Riding the Amtrak Train

I was waiting and waiting for the Amtrak Train last night when my phone buzzed with text alerts to say the train was arriving late, an hour later. The picture above shows the line of people waiting to load the train at 1:45 am.

Glory be…I was tired. I couldn’t wait to get to my seat on the lower level coach area. I slept for about 3 hours so far.

For the rest of the day, I will be on the train headed North to Salem, Oregon. I’ll post some more pictures of the journey.

A train sitting on the tracks while I was waiting to board, but sadly, it wasn’t mine. More pictures to come.

Made It to the Sacramento Valley Train Station

I made it safely to Sacramento. After I got off of the Greyhound Bus, I opened the Google Maps App on my phone to find the directions from the Sacramento Greyhound Station to the Sacramento Valley Train Station; it was just over a mile walk.

Turns out the walk to the train station wasn’t my smartest move, as I passed the Jesus Saves Mission with scores of homeless people hanging out and tents of various sizes and shapes along the way. Perhaps with my bags, I looked just as homeless, because I wasn’t bothered at all on the walk. The sun was going down for the evening. The street lights were on when I started to become uneasy about how I thought this short leg of the trip would go. This feeling crept up on me slowly yet at the same time as the speed and pace of my walk picked up.

All is well, I made it safe and sound.

I did have to produce a valid ticket to the train station security guard after I had been hanging out on the train station benches for two hours or so.

I’m looking forward to boarding the “Midnight Train to Oregon,” because I will finally be able to rest.

I’m looking forward to what the rest of the journey brings.

Traveling South into Sacramento

The sun is going down ever so slowly. The Greyhound Bus has made two stops since Truckee…to Colfax and Rosedale.

Excuse the electric lines…this is a shot outside the Greyhound station is Rosedale, CA. I know we’re headed deeper into California when I see palm trees.

I’m working on a hand pieced quilt project while enjoying visiting with my seat mate on the bus. She is on holiday from London. It’s a joy to meet people from different walks of life and share a moment feeling ‘caught’ in the same travel predicament at the same time.

On the Greyhound

I’m on the Greyhound Bus today. We are making our first stop at Truckee, California. Love the name of the cafe in this picture…Wagon Train Cafe; it’s name holds all of mystery of roaming West of the Mississippi River.

Another picture of Downtown Historic Truckee, CA.


The Journey Begins

This is part of a wool felt art display at the Portland International Airport. I was traveling with my grand daughter today to take her back to Reno, Nevada.

From Reno, I am taking the Greyhound Bus to Sacramento, California. Then I will be taking the Amtrak Train to Salem, Oregon.

I will be posting about this trip over the next few days. I hope you’ll join me as I explore the West Coast from a new perspective. I am going to be reading Richard Rohr’s book Everything Belongs, taking pictures, doing some spontaneous writing-posts, resting, and working on a hand pieced quilt project.

I’ve had a wonderful time with My grand daughter, Matilda. She’s turning out to be a fun travel buddy.

‘O Happy Day


Choose Life


Georgia’s New Shoes

So, the question is…Do you buy new shoes when a family member is 95?

My Mother-in-Law, Georgia, came to visit for a few days.  Georgia is 95 and still kicking about life; she shops, goes out to eat, and walks well with a little aid.   She kept telling me how much she liked a pair of shoes, just like the ones in the picture, we bought together some 22 years ago.

Life is about choices.  When the word, “choice” comes to mind, I am reminded of the Bible passage from Deuteronomy 30:19, “This day I call the heaven and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”

When I thought about shopping for new shoes for Georgia I was struck with the idea of choosing life…choosing what was life giving, choosing what would bring more life to my mother-in-law.  My vote was to buy new shoes.  When we checked with the store, the shoes Georgia wanted needed to be ordered. When her new shoes arrived, she was so tickled; she wore them everywhere.

Late one evening during her visit, I looked across the room and saw Georgia sitting quietly reading with her new shoes on; she was content and happy.

It’s the little things in life that make a difference to others.

Happy Wednesday!


That’s Life


I am working on the quilt pictured above.  I’m using a white piece of wood trim to guide the marking lines of the quilt.  The quilt is 90″ x 90.”  If you’re interested in knowing how to make a quilt like this, the link for the pattern can be found here:


Gee, I’ve been away from posting for awhile…there has been a lot of life going on lately.

Here’s a quick update:

*I have been working on projects, and for those who are earnestly waiting for me to produce their quilt, I’m moving slower than I thought.  My apologies.

*The Christmas holiday season was busy.  I made a trip to Reno, Nevada to see my daughter and her family.

*The first week or so of January, I had the flu and was sick for a good two weeks.  I was a bit dehydrated, had little energy and was not interested in eating.  I have to say this one was a bit uncomfortable.  I’m glad it’s over though.

*One of my neighbor’s houses nearby caught on fire.  Usually, I mind my own business and hope that all are well.  However, this house fire has been hard to process, because I know the family involved; we’ve been neighbors for over 20 years.  No one was injured in the fire, and all are safe, but it’s been a bit distressing, surprisingly shocking…a real loss.

*I’ve been trying the Fit Bit routine of walking 10 K steps or more a day.  All was going well, until I hit the flu at the beginning of the month.  Also, this week I changed cell phones,  Now, I’m having trouble syncing the Fit Bit app with my bracelet. I sure miss the Fit Bit Bracelet Buzz when I haven’t met my goal for the day.


*On the horizon, I am looking at finding a little two bedroom fixer upper house in Reno.   I have a realtor, and together we have been pouring over the house listings.  Reno, Nevada is a hot market.  Things sell fast and not for cheap.  It is my hope to post pictures when I find a house of the renovation project here on my blog.

*In a few weeks, I’m going to be taking a day and a half train trip from Reno, Nevada through Sacramento, California and on to Salem, Oregon.  I will be posting updates of this trip on my blog.  In the spirit of Bill Bryson and his book A Walk in the Woods, and Peter Jenkins and his books:  A Walk Across America, The Walk West Across America 2, and his book Across China, I want to write about the experience as it is happening, what I am thinking about, and what I am seeing on the journey.  Bryson and Jenkins wrote about their hiking trips; this will be about a train trip.  I want to blog and post pictures about the experience as it is happening in real time instead of waiting and turning it into a book later. We’ll see what happens.

Hope you are well and the flu bug is staying away from your neck of the woods!






The Mosaic Picnic Table

The mosaic picnic table top project is finally moving along.  I’ve had some activities and company at the house which slowed down the progress. This Thanksgiving weekend, I was able to finish the adhesive and grouting steps with the tiles.


The above picture shows the grouting work.  At first, I wanted to mix more grout to fill in the seams of the tiles…but I quickly learned too much grout makes cleaning the tiles 10 times longer.


With a little help  clearing the grout, this is what the table looks like now.

I’m considering a coat of epoxy to even the top of the table.  The November weather in Oregon is cool and damp, not the best time of year for epoxy to set.  I might bring the table inside the house to finish this last epoxy step.  The inspiration for making this table came from a visit to Gayle’s Bakery & Rosticceria in Santa Cruz, California.  I loved the different variety of mosaic table tops throughout the bakery.

I’m looking forward to the holiday season this year.

Wishing you the very best this time of year has to offer!


Taking the Old and Making It New Again


Several years ago, a friend gave me these nine patch blocks.  Some of the nine patch blocks are hand pieced and some are machine sewn.


The quilts I work on seem pretty simple, but I have to admit my favorite thing to do is to take older quilt blocks and piece them together…turning the old blocks into a useful quilt.  It brings me great pleasure to see a project come to fruition.

This quilt covers a queen size bed and will look like a charmer when it is quilted.

On another note, I can’t believe it’s November 20th already.  Thanksgiving is just a few days away.  I’m looking forward to catching up with a few friends over the next couple of weeks and making a trip to the East Coast sometime in the near future.

Blessings on your week!


Finding Joy


We had a bit of rain this past week…yes, the week my grand daughter was visiting from Nevada.  It was so joyful to watch my grand daughter move from play toy to play toy at the Bouncey Place in Salem.  At three years old, Matilda had a great time exploring each bounce house and all of the different slides.  There is something so delightful to watching a child play, explore, and just take in the moment.  We had a great time!


Deconstruction & Reconstruction: Mosaic Table Top


I’ve been breaking plates from the local Dollar Tree Store, and this is what I have in mind so far.  I’m having a little trouble finding more sky blue plates I’m using to ring the sunflower.  I’ll keep looking.


In the mean time, I’m having a blast breaking plates with a hammer…only to reconstruct the pieces into a new pattern.


COLOR…I need MORE color!!!


These pieces are all made from broken plates.


I’m close to using the tile adhesive to permanently keep the design in place. After 24 hours, I will grout the project with an off white colored grout.  I’ll show you what the finished table top looks like.

Happy Thursday!


Trying Something New

I’m remaking the top of this table with a mosaic tile design.


I’m removing the boards from the middle of the table.


Then I’m dropping a piece of plywood in place of the boards.



I made a trip to the Habitat for Humanity Store and bought an eclectic bunch of tile pieces.  I, also, found brightly colored dishes at Goodwill and the Dollar Store I can break apart for some color options.

I bought a small container of tile adhesive and white/grey colored grout.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress of this new table top, because I’m not sure what it is going to look like or how it will turn out…so, stay tuned!

Whatever you’re up to today…Keep Going!