Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Excellent Adventure

Last weekend I had the best time with two of my friends. Although it didn't include Keanu Reeves, we had an excellent adventure.

It started on Friday when Becky and my long time BFF, Nikki and I met up and drove to Thimble Creek Quilt Store for a class. The owners, Joe and Roxie are awesome and always make us feel so welcome. You never know how long it's going to take to drive there. We would be driving in Bay Area work traffic so we left at 7:30 a.m. for a 10:00 class. The last time Nikki and I went there was an accident and we arrived with just minutes to spare. This time we breezed through and had time for a leisurely breakfast at a local Denny's.

The class we took was with none other than (drum roll, please.............) Pam of PAMKITTYMORNING fame and Elizabeth of The Late Bloomer fame! I know!!!! Nikki and I had previously taken a class from Elizabeth so we knew what a great gal she is but we had never met Pam. I had suspicions, though, that we were going to have a fun day. Was I ever correct! Pam is so funny (I'm sorry, I'm going to be using fun and funny a lot). The class was the start of their once a month "Fun with Late Bloomer and PAMKITTYMORNING" class. The class description says that you can just hang out and work on your own project or make the class project that they provide. Puleeeeeeze! Like I'm going to pass up the opportunity to make an original design from these two! It turned out that Becky, Nikki and I were the only students! We immediately became charter members in good standing (anyone for an autograph?).

This is what we made this time, although I must admit mine isn't quite finished yet. It is just darling. Notice the cute little yo-yos on the bottom! Each month we will have a new project. October's project is the cutest little quilt. Can't wait!!!

Pam even provided refreshments with her Super Secret Orange Cake.

No amount of pleading and begging could extract the recipe from her. It seems that it had been given to her by a good friend with the promise to never give it away. Now that is what I call a good friend. It was delicious!!!!! We hope to be able to go to the class on a monthly basis as often as we can. Thanks, girls, for such a fun day!

Miss Jean, Nikki, Elizabeth, Pam and Becky

Becky, Nikki and I then ran over to the local Panera Restaurant for a lovely lunch outside. I had a Tomato and Mozzarella Panini . I would have taken a picture of but I ate it so fast because it was AWESOME! Becky couldn't stay any longer as she and her DH are redecorating and remodeling her already beautiful home. She had to make a stop and look at some fixtures for her bathroom. Bye, Becky!!!

I had found a great deal on a motel near Thimble Creek so after lunch Nikki and I checked in. Nikki had time for a quick nap and I sat and read. How relaxing! Then it was off to Thimble Creek again for another class. This one is a monthly class hosted by none other than (another drum roll please........) Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts fame. We've met Joanna before so we knew we were going to have a great time. She is so fun and so talented! (There I go again. I think I need to buy a thesaurus) The class is from 6:30 p.m. until midnight and has been held for a while so she already has a core group of regulars that show up. They were so welcoming to Nikki and I and made us feel right at home. You could work on any project you wanted, which gave Nikki and I a chance to get some serious sewing done on a donation quilt we're working on.

I was having so much fun I forgot to take pictures, but managed to take this one of Nikki and Joanna before we left. (Joanna took her shoes off so she wouldn't be so much taller than Nikki! LOL!)

Saturday Nikki and I had breakfast at the local Denny's again and then hit the road to visit two quilt shops on our way home. Now, I am not going to give the name of the first quilt shop we stopped at. All I can say is, PEOPLE! Times are tough!! If you want us to spend our hard earned money in your store on stuff that we really don't need, the least you could do is say hello and be friendly when we are there! Nuff said. Our next stop was at one of our favorite in the whole wide world quilt stores, In Between Stitches. I knew Melissa and Leslie wouldn't disappoint us. "Hi, girls!!!! What are you up to?" Love, love, love that store!!!!! After some shopping and a fabulous lunch at the AWESOME restaurant next door, The Railroad Cafe, we made our way home. I dropped Nikki off at her place in Manteca and then made the short drive home to Escalon. "Hi, honey, I'm home. I'm going to take a nap!"

We had such a great time. But that's not the end of the story, either. The next day Nikki and our friend Cindy picked me up bright and early and we went to a quilt show in Sonora. I'll post about that next. I've made myself tired thinking about what all we did and I think I need another nap.

All I can say is: "Girls! Get out there and have some fun!!!"

Monday, September 22, 2008

Martha! Not just any Martha! THE Martha!

Hurry! Right now! Yes, I said now! Run, do not walk, right over to Martha Stewart's blog and leave a comment and your blog link. Martha just may feature your blog on her blog! I know!!! How awesome is that!!!!!

In my humble opinion, we owe Martha so much. She has been the inspiration in one way or another for all of us. She has encouraged us to realise that we all are not only creative but that we can do most anything we put our minds and hearts to. Regardless of circumstances. Regardless of economics. Regardless of adversity.

Thank you, Martha!


Autumn is my favorite time of the year. Cool crisp mornings and evenings. Days that are perfect for getting the garden ready for winter. Long walks with your special someone.

My daughter lives in Modesto, aptly named City of Trees. The trees have not started shedding their leaves yet this year. When they do, the streets in her neighborhood are so blanketed with gold and orange that you can't see the asphalt. I can't wait to share pictures with you.

My problem is that I live in the part of the country where you never know just how much autumn there's going to be. One year we may have weeks upon weeks of this heavenly weather. Other years we may go from hot weather right into cold, rain, and fog. In the blink of an eye summer is gone and winter is upon us. But still, today, if I walk out onto the deck as the sun sets I can feel it. I can smell it.

Ah, sweet Autumn. Why are you so elusive, my friend? Come and stay a while longer this year.

Monday, September 15, 2008

What Did You Do!?!

Poor Nicole had another canine catastrophe over at her house. She just got a puppy, Sophie, to keep Ozzie company. Well, little Sophie did a doozy. Go on over and visit Nicole's blog and see what she did. Yup! She really did do "that"! Yikes! That's right up there with Maggie taking a bite out of one of my quilts.

I was so sympathetic, but maybe a teensy weensy little tiny bit smug. Well, not smug, maybe relieved that it wasn't me this time. Maggie's been really good lately and I thought (hoped? prayed?) that the worse was behind us and we could move on. It gets a little tiring to walk into a room and automatically look around to see if anything is wrong.

This is a picture looking up my stairs. Do you see Maggie hiding? "What did you do?"

This is the type of pen that probably had fallen under Sweety's desk in the messy office from h... that we didn't know was there. That's where we think she found it, anyway.

Maggie (aka Maginator, Maggot, Maggie the Terrible) must have found it and took it downstairs. Now she has LOTS of chew toys. I once heard that you should buy them a new chew toy often so they don't get bored. Anyway, here is the pen she found afterwards. Did I tell you the carpet is new? Did I tell you I have a migraine today?

Heavy sigh................

I got out my trusty carpet spot cleaner, and VOILA!

The green stains are gone! There is a God! Thank you, Jesus (yes, He cares about carpet)! Hallelujiah!!!!!!!! Did you hear the angels singing?

This is a better picture of the product I used. Go get some now! Alway keep this stuff on hand. Once, Sweety had cut his arm and bled all over the arm of my good chair in the living room. I followed the directions and it took everything right out. I emailed them and they said that they don't advertise and count on word of mouth recommendations. I may not be Billy Mays, but I'd recommend this stuff to anyone. You can get it at the grocery store or hardware stores or you can even borrow one of my four bottles. (For our overseas blogging friends, I don't know if it's available in your country.)

I have a friend who said that she may quit blogging because she is running out of things to blog about. My advise? Get a puppy!

An Award

Well gosh and golly! I want to thank Janeen over at Chachaneen for giving me this Blogging Friends Forever award! Be sure to visit her blog. It is always interesting, colorful and fun to read. Plus she has such beautiful photographs. Something I strive for but haven't quite gotten there yet.

What would we do without our friends? I don't always get to see my friends here in town like I want to. They are either working or living busy lives like we all do. But if I need a friend "fix" all I have to do is go to my blog friends and I'm a happy camper. Isn't blog-ville wonderful! I'm passing this award to all my bloggy friends who are regular visitors. You know who you are. I cherish your friendship more than you know.

Speaking of friends, my BFF friend Nikki and I are escaping on Friday for an overnight quilting adventure. That's all the information I'm going to give you now. Let's just say it involves traveling, world renowned quilters/designers/teachers who happen to blog, shopping, a quilt show and eating! I guarantee that we are going to have a blast. Be sure to check my blog on Monday to see just exactly what we did! I can't wait.

Ta Ta for now. Have a great week!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Gone to the dogs....

I wanted to show you a couple of items I was able to purchase from a friend of mine. Wave is a fellow Scotty owner and collector extraordinaire. She has Maude, Maggie's sister, and Bonnie along with Hank, a Golden Retriever. Becky did a post about Wave's home so hop on over there and see some of her treasures. When you go into her house it's difficult not to walk around with your mouth hanging open. Oh, my gosh! It is amazing. She has the most beautiful collection of all things Scotty. "Frisk me when I leave, Wave! I can't be held accountable!" LOL!!!

Wave also has other dog breed collectibles and I had told her I was interested in this terrier picture if she were to sell it. Yahoo!!!! It's mine!!!

Is this not the cutest picture you have ever seen? It was painted by Sam Fulton and has a gesso frame that looks almost like copper. Just look at those eyes. I like to collect dog items that speak to me and this little fellow certainly did. "Take me home!"

This next little guy is a Sealyham terrier statue. You can tell he's vintage as he has glass eyes.

I think I'll name him Jack! Get it? Glass eyes.....pirates.....Jack Sparrow............ sorry.... he he!!

On another note I was so thoughtfully given an award by Carol over at Charlie and Me

I certainly don't feel deserving of this award. I do love dogs, but Maggie has been such a trial and a difficult puppy that I've had my moments wondering if having a dog was the right thing to do. Thankfully, things are working out better now. A lot of it has to do with the fact that she's getting older (she's almost eight months old). The other fact is that she loves me. We got her for Sweety but it's me she picked. "Mommy, you have to love me!" I think we have all the spots on the carpet we're going to have (cross your fingers) and she hasn't chewed up anything lately. See the fabric request on my side bar. That's a quilt I made. A quilt that now has a hole in it. Need I say more? I'm learning patience and we have a great and encouraging trainer. So Carol, thank you so much for the boost of confidence and reminding me that, yes, I do love my little Maggie!!!

I'm passing this on to some ladies that truly love their dogs:

Nicole at Sisters Choice Quilts who has Ozzie the wonder dog and now also Sophie. Their antics are priceless.

Kim at Daisy Cottage who has her own little Maggie. I've never seen a dog with a more expressive face.

Elizabeth at My Maine Cottage who has two delightful Scotties, Abby and Murdoch. We Scotty people have to stick together. Elizabeth is new to blogland so stop by and say welcome.

Mumzie at Mumzie's Pumpkin patch who has Conner a Scotty and Buddy, a Jack Russell terrier.

Teresa at Honeycomb Cottage who always has a kind word to say and also has a Scottish Terrier, Baxter.

I'd like to also pass this award on to some ladies who don't have blogs. First there is Linda who has Katie the Scottish Terrier. I would love Linda to start a blog.

Next is my sister, Janice. She is an animal lover extraordinaire! She takes in rescue dogs and currently has four or five. Could be six. You never know when you go over to her house how many there will be. They are all small Maltese-like dogs except for the one little chihuahua. She'll take one in on a foster care basis and end up keeping it. Her house is always jumping! Having this many animals at home really curtails your activities and ability to be gone from home on vacations, etc. but she does it willingly. She makes sure that when she works, her job is close enough so she can go home at lunch time and let all the dogs out. Wow! I tip my hat to her. I don't have that kind of patience.

Next is my BFF, Nikki. She also has a rescue dog named Jax. He's a Great Dane! Huge! Jax is her third rescue dog. The first was Digger who was part Dane and part just plain big. I have always threatened to write a book about Digger and all of his antics. I could make a mint - that dog was hilarious. The second was Kellsey who was a purebread Great Dane. Jax has needed lots of love and attention to become more socialized and Nikki has spent hours working with him, giving him all the love and attention he needs. He still is a little skittish around strangers, though. When I go to his house he thinks I'm afraid of him, which I'm not, but if that makes him feel macho I'm ok with it. It takes a special person to take in a Great Dane rescue dog. They have unique medical problems and their life expectancy is only about six years old.

My hats off to Janice and Nikki and any others out there who take in rescue animals!!! Please pass this award on to others who are special people who love their dogs.

On another more somber note, those of you who are in the path of Hurricane Ike, please know that we are lifting you and your friends and family in prayer that you will be safe and your homes will be spared.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11, 2001

I'm sitting here trying to put into words exactly how I feel about this day in American history. I don't think words can truly reflect how I feel, how anyone feels who sat and watched what unfolded in front of our eyes on television that morning. My mom was staying with us at the time and we just sat, not really understanding what we were seeing. I just remember saying, "Mom! Those firefighters aren't going to get out! They shouldn't go in!" "Did we just see what I think we saw?"

Please remember to continue to pray for the families who lost loved ones that day. Pray for the rescuers and survivors who still live with the nightmare of what they experienced. Remember not only the victims of the Twin Towers, but also the Pentagon and those lost on Flight 93.

Since that horrible day not once has an attack of terrorism happened on American soil. Remember this when you go to the polls in November. Who wins this election is going to have a direct affect on military strength and our safety as a nation. One of the candidates wants to gut our military and put our nation at peril. The other knows that to have peace, you have to have strength and a strong military to guard that peace.

May God Bless America.

Turn off my music when you listen to this video, please.

This young man's name is Joe Cook. Thanks Joe from the bottom of this military Mom's heart!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

One more motto........

It's pretty sad when a friend knows more about what you have in your house than you do. I missed a motto print in my previous post and Miss Becky reminded me. I think it's her favorite of all of mine so that's probably why. I have more nooks and crannys in this house than Thomas' has muffins which is why I forgot to include it. I have junk treasures stuck everywhere. My sister came to visit today and we went antiquing. I found myself repeatedly say, "I have one of those. Where did I put it?" Sad, sad, sad!!!!! Please tell me I'm not alone.

This one is adorable, I must say. It looks so nice on my b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l green walls. I have 12 quarts of various shades of green paint that I auditioned before I picked it so I better love it!

Since I had to do another post anyway, I thought I'd include pictures of Miss Maggie. Now I'm not saying she's vain. On the contrary, she's humble and down to earth (not to mention goofy). Unlike her Mommy (that would be me), however, when she sees a camera she sits and poses! I kid you not!!!! Sits down, looks up and says, "Okey dokey, let's do it!". (Yes, I did hear her say it. ) Most of the time, though, right after I click the camera and before it flashes she looks away. I think she's trying to be aloof.

"I want to be alone!"

"Hi there! These are my favorite toys. I especially like Mr. Monkey! My mommy wants me to tell you not to buy new carpet, especially this color, if you are getting a new puppy. I have no idea what she is talking about! I have to go now so I can run away when mommy calls me. That is so fun!"

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My Motto Is......

Webster defines a motto as "a brief statement expressing a principle, goal , or ideal." So I guess you could say the expression "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" is a motto. With that, I thought I'd show you some pictures of my motto print collection. I really hadn't paid much attention to them until Becky introduced them to me at her home. They are really devious little pictures. They capture your attention and then you MUST have them. So after seeing hers, I started collecting them. I showed mine to my sister and now she is collecting them. When will the madness end?

This collection hangs in the upstairs bathroom.

Some mottos are prayers.

They don't have to be perfect. Notice the water stains on this little fella. It doesn't take away from the charm.

This is one of my favorites because of the colors. *I forgot to mention: Someone wrote on the back of this, "From Mr and Mrs. C.A. Bittilyon, Christmas 1938".

I bought this one as a gift for my sweety.

Lots of the mottos are for welcoming guests.... (This one says, "From Thelma and Wilbur to Will and Mattie, Dec 25-1925")

.....or for remembering friend.

This little sweet one hangs in the guest room.

This one hangs in the hallway along with all of my Scotty pictures. I just realised that I only have one Scotty motto! I'll have to fix that, now won't I?

My patriotic grouping in my family room. The large picture is of a young sailor boy and I had the artist, P. Buckley Moss, personally sign it with my son's name (he's in the Navy!).

Close up of the motto hanging above. It's rather sad, but beautiful at the same time. It's my favorite in the collection.

This is the collection that I keep in my secretary desk along with my Hummels.

The bronze shoe was my daughter's baby shoe.

This one has some gold leafing on it. Probably not realy gold, but pretty anyway.

The Hummel of the boy with the accordian and the little girl with the chicks were given to me. Lots of the mottos are tributes to Mother.

The little boy with the cello was another gift. They were given to me by a Christian woman we knew at church. She wanted them to have a good home with someone who would appreciate them. I cried! She passed away this last year and they are constant reminders of her.

Since my blog title is In the Garden with Miss Jean, I thought I better actually show you a picture from my garden. We've had such hot weather lately. This time of the year the yards really start to look sad and distressed from the heat. I managed to find a cool little corner to share with you. Hi, Mr. Bunny!

What's your motto?