Thursday, March 31, 2011

Basketball Fans - Eat Your Heart Out

We flew to Houston yesterday to visit with W's Uncle Robert for a couple of days. This is a view from the hotel window. It is the stadium where the NCAA Final Four games will be held this weekend. We knew nothing about the games when we planned the trip, and not being sports fans, we are happy we are leaving Saturday morning before the games begin. But I'm sure there are others who would love to be in our place and stay through the weekend. One thing is for sure, there are a lot of very tall guys around. W says it is rare that he feels short.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy Early Spring

It was nearly 70 degrees today so we went for a nice walk at the Highlands end of Hartshorne Woods. Then we stopped for a yummy early dinner at the Inlet Cafe in Highlands. Definitely a good find.

It may feel like spring here, but there are still 1-1/2 feet of snow left at camp. Sure hope it is gone in a month when we head up there again.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lancaster and Genealogy

One of the reasons we stayed over in Lancaster was to do some ancestry sleuthing. W and I are both descended from the founders of Downington, PA and I wanted to at least see the area. About all we accomplished was to peer through the trees toward the stone house built by Thomas Downing in the 1730's and still standing. I was informed by a local historical society volunteer that the current owner didn't like history-types nosing around, so I couldn't get a good view of the house. Here is a better one, from the satellite view on google maps.

Trip to Lancaster

W and I spent part of yesterday and today in Lancaster, PA. We drove first to Burkholders in Denver, PA. It was definitely worth the stop; it was by far the largest shop we were in. We spent so much time there (and bought so much neat fabric), we skipped Sauders completely and went directly to lunch at Union Barrel Works in Reamstown. Then on to the AQS quilt show in the Lancaster convention center. It was a nice show but not sure I would go again. It is much less convenient than when it was outside of town on Route 30. After the show we stopped in at the Spring Blossom Festival, the collection of vendors in the Continental Inn across the street from where the show used to be. The prices at both the show and the vendors were comparable to NJ prices - not the cheaper Lancaster area prices. So we were happy we started at Burkholders. At this point we were beat and happy to head to Creekside Inn, the B&B in Paradise where I had stayed before.

This morning we drove to Intercourse for more fabric shopping. At the suggestion of the B&B hostess we stopped at the new shop Bitty Kinna's, run by a previous owner of Burkholders. It was a nice but smallish shop and I didn't find anything to buy. Then on to the Old Country Store, which was very nice and where I again bought lots. They had some great sales on batiks. Lastly we went to Zooks, even though by then I had exhausted my extensive list of things to buy. I was disappointed that it was not nearly as large as I had remembered and just didn't seem that interesting, possibly partly because I was about shopped out at that point, which I didn't think was possible. For one thing, they didn't have many batiks, whereas the Old Country Store had lots.

I decided at some point in the trip that the next time I went to the Lancaster area for quilt fabric, I would go some time other than the quilt show, so the stores would not be as crowded. That started a discussion of whether it really was cost-effective, given the price of gas. I figure I bought about 35 yards of fabric! (that includes backing for 3 large quilts). The savings of about $3 a yard easily paid for the gas. So I guess that means I'm allowed to go again - after I use up all the fabric I got this time. That could take a while.

So it was a great outing. And of course a trip to that part of the world is not complete without a view of an Amish horse and buggy.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Barnegat Light

We finally made it to Barnegat Lighttoday to see the sea birds. We try to go every year to see the birds that overwinter there and while we were later in the year than usual, we managed to see most of what we were expecting, though not in the numbers we are used to. We saw harlequin ducksand cormorants, common eiders, brandt, pintails, herring gulls, greater black-backed gulls, a female red-breasted merganser, a couple surf scoters, and one loon whose plummage was changing to the summer black and white. I wonder if he is on his way to the Adirondacks. We were also very surprised to see a young seal pulled up on the beach.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Just talked to our caretaker at camp and gave him the ok to close down the camp if the power should go out. But he'll have to snowshoe in. They just had about 30 inches of snow and there is no place to put it. He said the piles at the side of the road are 7 feet high. And there is no more room along our driveway. So the camp will not be plowed out and we just hope we can get in next month. All snow and ice are normally gone by mid-April, but not sure about this year.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Quilting Bonanza

It has been a week for quilting - though I must admit more and more of them are these days. I really must take time this next week for things like cleaning house, doing income tax, etc. Anyway, this past week I went to open sew on Wednesday, a quilt show on Thursday, a guild SEWcial on Friday, a quilting class on Saturday, and today is the guild meeting.
The quilt show was one sponsored by Mancuso and we were disappointed that many of the quilts were ones we had seen in the Pennsylvania show last fall. I've had that problem before with their shows. But I did buy lots of fabric so it wasn't a complete loss. And here is a quilt I hadn't seen before which intrigued me. There is not a curved line in it. Maybe I'll make one someday, provided I can ever force myself to make a quilt with just 2 fabrics.
And this tote is from the class yesterday.