Sunday, June 25, 2017

GrandCamp Opens

Friday morning at 6:45 am, I got an alert on my phone: Tornado warning. I never paid a lot of attention to alerts like these when we lived in a house. We were steps from a windowless room in the basement where we would be safe. But we are a lot more vulnerable in the tin box in which we live now. So Bob and I scooped up our two grandchildren, Quinn and Ben, waking them from a sound sleep, and ran through the driving rain to my daughter's house next door. In a mere fifteen minutes, the threat had passed, Quinn's tears had been dried, and we were able to return to our home on wheels.

Quinn and Ben have been enjoying what we like to call "GrandCamp" this week. They get to sleep over, go fun places, and try new foods (tamarinds) and old favorites (s'mores) that are saved for visits with Grandma and Pop.

Quinn enjoyed learning how to weave on an inkle loom.

Franklin Institute was a big hit!

They made new friends at Atsion Lake.

At Insectropolis in Toms River, NJ they were able to pet a millipede, a hissing cockroach, a scorpion, and a tarantula.

They enjoyed a rousing game of miniature golf.

And they capped off their GrandCamp by going to Eve's fourth birthday party at a pool. Whew! We have the evening off, then we will have our eldest grandchild, Rob, for a few days. It's early to bed for us tonight!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Busy in NJ

It has been a long time since my last post and I apologize for the break. What have we been doing?

Bob tweaked my table-top loom stand, giving it a sturdy base for clamping it to the surface.


Much better than the previous base.

Our eldest grandson, Rob, graduated from middle school, and we went to his graduation.

We went out to eat at Rodizio Grill, a Brazilian steakhouse where the meats just keep coming to your table.

Bob and I spent a day working on son Tim's house. Bob insulated and put up sheetrock while my daughter in law, Bernie, and I painted the living room. And Rob learned to use a palm sander, smoothing trim-work.

I donated blood one morning.

We had a French-Toast brunch with Emily at Kristen's house.

Bob and I went to several doctors appointments, getting our annual exams out of the way. Good news--we are healthy!

So, as you can see, we have been very busy. Later this week we start GrandCamp with the little ones. We have not done any socializing with local friends at all, but hope to catch up with folks in July when GrandCamp ends.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Our First Week in NJ

It has been a lovely week here in NJ. We arrived here on Tuesday afternoon, and soon the children and grandchildren gathered to welcome us back. We enjoyed pizzas and wineritas, and caught up on everyone's doings. The neighbors welcomed us, too, stopping us on the street to say hello.

On Wednesday, Bob and I went househunting with Catherine and Michael. They came close to buying a house a month or so ago, but something didn't feel right about it and so they wisely backed out of the deal. But this house felt just right to them, and their offer was accepted by the sellers. We are hoping that we can help move them in, but it might be after we leave in August.

We have had some problems with our Splendide washing machine; it stopped working, offering us an "H2O" code and an "F1" code as well. We put in a call to the repairman but the news was not good. Our washer needed a new motherboard, which would be quite expensive to replace. Fortunately, Camping World was running a sale on new Splendide washers, so off we drove to Swedesboro to pick up a new one. Bob and Jason wrestled the old one out and the new one in, and before too long we were able to wash clothes again. It's the little things that make us happy.

On Saturday, daughters Kristen and Emily, and daughter in law Bernie came over and we had a mother-daughter day. What fun! Catherine wasn't able to come but next time we'll make it happen. We started out in Haddonfield, where we ate brunch in The British Chip Shop, along with a troup of reenactors dressed as redcoats in the British army.

They burst into song at one point with a spirited rendition of "God Save the King." I enjoyed my Welsh Rarebit and had a spot of tea. Delightful!

We went into most of the shops in town before heading over to Collinswood to shop some more. We MIGHT have stopped to eat again once or twice, keeping up our strength to shop.

On Sunday, Bob made a prototype of a tabletop loom stand for my Ashford Knitters Looms. We will continue to perfect it, since setting it up and trying it out.

I'd like to be able to stand while weaving, in the hopes that it will be easier on my back. We shall see.

This week we will be busy with doctors' appointments and running errands.

Monday, May 29, 2017

And the Band Played On...

We had it all planned out. I called CoachNet at 7:00 am and asked them to send out a tow truck to pull us out of the mud. At 7:40 the tow truck operator called and said he was on his way. Wow! We were going to get an early start! We quickly took showers and secured everything, then pulled in our slide outs. And at 8:00 antique cars started pouring into the campground. A marching band showed up, as well as a color guard and several horseback riders.

A parade. Oh that's right, this is Memorial Day. It took the tow truck until after 9:00 am to arrive because the driver kept running into blocked-off parade routes. At which point, the parade departed. The actual towing took about five minutes.

As you can see, the tow truck operator hooked into our hitch and pulled us backwards, with the help of Bob at the wheel. We left some serious divots in their grass.

A few hours later we pulled in to Glades Pike Winery in Somerset, PA. This is a Harvest Hosts winery, where we can boondock for a night without charge. We took a tasting and bought a bottle of wine as a "thank you" to our hosts. We had a lovely view here.

On Tuesday morning Bob and I drove to NJ, where we will be staying for the next two months. We get to hang out with our children and grandchildren!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday at the Fiber Fest

Today was a bit more relaxed than Saturday. Although we had a lot of clouds, the rain held off, with threatening weather having kept some people home. Bob and I roamed the Fiber Festival and had a chance to chat with a lot of the vendors. I was able to spend some time hanging out with our friends Jen and Scott of TurtleMade, who make 3D spindles and fiber tools.

I first met Jen in person at this same event two years ago and we've been Ravelry friends ever since. These busy folks always have something new to share and lots of ideas for new items. If you are looking for a fun spindle for Tour de Fleece (a loosly organized spinning event that coincides with the Tour de France) you may want to check out their Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/turtlemade, although give them a day or so to take a breath after this weekend and to restock their online store.

Bob spent much of the afternoon replacing a couple of LED ceiling lights and putting a light switch in my side of the closet. He's so handy, that hubby of mine. :)

Tomorrow we will get ourselves out of the mud and drive to Pennsylvania where we'll spend one more night before arriving in New Jersey. It will be so good to see the kids and grandkids again!

Saturday at the Fiber Fest

Despite gloomy weather forecasts, the sun kept trying to peek out from behind clouds yesterday. Crowds were heavy at times, and customers were buying. It was a very good day for buyers and sellers.

On Friday I posted a photo of one of the vendor areas that seemed far from ready, but by Saturday morning everything was in place. This photo was taken before the sales area was open. There are five buildings, with up to three aisles each, full of fiberlicious fun, as well as an outside vendor area. Plus sheep and alpacas to visit. It's a lot of fun to be camping here and see everything from the vendor's viewpoint. And I love waking up to the sounds of sheep in the morning.

This gal was very curious about the bag I was carrying, hoping for a treat, I am sure.

I managed to find some treasures to bring home. I got a dozen bone tablets for tablet weaving, yarn for an upcoming knitting project, and this delightful nano turkish spindle from my friend, Jen, at Turtlemade. Jen and her husband, Scott, have a 3D printer that they use to create the coolest spinning tools. I bought a micro spindle two years ago from them--they are great little spinners. And I love that you can mix and match to make your own color combination.

Today I will wander around the festival some more, we'll probably go grocery shopping, and we will get ready to be towed out of our muddy spot in preparation for tomorrow's trip to Pennsylvania. We plan to be at our daughter's house in NJ by Tuesday afternoon.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Great Lakes Fiber Festival

We have been moving pretty quickly across Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio over the last couple of days, stopping only in Lafayette, IN for a night. We arrived in Wooster, OH on Thursday afternoon, checked in, drove to our site, and promptly became mired in the mud. It's been raining a lot here! It looks like we'll need to call CoachNet, our towing company, to pull us back onto solid ground before we leave, but we aren't sweating it. That's what they are there for, and we are where we want to be for the next several days.

The fiber show doesn't officially open until tomorrow morning. So today Bob and I drove to Lehman's, about 20 minutes away. Have you heard of this place? My friend, April, told us about it when we came through here two years ago, but at the time we didn't have a chance to go. All I can say is, this is one cool store.

Mere words cannot describe this place. It has room after room after room of interesting things. Things for your kitchen, for your workshop, for outdoor use, toys, soap making supplies, bread making supplies, natural remedies, crocks for making sauerkraut, soap nuts for the laundry, and so much more. This place caters to the Amish, with non-electrical tools and gadgets. We had a lot of fun wandering through this place, and you don't want to go if time is limited. Look at the kitchen appliances you can buy here:

And this ginormous charcoal grill. Perfect if you have fifteen children!

Some items were whimsical, like this dog's drinking bowl, a scaled-down toilet.

What pooch doesn't dream of that!

On our way back to the campsite we went into the Everything Rubbermaid store. Four floors of every item Rubbermaid makes. We found a new dish drainer and a rubber spatula before having a nice conversation with the cashier about visiting Waco, TX.

We walked through the vendor area at the Fiber Fest when we returned. People are still setting up.

Tomorrow, though, this barn and two more will be jam packed full of yarn, fiber, spindles, needles, spinning wheels, looms, and people. I cannot wait! I did have a chance to spin on a Louet Hatbox wheel that is for sale, but I love my Ashford Joy so I'm sticking with what I have.

Stay tuned for more about the Fiber Fest...