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 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 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 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.....

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Family Weekend

This past Friday was a full day. Bill and I got up, puttered around the house and packed our suitcases. While I did the dishes, located a bunch of sand toys and packed the car, Bill was busy buying a new truck. At 11 am he was the proud owner of a new-to-us 2002 Chevy Truck. I think he said it was 3/4 ton blah blah least that was how much I understood. What I understand most is that we got an incredible deal on a used US Forest Service Vehicle and it is "Forest Service Green" to match my Chevy Tahoe. He bought it at an on-line auction and we didn't have to drive far to get it as it was just a couple of miles away at the Eureka Forest Service Office. He picked it up on Tuesday.
Back to Friday.....after we bought the truck we headed to Liz's house and picked her and Sydney up. Bill dropped us off at the Scottie Dog Quilt Shop and did the banking. Liz and I each had one small task to finish before we could be gone for 4 days. of the lights in the classroom was out. I got the ladder and the bulbs and Liz tried to change the burnt out bulbs. Double wasn't the bulbs, it was the ballast that was kaput. Quick call to Mr. Scottie Dog....don't just honk for us, please come in. It only took him 10 minutes to get the lights back on. Hurray for Mr. Scottie Dog!!!!
Finally we were on our way to Point Arena on the Mendocino Coast to spend a long weekend with my father and his wife Willie (here's where I draw the line......I hate to refer to Willie as my "Step Mother" because it brings up horrible connotations. I loved my mother dearly, miss her terribly BUT as I told Willie this weekend, "If I can't have my mother, I'm happy to claim her."). They met us at their time-share trade. Aren't they a good looking couple?

The time-shares were interesting. They are new modular units only one room (12') wide. Bill figured it out--they are mobile/modular units and are 12' so that you can truck them in on a regular highway. The place until recently was an RV park. The units were beautifully furnished. They were supposed to sleep us all, but Dad & Willie had their room, Bill and I slept in the living room and Liz & Sydney were good sports and slept on pads in the car....good thing the seats go down in the Tahoe. The weather was unbelievable! High 70's, sunshine. Not at all what you expect mid-November on the N. CA coast. Sydney wore shorts and we played in the sand. We played cards and for once in my life I was the big winner (two nights in a row)!!! We took a day trip to Ft. Brag, a trip to the beach for Sydney to play in the sand and two trips to the Pt. Arena Pier. Sydney loved the little beach there. It is all rocks but full of "treasures." Little bits of
shells, crab claws, beach glass and more. She filled a bucket full to take home. We ate a few meals out---who would expect to eat on
the 2nd floor deck of a restaurant right on the waterfront in mid-November???? Mr. Scottie Dog bar-b-qued some awesome steaks and Willie kept us fed too well. In fact I made her chicken cheese casserole for Stash Pot Pie Club yesterday at the store. Liz should have more pictures so maybe I'll post a couple tomorrow. We had a great time. Thanks Dad & Willie for inviting all of us.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Off to Point Arena

We're off to see the wizard, the wonderful, NOT the wizard..we're off to see Dad & Willie. MY father, Liz's Grandpa & Sydney's Great-Grandpa. I'm all packed...even got a call from Sydney this morning to see if I had the sand toys. We're going to Point Arena, CA: the westernmost point, closer to Hawaii, Japan, etc. Dad & Willie have a week at a timeshare there. We assumed it would be cold, wet & rainy, but the National Weather Service assures me that it will be sunny and in the mid 70's. To those of us on the N. CA coast that is a heat wave! I imagine we'll be in short sleeves and Dad & Willie will be freezing all bundled up in coats and scarves.
I heard it was in the mid 80's where they live in So. CA.
Bill is taking his laptop and Liz & I are taking our sewing machines. We're going to help Willie make some pillows and maybe get in some time to make a store sample or two. I plan to bind a quilt on the 4-5 hour drive.
Well, we're off....don't know if I can blog while we are there (we may only have dial-up) but I'll send pics when I can.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Batik Honey Buns

Moda has brought us Charm Packs, Jelly Rolls, Sweet Rolls and TurnOvers....Scottie Dog Quilts is introducing: TA DA! Honey Buns.....

Available beginning today Scottie Dog Quilts has a selection of 15
precision cut 2 1/2" strips all tied up, pretty as can be. These here are batiks...teal, purple, blue, green....makes your mouth water doesn't it....and I promise......not a single calorie in sight. Price? A great bargain at only $12.99. Perfect as gifts for your Secret Pal, Best Pal, Hostess gift, stocking stuffer....what about a "You made it through the day" gift for yourself!

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Civil War Diary Quilts

I think I've blogged about The Civil War Diary Quilt book and the block exchange I am participating in with several friends. Years ago I made a Dear Jane quilt: my interpertation of a quilt made by Jane A. Stickle during the Civil War. I love quilts....pastel baby quilts, striking two color quilts, art quilts, worn-out-soft-as-can-be-I've-had-it-since-I-was-small quilts, scrap quilts, brightly colored quilts, applique quilts, pieced quilts and even art quilts. But my favorite quilts are ones that evoke days long past, earlier times, Civil War era quilts.
Yesterday I sent out the notice reminding my group that blocks are due on Thursday. We haven't gotten together since early September and it's all my fault. I've been gone way too much. But Thursday is the guess what a lot of us have been doing this past weekend? Right, we've been sewing our blocks! I was no different than the rest of the Greatful Threads, I sewed way into the night--well, early morning to finish them up. There are 9 of us and so that means we make one block 9 times. The blocks don't have to be of identical fabrics, the only rules are Civil War (read---19th Century reproductions) fabrics and a particular muslin sold at Scottie Dog Quilts. Each block uses muslin somewhere.
I was going for a Brown & Pink combination often referred to in the 19th Century as Peppermint & Sassafras. I also used several fabrics in some to mimic the "she did the best she could with what she had" look to older quilts. OK, I'll admit it, I ran out of fabrics. Just like my quilting sister from the Civil War era.
So here is a look at some of my blocks so far. I've got a ton of them. They are all 6" finished. I can't wait to put them together. I hand quilted my queen sized Dear Jane, but that isn't going to happen with this quilt. My poor hands won't let me. But I'll turn it over to my daughter Liz and her HQ16 and she'll work her magic.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Chicken Taco Soup

Tuesday is a long day for me. Actually it begins on Mondays. I work at home on Mondays until 1 pm when I go into the store. I teach a class Monday nights and get home about 9:30-9:45 pm. Then I hit the computer for an hour or so. Tuesdays I teach a class in the mornings so I start the day running and sometimes have an evening class as well.

This past Tuesday was one of those long, long days. I had planned ahead. I made a pot of Chicken Taco soup. I got the recipe from a friend in Texas. It is sooo good and really easy. When I got to the store I chopped my onion and cut 2 chicken breasts into bite-sized chunks. I opened a few cans, dumped everything in and voila! by 2 pm lunch was ready. I rarely get to eat lunch before 2 pm so it was fine. Funny thing....the crock pot was plugged into one of the classroom outlets. You couldn't smell the soup in the classroom, but when I went to the restroom and came out onto the sales floor, UMMM UMMM, boy that soup smelled delicious! Walked back into the delightful aroma met my smeller. I ate more for dinner and it was even better!
Before the class left at 1 pm everyone wanted the recipe. Well, I don't actually use Sandy's recipe anymore (I never wrote it down!) but I make it according to what I can find in the cupboard. Here's the recipe I used on Tuesday.....vary it accordingly.

Tuesday's Chicken Taco Soup

2 Chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1 Can Corn, drained
1 Can Pinto Beans
1 Can Pinto Beans w/chilies
1 Large Can tomatoes
1 Large Onion, chopped
1 tsp pepper
1 Clove garlic, minced
1 Can fat free Chicken Stock
3-4 Tablespoons Salsa

Dump all into large Crock Pot and cook on high 4 hours, then low up to 4 hours. If soup is thinner than you want, just leave the lid off for 1/2 hour or so.

Place 5-6 tortilla chips in bowl, ladle soup over top. Top with 1 large spoonful of Sour Cream and shredded cheese.

Variations: I've used kidney beans, black beans, etc. You may add a small can of chilies if you want it hotter. Sandy's recipe used a can of black olives, drained, but I thought it made the olives tough. You could add those just before serving, I suppose.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Amy Butler Fabric Arrived Today!

Quilt Market was over just 10 days ago and already boxes of new fabrics, books, patterns and notions are arriving daily! Today the UPS man brought boxes from Westminster and Moda. Of course Sydney signed for them. Look at these Amy Butler fabrics! Aren't they delightful? Come in to see them. Liz has made a bunch of samples of her newest bag pattern---help us name it! She used this collection and more for her samples. I took one of the bags to market.
Today we also got a limited supply of the Better Homes & Gardens Complete Guide to Quilting. It is full of gorgeous quilts. The photos alone of each step of all the techniques are worth twice the price. This book is a bargain at $19.99 but with a $50 purchase you may buy the book at half price while they last. It's just one way we want to give back to all of you, our special friends. If you don't live near Scottie Dog Quilts you can shop on the website put BH&G Quilting Guide in the special instructions box.

The rainy season has begun here in the Redwood Forest...We'll see rain most days until sometime the end of March or end of April. It rarely rains really hard....but it will be wet. The damp is what makes the mighty redwoods grow. We live in a beautiful place--on the Pacific Ocean midst the ancient Redwood Forest!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Eureka Bathroom

Mr. Scottie Dog has been busy the past several days working on our new shower. It is so very beautiful. I know it's been taking a long time, but he is so carefully making sure it's perfect.
I had asked if the floor tiles could be "on point." On the diagonal to those of you who aren't quilters! We looked a long time before we found the 13 inch tiles. We looked on our travels, looked at granite, other stone tiles, and finally the one we liked the best was at Pierson Building Supply right here in Eureka. Then we chose the trim piece and Bill changed the design to have the tiles on diagonal up to the trim and then sitting
straight. I think it is so very beautiful!
My plan wasn't as good as his. Again we've agonized over the right grout color. I didn't realize grout comes in lots of different colors. I thought you got white or black. No...way too many colors to choose. Should we go dark, light or try to match the tiles. What we chose looks a lot more yellow on Bill's test piece. But it won't show much, so we are going to go with it. Look at the close up of the trim. It looks like carved stone. The shower "room" is coming along.
The lavatory is painted--it's actually a soft green with a touch of gray--in this pic it looks gray---the lights that go above the sinks are in, the intercom in in and the telephone is in......that's right, remember Mr. Scottie Dog is an electrical and electronic we have telephone AND intercom next to the camode so if I feel a need to contact anyone, I'm covered.
Bill, I'm in awe of the lovely and loving job you are doing.

Visit from a Marine

In August I shared about little Sydney at the Crescent City Quilt Show making quilt squares for the "sick sojers." The Lighthouse Quilt Guild has a project of making quilts for injured soldiers...such a wonderful gift from their hearts. They invited show attendees to design 9 patch blocks using the 3" squares of fabrics provided by the members. Then several ladies would sew the blocks together. This year alone the number of quilts has exceeded 100! One of our regular quilters went to the show with her husband and son. Brigette's son had noticed Sydney hard at work designing her quilt blocks and was impressed with her devotion to the "sick sojers."

He was back home for a visit in late September and brought Sydney a "Marine Teddy Bear." Imagine Sydney's face when her Sojer arrived at Scottie Dog Quilts one evening in his dress uniform (and I tell you it's true.....a man in uniform is soooo handsome!). After a firm handshake and a thank you he was gone.
Thanks so much!

Houston International Quilt Festival

I've never been to Houston International Quilt Festival. It is THE definitive show of shows in the Quilt World!
Three friends linked up there....Christina Seaman (who is on her 2nd year of traveling the N. American Continent), Toni Morgan (now living in N. Carolina) and our own Pat Durbin. We had hoped to see Toni & Christina in Houston, but they arrived late the day we left early. Boo Hoo. So near and yet so far! Pat's quilt, "Beside the Still Waters" won a Third Place Prize! Congratulations, Pat! It is impressive! She also had another quilt juried into the show....a portrait of Jesus. I saw some ladies admiring it when I saw the show.

Congratulations also to Gerry Smeltzer....her lovely blue pants outfit was impressive. We had the white glove man move the signage in front of it as it hid the ensemble.

Quilt Festival begins 3 days AFTER Quilt Market we just can't stay. Maybe some year.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Last Market Update

I keep getting asked, "When are you going to tell us more about Quilt Market?" So I thought I'd post the last pictures.

Who am I posing with here? This is Brenda Lou from Whistlepig Creek Patterns (and yes, there IS a Whistlepig Creek), I think in Colorado where the pattern company is located). I've never met another BrendaLou before. Most Brenda's seem to be Brenda Lee's.

It wouldn't be Quilt Market if I didn't connect with my good friend Jo Morton. She came to Eureka to teach the first year I opened the store and we've kept in touch. She has a new book out and of course a new Civil War Vintage fabric line with Andover Fabrics.

Eleanor Burns (with son, Orion) is always fun--
-this year her crew were all wearing these brightly colored "pony tails." See the Scottie Dog on the quilt in the background? We ordered the new Eleanor Burns Big, Big Flying Goose Ruler and we expect Eleanor's Trunk Show for her book, Victory Quilts to arrive any day now at the store.

Next I'm posing with the "Vampire Couple." Dennis and Julia are with P&B Fabrics and they always dress up one day at Market. You usually find Dennis in a big black cowboy hat, until he dresses up. One year they were Fred & Lily Munster. Last year Dennis was a Red Hat Lady! I've never seen such large high heels before! As I've said before, "You never know what you'll find at Quilt Market!"

Isn't this booth beautiful, calm and serene. These colors of green, aqua and cream were seen in many booths.....fabrics, sample quilts and patterns.

So there you have it....Quilt Market 2008. Until next October.