Wow! Where does the time go. Actually, I do have a couple valid excuses for not blogging in a month. First, and most sadly, we lost a dear nephew on July 5th to cancer. David was just 47, and I've decided as the weeks have passed that his legacy was his sense of humor. We didn't realize how many times we quoted him, as in "How hard could it be?" He tossed that phrase in a lot as he reported on the installation of hardwood floors a couple years back, making his woes and struggles fodder for hysterical laughter. So, we all miss him, and think about him a lot as the days go by.
Then, I was in Virginia for about a week, with a couple days travel on each end of the visit. It's about a 12 hour drive, when going straight through, from our home to our son's home. The grandchildren have grown like weeds, and are very entertaining . . . especially the youngest. He's just a laugh a minute . . . a big Pokemon fan. He told me he likes Pikachu because he's cute, just like him!
As you can see, I did manage to find some fabrics. On the drive out, we spent part of Saturday in Lexington, Kentucky, and I acquired a background fabric for my bright stars block swap due next week. Also visited Rachel's in Staunton, Virginia, a delightful shop located in the old railroad station. A couple of those prints will become doll dresses in my never ending quest for the title of "Nana of the Year".
Grandpa scored a huge number of points when he delivered a Samantha to our granddaughter. We had piled a few doll sweaters and dresses on top of the doll. When Lisey opened it, she said she thought it looked like an American Girl doll box, but for a moment believed it had only clothes in it. She gave a shout and a squeal when she pulled the clothes out to reveal the doll. She said it is one she has been wanting. So, that was lots of fun, and Grandpa was somewhat surprised by the enthusiastic response.
We try not to disrupt their schedule completely when we visit, so we usually left after dinner, in hopes that they would settle down enough to get adequate sleep each night. After scouting around in shops that we like, we went back to our hotel, and I had my Featherweight, along with several patterns and fabrics for additional doll clothes. Each morning, I would bring one or two more garments for Elise, and one or two more for Ben's "American Boy". He took them and proceeded to dress all his favorite stuffed animals, too. I'd have to say the biggest hit for him was the Spiderman shirt.
The last two days we were there, we got to see Elise and Addison swim in a statewide competition held at the Natatorium of University of Virginia. This was Addison's first competition on this level, and he came in 17th in the backstroke. There were about 2000 kids participating in all. Elise also had a phenomenal finish, taking 14 1/2 seconds off her record for the back stroke. We had to start for home, so I don't know where she fell in the overall standings, but the new record for herself was certainly a great accomplishment. I can't swim a stroke, so it's nice to see them enjoying the water.
We brought two big boxes full of books home with us, too. We stopped in a Half-Price Books in Lexington, and subsequently located a church book sale there also. I found two titles that were just published this year, "Dragonwell Dead" by Laura Childs, a tea shoppe mystery, and "Daddy's Girl" by Lisa Scottoline. I had my list of titles that I am seeking on index cards by author. We made our customary stop at "Read it again, Sam" on the Mall in Charlottesville, and picked up 34 paperbacks there! I filled in the gaps in about three different series that I was looking for.
Next big event on the agenda is our Guild Retreat, September 6-9. Our theme is "Run for the Border", and we will cover borders and binding techniques, along with some related projects. One is a lovely quilt from Canadian Living magazine, which they were kind enough to authorize us to use. We have a few other little things up our sleeves. It's going to be fun . . . again!