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Life has definitely taken me to places I never thought I would go to....but nothing more exciting than where I am right now! Welcome to my world...


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Life's blessings, family, friends, and fun!

Our dear little grandaughter, was born this week up in Arkansas....Mom and baby are doing well!Think Dad is hanging in as well. Short quick delivery. For which I am most thankful. New life makes me especially wonder at God's good works!
Wow!!! Time with friends is always good. Seen most of this before, but there is nothing quite like seeing animals in their natural environment! We have spent two days driving through the Kruger Park, and even though we DIDN'T go at PRIME viewing times! Saw giraffe, warthog, zebra,water buffalo, lots of different buck...my personal favorite is Kudu...with the beautiful stripes on their back...even saw the black Rhino...but just as we were leaving the park....saw lots of activinty on the crocodile bridge....and there sunning themselves....most likely before the "KILL" sat several lions! I don't even know if I got a great shot...since the bridge was packed with people.....INSIDE their cars of course..... and I was taking the photos through the bars of the bridge.And my old camera has a pretty crummy zoom...so still from far away. Have not retrieved them from camera yet...but will and will post then. But we have had a fabulous time with our friends from the UK, they do the same thing my hubby does here...so we are all scheduled to leave in May of 2008, but I get to go early for the delivery of the next grandbaby. Whew time is going quickly now. Have to sort packing/shipping of stuff....never shipped internationally ....and very nervous about the stuff making it.We don't have a complete container...so checking into all of our options. If you have suggestions...never had to clear anything like this with customs before. Love to have anything to help me through this. Colleen

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas ....to Everyone!



Ok, leaving for our last Christmas vacation in Africa early in the morning. I'm not sure how much time or access to internet I will have. But if I see anything really cool...will try to post. We are going to the Kruger Park...hope to see the crocodiles at the crocodile bridge, maybe a lion? Must admit we saw so many Elephants and zebras last time....we got jaded" ah....its just another elephant walking next to our car! "Or standing next to the road.Then when we visited uhluhlui ( Shishlouie) we got the same way about Rhinos...they were everywhere ...but not an elephant in sight!You just never know what you are going to see?Then after the Game reserve...we are going to the Indian Ocean, to Port Elizabeth....or lately renamed Nelson Mandela Metro, to stay at the ocean. Can't wait....just hope no rain.Its been crazy weather here.Today was a really nice day...about 93, but a cold, wet front is coming from Capetown...so it will probably be crummy weather tomorrow. I hope you all have a blessed wonderful Christmas....and if you are interested...and leave a comment between now and Jan. 11,2008 when we return home.... I realize I need to do something for making the 50 th post...(yesterdays) not sure...what yet,but at least some African fabric... I will draw some lucky persons name....then bring back to the US...the beginning of February, and send from home....just to be certain it makes it ok! Plus it would have to be quicker than sending from here. Last time I sent off an important document, our IRS forms, 5 WEEKS after sending them, the postman showed up at my door, asking for more money as he hadn't charged me enough....but he was asking for about 50.00 US more...for speedy ( 2 day) delivery!!! Now does this strike anyone else as crazy? I had sent it off air mail....I thought... 35 DAYS EARLIER, and it was returned back to me for more postage...because someone at the post office had put the wrong info on it...as In SPEEDY COURIER! And they had the nerve to ask me for more money to send it on SPEEDY!!!! I was livid....grabbed the envelope right out of the guys hand.Don't know who was more shocked?Him or Me....or the neighbor's hearing me screach like a banshee at the guy. I did keep a copy of the request for more money.... for my scrapbook. :o) AHHHHHHH ......good memories!!!! At any rate....it will most likely be quicker and way cheaper....to send from the US. The last time I sent a small box (4 1/2 pounds) to the grandkids, it cost me about 50.00 US!!!! Shame! So leave a comment and get your name in a "lucky draw"! Had to post photo of giraffe at our little game reserve at the edge of town... yep....giraffe and zebra just hanging out. And some store employee Santas at the Crazy Store. Merry Christmas. Colleen

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Crazy South African sign....


Ok, wasn't going to post today...been very busy preparing to leave for the Christmas holidays on Sunday. Also sewed on a quilt half done when I went to the States. But felt like I had to post this photo of a sign I saw at the Joberg airport in the ladies room...as I was exiting...it caught my eye....the missing letters made it have a little more impact .......HANGING IN A REST ROOM!!!!! I think I needed a little laugh as well! Maybe it was just me....but it hit me as a silly sign. Hope you all have a lovely day and maybe a little laugh!

Monday, December 17, 2007

South American squares and ....Christmas Lights!!!!



















I have had these closeups of some handwork from South America for several months. Got them the day before I left...and Tonya at Lazy Gal Quilter asked for the closeups...so here goes.
























My camera isn't great...but these at least show some of the detail. I thought they were so pretty. Would love to have some for my very own...but these were my friends from a dear son who lived in Brazil I think.







They are so bright and lively.






I am not sure how long Izette has had them, but she has begun to feel that they need to be sewn together into some sort of a wallhanging. I think they are lovely.


The detail is cool...but the amount of hand applique is amazing. I think some of these have a touch of some of the Mexican handwork...is it Molo ??? can't remember at the moment. But they are stunning.



I would like to think I might attempt something someday...but alas reality is that there is so much work in this, don't think I would ever be up to it.

I hope you enjoy them. Wish I could incorporate some of the fish into my grandbaby's quilt...but know its beyond me if I want to finish by end of February! Enjoy your days. It was a balmy 83 here today. Lots of rain last night...which actually shorted out my Christmas lights. Must have gotten into the leads (extension cords) so they blew the breaker about 9 last night. But we had a whole bunch of visitors to the garden tonight. I always give them all an American candy cane...which are not available here. I brought back 200 little ones in my carry on ....was it only last week. It seems ages ago.....and I'm walking on sunshine!!!! Wo---OH!!!! Loving the sunshine....and South African summers. You gotta love it! Colleen

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The latest Baby quilt.....delivered even if baby isn't here yet????










Ok....just wanted to share a photo of the finished quilt I made for our soon to born grandaughter. It needed to coordinate with the lady bug layette that she had selected for the baby's room. I broke a darning foot quilting it....but was able to get a replacement in Arkansas while I was there.
Thankfully...though the green didn't match perfectly....it still went pretty well with the rest of the crib things. I managed to make this and work on a sweet little blanket for the other grandbaby to be born in late Feb. I have never knitted following a pattern before....so this was a challenge. But it turned out ok. Still have to bind it off....left it attached to the needles...want to finish last skein of yarn. DD seemed happy with it....and now it will be off to the races for his baby quilt to be done in time. DD wants an UNDER the SEA theme. Been looking at sea creature books...for ideas. Wish I could watch Nemo...but don't have it on dvd here. Just waned to share the pics...to show I did do something besides look for luggage. Baby Chloe is due in another week or so. So its all good. We got our lights up...and had a wonderful turnout for a Rotary fundraiser. The guests were served sausage, salad...and ice cream, and given a map to travel to several homes here who had lights up. Now in South Africa, not many people put up lights, so it is a treat even if the lights aren't great. I will try to take a photo tomorrow. Last year they didn't turn out very well. Not sure how to get enough light...without too much light. My camera is old....and night didn't work well....all blurry lights....with flash dark and couldn't see anything. So will have to experiment with the other options. Any suggestions? Have a great day. I am going to. Colleen
If Sam Allgood sees this....email Bob and I at colleeneskridge@hotmail.com as I can't find a way to email you...although you did post a comment on the blog.??? I am just not very savy when it comes to this. Bob was surprised that we had heard from you too.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Traditional Xhosa Costume.....




Ok, figured out how to use the card reader I got for the old camera....must have stuffed those cords for the old digital camera in something.....that is not here! So resorted to a card reader which my dear sisters' husband gave me.....a nifty thing for someone who has more than one camera and no cords! This is the traditional Xhosa costume I had made here. the black is all sewed on in ind. strips, then there is some beading on it as well. Unfortunately I didn't have the cool beaded hat...(it was inside missing luggage...and the matching shawl...and handbag. All pretty cool...so I tied on the funky hat...the way some of the "locals" do theirs. It worked. I think it is pretty cool...and when I come home for good...hoping to display it on a mannequin in my South African room. I am also hoping to post a photo of my current quilt project being done at the hand quilters soon. I am still recuperating from my travel...then putting up the Christmas lights in my garden...for a Rotary fundraiser in our garden tonight. So been too busy.....had actually forgotten I dropped my sewing machine off for servicing. Only noticed today when I walked into the office briefly! That is when you know you are too busy....so no sewing in several days. But have started planning....for Daughter's under the sea baby quilt...as per her request. Can't wait to start it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Something good....from a crazy situation!

Ok, been gone for ever so long....maybe no one will even read this. I returned to South Africa yesterday...my thoughtful husband arranged for us to remain at the coast for a nice quiet rest in our favorite hotel...and for me to get a much needed haircut. Haven't had one since the "rib" incident! But let me first bring you up to date about my journey. Had a fabulous time in the States...even minus any clothes....except the ones I bought. Yep, I made it through the entire trip...all 40 days without my missing bag of clothes!But I made the best of it...bought mix and match...basics that could layer!Saw all the family, well....all 8 sisters and 5 of the brothers, as I missed my brother who came to see me, while I was gone, by the time I got back he had already driven back to his home about an hour away. I was able to spend some good time with my Mother...who recently underwent colon surgery. Spent time with my daughter in law, which gave me a chance to get to know her better, and was able to spend some time with my daughter...not as much as I would have liked. And Thanksgiving was great at my mom's....most everyone of the brothers and sisters were there and most had their families as well(grown kids) It did take about 5 rooms to house all of us, but the conversations were so varied you could pass through any one of those rooms and pick up about 10 different ones in each room. It was crazy. I so enjoyed that. Now, back to the whole missing suitcase issue. I know YOU KNOW I flew 3 airlines from 4 airports and landed on 3 continents, South African Airways to Johannesburg, Virgin from Jo'burg to London, then United from London to Chicago, then United to Nashville, TN. Well, when I arrived into Chicago....only one suitcase...at least the one WITH my quilts and blankets made it through, but there was no second case with ALL of my clothes in it! I discovered it in Chicago...then when I got to Nashville filled in all the lost baggage reports I had to and began that day...calling every day to check up on the "finding the bag process".Calling the special help number where I had difficulty understanding the person on the other end and she had a hard time understanding me???? Maybe its my accent? At any rate...all I basically got from the telephone line...was we are checking....and thank you for your patience, but that started wearing thin...after the third wearing of the same t shirt in one week. Then I was informed they were willing to reimburse me for some of my expenses....so I WENT SHOPPING. I didn't go crazy, but bought basic necessary items...like bras and panties!(Actually bought those the third day, sick of rinsing out!) But did get the things I needed to work with my sister, who was facilitating an EPA convention in St. Louis, ( I wanted to make some extra Christmas money) So got two work suits( in missing bag...so replacements) and several sweaters as the cold snap hit the area, a pair of work shoes...and few bits. Not too bad.....and after several more flights in and out of Chicago and Nashville....where I continued to check on the process of my Bag search...finally got from a woman (on the telephone...) that the bag had been identified by a United agent in London.So now I am sure its Uniteds FAULT, so I fill out the paper work for reimbursement...and lost luggage. I send it off....then prepare to fly back to the US.I check once more in Nashville at the baggage dept. and she suggests I check in the Chicago baggage area ....just to be sure its not there. So there I am in Chicago.....running around looking for the United baggage dept. Found it finally, waited in the queue( I thought things took a long time in SA!) only one guy working.....only one guy in front of me...but it took over a half hour for him to get helped! Then when I asked the guy to help me, I was passed off to the manager...who took more time, then said the bag wasnt' there. So it was off to London, where I went again to the baggage services...to check the possibility of the bag being there. Virgin was helpful...but said I needed to go talk to United baggage. So off to United...where For the first time, felt like somone really listened. Of course I had decided that it was their problem as THEY LOST THE BAG!. But they not only checked on all the bags they had...but described the contents of every bag that matched the color make of mine! Then before the guy finished, he said you know I don't actually have the bar code for that bag showing up as having arrived into London! That got the juices flowing...what do you mean it didnt' arrive? Then where else could it be???????? ONLY in SOUTH AFRICA?????!!!!!!! I became a woman on a mission! As soon as I could get to the domestic terminal in Jo'burg, I asked the SA agent about my missing bag...he directed me to the baggage service area in the basement. There they said they only keep bags there for 7 days...so sent me to the 4th floor office. I walked in, explained the situation...they not only let me personally go into the baggage area....(lost and found...of course) but showed me the 6 long shelves of October bags. YIkes!!!! Lots of missing bags....I walked carefully through....but didn't find my bag...so the guy said again...what day was that missing? I replied it would have been Oct 28th ...so he showed me the November shelves....and then he added that there was also a Domestic missing area??????HMMMMMMMMMM I had flown domestic to Joburg...so I started down the shelves.....nothing on the top shelf...nothing on second ....and nothing that looked like mine on the bottom. SHAME.....no luck...but as I walked back through the shelves....I decided to look very closely.Good thing...as .....there on the bottom shelf....MY BAG!!!!! I think I shouted for joy....... the guy, was most kind....and asked if I needed anything else. I asked him how that bag was going to be sent to the US??? It was full of my winter clothes which I will need in Feb. when I return to the US....and since my bags will be full of summer clothes/etc. NO ROOM and I certainly don't want to pay for another bag to be shipped home. EXCESS baggage is so expensive going through all those airports! He said they would of course let me take it in Feb.....but I know how this works...I get to the airport...and nobody will actually let the extra bag go through...so I asked if they couldn't send it on to United( who had already admitted their guilt..... :o) POOR GUYS! and that they would then deliver it to my daughter's home. So I quickly went down'stairs to have the bag wrapped in cellophane....didn't want to tempt fate....( or any baggage handlers who might be "Christmas shopping" in the checked bag dept. ) and then whatever was still in the bag...would be delivered to DD's home. I hate to admit it...because of the time crunch to catch my flight...I never even opened the bag.....just went on sheer joy....to have a reasonably heavy bag....similar to the one I had checked. It feels so good to know that the bag is finally on a plane for Home.! Now Just hope it doesn't get LOST!!! Later, Colleen