Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Another St. George's Island Vacation

We had so much fun on St. George's last summer that we had really wanted to get back down there this fall.  A few things got in the way - like 7 weeks of chemotherapy and a major surgery and recovery.

But we made it in November.  Back to the Sea Turtle.  Good memories of good times.

Graysen and I spent a lot of time last summer on this porch while the others fished.  She would play in her pool and get so excited when a bicycle would appear or people would walk by.  It was such a special time for really getting to know her.

These stairs were not as hard to climb in the cooler weather - although not my favorite thing to do.

The ocean was as pretty as I've ever seen it - a clear blue and as calm as glass at times.

Too bad it was so cold.  This is as close as I got to the sand and water.


Mike did go down the first day and set up some fishing things.  He wanted to test the 10 and 11 foot rods he bought for Emily and Ryan.  I hear that "they will throw our line 90 to 110 yards," whatever that means.  Unfortunately, the chemo headache was there full force the whole time we were down there, and he didn't feel like trying it again.

The only way we could get outside without being too cold was to put on jackets and take walks around the area.  It felt like we were the only people on the island at times, but we would see people every once in awhile.  That sunshine is deceptive; it was COLD.

The landscape is different and interesting.

With a few man-eating plants.

I feel like the Sea Turtle is a little outclassed in our neighborhood, but it's exactly what we want and need.  It's roomy and clean with 3 bedrooms, and a large kitchen/living room/dining area.  There's a big deck on the back and a screened porch on the front.  It was perfect for 4 adults and a baby, but it seemed a little lonely with just us and no baby sounds.

This is the house next door.  I think it's beautiful but peeking out the window on a stormy night and seeing it in darkness is spooky.  That wind can really howl around the corners and shake the little house on stilts.

We really haven't explored the island too much outside The Plantation, which is a gated area.  We were too busy last summer, and we just didn't want to get out much this time.  We ate at a restaurant in Apalachicola on the way in and never left the island, just eating the things we took with us.

The first time we crossed this long bridge was in the early 80s with 3 excited children and a car top carrier with bubbles blowing behind us from some spilled dishwashing liquid. That still makes me smile.  More good memories.

I'd love for us to get a chance to go back again.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Almost Christmas

And I still have pictures from October I haven't posted.

There's a lot going on on Forest Edge this week, a virtual beehive of activity.

It mainly involves Mike who, even with a dose of chemo on Wednesday, has done 10 times as much as I have.

I had stripped all the kitchen wallpaper (first layer) as far as I could reach while he was in WA, but he came home and finished that, washed the walls, sanded them, caulked and repaired them.  All I had to do is pick out the color of the paint, which I didn't dwell on this time and am pretty happy with it.

Here are some before and during pictures of the kitchen.  The first picture is one I took when I was considering buying this house, and a few of them are after the new counter tops went on.  I just wanted to show that wallpaper in 3 different patterns that we've wanted down ever since we moved in.  Funny how so many people NOW say they liked it.  We didn't like it that well, although it wasn't totally offensive (like the bathroom wallpaper), and we want to sell the house so need a pretty neutral look.

I just noticed that the bar stools we replaced are almost exactly the same as those.

Three different patterns in the bay window area - quite a bit going on.

And this is happening now.

With the first  coat of Haze by Behr.

It truly is neutral, but I can add a little color with the valances and placemats, etc.

The realtor we talked to gave us some ideas and suggested we replace all the brass-colored drawer pulls and cabinet knobs with some with a darker finish.

This is some idea of the number of pieces we were looking at.

This is not even including the breakfast room and den.  At varying prices from $2.50 up to $10.00 and more apiece for hardware, we were looking at a major expense.  She told us about spray painting them with Rustoleum oil-rubbed bronze, and that's what Mike did.  

Nothing is where it should be in the den and kitchen, but this is how the painted knobs and pulls look now.

I can't believe it's taken me 3 days to get this done.  And no more time today.

These things WILL be written about over the next few days.  

Trip to St. George's Island.
Elise's graduation (and job).
Christmas decorations.
Cooking and sewing.
Any other pictures that I uploaded from my camera.

I did do something in a hurry for once that I'm so happy to have accomplished.

I bought this fabric last year with nothing in mind and did nothing with it.  I kept having the idea of a little quilt for Graysen in the back of my mind since she is learning so many new words and knows deer, house, tree, snowman - besides needing something to cuddle in at Mimi's house.

I found 2 fabrics that I liked, made a backing, and sandwiched the batting between the front and back.  I had a matching piece with little snowmen on it that I was going to do for a border, already cut into 4 equal strips, but somewhere between dragging the around to fabric shops and my disorganized sewing room, 3 of the strips disappeared.  It's fine though.  I probably couldn't have handled much more measuring.

I woke up unable to sleep at 3:45 this morning and headed straight to the sewing machine to start quilting.  I had to push one cat out of my chair and another off the ironing board, but I think they were glad of the company.  I did simple parallel-ish diagonal lines.  Not at all straight but just okay with me.  The binding went on fine for a hurried effort, and I have an overnight quilt that looks cozy already.  Can't wait to hear Graysen telling me what's on it.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Neigh Neigh Christmas

I wish I could see this sweet girl as she learns all about Christmas.  She just cracks herself up - and me along with her.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Pandoro unveiled

I think we did pretty well to let this delicacy sit on the table to see every time we passed by - without getting into it.  But we weren't sure how long it would stay fresh, so it got opened tonight.

The pretty gold paper comes off.  Seems a shame to waste it.

 And the smell!  Even through the plastic.  

There is a packet of powdered sugar that you put inside the bag and shake it up.  The cake is so light, that part was easy.

And here it is - all ready to be sliced - or pulled off in chunks.   Either way works.

Soooo  good.

Not knowing for sure if I wanted to decorate the house for Christmas, I've been just getting out a few things a day and seeing if I stay in the mood.  If everyone was coming before Christmas, I would have no problem, but Elise gets here the 25th, Emily and Graysen the 27th, Kathy and Alan the 28th and Stephanie and Gray on Jan 2nd.  At least most of us will overlap, but I'm not sure if I want it all out that long.  I guess it will be more festive to have a tree and good-smelling candles, and Christmas carols playing, and wassail.  

So I put some placemats on the table one day.

Then yesterday I took down the Christmas mugs and some plates.

A friend in Meridian gave me this plate, and you can always find a cat you know in this picture if you look hard enough.

This set of plates was started in 1983 when I was working at the kindergarten for a teacher who became a good friend.  She died a few years ago, but I always think of Joanne when I get these out every year.  She said they reminded her of my children the way they were in 1983.

Through the years, another friend Jimmie has found more plates with different years for me, so I think about her too!  I usually just put them on plate stands and scatter them around on bookcases and tables. 

Mike has chemo tomorrow, so it will be a day away from home for us, the afternoon anyway.  I have my list of errands to run while he's tormenting the nurses.  He gets the Neulasta shot after this treatment and had to start taking Claritin beforehand.  The Neulasta is supposed to help replace some of the white blood cells the chemo destroys, and it puts an overload in the bone marrow, so some people have bone pain.  I don't think he had any last time, maybe because he started on the Claritin a few days before and after the shot, which surprisingly is supposed to help with that.  One nice bonus is that when he started the Claritin, his headaches started to get much better.  Makes us wonder if they're sinus headaches instead of chemo headaches.  Strange.  

Not much crafting going on lately.  I made Graysen a winter shirt and tried a sweatshirt this time.  It's a Rabbit Skin and seems really soft.  I got a 2T and washed it, so maybe it will come close to fitting her.  

I'm enjoying these shirts without applique.  Once you put them in the machine, there's no taking them out and trimming too close or not close enough and putting the hoop back into the machine hoping it will line up the way it should.


More sewing that I need to be doing is dressing this American Girl Bitty Baby that I found on Ebay.  I'm not ready to pay $70 for a doll for a 2-year-old, so I found this one in excellent condition there.  I think I paid $20 or so; I can't remember exactly.  But she came with no clothes.  I found the pink shirt at Target, and it's okay, but that's all I've seen - less than $20 to $30 an outfit!  

The little doll was Elise's, and Graysen will get to have that one too.  I hope she sticks with her love of baybees.  I bought a pattern (underneath the basket) but then tonight while cleaning out a closet, I found this.

A ""vintage" pattern, I guess, with much cuter clothes than the new one.  Bought in 1983 when the girls were 5 and 9 and never got used.  

I got busy and got together the pattern pieces for a gown first and pinned them to some soft blue-dotted flannel.  

When I went to take a picture just now, I found this.  Someone else thinks it's soft too.  I forgot that the ironing board is Murray's at night, and the sewing chair is Stella's.  I need to teach them to become productive.

I'm disappointed when I don't get a video from Snoqualmie every day, but I pulled this snuggly picture from Karen's Facebook page.  She is keeping Graysen for a few days until they get babysitting worked out.  Wish it were me!

I bet they didn't have much company at the park today.

And a couple of snow ones from Emily's page.

Obtaining a tree is an adventure.  Such a beautiful place.  They had snow last year when they found their tree.

She wasn't that happy about the snow last year either.