Monday, December 31, 2007

190 Miles

So far. But who is counting? Robert is. I started a walking program on February 2, 2007.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Over the River, Over the Hills to Meet the Cousins

We met at Judy’s in Walnut Creek and then drove over to Lafayette to Chow Market for a holiday lunch today.

I just love meeting with our family. Virginia and Butch (Robert's brother) drove down from Grass Valley to go to SF MOMA yesterday. They stayed overnight with Jess and Sylvia. Today, Butch invited us all to lunch.


Sylvia, Judy, Virginia


Butch and Virginia were recently written up in the Los Angeles Times. (Three page article) They are embarking on a senior co-housing project called Wolf Creek Lodge. The Times said, “The complex is designed for adults, and there are no child-friendly amenities, although grandchildren are welcome … So far, the denizens of Wolf Creek Lodge are decidedly 21st century seniors. The common areas of their new home will include an espresso bar, a hot tub and a computer room.”

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Monday, December 24, 2007

A Merry Little Christmas

That’s what we plan to have. I hope all your wishes come true.

Our little tree is spending its second Christmas inside. During the rest of the year it sits outside on the back porch where we have our morning beverage (coffee for Robert and green tea for me). Because it is a daily companion we remembered to water it frequently this year. Other live trees in the past have suffered neglect and died.

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Story of a Little Cookbook

Remember those apples from Russell yesterday? Robert made an Apple Crisp with some of them. The recipe he used came from The Montclair Women’s Club Cook Book. The little pamphlet cookbook has a history in our family. My father had a printing plant in Oakland, California when I was growing up. He printed The Montclair Women’s Club Cook Book in 1949. My mother was not a member of the women’s club. She had several copies and she gave me one when I got married. We used the cookbook when we lived in Santa Rosa. We liked the Brownie Pudding recipe by Mrs. Neil Hopping and our boys loved it. (The cookbook was printed back in the days when women did not have their own first names.) The brownie pudding page (37) had cocoa spots on it. We always referred to the booklet by its full name: Montclair Women’s Club Cook Book.
Somehow we lost track of the little book when we moved to the Island in 1979. We missed it.

Robert’s mother died in 1991. When we were sorting through her cookbooks and recipes we found a copy of The Montclair Women’s Club Cook Book. We were so pleased. Robert’s mother had not been a member of the Montclair Women’s Club so we presume she bought it used.

click picture to enlarge recipe

When Russell gave us the apples, Robert naturally turned to page 43 and found the apple crisp recipe by Mrs. Leroy Cameron. He noted that the baking temperature should be higher (at least for our oven).

Thanks Mrs. Cameron, wherever you are.

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Flashback Friday – Good Friend

I found this basket of apples on our landing. It was from my old friend Russell.
Russell and I worked together at the Levee District for 12 years. We were such a good team.
Russell was the Levee Superintendent and he knew every inch of the levee. He monitored it constantly. The whole island should be grateful for his work keeping it strong and building it up.

Most of my work was in the office, but we had some adventures together over the years. I remember levee patrols on dark and stormy nights. Scary.

One day we did a levee patrol by helicopter. The Sheriff’s Department was trying out their new air craft.
We went along for the ride.

It was so interesting to see our island from the sky.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

We’re Going to be Moving ….

… a few things into our new Tuff Shed. This will be a big help for cleaning out my sewing/office space. People commenting about my CONTEST have told me repeatedly that I have to get rid of some of my stuff. Alright, alright, I admit that a table saw does not really belong in either the office part or the sewing part.

The shed was installed this morning and it is our Christmas present to ourselves.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Peculiar Meeting with a Quilter

It was a dark and rainy day yesterday. I met someone that I’ve only known from reading her blog. She happened to be visiting in our area and we met at my favorite local quilting store. The store wasn’t in its regular location but had mysteriously moved to a mall set on rolling hills. She looked much more stern and grouchy than I’d imagined her from her blog postings. We wandered around in the store together and she turned up her nose at most of the fabric on display. She said, “I hate this stuff. There isn’t any decent fabric here.”

At this point, I noticed that I was wearing my pink bathrobe. I told my quilter “friend” that we could go to another store nearby which carried stuff that I didn’t like, so it was sure to please her. I left to go get my car and slipped down the leaf strewn wet sidewalk. When I looked at my feet I realized that I was wearing pink flip flops with huge pink plastic flowers decorating the straps.

I brought the car back to the trendy coffee place next door to the quilt shop. She was sitting outside in the mist and sipping a huge foamy mug of something. “Let’s get going,” I said in a loud voice.

“Wake up, wake up,” said my DH. “We have to get the house picked up before the cleaning ladies arrive.”

I don’t own any flip flops, pink or any other color. Dreams are peculiar.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

13 Machines and not one stitch

Even with 13 sewing machines in the house I have not been able to sew. There is just too much chaos in the sewing area to spread anything out.
So, in the spirit of Christmasfying (a term coined by Terry Grant) I pulled out an applique needle and got going again on my Christmas quilt. I only work on the quilt top during the season, usually from December 16 through New Year’s Eve. I am appliquing green Christmas light strings. At this rate, the quilt will be finished by the year 2010.

Order will be restored right after January 5. There has been a great deal of interest in my CONTEST and yesterday the first entry came in from Jean. I am so impressed, not only by her speed but by the thought she put into coming up with a plan for my sewing/office area. I didn’t expect an entry so soon because the contest deadline is January 5, 2008.

In the meantime, I’m dreaming of things to come and plying my needle.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Flashback Friday – Treasures Found

I received an urgent comment yesterday in response to my CONTEST. The writer said, “Get everything out of the cedar chest as quick as you can. Unless it is completely lined with acid free poster board, it is spewing acid on those beaded and vintage clothes. Cedar is great for lining closets but it should not touch the cloth.”

I took her advice and pulled out a vintage beaded dress. I’d forgotten how marvelous it was. My mother wore it in her flapper days. Here is a close up of the beading.
And, I found another treasure in the chest. I used to knit. This is a sweater I made for my oldest son from my handspun yarn in 1970. I knew the sheep that supplied the fleece: a brown one, a gray one, and a white one. My son hated the sweater. I passed it on to a friend and her son wore it for several years. She sent it back to me and I put it in the cedar chest. Memories.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Okay, I Do Need a Hand

So I am holding a CONTEST to help me rearrange my sewing area and pattern production area. Yes, a CONTEST with real prizes. I’ve set up the contest page so click on those red words to go to it.

Quite frankly, I am stumped. I’m in a rut and cannot see any possible solution. The area has been just about the same for 14 years. More stuff keeps coming in, but the space has not grown. (Did you see that Oprah program about hoarders? – I never watch Oprah. Oh no.)
Do you suppose I could have too much stuff? I’ve been doing an inventory and have found 13 sewing machines upstairs. And, then there are three more downstairs – Singer treadle, parlor treadle, and the Sitchwell hand crank. Not to mention a couple of toy machines which are too small to count. Fabric just keeps coming through the door almost on its own accord.
Please check out

See the previous two posts (December 8 and December 3) to see how this all started.

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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Moving Furniture Is Hard Work

I’ve been moving furniture since Monday. (See the December 3 post below)

However, I haven’t been doing any heavy lifting yet. I’m making scale drawings of all the essential items for the sewing room and moving them around on my scale plan drawing. But it does not seem as if I have enough room to fit everything in. I’m thinking of moving all the stuff to a new room, or even expanding to two more rooms. I may have to ask for your help when all the pieces are ready for viewing.
Perhaps I’ll run a contest for the best plan. Do you want to play? Tune in later.

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Small Acquisition Requires Major Reorganization

Delta Island – December 3, 2007

“We are facing a huge re-do of our operation,” said Chief Operations Manager Christine Thresh today. “We recently acquired a small Janome Jem and now realize the entire production area will have to be reorganized,” she said.

The new machinery came into headquarters on November 16, 2007. There was great excitement and joy at the time. Robert Thresh, Logistics Officer, said he foresees “hard work ahead before expanded production can commence.”

When questioned, Jem said, “I can’t work in this chaos, but I am confident they will get organized soon.”

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

New Life Links

After my gloom of yesterday, I’m looking to the future. Here is a picture of Bill’s grandson, Will. How could I forget that he is a new, living link to my past and a light for the future.
And, speaking of new life, my dear friend BB dropped by yesterday with her granddaughter. It is funny when your young friends become grandmothers.

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