Wednesday, August 31, 2011

News...Good & Not So Good

OK ... I'll begin with the "Not So Good" news.
My.  Feet.  Are.  Angry!
No ... I am not showing a picture of how unhappy they are ... believe me ... it is not pretty!  They are angry because...
...I expect them to wear these.  They are a well made, known for their comfort, brand of shoes ... but my ungrateful feet literally rebelled!
Being the clever person that I am ... ;-) ... I pulled out the shoes they were happy to wear last year.  The revolt continued!  UGH!
This would be their first choice ... not only are they broken in ... let's be honest, they are broken down!
My feet are willing to wear these when they go out into the great outdoors!
When they're chilled ... wool clogs warm them and make them very happy!
These sandals are as close to dress shoes as my feet want to get ... they are broken in, but not broken down!  What is a working woman to do?  It is frustrating, as I spend the whole day on my feet!

Hmmm ... I wonder ...
Do you think these might make my feet happy?  Thanks to reader, Carol, a pair of these "beauties"  may be coming to my home in the near future!  Thank you Carol!  I am always surprised that anyone reads my silliness, but you sought out useful information and shared it with me ... you are a peach!

Now the good news!  Finally!  I have a new love...
... his name is Jack.  In fact ... I love all nine of them!  You can call me crazy ... after all the pattern is named, Crazy Jacks!  He is one of those "Bad Boys" we were attracted to as teenagers ... difficult to handle ... charming personality ... a challenge to tame ... yep, you remember the type!
Each one has a unique personality ... remember microdots?  They were the "new solid" in the 80's!  I bought far too much of every color I could find ... what a hoot!  I swear ... it reproduces!  Every time I think I've used it up, I find more!  Love this Jack ... microdots with corn cob features!  Too much fun!
A spotted Jack with blueberry background...striped Jack with polk-a-dots ... see why I am in love with these bad boys?
But ... lumberman Jack is my favorite!  A man wearing brushed flannel plaid has no trouble winning my heart!  He is the most wonky ... I love wonky!

Well ... that's the news from my remote corner of the planet.  I can't believe that I wrote a post about my feet ... or that I walked around my home taking pictures of my shoes ... yes, the DillyDally family members are worried!  ;-)

Do what you love ... do dillydally!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Back to School Week! Love It!

Growing up on a dairy farm ... I always loved the seasonal cycles ... spring always meant newborn calves and lilacs ... summer was fresh creamed peas with new potatoes and haying ... fall was harvesting oats and going back to school.  We'll talk about winter later, when we have to ... ;-)!
In my remote corner of the planet, we teachers returned to school on Monday of this week for two days of inservice.  This was the view from the front deck Monday morning.
This was the view on Wednesday morning when the students returned to school!  I love seeing the kids ... all spiffed up in their new clothes!  They were busy learning their new locker combination ... talking about their summer ... and showing off their new shoes.

 My first day of school took place in the fall of 1962 at the Alida Country School ... I was in love with my new "saddle shoes" along with my box of 8 large crayons.  Every morning my mother made sure my pigtails were in place ... neat and tight.  And every morning, Mrs. Jurgens would place me on her lap and undo the tight pigtails then redo them gently.  I have been in love with school ever since.

Yep ... this week has been crazy busy!  But, when you love what you do, it doesn't really feel like work. My throat is sore ... yes ... believe it or not I talk more while teaching than I do in "normal" life! ;-)

Returning to work means that the dillydally winds have become more of a light breeze ... they usually arrive in the early morning hours or in the evenings.
Last weekend I took a lace knitting class with Nancy Davidson from Fairbanks, Alaska.  She and several women traveled here to Cordova to spend the weekend taking classes at our local yarn shop, The Net Loft.  It is always enjoyable to meet women with the same interests from other places ... I am now looking for an excuse to travel to Fairbanks ... I would love to spend more time with them!
Last October I saw this quilt made up at The Quilt Zone in Anchorage ( see story here) and fell in love with it ... sadly, they were out of the pattern.  I was thrilled when I came across it during our travels in Minnesota.  Sew ... I went to my stash and pulled out nine purples, oranges and yellows ... and started cutting!  I had never used this technique before ... what fun ... scary at first ... but it sew matches the dillydally lifestyle!

They have you cut all nine layers of fabric at once ... yes ... a new blade for the rotary cutter was necessary! ;-)

It is pieced ... sort of like paper piecing, but without the paper!  There are no lines to follow! YIKES!  For a recovering perfectionist, that is tough!
Then they are trimmed down to 12.5 X 14.5 inches!  No two are really alike ... each one slightly off ... just like us! ;-) Sorry, I just couldn't resist!  Sew ... I've pieced three Crazy Jacks so far, and have six to go ... then the candy corn borders ... I'm without a deadline, so am just enjoying the journey!
It has been a crazy busy week ... but a wonderful one!

My mother never could understand why my pigtails were falling out by the time I got home from school  every afternoon.  Mrs. Jurgens and I never told her. ;-)

I wonder if they still make saddle shoes?  I would love to have a pair of red and white ones.

I still love the smell of a freshly opened box of crayons.  Do dillydally!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Week Back Home

After the QBees left Minnesota, I stayed for a few more days to...
...spend some extra time with Sister DillyDally...
...and my grandkitty, Mr. NaughtyPants (aka Peder)!  Time with them is so precious when they live thousands of miles away and visits are infrequent!  We had fun browsing through antiques and exploring the community of Red Wing ... a wonderful time!
I arrived home last Saturday and immediately noticed how the colors had begun to change.  Fall comes early to this remote corner of the planet!
The DillyDally men had planned a Copper River Red Salmon dinner taste good to be home!  I spent Saturday and Sunday recovering from the trip and finding room for all my treasure bought during the shop hop!
On Monday morning, I was just dying to fire up "Her Majesty" (my sewing machine) but was overwhelmed by all the possibilities and didn't know where to begin!  As often is the case ... Roseann to the Rescue ...  the gift she had given us during our trip (can read here) provided the perfect "re-entry to dillydallydom" activity!  She had given us a Skinny Minnie Table Runner kit!  All the decisions had been made, I just had to trim and sew!
OMGosh Good Golly!  It took me all of 15 minutes, and that's because I had to wind a bobbin with matching thread!  What fun!  It was just what Her Majesty and I needed to get those juices flowing!
The other items in Roseann's gift bag was this pattern and a charm pack of Minnesota fabric!  I was on a roll...
... Supervisor Teacup returned to duty and helped me choose the charm squares! ;-)
After piecing it, I pulled out the variegated machine quilting thread I bought at the Thimbleberries Studio Store ...
...and before I knew it ... the table runner was done!  What fun!
Early in the week, the weather cooperated, so Mr. DillyDally, Kysa and I went in search of blueberries.  We had very little luck ... not a good year for them.  Still ... it was nice to get out into the woods!
Next project ... comes from the shop in Cannon Falls, Fourth and Main Fabrics (see post here)!  This is their "Six Pack".  It includes a 2/3 yard cut of 6 coordinating fabrics and a free pattern.  They have several patterns that work for that amount of yardage, which includes enough for the binding.
Here are the fabrics in my six pack and I had chosen the pattern called Hopscotch.
Teacup takes her supervisory job very seriously...
...she seemed to doubt my ability to maintain an accurate quarter inch seam! ;-)
It came out about 48 inches square, great size for a fall themed table topper!  Have the backing prepared, just need to layer and quilt ... ;-) ... is that all?!
And that's the dillydally news ... from my front deck ... back home in my remote corner of the planet!

Do what you love ... do dillydally!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Life on the Road! Final Chapter

"OOO...I want to linger ... a little longer ... a little longer here with you ... "  Those are the lyrics from a girl scout song my little scouts would often sing.  It sums up the way we were all feeling the last two days of our trip.  We hurried less ... would drag our feet a bit ... in a attempt to soak in every bit of the remaining time we had together ... none of us wanted the adventure to end.
Sister DillyDally joined us Saturday night ...
...we went to the dinner theatre and saw a performance of Hairspray!  What a wonder way to have a "Girls Night Out"!

You all have heard the saying ... "Shop til you drop"!
Shop hopping is exhausting...
... visions of quilts are dancing in Barb's head!
Don't worry ... she didn't shop until she dropped dead!  ;-)  She just went into a "quilt coma"!  We were cramming a lot of activity into every day ... so power naps were necessary to keep up the pace! ;-)
There was no rest for Lila, my copilot and backup driver!  See...even while driving, she pointed us in the right direction!
And here I am, Mrs. DillyDally, completely out of my comfort zone ... driving an oversized van ... in traffic I see only once a year ... traveling to several places I've never been to before ... with some of my dearest friends!  What was I thinking?  Obviously, I wasn't! ;-)
But ... somehow ... I think the quilting gods were with us ... we survived and accomplished all that we had planned.  We celebrated with cheesecake our final night in Minnesota!
None of us wanted to get into the van for that final ride to the airport!
Such sad faces as we prepared for the 5 minute drive to the airport...
... Co-pilot Lila tried to mess up the directions to the airport, but I already knew the way there ... ;-)!

(Insert very whinny voice)  Why must allll goood things come to an end?  ;-)  We had such a wonderful time ... so many unexpected acts of kindness had been bestowed upon us ... ten days of quilting inspiration ... I have to pinch myself even now, to remind myself that it is all true ... I didn't just dream it!

Dillydally dreams do come true ... I've wanted to do this since 2007, when I accidentally discovered the Quilt Minnesota event.  I believe that when you find something good, you should share it!  It was such a joy to share this with some QBees ... I love my dillydally life!

Do dillydally!  ;-)  I hope and wish for you many dillydally dreams that linger...
OOO, I want to linger
OOO, a little longer
OOO, a little longer here with you.

OOO, it's such a perfect night
OOO, it doesn't seem quite right,
OOO, that this should be our last with you.

OOO, and come September
OOO, we will remember,
OOO, our quilting (camping) days and friendships true.

OOO, and as the years go by,
OOO, I'll think of you and sigh,
OOO, this is "good night" and not "good-bye".

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Life on the Road! Part 5 Drama Day!

Every trip is destined to have some drama (or trauma) at some point ... ours occurred on Friday!  Let me explain ...
... we are a band of middle aged women who live in a very remote corner of the planet, a small town without stoplights ... we are from a very isolated (can only get there by air or by sea) community!  We had no business (obviously it was ignorance) driving an oversized vehicle in downtown St. Paul with only mapquest as our guide!  We attempted this DURING RUSH HOUR ON A FRIDAY AFTERNOON!  Of course there was TRAUMA DRAMA!  Especially for the driver...ME!  We finally arrived, after navigating through construction zones that mapquest was unaware of!  ;-)
We were scheduled to take a dinner cruise on the Mississippi that evening ... after arriving a new challenge presented itself ... the hotel had no parking available for oversized vehicles!  YIKES!!!  We dropped Terry, Barb and Julie off at the hotel to check in while Lila and I searched for a parking garage that would take our vehicle.  It was very stressful ... we thought we were going to miss the cruise!
With only minutes to spare (Lila and I still had not checked in to the hotel) we grabbed a cab to take us to the launch site, which was visible from the hotel.  Our cab driver didn't know how to get us there, so he took us across the river and dropped us off ... we had to walk fast across a large park area but arrived in time!  We were hot ... sweaty ... tired ... and I was completely stressed out!
But "old man river" worked his magic, and once we were on board ... all the stress left!
We were all surprised at how natural the shoreline along the river was ... it didn't feel like we were in a metro area!
It was a beautiful cruise ... great food ... just what we needed!
The QBees with the St. Paul skyline behind them!  What a great way to end the day!
This was the view from the hotel room.  Can you see the boat we took the night before?  Too bad the cab driver couldn't! ;-)  At least we were laughing about it the next day!
Saturday morning we had breakfast at this St. Paul landmark ... Mickey's Diner!
It has been featured on numerous television shows, including Mr. DillyDally's favorite ... Diners, Drive Ins and Dives!
The food, service and atmosphere was a wonderful way to end our time in the big city!
Getting here almost did me in ... ;-) ... but once here we enjoyed every minute!  The trauma had passed and has become quite the "story"!  Yep ... reliving the drama leaves us in giggles ... even I can laugh about it now!
Neal, the gentleman in the photo, did so much to make our experience here at the hotel memorable.  He really went out of his way to help us out!  The people who enter our lives, even briefly, can have such an impact ... he truly was an angel in disguise ... an unexpected blessing!  I love my dillydally life and the people who, however briefly, enter there!