Show and tell…

Gail Wozniak emailed a photo of her almost finished Backyard Birds quilt top. Her top will be complete after a couple more circles and a little embroidery on my lady bug and butterfly.

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Gail began this quilt in my class in May at Merrimack Valley Guild in Massachusetts. Congrats, Gail on a lovely quilt!

Do you understand your printer settings?

I have a lot of ePatterns and eBooks at pieceocake.com. It is important that the patterns are printed out at the right size. To do that you have to be sure that your printer settings are correct. I can help, with pictures.

NOTE: I have a Mac so my printer box may look a little different from yours but I think that the basics are the same.

When you hit ‘print’, a window opens:

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Look at the options under Page Size & Handling. Your printer will have a default that may not be what you want. In this case, you should click ‘actual size’.

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Next, look at the image that shows the page and the margins around it. My picture shows too much margin. I can fix that!

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Look for the ‘page setup’ button and click it:

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See where it says ‘any printer’? Click that:

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The list of printers opens. Click  on your printer to choose it and then click OK. You might notice that the first window also lists my printer but for whatever reason I have to go through this step to make the margins smaller.

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Now the picture on the print page shows smaller margins. This does not shrink or enlarge the final print out. What it does do is not cut off the edges of the page when it prints. This is important when you are printing the patterns because of the way they fit together.

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I hope this helps you in all of your printing 🙂

Why don’t we all have this?

This is an update on mom, but it’s also about health care, a subject that makes people lose their minds these days (mine included).

Mom fell Sunday night and tore up her elbow which led to a trip to the ER. They ran tests and found that her potassium was high. The words ‘kidney failure’ were bandied about and she was admitted. It was a long night. No word yet on how her kidneys are or why this happened, but she’s better now. My mom is tough and heals fast so I won’t be a bit surprised if she’s not back at her assisted living center playing cards in a few days.

At no point during any of this did we have to worry about how to pay for it. Mom has Medicare and supplemental insurance. As I looked around the packed ER, I knew that a lot of those folks were having a much more stressful experience because they had to worry about how to pay for their medical care.

I know good people who cannot afford insurance. They work hard, they live good lives, but food and housing consume their budgets. The stress of knowing that they can’t afford to go to the doctor is awful and leads to more health problems.

Even though we as a nation are split over how best to fix the system, we ought to be able to agree that everyone deserves access to decent health care. If I could wave a magic wand, we’d all have the same medical care that my mom has just because she is over 65. I guess that means that I’m for a single payer system where we all pay in and cover each other.

Before your head explodes and you start writing about why I’m wrong, take a deep breath. I don’t have a wand, I have an opinion, as do you. Our politicians, who have the power to actually do something, also have opinions, but they can’t seem to reach a consensus. Maybe they need to learn how to listen to each other and have a real conversation so that they can reach a compromise.

Feel free to comment with a different view, but let’s keep it constructive. Let’s listen to each other with open minds —maybe we could start a trend :-)!

Hiking Wheeler Peak…

Note: You may have read this post way too early. WordPress hiccuped and I couldn’t fix it. But here it is, in the intended order of posting.

We talked to a local who said that if we started our hike early, we ought to miss the storm that was forecast at Wheeler Peak so Chris, Steve, and I were out the door by 5:00 AM on our last vacation day. Lorna opted to stay back with the kids on their last day in Red River. She and her mom took them on a 4-wheel excursion up the mountain.

We parked the car at Taos Ski Valley (altitude 9439′) and started up the Bull of the Woods trail. This is longer, slightly easier, scenic route to the top, but it’s uphill all the way. It is 2.1 miles to this meadow.

We still have 5 1/2 miles to go to reach the peak. Oh my. This sign got my attention. If you ski, you know that a black diamond means ‘expert’. It may not mean that for this hike, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all.

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Some parts were only a little uphill, more were really uphill, and there were a few disheartening spots where we went downhill and then had to climb back up. Deep sighs all round.

We walked across snow a few times…

Honestly, our lungs were killing us. As we got higher, we stopped to breathe every 100 steps.

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You reach the 2nd highest point before the you get to the actual peak. And then you hike down a while before turning back up. It was harder than it looked like it would be but we did it. Wheeler Peak, altitude 13, 159′

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The views were amazing!

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This is Chris standing way closer to the edge than Lorna would have been able to tolerate…

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We took the short, steep way down. The first part were switchbacks over a huge granite talus field. I was happy to have on knee braces and to have a real trekking pole because this was the scariest part of the whole hike. No photos, I was focused on not falling.

The last part of this trail intersects with the downhill part of the Williams Lake trail that we had hiked earlier in the week. We went back to the Bavarian Restaurant to celebrate reaching the peak and hiking 11 1/2 miles with more Andechs beer. As we sat there, the rain finally came. Life is good :-).

 

 

More Mountain Hiking!

Steve, Chris, Lorna, and I had planned to hike up Wheeler Peak (the highest spot in New Mexico) 2 days before the end of our trip. Unfortunately, the weather changed and thunderstorms were in the forecast. We could have maybe stood being wet, but not being fried by lightening. Instead, Steve and I hiked the Pioneer trail in Red River.

Pioneer Trail – Easy – 3 miles one way: Next to the Ski Area, this trail built by miners in the gold rush days, begins where Pioneer Road ends. You just might find an old claim as you explore this one.

OK. This is another one of those trails that is all uphill until you’ve had enough and turn around. Who decides what an easy trail is in New Mexico? But it was pretty, and it didn’t rain.

But it had rained the night before. The farther we went, the more water we found. There were 4 places where we either had to wade across or find another route.

In all cases, we opted to go around. Others had gone before us so it was easy to find a way across the streams and get back to the path.

People in 4-wheelers passed us going and coming.

The farther we went, the wetter the path got until it was more stream than path.

We gave up 3 1/2 miles in. Downhill was going to be hard without poles so Steve pulled out his trusty Swiss Army knife and cut us each one. I was both impressed and thankful.

It was a very nice hike and we were happy to have done it, but sorry to not have hiked Wheeler Peak. More on that next post.