Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Ice cream and circles

 I like ice cream.  I love ice cream. I have a friend who says she only eats it in the summer. What??!!??  

We had a meeting last weekend and  wanted to make it special for the people attending so who do you call?  

The ice cream man!  When this truck pulled up the elders in our group all ran to have their photos taken with John and his truck and told stories of how they stole chips of ice from the milk trucks when they were kids.  We all had milkman stories. 
Our ice cream man didn't drive a milk truck for a living, he is a retired teacher who  fixed up an old truck and now makes ice cream. Occasionally he will make a batch of vanilla and attend your  party.  He's fussy about who he does this for because he is retired, after all, and  only wants to do this for fun but we were the library and the library always gets respect, doesn't it?  And ice cream.
John brought everything we would need, chocolate, caramel, strawberries, sprinkles, cups, spoons and even maple syrup.  I've never had maple syrup on my ice cream before but I will now!  I'm imagining it lightly drizzled over buttered pecan.

                      All we had to do was line up!  This sure beat a platter of cheese and crackers! 

Why do we seem to save our favorite and special fabrics because we don't want to use them?  I'm working to get past that. I've said before that when I die my kids would rather have the quilt that a pile of fabric. So.  Friend  Barb  and I are working on a quilt of circles using Liberty of London fabrics.  I  already cut for a flying geese quilt so I had  pieces that  would  fit  3 inch circles.  We both purchased some fat 16ths for variety and started cutting.

I chose neutrals with a bit of a pattern but not much.  I  added in some creams with the greys because some of my Liberty will read white. 

  Over  300 circles. Liberty Tana Lawn is so fine this pile doesn't look like over  300 but it is.  I took Barb's advice and purchased a thread that will disappear in the turn under but it's like sewing with angel hair and I'm having a bit of a time getting used to that.  After this normal thread will feel like  stitching with  yarn.

I have a few done, not many, but it is mindless sewing so good for TV watching.  Barb works faster than I do so we agreed this is no race.  

Speaking of race, the churn dash quilt is pinned and waiting for my mojo to kick in. I let it sit for awhile before deciding to  do big stitch quilting on it.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Busy weekend

 Well, Friday night was a bit of a first for the Lowell Museum's fundraiser.  It was held on the showboat instead of the museum's ground.  The Showboat is such a beautiful venue and it was a treat to be there for a party instead of just a walk through. 

Friends Marge and Harry were with us as they have been since we've moved here.  It's a tradition for them as well as us.
From the third deck the view is so peaceful.  Those islands in the river, I've learned recently, are the by product of the lumber mill that was on the shore where our library is now.  When the lumber had been milled the resulting sawdust was dumped in the river and gradually over time the islands were formed.

Our crew. Each of the restaurants that donates food to the event needs someone to manage the tables and our girls have been tapped as more than capable.

The Easy Idle String Band is a staple at this event.  We love them!!
As you walk in the door you get a glass that you fill over and over and over (depending on how many  'overs' you can handle) with beer and wine throughout the evening.

The food was over the top as usual.  The restaurants who participate donate their foods for the evening.  We had  the mini sandwiches from Miss Pea's,  three kinds of quesadillas from the new restaurant in town, a  favorite beer dip and chips from another, fruits and pastries from another, pizzas, and wonderful cheese platters.  If you left hungry it was your own fault.

Saturday Friend Laurie and I made our annual trek to FiberFest.  If you knit, weave, spin, felt, it's the place to be on this weekend.  I was astonished when I got home and saw how few photos I took this year!  Chooky, you probably want to stop reading at this point since this is old hat for you.

                        Talk about tactile!  I just love to run my fingers through everything I see. 
There were shearing demonstrations.  This was the first of the lot.
After her hair cut she was put back with the others and they all crowded around her like they were protecting her, or checking out her new do or just offering  support. 

There was much to see, much to touch, much to smell, and all of it interesting.  I bought a hank of yarn to work on the sweater I've been  working on for over a year while driving on our long road trip in a few weeks.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Beach or Lake?

 After my last post I got some questions about what we consider a lake or a beach.  You can't see across the Great Lakes.  Lake Michigan is approximately 120 miles across so no, you can't see across.  Along the eastern coast of the lake, in West Michigan, the sand is like sugar.  Fine, smooth,  it makes for beautiful beaches.  Along the thumb of Michigan's mitten, along the west coast of Lake Huron (there are five Great Lakes - Michigan, Huron, Superior, Erie and Ontario)  the coastline is stony, good beaches are hard to find.  This makes West Michigan a vacation destination in the first degree attracting people from  all over Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and much further. Up north along the little finger of  Michigan's mitten there are quite a few celebrity sightings.  Mel Gibson parks his boat there.  We are so very lucky to live here we sort of take it for granted.  Sort of.

We usually say we are going to the  beach.  There are so many inland lakes in Michigan someone would surely ask "which lake?" if you said you were going to the lake. But there is only one beach.

 PH and I decided yesterday to go to the state park I grew up going to.  We packed our chairs, hats, a small cooler of drinks and  headed off.

We stopped for lunch at the place we've been going to since the kids were little. It's almost like we can't come to Grand Haven without eating here.

One of the covid concessions many restaurants made was to close off streets to traffic and provide outdoor seating with space. Grand Haven closed off a whole block.   I am pretty strict about choosing to eat outdoors in the summer because we have so little time to do it. Michigan is definitely a state with all four seasons.

When you go to our state parks it's just a part of the day to walk the piers. Just about everyone does it. It's good people watching.  Lots of thongs.

 There were quite a few people fishing yesterday, too.  Like I said, you can't see across the lake.

The water was cold yesterday, too cold for PH to go in for a swim and he's not a beach sitter so as usually happens when we go to Grand Haven, after we've walked the pier we left.  We laughed because it just happens this way at this beach.  We plan for it, pack for it but don't sit the  beach.  Instead he has to listen to me tell stories about when I was a kid and every single summer Sunday of my life was spent here with my  family and aunt and uncle and cousins.  

In those days we would arrive on Sunday by 9:30 a.m., set our  coolers filled with our burgers and hot dogs on a picnic table under a tree and head across the parking lot to the beach.  We'd  play in the water, walk the shore to the pier, nap and build things in the sand while the adults played cribbage. At 5 p.m. we'd walk back to our picnic table in a median in the parking lot and,  those were the days, our coolers would still be there waiting, not pillaged, and we'd grill.  The adults would play cards for awhile longer and by 8 we'd leave for home.  Every.   Single.   Sunday.   I don't think it ever rained on a Sunday in the summer when I was a kid.

We've had a stretch of beautiful humid free weather and it's very hard for me to be inside so not much quilting has been happening.  I did cut for a  baby quilt and after this was taken it's sewn together but not bordered.  It's supposed to rain Sunday so probably then.  Oh, and the churn dash quilt is  basted and waiting to be quilted.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Beaches and Sunflowers

 Last Friday   PH and I went to the beach.  This was a  particular state park new to me and I think it's my new favorite.  Our state parks are tributes  to Michigan and the lake.  Our Great lakes outline  Michigan and define it in so many ways. You can easily find Michigan on a map of the U.S. because there it is, surrounded by big water.  You can't see across. The lakes are, in my mine, inland seas. Fresh water, no sharks, clean,  they are our pride.

We walked the pier and this was a long pier walk. It was a very hot day Friday and we felt every bit of the 95 degrees.  I show this photo  because it turned out PH was the  hit of the day on the beach, on the pier, in the parking lot, well - everywhere.  Do you see what's on his shirt?  It says, "Yes, Dear."  I had this shirt made for him many, many years ago.  I told him it was the correct response to everything.  But never has he gotten so many comments on it.  Old people sitting on the beach - husbands and wives, young girls in bikinis, men in the bar  where we stopped for lunch, young husbands, young wives, everywhere we went people passed him and commented on his shirt.  He said he felt like he was a chick magnet.
Just like our fruits and veggies, everything has its season.  While we are now eating corn on the cob and peaches August is also sunflowers.  Aren't these great?  A friend  brought them to me when  they came for dinner the other day.  She can always be counted on to bring a bouquet of sunflowers! I keep cutting the stems down as they start to droop so we can enjoy them as long as possible because the next season is chrysanthemums and apples/pears/pumpkins.