Monday, December 31, 2012

Out and About

This was a photo I took at Tomales Bay on the coast.  Jay and I took a short road trip over to check out Walker Creek Ranch west of Petaluma.  It is the Outdoor Education site for the schools down here, similar to what many of my friends know as Camp Waskowitz in North Bend, Washington, where many of us and our children had our outdoor education.  Remember Mr. Lemon?
We had a late lunch at a restaurant on this beach, and we walked out onto the pier.  I only had my cell phone with me, so I thought I'd get a couple of shots.  While playing with the phone, my new iPhone5, I found a button that say "panorama" and I clicked it and this was the photo I got.  I love it. I am going to try sending it to the Costco photo online site and get it printed.
An online friend Tina, posted a link on FaceBook for a website which I signed up for.  I think it is called the 365 Project.  You take a photo and upload it to the site every day next year.  They have weekly themes too, which I plan to participate in.
Back to the day trip......I am going to attend my first quilting retreat with these California quilters and Walker Creek Ranch is the spot.  Brings back memories of my very first quilting retreat at Warm Beach in Stanwood so many years ago.  It really was the beginning of some very precious friendships.  I hope this retreat will do the same.
Happy New Year's Eve to any followers out there!  Be safe.

Four Grands

It was my first Christmas without anyone else in my family other than Jay.  Thankfully Krista took some photos of the kiddos together so I could continue to keep track of them.  I love in this photo how Ethan and Carter have their arms around each other.  Jillian is happy to lay back and let them shine, and Henry seems like he wanted them to use a different pose!!
Everyone survived, though some of us have a bit of bruising around the heart.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Few Days Ahead of Schedule

That time of year again, New Year's is approaching.  I'm going to go back to my past years posts and see what I might have posted regarding resolutions, that ultimately were not kept.
One for this year, is I plan to post something here everyday.  Sister Carol will be so surprised!
Today, I was so happy to hear my pathetic little ding of my doorbell, because I knew it was the Fed EX guy!  I have been waiting for some things that I had ordered on Groupon....still waiting.  It WAS however my package from Amazon with my two new cookbooks that I ordered, thanks to my gift card from Jeff and Krista!!!  I ordered two cookbooks that I have been drooling over for quite a while.  One is the Anne Burrell book "Cook Like a Rock Star".  Jeff actually tried to buy this for me when it first came out, and it was not available.  So I'm glad to now get it.  But my gift to myself today is

This is a cookbook written by Deb Perelman, who started out as a food blogger, kind of like Ree Drummond, aka Pioneer Woman.  I do have a couple of her books, on my kindle, a format I am really not happy with as far as cookbooks go.  More on that in a later post.  
Anyway, this book is so AWESOME!!  I love the way she writes, like she was just sitting and having coffee with you.  I had never heard of her blog, but I will be checking it out now for sure on a regular basis.  So far I have gotten through the intro and breakfast section and I feel so motivated.  
Where in lies the problem.  When you want and NEED to lose weight, how do you incorporate that with loving to read cookbooks and love to cook?  That will be my challenge in the New Year.  All things in moderation, right?  I will be increasing my physical exercise for sure and cutting down/out my evening beverages.....Those things alone should help me be more healthy.  
It's getting later here today, I need to finish my shopping list and head out!!  Luckily Jay asked for grilled brats and salad for dinner, so no big prep time will be needed.  Then I am going to make some apple enchiladas for dessert.  It is still 2012 after all.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Ghosts of Christmas Past

 It's the second weekend of  December.  A weekend that is probably the most selected on calendars for Holiday, or Christmas parties.
Today was the Christmas lunch at the quilting guild that I joined when I moved to Napa Valley.  I attended my first meeting with them in September.  Missed November since I was "home" visiting family and friends.  It was an extended visit, 3 weeks, because we had decided that we would not be back up for Christmas.  Too much uncertainty about the driving conditions and the airfare is pretty outrageous.  It was good that Lynn was with me to drive back because it allowed me the time to weep off and on for the drive back.  I didn't have such emotions when I drove down in August, maybe because it was all new and exciting, I had a cat traveling with me, or it could have been because I knew I was coming back in late September for a quilting retreat, and then again in November.  But this time I don't know when I'll be back.  Anyway, back to the party today.
This is a large group, over 100 women in attendance.  There are a small handful that I recall their names, and have spent some time with them in two other small groups they were kind enough to invite me to.  But I still go in, and feel completely, totally alone.  After about 10 minutes I catch the eye of one of the few I recognize and I pull a spare chair up next to share the end of the table she is using.
I look around this room of women, and try to remind myself that I was "new" before.  Twelve years ago when we moved to Lynden and I went to a guild meeting.  It took about 6 months before I really felt like there would be someone maybe saving me a seat nearby.
This group is having a retreat in mid January and I am signed up to attend.  Three days and nights together should enable me to get to know some people.  Worst case scenario is that I'll get more things finished up, quilting wise.  Best case would let me find a new June, Pat, Shirlene......
Or will I become content and happy to be alone?