April 27, 2009


I returned home from my travels to find a package waitIng for me from the "FIESTA! HOT MAMA APRON SWAP".......Look what Kellie C. in Kentucky made just for me!

Just look at this great pinata fabric...and it's trimmed with my favorite purple. The pattern has such a flattering shape ( Kellie, what pattern is this? It's wonderful!) It's exactly perfect for me in every way! Boy, did she get it right!

She also sent a vintage tea towel with a Fiesta-themed print. Isn't it great? I've never seen one like it before. Also some yummy recipes (I could eat Mexican food for every meal!) Kellie works as a Children's Librarian, which would absolutely be my dream job! I love Children's books. (We even visited a beautiful Children's library on Martha's Vineyard last week as part of our vacation must-sees!)

If you read my previous post on the apron I made for this swap, you know how much I enjoyed this theme......so keeping in the spirit of Fiesta! I'm sending Kellie a box of avocados to let her know how much I love this apron....

Kellie, if you're reading this post, there's a box of avocados heading your way to thank you for my NEW FAVORITE APRON!

April 24, 2009

Random thoughts on a lovely vacation

I have never had any desire to visit the East Coast. Cape Cod....Nantucket.....whatever. No interest. The sole purpose for this trip was to visit Youngest Son and see him in his "natural habitat"....and I can't believe what I've been missing! Martha's Vineyard is so unbelievably beautiful.

So peaceful and serene (it is the off season). The ocean and beaches are so sparkling clean. Everywhere you look the scenery is almost too perfect! Everything looks like a postcard.

I kept thinking: "People actually get to live here!.....MY SON ACTUALLY LIVES HERE!!

Now I just wish I could experience it in the summer when the island swells from 15,000 residents to 200,000 visitors! (well...maybe not..I'm sure peaceful and serene would no longer apply!)

hmmmmm.....now I'm wondering what other parts of the world that I don't care about might be better than I'm thinking?


Youngest Son is 28 years old.

He has pretty much been on his own for the last 10 years, including living far away several times.

Even though he has been an adult for a long time now, there is still a little tiny thread of an apron string for me, deep in my heart (he is my baby, after all!)

We needed to visit him on his own turf, to see for ourselves where he lives and works.

Everywhere we went we seemed to meet someone who knew him. Everone we met spoke so highly of him: his superiors, his co-workers, his staff.

We loved all of his friends, who took such great care of us while he was working........

O.K. Jordy...I can finally fully accept it....you're all grown up now!!


Vacations are obviously not the time to be watching what you eat, especially if your son is the Executive Soux Chef at a fancy resort and prepares you a 4 course lunch and other delicacies!

We ate Artichoke Barigoule, Parisienne Gnocchi, Rock shrimp BlT's, Profiteroles with "Chef Jordan's Famous Butterscotch", Citrus Panna Cotta, and the best chicken thighs I've ever eaten that had been cooked in duck fat for 17 hours (yes, 17 hours!).

It seemed like all we did was eat, but somehow I was still able to fit into the airplane seat......


Daughter and I always have a great time together these days, but this has not always been the case.

Twenty-plus years ago, in the days of 14 year-old-butting-heads-with-Mom, I often wondered, unhappily, what kind of future we might have together and I wasn't very optimistic....Well, let me tell you that there is light at the end of the tunnel!

If you are experiencing some of that 13-14 yr old trauma in your household, take heart! Someday you'll look back on those years and maybe even laugh about a few things together (Daughter is going through it now herself with her own 13 yr.old....3rd generation trauma!)

I never would have thought back then that someday we would choose to live 2 miles apart and truly enjoy each others company. Spending one-on-one time with Daughter was one of the highlights of the trip.....(click here for Daughter's post of our trip)


I love cold weather: wearing sweaters and scarves, sleeping under a comforter. I now know that what I really love is SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA cold weather! WOW was it cold! And it wasn't even the middle of winter! You could feel in in your bones and it made your teeth hurt even with your lips closed!

We left Cape Cod early in the morning at 32 degrees and walked off the plane into a 90 degree San Diego night!! ....very surreal!!


I still don't have that travel bug, but I'd certainly do this again someday, a long time from now. Everything about our trip was just perfect!

April 14, 2009

Off into the wild blue yonder

I'm all ready to go.........
IPOD: full of music, podcasts, audio books, and games.....CHECK!
reading and writing material.......CHECK!
plenty of snacks..........CHECK!
(SUGAR BABIES... the best candy ever, by the way)
bags all packed.......CHECK!
O.K.....here I go.....off to the airport......all ready to go .......to the airport......I'm going now......to the airport........TO GET ON AN AIRPLANE!!!!!!!!
(I think I can, I think I can, I think I can)

a REAL vacation......

I'm not one of those people who love to travel. I've been enjoying "stay-cations" as long as I can remember, long before that word was invented! But don't get me wrong, it's not that I haven't traveled anywhere. My mother has enough of the travel bug for 20 people, so by the time I was 16 years old I'd been to 40-something states and seen more things than I can even remember. I'd just rather stay close to home and sleep in my own bed and do all the homebody things I like to do. Add to that the fact that I HATE TO FLY and you can see why I haven't been on a real vacation in a very long time....
Well......last year, youngest Son moved to Cape Cod, and I knew I would have to change my way of thinking if I ever wanted to see him again..........so tonight I'm taking a red-eye flight from San Diego to Boston. COULD SOMEONE PLEASE KNOCK ME OUT AND WAKE ME UP WHEN WE GET OFF THE PLANE?? Actually, I've really been looking forward to this trip (except for the flying part) since this is a Mother/Daughter trip. Daughter is leaving Hubby and 3 Daughters at home to have their own Spring Break adventure while we go visit Son/Brother that we miss so much!
And of course this was a good reason for me to do some sewing to prepare for the trip so I dug into my scrap bag and made a few little goodies:
a fleece sleeve for my camera so I can easily slip it in and out of my purse:
a few luggage handle covers to make it easier to identify ours in a sea of all-the-same bags:
And then some projects out of the fabric stash.....
Son is a Chef and moved to Martha's Vineyard to work with a Chef friend who has a wife and 2 little ones. Since I have not met this family yet, I wanted to make them some gifts to thank them for being Son's "family" while he is living so far away from all of us here in So Cal.
Friend's wife was a Pastry Chef before becoming a Stay-at-Home-Mom, so I made her a pastry-themed reversible apron:
With two Chef parents, 3 yr. old son and 6 month old daughter need to have their own aprons of course!
They are also getting flannel blankets for the cold Cape Cod winters: bugs for the boy (I'm told he loves bugs and robots) and more cupcakes for the girl.
And here I sit at the computer, delaying the inevitable (couldn't we just drive there? How long would that take us?). We're leaving for the airport in 4 hours and I haven't finished packing yet.....
OK! I'VE REALLY GOTTA GO NOW......(must...get...on...plane....)

April 7, 2009

A Snake Story

Daughter wrote a blog post yesterday about some childhood memories and has asked me to do a companion piece.....please go read what she wrote first, and then come back here for my story that we refer to as "the time I almost picked up the rattlesnake....."

A long time ago, when my kids were in elementary school, we lived on a 200 acre avocado ranch in North San Diego County. We often ran into visiting wildlife as soon as we stepped out the back door. Just off the top of my head I remember coyotes, tarantulas, horned toads, racoons, possums, roadrunners, bobcats, and even a donkey (never did figure out where he came from!)....oh, yeah, and snakes....LOTS OF SNAKES!

So, one day, while Husband was at work, I heard all the kids outside screaming for me "MOM! MOM! HURRY! HURRY! COME QUICK!" Of course my heart stopped as I ran outside to find all three kids following (from afar!) a large gopher snake slithering accross the driveway. They knew I wasn't afraid of snakes and shouted "GET IT! GET IT! We want to take it to school for sharing. GET IT!" I ran inside for a cardboard box and came back out just in time to see the snake's tail disappear into a waist-high row of bushes along the driveway. The kids were frantic by now that I was going to lose the snake! I stood above the bush, peering down through the branches, and there he was, just laying there quietly, all coiled up! I slowly, carefully, reached my hand down through the branches, and when I was only inches away I suddenly thought to myself "wait a minute! How did that snake get coiled up so fast and why does he look so much smaller than he did a minute ago?" As the kids started hollering again a few feet away "Here he is over here! He's coming out of this bush!" I FROZE! I quickly stood up and took a deep breath.....THAT GOPHER SNAKE PICKED THE ONE BUSH IN THAT WHOLE ENTIRE 200 ACRES THAT HAD ANOTHER SNAKE ALREADY IN IT...A BABY RATTLESNAKE!! AND I CAME WITHIN INCHES OF PICKING IT UP!

Well, I did catch that gopher snake. We kept it for about a week so all three kids could share it at school and then we released him back out into the 200 acres. And that rattlesnake never even noticed me. I think he was asleep and slept right through all the commotion until Husband came home right about then and really did pick him up (with a shovel of course). I don't remember what happened to him . I think I remember him in a big jar for a few hours (he was small) but after that I don't recall......

You know, now that I'm seeing this story in writing for the first time I realize how anti-climactic this story actually is! It would be a much better ending if I really HAD picked up that rattlesnake! Now THAT would have been more interesting for sure!! (I'll remember that for next time!...)

April 4, 2009

a blog post for my peeps.....

Now that we're deep into the middle of "Peeps" season, I've noticed that are two types of people: Those who LOVE the nasty little things and those who think they're gross! There doesn't seem to be anyone on the fence. Even though I've never been a fan, not even as a child (don't take it personally Peeps, it's all things marshmallow), I really find all the current cultural hoopla very funny:

*The grandkids have a Peeps colorbook
*I saw Peeps jewelry in the store yesterday
*Lenox has a line of Peeps china.....CHINA!
*This guy has a website of his art, all made with Peeps
*This is a website of nothing but links to other websites about Peeps
*There seems to be a "cult" dedicated to microwaving Peeps to see what happens! (go to Youtube and search the word Peeps and watch some of the videos that come up)

Well....this year, for the first time EVER, I bought a package of bunny Peeps. I wasn't going to eat them (EEEWWWW!!), I needed one, just one, to trace for an applique project.

Then I threw them in the trash! No way was I going to feed that sugary-marshmallowy-crack stuff to the Grandkids while I was in the house with them!

This is what I made with the help of one of those crusty little guys: Easter aprons for the ETSY shop

HEY! I have a question for all you Peeps lovers out there....do they make good S'mores? I've always wondered about that! Not that I would eat one or anything....

.....and speaking of S'mores, now that I've said I hate marshmallows I have to admit that I discovered one way I did actually enjoy one: try this version of S'mores....it really was good!

Chocolate graham crackers
Chocolate marshmallows
White chocolate bar (or peanut butter cup!)

.....I can't believe I actually spent money ( .88 cents!) on PEEPS! I guess this just goes to show how far I'm willing to go for my sewing/apron addiction....