Friday, February 28, 2014

A sampler quilt

This is how I've been filling the days.  Someday we will have the answers to my blood pressure issues.  This has been a different way to spend the winter.

To read about the construction of this quilt go to the blog I made on it.  Making a Beginner Sampler Quilt.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Spring to Spring Trail

January 20-January 26

Blue Spring State Park
We left Jekyll Island and drove to Blue Spring State Park.  When we arrived, I put on my shorts and went for a bike ride.  It was so nice to be where I could bike without a winter coat!  The trail starts right outside the park entrance and goes up and down and around bends in a very cool forest environment.  The railroad is beside the trail.  Here is a map of the various finished pieces of the trail.  The top section is Blue Springs portion.  Its 2.7 miles to the loop.  If you do the loop its a 5.5 one way ride.  I just went to where the loop started because it was turning dark.  I had forgotten how early it gets dark in Florida!
The next day we walked four miles around Blue Spring looking at the manatees.  They sure are funny creatures. 
The problem with Blue Spring is that the traffic to see the manatees drives us nuts.  When we leave to do regular living stuff like grocery shopping or a trip to the laudramat, you have a long line to enter the park in which you have to wait.  It gets old.  But the campsites are large, there is a nice walk to see the manatees and a bike trail right across from the entrance.  

Lake Monroe Park

We weren't able to get a campsite for the weekend so we decided to travel to Lake Monroe Park.  Its a county park and is at the other end of the spring-to-spring trail.  Someday the two trails will meet but until then one can only ride on the red portions.  So Friday and Saturday we biked and hiked the trail at the lower end. 
 Saturday was warm enough to take lunch along and bike to Gemini Springs. The plants along the trail sure are different from most of the country's flora.   We had our picnic lunch on the way back.  The campground had great sites but LOTS of noise that we didn't like.  Road noise and some factory of some sort.  It went on all night long.  We will not return to this county campground. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I remember Bob Berger.......

In 1988 we arrived in Yellowstone National Park rather overwhelmed.  Lew had just had a heart attack in February and Jan was job looking to support the family.  We met this man on a bike who shared with us that he was traveling very slowly because he had just had part of a lung removed due to lung cancer.  Lew and Bob slowly walked together to Grand while I would speed ahead with the kids.  Soon Bob became part of our Yellowstone Family.  He would call us sometimes during the year to see how plans for our summer were developing.  We would meet in the park for various functions (most notability the picnics).  When he stopped visiting the park we called several times.  I called when we bought land in Idaho in the hopes of interesting him in also puchasing land or at least visiting the park again.  Now it is too late as we say our very sad good-byes to one of our Yellowstone family members.

Social Life
Bob always looked at visiting Yellowstone as a social adventure.  His Putt Putt Hut and Putt Putt Hut II were open for anyone who wanted to enter.  Sitting and talking to Bob while watching geyser hill was a very common geyser gazer thing to do.  He would bring special treats for different people.  For our kids he always had Goldfish to share.
Putt Putt Hut I in background

1988 picnic @ Lower Hams
Bob standing behind Jan
Bob planned for a picnic for months!  Several phone calls were made to discuss the menu and what we would do and what he would do to provide a good time for the guests (other geyser gazers).  The one time it went really badly was when we had planned on a picnic at Ojo Caliente Spring in 1991 before the road was mitigated for Wetland Restoration.  We were sitting in our chairs in front of the Ham Store when Genean Dunn yelled from a car as it sped past "Morning!"  We tried calling Bob who was set up at Ojo on the CB radio from the Morning  boardwalk.  I finally drove out to let him know that no one would be arriving for a picnic.  He was quite dissappointed that all his work was for not but on reflection he knew the gazer community.  We had different group picnics until I think, 1997.  Someone should have pictures that sets the year.  We drove to West and purchased at least 10 loaves of bread.  Bob cooked spaghetti the day before for hours.  On July 4th he reheated the spaghetti and you had a choice of his sauce or Betty's sauce made just for us gazers!  We and the Dunn's toasted up garlic bread, wine appeared and over 50 people were fed. That winter when Bob called, we declined to have a picnic.  We felt too much work was done by too few people.  I didn't like disappointing Bob, but I could not see any other end.  It was overwhelming our own time in the basin.  

Geyser Data
Bob would sit in the Putt Putt Hutt and take geyser times of the hill.  He would give them to a regular (frequently us) and we would enter them in "the book".  One year we were asked to time Little Cub to the second from the ham store.  We did so.  Later Bob appeared and we had a bit of a study.  We went up to the hill and timed Little Cub and found out that when Bob could see it with binoculars, it was 15-20 seconds later than when it actually erupted.  That varied so timing to the second to determine any kind of theory went out the window.
Bob was the one who organized the Sawmill Group Data Study.  Everyone was expected to do their part in the study.  It was 72 hours of round the clock data gathering.  We did some of the day times and others were hounded into do the nights.  
Bob also re-calibrated the Old Faithful Tree for the VC.  I don't remember the year, but Lew ended up helping with part of that project.  If the Tree is accurate, you can thank Bob!

Bob was the go-to guy for a tool or a fix on something you had that was broken.  When Bob and Dave arrived they would spend their first night at a cabin, fixing it.  If it leaked, it didn't when they left.  Yes, Bob liked staying in the cabins with the motorhome beside.  
One of the most famous gadget fixes was when Garrison Kellor visited Yellowstone July 5, 1997.  Bob and Dave worked with the Wobegon Lake crew to have our CB radios broadcast live over the air during his show.  It was so much fun to see them work their magic and make this happen.  It was exciting to be on the show.  It was all Dave and Bob.

In 2001 we had our last small gathering picnic with Bob at his cabin.  He and Dave liked to feed the squirrels and we had fun together introducing our Katz to the squirrels. 

 Some of the tourists complained about something or the other and our good times with Bob came to an end.  He never returned to the Park.  We called some and when we bought our land we sure did try to get him to visit.  But he never returned after that last picnic.  I have missed him every year we have returned and he isn't there.  Now he joins all those other ghostly geyser gazers. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Jekyll Island January 18-19 2014

Sea Turtle Hospital
Jekyll Island has been on my radar for years as a place to stop on our way to Florida.  I was interested in the 20 miles of bike trails around the island.  We decided to stop on our way south this time.  We arrived in the afternoon of Saturday.  It was very nippy and not suitable for biking.  However I had a plan.  Jekyll Island is on the the barrier islands that sea turtles use for laying eggs.  On Jekyll Island is one of the world’s Sea Turtle Hospitals.  All American Sea Turtles are endangered so having a hospital to heal the injured is a big deal.
The first thing at the hospital is a learning station with lots of information about sea turtles.  Included is a map of Americorp Volunteers that have worked at the center.  Since Amy was in Americorp, I was interested.
They have an operating room where they treat the turtles and you can watch.  This caught us right away.  This turtle is being treated for infections.  He has multiple infection sites that are cleaned daily.  Hopefully he will be released this summer since he is improving daily.
While the turtles heal, they need a nice pool of seawater!  The next building houses the healing turtles.  Most of the turtles have been injured by boat propellers.  This badly injured loggerhead turtle has several metal plates holding his shell in place as he slowly heals, a process which will take nearly a year.
 Different turtles in the 10 swimming pools.  Large turtles.
 and small turtles.
Its a really interesting place.

We found Driftwood Beach our first day.  Such a cool spot and its only 0.75 miles from our campsite.

We would like to talk to a local geologist.  The literature I could find said that longshore drift is causing the obvious erosion of the beach at the North end of the island.  We think part of the issue is the rise of the ocean, but that is a guess on our part at this point. This is the South end of the island where sand is being deposited.  
The trouble as we see it is that it is also being eroded at the same time. 
This is low tide and the trees here are being buried.  The birds don't mind.
The island has the bike paths we came for and some go directly to the beach.  This is what we did on the beach.  Sat around and watched the waves and birds!  Its a great place to go camping.


Thursday, January 02, 2014

Christmas Projects Revealed!

This Christmas there were lots of projects!

Amy's Cushions
 It started at Amy's in the fall.  I was sitting upstairs with Nate, when I thought how nice it would be if the window seat had a covered cushion.  I thought, what a lovely Christmas Idea!  So when we returned from our fall travels I designed this seat.  We ordered up the cushion(s) (since Marco needed new couch cushions we ordered them at the same time and SAVED MONEY) and I started sewing.

They even fit when we snuck them to Vermont for Nate's Birthday Party.
The cushion for Amy and Chris got the pillows.

Violet's Wall Hanging
I was madly working on the window seat but anytime Violet was around she joined in the craft&sewing projects.  She was very busy working on this picture for her parents.  She cut out the pieces using the Accuquilt and cut out more pieces nearly every week.  She would change the picture around, decide on different colors (note the blue noses for the snowmen).  We finally sewed up the back Christmas Eve.

Cordelia's sewing projects (quilted!)
When Cordelia was here with Violet she worked on either presents for everyone (bead necklaces) or the quilted table runner for her Mom.  When we could sneak in some time without Violet she worked on the Smurf pillows we made for Adam and Violet.

More Baking
As we got to Christmas Eve, we still hadn't made the gingerbread house  but we managed to get that done too.  Violet made a Gingerbread Tree.

Rearranging the house
We had an entire schedule written for Christmas Day.  It started with lots of shopping.  On Christmas Eve we moved the house all around.  Lew's train had to go to the basement.
The tree moved from where it had sat on the train platform.  The dining room became the living room and the living room, the dining room.  Our chair went to the basement with the platform.  We borrowed some tables and chairs and on Christmas Day a feast was prepared.  Some of the food was good (ham and mashed potatoes) some not so great (stuffing and turkey) and some I didn't try (tofurkey) but was eaten up.

We even enlisted Jay and Kelli to make the gravy!

Colonial Days
Only two more projects to go.  This spring, Cordelia needs a Colonial Costume and since we wanted to be out West, we got it finished after Christmas. I don't have a picture of it.  I forgot to take one.

Marco's new cushions
Since we had to order a cushion for Amy's window seat, we decided to order cushions for Marco, which needed covered before we could leave.  Lew and I did that immediately after we moved the furniture back around.
We were all set to head south, but instead I'm starting medication for high blood pressure.  I wonder if maybe I attempted to do too much this year!


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Its beginning to look alot like Christmas

But what have we been doing for the last month and a half?

Making Crafts
Lots of projects, I can't post until after Christmas, but since Amy and Trista won't show the littler ones what I post....I can show these.

These are made for a flannel board.  They turned out very cute.
First is the three little pigs...
Then the houses the the wolf who blew them down!
Then is a steam engine, log car, caboose and depot station.
Trucks and machines are next on the list.
This goes right along with the cookies and tea parties.

And we have a very Talented Granddaughter will all kinds of performances to attend.

A mad dash to Vermont to wish a little Grandson a Happy Third Birthday!  And to help make (and eat) a cake.

 Holiday Silliness
A girl with a raindeer nose!

 Williamstown has a tradition of a weekend of fun that starts with the raindog parade! Hundreds of dogs dressed for the holidays!
Dogs with raindeer ears!  A Horse drawn cart that holds the droppings and it ends with Santa arriving on a fire truck.

Hope you are having a fun filled month with projects, concerts and occasions! 

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Halloween Week

What a great start to a fun filled week.  Mount Lebanon held its annual Halloween Parade, which I attended with Adam and V.  The dogs were my favorite part...although the dressed up marching Band reminded me of Amy in Somerset, years ago.

On Sunday, we had the family over for a Halloween Meal.  The kids helped me fix it all up.  From Creepy Spiders, Bug Salad, Halloween Faces, and Monster Eyes with a great desert of Hands....It really did taste good.

  Then it was off to the Zoo on Tuesday to celebrate our 42 anniverary.  We saw lions, tigers, bears, giraffees, monkeys and elephants.  Its was a lovely warm day for our visit to the zoo.

With dinner at Eat and Park...
 On Wednesday the temperatures was still warm so we went off for what we thought might be the last bike ride of the season.  
Then on Thursday, we had dinner with Adam and his family.  I went with him with the girls trick or treating in the rain.
Lew was busy on  the model railroad and I'm sewing up a storm....but Halloween takes the cake over it all!