Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Our Latest Graduate

I better hurry and post this most important family event before tomorrow, or else I will be wrong in my headline.
Yes, tomorrow our 1st granddaughter graduates from preschool...... but I digress.
Last weekend we watched our 2nd baby boy receive his MA. He was given his Masters Degree in Geography with an emphasis in G.I.S.
YAY David!!
Woo Hoo!
Good Job!
He has been able to accomplish this task while working at Men's Wearhouse and being married for 7 years and having 3 children during it all. Kinda crazy, but all done is all done.
Just look at his accomplishments!! Aren't they cute?!?
The proud parental units,
and supportive little brother participated in the festivities.
Nice hood in the Cal State colors.

Now, we are all praying for a specific job he has in mind.  They'd be lucky to get him.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Decoration Day

Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations, that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of a free and undivided Republic. - John A. Logan
Grand Army of the Republic Commander-in-Chief John A. Logan
General Order No. 11, May 5, 1868, mandating Memorial (Decoration) Day

We forget what this day is all about. Thanks to all who serve(d).

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Neglected Yard

I haven't spent more than a few hours out in the garden this spring. Several reasons for that.
1. Precipitation was ALWAYS happening.
2. I was sewing in most of my free time.
3. I was traveling and exercising, and having my bum neck worked on in my "other" (as in out of the      house) free time.
So .... because of these very valid reasons, our large yard looks like it has just been mowed and blowed but otherwise neglected for several months.
I have a semi reliable employee who shows up at our house every week or two and makes it look somewhat presentable.
 Here is Panfilo, who does odd jobs easily when asked and when he understands what it was that was asked. In this pic he is in the process of cutting down my cool gnarly wisteria tree/vine. (Yes, he was asked.)
This vine turned tree trunk, of beautiful green leaves and 1 - 6 flowers annually has been tried and tested in pruning techniques, fertilizing techniques, and just general patience techniques over the 18 years I have known it. We tried anything we could to get it to flower. We let it grow up into a huge ash tree nearby, we cut it out of said tree and pruned it neatly, we root pruned it, we fertilized with flowering non-leafing fertilizers, we starved it, we babied it. Nothing worked. This promising purple flowering vine never performed.
I thought it was I that was the negative influence in it's life as this was my second attempt at having a beautiful wisteria. While we lived in Portland, Oregon I planted one to go all around our hot tub gazebo. It too never bore any resemblance to the magnificent vines I saw all over the city. Everything grows in Portland, Oregon, but I couldn't get flowers on my wisteria. My inferiority complex was being fertilized every time I looked out the window.
About 6 years ago I bought another wisteria plant while it was in bloom. I had heard that some of them just are duds and I wanted to test out the notion of my blame.
 Well, for the past 5 years this originally small plant has bloomed along over 30 feet of our side yard fence. The Hubby and I enjoy it from our beautiful bathroom and I take pictures in front of it each year.
So, now that I had tested my theory that my thumb had not turned black in regard to just one type of plant, I RIPPED out the old wisteria in our back yard. Long story, eh?
 In other flowering news, it appears that the Cineraria that was planted in a partly sunny area of the back yard a few years ago, has reseeded itself into a much more desirable shady spot in the brick work or the patio. It looks pretty cool.
 And this flowering sedum is such a beautiful chartreuse color flower against the burgundy leaves makes me want to plant a lot of this type when we redo the back yard.
 Here is our "Cossette" rose that is really healthy and beautiful outside of our bedroom door.
"Cossette" close up.
 There aren't any flowers whiter than a white azalea.
And lastly, the "Sweet Peas" reseeded themselves X 400%. They are everywhere around the pool equipment. They smell sooooo good and are beautiful as well.
Moral of the story is that Mother Nature tends to continue to produce beauty even if left to her own devices.
She also lets the weeds take over, so I better go augment Panfilo's work and get myself and Michael out in the garden for some organizing and recovery efforts.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Easter Sewing (11) - One More Dress

Last of the "Bliss" fabric line dresses coming right up. This one is not really an Easter dress, because it is more casual than churchy. But the fabrics are again so cute together and the whole little family will now match.
Check out the headband as well. I just used round pieces of felt folded into quarters and sewed them onto a hard, fabric colored head band.
There is 1 inch wide red grossgrain ribbon loops all around the dress near the bottom with 1/4 inch wide tan matching ribbon sewn over the up-to-down loops. The bodice is trimmed with white rick rack and the halter style dress is finished with 2 big red buttons in back.
Here are the 3 cuties in our San Jose crew all dressed in their finished items of fashionable attire.
He doesn't want to stay still and his big sister is holding him tight while keeping her perfect smile all the while. Pretty funny.
Good job kids!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Easter Sewing (10) - A Tie

Yes, I am still sewing with that fun Bliss line and have a couple more items to show off before I'm finished.
This one I sewed for the little guy. I haven't sewn anything for the grandson. Just a little knitting to date, but this tie just might be a habit I get used to.

I found the pattern on this website. It is a very good tutorial so I just will add a few suggestions.

First: The pattern was kinda hard to download, so I improvised. For the 18 month size I cut (on the bias - or diagonally) fabric 21 inches long and shaped it roughly as a men's tie on the ends.
With the seam allowance, a 5 inch fat end was about right.

Second: Cut out a lining the same width as the main fashion fabric but 1/4 inch shorter overall to allow for the right sides showing a little toward the back when finished.
I then sewed the two short, flat "V" ends with right sides together and then turned it to the right side and ironed the points flat.

Third: I think the interfacing is too much weight for a quilting cotton, so I don't think I'll use interfacing in the future.
But ... aren't you all jealous? Don't you want one too?  I'm not talking about the tie.

Second Cousin's Wedding

We didn't get pictures of me and my ol' cousins, but the day was very fun for me, and the bride was beautiful, happy and radiant.

We went to the Sacramento Temple yesterday afternoon and attended the wedding of my cousin Cindy's daughter Sabrina.

The Hubby was a trooper and indulged me staying into the evening to chat it up with my Chipman cousin's Kerry and Todd. These, along with the mother of the bride, were my closest cousins as I was growing up. Their mother was my special Aunt June, who always made me feel like I was just amazing and was my mothers only sister. Kerry and Todd both had their cute wives with them to inform me of many going ons, and I met 3 more of their children.  These little second cousins (of my children that is, they are actually my first cousins once removed) who never remembered meeting me several years ago, were very nice and engaging new family members.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Congrats to Sabrina and her love Jared.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I didn't even talk to my mother on Sunday. I tried, but she is off gallivanting in St. George and didn't pick up her cell.  No internet access while they are down south either, because they aren't staying long enough to set it up.
I do love my smart phone!
So I got to talk to her last night, and she (and Dad) is doing quite well, (else how could she and the papa disappear like they did). Apparently her heel is still really hurting, but the rest of her including her new shoulder is feeling AOK. As for Dad, his knee replacement is healing better and so he's up for activity too.

I was able to have 2 of my boys here for the day plus David's little family.
My girls sent me home from my trips to see them last week with some cute little items to commemorate the day as well.
 Aren't these Anthro measuring cups just adorable?
This Kitchenaide vinyl art fists me to a T.
The Hubby bought me some great flowers that were enhanced by my own sweet peas.
I feel loved. I hope my Mother does too.
Thanks ALL!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Michael's Call

In my previous post I was just back from DC and heading to SLC to pick up our baby from his freshman year in college.
Well, he had started packing,
and his messy room quickly converted to a clean empty room with the help of Stephanie and Mom.
Then I shopped with Stephanie (more about her news later),  located the oldest brother Jonathan, so he could go to lunch with us and say goodbye to Michael, (JG showed us a pretty authentic German deli in downtown SLC called Siegfried's that was very good and unique.) and ate dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory in Trolley Square. (this restaurant hasn't changed since the 70's and was okay, but too ordinary for todays highly developed palate)
That night, Michael and I headed off to Brigham City to be able to see Grandma Hodgman the following morning.
He got to spend a short time with her and say goodbye and then we headed out to California in the old pickup truck.
By Reno, we received word that Dad had gotten the mail and Michael had a big white envelope in it from the Office of the First Presidency in SLC.
Dad said he would set up a conference call with any of the relatives who cared to, or had the time to listen in that evening when we arrived home. Michael then called a few friends who are home from or attend college at home, to come over and participate in the letter opening. It was very nice of these 3 good boys to come to our home for this occasion when they don't even get why when or how he is doing this mission thing.
There ended up being nearly 20 people on the conference call. In addition to those, we had 3 of Michael's friends, David's whole sleepy family (well behaved for 9:30 at night I might add), as well as Dad and Mom on the homefront. Stephanie was "skyping" on Michaels computer, while Kathryn and Austin were "Face timing" on our Mac in front of the missionary to be. Quite an entourage.
Doesn't he look like an awesome missionary.

So ... he is going to Brazil Sao Paulo North Mission.
Leaving October 12.  This is still 5 months out, but there are Visa arrangements and other things that have to be taken care of before he goes, so I guess he is off to find a job in the am to make a bit of money before he goes.

Congrats to my fine son.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Where Do I Begin?

I've had an eventful past week in Alexandria, VA and have half a day now to ready myself for another eventful weekend in Salt Lake City.
Just a short recap.
 I got to see her .....
 .. and spend some quality time with her ....
... and be amazed at how many of these ... I saw.
 It was extremely hot and humid about half of the time, and for April into May I think that is unusual.
So we were in our skivvies much of the time, because the new air conditioner is on order.
 We rode on the DC Metro.
 Enjoyed the Smithsonian.
Especially the butterflies. (pronounced bublefie)
And .... the butterflies liked us.  Especially the flowers in our hair.

We hung a few pictures, and shopped for home accessories.
We also planted a bit of a garden for them to enjoy this summer.

Now I best go unpack and regroup so I can go pick up MM from Utah. One year under his belt.

More on the news front for Michael coming soon.