I’m Baaaaaack… and I Finished My Ice Storm Quilt

I’m writing this on the last night of my vacation. I’m back at work tomorrow morning.

I had a great vacation for a vacation where you don’t really go anywhere. I did mostly day trips and didn’t do any sewing to speak of… until yesterday.

I did manage to finish my Ice Storm quilt top this afternoon. It went together nicely and I’m really glad to have it done.

Here’s a couple close ups so you can see the fabrics in more detail.

I am a bit annoyed that I didn’t just take my sewing machine in for servicing while I was on vacation since I didn’t do much sewing. I really did think I’d get more sewing done, but I was busy enough that I didn’t have the inspiration.

Here’s how I went about my stay-cation.

The first day, I took the boys for an 8.5 mile walk on the Banks Vernonia trail. The weather was perfect… cloudy and in the mid 60s. It was a great way to clear our minds and dive into vacation.

The next day, I actually had to work a couple hours because I had committed to a meeting with a couple dozen people from across the country before I set my vacation. But later in the day I took five finished quilt tops and backs to my long arm quilter. They will all be holiday gifts.

They’re all pressed and bundled up nicely with their backings and binding. My long armer was impressed with how organized I was.

Since I was out in that neighborhood, I took the boys for a quick dip in the river. They were not expecting this outing and had a blast!

There were so many good sticks at the river!

The next morning I met a friend of mine and her dogs on the Washington side of the Columbia River. The weather was gorgeous and the dogs had a blast! We were there early to beat the crowds. And after the swim I walked the dogs for three miles on a path on the dike along the river.

they just love swimming and this beach on the river is a great spot for that.

The following day we headed out early for the coast and it was a fantastic day! We got to the beach about a half hour before low tide, and it was so low that we were able to walk north onto Cannon Beach… a beach that we don’t always have access to. We walked a mile onto that beach before we headed back south to our regular beach.

There are some really amazing rock formations on that beach. And with the low tide we were able to get really close to them.

There were a lot of pelicans in the air and diving into the ocean. And there was a group perched on one of the rock formations.

We walked about seven miles on the beach, and then headed south to find some ice cream. About an hour later, we drove past the same beach and the parking lot was nearly empty so I decided to take the boys for one last run before we headed home. It was a little rainy so I put on my rain coat. It was a little blustery on the beach.

At the left of that photo, just of Rico’s right shoulder, is a line of tracks that were really big. Here’s a close up photo of one of them next to my foot.

My brother is pretty sure that’s a black bear track. And bears have been seen on that beach in the past. I was thinking it was the rain that cleared off the beach, but maybe it was actually a bear!

Friday found us back on the Banks Vernonia Trail. We tried a new section of trail and found a great swimming hole for the boys. They were so excited!

In the evening I met some friends to do some dog agility training.

Saturday was sort of low key. I took Rico up to Battleground, WA, for his regular herding lesson. Then we came home and did some stuff around the house.

With everything I was doing, I was still feeling a little bored and a little stir crazy and didn’t want to fritter away my second week of vacation and feel like I had done nothing. So I called my brother to see if it was ok if I made another visit, since I was just there in July. They were on board, so I hit the road after lunch on Sunday and headed out on the four-hour drive to Southern Oregon.

I got to my brother’s place at around 5 pm and we celebrated my arrival with a nice cold beer in the cool sunshine. The dogs love it at my brother’s place. There are sheep to bother, and several securely fenced acres where they can run and run.

On Monday we had an easy morning and then headed out to the coast. It’s only about a 25 minute drive from my brother’s place to the beach. And the beach was perfect! Only about 6 cars in the parking lot. the sky was blue with a few clouds, and the temps were prefect with just long sleeves.

Here I am with my boys. It’s nearly impossible to get them to look at the camera!

The water was the most amazing color of blue! We had another nice low tide and were able to walk nearly three miles north on the beach. We decided to turn back before we hit a cliff to the north because the tide had turned and we didn’t want to get stranded.

It was so gorgeous! And it does my spirit good to be at the ocean. And the boys just love it. We walked over six miles and they must have run twenty!

After our beach trip we had a beer in the sun before dinner. And after dinner we celebrated with a family tradition… Yahtzee and Scotch!

I know you’re probably thinking I live a pretty exciting life!

The next day we decided to hit the beach again and found a tide that was even lower than on Monday. So we walked all the way to the cliffs on the northern end of the beach.

By this point, we had walked about 3.5 miles and Bender and Rico were slowing down! I was so surprised that they just stood here and let me take a bunch of photos. That never happens!

Here’s a photo of me with my brother. He’s the middle child of five, and I’m the youngest. He’s one of the main things that convinced me to move to Oregon 11.5 years ago.

Those boys spent a lot of time in the water on this beach visit.

After the beach we headed south to Port Orford which is a deep water port where they use cranes to put fishing boats into the water. We were hoping that we might see some whales, but weren’t so lucky. It was really windy there, but so gorgeous!

On the way home we stopped and picked up some fresh rock fish for tacos. Once home, my brother started working on his home made corn tortillas and we started all the prep work for the fixings.

Here’s my first taco and my sister in law, who is also Ann Ibach, but without the “e”. I won’t tell you how many tacos I ate, but they were so good!

On Wednesday I hit the road for home. I’m so glad I decided to take that short trip. It was so good to be around my brother and his wife and another couple of ocean trips did me good.

Thursday was spent running errands and getting a few things done at home, and meeting friends for dog training in the evening. Friday found us back on the Banks Vernonia trail for a 7.5 mile hike.

On Saturday we had our regular herding lesson except that it was in a different place. So while we were there, we took the opportunity for a nice hike on some land owned by a logging company.

It’s not actively being logged now. These logs all came down during last winter’s ice storm. They were blocking the trail in several spots earlier in the summer. In the last month or so the land owners went in and cleared the entire trail.

I love getting out on a trail like this and being the only person out there!

On Sunday I hung out around home, took the boys for a walk, did a little sewing on my Ice Storm quilt, and met some friends for a pot luck BBQ in the evening. It was so nice to be around friends and enjoy some really good food and drink. And with my friends, we’re always encouraged to bring our dogs.

Rico fell in love with my friend’s elderly pug.

Look how happy Rico is, and look at that pug’s face! Poor thing.

Rico couldn’t keep his eyes (or his tongue) off that poor pug.

Today I took the boys for a nice long walk after breakfast, and then dug in and finished the Ice Storm quilt top. After dinner we took a nice long walk while we talked to a friend on the phone.

Back to work tomorrow. Vacation is never long enough.

46 Replies to “I’m Baaaaaack… and I Finished My Ice Storm Quilt”

  1. What a great post, Anne, thank you for sharing those wonderful photos. It was very exciting for me to see the bear footprint- pawprint I should say. My husband and I love bears! Can’t imagine what it would be like to see one idly strolling across a beach!
    I’m so glad you had time with your family – it is really precious.
    A week today I’m going to see my sister in France.22 months since we were last able to visit. Can’t tell you how excited I am!
    Hope the return to work isn’t too hard.
    Warmest regards, Lindy (UK)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m really glad I decided to make the trip to visit my brother. It was a really good decision.

      I’m feeling a little bad that I actually didn’t see the bear… or at least think at the time that those were bear tracks. I would have paid more attention to where they came from and where they went. They were very fresh tracks.

      I hope you have a wonderful visit with your sister!



  2. Loved the pictures. We visited Cannon Beach some 10 yrs ago, beautiful then and now. And no wonder no one else can get a pictures of you and your dogs with the dogs looking at the camera, they only have eyes for you!! And oh, lol, that poor pug having to suffer such attention, made me chuckle. Ice Storm quilt is lovely and elegant. I still have to finish my version which is definitely not lovely and elegant, more like a clashing chaos, lol. Thanks for sharing your vacation!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve made a few chaotic quilts myself! They’re never as bad as I think they are!

      And yes… that poor pug was very patient with Rico. I don’t know why Rico found the poor thing so attractive!



  3. Thanks for sharing those great photos, makes me homesick, but I will visit Cannon Beach next summer! If you ever get a chance to venture north to Lake Merwin or Yale there’s some great swimming for the boys. Love the quilts too!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your quilt and boys are gorgeous! Your vacation pictures remind me that it’s been too long since I’ve been at the beach! Loved seeing your pictures and happy faces! I’m always inspired by your posts! Have a blessed day! Debra

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello, Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos this week! I do enjoy being near the water also. Very calming… My husband and I play Yahtzee during our holidays also. Nothing boring about that. Everyone is different, thank goodness. I enjoy sewing bags also, so looking forward to seeing them again! Your dogs are wonderful too. Take care. Darlene


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Darlene! I don’t know how we started the Yahtzee tradition, but we almost always play when we’re together. We even have things we always say… like when someone gets a full house, we say HOUSE OF FULLNESS! Plus, it’s important to use a Russian accent when playing Yahtzee. No idea where that came from!


  6. Loved reading your post, Anne. I have to confess that I have fallen in love with Rico & Bender. So glad you had such a lovely vacation and shared it with us. I always find your posts inspiring. Your Ice Storm quilt is beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Andrea. I’m glad you like my boys. They are such good dogs. When we meet snarky and growly dogs on our walks, they just ignore them. It’s so amazing. Can’t imagine living without them.



  7. Sounds like a lovely holiday.

    Love the finished Ice Storm Quilt.

    I recently found some KFC on sale for $5/m at a local bricks and mortar shop that is not online. I remembered in one of your posts you said that you were cutting 2.5 inch strips off your fabrics for future projects. I have decided to do this with my KFC stash when I reorganize my sewing space this fall.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is such a great idea! Just cut a 2.5 inch strip off of every piece I buy. I think I might start doing this as a habit! I cut all those KFC strips for my first trip quilt and was angry with myself for only cutting one strip from each of about 130 different fabrics. I wish I’d cut more and had them ready to go.



    1. We have some ticks in parts of Oregon, but they aren’t too bad in the Portland area. But we’re seeing more and more with our unusual summers. Luckily, we don’t have Lime disease out her. I do see an occasional tick after visiting my brother.

      I started walking five miles a day before the pandemic started. I’m really glad that I’ve kept it up for almost two years now! My arthritic hips feel so much better with the activity. And it makes us all sleep really well!



  8. Wonderful vacation recap post, Anne. Fun to see all your doings on holiday and photos of the boys, plus your brother. The Oregon coast is gorgeous!!! Quite different from my SW Florida views of the Gulf of Mexico. Any ocean is good though! Your ice storm quilt is fabulous and I’ll bet you’re happy it’s finished. Thanks always for sharing your life and enthusiasm with us 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Susan! It really is wonderful to live so close to the ocean. I spent many years landlocked.

      And yes… I am glad to finish the Ice Storm quilt! The blocks have been on my design wall for too many months. I’m really happy with how it all came together.



  9. I love reading about all your adventures and including photos of places you visited. Living in flat Florida we don’t get to see rocky coastlines. We do have lots of shells and shark teeth, which I love to gather.


    1. I was just thinking about shells on teh beach last week. We don’t see much more than mussel shells, crab shells, and the occasional sand dollar… usually broken. I did find a tiny bright orange clam shell on the beach last week that was smaller than a dime. It was so pretty.


  10. Thank you for sharing the photos and visits during your vacation with the boys, what a wonderful time with walks along the beach, I love walking by the ocean and listening to waves coming in. Your boys looked to be having the best time and bring back memories of how much our dogs loved racing along beaches and heading into the sea. Such a lovely start to my morning here in a very wet Auckland, NZ!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think my dogs like going to the beach more than anything we do. My favorite part is when I first unclip their leashes and they just take off running… and they just keep going until I can barely see them. And then they run back full speed. It’s fun to watch them have such a wonderful time. And then they sleep for the 80 miles back home and are ready to go when they hit the back yard!

      I feel very fortunate to be able to go any time I want.



  11. Oh, Anne, love, love,love this post! All the pictures of the boys and the coast and you together where they are looking adoringly up at you. That could be your Christmas card 🙂 Looks like an awesome staycation and a great time with your brother. Does he have a secret recipe for the fish tacos? I want some now. And that sweet old pug…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That photo may well be our holiday card this year!

      And the tacos… we don’t have a recipe. It’s fun to wing it. For me, the must haves on a fish taco are good, fresh fish either grilled or pan fried. NO BREADING! Good corn tortillas. Fresh shredded cabbage for crunch. Some nice spicy tomato or tomatillo salsa. Something for heat… hot sauce? Peppers? And something that brings in some acid: lemon, pickled onions, etc… You can’t go wrong with those guidelines!


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