Monday, July 17, 2017

Unintended Journey

Hubby and I went with our son to PA on Sunday to help him finish setting up his apartment. He will be living about 140 miles from us. We left Sunday morning around 9 a.m. and encountered absolutely no traffic. The entire trip took just over 2 hours. We crossed two bridges and traveled in 3 states. Wonderful! (Please note that the speed limits range from 50 to 70 so this is just about right).
We went food shopping with our son so that he could stock his kitchen and refrigerator. Then we helped him continue to empty moving boxes and waited for his replacement furniture. When we were in PA over a week ago, his new bedroom furniture was delivered by a crew that was less than careful. The furniture was scratched and missing parts. He was quite disappointed. A visit to the local store had a replacement delivery scheduled for Sunday. Well they brought a whole new bedroom set (he needed only the dresser, one bedside table, and bunky board replaced and the bed slats that never came in the first delivery). What they didn't bring this time were the bunky board and the bed slats... the latter didn't come either time and this is a platform bed so the mattress sits on those 14 slats. How in the world did they think that would work? Hubby and I went to the local store to complain again while our son waited at his apartment for the delivery crew to return with a possible solution. This delivery crew had promised to bring temporary expansion bed slats so that he could at least sleep on the bed. The temporary bed slats came and he used the bunky board that still needs to be replaced. He can sleep on his bed and he is supposed to get yet another delivery in two weeks. He started a new job on Monday and can't take days off for a delivery so he needed to schedule it on a weekend. 

Now after the long day of organizing the three of us went out to dinner at a local restaurant. Our son just moved into a planned community and there are a bunch of restaurants within walking distance. This park-like setting was just outside the entrance to our restaurant. 
 Isn't this a great fire pit?
 The little fountains change color.
 Here is the street that is right outside his apartment building.
 The building with the spire is the local supermarket.

After dinner, Hubby and I started the drive home around 8 pm. We expected to get home between 10 and 11 pm. Well that didn't happen. We had little to no traffic all the way through PA and not much on the New Jersey Turnpike (I95) until we approached the Goethals Bridge. Now Hubby and I live on Long Island, NY. You must go over a bridge in order to get off the Island (or take a ferry to Connecticut). The Goethals Bridge leads from NJ to Staten Island, NY which you can then drive across to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge which gets you to Long Island. As we approached the exit to the Goethals bridge we encountered standstill traffic. We sat in the exit lane for over an hour until Hubby got fed up and decided to try another route. (Note that my two phone apps continued to tell me that home was only 1.5 hours away even after an hour of sitting at this exit but they also said that the alternate routes were even longer.) Now our alternate route was to drive North of Manhattan (we were South of it) to the George Washington Bridge, then turn East to the Throgs Neck Bridge onto Long Island. We stopped at a rest-stop right before the GW bridge, because by now we were on the road for 3.5 hours. There was traffic leading to the GW bridge, but at least it kept moving even though it was slow. Our journey home finally ended at 1 am, 5 hours  (and many tolls) after leaving our son in PA. If you do the math.....140 miles (more because of our detour) in 5 hours means we averaged 28 miles per hour. Really?! Ugh.

The moral of this story is to think twice before moving to a home on an island. Hubby and I grew up on Long Island and it has always been a hassle to get off and on when traveling by car. We don't plan on spending our retirement here for a variety of reasons. I certainly won't miss the traffic, but that time is still several years away.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Embroidery and Cross-stitches

Hubby and I are enjoying the last week of our son's visit before he moves to PA for his new job. I have been shopping with him for furniture and household items for his new apartment.
 I have been trying to spend an hour or two each day on my stitchery. As a result Baker Beach only has 1.5 pages left to be stitched. Yay!!!!!
I have also been working on the Summer of Love Challenge. It is looking exactly as I have planned so far. The 1967 Summer Of Love was according to The San Francisco Oracle:

"A new concept of celebrations beneath the human underground must emerge, become conscious, and be shared, so a revolution can be formed with a renaissance of compassion, awareness, and love and the revelation of unity for all mankind". 

Of course I was too young at the time to really understand the whole thing, but now the idea of "unity for all mankind" really resonates with me so that is what my design stems from. Therefore, my Peace sign will include the words Peace and Love with the COEXIST symbol and the Rainbow Flag. I wanted my Challenge piece to make a statement of some type that is consistent with my contemporary view of the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love.
I am hoping to finish the embroidery and incorporate it into a tote bag that I can use.

I finished reading The Quilter's Legacy by Jennifer Chiaverini. This is the 5th book in the Elm Creek Quilt Series and it was just as enjoyable to read as the first 4. There was a hunt for lost quilts along with some family history of the main character. I breezed right through it. 
Now I am reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling. 
I bought this for my daughter for Christmas and she lent it to me to read over the summer. Since she will be visiting next weekend I figured that I would read it this week so that I can return it to her. I will have 5 hours in the car tomorrow for reading and stitching as we help my son bring his new purchases and the rest of his belongings to his apartment and then drive home. He starts his new job on Monday!

I am joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. I will either work on the Summer of Love or a Prairie Schooler Santa. I prefer knit or crochet in the car, but I don't have any WIPs of either right now so I will try to stitch. On Monday I will join the Stitchery Link Party at Super Mom - No Cape. Pop on over to these sites to see what other bloggers are stitching.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Summer of Love Challenge

I have started on my Summer of Love challenge piece. It is totally my own design and not completely planned out yet. I will be designing as I go. The peace sign is the foundation of the design though. 
I started stitching it when we traveled to PA to help my son get his apartment set up.
I have added some stitches to Baker Beach also. This is where it stood last week....
and here it is now.
The blues are finished and I am working on a grey right now. I hope to finish that color at the very least as I join Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching today. Tomorrow I will join the Stitchery Link Party at Super Mom - No Cape. Pop on over to these sites to see what other bloggers are stitching.

With all the recent rain we have had, my flowers have really taken off.
 I am really pleased with the begonias and impatiens this year.
 I love the pot below and I always try to find a plant that will spill out of it. Yes, the deck needs fixing. That should be happening any day now.
 This pot is Hubby's favorite this year.
 The purple salvia in these pots is taking over.
 This late blooming variety of hydrangea has loads of blooms this year.
Aren't they just gorgeous?

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Baker Beach Update

I have gotten a whole lot of stitches done this past week, almost 1000! All blue.
I am not sure that I can keep this pace up as there are so many other summer projects that I have to work on and not all of them are crafting. I am trying to spend about an hour a day on Baker Beach and more on updating my PreCalculus university class. I am using a new textbook so I have to update my assignments. I also want to subtract some topics that I think are unnecessary and add some that I believe will be more useful.

I am also reading again. I picked up Nora Roberts' Key of Light
I really love her books that include magic and sorcery. It is probably the same reason that I love all of the Harry Potter books. I am thoroughly engrossed in this book right now. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy over the course of the summer.

I am joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching today. I plan to work on the grey-blue color that I am currently stitching. I would love to finish that color today. I will join the Stitchery Link Party at Super Mom - No Cape on Monday. Pop on over to these sites to see what other bloggers are stitching. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

It is about time.

I made this quilt top for my son several years ago, but I have been slow to get it quilted. I am calling it Matthew's Maze as it is for my son Matthew and it looks like a maze to me.
When I took out the backing fabric, I found that I hadn't sewn it together yet. So I trimmed all the threads from the quilt top and ironed the quilt and the batting fabric. I sewed the backing fabric together and trimmed it to the correct size. I will be bringing it to the long-arm quilter sometime soon. Since my son will be moving into his first apartment soon in PA, I think it is about time that I finished it for him. 

I have also been spending a little time each night crocheting the background color on these Granny Square Roses.

 It is about time that I managed to connect these into an afghan as they have been around since before I began this blog in 2013. I have to see whether I want to put a plain square in between each rose or connect them right next to each other. I think it will depend on how many roses I actually have right now.

Finally, it was about time that Hubby and I managed to get to the beach to walk at night. We actually went down to the local town beach and saw a beautiful sunset!
The ducks are an added bonus in the picture.

If you look carefully you can see an egret in the middle of the bay.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

8 down, 2 to go!

I was waiting to update you on my Baker Beach progress until I finished the 8th page! I beat my end of June goal by almost a week.
I have turned the scrolls and already used that bright green floss to make the grid for the next two pages.
The left edge of this project is one column in from the green line you can see just by the shadow. Page 9 has a little bit of blue started at the very top. 

When we came home from CA my tiger lilies were blooming profusely. 

Unfortunately, I didn't realize that bunnies love to eat them. These two, baby and parent, have absolutely decimated them. 
Next year I will have to put a small fence around them to keep the bunnies out. 
Isn't the baby cute though?
I hope the don't like the day-lilies that are about to bloom.

I am joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching today. I think I will continue to work on Baker Beach. On Monday I will join the Stitchery Link Party at Super Mom - No Cape. She showcases vintage embroidery patterns that are really something.

Speaking of embroidery, I have joined the San Francisco School of Needlework and Design "Stitch at Home Challenge". The theme is "The Summer of Love" as it is the 50th anniversary.
I chose the challenge floss of "Peace and Love". I just started designing my piece. I have had this book for ages, but have never really used it. I always embroidered using kits. I will be winging it with this Challenge, but I am just going to enjoy the process. Since I really want to finish Baker Beach, I am not sure whether it was a smart idea to join, but I will make the most of it. Now I have to order my fabric. I am hoping to mostly use floss that is in my extensive stash although I may not have enough psychedelic colors. We shall see.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Proud parents 2

Now Hubby and I have to congratulate our daughter who just passed her 11th and final actuarial exam making her a full-fledged Actuarial Fellow. She spent  2500 hours studying over the past 5.5 years to pass all those exams.
I also want to share a few more pictures of our trip to CA.
On our last day in CA our flight was delayed early in the day, so we were able to spend some time looking around Stanford University. Hubby wanted to re-visit Stanford Memorial Church.
There are inspirational panels around the church. This was my son's favorite.
The stained glass windows are beautiful.
We also had time to visit the Rodin Sculpture Garden. All of these are reproductions.
 These are The Gates of Hell.
An up close view of the Gates of Hell.
 The sculpture garden is outside of the Cantor Arts Center. If you ever get to visit the Palo Alto area, this is a free museum. There is an area for Asian art.
 The Jade items were gorgeous.
Look at the delicate carving on this plate.
An Asian exhibit is not complete without a dragon.
 Can you believe the beauty of this blue and yellow urn?
 Being an avid tea drinker, I had to take a photo of this teapot. 
Blue and white porcelain has always been a favorite of mine.
 There was also an Ancient Americas exhibit (Peru and Mesoamerica)
 Almost all the bowls had holes in the bottom.
Aren't the decorations on these pots just gorgeous?
 I was fascinated by the juxtaposition of this beautiful black pot and the small graphically decorated one below it.
 Hubby and I posed by a Totem Pole in the Native American Art Exhibit.
 A ceremonial mask.
 We also visited an Art & Its Histories exhibit.

 There were also some Egyptian items.
 There was even a wool and linen fragment of fabric from the Byzantine Era of Egypt circa 330 - 641 CE (also known as BC)
 You know that I would find and share a piece of pretty fabric.
That was the end of our trip. We are home now and my school year will be done on Friday. I am so looking forward to summer vacation and a whole lot of crafting.

Thanks for stopping by!