Monday, September 28, 2015


We got home late yesterday afternoon.  Thankfully unpacking didn’t take too long … I don’t know about you all, but I can’t stand having all the suitcases and bags hanging around, so once everything gets into the house, I have to unpack everything and put it all away.  If I stop to sit down and take it easy, I won’t get back to the task at hand.  And that is borne out in the master bath, where all my toiletries are still in the zip-lock bags this morning.  IMG_0109

The rain finally moved through the area so our last couple of days on the Island were wonderful days.  And we milked them for all they were worth, with nice long walks along the water’s edge.  IMG_4105
Where we finally found our first sand dollar … and it was a baby one … about the size of a quarter (wish I’d had a quarter in my pocket so I could have laid it next to the sand dollar for perspective).  IMG_4098
We also saw another starfish.
Yes, that’s my shadow as I was taking the picture.  And we saw dinner being caught. Winking smile

Saturday morning, after one last sunrise on the water, we stopped at our favorite restaurant for one last meal before heading home.  We made it past Atlanta … and vowed that we’d never drive through Atlanta again!  It started with our GPS warning of a 52-minute delay on our route (thank goodness for traffic alerts), so we chose to travel the alternate route mapped out by our GPS.  It added 29 minutes to the trip, but that’s a lot better than 52!  We were finally directed back to the Interstate, but I think we would have both rather stayed on the back roads … traffic was very heavy and it was raining.  We were both pretty worn out by the time we stopped for the night … and we’d only traveled 5 hours that day.  Whew!  Unfortunately, Sunday’s drive wasn’t a whole lot better … there was a brief moment where we weren’t sure that we’d make it home.  We were coming up on a Greyhound bus when suddenly a rear panel broke loose and was flapping furiously … we were sure that it would totally break loose and fly back and strike our car.  DH put the brakes on to put a lot of distance between us and the bus … and then thankfully the driver realized that something was amiss and pulled the bus over and we were able to safely pass.  It was a scary, scary moment.  IMG_4117

The majority of the trip was spent listening to the Cardinals lose a game they should have won … while I basted hexies.  IMG_4112
It certainly helped the miles fly by. 

Thanks to a remark made by Mary over at Hill Country Quilter, I’ve declared today to be recovery/re-entry day.  I’ve done a little laundry, got caught up on blog reading and plan to put away those toiletries out on the bathroom counter.  DD has already asked if I’d be available to come up after they finish up school this morning … well, of course!  It took me all of 3 seconds to text back that I’ll be there.  Now if the Ts will cooperate by cranking out their schoolwork.  Winking smile

As much as I’m missing the beach, I have to say that I’m so very glad to be back home.  I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Another Halfway Point

We are now halfway through our final week here in our Happy Place. And I'll have to be honest and say that while I'm still not ready to go, I'm not dreading leaving as much as I was last week. I'm really missing my favorite people - a lot. No, I definitely could not move away ... DH and I long dreamed of moving to the beach when we retired ... but that was before we had grands. So we'll continue to stay in Illinois ... unless DSIL transfers (hopefully to the beach or at least to an area closer to the beach).

We still are on the search for sand dollars. When we were here in May, we saw a lot of them ... including 10 that were no longer alive so I could take them home with me. We have, however, seen starfish on this trip. Not as many as we saw in May ... and I couldn't be sure that they weren't still alive, so I had to leave them on the beach. When we first started coming to Hilton Head, we never saw a single starfish ... we just assumed that they weren't indigenous to the Island.




I have a feeling that the rest of our time here will be even more relaxed than the first week and a half. Tuesday, after our walk, my foot slipped out from under me at the hosing off station ... I didn't hurt myself, other than bruise and a little stiffness the next morning. Enough that I think I'll take it more slowly out on the beach. And it's probably just as well as there's rain and cooler temperatures in the forecast for tomorrow and Friday. Hopefully there'll be some breaks in the rain so we can get out onto the beach like we did last week, but if not, I'll just remind myself what DH always says "a rainy day at the beach is still better than a sunny day at home".


And of course, I'll have my MWFG to keep me occupied. At last count, I have 18 blocks with connectors attached (24 if you count the 6 I stitched at home before we left). I wish I could take a picture of them all, but our condo is too small. Maybe I'll remember to take a picture when we get home. (Y'all can remind me - ha!)


It's been too cloudy to get out to take any good sunrise photos. While some cloud cover helps make for a more dramatic sunrise photo, too many means that we can't even see the sun.


This one was taken from our balcony.

I doubt if I'll be posting again until after we get back home ... so until then, I hope that whatever you have planned includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!



Saturday, September 19, 2015

Halfway Point

Edited to add:  I'm using the blogger app on my iPad which doesn't give me the option to change the default photo size, hence the overlapping.  I've tried logging into Blogger in my browser in order to edit the size, but for some unknown reason, I'm unable to scroll past the first photo while in edit mode.  So forgive the overlapping photos ... I tried.  

We are at the halfway point on our trip.  It doesn't seem possible that we've already spent a week here.

I've tried every day for the last few days to sit down and get you all caught up, but I just haven't been able to put together anything very interesting.  Our days have all been pretty much the same ... get up and watch the sun rise over the ocean
do some stitching on my Martha Washington's Flower Garden (I stitched six blocks before we left [not shown here] and am now stitching on my 12th block done while here in our Happy Place)
stroll along the beach (dreaming of owning one of these homes along our walks ... pipe dreams to be sure, but fun to dream about)
go out for dinner (local black sea bass served over Boursin cheese grits with a side of baby limas - yum! the best meal so far)
play a little Dice with Friends to wind down the day, and then get to bed.  How many different ways can I talk about that?  ;-)

The weather gave us fits before we left ... one day the long range forecast would be calling for sunny days, the next it would call for rainy days.  We've had some of both, but we were able to get our walk along the beach even on those rainy days.  

I can only hope the next 7 days will be as enjoyable as these last 7 days.  While I'm not anxious to leave, I will confess that I'm missing my daughter and my grands and can't wait to see them.  

I hope that you have something planned today that will bring you some joy.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

On the Road Again

It's here - it's finally here - time to head toward our Happy Place. Instead of leaving at oh-dark-thirty and driving like crazy to get to within 4-5 hours of Hilton Head, we chose to get up when we were ready (still earlier than we thought we'd get up - ha!), take our time packing up and head out by 9:00. Like I said, we were up earlier than planned so we were on the road by 8:00 ... and were in Paducah by 11:00.  Our first stop was Kirchhoff's.
DH got a gyro and I got my usual - a chicken salad on cranberry walnut bread - yum!  Of course, no stop at Kirchhoff's would be complete without a visit to their bakery section.  I could have made my meal out of those delectables. They had a cinnamon roll that was the size of a dinner plate - I kid you not.  I chose a couple of cowboy cookies ... one for the rest of today's journey and another for tomorrow.

We then drove to Paper Pieces, where I'd hoped to be able to pick up a Lap App (as I mentioned last Saturday), but alas their shipment isn't due until the 15th.  Jess (bless her heart) offered to sell me hers, but she'd left the ironing cover at home. Instead I picked up a pack of 3/4" hexies and 3/4" honeycombs ... I think that my next EPP project will be a Patchwork of the Crosses.  Since I generally prefer the smaller repro prints, I don't have anything in my stash that would be "fussy-cuttable" ... so our next stop was Hancock's of Paducah.
Ding ding ding - we have a winner - fabrics at half price!  I'll need more, but I think that this is a fabulous start.
Needless to say, the trip so far has been a smashing success. Ha!

We've got a full day's drive tomorrow ... followed by a 4-hour drive on Saturday. We should get into Hilton Head in time for a nice lunch on Skull Creek before checking into our condo.  I'm not sure how much time I'll be spending online ... the beach will be calling my name, and if I'm not on the beach, I'll probably be out on our balcony, stitching my hexies (for my Martha Washington's Flower Garden). 

So until later, I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Happy Labor Day!


Happy Labor Day, everyone!  I hope you all have something spectacular planned for your Labor Day … whether it’s one last dip in the pool, a BBQ get-together, or just some rest and relaxation.  And resting/relaxing  is exactly how I plan to spend my Labor Day. 

I did get in a walk with Lois this morning … it was awfully humid this morning, and there was no air moving until the last 10 minutes of our walk … even then, it really wasn’t enough to keep us cool.  Since it’s supposed to get into the mid 90s again today, I think I’ll be spending the rest of my day inside.  The Cardinals play this afternoon, so I’ll be stitching and watching the game.  And dreaming of the setting in the Labor Day picture at the top of this post. 

Speaking of the beachside setting, it won’t be long before it will no longer be a dream.  In 72 hours, we should be just about ready to be hitting the road.  As is our custom, we’ve been checking the long-range weather forecast for Hilton Head.  So far, it looks like we’ll have warmer temperatures than we did last September … WeatherBut look at the precipitation chances.  Surprised smile  Hopefully the rain will be of the pop-up variety that doesn’t last long and leaves behind pleasant weather.  I just keep telling myself what DH always says: “a rainy day on the beach is still better than a dry day at home”.

I got quite a bit of stitching done since my last post.  I have connectors attached to 4 more MWFG blocks.  After struggling with attaching those connectors with the papers still in all the hexies, I pulled out the papers on the inner hexies.  That went more quickly than I thought it would, and it was amazingly rewarding.  One thing I’ve noticed while working on these blocks is that I sure can tell which were my first blocks!  I used the whipstitch to piece together the first block, and I had no trouble identifying which block that was.  Sad smile  And even some of the early blocks pieced after I switched from the whipstitch aren’t quite as nicely done as my last blocks.  But this is my very first EPP project, and I pretty much taught myself, so expecting all the blocks to be perfectly pieced is a little unrealistic.  Winking smile 

And I’ve rounded the corner and have gotten in a couple of hoops worth of quilting on my Kiss quilt.  About the time I start to think that maybe I could get this finished before we leave, I remind myself that there won’t be a whole lot of quilting time tomorrow or Wednesday … there will be errands to run (hair cut, a trip to the Post Office to stop our mail, tidying up the house [tell me that I’m not the only one who has to have the house all tidied up before leaving on vacation … I just can’t stand coming back home to a messy house], packing, etc.).  If I don’t get it done before we leave, I shouldn’t have too much left to do when we get back. 

I hope that whatever you have planned for this Labor Day includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Slow Sewing Weekend

Look what I found on Instagram!  I *need* this for stitching on our road trips.  Trying to line up my fabrics with my EPP papers on my lap isn’t always as easy as you’d think … it’s difficult enough when doing it at home.  Winking smile  Of course, there isn’t enough time to order one of these and have it here by Wednesday.  But the gal who posted it on Instagram is one of the gals from Paper Pieces in Paducah …  which is where we happen to be stopping on Thursday evening.  And we’ll be driving right by Hexie House on our way to the Museum … Thumbs up

I’ve been making good progress on the outer 4” of my Kiss quilt.  Ignore those loose thread tails.  ha! IMG_3994Of course, it’s going slowly … the outer edges total 22 blocks – 16” blocks at that … that means the area remaining was 352”x4”.   I’ve quilted 1 full side and about a quarter of a 2nd side … that’s a little over a third of that 352”.  I doubt if I’ll get this finished before we leave, but it should be pretty close. 

One of the reasons why it might not get finished before we leave is I can’t resist working on my MWFG.  I did some auditioning … at the time the photo was taken, the only block with the connectors attached is the one in the upper left hand corner (the one with the hexies along the outer edge).  Since I took this pictures, I’ve got connectors sewn onto a second block and am working on a third.  I’m excited to see this come together and admit that when I sit down to quilt, a little part of me wants to work on my MWFG instead.  I remind myself that I’ll have plenty of time to work on this when we’re in Hilton Head.IMG_0014

Since summer’s last hurrah (real temps of 95+ and feels like temps of 100+) is going to be sticking around through the weekend, I’ll be sequestering myself inside … and what better way to keep myself busy than to continue to hand quilt during the day and to piece hexie blocks in the evenings.  And who knows, maybe if I keep my nose to the grindstone (ha!), I can get that quilting done before we leave.  Winking smile

I hope that whatever you have planned for this long weekend includes a something that brings you joy ... have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Since all my posts seem to be hodgepodges of randomness, Joyce’s weekly Hodgepodge meme seems to be designed just for me … so I’ve “got” to join in, right?  ha!

1. What's on your September calendar? Anything fun? 
Oh my word … yes indeed!!!  We’ll be leaving for Hilton Head soon, and I can. not. wait.  After a stressful and exhausting summer, I definitely need some time away at my Happy Place.  DSCF7909I never get tired of seeing this.
2. You might be described as a natural born _____________________?
Gosh, I’m drawing a blank on this one.
3. September is National Courtesy Month...what one act of courtesy would you most like to see more of in your home, town, or the world at large? 
I don’t know that we normally think of patience as an act of courtesy, but my goodness, this world needs more patience.  Everyone is in such a stinking hurry.  Granted, there are times when being in such a hurry is justified, but the vast majority of the time, it’s just our own self-centeredness rearing its ugly head.
4. Eager beaver, chicken out, clam up, or let the cat out of the bag...of the phrases listed, which one have you related to most recently? 
Most recently?  I guess chicken out.  My husband and I discussed stopping to see Grandfather Mountain on our trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  He wanted to walk on the swinging bridge there … there’s not enough money in the world to get me to step foot on that bridge.  Surprised smile
5. What's your movie theatre snack protocol? Do you chow down on snacks during the previews or wait until the movie begins? Do you buy snacks or refuse to pay those kind of prices? What's the last movie you saw in a theatre? How many thumbs up would you give it?
Funny, during our walk Monday morning Lois and I were talking about the cost of snacks at the movie theaters.  I refuse to pay the kind of prices being charged for movie theater snacks, especially since the soda and the popcorn cost the theater only cents to provide.  In fact, the exorbitant costs of tickets and snacks has caused us to, for the most part, give up seeing movies in a movie theater.  The last movie I saw in a theater was The Minion Movie. The Minion MovieI’d give it two thumbs up.  It had enough humor for adults, and I loved the soundtrack! 
6. Henry Ford is quoted as saying, "Nobody can think straight who does not work. Idleness warps the mind." Agree or disagree? Why?
I’d have to agree, I suppose.  William F. Buckley wrote “industry is the enemy of melancholy”.  While I don’t know if there’s any scientific data to back that up, I suspect that most of those who are busy doing something (anything) are more satisfied (and happier?) than those who choose not to keep busy/work.  The mind is a powerful thing, and if one chooses to daydream instead work, all those hopes and dreams are going to remain subjects of daydreaming instead of reality … which surely will produce a sense of dissatisfaction and longing.  That dissatisfaction may well filter into every aspect of one’s mind and create misery …a warping of the mind, if you will. 
7. What's the last job you completed or task you performed where you had to 'work like a dog' until it was finished?
Clearing out the rooms when we had new carpeting installed in May.  They did two rooms the first day and did the last two rooms the second day.  It was onerous enough getting those first two rooms cleared, but by the time they left that first day, we had only a couple of hours to get everything back into the first two rooms, so we can clear the last two rooms … we had nowhere else to put everything until we’d put back everything into the first two rooms.  Ugh!  Hard, hard work … but it was worth it.
8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
Monday I’d planned to sew the September block of the month for my Facebook hand quilting group, but that plan got sidetracked when I got a text from DD asking if I wanted to spend the day with them.  Well, duh!  ha!  Since they’re leaving town Thursday or Friday and since we’ll be gone until the last of the month, this was going to be my last opportunity to spend some time with 5 of my favorite people … and I wasn’t going to pass it up.  That block waited until Tuesday (I won’t be able to show it to you until after the 25th – Reveal Day is the last Friday of the month) … but I can give you a peek of in while in progress.    IMG_0004
I didn’t have an easy a time with my block of the month as I should have (it shouldn’t have been all that difficult ), so I was happy to get back to my hexies.  I finished stitching connectors to my Martha Washington’s Flower Garden block and started on a second block. 
I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!