Sunday, February 23, 2020

Winter in Arizona

Winter season starts right after Christmas and is so busy in January and February that it’s hard to find time to sit and blog. I’ve been teaching weaving every week; after my first group of students finished their three initial projects they wanted to continue so it looks like weaving will be a weekly group. Everyone is having lots of fun. This woman just finished her first band.
Bob has been busy as well. He spent much of last month building a beautiful bedside dresser and we both love it. He’s so talented. This is his own original design.
Our 19th wedding anniversary was February 9 and we celebrated the week before by taking a Segway tour of Scottsdale, AZ. Neither of us had ever been on a Segway and it was so much fun. It’s a great way to see the area, too.
All February I’ve been taking classes to learn how to do rosemaling, a Norwegian style of painting. My plan is to paint a cradle loom with rosemaling which is the traditional decoration for this type of loom. Hopefully I’ll have something to show next time I blog but right now I’m focusing on the preparation work of painting the background, which is very time consuming.

While Bob was in a couple of school plays growing up, I never had the nerve to get up on stage. I must be going through a second childhood, though, because I had fun performing in the park’s annual variety show last week.  Bob did, too, which made it all the better! Bob and I were in the harmonica group and I was in the show chorus and women’s chorus as well. The theme was cowboys and we did two nights of shows to a packed house of almost 800 people.
This week we will be performing in the Mardi Gras parade with the harmonica group. It’s hard to believe that in six weeks we’ll be heading east again.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

House Changes

We have been working so hard on our house since we arrived in October and are pretty much done for the season.

We ripped out the carpet in the Arizona room, had the floor leveled, discovered and fixed a leak around the back door, and installed hardwood flooring.
Before (as the room looked when we purchased it)

Bob and I spent most of our time painting the bedroom, which was a huge project for such a small room. I pained the walls and Bob painted the built in dresser units. He then installed new shelving and I painted a thrift shop headboard and hung new curtains. We love it!


Bob also installed an apartment-sized dishwasher that fits perfectly in our kitchen and makes my life so much better.

In between projects we managed to find fun time for visiting with friends. It hasn’t been all work, to be sure!

Next year we’ll tackle the bathroom.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Crafting Catchup

December was a busy month for me, craftwise, and I wanted to share some of my finished projects.

It being Christmas time, I had to make a little gnome and a tiny Santa, about 3 1/2” tall. And a reindeer that ended up being used on a wreath.

I made a few mice, using Alan Dart’s marvelous patterns found here. First off was a little monk.
I decided I needed more mice, so Will Makepeace flew off my needles.
And a friend received this little guy from me as a thank you for all the help she has given me in the Fiber Arts group.
I just couldn’t stop! Next came a couple of Valentines Day mice, to decorate a shadow box I had Bob hang for me.
And I’ve just finished my version of Seamus O’Mouse, my little leprechaun.

I can’t promise there won’t be more, for each holiday we celebrate here in Mesa. I must keep my shadow box current, of course!

A couple of other projects included a baby Yoda...
...a tops turvy doll...
...and a cactus tea cosy.

Whew! That’s a lot of knitting and crocheting for one month!

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019 Reflections

It’s that time of year when we reflect back on a wonderful year of travel and fun! Last January through mid April we were in Mesa, AZ. Unfortunately we had to deal with Bob’s health scare which shook us both up, but resolved itself with time. He also had cataract surgery. During those months we did have some fun, however; I learned to play the harmonica and played in the Mardi Gras parade...
...we took a boat tour of nearby Saguaro Lake...
...and I performed in the park’s variety show.
We left Arizona in April and headed east for Tucson and were able to get to Palomas, Mexico for a little fun.
Unfortunately we suffered a series of motorhome breakdowns that had us limping (or being towed) from town to town while several repair facilities tried to fix our coolant system problems. We were towed to Fort Stockton, TX, then to Odessa where we spent a week.
We broke down again just outside of San Antonio, TX. But once Cummins tweaked something in Sand Antonio we were good to go. We enjoyed visiting with my sister, Gail, and saw the Witte Museum.

From there we were on to Livingston, TX, Monroe, LA, Tuscaloosa, AL, and then to Loudon, TN where we had our own concert inches from our motorhome.
We were on a series of one night hops on these trips, and while we enjoyed the scenery we were getting a little tired!
We spent the night in Salem, VA at Dixie Caverns, then pushed on to Centreville, VA before crossing the bridge from Delaware to New Jersey.

Being back in New Jersey is always fun, spending time with children and grandchildren as well as friends. Our summer was filled with activities!
South Jersey Spinners and Handweaver’s gathering

GrandCamp in Lancaster, PA
Visiting Philadelphia

We helped our daughter pack for Idaho and she and her family said goodbye to their NJ home.
After a fun filled summer Bob and I headed west again, stopping in Lancaster, PA for a little grownup tourism before continuing to to Pittsburgh.

We found the Warhol museum...

...and toured Kentuck Knob.

From there we stopped at a series of state fairgrounds. We ALMOST got stuck under a too-low bridge in Columbus, OH.

We traveled to Indianapolis, IL, then moved to E. Peoria, IL and then Dubuque, IA where we visited our niece and her wonderful family.
I checked a place off my bucket list when we got to Deborah, IA and the Vesterheim Norwegian American Museum.
Bob and I continued on across Iowa and Nebraska before turning south to Golden, CO. We used that campground as a base to visit the Schacht Spindle Company and Celestial Seasonings Tea.

We even were able to squeeze in a visit to a quilt museum and a tour of the Coors Beer Factory.

In Granby, CO we stayed at a ritzy campground and saw the Rocky Mountain National Park.

Then it was on to Pueblo, CO where we met up with friends Mike and Retha.

From Pueblo we travelled to Questa, NM, visiting the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument and  taking in the Taos Fiber Festival with my friend Marilou.

We spent a week in Santa Fe and were inspired by a giant loom in the folk art museum there.

After Santa Fe we stopped in Deming, NM for a trip into Mexico and to the dentist whom we see.

And in Tucson we saw our friends Chuck and Linda before moving on to Mesa for the winter. 

We’ve had a lovely fall and Christmas, and I will give more details next time on what’s been going on this past month.

Until then, Happy New Year!