Monday, August 24, 2015

Oh, No!

We woke to water on the floor on Saturday.  Got it all mopped up and realized it was from a leaking tubing into the ice maker on the refrigerator.  The necessary part, new water valve, is no longer available for our fridge which has been with us for 17 very temperamental years.   What to do?  What to do?

We don't want to leave our son and his family without an ice maker or a reliable refrigerator.   So I headed out today to buy a new refrigerator.  

Comfy shoes - check.  Payment in pocket - check.  Idea of what I wanted - check.

I want to the "French doors" on the front with the bottom freezer door.  That seems easy enough and there are lots of those.  It has to be black and that eliminates 90% of stock.    I wanted no ice or water in the door which seemed to eliminate another 8.9% of what might work.

Nothing is easy.  Our small town as about 40,000 people on a good day and is home to Montana State University which is just now back in session.  So that adds another 15,000 and I think they were all looking for appliances.

This is what I found that would work.
It is in stock at our local Lowes.  But it can't be delivered until September 5th.  Now to try and round up some strong young backs (bucks?) to get the delivery done sooner.  With those 15,000 college students in town, someone should want to earn a little cash, don't you think?

Hoping for the best here.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Smoky here . .

There are so many fires in Montana, Idaho and Washington.  Our air quality here is very bad and it has been bad all day.  We did have some wind that caused some of it to move out but it quickly settled back in the valley.  Here is a picture this morning from the parking lot of our local mall.  It was about 8 am.  Everything had this orange glow and that is the sun.  Bob and I had gone in to walk since there was so much smoke outside.  It is hot and dry.  Today there was the wind but it wasn't as bad as predicted. The temps are going to be much cooler tomorrow.

I decided to make a fourth cup.  I made three of them last year when they were to be part of a group project.  You can learn more about those intentions here.  The group project never got completed so I decided I needed one more cup.  I am not sure how I will connect them.  I like the way they came out.  It is 

I am going through my studio.  Sorting out things I haven't seen for a while and trying to determine what I need and want to take with me for projects.  I can tell I am going to have to thin it down or it is not going to fit into our space.  Our next two weeks are going to be busy and we need to get very focused to get the last of it all ready.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Keep on getting ready . . .

Remember when I said "something need to change" around here and talked about my attitude toward myself.  Well, I am still working on it and I have made really good progress.  Yesterday I also decided that I needed to really focus on being very loving to myself in all that I do.  It is amazing how hard that is.  I have been so harsh on myself for so long that there are some bad habits to erase.

We just keep on getting things packed up and away.  Today I continued cleaning out a big armoire that is located in what we call the "round room".  It is really the center of the bedroom pod.

We live in a house, you know, made out of two nine-sided pods that are connected with an atrium. Here is a picture from the top so you can see what I mean.  This is from Google.  The large square roof north of the pods is the garage with my studio on the second floor of the garage.  The bedroom pod is the one on the south.

The pods each have a center core that is about 15 feet high with beams that go out to post all around the outer walls of each pod.  Here is a picture of the living area pod so you can see how the beams hold it up and the center of this pod has two fireplaces.  Here is the one in the family room.  There is also one in the living room around the corner.

Anyway - the bedroom round has a "round room" in the center where the fireplaces are in the living area round.   It is really a small nine sided room.  The diameter of that room is probably 8 to 10 feet. There is a large armoire on one wall that has been just storage of all kinds for the past 20 years.  I am cleaning it out and setting it up as a game area for the grandsons when they live here.  The Xbox will be in there connected to a TV and all the games will be in that area.  Here is a pic of the project in process while I am pulling everything out and sorting to go to garbage, donation or ???  I will share more when I get it done.

We went to the Kiwanis picnic tonight.  Bob has been a member of Kiwanis for many, many years and I always enjoy visiting at the picnic.  It is the only time during the year that I see many of these folks so it is fun to catch up.  

I started quilting a little quilt wall hanging - and it will be quick.  It is for my friend's daughter in Denver.  The fabric print means nothing will show and that is good because my heart is not in it.  I keep saying I do not want to quilt for others and then haven't figured out how to say "no" to friends. I want to get a couple of my own art quilts done before we leave so I can do the additional embellishing as we travel.  Think positive on that one.  

Thursday, August 13, 2015

starting some crochet . . .

I haven't done any crochet for a good long while so I decided to start a shawl.  Here is the picture of the easy pattern I selected so I could just get back in the swing of things.  I want to start doing some freeform crochet again, but I have to start somewhere.

Here is the pattern I found that I liked.

I decided on some yarn I already had that is similar to this kind and got started.  It is really easy and I can see it with some long fringe once I am done.  I think I will wear it a lot.  We will see.  Here is how my start looked and of course it will need some blocking and I am quite sure I will get better as I gog.  LOL.    I am further along now and it shouldn't take too long.  I just crochet when I am watching the evening news or the PBS news which we both enjoy.  I want to keep a simple project going as we travel so I can pick it up when I need something to just keep my fingers busy for a little at a time.  I don't have the focus ability to sit and crochet for hours on end, but do enjoy a little here and there.  It has to be something easy.

We had lunch out today with good friends.  We are going to spend time with them in early September at the beginning or our travels.  We want to spend a week or so at Lake Couer d'Alene before we head on to Portland, OR for a few weeks and then out to the coast.    It is going to be a nice start to a long journey.  

Monday, August 10, 2015

Home from a wonderful weekend. . .

We got home this afternoon.  We went over to Virginia City on Thursday and spent the last 4 nights there.  Stacey and Michael got married Saturday night but we had lots of festivities before and after.

Thursday night we all went out to dinner at a great steak house in a little town named Alder which is about 9 miles away.  We met Michael's family there for the first time.  His mom, dad, stepmom and sister had all traveled from St. Louis to share in the celebration.   When we got back to the RV park that evening this is the view of the gorgeous sunset.

Each morning we had breakfast in the motorhome.  I was an amazing "short order cook" meeting all of the grands requests.  Here is a picture of the two dads (my sons) and Walker and Meagan.  Weston had an ear ache the night before so he was getting some much needed sleep in their camper.

Friday night we all met again for another family and friend gathering at the Wells Fargo steak house in Virginia City.  Here are a couple shots of some of the family.

Saturday was the wedding.  Here is a picture of my beautiful niece, Taylor.  She is 23 and lives in Arizona where she is finishing her final semester at ASU.  She looks so much like younger pictures of my mom.  Ah - those cheekbones are amazing!

The wedding was on Boot Hill overlooking the entire valley.  The ceremony was very special and loving.  We all rode up to the ceremony in the old anique fire truck from Virginia City.  Here is a picture of my daughter-in-law, Rainy, with Walker and Weston as they watched the ceremony. 

 The vows were beautiful and the evening was gorgeous.  It had rained all day and then just shortly before the clouds parted, the sun came out and it was all perfect.

Following the vows, they let the doves fly away.  

It was a great weekend.  

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


We have shopped and ate and laughed and enjoyed every minute so far of the family week here. Meagan is eleven and she is a clothes horse.  Monday she and I made a cute skirt for her.  Everything looks good on her so we took advantage of a couple good sales at Macy's and Kohl's and picked up some things she likes a lot.

We have had two evenings of family suppers - burgers and homemade fries with caprese salad on Monday night and shredded chicken burritos with all of the trimmings last night - even the green chili for "smothering" them.

Today she and I did the Boot Barn and then hit a great sale at Shoe Carnival.  She then went to have a sleepover with her little cousins.  Roy and Stan have gone off to camp tonight and get in some fishing and a good bike ride tomorrow.  Bob and I are enjoying a couple quiet hours.

And then it is back to the whirlwind tomorrow.  She and I are having a mani-pedi morning,  It is all so good!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Changes happening and a big week coming . . .

First - I am really proud of myself for working on my self talk.  I have made an effort the past two days to focus on "what is good about Carol".  If I start to go "there", I just get up and go physically or mentally someplace else - physical movement is much easier with quicker results.  It seems my goal setting might have made the negative self talk worse.  So I have softened my work and art expectations.

And I have also found that by doing that I have made a couple intentional decisions to move away from things I start to "dwell on" that I cannot change.  You know - things with gloval warming of the earth or lions being cruelly killed or children abused in another part of the world.  I rethink the "Serenity Prayer".  I know it by heart - just that my head doesn't always remember it.  It has even helped when I start to think I need to hover in family decisions or linger in family issues.

Big week coming this week!  Lots of excitement.  Roy and Meagan will be here in a few hours for a week long visit.  We haven't seen them since they left in January after Mom's funeral.  That is when this picture was taken.

Mid week we are heading off to Virginia City, MT where my sister, Stacey will be getting married.  It is going to be a great celebration.  She is marrying an amazing man whom we all love.  She has had so much struggling since her divorce 7 years ago and it seems things have really turned around for her.  I know Mom and Dad are watching and smiling.  The wedding is Saturday night but there are several gatherings before - one on Thursday night and one on Friday night - to meet family and get reacquainted with new and old friends.  We are taking our Gus Bus and staying in the little local RV park.  Roy and Meagan have a little cabin rented in the RV park and Stan and his family will be coming in their camping trailer.  So it will be a good gathering for our little part of the family and then a wonderful bunch of love with the entire family and lots of friends.  Stacey and Michael have lots and lots of family and friends that we are all going to enjoy.

I will share more as the week goes along.  We have pedicures planned, haircuts, dinners out, shopping, and some crafty fun.  Oh my - we are looking forward to a grand week!