November, already!

I hate to say it, but times flying by.  We or rather Paul has had such a busy fall.  I’m along for the ride.  We did go together out to California to see the kids.  The day after we got back Paul drove to Ft. Lauderdale in a rush,  to work on a huge boat.  Kinda cool that they know about his expertise all the way up here in Maine.  He stayed at the Bahia Mar, I was jealous.  It’s a fabulous hotel on the beach.  I found it a few years ago as it is always mentioned in those Travis McGee books by John D. McDonald (sp?). Easy books we read while on our boat in the tropics. This character in the book lived on his houseboat called The Busted Flush and kept it at the Bahia Mar.  When I was looking for a place in between flights from the Abaco’s to home I remembered the hotel and went there.  Very cool place and…..ta da……$99./a night, gorgeous room actually on the Intercoastal Waterway with the ocean across the street.  Couldn’t ask for anything better!  While Paul was there his older brother (my age) passed away out in the Dakotas (yiiikes).  So, Paul hopped in his truck and drove home then flew out there the next day for that stuff.  Very sad.  Now Paul is back and we’re getting back to normal again.  We may do the Florida thing occasionally this winter as there is a ton of work for him and his toes are happier in a warm climate.  We’ll see.

I got a ton done while he was gone.  I started a baby sack for Ruth’s baby. 

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It’s really cute.  It’s not very big.  I think you roll it down like a sock, put the baby in and pull it up, all snuggly.  It will probably only work for about a month but then they start moving around anyway.  It’s sweet.

I did some weaving and wasn’t sure I posted that last time but here’s a shot I don’t think I put up.  It’s a bread rising cloth.

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My winter water exercise class has started – love it!  It’s hard.  We use sponge weights and have our arms out of the water most of the hour…..man, I’m exhausted when done.  You’d think being in a pool it would be all floaty and soft.  It’s hard work, for me anyway.  I feel great and just love the anywhere from 25-50 old ladies I swim with.  They are so sweet.  When I was changing in the locker room yesterday there was a heated conversation I overheard about this lady who was taking off for a week-end date with her new boyfriend.  She is so sweet, round, 75 maybe and just bubbly all over with happiness.  I think it’s cool.  Everyone was really respectful and not asking embarrassing questions and truly wishing her happiness.  A bit different than the “boy talk” I remember when I was young.  It takes age to be cool!

I made a bag for my towel and stuff.  Fun.  It’s a fabric grocery store bag pattern.  I had a nice scrap from a dress I made this summer and lined it with a heavy ticking that I got from Salvation Army.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the pink and white stripe heavy stuff but it was too nice to pass up for a buck.  It’s perfect! 

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The first few days Paul was gone my eating pattern changed drastically.  Like Wine & crackers for dinner, no lunch, etc.  It was bad so one day, not too far into it I got out all I could to steam something up and have a healthy dinner. Vegetables and polenta. Yummola.

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The garden needed to be put to bed so I went out and tilled that to death one afternoon.  I made it bigger also – very hard digging into that grass but it’s much larger now.  The tiller found a pile of carrots I didn’t know were there…..such a sweet treat.

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We’re going to extend our big garden in the spring as our two trees, that used to be tiny, have gotten so big now.  One is a Japanese Dogwood and the other is an Apple tree.  These trees were planted eight years ago in memory of two special people so I can’t yank them out…..we’ll just extend off to the side.  I do like the shade from them both now.  Kittie, our little yellow guy, loves to lay in the shade and watch me garden.  It’s her spot.

Luna and I have been doing allot of beach walking – whenever the tide is low we head over there.  It’s so beautiful.  She just loves trotting along looking for a dog to socialize with.  I see her slowing down a bit now – she doesn’t go up to all the dogs, picks and chooses and then when she does play it’s just for a minute or so then moves along.  She’s 9.5 years old now.  Young.

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We are so lucky to have the ocean just 6 miles away.  I never go in the summer and also don’t swim in it but I really love walking on the hard sand at low tide.  It doesn’t matter what time of day, it’s beautiful.

While driving home from the airport with Paul the other day we decided to find our old favorite German Sausage Kitchen, Karl’s.  They moved after a zillion years from Route One in Saugus.  We found them a few miles up the road in a very hidden spot – hard to find but now that we know where they are.  The best!  We bought the usual, German Potato Salad, Pickled yellow beets, Bratwurst, Knockwurst, Beerwurst and Cherry Strudle.  They now have a full store and a cafe inside.  Paul having just eaten couldn’t resist more so he ordered a pulled lamb sandwich with au jus and sauerkraut.  Darn good, really darn good.  I made this that evening with our stash. Made a blueberry pie as soon as we got home.  Too hot for dinner time but awesome with coffee the next morning.

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The salad is mostly our lettuce, beets from Karl’s and other fruits, etc. from the fridge. I throw everything in.  There was some gorgonzola in there also.

And, last…..a Turkey.

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Crazy Carla.  Who else cooks a turkey this close to Thanksgiving?  Our grocery store is selling them for .49 cents a pound – who can resist?  I have a big one in the freezer for turkey day when Ruth & Matt are here – that one is getting Fried via Matt’s project.  No gravy – how can that be?  So, I cooked this one up, froze the juice for gravy making on the big day (which happens to be my birth day also).  Now I have a zip loc with just turkey meat in it.  That’s going to become a tetrazini for tonight; lots of broccoli in house.  I’ve roasted up the bones and reduced a stock with those to put in the freezer also.  I may have to try and avoid the grocery store so I won’t buy any more turkeys…..well, perhaps one or two more?  Just to get us through January.

Happy Trails and I hope everyone has a lovely Thanksgiving.  I may check in sooner as I really am hoping to make a cake for us – I never seem to get one with THAT holiday of pies, etc. around my BIG DAY so this year I think I’ll just do it and then just eat it!

Geech, busy..

I’ve been doing lots of fun things lately.  Usually I have fun anyway but these past few weeks have included going to California to see our grand daughters who are now 4 and 6!  Big Girls.

Paul went with me; we did some really fun stuff.  The best was walking them to and from school – they go in different directions, Colbie all day, 5 days and Zoe goes 2-3 days, day care.  I volunteered at Colbies school to help the kids with letters – that was way fun – those little pumpkins trying to match capital letters with lower case by drawing a line between the matching ones.  It was so darn hard for some of them and just a snap for the others.  I, of course, just wanted to hug them and have them sit on my lap but that’s not what school is all about.  Don’t you think 5 is a wee bit young to be so structured???  I do.  Zoe’s day care is a play place – she moves between project tables, has outdoor time and is just a kid.  She’s so loving – big, huge smile on her face when she gets there and then hugs for all before she leaves.  We have the same haircut these days and as her hair is really, really blonde, mine blonde/grey, both round happy faces we look remarkably like……Grandmother and Grand daughter!  Everyone smiles at us.  It’s cute.   I get it – Colbie who will be six at Christmas looks like Jesse but has the unusual strawberry blonde hair of her other grand mother’s.  They look super cute together.  I had hoped to get a picture of the four of us while there but that didn’t happen.  Oh well.

Jesse was Jamming while we were there.  He got this jam cooker and has just gone haywire with all the fruits they grow out there.  California is on steroids with their growing season.  He has a big, old fig tree in the back yard.

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When we got home to Maine we had some roasted squash so I used his jam as a glaze after it was done baking – oh my, fabuloso to say the least.  I will try and remember to mention this towards the end.

California:  We took off after four days with the family and drove up the coast from San Fransisco to Mendocino.  We started out about 10, trying to miss the traffic.  Of course there was the Bart strike while we were there.  The Bart is the subway/train system that absolutely everyone uses.  Well, with that down, you could not possibly drive anywhere.  A lot of people book a room in the city while this goes on so they can get to work.  It’s a nightmare.  They are good about figuring out how to get it all handled.  Just down the street from our bnb (we did the airbnb thing) was the entrance to the one and only road that takes you over to the city across the bay.  Cars were lined up 15 deep to give people rides.  I couldn’t quite figure out if A. they were needing another person so they could go in the HOV lane or if it was B. the peace/love thing wanting to help their fell man.  Negative nelly, I suspect it was the first but it surprised me when I saw it. 

So here’s the Goombas, plus one, their cousin Isaac who became a big brother while there as his mom had twins the next day from this shot….full 40 weeks, big kids, 8 lb. 14 oz. and 8 lbs. 7.  Cute, already developed three month old looking girls.  Isaac is totally IN FOR IT NOW.  He’s really spoiled and really smart.  He’s a fun little kid to talk with just to watch his facial expressions and his adult language and manner.

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Messy eaters. 

This is the squash I made with the fig jam.

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I picked this book up while shopping in a cool, little store in Berkeley that we are always drawn to.  Unbelievable book.  It is so different and varied all with a food theme of some sort.  I just finished a story on Apples in Maine and this guy that hunts down, catalogs and grafts really old apples.  Very interesting!  Prior to that it was about a cheese woman in Wisconsin.  Prior to that it was a very funny, like side cramping funny, story about dissecting what’s in our food these days…..gluten free, peanuts, all sorts of food denials.

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Some very great, for us wonderful news happened in the past week….ta da…..Ruth, our daughter is starting her fourth month of pregnancy. 

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This is what I was knitting on the plane….so proud and not one darn person asked about it so I couldn’t say anything to anybody.  I’ve had to keep this under wraps for a long time now.  These days the norm is to not say anything until the three month mark just in case there is a loss so I have known what seems like a year now.  But, and I didn’t think I could do it, but, I didn’t tell anyone cause I know just how darn long nine months is!  We’re super excited as is Ruth and her hubcap Matt.  The doggies are probably not so thrilled.

Ruth’s 31st. birthday is Sunday – I also knit these for her on the plane.  Word to the wise – security at airports are really o.k. with circular needles, not so with double ended.  They let me through but it was quite a hassel.

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Days before we left I decided to make pillow cases for the girls….spare time Carla you say.  You bet.  It was fun and for me, very challenging.  I really don’t do well with written explanations…for some reason my wee brain just struggles.  Once I get it, I get it but until then migraines, you name it.  School by the way was a total nightmare for me.

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Once I figured the first one out it was easy street.  They have french seams inside so you never see a seam anywhere.  Kind of a nice finishing point.  And that little band is a flap – kind of fun as it was so friggin difficult how to do it.  Of course the fairie one was the favorite but when I suggested the parents keep the animal ones suddenly they were on the girls beds also.  They now have two each. 

While we were out there this warp was sitting on my loom waiting to come off – just a few more inches to go but I didn’t have time.  I thought about it while out there and couldn’t wait to get back to it.  I’m hemming them now.

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The rolled up one in the front is to show the back side of the fabric.  They are intended as dish towels.  The fabric is cottolin which is 50% cotton/50% linen.  It’s my favorite fiber to work with.  The stripes are a hand dyed washable wool.  They are 20″ wide and 35″ long.  I got four towels from the warp – one is a bit short so I’m keeping that one as a bread covering cloth.  The rest will be gifts.

Along the weaving thread I now have two warps going on the looms now.  I’m winding one warp of cottolin in dark greens and some cotton twill as bath towels for Paul for Christmas (a surprise).  The other warp is going to be baby blankets for all the friends of Ruth’s who are suddenly having babies – 5 of them.  It’s amazing – all at once everyone is pregnant.  I have a very soft grey with a turquoise chennile going on the loom.  I just can’t bear to weave baby colors so I’ve come up with this combo.  I would wrap a baby in it!

Beautiful windy day – off for a walk with Luna.