Last weekend, Mother's Day weekend, Bob and I got to spend some time with my mom, Sally, in northern Iowa. It is a late and wet spring there, which effects a lot more than how fast your perennials come up. Down there, it is all farming all the time. My brother, Jared, retired from farming last year but still lives on the farm he owns. It's nerve racking for farmers, both men and women plus families, to predict when to get started planting crops. Namely, corn first and soybeans to follow. And there are a lot of negative feelings due to the newest tariffs imposed, which are really hitting the agriculture industry. China buys LOTS of American crops, soybeans more than corn, I believe. They won't be buying all those crops when they have to pay an additional tariff. I sincerely wish that there could be some relief for farmers, to make it feasible for them to not only work very hard and very long hours, and be rewarded by a profitable marketplace. Otherwise, there will many that don't make it.
Although it was cool and wet, we went for an exploration of the Kettleson Hogsback Nature Area near Spirit Lake. The name "Hogsback" really has nothing to do with pork! It refers to a raised ridge in the nature area that served as a landmark.
Thought I would share a little bit about my experiences with one of the joys of senior living. Namely, my eyes. They have sure gotten a lot of attention lately. For starters, I have worn glasses for a long time, but not about my 40's. My husband and grandson, on the other hand, both have had glasses since they were very young. Bob's need wasn't really recognized until he was in school. Ian's need was picked up on an exam following an eye injury when he was maybe 3 or 4. Lots of eye business!
I did attempt to use contacts for a bit, but found them to really not suit me. Plus, as most any woman over 55 can tell you, tissues all over the body become more friable and contain less natural moisture as our aging progresses. My eye balls were too dry to work well with the contacts, and, in fact, I ended up with a scratched cornea from removing the lens. So I have been using glasses with trifocal lenses for quite a few years.
It's Pam the quilter reaching out to you today! I recently had the pleasure of staying with 2 friends in a condo in the Wisconsin Dells for a week. Yay! Seven days of uninterrupted quilt party! It's just our way of enjoying our fabric and friendship. The block you see above is made by Amy, it's part of an entire quilt made of blocks both large and small. For the uninitiated, this is part of a concept known among quilters as Block of the Month (BOM). In this example, a local store starts a plan to make an entire quilt just a block at a time. Somehow, that makes it seem so achievable! So a flat fee, or monthly fee, is charged to participants, giving them the fabric, directions and unique instructions to make a block. Next month, the whole group meets again to move on to the next block. And so it goes! It's a good promotional tool for the store, plus it draws in a wide variety of people and gives them steady encouragement to take on the whole quilt. This can also be done with a group of any size that wants to sew along together on the same quilt. It's a win-win for everyone! And with Amy's intuitive color sense, you end up with a show-stopper like the block above!
This post comes with a warning! it's not about travels or trailers or special events! it's about one of my passions, sewing. so if that's not what floats your boat, just skip it now! but if you read it, you just might learn something!
Age is a state of mind! If you don't think so, just ask mom! She's still eager to go places and do things. And she's 89! She always likes to be with her kids, grand kids and great grand kids, even if it means hopping on a plane to go across the country! She flew out to San Francisco to visit some of her offspring, then to Charlotte to see more! She's not afraid to get on board and even change flights if needed. She does now enjoy using her senior status to get priority boarding, but otherwise she doesn't look for exceptions.
Here's a little info on one way to keep some things neat and organized in this tiny home. We have far less space for absolutely everything in this trailer than we normally have at home. First of all, we had to be pretty selective about what clothing to bring along for our month of travel. We needed clothing for frigid cold, since that was the condition when we left home. And we needed clothing for the 70 degree day we had today. That's a lot of variability! We know we can travel light when need be, but we didn't have to be as stringent as, say, a canoe trip!
First, sorry to all our northern friends who are waiting for the snow to disappear! It turns out we picked a great month to be gone from Minnesota. More snow, ice, rain and cold for up North have made it an extra long winter. Winter always seems long to me anyway, and the month of March is no fun at all. It's the bridge between winter and spring, and has a history of late snowstorms coming through. I'm making a mental note to make sure we escape again next March!
I have collected some pictures of the promise of spring to share with you. Next Wednesday is the official equinox, so remember that the days keep getting longer! There is hope!
We added 2 more states to our list on our last day of travel...
Driving across lots of flat land yesterday, with our view like this! I thought Nebraska and Kansas were supposed to be the flat states, but from what I have seen, there are stretches of Indiana and Ohio that rival them.
I'm writing this from Brownsburg, IN, just west of Indianapolis. We are on our way to the Burke house in Charlotte, NC! We were able to leave home Monday about 1PM. The whole process of getting the truck and trailer ready to roll is still a learning experience for us. We had 4 camping weekends last summer, so we were feeling somewhat confident about getting all the steps checked off our list to be ready to go. However, doing that in below zero weather is a different beast! Bob had to remove snow from the top of the trailer twice. He had to use the hair dryer twice to open frozen access panels. The batteries had been stored inside, so had to be re-installed in their compartment that sits on the hitch of the trailer. It's a confined space, and there are about a dozen little wires and posts and connections that have to be secured. Thank goodness he had taken a good picture of the hook-ups before he removed the batteries last fall. We found out that the batteries had not been holding a charge as intended, Bob had used a trickle charger on them in the basement. So we didn't have enough battery power, and, of course, no 50watt power source in our driveway. So we couldn't run the furnace. That left the interior of the trailer still below freezing. So we had to be selective in our packing, placing the things in the trailer or truck bed that wouldn't suffer from the cold. Anything else had to be packed in the back seat of the truck. It was, and still is, a disorganized way to leave home, which really sets my organized mind on end! Marie Kondo (organization queen) would not be happy!
Hi! I'm Pam! Join me on this journey through the next steps of life!