Thursday, July 27, 2017

Progress on the Tech quilt

Hello, everyone.

This is just a small update on the Tech quilt progress. The top is finished, and the next step is to lay the backing (not chosen or made yet) and the batting and then the top down somewhere flat and pin-baste the whole thing together for quilting.

This photo is cropped a bit, but y'all can get the idea. It has been a good stash-busting project, even though there were a few new fabrics bought to  balance out the ones in-house already.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

More Valley birds

Hello, everyone.

The corn crop grew, and dried off, and was combined (harvested with the machine that cuts and prepares the cobs,) and then the farmer began to disk the stalks into the dirt.  I had seen a pair of the Karakara (Mexican eagles)  on the disked field the other morning, but my photo didn't come out well.

The Karakara is said to be mostly a scavenger, but it is beautiful and not bare-skinned on the head and neck like many vulture-type birds. Lately we have seen a few around the neighborhood. Possibly it is the existence of more established neighborhoods with their yard trees getting tall now that draws them. This has been a very busy year for birds.

There is a small bird photo, though: the whistling tree ducks are scavenging the dropped corn kernels (maize kernels) that were knocked off during the harvesting process. They are coming around in the morning just after sunup and in the evening before sundown.

You can see their pink beaks. The one in front seems to have something to say!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Body pillows

Hello, everyone.

With DH being laid up with Da Boot, we’re learning new things without getting out as much.

Da Boot has rigid plastic on the bottom, and metal splints along the sides. It weighs a bit. And when DH would move in his sleep, his other ankle would get clobbered by Da Boot. Sometimes it got hit so hard that a scab resulted. This is suboptimal sleeping, to say the least. I thought of all the ladies I know who have used a Body Pillow (about 5 feet long) to support their legs and hips during pregnancy. They all love the things.

So I bought one, and also a washable cover for it. Then I was faced with getting the cover onto the (long, long) pillow. After trying a couple of ways, this was what I came up with.

1       With the end zipper open, crumple up the pillow cover sides into a donut, trying not to twist the cover. This will be a little bit like getting ready to put on one leg of a pair of pantyhose. 

2      Insert the end of the pillow into the bottom of the cover, which is next to the top because of the crumpling.


3       Pull the sides up over the pillow, switching from side to side as needed. 
4      When you have it up to the top, zip the cover and place it into the ready position for use. (pic of pillow on end of bed)

The Body Pillow is much more popular now than it was when it came home. It protects the other ankle very well and supports the injured leg into the bargain.

If any interested readers have found another way to get that long bag onto the long pillow, please feel free to chime in with a comment. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Playing with decor

Hello, everyone.

I tried out a new look for the foyer of the may still change but this is the current draft.

Yes that vase had a prior life holding wine. What was that trendy saying? Oh, yes: "Reduce, reuse, recycle. "

Photo is of the Portuguese historical site at Valenca. (Please excuse slight misspelling!) This fort sits at the border with  Spain. We passed through there on the Camino Portuguese in 2015. The river there is the actual border.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

More Valley birds

Hello, everyone.

It's been busy around the place. As a result, the dog walking has been missed for a few days. Today, however, the dogs got their walk. We just wandered the neighborhood--with DH still in the Boot we don't want to get too lost in the woods--but we did see this bird at the drainage "pond" (looks like a ditch to me) and after we got past him so the sun wouldn't be against us, got this photo:

I thought he was really tall but maybe he's just another one of these:

Yellow-crowned heron? This is another part of the same ditch.

Both of these were taken about the same time of day. (The dogs need to go out early, or else it's just too hot for them to be out walking. We've been getting up near 100F for days and days.) And, as y'all can easily see, there are limits to the amount of camera gear that can go along on a walk with two leashed doggies! These were both taken with the cell phone.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Returning to our days of Camino walking this year: leaving San Sebastian

Hello, everyone.

While it's obvious that there are not a lot of days to talk about, it occurred to me that we did learn some useful things in the days we did walk, which others would possibly want to know about. Thus these periodic posts about our walk this year.

The last post on this brought us to the city of San Sebastian. This is a good-sized city, a beach town, with a bridge over a river in the midst of it. Once you hit the beach area on the way into town the shells seem to vanish. Apparently the folks in S. Sebastian feel like it's not that hard to find your way through their city. (They do give out maps at the tourist office.) Turning left and going along the beach, there are some really gorgeous flower beds to pass, and as you go along you will find occasional signs for the Turismo office. Obviously, those are something to follow. The short version is: go along the beach and cross the bridge, then go a ways farther. The Turismo is past the McDonald's and in the midst of some other tourist agencies. There are some public benches for resting outside and some ornamental trees. The ladies at the Turismo are very helpful. After staying in a pension in the area, and having some pintxos and wine for dinner with a fellow that was also walking the trail, we got up in the morning (not quite as early as the sun!) and started walking in the lowering, dribbly clouds. We passed the harbor area and then passed the lovely manicured garden/park with the stone statue of the Infanta, and then found a hotel bar that was open and serving coffee. They also had little bocadillos and pastries. The rain came down for real for a few minutes while we were having our bit of breakfast. By the time we left, the rain had pretty much stopped. We continued along the beach, looking at the map and wondering where we were supposed to go next. (No shells yet! Nor yellow arrows.) We came to the end and found ourselves at a tee junction.

At the tee junction, not being sure what to do, we went right. We found ourselves looking at the Funicular building a few minutes later. Just as we were about to do the absolutely wrong thing (climb the stairs next to that building) DH noticed a lady in a third story window waving and pointing back the way we came. We took her advice. And as we approached the tee junction again from the side direction, a gentleman  came up along side of us and told us that we needed to go straight for a little while. He also accompanied us up to the corner we needed to turn at and pointed out the shell sign on the pole. (God bless both of these kind folks!) We turned right at the corner and followed 3" square blue shell stickers on sign poles until we found the path across the headland.

The Camino path over the headland. Note the yellow arrow on the pole.

The map of walking trails in the province (?) next to the trail cutoff.
This trail is a mostly-gently sloping set of switchbacks that climbs steadily until the pilgrim is looking down at multi-story apartments, and then comes down again. There are no scary moments and the main difficulty for me was simply that I had not gained my climbing legs yet. (It takes several days to get one's fitness up at the beginning of the walk, and especially so if one hasn't done much hill climbing before the trip.)

The remainder of the day was a lot of walking past beautiful farms, villages, views of the ocean, and so on. Much of it was on bitty little trails. I really felt for the bike riders who were pushing their bikes past us on the one-butt-wide rocky trails to reach a place they could actually climb aboard and pedal again. The trail does not go past any facilities to speak of, rather like the day before, but near the end of the stage one does enter a lovely fishing town that has bars and possibly also places to stay. We elected to cross over and stayed in Zarautz, as it was only another few kilometers uphill and down past some pretty farms.)

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Progress on the Tech quilt

Hello, everyone.

Y'all may remember a little while back a red and black elephant square. This is being turned into a quilt for DD2, who requested one.

One of the gray and red
filler bits for around the elephant is this one:

Top right corner of the quilt, with ray of sunshine in one corner.
Sharp eyes will note that some of the Texas Tech print has made its way into the corners. (Goes with the blanket on the elephant's back.)

Much, but not all, of this quilt is being done out of stash fabric. The many grays are mostly left over from the pink and gray whale quilt that was done last year.

The large piece above is a 6" square. The four patch squares in this part include one where the red squares were pieced from red and white strips. There were a lot of those squares made.
Making them went along swimmingly--and all of the squares had the red squares in the same corners. The red squares with a white strip along one side. Oops. These four patches can't just be rolled 90 degrees to get a flipped square with the red corners in the next corner around. I had to make some more to get the needed mirrorwise ones. (There may be some gray-and-red mug rugs in the works down the road a bit.) But things are working out.