Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Time to get back to my blog

It's been about 2 months since I posted on this blog, and I want to correct that habit. I've never been a regular blogger, except when I challenge myself to post everyday for a month or something.  But I've never gone 2 MONTHS without a post!

I feel as though I'm beginning anew, even though I've had this blog for so many years I can't remember, and I'm too lazy to go look it up.  So I'm going to offer a little intro for you in case you've forgotten who I am.  :-)  Retired social worker, passionate about quilting, and more recently, about embroidery.  Wife of a retired school administrator, mother of 3 grown kids, grandmother to one and step-grand to 3 more.  Living in Menomonie WI--for those who're interested, that's in West Central WI,closer to Minneapolis than any large city in WI.  I like to cook, a little gardening, and lots of reading.  That's it in a nutshell, I guess. Not too exciting but it is what it is.  ,

So, the reason I've not been blogging is that my life this summer has been focused on granddaughter Lily.  She's 12 years old and lives in Maine with her mother and spends the summers in WI with us.  We've been on the go with her since mid-June when we drove to Maine to bring her back home with us.  In addition to swimming and horseback riding, we've been on a few road trips with her--

Rodeo Parade

The Spooner rodeo parade where I let the local politicians know my views about the state of the State, waved at the local beauty queens, and Lily managed to snag a few Tootsie Rolls from the parade floats. We skipped the rodeo this year since I took Lily to it last year and there's only so many rodeos one can handle in a lifetime, IMHO.

No, this isn't Elaine!
 We spent a day with my friend, Elaine, at the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, WI where Lily searched for Pokemon Go creatures, and where we saw some very unusual animals like the Capybara above, the world's largest rodent from South America, which may be a model for a Pokemon Go character, I don't know.

The three of us took a trip to beautiful Lake of the Ozarks, MO to search out a location for next year's family reunion.  We found a very nice resort that will work well for our family, and we had time to make a side trip to Mansfield, MO, home of Laura Ingalls and Almanzo Wilder and their daughter, Rose.  I loved reading the Little House books when I was a girl, daughter Tessa loved them as well, and now her daughter, Lily, is a big Laura fan.  When Lily and Tessa lived here in Wisconsin we went to "Laura Days" several times in Pepin, WI, site of the original "Little House in the Big Woods."

Mansfield is a very well preserved documentation of Laura's adult life--a museum where lots of the family's possessions are on display including 2 amazing quilts that Laura pieced and appliqued, the farm house shown above where the family lived most of their lives, and the stone house that Rose built for her parents in the 1920s and where they lived for 8 years, I think. And the fee included a tour of the property with a very well informed guide.  Luckily for us, the buildings had air conditioning because the day we were there it was 97 F with 55% humidity!  I don't know how people lived in that kind of heat back in the day!  I guess they moved very slowly and didn't stress out about it.  

After we concluded our trip in MO, we drove to Peoria, IL where we met up with Don's family for a reunion of that branch. Since we had extra time on the way, we stopped in Springfield and checked out Abe Lincoln's home where he, Mary and the boys lived before he became president.  This is a National Historical site and it includes a museum with gift shop, of course, the house pictured above, and the National Park Service has restored the area surrounding the house for about 2 blocks all around. So, the neighborhood appears exactly as it did when Lincoln lived there.  Again, we had a very well informed ranger who took us through the house and told us about the Lincolns' lives in Springfield.  Not only was this very well done, as are all the National Park sites I've been too, this one was FREE!  That's right, ladies and gents, no charge for anything--except souvenirs in the gift shop. I appreciate that this is open to everyone to see, but I certainly would have been willing to pay a fee for it.  Wow!  I guess this is my tax dollars at work.  :-)


Needless to say, with all this gallivanting about, I did very little in the sewing room this summer. However, I discovered the Bee-utiful quilt-a-long offered by the Moda Bake Shoppe. Above is the completed quilt posted on the site, and so far 17 of the 20 blocks have been released.  These little blocks are absolutely addicting!  They're the perfect handwork for me to take with to riding lessons, and other places where I've had to sit and wait, as well as while watching TV in the evenings.  I've managed to pretty much keep up and have only a little left to do on #17.  I'll be showing you my individual blocks over the next few days.  

The fabrics used in the quilt are from a line called "Bee Creative" by Deb Strain for Moda fabrics. I was able to find them at the LQS so I'm all set to go on putting the blocks together.  I didn't want to spend time in the sewing room when I could be spending time with Lily, so now that she's gone home, I want to get on it.  The designer, Pamela Morgan from http://mysweetlittlestitches.com/ used a jelly roll to piece the sashing but I'm going to use a single fabric from the line, patterned with bees, and honeycomb fabric for the corner posts instead. I find the pieced sashing a little too busy for my taste and I think it draws attention away from the embroidery.  

In addition I have a charity quilt to finish up in time to give to the guild at the September meeting. But today, I first have to spend some time in the rest of the house.  There are green beans that need to go in the freezer, a bathroom that desperately need a cleaning, a trip to the grocery store, and of course, the ever present pile of dirty laundry is calling my name.  After those things are done, I'll see if I have the time and the energy to make it to the sewing machine! I think I'll need to do some fabric fondling by that time!

So, that's pretty much how I spent my summer vacation.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free!  I'd love to hear from you!  

1 comment:

  1. Welcome back Barb, I have gone almost a whole year and a half without blogging. I truly miss it, but life stuff happens and it takes a while to get back in the swing of things. Great to catch up with all of your comings and goings.