Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

This was a beautiful weather week.  Temps were in the mid 60’s and Bill and I were able to ride our bikes and sit in the sun.  It always feels soooo good.  On Sunday we rode 14 miles from Bill’s house to the Dunkin Donuts in No. Berwick.  We checked out a craft shop but didn’t find anything we really needed to take home with us.  From there we rode back on Rt. 4 to Bill’s house.  It was a spectacular day and we felt blessed to be outside in October feeling the warmth of the sun.  Not only that, we are blessed to be healthy enough to exercise on a semi-regular basis (as time allows).  We spent another day with Bill picking up leaves with the tractor and I cleaned up the gardens.

On the down side, my best friend, Su has spent the week in the hospital after surgery.  She is doing well but isn’t expected to return home for another couple of days.  She has suffered serious illness for the past several years and this is another bump in the road.  I am considerably blessed with good health, even though I’m approaching 60 (yikes) which is the opposite of Su.  I am always supportive and attempt to help her fend off the overwhelming depression that accompanies another health problem.  I am also blessed to have Su as my best friend.  She is such a wonderful person and I consider her my soulmate.  It is difficult to understand why she is faced with illness over and over again.  I pray that this time the final news is positive and she can look forward to some good years ahead.

On the quilting front, not much time to sew; however, I have been doing some background stitching on the butterfly picture.  I am using a technique from Diane Guadynski which she has termed Diane-shiko.  It isn’t difficult but time consuming.  After 5-6 hours I have completed maybe 1/4 of the background.  ti doesn’t really matter, this wallhanging was for Greg and Vanessa last Christmas.  As they say…better late than never.

I also did a some border quilting on the red oriental flower wallhanging.  I stitched a flower in variegated black and white thread.  I still can’t get the hang of doing it without a pattern so I have traced the flower on tracing paper and use that to follow.  The down side is taking all of the paper off when I’m done.

Two other good things happened this week, I listed my condo for sale and Bill and I finished my sewing room at his house.  We painted the ceiling and I chose a very light blue for the walls.  Bill pulled up the carpet and put down a laminate wood floor.  It looks so nice, clean and bright.  I still need to decide on curtains and blinds but I bought a new 6′ sewing table and it is set up in front of the window.  We moved a small bookshelf from my house.  It is holding fabric right now but will eventually hold children’s books and toys for the grandkids.


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Have you ever traveled to a location that holds a special place in your heart? A place where you could return over and over? A place that feels like “coming home”? For Bill and me, one of those places is Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. The energy is good; it feeds our spirit.

Bill and I drove up on Monday and spent the next two days hiking one of our favorite areas. The weather was spectacular for a change. The sky was clear and the temps were in the 70’s for both of our hikes. We stayed at a new place, Llangolan Inn and Cottages on Route 3. Our cottage was small but clean and had everything we needed to fix breakfast.

We didn’t arrive until late afternoon so didn’t do any hiking. We took a drive through the park, picked up our annual pass which was $40, drove into town for dinner at a small place called The Portside Grill off the Main Street. When we returned to our cottage, Number 7, we watched the Home Run Derby part of the All-Star Game and went to bed.

On Tuesday Bill chose the Bear Brook Trail up Champlain Mtn. for our hike. We had done the same hike about 5 years ago. The name has been changed to Champlain Mtn. North Ridge Trail. It is not a difficult hike but quite steep about 2/3 of the way up. At one point we looked up and couldn’t believe we were going that much higher.

The trip up took us about 2 hours; however, we stopped a few times to catch our breath and wipe our brows. We had lunch on the summit, overlooking the ocean. I think that is what makes Acadia so spectacular; it’s the ocean views. There are any number of parks that have wonderful views but the addition of the ocean makes it all the better.

The hike down took us about 20 minutes less and we were able to make the trip to Jordan Pond House for their delightful popovers and a beverage. Generally, we are in Bar Harbor in September so our beverage has always been hot tea. However, it was a warm day so I had an iced tea and Bill tried the raspberry lemonade. We like to take our snack outside on the lawn with Jordan Pond and the Bubbles in the background.

It was still fairly early in the day but without enough time to do another hike we drove to Thuya Gardens in Northeast Harbor, a short trip by car. These are stunning perennial gardens that sit high up on a hill. They incorporate a reflection pool and two covered meditation areas. Although we had visited once before, we were too early and there wasn’t much to see. This time, however, they were in full bloom!

From there we went back into town, ordered a pizza, took it back to our cottage, sat outside and ate. We drove to the end of Hadley Point Road where we discovered a small beach area. We sat peacefully in the carand watched the beautiful sunset.

The next day dawned beautiful and clear once again. YEAH!! I didn’t want to get home too late in the day as I had to be up early the next day for work. After taking that into consideration, Bill again chose the day’s hike. We traveled along the Eagle Lake Trail, which was a new one for us. It was fairly level but we did discover once we reached the end that it was mostly uphill. The trail took us around the lake and the base of Connor’s Nubble. We had climbed the Nubble a couple of years ago when we had our bikes and we didn’t really have the time to hike the extra .8 mile so we had our lunch on the carriage trail and returned the way we had come. We took the time to have more popovers at the JPH before our drive home justifying this treat as our dinner.

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Wow, I’m surprised it’s been such a long time since I posted anything here. What have I been doing instead? Good question, just living life I guess.

I’ve been working in the garden, pulling weeds and grass, transplanting some stuff from Bill’s garden that was taking over. I put it on the small hill behind the driveway and don’t really care if it takes over there. That probably means that it won’t, of course.

I heard a House Wren the other day. I remember them from the years I lived in Shapleigh. They are such cute, energetic little birds. I think I need to find (or build) a wren house. Also saw a Baltimore Oriole on the tree next to the street.

I’ve been making a conscious effort to walk more outside when I have the time and the weather is good. I would rather be outside than on a treadmill at the gym but I’ll stop there after work. The weather last week was very nice…sunny, in the 70’s, a little breeze. Bill and I made our first trip to the beach one evening after work. We walked from the Moody Beach parking lot to Ogunquit Beach where we were very bad and had a wonderful ice cream cone. It usually takes us about 30 minutes to walk briskly one way and a little longer to return as we just stroll along on the way back.

Bill and I took a trip to Knight’s Quilt Shop last week. I was looking for a pattern for a super cute wallhanging that I want to make for Ella’s room. I didn’t find it there but Bill found more oriental fabric and ordered another pattern. I will never get all of his wish list made but I will plug along, fitting one in every now and then so he doesn’t think I’m ignoring him.

Since my last post I received the 30’s fabric noodles from the swap on MQResource.

I found a pattern for these fabrics while shopping at Knight’s. This makes 4 or 5 patterns for which I have the fabric organized and ready to cut. I don’t know how I think I will possibly ever get it all done considering the small amount of time I actually sew. I’m still working on cutting all the 1 3/4″ strips for the blooming 9-patch; very time consuming and it hurts my back if I cut too long at one time.

I stopped at Kathie’s Quilt Shoppe and picked up the Peek-a-Boo pattern I wanted and a couple of sale fabrics to use as backing for my penny rug projects.

I have finished the small 30’s wallhanging I have been working on,”Circling Pinwheels”. I used the blue pen to mark the circles which were quite easy to quilt. Unfortunately, when I wet the fabric to erase the blue marks, the red fabric ran. Bummer!! I was able to wash it several times with Synthropol and it appears to be fine. It was a fun little piece to make and I’m actually happy with the final outcome.

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Today we had an opportunity to go for a bike ride for the first time this year. The sky was partly cloudy and the temp was near 70*. We are usually out a couple of times in April or May. We always try to ride from Ogunquit to York before the traffic gets crazy but this year it never warmed up. So, today was the day. We rode for about three hours stopping for lunch at Richards and then again at Gray Farms to look at all the wonderful flowers and plants. Bill had attached new odometers which read 10.9 miles but he thought that was about a mile too high, so we rounded it off at 10 miles; not a bad first trip.

I told myself earlier this spring that I was not going to spend as much money on plants as I have the past couple of years. I have done pretty good but there are a couple of bare spots in the shade garden that need a little something. I picked up another astilbe and a Jacob’s Ladder.

There is a chickadee nesting in the gourd house that Bill hung in the tree by the front window. Today we saw what we think was a Great Crested Flycatcher.

I used up a lot of calories today, starting with the gym right after work. After the bike ride I did some of the Wii fit program, then went to yoga. I was asleep on the couch by 9:30 and once I got into bed I slept like a rock the entire night.

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I didn’t get any sewing done today, again, but I was productive. I returned home around noon after running errands in town. I had done some additional flower shopping earlier in the week and managed to get everything planted today. I planted the clematis earlier in the week and placed the new trellis Bill gave me around it. Today I put the marigolds into the window boxes, front garden and planter pot. I added allysum to the front garden and planter pot.

I raked and swept the back porch area and garden. The trees on the hill behind the condo drop all sorts of annoying debris. Once the gardening was complete I watered everything in, changed my clothes and went for a very nice walk.

When I returned I took photos of the flowers that are blooming in the side garden. The bleeding heart is outstanding this year.

the columbine which is actually a light purple, not blue as in this photo

and the rhododendron

After dinner I started cutting the 1 3/4″ pieces for the blooming 9-patch. The cutting is going to take quite a while and will have to be done in short periods of time as it hurts my back.

Tomorrow Wendy and I are taking a trip to visit baby Ella. Yeah!

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We have been planning this trip since late last fall. Once we realized that we had a time share to use prior to year’s end and wouldn’t be able to do so, we paid a little extra and booked this trip. I’m working tonight and get off at 7 AM; we plan to leave as early as possible in the morning, hopefully by 9. I’ll report on how well that works out; we don’t move as efficiently as we always think we will.

This was a busy day. I dutifully did my 30 minutes at the gym this morning right after work. I went to “coffee club” in Springvale and visited for a little while. Ran home, showered and changed, then out again for some quick errands. I spent the rest of the day packing everything I will need for 6 weeks in Williamsburg. Oh yeah, we are only going for a week. I just can’t seem to pack “small”. I always try to pack only the necessities but always have more than I need. Most of the problem is climate…I need shorts, sleeveless tops and sandals, then I need long pants, t-shirts or blouses, shoes and socks. I need a light jacket, windbreaker and raincoat for the days that we are caught in drenching rain (don’t plan on that happening this trip). On top of all that I need the hair products, styling tools, makeup, etc.

I packed in my small carry-on suitcase. I am extremely impressed that it didn’t explode and spew clothes over the entire bedroom once I got the darn thing zipped. I also packed my large duffle bag with the items I need for the two nights we are stopping in Lancaster, PA. Lancaster is a little out of the way but we love the area and especially the fabrics and Amish crafts. We find that fabric is consistently priced 1/3 to 1/2 less than in our area. A couple of our favorite shops are Zooks and The Old Country Store.

I’m looking for 30’s fabrics in order to participate in the exchange on MQResource. Bee fabric and some Funky Monkey fabric is on my list as I want to make quilts for each of the kids. I’ll be looking for some notions as well. I’m sincerely planning on using some willpower when it comes to fabric. I don’t really need anything as I have more than I can store already. I have been to the Lancaster area several times on bus trips but have never seen Williamsburg.

We have purchased an annual pass for Williamsburg as it includes some evening programs that we would have had to pay extra for with the purchase of a three day pass. We don’t have any specific plans. We are a “fly by the seat of our pants” kind of couple doing whatever seems right at the time.

I talked with Vanessa earlier and things remain status quo. Her Dr. appt. yesterday went well with no changes: continued bed rest. They have a fairly good support system including friends from church. They are bringing some meals, visiting and playing games. That makes the time go faster for Vanessa and takes some of the weight off Greg’s shoulders although he still has plenty to do. They both seem to be in good spirits and tomorrow is week 32. Yeah!

I’m looking forward to working on the “Oriental Flower” when I return. There are several ideas for the background running through my head and Tracye on MQResource has given me some instruction on a diamond background that she used on her “Hell Bent for Leather” quilt.

I bought a sketch book today so I can practice quilting patterns and some doodling. I have been using scrap pieces of paper and trying to keep track of them. I drew a feather that is actually pretty good but I haven’t been able to duplicate it. At least I have proof that it’s in there somewhere.

PS. It was 84* today.

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How many times can a person say WOW! in one day? That was the question that came to mind last night after a day at MQX (machine quilters expo). This is a quilt show in Manchester, NH that highlights machine quilters and their creations. Su and I spent several hours wandering through spectacular quilts exclaiming WOW after every new turn. We also got to see many of the entries in this year’s $100,000 Quilting Challenge. WOW!! It amazes me the creative ideas and workmanship that exist around me (even if it’s not right in my backyard).

Every brand of quilting machine was exhibited as well. Although I yearn for one of these machines, there wasn’t much point in spending time trying each machine or asking a million questions when it’s just not in the cards right now. When I can afford one and have the space for one, I’ll go shopping for one. In the meantime I will just envy the work that is done on one.

I had a wonderful time spending the day with Su. She did very well considering the number of “spoons” it took for her to walk around for several hours. I know she will pay for it today and maybe into tomorrow. It always amazes me how well she copes with her illness; she compensates very well. I wonder how well I would handle the situation if the cards had been reversed and I was the one that was chronically ill. I fear that I would not be nearly as strong a person. I admire her. I know that her time is precious and I’m so grateful that she allowed me to share some of it with her.

I heard from Wendy that Vanessa was home. From what I understand she is staying downstairs in the living room because that is where she can watch the TV. Wendy said that Greg is going to work from home for four days. It should be interesting since Vanessa is not supposed to get up except to use the bathroom or take a quick shower. Everything she needs will have to be provided by Greg. It will be an extended stressful time for each of them.

Wendy went to the baby shower for Ryan today. He is the baby she made the quilt for. Jen and her husband were very appreciative of the quilt and said that it will match Ryan’s bedroom which is blue with stars.

I was able to finish up the “Birthday Quilt” today. Su gave it to me for my birthday about three years ago. Although it is actually a wallhanging and it took me a short amount of time to piece it, I have been using it to practice my free motion quilting. I did some outline stitching in the flower area, some stitch-in-the-ditch, some stippling (which is my downfall) some free-motion outlining of the leaves and some “squiggly squares” in the outside border. Sue N. saw it while I was working on it today and really liked it. She mentioned that I could always give it to her. Soooo, that’s exactly what I will do on her next birthday. That makes it truly the “Birthday Quilt”.

I did manage to meet Bill at the gym after work for 30 minutes on the cardio machines.

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