Our Lady of the Blue Highways

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

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Wee Beastie says he's tired of the cold and it's time to head south. We are packed up, and ready to roll tomorrow morning. Well, if Mother Nature approves, that is. We are expecting snow in the morning, and my first stop is in the mountains of Massachussetts.

I'm looking forward to some of that 70 degree weather in Virginia.

I'm very grateful to Amanda and Angie for giving me the place and opportunity to complete all my sewing projects. If not for them, I would never have been able to complete them.

Remember the 40 sewing projects I wanted to do once the quilts were finished? Well, I completed 60 of them. No, that's not a typo - the list just kept growing.

Never fear, I still have unfinished projects to keep me busy on my travels.

I'm not rushing to get on the road in the morning - I still have some stuff to stuff into Luv. Then I have to drop off books at the library, stop by AAA to see if once and for all I can catch the correct road, and miss the NJ turnpike. A stop at a thrift store - to drop off a box, and gas up and go. Oh, yeah, a stop at BJ's in Saratoga for a couple bags of Almonds on the way.

It's time to detox all the sugar I've been indulging in. It starts tomorrow - Brooke will join me in detoxing for the week I'm there, and Betsy will aid and abet (?) me while I'm staying with her. I have to lose some weight quickly - I refuse to buy any larger clothes (after having disposed of my "big" clothes before I left VA last fall) And all I have that fits are sweat pants and PJ bottoms.

I donated a huge pile of fabric to a quilt guild here in Glens Falls, managed to leave behind some storage totes I no longer needed - but I still need to reduce what I still have. I'll have Betsy stand over me and challenge me to get rid of more.

I had a plan on how to pack the truck. My grandson helped me and he had a different plan - I kept quiet and let him do his thing.

My Mother was an AAA champion packer. I remember way back when - she drove a VW Beetle from California to Montana - With my Sister-in-law, her 4 kids - age 2 years to 14, Plus all their necessary clothing, books, food, etc. In Montana, she picked up my two oldest - ages 12 and 14 at the time, and drove the 600 miles to Seattle, where my SIL, and nieces and nephews debarked, and Mom continued on to California with my two girls to spend the summer in California.

Another fond memory I was reminded of while tying up a roll of batting. Without thinking, I tied a bowline in the end of the twine, pulled it around the bolt, and secured it with a couple half-hitches.

The summer I was 8 years old, my Father had read and article in the Reader's Digest about a family out boating on a river. The motor died and wouldn't re-start. The boat drifted under a bridge where people threw down ropes (the boat was headed to the falls). No one on the boat knew how to tie a secure knot, and the family was lost.

This prompted my Father to teach me how to tie a bowline - a non-slip knot! He gave me a piece of clothesline rope about 2 foot long which I carried with me everywhere that summer. First he taught me the mechanics of the knot - when I mastered that - he had me tie it wearing mittens (using no fingers, just flat hands). Once that became easy, I had to tie it with my eyes shut, and finally I learned to tie it with my hands behind my back. To this day, I can tie a bowline, but not if I look at it.

It's getting late folks - time to hit the sack for an early launch tomorrow.

Until next time,

Bear Hugs

Luv 'n Boots

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Last Sunday, I made a list of everything I had to do during the week - a list for each day, Monday - Friday. Well, we won't do that again!!!

Monday - plan: Brooke's last shirt, Mark's tablecloth and Napkins

Actual: It rained. Hard. and I think it rained more inside than outside. Huge amount of ice on roof of basement addition caused a dam preventing run off of melting snow/ice - so, the water dropped down and escaped along the beam crossing the living room and bedroom - I had to keep emptying pots and pans, the boys came down every few hours to empty the big totes - I eventually had a row of pots and totes all the way across the two rooms.

Then, I had to move stuff around in the bedroom so it wouldn't get wet. While there, I heard an ominous sound - running water IN THE CLOSET!!! In the closet where Angie said there was no worry, (but bear in mind this was not a normal situation) The water was pouring down. The box for my printer was on the top shelf. I pulled the box down, dribbling water all the way to a bucket - and it still had about 3 cups of water in it. I had everything I wouldn't be using down here packed into that closet, so I had to squeeze in there, and pull stuff out - Bedroom was already full, so I had to drag out all the stuff and toss it in the kitchen.

Turning around, I picked up a bolt of fleece from the corner in the bedroom - It was wet!!!! - checked, and there was water dribbling down the wall. In the end, everything I had in the bedroom had to be hauled out and piled in the kitchen, bedroom or hall. My bed had to be moved to the portion of the room that was not part of the addition.

In any event, I spent the day checking water levels - once again, in the bedroom, another drip - in the corner again, but about 2 foot from the wall. Another pot.
Later, while checking drips, I noticed the ceiling was bulging above the last pot put down. Angie and Amanda were both at work, so I couldn't ask advice - so, I took a bamboo skewer and poked a couple holes where it was dripping - but first, I was smart enough to replace the pot with a big tote - good thing, too - cause about 2 gallons of water poured through those two little holes.

Tuesday: Plan: Move Ravem and kids to new apartment.

Actual - well, I did accomplish that.

Wednesday - plan: finish napkins, starts storage bags

Actual: None of the above. At 3 a.m. baby MacKenzie was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with pneumonia. Raven called Angie in the morning, and she relayed the info to me. I was without wheels cause Angie took Luv to work. The hospital is only 5-6 blocks from home, so I walked - it was treacherous - lots of glare ice on the sidewalks, but I made it safely. I stayed with Kenzie so Raven could go home and get some sleep, and a shower.

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday Plan: the rest of the sewing projects.

Actual - I spent most of each day at the hospital. Raven, and her two other children were all sick, too, so she really had her hands full. I am so grateful I was here and could help out.

Saturday - No advance plans - I stayed home, except for a short visit to the hospital to bring food to Raven and give her a short break. I started knawing at the piles of stuff in the kitchen without much success. Rain was forecast, and I didn't dare put anything back into the bedroom until I knew how bad the roof would leak.

Sunday: MacKenzie released from hospital. It was wonderful to see her feeling better, breathing easier and actually smiling! Luv and I took them home, and returned to the "Cave" - it finally began to rain, and the rain came down for hours, but NO LEAKS! Thank goodness!!!!

The rain was followed by 18-20 inches of snow - all this in one day. Monday, I started moving stuff out of the kitchen and actually got some sewing done. I've lost a week of sewing, so I'll be hopping this week.

Over the weekend, I also did some baking (Some people do Aroma Therapy, I do Oven therapy). I made some blueberry quick bread for Angie to take to work. They had given her 3 big bags of wild blueberries, tiny, delicious berries to make up for work. I made the bread with a recipe I'd never tried before - 4 loaves, and since it was for work, I couldn't test it. But, when I was upstairs later, not only did Angie forget to take the bread to work, but she let Dan have some, so there was a cut loaf. I tasted it, and it was so-o-o-o- good, I went back down stairs and made up 10 more loaves - and immediately put them in the freezer. Made some bb muffins for the freezer, too. Also, cookies for the family - 12 dozen molasses cookies, and I'm about out of ingredients, so no more baking for now.

In any event, the "week that was" is over, and I've got to move into high gear to get projects done, and stuff organized for the "pack out".

Until next time

Bear Hugs

"Luv" 'n Boots