Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm Back From My Visit to Blogauthor

Actually I got back early Tuesday morning, which meant I was a zombie all day yesterday. Today I almost feel normal. Flying all the way across the country to spend four days with someone really took its toll on me. Nothing to do with Blogauthor and her wonderful family who welcomed me with open arms. Time zones and long flights do it to me every time.

You may be wondering about the photos. Blogauthor wants to maintain her anonymity so I just took pictures of her neighborhood from the second floor balcony of her house. I loved all the houses in her neighborhood; lots of porches with rocking chairs. And the leaves are beautiful this time of year.

She and Offspring (he will be eight this weekend) picked me up at the airport. I could tell the car belonged to her because of the Obama flags flying from the two back windows. Sometime during the weekend we either lost those flags or they were stolen. Not sure which. I sure hope we lost them. Pretty tacky if someone stole them.

We went back to the house where I met her husband Wheeler (he's a quadriplegic), dog (a service dog for Wheeler), dogette and black cat. Later in the weekend I met her mom and dad who live just a few houses away. We spent a lot of time talking and laughing along with drinking a good chardonnay. I did get to play Wii with Offspring. I tried the golf. After just three of the nine holes Offspring declared the game over. I was terrible. Maybe even worse than I am at real golf. Offspring played bowling, tennis and boxing. My Wii days are over.

On Saturday Offspring was at a birthday party so we went to the movies. Wheeler had a bad cold so opted out. We saw Bill Maher's "Religulous." It's his take on the current state of religion in the world; very funny. Not for your average religious person, but for the rest of us skeptics it was great. It's a laugh-out-loud kind of movie. Maher is brilliant.

What was so amazing about the weekend is how easy it was to be with these people whom I had never met, plus I'm old enough to be Blogauthor and Wheeler's mother. In fact I'm one year older than her own mother.

This is the second blogger that I've met. Last year we went to Costa Rica where I met the "baking fairy." That wasn't anything like this visit. We talked but didn't really connect the way Blogauthor and I did. If you want to see a picture of me with Wheeler's service dog go to her blog at:

I've been invited back but probably won't make the trip again until early spring; they get snow where she lives. I don't do snow. Next time Kerry is going with me and hopefully Miss Harleen will come along too.
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Thursday, October 23, 2008


It doesn't seem to matter how many times I've done it; each time I travel, especially by air, I have a tiny bit of anxiety which usually comes out in my dreams a night or two before I leave. Flying doesn't bother me; missing my plane is the source of my angst. In all my 63 years I've only missed one flight.

Tomorrow I travel to the Raleigh-Durham area; so last night was anxiety dream night. I had to get up early this morning to get my boarding pass so I wouldn't end up in a middle seat on Southwest. So for much of the night I was trying to log onto my computer in my dreams. Of all people to show up to help me...Rev. Al Sharpton. He finally ended up sitting next to me on the plane. A few years ago I ran into Rev. Jesse Jackson at the Sacramento Airport so who knows, maybe Al will be there tomorrow.

My visit to blogauthor ( is not the first time I've met a fellow blogger. In the spring of 2007 Kerry and I went to Monteverde, Costa Rica and met the "baking fairy." I didn't really know her all that well and still don't, but it was fun to go some place new and have someone there I knew.

Blogauthor is different because we have commented on each others blog, e-mailed and even talked on the phone. She was very helpful when my sister was so sick earlier this year. Her background in science was great when we were struggling with whether my sister would live or die.

The weather report for her area shows rain on Saturday. I'm really hoping it's accurate. It hasn't rained where I live since April; I miss it. I'm not bringing an umbrella.

So if I don't post for a while you will know why. Now I just have to get up in time to get to the airport for a 6:45 a.m. flight. Yikes!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Groom's Mom

My friend Rondi requested a picture of the mother of the groom; so here it is.
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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Know Your Rancher And The Meat He Produces

I've been posting more pictures than words. It's just how I've felt. But now I have some words to get out. So here goes.

Our quest for real food has led us down many paths filled with interesting people. By real food I mean stuff found, for the most part, not in your grocery story. Or if it's in the grocery store it's found in the perimeter of the store. It's not highly processed like the stuff in the middle aisles. You might ask, where are you going with this?

Well, last night we went to a party thrown by the rancher I first met when I was looking for meat from animals that had never spent time in a feedlot and were never fed corn, antibiotics and hormones. The rancher's name is Bob; he and his wife, Sarah, run Coffee Pot Ranch in nearby Sheridan.

We (including Harleen) got to see the animals we may eat in the future. That was a bit strange at first, but then I realized that these animals were having a good life, albeit a short one. He produces more pork than beef or lamb so I was interested to see his pig operation. Well, I've never seen such large pigs in my life. These were not "Wilburs."

We dined on a pig from their operation (delicious) and had all kinds of wonderful salads, breads and dessert.

Now I ask you, when was the last time the Safeway butcher (or any other chain store butcher) invited you to his house on a Saturday night, fed you, offered a tour of his property and offered damn fine wine and beer? Or for that matter which feedlots open up their facilities so you can see how their animals are raised? Going to Bob and Sarah's is what makes "real" food so, well, real. They have nothing to hide.

Harleen did have a special treat while we were there. She met a guide dog for the blind named Valiant. The two did pretty well together considering how trained he is and how "in training" she is.

The best part of Coffee Pot Ranch was sitting just below the porch level, food in hand, dog at feet and listening to the band that Bob and Sarah had assembled. While we did that we watched the daylight fade from the vantage point of their home on a slight rise in an otherwise flat area.

Harleen sniffed cows, sheep, lambs, horses, pigs and most importantly...a cat. She kept track of that cat all night long. Our monthly report on her socialization will have some interesting notes.

Next week at this time I will be in North Carolina visiting with blogauthor, a fellow blogger I've gotten to know over the past few years. I've never been to North Carolina. Very excited about this trip.

My Favorite Wedding Picture.

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

What's On My Design Wall

Since I've been back from the wedding I've been spending a lot of time with fabric. Being away for ten days sent me into fabric withdrawal. Neither of these pieces is large. The kimono wall hanging is 27" square. The other piece is a table runner which is not quite finished. I still have to add the batting, backing and then quilt it. It's going on the dining room table.

The road runner depicted on it is New Mexico's state bird. I bought the kit for the table runner the last time I was in Albuquerque. Maybe some day I'll give it to the kids. If you click on either photo you can see more details.

I'm still recovering from the emotional and physical tolls of the wedding. With my asthmatic lungs, being at 7,000 feet for about a week was hard. I'm feeling more well rested every day. And the emotion...well, does one ever get over the fact that her child is all grown up and has found someone wonderful to love? I just so glad they found each other. I feel like I can worry less but then I think about the two of them and realize that maybe I have just have to worry twice as much.

I got my microphone for Skype today so we can talk computer to computer with the kids. I'm looking forward to that.
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Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Wedding Quilt

The stack of fabric shown here became the wedding quilt for Mark and Julia. I could only show a portion of it so you could see the detail. The beads sit atop a Korean chop key which is like an origami except you fold the fabric. There are 168 of these around the outside of the quilt. I made a lot of them when I was sitting in the ICU when my sister was so sick earlier this year. I took the quilt to the wedding so the kids could see the finished product. At some point it will hang on the wall of their home. With all that's happening in Malaysia that may not be any time soon.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Now That's Relaxation

Here's Harleen in her crate at nap time. She loves to sleep on her back and doesn't seem to care where the rest of her body lands. Unlike humans, she generally doesn't snore on her back.
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Grand Canyon Photos; No Words Needed

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Happy Couple

We got home a couple of hours ago. I nearly fell down in the driveway to kiss the earth. We are so happy to be home. Everything went as planned...well, except it rained on the day of the wedding so they ended up getting married on the balcony of the reception room.

So here's the happy couple. My sister-in-law Charlotte made the beautiful bouquet Julia is holding. Plus she did all the flowers in the reception room. She is so talented.

I had a reading to do during the ceremony and started to cry in the middle; I recovered and finished it. No one was more surprised than I that I started to tear up.

We followed the kids to Phoenix on Sunday so they could catch their flight to Hong Kong and then on the Kuala Lumpur (KL for short). We stopped at a rest stop outside of Flagstaff so they could sort out their luggage for the PHX to LAX flight. We drove out of the gas station and all of a sudden Mark and Julia did a u-turn and headed back to the gas station. He had lost his wedding ring.

A frantic search by all of us finally yielded the ring. In the repacking of the suitcases, his ring had slipped off his finger into one of the bags. Julia found it. It was so wonderful to watch them cling to each other in relief. Theirs is truly a wonderful love story. I am so happy for them.

We are exhausted so will head for bed soon. Harleen is back with us after being with her puppy sitter. She must have been focused on growing while we were gone. She is just so much bigger than when we left her. She goes to the vet tomorrow for a shot so I'll have a chance to weigh her. Tomorrow night is puppy kindergarten. Ah...the life of a puppy parent. The never ending joy of parenting cats, dogs and a wonderful son.

I missed all of you.
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