Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wednesday in the Rain

The weather Gods have visited us with rain.  Now that isn't really a big deal, except when you look at the rest of the country - we have no grounds for complaints.  Temperatures have been in the 40's and 50's and come summer will be happy for a bit more snowpack, as it is pretty low at the moment.  We don't melt.

Life is pretty daily around Casa Nana, but that isn't all bad.  I have been finishing up a quilt I started some long while ago.  I cannot show you as she reads this blog.  [in a couple of weeks I'll show you]  It is attractive and I do love the top.  Wish my machine quilting were a better, but there you have it.

Just finished what I thought was a thought-provoking book.  It is a novel but the author did quite a bit of research for the book and so I think has some strong reality in it.  "The Crying Tree", by Naseem Rakha, 2009.  Among other liner notes, it says the story is about, "..the transformative power of forgiveness."  Forgiving others and perhaps, forgiving ourselves for our own shortcomings.  Well worth the read.

My Seattle Grands continue to be so cute and fun to take care of, and grow……..
She can pull herself up, almost everywhere.  Next come controlled steps.  The older one continues to remember everything you once said -  so be careful.
Enjoy the end of the month.  Nana will be on the road next week - photos to follow.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Another week flies by - January is almost over

We don't need the usual cliches, but my, time whizzes by.  And now it is Friday, so what happened this week?

Monday was Martin Luther King Jr's Birthday.  That means it is, for many of us, a holiday.  So what do you do on a holiday?  You work!  Well this was volunteer work.  It was time to clean the kitchen at church.  It is a space that is heavily used and unfortunately, rarely well cleaned.  And so, 3 of us and a group of about 15 youth volunteers, scrubbed from top to bottom.  For 5 minutes, it looks GREAT!

that's where those missing pans are

How many jars of celery salt do we need?

While we worked in the kitchen, another group sorted donations including clothes, socks, jackets, toothbrushes, shampoo, etc, etc.

A couple of days of sunshine and it seems that lots of plants think spring is just around the corner.

Enough that I went out and bought some primroses for the front flower box.  

Perhaps one of the only difficulties is that now my head thinks that winter is over.  I know, I know, it is still January, but I so prefer this sunshine business.  More!  More!  [even if it is cold]

I even found some tulpen for in the house.  Woo Hoo!

A neighbor brought over a very interesting book that she found at the library - only added to their collection in December.

As you can see, it is about the Dutch and their amazing intimacy with water.  Of course, there is much in the book about problems with climate change [and yes, I believe it is real] and how that will so alter life as the Dutch know it today.  [or all of us, for that matter.]  Funny that there was a big headline in this morning's local newspaper about climate change and acidification of our water.  Hmmmmm.

Global responsibility is a huge challenge.  Keep on fighting!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Another fun week-end

I really do appreciate just how fortunate I am.  I think it is important that we not take for granted all the goodness which surrounds us and fills our life.

On Monday, I went to the January meeting of CTA.  It was my turn, along with 4 others, to bring snacks for our meeting.  We have a couple of gals who coordinate snacks each month and always provide fun decorations.

The trees are some sort of very stiff felt.  Aren't they cute?  We always have a Show and Tell time - items that the gals have made,

As you can see, a variety of projects, using a sewing machine.

Tuesday was babysitting - one my highlights of the week,

Stashbusters was Thursday -[this is my local quilt bee.]  People bring the things they are working on to show all of us.  Later in the spring, we will begin our annual joint quilt - which we all share in making.
Judy's baseball quilt celebrating the Boston Red Sox

We've decided to do a 2 1/2 inch strip swap.  We had, of course, much conversation about what colors we would use.  We decided that we would build our swap around the 2014 Color of the Year: Orchid,

This week-end we joined 8 of our friends from the RVW group.  We rented a house on Camano Island, through Vacation Rental by Owner (VRBO).  While the weather was quite dreary and grey, we had a fabulous time.  We ate and talked and laughed, ate more, talked more and watched several episodes of the old TV show, The Carol Burnett Show.  Again, much more laughing.  Great fun!  And lots and lots of games.  Mosty Five Crowns, Hand and Foot and Wizard.

I worked on my little applique project.  I didn't finish, but working on it,

Happy days, all.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Saturday - Storms and Seahawks

For those folks who really care, today is THE big Seahawk playoff. [American football] This house doesn't really care too much, other than general interest.  Meanwhile, it is simply bucketing with rain.  Earlier we had some major thunder and lightening.  Lots and lots of wind.  A short spate of sunshine and now we are back as another storm front moves through.  YUK!

This was my first 'daycare' event on Tuesday.  Oh those little girls are sure pretty special and not hard to care for.

The little one has managed to mostly figure out crawling - as her mom said, not pretty, but she can get around now.  And she really wants to be able to pull herself up, but she isn't quite strong enough yet.

You can imagine my surprise this morning when I happened to be out in the back yard and found these,

It's only mid January and there are daffodils peaking out and some forsythia.  Wow!  Does this mean that there will actually be a spring?  Some winters I have my doubts, but this looks hopeful.

I have been working on taking apart the old suits I have.  I have finished the old shirts.  I also have 4 ties to go.  Dieuwke suggested I should think about log cabin blocks using the suiting wool and the shirts as the two sides of the blocks.  And a red tie in the center?  Hmmmm.  I think I may give this a try and see how it goes.

It is black or very dark navy with a lighter blue stripe.

The Seahawks scored a field goal - 3 points.  We are off to the University of Washington Women's Basketball game.  Quite the sports day!

Monday, January 6, 2014


Our lovely sunshine is on its way out, but much, much better than our friends and family further east.  Dear me!  Really so awful.  So sorry for all of them.

Here are a couple of our favorite four legged friends,
Ariza came for a visit with her folks,

And today I got to visit with Alayne and Sunny, who was enjoying a sit on the wedding quilt.  She is so funny - she knew when I picked up the camera and would not look directly at me.  As soon as it went down, she would look.

Alayne is getting ready to head to sunny California  - so before she heads south I wanted to get some batting from her.  [As a long-armer she always has rolls of batting and sells me batting to finish up some of my multiple UFO's.]  Thanks Alayne.
This is the green poly. batting - made from old soda pop bottles.  I have used it before and like it a lot.
And this is a lovely, thin dream cotton

Me thinks my excuses are quickly evaporating.  Hmmmmm.

As mentioned before, I have been cutting up men's shirts.  This is such a grand way to get some lovely cottons - often in colors/patterns I cannot get other ways.
And just because it will mean something to my Dutch friends - look where some of these shirts came from,
 [Americans: this is a really nice department store in the Netherlands.]

Stay warm!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Saturday Sunshine

Oh it is so cheerful to have sunshine - even if it isn't really warm.

Look at that BLUE sky.  I love it!

This is the clean up after Christmas day.  Taking down the outside lights, find the right home for the ornaments, pack the fragile things and put away the holiday linens.  Yeah!

And it was a great day to review the 2013 Gratitude Jar.  I learned about this last year -  in some sort of container you put little notes of things for which you are thankful.  How fun to look back at the past year and to remember those little and big things.  At the time they might not feel like something worth noting, but it is great to go back and review them.

And thanks to our Dutch friends, we've learned to really enjoy speed skating.  We are watching the men's and ladies short track speed skating. [preliminary to Sochi]  Caro - we certainly are unlikely to beat you, but it's fun to watch.

Have a great week-end.  Christian is supposed to bring some old shirts for me (to cut up), tomorrow.  Yeah - I love this kind of left-overs.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Old and New

Alrighty - let's start this New Year with a resolution to blog a bit more frequently.  It's not that I don't think of it, but making (not finding) time to sit down and write - that sometimes proves to be a challenge.  So - after Christmas [you already saw that] and a Grandson's birthday, we headed to a delightful little town, not far away, for a New Year's happening.  A group of our RV friends have gathered there for the past several years and now it has become a tradition for New Year's holiday.  We usually spend 3-4 days there.  Minimal organized events, but lots and lots of eating and playing games and laughing and talking (and more eating and more cards).  This year the group completed (almost) 3 jigsaw puzzles and we watched on TV the Seattle Seahawks (American football) defeat St. Louis (I think - I'm not a huge fan.  Sorry.)

It is a very cute hotel and we had the top floor (penthouse - with huge dining table and kitchen) and the 4 rooms below it.  We even had a couple of folks who brought their RV and stayed at the nearby park.

It's a sweet little town, with a ferry landing, lots of boats and some fun architecture.

Our hotel stay did permit us to visit an "athletic club" across the street - to respond to the caramel popcorn during the card games and puzzles

We arrived home and unpacked and then it was time to prepare for our annual Stashbusters after Christmas party. [held in January].  Patty's church is nearby and lets us use their space for our little gathering [same place where Stone Soup Quilts operates].  And so,

After our potluck supper, we did a "show and tell" of items made from last year's ugly fabrics.  Some quite amazing things happened,

(some quite good and at least one pretty bad - see just above)

We were able to present Alayne with her wedding quilt - it's been a work-in-progress for quite some time and she was truly overwhelmed,

Stashbusters will start thinking about this year's raffle quilt - what to do.  Also Elaine brought a lovely quilt she made using a strip exchange.  We are thinking perhaps we want to do one - provide each participant with at least 40 - 2 1/2" strips.   And see what you can come up with,

Hers were all blacks and tans.  She was suggesting we think about violet (see her sweater above) and maybe a tan or cream or something light.  Hmmmmm.  Violet is supposed to be a new "in" color, so we should be able to find fabrics to cut and swap.

Lastly, the ugly fabric I got.  And I think it really and truly lives up to its name,
Interesting fabric for someone to design and make and someone to buy.  [the orange actually looks like it glows in the dark, although I don't think it does.]  Now what in the world do I make with this for next year?

Happy, creative 2014 to you and yours!