Day 2-3 on return trip

We continue to be on eastern time zone, waking up early but it is ok as it allows for good start. We drove up to the eastern side entrance to the southern rim of the canyon. I think we were there by 1030 am so we headed to Desert View Watchtower. I had read a lot about it in how it was constructed to blend in with the Canyon and also the architect was a women that worked with the Hopi peoples in the various designs painted inside the watchtower. The vistas were absolutely gorgeous and breathtaking. It was a fairly short walk but with the elevation it was a little difficult along with our head colds that did not help. We drank a lot of water as well. As the day went on the crowds grew. It was plenty for me, cannot imagine what it is like during summer months.

We continue Jed to the south Kaibab trailhead. We parked off on the side road and walked about 1/4 mile to the trailhead and walked down just a bit just to say we did it. I cannot imagine going all they way down and back. No thanks!

We decided to check into our lodge Yavapai but room was not ready. So we had a quick picnic lunch of sandwiches I made and then hoped on one of the shuttles to the visitor center. The shuttle service was great, moving so many people about the park and not having to deal with cars everywhere. They were pretty efficient and on time. We watched the visitor movie which was informative and described the over growth of trees and the incidence of high fire dangers and how they are clearing and doing controlled burns to prevent issues. We then took another hike Mather point to Yavapai point. Very cool hike with great views. Even picked out spot to observe the sunset over the canyon.

We headed back to check in and have a supper prior to returning to our evening spot. Well 2 German guys found it but there was room for us. Pretty cool to watch the shadows of the canyon.

Today

Again we woke up early. Outdoors smelled like camping with the scent of the ponderosa pines. We headed via shuttles to the western section of the south rim. We stopped at Hopi point and hiked to Mohave Point. This was a cool hike right on the edge and we could hear the Colorado river rapids. Hopped on the shuttle to Pima Point another great stop and then headed back to our car. So many views but to experience the canyon is so hard to describe or see in pictures. So glad we got to see it. Great weather as well!

We continued to a place that feathered Bedford Rock from the Flintstones. I remember watching it and my husband was excited to see it. Well it was cool to remember them, unfortunately it was not kept up. No very popular but would have been fun when we were kids. We saw several couples are age going down memory lane. And coffee was 5 cents a cup.

My next stop was in Silegman at the Roadkill Cafe on Route 66. Another great place and we had Buffalo and Elk burgers. Both very good. Speaking of Elk there were several warnings about Elk. I guess one guy the other day got too close to one in the park and it charged him and he got knocked out and had to go to hospital.

We made it to Lake Havasu and our hotel. We are spending two days here. London Bridge and some kayaking on Lake Havasu is planned. We wanted to see the Top gorge but I guess they pull their boats out a few days ago. Maybe another time. So we will have a restful evening.

Marine daughter has made it to San Diego for her combat training which should start middle of June. Jet lagged and waiting around to get processed. She had a great time with family and friends during her liberty. Now to the next phase…

Happy Quilting!

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Homeward bound….but first a west state tour

Well we packed up the house for the summer. Today is to be another warm windy day in Arizona. Yes everything fit in the Prius with creative packing and filling some of those open spots with fabric :). We headed north to Sedona. We have heard wonderful things and since it was on the way we stuck it in last minute. Some say it is prettier than the Grand Canyon and even my husband said so. The red rock and vistas are beautiful, quiet and peaceful.

We stopped first at the Red Rock Visitor and Ranger Station. Great spot with lots of information inside and overview of the several rock formations in the distance.

Next stop was the Bell Rock pathway, but it was completely filled so we drove on to the next vista point Courthouse vista. Again pretty full but we found a spot. We walked on some of the trails headed up the north side of the Bell rock. Lots of people were on the trail. Such a beautiful vista and some actually were going to the top. We went up a way and Dan went a bit farther. We did not have our hiking stuff on but was a great short hike and enough to enjoy the beautiful views.

We drove to the Chapel of the Holy Cross and this place was packed with little parking, so it was a drive up and down. We headed to Sedona which is an active little town with great shops and eateries. The buildings all blend in with the rock colors. There was an art fair going on as we drove thru. Pretty busy place.

We decided to take Red Rock Lower loop and I did not have a good map so we did not know where we were going, but no traffic and beautiful rocks and houses the expensive kind. So cool! We pulled off on the side and had a picnic lunch. So quiet and peaceful. Dan said that possibly this is prettier than the Grand Canyon!

We headed to Cottonwood where our hotel is and we were early so decided to check out National Monument Tuzigoot. We drove thru old Cottonwood and this was a cool little town with neat shops and eateries. It was hopping! Walking these shops is not what Dan likes to do, but would be a girl thing definitely.

  • Tuzigoot (Apache for “crooked water”) is the remnant of a Southern Sinagua village built between 1000 and 1400. It crowns the summit of a long ridge rising 150 feet above the Verde Valley. The original Pueblo was two stories high in places, with 87 ground-floor rooms. There were few exterior doors; entry was by ladders through roof openings. The village began as a small cluster of rooms inhabited by some 50 persons for 100 years. In the 1200’s the population doubled and then doubled again.
  • Farmers grew corn, beans, squash and cotton using techniques like canal irrigation. They also made their distinct red-on-buff pottery and built ball-courts. One-room pit houses perched on terraces overload their crop fields in the bottom lands.

So ended the day of travel. Called my mom to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day! My girls messaged me.

I hope you all enjoyed your day.

Vacation from quilting. Still nursing a cold, but it is not too bad.

Happy Quilting!

Marine Gradation

It turns out that we are spending our last week here in AZ with triple digit temperatures! It is just plain hot. Just had air on for an hour here and there, the ceiling fans work great. Today the winds crank up leading to red flag warnings. It is very dry as the last rain was back in February and that was not much. House is cleaned and most things are packed. Spouse cannot believe we are coming back with so much. Well a girl has to take some quilting stuff back you know :). Anyway I always find some cracks as he packs where something can fit.

Graduation

So cool to be on the island early and the other recruits are already training. You can hear the cadences and the rifle shooting in the distance. We found our parking spot by 0530 and yes people were lining up for a good seat for graduation. We ran into friends that came down for Abi and they said they would save us spots and we decided to go to raising of colors. Every military base throughout the world has this special event Friday morning at the same time 0745. Well we were quite early for this so we took a walk past 4th Battalion quarter and saw the female recruits working hard. Some doing drill and some doing ammo can lifts. We walked down to one of the rivers near by than run into the ocean. By the time we got back some people were sitting down. It was a beautiful ceremony with the Marine Band playing several selections. The commander of the base was there and gave a very personal speech. Quite the funny guy. I guess he will be leaving in June for reassignment. We then walked back to the parade deck where all the celebrations were held.

Such pageantry and tradition. Was a great program about an hour. My daughter said they could not look around so did not see anything. I guess that is why they encourage you to purchase the DVD.

Abi and my spouse not eating to take pictures and she wanted to get off the island quickly. Actually it went fast. Graduation over around 10 and we returned to our town house by 1030. The she changed, repacked some of her things, threw out some things and activated her cell phone. It was so funny that if felt so foreign to her. Even going out for lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings all the TV’s overwhelmed her. No TV or music for 13 weeks. A real culture shock. Then she was eyeing everyone’s uniform and what they were doing. She of course changed into civilian clothes. We also saw how much and how quickly she ate her food. She held open the doors for people behind her. We saw a lot of little details that were engrained into her.

She has a few more days prior to leaving for Camp Pendleton for her non-infantry training that will begin early in June. She has touched based with a lot of her friends. She has probably eaten things she missed but also has worked out. We came back to AZ. We both picked up a cold and hoping it will leave us prior to our west trip.

Happy nurses week to one of my daughters and Happy Teachers week to the other.

Welcome to new gals following my blog!

I am very close to finishing the hand quilting on my mom’s quilt. May start the borders on our trip.

Our first stop is Sedona on Sunday. Happy Mother’s Day to all!

Blue and yellow

Two of my favorite colors together and yet I don’t think I have made anything with those colors. I was gifted some scraps with these colors and decided to do a mini scrap vortex layout for a purse. Today I pieced the scraps and have completed for the front and back. I like it very much. I don’t usually sew many purses, but decided to do one for me for spring. Tomorrow I will add the batting and practice some free motion quilting. I like the idea of sewing scraps and putting them to good use. I will be doing a class on the scrap vortex next year and this is perfect for those who don’t want to do a quilt. One could easily do a table runner or placemats.

This will be my final sewing project. We have a community guided quilt we will be doing this week…lasagna quilt pattern. I think there are about 4 bins full of 2.5 fabric strips. I sort of did a small table runner and it was quite fun and not stressful. I think the gals will love it.

We got a call from our Marine daughter yesterday. We were not sure if she would call but talked to her for 20 minutes. She is doing fine. The crucible was challenging, but walk back was not bad. She was going to head to subway to eat some real food. They did have a Marine Breakfast after the crucible, she had pancakes, French toast, cinnamon rolls, bacon and chocolate cake. Some people ate too much and payed for it later. Mostly classes this week and then Battalion inspection the last thing before graduation. She is looking forward to the down time. We will leave on Tuesday and return on Saturday. Looking forward to seeing her and the base she trained on. Her one sister is meeting us in Charleston at the airport. We also know her good friend and mom are coming to surprise her. We are all flying Southwest so hopefully they get all those engines inspected. This is one trip we need to get there and for Abi to return to Milwaukee for her 10 day leave.

Happy Quilting!

Scraps turn into treasures

This is my Arizona sewing set up. I have accomplished all my main projects so taking the scraps that were gifted to me at our retreat and making string squares for some unknown project. I had tried to sort them into color families, some are very nice strips for 4-patches and some larger pieces for whatever. This bag was mainly Browns or darker colors. Spent yesterday and today doing the bag and got about 60 5″ blocks. A fun sewing thing to do. Recently my allergies have gotten really bad. So staying indoors and keeping doors closed has helped with a minor switch in my meds. So perfect time to tackle these scraps. I also found a cute landscape pattern that I will adapt and use up some other batik scraps. I kitted that project to return to Wisconsin.

So in the wee hours of tomorrow, 2am east coast time my daughter will begin her crucible at Parris Island. Weather looks great. No new news from her so looks like she passed her combat warrior test. She was a bit worried as she did not do the initial one due to her pneumonia. But she is a strong girl so I had no doubts she could do it. By Saturday at 8 am the event is completed and she will be a Marine! oorah so they say. So keep her and all recruits in your prayers that they stay strong both physically and mentally and free from injury. This is truly a journey are young people go thru to protect our country. I am sure she will look at things quite differently. She even said the museum on Parris Island is very cool and interesting. So will be cool for her to take us thru it. I guess they spent over 2 hours there. As for me I will do some quilting, guild meets next to days, I will lap swim and due my biking riding to keep me occupied. Looking forward to seeing her transformation.

Happy Quilting!

New hand quilting project

I actually started handing quilting my “Sugar & Spice” quilt. This was a quilt our quilting guild did back in January. It is a fun pattern which we all used batiks. This is my first batik quilt. Took me forever to pick the colors. Backing is a fun owl pattern as this is a present for my mom. She loves hand quilting so I had to hand quilt it. Found out from others that batiks can be difficult to quilt. I however am not finding this to be a problem, I am doing a simple quilt design and it is coming right along. It is a nice project to do outdoors with our weather here and some gentle cool breezes. Meanwhile my home state is suffering with heavy snow and blizzard warnings. It has been a ruff month back home. So I am hoping to have main blocks quilted and maybe I can do hand quilting in the car on or Western swing of states prior to coming home.

So this is a very important week. Abi is getting close to completing her training. Past few letters are positive and applying the classroom things with actual events. She is really to get this whole thing behind her.

The crucible begins Thursday at 2am and ends around 8am on Saturday. Of course we are praying for her and all recruits in PAPA & KILO Companies for strength, wisdom and safety. We might even get a call on Sunday for her acknowledging her success. Lots of other testing early this week. So please remember them in your prayers!

I have also made some progress on my last charity quilt doing free motion quilting. Just started the border. This is a larger quilt so trying to get used to pushing it thru my machine. Goal is to have it completely done by end of this week.

Those of you who do machine quilting on your regular machine, I learned a lot from Superior Threads discussing thread and needles. Terrific site with great information.

Education

Check the above link and go to education. I ordered some thread and hope to try it out. I especially liked how to position thread, cone vs spool vs normal spool and how thread comes off the spool affecting the stitches and even adjusting the tension. They also recommend topstich needles only. They have a groove that thread lines up with. I already have switched to topstich needles 100/19 and thinner tread (poly) in the bobbin. Tomorrow I will try the things I have learned as I was having some issues with thread breaking.

Plan to do some hiking again this week, maybe Tuesday as tomorrow is in the 90’s. Last Friday it got that warm and I had to stop more frequently, especially with no breeze.

Welcome to many new followers. I post mostly my quilting adventures and some family events. Soon there will be some travel adventures, first one will be to Parris Island, SC and some Marine education for all!

Happing Quilting!!

Sunflower Quilters – Mirana Mystery

We had about half of our guild participate in this year’s challenge. Several basic blocks to work on our quilting skills. The group had fun sewing the blocks and even more fun putting them into a pleasing to the eye quilt. So here are the results. Each person had to choose a fabric color with their first name.

Had to get some outdoor pictures in Warm Arizona…

Many are now getting ready to return to their home but had wonderful times this year in sunny Arizona. Today we met as board members to plan next year.

I made several kits for snowbirds to take back home to make for our craft fair.

I am sorting my take home projects as well. I finished one baby quilt working on some free motion quilting. I have another medium size one to machine quilt as well as a table runner.

No pattern just scraps.

Happy Quilting to all!