"Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least." ~Goethe~

30 July 2010

I feel old...

Yesterday felt like a really long day after everything there was to be done.
You know, the in-house maid service, landscape and gardening service, laundry service, the baking and dinner service, etc. that I run around here.  Just another day you know.  But even after all that non stop fun filled action, there was still more to be done.  I know, some would think what else would there be to do.  Well, some very important work I must say.

Putting the quilt together!

First the backing had to be laid out just right.
Then of course the batting and the top.

Then there was the ever important pinning in just the right places so that the masterpiece isn't totally screwed up.  Luckily I had some very enthusiastic helpers with this.

Next was trying to get one self up off the floor to admire all 300 and something pins that were just added to hold everything together, and not being able to stand straight for a few minutes.  Man did I feel old.  It felt like my spine was just waiting to jump out and run off in hopes of never, ever doing that again.  Geez!
Then it was on to the ever important rolling the work of art up in order to attempt to do the ever important quilting with the machine.  
I am told that it is very doable, even with this piece of work hanging over both edges of the dining room table.  We will see.  The sewing machine will surely be brought up and placed on the table because there is no way the machine work will be attempted downstairs on the 'desk of doom' right now.  Too much going on there.

Wish us all a lot of luck today!
One way or another I will get this done!

29 July 2010

Too much excitement...

Yesterday started calm enough.  Same routine as normal.  A little tidying up before the girls got up, then breakfast, etc.  Nothing exciting there.  Then there were some errands that had to be done before it got too hot out.  As we were heading to our first destination we could see the sky turning very dark and lightning coming down here and there.  So we made sure there wasn't any monkeying around with errands and made it home before the storm got to our area.  The temps cooled down enough and the winds were blowing to where the windows were opened to get some cool, fresh air in the house.  All was good, so far.

Then around lunch time the storm hit our place, nothing terrible really.  But lots of lightning.  There were a few loud booms from it, but nothing unusual.  About 15 mins. later we started to hear sirens from the fire trucks, the sheriff dept., etc. zooming past our neighborhood towards the foot hills.  Not good.  We knew the lightning sparked something.  Something big!  Not even a 1/2 hour later we started to hear the big air tanker planes flying over our house along with the water bucket helicopters.  It was serious.  We knew it was bad when our street started to get all hazy from the smoke and the windows had to be shut.  The girls kept running outside to watch the planes and helicopters flying over us to get to the hills all afternoon.  Glenn even called at one point (we were keeping him updated you know) to see how bad things were because he could see huge plumes of smoke from one vantage point on his route.  There were no worries here because we were at least 1 1/2 or more (aerial) from where things were burning.  Things would have to get really bad to make it to our house because of all the green area between us and the hills.

The smoke cleared from our neighborhood for a bit and it seemed from what we could see in the sky that  things were winding down.  But then shortly before 4pm the winds picked up something fierce and the sky changed from a smoky blue to a weird orange.  All the light in the house seemed to be sucked away.
That is when things got bad up in the hills.  The fire went from about 400 acres to nearly 5000 in just a couple of hours.  The planes and helicopters were picking up the pace then.  Very scary few hours for those who live up on the hills.
There were 5 fire departments out there, BLM & NIFC all trying to get a hold on the fire along with the aerial attack.  I guess the only good thing to say about the fire is that all those brave individuals know what they are doing and we are lucky to have all that experience around here.

Around 7 or 8pm they fire was contained after the winds died down again.  But 3 homes and a huge barn were totally lost, and one house has major damage.  It's just amazing that more homes didn't burn down. No one could pay me to live up in the hills because of things like this.  Yeah, it would be nice to have that gorgeous view but that view isn't worth the risk of what you could lose when a wildfire starts.  Especially when that fire was moving 100 yards in a minute because of the wind at times the fire chief said.  No thanks.  Even if I had lots of money, I would find a safe, wildfire 'free' spot to live at.  Just another clear example why homes should not be allowed in areas such as that, no matter how much money one has.  At least there were no lives lost.  Thank God.  We will have to go up in a few days to see how our sunset spot is being it was right in the middle of all the action.  The girls want to see if they can see any of the pink fire retardant on the hills.  I'm sure there is lots of that to be seen.

So, today is starting off quiet.  Let's hope it stays like that.

here's a link to some pics that were taken of the fire.

28 July 2010

Almost there...

The top was finally finished yesterday afternoon.
When I came out of the craft room with it to show off, everyone stopped what they were doing and exclaimed "WOW"!!!!
I had the same reaction when I saw it all stretched out on the floor.  There was even a small jiggy jig that was done in the midst of the happiness.  In mere seconds I had to helpers going outside with the top to take pics.  This was quickly accomplished being it was so hot outside. 

I'm quite happy with the size because one (moi') can wrap up in this beauty without fear of a toe, backend, etc. hanging out to only get chilly and not having to curl up in a ball just to be covered.

Now for the batting and backing so that the big quilt sandwich can be put together.  I'm surely going to have to go to the quilt shop to ask a few most important questions for this next step.  I'm still an amateur you know.  One most make sure that something this wonderful most be done right.  Who knows, with the great success of this creation, many more may be coming in the future.  

I've got a few special orders already from my crew.
I guess I'm going to be busy.

23 July 2010

Lots of help...

The quilt top is coming along just peachy!  
I can't explain how wonderful it looks with all its gorgeous colors.

The girls and I are having fun putting it together.  I have given up all control on which square is next.  It's all up to the girls in that department.  All I ask is that there isn't two of the same color right next to each other.  One little helper got up bright and early yesterday morning to come sit with me and pick squares out.  By yesterday afternoon we had half of the quilt top finished already.  I know we will be done by tomorrow.  Now I just have to decided what kind of batting will be used in the quilt sandwich.  And what color to use for the binding.  Decisions.  And let's not forget the conversations about who will be using it first.  Little do they know who will be deciding that outcome.  ;)

I'm just glad we are going to have one nice day today with a break from the heat.  88f.  Can't believe I'm getting excited over that.
Oh well, here's to a FAB weekend!

21 July 2010


I got up a little extra early this morning to make sure that nothing was going to get in my way of finishing the baby blanket today.
I finished the 'little' tag last night and then sewed it on this morning.  Now it's going through a little wash so that it will be soft and snuggly and ready to use when our new nephew arrives next month.

I couldn't wait to show everyone.
It will be sent off tomorrow so that it will be waiting on the newest member of the family.
I'm so excited for him to get here and see how darn cute he is.

Off for another fun filled day before the Africa heat sets in.
Mowing the yard and doing some serious weeding in the garden.
Whew!  Those things grow waaaay too fast.

Then I get to start on my quilt later!
All 625 squares are waiting patiently for me to get started with all that stitching.
Impatient little buggers!

19 July 2010

Squares, squares and more squares...

It was a hit and miss weekend around here, as far as what I had planned to get accomplished.  There was absolutely no work done on the baby blanket.
But there were plenty of bits of color that were cut out and gathered for the other project that I will be working on soon.
Every bit of fabric was cut from scraps from past projects, mostly from making the kids something from one time to another.
 I even found a very old pair of shorts that I made Brendon at one time and asked him if he would mind letting me cut them up so something of him could be in the blanket.  As one can tell, he obliged.  He used to love going to the fabric store (when he was much younger) to pick out some new, cool fabric for summer shorts.  It was the only thing he would let me make him besides a blanket at one time.  I don't think he would even think about setting one foot inside a fabric store now.
 So after 529 colorful squares later, I still have to cut 96 white ones out so that I can begin 
"The Quilt".
I have to come up with a system of sorts on how to arrange the colors as I go when sewing.  I don't want to lay everything out on the floor.  That would kick my 'control tendencies' into over drive and I would never get to sewing the squares up.  I'm thinking the best thing would be is to let the girls mix them all up, put them all in a bag (that I can't see through) and just start picking them out one by one.  And sticking with what comes out.  Oh that's hard to imagine me doing.  But I'm going to do it.  I will.  I have to.  :)

 I've got lots on my list today to do so that I can finally get to all this colorful creativeness.
Reading time with a wee one
Bake cookies
Baby blanket
I better get my tail moving so I can get back to all those squares.

17 July 2010

Adding to my list again...

Sometimes I wonder if I'm not certifiable.

I was having one of my OCD moments today about the floors being totally disgusting.  So they had to be swept and mopped before I wigged out.  Nobody "sees" what I see and just shake their heads at me.  No outside shoes allowed in this house.  I always tell Glenn and the kids that if I wanted to walk on dirt, I would live in a tent outside.  (just to let you know, I have a small broom that I use in the tent when we go camping.)  Everyone just gets out of my way so they don't get run over with the mop.  Poor Glenn even got a phone call while working earlier informing him of how I was going to toss because of this "crisis".  Everything was much better afterwards, smelling nice and lemony.  

Well, it was better until I heard the back door continually opening and closing from the girls going in and out.  All I could "see" was the great outdoors all over my floors again.  Hmmmph!  I had to pour some ice tea and take a few deep breaths and wait for them to get sick of the heat outside, come back in and have them go over the floor again.

The other certifiable moment is that I am now cutting out hundreds of squares 
for a patchwork quilt. 
I know, I know.
What am I thinking?
Obviously I'm not.
But I just can't resist anymore after seeing this, this and this.
I've got a little over 400 cut so far with a couple hundred left to do.
Love my rotary cutter!
All from scraps from past projects.  Quite pleased about that part.
So is Glenn!

But that will have to wait until later today to finish as I must finish the last bits of work on this beauty.
Just a few more details and it will be off to the family's newest member to arrive in August.
Can't wait for him to get here!  Just wish he would be closer to give hugs to. 

Well, off to grab all my wonderfully smelling laundry of the racks outside before it gets Africa hot outside.  Can't stand the heat!  I so need to move way up north now.

I love laundry drying outside.  You get a two for one treat kind of thing going on there.
The freshest smelling laundry
And the dryer isn't running!
How can a person not get happy about all that.
I for one do not like the electric company that much to be using the dryer and the a/c all in one day.
So here's to fresh smelling clothes!
And to a great rest of the weekend!

14 July 2010

A most wonderful day...

I must tell you from the start that I'm not too happy with some of the pics from this day.  Some are okay, others really bite.  It may be a sign that I need to get a new camera.
Oh well, let's move on.

So, up bright and early the next morning (of course) we were headed east down I-90, crossing the Veterans Memorial Bridge for a gorgeous look at Lake Coeur d'Alene.
Down towards Kingston where you turn off to head up north way back in the woods.
As with any trip we go on we are always telling the kids "look out the window because you don't know what you might see in a place you've never been before".
Well, such is true on this little adventure!
Down the road we were going, loving all the peacefulness of the mountains and river when Glenn hits the brakes and starts to back up quickly.
What in the world was he doing I thought.  He's lost his ever loving mind.
Nope.  He saw...
a baby Moose!!!!!
(not the greatest picture)
Two to be exact.  By the time I was able to hand him my camera, one walked back into the brush where you couldn't see him.  We didn't see the Mommy, but you know she was around because they were still pretty young, but as big as cows.  The girls were quietly squealing so they wouldn't scare the little guy away.  We sat there on the road for several minutes just watching the little guy wander around munching on things.  
Can you believe it!  We finally saw a real live Moose!  I'm still doing a jig when I think about it.  Everyone seems to think all the moose t-shirts, etc. that we bought the day before brought us good luck.  Glenn said it was his moose hat he was wearing that he bought the day before.  Who knows.  I'm not questioning it.  Thanks for wearing the hat is all I'm saying.

After coming down from that wonderful bit of excitement it was back down the road again.
Through the thick woods
to a most beautiful place.
It felt magical.  Like we were the only ones on earth.
After a good spray down for mosquitoes, we were off for our first adventure of the day.
I can't explain enough how beautiful this area is.
I'm so glad it's protected for us to see and enjoy.
There were lots of wild flowers to see.
Lots of HUGE ancient cedars!
Tons of foresty fungi.
And of course, many spots where one can stop and enjoy the sounds of the water rushing down the mountain side.
I was so in my spot I tell you.
It was VERY hard to leave.
We were there all to ourselves for 2 1/2hrs. before anyone else showed up to explore this area.  It was so awesome to be alone up there with no one else to bother our solitude.

After a good few miles of hiking we had to call it quits so that we could squeeze in more wonderful things into the day.
So back down the road where we saw that there was another Eagle, Id in the state.
I have never heard of anything like that before.
Two towns, same name, one state.
Believe me, this Eagle is far different from the one we live in.  Quite funny!
They have a city park though.  Very small.
And two or three houses.
Far cry from the 20,000 or so we have in our Eagle, Id.

We then stopped by and saw the Cataldo Mission on the way back towards CDA.
Absolutely beautiful!
The craftsmanship is just beyond words.
NO Nails!
It is amazing what one can do when you have limited resources and you put your mind to doing something.  We were there a good hour just looking around at all the history that surrounds you and listening to all the voice recordings through out the church from the elders of the tribe recounting their memories and history of this beautiful place.
Not enough words to describe this adventure.

After that we were looking for lunch and headed up north on state 95.
I so know where I want to move to and "retire".
Then after about an hour we see our next destination.
Lake Pend Oreille at Sanpoint.
That word was used alot on this trip let me tell you.  Along with "Oh my GOSH!".
A stop at the beach was made for the girls where they had a blast splashing around, going all crazy.
Brenna seems to think she's a pro swimmer now.  yea.
Glenn and I were told that we need to move up here so that they can go swimming all summer long and be able to play in the snow all winter.  I'll go get that winning lottery ticket right now.
I have to say that the beach in Sandpoint was my favorite over the one in Coeur d'Alene.
More peaceful.
After swimming there was a much needed stop for some yummy ice cream.
Rainbow Sherbert for Brenna.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough for Em.
And Mountain Huckleberry for Glenn and I.
I was not going to be in this area and not have eaten anything made from huckleberries you know.
I didn't realize until we were getting ready to leave that we were sitting right across the street from Coldwater Creek!  Love that store!  It started in Sandpoint.  But I didn't go in because I'm waiting to lose a few more before I buy any of those pretty pieces they sell.  One must not embarrass themselves.
After a most wonderful afternoon in Sandpoint, we were headed back down the road to the hotel room for a little break.  We had to go back out in the evening though to enjoy views of Lake Coeur d'Alene with the sun setting.  The east side drive has a wonderful paved trail with sitting spots to enjoy the views.
They girls were most definite about moving up here so they could come and sit by the lake in the evenings.  I have to agree.  It was awesome!

Back to the hotel after the sun set behind the hills.
Everyone was completely tuckered out and we needed rest before getting up and heading home the next day.
This by far was our most favorite family trip yet.

12 July 2010

My new favorite place...

So on the road we were Thursday morning at a chipper 5am.
Down the Payette River scenic byway (hi-way 55).
Trying to get a glimpse of the rapids in the the very early morning light as we rushed by.  It was a bit dark out still but I could still see that the river still had a lot of whitewater and I wouldn't be caught down there.
Then it was through the Cascade Valley area to see the pretty morning fog clearing from the fields.
Past McCall and New Meadows and into uncharted territory for all of us, up towards Riggins which is on the other side of the ridge from Hells Canyon.
Gorgeous!  But a little too rugged for me.
We gassed up and watched tons of people getting ready to raft the river in the early morning before it got to hot.  I'm still not sure if I would be brave enough to go down through the rapids just yet.  Still a chicken.  The girls seem to think that they are ready to do something like that.
Ummmm, NO!

Past the little town of White Bird to climb White Bird Hill (approx. 2700ft.) at a 7% grade in a very short distance.  7 miles I do believe.  I just kept thinking of the trip home and having to go back down the hill.  yea.  It's also the spot where the Battle of White Bird Canyon took place in 1877 between the Nez Perce Indians and the US Army.  The army lost.  From everything I have read in the history books, the government was trying to get the Nez Perce of their land because somewhere in the area gold was found and the government wanted it without any problems from the indians.  
We had to stop for a short bit for road construction outside of Grangeville.  I didn't mind because I was too busy taking in all the sweet, fresh air the breezes were blowing around.  All the wheat and canola fields smelled so good!  I could live there having all that fresh air blowing through the house everyday.  Heaven!!!
Down the road past the old train trestles from the Camas Prairie Railroad.  Hard to believe they are still standing in perfect condition.
About halfway through our trip we came to Lewiston.  It was Idaho's first state capitol from 1863-66 and then the gold rush settled down in the area and the population went down.  Boise's population grew faster because of the gold rush there and in 1866 Boise became the state's capitol.  Big stink over it.  Not at all popular back in the day.  The state seal was even stolen to be brought down to Boise because Lewiston wouldn't give it up.  Lewiston is the lowest point in the state at about 756ft.  And kind of stinky because of the paper mill there.  Did not impress me one bit.
We then had to drive up the 7 mile, 2000ft climb to get up to the Palouse valley and towards Moscow.
Gorgeous!  We drove right by Paradise Ridge that Mary Jane lives on the other side of.  Heaven!  Cute little town I tell you.  Very quiet and peaceful.  I could live there.
About an hour later we finally got a glimpse of our destination.
Lake Coeur d'Alene!
We thought the girls were going to jump out of the truck.
You never heard so much squealing before.

After checking into our room there was some exploring to do down by the lake.
No, we didn't stay at the Coeur d'Alene resort.  Too rich for my blood.  Some rooms are $500 a night!

There was some toe dipping to be done at the city beach.

And some sight seeing of the downtown area.  Which was very cool I might add.  We even found a Mudgy Moose and Millie Mouse statue!  The girls thought that was way cool.  Very cute too!
Still no real moose to be seen yet.  Bummer.  But we were crossing our fingers for a sighting during this trip.
Millie Mouse is on Mudgy's antler.

There was lots of exploring downtown, buying souvenirs, eating, etc. to be done that afternoon.  We sat and watched everything going on by the lake.  

Glenn wants to come back and try the para sailing next time.  Not me.  I'm fine with my feet firmly planted on the ground.  My luck, I would get tangled up into something or get slammed into something near the resort.  No thanks.

At days end we were all tuckered out.  It didn't take much to convince the girls to get showered and go to sleep so we could get an early start in the morning on the next big adventure.