Christmas Miracle

It’s not even December and our tree is up. It’s a Christmas miracle!

We usually decorate around the middle of December - sometimes as late as the week before Christmas - but with Rachel and Addy coming (!!) the third weekend and Leia being at her mom's this weekend, we decided early is better.

The amazement on Jaclyn's face when she got up from her nap and saw the decorated tree was priceless. Wish I’d thought to get photos - major grandma fail. 

Mary got the tree bug today too, so that branch of the family also has their decorating well underway.

Sure is looking Christmasy around here. Merry Everything, y’all!


Cookie Day

Leia and I love making - and sharing - cookies, but Mary is gluten-intolerant so she’s never able to indulge. Plus, she’s not much of a chocolate person when it comes to sweets and Leia and I looooooove chocolate.

But Mary does like ginger and cinnamon, so today we got some gluten-free flour and made special Mary cookies.

The recipe calls for rolling the dough into balls, then dropping them in sugar for a sweet coating. Our dough was too wet and gooey to roll, so I dropped spoonfuls of dough in the sugar and Leia rolled them into kinda ball-shapes and put them on the baking sheet. 

It wasn’t pretty but we got it done. And the cookies look great. 

Unfortunately, no one here likes ginger cookies so we’ll need to wait for tomorrow, when we see Mary, for the official taste test. And if they aren’t any good? No worries - this was just our first try. We have lots of ingredients to try again . . . and again . . .



Friday we took Leia to see “Something Rotten” at the Ahmanson Theatre in downtown LA.

We arrived with over an hour to spare - we weren’t taking any chances with Black Friday traffic! - 

giving us time to have lunch, admire the scenery, 

 “How much longer?? I’m borrrrrrrrrrred.” Only 10 minutes to go!

and for Leia to make a friend while playing in the fountain.

I’d scored discount seats in the fourth row (!!!) giving us a great view. 

If you have a chance to see this, GO! It was hilarious, with songs we are still humming days later. 

 Checking out the orchestra pit.

On Saturday, I started a quilt top for the new grandboy

 So boring! Rip and restart.

and on Sunday Leanne helped me rip it apart.

  Leanne insisted she needed my cheater specs to see the stitches. Personally, I think she just liked the pink.

The colors looked fine in the quilt shop but once I had it on the design wall, it just looked drab. It’s on hold while I wait for the postal service to deliver the perfect (I hope) replacement fabric. 

This was Leanne’s first time using a seam ripper and she got it right the first try. I’m hoping she continues to enjoy ripping, cause there’s going to be a lot of it before this quilt is done...



We had a great day

with family, 

food and relaxation.

 Stab the bread before it escapes!

Jac thought everyone was here just for her benefit,

either to hold her or feed her.

  Identical expressions. Mother and daughter.

She probably wasn’t far wrong.  

 Jac and Aunt Shelly

Happy turkey day, y’all!


Leanne's Quilt

After an emergency run to the local quilt shop for new border fabric*,

Leanne's project is officially ready for its trip to the long-arm quilter.

Doesn’t she look proud? As well she should - Leanne was involved in the decision making every step of the way, from picking out all the fabric to selecting the layout (I tried to talk her into another design - any other design - but she knew what she wanted. And she was right . . .)

Putting the back together turned out to be the hardest part of the entire thing. Saving a few pennies by buying 2.5 yards instead of 3 meant major math headaches for me.

I was afraid all those seams would be a lot more noticeable than they are. Want to see how much fabric I had left over??

One tiny pillow's worth. Now that’s cutting it close!

* I had at least 15 shades of pink fabric in my stash, but Leanne and I agreed that none of them was “right”. Shopping was our only option.


In The Works

Now that my craft room has been rearranged for quilting, I’m getting a lot more sewing  projects started - and finished. Yay!

Hand-stitching the binding on this quilt. Probably could have finished it tonight if Lily hadn’t decided to “help” me. These make great tv watching listening projects.

Leanne’s quilt is on the design wall. She decided the block placement tonight and I’m hoping to get it sewn together this week.

Just got this one back from the quilter. It’s gorgeous! Binding goes on this week and it goes to its new home in December. I loved working on this one.

Christmas table runner is half done, thanks to two sewing sessions at Debbie’s house. Need one more day to finish the piecing and another day (or two) for quilting. I still think I can get it finished this year . . .

I'm also planning/working on: 1) a rag quilt for a friend; 2) a Christmas present baby quilt for Isaac; 3) small quilt for Jac in the same fabric Leanne used in her quilt; 4) a quilt with Leia for her new baby brother; and . . . .  So many ideas. So little time!


Baby Approved

The binding is on, so this quilt is officially d.o.n.e.

I put it on the floor to get FO* pics and Jackie made herself right to home.

Love that she's camera-friendly and willing to let me take shots of her.

This was a block-a-month project that started in February 2017. We did two blocks each month, putting the top together in the last class.

Still can’t believe it’s actually finished - and in the same year it was started!

So, who gets this one? That would be ME!

* FO = Finished Object


The Big Reveal

The newest grandbaby, due in April, is a. . . . 


 We could actually watch him sucking his thumb.

We were all good with either boy or girl - a healthy baby is what’s important (and doctor said baby looks healthy!) - 

 Kissing his knees.

but after four grandgirls, a grandboy is a nice change of pace.

 Cute little hand and ear!

So hurry up, April. We need a new baby to spoil!


Musical Interlude

One of Leanne's favorite things at Swetsville Zoo 

were the bells and accompanying golf ball mallet which she used to compose her own song. Be sure to turn the volume up . . . 


When A Zoo Is Not A Zoo

We figured out while enroute to our favorite local museum that it was closed on Mondays. Since we had promised Leanne a special outing on our last day in Colorado, this was Really Not Good.

Thank goodness for old-time local bloggers and that nice Mr. Google. 

Before Leanne even realized something was amiss, we were on our way to Swetsville Zoo in Fort Collins. 

It's more sculpture garden than zoo, 

with a winding path through whimsical creatures,

both big 

and small;

space vehicles, 




and more.

I handed my camera to Leanne when we arrived

and she did me proud,

taking over 200 pictures -

including this self-portrait - 

during our 40-45 minute visit.

 Spark plugs for dinosaur teeth.

We had the park all to ourselves


and had fun wandering through the sculptures 

and enjoying a beautiful fall day. 

Hate to admit it, 

but I’m kinda glad the Discovery Museum was closed today.