Sunday, August 11, 2013

No new pictures

I guess I was in such a hurry to get out of California, it didn't occur to me to take pictures. Besides, we went a different way and how many pictures can you take of the desert? We took the 10 to the 62 which runs all the way to Parker, Arizona. There is nothing out there but whoop-ti-dos and cactus. Now that I have been to Tennessee, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri, it's time to do something California. School starts in one week so we will need to do something soon. Maybe we'll go to the beach.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Getting ready for a road trip

I recently returned from a family history research trip to Tennessee and soon we will be off on a road trip to Missouri.  While none of the places we will be visiting are in California, I find I have no pictures of the trip to the Arizona border on Interstate 40. I guess we drive it so often, it doesn't occur to me to take pictures of something that has become boring.

There are many things to see and do between our home and the border so this trip, I will be making an effort to document some of those places. Route 66 runs from San Bernardino to the Arizona border and yet, I have not taken the time to see the historical sites along the way. They probably don't grab my attention because as children, Route 66 was our route to Texas to visit family. I can drive this in my sleep so it's time to make it interesting again.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Hummingbird update

I had a lovely vacation in Tennessee with my cousin Patty. We tracked down the home place and although disappointed that the house was gone, we did find the foundation. Tennessee is an incredibly beautiful state and coming from the browns in California, the greens of Tennessee were refreshing. Still, in the back of my mind was my hummingbird family.

We had two eggs and I expected them to hatch when I was away from home. 

It was with total delight that the afternoon before I left, our little eggs hatched. Although the picture could be clearer, Mom was too close to get a better picture. We try not to upset her. The two fuzzy caterpillar shapes are our babies.

These pictures were taken yesterday. They are a definite "Feed Me!"
Every day they get bigger and I know it won't be long before they leave. We are enjoying every minute.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Hummingbird Eggs

Darn! I am leaving tomorrow for an 8-day family history adventure in the hills of Tennessee. Not darn that I am leaving but the gestation period for hummingbird eggs is 14 to 23 days and I am probably going to miss the eggs hatching. Fortunately, my husband will be home so he can monitor our new babies.

I did the research and the eggs are now almost two weeks old. I also read that hummingbird dad's don't nest but our hummingbird dad does. While he doesn't spend a lot of time there, he will cover for the hummingbird mom. 

In the meantime, our cactus has bloomed again. I have pictures of my grandson next to the cactus when it and he were small. I take pictures of it every time it blooms. So, here is yesterday's picture. The blooms only last one day. 

 It's time to pack for the trip. Just checked the eggs. Still haven't hatched. Dad was sitting on the nest while mom chased away another bird. It's a baby and just hatched from another nest on the porch. It sound like wild kingdom outside!

Monday, May 13, 2013


 We have lots of birds in our area. We have the noisy black birds, the crows and the little birds with the red chest. I don't know what they are but they have nests in our trees and awnings.

Then, we have the hummingbirds. When we moved here years ago, I looked them up. The pair that we currently have nesting are Anna's hummingbirds. Our porch is covered in honeysyvle so it is a constant food source. This year they have taken up housekeepoing on the front porch post.

I am not quite sure how I missed the beginning of the nest building but one day I noticed the momma hummingbird bringing little bits of fluff and tucking it into the nest. I was shocked. The nest is out in the open. Earlier this month the mom and dad spent time coming up to the dog and I on the porch and checking us out. Our dog is oblivious to birds so they were satisfied they were safe.

I posted the picture below on Facebook yesterday. I am surprised at the interest. I guess it's not everyday that a hummingbird sits for a picture but they don't move unless we get too close. So here is the daddy sitting on the eggs. It is going to be another scorcher today, topping 100 degrees Fahrenheit but mom and dad will be there taking turns. It is shady in the afternoon so at least they aren't in direct sunlight. They are such a treat to watch.
 I am waiting for an opportunity to check out what is in the nest. Although it is only 6 feet away, we have stopped using the front porch steps because we don't want to scare them. They let us know they are not far away so I am biding my time for a closeup.

Monday, May 6, 2013

It's raining

It's May 6th. We are past the rainy season. It was 100 degrees for two days last week. Most of us are nursing some sort of sunburn.

Usually when they say it's going to rain, we don't pay much attention. We are also less likely to get rain than the LA area. We have different micro-climates so rain in one place doesn't mean it will make it to us. Our news breaks down the weather to separate Valleys-Inland Empire, Mountains, High Desert and Los Angeles Basin. Right now, the Doppler shows rain in our area but dry in Temecula.

Rain is a big deal here. We don't see a lot of it and it makes everything look better. The wet earth smells good. And, I just remembered, they plowed the field across the street last week. All those tumbleweeds they plowed under will get a head start with the rain and provide us with another bumper crop to climb into our yard in the fall.

Oh well, time to get the boy up. He has an umbrella he can take to the bus stop. He's had it several years and only used it twice so he'll be excited. Small things make us happy.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


At baseball practice yesterday, the smoke from the Banning fire was visible from the field. Only lost one home and it was 50% contained this morning. Just came home from a dental appointment to news reports of a fire in Camarillo which about 2 hours north of us and Jurupa Valley which is on the other side of Riverside. Some homes have been lost there. We are grateful that none of these fires are close to us. 

It's fire season. It's been hot and everything is its normal brown. The Santa Ana winds are blowing all through Southern California. Residents who live in or back up to areas that are undeveloped are temping fate. Even those of us who live on the flats are surrounded by hills. In these winds, sparks can fly a long way.

Right now, the wind is really blowing and wind warning are in effect until tonight. This is a fact of life for Southern California residents. In reality, the Southwest portion of the United States is at risk for wildfires.

It may be good that we had so little rain which may have prevented a bonus crop of vegetation. As expected, all our programming is preempted as they cover the three fires. We can only hope that the winds die down and pray for the firefighters who put their lives in danger to protect residents and their homes. They are our hero's. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Star for Everyone - a reflection on the A to Z challenge

 In one comment someone wrote that maybe there was more to California than Hollywood. That reminded me that I did not mention Hollywood. Quite frankly, it is overrated and not the same as it used to be in the 1960's when it was a really fun. But I digress...

I am giving everyone a star on the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard. Just substitute your name for Godzilla. I took this picture last year for my Squidoo page on "How to escape from Godzilla". For those who finished the challenge, congrats. For those who attempted but did not finish, congrats too. It's much more demanding than I expected and I was prepared.

So here is my take on the challenge. I am a grandmother raising a grandson. When this picture was taken, he had been playing baseball for about a year but he was young and sometimes his focus wasn't where it was supposed to be. He was 7 years old when this was taken. This is me at the start of the challenge. I have blogs but they just sat because I don't quite know what to do with them.

This is All Stars last July when he was 11 years old. We were at Big Bear. Notice that he has a batting stance that works for him. He knows which way to turn his body so the ball goes where he wants. (However, he needs to get his bat up. I will remind him again today at  practice.) Does he always hit the ball? No, he doesn't. Still, he knows the rules, makes a concentrated attempt and is a darn good player. Is he the best? No, he needs more practice. This is me at the end of the challenge. I know the rules, I made a concentrated effort and finished. Am I the best? Certainly not but I just need more practice too.

It was a learning experience. It was fun. I met wonderful people who were encouraging. I learned from everyone and found so many others with interesting lives and experiences. 

My hats off to those who set this up and managed it. What an incredible job! The encouraging posts were helpful, especially in the middle of the month when it sometimes seemed overwhelming.

Thanks to all of you who followed me and to those who left comments. It helped. I am going to take my time and catch up on the posts I missed and finish the list of blogs that I didn't get too.

I have no complaints or suggestions. Now that it is over, I can say that I am ready for next year.   

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z is for ZZYZX

The Urban Dictionary defines it as “The last place on Earth” It goes on to say, “It was originally founded by a crazy old man who named it Zzyzx since it would be the last word in the dictionary. The definition says Zzyzx (pronounced ZYE-ZIX) is an abandoned town somewhere between Las Vegas and LA.

That’s not exactly true. It is closer to Vegas than it is to LA and is our landmark that we are almost to Stateline. By the time I get to Zzyzx, the gambling fever has started to kick in and I know that I can make the fever go away at Buffalo Bill’s or Whiskey Pete’s. I don’t even have to go to Vegas.

Zzyzx is exit 249 on Interstate 15. You may not know that if you actually get off at exit 249, it will take you to the former Soda Springs. Today, Soda Springs is the location of the California State University Desert Studies Center and is managed by the National Park Service. The public is allowed to meander around Lake Tuendae and the shore of Soda Dry Lake. Curtis Howe Springer created Lake Tuendae in the 1940’s. Mr. Springer was an interesting man and was labeled "King of Quacks" by the American Medical Association in 1969. You can learn more about Springer on the Roadside America site. It is really an interesting story.

However, we have enjoyed the sign on I15 for many years. It has come to mean that Vegas is near. It also says that we are near family who live in Searchlight, Nevada and proudly have a picture of the sign on their wall. It is a sign that has been there since I was small and is part of my history too. Zzyzx is not the last place on earth but it is appropriate that it is the last entry for the A to Z challenge.

 Photo credit:

Monday, April 29, 2013

Y is for Yosemite - OK, that's pretty obvious

"Let the fire fall" 

The voice echoed through Yosemite Valley. At Camp Curry, we held our breath.  From the top of Glacier Point, a small stream became a full waterfall of molten embers as it fell to the valley floor. New to the sight or a frequent visitor, it was the highlight of the evening.

Photo credit: - Be careful on this site. I went to view the picture and an hour later, remembered I was doing a blog post. Meine Wunderkamper labels the blog "objects of curiosity, memory, knowledge and wonder". It is!

The Firefall is just history now. I think that in today's world it would be considered dangerous and those who track those sort of things would be out protesting. For us, in a less confrontational world, it was magical. The Firefall ended in 1968 after a somewhat tenious start in 1872. The Firefall history is well documented on this site and if you are interested in the history, it's all there.

Everyone writes about Yosemite. Today the park is more restrictive than it used to be. The freedom we had to roam is gone. Most of that is due to the park's popularity. Still, we make the trip frequently. No matter how many times you stop at the viewpoint overlooking the valley, it never gets old.

Yosemite is not just about the valley. We generally come in on the Fresno side. From the entrance, a right turn takes you to the Mariposa Grove of Sequioa's. This is my son and grandson starting the tour.

My favorite memory is staying at the Wawona hotel. On this trip, we ate at the hotel but did not stay there.

Instead, we pitched a tent in the Wawona campground and made it our base camp. From there, we toured the valley. The road to the valley, all 28 miles, was gravel only. It was being repaved.

We left Yosemite from the Tuolumne side. This pictures was taken from Tuolumne Road looking back at the valley from the other side of the park.

Two more pictures to share. The kids were small when this was taken next to the Merced River that runs through the valley. We were wearing long sleeve so it must have been spring when the air was still chilly.   

The kids were a little older here. This was taken at the Viewpoint.

Every time we go to Yosemite, it is a new adventure. The fact that it never gets old allows us to enjoy it all over again.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

X is for Xenagogue and Xanthocarpous

This is a stretch but I have enjoyed being your California Xenagogue, which just happens to be a noun and means guide. 
I thought I might write about Xanthocarpous which means to have yellow fruit. One of the best places to find yellow fruit is at the California Citrus State Historic Park in Riverside, California.  It will someday be the last orange grove in Southern California. The citrus industry that made Riverside the highest per capita industry in the early 1900's is dwindling with the cost of water and the extreme building of homes and businesses.

The State of California has mandated that California Citrus be a working grove. There are many acres of citrus trees and a varietal grove with specialties. One of them is the fingered citron, a yellow fruit and the origin of all citrus species. There is no juice in the fingered citron (or Buddha's Hand). It is where the spice Citron comes from.

I know a lot about this state park as my husband and I were docents there for three years.This is the visitor's center. There are some fun interactive displays.
 This is the corner of Dufferin and Van Buren in Riverside, California where the park is located. The orange stand used to be a familiar sight when traveling. People would stop to get refreshing drinks. They disappeared when air-conditioning was added to car and people were just not as parched.
 A lot of people get married in this gazebo. The setting is perfect and romantic.
Other views of the park. It is made to look like it would have in 1900 so while there are no play structures for the kids, they have hills to climb and lots of space to run and play. We have had Easter Egg hunts here and there are concerts in the park. Visitors can walk through the varietal grove and see examples of different kinds of citrus. School tours are many and the kids love the tasting session.

We love this park and spend as much time there as we can.

Friday, April 26, 2013

W is for What I learned on the A to Z Blogging Challenge

This is a departure from California destinations and attractions but it is important to note that I had no idea what I was doing when I started this challenge. I am not really a blogger. I came in not knowing the rules or the etiquette so it has been a learning experience.

C – Continue to blog even when you think that it’s too much.

A – Always know your material and write from the heart.

L – Leave meaningful comments.  

I – Invite other bloggers to follow you.

F – Follow those blogs that capture your attention. They can teach you a lot.

O – Organize your posts ahead of time so there is no need to stress.

R – Realize you can’t read all the blogs and then try to do it anyway.

N – Never forget who your audience is.

I – Invest time by participating fully in the challenge.

A – Always thank those who have taken the time to leave comments.

Thank you everyone for the comments and encouragement. Now back to our regular scheduled programming and don't miss "Z". It's my favorite.   

Thursday, April 25, 2013

V is for Vacation

We vacation but California is not our only destination. As you can see from the map, we have been to many states and try to add more each year. Next month I am going to add Tennessee and hopefully, Kentucky although my itinerary has me landing in South Carolina so I might claim that too. 

visited 31 states (62%)
Create your own visited map of The United States or Free android travel guide

The United States is full of the most incredible places to visit and each state has its own beauty. I can honestly say in each state we have visited, there are places where I would up and move if I had the chance. In 2007, we packed the truck and camper and drove 3000 miles to Maine. This is Gary with one of the lobsters we pulled out of the Camden Harbor.

Our friend has a lobster boat and does tours but he took us out by ourselves. What an incredible trip that was!

While I write about California, I have so many other places to share. For example, Salem, Massachusetts is not my favorite place. We stayed at the Winterhaven campground. However, most of my time was spent at the hospital. I developed some sort of a nasty bug that sidelined us for two days. I also got a parking ticket. They are not kidding with their posted parking time limits.

This picture was taken somewhere between Bois d Arc, Missouri and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on Route 66. It is spots like this that make travel interesting. This is a 1912 gas station that the forest is reclaiming.

So while I write about California, I want to pay homage to the other states. I could easily write a A to Z on all the states we've visited. California just happens to be where I was born and have lived for 60 years. Ours is a beautiful country with surprises at every turn. I can't wait to find new adventures as we continue our travels.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U is for Union Station, Los Angeles, California

Photo Credit:

There is nowhere else on earth where the echo of past voices touch me more than Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. Walking into the building can bring me to tears with the memories captured between those walls. This is where my lifelong love of trains began. This is Granny’s station. I didn’t even know it had a real name until I was a teenager.

My grandfather worked as the Stationmaster in Billings, Montana. Every year, my grandmother would visit, riding the train to Los Angeles. We would go to Los Angeles to ride the train to Montana. As I got older, I would take my kids on the train to California locations like Santa Barbara. Family has come in and gone out at the station and I can stand almost anywhere and see them in my memories. Most of them are gone now so it means so much more.  

Union Station is mammoth. When it was built in 1938, it was called the “Last of the Great Railway Stations”. Its grand size adds to its personality and mystique. 
Photo Credit:
Union Station has been the scene for many movies. My favorites are:

Them! (1954) – Don’t tell anyone I’m a Sci-Fi fanatic. I loved this movie and believe it or not, sometimes it sounds like the ants are in my neighborhood. It freaks me out every time. 

Silver Streak (1976) – Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor, murder on a train trip from Los Angeles to Chicago, what else needs to be said?  

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) – The Scarecrow trial courtroom is set in Union Station. I didn’t recognize it and had to go back and watch it again.

Today, Union Station is busier than ever. It serves not only the trains but also Metrolink and the Metro Rail, the newer subways and light rail lines.

However, a visit to Union Station should always be accompanied with a walk across the street to the oldest part of Downtown Los Angeles. Olvera Street is part of the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument. Beside the colorful trinkets they sell, the food is great!  

If you are in the area on the Saturday before Easter, Olvera Street is the location of the Blessing of the Animals. The tradition started in 1930 and it is quite a sight to see.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T is for Trailers (Vintage that is)

We are campers. This is a picture of Niles, the day we picked up the 1973 Perris Pacer. From tongue to bumper, it is a 10 foot fiberglass trailer. There are other brands around that my be familiar like Casitas, Scamp, and Bowler. And yes, that is our 1967 Ford Ranch Wagon that will haul the teardrop and the Pacer but not the Dalton. I can't believe how little Niles was when we got the trailer.
This is at a friend's house and we were leaving for Guajome County Park in San Diego County. This is a really nice campground on Highway 76 in Oceanside.There are two fishing ponds and a gazabo that is great for weddings. The campsites are partial hookup. There are 4.5 miles of hiking trails and while it is surrounded by city, it has that tucked away feel. It is 8 miles down the road to downtown Oceanside and the beach.
This is the 1959 Dalton at Guajome. We always decorate our trailers and this time we did it all in a lobster theme. It must have been influence by our road trip to Maine earlier that year.

Just north of Oceanside is San Onofre. Don't worry, the reactors are still off-line. There are two parks here. One is on the bluff overlooking the ocean and the other is a mile back from Interstate 5. The San Mateo campground is our favorite of all the local beach campgrounds. It's secluded and the spaces give a measure of privacy not always found when camping.

This is the Snooze Box at Lake Perris, the campground 5 miles from our home. It's interesting that camping that close to home allows us to come and go at will, we sometimes don't leave at all. The surroundings on the other side of the hill makes it feel like we are far away. The Snooze Box is a teardrop trailer and fits nicely under the EasyUp when it rains. Below is a better picture of our trailer. 

 For more about the Snooze Box, which is totally unique, you can check out my Squidoo Page

Doheny State Beach is another great place to camp. Just remember that you have to make reservations a year ahead. This is a very popular campground because it sits on the beach. Beachfront property is in demand. 

This is the Dalton at Doheny with Niles and I. 

This was our first camping trip with Niles. We very seldom camp up north but the Rivernook Campground in Kernville, CA is a wonderful place to camp. Some of the sites sit directly on the river so even small children can be watched from camp while they enjoy some "fishing".

Almost everywhere you camp in California is an adventure. We have desert, beaches, mountains, and lakes. We camped in Victorville when it was 7 degrees Fahrenheit. I don't know why we just didn't go home. We camped at Veil Lake in Temecula when it soared to 112 degrees Fahrenheit. We should have gone home then. However, we are campers, good and bad and have some very good stories to tell.

Monday, April 22, 2013

S is for Sister-In-Law

This is a convoluted tale on the way to sharing a California destination. I want to celebrate this anniversary. One year ago today we found my husband's missing brother and sister and our lives changed. 

My husband was adopted. I have an entire site, Missing Pieces: The Gaulthair Children, explaining how his biological mother had thirteen children and abandoned them all.

It struck me today as my husband spoke with his sister (my new sister-in-law) how blessed we are. After more than 50 years, there are finally some answers to the questions they all had.

When we decided to meet, we were looking for somewhere safe. We didn't know these people and they didn't know us. The family lives in a really small area and we didn't want to stay with them. We finally decided on a little Bed and Breakfast with it's own campground. It is in the middle of nowhere and not only did we love it, we are planning to go back. That doesn't make the new family happy because they want us to stay with them but we really like space #2.

The Inn at Benton Hot Springs

I borrowed this map from their website. Benton is on the foothills north of Bishop.

Our site had a stream running through it. The water in the stream is not cooled so it is very hot. It's sort of amazing. The hot springs at Benton are not mineral.

Gary is getting ready to setup the tent. We had lots of time to get it done because they weren't expected to arrive until evening. In the background, across the little bridge is our private hot tub.

The tent is setup and ready to go. Since we were still waiting, the hot tub beckoned. One of the interesting things about the Benton Hot Springs campground is that clothing is optional. We are not clothing optional people but for those who like to soak in the buff, it's allowed. 

The water in the hot tub is cooled by the spray heads. I can't even begin to describe how this hot water melts away the stress of the day, and we were stressed. Finally meeting his brother and sister after looking for more than 30 years was nerve-racking. What if we didn't like each other? A nice hot soak cured that.

This is the first photo taken of Gary with his brother and sister. Not the best picture but  it was 1:00 am and no one was willing to go to bed. Rick and Frances were raised together although they had different fathers. Gary and Rick have the same biological parents. 

So this is how we discovered Benton Hot Springs. The campground is primitive and the restrooms are porta-potties. For those who want a more "civilized" setting, I would highly recommend the B& B which is quite nice. Oh, and if you walk through the sprinklers when they are watering the grass, that water is hot too. In fact, all the homes in Benton have hot water that has to be cooled. 

BTW, the day we returned home from Benton, there was an email from  a stranger who said she might be one of the Gaulthair children. With Darla came a bonus because we knew of one other child but couldn't locate him. David was raised by Darla's father. It was not long after that when we discovered three more of the children. One of them has passed away but the two oldest siblings are now part of the ever growing family. There are five more still missing but God willing, we will find them too.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

R is for Rife

In California, there are so many fun things to see and do. The state is “Rife” with activities. Ever try to find an “R” word that means more?

With only 26 days to share all that California has to offer, so many wonderful places are overlooked. Here are my top 10 places not to be missed. 

Aquarium of the Pacific – The 4th largest Aquarium in the United States. Located in downtown Long Beach, this is one of our most favorite places to go. We can spend hours there just watching the sharks and petting the sting rays but the exhibits change so there is always something new to see. Don’t go this weekend. The Long Beach Grand Prix is running and parking will be awful.

Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood Sign – Yes, I know that they are two separate things but to get them into a list of 10, I combined them. The Hollywood Sign is actually on the property of the Griffith Observatory so it counts as one. Plan to spend a lot of time here. This is a wonderful place for kids who will be entertained by all the displays to touch.  

Huntington Library and Gardens – As a child, this was a magical place. There are gardens galore to explore, the main library building that has a copy of the Gutenberg Bible on vellum, and Thomas Gainsborough’s Blue Boy is in art museum. Located in San Marino, it is relatively close to Pasadena

Los Angles County Arboretum and Botanical Garden – The twelve movies with Tarzan the Ape Man were filed here from 1932 to 1948, staring Johnny Weissmuller. Fantasy Island, the TV series was also filmed here and when my kids were small, the airplane was still next to the pond. The Arboretum is in Arcadia, CA, just east of Pasadena on Interstate 210.  

Cable Car Museum – San Francisco has many interesting places to go and things to see. However, train and trolley fans (me) love places like the Cable Car Museum. This is the place to see how the trolley’s are turned and set on their paths. They also shared photos and history of the trolley system. Well worth a stop.

Golden Gate Park – This is an enormous park with literally something for everyone. Even if you don’t have time to view all the attractions, having lunch in the park or exploring the neighborhoods surrounding the park is a great way to spend a day.  
Me, Patty, Marlin, Stuart, and Gary in 1958 at the Golden Gate Park.

Lombard Street – I wish I had a recording of the day we took the truck and camper down this street. I screamed all the way, because I thought the truck was going to roll. What was interesting is that I was the driver. However, this street is not as scary as the one next to it. When I got to the top of the hill, I was afraid to drive down because I could not see the street beyond the front of the truck. Needless to say, I backed up and did not try it. 

The Presidio – This is so much more than the name says. Yes, it was a military base for more than 200 years. The history along is amazing. A portion of it sits under the Golden Gate Bridge and if you don’t plan on driving it, the views from there are remarkable.  It is now a National Park and has hiking trails as well.

Balboa Park – Like the Golden Gate Park, this San Diego Park is also a gigantic area full of many different venues. The San Diego Zoo is there and I highly recommend a visit. It’s my favorite zoo because they have Meerkats. The Polar Bears are good too. There are museums that cover many areas from astronomical to horticultural. It’s a superb place to picnic or listen to the organ music from the band shell.

California State Railroad Museum – I love trains and expected to see some in this museum but I was totally blown away by this place. I am not kidding when I say that it is incredible from the first display you walk into to the swaying of the trains on the tracks in another exhibit. They have dishes from days gone by that show what each railroad used in their dining cars and I remember some of them. The California State Railroad Museum is in Old Sacramento. Take the time to see the town. Well worth a visit.    

Friday, April 19, 2013

Q is for Quilt

2013 Southern California Quilter's Run is June 20-23 & 27-30, 2013 It's time to get new walking shoes. There are 30 quilt shops covering five Southern California counties. Seems sort of easy actually until you try it.

The run is broken down into four districts. For each one that you complete, you are entered to win a prize. The prizes are pretty good so it makes it worth your while to try to complete each section. If you can visit every shop, there is an even better prize for the lucky name drawn.

Sounds OK so far but it's quite a distance to cover. From my house to the last shop in Chula Vista, Ca, it's 90 miles. It's 118 miles from my house to the first shop in Newbury Park.

Still, last time, I did two of the sections. It was a blast. Each shop hands out a charm that can be used to decorate a wall hanging. They have special deals and drawings for each store. There is a always a theme and most have free patterns to go with the theme. So it looks like I will be trying to do this again this year. I can't wait to get to the Temecula Quilt Co. It's close enough that I could go any day but I want to see what they have for the quilt run. They have the most beautiful wool fabrics.  

Not to be overlooked, Northern California has its own called the 14th Annual Northern California 14th Quilt Rush.  It is April 17-21, 2013 and they have some pretty nifty prizes too. Heart of the Valley Quilt Shop Hop covers Carlifornia's Central Valley.

For residents who may not know how many quilt shops there are in their area, check out the websites. Even if the annual event is over, the quilt shops are still listed.

I am going to Tennessee in May. You can bet that I already have a list of the quilt shops I may be passing in my travels.

Some of my quilts. This is one I found at a thrift store. It is queen size and beautiful. I cost me $5.00. I have a feeling it is worth a little more. It is a crazy quilt that is completely hand stitched. Some of the pieces are frayed. The embroidery is excellent and the quilt is tied.

Anyone want to hazard a guess on the age of this quilt?
I think that it may be from the 30's. The backing with the medallions is not a current fabric. The texture and the weight are not any that are familiar. The pieces on the front are not familiar either and I have been sewing a very long time.  I did some checking and the colors might have been depression era. The pieces that have frayed are the same and look to be a thin, gauzy material that has not done well over the years. 

This is one that I made. When I washed it, the whole thing came apart at the seams. We figured out that the fabric was defective so I sat it aside for a year until I could convince myself to take it all apart and start over. It is now a proud addition to the decor in my living room.

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