Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm not even going to try to make excuses for my lack of blogging as of late. Each time that I think things will slow down somewhat I find myself laughing at the idea. I know that Thanksgiving's arrival means Christmas is just around the corner. Where has this year gone?
We will be celebrating our Thanksgiving on Saturday as we do each year. It allows our children to travel to their in-laws for their Thanksgiving dinners. This year our group is a little smaller than normal which means we will be serving dinner for about 40. Everyone brings side dishes so our contributions are turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pies. Perhaps the biggest job is setting up the table settings for everyone. We always have a grand time just visiting and hanging out. We are blessed that these get togethers are not a once a year event in our family.
I made these wood cutouts to greet the guests.
We took a few days last weekend to head up the coast to visit our son and DIL. My sister and her husband went with us and we stayed in Pismo Beach. It is such a pretty area of the coast. The weather was glorious while we were there.
This was our view from our balcony...sunrise and sunset.
One of our favorite stops is this Cinnamon Roll shop. It has been there for years and the freshly made buns can be smelled for blocks in all directions. I really wanted to take a photo of the delicious roll but my husband was ready to abandon me if I pulled the camera out. Guess I will have to leave it to your imagination, but they are F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S and I'm sure they do not have one countable calorie in them. I did manage to snap this picture of the "Senior Nutrition" van that pulled up as we were leaving. I am thinking it may not be so bad to be a senior if they feed me like that.
We did a little shopping and I could not pass on this little Christmas outfit. Is this too funny or what?????
On Sunday we ran into a couple of our children at church and we all grabbed brunch afterwards. We frequently will do this at this restaurant so they are always prepared for our gang of thirteen children and six adults. No reservations needed!
Last evening we were blessed to be present for our newest grandson's christening. It is always such a special event. The little guys was christened in the same gown that his mother and his uncles wore for their baptisms. The ceremony was performed by our very dear friend, Fr. G., which makes for a treasured memory.
Mom, Dad, Fr. G and J
The adoring cousins.
To add to all the confusion this week we are also having indoor painting being done. We had been on the painter's waiting list for sometime and he finally had some free time. So....I have officially become a furniture re-arranger, duster, window treatment remover and all those other good titles. It is always nice to add a little chaos to the mix.
My intention was to get out in the garden to get some flowers planted before our series of expected storms hit. It did not happen. We have been plagued with a large number of rabbits in the garden this year and it is so frustrating to have the seedlings munched on by them. This week I found some welcome help with the problem.
This hawk was sitting on the gate while keeping an eye on the garden. Too bad I can't keep him there all the time.
I have been tagged two times this week for a meme about me. First Midlife Mom tagged me and then Baba so I hope that I can come up with a couple of unknown things about me. Let's see....
  1. I was born a fiery redhead with hair below my shoulders at birth.
  2. The nurses tied my hair up in a ponytail on the top of my head with umbilical tape.
  3. I stayed a redhead until I stupidly decided to weave blonde into it when I was in my 20s. Little did I know that I would loose that gorgeous red hair to gray so early!
  4. I was an undrugged hyperactive child whom my mother turned onto a sewing machine.
  5. I made my first skirt for myself, by myself, when I was 5 years old.
  6. I graduated from nursing school and had my R.N. when I was just 19 years old.
  7. I married my brother's best friend. My brother did not marry mine.

Now, I am suppose to tag six other people but think I will let anyone who would like to do this contribute their information. It's always such fun to read about other bloggers.

As I wish all of our American bloggers a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with blessings, I will leave you with this thought.

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Another Firestorm

As day breaks here in Southern California we once again see what destruction can come from the dry winds. Our hearts go out to the people who have lost so much in this very exclusive area of California. For those who are unfamiliar with the area, I must tell you that it is gorgeous. News that I just received from my daughter's godmother, who lives near there, advises me that she believes it will be much worse than what we are hearing with possibly two hundred homes involved. She said that the speed at which it came upon them was unbelievable with walls of fire reigning down. The roads are narrow and trying to evacuate an area like that is a major undertaking. We all pray that the winds will die down enough for our firefighters, our heroes, to get a handle on the fire.

Our niece is a student at the college where the fire started, but she happened to be at Disneyland with her family yesterday. Word is that several of the buildings on the campus were burned with one dorm completely destroyed. It will make for an interesting rest of the school year for those students involved.

I haven't had much of a chance to post lately because I have been busy. So....what else is new?

With two new grandbabies this year I have been working on Christmas stockings. I am doing these two with felt kits with lots of embroidery and sewing on of sequins. It is not an easy project to pack up and take with you on the go, but they are fun to construct, none the less. The majority of the stockings that I have done in the past have been in counted cross stitch.

Work in progress....

Some of the cross stitched ones.

Our quilt guild meeting this week featured Sandi Cummings as our guest speaker. She had some wonderful slides to show of her work as well as photos of other quilter's work from gals in her quilt group. It is always interesting to see what others are working on. Sandi's works were quite contemporary and her eye for color is amazing.

We've also been busy with helping out with some of the little ones. It is always nice to be close enough that the parents can drop the kids off or we can run over for a few hours of "Grandma/Grandpa time."

I must say that Grandpa is always a good sport.

Is everyone else out there being bombarded with catalogs this year? It definitely gets worse each year. I think that I must have several trees worth of paper stuffed in my mailbox so far and it isn't even December yet. I cannot imagine what my house would look like if I kept all of them. THAT would be a fire hazard. My recycle bin is filled each week.

The advantage is that I have been doing a lot of my Christmas shopping through the catalogs this year. The little ones love to look through the toy catalogs when they are here and I get some great ideas from them. With twenty grandchildren it is nice to get a head start on the shopping.

Did everyone in the world (except me) know that Mother's Cookies went out of business at the beginning of October? Where am I ever going to be able to buy those delicious Taffy cookies again????? Now, I must admit, I love to bake cookies, but I cannot duplicate that recipe. There are very few cookies that I would actually BUY; Taffy cookies are one of those. I guess that we will be seeing more and more of this happening to companies that we have loved all these years.

Friday is finally here and the weekend is busy with plans of gardening and finishing some more sewing projects. I hope that each of you will be enjoying your weekend as well.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Is it possible that another week has actually slipped past? I know that the next few months will be filled with things to do and that 2009 will descend upon us in the blink of an eye. Why is it that as a child it seemed as though Christmas and our birthday would never come and yet, as an adult, they are here and gone so quickly?

I want time to slow down. I want to enjoy the days and hours more than I do. I love the holidays and I want to savor each minute with the little ones. I want to have the time to go out and work in the garden, sew, cook and quilt like I am not rushing to get it done. And.....I don't want to sound like an "old" person complaining that life is going too fast.

The cool weather has returned and the sweaters and sweatshirts have made their appearances in the wardrobe. I must say, it does feel good to wear them again. We actually enjoyed a little rain over the weekend -- a most welcome drink for our very thirsty hillsides. I am certain that the new grasses will soon dapple the landscape and refresh our senses.

Yesterday was surgery day for my arm. For a "tiny" spot, it surely looks as though I fought a good battle with someone. The Mohs procedure went well and they were able to remove all the skin cancer in the first cut. Thank goodness for that because I had a one and a half inch hole in my arm with the initial cut. I cannot imagine how big it would have been if they had to take more. I am thrilled to have it behind me despite the fact that I have more than 30 tiny stitches that will need to be removed next week. I think that I will ask the doctor to do the fine sewing on my next project as these stitches are the most precise and beautiful stitches one can imagine. At least the sutures on the inside will dissolve on their own.

A little overkill on the dressing.

The weekend was busy. We had the little ones over for dinner and trick or treating on Friday night. We have so few children that come around our neighborhood anymore and our friends always enjoy seeing the grandchildren.

Loving the built in muscles.

The smallest pumpkin.

Sorting through "the stash."

Saturday night we did a big turkey dinner with my sister, her husband and my mom. It was an eventful evening as it seemed nothing was going right. I always start my turkey off for the first half hour at 500* to brown it and then lower the temperature to finish it off. When I went to lower the temperature I turned the second of the double ovens temperature to the desired temp. About an hour into it we realized what I had done. It was actually great tasting, but done before I had planned. Bad start!

When my mother arrived she happened to run off the sidewalk in her power wheelchair and into the mud on two tires. My dear husband was out with the hose trying to gently remove all the mud from the tire grooves and somehow managed to get a little moisture on the battery connection which made the chair inoperable. We disengaged the power and had to push the chair (with my mom in it) into the house. Those chairs are heavy!! Bad post start!

While enjoying a glass of wine before dinner and laughing about our events, we heard this thunderous crash with breaking glass. Not knowing what to think, we ventured to find the source. For some unknown reason the top glass shelf in my curio cabinet came crashing down onto the middle shelf which crashed down on the lower shelf. Why it happened is still a mystery, but suffice it to say that it was a disaster as I had my Lladro figurines and Waterford crystal inside. Bad middle!

We did, however, thoroughly enjoy our dinner and visit together. Our SIL was working so our daughter and the new baby came over and joined us for dinner as well. Good ending!

Sunday evening we had dinner in Santa Barbara with my husband's cousin and her husband, Erno. It was absolutely delightful. Erno has just written book that was released this week, Stealth Germs. He gave us an autographed copy and it is excellent. Although he is a doctor, this was written for the lay person to understand. It is basically how they are finding that many of these persistent symptoms and illnesses can actually be "germs" lying dormant within the body and not picked up by the doctors. It is definitely worth the read.

I am sure that everyone is as happy as I am that this election process is finally OVER! I was so sick and tired of the phone calls, junk mail, banners and street signers. We now know the results and can get on with our lives. Heather had a great post yesterday about how good life is no matter what and it does put in perspective all our stress and angst over elections.

And now it is onwards to the follow up appointment on my arm. Hopefully, that will include a smaller bandage. I hope that everyone has a wonderful week ahead of them.