Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Catching Up

I need to give you a tour of my new sewing space that David generously shared with me, but here's a preview.  The space where the table is used to have a twin bed that was seldom used.  It's so nice to have this space and not have to clear my stuff off the dining table to eat dinner.  
 I've been using my space to make a few Christmas gifts.

We enjoyed unusually warm weather for the Christmas parade this year!  Some folks are missing from our hastily arranged picture, but we had a big and fun group.  
Mom, Dad, Con, and I saw Love The Coopers, which was a cute (if a little dark) Christmas movie, and Christina and I have done our annual homes tours.  The weather has been strangely warm which is making it seem not very Christmasy, but it's coming up fast!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

I Did, I Do, I Will

This week we celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary.  Time truly does fly when you're having fun, and I can't believe it's been 8 years already.
 We celebrated twice - dinner out at a yummy Italian restaurant last weekend and steaks at home on our anniversary.
 Eight beautiful roses for eight wonderful years.
Happy anniversary, David!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Some new additions to the Christmas decorations this year.  I found the Shiny Bright brand topper at a flea market for a reasonable price, and couldn't resist buying it to go with David's mom's ornaments.  I also thought it needed a new retro inspired tree and I found this one at Martin's Floral.  It's a very pale green.  Not something I'd normally choose, but I love the way it looks with the old ornaments!
 I also chose a new tree this year for the spot at the top of the stairs.  It's decorated with cranberry colored wooden beads, dried orange slices, and gingerbread men that I made with applesauce and cinnamon.  I also made it a tea-stained red ticking tree skirt.
 And, just for fun, a new Santa pillow in the chair next to it!  I've had a lot of fun with the new-to-me sewing machine!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was definitely a day for which to be thankful.  We woke up to gray skies, but no rain, and warmish temperatures.
 We improved our Turkey Trot time by 10 minutes over last year's time!  The dogs and people had a great time.
 Soon after, the tables were set and the food was ready.
 We had a great Thanksgiving of 13 family members, friends, and neighbors.
 We ate, we visited, we visited about what we ate...
 I think a good time was had by all.
 It was even nice enough outside to enjoy the fire David had made.
 Gracie stayed hidden while all the guests were there, but she emerged as soon as the last car pulled away and claimed her spot on my lap.
It was a wonderful day!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Thanksgiving Prep

Back in September when I volunteered to have Thanksgiving at our house, I think David was a bit worried.  A few weeks later when I committed to doing the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day, he really began to doubt my sanity.  I was convinced though that with sufficient preparation, lists, and crockpots, we could pull it off!
 Many important tasks were started up to a week before Thanksgiving.  Things that just had to be done - like taking every dish from these shelves and washing them. ;)  Okay, I'll be the first to admit that some things that I do to get ready for company don't make a bit of sense.
 They day before, I peeled, boiled, and mashed 6 pounds of potatoes.  That turned out to be a little much for 13 people, but there's nothing wrong with extra mashed potatoes!
 I knew better than to take on the task of making gravy, so we tried (and disliked) a jar variety.  David bought this at Sam's, and after making a sample batch, we declared it a winner.  We did not foresee that I would get distracted on Thanksgiving Day and boil it over on the stove.  What a mess!  Thick smoke and gravy that I thought would NEVER come off the stovetop.  By the time the first guests arrived, though, the smoke had cleared and David had scrubbed the stove clean.
 I even learned to make coffee!  We received this coffee maker as a wedding gift, and hadn't yet used it.  Coffee turned out not to be too hard to make, and my Dad declared it "pretty good" and "better than McDonald's" - which he drinks every day.
video

Riley does not like change, and the folding table in the kitchen was just almost too much for him.  I can't remember if it was before the gravy debacle or after, but Gracie made a failed attempt to jump on the table, pulling the tablecloth and a couple of dishes off with her.  The only casualty was a really cute pumpkin plate that was a wedding gift, but I was still thankful that the plate was empty and that I didn't already have the jello sitting out!

I was pretty worried about having a house full of people AND an excited dog, so when Todd offered to dog-sit, I was so relieved!  I love that dog, but not having to worry about him jumping on people or eating off anyone's plate took a lot of stress away!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Fern

Meet Fern.  She's constructed of osnaburg using the Raggedy Ann pattern - just enlarged.  Somehow in the enlarging process, she ended up with weirdly long arms, but I still like her. 




 Her face reminds me of a Peanuts character.  Her little shoes are painted on then sanded and laced with embroidery thread.  Her dress is made from fabric Mom gave me, and her buttons came from David's mom's sewing basket.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Thankful

I like a project that I can finish in one evening - like this little Give Thanks pillow.  This weekend, David cleaned out a closet in his office.  It looks great, and is one step closer to having a permanent spot for my sewing table and supplies.  Thank you, David!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Spooktacular Halloween

I never think to take pictures on Halloween, and I vowed to make up for lost time this year.  While I took more pictures than past years, I still didn't manage many.  Todd and Scott built new pumpkin pyramids this year, with a little help from David and me in carving.  
 Christina and I have spent many many Halloweens together over the years.
 The pumpkin stacks looked even better after dark.
 This is one of David's favorite nights of the year.
 I got a replacement selfie-stick for my birthday...clearly I need to make use of it. :)
 Inside, the good food was plentiful.  David noticed Scott posed perfectly between the signs for the turkey.
 Just a small sample of all the festive Halloween decorations.  Christina and I light the candles when we arrive, and it's a great chance to get to see everything.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Happy 10 Years!

Ten years ago today was a very big day!  We closed on this house.  David hates to move, and said we were going to stay there for at least 15 years.  I laughed at the time, but I'm beginning to think that he may have been right!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Sew Much Fun!

Returning to the real world after a vacation is never fun, but it's been made easier by returning to pretty nice fall weather and beautiful trees.  
We had a great weekend full of family and friends, and in between activities, I found time to make a little pillow.  I've wanted to try this, and the recent discovery that sewing isn't so awfully hard after all gave me more motivation.  I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out!
The pattern is from Chestnut Junction.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Happily Ever After, Every Now and Then

Saturday morning at the beach was so nice that we decided on a repeat performance for Sunday.  We chose a different spot and settled in.
 I thought these morning glories growing out of sand and coral were pretty.
 I think we'll be taking our hammocks on every vacation from now on.
 Still pretty cloudy, but no rain, so no complaints from us!
 For lunch we decided to try out a place we'd heard about but never been, so we hopped on our trusty bicycle and tricycle and cruised over to Sandy's.  Sandy's operates out of the corner of a laundry mat, and seems to be a local favorite.  I had the Cuban mix, and David had the Sandy's sandwich, which is the Cuban Mix, plus some extra goodies like bacon.  It was delicious!
 We didn't tour any of the places we'd already been like the Hemingway House or lighthouse, but I did want to take a tour of something different.  After lunch we pedaled over to the Audubon House.
 We've seen them setting up for weddings here, and I always wondered what was behind those walls.  The house is beautifully restored, and the grounds were gorgeous!
 Couldn't go to Key West and not stop by Captain Tony's!
 No sunset to speak of, but we enjoyed watching the street performers again at Mallory Square.
We returned to Caroline's for dinner and enjoyed visiting with our favorite server from our 2012 trip. We hated to see our trip end - the only way I managed to leave was a promise of a return trip in 2017 if not before.  See you soon, Key West!

**Yes, the title is from another Buffett song...what did you expect? ;)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

My Old Red Bike Gets Me Around

The weather was more cooperative on our first full day in Key West.  As is often the case, we were up and about before most places were open - including the bike shop where we wanted to rent our transportation for the weekend.  
 One of these days, David and I will travel the entire length of US 1 from Key West to Fort Kent, ME...or maybe from Maine to Key West.
 Once the bike shop opened, we rented one bicycle and one tricycle.  I loved riding this thing!  We hopped on them and headed to the beach.
 Last time we were here, we'd talked about how nice it would be to have our hammocks at the beach.  Little did we know that it would be so soon!  Our hammocks pack to a pretty small size, and we were so glad to have them.  I'm not sure there's anything better than swaying in the breeze at the beach.
 The clouds hung around, but the rain stayed away, so we were able to enjoy the sunset celebration .  This dog did an amazing job of walking on two tight ropes...while wearing shorts.  Only in Key West!
 David had asked our cab driver from the airport about good Cuban food and he recommended a restaurant we hadn't tried before called El Siboney.  It is well off the beaten path in a residential area, but we had a good time pedaling our way to dinner.  
It was delicious, plentiful, and one of the most reasonably priced meals we've had in Key West.  This is David's Siboney Steak with yellow rices, black beans, and fried plantains.  Just looking at this picture makes me hungry again!

**No, my bike wasn't actually red.  Nor was it a bike, but that's a line from a Jimmy Buffett song that I'm pretty sure is written about Key West.