Wednesday, July 17, 2013

An Exciting NEW Adventure!!!

This is my first quilt top, photo taken before I actually quilted it.  I would take a new photo, but this quilt is up in Olympia at my sisters on "my" bed up there.  I will be sure to take a new photo next time I am up there. 

Isn't it pretty???  I knew I loved florals right from the get go, bright colors, clear colors and purple of course. 

Today I attended the Northern California Quilters Commission meeting, which was a presentation called Meet The Teacher.  There were 25 Quilters who each had 3 minutes to give a quick bio and description of what they have to offer to the surrounding quilt guilds as far as lecture/trunkshow and workshops. 

I was so motivated!!!  So I came home and right away, logged in and joined this group.  And now I have registered a website domain name and am in process of designing my first and official website!!  I was so surprised that the very first name I thought of was actually available, so I snapped it right up!!!  I'll share it and post it once I launch the website, which I hope will be within a week. 

I'm hoping to be on the list of presenters at the October meeting and get started out there sharing my love of buying, pressing, cutting up and reassembling fabric, designing quilts and sharing tips for new and not so new quilters. 

Wish me luck!!  And if you belong to a guild that needs a fun and motivating speaker, let me know! 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


We took a Sunday drive and headed for the coast.  Our "end point" was Mendocino.  It was amazing to watch the temperature drop as we got further west.

Two stops provided me to take some cool photos.  Lynn spotted the cave down at the bottom of this one, while my attention was drawn to the wildflowers and the trees in the background.  All worked together.

It was a bit grey on this day, but cool was good.

Again it was the delicacy of the wildflowers that really caught my attention, and then adding the rock formation in the background made it just great.

I loved all of this one.  How the wildflowers grow up and into the center of this tree and then the rocks and waves below.  It really was a great spot.  And no, I didn't smell anything "funny" in the air.  If anything I caught a whiff of dill!

I should have cropped this one a bit before posting.  Anyway, while we were sitting here this pair of I think maybe turkey vultures started to play in the drafts occurring around us.  This was the only decent shot I got.  It was an amazing feeling to watch these birds just play...

This is one of two benches that were placed at this spot in the road.  It was really cool.  Hard to imagine how many people had rested upon it, while enjoying this wonderful view of peace and serenity.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Happy Birthday to Sister Nancy!

 Nancy Lynn.......In our family of 5 kids, the boys are the oldest (Steve, who is 5 years older than me, man he is REALLY old....) and the youngest (Kevin, who was born in 1960, always the easiest to figure out how old he is) and the girls (or the "princesses" as Steve likes to remember us with such fondness) fill in the middle.  I am the oldest and then 3 years later came sweet Nancy, and then 3 years after that came Carol.  So Nancy truly is the "middle" child in about every sense possible.

As a toddler Nancy had this white hair!!!  Mine was red.  Don't know how that happens.  But as you see her in these precious photos I have chosen, is as you know her.  Always with that wonderful smile.

She is the tallest of us girls at about 5'10".  She is the one of us who can sing, or is at least confident and willing enough to do it out loud.

Because we were each 3 years apart, we never got to attend school together.  Once I left high school, Nancy came in the next year.  She left and then Carol arrived.  She left and in came Kevin.

Nancy had no problem following behind me.  She was probably voted friendliest girl (while I was voted biggest flirt, which is basically the same thing, right?)

She also holds the record in our family of being the only one to wreck TWO family cars on the same day.....she was driving one of them, with a friend following her in the other one.  Nancy came over the crest of a hill and hit a disabled car in the road and then her friend Sheryl came right behind and plowed into Nancy.

Our first backyard wedding was with Nance.  She married Cliff on a warm July afternoon and in the following years birthed Angela and then Joey.   Darling Angela decided to be breech so Nancy had a scheduled c-section to deliver her.  Then when she was pregnant with Joey, she was working as a daycamp counselor in West Seattle and she tripped over a log, fell and found herself in preterm labor which couldn't be stopped.  So the good folks at Valley Medical put her in an ambulance and shipped her off to the U of W to have a repeat C-Section with her 32 week baby.  After arriving there, they prepped her and took her into surgery, but thankfully the OB decided to do an "exam" before

doing an incision.  Told Nancy to give a good cough and out came Joey.  Failed C-section!!!  Under 4 pounds but incredibly healthy.  In fact went home in just a few days.  I had arrived after the birth (NOT an OBRN in those days yet).  She was in a bed and first thing she told me was that she hadn't been able to see much of the baby yet.  So I corralled a wheelchair, put her in it and found our way to the nursery.  Guess I knew my calling, even then.  
Nancy had an in home daycare for many, many years.  Some of the parents and children she cared for became lifelong friends.

Which is easy to do with Miss Nancy.  Sadly Cliff died and she became a young widow with two preteen children.  And as hard and sad as it was, she was always strong and kept moving forward.
Went back to school, getting an education in computer sciences where she met her Terry.  They married a few years later and continue to live as close to happily ever after as they can.
This final photo shows her holding darling Henry.
Thanks Nancy, for being such a great sister, and a great friend.
I love you.  I miss our ability to get together easily.  See you soon.

Friday, July 12, 2013

A New Way of Cooking

I was raised in a family of seven.  My Mom could make a meal out of a can of Spam.  She would slice it into 7 pieces, layer it on a particular platter, put pineapple rings that were cut in half around the perimeter and a can of mandarin oranges sprinkled over the top.  I do believe that a couple of spoons of brown sugar was then spread over the top of it all.  And baked.  Always a salad of some kind.  Always some kind of a starchy side dish and always a plate with a stack of white bread on it and butter on the table.  My sisters and I were often in charge of the salad.  Anyone remember shredded carrots with raisins?  How about peas with small cubes of cheddar cheese?
One of my first attempts of "cooking".... a grilled cheese sammie.  We had a large waffle iron that you could reverse the waffle plates, and they were grill plates, so that is what the sandwiches were grilled on.  So I carefully butter the bread (white, Wonder probably) and put some nice thick slices of Velveeta on the bottom slices, placed the top slice on, and closed the waffle iron.  And then walked away.....mistake....big mistake....I came back into the kitchen to witness rivers of melted pseudo cheese oozing out the sides and down the formica counter doing a great imitation of hot lava......

So when I married, and had a family of my own, I always pretty much followed these parameters that were a "balanced" meal.  We had to have a protein, a veggie, a side dish, and I always gave the kids some kind of fruit.  And milk.  No one seems to drink milk at meals anymore.  And it worked fine for a lotta years.  But I have never learned how to make a meal for just two of us.

I even bought my sister some cookbooks to encourage her to do more cooking, aimed at cooking for one or two.  But for me.....always a main dish that could feed everyone in my condo row.  It is pretty much a joke for me to make a salad for two.  Never happened.  I just haven't been able to do it.  I just keep adding stuff.

I bought this magazine the other day, hoping it would help.  Tonight I grilled some ribs (2 WHOLE racks from Costco) and then supplemented with some fried fresh corn and scalloped potatoes for 2.  Never in my life have I cooked only 1 potato before tonight.  How odd to cook something that calls for things in a teaspoon or tablespoon quantity rather than cups.

Both came out very yummy, and I don't have GOBS of leftovers.  Yes, I know having "planovers" is always a good thing. but even I get tired of eating the same stuff.

So I will work my way through this magazine.  I do love these ATK recipes.

Watch this space.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Take Me Out To The Ballgame - California Style

Happy 62nd Birthday to Lynn!!  He has been a lifelong DODGERS fan (some of you may recall we had personalized auto plates reflecting this fact) and when he spotted the game on the SF Giants schedule the weekend after his birthday, it became a no brainer as to what his gift should be.

We live about an hour north of San Fran (the "city") and have driven in a few times as a day trip.  But I thought this would be more fun to go via Ferry from Vallejo.

This is the Ferry we boarded at 2:30 for the 4:15 game start.  It takes about 25 minutes to get to Vallejo.  Parking across the street we had our special Giants Ferry tickets in our hot little hands.  I was surprised that Lynn chose to NOT wear one of his several Dodgers ballcaps, but I proudly wore a Seattle Mariners cap!

They sell 300 tickets for this Game Day ferry crossing.  The seats were very comfortable and they have a bar on board.  I figured I would have a nice beverage on the return voyage and was disappointed that the ferry had to abide by ballpark rules, and no alcohol was available after the 7th inning....
The crossing takes just about an hour.  Under the bay bridge.  We cruised passed the staging area for the upcoming America's Cup race.  The dock is right outside this gate!!

What could be easier???

The weather in the valley had been very hot during the week, but we had been warned that it would be much cooler in the city and at the ballpark.  You can see the flags blowing in the photo.

Our seats were under cover so we had no problems with sun, or wind.  The temperature was absolutely perfect.

Our seats were 40 rows up from home plate.  How awesome was that???

Sitting to my right, 2 young ladies who it turned out had just completed their freshman year at Seattle University!!  They were both Marin county residents who wanted to be away from home for college, but remain on the coast.  We had a grand time comparing In and Out Burgers with Dicks.  As well as other hot spots in the Seattle area.

Sadly the Dodgers lost this game, only one of the series I think, and the young Cuban hotshot had the worst day at the plate ever.

After the game we had been instructed to return to the dock and board our boat home within half an hour.  Our boat ended up having to wait so we had to stand in line, for about 40 minutes.  But our line was right here, next to this amazing sailboat marina.  Not too bad of a place to wait.  We will definitely go to another game though I have been instructed that I CANNOT become a SF Giants fan.  Which is fine.  I don't do orange all that well.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Something Special

I love these sheets.  Lynn and I have been married for 39+ years, and I think these sheets are about that old.  It's like people who have a fondness for a pair of blue jeans that they have "worn to death" but can't part with them because when you put them on, they just make the whole world seem better.  They know all your curves and bulges.  You feel confident, happy and serene in them.
I feel like that about these silly sheets.  Chances are at least one of my first two children were conceived upon them.  Child number three was my "Reno" baby, but that's another story.
I've laughed in them, cried in them, nursed my babies in them.  Kids crawled into them from time to time.  Jeff slept on the floor next to them, when I told him that he was just getting too big to get in the bed with us.  So I woke one morning and nearly stepped on him.
I recovered from surgery in them, tried to sleep through chemo days in them.
They would have been the sheets Ethan was born into, but I just couldn't take the chance that they might be too messy afterwards.
All of our cats, Paco, Jessie, Quantas, Stormy, Gizmo, Bear, Patches, Wendall, Dutch, Rocco have slept upon them.
When Todd was gone on a trip, and I picked Laila (the 80# doberman) up at the boarding place for the night before Todd returned home, I awoke with her in the bed and it very well could have been on these sheets.
They are 270 count Egyptian cotton.  Faded, worn, and wonderful.
Just like being married for almost 40 years.....