Tag Archive | Pennsylvania

Quilting Memories ~

This blue & white quilt is one of my favorites.

This blue & white quilt is one of my favorites.


We spent the day Saturday at my mother-in-law’s home in Pennsylvania helping to pack up the last of the remaining items before they move to Charlotte tomorrow. Although she has not been officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, her memory is all but gone. She can carry on a conversation in the present, but her mind is somewhere in the distant past and she continuously talks of “going home” and wanting to call her mother because her mother must be worried that she’s not home yet… my mother-in-law is 87.  She knows me and Al, and Al’s sister, Cheryl, who has been living with her for the past 8-9 years taking care of her.  But she no longer remembers any of her grandchildren or great-grandchildren.  She does not know/remember that her husband (my father-in-law) died earlier this year.  She is confused by all of the commotion the moving preparation has caused, and by the fact that all of their belongings are packed or sold, gone to the Salvation Army or come home with me and Al.

During our visit yesterday, I took it upon myself to preoccupy her with conversation while Al and Cheryl took the time to pack and load more things into the POD and our pickup truck uninterrrupted.  Our conversation went almost immediately to quilting.  Mom has been my mentor and greatest teacher of all things quilting.  She taught me all the basics, and encouraged me every step.  She used to belong to a quilt guild, and show her magnificent quilts all over Pennsylvania, and won awards.  She was even featured in a quilting magazine many years ago (we saved a copy).

There were still many quilted wall hangings on the walls of their home, and we chatted about them ~ she did not know what some of them were, nor who made any of them.  She did not remember/believe that she ever quilted, let alone all of the things I told her from my memories.  We chatted about the quilts she’d made her grandchildren, and the couple that I had made for her great-grandchildren (I didn’t want them to go without).  And she asked me if she had made any for me and Al, and, of course, we have many ~ some that she made, some that I have created.  She’d made one beautiful one for our daughter, Katie.  Towards the end of our conversation on that subject, she thanked me for telling her about all of the quilts and wall hangings she’d made, and the quilt guild etc.

My being a quilter now has prompted me to inherit many of the wall hangings, fabrics and other quilting items I’ve mentioned in previous posts.  In going through all of the many, many boxes of fabrics we have brought home recently, I discovered numerous “blocks” that were started and unfinished, that would make beautiful quilts or wall hangings.  I will be finishing those blocks along my continued journey into quilting.  I consider it a privilege to pick up where Mom left off.

It was with great sadness that we left PA Saturday to come home.  We’ve been driving down there at least once a month or more since Al and I married.  It will be extremely difficult for us to get to Charlotte… and I will miss seeing all of her wall hangings and quilts around that large house ~ there is no room for that in Cheryl’s condo (that’s why we took most of them).   But in my sadness, I can happily say that Mom has been the light of my life for two reasons especially:  she brought up her son the right way, and she taught me to quilt.  I have been blessed.

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope to see you again soon.  Until then, TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

Quilting in Wyalusing, PA ~

Just got home from another long trip down to Lake Winola, PA, to help my mother-in-law and sister-in-law prep for moving.  Having our “big” pickup (Dodge 1500) loaded and pulling a loaded trailer, Al decided to take the back roads, “scenic route” home as to avoid having to drive hideously fast on Route 81.  

Indeed, it was a beautiful, yet tiring ride that led us through some small towns and villages in Pennsylvania that were colorful and interesting.  The leaves were changing everywhere, and I held my camera close to me because I knew that, pulling a trailer, I would have to do way more than yell “Al, pull over” when I saw a potentially breath-taking photo op, because Al would NOT pull over hauling the load that we were hauling.  I knew if I wanted to grab some photos, I would have to point and shoot quickly.

When we approached this tiny little dent in the side of Route 6 near Wyalusing, PA, Al began to slow down a bit as we needed to find a place to get gas in the truck.  As we pulled into a tiny gas station, with a Dunkin Donuts attached, I began to look around as he filled the tank.  Hmmmm, there was a totem pole to the right.  And a large, billboard-size painted sign to the left that I recognized as a quilt pattern.  I’d heard of “Barn Quilts” and tours of such wonders, but had never seen any besides those on “Quilt in a Day” with Eleanor Burns (my personal hero and mentor).  When we pulled away from the gas pump, I glanced at the side of the Dunkin Donuts part of the building, and there was ANOTHER quilt block pattern!  Could we possibly be in the midst of a CLUSTER of barn quilts?!! 

Barn Quilt Block on the side of a Dunkin Donuts in Wyalusing, PA

Barn Quilt Block on the side of a Dunkin Donuts in Wyalusing, PA

I saw a sign that said “Blah blah blah ‘Quilted Corners of Wyalusing'”, and sure enough, more quilt blocks painted on barns and buildings were strewn about, some just off the main Route 6, but I could see them just the same!  I snapped photos as quickly as I could as we went by, but was able to save only these three.

A barn quilt block from Wyalusing, PA

A barn quilt block from Wyalusing, PA

A final barn quilt block in Wyalusing, PA.

A final barn quilt block in Wyalusing, PA.

I missed a few, and some were too blurry to post.  But when I got home, I researched the phenomenon online and Al said we could go back again to take the “Self-guided Driving Tour” some time.  Check out this link about it, maybe you’d want to take the trip down too!

That’s all for this time.  Thanks for stopping by and checking out  my post.  Feel free to leave a comment, or c’mon back again soon.  TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

P.S. ~ I wanted to leave you with just one more picture I took yesterday.  It’s a macro photo of my mums that accompany my “Forgiven” red oak tree in my front yard.  Planted last year, both the mums and the oak tree are thriving beautifully!

"Forgiven Mums" in spectaular bloom!

“Forgiven Mums” in spectaular bloom!

Painted Lady ~

Painted ladies” is a term in American architecture used for Victorian and Edwardian houses and buildings painted in three or more colors that embellish or enhance their architectural details. The term was first used for San Francisco Victorian houses by writers Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen in their 1978 book Painted Ladies – San Francisco’s Resplendent Victorians.[1] Since then the term has also been used to describe groups of colorful Victorian houses in other American cities, such as the Charles Village neighborhood in Baltimore, Lafayette Square in St. Louis, Missouri, the greater San Francisco and New Orleans areas, Columbia-Tusculum in Cincinnati, The Old West End in Toledo, Ohio, and the city of Cape May, New Jersey  (from Wikipedia)

On a recent trip to Pennsylvania, this incredible piece of architechture caught my eye while driving through the town of Tunkhannock.  I have always loved Victorian homes… always, and have even had fleeting thoughts of stopping the car and asking the homeowner if I could “take a look” whenever I see one that really piques my interest.  This was certainly the case in Tunkhannock.  This home was potentially the most beautiful “Painted Lady” I’ve ever seen in real life.  The very least I had to do was to click some pics of her and share them with you and hope you enjoy the eye candy as much as I did!  (click on a picture to enlarge)


I hope you have enjoyed this little glimpse into my architectural side of my passion for photography. 

Until next time, TTFN ~ Tamara

Reservations ~

This past weekend, Al (my husband) and I had cause to go down to Pennsylvania from Saturday ~ Tuesday for my father-in-law’s funeral etc.  My sister-in-law and mother-in-law have a house in Lake Winola, PA, and we thought we would be staying there during our visit.  Due to circumstances, we were eventually unable to stay there, and had to find other accommodations nearby.  No problem with my Smartphone, I searched hotels/motels in nearby Clarks Summit and found and reserved a room at an Econolodge for Saturday-Sunday-Monday nights.  Or so I thought.

When we finally were able to go to the Econolodge and claim our much-needed/desired sleeping quarters, we were told “no room at the inn” upon arrival.  Apparently there was an error with our online reservation, and the clerk was giving the last room for the night to another occupant as we arrived.  Even though I argued and complained, there was nothing to be done, so we left with the intention of getting whatever accommodations we could muster at 9:00 p.m. on a Saturday night.  Well, after visiting and calling several other local establishments, there were no other accommodations to be had in Clarks Summit.  So I began calling motels/hotels in the next closest town:  Tunkhannock, PA, about 40 miles from Clarks Summit.

After several unsuccessful inquiries, and one that was just plain NOT affordable at $150/night, I hit pay dirt with a place called Shadowbrook Inn and Resort just on the outskirts of Tunkhannock, and affordable.  We booked the room and I told the clerk we were on our way!  Approaching the Inn, we found a Perkins restaurant almost on its doorstep… always a good sign.  By 10:00 p.m. we were moving our baggage from the rental car to Room #106 ~ fortunately it was not on a second floor or anything!  We pretty much crashed and burned that first night.

Sunday morning I took note to survey our accommodations a bit.  It’s a good thing we both have a good sense of humor!  Please keep in mind that the purpose of this post about Shadowbrook is not to disrespect the inn in any way, shape or form.  The room was comfortable enough for our needs, while not being unnecessarily lavish and expensive.  The staff was curteous and the customer service was great ~ very important aspects in my opinion.  But I just had to take some pictures of some of the more humorous, decorative things in our room.  (these photos are unretouched)

But, like I said, I’m really not making fun.  We were doggone happy to have the room that night and the next two!  I’m just musing over some of the finer points of our stay.  All in all, I would absolutely recommend Shadowbrook for affordable, last minute, rrrrrrustic accommodations… especially if you’re a golfer (which we are not).

Until next time, TTFN ~ Tamara

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Bridges of Any Kind ~


Here is my collection of bridges.  Bridges aren’t a great subject for me, as they usually involved heights ~ of which I am quick to avoid.

Check out more bridges on Cee’s website and participate in her challenges! 

Hope you enjoy my submissions for this Challenge.  Thanks for stopping by.  Feel free to come back.  Until next time… TTFN ~ Tamara