TRI to keep it WILD - Raising funds for Nature Conservancy of Canada

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Only in California do you wait until November to replace your roof.  I guess our landlord feels pretty confident that it's not going to rain. It's not really cold here right now, even overnight, but thanks anyway landlord, for giving us three days' notice that we'll have nothing between us and the great outdoors but some 60-year-old plaster for a few days. No, there's no insulation in the walls, roof, or under the floor in this place. Awesome.

I guess we should enjoy it since we can before we move to rainier climes. It's supposed to rain with a high of 45F tomorrow in Halifax.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Anyone else out there like to sleep with their head resting on their feet?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Little Elephant

The girl LOVES splashing in the tub. It's hard to keep her still for washing during bath time these days. MY favorite part of bath time is cuddling my little elephant bundle afterwards - even though daddy is the official baby-washer most of the time :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Chubby Chicks

I go back to school this week - boo!! and classes start Aug. 22nd. It's like waiting for the roller coaster to leave the station. You feel like you should be doing a few things to get ready, but things will be flying along before you know it - there's nothing you can really do to be totally "prepared." So I'm taking my last few days to deliberately NOT get ready. That means - quilts!

Here's a little preview of my chubby chicks. I just worked out how I want to do the beaks since I'm avoiding fusible applique which the pattern suggests. I hand appliqued (is that how you spell it?) all the chick bodies already, and now I'm zig-zagging on the beaks which will be flapping free in the breeze :) I hope that will hold up to tugging by Bea.

They also suggest buttons for eyes, but I don't want buttons on my blanket so I have to think about what to do instead.

Speaking of Bea... She went to a little swim "lesson" this weekend and took her first ride on the big train, CalTrain. Choo choo!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sailing on Gull Lake

Here we are in action aboard Gramps' Laser 2 in Ontario. We're back now from our relaxing vacation. It's nice to get back to sunny, dry, mosquito-free California, but a bummer to be so far from family again.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Trying New Things

Here's my very first machine-quilted quilt (er... baby mat). It was just for practice, and I learned a lot. My binding is fatter on the back than the front, the quilting lines aren't that straight, and the design was just thrown together, but I think it came out pretty well anyway.

It'll be a handy thing to take along next month on our trip to Wisconsin and Ontario. I won't mind if it gets dirty and it's pretty small, about 34"x34".

Something else I learned about this week: you can't freeze prune juice - not the kind I bought, apparently. Just tuck that little tidbit away in your memory for future reference :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dress is Done

Don't look too closely! I think the dress turned out pretty cute, even if it's a bit rough in some spots. Attaching the bias strips around the insides of the armholes and neck was tougher than expected, but it's alright for a first try. It's a little big for Bea still, so we'll save it for the end of the summer.

My favorite part is the print - the perfect thing for a little girl dress :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

No Future as a Dressmaker

I took the plunge and got a new sewing machine on Friday. The thing is amazing, and I was so eager to start playing with it that I started making a little dress for Bea from "Simple Sewing for Baby" - the same book I got the drool bib from. Well... I got off to a bad start as you can see.

I guess I was so excited about getting to the sewing part that I goofed on the cutting. But I re-cut, and now I'm working away on it and having fun, and learning a lot about my new Bernina, woo hoo!!

ps: The little grammar nazi inside of me made me edit the previous post to fix the excessive use of the words "this" and "awesome." I'm sure no one noticed :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mystery Bea

Some cute shots of our anonymous little lady...

Check out Bea's awesome hairdo:
We went hiking Memorial Day weekend up near Mount Tamalpais and we used the kid carrier that our neighbor gave us. Bea must have liked it because she slept for most of the hike.

There's the old Pacific Ocean in the background.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Random Stuff - Ohlone 50K

Last week it hailed here!! Weird! It only lasted a few minutes and then the rain melted it away.

Another random thing - these are the boxes our pizza place uses for takeout. What does it mean: "Enjoy Your Delicious Moments?" And why is one dude a cartoon guy and one semi-realistic? It makes me laugh.

On the quilting front: Here's what I'm making from a bunch of half-square triangle batiks I got from a quilting exchange at my local quilt shop like a year or more ago. They've been sitting in a paper bag forever. I saw this exact thing on Fons & Porter on TV recently and decided to dig them out. The colors aren't really my thing, but that just means I don't feel bad just doing whatever with them. I've got 84 2" squares. Here you can see 16 of them. If I use them all, it'll still be a pretty small thing. Oh well... just for fun. I put away the hand quilting of the monster quilt for now.

And... This weekend Scott did the Ohlone Wilderness 50K Trail Run, from Fremont to Livermore. It was pretty scenery from what I could tell as a spectator, but I only saw the start, the finish, and one aid station. Bea and I got to see some new parks and relaxed while we waited. Apparently it was a pretty tough course - at least two very significant peaks. Scott was bummed to have had the stomach flu the week leading up to the race, but he still did well. 4th overall and 1st in his age group! Now he's hobbling around, but at least he doesn't have to get up at 6:00 for his morning run for a while :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Baby Model

Thanks for modeling the drool bib, Beatrice!

Now I'm on the hunt for an affordable but not crappy sewing machine so I can make more fun stuff!!!

In the meantime... maybe I can weave a blanket or something out of all the hair that's falling out of my head. So gross!! When will the shedding end?

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Little Bit of Sewing

I've been doing better at squeezing in time to sew here and there. Bea takes a pretty reliable nap in the morning now, and I can also get a little done when she goes to bed, usually around 9pm.

I tossed the quilting hoop aside right away since this quilt is so huge and there are so many pins. The pins get in the way of placing the hoop, and I was having to move it too often. I'm finding it a lot easier to quilt without it. I'm also using "tiger tape" but I decided I won't get more when it runs out. I can make smaller stitches than the 1/9" they print on the tape (but should I?). Really the point is just to keep 1/4" from the seams, and my local quilt shop didn't have plain 1/4" tape. Sometimes I just mark it with a chalk pencil instead. It really burns me that I can only use each piece of tape twice before it's not sticky enough to stay put as I quilt. Am I being too much of a cheap-o?

Sorry Beatrice, this was supposed to be your room, but it belongs to big orange for now :)

Here's a little drool bib I made from Lotta Jansdotter's book: Simple Sewing for Baby. It can be a bib that looks like a little kerchief (so cute!) or a headscarf thingie when she's bigger! I think Bea is still too small for this, and she's only super-drooly once in a while anyway. We tried to try it on her but we couldn't find her neck ;) I was inspired by Sew This is my Life - she's amazing!

Sorry for the lack of baby pics. We decided we didn't really want to spread our little muffin all over the internet (as if anyone really visits my little blog anyway). Maybe once in a while. I can always send you an email!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Traitor Joe's

Alright, it's a lame pun, but they've pulled the old switcheroo again!

First it was Kettle Chips. They only had a few flavors of the real thing before, but now they only have TJ's brand and only Salt and Pepper and Lightly Salted.

Next it was Strauss yogurt. TJ's "European Style" yogurt is just not the same.

Now it's Niman Ranch bacon!!! Seeing as how this is pretty much the only meat (if you want to call bacon meat) we eat, this is a serious crisis! We haven't tried the TJ's replacement but I'm sure it can't be as good.

We do buy the TJ's imposters pretty often since we do most of our grocery shopping there, but when I'm at the regular grocery store, I make sure to stock up on the real thing. Our local grocery store doesn't carry Niman Ranch bacon yet, but I'll bet they'll give it a try if we mention to the manager that Traitor Joe's has let us down in the cured salty meat department :)

The last stand will be RitterSport candy bars. Mmmmm, quality in a quadrangle! I know they have these (and a way more awesome selection of flavors) at our local regular grocery store, so I won't have to panic when they disappear. Mmmmm, Qualitaet im Quadrat.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What We've Been Up To

It's tough to keep up the blog these days but here's what we've been up to lately:

- Went to the Computer History Museum: It's a really neat place with tons to see. We could have spent hours and hours there but we didn't want poor Bea to be stuck in the Baby Bjorn for too long so we sped through a few parts. It's only two miles away from our house and we'd never been before. I'd definitely recommend it if you're ever in Mountain View. I should take my students there on a field trip!

- We spent a three-day weekend at Yosemite: We were hankerin' to see some snow, and spring is quickly approaching so we went for it. All in all our first mini-vacation with the girl went pretty well. Daddy took care of the tire chains while mommy and Bea took care of the nursing in the nice warm car! We hung around in our cottage quite a bit - had time to watch the whole 3-hour version of "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" in bits and pieces, and had great food at the Evergreen Lodge just outside the park where we stayed. We took some nice walks too. We had never taken the short walk out to see Yosemite Falls before, so we bundled Bea up and went to check it out. It was a pretty view and great to be out in the fresh air. The crowds are mostly gone in winter and the snow is so beautiful. No skiing or snowshoeing, I guess, this winter. Maybe next year :)

On the quilting front: things are progressing very slowly. When I get organized and sit down to work on it, it goes fast, but that doesn't happen too often. My friend Annie sent an AMAZING baby quilt for Bea so I have some fresh inspiration to keep working. I'll have to write about the baby quilt later - it deserves its own post!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Snippets of Free Time

Here's Beatrice now. She's so big!! Nice hair spike, Bea!

When Bea is sleeping and I decide to slack on the laundry, dishes, etc. I can catch an hour or two of time to work on this quilt I pieced while I was at Penn State (six or so years ago!?!?). Once the layers are all basted I plan to get a little table to set up in the office/baby room so I can work on quilting it without having to put it away each day and without taking up our little dining table in the living room. It's so huge I'm only able to pin half at a time and even then it takes up the whole floor of the office. Dude, it's using zillions of pins! The first/last quilt I did, I basted with needle and thread and I felt like it was not that sturdy. I'm getting the pinning done as fast as I can, which is not fast at all, so we can move the changing table and all sorts of other random stuff back into the office. We need the space!!