Sunday, August 27, 2017

Enjoying Last Day of this Trip

Today eleven hours on fairly straight roads brought us to our destination.

It's amazing that we only have to drive that far to go from dusty prairie to startlingly beautiful mountains.  Or in today's case, to go from bone dry (extreme fire warnings) to beautiful Staveley Crescent.  Ah, home!

The mountains are in drought conditions just like we are.  Therefore, no fires of any kind are allowed.  It seemed strange to arrive back at the Whitefish KOA campground every night and not see campers having good times around their firepits.

We started yesterday at the Kalispell Farmers' Market.  I came away with dill which is much nicer than my own, some garlic, and some cherries.  This was the last weekend for Flathead cherries which are some of the latest summer cherries in the US.  They are plenty ripe and sweet and by this time tomorrow, they will be jam.  Let the canning begin.

Yesterday I was in two quilt shops and one of them was selling these one gallon jugs of glue.  Do you recognize the quilt shop logo?
Unbelievable, but true, the Kalispell Walmart still has a fabric department.  It's tucked way back in a corner and a very nice man named Bob King, not only discovered it, but also told me about it.  I needed interfacing and the Walmart price couldn't be beat.
The jugs of glue gave me a giggle as I pictured some grade two teacher putting them on the students' shopping lists

In Whitefish I stopped at the Cutting Edge quilt shop.  The quality and quantity of fabrics and the pleasantness of the single clerk, made my shopping experience great.  Plus, the front end of the store is a very nice gift shop selling Montana products.  The clerk in the fabric store invited me to take pictures of anything and everything and here is a sampling.

I've had the One Block Wonder book for ages and have never attempted a quilt from it, but maybe this will be the impetus.  The fabric is panda bears.

This is the shop's contribution to the row-by-row challenge.  If you want to make it, you can get the pattern from me.
Whitefish is a great town filled with gift shops and restaurants.
There are lots of  beautiful plants everywhere.  I'm not sure what this blooming bush is, but it is a great attraction for bees and butterflies.

I always want to go into bookshops, but even more so when they look like this.
The town has a lot of art and here is a temporary example.

And here is a permanent example.  It's one of a series depicting the four seasons. 
Here's art you can buy.  We should have as they are the only mountain goats we saw.  Real ones elude us.
We went to Les Mason State Park which is on the shore of Whitefish Lake.  It's a well used park as people don't seem to mind sunbathing on stones.  This definitely isn't a sandy beach like the one right in Whitefish.  The road to it was laughable.

This adventure has ended and it's been a good one.  Next week's travels will take us to Vancouver and then we should be home for many, many months ... except for necessary trips to Saskatoon.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Dappled Sunlight & Blue Skies

I don't know if it was because of the rain on Thursday, but the smoke from the forest fires lifted yesterday and the sky was a marvelous blue. It's the same today, but the forecast for tomorrow is more haze.

Does anyone know.  Are these chokecherries?

Bob & I met at Norm's News before heading off for lunch.  Norm's is an ice cream/candy shop with a wall of magazines.
The window has ice cream cone bunting.
Inside an archway leads into a western shop.
There were racks of plaid western shirts where the plaids didn't match at the seams.
There were walls of cowboy boots.
Here's the little girls' section.  I wonder which Riley would choose.
Perhaps the glittery ones.  I'm glad Grandma & Grandpa Jonescu are the ones who will keep my grandchildren in cowboy boots!
We ate supper at Sykes Diner which has been around forever.  The place is bright and airy, the food is delicious and reasonably priced and the wait staff is pleasant and informative.  Win.  Win.  Win.  Sykes is not only a diner, but also a pharmacy, a fitness center, a deli, and a coffee shop.  I think there's an art gallery part too although we missed it.  Upstairs there are apartments.

Vanessa, I hope you bought peaches to can.  Look at the price of the ones they sell.  They also had homemade cherry pie filler for $14.95.  It was probably made of $2 worth of Flathead cherries.  This is the last weekend of the Flathead cherry season so I'm bringing some home to make jam.
Last night the Bigfork Summer Theater's production was Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  Their interpretation was impressive and confirmed why this musical is on my list of top five favorite musicals of all time.  

I wish you could all meet the couple we chatted with before the show ... and at intermission ... and at the end of the show as they ended up seated directly behind us.  We chatted with them outside the theater, starting up the conversation simply because they were so incredibly dressed.  Lots of people dress well for this theater ... ladies in sweet summer dresses and men in golf shirts and pressed shorts. 

However this women was dressed in a very flowy manner with so many delicate scarves and rhinestone brooches that I couldn't really interpret where the scarves and jewelry ended and the rest of the outfit began.  Most of it was of the brightest teal, but here was also pink and blue.

Her hair (wig) was the brightest orange-red and she had on blue eye shadow and false eyelashes.  Her nail polish had sparkles in it.  Her husband had on what I would call yachting clothes ... a blue blazer and white pants.  The blazer had a poofy thing (what are they called?) in the pocket and it matched his tie.

The lady revealed she is 76 ... and a well preserved 76, I must say.  She grew up in Manhattan and had a theater-loving mom which helped evolve her into a fanatic for Broadway musicals.  She lived around the world with her first husband who was in the oil industry and, with him, actually saw a production in London on the same night that Prince Charles and Princess Diana were in the audience..  This present husband is an opera lover and they seem the perfect complement for each other.  

They told us lots of stories and seemed equally interested in the ones we had to tell.  It's a meeting with strangers which I enjoyed and won't likely forget.  At the show Bob was sitting beside a man who owns one of the Flathead cherry orchards so there were interesting conversations there too.  He told us that Canadians can each legally bring back 551 pounds of fruit and vegetables.  It's a good thing we brought the truck!  (We went to the Kalispell Farmers' Market this morning and won't quite meet that quota, but we did buy dill, garlic, and Flathead cherries.)

It's time to enjoy our last day in the valley and then tonight's production of Mamma Mia.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Slowwwww Internet

The campground has incredibly slow internet and the workers swear internet is slow all through the Flathead Valley.  Strangely enough I am at a Starbucks and their internet is fast.  The slow internet at the Whitefish KOA is the only complaint we have about the place.

Yesterday the Valley got some much needed rain so there were raindrops on roses.
Liz, how do you like these prices?  Should Ladysmith adjust their pricing accordingly?
A good morning is a morning when I start my shopping at Glacier Quilts.  Any quilters who visit the area should visit this shop in Kalispell.  It's huge and the staff are so accommodating.
Here are a couple of display quilts that are whimsically Montana.
 Christa, you should get down here fast to buy some or all of the amazing PPed patterns for large quilts. The quilts here are just a few of the samples that are made up.  They are hung quite high so it's hard to get decent photos, but they are incredibly awesome.

 I like how simple and lovely this next one is.  A panel, a few blocks, and you end up with an sweet quilt.
I must go back there today to buy some orange batiks to make myself a chicken hanging for the next art quilt challenge.  The ideas are buzzing in my head.
That's really all the shopping I did.  I looked at clothing and I love all the plaids that were popular last year and continue to be popular.  However, home ec classes I took in high school have forced me to forego any of the store-bought plaid clothing.  In that class I learned that you should match plaids at seams.  We learned how to match them even when a plaid was uneven and I embraced the challenge of doing so.  Why, oh, why, didn't I keep my perfectly matched plaid elephant pants that I sewed in grade ten?  Trust me, they were perfection.
Here's what store-bought plaids look like at the seams.

I CANNOT buy them!  There were plaid costumes in Bigfork's last two performances and they were perfectly matched.  Kudos to the stitchers.

We did shop at the newly opened Krispy Kreme.  Rob & Liz, be very jealous.
I should have put one of their paper caps on Bob, but there are limits to what this highly photogenic model will do for me.
Back at campground two of the donkeys were wandering.  The animals are penned at night, but free range during the day.  No wonder the campground has a five mile per hour speed limit.  It's not to save the lives of all the camping children; it's to make it safe for the petting zoo critters.

One form of entertainment we have every day is reading the police blotter in the local paper.  For a long time Vanessa and I thought the column was a creative writing exercise by some journalism intern, but, no, it's a true report of what police deal with on a daily basis.

We ate at Brannigan's Irish Pub in Kalispell.  I really, really felt I should drink the quilter's beer, but  the waitress said it was the darkest, "most robust" beer they sell.  I settled for the local seasonal which is a "honey infused" beer.  Bob didn't want this heavy drinker (There's a mom joke, Rob & Liz; I hope you didn't miss it.) to be drunk and disorderly at the evening performance of "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers."
The shrimp gratin was really good and Bob said his shepherd's pie was the best he's ever eaten and that includes shepherd's pie in Ireland and Scotland ... and also in his wife's kitchen.
We got to Bigfork early so had time for Peaks' ice cream.  Their petunias, which seem to be a shout-out to Canada's 150th, are so profuse they have blocked the final S.  Sweet Peaks used to be a favorite ice cream place as they made small batches of interesting ice creams such as rhubarb and a lemon and dill one.  Now they have opened several shops and have about six standards which I'm guessing they no longer make, but rather buy from some big company.
One last thing before I end this entry.  There's a contest involved, there's a prize involved, and I suspect Barb will be the only one to enter the contest.  It's to see how many diphthongs you can find in this entry.  Yep, that's my contest and it will be judged to the highest of standards.  After all, who wouldn't want to win the prize .... some crap Montana souvenir from the Dollar Tree?

It's time to end this entry as my flat white is getting cold.