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”.

The Misadventures of Subi Blue / Thanks Costco

Last week my husband and I made the trip south to visit my family for the High Holidays. In preparation for the 8 hour trip, and the upcoming rainy season we bought 4 new tires for my Subaru Outback. This two year old car has about 32,000 miles and I guess the tires wear out quicker in the hot Sacramento sun.

Trip down was uneventful, but lengthy. We usually stop a Pea Soup Andersen’s and we almost missed it. Needed to be on I-5 and not 99S.

Pea Soup Andersen’s

Traveling through Los Angeles and into Orange County the traffic is unbelievable. Looking at all the single drivers I can’t imagine commuting daily to work. Listening to the traffic every 10 minutes there didn’t appear to be any freeway that way flowing. Accidents, cars on fire, people being airlifted, and more accidents. Lots of distracted drivers in the bumper-to-bumper parking lot. I just didn’t want to be one of them, and we weren’t. Yah!

This trip was planned as a time with family. Visiting with Ed and Leti in Laguna Nigel, we met up with my niece and nephew for dinner in Long Beach. On the way we stopped in Winchester at the Art Supply Warehouse. Leti takes art classes and wanted to get some supplies since we were close by. I have been looking all over for turquoise fountain pen ink for my Parker pen. And there it was.

Mural outside of Art Supply Warehouse

My nephew works for Swift, a subscription computer ap for cycling. Interesting tour of the inner workings of this business. Wonderful view of the city from high above Long Beach.

Arrived as sun was setting.
Amazing view of Long Beach

The star of the evening was meeting my very cute great niece Sidney. See for yourself.

Sidney kept removing her bow. Mom put it back on.

The next day our tour guide, Ed took us to Laguna Beach. Enjoyed the nice weather, and I got some photo time.

Love the sound of waves crashing.
Plein Air artist
Artistic bench. We did lock eyes!
The letter M
Selfie
Cacti and Bouganvilla contrasted
World Trade Center Memorial

Dinner was served at a Persian restaurant Darya. Great meal, and a delayed birthday cake surprise! Belly dancer entertained us tonight. Sorry, I couldn’t figure out how to import a short video clip. So I used Luminar to enhance this photo.

Fantastic belly dancer

Dinner preparation started, and continued for the next two days. The only boxed ingredients was my wide noodles, otherwise recipes were created from scratch. I made Apple Lochen Kugel, and Leti cooked, and cooked, and cooked. Traditions between Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews are quite different. Plenty of discussion about gefilte fish.

Giving us the fish eye. There is areason we needed the eye of the fish and no tail.

I guess, it may an aquired taste. I’m not fussy so everything was delicious.

Ok. So did I start this blog with Subi Blue and Costco? Took off at 8:45 am to miss the main commuter traffic into LA. But as soon as we got to Grapevine a light came on to let us know there was a problem with the tires. Our new tires. Found a gas station, checked the air and put in some. Light goes out, great. Light comes back on in about 45 minutes (about 60 miles later). Find another gas station, and more air in tire. Now we decide to look for a Costco. Using my iPhone directions we head to Hanford, Ca. Driving down roads in the middle of no where we drive about two hours. Passing places and towns, agriculture and desert sand. Of course we still needed to stop to replace lost air. Corcoran, Ca. has a gas station and we continue.

Subi Blue in Corcoran, Ca.

Arrive in Hanford. Plenty of cows, but we are not stopping for pictures. Mooo! Looking for East Lacey Blvd, and arrive at the destination according to my phone and it is a field. Can’t find Costco. Air is now leeking out faster. We stop at Wyndam in Visalia and get directions to Costco in Visalia. Guess we blew past Hanford!

Now is desperate need of air, we stop at another gas station, but the air pump is out of order. More directions, and finally arrive at Costco in another 15 minutes. Worried we might be driving on the wheel. Luckily there was one tire left in our size. Two hour delay where we dined on the usual Costco hot dog meal. With sourkraut. Thanks Anne. Replaced with same type tire at no charge, (road hazard warranty!), gassed up and we were ready to go. Thanks Costco and Ernie R. for getting us on the road so quickly.

Arrived home at 10:45 pm.

I haven’t left my house since Monday. So glad to be home.