Circuit Rider #9

Almost done with the ninth Circuit Rider block, the Pomegranate:

And harking back to the Smokies visit...

...got these heavenly books about the Great Smokies history, a T-shirt, and a license plate commemorating the 75th anniversary of the park's founding (already on the Fit :-) ):

Look out, Rembrandt seems to have Halloween on her mind!


Letters from Boot Camp

At last I heard from my Marines Boot Camp child. I couldn't write him until he wrote me:

Dear Mom. It's 3am, it's quiet, a slight breeze rustles the tree broughs [all those years of education]. Suddenly, flood lights flare on, the sheets are ripped off your warm bed, and a 300-lb. guy is two inches away screaming out his lungs and spitting all over your face...

...I spend all day screaming nonsense, running in circles, and marching in a big square for 15 hours a day...

...we were issued our service rifles and I got punished for smiling too much when they gave it to me...

...things are improving, but too slowly for some. We've lost four kids so far. Two said they were suicidal and two said they were hearing voices in their heads...

...I love you, Mom. Write....

...P.S....In case you are wondering what religion I am now, I am a Catholic because you get a cookie if you go to the Catholic church...

I had about forty minutes before the last mail pick-up, so I answered:

Hi, Timmy! ...

I knew you would get into trouble for smiling too much at some point. Naturally it would be about a weapon...

...I don’t want you to be a Catholic, but I can understand about the cookie. Tell them you forgot, you are actually Amish, you might get a whole meal...

...The fish is sitting on the picnic table. I don’t know what to do with it. I am afraid of it...

...R. has been asking if I’ve heard from you. Naturally as you can imagine [former Marine], he thinks it is just the coolest thing ever that you enlisted in the Marines. Last night, D. stopped by. He wondered if I had heard from you. Since I hadn’t, he listened to me worrying and shrieking for awhile. I’ll go by and let him know I heard from you and that you are still alive...

...I love you, honey, and miss you so much. Things will never be the same now.
Love, Mom

Dear Reader, I ran into the grocery with the idea of putting a stick of gum into Timmy's letter. All the gum seemed to be fat little pillows. Don't they make flat gum any more? I am so old.


Circuit Rider 7 and 8

This gorgeous fabric from Wiscasset might do well for the big urns in A Perfect Garden:

Another block made for the Circuit Rider:

And am working on the bottom center block:

After that, it is on to the Pomegranate Block.


People of the Plains Quilt: have you made this one?

Has anybody made......this.....quilt??

And....does anybody know what the urn and sashing fabrics are??


Row F Finito

Made the four remaining blocks for Row F, DJ don'cha know, and assembled:

Can't talk about this one, we struggled and struggled and the block won:



This is Timmy's first day of Marines boot camp at Parris Island. He's been thinking about this for so many years. Good Luck, Timmy! I don't even want to know about that "impounded" truck you mentioned on the phone an hour before the recruiter picked you up :-)

Out of fear that I did not have enough projects, I began Wanda Hizer's famed Les Fleurs du Jardin class last Sunday. This is the first section, sans flowers:


Gotta Have the Shoes

omg just had to order these shoes with my Berks County 1850 portrait pattern splashed all over them!

and with my business card on the side doors yukyuk.

Also had to get a pair with one of my painted primitive portraits:

with a detail from my 1840s Baskets on the heel:

Finished Marcie's Christmas Punch freebie pattern:


More of the Hike

Upon reaching the top...

a worker led us past these cabins to our cabin

which turned out to be the furthest away from the dining room and the bathrooms

I was looking forward to the sponge bath using the bucket and the wonderfully hot water from the tap

when the young lady told us that there has been bear activity. Close. In that particular isolated cabin, in fact. Another employee had been cleaning our cabin and when she walked away from it, the bear hurried in and began to pull the sheets off the bed. The bear had also broken through another cabin's window and had walked around that cabin for awhile. If we saw a bear, we should throw rocks at it and raise our arms to look tall. Didn't sound like enough.

Well, at least we had a pretty view as we waited for darkness to fall...

During the night...

lower bunk: "Where do you think the bear is?"
upper bunk: "...circling..."

But we made it to dawn in one piece

and were even able to enjoy walking through the Mountain Farm back at the Cherokee entrance later, where the ranger gave us some stalks of sorghum to taste as we walked off. It tastes great right off the stalk.

Good-bye, Smokies! Oh, we saw this guy's wife further up the trail and we were supposed to tell him he "could make it" (to the Fat Man's Squeeze). He seemed uninterested. Notice how he is facing away from the advancing trail :-).


Return to Mt. le Conte

Off to the mountains for some hiking!

Timmy and I thought it would be nice to hike Mt. le Conte one more time before he goes off to basic training, although Timmy seriously doubted that I could make it this time. I wasn't afraid. I made sure to bring my diet coke and a bag of doughnuts and I was ready for anything. Yes, I am a professional hiker:

This is the one in the Smokies where you stay overnight at the top in a cabin and where llamas bring up all the supplies throughout the season. The llamas take a different route (probably an easier one) from the Alum Cave Bluffs trail, so we have never seen them. There is not even a service road to this peak, which is one vertical mile above Gatlinburg and has the tallest "face", or distance from base to summit, of any mountain east of the Mississippi. It is one rugged trail, although it always looks to me at dinner as though nobody had any trouble getting up there except me. Maybe they eat something besides doughnuts and candy orange slices and get more exercise than making quilts.

People usually make their reservations for this trip a year in advance, but we have gotten in all three times via last-minute cancellations, including this one, so it was a spur of the moment trip and an unexpected and gloriously hailed two days off from the day job.

This is a varied trail. It has heath balds:

Alum Cave Bluffs (from which soldiers harvested saltpetre for gunpowder during the Civil War):

a sort of Fat Man's Squeeze:

Beautiful water...

Interesting close-up things:

and interesting far-off things:

Oops late for work; will finish next time.