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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Early Morning Edition, And Free Kindle Book Too!

I’m back in Wichita!

Yesterday was SO busy with a 1pm lecture/trunkshow…dinner out with the guild ladies, and another lecture at 7pm. Show and tell was WONDERFUL, and it was a very very fun and fulfilling day!

But alas, not a lot of pictures or other activities to share with anyone this morning….

A highlight for me was a visit from a dear friend, Elsie Campbell, who drove up for the festivities! This used to be her guild, so there was lots of reminiscing going on. I also have to thank her for hijacking me in between time for a Sonic Run. It was happy hour, you know? Route 44 Diet Cherry Limeade…..oh, that was so good going down!

After packing up the bags of quilts, and moving my suit cases and the quit bags from one car to another…we drove through the country darkness where I was promptly tucked into my new digs and off to bed I went..I was exhausted!

What a boring post that makes!

I’ve got about 40 minutes to pull myself together before being picked up for today’s “Scrappy Trips” workshop with the Rose Hill Guild.

Did I finish that binding? Well…3 sides? Does that count? LOL! Best laid plans and no time to complete them. It’s the story of my life.

Those of you ready to throw your lives into football season – Here’s a freebie cookbook chock full of great recipes for your get togethers!

Tailgating Cookbook by Gooseberry Patch is free today from the Amazon Kindle store.Here is the book’s description from the Amazon website:

Get a taste of Gooseberry Patch in this collection of over 20 favorite game-day recipes! From high-school homecoming to the big bowl, parked at the stadium or right in front of your TV, Gooseberry Patch Tailgating will help you throw the winning-est party of the season! Tackle those appetites with Touchdown Taco Dip, Running-Back Stuffed Mushrooms and more!

Sounds like some good eats in there! Enjoy!

And with that, I’m of to grab a quick breakfast and get this day going!

Happy Tuesday, Everyone!

Monday, September 12, 2011

It’s Bluegrass, Baby!

And I’m so sad I’m not going to be here long enough to fully experience this….but I want to come back!

Last night some Quilty friends arranged for me to get a pass into the fairgrounds to walk around and witness for myself the fun going on there.

Musicians gather from all over the world to celebrate and share their love of Bluegrass music. Jam sessions are plenty! You can simply walk area to area to area, and find people gathering with friends and strangers to make a joyful noise!

I saw hammered dulcimers, mountain dulcimers, autoharps, guitars and mandolins of so many different varieties!

There were other instruments too...

String bass, flutes...you name it! And if you don't have an instrument to play with your hands, there is always your voice, the instrument you were born with!

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Tents are decorated with lights, the late summer night was warm and welcoming, and we couldn’t help but stop to listen, and soon found ourselves tapping toes and humming along! There was a gospel music session going on here..and soon, one of the girls wanted to practice her hand at Orange Blossom Special!

I took this from y phone! With no extra lighting, so I was amazed at how well it turned out.and it’s just a short excerpt, my phone was about out of battery!

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See the decorations? They go all out, I wish I could have shown you more. We had a whole group playing on autoharps here….wonderful!

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The night was really settling in her….so this picture isn’t great, but you should have heard the music coming out of this group….I LOVED IT!!

That’s it. When I get home, I’m going to look up local Bluegrass Fests and find a way to go …take my chair, a cooler, some bug spray..and surround myself with some of that old tyme ((and new time!)) music to fill my soul!

If you have a chance to make it to Winfield Kansas in September….do NOT miss this event! Had I known, I would have changed my flights and flown home SUNDAY instead of FRIDAY…I’m missing all the good stuff!!

A Little Bit of Winfield, Kansas!

Hello Everyone!

It’s a beautiful September morning in Winfield Kansas! I flew into Wichita on Saturday, and was promptly picked up by Carolyn and Diane…who happily fed me at Panera and off we went quilt shop hopping! I did just a bit of damage-- Just a few FQ’s and some aurifil thread I was in need of….I’m behaving myself! So far, that is!

What was funny was the REASON we were shop hopping. These shops had been told I would be in town and they were eager to have me stop by and sign the books they had in their store. So we got there…only to find that we were TOO LATE! The books had already sold out WITHOUT signatures! I was happy and sad all at the same time--More are on order, but they won’t get in before I leave….so I’ll have to catch them next time around!

I’ve never been to this side of Kansas before, and not knowing a whole lot about Blue Grass music, was soaking up all I could info wise as I was informed about this being the 40th anniversary year of the Walnut Valley Blue Grass Festival! Very fun stuff! We even drove by the location at the fair grounds. The festival is this coming weekend and the place is filling up with campers and tents and the sound of music being played everywhere you turn…but we’ll get to more of that later.

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Binding happened Saturday evening while watching some NCIS in my room! I’m about 1/2 done, but should get it finished today.

Yesterday, Sunday afternoon, was our half-day Star Struck workshop. I had the morning to myself as we were meeting in the afternoon. A funny thing happens when you travel and forget that the clock on your laptop reflects the time at HOME, not the time zone you are actually in! I had more time on my hands than I thought I did….so on with the running shoes, and out for a walk down some peaceful country roads near the hotel--

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I love autumn! And autumn in the Midwest just smells so good. I love seeing the big round bales of hay in fields!

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Quail Valley Fun Barn!? Doesn’t this look like an interesting entrance way? I have no idea what it lead to, but I couldn’t resist taking a pic! Toto, I don’t think we are in the Caribbean any more!

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Gorgeous morning on a lonely empty road! And it’s not exactly COOL TEMPS out there yet either..but fall is just around the corner, I can feel it!

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We had a full class with 26 students for our workshop! It was fun to meet with ladies I’ve emailed back and forth with over the past 3 years we’ve been waiting for this date to arrive!

Everyone’s blocks turned out SO great and SO different! We really had a great time, and the 4 hours flew by like no body’s business.

Today? I’ve got two trunkshows with this guild..the day time one at 1pm, and the evening one at 7pm. Of course, I’ll be treated out to lunch AND dinner before those…I have a feeling I ought to throw on my running shoes and head back out to pre-burn off some calories before tying on yet another feed bag!

Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Day in St Maarten!

Our last port of call! St Maarten has an interesting history and government arrangement..two governments, actually. There is the French side and the Dutch side! I’m not sure how they make that work, but evidently it DOES!

This was our one BIG excursion day! Lori had arranged for us a snorkeling tour. We were off the ship early, finding our way to where we were to meet our Taxi driver by the designated time at the right place.

And off we went! Here are our two ships at port…our Carnival dream, dwarfed by that Oasis of the Seas…Man that thing is HUGE!

The first thing I noticed? We were back to driving on the RIGHT side of the road! ((As opposed to the LEFT, not the WRONG….;c) ))

St Maarten if you are speaking Dutch, St Martin if you are French or English speaking…it all sounds the same, it just looks different!

About 40 of us split up into 3 different boats and our guides took us out into open water! We bounced over waves, got splashed by water coming up over the sides of the boat, and the only thing missing was the theme song from “Miami Vice!”

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The view behind our twin engines as we left port! Hold on to your hats, peeps, it’s rough water out here! Actually one passenger lost his --- and we had to circle around and retrieve it! Our guide was quite adept at hat recovery!

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Oh the sun and those ocean breezes! Got the sunscreen on? Oh yes ---we are ready!

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And I’m getting splashed and soaked by that wake and it feels so good anyway….we are having a ball just on the boat ride alone!

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Look at this! This was one of the areas we stopped to snorkel…and the water was so cool and refreshing, you almost forgot about how hot and potent the sun was..almost!

Here our guide led Lori and I and a few others to an area where we saw a huge tiger ray just swimming gracefully along the depths. We saw all kinds of fish, these black/yellow stripey ones were so cute and plentiful!

from there we loaded back up and headed to a secluded beach where our guides mixed up a “mud bath” for us…..and we dug right in, spreading it over arms and legs, shoulders, face and even hair…..We were told to let it bake a while and then go rinse off. I couldn’t believe how soft our skin felt by the time we were done…..

And after this….Sun Screen Application #3! However, by this time I already had a sneaking suspicion that it was a lost cause. Salt, Sand, Sweat, Sea water and mud bath….I don’t think that ANY sunscreen can combat these elements completely!

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We were back on the boats and headed to a fun little island getaway……..We didn’t have long to stay there, but oh how I wish we did!

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One of our other boats just behind us…even those clouds didn’t help the sunburn from coming on!

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Won’t You Take Me To…..”Tiki Town!” ((Sung to the tune of Funky Town!)) Look at this water! It was shallow all the way out and it was so lovely!

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By this time I was staying in the shade of our boat driver’s seat…but what fun everyone else was having just floating around in the cool clear water!

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After our boating excursion was over…..we headed into town for a bit of lunch and shopping. Our Taxi dropped us near the down town area and off we went……This building really has Dutch influence!!

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Our view down one of the little shopping streets…..by this time I was also on the look out for a pharmacy and some aloe gel!

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Got your “Quilters Eyes” on? Look at this counter at the restaurant we stopped for lunch at!

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And these were the steps up to the patio where we ate! I love traveling with my Quilters Eyes WIDE OPEN!

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As we walked ourselves back to our ship, I took in the view….people and families swimming and enjoying each other. The sounds of live music playing around us. The contrast of color between the red umbrellas and the aquamarine sea.

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St Maarten, you are a beautiful beautiful memorable place, and I hope to visit you again some day!