Friday, June 30, 2023

The mountains are calling and I must go....

 We arrived at the camp in Vermont last night. We had a good trip and saw a lot!

We left Ocala on Sunday morning with the plan to drive all the way up to North Carolina with one stop in Georgia to see St. Simons lighthouse. 129 steps to the top. Oh my legs the next few days!

There might have been a Buc Ees stop this day too!

Monday we had tickets to see Mt. Vernon in the afternoon. We did the tour of the house and the National Treasure Tour and learned of the planning and ideas from scoping out the property and how they filmed the one scene there on the outer lawn for the Presidents Birthday party in the movie. It was very hot! I kinda wanted to stay in the basement as it was nice and cool..... although a bit short for my tall boy!
This was the real marker in the basement.

Mt. Vernon. There is a beautiful view of the Potomic. So glad the ladies bought this land and preserved it for all to see and enjoy. 

We travelled over to DC and checked in to our hotel. Ironically, it was located across the street from the Department of Education! I work for a student loan company in Vermont to assure that Vermonter are able to procure a higher education. Two projects at work are waiting on clear documentation from this department - one being a complete rewrite of their system! That one will be 'fun' with a go live of December. 
Tuesday we walked all over DC from one end to the other and I got 26,000+ steps. We saw a lot of the monuments, walked the mall and went to 2 Smithsonian museums. Turns out we needed timed entry tickets to the Air and Space museum, so I booked that for the return trip. 

We saw 2 albino squirrels on the Mall. 

This is the one I really wanted to see. 

We found a great deli and pizza place that we visited multiple times. Yummy food! Wednesday we drove to Gettysburg, PA and enjoyed a bus tour of the battlefields with a guide. 

Then we drove to Hershey PA and visited the factory. We did the tour after walking through and marveling at all the candy and things in the store! We had dinner there and then did the make your own chocolate bar.

This was Emily and her self decorated bar. It was pretty neat to pick and choose the base, the fillings and how to top it with or without sprinkles. It came in a neat metal box.... which will be perfect for sewing!

Aidan and his with lobsters on his design.

I created mine from scratch instead of picking the generic ones!

Yesterday, we visited Ft. Ticonderoga in NY and then crossed the bridge into Vermont. The kids wanted to go to Al's French Fries in Burlington. We hit that for dinner and then headed to the camp. 

The view this morning. I see my brother has not gotten the boat here yet. I might have just sent this photo to them and asked what was missing from the photo! It is a little foggy here, not smoky too much although there is a warning for air quality. Not as bad as PA was where we could barley see the mountains through the smoke. 

We are all relaxed and enjoying the cooler weather her in Vermont.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Hand work

 I successfully kept my title of queen of procrastination!

I rolled the quilt onto the boards around 4pm last night. The quilt got pinned and just quick straight line quilting down the quilt about every 4 inches on the twin size. I made and attached the binding to the front and finished around 9:30 pm. Then I figured I should pack! Kids have a leave time of 9am today. 

Twin size scrap jar quilt. I needed to get this done so I can hand it off while up in Vermont to the homeless shelter. I'll work on hand stitching the binding in evenings while traveling up to Vermont this week.

I'm also bringing the snowmen to show mom. I made and attached the binding to this as well. I did some machine quilting on this but plan to hand quilt the squares with a cross hatch.

The animals know something is up. Hubby is staying home with them. Let's hope they all get fed and plenty of attention over the next 3 weeks!

Friday, June 23, 2023

RSC in lights - blue and green

 I have not been home much the month of June, and I'm heading out again this weekend. That does not leave much time to sew with a machine. I did take an hour Thursday and cut and sewed up some kites in light blues and light greens. I think it takes longer to pick out the 4 fabrics than it does to cut and sew them together! 

 I don't think I'll get to the split nines this month. The scrap jars were finished off already, I just need to finish this post and then roll the top, backing and batting onto the boards so I can pin it.

 I hope to get it machine quilted tomorrow and a binding made and attached to the front after I bring Emily to horses in the morning. I can hand stitch it down on the way to Vermont or once we get to camp. Temps in the 50's at night  there,so it will be perfect to snuggle under while adding those last stitches. I hope to hand it off the week of July 4th to the person collecting it for the Homeless Shelter in Barre Vermont. 

Mom mentioned an animal got into one of the pillows on the couch and a little tear in part of the couch at camp over the winter. Project #1! I grabbed some thread to match the couch and needles and put it into the 'to go' bag. Note to self - they are in with the EPP Brimfield kit. Might have grabbed some possible fabrics as well! 

I was watching Doc Hollywood last night and added some hand quilting into the bear paw. A little progress every night is moving this one along. I'll probably bring this with me along with my new neck light as the lighting at camp is horrible. I might have Mom try it at night going up/down the stairs to light up the way a bit better. If she likes it, I'll leave it with her and order one for my Dad as well. The stairs are narrow and rickety and they are in their 80's. The family has added grab bars and hand rails at both the house and camp but I think the neck light will help out a lot. I hope I can get them to give it a try and see if it helps. 

Linking up Saturday with the RSC

Wednesday, June 21, 2023


 I opened a 'new' notebook for a project I am doing analysis on at work. Since I am off tomorrow morning and have meetings most of Friday, I needed to write up all my tasks from my meeting to remember when I get back mid-July. When I opened it up I saw this list from 2019! I was curious, so I looked it over and updated it. It felt good to see that I actually accomplish something with quilts finished, blocks put into tops and did I mention, quilts FINISHED! We won't mention all the UFO's still on the list =) They will get done, when the time is right.

Chickens are now all living outside in the coops!

 Emily cleaned out the playhouse coop - the original before she and her Dad built the one the older ladies use. The new chickens were moved out Monday afternoon. They were getting a little too big for the indoor cage and have a lot more room to move around. They sectioned off the caged run so the older girls are kept away from the littles until they are about the same size. The littles are restricted to the caged in area, but have their coop, a back patio area, a ramp, under the coop and patio and then some area to hop, fly and play in. It has a fencing on the top (8 feet high) to keep the hawks out.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Quilting bear paw

after sitting in my recliner, relaxing a lot yesterday.... I picked up my quilting after dinner and finished the second round feather. I need to figure out the setting triangles pattern and mark it. This will travel up to Vermont with me.

The baby chickens were relocated outside, so the dog is allowed in my office again. He was happy. I need to get the chips off his bed and wash it, but we have had a stormy morning.

Kids are off to Grandmas for the day. I'm back to work this week before I have almost 3 weeks off!

Monday, June 19, 2023

Recap of New Orleans trip with the girl scout troop!

 We made it home safely last night around 8:30 to my house... 8:15 to the church we meet at. We dodged all the storms and I only had a little rain to drive through at a few spots in the Panhandle. It was a long drive- about 8 hours. I think everyone had a good time and the girls made a lot of memories. We got to try some new things for everyone. I was in my first and second Uber. After 24K steps the first day in 113 degree heat index, on the second day after 10K steps I was happy to hand the other Mom $20 to pay for 2 Ubers back to the condo for everyone. We got one the 3rd day as well, since the scooter the main leader was using died again and we Ubered back to the condo. What a job - drive around and pick up people and deliver them. So thankful to them.... the driver the first day is STILL my favorite person ever! He thought I was nuts but oh my, he saved us all between the heat and feet. It was my first time setting foot (or driving through) Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Our car had 4 girls.

The current co-leader (she is a great one!) and me on the first day in New Orleans. No after photo but imagine 24K steps in 113 heat index..... we were tired! We did a great bus tour of the city, saw Jackson square and the cathedral and then did a cooking school. Back to the condo for a shower (in hindsight I should not have bothered but I felt better for about an hour with non wet clothes of sweat!) Then a 20 minute walk to the 2 hour walking ghost tour we did that evening and a long 40 minute walk back. We did a very late dinner and the 2 that stayed behind had dinner all set for us - a Nacho table!

The taco meat and rice was on the counter!

Day 2 - Look at those smiles! We walked 25 minutes to the WWII museum which was wonderful! Then as we were walking to the Mardi Gras Museum we took a detour for some food. I had my first taste of fried green tomatoes'. They were pretty good! The leaders scooter died on the way to the last museum so 2 of the girls stayed with her while the other Mom and I took 4 to the museum. This was Emilys favorite part and it was really neat to learn the history, see how they make them and then wander the warehouse and see all the old ones. We also got a piece of King Cake. We had sent Jill, the co-leader home in a Uber after lunch as her feet were toast and the heat was getting to her.

On our walk to the WWII museum. Henry Clay statue.

The girls made chicken and veggie packets for dinner.

Day 3 - 3 adults took the 7 girls to the French Market for some shopping and bartering. I am not good at bartering but, I know to bring Hailey with me to get the best deal. She is a rock star!

It was HOT and the girls were toast from the heat. We did have one who was sick but she powered through pretty well. We had planned the last night to be New Orleans food, so another Mom and I walked 5 minutes to the car and drove around and picked up various things for our feast. We had muffaletta with and without cheese (had some allergies to lactose), various po boys - chicken, shrimp and roast beef, fried green tomato's, beignets, gumbo and red beans and rice. Everyone got to sample whatever they wanted! The girls used their donations from the cookie booths to pay for this!

Then it was packing up a bit that night and another late night for the girls. They also got their badges they earned for the year and bridged in a ceremony at the condo. The next morning it was clear out the fridge, pack the coolers and then lug everything down the 48 stairs to the street. Shawna and I walked the 5 minutes to get the cars and parked and helped fit everything in. We had 6 girls and 4 adults on the way back. One had her Mom and brothers fly over and did some of the things with us but she needed to get back earlier on Sunday so she flew home with them Saturday night. It was a great experience for us all. I think I've had 3 of these girls including my kid since Kindergarten. Those three are going into high school in August!

The dog was very happy Emily and I were home. The cats were very happy I was home. I think Peanut slept on me (literally) all night long. The chickens have gotten their feathers and Em and Greg are out cleaning out the smaller coop and setting it up so we can put them out there later this week but keep them separate from the older girls. They say not to intermingle them until they are the same size..... so in another 3-4 weeks I think.
Now... what to do with lots of eggs!

Saturday, June 17, 2023

New Orleans

 I'm in New Orleans with the girl scout troop in excessive heat with lots of walking. Most of the girls are having a great time.

We (me and another mom) drove us here in two cars. We left around 5am Wednesday morning and arrived a bit before 4pm. Thursday, we walked to our bus tour of the city, which was wonderful. We learned a lot and got to see the first levee breach area of Katrina back in 2005 and hear from a local first responder who was our tour guide. We walked to Jackson Square and had our packed lunch. Then popped into the church for some cool air. We walked to the next stop, New Orleans cooking school. I think this is my favorite activity. We ate while she cooked! Gumbo, jambalaya and pralines! 

Then it was a 25 minute walk (heat index in the 110+range and humid) back to the condo... with 48 stairs up to our level. No elevator!

Relaxed in the ac for a bit and I got a cool shower and change of clothes. Then it was 25 minute walk to the ghost tour to check in. A 2 hour walking tour around the French quarter, then the long walk home. Yes, 23k steps Thursday. My foot was killing me!

Friday we got a later start as there was lots of girls giggling into the night. We did the world war 2 museum, which was wonderful. Then on the way to Mardi gras world, we did a detour to Gus world famous chicken as the girls were hungry since some did not pack a lunch. I tried fried green tomatoes and has a bite of fried okra. I would do the tomatoes again, pass on the okra! Big thanks to Hailey for letting me try one from her meal! It was a hot walk but we made it in time before they closed. It is a must see! We got king cake and then wandered around the warehouse. 

We were able to reschedule the other 2 tours out a day and then cancel one with no fee. They were on the other side of town.  We are scheduled to do one ghost tour tonight at 5pm. I hope my feet can take it! I paid for the Uber for us back to the condo. Best $20 spent in my life for 2 cars. Also my first Uber! Another 30 minute walk would have killed me. 

Today we are paring the plan way down and probably only doing the French quarter for shopping at the market and the tour. We are dropping  the city walk. It is heat index in the triple digits again today. We drive home Sunday. 

Posting from my phone. Have a great weekend! I think I'm scheduling a foot pampering for Monday!

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

What I've been reading....

I just finished reading this one last night around midnight. It was really good once I got into it. 

I've also been listening to a series by Ellery Adams - Antiques & Collectibles Mystery Series on Audible. I think the first 3-4 are free with membership. This is the first one in the series.


Tuesday, June 13, 2023

A little progress...

 I have not been able to get my wedding ring off for years. It was starting to cut off circulation at night (sigh, trying to lose that 20 pounds is hard!) so I finally went to the firestation after work yesterday and had it removed. I had called a jeweler and they recommended going there as they are better qualified. I'll have them resize it for me after my finger gets back to 'normal'. I am travelling to New Orleans tomorrow with the girl scout troop for a few days, and with temps of mid 90's and the heat index I figured swelling would be worse, so I got it done. My advise - don't wait as long as I did! They had to try 2 jewelry cutters and then had to grind off some of the smaller cutter to get between the ring and skin. They did try the shoelace and Pam spray first, but that did not work. My finger is still tingling at the tip. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the divot from the ring to go away.

The borders are on the twin size quilt. I'll have to really work on this one next week to get it pinned and quilted before heading to Vermont.

Aidan's rose. This one has not opened up yet. Such a pretty color.

I probably won't post again for a week with the travel. I'll be packing some yarn and knitting needles for the 'off' times with the girls, if there are any.