Saturday, December 30, 2017

Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas dear Santa gave to me:
an airplane flight from sea to shining sea.

View from the bedroom upon arising at our CA home.
On the second day of Christmas dear Santa gave to me: two grandkids to snuggle, 
and an airplane flight from sea to shining sea.

We all got to snuggle with Alexis and Kellan.
On the third day of Christmas dear Santa gave to me: three trips to the park, 
two grandkids to snuggle, and an airplane flight from sea to shining sea.

This day was perfect kite-flying weather!
On the fourth day of Christmas dear Santa gave to me: four hours at the zoo, 
three trips to the park, two grandkids to snuggle, and an airplane flight from sea to shining sea.

Alexis and her Nonna Holly pretend to have lunch at a café.
On the fifth day of Christmas dear Santa gave to me: five pounds I gained, 
four hours at the zoo, three trips to the park, two grandkids to snuggle, and an airplane flight from sea to shining sea.

We all enjoyed the Pavlova Yule Log that the kids made.
On the sixth day of Christmas dear Santa gave to me: six projects to finish,
five pounds I gained, four hours at the zoo, three trips to the park, two grandkids to snuggle, and an airplane flight from sea to shining sea.

Alexis models the bathrobe I made. It matches PJ's both grands received.
On the seventh day of Christmas dear Santa gave to me: seven pounds of roast beef, 
six projects to finish, five pounds I gained, four hours at the zoo, three trips to the park, two grandkids to snuggle, and an airplane flight from sea to shining sea.

Grandpa snuggles with Kellan while dinner preparations are completed.
On the eighth day of Christmas dear Santa gave to me, eight trips to the grocery store
seven pounds of roast beef, six projects to finish, five pounds I gained, four hours at the zoo, three trips to the park, two grandkids to snuggle, and an airplane flight from sea to shining sea.

We babysat the little ones so Mom and Dad could have a date at the movies.
It wasn't a hard task and our visit wasn't all about shopping!
On the ninth day of Christmas dear Santa gave to me, nine packages to wrap, 
eight trips to the grocery store, seven pounds of roast beef, six projects to finish, five pounds I gained, four hours at the zoo, three trips to the park, two grandkids to snuggle, and an airplane flight from sea to shining sea.

On the tenth day of Christmas dear Santa gave to me, ten loads of laundry,
nine packages to wrap, eight trips to the grocery store, seven pounds of roast beef, six projects to finish, five pounds I gained, four hours at the zoo, three trips to the park, two grandkids to snuggle, and an airplane flight from sea to shining sea.

I dressed Kellan (on right) in the outfit his dad wore at Christmas 32 years previously.
On the eleventh day of Christmas dear Santa gave to me, eleven bottles of wine, 
ten loads of laundry, nine packages to wrap, eight trips to the grocery store, seven pounds of roast beef, six projects to finish, five pounds I gained, four hours at the zoo, three trips to the park, two grandkids to snuggle, and an airplane flight from sea to shining sea.

On the twelfth day of Christmas dear Santa gave to me, twelve coughs and sneezes, eleven bottles of wine, ten loads of laundry, nine packages to wrap, eight trips to the grocery store, seven pounds of roast beef, six projects to finish, five pounds I gained, four hours at the zoo, three trips to the park, two grandkids to snuggle, and an airplane flight from sea to shining sea.

This is only part of the arsenal of drugs we are using to ease our cold symptoms!

So now we are back in sunny Florida, nursing head colds we received from the grandkids. Despite how terrible I feel at the moment, I wouldn't have given up our Christmas for anything!








Saturday, December 9, 2017

Take A Hike

Stepping back in time a bit.... I flew into Denver to pick up my car, visit with my dad and then get a few odds and ends taken care of. Then I was heading to the airport to pick up my friend, a very good friend, who had agreed to meet me in Denver and accompany me on my drive to California. So you see why she is a very good friend? We had all kinds of adventures planned - most having to do with potty breaks near quilt shops!

Friend had a change of planes in Chicago. Chicago was fogged in and her flight was diverted to Cincinnati to wait. Other planes bound for Chicago were diverted to Cincinnati and other eastern airports. When it came time to leave for Chicago it seems that a few passengers had not made it back on the flight. They waited. After a roll call just like in elementary school where passengers raised their hands when their names were read, the plane was on its way. Far too late to make her connecting flight.

On my end, I had completed all of my errands and started toward the airport to meet the flight arriving around noon, plus “T”, an unknown amount of time. I knew about the stop in Cincinnati and knew that if, by any chance, the airline held her flight in Chicago, I might need to be nearby. In hindsight, I should have stayed on the other side of town as Murphy’s Law might come into play which would mean that her plane came in close to her scheduled time and I’d be late in picking her up! As it happened, after standing in line for ages, she was able to get a confirmed seat arriving at 10:05 PM that night. (I did look online to see if I could find anything but everything I saw said “sold out”.) We both figured arriving 11 hours late was a better outcome than what she heard from other passengers trying to get to other destinations, whose only option was arriving 36 hours later!

And so I waited. (Oh, and waited some more as her flight was delayed!) 

What to do for the next 10 hours? 

I could drive back to the other side of town and see Dad some more... 
Or, 
I could go to a mall and shop...
Or,
I could go find a friend and enjoy a coffee...
Or...

I could go take a hike!


There was a park fairly close to the airport and the park connected to open space trails. Off I went. 



It was a beautiful sunny day with the crispness of a Colorado fall day. The trail ran along a plateau with side trails looping down to the river and back. 


While walking along the river I noticed that the water was like a mirror. There didn’t seem to be any movement. I couldn’t even tell which way the water flowed. Then I noticed some trees where beavers had industriously worked at bringing the trees down. 




The beavers had tackled some huge trees. Finally I came across the beaver dam. That explained the lack of movement in the water!



 My walk was an enjoyable way to spend some of the hours waiting for my friend. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Thelma & Louise (Without any bloodshed)

We left California in mid October (a few weeks early) to escape the smoke of the Napa fires.


After just a few days in Florida, I flew back to Denver to visit my father, pick up my car and drive it to California to visit and provide some help for new grandson, Kellan.  Oh, and to unpack a bit more at our new house!

My BFF, Marjie, flew into Denver to travel with me.

Our adventure began with a delayed flight. Marjie was due in around noon. She called me to let me know she had landed in Cincinnati.
"Great!" I said.
"Not so great," Marjie said.
Her first stop was supposed to be Chicago!
Almost 12 hours later she landed in Denver. So, the start of our adventure was delayed a bit....
No big deal.
We had already decided that our trip would include stops at quilt shops along the way. Oh, no! It was Monday and the shop in Ft. Collins was closed! But... "QuiltEssentials" in Laramie, WY welcomed us.


We bought a bit of this and a bit of that. As we left a few snowflakes were falling. Not a big deal. Just part of our adventure! And, to be an adventure, we needed more than a few snowflakes. We had a bit of a blizzard... only a small one... and since temperatures had been warm most of the snow melted. However, we did get an inch or two of slush as we drove further in the snow.


We arrived in Rock Springs, WY, had a quick dinner, and fell into bed..... only to wake at 4:30 AM since we were both on Eastern Standard Time. What the heck... we hit the road. This early morning wake-up call meant we missed a few quilt shops - it was only 8 AM when we arrived in the next largest city, Salt Lake City! Nope! No stores were open at that time.

We shared the driving responsibilities and Marjie enjoyed Whinny's "get up and go"! She was also in awe of the acres and acres of open territory we drove through.

Marjie loves drama!!
 I had tried to prepare Marjie for the salt flats. The flats extend about 50 miles from Salt Lake City to West Wendover, Nevada. The road is flat. The road is straight. And there is nothing to see (well, almost nothing) for miles.


As we buzzed along in eastern Nevada the "Low Fuel" indicator beeped and lit up. What? We just had a half tank of fuel. How could we be low? The indicator said that we had 49 miles to go. Wells, NV, the next stop, was over 50 miles away. Oh crap! We motored on. I reduced our speed to 55 mph. We motored on. Later I remembered that the car had a "green" mode that uses less fuel. We motored on. All the while I'm looking at the "Miles to go" numbers as they creep lower and lower. What's the worse that could happen? We motored on. Finally signs appeared for Wells, NV... and FUEL! Hooray! We coasted into the first gas station and filled up, heaving a HUGE sigh of relief.

According to the manual we had 6 tenths of a gallon of fuel left. And according to the display on the dash we had 3 miles of fuel left.


An online resource lists the fuel tank capacity at 11.6 gallons.


That was cutting it waaaayyy too close! But... it was an adventure that we will both remember for years!

So, on with our mission! We enjoyed visiting The Quilt Parlor in Battle Mountain, NV. And, of course, we added more to our stashes.


Then is was on to Citrus Heights, California and a stop at "Runs with Scissors". (Don't you love the name of the quilt shop?!)


And then we were "there". Our first stop was at my son and daughter-in-law's house in Oakland to meet Kellan. Kellan was born on October 27. In this picture he is just under two weeks old. 


Our granddaughter was not immediately thrilled with her baby brother! But she is growing to love tolerate him!

Photo courtesy of Bella Photographs
Then it was on to our new house in California where the adventure continued as we unpacked boxes. The most important "find" was the track for my long arm sewing machine. I packed it with some paintings.... but which ones?


With Marjie's help we had the long arm machine assembled and running in about 4 hours. 


And "sew" the adventure came to an end, as all good things must. I took Marjie to the airport, where her flight home went without a hitch this time. I stayed on for a few more days of family and unpacking, and then returned to my new Florida home.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Almost Home

When we left California it seemed that our trek across country would never end. Now, as we approach our final destination in southern Florida, it doesn't seem so bad. We have certainly taken a leisurely route. We refer to it as the "Three Thirty Rule" meaning we will travel no more than 330 miles or arrive no later than 3:30 PM. Certainly our trip has taken more days than it could have, but the quality of our days has been so much better. (IE... we aren't bitching at each other ...... as much!!!)

Our travels up to Jacksonville
We arrived in the Jacksonville area on Friday, and spent the weekend with family before moving on to our home near Labelle, FL. We were anxious to see the resort, as Hurricane Irma went right over it. And everyone had reported that although there was damage, it was not anything like it could have been. The staff of the resort has been (and remains) very busy cleaning up debris and broken limbs. The pines, oaks and palms are all a bit thinner than they were, and limbs seem to droop a bit more than in the past.

Last year I took a picture of the palms reflected in the mirror of our motorhome. I took a second shot of it last night. It shows the impact of the hurricane on the palms. They look so sad.



Here is another before and after shot. The first is a picture of our lot with the huge oak at the back and a pretty Bismarck Palm in the front. Compare this picture to the one I took this evening.  What a difference.




   

Thursday, October 26, 2017

RV Museum - Amarillo

We pulled into Amarillo with a few hours to spare before evening. We had heard that there was an RV museum in town, so off we went. The museum is the private collection of Jack Sisemore the owner of Jack Sisemore Traveland, an RV dealership.
We enjoyed seeing the collection. Jack has collected and restored a number of trailers and motorhomes. In addition there was quite a collection of motorcycles
The highlight of our visit was meeting Jack, and his brother Jess. We were on our way out of the RV supply store at the front of the dealership when an older gentleman stopped us and asked if we had enjoyed our visit. I thought that perhaps we were talking to Jack and asked. Yep, he was the real deal. And, the fellow next to him made some comment about his brother.  I remembered reading that a motorcycle had been given to Jack's brother, Jess. So, I asked if he was "Jess". He answered in the affirmative.
More than anything else about our visit, talking with the two brothers made my day! I loved visiting with them for a while.

Here are some pictures from our visit:

























Birthday Bash

I can't believe that our grand baby is three years old! On one hand, she hardly seems to have been on this earth very long at all... and...