Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat

Smell my feet.
Give me something good to eat!

I present daughter Kate on her first Halloween in 1978. No offense meant to her present self, but Kate was the baby from Hell so it was only natural that I dressed her thusly for her first Halloween.

She looks so innocent, but don't be fooled!

Fast forward a few years to 1983 and my girl was obsessed with the movie Annie, so Annie it was. Isn't she adorable? She absolutely loved this costume, especially the wig and literally wore it out playing dress-up for a long, long time.

One of my fondest Halloween memories is my Mom taking old sheets and making us witch costumes (how accurate was that?) and then dyeing them black in the washing machine. Too bad no pictures exist of us.

Bad mom (me) has not done the scanning of my son's album yet, but maybe for next year......

We are planning a quiet night watching horror movies and giving candy to the few Trick-or-Treaters that will come by. Enjoy your day and night, because I know I will!

HaPpY hALLoWeeN ! ! !

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bangor to Peabody

We are back in the 'burbs of Boston, having driven down from Bangor via the coastline until we got near Portland, Maine. We stopped and had our main meal, a Lobster Roll, and it was out-of-this-world.

For the uninitiated, a Lobster Roll is a bunch of steamed lobster meat tossed in mayonnaise and set inside a grilled bun that resembles a hot dog bun without the crust on top and bottom. It is absolutely delicious.

Tomorrow at the BCOD* we pick up the girls and on to the B & B in Salem.

There is a quilt shop in Salem. Imagine that!

Baa Haba

We spent yesterday in Bar Harbor (Baa Haba to the locals), a lovely little tourist town that was darn near ready to close down for the season. We ate a tiny lunch of shrimp cocktail and a Caesar salad and then went to dinner for lobster.

MMMMMMMMM. I'd never had fresh Maine lobster before and it was indescribably delicious. There are no words adequate to describe it.

The trees are also indescribably beautiful. Northern California trees are pretty, but they don't really put on a show anything close to this.

We head down to Peabody, Mass today so we can pick the girls up tomorrow morning at Logan. We felt lucky to get a room within spitting distance of Boston.

Maine cuisine redeemed.

Go Sox!!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Boston to Bangor

Which looks like no big deal on a map, but it is just a bit farther than one would think. After landing in Boston at 7:30, we finally made it to the hotel in Bangor at 2:30. We were tired, but decided to try to stay on Maine time as opposed to California time, so we went for a drive in the rain looking for a place to have a late lunch/early dinner.

Along the way, we passed this statue as Bangor claims to be the home of Paul Bunyan, though so does Bemidji, Minnesota, but I'll leave that for them to sort out.

Bangor is the undisputed home of horror fiction author Stephen King, who is so brave that he allows his home and office addresses to be published on the internet.

After finding nothing besides the usual chains and a couple of others, we were tired so we opted to eat at the truckstop, Dysarts, next to our hotel (which the desk clerk assured me was "fabulous"). It wasn't. In fact, it was the worst meal we can ever remember having together. I got a haddock filet in crumbs and grease and an underbaked potato. Hubby got the worst fish and chips on the planet bar none. Since our schedules were way off and all we'd eaten all day was an egg mcmuffin we decided to go all out for dessert have coconut cream pie. Also horrible.

I realize that we live in a place that is in the top 25th percentile for food in the world and we are spoiled, spoiled, spoiled. (Here's where we grabbed a bite last night before we drove to SF to catch the plane.) But really people, Maine is renowned for her seafood and all we got was Gortons, a rare baked potato, TARTAR SAUCE FROM KRAFT IN PRESEALED PACKAGES, and a bit of raw broccoli. Plus, the service was terrible, from the minute we asked if they had beer or wine (Oh those hedonistic Californians......LOLOL........... Tomorrow, Bar Harbor, where we've heard there is good seafood and good sightseeing.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Salem, Baby

We are heading out tonight for Boston.

Back in a week, with pictures.

I leave you with a gratuitous grandchild picture of my darling Alex in the shirt I bought him at Old Navy during our last visit. Benjamin didn't want one, so he didn't get one.

I think Alex looks like he already got the candy and all he really gets is crummy baby food and formula.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Finished Quilt

And another nearly done!

I finally finished the baby quilt for Kate's friend Gia's baby girl who was born in August. Living in the Central Valley of California, trust me, this baby has no need of a quilt until October or November, but still, I felt bad being late for Kate's sake.

This quilt was made at the Linda Ballard retreat I attended in June at Trinidad, California. What a great setting and a fun time! The green fabric is not the one I brought to use, but the one I did bring (the paisley in the alternate blocks) just didn't offer enough contrast, so I was lucky that our on-site vendor had something that would work out. I machine quilted a darling motif in the snowball blocks from a set of Kerryn Emmerson patterns I'd bought at PIQF some years back. I traced the design on Golden Paper and then sewed over it without thread on the machine to create holes in all 5 copies. After pinning them to the quilt, I was able to quilt it up with no problem. I made up a design using the pieces of the pieced blocks as a guide and then bought a border stencil I thought would look nice and coincidentally, it was the same motif as the plain blocks, just in continuous linear form. Talk about lucky!

I'm also about to finish the quilt I started in January for my grandson Alex (who is 6 1/2 months old!) and will hand deliver it to him on November 3rd when I go down to visit.

Best news is that I discovered my PIQF pictures intact on the camera! For some odd reason, they were not showing when I tried to scroll through them on the camera, but did show up when I downloaded some newer ones I'd taken. Go figure.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

'Tweener Time

PIQF is over and was great fun with my pals Kathy and Becky. We had a wonderful time together as always and we managed to leave a few happy vendors in our wake.

Becky and I took an awesome class from Sue Nickels on drawing freehand feathers and we were both surprised by how much our feathers improved in just three hours of class-time. On the downside, I managed to delete every single picture I took at the show on my new camera. No excuses since this one is exactly like my old one....D'oh.

We are leaving a week from today for a week on the East Coast. After two days in Bangor, Maine, we will drive back to Boston to pick Sarah and Kristin up at Logan Airport for five days in Salem, Massachusetts. (Right before Halloween!!!) I can't wait!

Also, having finished my "Banned Books Week" selection, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (also a cross-read for the Book Awards Reading Challenge), I've decided to tackle a sister challenge, The Pulitzer Project.

To follow are the Pulitzer Prize winning books I've already read:
2006 - March (Geraldine Brooks)
2005 - Gilead (Marilynme Robinson)
2003 - Middlesex (Jeffrey Eugenides)
2002 - Empire Falls (Richard Russo)
1992 - A Thousand Acres (Jane Smiley)
1989 - Breathing Lessons (Anne Tyler)
1986 - Lonesome Dove (Larry McMurtry)
1983 - The Color Purple (Alice Walker)
1953 - Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway)
1940 - The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
1937 - Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
1932 - The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)

Well, that 12 of the 81, leaving 69 to go. Thankfully, there is no time limit on this one.

Time to go hit the books. I need to finish Cold Mountain so I can get going on Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Four Seasons Swap Received

My Four Seasons Swap Quilt arrived the other day, but my camera has been misbehaving. My swap partner was Sherry from Books, Hooks, Sticks, etc.

Isn't this little darling amazing? Sherry hand-dyed some of the fabrics, too and she hand quilted it! Pinwheels are some of my favorite blocks, too and Sherry has captured all of the magnificent colors that are starting to appear in beautiful Sonoma County.

This quilt is so lovely I'm going to have trouble taking it down when Winter hits.

Thanks Sherry for a beautiful addition to my home!!

Monday, October 01, 2007

YOU Make Me Smile.....

Too sweet.

Su from Pieces of Time tagged me for this and it made me smile.

M: mellow
S: smartass
J: joyous
A: ambidextrous
N: nurturing

Perhaps more than anyone wants or needs to know!

I'll tag Tonya (Lazy Gal), Finn (Pieces From My Scrapbag), and Nancy(Blogging, Near Philadelphia, since these ladies are my daily reads and I look forward to whatever they have to say.

It was a great and quilty day at my house. I finished quilting the Linda Ballard mystery for Kate's friend Gia's new baby girl AND my Four Seasons Quilt Swap piece arrived. It is drop dead gorgeous and I'll be posting a picture tomorrow.