Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Savage, Minnesota

We're here! No pictures today because I need a cord for my camera, but I thought I'd post anyway. Jakob is happily sleeping with his new quilt from Grandma! Sadie happily puts her arms up for me to pick her up. Grandpa is busy with the new bathroom. Demolition is complete and almost all of the supplies are purchased. OOPS! No one thought to measure the door first, but, WHEW! the one piece tub/shower unit will fit through the doorway. Today Mr. Scottie Dog is doing the plumbing and Grandma and Beka might go shopping or visiting.

Jakob and I baked Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies this morning....like Sydney he loves to crack the eggs. I think that Grandmas have more patience when it comes to cooking with the little ones. I don't remember doing it with my own so young. He is sooo very proud of the cookies he made and can't wait for Daddy to come home to try them.

Beka had said the weather was still warm....so I brought mostly Capri pants and short sleeves. Hmmm...weather is more like Eureka, but I'm comfortable. Fall is coming quickly to Minn. I'm hoping to get some sightings of colorful Fall Leaves.

Technology is a funny thing. We are almost ready to debut our new website (don't worry....same address: www.ScottieDogQuilts.com) and Beka (in Minn.) has done most of the prep work. Liz (in Eureka, CA) has been busy the past few days loading in stock (books, patterns, etc.) and I've had the job of writing the staff biographies and other text while I've been here in Minn. Amazing that the three of us can be working on the same thing (often at the same time). The phones have been burning up the airwaves back and forth too.

Hopefully tomorrow we'll have the pictures up. Having a ball with the grandbabies!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What's a Grandma to do?

Saturday Mr. Scottie Dog and I will fly off to the Land of 10,000 Lakes [although anyone who lives in Minnesota will be quick to point out that there are lots and lots more than 10,000 lakes in the state. I guess they settled on 10,000 because it sounded good, kind of like Heinz 57 slogan was picked out of a hat and Wonder Bread "builds strong bodies 12 ways." White, spongy Wonder Bread is a high sugar & carb nightmare. South Beach Diet says you are better off eating a cup of ice cream once in a while than eating white sandwich bread!]. Back to flying off to the Land of 10,000 Lakes....on Saturday morning for 3 weeks with the Minnesota kids and GRANDBABIES! This means Sydney has been trying to sort out the trip.

GRANDMA: "I'll be at Jakob & Sadie's house for awhile, but you can talk to me on the computer."
SYDNEY: "But why can't you talk to THEM on the computer at YOUR house?
G: "Because I have to do that now. When I go visit them I can hug them on my lap and kiss them."
S: "But I want you to be with me."
G: "I love to be with you and take you to the zoo and read you stories, but Jakob lives far away and I need to go to his house to see him for awhile."
S: "Why don't you take me to the zoo?"

So today we went to the zoo after I picked her up from Pre-School. I'm busy trying to tie up all the loose ends before I go. We went for ice cream after the zoo---after all, I need to leave her with special memories for while I'm gone. Tomorrow we will do a craft project at the store (I will be making the same Fall Leaf Window Clings with Jakob next week) and on Saturday when Liz and Sydney drive us to the airport I'll give her a little Hello Kitty tote bag with some fun goodies (new socks, hair clips, glitter pens, magnets, etc) for her to have while I'm gone.

When Daddy came to pick up Syd at the store to take her nap she hugged me and said, "Fanks for the ice cream Gwamma. You got me ice cream because you love me!" Yes, Sydney, I love you.

What's a Grandma to do when she has grandbabies in two so very far apart cities? She splits her time. I'll probably cry when we take off, saying good bye to Sydney....but Jakob is waiting for Grandma and Grandpa. Sadie doesn't know much about it all yet, but when I see her in the WebCam, she smiles and lights up when she sees me. I can't wait to snuggle with this 9 month old...I'll even be glad to change some diapers. Jakob and I will walk to one of the 10,000 lakes of Minnesota just 1 1/2 blocks away from home, we'll go to the zoo and we'll probably even go out for ice cream....These are the things Grandmas do.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The War Between the States

This past weekend in Fortuna, just 20 miles south of Eureka, a battle between the Union Forces and the Army of the Confederate States of America was fought, and re-fought and fought again. The outcome was always the same...this particular battle was won by the Confederates. Mr. Scottie Dog and I went down after Church on Sunday and caught most of the final battle. Most of the time the armies looked to be evenly matched, cannons blasting, horses running here and there behind the lines. A "reluctant" soldier wearing gray turned and ran at one point and was "fatally injured by his own men." This was a "slow" battle compared to what we think of as war. A line of men slowly marched into position, waited for an order and then fired. Then the other line took aim and they fired. Then everyone loaded their rifles as quickly as they could....this could take two to five minutes. The Union looked to have the battle pretty much won as they overtook much territory, but one cannon blast and a well-placed band of Rebs took care and most of the Union Army lay on the ground, dead or severely wounded.
Afterwards the soldier who announced the battle introduced the "players." The Union Army, "Hip, hip, huzzah!" when they were introduced. The Confederates were more colorful in their garb. Each soldier represents one particular soldier from the war. So much to learn.....and they were eager to share with us.
We spent much of our time with a "farm lady," Mary Chapman, a recent immigrant, lived in Virginia and farmed with her three daughters and a son-in-law after her man to the war. The Sutler's store was interesting with everything from plug tobacco to knives to buttons to hand made (and I mean HAND made) shirts. There were small mason jars filled with clear liquid.....white lightening I surmised. No, lamp oil.
I let them know that we had a very large selection of the "latest dry goods" (new shipments of Civil War Reproduction fabrics) at Scottie Dog Quilts. "Mary" said she'd be in next time they hitched up the wagon.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

7 Year Itch

Today is September 17, 2008. Seven years ago, just 6 days after the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks, Scottie Dog Quilts opened their doors in Eureka. Thank you to all of you who have made our business and lives such a success. Our hearts are warmed and humbled at the love and outpouring of support of your our customers. But more than that you have become our friends.

The newspaper headline a year after we opened said it all: "Quilt Shop is a colorful place to find friends." Thanks for being our friends.

Staff Cottage Retreat

What does every quilter enjoy once in awhile? That's right, a Quilting Retreat! The staff at Scottie Dog Quilts is no different. In addition to working together we love to play together, so this past Friday through Monday we enjoyed a "Cottage Retreat." We rented a house in Ferndale, just a few miles away from Eureka...but it was so relaxing it felt as if we were a thousand miles away from home. We stayed at Ferndale's Morningstar Vacation Rental http://www.vacationferndale.com/ . This is a luxurious Victorian Farmhouse with quilts on the beds, a fully equipped kitchen and so much room we weren't crowded at all. We set up our sewing machines in the Solarium---what a great sunny place it was to sew.
We only prepared 2 meals a day---brunch and dinner but I guarantee you we didn't starve! We teamed up so we each only had one meal to make and clean up so we all felt pampered. There were fresh fruit platters, home baked scones, raspberry pies, quisches, seafood lasagna, chicken & apple sausages, Mexican delicacies & lemon pudding cake. Oh, my! We haven't even begun to talk about the "snacks" everyone brought! I've been told that calories consumed while on retreat don't count......I believe in fairy tales too! The gardens were so lovely...isn't it amazing how just being surrounded by the delicate beauty of flowers can calm you and feed your soul! Sydney was there for parts of our retreat. She and Judy made friends with one of the

horses and fed him our carrots. While in the bath one night Geri gave her a Pasta Drainer to make "Rainforest". Grandma is going to have to get her old drainer out for next time. What a hit.
We closed the store a bit early both Friday and Saturday so we could enjoy our time together. A special thanks to Liz who manned the store on Saturday and planned our Staff Cottage Retreat.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Quilter's Doo Dads

Ok--is the word Doo Dads, Dodads, Doodads? According to Blogger's spell check it's Doodads. According to my dictionary none of the above. According to my computer spell check they suggest: doo doo, dody's, Doody (as in Howdy Doody I suppose).
What I'm talking about are DooDads...little fun things....in this case little fun things I've found lately while shopping for things to carry in my store. One of the best is something I LOVE to smell, but not to taste. I have never aquired the taste for anything coffee...not mocha, nada. BUT I think the aroma is wonderful! So when I found this product at Quilt Market last year we knew we had to have it. Quilter's Coffee. We have one pot bags of Friendship Star Blend, Bears Paw Blend, Flying Goose Blend and more. Wouldn't it be fun to give some to your Caffeine-addicted friends a little gift or stocking stuffer? Or at your next Small Quilt Group gathering to brew a pot of Friendship Star blend?
Best Press is a girl's best friend! This starch alternative gives your fabrics a crispness that helps keep bias edges from stretching, gets out wrinkles---don't you hate that pesky seam down the middle of your fabric? Impossible to get out, right? Not with Best Press. Gone instantly. Comes in a wonderful spray bottle. We do refill the bottle if you want...just doing our best to recycle.

What is a Cotton Picker? You slip your fingers in it and brush it on your clothes----no more threads or pet hair. Works great on People Hair too! I don't know why I nearly always wear black or solid colors. As a Quilter I'm nearly always covered in threads. Tada! The Cotton Picker is a lifesaver.

Those two wooden things are Spool Adapters for those big spools of thread you buy. They make it so the spool doesn't wobble, your bobbin winds fine and dandy.

Last but not least, Grandma's Secret Spot Remover. Let me tell you THIS grandma uses this nearly every day. Let's face it---when I eat I nearly always spill just a little (or a LOT) on my shirt. I have this ....well, shelf....you understand! So when I come home at night I wet the stain a little, put a drop of Grandma's Secret Spot Remover on the spot and I can't find it after it's been washed. Great for blood, grease, tomato stains, everything I can think of. I know this is a great product since many of you have returned to buy a second and third bottle.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Catching Up with Family

Here's a few shots from the last week. On Thursday night Liz and I went to the theatre.....we were the only ones there!

Saturday was Liz's birthday. Sydney and I had gone to Target on Friday to get a few things for the party. She insisted on HER favorite party supplies: pointy party hats, funny candles, party napkins & plates and the most important thing for Sydney....A PINATA, of course! There were many pinatas to choose from....a stunning star, a rainbow, butterfly, horses of many colors, Cinderella and more. Sydney was very determined...she knew exactly what she wanted....a blue guitar. We also had to get "lots of candy," toys, lip gloss, glitter pens and more to put inside. Mr. Scottie Dog, Liz, Steve, Syd and I went outside to "do the Pinata." (sounds like a dance!) Sydney swung and hit and hit and hit the pinata, but it didn't break. So Steve took a golf club. One swing and that pinata was history! Candy and stuff all over the neighborhood. It flew over the parked cars.......Sydney was delighted. Then as with our family tradition, Bill played Happy Birthday on the accordion and someone always plays the bass drum. Sydney had practiced the day before and kept very good time.

Today was Sydney's first day back at Pre-School. Of course she had her special dress on, lunch pail ready. After class we interviewed Syd.

Mom: Did you have fun today?
Syd: Yep
Mom: Did you eat lunch?
Syd: Yep
Mom: Did you like your lunch?
Syd: Yep
Mom: Did you know any of the other kids?
Syd: Yep
Mom: Were there any new kids?
Syd: Yep
Mom: You get to go back on Friday.
Syd: Yep
We've never heard her say "Yep" before....but that's all the news we got out of her about Pre-School today.

In the paper again!

Last Friday Sydney and I had a "Gwandma" adventure. We started out at the zoo, one of Syd's favorite places. I knew they were going to start charging for the zoo, but I thought they were going to begin July 1. My plan was to buy a Family Membership to the Zoological Society so we'd be able to visit the Zoo any time we liked. Turns out Friday was the first day for admission charge and we were the first ones at the Zoo!
They gave us free popcorn and pink lemonade so we decided to add one of the Zoo Cafe's fabulous hot dogs to share. "Don't put pickle relish on my half!" an alarmed Sydney must have said 4 or 5 times. She's a purist....ketchup only. We saw the flamingos, the gibbons (who delighted Syd when they "ooohed" back at us when we "ooohed" at them), the spider monkeys were playful and the bears were having so much fun in their pool. We decided to pass on the barnyard petting zoo till next time. I like the fact that the Zoo is set up so you can go for 15 minutes, an hour, an afternoon and it's been a wondrous experience.
Then we went to Target to shop for things for Mama's (Liz) birthday on Saturday and WinCo (food shopping) and to the "Scottie Gog Store" to visit Mama. It was a great day.