Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Evening Edition, Free Kindle Book!

I’ve had a WONDERFUL relaxing catch up day! Gosh, did I need this….I even scheduled myself for a lovely 90 minute massage this afternoon.

I am complete JELLY!

Today has been a day of mostly paperwork related stuff. I had website work that needed attending to. I had a weeks worth of mail to sort through and bills to take care of and a full email box to clean out.

I opened my 2015 Calendar ((!!)) and it is filling!

While we were in Delta Junction, AK, DH and I stayed in the most wonderful B&B, and I really loved sitting around the dining table listening to Lonnie tell the stories of Hillcrest B&B and things that have happened to them out in the wilds of Alaska!

So when I came upon this Amazon freebie, I snagged it!

The Trouble with Green by Liv James is free today from the Amazon Kindle store, and has received a perfect 5 out of 5 stars based on six customer reviews.

Product Description

Josie’s life turns upside down when her earth-friendly inns get national press. Her architect husband gets a job offer on the other side of the country, the owners of her best inn disappear, and an unwanted guest drags danger to her door. As Josie is drawn deeper into her guest's twisted plan, she determines that she must fight the ghosts of her past if she has any hope of survival.

There were NO stories like this one from the B&B that I stayed in, but we were shown pictures of a HUGE bear that was right up in the sliding glass door…YIKES!!

We were told, “But there are no snakes, and no poisonous spiders!” As if THAT makes everything better? Bears! OH MY!

Some have commented that it’s not fair that I don’t list the Nook or other books. This blog isn’t about listing all the free books that are out there for every platform. I list what I choose to read because it was something that I found interesting enough to download myself for my OWN reading :c) I have a kindle, and I use it.

If you don’t have a kindle, you can download these to your computer and read them there, or if you like the title and the description, check them out of your library.

You can also download them to your phone if you have a smart phone by installing the kindle app.

You can use a kindle app on your ipad, or other tablet. I have a Toshiba Thrive, and I love it!

I just post what I like…..and that’s all there is to it!

As always, double check before clicking that this book is still free, prices can change without notice ---

Enjoy!

A Day to Unwind!!

Hey All!

We got home from Alaska last night around 7pm ----you know, Alaska is just NOT an easy place to get to or from if you fly out of Greensboro, NC!! We were tabulating and calculating just how many hours it had been since we had been in a bed, and it was something like 28 hours or more!

Get this…

We woke up at 8am Alaska time in Delta Junction, and drove 330 miles back to Anchorage to catch our 12:30am flight out, which was delayed til after 1am….

I just wiled away the time stitching on my hexagons in the terminal until we finally boarded. Don’t I look like I’d been up about 16 hours by this time? LOL!

We got to Seattle at 5am Seattle time, no time for breakfast, we had to rush to get on another flight!

We flew from Seattle to Houston, and then the ZOO started…I’m not sure if it was because we were so overly tired already, but we were laughing hysterically at one point.

Stupid Stupid air traffic control!! According to our pilot, they changed gates on us THREE TIMES upon approach, and had us pull into the INTERNATIONAL TERMINAL! from SEATTLE?!

Well, they usher us through corridors, down hall ways, over this, down that, and we CAN’T go through customs! No one has a passport..we just have drivers licenses? And they hold us up. And keep us there until they decide what to do with us. All 141 of us. Plus the pilots, the crew...everyone was stuck in customs!

Many people were missing connections by this time….what a huge disaster! WHY did they pull us into there?

They ended up escorting us, police and TSA guards directing us…BACK to our gate….back through all those DO NOT ENTER signs…

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all the way back to our gate so we could be escorted through a DIFFERENT corridor that dumped us out somewhere near baggage claim, but NOT through customs. Why was there not an agent there to direct us this way when we got off the plane in the first place? Serious. It was SUCH a mess!

They had to check our IDs and boarding passes against the original manifest. Some people didn't HAVE their boarding passes anymore, all the trash got passed to the flight attendants as they were collecting trash before landing. I usually throw mine away, but luckily, this time it was still in my bag-- :c/

We grabbed some late lunch in Houston, it was about 1:30pm at this point, and we really hadn’t eaten anything since dinner the night before in Anchorage.

One more flight, and we were finally touching down in Greensboro.

SADIE was SUCH a happy girl to see us! She was doing tricks even WITHOUT treats she was so excited! LOL! I grabbed my camera and caught this little video:

It’s a narrow video, I was doing it from my phone, but I think you get the idea of just HOW HAPPY she is!

I have more to post on Alaska, but today is an unwind day for me. I need some time to unpack, do some laundry ((load 2 is running as I type)) and get things back in order.

I was looking at my past month’s calendar…from Iowa, to Minnesota, to Alaska…I think I’ve only been home 3 days in between! Crazy life, but I love it!

I had to lay out my hexagon section to see how far I’ve come on it….

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Ooooh! Only a bit over 2 rows left to complete this section!

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I’ll need ONE more section just like this to fill in the upper right, and two mirror image sections to fill in the lower right and upper left…and….and…..and…

THEN WHAT?!? What will I do for a carry around project then?! I almost don’t want to think of it! Will I do more hexies? Maybe. Will I move on to Applique? Maybe..or maybe I’ll hand quilt something small…or…????

But for today…I rest!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Alaska Shop Hop!

If you are going to fall OFF the wagon, as far as stashing fabrics goes, Alaska is a great place to do it!

I was condensing plastic shopping bags full of fabric, and I didn’t realize just WHAT I had accumulated!

I’ve hit FIVE shops so far! FIVE. Oh. Man. And it all started with the Alaskan themed fabrics…I just needed some! I don’t have a whole lot of batiks, but I’d like to do an Alaska themed quilt to capture this great trip, and if I buy the themed batiks..then I have to have the go-withs, right? I mean, once I set my foot in that sinking ship, it was all over!

I had PLENTY of encouragement though, so maybe I can blame it on my friend Kathe! Kathe and I have known each other “online” since about 1996, and have met in person a couple times. She lives up here outside of Fairbanks, and I got a message from her on my phone ((When we finally got back to where we could GET a signal—)) that she wanted to see me if I was still in town.

We had just pulled into Denny’s in Fairbanks for breakfast, and I called her back as soon as I found her message. She was on her way to work, but said she would turn around right there and come meet us! How cool is that?

We had a great visit, and it was wonderful to see her. And can you tell from the picture, that we were at the world’s NORTHERN most Denny’s? LOL!!

Kathe directed me to a couple of Fairbanks quilt shops that were close by, making up shops 3 and 4 on my wild Alaska tour! More bags, more added to the collection of Alaskan treasures!

Upon reaching Delta Junction, we hit the Calico Cow too, bringing the quilt shop total to 5. in 3 days. That might not be a lot to you, but I’m not a big shopper ((or so I’m lying to myself!!)) But it is great to find stuff that I just can’t find in North Carolina!

So what is coming home with me? A variety!

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Some 1/3 yard and 1/2 yard cuts to add to my black and whites! ((Yes, they look pink, but they are not! It's the lighting!)) I’d rather buy a 1/3 yard cut for a piece that measures 12” X 44” than a Fat Quarter that measures 18” X 22”. It’s just a better use of the fabric for me, and usually costs about the same as a Fat Quarter anyway.

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5 .5 yards of a very cool brown I’m going to use for a backing right away ((Does this count toward stash accumulation if it’s going right on a quilt??!)) This was on the 50% off rack, and it feels SO nice.

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A couple of half yard cuts of some shirtings that were also on the 50% off rack. Backgrounds are always ALWAYS legal, right? Okay..I don’t have to count these in the total either then, right?

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Scrap bags of batiks!! These were from “Seams Like Home” in Anchorage….these are 1lb bags, and there has to be close to 2 yards in each. It’s helping me build a variety because I don’t have much of a batik stash, and these will round out the Alaskan ones I’ve picked up ((Yes, and the rationalization continues!))

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THESE are the alaskan fabrics. Aren’t they cool?! 1/3 yard cuts again…I’ve got whales and moose and otters and more orcas and all kinds of feet and a bigger piece that has puffins on it….it was on a sale rack for 20% off if you took what was left on the bolt.

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I found these three 1 yard pieces at the Calico Cow on the $5.99 rack……awesome, blossom!!

And it doesn’t stop here! Though I’ve had to reign it all in…our bags were already at limits and I can only replace the weight of the books that have been sold..using the fabric as “packing material” around those that are left….and trying to keep the bags from going over their weight limits! It’s a tough juggling job I tell ya!

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These were the scraps available for Friday’s Bricks in the Barnyard workshop….and I wished I could take it all home! Good thing there is no room in my bags….but I WAS told that I could ship the overweight stuff home in priority flat rate mail boxes…hmmm…I’ll have to think about it!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Old Chatanika Gold Dredge

One of the “Bonus” sights on this trip was a visit to the Old Chatanika Gold Dredge that was just a mile down the road from where we were staying at the Gold Camp.

We were told it was a great place to wander and stretch our legs, and see a piece of Alaska Gold Rush history.

How do you get there? “Well, drive a mile down the road and look for the Chatanika Lodge and restaurant..you can’t miss it” we were told…."Look for the totem pole!"

And then, ooh and ahh over all the flowers that are in big bloom! It’s been fun to see the varieties of “cool weather” flowers that seem to thrive in this climate! The colors are so rich and bright….inspiring all kinds of quilt possibilities in my head…

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Oranges and yellows and purples and blues, with a liberal sprinking of white and red and pink. I love seeing the planters full of gorgeous blooms, and the planters themselves, old cast offs from the earlier gold rush days!

We walked parked here and walked across the street, following a rocky path to where the gold dredge stood, silent and foreboding. The Chatanika gold dredge is a historic relic of gold dredge #3 owned and operated by the F.E. Company between 1928 and 1958. The dredge is located at about 27.5 metres (90 ft) along the Steese Highway east of Fairbanks in a 60 acres (24 ha) pond it dug itself, directly across the road from the Chatanika Lodge.

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The first thing we noticed along the rocky path were the remains of land stripping left after all production stopped.

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Evening was falling, and light was fading…this was about 8:30pm on Tuesday. You first see the pond, and then the dredge itself becomes visible. The most eerie thing was how quiet it was out there. I can imagine the racket this thing made when it was in production,

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Of course, graffiti “artists” had done their work, but this monstrosity was just amazing in its size and silence! Who were the men who came here to work to support their families? Where did they come from? What was life like here in 1924 for them? I can’t imagine!

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I liked the reflection of the sky and the trees in the dredge-made pond….

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And as the shadows fell, the silhouette behind us sat still and silent, just a cast off remnant of an earlier era on the Alaskan landscape. If only this relic could talk!

Back at our little room at the Gold Camp Hotel….I laid out my hexagon bottom section, to see how much had been accomplished over long flights, lay-overs, and many hours of driving through wilderness…

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Maybe some day someone will wonder about the story that this quilt could tell about all the places it has been and seen as well!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Evening Edition! Free Kindle Book!

This is for the long flight home tomorrow!

We are done with our two fun days of workshops, and tomorrow after breakfast we will be leaving Delta Junction, AK and starting our long trek back to Anchorage. We are planning on it taking 8 to 9 hours with all the stopping and scenery looking…putting us in Anchorage in time for a nice leisurely dinner!

The rental car needs to be turned back in around 10pm…our red-eye flight leaves Anchorage at 12:30am. We get back to North Carolina after 6pm at night on Monday! Blehhhhhhh!!

So..I just was doing a bit of browsing for something to keep me occupied on the flights, and I found THIS one!

A Knight in Central Park by Theresa Ragan is free today from the Amazon Kindle store, and has received an average user rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars based on 24 customer reviews.

Product Description

The year is 1499. As Alexandra Dunn’s farmhouse is set ablaze, her grandfather places precious stones in her palm, telling her she has until the next full moon to return with a hero...a brave, chivalrous knight to help save her family. Familiar objects become a blur as she is swallowed in darkness. Suddenly Alexandra is standing in the middle of Central Park, but she has no time to ponder on the wondrous powers of the stones or the amazing sights before her...she must find a hero before all is lost.

Joe McFarland would be the first to admit that he’s far from hero material…definitely not the man she’s looking for. A firm believer of quietude and non-violence, he avoids conflict at all costs. At thirty-four, he is one of the younger Professors at NYU where he lectures and teaches History: The High Middle Ages. Joe’s main goal in life is to gain membership into the Medieval Academy, a highly distinguished group of archaeologists and historians. He believes membership will bring him respect and recognition…but what he really wants is to be reunited with his father; a man who has spent his entire life searching for the Black Knight, the last of the medieval knights.

Joe’s organized, well-structured life begins to unravel the moment he meets Alexandra Dunn. He figures she majored in medieval history before going off the deep end…until days later when he is miraculously transported through time, to 1499 England. Dressed in Dockers and a button down shirt, Joe thought he was ready for anything...anything but this! An armored man with a very authentic looking broadsword is about to strike him down. With only nail clippers and a Bic to defend himself, Joe has no time to think about such an implausible phenomenon as traveling through time…not if he wants to live to see another day.

After the Diana Gabaldon “Outlander Series”, I kind of got hooked on some of the time travel genre, but it’s gotta be a GOOD ONE…..I’ll be willing to give this one a try! I’m still waiting for the next Outlander release to come around some time next year I think…..but we will try this one!

As always, check the price before clicking as prices can change without notice.

Enjoy!

From Seward to Fairbanks!

We left Nikki’s on Tuesday morning before breakfast. There was a flurry of activity at her house. She works as a rural mail carrier --- and was heading out early herself. That was fine with us-- We wanted to drive the 35 miles south to Seward for a look-see and breakfast!

Breakfast has to be my favorite meal to eat out! I think I could eat breakfast ANY time of the day….and finding little mom & pop places that are not chain stores, just local hang-outs are great!


Reindeer sausage or caribou patty, anyone? No? Come on, you only live once!

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A small promise of blue sky buoyed our spirits! This was the day we were planning our Long Driving Day #1 ---making our way from Seward after breakfast, up through the Denali National Park on our way to Fairbanks! We had hopes of seeing Mt McKinley….and were hoping that bit of blue sky would just open up to reveal what we wanted to see!

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Instead, it rained the whole way, and the clouds sat right on top of the mountains at the snow line. BUMMER!! But it was STILL lovely. We stopped to take pictures and stretch our legs…

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I was amazed at the number of cross country bicyclists there were….and a lot of them women, riding solo! Bikes with 50 lbs of gear --- out in the middle of nowhere, rain, cold, wind…((and yes, some of these people in shorts, I am such a wimp!))

It was a beautiful drive and it took us all the way til dinner time to make it to Faribanks.

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And then the adventure REALLY began! (((Yes, this is the Alaska traveling uniform…jeans, tennies, interchangeable shirt, and denim over-shirt, and sometimes the alternate blue hoodie!))

We got into fairbanks thinking it would be fairly easy to find a hotel --- NOT!!

Every place we tried was sold out! NO ROOMS AVAILABLE! We had no clue that the fair was going on this week…but one of the ladies at a B&B suggested we try the visitor’s center, and we did….and they pointed us toward a Gold Camp “Hotel” about 30 miles out of town that still had 2 rooms available. We were up for an adventure, and I was really excited to have this opportunity--I mean, the inside of one Day’s Inn looks like the inside of any OTHER Days Inn, And THIS was different!

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Brochure on my lap on the way up to the Chatanika Gold Camp! ((At this point we had driven close to 500 miles that day, and I was just ready for a BED!))

We drove and we drove and we drove…about 30 miles North East of Fairbanks, and it seemed impossible that anything was out there, but there it was! And the history of this place is fascinating!

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SOMEONE has taken really good care at planting the flowers…look at that gorgeous color! They were using all kinds of gold digging equipement as planters, and it was fun to walk around and see what was put to good use!

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We drove up the road, under the gate, and followed it around to where the hotel signs pointed..not sure what we would find!

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The brochure didn’t lie! LOL!!! See that first window above the hotel sign? That was our room! There were 10 rooms on the top floor, and a couple of cabins on the property to rent also.

The restaurant is on the ground floor, along with lots of mining memorabilia. The staff was welcoming, and we settled in for dessert! ((We’d grabbed pizza in Fairbanks before driving up…we were too starving to wait by this point!)) Strawberry Rhubarb pie ala mode for me, and a chocolate sundae for DH and we were ready to settle in for the evening.

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Gorgeous flowers amid the remnants of old mining equipment….

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This is the upstairs! All the comforts of home --- including 2 treadle machines, two old over stuffed antique chairs, a microwave and a coffee pot! LOL!!

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Even an old ironing board set up in case you needed to iron out your wrinklies-- See the light from that window? This is after 9pm!

I neglected to take a picture of our room…we were just too tired. But it was comfy, just a queen bed, an antique dresser. Curtains at the window like this one ---we had to hang towels over the curtain rod to make the room dark enough to sleep ;c)

As it was “Back in the day” the bathrooms were shared…and directly across the hall from us! So, I was grateful to have packed ear plugs to keep the sound of sleepy guests and midnight trips to the bathroom at bay.

In the morning, I found out how REALLY rustic it was…I went to take a shower, and there was NO HOT WATER!! Serious. I tried the knob both ways, and it just got colder. Pass on the shower, get one at our next destination, Delta Junction!

This place was so rustic that there is no one at the desk in the morning. You just leave your key in the door lock, and out you go in the morning ---

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In the morning before heading back to Fairbanks for breakfast, we stopped to take a peek at the old one room school house. At one time Chatanika was bigger than Fairbanks, there were thousands of people that populated the area during the gold rush. It’s just a ghost of what it once was.

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Well rested, but un-showered!! I love the path less traveled ---and I’m GLAD that Fairbanks was out of hotel rooms, or we never would have explored out this way!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Hiking in Moose Pass!

It stays light in Alaska quite late into the night! Not quite 24/7 anymore, but at 10pm at night it was still very light out! We pushed dinner a way back, to make good use of the daylight, and Nikki and her boys took us on a hike outside of Moose Pass.

The rain had stopped, it was cool, but we felt comfy in sweatshirts, jeans and running shoes.

The scenery was spectacular, and Nikki kept saying “I wish it was a better day for this, you can’t see through the clouds” or “We should have taken this OTHER trail, it’s much more scenic” and I was so blown away by what was in front of us I didn’t care!

This was the Alaska I wanted to see. The get off the highway, get away from civilization, blaze a trail kind of Alaska adventure.

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I mentioned earlier about the color of the water….it’s a milky silver, due to the glacial silt. The water is almost the same color as the clouds! I’d love to see it on a sunny day, but we haven’t had any luck with the weather so far.

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The wild flowers are EVERYWHERE! This is fireweed, and it grows plentiful and beautiful!

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We were watching a float plane taxi and take off on top of the lake, and I had to take a picture of these lovely flowers….I just love the color!

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This pretty purple flower is Monk’s Hood, and we were told that although it is pretty, it is extremely poisonous…good for pictures, not for picking!

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Watermelon berries ARE edible! They don’t taste like watermelon, but they do hold a lot of water, so look for these if you are a survivalist ;c)

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I’m trying to remember the exact ages of Nikki’s boys, but my closest guess is 9 & 11! And just as boys do, they took off way ahead of us, while us old folks lagged behind!

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The trails were steep and muddy….we had to choose our footing carefully, and I still ended up sliding into a mud puddle. So much for clean running shoes! But I guess if you don’t get dirty, you aren’t really living it, right?

This sign cracked me up:

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Glad to know that we wouldn’t be stepping into traps on our way up the trail! How far would YOU consider a "fair distance"?? I want them as far away from me as possible!

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Boys will be boys and mud puddles still hold lots of interest for curious young minds!

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Up and up and up we hiked! The trails were pretty steep in parts, but the pay off was worth it!

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OH isn’t THIS attractive? hip bag under the hoodie, and hoodie pocket full of bags…we were looking for berries! We didn’t find any, the bushes were already picked over, but I’m still glad we went!

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Back down to the bottom of the trail, this was the view of the lake!

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And yes, we crossed the bridge! We had to to get to the trail head and back…and if there is a trail head across the bridge, and it is the only way to get TO the trail head, I guess the signs aren’t working…lol! I RAN across the bridge, I didn’t want to risk trains coming…but here is DH taking his own sweet time…

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SPEECHLESS!!

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We stopped here below the fish hatchery to see if we could see salmon in the water. And we did! We also watched these guys in the little inflatable boat fishing…..it was SO scenic and SO isolated out there!

After our hiking adventure, we all bundled off back to Nikki’s and she cooked us a terrific dinner of halibut that she had caught herself. It doesn’t get much better than that!