Sunday, May 25, 2014

Home, At Last!!

Hi Sparkie says I can tell you about more of her trip...she forgot to tell all about the class of machine quilting at the City Quilter.  What a great shop, and soooo  busy.  Too bad I wasn't there, because all the gals would have loved my cute little face, and I could have had fun chasing around the shop playing in all that fabric.  Mom says the colors and styles were right up her alley....funky and fun stuff.  She  had to be very careful about buying, because she said she could have spent a big bundle  on all that gorgeous fabric.
There was a full class of eager machine doodlers, and  they all had a great time and did some really beautiful work.  Mom even met Garen who went with Julie on the infamous Boston trip that mom missed.  The weather was great at noon for the lunch run, but after class the skies opened and it was like the 40 days and 40 nights of rain.  Garen, being more a of a NYC native that mom, helped her flag down a cab for Grand Central.  The Grand Central quilt exhibit was closed in the morning so mom never did see the quilts.  Lisa Jenni had a piece in the show, so it was disappointing to miss seeing them.  They looked great through the windows!  What a mad-house.   Mom said she was sure she was a country girl after 2 days in NYC.   It is pretty nice to see all the trees and mountains out our window, and only worry about deer and crows instead of racing cabs and millions of people running all over the place!
Soon it was time to leave to come home, and mom and nephew Earl and his wife, Sheri, left in their rental car for the infamous  Westchester airport on Wednesday morning.  They had different planes but leaving at almost the same time, at least that was the original plan!  While getting gas in the rental Sheri got a notice on her magic phone that their flight was with that bit of info we didn't totally turn in the car, but went into the airport  to check on the flights.  Sheri and Earl managed to  get a  direct flight from LaGuardia to Seattle arriving about the same time as the cancelled flight.  Mom's flight was still a go, so she checked in and Sheri and Earl headed to New York to La Guardia in the rental car.
Mom waited patiently in the gate area....there are only about 3 or 4 departure points at this little airport...and you can hardly call them gates as you walk out on the tarmac to board!.  Earl and Sheri are now on their way, and poor mom is sitting there reading her new book from the book-signing.  It was a good thing she had that as it turned out.  Plane is delayed on take off!!   Poor mom...still waiting and it is now a couple hours late from original take off time. 
Finally the plane arrives and she can board....2 bags are checked..some with quilts....oh boy, hope everything gets to Seattle on time and in one piece, cuz mom gets testy when she thinks quilts might  turn up missing.
Oh, good....time to board....sitting on the plane and waiting.....oh, no....what now???
Waiting some more.....pilot comes on and says there is a problem in Chicago....tower had a fire......everything is delayed or cancelled....back to the the plane to wait inside for further info.
Where is mom...I am missing her.....waiting in the airport, of course.   Still waiting....oh, good,  back on the plane....wait a minute....those guys are checking out the nose wheel pretty closely as she got on, and mom mentioned to the attendant about it...yeah, there may be a problem.   She told her seat mate she wasn't buckling up this time....maybe the plane won't be going anywhere....oh, no......
The  one flight attendant....a small plane remember!....announces that the guys driving the tug to push the plane out hit the nose wheel gizmo, and they gotta send in mechanics and engineers to make sure it is safe....ok...back into the airport to wait some more....
ANNOUNCEMENT!!!  News at 4....finally after 4pm  the big wigs decide that plane can fly  and  so everyone loads  up again....for the THIRD time.    This time is the charm, and off they  go.  Considering the fire in Chicago, it was a lucky break, because planes were fouled up all over the place.
Mom, where are you????
Land in Chicago about  6 or so......  poor mom  missed her  connection, which, it turned out, was cancelled to find another flight to get to Seattle...poor mom....she was running around to gates  trying  to find another flight....finally a clerk said to go over there....that is where you re-schedule....
Then, she took mercy on mom and said she would try to find a flight...oh, good news...the airline had scheduled mom for  the  NEXT said NO next day.....yippee....a flight leaving in a half hour would a far away gate of course, and you can get to Seattle yet tonite.
I think mom  ran down one gate area around the corner to the next gate area, and finally found the gate just in time to board.   The clerk made it sound like I got the last seat.....but lots of empty seats on that flight, and as it turned out a special seat in the middle with a tray had lots of room and was on her way!
After landing in Seattle mom hurried to the baggage carousel......yippee....the bags were there and was she HAPPY!    Now to get the bags on a cart and head for the shuttle  area....that was the easy part, and after a couple hours' wait the shuttle arrived  and headed for Stanwood and other stops.
I was  so happy to see mom come in the door at about 1 am........she gave me a big hug and kiss, but I did have to play hard to get, just a little.  Mom said I looked  bigger, but that was just because she forgot how big and cute I  was.   I was so glad to see her, and now I  have someone to tease and chase around the house.   I think mom and dad are both going to go on another trip some day, but mom said she didn't care if she ever flew anyplace again...... EVER!
I don't know why flying is so just puts me in a cute little red carry case, and sticks me in the car and off we go to the VET' plane rides for me!

OK......the BlogSpot goblins are playing games with me again...can't get any pix posted so will try again in the morning!    I will at least try to post Sparkie's travel tale....hope you all have a great night's sleep, and I will sign on again tomorrow.....with Sparkie, of course!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Connecticut at Last

Hi all...Judy here to write the next installment of her big trip to CT.....I am giving Sparkie the day off as she has been busy chasing me around the house, biting my toes, and being a general all around pill!
After that most annoying flight to New York, chasing my bags down  Westchester, and finally arriving at my nephew's late  Thursday night, I finally got to New Milford, CT.   I was really sad that I had to fore-go my trip to Boston Friday....still had to get my rental car and so I told Julie to just go ahead without me.   I missed the Pilgrim Roy quilt exhibit, but did make up for it with another show in   Manhattan later that week.   Julie had  a friend Garen along and as it turned out, she was in my class at the City Quilter.  What a great surprise that was...but I still have not met Julie, the wonder woman of red and white quilts.  They had a great time in Boston, anyway!
I caught up with some friends in New Milford, Mary Eddy, Pat Murphy our town mayor, and also took a quick trip out to the Silo....a great place for gourmet food and kitchen goodies.  I was once Skitch Henderson's farm which he gave to the town of New Milford in trust.    New Milford as changed a lot with new businesses sprouting up everywhere, especially along route 7, and more new restaurants in town.  It must be the best fed town in the whole state.   Lots of weekenders there from New York, so they need food!  The town green is still the prettiest ever, and so typical for a New England town.  I do miss that....but not the snowy winters which they say was horrible this last season.
I was able to see Susan and Linda at the Northern Star quilt show which was great.  Beautiful quilts as always, vendors for shopping, and a great program with Mark Lepinski as the speaker.   Lots of laughs there!  Then we had a great dinner in Ridgefield....yummy scallops and risotto.  I may get to see Susan again as her son now lives in Seattle.  Quilting friends are the BEST.
Monday night I taught my friends the Sherman Tanks...a great group of gals I teach every time I go back to CT....some used to be in my old Calico Cats Guild years ago.  They are lots of fun and great quilters.  We did an old fashioned spiderweb block.
Tuesday   I  returned my car and my dear friend Marilyn picked me up.   I usually stay with Marilyn but she had been in CA for her granddaughter's first communion.....what a treat...she took me to the new Red Robin Yummmmmmm....for lunch, my favorite place for a hamburger!
She also surprised me this week with a shopping spree in her stash....she is thinning her fabric, and did I ever get some neat things.   She also gave me some wool, and I decided I need to try to make a wool project so I can have some handwork for when I am sitting around airports...2 more trips coming up!   No one believes I am going to do handwork.   Time will tell.
Wednesday was fun....we had dinner at the Cookhouse with about 10 of my quilting buddies, and also my Carmen Hill neighbor, Ginny.   She is moving to South Carolina I was glad we got to visit a bit. 
On Friday Marilyn's husband drove us to New York.   He works at CBS and drove in that day instead his usual train commute.   We ate breakfast at the diner as usual, and then Marilyn and I took a cab uptown to the New York Historical Society.  There was a great exhibit of Civil War quilts there, and tho not big, it was packed with great examples of all kinds of quilting, and  moving stories of that period of our American history where quilts and war merged.
Sunday I went to church with Sheri on the green, the old Congregational church which will be 300 years old in the next decade.   The church has beautiful stained glass window, typical old straight box pews and white walls and wood trim....the steps leading up to the church have seen the footprints of many souls, including founding fathers  such as Roger Sherman.  One thing about those old New England cannot escape the  awesome sense of history at every turn.
Well, after coal fired pizza with Earl and Sheri, dinner out with the gals again:  Rigmor, Judy, Marilyn, Marie, and Denise, and ice cones at the dairy farm....I think I was about at the end of the line for foodies!  We did make one trip to the Whitehorse Inn and pub....the old Marbledale Pub when we lived there.
A book-signing with Marie Bostwick was fun....turns out her sister is in my Camano  Island, WA  quilt guild, and her novels about a town in CT.....reading her novels is like walking around New Milford and surrounding areas.  The Cobbled Court series is a great set of books, and well worth reading. Marie was at the City Quilter Saturday when I was teaching there.  Small world!!
I can't forget to share my teaching adventure at the City Quilter in fun is that.  The fabric there is just my type...funky, colorful, and fun.....and the class of gals was inspiring.  What fun we had, and I met Garen, who was on the Boston trip I missed.  If ever you get to  New York, you MUST stop by the City Quilter, or check them out on-line if you can't get there in person.
I was able to Priscilla, we worked together at Connecticut Memories, and of course, Madeleine, who owned the store.....what memories that brings back.  We always called it the Stuff was filled with so much stuff...and one of the most popular shops in town.   We also did our share of counseling with our was the place to go if you were feeling down in the dumps...all that stuff would cheer you up for sure.  There were lots of old estate treasures there from all the estates Madeleine did.....soooo many goodies....books galore, glassware, dishes and household, and other odds and ends.   I still have many things in my house I bought there!
The best part of any trip back to CT is seeing all my friends....the blessings of sweet friends is one of the best things in life.  Treasured memories are sweet remembrances of happy times shared around happy times and sad.   We should all be blessed with  friends who cheer us on and love us no matter what.
So, now it comes...the end of the trip, and packing and saying goodbyes and hoping to see  dear ones CT or WA. It is always sad to leave my "family" in CT, but I was getting homesick for my hubby and my Sparkie cat.  I will leave the gory details of my trip home to WA for the next post....I hope you will check in for that adventure....hmmmmm.....I wonder whatever happened to that pirate!
Sparkie sends her love and will  write next time.   She is taking a nap for now!   Love from us all.
Judy, Ken and Sparkie
Looking down the Green with our landmark Bandstand in New Milford, CT.

First Congregatonal church in New Milford, CT

Judy Mayer, Mary Waterman, Judy Irish, Pat Jennings, and Pat Pineau.....buddies at the quilt show.

Mark Lepniski and Judy Irish at the Northern Star Show

A beautiful quilt by Claire Victor at the Northern Star Quilt Show

Breakfast at the diner....NYC

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Hi all.....Sparkie here writing for mom....poor mom....she came  finally came home from her big trip to CT and NY.  I missed having her here so I could chase her feet, bite her toes,  and entertain her by running around the living room, climbing her quilt ladder, and  pestering her to turn on the faucet so I could have a drink.
Mom had such a terrible flight both ways on this trip.   She always likes to take the red eye from Seattle so she doesn't waste a day flying....that went pretty well.  Left  Sea-Tac just before midnite and arrived in Chicago around 6 am.   Oh, goodie.   Plenty of time to catch the plane connection......except there were a few snafus......she said the first was the gate change...ok....hike to the other gate....plane is late of course.....finally time to board.   OK......board the plane.  Buckle up, and wait to take off....oops....PLANE CANCELLED!!    Poor mom because it is way after lunch and hours after she was supposed to be in CT renting her car.   Now what???   Off the plane and off to the  customer service to get another plane.  Lines of people trying to reschedule.   Oh, my, where are mom's bags???  I hope they get to Westchester.   There are quilts in her bags, and she will not be happy if they get lost! 
Oh, gosh, calls on mom's magic phone are flying here, there, and everywhere from CT to WA. Gina was going to pick her up at 10 am in CT...cancel that.....oh, and call and cancel the rental car till tomorrow, hopefully.  Done!
Lots of people in line and each with a story of where they are going and why they have to be there.  The lady in line behind mom was trying to get to Peekskill as her mom was dying, and she really needed to get there.  Mom  told her to go ahead so she could get on her way....she got to Newark where her sister would pick her up, and  she could get to her mom.   I wish I could have been there to cheer my mom....I know she was getting mighty discouraged, and her Friday trip to Boston with Julie was slowly slipping from view.'s turn in line to schedule a new flight.   Looks like all she can get is a flight to La Guardia in NY...better than Newark,  she figured.   OK....let's go to LaGuardia....another wait till  flight takes off....oh, boy....that one actually took off, and things are looking up.   Plane arrives in NY about 6 pm......where are mom's bags.....she had them re-scheduled for the airport in LaGuardia......oh, noooooooo......the baggage carousel is going round and round, without mom's bags.....oops...guess they went to Westchester! did that happen cuz mom was not on any plane to Westchester.  By now mom is getting pretty annoyed...check with baggage office...oh, yes,  a call to  Westchester verifies that the bags are there....but mom is  at La Guardia.....ah...the joys of travel....oh, well, she just needs to catch the limo to CT....oh, just so you don't think she is living large in a long black limo sipping chocolate milkshakes and watching is just a big bus called the CT Limo.   Bus scheduled....coming in 45 is 45 minutes and where is the limo.....oh, stuck in traffic.   so another 45 it is still an hour and a half to Danubury....lucky for mom her niece works just around the corner from the hotel where the limo stops....she is on call to pick her up when the limo gets there.  Finally the limo comes and the driver is on the phone for 10 minutes arguing about something.....I think mom should write a book about this trip for sure....ok,  finally they leave for Danubury, but first stop is Norwalk, then Danbury....
Around 8:30 or so mom finally lands in CT in Danbury....NO Sheri picks up mom at the hotel and kindly agrees they should drive to the Westchester airport about  30 miles  away....gotta get those bags...
Mom is hungry, but now it is getting late, and no time to stop at the diner!   Gotta get those bags before they off they go....Run into the little airport and no baggage area for missing bags....wait......a sign!   Go to gate agent for missing bags....hope is fading fast because it is very late, and gate agents are all missing, counters closed.....OH, NO!!    Hurry, mom.....I hope you can get your bags.    Oh, my....a spark of hope...there they are.....right behind the United counter along with a bunch of other  missing bags.   It must be a miracle.   No ticket agent, just a couple of TSA agents by the X-Ray machine...they are closing down.....please get mom's bags so she can get home.   Oh, no...they cannot do that.   Mom said she would crawl over the counter if she had to.....Finally after  2 tries a nice little gal comes out from the inner depths of the airport and hands mom her precious bags.   Oh, happy it is after 10 pm.   It is a welcome trip home to New Milford and the comfy bed...but first a stop at the Big Y for   ICE CREAM, of course.   What else would mom  want for dinner after all that.
Addendum>>>>Oh, mom said I should tell you about all the interesting people she saw at the airport...especially, the pirate.   While waiting in Chicago, she heard a bunch of clanging and rattling only to look up and see a pirate coming into her gate area to also wait for a plane.  Oh, she said he was sooooo interesting.   He had a fabulous three sided hat on his head with gorgeous, colorful peacock feathers sticking out about a foot.   His long curly hair fell down his back and he twirled his long handlebar mustache.  He had pins and other goo gahs hanging from his KILT...a nice blue plaid kilt, and since mom is Scottish, she was impressed with that!  Oh, my...she wanted a picture so badly but didn't think it would look good to just snap a picture.   (She did sneak one of part of his outfit from across the aisle and got his feet and part of the kilt.)
He had on a leather vest and the neatest black boots with cuffs.  Mom said she would like a pair of boots like that.  My, mom was wondering why  he was dressed up like that. At least  her wait was entertaining......oh, and the girl with the half shaved head and big bunch of hair on top dyed green was interesting too.   Not to mention the man with the  shaved head and tattoos.....all on his head and neck.   You see all kinds of interesting people  at the airport.
Mom spent lots of time reading her Marie Bostwick book...more about that later....she met Marie at a booksigning later that week.
Poor mom also missed meeting  Aunt Julie and going on her trip to Boston to see a Pilgrim Roy quilt exhibit.  She was  so looking forward to meeting Julie for the first time, too.  The crazy trip  got in the way of that  road trip.  
So, anyway, after a day late, mom got started on her adventure in CT and NY......I will tell you more later.....especially about the trip home...even worse than getting there, if you can believe that!! 
Oh, I caught another mouse for mom, and left it for a present this morning....she can't believe there are mice in the house...never saw them before....she says I am a good mouser and gave me a big kiss to thank me for catching another one....hopefully that will be the last!  That's what mom said, for me, it is sooooo much fun to catch mice and see how much mom appreciates me!
I guess I better sign off for now, and take a nap.....writing a blog takes a lot out of a little 8.5 pound cat like me.   Love,   from Sparkie and mom too.
PS....we will post some pix next time.  Dad has to put them in the computer!