Sunday, September 24, 2023

Which came first?

We had a great day at Thimble Quilts and Sewing in Lasalle, Ontario. There's always so much to show, and doesn't seem like enough time to show all the samples and explain all the techniques. The poor students who attended went home with their heads spinning from all the inspiration and information!

We had a great lunch chatting with the customers and a good look around the store. A few things came home with me. And I bought fabric - somewhat willy-nilly, which I haven't done in a long time. 

However, I saw some gorgeous batiks and decided that I needed them. Not just because I liked them but because I need to work on a quilt for an upcoming class, and I think these will be perfect. I love the coloring, and it's not the original color I thought I might use, but it works beautifully with the background, as I found out when I got home last night. 

I may need to add to it, and I may need to purchase more, but I'll deal with that later this week. 

I had the embarrassing moment of calling the shop owner by a totally different name halfway through the day, and then do you think I could get that out of my head. It was like my brain had just switched. I was holding a witch pillow when I first used a different name, and I'm blaming it on that! She bewitched me! I managed to get back on track, and then all was good! So weird, though. 

And we did have the most fantastic shortbread you could imagine. I confess that the moment I was done with the first piece, I literally felt a craving for more. That doesn't happen often. 

We arrived home around 10:00 PM but only made it to bed just after midnight, as we had some loose ends (embroidery project!) to finish. I think I'll be napping later today! However, we got everything done that we wanted to, but the sample suitcases will sit in the living room for a few days! 

There is nothing better than a road trip with a companion, especially a driving road trip! We stopped twice, but I didn't feel tired in the four-hour drive home! And we talked about everything and anything! Let's say I got to know Claire better than I knew her!

Traveling can sometimes be a pain regarding what to eat and when, and for the last two days, I think I ate less than I would if I were home. And today is not going to be any better. 

We spotted this while walking through the parking lot to Tim's the other night. 

Who drives this car?

I've no idea why or how that was there, but it was hilarious. "Honey - I shrunk the car!" I'm surprised that no one had run over it! 

And here's a couple of pictures that were hanging in my hotel room. Doesn't that scream flying geese to you?  

But this one? That's the Dutchman Puzzle quilt block. Both of these were painted!!!! 

Now, here's the ultimate question -- which came first? Did this design as a quilt block come first, or was the design a long-known one that was made into a quilt block? 

So I popped over to Google, and this is what I found. But -- it doesn't answer my question! \

It is a very old, very traditional pattern and, of course, goes by several other names. It appeared in the Ohio Farmer in 1894 as the "Wheel" and again in 1898 as the "Dutchman's Wheel". The Ladies Art Company called it "Dutchman's Puzzle," and that is what I believe is the most commonly used name for this block. April 7, 2020

If you think it will get calmer around here, think again! I'm off on another adventure in about one hour, and you'll see where tomorrow. The beauty of this crazy time is that I don't have to worry about juggling classes because nothing is scheduled until October 1. But when I'm back, there will be little time to finish prepping, and then I'll be back into the swing of classes. 

And I had a peek at my walking challenge, and I'm behind! I've managed to eke out 5% of the distance in 9% of the time. This is NOT like me, but there hasn't been time to walk. That should change today? I can easily make up the time, and the worst of the crazy travel is over - I hope! 

I may take a wee bit of it with me to do some planning. OK -- not much planning, but thinking ahead is always a good idea! 

So I must go and get myself organized for the day. 

Have a great day!


Saturday, September 23, 2023

Barn trails!!!!

Yes --- those little holes in the front garden look neatly arranged, but we do NOT have any flowers there. That was all newly planted last year, and unless the landscape company did something I'm not aware of -- we only have those little shrubs. Since we didn't see any flowers in the spring, I'm guessing whoever is digging is looking for grubs!!!  DH is beyond himself with whoever is digging. OK -- time to get that game cam out and set it up. 

What a whirlwind day yesterday was, and I'm running short on time this morning - again! I have a colleague traveling with me as she learns the ropes, and we were off to Petrolia for our event at Stitcharie. It was a 2 1/2 hour drive, and we made it with no issues, except we passed the plaza (JUST) and had to turn around, which was no big deal. 

It was kind of nice to have someone help with the set-up, as I never get that luxury! We had two sessions - one on applique and one on quilting and both were a full house! It was a fun day with loads of laughs, and Laurie provided us with an awesome lunch. Apparently, she is known for her lunches! 

I believe she has a Super Bowl Mystery quilt day, and she provides lunch. Hmm -- that's tempting to come to -- just for lunch! 

I always love looking around the store to see if there are any treasures, and there is always something, so two small things came home with me. NO pictures yet of that. 

The classroom is great, with loads of room, so we were able to spread out the samples on the wall, and then one by one, they got passed around so everyone could have a better look at them. 

Applique and quilting samples

More samples

Sometimes, those samples go around multiple times as we discuss different techniques, etc. 

It's so easy to scare people. You tell them there is a test and they all go crazy! It was a super easy question, but I like to see the reaction! 

Hopefully, everyone went home with some inspiration, a better appreciation of available tools for them to be creative, and how better to use their sewing machines. 

There just isn't time in the entire process to cover everything, and I swear that every time I arrange my presentation to cover everything. I think I forgot one thing from each presentation yesterday simply because we didn't go through all the material, so those things will get moved. 

We popped everything into the car and headed off to Windsor, which is where I am today, and we'll be off shortly to Thimble Quilts and Sewing to spend the day with machine embroidery!!!! It was late by the time we got in, and although we had a late dinner, I'm hungry!

If you are in this area, there are MANY barn trails here, and we spotted some quilt barn blocks along the way. We stopped to get three pictures to share with you. 

I believe there are several books on the barn trails, and there is certainly lots of information on the internet about these barn trails. Some of them, as you can see, are NOT on barns but standing near the edge of the road where they are easy to see. 

This one was barely visible behind the cornfields. 

Have a super day!!!!


Friday, September 22, 2023

It's all about STATUS!

I must be quick this morning as I have to be on the road early to get to my destination and my event on time. I could have gone last night, but no need. I'm off to Stitcharie (Petrolia) for applique and quilting today. So, if you're in the area -- they may still have room, but it will be tight! I'm at Thimble Quilts and Sewing Company in Lasalle (near Windsor) for some embroidery events tomorrow. 

The blog will be short and sweet this morning. 

The first line of business was to get on a chat call with Microsoft to get that laptop fixed. One thing I hate about searching out the support number is that the first link that pops up, and I used to always click, is a paid support place. I do NOT need the paid support since, as a subscription customer of Microsoft, I get "free" support. That drives me crazy, but I've been "tricked" enough to know not to do that. 

Temporary office to fix the laptop

So there I was with my computer, cell phone, and the house phone. I had water and my tea, and it looks like a bottle of wine in the background as fortifications. It took TWO attempts and one hour, but it's fixed! 

It had to sync two months of e-mail and delete tons I deleted in the last two months, but it's working, and that's all I care about. 

Yeah - the e-mail is working!

One of the things they ask is, do you sign in on the website? No -- I never do that, and I guess I should explore the website more. As I was zipping around, I spotted a place where I could set a vacation setting that looked much easier than doing it through Outlook, so I must investigate that. I prefer Outlook -- yep --- you can't teach an old dog new tricks!

While our trees have started to turn, and some are dropping, it's still green for the most part here. 

The walk through the forest

OK -- we need a wildlife cam (got one - not hooked up) in our front yard. Someone is digging little holes. Are skunks looking for slugs? But the entire front yard has little dig holes. Weird. 

Someone has been digging in my garden!

Someone asked about the tag on my luggage with the bicycle on it. I did NOT make this and don't even remember where it came from. 

My luggage tag

It's kind of like a two-parter. You slip the one half into the slot so it stays attached. 

Hidden compartment

Then there's a magnet that holds the two halves together, and you can slip your address card/phone number in. So the information is there but not visible to anyone. It's pretty neat, although I realized I do NOT have any information on the card. 

The inside of the tag

I'm quite bad as my carryons do not have any identification on them. So when they are on the carousel, if they get checked, I have to rely on the style of the bag to identify it. Then, I peek into the bag before leaving to make sure it's the right one. 

Here's a little tip about traveling. If you are a member of any plan, like Aeroplan, ensure you have signed up for all the partner companies that will give you points. I hoped to get 25K status by the end of this year, which would provide me with Zone 2 boarding on all flights. After returning from Saskatoon, I was less than 300 points away. Yesterday, I linked my Uber account to Aeroplan, and with that and perhaps my Avis account, I am now on my way to 35K status! I doubt I will earn that privilege this year, but it doesn't matter -- I got the two things I wanted - two free bags (should I carry that much luggage next year) and Zone 2 boarding. The rest? I couldn't care about it. 

OK -- that's it for today. Lots of other stuff happened, but there's no time it's morning!

Have a great day!!!


Thursday, September 21, 2023

Sorting and packing

I've got time change woes! I can't seem to get to sleep until much later than usual and, hence, waking up much later! I can't let that happen tomorrow, as I need to be on the road EARLY! Let's hope my clock resets tonight. I have no idea how people who travel through different time zones a lot can manage!

After spending most of the morning doing paperwork and answering e-mails, it was time to move on to something else. I will say that the unsubscribing I've been doing seems to make a big difference. While there are still lots of e-mails to process, the numbers are smaller, so that's good. 

It's surprising how much we all want MORE of everything. That's a general statement, and not everyone is wired that way. But I see if often -- quilters see a "free" table at the guild -- "I need that!" There is some handout at a show  - "I need that," garage sales are bad, and there are many other ways to accumulate stuff. If it's something we'll use, great - but to acquire just for the sake of acquiring? That's bad! I used to be terrible at this. But I'm learning! 

I brought the suitcases into the kitchen one by one and emptied them. As I emptied, I sorted into piles for my next four events, which are tomorrow and the next day. I'm driving, so there's no need to worry about the number of suitcases. Well, I need to worry that it all fits in the car! But I know two cases fit in the car!


Of course, the supervisor was handy to ensure everything happened correctly. 


I say that it's quite a chore to unpack and decide what needs to go back in the suitcase and what needs to be put away. But I think I got it all sorted out. And the stuff I didn't need got put away. That's a HUGE job. 

But that presented a dilemma. Depending on the event, I sometimes take sewing machine feet, and I may have some samples related to those feet. So -- do I keep the feet in the bag with the samples? Where do I keep the sample bags so I remember where they are? Should the two be together - the bag of feet and the samples? 

My zipper feet and samples of zippers

I decided to put the "like" presser feet together. Above are the FOUR zipper feet that I have. And let's not forget that there are many duplicate feet because of duplicate machines. So I put one of each kind of zipper feet in the small bag, and it went in the drawer with the rest of my presser feet (sorted by brand). Any duplicates went loose in the drawer. The sample bag went into another drawer, so let's hope I remember where that is the next time I need it! There were three small samples that I could NOT find yesterday. I found a substitute, but where did I put those three small pieces? 

When I want to find a zipper foot, it's in the drawer with the rest! 

Speaking of zippers, look at the zipper I found when I was at Central Sewing in Edmonton. It looks so cute, and I can't wait to make something from it!

Jelly Bead Zipper

I also found a box and extra bobbins for the sit-down quilting machine, so that was a good find. This was also at Central Sewing. 

M class bobbins and a case

I found this great color of chenille yarn at Walmart. One can never have too much chenille yarn. Oh yes, they can, and the only color I need now is a rich forest green! I use this for machine embroidery, and it's stored with the other yarns. That ball is quite heavy and a fair size, so that didn't help the weight situation for traveling home. 

A gorgeous color of chenille yarn

And I found this treasure. This is a product called Sew Soft - I don't think you can buy it any longer, except at the store where I found it. There are about 6 left on the shelf, and I would love to have brought more home, but I could NOT! Why is it a treasure? Because it's perfect for doing machine embroidery in items like wall hangings and table runners. I mean when embroidering (quilting) through all three layers. It's similar to fusible fleece but thinner. I LOVE IT!!! So if you want to buy one of the packages - it's 5 yards - call The Sewing Machine Store in Saskatoon! And tell them I sent you! They do not have online shopping, so you have to call. I'm sure they can figure out how to ship it to you. 

Sew Soft, fusible batting

It's advent calendar season! I saw that the Wine Advent calendar is now available at the LCBO. I may just have to go and get one for a certain person. 

Wine Advent Calendar

The Adventure one by EXIT is also available in stores. I spotted it at McNally Robinson in Saskatoon, but I know it's also available here in Toronto at 401 Games

Advent Calendar by EXIT Games

While I was away, Lexi took over the entire couch. Oh yes -- she still sleeps in the designated spot on her blanket. 

MOM -- I will NOT look at the camera - stop trying to make me!

But I guess when that spot gets too hot? She moves to the other side. She NEVER used to do this. What has happened to our meek little Husky? 

MOM -- a little privacy here!

And why not get Murphy in there as well. She is NOT a fan of this couch and won't stay long. I had to coax her up (I know!). But forget to put a cushion on a chair in the living room, and she's all over it!

The sofa has gone to the dogs

I went for a walk yesterday, but not too long, and I've never been this far behind on a challenge so soon after starting it! I MUST get back into the groove, and I will!

I have much more paperwork to do today. There'll be no sewing for a few days. I mentioned QUILTsocial earlier this week. I goofed -- it's next week! OH -- and I must call Microsoft to get my e-mail fixed on my laptop. 

Have a super day!!!!


Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Travel Day

I'm home!

Let's say that yesterday was the most boring travel day I've had in a while - -YEAH! But still, a couple of things happened that were funny!

As I was driving back to the airport and observing those speed signs! I was thinking about the cleaning process that we had done at the farmhouse. A gang of us was doing the sorting, which made things go so fast! One person pulled down boxes, another opened them and looked through them, and collectively, we said - yeah or nay. Having third parties in the process made dealing with the stuff much easier and faster. 

All of us would have loved to have a dumpster or a pit to get rid of the stuff deemed useless, so no one would have to go through the stuff again. Because someone likely will -- "just in case!" And that will probably be me, but that's OK. But it would be so nice to walk out of a room, and it's empty, and you know that you have dealt with everything! The number of times we have gone through the same boxes is crazy! But -- one must remember that the owner of those boxes is now in a different mindset, so we can look at them in a different light. 

If we were in the city and clearing a house, we would have a dumpster to do just that. We could make it happen at the farm, but I'm done for the moment. 

So, if you have a space to clean out, I suggest getting a group together if you can and potentially a third party who has no attachment to anything in the house. Get garbage bags, boxes, gloves, and a dumpster, and go for it! We had such a couple of fun days doing it, and as I said, the time passed so fast, and it was good visiting time!

The other good thing about a group was that if one person didn't know what to do with something, someone else might have a connection, and we could get rid of a lot of stuff that way. I will look at this office in a different light when I get a chance in October. 

The backseat of the car was filled with stuff, and I had to drop that off before I left town. 

Oh crude! As I load PICTURES today, I see that my camera got left in the LONG mode. I have quickly changed that back. 

As I was packing up in the morning, I had to laugh as this was the mess I had on the desk. Yep --- I don't bring much; everything is necessary, and I like to spread out. But it all fits in the office packback! I had a "panic" attack along the way as I didn't remember packing my speeding ticket, which was on the desk for some reason. I checked later, and it was there! Phew -- I'm sure it would have been complicated to get a duplicate because god forbid, I forget to pay by the due date. 

I'm a spreader! 

And yes, there I was in the parking lot, packing the last bag. I weighed it with my scale, and it was borderline at 50 lbs. But I thought I would be OK. 

Packing the last suitcase

I literally couldn't put anything else in my suitcases. One was filled due to weight, the other was filled due to space, and even my carry-on was borderline if the airline would accept the size. My backpack was OK. 

The farm is on a gravel road -- does anyone in Ontario know what that is? OK -- I know we have gravel roads here, but they are less common than in Saskatchewan. This is what happens to your car on those roads. 

OH -- a bit of dust!

I chuckled when I saw this in the morning. That was me closing the trunk! 

And many of the leaves have turned and are falling rather quickly on the streets in town. Wow --- I don't think we're quite that far ahead here, but I'll see this morning when we go for a walk. 

The leaves are turning and falling!

I had an item to return to a store in Saskatoon, which required me to cross the bridge that is under construction. Oh boy -- it looks like a lot of traffic on the way back over the bridge. I returned the item and was back on the road. It took all of five minutes to go through the traffic, which merged from three lanes to one. HA --- I bet many people are complaining about that. Wait until they get into the same situation here! It won't be five minutes, but it's all relative!

Because of the errand, I came to the area where the gas station is by a different road, and I missed the gas station. Good grief - I drove past the darn thing and had to turn around. 

It was one of those you had to prepay, so I chose $75. I don't think I have ever put $75 in my car, and this one was half empty, or so I thought. I got to $75, and oh crap -- I needed more, so I had to do two transactions to fill the car. I think it was about $82. 

When I arrived at the airport, it was easy to get rid of the car -- they make things so easy, and I could have done it online, but it takes only two seconds to do it in person. I remember many years ago when we were late for a flight because of a ferry in BC, and we literally threw the keys at the desk as we ran past to catch that flight!

I got to the Air Canada kiosk to check in at the far end of the airport, but we're talking Saskatoon, which is small! As I was printing out my bag tags, an agent came by and commented on how quickly I went through that process. Yep -- it's not my first rodeo with the kiosks, but I gather that some people struggle, which I get if you don't travel a lot or have never encountered the kiosks before. 

Then she asked me if I wanted to check my third bag (my carry-on) compliments of Air Canada. I told her I usually gate-check it, and she said I could do it there for free. So I did! I forgot to ask if I could get Zone 2 boarding, but what does it matter - I don't need to find room to put my suitcase, and I didn't need to take it through security. Apparently, this is something new. So that saved me carrying that darn bag around. Thanks, Air Canada, for that!

I had two options for dropping off my bags -- the automatic spot or to see an agent. The agents were sitting idle, so I went to them. One by one, I put the bags on the scale. Oops -- that last one was 50.6 lbs on their scale, but they didn't say anything. You get charged for overweight baggage, or you have to shuffle stuff. 

I arrived at security to find a HUGE line. What? In Saskatoon? What's with this? I suppose I could have asked at the desk if there was a priority line (I have a NEXUS card), but I didn't bother. It won't hurt me to wait in line. Again -- if you know what you're doing when you arrive at the checkpoint and if you've packed right, it's easy! 

In Toronto, we no longer have to take laptops out of our bags (at least in the priority line), but I had to there. It's all about MINIMAL stuff. 

I had time to sit down and eat a late lunch. And then it was time to board the plane. Two people I knew were arriving about the time I was leaving, and as the plane pulled away from the terminal, I saw two WestJet aircraft at the other end of the airport, so that was probably their plane. 

Then there is always the fun of getting the luggage in Toronto, which can sometimes be crazy. I was watching the sign to see if they had started to unload, and suddenly, my bags were zipping around on the carousel! No warning. So, that was a relatively quick process, and all three came through. I don't think there was much luggage on that plane. 

But -- my big bag got tagged as HEAVY - 50 lbs. I didn't get charged for it. Another, yeah, Air Canada moment!!!!

Heavy bag tag!

Then, off to the Uber pickup, and I had to take the elevator, not the escalator, because of the cart for all those bags. It took a few minutes to realize where the elevators to that level were.

I called the Uber on the phone app. Let's say I LOVE Uber, but the pickup at this airport is a smozzle. And I thought I had a dud of a driver again, but he was great. I don't know how they could do the pickup differently, but there are often three rows of haphazardly stopped cars and tons of people on the sidewalk looking for a specific vehicle. 

Anyway, with no traffic at night, all was good for the drive. Two very excited girls were waiting when I finally came through the door after lugging the suitcases up the steps. One of my shoulders is sore this morning, and part of that is because of carrying that backpack on ONE shoulder instead of two. I know better!

I checked my Air Canada status last night after I arrived. Oh! - I am about 270 KM away from getting my 25K status, which will give me automatic Zone 2 boarding (I think!). The question is - will they give it to me before my next flight, or do I have to wait until after? 

So the end of another great trip, and let's hope that is the last that I need to take so much luggage - I hate it! 

I have to unpack today and repack and see what else needs to be done. I know there are some e-mails and scheduling things I have to check out, so I think it will be a paperwork day!

Have a super day!!!!


Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Playing Detective

I love reading mystery novels. Which ones are better? The ones that follow a particular detective in a series? Or the random ones where the focus is on murder and mayhem? I guess I like both!

I had to do some detective work over the last couple of days! First off, I'm very sensitive to noise. OK - I'm not very sensitive. I can live with noises, but I need to know what they are, especially those little sounds that niggle in the back of your head! So the first few nights, I could hear this noise and thought -- what the people in the neighboring room were doing. It sounded like a rolling sound and popped up every so often. 

Well, after three nights, I realized it was the front door! I KNOW! I'm above the lobby, and every time someone goes in or out, I can hear the door slide open (probably the motor?), and then I can faintly hear it close. AHA --- mystery solved! It is annoying, and I might tell them on my way out that it's annoying, but the next person may not even hear it, and I'm leaving, so what's the point! 

The second detective work I had to do I wasn't looking forward to. I was at the farmhouse and could hear a rustling in the corner every once in a while. You know what that means! Yep -- there's something under that cabinet, and I really didn't want to discover what it is. But it was weird, and it never seemed to move, which is not like mice, but it may have had a nest. Who knows? 

We had stopped for lunch and were packing things up when I heard the noise again. I looked at everyone and said -- "hear that?" We have company. My cousin said -- "that's the air freshener!" Oh boy --- I got a good laugh out of that! 

We returned to the house and picked out a few more things that could be donated, which made me feel good. Just the fact of being able to do so freely makes such a huge difference. 

And while we chatted about going over the hill one last time, this isn't the time! We didn't get through everything we wanted, so I'll be back! Good grief! But we are getting close, and that makes me happy. I think we should have a party when that happens! 

Now, we wait to see how quickly the farm will sell, and then we can move on to the next stage. While we have had our share of ups and downs in getting everything in order, we are truly blessed that we haven't had more issues. 

One must always look at the positive side of things because if you are looking at the negative, you'll run yourself into the ground in a heck of a hurry. Thankfully, that positive attitude has been instilled in me from day one by my parents, grandparents, and my own actions. 

Over the years, I have alienated clients, friends, and probably family with that positive or carefree attitude. My main goal is my happiness, so I've made a few apologies to people over time and then moved on! 

It's time to move on, and I have the joy of repacking my suitcases. OK -- so whoever said it was fun to travel is out of their mind, especially with two BIG suitcases. I am not a fan; I must lift them in and out of this crazy car. One is done, and I have a couple of things left to shove in the other. I hope not to have to take that one out of the car. 

I'm great at packing, but I'm trying to only bring the absolute minimum that is needed. I did very well on the Camino, but packing samples? That's a whole different ballgame. 

I have a few paperwork things to tidy up this morning and a few errands to do before I hit the road and off to the airport. Let's pray that this travel day is less traumatic than the last one. I just checked the app, and I'm checked in, got a boarding pass (Zone 5), and the flight is on time, but since that is hours away, anything can happen between now and then. 

This has been an interesting family trip. I spent most of the time with several cousins and two of my aunts. While I don't get to see any of them regularly, it felt like zero time has passed since we last talked! We had a blast, and it really was fun to spend some time with them. A big shout out to Norma and Irene for all the laughs and memories and for quickly making the day and a not-so-fun task go by! And thanks to Christine, my T-shirt rescue lady, who also helped to sort. Also, to Nikki and Ellie, who helped out the other day! 

I learned from my two aunts that it doesn't matter how old your body is -- your mind is still young, and we had loads of fun! I hope to be like them in a "few" years down the road! 

And a quick word of advice to anyone who rents a car. Bright red can be spotted anywhere! I look in the parking lots, and I can easily find my car, so if you want to be a detective on a stakeout? Don't get a red car! 

Well, I must go as I have to have breakfast and going to try and squeeze a quick walk in before I just get started on those errands. The clock is ticking!

Have a super day!!!!


Monday, September 18, 2023


Thanks, everyone, for your comments about the memories. Yes -- I agree; while there are MANY trip "blogs," I'm only going to take the one -- the school trip to Edmonton, as most of the others don't involve me and won't be of interest. And tons of literature can probably be tossed. I'll be repacking later today, and hopefully, I have enough room within the weight limits. It's not much, but the paper is heavy, and I can't be over 50 lbs, and my samples are a priority. So I keep the pages, toss the rest -- I'll see how it goes. I wasn't going to bring my luggage scale, but I did, so I'll know before I get to the airport that the suitcases will be the correct weight. 

This trip has also been a lesson in what to keep and what to toss. I'm surprised to see some of these handwritten "blogs" left behind while she brought in useless things that no one would want. Just goes to show what is important to them and what isn't. 

She became a record keeper of sorts, allowing her to keep busy and probably be in control of things by recording them. It's tough to describe, but I don't think I was aware of all the things she did or kept track of, and the more I see, it's almost like I don't want to know those things exist. 

But with everything, I'm really prepared to walk away. I have a few treasures that no one else would consider valuable. I'll find a home for them, scan them, or whatever, but the rest of the stuff? I'm done!

I think that adventure will help me go through the office back home, which has a lot of paper. How much of that paper will be of value to me? Probably 1%, and the rest can go. And as I see us saying goodbye to her things, I think of what I would like to leave for M. Perhaps a couple of lovely organized digital books or files that have been pulled for only the high-level stuff and maybe a day or two "in the life of." The rest of the stuff can go. One cannot keep an entire person's life. You just can't. 

So many lessons in downsizing. 

But in the conversations we're having, it's just the best when she agrees that what is left will be left. She doesn't care or has gotten over it. You could knock me over with a feather every time it comes up. I'm stunned - but happily so!

As much as Mom was a record keeper and gosh only knows what she has in the books at the apartment, my Dad is a self-taught engineer. He loves to take people to the museum to see what he's up to, and I never stop marveling at what he comes up with. If he needs a tool or a jig to do something, he makes it because he probably can't buy it. Needs a part for an old engine or tractor? He makes it -- out of metal. I just marvel at that. 

How did he learn? Part of it is in his genes, but he is NOT afraid to experiment, make mistakes, and learn by doing. Now that he has access to YouTube and the internet, he learns from anywhere and then goes and does it. I guess that is why I find it hard when I encourage people to make mistakes; they are afraid. It's just a natural part of our lives! 

I know his Dad was the same way so that curiosity has been in the family for a long time, and I wish we had more time to chat about stories of his life. So I'm taking every chance I have to let them both talk, and it's great. Will I remember it all - probably not, but just the chatting is creating my own memories, and that's all I care about. 

Well, before I went visiting, I was off geocaching. I have NOT walked much while here -- either not enough time or too tired with all the zipping around. So, I was off for a long walk in the morning and decided to do some geocaching along the way. I managed to find one that I couldn't find the last time, and then I'm off again this morning. 

It was hot here yesterday, and I went for another walk in the afternoon. I was dreading it a bit because it was hot. Hmmm -- the "hot" days here are hot but not humid, which makes a HUGE difference. The humidity can add up to 10 degrees, and they don't have that, so it was actually pleasant. 

I passed an old house for sale, and I was curious -- NO, I will not buy a house here. So I stopped and looked it up on the internet. It's beautiful inside, with lots of old wood, high baseboards, etc. I showed the inside to Mom when I got home, and she asked if I actually went inside? She doesn't get the internet!

Dad and I had a few errands to do, and they got done. After our museum visit, I found some keyrings with carabiners attached that are perfect for my backpack. So now all the zippers open just fine. Yeah!!!! 

I see there is one more original tab that will eventually fall off, but hopefully, by that time, I'll have a new backpack. 

I also managed to get some class prep done, so that was good. I have much more that I thought I could tackle here, but that didn't happen. I find all the talking -- from the classes and visiting-- exhausting! I need some downtime to do absolutely nothing, and I'm doing absolutely nothing! Well, that's not true -- I finished my e-book last night. 

It's my week for QUILTsocial, so pop over and check it out. I have a very cool project I'm working on this week, and you'll want to make it. I want to make MANY more of them as they are very handy. Oh shoot -- it hasn't come up yet, but watch for it, or I'll repost the link tomorrow. 

Well, it's time to go and get ready for the day and my morning walk with a few more geocaches on the route. 

Have a super day!!


Sunday, September 17, 2023


OH my --- it's such a strange couple of days, and for the quilters among you all, I hope to get back to the quilting topics soon! Travel does make it a bit challenging, and I've no sewing machine! 

I did bring some prep work for one of my upcoming classes with me, and it's the kind of thing that one can do and visit simultaneously, so while I'm visiting today, I might just do that. If I said what it was, everyone in that class would jump on the bandwagon. So I won't. 

Before I know it, all the Zoom classes will begin again, which means loads of preparation. It will be one day at a time to get through it all. 

A few years ago, my Dad asked me to make him a T-shirt with a saying on it. Of course, I never did that! Didn't have time and didn't know how. I still don't know how, so before leaving for this trip, I asked my cousin if she would help. She delivered the T-shirts yesterday, and I forgot to get a picture of them - must do that today. But he was super happy to see them. And a HUGE shoutout to my cousin (Christine), who took time out of her busy weekend to make that happen!!!! THANK YOU so much!!!!!

I'm late again this morning because it's been a lazy morning, and I took advantage of some peace and quiet and finished reading my e-book! I should have had my butt outside for a walk, but I might do that right after breakfast. I started a new walking challenge the other day, and on the very first day, I'm already behind! Good grief -- I don't think that's ever happened before. 

Yesterday was an interesting day. We gathered a few family members and headed to the farm to see what we could find. My parents moved out 8 years ago (I know!), and it's a shame that we couldn't have had a coordinated effort from the beginning. But life just throws you curve balls, and you have to take things as they are. 

Lots of changes have happened since that move. People's ideas and goals have changed, attitudes have relaxed, and people are more open to change. I can only say that it was a pleasure to work with two of my aunts, a cousin, and a second cousin to go through stuff. I took pictures, but as you guessed, I still need to get my e-mail fixed and likely will only once I get home. The first thing I must do is fix that! 

As I've mentioned so many times before, this exercise has really been an eye-opener. That house has so many memories -- even though I only lived in it for one year. But I grew up in another house on the property, so that is the only childhood home I know. So, while that house doesn't have many memories, the contents do. Most of the things in the house were amassed by my Mom; there is only a little of Dad's stuff. 

And here's a comment from my Mom that I never thought I would hear. She mentioned to my aunt one day -- Why did she let things get out of control? How did she amass so much stuff? 

OH MY GOSH --- to hear that from her is HUGE. This is the turning point - it took a long time to reach this point, and you do not know how much this changes things. 

Here's a couple of observations -- my Mom loves to write. Hmm --- I wonder where I get that from? But all of her writing was done with pen and paper. She used a typewriter at one point, but she would have loved to have a computer. However, she is terrified of technology, so she'll never be able to take advantage of that technology. 

I found big envelopes with details of every trip they ever took. I grabbed a couple to explore further, but it is like reading a paper blog. She has snapshots of things, pamphlets, ticket stubs, and all kinds of goodies in each envelope! 

And I almost died laughing when I picked up one envelope to read the label -- School Trip to Edmonton, 1974. If you remember, last week, I said that I had only been to Edmonton on that school trip. Well, now I have the blow-by-blow of what happened on that trip! I grabbed that one to read through. 

One must try not to be too sentimental with all this stuff. It is years of accumulation, and I see all those memories, and it's hard to let it all go. But one must! So I'm of the mindset that it's fun to go through and read this stuff, but you can't keep it! It has to go! It sounds so harsh, but no one other than Mom will be interested in any of this stuff -- well, the more I go through, the more I find these little tidbits - like the Edmonton trip. But if I didn't find it, I could have lived. 

I think those memories are the hardest to let go of, but I'll keep a few handwritten pages because I think it's a nice memory. I know I have to start letting that kind of thing go, but I have nowhere near the amount of stuff that Mom has. I only have a few boxes in that office at home, and the blog is online for all to browse! My memories are electronic, so easy to store!

A few things left the house to be donated to someone who can use it. 

It's not so much the contents of the house that I care about - I don't need anything that is there. Whenever I'm here, I say this is the LAST time I'll go to the farm. It's no longer the same - the gardens have gone to weed, and a good portion of the yard no longer looks like it did when I was there, as many of the larger things have been sold and moved. Mom would be horrified to see the condition of her "flower" gardens. 

Perhaps I'll tell myself that I'll be back one more time so I don't cry like a baby when I go over the hill and it disappears from view forever! But that's OK -- we are allowed to have those thoughts -- it's my childhood home, and so many good and bad things happened there. But I have the memories and don't need to be there to remember those times!

Gosh -- what crazy thoughts!

I discovered a real treasure in the house that no one but myself could appreciate. It's in the car, and it's a piece of clothing. I'll share it with you when I get home because it needs a picture to explain. But my aunts got a kick out of it as well. Now I just need to repack those suitcases to bring home the one thing I purchased at the store and the few small things I found! 

There should be room in the suitcases -- I just need to shuffle things around a wee bit. OK -- so thank goodness for two suitcases instead of one. 

Well, it's time to get breakfast, and then I have a day of visiting planned, but not before I go for a walk!

Have a super day!!!


Saturday, September 16, 2023

Read the manual!

I remember the story! 

Yes -- as I was returning to my parents' place and driving down the highway, I remembered, and this time I remember this morning! Of course, it had to do with driving, and with the trauma of that ticket -- it went out of my mind! 

As we explore the world of cars or sewing machines or whatever out there, we often see features on one that we would love to have on our version. Right? I want this feature from sewing machine X and this one from the other model or, gasp -- even brand! It happens all the time. 

So, I have cruise control in my car, which is very useful, except when you ignore the speed limit! But what is even better is that I have Adaptive Crusie Control. What is that? Well, it can be programmed to keep your car at a safe distance from the car in front of you. I think mine is set at 150 M or something like that. So, if you're zipping down the road and get stuck behind another car, the car automatically slows down. Sometimes, you're unaware of it until you realize you are driving much slower than before. 

It's a handy feature to have. Would it have saved me from the ticket? I don't know, but it could have. Trust me -- I was extremely observant yesterday, and EVERYONE slows down in construction zones and those two reduced speed zones. People actually respect the speed limits here! 

Anyway, the car that I'm currently driving doesn't have the adaptive cruise control. It just goes until you override it or turn it off. And if there's a car in front of you -- well, you better slow down, move over, or you'll hit it. That's what I discovered the first night I drove from Edmonton. I had to be wary of those cars and trucks in front of me. While my car would have slowed down, this one doesn't! 

The bottom line is if you have a car, you should know how to drive it! Here's the thing. I'm always telling people they need to read the manuals of anything! But have you ever looked at your car's manual? It's huge, and it's filled with SAFETY stuff. I remember looking at my manual when I got my current car, and the first 1/4 or so is filled with common sense safety stuff. I don't remember specific details off the top of my head, but BORING and so unnecessary. WAIT --- if you have common sense, then it isn't necessary. NO common sense? Read the manual. 

However, so much other stuff is buried because the manuals are big. Can they not shorten up that stuff? Make it more fun? Hey --- what about tutorials in the navigation system? Oh -- I bet if I read the manual, I'd realize that exists! I'm sure it's all CYA, so they can't be sued for not telling people that driving a car is a serious and potentially dangerous thing to do. 

Anyway --- that was the story! But it's important to realize that if I wasn't paying attention, the cruise control would have driven me right into the back of the vehicle ahead of me, especially at night when we're tired, it's dark, and attention may be waning. So pay attention!!!

The last event went well yesterday. We had a blast as we made a fun project in the hoop -- a fun fur monster and learned about the PFAFF creative icon 2. Yes-- I have pictures, but I still need to fix the e-mail issue. I swear, there has been ZERO time, which is so unusual for me to not have extra time. 

I drove back last night after the class, and I was tired. So I'm in a new city and a new hotel. I have no idea what room I'm in these days, and I need to keep the little holder handy to figure that out. But this is it -- the last hotel for this trip. Yeah1!!!

I was in bed early and slept like a log. Perhaps today, I'll get out and get some walking done! That'll be later this afternoon, as I have some things that need to be taken care of this morning. And there'll be some more visiting, and that comes first. 

I didn't need to worry about leaving my sweatshirt jacket at the house. It will be warm this weekend, and I probably won't need a jacket! But I do like to be cozy, but I have my jean jacket that I can wear -- I'm sure I'll manage just fine!

I even read a few chapters in my book this morning. Thank goodness for the features of the Libby (audio and ebook) app, as I got asked this morning to download a LONG audiobook. I don't have time right now, so I delayed getting it! Yeah! I haven't tried to add those extra libraries yet, but maybe I'll try later today. 

I need to find something to use as zipper pulls on my backpack. The original ones have snapped off, and I had a few to replace, but a few more snapped on this trip -- the days for this backpack are ending, and I need to find a replacement so I have it when I need it. I'm sure I'll find something around that I can attach so it's easy to open and close those darn pockets! 

On that note, I'm off to find something to eat - thank goodness for free breakfasts! 

Have a super day!!!


Friday, September 15, 2023

Cruise Control!

Another city -- a different hotel! It's been a long week, and it's not over yet! Today is my last work day, and then a few rest days! Well, not exactly, but at least I'll be on my own time, so to speak! 

I think I say this every time I'm away, but connecting to the internet is so much easier than it used to be. Gosh -- we had to get down on the floor and connect cables and then struggle to dial in, and it was all such fun. Today, most places have free Wi-Fi, and you can easily connect. Some places require more work to get in, but it's not a big deal. 

So, as I was driving yesterday, I remembered the story I was going to share with you. Then POOF -- something bad happened, and that story is gone again this morning. 

Here's the deal -- the roads in Saskatchewan are long and straight. The speed limit on a lot of the highways is 110. I put my RED Charger into cruise control, and all is well. Until I saw the flashing lights in my rearview mirror. 

OH CRAP --- there are two spots along this route where the highway goes through a small town, and they reduce the speed limit. The highway is technically NOT in the town, but there is some business on the opposite side of the highway from the actual town. I know this, which is what makes me mad! I must have been thinking about something else (my blog topic for today) because I totally missed the reduced speed sign, and it just never occurred to me. I got a ticket. 

He didn't offer me any leeway, and I didn't even disagree because it was what it was. I missed the sign, so even if I didn't know the road - I missed the sign. That's what makes me "mad" at myself. But -- I need to pay the darn thing and move on. I knew that car was trouble when I saw it!

I've never gotten a speeding ticket in this province and never on that highway. I don't even remember if I've ever had a speeding ticket. I'm usually a very conscientious driver and obey the speed limit. Yes -- I drive slightly over (as does everyone), but I slow down when the speed does. Oh well -- it happens, so let's move on. At least I didn't lose points! 

There is a second spot on that road where you have to slow down as well, and I was pretty compliant the second time. I never even spotted the RCMP car! 

What is kind of silly, but I see why -- is that people could be turning on and off the highway at that point from both sides of the dual lanes, so it's a safety thing. But for people who drive on the 400 series of highways in Ontario, it's just insane to lower the limit unless there's construction. Lesson learned!!!

I had to laugh because he asked me if I was driving all the way to Ontario. He was probably going to alert police forces along the way to be on the lookout for this bright red car! 

I do NOT like this car -- it's huge and has this raised thing on the hood, which is hard to see over. The seats are not super comfortable, and it doesn't have Android car play (or at least I haven't found it), but the Bluetooth is working, which I don't really need. So -- that car is definitely off my list! It's interesting because almost every car I've ever rented has been Asian-built, and that's what I'm used to driving. Next time - I'll just pass on the North American cars --- too big and flashy! Give me something small, and I'll be happy. 

Of course, at the time, I was happy just to get a car. Let's say that the next time I do this same route, I'll be doing some different planning so I have a better choice of car. 

Once I got to Saskatoon, I went to my favorite bookstore and had a good look around. I think there are two locations for McNally Robinson - one here and one in Winnipeg. I was surprised that it's still very much a bookstore since so many people are buying books online or using their library. Our big bookstores back home have become huge gift shops. While they still sell books, the selection in-store has decreased. 

I found the advent calendar that I want to get -- the new EXIT game one, but I'll get it back home as I know it's in the stores there. I found the book that my Mom wanted, and I checked out the quilt books and bought one. I know -- I do not need another quilt book, but this is Thomas Knauer's book -- Quilt Out Loud, and it's a good inspiration book for those who like words on quilts. 

The magazine section, like the one back home, is pretty dismal. I looked but didn't buy anything. I looked at the quilts that are always displayed in the store - those are put there by the Saskatoon Quilt Guild. And guess what -- they are having their quilt show next month. Too bad I wasn't here then! 

I tell you, that topic is going to drive me mad until I can remember it, but the moment might be traumatic to dredge up!

I had two events at The Sewing Machine Store yesterday, and both were excellent. I say that anyone attending the events is getting a HUGE treat. The information they go home with is huge! So, if ever you get a chance to attend one of our events, get signed up!!! But they were in the afternoon and evening, and we ran late on the last one, so it was late when I got to the hotel. 

Walking? What is that? By the time I get things set up or move to a new location, there just doesn't seem to be time for anything else. I usually make time, but this trip, there just isn't. I haven't even opened up my ebook to read while here. 

I had signed up for a short Conquerer Challenge and finished that yesterday, so I'm still getting steps in, just not as many as I would like. I'll sign up for the next challenge and hopefully get back to some walking after today. 

Now, if I could only remember that topic! Perhaps tomorrow. 

Have a super day!


Thursday, September 14, 2023

Family time is important!

Well, yesterday was quiet! I almost don't know what I should chat about! There was something that I thought about yesterday, and well, it totally escapes me as I sit here. 

Let's say that after a day of visiting and all that messing around with travel stuff the previous day, I went to bed and had a LONG sleep. I'm really late getting up for me, and this makes me really late for you back home. 

Yesterday was a totally relaxing day -- the opposite of the previous day. I spent the entire day with Mom and Dad, and we had the best chats about everything and anything all day. It really was a good day. No drama, no upsets - the kind of day that will stick in my memory for a long, long time. I know that sounds kind of silly, but I don't see them that often, so every day is precious.  

I have to say that our family is extremely lucky. Why? Well, for the most part, we all get along, which I think is a rare thing. Secondly, while our parents fought tooth and nail for a long time about where they lived (on the farm versus in town), things just worked out. We don't do a lot of planning (can you tell?), and yet things have worked out, and in most cases, they worked out better than if we planned. 

Here's one thing that I never thought would happen in my lifetime. I'm a crier -- I can cry at the drop of a hat, and so discussing the death of pets, friends, and family members is never a good topic. However, there we were, chatting about death as if it were nothing, and no one shed a tear. So I guess I'm finally growing up (I doubt that) or just coming to grips with death. 

So my Dad and I are interested in similar things --- our tools (OK -- toys) all involve the CNC technology - which involves 3D printers, and cutters of all kinds - I'm into digital cutters, Dad's into plasma cutters, and don't forget the long arm and the embroidery machines. It's all the same technology; it just translates to different devices. 

So, we compared notes on how to create the files to get our respective designs. He showed me stuff that I should know how to do, but I do not. He's pretty amazing when you think he started to learn this stuff in his 80s. Now he's 90 and zips around THREE programs to create a file for the plasma cutter. I was sitting in total awe at what he has accomplished on his own. 

How did he learn? Like a lot of people his age, his formal education ended earlier than high school. But he has the desire to learn and the curiosity to make that happen. I can see him on his deathbed with a computer mouse in his hand -- saying just one more file - I need to create one more file. 

And we were laughing at the store the previous day, saying we would be on our deathbed saying -- please -- I just need to finish this project! There are too many to leave behind!

Oh boy -- the apple did not fall far from the tree! And I thank my parents profusely for giving us the wonder of curiosity! 

But what's the business with hotels? So the previous night (and it was late), I had tried three hotels (one in Lloydminster and two here) before I found an older hotel to stay at - everything was BOOKED. Last evening, when I arrived, there were TWO rooms left. Because who would think to book a hotel in the afternoon? I actually got a huge suite for the price of a room. It's so big that going to the washroom is an adventure, and I can choose between using the bathtub or the shower! 

But the price of hotel rooms everywhere has gone insane. You can barely get anything (in the newer hotels) for less than $200. It's totally outrageous. The price of a hotel in a large city is closer to $400 or $500 a night!!! When I see the number of worker trucks in the parking lots, perhaps hotels need to think of who sleeps in the rooms. If the majority of rooms are slept in by one person, then why not have smaller rooms, and you can have more in each hotel. I certainly do NOT need a massive room for one person. I guess I'm so used to sleeping in an albergue where we don't have privacy, and you share bathrooms. 

Now, we don't need quite that small of accommodations, but smaller than normal would be just fine. Keep bigger rooms for when people come as a couple or families, but most of the time I travel, I'm by myself and would love a smaller room for less money!

OH -- if I was at all worried about my fight red Dodge Charger being a theft magnet, there's no need to worry. I parked beside a bright red Ferrari last night. Let's say there's a lot more variety in car colors here than back home. The majority are still black, white, and grey, but a lot more red cars. I would fit right in here!

The smoke was pretty bad in the air yesterday. It looks a bit clearer here this morning, but it started off nice yesterday and then got heavier throughout the day. 

Well, I'm on the road today as I have events this afternoon and evening. And I need to do a wee bit of shopping before I have to be at the store, so it's time to get myself organized for breakfast and leave. And no -- I did not get a chance to call about my e-mail yet, so still no pictures. Hopefully, today will be a bit more relaxed as I'll be on my own, and I can make that happen!

Have a super day!!


Wednesday, September 13, 2023

The JOYS of traveling

Thanks for the comments about quilt stores --- yes -- we are definitely caught between a rock and a hard place. Unfortunately, it's one of the industries that has become so over-commercialized, with every new designer thinking they can make money at this and that one designer encouraging people. There just isn't enough money to go around. 

OK -- so the picture thing for the blog still isn't fixed. There was zero time yesterday. Let's just say that I've had a few interesting travel days, and well -- I think yesterday has topped them all. 

I had two great events at Central Sewing in Edmonton, but it was at 12:30, after I finished the first one, that I glanced at my phone and realized I was in trouble. Now, I could have done nothing, and then I would have been in big trouble, so I got on the phone. Which, by the way, works like a charm because I'm not going through the cell tower near my house. I must call them when I'm back. 

My next stop on this trip is Saskatoon, which is about 525 KM from Edmonton, and I don't have to be there until Thursday, with Wednesday being a travel day. Do I drive, or do I fly? I chose to fly after checking one car rental that did NOT have a car that I could drop in the new city. 

That meant that from Edmonton, I had to fly to Vancouver (yes --- in the opposite direction) and then fly from Vancouver to Saskatoon. Just silly, but there's no other way. I'm guessing because the flight between Edmonton and Saskatoon is less than one hour, that they eliminated it a while back since many people were driving. That's great if you have your own vehicle, but I have to rent, and not all rental companies want their cars ending up 500 KM from the issuing office. 

Anyway, the flight from Edmonton to Vancouver was delayed by one hour. That was the notice I had on my phone. That means I would not make my connecting flight from Vancouver to Saskatoon. 

So I got on the phone with Air Canada (short wait) and asked what other possibilities there were. Hmm --- there was an earlier flight to Vancouver, but I couldn't make that as I was still at the store. And then there was a flight today leaving Edmonton at 10 AM. I didn't want to wreck my entire travel day by traveling, so I said I would see if I could secure a car, and then I would decide and call them back. 

I called a car rental company, and NOPE -- we can't help you on the phone; you have to do that on the internet. Seriously?? Yep -- MORE offerings on the internet. That just seems so weird. So I went to that company's site, and NO -- they didn't have any cars. This was the same company I tried when I was booking my travel arrangements. 

Like all companies these days, multiple brands are associated with each other, so Budget and Avis are together. But operate separately. Budget didn't have cars (or I didn't operate their website properly), but I checked with Avis, and they did. I ordered an SUV and paid for it online. 

Now, back to Air Canada to cancel those flights. I was on hold with them, and my next class was starting, so I had to hang up and deal with it later. The bottom line -- I had a ride. OH --- I forgot to mention that I could NOT keep the car that I had. That had to be returned to the airport, where I would pick up the new car. 

So the class finishes, and I'm off to the airport, which is about a 30-minute drive in the OPPOSITE direction from where I want to go to catch the Yellowhead Route to Saskatoon. Of course, there was an accident and construction, so it took almost one hour to get to the airport. 

I had to top the gas in the rental car and didn't remember if there were gas stations at the airport (not usually), so I stopped at the little town just before and got caught up in a gaggle of motorcycles. I stopped at the pump, only to have my credit card not work at the pump, so I had to go in and prepay. I've no idea how much I need? So, I pre-paid $20 and went to pump the gas. Then I had to go back in to get the receipt for $7.20 for the premium gas ($1.72 a liter) because when I selected regular, it didn't work. 

Back on the road and into the airport, where there are TWO gas stations. GRRRR -- I should have paid attention to that when I left. Oh well -- I'll remember for next time. 

I arrived at the drop-off point, and before I even got a luggage cart for my crazy amount of luggage, they checked me out. ACK!!!!!

I pile all my luggage onto the cart and empty the ar. Now, normally, one has their suitcases packed but did not. In the morning, when I walked, I got caught in the rain. Everything had been drying in the back of the car, and I hadn't had time to pack it all up. So my pants and shoes were hanging off the luggage cart. It looked hilarious. 

OH -- I forgot to mention that while I was packing up my stuff at the store, I got back on the phone with Air Canada to cancel those flights. This time, the call volume is HIGH, and I'm on hold. Thank goodness for speaker phones. I'm still on hold as I leave the store. I'm halfway to the airport before the call is answered. Thank goodness for hands-free in the car because I was able to get the two flights canceled, and when I finish the flights for this trip, I'll get a full refund. 

So, with all my luggage hanging precariously off that cart, I made it to the car rental office. Thankfully, it's in the garage area where the cars are, and I didn't have to go back into the terminal. Yes -- they have a car, but I'll have to wait. So I waited almost one hour for the car. They mentioned something about a car with Sask plates (likely to get back into Sask), but when they finally called me, I got a Dodge Charger. This is a far cry from an SUV. And it's bright RED. 

By this time, I had repacked my suitcase, so it looked somewhat better. I went to use my credit card to put a deposit down -- I had already paid, but no - they wanted a deposit as well. My credit card was declined!!! Seriously???? I had literally made a payment about 30 minutes before while waiting since it was getting near the limit. So, I made another payment while standing at the counter, and finally, the transaction went through. 

I literally laughed that one off and told the lady that it was just that kind of day. 

I got everything loaded into the car and attempted to connect my phone, but I wasn't successful. But I knew the way, so I didn't need anything. 

As I was whizzing back on the highway to get back to where I knew I could get on the Yellowhead, I missed the bypass, which would have taken me on the EAST side of the city, but instead, I went to the furthest northwest corner and then had to come back through the top of the city. Guess what? That highway was totally under construction! Yep -- it was one of those kind of days. 

And I caught the Yellowyead Highway a mere FOUR KMs, from where the store is and where I was THREEE hours earlier. Yes --- it took me three hours to get to and from the airport and wait for the car. What an obscene waste of time, but seriously --- it was just one of those days. 

At last, I was free of the city traffic and on the highway. How far could I drive as I'm not very good at driving long distances? However, I decided to get to Lloydminster, which is on the border of Alberta and Saskatchewan. As I was arriving, I knew I needed to nap. So I was planning on a 25-minute nap, which extended to two hours! I should have stopped and got a hotel. But I was too tired for that -- do NOT worry -- I was not falling asleep at the wheel. I was just tired. 

While stopped, I managed to get my phone connected, and I got the navigation system to work. It was almost midnight, and I had forgotten to cancel my rental car at the Saskatoon airport. They would be waiting for me when the Vancouver flight landed at 30 minutes past midnight. I had tried calling them before my nap, but no answer on the phone. I got through this time, and that rental car was canceled. 

WAIT --- As I was preparing to nap in an empty parking lot, the craziest thing happened. I was able to lay the seat back quite far and stretch out my legs when the darn PANIC system on the car went off. Yikes --- lights are flashing, and the horn is blasting. Help --- how do I stop that? I think it stopped on its own, and I was just stretching out again when it went off again! OK -- so this isn't very relaxing! I had locked myself in the car, which it didn't seem to like. I've no idea, but it only happened twice. Phew!!!

So I continued down the highway through Lloydminster and passed a Holiday Inn. You know what -- I might as well stop here, and then it's a short drive the next morning. The place was full! Hmmm -- let's keep driving. 

Here's the thing -- my parents live in North Battleford, which is on the Yellowhead Route, and I was going to spend my travel day with them instead of forging on to Saskatoon, which I'll do in time for my events tomorrow. So it was only one hour further, and I decided to get a hotel in North Battleford. 

I finally arrived and went to two places, and they were totally booked. What???? There are many people who work in the area (service techniques) that fill up the hotels. So I'm in a third hotel that has been here for years. I've never been in it, but here I am!!!!

I plugged my phone in last night, and I see it must be one of those plugs that only charges when the light is on -- stupid!!!! So I'll have to charge the phone later today. The light at the desk doesn't work, and if I want to plug my laptop in, I have to crawl under the desk. I'm not doing that! 

OH -- I had barely eaten all day either, and when I stopped at Tim's in Vegreville to get a bagel and a cookie, I changed in the car. I had changed my pants and was about to whip off my shirt when a car drove up right beside me, so I had to wait! Anyway, I got back on the road, and that bagel was so stale that even me -- the no-so-very picky eater couldn't stomach it!! 

Let's just say that I'm ready for breakfast this morning. A nice relaxing breakfast. I'm forgoing any walk this morning. After breakfast, I'll pop over to my parents. 

So -- that, in a nutshell, was my travel day. One that I shall remember for a long time, and well, there was no need to get angry at any part of it -- just a folly of errors and well, that made it much more interesting!!!! 

On that note -- have a super day!