A group of us had a “pre-festival” retreat at a friends beach house. She actually has two beach houses so several of us were able to join in the fun. Most importantly “mom” was able to arrive early from Utah to join us! “Mom” comes to Houston every year for Quilt Festival and we train all year long just to keep up with her! There were 9 of us in attendance for the retreat, we all sewed together in one room and the tables were arranged so we all had a view of the gulf. For meals we took turns, Janet’s husband had sent a brisket for us and it was fabulous. Marilynn made a sinful cheesecake. I was in charge of baked potatoes and the goodies for those, as you know I am not really a cook so this was right up my alley!
Quilts are however up my alley and so I offered to bring a little trunk show with me – I brought a variety of quilts to share.
I love retreats because we get to see so many projects being worked on and we quite often get to see these projects get finished during that time. I also love to be able to share tips and tricks I have learned from so many expert quilters over the years! Someone once told me I was really smart – I corrected them and explained that I “hang” out with really smart people and regurgitate everything they tell me!
Here are a few photos from our short time in paradise!
There is a story behind the making of this t-shirt quilt…. We did not have room in the house we were sewing in to properly measure the borders so she and I would hike down the stairs of the sewing house and up the stairs to the other house to measure and pin the borders. I am a stickler about borders so each border required a trip. We made at least 4 trips just for borders but we also had to make extra trips because we would forget things – pins, ruler, rotary cutter, mat etc. There are a lot of steps at the beach!
My friend’s daughter is a student at Texas A&M. Me being from Utah really do not totally understand what that means – but I am learning! Being a student at A&M is learning about tradition and sticking together through thick and thin. I was invited to be part of this tradition when Ms. Madison got her A&M ring. Now to preface this story you must realize we have been in a drought for going on 3 years. But of course on this day it POURED! We had spent the night before at my friends home in Round Top, TX – we had many of the provisions for the after ring ceremony party with us so we needed to get to College Station early – needless to say we got wet. Then on the drive over we dried out, time to unload, we got wet and so on and so on. This was our mode all day long, we just get dry and it would be time to get out and do something else!
Our sweet little ring recipient could not help herself, she kept apologizing for bringing us all out in the rain! To know Maddie is to love Maddie!
Maddie’s beau, Kale had determined we could park in one of the parking terraces on campus and then ride the shuttle to the ring ceremony. We all arrive at the parking terrace, we all load up on the bus and we wait! We are running late for our designated time slot – poor Maddie is beside herself – so what do you do – you sing “The Wheels on Bus” and that lightens the mood. We finally arrive at our destination via the scenic route (thank you Donna for your history lesson of A&M – I LOVED IT!).
We run to the building, we do our best to make our way through the crowd, we reach the room where they are handing out the rings – Maddie signs for hers – they tell Daddy to put it on her finger and it is OVER! Then we realize that was IT! and most of our group has not caught up with us yet. We have the 6 year old, but him momma does not know that – I can only imagine what was going through her mind. As it dawns on Maddie that this truly was IT – that most of our crew did not get to be part of this history and tradition, but since most Kale’s family is from A&M they know the drill. Finally, we are reunited with our group and the celebration can begin – we have survived a very wet A&M ring ceremony.
Traditions are a good thing and the traditions these young people find at A&M will stay with them a lifetime – it is more than a ritual – it is a way of life for them!
Well, I have a lot of catching up to do. When last I posted I had promised to post about the fabulous concert with Peter Frampton and BB King at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver, CO.
But before I can do that I need to share the last of our site seeing with you as well!
Sunday, August 18 we ventured to the top of Pikes Peak – did you know the road is paved all the way to the top now? We watched a few of the marathon runners reach the top – wow! Hubby visited with one of the paramedics that works at the top, he found that every employee at the top of the peak is a paramedic, they work 14 hours shifts and even they are affected by the altitude. The first half of August had been a busy month for the paramedics already with numerous critical rescues. The main reason is that visitors stay at the top too long and they they are unable to drive down, did you know your body uses up its fluid reserves very quickly when climbing – the paramedic said we can lose up to 1l on the way up the peak. On the way down you are stopped at the “lodge” and they check the temperature of your brakes, ours were fine, having grown up in the mountains of Utah and climbing hills in jeeps hubby is very experienced in letting the vehicle gears do the work not the brakes. We observed 1 group of “youngsters” have their brakes checked, they were 400 degrees, they were told to park it for a while and let those brakes cool off!
After more adventures in the area we headed to Evergreen, CO to spend a delightful evening with my niece her new beau! I wish we lived closer as I always enjoy my visits with my niece – she is an amazing woman!
On Monday we visited Leadville, CO. In the 1880’s my great-grandfather, Milton Fornia and family lived in Leadville. One of my great aunts was married there, her name was Grace Fornia Davenport. I don’t believe my grandmother, Cali Fornia lived there, she was born in AZ after they left CO. It was fun to visit the Leadville Public Library and search through the Colorado Census that are not available online. We also visited the Mines Museum in Leadville. My husband had worked for Asarco early in his engineering career and it was interesting to ready about the contributions made to mining at the museum. We also drove out to the former Asarco Leadville Facility, now closed. And of course I found more “old” things to enjoy.
Tuesday we played in Golden, CO and drove around the mountains some more – soaking up the beautiful weather and views. We visited the burial site for Buffalo Bill. And of course a tour of the brewery – although taste testing at 10:00 am was not something I needed to do!
And then the CONCERT – this is the 3rd time we have seen Peter Frampton in the last 4 years and I am sure it won’t be the last. We travelled to CO this time because the great BB King was touring with Peter for a few stops and this was one of them. BB was brought on to stage on a golf cart, they had his chair ready for him up front and once he was settled, he held court! Inspiring his band members and then calling Peter out to jam. While BB is not able to strum too much anymore, it was truly some of the best entertainment! As BB finished, he tossed souvenirs to several members of the audience, honoring those in wheel chairs and a couple of very young fans – I hope they know the greatness they witnessed. As BB strode off stage to his golf cart, he stopped to shake hands with each crew member and take a moment to thank them – a true gentleman if ever there was.
I had posted on my Facebook page that we attended the concert, one of my Facebook acquaintances sent me this note and also gave me permission to share. The long and short of this post – enjoy your passions, follow your passion and SHARE your passion. How much do we not share with our children because we think it won’t be important to them.
But … let me tell you briefly an amazingly cool thing that happened.
My youngest son (19 at the time) was in the Beaumont / Galveston area in Fall of 2008 doing hurricane cleanup from the huge hit of Hurricane Ike. He was sad because being there for a few months was taking him away from his newborn daughter (born in Sept a few days before the hurricane hit) and wife. He didn’t have the time off to even come home to see them nor the money to be going back and forth. He even missed Autumn’s first Halloween (not that she noticed – lol).
One day he was sitting at a table by himself for lunch. An elderly man asked if he could sit with him. Of course. They sat there together visiting. Over the course of the lunch the man found out that Justin was away from home and family to do this work. Justin showed him photos of Heather and Autumn. They talked about family, told stories, and laughed. Finally Justin told the man he had to get going back to work and thanked him for the visit. The kind man thanked Justin for all he was doing and all he was sacrificing to help a community that wasn’t even his home and asked Justin if he could buy his lunch for him. How sweet!
After Justin left, the men that he was working with were all around him asking him questions, but the gist of it was Wow! Don’t you know who that was? What did y’all talk about?
Justin called me after work that day and asked me if I knew who B.B. King was. Yes, here is the point that I hang my head in shame. Parent fail. What? My own child doesn’t know who B.B. King is???
Then he told me that he B.B. King bought him lunch that day and told me the story. He never told Justin that he was famous. Just introduced himself and enjoyed lunch with my son.
How cool is that??? What a fabulous, humble, kind man.
And my comment…
WOW – I had to get out a tissue! On stage this is exactly how BB is too! Can I share your story on my blog? I this story really is a testament to who BB really is.
Day 2 in Colorado was a Saturday – we started our day off by heading to Colorado Springs and “Garden of the Gods”. A most accurate name to be sure – it was amazing…..
While at the visitors center I saw the information for the Royal Gorge – so we headed that direction – only to find out that a fire in June had wiped out the park – however the bridge was saved. The park was mostly closed, but they had built an access road that would allow visitors to at least see the bridge – the gnats were just down right awful when we got out (clue number one would’ve been that the park ranger had been sitting in his car with a beekeepers helmet on, the car was not running – it was just how he was escaping these gnats). Hubby told me to “get your picture” and let’s get away from these bugs. So here is the bridge – we will be back when it opens again in the future and we thank all the fire fighters across the US that are fighting horrific fires this year, saving lives, homes and national treasures.
From here we headed back to Canon City for sustenance, we chose Michaels it was a delight then we were off to visit the Abbey and check out the winery!
Now when you are on vacation it is common place to take a different route home than the one you arrived by – I am the co-pilot and I saw a road Hwy 67 aka Phantom Canyon Road would take us right back to Denver. Well this is where the asphalt ends and you are now following the Narrow Gauge Railway that hauled gold down from Cripple Creek and neighboring towns. This road was narrow (duh) and a had the washboard effect at times but all and all a trip well worth the effort. Just in case you are not inclined to make the trip yourself I took a few photos to share (imagine that!)
Say what you will about mining – but we all require it. We ride bikes, we drive cars, we heat our homes….. Yes over the last 200 years we have learned how to do it better, safer, cleaner and that is a good thing.
This blog post is from one of our days in Colorado – I look back and wonder how we survived this trip, we still have Pikes Peak, a great visit with my niece and her leading man, Leadville (where my great-grandfather lived in the 1880’s) and THE CONCERT to cover!
Well we didn’t have enough going on this year (just kidding) so we added another trip. Hubby is a guitar collector and “player” and had mentioned a few months a god that he would love to see BB King while BB is still performing – then Peter Frampton posted on his page that he would be touring with BB this year so we anxiously awaited the schedule and found that Colorado would be the perfect fit. Hubby had 2 free airline tickets from his employer to celebrate his 10 year anniversary and I would be able to visit my niece in Evergreen. So August 16th (a Friday) found us flying our way to Colorado, upon arriving we realized other than the concert on Tuesday and dinner with my niece on Sunday we had no real plans.
Hmmmm what to do…….
We had arrived about 8:30 am so we had all day (we had to get up at 4:30 am for our rendezvous with the plane!). After picking up our Avis car – (I love Avis Preferred!) – I took the little map Avis gives us and start scouting. Vail looked like a great first stop – so we headed west on I-70. Here are a few photos from our first day….
Dinner that evening was a little Cuban Place I found when I googled – “where to eat in Lakewood, CO” We almost didn’t get there because the Iphone GPS did not quite know where it was – however the reviews had said it was a little tiny place in a strip mall so we kept looking and we are so happy we found “Frijoles” Cuban Restaurant. This is the place the locals eat, while there may not be many tables, they stayed full and lots of people were in/out for take-out. The atmosphere was almost like eating in “grandmas kitchen”. I highly recommend you try Frijoles in Lakewood, CO, but you might want to wait a few days as they were expecting the birth of a new grandchild and planned to close for a few days to enjoy the big event!
More from Colorado later – now it is time to QUILT!
I have a great camera but let me tell you, it is not what the camera can do, but what the nut behind it can do – I am not a photographer – but I love to take pictures. My cousin posted some beautiful photos of a dragonfly she captured. They were amazing. I was so enchanted by these photos I decided to stop quilting and take a stroll through the yard to take some pictures. (Notice hers are photos, mine are merely pictures!) I did not have any dragonflies in the yard, but I did find a bee pollinating the lemon blossoms, this is the 2nd or 3rd bloom set this year and I think we already have a couple hundred lemons going. So here is my attempt at sharing some “pictures” with you!