Saturday, April 20, 2013

Odds and Ends

Our trip is winding down, and this is our last night in the Hampton Inn.  This week has flown by, and we have really enjoyed our time with my brother and his family, and exploring the area (some planned, some not planned, but all fun just the same!), but honestly, I'm looking forward to being in my own bed, and seeing my husband and children in real life instead of on Skype.

To wrap up this road trip blog I'm going to make this and "Odds and Ends" type entry, with lots of pics.  This first section will be family related.  :)

My sister in law, Melinda and their newest addition, Frederick.  Look at those eyes!

Peter helping Daddy (my brother Paul) mow the lawn.

Hannah... she and I did each other's nails.  She's their only daughter, so we had to have some "girl" time.

Kenneth, their oldest.  Honestly, he looks just like his father did at that age!

Daniel... his response to my request to "look natural".

Aunt Lisa (Lil' ol' me) getting a baby fix and enjoying some time on the swing with Hannah and Kenneth.

Cuddle time! (That's my brother and Peter)

That's a mighty fine looking family!

Visiting is so exhausting.

I wonder how long Daddy can hold his head up before he loses feeling in his arm?

Ice cream sandwiches on the front porch!  (and on our hands, our shirts, our faces..... )

This is pretty popular down here, whatever it is.

We think it may be some sort of holly, but not sure.

Here is our pal Jill.  Isn't she great? LOL

I've never heard of this restaurant chain before.   We ate there a couple of times, and it was wonderful!  Their steak was tender, and the salmon was fresh and grilled perfectly.

Oh this... I love the benches.  I was thinking these would be good on our porch. 

We had dinner with my brother and his family at a Golden Corral one night.  When I asked for unsweetened tea, the server looked at me as if to say, "Oh, great, a Yankee."  Then, to add insult to injury, I put in a packet of Sweet and Low to give it just a little sweetening.  Their sweet tea is way to sweet for me, but I do like a little sweetening.  Crazy, isn't it?

Looks like Frederick is enjoying his tea too.  LOL!

Nice sling.  Oh, look, there is a baby in there!

See that tuft of fuzz?  That is Frederick's head.  He napped, cozied up to Mama for a bit while we ate.

Okay, everyone smile.... er, never mind.  

We went to the BJU store on campus and I came away with some goodies.  

Oh honey, guess what I got for you?

So much happened this week, and so much fun and good conversations that it would be impossible to record them here.  It has been a wonderful trip, and a real blessing to be able to come down to visit family with my mom.  The last time we did this trip Jerusha was 3 months old, and she came with us.  That was almost exactly 8 years ago.  Time sure does fly!

Time for me to say goodnight.  We leave a O'darkthirty in the morning tomorrow. 


Friday, April 19, 2013

Quilt Shop Hunting

Before leaving for South Carolina, I spent a lot of time on the Internet looking up Quilt shops in the area I would be in.  It was a high priority task, and I was very careful with my list. Never mind that other packing... like clothes, toothpaste, that sort of thing.  First things first, you know.

So I had my handy dandy list, and on Wednesday Mom, Jill, and I took off to parts unknown (Jill is my mom's GPS, if you remember from the previous post).    We plugged in the first stop, and one of the first things we did was take a wrong turn about 500 feet from the hotel.


Jill then sternly told us how to get back to where we were supposed to be, and we were off again... this time in the right direction.  We traveled without incident until we were almost to our destination.


"Turn right, 100 feet."

I was looking around wondering what on earth Jill was talking about.  There was nothing but dirt driveways, heavy laden with potholes all around us.

Shrugging, we turned in.  We came to a fork, and took a left.


Oops... Mom found a place to turn around, and priding ourselves on not ending up in a ditch, we went back to the fork, bouncing along on the dirt road.  We went up in the proper direction.  I was looking at numbers in the house, and my mom pulled into a driveway ( aka... a wide, dirt spot in front of a trailer, and no business sign to be found anywhere) and there was an older gentleman, short, thin, in an over sized old plaid shirt and navy blue work pants.

He smiled and waved at us.  Mom rolled down her window (aka "winder") and asked where the quilt shop was.

"You're looking at it, ma'am," he replied.

Oh.  Really?

"I'll go get her for ya," and off he shuffled towards the trailer.

Go get her?  Why does he have to get her?  And where is the sign for the establishment, if it is one?

We got out of the Ca-Ca car (see previous post in regards to the name, thanks to my you know where I get all my charm from!) and approached the trailer.  A short, older lady, in her bathrobe, came to do the door.

"Well, ya'll come right in!  So glad to see you!"  Remember, this is all with a southern drawl.

We followed her into her kitchen, and she invited us to sit.  "I'll be right with you," and she disappeared in another room.

"Don't sit down!" my mom whispered to me.

You get the idea.  We had a very nice chat with the lady, and she was very gracious and hospitable, but she made quilts sometimes.  She had closed her shop due to the economy, and didn't sell fabric anymore.

We thanked her for her time.  I had noticed pictures on the wall of her family, and was about to compliment her on the fine looking bunch, but stopped myself.  If I had, we would still be there now hearing the details of all her kin.

She did give us directions to a super Walmarts in a nearby town that had "fine fabric, on bolts and everything".  I had no intention of going to Walmarts  (call me a fabric snob but ICK!!!!) but we were hungry and figured there would be somewhere to catch some lunch and use a bathroom.

We left, got back on the main road (and I use the word "main" very loosely here) and drove.  And then took another wrong turn. Jill wasn't on so she couldn't scold us.  However, after a bit, when we took a right instead of a left and realized we were going in the totally wrong direction, I plugged in the next place, which in Greenville, just for kicks and grins to see where we were.  We had no clue.   Ended up we went the LONG way to Greenville, around the cow shed, so to speak.

The next place wasn't too hard to find, but .... it was all upholstery and no quilting fabric to be found.  To make an already long story short, we ended up after that taking several wrong turns, and Jill began to sigh and say "Recalculating.... "  in such a way that it sounded like "Recalculating..... again....".  I gave up on the quilt shops.  We finished off by hitting Hancock's in Greenville, and that was most satisfying.  I will be attempting this quilt along, even though it is a year later.  I've gotten the EPP templates, and now I have the fabric.

The dark aqua blue will be the sprockets, the cream the background and hexagons, and the dark will be the backing, and the others will be the diamonds in the sprocket block.  I'm looking forward to starting this!  It will be an excellent hand project.

Have a blessed night everyone!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

South Carolina!

Last Monday my mom and I left PA.  Now, that sounds simple enough.  But if you remember my previous post, you'll also remember that last Friday and Saturday was Talents for Christ.  Sunday was church, and I ended up teaching a Sunday School class that I wasn't prepared for (the regular teacher was sick), and the family sang special music, and my mom was here, (she pulled in Saturday afternoon, a few hours before we returned from Bloomsburg), and I had laundry to do, and finishing up packing.  Okay, now that you have an idea of what all entails that simple little statement, let me start again.

Last Monday, my mom and I left PA.  She rented a Chrysler 200 for the trip.

No, you are seeing the picture right.  The color really is, what my mom calls, "Ca-Ca Brown."  Ugly color, but it is gorgeous on the inside and rides well, though a bit low for my taste (my mom said it felt like our behinds were dragging on the ground).  Also, I had to get used to how it handled.  Driving the van, I had to get used to gradual turning capacity, and a slight delay in compensation steering.  That is natural; it is a big vehicle.  The Chrysler is like a squirrel... touchy gas and breaks, and the steering is tight and sudden.  My mom handed over most of the first days' driving to me.  It took me a bit to get used to the feel of the Chrysler, and it was a good thing she brought her Dramamine with her.  After a while I got smoother, and so it was much better for everyone, us and those around us.  

We arrived in Harrisonburg, VA around 2pm.  We checked in then went out for a late lunch.  Or an early dinner.  Either way, I was slightly alarmed to note that the gray haired crowed started coming in for their meals after we were almost done with ours.  

After we ate, we took advantage of the heated, indoor pool, and swam for a couple of hours.  Then we headed back to the room, showered, and crashed for the night.  The hotel room at the Best Western was adequate, but not luxurious.  Clean, but you could see some wear and tear in the room, such as the bathroom door knob being broken, and the built in tissue box being empty, and a light bulb that was blown out.  

Tuesday we got in to our hotel here in Easley, SC, around 3pm.  We are staying at a Hampton Inn, and it is wonderful.  
 I don't know why, but this desk and chair tickled my fancy.  Go figure.  Yeah, that's my stuff all over that corner.  

 Sometimes hotels find it necessary to have those annoyingly hard mattresses.  I don't know why.  I don't know anyone who likes to sleep on a cement slab masquerading as a mattress.  Not so these.  They are soft, with just enough support.  

Of course, there is some pretty artwork in the room and scattered throughout the hotel.  The directly over the desk is of some red poppies, painted with acrylics I think.  This one, is watercolor I believe.

 The pool here is an outdoor pool, and it was COLD.  So far I haven't ventured into it more than to stick my arm in to check for the temperature.  Brrrrr!  I want to exercise, not contract hypothermia.

 Meet Nelson.  He is a very friendly sort, very helpful, very accommodating, and very gracious in dealing with us crazy Yankees.  He has a wonderful slow southern drawl, and is sweeter than the tea they serve down here.  The Hampton Inn CEO should be honored to have an employee such as Nelson.  

Now don't say "what in the world did she put this in here for?".  That is the elevator.  I was wondering what that little hole in the door is for.  Can you see it?

 Let me get a closer shot....
Oops!  Caught another guest coming out by accident.  You can imagine the look I got as I took this picture just as the door opened for him. LOL!

There we go.  I'm guessing it is some sort of access hole.  It doesn't go all the way through however.  Maybe for a little camera to see under the elevator car?  I don't know.  Can anyone clue me in?

They have towels provided for the pool area, which as I said before, I haven't used as yet.

We opted to make use of the Fitness Center they have.  They had a treadmill, an elliptical (both shown) and a recumbent bike.  (Memere not included; you have to bring your own.)

Weights... and  some of those medicine balls, and a big red balance ball.

Towels and water provided (those are the medicine balls to the left).

Wednesday we hit the road with my handy dandy list of "quilt" shops I had made.  I had looked these all up online, and printed up their addresses to plug into Jill.  Jill is my mom's GPS.  But that is a story for tomorrow, as it is getting late.  Also, I have lots more pics to share!  

Have a wonderful evening!

Talents for Christ

After months of preparation, we attended the annual Talents for Christ competition in Bloomsburg, PA.  We had a wonderful stay with our host family (us girls, that is) and the boys stayed at the church, and camped out for the night, with several men supervising.  I took some pics, of course!

 Here is the Quiz team in action.  The back row of students are from another church.

Here is our group, along with Pastor Montgomery from the church in Roulette.  He "coached" the team.

The church provided wonderful meals for supper Friday, and breakfast and lunch on Saturday.

More eating.... whadda surprise. (Hey, it was a Baptist gathering after all!)

From left to right: Mrs. Greene, her daughter Hannah, and Esther.

This was my first attempt at getting Hannah's picture.  Just like Esther, she HATES to have her picture taken.

Leasa Fair and Sheri Greene

Our hostess had this bird... parakeet or something?  It made a squawk that sounded like a toddler crying.  Of course, as a mother, I was trying to figure out what kid on the block was making so much fuss.  Then I found out it was her bird.  He was very beautiful in real life.  This pic doesn't do him justice.

I loved, loved, loved her vintage stove.  The burners are on a drawer type thing. You can push it in when not in use.  They don't make them like this anymore!

One of the events Saturday was Bible Knowledge, based on the same passages they had been studying for Bible Quiz Team.  Don't they look like they are working hard?

Elizabeth receiving a ribbon.  They all got awards and ribbons, but mostly I captured the back of their heads, so I decided not to add it in here.  You get the idea of the proceedings however.

How small can Benjamin fold up?????

Hannah Greene, Josiah, Esther, Benjamin, Elizabeth, and Heather Greene made up our large ensemble.

There was lots of fun amongst the competition!  

Look at that artwork Leasa Fair's daughters did for the competition.  Amazing!  Lots of ribbons and awards were received in our group.

They all did a wonderful job, and now that I've seen the set up, and the options, lots of ideas are brewing in my brain for the kids for next year.  Mwhahahahahahaha!