We have taken on another update in our home. I think we are finding ourselves in a new life phase with lots of questions to ponder. We have lived in this house since 1988. It's hard to imagine living in another house. But it's also hard to imagine keeping up a 3 story home with surrounding acreage when we are 20 years older than we are now. If we are lucky! We consider the idea of selling and moving, and I look around at the 80's style house and wonder who would even want it! We have updated the kitchen and main bathroom, so that's moved out of the 80's! I watch quite a few episodes of House Hunters and Fixer Upper, and I just cringe to think of what potential buyers would say about our house. "OMG, popcorn ceiling everywhere! No master suite! Little closets! We can't fit our king size bed in any of the bedrooms. How can they live without marble countertops? Gut job!"
So we do want to make some improvements, but we aren't ready to sell. And making improvements now means we get to enjoy living with them.
When we built the house back in 1988, we installed a wood-burning stove in our greatroom. That room is large, covering the kitchen, dining and TV area, plus stairs and a loft and vaulted ceiling. We were "open concept" before we even knew what it meant! To help with our heating of the whole house, we used our wood stove a lot. If we were at home, and started it early, we could keep it burning all day long and used the gas furnace very little. And we had a plentiful wood supply, with quite a few dead trees from oak wilt on our property. Feeding the wood stove became a routine for us, and it it could really put out a lot of heat. It had a 3-speed fan on it, and we never used the high speed because it just made the house too hot! We have a large ceiling fan that helped circulate between upstairs and downstairs.
There are a few down sides to having the wood stove, but they never outweighed the benefits. There's the work of cutting the wood, bringing it into the house, and tending the fire. Making kindling, cleaning out the ashes and cleaning up the mess on the floor after filling the woodbox were a few more downsides. The worst, in my opinion, was the smoky smell. It smells quaint when you stand outside and catch a whiff of wood smoke from a fireplace or bonfire. But it doesn't smell quite so quaint when you feel like your whole house and clothes and hair smell like that! When I started quilting for customers, I was very worried about getting their precious quilts smelly. In the long run, I never did sense that the quilts retained any odor, and people I trusted to tell me the truth said I didn't smell like a bonfire! But it became more of an annoyance to me.
I have a new finished project to show you! Knitting has become a very favorite way for me to have something to work on when watching the scenery go by as we are driving, or watching a recorded show, or following a YouTube channel. Plus, fabric and yarn can very often be found together, so that's a bonus when we are going places. My yarn and fabric purchases are kind of like souvenirs.
Last week Debbie and I went to Houston for the International Quilt Festival. We have always wanted to do this, and even though we have been in Houston several times just prior to this show, we have been there for business, rather than pleasure. Although we always found some joy in going, no matter what! This time we were not there to buy and order merchandise for the store. We went for the fun of wandering among the many booths of vendors, spying some favorite fabrics and new ideas to take home with us. We stayed at the Cambria Hotel, and really enjoyed our room and the view from the 15th floor. In the mornings, we walked the 4 blocks over to Phoenicia to find some breakfast and/or lunch at this wonderful grocery and deli. Then just about 2 more blocks to the Convention Center. We were very comfortable with walking everywhere we went, and made sure we got back safely to our hotel before dark.
I don't have a lot of pictures from our visit there, but we sure had a lot of fun! One night we even played Scrabble in the hotel lounge! (We each won a game.) We did both get excited to see some new products, and we shop well for each other because we have similar likes. And because neither of us really needs any more fabric, we can get away with buying ½ yard pieces which we split in 2 and we each get the satisfaction of something new!
Some thoughts and tips about going to Quilt Festival -
Don't be afraid to stay in the nearby hotels, if you can't get a room at the Hilton, which is the hotel linked with the Convention Center. We were not afraid at any time. There has been a lot of improvements in the area of the Convention Center and Minute Maid Park. We went to restaurants within walking distance, too.
We highly recommend stopping at the Phoenicia Market to get some food or snacks or salad/sandwich to take to the park or convention center for lunch. Much cheaper than the food court at the show, and much more tasty and fun. When you go there, make sure you look at all of the interesting products they have, and go upstairs, too.
We did not know that rolling bags are not allowed into the show. (They are allowed for the Quilt Market that we attended, organized by the same Quilts, Inc., group. We checked our rolling bag in the morning, used large tote bags for our shopping, and then paid $1 to get our rolling bag out at lunchtime and put it back in the storage area until the end of the day, when our tote bags were getting heavy again!
They do rent scooters, and there were a lot of them to dodge. Plus, they allowed strollers, even for kids that climbed out of the strollers and toddled through the crowded aisles. Would have loved to have my wheelie bag with me, to compete with all those other vehicles!
There are 3 nice restaurants within a short walk. There is an Italian restaurant and a seafood restaurant within the Convention center, and a good Mexican restaurant in the Hilton across the street. I can make an entire lunch from their chips and guacamole, prepared fresh at our table!
Remember to have lots of fun!
Thank you for stopping by! I appreciate the time you have taken to look for and read my story. I hope you find something that you like!
Hi! I'm Pam! Join me on this journey through the next steps of life!