Friday, May 28, 2021

Really Random Thursday, 5/27/21

(this post is a day late because Blogger wouldn't let me post pictures yesterday. And really, what is the point without pictures??)

Over a year ago, we won a dinner for six made and served by friends in our church. It was a raffle and we basically stuffed the ballot box, realizing that we could easily lose, but knowing that all the money went to a very good cause. Luckily, we won! But because of the pandemic, we were not able to "in" on our dinner until last week.

But oh my! Was it ever worth the wait! We chose four good friends to join us, piled in our car, and headed to Milt and Bendta's house. It was a beautiful California evening. All those times I wonder why we keep living in this state because of bad air quality and high taxes, it just takes a few of these evenings to remind me why we stay. (Oh that, and family of course...)

We began the evening with appetizers out on the patio.

The roses in the centerpiece were beautiful and fragrant. The view to the pool and orchard beyond was also lovely.

When dinner was ready, we went inside and sat around this lovely table.

The first course was Caesar salad with homemade croutons.
The main course was grilled asparagus, this melt-in-your-mouth cut of beef (and I should have taken the picture from a different perspective because I'm pretty sure it was 3" thick!), and yummy mashed potatoes.

Dessert was a refreshing bowl of mango and pineapple sorbet.

Dinner was beyond scrumptious, but the best part was having a relaxed evening to chat with friends whom we have known for a long time, made extra special since we have been separated for such a long time from evenings like this.

Our gracious hosts and extraordinary chefs, Milt and Bendta.
And friends...

Back row: Mark, Lois, and Paula
Front row: Me, Marilyn and Jenny

My cousin, Cathy, was going through some boxes and found these pictures in my paternal grandmother's scrapbook.

The one on the far right is my father. I wish I knew who the other three men were. A good reminder of the importance of labeling both pictures and quilts.
This was probably when I was a junior in high school.
Sixth or seventh grade?
Mark forwarded some funny memes to me this week.

We actually save all our fast food napkins and use them for lunch on school days.

Or in our case, Mark planning an upcoming getaway to Santa Cruz...

I went to my first water polo match the other day. Even though the swimming season has been very brief, Levi is enjoying playing water polo. I googled throughout a lot of the match (number of periods, basic rules, etc...).  He's number 10, making a nice pass.

Small things that made me extraordinarily happy this week.

I found a flip clock screen saver for my PC. Which actually flips. So cool. Did you ever have one of these clocks?

Due to my mild obsession with the Nintendo Switch game, Animal Crossing (which I am blaming entirely on grandkids...), I now have a two-room house. I love my main living quarters, complete with a typewriter and cool espresso machine.

But the best part, since I was able to expand to have another room, is the sewing room!! Good lighting, quilting supplies, ironing board and a nice wooden sewing kit. When my grandson asked why I had two wooden wardrobes, I told him, "Fabric storage. Duh..."

It really is the little things...

I've been working on the border on this project, which will be the center medallion for something larger.

Mutiple other projects...
and I'm getting closer to finishing this intense project. The center panel is nearly all cut out so I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. That "respect" block in the lower right corner--224 pieces in a block only 10x15"!! Like I said...intense.

We have slowed down on Amazon orders, but this might not be a bad idea to have nearby.

Enjoy the weekend. It's supposed to be 106 degrees here on Monday and Tuesday. Yikes!!

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Really Random Thursday, 5/20/21

 A week ago today, I did something that seemed like the most "normal" thing I have done in fifteen months--had a quilting retreat with three of my friends, all of us fully vaccinated.

This would be the 21st annual retreat I've enjoyed at my friend Dotty's cabin just outside Yosemite, only having missed last year. 

It's always been a small retreat--the most we have ever had is five.

We made it to the cabin by about 11:00 a.m. and started unpacking. We park our cars on the road and then carry everything down to the cabin, up the steps to the deck and then into the cabin.

If you are a quilter, you know what this entails--sewing machines, quilting projects, food, etc.

I'm always glad when this part is over. Although this year, I have decided that it could be much harder: these are two of the cabins down the road. All those steps--yikes!

Note: Next year I have decided that grandsons will be paid handsomely to do the job of loading and unloading both of our cars. A bonus is that the cabin is such a short distance from Yosemite Valley that we will feed them and they will still have time to spend a couple of hours in Yosemite enjoying its magnificent beauty.

We have the set-up down to a science. Years ago, in addition to everything else, we had to drag up super heavy wooden tables to sew on. Then Ruth (who sadly wasn't here this year but has promised she won't miss it next year) and I bought two lightweight 6 foot plastic tables as a hostess gift for Dotty and they are stored in the entry hall closet.  Dotty and I each claim an end of the dining table on the left.

As projects are completed, they are hung over the railing. Vicki was exceptionally prolific--I think she hung five quilt tops. Aren't those snails cute? I hung two blocks...what can I say? Those Tattoo quilt blocks are intense--each one took an entire day to complete!

Marilyn worked on this red, white and blue quilt for her cabin at Bass Lake.
Among other projects, Dotty worked on this snowmen wall hanging. So many tiny squares...
The food is always exceptional, although we never eat lunch. 
Which is really kind of a joke, because I eat more of our "non lunch" than I ever eat for lunch at home! (This is just part of what was on the counter--I couldn't fit it all in the picture. Ha!)

Each day I went for a walk to the end of the road. The dogwood were in full bloom and beautiful!

On the way I passed some barrels of tulips.

Dotty gets extremely limited cell phone reception, but I had luck by walking up to the main road and down a little ways to the firemen's memorial (the cabins came so close to being lost in a fire a couple of years ago).

It's nearly impossible to get a picture of the sunsets--this doesn't do it justice but they are always gorgeous.

Spending time with these friends, doing what we all are so passionate about, sharing our lives in a way we haven't been able to do for nearly a year and a half, was just what we all needed.

Dotty--this is her cabin, and she is also the dear friend who taught me to quilt over 25 years ago!
Marilyn. This was her first time joining us. We joked that she was on her best behavior and will be invited back again next year. :)
Vicki, Marilyn, and me.

I made one of these cute little "urchin" bowls for each friend out of 3 mm felt. They turned out so cute. Pattern by HerbstHandmade on Etsy (although I notice she is sold out of the patterns) and the felt is purchased from Etsy seller, the Felt Pod. And then I forgot to take a picture of them. So thanks, Vicki, for taking this picture.

Before I left for the retreat, I did a couple of other sewing projects. Aaron and Christa own a tent trailer from the 1980s, in very good shape but in need of updating. Christa worked hard on painting and replacing the flooring. I helped with the curtains and cushion covers. (Photos by Christa)

It's a remarkable transformation. I will say this--recovering cushions is not really part of my wheelhouse. After adding the Velcro closures, I also added this little label. Obviously by the time I reached this point, I didn't even bother getting the stitching straight. Not a problem, though, as it will not be seen.

They had big plans to take it to Kings Canyon National Park this weekend. Until they read the weather forecast: high of 47 and low of 28. Nope... So they plan on going to a lake near the central coast where the high will be 70 and the low 38, still a little chilly at night but at least above freezing...

So there you have it--my week in review. What have you been up to?