Friday, July 23, 2010

Alaska Day One

Well, I tried to upload some really cool pictures, but there's not enough signal strength on this wireless connection, so they won't load! Too bad. I have some great images. I will get more tomorrow and more the next day and more the next day. . . . When I get home I will post pictures!!! Having a great time. Great friends and beautiful scenery. Wishing you were here!

Monday, July 19, 2010

I Can't Resist!

These pictures are from the REAL days of the hula hoop! What fun we had. And I must say, I was pretty darn good at it! That is me on the far left, my sister, Elaine in the middle and brother, Jim on right. I'd say we're doing pretty good. (My grampa is on the roof!) This house no longer exists on the corner of 8th and Lewis. (October 1958)
My mother is on the right, me, my sister, brother and then my grampa on steps and my Gramma Lola watching how great my mother is doing!!! LOL!

The Challenge

WHOOPS! I forgot this memorable picture of brother, David, and his try at the hula hoop. Looks pretty graceful, don't you think? (It didn't work either!)
SOMEBODY!! (my beloved Cathy!) had the hare-brained idea of bringing hula hoops to Gramma Phoebe's 95th birthday party in Phoenix. You can see below how much fun we had with them. Claire was our expert - guess it pays to be young and agile. (Sister Kate is in the background.)

Now 95-year-old Gramma Phoebe had to get up and prove that she is still the athlete we all know her to be. . . .
Well, almost!
Then, of course, everybody had to try it. Here we see Haydn making a gritty attempt at it.
And then Jack - his theory was the wider stance, the better chance of success! (Didn't work.)
Big brother, Ty, thought he might be able to do it! (Well, not really!)
Good to see that the mastermind of this scheme decided to get into the act. (Cathy! herself)
Go Sylvia! You can do it!

SO. This fun activity has turned into a real challenge for me. As soon as we got home, I stopped and bought a hula hoop! I put it in the hallway on the main floor and most every time that I go past it I stop and give it a few whirls. It took several days before I finally figured out exactly the right technique to make it work. But now I've got it - I usually have to try a couple times before it actually stays up. My goal right now is 30 seconds! I can hardly believe how strenuous is this little exercise. REALLY strenuous. As soon as I master this,

A jump rope is next!!! Now that will be real exercise. Gotta stay in shape - after all, walking is way too easy!

Peace of Mind

Peace of mind is knowing that we have enough firewood to make it through the winter. Yesterday we headed back up into the forest to get our last load of firewood which was a load of 6-foot poles that we will cut up to use in the kitchen wood cookstove. You can see they are much smaller in diameter than what we use in the fireplace and in the stove we have downstairs. We probably have enough now for about 2 years! That's good. Peace of mind.
This is what we now have stacked on the back porch for easy access to the kitchen stove.
And this is what we use to warm the kitchen in winter and where we sometimes cook and bake bread! Really!
After we finished unloading and stacking and cutting the day's wood, we headed out back where I took this picture of the lupine blowing in the gentle breeze up there. The purple lupine color doesn't show up very well, but I decided not to go the photoshop route with it! Pretty blue skies, puffy clouds floating by. All is well with the world - well, our little corner of it anyway!
This was our afternoon job. We built what we call "jack shelters" in several places out back - the other two are down along the creek. This one is in the worst shape, so we went up to do some repair work on it. Pretty bad! And tall grass. We took apart a lot of it and re-enforced the joints. It is constructed like a jack fence only much taller and then covered with willow branches.
So we brought a load of willow branches with us from down along the creek and rebuilt the entire shelter and Walt wacked the grass and then took a break! The views are awesome up towards the Sawtooth in the East Pioneer Mountains. Great place to relax and just soak up the beauty of God's earth. We call this one "Jim's Rest" as Jim and Peggy like to come here and sit. Now they can once again enjoy it!
This is the back side and a little of the view down over the creek and our back property and up towards the Pioneers. Life is good! God is great!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Christmas in July?

Well, not exactly, but nine quilt shops in this area went together to do a "Christmas in July" shop hop. Our gang of quilting buddies here in the Grasshopper sure do have a lot of fun doing shop hops, so we decided to do an overnight trip and visit all nine shops. Our regular buddy, Ellen, couldn't make it, so Drin's mom, Dorothy, intrepid and fearless quilter that she is, decided to risk her life with me behind the wheel and take Ellen's place in the car. And she did pretty darn well! She didn't complain too much, and she didn't have to buy chocolate. Guess we know who had to buy chocolate! And what was that about a cell phone??? AGAIN?????? We started out in Ennis, then Belgrade, Townsend, Helena, Avon, Deer Lodge, Whitehall, Twin Bridges, and finished in Dillon. Finding a hotel turned out to be a bit of a challenge, but then that drive over Homestake Pass between Butte and Whitehall is certainly worth several passages. . . .
One of our favorite places is this little shop in an old cabin just outside Twin Bridges called Timeless Treasures. We decided this would be the place for our traditional "shop hop photo." Above is Dorothy, Linda (me), Drin and Joan. (Remember, you can click on the images to see them full size if you want to see our happy, smiling faces!)
Donna is the shop owner and absolutely one of the world's nicest people (not surprising - she is a quiltmaker, after all!!!), so we asked her to be in our photo also. (second from left) What a great time we had. Always so much fun. And we have a stack of new projects waiting for autumn. We're talking about doing our own thing in October and head up toward Glacier and do some of the really neat quilt shops up in that area - Big Fork, Kalispell, Whitefish. So beautiful up there - will be a really special treat - something to look forward to.

Happy Quilting!!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Summertime and the living is easy. . . .

Walt is putting some finishing touches on his waterfall project. Looking good!
It's music to my ears!
Poppies are blooming.
Lilacs are blooming.
Rock gardens are filling in and blooming.

And two more days of firewood work in the forest and we'll have the wood shed full - ready for winter. Then we will relax. . . well, maybe!