Pack A Quilter

March 27, 2017

My Loving Spouse and I figured out a vital truth on our trip to Cannon Beach last week.  Travel is better, if you pack a quilter.  Seriously, my need for fabric took us to places we would have never gone to otherwise.

I will be making a quilt for one of our graduating seniors this year and she likes purple.  I therefore need purple fabric.  Our fabric resources are low in Ellensburg.  Luckily, I have a patient husband, who is happy to drive to fabric stores.

‘Want to take a drive up the coast?’  

“Can we go to the quilt store?”

‘Of course!’

Going to quilt stores gets us off the beaten path and into the heart of the town.  Our first stop was Homespun Quilts in Astoria, Oregon.I found my first set of purples……and we asked where we should have lunch.

The Wet Dog…we were told.It was charming and I did have the Ale sample platter and yes, that is the Bad Ass Stout bratwurst you see…It was very yummy.  I had a Shandy, which is a beer with some soda, in other words, it is like a beer with training wheels.  My Loving Spouse had something darker, long past the training wheel stage.Quite possibly the Poop Deck Port…We had a great time and I recommend both the quilt store and the Wet Dog.

The next day, he wanted to drive down the coast.

“Can we go to the quilt store?”

‘Of course!’

Which is how we found ourselves at Jane’s in Tillamook, Ore.Jane’s took some time, because it was a little house transformed into a quilt store.  Fabric in every room!  (Even the bathroom!)  Oh, be still my heart!  I set My Loving Spouse in the back room, chatting with a couple of old gals and instructions to get lunch recommendations, while I adjusted the budget for fabric purchases, careful to only buy what I needed!

This picture is not all I needed…it is just some of what I bought.With the ‘old gals’ recommendation we set off for our lunch.  We would never have wandered down the pier without explicit instructions we received to turn left at the huge pile of oyster shells, we did find The Fish Peddler.  My Loving Spouse had the best clam chowder he ever ate and we both watched enthralled at the process of oyster harvesting.It was something!  Watching the shuckers get the oyster meat, they were fast and efficient.  They work on commission and as we tried to count how many oysters they shucked in a minute, we figure they shuck thousands in a day!  Makes my hands hurt just thinking about it.We left after a great time, with full bellies, a jar of oysters….and some fabric.

The morning we were leaving Cannon Beach, My Loving Spouse agreed to let me into one more quilt store, because I knew I still needed some more purple…We were packed up and ready to go…except the store wasn’t open yet.  This was a great stroke of luck, because instead of high tailing it out of town, we went where we hadn’t been yet, The Insomnia Coffee Co.It was delightful!They had art I understand….It was a delightful way to slowly spend our morning before heading for the farm.

The gal at the fabric store was equally lovely and what can I say….We cannot wait to go back…

You should travel with a quilter, if you need one, let me know.

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It is easy to know, if someone has been to Cannon Beach.  You say, “Cannon Beach”, and if they’ve been there, their eyes glaze over, they smile and quite probably they sigh.

My Loving Spouse and I were due a get-away.  A get-away together, when neither of us were working, and we were somewhere we wanted to be, not somewhere we had to go.  The sea had been calling My Loving Spouse for sometime now, and with the winter we had, we were ready!

Washington and Oregon have lots of seaside towns.  There were plenty to choose from, however we are fairly poor trip planners, usually ending up in places that are a ‘near miss’.  This time I got smart.  My Loving Spouse started to name off city’s on the coast.

“There are plenty of places we can go,” he said.

‘Nope.’

“We could just drive down the coast.”

‘Nope.  We’re going where The Traveling Cousins go.’

“Really?”

‘They travel a lot and they love it at Cannon Beach.  That’s were I want to go.  They like Cannon Beach better than Hawaii!’

This is how we ended up with the best long weekend in a very, very long time.  We stayed at The Waves, and luckily for us, My Traveling Cousin called the hotel to double-check, that I hadn’t messed up the reservation and booked us into a non seaside room (which I had).  She got that straightened out and we were singing her praises for most of our trip, especially as we sat looking just outside our hotel room window!

Cannon Beach is just big enough to have a mixture of art galleries, coffee shops, gift shops, household stores, toy stores and kite stores… enough to enjoy a simple walk around… Plenty of places to poke around without driving anywhere…  Someone liked the kite store best, I loved watching him breaking in the kite he bought to fly with THE Grandson.We walked on the beach, reminiscent of our second date (except I did not step in tar this time, and My Loving Spouse didn’t forget to put the money in the parking meter).

We gazed at the sea and those who enjoyed it, we walked, we played cards, we enjoyed being together and being gone.  The ‘gone’ part was especially unique, as there was a ‘plumbing issue’ back at the farm and Number Two Son and Our Neighbor had to turn off the water to the house, until the Plumbing Pro showed up.  Team Offspring survived our latest plumbing issue and for the first time during one of them, My Loving Spouse and I still had HOT WATER!  (Sorry, Team Offspring, you did a great job).We are already looking forward to coming back.  It was the right fit for us, relaxing, refreshing and renewing…  I highly recommend it, go soon or go wherever your cousin goes…it worked for us!

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Chick, Chick!

March 16, 2017

Cheep, cheep!

I say, “Chick Chick” to a class and the class says, “Cheep,cheep!” back, because we hatched!

6 little chicks hatched in our incubator and thanks to the live feed, we didn’t miss a beat!  To say that there was some excitement at our school, would possibly be the understatement of the year.  We prepared a brooder in the tri-corner window of the library.Then let them out!We needed to build a wall to keep them in the small end of the window, so…being a library, we just use books!4 golden chicks named Stuart, after our school, Mt. Stuart Elementary.

2 dark chicks named Dan, after our wonderful principal Dan Patton.  They were briefly going to be called ‘General’ for Mr. Patton’s cousin, but then we realized…General Chicken…is a Chinese dinner, so that would not be good!Next week is spring break, so all the Stuarts and the Dans will come to live at the farm, but for a few more days the library windows will stay smeared beyond belief with even more finger prints…and the kids, they…are delighted.

Carrying their lunch trays down the hall, we heard more than one child say,

“Hide your lunch, we don’t want to scare the chicks.”  (The menu…chicken legs!)

We are blessed!

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Hatching A Plan

March 10, 2017

My Librarian and I hatched a plan.  We (the library) had incubators.  I (Glory Farm) had eggs.  I taught about ‘broody hens’, the difference between grocery store eggs, and eggs that had a rooster around, what jobs the mother hen did and how the incubator worked.  One dozen eggs from the hen-house to the incubator.  A school full of excited kids and adults.  Each child knows that it takes 21 days to hatch chickens.  They know that the hen turns the eggs and so does our incubator.The glass on the library window is perpetually smeared with finger prints, nose prints and foreheads pressed against the glass.  My Librarian set up a flip chart to show what day we were on and what the developing chick would look like.I explained what color Mr. Buff is, how many different colored chickens we had and that we didn’t know how many eggs would hatch or what color they might be.

I love to watch some of the smaller kids standing outside the window explaining to their parent, what exactly is going on and how very much they know!Hatch day is just around the corner.  We will be adding a ‘chick -cam’ to the window, live news hatching feed available for every class!

As one boy put it, it is ‘egg-citing’!

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Rocking It

March 7, 2017

We are rocking it!  Seriously!  In my purge of extraneous brown furniture, I ‘re-homed’ the brown love seats, moved the comfy couch to the living room (where it is looking great) and the family room has nothing left to sit on.

That is not exactly true.  We have a lot of rocking chairs 7 to be exact.  I just moved more of them into the family room for temporary seating.  The couchlessness is not really bothering me much, because I sit in one of the rockers anyway.I asked Team Offspring what they thought about just not getting a new couch.  Mostly, I was just messing with them, and did enjoy their collective moment of panic at the thought of not having a couch to lounge about on.

Sunday evening we all grabbed a rocker and played a round of our favorite card game, Five Crowns.  Five Crowns is a gin-rummy type game with the wild card changing each hand.  Great for all ages Team Offspring learned at an early age to sit to the left of my mother, as she had a habit of discarding the wild card, a famous move we have long dubbed doing a ‘Grammy’.  After beating the family soundly, I went out to feed the animals.  I’m sure you heard the sonic boom, that was me traveling faster than the speed of sound.  I stepped into the barn to feed the horses and the cows, flipped on the light and saw the back-end of a skunk.  I have never been particularly fast, but clearly I never had the proper motivation.  Let me tell you, I was fast last Sunday night.  I was out of that barn so fast, it made the cow’s head spin.  The cows and the horses were not very happy about not getting fed, but I was extremely happy about not getting sprayed and I was doubly happy I had not taken the dog out with me.

Yep, we are rocking it….

and we are blessed.

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Furniture Fix

February 25, 2017

I’m back!  I wondered where I had gone.  I was even a little bit worried, that I might not find me, but I did.  It turns out that painting our home, 18 months ago took a toll.  I have had little desire to work on the house, paint or fix up almost anything, which was a problem as we haven’t finished the restoration here.

However, I am back!  I am so relieved.  When My Loving Spouse gave me the nod, to change out our furniture last week, it was as if, my ‘restoration’ switch was flipped back on.  I found my mojo in my quest to banish the over abundance of brown furniture.  After the streets had thawed, I ran right out to visit my friend Sherwin Williams and painted our bedroom that very night.  It is My Loving Spouse’s favorite color.  It is called, “My wife is happy with it and I did not have to paint it” or you might call it light gray.  Sherwin Williams calls it ‘Granite’.  I call it perfect, especially with my new white dresser.I didn’t stop there.  My Librarian had given me a ‘project’ dresser she never got around to fixing.  It was the perfect size for my ironing table for quilting and it holds my flannel scraps.  It is brown.  It needed some work…Since I had a fresh paintbrush and a can of gray paint, I painted it.I also learned that you can modge podge fabric on to furniture.  I learned the hard way, that when using light fabric, one might want to paint the furniture first as the brown tones do show through the fabric, but for now, I am just filing that into my information bin.  The dresser is so much better than before, it just makes me happy.Most of my life, I have needed to ‘make do’ with what furniture I had.  I was pretty good at ‘making do’ and making those things better.  Being able to buy a few new pieces, and making our beautiful old farm-house with it’s odd shaped rooms, finally feel right makes me…settled, happy, excited, content and very blessed.

I still have half a jar of modge podge….I wonder what I should do with it?

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Winter Whimsy

I am seeing the funny side of winter this morning, which is so much easier to do, when one has a 3 hour delay for school/work, due to black ice on the road.  In other words, this means I am drinking coffee in bed, when I would normally be at school.  This day after Valentine’s […]

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Cry Whine…

It snowed again.  It snowed a LOT!  The kids at school were fairly awful.  Most people here are ready to lynch the Ground Hog and Mother Nature.  My Scare Crow, Garden Gladys Knight is up to her ???? in it.   The dogs prefer their blanket near the stove over their dog house. The older I […]

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Bob’s Quilt

Bob’s quilt is done.  The back is gray flannel, so it should be quite cozy.  The quilt is meant to be a lap quilt, for Bob to use when he does the nightly crossword puzzle.  I had some fun putting a “Bob” in the quilt.I put a heart as well, actually I put in two […]

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Snow Day (Sew Day)

Today, for the first time in 20 years, the Ellensburg Schools are closed due to weather.  It is not completely a ‘snow day’.  It is more of a ‘freezing rain, black ice, dangerous road condition’ day.  The highways are closed….everyone is being told to stay in. I am really okay with this idea.  You might […]

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WINTER!!!

As of this moment, Winter is officially kicking our butt.  I had managed to maintain a sunny outlook on things, (even though there has been NO sun for a while now), utilizing an ‘attitude of gratitude’, as I drove to work in -12 degrees. Frozen hot water pipes… …glad we have a home with pipes […]

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Acts of Caring

Yesterday, I was touched by a truth. My Librarian shared with the kids, that 49 of our 50 states currently had snow on the ground.  The only state that did not have snow?  Florida!  My Loving Spouse has not been handling this winter cold snap all that well, in fact he keeps going around the house, […]

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