Doesn't this photo just make you want to run screaming to your studio and start playing with fabric? Actually, when I snapped the shot toward Longwood Gardens, we had been inching along a 10 mile stretch to home for over two hours. What was supposed to be a “light wintry mix” turned into blinding, heavy, accumulating snow. Cars were all over the road, spinning wheels, going sideways then going no where. Stuck. Lucky for me, Gary was driving and we have four wheel drive so at the first chance, we turned out of the stopped traffic on Route 1 and took back roads home.
As in chrysanthemums! I walked around Longwood Gardens, expecting to see a gorgeous display of colors along the Flower Walk but Jack Frost must have wrecked havoc the night before because all the mums were gone. The staff was busily planting bulbs to bloom in the spring.
Starting the day with serious intentions of tasting some wine. We drive from the ocean through the mountain pass, into dry and arid country so different from the lush, green Appalachian mountains I'm used to. I do feel like I have gone back in time to old California. So it is especially nice to have our first wine tasting in the oldest winery and vineyard, Rancho Sisquoc. Sisquoc is a Chumash Indian word meaning “gathering place” and the Santa Maria Valley is surely a gathering place for wine lovers. The tasting rooms are small and intimate, without the pretentions of the big labels in Napa.
I’m the hostess for the quilt bee today. We’ve been meeting for more than 20 years! Peggy named us “The Sometimes We Do Quilt Bee” because sometimes we actually do quilt! We certainly have a great time enjoying our friendship, supporting each other, solving the problems of the world, quilting, sewing and loads of other stuff. Like eating and trading recipes. On the menu this morning is cupcakes! Three choices: coconut, (I’m suffering withdrawal from lack of coconut cake from the Sewing Bender!) chocolate or vanilla frosted. I’ll have one of each because there are no calories at quilt bee.
Andra showed this gorgeous top she just completed as a gift for a friend whose home was severely damaged in Hurricane Sandy.
I’d love to try this fun construction technique. Andra used two Layer Cake packs, one with all white squares and one with prints. Pair a white and a print square, right sides together. Sew one quarter inch from the edge on all four sides. Cut the squares on the diagonal from opposite corners, creating four half square triangles. You really have to take care with pressing and sewing because this technique leaves all the edges on the bias. Doesn’t look like Andra missed matching any of her seams because we all admired the top and envied her friend. I just might make one for my beach house. OK…I don’t have a beach house…but that’s not a deal killer for making the quilt!
It’s a sweet day when Gary forfeits a golf round to go on a bike ride. We decided to try a new restaurant for lunch in Downingtown first but couldn’t get any where even close. Massive traffic jam in this small town. By pure serendipity we were caught up in Downingtown’s Fall Fest Street Fair. We quickly snagged a parking space and went in search of…street food! There were lots of freebies, including a taste of beef brisket, snicker doodle cookies, carrot cake, bags of chips and snacks from Herr’s. We really didn’t need to buy lunch but short rib tacos were just too tempting to pass up. Next to work off a few calories.
This short but beautiful trail is just a few miles from my house and is well used and much appreciated by so many that sometimes the small lot is overfilled with cars. It’s just perfect for a quick ride or walk.
The East Branch Brandywine Trail will someday connect with other Rail Trails to provide miles of multi-use recreation. I absolutely love Rail Trails and we are so lucky in Pennsylvania to have 93 Trails totaling 1063 miles. I am a charter member of the Rails to Trails Conservency and I want to ride as many trails as I possibly can. I can usually lure Gary into riding if I promise a sandwich and cold beer at the terminus. Not available on this short trail but West Chester is just a few car miles down the road.
Gary wins most calories worked off. Tennis in the morning, afternoon bike ride, and he managed to squeak in 9 holes of golf. Retirement is great!