More Travels

We headed back to Michigan last weekend, this time to my in-laws'. We encountered heavy rain once we were in Michigan. Our plan was to take I-94 across and then cut up, but I was not relishing the idea of being on 94 in the heavy rain. 94 is risky on a good day. We saw that it was really backed up and there were lots of flashing lights, so we decided to stay on 69 and cut through the country instead. There are lots of sandhill cranes in the farm fields in that area. I was really surprised when one literally ran across the road in front of us! I wish I could have caught that on camera.

We visited an animal park while we were in Michigan. It's really grown since the last time we were there. My kids always enjoy feeding the animals, especially the giraffes and the budgies.

I enjoyed watching the lemurs' antics. This guy was chewing his own tail.

Goats are always fun. Always.

You know I love my flamingos. These are Chilean flamingos. They are near threatened in the wild. They seem to be common in zoos.

Once we got back from the zoo, we were able to visit briefly with my sister- and brother-in-law. My BIL is a respiratory therapist at the hospital, so he's been in the thick of the COVID action this whole time. He said that if you get to the point of needing a ventilator, your chances of leaving the hospital are 20%, regardless of your age. That was really sobering. 

He also said that people who get to that point are asking for the vaccination. It's too late by then. I was a bit more surprised, but not really, when I read about a doctor from Alabama saying many of the same things that he did. I'm sure most any doctor in any state has had the same experiences. It's so heartbreaking and could have been prevented.

It's almost time for my son to go back to school in person. I felt good about the decision last spring. He'd had his vaccination and things were looking a little better. Plus, the only way he was going to receive his advanced coursework was to return to in-person. However, now that school starts in two weeks, I'm really uneasy. Only 18% of eligible kids in my county have had the vaccination and the school has not yet outlined what the mask policy will be. We have the delta variant circulating in our community. We had school transmission last year without delta and with a masking policy. I shudder to think what it will be like if they decide against mandatory masking. I hate that I have to put my son's health at risk. I hate that this whole situation makes teachers' jobs even more difficult. I hate that people don't care more for one another.

Also, karma came to visit me. I was complaining about having to repair and sew more masks. I managed to lose one of my masks in the 50 feet or so from the Target lobby to my vehicle. So I will be making at least one more.

Moving on to much happier things, I quilted Amber's bargello quilt last week. She loves color and cats. I love that she liked one of the more unusual options I presented her for the quilting. It is so fun! The design is called Hiding Out.

I haven't had much time to sew other than that which I dedicated to my secret project. I got all the blocks pieced and sewn into a top. I'm hoping to quilt it tomorrow. If all goes well, I'll be able to share it, fully finished, next week.

I needed backing right away, so I headed to JoAnn to find something inexpensive. I didn't bring any of the fabric with me, so I guessed at what might go. I narrowed it down to these two choices:

Which one do you think I will pick?

I also saw the most adorable little bee fabric. It was on a tube instead of a bolt and it actually felt like decent fabric. I noticed it had a pink sticker that said "PINK" on it, so I thought maybe it was 60% off according to their labels. It was more like 75% off--it rang up at $2.39/yard. I originally was going to get six yards to use as a backing. The lady told me she thought there were eight yards on there, so I said ok. She got to eight and there was still more, but I decided that was crossing over into hoarder status and stopped there. 😆

This week I got Sandy's quilt quilted. I'm planning to do the binding and finish it up today. Quilting is Ginger Snap.

I did get a few pictures of the quilt that I donated to the Community Quilts program. Here it is. Glad it's out of here. Hope it will make its recipient happy and warm.

I want to share this amazing quilt I will be working on soon. Someone turned this in to the Treasure Shop, which is where guild members donate unwanted quilting fabrics, notions, and patterns. The guild then sells these items as a fundraiser during the quilt show. Anyway, one of the people working on organizing the Treasure Shop was able to rescue this top and I'll be quilting it for her. It is just so wonderful and I am amazed that someone got rid of it. The new owner trimmed it down to around 90 x 90.

Meanwhile, in the garden things are weird. I have neglected the vegetable garden this year. My husband and kids weeded and cleaned things up this week. The lettuce and peas were a flop this year. I planted cucumbers three times and they never grew. The chives sprouted, but looked like grass. My husband weeded them.

The tomato looks like this:

The tag said 24-36 inches, but we are obviously waaaayyy past that. If we could pull that part on the ground back up, it is more like 4-5 feet. My husband staked part of it onto the pea support and had to zip tie the hoop to the support to keep it in the soil.

The pole beans are huge and just starting to produce.  This is the very top of the plant and it  is spreading all along two sides of the enclosure.

The peppers are starting to produce too. I think the "Better than Schrute's" baby beets are not so baby and are heaving out of the ground (oops). The regular ones are okay.

I still have some pears! Maybe 20? When do I harvest them? No idea, never had any before.

And here's my lower garden. The Joe Pye Weed is pretty spectacular. 

Looking forward to sharing my quilt next week. Maybe I will have started July's OMG by then too? Cutting it close!

Linking with For the Love of Geese and My Quilt Infatuation.


  1. I feel for you; your concerns for your son's health are valid and real. We have a 16yo grandson who has yet to have an in-person class at his high school, as the freshmen attend a freshmen-only school. He's starting his junior year & has the option of continuing to learn from home, but I suspect he'll want to wear a mask & try in-person. In the meantime, we're all masking when indoors with strangers or in close proximity to others outdoors. And cooler weather is approaching, so more infections look likely. What a world! Hang in there.

    1. Hi Jay; I tried to respond directly but the message came back as undeliverable. Thank you for your kind words and for validating my worries. I appreciate it more than you could know. Best wishes for continued health and safety.