hurricane coming?

It looks like we didn’t purchase our generator in time for the first hurricane.  We might get hit with Hurricane Joaquin late Sunday night.

And there’s no time to order the generator and get it hooked into our electric and propane systems by Sunday.

Plan B:  fill water jugs, buy batteries, check the food supplies.

I’m still unpacking, so this is a little too much to think about right now.

Here are some pictures from the last day on the road:

Banjo Man packs up his stuff for the last day on the road.

Banjo Man packs up his stuff for the last day on the road.


Interesting New York beer seen in a gas station.

The unpacking is going slowly.  I keep taking breaks, checking email, making coffee, doing laundry, researching generators, buying sewing machine lights and reading the news.

Here’s what I just ordered on Amazon.

sewing machine light

 I saw it in the quilting store in Sioux City, Iowa.  Little LED lights stick to the underside of the machine.

Pure genius.

I love to machine quilt, but having enough light to see what I’m doing (especially when I’m using extra-fine white thread on white fabric) is always an issue.

I’ve even watched a you tube video on how to install it.

Oh, yes, such a productive day….

Posted in rhode island, road trip | 2 Comments

home on monday night

13 1/2 hours on the road.

605 miles.

A very long day, but we are happy to be off the road after 8 days of travel.

This was by far the hardest day.  Rain, semi trucks, traffic, traffic jams, endless construction…

But we kept going, trading off driving every two hours and stopping only for bathroom breaks and to buy food to eat on the road.

Did I tell you that we are flying next year?


Posted in rhode island, road trip | 3 Comments

saturday’s 300 miles, day five

We overslept.  I blamed it on yet another time change, as we are now on Eastern Daylight Time, three hours later than the lake.

Banjo Man thought, since it was our anniversary and because we only had to drive 300 miles, that we should take it easy and stop at antique malls and a particular bluegrass music store in Columbus, Ohio.

So that’s what we did.

First stop:  Centerville, Indiana, an 1850 town originally settled by Quakers.

IMG_0129 IMG_0131 IMG_0130

We did not buy anything, thank goodness.

Then we drove north for four blocks to the antique mall.


Do not let the outside fool you. This was great. We even had lunch in here.


I’ve never seen this kind of craft before. The circles (wool?) are stitched onto fabric.


Don’t worry, kids. I’m not going to give you these for Christmas, even though I wonder what I will do with my enormous button collection.


More odd circle things.

This quilt made me sad.  It was beautifully hand stitched and hand quilted.  But it was deeply stained.  I hesitated over this for quite a while.  I even went back to it and thought about it before I left the store without buying it.  I wanted to honor the woman who made it–and what a beautiful seamstress she was–and yet the price stopped me.   I wish I’d been a little braver about the stains and brought it home with me.

If I lived in Centerville I would go back and buy it tomorrow.

IMG_0135 IMG_0133

I bought a square yellow print tablecloth for $8.00.  And I found a set of car keys in the ladies bathroom, which should have made some shopper very happy.

Then we headed to Columbus, Ohio, to a bluegrass music store where Banjo Man tested several tenor banjos.  He had a wonderful time but he didn’t buy one.

Three blocks down the street was a giant old house now serving as an antique “mall”.

It was gigantic.  I lost Banjo Man immediately and soon found several piles of quilts up the back staircase on the second floor.

IMG_0143This is a softly faded basket quilt.  Lovely quilting and handwork, plus the colors are perfect for the living room.

I bought another quilt, too (the prices were very low, which brought tears to my eyes, really), but I haven’t taken a picture of it yet.  It’s all applique, with rose print flowers and green leaves.  It looks shabby because the stems have come unstitched, but that is an easy fix.  There are a few minor stains but nothing that either (a) won’t come out or (b) would be noticed.

Banjo Man tried to be excited for me, but I could tell he didn’t understand why we needed any more old quilts.

Because, Banjo Man, they are art.

And off to Wheeling we went, to a romantic 45th anniversary dinner at a sports bar.


And to a Hampton Inn with its own boot-cleaning stand outside the front door.


Posted in quilting, road trip, secondhand stuff, shopping | 1 Comment

south dakota, always funny

2015-09-23 014

2015-09-23 012

Posted in road trip | Leave a comment

the national music museum


University of South Dakota, in Vermilion.

We’d wanted to stop here for years, but the timing had always been wrong.  This year we arrived at 11 AM, popped some quarters into the parking meter and hustled inside.  The museum’s collection holds some of the finest instruments in the world (15,000 instruments (12,000 are on display).

I will now bombard you with pictures.


One of the first electric violins and two lap steels.


Banjo Man in front of the you-know-whats.

Johnny Cash's guitar.

Johnny Cash’s guitar.


Bob Dylan’s guitar.


Muddy Waters' guitar.

Muddy Waters’ guitar.

IMG_0103 IMG_0104

More mandolins.

More mandolins.

And the violins…

IMG_0110 IMG_0111


A Stradivari.

And the brass!  This is a very small sampling of the brass instruments.  And there was a room full of pianos.  And a room dedicated to instruments from around the world.


We were here a little over an hour, but we could have spent longer.  It was well worth the stop!

Posted in road trip | Leave a comment

friday night’s amazing race

Today we were determined to get into our motel room tonight in time to see the opening episode of this year’s new season of “The Amazing Race”.

We got a late start.

But we still managed to drive 515 miles and arrive with three minutes to spare, or so we thought.  It turned out that TAR wasn’t on until 8 PM, not 7 PM.  We had time to unload cheese and crackers, nuts, avocados and oranges from the car.

Banjo Man has quite a hoard of snacks.

It’s amazing.

We will never starve on the road.  We could live for weeks off his supply of almonds and peanuts.  It’s like traveling with a squirrel.

I have learned all about “apps” on my I phone.  I have a Hilton Honors app that lets me make hotel reservations and even check in.  Tonight, as we raced into the hotel, the woman at the reception desk simply handed me the key cards with our room number on the envelope.

I had used the app to check in via the phone.

How cool is that?

I also have a TripAdvisor app that lets me search for hotels in various locations.

And a History app from A&E that shows me where historic sites and markers are as it tracks my location across the country.

Do you have any suggestions for more travel apps?

Here are some pictures from the HyVee grocery store last night.

IMG_0127 IMG_0126

Posted in road trip | 2 Comments

iowa sunrise

This was taken in the breakfast room at the Hampton Inn in West Des Moines this morning.  I saw the sky and ran back to our room for the camera.

2015-09-25 001

Posted in road trip | Leave a comment

leaving des moines

Friday morning and we’re packed up and ready to go.  It rained all day yesterday but we stopped in Vermilion, South Dakota to tour the musical instruments museum.  I have pictures of Dylan’s and Johnny Cash’s guitars.  Beautiful violins, too.  I may have drooled in front of the Amati case.

We treated ourselves to a hot lunch at Perkins, then a peek into a big quilt fabric store (one of the saleswoman used to live in Priest River) where I bought fabric with drum sets on it for my grandson.

And then we continued into Iowa, through the rain, for a few more hours.

Dinner was from a local grocery chain, HyVee, which makes Banjo Man’s heart beat faster.  He loves HyVee when he visits Lincoln, Nebraska.  We had stayed at this hotel before and Banjo Man remembered the HyVee and practically ran across the parking lot to get inside.

After a long day of rain it was a highlight.

The Hampton served free beer and wine last night here in West Des Moines.  Another highlight.

We are stopping early tonight.  Amazing Race starts!!!!

See you later…with photos

Posted in family | Leave a comment

wednesday, day 2, 575 miles

Yep, we drove 575 miles today.  From Billings, Montana to Chamberlain, South Dakota.

We were on the road at 7:45 AM.  I had my coffee, Banjo Man had his green tea.  We were ready.

It turned out to be one of those perfect days in Montana and Wyoming.   Sunny and cool, empty roads, beautiful scenery.

I took photos but my camera is still in the car and because it is raining very hard and I am so strangely disorganized lately, the camera is going to stay in the car tonight.

It was an uneventful day.  Banjo Man became fixated on the large number of dead skunks he saw either on the road or beside the road.  I tried to look up “Wyoming skunks” on my I-phone, because Banjo Man said he didn’t realize Wyoming was home to so  many skunks.

I did not find an explanation.  But it killed about an hour.

Which is always a good thing.

We stopped at a Subway and took our lunch back to the car to eat while we continued down the road.

The last hour the rain pelted down.  We didn’t have much choice as to where to eat, so Taco John’s for salads (taken along to the hotel) was the solution.

We were in our room, in front of the television, at 7:00 to watch the opening episode of “Survivor”.

We’d talked about it on and off all day, you see.  Because it was more exciting than counting skunk road kill.

survivor second chance


Posted in road trip | 1 Comment

tuesday and we’re on the road

2015-09-22 001

Packing up early this morning.

We were up at 5 AM, and on the road at 9 AM.

How Banjo managed to get all of our stuff–including 5 dozen jars of jam and salsa–into the car I will never know.  I only hope my dobro is in there somewhere.

We stopped one last time at the Pantry.  Banjo Man bought an apple fritter fresh from the oven and about as big as a dinner plate.  He ate it for 100 miles, I swear.  I bought a cinnamon roll.  I figure if I nibble carefully I can make it last four mornings.

By 7:30 PM MDT we arrived in Billings, having stopped for gas once.  We were very pleased with ourselves.

Some pictures from the road:

2015-09-22 014

Banjo Man loves driving through Montana.

2015-09-22 017

Montana highway.

2015-09-22 018

Tomorrow we drive across South Dakota.  I doubt we will drive another 540 miles, the way we did today, but Banjo Man seems to be recovering from his cold, so who knows?

See you tomorrow night…

Posted in road trip | 2 Comments