Turns out that I've had the shingles virus for the past week or so. I'd been having some pain near my rib cage and feeling just generally under the weather, but when a rash developed across that same area I knew right away that I must have shingles, a diagnosis which the doctor easily confirmed. I knew the symptoms because my sister had a terrible case last year. My case appears to be mild compared to hers, probably due to my having had the shingles vaccine. But it's still not fun, for sure.
Yesterday I took it easy but I did manage to bind a 14" block I made last year while taking Leah Day's online class,Machine Quilting Block Party. Each month we made and quilted a different block and I did all mine following seasonal themes. This block was a patriotic theme for July. We were supposed to put all the blocks together and make a quilt at the end of the year but I decided just to bind them and use them as table mats. Yesterday I had just enough energy to get this one done.
On Tuesday night I went to a lecture by the master quilter Angela Walters and she told us not to point out our quilting mistakes, so I won't! Despite its imperfections, I think it does look rather festive for this fireworks month.
Today Ben and I are driving up to Rocky Mountain National Park to do some light hiking, have lunch, maybe see some wild animals --my neighbor saw a big bear eating a deer carcass when he was up there the other day! -- but mostly to buy Ben an "America the Beautiful" pass which gives people 62 and over free entrance to all the national parks. If you buy the pass before August 27th it only cost $10, but the end of August the price is being raised to $80. So if you don't have one and you're eligible, now's the time to get one.
You know that Paul has been playing in Ska band which has had several gigs this summer. Well, at the last one they added some group singing which has been quite fun to see and hear. (Paul is on the left in this photo.)
Having shingles didn't keep me from helping with the big job of acquiring and planting a Montgomery blue spruce tree on Monday afternoon. And when I say "afternoon," I mean all afternoon!
When we moved in three years ago there was a heart shaped flower bed in the front yard. It has a big job to maintain it and only looked nice the two weeks out of the year when the tulips planted in it bloomed. So we dug it all up and decided to put a little tree there instead.
We found a great spruce at a great nursery in town and easily saved the $150 delivery fee by getting it into the Subaru and taking it home ourselves.
We also decided to save the $350 planting fee but that work wasn't so easy. Seemed like every time Ben dug he hit a rock. Over the course of several hours he hit four big rocks. As he dug many walkers and hikers went by and it seemed like most of them stopped to share with us the observation that "Now you know why we're called "Boulder."
Three of the rocks were just too big to deal with so Ben had to shift his digging to maneuver around rocks. But Ben and Paul used their strength and brains to figure out how to pull out the fourth boulder using a "come-along" that they attached to the car. By the time they finally got it out the neighbor across the street, who had been watching all the action for a couple of hours, erupted with excited cheers of congratulations. (No, Paul didn't actually use the pic axe in bare feet!)
Linking today today to Nina Marie Sayre's Off the Wall Friday.