Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Autumn in the Air

It is definitely starting to show signs that autumn is in the air. Normally this is the time of year when we are very hot and dry with the Santa Ana winds blowing. It is not so this month. The winds are a big nightmare for us as they are what tends to bring out all of the firebugs who enjoy starting the wildfires for which our area is well known. To that point, it is a great relief. I, however, do enjoy the warm temperatures that the winds bring us.

Please do not get me wrong as I love the season of autumn. I enjoy seeing the leaves changing and the wonderful cooking magazines with the hearty tummy warming recipes throughout. I do know that the cooler temps and shorter days mean that the winter months are quickly approaching. It was actually 43* the other morning and I am thinking that it is time to put the electric blanket back on the bed.

I do not think that I could live without my electric blanket (EB). It is wonderful that they have improved them over the years so that there are dual controls. It would be terrible to have to cook my husband who is the absolute opposite of me. Sigh. Who would ever believe that I grew up in snow country?

We've had a busy week around the house. We replaced the older windows throughout the house. Other than having workmen in and out for three days, the worst part was removing all the blinds and window treatments. It is nice to have the new windows as they are much more efficient and they all work so easily.

As well, we had our youngest grandson for the weekend while his parents got away for a few days. He is at a great age and is just starting to get into things. He has learned to crawl and goes like crazy for anything he wants. But.... he also learned how to pull himself up onto things. Unfortunately he does not know how to get back down other than to fall. Thankfully it is a soft landing on the carpeted floors.

He LOVES to eat! He hasn't quite mastered the art of picking the food up and putting it in his mouth but has found shoveling it in works quite well.

He and Grandpa enjoyed the golf on television.

I did manage to get a little sewing in as well. I make a quilt for each grandbaby that arrives. Since we have one coming in a few weeks, I have been working on that one. I saw this fabric and fell in love with it. Then a pattern caught my eye in one of my recent magazines and I knew that this was the project I needed to do. My daughter LOVES this book. The fabric is every bit as cute as the book. I have the top done and need to back it and quilt it for the new little darling.

Another big event is that my FIL's home sold and the new folks want to move in next week. Hello!! It has been an extremely busy week trying to sort out all the furnishings and get packed up. We had only gone through all of the personal stuff prior to listing it and figured it would be on the market for months. It was a cash offer and they want it by the end of the month. The weekend will be busy around here.

It was already scheduled to be a busy weekend as we are watching our second son and his wife's four little ones from Thursday through Sunday. I hope they enjoy packing boxes! Yes, our lives are busy but we are so incredibly blessed with all that is going on here. We count our blessings daily.

I have enjoyed seeing all of the autumn decorating that people are doing. I need to get mine out and up so I can really get into the mood of the fall. Keep posting so I can become truly motivated. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Good Friends, Tea and Gardens

Although the past week has been busy it has been a fun filled week. As I wrote in my last post we were in San Diego for a business convention. It is always fun to reconnect with the many friends that we have met over the years and this time was no different.

San Diego was an especially fun trip because I have a dear friend who lives there. Although the area is just a few hours south from us, we seldom get a chance to get together due to conflicting schedules. We go back many years to the time when we were both military wives stationed at the same places while our husbands were in flight training. She actually watched our now thirty eight year old son when I went to the hospital to deliver our second son. This trip allowed us some wonderful time to visit.

Barb had made reservations for the two of us for tea at a positively charming tea room. Not only was the food fabulous, but the ambiance was delightful as well. There are small tables set up throughout the shop and each one is as charming as the next. All are done with lace and china - a very elegant setting. One does not receive a menu for the food as it arrives on a tiered server. One does, however, receive a menu for which tea one wishes to be served - two pages of teas!! Each person has their own tea pot and heated stand to keep it warm.

Here is our tiered service. The bottom plate had two of everything as did each tier after that. It included cheese muffins, egg salad sandwiches, savories, cucumber sandwiches, many fruits, chocolate mousse, bread puddings and almond cookies. And as if we weren't stuffed enough after that we were brought two freshly baked orange scones. Everything was delicious.

After practically rolling our bodies out the door we went to visit a quilt shop. This is a quilt shop unlike any that I have ever seen. One cannot even begin to imagine the number of fabrics that this shop had inside of it. The "rooms" were broken down into colors. I mean this shop was HUGE! There was also a room for quilting supplies, a room for books, a room where they had classes going on and a room of batting. Next door to that shop was the Gam*mil longarm education center and dealer. Oh dear......what a shop. We got to "play" with the various machines and my heart was immediately captured. I could have spent a lifetime there. I so wished that these shops were closer.

The following day we ventured out to my other weakness - a nursery. Again, this was a fabulous place to visit. They not only sell plants, but they also have many darling small gardens which they call fairy gardens. They have these tiny gardens tucked in old wheelbarrows, garden carts, bird baths and anywhere else one put one. I really want to build one in my yard somewhere. Everything is in miniature with trellis plants, birdbaths and garden furniture.

There is a calming coffee shop in the middle of the nursery. It was so peaceful to lounge in big rattan chairs and sip tea amidst the plants and running waterfalls.

They have one maze that is replanted several times a year in different plants. It is currently in morning glories but I understand that the spring sweet peas are also beautiful. As you can imagine, it was a day enjoyed by all of us, including my friend from England.

Speaking of gardens, I have to show you a sculpture of a woman in an art garden that we recently visited. Is this great or what?

The hotel where we stayed in San Diego was right on the waterfront. We looked out onto the water and the Hotel D*el Corona*do. As you can see, we were high up - on the twenty fifth floor. I definitely got weak knees looking down from our balcony.

We returned home to the tragic news of the deadly train crash in our area. It has shaken our entire community as so many of the victims lived locally. Our hearts an prayers go out to all of the families as they try to understand and cope with the deaths of their loved ones.

It will hopefully be a couple of quiet weeks ahead while we await the arrival of our 20th grandchild which is due towards the middle of October. This will be our daughter and SIL's first and everyone is making guesses on what it will be - blue or pink. It is so much fun to not know.

I hope everyone has a great week ahead.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Rushing About

As I am maniacally rushing about I will attempt to post a quick update on the last few weeks. It has been extremely busy and loads of fun.

We have been entertaining dear friends who have been visiting from England. This is a couple we met while we lived in England in 1972. Since the "guys" are in the same industry we have had the opportunity to get together at various conferences throughout the years.

The past week has been filled with golf, house hunting, shopping, quilting, beach visits, dining experiences and many, many laughs. I mention the house hunting as it is their dream to sell their home north of London, buy a smaller place and then purchase an additional small place close to us. They love our area and we are thrilled at the thought that they might be neighbors.

They departed Sunday and that evening the kids and all the grandchildren came over to celebrate Grandpa's birthday.

It is always the grandchildren's favorite thing to take tractor rides around the yard after dark. Grandpa tried to turn the headlamps on and there was no light. After many "brilliant" heads got together a severed cable was located.

Repair was swift and the kids were merrily on their way. Of course there is always and uncle or two waiting to pop out of the darkened areas of the yard to enhance the thrill.

Monday was a day of cleanup after no housework for a week and a big party on Sunday night. Today was spent preparing for a business convention that we will leave for in the morning. It will be in San Diego so we will be driving. Yeah! No airport security to deal with. We will be back on Sunday and I will then catch up on all the blogs that I am so dearly missing.

A quick thank you to Alice Grace for a delightful new award. Since I enjoy so many blogs I really appreciate that someone enjoys reading my ramblings as well. There are so many deserving bloggers out there. I will have to put on my thinking cap and get back to you on the next winners.

Meanwhile, until next week sometime, I wish all of you a wonderful week. I will return as soon as possible so please do not give up on me yet.