Sunday, December 4, 2022

To Kansas City and Back

Hubs and I were gone for six days, on an 18 hour (each way) road trip to Olathe, Kansas to visit my Dad who lives in assisted living. He's been hospitalized three times since September - the latest being from the day before Thanksgiving to the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The timing of our visit was such that we could take him to two different doctor appointments, and pick up a prescription, as well as spend good chatting time together. We're happy to see him recovering. He's back to his usual activities that include daily exercise either walking or pedaling a Nu-Step recumbent stationary bike, and keeping up with several farming-related Vlogs that he subscribes to.

Thirty-six hours of passenger time meant handwork for me. This is what I did:
  • Completed five knitted dishcloths with Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn. 
  • Hand-pieced ten more Glitter blocks
  • and joined two rows of English paper-pieced Prudence blocks.

Seven more rows need to be joined, but because I usually stitch these only while in the car, it may be months before that happens. 

Before going to Kansas, I bought vacuum cleaner attachments from my favorite local sewing machine shop: Sew Together, also known as Sharky's. With this bundle of narrow tubing and tiny brushes, I can do a better job of cleaning my sewing machine - only a $30 investment. 

Another recent purchase is the ring on my index finger - a Threadcutterz ring with recessed blades for cutting threads. Mine is decorated with six aqua crystals in a glow-in-the-dark setting. Velcro makes the ring adjustable for any finger, or it can be wrapped around a spool of thread. The green "ring" on my middle finger is a long-ago made pin cushion fashioned from a two-liter bottle cap. 

While in Olathe, one of several special stops was a first-time visit to Hy-Vee (a Midwest grocery store chain) Market Grille for lunch. Hy-Vee is a Kansas City Chiefs sponsor. 
 
Thinking I'd have a light lunch, when each of us saw pork tenderloins on the menu, we were "doomed." Oh gosh... eating this was heavenly! No place in the US makes pork tenderloins like they do in the Midwest. As you can see, the tenderloin, which was also at least a half-inch thick, was much larger than the bun. The French fries were fresh. I could not eat it all, but I tried valiantly! 

Book Recommendations
Fellowship Point
 by Alice Elliott Parker is a long, 20-hour audiobook listen. The story spans three generations of the Lee family who, together with close friends, built summer homes on wilderness land in Maine. Each summer, these families gather to escape the mundane and heat, and make memories.

Agnes Lee is an intractable woman who has found financial security as the author of a series of "When Nan..." children's books. Agnes shares life with her friend and married next door neighbor, Polly. Untold stories in Agnes's past come to light when Maud, a budding publishing editor, initiates correspondence with Agnes to convince her that she should write a memoir and share Fellowship Point - its beauty, and how "When Nan" stories came to be. But Agnes doesn't want to share everything. Yet when she begins to do so everyone is irrevocably impacted. 

Though the scenery in this book is marvelous, my score reflects the fact that I didn't enjoy the book's philosophizing. 

Linda's score: 3.5/5.0

Trespasses
 by Louise Kennedy takes place during Northern Ireland's turbulent years. I'm not familiar with issues between Catholics and Protestants, but this is the era of the story.

Cushla is a 24 year-old Catholic primary school teacher who has a special fondness for a student, Danny, whose family is poor and ostracized. When she helps them through difficulties, she makes problems for herself and her family who run the local bar where Cushla is an occasional barmaid. It's there that she meets Michael, a handsome, married barrister with whom she develops a relationship. To cover their impropriety, Cushla also spends time with Jerry, another school teacher, who knows something illicit is going on. All their lives drastically change when a death occurs, and the police take Cushla in for questioning.

I didn't like that the author wrote with explicitness and vulgarity. But I enjoyed hearing the narrator's Irish brogue... albeit at times, difficult to understand due to the accent and colloquialisms.  

Linda's score: 3.8/5.0
Linda

13 comments:

  1. Your dad looks great as do you. Glad you spent time with him and he looks like he enjoyed it. Glad you can get handwork done while in the car. I am not able to that anymore due to inner ear problems but I can listen to books and talk nonstopπŸ™„πŸ˜ƒ

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  2. Oh, my! I’m reading this in bed before I fall asleep and now I’m hungry! That pork and real French fries,mmmmm! πŸ˜‹ good picture with your Dad!

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  3. I forgot to add my name! I hope I can get to sleep being so hungry 🀣

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  4. Delightful post..... on with December.

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  5. So glad your Dad is improving now, and that you could enjoy some time with him and help with his dr. visits. What a long drive but so productive. The Prudence project is looking wonderful, as are the others. Nice photo of the two of you looking happy and well.

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  6. So glad you got to have a nice visit with your Dad and that he is feeling better. It is tough to be so far away from aging parents.

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  7. So glad you got to spend time with your dad and that he is doing better! Love to see the variety of handwork you worked on! I usually take it and never touch it. ;-)

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  8. Anonymous Anonymous said...
    Your dad looks great as do you. Glad you spent time with him and he looks like he enjoyed it. Glad you can get handwork done while in the car. I am not able to that anymore due to inner ear problems but I can listen to books and talk nonstop.

    Thanks, Anonymous! Such a nice thing to say about me and my dad. I do love him! Sorry you can't do handwork in a car. Gosh, I think I'd go nuts if I didn't have something to do with my hands. When hubs drive, he gets into a "zone," and it can be quiet. I'm glad to have a book and handwork.

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  9. Oh, my! I’m reading this in bed before I fall asleep and now I’m hungry! That pork and real French fries,mmmmm! πŸ˜‹ good picture with your Dad!

    I forgot to add my name! I hope I can get to sleep being so hungry 🀣

    Hi Pamela! I'm still unable to reply to you directly, since I don't have your email address. As always, I hope you read this. I respond to every one of your comments on my blog posts. Have you read them?

    Certainly, a pork tenderloin is not to be missed, and if you're ever in Iowa, and Iowa pork tenderloin is unsurpassed! In fact, Iowa has a "tenderloin trail" where you get a map of all the small town restaurants that serve-up the BEST tenderloins. After visiting them all, you get a t-shirt! Wish they'd been doing that in Iowa when I lived there. Linda

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  10. It must have been wonderful to have been able to go and see your father. I bet it was a tonic for him too! And look at what you achieved on your journey! We had delicious pan fried pork tenderloin for dinner last night with lightly roasted pumpkin, potatoes and aspargus. Pork is one of my favourites.

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  11. Glad to hear your Dad is recovering and enjoying his activities. I think driving to KC from Denver is long . . . can't imagine from Florida! Good for you getting so many things done in the car. I take projects and get next to nothing done.

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  12. It's good you could visit your Dad. And fun that you could be productive during the ride, too. I used to read aloud to Steve on car trips, but a)we can now get professionally read books that we can both enjoy, and b)we both find that we need to concentrate more on driving so there's less listening to books.

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  13. So great you could spend some time helping your Dad out and being with him. And handwork in the car is always a bonus! Love those Glitter blocks! I knew Hy-Vee from living near Sioux Falls. Now we have it all over the Twin Cities, too.

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