soak, though of course that's on my agenda for tomorrow.  Unfortunately the weather for tomorrow is iffy.  Oh well.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Today's adventure was amazing!  We picked up Claire in Montrose (I got to see Ally and Aaron briefly) and then headed to Paradox Canyon.  The scenery was absolutely spectacular!  Then we did some 'wandering' on an incredible back road (Dave Woods) where we came upon an immense herd of elk: well over 100, possibly as many as 200.  Of course we stopped to take pix, and there was some grubbing after Tom found some flint chips.  Then as we traveled on we saw even more elk.  Of course we were still out in the middle of nowhere once it got dark, and didn't get back to Montrose to drop off Claire until after 10:00 - so we didn't get home to Ouray until after 11:00.  Long day, but well worth it!  (Forgot to mention that early in the afternoon we had to swerve to avoid hitting a bighorn ram that appeared out of nowhere.)  And now it's definitely time for bed!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

DAY 7 - Sunday, July 27

It was great to catch up on things with Claire yesterday.  Then when Tom and Dwain got back from their quad ride Tom showed them his knives and rocks, which were a BIG hit.  We did dinner at 'their' place in Ridgway, and the food was every bit as good as they had claimed.  Lots of laughter over dinner - fun time.  We took a back road 'home', and came upon a beautiful buck that ran along side us for quite a way.  

Today Dwain is going to take us on a drive to Paradox Canyon (I hope not as wild and crazy a ride as the one we jeeped 6 summers ago, over Imogene Pass!)  

This morning a hummingbird came by the deck to visit, and a bit later I got to see a golden eagle hunting (they sure screech loudly!) Still no bears, or mountain lions. Fine with me!

Happy Birthday, Patti! 😀
DAY 6 - Saturday, July 26

I slept in the house last night, but Tom slept in the back of the truck to get a break from my snoring.  (It never bothers me...<g>) This morning I called Mom to chat for a bit, and then when it got late enough on this side of the country I gave Betty a call to wish her a Happy (91st!) Birthday.  She said she'd been getting calls all morning, the phone ringing again as soon as she ended each call.  So I was lucky to get through on my first try.

The guys took off of their quads to do some sight-seeing up the mountain and I declined to go; not sure my back would appreciate all the bouncing.  Instead I did some housekeeping, took a shower, and did some reading on the deck.  Claire is on her way over from Montrose to visit, and when the guys get back we'll all head into town for a late lunch or early dinner.

No bear sightings.... Yet!  I still remember our visit from 6 summers ago when the kids were heading out into the yard and Dwain told them to be sure to take the bear spray.  NOT something we have to worry about in Phoenix!  Just the other day at the hot springs we were reading the local paper, and there was an article about a bear that broke into a house in Ouray for food.  The women sleeping in the house heard the noise in the kitchen and thought they had a burglar so they called the police.  Scary stuff!  We did bring all the food from the truck and trailer into the garage.

Friday, July 25, 2014

DAY 5 - Friday, July 25

It was delightful soaking last night.  I started out in the lobster pot, then once thoroughly warmed to the core <g> I spent the next hour in the pond.  There was wind - but that also meant no mosquitos!

It was overcast all morning, but the rain held off so the soaking was perfect.  I met a couple from Sedona, Cherita (a massage therapist and yoga instructor) and john, and we exchanged info. 

Late morning I showered and we packed up to head to Ouray to meet up with Dwain. The rain (only sprinkles at this point) did hold off long enough for us to organize, pack up and hitch the trailer back up.  After a too-short stop in the book store (not enough time for either of us) we met Dwain for a nice lunch on the upstairs outdoor balcony at the Ouray Brewery.  I had a grilled avocado salad with shrimp roumalade.  Scrumptious!  Then (of course) we stopped in at a rock shop Dwain recommended - and where the owner turned out to be from Apache Junction and owns a mine Tom evaluated years ago.  He's interested in having Tom take a look at it again.

Dwain convinced Tom he could get the trailer up the mountain, so we followed him home.  I remember that road from 6 summers ago, but Tom wasn't with us on that trip.  He couldn't believe we just kept climbing and climbing that NARROW steep S-curved road. And kept climbing. And still kept climbing.  But the view is spectacular; spent the afternoon on the deck taking it all in, at around 8400'.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

DAY 4 Thursday, July 24

I made a new friend in the pool last night, 1 1/2 year old Solomon. He loved the way I could squirt water with my hand, and laughed mightily. When his dad took him to another part of the pool he turned around and said 'bye bye'. Not too much later his mom had to bring him back over because he kept pointing at me. 

We didn't get much sleep last night.  There was a LOT of traffic in the parking area long after quiet time started at 10 - mostly people trying to sneak in. Just around the time that traffic was winding down a car pulled in beside us at midnight and blew up air mattresses with something noisy. At 4:20 am someone's car alarm went off; I counted 73 blares before the owner managed to shut it off. (Found out this morning that she set it off when she rolled over onto her car keys.) There was a lot of wind howling during the night, enough to really shake the truck; I also worried our chairs might blow away. And just to cap things off there were bright flashes of lightning (no thunder.) The noise and wind were topics of conversation in the pools today.

Today I did get into the Lobster Pot, though only lasted about 5 minutes; it's about 110, way too hot for Tom (and most of the other folks.)  In the main soaking pool (where the temp varies between 101 and 105 depending upon whether the 'massage' pipe is flowing hot or cold) I met a couple who live in Kingman - and for a while could not recall the name of the school where I taught in the 80s (La Senita).  Lots of talk re various other hot springs, and Valley View (where we'll be Tuesday) is a big favorite.

Cute little chipmunks running around, and some pretty yellow birds (larks?) Unfortunately there were also mosquitos around the pool last night, though they haven't been a problem today.

Between a little sarong around my shoulders (or my Tweety Mini-shirt) and a big hat, I have been keeping the sun from getting me. Tom has been pretty much staying out of the sun but his arms and legs already have a sun rash.  :(

This afternoon I took a break from soaking, but about the time I was ready to get back in we got a little rain - with thunder.  Didn't see any lightning, but the pools were all closed for about an hour.  Once they opened again I got to soak for about 30 minutes before the storm hit.  We rode it out in the office, with some worries about whether the camper leaked and got the bed wet, like when Tom was in Oregon.

We had dinner at a Thai restaurant (town is only a couple of miles away.) I was chilled from the cold and damp (certainly not dressed for 'winter' weather) and had soup for dinner.  Afterwards we passed by the park where the weekly Thursday night concert was going on, and couldn't believe how many people were dressed in shorts and tank tops.  When we got back to the hot springs I dug into my cold weather bag and put on a sweatshirt and jeans and crawled into the back to read while we waited for the latest rain to stop.  The back window had leaked a little so the bottom corners of the blue jean quilt got wet - but I think we'll be fine.

DAY 2 Tuesday, July 22

No bears last night when I trekked to the bathroom around 2 am - but the stars sure were beautiful!

This morning we had to drop the trailer at the gas station by the campground - none allowed in the park past there. In the morning we took the tour down to Cliff Palace (steep steps carved into the rocks, several wooden ladders) and in the afternoon we hiked down to Spruce House.  That brought back memories of when we visited there with the kids one summer (circa '96).

One of the guides told Tom that the area usually gets 10 feet of snow over the winter.  But this 
past winter they only got 8 INCHES!  The drought is everywhere in the SW.

Of course we toured the museum, which had excellent diaramas and exhibits.  Tom was certainly drooling over some of the artifacts.

Mesa Verde is a popular spot (Cliff Palace is a World Heritage site, along with the Great Wall of China and the Pyramids in Egypt) so no surprise we scored a bunch more license plates; by the time we left the park we were up to 37 states.  I had guessed we'd see 40 this trip and Tom was doubtful - but it seems possible at this point.

We had time before dinner to stop in at the quilt shop in Cortez.  Always fun - and I saw a placemat pattern I will whip up 'for someone' once I get home.  Dinner was very good (BBQ that was half the price of last night's dinner, 30 times faster - and much, much tastier!)

We found a spot to camp just off the road in the San Juan National Forest a couple of miles south of Rico. At this point we have it all to ourselves, though it's possible  we could get some company later.  The price is certainly right!

Tom didn't sleep well Monday night so he took a post dinner nap while I read.  When I got out to go water a tree I surprised a couple of deer just outside the truck.  They took one look at me and pronged off across across the road.  Definitely not used to people like the deer roaming the campground the night before!

We expected it to get chilly during the night so we closed the windows. But when I went out at 2:00 it was quite mild and I didn't even need to throw on my little jacket.

DAY 3 Wednesday, July 23

Gaining elevation as we head toward Lizard Head Pass (10,222) we get our first glimpse of snow on the fourteener mountains.  

Telluride was fun to walk around.  Lots of bikes and dogs everywhere, and I was able to buy a charger for my iPad/phone (for 5 times the price of the first one I bought, but that one didn't have enough juice to work.)  We took the (free) gondola rides up the mountain, checked out a nature center up there and wandered around Mountain Village, which had the most incredible kids' playground. I was pretty worried about the ride (heights are not my thing!) but I'm glad we did it.  Lots of mountain biking trails up there, and the gondolas had bike racks that were getting a lot of use.

During lunch back down in Telluried (again, a very long wait) I noticed how gray the sky had gotten. No sooner had I walked the 3 blocks back to where we parked and gotten into the truck when it started to rain. Perfect timing. Leaving town we saw a herd of about a dozen elk.

We stopped in Ridgeway for a few (expensive) groceries.  Most of the locals shop in Ouray (10 miles) or even Montrose (24 miles). Then we checked into Orvis Hot Springs to camp tonight and tomorrow night.  It's changed some since were were here last (almost 20 years ago) - but what place hasn't! The water is nice and toasty,  but just as I remember there's not a lot of shade in the pools.  Very pretty, but no pix (or electronics of any kind) allowed in most areas.  Not that I could post them anyway!

And since there's wifi here in the office I should <g> be able to post.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Day 1  108,490 on odometer. We're playing the license plate game on this trip, and before we got to Flag we'd racked up 14 states: Washington, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee, Florida, New Jersey.  We were passed by a Convertible club - perfect weather for it. After a filling breakfast at The Place in Flagstaff we gassed up before leaving town.  Ambulance with siren going pulled in behind us and picked up a man sitting on the side.

Right after we took the highway 60 turnoff outside Cameron toward Tuba City (which is one lane in each direction) a huge truck came barreling toward us on a curve.  Just as Tom said "he'd better slow that thing down" and swerved over to the right the truck threw a rock onto his 6-month-old windshield, 
Putting a huge hole in it. At least the truck didn't hit us (sure looked like a possibility for a couple of seconds!) And the hole is in a 'good' place as far as limiting visibility.  It looks bad, but so far at least doesn't seem to go all the way through.

We decided to stop in Cortez and do Mesa Verde tomorrow.  We did lose an hour once we crossed into Colorado, dinner took forever (long story) so we just barely made it to the Mesa Verde campground before they closed at 9:00. Deer all over the place, and the check-in woman told us there was a bear in the parking lot last night.  I was not thrilled to hear that since (as always) I'll have to venture to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

I got a text from Lisa that she's back in San Francisco, and look forward to hearing all about her travels and adventures in Europe.

Not the most put-together post, but it'll have to do.  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

I'm doing laundry now so we can finish packing our clothes.  It's a tad difficult to think in terms of jeans/sweatshirts/coats (and hats and gloves!) when it's nearing 110 here (and will definitely top that most of this coming week.)  But it does get chilly in the mountains of Colorado, especially once the sun dips below the horizon!

I tried to post from my iPad yesterday with a picture, 
but didn't have any luck. 

 And there were no teenagers around to help...

Actually did have a moment of 'crisis' last night when my iPad flipped out, and seemed broken.  Nothing I did fixed the issue - but Tom figured it out!  Good thing, because there would have been no way to get it fixed before blast off!  

The truck has a comfy bed, with storage underneath, and of course traveling without the kids gives us the entire backseat of the cab to stash stuff also. So far everything seems to have found a place, and is nice and tidy.  Of course that could <G> change after we've been on a road a bit!

Of course I'll take pix along the way, and maybe we'll camp near some teenagers who can help me post them.  Otherwise, my posts (when they do appear) will have to stand on their own, without illustrations!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Your smile for today: 

So why isn't HE laughing?

Not much to report these days, just packing and getting ready to head for Colorado soon.  Years ago I wrote a poem 'inspired' by my annual summer travels there, and I'd share it with you.... if only I could find it.  Here are the bits and pieces I remember:

"black ribbons of highways, green oceans of trees,
-----------------------------------, birds on the breeze."

Once we hit the road (Monday?) my postings will (of necessity) be fewer and farther between since I'll have to wait until we land somewhere with WiFi.  

And unfortunately those posts will be text-heavy since it will be more difficult for me to add the illustrations everyone so enjoys. 

More pressure to buff up my writing skills?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Smile for today!  

If you've gotta be stuck behind somebody, 
here's hoping it's as entertaining as this!

Yesterday I attended the Celebration of Life for Carolyn's husband Gary; I was glad to see that it was well-attended by our quilting friends.  Her granddaughter Brianna (who spent an afternoon here swimming and feeding Pokey during one of her annual visits from Kansas a few summers ago) has grown up so much that I didn't recognize her!  And I can now put a 'face' to Carolyn's son Jason.  

I seem to have perked up a bit - the past couple of days I have not taken naps (after succumbing to daily afternoon naps for about a week.)  I have noticed that my appetite is also off, but who wants to eat much when it's this hot?  Although yesterday wasn't too bad (it was overcast, and not that humid) we'll be back to 110 shortly.)

Last night I heard good news from my friend Mary, whose cancer diagnosis stunned her last week.  She saw her oncologist yesterday, and with 'aggressive treatment' (chemo/radiation/surgery) her prognosis is excellent.  It also didn't hurt when she found out that she's not likely to lose her hair.

Heard some rustling noises in the bedroom this morning - 
sure hope that mouse isn't back!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The 'homework desk', which had become a catch-all for stuff I didn't feel like dealing with at the moment, is now mucked off.  It's always nice when my productivity shows!  

This morning I also swept the house, the porches, and mopped the kitchen floor.  After I watered the remaining plants on the front porch I set the hose out by the huge elm in the front yard.  Since it didn't get irrigation I'm doing all I can to keep it happy and healthy.  We LOVE the shade it gives us from our southern exposure, and of course we do NOT want it toppling onto the house.

Then we ran a bunch of errands this morning.  First we shopped for anti-gravity chairs for the trip; they should be very comfy lounging around camp!  

Next I tried to sell a couple of bags of jeans and slacks (that I recently jettisoned from my closet) at Plato's Closet - but they weren't interested in any of my stuff so I ended up dropping everything at Goodwill instead.

(The clerk at Plato's was actually quite nice about it)

  Our last stop was Wal-Mart
for the remaining miscellaneous items on our trip list. 

We lunched at Freddy's Steakburger, which was quite tasty.  I'd never tried them before, but their burgers were tasty and the service was good.  No surprise they were busy.

Now I have time to read a bit.  I'm a little more than halfway through my current book. 
Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction The riveting true story of sixty years in the life of a small town ravaged by industrial pollution, Toms River melds hard-hitting investigative reporting, a fascinating scientific detective story, and an unforgettable cast of characters into a sweeping narrative in the tradition of A Civil Action, The Emperor of All Maladies, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Took a bunch of plants over to Patti's this morning.  There are still some left on the front porch for Alex to water, but not nearly as many as there were!

And while I was there Patti gave me a haircut.  Now I should be good for a while (with the possible exception of my bangs, which at some point always seem to grow overnight and get in my eyes.)

I made a stop at the bank, and also the grocery store (I'm grilling chicken tonight.)  Alex came by before work and I handed over all the envelopes with the checks for the bills that won't stop arriving just because we're gone.  

We took a swim and played a little catch 
(yes, Alex, I know I can't throw worth a damn.) 

Then I checked out the rather large limb from one of the mulberry trees that came crashing down last night.  Sometimes Tom parks his truck there (in the shade, by the shop) but LUCKILY he'd parked elsewhere last night!  Here's the offending branch after it was dragged out of the way. 

Lots of pix on the news of huge trees that have come crashing down during our monsoon, many onto people's roofs.  One landed on a car with a man in it - but miraculously he wasn't hurt!

Now it's time to relax a little until KP duty later.

Not much new - didn't get much of anything accomplished yesterday.  
But did think about it...

It doesn't help that I've been up since 4:00.  Can't even blame it on the sun because it wasn't really light yet!

I really must get some things accomplished this morning!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

We actually got a little precipitation yesterday - maybe ten minutes worth of steady rain - but it really was just a drop in the bucket.  We need it to RAIN!  Today's our 'last chance' for a while, according to the forecast - which shows temps close to 110 for the next seven days.

I am still lethargic, taking naps every afternoon 
and then going to bed quite early.  It's a drag!

Anyone 'need' some plants to babysit? 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Last night we got wind - but unfortunately no rain, like some parts of the Valley.  (Of course the pool needed to be cleaned out today.)  The winds knocked over the largest potted plant out front, and also the recycling can (which made a mess.)  Because irrigation was pretty much a bust this weekend we really, really, really could use some rain!

I mowed the front yard this morning (despite the early hour it was already hot and muggy, so taking a break in the pool felt wonderful ) and thus it looks better, but the lawnmower continues to make signs of giving up the ghost once and for all. Looks like a new law-mower is in our future. 

This morning I worked a bit more on the cross-stitch project (a wedding gift for my cousin's wedding in November) that will go on the road trip with us, and also whipped up an earring holder for the camper (using some old screen, leftover curtain fabric, and velcro) which I'll try out after we pick up the truck this afternoon.  

On my list for later today is to pay some bills and get some others ready for Alex to pay when they arrive during our absence.  He'll be over for dinner tonight; Tom's cooking up some of the fish he caught up in Idaho.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Wanda needed some more help with her blog yesterday so I buzzed on over. For some reason I haven't been able to make her site as user-friendly as mine, but I have faith that despite my short-comings as a tech consultant <g> she'll be a whiz in no time. Yesterday she posted some pix of the Arizona Centennial Quilt which she was instrumental in designing and executing. We celebrated her progress with a lunch at Paradise Bakery. Their new Strawberry Poppyseed & Chicken salad (included blueberries, pineapple, mandarin oranges and pecans) was delicious!  I'd ordered the half and half meal, so in addition to the salad (which was too large to finish!) I also got a bowl of cream of chicken with wild rice soup.  

When I left Wanda was getting back to work on her latest jacket.  It incorporates some exquisite hand-woven fabric in beautiful colors/pattern, and is already stunning.  She is such an incredible artist!  While she was scrolling through her files to find pix to post yesterday we came across some of her paintings.  The more I see of her work the more impressed I (of the stick figures and lollipop trees) am. 

She and Jeannie are getting ready to head up to Flagstaff on Wednesday for a 4-day Quilt Camp.  When it was in the planning stages I was invited, but expected to be gone traveling by then.  Since I'm still here, they've both been trying to coax me into joining them (the 8th spot is still open) which would be wonderful - but I really have too much to do to get ready to leave.  Such sacrifices I make!  LOL

I'm not getting much done these days.  Friday and Saturday afternoons I couldn't seem to spark, and even managed to doze off on the couch a couple of times.  I'm going to blame it on the weather!

Maybe today I'll get started on the counted cross-stitch I'm going to take on the road trip.  That way I'll already have a reference point when there are bound to be distractions on the road.  (Mom - you'll be glad to know that Wanda is also checking up on me re my progress on Jeff and Priscilla's quilt.)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Last night I found out that one of my quilting friends Mary (from Quilt Camp in January) was diagnosed with cancer on Tuesday.  She, not surprisingly, is in shock and overwhelmed.  But after she called and we talked at length she said she felt much better.  It's not breast cancer (like mine was ) so no doubt the treatment will be somewhat different, but she felt that I gave her lots of good advice and she's a little more prepared as she goes forward.

So I kept everything in perspective this morning when I got up at 5:25 to let the water go - and there wasn't any.  I had been happy someone 'above' us had the pleasure of doing the gates on 35th Ave. in the middle of the night - except she hadn't done it right.  

My first clue was when I heard/saw water still running in the ditch on the south side of our street.  Sigh.  So I walked up to that house, collected Linda, and took her to the pump and showed her what she needed to do.  She was very apologetic, although that doesn't really help our thirsty trees. 

I don't care that our grass is crunchy and dying - that'll come back.  But if we lose our wonderful shade trees that make this such a nice oasis... YIKES!  And it would be one thing if we were going to be here to water the trees until the next cycle in two weeks, but we're trying to get out of here.

Although the monsoon has officially arrived, we only got a few minutes of rain on July 3 - and don't think there's any more in the immediate forecast.

Friday, July 11, 2014

I went out back to make sure all of our gates were set for irrigation (they were) and Tom snagged me to 'help' him weigh all the rock he brought back.  My help <g> consisted of sitting on a chair in the shade with pad and paper (while he lugged the crates/buckets/bags/cobbles onto the scale) and recording the numbers. 

He had guesstimated that he schlepped back 1500# of rock (some inside the pick-up, some on the trailer with the quad) and turns out he was pretty close - the final total was a little over 1350!

He got some killer specimens which he will eventually transform into knife blades and arrowheads, and all it cost him was a couple hundred dollars in gas and a couple of knives in trade (while having a great time collecting it and visiting with all his rock buddies.)  He's way ahead of the game, with no shortage of materials.  Not that that was really ever a possibility...!