Thursday, December 21, 2017

Warm greetings

it's the weekend before Christmas and I figure that a lot of people are out shopping for last minute gifts.  I have to tell you it's one of the best things about being Jewish!! You don't have to get caught up in that frenzy.  VBG

We celebrated the 8 nights of Chanukah, ending on Tuesday.  We had our grandkids over the weekend and per our tradition, gave each one a small gift each night.  It was very special to us to have them to share our holiday.  They have a Christmas tree at their house so it's nice for them to experience the other alternative.  Each one gets their own menorah with candles to light.  They enjoyed it.

For those of you who sent me such sweet notes regarding my mother, I am eternally grateful to you for your thoughts and prayers.  She's doing much better.  It's pretty amazing, to me, that a woman of nearly 90 can survive a serious bout with pneumonia!  She is getting stronger every day at the board and care home and I'm hoping in a month or so, she'll be able to return to her own home with care in home.  Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.  It meant so much to me to read your own similar experiences.

Shall we tour a little touring??

I promised more pictures from New Zealand.  Here were some pictures I took in the caves we visited, which are really quite old.   They were also extremely deep!

Our next adventure was to go for a hike in Tongariro National Park.  It was beautiful.  We hiked to a falls that was pretty dramatic.  Don't forget that the seasons there are reversed.  We were there for the first day of summer!

Our next stop was to another set of water falls, but the drama was the horizontal variety!

We then visited a dam both before and after the water was released.  Amazing difference!  First one is before the water was released. Second one was after, same exact spot!

There are more pictures to follow.

On a quilting note, I have been working on the quarter square triangle quilt that Bonnie Hunter posted previously as a leader/ender project.  I'm enjoying it a lot.  Doesn't take a lot of brain power!  And I can work on it in very small increments, which is all the time I've been having.

I read on a Facebook post today that small LQS owners are feeling a pinch this season so I felt compelled to visit the new shop that opened near me.  I didn't need anything but I did spend a bit and bought a kit for a table runner which I thought I'd make next year for my daughter... it was 40% off.  How can you pass that up??  A little different than the usual Christmas fabric!

My husband and I are heading up to Oregon tomorrow for the next week to enjoy the holiday in the winterscape up there!~  

I hope everyone has an enjoyable, loving holiday filled with all good things.  I want to echo my dear friend Wendy Reed's words and wish you all a very peaceful holiday.  Hold your health, friends, loved ones and good fortune very dear to you.  We are so blessed with whatever we have.

Much love to you all,
Thank you for your support and friendship!  

Friday, December 15, 2017

Traveling there and back

I promised I'd send you hints of my whereabouts but we got so busy with our trip that I never had a chance.  And then we had to return early (more about that later, but dealing with elderly mother's serious medical issues).

We had a great trip.  If I have already sent you an email, please don't "guess" since you already know!

This was a building adjacent to a restaurant we found.

This building is a very tall (obviously) structure.

Another significant building.  This one is a ferry building.  Hint: we were near water!

This one is a give-away.  I saw this on a building as we were driving...

I did see a bit of things that reminded me of quilt patterns.  This was on a walkway alongside the harbor!

Here is some information about the walkway!  Maori culture was everywhere!

Islands everywhere!  This was taken on Waiheke Island, which was where we went on our first full day in New Zealand.  We took a 45 minute ferry ride (imagine that as your commute to work!) to this beautiful island where we went touring around and tasted wine.  We found some beautiful areas and were treated to our tour by someone who has lived there for many years.  Nothing like a native to show you around!  This was from the ferry leaving the island for our return trip back to Auckland.

My traveling will be scaled back quite a bit as my mom developed pneumonia just after we left.  She was hospitalized for 10 days and I just moved her into a board and care home where she is receiving excellent, very attentive care.  The shock is the transition:  my mom was completely independent and healthy (just about 90 yrs old), swimming regularly, walking, driving, living on her own etc.  Now she's being taken care of, her memory is gone, she's wearing a diaper and struggles to move around.

I know many of you have had to deal with elderly parents--I think it's a curse of the new generation.  People are living so much longer but not necessarily with a quality of life that anyone would want.

I am taking it day by day--hopefully because she was so healthy, she'll recover but I'm not honestly optimistic.  I'm going to start to look at care for her after her release in a month or two.  But with a very limited budget, it'll be a challenge.

Best wishes to all of you during this holiday season.  We really believe that we need to cherish every day, which is why we have been traveling so much.  Who knows what awaits us?  Sorry to be so philosophical... I promise this will be it.  Cherish it all!

More travel pictures and even some sewing to share!

Love to you all,

Sunday, November 26, 2017

I lost three weeks!!!

I can't believe it's been almost three weeks since I last posted. How did that happen??

Well, I had a small vacation that took 10 days;  I had my grandkids both before and after.  And there you are... three weeks gone.

I have done almost no sewing but I did promise to send you pictures of the darling little bee mug rug I made for my friend.  The front was made using a modified log cabin pattern.  It seems that bee fabric is quite the rage these days.  I bought most of this fabric in Sisters last summer.

The back was a panel:  I mean the whole thing was maybe 4".

Here are some pictures from my travels, since I seem to be better at traveling than sewing!! ;-)

Check out these shoes we saw... Couldn't imagine walking on them, can you?

Do you like orchids?  Check out these colors!

Ever seen turtles looking like this?

My friend and I went hiking and found this very secluded rock waterfall

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday;  it's when I have all my kids together in one place!  This year we also had my brother visiting, which was a treat.  I hadn't seen him in several years.

Here is a fabulous shot (I think) of me with 3 of my 4 grandchildren.

And here are my 3 adults (well, mostly) kids with their two spouses:

My two daughters are the left and center girls in black;  my son is back right in blue t-shirt.  My daughter's husband is always joking around.

Lastly,fall has come to Northern California.  I love the fall colors and have many trees that change colors!  This is one of my favorites, a Japanese Maple, by my front porch! 

Not to be gathering moss around my feet, my dh and I are leaving tonight on a two week bucket-list trip... I'll try to post some pictures and definitely leave some clues for you to figure out my whereabouts.  Let me start out by saying that it's about a 13 hr flight!  And I'm not going to Paris.

Hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving.  We do have so much to be thankful for, regardless of our station in life.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Last triangle blocks??

I thought the Triangle Gatherings was going to end at 80 but I was wrong... they just posted up to 81~

My friend Claire came over the other day to finish up her binding on her latest donation quilt.  She used a layer cake and the half square triangle blocks finish at 5".  Cute pattern, don't you think??

My friend hosted a Fall Field Trip yesterday that was a Bee Extravaganza.  So to thank her I whipped up the most adorable Bee mug rug for her.  I was in such a rush to mail it off to her before the post office closed that I forgot to take a picture!  I'm hoping she'll send me a picture after she gets it!  ;-))

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween

Do you like to decorate for Halloween?  I do and have so many things, which I usually pick up the day after Halloween and save for the following year!  In fact, I am itching to go to K-mart TODAY rather than wait until tomorrow, but maybe the sale won't start until after the 31st... patience...

One of my favorite things to hang up is this wallhanging I made years ago from a swap I hosted.  Everyone made a number of 6" blocks and sent them to me.  I distributed them to all the participants.  All the blocks are so different.  It actually makes me think of a project for Valentine's Day, maybe!!!

Here is a close up of two of my favorites:

Poor Sunbonnet Sue! and check out the background fabric, too!

I love seeing this quilt hung up.  Anybody interested in doing something like this for Valentine's Day?  

I went to my grandson's school in SF this morning to watch their parade.  Long drive for a very short parade but it was worth it.  Storm trooper was his choice this year!

I also wanted to show you what fabulous little gifts I received from Mona recently!  I love the key chain -- I have no idea how I'd make something this small...  Thanks so much, Mona.  I'm going to use them immediately!  And she enclosed a packet of "Slap Ya Mama" cajun seasoning, which I think will go perfect in the pot of black bean soup I have simmering on the stove.

Monday, October 30, 2017

What can this be??

Does this look familiar?? Any idea what I've decided to work on??  Maybe the second picture will help!

I started out using the companion ruler and then realized that I have an Accuquilt die (that I'd never opened) so BOOM!!  I cut a bunch of strips and rolled that baby over the die and VOILA... I even got the kids to help!~
Quarter square triangles sewn into rectangles = Bonnie's leader/ender project from a few years ago.  Suits me just fine now... Here is the link:

Then I figured as long as I was cutting strips, I might as well pull out a very old UFO, but it's been so long,  I can't even remember how it was supposed to look. I know that I was making 25-patches of green and pink! Since I was cutting pinks and greens, I just cut some smaller strips (these finish at 1")~!  Any suggestions?  I've made a couple of quilts using 25-patches with a sashing in between.  I guess could do that, but these are small blocks!

I did get most of the next border done on my Mount Mellick DiFord quilt... have started working on the corners, which consist of 4 little hexies appliquéd onto a background.  Sadly I cut the backgrounds too small.  UGH... And these hexies are REALLY tiny.  They are the same as the corners of the center, a theme that gets repeated throughout the quilt.  You may notice that my side borders are a little short!  Claire suggested I take out some of the seams from the triangles, which I may wind up doing... GRRRR.

Tomorrow is Halloween and whereas my grandkids used to come to our house to go trick or treating, they're now staying in SF and going around there.  My grandson, Ryan (7) always wants ME to be there for his school's parade so I'm headed up to SF for a half hour parade!  Oh well.  I'm listening to a good book on tape.

Here are my 4 grandkids this weekend, helping me wash my car.  The weather was gorgeous.  Little Eli will be a year in 3 weeks and he is already walking!  The driveway's slant makes it hard for him to do it by himself so his mom is helping him.    I bought three brushes for the kids at Harbor Freight so they each have their own to scrub away on our cars.  Something they definitely don't do in SF! Oh and walking around barefoot is another activity they enjoy at my house.

Friday, October 27, 2017

More France pictures

We spent just one night in Paris before we flew back home last week and I couldn't waste an opportunity to take some historical shots.  This is from a place called Place des Vosges.  It is literally a square block of garden surrounded by these lovely brick buildings. The entire block has art galleries and some shops--it's a covered walkway all throughout.
 Victor Hugo is purported to have lived here and there is a museum in his honor.
That is my husband who photo-bombed the picture in the bottom corner!

The area where we stayed for the week is the burgundy region of France where they grow grapes for wine everywhere.  At this time of year, all the vineyards have been turned gold, as the leaves get ready to fall.  Just gorgeous!

My husband and I enjoy France so much.  We love the breads and cheese and frequently will have a light dinner of cheese, bread and paté (with wine, of course).  The house we rented had a fabulous patio where we'd sit each evening to watch the sunset and enjoy a glass of wine from the region.
We picked up the olives at the farmer's market from a small booth, the cheese and meats from a couple of small stores in the town of Beaune;  the wine was from the adjacent town of Meursault, where they make delicious white wine.

This was the little bakery in the town where we stayed.  My husband just loved his little walk up to the bakery early in the mornings for our croissants and bread.

We love wine tasting and doing it in this area is quite an experience.  Most of the "wineries" literally have caves where they store their wine.  We visited several of them and frequently their tasting rooms were in the caves!

This is my husband with our guide for the day, Pascal, who has been living in the area for over 40 years involved in the wine industry.  Note his scarf!  In France, everyone wears scarves, men and women, hot or cold!

This area of France has a fabulous paved bike path system which runs the entire valley.  The house we rented had bikes so we took a bike ride one afternoon to the next town.  This is what we would see along the way!  The green signs with the bikes were the guides to follow.

This is the town we rode to and we stopped in the center of the town to enjoy the sunshine and a beer!

Look at the roof on the city hall building!  It's not unusual to find one or two buildings in a town with a roof like that.  This is the where we parked ourselves to reward ourselves for our strenuous bike ride through the vineyards! JK

When the weather is nice, as it was when we were in France, it's very common (and kind of typical) for people to sit outside of cafés or restaurants.  This was the view at the farmer's market on that Sunday.  Note that we could not find a single seat at the dozen or so cafés that lined the main square!  We figured that people parked themselves early in the morning and didn't leave until later.  We even saw people who bought chickens from the rotisserie vendors and brought them to the cafés to eat with wine!

This was the church and its organ on the center square in this small town where we went for the farmer's market on that Sunday morning.  The small town was Chalon-sur-Saône, on a beautiful river.

Perhaps you'll enjoy seeing the tiny car we had for our trip. It was really small and perfect to navigate the very small streets were drove throughout our journey.