Saturday, August 19, 2017

Just a Few Bumps on the Road!

Mountain Bound!

I love it when I travel up I-77 heading north and get my first glimpse of the Blue Ridge Mountains ahead of me.

My heart smiles.  My stress leaves.

I’ve got plans for the weekend, a friend coming from Kentucky to cabin retreat with me and time to relax and stitch and chat and laugh and catch up.

And I’m making good time – I did all of the grocery shopping after the post office run and then doubled back to get Sadie before leaving so she would not be left in a hot car.

Barn block sighting!


And another one!

I had plenty of time to get to the cabin, unload the groceries, set up the sewing area and change the sheets before Irene arrived. I had it all planned out.

Or so I thought!


This is Moby.

Moby is stuck behind an automatic gate that won’t open.



This is the RZR to the rescue!

The automatic gate has a key in case it doesn’t open.  Who had the key?  The Hubster.  in Hickory.  And he wouldn’t be up until much later.

Sadie and I hoofed it up the Heinous Hill from Heck (HHH) about a quarter mile trek in some places as steep as 11% grade.  I bought the RZR down and proceeded to make trips back and forth to get the groceries and stuff in. Something must be re-thought about this gate!  The trees have leafed out so far in the late summer that not enough light is hitting the solar panel. Sometimes MANUAL gates may just be a better idea!


Sorry about the tooth gap – but Sadie loves riding shotgun!

The mouth is healing slowly, I’m doing fine with it until I accidently attempt to chew something on that side….ouch.  And I’m trying to remember not to grin so big, but sometimes I can’t help myself.  It is what it is.


Cooler and groceries all the way to the back door!

Later in the evening, when Dave had arrived from Hickory, the gate was manually opened (And left standing that way. Thank you!) and since Irene was still on her way and the RZR was out, we did a bit of trail blazing:

I'm not much of an adventurous sort when cliffs and crevasses are near by, but this was white-knuckling fun!

It was quite the ordeal to get Irene here.  Many circumstances made this much more trouble than it should have been.  But combine a rental car with no GPS with the intent to use a phone GPS in an area where no service is provided for that carrier, and it had my poor girl lost with no way to find me and no way to reach me!  What a trooper!

Lessons learned – always plan for OLD SCHOOL and print out your map quest directions even if you think you don’t need them.  Always have a map. (It was in her car that is being repaired, not the rental) and just never assume you are going to have cell coverage.  Especially in Southwest Virginia!

She finally on a fluke found a spot where she could piggy-back someone’s WIFI –was able to text her hubby (they have iPhone, I do not) and he called me to tell me where she was.  I hopped in the car after texting her via Facebook messenger to stay put, I’d be right there!  What a long evening for her.

It didn’t help that the phone GPS put her on the craziest route possible on all 2 lane roads telling her she could make it here in 6 hours.  Nope.  It took 10!


Guess what got started yesterday??

Whoohooo!  My goal is to have this year’s Quiltville Mystery top done before I leave for China –I can always quilt it during the holidays but I can’t figure yardage requirements until the top is done because I don’t know if I’ll make any changes along the way from what I THINK I am doing.  Sometimes the project has to talk to me as I work on it – and I just don’t trust an EQ drawing.  It really does limit you as to what you can do.

I’m building this the same way that I think the clues will go to see how it will flow and I’m talking myself through how to present each unit, what demos to give, what pitfalls to avoid, etc.  Many photos are being taken for posts and we are in full swing production mode.

**NOTE**  There will be NO bribing of Irene for colors or clues ahead of time! LOL!

And just when we thought we were making good progress:



We ended up taking a little road trip to Jefferson, North Carolina due to a rotary cutter incident. We aren’t even sure HOW it happened.  And it is so easy to tell someone to “Be careful” after the fact, but the truth of the matter is, when you’ve been doing this for 30 years and you are always careful (And you own a quilt shop) accidents can still happen.

I now know where the Mountain Family Care Center is in Jefferson should I ever need it myself.  Accidents can and do happen.

The finger was glued shut, no stitches!  Hooray.  But a tetanus shot was required, and antibiotics as well.

We called it a day, and headed out to Plaza del Sol for Mexican food because neither of us felt like making dinner.  We were calling it a day.

A gate that wouldn’t open, a friend who got lost, a rotary cutter incident – and to put the icing on the cake, I got an email that my photo for my China visa was REJECTED.  I’ve got to do that all over again.  But not today.  Not tomorrow.  Not Sunday or even Monday.  I’m headed home on Tuesday and I’ll deal with that then.

The question remains….if it is so difficult for us to get into China, why isn’t it just as hard for folks to get into the USA? Someone I know had to retake her photo like 20 times before they would accept it.  And the crazy thing? They don’t tell you WHY it was not accepted.  It’s anyone’s guess.  Gahhh.

Time to get breakfast going and get down sewing!  Did you catch yesterday’s Quilty Box Gift-Away post?  Enter to win THERE!


Quiltville Quote of the Day!
Vintage improved 9-patch shared by Cathy B.

It's been a couple of days of crazy inconveniences!

But we are still laughing and stitching and wondering what will happen next! It's all in how you look at it!

Have a wonderful Saturday, everyone!

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  1. Crazy mishaps. Hope the rest of Irene's visit goes as planned. Happy stitching. Does she help you power-sew mystery parts??

  2. Re: Visa picture. Maybe it's like the US Passport ones now, NO GLASSES on, even if you need them to see, haha. If you covered that, the only other thing I can think of is that there may have been too much "open space" around you -- too much background and not enough you. Hope the rest of your weekend goes better.

  3. Also Re: Passport Don't smile!!! Nowadays they want to see more of what your real face looks like.
    So sorry Irene cut herself, and got lost. Very true that there is no cell phone coverage in most mountain ranges, maps are my favorites.
    Happy Weekend!

  4. You and Irene are just making memories you can laugh at later. Have a great time. Retreat!

  5. Oh my, what a day! I am hoping your weekend is much more fun. Speaking of keys, there is something called a KNOX BOX (https://www.knoxbox.com/) that will enable First Responders access to your property / home. We just put one up on our church building at the recommendation of the fire chief (a church elder). I recommended it to a senior citizen neighbor as well who has health issues. The premise is, only the 1st responders (Fire Chief, ) can open the box. Inside is your gate/house/garage key. Keeps them from knocking down your door with an ax, or ramming through your gate when there is a true emergency. There is a great video on the website to explain more about the Knox Box system. Mary / www.stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com

  6. is that a piece of batting Irene is using for her finger? Hope the rest of the weekend is uneventful

  7. Besides 4 keys for manual opening..... perhaps move the solar plate or aggressively cut back understory or tree limbs... oh to have a cabin to enjoy.... we love you for it.

  8. I save routes to home screen? Not sure of name in my Google maps and then signal doesn't matter. Sorry for the ouch. Knock wood I've never had problems with the rotary cutter. Enjoy the weekend

  9. Enjoy your time together! Tell Irene hello!

  10. Visas can be hard to get sometimes. I know some missionaries that adopted a girl in Sierra Leone as a baby. She just turned 8 years, I think. They spent months trying to get her a visa to come to the US last year. They are American citizens and had done it many times before. There should be no problem again, because she got her citizenship after getting here.

    Our pastor had a hard time getting a visa for India for the last missions trip he took, because he was a minister. He said that now that he is retired and not officially a minister any more, it will be easier.

  11. Research is kind of my thing so I had to find out why your photo may have been rejected. There's a website called visaforchna.org and they have a list of rules for photos under the general tab. No glasses is one of the items listed it also gives measurements for photo and head within the photo. This may help you limit the number of rejections.

    A couple of my friends were in China for 4 months as visiting professors at a university and loved it. I know you will totally enjoy the trip and take lots of pictures for all of us to enjoy with you! Have fun.

  12. Wondering if Sadie went up and down the hill in the gator with each grocery load? I keep thinking of it all and chuckling Sorry for your misfortune, glad the finger was saved.

  13. Hi Bonnie,
    couldn't get the link from Jill above to load but found another site with VERY clear instructions for your photo:

    You will love China. We have been twice.
    There is so much to mention it would be overload. Everything you do and see and taste will be part of an amazing memory!

  14. Hey,

    Maybe you can relocate the solar panel to get it into the sun. Just a thought.

  15. Whew what a bunch of trials to overcome. Hopefully the rest of your time together will be incident free.

  16. I love your quotes of the day! Today's quote brought back a memory of two friends who DID learn what worse luck they were saved from. The day before their long-planned European vacation, the husband fell and broke his leg. They had to cancel their trip. The plane they would have taken was one of the two involved in the 1977 collision in the Canary Islands.

  17. I read ya sister!
    I haven't had a sewing day, or down day, or non-multi-multi tasking day, like in over a month.
    Darn ready for a boring, good luck day.
    Blessings to you Bonnie, also, may Irene be blessed too.
    Jackie in NC

  18. Maybe to begin with, everyone should just send them 20 different photos. They can pick the one they like or maybe they'll quit being so picky!! Dumb butts (sorry).

  19. I haven't renewed my passport - I'm staying on firm ground now. Still lots of pretty places to visit here.
    As for the gap - I didn't notice until you mentioned it. My dad had a gap in the same spot, as did one of his brothers. What is it about that tooth? LOL. I also had that tooth removed (and the one on the opposite side) and a brace for my slightly buck teeth to go back a little bit - result, half a gap either side!
    Terrific fun on the mountain! Sadie looked like she was also enjoying her day. And oh dear poor Irene! That's a very big bandage!

  20. Love you saying today. Having some bad luck with RV right now! Put it in a little bit better perspective. Hope rotary cutter accident heals quickly. So far I have been lucky­čĄ× My first class fined us if instructor found our blade open. Heftlt fine for the time. Love to read your daily blogs.

  21. Been to China twice with no problems, hope this next picture works. I travel all over the US and I can guarantee you that in not one state has our 3 GPS ALWAYS worked, or our IPhones either. There are dead zones in The flattest areas with not a tree in site and nothing works.

  22. Re visa: When I took my picture for my visa, it was no glasses. No hair clips or bands. Pull hair behind ears so they can see face. No smiling and no jewelry. 2 in by 2 in picture. Hope that helps Bonnie

  23. It's as hard for us Brits to get into America...we have to practically jump through hoops at Border Control before they will let us in,but I don't mind one bit....better safe than sorry!!

  24. For a China visa (went through this for a June trip) use a professional photographer who has done China visas. Pharmacy and triple A photos were all rejected because of backgrounds.


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