Thursday, July 26, 2007

Start 'em young

Earlier this week, my 7 year old granddaughter and I spent 3 days at a local state park in our motorhome. She has been 'on and on' about learning how to sew, so this seemed liked a good, quiet time we could concentrate on that. And so, I brought my smaller Pfaff machine and we had a table that could be low enough that she could easily reach the foot pedal. What fun we had. It happened that I had some sheeting that I had used for another project, so it provided very clear lines for her to follow. And she managed to follow them pretty well. You can notice some of the earlier efforts, as well as the later ones. She also wanted to do some hand sewing. That was much more difficult - particularly because I am right handed and she is left handed. But it was really such fun and she came to appreciate more, what it is her Nana does when she is "sewing".

She also thought she wanted to try her hand at "designing" a quilt. I had made quilt segments (actually for her) earlier and so on a piece of flannel I had brought along, we laid the pieces out. Actually we laid them out over and over and over. She really had quite a time deciding what she liked. She finally said, "Nana, how do you know which way it's supposed to go?". Cute, heh? She kept thinking that there were "rules" for all of this [don't some of the rest of us do that too?]. But I just kept telling her that "no" there are no rules, really. Just whatever pleased her.

It was a great 3 days, just the two of us. For our Dutch readers, I forgot to mention that I spoke with the people in the camper truck nextdoor and asked them where they were from - they were in a vehicle with a British Columbia (Canada) license plates. Turns out they were from Edam. I got to practice a bit of my halting Dutch.

This was a terrific conclusion to my birthday "week". We had started to celebrate a week ago with a salmon BBQ at friends, then cards throughout the week. On Sunday the grandbabies and their mama came over to celebrate with cupcakes and more cards. In the midst of that event the doorbell rang and it was my son, who lives in the 'other' Washington. He managed to arrange a conference he needed to attend in Portland, OR, so also could surprise this mama on her birthday. Aren't I just the luckiest one ever?

Last week I completed the piecing of a small wall hanging made of 5" charms. I kept seeing them in the LQS and thinking they would be fun to play with, but wasn't sure how to proceed. So, when I get the borders in place, I'll send along a photo of that work in progress. Can you believe it, July is almost over?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

OK - my turn for PIF

Alrighty - I finally succumbed (I should only use words I know how to spell, without having to look them up. :-( ) Linda, at All Stitched Up got me to get with it and sign up for Pay it Forward. You all know the game: (or at least most of you know) - the first 3 people who leave a comment here saying they want to "play" will get a handmade gift from me. Each of them will put this same invitation on their blog for three more to sign up and they will each receive a handmade gift. And so on and so on and so on. FUN!

More Photos & travel stories

For me who is a bit nervous of heights, this was a big challenge!

Logan Pass is the highest place in the park and site of the Continental Divide [water flows to the east and to the west].
The upgraded 1930's red buses are the best way to see things in the park. These originally were called "jammers" as there wasn't a clutch to change gears and the driver just jammed it into gear.

Spring flowers are only "out" for a very short time.

There were so many things to do and things to see. It was just a continual sense of awe and amazement. I think I must have said "Oh my goodness" about a zillion and a half times. It was pretty breezy and sometimes challenging to sit outdoors for meals, but we tried, most of the time, as it was so georgous! The campground sponsored a fireworks display (on July 4), but sadly the trailer from which the fireworks were shot off caught fire afterwards. Glad to hear those fire sirens coming.

I'm not sure I have the right name, but I loved the 'motorcycle tricycles' that we saw. They were so stable that they even appealed to 'chickens' like me. And many of those folks were pulling little trailers that set up into tents with a sleeping area - reputedly a queen-sized bed, as well as a small enclosed area for dressing/cooking/whatever. It struck me as extremely clever. I spoke with one couple from Texas who reported that their trailer only weighed just over 500 lbs.

We are really so fortunate to be able to make this trip and see this beautiful country. I continue to be appreciative and thankful for all my blessings. Much for which to be grateful! [More still to come]

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Back from our "Holidays"

It really had been my intention to send little posts along the way but discovered that the RockyMountains, in many areas, interfere with internet signals and we couldn't get connected. So this will have to be a retrospective of a magnificent trip through Washington and Idaho to Montana and Glacier National Park. Having never been, I was delighted and overwhelmed with what nature has managed to do. And bless the National Park Service for their efforts to maintain what is there. But back to the beginning: the Columbia River cuts a wide swath through central Washington at the Vantage Bridge. We drove on through the eastern Washington Palouse country and spent the night in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

The next morning we headed east into Montana and then north past Flathead Lake. Wow was that beautiful. We spent the night in Kalispell and then began our Glacier Park Adventure the next day. We drove around the south side of the park and met our family in St. Mary's on the East side of the park. The eastern and western sides of the park are very different, but what I found most unusual was that there are virtually no foothills into these mountains. You have rolling plains then you have mountains. The Going to the Sun Highway [THE road across and through the park] had been closed all winter because of the large amount of snow and subsequent road damage and only opened the day we arrived.
Because it was still "early" in the park season, all the flowers were blooming, the waterfalls were roaring with snow melt and everything was still green. Over the summer it will dry out and much will become brown. We hiked, looked for animals, tried macro-photography and generally had a fabulous time. During our time there we saw: moose, elk, bear, mountain goats, long-horned sheep, pika's, marmots, squirrels, chipmonks, beaver, geese and ducks. We got a full zoological exposure - but all at arm's length (as it's supposed to be). Forest fires are a big threat and there was one while we were there in the very southern part of the park. Because it was hot and windy, it made containing the fire even more difficult - they don't try to put them out, only contain them. More adventures to follow, but needless to say, it was a great treat to be able to go and we couldn't encourage you more to go yourselves. All ages, all abilities - a magnificent place to visit.
P.S. I did take the mat and cutter and got quite a few I Spy hexagons cut out (on a picnic table in the KOA park.) No one said anything - I wonder what they thought I was doing?