Monday, September 19, 2022

And time marches on...

Where does the time go? We've been home from the Virginia trip for a month. I've done lots of freezing and dehydrating - sweet corn, tomatoes, potatoes... We get most of our produce from an Amish family who live about 25 miles from us - I love knowing where and how our food is grown. I think I'm about done with vegetables for the year. Have you every frozen twice baked potatoes? It is one of my favorite things to have in the freezer -just pop one or more in the oven whenever you want. 

Before long, we'll visit some orchards near Gays Mills, WI and get apples. I'll freeze some for pies and crisps. I'll also make applesauce and freeze what I think we'll use in the next year. And I'll dry some apple chips to enjoy throughout the year and longer. When the apple are done, the produce is done for the year. 

I've done some quilting. It's really hard to get pictures of my design wall - there seems to be a long arm in the way. Anyway, these pictures aren't the best and some have shadows - I took them at night.

The first quilt was 'in progress' and I finished the top. It just needs to be quilted.

I bought this blue fabric and the coordinating ones at Sew Classic Fabrics in Harrisonburg, VA, on our trip. I saw a photo of a quilt similar to this but it had a white background. I thought the blue background would be neat. I used some graph paper and figured out how to make the star and how big I could make it based on the fabric I had. I wish I had bought backing fabric but I'll find something. It's ready to be quilted.

I saw a picture on the next quilt; I think they called it Vintage Jewels. It doesn't say who made the quilt - the picture was on the Grace Company website showing the quilting. I decided it would be a neat scrap quilt. As I was making the blocks, I realized that I should make 2 quilts - one with bright fabrics and one with pastels. Most of the fabrics are from my stash and a few are recent purchases. The bright fabric quilt just needs to have the blocks sewn together. The pastel quilt is still in the planning stages; I think those blocks will be smaller.

We are planning a trip to northern Wisconsin and the UP of Michigan in a couple weeks to visit two of my brothers and hopefully see the fall colors. Ray is still recovering - he's back in PT and has had some additional problems. He seems a little better and we think he is making progress. 

Today we watched some of Queen Elizabeth II's funeral. We've been watching a lot of the events for the past week. And now the era of King Charles III is beginning...

Friday, August 19, 2022

And that's a wrap!

Day 19
The sunrise was pretty this morning with a little ground fog.

After packing the car, we decided to check out a few more things on the backroads. We made a couple of stops and then found Krider's World Fair Gardens in Middlebury, Indiana. It is a small botanical garden that was beautiful.



It was sunny! Yes, that's our shadows.

That's not a real man but I thought it was!








I loved the detail on the underside of the mushroom.

We headed on to The Quilt Shop on the Essenhaus campus. It was just a mile or so away. The shop has moved since we were last there. It's still in the same area but a much larger building. I found lots but left with just a couple backings and a little more Glide thread.

We then went on to Nappanee for lunch and decided we better do some real traveling if we were ever going to make it home. We stayed off of interstates and had a rather relaxing trip. We are in Bourbonnais, Illinois, tonight. 

Day 20
Home! Today's trip was also made avoiding the interstates. The trip hasn't been easy for either of us but we are hopeful that traveling will get easier as time goes on. We really enjoyed being on the road again and loved seeing our son, his wife, and the grandchildren. Now, I can't wait to do some quilting.

Not all those who wander are lost.



Thursday, August 18, 2022

Shipshewana

Day 16
Our actual address in Holmes County was Millersburg, Ohio, but we were about 1/4 mile outside of Berlin, Ohio. It is a beautiful area and we'd love to go back for a longer visit. We didn't see much of the towns since everything was closed on Sunday (the full day that we were there) and today we decided to get an early start on the road.

The weather has cooled down considerably and today we had some sunshine! We drove to Shipshewana, Indiana. Of course we had to make a few stops on the way.

First stop was the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio, where The Shawshank Redemption was filmed. We were too early for tours or to get inside the fence but we did get a few photos. This place is massive!
        


We made a couple more stops for stretching breaks, and then stopped for lunch. About an hour before our destination, we hit another detour - it feels like this is becoming a habit! We finally stopped near LaGrange, IN at Lehman's Variety Store. It was an interesting Amish store. We saw lots of buggies and a few bicycles on our way to the store. I learned that the Amish in this area are allowed to wear any color they wish although they wear very few patterns. The Amish near us at home wear dark colors - mostly black with the men wearing white or cream colored shirts.

We headed for Shipshewana, IN, where we'll be for a few days. The lady at the visitor center gave us lots of literature and now we need to figure out what to do! We did make a couple stops and I found a little fabric at the The Cotton Corner and Yoder's Department Store. 

I loved the barn quilts on the side of Yoder Shopping Center where both stores are located.

Our rental is nice - clean, quiet, and very comfortable. We are in the country in a lower level walk-out.

We walked to the end of our lane tonight to take pictures of the sunset.

I don't ever recall seeing this much "scribbling" in the sky.

Day 17
We slept in. If there wasn't so much we wanted to do, we might have been very lazy this morning. 

First stop was the Shipshewana Flea Market. We've been to an Amish auction but were told we needed to see this. It is huge and quite an experience. We found some great food to eat and some fruit butters to go home with us. I tried to take pictures but they don't begin to show the magnitude.


We enjoyed the play Dear Soldier Boy this afternoon at the Blue Gate Theater. It was a musical comedy and very entertaining.

We also found time for a little shopping. I was in Lolly's before the play to look and went back afterwards to do a little shopping. There will be a couple of gray quilts in the near future; one with pops of orange and one with teal. The patterns are still formulating in my head as I build a gray stash. The dark piece with colors (on the left) will become a backing for a different quilt. The two larger pieces on the right are backings for the gray quilts.

I just checked for tickets to the Happy Together Tour 2022 that will be here in two days. It would be fun to stay but it's sold out. Maybe next time.

We again walked to the end of our lane for the sunset. It was gorgeous! One of our Amish neighbors was out with his wife and child on an evening buggy ride. It was very peaceful. Our road is closed for roadwork and a bridge out. The only people on the road live within less than 1/4 mile range so it's extra quiet in the evening.

Day 18
This morning we traveled a few backroads. It was a beautiful morning and fun. We made a few stops - bakeries, a furniture shop, and Laura's Amish Fabric Shop. I enjoyed talking with Laura and left with a few treasures. Laura told us that Amish customs have changed some here. She said even though people may wear any color, some don't think they should be wearing bright colors. Today I saw two Amish women in bright red dresses. Laura wore dark green; she's had her store for 41 years so she is a bit older.

I wanted to go to a fabric store in Rome City but there is a lot of construction that way so we decided to forego that. I think that means we have to come back!

We found a local spot for lunch - Country Corral - it was full of local people, both Amish and English. Although the restaurant had varying reviews, we had a great meal and would definitely go back. 

This afternoon we went back to the Blue Gate Theater for a concert, 2022 Salute to the Stars - Classic Rewind, including tributes to Elvis, Patsy Cline and Roy Orbison. We both enjoyed it. The singers were quite good and the music was great!

We walked quite a bit after that and shopped some but didn't buy much. We were going to eat at the Food Truck Rally and  Jam Session but checked out the trucks and decided nothing sounded that good to us. I think we are just tired. We came home and ate.

Now Ray is out photographing a new lily blossom and the local sandhill cranes.

We once again walked to the end of the lane for the sunset. You might be able to see some horses in the first picture.



Today our road was blacktopped. It's not finished but it's nice! Tonight, I'm guessing there were 3 families gathered by the bridge that was out. (about 300 feet from our lane) Our host said families gather most nights to see the work that was accomplished each day. A couple of the Amish young men took turns riding an electric unicycle, something like the one I linked. The one fellow knew little about it (I think his English neighbor owned it) but said speeding up and slowing down was done by leaning forward and backward. It was his first time trying the thing and he was having great success. About 6 or 7 Amish children ran by us at one point and said they were going to the next lane. They soon returned riding in a pony cart! 

It was an enjoyable, peaceful evening in the country. We'll leave this area tomorrow.

Monday, August 15, 2022

Headed west towards home

Day 14
This was a very hard day. First we had to say goodbye - I may have shed tears. 


Then we had a very long day in the car. Our first stop of the day was in Oakland, Maryland. We stopped to walk through the Farmer's Market and ended up parking by the 1884 Oakland Train Station.



The rest of the day was spent riding with only necessary stops. About an hour away from our destination, we encountered a long detour making our ride 30-45 minutes longer. 

Our travels today took us from Virginia to West Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio.
When we finally arrived at our rental, delicious chocolate chip cookies were waiting for us - a great bright spot in our day.

Day 15
The ride yesterday was so long because we changed our rental from a place in Salem, Ohio, to one in Millersburg, Ohio. The one in Salem had a very disturbing review that we saw earlier in the week and we no longer felt comfortable staying there. The new rental is definitely a 5 star. I am so happy that we are here for 2 nights - we both need rest after yesterday's ride and this is a perfect place for it.

We are in Amish country (Holmes County, OH) and very little is open on Sunday (today) and it is raining. So... we found a place for lunch and an open grocery store. Now we are 'home' - we'll fix dinner here tonight, do a load of laundry, and relax. Riding is  still hard for both of us.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

And the adventure continues ...

 Day 8
This morning, we headed to the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. It was a beautiful day to be outside. Here are a few pictures.











After lunch and a short walk around the air-conditioned mall, it was finally time to head to Basye Bryce Mountain to meet our son and his family for our shared vacation. On the way we stopped at the grocery store in Fort Jackson. Our son and family pulled in right ahead of us! And the best part of the trip began...

Days 9 - 13
There was lots of visiting with our son, his wife, and our grandchildren. We all enjoyed 3 root beer tastings (20 kinds of root beer plus one more for floats).




We went to Luray to The Rope Adventure Park. Each of the children amazed me. Each of them were a bit nervous/anxious as they began and each overcame it and did more, much more, than they originally thought they could! It was fun but quite warm - in the 90s. 

The yellow rails are where each person's cable fits overhead. The bottom rails/ropes (brown) are to walk on. The lowest bottoms are 3' off of the ground for anyone under 48" tall. The next level is 12' off the ground and the higher level is 24'. Everyone got somewhat comfortable with the 12' section. The older boys and younger granddaughter spent lots of time 24' above ground! There are 6 rails around the outside and 6 rails going to the middle like the spokes of a wheel.






We enjoyed S'mores, games of 5 Alive, chess, swimming at Lake Laura, jigsaw puzzles, TV - shows, ball games and movies, playing with their Boston Terrier Rosie, visiting, eating, reading and relaxing. 

Ray and I walked each morning in the beautiful Shenandoah Mountains. One morning our son joined us but most of the time we walked before people were awake. 
Our home for the week

A foggy morning

More fog

We all enjoyed the deer in the area. 


Our neighbors put out food for them and we often saw four deer, two fawns, and a buck.

Our younger granddaughter (6th grader to be) likes to bake and spent time helping/baking in the kitchen. 
She now has my bucket hat!
We had a peach dessert, brownies, zucchini bread, and chocolate chip cookies. Steak and shrimp was a hit as well as the Hawaiian ham and provolone  sliders and crock pot Italian beef. We ate one lunch out, one dinner out, and also enjoyed a frozen custard break one day. We ate well! 

The younger grandson (to be 7th grader) was often around in the kitchen and very willing to help with everything. I think the ropes course was the hardest for him but he did it!

The middle grandson will be a freshman in high school. He has changed the most in appearance and personality since we last saw him 3 years ago. He was a joy to be around.
Photo in age order arranged by middle child!

Our oldest grandson will be a senior in high school. We spent time talking about his plans for the future and his views on some of the college visits he's had. 
Really doesn't like his picture taken

Our older granddaughter spent some time on school things; she leaves for her Freshman year of college on Saturday. She has lots of shopping and packing to do this week.
Still flushed from the ropes course

The children all get along so well together. Watching the two older children and the two older boys was like watching 2 best friends. We are so proud of all of them.

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