Saturday, June 24, 2006

Car shopping

It used to be such an adventure to get a new car. Now it seems like a chore, and with different ideas about what we wanted, it seemed more like pain than pleasure. It is hard to get really excited about spending more as much for a car as I did for the first house I owned.

After much back and forth, we drove to Petaluma today to test drive a Toyota Camry Hybrid. I'm all over the idea of hybrids, but Mike was so-so and he definitely hated the Toyota Prius, so that was a no-go from the get-go. He was worried, and rightly so, that the performance would be sluggish and our Toyota Tacoma already fills that need for us we didn't need more of that.

The model in stock was the most amazingly gross shade of green I've ever seen in my life, so that was out of the question. We liked the darker grey, but as the managers wife had been waiting over 2 months for one, we ordered the dark grey with the lighter grey/sliver as number two. It should be here in ........3 to 6 weeks.

With an estimated mileage of 38 city and 40 highway, I can hardly wait. I'll wave as I cruise by the gas stations. That would be a one fingered wave to all the gas hogging SUV drivers out there.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

There's No Place Like Home

We are home from our drive-a-thon family visitation to Portland, Seattle, and a few points in between. My former Honda now belongs to son Scott and we are a 1 truck family for now.

Our trip involved meeting up with my mother-in-law Daisy and driving her--yes, Driving Miss Daisy--to visit some old friends and family members and visiting Scott and his girlfriend Erin and delivering my car to him.

Without dragging out the details, I got to meet Mike's Aunt and Uncle and cousins for the first time and a handful of Daisy's long-time friends.

The dogs were glad to see us, the weather is unseasonably hot for Santa Rosa and I'm dog tired. I'm sooooooo happy my yoga class is tomorrow because I need to de-stress from being around people all the time. Those who know me well know how much I need my downtime!

Looking forward to some home cooking tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

June 14th

Is my birthday.

I was born at 8:ish in the a.m. on Saturday, June 14th, 1952 by caesarian and approximately 2 months early. Despite a shaky start, I managed to grow up hearty and healthy and in this photo about to face arrest by the bang police. Every time my hubby sees a woman with the trendy haircut and bangs that are short on the sides, I have apoplexy over the bad haircuts visited upon us by Mom and "Auntie Jewell" the woman next door who fancied herself a hair stylist and general know-it-all.

That is beside the point, though, I'm pictured here on my 5th birthday.

June 14th is also Flag Day, the anniversary of the day in 1777 that the Continental Congress adopted the stars and stripes as the flag of the U.S. (Was this the one hand sewed by Betsy Ross? No small coincidence there!

Numerous other auspicious occasions have taken place on this date, all viewable at Wikipedia.

Some famous events include:
1789 Whiskey was distilled from corn by Rev. Elijah Craig of Bourbon County, KY
1846 Bear Flag Revolt--Anglo settlers in Sonoma, CA rebelled against Mexico and formed the California Republic
1938 The first Superman comic is published.
1942 Anne Frank begins to keep a diary.

Famous births:
1864 Alois Alzheimer born---guess what he discovered???
1961 Boy George, the Karma Chameleon

Famous deaths:
1801 Benedict Arnold
1926 Mary Cassatt

My birthday cake was completed yesterday and we already had some as we are leaving town tomorrow on a road trip with my mother-in-law Daisy and didn't want to waste a bit. German chocolate handmade by my sweetie. Yum!

The only bad thing about today is that I can't believe I'm 54 years old. How in the world did that happen?? As Mary Engelbreit says, "Time flies whether you're having fun or not," and thankfully, I'm having a blast each and every day.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Thats Our Boy!

My stepson Scott (I hesitate to use the prefix as "step" connotes so many negative things--none of which apply in our lives) has begun blogging. The young man is a born writer and has always had a killer sense of humor and an eye for the ridiculous in the everyday.

While many his age are busy in the titillating world of My (as he may well be in his spare time for all I know), Scott is tackling the Seattle Department of Transportation on behalf of the people. The unwitting political activist--we knew there had to be one among our four children, we just didn't know which one.

I became a member of Scott's fan club very early on in my relationship with his father. I was at my sweetie's house after work one day lifting weights and premenstrual and not a happy chick. Scott came in and started talking to (or at) me and practicing his golf swing on the astroturf by the weight machine. Unfortunately, water had spilled on the astroturf and each swing was pelting me with miniscule drops of water. He chattered on and on and I was soon ready to kill him, but at the same time I was mesmerized by his wit. How could I not fall in love with him, too?

Long story made short, go check out his blog, Pottis, Inc. and you will not be disappointed--the kid is hilarious!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Old Friends

In the midst of preparing for the quilt show, I also prepped a quilt for hand quilting.

This process involves laying out the three layers of the quilt and securing them together temporarily and then either pinning with safety pins or hand basting.

Since I'm hand quilting the project, I opted for basting the layers as the safety pins interfere with the hoop I use while quilting. These 1 3/4" long pins have been a part of my armamentarium (like that old Dental Hygienist lingo??) for quilting, aka a gadget. The difference between this and many of the other gadgets I've purchased over the years is that this one has been with me since I started quilting in a hoop in 1980 when I made a quilt for my second child . I use them once a year or less, but they are just the right thing for the job and so far, I've not seen much room for improvement.

Another "old friend"is my 14 inch wood hoop. As with the pins, I bought it in 1980 to make Daniel's baby quilt. Over the years, I have purchased several alternative hand quilting hoops, but I keep coming back to this one. The last time I heard Mary Chapin Carpenter sing "This Shirt" I thought about my quilting hoop and the quilts I've quilted in it and the life changes I've gone through during those times of my life. I store this hoop around the handle of my sewing basket so I can see it whenever I'm doing handwork and whether I need it or not.

Here is Miss Anabel Lee aka Gator inspecting the quilting h
oop. Tonight, while we watch Deadwood on Netflix, she will be mad because the quilting is in the way of her bed-hogging. Such a witch.

To the left is the project that generated the trip down memory lane with Gator in the back and Ace in the front, inspecting. This quilt top was made in July 2004 at a workshop with Billie Lauder using the pattern "There's a Dog on My Quilt!" I modified Billie's generic mutt to be a Miniature Schnauzer like my mutts and even included 3-D eyebrows and tongue.

I'm hand quilting this for our friend Michelle who is expecting her first baby, a boy, in August. Michelle was my husband's step-daughter for much of her childhood and they had Schnauzers, Cindi and Julie, so I thought she'd like this quilt for her son. When she was a senior in high school, Michelle asked me to teach her to quilt as her senior project and she made several baby quilts for the ABC preemie quilt project, so the girl knows quilts. I'm happy as can be since I've not had a hand quilting project since Mr. B's quilt.

It's Showtime!

The Moonlight Quilters of Sonoma County are hosting their annual show, Wine Country Quilts, this weekend. Submissions are due tonight, and I can't believe that I got everything done and ready to deliver two days early. This was not the Herculean task it might seem since 4 of the 5 pictured at right were finished quilts, just needing hanging sleeves and labels for completion. The mini quilt with Christmas trees, "O Tannenbaum," was a project of the Snooze-You-Lose Mini Group as was the scarecrow quilt called "If I only had a brain."

The background quilt, you may recognize as The Acorn, made as a surprise for me by my daughter Kate and her advisor Mr. B. I'm entering it in her name so she and I can be in the Moonlighter's show together. The quilt on the upper right has been featured on this blog in the past and on the upper left is a quilt I made 5 years ago as a challenge for my trip to Sisters, Oregon.

This quilt is called Quilting IS Therapy. I purchased the center panel at BJ's in Bend, Oregon in July of 2000 while staying in Sunriver prior to the annual quilt show in Sisters. I originally purchased it as a joke to show my co-workers and hubby because at the time I was working as the office manager of a non-profit counseling agency where hubby was working as a marriage and family therapist. I knew they would get a kick out of it, and they did. Then, the 2001 Sisters attendees were issued a small amount of a fabric and issued the challenge to use it in a project. I decided to incorporate the panel and mini-blocks to comemorate some of the blocks I've made into quilts, though some of these blocks were just easy to piece in the 3 inch size needed for the project. I embellished the quilt with a vintage measuring tape and sewing themed buttons. As time went by, I added quilt show pins and other quilty things. One of my favorite things is the first block in from the left corner of the top row, a skeleton key and puffy heart because....."Quilting is the key to my heart."