Thursday, June 30, 2016

It was a reasonably uneventful drive yesterday.  Though we were up early it was already quite warm while we packed up the truck. Our first 'crisis' occurred heading out of Flag, when I wanted a milkshake to tide me over until lunch - but McDonald's shake machine was out of order and there were no other places to stop after that.   We tried again in Cameron, when we found a new Burger King... except that it turned out to be so new that it was still under construction.  Finally got my milkshake in Tuba City - where Tom was appalled at the price.

Ran into our first rain in the NE corner of Arizona, and then off and on the rest of the day.  I picked up my first Row By Row quilt pattern in Cortez (honoring Mesa Verde) and then a couple more in Durango, where we also cruised the shops and had dinner at Grassburger. (No pot in them - so named because they are made from grass-fed cows <g>) We spent the night in Pagosa Springs, where finding a room was a bit of a challenge.

Woke up at 2:30 this morning with a horrible headache, but think I did doze off some between then and when I finally got up at 5:30.  Had a nice breakfast in the lobby after I was finally able to get the Tylenol packet open; why do they make them so hard to open? The news was on in the lobby, and the first thing I saw was a blurb about yesterday's dust storm in Phoenix which knocked out power to a couple of thousand people.  

Back in the room I had a surprise when I went to Settings to get on line. Not only was the motel listed, but among several other options was FBI Surveillance Van #4.  No way to know if that's truly what it was - or just a name to discourage folks from trying to access it?

It was pretty nippy out this morning - only in the 60s - so once we arrived at the hot springs I had to bundle up - and finally ended up changing into some winter duds.  And speaking of duds - beginning of June I finally found a light-weight shirt to order for Tom as a sun shield, but when I placed the order it turned out to be coming from Thailand, with only one shipping option of $4.95, and the delivery date was listed as "between June 27 and July 17."  (I've heard of slow boats from China, but not slow boats from Thailand....) Figuring it wouldn't arrive before we left I had it mailed to Terry here, and sent her a heads up.  I didn't expect it to beat us here, but asked her about it anyway... and she got the funniest look on her face.  Turns out it arrived about 10 days ago; she'd been trying to figure out who sent her a shirt from Thailand, and she actually wore it to Denver earlier this week. She was so embarrassed that she'd forgotten about my message (and wore one of Tom's birthday gifts!) that she promptly did a load of laundry.  We've been laughing about it all day.

Tom and I did get in a soak at the party pool before the afternoon rain arrived, and later Terry, Tom and I played cribbage (they both whupped me big time.) More rain is predicted for the next day or so, but then it's supposed to get nice.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Fires in our part of the country continue, and yesterday I-17 (one of the very few routes north) had to close because of the Bug Creek Fire.  This morning one lane has reopened, "though fire conditions could change". 

Between our long-standing drought and the exceptionally high temps, 
it's a wonder that all of our beautiful state of Arizona isn't on fire.

I was up at 4:30 (for no good reason) and now Tom is up and on his first cup of coffee.  We're not working on any real time table, and will blast off 'whenever', though I am getting ready to shut down the computer.  

While I will continue to blog from the hot springs, I do apologize in advance for the lack of illustrations for the duration.  Will do my best to "paint" with words...

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

This morning was my last session at the gym for a while, though I do plan on swimming laps daily in the oly-sized pool up at the hot springs like I did last year.  And maybe (!) my hand will be recovered enough by the time we return that I can return to upper body workouts once a week?

Also finished up Season 12 of Grey's Anatomy while I worked on the final step of the cactus binding; happy to report that my hand cooperated with the hand-sewing better today than it did yesterday!  Now I just have to wait patiently until Season 13 starts in the Fall.  I'll obviously have to be satisfied with one episode a week - and deal with commercials.  No more binge watching... at least of Grey's Anatomy!

The cactus is now mostly done, with just the lower right corner left to do, though I'm going to give my hand a break for a bit.  As promised it's looking considerably more rectangular than the previous shot of it.  At least my corners are squared; Dad would be proud!

I received an e-mail from Terry this morning about the next selection for their book club the end of July (I've enjoyed their meetings and discussions over the past several summers), when she expects we'll still be there!  (I always worry about wearing out our welcome, but she always talks us into staying longer.)  

So I shot an e-mail to my sister Marilyn, who promptly found the epub version and sent it to me; now it's happily ensconced on my iPad - which means I have no excuses for not having it read by book club date! 

"A debut novel chronicling the life and loves of a headstrong, earthy, and magnetic heroine.

Eastern Oklahoma, 1928. Eighteen-year-old Maud Nail lives with her rogue father and sensitive brother on one of the allotments parceled out by the U.S. Government to the Cherokees when their land was confiscated for Oklahoma’s statehood. Maud’s days are filled with hard work and simple pleasures, but often marked by violence and tragedy, a fact that she accepts with determined practicality. Her prospects for a better life are slim, but when a newcomer with good looks and books rides down her section line, she takes notice. Soon she finds herself facing a series of high-stakes decisions that will determine her future and those of her loved ones.

Maud’s Line is accessible, sensuous, and vivid. It will sit on the bookshelf alongside novels by Jim Harrison, Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, and other beloved chroniclers of the American West and its people."
Pokey knocked on the back door this morning, and once she moved off of the porch I rewarded her with the latest batch of watermelon, strawberry tops, and lettuce.  

Since we are getting ready to leave tomorrow, this means she will be on a 'diet' of grass since most of our tortoise-sitter's leftovers will be going to their chickens.

It also means that shortly 
I will not have the luxury of adding illustrations to my blog.

Today's agenda involves packing.  
I always bring more than I need, though I am doing better.  

Monday, June 27, 2016

I was up and at 'em fairly early this morning, by 5:30 - but of course by then it was already hot out.  Still I did get the front and back yards mowed after I got the irrigation zanjero, Terry, all set up.  Knowing that he will be taking of care of that is a relief since it means I won't have to worry about it being done correctly.

Tyga had a more exciting morning; he got to chase a bunny and a cat this morning, though I am happy to report that both escaped.  Later he also thought about venturing off the property (while 'supervising' me sweeping the front porch and driveway) when a German Shepherd and her person strolled by on their morning constitutional, but did (reluctantly) follow my instructions to "Stay!"

After all that dusty yardwork I rewarded myself with a dip in the pool, and while I was floating around managed to finish my library book.  When I make my (final?) Target run later (most importantly for bug spray since I got notice this morning that the bugs have just arrived en masse at the hot springs) I can also swing by the library to drop it off. 

I also need to stop in at Michael's to pick up some DMC floss for a simple project I want to bring with me.  The problem is that only a few of the colors in the pattern are given in DMC; most of the others are given in CC (Cresent Colours), ST (Sampler Threads), and WDW (Weeks Dye Works).  Since the effectiveness of the finished project relies heavily on the shading of colors, I needed to find the closest equivalent in DMC - but my initial searches on the internet were less than satisfactory.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

When Lisa cleaned out her closet last weekend she found numerous bags of seashells in varying sizes and shapes (from her beading days?) and suggested that I pass them along to one of my craft-person friends.  I immediately thought of Kathi, and so put them in her pile to await my next drop - until Colleen mentioned that Yolanda is going to bring her visiting granddaughters over this week to make Fairy Houses with Colleen's granddaughters.  So instead I donated the shells to that cause.

Any time I'm at Colleen's I get inspired, so once I got home I bit the bullet and actually finished quilting my cactus... which turned out to be so close to finishing that I don't think it took me 5 minutes.  Then I cut the binding strips, sewed them together, and even got them attached to the quilt, so all that's left to do is the hand sewing.  In theory (!) it will look more or less rectangular when the binding is finished.

I can do that hand sewing on the drive to Colorado, and then it'll be ready to donate to the auction.  Not sure what (if anything) Tom is going to gift; VERY surprisingly his item did not sell last year!

When I awoke this morning (slept in until 5:30) Tom was already awake and getting ready to go out and mow.  After I coffeed up I raked the forest, at least making a visible dent in it.  Of course there was NO problem filling up one of the cans so I thought (briefly) about dragging the front can back there and also filling it up.  However, as predicted the humidity is up today and I just wasn't motivated to keep going.

I've got Boot Camp at 1:00, and am "on" for dinner tonight (grilled salmon) but otherwise have the day to putter around the house and do a little gathering of stuff to pack.

I'm also trying to finish up my current library book (October's Bookclub selection) so I can return it before we leave; unfortunately it's not that fast a read.  I'm only about halfway through it at this point so I may have to return it unfinished and then check it out again once I return.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Several weird occurrances lately.

The first happened when I went to enter the latest batch of debit card purchases into my checkbook.  One, from a trip to Target on June 16th, was for almost $250 - which did not sound at all right!  Sure enough, when I looked at the actual items on the receipt it became readily apparent that it was not mine (plus the last four digits of a VISA were not familiar.)  Somehow (?) the teller had given me someone else's receipt at checkout, but after accessing my account online I was able to find the correct amount ($73) that my account had been charged.  Usually I do check the receipt before stuffing it into my wallet, but (obviously!) that was one of the few times I didn't.

Then last night, after we returned from dinner (at The Codfather, where neither one of us was at all impressed with our meal) I decided to bring in from my car a couple of the bags I use for groceries; we'll want to use them on vacation (when we'll be in Tom's truck) to take items like a book/water/sunscreen/nibbles/etc. with us up to the pools. There should have been well more than a dozen of those in the trunk - except that all but a couple seem to be MIA (and those are too shallow to be of much use on vacation.)  I'm wondering if somehow the bags ended up under the back seats when I folded them down to load the new chest of drawers for the back porch that I scored (for $5) at a yard sale?  Obviously I'll check - but if they're not there then I am totally confused...

Friday, June 24, 2016

Yesterday was my last OT until after vacation.  Gretchen had me do a new exercise (the wrist puzzle) to help strengthen that part of my hand, and I will continue to work on various exercises with the ball and rubber band while we're gone; it sure would be great to come back and find my hand much improved.  At least I have seen some improvement this past week; now I can hold "heavier" things (like a book) in that hand without too much trouble.

In the afternoon Wanda and I visited with Jeannie, who is pretty much tied to the house these days.  Rich looks very thin, and is on powerful pain meds.  Not an easy situation for either of them.

My headache crept back yesterday so I never did feel like figuring out the chicken quilt borders. Though the pain was not as bad as it had been, I was definitely looking forward to true relief after my appointment with the chiropractor this afternoon.  Of course first I had to get through my session at the gym.  That went reasonably well, though I've been doing so well that Jim has been challenging me with more difficult machines.  Wonder if he'd go easy on me if I get this workout shirt? <g> 

I do feel better after my visit to the chiropractor.  As expected, the source of my back/neck issues originated elsewhere: in my foot (where I had the stress fracture.)  That puts my walking gait off, which throws out my hip, which causes the other problems.  Now I'm all aligned, plus I have some additional shoe inserts for the ball of my foot that should help. 

Tyga returned this afternoon for another weekend at Dodge Doggy Daycare.  We certainly enjoy having him here, and I had thought that maybe I'd whip up his new pawprint bandanna this weekend. But he arrived with a new collar and bandanna - now he's all set for the upcoming holiday!

I'm trying to think about packing for Colorado.  While I know it gets nippy in the mountains at night, it's a tad difficult to relate to socks and sweatshirts in this record heat.  

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Linda did a demo at yesterday's Sew Day of a 'new' way to do appliqué, and hopes to get lots of help appliqueing the border of our next raffle quilt, a bright and cheery Log Cabin.  (It's been so long since we made/donated our blocks that I'm not sure which one is mine.)

The border will have vines with bright flowers.

My hand is slowly improving, but is still not to the point where I feel that I can participate - yet.  Maybe by the time we return from vacation? Because the hot springs really heals me in so many ways!

Linda followed that with a demo on various quilt-as-you-go methods; 
I was only familiar with this one of them.

The others were new to me. 

Judy gave a demo on tying quilts.

At Sew Day yesterday we gave Gloria her Heart Quilt (this one was made by Mary) which was much appreciated.

We also gave Gloria lots of hugs!

Several ladies had some Show&Tell with them, though I had not gotten my borders onto the chickens so that quilt stayed home.

Irene quilted this happy colorful one for Janie.

Not sure whose Hummel embroidery top Irene quilted -

but the blocks were sure adorable.

Laura has definitely been busy!

Donna's twin sister made this jellyroll strip quilt, and then Donna added the applique flower for some added interest before quilting it.

My headache kept me down for the rest of the day yesterday.  

I napped during the afternoon (though the phone woke me a couple of times) while "watching" TV, and then again in the evening, so I was glad I thought to tape the Olympic diving trials.  They were to include the synchronized diving, a favorite of mine.  

With that much sleep under my belt I was surprised to actually sleep last night - at least until 4:00 this morning.  I managed an impressive neck crack this morning (maybe you heard it?) which may mean my headache won't lay me low again today.  But what will really help is the chiropractor's appointment tomorrow.

With plenty of time before OT, and no major headache at the moment, I'm thinking about figuring out my chicken border and attaching it this morning.