Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
January 17, 2017 - Florida Keys

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Iron Ridge Parade and Another Year Older

Last Sunday we went to the Fireman's Parade in the small town of Iron Ridge which is about 30 miles from us.



We had both heard on the radio that the UW-Madison Marching Band was going to be in the parade. If you've never seen them perform, you've missed a great show. I believe they are one of the best, if not the best, college marching band in the country. Their halftime and fifth quarter shows are fantastic.

We figured it wouldn't be the entire band, and we were correct. There were about 25 members, all brass and two percussionists.  Here they are in the parade.


After the parade, there were all kinds of activities at Fireman's Park. We walked over and watched some of the bands perform. I thought it was a real nice touch to allow each band that marched in the parade to put on a little show at the park afterwards. There were community bands, the Horicon High School Band, the UW band, and a Highlander group.

The UW-Madison band did several numbers, getting the audience involved in the fun. The amazing thing about this group is that they look like they are having a blast; but if you really watch and listen, they are fantastic musicians. The girl with the cymbals had incredible twirling skills.


We also enjoyed listening to the Tripoli Shrine Scottish Highlanders perform. They played Amazing Grace which always sounds so beautiful when done with bagpipes.


Things at the campground are starting to slow down a little. We've only been about three-quarters full the last two weekends. Labor Day will be full again, but then September will depend on the weather.  The weather has been very humid this summer. We've had some hot days, too; but the humidity is getting on my nerves. I'm ready for fall to come this year.

Today is my birthday. My last year to be in the 50s before the big 60 next year. I have big plans for the day. I'm working in the morning, going to do laundry at the laundromat and some shopping this afternoon. Two of my least favorite things. Oh well, it has to get done and today is the best day of the week to do it. I will be treating myself and Kevin to a blizzard from Dairy Queen though.

We had planned to go to the Dodge County Fair tomorrow, but temperatures are predicted to be near 90 and humid again, so we'll postpone that adventure until next year. We have to drive into the Milwaukee area tomorrow morning to sign some documents at our financial planners office, so we're going to stop and visit my mom and have lunch with her.

Then we'll stop at Eric's  house to pick up the new laptop I ordered. My current laptop is eight years old and has Vista as the operating system. Although it still works, it is very slow, and it was time for an update. The new one has Windows 10. I hope I like it. I've put off getting a new one because I just didn't want to deal with downloading everything I want and setting it all up to fit my needs.

The biggest pain I think will be trying to figure out how to transfer all of my iTunes files to the new laptop. If anyone knows of an easy way to do it or a link that explains exactly what to do, I'd appreciate any help or advice I can get.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Nebraska Visit and Quilt Auction

Before I tell you about my visit to Nebraska, I have two more bird pictures to show you. I'm really loving the 30x zoom on my new camera. We have a red-tail hawk nest in one of our super tall cottonwood trees. With the new camera I can zoom in all the way to the top. The hawks have been coming back to the same nest for the last three years. Here is one of them; I think it is the baby from this year.


 This blue jay picture was taken through a window. He seems to be saying, "you looking at me?"


 Last Wednesday I drove to Lincoln, Nebraska to visit Korey and Cathryn and to attend the annual quilt auction at Carol Joy Holling Camp, which is part of Nebraska Outdoor Lutheran Ministries. Korey is the program director at the camp, and I have been donating a few quilts to their auction for the last three years. I really wanted to experience an auction day and see what it was all about.

I had offered to volunteer on Friday if they needed extra help getting things ready. A group of us loaded up an enclosed trailer with the 426 quilts that were donated for the live auction. It's amazing how much you can fit into one trailer. In addition to the quilts, there were a few specialty items donated such as a cedar chest, bug house, doll house and some beautiful walnut quilt ladders.


 After loading up all the quilts, I helped some of the summer counselors finish up the service project the campers worked on this year. They made tied fleece blankets for two local homeless shelters. There were 25 left to be finished. We got them all done which brought the total of fleece blankets donated at almost 900. Way to go kids!!!

One of the programs at the camp is ranch camp where the kids get to ride horses. There were about 30 horses in the barn along with two small goats and a calf. The goats were so cute. They put them on a leash just like a dog.


 On Saturday Korey had to be to work very early to help set up for the auction. Cathryn and I arrived around 10 am just as the auction had gotten started. We looked at all of the 400 plus quilts. Most are donated by local church quilting groups and local quilters, but there were some from other states including Missouri, Wisconsin and Colorado. Here I am with the two quilts I donated. They are the little pink one in the right corner and the navy and floral hexagons next to me.


 The auction was held outside under some huge shade trees. The quilts are held up in front by the umbrella and auctioned off by a group of professional auctioneers who donate their entire day to the event. You can see the racks of quilts behind the stage.


 In addition to the live auction, there is a silent auction under a tent with over 100 items to bid on including smaller quilts and other donated items.


 Here's my hexagon quilt being auctioned. It went for $195. My small baby blanket quilt went for $50.


In previous years, the auction has consistently raised around $100,000 which just blows my mind. This year bids were down somewhat, and the total raised was about $85,000. Still a huge fundraiser for the Christian camp program.

The highest bid this year was $1600. This beautiful Nordic style quilt went for $1400. In previous years, some quilts had gone for tens of thousands. They had another huge auction this summer of two barns full of antique tractors that had been donated to the program. That event raised about $120,000. Maybe people were just donated out by the time the quilt auction came around.


In addition to making quilts for donation, I also made Korey a special quilt for his birthday this year. He and Cathryn are huge Disney fans, and he had asked me if I could make him a Mickey quilt. He wanted it to long enough to completely cover up from head to toe. I definitely think I made it long enough! He seemed to be very happy with it.


I also dropped off my quilt donation for next year's auction. This was a star pattern I worked on with the quilter's group at Fortuna de Oro RV Resort in Yuma this past winter. Hopefully, it will get a good price next summer.


Cathryn has been wanting to make a t-shirt quilt with some shirts from her time in middle and high school. She had started on it, but needed a little help with figuring out sashing and sewing the blocks together. She and I worked on it for a few hours while I was there, and she got a good start on it. Now she should be able to finish up without much further help.  Maybe a new quilter has been born!

Things at the campground continue to be pretty busy. Kevin and I enjoyed a round of golf this afternoon. Only about two months left, and we will be finishing up another summer season.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!