Thursday, December 26, 2013

Holidays with the kidlets

My apologies to "Nanc'" and a few others whom I know are not so kid-centric as I can be, but we sure had a fabulous couple of days with my precious little ones - well, up to and including the teen-ager.

Christmas Eve was time with the two littlest ones.  Such fun and they really are so easily amused and entertained.

The big one was overjoyed with Goldfish crackers and the Safeway goldfish container.  [This even overwhelmed breakfast - Nana should have thought of that]  The littlest one just liked making sounds and having everyone respond to her - lots of "ttthhhhhhhh" and "bbbrrrrrrrr".  (It was rather funny to see a room full of adults making their own version of these sounds.)

The big one moved on, as her mother had predicted, with new rain boots and an umbrella.  No eyes were poked out (as my mother always warned) but it was a bit of duck and dodge with the sides.
[Notice the eyes on the umbrella match the boots.]  Grandad refinished the stove, sink and refrigerator that had first belonged to my daughter, 27 +/- years ago.  These oldies are still goodies,

Then early on Christmas morning we headed south, (with weather less dreadful than predicted)
Not much traffic, thank goodness, and arrived at the home of the 3 older "grands".
Age has different 'fashion' dictates, apparently.  But it really was a delightful time, with gifts and food and card games and conversation, report cards, plans for Christmas break, etc, etc, etc.

Caro left behind a Christmas parcel which we opened and had a really good laugh,
And now it is time to "pay the piper" for all of our enjoyable socializing - off to the gym
Hope you made many great memories during this holiday.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Santa has been busy

Oh so lucky for me, Santa brought me (early) a new camera.  HURRAH!  HURRAH!   HURRAH!  My poor ole Nikon was getting mighty tired and I couldn't even get new cards for it, any longer - the technology for that one was too old.  So bless Santa for a very lovely Canon Elph 330HS (I haven't read the book, so I don't know all the things that it does, but they are many and really swell!)

And so, for inauguration purposes, here is a festive Casa Nana
Our festivities will be among son and family and daughter and family.  I think we are ready or close enough.

I did start one little project about 3 or 4 days ago.  These are all fabrics that my grandson had picked out of my stash.  Just things that he liked.  So I spied a little pattern in a magazine and thought 'why not'?
So I just combined them all, with some muslin squares and voila,
Of course it won't be finished by Wednesday, but I will give him the top then take it back to finish it.  I really think it is quite fun.  Now, do I put something in the plain squares?  And what?
It's definitely better from a bit away, but oh well.  I will also finish up a quick fleece tied throw for my daughter before Wednesday (3 of the 4 sides are already tied).  So, yeah, I'm almost ready, I think.  I do need to do a bit of food shopping as well, so we can contribute to our meals together.

Me thinks that after 5 grands, this Grandma will be ready for a break with some adults - bring on New Year's Eve.

As our Southern friends say, Happy Holidays y'all.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Holiday Happenings are upon us

Well, yes, Nana is a bit overdue for her blog.  I am sorry, but some times it just seems to go that way.  You know how it is.

So to recreate the past number of days,

Several years ago Alayne and Maud invited us to join their Ornament Exchange/Christmas Brunch group.  We have, of course, thoroughly enjoyed our annual event with all of them.  Throughout the year, each person must find an ornament to bring, wrapped, and then we draw number for packages.  (you know that old fashioned way).  So I don't have photos of our (given-away) ornaments, but these are the ones we received.  Very fun.

CTA has their annual Christmas meeting, which included an ornament exchange.  Of course, I forgot to take a photo of mine, but it was a (approx) 6 inch long heart with a Christmas friends saying on it.  Carol had drawn my name and made this lovely stitchery ornament.  Really so nicely done.  We had the usual excess of treats and a refresher lesson in button hole stitching.  [last month it was sewing flat and shank buttons.]  Good skill refresher.

A few other projects getting done -  a candle mat (pattern from Caro)

Friday CTA had one of their monthly service sewing days.  This time around we made bags that hook onto the front of a walker.  These are generally given to Group Health.
Not difficult, but I'm told that for folks who need them, these are very helpful.  A good pattern to have in our repertoire.

Saturday was the annual gathering we host to enjoy a meal together and then to wrap the gifts a group of us have bought for our "adopted" family - for Christmas.  Always lots of fun and dare I say, it certainly gifts one family with a bountiful Christmas.
We enjoyed the lovely doves that Caro and Dieuwke made for us - decorating the dining room light:
Our adopted family has a 3 month old, and luckily we were able to find a hand-me-down stroller (in excellent condition), so made a small blanket to wrap him up, when he goes outside.  [I used some of the flannel strips we cut a couple of weeks ago.  The remainder of the left-over flannel went to CTA for their Providence Hospital Infant Blanket project]
We're closing in on the actual "big day".  So a bit less time being spent on sewing projects.  I did get sashing and a border on my flannel project - you've seen this before.
And I'm working on making some easy blocks - just a couple each day or so.  Eventually I'll have enough to do a whole bed quilt, while enjoying a recorded book,

Hope your holidays are joyful.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday Report

I am delighted to report that the sun is STILL shining.  Most unusual for this time of the year.
The view off the front porch, of the neighbors homes.  See that lovely blue sky.  But we also have this:
That is frozen water in the hummingbird feeder.  We only forgot to bring it in one night.  Poor things.  It has been in the mid to low 20's overnight and perhaps hits mid 30's during the day.  Tomorrow night is supposed to be even colder, but then it may warm up just enough to meet with some precipitation and guess what that brings?  Talking about the "S" word for next week.  Isn't it good that we have finished almost all our Christmas shopping.  Today we shopped for our share of the Christmas Family that we "adopt" each year, through church.  This year it is a mom and dad and 5 children.  There are 10 of us who are finding gifts for them (and their household).

Other than Dutch class, I have been "downstairs" after supper - in my sewing room.  Working on a couple of things I can show you:
These hourglass blocks will be the next "round" on my blue and white quilt.  I started buying the fabrics for this quilt at least 10 years ago, in the Netherlands.  I don't have a pattern - just working on it as I can.  So far:
I have made the center blocks, on point and made these borders.  Caro helped me figure out how to make edges for the strips - to set them off from the main part of the quilt.  They are actually 1" strips of a plain navy.
Here it is so far:
Now to add the hourglass blocks and figure out what happens in the corners.

I have been trying to bit of tidying up in the ole sewing room.  Some days (weeks) it does get a bit out of control.  So newly cleaned up book shelves,
You might even now be able to read the name of the book and its author.  (a novel concept)

With this less-than balmy weather, it seemed like a time for a cozy dinner - so it was a pot of chili night:
Just add some cornbread and you are all set.  Keep warm!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Monday with sunshine

Well we survived without Caro to help us do the quiz in the morning newspaper.  That had become our habit while she was here and it was quite fun.  Of course, her knowledge of English and trivia was very impressive.  She sent the creator an email, so it will be fun to see if she gets a reply.  We were able to Skype with her (morning, our time, and supper time there) and do a quick catch up.  And, as predicted, her husband was mighty glad to have her back home.

Yesterday, as it was the first day of Advent, there was a church potluck breakfast.  (of course!)  So we made some mini-muffins as a contribution.  There was lots of fruit, multiple breakfast casseroles and an "over the top" apple-caramel bread pudding.  Now that was divine!

I was able to find a bit of time to add the borders to the 1600 quilt top that I finished recently.

(gold and dark blue).  Next to get it to Alayne for quilting - after I figure out a back.  Our house is so quiet these days, so last night during Sunday night TV time, I started a couple of little embroidery projects.  Not sure what will happen to them, but made some button covers and started a little strip piece to be added to something.  Hmmmmm.  More details as they develop. 

Weather man is predicting sunshine, but C O L D!  That is only a worry due to not having the RV winterized yet.  We do have an appointment (the first we could get) on Friday.  Finger crossed and I may need to go to the storage lot and run the generator and heaters for a bit.  Maybe fingers and toes crossed is what is required. 

Happy Monday, y'all.

Friday, November 29, 2013

"Black" Friday

Gracious - how did it get to be Friday already?  We have really been packing in just as much as we could humanly manage.  Then just for giggles I had a Grandma duties day, as well.  And of course, yesterday - but I get ahead of myself.

Monday was the usual visit to Jazzercise.  Then a very leisurely visit to JoAnn's.  Caro was, as we sometimes day, "in hog heaven".  She located quite a few things that she couldn't live without.

Tuesday was a chance to see the Boston Harbor 1st and 2nd grade Nursery Rhymes "play"  "Mother Goose is Loose".  Pretty cute 6 and 7 year olds.  Grand #3 was Bo Peep.
Little Bo Peep and her sheep
Caro made a trip, on the bus, to downtown.  Poor baby - she had to take care of her own dinner, but we did leave her some delicious chicken left-overs and she found some orzo salad at the local PCC Market.

Wednesday I had Grandma duties,

It was crisp but some sunshine and did we have fun at the park.  My dear DIL only had to be at school until 1pm, so she arrived home early.  We were having fun.
(sorry - don't know why this is sideways)

Wednesday afternoon we were on 'high alert' for Thanksgiving.  Several things to get ready: stuffing, squash and get the turkey into the brine.  [not to mention cleaning the house and setting the table] This was a first time for me with brining and it was quite easy.  I'm not entirely sure it made a world of difference, but it wasn't difficult.

Thursday morning was time to prepare the turkey breast.  Another first  - cooked in a prepared liquid (with vegetables and chicken stock) in the crockpot.  Worked a treat!
The lid didn't fit, so at the suggestion of the recipe "maker" cover with foil and then use the lid for some weight.  It literally fell off the bone in about 6 hours.  Then later in the morning it was time to get the regular turkey into the oven,
Lucky for me, this is a potluck event, so beyond turkey, stuffing and squash, our guests brought the rest of the meal.  And of course, my sweet little ones came for dinner and a visit.

Isn't this a great looking bunch? My DS and family.

Today it was a quick jaunt to the nearby pharmacy, searching for black friday sales.  We found a few things, and of course, Caro found a few (more) things to put into her almost full suitcases.  She has been weighing them to be sure she was within the weight limit.  OK!  Tonight it's dinner with Christian and Guy and then she heads out for home tomorrow morning.  No doubt her husband will be pleased to have her back home.  We have had quite a visit!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Nana's casa

It's a happening time at Casa Nana - with shopping and sewing - it's a busy time, indeed.

If you have looked at Caro's blog ( you know what we've been doing. After much planning, starting a couple of months ago, Ronda invited me and Caro and quilting friend Alayne to her home.  Ronda and I cut yards and yards of flannel into strips, up to 3" wide.  Shortly after 9:30 we arrived and started sewing.  Choosing a center for our stitch and flip blocks, cutting and ironing.  We were busy girls.  We even didn't desert the table when it came to lunch time: chili and cornbread - delish!

Our friend Dieuwke joined us from the Netherlands on Skype.  So much fun to have a little "sewing bee" online.  We stayed through supper (a re-run of lunch - yum) and headed home some mighty tired sewers.  Alayne couldn't be there on Saturday, but Caro and I returned and the three of us started again.  Ronda and Caro just about finished their tops.  I made progress and finished the 12 blocks I planned to use.  These are all flannel strips so a batting may only be optional.  (see Caro's blog for more photos)

Here are my blocks,

Kind of fun and crazy.  I forgot to mention that mid afternoon on Friday we made a brief field trip to two local quilt stores.  While there we found this charming fabric.  It is a rather heavier 100% cotton which shrinks about 25%, so you have to plan accordingly.

Can you see the little lines where it has shrunk?  Suggestions for what to use this for?