Sunday, December 1, 2019

Really Random Thursday, the early edition: 12/1/19

An early edition of Really Random Thursday comes to you tonight, as I leave early tomorrow morning for a bucket list trip--Charleston and Savannah--with my friend of 46 years, Trudy. We will have a couple of days on our own in Charleston and then we will be part of a Road Scholar group in Savannah. I have wanted to visit Savannah since the first time I read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. It will be extra special as it will be decorated for the holidays. Besides tours of the historic homes, we will be attending a couple of holiday concerts. We are both so excited.

Our Thanksgiving was relaxed and low-key.

Friends that seem like family, Jason and Jane, along with their kids, Grace and Jeremy, joined us this year.

Debbie always makes the cutest placecards.
She also made this beautiful centerpiece.
And I couldn't resist a picture of the dessert table.
On Friday, we had lunch with Cathy and Terry, and their son and daughter-in-law, Travis and Shannon. Shannon took the picture, and I wish we had taken one of her and Travis too.
Did you do any Black Friday shopping? We only were on the lookout for one thing that we needed anyway--a new rechargeable vacuum. Terry had told us that Costco had a good deal so I tried to get the price online. And this was what their website said:
So I was actually IN LINE while being ONLINE. So weird. But they did have a good price and it will arrive on Tuesday.

That was it for shopping. And I completely agree with this philosophy.
On Friday night, Aaron was on TV again, as he was part of the crew that refereed the Division 1 (the highest division) high school playoff game here in the valley.
Here he is, the ref on the left. Mark's good friend, Chris, is the one on the right.
Saturday, Levi and Gabe helped us with Christmas decorations. That is...after they helped their dad put up Christmas lights outside. Seeing them on the roof always makes me a little bit nervous.
Levi helped Mark with the lights outside. I'm SO glad he is willing to take my place with that job.

Gabe loves Christmas decorating, so he was pretty much in charge of all things Christmasy indoors. I hung an ornament on his ear while he hung ornaments on the tree.
He decided our entry way needed some candy, in case someone drops by--it's the hospitable thing to do. I love this age. I hope he never loses his enthusiasm for Christmas decorations.
I'm all packed and ready to leave early in the morning. But Mark and I had time to catch a theater showing of my very favorite movie, When Harry Met Sally, celebrating its 30th anniversary. I haven't watched it in awhile, but it remains my favorite.
I hope your week is a good one.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Really Random Thursday, 11/28/19

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends in the United States!
There was a funny story I forgot to mention last week, and I really want to document it just to remember. So those of you who know Mark may know that he comes from a very small town in southern Minnesota called Butterfield. Population around 600 (my high school graduating class had over 700 so that's always kind of mind boggling to me). After Charlotte's performance of Guys and Dolls a couple of weeks ago, it was early (8:30-ish) so Mark and I decided to stop at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Fresno. We have gotten to know the bartender, Jeff, who often works there. He is also from southern Minnesota (Marshall), and one year Mark helped build a swimming pool in Marshall as a summer job when he was in college. So Mark and Jeff have bonded over all things Minnesota, particularly sports. Go Vikings. Go Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Anyway, as we chatted with Jeff, we also started talking to the guy sitting next to us at the bar. We asked where he was from--New Orleans but he is a doctor who comes out every month to work in a local hospital. He asked where Mark was from. When Mark said southern Minnesota (and mentioned that is why we were visiting with Jeff), he said that his mother's family came from southern Minnesota as well, but from such a tiny town that no one has ever heard of it, and that it's not even on the map. Mark said he was familiar with the names of all the towns in southern Minnesota, so which one was it? When he said "Butterfield," both of us nearly fell off our barstools! Seriously. What is the chance you meet someone from out of town whose family came from where you yourself grew up??

And for the record--Butterfield is on the map. :)

I went to another performance of Guys and Dolls last Saturday, which was closing night. This time I brought flowers, as is performance etiquette. I think Charlotte liked them. However, when her uncle and nephew walked in and I saw their "bouquet," I knew theirs was going to be way more popular with Charlotte. Isn't that a cute idea?
Once again, she did an amazing job.
Charlotte and one of her best friends, Tara, who had the other lead part. If you are familiar with the music of Guys and Dolls, Tara did a great job particularly on Adelaide's Lament, which is a really cute song.
Our church, North Fresno Church, just celebrated its 50th anniversary. Mark and I have been going there for 41 years, as has Aaron (except for the five years he was in Portland for optometry school)--we started attending when he was born. There are been activities all year long, culminating in this past Sunday. Aaron was chairman of the celebration committee. The committee has put in countless hours over the past year, planning all the different activities, which included tracking down former members/attendees to invite them to the festivities, which included a brunch in the morning between the two services, a sermon by a former pastor, and then dinner/program Sunday night. Lots of time was spent locating old pictures and making large posters of the church history through the five decades and a video of the interviews with some of the charter members. Aaron was also co-emcee for the celebration Sunday. He was at times funny and serious, and kept the evening moving along at a good pace. So proud of him.
He didn't really want to pose for a picture taken by his mother, but I made him do it anyway. :)
He and one other person in his age group have gone there their entire lives, which I think is remarkable. Gabe told me he had also gone to North Fresno Church his entire life. However, I reminded him that while true, he is only 8. But I told him that one unique thing about him and his siblings is that they are fourth generation attendees (my parents also attended), which I think is quite remarkable as well.

We were all treated to the most delicious catered dinner (nearly 500 people were there for the event).
Monday was my birthday. Which I keep trying to forget, although not very successfully. This is how I often feel. Although I guess I would have to add that 60 is the new 50, and it won't be that long before I say 70 is the new 60. Ugh.
We had Gabe and Ella over for awhile in the morning, so we went to one of those fancy donut shops.
Gabe's donut had a chocolate chip cookie on top of it. His mother might not have appreciated what I'm sure was a super duper sugar rush. I had a Cronut. Have you had one of those--combination donut/croissant. Yum!
We had the family over for dinner in the evening. It is way too expensive to go out for dinner with this many. And besides, it's so much more relaxed to be at home. We made the entire meal and by "we" I mean Mark. Haha.  (Jill and Christa both volunteered to bring something--but they do enough cooking for multiple people every meal so we decided they needed the evening off).  Also, since I'm not a fan of cake, we bought some mini cheesecakes and snickerdoodle cookies from Charlotte's friend, Grace, who was selling baked  items as a fundraiser. So yummy.  Mark smoked a tri-tip--he is becoming a master with his Traeger smoker.
Mark bought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
I can seemingly never resist also converting flower pictures to what looks like a watercolor with the Waterlogue app.
Did you hear we finally got some rain here in California? In the Fresno area, we haven't had rain since May. When someone posted this, it was too funny not to share.
We took my 2008 Honda Pilot in for an oil change and some other minor tune-ups yesterday. But do you ever feel like this?
I'm going to be out of town the first week in December. Uncharacteristically, I got super organized and all my Christmas shopping is DONE! I'm thinking of giving this gift to all my friends and family. Thoughts?
Happy weekend!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

DIY Cloth Napkins

The next project in my month of "3D sewing" was to make some cloth napkins. I have had all these fabrics set aside for exactly this project for years!
I followed a tutorial by Lindsay Conner, because I know that she writes clear and easy-to-follow patterns. I found it here:

My goal was to make sets of six. Each napkin requires an 18" square, and I only had enough of the cute yellow toaster print to make two napkins. But then I remembered this awesome fabric by Cosmo Cricket, which is so funny because of the phrase "if we were meant to pop out of bed, we'd all sleep in toasters." And I had enough for four napkins, so I was able to make the set of six. Win-win.

The selvage on this cute bird print says "don't let the birds do the dishes." You better believe I'll be saving that selvage for some special project.
PATTERN: DIY napkin tutorial by Lindsay Conner.

REVIEW: This tutorial is very well illustrated and well written. Highly recommended if you want to make some napkins for yourself or as holiday gifts. The only change I made was to trim some fabric from the mitered corner so it was not quite so bulky. Easy peasy, and it made a big difference for me.




Really Random Thursday, 11/21/19

I didn't have enough to write a Really Random post last week, even though it seems like a lot has been going on. This one will be short as well.

A couple of weeks ago I presented my trunk show "From Start to Finish" at the quilt guild in Dinuba, about 45 minutes away. They were the nicest group of women. I don't have any pictures of me, or Mark (who likes to go along as the quilt holder). This is all I've got...
Sometimes I still can't believe I'm getting up in front of a group and actually speaking!

Last week was Levi's last soccer game. He is in sixth grade and next year he could only play if he went into club soccer. He has improved so much over the last couple of years and it is really fun to watch him play. But as he told me, his true love is baseball, which is just around the corner.
Mark and I went to see Charlotte (who played one of the leads) in her 8th grade production of Guys and Dolls. I know I'm biased when it comes to my grandkids, but believe me when I say she was the star of the show. Her voice was strong and always on pitch, and she was confident with her lines. She is considering going to the local high school that has an emphasis on performing arts--I hope she does as she really is super talented.
Haha, number 1.
Tuesday night was Levi's choir concert.
Haha, number 2. I probably need this t shirt:
I tried to get a picture of Gabe and Gramps. It's a challenge, as the only pictures Gabriel wants to pose for consist of funny faces...but I want to remember this phase too.


Can you believe Thanksgiving is a week from today?? Just in case....