Sunday, November 30, 2008

Stocking Stuffer Idea

Here's an idea for a stocking stuffer for any film junkie.
So interesting how many films, if left to Hollywood moguls would never have been made. It shows George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola as young men starting out and the passion and guts it took to bring them to where they are today.
A fascinating documentary!
Fog City Mavericks: The Filmakers of San Francisco
DVD ~ Peter Coyote
In Stock
List Price: $19.98
Price: $7.99
You Save: $11.99 (60%)
45 used & new from $6.13

Product Description: Features interviews, commentaries and unforgettable moments from some of the most visionary movies ever created such as American Graffiti, the Star Wars film series, the Indiana Jones film series, The Godfather trilogy, Toy Story, Lost in Translation and many more! Includes all-new interviews with those who have worked with Bay Area mavericks: Steven Spielberg, Michael Douglas, Anthony Minghella, Milos Forman and Frank Darabont.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I have many unfinished projects all tucked away around my house. I think I started this quilt's see...we've been here for 4, no about 5 years, so that would mean, oh brother! I started this 7 years ago. I got it out 3 years ago and finishsed sewing the squares together but then ran out of velvet and that was the end of that. Okay, so I'll have to drive to Tucson for more velvet, but that means a side trip to Trader Joes, and that's always a good thing! I love the colors of the tapestry fabric against the soft black velvet. I'm trying to decide what kind of batting to use inside the quilt. I like the idea of a fluffy, downey sort of feel but then I think it might be hard to handle. Does that make sense? It would be easier to quilt though if I used a thinner batting. One way or another, fat or thin, I will finish this.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Worst & The Best

Wal-Mart employee dies Nov. 28: A worker at a Wal-Mart on Long Island died after being trampled by a crowd. MSNBC's Contessa Brewer reports.

NEW YORK - A Wal-Mart worker has died after being trampled by a throng of unruly shoppers shortly after the Long Island store opened Friday, police said. Unconfirmed reports said a pregnant woman also miscarried as the crowd rushed in.
Nassau County police said the 34-year-old Wal-Mart worker was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead at about 6 a.m. ET, an hour after the store opened.
A police statement said a throng of shoppers "physically broke down the doors, knocking him to the ground." The exact cause of death "will be determined by the medical examiner's office," the police stated.

So, the worst is obvious. I'm shocked. Who would keep going after seeing someone getting trampled? In all fairness, maybe they were getting shoved from behind and couldn't stop. But don't you do something?
The best is also obvious. The man that put his own life in jeopardy to try to get his coworker out of there. God bless him.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

You know, sometimes we get so wrapped up in our worries and busy-ness that we, at least I do, forget to stop and be thankful and grateful for every single day.

Ron's grandaughter drove in to town last night from Phoenix where she is working and going to school. As I was sitting there listening to her excitedly tell us all about what she's been learning and the fruition of that education in the form of dreams for her future, I was amazed at how much she's matured, but it also made me think of how so many of us get so bogged down that we lose the vision and excitement of our future.

Thank you, Jess, for reminding me what that feels like.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Total Foodies!

Mmmmm, homemade sundried tomato foccaccia! Can't you just smell it? We are total foodies! He loves to cook and I love to eat! I am probably the luckiest gal I know! He not only does 99% of the cooking but is obsessed with it. Would make me nuts to worry about the size of chopped onions but evidently it's important. He'll wake up in the middle of the night thinking of things to cook and ways to cook them. I'll gladly do his dishes!
We're trying to come up with a great side dish recipe for Thanksgiving. Found a recipe for Coleslaw with Pecans and Spicy Chile Dressing that we'll definitely try. It has napa cabbage, apples, carrots, and pecans. Yummy! I might actually make that. Hey, it could happen!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I Love This!

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, 'My son, the battle is between 'two wolves' inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

''The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.'

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, 'Which wolf wins?

'The old Cherokee simply replied, 'The one you feed.

Butternut Squash & Pear Soup

1 lb butternut squash
2 Tbs butter
1 large yam
2 med onions, sliced
2 cup vegetable broth
3 large bartlett pears
1 1/2 cup water
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 stick cinnamon
1/4 cup half & half
3/4 tsp salt
pepper to taste
Peel, seed, and dice the squash. Peel and dice the yam. Put them both in a pot with the vegetable broth, water, cinnamon stick, and salt, and simmer until tender, about 40 minutes. Discard cinnamon stick.
Melt butter and gently cook the onions in it, stirring occasionally, until it begins to caramelize. Peel, core, and thinly slice the pears, and add them to the onions. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the wine, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the pear mixture to the soup and puree everything in a blender in batches. Add the cream and some pepper, and a bit more salt only if needed. Heat the soup again just to a simmer, but do not boil. Serve plain or garnished with chopped chives or sprigs of cilantro.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

November Days

Today was one of those perfect November days. Sunny with those wispy clouds and just an edge of warmth to the breeze. Perfect. The kind of day that finds me out in the yard, walking around noticing the fall changes, plucking a few weeds, and reminding myself that life is good.
I always say that I'm a spring and summer kind of gal, but once fall is here I am always happy to be in it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Caught up

After a couple of weeks we're finally caught up on work and stuff around the house. Nice to see my little bunny friends in the mornings. Shasta still has laryngitis. I'll give her until the end of the week then it's back to the doc for her. She's had antibiotics and prednisone. Worrisome.
I've been feeling restless for a while now, like I need to be doing something, creating something, but just couldn't even think of pulling the sewing machine out of the closet because my office was such a mess. Couldn't add one more piece of anything to the rubble of getting back from vacation. Plus I've pulled both dog beds into the room since it's cold in the morning and they love to lounge around in here when I'm working.
So I cleaned the room, one piece at a time and then started going through all of the fabric in the closet. Of course I went to the fabric store and bought something that made me feel good, and following inspiration from Janice's notebook covers, went on to figure out how she did it. It's all complicated for me because I don't really know what I'm doing; mickey moused it together would be an accurate term. I had a binder that I've had for, let's see, um, yep, 35 years that I've been using for keeping track of monthly client buys that is beat up and quite ragged looking. But now,
voila. It has a pen holder, a snap closure, and to make it "me" I added a stuffed button with a ruffle around it. I like walking in to my office and seeing it laying on the table. Makes me feel good. I do still need to figure out what to do with the fabric that I have. Maybe a tapestry binder cover for winter? Yes, and I still have the French Roses quilt pattern and Soft Roses quilt top kit that I need to get to. Several years ago my Mom gave me a Santa Fe Jacket pattern for Christmas. I found some really cute material that I cut up into at least a bizillion little triangles that need to be quilted together to make the material that you cut the pattern out of. It's kind of like buying someone a 2500 piece jigsaw puzzle and saying "I know how much you love doing this sort of thing." It is really cute and I pull it out and work on it every once in a while until I can't stand doing it anymore. Hope she gets to see it completed. She'd like that.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ahhhh, the Beach

Yes, we did finally make it to the beach. I have missed that smell and feel soo much! We were so fortunate to get into Seacliff Beach through someones cancellation, originally for three days and then for an additional two days! Shasta was a beach girl while we lived there, but Wilson never knew there was a body of water any bigger than the pool; and that's only good for dropping your tennis ball into and trying to get it back out! Such a puzzle. We really thought he'd be freaked out, but he did really well. Once Shasta got down by the water she seemed to remember the good old days and you could just see the light come back in her eyes. Again we were so lucky to have warm weather while we were camped there. Almost every morning when we got up there would be a big pile of rocks every 50 feet or so that had washed up. Then by afternoon they'd all be gone again.
We were still in SC for Halloween and got to see the kids dressed up. Devon and his Dad were Ghost Busters and Delayna was a dead cheerleader. Oh, we had such a good time visiting and just being back on the coast. We did end up in a traffic JAM on 41st avenue and were reminded of why we left. Crazy! Trader Joe's was a madhouse. I had forgotten what that parking lot was like on a Saturday afternoon. Sheesh. Here's a picture of Hwy 9 going into Santa Cruz. So, so beautiful. I just needed to breathe it all in to take back with me. I remember driving to work this way sometimes early in the morning when a light fog runs through the trees and the sun streams down on it all. I also remember when a huge part of the road had fallen down the side of the cliff, but still.
Was sad to leave the ocean and our families but the doggies seemed happy to have us all to themselves on the road again. We stayed a night in Rancho Oso, a Thousand Trails campground, in Santa Barbara. Another incident where we just stopped in the road to contemplate going forward or trying to turn around to go back. A very skinny little road leads up and over a mountain to get down into the campground with many switchbacks and a width of "one" motorhome. We stopped another camper going in to ask if indeed this was Thousand Trails and he assured us that it was. God bless him, he even sent word back with someone leaving that he thought we could make it and it wasn't much further. Once down there it was gorgeous! Stables and horseback riding, covered wagons, and gobs of cabins. Talking with the woman in the little store there, she told us that after the fire near there last year they had bear coming to look for food. There's mountain lion, deer, racoons, and ground squirrels that drive Shasta insane! We would definitely go back there and spend a couple of weeks. Not sure it's worth that road for one night but, yeah, we'll go back. The next night we spent in Pio Pico, another Thousand Trails park. It's tucked away southeast of San Diego. Since it's so close to the border there are Border Patrol that seem to actually be stationed there. I like that. Shannon drove over from SD to spend the afternoon with us. She just got back from Spain a couple of days before. She went with her friends and brought home incredible pictures. That's my girl on the left. I know she was really fried what with jet lag and having been away from home for 12 days, so I really appreciate the fact that she drove out there to spend time with us.
The last leg going home, without the baby gate I might add, was very long. Shasta found her driving spot next to her Dad for the majority of the day which gave Willy the whole couch to himself.
We had a great time and can't wait to get out there and do it again. We're already planning the next trip; east we think...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Scotts Valley

I forgot to mention that every morning at the Thousand Trails in Morgan Hill we were visited by a gaggle of wild turkeys (probably 25 or so). Fun to listen to them gobble and watch them spread their tails. They look absolutely prehistoric when they run, like something out of the movie Jurassic Park. Pretty gutsy of them to be strutting around so close to "you know when." Pass the cranberry sauce, please.
Making a right turn off of Scotts Valley Dr. on to Disc Dr. was a heart stopper. We went over a little bitty bridge and saw ahead of us that there was a turn with cars on the side. We stopped in the middle of the road feeling like we had just made a horrible mistake. Can’t go on, can’t back up. The expletives spewing out of Ron’s mouth were as loud and varied as you can imagine. He got out of the rv and walked around the curve and realized that there was much more room than it looked from the bridge. After talking to the woman in the office of Santa Cruz Ranch RV Park, we found out there was a MUCH easier way to get into the park. Duh. Inside the office was a very sweet-faced, white greyhound named Petals. I thought she really liked me. I did. All her focus was on me. Looking at me with those great big brown eyes. She kept looking to the right and then back at me. “What do you want sweet girl?” The lady in the office said to me, “Don’t flatter yourself, she wants the doggie biscuits on the desk there.” But she was still cute.
Even though the park is situated alongside the freeway on one side and the busy road on the other it was pretty quiet and lots of trees, a pool, and laundry. Our first day we ran down to Santa Cruz for a quesadilla and burrito at our very favorite place, Tacos Moreno. OMG! Ssoooo good! Why can't we replicate these at home? Somehow they're just not the same. We met our neighbors in the park who were staying in SV through December from back east. From them we learned about a great book called "The Next Exit." It's a big fat book that lists the interstate highways all over the U.S. and what you can find at each exit on those highways. Food, gas, diesel marked in red, Walmarts (that you are allowed to stay in their parking lot overnight if you need to), and retail stores. A handy little book that Ron bought the very next day.
Janice and I had lunch one day and went directly into the fabric shop next door. She is the most fun person to go shopping with! Always a quick quip about one thing or another. I am just blown away at the sheer volume of trims and embellishments in the fabric stores. Was great to soak it in.
Scott celebrated his 21st birthday while we were there. Can't believe my youngest is 21!!! We went to El Palomar for lunch with Rhonda, Pat, and the kids and watched Scott drink a dirty martini! He went out later with friends who were his designated drivers and woke up the next morning, as many of us did on the day after our 21st birthdays, not feeling so great. I believe he learned not to mix drinks that night. Scotts Valley hasn't changed much and it was a comfort to be there, to remember good friends I have made there, and to spend time with my boys.

Flora & Fauna

Books I have known & loved

  • Life of Pi
  • A Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Kite Runner
  • The Way the Crow Flies
  • Fall on Your Knees
  • Poisonwood Bible
  • East of Eden
  • Shantaram
  • I Know This Much is True

Illegal Immigration