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Posted in 2019, Quilts, Sewing, Travel, Uncategorized, Yes

Drunkards Path II

With more than 600 quilts on display in the Mountain Quiltfest 2019, I still have a ton of beautiful quilts to show you.  This is from that same group requirement with the drunkards path block.

It almost defies logic that the same block makes up these 2.

The same blocks with variations.  Amazing.

These have added a very modern twist.  It almost defies logic.

Posted in Uncategorized

Challenge #6

This is based on a small group challenge, to write something based on a series of questions and to try and complete one per week.  I did not get anything posted for a little while, with a grandson back in town visiting and Thanksgiving I was pulled in different directions and got no writing done.  Let’s hope I stay on track until the next holiday.

Question

Is there a childhood activity or tradition associated with a holiday that you still practice.  If not, why not and how has it changed over the years.

My first thought for this has to be something about Christmas.  We had lots of traditional things we did and I have created some new traditions for my children.  So, trying to pick just one and a grandchild said let’s go cut down a tree this year.  OK this is the tradition to talk about.

Cutting Down A Tree

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When I was a very young child we had live trees every year but never went out as a family to cut one down, I have no idea when tree farms came about to do this.  At about age 7 or 8 my father decided to sell live trees.  He rented a store for the month of December and had a truckload delivered and his business was open.  All of my siblings and  I worked at something in the store.  This went on for several years and I always looked forward to being a part of the activity.  Eventually my parents purchased a farm that was planted with trees and the trees came from our own farm.

As a mom we lived near a tree farm that was selling trees that you cut down as a fund raiser for  a local home for disabled adults.  So when I wasn’t visiting my parents and bringing back a tree, we would go and cut down a tree. This was a hay ride out into the fields to find the perfect tree and we were the lumberjacks to cut it down, then catch a ride back to the barn.

At the barn they helped tie the tree to our car and we went inside for some hot chocolate and cookies.  Then home to set up the tree.

Living alone for a number of years I switched to buying one from the Boy Scouts or using an artificial tree or some years no tree at all.  So the suggestion surprised me and was  pretty well talked down by all around.  Due to allergies or the high cost of a tree or how cold it would be outside or the amount of time involved in the project.

So, I came up with an alternative.  Let’s go to the tree farm, dressed for the weather, and find the perfect tree.  Rather than cutting it down, let’s just put a pretty ribbon on the tree and leave it for the next family.  Next into the barn to buy some hot chocolate and cookies and give a donation to the organization and not cut down a tree.  We get to have the fun experience and memories without setting any ones allergies off.

Wishing you an early Happy Christmas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2019, Aging, Challenge, humor, kathy70, Travel, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Challenge #5

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This challenge series stems from a small group who are sharing their responses to a large series of random questions, with the aim of trying to respond to at least one challenge per week.

Question.

You have been given a million dollars to donate or share.  Where would your donation go and why?

My donation list has changed over the years.  Many of us have talked about what to do when you win the lottery so this has been a conversation for a long time.

I am a firm believer that charity begins at home, and I have family members who can use a hand.  I would first buy two small  houses for me, one winter and one summer house.  I would offer my children to pay off their houses or to sell and buy new ones.

Next, I would pay off any student debt for any of my grandchildren who have it and set up college funds for those who are not yet ready for college.

At one point, I thought I would set up a small theater company with a theater of their own.  This way they could put on a few productions a year and sustain the building by renting out theater and rehearsal space.  I’m not sure if I would want to do that anymore.

I would invest some money to sustain the amount designated for donations.  More than likely I would make a lot of small, $500.00, donations to a large variety of people.  No charity would get the bulk of the money.  I have become more cynical over the years and don’t trust charities or a bank to fairly distribute money.

The sad part is that many organizations have earned bad reputations.  In some cases it is poor choices by a board of directors and in some cases it is one individual who lost sight of the goals of the organization and take a side step in life.

Posted in 2019, Aging, Airplane, Berlin Wall, Germany, kathy70, Travel, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Berlin Wall

Thirty years after the wall came down I had the delight to visit earlier this year.  I have no comparison since this was my first time in Berlin.  I did have the iconic photo opportunity and stood in front of the wall.  Here are just a few of the photos taken in Berlin this summer.

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Only a relatively small portion of the wall still stands in its original position.

View from the B & B where we stayed in the outskirts of Berlin,  Just beautiful.  Next are 2 views of a very bombed out church that is preserved showing the damage and has very modern structure around it.

Brandenburg Gate.

Street sign and an Irish Pub in Berlin.

More from Berlin.

Posted in 2019, Airplane, Challenge, kathy70, Moose, Travel, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Challenge #4

Have you ever taken a walk on the wild side?  What was it like?  This challenge series stems from a small group who are sharing their response to a large series of questions, with the aim of tying to complete at least one challenge per week.

My wild side.

I am not sure I even know what the “wild” side is.  I am a firm believer that it is different for everyone.  Some of the things I consider normal others tell me they are wild.  This is like living my life on a daily basis, something or someone is always wild.

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I never thought it was unusual to go to a movie by myself, or to dinner alone or to another country.  Probably one of my best trips, very spur of the moment, a friend talked me into going to Guatemala for a day.  No planning, no suitcase and no one going with me.  A quick trip to the ATM for a little cash.  Go to the hotel the flight crew is staying in since they had been there before.  In the morning finding a market to buy something to wear that day.  Back at the hotel checking in with the front desk about a quick tour of  the town. It was just after a volcano had erupted and there was ash everywhere, but a beautiful country and truly a fun trip.  That was my first international, by myself, but I have done it since then and certainly will do it again.

Is it wild to move to another city where I knew no one, three times so far has proven to be a good thing for me. I had visited the cities at least once before the move.  This has taught me a resilience I was not aware that I had.  It has shown me ways to reach out to people and create a new tribe and follow new paths.

USA, Arizona, Tucson, Saguaro National Park
USA, Arizona, Tucson, Saguaro giant Cacti (Carnegiea gigantea) in Saguaro National Park at sunset

There are a ton of crafts that I have taught myself, mostly trial and error.  Nothing like looking online for directions at some point, so you jump in and try.  I have no idea how many things I was able to pick up by myself.  Some are things that I have gone on to teach to others.  Wild or not.

About the only things I truly think are “wild” are things in nature.  I am always off to my next adventure.

What do you think is wild?

Posted in 2019, Aging, Food, Georgia, Haloween, humor, kathy70, motorcycles, Travel, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Dahlonega, GA

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Perfect day trip in the Atlanta area, about 2 hours north  of the city and in the mountains.  This adorable little town has a beautiful square in the center of town with lots to entertain all year long.  Gold was discovered here in 1828 but the gold strikes on the west coast were much larger and more publicized.  Gold mining still happens here though at various points along the river.

While the square is a big attraction, the tubing on the river is lots of fun in the summer along with camping.  I have visited a number of times over the years and part of the joy for me is the winding drive through the mountains and all the other small towns as well that are nearby.

On the day we just went to visit there were  lots of tourists and several classes of school children in town.  The people on motorcycles love the drive with the winding roads to get here as well.  On an average Tuesday in October, there were a lot of people around.   The city hall in the center of the square has a commanding presence  as well as a museum in it.  Surrounding  on the square are lots of small shops , the required fudge shop and a nice variety of places to eat and drink.

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Definitely consider this a destination if you are spending a couple of days in Atlanta.  This is a nice visit any time of the year.

Posted in 2019, Aging, Challenge, Haloween, humor, kathy70, Sewing, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Challenge #3

The current challenge is to list the most creative costume I have ever seen or worn.

My dad was the most amazing at doing specialty make-up.  One year we decided on my being a hobo for Halloween and he gave me, at age 8 or 9, the best looking 5 o’clock shadow ever.

In my late teens, my mom came up with my costume of being a Playtex commercial. Now you youngsters won’t get the old ad, sorry.  So I wore a black turtleneck and tights with a bra and girdle over them.  Good thing I was young and skinny and very foolish then. It did make a statement walking into the room. 🙂

When my children were young one had a costume party at the roller rink.  One of the 10 year old boys came dressed as an old woman.  Good attitude made it one of the best costumes and most creative.

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At one point I foolishly thought the entire family should wear coordinated costumes. (What was I thinking, I would be the one to make them all.) I decided that Pierrot and Pierrette costumes would be easiest.  This way we did not have to wear any masks, just white make-up on our faces.  Luckily they were finished and then became hand-me-downs for the next few years.

A family member made that same call for coordinated costumes and they showed up years later with purchased costumes for their family.  All condiments, ketchup, mustard, relish and pickles and the family pet was dressed as a hot dog.  Very cute.

At a costume party a gentleman I know came as Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias.  Half his costume was Willie and the other was Julio.  Shirt and pants cut apart and sewn together.  Each foot wore a different shoe.  Half the hair was long and the other was short.  Well thought out and very cool costume.

Posted in 2019, Aging, Challenge, humor, kathy70, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Challenge #2

This sounded like a quick challenge.  Take the saying “Mirror, mirror on the…”.  Now we need to create new endings for this phrase.

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Mirror, mirror on the door sees each person as a dinosaur.   I have this image in my mind of a person standing before a mirror and they see  a little plastic green dinosaur.  Giggles.

Mirror, mirror on the desk makes us all look statuesque. This comes from my being a short. I am buying that mirror from the side show that will make me look tall.

Mirror, mirror on the shelf shows us how we look to ourselves. This is that mirror that will shine that light back onto you.  It shows us all good and bad what is under the mask or the makeup or the wig or the clothes.  Not always easy to look at, but necessary.

Mirror, mirror on the automobile lets us look into what is real. Kind of the same as the previous mirror but with subtitles to include truth in what we say.

Mirror, mirror on the driveway becomes an interplanetary  passageway.  Just like out of a Harry Potter book, this mirror lets us walk through to Venus or whatever planet we invent.

Mirror, mirror on the refrigerator makes me look like an alligator. Pretty much like the first one except here it’s a cute little green alligator looking back.

Mirror, mirror on the wall takes me back to Montreal.  Not a mirror as a passageway but shows my last fun trip to that city.  I like this, now I don’t need to take photos wherever I go, just call it up on the mirror.

Mirror, mirror on the lawn is a beautiful reflection of the dawn.  My favorite part of the day, I love to see the sun come up.  Now I just lay down on the lawn and I can see this mornings sunrise and still sleep in.  Bonus.

 

Posted in 2019, Aging, Challenge, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

New Challenge

This is in response to a small writing group that I have joined.  The challenge is to write a short story based on an assigned plot.  One per week is the requirement, and the hope is we will do more than one each week.  Right now I am so busy that I am having a hard time finding time to do anything, but I will try. This is meant to improve our skills in all aspects of writing so even a little bit will be an improvement.

The subjects are all over the place as are the styles, some are mystery while some are fantasy. Today’s is a poem about the woods with a specific word requirement.  If any of this makes sense to you, feel free to comment or correct any things you read that need help.  Thanks for your patience with me during this trial writing.

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It’s springtime.

A warm sunny day in May.

Karen came with me today for an early morning walk in the woods.

We are following a nice gentle shady path.

Even with all the trees not filled with leaves the shade is everywhere because there are so many trees here.

Suddenly our chatter scared a deer.

She jumped out of the brush and took off through the trees.

We caught our breath and then we continued on the path.

I then noticed something along the path to my right.

It was a morel.

One of the top ten best types of mushrooms in the universe!

I did a happy dance in the middle of the path in the woods.

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I came back the next morning by myself with my little mushroom bag to see what tender morsels I could find.

I was rewarded by a dozen great morels to show for my attempt at a healthy lifestyle.

Occasionally good deeds are rewarded.

Posted in 2019, Aging, Birds, Chicago, Rambling thoughts, Travel, Uncategorized, Yes

Garfield Park Conservatory

 

Chicago area has the luxury of many  places to visit with amazing flower displays and exotic as well as native plants. I recently spent a blissful day wandering in and out this conservatory and just wanted to share another great thing about this area. Another bonus, the entrance fee is a suggested donation and I would urge you to be as generous as you can.

 

This took a few years to build and opened in 1908, it is on the National Register of Historic Places and is truly a gem in the city. There are 10 acres of outdoor space and 2 acres under glass and this is open all year.  Most of the area is wheelchair accessible and very interactive with lots of special displays all year long. The website is very easy to navigate and full of information about events and special displays.

 

This summer an agave plant grew so tall they removed a section of glass from the roof to allow it the opportunity to achieve its full height. The day I visited it was well over 35 feet tall already and still growing.  The hope was that it would bloom and they would be able to harvest seeds.

 

Part of the outdoor area had a field planted with a large variety of cabbage, on harvest day these were going to be given to all who came to the conservatory that day.  There was a large raised bed garden with tomato and pepper plants.  A lunch area and a gift shop are all in the greenhouse with a nice outdoor cafe area for the nice summer days. Certainly a destination year round, accessible by public transportation as well as a parking lot for your vehicle.

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Posted in 2019, Aging, humor, Rambling thoughts, Uncategorized, Yes

Counting My Scars

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A couple of young family members were having discussions about scars they have that are longer than one inch long, it got me to thinking about mine.  Four of mine are a result of surgeries, two were accidents and I have one of unknown origin.  Who cares???

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This got me to thinking about our hidden scars, those that have changed us forever, like losing someone special, and no one see those scars.  Would I want everyone to see my hidden scars, I think yes.  This might give me an opportunity to talk about how I got that scar and how it’s healing with time or not so much  yet.

Some of my real scars don’t get seen, the one on the bottom of my foot that is so old I forget which foot and who even wants to see it.  I only look for it occasionally.  It was summertime and I was outside playing in the spray from the fire hydrant on the corner and stepped on a broken bottle.  My childhood friend who lived across the street spent much of that summer coloring in books together because I could not get around.  It brings back more good memories of time spent with Carol than anything else.

One surgical scar, from my lumpectomy, reminds me of a very difficult time in my life and how fragile life is.  This scar got bigger than it should have been because a few of the stitches pulled out before they should have come out and in my mind this scar became huge.  My universe at that time was in a total state of chaos and sadness that may never heal.  I still cry about some of those events almost 20 years later.

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One of my hidden scars occurred a little before this and I thought my profound loss would never go away. I am often surprised that time has certainly healed that wound and today I know I can survive almost anything.

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My moral to this story is just be as kind as you possibly can to everyone out there.  We never know if there is something they are fighting or grieving or missing and kindness is so much easier to deal with.