Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hill Country tripping round 2

Saturday the 8th we were ready for more adventures. Check out this house's back yard. If you get drunk and go to far you could have a small fall and end up on the middle of the road. We went exploring up the hill from our hotel. Our drive up and down this hill proved very scenic and lots of deer.

Our next adventure was to a quilt shop there in Kerrville. And it has a retreat house next door. This shop was the very most friendliest shop I've ever been in. Wow. And they had beautiful fabrics and patterns available. At some point I would really like to book one of my retreats here. It's a 3 1/2 to 4 hour drive but I think it would be worth it. They had a great selection of my favorite kind of fabric. Western/Texas  
Photo by Creations
And they had the cutest stuffed animals around the shop. I haven't grown up. I could have brought them all but then I be in debt for sure. They had some great jewelry too. Pamela found something for her Mimi's birthday in August. Pamela always shops ahead for gifts. See the tuffet in the lower left corner under the table. I love it out of that striped fabric. I may call them about how to make. 
Photo by Creations

Time is up and we're hungry for lunch.
Pamela was gracious enough to let me come check out the shop but I figured I better feed her. She's not into quilting per say but she always fines things there she likes and she's a great help to me when I'm buying fabric for a project. She's gets very grumpy when she's hungry.... Love you Pammy.
Our lunch choice today was the Welfare Cafe in Welfare. It used to be a General Store and Post Office. The place was a recommend by one of David's  Bell Gang friends Tommy. I'm glad we went. It was all very tasty. Next time David and I go to the Hill Country I need to get him there.


We both ordered a hamburger. I should have ordered the one she got because it had grilled onions and candied jalapenos. This is the picture of my partially devoured pimento cheese burger.  It was very tasty but after a while I was overwhelmed by the pimento cheese.



After lunch we headed to 

Comfort, Texas to go to a couple of wineries and the Hill Country Distillery where I buy my jalapeno moonshine. On our way we came across the great shot. Big Joshua Creek. 

 First we went to Singing Waters Winery. A glass of Sweet Lupe and a relaxing moment on their patio.  
  Pamela is good at this selfie picture taking thing. I'm no good at it at all.
After a relaxing time here we went to Bending Branch Winery, a new winery tasting room called Newsome's and then we walked next door to my fav the Hill Country Distillery. Now we might have had a couple of drinks each there. We spent some time there and I picked up my jalapeno moonshine and I got some Orange Dulce (60 proof) to make a drink that tastes like the dreamcicle ice cream bar that many of us ate at some point in time. This drink can be very dangerous tasting so good.  
After this I wanted to take Pamela on a drive to Lost Maples State Natural Park and back down Hwy 16. Both are gorgeous drives. I can't tell how many crossing to the park we crossed that said watch for water across the road. 
I'd hate to get caught between these crossings in a rain storm.  We saw lots of wild life like deers and turkeys. Pamela caught this view as we coming out of Lost Maples towards Medina Texas.
Coming down the twisty curvy Hwy 16 Pamela caught the sunset. Surprising since part of it she was squealing as we traveled around all the curves.

Several hours passed and we got back to Kerrville around 8:20 pm. Imagine our tummies were thinking it was time for food so I took Pamela to the Pint & Plow for pizza and a beer. She got a beer called River Shandy. She gave me a taste and it was good and I'm not a big beer drinker.
This was our latest night out. Normally we'd be back to the hotel no later than 8:30 but tonight it was nearly 10pm. We're rebels I know but yeah we pack a lot in each day out.
Our trip was coming to an end and we still had places to go. Next trip.
Sunday we got up and headed to Fredericksburg for an early lunch at Hondo's and a couple of last minute wineries. Our final stop before leaving Fredericksburg was the Wildseed Farm. They always have great photo ops. LOL This is one time that I can actually get the kid to take pictures.




 

And so ends our trip. Oh we did make one more winery stop closer to home. It was the Texas Star Winery in Chappell Hill. They had a tasty Cranberry Wine. Again this one could be dangerous because it was like drinking Cranberry juice. mmmm Need take David here since it's not that far from home.

One last picture I'll share is the quilt I made for my long time friend Brenda who became a first time Granny. I delayed this post so by the time it actually posts I'll have met up with Brenda to give her this quilt for Olivia Kate S.


I hope she likes it.  My quilter Donna @ Donna's Lavender Nest chose a rose pattern to quilt it with. She always picks the perfect quilting pattern for each of my quilts.
Until next blog post...

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Hill Country Bound - Mother Daughter trip Part 1

What a beautiful time to go to and be in the Hill Country. Pamela and I took off Thursday April 6th for our annual Mother-Daughter trip. We always have fun and lots of wine. Our first stop out of town was in Brenham the home of Blue Bell Ice Cream for lunch. We needed to eat before the wine tasting begins right? I took Pamela to BT Longhorn Saloon and Steakhouse. David and I went a couple of years ago and the food was yummy then and still was this time. Pamela and I both got a hamburger. Hers was the Longhorn Burger and Mine was the Southwestern Burger with chiptole mayo, avocado, roasted peppers, onions, and pepper jack cheese. 
And the buns are soft and flavor-able.  
With our tummies full we were off to our first winery not far from Brenham called the Saddlehorn Winery.  We start there every year and this time the girl recognized us. Uh oh...Is that good or bad? I was gonna pass on the wine testing this time and just get my wine called Happy Trails. Bummer they won't have any bottled for the next 2 weeks. So I did a testing and found another wine I liked.  While the young lady was getting us each a box knowing we'd need it for our trip, Pamela was looking at all the Tshirts and other gift items and she found this Tshirt for me.  Love it! All paid for and boxed up we were ready to head on down the road for our next stop.  But first we had to strap in our precious cargo. LOL  I mean we don't want it to fly off the seat if we happen to make a sudden stop. That would be prudent now would it...   As we were pulling out I stopped at a patch of bluebonnets to snap a couple of pictures of a quilt I finished. I'll take several before I decide on which one to use but I can't share the picture yet. I have to wait until I take some more pictures and I get it to the recipient.   Our next stop was in Dripping Springs at the Bell Springs Winery. We did a tasting and then got a glass of wine to drink out on the patio and enjoy the weather. Enjoyed the nice views of the property too. It has been a beautiful day so far and the patio was calling our name. From here we head on down the road toward Fredericksburg and to our hotel in Kerrville. When we got to Kerrville we decided to go straight to dinner at Mi Sombrero.  Tasty food and no margarita's. Believe it or not.                                                       To avoid the wine tours and the masses we go take off Friday morning to go back into Fredericksburg to hit some of our favorite wineries.. We shopped or basically window shopped in Fredericksburg until it was time for lunch at the Peach Tree Tea Room.  If you click on the name it will take you to their website. I saw on FB where a former co-worker was there and talked about how great the place was so I figured Pamela and I needed to check it out.  We weren't sorry. Great food and service. Pamela had a Turkey pocket and I had their fish tacos. So delicious.  After lunch you looked at couple other shops then it was time for wine. We stopped at Rancho Ponte first for a tasting and their yummy sangria. They don't bottle it they only sell it by the glass or carafe. You know what from here I don't remember where went next or in what order at this point. I guess I should have made notes. Of course it doesn't really matter. We made it to one of our favorite places.... Fat Ass Winery.  We had fun here. We got to comparing notes with 2 couples also there doing wine tastings. Then we all did jalapeno wine shots. We were expecting a burn but it went down really smooth. Didn't buy any but it was fun to try. The guy next to us was getting a sangria shot because it was his birthday. Pamela goes this is our extended birthday trip so low and behold we got one too. We just had to promise to wear out little shot glass on the necklace next time we came in.  No problem. We stopped at Pedernales Falls Winery next. 
Most of their wines are too dry for us but they had a moscato we wanted to try but the didn't see by the glass so we bought a bottle and sat out on the patio and enjoyed the view. They have one of the best views of the country side.  My picture doesn't do it justice but trust me the weather was beautiful and so was the view.From here we made our last stop at Fiesta Wineries.  No tasting for me. I ordered a glass while Pamela did a tasting.  While there I even learned of a new place to try for food but not for this trip. Has anyone been to Cultures Grill and Bar in Fredericksburg? The guy at the bar said they have the best chicken fried steak. I guess I'll have to wait until next trip.  But it is time to head back to Kerrville and check out a little Italian restaurant there this time.  We had dinner at the Bella Sera Italian restaurant. I'm not saying the food was bad, it just didn't have enough flavor. It was kinda bland. mmm they say folks go to Kerrville in the retirement years to "Wait for Heaven" And as we get older aren't we to eat bland food? NOT ME! I want flavor and spicy. So it was just the restaurant. So ends the day. Back to the hotel we go to watch TV and turn in. Wait maybe we need a dessert! We go to Dairy Queen for their special, buy one blizzard and get one free. YAHOO what a deal. Pamela got one with brownies in it but I got the Reese's peanut butter cup and pieces extreme. YUMOkay now we're done for the day. Until next day and blog..... to be continued.... 

















Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Busy Busy


Jan and Lulu
So picking up where I left off from last post. Retreat time had come to an end and it was time to head out. Denise and I got in our cars and headed to Round Top to visit our friend Jan. She and her husband found a deal they couldn't pass up. That Friday was only a preview day for the vendors for the big Antique show starting Monday for the Round Top area so traffic wasn't bad at all.
So Jan and her husband bought 10 acres with a house that came with furniture and dishes, a lean to and a shop. Well I think it was a shop.  I mean wow they found a beautiful place inside and out. Really appreciate the invite to see her new place.
From Jan's I headed to Pamela's to spend the night and go up to the farm the next day with David.
Pamela was going to Waco with her friends to the Silo's for some festival they were having up there. That's Laina and Thomas with Pam.
They said that the new bakery that Chip and Joanne from Fixer Upper built had a 2 hour wait to get into the shop to order anything. They blew that off.





I took Lilley and Sophie to the farm with me.
 They had fun hanging out at the pond which is now full and hanging out on the porch of the Mini Mansion. David was pulling what might have been cat-tails but actually I think it's wild onion because I found more all around the pond. I love the color of the pond. Of course once ducks arrive or the fish get bigger it will probably get a little more murky looking I'm sure but I love it now. And the shape is so much nicer. Now it looks like a real pond.
So there wasn't much I could do at the time so I pulled out my sewing machine and did some sewing on the porch. David came up on the porch sat down to relax  and said it would be great to come to the farm and not leave. One day it will happen.
 Sophie could never just relax but stayed close by. When I got off the porch a couple times to get water or take a few pictures she stayed on the porch but stayed attentive.



Then there's Lilley who followed me everywhere but after hanging out down at the pond walking around she had no problem relaxing on the porch. LOL
That sunshine and running around wore her out.
My niece in Missouri is always talking about her farm boy so I sent her this picture of David on the 4 wheeler taking a load of limbs he had trimmed off the crepes and vitex up at the front gate to the burn pile. He's a city boy turning country. I'll have to catch him on the tractor next time for her.
I left the dogs with David and I ran into Hearne to see if a BBQ place we keep seeing was opening to get lunch. And Yahoo it was. It's just on Hwy 6.just past hwy 79. At first I thought mmm looks dry but once I got back to the farm and we bit into the slice beef sandwich we were happy. And they make their own potato salad recipe that is delicious. David's not a big potato salad person but he really like theirs.  A new eating place found for March.
Isn't this beautiful? These wisteria are hanging over the road leading to the farm and covering it in purple blooms.   So ends a nice weekend after week at retreat.
I was needing some serving bowls that would work with my dishes. My current bowls are/were cream with pink and teal stripes that doesn't exactly go with red, brown and gold plates. 
Well I needed a couple of things from the grocery store and as I was walking in this clerk was putting out a variety of items when I noticed these red crockery serving bowls and they also had a couple of smaller bowls. I passed them and went about getting what I needed but before checking out I stopped and looked. Wow...only $3.49 each and the smaller bowls were only $2.49. Couldn't pass them up. They were perfect. They're in my cabinet now.
It's that lovely time of year Grrrr.... income taxes. Don't you just love it. Taxes are my chore. I already finished Pamela's Yippee.
I am excited to say that ours will be done before Pamela and I take off Thursday. All I need is a form from the bank, drop the number into the program and I'm done except for maybe the crying or a surprise. Depends on the numbers on the form. 
Thursday Pamela and I take off for our annual Mother Daughter trip to the Wine Hill Country. We'll be staying Kerrville again this year but we'll be spending time in Fredericksburg, Bandera and maybe Luchenbach. And I can't forget Comfort at the Moonshine Distillery.
Good timing since I only have one bottle of wine left. LOL
Until next blog post.... For me, life is about being positive and hopeful, choosing to be joyful, choosing to be encouraging, choosing to be empowering. Billy Porter








Saturday, April 1, 2017

Quilt Retreat = Fun...

It was time for another quilt retreat. Yippee Yahoo. I jumped in the car Sunday the 12th and headed to RR Retreats by Margie in LaGrange for a week of laughter, sewing and bonding with 10 of my Quilty BFF's. First we meet up at Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant for an early dinner and by 5-5:30 we drive that last 7 miles out to the retreat and the fun begins.......

videoWe were hopping Roxie and Rosie, the ponies would give birth while we were there but that didn't happen. 
But the evening entertainment one afternoon was Margie yelling Chop Chop the ponies came running to the porch. They knew Momma had scraps to feed them. 
We had barely unloaded and the Ladies were hard at work setting up and starting to sew. Some were starting new projects like myself and other were completing UFO's. I call Sandy my over achiever because she always completes at 3-4 tops. 


She comes prepared with tops all cut out
 and ready to piece. Isn't this cat quilt top too cute.  Her first finish of many. Like this next one.

And then there was poor Donna Lynn who kept getting an electrical shock every time she tried to sew or got close to her machine pedal. Her little purple machine was having issues.  Jim (Margie retreat owners husband) came to the rescue. Apparently one of the cords wasn't grounded. Never knew sewing could be so electrifying. 

These girls are great. I always give out silly game/door prizes and at different times they contribute items. Can't thank them enough.  And one of the girls made us all winners in the game Left Right Center. Judy made us all lanyards. 
I was trying to play LRC for myself and one of our new retreater Ana who had to go home sick. I promise I didn't cheat. The girls made sure of it but Ana actually won the game and all 30 Fat Quarters from the LRC game.

Ana was excited and surprised.
Ana and Donna Marie

The theme was polka dots and strips. I still have all the fat quarters I won from 2 retreats ago. Haven't decided what to make with mine. One day.



As always we have fun and there's always plenty of laughter. One evening for dinner Margie the retreat owner was setting the table and putting a Mexican candy next to each plate but she was one short. I told her it wasn't a problem I'd just give the one at my plate to the person who didn't have one. She couldn't figure out why and how she came up short because she just knew she counted out 11 when she bought them. Well at dinner Margie brought up the subject of the missing candy and how she knew the folks that made it and apologized for being short. It was no big deal and then Ana speaks up "uh I ate the candy" She had no clue that they were Margie's. Ana thought they were there for anyone. It was too funny. Margie goes I knew I bought 11. Ana said it was good though and was willing to give up the one next her plate. This is probably one of those you had to be there moments 

Some of us took the usual field trip to the Quilt shop 'All Around the Block' in Giddings. I was a good girl and only bought a half yard of fabric and 4 1/2" square ruler. On the way back I stopped so
Judy could take a picture up close of some bluebonnets for a friend of hers to use to make quilt medallion. So while she was down I snapped her picture.

Next was my machine mishap. I needed some spare bobbins ready to sew with so I started winding bobbins only I couldn't pull the first bobbin off the winder. What's going on? I pulled and pulled then I decided to call the store back in Katy that just did a check up on my other machine to see if they had any ideas. The young lady Stephanie gave me several suggestions. Finally she goes you can maybe unwind the bobbin by hand. Why would I do that? 

She tells me that the tension on the bobbin is so tight it might have made the bobbin tighten on the winder. I told Stephanie I would try anything. She goes really, well then try standing on your head and wave your hands and make sure someone video's it and send a copy to her. Cracked me up.  I want to be sure and meet her when I go to McDougal's in Katy. I took all the thread of my bobbin and sure enough the bobbin came right off the spindle. YAHOO 

One night about midnight Denise and are the last two up and sewing away when I her say "that's not good". I assumed she sewed something wrong but when I look up there's lots of smoke coming out of her machine. Like I said sewing is electrifying. She had to go home for a meeting the next day so she ran her machine to the repair shop and came back the following day with another machine to sew with to finish out the retreat.

Never a dull moment at retreat.
One of my projects was to make a coffee maker cover and a toaster cover for the farm coffee pot and toaster. Got that completed. Yay. I also worked on a quilt top for my step-father Joe to give to his new great granddaughter. That is if he likes it. If not then I'll have one made for the next baby girl I need a quilt for. Picture coming later. David sent this picture to me today.
He put them to use already

My next major project was making a T shirt Quilt for Pamela. I figured I'd practice on her's before making one for a friend. I had never made one so I turned to Margie for help and tutoring. It's not what you
call hard but very time consuming with the measuring the cutting and more measuring and more cutting then sewing. Then again it is me making and I messed up one of the T shirts by placing my rotary cutter in the wrong slot when trimming up to size. So Okay it's not a disaster yet. I can just trim a 1/2" off all the other shirt squares to make them all the same size. Easy enough right? 
Well obviously not since I ended up picking up the T shirt that I screwed up in the first place and started trimming another 1/2" off it.  OMG what a dorkus! Margie just shook her head and asked how I did that.... Pretty easy. And to top it off I ended up 1 T shirt short so I'm digging through Pamela's T shirts at the house for 2 more shirts. Thanks to Margie it looks awesome. I figure Pamela won't be reading my post for a while so I'm okay to post this picture. 
The quilt is turning out beautiful thanks to Margie's help.  






And then it was time for an adult beverage. At this point I've already harmed the T shirt so the wine can't hurt at this point.


We had a day visitor one on Thursday. Jane had asked if she could invite her friend Vickie up to let her see what a retreat is about.
That way when I have an opening she can entice her friend to join us. Jane is showing Vickie (in blue)around
And check out this cute mermaid block. Cindy is suppose to make 20 of these little darlings but she decided that this little mermaid was gonna be an only child. LOL
This little mermaid block had I think 20 pieces to cut and piece together.



Now saying that brings me to a sad announcement to some of my retreaters who didn't join us this retreat... 
This fall will be our last retreat at Margie's.  Margie is cutting back and will be moving into the big house where we've always retreated. Her new retreat the Hilltop House By Margie in LaGrange,TX will only hold up to 7 and as of right now I'm not sure how to pare down my group from 10-12 retreaters to only 7. I love retreating at Margie's so it was a hard decision but with her paring down she might be able to join me at one or two of my retreats. I'd like that and so would the rest of my group. 
Hilltop House will still have the same great views, fun and hospitality.  The only thing changing is the group size. So if anyone needs a retreat for 6-7 in 2018 you need to check it out.  Can't beat the price $50 per night and no deposit. Food is an additional nominal cost or she has a fully stocked kitchen to cook in for yourselves. But you don't want to miss her cooking a meal for you. Yum. She officially started advertising today so if you're interested you can Call Margie for Availability (832) 454-7871 OR email her at margie@hilltop-house-by-margie.com
Here's a couple pictures of other completions....
 

 

To see any other pictures from retreat... Click Here
The Material Girls

It's always hard leaving retreat. It's like you just get settled and before you know it it's time to check out. So my here's the end of my 8th successful retreat. Now I'm headed to Round Top to visit a friend and then on down the road to Pamela's for the weekend and hang out at the farm with David. More on that next post...
So until next blog....