Our Lady of the Blue Highways

Our Lady of the Blue Highways
Portrait in oils by Jackie Poutasse

Friday, May 28, 2010

Another Interim Post

I have four posts to put up - about Solvang, Hwy #1, Carmel, and Chico, but I've been so busy since arriving in Chico, and I have so much to tell you - so many photos! I'll try to get them posted this weekend - Carol and Ken (yes, another Ken) are headed south to a wedding, so I'll get it done while they are away.

The great news is, I'VE LOST 9 POUNDS! That's the 9# I gained in Phoenix, so it's on to new lower weights! I'll tell you all about it when I do my Chico post.

Just wanted to let you know I am doing quite well and I'm thinking about all of you!!

Until next time,
Bear Hugs

Sunday, May 23, 2010

San Bernardino


Boots at 15 onboard Snipper
1952 Ford Panel Van
1932 Ford
Daisy in the driver's seat
Buddy showing off for Heidy and Daisy

Driving west from Phoenix the land starts to change again. When I got on the road Jack says “continue 283 miles on Hwy 10” Oh, goody – I won’t have to listen to him for awhile.

Nearing San Bernardino, I hadn’t noticed I was climbing, but all of a sudden, I was driving down a long winding road into a valley of green fields. It was so refreshing after the miles and miles of desert.

As I drove on, I saw a mountain with dark clouds boiling over the top, leaving behind a new layer of snow.

Down in the valley is a huge wind farm. There must be hundred’s of turbines, on both sides of the road, as far as the eye can see. The turbines went on and on and on – just magnificent.

I crossed the valley, and started up the other side, and Madame began to overheat. There was a rest a area near so I was able to stop and let her cool down for awhile. I also finally remembered to call Margie and let her know I was almost there. (I had promised to call about half way)

I’m noticing the difference in the mountains between Arizona and California. There, they were a sage brush green/ and sometimes grey blue. Here they are an olive green. The “folds” in the mountains look like draped velvet. Just Beautiful!

I can tell Margie has been reading my blog! She met me at the door with a box of See’s fudge.
SEE’S FUDGE – Corliss, eat your heart out!

Margie and I know each other from Great Falls, from about 3rd grade until teenager’s, when her Dad moved them to San Bernardino.

She had a horse before I did – but he didn’t like to be caught. I remember it seems like hours and hours of trying to catch him so we could go riding. I remember one time, when I had my own horse, we were riding around the Ayshire Dairy. We were looking for a gate to get out, but there was none. Finally, we found a dip in the ground which left the bottom wire of the fence a little higher from the ground – Stockings (her horse) was able to go under the wire, but Snipper, was a big brute, and we sort of pulled apart the wire to get him through. We didn’t get away with it!!!! That night, Margie’s Dad called my Dad, after being called by the dairy – and our Dads had to repair the fence - never did it again, I can promise you that.

Saturday morning, we hit Jo-Ann’s and a couple other quilt stores. Margie quilts – she does more traditional quilting – while I just throw together crazy quilts. She and Myra have a lot in common with their quilting.

Sunday, we went shopping at a couple of RV centers. Wow – there are some very beautiful, and expensive units out there. The salesman showed me a couple dream rigs – with sewing rooms (bunk rooms - but with a hammer and saw, I could quickly convert them) They were much bigger rigs than I would ever want, but Oh, my – it’s quite ok to dream!

Margie’s husband, Bob has a love of classic cars. His “Baby” is a 1932 Ford Sedan, painted bright lemon yellow. He also has a 1952 Ford F-100 panel van. Both are fully restored, and he attends car shows at every opportunity. The F-100 he actually uses in his work – he’s a carpeting contractor.

There are 3 – four legged family members. Heidy is the matriarch, she’s about 12 years old. Buddy is about 5 - they are both daschunds. The last night here, Buddy finally sat up while I had a camera in my hand. He was not taught to sit up – he just does it, and not on command either – just when he feels he’s not getting enough attention.

Then there is Daisy. She is a white toy Pomeranian. She appeared on their door about 8 months ago, skinny, starving little rat like creature. They tried to locate the owner – when they finally located the address, the house was empty. One guess is that her owner passed away, and she got out of the yard, scared and upset, and whoever cleared out the house couldn’t find her. White Poms are rare and expensive – so we’re sure she wasn’t just abandoned. Anyway, with all the love and attention Bob and Margie have given her (Bob is her special hero) She has flourished. She is so cute, when she walks, she struts like a ballerina walking flat-footed in toe shoes

We visited AAA to pick up more maps, and a guide to the coast highway. I also discovered a new favorite store - World Market. It’s like Pier 1, but also has food and wine. I could have spent all day there. I didn’t have to, though – as luck would have it – there is one located in Chico – about 2 miles from Carols. I saw the neatest paper plates – they are made from wheat straw rather than wood. I picked up a package of 2 caramels dipped in dark chocolate, sprinkled with sea salt. Very interesting flavor.

I’m leaving in the morning, headed up the coast road toward Chico. I am going to stop at Solvang, a wonderful little Danish town. I remember visiting it with my folks many years ago.

Until next time
Bear Hugs

Friday, May 21, 2010

Benson – Tombstone

1. Elliotts Ranch Gate
2. A couple of Paint Horses
3. Hippie shop in Bixbee
4. Tombstone - Universal feeling for Politicians
5. Emma-Lou and Wee Beastie

I finally got on the road – at about 11 a.m. rather than the 9 a.m. as I had planned.

I stopped at Casa Grande to visit a quilt store Myra told me I had to see - Of course, it was closed that day. But it sure looked interesting

Had no trouble finding the Elliott’s. You can see the highway from their house. Emmy Lou is the gal I met at a laundromat in National City, CA 50 years ago – when my oldest was an infant.

We were both there to wash diapers (Those were the Olden days when diapers were washed and dried, not pulled out of a bag or box) She had a toddler with her. It was instantaneous friendship, and we have kept in touch over all these years, but this was the first time I’ve seen her since our time in CA. We met, probably the first of March, I left CA in June for Montana, and she left in July for Minnesota. So we hung out for only about 3 months. I did not meet her husband, Tom in CA – I was too shy at the time, so I always made tracks when he was expected home. Emmy-Lou says I was the one who approached her in the laundromat when we met, cause she was also shy, and says we never would have met if left up to her.

About 15 years ago, they re-settled in Arizona – moving their Paint Horse ranch to the area of Benson, AZ. At one time they had about 50 horses, but now are down to 13.

Tom and Emma Lou have a band and during the winter, entertain at different venues in the area.

That nite I had a message from Stephanie! She was in Tucson – had been in Bisbee, and Tombstone already. So, Ladies, if you wonder why you can’t get her on the phone, it’s because she is out here in the old West!!!

The next morning, Emmy-Lou chauffeured me around the area. First we went to “downtown” Benson to look for a “Benson, AZ” hat pin for my niece. Found one, too.

Then we went on to Tombstone. It’s an interesting place. Very old-time western, and they re-enact the gun fight at OK Corral daily. We wandered in and out of shops, took photos of the stagecoach, reached the end of the road, and started back on the opposite side of the street.

We stopped in the Birdcage Saloon. It’s a very historic place. We didn’t go into the museum part, but enjoyed and informative talk by the “bartender”. The Birdcage was open for business 24/7 for 9 years. For 8 years, 5 months and 3 days (24 hours a day), it hosted a single high stakes poker game. I cost $1000 to join the game, and over $10 million dollars crossed over the table. As players joined and left, there was a 6 month waiting list for men wanting to lose their money. At that time there were over 100 bars in the town. Imagine! No small feat to locate the next fellow on the list there. (And good luck to any ladies looking in town for their men!) Some of the players are familiar – Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp (he met the love of his life at the bar), George Randolph Hearst, Diamond Jim Brady, and many others.

I saw some beautiful T-shirts, if you can call T-shirts beautiful, I talked myself out of buying one – maybe next year - I think I’ll collect T-shirts to make a blanket – for me!!!

Oops, I almost left out the “eye candy” three young French tourists, outfitted in brand-new Levi’s that looked like they had not been washed yet. I guess “when in France …… works both ways. (or is that “when in Rome” Well, either way…….)

I learned at a tender age to always pre-wash the jeans. Once, in a brand-new pair of unwashed jeans, I jumped on my horse, Snipper, and spent the day riding. Those days I didn’t have a saddle. Can you imagine how I felt when I finally slid off Ship’s wet, sweaty back? I thought I’d never ride – or walk – again!!!! Blisters as big as quarters!

We drove on to Bisbee, AZ – which is where Stephanie says all the hippies have moved.
It’s an old mining town. We had lunch at the Copper Queen hotel. Delicious! We strolled around town for awhile, then continued on our way! We stopped to look at the Open Pit mine. Very impressive, but not as big as the one in Butte, MT.

We continued our drive in a big circle – driving quite close to the Mexican border, we had to pass through a border patrol checkpoint. Being blue-eyed blonds, we were waived right through. The country around the Benson area is rugged desert with lots of cactus, beautiful mountains all around. There is lots of history to see here, but I’m saving some for my next visit.

The Elliott’s have put their southern Colorado ranch up for sale. So if you are interested in owning a ranch, with great hunting – Elk, Deer, Turkey, etc – let me know – I’ll put you in touch with them!

Emmy Lou and Tom: I’LL BE BA-A-A-ACK!!!!

On the way back to Phoenix, as I passed Casa Grande, Madame took the bit in her mouth, and on “auto pilot” took me right to the quilt shop. It was as great as Myra said, and, I can’t believe I did this, but I bought a quilt pattern for $20!!! What was I thinking, but just wait til you see the quilt when it’s finished!!!!

I got back to Phoenix in time to see the student art show at the school where Michelle teaches. Wow – you can really see the talent of her students. The art is incredible.

Michelle introduced me to a fellow teacher, saying I was the one who made the pottery aprons. As a result, I have a standing order for aprons the next time I’m in Phoenix. Isn’t that neat?

Michelle says the kids in her class are gratefully using the pottery aprons – no more clay spattered on their clothes!!!

I asked Ken if he missed me while I was gone. He said “No!” quite emphatically, but then followed with “Well, yes, a bit” I told him that was a good thing, cause I was going to stay an extra day. He lowered his chin, and glowered at me over his glasses!!! Yep, he’ll miss me.

Well, tomorrow morning, it’s off to California.

Until next time,
Bear Hugs


PS for Brooke. Your quilt has barely been started – as in, I cut the pictures off the T-shirts, but the fabric AND the sewing machine are in storage in Virginia. If all goes as planned, and I spend 3 months in Angie’s apartment, I should have all my quilts finished before I leave there!

PPS: I’m responding to your question here, just to see if you read my blog. (I know, I know, I’m a mean Mommy)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Just a note

Hey Everyone - I'm in never-nerer land. It's 3:30 a.m., and I am in my tent in the middle of no-where - well, not exactly no-where, I feel like I'm sitting in the middle of highway 101 - I'm that close. Only tenter here. (lots of RV's though) And, I have internet service. It's slow, - used up half my battery tim4 Just checking my e-mail.

Anyway - just wanted to let you all know I am hale and hearty, and I have 2-3 posts to load as soon as I can get my computer re-charged.

Tomorrow (wait, that's later this morning} I will be headed up hwy #1 toward Morro Bay, Big Sur, and Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Who is Boots???? Is she running away or toward?

Until next time,
Beear hugs

Monday, May 10, 2010

Leaving Sun City

Michelle's Bar
Jonah - keeping ping-pong ball in air with blower
Pottery Apron
Gaow catching some Z 's

Let’s see. What’s been happening?

I’ve just finished sewing projects for Michelle and Kit. I made 5 denim pottery aprons for her art class. And, I made a “utility belt” for Kit’s Mom with pockets for cell phone and glasses, and altered a pair of trousers for her also. When I saw the label, I thought, Oh, Gosh, can I do this? They were Vera Lang design. But, I took courage, and got the job done.

I went RV shopping the other day – spent an afternoon, a very hot afternoon, visiting nearby sales center. Found what I want, now I have to find a unit I can live with, that is within my budget. I learned a lot that afternoon. I’m really looking forward to when I’ll have my own rig.

I found a singles RV group on the internet. Sort of a Parents without Partners for campers. They have group campouts all over the country. I may look into that!

I’ve spent a lot of time in the screen room. I enjoy listening to the doves, and watching the quail and cottontails. I’m told that in a few weeks, the quail hatchlings will arrive, and they will follow their parent in long lines, running across the yard. Too bad I won’t be here for that.

Christie has taken to sleeping with me nearly every night. Tui sometimes joins us too. Tui always rootles around looking for a comfortable place at the bottom of the bed. But, Christie is a cuddler – she keeps creeping closer and closer, and I keep inching away, until I’m hanging over the edge of the mattress. Kit says Christie thinks that is her bed, and is being very generous allowing me to sleep there.

Last nite I finally made it out to Michelle’s home in the country. We made up a party - Gaow went with me, Michelle’s sister-in-Law, Beth, was there, Christine showed up, and so did Jesse and Brooklyn (Chris’s daughter and granddaughter) Gaow made fried rice and puffy eggs (my request – I love those eggs with rice) and Michelle grilled hamburgers. Beth showed us some yoga moves – that was fun. When it got dark, we built a bon-fire, and made S’Mores.

Jesse took Gaow home, and I followed Chris back to Sun City – across the desert on a dark lonely road! I missed one turn, but by then knew where I was and had no trouble making it back to Kit’s - arriving near midnite.

I was awakened early in the morning with a “Happy Mother’s Day” phone call from Angie. A very nice start to the day! And, I also received an e-card from my oldest.

Kit received a Mother’s Day gift of Chocolate Covered Strawberries from Christine. Can you tell how enormous they are from the photo? Delicious, Too. Sweet and juicy!
My nieces in included me in their Mother’s Day wishes which gave me more warm fuzzies.

I’m leaving in the morning for Benson, AZ – finally. It’s about 200 miles East of here on Hwy 10.

I’ll return on Wednesday, I hope in time to catch the Student Art Show at Michelle’s school. Then, hopefully, very early Thursday, I’ll be off on my way to California.

Until next time,
Bear Hugs

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

This n' That


Moon Shot
Dick's Marker Yep, It's upside down!
Gaow Praying

Arizona Immigration Law. Gives law officers the right to stop anyone for any reason to make them prove they are in Arizona legally. There are four ways to prove you are here legally:
1. Valid Arizona Driver’s License
2. Valid Arizona issued ID
3. Passport, Visa, etc.
4. Greencard.

According to this, unless I am carrying my passport with me – I am in Arizona illegally!!!! How do you like them apples?

Yesterday, Gaow and I visited the National Cemetery and located my brother’s memorial marker. The cemetery is quite beautiful – even though it is sand instead of well kept grass. There are cactus – some in bloom – and desert bushes. Very quiet, and restful. I think it must take a lot of work to keep the area as beautiful as it is – the slightest breeze blows the sand, yet the thousands of markers were swept clean.

Gaow and I went shopping at the mall. I’m not a “mall” person, but I knew she would enjoy it. We both needed necessaries, and stuck to our goal – well, mostly. We had lunch, then called sister-in-law Carol – who helped “push” Gaow into going to California with me. Someone told me that I didn’t know what “heaven” was until I had had a Paradise Bakery sugar cookie. As we were headed for Paradise, a Godiva Kiosk popped up in front of us. I tried to get past it, but it kept popping up in front of us. I tried to steer Gaow away from it – but, she’s tough for her size (Now, all you that know me best, know that is not quite the way it happened. The evidence is in the skid marks on the tile floor from Goaw’s shoes, as she hopelessly tried to pull me in the other direction.) Anywho….. The Godiva Lady offered us samples. Mandarin Orange in milk chocolate - should have been heavenly. I realized I had never even tasted Godiva chocolates before. Know what? Not impressed. “Chocolat” in Fredericksburg far surpasses them for flavor of both chocolate and filling. Heck, even my own chocolates do. One more item to cross off my 100 things to do before I die list.

In one of my insane moments, I ordered a sewing machine online. (Kit made me do it, honest!!!!) What was I thinking????? I have no room left in the car for it, and especially if Gaow is going to be travelling with me. I had been looking at one at a local store – Kit was with me – she found one on-line for $50 less – not exactly the same, but close. And before I knew it, the order was sent. Well, it arrived yesterday, and I gave it a good workout. Yes, it will be going back. Broke one needle, and had a major thread jam in the hour or sew I played with it. But it felt great to be sewing again. Made a blouse with it. (It’s been returned for refund)

Kit has volunteered her daughter, Michelle, and son-in-law, Eric to paint my pickup and trailer when I get them. She envisions a sign saying “Lady of the Blue Highways” and pinstripes from the truck to trailer. I wonder what Michelle and Eric will have to say about this!!!

Yesterday, a city crew was paving this street. Gaow was suppose to meet me at the house, but they couldn’t get through. So, Gaow picked up her little umbrella and walked down the street.
Ken was watching the paving and spotted Gaow, then watched as each man on the crew stopped what they were doing and watched her walk down the street. Ken says even the big machines stopped while she passed.

Last night was a full moon – the photo was taken by Kit. My camera only picked up the moon.

OK , time to get this posted.

Until next time,
Bear Hugs

Monday, May 3, 2010

Surgery a Success

Thank you all for your prayers and good wishes for Kit. She came through her surgery in great shape. The cancer had not spread so - no Chemo!!!!

We can both keep our hair.

I hadn't realized exactly how tense I was waiting for her surgery, but when we got the news from the doctor - it's like I could start breathing again.

I'll be posting again in a day or two.

I'll be continuing on my journey next week.

Until next time
Bear Hugs