Just another WordPress.com site

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Be Prepared, game day ahead

It never occurred to me to be worried as I pulled into the parking spot at Fred Meyer this morning.  It was just before noon and I knew I had time to do some quick shopping before the Seahawk game.  Imagine my surprise as I grabbed my cart and headed into the produce department.  The whole team was there! The jerseys were somewhat mismatched, but everyone but me had one.   Apparently I just walked straight into a two minute drill with the game tied and out of uniform.  Frantic pushing and shoving all  with their lethal weapons – the shopping cart.  I couldn’t wait to escape.  I headed to the meat department.  It was worse!  Steaks and burger was flying off the racks, if you could get to it.  The butcher was trying to restock the case (you wouldn’t want to miss out on a pre-game buying frenzy).  The goal line stance was amazing but these people had been practicing for weeks.  I feared for the little lady in the electric scooter caught between the 2 yard line and the goal.  I managed to get a couple of steaks then escape to the cleaning product aisle where I was momentarily safe.  I took a moment to check my play card only to realize I still had to get dry roasted nuts. Back to the snack food aisle where frantic hosts were grabbing everything off the shelf.  I slipped into the 12-item or less checkout with my 15 items hoping the referee wouldn’t catch me and penalize me 15 yards.  Whew!  He was looking the other way.  As I put the cart away in the parking lot I tried to warn the defenseless shoppers out of uniform.  I do believe they thought I was crazy.

Winners and sketchbooks

My day started off by winning the Table Topics trophy (pic to follow).  I am sure the rest of the group thinks it is so weird that I take a picture of the fleeting trophy but let them think what they want.  I need to be me.

I left the meeting on a high and hit Target for some early Christmas shopping.  Boy did I score!  Secret – if you get there by 8:30 you get your own personal shopper in the electronics/toy dept.  What fun I had.  I pushed my luck by asking about a new toy my granddaughter Hailoh told me about.  It is some gizmo that makes all your stuffed animals come alive and talk.  Huh, sounds cool.  Andy (personal shopper) had never heard of such a thing.  Neither had his coworker.  It turns out that this was a conversation she had with her mother.  She said she wanted that.  This is Heidi’s explanation:

Like Doc McStuffins has” she said. Doc McStuffins (if you’re not familiar) ; ) is a cartoon character that’s a stuffed animal/toy doctor and she has a magic stethoscope that makes her toys come to life and talk. She asked me if she could ask Santa for that, I said, “I don’t know if Santa has anything like that but you can certainly ask him and he’ll do his best I’m sure.” She said, “Nevermind, I’ll just ask Geema & Papa.” =P Apparently she has more faith in her Grandparents than in Santa Claus. =) hehe

This is a huge amount of pressure.  I now know what the big guy with the reindeer goes through.  This will take some serious work.

I finished my morning by going to the amazing sale at Coldwater Creek.  Once again early enough to have my own personal shopper.  A very dangerous place to have a personal shopper.  They have a high need to have you leave with a fancy bag full of stuff.  I am glad I made their day.

Lunch was a cinnamon crunch bagel with cream cheese at Panera.  Delightful! I sat near 3 women my age settled into a booth with sketch pads and colored pencils sketching away, the growing lunch crowd not even a distraction.  Welcome to my Fridays.

And the winner is……

Trophy for GRTM

Me!  I only get to keep the trophy for 2-3 minutes, hence the photo (rotating trophy).  They loved my humorous speech with all my props.  This was great practice for the upcoming Division C humorous speech contest next Wednesday.  Green River Toastmasters is a very experienced group and if I tickled them enough to win the trophy today, that makes for a good Friday.

And retirement is…..

Heading out to Tacoma to catch the ferry to Vashon Island on a Wednesday morning dressed in jeans, Chuck Taylors and a cozy sweatshirt.  The goal was to get to the ferry dock at Point Defiance for the 9:15 sailing.  Didn’t quite leave in time but no worries, caught the 10:05 sailing.  I was first in line, therefore first to drive on the ferry.  I had a front row seat for the gray trip across the water.  Once we hit land, it was a quick 20 minutes up island to the quilt shop, Island Quilter.  Yesterday was the last full day of the Laurel Burch tribute show.  Once I got permission  I got lots of great pics of her quilts.  I will always be attracted to quilts made with blacks and bright colors.  Her whimsical creatures crawl all over each of those quilt creations crafted with her fabrics.1002131129 1002131130 1002131130a I was also on a mission to find hummingbird fabric and that I did with Paul’s help.

1002131053 1002131121

I was able to take advantage of the generous gift card for my retirement and have added to my stash.  Lunch with Elaine at The Hardware Store (local restaurant) and a trip to the local coffee roaster and I was back in line for the ferry.  I hope to go back often this Fall as there is a new exhibit about to be hung.  I better get busy because that fabric stash needs to be made into wonderful useful items.

And in the kitchen

Butternut squash soup, yum.  New recipe from Michael Chiarello with a few tweaks.  Along with the butternut squash, all cut up thanks to Costco produce, JB cut up 2 sweet potatoes we had, a couple of Yukon golds as well as onions.  Those went in the oven to roast with a nice concoction of balsamic vinegar, molasses and some spices.  Butter instead of our usual olive oil.  Once cooled they were joined in the pot by chicken broth.  In the meantime I cooked up some chorizo sausage and added it to the mix.  It got whirled around with the boat motor, added some salt and can’t wait to try it.

Post dinner note – it was great!

Finished the purse

Still raining, not sure it stopped much from yesterday.  I finished the cutting yesterday and took the project up again today.  I couldn’t start until the Seahawk game ended.  And what an ending it was.  We won in overtime.  I was inspired to come down here to the studio and complete the purse.001Above is a picture of the front and back awaiting the final assemble.  I am so sorry I covered up the inner pockets.  This mola fabric allows easy ‘fussy cutting’ and there is a character featured on each pocket.002

The old and new.  I didn’t realize how faded the old one was.  I also forgot that it featured a turtle on the front.  I left the buttons intact on the old one but stole the beads to apply to the new one. New one has colorful striped button instead of the yellow polka-dot button.


The back pocket features a fish instead of a snake.  Once I load the new one up I can retire the old one.  Off to the next project!

Gwen’s studio

It is a rainy Saturday and I about to recreate the purse I have been carrying around for a few years.  That is not a bad life for a fabric purse that I used exclusively since I took it on it’s first trip.  Someone pointed out that the handle was about to break so it is time.  I had one piece left of the ‘mola’ fabric that I used for the main fabric.  I have strangers stop me to comment on the purse.  I love the tube purse design but it is that fabric that gets the attention.  Few folks care that I have room for my Kindle in the back pocket.  I have to find a different lining as I ran out of the original.  I think this one will work fine.  I am using my flannel-lined  cardboard display stand from Office Depot.  It’s original use was as a story board for a speech.  My large design board is occupied with the retirement quilt that I just finished.  I am not done looking at it yet.

I forgot how many pieces are needed for the purse.  I always think that I can keep things straight but I learned from the first few of these purses I made, labeling the pieces is critical.  I decided to try documenting this process so here we are.  You readers can expect to make this purse with me, post by post.

The retirement quilt has best wishes from those in attendance at my retirement party.  This is an overall view where the writing on the fabric blocks is not so obvious.  Trust me, the best wishes are there.  Off to Jane to be quilted!

001 002 001

And what did you do today?

DSCN2434Baked cookies for Toastmasters and rigged four sailing ships.  And who says retired people sit idle?  The sails on our whirly boat wind spinner had gotten very faded.  I knew where it had been purchased but it was years ago.  In the meantime the Ocean Crest Resort had a terrible fire.  I was encouraged that their website was still up and running.  I learned that after a year they have just received the permits to begin rebuilding.  I finally reached the person in charge of the gift shop and she was pretty sure she could contact the designer and get me replacement sails.  They came in the mail today.  I was so excited to put up the new sails.  I had to read the directions several times.  By the time I re-rigged the third boat I was an expert.  It was quite a challenge because even after a year and a half, activities that involve me keeping my hands above my shoulders for more than 2 minutes at a time is painful (probably should be doing more of it to regain strength).  But did I give up?  Heck no.  By the time I was rigging the last boat the birds who think they own the front deck were dive-bombing me.  I assured them that I was just about done.  I finished just in the nick of time.  I sat down to enjoy the fruits of my labor and rest my weary arms and to watch 4 birds attack the bird feeder.  Apparently they are quite spoiled.

I should probably take another shower before I deliver the cookies to SPEAKOUT.  Actually I think there is a speech is this Tuesday afternoon activity.

I would include a picture I just took but the thing-a-ma-jig to get the pictures off my camera is in some mysterious box, logical at the time, but mysterious today.  Trust me, it’s a great picture.

I did it!!!

Tonight I successfully replicated the basil ice cream mentioned in the last post.  I had it at Beverly’s, a restaurant at the Coeur D’Alene Resort while on our trip in May.  I was so impressed I searched the Internet and found a recipe.  Thanks to my gift card from Sandy for my birthday I purchased a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker and tried the recipe today.  There were alot of steps but once I tasted the first spoonful out of the frozen bowl, I  knew it was worth it.

For those of you who think that basil’s only partner is the nice ripe tomato perhaps with a nice chunk of creamy mozzarella – think again.

Fancy Beverly’s, Not so fancy Gwen

Yesterday we took advantage of the lunch specials at Beverly’s, a nice restaurant at the Coeur D’Alene Resort (it is what retired vacationers do).  The view was amazing! In nothing flat our waiter James brought us a shot glass of the drink special of strawberry-rhubarb lemonade. Sweet but delicious.  Next was the assortment of fruits/cucumbers to float in your water and the roll selection.  I chose the house special orange roll.  It was glazed and quite delightful – also quite sticky.  Halfway through JB tells me that he overheard ladies saying you were supposed to eat them with a knife and fork.  Good to know now that I have to lick each finger tip and I have a very sticky cloth napkin.

On to the appetizer.  JB had the soup of the day, a nice beer/cheese soup.  Could I do something that simple? Oh no, I get the Sweet Onion soup with a half pound of guyere cheese that is impossible to eat without strings of cheese hanging from ones chin.  The spoon  ended up being a round ball of cheese unable to help gather broth.  JB suggested I use my knife.  I must have missed the day where I learn how to eat with a knife and a covered spoon.  The entrée was a relatively uneventful tempura halibut with fries and a nice fruit salad.  On to dessert.  I ordered the lemon raspberry cake with basil ice cream.  I just had to try basil ice cream.  It was delicious and the plate was so artful I had to take a picture.  Who does that at a fancy restaurant?  All the while we were enjoying lunch it was the Thursday fashion show at Beverly’s.  All the clothing shops at the resort participated by having models walking through with outfits from their shops.  One gets an option of not wanted to be disturbed (read -conversation/salespitch by model).  We still got to enjoy the show as it passed by destined to make sales to ‘fancy’ ladies.  What a fun way to spend a Thursday!