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Archive for December, 2008

my eight tidbits

encouraged by truncated_ashes  to share, here’s my list:

1. I am really interested in what people collect, and to learn the story behind why. It gives you an interesting peek into their world.

2. I collect, or have collected: champagne glasses, divided ceramic dishes/plates, vintage patterns & fabric, old (estate sale ) crocheted potholders & antique linens

3. I wonder what makes people read "People" or "US" magazine

4. I could watch people at an event or a mall all day.

5. I wished for a couple years when I was 12-14 that I could be a professional skier ( and thought that I was good enough – ha! )

6. I no longer eat 1/2 to 1 pound of chocolate per day. thank goodness. I really did, until I was almost 30.

7. I chose to get pregnant first and then married. And I’m sooo happy that I had kids young.

8. I love washing windows. At some point while I was in construction I really wanted to be a window washer for a living. I get my fill here, as the windows quickly get ‘marine residue’ , or salt and crud on them.

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so long ’08!

Like everyone, I’m glad this year is near a close. I am ready, oh so ready, to move on.  When I look back, it seems like we accomplished a lot.
Or only a little, if I do the ‘glass half empty’ thing. There is so much I want to do, get done. And somewhere I think I’m supposed to sit back and enjoy – what? The fruits of my labor. check.
We did get the house painted, at the cost of one knee for Richard. Funny how I will do nearly anything to save a dime. Sorry sweetie. He is returning to his pre-injury state fairly quickly at this point. Hooray for that! We also got all five sliding doors replaced, the fireplace insert installed, new appliances in the kitchen and a remodel on the bathroom. Those were the biggies.

I sewed:
curtians for the bedroon, bathroom, living and dining rooms; made a couple wedding gifts; vests for my sister; a skirt for my other sister; a long wool coat; Christmas gifts ( for last Christmas and this one ); altered clothes for friends, family and a client; lots of bags; a few dog items.
We met a few people in our new neighborhood.
I logged a lot of miles on the beach, (though not as many as I should have).
We poured a couple of months into figuring out the possible purchase of a business ( status of which is still unknown ). No matter what, it was good preparation for something, I’m sure.

My goals for 2009:
Make a few friends
Figure out what I am going to do for work
Explore the surrounding parks and go to the beach more often 
Sew a lot more & start a sewing diary
get back into knitting

We are expecting a BIG windstorm over the next 36 hours – winds of up to 90mph. Hopefully, the power will stay on, but I have my doubts. With the snow last week we lost more of the big tree at the southwest corner of the house. It has been somewhat self-trimming with each storm since we moved, and now we will have to take the remaing part down. With any luck, we won’t lose any more trees this time around.

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end of the snow!

Who ever thought that anyone from these parts would be so delighted to see rain this time of year. We drove into Seattle on Monday. It was clear and bright along the way, but there was a lot of lingering snow.
            these shots are from around the east side of the bay after leaving the peninsula. We had an easy drive until hitting the junction in West Seattle. Not a good place for a non-4WD truck. We stayed with my sister that night, then on to Mom’s house on Tuesday. We had to chain up two blocks away from her house. The side streets in Seattle were all a mess.
It snowed hard on Christmas Eve. We made it to Justin’s for an excellent dinner of stuffed roast quail ( which I had never eaten before ), and back to Mom’s. It snowed hard enough overnight that Deb and her family in Snohomish were snowed in ( with over a foot of new stuff! ) and couldn’t make it in for Christmas. Boo. Mom made her prime rib for Christmas dinner, which was wonderful. It was a nice day sitting around talking and eating.
We left out of Seattle and came home yesterday. Ryan followed us out and will hang out here for a couple days. There was still snow on the ground here last night, but it rained and blew hard – today it is all gone. 
I had wanted to do a little shopping while in town, but the mess of the snow, ice, and then the crowds on Friday was a big turnoff. I just wanted to get away from it, and have never been an ‘after christmas’ shopper. The crowds have never been worth the sale for me, I guess. I think with the economy the way it is, there will be some good deals for awhile, so maybe we will make a trip to the city around my birthday.

Richard made a platform for the tv and gave it to me Sunday
       We wanted something low to keep the whole thing below the window line. It’s just right. He also gave me a 16G mp3 player – now I have a new toy to figure out. 
There is still no word from the last bank. This waiting is getting tiring. I want to move forward – in some direction, but we have to wait it out.

I ended up making a lot of shopping bags – like 30 – out of materials that I had here. And I got four chef jackets done for Justin, and a pair of pajamas ( also from fabric that was in my stash ) . This is the upside of having a hundred boxes of fabric.    We were not the only ones to give shopping bags though. My niece also made them for everyone. It was nice to get one that someone else made – everyone has different ideas and it’s interesting to see how someone else executes them.
With most of the Christmas sewing finished ( I still have something I want to do for a friend of mine ) I can begin to plan on the next thing I want to sew. Maybe for myself even.

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Sew, Snow, Sew

Thanks to the miracle of not losing electricity in this snow storm, I’m still sewing. Yay!  Because there’s still sewing to do. It’s my nature to continually add to any list. So, as I finish one more gift tomorrow, I will start another ( or two!) . 

We awoke to snow this morning, and it is beautiful ( since we didn’t have to go anywhere, and the lights are still on ). Here’s some pics we took on a walk down to the beach. Richard went along – his knee is getting better every day ( part of my christmas wish )!
 even in the snow, someone drives down the pedestrian beach approach.    Snow and sand – an uncomman combination
 Of course we had to include one shot of you-know-who.  She had a time of it on the walk down there. Sort of trying to hold one leg at a time in the air. But once we hit the beach she had a ball, running free for the first time in a week or so.  Life is good again.
  Dune grass in pretty winter mode.
 The house looks so Christmas-y all red and flocked with snow.
 our tree, and the (non)mantle,  
yes, we decorated the cinderblock above the new fireplace insert. Some fake fur, ornaments, candles, and kitch, along with a piece my sister Deb made several years ago which reads " Peace on Earth, Good Will to All" .     If only.

We did talk to a local guy who has a small sawmill about getting a mantle. We may get a piece of driftwood from the park, and have it cut / milled to size. 

Of course the sun shining made all the outside picture taking lots better. They are now calling for big winds, like the 50-60 mph variety for the next day or two. More snow. We did get everything in the mail to send to all the CA family that’s down south. We are planning to leave to go into Seattle on Monday, but depending on the snow, the sewing, and the power, well, who knows?

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the workshop

For the past week, I’ve been planning, cutting out, and sewing my way to Christmas.  It feels good to spend time at my sewing machine. I’ve been known to get most everyone the ‘same’ gift – but a different flavor of it for each recipient. One year it was ‘warm things’ each person got either pajamas that I made or flannel sheets that were embroidered. One year everyone got a couple sets of napkins. That sort of thing. This year it’s (a suprise!  – not telling ) What’s cool is that it has meant that I’m using a lot of the fabric that I’ve amassed in my stash, and have mostly avoided shopping. I’m nearly done, with the exception of a few new chef jackets for Justin, which are a requested present, and not a suprise.
This the cutting / worktable choosing and sorting fabric for the gift project: 

What’s been fun, though, has been the creation of a game for our five year old grandchild. Its a memory match game, where you put all the tiles face down, then try to pick out the two that match. We played it with cards when I was a kid. So, I had Richard cut and sand 100 three inch square ’tiles’ out of masonite, then I glued square fabric pictures on each one, and covered them in several coats of Mod Podge sealer. This will make 50 pairs – they can start out using just 10, and can increase the pool as he grows. The best part was picking out specific images from the gazillion pieces of fabric that I have. They can finish drying today, then they’re ready for the mail.  Here are pics of all the tiles and a shot of the fifty pairs, stacked so that they would fit into the picture:
    
And here are a couple of close-ups of some of the tiles. On the other side they are just plain brown, ( so’s you can’t tell them apart )
      
I love some of those images – and how many people have not only fabric with crabs, but with cake and cows to boot? Not to mention sleeping hedgehogs. I still need to make a little bag to keep them in.
I like them so much, I kind of want to make myself a set.

Like the rest of the northwest, it’s been super cold here – yesterday it got up to 32, and today will be about the same. There are some hummingbirds who don’t go south, and yesterday morning I saw they were at the feeder, trying to get the frozen nectar  : (  
I brought it in, thawed it out, and they were buzzing around there all day. We brought it in last night, and I think they were pretty happy to see it come back this morning.  I can’t imagine what they eat during the freezing weather??

Richard’s knee is now improving markedly. Finally he is on the mend. Yay!  

We’re planning to go into Seattle early next week for Christmas at Mom’s, then come home on Friday.I hope it warms up a bit by then.

Hopefully, a couple things that we ordered will arrive in time to ship off south. Then we’ll be set.
I still have busy to get to in my sewing room.

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With company over the long weekend, and work (!) the past couple days, I feel like I’ve been out of the country for a week or so.

Monday was Richard’s surgery. It went well, but I was the non-present caregiver. It turned out that the same day I had to go to the store and begin a full inventory. So, I dropped him off, and our neighbor a couple doors up the street greeted us to take him into surgery – she is a surgical nurse at the local hospital. She called me when he was ready to be picked up, and I left the store, went and collected him and brought him home. One of our neighbors offered to come and check on him mid afternoon, and so I guiltily went back to the store. Two days later he is feeling only a little pain – so we’re hoping that this is the beginning of the mend. Here is a pic of what the doctor wrote on the other knee:
 I like how they took care not to confuse the one with the other – a ball point pen NO on the not to be touched ‘good’ knee.

I am now done with Christmas!!!!
2007. Yeah – I’m the lagger in the gift dept. I finished Justin’s coat last week and it went back to Seattle along with the old one that I made for him twelve or thirteen? years ago. Other than the lining missing, and it severly threadbare, it was still all together. I hope this one lasts half as long. I took a pic of Richard in it, but its just not the same as the intended recipient. Here’s a closeup of the sleeve and pocket detail instead: 

Thanksgiving was nice, quiet and intimate. Ryan and Mom drove out and stayed until Sunday. It was lousy weather, so mostly we hung out, ate, talked, Mom and I both did some knitting, and Ryan worked  some.  Sunday the weather was nice, and in the afternoon Richard helped me to put up Christmas lights. I am a fan of the big old fashioned colored lights – I have collected lots of them at yard sales over the years as folks replace them with those new fangled ones. Not that I don’t like think the new ones are pretty, and they’re certainly more energy efficient, but I like the nostalgia factor of the old big ones. The strands that I have probably won’t last too many seasons here in this salty climate though. But there were enough good ones to decorate the south end of the house.  No doubt they are the first lights ever strung on this house. Maybe this weekend we will look for a fresh ( as opposed to shipped to So Cal )local tree. We didn’t have one last year with the aftermath of the storm, making a trip to San Diego mid month, and then being in Seattle for Christmas – so it will be the first tree here.
I would like a fake tree – to avoid the light stringing and the watering – but maybe next year.

As I mentioned, we ( the owners, a couple employees and I ) are doing a full inventory at the store. It is long, tedious work, and has consumed the past couple days. So far we’ve unrolled, measured and rerolled about 1500 bolts of fabric. Today the owner has another commitment, so we will resume and finish up tomorrow. The remainder of what’s left should go pretty quickly. Then that will be more information for the banks. This is such a long process. I am anxious for it to be done.

Now I can begin to get ready for Christmas!

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