Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!  I made the mistake of not checking the time when Alli got up today - we were up at 4:15!  Usually, I can get her to go back to bed for a while, but....I jumped up, fed the dogs, started the coffee, and then realized how early it was.  

It's a low-key Christmas around here this year.  We got a family gift of new phones, so not much in the way of other presents.  (We upgraded to the i-phone 6S)  Ralph also got a dry suit for his kayaking - which is his Anniversary/Christmas/birthday present for a few years.

Here's a photo of Ralph and I before we left for the Bank's Christmas party.  Margene came down to help AJ babysit for us, so we had a full house at home - Margene, her son Dallas, his girlfriend Gabs, AJ and Allison.  I remember why I don't like to go out at night - it's more work to get the house set up for a babysitter than it is to just fix dinner at home.  Since we were leaving before 6:00, I left dinner in the oven for the crew - luckily, they cleaned up after themselves.  I set out Alli's pj's, diapers, etc. where Margene could find them (knowing that AJ was going to be 'busy').  

I was texting with Lisa the other day, and she was complaining about the cats at Mom's house (she has spraying issues).  I took this quick shot of Picot to show her that they can be cute!

Lisa and I are supposed to be going down to see Dave tomorrow - if she can get out of Susanville, and she isn't sick.  It will be a long day.....

Friday, December 18, 2015

Here's the final cookie batches - two day of baking ready to get packed up

I took a break in my running around in town the other day, and stopped by the Sundial Bridge

The yard is pretty much done.  Ralph's not happy with the silt in the pond, but it's up a running,  He's having lights installed as well, but they aren't yet.....

The view from the patio:

The pond:

The view of the fire pit from the pond:

The fire pit toward the pond:

The front yard:

The supervisor:

And, I sewed all day yesterday and got this quilt top put together:

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Vacation has begun!  I baked two batches of macaroons, one batch each of peanut butter, chocolate chip, and chocolate biscotti cookies yesterday.  On the agenda today - orange/cranberry biscotti, gingersnaps, and two batches of sugar cookies - one batch is for Alli's class.  I also need to gather up the gloves I have done for Alli's class and send them in with the cookies on Wednesday, and put cookie trays together.  Good thing I find that all 'relaxing'.

Even when she gets the bed, Luna sleeps funny!

I finished up the scarf that I was making for Dallas's girlfriend.  I got the pattern for it here.  I used Vanna's Choice yarn, and it came out a little bit stiff - which is needed for the pattern, but not too much fun to wear.  I found a site here that gave directions to soften yarn - and it is much softer!  Here is a photo before I washed it:

And here is one after washing - it straightened out the fringe, but also started unraveling it. 

I'll check in with Margene for her opinion on replacing the fringe before I pull it apart....

Saturday, December 12, 2015

I actually managed a little bit of sewing last weekend in my new sewing area.  (I managed quite a bit on un-sewing too - not a lot to show for the time....but I did start sewing!)  I eventually want to put a 'real' sewing area in, but in the meantime, I am using our long table and trying out what works and doesn't.

Here's the quilt I was putting together.  I have all the blocks made - now to sew them together for the quilt!

I also made a couple of baby hats last week - crocheting is one reason I haven't done any sewing lately.  'Tis the season for hats and gloves and scarves.....but aren't these adorable!!!

I did get a picture of Luna in her bed, rather than Indy, and she sleeps funny!

Sunday, December 06, 2015

It's (almost) done!  They came in yesterday and fired up the fountain/waterfall in the back.  It still isn't complete, but it's holding water and the pump runs and we have waterfalls!  They will be back next Friday to finalize everything.  I'll get final photos after that.  It's been a bit hard to get good pictures - I'm gone before it's light outside and back when it's dark during the week, and - not that I'm complaining - it's been raining on the weekend.

I got a call last weekend from my 'other son'.  He asked if I could make a special Christmas present for his girlfriend.  It seems she's a huge hockey fan - the Flyers in particular.  Dallas requested a scarf with the Flyer's logo on it.  Here's one end of the scarf done:

They will be in on  the 16th, and I'd like to have it done by then.....we'll see.  I have until the 23rd, so no need to panic yet.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Friday, December 04, 2015

I finally finished up my baby quilt - I had it all done except for sewing one side of the binding for a couple of months, but....the baby is due in December, so no need to rush, right?   OMG, IT'S DECEMBER!!  Dawn was visiting for an evening, so I finished sewing it while chatting with her - woohoo!!!

I really like how it turned out.

I got a surprise text from my brother the other day - the ominous "we need to talk - I'll call you tomorrow".  Somehow, that just never sounds like good news.  In this case, it was.  He's entering rehab on Monday, and will be able to go back to work (after being fired last month) afterwards.  He's been having a lot of issues since Mom died, so this is wonderful news!

Monday, November 30, 2015

We made it through another family gathering!!!  We were missing Sarah, and Kody's girlfriend Shannon - other than that, I think we had everyone!  Joe's son, daughter-in-law and grand baby came, and Dave's quasi-step daughter Julie came, so we had 16 adults and a 2 year-old.  We had two turkeys (and one wasn't touched!  Talk about leftovers......) a ham, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, roasted sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, roasted Brussels sprouts, lots and lots of mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, tons of appetizers, and to top it off, a cherry pie, a pumpkin pie, a cheese cake, and a flour-less chocolate torte.  Everyone helped put it all together - and I think everyone actually enjoyed the day!  I even tried my hand at making Mom' giblet gravy.  It wasn't bad, but it wasn't just like hers either.  I had been hoping it would be warm enough so people could enjoy outside, but...too chilly!  My hands are chapped and sore from so much washing, but....on with Christmas!

AJ helped me bring down decorations yesterday.  I'm not putting up the tree this year, so my decorations are pretty easy.  I'm going for a minimalistic approach this year - just a few of my snowmen, the stockings, the creche, and some lights.  I've gotten a lot cleared out of the 'computer room' on it's way to becoming a sewing room/office.  I'm in more of a mood to see clear space than decorations right now.

The entry-way...

The bookcase...

The piano

The curio cabinet - this one needs something behind it - too much white!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

I read an interesting article the other day about Thanksgiving creating so much stress - mainly for women.  What other day celebrated cooking for some (mainly women) and watching TV for others (mainly men)?  I have to admit, most of my stress is self-induced about cooking.  Does anyone really judge me by my mashed potatoes?  (Seriously - I hope not!!)  While I hope that everyone enjoys the food served today, I hope they enjoy the company even more.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

AJ and I took the dogs for a walk this weekend, and ran into Coppy again.  The filed is beautiful this time of year.....

 And muddy.....

AJ and I have been keeping Luna on the lead because she chases birds and rabbits - and forgets to stop.  Here is how Coppy acts when he sees her - he lays down and waits for her to get close, and pounces on her.

It kept her a little less muddy too!
I redecorated the main bath last week - PINK!!!  It's pink with hearts - cute!  You can't tell from the picture, but the shower curtain has bling on it as well.  Poor Alex - luckily, I hung one of the heart mirrors on the wall at the right height for him to see in, so he's good with it.

I took in the sock monkey hat I made for Malorie's little boy last week, and got an order for one in pink.  I got this finished on Sunday:

I took it in to work yesterday, and got an order for 3 more.....I'm not taking them in to work anymore!!!!

These also were ordered by the same person as the pink sock monkey baby hat.  Two head/ear warmers.  The stitch pattern was different on them, so they were fun to try out.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Bookmarks for book club this month were turkeys - turkey butts to be exact.  The book - Bone in the Throat - did not lend itself to a bookmark based on the book (the mob, murder, guns, knives, etc.) so.....they got turkeys.  They turned out pretty cute.  I had a pattern for it once upon a time, and still had a pin that I made, but couldn't find the pattern.  I made this one up as I went, based on the pin.

The yard is coming along quite nicely.  They have most of the rock in - this was taken Tuesday morning, and they did more work yesterday,  I don't know that it will be done by the time everyone is here for Thanksgiving, but most of it will be.  I think the fountain and fire pit will be the last to go in.  I also need to put in 'something' by the fire pit are to keep the dogs from fighting with the new neighbor's dog.  Between their dog and ours, the fence is getting torn up.  I'm thinking box planters along the end of the fence....