Sunday, April 28, 2013

Licensed to Pour

As you all know by now, Chanceman and Butrscotch were left alone on Friday night.  We went up to Spokane so I could attend a Miche Purse Party that CR's daughter Sunye was having with her co-workers.  I made a cake for the party and was thrilled at how excited her co-workers were to see me - or rather the cake.  Sunye's hubby, Bryan was out of town, so CR was on Grandpa duty with the handsome Mr. Ben.  He picked Ben up from soccer practice and they spent the evening together doing "man" stuff.  Saturday morning we were treated to scrambled eggs made by Ben, who is 10 and got straight A's on his last report card.  He is quite the kid to say the least and we are very proud of him.  We are also in awe of the fantastic job his parents have done in raising him.  He's polite, respectful, fun to talk with, cute as can be and just an all around terrific kid.   We left Saturday morning to get home for an event I was helping with that evening.

A few posts ago I mentioned that I took the very long 3 hour online course to obtain my class 12 license for the State of WA.  Class 12 gives you the ability to pour wine at a winery or even bar tend if you'd like.  I got the license because I'd like to work at a winery someday.  I also got the license so I could pour at my good friend Cathy's yacht club event.  She put on a fantastic wine tasting event with 4 wineries and lots of cheese, bread, crackers, fruit, dark chocolate.  It was just so fantastic.  The event coinsides with spring barrel tasting in our area, so one of the wineries couldn't supply a person to pour, but they could supply the wine.  Cathy, knowing I wanted to work at a winery, asked if I'd pour for that winery and I jumped at the chance.  I poured my little heart out and apparently I did a good enough job that people actually thought I worked for that winery.  I just like wine, I like to pair wine with foods and I think it should always be fun - no rigid wine rules in this girls book.  I also enjoy people and chatting with them, so it was just a fantastic evening for those who attended and for myself as well.  CR went along with me and he enjoyed sampling wine and helping out where needed.  We both had fun helping Cathy prep everything for the event as well.

The winery at the table next to mine was Bookwalter.  A sweet young man from that winery and I got to talking and he gave me a sample of their 2012 Couplet wine.  A blend of Chardonnay and Vognier grapes.  Oh baby, it was so crisp and delicious.  A perfect salad wine or just a perfect glass of chilled wine on a hot summer day.  And so guess who scored the extra, unopened bottle to take home??  Anyone want to guess??



Mercy it is a good wine!!  CR likes the reds, but I tend to like both and in the summer you won't catch me drinking a red - to dry and not refreshing for me.

This morning we were dragging from being on the go, so CR took me out to breakfast and it was a nice change of pace.  I usually make us a nice breakfast on Sundays, but I didn't have enough get up and go this morning.

Now it's time to grocery shop and back up to Spokane tomorrow for CR's 6 month check up for his cancer.  Never a dull moment folks.  Then it's time to paint that sewing room - but first I will be moving my fabric out, so perhaps I'll be painting by mid-May, haha, there's a lot to move.  I have my massage therapist on speed dial!!

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Saturday, April 27, 2013

When left on their own........

Chanceman here. 

My Mom, Dad and that darn dog have left me and my brother all alone.  While they spent the night in Spokane, we were left all by ourselves - with no food or water or treats.  Okay that's not true, but can a man get a little sympathy.  I mean really they never leave that dog, what gives with that!!   I know, we fe-lions are self sufficient, but we do like having our staff at home and tending to our every need.

Why just the other day I basked in the sun and fresh air (open window) while I watched my mother sew.  You gotta watch your staff, they can't be trusted, I'm just sure while she is sewing, that she is scheming on how to steal my catnip, or cheat me out of my full scoop of food - you just can't turn your back on these humans.  I'm just sayin!!

Well enough of my struggles in life and my untrustworthy minions.  How about a couple pictures of my handsome self:



So hey, instead of my Mom's usual send off, how about this:

Clean litters and Catnip for everyone!!
ChanceMan

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pied Piper

Our boys (the felines of love as I sometimes call them) are quite the characters.  A few weeks ago CR brought to my attention that in the early days when we first brought Scotchie home, he would follow CR into the back room to watch him fix breakfast and dinner.  Then it became a ritual that CR would put a few pieces of kibble down for Scotchie when fixing their bowls of food.  Scotchie I'm sure was just making sure the food was fresh and acceptable - not at all because he tends to be a little piggy.  Well it would seem that Chanceman has gotten into the act as well.  So when the Pied Piper - I mean CR gathers up their bowls to give them fresh food in the morning and evening, he is followed by "the big cats", they strut, they position and they wait..........................for a few kibbles to make sure the food is up to their standards.  Chanceman doesn't always eat his, no problem the Piggy - I mean Scotchie cleans up after him.

I wish I could get better pictures, but if I ask CR to move out of the way, the cats get all freaky about the interruption and walk away.



It's so darn funny the little things they do and habits they form.  They're not different from us in the different rituals we have.  I can't imagine a house with out cats and dogs.  They entertain you, keep you on your toes and they love you so much.

Lately Scotchie has taken to laying on my legs when I'm in bed sharing my leg pillow with me.  I sleep with a leg pillow to help my lower back, well apparently Scotchie thinks its his pillow.  So if I get up for a bathroom break in the early morning hours, it's darn near impossible to get back into bed and forget the leg pillow, it is his and he's not moving.  And he's got me trained - I usually just get up, make coffee and wait for everyone else to wake up and start the day.

I've started a quilt kit I got from the Fat Quarter Shop - I don't even remember when I got it, but hopefully I'll have pictures to show sometime soon.  I'm just cutting it out now.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Busy Girl

They say busy girls are better girls, so I'm staying busy.

Yesterday I finally got the curtain made for our little bathroom window.  I think it really just pulls it all together:


Today I was busy baking chocolate chip cookies for our grandson.  We will be going up to Spokane on Friday and CR will drop me off at Sunye's office so I can attend her Miche Purse Party and then he will go on to Ben's soccer practice and some boy time.  Ben's Dad has to attend a weekend class so he won't be around - we'll miss seeing him.  Ben is planning right now where he and Grandpa should go to dinner.  Meanwhile I'm baking a cake on Thursday for the party.  It should be fun to meet Sunye's friends and co-workers.

We also finished that last couple of touches for the Kitchen today.  We have a peg board that is actually a door to the electrical panel for the house.  It's always been handy, but ugly.  When we started painting, I said to CR, wouldn't it be nice to paint that, and he's such a sweetie, he took it down, cleaned up the hinges and primed it so I could paint it.  Here are the before, all dark and ugly and the after - all clean and bright:

Before

After
And we also put up the two really cute hangers - one for our calendar and one for this little metal envelope thingy that I put favorite recipes in.


Next week we will start the arduous task of painting my sewing room.  That my friends is going to require a lot of upfront preparation, moving stuff out of the room and CR is gonna find out how much of a stash I really have, oy vey!!  By the time we get to the actual painting, it'll be a piece of cake.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Monday, April 22, 2013

Running Errands

Today has been rather busy.  We intended to run errands and we did.  One errand was extremely important.  Our coffee pot wouldn't work this morning.  In this house that registers as an emergency.  Luckily CR thought to bring the coffee maker from our 5th wheel in to the house, emergency averted, thankfully.

CR realized that he hadn't purchased the new tabs for our Camry, so first stop was the county auditors so we wouldn't get pulled over.  Oh man - another emergency averted.  So many close calls for a Monday!!

Then it was off to a couple different places to pick up a cute calendar hanger for the kitchen calendar, then something or other to cover the spot in my sewing room where the light used to be.  While CR was in the mega hardware store looking for that, I sat in the car and people watched and drank coffee.  I am fascinated by the number of people who will park in a handicap parking spot with out a legal handicap tag or license plate.  And while one gentleman was up there in age, there was also a couple who were younger than me that did it too.  What gives, I just think that is wrong.  I was also amazed at the number of people, young and old who hobble along as if they are in pain.  That makes me sad, esp. for the younger people.  I'm glad that I didn't start the hobbling in pain till my hip went bad in my late 40's and ended with a hip replacement.  Sometimes when I get out of the car I am stiff, but it's just my back and I'm upright in no time.  Arthritis is not going to get this girl down.  Although recently my right big toe's arthritis has gotten really bad and it is so painful all the time that I do tend to walk a bit funny.  The doctor was thinking surgery, then suggested trying a carbon fiber shoe insert.  So I dutifully went to get the $50.00 insert and the darn thing made it worse.  For starters, even though it's not super thick, it does take up room in my shoe and when your toe and it's joints are swollen, that is valuable real estate in a shoe.  Then there is the wee problem that I don't wear my shoes in the house.  I'm a barefoot girl or at best slippers if I'm cold.  CR wears his shoes from the time he gets up practically till the time he goes to bed.  Who knows what will become of this darn toe, I have a feeling surgery is going to be needed to fix it and to remove a pea size piece of bone that is floating around loose and I think causing some of the problem I'm having.  Fun times - NOT.

We also went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and got new towels for the bathroom:


I love these colors so much.  CR says he is slowly getting used to the lavender in the bathroom.  I don't do a lot of real girlie colors in the house, so I'm sure he'll adjust and like it soon enough.

Here is a picture of the green in our kitchen, it's light, so it's hard to truly see.


And a few pictures of wall hangings and my bundt pan collection back on the walls:

A New decorative light switch - these are hard to find anymore. 

A few of my pretty bundt pans.  Not all are hanging up - there just isn't the enough room.

Coffee cups for a coffee loving girl!!


I love the green, I wish I could get a better picture that would how you the true color.  I tried searching the Behr Paint website for Palm Breeze (our kitchen paint color), but the picture is so small and not very true to the color.  Oh well, try to imagine it if you will.

Now I must get some things done and perhaps someday get back into my sewing room. 

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Cupcakes

Last week was quite a week around here.  Sick for the first part and then it was on to painting.  I'm still waiting for some help in putting things back on the walls - yes that means I'm waiting on CR.  Yesterday we both took it kinda easy - we were both beat from painting, and sore I might add.  This next week we have some things to take care of so no painting and that's good, we both need a break from it.

Late yesterday afternoon I decided to bake cupcakes for CR.  I found this recipe going around on Facebook for Snickerdoodle Cupcakes and since we are both fans of snickerdoodle cookies, well I thought it might be fun to try these.


The original recipe comes from Martha Stewart, the difference is she frosted hers and I brushed my cooled cup cakes with butter and then dipped them in a cinnamon and sugar mixture.  We aren't that big on frosting and the cinnamon sugar combo made them more like the cookies we love.

No pictures of the kitchen yet - hopefully soon.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bird Bath Bingo

Yesterday I was busy (bored) taking my 3 hour computer training for my Class 12 License in the State of WA to serve alcohol.  No, I'm not becoming a bartender.  I am going to do a special pouring event at a friends function involving wineries and to be legal, I needed my class 12 license.  I'd also like to work a bit at my very favorite winery - Alexandria Nicole Cellars and the tasting room manager was excited that I was getting my license so I could work special events there.  I would love that, not the every day - just special events, my kind of job!!

Anyhow at the end of the training, CR came in and was telling me that Scotchie was just mesmerized watching the birds in our bird bath, so I grabbed my camera and this is what I found:

Oh the concentration
Suddenly he realizes I'm there with that darn camera and he's looking at me like - hey don't scare my birds

The sparrows were flying about and really enjoying the bird bath

At times the splashing got out of hand

Mr. and Mrs. Quail had enough of that craziness and decided to leave

The splashing continued - "those two were just to uptight for our party"


I looked out our other window and saw this plump fellow and his wife off to
 the left out of camera range enjoying the day in our yard.
We bought that molded leaf bird bath last year and boy do the birds love it and the quail love to drink out of it.  It's been fun for all and the cats are hypnotized by all the frolicking and bird activity.

I've been under the weather the last couple of days.  Today I hope to get the walls washed and some paint on them too.  That kitchen isn't gonna paint itself, darn it!!  I certainly thought I'd be further along rather than just starting.  Oh well, today is a new day and I'm ready to get going!!

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam






Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Maddie's Summer Shave

On Monday, Maddie had her "day of beauty" and got a bath and a major haircut, or summer shave as I like to call it.  I swear she looks like she's lost 10 pounds once all that hair goes away.

I tried to get her to sit up and do a little pose, she was all like - well rub my belly and give me a treat and I might.

She finally sat up but then looked over at her Dad like "do I have to do this, I'm not in the mood".

Finally she looks my way, but it's like a teenager - "like really Mom, put that camera
 someplace uncomfortable and leave me alone".

Okay, the treat helped do the trick - I will look at you, but I will not sit up all pretty.

So as you can see it was a bit of a struggle to get a picture of her.  Apparently a day of beauty wears a girl out and posing for pictures is not her idea of fun.

In other news I found a recipe for a Lemon Yogurt Blueberry Bread and made it for CR - he declares it to be decadent.  I think that means it won't go to waste, haha.



No stitching today, still riding the high of having finished our bed quilt and not feeling the best so I've been a bit lazy.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Monday, April 15, 2013

Hold the Presses - the Quilt Top is DONE!!

I am so thrilled to have the quilt top for our bed done.  It's embarrassing that I started it in 2009 and am just getting it done.  But here it is in all it's glory.  Just need to buy backing fabric and take it to my favorite quilter.  And in case you were wondering - CR loves it!!





This week I'll be painting the kitchen.  I'd much rather be sewing, but the darn kitchen refuses to paint itself!!

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Putting it Back Together

With the Bathroom painting done I had to get in and clean and put it back together on Friday.  Wow, painting can sure get a bathroom dirty, who knew!

So I put it back together and now it looks like this:


I decided to put a print I had in my sewing room in the bathroom to go with the lavender and green theme.  It's a print by a wonderful Washington artist named Julie Peterson.  Julie does amazing paintings with quilts as well as wildlife and some of the beautiful scenery of our state.  Check her out if you get a chance.  Here is the print:


I decided that the small bathroom window needed a valance.  It's a frosted window, but when the sun comes in just right, it can darn near blind you.  We had a 70 year old tree taken down from the back of the house and never had the blinding factor till then.  I miss our tree, but it was seriously damaged in a big wind storm and not safe.

So here is the window and below it is the fabric I picked out to make a small valance:

 

My friend Kelly and I went to the Sewing Basket in Prosser - or as I like to call it, the little yellow house.  She's expanded to the garage in back of the house so it's not quite as hard to get around and see all the beautiful fabrics she has, and lord she has a lot of gorgeous fabrics.  So that is where I found the perfect fabric for that window.  Check out her website and see the little yellow house as well as the bigger yellow house where she has quilting retreats.

And speaking of my friend Kelly, she'll be so proud of me when she sees this:


That is the bed quilt - all rows sewn together and I'll be putting the borders on today.  Yes Kelly I did locate the inner and outer border fabric.  I was worried that I didn't know where I put the fabric for the inner border.  Whew, a big relief when I found both border fabrics together!!  Stay tuned, I should have a picture of a completed quilt top tomorrow!!  Then I need to pick out a backing fabric.

And last, but never least, a before picture of Madison.  She is going to the groomers to get her summer shave tomorrow.


Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Friday, April 12, 2013

Painting - One Room Done

We started painting this week.  The smallest room was where we decided to begin.  The bathroom went from a light peachy color to a nice lavender.  It's so hard in a small space to get a good picture of the color changes.  First step was to wash the walls, then tape, then paint.  Now I'm off to the chiropractor for a neck and should adjustment.  Next up is our Kitchen.  I'm hoping it will be a tad easier given that I won't have to tape so much, but we shall see.


Walls clean, everything taped off, old color.

New lavender color.  Now for new towels in dark green and dark purple.
We'll take the tape off and put the towel racks back up today.  Then next week, more painting.  Yikes, I need some sewing time.  My friend Kelly and I are headed to the little yellow house in Prosser that is the Sewing Basket.  It is crammed to the gills with fabric and it's like going on a treasure hunt to find just the right thing.  I love it.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Nice Surprise

Yesterday morning the neighbor who is building a house next to us called and asked if my hubby was around.  Well he was, but he was outside somewhere - the neighbor said well I will be there in 5 minutes if that is okay.  So I said sure.  While he's been building his home, he's been hooked up to the water and electricity from our garage and he keeps asking us what he owes us.  Well we haven't seen any real increase in our power and water bill so we keep telling him he owes nothing.

Evidently he decided he needed to do something so his wife baked us this beautiful and very delicious cake that he brought to us - such a nice surprise to say the least:


 
Oh lord it is so delish and the inside has a custard type of cream filling.  Totally decadent and sinful!!

Yesterday was a slow going morning for us, we both just had trouble kicking it into gear.  Even the animals were having one of those days.

Scotchie was all about being on his dad's lap and getting his belly rubbed:


Oh to be that relaxed.  And Chance wasn't far off just hanging out and trying to keep his eyes open - he wasn't always successful.


Madison likes to go under the china hutch - it's like she can be with us, but have a private little space to chill out and nap in.  Nobody walking around her or stepping over her and the cats know to leave her alone too.

Today is better.  We got going and had lunch with 2 couples we've both worked with in the past.  We're all retired and it's so nice having lunch when the restaurants aren't as busy as they tend to get on the weekends.

Now that we are home, CR is working on yard clean up before the next wind storm tomorrow and I'm sewing on our bed quilt once I finish this post.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam


Monday, April 8, 2013

Crows Nest

Sunday was a very windy day in our neck of the woods.  At one point my Hubby checked the local wind speeds and they were 50mph.  The kind of day when you go outside you feel like you're  being beat up by the wind.

At the corner of our house we have huge evergreen tree.


You can see how tall it is.  Well the other day CR realized at the top of that tree some crows were nesting.  Ugh, I'm not a fan of crows and all the racket they make.  Well the high winds took care of that problem for me.

 
When we got home from purchasing paint so I can paint inside the house, we saw this huge nest on the ground.
 
A closer look - darn thing is pretty big.
 
 
We turned it over to see if there was anything in it.....
 
 
And then on the edge of the deck we spotted this - broken egg pieces
 
 
Looking a little further in the yard, we spotted the partial egg
 
 
A better look at the partial egg - interesting color isn't it.  Not sure if the crows have moved on or if they plan to rebuild.  Only time will tell, but for today, with the wind, they probably won't.

Did I tell you that the lot next door was cut in half to be 2 lots.  The half nearest the road has had a house for several years.  Last year a really nice couple and their kids bought the back lot and this spring they started building.  I should have taken photos sooner, but was busy and had no idea how quickly they'd be moving to get the structure up.  Here is what you can see from over the fence.


The garage is off to the right and above it they are building a bonus room for their kids to have as a play area.  They have 2 girls and 4 boys, so the extra room will be fantastic for them.  The roof line extends past the house in the back to provide a covered porch as well.  They've really put some thought into their new home and I think it's going to be gorgeous when they complete it.

My friend Robyn and her wonderful hubby Gerald were here all last week, we had so much fun getting together - just us girls and as couples.  Last night we had dinner with them and said our farewells till we meet up again.  They headed home this morning and I miss them.  It's hard to find couple friends in which every one gets along and enjoys the others company.

Hoping to get some stitching on our bed quilt done this week, get it put together and the borders on before I begin painting the kitchen, bathroom, and my sewing room.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam