Saturday, December 28, 2013


December 8, Sunday
After finding a room of refuge from the storm at Tehachapi and resting there for the night we enjoyed a wonderful hot breakfast in the motel breakfast room.  The road was still closed when we checked at 8 a.m., again at 9 a.m., and finally at 10 a.m. the road was opened to traffic.  Highway 58 was chock full--two lanes of traffic, almost bumper to bumper, travelling at about 20 mph.  From Tehachapi the road was almost all down hill.  Conditions improved from clear sunny skies with wet roads and snow covered hillsides to dry roads and no snow to be seen.  Traffic picked up speed and pretty soon all was normal again.

Hwy. 58 joined 99 at Bakersfield.  It was a good thing that it was a Sunday morning as traffic around Bakersfield was light.

We stopped once at a rest area and then arrived at Merced and checked into a Motel 6 by 2 p.m.  We took a few things up to the room, turned on the heat and then went for a walk to a supermarket to pick up some food.  We passed the afternoon reading, watching t.v., writing emails.  D.S. #1 in Yosemite soon called and we discussed road conditions into Yosemite.  At this time snow tires are sufficient.

December 9, Monday
We had figured on a two hour drive to Yosemite, but because the road was narrow and twisty and Jim is a careful driver it took a bit longer.  Then the navigator (myself) made a mistake and took the first left in the park and had to make about a 15 minute circle (because the roads there are one way) to reach Yosemite Lodge where D.S. was waiting for us.  What a treat to see him and give him a big hug!

He had reserved a room for us for the next three nights, and it was lovely.  Here's a view from our balcony.  The weather was just especially wonderful; there was fresh, white snow all around and the sun was strong, making everything sparkle.  We enjoyed these birds that came chattering around our balcony.

I'm not sure if it is a kind of bluebird or a blue jay.  I'd guess a jay because of the crest.  What a gorgeous blue!

We had a nice meal in the cafeteria, which offers lots of choice, from soup and salad through burgers all the way to a complete meal of fish/meat, veggies, etc.  We skipped dessert and were plenty full.

That afternoon we went for a short hike on the valley floor.  Late afternoon and evening we spent in our room with D.S. having a very good visit.

December 10, Tuesday

Had a slow morning, a dinner around 1 p.m. in the cafeteria again.  We drove to a parking lot just beyond Curry Village and hiked to Mirror Lake, the same hike we did last year in October.  This time the lake (which was completely dry last year) was covered with snow.  We went a bit further a took a loop back for a total hike of approximately 5 miles.  It was exhilarating to be out in the snow with the sun again shining brightly, making everything gleam.

Late afternoon and evening we repeated our relaxation and visit in our room.  Such a good time!

December 11, Wednesday

Our hike today was from the meadow below El Capitan up the talus slope--no trail, just rubble, snow and bush to the base of the cliff.  D.S. said that perhaps just a few of the million visitors to the park each year ever get to the base of that impressive cliff face.  Here's the view from the base, looking straight up.

That evening as Jim was having trouble with the extremely slow internet provided for guests he asked if we could go to D.S.'s room and use his connection. That worked like a charm.

Meantime D.S. was showing me a video on his DVD play of the competition to be the fastest team to climb the nose of El Cap.  That was amazing and actually pretty scary.
We went back to our room and together watched another video about Alex Honnold, an extremely gifted climb who of "free solos."  I'm just always thankful that I don't know when D.S. is climbing!

As we were returning from our hike that afternoon we noticed that the moon was visible in the afternoon sky.

This is our last evening here.  Tomorrow we drive on to visit D.S. #2 and his family.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


I'm sorry to leave you hanging there, having negotiated the Tehachape Pass, early in December.  We had some other adventures and misadventures along the way home, which I will tell you about later.  We did arrive home safely a week ago today, but are still having some internet issues.  We hope they will be solved before this coming weekend.

When the internet is all fixed I'll be back with an update on our trip home, and on the projects I've finished in the meantime.

Today is Christmas, so we both wish all of you a blessed day and a coming year of joy and personal contentment.
Your own Grammilou

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Catching Up

After a very pleasant time at our condo in Arizona we packed up last week and left on Saturday, December 7 about 8:45 a.m., driving north on Hwy 60.  We turned north on 72 to 95 north.  All this area was pretty typical desert, but with irrigated agricultural fields along the way also.

North of Parker on 95 the landscape was very different, very hilly along the Colorado River.  Nearing Lake Havasu City the hills were more like sandy mounds, covered with off road vehicle tracks.

We stopped in Lake Havasu City for a bathroom break and took some cold diet cokes into the car.  We drove north to I 40 and turned west.  The sky clouded over and the wind picked up.

At Barstow we switched to Hwy 58. That's a strange road, part of the route was good expressway, and part of the route was just two lane road.  Completely inadequate for the traffic is carries, especially considering that semis make up a huge proportion of that traffic.

At Mojave I suggested we stop for the night, even though it was only 3:30 PST (we had started in MST), but Jim preferred to put on some more miles.

Not too much farther along we encountered more heavy wind and this time combined with blowing snow, and the onset of darkness.  Pretty soon we were creeping long behind a semi at about 20 mph, with trouble lights blinking.  The road surface was polished ice and there were many vehicles in the ditches.  On the other side, the eastbound lanes there was a semi jackknifed across both lanes.  Behind that truck there was a solid two lanes of stalled traffic for a few miles (seemed like).

After a bit the truck we were following came to a stop, and the whole line of traffic also stopped.  We waited, turning the engine off to conserve gas as we were getting low.  After a bit some cars and pickups cautiously went around the stopped semis and after a while longer we decided to join them.  We found that a semi eastbound had spun out and come to a rest across the ditch between the eastbound and westbound lanes.  It was blocking the left lane of our west bound road, but, fortunately, the cab was at right angles to the trailer and car/pickup traffic was able to creep around and continue down the road. We formed a kind of convoy through the swirling snow, inching along with our trouble lights on until we came to the first exit for Tehachapi where we left the road and bought some gas.

By the time we headed back, the expressway was closed.  Traffic could exit but not enter.  We drove on into Tehachapi itself and were blessed to find a large, comfortable, warm room at Best Western Mountain Inn.

Five p.m. in the evening we were settled in and enjoyed a "light" supper of hot chocolate, crackers and cheese and settled down for the night, very thankful not to be spending it on the road or in the ditch!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Blue Bunny

I am an ice cream addict!  I need my fix of good vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt every evening!  And here in Surprise I have discovered a WONDERFUL ice cream.  It's Blue Bunny Premium All Natural Vanilla. Here's the list of ingredients: Milk, Cream, Sugar, Egg Yolks, Natural Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Bean Specks.  (Quoted from the carton, complete with upper case letters.)

This is the absolutely best vanilla ice cream I have ever tasted!

The carton tells me that is is manufactured by Wells Enterprises, Inc., an Iowa Corporation, and gives an address in Le Mars, Iowa, and an 800 phone number.  I think I'll call them next week and tell them how delicious their All Natural Vanilla ice cream is.

The carton also informs me that they are celebrating their 100 years of making "everyday moments more memorable for families."  That might be slightly hyperbolic, but I'll go along with it.  To mark their 100 years they are helping to grant 100 wishes to 100 children with life-threatening medical conditions.

The carton also lets me know that every 1/2 cup serving contains 150 calories, 80 of them from fat.  That's over 50%, isn't it?  But hey, that 1/2 cup serving also contains 10% of your daily calcium requirements.

Now I wonder how much fits into the coffee cup that I use as an ice cream dish.  Maybe I really don't want to know!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pool Time

I tried to position these two pictures side by side to show the whole pool.  They don't fit side by side on this page even if they are both the small size.  But putting them exactly together in the middle pretty much shows the whole pool.  The deepest area is in front of the waterfall, and is 5 feet deep.  Toward the edges the depth is 4 ft., and in the whole right side (in the picture) the pool is about 3 feet deep.

We like to go there around 2:30 to 3:00 p.m., after our morning activities and our dinner are finished.

Last week Thursday there was a thunderstorm in the evening, and two nights and two days of cold, steady rain followed it.  Sunday was still cloudy and the sun finally came out yesterday.  The temperatures are still pretty low, with highs in the low 70's, but the pool is at a steady 82º, so when the sun is shining and there is not much wind, swimming is very comfortable.  Yesterday afternoon it was back to the pool for me.

I like to swim leisurely around the pool in a counterclockwise direction.  It was so peaceful there yesterday, as most people thought it was too cold for a "pool afternoon."

Two weeks ago I dropped in on the quilting time at the sewing room in the Community Center.  The two women who were working on charity quilts there welcomed me and we got acquainted.  Then a third woman arrived and introduced herself.  She and I started chatting and I found her to be very articulate and accomplished.  Her name is Kathy Brown and she is a certified sewing instructor who teaches at the sewing expos in Canadian cities.  I've been to these wonderful "conventions" in both Edmonton and Calgary, and they are very inspiring.

As we chatted she mentioned that she does tissue paper pattern fitting.  I could use a good deal of help fitting a pants pattern since my figure has changed so much over the years.  My pants pattern from my 50's just doesn't fit anymore!  She said she would be glad to do a fitting for me, and we decided that since there might be other "garment sewers" who would be interested, we would choose a date and time, and advertise this on the village email bulletin board.

This morning was the fulfillment of that idea.  Kathy and I were there before 9:30, and then several other women showed up for the class.  I think there were 8 or 9 other women attending.

I wore my bathing suit underneath my caftan, so that when the time came to fit the paper pattern, my body was available, but my appearance was still modest.

It was an excellent experience.  Kathy did a great job of fitting the pattern to my hard-to-fit body.  She was entertaining and clear in her explanations.  She also had printed notes for each person attending, so that all our attention could be given to watching what she was doing and learning.  I came home with a professionally fitted pants pattern that I can't wait to use.  At home in Alberta I have some very nice woven navy fabric that will make a great pair of slacks.  I wish it were here so that I could get started this afternoon!

Great Big Thank You to Kathy Brown!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Two F.O.s

In the Community Center here there is a sewing room.  On the door is a schedule of activities.  Quilting is listed for 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesdays.  A week and a half ago I dropped in to see what was happening there.  I met two very nice women, Joan and Bev, who were working on some charity quilts for babies.  After a while another woman arrived, Kathy Brown, and we started chatting together.

Kathy is from Nanaimo, B.C. and is a Certified Sewing Instructor who teaches at the wonderful sewing expos in Calgary, Edmonton, etc.  She has had training in many different techniques and she designs patterns for McCalls--a very interesting and talented person.  When she mentioned that she can do tissue pattern fitting, I clued in right away.

I could use some help with a pants pattern, I said.  Since my "senior" figure arrived, I've had a hard time altering a pants pattern to fit.  "Oh!  I can do that!" she replied.  We explored some possibilities and then decided that there might be other women in this complex who would like to see this as a demonstration.  We chose a date and advertised in the local "e blasts" from the Community Center.  It's going to happen next Tuesday morning.

I asked Kathy how much she would like to receive for this professional service, but she said it's just a way of giving back to the community for the use of the sewing room.  That was when I decided to make a set of maple leaf hot pads for her.

On Monday I went to Jo-Ann's and found some great red Kona cotton and some white cotton with a small dot figure.  Perfect!  I also bought some Insul-Bright for the batting.  Wednesday, using the cutting table, mat and rulers in the Sewing Room I cut them out.  At home that afternoon I sewed them together, but wasn't able to turn the "tube" for the little fabric loops.  A clerk at Walmart found the "tube turner" for me yesterday.  And here's the completed project.  These are 9" square, and look nice and bright!

In the meantime I had another project on the go: a caftan for covering up my bathing suit on the way to and from the swimming pool.  This bright blue print was a gift from Karen in the quilting group back home.

Quite often someone will come with fabric to "get rid of."  This is a polyester, so it's not suitable for quilting. But as soon as I saw it I recognized a caftan waiting to be made.  I bought some white poly-cotton at Walmart a few weeks ago and started working on it.  I used a caftan I already had for the pattern.  The white had to be a triple layer in order to overcome the depth of colour in the blue underneath.

I'm really happy with how this turned out.  The Dear One says it looks really good.  It's comfortable and simple and will be just right for pool days!  Big thanks for Karen for the fabric!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Great Day!

What a great day we had on Saturday!  We went to Mesa to visit some museums there.

First up was the Mesa Historical Museum, which was somewhat of a dud!  It was very small, with one large room completely devoted to baseball, that is, spring training, which takes place in Mesa, and a few other areas.  There was one other very small room displaying scenes from a children's tv program, probably in the 60's or 70's, called "Wallace and ????" (I had never heard of this program and have forgotten the other name.)  Apparently they gave out very popular bags of prizes, which everybody wanted to take home.

We knew there was a museum of modern art somewhere around there, but had decided to skip that.  However, a woman at the Mesa Historical Museum convinced us to have a look.  And are we ever glad that she did!

 Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum occupies the lower level of this very modern building.  You can go in at the upper level and take the elevator or stairs down.  The picture to the right shows the upper level, and the stairs leading down to the courtyard.  The second picture looks down into the lower level courtyard.

There are four galleries, two fairly small and two larger.  In the first gallery we saw a display called "From Lemons to Lingerie," works by two Arizona artists.  Tom Eckert is a carver who produces works that look like cloth.  The first work we came across was a black satin chemise with one black patent leather high heel pump resting on it.  A sign next to the work warned us that "things are not always
what they seem!"  They were works carved out of wood!  You could swear that they were soft satin and shiny patent.  Several other of his works were similar.

Linda Ingraham is a photographer who combines and digitally manipulates her photos to create whimsical images of, for instance, lemons in flight.

Both artists were described as "redefining the typical still-life with their unusual medium choices and surrealist subject matter."  Their works were very interesting and entertaining.

Then there was a large gallery with a display called "Messin' with the Masters."  There were all painting or sculptures that were practically reproductions of famous works, but with an often humorous twist.  For instance there was a statue of a Japanese warrior, with "I (heart) NY" carved out of his chest.  Some of the works were very involved, large and full of symbolism.  It was an interesting collection.

Third gallery was the best, at least the one I enjoyed the most.  The title "Devocionales" grouped many very complex, dense and full of narrative, paintings done in the style of traditional retablo altarpieces by Patrick McGrath Muniz.  His words explain it best: "The intention is to provoke the questioning of our present day socio-economic conditions and what role corporations, money, profit and the neo-liberal policies play in our citizen life."  He fearlessly holds up for critical inspection, through the use of wit and sometimes sarcasm, the dominance of our society by the values of profit and power.

I was fascinated with these paintings and found his social criticism to be penetrating and exact.  I especially enjoyed the sly "Faux News" label on some of the portrayals of journalists and photographers.

The fourth gallery did not interest me.  I forget the names of the two collaborating artists because I was totally unimpressed.  No report on that gallery!

When we came out of the museum I saw a very interesting artful wall.  The facade of the building facing the museum had a huge screen, perhaps 5 stories tall and just as wide made of thousands of small squares of some reflective material.  They must have been hanging on hooks, as the whole field of silver "scales" shimmered as the breeze flowed over it.  It was beautiful!  I took a short video of it with my digital camera, but it doesn't upload to the blog.  There may be a way, but I don't know how to do it.

It was after 1 p.m. by this time, and we were headed toward the Arizona Natural History Museum about two or three blocks away, looking for a restaurant to have a light lunch.  There was an "art fair" in the neighbourhood that day; the block of MacDonald between Main and Pepper was roped off and there were perhaps 25 to 30 small tent shelters for vendors to display their wares: beads, wooden toys, scarves, pictures, etc. that they had made.

Along the way we came upon a table with the sign, "Free hot dogs, pop and chips!"  What a fun treat!  We each had a hot dog and a pop, and I had some Fritos.  I think the last time we had a hot dog was one time in the 90's as we were travelling through Wisconsin and stopped in Ashland where a Target store had a grill set up outdoors and were selling hot dogs for $1 each.  It was delightful yesterday to sit on the sidewalk and enjoy this "all American" treat.

Next stop was the Arizona Natural History Museum, and that was a treat too.  Here's the lobby with its Wooly Mammoth skeleton.  On the left you can see just the tips of the Mastodon's horns.

We spent a long time in the dinosaur and early civilizations area. Lots of wonderful displays and lots to see and lots to read.

I highly recommend visiting either the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum or the Arizona Natural History Museum, both in Mesa. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Knitting Again!

Last March my right hand ring finger started hurting.  I thought it was caused by arthritis.  By the middle of August I realized that it was a case of "trigger finger" and I quit knitting for the time being, because it was "throwing the stitch" that gave me the trigger finger.

I've really missed knitting!  I had been in the middle of knitting a pair of socks for D.S. #2.  We plan to visit with him and his family in the middle of December, and I would like to have these socks finished so he can start wearing them.

Yesterday I picked up the knitting again.  But with a difference!  Now I am knitting left-handed.  That is something I learned about 15 years ago at a "Philosopher's Fair Isle" workshop.  Fair Isle knitting uses two colours of yarn per row, and what was taught at that class was the technique of keeping one colour on your right hand and the other colour on your left hand.

If you've always done right-handed knitting, left-handed feels extremely awkward at first.  But persevere!  After a while it becomes much easier.  My friend, S., had suggested that I finish the socks left-handed, but I didn't try that until yesterday.  Thanks for the idea, S.!

I need to use my right hand for a few things yet: the first three stitches on each needle need to be fairly tight, to prevent a gap between the needles, so those first three stitches are knit with the right hand.  To do increases, I loop the yarn around my finger and slide the loop onto the needle.  My right hand will do that without thinking.  My left hand is laboriously learning this skill.

But all in all, after about 12 new rounds (at the increases for the heel) I'm pleased with this progress.  I think this is doable.  And when I do knit a few stitches with my right hand, I hold the yarn between my thumb and index finger and move the whole hand to form the stitch, rather than flicking my fingers out to throw the stitch around the needle.  I think this is going to work!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Nice Hike

We went to a very satisfying church service this morning, at West Valley Christian Fellowship.  A traditional, but not stuffy service.  Wonderful organist: the offertory was "Jesus, Priceless Treasure" by Bach/Leupold, and it was beautifully played.  There was communion, which we were welcome to join and glad to do so.

This afternoon we went to the White Tank Regional Park, quite close by and hiked the Waterfall Trail.  The waterfall is present only when there is a heavy rain, so we knew we would not see it today.

The first part of the trail is quite level and leads to an area of many petroglyphs.  Very interesting to see and know that many hundred years ago the people in this area created those rock drawings.

The Hohokum people lived here until around 1400 A.D., and then disappeared.  The reason for their disappearance is not known.  But while they lived here they farmed using irrigation on their crops which were mainly corn, squash and beans.  They had no domestic animals, only dogs, so their meat was obtained through hunting.  They also gathered food from the wild surroundings.

They developed a method of etching shells to create beautiful jewelry, which they used in trading with other tribes, possibly for foods they didn't raise themselves, or other goods that they did not produce.

I have great admiration for those long ago people that they created a community and a culture from what was available around them.  Also that what they left behind was not a contaminated wasteland.

The trail gradually became steeper, but never
excessively so.  Just behind the rocks in the lower left hand corner of this picture is a small pool, the remnant from the waterfall.  Probably the nicest thing about making it up to this end of the trail was the shade from the rock cliffs, as it was a very warm afternoon, and we were sweating from the climb up to this point.

We enjoyed the place and then turned around and headed back down the trail.  This is the view from part way back down the trail.  The flat
valley lies ahead and just visible is a green
strip in the middle which is the area that is still farmed.  A great deal of what used to be
farmland is now devoted to housing, much of it 55+ communities for people like ourselves who want to get away from cold and snow.

There was a new Nature Center/Library at the entrance to the park.  I thought the Nature Center was more of a shop selling souvenirs than an actual interpretive center.  What I did enjoy was the many signs along the trail explaining the local flora and fauna, and also the history of the peoples in the area and the origin of the name "White Tank," which comes from the "tank" like depressions in the white rock which hold moisture at certain times of the year.

We enjoyed our hike very much and will return often to the park, as there are many miles of hiking trails here.  A nice bit of exercise on a warm afternoon!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Another Saturday Jaunt

For our "tourist" experience today we decided to drive into Phoenix and visit the Capitol Museum.  This lovely building was built in the last years of the 1800's and put into use as the state capitol building in 1901.  It was used continuously until 1964 when the legislature and the governor's office moved into spacious new buildings.  The new Senate is to the left of this picture, and the House of Representatives is to the right.

The original capitol building was turned into the Capitol Museum, and what a good idea that was!  It's a lovely building, with all those beautiful wood floors and the lovely wood trim around doors and windows.

On the first floor there is an extensive display of the battleship, the U.S.S. Arizona, commissioned in 1916, refitted around 1928.  Never served in combat, and was stationed in Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941, the "day of infamy," the devastating Japanese attack on the large number of U.S. Naval vessels stationed there.  The Arizona received a direct hit from a large bomb which detonated its fuel and arms storage.  It blew up in a fireball and sank within minutes.  One of the Japanese airmen said it looked like a volcano erupting.

The picture shows a piece of the hull which was later salvaged.  On the screen beside the fragment is a video of a young sailor who survived the attack, though burned over 50% of his body.  There is footage of him as a senior citizen, recalling that horrific day.  Well over 1,000 sailors died on the Arizona.  There is a fine memorial building on the scene today, but it needs to be replaced because of subsidence.

This was intended to show the chandelier hanging from the dome, but really highlights how shiny the tile floor is.  This is the "well" on the second floor.  You can look down into the first floor or up through the third and fourth floors and into the dome.  That always makes me feel so vertiginous!  I stay away from those railings.

I thought the ceiling was interesting and attractive.

There were several other displays in the building also: history of the postal service in Arizona, the state emblems (bird, fish, etc.), statues commemorating the various groups of workers that helped create the state (minors, cowboys, etc.).

There was an interesting display about the "Harvey Girls."  I had never heard of them before.  A Mr. Harvey convinced the railroads that they would attract more clientele if they provided good, clean eateries along the way.  He recruited young women, built lodges and restaurants staffed by these pleasant, well-trained young women and it was a huge success.  Passengers could let the station master know what they wanted to order for dinner.  The order was then telegraphed ahead, and when the train made a stop, the order was ready to be served.  That meant passengers could have a good meal and not miss the departure of the train to the next lap of the journey.

There was also information about the formation of the government and the various ways that citizens participate, through referendum and initiatives, in addition to voting, and the use of recall.

We had had an easy drive into Phoenix, along Hwy 60, Grand Avenue which runs at a true diagonal from Wickenburg to the heart of Phoenix.  We find that Saturday is an excellent time for venturing into the busy city.

When we went back to our car in the parking lot (surrounding a lovely little park) there was a huge number of motorcycles and motorcyclists there.  Kind of tough looking people.  We no sooner got into our car to leave when they all congregated behind the car, and we weren't able to back up.  After a bit they thumped on the trunk--a little scary, but they were just interested in letting us know that they would move out of the way so we could drive away.  They had gathered there for a "Ride for Veterans."  We smiled and waved and were on our way.

Really, around 2 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon downtown Phoenix streets are almost empty.  We went east on Jefferson and north on Center Street and were soon at the Phoenix Museum of Art.

We stopped in the cafe, which had been recommended to us by the woman in the Museum Shop.  It was noisy!  That surprised me.  We each had a bowl of turkey, white bean and carrot soup.  Delicious and filling.  A little expensive at $22 with a tip for the two of us.  That is, just simply a bowl of soup and a glass of water, no crackers or biscuits.

Then we spent the next three hours at the Art Museum.  So much to see!  Jim especially enjoyed the Chinese/Japanese rooms, with their explanations of the symbolism in the artwork and the focus on the meaning of death and the afterlife.  I find it hard to relate to Oriental art and feel more akin to traditional European and American art, of which there was a lot.  We did not manage to visit all the galleries, and for myself I really skimmed through the displays the last half hour and still didn't cover everything.

Coming home there was a bit more traffic, but it wasn't bad as Grand is three lanes each way all the way.  Most of the distance the speed limit is 45 mph, but traffic tends to exceed that by about 10 mph.  So we arrived home in good condition just before 6 p.m., after another good day of doing the "tourist thing."

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Just a small repair

This morning on the way home from my walk with my sister I stopped at the condo office to ask about a problem we're having with the outside faucet.  I wanted to wash some windows and the patio tiles, but the faucet has an extra "ring" around it that has all holes in the perimeter.  When you hook up a hose and turn on the faucet, the water all gushes out of the holes, and none gets into the hose.  It means you can't use the hose for washing off the screens or the patio floor.

The maintenance man, Sam, was there when I stopped by and promised to take care of it right away.  And, true to his word, he arrived within 15 minutes with a new faucet, turned off the water supply to our unit and replaced the old faucet.  Done in no time!  I thanked him, very much!

So instead of going shopping for a pair of bluejeans, I took off the screens, washed the windows inside and out, hosed off the screens, washed them both sides with a soapy rag and hosed them off again.

Then I took the furniture from the patio to the front walk and hosed off the patio a few times, as it was quite dirty, mainly from dust blowing in while it was not occupied.

Here we are all cleaned up and bright.  A small repair made the clean up easy!

Yesterday we spent time at the regional library which has a good supply of magazines and some newspapers.  Today we went to relax by the pool in the afternoon.  I find it so pleasant to swim leisurely back and forth (good exercise for the arms) when the sun is shining.  The pool is kept at 82ºF, so very pleasant but not too warm!

One of these days I'll remember to take the camera along and you can see how inviting the pool looks in the afternoon.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Some Culture

Sunday afternoon Jim and I went, along with my sister, to a wonderful orchestra concert given by the West Valley Symphony, at a high school near here, not in the high school gym, but in a terrific concert hall, part of the high school.  Large and comfortable, it can seat over 1300 people.

The concert was billed as a "Birthday Bash" as the symphony orchestra is celebrating reaching 45 years as an organized group.  It also celebrated the 200th birthday of Richard Wagner and Guiseppe Verdi, two very different composers, but also two composers whose operas were mainstays for almost two centuries now, and the 100th birthday of Benjamin Britten.

The opening number was Verdi's overture to La Forza del Destino, familiar and very enjoyable, a great opening.  Next came the complex and very German Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde by Wagner.  Very well performed!  And then the invigorating Triumphal March and Ballet from Aida.  What wonderful work in the trumpet section!  Thrilling!  Actually the whole orchestra was excellent.  It's just that I was so taken with the trumpet work in the Aida.

The maestro, Cal Stewart Kellogg, gave comprehensive and enjoyable introductory remarks for each piece.

After intermission we were treated to the Tannhauser Overture by Wagner and then Benjamin Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, a work I had never heard before.

What an enjoyable afternoon that was!  Their next concert will be on December 22, Amahl and the Night Visitors.  Wish I would be here for that!

This afternoon we had a leisurely swim in the pool and sat in the sun reading.  So relaxing!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Another Weekend

On Saturday we went up to Wickenburg, a small town about one hour drive north of here.  We understood there was an excellent museum there and other things of interest.  We happened to come on the one day of the year that they were holding the "Tour of Homes" and because of that our entrance fee to the museum was $25 each!  And we didn't even want to tour the homes.  Oh well, that went to help support the museum, so I guess we practiced some "inadvertent charity."

It was a very nice museum/art gallery.  Called the Desert Caballeros Western Museum it was all about the art and history of that area.  Some of the art was really arresting.  The history part was set up very well as a small historic town, various rooms in a home illustrating different periods, a small blacksmith shop, and an adobe ranch house.  The docents were very informative also.  We enjoyed it.

The we visited the "caboose" which is used as a Chamber of Commerce Information Centre with an older couple dressed in costume, talking about how the caboose was used in the days of shipping cattle to market.  Next door was the old train station which is now the Tourist Information Centre.

We had planned to take the self guided walking tour of the town, but in the end decided to skip that and go directly to the Hassayampa River Preserve south of Wickenburg.  This was an interesting area with an informative visitor centre, staffed by a fellow who lives in Vermont part of the year, and works in this Nature Conservancy centre the other part.

Most rivers that we've seen here were, as far as we could tell, rivers of sand.  The Hassayampa River differs from the others in that for a certain distance it flows, not under the surface, but on the surface, the reason being that the bedrock comes up close to the surface, and carries the river up with it.  That creates an oasis of green, year round, surrounded by the usual Arizona/Sonoran Desert.  It was a good place to go for a gentle walk around Palm Lake (actually an artificial lake, created for a spa/resort there in the 60's.)

This Sunday we decided to visit a church nearby and had a rather unsettling experience.  Since it is Reformation Sunday, the celebration/remembrance of Martin Luther's posting the 95 theses on the church door of Wittenberg, the service commemorated that with the singing of A Mighty Fortress, the most well known of Luther's many hymns.  This was a Lutheran church and I found the music slightly different from what we are used to, and the words quite different, and not nearly as majestic and forceful as what we are used to in our hymnal.

The service included communion, so Jim went to ask permission for us to partake and was turned down!  That felt very strange and very much of a rejection to be told we could not take communion with them.  Later I read in the bulletin that their policy is
"that if you are not a [sic] active member of Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod or the Evangelical Lutheran Synod, that you not commune with us."  Well, everyone has the right to make their own rules I guess.  But we found it very offputting to be told that, even though we are believers, we don't qualify to "commune with them."  It won't become our home church here!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Geese and such

Here are the geese in their "permitted" area, part of the golf course.  This is perfectly fine for them, but I wonder about the golfers!
 Here is the lake we walk around in the morning, a very lovely area.  As I said the lake is shallow, manmade and part of the water purification system.  All the "grey" water is recycled and used to water the grass and other plantings.  I think this area was first built in 1986, so they were well in advance at that time in creating this system.
This is a cute little duck couple, always swimming or strolling around close together. I wonder which one is the gander, the pure white or the partly tan duck.

Tomorrow we plan to visit Wickenberg, up highway 60 from here.  We understand there is an excellent museum there, a good walking tour and a river preserve.  We'll see what we can find.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Settling In

After having lived here for a week and a half, we are starting to feel like this is home.

Each morning I go for a walk with my sister around a man made lake that is part of the water purification system.  I meant to take my camera this morning to show how lovely it is.  Hope I remember tomorrow.

Yesterday the Canada Geese were back, an even dozen of them.  If you have some living near you, you know how messy they are.  The area around the lake is off limits to the geese because of the walking paths there.  But how to keep them away?  The Village hires certain dogs who patrol and mark the area, and then the geese don't like to be there.

First I thought, well, that's just sending the problem somewhere else, but Sis explained that all the other water features in the village don't have walking paths so the geese are not disturbed in those area.  Good!  We'll share in such a way that works for both species.

In the afternoon we went to the local branch of the Regional Library and got library cards.  The whole system works just as it does at home, with the exception that this library, serving many more people, has a "self check out" system.  That's pretty nifty.  You place your card under the red light line and it is recorded.  Then you place the books one at a time on the black rectangle and their bar code is recorded.  You may have a receipt or not, whichever you wish.  You can access your account on line from home.  You can order books, etc. on line and pick them up there.  How nice to have that service available just a mile from where we're living!

Then we went to Sprouts, a grocery store that specializes in fresh fruits and veggies, and lots of organic goods, packaged and fresh.  It's a great place to get your fresh things, but for items such as grated cheese, etc. you really want to go to a different sort of market.

Also yesterday I picked up several things at a Target store, which I found much more pleasant than the local Walmart, which is always very busy and crowded.  The prices at Target are slightly higher, but I was able to find several small items I had been looking for: a clothes drying rack, a dish rack, a large spoon and a large slotted spoon that I liked, and a large soup pot with a good heavy bottom.  Gradually, gradually we are getting set up here.

Today I think I'd like to go to the pool again, rather than do some more shopping.  Hopefully more pictures soon.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Pleasant Jaunt

Yesterday morning we left right after breakfast, about 8:15 on a little trip to Tucson, 2 1/2 hours south of here.  We took expressway (Interstate) right through Phoenix, but it wasn't bad because it was early on a Saturday.

This photo was taken south of Phoenix, north of Tucson and shows how we traveled on very level roads in an area surrounded by mountains.

One thing we learned today was that these mountains are called "sky islands."  They are the result of continental compression that have already been broken down considerably by erosion.  The cliffs on these mountains continue reaching down below the flat land to the bedrock deep, deep below.

The reason the land between the "islands of mountains" is flat is because all the rock that has eroded down from the mountains has filled the chasms between them to produce the level land.

The first place we went was the Arizona/Sonoma Desert Museum west of Tucson.  It was a great place, well organized, expansive and very informative.  We spent about three hours there, walking through the exhibits and the extensive grounds.

One very interesting presentation we saw was a demonstration of raptors.  We missed the first part and saw only the third set of birds, a family of Harris hawks.  These hawks live in families, directed by the Alpha female, who is supported by the Alpha male.  With the offspring helping, they hunt together.  They were beautiful birds, a living family who flew about right above the heads of the crowd.  Awesome!

Then we spent some time at the International Wildlife Museum, a large and well organized collection of mounted specimens from all over the world: butterflies, moths, insects (including some ginormous beetles), birds and mammals.

One interesting, though suspect, display showed a well preserved skeleton of a centaur (half horse, half man).  That was in a small area devoted to "Myth or Reality?"

Leaving there at 5 p.m. we went to our reserved room in a Comfort Inn.  Nice, spacious, clean.  Just a little down the road was an International House of Pancakes where we enjoyed a delicious dinner.

Today we went first to the Tucson Botanical Gardens.  They were begun in the 1930's by a couple who bought a house and 5 1/2 acre parcel there and built a nursery business.  Over the years Mrs. Porter developed a complex of trails and gardens on that spot, and eventually willed it all to the city of Tucson.

The gardens were very well organized with labels on almost all the plants, shrubs and trees.  Beautiful and enjoyable.  Here we are taking a short break in the shade.

Today it came home to me why in Biblical times the first duty of a host was to offer water to wash one's feet.  Most of the paths are covered with very small gravel and sand, and as I was wearing open sandals, I soon found my feet grew hot, dirty and irritated.  How I longed to plunge them into one of the many fountains or pools on the grounds!  That was forbidden by signs placed near any water source.

Our last stop was at the Tohoni Shul gardens just north of Tucson, also fairly extensive and quite well organized with paths and special areas, but just not quite on a level with the Tucson Botanical Gardens.

By 2 p.m. we were on our way, but pretty flaked out from the heat.  We found a mall with a food court and ordered a malt for each of us, strawberry for Jim and vanilla for me.  Did that ever hit the spot!

Revived and replenished we drove home, having had a very enjoyable weekend of doing the tourist thing!

Friday, October 25, 2013

First Project

This afternoon I sewed my first project here at our condo in Arizona: a set of six lovely napkins.  We like to use cloth napkins (cutting down trees to wipe our mouth does not "cut it" with us!) and I hadn't found any that I liked.  I found this very nice 100% cotton homespun fabric in Walmart and bought one yard.  From that I was able to cut six (15" x 18") napkins.

For the first one I hemmed the raw edge under and then turned it under again and sewed that down.  Very secure!

But for the others I decided that wasn't necessary.  I trimmed 1/2" off each corner, turned the edge over once and pressed.  Then I turned the edge over once more, mitring the corners as I went, pressing that down firmly.  Then I was able to just sew the hem in place.  I happened to have the exactly right blue thread in my box.

They turned out very well, and are a lovely soft cotton, woven with dyed threads so both sides are the same (except for the hems turned under).

There is a Sunbeam iron here that steams very nicely, and turns itself off if not used for a while.

All in all (though it took longer than I expected) a happy result for the first sewing project in Arizona.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Strange Coincidence

Yesterday afternoon as we were enjoying a leisure time reading on our patio, our neighbour across the way (about 30 feet from our front door!) came over to introduce himself.  His name is Alan, and he is a Canadian.  In fact, as we replied, Yes, and you come from Red Deer!  We had seen his vehicle occupying the space for condo 513, and the license plate surround indicated that it came from Red Deer.

How strange that we have driven about 2000 miles, and our closest neighbour here comes from a city just an hour's drive from our home in Alberta!

Monday, October 21, 2013

No Sewing Yet

Sorry for the long absence!  We were getting ready to go on an extended holiday, and that involved lots of planning, packing, etc.

On Saturday the 12th we started our trip by going to Rosebud to see "Our Town."  It was excellent! as their productions always are.  I was surprised by the second act, which was deeply moving, in contrast to the first act, which was quite humorous.  By the end I was brushing tears from my cheeks and sniffing.  The woman sitting next to me was doing the same!  She opened her purse, took out a pack of Kleenex, took one for herself and then handed me one.  After the lights came up I said, Thanks! I needed that!

Then we drove south to Shelby, Montana where we had reservations for the night.  The next two days we spent on the road, and reached Sun Village, Surprise, Arizona by suppertime on Monday.  We were welcomed by my dear sister and her husband, and settled in to their guest house.

I spent the next several days working hard to organize, clean and prepare our condo, and on Friday afternoon we were able to move in.  Since then I've done more cleaning and organizing, and we're almost all set here.

This afternoon I was able to hang the Halloween wall panel by the front door.  It's attached with strips of Duct Tape to the stuccoed wall.  I didn't want to use nails, for fear of cracking the stucco.  This works!  We'll see if it lasts until November.

Soon I hope to start on a small wall hanging featuring a poinsettia.  That's one of those laser cut kits, so it just needs to be attached and the edges sewed down.  I'm looking forward to doing that, but fortunately, I have some time yet to get around to that.

Happy quilting!

Thursday, October 10, 2013


 Today I finished S's quilt.  We had bought the material on the 7th of January, so it was actually quite a quick project, considering it is a monster: 118" wide by 115" long.  (And considering that I was busy teaching violin and conducting the string group.)

I sewed the top in two sections, one 7 blocks by 14 blocks, the other 6 blocks by 14 blocks.  I quilted the two sections and then sewed the top together and hand sewed the backing together.

Then I made the borders (10") separately, quilted the middle seam on both sides, and then sewed the borders to the quilt.

Picture #2 is the quilting of the borders happening.

Pictures number 3 shows sewing the borders to the top of the quilt.  Then I turned it over, trimmed off the extra batting and backing and hand sewed that seam.  You can just see in #3 that the borders have been somewhat quilted and the binding applied (and hand sewed to the backing) before attaching them to the body of the quilt.  This worked very, very well, as I didn't have to deal with the whole bulk of the quilt when working on the borders.

I cut off the two bottom corners which would have dragged on the floor, and even inserted a godet at either corner of the cut off section.  It worked very well and looks smart.

Picture #4 shows the quilt on her bed, with those lovely milk chocolate brown walls.  You can just see in the corners of the windows the stark white trim that sparks everything
 up so beautifully.  The floor is a dark maple laminate, and the room look terrific.

This pattern is in a book called "Fun & Easy Scrap Quilting" from House of White Birches.  The pattern is called Nine-Patch Special and was a very easy pattern to do.  The original called for scrappy materials, but we chose to do it in just a few contrasting fabrics.  We both loved the fabric when we bought it, and we still think it's beautiful.  Also we like the fact that it's not a terribly feminine or masculine looking quilt.
She was smart enough to take along one of the drapery tiebacks when we went to look for material, so there's wonderful harmony with those different fabrics.

I showed the completed quilt to both the town quilting club on Tuesday and the country quilting club today.  We always like to share our accomplishments, and I find it inspiring to see what other women have made.

There is another pattern in this book that I've used several times for baby quilts or lap quilts.  The Color Block Lap Quilt also goes together very easily and looks great when it's finished.  Both these quilts can be done in a variety of colour ways for completely different results.

One of the challenges of making this quilt was that the pattern was for a single bed quilt, 64" x 70."  I had to redraft the pattern to accommodate a very high queen size bed, and that meant refiguring the yardages also.  It came out pretty close: there is very little material left over, not even a full WOF larger than 4" of any of the fabrics, and of some fabrics there are just small scraps.  Because I left the borders for last I was able to use almost everything by cutting them as large as possible from the fabric we had.

I would highly recommend this book, especially these two patterns, as they are quick and easy to accomplish and produce a very good looking quilt.  You can look up House of White Birches, which is in Berne, Indiana, at ""  

Happy Quilting!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Morning Sky

Just before the sun rose this morning the western sky lit up with intense colour.  A photo never really captures the full glory, but here's a sample.

At the end of the driveway there's some lovely fall colour also.  The red is a brilliant Amur maple, and next to that is a deep purple Schubert Chokecherry, both of them surrounded by the deeper green of spruce and the yellow green of potentilla bushes.  What a feast for the eyes is the beautiful panorama of fall colours!

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Well, spraying and washing the backing took all the marker stains out!  Thank goodness!

Tuesday our local quilt club met, so in the morning I prepared (again) the baby quilt "sandwich" and did the machine quilting that afternoon.  I had a little bit to finish on Wednesday, and today I finished handstitching the binding to the back.

Here's my second go 'round with batting.  A better idea this time: take a large piece of batting and cut what is needed, no marking or stitching pieces together.

Here's the finished quilt.  The backing is a nice bright yellow flannel.  The front is all flannel also.
The binding is a yellow cotton.  I chose that because the cotton is a firmer fabric than the flannel and will hold up better as binding.

I'm very happy with this quilt.  It's 47" by 47", so it's a generous size.  With all the flannel it's very cuddly.  The batting is a light polyester batt, chosen to keep the quilt light weight.

All finished ahead of time for a baby due in about 10 weeks!

The pattern, by the way is from Country Creations, Lorraine Stangeness's design.  I had an email from her this week that her shop, south of Strathmore, is closing.  She and Gordon moved to a villa in Strathmore and plan to spend about 5 months in Arizona this winter.  We'll miss visiting her shop, which had great selections of materials, patterns and kits.  I took groups there three different times as part of a "shop hop."  I always said I wouldn't buy anything that time, but went home with at least one new project.

I have a beautiful wall hanging kit, "Falling Leaves," that I bought last January and am planning to begin as soon as I finish S's quilt.  That, by the way, needs only the borders added.  I'm in the home stretch!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dumb and Dumber!

You know that nice baby quilt I'm making?  On Friday I bought some plump yellow flannel for the backing.  Today I cut the backing and sewed it together because it needed to be pieced.

I got out a large scrap of batting, measured and cut it.  It also needed to be pieced.  I usually draw lines across the two pieces of batting, just to make sure the seam turns out even and one side of the other doesn't pull or pucker.

Today I used a washable marker.  Mistake number one!

I went ahead and spray basted the backing to the batting.  Then I became a little uneasy: what if the washable marker's colour ran into the backing?

Then I did something even dumber: I took a wet washcloth and started dabbing at the marker lines trying to remove them.  Well, they weren't removed!  What happened was that the
marker promptly ran colour onto the backing!

At this point I got a little smarter, not much but a little: I pulled the batting off the backing as much as possible, considering it had been spray basted in place.  Then I took the backing and sprayed lots of prewash on the colour runs.  I threw it in the machine on the gentle cycle.

What a relief when the cycle was finished to find the colour runs had all washed out!  Washing had also loosened the bits of batting that were still sticking to the backing.  I was able to pick them off.

It's in the dryer now, almost ready to come out and be ironed, ready for a new piece of batting--not one made up of bits and pieces this time.

What I'm thankful for: that I stopped this idiocy before spray basting the top in place!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


We have three pear trees out back and have occasionally had a pear or two from them.  This year it's a different story.  Here is our pear harvest, and it's plentiful!

Some of them are a small variety, but are they ever sweet and delicious!

I don't know how we're going to use up all this bounty.  Pear jam doesn't sound too intriguing.  And we never eat canned fruit anymore.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Aren't they cute?

If I've worked hard during the week (and I usually have) I like to reward myself on the weekend with a little, fun project.  It's especially rewarding when the project takes only 3 or 4 hours.

My friend M. had this cute Canada Maple Leaf hot pad on the left that her aunt had made for her when she (the aunt) was taking some quilting lessons.  I borrowed it Saturday evening to reproduce it.

These two hot pads are the end result.  Lots of fun to make and a quick easy project.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Red Pepper Jelly

This week I made my first ever batch of red pepper jelly.  Jim had picked many small red peppers and I still have some bags of chopped pepper for soups and chillies in the freezer, so I checked for jelly recipes on the net.  I used one from "Mennonite Girls Can Cook" and was pleased with how it turned out.

There were 12 pint jars of jelly, of which 2 are already gifted out.

If I make this again I will stir the finished jelly in the pot for a bit as it thickens, to avoid having all the pepper pieces near the top of the jar.  The recipe (which I doubled) used liquid pectin and set up very well, which made me think I could get away with stirring for a few minutes as it thickened, before ladling it into the jars.

When combined with a little creme cheese on a cracker, this is a real winner!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A Little Side Trip

Been a busy week, like always.  No knitting because I have a "trigger finger" on my right hand.  No doubt it came from knitting too much.  I "throw" my stitches, so my right hand is always flicking back and forth.  The ring finger started hurting in March, but I stupidly kept on knitting.  Finally had to give it up, or have permanent problems with that finger.

Last week there were a few nights when I woke up around 2 or 3 a.m., and sleep was finished for the night.  Sometimes, that's an advantage.  You get an extra four or five hours to your day!  So early Wednesday morning I used those four hours to cut out squares for a baby quilt.  My dear friend M's daughter is expecting a baby in December, so I wanted to get started on that.

I chose a simple design by reducing the rows in a pattern that I had done before.  It's almost all half square triangles with just a few plain blocks.

It went together very easily and last night I finished sewing the top together.  Now it needs some batting and some backing, some machine quilting, probably just stitch in the ditch as there is enough going on in the quilt itself.

When I look at this picture I see one square I should have exchanged, but otherwise I'm quite happy with it.

Today I will get back to S's quilt.  The first half is now spray basted and ready to go.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Harvest Meal

After a lovely weekend in Rocky Mountain House, Jim preaching, myself playing organ for both a.m. and p.m. services on Sunday, followed by a good overnight visit with friends, we arrived home this morning about 11 a.m.  We unloaded our things from the car, had a fresh cup of coffee and relaxed for a while.

By 1 p.m. I was ready to work and went out to the garden to see what needed to be picked.  The bounty included green beans, peas, runner beans, sugar snap peas, carrots, parsnips, beets, onions and small red peppers.  After the snipping, slicing and blanching were complete, I made up a wonderful supper with these ingredients:


Line a 9" x 12" pan with foil.
chunky, diagonally cut carrots
chunky, diagonally cut parsnips
onion wedges
potato wedges
sliced red peppers.
Drizzle with olive oil.

Place in a 350º oven, lightly covered with foil.

Boil some beets until tender.
Slice them into wedges and add to veggies.

Cut Mild Italian sausage into rounds.
Scatter them over the veggies.

Sprinkle all with:
garlic powder
seasoned salt
coarse pepper
lots of grated parmesan.

Roast until finished, about 2 hours.

It was so delicious I immediately wrote down the ingredients and what I had done, so that I can repeat this meal (maybe once a week this fall!)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Posting some Progress

 This first picture was taken at 9:15 on Monday evening.   We had been gone for the weekend with a preaching and organ playing assignment.  Came home on Monday afternoon.

I guess Jim was so anxious to get the patio finished that he "overdid" the work ethic thing a little bit.  But you know how it is when you've been involved in a big, complicated project, and you sense the end is drawing near.  Like a horse heading for the barn, it's hard to hold back.

This second picture was taken just this afternoon.
The bricks are all in place, the patio is almost finished.   We just need our carpenter to come and saw some of the extra bricks down to the size of the border bricks.  He has a saw that can handle this 4" thick bricks.  And then, IT'S FINISHED!!!

We did have a patio in this area, but picked up all the pavers and had 4 feet of cement laid around the foundation of the house.  Now the original patio pavers have been laid from the cement to the driveway.

On a hot summer afternoon this is a lovely place to sit and have your ice tea.  The area is shaded by the house and there's usually a bit of breeze here to refresh you.  We will certainly enjoy being out here again!

 On the quilting front I'm not making a whole lot of progress.  That was mainly because last week I spent four afternoons preparing the organ music for this past Sunday.  Same assignment for the next two Sundays, but I have most of the music for this coming Sunday picked out already.

On Saturday I took a break from doing what needs to be done, cut out and sewed on a tote bag for myself.  I machine embroidered my initials on the back and added two pockets at the bottom.

On the front side I inset a chenille heart.  This project is a sample to show the quilt club at their first meeting in September, to drum up some interest in making chenille.

The bag needs a lining and the straps attached.

I'm hoping to also make a pillow for a sample of chenille.  And I have a jacket I made for myself some years ago.  That was before I got my digital camera, so I don't have any pictures of it on file.  Maybe some other time