Monday, July 31, 2017

Day of the Dead pillow and place mats.

Neither Bill nor I slept good last night. I pulled a muscle some how yesterday, so no matter which way I turned it hurt. Finally gave up and got up about 11:30 till around 2:00 and read. Still restless when I went back to bed. Hope I can stay awake until late enough to go to bed tonight. 
Bill is coming down with a dreaded summer cold. So he was up and down last night too. I guess he ended up on the futon as when I woke up around 3:30 he was gone. He finally got up around 8 and we took off for the store before the heat set in. 
I got the batting for my table runner and some other stuff we needed or wanted as in the case of packages of caramel M & Ms. Had to eat some to celebrate the #18s win in yesterdays race at Pocono.
Right now Bill is sleeping and I've been working on my projects. Not on the window just too hot and sticky in the garage. But I did get all the blue background pieces rough cut and waiting for grinding and final fitting. 
As I said got the batting for the runner here it is all pinned up waiting to be quilted. I hate the pinning part. Always manage to stick myself a couple of time. 
And I decided to use some more of the fabric I got in Mexico last winter. Loved this piece but wasn't sure what I would do with it. Decided to make a throw pillow for the RV. Took me forever and lot of ripping before I remembered how to put the cording on -but it is done. 
I had quite a bit of material left so what to do with it?  What about table place mats for the RV. I had enough material for three - too much for two and not enough for four. Of well, only two will fit on the table any way. 
They still have to be finished, quilted and the binding put on. Fun to make. Also have to applique the skulls in the diamonds. The backing and the binding is a dark red. 
Cooked dinner last night, first night in a long time, remember why I'm not doing it too often. Gets the kitchen way too hot. But it was good. Salads tonight.
Hard to believe it will be August already. School starts here again in two weeks. This week it is humid again with chances of rain every day until next Monday. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Busy busy busy.

Another warm stay inside kind of day. Bill didn't even go flying - well not outside any way. The drone made several passes through the house. Even managed to get a couple of pictures of me in its video. Too windy and warm to take it outside. 
I pretty much spent the day int he sewing room, listening and sometimes watching lots of NASCAR. Cup practice, truck race - Kyle crashed but one of his trucks won, Xfinity qualifying and race. And now a good soccer game is on. In between race stuff I managed to finish the top of my table runner. Still have to get the batting and put it together and quilt it. You can't tell here but the very center sunflower is 3-d.
Also managed to rough cut some of the pieces of the window's background. Brought it inside and worked on my sewing table. Then vacuumed good to get up any slivers of glass before I stepped in them. Finished making the rest of the paper patterns [where there is just blank space] this afternoon. Way too hot to stay in garage to do anything else. 
Can't do any more on the table runner until I venture out to JoAnns. Maybe Monday. As I have the two great grand daughter's quilts all packed and ready to mail too. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Sewing, working on window and flying.

Another warm day here. Bill got out bright and early this morning, 5:30 a.m., to go to the radio control airfield to fly his airplanes. The only time of day it is cool enough and not windy. By 7:30 he was home and hot. Going to try to go again tomorrow morning. He has a fighter plane he is learning to fly. I get up about the time he gets home.  Well no, not really - when he got home I was out in the garage working on my window. After putting the foil on all the pieces the foil has to be pressed down on to the glass. Use that white plastic thing to press it down smooth. Need to make sure the foil sticks to the glass before soldering. This is just one flower. My hands cramp after a while so I have to stop. When done the foil looks smooth not crinkly. 
 All the pieces I have done are now tack soldered together. I have to make the patterns for the background pieces. You can see I have a couple drawn and cut. With arrows pointing up so I put them on the glass right. 
I brought one piece of the background glass inside so I could start tracing the patterns on it. Have to cut it in the garage, maybe tomorrow morning. 
Beside that I've been doing more sewing. Working on my sunflower - table runner - or maybe a wall hanging. Haven't decided yet. Still have to buy the border material. I've finished two blocks. More of the Elizabeth's Studio material from Mexico. 
And I finished the butterfly quilt. I ended up quilting around each butterfly to give it more depth.
I was sitting quietly in the dining room this afternoon working on my puzzle. This is one of the cheap boxed puzzles. The pieces are about the size of a dime. And very thin. If you just look at them they come apart. Suddenly I heard a loud buzzing. 
The buzzing got louder, when I looked up I saw a couple of red lights sneaking around the corner looking at me. 
And here comes the big kid! Ah, boys and their toys. He is practicing flying it in close quarters. Didn't hear a crash or swearing so guess the flight turned out okay. 
And that was our exciting day. Oh that and watching NASCAR practice. More like listening to practice as I sew while it is on. 
Tomorrow is a full day of NASCAR and a soccer game later in the day. I'm going to have to start another project...

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Seven Magic Mountain Trip

This morning dawned cool with no wind. It was sunny when we started our journey but by the time we arrived at our destination it was getting cloudy. 
The car has its new tires and a tank full of gas so we leave the house and driver miles south and west. No man's land heading towards Los Angeles. Well I guess we didn't really go that far but it was a ways. Way south of the Strip. Why were we going that way.a Well to see the Seven Magic Mountains. Why else? After hours of driving...over rough terrain...in the heat...guess I'm exaggerating a little. It is about 10 miles south of the southern end of Vegas. And it did heat up before we got home. And we were in dirt for a few feet. 
But anyway - there they are! The Seven Magic Mountains. Aren't you excited?
Here is a little information about them. There is lots on line about them too. Click here to read one article. 
Of course I had to walk out to look at them. Getting closer.
They are just painted rocks, but fun.  The sky was clouding up so the colors aren't as bright as they really are. 
Bill is standing there wondering how he got roped into this. See how big they are. 
Just some more pictures of them. 


Artsy fartsy picture. 
Willie wondering why he is looking at this weird thing. 
Oh, look what Bill is getting ready to fly. 
This picture was taken from the drone. See the little people down there. 
And here is a video from the drone. Just going up and looking around and then coming down. We're still trying to figure out how to take pictures and videos. 

Heading back towards town, a neat mural on the I-15.
Stopped at the new Cracker Barrel for breakfast. Soooo noisy in there. And packed. 
On home, it was starting to get warm again. Working on my quilts and watching soccer today.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Cool enough to open the doors!

Tuesday morning, not so bright, but early. Lots of storms around us - we can hear the thunder and see some lightening, but here it is dry and very windy. The temperature at 7:00 a.m. was 76 - the lowest it has been for two months. BUT the dew point was 60% so it feels like a shower outside. So much for our famous "dry heat!" We are under a flash flood warning for the whole area. Looking out front.
Looking out back - east. 
Have all the doors open including the garage doors letting the wind bring in some fresh air. Took advantage of the garage being cool and finished grinding all the pieces I have cut. Also cleaned them all off and recut and ground a couple pieces that didn't fit the way they should. [My new grinding bits work SO good.] AsI write this [with the "dew" running down my forehead into my eyes] the cut pieces are ready to foil. That only leaves the blue background left to do. Had to take the tape off first, that was a chore, the heat had baked it to the glass. 
 All the tape off the pieces waiting to be washed, scrub all the outlines for cutting off. Again the heat had baked the paint to the glass. 
 The pattern all cleaned up waiting for the clean glass.
 All nice and clean waiting to be foiled. 
 The hand dandy foiling machines. It still has to be done by hand but these make it much easier. 
Got all the foil on before I had to quit. The dew was pouring down my face. 
Yesterday I slept in till 8:30, guess it was because I only got three hours of sleep the night before. Went to bed at 3 got up at 6:00...Got up at 6 this morning too. 
I got my butterfly quilt sewed together and quilted yesterday. Only the binding left to hand sew and the labels to make for both quilts. In case any one out there that sews is interested - the material I bought I got in Mexico for around US $4.50 for a little over a yard -one meter. It is very nice American cotton. It comes from these fabric houses: Elizabeth's Studio and Timeless Treasures Fabrics of Soho. Prices from around $7.50 to $25+ a yard. 
One of the fabrics I haven't yet used has big sunflower squares and on one of their websites I found a neat pattern to make a table runner using it. 
Later in the day we spent some time out front playing with Bill's drone. He is flying the drone and I'm checking the pictures and video it is taking on a tablet. One of these days we'll both figure out what we are doing.
video



Sunday, July 23, 2017

Keeping busy in the heat.

Yesterday it got up to 114 again, our AC works pretty good until about 6 p.m.then it has a hard time keeping up. Usually it is about 83 in here. Any lower and Bill is cold! I couldn't sleep last night so was up till 2:57! Out in the living room reading. The AC was still going on and off at that time of night. So it never really cools down here.
Bill finally managed to get out to the Radio Control field and fly his planes. No wind. But he had to go at 6:00a.m. before it got too hot to fly. By 7:30 it was too warm to fly. The plane's batteries start to heat up. But he had fun while he was there. 
I stayed home and watched NASCAR - most of the day. And did another jigsaw puzzle. I bought a big box of mixed sizes. Supposed to have 3 - 300 pieces [ it did have 3 but two of them were the same. Some 500 and a few 750s and supposed to have on 1,000 piece one. It wasn't there in the box. I can finish the 300 and 500s in one day when I'm not doing anything else. Or when just listening to TV. 
Been running out every morning for about 20 minutes to work on the stained glass window. Almost have all the border pieces cut.
And been sewing a lot cause that room is cool. I finished the 2nd sewing machine material pillow. Made this one a little different. I padded and quilted the front of it. And then made the ruffle different. Maybe I'll keep it myself. 
 The ruffle seemed like a good idea when I started it, but soon got to be a pain. I had little pink and blue squares already cut so thought I sew them on the ruffle material. And then fringe them.UGH. I just sewed them about 1/4 inch in from their edges and pulled the threads off.  Looks cute, but took forever and I have threads up the kazoo. Still trying to vacuum them up.  I even got Bill to help me fringe. 

I made the label for the quilt with the animals just have to embroider it and sew it on then that is done. So started looking around for something else to do. More material we bought in Mazatlan, pretty butterfly material. When one of our great grand daughters was born I was into knitting. So she got a knitted blanked not a quilt. So thought I'd make her a quilt with this. 
 This will be the backing. 
 During yesterday's NASCAR and today's NASCAR I've been working on it. This is the front. Now I have to get the batting and put it together. The dark around the edges of the quilt is the floor. I might quilt around the butterflies...then again I might not...The colors are more vivid then this picture shows. Guess the flash washed them out.  
So tomorrow we'll have to go out - it's not supposed to be quite as warm but it is supposed to RAIN - and go to the store for the batting so I can finish it. 
Arrgg - Kyle #18 - just wrecked and he had the fastest car on way to win at Indy. Oh well.
Sorry we're not doing anything interesting to write about. Just being domestic.

Friday, July 21, 2017

All The Way to Argentina


A plug for our book All The Way to Argentina it chronicles our journey from Los Angeles, CA to Buenos Aires, Argentina in our 24 foot motorhome. It was January of 1978 when we left. We returned to California in February of 1979. We were: my husband, myself, four of our young sons and a family friend - also male.  We drove the Pan American Highway, such as it was through Mexico, Central America and south into South America. Traveling through all but one Central American country and all but five South American countries. In 1978 no other motorhome had crossed from Panama to South America. We drew a lot of unexpected attention as we passed through big and small towns.

The book is available in hard cover, see side bar and as e-books from Nook and Kindle. We had many adventures, funny and scary and boring during our epic journey
Just before we loaded into the motorhome.
 Customs in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Our Red, white and blue Pace Arrow motorhome.
 Seven people living inside a Living inside 24 foot motorhome on the street in Buenos Aires.
We were entering Argentina. We had crossed through the railroad tunnel into
Argentina. We were at 12,000 feet in the Andes. An excerpt from the book ... 

     We were all busy pulling on sweat shirts and jackets. Bill was fussing through a drawer.
     “What are you looking for?” I asked.
     “My Argentine passport,” he answered. “I want to enter Argentina with it.” (Up till then used his US passport.)
     “Why, what’s the difference?” I naively asked.
     “I was born here, I’m proud of it,” he replied as he pulled it out of the drawer. He put on his coat took the rest of the paperwork and our U.S. passports and stepped out into the increasingly cold air.
     I watched as he disappeared in to the beige stucco building right next to the side of the mountain, the Aduana building. Then I started to dig out more warm clothes for everyone.
    A half hour – 45 minutes – an hour passed.  What’s taking so long? ………
     As Bill entered the building he walked up to the counter where he handed the paperwork and passports to the fresh faced Milico (private) behind it. Glancing around he noticed the room was decorated army style, everything olive green. The young man took the paperwork and studied it for a minute. “Where are you from?” 
     Bill, “The U.S.
      Milico, “Where do you live there?”
      Bill, “Los Angeles, California.”
     Milico, “Why are you here?”
     Bill, “I drove all the way here with my family to show them the country where I was born.”
     Flipping through Bill’s Argentine passport the Milico asked, “Why doesn’t your Argentina passport show the countries you came through?”
     Bill, “Because I was using my U.S. passport until now. But I am proud of being from Argentina and I want to use it to come back home.”
     Hum…Milico, “The vehicle is yours? Well there is a problem. You can’t bring in a vehicle registered in another country if you are from Argentina.”
     Bill, “But I’m from the U.S.
     “No Argentine citizen is permitted to come in with a vehicle,” emphatically stated the Milico.
    “Oh, then what happens to an Argentine who drives to Chile for a visit and then comes back to Argentina? Do you take his car away?”
     Emphasizing each word a very agitated Milico said, “That is different you are from the U.S. with an Argentine passport. You can’t bring it in – it is from the US.”
     “Call your Sargento! I want to talk to him,” Bill responded. 
     The young man picked up Bill’s passports and walked over to a closed office door. He raised his hand and tentatively knocked.  When he given permission to enter he opened the door and turned to look over his shoulder and frowned at Bill, as if saying “What a pain in the ass”.  He went in and closed the door behind him. All this time several other soldiers sitting at desks behind the counter were keeping busy pretending not to listen. Now all pretense of indifference had stopped and everyone looked from Bill to the closed door waiting to see what would happen next.
     The Milico came out of the room, his shoulders back and a smile on his face. He was followed by his Sargento, an older more confident looking man, who now carried the passports. The Sargento walked over to the counter and slammed the passports down. Several of the soldiers at the desks jumped and grinned.
     Pulling himself to his full height he bluntly stated, “As an Argentine you cannot come into Argentina with a vehicle that is registered in the United States. You and your family can continue but the vehicle will stay here if you insist on using this passport.” As he said that he shook the Argentine passport under Bill’s nose.  “So you must use your U.S. passport.” he concluded.
     Bill got angry. “Don’t bullshit me, I know better. I went to the university to learn the laws of this country! You can’t threaten me. I’m an Argentine citizen and you can’t say I can’t use my passport. I want to speak to your superior, now!”
     At one of the desks a soldier quickly stood up and went through another door. He came back preceded by the Mayor (Major) in charge of the Aduana
     This smartly uniformed professional career officer went up to Bill and asked what was going on.
     Bill answered, “I‘ve come back to my country with my family after living twenty years in the United States and this gentleman (he pointed to the Sargento) says I can’t come in with my vehicle because it is registered in California.”
     The Mayor picked up the passports and looked through them, “I can see you are a citizen of the U.S. from your American passport. And you are still a citizen of Argentina. What I can do is give you a three month Tourist Visa for the vehicle and then you can extend it later in Buenos Aires.  That’s if you use your U.S. passport. If you want to use your Argentine passport then the vehicle can’t enter the country.”
     Bill blew his top. “Look I’m an Argentine citizen and that vehicle is mine. I’m going to come in to my country with it, as a proud Argentine. Or, I’m going to go outside set my Argentine passport on fire and warm my hands with it. Then I’ll come in with the U.S. passport and say to hell with the Argentine government. “
     “You can’t do that.”
     “Watch me! I’ll burn it right outside your door. Who can stop me?”
     The Sargento spoke up, “I can stop you. We have the power…” (Macho man!)
     Seeing the blunt ignorance on the face of the poor overwhelmed man, Bill replied, “What are you going to do shoot me?”
     The Mayor broke in, “Wait, wait, wait, I will call my superiors in Mendoza. I can see what you are trying to do. You want to be able to show your family how proud you are to be Argentine.” 
     “That’s right.”
     “Let me call.” And he disappeared back into his office partially closing the door behind him. Bill stayed leaning against the counter as the Mayor made his call. Without realizing what he was doing Bill reached into his pocket and took out an Eisenhower silver dollar coin and started playing with it. At the same time trying to catch what was being said on the phone. Every so often the Mayor would say “Yes Sir” and as he did he would half salute and his heels would click together. An officer to the core. 

It was a very interesting evening.

Summer days continue to roll on.

The sky cleared up nicely yesterday [wrote this Thursday forgot to post] afternoon after our morning rains. And the temperature wasn't broiling only baking. But there was a nice sunset again.
Watched the dirt truck race last night - it is always an exciting race. But this year it seemed to be more of demolition derby than a race. 
This morning I got up around 5 a.m. Got dressed, poured a cup of coffee with the thought of sitting out on the patio watching the sunrise. I opened the door and stepped outside. It was like walking into a bowl of potato chowder. The heaviness of the air almost knocked me down. Put the coffee cup back inside, grabbed the camera and took a quick picture then back inside and closed the door. 
At 8:00 we took the Jeep over to the mechanic to get his new tires put on and then we went to the RV dealer to pick up the Jayco. Brought it back to its storage area.
At 10:30 we went back to mechanic to pick up the Jeep, back home to drop off the Ford and then to grocery store in the Jeep. Bill wanted to check out the new tires, balance and alignment. All seems good. The Ford is now in the back yard under a cover and the Jeep will be our main mode of transportation for a while. 
By 12:00 we started to think about going somewhere in the RV - maybe up north in Oregon and Washington. Some place cooler. Most routes heading that way seem to be having problems either with fire or heavy smoke. So will have to think about that. I did map out a trip but it came to over 3000 miles so we might want to scale it back a little - if we do go.
And so it goes - we continue to do not much because of the heat - though today will ONLY be 104 - below normal which is 105.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Tuesday Vegas Valley Sunset Wednesday Rain

We have been having some weird and beautiful weather and skies the last couple of days. Here is last nights sunset from our front yard. 
I will let them speak for themselves.





 Wednesday morning about 6:00 looking out over The Wetlands The storm is about over Lake Mead directly east of us. 
 By 7:15 our TV went off due to lack of signal, then the rains came accompanied by loud claps of thunder. And then it hit us. These are taken from the TV when it had signals. When it rains in the desert you have problems. 
 Shorts and an umbrella. Out for a walk in the rain. 
 Several accidents, people just don't believe water can move a car. Plus a lot of cars stalled out. 
 More like something we'd see in Indiana than Las Vegas.
This is an intersection we drive through all the time. Glad we weren't out today.  
Needless to say we didn't take the Jeep in for it tires nor did we pick up the RV. Tomorrow is another day. It rained hard for a couple of hours. With more forecast for the rest of the week. Today it was only 99 - but with the humidity it was worse than when it was 114!