Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Georgia, Adventures In Birds and Book Review

Monday, July 9th, 2018

I am just back from working with a guild in Georgia…the East Cobb Quilters Guild.  I really enjoyed my time with the ladies from this guild.  To find out more about the guild, which is big and very active, go to

This is a photo from our two day workshop….Bluebird of Happiness.  And, the ladies all look happy, too.

While teaching in Texas, Joe ventured out and found this magnificent pet store, bird shop, sanctuary and hatchery all wrapped into one.



Adventures in Birds was founded by its owner and breeder in the 80s and is a marvelous place. They have hundreds of beautiful birds. This piece of heaven is located in the greater Houston area and to learn more, visit their site


Here is part of the shop where you can find toys for your pet. How colorful!



And speaking of color, here are a few of the many splendid birds Joe saw.












and No, Polly does not want a cracker.



But, she would love a good home. Look, Ben is keeping his eye on you!




Until next week …




Another good recommendation.  This is the first time I had read this author.  If my information is correct, this is the 18th book in the “Joe Pickett” series.  I guess I’m behind.  Just so you know, reading this one and not having read the previous ones did not make me feel like I had missed anything.  I guess what I’m trying to say… my opinion…reading out of order is not a bad thing.  But, I know for sure that I’ll go back and read some of the others in this series because I really liked this one.  Joe Pickett is a game warden from Wyoming.  The governor asks him for help on a missing persons case.  And his friend, or sidekick, Nate, needs some help with some possible eagle killings.  I listened to this on some long drives and I not only liked the book, I liked the reader.

Texas Quilt Museum, The Quilted Skein quilt shop and Book Review

Monday, July 2nd, 2018

On my recent trip to Texas, I had a day off and found myself in La Grange, Texas at the Texas Quilt Museum.  There was a very nice display called “Contemporary Quilt Art from the Collection of International Quilt Festival”.  I really enjoyed the exhibit.  I had seen most of the quilts throughout the years at Quilt Festival but still enjoyed seeing them again.  The display that really got my attention was called “19th Century Quilts from the Collection of International Quilt Festival”.  This collection of antique quilts was incredible and showed some of the best hand quilting.

This first antique quilt is called “Grapes and Leaves and is from c.1860.  The maker is unknown.


I do not often see reverse applique on antique quilts and I liked how it was included in the red “V” shape on this basket.  And, of course, I loved all the circles.




The name of this quilt is “Strawberry Wreath”.  It was made by Sarah Dubois in 1860.  The hand applique and the hand quilting are outstanding.






“Baskets and Stars” was made c.1860.  The maker is unknown.




I only had one regret……the museum will host an exhibit of Sue Garman’s quilts starting on the 28th of June.  Oh, how I wish the exhibit would have been there while I was in the area.  I think you should put the Texas Quilt Museum on your list of places to see and I really think you should try and make it to the museum while Sue Garman’s quilts are on display.  I LOVE her quilts.  She was a great designer and maker of quilts.  She will be missed.  To find out more about the museum and upcoming exhibits visit

Beside the museum is a charming quilt/yarn shop.


Items are beautifully displayed.







I especially liked some of the notions……







Thanks, Grace, for this recommendation.  This is my first time reading anything by Lisa Jewell.  I enjoyed her style of writing and how she introduced the characters.  “Frank” is found on the beach with no memory of how he got there or anything about his background.  Alice finds him and wants to help.  There is another story about a family on vacation and the horror they endure.  I liked the way the stories merged.


New Braunfels and Le Porte Texas, Quilt Shops, Retreats, and Book Review

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

I visited New Braunfels, Texas last week and it was hot, hot, hot. They have wonderful parks centered around natural cold water springs which flow into the Guadeloupe River. There are multitudes of people enjoying floats down the streams and rivers, but here are some of my favorite inhabitants.




You lookin’ at me!



Nap time in the shade.





We stopped by to see a friend, Rhonda, who owns and operates “Pieceful Stitches” an extraordinary Quilt Retreat in Le Porte, Texas. To learn more about the retreat visit



Rhonda has three separate buildings, the house that serves as the sleeping and dining quarters, the workshop building which is huge, well lit with great tables and work areas, and Rhonda’s quaint shop.  Every single thing about this place was impressive.  Each lodging room was decorated with a theme.  I loved Rhonda’s decorating style.



The work/play area



and Rhonda in her shop.



Even her bathrooms have a sewing theme. Check out the sink….an old sewing machine base.


If you are looking for a really nice retreat location, this is your place.  Everything about it was fabulous….including Rhonda.


Until next week  … …. ….I’ve got Georgia on my mind.


Book Review

I had downloaded this book by Lisa See a while ago and forgot to read it.  It’s from 2014.  I’ve read some of her other books and liked them so I decided to give another one of her books a try.  The time period is the late 30’s.  Three girls meet….Ruby, Helen and Grace.  They are from differing backgrounds, but all oriental.  They form a very strong bond through their like of dance.  They perform in nightclubs, etc.  This book takes you through Pearl Harbor and the aftermath which has a great affect on the girls.  I liked this book and would give it a four out of five stars.

Quilt North Guild, More From Utah and Book Review

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

I am just back from an enjoyable trip to the Clifton Park area of New York.  I was visiting the Quilt North Guild.

The ladies keep the tables along the walls so they can easily reach the outlets which really spread them out.  I had to take a panoramic photo to get everyone in one shot. Thanks ladies for a very enjoyable time and for all of your kind words during the classes.

I do not normally include photos of myself.  But, I am making an exception because the sweetest dog in the world is at my feet while I’m taking my lunch break.  I love this dog.



Now, for more photos from our Utah trip.  Honestly, we took so many photos, I could share for ages.  But, I’ll only bore you with these last few of my favorites from Arches National Park.






This is Ute Rock Art.  Carved sometime between A.D. 1650 and 1850.  They are called petroglyphs.  It is important to the Native Americans since not much of the art from their ancestors still exists.



Delicate arch.



Some more of my favorites.
















Another good read.  I have read several other books by Marie Bostwick and liked them which lead me to read her most recent book, “Just In Time”.  I might like them just a little more because of the quilt connection in her books…..just maybe.  This book follows the lives of three women who meet at a grief support group.  They decided the group was not for them but ended up becoming friends and helping each other.  It is somewhat predictable but that does not mean I did not like it.  I’m a sucker for happy endings.

Layton Utah, Antelope Island and Book Review

Monday, June 4th, 2018

This past week, I was the guest of Gina Ellis who organizes a quilting retreat every year. What a great location and a fabulous group of ladies. Thank you for all your suggestions regarding things to do, see, and places to go and how to get to them.


We arrived a day early and headed to Antelope Island to see the critters. Antelope Island sits in the middle of the Great Salt Lake and it is home to one of the largest bison herds together with a number of other animals, birds and wonderful views.



From the highest point on the island, Bison Point, looking west. Just give me an Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!




We saw many birds searching for a snack.



Got one.



We watched this hawk for 10 minutes.



Until he swooped down and was off with a mouse.



Some other birds we saw.







And, we did come across this fellow. Very appropriate seeing we were on Antelope Island.



A mule deer mom calling to her fawn.



I think she said “look to your right!”. It’s Wile E.




We saw him from a distance and an hour later, when driving back Joe said, “Let’s see if we can find that coyote.” I told him “it is probably on the other side of the island by now”. But, low and behold Joe slowed down and Wiley strolled out in front of us.



What an interesting face.



We call our little Eve “the coyote dog”, but seeing a real coyote makes me rethink her nick name.



And, of course, we saw the bison. There were 100s of little ones,




and some really big ones, too.





I bet he was thinking……that black SUV looks like a nice thing to butt. So, we drove away.




We stopped at Promontory Summit, Utah where the intercontinental railroad was joined in 1869.





Joe looked for the gold and silver spikes and was told that they were at Stanford University. Did not know why until I read the plaque and the owner of the Pacific Railroad was Leland Stanford who started and funded the university.




On our drive back to the Salt Lake City area, here were a few things we saw.


The Ogden Pass waterfall.



The Utah farming area




And, a sure sign spring had come to the high desert west.



Next week………….. Arches National Park.




Thank you to my friend, Laura, for recommending this book.  I really liked it.  It held my interest from beginning to end.  It is based on a true story that took place in the late 30’s.  The book takes you back and forth between the 1930’s and present day.  Apparently, there was a time when low income families who were at the hospital giving birth were asked to sign some paperwork, not knowing what they were signing. The paperwork they signed granted our government the authority to take their children and place them for adoption.  This story follows one such family and made me cringe to find out what these poor children and parents went through.

Birds, Flowers, the Japanese Gardens, GUMBA and Book Review

Monday, May 28th, 2018

I was simply amazed at the size and quality of the flowers in the Vancouver, Washington/Portland, Oregon area. Breathtaking! The following photos were taken on our morning walks along the Columbia River.







We also spied an Osprey nest. “Hey Honey! I know I’m late coming home so I stopped for some takeout fish.”





“Thank you, dear.”



Here are a few other birds we saw at the water’s edge.



These golden finches were sitting directly above the hawk, but they sat motionless without a peep.




Check out this little hummingbird




I asked him to smile but he just stuck out his tongue.



In the hills above Portland, sits Washington Park and its magical gardens. Its most famous, the Portland Japanese Gardens. What a treat. It was so calming and relaxing just to walk around such beauty after a day of teaching.







After our visit, we drove to the Alberta Arts District of Northeast Portland. What a fun and eclectic area.



When we visit new areas, we check for suggestions on restaurants and have never been disappointed. Tonight we were in search of “GUMBA”.  It had a 5 star rating with over 1,000 reviews. I have never seen a restaurant listed on Yelp with that many reviews.  And, all of them were good reviews. It was one of four food truck/trailers on a corner lot with four other truck/trailers. There were tables for 2, 4 and picnic tables for larger groups.



Do not let the Bohemian setting fool you. We ordered soup, salad and the pasta, advertised as freshly made. It was the best, the absolute best Italian pasta dish I have ever eaten. If in the Portland area, find this place. GUMBA, corner of 23rd and Alberta Avenue. The other three truck/trailers made and served French cuisine, there was a Seafood restaurant and a wine and beer trailer. Joe had to try the local IPA and reports it was hoppolicious!


Until next week …     .



I’ve read many of Tami Hoag’s books but it’s been awhile.  I’m glad I picked up this one.

In a small town in Louisiana…… they have been terrorized by a brutal killing/rape.  The suspect goes free on a technicality.  Detective Nick Forcarde is accused of planting evidence and removed from the case.  Deputy Annie Broussard found the mutilated body and wants justice.  There were so many possible suspects that it kept me wanting to keep reading.  Good read.

Vancouver, Washington, Portland Oregon and Book Review

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

This past week, I headed west to Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington to teach and lecture for the Clark County Quilters. We were to arrive a day early so that we could do a little sight seeing, but Mother Nature thought it would be better to spend 12 hours at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. As we waited for our flight to be rescheduled, the weather broke and a double rainbow appeared just as a plane full of leprechauns was leaving for Ireland.



I received a warm welcome from the Clark County Quilters. What a great group. To learn more visit their site at :


Here are some of the ladies hard at work during our two-day Majestic Mosaic machine applique workshop.



We did get to drive along the Columbia River to the Multnomah Falls. It was a bit overcast but the falls were beautiful.



We crossed the Bridge of the Gods and drove back on the Washington side of the Columbia. The clouds dissipated and Mount Hood magically appeared.



Each morning, we walked along the river and it was beautiful.



A statue of Ilchee, a Native American Princess, daughter of the Chief of the Chinook tribe and friend of Lewis and Clark, was strategically placed on the river’s edge.



Not far down the path, we found this great tribute to the many women who worked in the local shipyards during World War II.



My dear friend, Lytle Ann Markham, heard I was in the Portland area and wrote “If you are there you must visit “Voodoo Doughnuts.” I asked my class “what’s so special about Voodoo Doughnuts?” Joe went to find out.









The cashier was simply bananas.



Joe brought back some scrumptious creations and the entire class got some Voodoo.



Did I tell you I have a Dog!!! Eve jumped into my arms upon our return. I think she may have missed me as much as I missed her.



Next week, the gardens, flowers and birds around Vancouver and Portland.



I am a big fan of Michael Connelly and his character, Harry Bosch.  I personally think Michael Connelly should write faster giving me more Harry Bosch books to read.  So, yes, you guessed it, I really liked this book.  Bosch is back working cold cases in his office which is an old, unused cell.  Something comes up on an old case that brings Harry’s reputation into question.  Harry and his brother, attorney Micky Howler, work to find the truth.  I give this book 5 stars.

If you are a Harry Bosch fan or become one, you need to check out the TV series “Bosch” on Amazon.  It is fantastic.  Love the characters and Michael Connelly is one of the producers so he brings his books to life.  I binge watched one series in a week.  Each season follows a story based on one of Connelly’s books.  Again, could you work faster Michael Connelly as I’m ready for the next season please.

Relaxing on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Book Review

Monday, May 7th, 2018

Some weeks you just have to go where there are no phones, no hassles, no frets, no people and no roads … the Outer Banks of North Carolina in the spring.




Never know what you will see. Always incredible wildlife. Some big.





Some small



Some delicate



and some high and majestic.



Witnessed some of the most fantastic sun rises





and even more spectacular moon rises. A Pink moon over the water!!!



“Fly me to the moon… ”




One of my favorite things to do at the beach is comb the water’s edge for treasures: beautiful shells,




and my favorite find…… sea glass!  I get crazy excited when I find sea glass.  It’s like a treasure on the beach.



But, my most favorite thing this year was taking Eve and she loved it.  She did not get her feet wet.  She was a little scared of all that water coming at her.  Maybe by the time we make our next trip to the Outer Banks, she’ll be just a little more relaxed along the water.  I keep saying this ……she’s taking baby steps of improvement.  Baby steps, baby steps….improvement.  It’s a good thing.  She’s been with us for only five months.  Most people I talk to tell me it will take 6 months to one year for her to fully adjust.  I’m very willing to keep working at it.





I love her and I love a good dog kiss.  Oh yeah, almost forgot, Joe came with us. We needed someone to take photos, drive and pick up the poop.





Yes, I read another Heather Gudenkauf book.

Allison Glenn is a popular and smart high school student.  She is loved by everyone and on a mission to do well in school and sports.  Her path is not what she envisioned.  She ends up in prison.  There were some good twists to this book.  Some parts of this story line seemed a little far fetched but I still enjoyed the book.


Until next week  …    .

Spring Arrives in Pennsylvania and Book Review

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

Made it home this past week to freezing temps. But, after a little rain, sun and temps up in the 50s, Spring finally arrived.


We were all so happy. Eve loves the long walks. Look at that smile


Kitty Carlisle loves to bask in the sun and smell the flowers.


Joe was able to head to the stream and visit a few of the friends he had caught and released in the fall. A nice rainbow trout.



And, a brownie.



While wading in the stream, Joe was about to step up onto the bank but was stopped by two squawking Canadian Geese. It startled him until he looked to his left.


Joe quietly moved away to allow the large birds to return to their work. My husband is no home wrecker!


We purchased a house plant last fall. During the past two weeks, it blossomed with two massive flowers.











Lucas Ray has been feeding some feral cats at an abandoned building.  While there, he finds a puppy living with the cats.  He takes Bella home.  Due to some animal codes, Bella is not allowed in the city of Denver…….pit bulls are not allowed in the city. Bella is taken to a foster place until Lucas and his mother can find an apartment out of the city.  While in foster care, Bella escapes with the intention of finding her way back to Lucas.  This book kept my interest from beginning to end.  I am a sucker for a good dog book.

The Villages, and Leesburg, Florida and Book Review

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

We just returned from a great trip to The Villages and Leesburg, Florida. I taught for two guilds and it was great to head South as we are now believing winter is never leaving the Northeast.

A sign we saw on our drive from the airport:



Yikes!! They were not kidding.



The Villages is the largest and most active community of “mature” people on the planet. They have numerous communities built around huge activity centers and beautiful golf courses. They have so many clubs, speakers, events, concerts, their own newspaper and a fabulous quilt guild boasting over 1,000 members.



Here are the ladies in our hand applique class.



My next stop, a few miles away was:



Leesburg is another great town with some great quilters.





One of the guild members, Olive Gobin of Fruitland Park, FL, has taken a few classes with me in the past and brought her most recent award winning quilt to share. She made me feel good as she explained how she used techniques she learned in my classes.  The pattern is one of Pat Campbell’s Jacobean designs.   Congratulations on all of your awards, Olive.  They are well deserved.





While I was teaching, Joe was out wondering about the area. Here are a few photos of some colorful Florida birds.

A male Gallenule


A female Gallenule



Check out those big feet. Makes it much easier to walk on lily pads.  And, I thought I had big feet…….




A few species of Ibis or is it Ibises or is it Ibu?? I’m not sure but they sure are cool looking birds with great eyes.




A cormorant drying in the sun.




Check out the great blue heron in search of some lunch.





Hey Joe, got any tarter sauce?



Hope it warms up at home soon. Hey Punxsutawney Phil, I thought you said 6 more weeks of winter, not 9 more weeks. Does anyone know if there is still a warrant out for the arrest of that little rodent? Just kidding, Phil.


Until next week …..




Several people recommended “Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine”.   I had some hand applique to do and decided to listen to this book.  When it first started, I had my doubts about the book.  But, I was soon pulled into the story and could not wait to find out what Eleanor did next.  Eleanor is a loner and very set in her ways.  She may not always say it out loud but she’s thinking things like……”why would he wear those clothes?”.  As you listen/read the book you learn more and more about Eleanor’s background and the more you learn the more you are intrigued.  P.S. The reader is excellent.