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Sunday, September 21, 2008

More Photo Fun

I've been busy taxiing Mandy and Amber around (as you can see they are not children any longer) and have 5 of the 6 giant 9 patches done for greatgrandson Brendon's quilt, but haven't found a suitable fabric for the lattice stripes locally. I've done some searching online but haven't found just the right yellow fabric yet. I had hoped to match the yellow center block fabric, but I'm afraid it isn't available any longer. I have to travel to La Junta on some business for my Mom and will stop at The Stitcher's Garden in Pueblo to see what they have in stock.

I've had a couple of days when the fall weather, colors and clouds (and rainbows) got me excited about taking photos again. I am seriously researching for a camera that will do more of what I want; as much as I love my little Canon Elph, I'm afraid I've outgrown it. I need more pixels and quite a bit of optical zoom. I love the results that I've seen from digital single lens reflex cameras, but they seem a little complicated for where I am at this point. I think I will probably work my way up by going with a Canon Power Shot until I outgrow that.

I always love the look of the mown hay in windrows to dry it so it can be bailed and stacked. The red tractor was perfect with the red woodbine leaves and green hay.

[Be sure to click on the photos to enlarge them so you can see the details better.]

Aren't these red stems and purple berries on the woodbine (also known as Virginia Creeper) great against the still green leaves?

The grass hay, and sometimes alfalfa, grows well on the lowlands between the Arkansas River and the dry prairie bluffs. I am very drawn to the lush green areas in dry climates. The contrast is visually exciting and also makes for good birdwatching. Here we have numerous native plants and grasses, as well as red Woodbine, growing in front of cattails in a wet section along the fence next to the road.

Here is a natural garden with a sculptural weathered stump in the fenceline gate corner of the pasture where the hay was being mowed. The white flowers are some type of wild aster that my brother and I have always called Ironweed because when we tried to break off branches for bouquets for Mom, the stems were too tough to break. Now I know I have to cut them with garden shears. I'd love to get a clump of this native plant growing in my mini prairie.

A rainbow in an ominous black cloud that was full of rumbling and lightning and dropped copious amounts of water on us for about 10 minutes.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

New Great Grandson

Our grandson, Brian and his wife, Tabi, have blessed up with our fourth great grandchild.

Meet Brendan Raymond Thomas ... all 8 pounds and 2 ounces of him, shown here with his proud father. Sorry, this photo e-mailed to us by his grandmother, our daughter Lori, is not very clear. But we know he is adorable and brilliant, and all the things our grandchildren are.

I am working on a crib quilt for him in cute, bright fabrics with fish, frogs, turtles, bugs, and ducks on them. It will be large 9 patches to show off the fabrics. I hope I can find more of the yellow for lattice, borders and backing. These were all fat quarters that I had in my stash. Mandy has offered to help me with the machine sewing so it will be a joint effort.

I can't wait to see and hold little Brendan.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Camping We Did Go

I'm finally feeling up to reporting on our "much looked forward to" camping trip in our new Retro camper over Labor Day weekend.

My bed is the permanent one that is a daybed during the daytime. I share this space with Brave Heart, a Care Lion. I got the retro fabrics with just a touch of lizard. Right outside of the window, at the head of the bed, is a fantastic view of Lake Creek.

Although I didn't have the curtains all completed (I had to order more fabric) we put up the ones
we had, loaded up and went up to Lake Creek Campground on the side of the Sangre de Christo mountains around noon on Friday. We found a great site for our camper and son Greg's tent, and another site for other son, Doug, across and down the road (I do mean down literally). Greg, Mandy and Evan joined us a couple of hours later and we set up the camp kitchen and enjoyed the gorgeous scenery. Doug and Jennie would come up on Saturday morning.
Joe's bed makes up where the table stands in the daytime. He got the southwestern lizards.

It rained so hard and long that evening, that we cooked the hamburgers and ate in the camper. That is the best benefit of a camper; when tent camping we couldn't cook inside the tent.

We were tired from all the packing and unpacking and settled into our camper bunks early. Joe woke me up between 3 and 3:30 am with chest pains and very high blood pressure. I had my ever present medical emergency kit and gave him 3 nitro tablets at 5 minute intervals; I had him drink a bottle of water, in case it was altitude sickness; and then put him on my oxygen, while I switched to my shoulder pack. I had slogged thru the wet vegetation to wake Greg and while I nursed, he called 911 on his cell phone. Thank God we had service. I was amazed at how fast they got an ambulance to us to take him down to the hospital in Canon City; Greg followed them
down and I stayed in the camper with the children.

The grate was so uneven the guys had to put flat rocks under the pans to keep them from sliding off.

Joe went thru the usual tests and was kept over Saturday night. Doug and Jennie went to the hospital before coming up to the campground with Greg on Saturday afternoon. They brought their new 3 month old Pug, Cooper (short for Mini Cooper). Joe insisted that we all camp that night, since we were already set up. Luckily the tests found no indication of a heart attack, so he was released on Sunday and Greg picked him up and brought him up to camp with us for Sunday night. Needless to say, we all enjoyed Sunday night, with him, a lot more than Saturday night, without him, and worrying about what the doctors would decide.

Joe said he felt all right and went right back to work on Monday. The Stress Echo Cardiogram he had this Friday found nothing wrong with his heart. So the doctors think it was a combination of indigestion complicated by high altitude. Joe had so looked forward to camping since we weren't able to go for the 4th of July, as we usually do, and then had this happen.

I told Joe we needed to have an exorcism for the camper, since I went to the hospital the first time we stayed in it, and he was hospitalized the second time. We need to find out if the precious owner sold it because it was inhabited by bad spirits. This is all said with tongue firmly in cheek. We still love that little camper and Mandy came home with us and is sleeping in it in our back yard. It makes a great guest house for the grandkids. They even make s'mores on the gas stove burner.
In spite of everything, we enjoyed the lovely landscape of the Wet Mountain Valley and the Sangre de Christos; and ate great meals prepared on the campfire by our sons and daughter-in-law. Jennie even bakes biscuits in a Dutch Oven with coals from the fire. And I learned to appreciate our kids even more than before. I don't know what I'd have done if they hadn't been there with me during this time.

What do teenage girls do on camping trips? They text their friends when they aren't collecting flowers, acorns, leaves and berries to decorate the picnic table.
What do kindergarten boys do on a camping trip? What don't they do, I have multitudes of cute photos! Here he is in Cooper's portable kennel with Cooper's bone.