Tuesday, September 28, 2010


The inside insulation is almost done! Have we only lived like this since last Thursday? It seems like months! We definitely look like hoarders! This is our living room looking in from the front door

and looking left from the front door. Glad you can't see all the fine dust!

These two pictures are of my sewing room - can you see the "bullet holes"? That's the part that isn't done - one more coat of mud.

My sewing area has been reduced to a small space on the counter with no machine. Ouch!

Two of the four dormer closets need some finishing work by us, all dormers and upstairs rooms need painting, and then we get to move back. It feels like we are moving into a dirty house with dirty stuff! As we clean and go through everything, we are tossing and giving things away. I am anxious to be done but I know it will be awhile yet. Patience, patience, patience....

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Heading Home

We got up to cloudy but clearing skies in Bayfield.We enjoyed our stay and would like to return some time and go to Madeline Island.

After breakfast, our first stop was Ashland Area Fabric and Quilt Co – a nice shop in Ashland, WI. While talking with the owner, we found that her husband and son own Bayfield Apple Company (there yesterday!). They also own Lucy’s Place, a B&B in Bayfield.

We decided to head south through towns we’ve never been to. The trees were gorgeous and the drive fairly relaxing. We came across the world's 3rd largest loon in Mercer.

In Hazelhurst, we found The Quilt Cottage - an interesting log cabin with lots of flowers in front. This is a nice shop and we enjoyed talking with the friendly ladies while I found some cute little kits. 

Following a picnic in a park in Tomahawk, we discovered the downtown and stopped at Sew Pieceful Quilting - a wonderful, small shop with great ladies working and shopping there! They pointed out more shops that we would pass but I told Ray we needed to end this shop hop - I think I have more projects than I can finish in the next year or ten!

We really are not good in the car for very many hours any more – so we decided to stop around 4. We are in Plover, just south of Stevens Point tonight.

Had a wonderful dinner at Mikey's. We'd love to go back again!

We will be home tomorrow and vacation will end really fast. By Monday, we have to empty our large dormer closets because more insulation is going in the roof. And this weekend is Pumpkin Fest so I have pies to make. AND most important of all, Sunday is Ray’s birthday.

It's been a great trip but it will be nice to be home again. I need to find some time to quilt!

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Cool Day in Bayfield

We began the day with a Grand Tour of the Apostle Islands.  The sun came out just as we left the dock but didn’t stay out nearly long enough! It was a cool cruise (as in neat and as in cold!). We saw the lighthouses on Devils Island and Raspberry Island along with the sea caves.

Glad we went and that we wore many layers of clothing!

This afternoon we went to some of the orchards. We found hot mulled cider at Erickson Orchard and Country Store. Evidently this is the only orchard with a bakery so we bought a few apple cider doughnuts and a couple of pie sticks. Sooooooooooo good! The pie sticks were thinly rolled crust filled with apple pie filling and rolled up. Sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon before and/or after baking. I MUST try making these!

The Bayfield Apple Company orchard had Honey Crisp apples. Since we only had 2 left, we bought another bag. We also got some raspberry apple cider. Talking with one of the owners, we found that there is basically no waste in this operation - they raise apples, raspberries, a few other fruits, and make ciders, jams, and butters. 

Good Earth Gardens had lots of dried flowers. When we arrived, a black lab brought his ball (aka red apple) to Ray. So Ray tossed it to him and he caught it. Eventually the apple rolled under our van. When we got ready to leave, the lab was sitting and waiting for his apple! So Ray and the dogs looked for it but they couldn't reach it until we backed out.

Hauser’s Superior View Farm had a great view of Lake Superior. It also has a Sears barn (interesting to us since we live in a Sears house).  We found an apple cinnamon BBQ sauce that we’ll try once we get home.

There is one quilt shop here, Orchard’s Edge Quilting. It is right at the edge of Bayfield Apple Company and a really neat little shop in the lady’s log house.

In fact the living room of the house which opens to the kitchen is the shop along with the next room which was built to be her longarm room. She cuts fabric on the bar in the kitchen!

We had a very nice visit and left with a few goodies!

We ate at Maggie's, aka the Pink Palace, tonight. Nothing much is happening around town so we are home in front of a warm fire. Nice day and night!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

In Bayfield, WI

We left Duluth this morning under cloudy skies. As we drove towards Bayfield, WI, the skies slowly cleared! We arrived in Bayfield late morning and by noon had a condo at Reiten  Boatyard Condos from Apostle Island Rentals. We are within walking distance of everything. It is definitely off-season here - not many people around. Lunch was good at Pier Plaza. We spent the afternoon wondering through the shops. Then some real downtime in front of the TV! Our living room and porch look out over Lake Superior. Nice dinner at Greunke's Restaurant. It is a beautiful, clear night. I took this right by our condo.

Ray just built a fire in our fireplace so it will be a cozy night.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Salut Ontario. Merci bien!

Bye Ontario. Thank you! We had a wonderful time! We never needed to use French (although I enjoyed French croissants every morning) and we never exchanged our currency for Canadian money! We used a credit card for everything except the old Stained Glass book that Ray bartered for US money.

The drive down the north shore of Lake Superior was beautiful today. It was sunny and clear and the trees are changing. We didn't do much until we got to Duluth.
  • First quilt shop was Creations Quilt Shop. A small shop in an older residential area. The owner was working on an upcoming class and a little busy to talk. 
  • Next stop was Quilter's Coop. It was a very nice shop and all of the ladies were very friendly. They suggested places to stay tonight and where to eat as well as what to eat! 
  • We had to go to Miller Mall where we did some real shopping!
  • Dinner was at Grandma's. The chicken-wild rice soup and the mushrooms stuffed with wild rice were wonderful - just as the ladies at Quilter's Coop said! 
  • We are at the Fairfield Inn and the manager is having a party every night during September. Tonight it was pizza (which we skipped because we were full) and S'mores outside by the fire! Nice!
Now it's time to relax and watch the rest of the Cubs game. 

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    Another day in Thunder Bay

    It started as a drizzly, cool morning but turned out to be a rather nice day. Ended up sunny in the high 60s.

    After breakfast we headed south to the Thunder Oak Cheese Farm to see them make Gouda cheese. It was interesting and the cheese is good! We left with 4 kinds of cheese and some Dutch crackers.

    The cheese factory and the store are housed in this one building.

    Next we drove north and east for most of an hour to the Amethyst Mine Panorama. I was a little disappointed - I really didn't care if I "panned for gold"; I wanted to see some of the mining operations. It was drizzly when we got there and we couldn't really see any of the mining. We'll just say that it was a pretty drive and we saw deer. If the sun had been out, I think it would have been a gorgeous drive!

    We drove back to Thunder Bay and had lunch at The Hoito. Our waitress last night said this place wasn't much to look at but the food was great, especially breakfast. She was right! After entering the old building, you go down some steps and get into line. The sign says to seat yourself at the next clean table. We did and we ordered breakfast (served all day). Our waitress was really friendly and told us she has stayed in Rockford twice!

    After shopping downtown, we headed to the Intercity Shopping Center. Toopy and Binoo from Treehouse TV were there for a show. We have never heard of these characters but they had a huge following - a few hundred preschoolers and parents! We were able to walk the mall and then headed to the Thunder Center which is nearby. After checking out a few stores, we headed 'home'.

    We are finding that most things cost a lot more than in the states so we really aren't buying. We haven't really found much that we couldn't buy at home.

    Just found out that the Prime Minister was in Thunder Bay today. Explains why we saw so many OPP (Ontario Provincial Police). We were very close to where the PM was.

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    Great day in Thunder Bay

    We have had a great day in Thunder Bay! The skies cleared and the temperature got to about 60.

    We began the day at Kakabbeca Falls. Absolutely incredible - this is known as the Niagara of the North.

    Then we headed to Fort William Historical Park, "one of the largest living history attractions in North America, devoted to re-creating the days of the North West Company and the Canadian fur trade... recognized as one of the world's most impressive historic sites." Since this is off-season, there were very few people there and we had a very interesting and educational experience. Ettione was our guide for the first hour and a half.

    This baby hammock really intrigued both of us.

    There were lots of furs. I went straight for the silver fox and Ettione said I had great taste - I chose the most expensive fur in the room!

    Ray was intrigued with the brooms. He swept a few floors today!

    We had lunch at the Canteen - a buffet of lettuce salad (good), beef stew (excellent), pea soup (didn't try it), chunks of brown bread (very good), blueberry/raspberry deep dish pie (very good), and butter tarts (very good but Ray didn't like the raisin layer). The hot tea was also good since the weather was still rather cool at that time.

    Around 3 PM we went to Hillcrest Park, "one of the crown jewels of Thunder Bay's Public Park system." The view of the city and the harbor was breathtaking. That rock formation in the background is Sleeping Giant.

    The flowers were still beautiful.

    We went to Marina Park right on Lake Superior. Here is the lighthouse with the Sleeping Giant behind it.

    Dinner at Melizana, Mediterranean cuisine. This was another recommendation given to us by the owner of the motel. It was wonderful! Ray had pork souvlaki and I had moussaka with a Greek salad. 

    We just talked to the owner of the motel and he is working on a place for us to eat tomorrow night! He also said that he and his wife enjoyed the Honeycrisp apple that we gave him. They love apples and had never heard of Honeycrisps! We just happen to be traveling with a whole bag of them!

    Tonight's agenda is to decide what to do tomorrow - we have a list of possibilities and got more suggestions from our dinner waitress.

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Oh Canada!

    We are now in Thunder Bay, Ontario. But before talking about today, here are a couple of pictures from yesterday. These are in Grand Marais, Mn.

    And this was taken on the Gunflint Trail outside of Grand Marais.

     Ok, today... 

    We stopped at a scenic overlook in Minnesota only to find out the overlook was closing in a few minutes! Work will begin soon and the whole thing will be redone. The workman told me that the hysterical (yes, that is what he said!) society paid for some renovations but this one was being done by the state.

    We crossed the border this morning with no problem. Of course we lost an hour as the time changed to Eastern. At the visitor center, we collected lots of information. As we left there, we still didn't have cell phone reception so we couldn't call any motels. Little did we know that when we got cell phone reception, we still wouldn't be able to use our phones. I guess Thunder Bay basically has the market on towers here and that's just the way it is!

    We were driving along and saw lots of signs. One that we saw often said something like Night Danger and showed a moose charging. Another sign showed something that looked like a small kid's drawing of hills and soon after a sign showing a part of the highway followed by wavy lines. Then we came to a missing part of the highway replaced by gravel (bumps?). Of course, the distances and speed limits are all in kilometers. We had a converter from the visitor station and I kept converting the speed limit for Ray until I remembered just before he did that km are on the speedometer!

    Then the conversation went something like this: BEAR! Where! THERE! Yup, there was a good-sized black bear crossing the road right in front of us! And darn, I didn't get a picture but I did get to see it!

    It's been cool, in the 50s, and overcast all day with some sprinkles. I really did a double take when the TV, at the motel, said a high of 11! Just one more conversion! (11 degrees Celsius is 52 degrees Fahrenheit.)

    After lunch, we decided that we would go downtown and do a little shopping. We checked out the one quilting shop here - The Quilter's Stash. Expensive! The same fabric that I bought yesterday for US$9.50 a yard was CAN$17.95 a yard! Our dollar is worth about 95 Canadian cents so that's not the problem. The ladies at the quilt shop in Grand Marais said lots of Canadian quilter's come to their store  because it is so much cheaper! The cost of gas looks funny too - $1.02! Of course that is per liter (about a quart).

    We also checked out a couple of stained glass studios. Ray is looking for ideas. We had an interesting time at The Glass Lady. She is unique and rather entertaining. She finally sold Ray an old book that she used 30 years ago!

    We are staying at the Thunder Bay Inn. It is a relatively new, small, nice inn. The owners are French and quite friendly. Our host recommended Cousins Family Restaurant so we ate there tonight. It is a truck stop and just a mile away. Good food! Ray had the all-you-can-eat spaghetti special. I had Mojakka, brown bread, and salad.

    We took a walk but are in now. We've been advised to not linger in the parking lot after dark because of bears. Haven't seen any here yet but Ray did get pictures of the doe and fawns out there earlier.

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    A beautiful day in Grand Marais

    What an absolutely gorgeous day! Started sunny and near 50 degrees. The high was probably around 65 or so. We spent the morning on the Gunflint Trail. There are areas of wonderful color! We made a stop at Loons Nest. The owner was very cordial and was painting ornaments while we were there. Then we stopped and hiked back to see the moose but would you believe they weren't there!

    Only one quilt shop today but it was nice! Crystal's Log Cabin Quilts in Grand Marais is in a log cabin. Crystal and her helper were great. They helped me pick fabric for a project. Crystal was inspired by the fabric that I chose so it was a good time of sharing. Then she showed me a demonstration that she will do later in the shop - making a quilt from 10 fat quarters and cutting it into 8 placemats. None of the placemats is the same but all coordinate. Neat idea!

    After a picnic lunch, we walked around town and did a little shopping. We spent some time sitting by the harbor on Lake Superior. Then we came back to the motel to put our feet up for awhile and ended up sitting outside - it is just too nice to be inside!

    Dinner tonight was fish and chips at Dockside. We'd love to go back again!

    It's about 9 PM now and we just returned from a walk down by the harbor. I wore my lighted hat (thanks, Jim!) so I could see in the dark and cars could see me.

    Hope we have a better Wi-Fi in Canada so we can share photos.

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    Lake Superior North Shore

    Time spent with family at Shell Lake - priceless!

    We left Shell Lake this morning and headed north. The trees are changing - we could see more color as we got further north.

    Quilt shops:
    • Thimbles in Trego, WI. - a northwoods shop in a northwoods setting - very nice!
    • Kunert Kreations. a quilt and yarn shop in Gordon, WI. The person working wasn't very friendly and the shop was dark so it was a short visit!
    • The Little Gift House in Solon Springs - only open Thursday through Sunday. We'll have to catch it next time!
    • Behind the Seams just north of Silver Bay, MN. - a really neat shop with very friendly ladies. We were told to stop there by Elly in Chetek, WI. Behind the Seams is owned by a mother and her 4 daughters. The 4 sisters are probably in their 50s and so pleasant. The shop is small but very nice.
    • Betty's Pies in Two Harbors, MN. Ray enjoyed 5-layer Butterscotch pie and I had Great Lakes Crunch. Absolutely wonderful! 
    • My Sister's Place in Grand Marais, MN. Good Spaghetti Soup!

    We didn't stop between Silver Bay and Grand Marais so we'd be here before dinner. We'll spend a couple of days here. The Wi-Fi is rather slow - will try for pictures again tomorrow.  Our motel is right on Lake Superior and I am listing to some geese right now.

    Sunday, September 12, 2010

    A September Sunday in Shell Lake

    Beautiful morning. We started the day with a walk in gorgeous sunny weather - wore shorts and a sweatshirt.

     We went to church with brother Jim and his 90-some year old neighbor, Jenna, a very sweet lady.

    After the service we enjoyed cake, fruit, and fellowship. A beautiful church, service, and congregation.

    This afternoon was football! I did go to an apple orchard - honeycrisp apples and hot doughnuts. Jim said it looked like good football food! So we ate...

    Jim grilled again tonight - steaks and sweet corn. Great meal! It is really nice to spend some time with Jim and he has really spoiled us while we've been here - we could live like this forever! But we need to head out before we wear out our welcome(!) so tomorrow we will head further north.

    Saturday, September 11, 2010

    Northern Wisconsin

    Friday (yesterday) was a quilt shop day. After leaving the motel yesterday morning in Eau Claire, the first stop was Mill End Fabrics. Interesting shop with every kind of fabric.

    Then we went to The Calico Shop. A very nice quilt shop in downtown Eau Claire. They also sold ladies clothing!

    Driving north, the next stop was at Elly's Sheared Sheep in Chetek. A large shop that had a nice variety of fabric and yarn. Hard to believe I've gone through this area, within a mile of this shop, for years and didn't know about it! Elly sent us to The Pokegama, on the shore of Lake Pokegama, for lunch.

    We took the back roads up to Rice Lake and stopped at The Busy Bobbin. I was at this store many years ago when it was downtown. It is now in a house and there's LOTS of fabric for the space but I really enjoyed our stop and will go back.

    Arrived at Shell Lake in the middle of the afternoon. We are staying at my brother Jim's. We made a quick trip to Louie's in Cumberland - quite a meat market! Then my brother Tom and his wife, Sandy joined us and we all went out to Foxxy's and celebrated their anniversary.

    This morning after our walk and breakfast (which included wild blackberries!), Jim, Ray, and I headed out to some county land for a hike. We were hoping to see some swans. As we left the truck and started into the woods, we heard what we thought was a rifle shot. Still not sure that it was but have found out that bear season just opened so we probably shouldn't have been hiking in the woods! Anyway, it was overcast and drizzly and we didn't see the swans until later when we were driving! We didn't see any bears either! The trees are beginning to change.

    A lot of football was watched today. I did go shopping for a while. After dinner tonight, we went on a boat ride around the lake. By the time the sun was setting, the sky had cleared.

    Thursday, September 9, 2010

    Day one of our September trip

    We started the day with breakfast at Sunrise Cafe in Warren. A great beginning!

    Then we headed to the Quilt Expo in Madison, WI. I think Ray was amazed at some of the quilts and how far some of the vendors come. I found a few things! I tried to limit my purchases since there will be a number of quilt shop visits in the near future! I love the triple-hanger that I bought from a Cary, NC vendor. We have been to Cary a number of times so it was fun talking with her. Gail, a friend from day camp at Lucky 2B Quilting, visited with us early on and again before we left. Other than a few vendors, she is the only person I knew out of the MANY people there!

    We ate a late lunch at Salad Creations in Madison - really good! Thanks for the tip, Sue!

    Next stop was The Shoe Box in Black Earth, WI. We both found shoes we were looking for and more so it was a worthwhile stop!

    We ended up in Eau Claire tonight. Had a nice dinner, a walk around the mall, and are now watching the football game.

    It has been a nice but cool day . The trees are beginning to change - pictures will come one of these days.

    Sunday, September 5, 2010

    Jacket done!

    The Million Dollar Jacket is finished!

    It was all sewn together, almost done, when I first tried it on. Oh! Why didn't I baste it together??? It was HUGE! I tore it apart, took FIVE INCHES out of the body and narrowed the shoulders by TWO INCHES!

    I checked the pattern before I began but
    • I was by myself (should have waited until Ray was around to ask questions about what I couldn't see), 
    • I wasn't sure what over-sized really meant when dealing with quilted pieces, and 
    • the measurements on the pattern corresponded to me. 
    I was very disappointed in the pattern so I'll probably never buy another The Quilted Closet pattern but I do like my jacket now that it is done!

    I don't look happy cause no one said "smile"!


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