Friday, July 10, 2020

Retreat - Day Two

Another day at Fireside Retreat and another hot day outside. Not so hot that we didn't sit out on the deck for quite a bit yesterday afternoon (in the shade of course) and not so hot that we didn't eat lunch and dinner in the screened-in porch. And not so hot that I didn't take a bike ride in the morning and then a walk in the evening. YES - we're totally crazy, but if you're just sitting around on the deck, the heat and humidity are not so bad.

The other saving grace with the heat and humidity is the trees. There are lots of trees surrounding the property, and that's what helps to cool off the air—same thing at home. Trees will help to beat the heat. Become a tree hugger today!!

I don't have a whole lot to show for finishing yesterday, but I did get some work done. I can't even remember what I was working on in the morning. Isn't that awful?

Anyway - I got my bike out first thing when it wasn't too hot and went for a 32 KM ride. It's so beautiful up here and not a whole lot of traffic, and that really makes it pleasant. A wee bit of gravel on one road near the quarry, and it wasn't a lot of fun to ride on the gravel as it's quite loose. After riding 800KM on the Dempster Highway in 2010, gravel isn't really a problem.

There's a large hill right by the house, and if you go down that hill, you have to come back up it. There's no way to get around it. I thought if I went far enough in one direction that perhaps the hill would be less. NOT! I think the hill coming back up was even steeper. But I did get a great view as my reward for struggling up the hill. 

The view from the hill

You can see the lake from the top of this hill. So hard to capture the actual essence of the land with a camera. I guess you have to be there.

OK - I confess, I had to stop on that hill. I'm not used to riding up steep (over 10% grade) hills, and I stopped for a few seconds. I did NOT walk up but just stopped. I could say that I stopped to take this picture (which I did), but that wasn't the entire truth! I'm OK with stopping.

Tiger lily

Here's my flower of the day picture. The poor flower looks a bit beat up - probably from the heat.

Then it was back to the house to have a well-deserved shower and back to work.

Actually, I wanted to finish the secret project that I started at the last retreat.

That Ronda - she finds things, gets an idea that we need to work on it, and well - we had another project. Actually, yesterday was all about Ronda! So when she was shopping online, she came across a panel. She showed me the panel and said we should make this for Katheleen. Hmm - that seemed like a great idea at the time. So she bought the panel and gave it to me. It was my job to make up the panel.

So what was the panel??

Aunt Flossy and Phyllis
A mommy cow and a calf!!!! I know - totally crazy. Katheleen loves cows like I like bikes. And it was her birthday while we were here, so she got two cows for her birthday. I wasn't going to sew those buttons on for eyes, and she happened to have some glue, so I borrowed glue from her to glue on the eyes on HER cows.

I had to sit upstairs in the dining room while I finished the work on the cows since Katheleen was sewing in the main sewing room.

The cow even has an udder that was a total pain to hand stitch on. We won't look too closely at that. And the poor cow needs a good lint rolling. I used a different kind of stuffing, and it was very fine and a good producer of lint!

The cow's udder
Those cows have pretty red ribbons, each with an appropriately sized bell and not a jingle bell either. Oh no - I was given strict instructions - no jingle bells allowed. Fortunately, I have a small stash of bells and found what I needed. So if you remember that picture of the day, I went shopping in my stash for ribbons and bells? It was not for a Christmas project - it was for Aunt Flossie and Phyllis.

I have to say that they are cute, now that they are done!!!  Happy Birthday, Katheleen!!!

The cows

Then I had no choice but to get back to that darn backpack. I don't know why it's such an issue. The backpack itself isn't that huge of a deal. Loads of pieces, but doable. Ronda took the easy route and made her backpack with no inside pockets, no straps. That cut out a whole lot of issues.

We were supposed to be working on them together, but well - my mind just wasn't into making backpacks. So Ronda got hers finished last night.

Ronda's backpack
Ronda's backpack

OH - Now I remember what I did in the morning. I had a few things that needed to be fixed on my backpack. Again, Ronda took the easy route, and everything is black. NO - mine has several colors on it, and I didn't like the color of binding on that outside pocket flap - so I had to take that off and redo it. I hate redoing, and I'm slow at it.

This is what my backpack looks like this morning—still a pile of pieces. I hope to get a wee bit more done on it today, and then I'll either finish it at home or bring it back next time. Now that all the pieces (except for those pesky straps) are done, the rest will go fairly quickly. The problem with the straps is that I'm making the straps from a different bag pattern, and there are many pieces to making them. You'll get to see as I go along. And Nina - if you're reading today - can you show me a picture of the straps on your bag? That's what I'm trying to put on this one.

My backpack

The other thing that I made sure got accomplished yesterday was to get the zippers in. While Shelly made us a zipper fork for attaching the zipper pulls to the zipper tape, we just seem to get the job done faster if we're two people. So at dinner, last night, Ronda and I sat there, and within minutes, the last of my zippers were done! As I pulled my chair up, I felt like we were getting ready to play a game.

Making zippers
 It takes a lot of hands to make those zippers. Good thing, Shelly wasn't here so she couldn't see us. But we did it, and the zipper looks fantastic. I got it sewn into the bag pieces last night. The next step required some thinking before I marked and cut, and I wasn't prepared to take that risk when I was tired. That's on the agenda for today. I won't finish the backpack, but I hope to get the pockets attached to the front and back pieces.

It's hard work to make a zipper

The best news about the zippers? We're getting good at it. I love zipper tape now. So if you have zipper tape, you'll never use - let me know.

I have to say, somewhat sheepishly, that I've finally figured out how to cook oatmeal in the microwave here. Isn't that sad that it's taken me how many years? And the saddest part? It's EXACTLY the same way as in my microwave at home. For some reason, I couldn't adjust the power on this one, and when I tried the same sequence of buttons as at home? Well, it worked!!  Sigh...................

Who cares! I figured it out. I will say that for a while, we couldn't get regular oatmeal, and I had to use the flavored ones. Well, we got regular oatmeal back, and oh my - it's a bit bland compared to the flavored ones and in particular this morning when I don't have a banana to add to it.

When I went for a walk last night - after dinner, so I was anticipating it to be slightly cooler - it was NOT. There was no sun, so everything was in the shade, but the air was thick. There were a lot of clouds that potentially looked like storm clouds, and I was ready to walk in the rain and embrace it. At one point, the winds even picked up and whisked all the sweat off my face. There were maybe five drops of rain, and that was it. The winds died down, and I was sweating again!

I came across this little guy on the side of the road. Actually, he wasn't so small. This is the largest turtle that I've seen in real life, and he was about 8 inches across—a positive giant to me. However, I didn't like the fact that he was on the road. I went to pick him up (away from his mouth), and he jumped, which scared me, and I left him alone. I did find a stick along the way so I could prod him off the road on my way back, but when I got back to where he was, he was gone.

A turtle on the road

And that wraps up another day at Fireside Retreat. We did a wee bit of shopping at the quilt store, and I need to get to the grocery store today.

One of the ladies decided to go down to the waterfront to take a walk along the waterfront yesterday afternoon. She was told the parking was $50!!!! It was less if you were a resident, but for out of towners - it was $50. That's a bit much. This is a tourist town, and they should be welcoming the few people that are here to help support their businesses. I get the social distancing thing, but we can social distance just like the locals. Oh well...............  everyone is handling the situation in their own way.

Got to run. The others will be up soon, and I want to get out on that bike before it gets too hot.

Have a super day!!!!


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