Sunday, December 30, 2012

Eventful 2012

Like many others I am reflecting on 2012. At the beginning of the year I could never have imagined the events that would take place in my life.

The first quarter of the year was spent successfully completing the biggest and most challenging project in my career.

In April my company announced a voluntary retirement program that I would have to apply for. After many discussions with my DH I decided to apply.

Mid April I was notified I had been accepted in the program BUT that I wouldn't be able to retire with everyone else at the end of July, I would have to wait until the end of the year. I was really disappointed with that news and let HR as well as my Boss know. I was told if things changed I might be able to retire earlier.

Beginning of August my Boss told me I might be able to retire at the end of September. Little did he know my Mom was praying that I would be able to retire by my birthday, 9-9. My retirement date turned out to be 9/7/12.

In August, Son #1 proposed to his girlfriend and DH and I were able to be there. Future DIL loves Elvis so my Son made arrangements to propose to her at an Elvis Impersonator show. He was so brave to propose in front of over 100 people. She said yes.

My last big project for work was to go to Montana for a week. I was able to take one of my Assistants and with 10 other women we drove all over Montana---from the Butte area up to the south end of Glacier National Park, back down to Butte. I would have rather done the trip with my DH but it was nice to see such a beautiful state.
On September 7, 2012 I began a new part of my life's journey and started this blog to document it.
September through December I spent enjoying things I didn't have time for when I worked: taking classes from my LQS, attending a major quilt show, exploring new crafts, visiting different guilds and clubs and preparing for the holidays.
2012 turned out to be an eventful year in my life, I look forward to see what 2013 holds.
Thank you for following my blog over the past few months.
I wish you and your family a Happy and Healthy New Year, Ronda

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Wool BOM backround

Yesterday we took down all our indoor Christmas decorations and got them all packed away. I wonder what I missed this year? It seems as if every year I discover a Christmas item after every thing has been packed away, last year it was a snowman spoon rest.

The house always looks so bare when the Christmas decorations come down. It has been festive since the fall decor went up in September now it's looking a little boring around here. At least the house is clean, had to vacuum and dust after getting everything put away.

Now I have time to work on my rug hooking project and the crazy patch background for my wool BOM blocks. BOM is from Buttermilk Basin,  I worked on this a little while on Thursday afternoon and it is quite a project.

First I had to trace the pieces on freezer paper and number them:

Next I had to trace the entire pattern, with numbers on a piece of muslin:

Each month the block in the middle will change. I have January's block finished:

Then I had to cut the pieces out of the freezer paper, iron them to wool, cut them out of wool and...(she says taking a big breath) place them on the muslin.

This is as far as I've gotten. Next step is to use fabric adhesive spray to tack the pieces to the muslin, then sew the pieces down using the sewing machine and finally to do some pretty embroidery stitches to cover the sewing machine seams.

Whew, good thing I didn't know how complicated this was going to be when I ordered it. I really like the unique way each block will be highlighted on their own for a month at a time. Now I just have to finish the backround.

Off to the city to shop at Wallyworld (walmart) and maybe I'll treat myself to a visit to JoAnns.

Hope your day is at least as exciting as mine.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Lunch, the lake and a laugh

On Thursday afternoon DH and I went to one of his favorite places to eat on the mountain, El Cid. If you're ever in the Oakhurst area this is a great place to eat if you like mexican food. It is located about a mile north of Oakhurst on HWY 41.

If there are tables available ask to sit on the indoor patio. There are great views of the surrounding mountains.
View from El Cid Patio

There are lunch specials but if you're there for dinner the prices are very reasonable.
After lunch we decided to drive into Bass Lake. The turn-off to Bass Lake is about a mile north of El Cid. The lake is 5 miles from the turnoff. (Bass Lake is where the movie "The Great Outdoors" starring John Candy was filmed.)

Bass Lake California

During the winter water is released from the lake to allow for the snow runoff in the spring. In some places you can walk across to the other side.

Can you tell I'm cold?
The lake was so calm that the reflections were amazing.


I don't think this boat is going anywhere until spring.
Proof of Bigfoot? Only if he's wearing a pair of giant Uggs.

I tired to convince DH that I needed this nice log in our yard, he said I could have the small piece of wood instead. NOT!
I love the cloud formations over the mountains.
DH's artsy shot.
Bass Lake is one of my favorite places in our neighborhood.
This made me smile: "A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing"
I know I've wanted to drop kick a computer or two across the room.
Blessings to you, Ronda


Thursday, December 27, 2012

My brain's on winter break.

I think my brain is on winter break. I've been trying to think of what to write and can't seem to come up with anything worthwhile. Does this happen to anyone else? Any suggestions on how to handle this?

OMG! Do I have writers block? That sounds so cool, like I'm a real writer.

Hopefully this will pass soon and I'll be able to post something worth posting.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Not a good first impression!

On one of our walks this week, DH, Miss Roxy our Yorkie and I ran into our new neighbor. This lady bought a house just a few houses down from us. Her property's location is great, on one side it's bordered by a creek and it backs up to an open field.

Back to the lady, as we approached her I asked if she was our new neighbor and she said something like she didn't know. I asked if she lived in the house she was standing in front of, she said yes and I pointed to where we lived. (I would think that if my house can be seen from hers we're probably neighbors, right?) In a disgusted tone she said "oh the one with all the Christmas decorations". I said that was us.

 I introduced myself, DH and Miss Roxy, the lady then said everyone around here has a little dog, except her. I agreed that a lot of people in the community have dogs.

I told her I was jealous of her property. She said not to be jealous because the house had been a mess and she had to spend a lot of money to fix it up. She said the previous owners had a little dog that they let pee all over the carpets so she had to replace all the carpets and paint. (now we know why she doesn't like little dogs). My thoughts: One-she knew the condition of the house when she bought it. Two-the house is 10 years old so it would need paint and probably new carpets.

DH said we also had to paint and redo the floors when we moved into our home. I said at least it's fresh and clean and she got to make it hers. That didn't go over well.

We started to finish our walk but I realized I didn't get her name so I asked what her name was. She told me. (It's the name of the main character in the Wizard of OZ).

As we were walking away she asked who our long distance carrier was, I told her we didn't have one as we use our cell phones. She said she didn't have a cell phone and that she had called AT&T and they told her that her address didn't exist. This discussion went on for a while but she wasn't happy with the answers we gave her.

Not once during our conversation did this lady smile or say anything pleasant. When we got home I told DH that I thought she was named after the wrong OZ character, I think she might be related to the Wicked Witch of the West and that we'd better keep a close watch on Roxy. I could just hear her saying "I'll get you my pretty and your little dog too!". I'm keeping an eye out for flying monkeys.

I hope your neighbors are more pleasant than this one.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas around our community

Today it was bright and sunny and warmer than the past couple of days. I took my camera with me when we went for our walk so I could take pictures of some of the Christmas decorations around our community.

A fence has to have garland and bows at Christmas:

Geese seem to be a popular item this year:

There has to be Snowmen and an Angel

A Nativity Scene:
Bears decked out for Christmas:

Nature has it's own Christmas decorations. bright red berries:
I like the wagon wheel, different but festive:
And finally a Santa:
I hope you take time out during this busy season to enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas.
Christmas Blessings to you and yours. Ronda


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Birds and berries

The berries on our trees are ripe

And the birds found them

I had to be very sneeky because they didn't want their pictures taken.

With all the leaves gone you can see one of their nests.

At times there are 10 or more birds in the tree but I can only get a picture of one at a time.

 I'm enjoying their visit.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I'm making progress with my first wool hooking project, if you remember this is where I was on Friday:
While watching my 49ers win on Sunday I outlined the rest of the sheep and did it's face and feet. Yesterday I outlined one of the flowers and did some of the stems:
I love football so with the end of the season and the playoffs coming I might be able to finish this by the Superbowl.
In our family everybody seems to have a different favorite football team. As I mentioned above I'm a 49er fan, DH loves the Cowboys, Mom the Rams, the kids: Steelers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Raiders, and Packers. This makes for some fun when our teams play one another.
It's crunch time, one week until Christmas. Today I hope to finish the Christmas shopping and tomorrow I'll wrap. Once the presents are taken care of I'll move onto the Christmas Day meal.
Hope your Christmas plans are coming together. Take time for yourself today.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Finished one project and began another

I finished my snowman faces penny rug:

DH made the candle holders from a tree branch he found on our walk this week. Sorry about the setting for the picture.
I finally received the Beginners Rug kit I ordered several weeks ago. Here's a picture of what I'll be working on:
 I watched some videos on YouTube and decided to give it try, here is a picture of my first row (bottom of the picture).

Don't you love it when you watch instructors doing something and they make it look so fast and easy? This row probably took me ten minutes to complete, I can only get faster with time, right? I also signed up for a beginners rug hooking session in late January, hopefully I won't have developed too many bad habits by then.

Stay safe and warm.

Friday, December 14, 2012

My heart is broken

My thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost loved ones in New Town Conn. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pictures from Lewis Creek trail

It was a beautiful day here in the eastern Sierra Nevadas, bright sunshine and temps in the 60's. There is a chance of snow tomorrow so DH and I decided to hike our favorite trail while it was still dry.

The Lewis Creek trail is just off of Hwy 41, about 10 miles west of Oakhurst, CA and 10 miles east of the south entrance to Yosemite National park. If you're spending time in the area it is a beautiful and fairly easy hike.

These two signs greet you at the beginning of the trail:


If I encounter a mountain lion I don't think I'll remember any of these things, I'll hold my ground but only because I'll be too scared to move.
Other than the sound of the running stream the trail is quiet.

The trail runs adjacent to Lewis Creek:

And is surrounded by pines:

There are surprises along the way:
My favorite bridge (I can't stop taking pictures of it)
Tiny mushrooms by an old stump:


Today we ran across a big surprise, ladybugs, hundreds of them:


They were only in one area on the trail, I've never seen so many in one place before.

Other than one other couple we had the trail to ourselves.

Because the weather was so nice and it felt more like spring than late fall we ended the day by barbecuing steaks for dinner.

Hope your day was as nice as mine.

Tomorrow is the wool club meeting at Quilters Paradise and I can't wait, I've written down several questions that I hope the members will be able to answer for me.

Til later, Ronda