Friday, February 27, 2009


I haven't heard a thing about my sewing machine yet. Come on guys! It's been over 36 hours!

We had a nice snow storm yesterday, causing many folks to ask us if we thought we had come home from Florida too soon. No, we came home just at the right time. Snow storms are kind of fun when you have a big Ford truck, and can bust through the piled up snow from the snow plows, which hubby did yesterday when he crashed through the line of plowed up snow closing off the entrance to the parking lot where I had a hair cut scheduled. After all, you can't miss a haircut when it's been a full two months since the last one.

After the haircut I went to the new location of the sewing machine place right across the hall from the beauty shop. Nope, the repair person couldn't come in because of the snow storm. He should buy a big Ford truck, don't you think? I have things to sew and I need my machine! No matter that the furniture needs dusting, there is more laundry piling up, and I could clean the bathroom, I am in the mood to work on some more bags and to start a quilt. And I need my machine!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


It's bad. It's really bad. It's really, really bad. I blew up my sewing machine last night and I'm suffering severe withdrawal pains. You see, last Thursday we packed up our stuff, then went to dinner with our friends, Dick and Bev. Friday, Saturday and Sunday we were on the road. Monday I did laundry and unpacked and grocery shopped. So yesterday I finally had time to sit down at the machine. I'm working on another bag, this one for a birthday present coming up pretty soon. I was happily sewing alone, doing a decorative top stitch between the patchwork blocks on the front of the bag when all of a sudden......silence. Nothing. The machine would not go one single stitch further. It was completely dead!

Now I have a computerized machine, so does that mean it crashed like a computer does? Did I fry the mother board like happens on a computer? Was it something I did, or did it just have so many miles on it that it just quit, like a car does? All I know is that I'm lost! I planned to get that bag done and another one, too, before the second week of March. Now I don't know what I'll do.

So, when I was going into town to have the phone guys do a small update to my phone, I took my sewing machine along. I drove to the mall where the shop is, and looked towards the building, and saw nothing but an empty store front! What? Where is my sewing machine dealer? It was here two months ago when I left for Florida! I got closer and saw a sign on the door saying: We're in the same building, just go to the East door and we're in room 618. Phew! I thought for a minute there that I had a dead machine and no where to take it!

Which actually turned out to be the truth. My shop no longer deals in this brand of machine! The closest store is in the Twin Cities, 80 miles away. They did take my machine, and for a fee of $20 they will open it up and look at it. If it's a matter of loose wires or snapped something or another, they will fix it. If I need a new board I will have to take it up to the Cities. And that is not something I want to do right now! I want to finish the project I started. And if it's a new board, will it cost almost as much as a new machine?

So on top of withdrawal, I'm really frustrated. GRRRRRR...................

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Now that I went grocery shopping and my frig and cupboards are full again, let's talk about losing weight.

Before we left on our Florida trip, right after the Christmas cookies and all the snacks that go with the holidays, I had decided that it would be a good time to take off some weight. After all, I'd be in Florida, walking the beach, sightseeing, riding my bike, etc, so I'd be getting more exercise than I would have gotten back here in cold, snowy Minnesota. Plus: Plant City strawberries. Lots of fresh blueberries. Oranges. Exercise and fresh fruits, a good plan for shedding a few pounds.

And I am pleased to report that my plan worked! In spite of eating out too often, pancake and waffles on Saturday mornings, and the famous Tuesday night buffets, I lost weight.

One and a half pounds.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Today we drove through the rolling hills of Missouri that were brown, but beautiful. I love Missouri. It's one of my favorite states.
Then we drove through Iowa, which had a frosting of white on the ditches and fields, but not on the roads.
Then we arrived in Minnesota where we found a bit more snow, but not on the roads here either. Can't complain. The temps were upper 30's this morning, in the teens when we arrived home.
And the cupboards are bare! Let's see. We could have Ragu spaghetti sauce on Wasa Crisps with a side of olive oil! How does that sound?
And no help here either! At least the frig is clean! I did that last thing the morning we left.
So I guess tomorrow I have to buy a few groceries to fill this nice clean frig.
We made it home safe and sound at about 5:40 this afternoon. We've carried in the most important things, and will get the rest in the morning. We're tired after 1,360 miles and will head for bed early tonight. Then, tomorrow, it's back to the normal routine. No walk on the beach, that's for sure!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


St. Louis, Missouri. Drove through rain, sleet and snow this noon. And it's cold! Maybe we should have stayed in Florida!


Athens, Alabama not Georgia. And I didn't sleep well at all, so I'm too grouchy to post this morning. See ya.

Friday, February 20, 2009


I am coming to you tonight, live and in living color, from Athens, Georgia. Ernie decided late yesterday afternoon that we should leave for home today instead of next Monday, so at nine this morning we left Panama City for the north country. We are at a motel in Athens, and are stuffed from eating at the buffet across the street. I am really tired, and am looking forward to a good night's sleep. I hope.

The drive today was very pleasant. Good weather, good roads, and not too many crazy drivers. Except for this one kid, maybe 16 or 17, who was flying down the entrance ramp at top speed, and driving with his elbows as his hands were occupied with trying to dig a cigarette out of a pack or something. It took him about 30 seconds to be so far ahead of us that we couldn't see him, and we were going 70! He had a friend following him in a bright yellow truck, also at breakneck speeds. They did turn off at the first off ramp. Thank goodness, as I was afraid we'd come across them splattered all over the highway in front of us.

So, tomorrow we enter Tennessee, then Kentucky. I'll try for some pictures. Didn't get any today.

Night night. Sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Our beautiful day in Wakkula Springs came to a screeching halt in Wewahitchka as we pulled into an empty lot and bailed out of the rented van, as smoke billowed from under the hood and dash! Things were a bit dicey for a minute there as the sliding door on the passenger side wouldn't open, and the seat by the driver's side sliding door wouldn't go ahead! Bev was stuck in the second row by the non functioning door as Carole and I frantically climbed over the seat on the other side. We were soon all out, hood popped, and problem identified as a fried belt. Very fried. Actually, over done!

Soon we were brave enough to gather around the van, pop the rear door, take out water from the cooler, and wait until Ernie contacted the rental place 17 miles away in the Panama City area. It was about ten to five, and we knew she would be leaving the office at five, but fortunately she was still there and promised to immediately send a wrecker and another vehicle to haul us home. Well, we waited. We paced. We joked around. And we waited some more.
It was six before anyone showed up, and we were tired of waiting by then. The guys hooked up the van to the wrecker, and the six of us crawled into space for five in the van sent to pick us up. We finally arrived back home to a wonderful supper of split pea soup that Bev had thoughtfully put in her crock pot in the morning before we left.
It was an experience! But it turned out to be a very nice experience. The folks of Wewahitchka were awesome! I'm sure that no less than a dozen people stopped to offer help. They would offer their phone so we could call for help, or they would offer to take someone to get another vehicle, or they would just ask if there was anything at all that they could do. Young and old, male and female, and rich and poor with big fancy vehicles or beat up pickup trucks. We watched as some folks drove past us, turned around and came back to offer assistance. So, our thanks and appreciation go to the awesome folks of Wewahitchka, Florida! Thanks, y'all!


Has anyone seen this classic movie on late night TV? Every once in awhile it shows up on one of the middle of the night movie channels. Well, I have been to the place where this movie was made. Wakkula Springs, Florida. We took a day trip over there last week on a bright sunny day, and had a wonderful time. We took the river ride and saw lots of alligators, ducks and other water fowl, turtles, and even a manatee! Granted, the manatee never stuck his head above water, but we did see the tip of his nose above water, and then his huge blubbery body below the water. Boy, are those creatures ever large! The alligators were sunning themselves on the river banks or on small logs, and one even shared his spot with a turtle. I'll post some pictures of the creatures, but first I want to show you the lodge where at this beautiful Florida State Park.
This is the view of the lodge that we had from the boat on the river. It is a beautiful building. I would like to see the guest rooms on the second floor. I'm guessing it's expensive to stay there.There is a huge fireplace and brightly painted ceilings. And this attractive sitting area in the large open room.
There were quite a few tables in the dining room. This is our friend Glenn.
And this is the whole gang. On your right are Glenn, Carole, and Richard. On the left are Ernie, me, and Bev. If I had known how fat I looked on this picture, I wouldn't have ordered the awesome club sandwich that was about five inches thick!

I highly recommend the park, the river boat trip, and the restaurant! All were top notch!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


A huge jelly fish washed up on the beach.
Seagulls on the beach.
More white sand, snow fence and beach grass.
Just another day in paradise!
Another huge, but dead, jelly fish, with my pedicureless foot for comparison.
Could be up north, but it's down south...........sand, not snow.


I heard a beautiful song as I was washing my hair this morning. It kept going, on and on, so I opened my door to hear better. The cardinal just looked at me and kept right on singing! I went outside to get a bottle of water out of the cooler, went back inside, got my camera, and he just sat there, singing away! What a special treat on this gray morning.
Yesterday afternoon we stopped at the fruit stand that advertised Plant City Strawberries. I bought a flat and took them home to make into freezer jam. I made seven jars of jam and sliced up five baggies and stuffed them in my teeny tiny freezer, which was almost empty because we're heading out on Monday and I'm clearing out stuff. Plant City Strawberries are the best, and I'm excited to have some to share at home.
Want some? Aren't they delicious looking?

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Back home in Minnesota, this would be snow covering the walkway. Here the sand has drifted across in huge drifts.
This guy was waiting on the dock to say goodbye to us.
This old dock was by the gas station where we stopped to fill up on our way back.
This is the home port for our pontoon. And another welcoming committee! We had returned safely from our trip. The guys were hungry from all the fresh air, so we headed off to the AYCE spaghetti dinner at the local cafe, called The Runway. A perfect ending to a perfect day.


There was even a welcoming committee as we arrived on Shell Island.
Another photo of fences and sand and beach weeds. I think I need to get a couple of those enlarged and framed for my bedroom. I have some watercolors I bought in Nova Scotia of Peggy's Cove, so these would fit right in. My bed quilt is a solid blue, like the sky, and I'm going to make a couple of blue and white patchwork pillows. And I have my jar of sea glass on a shelf, so I could fit these pictures into the theme very easily.
The six of us were the only people on this island which is very long and narrow. Our pontoon boat is on the other side of the island on the inland waterway. This is the gulf side.
The sky was incredible that day. I could have stayed for hours, but we had a deadline on the rented pontoon, so had to leave. But take my word for it, this was a beautiful spot!


We had many different birds following us on our trip. This huge guy was ugly...... A pelican sort of guy but his beak is narrower and more pointed.

There were many seagulls, of course, and if you hold up your hand with a cracker in it, they will follow you anywhere, right Carole?

And my favorite birds, the F22, known as the Rapture. They fly out over the gulf, making lots of noise, but each time I hear them and see them up against the lovely blue sky, I am thankful that they are ours and not some enemy on a bombing run. We are so blessed to have these men and women in blue protecting our country!


Sorry about the lack of posts this week. The wireless connection here at the rec center has been very flaky. You may be online, and decide to write a quick email, and by the time you write three lines the connection is gone. Or I'll get three pictures loaded, start on another, and the connection is gone. Or I'm reading your blog and I'm kicked offline. Now that makes me mad! So I'm going to write this quick, and maybe include a picture or two from our boat trip and then try to post it. If it works, I'll try a couple more!

Our fearless captain and my sweetie for 44 years, Ernie. He had to take an online course, take an online test and get above 80% (he got 93%) and then he was issued a certificate allowing him to pilot the boat in Florida waters. And we all returned safely!
We were entertained by these dolphins, but the photographer didn't get good pictures. Those guys are quick and you never know where they'll surface. I should have videoed.
But they were fun to watch and we were happy that they chose to show us a few of their tricks.
I'll post this and try for more!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I broke my favorite coffee cup. The wireless hasn't worked for two days. The sun isn't out. Yup, Life Is Crap!

Sunday, February 08, 2009


It was a beautiful day in our neighborhood today. The temperature was 65 when we came back from the beach. The sun was shining brightly and my nose and arms are a pretty shade of pink.

We took the babies to the beach where Aqua Maria and
Jammin' Jaden both took out the beach towels and stretched out for a sun bath. The two frisky babies, Chip and Bob-a-Lou found a couple of large shells and started playing in them. Venus on the Half Shell they're not!

The sun was so bright that I had a hard time taking many shots. With white sand, sparkling water, and bright sun, it did a good job of blinding me. I did spy a sea urchin just washed ashore

And this creature from outer space was laying in the sand, too.

Walking back to the truck we passed this huge flock? of ducks. (Help, what are a big group of ducks called? I know it's a gaggle of geese, a herd of cattle, a pride of lions, and a flock of birds, but ducks?) Anyhow, one guy was standing guard over the rest of them.

And I have this thing about white sand, snow fences, beach grass and shadows. And that is smoke far off on the horizon. I don't know what the fire was, but it could have been just a controlled burn. They do that often in the brush along the highways.

This is the boardwalk leading from the parking lot on base to the beach on the gulf. I think it's at least a quarter of a mile long, maybe more. I'm glad it's there. It crosses a swampy looking area where I can imagine alligators and rattlesnakes and who knows what else living there.
Yes, it was a beautiful day. We were with God in church this morning, and then on the beach with Him this afternoon. A beautiful day.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


Yesterday afternoon one of the gals here came up to me and asked if I had been to the huge fabric sale. No, I hadn't and I hadn't even heard about it! But you can bet I found out where and when and how do I get there. This morning, the first trip, Carole and I went off early, and we found treasures! Beautiful fabric, good quality, and a nice sale price. This will probably be a bag of some kind. It's really pretty.

This black and white was bought with a specific bag in mind. Oh, actually, I can probably get three bags out of these pieces..........

I also bought an open foot for my Janome machine. And then we went home.
After sweet talking my hubby, I decided, no, WE decided I could return to the sale. This time Carole and Bev and I went. And we found even more treasures. This black and gold is so classy. The photo doesn't do it justice at all. The gold on the small print and the gold on the black print, really stand out, making it very elegant. This would make a dressy bag and/or a nice holiday table runner. Lovely fabric. But my most exciting find was this bunch of
1930's reproduction or vintage prints. I bought enough for a quilt. It makes me miss my mom and my grandmothers when I look at these fabrics. I know they had "house dresses" and aprons out of fabric like these. I can't wait to pick a pattern and start on this quilt. Now I'm ready to go home so I can start!

Monday, February 02, 2009


Last week I went out for a walk and decided to look up and down, and to take pictures of what I found. We often look up through this opening and see the F22's and F15's flying to and from the base runway, protecting us all. They make so much noise, but instead of complaining, I decided to be thankful each time they fly over. Thankful that they are our planes and not terrorists!

Then I looked down and found this lovely lichen and fungus and moss.

This red stuff is weird, but is some kind of fungus or lichen, I guess.

Then looking back up I saw this sweet dove. I love doves. I think they are so cool.

This growth must have impressed's posted twice! I deleted the html for the second picture but it wouldn't go away.

This guy would not come out in the open. Not when he was up in the tree, or when he was

down by the ground.

And this guy insisted on staying mostly out of sight, too.