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Posts Tagged ‘family’

the food week

 So again its been a couple of weeks. How does that happen? I don’t understand how some folks can keep journals, facebook, and twitter constantly updated. I just don’t have that much to say. Well I do, but not that anyone would care to spent their time ( while simultaneously not updating their fb, twitter, blog, etc.) reading my random thoughts. And there, you just did. hmm.  

City trip to Seattle. We made the trip in for a party. Mom turned 80 a month ago, and my sisters and I put on a little  party for her. We held it at a restaurant that Justin ( middle son) works for.    Being the executive chef, he not only got us the great space, but he filled the buffet with wonderful food for the 50 or so folks who came to wish her well. It all turned out so great – the flowers that my sister and her daughter arranged in all the little vases brought by my niece; to the wine and champagne that my other sister brought. I brought a bunch of vintage tablecloths to help personalize the space, and the Richards cut down and polished wine bottles that I made into candles for the table tops, and favors. It was good to see all the family that came ( some of which I hadn’t seen in many years), and especially nice that Ethan was able to make the trip up from CA for the weekend. 

Wish we could have stayed in town longer, but there was school. Bummer, because it started snowing the day we left to come home. Richard6 had never been where it was actually snowing. And then, once home it was the big freeze for a couple days. But dry – no snow. Record lows for the beach – 26 overnight. Both the Richards had never before been where there were frozen puddles. funny. 

We had a nice, quiet Thanksgiving, just the three of us. I made the most incredible turkey: I boned a whole breast, rubbed a fresh herb mixture under the skin and inside, tied it up, and roasted it. I would do it again. And again. The usual fixins’ shared the table. China. Some of the ‘fancy’ linens. Candles. Stemware. And then dessert: a pumpkin cake ( second time I’ve made it ) that was out of this world, and pecan pie tarts. Heaven. 
Today I had planned on putting up Christmas lights, but the weather is making it a no-go.

Shopping is not my thing ( especially that early bird stuff ).

Making a list of what I’m making is. So, on to that.
 
Happy Holiday.

  

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three little words

Of course everyone knows those three little words, guaranteed to make someone’s heart happy.

 In the movie Roxanne ( a favorite still ) there is the line "Worms.  Worms mean something" . Of course, it’s supposed to be "words".But it makes me smile every time I think of it. 

The other day at our house there were these three words
"I am home".
This from a kid who seemed really lost just four months ago. It happened during a conversation about his dad, who last summer had asked why on earth we moved up here. My husband responded that he didn’t know it at the time, but this grandson is the reason we chose to call this place home. I am home. was Richard6’s matter-of-fact response, along with a small comfortable smile. My heart grew two sizes. 
He’s been here four months now. There’s been a lot of progress for sure. He’s growing up. There are social habits that were non-existent that are now becoming commonplace. His grades are way up – three C’s, two B’s, and an A. We’ve gotten through the homework hurdle, and he does it (pretty ) willingly. For the first time ever there are no D’s or F’s, and we have just a couple weeks left of school. He’s found a few friends & a girlfriend; he’s acquired three mowing jobs that pay well ( and is saving money for the first time in his life); and playing games on the computer take a back seat to doing other stuff. And he’s lost 15 pounds – he now weighs less than his grandpa. It’s all good.

Me, I’m baking cookies and cakes and pies and cooking a lot

I’m ready to start sewing. Really ready.
We had an upset in my sewing room last week — the water heater is in the closet and suffice it to say that I had to empty half of the room out. Richard fixed everything quickly, followed by days of drying, and rearranging the storage situation. Before I put it all back we shortened the length of my cutting table by a foot, and now the doorway is not such a squeeze to pass through. I finished putting things back together yesterday. I took down my design wall for a bit; with it up it’s hard to resist the temptation to just do quilty stuff. I’ve got the big list of sewing projects to do, and its time to get at it. 

I also bought paint for part of the kitchen. 

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lots of busy

 I had a lot of fun hanging quilts in Seattle at the QA show last week. I took just a few pics; by the time we were finished hanging I was sort of pooped. Our little crew consisted of Mom, me, and my nephew and his girlfriend ( and  a tag-along woman that I don’t remember what her name was ) and I’m guessing we hung over sixty quilts, and then went on to ‘finesse’  and move a dozen more. I get that this is important, and I don’t dismiss that, but. Some of the women there fuss and yammer on so much that I wonder how they get anything done at all. It’s not the museum of modern art. Really. These are quilts. Made by people. Beautiful, yes. And I know every one of them represents hours of hard work. Hanging them just so doesn’t really need to be a big life decision. Are all quilt shows this way – behind the scenes?? ’nuff said.  Moving on to the pictures.

This first one is my favorite ‘happy quilt’ and a detail shot of one of the blocks:
    the green sashing in between the rows is really not such a harsh contrast in real life. 

I really love the use of those conversational prints as the light colors in this quilt. I’ve always loved the novelty factor of so many of them, but didn’t understand how they could be used all together. I would make my version with something other than red and blue for the anchor colors, though. 
       

And this use of the silk square inserts into the rows of batik fabric were so pretty. Now, I have ideas of what to do with the huge palette of silks that I have. They will be the centers of squares ( framed in a coordinating or a contrasting batik cotton, of course! ). I love how they reflect the light. 

    

This was a stunning quilt – all those long, skinny triangles! And batiks. I would make it using something other than black between the blocks- making it more blend rather than pop. A moss green, maybe?
            

It was a good day, and then I drove home on Thursday. 

We had a nice surprise when Mom showed up on Friday afternoon. She drove down to see our little quilt show here. Turned out the surprise was on her, as I had the weekend mostly planned out. She was game to go with me to a local designer’s studio – the woman who used to own the shop that we tried to buy. It is a lovely workspace, and she had all of her fabrics and patterns that she designs, as well as several kitted items for sale.  
Then on Saturday, we all went on a four mile walk down in Long Beach. It was an Autism Awareness Walk that a high school girl here organized as her senior project. Money was raised for the local early childhood development program here, and about 90 people showed up.    The walk began at the main beach approach in Long Beach, then went north along the Discovery Trail to ‘Clark’s Tree’   about two miles. It is a huge bronze replica of the tree that William Clark made his mark on in 1805. (Replica because someone burned down the original tree).

Then that afternoon Mom and I went to my guild’s quilt show in Ilwaco. All those details, tomorrow. 

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expo time

I’m in Seattle for a few days, mainly to go to the Sewing and Stitchery Expo.  I’ going with my sisters and mom, and my only regret is that I don’t have a boatload of money do plunk down on a quilting machine. But, I can look, test, and dream. 
What I don’t want to happen is to run into my old boss, which was the case two years ago when I went last. The chances are slim, but who’d have thought it would happen then – 1200 miles from where she lives, so I fear that anything is possible.
I have a list of things that I’m looking for, and of course there will be lots of fabric to drool over.

On Tuesday evening when I got here, I went with Gretchen to see Joni Mitchell’s the Fiddle and the Drum at the Paramount.  It was ballet, set to her music, and the dancing was incredible, though I could have done without the distracting imagery projected behind the dancers.  We had front row seats ( she ordered early ) and it was a full house. There are some things I miss living in a tiny town.

I’m missing the Richards. It’s funny how quickly I’ve become used to having a teenager around, and I wonder how he’s doing with grandpa. I’ll know tomorrow, when I get home. That should be just in time to clamming with our neighbors for the first time. Please, let it not rain.

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birthday week

Sometimes I wish I had a birthday every week. 
We had a really nice time over the weekend with Ryan and his girlfriend. The weather cleared up and we enjoyed a beautiful day on the beach – a rarity around here this time of year. Saturday night there was crab for dinner and a great surprise of a yummy cranberry pie for dessert. The weekend ended all too soon; its a nice thing to get to know someone over a couple of days.

No sooner than they left, the next evening Justin drove out and stayed for a couple nights.For breakfast Justin made a blueberry dutch baby  That evening he took us to dinner at what used to be an okay place. Unfortunately things have either slipped, or maybe just gotten stale. the food was okay, but the atmosphere was annoying (courtesy of a ‘musical balloon’ which kept singing, again, and again…..) Luckily the company was good. 
Thursday we went to dinner with friends at the Depot. It was fabulous – my only regret is that we didn’t take Justin there. He would have enjoyed it so much more. I had a  crab macaroni & cheese, and Richard had a gnocci and wild boar dish that was divine. 

During and between all the company, its been storm after storm. We lost power last night for a few hours, and there’s a call for a bigger storm arriving on Sunday. I was looking around this morning and I couldn’t figure out where this pile of ‘ice’ was from – it was nearly 50 degrees out.    Then Richard noticed what was missing from the deck:      the glass top from the table. Somehow the wind -which never got over 50 mph- picked it up and lifted it over the bbq and sent it crashing into the fence down below. There is a bazillion pieces of safety glass to clean up – maybe with a shop vac???
Needless to say I’m nervous as to what might happen on Sunday with a much bigger storm on the way. We won’t be here though, as we leave for Seattle in the morning.   Little Richard arrives into SeaTac on Monday morning. We may stay the night, and drive back home here on Tuesday. There is orientation at the school on Wednesday, and he’ll start on the following Monday. 
Life here is about to get a lot different. 

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Seattle bound

 In a little while we’re off to Seattle. We’re going in a day early to go to the Bellevue Botanical gardens Christmas light display. We’ll spend the night at Mom’s, and this way we will be in town tomorrow when Lauri and Aidan leave. It’s been a fun week, and unfortunately I didn’t get any baking done. I forget how busy it is with a six year old around.  I keep forgetting to get pictures, but I have managed a couple. 
  His mom said he wants two front teeth for xmas.
   We’ve had lots of rain, but yesterday and today are pretty nice. Lauri was hoping to see it snow – she’s never witnessed that before. A true SoCal native, it would seem. Just maybe there will be a bit on the way towards Olympia. 

I have the sewing done, all my Christmas stuff finished, but haven’t gotten cards out. You can’t do it all, I suppose.

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company’s coming

Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow! I’m so excited that Lauri and Aidan are coming – what a great Christmas present. Richard will drive into Portland and pick them up in the morning. Me, I’ll be here getting the last of things ready.
With Ryan here last weekend, and Gretchen and Tom on the heels of his leaving, it’s been sort of a company blitz around here.

Today and tomorrow I plan on finishing up some sewing. That and making a trip to Astoria for yet a few more items. Richard has some shop things to work on for Christmas. And I have only one package to mail for Christmas this year – hooray!

The weather has warmed up considerably – it should be in the mid-fifties today. Who cares if it’s raining off and on, so long as it’s not freezing.

Two weeks ago I finally got some things listed on etsy, and one of my items sold! Just one little elf ornament, but it’s a beginning. Hooray! So, it’s off to the post office for me. Enough of this goofing around online.

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getting ready

The weather has been COLD here. Really cold for this area. This morning it was 20 outside. Clear and beautiful, but damn cold. Too cold to be outside, so we spent yesterday cleaning through boxes in the den. Shredding old paperwork, sorting, boring stuff. We need to get things in order for our new house member. In another month it looks like little Richard will come to live with us. We need to meet with the high school( we have talked to the principal already ) and iron out a few other things. It will be mighty different around here with a teenager in the house – its been fourteen years. I’m both excited and nervous.

We took down a near falling over tree across the street on Sunday, and cleaned up the mess from the fallen trees over there. Even though its not our property ( he gave us permission to cut down any trees and keep the wood ) it seems only right that if we want the wood we do the cleanup. The owner will come this spring or summer and burn the slash, which we made into a huge pile. Our view is nearly restored to what it was when we bought the house. We have another big pile of wood to split, and a lot more to come.

I finally got the tree decorated; it is sparse with ornaments. I think I’ll end up using this silver tree every other year. I made a couple wreath-things to put above the mantle.

It looks like company this weekend, and in another ten days Lauri and Aidan will be here for a week. In between, there is the rest of Christmas to finish up with.

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comings and goings

 Tomorrow I leave to go on a quilt retreat. To say I’m nervous about it would be an understatement.

It’s just over an hour away, and I’ll be there until Sunday. I’ve never done anything like this before, and don’t really know what to expect. It’s at a small retreat center, and I think there will be about 50 or so people attending. I do know I’ll be sharing a room with someone, and we’ll all be sewing in a gymnasium. The meals are all provided ( this is really scary for a picky eater like me – maybe I should have a backup food stash in the car). I have a couple of projects to work on, and all my tools and supplies mostly ready to go.  
My hope is that I meet and really connect with someone who is somewhat like minded. I figure that with 50 women, odds are that I meet at least one person, right?
The bummer is that I don’t think there is any internet access.  
Wish me luck….

The other day I made reservations for Richard to go to San Diego around Thanksgiving.This is mostly to spend time with his grandson, and of course the rest of the family. He’ll be gone ten days; while I will spend that time here, sewing and working on Christmas stuff.
Then, I made reservations for Lauri and Aidan to fly here for the week before Christmas. This is really exciting  – it will be so much fun to have a little one ( he’s six ) here for a week. I was able to use airline miles out of one account to purchase all of these tickets – awesome.

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spring, please.

We had a great trip into Seattle. The fall colors are so beautiful this year, or maybe it’s just that I don’t remember how things looked last year. Maybe it’s that compared to the sort of seasonless-ness of Southern California, the range of colors ( there is little green there after 9 months with hardly any rain ) in the northwest seems especially varied and bright. It made me like fall, rather than think of it as only the prelude to winter. I should have taken pictures, but somehow I was too captivated to do so. 
 
We had a great birthday party for Mom, with everyone in the family there except Sarah  šŸ˜¦ . ( I hope they can take a vacation together at some point ) Lots of good food and great conversation. Spending time with my boys really impresses me at the men that they’ve become; each is flourishing in the careers that they’ve chosen.
We went to see "Where the Wild Things Are" and I loved it. As Justin summed it up – it’s more of a movie about childhood than a movie for children. There were so many metaphors and lessons of childhood and life. The costumes were not always pretty, but perfect nonetheless. Maybe it’s that I see so few movies in a theater that the ones I do feel pretty special.

Yesterday it was our good weather day of the week, and I spent it outside planting bulbs.About half of them were a couple types of tulips, and the rest were mixes of daffodils and narcissus, with a handful of hyacinths. A total of 240 ( according to the package totals ) and by the end of the day I was whooped.  This was a first for me – with the exception of a few lillies and glads last year, I’ve never planned this far ahead for anything outside. I’m anxious to see how many of them actually come up – only a few are outside the fence until I know that they’re deer resistant. I’m more into the instant gratification of annuals and this waiting for five or six months for results will drive me crazy.
Is it spring yet?

I did a little Halloween decorating ( very little )  and  We’ll get a couple of pumpkins, of course. There are now two kids on the street, so just maybe there will be some trick-or-treaters!

While in Seattle I spent a day walking Mom through the cutting out of her ( and mine ) One Block Wonder quilt. Mine will be for Richard ( the grandson one ) and since the rain is about to set in, that will be the project this week. I’m excited to get started on it, as I bought more of the same fabric to do one to keep; I think the keeper will be done with octagons to try something different, rather than the hexagons that this one will be.  I’ve also revised the fall/winter sewing list, and added a couple of garments ( and subtracted some summer things that I didn’t make ). I used to sew only clothes, and part of me misses that. It must be time.

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