Monday, December 28, 2009

We have a "new" trailer

We have had a 24' travel trailer made in 1972 for about 20 years. We've pretty much worn it out over the years, but it served us well. For about three years now we've talked about replacing it with a newer and smaller trailer.

A week before Christmas Mr. Scottie dog called me and had me check out a trailer on the GSA (Government Surplus Auctions) website. There was a 30' travel trailer up for auction in a couple of hours. The trailer looked to be in great shape and was located in Lakeview, OR at the National Forestry Services office. This is the same place we got the Chevy Tahoe I drive. We knew that this particular office was in a very isolated part of South-eastern Oregon, about 8 hours from where we live. Probably not a lot of people bidding on that trailer. Bill was the successful bidder (and at a VERY good price!) so we had to pick up the trailer by Dec. 22. On Sunday, Dec 21 we took off hoping to beat the rain (and perhaps snow) on the trip. We made it to Lakeview by dark, spent the night in a motel and picked up the trailer. Other than being pretty dirty inside, the trailer is in great shape.

This trailer is larger than our old is a 30' Starcraft with a front and a rear door.
It has large windows that let in lots of light.
The kitchen is quite nice and large. Plenty of storage, a large refrigerator & freezer. A 4 burner stove, built-in microwave, built-in music system. I am not happy with the blue curtains, trim & upholstery (it is stained & old) so I'm going to re-do everything in Chocolate & taupe. There is a wonderful porcelain double sink, nice counter space and a dinette with an electrical outlet that will make sewing on my featherweight sewing machine simple!
The sitting area has a couch (soon to be recovered!) that makes into a double bed and a swivel rocker. TV, cable hook-ups, storage, stereo speakers, the works. Next is the bedroom and a wonderfully spacious bathroom. It has a tub for my grand kids & shower, storage and more. I feel so pampered and I haven't even used it....well, actually we did sleep in it one the way home.
I am blessed. I see many wonderful trips & memories in our future.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all! Here it is nearly 8 o'clock on Christmas Eve. I have a half hour before we go to church for Christmas Eve Service. It is one of my favorites, always a bit different, but always full of Christmas Carols, songs thanking God for sending a way for an imperfect mankind to live with Him forever. None of us is perfect, and the Babe we see at Christmas grew to take our sins away....if we only ask Him to.

We didn't do much shopping this year. Just a few things for the Grandchildren and kids. As usual, Mr. Scottie Dog and I will exchange a small token. Our real joy comes from seeing the joy in the Grandkid's eyes. Today Beka Skyped me from Ottawa, Canada where they are spending Christmas with Jason's family. At one point Jakob (nearly 4 now) ran up shouting over and over again, "Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas," as if tomorrow morning would come faster if he said it a certain number of times. He did throw me a kiss and his eyes lit up when he saw my face on the computer screen.

Today I did a tiny bit of grocery shopping, went to the Scottie Dog Store and helped Liz out for just a bit. She's cooking most of tomorrow's feast...breakfast included. I came home and made a Banana Cream Pie.....a pretty awesome one too. My secret....use half & half instead of my usual skim milk! Tomorrow's a Feast Day...splurge a bit! Funny how for years I've used skim milk for everything and they always turned out OK. Not fabulous, just OK. Now they turn out fabulous. But only for Feast Days.

I cheated and bought an apple pie and a Christmas Stollen. Stollen is a family tradition in Bill's family. I've made it many times and it always turns out great. But the recipe starts out with 12 cups of flour. Do you have any idea how much stollen 12 cups of flour makes? I have tried to half the recipe twice with poor results. Joan, one of our quilting budies owns Cherry Blossom Bakery in Henderson Center, Eureka and she told me last month they were making Stollen this Christmas. AHA! This year we'll have our Stollen sliced thin and toasted with coffee or tea while we open the gifts tomorrow morning. Liz is making berry cobbler so we'll have a feast. Sydney most likely won't eat, she'll just open gifts.

After making tomorrow's pie I fixed a special little dinner for Mr. Scottie Dog and I to eat in front of the Christmas Tree. I got a crab, picked the meat and made Crab Melts on Sourdough Bread and home made clam chowder. Umm, Ummm, Good!

Off to Church in just a few minutes so let me wish all of you a very Blessed Christmas. May the Christ child find you this season! God Bless you all.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Who Doesn't Love a Giveaway?

When Liz and I were at Quilt Market in October we were walking purposely down an aisle when we had to alter our path due to a crowd gathered around a booth. I looked up and standing in front of us were Rebecca Yanker & Patricia Hoskins, the authors of the new smash hit: One Yard Wonders. We had a chance to chat with them a bit and see sample projects from their book. They were gracious enough to autograph a copy for us. And thus we come to our subject...We're having a Giveaway! You can win our autographed copy for yourself!

One-Yard Wonders is chock full of delightful projects that all take only one yard of fabric. Directions are clear and the book is spiral bound with a pocket inside to hold the patterns.

How can you win? Just click Here.

You'll be taken to our FaceBook Fan Page. Just write "Enter Me" and leave your name. If you want an extra chance to win, recommend us to your friends and have them also put your name after theirs and you'll be entered a second time.

And while you are at it, you might just want to click on "Become a Fan." If you want the latest news from Scottie Dog Quilts you'll get it here. We update nearly every day with pictures of new fabrics, books and sometimes there are FaceBook only discounts.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I'm Not Famous

I've never been one to seek personal 15 minutes, an hour or a lifetime. I am quite content to be who I am....a pretty-much unknown gal who loves her husband, has wonderful children, was raised by fabulous parents surrounded by the best friends anyone could ask for.....all in a normal world lacking fame and certainly fortune.

BUT....BUT.....BUT....I do admit to living vicariously through friends and family who have been in the limelight or at least have some quite glamorous accomplishments. My thoughts on this have been brought to forefront today by my cousin Janis posting this picture today on FaceBook:

Here are the Andersons: My Uncle Walt, Aunt Hazel and cousins Jill, Janis & Glen. Can you tell it's 1976? Love Jan's Farrah hair do & Glen's "I just want to look like a surfer" do. They were on Family Feud. If I remember correctly they didn't win the big money, but they did win some wonderful prizes some of which they refused as the taxes would be more than the prize was worth to them. Jan received some fan mail after the airing and later went on to be a contestant on Joker's Wild (At least I think that was the name of the game show). In 1976 I was pregnant with my 2nd daughter, making my own bread, tending a huge garden & raising a pig or two for consumption. Nothing remarkable about that.

Several of my friends have become very, very successful authors. My friends Mike Phillips & Judy DeMiere (Judy uses her maiden name when she writes) were just beginning their careers in 1985 when they teamed up and wrote, The Heather Hills of Stonewycke.I still cannot believe they dedicated this book to me! I can remember being in a town about 900 miles away from home and we saw the book on a book rack. Liz was then 9 years old and she told some lady passing by, "This book is dedicated to my mom!" The lady looked at us as if we were crazy and kept on walking. No fame for me, just a sweet expression of friendship from two people I admired. Both Mike & Judy went on to write many, many more books....all of which I can highly recommend.
My friend Nick Harrison has written a couple of novels, but he mostly writes non-fiction. His book, Promises to Keep is a men's devotional for Promise Keepers. My husband reads this through every year. Nick is currently working on a biography of a famous (as yet unnamed) woman. Nick is an editor for Harvest House Publishers.....and introduced me to the works of some of my favorite authors.
Some of my quilts have been pictured in various Quilting Magazines. I've even written a couple of articles. But no one would remember my name.
I know many of those famous in the Quilting World...most are just famous people I've met: Mary Englebreit, Lynette Jensen, Alex Anderson, etc. But some I consider friends: Pat Sloan, Beth Ferrier, Jo Morton, Karen Montgomery, Karen Snyder, Sandy Brawner, Dixie McBride, Deb Lutrell, Debbie Welch and so very many more. I've met Jay McCarol of Project Runway Fame, Marie Osmond, Marianne Fons & Liz Porter.
When I was a teenager I met Mickie Dolenez of Monkey's fame (and several years earlier I met Davy Jones at a musical he was in at the Music Center in LA). I also shook hands with Morey Amsterdam when I was 15.
Brushes with Fame....that's all. I'm happy with that.
Our store, Scottie Dog Quilts is famous, though. We've been featured several times in the local newspaper and each of the two Quilting Trade magazines have featured our store in them. Liz has produced several patterns under the Scottie Dog Quilts logo they are sold far and wide in Quilt Shops across the country. People know the Scottie Dog name. When we go to Quilt Market and someone reads our name tags they comment on positive things they know about our shop. I like that.
So that's it....I think a good reputation is far more valuable than fame. I don't want to be a celebrity, I just want to be a good wife, mom & grandma. A faithful friend. A woman of good report.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Parties

One of the fun things of the season is the Christmas gatherings with friends & family. We've been to one party at our Church and one at Liz's house for the Trucker's Parade. Friday I get to go to one of the local Assisted Living Centers with Sydney's Pre-School for a Christmas Party and performance by those little angels!

At Scottie Dog Quilts Creative Sewing Center I teach two drop-in classes every week. The Tuesday morning class is cohesive group of women many of whom have been in the class for 13 years or more. They often have pot luck lunches, brunches, birthday parties and more. They've had a Christmas Party for at least 10 of those years. This year it was held at the store. First off, I want to tell you these ladies can cook...boy, can they cook! None of us went hungry at this party. We had three stations....appetizers, main dishes & salads and a big table just for desserts.

We were celebrating three birthdays. Here are the three Birthday Queens: Margie, Del & Barb.
Everyone brings a gift for the exchange....we play that "stealing" game. Sydney was really excited to get to play the game this year. Here she is helping Sheila open her gift.
Here's Jan showing us that the bag the gift comes in can be a gift too...Great hat, Jan! Although I had my hands on 3 or 4 gifts, I think I went home with the best! Two jars of Jan's home canned Albacore Tuna. What a treat!
Sydney steals a gift from Del! Doesn't she look proud of herself!
Three hours flew by and we had to pose for a picture. Don't we look like we had fun!
Thanks ladies....I'm so very thankful for each and every one of you! You are a blessing to me.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A guest for dinner.................

See the crab. See the crab run across the counter. See the crab grab onto the grill.

We're having a guest tonight for dinner. Actually, we named him. Named him "Dinner."

Mr. Scottie Dog and I have had a full day. Made it to church on time at 9 am. Picked up our Christmas photo cards at Walgreen's and came home in time to pick up a bit, doodle away some time on the computer. Mr. Bill dressed in his tuxedo finery and drove to Fortuna where he and a bunch of other Accordionairs played Christmas Accordion music at the Fortuna Christmas Music Festival. I stayed home to make some cookie treats for a book signing later this week at our store (Thursday, Dec. 17 from 6:30 - 8 pm Pat Durbin will be signing her new book during our store Christmas Open House. YOU are invited). On Tuesday night we'll all be going to The Humboldt Accordionairs' Christmas party concert. You are also invited to that at Swiss Hall in Loleta.

After Mr. Dog came home, he got out the Christmas tree from the attic. He put the colored lights on it (I prefer colored to all white, I guess I'm not in fashion). It was 5 pm. "What do you want for dinner?" I asked. "Crab?" he queried. "We don't have any crab," I answered.

So we left for the Marina...mind you it's now dark. As we pulled onto Woodly Island we nearly hit a deer slowly crossing the road. There on our left in a small grassy area were 8 deer eating quietly. I guess that small wildlife refuge located next to the marina has been a great habitat for the deer they placed! They are multiplying.

The lights were on in the cabin of the Jenna Lee, the crab boat that sells live see, Mr. Scottie Dog prefers to cook his own crab so it's fresh, REALLY fresh.

So this is the big, 'ole crab we ate for dinner.....yum, yum. Took just a few minutes to pick the crab meat out of the shell and I had mine on a bed of romaine with green onions, avocado, celery & red pepper....Mr. Scottie Dog put his over a cheesy potato.

I guess tomorrow I'll put the ornaments on the tree.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Only in Eureka...

Only in Eureka do we have The Christmas Trucker's Parade. It's been going on for years now...I don't know how many, since my kids were in Jr. High I think. I remember the second year or so Mr. Scottie Dog loaded me up in his pick-me-up truck (I had been released from the hospital just the day before after having emergency gall bladder surgery) and we'd parked in the old "Burger Time" parking lot and watched the parade go by on Broadway (Highway 101). I could hardly walk, but he wanted me to "get out for awhile."

The parade doesn't go on Broadway anymore and they tore down Burger Time ages ago and built a Jack-in-the-Box but the Parade lives on! For a fee (which goes to charity) truckers can outfit their trucks with lights, reindeer, Nativity Scenes, snowmen, Santa & the like, blare their horns...."Jingle Bells" sounds like this: Honk, Honk, Honk....... Honk, Honk, Honk........ Honk, Honk, Honk, Honk, Honk. tone blasting over and over and over. One van was playing Christmas Carols but I couldn't really tell what they were playing.

I "borrowed" this picture from my friend Amanda's Facebook page (thanks, Amanda!) of one of the better decorated trucks.

Most of the trucks were fire trucks or tow trucks...the parade route is one block from Liz's house so we were invited to come for the parade and dinner. It went by early so we watched first, loading the kiddies into Steve's pickup bed, Mr. Scottie Dog & I in a tandem chair and the other adults standing behind. The street was 2-3 people deep as far as you could see. One enterprising lad was selling mistletoe and hot cocoa (I'm assuming not in the same cup!).

After the parade we made it back to Liz's where she & Larissa had made sushi....yum! Sushi, a salad and I'd made a Christmas tree out of stacked sugar cookies. We all ate too much....wouldn't have been a Christmastime event I guess if we hadn't.

So goes another Christmas tradition in Eureka, CA. Does your locale have any interesting Christmas traditions/events?

Monday, December 7, 2009


It's been cold in our neck of the woods....I understand it's been cold all around the country, Beka in Minnesota has snow, more snow and a blizzard coming tomorrow (what does this bode for Global Warming?)............... (that's a joke, I don't need to be educated on either side of the issue!) When I got in the car tonight after class the digital thermometer located on the rear view mirror said, "ICE" and then "32" degrees. Hmm, I'd never seen that before. It kept flashing between the two all the way home (although the temp. dropped to 30 before I got home.

We cut wood yesterday again, this time in a different place. Actually in the opposite direction. Last week we cut wood on National Forest Lands. The wood we cut was mainly trees that had naturally fallen...fir & pine. Last Tuesday we heard about a place out in Redwood Valley where the Bureau of Land Management has cut down all the oak trees in one area because they want to encourage the evergreens: fir, pine and redwoods. What is odd (to me anyway) is that there was an enormous acreage not too far away where they had cut down the evergreens so as to encourage the growth of the oaks. Go figure! Anyway, BLM was allowing 2 cords per day to be cut with a $20 permit. The prospect of getting oak was encouraging as it goes farther when burned as it's a hardwood.

This time they used a chain and a rope around the long oak logs and hooked it to one of the trucks. Then someone would drive & pull the big logs down the hill to a staging area. Kind of like a cowboy would lasso a bull and pull it to where they wanted. Sydney and I had our fun time. However at one time she asked me to sing to her. She was cold so I wrapped my quilt around her, help her tight to my side and I began to sing Christmas Carols. She soon fell asleep. With nothing else to do, I took a nap too! Hard work for Grandma!

And that's wood cutting for 2009. Now to get it cut, split and stacked.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's All About Heating the House

We live in rural Northern California. It's still quite legal to heat your house with wood, so a trip to the National Forest Lands with the proper permit will help to heat one's house...with a LOT of sweat and hard labor. For the second year, we joined up with Liz & Steve (Sydney too, of course!) and made the drive up to Watt Lake, the site of our Father's Day Camp trip. Last year we couldn't go the last mile as the snow was too deep for the trucks to go and they just cut wood (downed logs & trees only) off the road. This year there was just a bit of snow here and there.
Here's Liz & Bill working on cutting up a tree with the chain saws. This makes it look like there was lots and lots of snow but really just enough for Sydney to play....for about 5 minutes twice!
I had to put in another one of Liz....master of the chain saw, a real Super Woman! Oh, what did BrendaLou do, may you ask? Was I busy hoisting logs, lugging wood? Maybe I was arranging wood on the trailer? No, I had a VERY important the others said I was perfectly suited to (and I dare say, they all would rather leave to me anyway!) was my job to keep Sydney occupied for the entire day. It was colder than we expected so Sydney and I stayed in the cab of Mr. Scottie Dog's truck. We played "I Spy" for hours, read books to each other...over and over and over again. "Gwandma...I'm hungry," was Sydney's mantra. I had brought some fruit for snacks, hummus & crackers & veggies, Cheetos (Mr. Dog's favorite!). Liz had a sandwich for Sydney and I think she ate enough for all of us...that 4-year old ate all day long. And then some days she hardly eats at all!
After Liz & Mr. Scottie Dog cut the trees into four foot sections, Steve went to work.

Here he is with a brutal burden. The largest logs were pulled by chain and lifted with a pulley & winch system Bill had devised. Steve and Mr. Dog loaded up the trailer.
Now THAT'S a trailer load of wood to be taken home and split later. Two plus cords. Liz & Steve filled the bed of their truck too. Another trip to happen this weekend....but Sydney and I are staying home and making Christmas Cookies.