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!

Friday, June 27, 2014

A New Chapter.....

As I started this blogpost I realized it's been exactly 6 months since my last post.  That's a LOOONG time.  You might say nothing has happened so I've been quiet, but you would be so wrong.  So much has happened!  In January Mr. Scottie Dog and I joined Liz, Steve & Sydney and a whole bunch of quilters on a Scottie Dog Quilts Caribbean Quilting Cruise.  It was wonderful to see old friends, meet new ones and enjoy the Caribbean for the first time.  I think St. Thomas Virgin Islands was my favorite place.  I enjoyed the sun, the beautiful water, the flowers, the fun of a cruise and more. The quilters were so friendly and fun! We also got to play at Hollywood, FL's wonderful beach for a couple of days before the cruise.

Bill and I at St. Thomas 

In March and April I spent some time in MN with Beka and her family.  Oh, my! How I love my grandchildren!  I hadn't seen Korban since he was born and what a bundle of bustling joy he was!  Perhaps the highlight of my trip was when Beka, Jason and Korban went out of town to a Homeschooling Conference and it was just me and the 4 remaining grands.  We had a great time.
We just had to go to the new See's Candy store at The Mall of America!

I arrived home just in time for our Scottie Dog Quilts Retreat at a new venue...The Humboldt Aquatics Center.  What a lovely view.....from the awesome Victorian Carson Mansion to Humboldt Bay.  Walls of glass made it hard to concentrate on quilting.

Here's a quilt I finally got bound at the retreat.  Love that view!

A few days after the retreat we made a trip to Eugene, OR to visit with my brothers and their families. My niece had a cutie patootie baby girl, Harper and we had to pay our respects.  Also got a taste of University of Oregon sports, both football and baseball.  GO DUCKS!  And a visit with Eureka friends now living in Eugene, Jim & Joanne and Nick & Bev (celebrating 40 years of marriage). Thank you Denny & Carey and Pat, Deb, Kevin, Kim & Harper!  It was a fabulous weekend.

Here's brother Denny and I posing in front of the new baseball stadium....Notice the sign on the building..."McNally Family Suites."  I tell you, baseball and football are so much fun from  the fancy sky boxes!

 In early May we closed our store for a few days in preparation for a liquidation sale.  It took 6 weeks to sell everything in the store. Redwood Sewing Center, our brick and mortar store in Eureka, CA is now closed.
One day we filled my Tahoe with empty cardboard bolt centers!

At the beginning of the last day! Many of the fixtures are already gone.

These near empty shelves look so forlorn!

But never fear...Liz is keeping Scottie Dog Quilts and her on-line store will re-open with a brand new website on July 24. We will still be holding quilting retreats in Eureka and the Midwest. The Scottie Dog Quilts pattern line will not only continue, but expand. Scottie Dog Quilts Quilting Cruises will also continue.  We are going up the Atlantic Coast from New York City to Canada October 2015.  There are still spots available for this awesome Fall Colors Cruise. After July 24 you can sign up for retreats on line.

I must say, it has been hard at times during our liquidation sale.  Saying goodbye after 14 wonderful years to all the friends we've made is hard.  Saying goodbye to the beautiful Northern California Redwood Forest and the rugged Pacific Coast is hard.  But awaiting for us is family....The entire Scott Clan will be able to live close to one another, hanging out together, picnicking, helping one another.  Think Sunday dinners at Gramy's house, sleep-over's for Sydney at the Cousin's house, hunting for the men, sewing together for the ladies, tea parties and heart is full.  We will miss our CA friends, but we fully expect our guest room to be occupied often.
Liz and Steve and Sydney leave Sunday morning with their cat Rico in their truck and a trailer with all their household goods.  Bill and I will leave the house in good hands (Thanks Larissa!) as we travel to MN to buy another rental to replace the one we just sold here.  We'll all be together for a few weeks and then we'll be back in Eureka to get our house ready to sell.  Then we'll be move too.

Wow!  That is a lot in 6 months! A new chapter in the lives of BrendaLou and Mr. Scottie Dog.

Sunday, January 5, 2014


Traditions....what kind of traditions do you find in your family.  Most family traditions center around holidays.  When the kids were small our youngest daughter Beka made place cards for everyone on Thanksgiving.  She did it right up until she left home.  Now Liz's daughter Sydney keeps up the tradition.  Our second Christmas I challenged all our guests (My parents and brothers) to bring a hand made ornament for our tree.  Mr. Scottie Dog made an 8" tall cross of stained glass. Every year since (41 years ago) I've made him put it on the tree near the top with a light just behind it.  Another family tradition was to go out for ice cream on the last day of school.  

But I am certain that many, many family traditions revolve around food. Black-eyed peas and greens for New Years (not one of my family traditions), ham or lamb on Easter, watermelon and corn on the cob for 4th of July, turkey on Thanksgiving, etc.  When I was growing up every Thanksgiving my mom began to make persimmon puddings.  She made a lot of them.  I imagine she must have had friends who gave her the persimmons...I don't remember seeing them in the stores when I was young.  She'd make one or two a day until Christmas, put them in the freezer and then she'd give them away.  If I couldn't make it home for Christmas after I got married, there was always one in the freezer the next time we got to Southern California.  Perhaps the reason I like them cold is because we couldn't wait until they had totally defrosted!

Persimmon Puddings are baked in a Pudding Pan.
Here's the recipe as I got it from my mom, Marcella Mae McNally:

Persimmon Pudding                    Preheat oven to 375 F

1 C sugar                   1 T melted butter
1 C flour                    1/2 C milk
1 t baking soda          1 t vanilla
1/2 t nutmeg             1/2 C raisins 
1/2 t ginger               1/2 C chopped nuts
1/2 t cinnamon          1 C persimmon pulp, sieved (3 or 4 large persimmons)

Mix dry ingredients, pour milk, butter and vanilla into well in center of dry ingredients.
Stir well.  Add nuts, raisins and pulp.  Mix well and pour into well-greased pudding pan. Securely close lid and set in pan of hot water in oven.  Bake 1 1/2 hours.  Run knife around pan and turn pudding onto rack to cool.

May be served warm or cold, with or without hard sauce.  You can drench it in brandy and flame if you wish.  I like to slice thin and eat at room temp.  My mother liked to spread cream cheese.

I have wondered if you could substitute pumpkin or banana, etc for the persimmons...but I've never tried it.

After I had been married a few years my mom gifted me with my own pudding pan.  I haven't made any for several years and this year put out a plea on FB for local friends with persimmons....Thanks to Rob and Crystal and to Laura and Kevin (who delivered them all the way from Santa Rosa!) who gave me bags of fruit.  It was one of my favorite things to do this Christmas.