Sunday, September 26, 2010

Home Safe and Sound

The Hubby and I had a gorgeous week in Maui. The weather was cooperative as usual, and we just relaxed, took long walks, shopped for pieces of art for our home, and tried, unsuccessfully, a couple of methods for healing my neck.
We stayed in the time share we purchased a couple years ago and had a 5th story view of the ocean front.
The corally sand that comes up to the Marriott in Kaanapali leads fairly steep into the ocean where the small waves hit quite forcefully. If you get about 20 feet out into the water, the waves are nearly non-existent and it is a gentle, relaxing ride as the waves go in and out from shore.
The evening brought a slightly cooler temperature and we had to endure about 72 degrees as the night went on. Each evening brought a little fuller moon,
as it shown down on the sparkles of the water.  We kept the door open just to be lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves.
We explored an old volcano flow, and it is amazing how rugged the terrain can get.
Thanks for such a nice trip Hun.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hummingbirds or Venice?

The Hubby and I have been in Maui this week all by our lonesomes. It is our empty nester celebration trip. Fun, Fun!!!
We never dreamed it could be so inexpensive. Traveling all these past 30 years with children in tow most of the time has never been so cheap.
Well, it ALMOST happened that way.
Then we started looking into the many art galleries in Lahaina. There are a ton of these gems, and we found something that seemed worthy of our greenbacks in at least 50% of the places we ambled into.
The Hubby was originally looking for a great, fairly sizable piece for the empty wall in our bedroom.  I have repeated several times that a wall quilt is in the works in my head, and on my list of projects to tackle, but he knows me pretty well and realizes that the wait may be longer than my list of things to make for the grandchildren, or other people. (ask me what I'm making my mother sometime)
I wanted to get a piece that would finish off our living room that was redecorated, mostly, two years ago.
So we got both. And then some.
Here is one we did not get for the LR. It is an awesome old style oil painting of Venice under a full moon.
Very cool, huh? But we've never been to Venice, and so we decided against it.
Besides, we also found this.
These are the perfect colors for our room. I like hummingbirds, and make everyone around me look when I spot one. The medium of silver and gold leaf on wood, with enhanced painting is really elegant as well as just cool, and it is the right size for above our sofa.

Three years ago when the Hubby and I were down in Laguna Beach at a conference, I spotted a square piece of art in a window along PCH. The next day when I went back to look for it, I couldn't find it anywhere. I am convinced it was done by this same artist, Gabriel Burchman, and it was one of a group of similar works.

So basically I found him again, and wasn't even looking.
I'll post a pic when we get things all hung up in their rightful places.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

My Opinion

A while ago I was trying to explain to my DIL that sometimes I just ramble on and on and I'm just talking.
That much of the time I shouldn't be taken very seriously.
Everybody likes to talk. We learn it in our wee years as everyone around us is copied.
It's amazing how quickly little ones pick it all up.
In this modern world of ours we sometimes don't even have to open our mouths, but I usually prefer to keep my mouth open, not using my ears nearly enough.
I guess some people don't do that. Some people actually think about what they are saying and they don't say things off the top of their heads. I am not those people.
I in contrast, tend to have too much to say and not enough substance in which to say it.

So as I was trying to explain this, I said to her, "My opinion is just that, an opinion." Halfway through this sentence, everyone in the room started talking and laughing so they didn't hear the end statement.  They just heard. "My opinion is just fact."

So now as we are congregating as a family several times I've heard, "Better listen to GramVi, she always has the facts."
What a fun famiy!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Room

As promised previously, here is the rundown of the before/after pictures of MMs room.
First, I'll show you how Stepher left her room as she left her dear parents house on the same day as said brother.
Maybe the pillows on the bed could have been a little straightened, and granted she wasn't moving out because she did that several years ago. But, she left it neatly for her parentals to see as they walk down the hall.
And here's the disaster.
oh, ... there's more.
The dresser.
The closet.
This is after he took everything he thought he could possibly use in the next 8-9 months.

Do you think we have purchased a bit more than he ever needed in the first place.  I don't feel like I indulge him as much as some of my others, cause he doesn't really ask for a lot.
I haven't put my thumb on the problem completely.  Could there possibly be some laziness involved in the equation????

So after I've cleaned up most of the area. Here is what it looks like. (Did I mention that I didn't find any mouse droppings? I wondered when I pulled out his dresser to clean behind the thing, but none popped out and scared me.)
Most of the posters are down. I sent some to him for his dorm room walls. He thinks they are more bare than he had previously imagined they would be.
I've still got to hang a couple of his plaques, but the dresser looks SOOOO much better.
These are some shoes that he didn't take, but still wants to keep.
...and some more shoes.  Are we noticing a pattern? Perhaps a shoe obsession?
Wonder who and when that was started?

I walked over and placed these little Air Jordan 5's on his headboard and just burst into tears.

Now I cry.

Almost Forgot

I had to show a picture of Ells feet as she helped clean off MM's window sill.
Remember she had been walking around on the floor of this room as we were pulling things away from the walls and out from under the bed.
Gross, huh?
Her little baby sis was totally oblivious.
Sound asleep on the bed.

Friday, September 10, 2010

$$ For the Maid

I'm sure I've mentioned how MM left his room when he went away to college last month. I'll actually post before and after pictures in a future post.
Today, as I finished up the huge task of cleanup, I brought several more piles of "stuff" out into the living area of the house.  I think I believe that if you just move it around and give it a new home, "stuff" will go away.

NOT... I hate stuff.
There are two piles of school supplies that I gleaned from the mess that was MM's closet and dresser. (We bought much of the same "stuff" for his new dorm room, so if makes me a little crazy to find a slightly older version of the same notebook or pen or highlighter just collecting dust as it sits, minding its own business, in the depths of the closet.)
Anyway, I started organizing some of this "stuff" out of the household. I took 3 fairly large garbage leaf bags to the Goodwill truck which resides just outside of our neighborhood. I mailed my darling youngest MM a few of his posters, as well as some gloves, a file folder, thank you notes (more on that another time as well,) a small copy of his patriarchal blessing, and a Sports Illustrated.
Tonight The Hubby and I went to dinner at Pizza My Heart using a gift card that MM received probably for Christmas.  Then we went to the Lucky's grocery store and cashed in $140.32 of coins that MM saved for years.
He had all summer to do it and now I guess I get to use this extra cash to buy me some Christmas presents.
Looks like we taught this kid the value of a dollar. Right?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Last T-shirt Quilt?

In dropping off MM at college a couple weeks ago, I wondered if I had done a post about his dorm bed quilt.
.... can't see it so...
I made MM a t-shirt quilt, patterned after the ones that I had made for his 2 sisters. He can use it on his twin beds the next few years, and then afterwards I suppose it can be used for a lawn/picnic quilt or whatever he wants.
I take t-shirts that he has worn over the years and it makes up into a sort of memory quilt.
I first cut a rough 12 square of fabric from each t-shirt and then iron on fusible web for stability. That way the stretch associated with cotton knit is kept in check.
I like the look of setting the squares "on point" because there then is a "top" and "bottom" to the quilt. The writing on the t-shirt squares then is easy to read without standing on your head.
On point means that you place the 12" quilt square in a diamond type position so that the whole quilt is diagonal instead of perpendicular/parallel.
I also have to make 1/2 squares to go all around the edges of the quilt.

I picked out some fairly masculine cotton fabrics to sew between all the squares. They are 2 inch strips and squares and I sewed them in lines as I figured out where each square should be on the quilt.
Then I made a border all the way around the quilt as well as a slightly larger cotton back.
I gave this to MM when he graduated in June. I sent it to my long arm quilting lady "Finally Finished" in Saratoga for her to finish.
And here he is sitting on his new dorm bed that hopefully reminds him of a great childhood and a mother who loves him.
Sleep tight!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Apples, Apples Everywhere

We have 2 prolific apple trees in our back yard. I believe that this years crop is the biggest yet in our 17 fall seasons in this house.
The Hubby decided while I was still out of town last week, that these apples needed to be picked.  So there were about 2 bushels waiting in the garage when I returned from Utah/Colorado last week.
Monday night we bottled apple sauce. Thursday night we bottled applesauce. Then on Saturday The Hubby picked another couple of bushels and we bottled apple pie filling. We also made 7 apple crisps.
Don't you just love the topping on these things? Lots of brown sugar, butter, oats, a little flour. What's not to love?
We used a handy dandy tool for this task. It's the Apple, peeler, corer, slicer gadget.  It is slick!

In addition to these apple items, we also have a lot of eggplant, and tomatoes right now. So... we made eggplant parmigiana (with romano cheese in place of the parmigian.) And of course ratatouille.
The only thing not from our garden in the ratatouille was some dried mushrooms. We ate that with steak yesterday. We'll eat the casserole of eggplant romano today.
Also in our repretua of bottled items was some strawberry/fig jam. My friend Laurie gave me some figs and I picked a few small ones from our new fig tree, and I combined them with frozen strawberry puree in my freezer.
I think my favorite part of the canning was using the grill stove outside.
I was complaining about the heat inside the house that is required to can in the middle of the summer, and lamenting about my old friend Carol and her use of an outside unit so she didn't destroy her stove inside. I showed the Hubby my demented turning key for our back left unit on the stove and pointed out to him that it was because of a past overheating due to the canning pot.
The Hubby said, "Let's try it on the grill. We hardly ever use the stove burners out there anyway."
It worked out perfectly, and when the bottles were finished processing, we just set them under the hood of the grill to cool down, and we went to bed.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Quilt for Ells

I received my camera by Fed Ex from Colorado. The parents are still organized and on top of everything. Thanks!
I've had more than one camera problem in the past little while.  A couple of days before I left on my trip I inadvertently erased all the photos from the camera as I was trying to load them onto my computer. There were only 20 or 25 pictures, but a couple of blogs worth, that I'll have to either not do, or else I'll have to go back and take more pictures.

For now I'll just have to show a finished quilt that I made for Katz. All the pictures in progress are gone. This quilt is for her first babe as she transitions into a toddler bed and as her li'l sister takes over the crib in a few months.
Lots of 2.5 inch strips of black and white, separated by a ribbon of yellow. Easy and fun to do.
The back of the quilt has all three colors, using that word loosely, in little comma shapes.
After getting the top finished and cutting out the back, I took it to a long arm quilter in my area.
Finally Finished has done several quilts for me and I've always been happy with their work.
She even embroidered the granddaughters name on it, so perfectly.
I like it.