Category Archives: Family

Little of This, Little of That

Life in western Washington is going well. The house is shaping up and starting to feel like home. I wanted to check in and share a bit about the past couple of weeks.

It has been many months since I sat at a sewing machine for any reason. No quilting, mending or sewing has been enjoyed since who knows when? Maybe January or February?

Clearly, this had to be fixed. I spent an evening shuffling bins and plastic totes around to create a path to the corner of the sewing room.

For the time being, I set up a folding table in the corner to hold the machine. I have a sewing table where I can drop the machine down which is great but it is currently in pieces and one of the pieces was damaged in the move. At some point Ray will fix it, but for now, this is good enough. I have a wonderful view of the yard and room to sew.

Love these birds!

Currently I am working on matching summer dresses for H and A. After moving all of the fabric tubs to the wall, it became painfully clear how much fabric I have. So, time to use it up!!

I was honored to attend the Mother’s Day Tea at H’s preschool a week ago. She was so excited. My daughter-in-law has a very inflexible schedule and the preschool didn’t give enough notice for her to arrange to be there. So I was the substitute. A sign of the times though; I was certainly not the only Grammy filling in. For a class of 16 children, there were three grandmas in attendance. I had so much fun with this sweet girl.

Not that the guest bathroom is a very exciting topic to write about but I did want to show you how cute my rag rug looks in there! I knew it would fit somewhere. Also, isn’t that flooring cool? It is tile but looks like wood.

My sister and I met for a long walk and a coffee last week. It was gorgeous out. I had not seen these silly chairs before so we took each other’s picture in them. Who is thinking of Edith Ann now? Just showed my age there… ‘and that’s the truth.’ 🙂

Springtime is here – at least as far as the azaleas are concerned. It has actually been quite cool and rainy. But these gorgeous shrubs are not bothered in the least. They are so pretty!

It took no time for the girls to make a mess in the play room last week. We had them for a short while when their parents were out buying some equipment for their latest hobby, beekeeping. H and A settled right in and we had a lot of fun. It is just nuts that we can do this all the time!!

I will be back soon to share the dresses I am working on. Hoping all of you are doing well. Feel free to leave me a comment and tell me how you are!

Starting to Feel Like Home

We have been in the new house since April 7th! Oh my gosh – we are in love with this Our neighborhood is quiet (other than a few dogs who like to bark a lot), the weather is strange (changes so fast from rain to snow to hail to blue skies and sunshine – all in the course of a couple of hours sometimes), the proximity to lots of beaches makes us so happy, and most of all – we are so close to lots of family members!

My move in helpers

We had been here a couple of days when my son and these two silly girls came to spend a day. They had not seen the house yet. It was such fun. We had not unpacked much at all so they found some hiding places in the kitchen.

Who needs toys?

We didn’t yet have any toys available yet; all I could find for them was a stack of post-it notes and a pen. They were happy for quite some time. Simple pleasures.

So cozy.

While little sister was napping, we had some time to read. Luckily she had brought some books. If this isn’t reason enough to spend months on end packing and selling a house, buying a house, driving up and unpacking for days, then nothing is!

The day after the girls went home, I started feeling crummy and yep – they shared their cold with me. Sigh. This wasn’t great timing since we had loads of boxes arriving. So I got into a routine of unpack a bit, take a nap, unpack more and then nap some more.

Easter celebration

By Easter Sunday, I was feeling much better. My son and his wife hosted a wonderful dinner. It was so fun to be able to see so much family for the afternoon. Big sister is now the proud owner of an old digital camera of her mom’s. She takes loads of pictures with it and set up this group shot (instructing us to have the short people in the front and the tall people in the back – hahaha). But then she took this one shot and everyone looks pretty darn good. How many times do we work so hard for a group photo, taking shot after shot and this five year old takes one shot, and it is a good one.

Check out my sewing space.

This room has been ignored since we arrived. There have been too many other things to work on. Hopefully this week I can begin to get it put together. The biggest issue is lack of shelving. I had built-in shelves in our last house. This is a bonus room so there isn’t even a bedroom closet. I am going to have to buy shelves, lots of shelves. Then I need to start using some of this fabric!!! I cannot wait – It has been months since I sat at a sewing machine. My sewing machine will sit in the corner by the windows. The view out those windows is of our back yard and it will be so nice to sit there.

Yesterday morning we had sunshine and no indication of rain. We took walk in the morning on a rocky beach about 20 minutes from the house. Ray and I are still in vacation mode when we walk on the beach. Seems like we should be heading home. Beaches have always been vacation places for us, not somewhere we can walk whenever we please!

Now you all have the latest and greatest from the Pacific Northwest where I am starting to feel at home. Yahoo!

Mercyful Quilts, Moving and the Cutest T-Ball Player Ever

You guys – we are close, so very close to being done with the house in California. We sign papers for the close next week and have a final walk through with the new owners and then we are heading up to Washington. It is just amazing! This has been the focus of life for so long. We are so excited to be nearing completion and so ready to move into the new house!

Much of the house looks like this! There is still a lot to be loaded into the last Pod and we have some movers coming to help with that next week.

Spring break is here in California. Julia went on a trip to New York to spend time with her brother and sister-in-law who live there. She seems to be having a blast. They have walked many miles and she has seen a lot. I am not exactly sure how she is suddenly an adult and able to travel across the country on her own. It is mind boggling because wasn’t it only last week she was twelve years old???

This sweet girl had her first T-Ball practice yesterday. She loved it. Today she went to a thrift shop and got some cleats which (obviously) make her run much, much faster. This grammy is pretty excited to go watch some fast paced T-Ball action once we get up there!

Last October this beautiful quilt was donated to Mercyful Quilts. It came from Deb in California. You might remember that the families of patients are offered the opportunity to choose a quilt as they say good bye to their loved one.

This quilt was chosen by a woman for her husband. One thing that makes this extra special to me is that the young man who passed away was an organ donor. This quilt was laid upon him as he was taken on the Honor Walk to surgery for organ donation. During this last walk, all available staff, and any family who is able to, line the hallway used to take the patient to the OR to show respect and gratitude for the gift being given by this person. This touches me deeply.

Clearly he and his family felt the great importance of organ donation and what that means to our community, giving to others, and being selfless. In a (much smaller) way, we quilters hold these same values when we make quilts for people we will never know and offer them up, being selfless, showing how much we value community and giving to others. This young guy passed away far too soon and will not be here to raise the baby they are expecting. I hope this quilt will bring comfort to his wife and maybe someday to their child.

As always, thank you for continuing to support Mercyful Quilts. Truly, these quilts you make and donate bring such comfort to people at a time when it is deeply needed. If you are participating in Hands2Help this year, Mercyful Quilts is one of the very fortunate recipients of quilts this year. We want to thank you all in advance for possibly choosing us to receive a quilt. For more information on this year’s event, click here and you’ll be taken over to Academic Quilter.

I am guessing that the next time I post, I will be a Washington resident! Yikes, that is so exciting!!

Home Selling and Buying

Oh my gosh – so much is going on around here! As you know, we have been working to get our house ready to sell. So it was listed and sold in 7 days. We are in escrow but all inspections are done and we are just waiting for the title company to do it’s thing and that sale will be complete.

Ray and I, in front of our new house.

On the other side of the process, we have also bought a house! This is the second house we put an offer on, but as is often said, things work out as they are supposed to. The first house we tried for was beautiful but on a small-ish 1/4 acre lot. The day after we didn’t get that house, we found this other house sitting on 2.3 acres. That is much more our style! It took a lot of back and forth with the seller’s agent but we all came to an agreement. It was a migraine-inducing, nail biting process but it is done, and this house will be ours on April 13th!! One month from now. Woohoo! The best part is the house is 15 minutes from two of my sisters. It is also 1 1/4 hours from my son and his family. The grand kids are excited and we are too! Cannot wait!

Now I want to share something kind of cute with you. When we were getting our house ready to sell, the plants were not in their best form since it is winter time. So I wanted to mark some of the areas for the buyers to let them know what plants they will have.

I went to the hardware store and asked if I could buy some paint stir sticks. The clerk smiled and said I could have them free. So that was very sweet of him. Anyway, I took them and gave them a coat of paint on the top half. Once dry, I used a sharpie to mark the name of various plants I wanted to point out. My printing is usually childlike and very slanted or crooked so I didn’t even try to go for neat and straight. Instead I put the letters all over the place so it might look intentionally off-set.

I did put some clear finish over the plant markers though I honestly don’t know how they will hold up against strong sunlight and the water from the drippers and sprayers. The immediate need was just to mark the plants for the potential buyers touring the property. I did get some nice feedback from realtors saying their clients liked seeing these in the garden. It is hard to leave this piece of property after years and years of developing it.

We have been up in Washington for about 10 days now. While here, we were able to celebrate both grand daughters birthdays. I can hardly believe they are 2 and 5 years old!

A very happy five year old!

After a day of cake and presents, this little girl lost her first tooth. It was truly a fantastic day!

Look at her round cheeks!!

She really enjoyed her birthday and when asked how old she is, she can hold up her two fingers. I have to tell you that her birthday cake came from Costco and it was really good.

We are heading back down to California tomorrow. After we finish packing and give the house a once over for the new owners, we will head back up to Washington. I will share pictures of the house after we get there. It is so fun to think of how we will set things up – of course one of the biggest decisions is where the sewing room will be! Life is changing these days and it is so exciting!

Life in Pictures

Since I haven’t been sewing or quilting, I thought I would just show you what I have been up to. In our house, we only have to look at our phones, scan through the photos and we have instant reminders of what we are working on. Here we go!

Ray and I thought it would be nice to have a book made showing our property during all four seasons of the year. Since we are listing it for sale this week, during the winter months, the plants are not at their best. Blooms will be here soon but we both think the property has so much to offer throughout the year and we want potential buyers to know this.

Fall Pictures

Here is a sample page – the left is a photo of the lake on the edge of our property during autumn. My son took this picture a couple of years ago and it is one of our favorites. The right side shows one of the Japanese Maples we have. It is stunning each year.

Yuk!

Also in preparation for selling, we have been staging various areas. We needed clean chairs to put out on the gazebo so buyers could sit and enjoy the lake for a minute. These white, plastic chairs were stacked up and left out all year. But I got out my handy Magic Eraser and…………………

What a difference!

TaDa!! I do love Magic Erasers – but I will let you in on my frugal secret. I buy the generic packages of them on Amazon. They work great and are so much less expensive.

Our little eating nook in the kitchen.

More staging – I wanted a bright table cloth for this little table in the kitchen. Look what I found at the thrift shop. It is so cute and came with six napkins. Quite a steal at $6.00 for the whole set.

See my clean chairs?

Over the weekend our realtor had a photographer/videographer come out and take a million photos of the house and property. I can’t wait to see the final results! This shot is of him taking photos of the lake. He also used a drone to fly overhead and video the property. Technology is amazing.

Do you label your shampoo and conditioner?

I wear glasses so when I am in the shower, I can’t really tell the shampoo from the conditioner. More than once, I have mistaken one for the other. Well last week I actually mistook the body wash for conditioner and put a big dollop on my hair. What a pain. It took sooo long to rinse it out of my hair. So as soon as I got out of the shower I grabbed a sharpie and marked the bottles. Hoping this issue is now resolved!!

Have you all been playing Wordle? It seems to be quite the popular on-line game these days. My kids and I play each morning and share our scores. It is a fun way to say good morning to each other. The New York Times recently bought the game from the man who developed it. Our guess is eventually the game won’t be free any longer. To play the games on the New York Times, a person has to subscribe. So our Wordle days are numbered. There are other knock-offs which are fun but it isn’t the same if everyone isn’t playing to solve the same puzzle. Oh well. We will just enjoy it until then.

Mama and her twins

This story is from Julia. She is taking a class in lamb production. Right now it is lambing season so they are busy watching the mamas who are giving birth, making sure the babies are well taken care of. This mama had twins and was really only paying attention to one of the babies (the one in front). Anyway, the manager of the unit wanted to have the mama and her babies inside so she could keep an eye on the three of them. The mama was less than cooperative about going to the barn. So the manager took her favorite baby and bribed the mama all the way back to the barn. She walked ahead of the mama with the baby right in front of the sheep’s face and she would follow. The poor second lamb just followed along. Animals are pretty interesting; I love the stories Julia tells me.

This sweet girl is such a free spirit. I love looking at the outfits she chooses. Here she is taking a walk, using what might look like a pinwheel but is really her “cumulonimbus cloud detector” which keeps “losing signal because of the trees” to study the clouds. The child lives in her own little world and sometimes I am envious of this.

A future farmer?

My son was given a non-working tractor to play around with. He is enjoying the project and plans to rebuild it. This girl is sure she can help him. She loves it!

OK – that is enough for now. Hope all of you are doing well! I have to say I am enjoying the book suggestions everyone left in the comments from my last post. If you haven’t read it, click here. There are so many great books to read.

Just Checking In

Somehow it is nearing the last part of January and I haven’t sat down even once to write a post. Crazy times here in my part of the world. Last we chatted, there was a snow storm and power outage in our community. Well, let’s just say it was one crazy time. So many people were out of power, propane, internet and cell service for days, turning into weeks. In some ways, the huge annoyance of it all really brought people together. There were lots of people who literally could not get out off their property. People who had no heat or way to cook. This lasted so long. One woman in our area started cooking for others and just had locals sign up to help or to receive food as needed. She really amazed me. Within a short time, she had a team of people who drove to other parts of the area and delivered hot meals. There was also a team of men who had chainsaws and volunteered to chop trees that were blocking driveways or leaning on rooftops. Yep, quite the crazy time but people rallied.

My parents were without power for 12 days. That is a long, long time to live with wood stove heat and a little generator to keep the fridge cold. They slept at our house but their days without power were long and difficult. The silver lining was we got to have some lovely dinners shared with my mom and dad. It was one long slumber party! We had lots of long chats about our impending move to the state of Washington and now my parents are considering moving up there too! Yahoo!!

Checking out a map of the state of Washington.

Life is back on track now but there is so much to be cleaned up – anywhere I drive, I see yards with huge trees lying across the property. Piles and piles of debris are everywhere and the county is trying to keep up with all of this.

Ray and I have been sorting and purging so much stuff. How did we end up with all of this?? I have made trip after trip to donate carloads of items to the local thrift stores. Yet the garage is quickly filling with packed boxes. I would estimate we are 75% packed which feels good. We are using Pods to move – basically filling these storage containers which are then stored for us until we are at the next house. They will be delivered to that house when we request it. These make for an interesting moving process that is convenient and fairly affordable. Interior painting is done, and carpet cleaning is scheduled which means we are getting close to listing the house.

Julia in her happy place! Newborn piglets.

After way too much packing, cleaning and sorting, Ray and I decided to get away and go visit Julia. Her university is about 350 miles south so it’s a bit of a drive. But wow – what a difference it makes!

One of the animal units on campus.

Seeing green, rolling hills on every side were a refreshing change from our damaged hillsides. This was taken on a walk through the beef unit on campus.

Montana De Oro bluffs.

We also took a short drive to the beach and wandered the trail along this bluff. The waves were quite dramatic that morning! We took sandwiches and had a picnic on the beach after our walk.

Books, books everywhere!

In the late afternoon, Julia and I masked up and walked over to Phoenix Books, a used bookstore near the house we were renting. Is this crazy or what?!? This is just one corner but books were everywhere. Of course I found the quilting section and it was huge. The books were shelved so tightly it was quite difficult to look at them. The cookbook section was a lot of fun too. So many great books everywhere. Using great self-control, I bought only one thin book because anything I brought home would be one more thing to pack! The bookshop reminded me of a quilt fabric shop called Obie’s Country Store that I visited some years ago in Pennsylvania. It had the same weirdly crowded vibe. I wrote about it here.

After the long weekend, we are back at home and trying to get through a bit more packing. We meet with the realtor next week to make a plan for the next steps. Today I need to clean up the last bits in the sewing area. I have kept it somewhat available thinking I might have time to do a bit of sewing here and there but that has not happened. I think I will pack everything but one quilt I have been working on – just in case I can do a bit of FMQ on it.

To soothe that insistent need to be making something, I have been teaching myself to crochet in the evenings. YouTube is the best and I have been having fun watching tutorials and playing with yarn. It is relaxing and for me, it seems easier than knitting.

Leaving you with a picture of H, just before her first dance class. She is so excited to be taking dance with one of her neighborhood friends. What a sweet girl.

OK – time to wrap this up and get busy! Hope everyone is staying healthy and safe. Our area is still experiencing quite the post holiday surge. So wear those masks and be careful!

Snowpocalypse 2021

Climate change is definitely effecting the seasons. We have gone from drought to crazy rain to snow. Records are being set in Northern California, highways are closed and tens of thousands of people are without power. The ski resorts up in Lake Tahoe have gotten about 200″ in the month of December which is great. However the highways leading to Tahoe have so much damage with downed trees and power lines and are closed so skiers cannot get there!

We haven’t had this much snow since 2013. It seems like we used to get one good snowstorm each winter but for the last 8 years or so we have hardly seen a flake.

The driveway two days ago.

The first snowfall we had was a couple of days ago and we got about three or four inches. The neighbors just a bit farther out, got substantially more. The snow was very wet and heavy and was complicated by some winds. This caused a lot of damage in our town. Our area has a large number of oak trees which were already compromised by the drought and then saturated with recent rains. Oak trees do not like to be soggy! Many, many trees were uprooted and came down on Sunday night.

My neighbor’s house sustained terrible damage.

This is my neighbor’s house – A huge tree fell on the garage, crushing the roof. It is hard to see but his truck is parked parallel to the garage and is under the tree. Their other car is in the garage but he can’t get to it to see what sort of damaged happened to it. A number of other enormous trees fell on his property. It is a disaster. Our subdivision was hit very hard so there are quite a few homes with this sort of damage. So much so that a Sacramento news team came out and did a story on it.

The power went out Sunday night and the generators started up Monday morning. We are on wells in this area so we need to have electricity to have water. Those with all electric houses are really feeling it as are homes without generators. We have a gas stove so we can cook and the generator keeps the water going. My Mom and Dad are still without power – we got lucky and ours came back on last night. Actually it is more than luck, our power line is shared with the line that powers a stoplight on the highway a mile from our house. If the traffic light goes out, it is at the top of the list for repairing so usually we are not without power for too long.

This is just down the road from us – several power lines in our neighborhood were knocked down. This happened on so many streets – it is going to be a long project to get all of the lines restored.

Standing next to a fallen tree for size reference.

This is the rootball of a tree that fell on the corner of our road. It is enormous!

Yesterday, before our power was restored, we took a walk through our neighborhood and a PG& E truck (our power company) drove into our little street. Julia and I got so excited!! These poor guys are working long days and nights to get the town going again.

Yesterday the snow got slushy so Ray and Julia shoveled a bit. Of course this morning we woke up to a fresh three inches on the ground! Murphy’s Law I suppose!

I was doing a little snow dance!

I was their cheerleader as they shoveled. So darn unfortunate that we only have two snow shovels……

Now that we have some power, I am going to work on quilting my Meadow quilt. Back soon with a progress update on it. Hope you are all safe and warm, enjoying the wonders of electricity!!

A Quiet Christmas

Happy Holidays everyone! For those who celebrate Christmas, I hope the day was lovely. I think this is probably the smallest gathering we have had for Christmas but you know what? It was great. Julia, Ray and I were together and we enjoyed it very much.

Knowing it was supposed to snow on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we invited my parents over for cookies and coffee on the 23rd. Mom and Dad live at a higher elevation than us and thus get quite a bit of snow. Once it snows, their part of the highway is often impassable. They know to plan ahead and ‘hunker down’ when it is snowy. Our afternoon together was very nice though.

Because it was going to be just three people for Christmas dinner, we decided to make something less traditional than the prime rib my husband normally makes. Julia found a recipe for Bao (Chinese Steamed Buns) as well as a recipe for a Chinese Beef Noodle soup. Both were fun to make and really delicious.

This is the bao after we steamed them. Making these was a fun family project. Julia made the dough and I made the pork filling. We all worked to assemble them. Yummy!

Meadow Quilt, in process

I had some time to do a little bit of sewing on my Meadow quilt (which, per my usual, I started long ago). The flowers are all glued down with heat and bond. I did some free motion quilting to hold them before I basted the top and backing. Now that it is basted, I have been doing more free motion on the flowers. Once that is done, I will work on the background. It is a fun project and I love how it is looking thus far.

Tiny holiday cups!

Just before the holidays, I found these cute cups at one of the local thrift stores. I bought five of them. They are so sweet and I have visions of grand children drinking hot chocolate from them at Grammy’s house. A grandma can dream, right?

My sweet girls.

Closing with a cute picture of my girls. They are becoming good friends as A gets older and H develops patience. I love seeing them snuggled up together watching cartoons on this little iPad. Check out the curls A has!

That’s it for now. We are in the midst of a power outage so I can only write while the generator runs and it is time to turn it off! More soon.

Take care everyone.

November is a Wrap

On this last day of November, I am thinking about how quickly the month buzzed by and how busy it was. Lots of work on the house was accomplished and just a bit of sewing. Such is life.

My photographer has rudely decided to go off to college, leaving me to take pictures in a mirror. Haha.

Earlier I made this pair of pants. They are really, really comfortable and I am quite happy with them. I used Simplicity 2369 to make these stretch knit, wide legged pants.

After making the pants, I was browsing in a shop downtown. I saw similar pants but they had rounded pockets on each side. They were stitched without finishing the edges (which works because knit fabrics don’t really ravel). I thought this was a fun addition so I went home and did the same with these pants. I wouldn’t have thought to leave the edges of the pockets unfinished but it worked out well. I suspect if I tried to turn under a curved pocket, it would not look great and would give the pants a very homemade vibe.

The pocket after washing a couple of times.

This was a fun project and I will make at least one more pair. Next time, I will make the pockets bigger. I drew the pocket size myself and it is a bit too small in relation to the width of the pant leg.

Four generations!

For Thanksgiving we were really fortunate to have all four of my kids, two of the spouses, both grand daughters and my parents for dinner. It was a bit chaotic but really great to be together. My DIL (mom to grand daughters) is a physician and she works one major holiday per year. She had Thanksgiving this year so she was unable to come. We really missed her presence. I love the picture above even with the one blurry leg!

Thanksgiving 1992

When my kids were little (long time ago!) we always made fudge for Thanksgiving. Licking the pot was part of the process. The boys are still in their pajamas and licking warm fudge here.

Some traditions never get old!

Julia was making Muddy Buddies (another family favorite) and everyone joined in licking the chocolate/peanut butter from the bowl. H was thrilled to do this with her dad and Grandpa. It was so much fun. Just in case you aren’t familiar, Muddy Buddies are Chex cereal coated with melted chocolate and peanut butter, then they are shook in a bag with powdered sugar. My kids love them.

Cranberry sauce in the making.

Julia was making the cranberry sauce and H was her sous chef. We make this recipe every year. I posted about it here if you want to check the recipe out. It is delish and not difficult to make at all.

Bejeweled and bedecked.

This girl was adorable as always. I pulled out the tub of dress up jewels (a thrift store find when Julia was very young). Being a toddler with style, she decided to just wear as many as possible. Hahaha – she felt so fancy. She is talking quite a bit now and spends her days mimicking her big sister.

Walking to the neighbor’s house.

Being a Grammy is just the best. My neighbor boards horses and she was so kind to let the girls come over and feed her animals a carrot now and then. We walked across the pasture between our houses with the little ones and enjoyed hanging out with the horses and my neighbor’s dogs. Both girls are very fond of animals and being able to feed and pet them was thrilling.

OK – that’s it for now. I am working on a very old WIP and will share it once I get the binding completed. So, coming soon – a finish – albeit a small one. But a finish is a finish, right??

Linking to a few fun sites. Check them out at the top of the page.

Masala Box is a Finish

I have finished very few quilts this year so I am excited to share this with everyone. It is a cheerful quilt and a fun pattern to make. As you likely remember, I tested this pattern for Sew Preeti Quilts. Preeti writes delightful patterns and has several listed in her Etsy Shop.

Masala Box Baby Quilt

I did make an internal compromise with this project. I really wanted to spend some time and quilt the center of each block with a picture of sorts. I had them all planned out. However, life is so crazy right now and I decided the free motion quilting would have to wait for another project. Instead I did a version of a zig zag/serpentine stitch going both vertically and horizontally which was a very quick way to finish this little quilt.

Difficult to photograph the white stitching on white!

The zig zag adds some fun texture and will probably be enhanced even more after being washed.

Polka dots for the backing.

I have quite a large piece of this polka dot fabric which made the backing choice a simple one. Binding was done with the same red fabric as used on the front.

The end of the fall leaves in our yard.

Our fall colors were extraordinary this year – most of the trees have dropped their leaves at this point.

Moving on to non-quilting topics, I have exciting news! Ray and I have decided to move from California up to Washington. I am sure you can guess the main reason. Yes, you got it. There are two sweet girls up there we are wanting to see more often. Between the pull of being near the grand children and the drawbacks to California life (mainly very hot summers and the dangerous fire seasons), we decided to go for it.

We have talked to a realtor and made a list of projects to do in order to have the house ready to list in early Spring. To that end, we both have been very busy. Ray bears the brunt of the really hard work but I have a fairly long list as well.

The sewing/guest room

Here is one project – you’ll surely relate to. I moved my sewing supplies downstair to the family room in order to create a guest room.

After the massive clean out

In the twelve years we have lived in this house, this room has never been so clean. After the holidays I will have all the carpets cleaned and the guest room will be staged for showing. For now, I am just reveling in its tidy state.

Julia’s room was in need of sprucing up as well. When she was about 10 years old, she asked if she could have a blue and lavender room. Time took its toll on this room so Ray and I painted it a very pale gray.

As with the guest room, I cannot believe how tidy Julia’s room is. This room will also be rearranged for showing but the hard part is done.

I can’t show you the new sewing space just yet – mainly because I haven’t taken a photo for you. (Let’s be honest, it is a hot mess!)

Another project is underway.

Finally, here is another project I am working on. I am a huge fan of photographs and have so many albums. But they do take up space. Rather than move them all, I decided to pull pictures out and organize them by year in photo boxes. One might think this is a quick and easy task, and it should be. But with each album I get pulled into the nostalgia and memories they contain. So while this is really enjoyable, it is not quick!! Evenings have been spent poring over the books and sharing pictures with my kids via text. It will get done all in good time. I have emptied about eight albums and they fit into two boxes which saves a lot of space.

That is enough for today. I need to get going to the grocery store for a few things. Julia comes home tomorrow for the whole Thanksgiving week. I am so excited! I haven’t seen her for eight weeks which is the longest ever! Have a wonderful day everyone.

Linking up to my favorites since I miraculously have a finish!! You can find them at the top of the page under Link Ups.