Our Lady of the Blue Highways

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

Monday, March 19, 2012


I drove down to Richmond Friday to spend the weekend with my oldest daughter. As usual, I arrived later than expected - one day, one day - I'll actually get out of the driveway an on the highway at the time I plan - This time, it was partially a new computer game, but mostly - gas. I had planned to cross the (Potomac) bridge before getting gas, but realized I would be cutting it too close. I had to back-track about 10 miles to get the gas - then noticed a tire was low - so I had to deal with that - dropped a valve stem cover - it didn't go far, just below the stem - but in such a small place I had to struggle to get it out.

One more stop - a quilt store - before I left town - truly - I was only there 15 minutes - mindful of the clock. Had to have 1/8 yard so I could have all I need for Lisa's baby quilt (Yes, Angie, I know I haven't done one for MacKenzie yet, but it's comming, I promise - before I leave Maryland)

Finally, I'm off and down the road. Whoops, over the bridge, and next stop. . . . . Wal-Mart - for some fuel for me - (Diet starts Monday) I had planned to arrive in Richmond between 1-2p.m. - but I think I got there about 3.

It's a 100 mile ride - takes me 3 hours - I don't take the interstate - I enjoy the ride too much for that, even though the speed limit goes up and down, up and down.

We spent some time "catching up", made a grocery run for salad fixins, had a wonderful dinner of salad. My Daughter makes the most beautiful salads, but this time she told me to go for it - so it was just a big bowl full of luscious stuff.

Later on, she asked me to help her move her TV back where it belongs (she had had the floor refinished in that room) It's one of those huge awkward pieces that it really takes 2 to carry even though it's not that heavy - well, no, it was kind of heavy too - but mustly awkward. We made it safely out of the closet, across the hall, through the tv room to the last step, and...................... I stepped on the plug end of an electrical cord. Barefoot. It was a flat back plug so all 3 prongs were sticking straight up. Caught a flat one on the edge of my heel. Ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow. That's all I could do - just say "ow" Couldn't hop, or move cause I didn't want to drop the TV. We got the TV set down, I checked my foot - can't see the injury - on wrong side of foot. Ok - hurts, but no blood. I went into the guest room to take a better look - Oh, Oh - It's bleeding - .......... I left a trail of drops on her new rug in the tv room.

Well, it kind of is neat - I have an outlet in my foot now!!!! Luckily it is on the edge of the foot and doesn't affect walking

When I first walked into the guest room, I was thrilled. On the bed was the wedding ring quilt my mother made. I gave the top to my daughter when Mom passed away, and she had it professionally quilted, backed, bound and finished.

I Curled up in bed, played a computer game until the battery went dead (Guest room does not have 3 prong outlets), then read a couple chapters in a book I started nearly a year ago when I was staying at her house for my dental appointments.

In the morning, we took the dogs, Brownie and Riley, to Dorey Park. There is a small lake there with a walking path around it. Dogs and Daughter went one way, I went the other. It's a measured walk, and I think I did well enough for a first day out walking - other than to the mailbox - 1.6 miles. I felt pretty proud of myself.

After that, we did some "Girl Stuff", made a quick stop at Jo-Ann's for a spool of thread, and I got out with the thread, and a Celtic CD - which we promptly played - after all it was St. Patrick's day.

Then on to Elwood Thompson's, a health food store. I wanted some lavender flowers - hopefully to help 7 sleep better. It was $20 a pound - I filled a little bag, knowing it wouldn't cost much - I don't understand why, when it rang up at 76 cents, I didn't go back and get a much bigger bag!!!!!!

Later, thinking of going back for more lavender and some cloves - I asked where it was located - she told me it was at the corner of Elwood and Thompson. Here all this time I thought the store was named for the owner.

It was a beautiful spring day - and getting warmer. Whenever I visit Richmond, we eat at the neatest places. Rarely do we eat twice at the same place. She always chooses local establishments. This time we picked "Sticky Rice", then learned it has two other locations - in DC and Baltimore. Well, at least it's not a big chain, and...... it looks local - it's not all shiny and decorator perfect. The food was excellent - I had a sesame chicken noodle bowl - but on sticky rice instead of noodles. And for dessert??? ............more sticky rice - this time with coconut creme and mandarin oranges. It was so good.

"Sticky Rice" is in/near an area of Richmond called the "Fan", a very old part of town. Narrow streets, lots of old buildings and shops, all the interesting unusual stuff (it's walking distance to the university)

When we headed back to the car - This is what we saw....... And I though "Luv" was a long pickup!!!!!! I'd hate to try to park it, but he had no trouble backing right into that spot!!!

Back across town to home - we had to drive through "Shockoe Bottom", and area along the river where the annual Irish bash was going on - seas of green clad party goers. Looked like they were having a blast.

Back home, our evening task was to put together a chair she bought. She thought it would take 2 people to put it together, but it went together so easily that she could have done it in about 10-15 minutes of no fuss time. It was from IKEA - man was it well made, and simple to assemble - the directions were well "written" , well, drawn - not a word on them - just numbered drawings - the easiest instructions I've ever seen. (A couple weeks ago Brooke got a bistro table and chairs, which took hours of sweat and cussing, and still is missing two screws)

Early to bed again, and up to another glorious day - though a bit foggy. Back down to Dorey Park - for another 1.6 mile walk - this time took my trek sticks, and it went more more comfortably - foot finally stopped hurting.

She wanted to make a cake for me to try before I left - so that was done before lunch - It was a chocolate cake with cream cheese topping - and..... a cup of Guinness stout in it - interesting, ver-r-r-ry interesting. Good too - It calls for a 9 inch pan (1 layer), but there was too much batter for the pan. While watching the process, I was wondering if I could asked to lick the bowl - but there was plenty of batter left over. So, there we sat, imbibing on Guinness cake batter.

After lunch, we turned the rug around in her bedroom. The rug ran the whole length of the room - under furniture, including the bed - so was not as easy as you might think.

We had lunch, and cake, then I looked at the clock! OMG it's 10 minutes to 4 - I have to leave. I finished loading the truck, said a hasty goodbye, hopped in, turned the key, and..............nada, nothing, nyet!!!! Batteries (I have 2) are dead. Dadblast it, I had forgotten to turn off the dome light...........again. (my gas gauge doesn't work, so I keep track of gas by keeping track of my trip meter - when I'm on the highway, I turn my headlights on, and can't read the meter unless I turn the interior lights on - and in daylight, you don't notice that they are on, and there is no warning bell for the interior lights)

Called AAA - Got a jump, and the batteries tested - one is totally gone he said - it registered absolutely nothing on his gizmo. He had to use both his truck and his portable jumper to start her up.

Got to Advanced Auto shop - they tested battery and said nothing wrong with it it tested 100% - so I got off easy. I need a way to flag the interior light dial so I don't do that again.

I finally got home about 9 p.m.

It was a wonderful weekend.

Until next Time
Bear Hugs

Luv 'n Boots

Thursday, March 15, 2012


It looks as if spring has sprung, after a very, very mild winter. I think I only wore socks on 3 days during the whole winter. (My feet rarely feel cold) I wear garden clogs with no socks - Tacky, I know - but comfortable - I've about wore them out. The clogs I mean, not the feet

It's time, finally to be able to make some travel plans. I'm planning on leaving here the end of May - headed for Montana - with stops either in North Dakota or Colorado along the way - figger that one out if you can. So, I'll be in Montana
the month of June, - then over to Washington to farm sit for July, then back to Montana for August.

Somewhere around the first of October, I'll head once again to the west coast, and meander down - working my way to Phoenix.

Friends Myra and JT are planning on travelling the NW this summer - hope I can connect with them somewhere along the way!

I've moved into a higher gear here - getting ready - still sorting through stuff - today, I'll sort my sewing between apparel, quilting and crafts and see what I can live without. I've already packed all the stuff to be sold, and I have 18 boxes (ranging in size from rubbermaid totes to individual photo albums in zip lock bags) already stowed under the stairs with plenty of room for what remains. I have a few sewing projects to do before I go - I don't see any problem completing everything with plenty of time left over.

Of course, I tried a project the other day, and my old dependable sewing machine said "enough" and quit - I loaned one machine to a friend in Virginia Beach, and have been trying to track her down for months - She doesn't return my calls - do you think I have a prayer of getting it back? I'll never do that again!

I'm headed to Richmond this weekend to spend a couple days with my oldest, and toward the end of April, I'll make one last trip down to Virginia Beach.

In April, I'll put my tent up and re-seal the seams - take down the topper from "Luv" and do the same. Anyway, that'll give me a real good indication if I'm
still capable of putting up the tent - after all - 2 years can make a difference at this age! More important - can I still get in and out of it? I've been looking at a 2 room instant up tent - wondering if I could put it up alone. I'm leaning toward that option as I plan to spend much more time camping than on my last trip.

Well, back to the laundry and sorting my sewing stuff - I'll take my book on CD down to the basement to entertain me while I work. Helps pass the time - and for those who know me well, yes it's still the same book series - I think I'm listening to it for the 3rd time since last summer - It's very complex so can keep my attention even during multiple "readings" - At this point there are about 250 CD's for the series. There are 2 more books due for the series - so I'll end up with over 300 CD to listen to for the same story line. Obviously, in my humble opinion, it is very, very well written.

Until next Time
Bear Hugs

Luv 'N Boots