The big excitement on the farm today was that two of Farmer Frank's young heifers got out of their field and across the street onto our front yard. I think the grass really was greener on the other side of the road this time. :) You might have to search for the second one in this photo - she's down in the ditch near the mailbox stand at the far left center. They were mischievous little beasts - when Frank came to shoo them back home, they trotted around and practically dared him to catch them. :) Eventually they decided to go back into the field with their buddies (who were eating all the evening feed without the two of them:), after a bit of chasing. See the big round bales of hay in the background? That's what Farmer Frank did all day today (cut and baled the hay) in the 90+ degree weather. I don't think he was very pleased with the young rascals.
This morning was quite a bit stressful for me - in the space of a single hour I had phone calls to/from the pharmacy, lawyer (three times), car buyer from our auction, hospital where my brother Jeff is, Jeff's doctor at that hospital and one of my aunts. Few more details than I am comfortable with handling at one time. (whew!) I thought I was running away by the time we left. :) Kevin and I got up a bit earlier than usual and drove an hour east and south to Gallipolis, OH - we took my Dart back to a local Chrysler dealer to have its spark plugs replaced at last. The car is running MUCH more smoothly now and the whole thing cost me less than $200. Cheap at the price!
Kevin was being very accommodating today so we went off on a sort of adventure after the trip to the car place. We drove another hour south and west to Huntington, West Virginia (just over the Ohio river) to visit Sew Many Blessings quilt shop. As we were sitting in the waiting area at the dealership, I googled 'quilt shops near me' and that was the only one that popped up. As far as I know, I have never been in Huntington (it's in the very tippy corner of WV). It was a very pleasant drive about an hour beyond Gallipolis and I got to cross the Ohio twice. :) The road along the river runs beside a big railroad (we saw three different cargo trains along the way) as well as many, many broad fields of corn and soybeans. Wide flat areas that were clearly created by high water at some point in the geological past.
Here is the entrance to the shop:
Was interested to read that they are using 'quilt quest' as their hop name - just like the bigger hop in eastern Maryland that my shop used to participate in. The hop quilt design was lovely but entirely machine embroidery - of West Virginia wildflowers. Very tempting, visually, but I just don't do m.e.
See Huntington way off at the OH/KY/WV point at the lower left?
Unlike hops I have done in the past, you could enter the grand prize drawing for this one at any shop and were not required to attend all of them. Obviously, the more shops you visit, the more entries you get. :)
The listing for Sew Many Blessings says "Full service quilt shop with over 1500 bolts of fabric; We are a Baby Lock, Koala and Floriani dealer." I have doubts about that 1500 number - I would have guessed more like a thousand. Clearly the two owners specialize in machine embroidery - the shop had a LOT of really cute embroidery patterns and many different models of Baby Lock machine. They also had a wide array of interesting patterns and books. I parked my brother in the class room (with some snacks, watching a machine embroider out something) and shopped. I did not want to press my luck by taking too long to look but I gave the place a pretty good twice over. ;) The staff was really pleasant and very helpful. I bought some fun swag:
I collected their Row By Row pattern and bought one of their fabric license plates. Didn't occur to me until I got back home that I probably should have bought one for my friends Barbara and Patty. Sigh.
They had a really nice assortment of toweling fabrics - I bought several designs to make new kitchen and bathroom towels for my brothers' new house - and this was the first shop I ever visited that stocked Cosmo embroidery floss (which I have heard folks rave about but never used). I look forward to hunting up some nice designs to put on these towels. :)
These two gadgets - the 'badge' reel and the acrylic ruler/seam allowance marker/miter measure - were given to everyone who came in the door during the hop. Both were labeled with the shop's name and address - clever advertising. :)
I had a very nice visit and Kevin was surprised that I finished so quickly. Truthfully, they did not have any fabric that caught my attention - mostly it seemed to be what I think of as 'mainstream country' in theme ... though there were a couple very nice stacks of batiks. :) Besides, I am NOT in the fabric acquisition phase of my career as a quilter right now.
Because of the geography of our drive, I chose a different pathway back to the farm. We crossed the Ohio before Ironton and drove onward along the river to Portsmouth, then north along a county lane. Seemed like one anyway (OH 353, I _think_) - speed limit was 55 but it was only two lanes and wound like a snake's spine through steep hills. A very wriggly snake at that. :P No way could I make 55 miles per hour anywhere along that road!
We got home about 6 p.m. and we've both been taking it easy ever since. Well, apart from helping Farmer Frank with his runaways. :)
I had planned to go to the hospital tomorrow but I have to run around like a crazy woman, dealing with the Ohio department of motor vehicles again (NOT my favorite local institution). Interspersed with at least two visits to my lawyer and the bank. Sigh.