Monday Musings: Good-bye to an Era

My favorite local quilting store is closing. (Cue the violins.)

Quilters Paradise in Old Town Clovis is where I took my quilting classes. I bought lots of fabric there. Which reminds me, I have some reward cards I better redeem quickly!

QPIt’s rare to find a shop so focused on customer service, quality products, and value.

The owners are always helpful. The dog hanging around the back classroom was calm and never demanding, but always grateful for an ear rub or tummy scratch.

 

Employees are knowledgeable. My first quilt top that I made in the Quilting 101 class turned out great, but I knew I would need help with the backing choice. So I toted in the Quilt toptop, laid it out and pleaded for advice. I walked out a few minutes later with the perfect fabric. (Don’t ask me if I’ve actually finished that quilt yet. Please.) I love the blue and gold with the cream, but I wasn’t sure if the backing should be dark or light. We ended up going with one of the medium golds for the backing fabric. I think it will look stunning when it is finished. Which I hope will be next year. I’m committed to not beginning a new project until I finish the three or four I have in progress.

There are a couple other quilt shops near me that I’ve never shopped at. And of course we have a Jo-Ann’s. So it looks like my quilting fabric loyalty is up for bids.

Do you have a local favorite shop? Or a favorite you make sure to visit on your travels?

 

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Monday Musings

About a year ago, I decided to shift this blog in a slightly different direction. Mondays went from talking about media (movies, television, podcasts, etc.) to mostly about quilting. But I quickly found out that being a quilter with limited projects done, I ran out of things that I felt were interesting enough to talk about. I kept book reviews on Book Talk Tuesdays. Wednesday’s became about travel. And Food Talk Friday went bye-bye. Sigh.

Wooden bowl with spa stones and candles on wooden  table, on flowers backgroundAfter some thought and talk, I’ve decided to do a course correction with the blog. Again.

Mondays will be Monday Musings. This may be about quilting or about art or crafting or media. Basically whatever I’m currently fascinated with. Tuesdays will continue to be book reviews (and I’ve got a great book up for tomorrow). Wednesday will be Wonderings or Wanderings. My thoughts and feelings about an issue or a travelogue of sorts. And since I’m still enjoying memories and pictures of our Ireland/UK trip in September, I have some material to keep posting weekly for quite a while.

Thursdays will stay either a day off or I may use it to spotlight an author, do a cover reveal, or post a second review if it just can’t wait until the following Tuesday.

Food Talk Friday will be back. Restaurant reviews, recipes, or food memories.

Please come back tomorrow for a review of the amazing new book, MRS. OSWALD CHAMBERS by Michelle Ule. You’ll be glad you did!

Wednesday Wanderings

I’ve had a couple days in North Dakota so far. And have actually ventured into Minnesota a couple of times. I’ve seen sugarbeet fields. I’ve seen a demonstration of high-tech pesticide application. I’ve seen a WWII-era plane fly eleven feet over the ground, right in front of me, also demonstrating pesticide application.

I have eaten wurst, Mongolian grill, green chili pizza (although that was in Denver), kuchen, popcorn as an appetizer, and a lovely fruit pizza.

I’ve met people from all around the country. I’ve  learned about pesticide safety practices. I’ve  learned a lot about respirators.

All in all, North Dakota rocks!

Monday Musings: So Many States …

I’m getting to check off two entries on my “States I Have Yet to Visit” list this week.

I’m in Fargo, North Dakota this week for a pesticide safety conference, for my part-time day job. Yes, I’ve seen the movie; no, I haven’t seen the television series.

img_8647I’ve never been to North Dakota, or Denver, where we had a layover yesterday. Denver was less mountainous than I’d expected, but still beautiful. Our less-than-an-hour-gonna-have-to-hustle-to-make-the-connecting-flight layover turned into five-plus hours, thanks to mechanical issues on a plane.

Since it’s important to me that any plane I fly on have no mechanical issues, I was just fine with the delay. The upside was my friend and boss has a daughter who lives in Denver,img_8641 and she readily agreed to come pick us up for dinner. And, of course, being introduced to Dion’s and their green chile pizza.

The downside was that I had finished my book and both magazines long before we finally landed in Fargo at 3 AM.

We were surprised and blessed to discover that the car rental agency had stayed open to accommodate our late flight, so we didn’t have to Uber or taxi or hitchhike to the hotel. I crawled into bed about 4:30 AM, Fargo time and managed to sleep a solid six hours.

We ventured to Fargo’s old town area, looking for lunch. The Smokehouse we found turned out to be closed on Sunday (not unusual, we soon discovered), so we went img_8643next door to Würst Bier Hall where we promptly ordered pretzels, wurst, porketta bánh mì, and french fries. Fabulous!! Stud Muffin would love that place, so I obviously have to come back.

After lunch, we walked around the old town area (gotta get some steps in after that lunch!), found a great coffee shop with scones (and a definite Seattle vibe), fun shops, and historic buildings. Dinner turned out to be peach kuchen and a root beer float at Krolls, a recommendation from our lunch server.

Don’t judge.

It’s now 8:00 Sunday evening. It’s only 6 PM in California, but my eyes are heavy. I won’t have a problem getting to sleep tonight. Tomorrow, we work!

Saving the Best for Last

We got up early and hit the road. Dirt roads, that is. 

CousinExtraordinaire is an amazing photographer (and hostess). She has an ATV (and access to another) and the five of us had an excursion today to see the wild horses and other wildlife in the area. 


We left the house and 7 AM and got back at 10. Then we showered, ate, and headed home. In between, we saw:

  • three bands of wild horses, including the beautiful filly, Pearl
  • 1 family of nesting Swainson hawks 
  • a RC airplane taking off
  • a satellite dish, in the middle of nowhere, on the ground 
  • some amazing scenery 

and we (Drama Princess and I) gave a grasshopper a ride. He flitted into the side-by-side I drove, landed on her arm, jumped to the door, then abandoned us. 

We had a wonderful week and can’t wait to do it again. We saw glorious scenery, ate delicious food, swam, and laughed. 

We’re home now. Queen Bee will go home tomorrow. 

Next up: two weeks of VBS Adventures with Grampy and Drama Princess. 

Friday Funday

Today we drove to Lake Tahoe, to the Tallac Historic Site, near the south shore. We visited the site two years ago with Queen Bee and she had a great time. 

We spent a few hours at the Camp Richardson beach, swimming and playing in the sand. After lunch, we made our way to Tallac. My cousin had thoughtfully signed up both girls for the Kids Cooking class that the site offers during the summer. 

Drama Princess was unhappy about leaving the beach and walking in wet sandals. She sulked and fussed, but once the class got going, she loved it. 


They made popcorn balls, supposedly a recipe that would have been made at the summer home in the 1920s. 

Stud Muffin, Cousin, and I hung out, spied on the group, and took pictures of the marauding chipmunks. 


Napping may have occurred on the ride home. 

After a wonderful dinner at Francisco’s (pretty much the opposite experience of Monday night), we returned to the wonderland that is my cousin’s home. Both girls are loving the goats and chickens. 

Bedtime was early because we were up early for one final adventure before heading home.