New bag

My fellow blogger, Salpal1, made some curtains and I commented on the travel theme.  Mr. Aitch and I just got a new GPS  and I thought a travel-themed fabric would be great to sew up a case for it.  So Salpal sent me some of her leftover fabric.

I loved the names of the states but wait…

…no West Virginia!

That just can’t be.

So using fabric markers and some rubber stamps, I altered the one side (sorry Oklahoma) to get at least one West (by God) Virginia on the cover.

I measured the size of the GPS and added an inch to each side so it would be easier to get in and out, added a zipper, lining, doubled the fusible batting for protection and called it done.The back…

The inside…Then I decided to make another cover/case for the window attachment and cord and have it large enough so everything would fit inside for when we want to remove it all from the car and keep everything all together.  I adapted the size of this pattern and made it a bit smaller.  I didn’t have enough of the Route 66 Fabric so I pieced together some complementary fabric to make it large enough.

Side A.

Side B.

Um, one side.

Inside with just the attachments.

All included.Ready to go.

Thank you, Salpal, for the fabric scraps.  I love it and had fun making it.


Pikes Peak

denver-001Last week Mr. Aitch and I were in Colorado visiting our daughter and family.  If you are a regular follower, you saw the pictures of our grandchildren wearing their pumpkin hats at the pumpkin farm.  They loved them.  Several people asked where to find them and I directed them to the pattern.


We took the cog train in Manitou Springs up Pikes Peak.  It was a warm day but we knew it would be cold at the summit.


The ride was awesome and the views breathtaking once the clouds moved out-of-the-way.


We were glad to have water to drink on the way up as it helps prevent altitude sickness.  Mr. Aitch and I were a little dizzy once we got to the summit.  Fortunately we didn’t need and extra oxygen.  Our winter coats, hats, and gloves were a necessity!


You can see the track that the cog wheels fit into to get the train up the mountain.  It is too steep for smooth wheels and tracks.


The track just stops at the edge.


Commemorative placard shown above and closer below recognizes Zebulon Montgomery Pike who discovered the mountain in 1806 while exploring the Louisiana Purchase.  Waist-deep snows kept him from scaling the mountain.


A view of the timber line.


The only wildlife we saw was in the lodge at the summit.


It was cold and rocky at the top.


Pumpkin hats at Pikes Peak Summit!



Our last day – the Jennie Wade Museum

Our last day in Gettysburg was shorter than expected as we wanted to avoid the thunderstorms and rain as much as possible on our way home.  We did have our rain suits but they are hot.  And on a hot, muggy day the thought of wearing something waterproof makes one even hotter.


After our delayed breakfast, we packed the Harley, checked out of the hotel, and headed into town to visit the Jennie Wade House Museum.  The Battle of Gettysburg took place in fields, on farms, and in the town.  The fact that  Jennie Wade was the only civilian killed during the three-day battle of  is amazing.

Mary Virginia Wade, “Jennie”, was a 20-year old girl living in Gettysburg with her mother, younger brother and another young boy.  Jennie’s sister Georgia had just given birth and Mrs. Wade was helping her with the infant in Georgia’s house on the south side of town.  When the fighting broke out, Jennie took her brother and the other boy to Georgia’s house as she thought they would be safer there than in the heart of town.

Jennie had been taking bread and water to the Union soldiers near Georgia’s house during the first two days of the battle and she realized that they were running low on bread.  She and her mother were in Georgia’s kitchen getting ready to bake the morning of the third and final day of the battle.  Jennie’s back was to the north facing door and she opened an interior door to shield herself even more.


Mrs. Wade was in the kitchen with Jennie tending the fire.


Georgia was in the living room, which had been converted to a bedroom for the birth, along with her five-day-old baby, younger brother and other boy.

During the battle at least 150 bullets hit the house, some going through windows, some still lodged in the bricks, interior walls, the fireplace mantel (see the bullet hole on the left side of the fireplace surround) and the bedpost.


One went through the north facing exterior door…


…and interior door that shielded Jennie.  You can see where she would have been standing behind the door at the dough box on the far left side above.



And right into Jennie Wade as she was mixing dough in the dough box.


The one ounce lead bullet pierced her back and heart and was found in her corset.   She died instantly.


A 10-pound artillery shell went through the roof, a double brick wall separating the house (Catharine McClain and family lived in the other side) and lodged in the overhang on the south side of the house.  Fortunately the shell did not explode.

Upon hearing the cries inside the house from Georgia and her mother, Union soldiers came into the house and tried to move the family to the cellar.  The only entrance into their side cellar was outside on the north side of the house in full view of the Confederate army.



Tour guide Bob

Tour guide Bob

The Union soldiers opened the brick wall that had been damaged by the 10-pound artillery shell on the second floor, moved the family, including Jennie’s body, through the McClain half of the house, and down to the cellar on the north side of the house.


This artist’s rendering was done after the cellar floor was lowered and does not show Mrs. Wade nor the McClain family.


Here you can see where the original floor was and the newer lowered, bricked floor.  There were no windows in the cellar so it was very dark and crowded.

Jennie was buried the next day and later moved two more times.  Her final resting place is in Evergreen Cemetery.

I’ve only touched on a small part of this story.  Listening to our guide and seeing the house and original furnishings was astounding.  It is remarkable that the house and some of the pieces of furniture are so well preserved.

You can find more information here, here, and here.

So many of us have not had to witness fighting, battles, war and are immune to the sufferings of those who have.  I, for one, cannot not imagine, nor do I want to experience any of what these courageous people saw and lived through.

I hope you enjoyed this little history lesson as it is so different from my usual posts.  There were so many other things and places we wanted to see but on such a short trip with such short notice (and hundreds of motorcycles), we saw a lot.  Gettysburg isn’t that far from us so we can go back again and plan our trip in more detail.


These wooden fences line the roads in and around Gettysburg.  Just like in 1863.

Off topic

Mr. Aitch and I needed some sustenance while on our spontaneous weekend get-away to Gettysburg two weekends ago.  The complementary breakfast at the hotel was good.

Coffee, tea, milk, apple and orange juice.  Bread, bagels, muffins, Danish.  Butter, jams, peanut butter, honey.  Three kinds of cereal.  One flavor of yogurt – strawberry banana. Fresh apples and oranges.  “Scrambled” (aka powdered) or hard-boiled eggs.  Sausage patties and links.  And not one but two waffle makers with regular or blueberry waffle mix.

My only complaint about the waffle makers was that some parents allowed their children to operate them.  And in doing so tied them up for more time than necessary because the  children could not follow the directions.  Of course, some of the adults had a hard time following the directions, too.

Fill.  Close.  Turn.  The timer is activated when turned.

The waffle is done when the timer goes off.  Don’t keep opening it up.


Sunday morning breakfast wasn’t as crowded as we thought it would be  as most of the bikers were still in bed after the BIG doings the night before so Mr. Aitch and I could each have waffles without having to wait.  Monday morning was a different story.

The kids were too short to fill, close, and turn the waffle makers.  But they tried.  And their parents allowed them to try.  There is a reason why the sign says you must be 16 years of to operate it.

Waffle rant over.

I opted for “scrambles” eggs,  sausage links, a Danish and some tea.  Mr. Aitch wanted a waffle so since I had a clear view of the waffle makers, I alerted him when one was free.  Waffles = happiness.

For dinner Sunday evening we decided to go to the Appalachian Brewing Company.  They carry their handcrafted beers and sodas.  Beer it was.  Our waiter was great and since we had not been to an ABC before, he asked what kinds of beer we usually drank and suggested an ABC beer that each of us would probably enjoy.  Mr. Aitch had a Maibock and I had a Hefe Weizen.  Both were very good.

The “Epic” Trail Burgers were hard to pass up.  Mr. Aitch had the Boo-Boo Burger with a side of sea salt fries.


Boo-Boo Burger is topped with caramelized onions, white cheddar cheese, BBQ pulled pork and cole slaw on a toasted brioche bum.

I had the Sasquatch with a side of ABC’s seasoned homemade Brewhaus chips.


Sasquatch Burger topped with brown sugar caramelized applewood smoked bacon, caramelized onions, apple slices, and Provolone (my choice) cheese also served on a toasted brioche bun.


Zeppole for dessert: Deep-fried dough sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar and drizzled with raspberry vanilla sauce.  Yum!

Perfect ending for such a sobering day.