Sunday, January 27, 2008

Dreaming about RV's

Could this be the RV of our dreams? This weekend we drove across the river to the Boat, Sport and RV Show at the fairgrounds. After paying our $9.00 entry fees (yes, each!) we spent a few hours touring some of the RV's and motorhomes on display. It looked like there were many more boats than RV's but we didn't even make it over to look at them. We've had a boat or two in the past, so that's not an activity we're going to pursue anytime soon. This 1954 travel trailer had been restored by a local RV dealer and was drawing quite a crowd. The RV industry has certainly come a long way.
This is a photo of the interior of the 5th wheel travel trailer that we liked the most. It is a Carriage Carri-Lite. The interior workmanship and cabinetry impressed my woodworker husband. It even had a flat screen television that disappeared behind the fireplace, tile floors, 4 door refrigerator and many, many other deluxe features. Of course, the price tag on a unit like this is deluxe too! We have heard good things about the Carriage products and they do make less expensive models. I follow the blog of a couple who are full-timing in a Carriage 5th wheel, The Wandering Wishnies and they seem to be very happy with theirs.
Do you suppose he's wondering if he could fit a motorcycle or woodworking tools in there? That is one concern we have with getting a 5th wheel, as to whether we could double tow the motorcycle trailer or put a lift on the back of the trailer for the bike. We keep looking for a toy hauler that has some of the same features as these nice 5th wheels. But it seems that they are built to cater to the motorcross or racecar fans and then also lose some of the living space.

One of the new things we've been seeing lately is alot of the Heavy Duty Trucks folks are using to pull their 5th wheels. There were a few specialty motorcycles on display too. This chopper was painted in honor of the Ryder Cup that will be held in Louisville in this coming fall.

That's the highlights of the weekend. Today I've been experimenting with a different camera, but I'm not sure if it takes any better photos than my little Kodak. Can you tell which Beamer photo is taken on my camera or on D's Sony? I think the zoom might be better on his and also the close-ups. I'll have to try some more when I have something more interesting than my lazy cat.

I saved dessert for last! It is (mostly) sugar-free! Now I'm going to go find the Cool Whip.
Just a little teaser as to the remodeling project. It doesn't look like much yet does it? He has completed more than this though! (It's just kind of hard to photograph.)
Until next time. Thanks for checking in!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Photos of the Week

A cold winter day comes along and I get a hankering to bake. Why does that happen when we're trying to cut down on carbs and calories? So I tried to find the healthiest bread recipe I could and then vary it according to what I have on hand. The recipe I found online here. I like the fact that this website lets you change the serving size and adjusts the quantities automatically. I changed to serving 36 instead of 72 and it made one nice size loaf and three small loaves. I almost forgot to take a photo until we'd sliced off the first two pieces. Yum! I added more ground flax seed and used some oat flour to make up for some of the whole wheat flour. I was able to use some of the wheat you gave me last summer, K. I ground it in my coffee grinder (after cleaning it out, of course).

We had a little snow here this week in Southern Indiana. These are views out our back door. Just ignore the power lines and it looks pretty nice! Even though there's a road behind our house, there's not a lot of traffic and we can enjoy the view of the farms and trees. Some of you folks in the "north" will find it hard to believe that this was enough snow to cancel school and other activities! I suppose there was a little ice on some of the roads though.

Leo came to visit this week. See how much he's grown! Soon those ears will be at proper German Shepherd attention. He's been going to school and doggie day care and learning good puppy behavior.

Until next time - have a great weekend!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Just Another (Cold) Weekend

There is not much to write about this for this weekend. No road trips, car or motorcycle. Just a short trip to Among Friends Quilt Shop for the first meeting of the 2008 Block of the Month club.

Here are the fabrics for the color way that I selected this year. It is called "Romance" and it is from a collection from April Cornell for Moda. I'm sure that it will be pretty when completed but after seeing the other choice, "Ice Cream Parlor", from the Chutes and Ladders collection by Arrin Turnmire for Moda, I almost wish I had chosen it. It has lots of bright, geometric designs rather than the soft romantic prints. As usual, I'm second guessing my choices ! I'm still working on the quilt from the block of the month for last year. At least I now have all the blocks done. I just have to square them up then assemble them with the finishing kit. I have lots of the fabric left because I purchased the "insurance" fabric just in case I messed something up. That is what the triangles are in the photo below - the "insurance" fabric:) Dennis always spends his time at the Woodworkers Store while I'm at the quilt shop. Since it is too cold to ride, he's finally getting back into the woodworking mode. He's starting to make some progress on the next big project. One of these days, we will have something to show for the hours in his workshop. In the meantime, here's the before photos!

I will keep you all updated if and when there's anything to show!

Our sympathies to all of our Green Bay Packer fan family and friends. I guess I should send our sympathies to all of our Colts and Cowboys fan family and friends too. There's always another season.

Thursday night is Book Club. It is always fun to get together, even if we don't all get the book read! This month we are reading Stormy Weather by Paulette Jiles and I'm almost done with it. She also wrote Enemy Women which I read a couple of years ago.

Sorry this is such a dull post today. Maybe I'll try to be more interesting next time! Until then........

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Shopping and the City Life

As promised, I'll share a little more of my road trip last weekend to Wisconsin and Chicago. Even though the trip was inspired by my desire to honor the memory of a relative, there were some pleasant moments along the way.

On the way back to daughter E's home on Saturday evening, K and I stopped in Delafield, Wisconsin for a little retail therapy. This quaint little town is home to the Lang Companies. Several years ago we lived just a few miles from here. There were several nice stores and restaurants then, but there's been a lot of renovations and new construction and it looked like there are a lot more now. We found a few after Christmas bargains at The Lang Store but since it was getting late we didn't stop at any of the other cute shops. One more stop at a local grocery store for cheese curds and beef sticks and we were back on the road.

Sunday was a fun day. E, K and I started the day with breakfast at Wildberry. Then E drove as we headed toward downtown Chicago. After three straight days of driving, I was glad to let her especially since she's much more familiar with "big city" driving! Our first stop was a certain Home Depot - E was in search of a new paint from USG called Michelangelo and very few of the stores carry it. It is a new single coat faux finish and the plan is to try it in her half bath. I'm anxious to see how it turns out. (Have you started yet?) I might try it in our dining room if it works out for her. Trouble is, we'd have to go to Chicago to pick it up! Another stop in the same area was The Land of Nod. (If you like Pottery Barn for Kids, you might check this store out) As a future grandma (nana?, mimi?, mamaa? need some other suggestions here!) I'm finding new places to shop !

Next stop was Michigan Ave. We had tickets for a musical at 2:00 so didn't have time for a lot of exploring. So we just stuck with a few places near the theater. Lush, H & M, and Lucy . E was able to find half price tickets for Altar Boyz at the Drury Lane Theatre in the Water Tower Place. Very fun show! It is a story of a fictional boys band of the praise team variety and their quest to save the souls of everyone in the audience. For a solid hour and a half, five very energetic and talented actors danced and sang (and perspired!) their way through this funny, entertaining show. It was sad that the theater was only about half full, but maybe that is typical for a Sunday matinee in January. Anyway, we enjoyed it.

It had been a long time since our big breakfast so we were ready for dinner at The Grand Lux Cafe. As with most restaurants anymore, our dinner portions were way bigger than we could eat. E has plenty of leftovers in her fridge for the rest of this week! I had the barbeque salmon with mashed potatoes and succotash. (Pretty potatoes !)

Then we shared this hot apple pie. Yum.....
And a glass of wine! Thanks E for a nice weekend!

After dropping K off at the airport on Monday morning, I was ready to head back to Southern Indiana. No problems with traffic, or bad roads on the way home. In fact, probably one of the fastest trips back from Chicago I've had. I really didn't mind the drive and I love my BMW. I listened to some of my playlists on the ipod/iphone and didn't even make it all the way through them. If it hadn't been that we wanted to attend Bill's memorial service, my sister and I probably wouldn't have made the effort to get to Chicago and spend some time with E, even though we've been talking about that for awhile. A little over a year ago, we spent some time in NYC with one of her girls. Now I guess we'll have to plan a trip to Dallas to see S!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Snowy Travel, Tears and Memories

This was definitely an on the road with Janet weekend. My sister K and I decided that we would like to represent our father's family at our cousin's memorial service in Wisconsin this past Saturday. It would mean a couple of long distance trips for both of us, but we are glad we made the effort. K was able to get a flight into Chicago on Thursday. So I drove up to O'Hare and we ended up arriving within a few minutes of each other. Unfortunately, her luggage didn't. Another few miles and we were at daughter E's home in the northern suburbs. (Luckily the luggage arrived before midnight.)
Early Saturday morning we left for central Wisconsin. Our cousin was a talented guy. A few years ago, he had built this beautiful log home for his family. As he was a Vietnam vet, the flag flying at the front door on the day of his service was very appropriate.
The intermittent snow flurries all day didn't discourage the many friends and family from attending the service. There were many business associates, fellow Harley riders, and hot rod enthusiasts along with a moving tribute by the Veterans Honor Guard. It is sad that events like this bring us together but the funny stories and good memories flowing along with the tears comfort the hearts of those left behind. We'll miss you Bill, and thanks for the memories!
It's been a long day and a long weekend with many other things to blog about - but I think this is it for tonight. Watch for more another day.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Life Changes - Happy and Sad

When one Christmas present changes your life, I'm sure most of you would not think that it would be the latest electronic gadget. But I've moved up to the 21st century with the rest of the geeks (I say that with love!) in this family, though I'm the first one to get the Apple iphone! So now my reading time has been filled with browsing through the iphone for Dummies book and attempting to update and organize my calendar, photos, music, addresses and lots of other cool stuff. I've become a little obsessive about checking my email even when I'm at the grocery store, shopping or coming out of aerobic or pilates class. I hope I can get that new addiction under control but right now it's just kinda fun! Who knows - maybe someday I'll learn mobile blogging! I've just got to learn to get my fingertips in the exact spot on that virtual keyboard. You all may wish I'd never gotten this new gadget!
The next two photos were taken on the camera in the iphone. The quality isn't quite as good as the photos from my little Kodak V550, but pretty darn good for a phone.
Beamer didn't realize I had a camera right in his face as he was waking up from one of his many naps on his current favorite spot on the back of the couch. Just like the rest of us - that cat needs some exercise! (Check out my new avatar on the sidebar. I'm really enjoying my new pilates classes but sadly, Beamer does not come along. And sadly, I don't really look like that - yet!)

This photo is of some fabric I'm in the process of assembling into a casual rag type quilt for a throw for the bed. Something the cat can sleep on and not leave a furry indention on our nice bedspread.

One of my projects before Christmas was to make aprons for E, B, J, C and P. I'm not sure if they really appreciated them or not but it was fun to put the fabrics together into something other than a quilt and they went together pretty quick once I got going. Looking on some quilt websites, there are some cute patterns out there and aprons seem to be making a come back. I remember my very first completed sewing project in 4-H club was an apron. We didn't have a wide selection of fabrics to pick from back then in our little town but as I recall, I was pretty proud of myself and the completed project. That apron is probably still around somewhere!

I hate to end on such a sad note, but I lost one of my cousins this week to cancer. I didn't really get to know Bill until we were both adults, but we enjoyed getting together occasionally when we all lived in Colorado and later Wisconsin. Early last spring B and A stopped by on their way to Florida. They taught us how to play Mexican Train Dominos late into the evening then the next day we toured the Bourbon Heritage Center near Bardstown, Kentucky. This added to many other nice memories of Bill. He'll be missed by everyone who knew him.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Once upon a time....

Once upon time, in a small Kansas town, two teenagers met in a high school journalism class. A few years later, on January 4, 1975 a wedding was held and a marriage began. We may have matured in many, many ways, but our love and friendship has only grown to be stronger. Every day I feel so lucky to have been able to spend my life loving this man. Happy Anniversary Dennis!
Love, J

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

We hit the road to Arkansas - and Louisiana!

With a few days of vacation to use up before the end of the year, Dennis and I hit the road for a holiday visit to southern Arkansas. We invited ourselves as guests of his dad and stepmom for a few days. Pat is owner of The Stitcher's Workshop and Bill is retired ( at least retired from a real job - he stays very active and busy !). They just finished building a beautiful new shop and enjoy keeping up with online sales and local customers. If any of you are stitchers - needlepoint, cross stitch, beading etc, be sure to check out her website as she as a great selection of threads, canvas and such. (Check out Pat's apron - one of several I made as Christmas gifts this year!) On Friday, we visited the Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources in Smackover, Arkansas. We didn't realize that the history of the area is really quite interesting. With the discovery of oil in 1922 the village boomed from less than 100 people to over 25,000 in just a few months. Though the boom is long over, the oil industry is still vital to the economy of the area.

Many of you may have heard of the El Dorado Promise and the scholarships offered by the Murphy Oil Company to graduates of the high school there. The city of El Dorado evidently is known for their Christmas light displays. After dinner we drove around to view some of them. This is a photo of the Murphy Oil Company office building with Santa peeking over the edge of the roof.
As I wrote in my last post, we had loaded the Harley in the trailer and pulled it along hoping we would find some warmer weather so we could do some riding. Of course, the week before had been warm and pleasant but when we got there, so did the rain. Finally by Friday around noon it stopped raining and warmed to about 50. After bundling up in several layers, we bravely started out on a little overnight trip. We hoped that traveling south would mean warmer temps - we were wrong. Not only was it not any warmer than Southern Indiana, it was damp though it finally became sunny. But crazy that we are we made it to Natchitoches, Louisiana by 6:00 that evening. We should have planned a little better and we could have reserved a room at one of the many pretty B & B's in this interesting town. By the time we found the Holiday Inn Express, we were pretty cold but did have a pleasant dinner of southern food at a local restaurant.

Photos from our trip to Natchitoches include a cypress swamp along the road and some of the buildings typical of the town. Natcitoches lays next to the Cane River and there are lots of cute shops and restaurants as well as several plantations to tour outside of town. As we wanted to head back to Arkansas by noon on Saturday, we didn't have time to explore much. This is a place we would definitely like to visit again someday. We did have lunch at Lasyone's before we left. They are known for their meat pies. Sorry, forgot to take a photo again but it was very yummy - as well as the red beans and rice! The book Cane River by Lalita Tademy is set in Natchitoches so I added that to my Barnes and Noble order today.
The trip back was just as chilly but we stopped at Bossier City Harley Davidson near Shreveport and tried to warm up with their complimentary hot chocolate. We've decided we will try to take a photo at any Harley dealership we visit on the bike. Thanks to my sister-in-law we now have a Harley scrapbook to fill ! We finally made it back to Dad's by supper time - but it took me all evening to warm up. I'm not sure if we'll be making any more long trips unless the temp is above 60 ! But we did discover that we can pack enough on the bike to easily stay out for a couple of days. We always enjoy seeing different parts of the country and may have to make this trip again some day.

Our trip home spanned two days with a stop in Paducah, Kentucky for a visit to the National Quilt Museum. I've always wanted to visit Paducah but since it was New Year's Eve, not many places were open. The museum was great though and I recommend it to anyone whether a quilter or not. Unfortunately, photos were not allowed inside. I still would like to come back for the quilt show held every year in April. Maybe another road trip ?

If you need some entertainment, check out some of the links under my favorite sites on the sidebar. I've added a few more that may interest some of you. One of my new favorites is Anna Maria Horner's blog. She is a designer in Nashville, I think, but her blog always makes me smile.

Now I think I'm caught up on my posting - at least for now! Thanks Bill and Pat for a great weekend !