Saturday, December 27, 2008

I'd like to try #37!

Saw this on BOM-Quilter's blog.... Looked like fun!

Things you've already done: Red
Things you want to do: Blue
Things you haven't done and don't want to - leave in plain font

1. started your own blog
2. slept under the stars
3. played in a band
4. visited hawaii
5. watched a meteor shower
6. given more than you can afford to charity
7. been to disneyland/world
8. climbed a mountain
9. held a praying mantis
10. sung a solo
11. bungee jumped
12. visited paris
13. watched a lightning storm at sea
14. taught yourself an art from scratch
15. adopted a child
16. had food poisoning
17. walked to the top of the statue of liberty
18. grown your own vegetables
19. seen the mona lisa in france
20. slept on an overnight train
21. had a pillow fight
22. hitch hiked
23. taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. built a snow fort
25. held a lamb
26. gone skinny dipping
27. run a marathon
28. ridden a gondola in venice
29. seen a total eclipse
30. watched a sunrise or sunset
31. hit a home run
32. been on a cruise
33. seen niagara falls in person
34. visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. seen an amish community
36. taught yourself a new language
37. had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. seen the leaning tower of pisa in person
39. gone rock climbing
40. seen michelangelo's david in person
41. sung karaoke
42. seen old faithful geyser erupt
43. bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant
44. visited africa
45. walked on a beach by moonlight
46. been transported in an ambulance
47. had your portrait painted
48. gone deep sea fishing
49. seen the sistene chapel in person
50. been to the top of the eiffel tower in paris
51. gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. kissed in the rain
53. played in the mud
54. gone to a drive-in theatre
55. been in a movie
56. visited the great wall of china
57. started a business
58. taken a martial arts class
59. visited russia
60. served at a soup kitchen
61. sold girl scout cookies.
62. gone whale watching
63. gotten flowers for no reason
64. donated blood
65. gone sky diving
66. visited a nazi concentration camp
67. bounced a cheque
68. flown in a helicopter
69. saved a favorite childhood toy
70. visited the lincoln memorial
71. eaten caviar
72. pieced a quilt
73. stood in Times Square
74. toured the everglades
75. been fired from a job
76. seen the changing of the guard in London
77. broken a bone
78. been on a speeding motorcycle
79. seen the grand canyon in person
80. published a book
81. visited the vatican
82. bought a brand new car
83. walked in jerusalem
84. had your picture in the newspaper
85. read the entire bible
86. visited the white house
87. killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. had chickenpox
89. saved someone’s life
90. sat on a jury
91. met someone famous
92. joined a book club
93. lost a loved one
94. had a baby
95. seen the alamo in person
96. swum in the great salt lake.
97. been involved in a law suit
98. owned a cell phone
99. been stung by a bee

I was surprised at how much I had done from the list!


Friday, December 26, 2008

For Patrick and TiJae

Dear Patrick and TiJae,

Tomorrow night.

My spaghetti meat sauce....

My Yankee Oatmeal Molasses bread....

And if that doesn't hit the spot, my Cottage Dill bread..... (not yet out of the oven)...

Cheese cake..... with or without cherry topping....

And did I mention, presents?

Be there or be square.....

(or hey, we can reschedule....we're easy that way!)


Joy and Michael

Christmas memories, 2008

Really, try to remember....

How cute they are....

Sigh. That's what mops are for, right? I've been keeping a damp one right by the door....cos this is happening a lot, since we're having a lot of rain these days... The mud occurs because we have NO lawn left out back.... but oh well! Michael gets way more enjoyment out of his "little people" than he would out of a perfect lawn!

But now, when it comes to cute?

This little one has it NAILED.

I think he could probably get by with Anything! I stopped by Christmas Eve to drop off a couple things at Karene's, and I got to play with Too Much Cuteness!


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Remember how cute they are.....

They really are cute.... even if they don't know what the heck rain is, since it hasn't rained here in MONTHS.

In at least one case, it has not rained in longer than the dog has LIVED HERE.

I usually let them play, closely supervised, in the back yard for an hour or so in the morning and again in the afternoon. They run around nonstop chasing each other or the bugs or the blowing leaves.... and they come in tired and happy and sleep blissfully for several hours afterwards!
Since the backyard today has been replaced by Lake Bury, I put up dividers to keep them in the kitchen and den, and occasionally checked to make sure they were playing with dog toys. I had the presence of mind to pick up the rolls of Christmas paper before turning them loose to play.

But I forgot about Michael's newspaper stash. He has a newspaper stash like I have a fabric stash. Our stashes make NO sense to each other, but they bring us personal satisfaction!
(the first pic even includes a delightful "package" [our nickname for a pile of poop] deposited carefully on the laminate floor, since no one wanted to poop outside in the rain!)

He's really going to need some help remembering how cute they are!

Friday, December 12, 2008

More Great Cookie Adventure 2008


It's been a while since I blogged, for many reasons, but mostly because of the Big Sad. I haven't felt all that great, which is my own fault. I've not been to the gym in quite a few days, and while I have held on to my weight loss/current weight, I have really felt like poop and I think I'm pretty de-conditioned. So that will change! Back to the gym for me tomorrow!

Anyway, in the intervening weeks while I was off dealing with... "stuff"....

There were some high spots. Here's the first of a couple of short posts about some Happy Things!

Karen and I had a concert weekend.... On Friday night, a few weeks ago, she and I went to the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, to see the Bacon Brothers. Michael and Kevin are their first names.


That Kevin Bacon!

I first started drooling over this young man in 1984, I think, in the movie Footloose.

Back when he looked like this:

Sigh. Anyway, he and his brother have a band, and they travel and perform a couple of times a year. And guess what? They are pretty darn good! I really enjoyed the music, the sense of humor and sibling banter the boyz kicked back and forth in between songs, the way Kevin moved his sexy... I mean, danced (and yes, the man has definitely Still Got It!).... It was a great night for me, Karen and her BFF TiJae.

We were under orders not to take pictures.... And everyone, including me and my dissappointed self, complied.

Until the encore! At that point, this blonde chick in the center of the venue stood up and blatently took a picture. Within seconds, about a hundred cameras came out, including mine, and everybody was taking pictures. The bouncer was eyeing Karen as she snapped away (my camera is new to me and I passed it to her in the hope of actually getting a picture!). He was frowning at her and I looked at him and displayed some really mad parenting skillz..... stating with the attitude of an 8-year-old (while pointing at the aforementioned blonde in the middle of the crowded venue), "SHE did it first!!" He rolled his eyes at me (obviously impressed with my logic and justification) and didn't take my camera.

Karma being what it is, since we were all excited and also somewhat unfamiliar with the camera, the pictures are not real clear, but still....

It was Kevin Bacon, dude.... well, Kevin and his brother Michael. And they were so good I'm already planning to go to the next concert they do in our area!

We recovered on Saturday, and I got my work caught up on Sunday and then, being the party animals that we are (cough!), Karen and I headed for Hollywood! Yes, the Palladium to be exact.... because it was another flashback evening, with one of Karen's favorite groups from her teen years....

The five Backstreet Boys are only the four Backstreet Boys now. Karen's favorite, Kevin, has left the band and is happily living in this area, persuing other interests. But the remaining four put on a heck of a show.

I had a ball singing along with all the songs that we used to play in the car when I was doing chauffeur duty with my teenaged girls.... It was fun watching everyone doing all the handmotions all across the crowd, and listening to everyone react to each old favorite, shrieking like they were STILL teenagers. The boyz sang some of their new stuff too, and I really think they've just gotten even better.

At the end of the concert, they came back for an encore and Karen decided to try to catch it on my camera. She had already gotten a couple of songs using the video option, and she started filming this one.... She was doing fine as first one Backstreet Boy and then another came out and assembled on the stage, singing her all time favorite song by them. Then she was rendered incoherent, because....

Kevin walked out on stage. Her favorite. The one who had left the band.... He came on specifically to sing this song and the place went NUTS. If you feel like watching her youtube post (over 6000 hits so far!) it was pretty neat! She briefly lost her head and her concentration on filming when Kevin walked out (about a third of the way into the film - he's the one in the blue shirt with black thermal long sleeves underneath), but then she managed to continue filming and screaming simultaneously.....

It was a fun, amazing moment, in a great concert.... Such a wide audience, teens, young women like Karen (some making calls to babysitters back home inbetween fits of screaming), and a lot of old farts like myself who were dancing along with the whole thing, and knew every word, every move.... indicative of shared histories of long hours logged in family cars with teenaged girls on the way to soccer practice and football games, I'm sure!


For Michael

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sew Frugal, Sew Much Fun!

I followed the directions here. I went through my scrap bin and got out fabrics and ruthlessly cut them up.

If I could, I salvaged a 6" square or two, and a 5" square or two, before cutting the strips called for in the String Quilt directions. I'm going to use the 5" charms to make just a simple charm quilt, one block after the other, and quilted on my short-arm machine. I'm going to take the 6" blocks, make huge nine patch squares, and then make a fractured nine-patch scrappy quilt, and quilt that one on my short-arm also... Stashbusting resulting in two "free" quilts!

But the real fun tonight came after I finished cutting strips. I think I have enough to make two or three of these quilts, at least. That's good, because Karen took one look at this tonight and decided she's making one too!

Here are my strips - varying from 1-1/2" to 2-1/2" in width. A big tangled mess.... but as the author of the directions said, "such potential!"

Here, I've sewn them onto the base 11" square, and it is a bit of a ragged mess.

And here I have squared it up to 10-1/2". Correctly.

And here, I have squared one up incorrectly. Sigh. (notice the point of the white strip is "off".)

But frugal daughter piped up with the idea of squaring it again, smaller, and making a "pillow cover" for a decorative pillow to match the quilt. Since I'm nothing if not persistent in the error of my ways, later tonight I screwed up a second one. Exactly the same way. That time, I figured out what I did wrong during the squaring up process.... but anyhoo, even the screw-ups can be used!

And here are 8 made correctly, turned into two huge four-patches", and laid side by side. You can really see the pattern forming with the white stripe....

This is way too much fun. I have cookies to bake and floors to clean, and typing to do... and all I want to do is go back upstairs and make some more blocks!


The Great Cookie Adventure, 2008

It has begun...

Mr. B. is turning out gingerbread boyz..... my absolute favorite.... I am not able to eat these any more and the smell.... it is driving me batty.... sooooo good!

I'm trying to contribute to the cookie effort too. I managed to get a few Snickerdoodles made so far.

Mexican wedding cookies, and Teatime Tassies are on the list for me to make soon.

And just when I thought we could skip it this year? Two different clients asked me if we were making cookies for them this year!

I played with the new camera for a few minutes today. Took this picture of Mr. B. enjoying a break with the little peoples.....

And these shots of Sadie. Click on these - she's a pretty girl! The detail with the new camera is more evident in these two pix.... Hey Mikie, me likie!!

I've been more productive today... got my work caught up and I reinforced a shelf upstairs in the "flee closet"..... When we have fires or catastrophes, the stuff in the "flee closet" which is marked with orange stickers, goes in one of the "flee vans"... That's our nickname for them. It may seem silly, but having a plan makes all the difference when the reality is upon you! We reloaded that closet today, and now...

I'm off to my sewing room. I started a string quilt last night, and I'm having WAY too much fun busting my stash! Pix later, when I have a few more blocks done!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Editorial Note

I have been informed by the resident pilot in the house that I have an error in my slideshow (about three entries down). I called the water bomber a DC-5 (a direct quote snagged from an apparently misinformed neighbor) is in fact, a DC-10.

There was only one DC-5, apparently...... uno, one single plane of that type. For whatever reason, no more were made and successive models had later numbers.

The discussion brought back memories. When Karen was very young, her pilot daddy taught her how to tell the difference between many types of planes. It always amazed me to hear her say "Look Daddy, it's a 737!" or something along that line.

She's very spacial in how she views things, and for some reason, differences in body types of airplanes were very clear to her! Probably the same talent that she displays with the quilting. There have been many times during the making of my Saturday Sampler quilt that she would find me in the quilting studio with my eyes crossed and steam coming out of my ears. In a flash, she could eyeball the pattern, the pieces, and rearrange things correctly!

Anyway, just keeping things accurate here! It's a DC-10!! I don't care if it's an ABC-42. I'm just grateful it was around this weekend!


A bit of humor....

The sign at our freeway entrance.... If you click on the picture, the ground was still smoking when Karen took it! The right post is missing....

This was a neighborhood we passed in Yorba Linda yesterday.... The slopes were really torched, but the houses in this section were spared.

However, the fire's heat was so intense, the vinyl (resin?) fence melted!

The only thing I have ever thought about with those fences, was how great it would be to not have to paint them, and how they would never rot and fall over in the Santa Ana winds we get around here....

I never thought about heat resistance!

And one last thing..... Michael surprised me with an anniversary gift on Sunday and the pictures today were taken with it.... A new camera! It's so tiny! I love it.... and I spent some time taking random pix getting used to it.

Ummm..... Karen was getting silly trying to explain how easy it was, and posing for me.

While Mr. B gave TuffBoy some attention.....

Thirty years, today! I think we'll try for another thirty!


Two simple heartfelt words...

We are almost back to normal. A few more bins to put back where they belong and life is just settling down to status quo. The air is clearing and there is only the occasional whiff of acrid smoky smell..... Now and then a 'copter goes over the house, which gives us pause, and then we get back to what we were doing.

For so many people, life will never be the same. A lifetime of momentos, tangible evidences of cherished memories, gone! I cannot imagine their loss. I know Mr. B and I joked as we were packing the car, that if we were burned out, we'd just take the insurance money and move on to our forever/ retirement home.... we probably would not take the time or energy to rebuild. We joked, but there was a sad finality to our words. Yes, it was all just "stuff". As I moved through the house, picking up random things my eyes landed on...... a set of bookends my dad made as a young boy, two embroiderred towels my mother stitched for her hope chest probably 55 years ago at least, I was fully aware that it was just "stuff" but it was My Stuff. And I really didn't want to lose it. What a heartbreaking event for so many people to go through.

There have been so many pictures over the past few days. Here are a few that really caught my eye. These were NOT taken by me.

(in Yorba Linda, I think)

(some of the flying we saw in Anaheim Hills was amazing!)

(palm trees in Yorba Linda!)

(Huntington Beach, with the smoke from our fires headed out over the ocean!)
And here are a few pix that Karen and I took. We happened across a staging/debriefing meeting between about a hundred different fire trucks at the Staples parking lot in Savi Ranch. It was overwhelming! I was an emotional puddle anyway, just from the stress of the whole fire experience (and the always present in the background, mind-numbing, Big Sad going on at our house) and I felt like an idiot, but I got pretty soggy while watching all these trucks file into the lot, and line up.

(tail end of the parade headed down to the parking lot)

The men (and a few women) were tired, grubby, and I expect they were about to be reassigned to the west of me....

I wasn't alone. There were other people in front of Staples who were cheering and waving as they left the store and saw the trucks lining up.

They came from all over. The names on the trucks as they rolled by were being chanted by the crowd in front of the Staples store. I was a ways down from that, and I just stood there, feeling inadequate as I said "thank you" to the trucks as they rolled by. Some of the guys waved, some said "you're welcome!", some just grinned.

Two simple, heartfelt words. Thank you.

It's not enough, but I'm glad I had the chance to say it a few times to a few of the crews. I told Mr. B. we needed to make extra cookies this year, and I will take some to the two stations within a mile or so of our home. It's a small gesture, but maybe it will mean something.

I will start a new post, with two humorous fire picture to share... Blogger is getting cranky with me - probably too many pix!