Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Weekend of Happy

This has been such a wonderful weekend.  It has been so peaceful.  I got to stitch the past couple of days, which has been such a joy.  Making it even better, I got to watch lots of Real Housewives, my total guilty pleasure.  We took a small break yesterday to take a beautiful walk along the Pacific Ocean with Liesl.  She had the happiest trot going through the whole walk.  We took our walk at a leisurely pace so she got to smell every plant and every spot that she wanted to.  It was such a beautiful sunny day and the sell of the salt air was so delightful.  It was at one of our favorite walking spots and it was so beautiful and amazing.
When we got home, Liesl ate her dinner and wanted to be tucked into her bed.  It has been cold here in the evenings, so she has been enjoying the tuck in.  After she went off to bed we got to watch an adorable Christmas movie and relax.  It was such a blessing.
Today was so peaceful.  I have had a cold the past couple of days.  I am really careful about not attending church when I have a cold or virus because I understand that many of the older people have compromised immune systems and may not weather a cold in the same way that I can.  So we stayed home from church today.  So I relaxed, watched bad reality television and stitched.  It was such a quiet day.  I also got to cook today!  I made a vat of spaghetti sauce with the still meaty bones from the Christmas prime rib.  It is fabulous and will be frozen in batches for future meals.  I also took some of the leftover prime rib and all of the leftover veggies in the fridge and made a huge pot of minestrone.  It turned out perfectly and the fridge is all cleaned out!  Bonus!  I was in my total happy.
The best part of the weekend was being home with the guy and dog that I love so much.  I was in my total happy.  I enjoyed the peace and creativity of the weekend.  I enjoyed the great company.  I appreciated the opportunity to relax and revitalize.  There really is no place like home!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Happy Weekend!

I hope everyone had a great holiday week!  Ours was absolutely blissful!  We attended the most beautiful and blissful Christmas Eve service at our church.  It was so joyful and set the tone for the holiday.  After the service, we went to my best friend's Norwegian Christmas Eve dinner.  I feel blessed that we get invited every year.  It is a meal of Norwegian meatballs (the recipe has been in the family for five generations), salmon, red cabbage, potatoes, and several vegetables.  Then for dessert we have krumkakkes and ice cream.  It is so yummy and so awesome to sit and talk and laugh.  We had so much fun.  My BFF sent me home with an amazing homemade quiche for us to have for Christmas breakfast.  It was such a blessing!
Christmas morning was fun opening presents.  Of course, Santa loves puppies, too, so Liesl got several new presents.  She was so happy.  She loves wrapping paper best of all and had a blast shredding a great deal of it.  (Note: Whenever I was wrapping presents, Liesl likes to come stand on the paper while I am trying to put it on a present.  She thinks she is hilarious.)  She made herself really tired with all of her paper hijinks.
So after exchanging gifts, we set about getting ready for the family to come over for dinner and more presents.  My sweet baboo makes the best prime rib, so we had a delicious dinner.  It was just a great day and I so enjoyed the time with the family.  We both crashed into bed exhausted by about 8:45. 
I have really been looking forward to this weekend.  Bill and I have said since last weekend that we are not doing anything this weekend, other than taking Liesl for some nice walks.  Other than that we plan on a nice, leisurely weekend at home, enjoying each other's company, watching movies, reading, etc.  He has such a warm, cheerful and extremely mellow personality so he is such a joy to be around.  My cross stitch is sitting ready for me.  I took my calligraphy pens out so I can play with them.  Liesl is snuggled up in a blanket next to me.  She is generally not a lap dog, but in winter likes to snuggle close.  All of the presents are out of my craft room so I may reclaim the space.  I am looking forward to a nice, creative day.
So I think I shall go make my honey the pancakes that he loves so much and prepare for my craft fun day.  I hope you all have a day filled with lots of creative possibilities!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Holiday Thoughts

Well, we are off to a happy start of the holiday season.  I just have a couple more things to purchase, and I am done with my Christmas shopping!  I have never been done this early.  I feel that I can actually enjoy the holiday season this year.  Instead of feeling stressed, today Liesl's Daddy and I browsed in a couple of stores, had a nice lunch, and came home to do chores.  We still had some vacation/camping gear all over the living room after returning last weekend.  It was nice to just take my time getting organized.
While I was cleaning up, I decided to do a little baking.  I made my Cranberry-Orange bread from scratch.  I used to bake it all of the time when my kids were young.  It was fun to make and bought back lots of memories.  I also made a batch of marshmallows, which are so much better than store bought.  They are lighter and so yummy.  I just use the Martha Stewart recipe available on her website.  I am looking forward to hot cocoa this week!
With 2015 looming so close, I have been thinking about my goals for the new year.  I have been so busy with work this year.  So next year I want to make sure that I make time for crafting again.  I would really like to become really proficient at hardanger in 2015.  I love hardanger and have studied it but I still get intimidated about starting a piece.  I would like to build my confidence and ability with it.  I also have quilts to make, walks to take, weight to lose...
I think we would also like to go camping and travelling a bit more.  We had such a great time on our vacation.  We were also impressed that Liesl totally gets camping.  She loved sitting by the campfire, taking walks, and being in the outdoors.  We love having her with us, and love that she is so happy being with us.
So tonight I feel so grateful for the opportunity to enjoy the holiday season.  I feel so fortunate and so blessed. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Silly Me...

I feel so silly.  I can not believe that I did not share a photo of a couple of the most iconic sites at Yosemite.  So I am adding Half Dome and Yosemite Falls below.  I miss them already...

I am sad because my camera did not pick up that there was a rainbow in the Lower Falls.  It was so spectacular.  It seems that there are rainbows all day long all over Yosemite.  It is so amazing.
We are still settling into real life.  It was kinda harsh going in to work today even though I really like my job .  There really should be a slow re-entry program after a vacation.  :) So far tonight we have made it to 9:30 and are staying up late like grown-ups.  LOL
I have been Cyber Monday-ing this evening.  Santa will be sending our presents in boxes with smiles on them.  I am proud to say that I have been a good girl and have only bought myself one little book although there are many tempting items.  I have over half of my Christmas shopping done, too.  I am hoping this leaves time for some extra fun things.  Liesl's Daddy wants to have a baking day on the weekend so I hope to have lots of time to makes lots of yummy sugar plums and hang out with my sweet baboo and my sweet Liesl. 
Speaking of baking sugar plums, I was totally stoked to see that the Girl Scouts will now be selling their delightful cookies online!  I love me some Samoas and Tagalongs.  I found a box of Samoas in the cabinet about a month ago and it was like finding buried treasure.  Plus it is a good thing to support scouting organizations. 
We are getting ready for some major rain here for the rest of the week.  This is such a blessing because dear California is desperately in need of it.  The rains have come early this year.  We love rain and the sound it makes.  I love the coziness of a rainy day and would love to curl up with a good book and cup of tea.  For the rest of the week, however, it will just mean soup dinners.  Yum!
Hope you are warm and cozy where you are!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

I hope this finds you all well and enjoying a plethora of yummy leftovers!  We did a little something different for Thanksgiving this year and rented an RV to go on vacation to Half Moon Bay and Yosemite.  Of course, Miss Liesl loves vacation and loved spending time in what her daddy referred to as "The Rolling Doghouse."  She was pretty excited as we were packing it up to go with everything we needed for nine days of vacay!  She knew something great was happening, found herself a cozy spot next to a low window, and we were off.
Now if you are new to RVing, as we were, I can not compliment KOA Campgrounds enough.  We decided on one in Half Moon Bay so we could get used to the RV experience before we drove the winding roads to Yosemite.  Most KOA's have full hookups, are pet friendly, and have the NICEST people working there, who are so helpful and cheerful.  KOA is awesome.  Here is a view of the sunset just steps from our parked RV:
After a couple of days, we were off to the Sierras.  We were thrilled to pull into Yosemite.  It is so spectacular.  I have been reading John Muir's "The Yosemite" (free on Kindle).  He so poetically describes the Valley Floor as "walls of Granite that rise up to form a temple."  This is so true, and seeing it is so breathtaking.   Liesl seemed to remember the place from our trip in May.  When she got out of the camper, she sniffed around, turned up and looked up at me with the most happy, joyful look of recognition.  She loves Yosemite and was so happy to be back. 
We got to take some incredible walks, ate Thanksgiving dinner by the campfire, and hear a bear breaking into a car in the campground.  (How the heck do you explain that to the car rental company?)  It gets very noisy when this happens as rangers have to do a lot to get them to leave.  Yosemite reminds us constantly that we have a responsibility to protect the bears, and this means not keeping any food where they can get it.  Bears who keep coming into campgrounds or become aggressive ultimately have to be relocated or worse.  So we were super careful.  Bill said that he did hear a growl at him early one morning as he walked Liesl at the edge of the campsite which bordered the woods. Yikes!  He pulled Liesl close to him right away and moved on.
So a quick funny story:  The first day we got to Yosemite, we got the campsite set up and went exploring.  Sunset was about 5 pm.  We made dinner, then read books.  It was absolutely dark outside and the other campers had all turned in for the night so the campgrounds were dark.  We took Liesl for her last potty walk and decided to turn in.  I never wear a watch in general, but have a cardinal rule of not looking at clocks or watches while I am on vacation, as it is the only time I do not have to care what time it is.  Just as I was dozing off, I glanced at my phone.  The time - 6:45pm.  We laughed so hard, because we thought it was like 10 pm.  Most nights the campsite was dark by 7 or 8.  So we would just read until we fell asleep.  Bill was proud one night because he stayed up until 8:30.  LOL 
So here are some photos:


The last one is Liesl in her cute little yellow coat.  She hated it and would run from us when we took it out and lodge herself in a spot where we could not reach her easily. But it was generally extremely cold.  Anyway, as cold as it was,  we sat on a rock on Thanksgiving Day while it was warm and sunny and she sunned herself.  We had been growing her fur out for the past couple months so she would be warmer on the trip. 
So we had a lot of fun and are totally hooked on RV camping (or Glam-ping, as it is called.)  We are already looking for the next National Park to visit.   National Parks are awesome and should be supported!  There is so much to see in America and this is a great way to see it.  Plus Liesl gets to travel with us, which makes us all so happy.  She is a great traveler, goes with the flow and accepts new experiences quite readily. 
On the way back, we stayed at another KOA campground.  Again, the nicest people and an overall great experience.  They even offered us a little discount for Bill being a veteran and thanked him for his service.  The campsites were super clean, had full hookups, and a picnic table at each site.  We both fell in love with KOA and agreed that it was a great place to stay for a weekend, when we do not want the full camping experience. 
So now we are home, working on a mountain of laundry.  Liesl is exhausted and has napped all day.  Bill is cooking dinner.   It really is good to be home.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ah, A Cozy Evening!

It seems that this has been an extremely busy year here at the cozy cottage.  There are many "have to do's" that are taking time away from the "want to do's".  I guess that life is like that some times, and I should be grateful that I have the ability to take care of a lot of work and school items.  It is taking time from stitching at this point, until today.  My sweetheart went on an overnight trip with his son yesterday, so I cleaned the house top to bottom, then studied and did homework until late last night.  I got a lot done, which feels great.  This morning, I got up early, did laundry then sat down to watch my favorite race of the whole year, Talledega.  I even got to stitch.  Liesl settled into the sofa next to me.  It was perfection.
Bill got back home this afternoon, and wanted to watch the 49er game at 5:30, so we went to pick up a pizza and came home.  I realized how perfect and cozy the moment was sitting together, relaxing, eating pizza, with our little family together.  It was one of those perfect moments where I was filled with gratitude of the peace of the moment.  Everyone back home and together.
I did get a new toy a couple of months ago.   For our anniversary, in addition to some lovely jewelry, I received an ice cream maker accessory for my KitchenAid, in addition to some mixes from Williams Sonoma.  I have been making homemade ice cream, one to two times a month.  I like that I can walk away from it and it just does its thing,  It is a great tool.
While I have not been able to do big stretches on my cross stitch, I do get to put a few stitches in here and there.  I love the peaceful feeling of stitching.  I even love the sound the floss makes as it works through the fabric.  I feel blessed that I get to enjoy this craft.
So that is about it for now.  I hope that you, too, are enjoying a life that is peaceful and cozy.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Walk on the Beach

What a lovely day.  Things have been so hectic lately.  I am a bit overwhelmed with school and some other things right now.   I was a bit frustrated last evening because I lost half of my assignment on my computer. Usually on Sundays we are up early and at church.  Afterwards we normally have lunch then do errands, chores or I catch up on homework.  With things being a little stressful, I had a terrible night of sleep and was up and down all night. 
My sweet baboo suggested I sleep a few extra minutes, after which we would take Liesl to the dog beach in Carmel.  Liesl was very excited.  The beach is her Disneyland.  She gets to run, fast and free since dogs do not have to be on lead there.  Lots of dogs run free so she gets to make lots of friends, chase her ball, and run and play in the smaller waves like a big dog.  In the picture above, you can see she is a hot mess.  She is wet on her legs and belly, has sand everywhere, including in her beard, and wet sand all over her body.  This, of course, meant she was cold and in need of Daddy cuddles.  I think the only person who spoils her more is him.  Oy vey! 
As we were leaving the beach we stopped for a moment to share the gratitude for the beautiful morning.  As we looked out at the horizon we said, "Thar be whales!!!"  There was a huge pod of humpback whales.  I think the Monterey Bay count yesterday was 64 and there had to be somewhat close to that number this morning.  In all of my years on this Peninsula, I have only seen spouts of whales.  I have never seen any breach - until today.  They were jumping out of the water and these huge tails were sinking into the sea.  At one point they were within about 100 yards of the beach.  People were lined up all along the roadways to see them.  We must have watched them for another hour.  It was so amazing, so beautiful and such a blessing. 
Liesl cuddled up in her daddy's arms all the way home.  She was so tired from her adventure.  We took her home, tucked her in with a cookie and decided to try the new Panera in town for lunch.  It was quite tasty and we got to just sit and chat for a while. 
Upon our return home, Liesl's Daddy decided he needed a good nap.  So he went and rested while I recreated my lost assignment.  While I was doing so, I realized that I had made an error yesterday, so it was a good thing I lost it.  I wrote up an even better assignment and submitted it on time.  
It turned out is was much better for us to take that time this morning, as our little family, and just enjoy our time together.  It was good to not be productive, but to be in the moment.  We got to have an amazing experience watching those beautiful, majestic whales.  It really is so important to stop and smell the roses, or the beach.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Hello, Autumn!

Wow!  The summer just flew by!  It has been a busy, busy time!  I have been taking really hard classes for my job, so it has not left a lot of time for stitching and blogging.  But I am learning a lot and like what I am doing.

I am so glad we put the sod in back in May.  Liesl loves her queendom and spends hours outside.  She was always joined at the hip with me, but this summer, her days are spent lying in the grass under the shade of the tree. Hours go by before she comes back inside. She loves to watch the landscape for any gopher that has the audacity to pop up in her yard.  Once she knows she has an intruder she will skip meals and everything to stand over a gopher hole.  She is so happy in her yard.  She is really happy when she gets to follow her daddy around while he works out there.  They have a very special relationship.  I wonder if she now sees him as the alpha because she will especially seek him out in certain circumstances.  If she needs to go out in the middle of the night she will go over to him and tap on his arm with her paw until he wakes up so he can go with her to protect her.  They are so cute together.  He says that she is very special to him, too.
Liesl had to supervise her daddy's construction project this weekend.  He was able to build the large raised bed garden box for the back side of the yard.  It is beautiful with gorgeous railing and corner brackets.  We decided on redwood for durability and look.  He did such a beautiful job.  The bottom is lined with chicken wire to keep the gophers out of our harvest.  We are getting ready to put in our fall garden, and have the seeds coming from Park Seed this week.  We will be growing lettuce, broccoli, Swiss Chard, spinach, and a really pretty radish.  This is the first try at fall gardening, but I am excited about getting started!
I was super stoked when I went to Target today!  Pumpkin stuff is out!  They had a nice big stock of International Delight Pumpkin Pie Spice creamer.  Yummy.  They also had Toll House Pumpkin Cheese cake cookies.  I bought a good supply of pumpkin goods and I am officially ready for Autumn. 
Hope you are having a happy season, too!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July!

Well, it has been a very nice, quiet day around the cozy cottage.  The day started out foggy and a bit chilly.  We actually had to put the heat on for a while.  Mark Twain once said, "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."  We are about 100 miles south of San Francisco on the California Coast and it does get darn cold during the summer here.  Brrrr.  Locals refer to it as "June Gloom."
It was a good thing that we decided on a quiet day at home today.  Fireworks are legal where we live and a certain small dog does not like it.  Liesl tolerates about five minutes and then decides that she has had enough.  She is usually a brave little toaster, so it breaks my heart when she looks scared.  So we figure she will snuggle between us while we watch some movies this evening.  We agreed that since fireworks are not limited to the evening, we should stay in and help her to feel as safe as possible today. 
It has been such a great day, particularly to stay inside.  I got to read my Philippa Gregory book, stitch and take a really good nap.  I even got to do a little homework for my class.  My honey did a little online retail therapy, read and snoozed a little.  We had a nice barbecued lunch and a leisurely cup of coffee.  More barbecue for dinner with champagne!  With weekend errands, chores, etc., we rarely get to do this, so it was a treat to have the extra day off this week.  We were just saying at dinner that it was nice to have a bonus day.
I am especially grateful today for all of the amazing blessings in my life.  I am also grateful for those who put everything, including their lives, on the line for what we hold so dear in our very young country.  
So I am off to cuddle a small dog, who needs her momma.  The noise is a bit loud and she is a bit scared.   I have her favorite blanket handy and we will make sure she knows we will keep her safe and protected this evening, while being cozy ourselves.  We are truly blessed and thankful for it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

We Be Jammin!

Someone at work was giving away bags and bags of plums and asked if I would like some to make jam.  I have not made jam in years, and happen to love homemade plum jam, so I was totally up for it.  I had to pick up some new jars and opted for the ones with designs.  I spent a couple of hours this weekend and realized that I had forgotten how much fun it is to can.  I started to eyeball the fresh raspberries and strawberries in the fridge and then realized I was out of control. 
I do not like jam on my toast, rather, I still love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  When I take them for lunch at work, I look forward to it all morning!  There is something really happy about a PB&J.  The only thing that is better is a Fluffernutter.  For some reason, my fellow Californians do not seem to be familiar with the great wonder that is the Fluffernutter (peanut butter and marshmallow crème.)  When I try to describe the wonder that is this sandwich, I get quizzical looks and remarks of "I don't get it."  They are perfection, that's what they are!
So a couple of weeks ago, someone had posted a beautiful photo of their cross stitch work in progress on a Facebook site.  It was absolutely gorgeous.  She posted that the particular design was from an issue of Just Cross Stitch in 2009.  I immediately got bummed and thought how hard it was going to be to find that issue.  I started do a little research, when I found something even better!  Just Cross Stitch has DVDs of every page of every issue (including ornament issues!) in ten year increments.  This particular issue fell within the 2001-2010 DVD.  The DVDs are only about $42 at 123stitch (or about the same as a couple of years of subscriptions).  I am super happy about finding it.
I will take photos of my stitching this coming weekend.  It is going splendidly.  It is a fun stitch and the colors are just beautiful.  It is nice to be back in the stitching mode again.  I am still taking some pretty intense classes right now for work, but realized that I need to make time to stitch and be creative.  It puts me back in balance. 
Have a happy week!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

I am happy to say that I have actually gotten a little stitching done lately.  I am almost done with this first motif for my Autumn Quaker.  I am so loving the colors and stitching with the Valdani floss.  It is great to be stitching again although it is just in small bits since life is a bit hectic.
We had a super great weekend.  Just in time for summer, the barbecue is now ready and in the yard.  My sweet baboo has been looking at the reviews, shopping, online shopping, etc., for months trying to find just the right one.   After much deliberation and consideration, a copper colored Weber Spirit is the new addition.  He has now cooked the last two nights' dinners and they have been stellar!
 We had a pretty nice Father's Day around the cozy cottage.  Liesl had me pick out a Happy Father's Day from the Dog card (available at Target) for her awesome puppy daddy.  He is a so good to her and sometimes I think spoils her more than I do, if such a thing is possible.  She also got him a book he has been wanting.  A couple of days ago, one of his patients brought him two flats of fresh strawberries (our area is one of the state's top growing areas for strawberries.) He shared one flat with the office, and brought the other flat home.  We shared a couple of quarts with our two favorite neighbors and still had six quarts left.  He mentioned earlier that he would love to have strawberry shortcake.  So this afternoon, I made a quick shortcake and surprised him for dessert, with fresh whipped cream.  He was super happy and said it was the best Father's Day gift he could have asked for. :)  I also have several bags of hulled strawberries in the freezer, ready for more treats! 
We are continuing to work on the yard and make it into a nice little retreat.  Liesl so loves her grassy yard now.  I looked out the window the other day, and she was just laying down in the grass, smiling and surveying her queendom.  For some reason, she has been taking her two favorite stuffies out in the yard with her in the morning.  She will get Ladybug and Lampchop, and put them on the lawn.  We have to rescue them in the evening.  This is a new behavior, so I am wondering why she does it all of the sudden.  I guess she wants her friends with her.  In any case, we have found several gorgeous rose bushes, which I am so thrilled with.  My favorite is Mr. Lincoln.  It is the most beautiful color, almost velvety and has the most amazing fragrance.  If you can find one of these, I highly recommend it!  PS: the photo does not do it justice.
I had forgotten how hard yard work can be, and I will share that as a result of unloading the truck of fifty pound bags of top soil and doing several tasks in the yard, we both have the Frankenstein walk going on.  So sad, LOL. 
So now it is quiet, with only the ticking of the clock.  The weather is very cool.   Bill is reading his book and drinking a cup of hot cocoa, Liesl is snoozing on the sofa between us.  It is a very cozy evening in the cozy cottage.  I wish I could keep a snapshot of this moment because it is so very lovely.  Priceless and such a blessing.
Wishing you many blessings in the week ahead.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Wow! Whatta Weekend!

What great weekend!  Although I must admit, I am totally exhausted. Yesterday the sod went in, finally, into the backyard.  I have been thinking about it, talking about it, dreaming about for two and a half years since I bought the house.  Last week, my sweet baboo said that he got the quote, and made the appointment for the landscaper to come.  It was just the kick start that I finally needed.  Prior to this, the groundcover was mulch and we were getting splinters, Liesl included.  Yesterday, we got an instant change.  It was so worth it!  There had also been a really ugly stump that stood about 3-4 feet high and had grass growing out of it.  It was hideous.  The landscaper had it dug out in about twenty minutes.  The yard looks amazing.  I think we will be spending lots of time in it. 
Liesl loves her yard and keeps deer hopping out into it.  This afternoon, she ran and chased her ball and just looked so happy.  When she was done chasing her ball and her parents, she laid down in the grass and savored the moment.  We also sat down in the grass, thinking that we had done that so easily when we were kids.  But then you grow up and worry about your pants getting dirty.  What a shame.  My sweet baboo then laid down in the grass for a while and watched the sky.  It was a happy afternoon.  Next week the raised bed boxes go it for veggies. (I love to grow tomatoes!)
We had to order two pallets of sod, which we needed to help carry from the driveway to the backyard.  Don't let anyone tell you any differently-sod is HEAVY!  One roll was probably over 30 pounds.  My muscles are aching.  We could barely move last evening and have been exhausted. 
I ended up making some snickerdoodles for my honey today.  He got up yesterday morning at six am to make sure that we got our two pallets of grass ordered and on the truck.  He was such a sweetheart to make it all happen so I wanted to do something nice for him.  He loves cinnamon, so he is super happy that he has 4 1/2 dozen cookies all for himself.  
While we were unloaded the truck yesterday, the postman showed up with my order from 123stitch.  I can not wait to get started.  The colors of the Valdani threads are so beautiful and so rich.
In addition to my Autumn Samper, I also ordered the pattern and fabric to make ornaments for Christmas.  I have wanted this one for a while.  It is nice and simple.  I am hoping to get started on ornaments early this years so I am not in last minute crisis mode.  

Well, I am off to get some rest.  Tomorrow is the first workday of the month, so it is time for accounting fun at work.  Have a great week!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

First and foremost, today we humbly pay our respect today to those who went off to all corners of the world in service to our country, but did not get to come home.  There are so many in our country's history to whom we owe our deepest respect and gratitude.  While this is a holiday in the United States, it is one that is most solemn.  We pray for the safety of all who serve and that all they be returned safely to their families. 
I think that a holiday like this one reminds us of how precious every moment is with our loved ones.  I was particularly aware of my gratitude for those I love this weekend.  I felt totally present as I walked through the specialness of every moment.
I am just about finished with this class I am taking right now.  I am looking forward to getting back to doing the things I love to do. On Saturday, I did a little shopping on and bought this:  The threads were so gorgeous that I had to have them, too, and the set was less expensive than if I bought them individually.  I have not bought cross stitch in so long.  So I really looking forward to starting it.  I am looking forward to getting back to doing the things I love.
Yesterday, I had a fun day cooking.  I made a pan of Ina Garten's Rosemary Polenta, which is just so yummy.  I served it with dinner and it was just so delicious.  I could eat a whole pan of that all by myself.  I paged through a couple of her cookbooks while I had them out and there were just so many delicious recipes.  I like that she cooks real food and does not have recipes with odd ingredients that I have to go on a treasure hunt for all over town. 
Today we worked on the front yard.  It looks so much better.  Luckily, it was kind of cool and breezy today, one of the benefits of living on the coast.  So it was a good day to trim the  bushes down.  I had to do foxtail removal, too, because the front yard was starting to look like a vacant lot.  We filled a whole yard waste can and have a plan for next week.  My body is aching like nobody's business, but I am trying to play it off like I am all cool with my honey.  I think the loud groaning when I stand up from sitting may be tipping him off though.
In addition to my cross stitch purchase this weekend, I was excited to see that Amazon was running a special on certain magazine subscriptions for Kindle for the weekend.  After reading all of the teeny tiny print (I'm an accountant, I just can't help it) I ordered an annual Kindle subscription of Better Homes and Gardens and Eating Well for $5 each.  We both love BH&G but after we are done with it, I never know what to do with the issues.  I feel badly just throwing them out, so they just hang around for way too long until I finally just put them in the recycling.  So I am really happy about the Kindle version, plus it holds my place where I stopped reading. 
So it was a really good weekend and I am just so grateful that I got to spend it with the ones I love.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Where Did The Weekend Go?

I have been thinking about stitching again a lot lately.  Even though I am way beyond S.A.B.L.E. status, I am thinking about buying a gorgeous sampler, with all of the threads, of course.  I am in the process of finishing up a class that I am not really enjoying (there seems to be too much "busy work").  I am thinking that as soon as it is over, I will be all ready for stitchy-palooza.  I really am looking forward to having a needle and thread in my hands again. 
I am a bit sad about how fast this weekend went.  I had grand plans of all the things that I wanted/needed to get done this weekend.  However, we were dog tired.  I was so fried and stressed on Friday and was threatening that my head was probably gonna explode from my headache.  I walked in the house to the smell of homemade brownies baking, was immediately handed a beer and had a very handsome man telling me that he was putting a you-bake pizza in the oven.  I got lots of puppy kissies from Liesl then headed to change into my softest, comfiest jammies. I was still exhausted and in those same jammies through most of Saturday.  I was just too tired to get anything done.
Today was nice though.  We went to church, then had brunch with my bestest friend and her hubby.  It was wonderful to have a leisurely talk and eat some yummy food. 
I had to work on some clean up of my craft room today.  I really need to do an overhaul on the organization system in there so get the best space utilization.  So I have to do a little shopping on the internet, darn the luck.  I really would like to spend a bit more time in there and really just need to organize it better.
Well, off to bed and get ready for the week ahead!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


On Sunday I think I had one of the best days of my whole life.  My amazing sweetheart considers Yosemite one of his favorite places on this earth.  His birthday was on Monday, May 5th, so he made arrangements for us to visit Yosemite for the weekend.  He truly loves Liesl and respects how special she is to me so he searched high and low to find a nice dog friendly hotel. He made reservations for us to stay at the cottages at the Tenaya Lodge (on the South side of the park), which I can not recommend highly enough.  It was the perfect place to stay and I have to say that they are so accommodating to doggies. 
I am ashamed to say that as a forty year resident of California, I had never been to Yosemite.  My sweetheart was the perfect tour guide.   As we went through the tunnel, he mentioned that we had to stop for a moment when we exited the tunnel and he brought me to this view.  It was so stunning, magnificent, majestic and huge.  I sat down because I was so overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of it and started to cry.  It was so amazing.  Suddenly I totally understood why people I know love Yosemite so much.  I went with no preconceived notions as to what I was going to see.  I had hoped to see Half Dome or something out of an Ansel Adams photo, but here it all was.  We stood in the spray of Bridal Veil Falls, and had a pick-a-nick in shadow of Half Dome.  It was truly one of the best days of my life.
What made it the best was the Liesl was with us and she went to every site, energized and excited.  She walked all over Yosemite without missing a beat.  The valley floor of Yosemite is dog friendly and there were lots of dogs there.  There were also lots of people missing their dogs that were back home, so Liesl got lots of pets and love from people from all over the world.  So, of course, Liesl through that Yosemite was all about her.  LOL.  She just started to think that everyone wanted to pet her and befriend her.  We laughed all the way to the car because at the end of the day, we were crossing the lanes of traffic outside of Yosemite Falls.  She decided that the park ranger who was directing traffic must want to pet her because she is so adorable.  So she went trotting up to the ranger (yes, she was on a short leash) whereupon the ranger said, "What a cute dog!" and started rubbing Liesl's little head.  Afterwards, Liesl pranced to the car, with her ears back.  We were cracking up.  She slept for twelve hours straight after we got back to the hotel and she ate her dinner.
Both of us have been working some pretty long, stress filled days since the beginning of the year.  We have been exhausted.  Yosemite is so peaceful. so energizing, and so special.  Words truly can not describe it.  The two days we spent there were such a blessing.  One day was hot and sunny and the second was dark, cold and cloudy.  It looked totally different.  Here is the same view on the second day.
Yosemite is truly a special place.  Everyone should see it at some point in their lifetime!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ooh-Blah-Dee, Ooh-Blah-Dah...

Well, here is my sassy girl.  She is kinda all "eye of the tiger" serious-like because she is waiting for her Daddy.  I told her that he was on his way.  Upon hearing this news she went to stand vigil at the window.  You can see the laser-like focus.  My craft project this past weekend was giving her a little haircut.  I had to take all of that winter hair off of her.  She had been looking like a little ragamuffin.  Now she looks all sleek and aerodynamic.
The much needed rain finally arrived here in California.  We have all prayed for rain, and are now so grateful that it has arrived.  Today it just rained and rained.  This would have been super fun if I would have been home, but alas, I was out and driving in it. 
Upon arriving home after work, I changed into my wooliest jammies and made myself some Starbucks hot cocoa.  In my humble opinion, Starbucks makes the best cocoa.  So when Costco gets it in at Christmas time, I hoard the stuff.  So I was happy with my hot cocoa with whipped cream and set about warming Liesl's dinner.  She is still on the home cooked diet.  It is so worth it when I see how happy she is when put her bowl down. A happy dog makes my heart happy.
I have been stitching a little here and there as time allows.  Recently I got totally hooked on the show "Big Bang Theory."  This show makes me laugh out loud.  So I love when there is a mini marathon on of the shows.  I wonder how the gentleman who plays Sheldon keeps from cracking up.
Well, off to rest.  It is quarter end, which means for long days for us accountants!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Very Quiet Day

Today was really peaceful.  Which was perfect.  With a capital P.  We have been working some serious overtime so it was overdue.  We had a really perfect Valentine's Day.  I received some pretty red roses, some milk chocolate hearts from See's, several cards and got taken to dinner.  It was so nice to just talk about fun things. It was just perfect. 
Today was nice and quiet.  We have both been overly exhausted and my sweet baboo has a bad cold still, so we both decided that given that it was just a gnarly, gray day outside that we would relax and watch documentaries.  We had grand plans of doing some home maintenance today, but it was more important to rest.  We were both just out of gas. I ended up taking a really long nap.  Liesl was just happy to have her people home all day and just snoozed the day away, too. 
It was nice and quiet so I started thinking about my stitching and went through all of my patterns.  My goodness, my tastes have changed.  I think that I shall have to put some of my old patterns for sale.  They are nice patterns but just things that I would not stitch anymore.  Tastes change over time.  So I am going to have to figure out the best way to do that so that someone else can enjoy stitching something that will otherwise just sit in my file box untouched. 
So I did a little online retail therapy to pick up a few things from 123stitch.  I can not believe how much her site has grown, but I find that she really has the best prices, best selection and best service.  I also did a little research looking for a new really good doggie bed for Liesl.  Liesl loves to stretch out so I tend to buy her golden retriever sized beds, even though she is less than 25 lb.  I am looking for a memory foam one because she loves to lay on my memory foam bathroom rug.  Plus all of the reviews that I read said that memory foam is better for their joints.  All of the big mattress companies like Serta and Simmons are now in the dog bed business and the prices are not cheap (some are as high as $300! Yikes!)  But then again vet visits are not cheap either and I am trying to think prevention wise. 
So I have out my stitching and think I will go stitch for a while.  My honey is sound asleep and Liesl marched off to bed.  I have some Starbuck's hot cocoa mix and think I will have a cup of cocoa and listen to the silence while I stitch.  I wish I had some doggie company but during the winter Liesl makes sure she goes to her bed around 7:30 - 8pm.  She is hibernating. 
Hope that you are having a cozy and quiet evening, too.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Rainy Day

Thankfully, after a very long dry winter, the rain finally came to California.  Winter is our rainy season.  My sweetheart has weeklong passes for us to go to the AT&T in Pebble Beach, but rain and wind has suspended play several times.  Plus, I am getting over a bad cold and Sweetheart is starting his.  So it is best that we stay inside, warm and dry.  So no hobnobbing with pro golfers and celebrities for us today. 
While Sweetheart was disappointed about missing the golf tournament, it actually worked out.  We both have been working some really long hard hours.  His patient load has been growing, and he is deeply committed to caring for them.  My work has had me working some really long hours, skipping lunch breaks and bringing a lot of work home.  However, what keeps me going is that my employers thank me for my hard work and long hours and tell me that they appreciate what I do.  There are so many still who are out there unemployed or underemployed, so I truly grateful to have a job.  I am especially fortunate to work for such truly good people and do really interesting work. 
In general, I find myself feeling deeply grateful for all of the blessings in my life.  Liesl continues to be a little marvel and brings both of us such joy.  I am grateful for employment.  I am grateful for family and friends.  I am grateful for the rain and that I have shelter from it. I feel truly blessed and grateful that God gave me true love in the form of a really wonderful partner this past year.  He is such a beautiful and kind human being and the calmest person I have ever known.  Nothing phases him, so he brings calm and serenity into my life. 
I am hoping to cut out a baby quilt tomorrow if all goes well.  Sweetheart is about to become a grandfather for the first time, of a little baby girl.  To this I say, "Let the pink begin!"  We have known for several months now and look for the arrival of the little one.  I see some serious spoiling in the near future.  I have bought the fabric, picked out a pattern and now just need the time in my craft room to work on it.  Time is pretty precious these days.
I am trying to find my stitching mojo again, too.  It has been a while and I just can't seem to get started.  I want to make a Christmas stocking for the little one who is coming, but that may have to wait a while.  I think I have to try stitching something small and work my way back up. I really need to feel creative again.  Baby steps...

Sunday, January 19, 2014

I'm Baaaccckkkk!

Whoa.  I vanished for a little while there.  January for accountants is totally cray-cray!  I have been waking up and working while my hair dries, then taking my laptop to work.  Working all day, through lunch and all, then taking the laptop back home, working until dinner, then working again after dinner until almost bedtime.  It has been exciting!

So I am taking a little time this weekend to catch my breath.  We worked on the yard yesterday.  My honey is bound and determined that Liesl shall have grass and we shall have a gorgeous yard this summer to entertain and relax in.  He has had the gardening books out and has been planning.  We are taking out all of the redwood mulch so that if and when we finally get rain here in Cali, (there is a rumor of a La Nina forming) we will spread the grass seed.  In the meantime, he is planning out other plants and a little vegetable garden.  While I like to garden, it seems to be my sweetie's happy, and his eyes get all lit up when he talks about it.  I am glad that it brings him so much joy. While I was back in the yard, I noticed that my Adirondack chairs need a paint touch up.  I have them painted in a retro Coca Cola red and love, love, love them.  They have faded a little so I will give them a little re-touch in the next few weeks. 

So last evening I needed to stop by the fabric store as I needed something for another project.  That is when I espied this gorgeous, 1940's-ish vintage style fabric.  I fell hopelessly in love with it.  I bought some to re-cover some pillows for the Adirondack chairs and thought that it would look so cute.  If I am feeling really festive, I may add some of the old style red ball fringe to the edges.  I think it would look totally adorbs!

Liesl continues to be her hilarious self.  She cracks us up on a daily basis.  Yesterday, she saw that we were digging in the yard so she decided that she should, too.  Liesl is a total mimic.  We looked over at one point and there she was digging away (this is a rare occurrence.)  She saw we were watching her so she looked at us, gave us a goofy grin then went back to her job.  My sweetheart says that he has never known a dog like her.  She is super smart and super duper sassy!

Well, that is it for now.  I will try to be better about checking in!