August 29, 2008

There's no place like home....

It so are great but so is being back home again!!

Well, once again I had a great time at Buckskin State Park in the constant 100 plus degrees! Amazing!

We went on many boat rides,

taking time to shut off the engine and just drift and enjoy the scenery and jump off the boat to cool off when the heat was too much.

We cooked some fun meals:
Son enjoys using his DUTCH OVEN for many meals including breakfast and even deserts. This kind of cooking has quite a following. There are competitions and recipe swapping and many websites devoted to the "art" of Dutch Oven cooking.

I made a meal that I remembered my kids always enjoyed when they were little. We used to do this in a firepit at the beach. Wrap each item in foil and put it all in the coals:
red pototatoes
sweet potatoes
onions (cut almost all the way through in eights and put in center cavity: butter, beef bouillon cube, dried thyme...tastes like french onion soup)
apples (leave whole but hollow out the core: fill with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nuts, raisins)
banana boats ( lay banana on side, peel down long strip, cut out long wedge of banana, fill with mini marshmallows and choc chips, replace wedge of banana and strip of peel)

Gourmet S'mores: chocolate grahams, white chocolate, strawberry and chocolate marshmallows (we never actually got to make these due to the surprise Monsoon...)

I colored in colorbooks, played wild animal bingo and pre-school UNO.

I sat in the shade and read magazines and drank gallons of cold drinks.

We did have several glitches during the week:

We hit a rock with the propeller and lost a day of boating while Son had to find a replacement.

We were surprised by a Monsoon one night that even the locals said was unlike any they'd seen in along time. Incredible thunder and lightning, a huge downpour, leaks in the trailer, and a hysterical 4 yr.old made for an unexpected adventure. We were safe, but there were flashfloods in the nearby town, and in the morning we found "Boaty" completely up on the beach (it had been too late to get him out of the water the night before).

By noon we were back in business with no damage done. However, up around the bend of the river the winds were so strong that some boats were flipped out of the water onto the docks, crushing whatever was in the way!

Also, on our second day we got a phone call with some serious and scary family news
(see Daughter's blog) which put a damper on my mood until I knew things were O.K. (more in my next post)

It's good to be back home with my hummingbirds, my laptop, my daily blogs to read, and my spacious kitchen, just in time to make a chocolate-peanut butter-ice cream-cake for D-I-L's 29th B'day today.......

And I still have a long 4 day weekend left before I have to be back at work next Tuesday!

It's good to have things back to normal.......I think I hear my sewing machine calling me......

August 22, 2008

Gone Fishin'

Well, not really fishing, but tomorrow morning I'm leaving for a weeks vacation. I'm going to "the River" with my son and his family.......

I am NOT a hot weather person (see here). I don't like any activity that requires hanging around in a bathing suit all day........and yet, I'm going to spend 6 days at Buckskin State Park in Parker, AZ!!

Let me explain.......

All my life I've known people who go to "The River" every summer. The thought of this has never interested me at all. My adult children, however, feel VERY differently. My son and his family have become bonafide "River Rats" over the last several years and last year bought a very nice trailer for their river trips.

Last summer they insisted that I go with them and I LOVED IT!! I had the best time and no one was more surprised than ME!!! It was great to just sit in a lounge chair all day with a cold beverage and lots of reading material. When it gets too hot you just move your chair into the water and sit there instead! And the trailer has lovely air conditioning for when 110 degrees starts to feel like 1000 degrees! The campground is great,too. Nice bathrooms and hot showers. There's a little grocery store/restaurant/gift shop and a playground.

This summer they have a new boat, too.

This is "Boaty" (named by 3 and 4 yr.old SpongeBob fans)

I'm all ready to go:
Lots of reading material?.... Check.

Lots of sun protection?....Check.

Lots of cold beverages?....Check.

I'm off to sit in the SHADE, get caught up on my reading, and spend lots of fun time with these two delightful people.
I'll take to you when I get back!!

August 20, 2008

Fall Sassy Apron Swap

I really enjoy all the apron swaps I've been involved in. Its just so much fun to have a secret swap partner and to receive a surprise package in the mail from who knows where. My summer apron arrived from Tasmania, Australia!!

The Fall swap was a little different: we received info about our partner such as favorite color, color dislikes, and whether they would like it holiday themed. Usually we just have their blog address and lurk around their blog for a while, hoping for hints as to what they might like.

This swap was to also include a homemade fall-themed hotpad or potholder and my favorite pie recipe.

My partner loves the color orange and her favorite holiday is Halloween. I hope she really meant that because I made her this reversible apron.......

I really like these two fabrics and am very pleased with the way it turned out. I even shaped the hem to echo the shape of the bats wings.

I embellished a purchased potholder with pie appliques and finally used one of the embroidery stitches on my sewing machine.

The recipes are an Avocado Pie (of course!) and my favorite fall dessert, Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes.

These goodies will be on their way to Illinois tomorrow.......


August 19, 2008

a surprise visit!

2 weeks ago my Daughter, Daughter-in-Law, and all 5 grandkids (plus one 13 yr. old friend) stopped by my office on their way to the beach. I commute an hour each way to work, so visits from my family are few and far between! I work only 4 miles from the beach, so I was right on the way to their last beach trip for the summer. When I looked up and saw each smiling face come around the corner, it was like a clown car!! They just coming and coming! What an unexpected treat!

A co-worker who ALWAYS has his camera with him was so pleased to see everyone that he took a whole roll of film (yes, an actual film camera!) Soooo...... now that I've had time to develop the film, here are a few gratuitous photos of my surprise visitors that brightened up an otherwise ordinary day....

August 17, 2008


I've been thinking about labels lately. Garment labels. For my aprons.

Several friends that are also repeat customers have mentioned that I really need to have labels on all my handmade items, so this weekend I did a little research:

I noticed that a lot of the ladies over at the Apronista website have labels on their aprons. A lot of items on ETSY also have labels. OK! I guess I need some labels for the items I have now become obsessed with making!! If I'm going to have an obsession, I suppose I really should do it right......

I googled and spent quit a while looking at different possibilities and bottom line:
I'd need to spend approximately $35.00 (plus S & H) PLUS a one time set-up charge of $50.00 for only 50 LABELS!! Holy Cow! There go all the profits! AND it would take 4-6 weeks to get them!

I decided to sleep on it.

In the morning I went back to googling, this time for homemade labels. I found several tutorials using different techniques. Using ideas from 3 different sites, I came up with my own version:

Using "Print Shop" I designed a page of tiny labels meant for tab inserts on file folders.

I then printed the page on a printable fabric sheet, the kind that I've been using for my photo aprons.

They match my business cards that I also made with "Print Shop".

I just cut them apart with scissors and sew one onto the end of an apron tie with a zig-zag stitch.

VOILA! Custom labels for my aprons!! I feel so professional now! AND, 60 labels cost me around $2.00! That's practically free compared to what I almost spent.....

Don't you just love a bargain!

August 13, 2008

Movies to listen to

Over at the Apronista things have been pretty quiet all summer. I assume everyone has been busy with vacations and visiting guests and getting kids ready for school. I'm hoping people will be participating again soon! The theme for the July-Aug apron project is "Movies". Well, it's almost the middle of August and I was the first one to post my project!

It certainly wasn't hard to guess that my movie is "You've Got Mail", and for once I made an apron just for ME! The fabric is covered with pretty mail and envelopes of all sorts and I made a pocket that looks like a letter.

I love this movie because I want to live the life of Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan's character), living on the Upper West Side in her cute lttle brownstone apartment and owning a children's bookstore.....I won't be living the life but can I certainly wear the apron that reminds me of it!!

This movie is one of many that I own and have watched so many times I know all the dialogue. I have a whole list of movies like this, mostly romantic comedies, that I put on as background noise when I am sewing. These are all movies that I know so well that I don't need to give them my full attention and can sew away all day without being distracted by what's on the screen....

Here is a list of others I watch like this over and over:

When Harry Met Sally

Sweet Home Alabama

Bend It Like Beckham

Sliding Doors

Tortilla Soup

Something's Gotta Give

Ocean's Eleven

Bridget Jones's Diary

Notting Hill

My Big Fat Greek Wedding


Life As A House

I think I'll go pick out a DVD or two to "listen" to and get busy sewing....

August 10, 2008

Funny Girl!

When we went to the San Diego County Fair earlier this summer, 4 yr. old Grace was the first one to notice that this pig shared her name!

As we all stood there "admiring" Grace the Pig laying next to a big mound of dirt, Grace the granddaughter exclaimed " Oh look! That pig made a SANDCASTLE!".

HA! HA! That girl just cracks me up!!! I'm writing that one down in the family story book for sure!

August 8, 2008

Like Father, Like Son

When I took Grandson shopping the other day (see previous post) I was surprised to see they were making UNDEROOS again. (Or maybe they always have and I just haven't seen them?) Do you remember them from the late 70's?

Ethan is very pleased with his "Hulk" Underoos, and as I was taking his picture I had a Deja-Vu moment, sending me immediately to my photo albums..........

2008: Ethan at 3 1/2 in his Hulk Underoos

1979: His father at age 4 in his Aquaman Underoos

Where have the years (and Aquaman) gone?
Suddenly I feel old..........

August 6, 2008

Back-to-School with #5

My final back-to-school outing is with grandchild #5, the only grandson.

This is actually a finally-starting-school outing: #5 is 3 1/2 yrs. old and will be starting his first year of pre-school. We are all so excited for him to be getting to meet lots of boys and play lots of boy stuff! As the youngest of 5 grandkids and the only boy, he has spent every minute of every day of his life surrounded by pink, sparkles, princesses, and Hannah Montana!#%!!#?!

For his special outing with Mimi, #5 chose dessert (instead of lunch): A McFlurry with M&M's at MacDonalds

Then to Wal-Mart for a new Spiderman lunchbox, "The Hulk" underwear, Camo pj's, jeans, socks, and a notebook with crayons and paints.

We seem to have turned a crucial corner( thank goodness!) since he was drawn to all things Spiderman, The Hulk, and Camo without any prompting from me! (I thought I would have to talk him out of Hannah Montana but he never even looked her direction! YAY!!)

He is just so excited about his new school and new friends and his teacher, Miss Lisa.......

It's going to be a good year for a very articulate, creative 3 yr.old.....

August 4, 2008

No Couch Potato

So how does one justify spending the weekend watching 14 episodes in a row of a newly discovered TV show? (see previous post) getting LOTS of sewing done while watching! I actually made a (very small) dent in my future projects list.....

I completed six aprons (one was a custom order) and three purses for the ETSY SHOP!

Bandana hearts and Denim (reversible)

Prairie Horses

Horses in the snow

3 Debbie Mumm fabrics (reversible)

Flirty Cherries

and the custom order: Flirty Leopard w/ Red accents

and last, but not least, 3 tote bag/purses made with some fun fabrics

Does anyone see a couch potato around here? I think NOT! It was a very productive weekend in the ETSY SHOP studio.......