Friday, July 28, 2017

And the way west continues

We've been gone from North Dakota since Monday. Today is Friday, so you'd think that I'd have said hello to the world of bloggers in the interim. No way! No, literally. No way. We've been in the mountains, parked alongside the Shoshone River in a little place called Eagle Creek Campground in the Shoshone National Forest. Here's how I described it on Tuesday when we arrived.

"Oh sweetheart, we have to stay. It's so pretty. Look at the wildflowers, ahh, and the river. Oh, I bet it's cold and refreshing. This place right here is open and is right on the riverbank. We can sit on those flat rocks with our feet in the water and enjoy the morning. Or come back from the mountains and cool off under the shade trees. Hey! Look that little guy! What is he? A chipmunk? Aww, how cute is that?" 

I wanted to stay two nights. Just two. I figured the lack of electricity and fresh water would probably make things difficult. I'm not a fan of difficult. Richard paid for three, just in case we couldn't find anything else. We didn't look for anything else, but we did find a few places. Those places were so congested and crowded that we returned to our Shoshone River camp and reveled in the quiet. 

There were few other campers, and like us, they were rambling through Yellowstone during the day, returning exhausted and ready for bed. Only the camp host stayed longer than we did. Everyone else seemed to come to their senses on day two. But we're tough Louisiana folks and can take the wilderness. Aren't we the ones who trekked through Arizona dragging three preteens tent-camping in a different place every night? Dang right!

So day three arrives and Richard says, "We have to decide what we want to do: stay here or move farther west so we don't have to drive so much." 
Me: "Oh, we're moving." 
Rich: "Okay, so you want to move? Any idea where?"
Me: "Where there's electricity and water and full services." 
Me: "FULL services."
Rich: "We could stay one more night."
Me: "Sure, if they put in FULL services while we sleep."
Me: "Let's be clear. That ain't happening. We're moving. If you pay for another night, you'll lose your money. We are moving!"

I woke up when the camper suddenly jerked onto the truck hitch. For those of you who don't know: Richard was packing and hooking up the camper to move. 

Yes, we moved. Tonight we will sleep on the Montana-Idaho line and go back into Yellowstone a few more times before going to the Grand Tetons and then somewhere west of here. That has not been decided yet.

So what does a girl do when there's no electricity? Hand-stitching, of course! This little bird quilt has patiently been waiting its turn for some needle attention. Remember the bird on the left is the one that Preeti sent me quite some time ago. 

I made a reverse one to "match," quilted them to hold the two sweethearts in place and put the whole thing aside for this trip. I've pulled it out and in the tiny bit of daylight that was left at the end of each day, I've been stitching. You can see that there hasn't been much daylight! But it's a start. 

Now except that in the picture the bird's wing looks too much like a penguin wing. Hmm. I don't want a penguin bird. Oh, so much stitching to remove! I'll leave you with that happy note.

What do you think? Isn't this a cute little lovebird? Forget the wing, something's going to happen with the wing. But the rest of it? I think this is the girl since it's not very bright and colorful. The other will have some gorgeous thread...but we'll see how that works after this wing gets a makeover. Have a great weekend!

Linking up with:
Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts

Sunday, July 23, 2017

International Peace Gardens [Marcottes go West pt 3]

Yesterday my sister Jeanne took us to the International Peace Gardens on the border of ND and Canada. The gardens (there are several) are stunning. Added to that fact is that the Dakotas are in a deep drought and it's amazing how much care the volunteers put into their mission of peace.

  1. The two drives include lakes, native trees and wild flowers, and a variety of native fauna. The main gardens are simply breathtaking. Although I recognized many of the plants, the variety and color is well beyond my knowledge. One example of this is the cone flower. 

I'm calling all of these cone flower but they could easily be daisies or perhaps they are related. The point is that the colors are fascinatingly varied.

For more photos of the scenes and flowers at the International Peace Gardens, visit my Facebook page. 

#marcottesgowest    #fleurdelisquilts   #marymarcottequilts

Friday, July 21, 2017

Marcottes go west (pt 2) wild flowers

Perhaps I should mention that I've decided to suspend regularly scheduled programming until we return to the land of normal internet. Unfortunately that's including email and comments. I could easily take care of those, but it's frustrating to write a note only to lose it a minute later because the connection is interrupted.
So for now thanks, love and gratitude; I'll write back soon. :)

In the meantime I will try to post some of the pictures and stories of our vacation. We are now visiting my youngest sister in North Dakota. Jeanne and Al have two children who are fun and seem to enjoy sarcasm, giving as much as they get. They get lots, by the way.

Funny girl kid holding a blunderbuss at the Lewis and Clark Fort Mandan replica.

Funny boy kid rowing a half canoe after refusing to put on the uniform pants to have a complete picture. Why? That's what he asked.

On to the wild flowers. They are much more cooperative. And don't talk back.

Here's an example of the sarcasm I have to deal with: every time I ask the name of a wild flower, the return answer is "weeds."
Is it supposed to be funny every time?

Linking up with:
AmandaJean at crazy mom quilts 
Go see her latest batch of cute pincushions!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Marcottes go west (pt 1)

This post will probably be heavy on the pictures and light on everything else. For some reason we can't seem to grasp the concept of having all the time in the world. We just keep pushing ourselves to see and do more every day. It's the old idea that the fun will end soon and life will go back to normal. 

So here are some of the highlights of the last few days. At least we've been enjoying ourselves.

This guy has an entire prairie and chooses to visit us. 
The look on Richard's face as he watched the bull bison amble 
within arm's reach shows how honored we were. 

Just as wild, just as close...not as scary!
And speaking of prairie...

When you leave the prairie behind, you may find yourself in a place called the Badlands. Heavens, this place is terrifying. I cannot describe the heights and depths of these hills of rock. 

I was standing right in the little dip in the bottom of the picture.
Later I had a panic attack: we drove too close to the edge.
Have to get somewhere quick?
You have to wait your turn for the one-lane tunnel.
I took the tunnel picture through the windshield. Richard does not stop every time I ask. And when he does, he may pass up the view before getting the truck off the road and stopped. I just start clicking when I see something. (And I wonder why my pictures look "so real.")

No matter all that, I'm happy that we're not living
in this little prairie sod house with dirt walls and floor.
Although I admit, I loved every minute of exploring it.

More to come how soon depends on the wifi / phone connection that's available. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

little rosary finishes

As many of you already know, Richard and I are traveling through Nebraska and the Dakotas. Today was a rest day. We can handle three to four days of the road. Then someone gets cranky. Cranky leads to words. Words lead to...

Well, let's just say we've been married long enough to know our limits and respect them.

 I haven't had much time for sewing except the bit of handwork I can do on smooth roads. Want to know how deplorable the infrastructure is? Pick up a needle at 60+ mph. Ouch!

 Today we slept late, had a little brunch, piddled.  Then I pulled out the Bernina and played. I've wanted to make a couple of rosary purses for friends at our church. Today I got started. 

What do you think? They are quilted small! For perspective I left a long quilting pin in each. Those zippers are about three inches long. And yes, the odd shaped one is big enough. In fact they hold my biggest rosary. 

For my non-Catholic readers, a rosary is simply prayer beads used to keep track of a set of prayers or a novina. Oftentimes we pray for deceased loved ones using a rosary.

I'll leave you with a picture or two of the river next to our campsite, the Middle Loup River.

Linking up with:
Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts
        Myra at Busy Hands Quilts

Thursday, July 13, 2017

International Quilt Study Center and Museum

I can't post photos of the quilts in the special exhibits because of copyright laws. These I think are okay. Let's hope anyway.
I'm posting with my phone so no edits or explanations.