Sunday, November 27, 2005

Home, at last!


We're back home and we had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my dear Mother and family. It was nice to be with my brother and his wife and kids. Of course, his kids are all grown and so is my "only one" -- that makes it fun! Last night we went to a pub in Sacramento and had fish and chips and we talked the night away. We plan on going back up in a few weeks for Christmas, so it will be a busy month for me. I already plan on getting all the Christmas decorations out of storage (garage and other places) and start decorating next weekend. I still need to see what I have, what I think I should buy, and what I should throw out! It will be fun for the next couple of weeks. I'm getting anxious and we're still in November. That's not like me! Plus I bought another decorating book, can't wait until I do a few home improvements! Oh, in my haste in packing, I never did bring my stitching to do on our trip -- so that will be a must for the month of December. Although, I'm considering on joining tie one on and making an apron. I already have the fabric and I've been wanting to make something fun with it. (above photo is of my Mom's front porch -- looks cozy as it is inside.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I did it!

Yes, I finally managed to settle in and cross-stitch! I finished the little blue bird ornament I was working on a few months ago. Well, I'm not exactly finished, I still need to complete it as an ornament. So tomorrow I will dig in my stash and see what kind of fabric I have and what will go with it, hopefully something nice. I will try to scan it later. Today I continued with organizing the office. It feels so good, maybe that was why I decided to stitch as I watched tv. On our trip to Sacramento I will be bringing my sampler to work on. I might also bring one of the Bent Creek Snappers to do. I will need to put the items together, though.

My dd came home today, but we didn't make it to the movies today. We'll be going tomorrow. I have laundry and packing to do tomorrow, but it will be fun to go out for a few hours. Besides I've been inside all day and I'm getting a little stir crazy.

Next week at work our theme is "quilts". I'm excited about this theme, because it's something I can relate to and fun to inspire the children on quilting. We have some story books about quilting and I have some activity books on quilting, as well. I'm sure with this theme we can springboard on to other fun projects.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Become a handbag designer

Making Handbags: Retro, Chic, Luxurious

I bought this book last year. I love handbags, especially ones that you can make. I have made a few simple tote bags in the past, but not from this book. Well, not yet. "Making Handbags" gives you the basics about making tote bags, clutch bags, drawstring bags, and beach bags. At the back of the book there are basic master patterns that you can use as a start to create your favorite handbag. There are beautiful photographs in the "gallery of designs", handbags made by students. The bags are beautiful works of art! You will find inspiration here if you love handbags.



Mission Organization

Whew, I spent most of my day in the office paying bills and organizing our files and then running errands. Actually, I'm re-doing these files and slowly getting rid of piles of paper. I don't know where it comes from, but I seem to not be able to get rid of it. It's starting to make me a little anxious and I put off dealing with it. Once I get this under control, among other things, then I think I can relax and do stitching or pull out the sewing machine and sew something fun. Right now, I'm just too overwhelmed and the thought of sitting down and sewing doesn't feel right. Plus with Christmas right around the corner, I need to get my act together. Actually, yesterday morning I was going to sit and stitch for an hour since I got up so early. Instead I ended up cleaning the kitchen windows and screens! Then clean my corner of the garage!

You know in my haste in going to Long Beach yesterday, I forgot to bring the pumpkin breads for my Aunt and dd! Arggh!

Tomorrow will be somewhat of a relaxing day. My dd will be coming home for the week. We plan on going to the movies to see "Goodnight and Good Luck". She wants to see it for extra credit for one of her journalism classes. Later tomorrow, we need to start packing and getting ready for our trip to Sacramento. It will be a long drive. Ugh, I never get use to it.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

What a beautiful day!

It was such a nice day, I didn't mind the drive to LA. The traffic was good. I got to Long Beach in just over an hour, that is very good! Anyway, my dd and I went to lunch at Panda Express. It's nice that there is a shopping center near her apartment, there are plenty of places to eat. I like the fact that she lives next door to the Police Station. I want her to be safe, even though she is 20 and she probably can handle herself.

After lunch we went to my Aunt's house and chatted with her for a little bit. Her and my Mom crack me up! They are sisters. My Aunt had two 1 gallon bags of Laguna Beach sand. I'm supposed to cart this off to Sacramento this week. Okay, my dh will get a kick out of that. She also gave me a hanging basket to give to my Mom, too. We left my Aunt's house and I took my dd back to her apartment and then I drove up to my cousin C's house. She lives in San Pedro which is about another 20 minutes away towards the coast. I didn't mind the drive because it gave me a chance to drive through Belmont Shore and Long Beach on Ocean Blvd. The view was awesome, it was sunny and warm, people were out and about, and I just soaked it all in. It was clear and you could see Catalina Island, it really was a treat. I wished I had my camera. I took a picture with my camera phone but it turned out lousy.

Anyway, I didn't stay long. My cousin and I had a heart to heart conversation -- we are always so concerned about our parents now that they are getting on in age. Our uncle is on dyalisis (sp) and I asked how he was doing, she sees him often and makes sure that he is getting the things that he needs and able to keep his appointments. He is one of my Mom's younger brothers -- there are nine siblings and all are still living, except for one, in or near San Pedro. I like to visit them and see how they are doing. I love my cousin, we are very close, I don't have a sister and maybe that's why I feel so close to her. I can talk to her about anything, and if I don't, she will manage to get it out of me. She has two sisters and I'm close to them also, but not as much as I am with her.

Can you believe it was close to 90 degrees here today? It doesn't seem like Thanksgiving is just a few days away!

You know, I have more to write about, but now my writing is starting to get jumbled up. I will write again tomorrow and maybe make some kind of sense of it all. I had a pretty busy day, I've been up since 5am and now it's starting to show. Good nite!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

My vacation begins

My vacation has begun and I don't know where to start, do, . . . what? I spent the day just doing a little of this and that. I have alot of shredding that just seems to pile up. I was able to do some of that. I met my cousin this morning at Weight Watchers. Uh, I didn't lose much, but at least I didn't gain!



The rest of the day just sort of flew by. I planned at first to take a drive up to Long Beach this morning to see my dd, but I felt like staying home today and I can drive up tomorrow or Monday. So I'm playing it by ear for now. I felt bad, because my Aunt called me, she was waiting for me . . . with two bags of sand! (she knew I was suppose to be going up there) Ooops, I forgot, my Mom had told her that she wanted some Southern California sand for some kind of project she was working on. I think it was for her garden or something. Okay, I'll be up tomorrow. I've got Avon goodies for my dear Aunt, too. She'll love that!

Anyway, that's pretty much my day in a nutshell. I don't know where it went, I did a little cleaning and organizing in my little corner of the garage. I mean, that's it. The day just flew by. Hopefully, I'll have something exciting to write about tomorrow, my trips to the LA area are always fun, I should write about them.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Change is good

I thought the last template was a little too dark and I needed a new look. This seems to be a better background for this tiny print. I would like the font to be a little larger, but I don't have the patience to figure it out. I'm sure I can fix through the template, but I'm going to leave it alone for now.

Well, I'm glad it's Friday, unfortunately I'm on my lunch break and I still have to go back to work. It looks like it's going to be a very warm day, the "Santa Ana's" have kicked in, it's been pretty dry for the past couple of days. I haven't checked the weather, but I hope the weekend will be like today.

Have a great Friday and I'm looking forward to my week of relaxation!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Kitchen re-do thoughts

I came across this old magazine a few weeks ago. My mom had bought it for me last year while visiting one of her favorite antique shops. She knows I like anything retro, as in 50's, 60's, and even some 70's. I just like looking at the lifestyle and decor back then, pretty funny. I even have quite a collection of dishes and kitchenware from the 60's, which are packed up for now. Anyway back to the magazine - Building Products Guide's Kitchens and Baths, 1966 . While most of the pictures are in black in white, some of the ads are in color. Okay, so I'm having a little fun here.

Doris Day in her stylish kitchen in Malibu.

Formica's idea of a trendy, sunken and "elegant" kitchen. Yeah, I could see me entertaining guests in this kitchen and dining area!

Ah, the beginning of a modern kitchen - intercom, electrical self-cleaning oven, cool lamps in the dining room. What more could you want?

Ack! Is that my oven, but in copper? And what the heck is a "MicroRay"?
Ha-ha, this magazine is a hoot!

Yay, it almost the weekend!

and my work day is over, but I really need to get busy and clean this house. I have dinner in the crockpot, even though it's soup and it's pretty warm outside. I've been in a "soup mood" lately. I think I've made soup at least once a week for the past month. That's alot of soup for two people, too. I think I will blog a little, before I begin my dreaded chores. Tomorrow I won't have that luxury, I will have to also work the afternoon shift.

Anyway, yesterday was a little hectic. It was my Avon delivery day and I wanted to get the items bagged, invoiced and out of the way. I made one delivery last night, which was next door to my cousin. So I chatted with her for a little while. She's such good fun, we laughed and joked on how long it's taking us to lose a couple of pounds. We both are going to Weight Watcher meetings in hopes to look great at her sons wedding next year. The wedding has been postponed until March, so that gives us plenty of time!

Oh, and the good news is that I took next week off - Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Woohoo, I don't know how I managed that, but my manager approved it. We will be spending Thanksgiving in Sacramento, as we do every year. We plan on leaving Wednesday, though, dh has to teach classes next week. Actually, it may be real early Thursday morning, but we should arrive at Mom's house by noon (we hope). Plus dd has classes on Monday and Tuesday, I don't understand that. I thought the college would be closed next week. Anyway, I usually take alot of pictures when I'm up there, so don't be surprised if I bore you all with family photos and food. I don't know why, but I like to take pictures of the food my mom cooks. One of these days I'll make a family cookbook, scrapbook style. That would be so nice to give to my dd and neices (nephews, too).

I rambled enough, I need to get off this computer, and get this place cleaned and organized. Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

No, it's not burnt

I was looking at the photo of the pumpkin bread and it looks a little dark, maybe a little too dark. Well, the story is that my ovens are thrashed. It's been over a year that they quit working and instead of buying a new stove/oven, we plan on remodeling the kitchen all together. Well, . . . . I don't know when that is going to be (hopefully next year?), so I have been using a toaster oven whenever I have that urge to bake. It seems to work out okay, I have to watch the time, temperature, and use smaller sized pans. Also, using the toaster oven keeps me from getting carried away, because I love to bake. (sigh) We have a lot of work ahead of us when we remodel. New windows, cabinets, countertops, sliding glass door, floors, etc. So it's something that we have on our minds, but knowing that it's going to cost us a small fortune we just aren't ready. I wish dd was able to get a scholarship. (sigh)

I'm full of sighs today, have a great day or what's left of it.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread


with chocolate chips, and here's the recipe from verybestbaking.com.
I'll be giving this bread to my Aunt when I see her on Saturday. I'm sure she will be pleased, since she doesn't bake. It goes in the freezer for now.

Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread

3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup LIBBY'S 100% Pure Pumpkin
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter (we recommend Land O Lakes®) (1 stick) softened
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease 9x5-inch loaf pan.

COMBINE flour, pumpkin, brown sugar, butter, eggs, spice, baking soda, salt and baking powder in large mixer bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often for 1 to 2 minutes until well mixed. Spoon batter into prepared pan.

BAKE for 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool completely.

*Substitute 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/4 teaspoon each ground nutmeg and ground cloves for pumpkin pie spice.

VARIATIONS:
Banana Bread: Prepare quick bread as directed above, substituting 3/4 cup sugar for brown sugar and 1 cup mashed bananas for pumpkin; omit pumpkin pie spice.

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread: Prepare quick bread as directed above. Stir 3/4 cup NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Morsels and 1 cup mashed banana into batter.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread: Prepare quick bread as directed above. Stir in 3/4 cup NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Morsels into batter.

TIP: Wrap bread in plastic food wrap or aluminum foil. Refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months.

My child's turkey

Just having fun with my camera . . .


This is a craft project my dd did a long time ago, and I put it up every year during the holidays. She has made alot of things through her childhood, I think I will start taking pictures of each of them to be remembered. I've noticed that some of her artworks are fading, falling apart, or just getting dusty. I have a watercolor picture that she painted and I framed and hung in our bedroom. I love it, but I think I should take it out of the frame and put it some kind of acid-free album so it doesn't go yellow. As a child she was a artsy-craftsy sort, now that she is an adult I feel she is the same way, although she doesn't do crafts, except for knitting. She is a writer now, and I believe that takes a creative person as well.

Feeling a little better

Wow, I can't believe it's been almost 2 weeks since I last posted. I have been sick for almost that long and now dh has come down with a cold, as well. I just haven't had the energy to post or even go online. I've spent most of my time either at work (yes, still had to work) or laying on the couch watching tv or napping. Of course, life goes on and I had my usual errands and grocery shopping and fixing dinner, etc. to do. I some how managed to go forward. I made us chicken soup last night. Hopefully, this hoarse voice and nasty cough will go away soon, it seems like I'm fine in the morning, but as soon as evening rolls around I get these coughing attacks. I haven't had a good nights sleep in days, or should I say "we" haven't had a good nights sleep in days.

Anyway, this weekend I have been in a baking mood, made a few pumpkin chocolate chip breads and stored them in the freezer. Made one for dd last weekend so she could take back to her apartment. I've been going through my recipes and pulling out some favorites to bake and then give to family members when I go visiting next week. It's so much fun to bake, but I really don't plan on eating any these. Right now my hunger cravings have gone down the tubes. I can't understand why I only lost 1.6 lbs. last week, oh well.

Okay, I'm off to visit a few blogs and then get on with my day.

Halloween treat bags

Good morning! A quick craft share with mini treat bags. Very simple to put together, I'm looking forward to making these because I love...