Saturday, August 22, 2020


Pandemic!  Has it only been eight months ago that the word inched it's way into our everyday language?  It seems like an eternity, doesn't it?

So a few changes to our lifestyle and routines have happened here at the Salmagundi household --- To begin with in February, I was quite sick with respiratory issues and symptoms similar to what we now know as covid. The doctors at the time couldn't figure it out; was it the virus?  We're not sure, but it knocked me for a loop; and slowed me down. I finally was able to sufficiently recover in March.  Fortunately for me, my training as an only child and an original latch-key kid during the l940-1950s; I actually enjoy semi-isolation and am prepared to entertain myself in this new reality and find joy in life.  

My go-to time beyond child rearing and household chores has always been my ability to sew.  'Stay at Home' orders only enhanced that available time for me.  I have been able to make several quilts expanding my creative energy.  It has also allowed me time to expand my computer time to communicate with old friends.  And, I have spent a lot more time reading and listening to news awakening an interest in political history.  And, of course, there is always solitaire.  I learned to play several types of solitaire 75 years ago to entertain myself.  I can't deny I'm addicted still playing several games a day!!

Bob and I will quietly celebrate our 62nd wedding anniversary in a couple of weeks.  So, I'm not totally isolated. He has taken on the shopping to help protect me from unnecessary contact with the public which has been a blessing.  We've had a learning curve, but we're getting there!! I still do most of the cooking, but he has stepped up in that discipline, also. He also does all of the outside work, which I have never enjoyed anyway.  I love my beautiful view of our yard and his efforts from the big window in my sewing room. 

The kids ---- Our oldest child, Mike the math and science teacher, has had his own experience with the pandemic.  Beginning with the abrupt switch to remote teaching in the Spring; then the summer of uncertainty about how to proceed.  He, also, had his planned trip to Europe with students cancelled.  His small school district will now start the school year with a plan -- the teachers in the class room four days a week with remote video of lectures for those online, but with the kids who have elected to return to school in the classroom. They have a new, large, beautiful school building, so there is room in his classroom for 20 students including social distancing.  Of course, once a mother, always a mother; so I'm concerned about his probability of contracting the virus. Next week will be the first week of classes, and I'm anxious to hear how it goes!  Jenni, our daughter and the mother of our grandchildren, has had to endure 'empty nest syndrome' this summer.  Her oldest, Caitlin, is still at home; but only sleeps and showers there as she is super busy with her work at our local hospital conglomerate.  And, now Caitlin has added full-time college to study for her RN to her full-time job schedule.  The biggest change to all of our lives has involved our youngest grandchild -- Wyatt.  He was a senior in high school this year, which covid disrupted all of the fun activities of being a senior --- prom, fun fest, etc. He managed to graduate with honors by remote learning the last 2 months of school.  He had early-enlisted in the Navy a year ago with an entry date of 6-14-2020.  Because of the pandemic, high school graduation was moved to July 30th.  He had already left for the Navy, so even missed the graduation ceremony.  He was in two weeks quarantine and then six weeks of boot camp in Chicago, with only a couple of scripted phone calls and limited letters. They surrender their cell phones at the beginning of quarantine and only get them back when they are sent to their schooling.  He is now in school in Connecticut, enjoying a little more freedom and new challenges.  Limited communication was hard on all of us; but now we can enjoy texts, phone calls, and face-time.

We've ALL changed and grown in our own reality of life experiences.

That brings me to this blog.  I no longer really have the experiences that support this type of blog.  So, my posts will be slim or even non-existent in the future.  I plan to continue my Quilting Blog, , as a way to document my new quilts because I'm still able to sew daily.

This blog was begun in 2008 -- it's been fun and a great way to journal some of my experiences and family history.  I cherish the friends I have made, and the inspiration and knowledge they have provided.

Now that we are a Navy family again, "Bon Voyage" -- may we meet again!!!

My grandfather, Lovell Maddex, a sailor in WW1, 1918

Sunday, April 19, 2020


With the 'stay at home' orders due to the pandemic, it seems that the days just run together --- even the months.  I even missed Tartan Day on April 7th.  My Scottish grandson mentioned it to me this week that I always do a blog post on tartans.  He said, "Where is it???" So, here you go, Wyatt.

I've always loved these wonderful plaids to wear, to decorate with, and to collect.  However, we had no idea when we adopted our daughter that she was carrying Scottish heritage.  But, her son has always felt he had some sort of connection to Scotland.  His DNA test this past year proved it so!

Doesn't everyone wear a kilt to the homecoming dance?

Ready for prom with his friends "The Kilt Bros!"

Playing his bagpipes in the Colorado Rockies
 For Christmas (since I am his very German grandmother) I made him a throw from some of the Tartan wools I have accumulated.  
Get ready world --- he is hoping to visit Scotland soon to claim his heritage. 

Happy belated Tartan Day to all!

Sunday, March 22, 2020


There has been a lot of talk about grocery stores and stockpiling toilet paper, etc. It brought to mind World War Two rationing. 
Both Bob's and my mother respected the process enough that they saved our ration books for many years after the war ended.
Evidently, Bob had some coffee rations left -- guess my mother-in-law didn't think he, as a three-year old, needed any more caffeine! 
The leather case was my mother's to keep the books safe -- she was always so organized! Not so sure she was too serious though, because we found a note from the authorities that Mrs. Haines was using allotted fuel designated for farm use to go to town too often and needed to curtail that use!!! She and I liked to go to town often to see people and have a Coke at the drug store. She didn't like to be stuck on the farm. 
The back of the ration book contains warnings about the misuse of the ration stamps.

Lessons from the past for us all!! 

Thursday, December 19, 2019



Oh! what a memory --- I was about 4 or 5 years old, and it was Christmas Eve at the Presbyterian Church.  We always had a children's program; and then Santa Claus would appear in the upstairs balcony coming off the roof through a window.  He would have a bag of candy for each child.  I was always excited.  This particular year in the program, I was to say the above little poem -- "Christmas comes but once a year, and when it comes, it brings good cheer".  Unfortunately, stuck in my mind was the wrong poem that my babysitter had taught me which I said instead.  "I'm a cute little girl with a cute little figure, stand back boys until I get a little bigger!"  Naturally, my parents and especially my staid  
grandparents were embarrassed beyond words.  My Sunday School teacher was flustered; the audience laughing continued; but I thought I was pretty cute oblivious to what I had just said.
Needless to say, a few words were delivered to me when we got home.  

Now celebrating my 82nd Christmas, it is a good thing that the Christmas season only comes once a year.  The excitement and work to prepare for December 25 is almost too much for this old body.  But, the good news is that we can celebrate the birth of Jesus every single day all year long!

Here are few photos from this years preparation and celebration. 

Our grandson, Wyatt is always a big help.

Wyatt had a party at our house for his friends, their parents and siblings, and his mentors.  He wanted to thank this lively group for their year-long friendship and support.  It was a good thing we made lots of food --- I always forget how much teenagers can eat.
After the party was over, I've had to really knuckle down to get my shopping and gift sewing done.

Now, it is my favorite time of the season --- the last week before Christmas day --- the third and fourth weeks of advent. 
Thankfully, the work is almost done except for the Christmas day dinner.  We can relax, and enjoy the season with our family at the church services this week.  A nap, or two, may also be in order.

Some more scenes around our house ---



Thursday, October 24, 2019


I couldn't help myself pulling this 2011 picture of our youngest grandchild from the archives.
This cutie with his pumpkin patch is now a senior in high school.

That means it is time for senior pictures.  Thank you to Amanda Kolman for a fun photo shoot and so many glorious pictures that we will never be able to pick a favorite.

 Hold on dearly -- time flies!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019


The Rocky Ford, Colorado Municipal Museum, in an effort to build on their files of stories about the town and the people, are sponsoring a series of exhibits at the Idea Place, 408 North Main in Rocky Ford.
The next part in the series is to be held on Friday, October 4, 2019 from 5:30 - 7:00 pm during the monthly 1st Friday Art Walk.  Writers, story tellers, and artists have been invited to share their stories about growing up in Rocky Ford, their families' businesses, and the influences of living in a small rural community.

For the October display, Bob was asked to share the stories of growing up and working in the neighborhood grocery store owned by his parents.  I was asked to display some quilts and explain how I was influenced from childhood to become a full-time quiltmaker.

Being of almost sound minds and aged bodies, it has taken us practically a month to prepare for the displays -- much longer than probably necessary!

Bob has gathered pictures taken at the store with other paper ephemera, plus the vegetable scale, gumball machine, and glass cookie jar we managed to secure from the store years ago.  
He has some great stories about delivering groceries, dealing with customers, and working from age 6 sorting potatoes and candling eggs.
Bob working in the meat department the summer before we got married in 1958.

Bob's parents on the right.

I always forget how much work it takes to hang a quilt display even a small one like this with only fifteen quilts.  There is always a need to make informational signs about the individual quilts.  And, for this specific display, explanations about how I was influenced by the art and math programs of the Rocky Ford schools back in the 1950s.
I also occasionally make 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" paper quilts using quilt designing and decoupaging techniques.  I've never displayed them before, so had to figure out how to do that.
The 15 quilts are all out of storage and spread out to relax any fold wrinkles.

I think we are about ready ---- just hope we don't forget anything and that everything fits into our car.

If you are in the Rocky Ford area, the First Friday Art Walk shows at the Idea Place each month are worth attending.

Friday, August 2, 2019


The 90th anniversary of the building of the Royal Gorge Bridge is being celebrated this year with several celebratory events planned.  We feel blessed to live in Canon City, Colorado and have this spectacular engineering marvel in our city's backyard.  Thanks to our city fathers, the bridge was built in 1929; and is owned by the city.  The profits produced from the bridge are returned to the city, which enables us to enjoy low property taxes.  More history about the Royal Gorge Bridge may be found at
The bridge also supplies employment opportunities for our citizens.  Over the years, I'm sure thouands of our high school and college aged youths have "worked the gorge" during the summer seasons.

One of the 90th anniversary activities was to submit names to be engraved on the planks of the deck of the bridge.  Our son, Mike, was home for a couple of days this week before he starts another year teaching school.  So, we decided a trip to the bridge was in order to see if we could find our names.

We found my name and our grandson Wyatt's name, but were unable to find Mike's and Bob's names on this trip.  We will have to go back this fall when it is not as crowded in search of more names.

The bridge and park suffered a devastating wild fire in 2013, which destroyed much of the park including 48 buildings and attractions.  Amazingly, the bridge itself was spared. 
 The day of the 2013 fire during evacuation.

The  buildings and attractions have been almost completely rebuilt.  All, but our favorite which was the incline that took you to the bottom of the gorge at the river level, 950+  feet below the deck of the bridge.  We wonder if it will ever be rebuilt because of cost and logistics.
The incline railway before the fire.  Google Images
 Mike worked five summer seasons during his college years.  He started in maintenance and then worked his last years on the incline with never a dull day and loving it all.  His favorite story is about the day that the 1933 era main drive wheel cracked on the incline. The cars were stopped in the middle of the incline, and necessitated a rescue of each person on board to be accompanied by an employee of the gorge either up to the top or down to the river below on foot. He was one tired guy when he got home late that night; but was relieved that the rescue went well. It was an exciting experience for a teenager on a summer job.  Employment at the gorge helped pay a lot of college bills. His last season there was after receiving his PhD. and before starting his teaching job.
Our association with the bridge goes back to opening day in 1929 as my mother as a l0-year old accompanied by her grandparents visited that day.  Walking on the bridge terrified her so that we were never able to convince her to go back.  I signed a plank for the bridge deck with her name, so she is finally back on the bridge even in name only!!

While Bob was the City Engineer we were fortunate to have a free pass to the gorge for our family and our guests.  Over the years we took many car loads of out-of-town visitors and teenage friends up to introduce them to the bridge.  It usually included a picnic in the adjoining park.

Here are pictures from our visit this week including the traditional picnic in the park.

Mike, Bob, and Wyatt with their mathematical minds checking out the workings of the new gondola.
Bob and Wyatt riding the gondola across the gorge.
 The view from the gondola of the bridge, the gorge, and the river below.
Lunch, at last!

There is still evidence of the 2013 fire in the park. The landscape in the park is so fascinating; so I took the opportunity to photograph a quilt to use in an upcoming program.

And because it is throwback Thursday, here is a picture of Wyatt's first trip to the Royal Gorge Bridge petting zoo at age two.

Thursday, July 4, 2019


Enjoying my freedom to spend the 4th of July in my sewing room -- one of my life's pleasures!

Monday, June 17, 2019


The catalpa trees throughout our town are especially glorious this June.

We planted this one in our backyard 20 years ago as a tiny tree -- they grow fast!
The blossoms look like popcorn exploded.

And, June in Colorado means the roses are prolific before the dry, summer heat takes over.
Flag Day was celebrated June 14th, but every day is flag day around our household.

Hope June is a month of many blessings around your house!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Architect I. M. Pei

I noticed on my news feed that "Grumpy the Cat" had died on May 14th, but there wasn't a single thing about the death of noted architect, I. M. Pei on May 16th.  I was saddened by the fact that the death of a 7- year old cat internet sensation took precedent over the death of Mr. Pei, a 102-year old world renowned architect with a notable life-long body of work.

As a high school student, I wanted to study architecture in college.  I was told by the counselor that girls couldn't do that.  This was the 1950s.  Since I've never been overly ambitious and didn't want to buck the system, I went on and chose a different life path with no regrets.  But, architecture has been a love of mine forever.  
As a young adult living in Denver, Colorado in the 1960s, I was fascinated with I. M. Pei's Zeckendorf Plaza.  I visited it often marveling at the interesting contrast of this modern building with the older buildings located on 16th Street in downtown Denver.

However, not everyone evidently agreed with my fascination.  The building was dismantled in the 1990s without consideration of its mid-century significance.

When I travel, my favorite destinations include wonderful architecture.  To me, there is nothing more fabulous than the Louvre in Paris with its I. M. Pei addition.  The juxtaposition is unbelievable.
Looking through the glass triangles toward the original Louvre Palace -----

Just two examples of Mr. Pei's work that have touched and shaped my aesthetic.