Thursday, May 25, 2023

To Texas and Back

Yesterday we returned home from traveling for eight days, driving to and from Austin, Texas, where we visited our son and grandsons. These grandsons are ages 9 and 13 now.

We've made the same trip enough times that it's almost routine with stops at Busy Bee in Florida, and several Buc-ee's in Alabama and Texas. If you aren't familiar with Buc-ee's you're missing a happy place to stop for gasoline, the cleanest bathrooms you'll ever find, and whatever snack your littl' ole heart might desire. People living in Central Florida are anticipating a new Buc-ee's to be located just north of Ocala on I-75. It will have "120 pumps, 720 parking spaces and an 80,000-square-foot store." Personally, I also like that Buc-ee's doesn't allow 18-wheelers.

While in Austin, we spent Saturday afternoon in a downtown park along Lady Bird Lake.

We also ate barbecue at Terry Black's, and tried an unusual handmade "rolled ice cream" at Frozen Rolls Creamery.

On Monday we visited the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center where we saw hundreds of varieties of flowers, bushes, and trees. Happily, I came home with some handmade lavender soap - my favorite!

Afterward, we ate at my all-time favorite Texas barbecue, Salt Lick - one of the few barbecue places that offers pulled pork. All I ate was a half-pound of pulled pork - no sides - and a slice of delicious pecan pie.

I always travel with handwork and this trip allowed me lots of time to EPP Prudence blocks. I pieced rows together first, then joined them.

I found it difficult to make the horizontal rows match. The joining angles are so awkward - forced - that several pieces of card stock popped out. Now I'm wondering if I chose the wrong way to join blocks. Might another arrangement been easier to join? I'm not looking forward to stitching together the other nine rows I've already pieced.

Since returning home I finished trimming these HSTs for my Unallocated quilt. They're ready to have strips added to complete a block. 

Book Recommendations
I Have Some Questions for You
 by Rebecca Makkai is read by one of my favorite narrators, Julia Whelan. 

After 27 years, Bodie Kane has returned to Granby, a New Hampshire private boarding high school she attended. During her years there, three students lost their lives. The most controversial death was that of Bodie's former roommate, Thalia, who was murdered. Her killer is in prison, though all along he's claimed his innocence.

Bodie is now at Granby to teach a two week podcasting course to a small group of students, one of whom wants to research and talk about Thalia's death. The more the student reviews, the more she uncovers that makes Bodie think the wrong person was convicted of the crime. 

This is a very long book at around 14 hours of listening, and reads somewhat similarly to a podcast. I thought the author took too much time explaining the ins-and-outs of the crime and the possible who-done-its. The ending left me feeling a lack of resolution. 

Linda's score: 3.8/5.0

The Safe Man: A Ghost Story
 by Michael Connelly is only an hour and 33 minutes listen. 

Brian Halloway is self-employed as a locksmith and safe-opener, also known as "a box man." He's just opened a locked floor safe in an old home recently purchased by a famous author. However, after opening the safe, strange dreams begin to haunt Brian. When he's questioned about the disappearance of the author's daughter, he begins to regret opening the safe.

Linda's score: 4.0/5.0

On Saturday morning, while watching Austin news on TV, I learned a very interesting bit of news that will likely impact quilters. It seems that the Austin Convention Center, where QuiltCons have been held in 2015, 2017, and 2020, will started being renovated in 2025 over a four year period, at a cost of $1.6 billion dollars. Since the Austin Convention Center won't be available during renovation, it's likely QuiltCon won't be in Austin again until at least 2030. 



  1. Sounds like you had a fun trip! Yikes about your EPP project though...hope you find a way to may things go together easier....

  2. Welcome home after your road trip. We took one to Kansas/Missouri in late April. Whenever I take projects along I never work on them so this time I didn't bother taking any sewing. Just reading. Curious about charging stations at the new car stop. We are seeing more and more of them although in one place 7 out of 10 were for Teslas only. I'm wondering how much longer a road trip might be when you have to recharge your car.

  3. Were you able to check at some dollar trees for gumdrops along the way? Some of the buc cees we’ve been to have truckers areas to the side. Your epp rows are pretty, I hope they get easier to join! The bbq looks so yummy 😋

    1. Hi Pamela! No. No stops at Dollar Trees to look for spice drops. :-) Checked at H.E.B. grocery and Buc-ee's though and neither had any. Good thing I've been dieting for the past two months, so I'm resolved to not eat sweets! Haven't noticed 18-wheelers in the vicinity of Buc-ee's, but it's likely I just didn't pay attention. As for my EPP, an Instagrammer suggested I begin removing interior papers to assist with making the project more pliable. I will be trying that when I start working to add the next row. It's nice to hear from you!

  4. I love the Saltlick, too. One of my fondest memories is of pulling up there in summer, just when the rain had stopped and everything looked fresh. There were hummingbirds buzzing around and Willie was on the radio singing Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain. Glad you got to go there!

  5. Your EPP is looking amazing, love the contrast between the B&W and your brights! I had a wee check over on IG and see you've actually made 121 units, that's a. Lot. Of. Work!

  6. I love the story of how Lady Bird Johnson's initiative as First Lady was to spread wildflowers along public highways. Those flowers are blooming still today, I've read. How wonderful to visit that center. Thanks for sharing those photos and aren't your Prudence blocks beauties too. That's a lot of HST"s. Happy Stitching from me!

  7. That Wildflower Center looks like it's really something to see in May! And your EPP is amazing!!! Reminds me that I need a hand sewing project for our upcoming road trip....


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