Waiting is over. And 8-week countdown starts!

The last time I blogged, I was waiting for my grandson to enter the world.

With just one extra 2 a.m. trip to the hospital, we got the word to come to watch the boys while Rachel and Sean headed to Kaiser Roseville. And finally a text, he is here!

Presenting Colton Levi Dennis (photo by Rachel or Sean)

Smooth delivery. Mom and baby are healthy. All the boys were excited to meet their baby brother, Colton Levi. Colton arrived on January 31, 2020, weighing in at 7 pounds 9 ounces and 20 inches in length. Reaction from everyone, he is so small and cute.

Meeting Baby Colton (photo by Rachel)

One day in the hospital and home. Sean was happy to be home to watch the Super Bowl and not in delivery as I predicted. Thought a February 2, Ground Hog day birthday would be fun. My daughter has a supportive husband in Sean. Good thing too!

Starting on February 2 my pup to be mama Ginger moved to Jo’s house in preparation for her upcoming birth of puppies. After an ultrasound Jo let me know that even though I am 5 or 6th on list Ginger was puppy full. My guess was 9 or 10.

Puppy Full (ultrasound)

Our preference is for a solid colored girl, but I will happily enjoy having a boy. Well On February 7th Ginger’s labor started. Grand total many hours later is 10 puppies – 7 boys and 3 girls.

Good job Ginger! (photographed by Jo)

I thought that I would not be high up on the list for a girl, but now I can get the third girl or a boy. I am so excited. Jo posts many photos of puppy piles. No individual portrait session yet. Pups are so busy nursing and sleeping. Moma Ginger is taking good care. Breeder “litterally” has her hands full. Jo sets up a Nest cam for part of the day, and I can check-in and see how much there is to do with a new litter. Silent tv on the corner of my computer screen.

Pile full of Puppy Love – Day 4 (photo taken by Jo)

Now I wait until I can meet the puppies in person, and then bring our puppy home. That date is April 1st. On March 13 I will meet the individual pups via facetime. Then, on March 22 we will visit the litter. Preparations now start. Decisions, purchases, and organizing the house.

So how will I pass the time? I am signed up for a 9-week beginner quilting class and my local quilting shop. I started last week. Even though there are plenty of tutorials, and answers on the Internet, I learn many tips and tricks from the interactions in class. Some of the blocks I am seeing online will make more sense in 9 weeks time, I hope!

My camera is getting a workout. Last week Colton had his first portrait session. Using my prime 35mm 1.4 lens I captured a perfect sleeping angel for his birth announcement.

Colton – one week old

This week my CTD (Camera Totin’ Days) group went to a familiar place, The Antique Trove. Usually, we find this is our go-to place when it is raining. But, alas the day felt more like Spring has sprung. This sunny day did allow us to spend time in The Antique Trove garden area. My focus here in the garden area was how to improve the decor outside. I have a succulent garden that I want to display attractively. So I am on the hunt for ideas.

My husband reminds me that we have too much stuff. But as long as I have a place for everything, and everything is in its place I disagree. Many items have been accumulated over the past almost 50 years. And I made a point of adding only good memories from my parent’s house. There are a couple of things that need changing in the house, but I will wait till puppy training is over.

While at the Trove I also enjoyed photo opportunities. Here are a few to enjoy.

Where did the time go?
Clown Garbage Can. Scarry looking.
Just liked this one!
Be sure to show some love!

Next week, I plan to go to Capay Valley to experience the almond trees in full bloom. Time to get out with the group. Last week after the baby arrived I thought I might have strep throat and so I kept away from everyone till I could be sure.

For the last week in February, my oldest grandson will be visiting from Knoxville, Tennessee for a week. He has plenty of restaurants he wants to visit, probably a trip to San Francisco and a family day celebrating my granddaughter’s 18th birthday. Time flies.

Traveling to New York City in March for a quick trip. Plan to see a show, eat some great food, and take in the sights.

Then home to ready ourselves for our new addition.

So now you are kind of caught up. Well, there is a VERY important item I skipped over. That is to VOTE on Super Tuesday. I am registered. I received my ballot, and plan to vote. Got to stop the continuous destruction of democracy. Interfering with judges should not be allowed. I just can’t understand the people who can follow this amoral person. Impeached, but not removed. VOTE HIM OUT! Rant done.

Adding an addition

I am now on baby alert. My daughter is blessing me with a grandson. This will bless me with a 6th grandson, I have only 1 granddaughter. Birth plan calls for baby Colton Levi to be born on February 3rd or before. Here’s hoping that Mother Nature kicks into gear. Reading about the induction procedure is not comforting. With the 49ers in the Super Bowl next Sunday, and the excitement here in California I’m placing my bet on Super Bowl Sunday as a due date. I won’t be busy. With this pregnancy my daughter’s gestational diabetes makes the condition of a date due advisable. This is her second time with gestational diabetes. It skipped her last pregnancy.

So with four boys 8 years and under (8, 4 and 2 years old) she is ready with most of the baby stuff. But there always are things that are needed. Yesterday my daughter and I again headed to our Buy, Buy Baby Store. About 4 years ago I wrote a post about this experience. You may find it here. And like deja vu we were out buying a new mattress. I should be experienced at this. The mattress purchased the last time is being used by Wyatt, the two year old. But as you know progress must continue. Now there are layers (4-5) over the springs, foam mattress, hybrid coil/foam or dual foam mattresses and this strange looking web-like plastic stuff. The Newton Baby Wovenaire Crib Mattress tag line is “Born in water, designed to breathe”. If the crib sheet, and crib mattress cover gets wet you can not only wash this, but you can take the whole mattress out and hose it down. Then wait for everything to line dry. This mattress also offers peace of mind. If your baby turns over it will still be able to breathe with his/her face down. Wow. Not to be pulled into new age stuff we decided on a more traditional mattress. Baby needs a hard mattress for his growning bones. I told my daughter if the baby doesn’t sleep, don’t blame me for buying the mattress. LOL.

Next mattress I purchase will be mine. Still waiting for that perfect sleep. It would be nice if my husband woke up refreshed each day. I would like not to wake up in a puddle of sweat. TMI. Oh well.

Could not leave the store without buying a couple of newborn body suits with gloves. So many cute things. More fun to shop for baby than for myself.

While walking around the store I again was amazed at all those items out there for new parents to consume. Got out my iphone and here are a few. I call these consumer items, “maybe useful, but unnecessary. Agree? Disagree?

Where oh where to put that baby quieter?
In the dog world we call these poop bags. Maybe this is where I will go to get my holder.
They didn’t have one available to drop. Hummm. That would make for interesting entertainment.
Such an adorable name. I’m sure baby will be smiling when he or she sees this coming.
Just when checking out I spotted this lovely new gadget. And I love to look at gadgets.

So when expecting your new bundle of joy there are so many choices and decisions to be made, be sure to think. “Do I really need this? And where will I put it so I will use it when needed?

Now for some other news. I am hoping to bring a puppy into my home at the end of March. Ginger, an Australian Labradoodle is starting to show. Jo sent me some photos this weekend. I am either 5th or 6th on the list for this litter. Ginger has delivered big litters in the past two. (9 and 11). On February 3rd the ultrasound may give us more information.

My daughter is jealous. Gestation for a dog is 63 days. Ginger is more than half way there. I do hope that I will be lucky enough to welcome a pup into my house.

Expanding belly.
Such an adorable face.

Soon I will be out shopping and getting ready for my new arrival. I’m sure there are a bunch of things that I will need. Or will I? What are the must haves? What can I just skip? It has been 10 years since I brought my Liberty Love home. Still miss her so very much.

Early March my husband and I will head to New York City for a 10 day vacation before (I hope) my puppy arrives at 8 weeks old. Plan to play tourist, and see some family. Staying on the upper West Side, but plan to venture out to Brooklyn and Nassau County. Any places I should stop and see? Last visited in 2014.

Exciting stuff ahead. Now to my sewing machine. Time to quilt.

Sewing Along

My sewing room is almost completely set up. I have been busy developing my new skills. Learning the lingo. Finding places to gather my supplies. Investigating websites and watching YouTube videos.

There is a lot to getting into a new hobby. I am lucky to have space to create. My little sewing room now has some art on the walls, and space for some new upcoming fiber art.

Created by my mother Alina. When she was traveling she brought this project along.
My mother-in-law gifted us many years ago.

My closet has shelves to store my fabrics that I have been gathering. I have a chest my mother bought when she lived in Hong Kong. It is getting filled with rulers, rotary cutters, clips, pins, threads, etc. The coupons from Joann’s comes in handy.

My first project was a wall hanging for my grandsons. Dinosaurs in bright colors. Except for the binding I hand quilted this one. I was so excited to gift it to them that I forgot to take a picture. Well I know where it is so on Monday I will be babysitting and I’ll grab a photo.

I started with a few small projects. I found a cute book of pot holders and began to learn how to appliqué.

My first project.

This pot holder was quickly followed by three more.

I made two of these for my cat people.

I then tackled a baby quilt for my grandson due in 2-3 weeks.

This is more of a soft quilt to lay on and not under. Babies do not use blankets until they are older so this will be useful for the little one.

Then I started to follow some quilting blogs, watching some tutorials and reading some pattern books. I decided to get some practice at cutting and stitching straight 1/4 inch seams. And I began my next project, a small pieced quilt. The last time I pieced a quilt was 40 years ago. My neighbor was a quilter and she helped me. I machine pieced and hand quilted a twin sized quilt for my four year old son. I don’t have a photograph of my work. I was pleased with the result. I had my daughter soon after and life continued on. My mother also quilted for the first time two twin quilts.

My sewing machine set up with a Sew Steady table.

My machine is currently sitting on a desk. I just got a new chair. My previous desk chair is quite old and the hydraulic lift was no longer working. I would sit at the desk and continue to slip lower and lower. A sinking feeling. New chair I can sit at a better angle. I still may end up looking for a better solution with better ergonomics.

I am practicing matching points. Some nights I sew a couple of squares, and then while watching tv I rip out about half of them. I am kind of a perfectionist when I look at my work closely. I know that once it is done the mistake will be happy little unique moments.

Quilt in progress. This is called a scrappy quilt design.

The color class I took at Cosumnes River College with Patty Felkner prepares me for my new endeavor. This quilt called for 4 dark and 4 light colors. Design was not my focus this time. Can you tell?

I am lucky that there are quite a few local quilt shops near my house. I visited 4 shops and found my new “home”. This shop has helpful people and nice fabrics. The shop is called Swifty Stitches after the Golden Retriever, Swifty the owner’s dog. This afternoon I met Swifty and his friend Lila, another Golden Retriever. Getting some puppy love is an added bonus. I signed up for a beginner class that starts in February. I hope that I will learn some new techniques.

Blockheads 3 starts this week. Designers from all over will provide patterns and the fb group will share the outcomes online. I thought I might be overwhelmed, but the group has encouraged me to jump in. I will experience new techniques and can find help if I need it. I bought some fabric (fat quarters) and so I will be busy.

Sew here I go! I will continue to blog, take photos, read about raising a puppy, pursue my genealogy and “dabble along”.

Goodbye 2019, Hello 2020 – The world keeps spinning

My head has been so full of noise that I did not realize that I have been neglecting to write.

So what what has caused me to think that my brain is playing “Pong”. I think that my loss of focus has been due to my dog deprived life. I have changed my sleeping pattern to a staying up late (2 am). I have always been more of a night owl since I retired, but this is getting ridiculous. This week I am making a better effort to wake up before 8:00 am, get going, and not drift back to sleep.

So what else is going through my head. It bounces from one interest to another. From Genealogy to Photography to my newest interest in Quilting. Not that these interests can’t coincide in one person, but that each pulls me away from the other. My son called this “dabbling”. Maybe I just continue to find new and interesting things to learn.

Oh, probably the most disorienting part of my life is news and the media (ie Facebook). Need I say more?

This 2020 election is very important. Be sure you are registered to VOTE!

One moment I am all about connecting the dots on my Ancestry family tree. I just started writing down my own personal story as a child of two Holocaust survivors. My hope is that I will one day be able to articulate a coherant story to others. I am a participant of CVHEN (California Valley Holocaust Education Network) and Sacramento Second Generation Holocaust Survivor’s group (now renamed Holocaust Survivors and Descendants). Though I find that with all my reading on the subject I sometimes need to take a step back from this subject. It is at that moment I take up another interest.

Photography helps me get out. Sometimes I just need to force myself to get out of the house. And away from the television and the continued crazy news that surrounds me. I don’t want to bury my head in the sand, but I have some very serious questions as to where this country, and the world is headed. This very clearly harkens back to my family’s past “real” experiences. So with camera in hand, and a great group of friends we head out to explore local spots. So far the weather this fall/winter has been quite favorable to getting outside. In other words, Sacramento has not had very much rain.

Fountains in Roseville are mesmerizing.

The climate here in Sacramento has changed in the almost 40 years I have been here. I remember all the fog that enveloped Sacramento when we first moved here. Moving into my first house in 1980, there was so much fog that lasted throughout the day that I didn’t even know which window would receive sunshine for the first 3 months (December through February 1981). Then we had record rains. I remember driving from my house in Sacramento to Orangevale 10 miles away and not knowing if the visibility would allow me to make it to work on time. I never understood the mass pileups on the freeways when I was in New York. The fog just engulfs you from out of nowhere. It has been quite a while since I have seen that kind of fog. I just looked up Tule Fog, and discovered why scientists say there is less of this phenonomun. Cleaner air. Good for the driving public. Do you remember the Tule fog? Can you see that my focus drifts.

Back to photography. Since my camera group changed the format from Camera Toutin’ Tuesdays to Camera Toutin’ Days our busy schedules get in the way. Doctor and dentist appointments, haircuts and massages, grandkids, and life may get in the way, but a steady group of 6-8 shows up. I am lucky to have found a good group of friends to share my joy in photography. I know that I can always find peace with my photography.

Here are some of my images from the year 2019. Not my most productive year. I did have that spinal surgery that kept me out of the loop for a while.

Taken with my new Macro lens.
Long Beach at sunset.

Looking back through my images I found some inspiration.

Plan to pop the champagne cork tonight at midnight.
My first date with my husband occured on New Years Eve 1966. No drinking and driving.

The year 2020 starts tomorrow. Bigger and better plans for the coming year. Around February 8 a new grandchild is set to arrive. That makes #7. My daughter is having a boy to add to her 4 boys and 1 girl. Busy family.

Ginger and Ace are expecting puppies in February. I am hoping to to bring one of the pups to my house in March.

Here is Ginger and Ace!
This handsome Henry was shopping with his human. I so can’t wait to have a dog friend of my own. This is a mulligan Australian Labradoodle standard size. I await a smaller version.
Plan to watch out! Be aware of your surroundings!

Heading to New York “The Big Apple” in March before our puppy joins our household. Planning to play tourist. See a show, visit relatives, and gather genealogical info. Also NYC is great for street photography and of course eating.

I plan to continue to spend less time in malls unless they are outside like the Fountains. Well I will see how this works out.

And I hope that everyone around me can follow this saying. There is entirely too much animosity circulating now.

Happy New Year to all my friends and followers. Here’s hoping for a bright 2020!