Thursday, May 26, 2016

Lexi

I really have been trying to post more often, but it just seems there is something always going on and time gets away from me.
I had great inspiration today to do a post about my granddaughter Lexi and her 8th grade graduation.
Lexi (Alexa Marie) is the 2nd daughter of my son Brandon and his wife Olivia. They have 6 total - 5 girls and one boy.
Last summer the whole family decided they would home school. Olivia was a trooper and did the work to home school a Kindergardner, a 2nd grader, a 4th grader, a 6th grader and Lexi who was in 8th grade.
Drew was in HS and wanted to continue there.
Two weeks before Christmas they all voted to go back to school except Lexi. She wanted to continue being home schooled. They were connected to Valley Oaks Charter School and she loved her time there too.
A few weeks ago she told me about her graduation and that it would be held at the Fox Theater downtown. She wanted to make a dress for it. So off we went to my favorite quilt store Strawberry Patches(ok, another blog post coming up about my happy place) to find fabric. I have taken the girls there since they were little to pick out fabric for special dresses and that's where Lexi wanted to go.
She has made a few things and started on her own, but needed help last week. I went and picked her up and we sewed at my house. I don't have to do any of the sewing, I'm just there for support if she needs it.


She wouldn't look up because she didn't have her makeup on. At 14 that consists of Mascara.
She tried it on and it is perfect. Again, I couldn't get her head because she didn't do her hair. She is so beautiful without makeup and her hair done, but try to tell a 14 yr. old that.
So today we went to graduation. I wish I could have gotten a picture with her in it of the Marque. This theater has been  refurbished and is an historic part of downtown Bakersfield.
Right after the program in the lobby. She made the little jacket too because she couldn't wear sleeveless in the ceremony.
Our family always goes to Rosemary's Ice Cream Parlor after special events, so sister Drew got some pictures of her  for me. I love that the decor matches her outfit. She will too when she sees this.
Did I tell you she did a professional job on this dress with side zipper, pleats and insisted on hand stitching the hem. (yep, she's her Mamaw's girl)
This girl is amazing and she knows just what she wants when it comes to sewing and wants to design her own clothes. She can sketch a picture of what she has in mind. You can't see it here, but the waistband has writing on it. She knew she wanted fabric with writing and there was no changing her mind. it was the perfect combination.

One more picture of a dress she made for the Nutcracker performance she was in last Christmas.
Again, she had something in mind and I helped her change the pattern to fit her design. I didn't sew a stitch on this. I supervised only.
She is a ballerina and loves dance. She just found out last week she would be "on point" now which I'm told is a big step up for a ballerina.

As I come to the end of this story of Lexi, I think I should feature each of my grands, one at a time as they all are so special in their own way.
Don't I just sound like a Grandma.




Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day

"Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever." —Unknown:


I know it's almost over, but  I wanted to wish all of you a Happy Mother's Day.
Hope you got to relax and enjoy family as I did.

Mr. SS asked what I wanted to do for Mother's Day. Besides spending time with family, I wanted to go to church. Because two grand boys play travel league baseball, we miss a lot of Sundays going to church.
As much as I love the games, I was happy to attend church this morning.

Then home for a late breakfast and a little napping  relaxing, and over to our youngest son's house for an early dinner and family fun. Middle son and his family were there too. I was happy to get a call from my oldest as he had to work.

As soon as we got there, we got escorted  to the back of the property to meet new members of the family.
Camy has two, Romeo and Juliet
Brooke on the left with Penelope and Emmy on the right. I'm having a senior moment and her little friends name just slipped my mind.
Anyway they are all going to show them at the fair this year.
These two are pygmy goats, but Camy's will be quite big.


My youngest, Brandon has a new toy to work on in his back yard. Because I am a lover of all thing vintage and red, I got to have my picture taken with the 8 grands that were there. So this is my Mother's Day 2016 picture.

In 1956, on my 10th birthday, my Dad, Mom, sister and I left Illinois to make our home in California. We traveled in a 1956 Red and White Ford pickup pulling a Red and White 42 ft trailer.(I have a picture of that truck and trailer somewhere, but couldn't find it tonight.) Brandon's truck is a 1958 Ford. I guess it won my heart not only because it is red and vintage, but because it reminds me of a time long ago.


                                                

Monday, May 2, 2016

White on White


Right after Easter, I put all my Easter decorations away that I had in my hutch and the few things left were white. It was too early to start my Red White and Blue decorating that I do before Memorial Day and leave until after Labor Day. I kept looking at the white and it hit me...White on White. I have a board on Pinterest with that title so I searched it and got some ideas. 

I was headed out the door to shop, Home Goods and Hobby Lobby when I thought, silly girl, I bet you could shop your own house, cupboards and storage and come up with enough to decorate that small hutch.
So that's what I did.
Here's what I came up with without buying a single thing.
I have to confess, I have a massive collection of vintage linens too and I searched through a tub in the garage and found so many white ones I had forgotten I still had.

 It really helped that Mr. SS changed the back of the hutch to white bead board before I decorated for Easter, so the stage was set.
 I still have some of my Milk Glass collection, so of course I pulled it all together from other places in the house
 It isn't all white. I used some glass too. There are vintage white hankies tucked under the lid of a Crystal jar. A small glass cloche has a dollar store white candle in it.
The plate and creamer and sugar are Sweetheart Milk Glass. They are the only pieces I have of that.
 More of my Milk Glass pieces including a short cake plate that is usually on the center of my table.
The small vintage pitcher is Royal Crown Ironstone with Wheat on it. It has a million hairline cracks in the surface, but I love it.
The Milk Glass Rooster is from Martha Stewart a long time ago. A Crystal vase and another Dollar Tree candle and glass holder. There are about 12 large napkins in the basket that were Martha Stewart from Kmart almost 20 yrs. ago. They are pique and really stained, but perfect folded for display. I love the little Milk Glass Bowl with the lace design around the edge.
 More lacy napkins folded and hanging over the edge of a crystal bowl.
The Milk Glass candle is new and given to me by some special friends on an antiquing trip. There is a tiny milk glass chicken on a bowl in front of the platter. I bought that in the 70's at a World Softball Tournament in Wisconsin. I didn't even collect chickens or milk glass then, but we were so poor, it was probably the only souvenir I could afford.
 This is probably one of my favorites. An ironed and folded stack of different size white hankies just tied with a ribbon.
All in white, it gives my hutch a bright cheery spring look until it gets ready for the longest decorating season of the year.  (Red, White and Blue)
Oh, almost for got to say, I had all the white put together and it just seemed blah. It needed some greenery to add to that springy feel.
Keeping in my spirit of not buying anything new for this display, I pulled out a bag of the little clover like small pieces of greenery and placed it around everything.
To add a little color here, I thought I would show you my first edible strawberry out of my little strawberry patch. I've had some other tiny ones that ripened but got mushy before I got to them. These went on top of my yogurt this morning. Yummy!
Another spot of color on the center of the table. Probably my last full bouquet of Sweetpeas. First the wind blew them down from the lattice and the the two hard rains we had beat them up pretty bad. They had a good run though. Can't wait for next year.

In the 70's and 80's I loved anything tea stained or off white, but starting in the 90's I have loved everything white. And that love hasn't ended or ever will. Although I am a lover of color,
White on White
is just me.

                                             

Friday, April 22, 2016

A Good Week After All

Just got home from our five day trip to the coast. All unpacked and ready for bed. But first a quick post to document a really good trip.
We left Monday morning pulling our little blue and white trailer headed for the coast. Golfing for Mr. SS, sewing for me, and whatever we wanted to do in between.
We had just passed a big truck (I have to close my eyes  when we do this...no I literally duck my head)
I heard a loud bang and then flap, flap flap. Then Mr. SS caught on to my panic as he looked in the rear view mirror...yep a flat tire.
He pulled over and worked for over an hour trying to loosen the lug bolts. No luck, bless his heart. It was 90 degrees out and both our freshly showered bodies were dripping in sweat. 
He said, we just had to drive slow as we still had 3 good tires. Yeah, that made me feel better.
God was with us, we put on our flashers and drove slowly to New Cuyama. We always stop there for lunch on our way to the coast.

We pulled up in front and went in, asking the waitress if there was any place in town we could get a tire changed. No, there wasn't. Everyone in the place was just kinda staring at us. I was about to cry, when a young man who was sitting with a group of 4 men stepped up and said. We can take care of it for you. Follow us to our farm about a mile from here.
Whew, I said to Dennis, can I stay here where it's cool and get a diet coke. Sure, he said and off they went.
Then I kinda panicked and thought, what if they kidnapped him or something. He didn't have much cash on him as I carry that, but we have that big red truck and our pretty little blue and white trailer. 
My mind was running wild. So I called one of my sons and expressed my concern. He said just call him...oh why didn't I think of that. He was on his way back and tire was changed. Those nice men would not even take a penny for their help. God was with us.
This is what our tire looked like in the back of our truck. The wheel wasn't even damaged. God was with us!
We are responsible RV'rs. We have roadside assistance, but it would have taken hours for them to get to us. I could just hear the phone call, "You are in New What?" 
Now another hour and we were ready to head for the coast once again.
WAIT! We weren't upset enough to have lost our appetite. You have to know Mr. SS to know, he does not miss many meals. So we ordered. When his came...no fries? Forgotten the tire already. "Where are my fries?"
My salad was perfect as is.
Tuesday, Mr. SS golfed and I made more curtains for the trailer. Not a good picture, and they didn't turn out like I planned, but I like them. They were supposed to be pinch pleated with covered buttons on the pleats, but the pattern I used was way too full even though I had made adjustments, to do the pleats and buttons.
I used the same Pam Kitty fabric i used on all the smaller windows. I just wanted the ones for over the dining table and sitting area to be different. This picture shows the ones I had already made.
We BBQ'd the second night. Our first BBQ of the season. Guess what we had. Yep...hamburger with all the fixin's. They tasted sooo good.
Wednesday we went to Grover Beach to see our friends that live there. Carol took me to a Farmers Market close by. This is just some of the goodies I got. Those shelled sugar snap peas are the best. They are good just as a snack or in a salad, but Mr.SS won't eat them that way. So the next night we BBQ'd chicken and I made brown rice and a salad. I threw some of the peas in the rice. So, so good.

After we left our friends house, we drove to San Luis Obispo and had lunch at the Apple Farm. Then we drove to Morro Bay and on  a little north to Cuyucas. It is the cutest little town right on the beach. I called it a sleepy little town and Mr. SS asked what that meant. I said no one is in a hurry...NOT. We were slowly driving by a place called Brown Sugar Cookie when a truck honked and raced around us. Guess you have those people everywhere. 
We had read about an RV park there on the side of the hill overlooking the ocean. We loved the place and are already planning our next trip to the coast and staying at Bella Vista.

Tomorrow it's back to normal. We are off to Irvine to watch our Kobi play Volleyball and Sunday to Taft for baseball. I also have to squeeze in making a sweet 8 yr. old a birthday dress in the next two days.

                                                    

Monday, April 11, 2016

Our "Retired" Life

Almost two years ago we bought our tiny cottage, thinking we would slow down and ease into being semi-retired. NOT! Life has been busier than ever. Now, mind you, I'm not complaining. I love our life. 
Besides both of us working, we try to keep up with all the grands and their activities.
At the moment, that is two playing baseball, one swimmer, one playing volleyball and 4 dancers.
The highlight of my weeks right now is having our college grandson, Kyle come every Tuesday and Thursday between classes for dinner. He will probably go away to college next year, so we are enjoying this time with him.
I saw the perfect sign on Pinterest for us.


Besides the kids activities, we have been trying to fix up our tiny cottage a little at a time. I really wanted a Carriage House garage door, but after pricing them, decided a paint job on the one we had would have to do for a while.
Mr.SS finally painted our metal aluminum door white.
Before

After

You can also see our new white security gates. That area was open before...I feel much more secure now.
Plans are in the works for a whole face lift for the front of the house.  A new front door and sidelights have been ordered. I will follow along with that process soon.

We enjoy our roses and always have a bouquet for  the table. Mr. SS just brought these in yesterday.

We work in the yard quite a bit. Besides the roses, I have a couple of flower beds and some strawberries planted. I still can't get on my knees, but with help from the grands and Mr. SS, I am able to keep them up.



My favorites are these Sweet Peas that just come up by themselves. They smell sooo good.

One of two Azaleas. They bloomed at different times.


For my part of being semi-retired, I got one of the biggest orders ever ready to mail to Four Tiny Cousins who I still sew for.
This was done in a week. I had taken the week before Easter off, so I had put myself in a bind. I didn't even have it mailed yet and received my next order. I'm thankful for the work, though and will sew as long as they need me to. I still do sewing for others too, so I just keep trying to work it in. It's not uncommon to see me sewing on buttons or any other handwork I can do at ballgames.

I showed you the dress I made for Emmy Lou, but just now got pictures of her wearing it. Her big sister Drew took these for me. I found the perfect sandals on Amazon to match.
Sorry, I just realized these came from Drew's phone and I didn't edit them
Still our cute Emmy Lou in her birthday dress and shoes.




Tomorrow, I get to go pick up granddaughter Lexi and take her to Strawberry Patches to pick out fabric for her 8th grade graduation dress, which she is making herself.
I'm going to get fabric for a birthday dress for Brooke. Same pattern, just different fabric.

Then next Monday, Mr. SS and I are taking our little blue trailer to the coast for a few days, so we can pretend we are semi-retired. He'll golf and I'll be sewing on Brooke's birthday dress and maybe some curtains.


                                                 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Sleepover for 10

It's been two years since I have had all 10 of my grand kids for a sleepover, so after checking with the Moms, I sent out a group text to the ones that have cell phones and invited them to stay Sunday night after the Easter dinner at my son's house. I really didn't know if the 21, and 19 yr. old would still want to come to a sleepover, but they did and we had so much fun. I only have one extra bed, so we had kids all over the house in sleeping bags.

The girls watching Princess movies.
Madi, Drew, Lexi, Kobi, Camy, Brooke, and Emmy

The boys played games.
Kyle, Cade and Jack

After a big breakfast, they played outside. After bribing them with being able to do a goofy picture, I got them to stand still long enough for this one.

Then...lets have some fun!!

After a big lunch, the Moms picked some up and the two older ones drove home to Tehachapi.
Whew!! Mamaw needed a nap! But who knows if I'll ever get them all at one time again. Emmy is 6 now, so along with the others, I think she will remember this time. (Says Mamaw with tears in her eyes)


I forgot my camera (phone) on Easter so I stole these from Mr. SS's phone.
This is our traditional place to take Easter pictures every year in my son's back yard.

Our dinner table for 26 set up under the tree house.Bouquets of roses are from our garden. You can't see them but there are twinkle lights strung
all over which, when the sun goes down, remind me of the TV show "Parenthood".