One size does NOT fit all!!!

 Sub-tropical winter here in SW Florida is just a bit unlike winters further north.  My daughter, in eastern Colorado, says they’re expecting snow next Wednesday.  I know in the Midwest, it could snow by Thanksgiving – or on a mild winter, never snow at all. 

What amuses me are the ads I see from the big chain stores here.  Knee high boots, leggings, heavy coats, wooly caps and thick gloves.  I wonder - do the buyers of Dillards and Macy’s in Port Charlotte, Florida actually stock these things?  Are we going to walk in wearing our shorts and sandals in 70 degree weather and purchase this polar wear?  Their marketing department is just going with one size fits all.  I am a plus size granny and I assure there is no such thing as one size fits all!!!! 

My sofa has a big, soft loose cushion to rest your back against.  Sophie has claimed it as her spot.  She can lay as you see her here, or turn around and bark at neighbors she can see out the window.  It won’t be long until she’s made a permanent dished out place.  Oh well – I love her more than the sofa. ~pam


Old Things are like Old Friends;

Returning home after months away is a bit of a reunion.  Of course, it’s saying hello to neighbors and friends as you might expect.  Beyond that is the reunion with familiar things – my favorite tea cup, pictures on the wall, my comfy chair, and my treasured Friendship Quilt

You may have some idea what a friendship quilt is.  Mine uses the pattern known as Jewel Box and is comprised of many jewel-toned pieces of fabric set off with pure white. 

This quilt began as an internet swap with other online quilters.  It was planned by one person, known as “Mother”.  She chose the pattern and decided on the size of each block.  The invitation then went out to all quilters in that group to make up one or more blocks and mail them to “Mother”.  After the designated time period, Mother sorted all blocks received and mailed a packet to each participant.  If you sent in 10 blocks, you got 10 different ones back and so forth. 

The variety of colors and patterns delighted me.  These quilters were unmet friends that I like to speculate about.  Looking at the fabrics used, I can see some quilters loved florals, some used geometric patterns, some just vibrant solids.  Some blocks are carefully color co-ordinated, some were just scrappy – a mish mash of what looked good together.  Most signed their names, some added their state or province, some their entire email address.   

There weren’t enough swap blocks for an entire quilt, so I made up more leaving the white portion of each block blank.  This took several years as I was still working then.  Once I retired, I put them all together into a quilt top.  I took it around to current friends and neighbors who were nice to sign the plain blocks.  

In my highschool days a popular object was the autograph hound.  It was a fabric covered stuffed dashhound about 12-15 inches long.  Does anyone remember them?  We had friends sign the dog with an ink pen and it became something to go with you to college to remind you of friends of earlier years. 

Now, as I lay under the quilt, I feel the love and friendship of each signature.  I can look at them, touch them and renew the memories I have with each signee.  ~pam


sights to see

 I’m a list maker, the list I’ve added to all summer was put out on the table and I begin to finalize it.  *enough dog food to last a week:  *add padding to the dishes in the RV: *change mail delivery: *sort items to take or store -----  on and on.  This part of travel isn’t what I enjoy – but once on the road?   Whee!!

If possible, I try to vary my route just enough to “see new sights”.  I headed SW through southern Illinois to cross the Ohio on the ferry at a funny named town, Cave in Rock.  The Ohio River takes a sharp turn west there attempting to carve away the tip of Illinois and donate the land to Kentucky.  Illinois resists with a rocky bluff of limestone.  This bluff is pock marked with caves giving the town its name.  Stories say that in the 1800’s, river pirates hid in these caves which gave a grand view of any unlucky river traveler.  It must have been a lucrative endeavor.  As mentioned before, little dog Sophie wasn't thrilled with the ferry ride, except from the safety of the passenger seat.

I always watch for the first palm tree.  One year I saw them planted in front of a hotel in Montgomery, AL.  Not natural, but Hey!!  That counts!!  Gradually, I began to see Spanish Moss in southern GA.  Once in FL, I watched for the first “Welcome Center” to get a small glass of fresh orange juice.  I saw many an RV with plates from Ohio, Michigan, New York and Indiana.  All escapees like me.  The influx will increase, I was just among the vanguard.  Now at home in my Senior Park, I’ve seen ‘reserved’ signs pop up like toadstools in the rain on empty RV spots just since the first of the month. 

It’s such fun to see what people are thinking and doing..  Can you imagine the odors drifting from this rig?  Imagine it sitting between the funnel cake wagon and the cotton candy machine.  URK!!

Now, I ask any of you poultry fanciers – have you ever heard of this breed of bird?  Must be some kind of new hybrid.    ~pam


Home again!!

Fling off the shoes!! Pack away the jacket!  Slip into flip flops and tees and make sun tea by the gallon!  I’m home again in SW Florida. 

Traveling is always fun for me.  If the destination is wonderful, that’s even better!! 

We crossed the Ohio on the Cave in Rock Ferry at the tip of southern Illinois.  
My young dog, Sophie, didn't know just what to think.  After this shot, I took her out to the edge of the ferry to see the water.  No, no!  She put all four feet down, nails out against the steel deck.  She isn't a water dog!! 
Taking the side roads and back roads always means interesting things to see.  The opposite side of the ferry is still farm country, but the little towns all had their own individuality.   One tiny burg had a huge Victorian Queen of a house - probably a dozen rooms at least.  It was painted in the gay colors of that era and even had decorative shingle work in it's mansard style roof.  All the other houses in town were little white clapboard boxes with rooms added on as needed.  The Queen looked so regal among her more common neighbors.  

In another town, maybe in Kentucky, I saw a Pamida store.  Hadn't seen one in years.  Tied to one of the light poles was a horse fully saddled - just another 'parked car' on the parking lot.   

Raw soil in the Midwest tends to be yellow clay or deep, dark loam.  As I moved into Georgia, I began to see the well-known red clay.  Now, it's the white sandy soil of Florida.  My houseplants that travel with me will have a shock of bright sun again.  

Go traveling if you can.  It's a fantastic land we live in  ~pam