Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Little of This, a Little of That

I have been struggling all week to keep my mind off KC. Enter obsessive knitting! My pile of new knitted dishcloths has grown to number 18, all made in the last couple of weeks, and I think I'm done with making them. Some are now in my drawer, replacing my old worn out ones, and some are piled up as gifts to my children when we return to NJ. Don't they look pretty in a stack?

I also have been doing some card weaving on this band that makes me long for the road again.

On Sunday Bob and I went to the season's-end appreciation luncheon for the hard working volunteers of the park. We had worked four events, but there were some who had been there for many more than that. About 25 were present, but I think more might have attended if it hadn't been a pot luck.

We we are winding things down this week in preparation for being on the move again, which is very exciting for us. Bob played golf with the 9-Holers one last time, earning his best score yet (47) as well as a cash prize for being one of the best scorers for the day. Way to go, Bob! He has also been replacing the towel racks in the bathroom that have developed rust spots. Sometimes it's just the little things that make you smile.

I've started using the Blogo App to put out the blog, since I can no longer add photos when composing it on my iPad or iPhone. Blogo is free and much easier to use than Blogger. I'm not sure why Google can't fix all the issues with Blogger but at least I've found something that works.

Friday, March 24, 2017


My heart is heavy as I write this post. Our beloved cat, KC, passed away yesterday morning. We had had him for close to eighteen wonderful years, and I'll never forget the day we found him in our local animal shelter. He was about six weeks old, and such a tiny thing!

In the last few weeks he ate less and less, and began to sleep more. It was apparent that he was starting to decline. Finally, yesterday Bob and I decided that it was time to let him go. I want to always remember him happy and alert, like he was when we took this photo about two years ago.

Apologies for such a short post today.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Sanguinetti House

We've had a lovely week here in Yuma. Activities are winding down, temperatures are rising, and the pace is relaxed. The Canadians have started their end of winter migration back home, although they complain about it continually. It's still COLD up north!

Bob and I have been enjoying the 95 degree highs by swimming almost daily in the resort's pool. He has discovered, however, that he appears to be sensitive to the chlorine so he may not be able to continue to enjoy the pleasant waters here.

On Saturday we had another dinner/movie night, dining at Famous Dave's Bar-B-Que and then taking in the movie La La Land afterwards. It was a good movie with a lot of neat special effects, but not as good as Hidden Figures the week before.

The pastor at the local church has begun to preach what he views as the only true political party for believers, which has really turned me off as I know many Christians of both parties. So with great reluctance I have decided to leave the choir here. I don't like the way I'm made to feel like there's something wrong with me because I lean a certain way politically.  At least I had a lovely time singing all winter. I will definitely join another choir if I get a chance.

On Wednesday Bob and I visited the Sanguinetti House Museum & Gardens in Yuma.
It was the 19th century home of E. F. Sanguinetti, called the Merchant Prince of Yuma. Run by the Arizona Historical Society, the museum chronicles life in the late 1800s in Yuma.
The Museum has a lovely gift and antique shop, with very reasonable prices. I love antiques!
For $5 apiece we were given a tour of the museum with a storyteller. One thing we learned was that the chamber pot was originally called the Bourdaloue, after the French priest Louis Bourdaloue. His sermons were so long that women brought their chamber pots so they would not have to leave church.
Bob and I learned about the art of photographing the deceased. In this photo, one of the figures is a dead body. Which one? We were told it is the woman sitting down, as it would be difficult to pose a dead person standing.
My grandparents had a pump organ much like this one in their living room when I was growing up.  I remember playing with it. Ah, memories!
The dining room features an original ceiling hade from branches covered with mud. We were told that when the wind blows, dirt falls between the cracks still.

I've been knitting up dish cloths in my spare time, and hope to have a selection ready so that my children can choose a few when we get to NJ.
They are fun to knit. Here are links to the patterns:
The yellow and mint ones.
The square blue ones in the upper right.
And the variegated blue flower one.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Castle Dome Museum

Bob and I have decided that we need to take advantage of the beautiful weather here and get out for some sightseeing before we leave Yuma, so on Thursday we took a drive to the Kofa Wildlife Sanctuary, about 45 miles north of us. 

I don't really understand this place. It is situated on a dirt road, in a remote area, far away from any real towns. That makes sense for a wildlife area. But it is also on the military proving grounds, so there are signs forbidding people to take photographs or make drawings, and you aren't supposed to leave the dirt road because there may be unexploded ordinances lying around. Which doesn't seem too conducive to wildlife viewing. 

But as we drove along the dusty dirt road we started seeing signs for a museum, so we turned in.  Castle Dome used to be a thriving mining town. In the 1870s it was bigger than Yuma and boasted a hotel, school, church, brothel, and five bars. For $10 apiece we could walk through it.
Some of the buildings are original to the town and some were moved here from other areas, but all are authentic.
The hotel and sherif's office, from the outside.
Inside the sherif's office
Bob steps up to the bar at Carnelita's Cantina
Castle Dome hovers over this little town. We can see this mountain from Yuma, 45 miles away.
Inside one of the buildings is this old player piano. We had one just like this in our living room, when we were kids. The boxes on top each hold a different roller that plays a song. You choose the song, insert the roller into the front (behind the sliding panel) and start pedaling to play.

The desert here is just starting to burst into bloom and in another week you'd see yellow and pink flowers everywhere.
We were just a little early, but things are looking greener than it will later in the year. We are starting to get heat, though. Temps were in the low 90s, and despite the low humidity it felt HOT!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Second Sweater Finished

Bob and I made our final trip to Los Algodones to get his new crown on Friday, and it went without a hitch. We had no line at all when we walked back through the border. Nice!

I've been working on another Elizabeth Zimmermann Baby Surprise Jacket. I spent a couple of hours last week writing out the instructions line-by-line, so I had to test them. Interestingly, i used less yarn and yet the sweater came out a little bigger than the first one. It was a different yarn, though, Bernat Baby Sport. I'm sure the sweater will fit somebody, so it really doesn't matter what size it is.
Here are the two of them next to each other. The blue one looks like about a 9-month size.

On Sunday Bob and I went on a date night, for dinner and a movie. We ate at Da Boyz Italian Restaurant in Yuma, my favorite eatery in the area, and had salad and lasagna. It was so good! Afterwards we went to see Hidden Figures, a wonderful movie about African American "computers" at NASA. It was interesting to note that the term "computer" originally meant a person who did the complicated math needed in tech situations. And the story was enlightening and engrossing. If you get the chance, do go to see it.

I sewed up a couple of pillowcases yesterday. I have to say, that having my sewing machine with us has been a real joy. Years ago, when I got my first Viking sewing machine, I knew that if there had ever been a fire I'd have grabbed that first (after getting the family out, of course!)  I use my sewing machine so much, for mending and for creating small projects. Much more often than I thought I would, considering I don't see my clothes or quilt anymore. 

It's gradually warming up in Yuma, with highs expected in the upper 70s today but into the 90s by Thursday. Without the humidity we're familiar with in NJ, this heat is most pleasant.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

This Week's Happenings

I realize that my posts have been gradually stretching out, since our days here in Yuma have become somewhat routine. Have no fear--we will be back on the move at the beginning of April and I'll be posting much more frequently.

But, when last I checked in, it was almost a week ago. On Friday Bob and I went in to Los Algodones, Mexico so that Bob could get a root canal done. He handled it like a trouper and this Friday we'll go back to get the permanent crown. We'll be in and out early in the morning which is the best way to avoid lines when returning to the US border.

On Sunday our park had their annual Artisan's Show, which is a really nice showcase of projects that people have been working on. Some people sell their handmade items but the majority just display them. It's a great way to see what all the park's craft classes have been up to. There were quilts, hand carvings, decorated gourds, baskets, scrapbooks, paintings, jewelry, knitting, and more. It was a lot of fun.

In addition, the clogging class and the line dancing class put on a demonstration. Here are the cloggers. My three nieces used to do clogging and this brought back some happy memories.

Our Sit 'N Stitch group had a couple of tables to display our projects, too. I had a good selection of bands displayed, along with a chart of "What to do With Handwoven Bands," since the first question out of everybody's mouth is, "So what do you DO with these?" I had my little Ashford Inklette with me to keep my hands busy, and folks were fascinated to watch me weave.

I've finished my three shoelace bands, which has been interesting because I used three different colorways of the same draft, and emphasized specific colors by using a heavier cotton yarn mixed with lighter weight.

At the bottom, you see that the pink in the center is more dominant than the green next to it. Had they been the same weight yarn, these bands would have looked striped in the center. Instead, the "flower" color looks more rounded. An interesting exercise. Here is the draft for the band on the bottom. I simply changed colors and yarns for the others. The thin (dark green and lime green) warp was 10/2 cotton, the other colors were 5/2 except for the top band which used 3/2 purple.
On Monday, Bob and I volunteered to help set up for the Mardi Gras celebration the next day. Bob has been building booths and carnival games for it, for the past couple of weeks. I was part of the team to decorate the ballroom. Unfortunately, when we went to the party Tuesday night, the line to get food was just not moving, so after waiting a half hour and getting no closer to the front, we decided to just go home and have dinner. Thus, we ended up skipping the party. But that was ok, because I finished knitting up a baby sweater.

This is the well-known Baby Surprise Jacket, designed by Elizabeth Zimmermann. It's a timeless design that is knitted up in a rather amorphous shaped cloth, then with a little flip becomes this adorable sweater. If you've ever made one, you'll know what I mean. I started this one on Friday afternoon so it only took me four days to make, and I'm not known for my speedy knitting! It still needs buttons, but I'll probably wait until they are on sale before getting them and sewing them on. I'm quite pleased with it, and may make another because I spent probably three hours yesterday typing up the instructions line-by-line for the next one. It probably would have been better spending the $11.99 that Schoolhouse Press wanted for the line-by-line instructions, but what can I say? I'm cheap.