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Archive for February, 2017

Spring Hike

2/19

Well, it isn’t quite spring yet but it was a lovely day to be out!  A week of days in the 60’s and one in the 70’s are a very rare treat for us in February!!  We hope to have these days in April and often need to wait until May.

JP drummed at church this morning and in lieu of a selfie, he accepted having Dad take our picture.  Here is the best of 2 tries.  Neither one likes to be in photos or take photos.  😦

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After lunch… a hike and fun in the woods —
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I love the old stone bridge there.  Supposedly, Lincoln, as a presidential candidate crossed over this bridge before and/or after the Lincoln-Douglas debates not too far from us.  I find the whole amount of work they did to make this amazing!

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too much sun yet on my camera….

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and here is all the way to where they blocked the flow for a pond decades ago!

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I take my own photos as otherwise there would none of me!

With having many warm days, there was a bit of creek flowing from the bridge and all the land was muddy.  Going back up the hill, I slipped.  Phil was near so I offered him the other end of a stick near me to be my “lifeline”.  The old and dead branch snapped apart as he grabbed it so I slid down farther. Oh well, muddy jeans aren’t anything new to our washing machine.  It was a funny episode and all the laughter was good for us.  JP asked where the video was now.  I replied it was in his pocket!!

JP found this amazing fungus/mushroom!  Pure white as snow and blood red on the inside!  Stunning on the forest floor of hundreds of shades of brown.

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And now we know it is the Sarcoscypha coccinea, commonly known as the scarlet elf cup.  It is found on forest floors, often under  leaves and such in late winter to early spring.  Quite brilliant on the mostly brown ground.   

28This branch had 2 on it.   We’ve never seen these before.  Probably because they are there in early spring and we are busy with spring work and often aren’t out hiking.  Amazing color & a unique creation!

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We enjoyed the wonderful “May” weather in February by doing family things outside.

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Today we went to the Rock Island Arsenal for a tour.   We enjoyed the museum. We hadn’t been there since JP was young but he remembered this wall of guns & rifles from America’s whole history.  Of course, he remembered.  In his blood from early on!

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This is where all the DOD targets are printed even today!  Isn’t that amazing?

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I liked this quote from Mark Twain describing the island… 3 miles x 1/2 a mile.  Still the vast stone buildings and a lot of trees. Beautiful!

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The National Cemetery
The chimes were playing “God Bless America” while we were there.  I enjoy chimes, even the worn & minimal ones.

 

 

 

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With all the spring weather, the pussy willow bushes were opening!  There were 2 large bushes at the walkway to the Confederate Cemetery.

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The Island was a POW camp during the Civil War and in close quarters about 1/3 died from smallpox going through very fast.

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Stones 1, 2, & 3 ~  One hundred stones per row.

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Confederate cemetery in the bright sunshine.

 

15The Clock Tower

We also walked an artillery park there. The men enjoyed it and I sat on a bench with the sun on my face!

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I had suggested another stop at a lock so we could park and look for eagles.  I was vetoed.
However, we saw 2 sitting on ice that still remains in some backwater of the Mississippi River.  Beautiful!

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Afterwards, we took a short walk through Target, had mid-afternoon food at  C-fil-A, and headed home.  A good 6 hour day out & about and soaking in the warm air & sunshine!

 

 

 

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This IS the BEST way to spend a February weekend!!  Dear, dear friend from Texas flew to visit ME!  I realized that in all these years, I’ve only had family visit, never a girlfriend.  This was the best weekend of quilting, sharing, encouraging, eating…. EVER!!

 

She is a hand-piecer but wanted to try my long-arm!  I let her!  LOL!!  My thinking was that I’d start it, she’d do a bit, and ask me to finish.  She loved it and did her whole quilt – a throw size.

This is in the evening after she had just arrived that day!  I’d be way too tired to think.  She did an amazing job!


Put any 2 ‘retired’ homeschool moms together and what do they do…?  We took a historical field trip!  This is an old stone bridge on some property we rent where a famous future President crossed following some local debates.  It is cool to see, the weather was so mild we were sliding in mud!, and it was a good time to be out and hike.  Thankfully, we took a driver and slightly OK photographer.


We were dressed for February, not for fashion photos!  It didn’t matter, we were together!


The middle of our mild winter, she saw a few bits of snow fall and the pond behind us had ice on it.

She got so comfortable with the machine she added her name to one of the near-solid blocks.  She also added a bit of glow-in-the-dark thread for fun on this quilt!  We were so excited when it really glowed!  (by Superior)

I added the binding by machine and she had her quilt ready to take home with her!  She left 3 other quilt tops for me to quilt and bind for her.   She hand sews the bindings.  All had wonderful labels that she lettered while she was here.

She also got a junior version of English Paper Piecing class.  I’m no pro but it was fun to play with fabric together.  She also organized and culled my batik fabric bin.  Clearly she didn’t cull enough as the lid still doesn’t fit on!

Monday night we threw in a trip to one of my quilt guild meetings.  In February, we don’t usually have programs scheduled but she loved it enough she promises to go to a local guild near her!  #cough

At the airport and sadly it is time to say good-bye.  We had realized we’d never run out of things to talk about.  I needed to get a jump on the traffic.  And really just.in.time!  It backed up a ton behind me and in the other direction as I headed out of the city.  Sad to send her back home.  Thankful over the top that she came to visit!

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