Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Baby Shower Gifting

I attended a baby shower recently for this pretty mom-to-be.  Her mom is a dear friend so I wanted to make something special.  Amazingly, I had this baby quilt already started and these are even her nursery colors!  All I had to do was add some quilting and a binding.  I had intentions of making this a free motion quilting practice quilt, but decided to go the easy straight line quilting route.  It turned out pretty cute and mama is happy with it!

I always try to take photos of my projects, but had everything gift wrapped before I remembered. Hard to believe that Target had blank onesies in just the right colors!  I spent an evening with my embroidery machine and included some personalized outfits for little baby "L".  They turned out pretty cute too! 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Back on Track!

Well, it took two weeks, but our new Pleasure-way Pursuit was repaired and ready for us to continue our first trip. We drove our car back down to Eckenrod Ford in Cullman, where we loaded it back on the tow dolly and hitched up. The first few miles were nerve-wracking, as we listened for any suspicious noises from the new axle.  Happily, there were none!   Our vacation was back on track.

 Of course, all of our campground reservations had been lost and now that this was a big Spring Break week, we had to find alternate overnight accommodations. Though we had been able to spend a few nights in the RV, they were in the car lot.  Not the most scenic spot, unless one is shopping for a new Ford.  But our first stop at Gunter Hill, a Corps of Engineers park near Montgomery was much nicer. Next time we will stay more than one night.

 Notice the slight yellow tint?   Yellow pine pollen.  But we still give this park high marks for their nice level full hook-up sites that are well spaced.  It was probably the best campground of our week, just a little off the path for an over-night stop.

We weren't able to get our reservations back at Gulf State Park so we camped at Island Retreat RV Park instead.  Unfortunately I completely slacked off on photos this week and didn't even get a shot of our site here.  We had a fairly level pull thru with full hook-ups and the staff was very nice.  The park was full but there were also a lot of permanent looking trailers that could use a little sprucing up around them.

The Gulf Shores area is not lacking for restaurants with the majority of them serving seafood of some kind.  When we travel, we always like to rank our meals on the road.  This trip the prize went to King Neptunes.  It was D's crab legs that got his vote, and my boiled fresh shrimp were excellent too.  Last time we were in Gulf Shores, it was shortly after the oil spill and the seafood had been mostly brought in from other places. 

We decided to take a couple days and take the "scenic" route home.  The drive to our first stop was pretty tense as we drove through a major rain storm for most of the day.  The wind and rain gave our new RV a test for weather proofing.  No leaks!  We spent a night at  Lakepoint Resort State Park near Eufaula.  This park could be a really nice place, but with all the rain, we had trouble finding a site that wasn't half flooded and the sewer connections were too high for us to use with our low vehicle. And if I thought there were permanent trailers at the last park, there were even more here.  I don't begrudge folks from extended stays at a nice park, but when they set up canvas garages for boats and extra refrigerators, freezers and rabbit hutches, etc.  I think it's time for the park staff to step in.  Sorry.  My blog.  My opinions.  

We continued our scenic drive home by jumping over to Georgia and a quick stop in Pine Mountain.  Saturday was a long day of driving as we headed back up to Nashville and again battled a major head wind.  At least we only had some light rain and we made it to our overnight stop at Nashville Country RV Park with no problem.

Overall, we think we are going to be very happy with our new Pursuit.  We have to get used to "living" in a small space and making do without all the extra storage of the Simba.  We've made a few adjustments to our vacation lifestyle and are looking forward to many more adventures on the road.  Now if it would just warm up enough for the Harley!!  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Vacation, Postponed

We were excited to head out for our first big trip in our new Pleasure-Way Pursuit last Friday.  It has been an adventure for sure! Our destination was Gulf Shores, Alabama.  After an overnight stop at a nice Walmart in Franklin, TN we looked forward to our final destination.  As we traveled down I 65 through Southern TN and Northern Alabama, we kept hearing some strange noises in the rear of the coach.  We stopped several times to rearrange and check for loose items. We couldn't find any reason for the sounds which would go away then come back. The noises became louder and more disconcerting, then a vague "hot" smell.  We pulled over near MM315 on I65 and saw a  poof of smoke coming from the right rear tires. This is where we would sit for the next 4 1/2 hours as we waited for Ford to send a tow truck/flat bed to take us to the nearest Ford dealer (actually only about 5 miles away!)  We were towing our car on a tow dolly, so we would need some way to get the trailer off of the road too.  Although it was scary to watch all the weekend traffic speed by, we had our orange road caution signs out and all the flashers on.  Not once did we see a highway patrol or sheriff pass by.  At least it was a beautiful day and we were in a fairly safe spot, with a great view out our back window as we watched for the tow truck. 

Unfortunately, by the time we made it to the Ford dealer, the service department had closed so no one would be able to look at the truck until Monday. But the sales staff found us a "camping" spot for the weekend in their new car lot and we spent a day and a half exploring the town of Cullman, Alabama. We were quite comfortable in our Pursuit, but the view was certainly not what we had expected for the first two nights of our vacation.  Monday morning came and they were able to check it out first thing. The worst news we could receive at this point, the whole rear axle assembly, bearings, gears etc. is shot. It looks as if someone forgot to put in the lubricant during assembly. The entire new axle will have to be manufactured, shipped and installed, before we can continue on our first vacation in our PW Pursuit.  

So we took our clothing and necessities and cleaned out the refrigerator into our little car and headed back home to Southern Indiana.  Our delay is undetermined and fortunately with only a little  more than 600 miles on the truck it will be covered by warranty.  Hopefully it won't be more than a week or two, but who knows.  

My husband placed a call to Dave Arbogast RV where we purchased our Pursuit to let them know the situation.  Within a few hours he received a supportive call back from Pleasure-Way, though it is a Ford warranty issue, I'm not sure what they can do.  We will certainly remember our first trip in our Pursuit!  And the story will be continued as we wait for repairs and the time when we can drive back down to Alabama to  pick up our motorhome.  

Monday, January 13, 2014

UFO Alert

Look what I found lurking in the back of my fabric closet!  A pretty quilt kit that I bought a couple of years ago when we were in Maggie Valley and I stopped at Quilters Quarters.  Maybe eventually I can check something off my list of unfinished projects.  When it's done, it will stay with me.  After a year of baby and child quilts and craft projects, I think it's time I did something for myself!  

I've already starting the cutting process but first I took this photo to keep track of the fabrics.  I'm not sure how quickly this will go together, but an afternoon of football and an evening of Downton Abbey helped me get a good start.  I'll keep you updated! 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

I'm Still Crafty

I'm going to try  to do a little better this year with this little blog.  Nothing fancy, no earth shattering opinionated posts, or attempts at comical rhetoric.  Just some photos of stuff I've made, places we've been and family we're proud of.  

Now to prove that I still am (sort of) crafty.  Here's just a few of the things I've made in the past few weeks/months.  

These are some pillow cases for a couple of my favorite ninja loving boys.  I'm all about the embroidery machine these days, and have managed to put it to good use. 

If there's a holiday, someone will probably get an cute shirt.
And of course, if you're celebrating a birthday, you need a cute shirt to let the world know you're now a one year old grandchild of a crafty grammy.
And there was a lot of embroidery going on before Christmas!

Five sets of Christmas  Reindeer jammies for five grandkids.

I did manage to get another big boy quilt done in time for Christmas. This one was my first quilt that I've made using paper pieced blocks.  I know some quilters don't care for paper piecing but I really enjoyed making this one. Now all three of the older boys have twin sized quilts to go with the bunk beds that crafty Papa made for them.  I need to get some photos of those on here too. Because they are pretty awesome!

More of crafty Papa's works of art.  Our Christmas tree was decorated this year almost entirely with these laser crafted wooden ornaments and I thought it looked very nice.  We really should set up an Etsy shop or something to sell these next year.

So here's a start to 2014 blogging.  No expectations, just getting back in the bloggy habit!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas !

This is why I'm not blogging much anymore! Lucky me though, I get to spend time with these characters and when I'm not doing that I work on fun little sewing, quilting  or embroidery machine projects, mostly for these little guys.  (Note the Christmas jammies!) There's been a little more traveling with the husband too since our trip to South Dakota with destinations in Tennessee, the Smokey Mountains, Chicago, South Carolina and Georgia involving either the motorcycle or the RV or both.

Hope the Holidays find you all healthy and happy and ready to begin another New Year!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Three Thousand Two Hundred Seventy-One Miles Later

(Warning - photo loaded blog post head!)
And we are home!  Our South Dakota motorcycle trip is history.  When you say you are going on a motorcycle trip to South Dakota, most people think you are headed to the Sturgis Rally in August.  We are not big on those type of rallies, just a little too much excitement for this old biker couple!  But we are brave enough to make the trek on our own and battle whatever elements Mother Nature can produce in the month of June.  

This photo is deceiving.  Our trip began with dodging rain storms followed by strong winds that had our bike leaning at an scary angle.  I've become pretty brave when it comes to riding behind my trusty driver under most circumstances, but the 50 + mph winds were a challenge.

We did see some pretty country through Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and of course, South Dakota.  We saw several barn quilts, which I love to photograph, but I was busy hanging on and couldn't get photos of most.  This one was in Iowa somewhere, I think.

One of our first stops was The Badlands National Park.  Beautiful, eery and fascinating landscapes that years of erosion have created.

Mount Rushmore was a highlight of the trip.  The weather was beautiful the day we visited and we were able to get another tourist to snap our photo under the careful watch of the Presidents.

Zooming in to get a closer look!

We rode the famous Needles Highway.  No problem getting the Harley through the tunnels, but definitely a challenge for the RV's and tour buses.  One advantage of visiting the area in early June is the light traffic.  I had time to jump off the bike, have D turn around and drive back through the tunnel so I could snap a pic for the blog, without any one else traveling by for several minutes.

We chose the coldest, cloudiest and windiest day to travel over to Wyoming to visit Devil's Tower.  I definitely can say that my best pre-trip purchase were my leather chaps!  So happy I had them to wear on may occasions over our 11 day adventure!

This is the best we could do for a "Close Encounter" at the Devil's Tower.  We were cold and running out of time to hike the trails around the base.

After all, we had to get here, before they closed!  Being this close, we had to stop on our way back to our B & B.  Sturgis seems like a pleasant small town.  Hard to believe it turns into mayhem during Rally week!

We spent our last full day in South Dakota, roaming more of the windy roads of the Black Hills.  Crazy Horse was more interesting than we thought it would be.  It's kind of sad to think that such a gigantic project will likely not even be finished in our children's lifetimes.
We found several herds of buffalo.  There were lots of cute little calves in the groups, but I guess I didn't get a very good photo of them.  You can see one little guy peaking out from behind his mama near the center of the pic.

More scenes from the Needles Highway.

We stayed at the Peregrine Pointe Bed and Breakfast while exploring the Black Hills  and the areas near Rapid City.
The owners and hosts, Eileen and Warren.  If you are ever in the area, we would highly recommend this place!  Breakfasts were wonderful too!

On Thursday, we loaded for our trip back home.  Of course, it was one of the prettiest days of our trip!  Although we wished for a little warmer weather, we kept reminding ourselves that it was so much more pleasant than riding when it was 90-100 degrees!  One reason we probably won't return in August for the Rally!

We left I-90 behind and took some of the less traveled roads on the way to Iowa.   There is a lot of flat land in South Dakota (and that comes from someone raised in Kansas!) but we did see a few interesting things. This old grain elevator was one.  Another was the cattle roundup on a ranch in the middle of nowhere, complete with several authentic cowboys.  Unfortunately, someone wouldn't slow down long enough for me to get my camera out for that one!!

Our destination for Friday night was Fort Dodge, Iowa where our friends Marcie and Larry live.  We enjoyed a short visit and some wonderful meals with them.  Marcie and I grew up together in Kansas and we both can't remember ever not being friends.  Though we've all been busy with family, careers and moves, it was great to re-connect!  We certainly appreciated the hospitality and look forward to keeping better in touch.

This was our trip odometer when we pulled into our driveway on Sunday afternoon.  Three thousand, two hundred seventy-one miles!   There are lots more photos of other sights, but I won't bore you with them. But we had a wonderful trip!  What an adventure!  Where to next?