Since my last posting, we had the fun of hosting a dinner party for some of Gregg's colleagues who were/are visiting from Spain and Italy. It was a pleasure to meet them and break bread together. He enjoys the international aspect of his work very much: the travel, learning about and adapting to the different cultures, the food, art and architecture - and (of course), the business. Since it's not worked out for me to go with him on one of his work trips as yet, it was lovely to welcome his colleagues to visit us here.
We used a few of our airline miles to visit our nephew Phil and his girlfriend Rachel in the Bay Area. My grandmother was brought up in San Francisco, and I haven't been back there since I went with her in 1989. I forgot how much I absolutely LOVE that city. I could easily re-locate to Northern California - the light, the combination of the beach and the sunshine, the architecture...it feels very familiar and comfortable to me. I have happy memories of visiting relatives the city when I was a young girl. We made more happy memories with Phil & Rachel, walking all over downtown, the waterfront,
We were fortunate to get to see our friends Caron & Tom (Caron used to live in Poulsbo) while we were in the city. They met us for drinks the first night at Boudin's Sourdough Bakery/Restaurant.
|Gregg, Caron & Tom|
|At V. Sattui Winery in Napa Valley|
|St. Francis of Assisi statue at the entrance to Robert Mondavi Winery in Napa|
|Rachel, Phil & me at the beach before heading to the airport|
Caron also has a blog, Everything Coastal, which is great fun and full of good ideas. We were so sad when Caron closed her Poulsbo store, but the good news is that with her online presence, EVERYONE has access to her fabulous finds. If you are looking for inspiration for your home or a gift, check out her site!
I've also been busy "stalking" David on facebook. He is having a wonderful semester in Italy and is making the most of his opportunities. Being able to text and "facetime" with him helps tremendously to keep us aware of how he is and what's going on, much more than back in the days when I spent a term abroad. It's such fun to see all of the facebook photos and to be able to use instant messaging - that is a blessing, in this case. He has been able to travel to Venice, England, Ireland, and will go to Scotland and Spain before coming back home for the holidays. We miss him, but are thrilled for him to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
My beloved husband is a huge help to me in pretty much everything, but he does not enjoy household repairs or maintenance. Gregg would rather sweep the driveway, rake leaves, wash dishes or even run the vacuum than wield a hammer. He also works full-time and has a long commute, so his free time is limited. With the start of our rainy season upon us, I decided to take matters into my own hands and put sticky, sandpaper tape down on our porch, to prevent people from slipping and falling when they approach the front door. The problem is that I waited about two weeks too long to do it, and we had rain before I got the tape in place. Wet wood = no-stick sticky-tape. So I swept the porch and scrubbed it with a wire brush, and then used tacks and a staple gun (thank you, Joanne!) and got the job done. It was fun (although Latte was much more of a hindrance than a help as I worked), looks good, and it is a relief to know that the porch no longer resembles a skating rink.
Once we got home, I started to get attached to those chairs. Plans for their future began to develop in my mind, and those plans did not necessarily include David. I decided that we could give him some other chairs for his place, and went to buy some spray paint. Remember the beach glass table which I spray painted turquoise? Well, here are the newest members of its family:
|Aren't they pretty? Of course, I forgot to take "before" photos.|
Starting in January, my friend (and spiritual director), Bev and I are planning to teach a class. It will be based upon the "Journey of the Heart" journal of Kathryn Antyr Costa (of Collage Diva & True North Arts blogs - see my sidebar). Kathryn's work is creative, inspirational and insightful. She walks the talk - she practices her ideas in her life, and the results are inviting and beautiful. Bev and I are looking forward to sharing this with you; if you live in the area, we would love to have you join us. I'll be posting more as the details are set, but it will begin in mid-January, and will be held at Bev's office on Bainbridge Island. Leave a message here or on facebook if you are interested.
Katie's Comforters Guild has been keeping me busy with receiving donations of fabric and sending fabric out to those who are willing to sew. I am grateful to each person who volunteers any time or talent for our guild - we need each one of you in order to keep bringing comfort to children who are in the hospital! If you have any interest in sewing or making fleece blankets, please let me know here, or over on the guild's blog or our facebook page - we have lots of fabric to share!
Are you still with me? If so, thank you - as I said, I've missed you! It's good to be back.