Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

Now that we're on the subject of New Year's Resolutions....do you make them? I don't, although I do try to take stock of the past year/month/week and think about the wrongs I've been guilty of, the habits I might like to get back. I don't RESOLVE, I just yearn.....sounds a lot like a wishy-washy type B personality doesn't it. Well, welcome to my world!

That said, I'd like to think that this year I'm going to make more quilts....more for me, my family & friends and especially more for some of the charities I love so much. A week from Sat. (Jan 10) here at the store we'll be gathering to make quilts for the Eureka Dialysis Center's patients. We do this every year. On National Quilting Day in March we'll be having a sew-in for Sunshine...a quilting charity for children overseas.

Now wouldn't it be great in 2009 if we tried using up some of our stash? That's about going green, you know. You could smugly say to those who say you aren't green enough, "I've been recycling my stash, don't you know?"

My friend Bonnie Hunter has written a new book called Scraps & Shirttails: Re-use, Re-purpose, Recycle. Bonnie is the undisputed Queen of Scrap Quilts, so this book is perfect for using up your stash.

Stash quilts have such vibrancy, impact and charm.

Another Queen of Scraps is Pat Speth. She coined the phrase "Nickel Quilts." Of course you know what those are: 5" Charm Squares. Pat is the one who started this whole thing. Both Nickel Quilts and her second book, More Nickel Quilts are still on the best seller lists.

Pat has a brand new book out (just arrived today!) called Amazing Nickel Quilts. This book is another winner and it really is amazing the way she can do so many things with a 5" square.

Also you might want to check out our Stash Pot Pie classes. Each month we have a night or day class with another new scrap quilt pattern,

Looks like I just might get to using up that stash in 2009...how about you?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sydney's Snow Adventure

I get to see my Eureka granddaughter, Sydney (almost 4) nearly every day. But for Christmas she and her parents drove to Grant's Pass, OR to have Christmas with Steve's Grandma, Juanita. They had a little snow and Sydney got to build her first snowman. It was about 4" tall.

On the way home they stopped at Steve's Uncle Gilley's log cabin. There was lots of snow at Uncle Gilley's! Sydney had a blast in the snow. She didn't want to come inside. They built a snowman as tall as Sydney. I love this picture progression...Running in the snow.....building the snowman.....bending over....oops!

What fun Sydney had! I think now she'll understand a bit more about snow at cousin Jakob's house.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Grandma's December Adventure

It's no secret that I love being a Grandma. Most days I get to spend with Sydney, nearly 4 years old. She is my daughter Liz's daughter. They live in Eureka and work with me at Scottie Dog Quilts.
But I also am so blessed when I get to go to Minnesota to be with daughter Beka and her children, my Minnesota grandbabies. One of the first things

I had promised Jakob, who is almost 3 years old, was that he and Grandma were going to make cookies. It was so much fun...and so much flour...so much colored sugar.....! Jakob decided he should get two and everyone else could only have one. We never got a picture of the cookies, I think we all ate them too quickly. Jakob pronounced them "Good."
Jakob is a big boy--he's as tall as many 5 year olds and so it's easy to forget he's not quite 3. We watched some VegeTales DVD's, I must have read "Green Eggs and Ham" twenty times (it seemed like 20 times PER DAY!), we tickled,
we laughed, we gave each other BIG hugs and generally had fun. Jakob knows who I am and tells me he lubs me.

Mercedes' entire face lights up when she makes eye contact. She is a cutie....just a month away from her 1st birthday. Still small and petite she gets around quickly and efficiently--crawling or walking around the coffee table or anything else she can pull up on. She's got eating down---don't leave anything on the floor or she'll eat it up.
She loved the sparkle of the package bows best. Jakob helped her open her presents, and she
played with the bows and paper.
She's great at cooing and shrieking. Some mamamam and dadada but no real words yet. I'm sure she'll say "Grandma" first!

Jakob loved everything about Christmas. The Advent Calendar with a small piece of chocolate each day, singing, the tree and all it's ornaments, stockings, opening presents (both his and Mercedes), the Christmas Story in his "Jesus Book" (a children's Bible that Jason reads from every night before bed). An I think he especially liked the basketball hoop he got for Christmas. It's my hope that he enjoyed Grandma & Grandpa's visit too. We slept in the basement bedroom (and enjoyed using the nice bathroom Mr. Scottie Dog built last Sept) and some mornings Jakob had to come roust Grandma out of bed. I think he did it just so he could bounce on the bed!

We braved the cold, we shopped, we went to the zoo, we played in the snow. The adults played Shanghai Rummy one night (and I won!). We baked cookies, we cooked Christmas dinner.....Mr. Scottie Dog and I packed a lot of living into those 10 short days. What an adventure!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Santa visited me!

Last night, or rather very early Christmas morning, Mr. Scottie Dog and I arrived home after a long, very long travel day from Minnesota. Sounds simple, doesn't it. Get on a plane in Minneapolis, fly to Denver. 1 hour later get on a plane, fly to San Francisco. 1 hour later get on a plane, fly to Eureka. Simple, straightforward.
We had a lovely visit with daughter Beka & Jason and the grandbabies. We celebrated Christmas on the 23rd. Christmas Eve morning we went to a neat place in Edina, MN, The Original Pancake House. We'd been there several years ago. Beka thought we'd like to go since they originated in Portland, OR where my brother Pat lives. The OPH has the best breakfasts. Bill, Beka & I had Apple Pecan Crepes, Jason had Eggs Benedict and Jakob and Mercedes shared a stack of Buckwheat Pancakes. Not a drop or bit was left. We went from there to the airport. Our first case of hurry up and wait. Our plane left 1 1/2 hours late. And in Denver we boarded our plane 1 1/2 hours after schedule....and sat in the plane for an additional hour before it took off. We waited in SF to see if we could get on the last plane out to Eureka. We were listed standby way down the list. We waited 3 1/2 hours....Bill even checked rental cars. Not a one available even if we wanted to drive the 6 1/2 hours home. They listed us on a 6:30 pm flight Christmas Evening. Well, we made it finally on the last plane out. Hurray! We did get home. I know that lots of people did NOT get to their destinations on Christmas Eve. Including at least 40 on our Denver plane who were bound for Hawaii. I hope they got there today.
When we got home early Christmas morning there was a box on the doorstep. We must have missed Santa's sleigh by a moment or two. "Merry Christmas" it said on the outside. Inside were 4 holiday DVD's---White Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street and It's a Wonderful Life. A note from Santa read, "Enjoy & Relax Love, Santa"
Santa has been making these deliveries on Christmas Eve for about 6 years now. I've been given some cute flannel PJ's, a holiday purse, a set of Christmas Dishes, floral arrangements and now some of my favorite movies. I've had fun trying to guess who Santa is...but not a clue.
Thanks Santa....you've made me feel special and loved. And you've inspired me to do some anonymous giving of my own.
There was a message on the answer machine inviting to friends for Christmas Dinner. Thanks to the Paseman/Harvey family. Good friends, good times.
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow with a capital "S"

Snow, SNOW...SNOW. That's what we've been having....SNOW. So for this Southern CA born and raised girl...Northern CA for the past 36 years...Snow is something you "go" to as in, "Let's go to Horse Mountain and play in the snow." Or, "Let's drive 4 hours to Mt. Shasta and go snowboarding." Snow isn't what you watch for hours out the window or drive in without chains (these Minnesotans are quite courageous (or is it fool hearty?) when it comes to driving around on snow and ice. They take it in stride. Yesterday we were out shopping thinking that the day was so warm...it was 20! When did you ever think 20 would seem warm? It started snowing again last night and by this morning there was at least 7" of NEW snow on top of the old. We knew that because there was that much on the driveway this morning. The plow had been out yesterday. Beka and Jason left us with the kids this morning. When Sadies went down for her morning nap Mr. Scottie Dog and Jakob began their preparations for the park. First. over your clothes you put your snow pants on. Then an extra sweatshirt and a stocking cap. Then you pull your sweatshirt hood over the cap. Now it's time for your snow boots and coat. Snow gloves (be sure to fasten your coat sleeves OVER the gloves and tighten the Velcro. Then pull up your jacket hood and wrap the scarf around. Now IF you can move you get to go outside! This took about 15 minutes. Jakob had to waddle down two flights of stairs and off the boys went to the park about 1 1/2 blocks away. Jakob got to ride on the sled. No one else was at the park---12" of snow might have been the reason why. They climbed on the climbing bars, Jakob slid down the slide....just missing the yellow snow left by a passing canine. When they came back, Grandma had lunch waiting.....two men who'd certainly gotten their exercise!

Then we got a Skype call from Scottie Dog Quilts. Sydney was anxious to talk to Jakob. I cannot get over the marvel of modern technology. Last night I even got to say hello to the gals at Girl's Night Out. Our friend Lori, gave Syd the construction outfit....tools included. She's all set to help Grandpa on his next project.
Our thanks to Liz and Sydney who checked up on our cats.....Sydney gave them the necessary hugs and love and Liz filled up the food bowls.

The Report from Minnesota: Cabellas & Quilted Treasures

Mr. Scottie Dog wanted to go to Cabellas. For those of you who are unfamiliar they are the premiere Outfitters in the USA. Outfitters? If you are going out side in Minnesota you need to be "outfitted" for the weather.....be it hot, humid, mosquito-filled summer or cold & frigid winters, you need special clothing, tools, gadgets, etc. Cabellas has many stores throughout the States & Canada, from Maine to Reno, NV. Each store has some specialty attractions. The store in Rogers, MN has an aquarium.....not just any little 'ol fish tank....they have a "cave" you enter with 50 feet on each side of aquarium from the floor to the 14' ceilings filled with interesting fish. One had a cat fish that was so huge I couldn't believe

it was real. They also have a "mountain" that is about 3 stories high. On the mountain are stuffed deer, mountain lions, beavers, mountain goats and so many more with fall foliage trees and such. There is a stream running from the top down the mountain and a waterfall into the large beaver pond. The beavers have built a dam and it overflows into a large pond with a moose in it! In this lowest pond there are 40 or so live brown trout and Jakob got to feed them. He thought that was great. In another part of the store they have a diorama of and African plain with a full sized elephant, gazelles, rhinoceros. It was incredible. We took some pictures there whit Mercedes and Jakob. So what did Mr. Scottie Dog get at Cabellas? Well, he got some long underwear, a thing to help him measure out powder for his black powder gun (can you tell I'm not well versed in gun vernacular!). I bought him a Christmas present...can't tell you what it is because I think he reads my blog. They have everything from furniture to dog houses (even cammo tents to put on top of your heated (!) dog bed for your bird dog out in the open) to fudge (yes, fudge and it was good) to shoes to snowball makers---these look like jointed salad tongs, but have two half balls on them. You fill with snow and you are ready for a snowball fight. The store was huge and I only went to one small part of it.
Then we took a trip to Quilted Treasures, my friend Mary's store in Rogers, MN. She was basking in the sun with friends in Naples, FL her staff deals with snow and cold. It was fun to see our quilt (yes, the very quilt Liz & I Check Spellingmade) in her store display. I took the picture with Beka next to their display with our patterns. They have two classes scheduled for it and I hear one is full already! Mary's store is very nice...it has lots to choose from, a great staff and a wonderfully large classroom, just like Scottie Dog Quilts!

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's COLD in Minnesota!

Mr. Scottie Dog and I have arrived in Minnesota.....just in time for the temperatures to drop so low that our HIGH today was colder than the LOW in Fairbanks, Alaska! You know it's cold when the locals complain about how cold it is. Usually they, "Oh, ya know, it's not so cold out today. Ya, you betcha."

We arrived by plane last night after the plane had to circle the airport for about 20 minutes.....the runway had to be cleared of snow. Then the flight attendant announced, " We are beginning our landing. In the event of an emergency be sure to leave all personal belongings behind and proceed quickly and calmly to the nearest exit." We all looked at each other and wondered if we should worry.

First thing this morning we went to Target just down the street.....Grandpa found a sled for Jakob. We came home and ate lunch. Then the two of them spent a fun hour outside in the cold. I think it took Beka a good 10 minutes to get all the snow gear on Jakob....she asked what she was going to do when she has a houseful of kids and they all want to go outside to play. I told her maybe the older ones would help out. The snow is really dry but in the pile left by the plow there were a few icy pieces so they built a little snowman. The grandpa took a shovel to the snowplow's piled up snow....soon there was a Jakob sized sled run. The best part was that the icy road (Beka & Jason live on a cul-de-sac so they didn't' have to worry about traffic) was at the end of the run so the sled slid farther at the end. Then Grandpa pulled Jakob around the block. Grandma and Beka had hot cocoa ready (of course with tiny marshmallows) when they came in.

After nap time Jakob and I baked cookies...cars, boots, scottie dogs (of course!), stars & Christmas tree cookies. He wants to make more tomorrow......but I think we're going to try to go to Rogers, MN. My good friend Mary owns a quilt shop there called Quilted Treasures and not too far away is Cabellas, a mega outdoor store which Mr. Scottie Dog would love to check out.
Stay warm,

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Program with the Pre-School

Friday morning bright and early I arrived at my granddaughter, Sydney's house. She was all dressed up like a Christmas Elf in her red velvet dress. Liz, Sydney and I drove to Sunny Brook Farm Pre-School to drive for the Field Trip. We got in the appointed cars and drove to Eureka Nazarene Church.
I'm actually not sure how many kids went on the trip.....we were only responsible for 2 (Sydney the tiny elf on the far left and Martina, the cutie in the green shirt) and I know all the kids weren't around when I grabbed my camera to take their picture in front of the tree in the foyer of the church.
We were privileged to see the dress rehearsal of "A Star is Born," the musical put on by Redwood Christian School. Oh, my....these children (kindergarten through 8th grade) did such a good job. The musical was thoroughly enjoyed by our pre-schoolers and the adults alike. An interesting story with all the songs fitting in perfectly about a group putting on a televised Nativity Play with a spoiled Diva set to play Mary...and all the fun consequences. The children all (even the kindergarteners!) knew all the words and even a bit of choreography!
If you have a chance you should go see it.
Sunday, Dec. 14 5 pm
Thursday, Dec. 18 6 pm
Eureka Nazarene Church
Humboldt & E Streets
Eureka, CA
After the field trip we took Sydney a bit early we girls could go out to lunch. We don't get a chance to do that very often anymore. What a treat: Gonsea for Chinese food. Sydney just wanted the "spaghetti" (chow mein noodles).

Guild Party

My life has been full of holiday parties and events. Thursday night Liz and I attended the Redwood Empire Quilters Guild Holiday Party. We brought our goodies (Liz makes the most awesome fudge--rocky road this time), several doll quilts for the Salvation Army and a basket full of Fat Quarters for all the members. Each Christmas I load up a basket of a variety of Fat Quarters from our store and we give one to each member of the Guild. Just a little gift from us. No strings attached, just a Merry Christmas and thanks for helping to promote quilting.
When we got there our 2009 Opportunity Quilt was hanging. Oh, my it's beautiful! All batiks in several different NY Beauty-style blocks. Denise Witte of McKinleyville, CA did the quilting. Each block is quilted differently! I got my packet of tickets to sell. They are selling for $1 each or 6 for $5. If any of you want them let me know and I'll make arrangements. Just email me at ScottieDogQuilts@aol.com The drawing will be held at the guild's 2009 Quilt Show in July 2009. But watch out! I'm buying lots of tickets because I'd love to have this one!
It was fun to see Pat Durbin and Jen Duncan both very talented women. Pat is working on a new book for That Patchwork Place and be sure to check out Jen's Etsy Store! The food was unbelievable....Kenny Fleck showed up with Bridgett..."I always come at Christmas," he said, "This is the best potluck in town!"
As usual, show and tell was awesome...I was so interested I forgot to take pictures.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Singing Christmas Tree

For the past few years Mr. Scottie Dog and I have gone to Sacramento in December to see a performance of The Singing Christmas Tree. Capital Christian Center has been doing this for 52 years! They expect 30,000 people this year!!! That's right....30,000! I think their auditorium seats about 2300 people and it's been full every time I've gone.
I worked at Scottie Dog Quilts in the morning on Saturday and we left for Redding. Driving through the Trinity alps, we saw a bit of snow in the dark-where-the-sun-never-shines corners along side of the mountains, but mostly it was the magnificent evergreens.....redwoods, firs & pines. As we passed Whiskeytown Lake the madrone and manzanita appear and we are suddenly in Redding...the dry Central Valley of N. CA. We did some shopping at the "big" stores we don't have in Eureka, ate some dinner and spent the night. It was a beautiful, clear night and on the way back to the hotel we glimpsed a residential street with houses all decked out for the holidays.
The entire neighborhood was lit up and decorated like some Chevy Chase Christmas movie, each trying to outdo the neighbors. My pics don't even begin to do it justice, but here's one anyway.
We left Redding at 7 am in terrible fog. The freeway to Sacramento (2 1/2 hours away) is set at 70 mph speed limit...but with the deep valley fog it took us a "bit" longer. Mr. Scottie Dog is a good driver and I read a book the entire way. We arrived in Sacramento just as our good friends, Mark & Hilda Waters and family were leaving for Brunch so we tagged along (and of course, ate a fabulous brunch!). We had been invited to stay in their lovely villa in the guest suite. Hilda certainly knows how to decorate! Her style is evident in every nook and cranny of their home. We slept in the 4-Poster bed--check out this great leopard chair!
Bill and Mark were soon out of the house doing "boy stuff." The ladies chatted, Hilda put the finishing touches on their 16' Christmas tree and then at 4 pm we all had tea....and the most decadent chocolate cake. Ummmm, ummmm.
Then we all dressed for our evening. Two of the family's adult daughters have been in the show for several years, but not this time so we were all going to get to sit together and enjoy the production. The Singing Christmas Tree is a professional production. You won't see anything better on Broadway. It's THAT good. There are over 200 singers, dancers, actors & musicians every year and an additional 300+ people who build sets, run the cameras, lights & sound. There are wonderful ushers, greeters, people who do make-up, sew costumes and so very much more. Work on next year's production has already started. We saw this cute little poppet just before we went in. Her "ball" hat actually had an 18" curly gold spangle on top....she wasn't IN the show, merely ATTENDING the show!
The large spacious Church foyer is all decorated up too. There were jazz musicians playing beforehand in the church "cafe" area.
They have several Christmas tree "areas" where many families were having their annual holiday pictures taken. So we posed too.

Last week was Advent Tea and The Singing Christmas Tree. Christmas can come...my heart is prepared!

You can see last year's production in about 4 minutes! It's fun!

Christmas Blessings to you all!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Advent Tea

Tonight was a tradition for me. Every year, the first Friday in December is The Advent Tea at the Eureka United Methodist Church. Tonight was the 49th annual Tea. Let's see if I can tell the story right. 49 years ago several ladies at the church decided to have a tea to celebrate the Advent Season. They used their best china and crystal, sang carols and took up an offering for those less fortunate. Every year it grew and grew so that as long as I can remember (I've attended for more than 20 years) they had to expand to an afternoon tea and an evening tea.

Ladies of the church vie for the chance to hostess a table...and then each decorates a table around a theme. Beautifully fragrant pink roses with china to match. Each hostess makes an elegant dessert...the tables groan under the weight of nuts, chocolates, cookies, crackers and more.

Everyone comes a half an hour early to admire all the tables....each hostess has place cards to show where everyone sits.

Over the years all of my daughters have attended with me some of the time. Tonight Liz and Sydney came with me. We listened to the Redwood Children's Choir and a Christmas story told by the pastor. The ladies lit the Advent Candles and read scripture. And of course we all sang Christmas Carols with gusto.

It seems to me that beginning December with this wonderful reminder of why we celebrate the season is perfect for me. Alleluia! Jesus is Born!

Sydney loved looking at all the tables and especially all the goodies at her place. However.....she pronounced the candy cane as "too spicy!"

Monday, December 1, 2008

Turkey Day

I hope your Thanksgiving Dinner was as nice as ours. We missed those family members who weren't with us but Liz and Steve were great hosts.

Liz cooked a perfect turkey! Sydney decided the table needed place cards (where does a 3 year old learn about place cards?) so when we arrived she and Liz were putting the finishing touches on the leaf cards with our names on it. Sydney knew where she wanted everyone to sit. Our meal was fairly traditional. Turkey & stuffing, rolls, gravy, yams with marshmallow topping, cranberry sauce and cranberry jello salad. All Sydney cared about was olives and rolls....typical 3 year old. We all told what we were thankful for round the table, Mr. Scottie Dog asked the blessing and we ate...and ate and ate. Too much, I'm afraid.
Then Bill & Steve did some diagnostic work on a car problem while Liz helped me quilt 3 doll quilts on the big machine. Then we played cards and ate pumpkin pie & apple crisp. Umm, umm. Then Mr. Scottie Dog and I rolled home. Great day!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Today I'm thankful. Hopefully I am every day but today I wanted to count some of my many blessings.
  • I'm thankful I live in America and have the freedom to worship God. Many of of my dear friends live overseas in countries where it is punishable by death to be a Christian.
  • I'm thankful for my dear husband, Bill aka, Mr. Scottie Dog. He has loved me and supported me for the 36+ years we have been married. He works tirelessly to make my life wonderful.
  • I'm thankful for the opportunity to be Mom to wonderful daughters, to have been able to stay home and raise them..they taught me so very much over the years. I'm so very blessed that we have good relationships now that they are grown.
  • I'm grateful for my Sons-in-law. I hope they are thankful for their Mother-In-Law too! I try to be good.
  • I'm so very blessed to be a Grandma! Sydney, Jakob & Mercedes light up my heart. They love to sing with me...they are the only ones who don't wince when I sing ("Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!"). I relish being their Grandma.
  • I'm blessed to still have my Dad...so very wise in counsel, such a great sense of humor and so much fun. He's blessed us with Willa Mae too.
  • I'm thankful for my dear friends...many who have moved away but still hold a place in my heart. Thank you friends who listen to me, advise me, laugh when I try to tell a joke and are patient when I screw up.
  • I'm blessed to live in Humboldt County, CA in the midst of the Redwood Forest. This is the most beautiful place on Earth. The beauty feeds my soul.
  • I'm grateful for Scottie Dog Quilts where I have met so very many wonderful people who have a passion for quilting. I'm certainly blessed by them.
  • I'm blessed with good health. It's not perfect, but I'm well enough to do most anything I want to do.

These are but a few of my blessings....it is possibly the small ones that are the most precious. I hope you take time each day to give God the glory and thank HIM for your blessings.

Thanksgiving Blessing to you and yours. I'll be spending the day with family.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


This morning I went out to get the paper. Yes, I know that 99% of the news I read in the paper I've already read about on-line or heard on the TV news the night before, but I like reading the paper. Holding it in my hands, shaking it out, checking out what advise I disagree with that Annie's Mailbox has dished out and the few comics I follow...LuAnn, For Better or Worse, Zits. First thing I noticed outside the door was a small mushroom.

It was peeking out from the 2" of redwood litter that covers our dirt & gravel drive. This little baby was right outside the door and in a space that never receives direct sunlight. Under the 150' redwood trees and near the house, always in shadow, cool and damp. It looks like a normal, buy it in any store variety mushroom, but I doubt it. We get mushrooms growing around the house every Fall (and other times of the year), lots of different varieties and often different from year to year. They appear overnight. Nothing one day and BOOM! A big mushroom overnight.

Out in the front grass I found some others...bigger, irregular in shape and very low to the ground. They varied in size from saucer to luncheon plate. I've included a shot of the underside of one bad boy.

Now don't get me wrong....I enjoy eating mushrooms, very much so. BUT I'm kind of creeped out by finding them at my house. I don't leave them to mature, kicking them over when I find them. Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of fungus growing deep in the ground. So kicking over the mushroom doesn't get rid of the fungus, but it makes me feel as if I'm doing something to rid my personal space of rot. I took a tour of the front and side yard and found many of the yellowed plate-style mushrooms, one

of the tiny button type and then found this foul-looking blobby thing. I've seen them before but not for a few years. They look like something boiled over in the pot, slimy and yucky. Their stem is very short and they hug the ground.
I haven't seen any black one yet this year, or the tall white ones with orange spots (the kind you'd see a troll hiding behind!)--those are deadly poisonous, I know. There is one kind that we'll see on the drive....one day you'll see what appears to be a gopher mound and POOF! A mushroom the next day.
Hmmmm maybe we'll have grilled portobello mushrooms on ciabatta bread tonight.....