Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happenings this week

Well, Norm’s been working hard (and I’ve been helping – some) to get the sheep pen ready for winter and to enlarge the winter pasture. He got the inside hay feeder done so that we can feed hay when it’s raining or snowing and can lock the sheep in if we chose. I, personally, would like to lock them up at night this winter, since we DO have coyotes close by.


I offered to rent a llama from our llama friend, Bill, to protect our sheep, but Norm felt that we didn’t need to do that, so he’d better help me train them to come in at night!

Jody came over yesterday to start preparing her warp for the loom. She has chosen Peaches and Crème burgundy and cream for her warp. We had one hundred fifty ends and made it eight yards long. She is going to make table runners as her first project. She has ordered cones of Peaches and Crème from the
online store; I got a few more cones, myself, in colors that I was out of.

This website is wonderful. You CAN get your Peaches and Crème in balls from Wal-Mart (in the colors THEY select) or Sugar and Cream from Michael’s or Pamida. But if you want to chose the colors YOU want or have larger amounts (weaving demands large amounts), it’s better to get it from the website. You must remember, though – shipping is spendy, but it’s close to the same amount if you order one cone or fifteen. So I always order a large amount. Jody and I (and her sister-in-law) ordered a total of thirteen, so it makes the cones eight dollars apiece.

Any-hoo, Jody started warping with the warping mill, got the project done, chocked and chained yesterday afternoon. She took it home and we will start dressing the loom as soon as she has time. My goal is to have her weaving before we leave on Wednesday for Seattle. Hope we make it!



I love the Westbrook clinic and hospital! It’s so small but very good and offers so many services that you would think you would only get in a larger hospital. The receptionist, Wendy, knows me by sight and name and has my chart pulled before I get to the desk. This morning she knew I was there for a mammogram so she said “Hi, Connie. Mammogram?” And told me to go directly to the lab area for the test.

When there, a nurse came by and said “Connie? You are a lucky winner!” Seems the nurses got together and bought some prizes, then had a drawing of all those coming in for tests today. So besides the normal pink carnation that we get when we survive the squishing, I got to bring home my choice of gifts .. a lovely bag that will make a nice knitting bag for the trip to Seattle! Thank you, girls!!! That was so nice and so generous. Makes going a little bit easier, knowing how much you care!


The gal that did the test talked about my necklace (with a rose quartz butterfly) an asked “Why butterfly?” I told her it reminded me of Cara. She lost her only sister last year and butterflies remind her of the sister, like they do remind me of Cara. This gal also lost her nephew before her sister died, and saw a cardinal the day of his funeral, which was a special bird to him.

So we agreed – when we see the butterflies and she sees a cardinal, it means our loved ones are sending messages of love and hope to us.

Today it is already in the low sixties – breezy but sunny. It will be a beautiful day – you have a beautiful day!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A new project

Well, Jody got her loom this past week - I went over yesterday to help put it up, as she had no idea what to put where! It's a twenty-eight inch LeClerc and very solid. We had to have Norm come over because we were having difficulties with some of the screws and actually needed six hands to hold and screw and stuff like that.

Now it is set up (sitting on two TV trays); Jody is going to get a table from the garage that should fit for now and move it downstairs in the warmer area of the house (they heat by wood, so the basement is the warmest). Eventually Don or Norm will build her a stand, like I have for my two table looms, for her loom.


Today or tomorrow she will come over to get some of my yarn for her first project. I think she will borrow my 15" reed, as she is going to use Peaches and Creme' for a warp and her reed is a 12 dent, which is a little too fine for that fat yarn. So that will be teaching day number one - how to use the warping mill to get her first warp!

While there, I saw her pumpkins on the TV - decorated as "Veggie Tales" characters.


It will be a windy, nasty day today, they say. But it will be a beautiful day, none-the-less. You have a beautiful day!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Okay, now that Jody has her gifts, I can show you what I got while shopping at the antique store on the way home. I got a thimble, as I collect them, and also got salt cellars for Jody and found a cool salt cellar for me.

Today Jody is over and we are testing out our toy - a wool picker! We are trying my best Merino wool from when I lived at Murphy's Landing to see how it goes. I will take pictures and show you when we actually get it up and running.

We have gotten over three inches of rain this week but today it's almost fifty, there is a little bit of sun and very little wind. It's a beautiful day - you have a beautiful day.




Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How cool is this?

Norm and I have been talking about – and promising – that we would go out to see Jill and Eric in Seattle, hopefully this fall. Well, it didn’t seem possible – it would probably be bad weather, take so long to drive and take too much money. Well, I was feeling badly about letting Jill down until Norm said …….

“Let’s take the Amtrak!”

Cool idea – but could we do it? The closest station is about five hours away and the cost is pretty bad.

However, I promised Norm that I would look into it. And it is working! Yes, boys and girls, we are going to Seattle by Amtrak two days after election. Either as a celebration or a mourning period, depending on how the election goes, but we are going!

The trip is “only” thirty-two hours so we figured we could survive with the coach chairs rather than the roomettes that are offered. That makes it more affordable.

So my question is now … do I have enough batteries for the camera? Guess I’d better start packing them.

Jill wants me to bring some of my classical music for her to listen to. She and I may not have fiber in common like Joy and I do, but we have a lot of other things … music, theater, movies, and books among other things.

Now, when I called to tell Jill and Eric that the tickets were purchased, they asked where I wanted to go for sightseeing. Eric mentioned the Norwegian place is only about fifteen minutes from the train station, so we will go visit that as our last place before we head home. As far as other places, well, mountains … I would like to get close to one – don’t know if I could CLIMB very far (what am I saying? “don’t know?” I KNOW I couldn’t!), but I would like to get close!

Now, the only thing that is sad about this trip is Peanut – she will have to stay home. I can’t convince anyone that she is a seeing-eye dog! They and other service dogs are the only pets allowed on the train. And she certainly couldn’t be my cane to hold me up because of my bad knee. Sigh!

I asked Wayne if he would be willing to care for Peanut while we were gone and he said he would if I answered his question correctly. I failed, but he took pity and agreed, anyway. The question was: would a mermaid eat a tuna fish sandwich? I said, “No, it might be her uncle,” but Wayne said, “Yes, if she were hungry enough.”

I promise I will take a bunch of pictures and probably put them on as a slide show so you won’t be swamped with too many pictures on one page. And will keep a journal – I AM taking the computer but won’t have service until I get to Seattle.

It was a rainy, chilly day today, but beautiful all the same. You have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Charles and his flute

My brother, Charles, is very active in the Boy Scouts of America. His best friend is an Indian Medicine Man and has introduced him to many fine Native American traditions. Now Charles has an Indian flute and is learning how to play. This weekend he entertained us with his playing.


Monday, October 20, 2008

And now Sunday

Okay, we got home last night about sundown after a long but pleasant day! Charles and CJ left very early in the morning, as they had further to go than we did. We had breakfast at Denny’s and headed up north. I had wanted to stop at an antique store, as I had a special gift in mind for Jody, who was doing our chores, as always.

We stopped to have lunch at a Taco John’s, one of Norm’s favorite restaurants, then stopped at a very nice antique shop. I said (in my head) that I wanted this special something (can’t say – she hasn’t collected it, yet), and walked right to the booth that had that special something! I know you will like it, Jody – I do and we have very similar tastes. I also found something cool for me, but can’t show that yet, either, as it is too much like Jody’s and I don’t want to spoil her surprise!

After the antique shop (way too much time spent and not enough money, as I found a grandfather clock I wanted but couldn’t afford), we went to a Lewis and Clark display on the Missouri River, just inside Nebraska.

Another “way too much time spent” and we were on our way home. When we got to Sioux City, we needed to take our short cut home but Norm forgot to mention the road number and I didn’t pay attention until after we passed it. All of a sudden, we were in South Dakota, heading to Sioux Falls! So we spent ANOTHER “way too much time spent” looking for a road east into Iowa and our road home.

But finally, finally, we were home! We had a beautiful trip, even though it was longer than expected, after a beautiful weekend. It was another beautiful day today. I don’t know how long this gorgeous weather will last, but you have a beautiful day tomorrow!

My brother Charles entertained us with his Indian flute he got this summer







Sunday, October 19, 2008

Okay, on to Saturday!

We had breakfast at the Cracker Barrel and I did NOT buy any of the cool stuff that is offered there (but maybe we can go BACK someday?).

Then we went to the Patee House. This hotel was built in 1858 and was the Pony Express headquarters. Also, when Jesse James was killed, his family stayed at the hotel for a few days while trying to figure out what to do and where to go. It’s a lovely museum, with ramps and wide enough “walk-ways” so that I could take the pony in.

Right next to the Patee House (well, actually right behind) was the house that Jesse James was killed in. They moved it from the site a few miles away and set it up for a museum. Jesse James was (and is) considered a folk hero but he killed about seventeen people as well as robbed banks and trains, so to most he is just a criminal that deserved to be killed, even if it was a friend that was staying at his home.

My mother and father have a friend that is a direct descendant of both Jesse and brother Frank. Her parents or grandparents were cousins, one from each side of the family. To her, Jesse and Frank were heroes and an American Robin Hood.

I did not get any pictures from the Jesse James house - my batteries died; I am hoping that Charles got some good ones and will send them to me.

After that (where Peanut had to stay in the car), we went down to the Pony Express museum. It was only a few blocks, so nephew CJ and I walked (he walked, I rode the pony and Peanut rode with me while Norm and Charles drove the cars over. Then Peanut went back to the van while we went into the museum. It was a wonderful museum of a great time in history. Did you know that the Pony Express lasted only about eighteen months? The first run was begun on April 3, 1860 at St. Joseph and took only ten days, seven hours, and forty-five minutes to reach Sacramento, California. The last run finished on October 26, 1861. One of the biggest reasons for the shortness of the Pony Express runs was the telegraph. You could get news in minutes rather than days. Another company got the mail contract and sent mail over stage rather than by pony.

We had a late lunch and then headed back to the motel for a rest. Norm wanted to see the Stetson Hat factory outlet store, but it closed before we found it.

For supper, we went to a lovely small restaurant that seemed to be very popular. The food was excellent!

CJ worked on my computer (it always needs SOMETHING done to it) and we visited some more. We then said goodbye to Charles and CJ, who were leaving early in the morning to head back to Oklahoma.

Sunday (yesterday) was also a busy day, but I’ll write about that tomorrow. It was a beautiful weekend. Today was a beautiful day – you have a beautiful day.

Pictures from the Patee House



This is a picture that is set in, deep, with a lovely frame around it


Jody, these are salt cellars

Photobucket A fancy salt cellar and spoons

Photobucket I WANT one!



At the Pony Express Museum
Photobucket Ready for the first ride

Photobucket The museum is housed in the original stables

Photobucket Legal stamp


Looking at the routes
Riding a pony!
The original well, dug inside the stables, was unearthed and cleaned out - is working (but non-drinkable)
Lovely bronzes all over!
Side of the stables

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The beginning of another fun weekend

Friday Norm and Peanut and I loaded up the car and headed south to St. Joseph, Missouri to meet my brother and my nephew for a sightseeing, visiting weekend.

St. Joe is about half way between us and brother Charles, who lives in Oklahoma. He had been there before on a tour guide trip, so he had a lot of information about the area and a lot of visiting under his belt.

On our way, we stopped at Missouri Valley, in Iowa, where the Bertrand was discovered. The Bertrand was a paddle-wheeler steamship on the Missouri River that was going to Fort Benton, Montana with supplies. It had about two hundred and fifty tons of cargo, as well as passengers when it hit a snag and sank in about ten minutes. Luckily, no lives were lost but personal items were lost as well as the cargo.

In the nineteen-seventies, it was discovered and dug up. A lot of the paper, material and other items were destroyed, but the rest of the cargo had been protected by the mud and were able to be recovered. After tedious cleaning, the cargo was put into a museum to show. The items are under a very dim light, in air tight, air-controlled areas. We were allowed to see some of the items behind glass but the rest are stored on shelves in the back.

Several years ago, my friend and boss, Deanna, went to a convention and came back a different way so that we could see the Bertrand, but Norm had never seen it.

The pictures I took are not the best, as I was taking them in the dim light and through glass. Most of the identifying cards are blurry because they look double behind that glass.

However, you can see some of the many items (I won’t bore you with all of them). For historians, especially “living historians,” these items are priceless, as we can prove that people had and used them “back then.”

We are constantly getting questions and even arguments about “they never had that back then! I remember one argument (well, discussion) about claw hammers (which, by the way were used, as an early version, in Rome, during her famous days).

So, here are some pictures of some of the items we saw. Deanna, some of these pictures are better than then ones I took when we were there, as my camera is better. But that little motel is still there, as well as the good restaurant across the road from the motel. I showed Norm the motel and we ate lunch at the restaurant. The food is still good!

After we got to St. Joe, we met Charles and nephew Charles Joseph (CJ) at the motel, unloaded things, had CJ check my Internet (he’s a computer “geek” – unlike me, Jody!) and went to Red Lobster for supper. I have no Internet because I have to pay for it here at the motel. I think I’ll get service tonight so that I can post this.

This morning (Saturday), we will go to see the Jesse James home and the Pony Express Museum. I am fortunate that Charles likes history so that we can go to these wonderful museums and get a lot more history under our heads.

It will be a beautiful day today – warmer than at home. You have have a beautiful day.


Yes (sigh), they DID have claw hammers "back then!"

The entrance
The Bertrand
Photobucket Grasses growing by the side of the road

Photobucket Closeup of grasses

Photobucket Two-gallon jars of liquor

Butter Churns
Rubber buttons


Liquors and brandied cherries - look at the shelves behind.

Padlocks and keys
Yes, they DID have pocket knives!!! Norm has one almost exactly like these!
See the shelves behind with all that yummy stuff?
A spot on the river, close to where the Bertrand was discovered
The bluffs along the river near Council Bluffs, Iowa
The experience traveler sleeping on the trip (and the pony got to go along, as well).