Monday, October 27, 2008

A Win, Parties and All Else

Yahoo! I won the most wonderful gifts in the Fall into Fall Giveaway from Doris at Threads of Conversation. Inside the package was the cutest bag filled with all sorts of goodies. Check it out.
I love it all -- the fabric, the book, the green (my favorite color) bag and a VERY handy lanyard to keep tract of my scissors. Boy! Do I need THAT!!!!
It has been a rather hectic week around here, but what else is new? Between houseguests, repairmen, babysitting, dental and doctor appointments, parties and sewing the week has flown past me.
Our son, DIL and grandson were down for the weekend. It was a party weekend for all of us starting off Saturday with a birthday party for Miss P's 3rd birthday.
There were lots of goodies before dinner ......
and lots of cherished gifts being loved at the same time -- jacket, shoes, doll, umbrella and a roll of gum. How much better can life get?
The John De*ere tractor gift was the hit of the party and loved by all the little ones.
Sunday was another party to meet the new baby. Of course he was loved by all and was passed from one to another. Can anyone ever get enough baby love?
This one isn't too sure when his mom held the tiny one.
Miss M
Master Z
Of course what party would be complete without a brownie topped with whipped cream?
Our eldest son had a slight mishap last week while diving for lobsters. He slipped on rocks when getting back to the boat and managed to obtain a freak break in the foot. At this photo he was waiting for the swelling to go down enough for surgery to be done. The surgery itself was finally done this a.m. and two pins were placed in the severed bone to try to reattach it. He is on bedrest with the foot elevated for five days and then in a wheelchair for the next 5-6 weeks.
He is not feeling this chipper right now.
Since lobster season just opened a few weeks ago, I told him that he could now relate to the football players who get injured the first game and are out for the season. There is some consolation in the fact that he had caught his limit of lobsters before the accident.
This has also been a week for working on Halloween costumes with the grandchildren. It would be nice to have them make up their minds before the last week when the fabric stores are so short on supplies.
I did manage to get a photo of Master A in his snail outfit. It is really funny when he is crawling, but in this photo he was much more interested in climbing.
Our weather has been glorious. I love the heat and we have had such wonderfully warm weather. They are saying that it has been the warmest October on record. Too bad that the days are so much shorter as I would love to see more of this. I guess it is making up for the summer that did not exist.
I will sign off for now because I am awaiting two more grandchildren to come over to sew costumes for Friday. I hope that everyone will get lots of treats and NO tricks this week.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, K

Yesterday was our beautiful daughter's 26th birthday. Where have the years gone? She was a delightful surprise after having four sons. This was before the use of ultrasounds and the deliveries were all a surprise to the parents.

I worked in the same hospital where I delivered and was surrounded by my friends. I had worked the night before I delivered and had actually made up pink crib cards because I was so convinced that this baby was a girl. I could not convince my husband so it was a complete shock to him when they announced, "It's a girl." Being the eldest of six brothers and then having four sons of his own, one can understand his shock.

Pink!!! Pink cards, pink flowers, pink dolls, pink clothes.........everything was pink. It was such a foreign color to us, but she quickly captured the hearts of everyone. The boys placed her in the pram and took her for a walk through the neighborhood to show her off the day we came home from the hospital. Mind you, the boys were 7 - 12 years older than she was. We have enjoyed our "surprise" over the years and now she is a new mommy herself.

The weekend provided some good time with my two oldest granddaughters. Their school has an auction coming up in November and they wanted to make a quilt to put up for bids. We worked on a snowman quilt, but we still have our handwork to finish up. They also wanted to learn how to make the quilted postcards so they could make them for their friends. I love the creative minds of children. The freedom is so wonderful.

Guess what arrived in my mail this week. I was a winner in Pea's Halloween Giveaway and look at all these lovely gifts.

I love them all, Pea. Thank you. For anyone who does not follow Pea's blog, you don't know what you are missing. She is one of the kindest and most generous bloggers out there. As well, she has an incredible blog -- always interesting.

Our third son and his family had their Christmas photos taken this week. I know, it's hard to imagine that it is that time of the year already. It's always a challenge to get everyone to smile at the same time, but I think the gal captured them pretty well.

I guess that I have rambled on long enough here. I hope that everyone is enjoying their week and will continue to do so.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fire Season

Living in Southern California provides us a "season" that is unique to us. It is a time when the Santa Ana winds blow with fury. They are very dry, hot winds that come in from the deserts. The sky is gloriously blue and the air is crystal clear. also brings the terrible fires for which we are well known. This has been our week of fires. There has been fire "activity" all around us and we are all acutely aware of the extreme care that we must take in preparing our homes and neighborhoods for the times when we are threatened. It is a sad moment for all of the folks who have lost so much. Our hearts and prayers go out to them.

The helicopters have been flying back and forth with their scooper baskets loaded with water. They fly low and the deep "woof, woof, woof" of the aircraft can easily be heard all day.

We have firefighters from all over the West fighting these fires. I was glad to see that perhaps they were able to get a little sleep and a shower after their heroic efforts.

One big project that we do is to have our eucalyptus and palm trees trimmed. For some reason the tree trimmers showed up to do their work with howling winds. I would think only a crazy person would climb a sixty foot tree and dangle from it's branches during weather like that. I guess I must be wrong. Check out this job.

See the little man high up in the tree? See the wind as the cut sections blow away? Oh dear....not a job for the faint of heart.

Our son was down to meet the new baby with his little guy over the weekend. He looks so big compared to the new baby and he is so much fun.

He loved a few bubbles in the whirlpool tub.

As promised...a glimpse of him in his snail outfit. I will post a better one from his parents (once they stop laughing each time they dress him in the costume).

Yesterday was our monthly quilt guild meeting. We had a wonderful guest speaker who had flown in from Hawaii. Sylvia Pippen brought many of her quilts in which she works magic with applique and Japanese Sashiko. You can check out more of her designs at . These are a couple of her pieces that she brought with her. All of the Sashiko - a running stitch of thick white cotton thread - is done by hand. Note also the details in her applique. It was amazing.

Thank you all for the wonderful birthday greetings. I had a fabulous day as I am so blessed.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Another Whirlwind Week

Today is a special day for a fellow blogger. It is Pea's birthday!!!! For anyone who does not follow Pea, she is an incredible blogger. She is warm, witty and a friend to all. Be sure to pop on over and wish her a happy birthday. Her blogging party should be special. This gal loves a party!

To say that the past week has been a whirlwind is putting it mildly. I have found myself chasing my tail much like a dog does and accomplishing just about as much, unfortunately.

Thank you everyone for the kind congratulations on the arrival of our newest grandson. Babies are such a blessing. Everyone here is thrilled and enjoying each little thing that he does. Okay, maybe not the middle of night feedings, but MOST everything else. Of course this is coming from a grandma who does not have to get up all night and function on little sleep. We can somehow relate to all of that, can't we?

My posting was quick after the arrival of the new baby. The reason for that was because I had a morning flight to San Francisco to meet my husband who was there on business. I had almost cancelled my trip because of the pending arrival of the wee one, but figured that it would be the perfect time to go as my daughter was going to be in the hospital for several days following the birth. We both flew back on Friday morning and Grandpa finally got to meet the newest grandson. He is a chubby, content little boy.

We both enjoyed ourselves immensely while we were in San Francisco. The city is beautiful and I doubt that I have ever had better weather than what we experienced while we were there. My husband loves the city as he went to college at USF in the 60s when the hippies were in Haight Ashbury. Lots has changed since that time. The city is one of those cities where it is so much fun to get out, walk and explore. They have so many interesting ethnic areas and stores that one cannot even begin to describe. They even have a fabric store that calls me to visit each time I am there. It is literally about five stories high. I practically drool the whole time as I look at the luscious fabrics for sale on each floor.

This is an athletic club on the top of the hill in the city. Can you imagine what the membership dues must be?

This was the view of the Bay from our hotel room. It was crystal clear and we loved it. The cable car stopped right in front of our hotel.

The Blue Angels were also in town and were practicing for a weekend show. Always incredibly impressive, they amazed us once again as they did a maneuver above the Golden Gate Bridge.

We were also able to take a tour out to the Napa Valley and Sonoma area wineries. These are always interesting to us as one of our sons works in the wine business in the central coast area of California. The two areas grow different types of grapes and produce different wines due to their temperature differences. Harvest is in full swing in both areas.

One of the wineries that we visited produces sparkling wines and the winery itself is absolutely gorgeous. There are many rock sculptures throughout the gardens and I couldn't pass up showing you a photo of the mushroom garden that I loved. I'd like to try something like that at my house.

Halloween will soon be here and my son and his wife asked me if I could come up with a snail outfit for their crawling little guy to wear. I was playing around a little with the idea this week and this is what I designed. It should look really cute when he is crawling about. I will have to get a photo of it with him wearing it.

The temperatures have taken a cold turn this week. Our low was actually 39* yesterday morning. It seems a little early to get temps that low for us. Let's hope that is not an indication of what the winter will be like here. Our farmers do not need another bad freeze this year. They are still recovering from one just two years ago.

I hope that everyone will have a wonderful week .

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It's a Boy

Our daughter just gave birth to a beautiful baby boy - their first child. He was born exactly at midnight -- too bad it wasn't a New Year's Day baby!!!! She had a delightfully short labor of three hours and did great.

He is a beautiful little guy with lots of dark hair and a great set of lungs. Everyone is doing well and thrilled that he is now out in the big world. Congratulations to Mom and Dad. Happy birthday baby J.
More pictures to follow, of course, but it is now 2 a.m. and I am off to bed.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fall Into Fall Giveaway

All of the names were placed in a bowl and one name was drawn.......and the winner is......Midlife Mom. Congratulations! When I entered this Giveaway I had no idea how popular it would be. I have met some wonderful people by checking out the blogs of my commentors. There are some incredibly talented people that I will definitely be following. Thank you all for entering.

As promised, I am going to post a photo of what I am going to be offering in the Fall Into Fall Giveaway . I told you to think about candy corn and this is my "corny" pillow. I have always been an addicted to candy corn and this is my tribute to that wonderful fall candy.

The pillow is 20 inches square, machine quilted and will be given to a lucky winner on October 15th as per the contest rules. If you do not have a blog, please leave an e-mail address. In order to qualify, you must tell me what is your favorite food to prepare as the weather gets colder.

Just click on the scarecrow in my sidebar to see the list of over forty crafty people who will be participating in the giveaway. It's still not too late to join. Good luck and be sure to check back on October 15th

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Little Rain

First of all, I would like to thank everyone for their care and concern over my dermatology report. I feel very comforted by all the kind words. I am certain that this will amount to very little as I am persistent about frequent checks due to my fair skin. I am so glad to see the care that is taken now with little ones regarding the sun. Our parents had no idea that the sun could be as dangerous as it has turned out to be. Of course as teenagers the almighty tan was so important. I can remember slathering cocoa butter all over us and literally frying our skin. I was fortunate enough to avoid that practice because the sun and I have never agreed upon what color I should be. For me it has always been white or red. As a friend once said, "we are now paying for the sins of our youth."

Today has been a day to sit back and enjoy a little rain. We have not seen any rain since the early spring so this was a cleansing event. The trees all got a washing and are now sparkling. Everything looks so much greener. I love the way it looks and the fresh smell outside. It was also cool - a chilly 60*. That is quite the contrast to the 90s that we experienced earlier this week.

It seems like when the weather cools down I get a craving for pumpkin pie. I made one this afternoon and the smell of it is lingering throughout the house. We will have it for dessert tonight with some freshly whipped cream. My mouth is watering.

It was the perfect day for doing a little sewing as well. There is a Fall Into Fall Giveaway going on in many blogs right now. I thought that I would spend a little time working on something to become a member of it. Be sure to check it out as there are about forty people participating and there are some really great items being given away. Just click on the scarecrow in my sidebar to see what they have. I will post a picture of what I am going to be making, but I have to finish it first.

One of the blogs is having a candy giveaway. The gift would be wonderful to win, but I am more thrilled to see what is now back on the market. A bonus prize from I Want Candy is a box of Mallomars. This is my all time favorite cookie. We have not been able to get them here for years and I so hope that they will have them in our stores. That vanilla cookie and milk chocolate coating is so yummy. There is no comparison to the Pin*wheels with the chocolate cookie and dark chocolate coating.

I have been doing a little Halloween decorating around the house. The grandchildren helped me get a lot of items put out last weekend which got me motivated to get the rest out and put around the house.

I have always loved frogs and I am amazed at all the different "frog" decorations for the seasons. My Halloween frogs include a .....

candy bowl

cookie jar,

and a table sitter.

This is my ghost that I made many years ago with paper towels and Styrofoam cups.

I also made a witch using the same items.

While I was out running errands this week, I went past the farm fields where folks go to select their pumpkins. There was a sea of orange and tractors pulling wagons loaded with children on their way out to find the perfect pumpkin for their homes. What a thrill it must be for all the little ones. Many of the local schools take field trips with the younger students to this pumpkin farm.

I hope that everyone is enjoying their weekend. Be sure to take a few minutes and check out all of the Fall Into Fall Giveaways and check back in another day or so to see what I will be adding to the list. Until the.....think candy corn!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

So This is My Wednesday

This was NOT the way that my anticipated Wednesday was suppose to be like.

My intentions were to get up, go to my dermatology appointment and then come home to enjoy the day. What was I thinking?

It all started last evening while our daughter and SIL were here for dinner. I had made a delicious apple crisp for dessert and went to add the ice cream to the bowl. The ice cream was not as hard as it usually is but I had just purchased it yesterday. Not a problem!

This morning as I was quickly trying to get out of the house for an 8:00 a.m. dermatology appointment, I thought I should double check that ice cream to make sure the freezer was still cold enough. NOPE!! Since most things were still frozen, I quickly moved what needed to be moved to the freezer in the garage and figured that I would deal with it when I got home.

Two weeks ago I had a small spot removed from my arm and the doctor wanted to remove two more spots - one on my leg and one on my back. I had both of them removed and a few stitches put into both areas. However, the one on my arm has turned out to be a skin cancer that I will now need to go in and have surgery performed on it. I was not expecting that news as I have had so many "areas" removed over the years. This fair skin is no delight. Perhaps my saving grace is that I grew up in the Midwest were we were not exposed to sun year round as we are here.

Leaving the office it was now back to deal with "the problem" at home. I managed to drop a box of blueberries that went wildly rolling in every direction (I thought about you, Dawn) and under every cabinet. Of course the situation was not improved with the instructions that I had just been given at the doctor's office to not stretch. Try collecting all those things without bending your back. Mind you, this refrigerator problem happened in March as well - March 18th, to be exact. The repairman will be here sometime today so all of my plans for running errands have now vanished. Let's hope that it is the same problem and that the new parts will be under warranty. Have I ever mentioned how I dislike G*E appliances? All I can say is that it is one lousy way to get the fridge and freezer cleaned out.

We enjoyed the grandchildren over the weekend and they were well behaved -- busy, but very good. It is always fun to have them for several days when their parents go away. You get a good chance to visit with them and to hear all that is going on in their lives.

Here we have an older sister with a willing dress up partner.
The sale of my FIL's house went through and was finalized yesterday. It was a busy week with clearing everything out and getting ready for the sale, but it feels great to have it done with the way the market is these days.
Yesterday was our DIL's birthday and we met up with them at the volleyball game for their eldest daughter. I love watching volleyball. Our boys played it in high school and college and we have a sand volleyball court in our backyard. It has always been on of my favorite spectator sports.
Happy birthday, L. Who would guess this beautiful woman is the mother of ten?
Ms. M serving.
Ms. M during matches.
Our daughter had her doctor appointment on Monday and was told to anticipate delivery sometime next week. She had her last day of work yesterday and the escrow on their home is suppose to close any day now. She is frustrated that she has not been able to set up the nursery and do the typical "nesting" that comes at this point of the pregnancy.
We have surprised them with the baby cradle that she and her four brothers used when they were newborns. I had it refinished and have made a new bumper pad and mattress that will match her sage green and white nursery. We showed it to them last night and they loved it. I can't wait to see a little baby snuggled up in again.

Our weather has turned quite warm which is typical for the fall here. It has been in the 90s for the last few days, but is forecast to be cooler with even a chance of some rain this weekend. It would be a welcome sight as we have not seen any rain since last spring. The cooler summer has driven our tortoises into an early hibernation. Our three females have gone to sleep and the males are definitely slowing down.

It's hard to imagine that it is the first of October already. It won't be long before we are deep into holiday plans and wonderful family times. My only question is, "Where did the past year go?"

Have a wonderful week.