Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The one good thing about not feeling good ...

... is that you read a lot of books and watch a lot of movies!

Yes, I've had yet another relapse of this  'cold/flu/allergy/God only knows what' last week.  It all started the Saturday after Thanksgiving when one of our adorable little germ-bombs (aka grandchildren) gave me something over Thanksgiving.  Everytime I start feeling like myself - it comes back!

Let's just say, I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired!!  But on the plus side, I've read A LOT of books and watched A LOT of movies!!  Let's start with the Movies!

Begin Again - A delightful movie about musicians coming to NYC to make music.  There are actors that can sing! Singers that can act! and if you love NYC - there's alot of that to see too!  We got it thru Netflix.  It reminded me alittle of the movie Once - about Irish bar singers.  Both cheerful and fairly light!

Last Vegas - Oh my!  Much more fun that I thought it would be!  I love Kevin Kline, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Michael Douglas!  But wait - there's more!!

At Middleton - a Romantic Comedy about two parents taking their respective children on a college visit.

Finding Vivian Maier - A documentary type movie about a nanny in NY / Chicago in the 50s-60s who took thousands of photographs.  They were discovered when someone bought boxes in a storage unit sale.  Really fascinating - I'm ready to look for the books made from the prints!!

All of the above movies passed the "but will it keep DH awake while watching it!!!"  PS - we won't say anything to him about that little litmus test!!

Besides reading, I have been updating my database of "Books Read".  I felt just good enough to piddle on the computer too!  I've been rating books I've read since 1985!!!  I wrote them down; rated them zero - four stars and kept track of how many books I read each year.  A disclaimer - I'm not reading "War and Peace"!  I love mysteries; science fiction; end of the earth tales ...  I'm not really into Historic fiction.  And I read fast.

My idea was to rate them, then look for the authors that got **** later to check if anything new by them was out!  Works like a charm!

As I worked through the database I was finding 'holes' in series.  If it's a library book, my system is to add it to my physical list the day I return it.  BUT if it's borrowed from someone, read on vacation, and now - if it's read on Kindle - sometimes I miss listing it.

So I made a list and went to the library and checked out the unlisted books by favorite authors!  So far, two thirds of that list haven't been read!  So I've been really enjoying dipping back into my favorite authors and characters.

Stephen King - I got Revival for Christmas.  Very good, so good that I went back and read Dr Sleep and Mr Mercedes! And Blaze by Richard Bachman! I smiled everytime there was a small reference to a past Stephen King book or TV miniseries in the stories.

Tony Hillerman - I love Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee.  I hadn't read The Sinister Pig, The Skeleton Man or The Shape Shifter.  I'm sorry to report that Shape Shifter seems to be the last one.  I hate when a series ends and this was a great series!

J A Jance has three series that I've followed.  JoAnna Brady, Arizona sheriff; JP Beaumont, Seattle detective; and Ali Reynolds, TV journalist.  I had missed Dead Wrong in the Brady series. Others to be checked out later.

Dana Stabenow - I was sorry that I HAD read all of her books.  I love her Kate Shugak and Liam series.  And isn't it fun when they 'meet' on a case.  JA Jance does that too.

Nevada Barr - again, I HAD read all of her books.  LOVE Anna Pigeon and 'visiting' all the National Parks in her books.

This week's books from the library include Lee Child, Michael McGarrity and Sue Miller.  I'm looking forward to feeling better - but have the books on the ready if I relapse again!

We're having some sunny days between rain storms.  Yesterday we walked down to the beach.  We had a surprise there!  There are some "new arrivals"!  We have so many sea stacks and rocks lining our coast the real mystery is how on earth did logs this big get up to our trail to the beach!  And eventually they will disappear again!!  The ocean has some tricks up it's sleeve!

That's me on the right!  You can see our path coming down to the beach. The logs must have banged around on the edge of the cliff because they were snugged up tight and lined up!

Hmmm, where did our path go??? And where to start?

DH standing in the middle - he's like a mountain goat climbing over these!  Very sure-footed.

The view from up on the little bridge.  That's about 20 feet up the path!

I love living on the coast, especially on sunny days, exploring the beach!  You never know what you're going to find down there!

I'm headed to the Oregon Gardens Quilt Show and the Newport Guild Retreat this weekend.  See you later with lots of stories to tell and pictures to post!?!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Creativity - what does it look like??

I think creativity looks like this! (image is from  I love stacks of quilts - what's not to like!

My DH thinks it looks more like this!! This was my beloved sewing room back in NE.  I think (hope) it was a "before" picture.  But I'm afraid this was probably pretty usual!  My DH used to say I would always have a sewing room, so he could have the rest of the house!!  LOL!

Of course, you have to work in/through DH's version to get to my "version".

Last year, in Stashbusters Online Group, we were challenged to a "Word of the Year" and I chose "reduce".  And I meant in all things - weight; angst; clutter; UFOs; etc.  

I'm sorry to say, I stayed about the same in weight - but that was a move forward!!  I didn't gain a few - which I had been doing.  But I feel a major shift in my brain is happening!  I'm only 62 (snicker) so I should be working on being an adult soon!

But angst; clutter and that "got to have" mentality made big - huge- strides forward!  And forward movement is about the only thing we can aim for.  After all, there is no control group!  To paraphrase the song Santa Baby - "think of all the fabric I didn't buy!!!!"

That brings us to this year.  The word that keeps attracting me is "Create".  Seriously, it's everywhere!  And by "create" I mean in all things again.  Create a healthier life-style, a more comfortable habitat - less clutter, just the things I love.  AND create a studio (sewing room doesn't work for me anymore!!) that inspired me, doesn't make me feel guilty about how much stuff is in the way, is piled around, is NOT being worked on!!

Another thing that is fascinating me is the concept of an "ART Journal".  I've always wanted to be able to draw.  I love drawing pictures with the Gkids - I'm almost as good as they are! They are 1,3,6,8 yrs old!

When we lived in Newport, I took a colored pencil drawing class.  I wasn't too good at it - and one week DH ate my assignment!! (an apple!)  Who knows if I would have stayed with it - we moved.  I do still have the pencils; they've been spared in everything 'clutter attack' here.

Product Details

I think it's going to be interesting to work through.  And what I hope to accomplish is adding drawing/doodling to my life.  By next year - clip-art on the blog just might be drawn by me!!

Want to join me?  Let me know.  I just read Chapter 1 - AND did the assignment!!  You'll laugh at that statement - it was really easy!

So far, I've added doodles to my day.  I'm using the Disney Creativity Studio (there's that word again!)  Why their copyright shows on my silly little beginning doodle is beyond me!

I mailed a package to Miss P and Mr M and drew all over the envelope! And I just learned to hide the mailing address in Photoshop!!  I have to quick add that to my Jan to do list and check it!!  LOL!  I think I might just spend the money and buy white envelopes for the next 'care packages!'  Whoa, Nana!

I did something different for our anniversary and our DD and DS's birthdays.  I wrote 43 memories for our 42nd anniversary; 36 memories for DD's 36th birthday and 40 memories for our DS's 40th!!  It was fun coming up with them.  My DH had fun reading them together.  My DD loved hers!!

So-o Valentine's Day is coming up ... or your own family holidays - try it, you might like it!  We did.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year - welcome 2015!!

Well, there's nothing like starting the year out with the best of intentions!! We'll just see how long that lasts!!  LOL!

It's time for a 2014 wrap-up!  I love doing these - my year doesn't seem "finished" until after the wrap-up - so here we go!

Not a big year for reading!  Around 50 books and a lot of those were re-reading favorites.  Do you ever do that??  I did forget to add Kindle books to my list, so had to go looking for which ones I read that way ... not an exact count this year.  :(

Best books this year:

Bad Blood by Dana Stabenow.  Kate Shugak series is a real favorite of mine.  Gotta love spunky women!

Notorious 19 and Takedown 20 by Janet Evanovich.  Both of these Stephanie Plum books got 4 stars from me! And if you look up "spunky women" in the dictionary, surely Stephanie Plum is pictured!

The Second Coming of Lucy Hatch by Marsha Moyer - great fun

Pure by Julianna Baggott - science fiction -  an unusual story line. First in series of three

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon  I can't believe I kept away from this series so long!  And I thought I wasn't interested in "Historical" books!!  We had Outlander Series on Starz parties too!

Pope Joan - Donna Woolfolk Cross  A book club selection that surprised me with how well I liked it!  Historic!  Who knows - maybe I'm NOT set in  my ways!!

Deadline - John Sandford  Featuring Virgil Flowers as a friend put it, "I love me a good cowboy!"  Made me reread all the other Flowers books.  This one was awesome!

The Arsonist - Sue Miller Small town under siege, loved the main characters

One Hundred Names - Cecelia Ahern  I loved this book, also out of my 'box' - contemporary Irish tale.  In the author's notes at the end she tells how she got the idea for the book! She was at a literary awards dinner; heard "one hundred names" and went off in her mind on the tangent of what that could be about.  She 'came back' to the present just as the award winner was saying, "and look for our movie out in March "The Hunger Games"!!!  I'd say that idea was pretty pushy about who was writing it!!

Year of Pleasures by Alice Berg I love her.  I get so much insight into me by reading her books! How does she do that??

Now to the fun part of my year - quilting!  I'm happ-happ-happy to say that "Birds of a Feather" a BOM offered at Gretna's Quilted Moose is finally done-done!!!  YEA!  Poor baby languished for years, but finally made it to the big times! You can read all about it here!

The other big finish I had was J's recovery quilt - My beloved SIL celebrated a year free of cancer around his birthday.  So this quilt was his present.  You know how those 'quiet' steady relatives usually don't get quilts - because they don't nag you about them???  I pieced the top the same time I made my Nephew's college graduation quilt - ummm, 2 years ago!  Thankfully, he felt it was well worth the wait!!

There were 4 QOV; baby charity quilts; Christmas stockings; fabric post cards and too many doll clothes to count! (apparently!)  But it all equaled a great deal of fun!

One more thing before I close today - you may know I have a Pinterest account :)  There are approximately 13,800 posts(!) and 1,400 followers(!)  A fact that amazes me and my daughter!!  But makes it a great deal of fun! If you want, there is a icon on the left side of the blog that will take you right there!

I'm not exactly sure why Pinterest is so-o much fun.  But for me, a list-maker; an idea keeper; a creative woman who thinks she can recreate anything that strikes her fancy!!  It's really nirvana!  And so easy to update when you're watching something on TV that doesn't need your undivided attention!

My idea is to go back into my boards and look at what I've pinned and figure out why? what attracted me to that pin and what it says about me??? Just a thought!

Today's board  I evaluated was "My Quilts Thru the Years"  I usually make a "word" copy of each year's blog entries; and check to see if the quilt pictures are on this page.  I like having them there - for quick access.  I don't know about you, but digital pix are hard to keep track of!  There's 1000s of them, in different places and mine really need a spruce up!!  Meanwhile, I need to look back on them to remember details or sizes ... well, here's where they are!

My first go at saving the quilts was early in my Pinterest 'career'.  I looked to see if they actually saved and each one had a 'pin' already.  Oh, gee - what did I do wrong?  But no - someone had actually created a board on their Pinterest featuring all my quilts!!  Was that admiration or stalkery???  It did make me think!!

Do you have favorite quilts that you've made?  They could be "standards" that you make for many people.  They could be a quilt that resonates within you; because of who it is for, because what was happening at the time; or just because.

That's all for now - this has been so much fun!  More of it in 2015, please!!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year! Here's to plenty of stitching in 2015!

Hope your Christmas was merry and bright!  We had a ball with our family.  Our 42nd anniversary was also this month.  Talk about time flying!

For our anniversary celebration, we stayed in downtown Portland the Tuesday before Christmas.  Rick got us a room at the Heathman!!  Yep, the famous Hotel in 50 Shades of Grey!  It's very nice!  Rick admitted that 50 Shades is what attracted us to the Hotel and the desk clerk said, "We're mentioned for the first time on page 36 in the first book!"  Oh, yeah - the photo shoot before a date for coffee!!  Tee-hee!  We know it well!

We ate dinner at Ruth Chris Steakhouse - just a block away.  Shopped the Pearl - gotta go to Powell's every time we're in the area.  Drinks at the Deschutes Brewery; and breakfast the next morning at the Heathman restaurant.

My DH kept reminding me not to get used to it!  But I think I got used to it!!  Very posh. A sitting room, king size bed, eye masks and ear plugs!!  On the menu there was a $10 Intimate kit!!  I was too chicken to ask!  Maybe next time!

The famous Heathman elevator! Yes, we kissed in it - but also giggled!!

The vanity area

Sitting room

Bedroom - they laid out the robes for us!

Huge mirror to the side!

Dinner at Ruth Chris!  Yum!

This was our view - painted on the bldg next to us!

Happy New Year from our corner of the world!  Here's to 2015, filled with bobbins with the right thread on them, fabric that absolutely is perfect ... at your fingertips and time and mojo to quilt to your heart's content!

Message by my DH who hiked down to the beach to write it out!!  So evenly - I'm going to have him do all my messages!!

Happy 2015!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

It's sneaking up on us!!! BAM! Christmas Eve!!!

I must say - wow!  I missed a week of December due to an adorable little germ-bomb sharing what he had with Nana - sigh - so cute, and so lethal!!  But I've been really moving after I finally felt better.  It may be one of the most productive Christmases lately!!  So in order of pictures loading!!  Here's what I've been up to!

A Christmas tradition - PJ pants for all the Grands!  This year, I beat my old record!  10 pair!!  It's all Mr M's fault ... of course, he would love Seattle Seahawks PJ pants ... why didn't I think of that before the jigsaw puzzle pieces fabric was bought??  And if one Grand gets two pair, all get two pair!!  No there are no new Grands this year - I also make a pair for my Hairdresser's daughter and now our Water Aerobics teacher.  Each has a child the same size of one of my Grands - in theory I can cut two at the same time!  Sometimes that works!

Mr D is of course, super hero pants!!  It's all about the super heroes this year!! and Mr K is too little to care .... yet!!  He got jungle animals and numbers!!  Mom is a Math teacher and I can't resist cute number fabric that I find!

Miss P got a special pair of PJ pants, besides the Dorothy's ruby red shoes - Frog pants.  Alright - learn from my mistake!!  I had a yard-ish of fabric left over from a special quilt.  I've been saving it ... wait for it ... since my DD's HS graduation!!!  The cautionary tale comes in here - don't expect any praise for finally using it from the DH!  I saw his eyes glaze over, thinking that he had to move that fabric TWICE! Now, we'll see if she can figure out what quilt it is in!

We were on the committee for the Christmas Pot luck for Quilt Guild again this year.  A is a great head of the committee - more ideas than anyone can implement in 2 years!!  This year was a beach Christmas.  And we made needle cases - 4 different patterns.  Didn't they turn out great???  A lot of quilters were very carefully feeling the packages to determine what shape was inside!!

Every year, since forever, I wrap some presents like salt water taffy.  Are you old enough to remember that 'special' candy??  My Grandmother Grant loved it.  I hated it!!  BUT when the salt water taffy came out, stick around because the good times are starting!!  And that's how I feel when I wrap presents in this way!  Minis traded FQs and the wrapped very easily as salt water taffy!

Woolies Christmas party is Friday and while I can't say what is in these presents, quite yet, they are wrapped in Christmas fabric!  One year I collected Christmas fabric in hopes of making gift bags that we would use over and over again ... well, I made a couple and the year I used them, I never saw them again!!  They got taken home, or lost in the shuffle???? Who knows - but I'm way too addicted to Christmas wrapping paper to change now!  Check out the Dollar Store for some darn cute wrapping paper!  Some are even double sided!

Water Aerobics car pool is getting tea towels this year.  One friend is wild about elk.  On our 35 mile trip to Crescent City CA pool we usually see at least one herd of elk.  There are 2-3 herds in the area along 101.  The other friend has chickens.  The towels are from Craft Warehouse which is way too good of a store to be clear the heck over in Medford!!  That's 2 1/2 hours away!

Isn't Pinterest dangerous??!?!  I've seen these Nutter Butter Santa cookies a few times and was always tempted.  While looking for something else (isn't that always the way??) at Freddies I found the cookies - so this is the year I made them! Pretty cute!  Notes to myself for next year ...

Melt the white almond bark in microwave, in a mug.  Gives you the depth to coat 1/2 a cookie at a time easily. 4 squares does the whole package of cookies.

I couldn't find red colored crystal sugar anywhere!  But I did find a tube of red frosting and it worked well.  I also used it to stick the Red Hot candy nose on.

Mini chocolate chips are the right size, but a pain to work with.  I used white bark to stick them to the cookie, next year I think chocolate bark wouldn't be so "messy" looking.  If I get myself organized, I can make them the same I make the acorn cookies.  But just a touch of chocolate frosting would work too.

I hope your Christmas is merry and bright!  Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

One of my little "adorable little germ bombs" aka grandkids, gave me the ick over Thanksgiving!  It's been "Nana down" for a week now.  And doesn't everyone love to lose a week in December - after all what else do we have to do????  SIGH!

I did get the Christmas letter wrote and it's all sitting right there ready to do cards with ... next to the Kleenex box!!

So let me be the first to wish you the best these holidays!!

Happy Holidays from the Boyds

Our family was together at Thanksgiving this year and what fun we had.  20 month old K is walking/running and absolutely fell in love with L's dogs!  His little laugh "har, har!" made us all smile. The Dalmatian was watching someone make a plate of food at the counter, hoping for a spill and I spotted D standing under her chin, letting her breathe on him.  He had a look of total bliss!!

D is 3 1/2 and very busy.  He loved playing superheros with M and P. (It involved racing thru the house to save someone!) But will sit down anytime to listen to someone read to him. He now wears a great superhero cape (Batman on one side, Superman on the other!) every chance he gets!

P is 8 and in 2nd grade and is loving it. Reading and writing stories, making new friends.  But beware if P challenges you to basketball, she's good!  I am well acquainted with how fast H*O*R*S*E adds up playing against her!! She also started playing the drums this year.  Ba dum bump!!!

M is 6 and in kindergarten, learning to read, and aspires to play the trumpet! He's very into Legos (7+ age sets)  It's a 3D puzzle and he loves it.  He and Papa play chess every visit, and Papa confided to me that he has to pay attention to the game now (not the sports on tv) when they play!! Or he finds himself in sticky situations!!

The year sped by with visits to Nebraska, kids coming to the beach to stay with us, NE friends coming to visit us! Add lots of golf and quilting (including a fabulous quilt cruise last January!), some teen-age whales hanging around in our cove and it's been the best kind of year to have!

Wishing you and yours the best in 2015

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Come take a walk with me

Have you ever had one of those seasons where you're just. well, lazy is part of it.  Under-involved as well as too busy!!  Sounds crazy doesn't it!!  I think I'm living proof that it does happen!  And it's time to break out of it!!

So for the first time in months you and I are going for a walk!!

When we moved to Brookings, one of our favorite things was that we were ON the Coastal Trail.  We can just walk out of our building and there it is!!  It's a fairly easy part of the trail too!  Not much elevation change - just enough to keep you entertained!  We walked it several times a week!  By Hwy 101 it's about a mile to Lone Ranch Beach, but the trail doesn't run along side the highway, it's probably 1 1/2 miles by the trail.

So tie up your walking shoes, bring a sweatshirt because it IS November in Oregon!  And off we go.

I told you it was right outside our door!

This is the most convenient entrance to the E bldg - our scenic adventure starts right away!

But you can also walk past the garage, step over the retaining wall and walk down this path.  Our maintenance man made a bridge over the little creek. 

Once we get to the "trail" we have a wide path ... for a little while!


There are mushrooms/toadstools all around this time of year.  I don't know the difference and try to stay away from anything that might be poisonous!!  It's for the best!

We cross two creeks.  Once over this lovely little bridge and once by scrambling down a steep hill, hopping over the metal culvert and scrambling up the other side.  Be careful, it can be slick!

Here is a lovely little bench to look over the ocean.

The view from the bench.

Be careful of all the roots on the path - this makes a little staircase up the rise.

When two paths diverge in the woods ... remember to always stay on the ocean side!  Sometimes people hang streamers to mark the way.  But you can't rely on them - here one trip, gone the next!

Meet my favorite root!  It looks like something out of "Halloween Three"!!  Aliens among us!

Almost to the overlook at Lone Ranch - you can hear the little creek flowing over the rocks before you can see it.

Ta-Da!!!  We're here!  Take a good look, a deep breath, Misty day here - and it seems to be starting to rain.  That's Oregon for you!!

Okay, back home we go.  It's also fun to just sit on the deck and look at the ocean!  Next "guided tour" will be to the beach!

Thanks for joining me.