Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Texas Trip

Writing blog posts went by the wayside as we were away from December 9-19, driving to and from Texas to visit our son and his family. Though travel time is about 17 hours each way, (we spend an overnight in a motel when going and returning) Dan's content to do the driving (if he's allowed to tell people what terrible drivers they are!) while I do handwork and listen to an audiobook. I'm on my third listen of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, and since late June I've listened and sewed my way to book six: "A Breath of Snow and Ashes." Though the storyline can sometimes be slow, particularly in "The Fiery Cross," Diana's habit of engaging readers through the thoughts of the characters keeps me attentive. If anyone watches only the TV series, they're missing out on SO much! I once thought "Gone With the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell was my favorite book, but my allegiance is now with Diana's works.

So indulge me in Texas family pictures, as I recall how nice it was to be around grandsons again, even though Luke was sick (and whiney) for the last couple days we were there.

I ended up gifting the pajamas because I was so anxious to see how well the pants fit, especially Luke's that were made from a lengthened shorts pattern. Both fit beautifully! They liked their trucks and alligators.

While Luke was sleeping and parents were away, Austin kept me company, and made this crown just for me, saying he wanted it to look like a quilt. He told me I was the "quilt queen." Of course I loved it.

He's a six year-old cutie-pie alright!

On his last school day before Christmas break, we went to his first-grade class's party. The kids do a musical chairs book exchange - one for girls and one for boys. 

His classroom is small and jam-packed with 22 students (995 kids in grades pre-K through 5). I found the new way of learning math to be really interesting, recalling that we were told not to use our fingers to count. I remember sneaking to do it anyway. See number four? That "touch math" is a new concept. Times have changed.

It was enjoyable spending time with Luke (he'll be three in January) this trip because he's starting to outgrow some of his demanding ways. Getting his hair cut hasn't always been a good experience, so I went along... and enjoyed seeing how mom Lyn keeps him entertained. 

I got a huge kick out of watching him make faces in the mirror! This lower lip thing was truly funny, and one he kept trying to repeat.

In fact, the next day he was trying it again, and we were sharing funny faces with each other. 

We had so much fun as I tried to copy him that he couldn't keep that lower lip stuck out. 

Then we'd both dissolve into giggles. I'm so glad we could have this goofy time together before he got sick... and then wasn't nearly as happy.

Dan and I met up with our formerly-from-Iowa Texas friends at wineries along highway 290 - specifically enjoying tastings at Pedernales Cellars and Becker Winery. Lunch and some window shopping happened in the charming, historic city of Fredericksburg. It's roots are German, and at the MarktPlatz we saw this German Christmas Pyramid. It's 26 feet tall, with moving parts, and was very pretty against the cool winter sky. 

We sought out Quintessential Chocolates that sells bite-sized bits of chocolatey goodness filled with wine from local wineries. A couple small boxes came home with us. 

We were with our friends for too-short a time, but I gifted Patty the Retreat Bag I made for her. This is a free pattern from Emmaline Bags; I bought all the hardware from that shop. The bag looks and functions much as a man's shaving kit.

One of my favorite parts of this bag is the zipper pull. It's a nicely-weighted metal rectangle that says "handmade" and was purchased from Emmaline Bags. Patty says she plans to use this when she travels.

My sweet daughter-in-law made sure I made it to Austin's The Cloth Pocket in it's new location. The outside of the building is so "Austin." I came home with knit flamingo fabric for a new top.

That pretty much wraps up a good visit with family. Now that we're home, I've begun cutting and sewing another project, and I'm writing my next blog post about the results of, and thoughts about, entering three quilts into QuiltCon. Linda


  1. So glad you had such a nice visit! The boys are really growing and are so darned cute. Love the very functional bag you gave your friend. XO

  2. I tried to visit the Cloth Pocket on Black Friday, but they were closed. I was pretty peeved because I had checked their website and there was no hint that they'd be closed on the biggest shopping day of the year.

    1. Hi Fribble! Your setting is as a "no-reply commenter," so I can't reply to you personally, but I wanted to express that I'm sorry you found that the shop wasn't open on November 25. I know that the owner is younger and has a family, so it's likely she was more focused on family than her business. That's a shame. The shop is very nice, albeit smaller than I thought.

  3. Looks like you've made some fun memories on this trip Linda! Love the painted wall of the quilt shop! And the Retreat Bag is great!

  4. Glad you had a great time and made it to a quilt shop. Thanks for the update.

  5. That's a long way to drive isn't it! It bet you're weary after your visit. Merry Xmas to you and Dan and I hope you'll have some sewing time over the break.

  6. It sounds like you had a very special visit with the grandkids! What fun for everyone! Love your observation about how kids learn math! Very interesting!

  7. Lovely post; I always enjoy seeing those little grand sons of yours. We have one of those pyramids as well at our Christmas market in Basel and I saw lots more in Berlin last week, where I visited with a friend, luckily before the terror attack. Yesterday we've arrived back in Singapore and we are enjoying the warmth. Merry Christmas!

  8. Your grandsons are so cute. I think they enjoy grandma as much as she does having fun with them. Your quilt crown is perfect. I really like your retreat bag you gave you friend. So functional for travel or sewing retreats. Glad you had a safe and fun trip.

  9. Such a fun wrap-up of a great trip. I love that you have a quilting crown-hope you wear it proudly!


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