Thursday, April 29, 2010

Schnibbles and More

Since tomorrow is the big Schnibble Parade, I best post pictures of my April Schnibbles, Tagalong.  I know it is not exactly "to the pattern" because I added a little sashing between the blocks.  It makes it just a tad larger which will make a nice table cover.  Be sure to check out the rest of the quilts as it is really fun to see how different each one looks when different fabrics are used.  My fabrics were Chez Moi Boutique from Moda.


I have really been trying to play catch up on my sewing after being away.  Here is my own little parade of work from this week.

Barn Quilt block for April

Yellow and blue block swap with Emily

Finished my pinwheels

Completed my block for the Jelly Roll Quilt Along

Found and added the final border to my Pineapple Quilt

We had nine of the grandchildren with us over the weekend and the girls were having a blast working with my scraps and creating blocks.  They were most pleased with their results and are excited about coming back soon and making more.

May is always a busy month around here for birthdays and anniversaries, but we celebrated Master J's birthday this past week.  I have to tell you that this gift was the hit of the evening - a bug watch.  It is a little band with an air dome.  You can "catch and watch" your very own bug!!!!!  What a thrill it is for a three year old.

Who wouldn't love a tractor pinata??

Last weekend we drove to Las Vegas to catch a FABULOUS show - Jersey Boys.  If it is anywhere near you, you must make a point of seeing it.  It is the story and songs of Fra*nkie Valli and the Four Sea*sons.  I cannot begin to tell you how much fun it was.  I could have stayed for hours and was sad to see it end.  Let me know what you think if you've seen it.

My DH and I really love to get out on the road and drive - anywhere!!!!  We hate to drive the Interstates because of all that you miss seeing along the way.  We found a very roundabout way to get to Vegas and although it only added about 45 miles to the trip, it was beautiful.  The desert is still in bloom due to all the delightful rains we have had this year.  The stark colors of the cactus against the dull background are breathtaking.  It was so nice to be able to pull over and take photos - another thing you cannot do on the interstate.

Our kind of road - see it going up the hill on the other side and not a car in sight.

Joshua Tree forest.

Yuccas about to bloom

Radiant color.

So pretty. cold as I am all the time, do you think they could give me a warmer room??????

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Chicago.....the Wonderful City

I truly did not mean to wait so long between posts, but it has been a hectic week around here.  I guess it is the price we pay for having a fun time away.

As I said before, we love Chicago.  A big city is so much fun to visit.  We have Los Angeles fairly close to us, but it is certainly not a city one would choose to go for a visit.  Everything is so spread out in L.A.  which is completely different from Chicago, Boston or New York.  The public transportation makes it easy to get around and the walking is fabulous.  As well, the food is to die for!!!!

We visited the Chicago His*tory Museum which was so interesting.  The one thing that really bothered me there was undisciplined school children.   Why is it that some teachers and escorts cannot keep their charges from ruining others visits?  We actually complimented one teacher who had complete control of her students, even to the point of telling one young lady that it was not ladylike to hop down a stair. 

We were able to catch the Matis*se exhibit at the Art Institute.  Although it is not my type of art, I can see the significance of his work. 

Prior to visiting the Art Institute we walked around Mil*lenium Park.  It was a glorious day with temperatures in the 80s and everyone was out enjoying the sunshine.  The trees were in full bloom and the flowers were stunning.

This is what the Chicago folks call "The Bean".  It is a huge mirrored kidney shaped bean in the park which reflects the surrounding buildings.  It was fascinating.

As well we saw this fellow on stilts.  Guess where he was going.  You won't believe it, but he was heading to L.A. on stilts!!!!!  Are you kidding me?????  I wanted to go tell him that I was going to beat him, but figured that I best let him keep on moving since he had a long trip in front of him.  I keep meaning to "go*ogle" him and see where he is.

The tulips along Michigan Avenue were nothing less that breathtaking.  They go on for miles down the middle of the road and on both sides.  Everywhere, there were flowers blooming.  The heat just made them all pop at once.

Another very fun street to walk down was Dearborn Avenue.  They have many of the older homes there and they were just gorgeous.

This one was for sale.

Of course we had to stop at this store....they were giving free samples too!!!!

The Chicago River....the one they dye green on St. Patrick's Day.

As you can see, it is a fabulous city to visit.  Coming home is also wonderful and there is nothing like your own bed waiting to be crawled into.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Chicago Is.......My Kind of Town

We had an opportunity to take a little vacation this past week and we headed to one of our very favorite towns - Chicago.

Instead of taking a plane we took Amtrak.  It is truly so much fun taking a relaxing train trip across parts of the states that are not accessible by car or plane.  I can remember taking the train back to Iowa once our family moved to California.  It was always so much fun.  DH is also a fan of train travel and we have taken many train trips over the years.

This trip we took a more southern route via the Southwest Chief.  Leaving Los Angeles at 6:45 p.m., we traveled through the desert during the nightime hours.  We managed to get a sleeper car and there is nothing quite like being rocked to sleep by the swaying on the tracks.  The fellow travelers we met along the way were such fun.  It is just a great way to journey.

I will make this a two part story so I can show you some of the pictures of our train trip.

Los Angeles Union Station.

The beautiful lobby of the train station in L.A.

The old ticket booths, now vacant, and the gorgeous inlaid marble floors.

Meeting Henry, our porter, for the journey,

First sunrise over the Southwest.

Sunrise in Kansas City on the second morning.

Reflection of the K.C. Union Station in a glass building.

Union Station in K.C.

Along with it's gorgeous ceiling

Arrival at Chicago's Union Station.

Again, the old terminal sits mostly as a work of art of bygone days.

One place that we always enjoy staying when we visit Chicago is The Palmer House.  To us, there is a lot of history.  My mother spent a weekend there in college and my in-laws met up there after the war.  I can just imagine my MIL sitting in the grand and elegant lobby as she awaited the arrival of my FIL after his years in the war.  They had only been married a few weeks before he was shipped off.

The Palmer House entrance.

The famous Tiffany Peacock doors at the entry.

The grand lobby of the Palmer House.

I could sit and stare at the ceiling for hours.  Simply breathtaking.

View of Lake Michigan from our room on the 22nd floor.

The next day we purchased a transit card and decided to go out to see Wriggley Field.  I could almost hear the roar of the crowd as we stepped off the Red Line.  Chicago fans are great baseball fans.

So much so that they actually build bleachers on top of their homes, businesses, etc. to catch a glimpse of what is going on IN the stadium.  Can you imagine the fun that these fans must have???

More to follow..........