Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving thanks

After a beautiful two day drive across CA, AZ, & NM, I am now happily resuming my place in our little family and household. My job now is to get back to the business of simplifying my life in as many small ways as I can. The last two days have been spent facing down six months' worth of summer dust and cobwebs in my workspace...not to mention the piles of things I left, in a rather breezy manner, in May. I guess I forgot they'd still be here when I returned.

Sunshine this morning, and lots of it. We've had a few false alarms on snow this last few days. Dinner today will be at a lodge high up in the mountains (10,400 ft., to be exact). It has become somewhat of a tradition these last years and I must say I don't mind not spending all day in the kitchen to make a huge meal for a small household.

I have much more to be thankful for than I had ever dreamed. These photos are of some of my many blessings.

I hope that you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving today, wherever you are. May you have lots of good food, laughter, and the love of family and friends surround you.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Back to the mountains

Today is my day to tie all the loose ends, pack the car, and see my daughter in law and grand babies for the last time for this visit. As I write this, I'm savoring the sound of the clanging bell and horn of the train which is at the bottom of my street. Funny how I was so assaulted by noises at the beginning of this journey, and now I have adjusted. I wonder what quiet will feel like when I get home.

Have a great weekend, I'll be checking in again soon.


I've been forgetting to share with you that I've received a couple of answers about the shells I posted here a little while back. The first answer came from a friend of a friend who is a professor (now retired) at Scripps Institute of Oceanography:

Hi Martie: From my colleague at the London Museum of Natural History: According to Jon Todd, the mollusk expert in the museum: "Almost certainly an Astraea (Vetigastropoda: Turbinidae)" Cheers, Elena Se also: and

The second answer, which is also correct, is from my spinning and blog friend, Shelly, who is a scuba diver in these local waters, so surely knows her stuff. She reported it as being a Wavy Top Turban Shell. Now that I've had these exact words, I've been able to locate internet information relevant to our local waters. Turns out people eat them, and report them to taste like conch (which I have never tasted). I think I am happier finding the empty shells along the shore and imagining that the prior occupant had to move into a bigger shell.

I also found this tidbit on line:

wavy turban snail/ wavy top snail (Megastraea undosa)

The wavy top snail has a large, heavy shell with undulating ridges spiraling along the outside of its reddish shell. The wavy top's shell can grow to 11 cm (4.3 in.) in diameter making this one of the larger snails to inhabit the lower intertidal and subtidal zones. Wavy top snails range from Point Conception, California to Baja California, Mexico. A similar species, the red turban snail, is smaller and ranges along the Pacific coast from British Columbia to Baja California, Mexico.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Wrapping up

It has been a very busy week since I last wrote. I've been trying to balance the business of getting ready to return to New Mexico with spending time with my family. I'm trying to focus on all the goodness and not on the fact that I won't get to see my grand babies again until January or February. I have jokingly said I have postpartum depression. I continually remind myself that I must look forward, not back.

I fully intended not to take any quilting back to NM with me, and leave that for my California visits, but I am starting to cave in on this decision. I have a blue and white quilt I am taking home to hand quilt, and since we're driving over in our truck, I will be able to take the enormous roll of batting and the quilt tops I need to put onto backs and finish. I have done a tally of my quilting accomplishments for this past six months, and I'm pretty pleased:

  • 3 baby quilts
  • the sea life quilt for my grandson's bed
  • the Batik quilt for my kids
  • four donation quilt tops for the Bumble Beans Basics Quilt project
  • I machine quilted a top made in 1992 to its backing and took it to its new home
  • I finished hand quilting a log cabin quilt I put to backing in 1992, before moving to NM
  • I am almost finished hand quilting the double wedding ring quilt I showed you at the beginning of the summer
  • my scrap squares quilt top is assembled and ready for its backing and quilting (I am undecided if I will hand quilt it or not).
As much as I adore buying fabric, I'm going to try to put a brake on it until I return next time. I still have a big box of 30's reproduction fabrics I intended to use this summer, but never touched. (That was before I discovered all the gorgeous Westminster fabrics. Oh my.)

I've not been the only one busy around here. There is some spider I have yet to see that is happily setting up camp all over my big euphorbia plant in the front yard. It's a web unlike any I've seen goes in little strips, and reminds me of the edging one gets from using a serger. Maybe I should remember this for a good machine quilting pattern; nothing like inspiration from nature!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Safe arrival!

Miss Madalyne Rosemary made her entrance into this crazy world yesterday. Awaiting her safe arrival were her big brother, her dad, and a host of assorted aunties, cousins, and grandparents. It was truly a life altering experience for me, and I am now head over heels in love with a 6.6 lb. baby girl who shall be known as Maddy Rose.

To all of you who have shared this journey with me, I thank you for your interest, comments, support and love you have sent our way. It truly does take a village.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Still waiting

Not that many of you who read this are interested, but to my friends and family who are, there is still no baby as of this morning. So much for channeling the spirit of my dead mom to help out! (On the other mom had a huge stubborn streak, so maybe that's her gift to this baby, who is clearly biding her own time.)

Quick question...I've been finding these (empty) shells on the beach at low tide. Does anyone know what they are? I cannot find anything on the internet that looks like them and it's driving me bonkers. If you have any clues, I'd sure love some help!

More soon...Martie

PS These are not small...the largest measures 4" from bottom to top.