Friday, August 31, 2012

Crossing the Continental Divide!

This evening Mr. Squash and I are in Golden, Colorado.  We had a very long day of hard driving through mountains, but the vistas were incredible!

I didn't get any photos along the way except at this rest area outside of Green River, Utah.  We saw views like this for nearly 3 hours until we crossed over into Colorado where the mountains got higher and greener.  Around 2pm today we crossed the Continental Divide East of Vail (appx 11,148 feet).  Our trusty Pilot which just had it's 90,000 mile tune-up moaned and groaned a little, but nevertheless, chugged right through like the trooper it is!

We made a stop in Evergreen, Colorado to deliver one of my Bernina sewing machines I sold to a woman who lives there!  She had inquired about it 2 years ago and I wasn't ready to sell it but kept her email.  This past winter I decided to see if she still had interest in it and she did!  I told her if she didn't live too far, I could deliver it to her since I no longer had the original shipping boxes.  Turns out she lives in Colorado and I said it was too bad because we were going there in August.  She said she had waited a long time and was willing to wait a bit longer!  Isn't that fantastic?  So, it all went as planned and we met up with her this afternoon.  I believe it was just meant to be!

We arrived here around 4pm and are both dog tired, but needed to stretch our legs badly, so we walked up and down the main street.
Look what we found!  Unfortunately, it wasn't my kind of quilt shop.  Very nice, but just didn't have the fabrics I like.  Across the street was a quilt museum but they had already closed for the day.
Farther down was this "Cowboy on a Break"!  Rather than riding and roping, he is holding a fishing rod and casting for big, brown trout that inhabit Clear Creek just on the other side of those trees.
Check it out - the town provides tables and chairs above the river so you can relax and watch the rafters float down or the cowboy catching trout!
If you click on this photo, you'll see someone tubing down the river.
LOVE this bridge sign!
Why lookee here - some of those brown trout escaped the river!
And see what's down in the distance?  Coors Brewery made Golden famous a long time ago!
Here's where we are staying.  I think it will be an early night for us!

Tomorrow - Estes Park.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Deep in the Mountains!

While having breakfast this morning at our B&B in Twin Falls, Idaho, I mentioned that I was a quilter to the owner.  She said she had a quilt in one of the upstairs rooms that she would like to show me.  

Here it is.  She said it was an older quilt or a portion of a quilt and she purchased it framed.  If you click on the photo you can see quite a few feedsack fabrics.  There are some great little blocks here including a few cute little house blocks!  Click on the photo to enlarge.

After another hour or so of driving in the smoke and overcast skies today, we finally crossed into Utah where the skies gradually cleared of smoke.  However, there were numerous thunderstorms along our route today which at times again blotted out the surrounding mountains and landscapes.  Once we got over a summit which name I forget, and started the descent toward Ogden, the skies cleared enough so Mr. Squash  could see the mountains.
Here is the view from a rest stop outside of Ogden.
And looking toward the route ahead of us.  That large gray area turned into a pretty good rainstorm!  The good news is that is washed all the dust and smoke off our car!
Tonight we are in Price, Utah, deep in the heart of the mountains at 5566 feet!  As far as we can tell the area is pretty much established from all the coal mining as well quite a bit of recreation.  We had a little time before dinner so we drove into historic Helper, Utah, a short bit down the road.  The town above was very old and not much there except for a nice antique store where we picked up a lovely, art deco glass bowl.
This really interesting rock formation was just above the town.
And who did we run smack dab into but the world's largest Coal Miner in Helper, Utah!  He wasn't very talkative, so we decided to head back to Price and dinner.

Early tomorrow we head to Golden, Colorado.  Stay tuned for another installment from the road!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

On the Road in Twin Falls

Mr. Squash and I are on the road to Colorado!  Tonight finds us in Twin Falls, Idaho at a lovely B & B called The Fillmore Inn.  We're sitting out on the back deck in the most gorgeous yard, enjoying a perfect evening!

We had dinner a short ways away at a restaurant that overlooks the Snake River Canyon.  The photo above was taken from our table on the outside patio.  The water you see is the Snake River and there is a gorgeous golf-course that takes up both sides of the river.  Mr. Squash said it was so beautiful that he might consider wearing pastels and taking up golf (wink).  What looks like haze in the air is actually smoke.  There are enormous parts of Idaho on fire which blotted out most of the views on our drive here.
Here is a close-up of the bottom of the canyon and the golf course.  Click on the photo for a better look.

After dinner we were encouraged by Julie at the B &B to try and take in Shoshone Falls.  Thanks to our iPad, we found we weren't far and decided to go.  Gosh, I'm so glad we did!  The falls are at their lowest rate right now because of irrigation, but did not disappoint!
Here is a close-up of the largest part of the falls.  They also generate electricity.
This was looking down the Snake River Canyon the opposite way from the falls.  Gorgeous!  I haven't edited any of the photos, either.

We left home at 8am this morning and arrived here around 4pm.  We always make good use of rest stops and take our time.  It was a good day!  Tomorrow will find us somewhere in Utah - about a 6-7 hour drive.  Care to guess where we might stay the night?  A hint is it won't be a large city and the following day we'll be headed to I-70 and Denver.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Finished Quilt Top and Tomatoes Galore!

Over the weekend I finished the last of my Cottage Charms blocks and decided to sew one or two together to see how they would look.  One thing led to another and before I knew it, I had finished the quilt top!
Here is Mr. Squash out in the sunshine holding up the finished quilt top.  (Don't you just love those feet?)  With the sashings and borders, it pulls together much better.  I'm still not happy with the Magnolia block, but such is life.  I plan to put this on Vinnie and practice freehand quilting.  Anyone have any ideas?  I think for sure I will attempt feathers in the borders.
Yesterday morning I went out to pick tomatoes.  Do you believe this harvest?  Most of the plants aren't even half over, either!  What to do, what to do.....  I thought I would send Mr. Squash around the neighborhood with goody bags, then I thought why not can some of the round red ones whole!  Took me a very long time to do all the prep work and bring several huge kettles of water to boil.  I washed and prepared 12 quart jars and there was a mountain of red tomatoes!  I was certain I wouldn't have enough room for all the Roma's.

After four hard hours of work, this is what I got - 4 quart jars of whole tomatoes!  I guess that's an hour per jar - lol!  And my spacial capabilities are top notch!  Not this time!  You can be sure these will be used for something very special this winter!  I really didn't want to give the rest of the tomatoes away, so I began surfing around for some other, quick way to use them prior to leaving for Colorado on Wednesday.  I found this: and will be getting up bright and early tomorrow to start my sauce!  The great thing about this recipe is that I can combine the Yellow Boy tomatoes with the red!
I'll leave you today with a view of the quilt top in the shade where the colors stand out a tad more.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Interesting Block

Short post today.  This is the 10th of 11 blocks for my Cottage Charm BOM.

Once again, kind of washed out and not very colorful, but I'm hoping it all comes together in the end.  This block is called Magnolias.  I love the little folded centers which I've never made until now.  It definitely is an interesting block.

 My doc told me today that my lungs sound nice and clear which is great news as we're leaving for Colorado next Wednesday!  I hope everyone has a great weekend! 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Beautiful Harvest!

Last evening we decided it was time for a little harvest!

We've had a running battle with the squirrels, birds and us to see who will get the grapes first.  The grapes are much smaller on the vine than what you see in the store, and since the birds and squirrels are showing interest, I thought it might be time to do a taste test.  Lo and behold - they are sweet and juicy and ready to harvest!  Here is our first crop of table grapes!  I never thought I would see this day.  They won't last long!

The Squash House has also produced a bumper crop of carrots this year.  Look at these colorful beauties!  It's the first time I've grown this rainbow variety.  Who knew it would be so easy and inexpensive to grow them compared to what you pay to buy them in the high end grocery stores.  Pot Roast, here we come!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cute Finish and a Wrangler!

Thanks to all of you who have sent well wishes!  I feel a bit better every day and am well on my way back to normal!  As my friend Kaaren over at The Painted Quilt said, quilting is like Chicken Soup!  You're so right, Kaaren!

Here is my finished Itty Bitty Primitive Pinwheel quilt!  This little cutie measures only 10 1/2" square!  I think the added orange rick rack around the edges was just what it needed!
Next month Mr. Squash has a temporary position as a Wrangler!  He is going with Otis (who married us) in to the Eagle Cap Wilderness for about 12 days.  Otis is leading an elk hunt for several fellows.  Mr. Squash is going to stay in camp and keep an eye on the stock during the day while the fellows are out hunting.  The bonus for him is that he can also fish all day right from camp!  We got him some new riding boots, so he thought he would break them in around the house while doing chores!  He promised I could take his picture for some peanut butter on celery!  What a guy!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Down, but not Out

I know you've been expecting a fishing post, but this time our trip had to be put off.  Mr. Squash caught a bad cold while we were back East and no sooner did we get home, I got it.  We decided to go fishing anyway and spent the night in a hotel near the river.  During the night I got worse, so we had to cancel and reschedule the trip.  I went to my doctor and she diagnosed pneumonia!  Talk about a shock.  I had no idea it was more than just a bad cold.  I am on antibiotics and still upright, but this does take a lot out of you.  I want to be sure and be perfectly well for our trip to Colorado later this month, so I'm taking it easy.  Well, sort of....

I just can't be idle for long and I thought a little quiet sewing in my studio would fill some of the time.  I got the small quilt bug from Linda over at The Quilted Pineapple.  She is turning out some great little quilts lately in addition to her gifted longarm quilting business.  A dear friend gave me some darling fall themed 2 1/2" squares which I thought would be fun in this little Itty Bitty Primitive pinwheel quilt from Primitive Gatherings.  I finished the top yesterday.  There is still a little surprise I'm adding to this one and I'll show it to you as soon as it's finished.
I also finished another of my Cottage Charm BOM blocks.  I wasn't going to show this one as it feels awfully light in value to me, but it does seem to photograph better than it looks in person!  Imagine that.  I'm really hoping the next one has a tad more color and pizzaz!

Every day I feel a tiny bit better.  I hope by next week I'm good as new.  Until then I think I'll be spending my time right here in my studio having some quiet, summer sewing fun!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A (Fabric) Barn Raising

It's about time I had something quilty in a post, don't you think?  

Yesterday I decided to do another block for my Cottage Charm BOM.  I must say there are times when my gigantic cupboard of stash comes in handy!  I cut the vertical siding for the barn as directed, but what the directions failed to mention was they had to line up in one direction.  With not enough fabric left to cut another, I started going through my stash to see what I could substitute.  Lo and behold, I had a full fat quarter of the same fabric in my Little Gatherings FQ tower!

Back to our second to last day in New Jersey.  We spent a day in Cape May - one of my all time favorite spots.  It is located on the southern tip of the state at Exit "0" on the Garden State Parkway.  This is the car-free walking mall.  Lots of wonderful shops and places to eat or just sit and people watch. Mr. Squash did a little of the latter while I left a few bucks in some shops here and there.
At the end of the mall is Congress Hall - one of the original hotels on the beach, built in 1816.  We stayed in it once.  The rooms are huge and airy and have great views of the ocean.
All over town are wonderful Victorian's - most are B&B's.  We've stayed in a few of these as well.  I must say gas prices don't seem to affect the desire to come to the shore at Cape May.  We fought bumper to bumper traffic for many miles, and on the way home in the late afternoon, it was backed up for 40 miles still going to the shore!
After our visit to the mall we grabbed some lunch at headed out to Cape May State Park and Lighthouse.
This large tide pool photo was taken from an observation deck built just for bird watchers.  I wish it hadn't been so hot or we would have spent much more time here.  Click on the photo and you'll see a pair of geese with their little brood!
Mr. Squash braved the heat and walked out to get a photo of this WWII bunker.  It's only a portion of the original structure.  Most of it has been claimed by the sea.  In fact, this much can only be seen at low tide.  
It looks like a lovely day to be at the beach if you can stand the heat!  We had a nice lunch in a shaded picnic area then sought refuge back in the air conditioned car.  Yes, we're wimps!

Thanks for tuning in to my trip to the East Coast!  Later today Mr. Squash and I are headed to Yakima where we are going on a guided fishing trip on Monday!  Both of us have been looking forward to this.  Stay tuned for what I hope will be a great fishing post!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Suicide Bridge Restaurant!

I know what you're thinking - who would eat at a restaurant with a name like that?  The answer is we did - twice!  Located just outside of Cambridge, Maryland, we heard that they have really good seafood, so off we went!
Yup - looks like we're in the right place.  We drove through corn and soybean fields and picturesque countryside to get here.  Near as I could tell, there wasn't much more here other than a few houses, a small marina and the restaurant.
Here is the marina and the sign for the bridge.
This is the other side of the bridge.  Isn't it so pretty?  Click on any photo to enlarge.
Looking back at the restaurant from the bridge.  I was careful to not have any bad karma from standing on the bridge rub off on me (wink).
If you have a few moments, click on the photo and read the story of the bridge.  It's quite interesting.
OK - let's get down to the food!  I wanted nothing more than a fantastic Maryland crab cake, but we decided to begin with a fresh shrimp appetizer!  Don't worry, Mr. Squash shared with everyone.
Bern decided to go all out and had a large, fresh crab plate!  That smile stayed on his face until he finished the last crab!
Here is my dinner - Maryland Crab Cakes!  How I love these succulent cakes of nothing but sweet, lump crab!  I wasn't sure how big they would be so I ordered two.  Needless to say they were huge and I barely got through one (but had a lot of help finishing the other).  We came here on our third night and I had them again!
Barbara had the scallops.  Look how gorgeous they are - and an orchid in the middle.  How pretty is that?
Carrie, I took this photo for you.  Across from the restaurant was a lovely old home with these Purple Martin bird houses in the yard.  Apparently they are quite revered in the Maryland area.

Next up will be my last post on our East Coast trip - a day at Cape May.