Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanksgiving at Yosemite

Early last week our Thanksgiving plans fell through.  We both said that it was a little depressing and quite expensive to just make a huge dinner for the two of us.  So at the last minute, Bill secured lodging near Yosemite for us.  I was off on Wednesday, so I got us packed and picked up Bill when he got off work on Wednesday afternoon.  It usually takes us a little over three hours to get to Yosemite from Monterey.  Being Thanksgiving, traffic was a little heavy for the first couple of hours.  Liesl is a seasoned traveler and loves a road trip so she just relaxed in her dog bed and enjoyed the ride.
Thanksgiving Day at the park was beautiful.  The weather was perfect but still cold.  We hiked all over the park.  It occurred to me, watching all of the families there for the holiday, that Thanksgiving is not about the meal.  It is about the relationships we have with those we love.  No one there seemed to be missing a big meal.  They were thankful to be together in such an amazing place.  We thoroughly enjoyed our day together and the majestic place which was created by God for our enjoyment.  I had picked up turkey sandwiches at the grocery store the day before, so we had our Thanksgiving Dinner of turkey sandwiches, potato chips, and pumpkin pie in the shadow of Half Dome.  It was amazing. 

 Liesl LOVES Yosemite.  She has been to the park several times and knows her way around.  She is a trouper and walks with no complaint.  She does not like her feet to be cold, but she still walked all over the place, made friends with other dogs, and just added so much joy to the day.  She was pretty cold and tired at the end of the day.  Normally she would stage a protest about leaving the park, but she was happy to be tucked into her bed under her new blankie.  She could see out of the window and quickly fell asleep.  She slept twelve hours straight that night.  :)

Speaking of Liesl's new blanket.  I was inspired by Raggedy Stitcher's blog when she talked about the 100th anniversary of Caron.  This year Caron introduced Caron Cakes which are 20% wool. The colors are so beautiful and I fell in love with Raggedy Stitcher's afghan.  I loved it so much that I made a small basic blanket for Liesl.  She loves it and even when she is not under it, she sleeps with her nose touching it. 

I had so much fun making Liesl's blanket that I was kind of sad when it was done.  A couple of months went by.  I decided to just see what colors were available at Michaels on my way home from work.  The Caron Cakes were buy two, get one free, so I got six.  I have been needing a throw for the sofa in my craft room, and I loved the Cherry Chip colors.  So I am just doing a simple granny stripe afghan.  I am having so much fun, I may have to make more!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

What Did You Do With Your Extra Hour Today?

I wondered all of last week what I would do with the extra hour today.  I woke up at 6:30 am (what was 7:30 am yesterday).  I could not go back to sleep so I was up and moving within about 20 minutes.  I cut out a new quilt yesterday, so today was pinning day.  I also needed to draw some seam guides.   I got a lot done.  I used my extra hour well! 
The quilt that I am working on is the Moda Frivols #8.  The fabric in the kit is Bread N Butter for Moda by American Jane.  I love Moda fabrics.  The fabric is so vibrant.  I just love it.  This will be a quilt for Miss Liesl.  Liesl loves to be tucked in.  She just does not like an overly warm blanket.  I am thinking the quilt might be softer and cooler for her.
I thought that while I was photographing my cuttings, that I might share my cool sewing cabinet.  This is one of my very favorite pieces of furniture.  I bought it right after I bought my house.  I really wanted a nice work surface for sewing.  It is the Craft Armoire by Sauder.  The table actually extends out for a cutting table, then it all converts flat so that it is all hidden behind two louvered doors.  I love it. 

A lot has happened since I last posted.  We have gone and returned from our annual two week vacation up to the Redwood Coast.  It was a relaxing time and we enjoyed our daily walks, taking time to cook meals, reading and doing jigsaw puzzles.  We lived so in the moment that I neglected to take a lot of photos.  There was so much to look at and enjoy in the moment.
One of our favorite things to do when we are up on the Mendonoma Coast is stop in at Paul Kozal's photography studio.  Paul Kozal is a truly gifted photographer and his work is exceptional.  He really captures the emotion and feeling of a place in his photographs.  The thing that really makes us like his work all the more is that he is a really cool guy to talk to.  As you look through his photographs or comment on how interesting one is, he will tell you the story behind each shot and what was happening around him while he was trying to get the photograph taken.  He is so interesting.  We just love his work. 
The other thing that we love up there is Two Fish Bakery.  Two Fish is an amazing bakery that has lines out of the door every morning.  You have to get there before 8 am if you want a chance to get one of their sticky buns.  I don't even like sticky buns, but I would get up early and stand in the pouring rain for these bites from Heaven.  Their baked goods and sandwiches are so fantastic.  Well worth getting up early for while you are on vacation. 
We were able to walk to a little beach every single day, so Liesl got to put her puppy toes into the Pacific on a daily basis.  She is a seasoned traveler and even has her own organized puppy luggage from Jetsetter now.  Liesl is all about the vacation.
Other than the vacation, I have been going to school.   I am balancing three classes right now, so stitching and crafts are not getting the attention I would like.  But time for them will come again.
Lastly, today my coworker/friend and I attended a charity function in Pebble Beach.  We both love our jobs and are proud that our company supports a number of extremely important nonprofit organizations in the area.   We volunteered to represent the company today for an extremely important charity.  After it was over, we decided to have a salad at the Inn at Spanish Bay.  The Inn at Spanish Bay is located on the Pacific Ocean and has a beautiful golf course.  They are known for having a bagpiper who plays every day at sunset.  I have always gotten there too early or two late when I have gone to the restaurant there.  We were sitting outside finishing our salads, when all of the sudden, there he was.  It was an amazing thing to see and hear.