Friday, January 29, 2010

Tea Party at Grandma's

For several weeks now, Sydney and I have talked about having a Tea Party at my house. We've made plans that haven't worked out and finally we decided Thursday was the day. I'm leaving for Minnesota next week and she was going to be away for the weekend. Wednesday night she stayed over at Grandma & Grandpa's house. We made a cake for the party.
We baked one cake and several cupcakes for Grandpa.
After breakfast and chores were over on Thursday it was time to frost our cake. The frosting had sprinkles in it!
After frosting the cake Sydney cleaned up the utensils!
We cut the crusts off the bread and made two kinds of tea sandwiches. Ham "fingers" and strawberry cream cheese triangles. Sydney arranged our plate.
We had tangerine slices, pink frosted cookies, nuts and tea, of course, with our cake and sandwiches. Sydney looked for the "squares" (sugar cubes) but I must be out. We dressed in our "going to tea" dresses but forgot to put our hats on. We made polite conversation, made sure our pinkies were extended and had fun. I think Sydney used 12 spoonfuls of sugar by the time we ended. The nice thing was that Sydney went back to Mom after the party....well sugared and satisfied.
I think we'll have another tea soon and ask some friends.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Night on the Town

Friday is my day off. I sleep in late and luxuriate in doing what ever I want to do. I usually let the laundry wait until Saturday and count Friday as MY day. I decided to do some errands and when I got home Mr. Scottie Dog told me to dress up and be ready at 5:45 pm. I assumed I could just throw on a dress or skirt and call it good. Humboldt County in on the Redwood Coast of Northern California and known for its' laid back, casual life. Dressing up usually means changing into a sweatshirt without a stain but the jeans you have on are probably OK. I've seen professional people wear jeans and an open neck shirt to a AND women. Even at the fanciest restaurant in the county jeans would be acceptable attire. I may not like it, but it's the truth.

I'm sorry I didn't get photos of last evening. At 5:15 Mr. Scottie Dog appeared....dressed in a suit and tie. Oops...I guess I needed to REALLY get dressed up. I put on the dress I wore to Beka's wedding. It went with a lovely Holly Yashi necklace he'd given me for Christmas a couple of years ago. I don't often have an occasion to wear it. I arranged my hair, I found the earrings that go with my necklace (on the sewing table under a pile of fat quarters!), I put on pantyhose and my high heels (in my case 2" are HIGH heels!). I even put on eye make-up! Now that's a sign I was really dressing up. Can't remember the last time my eyelash curler got a workout. I sprayed with my best perfume (Plumeria from Hawaii), found my long wool coat and a scarf I got when we went to Kiev, Ukraine and I was ready. The look on Bill's face when I came down the hall made it worth while! We've been married 37 years and he still thinks I'm the most beautiful girl he's ever seen....boy, how our eyes dim with age.

He'd made reservations for Moonstone Grill in Trinidad. Mr. Dog doesn't make reservations. I am not sure why, but if it were left to him they'd never get made. But he did this time. Trinidad is a little town north of Eureka, past Arcata & McKinleyville and on the ocean. Moonstone Grill sits on the edge of Little River where it meets the Pacific at Moonstone Beach. Even after dark the view was lovely as there are lights on the nearby foliage and the foam on the waves was illuminated.

I ordered the Duck...fresh blueberry comfit, brocollini and on a base of polenta....this was a softer polenta, almost a cornmeal custard. Superb! I felt like a queen. Mr. Scottie Dog had the cod special with an unusual rice pilaf dish. We shared a Chocolate Volcano Cake and vanilla bean ice cream they make at the restaurant. It was our Valentine's Day as I'll be spending the month of February in Minneapolis.

It was a special night, out with my special beau. I am blessed indeed.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Phone Call

Today at work I got a phone call. "Gamma, can I spend the night at your house tonight?"

Sweet, sweet words for a Grandma to hear. Mom brought her to the store about 5 pm. Grandpa picked us up about 6 pm. We went to McDonald's for dinner so she could play on the play structure. Then on to Humboldt Accordionairs Jan. Concert/dance night. Sydney danced every dance. Grandma got roped in on The Chicken Dance & The Cakewalk (wearing a feather boa & twirling a red and white striped umbrella!).

Bake home in time to get the Munchkin in bed, tell her a couple of stories, sing some songs and say her prayers. "Gamma, that was a good prayer. Know why? Because we thanked Jesus BEFORE we asked for stuff." Out of the mouths of babes.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Rain Cometh

The weatherman says we are in for a lot of rain...that many storms, one right after another are poised off the coast to blow in and saturate the Redwood Coast. As I sit here I can see the gloom, the raindrops falling and hear the wind blow. There is also the faint tinkling of a couple of wind chimes the girls made when they were young. The redwoods are standing strong and tall, their green foliage drip, drip, dripping moisture to the ground. Once in awhile the sun breaks through a bit and the droplets sparkle like diamonds.

Yesterday was windy and rainy too. It was the day of our annual Scottie Dog Quilts Staff Holiday Party. We always hold it in January when life is a bit slower than December. Margie wanted it at her house and since Margie is the hostess-with-the-mostest person I know, we of course said yes. She'd kept up the Christmas decorations and made a bunch of goodies for us to sample. Party was set for 5 pm. I got a call from Margie about 3:30 pm. Her power was out. What should we do? I was willing to move the party to my house or our store, but Margie said she wanted to just light a bunch of candles and go ahead. OK, by me. Liz and I picked up our dinner from the caterers (The Banana Hut!!!), stopped at three different stores trying to find the drinks we wanted and headed off to Humboldt Hill. Phone rang. all that running round we'd forgotten to pick up Katie! Back to B St. and out again to Humboldt Hill.

I want to tell you that the candlelight was wonderful! We ate, we laughed, we heard all of Liz's travel woes stories, we had a great time. Margie's hubby was there with some flashlights...we played THE gift exchange game, complete with stealing and when a gift was opened we were appreciative that Larry spotlighted each one. Perfect for viewing what we wanted to steal when it was our turn. I have friends who have a Christmas Eve tradition...only electric lights allowed on Christmas Eve are the tree lights. Otherwise it's all candles. I like it. Softer, more intimate, calmer. I think I'll try it next year.

So there you have it. Rain, power outages, parties. I'm glad Liz is home from Minnesota. Just 16 more days and I'll be back with Beka in the land of snow and ice.

PS--Margie became a grandma again on Saturday. Her Katie had a baby girl. Welcome, Emma Grace!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Here's my personal report of the January 9, 2010 earthquake in Eureka, CA.
Saturday I was staffing Scottie Dog Quilts by myself because daughter Liz is visiting her sister in the Land of Snow & Ice (Minnesota). It was "Dialysis Day." Every year we open the classroom to sewers to help make quilts for our local Dialysis Unit patients. This project is a memorial to Michele, the daughter of quilter friend, Carolyn. Michele was on dialysis for a long time and it was her wish that every dialysis patient could have a quilt to snuggle under while undergoing treatment.

The store was quite busy but I did get a top done. I closed the shop at 4 pm and was working on the computer. At 4:27 I first heard a rattle and then felt it as the wide computer monitor began to jiggle and then the big laser printer nearly jumped off the table. I pushed it back and the monitor as well as the floor was rolling and bucking, shaking back and forth. Dimly I was aware of noises in the background...After about 30 seconds (which seems like an eternity during an earthquake) it came to me...."If I'm worried about the equipment falling off the table I'd better get myself to a doorway." Duh! So I bolted to the doorway between the classroom and the sales floor. By now the power is off and I can hear car alarms going off. We have a power backup for the computer we use as a cash register and back-up emergency lights in the classroom, so I could see. Bolts of fabric all over the floor. Spools of thread all over the floor. Books, batts, fat quarter towers strewn around. An iron fell over and there was a puddle of water on the ironing board. I tried to call on my cell phone but it didn't work at all. Neither did the land line. Didn't seem to be any damage but I could hear yelling outside so I ventured out the door.

There was a lady in a pink bathrobe (and I suspected nothing else!) standing near the store's backdoor yelling to the lady across the street. We could hear sirens off in the distance and cars were parking all along the street. I saw that I couldn't help any body I returned back to the store, packed up the cash drawer, tried the cell phone again: no service. Called home on the land line and got a busy signal and then Mr. Scottie Dog called me. Everything was fine at home and I told him I'd be home soon.

Here's a picture of Eureka Natural Foods after the Quake.

I locked up and drove down the street. There were fire trucks every few blocks because power lines were down. The paper reports several traffic lights were knocked down.
At home I felt guilty...we had power...lights, TV, Internet, we could cook on our electric stove. My neighborhood was dark. 28,000 customers were out of power.
Here's a house on California St. that was knocked off it's foundation and dropped into the crawl space.
Water mains burst, gas lines were severed, many, many windows were broken both in homes and businesses. Scottie Dog Quilts had a lot of fabric bolts on the floor, a couple of Tuttos fell, spools of thread and books on the floor but God was watching because not a bit of actual damage.

Here in Old Town a building has lost bricks from it's side wall and roof.
The Mall is closed for several of the ceiling fell and floor tiles popped up (this is a problem even when we don't have earthquakes!) and the fire sprinklers went off. Monday they will allow business owners back in and the Mall will re-open sometime next week. There were a few blocks downtown that were blocked off due to unsafe buildings. Generally not as much damage as you would expect and only minor injuries. Many of
my friends lost windows and crockery, TV's, etc. I'm surprised how many. But things can be replaced...loved ones can't. My heart is warmed when I hear of neighbors comforting neighbors, friends helping out and people opening their homes to those in need. We'll be back to normal soon!