Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I Must Be a Knit Wit!

Oh, Shauna! Your hat is finished. It is a charcoal color made out of Debbie Bliss Casmerino Aran yarn, which is a wool, microfibre and cashmere blend. It looks better on than just being posed for a photo! I hope you like it:

I discovered among my many half-finished projects, this wool knitted purse, which was almost finished except for the very top of the purse, the i-cord handle and then felting it in the washing machine. What fun! I finished it up this morning and here is the result:
I'm posting this additional photo so you get the idea of how tiny this purse is!! It started out WAY bigger. I think I LOVE this felting process! This turned out exactly the size that the pattern said it would be. 4" wide, 5 1/2" tall and 4" deep. Well, now that I think of it, I did make it just a bit taller. You can keep the handle doubled or pull it through and use it as a shoulder bag. I was glad to have success with my very first knitted and felted project. Maybe I should do a fancy purse next. Or a felted ladies hat. Hmmmm. Lots of possibilities. But then, I need to go finish the Christmas quilt that I have half done. The top is pieced and I just need to finish the back and layer it and quilt. Maybe I will get it all done tonite so I can post the finished project tomorrow. I'm really having more fun than a person should be allowed to have!!
AND...I'm still thankful to God that I am able to be creative! I kind of know how God must have felt when he created the heavens and the earth and all that is in it! Well....I guess a felted purse is a far cry from a giraffe or a platypus! But you know what I mean!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Not One but TWO.....

dozen ruby red roses for our 40th Wedding Anniversary yesterday. What a great husband I have! Thanks, Dave!

We decided to go into Seattle for the day to enjoy the Christmas scenery and just be together. Seattle isn't like it used to be! I miss Legoland in the toy section of the old Frederick & Nelson store. And the elaborate Christmas displays in the Bon Marche windows. Macy's windows were rather bland and not at all inviting for kids of any age. They did have a Santa house in the corner so you could look in one window and see and listen to Santa with the kids, but it just can't measure up to the past. I know I sound old!

Here is the Seattle of today:
 Lots of street musicians. These two with their hand saw & accordion were crazy!
 It's now not enough to play your guitar on the corner. One needs to work TWO hula hoops as you balance a guitar on your chin, play another guitar and take a break and dance around a bit.

Of course, NOTHING compares to the Pike Place Market!! Tons of people.

 San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf is no match for our seafood gurus at the Market.
And the Westlake Mall Christmas tree is all aglow with the Macy's Star as the crowning touch.

All in all it was a fun time visiting our glorious city. We took the bus in and it is definitely more relaxing and cheaper than driving in and paying for parking. In case you think that this wasn't a fitting 40th Anniversary celebration, we do have plans to go away for 5 days by ourselves. I'm not yet telling where or when! But I will blog about it for sure. And now on to the next 40 years!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I wasn't a Girl Scout, but I'm prepared!

What a Thanksgiving Day!! Not quite what we were planning. I had hoped to have a non-cooking, relaxing day at SOMEONE ELSE'S house!! Like our relatives in Bellingham. But, I guess God had other plans. The snow had become an issue. As you can see this view from our porch on Monday. Weather report was not looking good as we went back and forth as to whether to make the drive up north with no 4-wheel drive and no chains for our car. You can't see it from this picture because we are 400 feet off the road, but our driveway goes up a bit and getting out and onto the road at the top of the driveway in the snow and ice is a difficult feat! 
Then yesterday afternoon our furnace bit the dust. Since it has been COLD, we didn't want to leave our poor teeny dog home in a cold house....
But really, we just didn't want to chance the roads, so we made the decision to stay home and entertain ourselves. My husband found a turkey in the freezer and took it out to thaw thinking we could at least have a turkey dinner. Since I had a box of stuffing mix in my pantry, onion and celery in the fridge, I was able to stuff the bird and get it in the oven!
I also had a small can of pumpkin pie filling & one can of evaporated milk  in the pantry, so viola! I made a pumpkin pie this morning.
You can tell how stressed Dave is about this whole ordeal...

He is happily racing his Formula I car in some distant country. Not even thinking about the $600+ bill to get the furnace fixed. He found someone to come out tomorrow and they even had the new motor in stock so we should be back to normal by tomorrow evening.
I had made this yummy snack to take to Bellingham (sorry family) but guess we will have to eat them ourselves. Easy recipe, thanks to Sherran Whatley for the recipe. It's just oyster crackers with some added yumminess. Our house really didn't cool off much overnight, thanks to our 2 gas fireplaces and the space heater we had set up in the bedroom. Who needs a furnace??

Dave's cousins Chip and Roger also decided not to make the drive up to Bellingham as they also have no chains and they have 3-4 inches of new snow in Bellingham and Joe & Robin live on a HILL!! So, we invited them to come spend the day with us. I suspect they won't have trouble with our driveway getting down, but we will see about getting out! I think it is warming up a bit so maybe it will be raining by the time they go home.

Yesterday I was feeling sorry for myself about our Thanksgiving so decided to make chocolate chip/macadamia nut cookies. Notice that KitchenAid....it is almost 30 years old!! Still looks GREAT.
I spent my birthday (Tuesday) in my sewing/craft room. I decided it was time that I figure out what I was going to do with that big box of wedding gown pieces from Brides Against Breast Cancer. I have volunteered with this group in helping brides try on wedding gowns. A few times a year they sell "used" wedding gowns (and some new) at reduced prices with the proceeds going to help Breast Cancer patients. It is a great organization, and they give anyone interested a box of cut apart wedding gowns that are not suitable to sell. The only "catch" is that they ask you to make a quilt or wallhanging to donate to them for them to display or sell and you can keep the remainder of the gowns. I decided to machine embroider some of the fabric and I have this big skirt of burnt orange satin that I plan on incorporating into the design. I will post a photo when I get it done. Here is a link to their website:  http://www.bridesagainstbreastcancer.org/    Maybe you would be interested in volunteering or sewing a quilt!
So there you have it. Glad I had all the proper ingredients in our pantry to complete the Thanksgiving meal. Oh I forgot to mention that Scalloped Corn casserole that I had made yesterday. Sorry Kyle!! I know it is your favorite. We will miss seeing everyone in Bellingham!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Birthday celebration at Pete & Shaunas

Since Dave and I have our birthdays one week apart AND we have Thanksgiving thrown into the mix, it is always a busy November. Plus our anniversary is only 4 days after my birthday! What were we thinking, you may ask?? Well, when we got married Dave was a senior at the UW and I was working, so in order to have a 2 day honeymoon instead of just one, we chose the Friday of Thanksgiving in 1970 as our wedding date. "Wait until summer?" you ask. NO WAY!! Unlike today's newlyweds who actually have an exotic 2 to 3 week adventure for their honeymoons, we couldn't afford that luxury so it was Ocean Shores for us! But, here I am again on a tangent...

When Shauna invited us to come for dinner at their house, I remembered my mom and dad, who more times than not would say "That's too much work for you. We don't need to come for dinner. How about if we just come for dessert?" I felt frustrated many a time with this response since I REALLY WANTED to honor my parents and serve them a meal! They meant well, but they got fewer dinners at our house than they could have! We did, however, get together often to visit and play pinochle, so it isn't like we didn't interact with them!! After all, they just lived a stone's throw away! So, getting back to Shauna....I had the VERY SAME thought that my parents had..."It's too much work for you, with 2 little ones to care for." BUT instead, I said "YES. WE WOULD LOVE TO COME!!"

Shauna and Pete are such good hosts! They prepared a lovely meal for us. Gluten and dairy-free since both she and Dave are on restricted diets. Shauna because of Charlotte's digestive system and Dave because he finds that either wheat, dairy, gluten or a combination causes congestion and sinus difficulties. She even made a gluten free cake and didn't like the rice cream that she had purchased, so cut some sort of gluten free "ice cream" bars in half to go on our cake. Yummy!

It was a really fun evening! Jason was able to join us and we had good conversation and even played the XBox 360 Kinect games a bit before we left. Of course, the grandkids are wonderful! Sigh. Here are some photos of our evening.

Hailey loves her little sister!
Just like that, Charlotte was unhappy!
Oh, I knit that scarf the night before. VERY quick and easy.

There is a baby under there!

Lovely presentation!

Delicious food

Uncle Jason with Charlotte

Hailey glued all the letters on Dave's birthday card

Hailey the helper


Gluten Free!!


Pete is an awesome dad

I love holding and playing with my grandkids!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Here is another hat that I knit

This one was for baby Genevieve, who is Kim's 3rd girl. Or another way of putting it, Genevieve is Hailey and Charlotte's cousin. Haven't seen the hat on this almost 11 pound (birth weight) baby, but Shauna said it fit her just right. If Kim delivered a boy (they didn't find out ahead) I would have called it a "BOYsenberry" hat, but it's just a sweet little berry hat, perfect for a little girl. I'm still knitting!

Which camera am I using?

I have wanted to purchase a better quality digital camera for quite a long time. One that was fully automatic, but that had the capability of interchangeable lenses and would allow for more creative photography. This is the camera that I have been using for the past 5 years. A Canon PowerShot. I love that it is easy to use, takes a pretty good picture, and I can keep it in my purse.

Dave wasn't so sure he wanted another camera and certainly didn't want a big Digital SLR! We both remember how his back began giving him grief as he was carrying our big OLD movie camera all over Capital Mall in Washington DC almost 20 years ago. How can it be fun to take a big clunky camera with you everywhere you go? He was convinced that we needed a four-thirds type of camera and when we went to the camera shop, there were things about the 2 that we were interested in that just weren't right for us. One didn't have a built in viewfinder. The other was "slippery" and I was afraid we would unintentionally drop it. So, brave soul that I am, I asked the salesman if he had any other option that might fit our needs better. Lo and behold, he pulled down this!

This is the Panosonic Lumix G2 that has everything we were looking for. INCLUDING HD video!! That's really the feature that caused Dave to even consider getting a new camera. He has actually used this camera more than I have. He ordered a tripod for it and has been setting it up outside to videotape his golf swing. He spends more time practicing his swing and now is able to see exactly what he is doing with the golf club. I can't say that his game has improved, but he is enjoying this process.

So, there you have it. We've had this new camera for a few weeks now and all in all it is everything we had hoped for. Now I just need to hone my photography skills!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I went to the Sewing Expo early this afternoon and only stayed a couple of hours as it was a rather small and uninspiring vendor turnout. But that is not my story...

This is. It was a drizzly day and as I left my car to walk through the rather large parking lot of the Puyallup Fairgrounds, I stepped on a pebble. It felt more like a rock, but I can't quibble at this point. I did step on something and my ankle gave way ever so slightly, but I caught myself and kept walking. It's pretty sad to have to admit that this has happened to me WAY TOO MANY TIMES lately! I'm beginning to worry about myself. But then, I'm not worried enough because as I was walking back out to my car it never even crossed my mind that I had a near miss just two hours earlier.

And, yes, I was carrying a very small bag of a few little items that I purchased, purse was over my head and across my body, keys in hand and my eyes were searching for my car just a few yards ahead. Then, I guess I stepped on another BOULDER, because my ankle gave way and down I went! YUP! All the way down, on my right hip and shoulder. Thankfully nothing was broken, not even my key fob. BUT, I did just notice that I have a little scrape on my right elbow, my shoulder is getting a bit "tweeky" and my hip has a bruise. Luckily I haven't lost all that weight that I had wanted because I have plenty of padding to prevent a broken hip! SO WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME!??

Please don't answer. I don't think I could take hearing the truth from you. All the way home (sitting on a cloth grocery bag since my pants were soaking wet) I was ruminating on just what is happening to me. Am I that old that I can't take a brisk walk without falling? Am I just a clutz? Am I just not paying enough attention to where I place my feet?? Gosh, I've been walking for most of my life and haven't had many of these calamities until the last couple of years. Humph.

Then it hit me. Well, actually Dave is the one who posited a potential cause. My shoes. What?? I thought these Danskos were THE shoe to wear! Ah, but they are slip-ons. Look at these ugly beasts.

My concerned husband pointed out that I have no ankle support. There is nothing to hold my heel in place, so any little pebble causes a more severe chain reaction than if I were wearing tennis shoes. OK, so I admit he has a point. I gave up stylish shoes years ago because of problems with my feet. I have grumbled and groaned about this issue for years. I have been resigned to wearing clodhoppers. Now I guess it is time to wear lace-ups. Tennis shoes to be specific.

I give up. I will make the switch. I can't handle any more falls or near falls. Just another thing to grumble about....but then again, I should be thankful that I have no new broken bones and that a switch to more common-sense shoes will solve this situation.

Oh crumb, now I have blue ink all over my left arm...and the desk! I hate to admit that my husband is also right about PUTTING THE CAP BACK ON THE PEN AFTER I USE IT!! I hate when he is right....

Monday, November 15, 2010

Charlotte & Hailey

I love living six minutes away from Shauna and Pete! I get to see these two granddaughters quite often. I wish Kyle and Kari lived closer so we could spend more time with Saben & Annika, but alas, they won't be moving here and we won't be moving there so we will need to travel to and fro.

So, when Shauna called this afternoon to ask if she could pop in for a bit to use our printer since hers was out of ink....and of course since we are closer than a store (!).....I said "Of course!" They didn't stay long, maybe only 45 minutes or so, but long enough to cuddle a bit with Charlotte and play with Hailey.


This happy baby weighs over 12 pounds at almost 8 weeks of age.

Grandpa is always eager to see his grandkids!

Hailey is able to sit by herself on the big ball and play with the balls, just like her cousins do!

I am extremely thankful to be a grandma and I enjoy watching each child develop and grow into just who God wants them to be. Thanks for stopping by, Shauna!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Holiday Craft Bazaar

I spent yesterday from 9 to 3 pm and today from 9 to 1 pm at St. Joseph's Church's bazaar in Issaquah, trying to find buyers for some of my hand made items. What a s..l...o...wwwwww couple of days this was! Some of the other sellers said that all of the craft bazaars seem to have low attendance this season. Chalk it up to a bad economy. I don't blame people for wanting to hang on to what money they may have!

My friend, Mary Ellen, (we met during junior high school) and I shared a table; she with her wonderful gemstone jewelry and me with my variety of baby items, potholders, wine bags, placemats & napkins, quilts, etc. etc. Afterwards I donated 14 of my bibs, 2 receiving blankets, a nursing cover up and 4 burp cloths to the Baby Corner in Issaquah, to be given to those in need. I really wanted to get rid of some of my stuff, so this seemed like a good thing to do.

All was not lost for me, though. I am blessed (?) with the gift of gab so I was involved in plenty of conversations to keep me occupied. That is my favorite part of any event, and when I wasn't talking I busied myself with some knitting. Mary Ellen and I joked about how the $10 I spent at another booth came back to me when that person bought some of my things. We thought it would have been funny to mark the $10 bill and see which vendor ended up with it. We all seemed to be buying each others goods.

After we had packed everything up, another friend, Kim, and I drove to Taylor Creek Fabrics in Maple Valley to check out their fabrics. They didn't have what I was looking for, BUT of course I found something else that I liked. Thursday Kim and I will be going to the Puyallup Fairgrounds for the NW Quilt, Craft and Sewing Festival since I have 2 free admission tickets. That will be a quick trip, I'm sure, because the BIG sewing expo is in February. This one just gives me a kick in the pants to get sewing!

I tweeked my back last Thursday while taking my aunt and another lady shopping. They live in an assisted living facility and I think it was lifting the other lady's walker in and out of my trunk several times that made my sciatica flare up. I'm trying to baby it and it feels best when I am sitting, but oh my, when I have to get up....that's when it hurts.

All in all, I am counting up all my blessings this month. I am living my dream. I hope you are too!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

10 on 10 NOVEMBER

What a full day! I'm certainly thankful that I am able to be involved in so many wonderful activities with so many special people. Thank you, God, for my blessed life!

Yummy morning granola, coffee and of course GOLF!

Out the door for our annual garden club auction.

Ann Baron (www.gardenpartner.com) was our speaker today, who gave us awesome tips on fall propagation and preparing our garden for winter.

No garden club meeting is complete without food! And lots of it.

Drat, I had to rush off before the auction was finished. OK so I'm 2 miles over the speed limit...

I'm getting closer.....

I made it for my 4 hour volunteer shift but will need valet parking to make sure I get to the gift shop by 1:00. It's a long walk from where I normally park.

My partner is still in Germany (lucky lady) so I've been by myself for 3 weeks now. I spend my time helping customers, stocking the shelves, filling balloons and smiling. I love my time at VMC.

It is a rush to leave VMC at 5, drive home through traffic, eat a quick bite of dinner and then get out the door for Bible Study at 6:30. But not impossible!

Still time to relax in front of the TV and do a little knitting.

Poor fish will have to wait until tomorrow to get his water changed!

OOPS. Guess I slipped in an extra picture. So sue me!