Monday, December 10, 2012

Getting ready for Christmas

This time of year usually has us decorating for Christmas.  We are expecting a houseful this year and I can hardly wait.  Daughter Beka, Son-in-law Jason and the grands: Jakob, Mercedes, Shiloh & Anastacia will all be at our house for 3 weeks.  I'm so excited.  But that means we need to make sure we have room for them to sleep, eat, play and just "hang out" in. The guest room is ready, clean sheets, vacuumed floors, etc.  Beka and Jason will sleep there.  I've been tackling the secondary guest room lately.  It has been a catch-all for a couple of years.  There were boxes of fabric (only another quilter will understand that).  Boxes of miscellaneous office supplies, boxes of books, boxes and boxes of quilting magazines.  Why have I saved them for the past 25 years?  So I've sorted and cleaned and sorted some more.  Packed up boxes for future yard sale in Spring.  Packed up boxes of sewing fabric and supplies.  Packed up boxes and boxes destined for the recycling center.  And some of the boxes are sorted and marked so that they will eventually be opened in our new Minnesota home.  Of course we don't actually HAVE a home in MN yet, but we will one of these days.

I've been packing up boxes like this.  The house has been decorated for Christmas.  Tree is up, outside lights are up, garlands and lights circle the windows.....this year when it is packed away, I'll sort through it and we'll only be keeping the really awesome things.  The Nativity Figurines my mother made me 35 years ago.  The ornaments the kids made when they were 3 and 4 and 5.  The rest will be put in boxes for that yard sale.  I can buy new lights and garlands and a wreath in Minnesota.  This Christmas is a time for firsts: First time most of the Grands have been here for Christmas.  First time for Christmas dinner at Grandma's. And also the last Christmas in California.  Last New Year's....the countdown has begun.  And at 60 (nearly 61) I am ready for a new adventure moving across the country.

 But look at the's already a lot of work!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Crab, anyone?

Last week I saw a couple of different friends on FaceBook post pictures of crabs they were going to be feasting on.  It's not yet Crab Season here in Eureka on Humboldt Bay in Northern CA.  I drooled at the thought of fresh Dungeness Crab.  Sweet, succulent, delicious crab.  Usually the season around here begins on Dec. 1, but I read somewhere that the crabs aren't quite ready and the season won't start until around Dec. 16.  Traditionally at the Scott Household we eat crab for Christmas Eve dinner.  Mr. Scottie Dog lets the kids who might be around play with the crabs a bit with a wooden spoon (the crabs grab the spoon, the child lifts it up a foot or two, screams and puts the crab down....over and over again).  Then he puts them into a big pot of boiling salted water (and a few secret ingredients) and cooks them up.  We chill them and put them on the table with salad makings, sourdough bread and a nice white wine for the grown-ups.

I commented on one friend's FB post about how much I liked crab and today I got a phone call from Karen.  She was coming from her Father-in-law's house up North and had crab for me!  Really?  Well, Karen, bless her heart, brought us four lovely crabs...cooked and on ice.  I'm certainly thankful for Karen and the crabs today!  Crab salad tonight, crab sandwiches tomorrow!

Karen's Father-in-law puts out crab pots and catches a few each day. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

And I thought I hadn't Accomplished Much!

Here it is Monday and I'm feeling "fuzzy."  What does that mean?  On Friday I noticed my nose was "sort of running."  Not really a runny nose, but every once in awhile.....  Sydney stayed home from school with a cough and since Mom was working at Redwood Sewing Center she came over to Grandma's.  We fixed lunch together, she watched Disney's Beauty and the Beast and Alladin and played with Legos.  Not a ton of stuff going on.  I sewed a bit.  Mr. Scottie Dog and I went out to dinner. Saturday I sewed a bit more.  But by Saturday night I felt a real cold coming on.  A fitful night and by Sunday  morning Mr. Scottie Dog went off the church without me.  The day passed in a blur....a cold medicine fuzzy day.

I came to work and thought I had accomplished absolutely nothing for the whole weekend.  Here's a few shots of my Farmer's Wife blocks I made this weekend.  I didn't realize just how much I did get done this weekend....remember these are 6" blocks!
Wed. update:   Only one more to do.....and I got it done on Tuesday.  I'm all ready for my classes in December. 

Today our store was closed for Thanksgiving holidays.  We'll have a HUGE Black Friday & Small Business Saturday sale.  Liz and I spent all day and well into the night (I got home after 10 pm) getting ready, setting up, cleaning up the store and finding more and more misc. from the back room to put on the sale tables.  We'll probably go back some time tomorrow and even though the sale starts at 10 am on Friday I am sure the two of us will be their super early.  Oh, the life of a Small Business Owner.  Happy Thanksgiving to all!  I'm thankful for YOU!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Phalange...that's what I'm talking about!

On Friday morning I was walking down the hallway to get to my computer.  OWWWWWWWWWWWW! Ow, ow, OWWWW! I had jammed my toe, my little toe!  Ouch, it hurt. It REALLY HURT.  I didn't say any bad words, but it was all I could do not to cry.  I know, I know....if I had been wearing shoes it wouldn't have happened.  But I'm 60 years old.  If I still don't wear shoes in the house, I'm not going to start!

Right away it looked like this.

Actually I got all pictures from the Internet.  MY toes aren't hairy, but my little toe was bright red and throbbed.
Now on Monday it looks like this.

Again, not my hairy toes, but the bruising looks like this now.  Bill checked it out and said it's not broken.  Well, maybe.  I'm not so sure.  It hurts more to wear a shoe so I've got some soft sided ones on here at work.  But I limp which aggravates my funky arthritic knee (the opposite leg) so I'm a gimpy old lady.  I know it will get better, I just need to give it time.
So here's a diagram of the bones of the feet....those little toe bones are called Phalanges (so are finger bones).  How small can those of the little toe be?  Pretty tiny and hard to imagine them in two pieces. 

My foot throbs some so I put it up when I'm at home.  But it gets better every day.  Amazing how God designed our bodies to heal. Anyway, phalanges, that's what I'm talking about today.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Hulu (not a commercial)

  I don't watch much TV.  Actually I only watch one show with any degree of regularity on TV and that is Monday night Mr. Scottie Dog and I watch Antiques Road Show on PBS together.  Other than that, I don't watch the television unless we've rented a movie.  Sounds quite sanctimonious, right?

Wrong!  Mr. Scottie Dog and I don't really like the same shows.  He likes news shows, build-it shows, airplane shows.  I like personal drama, biographies, shows about people.  He likes shows about things.
So I leave him to the TV and I go to my big screen computer and watch TV via Hulu.  Do you Hulu?  Do you know what Hulu is?
 I really like Hulu.  Most of my favorite shows are there.  Free. Whenever I want.  I also go to and watch a few shows there. One advantage to watching TV on the computer is that there are fewer ads.  And I can switch to FB during the commercials if I want. My computer is set up right by my sewing machine.  This means I can watch any show I choose and sew to my heart's content.  And I do!

Today the computer had a hiccup and it shut itself down.  After turning back on I had to sign into all my "special places" again.  Facebook, AOL, Blogger & Hulu.  It had been so long that when I logged in and the space for "password" came up, I paused.  Hmmm.  What WAS my Hulu password?  First I tried ******, no.  Then I tried *********, no.  I tried **********, ******* and even ************** which I hadn't used in years. No, no, no.....all of them were invalid.  So I clicked the box saying I had forgotten my password.  Forgetting is a touchy word.  Now that I'm 60, every time I pause to find a word, remember where my keys are, try to say a name, I am sure that senior dementia is setting in.

It takes about 5 minutes for the email from Hulu to get to your inbox.  Finally it came and I opened the message.  They don't tell you the old password, you have to set a new one.  OK, I started to type a password and all of a sudden I remembered the old one. Of Course!  So I typed it in, retyped it in the next box and hit enter.  WRONG!  You can't use the original one again.  What's up with that? So I reset it with *********.  Hope I remember next time I have to use it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

VooDoo Doughnuts

 On the way home from our Alaskan Quilting Cruise we stopped in downtown Portland, OR for some VooDoo Doughnuts.  This is place is quite famous for all manner of oddly flavored, somewhat risque and innovative doughnuts.
 It's an experience!  Here's a partial look inside our box (we'd already eaten some).  There is one with fruit loops (Loopy), Oreo cookies & peanut butter (Dirt), one with rainbow jello powder, and the one I chose, Bacon Maple Bar.

 Here's a close-up.  I'm not a huge fan of doughnuts.  I don't go out of my way to stop at doughnut shops, and I think my favorites are French Crullers...they are light and airy.  If I'm out and there is a plate of doughnuts, I'll probably have one...or half of one.  I've eaten my share of maple bars before.  This maple bar was fresh, light and the icing was properly maple flavored.  The bacon strips were quite thick.  They tasted like bacon.  I like bacon but also, I don't go out of my way to eat it.  I've probably bought 5 lbs. of bacon in my 40 years of marriage.  Mr. Scottie Dog isn't a bacon kind of guy.
 I'm sure if you are a doughnut-loving, bacon-loving person you would LOVE this doughnut.  I have to admit for this ho-hum doughnut & ho-hum bacon eating person it was good (with a lower case g).  The experience to me was much more fun than the doughnut.  BUT the doughnut-loving people I was with LOVED it.  And I loved being with my peeps. If you want an experience...don't miss VooDoo Doughnuts in Portland, OR.

Monday, October 22, 2012

How about a Caribbean Cruise?

 Scottie Dog Quilts has booked our next Quilting Cruise!  This time we will be going to the Caribbean!  I've never been and am really excited. We'll be sailing on Norwegian Cruise Lines' Epic.  And what a ship it is!  Fun for the whole family!  Did you know that cruises are the best vacations for families and multi-generational family groups.  You can bring the whole family along: you get a Quilting Retreat and they are happy too.
  •  January 18-25, 2014
  •  7 Days, Roundtrip, departing Miami and visiting Philipsburg, St. Marrten, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas.
  • Inside Stateroom   $759* per person
  • Balcony                  $959* per person
  • Single Studio         $1079** per person
  • Mini Suite             $1,109* per person
*price is based on double occupancy and includes all port charges, NCCF fees, government fees, taxes and group classes, functions and activities.  Air fare and travel insurance additional.  **Single studio rate is based on single occupancy.

The rates are amazing and if you book before October 31, 2012 your fully refundable deposit is only $125 per person (half of the regular deposit rate) AND you'll get special shipboard credits! Click HERE for more information on the ship.

You can take a historical tour, snorkel, para-glide, go fishing, climb a mountain, lay on the beach and more while in port.

 The entertainment on the ship is spectacular! Blue Man group is just one of the fabulous entertainment groups you'll see.  Pop Legends Concert and so much more.

It's going to be so much fun....Don't forget the special...only $125 will hold your spot and it's fully refundable.  After October 31 it will double.

Contact our awesome travel agent, MJ Bryant at AK2TRVL Vacations  (888)278-7875

I hope you will come....bring your quilting girlfriend or your husband or your sister or what about bringing the whole family including grandchildren!!!  The Caribbean will be mighty nice in January.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Dancing With The Stars

Dancing With The Stars is the name of our newest pattern.  It was the Mystery Quilt at our retreat last week.  Here's a shot.
 In trying to describe the Accent/Inner Border fabric to our retreaters without giving away the pattern, Liz told several people that the Accent/Inner Border "dances" throughout and around the blocks, touching the background.  We looked at each other and knew what we would name this quilt pattern.  It is a very simple pattern that looks complex.  Nearly everyone making the throw size finished their top and those making the Queen were close too.  The pattern is now available.

Linda's version...I like what she did with the stripes in the corners.

Here's Judy ironing a block by the "Little Shop" corner.

Lindsay used batiks.....

We decided to hang our quilts from the the historic flavor of the Eureka Inn Lobby.

Another balcony shot.

Connie's version featured a bird print.

My childhood friend Maralee came.  Here we are: Me, Sydney & Maralee.

Donna's was stunning!  Black background really set off her "bling" fabrics.

Everyone gets a large table area to sew....but of course, as quilters we tend to fill up every single inch of it!

Retreats are so much fun!  Our next retreat will be held at The Historic Eureka Inn , March 8-10, 2013. As sign-ups have already started you might want to reserve your spot.  We expect this retreat to fill.  We will be sewing in the front ballroom.
You can email or call the store (707) 444-9962 to reserve your spot.

Tomorrow I'll tell you all about our Caribbean Cruise January, 2014.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


It's been a while since I last wrote here on my blog.  I have been quite busy with all manner of activities that are certainly Blog-worthy events.  I've taken lots of photos that would normally land on my blog pages.  Lots of excitement here with Scottie Dog Quilts being chosen as a Better Homes & Garden's Top Ten Shop in Quilt Sampler magazine. Our store has been amazingly busy...keeps getting busier each week.  But I haven't blogged.   Lots of Grammy activities, and still I haven't blogged.  I've had something on my mind and I couldn't seem to blog until I was able to make it public.

This weekend was the Fall Retreat for Scottie Dog Quilts.  We've been holding retreats 2 or 3 times a year since 2001.  We had a wonderful group of women come (although not all are pictured here).  One, Suzanne, has come to every retreat we've ever had and for another (Maralee) it was her first time.  Maralee came from Redlands, CA and she is the closest thing to a sister that I have.  It was a pleasure to have her (and everyone else too!) at our retreat.

This is a great shot from the balcony overlooking the Grand Lobby of the Historic Eureka Inn where we hold our retreats. We shared some news with our retreaters that we've been keeping to ourselves for a little while.

 Liz, husband Steve & granddaughter Sydney and Mr. Scottie Dog & I will be moving to Minnesota next year.  It is not a decision we made lightly and not without much discussion, prayer and information.  We have felt pulled in two directions and our hearts torn apart having half of the family in Minnesota and half of it here in CA.  We will be selling our store, Redwood Sewing Center.  I suppose it seems like a silly thing to do when the business is doing so well, has just been recognized as a Top Ten Shop and all.  But we are going to do it.  Don't think that we will be disappearing right away or that the shop is closing.....we are starting a new Block of the Month!  Until the shop is sold next year it will be business as usual for Liz and I.  We will continue to give it our best and we just ordered a bunch of new new fabrics.  We know we'll find someone to continue Redwood Sewing Center...making it better than ever!  I know the perfect person is out there and they will continue on.

We are heartbroken thinking about leaving all the wonderful friends we've met through the years but we know we will continue to see many of you in the future.  We plan to continue holding Quilting Retreats and Cruises.  Our next Eureka, CA retreat will be at the Historic Eureka Inn March 8-10, 2013 and we are already taking sign-ups.  Any day now we'll be posting the dates for our Feb. or March 2014 Caribbean Cruise.  We will be  holding a Eureka retreat each year and have some other ideas for future retreats in the Midwest as well.

Next year will be a time of a new beginning for our family; kind of daunting to start a new adventure at 60, but I know that having our family all together will be great.  I will miss my friends in CA, the big trees, CA coast and mountains but hope to visit often.  And perhaps the best news is that we plan to have a guest suite in our new home and hope you will all come to visit.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

"All my bags are packed...."

 "All my bags are packed,
I'm ready to go....." NOT!!!!!

It's midnight or actually the wee hours of Thursday morning and I am NOT packed.  Not even close.  At 5:45 am Friday morning I will drive away from the house in Eureka and on to Seattle (hoping to miss rush hour traffic in Portland, OR).  According to Google maps it will take 10 hours and 56 minutes.  Since I will be traveling with three others (and one is a seven year old) I expect it will take a tad longer.  I guess I should get to it soon!

Saturday  we will be sailing on the Norwegian Jewel up the Alaskan Inside Passage with a passel of quilters (or is that a "gaggle" of quilters???).  Our store, Scottie Dog Quilts/Redwood Sewing Center sponsors quilting cruises.  Sound fun?  It certainly is!  Who comes on a quilting cruise?  If you said "Quilters," you would only be half right.  We are joined by quilter's husbands, mothers, daughters, children, grandparents and grandchildren.  We are joined by friends and friends of friends.  You see, joining a group is a great way to get a discounted price on a cruise.

What do you do on a quilting cruise? "Quilt," you say?  Again, only partially can swim in a pool, go down the water slide, play a game of chance in the casino, see a show, or join a sing-a-long.  You can read a book, jog around the deck, play basketball or tennis.  You might even play miniature golf!  You can climb a rock wall, see a movie, get a massage or facial, eat sumptuous meals (even pizza and ice cream at midnight).  You can stay up late and sleep in.  You can go shopping right on the ship!  You don't spend all your time quilting (well, I guess you could if you wanted!) so if you bring your family there are plenty of things to keep them happy as a clam while you get to do what you want to do (and you KNOW you want to quilt!).

On ship you can also see a glacier, hear a naturalist talk about the wild life of Alaska and eat some sushi. On this ship there are fancy restaurants as well as the formal dining room and the buffets.  There's a chocolate buffet at midnight.  Remember to take the stairs and avoid the elevators to help work off the lobsters you ate for dinner last night.  How about breakfast in bed?

We now come to the fact that when you cruise to Alaska you have wonderful stops in several ports!  This trip we are going to Skagway, Ketchikan and Juneau.  It will be so much fun!  The last day we'll be in Victoria, British Columbia.  Sydney told me she still had her pearls and hoped we could go to tea at the Empress Hotel...I've packed my pearls and a hat so we'll be sure to do that.  Now to get the rest of my things in the suitcase............

Our next cruise will be to the Caribbean...want to come?????

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Forty years goes by in a flash!

Forty years ago I was a silly 20 year old and Mr. Scottie Dog was just 23.  We were young, full of ideals and in love.  So much has happened in our lives in 40 years and yet it has gone by in a flash!  We had lots of love back then (still do!) but very little money.  Our honeymoon consisted of driving from Southern CA to Northern CA.  Just two and a half days of on the road.

We've been many places in the world since and wanted to take a fun trip to commemorate our 40th anniversary.  This year we only had a small window of time so Mr. Scottie Dog set out to plan a special trip for us.  Both of us had been to Yosemite as kids and once we had driven through the park when our girls were small.

If you aren't from California you might not realize how big a state it is.  We drove all day Friday and spent the night in Merced, a town two hours away from Yosemite National Park.  Next morning after breakfast it was off to Yosemite.  This is a popular place.  We waited in a line of cars, buses and motor homes for 45 minutes just to get to the entrance gate.  Sheer granite cliffs were peeking through the trees as we wound up the Merced River Valley.  After we drove into the park we turned South towards Wawona and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequioa trees.  An hour later after climbing to 6,000' and then down to 4,000' elevation we arrive at our lodging...The Wawona Hotel.
The Wawona Hotel was built in 1879 and is certainly a Grand Old Lady.  This building is the third or fourth on the site.  It houses the lobby, dining room, kitchens, and music room downstairs.  A beautiful and wide veranda winds on three sides.  Upstairs are 25 rooms, a couple of suites, shower rooms and shared bathrooms. This is where we thought we were staying.  I certainly thought the charm of staying here was worth the "excuse me, I've got to go to the toilet" down the hall.
Imagine our delight upon being shown to the "Clark Cottage" a few steps from the main hotel.  This is our delightful Victorian corner suite. And it had it's own private bathroom! Two adirondack chairs on our porch were put to good use.  Clark Cottage is the oldest building in the 6 building complex, built in 1876.

Comfy bed (that's the side veranda of the main hotel through the window).

 A little desk, our chairs just outside the windows.  No phones, no TV....we sat and enjoyed the evenings.  One night a large and extended family posed for photos on the lawn outside.  Turns out it was a family from Redlands and surrounding area (where I grew up in So. CA) celebrating mom and dad's 50th anniversary!

Even the bathroom floor seemed made for us....Grandma's Flower Garden Hex Quilt Pattern!

 We took some hikes.  This one was to Yosemite Lower Falls.  The Falls seemed to disappoint many of the hikers...just a trickle of water this year (and Upper Falls was just a damp smear on the rocks).  After all this is a huge drought year.  I still found it beautiful.  In the park we heard so many languages being spoken: German, Spanish, French, Korean, Japanese and more.  At breakfast at the table next to me two young men were speaking French.  Later we observed them speaking an Asian language;  Vietnamese? Cambodian?

We stopped and an Australian couple took our photo with Half Dome barely visible through the trees.

 Another hike with the Fallen Giant in the background this time.  That is the root system of a tree that was on the ground over 150 years ago....looks pretty much the same since it takes redwoods so long to decompose.  This is where the "FAT" Giant Sequoia trees grow.   They like the elevation and the heat in the summer (and they get snow in the winter).  Where we live on the Northern CA coast is where the "TALL" Redwood trees grow.  They are still huge trees, just not quite as "fat" as these.  We found out that BOTH trees are the California State Tree(s).

Up at Glacier Point we could pose again with Half Dome.  We could also look awaaaaay down and see the Ahwahnee Hotel on the valley floor.

Here's a photo I took earlier in the day at the Ahwahnee.  Little did I know that I'd be up there on the top of Glacier Point later in the day.  This photo was taken with my back to the pool which was so clearly seen from up above.

We had the Grand Sunday Brunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel on our Anniversary.  Oh, my!  Every imaginable lovely breakfast item...Mr. Scottie Dog raved about the Eggs Benedict but I must confess I chose more luncheon-type items from the salads, cheese tray...the prawns served in an ice sculpture, poached salmon, some cheese tortaellini, mussels, pesto chicken and more.
 Finally came dessert....I wish we could say we tasted it all, but we just couldn't.  It was all so decadent and delicious.  A meal to remember and the views were spectacular.  The Ahwahnee Hotel was built in 1927 and is impressive and imposing.  It was fun to explore, but I was glad to go back to my more private Victorian Cottage at the Wawona  at the end of the day.

Here's one last photo of one of the giants we saw.  It was a nice and relaxing trip.  We'll remember it fondly.  Drove on to spend another night in Sacramento, swim a little and today drove back home.  It's true what they say, "East, West, Home's Best."