Monday, March 2, 2015


I'm in Limbo, remember?  My days are filled with little jobs, indecision, a little sewing, a little packing and a (very) little cleaning. This past week we spent a delightful evening at the home of dear friends.  They cooked us an absolutely wonderful meal but the real treasure of the evening was the conversation. Catching up on our lives, our kids' lives and comparing grandchild stories.  Old friendships are the best...they have to be because there is so much shared history, remembrance and purpose.  Why is it that we don't actively connect with these friends on a regular basis and not just when we know our time is short?

This weekend while I was pasting in some recipes onto one of my Pinterest boards I had the bold thought:  What if I actually MADE these bread sticks instead of just dreaming of making them?  I haven't made bread in years.  Actually I haven't really cooked with any degree of regularity for years.  Certainly not the 14 years I owned the Quilt Shop.  Mr. Scottie Dog and I got into a routine:  He grilled a piece of meat/poultry/seafood, I made a salad and maybe he had a baked potato.  Every once in awhile we'd shake things up and he'd make waffles or I'd make soup.  The only REAL meals were Holiday meals and usually there was a daughter or two to help make the meal.

There was a time I made all our bread stuffs. Daily bread, bagels, hamburger buns. I made yogurt, salad dressings, cakes, pies, casseroles and more.  I actually made plans and cooked meals.  I had knife skills.  I could FEEL when a yeast dough was perfectly kneaded.  And I enjoyed it.

Today is Monday.  I feel domestic.  I did laundry.  I actually baked those bread sticks (going to have to try them again, though...I don't think I let them rise quite enough).  Mr. Scottie Dog  sampled them and declared the "right fine."  I think they are a bit heavy, but
I'll try harder next time.  I cleaned up the kitchen as I went (with things so up in the air lately, I sometimes leave it until after dinner).  

We took our chest freezer to Minnesota on a previous trip so we are down to the freezer in our refrigerator and I'm still trying to use up what's in it.  What to do with some ground 97% beef.  Meatloaf!  Personally, I like meatloaf, although I like left-over meatloaf sandwiches even more!  So I made a meatloaf.  Making use of some of those afore mentioned knife skills, it is full of veggies. When Mr. Scottie Dog saw the pan he proclaimed my "domestication." 

Sadly, the photo of this meatloaf is from the Internet.....mine is cooking....the timer went off and I opened up the oven.  I forgot to turn it on!  Dinner's going to be a bit late.  The rumors of my "domestication" are sadly exaggerated.

But I feel it returning!  Maybe I'll make some bagels and a pie tomorrow (still trying to use up all I find in the cupboards).

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Limbo: n. an uncertain period of awaiting a decision or resolution; an intermediate state or condition.

Mr. Scottie Dog and I are in limbo.  Not really here nor there, currently in CA but thinking we are in MN. Dreaming we are in MN.  After a quick turn-around of less than 20 days in December we took a huge load of household goods (think dishes, Brenda's fabric collection, knick-knacks, family heirlooms, an antique pump organ,  lamps, kitchen supplies, a wood stove and all that stuff you use on a regular basis)...They were first packed in cardboard boxes, wrapped in plastic, placed into wooden packing crates 4' x 4' x 8' or 8' x 4' x 8' high.  These crates were then bolted together and then bolted onto a trailer.  The trailer was covered with thick plastic tarps and cinched together. 

 We knew that driving in late December might take a bit longer but somehow our 3 day trip turned into 6 days.  We didn't actually arrive in time for Christmas morning, but did make it about 9 pm Christmas Day.  We experienced snow storms, ice storms, black ice (it's not much fun  going 65 mph BACKWARDS and SIDEWAYS down the highway and landing in a snow-filled ditch facing the WRONG way!).  Thankfully not a scratch on us, our truck or our trailer!  And did you know that the only places in the Midwest open on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day are hotels and gas stations. Nary a restaurant, fast-food joint or grocery store was open!  We made do with pretzels, bottled water and stale, white bread sandwiches from the few gas stations open.
 But we made it!  Snow on Dec. 26, the flurry of children opening presents, squeals and Christmas dinner.  The entire family together.
 Don't we look great?  We got to stay for three weeks.  Then back across the country to Portland, OR.  My niece was getting married.  It was a fairy-tale wedding at the Historic Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood.  The day was sunny and beautiful.  We were so blessed to witness the marriage of these in love, such a wonderful couple. 
 Kim and Corey, soul mates.

 So now we're back in CA.  Working on the house.  I'm still packing, sorting and throwing away.  While in MN it's -10 and snow on the ground, the daffodils are blooming here. Sun shiny days in the high 60's.  Even the camellias are blooming.'s where we are.  Trying to make the most of our friendships here in CA, yearning to know what all is going on in MN.  Mr. Scottie Dog and I.  Side by side.  Anxious and yet satisfied with each day.  Limbo.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sometimes moving takes a LOOOOONNNNGGG time!

 Just the other day, Mr. Scottie Dog and I remarked as how we now feel like Mid-Westerners.  We belong here: this flat, fertile, farmland in the middle of the country.  Even with the early snowstorms and temperatures around 10 degrees, we feel grounded in this place.  Minnesota has become HOME.

That said, we are still just sojourners.  We've brought load 2 of 6-7 here to our new land.  Notice I didn't say "home."  As of yet here in Minnesota we are homeless.  Well, not technically because Beka and Jason cheerfully put us up in their guest room and the Krause family lets us store our trailers of household goods in their farm warehouse, but we don't as of yet have a house here.  Wellll, actually we DO have TWO houses here but they are rentals.  No place to hang our hats that we can call our own.  I suppose that will come next Spring or Summer when we finally get the last load moved and our home in Eureka sold.

We'll be back in CA soon, pack and load up another trailer so we can be in Minnesota for Christmas surrounded by grandchildren!

Last night the family gathered to celebrate Beka's birthday.  What fun to have the whole family together.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Another wonderful Quilting Retreat

Last week daughter Liz flew to Eureka from her new home in Prior Lake, Minnesota.  She and I hosted a Scottie Dog Quilting Retreat with 43 quilters from all over California, Oregon and Washington. We've been holding two or three retreats a year for about 15 years. There are many Eureka area quilters who are regulars but some of the regulars live far away.  We've had repeaters from as far away as Minnesota, Texas and Washington DC.

Quilters are pampered with lovely views. This is the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center where our retreats are held right on Humboldt Bay....two huge walls of windows insure sweeping vistas and an abundance of natural light.

Our meals are fully catered. A big hit this time were the Brownie Sundaes everyone made on Saturday night. You may eat outdoors on the balconies if you wish.....

 One night we ate as the sun set over the water.

Starstruck was the quilt we made this retreat.  We always design an original quilt for each retreat and it is debuted at retreat.

Many sewers completed their tops in the three days. Here's Denise F's quilt artfully displayed on one of the balconies with the Marina in the background.

I wish I'd gotten pictures of them all...each as beautiful and different as their creative makers.

The dates are set for the Spring Quilting Retreat, April 10-12, 2015. We are happy to announce it will again be held at the beautiful Aquatic Center in Eureka, CA  Just click HERE for the Facebook page.  You can sign up and pay your deposit HERE at

As Sydney says, "Lots of fun, lots of laughing and lots of good food." (I like to add, good quilting and wonderful friends).

Friday, October 10, 2014

I enter the 21st Century

It's been awhile since I last posted.  Much has happened in my life. Big changes, good changes.  I'm entering a new chapter in the book of my life.

1.  We closed our retail store, Redwood Sewing Center mid June.
2.  I spent the whole Summer in MN with my entire family...hubby, kids and grandkids.
3.  We have begun the move to MN...Trip/Load #1 is complete.
4.  We bought another rental house in MN.

I will share about the above in later posts but today I'm sharing about #5.

5.  I got a Smart Phone.

"Whoa!" some of you are saying!  BrendaLou without her Dumb Phone?  The one only about 6 people in the whole world had the number?  The one she used so rarely that it only needed charging once every 10 days or so?

Yep, and Yep!  Thanks to my daughter Liz and hubby Steve, I am now the proud owner of a Smart Phone.  I guess I could have gotten an IPhone 6, but since I have a Samsung tablet, they thought I should go with a Samsung.
Here's a pic (not my actual phone, but an Internet image).

They also got me a brilliant pink case.  Protects the phone (and since both my daughters shattered the screens of their phones this Summer, I am glad to have one that protects and closes) and looks so chic!  It also has room for my License, a CC card and a few bills.  I think I will add a wrist strap. Thanks and thanks again!  Upon moving to MN Liz and Steve changed their phone plan and it included 4 free phones and unlimited they gave one to their Mom.  Their phone plan went down significantly so I get to piggyback on their plan for free.  Thanks again for pulling me into the 21st Century. I promise to text often.

Of course I had to sync it with my computer and tablet accounts...After adding Facebook and Email I downloaded my first have-to-have Kindle app.  I have downloaded two books so far...I try to have my tablet with me at all times, but it's not always feasible.  Now I can read even when I only have a couple of minutes...I LOVE to read.  I've taken photos and posted them to Facebook and emailed them too.  Now just to figure out what other Apps I need and how to use my phone.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

I'm a Great Auntie!

After my post yesterday I got several messages as to when I became a Great Auntie.  Here's the scoop:

In February my niece Kim gave birth to my first Great-niece.  Harper Lillian.  Such a beautiful name for such a beautiful little lady. Her middle name is Lillian is after her maternal great grandmother. Here are mother and daughter. Both beauties.

One of the special things about Harper is that she made my brother a Grandpa!  Here I think brother Pat is actually sleeping on the job.

Harper wears the latest fashions with ease!  Always a smile on her face too. Do I see a modeling career in her future?

I'm not sure why, but this is one of my favorite photos of little Harper.

Liz and I made Harper a quilt...gray and white in the French Roses pattern.  It has rough and fuzzy edges, quite tactile.  We thought it was fun and yet sophisticated for our special lady.  Here she smiles for the camera while lying on her quilt.

This is the cutest video my brother sent to me of Harper rolling over on her quilt.  Love her squeals of delight.


Now you've met Miss Harper...I love her so.  I guess I am just a sucker for any next generation children in our family.  Can't wait to see you again, honey!