Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Nothing like easing into a vacation

Sorry it has taken so long to get back to the story; I went back to work yesterday & to say that I’m buried in paperwork would be only a slight overstatement. In reality, it wasn’t as ghastly as I had originally feared; but then again, errors have a sneaky tendency to crop up at later, inconvenient dates.

Let me see; I left off at my barely legal entry into Canada on Thursday morning. I had planned on having the rest of the day to myself, exploring Vancouver, & made a start in Gastown; I strolled through some of the shops, saw the famous Steam Clock, & spent an hour in Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden before being summoned to dinner by my Mother. She seemed to be concerned that I wouldn’t be able to find the house where my sister was staying all by myself the following morning, despite my assurances that I directions, so it was decided I would meet her & Michael, my step-dad, there before going to dinner (how this helped, I’m not exactly sure, but I’ve learned not to question too much.) The next four days consisted of a lot of family, food, & rain. It was a constant light rain, which raised the stress level of the bride & groom, since the ceremony was to be outside; fortunately, the temperature was pleasant & the rain made the air smell wonderful.

My sister & I left Vancouver by 8:30 Friday morning & had a pleasant drive, where she filled me in on the latest in her world. H  is a free spirit, who lives in Kauai, camping out for the past 10 years in Kalalau Valley & living off the land. She hikes out of the Valley periodically (8 hours each way) to buy or trade for goods, do a little work if she needs cash, & to contact the family, then comes Stateside every couple of years. Up until 4 weeks ago, she shared her life & camp with her “man” E, but received an unexpected blow when he took up with someone else on her last trek out to settle travel arrangements for the wedding. She was just coming out of the state of shock, so I was able to be a safe sounding board for her broken heart; Mother isn’t able to deal with emotional issues & simply stated that E had been “dismissed” from the family.

Anyway, we arrived at Edgewater Lodge before 11:00 & I had time to do some practicing with Mark, my aunt’s friend who plays the ukulele & harmonica (my youngest brother, B , who plays the guitar, didn’t make it in time) before the official rehearsal. We ended up selecting four songs to do before the ceremony-

The 59th St Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy),

Dream (Everly Brothers),

In my Life (the Beatles),

& Sea of Love;

one vocal for the processional- Over the Rainbow- & then an instrumental version of Feeling Groovy as the bride walked down the aisle. If you are wondering what input the bride & groom had in this process- your guess is as good as mine; the only song I know for sure my brother chose was the Beatles’ song, because he gave me a CD with mixed songs (& I do mean mixed – from Johnny Cash to Bob Dylan to the Beach Boys) the week before. We are dealing with a couple of really laid back people, so I don’t think it mattered too much one way or another- they trusted the “experts” to make it sound good.

Afterwards, we all trekked down to locate the restaurant for the dinner being hosted that evening by our parents, then I peeled off to explore the Whistler Marketplace. It was like wandering through an Alpine village, with winding pedestrian-only lanes & Whistler Mountain as a backdrop; I got lost for about two hours before going over to Cedar Springs Lodge, the B & B where I was staying. I checked into my room just in time for tea (homemade banana nut bread) & then took a little nap before meeting everyone for dinner.

The dinner was awesome- a buffet with salad, fresh rolls, red potatoes, mixed vegetables, steak & salmon, & then cheesecake or chocolate mousse cake with fresh berries, plus an open bar & wine at every table. Mother had life-sized photo cutouts of D & W all over the room, plus pictures on the tables of each family over the years & those who were missing or gone; the popular activity (after sufficient alcohol was partaken) was having silly pictures taken with the cut outs. Michael, as both best man & father of the groom, gave a humorous speech (fortunately lacking in graphic medical humor- he is a urologist & surgeon, & likes to joke about his work) & Mother was particularly restrained, simply greeting everyone & thanking them for making the trip up to Canada for this event. I learn later that D’s only request of Mother for the weekend was that she was calm & didn’t give any speeches (you might remember that our Mother is a highly functional bi-polar, but does tend to get wound up over big events.) I think D & W were surprised at the number of people who came for the wedding- there were 25 members of the immediate families & around 50 or so friends of both of them, some coming from as far away as Hong Kong & Dubai.

I called it a night around 10:00, driving back to the B & B with my uncle Jim & his wife Elizabeth from New Mexico, who were staying at the same place; we had a brief nightcap (tea & decaf coffee) & quiet visit before going to bed, falling asleep to the sound of rain against the leaves.


Next time: Vows & Gondolas 

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A rocky start

Okay, okay! I’ve had some rest & finished the book, so now I’m ready to be social again.
It was most definitely an eventful trip, full of sightseeing, encounters with relatives, & surprisingly little emotional upheaval despite a wedding, a break-up, mental illness, & the blend of two culturally diverse families.
But first- an anecdote, a cautionary tale of being too prepared: the night before I left, I was having trouble sleeping- kept going over things in my head- so I finally got up around 2:00, remembering that I hadn’t left an itinerary for the guys or a list of things the Sam needed to take care of while I was away (if it’s not in writing, he’ll forget). I went to the computer to type it up, needing to go on the internet to get some of the addresses & phone numbers; while I was there, I figured I’d best print up another copy of my passport application status page, in case the one I had got lost or damaged. That’s right- my passport didn’t arrive, although I submitted the application 14 weeks prior to my trip (& still isn’t here L)- so in order to get back in the country I needed my photo id & application status page. So, anyway, I’m on the State Dept website, double checking to see if I need anything else, where I’m directed to make sure I comply to the entry requirements of the country I’m entering. Big mistake. It’s 2:30 am & I’m leaving the country in 5 hours- but I look anyway & see in big, bold letters;
“Passport or gov’t issued id with certified copy of birth certificate”.
Which is in my safe deposit box.
At the bank.
Which opens at 9:00.
An hour after I take off.
There has to be a mistake; how could I have missed that? I call the airline carrier that I’ll be flying- she reads the same thing I did. I call the State Dept hotline- they are closed for another two hours. I call the airport customs dept- they tell me the US requirements, but can’t be certain of the Canadian regulations. I call the airline carrier that I booked with- she says there shouldn’t be any problem- just bring what I have & plead ignorance if they fuss on the other end. Great. A fifty-fifty chance of being deported on my first visit to Canada. This will be a favorite story in my family for years to come, especially as I’m acknowledged as the smart one.
I fill Chris in on the situation & formulate a plan as we drive to the airport; my youngest brother won’t be arriving in Vancouver until 5:00 that evening, so Chris will drive back home, get my birth certificate, & go into work. If I have a problem at customs in Canada, I’ll call him- he will meet my brother & give him my paperwork, which he’ll bring along to get me out of the Canadian version of the Pokey. It’s all good. Either that, or go home, get it myself & drive to Vancouver. Not my favorite idea, but I can’t miss my brother’s wedding- who knows when one of them will ever do something so conventional again!
So, I get to the airport, hike a quarter mile into the terminal through a maze of construction detours, & check in at the counter; my paper work is checked, stamped, & boarding pass issued. No questions, no problems; maybe this ignorance thing will work. I have to wait a couple of hours & manage to get a little sleep before boarding the flight; two hours later, I’m landing in Vancouver, & my stomach starts doing the merengue. While I weaving my way through the long queue at customs, I start getting the cold sweats- I’m certain that I looked terribly guilty & any minute, sirens & lights will go off & armed officials will be surrounding me. Finally, it is my turn; I hand the woman all my papers- she squints up at me, unsmiling, then asks me the purpose of my visit. I say I’m here for a wedding, then some sightseeing- I babble a bit about my first trip alone, my brother getting married for the first time at 39, that I’m originally from Texas- you know, stupid nervous rambling. Next thing I know, she’s handing me my papers & pointing to the left, saying “You go over there” & I’m done.
Wow- that was easy. I promptly find a bathroom (nerves affect me that way) & then call Chris to tell him everything is fine. He answers on the second ring, listens quietly, then says, “That’s good news, because I can’t find your birth certificate.”
“Are you sure? It’s in the envelope marked Birth Certificates.”
“I have the entire box here (he was still at the bank) & I’ve looked through everything- it’s not here.”
Another wave of cold sweats- this could have been soooo bad; I apologize to Chris for the wasted trip & tell him not to worry about it- I’ll find it when I get home. After I retrieve my suitcases, I head off into another maze of construction detours (is every terminal on the west coast of North American under construction?) to find the car rental desk & then my hotel for the night. It isn’t until a few hours later, while lying down, trying to rid myself of a stress-induced headache, that I remember where my birth certificate is located.
I had to submit it with my passport application.
I don’t think I’ll tell Chris that part.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Your Travel Personality Is: Easygoing

When you travel, you're looking for a lot of downtime. Vacations are your chance to recoup.
All you need is a scenic spot and plenty of time on your hands. You'll figure out the rest.
You're not one to make lots of plans when you travel. You just follow whatever path seems right.

What's Your Travel Personality?



Hey, kids  Tired 

Yes, I'm back & I'm sleepy, so it's off to bed; I'll be back tomorrow with the first installment.


 Owl 2 


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What I really wanted to say

“Hello. You have reached the desk of Meg, accounting specialist extraordinaire & keeper of the sanity. So sorry to have missed your call- if you run fast, you may be able to catch a glimpse of me in the parking lot, but I would suggest you don’t allow any valuable items or vital limbs to drift between my car & the exit.

As I have blown this Popsicle Stand for the next 12 days, I wish you luck on reaching anybody to assist you; but if you press 210, 407, or any other random combination of three numbers, you may luck out & reach a live person who may or may not know what they are talking about, before having your call transfered back to this message.

After the tone, please leave your name, your phone number, & your detailed plea for help, which I should be able to listen to within 3 to 6 weeks of my return, depending on 1) the size of the pile of crucial, yet uncompleted work to be done, 2) the number of errors made or missed that need to be corrected before the end of the month, or 3) the dubious supposition I will actually return to this loony bin after tasting freedom. Thank you for calling & have a lovely day.”



Well kids, I'm off to British Columbia tomorrow morning at the uncivilized hour 4:30 am (leaving the house, not taking off) & steadfastly avoiding the telephone to get my last minute preparation done. I don't know what kind of internet access I'll run across, but I will do my best to check in to see how you all are holding up in my absence. Ta-ta! 


Monday, July 16, 2007

Everyday life

You Should Own a Beagle

Low maintenance, very friendly, and sturdy.

What Kind of Dog Should You Have?

Funny, this; we’ve talked about having a beagle, in the myriad of “Someday, when pigs fly & dogs cease to smell, I wouldn’t mind having…” discussions over the years. I’m definitely not a dog person, yet I enjoy watching the kennel show championships that are televised on the “Animal Planet” & will do research on breeds that catch my eye. Go figure.

Lots of little things are happening around the garden- more along the lines of normal, everyday events, then anything momentous or highly entertaining. Chris is working long hours, which is de rigueur for this time of year; pretty well sucks sour pickles, as I am getting ready to head off for a week, but the money will come in handy to pay off my gad-about. He actually had to do a road call to Yosemite Friday afternoon- a 3 hour drive at the best of times- in a motor home, on high, winding roads; Sam & I both politely declined accompanying him- the very thought of the drive made me feel car sick. We elected instead to have burritos at the taqueria & go see the new “Harry Potter” movie, which, while only skimming the surface of the story, was quite good. I spent the rest of the evening listening to my dear son crow over the fact that the day our pre-ordered copy of “Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows” arrives at our door (usually by 9:00 am), I will be off in the wilds of Canada watching my brother get married, unable to start the book until I return home. *grrr*

Saturday morning, I headed off to the mall for a little shopping; with all the walking I intend on doing, I felt it was prudent to buy another pair of shoes, as well as a couple of long-sleeve shirts, since the forecast for Vancouver/Whistler area is mid 50’s to low 60’s & rain likely. I also invested in a new purse- my current one is looking a bit ratty- & a large package of batteries for my camera; don’t want to miss any good shots!

While I was off indulging in some retail diversion, the guys went over to donate blood- Sam for the very first time. Chris is a member of the “Gallon Club”- he has type O-positive, so he regularly donates- & Sam has been itching to go along since he turned sixteen. I tell you- that boy was so proud of himself & sported the bandage until Sunday afternoon; now he’s recruiting his buddies to all go together in a couple of months. I’m glad he has taken to this; I had to give up donating a couple years ago- my veins will not cooperate & it usually takes at least three tries to get one that flows, even just drawing for blood tests at the doctor. I try once a year, & usually end up getting sent home with a polite “Thanks anyway- maybe next time.”

Well, my lists are growing, along with my travel folder; tomorrow is my last day of work for 12 lovely days. Wednesday will be spent getting my nails done, packing my suitcase, & stocking the larder for the guys, so they will hopefully eat at home while I’m away. I’m debating whether or not to go to dance class tonight; it’s been a couple of months since I’ve gone & will be a couple of weeks before I’ll be back, but with adjudication looming the first weekend in September, I feel like I need to get back in the swing. I will check in again before I head off- ciao!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday Feast #1

You Would Be a Pet Cat

Independent and aloof, you don't like to be dependent on anyone.
And as for other people, you can take them or leave them. You often don't care.
You live your life by your own rules. And you have deep motivations that no one truly understands.

Why you would make a great pet: You're not needy or greedy... unlike other four legged friends.

Why you would make a bad pet: You're not exactly running down to greet people at the door

What you would love about being a cat: Agility and freedom

What you would hate about being a cat: Being treated like a dog by clueless humans

What Kind of Pet Would You Be?

What is your favorite fruit?

This one is tough, especially this time of year when there are so many different fresh fruits available. If I have to choose one, I guess it would be watermelon; I can’t pass it up & will make a meal out of a hunk. 

Who is someone you consider as a great role model?

My Grandmother Lucy; she lived her life on her own terms- creative, individual, & outspoken- had a natural, deep relationship with God, & made serving others a lifestyle without short-changing herself.

If you were to spend one night anywhere within an hour of your home, where would you choose?

Another tough one; we live within an hour of many awesome places here in Central California. I’m torn- either the Queen Anne Hotel in San Francisco, or The Foxes B&B in Sutters Creek.

Main Course
Name something you do too often.

Procrastinate- my absolute worst failing

Fill in the blank: I really like ___________ because ____________.

I really like to spend time exploring parks & gardens, because it helps me to quiet my mind & refresh my spirit.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Not much time to contemplate right now; the first of the month is always a bit of chaos & angst at work, compounded this time with missing staff & my quickly approaching vacation (yeah me!), so I will just offer up a few bullets of arbitrary observations:

    öThe blouse was finished late Saturday evening; I wasn’t thrilled with the fit of the sleeves & around the abdomen (must get more serious about losing this weight), so I nearly abandoned the whole thing as a lost cause. But stubbornness & frugality won the day; I rigged, adjusted, & slapped on the buttonholes, & viola- a presentable garment. I got a couple of compliments- which I graciously accepted without pointing out the glaring flaws- & was much more comfortable in the long run. Turns out we were hopping busy at Ravenswood, despite the warm temperatures- I gave three full tours myself & didn’t have time to knock the croquet ball around with the ladies.

    öI’m finally wrapping up the church quilt; all that is left is slip-stitching the binding & I think I will forward that on to the other ladies to complete. The only time I have to work on it is in the evening, & as the fabric is dark green, being stitched with black thread, I’m getting a headache trying to see clearly; I think one of the stay-home ladies would have an easier time working in daylight. I’m also donating a nearly completed quilt I made 10 years ago (it just needs binding- can you tell I don’t really like that part?); it was a Stash Challenge quilt I made originally for Jessica- she didn’t like my color choices & showed no interest in having it. It has been sitting in my fabric closet, aggravating me every time I see it, so I decided to donate it to the cause- someone will love it & Women’s Ministries will gain the profits.

    öThe emails & phone calls have been flying fast & furious of late amongst my extended family- my brother D’s wedding is a week from Saturday & everyone seems to be in panic mode. Having been through more than my share of this pre-nuptial insanity, I have been fully sympathetic, but refused to be sucked into the chaos. Until this weekend. When D called me- for the very first time in his life (yes, I am serious- my siblings do not call me- we only talk if we happen to meet at our parents’ house)- & asked me to sing at his wedding. In two weeks. Okay, that came from left field; but this is my little brother, getting married for the first time at age 39, so against my first impulse to run in the opposite direction, I say “Yes, if you really want me to- what did you have in mind?” Among effusive (for him) thanks, he says he’ll email me the song list- pick out a couple I think I can do & it will be fine. Okaaay. I wonder silently whether bride-to-be W knows anything about this, but I guess that’s not my problem. The long & short of the story is: I’ll be singing “Over the Rainbow” & “Devoted to You” accompanied by electric/acoustic guitar (youngest brother B), mandolin (youngest sister’s “man” E from Kauai), & ukulele (step-dad’s sister’s boyfriend M). Yep. Ukulele. And we’ll only have one rehearsal- the night before, once everyone arrives in Whistler. Oy. Have I mentioned my family is insane? Well, maybe not insane; maybe more unconventional with a twist of peculiar. Poor W- she has no idea what she’s signed on for.

Five more work days & I am so out of here; this has been a hard-won vacation, & I plan on enjoying myself, despite my nutty relatives. For the next 9 days, every evening but one has a commitment, & that one will be spent packing & coaching the guys on their duties while I’m away.

Unlike dear Jane & her ever-lovin’ Homer, I am not a “fly by the seat of your pants” traveler; I have a one-inch thick folder (started when D & W announced their engagement & subsequent Canadian wedding) with- in order: passport receipt/paperwork, flight itinerary, car rental receipt, directions from Vancouver airport to hotel #1, reservation confirmation to hotel #1, directions from hotel #1 to bed & breakfast in Whistler (no confirmation receipt on this one- Mother is paying for this, so I’ll just have to trust she’s got it in hand, or sleep in my car), directions from bed & breakfast in Whistler to wedding venue, directions from bed & breakfast to hotel #2 in Vancouver, reservation confirmation to hotel #2, directions from hotel #2 to Tsawwassen, confirmation receipts for ferry rides between Tsawwassen & Victoria, directions from ferry building to bed & breakfast in Victoria, & a list (with directions, times, cost, etc) of 3 things that are “must see” & 3 that are “would really like to see if there is time”. And this is one of my more relaxed trips- I don’t have to factor in the guys interests & wants, so I’m positively cavalier about my timetables & activities. Well, accept for the flight & ferry reservations; oh- and the rehearsal & wedding of course. Maybe if I did more traveling, I could just “go with the flow” like my friends & siblings do; then again, I’m an accounting geek-daughter of an Eagle Scout/engineer & bi-polar interior decorator- my very nature is to err on the side of caution & allow for any contingencies. Add to that the fact that I’m taking this trip all on my own (for the first time in my life!) & will have no one to blame but myself if I get lost or miss a travel connection. Yep, that’s me, Mrs. Serene herself- the living embodiment of stress-free nonchalance.

Prayers accepted.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Knowing my aversion to early mornings, you will be surprised to learn that I did make it in time to watch with hot air balloon launch with Chris. In fact, we made it to the park just as the aerialists were arriving to set up, so we watched the entire process from arrival to launch, while enjoying some coffee & conversation with our friend from church & his dog, Snickers.

It was interesting to watch each team prepare their balloons for inflation (that long, skinny shadow in the middle is me, taking the photo)

and the fascination of both young & old with the process; it was barely 6:30 am & there were a couple hundred spectators (of course, the Lion’s Club Pancake Breakfast might have had a little to do with it.)

It was also notable that the average age of the pilots was about 60 years old & every one of them was toting a lot of photography equipment.

I got up close & personal with the last group to set up

& was surprised how quickly it progressed

The missing shot in this set was when the wind shifted & the envelope of the not-fully-inflated balloon began coming down right above my head; I wasn’t in any danger, since the material is very light, but it was a bit disconcerting to see this huge, floating mass 6 feet above my head!

Then, with a brief roar of flame, each balloon rose through the quickly warming air

& floated silently off into the morning sky.

We headed back home around 7:15 to eat some breakfast, then the girls & I crawled back into bed for a couple of hours. The day did end up unbearably hot (I think we topped out at 108° F) so other then a quick trip over to the hardware store for some one-day specials & Michael’s for a new blade for my rotary cutter, we didn’t venture much beyond the kitchen for the day. Sam went off to a friend’s house for a BBQ & swim party, so it was just Chris & me to enjoy the burgers, corn, & watermelon.

Violet chose Wednesday to declare her independence as well, venturing out of Sam’s room in the daylight hours & sitting with us in the living room for a time.

Of course, she was accompanied by her adoring fans, who would not give her any privacy, even when she retreated to the study for a little bird watching.

A low key weekend is on tap; I’m going to drop in on knitting group for a bit tonight, before picking up some fusible interfacing & buttons for my new blouse; tomorrow will be Farmers’ Market early in the morning & sewing in the afternoon. I hope to get the blouse done Saturday, since this is my Sunday at Ravenswood & the forecast is for the high 90’s to low 100’s; even though the Cottage & Main House are air-conditioned, I’m certain I will appreciate a shorter sleeved, cotton blouse to wear instead of the long-sleeved, polyester one.

Hope each of you has pleasant, comfortable weekend, filled with activities that make you happy!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Treasures Abound

Lest you think from my last post that my MIL is some sort of Dragon Lady, please let me reiterate that I really do love her dearly. She is an awesome woman, having single-handedly raised two exemplary sons after the death of her husband; she has been our biggest cheerleader & support system (we had our wedding in her living room & lived with her for the first year of our marriage) as well as the best Grandma to all the children (Sam is the only biological grandkid); we are also great friends, with many common interests & taste in most everything. And while she now has two beautiful, accomplished, & witty daughters-in-law, I am assured that I’m not only the smartest (I mean, really- four children in eight years- figure it out already), I’m the favorite J

We have been keeping the postman rather busy the past couple of weeks; he has worn a faint path to our door delivering an assortment of goodies. Let’s take a look at a few treasures:


This is the package I received from the “Simply Pampered” swap- it was a little late, but worth the wait (the chocolate biscotti was wiped out before I could get a photo)


This one is from the “Mystery Box- Aim for Hearts” swap- this girl went with the less obvious craft support & sent a lovely assortment crafting goodies- I already have a plan for the red-to-pink fat quarters assortment & that gold trimmed pink ribbon will be a great addition to my new hat.


The prize goes to Knitting Diva for the incredible package she sent for the “Small Project Knit Kit” swap; she sent something to indulge all my hobbies & a few extras! Aren't those stitch markers the cutest? I think this shawl is going to be my next project- just portable enough to take with me to BC.


Then of course is the new baby- my Canon PowerShot A570IS; it came with four manuals, along with the software, so I should be busy for a bit finding out all the cool things I can do.


These were not an indulgence; I have needed sandals for ages. It seems like every time I went shopping for some, I ended up with dark brown (I have 3 pairs right now, but only one set is presentable)

Sadly, the only thing that hasn’t arrived in the mail yet is the one I need most:


I realize that the regulations have been relaxed until the first of the year, but I’m going to have to scramble around to find all the other documentation & paperwork if my passport doesn’t arrive before the 19th.

Well, I'm off to bed now; Chris wants to get up early to watch the balloons take off at the park. We have lived here since 1995 & every year, he says he wants to go; when the alarm goes off at 5:30 on his day off, he always seems to change his mind. Go figure.

You all have a wonderful Independence Day & fire off some preferably legal fireworks in our honor; with no rain in over 3 months, pretty much every display is going to be a no-go around here. We will be observing the day by hanging our flag, watching the parade downtown, then feasting on burgers, corn on the cob, & ice cold watermelon. Tough life we have here in the great old USA!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Post Number 102!

Your Bumper Sticker Should Be

Even if the voices aren't real - they've got some great ideas


Well, my MIL is back in Oregon, the first week of the audit is over, my headache wandered away Tuesday night, & I’ve waded halfway through the instruction manuals of my new camera & even managed to take a couple photos!

I love my MIL, really I do, but I’ve come to accept that since she retired, it is probably best that she lives in another state; she seems to have lost the majority of her social skills. I suppose part of it is ageing & precarious health, part of it is spending entirely too much time with 4 children under the age of 8, & much of it is from not having regular adult interaction; I could not complete an anecdote or observation all weekend without being interrupted with a complete change of subject.

Then there was the litany of physical ailments- not only her own, but her best friend, the younger grandkids (I got the constipation & pinworm story twice), & her next door neighbor.

But my favorite part was the pronouncements about people who waste their free time going online; not once, not twice, but three separate times, over the course of two days, she gave the same speech declaring that while the Internet is fine for dropping a line or researching a recipe, she had better things to do with her time, like work on her quilt, cook a good meal, or read a book. I guess it escaped her notice that I was online a couple of times, checking email, getting directions, pulling up some photos she wanted, etc, as well as entertaining a guest, sharing some new book finds, & working on my knitting.

Fortunately, for all of us, I was raised to respect my elders & be polite at all costs; other then sighing quite a bit & shooting a few visual daggers at her back, I bit my tongue & kept the peace.

Okay, that’s all the griping I’m going to do today.

The visit wasn’t all doom & gloom; we went to the Farmer’s Market Saturday morning & picked up a half box of wonderful strawberries; the wedding was…interesting… but Chris glad to see his family. Sunday was spent in Livermore; the weather was pleasant & my MIL wanted to see Ravenswood, so we headed over to see the antique quilt show & take her on a tour of the cottage. Afterward, we headed over to Alden Lane Nursery to look for a gift for the friend she had stayed with all week; you will be so proud of me- I came home with only 3 plants & all of them are in the ground!  Monday morning, Chris drove his Mom back into her friend’s house & when I got up to go to work, this is what I found waiting on the kitchen table:


I’ve been eye-balling it in the Ravenswood gift shop & will go well with the pink & green print dress I’m making.

We got some good news this week- Daisy’s insulin levels have been balanced, so she doesn’t have to go back to the vet for 3 to 4 weeks. Not only are those all day visits, with 2 car trips across town, very stressful for an old lady like her, it was becoming rather costly- not a good thing just before I’m heading off on vacation. She really does look much better; her fur is fluffy again, she’s showing some interest in the activities around here, has been very talkative & even came upstairs a couple times this week- mostly to tell me to “Hurry up & feed me!”

I could ramble on for a while longer with the miscellany of the week, but I do need to spend some time on the church quilt- it’s back at my house, being machine quilted (not my favorite part) & hopefully bound before I leave on the 19th. I also need to get a cotton blouse made to wear this summer at Ravenswood- the one I’m borrowing right now is polyester, therefore not too breathable. Hope you all are gearing up for a terrific 4th of July!