Saturday, December 29, 2007

And again - another great rainy day!

Tonight is Saturday night and our last night here in Portland. We loved the show "Disney's Beauty and the Beast". Meagan was mesmerized by the music and all of the characters which surprised us. We also had supper at our favorite little Mexican restaurant in the Sellwood District. One of the things we really enjoy about Portland is all of the little shopping districts throughout.

We are heading for Spokane tomorrow for a visit with some friends there and then on to Bozeman on Monday. We leave Portland with lots of love and warm memories from the past few days. I will check in again when we get home.

Friday, December 28, 2007

A Little More Rain . . . And a Lot More Fun

We had another great day in Portland. We spent a lot of the day with Allison and Meagan at OMSI - Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. It is a magical place for kids of all ages. Roy had to work so he wasn't able to join us until later in the afternoon. We then took Meagan shopping for something special at the Disney Store. We also had to shop for a new skirt outfit and ended up also finding a very nice little coat that she liked as well. She does not like to wear anything, but skirts and dresses. We are now "shopped out" and "Barbied out". We ended the evening with another nice dinner out at Romano's Macaroni Grill with the three of them. Tomorrow we are heading to see "Disney's Beauty and the Beast" at the Northwest Children's Theatre.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Rainy Day . . .

We left Portland in the rain this morning about 6:30 and drove up to NE Seattle for a memorial service for our good friend who passed away from early onset Alzheimers. It was a three and a half hour drive in pouring rain alternating with snow and way too much traffic for these "country kids" from Montana. The service was filled with love and lots of friends. We are so glad that we were able to go and share in this time for the healing to begin.

We left the church about 2 and started out again for Portland - three and a half hours of rain, mixed with snow, and lots of traffic. I said it would be so nice to have a button on the steering wheel that I could just push to make the windshield wipers go extra fast when the big trucks go by and splash you all over.

We had supper tonight at Roy's. He is a great cook and made Shepherd's Pie with a wonderful green salad and olive bread. It was a perfect meal after a long day.

We had looked and looked for a special Barbie doll for Meagan. I should have bought it before Christmas, but I wasn't sure which one it was so I bought something else and said we would find it when we were here. Well, it was the Holiday Barbie and it is not easy to find, but tonight we stopped to get some nose spray as we are both down with a cold, and there it was - on sale even.

My friend, Ronda, is home from the hospital and it sounds like she had really bad bone spurs that they removed. I am sure she will enjoy many years without the awful pain in her shoulder. If you visit her blog, send her "get well quickly" wishes.

Today was filled with blessings of all kinds.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Busy Day in Portland . . .

We had about 35 hours in the day and all of them were fun. We started with some good "Barbie" shopping for Meagan and following that we had a great lunch at the Claimjumper. We then spent almost half an hour trying to get out of the parking lot.

Allison and Meagan went to an annual traditional family gathering for Allison's family and Roy, Bob and I went down to the Portland Art Museum and enjoyed a wonderful journey through the art of Chuck Close. We should have shopped less - or ate less - because we all agreed that a couple more hours there would have really been good.

Then we started out towards a "highly recommended" place for a light supper and a great dessert and I ran into a wonderful yarn shop that was still open so we had to stop there for just a short visit. Then, when we got to our supper place, there was a bead shop right next door and so I had to do another short visit. The lady there had to show me some things and then I had to buy some things as I want to make some "dangly" earrings. It was a really great day and now we are heading for bed so we can get an early start tomorrow morning for Seattle.

More tomorrow night . . .

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

How did that all happen . . .

. . . so quickly? Monday noon we left Bozeman in a blizzard headed out to Missoula which is about 200 miles west. The snow ended about 30 miles out and the trip to Missoula was good. We had a wonderful Christmas Eve with my parents, my sister and her family as well as Bob's sister and her family.
Then this morning (Christmas morning) we got up early and started out on the long drive to Portland, OR. The roads were good and there was a lot of snow as we got close to Lookout Pass on the Montana/Idaho border. Here are a couple pics at the rest stop just before you go over the pass which is also the Continental Divide.

We were about 80 miles east of Portland and we hit quite a snow storm again in The Gorge on the Columbia River. We arrived here fine and had a wonderful evening with Roy, Allison and Meagan. Meagan will be 4 next month. Here are a couple pictures of her with some of her new dolls and a bit of chocolate on her sweet face. The rice bags I made that you heat in the microwave can be seen here on Allison while Roy is busy shopping online to spend part of his Christmas gift on a new "road bike" he is building. It was a long two days, but so worth it! It was glorious to get here and the hugs were priceless!

On Thursday, we need to go to Seattle for the day to share in love and memories at a memorial service for Bob's long time friend who recently died from early onset Alzheimers. Then just a couple more days with our loved ones here and we will head back to Montana stopping for a day in Spokane for a visit with long time friends.

I hope to get to see my good friend, Ronda while I am here. One thing for sure, I want to wish her the best for her coming surgery on Thursday. I know it will help end the pain in her shoulder.

I hope everyone had a safe and loving Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Oops - couple things at the last minute. . .

Had a last minute brain burp last night so I am busy today making a couple microwave warming rice bags - long ones that go over the shoulders. Also - looked and looked for the right comfy shirt for my dad. He can't pull anything over his head and likes button up shirts, no long sleeves and a straight bottom. Just try to find one of those. So I am going to fix one like that. Pictures to follow at the end of the day.

Better get going . . .

Friday, December 21, 2007

Blessing as you travel . . .

Please know my love and prayers are with each of you as prepare and travel to spend time with family and friends and share in the glory of the Christmas celebration.

An Irish blessing . . .
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
The sun shine warm upon your face
The rain fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

The weekly interviews will restart after the first of the year. I will check in over the next week and share some on our travels. Enjoy glorious holidays!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

What a wonderful day . . .

Grades are in . . .
All of the emails have been sent to my graduate students with comments on their many papers and grades are all turned in for this semester. It is all done! I am doing the "can't believe it happy dance"!

Families are gathering . . .
And - the little peanut and his parents are heading south to Colorado to spend the next 10 days with his Mom's family there. I will miss him, but will also enjoy being footloose and "fancifree" and I know he will enjoy his Colorado grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Here he is mesmerized by "Nemo" - again!

Now on to finishing getting ready for our coming Christmas journey. We are heading to Missoula on Monday to spend some time with our families. We will then travel on to Portland to be with our "Portland Kids" - our son, Roy, his wife Allison and that other little person, Meagan. We will be back around the 1st and have plans to have another Christmas celebration then with Stan, Rainy and Weston here.

Movies are here . . .
We are giving ourselves some great movie adventures this holiday season. Here are a few we have on our "give it a try" list:
1. "The Golden Compass" - love Sam Elliott - here is an interview with him on it.
2. "The Bucket List" - with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholas - here is more about the story.
3. "Great Debaters" - with Denzel - nothing else matters - but here is a bit more about it
4. "I Am Legend" - with Will Smith - not sure, but it is on the list
5. "Charlie Wilson's War" - with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts - what else do I need to know?

And - here is a start of a list of "don't miss" that are out on DVD.
1. "Ratatouille" - watched it last weekend with Weston and we will watch it again this weekend

So - what movies - either current screenings or DVD versions are on your "don't miss list" this season? I will let you know what we think of those we get to see. And I am going to put a list in the right column once they hit our "Don't Miss List".

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

An attitude of gratitude . . .

I woke very early this morning feeling so grateful. Sometimes it just overwhelms me. I decided to list five for today.

1. Thank you to Peggy, Patricia, Ronda and Ann for being so willing to share your work and yourselves on this blog. It has been wonderful fun for me and I am blessed to have such talented people in my world.

2. Thank you Weston for spending time with Grandma. I love your smile and your head on my shoulder when you hug.

3. Thank you Bob for being my very special friend and partner.

4. Thank you for this wonderful season to share love and happiness with family and friends as I celebrate Jesus' birth.

5. Thank you for my love of learning.

Now - how about a quick five from you? It is so easy and it feels great!

Saturday, December 15, 2007


What a night and day! Weston came last night and we had such a good time. He went home this evening and the house seems way too quiet.

Bob made him a great house from the huge boxes from the TV. He was so impressed and he insisted I had to go inside with him. Now that was quite impressive as well! He is such a fun little person and keeps us in stitches. We watched "Finding Nemo" last night and "Ratatouille" today. It was like a vacation for us and we hated to see him go home.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Started . . .

Miss Daisy finally got to go for a run yesterday and all is well. First I had to give her a spa treatment. Then, I loaded up that round robin quilt from a year ago and took off. I may be healed!

Also - there is some problem Blogger is having today with the photos on the top of the blogs. I hope it gets fixed soon - or not!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

What to do...what to do?

As you know, I have been away most of the fall and my Miss Daisy (my A-1 quilting machine) has been covered since the first week in October. I have looked forward so much to getting home to do some quilting.

And now - I have lost my mojo! I can't make myself quilt anything. How do I get started again? I need some great motivation and inspiration.

There - I have said it out loud! Maybe that is the first step. Is there a "frozen quilter's anonymous" group somewhere I can join?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

And more holiday fun . . .

We also have this wonderful picture of our Weston with Santa. He looks so like he is tolerating the adults in his world - and he does that with great patience most of the time. I would love to know what he is thinking.

Last night we had a wonderful evening. As Bob said when we finally turned out the lights at 11:30 pm, "It was worth the price just to have such a fun evening". What was the price? Well we met at Costco for some shopping before supper. We have looked and looked at a new big screen TV. Bob has wanted a replacement for our 12 year old workhorse for a couple months. And, to be honest, I thought we would probably keep looking for a few more months. The decision was made more difficult with words like "plasma" or "LCD" or "projection" - and then you get into "DLP" and "1080" and "the right size for your room" and on and one. I really thought it would be next year before we would make the "final decision".

But no - Bob decided to buy last night. Then we didn't have any way to get it home as it was too big for either SUV. So we called our neighbors who have a flatbed to see if we could make arrangements for the next day or so. They said, "Wait right there and we are on our way." So while we waited, we enjoyed a Costco "hot dog" supper. Our son, Stan, called and we told him and he offered to come help us unload it. So, we got back out here about 8:30 pm and not only did they unload it, but Stan had it up and running in minutes. And as we watched him connect it all and get the remote to run everything, we enjoyed great laughter and coffee with Bailey's. It was a wonderful party - the unplanned kind. Now to call the satellite folks to get HD.

We were both so excited when we finally went to bed that neither of us could sleep. Just like little kids - and inside we still are.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Love to remember . . .

Well, I talked with Meagan last night. She is almost 4 and has always had a mind of her own. We looked at the slippers and she wasn't as excited about them as I was so I realized, I should just get them for me. Here is a picture of Meagan with Santa. Would love to know what she is really thinking.

This time of year, I remember my own "little boys". You know, the ones who are now grown up and "Dad" is the name. I wish I had known more then. Here is a poem I love as I remember.

Children are Like Kites
You spend a lifetime trying to get them off the ground.
You run with them until you are both breathless.
They crash. They hit the rooftop.
You patch and comfort, adjust and teach.
You watch them lifted by the wind and assure them that someday, they will fly.
Finally, they are airborne;
They need more string and you keep letting it out;
But with each twist of the ball of twine,
There is a sadness that goes with joy.
The kite becomes more distant and you know it won't be long before that beautiful creature will snap the lifeline that binds you two together and will soar, free and alone.
Only then do you know that you did your job.

Erma Bombeck

Monday, December 10, 2007

Online Shopping . . .

First - thank you all for visiting the special interview with Ronda Beyer. It was fun to do and I am glad so many of you stopped to enjoy! And - a big thank you to Ronda!

I am doing some Christmas shopping online this morning. It is so exciting to get ready for the big celebration. We are heading to Portland in a couple weeks for some Christmas time with our grand daughter, Meagan, and her mom and dad.

Here is a slipper that captured my heart this morning. They are from Geisswein and these can be seen on "". What are your favorite online shopping places?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Awesome Artist - Ronda Beyer

This is the third in a series of interviews with very special quilting artists I know and love. You will enjoy reading a bit more about Ronda and her inspiration below. Be sure you also visit her blog and webshots with links at the end of this interview. What I share here is just the "tip of the iceburg" of her gorgeous qulting. This first picture is of Ronda (baby on the right) and her sister. Can't you just see that cute face with red hair and a wild, creative spirit!

When did you start quilting?
I began piecing/hand appliquéing when I was 18, handquilting when I was 19 and machine quilting when I was 44.

When did you know you had a special talent with color combinations and selection?
I have always had a good color sense. Mom used to say I came from a band of gypsies as I have always loved color, lots of it. I am asked to help put together quilt fabrics and colors whenever I am at my Mom's shop. Note: Ronda’s Mom, Jane, owns Jane’s Fabric Patch in Tillamook, OR.

What has been your biggest surprise as a quilter?
How freeing it is, it allows me to express the personality of a quilt. I was also amazed how quickly I picked it up. I was winning ribbons within 6 months of purchasing my longarm quilting machine.
Here is a picture of Ronda with "Stars for Arden", a special quilt she completed this year in honor of her brother.

When did you decide to design patterns and why?
I have always liked traditional quilts with a twist and loved medallion quilts and could not find anything that truly expressed what I loved, so I just started to create.
Ronda and her friend, Jill Kroll, have a pattern company, Pear Valley Designs and have published several of Ronda’s original quilt designs.

What would you like to do that you haven’t done related to your quilting art?
I want to do a wholecloth. That is what I originally thought I wanted to do when I purchased my own longarm machine. I thought I wanted to continue to work at my management job and quilt my own work.

Who was an inspiration to you?

My Grandma Gert and Mom are my biggest sources of inspiration. As far as longarm quilting, I would have to say Karen McTavish is my inspiration. Her work online is what pushed me into buying my first quilting machine.

What has been your favorite quilting project of all time?
This is easy; "It Ain't Easy Being Green" is by far my favorite. "Stars for Arden" was a very healing quilt for me and a gift of love and admiration to my brother.
Ronda’s “Spanish Rose” quilt is my personal favorite. Here it is hanging at the Northwest Quilting Expo in 2005 where it won “Best of Show”. She is widely known as being the quilter who does magic with bright greens. Below is a picture of her “Key Lime Pie”.

What would be your biggest thrill as a quilter?
This is a hard question because I think each quilt is a thrill, seeing them finished is always a wonderful feeling, leaving me wanting more. Of course winning Best of Show in Paducah or Houston would be fantastic!

Of what are you the most proud when you think of your quilting career?
"Stars for Arden" has to be my proudest hour to prove to the world that my brother who took his life is and was truly a “Star” even though he did not feel that way about himself.
The fact that I could use my creativity to honor his memory makes me happy and proud to be his sister.

What would you like others to know about you as a quilter that you don’t think anyone knows?
I am a firm believer that it is better to try something and fail than to do nothing in fear of not succeeding. I push all my friends and students to enter their work into shows. I like to inspire and motivate others.

You can see more of Ronda’s beautiful quilting at her Webshots albums. And be sure you visit her blog, Ronda's Creative Quilting, as she often posts pictures of work in progress.

Ronda has been featured several times in the machine quilting magazine, "Unlimited Possibilities" as well as in "On Track", the professional magazine for members of the International Machine Quilters Association.

Thank you, Ronda, for being an "Awesome Artist" and a special friend!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Heading home . . .

Tomorrow is Thursday and I will be traveling all day from Laramie to Bozeman. The weather looks like it will be okay - some snow showers, but no blizzard warnings. It is almost 600 miles. I am going to be in Bozeman until the middle of January and I am so excited to look forward to being home to get ready for Christmas. Weston is going to come visit me on Friday morning and Friday night we have our first Christmas party.
So it is good-bye for a few weeks to "The Cottage". I love being here, but there is nothing like being home.
I have a couple pictures of the quilts in my new office that I thought I would share here. Everyone else is still unboxing things and just hanging a couple quilts makes my office look pretty spiffy. Or at least that is "the word from the halls."

Tonight (December 5) the family in "The Big House" (the main house in front of The Cottage) celebrated Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas Eve) which is a Dutch celebration. I got to help out with the knock on the door and the tossing in of the pepernoten and then shared some Bishop's wine and other treats later. I did not know of this celebration so it was fun and filled with surprise. Do any of you celebrate this?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Thank you all . . .

Thank you, Patricia Pressler. for letting me share about you and your wonderful work. And, thank all of you for stopping by and for the nice comments. I will be posting another "Awesome Artist" again next weekend and hope everyone will come back again.