Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Catching our Breath

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Here are some photos from our January trip when we took a day to see the wonderful, impressive marvel of the new Hoover Dam bypass bridge. And there is a misty picture of the swans on the Snake River around Island Park, Idaho; sorry, wish it were better quality. We were trying to get close but not fall in the river. We weren't sure where the water was through all the SNOW.

The early spring shows really cause a whirlwind of activity around here..if you stopped by the booth in Hampton, in Puyallup or in Lancaster, Hello again and thanks for stopping by.  We enjoyed seeing Montanans shopping in both Virginia and in Pennsylvania; you were a long way from home!  We all had "winter roads" on all three trips and Kate and Kevin had to wait east of Snoqualmie Pass for the highway department to clear an avalanche!  There really has been a lot of snow all over the country this winter.  I don't think Kevin and Kate will soon forget the Montana and Idaho passes in the slush and John and I won't forget slipping off the road during a whiteout in eastern Montana or the 200 miles of ice across South Dakota.

Still none of the winter trips were as bad as the grandmother from Virginia I met in Lancaster who spent 11 hours in her car with her two grandchildren.  The car had gas so they could stay warm and they had some snacks, but bathroom breaks were a problem.

There are a couple of things that make these cross country driving marathons hard on my 5'4" body.  The blue Ford van that John prefers to drive is about 3" too high for me to climb in to easily.  If I'm not tired, I can hop right in and be a cheerful and helpful passenger.   (Are We There Yet?)  But if we've been driving for 10 or 12 hours or  vending, I have trouble getting in.  Thank goodness John has those long arms and nice big hands to pull me in.  I do not want to know what this looks like to folks in the parking lot. 

My other foe is the wind.  Honestly, it is almost always windy as the dickens in South Dakota and when we stop at rest areas or gas stations,  the wind wants to take that big van door away from me and sail it away to Canada.  So sometimes John has to come around and let me out, trying to give me enough room to wiggle through but not far enough to let the wind slam the door hinge; again, very entertaining  but kind of trying after about the sixth time.

We have Sirius radio for company on the road; mostly we listen to CNN and NPR programming or bluegrass but sometimes we listen to one of Martha Stewart's cooking segments.  I'm not sure it is helpful to hear delicious recipes with fresh, healthy combinations and then stop to eat in a Pennsylvania turnpike Burger King.  We almost always find good restaurants to enjoy in our final destinations, but on the way, meals are whatever is the fastest and closest to the interstate exit. 

Sometimes we pass vehicles pulling trailers or packed to capacity with baskets, boxes and other paraphernalia and guess that they are vendors too, on their way to or from the show.

Our other entertainment is the Garmin GPS; we call her Carmen (remember Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?)  John doesn't fully trust her, with some justification.  In January, we were on I-15 leaving southern California and Carmen thought we were off the interstate to the right on surface roads.  She was having trouble trying to get us back to the interstate because we kept going through all the surface road intersections at 70 mph.  I finally just turned her off and let her help us again when we got closer to Salt Lake City. 

Here is a little project that will be getting borders soon, a 6" Glorified Nine Patch design.  We have the acrylic templates for this 6" block, and the 4" and 9" also.  Our website where you can check them out.

Will the tragic news from Japan ever stop?  Here are links to sites raising money to help the earthquake and tsunami victims.  Please help if you can.   Red Cross  Heifer International  Quilt Finds   The Mancuso shows are also donating $10 to Japan relief for each quilt entered in one of their upcoming shows.  Mancuso Shows

Sunday, John flys off to teach at the Australian Quilt Convention in Melbourne.  He is busy packing and weighing and repacking and reweighing.  What fun to fly.  The next show is the AQS Show in Paducah, Kentucky.  Kate has new colorways for the Miniature Storm at Sea Pre-cut Kit; shop early!  The booth number is 1708 so stop by and say hello to Kevin, Kate and John; I will be the office staff while they are gone.  Maybe it will have quit snowing by then.


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