Category Archives: Family

New Dresses for My Girls

We just had three days of summery weather! When it hit 90 degrees, Ray and I once again felt sure we have made the right decision in moving up here! Neither of us like hot weather and love the cooler weather we have in Washington. We are back to cool temps and a breeze today. Perfect!

In between working on quilts that need to be finished, I have been making two dresses for the girls. Before leaving California, my friend Stephanie was clearing out some fabrics she didn’t think she would use. Stephanie is a generous soul and she gave me so much fabric! Among the pieces were two cute prints.

These two pieces are from a line called Stitch Cats by Clothworks. They are super cute and I thought the girls would enjoy something made from them.

I made the dress for little sister first. I used the Geranium pattern by Rae Hoekstra. I have to tell you, I am so rusty at making garments. Also, I didn’t like the way the closure was done on the back of the dress.

From the Geranium pattern by Made by Rae

It seemed like there should be an extended overlap (a tab of sorts) for the buttons and buttonholes but the designer just has it overlapped without this. Does that make sense?

Since the pattern didn’t provide this and I didn’t like the way it looked, I decided to use a ribbon closure. Note: The ribbons are cut extra long for now. I want my son or DIL to trim them after deciding how long they should be to take the dress on and off of A. It turns out we only need to untie the top bow to take it on and off.

A’s dress is made with the larger print and the bodice is lined with the smaller print. It is nice and long so she should be able to wear it for a while – these girls seem to grow about 1/2 inch each day!

I added a pocket for her treasures. It was so cute when I first put the dress on her. She had a tiny bag of Skittles that big sister got from a piñata earlier in the day. She immediately put the Skittles into her pocket.

This is the dress I made for H. The Geranium pattern wasn’t a large enough size so I switched over to a free tutorial by Life Sew Savory called Tank Dress Pattern. (Note – I have used a number of her free patterns and they are pretty darn good. She has so many on her site!) This dress is much the same as little sister’s though I used more of the smaller print for the bodice and skirt. The buttons were handled the same way on this pattern, without a tab, but I just gave in and overlapped the pieces as she instructed. (I need to figure out how to fix this issue myself for next time.)

Because H is into all things pink and sparkly, I chose these heart shaped gemstone buttons I saw in JoAnn’s. In actuality, she doesn’t need functional buttons for the dress as it goes right over her head without unbuttoning the dress. I could cut the front bodice as one piece if I were to make this again.

Above is the obligatory picture of the girls in their new dresses. They gave me all of 30 seconds to take this before they ran off so it isn’t the best shot. These two had better things to do than placate Grammy with pictures.

The next morning H was trying on shoes from a box of hand me downs she received. She is in love with these sparkly green flats! I love her pose here with her legs crossed in such a lady-like fashion. (I also love that she chose to put her new dress when she got up the next day). Overall, I am happy with the dresses. Making them was enjoyable and I feel like I am getting back into the groove of garment sewing. I have some fabric for a shirt for myself and hope to work on it soon.

I am not one to write about politics on my blog. Everyone has different beliefs and that is ok with me. I don’t want to get into it. But the last couple of weeks have really been a tough time. So sharing these two pictures of my girls seemed a great way to close – with feelings of hope in our future generations of very strong, capable, powerful women.

A Week’s Worth of Daily Life

Life in Washington continues to be more comfortable. Over the past week it seems like a lot has been going on both with me as well as my kids. I got a bedroom in the house painted, did a little crafting, and some sewing. My kids – well, their idea of daily lives differ from mine quite a bit (which is as it should be).

This mama had a litter of 21 piglets1

Julia is taking a class on swine management this quarter and she loves it. Springtime means birthing – lots and lots of piglets have been born over the last two weeks or so. When she was ‘on duty’ last week, she helped this sow deliver her litter of 21 babies. By the time Julia got there, seven had been birthed. She was there for the birth of the next 14 which took a couple of hours. She said it was hard work, fast paced and exhilarating all at the same time. She loved every bit of it.

Her hands are a little gross but that is part of the deal. She is in her element with this sort of thing and is hoping for another mama to birth piglets during her shifts this coming week. I can say for sure, pig birthing was not a part of the curriculum during my college experience!

The beekeeping family!

My son and daughter in law have been studying the world of beekeeping over the past months. They came across an opportunity to buy a whole beekeeper’s set up (gotta love Facebook Marketplace!) so they are fully experiencing the world of bees. H is right there with them. This process is much more complex than I knew.

Helping Dad.

These experiences are priceless. I am so happy to see them so excited and learning this together.

Before!

On to my less exciting projects! This picture shows Julia’s bedroom when we bought the house. It was lavender – like really purple! We didn’t like it at all! So now that lots of the unpacking is done, I found a day to paint it. The room isn’t too big so, with a little help from my husband, it only took one day to get it done.

After!

Doesn’t it look lovely? It is a buttery yellow shade now. When we moved here, Ray remarked at how much paint was left in the garage. So we browsed the existing paint and I chose this yellow. There was a whole gallon of good quality paint, and it covered in just about one coat. I am all for using up what is already on hand. Plus the color is very pretty. I do want to make different draperies for the windows. That gray is totally wrong in this room. I am happy this is done because Julia comes home in two weeks!

Before!

OK – next incredibly exciting project! Sometime ago, my mom asked me to get rid of this old wicker basket for her but somehow I never did. It just sat in the garage and when we moved, Ray tossed it into the truck. I like the shape of the basket though so off I went in search of spray paint. We didn’t have any I liked so this project did require a quick trip to Lowe’s.

After the first coat of paint.

I chose white ‘chalk’ paint. It looks so cool! I painted outside because wow, this stuff smells awful.

After!

Isn’t this cute? I think I will put it in the sewing room after it airs out a bit. It is tall enough for rolls of wrapping paper and I also keep a selection of cut dowels for hanging various size wall quilts. I can see this coming in handy upstairs!

I met up with my two local sisters on Monday. We had planned to get coffee and take a walk. However we made the mistake of getting the coffee and parking our posteriors on this bench. After 90 minutes, it was clear we were not going to take a walk at all. So we enjoyed a nice sister visit and some good coffee.

After the sisters left, I headed to the library which was just behind the bench we sat on.

The library in Port Orchard

Somehow having a library along the coast feels very decadent to me. Who can go to the library and the beach in one trip? Me, that’s who! I love it.

A stack of books

Here is the stack I brought home and my thoughts so far. Love the Denese Schmidt book and the Quilts Made Modern by Weeks Ringle. Both have fun info and some great patterns. The Simple Simon book is what I thought it might be. While it does include some cute bits from Liz and Elizabeth, the quilts very, very simple. This book is great for someone who is truly making their first quilt. The book on succulents is great. I love succulents and had to give mine away before we moved up here. Time to get some new ones started! Kate Hudson’s book, Pretty Fun, is pretty awful. I tried to like it – but yikes it is all fluff and a waste of time. So after a few chapters, I closed it and moved on. I am in the middle of While You’re Here Doc about a country vet in Maine. I love this sort of thing. I am thinking it is probably similar to the James Herriot book series – well, I think it probably is. I haven’t read those. But if I were to guess, this is the sort of story he writes! Hahaha. It is entertaining though. Finally I will be reading the Laurie Frankel book next – I love her books so much. I am currently listening to the audio version of Goodbye For Now.

OK – that does it for now. I am at my son’s house, babysitting the youngest while he is off celebrating H’s last day of preschool. She was so excited! She told me she is graduating to kindergarten today but has to wait for summer break first. They celebrate with a hot dog bbq and taking turns riding the horses that live at the preschool. She had a great year here. How on earth is it the end of the school year already???

Remember!! The second annual Positivity QAL kicks off this weekend, Sunday May 29th. I really hope you will join us and sew along for Mercyful Quilts!

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.