Monday, October 22, 2007


Yesterday turned out to be a pretty wonderful day for me. For one thing, I got my transcription commitment finished by 9:30 a.m, which was the way I like to do it. I knew Kyleigh was coming for our "SPECIAL DAY" after 12:30, and wanted to be done by then.

Earlier in the morning, while working away, I thought it would be a good day for carnitas, it is a Mexican dish of roasted pork, used to make tacos, buritos, etc. I usually boil the pork with some spices until it is done, then take it out and roast it for about 45 minutes. I always throw out the liquid I boiled it in. Yesterday, while browsing the 2 cookbooks I use for the carnitas (I use a combination of 2 recipes), I realized that pozole was a soup with pork, chicken, in a chicken-based broth and hominy, using essentially the same spices I use in the carnitas. I decided since my pork was such a large piece of meat, I could cook the carnitas as usual, split the meat, and use part for the pozole and part for the carnitas. The pozole soup is served with a variety of garnishes, such as cheese, radishes, tomatoes, pico de gallo salsa, tortilla strips, sliced avocado, and we added them all. I have fallen in love with pozole, and in fact had some for breakfast.

Kristen brought Kyleigh over for our SPECIAL DAY, and I served them some of the soup too. Kristen and Katie I knew love hominy too.

After Kristen and the 2 boys left, Kyleigh and I embarked on our project. My friend Candi, had given us a small Janome sewing machine just Kyleigh's size and we had been waiting for the opportunity to use it. I explained the machine, and showed her how to use it. I started her out practicing stitching on muslin, on which I had drawn lines. From the very first, she did pretty remarkable for a 7-year-old, she pretty much totally followed the lines. Then I showed her how to turn corners, leaving the needle in the fabric and pivoting the fabric for the corner. The second practice, below shows that. She had one zig-zaggy part where something caught, and she was not advancing, but basically pretty remarkable I thought.

I was also amazed, that when I showed her how to thread the machine, how to thread the needle she remembered, and after the second time of me rethreading the needle, she insisted on doing it herself, and where it would take me 3-4 attempts, she could get it in the needle by the second time!

Next, I had a bunch of 3 inch blocks, I used to get as samples from some quilt club. She sewed a bunch of these together and made a quilt for her American Girl Doll, Briana. I still need to quilt this little mini-quilt, but she was so excited, as was her proud gramma, for her to have done this. She kept saying "this is so much fun". We had my small TV/DVD player in the sewing room and watched West Side Story. I forgot how sad it is...

Later, Katie, and her boyfriend John came by, and stayed for some pozole, and carnitas for dinner. Kyleigh had an appetite, and ate 3 carnitas tacos herself.

Monday, October 15, 2007


The week of September 26, 2007, to October 1, 2007, John and I went on a short cruise from Vancouver to San Diego.

We almost thought we were not going to make the ship the first day, as the flights from Sacramento to Seattle were fogged in and delayed. We were told that our connecting flight from Seattle to Vancouver would wait for us, because all flights were delayed. (WRONG). We arrived in Seattle and our connecting flight had taken off 5 minutes before.

We were told that the next connecting flight was at 6 p.m. (Our ship took off at 5). This is about 1:30 p.m.. It was suggested that we rent a car and drive to Vancouver. When we asked how long that would take we were informed about 4 hours. Finally they arranged for us a flight on a different airline, Air Canada and we arrived about 3:30. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the ship's crew were still waiting for us, and 2 other Sacramento couples at the airport. They whisked us into taxi's and away to the port where the ship was getting ready to leave. We arrived at the ship about 4:30, right as they had finished the lifeboat drill.

Thursday we arrived in Victoria, and while John took a city tour, and a tour of Craigdarroch Castle, I took a whale watching tour, which was my birthday present.

This is the blog of the Five Star Whale Watching boat I went on, and if you check out the September 27th, that was the day I went.

We were having a good time, seeing whales in the distance. I was standing on the back of the boat, when a killer whale started coming straight towards our boat. It came right up to where I was standing, and got the picture above, and then it just swam off. This was the highlight of my trip!

On Friday, September 28th, John and I took a shore excursion in Astoria, Oregon, to 2 seaside towns, Cannon Beach and Seaside. In Cannon Beach I found a great yarn store called Costal Yarns, and got some beautiful hand-dyed yarn, a knitted purse book, and crochet caps, and whale tale cap instructions.

The rest of the cruise was just getting to San Diego. Every morning, I would get up early (4 to 5 a.m. and late for me) , and head down to the Lido where they have the buffet meals. It was not open yet, the crew was busy getting breakfast ready, but it was well-lit and they had generally good music going. I had my backpack full of stitchery, and would just sit and embroider until John came down for breakfast.

I was working on this Woolly Flower Sampler, the basket block, which I started and finished on the cruise. All of a sudden, I realized that this was probably the last block, and I had all the others done. I could hardly wait to get home to check. (And I was right, I put it together the weekend I got home).

Monday, October 1, 2007, we arrived in San Diego, and reluctantly left the ship. It's hard to go from being so pampered, and having to get back to reality.

We had a nice visit in San Diego with John's mother for 2 days, and were able to take her to our favorite Mexican restaurant as an added bonus.

She gave me an album of old pictures of John, and I got to the airport and one of my suitcases was 5 pounds overweight which I had to pay extra for.

But this little mini cruise was exactly what we needed, and we came back home to celebrate Keaton's 1st birthday, and my birthday this week.