Saturday, February 28, 2015

Treasures From Solvang

Wow!  This week has been crazy busy.  I had the best of intentions to post earlier this week, however, I had a strict deadline to get our annual report done and off to our auditors by week's end.  I ended up working lots of overtime and made my deadline.  Whew!  It was actually a very fun project, kind of like a big puzzle.  Then I have been celebrating my birthday the rest of the week.  The big day was actually on Monday, but I like to stretch it out.  Thursday one of my girlfriends took me out to dinner.  Then last night my kids and their spouse/significant other took us out to dinner.  Tonight is the last celebration, unless of course I can figure out how to stretch my day into March.  My closest friends and their husbands are having a dinner party for me.  I am so excited! 
Anyway, enough of my excuses.  Here are my treasures from last week's visit to Solvang's Thumbelina Needleworks:

There are a couple of older Permin of Copenhagen pattern motif bookets, and Oehenschlager kit, and a book containing several patterns by some of the best Danish cross stitch designers including Gerda Benttson.  I also bought a couple of Permin hardanger bookmark kits so I can work on developing some mad hardanger skillz.  I could not resist the scissors. 
The best treasure of the trip was not cross stitch though.  For many, many years I have been looking for a Dagmar Cross, which is a Danish cross.  Most on the internet are very, very expensive.  So I have been wanting one for about 10 years and searched with no luck.  Last week, we were in a shop which sold clocks of all styles, plus they had a huge collection of beer steins.  We were not in the market for beer steins, but these were so elaborate that we decided to look at them.  The owner of the shop became interested in Liesl, so we walked over to the counter to talk with her about dogs.  All of the sudden, I looked down, and there was a whole display of Dagmar crosses with really reasonable prices.  I was so excited.  So here is my best purchase of the trip:

On the front is Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary,  St. John the Baptist and two saints.  On the reverse is a crucifix. It is a replica of a cloisonné cross in the grave of the Danish Queen Dagmar who lived from 1186 to 1212. 
So it was a super fun trip.  We ate good food, took good walks, talked to lots of nice people, relaxed and just got to be together.  We love travelling with Liesl.  She is such a great little traveler.  We actually get to meet lots of people, because they want to meet her or talk about schnauzers.  We love taking her with us, and are already talking about our next trip. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Awesome Weekend In Solvang!

About 3 1/2 hours south of the Monterey Peninsula is the beautiful town of Solvang, California.  Solvang is a very special place that began as a Danish settlement in Santa Barbara County in 1911.  It maintains the atmosphere and culture of a town in Denmark.  It is one of my favorite places in California to spend a weekend.  We travelled there this weekend and had a great time.  One of the best things about Solvang is that it is totally dog friendly.  I think that the people of this town truly go above and beyond to show kindness to our furry friends. 
As I have shared in the past, Liesl LOVES vacation.  She loves to travel and totally gets it when it comes to travelling.  She is up for any adventure, and really likes Solvang.  Everyone was so nice to her, so of course, she thinks Solvang is all about her.
So here are some photos of Solvang to give you a taste of what it looks like:
One of four windmills in the town

Miss Liesl waiting to see what we are going to do next.
So we got to eat lots of yummy things like Danish pastry, sausages, frikadellar (Danish meatballs) and try an Icelandic beer.  Everything we ate was so delicious and we just had a great time.  We walked the avenues, shopped, and visited the Santa Ynez mission.  It was wonderful.
Whenever I am in Solvang, one of my favorite places to visit is Thumbelina Needleworks.  Thumbelina carries a selection of Permin of Copenhagen, Oehenslager, and Eva Rosenstand patterns that you can not get anywhere else.  They have some very unique things that have been imported from Denmark.  In the next few days I will share photos of my purchases.
This trip was such a joy.  It was a nice break in the middle of a season that has been really busy.  I am so happy that we got to stop and smell the roses.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

What A Lovely Weekend!

This ended up being such a lovely weekend.  Usually on Friday nights we take Liesl with us and go to a local dog friendly restaurant and then for a walk.  I still have the most ugly sounding cough from my bout with bronchitis, but thought I would go anyway this past Friday night.  I had worked some long hours last week trying to make a pretty serious deadline and thankfully was successful, so I needed to get out and get some fresh air.  Towards the end of dinner though I just looked at my poor sweet baboo and said, "I am so sorry but I feel terrible and just need to go home."  He is such a super sweet guy, we went straight home and he tucked me in on the sofa with a hot pack and the TV remote. 
I woke up yesterday feeling a bit better but decided I should just stay in for the day.  I got my stitchy stuff and looked at my Netflix queue.  I watched one movie, then decided to watch the Ken Burn's National Park series, which is so amazing.  I got through a couple two hour episodes and have four more to look forward to.  It is such a beautifully done series.
The United States has amazing national parks.  I made my first trips to Yosemite last year and fell in love.  There are no words to describe the sheer majesty, beauty and grandeur of Yosemite.  You just have to experience it.  I remember starting to cry from being overwhelmed by it when I first saw the Yosemite Valley laid out before me.   There are so many that we would like to RV to now, including the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone.  The Ken Burn's series  truly captures so much of the beauty and the history of what it took to preserve the amazing places.  Thank goodness, there was so much foresight and hard work to save these sacred places. 
For Christmas I bought Bill a really cool cookbook.  He is a great cook and loves Trader Joe's, so I bought him a great cookbook called, "Cooking With All Things Trader Joe's."  Here is a link at Amazon Cooking With All Things Trader Joe's  We knew we were heading to Trader Joe's after church so he could get his Superbowl snacks, so he grabbed his cookbook as we left the house.  I started paging through it as he was driving and saw that it had really great recipes!  I picked up some great items to make some of the meals in this book and I am super excited.  Tonight I make the creamy lemon linguine and it was awesome!  It tasted very rich and yummy.  Best of all, it took about fifteen minutes to make!
So I am so grateful that I had a weekend at home.  Bill is happy he got to watch the Superbowl and putter in the garden.  Liesl got lots of cuddles and kissies, and napped happily with her people at home.  It is such a blessing to have a happy home, filled with love, laughter, joy and peace.  I am truly grateful for all of these blessings.  There is no place like home.