Saturday, March 17, 2018

Leaving Mesa

This has been a hard week, saying goodbye to friends and moving out of our little house for the season. It took us eleven hours to prepare the rig and move everything. But in the midst of that, we did have some fun. Our niece, Emily, flew in to visit us on Wednesday, and we’ve been having such fun. Wednesday was a beautiful day so she and I headed right over to the pool as soon as she dropped her bags in her room. Aaaaaaahhhhh....bliss! What a great way for us to reconnect and catch up with each other’s lives.

Thursday we worked all day moving, and by 11:00 Friday we were ready to roll. Our trip to Tucson was easy and without any hiccups. We are staying in a park that’s owned by the same organization that runs our park in Mesa and who offered us a free stay. I do like free! We capped off the day by meeting up with our friends, Chuck and Linda, at Pita Jungle for dinner. A very fun evening! Linda brought some of her truly gorgeous pine needle baskets for us to ooh and ah over. She has a real talent for basket weaving.

This morning we visited the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures on Tucson. I had gone there with my friend, Retha, two years ago, so I was eager to show it to Bob and Emily. We had a great time checking out the exhibits, and here are some of my favorites.

Take a look at that last photo—it’s a carving of Picacho Peak by Cindy Chinn, and it is carved into a graphite pencil. The detail is amazing!

This afternoon I taught Emily how to weave on my Ashford Sample-It Loom. She’s doing great and I’ll post a photo when she’s done. There’s nothing I like better than to teach someone how to weave, and Emily’s a natural.

After dinner we decided to drive out to Saguaro National Park to see the sunset. It was a beautiful evening.

Tomorrow we are off to Las Cruces, NM, which is about 300 miles away. Time to say goodbye to Arizona.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Season’s End

I had no trouble flying home from NJ, scoring a front row window seat with loads of leg room. And despite the foul weather the day before, we not only took off on time but landed 15 minutes early.

Since then, I have been setting up my studio...

...and learning how to use my new Instant Pot that’s recently arrived. It’s a small one, and it fits nicely on my appliance cart. I think I’ll bring it along in the motorhome when we leave next week.

Next week! This has been a crazy winter and I really feel like I never really settled in. In fact, the daughter of a neighbor has come to visit her dad in the park three times this winter, but I was gone each time she came. She told us that secretly she was thinking that I was just a figment of Bob’s imagination. Hahaha! I was happy to set her straight.

Check out what Bob made me today—it’s a tofu press, made from 2 small dollar store cutting boards and some bolts and knobs from Lowe’s.

Tofu that is to be sautéed requires pressing so that a lot of the liquid can be removed, and this will make to easy to do.

We are counting down all the “last’s” now—last time singing in the choir this season, last time at Fiber Arts Group, last time at Woodcarving (Bob.)  But we are looking forward to our springtime adventures and seeing family in NJ, and our little house will be waiting for us this October.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

What’s Going On in NJ

Just a quick catch-up. I’ve been in NJ helping my daughter out following her recent surgery while Bob and Auggie-Dog stayed in Mesa, AZ.  The surgery went very well and Catherine is feeling quite strong, thanks to the many prayers that have been lifted up for her across the country. I am so grateful to all who have been praying! She still is restricted from driving for a few more days and is not allowed to lift anything so I’m glad I’ve been able to be here. I return to AZ on Saturday March 3rd.

2018 is the year of the Temperature Blanket, very popular right now. The idea is that you gather lots of colors of yarn, assign a color to a range of temperatures, and record each day’s highs and/or lows by crocheting, knitting, or weaving them into a blanket. Mine is crocheted in the Corner to Corner (known as C2C) pattern, I’m including both high and low temperatures, and it is progressing quite well. I crochet a little reach day. Here are my yarns and the blanket after a few weeks.

I’d also like to make a woven temperature blanket as well and am working on that idea.

Bob has also been busy while I’ve been away. I asked him to build me a holder for my weaving reeds, and this is what he made me.

It’s going to be very handy in my new weaving studio.

Today my daughter and I will gather with children and grandchildren for an afternoon of family and fun, and I’m really looking forward to it!

Monday, February 12, 2018

We’ve Been Very Busy!

When last I wrote, dear blog reader, I told about new friends, Deb and Marilou, coming to visit. As it happens, I have seen them both since then; Deb drove back here a week ago to purchase my Saori Piccolo loom and Bob and I drove out to Marilou’s home where we bought her 40” 8 harness Macomber loom.

My decision to sell the Piccolo was not easy. I have had so much fun weaving on it and it was a perfect traveler. However, I now have a land-locked studio so I can keep a large loom and play with different weave structures. I have my Baby Macomber for workshops. But I don’t have room for three floor looms, so it was time to find a new home for my little “Dora the Explorer.” Deb sent me a photo of Dora ensconced in her new digs. She looks right at home.

Later that week we rented a van and drove to Marilou’s house, south of Tucson, to pick up the Macomber. If the Piccolo was the lightest floor loom there is, this loom is surely the opposite. It is heavy and solid, capable of weaving anything from rugs to fine linens. This particular loom was made in October of 1965 when I was one month shy of my 10th birthday. Marilou believes she purchased it from the original owner in Virginia but Macomber Looms was unable to read the old ledger book with the owner’s name in it, so we will assume that is correct. It’s nice to know a loom’s provenance. Bob and I were able to lift this 250 pound loom into the bed of the truck by taking some pieces off.

It has been a lot of fun cleaning her up and making her look pretty, although Marilou had done a wonderful job restoring her already. She didn’t need much more. Bob is now working on shelving for my room so we can get some things off the floor in the studio.

Bob and I celebrated our 17th anniversary on Friday. Seventeen years! It still seems like yesterday, and yet it feels like there was never a time when we weren’t together. We are still very much in love.

We actually celebrated twice, by going to the movies Friday to see The Last Jedi, and then by going to lunch on Saturday at Seasons 52 in Phoenix. Their vegan options are limited but what they have is very good. Then on Sunday we went to a woodcarving show. Bob has been active in the park’s woodcarving class and the show was just across town. We saw some amazing carvings and turnings.

Bob was able to find some tools he wanted and we had fun seeing everything. We found out that there are even woodcarving and wood turning clubs in the area that meet regularly. It was a fun day.

This week I fly back to NJ to help my daughter out while she recovers from surgery, returning March 3 to Mesa. Bob and Auggie will be by themselves again, but I have no doubt that the neighbors will be stopping by to make sure he’s not lonely. We have a very social neighborhood.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

A Day with Friends

On Monday, some fiber friends from Ravelry came to visit. What fun to put faces to names and share our love of weaving and spinning! Deb and Marilou, with Marilou’s husband John, came in the morning and stayed until after lunch.
Bob and John (plus Marilou and John’s wire fox terrier, Meghan) hung out outside and talked guy-talk while we three gals had a great time weaving, spinning, and getting to know each other. We will have to get together again!

Today, Kay, one of the women from the church choir in which I sing came over to see the house. She and her husband had owned this park model for fifteen years, before selling it 5 years ago to the folks from whom we bought it. She was delighted to see the changes we had made, and I told her we’d have her come back when the bathroom was redone. She identified some of the furniture that we “inherited” with the sale as pieces she had bought. Kay told us she had loved living here, only moving because her husband had 15(!) grandchildren and they needed a bigger place. She was pleased that her former home was being maintained and improved.

Temperatures here have reached the low 80s over the past couple of days, and we are loving it. We really don’t miss the cold winters of New Jersey at all.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Final Kitchen Reveal

....and here is the finished kitchen. Bob installed the rest of the bead board backsplash today, as well as the nice white outlets. I am so thrilled with the way it came out.

So what will we be doing with all of our free time, now that we’ve declared a halt to renovations for the season?  Well, Bob has plans to work on his golf swing and I intend to do some weaving. Tomorrow a couple of Ravelry friends are coming to visit and I’m really excited to see them.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Countertop Update

The countertop is in! And I just love it. The nice deep sink and gooseneck faucet are a huge improvement, too.
On Sunday a new pure white stove and microwave will be delivered to replace the old cream and black ones. I’m not sure about the stove, but that microwave is original to the 26 year old kitchen. It took me nearly 9 minutes the other day to pop 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels. One good thing about it is that I can cook oatmeal in it and it will never boil over. It has to be all of 400 watts of power. 

Bob will be adding a bead board backsplash next, and changing out the outlets to white colored ones. Ooh, it’s going to be quite spiffy when it’s finished!