Friday, July 3, 2009

Home, at last!

Home sweet home! My road trip totaled 3,400 miles, beginning in Kansas, and progressing through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and back to Kansas. Had I chosen to fly to these 4 back-to-back gigs, I would have been sitting in airports about 8 days out of 21. By driving, those extra days were mine to do as I pleased! I went to the movies, walked through botanic gardens, toured several historic sites, visited family and friends, visited the Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, wrote an outline for another book proposal, watched a little television, did a little knitting, and took lots of photographs along the way. It was an adventure of a lifetime. (Or maybe one of two or three....I may do this again in the future, I enjoyed it so much.)
The Luthy Gardens in Peoria, Illinois were beautiful. The weather was not. Obviously, sunshine was not the problem, but extreme heat and humidity made staying out in the sun miserable, to say the least. I planned to spend a couple of hours enjoying the 5 acres of gardens, but ended up only being able to stand about 20 minutes out in the gardens. Photo ops abounded, however, in the early morning sun. Lots of new ideas for flower shapes and colors for future quilts here, don't you think?
And then there was Galena, Illinois. Galena was a lead mining town. In the 1960's, an urban renewal push resulted in the restoration and preservation of this historic little town, that left all the charm of a Victorian village alive for tourists, shoppers, and vacationers. I taught classes at Phat Quarters, a Bernina dealership and quilt shop. In between classes, I took a trolley tour and visited several of the beautifully restored mansions and homes, besides eating at the DeSoto House, famous for Lincoln and U.S. Grant's visits and stump speeches delivered from the hotel's balcony. This was my second visit to Galena, and it is well worth a 3rd and maybe even a 4th time around.
Some of the views of Galena: Victorian mansions, homes on the hills, and walk-ups that I can't imagine living in! These are the back doors to the apartments with fronts on the main street of Galena. The lower flats are below ground level at the front. Then there was the amphibians and lizards at the Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. I've never quite figured out why, but I am fascinated with frogs and lizards. (HATE snakes!) These frogs sat very still for their portraits. Don't you just love the spotted frog? But the warty one is really interesting, too. I think it's amazing how some creatures blend in so well with their surroundings that they nearly disappear, while others are so beautiful, they would stand out anywhere.
I spent last weekend in Ames, Iowa at my son's house. We drove into Des Moines for the Farmer's Market Saturday morning. Fresh strawberries, blueberries, peaches, name it, I either bought it or thought really hard about it. Sunday morning breakfast was a feast of fresh fruit and granola bars. Lunch with Debbie Feece, my friend who is now an editor for Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting was delightful, then a long afternoon nap, and a Brazilian barbecue and picnic in the park topped it all off that evening. Kerry has been recuperating from a nasty bicycle accident, in which he broke his right pinkie finger resulting in surgical repair and pins. His cast came off the day before I arrived. Computer work was a challenge, but when I peeked into his office Sunday morning, I noticed he had a very attractive office assistant who insisted that he stop once in awhile to scratch her head. Cloud has a sibling named Ashes but she was camera shy. Do you like seeing photos of my travels, even if they are not 'quilty'? It's good to sometimes take a break, if, like me, you are obsessed with quilting. Let me know if you enjoyed this intermission of sorts of pictures from places that my quilting adventure took me to. I promise I will get back to my Freezer Paper ideas later this coming week.


  1. Looks like a great trip! Thanks for visiting my blog. I tried to reply to your comment but the email came back to me. So I'll leave my reply here! :0)
    The falcon chicks are named when they're three weeks old. Those are the chicks born in nests monitored by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. They get identifying leg bands at that time too. So if another male does show up, and someone can ID leg bands, we'll know who it is. If there are no leg bands, then he was born to a wild nest not monitored by the ODNR. We'll just have to wait and see! Enjoy your day! :0)

  2. The trip was great, Terry! I kind of like doing non-quilty things when I'm out and about. Used to hit every quilt shop or show, but that's part of my job now. And I love critters of all kinds, and your falcon (OK, not hawks. I don't know the difference.) photos are very good. We have a beautiful raptor (Isn't that a general term to describe birds of prey? It's a Mississippi Kite, I think.) that lives and hunts around here. I see them when I'm out for my walk in the mornings.

  3. Love the flower pics. I'm going to download a couple for my screen saver. Sounds like a great trip and one worth doing again in the future.