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What Am I Working On???

       Quilts

1.  Granny's Wedding Quilt

2.  Josh & Nicole's Quilt

3.  Lone Starburst

4.  Kaffe Fasset Quilt

5.  Round We Go

 

        Knitting

6.  Qiviut Cowl

7.  Square in a Square Throw

8.  Travel Socks #3

 

         Needlepoint

9.    Colorations

10.  Chicago Ornament

 

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Monday
Nov022009

Glengorm Castle

Another travel day in Scotland.  We drove from the Isle of Skye to the Island of Mull.  It involved another long ferry road, but this time I knew what to expect and went to sleep.  We took a much bigger ferry to Mull. 

We arrived in the charming town of Tobermory.  The houses are painted very similar to the houses in Portree. 

The best thing about the Island of Mull was the castle.  We slept in a castle.  It was sooooo cool.  The castle was built in 1860 by James Forsyth.  He was known for his part in "The Clearances".  As a friend of the king, he was given the property.  He chased all the tenants off the land and burned their cottages.  Apparently, someone cursed him on the way out, and he died in 1863 before the castle was finished so he never got to live there.   This is the castle.

Hmmm,  I cut the turret off.  I think that's better than having the picture crooked though.  The castle was beautiful inside.  We sat in the drawing room (I think) for a while and looked out over the fields and ocean.  Our bedroom was huge, the bed was comfy, and the bathroom had the most magnificant tub and I had a lovely bath.  This is what we saw when we sat in bed.

I think I could get used to this.

Monday
Oct262009

Christmas Baking

It's time.  The beginnings of my Christmas goodie bags.   We have flour, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, nuts, butter, salt, chocolate chips, baking soda, and amaretti.

 

It almost looks like Chocolate Chippers, except for the amaretti.  Well, I have to confess.  The amaretti are for the cook to nibble on.  Here they are, all put together and baked.

So far, I've finished the Lemon Bread, Pound Cakes, and Gingersnaps.  I wonder what else I might be making this year? 

 

Tuesday
Oct132009

Turkey Tracks

I am sooo excited.  I am going to the Houston International Quilt Festival tomorrow!  I was done packing by 8:00 a.m. this morning.  I've only had to add shoes.  Who forgets to pack their shoes???  I did remember to pack my camera so I should have pictures.  I even packed the manual for the camera, you know, just in case there's an issue or two. 

My friend Betty from New Jersey is going with me.  I can't wait to see my friend Diane.  I only get to see her once a year.  I have a great story about how we met, but that's for another post.  I'm also going to see my Aunt Elaine and Uncle John.  She quilts too and I don't get to see them very often either.  We're also going to meet up with Nancy.  She used to live in New Jersey too and was a member of our quilt guild.  It is going to be so much fun.  

Oh yeah, I finished my block of the month.  This one is called  Turkey Tracks. 

A bit tricky with the stripes, but as long as you pay attention it works out.  The colors look a lot better in person, so I think my skill with the camera is lacking.  Back on Sunday, but I probably won't post anything til Monday or so. 

Also Happy Birthday Beth!  Actually, it's tomorrow, but I won't be here.  That's Josh's fiance for those of you that don't know.  Josh, of course, is my son although I can't imagine anyone reading this blog doesn't know that.

Friday
Oct092009

Isle of Skye

Our fourth day in Scotland was on the Isle of Skye.  We stayed in the very charming village of Portree.  That's me, looking at the water.

 Skye is very sparsely populated and most of the day was spent driving around and looking at the mountains.   I didn't take a lot of pictures.  But I did take a picture of this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Scottish thistles are wicked, I was truly impressed by them.  They are even more stickery and spiny than the Canadian thistles I grew up with.  They are the official flower of Scotland.  Legend has it that Vikings invaded Scotland on a regular basis (I think that part is actually true).  One day, in the fort while waiting to be invaded, the lookouts got sleepy and nodded off.  The Vikings landed and were creeping up to the fort, but someone stepped in a patch of thistles and yelled.  This woke everyone in the fort up, and they were able to beat back the Vikings.

Doesn't the weather look beautiful.  I had expected it to be chilly and rainy most of the time.  We were so lucky and had sunshine for most of the trip.

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.