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?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wednesday and Thursday

A few different photos that aren't exactly the same as Caro's blog.  [It's a challenge when we both bring our cameras]

So Wednesday afternoon we went to Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI).  We found a couple of Christmas gifts (not saying for whom), Caro found some shoes, did a return and had a quick lunch.  Love this sunshine.  Caro is in this photo but you can't even see her (sorry, Caro)

I also love the REI waterfall,
It is such fun right in the middle of the "big" city.

Then we headed to the Pike Place Market.  It was just that kind of a day.  And luckily not loads of folks, either.

Mostly we just walked around, although Caro did find a couple of little things to buy.  I think Santa may have done a bit of shopping at Sur la Table.  Of course a trip there wouldn't be complete without a visit to Beechers cheese.  Caro brought home a small amount for us to try.


The origiinal Starbucks site.

Thursday dawned very cold and marvelously clear - blue, blue sky
Caro and I had decided to drive to LaConner to the Quilt Museum - always such a treat.

Lunch in town and a brief wander and then it was time to get back on the road.  A wonderful day.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Busy in Seattle

Well, my camera has not been so active.  So check Caro's blog for the real "inside" scoop (and photos).

Yesterday was a leisurely wander through the Lake City Fred Meyer - shopping a bit and lots of looking.  After we got home, Caro and I did lots of sewing.  Several little projects.  Photos to follow here shortly.

Caro made pea soup for supper - very tasty - and then we headed to the Univ. of Washington Women's basketball game.  Sorry Nancy and Diane - but we managed to beat Seattle University rather handily.  A little TV and bedtime.

Wednesday (today) is the gym and coffee, then a visit to REI.  Caro continues to help support the Seattle economy with her shopping.  Yeah!

Monday, November 18, 2013

One more photo from Sunday

Just because it is rather funny,

Dutch holiday tradition, Swarte Piet and guess who?

Monday adventures

Today we began with our first adventures with Jazzercise, for Caro.  We had to quickly come home and change into "going out in public" clothes.  Shirley, from CTA, came over for a ride and we headed out to Woodinville, where we were meeting for lunch.

As we were a bit early, we swung by Molbak's Garden Center.  Caro was fascinated with all the goodies there for dogs: leashes, toys, cookies, life jackets - she even found a pair of doggy reindeer antlers for her dog for SinterKlaus.  Cute!  [see Caro's blog for photos].

We met up with the rest of the group at Gobblers for some lunch (turkey, of course).  As we finished a bit early we had time for a quick trip to Gathering Fabrics, in Woodinville.  A really, really lovely quilt store,

[again, Caro has photos from inside, on her blog].  One of the new things they have in the shop are the Downton Abbey fabrics - true.  And they were gorgeous.

We then drove across the freeway to visit the Martingale Publishing offices.
One is not allowed to take photos inside the offices, as the quilts are copyrighted, but they have walls filled with quilts from their books.  Oh so inspiring.  They also have a book room, at the end of the tour, which has many of those books published during the past summer (about 6 months old) for a ridiculously low price.  I managed to get home with only one book, "101 Small Quilts" from various authors.  A great resource for some up-coming projects.

Then, being in the mood, we headed north through Bothell and went to Keepsake Cottage Fabrics quilts.  I haven't visited there for some time and goodness, but they have an enormous selection of fabric and tools and books, as well.  I found two fabrics on the sale table, a stack of 2 1/2" squares and a template for a pinwheel template.

A couple of tired "cookies" this evening, but a very fun day.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Needed changes

Well - it seems that some people cannot leave a comment easily on that fancy new format - so we will try this one.  I do apologize for regularly changing this - trying to find something that seems to work well for all of us. 

So today, Sunday, was a visit to welcome SinterKlaus to Seattle.  Actually Sint and SwartePiet came to visit the Dutch Seattle group.  This was my first chance to experience this firsthand.  The organization did a great job of setting up 8 or 9 games for children to play.  There was music and some videos, as well as (typical Dutch) coffee/tea and little taste treats.  Two bakeries had donated banket (puff pastry with an almond filling), rookwurst on a little roll, speculaas cookies and mandarins.  Sinterklaus arrives by boat accompanied by his myriad of helpers, who are the ones who slide down the chimney to bring gifts to children.  Thus they are covered in chimney dirt.  The children (in their homes) would leave their shoes in front of the fireplace, including a carrot for Sint's horse.  It was obvious that everyone had a fun time.

"He's coming, he's coming" 

Children enjoying the celebration.

Finally, Sint arrived

A fun cross-cultural experience.

Of course, after we got home and had some dinner, it was time for what else?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

"We've only just begun"

You may remember a song by the Carpenter's by that title.  It felt like that was the perfect description of the start of our little visit with Caroline.  Her plane was about 20 minutes late but we found each other easily - waiting at the top of the escalators - we couldn't miss.
We saved the Welcome sign from our trip in 2011.

Caro said that her suitcase was full.  She wasn't kidding.
She brought lots and lots of things from several different folks.  We are so lucky and spoiled.  A package of English tea from Emma.

My favorite white chocolates and some dark chocolate for Elaine.  Placemats from Caro's mother and dad
Vlieseline, which I ordered from Willemijn.  It is the greatest for a backing any sort of stitchery.  Her business is called Happy Stitches - an Etsy shop.
The latest issue of the Albert Heijn monthly magazine.  You have to be able to read Dutch but their recipes are great!
A jig-saw puzzle (leg puzzel) for Elaine.  It is of a picture by Anton Pieck - one of our favorite Dutch [contemporary] painters.

Roomboter Babbelaars (similar to Butterscotch)
Dieuwke made us two doves from wonderful den Haan fabrics
And to decorate the house for Thanksgiving, from Caro

And last but not least, Joke made a lovely shawl that she knit for me.
Isn't it gorgeous?

No - it isn't Christmas yet, but we are being royally spoiled.