Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Icicle River and the Autumn Leaf Festival

The Cascade Mountains of Washington are really some of the prettiest to be seen [and I'm talking as someone who has seen a goodly number of mountain ranges, although I might be a tad biased, as well] Leavenworth is a small town on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains (highway 2) that needed to figure out a way to invigorate itself as it was not prospering and was going into decline.  So apparently some of the town leaders decided to try giving the town a Bavarian theme.  And lo and behold, it has become a northwest staple and there are events year-around and people travel for (many) miles for a visit.  [including the Germans we heard while having lunch]
The sunshine and blue skies just added to the ambiance.  Our group has stayed in this campground before but we continue to really enjoy being there.  It's very well maintained and quite beautiful.
Icicle River

So you can see that we have been away from blogging land and enjoying what we can of autumn in the pacific northwest - we know it won't last, but we'll savor every last drop.  And the trees haven't really changed colors yet.

This week has included, thus far, seeing the moving "The Help"  - very, very good, some more curtain sewing for DS and DIL and a visit with Baby "B", and some babysitting for the other grands.  Phew!  Today it's take the car in for service and start to do something with the apples and pears we picked up while in eastern Washington, where they are grown.  Who can't find something to do when retired?  Lucky me!

Yikes - a whole week has gone by

Sorry for not updating for a few days.  Each day I think (in the morning) ah yes, I will get back here and add those photos and talk about what's going on, but. . . . . well, you may know how that goes.  Last Wednesday we went to the very, very small town of Plain, WA -  approximately 15 miles outside of Leavenworth (if that helps).  I had won a night at Mountain Springs Lodge.
Lovely, lovely, lovely.  We had one of the suites in the upstairs of this lodge.
During the summer they have an on-site dining room.  As this is now "off" season, that dining room is closed but it was suggested that we could go to a nearby diner.  It happens that we had heard of this diner from one of our house-exchangers this summer, as they too had visited the diner, on Highway 2.  It's called the 59-er Diner.  What a hoot!

Check out the pink phone on the counter

They are especially known for their REAL milkshakes, made with hard ice cream and milk and topped with whipped cream and sprinkles.  [almost a whole dinner, right there].

After burgers, onion rings and a small milkshake, we waddled out the door and home to our most comfortable room.  Next day it was off in the motorhome to a camping adventure with our RVing women's group.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Learning a new, old skill

I didn't have a mother who canned anything.  She did learn to use her freezer but even the microwave was a bit exotic.  So I was quite excited today to attend a class taught by Kaila at church on canning.  We canned peaches, pears, strawberry jam, strawberry and peach jam and picked beets.  Oh it was terrific.  As Kaila said, it was something like a symphony in order to have all the parts ready and in the right order.

So we began with fresh fruit and vegetables,

The glass jars were run through the dishwasher to sterilize them and were packed with the produce,

A hot syrup/or hot brine (used for pickled vegetables) was added to each jar and a sterilized lid and band was added to each jar.  They were placed in a canner  -  [you can find these at the Goodwill or thrift store, unless you had a different mother than I did]
You need to 'process' the jar for the required amount of time - e.g. jam takes 10 minutes, beets take 30 minutes.  And then viola. . . . . .

Now this may not seem so exciting to you, but I am quite jazzed to know about this.  Will I go out and buy all the gear?  I'm not sure, but I know that it isn't nearly as exotic or mysterious as I had thought all these years.  We all got to bring home a jar of each of our efforts.  Lekker. (tasty)

"What's Behind the Green Door?"

Are you old enough to remember that song.   I seem to recall that it was one of the songs used in Mr. and Mrs. Saltmarsh's dance class to teach us how to do the Swing.  Oh but that is a digression. . . . . .

Here is our new green door,

It really is a lovely color.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Off to the Fair

Today was our (usually) annual visit to the Western Washington State Fair.  It was a big departure, weather-wise, from last week and was even drizzling this morning.  But none of us melted and we had a delightful outing with 2 Grandmas and the 3 biggest Grands.
We did all the required: firetruck, petting farm, horses, goats, dogs, an Elephant "Ear" [with cinnamon and sugar].  The Puyallup pigs, born 5 days ago,
14 of those little ones          

Everyone had 2 rides and then it was lunch time.  Phew - sitting down felt good.  On to check out the quilts (of course)

  It was very interesting to notice, this year, lots of green, although there didn't seem to be any one particular style shown.  I have to say, honestly, that I didn't have loads of favorites, but here are a few that I did think were very good.

We had a very fun day.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mostly keeping out of trouble

This has been a really busy week with various appointments - can you believe that from a retired girl?  But I have also been keeping myself busy making lined drapes for my son and DIL's bedroom.  They turned out pretty well - not perfect but they will surely do the trick.
The "front" (top layer) is a sheer tan loose weave fabric - rather like fine quality burlap.  She is quite pleased so they are up and looking pretty OK.  Phew!  Tomorrow it's off to the Western Washington Fair with the 3 grands.  That should be fun.  More photos to follow.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Finishing a couple of those projects that have been hanging around (for varying lengths of time) sure does feel good.  So just to encourage myself to keep at it, here are last week's finishes -

Table runner started by my friend Elaine M
Baby quilt for Nick and Wendy, expecting #1 in October (gender unknown)
And a small wrap for my little Miss "B" (Grand #4).  It turns out that her mom was given a large art print which, while by a different artist, is almost identical in its theme and animals.  This was made from some scraps from Becca (Stashbusters).  Later I found some more of this fabric, so will make a twin size cover (later)
"B" and her Nana at the soccer game.  Ain't it good?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Grandmotherly duties

Well, today was the first soccer game for the 8 1/2 y.o. grandson.  My own son played soccer for years and years - [I have stood on my share of cold, wet fields.]  But today it was close to 80` and we brought umbrellas to find a bit of shade.  Such a hoot - visions of the past.

Bumble-bee formation

But the first soccer player showed up with his little pea -so cute,
And her Nana had a little "hold" as well,

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Small(ish) fabric purchase

As I told you, on Sunday we visited Gee Gee's Quilting in Yelm, WA.  Their website says they have over 15,000 bolts.  It is an amazing place and verges on overwhelming, except. . . . . . almost anything you could be looking for is likely to be there, if it is still being made.  And so, first fabric for new pillowcases for the Grands (it's incredible how much they LOVE their Nana-made pillowcases)

For the oldest (now 11 1/2 going on 27, somedays)
If you cannot tell, it is green with golden suns
For the 8 1/2 y.o.

and for the little princess, 4 1/2
And then, because it was there, to make something for the RVing club

And two for me.  The first is a M'Liss R. Hawley for In the Beginning (an older print), but I loved it,
And a brand new "neutral".  I loved it - with just a hint of blue and green.  Actually it is called "Baby Safari and those are giraffes and something else [???] but I'm convinced that it will be a marvelous blender for whenever I might need something really light,
So all together, I guess I added about 8 yards.  Not so bad, I guess when you figure that 4 of the 6 came from the sale room.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lucky me!

I'm so very fortunate to be able to have the time and friends to enable another FABULOUS week-end.  We enjoyed great friends, delicious food and of course, the weather cooperated mightily.  The weather man predicted that our gorgeous weather would continue through the holiday week-end, and it did just that.  We arrived at our friend's on Friday afternoon.  Our time was filled with eating and games [Carcassone, Five Crowns and of course, Texas Hold 'Em], bike riding and even a little trip  to the quilt store.  So, some photos of our adventures,
The gathering of chairs on the left of the photo is around the fire circle.  We had campfires each brisk morning and again after supper.  The car port became the "clubhouse" where we played games and decorated RV shaped wooden cut-outs (supplied by one of the guests). [We all stayed in our RV's parked in various places around our hosts large property.]  Saturday morning we went on a bicycle ride on a Rails to Trails route.  (This used to be a railroad route, but the tracks have been removed and it has been paved for walking and biking.  Nothing motorized is allowed.)

Sunday morning we made a jaunt to Gee Gee's Quilting,
This unassuming looking place is simply overflowing with fabric (and crafts and books and kits and thread and and and and)  These photos are truly just a little 'slice' of the aisles inside.
Fabrics are beautifully organized by theme (I found soccer fabric for my grandson) or by type (30's or civil war repro's) or sort (I don't know how to label this) for example, in the picture in the middle above you can see all the 'fairy frost' type of fabrics on the right, on the left are the few solids.  There are asian fabrics, florals, stripes, dots, etc, etc.  It can be a bit overwhelming, but surely a "candy store" for some of us.  If it isn't here, I'm not sure that it is available anywhere.  Quite an outing.  I made a few purchases - much of it from the sale room.  [Photos in my next blog.]
That's Mt. Rainier peeking out from behind the trees.

Walking home after the BBQ supper at the neighbors.  Wow!