sewin’ in the chapel

You can’t tell from this picture, but this quilt shop is in a very large former church.

This spring’s Shop Hop with Harley Chick and Aunt Pat meant spending the morning at the Charlton Sewing Center, the most unusual quilt store I’ve ever visited (and that includes one in Sheridan, Wyoming in a former 19th century bank complete with a vault).


Aunt Pat and Harley Chick are ready to shop.

The first floor held sewing machines–either for sale, on display or to be repaired.

Then it was time to go upstairs to the fabric, notions and…organ.


The shop’s owner played a few tunes for us.  That was a first!!!

Scenes from the shop:


I will be honest with you.  I longed to start cleaning, organizing, and redistributing STUFF.  The fabric was gorgeous but overwhelmed by everything else.  I bought a few 1/4 yard pieces for an arty landscape quilt I am thinking about doing next year and some thread to finish quilting a gift.

I’d googled restaurants in this little Massachusetts town and the only one with decent reviews was this diner:


It was a “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives” moment for the three of us in this cool little place.  We scarfed down yummy avocado BLT’s and iced tea before stopping into another quilt store on the way home.  We pet the fabric but didn’t buy anything.

Which is always a good thing for three women who have Too Much Fabric.

I’ve been trying to use it up, I really have.  

I’ll be packing my bags and boxes for the lake soon.  I always bring some sewing projects in case the smoke from forest fires keeps me off the dock and inside the house.  Or if I find myself alone.

Sewing on the screened porch on a breezy summer afternoon is one of life’s little pleasures.  I can watch the boats on the lake, listen to the eagles and ospreys taunt each other and sip iced tea while creating something on my little portable sewing machine.

I would like to thank the person who invented extension cords.




Posted in friends, quilting, rhode island, shopping | 1 Comment

you and planet earth

Just for fun, here’s an interactive site that tells you how many breaths  you’ve taken, how many snowflakes have fallen, how many people have been born since YOU were born.  Just enter your birthdate and see what happens!

Posted in just for fun | Leave a comment

music, views, sundaes and a trip down memory lane

Mother’s Day 2018 was another cold, overcast day, but we were determined to pretend it wasn’t.

We–Banjo Man, daughter NancyK, my mother and I—took a drive over to the island of Jamestown.  Back in the days of pirates, Jamestown was thought to have been a pirate refuge and even where infamous pirates hid their treasure.  Now it’s a lovely, rural place with ocean and bay views galore.  Very New-Englandy.

Banjo Man drove us to Beavertail Point, home of the third oldest lighthouse in the country.



Check out the fog horns.  Yep, that’s what they look like.


I’ve always liked that sound.

After gawking at the beautiful homes and ocean  views, we headed back over the bridge to the mainland.  Banjo Man took a sudden right turn to show us the house he lived in when he was in the Seabees.  (We looked for a placque, but there wasn’t one.)


Banjo Man’s first Rhode Island home was very tiny.

And then to lunch at the Newport Creamery, a Rhode Island restaurant chain featuring sandwiches and all sorts of ice cream products.  I’ve been craving a hot fudge sundae for months and months and months…and Mother’s Day was the perfect excuse to indulge.





A good time was had by all.


Nancy relived her childhood with a “clown sundae”, a hit when the kids were small.  The clown sundae was always a good way to celebrate something.


Then it was home and time for a nap before going out again, this time to Hope Valley and the Wood River Inn.

Bluegrass on Sunday nights, people!!!!


I see a fiddle case!!!

Rod and Barbara joined us for a Mother’s Day seafood meal at the Inn and we listened to two bands.  A great time!  Can you tell?


Barb, Rod and Banjo Man having a good time.


More Pie and the guys.

I always laugh when I am around Barb.  We start talking about when we were thirteen and it is always funny.  I love having her back in my life fifty+ years later.

It was an extra special day.


From my daughter.  I am so thankful!



Posted in family, friends, rhode island | Leave a comment

ready for mother’s day


The Funny Grandson has once again pulled at my heart strings and made me laugh–at the same time.

Check out the sign he picked out for me.

And his mom told me he had to have one for himself, because well, it’s true:  Life is better at the lake.


Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!


Posted in family, grandmother stuff, lake | 1 Comment

catching up on a sunny may morning


The sky is blue and the temperature is–gasp–62.  Hard to believe, but true.

So…I’m recovering from this latest bout with bronchitis.  The doctor suggested it was the same infection I’ve had all winter that just keeps returning.  My mega-antibiotics are sure to kill it off once and for all, but I admit the process is a slow one.  I am doing nothing but watching tv and reading, as any attempt to walk around the house makes me dizzy.

Banjo Man is frowning and hovering.  My inactivity scares him.

He made tacos Monday night and we ate them as if we’d never had tacos before.  That lifted our spirits, as only hot sauce and sour cream can do.

We watched a truly dreadful movie Monday night, called THE DAUGHTER.   Skip it and save yourself a wasted 94 minutes.  I think the writer got himself so tangled up in the plot that he couldn’t figure out how to end the damn thing.  Whoever Simon Stone is, he ought to be ashamed of himself for writing this mess.

the daughter

I’m also watching Season 4 of SHETLAND, a series I love.  Unfortunately Amazon Britbox is releasing the six episodes one week at a time.  For those of us used to to binge-watching our favorite shows, this is a real pain in the you-know-what.

shetland 4

I love SHETLAND.  And this actor.

We also watched a sweet film called ALL SAINTS, based on a true story of a church trying to save itself from being sold and disbanded.

all saints

I’ve liked John Corbett since his days on Northern Exposure and I like stories based on true events.  I love the endings where they show the real people and tell what happened to them.

Here’s another one:

lion movie

The actor who played the young boy is the cutest little kid I’ve ever seen in my life.  It’s a long movie–I fell asleep 2/3 of the way into it and had to finish it another night–but once again the story is a true one and at the end of the movie the real people are shown.

This one was entertaining.   While the plot (son has to reconcile with dying father on a road trip) is a standard one, the acting and the characters were excellent.


We watched one episode of THE WHITE PRINCESS.  It held our attention but we haven’t had any burning desire to go back and watch another episode.  It takes place after the War of the Roses and the royal families (past and present) are dealing with the new murdering regime.  No one is happy, except maybe the mother-in-law from hell.

the white princess

I think she is going to give birth to Henry VIII.

Now we’re watching the Netflix mini-series COLLATERAL.   It’s set in present-day London and so far we’re getting an idea of the chaos of the refugee and immigrant situation there.  It begins with the murder of a pizza-delivery man and has about twenty characters to keep track of.  I’m not sure how long Banjo Man will stay interested.  I’ll stick it out to the end, though.


So that’s what’s happening here, as I rest on the couch and wonder how much longer it will take to bounce up and start cleaning a closet, storing winter clothes, unearthing the summer sandals and organizing my return to the lake for the summer.

I hope that happens soon!

Posted in family, movies, rhode island | 2 Comments

making the huskers great again


The view from our seats at the Spring Game.

See all that red?  88,800+ Husker fans were at the stadium to welcome the new coach back to town.  I think it broke an attendance record.

We were ready.


Glamour is my middle name.

It was cold.  It was spitting rain.  It was even a bit windy.  Did we care?

We did not.

We ate runzas for breakfast.


We put on our ponchos.


We watched the happy crowd enter the stadium.


Will is watching his father rearrange his poncho for the 183rd time.

I’d intended to buy a corn cob hat and make every member of the family wear it while I took pictures, but the price tag brought me to my senses.


The last time I was in Memorial Stadium watching football was in the early 1970’s, when Nebraska played Hawaii.  It was a fun afternoon with much good-natured cheering for the Hawaii team and a sea of red-clad fans looking content with life.

But I don’t think I’ve ever been in the midst of 88,000 people before this Spring Game.  So many families, elderly people, couples…all having fun and feeling optimistic about Nebraska football again.

We’ve had a rough 15+ years in Husker world.  And now things are looking up, thanks to the arrival of Scott Frost and his amazing coaching staff.

Saturday night’s pizza party with cousins (whose ages ranged from 12 to 90) was a great success, with much conversation and laughter.  Valentino’s pizza is always a hit as was the special cake.  Banjo Man’s sisters brought lots of great food to add to the party and we kept the red-and-white theme going.


Happy cousins.

We all met for breakfast at the Village Inn the next morning before one last visit until people began to head home.


Do they look like they’ve had a great weekend or what?!?

From start to finish, a lovely family reunion.

Posted in family, travel | 1 Comment

update from rhode island

First of all, the sun is shining and the temperature actually reached 65 yesterday.


Secondly, I am sick again.  It started out as a simple head cold last Friday, so I pampered myself all weekend with Ginger Ale and lots of time resting in bed.  Tuesday I felt much better and even made dinner.  But yesterday morning things changed for the worse, so Banjo Man hustled me to see the doctor, who recommended chest x-rays and lots of medications and plenty of bed rest.

It turns out I don’t have pneumonia–thank God–, but I do have bronchitis for the third time this winter.  Before this winter, I have not had bronchitis since I was 14.  So what’s going on?  I think I’m going to blame the pneumonia shot I had last December (the one that infected my whole arm).  I think it messed with my immune system.  Call  me crazy, but that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

I comfort myself with the prospect of sunshine and warm air on the dock in Idaho in five weeks.  Yes, five weeks from now.

Thirdly, we had a great time in Nebraska!


Friday night at Haymarket Square with my sons.  Yes, it was chilly.

I left flew out Friday morning, boarding the plane at 5:30 AM.  Remember I told you there was a bit of an adventure before I got to the airport?  The parking lot I had decided to use–and booked a reservation online for–didn’t exist when I cruised down Post Road at 4 AM looking for it.  I pulled over into a dark parking area and called the number, which turned out to be disconnected.

There was another one, which I had decided against in the first place due to the fact that they didn’t offer shuttle service to the airport and instead let customers off at the far end of the sky walk.

But my only other option was getting back on the Interstate, turning around and negotiating the very large, scary-at-4 am, long term parking lot.  Never mind waiting for a shuttle while alone in the dark.

The nice young man at the office of the parking lot told me they were booked up.  But he felt sorry for me and took my car anyway.  I gave him a big tip and my many thanks.  By the time I got to the airport I had about 45 minutes before boarding the plane, so it all worked out well.

Then I flew to Chicago and met my boys, Ben and Will, at their gate!  They were on the same flight from Austin, so we had breakfast together and waited for over 3 hours for the next flight (there was a delay while Southwest replaced a plane).   Ben indulged his weakness for Dunkin’ Donuts, which always make him happy.

Banjo Man was waiting in the Cell Phone Lot in Omaha.  This was his first Cell Phone Lot experience and he was nervous about it, but it worked out perfectly.  Old dog, new tricks.  Yay!

The next stop would be the International Quilt Study Center in Lincoln.  Also known as the “Quilt House”.

quilt study center

From their website:

The International Quilt Study Center & Museum’s mission is to build a global collection and audience that celebrate the cultural and artistic significance of quilts.

The International Quilt Study Center & Museum at Quilt House is located on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s East Campus at 33rd and Holdrege streets. The museum has the world’s largest publicly held quilt collection, dating from the early 1700s to present and representing more than 50 countries. 

We envision the IQSCM as a dynamic center of formal and informal learning and discovery for students, teachers, scholars, artists, quilters and others. Our comprehensive and accessible collection of quilts, related textiles and documents form a primary text for study, insight and inspiration. IQSCM is an academic program of the Department of Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design in the College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The department offers a unique masters degree in Textile History with a quilt studies emphasis, which is the only program of its kind in the world.

I have visited several times.  But this was going to be extra special, because an exhibit of Ken Burns’ quilts was on display.  That visit deserves its own post and because I have lots of photos, I’ll save it for another blog post.

I loved the quilts.  And I really missed my mother-in-law, who loved quilts, too.  I guess being back in Lincoln and maybe being a little over tired and awestruck at Ken Burns’ loving appreciation of quilters and missing a woman who taught me so much, it was all I could do to not break down in tears.  Back at the hotel I shut myself in the bathroom and had a “come apart” (as my friend Ann calls it) in private.

And then it was time for the party to begin.  Some of the family arrived in town while I was gazing at vintage quilts, so off we went downtown to Haymarket Square (an unbelievably revitalized section of the city) for dinner.

Here I am taking a picture of Banjo Man while he is taking a picture of me.


Note the three guys on the left.

It was good to be together.

To be continued….


Posted in family, quilting, rhode island, travel | Leave a comment

sunset in chicago


This was taken on arriving in Chicago.

Banjo Man and I are home and I’ll be posting pictures from Lincoln tomorrow or the next day, after we recover from crawling into bed at 3:30 this morning.

I think we might be too old for night flights.

Banjo Man, Will and I had flights leaving Omaha around 6 PM Monday night.  I breezed through the security checkpoint, thinking my husband was right behind me.

He wasn’t.  Despite our TSA PRE speed passes, Banjo Man had been told to get out of line.  He was frantically searching the pockets of his cargo pants.  I was stuck where I was as my bags disappeared into the screening tunnel.

He was still having trouble when I emerged on the other side (after have been randomly selected to have my palms wiped for traces of explosives).

Banjo Man joined me eventually, but he didn’t want to tell me what had happened.  Reluctantly he admitted he’d given the security guard the wrong boarding pass.  AND he had given her his credit card instead of his driver’s license.

I worry about him when he’s not with me.

We had two-hour layovers in our respective connecting cities.  Banjo Man and I were in Chicago eating burgers.  Will texted that he was in Dallas eating a chicken-fried buffalo steak.

After arriving in Providence, we waited for our one bag.  It was the last one on the conveyor belt.  Then we took an elevator up to the sky way and began the Bataan Death March in hopes our car would be waiting on the other end.

I will tell you my parking lot saga another time.  It was an adventure and believe me, no one needs an adventure at 3:45 AM while trying to catch a plane.



Posted in family, travel | Leave a comment

springtime in nebraska


Spring game, Lincoln, Nebraska.  April 21, 2018.

Banjo Man and George were waiting for the game to begin.  Yes, it was raining a little.  Yes, we were prepared.  Banjo Man had purchased red ponchos and red seat cushions and extra gloves.  He brought extra wool scarves in his suitcase for those in need.

I think the eight of us were pretty warm, despite the cold and the damp and the breeze.

We took a shuttle bus to the stadium.  And we arrived fifteen minutes before the stadium doors opened.  Since my in-laws and husband (as much as I love them) are never early for anything, this truly was a momentous occasion.

And the source of some humor between my brother in law and myself.

I will post more pictures later, when I get them from the others, but I couldn’t resist sending at least one tonight, before I head over to the Cousins Pizza Party.

I even had a cake made, but I have tried six times to send the picture to post here and it just won’t work.

Maybe tomorrow!



Posted in family, travel | 1 Comment

fixing things on the list

I took my computer into the experts at “Right Click” computer repair shop Tuesday afternoon.  The very young man behind the very long counter listened to my computer woes and then turned on my laptop.

“Edge” worked.  My Edge Start Menu worked.  These were things that hadn’t worked since January 17th (I would later look in the depths of my computer and discover they’d reinstalled themselves on April 7).

It was embarrassing.  Like the time I took Sarge into the dentist.  He was about ten and had been complaining of tooth pain for days.  The dentist called me into the exam room and said, “Look.”

I really didn’t want to.  I’m squeamish when it comes to teeth and dentists.

But Sarge obediently opened his mouth and when I looked inside there was no tooth.  To this day I don’t know what little-boy-Sarge was complaining about.  To say the dentist was disgusted with both of us would be an understatement.

Anyway, fast forward to Tuesday…

With the prompt emergence of Edge, I immediately realized I had just landed in the “Old White-haired Confused Lady” category at  Right Click.

Fortunately–well, not really–my Microsoft Photo Viewer was actually broken, which I suspected.  And the young man’s attempts to download a new one didn’t work due to slow downloading speed.  So he chose another photo program and made that my default.  I don’t like it nearly as well as the original, but I’ve had no luck downloading it either.  “Dylan” and I might have to try again.

He didn’t charge me anything.  Isn’t that sweet?  I really appreciated his kindness.  I need to write an online review and praise him for his patience.

Another issue around here was a very bad sound coming from the Highlander.  Banjo Man and I stared in horror at the engine and then drove my mother’s car to the airport instead.  I took my car and its noise into the repair shop Tuesday morning.  And then I went home and looked up “used Highlanders” on

Fortunately our wonderful old car only needed a new power steering line.

Sigh of relief.

Tomorrow morning I fly to Omaha.  It’s an early flight and at first I’d intended to spend the night at the airport’s Hampton Inn, leaving my car in their lot and taking the shuttle at 4 AM.  But they were booked up parking-wise, so I’m going to drive in early and try a new valet parking lot.

I always fly Southwest.  And I always sit in the window seat near the wing.

My heart just breaks for the family of the woman who died this week.  Some members of the grieving family are dear friends.

There are no words.

Please send a prayer to the family.

I expect somber flights tomorrow.  I will sit on the aisle.   My seat belt will be uncomfortably snug.  And I’ll pay more attention to the safety demonstrations.

Did you know that most people on that flight didn’t have their masks on properly?  The mask has to go on over your nose and mouth.  People put them on over their mouth only.

Something to remember.

Much love to all,
More Pie




Posted in family, rhode island, travel | 2 Comments