Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I had an interesting day on Sunday - subbed as pianist/organist at my former church job. I found, to my embarrassment that I'm pretty out of shape musically... not a surprising discovery considering my dislike of practicing. I play the piano a fair amount at home - nothing serious... mostly just improvising and playing around with jazz harmonies. The organ has been pretty much ignored for the past year, thanks to taking care of a string of sick cats, and the organ itself being on the fritz for several months. The organ was recently repaired, and the cats are less demanding these days, so I really should get my butt back on the bench and back in shape, so as to not embarrass myself further!

After church I went out to lunch with some fun ladies I hadn't seen if far too long. We spent a couple of hours at Applebee's, gabbing and giggling, and having too much fun. I fell off my respective wagons and 1) ate some baby back ribs and curly fries, and 2) slammed back a couple of Long Island Ice Teas. I paid for my sins by feeling like crap all day yesterday, so today I'm back to the vegetarian fare and plain ole' ice tea, and, have to admit, am feeling a lot better! There's definitely a lesson to be learned (or re-learned) here.

Here's my wonderful "Auntie Betty"...

And Betty P. and Super-Fran...

Thanks Ladies... it was grand!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mystery Quilt

I LOVE doing Mystery Quilts! Trudy, in my quilt guild, does a mystery quilt class every year, and they are totally fun! Here's my finished top from the class last Saturday. I'm working on the back right now, and hope to get it to the quilter in a couple of days. I like the pattern a lot, and it was super easy. I love these colors, but I had a terrible time making up my mind between these and some beautiful green hand-dyed fabrics I have in my stash, so, I'll probably make another quilt soon... maybe two...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Our beloved little Jenny, the 20-year old Matriarch of our cat family, left us today. Out of nowhere, she went into convulsions last night, and never recovered. We rushed her up to the after-hours pet emergency clinic at 3:00 a.m., and they worked with her for several hours and got her stabilized, but were unable to bring her back. When the clinic closed at 8:00 this morning, we brought her back to our established caregivers at Redwood Vet Hospital here in Vallejo, where their fabulous staff of caring vets and techs spent the day monitoring and caring for her. Alas, the damage was done - both cerebral and cardiovascular - and there was no hope of ever getting her back. At 6:30 this evening, we made the impossibly difficult decision of euthanasia, and released her to cross the Rainbow Bridge and join her brothers, Boris, Michael and Josef, sister, Crystal, and special mother, Cuddles. Our grief is overwhelming, but she was our wonderful, fun and special little girl... and will live with us always.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Late Harvest

Thanks to the incredibly fabulous weather we've been having recently, the garden is still going strong, though it's beginning to look a little shabby, as well it might a week before Thanksgiving.

Yesterday was probably the swan song for the nice weather, though. Even as I type, the temperature is dropping and the winds are rising. The sky is completely clouded over and is turning darker by the minute. I just revved up the fireplace, and a crowd of cats is already gathering in front of it. I intend to join them with a book and another cup of coffee as soon as I finish here!

This morning I picked most of the veggies so they wouldn't get pounded by the rain that's been promised. For dinner, I'll fix the beans, along with some salmon, and grab a hunk of basil from the herb garden and mix it up with the tomatoes, some fresh mozzarella and spinach.

Last night's sunset was truly spectacular, and, if you can believe it, got even better after I took this picture!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

YAY! After far too many years, and Goddess knows how much haggling and negotiating, the Beatles have finally arrived at iTunes! Just in time for the Holidays! (imagine that...) Now you can buy Beatles singles for $1.29, entire albums for $12.99, or, if you want to totally blow your mind, you can get everything in the iTunes Beatles library for $149.00! I may have to restrain my husband in that last category, but I guess even I wouldn't mind that kind of splurge. I used to think the FabFour were a waste of time, but thanks to DH, I've learned to appreciate them over the years, and, after watching Sir Paul in a special broadcast on the tube the other night, I'm quickly approaching fanhood. While, in their early days, I thought they were the dorkiest looking bunch of dudes on the planet, I have to admit, they got better looking as the years passed and I began my own journey into OldFart-dom.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ready to dive in...

Today I finished the fusing phase of one of the pieces I started at PIQF... now to get going on the stitching/quilting. I haven't done a piece like this before, and I'll be trying out my free-motion stitching chops for the first time on a Serious, Real, Live Piece! Don't have a clue what I'm going to do... to quote the Queen of Hearts, I guess I'll just "begin at the beginning and proceed until I get to the end, and then stop."

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My Studio

I spent some time last week cleaning up my studio, and thought I'd take some pictures of it while it's still presentable!

Looking in from the hallway door...

Diagonal view from the loo...

My "inspiration" wall - photos, cards, ribbons, pictures, patterns - anything that grabs my eye that could become a quilt...

Some of my stash hides behind the inspiration wall...

The "entertainment center" - can't work without music! My favorites are Renaissance choral music, ambient, and jazz...

One of the design walls, holding small UFOs (unfinished objects) awaiting their fate...

Looking across the desk and into the Greenhouse In the Loo...

The Greenhouse In the Loo... the perfect atrium, and it didn't cost a penny in expensive additions!

Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Is it REALLY November???

It was in the mid 70s today, sunny, warm, balmy, beautiful clouds in the sky - an altogether lovely day. It still feels almost too warm to be true... I was just outside in shorts and a tee, and it was entirely pleasant. This can't last... so I'm glad I was able to enjoy it today - out and about running errands and even goofing off a little!

I haven't seen clouds like these in ages - they changed every few seconds... it was quite a show!

I made a jug of sun tea...

The sunset about knocked my socks off...!
Some peppers and strawberries are arriving late on the scene, and probably won't make it to maturity... but they're trying!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Messiah Sing Along

What a great way to kick off the Holiday Season! This festive event features a professional orchestra and soloists, conducted by Vallejo's own fabulous Kristy Juliano, and YOU (and scores of other Messiah-lovers) singing in the chorus! Due to problems with the former sponsor, the event didn't happen last year, but it's been resurrected by Norman Ortiz, Music Director at First Presbyterian Church of Vallejo, and is now poised to fill your soul with glorious music and propel you into the Holidays!

It's all happening on Sunday, December 5, 2010, at 6:00 p.m. (doors open at 5:00) at First Presbyterian Church of Vallejo, 1350 Amador Street at the corner of Nebraska (across from Vallejo Junior and Senior High Schools). Tickets are $15, and can be purchased in advance from the church, 707-644-4414, or at the door on the night of the event.