Thursday, October 29, 2009

One done, a bunch to go

I started this quilt quite a while ago for my friend Rosie. She loves blues and so I tried sticking with blues for her quilt. Tropical Blues seemed an apt name for it. The back features fabric she had given me when she moved to Hawaii. The center part was a nine-patch pizzazz, which I then grew a bit to make it a queen.

My quilt holder uppers, Dale and Jim, didn't do a very good job--so she took the picture of it on their queen bed.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It's raining, it's snowing

The wind blew most of the night and I expected it to be bone chilling freezing as I walked to the garage in the dark this morning to fetch some dishwashing detergent. Surprise, it wasn't! But they said we would hit our high for the day early on and have snow. They didn't lie, by the time it was light out, our previously clear skies had turned cloudy, and the temperature has been steadily dropping. It's just that in between temperature where occasionally it's snowing, corn snow, flakes, and then turns back into rain.
I finished my second pair of bamboo/cotton socks, and I'm wearing the first pair I knitted today. I tried to put on shoes other than Crocs, but my ankle sure didn't like that at all. Thank goodness I have furry lined winter Crocs. Got the box-o-quilts from Pat, and all I can say is WOW! I need to get off my butt and get started on quilting all those tops.

I turned my back to the window and when I looked back again, this is the view! Thank goodness I don't have to drive anywhere.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Winding down

Our next stop was Pedernales Falls State Park. We had wonderful weather and this was perhaps our favorite park of the trip. We drove to Fredericksburg checking out Trader Days on the way. Bought a nutcracker for the camper so we wouldn't have to keep shelling pecans with a meat tenderizer hammer! There were a lot of Monarch butterflies in this area of the hill country.

From Pedernales we headed to Inks Lake State Park. We were planning on doing some canoeing, but had different visions of what the lake would be like. It was windy and the lake was too big. I decided to explore the park on my bike while Dale was working on his which had a flat tire. I wrecked on the bike and man I got bruised and battered. This has to be the worst fall I've had on a bike. My ankle must have hit the pavement pretty hard, and it bruised and swelled. I had to straighten the handlebars and pedal back to our campsite after some choice words. I have a half dozen bruises in various shades of purple.

We had intended to finish up our trip in Balmorhea where we started to get more pecans and a killer burrito, but the weather was raining as we were heading home, and Dale decided to just make a run for home. Despite ending with an injury, it was a great trip. I'm still putting stuff away!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

More Texas' parks

We left Galveston with the intention of staying at Brazos Bend State Park. We'd been there once before and it was an easy drive. It was not to be on this trip as they were full. We went to Bastrop State Park instead. We had nice weather and checked out the park as thoroughly as my knee would allow.

Drove a bit around town and happened on a farmer's market where we got a wonderful loaf of whole grain pecan bread. I took a class offered by the park on macro photography by Mary Ann Melton. It was the second of three classes, but it was inspiring and makes me want to make time to learn and use my camera better.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Houston International Quilt Festival

My intent in going to Galveston camping was to be able to attend the Houston quilt show. It was earlier this year, and we really enjoyed it. I suggested we pack a lunch since my experience at the Paducah quilt show led me to think that mostly there would be overpriced concessions with little variety except for hamburgers and the like. Besides, we had been eating out with a quality I'd quickly become accustomed to. I wasn't sorry. We lucked out and were diverted to parking at the Toyota Center since all the $15-20 parking lots closer to the venue were full. Lucky because we parked with overhead cover for $2 all day! We had to walk a bit, but even the close parking required a bit of a walk.

Thanks to drugs, I was able to walk all day for the show. The convention center was huge, and the quilt displays weren't crowded. There was ample room to see the quilts and photograph the ones that allowed it. It was wonderful to see "live" works such as Domestic Goddess by Pamela Allen.

The vendor mall was packed. I was saving my money to get Edgerider wheels for my Gammill, but nobody had any that I could bring home with me! I only bought a few things, a cut of fabric, some felted wool balls, and a couple of cones of Marathon thread which I hope my machine will find agreeable!

We refortified ourselves with Starbucks coffee and dessert upstairs from the quilt show for the drive back to Galveston. Houston is traffic, traffic, all day, all the time, but much more manageable without pulling a camping trailer.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The value of seat belts

Our next stop was Galveston Island State Park, where we had camped numerous times. The park was severely damaged by Hurricane Ike, and we were lucky to get campsite for three nights on the beach. We actually went swimming in the gulf! On previous trips the water temperature only allowed for walking in water while seeking out treasures in the sand, probably due to the fact that it was early fall and not winter.

While we were there we got a call from our daughter's fiance. She was fine but totaled her car. She was driving home to Pueblo from Colorado Springs, and all she remembers is hitting her brakes. The next thing she remembers is crawling out the window of her upside-down car. She apparently went into the median, went airborne over the northbound lanes of traffic, without hitting anyone else, and flipped over landing in the shoulder of the northbound lanes.

She is one lucky girl--with only a few bumps. She is now extolling the virtues of seat belts after being told by sheriffs and health care workers that it would have been a different outcome without her seat belt. (Justifies my threatening her with loss of driving privileges if I ever saw her around town without a seat belt when she first started driving!)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Welcome rain

It started raining as we headed to McKinney Falls SP, but not the violent sort of storms we're used to. It would rain, let up, rain some more. We found out that central Texas had been in somewhat of a drought and so it was welcome water.

We had city things to do in Austin, like checking out some of the fourteen Goodwill stores there. We only made it to two before being sated. I got a set of four wine glasses, heavy, handblown for a dollar each, and the cut crystal cordial glass was 59 cents. The blue rimmed margarita (?) glasses were from a thrift store in Balmorhea, also a dollar each. We tend to break glasses every once in a while and so I get them when I find ones I like. My peach cordial is ready to decant and it will make great gifts along with a pretty little glass. Also picked up a June Taylor shape cut ruler at the Goodwill, along with a cute pet dish for Frangelica.

Chased away the dreary weather with an awesome lunch at Carmelo's restaurant. What a wonderful meal. I had SPECIALITA DI MARE, sautéed Alaskan king salmon with pomodoro
Provencal and Striped Bass with wild mushroom ragu and Dale had almond coated shrimp with a light mango sauce, tomato, mixed greens and gorgonzola. We topped it off with a sinfully delicious chocolate cake. Sadly I'm home now, dieting to pay for my vacationing excesses.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Camping vacation

We left early morning and headed straight south to Balmorhea State Park. We'd been there before, but this time it was warm enough to get in the beautiful pool. You'll just have to take my word that the water is a most beautiful color, deep blues and turquoise, because I didn't take any pictures. I don't know if it's because of the depth or what. There are fish in the pool as well including some rather large catfish.

We ate lunch at the "cutest restaurant in Balmorhea," La Cueva de Oso. We had wonderful fajita burritos and ate outside in their patio though the weather was just teetering on being too cool. When Dale went to get a jacket in the truck he discovered pecans on the ground in the field adjoining the restaurant, and we picked pocketfuls. They were delicious, and we ate them throughout the rest of the trip.

Headed to McKinney Falls State Park next near Austin. We ended up passing by this guy several times in our treks, part of the Benini Foundation Galleries and Sculpture Ranch.

I wouldn't mind returning with better timing to be able to enjoy the whole ranch. Texas still has a wealth of state parks that we haven't discovered, and we have a year with our parks pass...