Thursday, February 16, 2017

Really Random Thursday, 2/16/17: The Valentine Edition

Every year, on the weekend closest to Valentine's Day, there are two different wine trails nearby. Some people are surprised to find out how many wineries are in our area--there are actually a lot of them! On Sunday, after several days of rain, the weather was really nice and so after church we headed off.

Mark is the person you want if you are going wine tasting. He drinks water. Which makes him an excellent designated driver. Our first stop was at a small winery called Nonini, where the owners have been making wine for over 75 years. Mark had designed a kitchen remodel for the owner several years ago.

For some reason, Mark had worn a jacket he doesn't really wear that often. It has a label that says "Minnesota"--I think we probably bought it in the Minneapolis airport. A woman noticed his jacket right away, and of course asked, "Are you from Minnesota?" It turns out they were both from southern Minnesota, from towns seven miles apart. We ended up chatting to Sonya and her husband for at least half an hour, as she and Mark discovered they knew many people in common. It was so surreal. They were so nice and we plan on having them over for a Minnesota dinner, which will no doubt involve hot dish, salad with Thousand Island dressing, jello, corn and brownies.
Another nice stop was at Engelmann Cellars. They have outdoor concerts and wine tasting every Friday night starting in May, which sounds like something to do before the weather gets too hot.
While relaxing there and listening to live music, another man asked about Mark's Minnesota jacket. We ended up talking about Spam (the Spam museum is in Austin, Minnesota--yes, there is actually a Spam museum) and Velveeta cheese (even though Mark was raised in dairy country, the only "cheese" he ate was Velveeta--yes, we have many discussions on whether Velveeta is actually cheese...) Ignore the dirty back window of our car (it keeps raining and so we haven't washed the car). Someone had written this:
Speaking of cheese, our grandchildren love macaroni and cheese. When I saw this card at Target, I knew it was a must-have Valentine card for the four of them.

They each received a box of mac and cheese, each one chosen specifically for them, along with some chocolate hearts.
As has become our tradition, now on our third year, we celebrated Valentine's Day with hamburgers at Big Mama's, including our tradition of eating our hamburgers by candlelight. Mark also gave me a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
This is the closest thing I have to a heart-related quilt, a mini quilt I made a few years ago when the Pantone Color of the Year was Radiant Orchid.
This melted my heart--a card from Gabriel. I think this might have to become a mini quilt as well--with a little fusible applique and some embroidery.
These gorgeous trees are in full bloom, flowering pear. Beautiful to look at, but they smell absolutely awful.

And this. Because it made me chuckle.

Have a happy Thursday.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Really Random Thursday, 2/9/17: The Carmel Edition (and other assorted things...)

Since these pictures will be all over the place, maybe chronological order would be a good idea.

About three or four mornings a week, Mark makes breakfast for me. I go pick up the medical dictation I need to do for my "real job," call him from the parking lot so he knows I'm on my way home. I walk in the door and something like this is waiting on the kitchen table for me. An unexpected and fabulous benefit of his retirement!
I managed to get some sewing done before the weekend.

First a cute paper pieced mug pattern by Kerry Goulder of Kid Giddy.
The first block of a sew along from Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell, the Sewcial Bee Sampler.

A block for Shelly, part of my July quilting group, Grubers Girls.
And two blocks for Mary, also a Grubers Girl.
Authorized Vac and Sew had their grand opening after moving into their fabulous new store. Lots to eat and drink, along with this cute cake.
At Mark's retirement party, he received a gift certificate to a hotel in Carmel along with another gift certificate to a restaurant in town. We took advantage of both this past weekend.

Since the restaurant certificate was very generous, we wanted to share it with someone, so we invited Travis and Shannon (Travis is the son of my cousins, Terry and Cathy, and his wife, Shannon, takes our family pictures every year). They live in Santa Cruz, about an hour from Carmel. We had the best time. Travis is a musician, artist and beekeeper, and Shannon, along with being the best photographer we could ask for, also coaches several sports.
The restaurant was Mediterranean, and the food was very good.

It was quite a small restaurant, and someone was celebrating a birthday, so about midway through our meal, everything came to a stop as the chef came out to sing and the rest of the staff grabbed instruments to accompany him.
Many of the guests got up and started dancing. It was quite lively and really added to the evening.
Here's something you hardly ever see anymore--in the lobby of our hotel was this collection of cassette tapes, available for playing during the nightly wine reception. (Interesting hotel tidbit: the hotel advertises this, along with morning bagels, as complimentary. However, a $20/night amenities fee was added to our bill--which doesn't seem very complimentary to me!)
Sunday was the Super Bowl and we had planned to go to the bar and grill next door (whose walls looked like this).
But it was noisy and crowded so we watched in our room, which was really lovely.
I actually paid pretty close attention to the game, even though I was also doing some English paper piecing.
The next day we drove over to Pacific Grove to watch the waves. It's so hard to photograph waves. For awhile we watched from the car as it was kind of drizzly. 
Then we decided to brave the elements and climb around on the rocks.
Interesting things seen in some tidepools.
And also someone building an inukshuk.
We had dinner with a beautiful view. 
 I never get tired of watching waves hitting the rocks.
We have been having so much rain here in California. We saw this sign on our way home--definitely something we haven't seen in a very long time. Ignore the crack in our windshield...
But we were totally unprepared to actually encounter flooding. We made it through quite easily, but we are pretty sure it got worse later in the morning.
I have always meant to photograph this, and it was hard to get a great picture, but on Highway 99, at the midpoint of California, are these two trees side by side: a deodor cedar representing northern California and a palm tree representing southern California. I know this is a weird angle so they look smooshed together but it's pretty cool.
Here is an image I grabbed from google.
And because I always like to end with a word of wisdom, here you go:
Happy Thursday.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Really Random Thursday, 2/2/17: The Catch-Up Edition

I'm going to go backwards to about a month ago when we had our family trip to the beach.

First of all, you need to know that the purpose of Really Random Thursdays is mainly to document what goes on with me and around me, my virtual scrapbook. At the end of the year, I have all my blog posts printed and bound into a book by Blog2Print. So a lot of things you see here on Thursdays are things I want to remember later on.

Mark took some pictures during our time at the beach as well, which didn't make it to the original post. We played games. A lot of games.

We adults played games together as well. However, those pictures are not nearly as interesting as the ones with the kids. In fact,very few pictures were taken that didn't involve kids.

Another cute picture from dinner one night. If Gabe were reading this, he would be proud of me for writing "dinner." I grew up calling the nighttime meal "supper." That just doesn't fly with Gabe.
The house we stay in is a three-bedroom, with a studio apartment above the garage, which is where Mark and I sleep. There is a long flight of stairs up to the bedroom. And every morning at 7 a.m. we hear the key in the lock and the sounds of four sets of feet...and then four kids jumping on the bed.

We know they want to come wake us up every morning. That's the main reason. Of course it is. It could not possibly be that we let them each play on a device until it's time to go down for breakfast.

Time on the beach.
Every time Charlotte "borrows" my phone, I find the most interesting things in my photo stream. Like this series of pictures of orange things, because she knows it's my favorite color.

She then changed topics to spools of thread.
I find that at least 50 percent of the pictures she adds to my photo stream have been altered with the waterlogue app.

Cute random picture of Gabe.
Charlotte sings in a group at school (she has such a good voice), and that group sang the national anthem at the Fresno State University girls basketball game the other day. So proud of her.
It's early in the year, and Wiens Art Camp won't be happening for another six months or so, but I already have projects planned and am starting to get supplies. Thus, this is already appropriate.
Thanks for stopping by.