Wednesday, October 31, 2012

AJ and I carved pumpkins last night after dinner.  I don't do the best photos of lit pumpkins, but these turned out pretty cool!!  (Yes, mine is the dragon!)

(And yes, AJ's is the cat!)

I actually picked out my favorites to carve, and AJ made the final decisions.  We wanted something easy to carve!  I wasn't up to some of the more intricate carvings last night.

I lined up my 'ghoulies' on the hearth last night for a group photo.  They've been lined up on my bookshelf for the last week, just waiting, and they are so cute!  AJ told me I couldn't give them away, or if I did, I had to make more to replace them.  The blue and green on the right are staying here as it is.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The trial run of my Halloween costume:

We are dressing as "The People of Wal-Mart" as a department tomorrow.  I'm not sure I'm 'wal-marty' enough.  AJ helped dress me - he sprayed my hair pink and loaned me the vest and the unmatched soccer socks to wear with my sandals.

What do you think?  Will it do?  Check out: People of Walmart and see if I pass.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I shot my first zombie last night.  It was definitely a night of firsts!  

Veronica and Meredith had a birthday party for their mother last night.  Gwen has always gone to a haunted house for her birthday, so last night, Meredith, Gwen and I took the 'kids' to Hawes Ranch.  (I say 'kids' because AJ and Carolyn are 19, Emma is 17 and Rosemary is 16.  They aren't kids anymore!!)  Emma was selling VIP tickets as a fundraiser for U Prep.  I didn't realize the VIP tickets let you cut in line - and the lines were a mile long!  Definitely the way to go!

AJ, Dawn and I headed over for BBQ hamburgers at Meredith's at 5:30 yesterday, and then around 7:15 or so, we headed off to the haunted house / corn maze.  Dawn stayed behind to watch the Giants game with the other adults.  (Go Giants!)  

Our first attraction was the zombie shoot.  The VIP line had a dozen or so people in it.  The other line???? I have no idea how long it was (100+??), but I would guess that they were waiting much longer than an hour for the trip.  We climbed aboard a flat bed trailer filled with hay bales and a tractor pulled us out to another flat bed trailer.   This one had paint guns mounted along the edge of the trailer.  We were provided with 100 paint balls, and then driven around the property (which is huge!) with zombies jumping out of the brush at us.  Some of those guys were having way too much fun scaring people!  It was a beautiful night for a drive - almost a full moon, and the temps were around 65 degrees.  Perfect!  Then, the zombies attacked.  That did distract me from the scenery for a while.

The next attraction - the 'Field of Screams' - a haunted corn maze.  According to the website, it has 1/3 mile of trail, but it sure felt longer!  Of course, when you are walking in the dark, with fog everywhere (they did a great job with the fog machines!) and people keep jumping out of the corn at you - it felt like forever!  The 'ghoulies' were great.  They aren't allowed to touch us.  So....they just hid around corners, stepped out in front of you, screamed behind you, etc.  We about lost Meredith a few dozen times.  She never seemed to catch on that they were hiding around corners, behind doors, etc.  Good thing she has a strong heart!  The creepiest part was when they would infiltrate the group in the fog.  You would be walking along in fog so thick you couldn't really see the person in front of you, and they they would turn around and be wearing a horrendous mask.  We had a group of 7, so you didn't really notice that the group grew by one (or two).  All in all - a fun evening.  I'm glad I went (I didn't originally plan to go.)

If I ever wonder why I don't get a lot of crafting time....I just have to look around.  I went to sit down the other night to work on something, and my spot was taken.

I looked again, and not only was my spot taken to sit, but so was my foot space, and pretty much my head space.

I finished my bookmarks for work yesterday.  I went to take pictures, and...I had help.  I know - a surprise, right?  Not really.  (That is Tank in the background - two shining eyes!)

This was my first try (actually my second - the first was so bad I just tossed it).  I used the thread that I had on hand, and it was way too light in color.  I also had issues with the shape.  When I asked Alex if he could tell what it was supposed to be, he answered "Pizza?".  He knew what it was supposed to be, but he was just messing with me.  Ralph was in the kitchen at the time, and didn't realize AJ was kidding, and so when I asked him if he could tell what it was, he asked if I was going to put pepperoni on it.  I quit!

I went to get darker thread, and, of course, couldn't find any.  I ended up using the thread for needlepoint (I think that is what you would us it for - it was with the embroidery thread at Michaels)  Much better!

Here is the group of them:

I also found the cutest idea for making little monsters.  I made up two yesterday.  IF I get all 7 done that I need, and IF I have time,m I will embroider faces on them.  If not, they will stay as little ghosties!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

What does YOUR office do when they start getting stressed?
 Mine get out the balloon and smack it around fro a while!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I won my bid on eBay for an old Singer machine:  (I also just put my first link into the blog instead of just typing the web address - look at me go!!!)  I'm hoping it is a nice little machine that will sew a straight stitch for me and keep the tension correct - something my machine right now is not doing.  Mine won't sew over more than three layers of material either - not a good thing for quilting!  It should be here is a couple of weeks, so we'll see.

Poor Allison is sick.  She didn't eat breakfast yesterday morning, but that isn't unusual.  She now prefers to be up for a while before she eats, and that just doesn't work on school mornings when the bus comes just after 6:00.  Her teacher (and aides) know that, so they give her a snack once she gets to school.  She didn't want that either.  She also wanted to lay down in the morning - not something she usually does either.  Then, about 10:30, she threw up.  Poor thing!

It also happened to be a day that Dawn needed the RAV for some appointments, so I was stuck at work with no car.  Dawn had turned her phone notices off, so she didn't get my calls asking her to come pick me up, so I called Ralph.  He came over and picked me up and I took him back to work and used his truck.  He was missing a conference call at the time, soon as he got back, the phone system at his office went out, so he didn't get much of the call anyway.  Not a good day there either!

I got Alli at school, and she threw up on the way to the truck.  Not good!  She was fine on the way home until I was just a minute or two from the house.  I had actually turned onto Granada, and she got sick again.  Poor thing.  She did this all afternoon - nap a little, feel a bit better, then get sick.  She is not going to school today!  And today was her class's trip to Hawes farm to the pumpkin patch.  She hasn't gotten up yet either - also unusual for her.  She just does not feel good!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Yesterday was the first full day of rain in a while.  We are scheduled for rain today and tomorrow, and we've gotten over an inch so far!  I'm hoping fire season is officially over.  There was a dusting of snow on Shasta Bally yesterday - I'm ready for winter!  (of course, I say that at the end of every season - bring on the next!)  

This storm brought in an afternoon thunderstorm with it.  AJ had a class cancelled because the college lost power (and I don't think he complained too much!).  At the bank, we had some power flickers that played havoc with our electronics, but we didn't loose power.  It was the 30th anniversary of the bank yesterday, and they had a local radio station on site, and a BBQ lunch for our customers - and....of course it rained and thundered on them.  Dawn said we got a ton of hail here at the house - poor Tank was trying to hide because the hail was hitting the windows so hard, Dawn was worried they might break.  Obviously, so was Tank!!

One more photo from the party last Friday - Ashley and I.

Monday, October 22, 2012

It's raining!!!  When I checked at 5:00 this morning, we had 0.28 inches, and we are up to 0.33 now.  The first rain of the season is wonderful.  I know I'll be sick of it by January, but for now, it's time to celebrate!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

I finished the third quilt top - it's ready for quilting now.  I have the backing material, I just need the batting material, and I can start it.  I did modify it from the pattern.  The original pattern calls for another 6 inches or so edging - but that will make it an awkward fit for a table runner that way, so....I'm using it as it is (with just a binding edge on it.)

I really like this one - and .... most of the pieces even fit together!  This one is an improvement on the last one, which was an improvement on the first one.  One of these days, I may even get good at it!

Dawn and I took the dogs for a walk yesterday.  There was one tree in the field with leaves that have turned color.  I'm ready for fall!  The rain is supposed to start tomorrow.

There are my beautiful co-workers!!!  Let's just say "what happens at the party, stays at the party"!  Too much fun was had by all!

Friday, October 19, 2012

I couldn't help it.....It's not my fault.....It's Mom's fault!  She asked me to stop by and pick up something for a project she is working on, and since I could't find anything for her.....I picked up two new skeins of yarn for me.  Like I needed a new (or two!) projects.  And of course, I had to start them last night, just to see how they were going to work up.  I like them!!!  The gray project works up a lot faster than the pink, and needs less concentration.  I really like that part.

The pink is one of the new ribbon yarns, and the grey is a tweed yarn  - it's been out for awhile, but I loved the grays!!!

Today is another busy day.  We have an all-staff meeting at work (which is where they will announce my promotion :) ) and then I have a 'think pink' luncheon  at 11:00 until 1:00 or so, and then tonight, there is an anniversary party at the Gaia Hotel for the bank.  The 22nd is our 30th anniversary  and I've been there 16 of those years.  They are even closing the Roseville office at 1:00 today, and busing everyone up from there for the party,  I should be a lot of fun!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

It was a days of ups and downs yesterday.  The ups - I knew that I was up for a promotion.  It went before the board on Tuesday, but....I didn't hear anything on Tuesday after the Board meeting.  Wednesday morning, my boss called and said the infamous 'we need to talk'.  Oh well.  Bummer.  But - he had a meeting, so would call me when he was free - around 9:30 or so,  At 12:15, I still hadn't heard anything from him, so I left for lunch.  I wanted to run a quick errand, and then do the shopping for the bank's honor box - it was empty!!  My errand was to get the oil changed on my car.  It took almost an hour!  Usually, I'm in and out in 15-20 minutes!  That means I'm now going to be well over my 'lunch hour' by the time I go shopping.  Oh well, my staff knew where I was, and they had my cell number if they really needed me.

When I got back ($110.00 later in food for the honor box!), of course, there was a message from my boss "before you go to lunch...."  Too late!  I called him and left a message that I was back, and then got involved with 'other stuff'.  I finally went to see him around 3:00.  I got the promotion!  Woohoo!  I'm now a Vice President for Redding Bank of Commerce.

That was definitely my high for the day.  I decided to stop at the store and pick up some shrimp and wine and make a celebratory dinner (shrimp scampi - yum!) last night.  When I pulled out of the bank's parking lot, I noticed that my 'check tires' light was on.  Oh well, it was probably my spare tire, I'll check it out when I stop at the store.  Of course, it wasn't the spare.  My right front tire was almost completely flat.  One phone call to AAA and they came and fixed it, but I didn't get home from work until almost 6:30.  Definitely the low for the day - but it was more than balanced by the 'high'!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

You know, I love sunrises and sunsets - I just don't like to see them from work!  This was the sunrise yesterday from my desk.  It won't be too much longer, and it will be dark when I go to work and dark when I leave work, and not because of the number of hours I'm working - that's happened before too!

Speaking of leaving work - I almost didn't yesterday.  Since Dawn moved in, she has been using the Camry to get around, and AJ has been using his motorcycle - which is what he was using anyway.  Now that it is a bit cooler in the morning, AJ is using the Camry on Tuesday and Thursday, since he has an 8:00 class (a bit chilly on the bike).  Dawn had an appointment yesterday, so I left the RAV with her and rode in with Ralph.  He even picked me up and took me to lunch!  Unfortunately, he forgot to pick me up after work.  He said he ran a quick errand, picked up All, and came home.  When he pulled into the driveway, he saw the RAV there and thought "Wow, Deni's home early today!" and then realized, that no, actually, she was going to be home late now!  Since he gets off at 4:00, he really picked me up right at 5:00, I wasn't late at all.  And here I was thinking that maybe we should ride share more often to save gas!

I started work on a bookmark for the book club - which is meeting November 7th.  The opening scene of the book references a Japanese parasol, and the book cover has one on it, so I thought I would try for one.  Instead, I got an umbrella - close, but not what I was looking for.  I need to modify it just a bit, I think!  Still, not too bad for the first try at it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The sunset last night:

Dinner was a little late - I stopped cooking to go out and admire the sunset (and chase down Allison and change her clothes, etc - but that was besides the pint.)
I finished a quick little doily/coaster - done in fall colors!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I got a little bit of motivation at my quilt club yesterday.  I hadn't done any more work on the 'new' quilt at all - I just had the center part done (from July), and at the meeting yesterday, I could have had a completed quilt if I had applied myself.  lucky for me, I didn't!  This quarter's quilt is a table runner in fall colors, but......if it is made by the pattern, it is too wide for most tables.  Not wide enough to completely cover a table, but too wide for a runner.  (Of course, I hadn't noticed that part because I hadn't gotten that far!)  Most of the quilts that were finished were not done like the pattern.  I found out that it will be a much better table runner if I don't follow the instructions.  What a thought!  I don't know that I would have tried it on my own - I'm not quite ready to stray too far from the written instructions yet, but after looking at what the more experienced quilters did, I'm ready!!!  I actually finished cutting out my pieces yesterday afternoon, and got about a quarter of the way finished with sewing them.  the end is in sight!  (Of course, I also picked up material for the next quilt yesterday - now I'm seriously behind!!)

I also picked up a pattern for a purse yesterday.  It is quilted, (using a really cool technique/material to puff the fabric!) and uses a zipper, and it has a ton of pockets in it.  I love it, but I'm not sure I'm a good enough seamstress to make it.  Mom?  What 'cha doin'?  Busy???  :)  I plan to go in next week and shop for the fabric/notions for it.  I didn't have time on Saturday to do much shopping.  It is also the case of seeing the pattern made up is so much better than the photo on the pattern.  I would never have picked the pattern up to do anything with.  The colors are just 'not me' and I would have walked right by it.

Last night was Ralph's 40th High School Reunion.  One of the organizers we talked to said they expected about 70 people there, and I think that was about right.  We met up with Jeff and Joyce, and Randy and Laurie at outside when we arrived, and hung out with them for the evening.  The room was a little crowded for that many people, and even though they said they expected 70, I don't think they set up tables and chairs for 70.  It was extremely close seating.  Then we got up to get our food (buffet line food - yuck!) someone else sat at our table.  We were able to get them to move down a bit (and it took us asking 3 times!!!) for us to get all of back into our table.  It was nice to chat with Joyce and Laurie.  The guys were out and about chatting for a bit, but we left around 9:15 or so - not the liveliest crowd!  I think Ralph had fun, and I don't think he aged as much as a lot of people in the class.  Some of them got OLD!  

Here's a little bookmark I finished up Friday night.  I gave it to Meredith yesterday at the quilting meeting.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

I'm stuck in a rut (again).  I seem to be just going through the motions and I need a plan!  I need inspiration!  I need to get off my butt and do something.  I think I get this way every fall.  By the end of summer, I'm ready for something different.  I can feel fall in the air - time to get motivated!

Speaking of motivating - we signed a contract to install solar panels for the house last week.  Gulp!  I hate the repayment part, but in the long run, the solar panels will really help.  Since we run our own pump for water, along with keeping the pool filters running and trying to keep the house(s) cool, my electric bill was over $500 last month,  Ouch!  The solar panels will reduce that, if not make it go away completely.  (I'm not counting on that part, but just cutting it down will help!)  The material should be here in a couple of weeks.  The panels are going on the guest house roof - the backyard has no trees, so they will always be in the sun - if there's no big cloud cover, they should be working!!

AJ's picked up a new hobby.  He's started making his own videos for YouTube.  He's bought quite a bit of equipment, moved his computer into his room, stole my black felt for a backdrop, and has me does sound pretty cool!  It's nice to seem him motivated by something that he wants to do, versus me telling him to get something done.

I'm off to my quilt class/club meeting today.  I finished the second quilt, but have not even touched the third quilt since July.  I get the material for the fourth quilt today.  When I was at Ronna's, I took a look at some of the quilts she has on display, and the one she is currently working on - wow!  I don't know how she finds the time to do that much quilting.  I haven't even found time for my little projects, and they are not nearly as complex.  Even the piecing for mine is pretty simple compared to hers, and we won't even talk about the actual quilting.  All I can say is "Wow".  Probably not happening here.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The coast was lovely - cool and damp.  Not so damp that we got rained on, but....damper than Redding!  I only went down to the beach once while we were there - that was enough for me to take Alli.  Between her lack of fear of the ocean and her bum knee (she is still limping quite a bit, especially if she has been sitting for a while - like for the drive over to Ft. Bragg) I decided that one trip would be enough.  It was enough to get her drenched at least.  We went to Van Damne Beach - just south of Mendocino.

Alli needed a bit of help to get through the soft sand down to the water.  Once she made it to the packed sand, she was off and splashing in the waves.  Then, she was down on her butt in the waves.  It didn't take long for her to loose her balance with the bad knee and sit down in the water.

I spent some time out on my sister's back deck while I was there (while Alli was otherwise occupied - napping, I believe :)) It was so nice out there in the morning.  Just a bit cooler than I was used to, but the sun was out.

Here's a picture of her house from the front.

And a picture of her new toy - hers is on the left.

She had some nuthatches come in for a drink out of her goldfish pond while we were there.  They are so agile and jumpy!  They were fun to watch flit in and out - grab a quick drink and jump back up, and I even got a couple of good pictures of them.

Here is one 'bottoms up' getting a drink.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Mom, Allison and I went to Ft. Bragg for the weekend.  I have Monday off for Columbus Day, so we left Redding Saturday morning and drove over.  It was a beautiful drive.  Most of the traffic that was going our way was traveling at or above the speed limit, so we made good time.  After we got in, Mom, Alli and I ran down to the beach for a short walk.  

For whatever reason, I thought Alli would be a bit more hesitant about the beach - both because of her bum knee, and because it was a different beach.  Boy was I wrong.  She saw those waves and was ready to head right on in.  The beach in Crescent City had a more gradual slope, and therefore the waves were a bit less powerful.  About the 5th wave that hit was a big one, and she went down.  Both of us ended up wet - me from the knees down and Alli from the neck down.

She still had fun, even after getting wet, has been a good trip.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

I finished it!  I didn't exactly follow the instructions, but I finished the lace scarf - and crocheted the edge of some gloves to match!  The yarn has sequins built into it, and is gorgeous   I'm happy with how this one turned out.  Next time - I'll actually read the instructions all the way through.  I did make it narrower than the pattern, but she also made half of it at a time and joined in the middle, so the pattern is the same way when you wear it.  Mine is definitely unique now!


Monday, October 01, 2012

Dawn and I went to "Art in the Park" on Sunday morning (before it hit 101!)  It isn't even close to what it used to be, but it was better than it was.  Once upon a time, there was a huge craft gathering, and then I understand the organizers priced everyone out of the market.  They didn't have anything for a couple of years (it is held in conjunction with Ducky Derby - they drop the ducks in the river on Sunday at 1:00).  Yesterday was pretty nice - a group was playing blue grass music, they had a small car show and quite a few crafters - almost all local.  I bought AJ a print of a watercolor - I couldn't resist!

Look like anyone you know?