Thursday, July 15, 2010

26th Wedding Anniversary

Tuesday, July 13, was our 26th anniversary. We decided to drive over to the Oregon Coast for the day. The drive is beautiful; it's not that far away from where we live; and the cell phone reception isn't very good in the Van Duzer Corridor. The Corridor is a highway that has tall, Douglas Fir trees on either side. Ah, the peace and quiet! We had a wonderful drive all the way to Lincoln City.

Once we got over to Highway 101, we traveled south to Boiler Bay and stopped at the wayside there. This is an excellent place to watch the ocean-going birds. There are shearwaters, jaegers, albatrosses, grebes, pelicans, loons, oystercatchers and murrelets. It's also a great place to watch the waves come crashing up onto the rocks, and to see gray whales. The bay got it's name in 1910 when an explosion sank the J. Marhoffer. At low-tide you can see this ship's boiler. Visiting here is always relaxing. The weather and the wind seemed just right. Stephen walked around the area taking photos. I watched the birds and the waves, but I didn't see any whales.

Afterward, we drove to a Chinese restaurant for a lovely lunch. Like every other wedding anniversary, Stephen and I talked about what we've managed to accomplish in our lives over the past year, five years, 10 years, etc., and shared our hopes and dreams for the years to come. Looking back helps us plan for the future. We concluded that we are both grateful for our friends and family, and are looking forward to a bright and shining future both at the Quilt Shop and the farm.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Shop Tour for Home Schoolers

Last Friday, I gave a few of the home schooled kids who attend our Quilt Club a tour of the shop and a sneak peek of next year's session. These kids have worked hard all year making quilt blocks and learning about the 1950s along with the rest of us. In this photo, I am showing them how we put a club together and explaining what goes into preparing for each session.

Then I took them on a tour of the back side of the shop. I showed the web store desks, the mail order area, the cutting station in the back with all the fabric that is getting ready to go out in the mail, and then took them on an explanatory tour of the brick and mortar store.

While I was talking, Georgeann set up a table so she could teach them how to embroider. She found a cross-stitch pattern by Jack Dempsey that was pre-stamped on fabric. Each student got to pick out their own animal pattern, then choose a color of floss to work with. Then Georgeann gave them an embroidery lesson. She showed them how many strands of floss to use, how to make a knot, and how to do the stitches. It looked like fun!

One of the students was left handed, just like me. To make it easier for the student, I showed her how to make left handed stitches. And since you all know that I love to embroider, and do a whole bunch of it with my Grandma Rachel's Redwork Club, I was glad for the excuse to join them!

Next year, I've got some special things in mind for the Homeschoolers who attend the Quilt Club. Sewing and needle skills are an American tradition and I am glad that to see students learning about them as they stitch their blocks.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Mini-Vacation in California

In June, Stephen and I left the Quilt Shop in the capable hands of our employees and headed down to California to visit our daughter and son-in-law, Dannielle and Isaac Stahly. It was really close to their 2nd wedding anniversary, they had moved to a new apartment, and we hadn't seen them for a while. So we packed up the car and off we went.

As we got closer to California, we realized that it wasn't raining! If you live here in Oregon, you know that it rained 19 out of 30 days in June. Everything was green, green, green--and wet! Was summer ever going to get here? As you can see from the photo, though, it was sunny in California. We are both sporting sunglasses. (My children HATE my sunglasses, by the way, but they keep the sun out of my eyes quite nicely.) In fact, in Redding, it was HOT by mid-morning.

We weren't in Redding very long before we decided that we should visit the Golden Gate Bridge down in San Francisco. I had never been there before and, for some reason, I actually had it in my head that the bridge would be painted gold. And, of course, it isn't. When construction was originally proposed, the United States Navy wanted the bridge to be painted black with yellow stripes so it would be highly visible to ships. Instead, it was painted with red lead primer and a lead-based topcoat called orange vermillion, or international orange. The paint protects the bridge from the high salt content in the air, which rusts and corrodes the steel components.

Isaac totally knew his way around San Francisco. We were very thankful for that. Where Stephen and I live, three cars stopped at a traffic light can be considered a traffic jam. (And that's assuming there is a traffic light!) Driving in all that California traffic seemed to me like it could be very nerve-wracking. Hey, check it out. Isaac and Dannielle are also wearing sunglasses! They are standing at a viewpoint above the bridge. It was absolutely beautiful there.

So here's what I learned about the Golden Gate Bridge. Work on the bridge began on January 5, 1933, and was completed in April of 1937. Although every safety precaution was taken, eleven men actually died during construction. The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge that has two main cables which pass over the tops of the two main towers and are secured at either end in giant anchorages. The main cables rest on top of the 746-foot main towers in huge steel castings that are called saddles. Each main cable has 61 bundles of galvanized steel wire. The total length of the bridge, including all of its approaches from abutment to abutment is an amazing 1.7 miles! The bridge itself is 90 feet wide and 4,200 feet long from tower to tower. Each of those anchorages weighs 60,000 tons.

I also discovered that at the time it was built, the Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world; however, when the Verrazano-Narrows bridge in New York City was completed in 1964, the Golden Gate Bridge lost this distinction. Today, the longest suspension bridge in the world is the Akashi-Kaikyo in Japan.

We had other adventures while we were in California. I'll write about them soon!