Sunday, January 30, 2011

Grammy's Weekend

Being a Grandma is a wonderful thing! It's my calling at this stage of my life. Oh, yes, I'm still a wife and mom, but I so love being a Grandma. Friday was Mercedes' third birthday. I go to "go" to the party via Skype. While Sadies and her little girlfriends danced in MN at the SweetPea Princess Party Grammy was there, albeit sitting in her living room in CA. Isn't technology wonderful! When Sadies opened her very pink & sparkly princess tennis shoes I got to see and hear her oohs and ahhs and she turned to the camera and said, "thank you Grammy!" Beka made a beautiful pink castle cake and I got to enjoy it too (minus the calories!).

Saturday afternoon Sydney came over to our house. We made brownies for Grandpa, checked out my secret sewing project, played with blocks and she watched "Anne of Green Gables" while I took a nap! We fixed her hot dogs for dinner (Grandpa & Grammy had chicken) and watched Don Knotts, Tim Conway and Bill Bixby in "Apple Dumpling Gang."

This was a favorite movie of my own girls when they were Syd's age. How come they don't make family films like this any more? Just plain fun, a clean story and full of laughs for the whole family.

After Church we had an errand to do. For the past year or two Sydney has expressed an interest in getting her ears pierced. Many of her friends have taken the plunge and while she really wanted to have pretty earrings, Sydney was reluctant as several had told her it hurt quite a lot. On Saturday afternoon she asked if we could get her ears pierced. I knew that I had her parents permission to do so. Syd and I thought it would be fun to get it done on Sunday, go out for ice cream and then surprise her parents with her new earrings.

We made it to the Mall after Church but the Piercing Pagoda wasn't open for another half hour. No problem...right next door is the Mall's playground so she and some other kids climbed and slid and shouted and laughed together.

Soon it was time to get piercing. Grandma had to hold her hand and Sydney was very brave and courageous. She now has ruby red stones in each ear! She looks so grown up. Mom and Dad were so excited.And that was Grammy's weekend.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Aqua Aerobics

I've had a ton of fun this week. I am realizing that I haven't had this much fun in years! I joined the Gym. I'm 59, out of shape and sadly in need of some exercise. But alas....arthritis in the knees make it very hard to exercise. A couple of years back my doctor put me on the South Beach Diet and I've got it pretty much down. I know what and how much to eat and Dr. Wieland did a happy dance when he saw that my high blood pressure came 'way down to a very good level and my cholesterol zoomed from very high to low-middle range of good. But the exercise thing was tough. No weight-bearing exercise. No walking, running, bike riding, etc. I started out a few days with Liz and a friend going to the gym by our house 8-9 pm and riding a recumbent! I could do it without pain. For an hour! Liz spends her hour on the elliptical trainer and I thought, "If I can do the recumbent bike so easily, maybe I could do the elliptical trainer for, say, 5 minutes to exercise more." I lasted about 30 seconds and my left knee said, "No, NO, NO!"

My friend Geri has sung the praises of her aqua aerobics class for more than a year and I realized that although I can't go on Mondays & Tuesdays I COULD go Wed-Fri. every week. So Wednesday I put on my bathing suit (oh, it's not a pretty sight!) and a cover-up, grabbed a towel and my flip flops and tootled on down to the gym. Oh, my! so much fun! As I said before, I haven't had so much fun for years. I bobbed up and down and twisted and turned and kicked and stretched over and over and over again. It was lots of fun. We used weights, we used noodles, I got water up my nose a couple of times. But it was fun! So I went back on Thursday and again this morning. Turns out I know a lot of the people who take water classes there. And found an old friend from long ago. There's a 92 year old man who comes every day. He'll probably still be there when I'm 92!

Here's a picture of Thursday's class. It was smaller than Wed. and Fri. ( where about 30 people come). I can feel the muscles. And you know what? My knee doesn't complain at all. So I'll do the recumbent bike three nights a week and swim three mornings a week. Sounds pretty doable.

In the past I've gone to Jazercize and exercise classes and while it wasn't UNpleasant to work out, it couldn't come close to the fun I've had in the water. Can you tell I'm excited? And who knows, maybe someday that bathing suit might look OK on me!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Question Mark????

Today is my day off. I like days off and it seems lately that all sorts of things get in the way. My preference is to sleep late (I usually stay up way too late!), thus eat late and I only have to eat two meals on my day off. So far I have gotten dressed, done the dishes (unloaded the dishwasher), put a load of laundry in and played on the computer a bit....FaceBook and email take a bit of time, don't 'cha know?

Now I'm really excited about what I'm doing today. I mean REALLY excited. I'm making something that is so cute and darling that I am bursting at wanting to share it. But....I.....can't!

You see, it's a surprise. I can't even tell you what or who the surprise is for because even that would give a little bit away. Thus the question marks. But know that I'm going to have a fantastic day off playing with my sewing machine. Haven't done it in a loooong time. I hope that you get to spend some fun time this week too.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weekend with Gamma

Saturday mornings I usually sleep in a tad, but not this weekend. We were holding a Get Acquainted Class for some of our new Pfaff sewing machine owners. Giving a class like this is always fun because of the lights you see going on. "Oh, I didn't know I could do that!" "I never dreamed I could make a button hole so easily!" "It has an automatic thread cutter?" "Oh, my's beautiful!" You hear all sorts of comments just like these. We, at Redwood Sewing Center/Scottie Dog Quilts are overwhelmed at the response of our local sewing/quilting community since we've opened our Pfaff Sewing Machine dealership. And we are glad that they have all been so happy with their machines. One gal had confided last week to a fellow class member that she "hated" her new Pfaff. Couldn't do a thing with it. After Saturday's class she told me she's not going to sew on anything else! She loves it. I wish she'd told me that last month and I could have helped her out before! And so every month we offer get acquainted classes for our new owners.

Sydney calls me Gamma and the Haché household calls me Grammy. I suppose that when we go on our cruise next month all the grandkids will choose one or the other name. This weekend we've had the pleasure of Sydney's company. We ate dinner at her favorite place: HomeTown Buffet. I'm surprised that she first chooses a (somewhat) healthy plate with 1 slice cheese pizza, carrots, hard boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, grilled white fish and then, of course, comes dessert. You'd think with a vast array of desserts that she'd want several or at the very least have a problem choosing. NOPE! Every time she goes for a cone filled with orange fat free, sugar free frozen yogurt....with lots and lots (and lots and lots!) of sprinkles on top.

We came home and baked a cake. Syd's getting really good at cracking the eggs! Then we watched our friends, Huckleberry Flint, perform on TV! What a treat to see them. We like their "old timey" sound. Some of them grew up with our children and we've been fans for many years now. Then Gamma fell asleep and when I woke up Grandpa had put Sydney to bed. So much for Gamma's bedtime stories!After church today we frosted the cake and Sydney put sprinkles and jimmys on the cake. Is she proud or what?

"What's for lunch, Gamma?" I had an idea. Last week she'd asked me what a pig in a blanket was. I had a can of biscuits from who knows what in the fridge. First we smashed the biscuits and then rolled them on the hot dogs. It takes a lot of concentration.

Then you bake them (and any stray biscuits you have left-over)Next you fix your plate....did you know it's a law that you have to fill up each section of your plate? It is! Truly. And after she said she didn't want any carrots, Grandpa came to the rescue with Cheetos....she and Grandpa have a thing about Cheetos. They are too artificially orange for me! As you can see we have filled up the plate with 5 major food groups....Your bread/grain group, your protein group (hot dogs?), your milk/dairy (string cheese), your vegetable group (I kid you not...when Bill Clinton was president they classified Catsup as a serving of vegies for school lunch programs!) and your "too orange, what could be in a cheeto" group!
She looks pretty happy about the whole thing!
Right now she and Grandpa are outside doing's cold and misty (not quite raining, but certainly not dry) but they are having a fine time. Later I'm going shopping with daughter Liz and maybe a movie. Good weekend...and for me it ends today as I work all day tomorrow....and since it's a holiday I'll probably be busy.

Monday, January 10, 2011

And the winner is..............

And the winner is........................Katie Hartsell! Congratulations Katie....You've won a jar of my homemade Jalapeno Jelly. Katie's name was picked by taking all the comments from my blog and FaceBook in regards to my 300th post.

Since Katie is a local gal, I'll bring her jar of Jelly to Redwood Sewing Center....I am sure to see her there soon. Congratulations Katie!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Quilt Challenge

The first Thursday night of every month the Redwood Empire Quilters Guild meets in my home town, Eureka, CA. Eureka is a coastal town in 'way Northern California nearly to the Oregon border. There are only three roads into the city....Highway 101 to the north and the south and Highway 299 through the mountains over to Interstate 5. It's a 3 hour winding mountainous drive through the mountains East to Redding, CA. To the North or South it's roughly 5-6 hours to any standard sized city. So you might say we are isolated. Often we are referred to as being behind the Redwood Curtain. We have magnificent Redwood Forests and a rough and chilly Pacific Ocean to our West.

This isolation makes for creative and talented people. Many artists live here, and among them are the quilters. Tonight at Quilt Guild our members displayed their "Challenge Quilts." A challenge was laid down last year to make a quilt (wall hanging size) that included an animal, the color orange and polka dots. Interesting set of rules, wasn't it. I spent most of the Fall visiting my daughter in MN so I didn't participate, but here are just a small sampling of the quilts.

Miss Hippo 2011. Her bathing suit (love the frilly skirt) was 3-D and her nails were all shiny and pink.This possum mama had made little quilts for her babies....there are no names on the quilts for voting but I think this one was made by a dear woman who rescues possums.
This Corgi quilt was so life-like and I thought the way she incorporated the leash was clever.
I have a fondness for elephants and liked this quilt quite a lot. We couldn't vote on it as it was made by the Challenge Co-chair.
So much going on in this circus quilt...very creative...again we couldn't vote on this one as it was made by the other Co-chair.
This quilt used many three dimensional embellishments...the koala was fuzzy and the lambs were woolie too. It was sort of "one world" in that there were elements from Egypt, Australia, Switzerland and the tropics. I liked it.

One thing I should note is that these quilts all hung straight in "real life," but pinned to sheets they appeared to have wobbly borders. Not so in real life. Wish I could give credit to the creators and/or tell you who won, but alas, I had to leave before the winners were announced. A great job by all who entered!

Don't forget to comment. You've got until Sunday at 9 pm (pacific time) and I'll randomly pick a winner for a jar of my homemade Jalapeno Jelly. It is fantastic over cream cheese with wheat thins!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wednesday Nights

What do you do Wednesday nights? I teach a "Sit & Sew" class at Redwood Sewing Center (formerly Scottie Dog Quilts). It all started about 17 years ago when I began teaching quilting in my home on Monday nights. After a couple of years a small craft store asked me to move to their location. For roughly 48 weeks each year I taught Monday night and Tuesday morning quilting..9 of those years at my own store. This past September we decided to switch Monday nights to Wednesday. So now I teach the Sit & Sew class on Tuesday mornings and Wednesday nights. Geri teaches the Thursday morning classes.

What do I do at a Sit & Sew Class? I give lots of opinions....on color, fabric, patterns and borders. I cut fabric for customers. I teach how to get those seams a true one quarter of an inch. I show how to use a rotary cutter, how to put on binding, how to figure out how much fabric one needs for a border or a backing. I help thread a pesky machine. And sometimes I get to work on a project of my own while doing all of the above.

But the BEST OF ALL is all the Show and Tell I get to see. Tonight Sue J. T. showed off her BQ3 quilt (pattern by Debbie Bowles) made with "boy" fabrics.

Then she showed off another nearly completed quilt in which she has combined printed fabric panels, pieced blocks and a realistic road I've seen her make in previous quilts. Sue makes a lot of little boy quilts.Paula finished putting the borders on her Keyhole quilt for an ailing relative. It's a bright and cheery quilt bound to brighten-up any room.
So this is what I do on Wednesday nights. How about you? Tell me what you do on Wednesday nights by commenting on the blog by 9 pm Sunday, January 9. In honor of my 300th posting yesterday I'll send to a randomly picked commenter a jar of my homemade Jalapeno Jelly. It's REALLY good!

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Yes, that's right, post 300 today! I didn't realize it until I started to write this. There should be a give-away and I promise I'll figure out one tomorrow as it's too late to do tonight.

It's a new year...Twenty Eleven (at least that's how I'm going to start saying it) is here...and I didn't even send out all my Christmas cards. Here's one for YOU!
The pictures were taken this summer at Yellowstone National Park. This is a traditional photo opp for my family...This picture includes Mr. Scottie Dog and I, daughters Liz (with hubby Steve & granddaughter Sydney) and Beka (with hubby Jason & grands Jakob, Mercedes and Shiloh), my brother Pat (and wife Debbie) and brother Denny (and wife Carey).
Tomorrow is my birthday. Not a milestone birthday, but pretty close! I celebrated last Thursday night with a bunch of wonderful women. Four of us were celebrating birthdays and we all went to Bay One Teppanyaki. So much fun! For once in my life I sat at the rowdy table!
Twelve of us sitting around the grill. Oh, birthday was certainly celebrated. Tomorrow's actually the day and I'm staying home and sewing to my heart's content on MY projects. The family is going to have a little party for me on Friday night. Can't wait.

New Year's was quiet around our house. We took inventory at the store and I was in bed early. Mr. Sun was out today and it was beautiful. I think no rain all week is predicted. I could go for that! Happy New Year's to all of you.