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Hair Encrusted Lamb?
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Books
Finished 2017
Top 10 Projects

       Quilts

1.  Granny's Wedding Quilt

2.  Morgan's Quilt

3.  Josh & Nicole's Quilt

4.  Lone Starburst

5.  Kaffe Fasset Quilt

 

        Knitting

6.  Qiviut Cowl

7.  Square in a Square Throw

8.  Travel Socks #3

 

         Needlepoint

9.    Colorations

10.  Chicago Ornament

 

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Friday
Sep252009

Scottish Roads

After the castle, we had a lovely lunch and then we were headed to the Isle of Skye with a quick drive by of Loch Ness.  We would take the ferry over to Skye and then on to our Bed and Breakfast for the night.  We had decided early in the planning stages that we would skip Inverness and all the major Loch Ness tourist activities.  The Loch is quite big though and with a bit of a detour, we would be able to see the southern tip of the Loch.  We also got to see a cricket match, but nothing was happening because they were taking break for afternoon tea.  Anyway, it sounded like a good idea and here is Loch Ness.

 

We drove through the mountains.  They were really pretty and later in the year, they are covered with blooming heather. 

It's time for a bit about Scottish roads.  They are not bad, but they are different.  All the roads we were on were in good repair and paved.  It's just that a lot of them were only one lane, and you drive on the left side of the road.  That part really wasn't much of a problem when the roads were just wide enough for one car.  Scotland also seems to be free range.  If you ever lived out West, you know that means animals are out grazing and they wander on the roads sometimes.  So, from time to time there were sheep on the road or very near the edge of the road.  In fact, sometimes I wondered how they kept from tumbling down the side of the mountain into the road.  Anyway, you have to stop for sheep.

They have pullouts so when cars meet someone can pull over and let the other car pass.   If you miss the pullout, someone has to back up to a pullout.  There is an ettiquette as to which driver pulls over or backs up.  I never really did figure that out.  We had a guide and she was also the driver.  I was very happy because if David and I had been doing the navigating and driving, I'm not sure we would have been speaking to each other at the end of this day.

We turned off on the ferry road.  It was getting a little late.  The ferry stopped running at 7:00 p.m.  The road seemed awfully narrow even by Scottish standards.  It was twisty and wound up and down the mountain side.  It was getting later.  I began to wonder (very quietly) if there really was a ferry at the end of the road.   David was getting twitchy.

We all began to wonder if we were going to make it in time.  We didn't pass any cars.  It seemed like people should be getting off the ferry and coming toward us.  Were we on the right road?  We had to be, there weren't any other roads.  It was getting later.  We were going as fast as we could, but you can't go very fast on these roads.  Finally, we could see the ferry house.  It was 6:57.  We pulled in and jumped out of the car.  There was a small boat coming across the water.  Surely it wasn't big enough to hold a car, but it did explain the lack of cars on the road.  Well, it was a turn table ferry and it was actually big enough to hold 4 cars. You drive onto the ferry, go across the water, and then he spins the turn table and you drive off the ferry.  No backing up.  Probably a good thing when there is the potential to sink a car.  The ferry boat captain was very kind and agreed that we had arrived in time and he would take us to the other side.   Back in the car for another twisty ferry road to Portree on the Isle of Skye. 

 

Oh, did I mention that I get a little carsick.  Thank you Mike, Margie and David for letting me keep the windows down and freezing us to death, but I really needed the fresh air.  It's one of those carsick rules,  you can't get sick if you're cold.

Tuesday
Sep152009

Mind Like a Sieve

Most of the time I am exasperated when I can't remember something.  Like why I came into the kitchen, or when I forget the main item I went grocery shopping for.  Sometimes I am extremely embarrassed when I can't remember someone's name.   Today, I was very happy that I forgot something. 

It is "change the bedding" day at my house.   You see, I have a system.  Every chore has a day or every day has it's specific set of chores.  I keep track of all my chores on 3 x 5 cards divided into categories.  My system may seem a little rigid, but it makes me happy.  I dutifully stripped off my sheets and pillowcases and marched them down to the washer.  Put the washed clothes into the dryer.  Put the sheets in the washer.  Cleaned out the lint filter and started the dryer.  Then I took the lint to the garbage can and threw it away.  Apparently that little side trip was enough to distract me from the fact that I hadn't actually started the washer. 

I went back upstairs and put the fresh sheets on the bed.  When it was time to do the pillowcases, I noticed that my dream pillow was missing.  It is a small, flat pillow about 4 inches square and filled with dried lavendar.  You tuck it into your pillowcase and you are supposed to sleep well and have good dreams.  We won't go into my dreams in this post, maybe never.  Anyway, I assumed (correctly as it turns out) that the dream pillow was stuck in the pillowcase that was now washing in the washer.  I grabbed a cleaning rag and trooped back downstairs expecting to have to clean mushy lavendar out  of the washer and off of wet sheets.  Imagine my delight to find the washer waiting patiently for someone to press the "Start" button.

Sunday
Sep132009

Blair Castle

The gardens at Blair Castle were one of my favorite places in Scotland.  But we had to get there first.  Not far along the way, we stopped at Queen's View.  The view of Loch Tummel is world famous and Queen Victoria stopped there and had a picnic. 

 

I have to agree that the view was spectacular and I got to see my first Scottish heather actually growing in the ground.  It is a little early to see the hills covered in heather, but this was enough to make me happy. 

Onward to Blair Castle.  Although this castle doesn't seem to be fortified with walls and situated on top of a cliff, it was involved in several sieges and other situations.  There is a very impressive display of arms as you walk in the door.  The plasterwork ceilings in the Dining Room and Drawing Room were absolutely amazing.   We didn't get to see the ballroom because it was getting ready for a wedding.  Some of the needlework that had been preserved was on display in the China Room.  I don't know how the ladies did such fine, tiny work, especially when it was done without the aid bright lights and electricity. 

After the castle, we went out to the Hercules Garden.  It was nine acres of tranquility surrounded by a very tall stone fence.  The plantings were beautiful, even the vegetables.  They had the biggest astilbe I have ever seen and it was in bloom.   I want one, or three, or a whole patch. 

These are some very happy foxgloves.

Friday
Sep042009

Farmer's Market

I love going to the Farmer's Market.  I try to go at least once a week, sometimes twice a week.  I even go to Farmer's Markets when I am on vacation.   Charlottesville, Virginia happens to have a really nice market on Saturdays.  I was just there a couple of weeks ago and it was really hard to restrain myself.  Their tomatoes looked fabulous. 

We are lucky here because the Trenton Farmer's Market is open year round.  There aren't many vegetables in the winter, but there are other tasties to be had.  There are also at least three other seasonal markets that I know about.  This is a sampling of what I got on Friday. 

 

This time of year is very difficult for me.  There are soooo many good things and only so much I can possibly eat.  I will have to eat the corn first, because it is best when it's fresh.   The cantaloupe smells so good,  I know it is ripe.  Okra is one of David's favorites, and so are the lima beans boiled with a little bacon.  The tomatoes will make a lovely salad, just chop and drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with chopped basil, salt, and pepper.  Should I chop the cucumbers and mix with garlic and yogurt, or just eat them peeled and sliced?  Or I could slice them with an onion and soak them in vinegar and water for a quick pickle.  And look at those Hungarian Peppers.  Not only are they the cutest things around, they are so good stuffed with Italian Sausage.  Peaches sliced and soaked in white wine make a very tasty dessert.  I also have my standard selection of cheeses for lunches.

Do you think I got enough for the week?  I didn't get any green beans, eggplant, raspberries, blackberries, slicing tomatoes, potatoes, squash, or watermelon.  It's ok.  If I run out of food, I know where there's a Farmer's Market on Saturday, one on Sunday,  and one on Thursday, and Trenton is open most of the week.

 

 

Tuesday
Aug112009

Needles

As most of you know, I like needlework.  The more needles, the better.  I have quilting needles, applique needles, regular sewing needles, beading needles, long needles, short needles, tapestry needles, silk ribbon needles, sturdy needles, knitting needles of various sizes, embroidery needles, and needles for the sewing machine.  Do crochet hooks count as needles?  Truly, I do use all these different needles.  Mostly for quilt related things, except the knitting needles.  They are generally useful only for knitting related things.    Sometimes I do hem a pair of pants or sew on a button, but quilting is what I like best.

So, what am I using those needles for today?  More than I really care to think about sometimes.  I have lots of projects started and even more in my head.  I'll just mention my most current projects today.  Two of them are secret at this point.  I can tell you one is a quilt and one is knitting.   I'll show them to you when they aren't secrets anymore. 

The thing I can show you is the Saturday Sampler from Pennington Quilt Works.  Each month, I get a block kit and put it together.  If I get it done before the next kit is handed out, I get the kit for free.  If it's not done, then I have to pay $5.00.  When the program is done, there will be 12 blocks to make a quilt.  The best part is that if I stay current, the quilt top will only cost me the $10.00 I had to pay for the first kit.  So far, so good.  Except, I want to do the additional blocks that are available.   

I am making the Christmas Quilt and this is the first block.  It is called Pink Magnolia.

 

(Please remember that I quilt a lot better than I edit and crop pictures)

This is the second block.  It's not my favorite, but it is done.  This one is the Ribbon Bow.

 

 

This is the third block.  It is one of my all time favorites--Bear's Paw.

 

I have a lot more projects in progress, but I think this is enough for now.  I might need something to write about later and then, where would I be.