Wednesday, September 29, 2010
I went out of town on business yesterday. I drove about 200 miles for a meeting. Along the way, I noticed the cotton farmers beginning to harvest this year's cotton crop. The farmers have placed huge semi-trailers in their fields to collect the harvested cotton and haul it to the mills or storage or wherever. (Hey - Maybe THAT's what I need for my fabric stash??!!)
It was interesting to drive along and see such industry. I was glad for a couple of days of much cooler weather, so I can only imagine how these folks who work outside all day felt about it. Anyway, I am thankful for the farmers who grow and harvest the cotton. Otherwise, how would we get all these beautiful fabrics.
internet. I googled fabric shops in Montgomery Alabama, and I came up with one that looked interesting -Kudzu Blossom Quilts. Funny name, huh? (Does anybody like kudzu? Does it bloom?) But the ladies there were so nice, and it was such fun to look at all the pretty fabric, and peruse the book rack. I spent about an hour roaming around in this cute little shop.
I found something new that I thought was cool on the internet this week when I was looking for quilt stores in Montgomery - a fabric shop hop. It is fun to go from store to store and see what all these different quilt shops have to sell. Some of them have such cute ideas. I was inspired. Unfortunately, with 100 stores, you really can't visit them all. And nothing really takes the place of that sensory thrill you get from being surrounded by all the beautiful fabric and being able to touch it. Still the fabric shop hop is fun. Here is the link: Fabric Shop Hop Fun
So, thank you farmers, for your hard work. And thank you designers and textile industry workers and other quilters for all you do to make it possible to put all these beautiful fabrics together in such an endless variety of ways. I appreciate you.
And now to go use all those beautiful fabrics I brought home!
Sunday, September 12, 2010
The trip home was not so much fun. Dear Sister dropped Beautiful Daughter and I off at the airport at 7:30. Once we got through security we had about an hour until Beautiful Daughter's flight boarded. Luckily, our gates were right next to each other, so we could sit and chat. Afrter that, there there were a couple of hours to wait in the airport for my flight. Sea-Tac has always had great shopping and great food, so the wait wasn't too bad at all.
My flight was to leave at noon, but it went out full, and I wasn't on it. Luckily, there was another flight at 1:15 or so, and there were seats, but unfortunately it didn't connect with a flight home. Wonderful Husband drove to Gulfport to pick me up. By the time we drove in the driveway, it was after midnight. A very long day, but worth it for a wonderful vacation.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Beautiful Daughter, enjoy your 21st year!
Friday, September 10, 2010
Today's adventure was the quitessentially Northwestern - Western Washington State Fair, more familiarly known as the Puyallup Fair. Dear Sister and Dear Niece, Beautiful Daughter #2 and I headed off for The Fair first thing. I hadn't been to The Fair since I was expecting Handsome Son, so you can imagine that it had changed a lot. Admission was free if you brought canned goods for the food bank. Dear Sister was really glad to get those out of her bag!
We perused the commercial exhibits. No Ginsu knives this year. Too bad. For $5 (or have they gone up? - maybe even $10??) I would have bought one for Beautiful Daughter #2's kitchen. They are so versatile. When Wonderful Husband and I were first married, we would go to the fair just to listen to the Ginsu knife salesmen. We bought too many knives, but it was always great fun to listen to their schtick. Hey - maybe I'll see if I still have some of those!
Yours truly drooled over the new sewing machines Which embroidery machine would I want if I could have it??? Pfaff? - I love mine. Great for quilting. (I wish I had learned to use the computer embroidery feature on mine, but it is on a 3-1/2" floppy and works on MS-DOS, if you can believe it.) Bernina? They seem pretty cool. Brother? I don't know. Embroidery machines have come a long way since 1992. Dear Sister has a Viking. She really loves it. Maybe I need one of those.... I would love to have a quilting machine, but where would I put it? I guess I could put it in the living room instead of the couch. Wonderful Husband wouldn't mind (LOL)
Beautiful daughter bought some fudge. It was yummy, too.
We managed to find the youth crafts booth, which included FFA and 4-H, but we never did find the quilt show. Some of the youth quilts were amazing. I was really glad to see that young people are enjoying quilting, especially since both my girls seem to enjoy it now. It's gratifying. Maybe someday, they'll enter a quilt at the fair.
So what do you buy when you go on vacation? We all know there are plenty of places that sell what we like to call "rubber tomahawks" - those useless things that you can't believe you bought and dragged all the way home. Some people buy local wares, art or local crafts, that reflect the flavor and the ambiance of the place you visited. Me? I tend to buy fabric.
Seattle has lots of good choices in the fabric genre that we don't have here in Florida. Just a couple of blocks from Dear Sister's house is Pacific Fabrics, where Beautiful Daughter and I spent an hour or more perusing the awesome selection. I could have spent a fortune, but I was actually a little bit proud that I walked out without a single purchase. (So TOTALLY out of character!) Beautiful Daughter #1 proved that she is her mother's daughter by purchasing several items here. Chip off the old block, as they say.
My dear sister introduced Beautiful Daughter #1 and I to the Ben Franklin store in Redmond (once again, the photo is off Ben Franklin's Facebook page - when will I learn to think about the photos I need to take while I am actually THERE?).
I remembered Ben Franklin as a "5-and-10 cent store". Boy was I wrong! We found the ribbon area first. Such a great selection, and relatively inexpensive. I found the ribbons to finish Ari's tiered skirt, while Beautiful Daughter was thinking hair bows for Abby. Then, I found some great greeting cards with the cutest pictures of all the places we had been so far. At the time, I had no idea what I was going to do with them - and I thought they were a little expensive, but I had to have them. For lack of a better plan, they became the birthday gift and birthday card for the two September birthday folks in the family, both of whom shared parts of this Seattle adventure with me.
Finally, we found the fabric section. Heaven! Yes, it is my weakness, but once again, I exercised more will-power than I thought possible, and walked out with just the ribbon and the greeting cards. And then (after another great lunch at Ivar's - this time at one of their drive-in restaurants) I went home for a nap and dreamed about all the things I wished I had bought. Thus, nothing would do that I had to go back at the next opportunity and (exercising great restraint even then) bought the things I couldn't live without. It is so much fun to imagine what it will become. Join me?
|A view of the Seattle skyline from the Bainbridge Island Ferry, "Tacoma"|
Our final visit of the day (after a lengthy stop at the Verizon store to figure out why Beautiful Daughter #2's Blackberry wasn't working, and where the store manager was VERY helpful - although the stop itself wasn't exactly fun) was NORDSTROM. For more than 40 years now, Nordstrom has been my very favorite store anywhere on the planet. Their touted service isn't just an urban legend, it's a fact. Time and time again, Nordstrom employees have demonstrated that their job is to help customers, and they do it so well! I bought my first pair of grown-up high heels at Nordstrom when I was twelve, and the clerk treated me as courteously as he did any of his other customers - that means a lot to a 12 -year old.
Then, the day before my wedding, when my bridesmaid's dresses (purchased at another store), had not arrived, the buyer in the Bridal department sold me better dresses at the same price as the original ones - and did the alterations for free while my bridesmaids waited. Who can ever forget such service???
Another time, Wonderful Husband bought a pair of trousers literally after the store closed (at 9:15 pm!), and someone did the alterations in the middle of the night, and had them delivered to our hotel before we left at 10:00 am to catch our flight home.
And this time, Ari had a pair of shoes that she received for her birthday that were the wrong size, Nordstrom exchanged them because they carried the same shoe, even though they weren't purchased there.
I just can't say enough good things about Nordstrom. Or Seattle, for that matter. It was a great day!
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Yesterday, Beautiful Daughter #1, Dear Son-in-Law, Handsome Son, Abby and I headed into Seattle to do the typically tourist things that make Seattle such a fun place to visit. We stopped first at Pike Place Market, where we (and thousands of other people) examined all the fruits, vegetables, flowers, and crafts, and watched the obligatory fish throwing. Those fellas sure have their act down pat.
My big purchase of the day was a large, hardback copy of The Poky Little Puppy for Abby. This was my childhood favorite, and my children's also. I read it so much that I STILL have most of it memorized. "Five little puppies dug a hole under the fence and went for a walk in the wide, wide, world..."
Dear Son in Law and Beautiful Daughter #1 headed to the Space Needle for a sky-high view. (And despite the fact that it was Bumbershoot Weekend, we found FREE parking only 2 blocks away. Very cool!) Handsome Son and I stayed at ground level and entertained Abby so her mommy and daddy could enjoy the view uninterrupted.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
We had a beautiful, crisp Seattle day for our trip. We headed out in two cars up I-5 to the Skagit Valley and drove through what in the spring is Tulip Land - we're told that the valley was settled by the Dutch and that tulips of every color and variety grow here. We stopped at a fun fruit stand, with wild blackberries growing in the parking lot and a variety of Northwestern fruits, berries, vegetables, fish (including the biggest king salmon filet any of us had ever seen!)
Abby, was sure glad to get out of the car seat!
3/4 c shortening
1-1/2 c brown sugar
1 t soda
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t cloves
2-1/2 c flour
1/2 t salt
1/3 c milk
1 c softened raisins
Cream shortening and sugar. Beat in eggs. Add dry ingredients and milk. Stir in raisins. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet and bake about 10 minutes at 350*.
Thank you, Taylors, for a lovely day!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
We intended to fly Triangle Airlines. We really did. Once upon a time, we referred to this airline as "God's airline" because their service was so stellar. I remember once being late for a flight and having the gate agent drive me to my plane in a station wagon on the ramp. No such service in Salt Lake today!
We arrived at the airport later than we planned, but surely with enough time to make the 11:30 flight. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of thinking I could get my boarding pass from one of the ticketing kiosks. While I was attempting to do that, the agents were going ga-ga over my beautiful granddaughter. Sadly, the kiosk did not recognize me. Not realizing the seriousness of this mistake, I spent a few more moments basking in the glow of grandbaby admiration. The delay meant that I was within some mysterious 30-minute window which meant that the evil desk agent would not give me a boarding pass on the 11:30 flight (notwithstanding the fact that I had been at the kiosk in plenty of time or that it was their employees who delayed us and didn't mention anything about a 30-minute window). Evil gate agent even went so far as to leave a comment in the computer that I was not to board the 11:30 flight under any circumstances and proceeded to call the gate WHILE I WAS STANDING THERE to tell them so. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr...
Play with baby on the flight and try to keep her from kicking the rude young man in the window seat and his rude mother on the aisle. Try to keep baby happy. Works pretty well until about an hour into the flight. The plane finally touches down in Seattle and Abby falls asleep as we taxi to the gate. Figures...
Aunt Lynda has all the appropriate baby items. She has a pack and play with a changing table and a mobile, a booster seat/high chair for mealtime, and lots of toys. Life is good, and Abby shows her appreciation with smiles and giggles. Oh, she is a cutie.