Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tiffany's shower and Salerno's

Hello, Everyone,
It's a lovely warm August Saturday night.  I'm listening to Andre Rieu.  Shmaltzy but fun. I feel ok, except for having pulled my back out a bit.  But hopefully that is temporary.

I have been out of town in July.  Heather and I went to Minneapolis to attend a family reunion. Via Amtrack!  Lots of fun.  I'll ask HC if she has pix I can post...

We're having a great weekend.  We were busy on the night of our anniversary, so we picked an alternate day to celebrate and it was today.  We went for a drive to the to the mountains.  In Ramona we stopped on a whim at Salerno Winery.  Wow!  What a fun place!  Mamma Rose is a fun lady who talks to her customers like old friends.  Herman, also called Frank,  is a retired Italian opera star who sings opera and makes the best Pizza ever in a wood fired oven on the patio. And, of course, the wine is great.  They have a red called Perfection that really is perfect.  And a sweet white aperitif I loved.

Then we went to Julian for apple-boysenberry pie.  Also great!  Lovely drive.

I have a new camera and I'm having trouble downloading the pictures I took.  Here's the link to the winery.

I'll post pix when my technical difficulties are solved.

Here are some pics from Tiffany's shower.  The shower was a lot of fun.

Arriving with Amber and the boys...
 Amber came down and we all got to spoil Evan.

 Brad Evan with Evan.

Big brother having fun.

Getting close!  Any day now!  Hang in there Tiffany.

Time for me to go to bed.  Lilo sez "Hello" to all her fans.  She is so glad Mom is back in town.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Hello Everyone, 
It's a lovely warm Tuesday evening in San Diego.  I'm listening to classical music on Kusc.  

We just got back from visiting Evan.
 Isn't he cute?!

Evva, do you recognize the blankie? You knit it for Nate.

Proud big brother.

Lilo is clearly jealous...
See ya,

cousin Steve

Hello, Everyone,
It's a lovely afternoon in Southern California.

My cousin Steve came to visit from North Carolina.  Uncle Myles's oldest son.

He's the tall guy in the back row.  He looks just like Myles.

We went boating in the RC boat basin...  Click to enbiggen.

Gotta run, gotta take Nate back to his folks!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Reply to anna

Hi, Everyone,
It's a lovely spring Friday afternoon in San Diego.  70 degrees and a gentle breeze.   Just lovely.

I feel ok.  I'm listening to dance music on Pandora.  Gotta mix it up once in a while. 

Anna recently posted a comment asking about making an Omamori cover.  I tried to email a reply, but it did not go thru.  So here is the question:

Hiya, I want to make an omamori case for someone as a surprise. What size is an omamori gohonzon?

Thanks :) Anna

And here is the answer:

Hi, Anna,
The older ones are thinner and longer than the recent ones.  Different size of Gohonzon and different mounting.

Assuming a recent one, it's  2 1/8 x 1 1/4 x 1/2, including the white case.    You don't want it to fit skin tight, so I allow a little extra.   I knit a little beaded bag about 1 3/4 - 2 inches wide and 2 1/2 long, then add whatever top closure is desired.  or a top closure I usually have a few extra rows, then a row of K2tog, YO to make a place for the draw string, a few rows seed stitch and then bind off with beads on the edge.  Then I make a drawstring with 2 or 3 stitch i-cord and a heavily beaded bauble on each end.  It takes a little effort to install the drawstring, but it won't come out that way.

I just cover the Omamori itself, but let the original stainless steel chain come out to be used with the cover, as it is stronger than any chain I might knit.   If the cover should ever come off, you would lose the cover, not the Gohonzon. 

Good luck! These are fun to make as they are such a small project that you can go crazy with the beads, and it's still just a few beads, LOL.  A cover makes it nicer to wear the Omamori, as the beads create an airspace between the Omamori and you, which is nice, especially in the summer.  And it keeps the Gohonzon clean and dry. 


I knit a little cap out of bamboo to use with my c-pap headgear.  The cap helps keep the headgear from slipping on my head in the night and cushions the contact points so I don't wake up with interesting impressions on my forehead.  I made it 2 inches extra long, so I can pull it down where I need it.  I had a warm cap for the winter, this is my new summer cap, cool breathable yarn. and open lace stitch.  It looks silly, but is very effective.

I'm working on  2 Estonian shawls at the same time, LOL.  So like me.  Anyway, one is taupe and very sedate.  One is white and tomato red, very Valentines Day.  Maybe I'll give it as a Valentine next Feb.

Pics to follow when I get them blocked.  Unblocked lace is just a tangled looking mess.

Lilo is losing weight, sigh.  She has on-demand cat food, but I have fought all her life to get a little weight on her.  Her digestion is just terrible, she throws up a lot.  This time of year she catches gophers, eats them and throws everything up.  Poor baby.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pizza at the beach

Hello everyone,
It's a coolish Thursday night after a windy day in San Diego.  The on-again, off-again weather is giving me joint stiffness problems.  I'm listening to WQXR
Dan and I were at the beach finishig the laundry when we got hungry, so we had pizza and beer at Il Padrino in Pacific Beach.  Wowzers, do I recommend this place.  The dough is tender and tasty and the toppings great.  Wonderful pizza. We had a Shocktop beer, also very good, Belgian style.  Also a Stone IPA. Very hoppy.

I'm knitting a new lace shawl. About half done.   Pictures soon to follow.

Heather sent me some photos, including one of my wedding.  Good memories.

We did have a fun wedding.  The pic is of the San-san-kudo. It was a Buddhist ceremony.

Lilo sez goodnight.

Bye, Julie

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lace, More lace

Hello Everyone,
It's a coolish Sunday night after an overcast day in San Diego.  I'm a bit stiff from the Sj, but other wise in high spirits.  I'm listening to Nestor Torres' Human Revolution, from Songs dances and prayers.

I got a new camera today (Thank you, Dare) and now I am trying to figure out the software that uploads the pix to the computer. I can take them, and then I transfer them, and then I can't find them...

  I had some new lace work I wanted to show you all.  I recently blocked out a bit of pretty white lily of the valley lace (Estonian lace patterns, Orenburg construction).  It's a pressie for Dan's niece.  We were unable to attend her Bat Mitzvah as we were exposed to strep while watching Nate, and we thought strep might be a decidedly uninvited guest at the party.

So,.. I wanted to show you the lace before I mail it off tomorrow... If I figure it out, I'll add it in.
Success! Above is the lily lace.

Meanwhile, Heather and Shannon blocked out the Night Song shawl I made for Shannon.  I modified the pattern slightly to have a few reverse stockinette stitches between the feather motifs to let them stand out more.  I also think the pattern has errors, which I corrected.   Here it is blocking.

Here it is unblocked above.
And all blocked out...
Heather took this pic of Point Loma looking out over the SD airport.  Nice.  Aren't we glad to be here?

Lilo sez hello to all her adoring fans.  I'll have to take a pic of her and lose that one too, lol.


Friday, April 8, 2011

windy day, baby leggings at 1-21-10

Hello Everyone.

It's a sunny cool windy spring afternoon in San Diego. Listening to Carmina Burana on  Somewhere someone is flying a kite, I'm sure. My body is not liking the changing weather...

Did you come to this blog looking for the baby leggings to match the BSJ?  Take a look at 1-21-10.

So,...  did you know Denny's is doing Baconalia?  It's a new holiday.  Dare took me and we had a blast.  We ordered all the bacon dishes and then a plate with 6 extra slices on the side. LOL.  What fun. 

Went to the opera and saw Rosenkavalier.  It was good.  Funny and tender.

I got a sewing machine as a present from Amber.  She's expecting another little boy, so I'm sewing baby stuff like mad.

My phone camera no longer syncs with my computer (Windows 7 will not play nicely in the sand box), so it's hard to post photos of all this fun stuff to the blog. Maybe I'll take them to Heather's.

Must run, Lilo wants me to stop blogging and pay attention to her.  Her latest thing is to sit in front of the sewing machine when I'm trying to sew...  She brought in her first dead gopher the other day.  Must be spring.

Hope to see you all soon,

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Exciting...A new bride?

Hello, Everyone,

It's a cold, rainy Sunday night in San Diego.  I just got back from Mexican food at El Patron.  Pretty good.

I got some questions from someone knitting my Shannon's bridal shawl.  Since the answers to one person's questions usually benefit the next person as well, I thought I would post my reply to her here.

I would use 25 stitches for a swatch, as the repeat is 12 stitches plus one.  That way you could see how 2 branches of nupps fit side by side.   The shawl also has a garter edge, but I do not think you need that on the swatch. 

If you are new to nupps, just do the pattern as written.  It is enough to start with that.  Do not try to make the branches wave back and forth just yet.   Each right side row features a K2tog at both edges of the pattern repeat for a decrease of 2, and also  2 YO at each side of the nupp for a corresponding increase of 2, so it balances out... +2-2=0  That means that there should always be 12 stitches between the markers on the even (mostly purl except the edging) rows.  I was counting them as I purled them, so that I could catch any mistakes when there was still time to fix them without ripping. 

Each right side row, the pattern repeat  increases the number of stitches by 1 before you make the (yo, nupp, yo) and decreases the number by 1 after the nupp.  This is what makes the branches curve (wave).  So, yes, on the first row of pattern (the 9th after 8 rows of garter stitch) it is one knit stitch before and 5 knit stitches after the (yo, nupp, yo).

You will knit 4 for the garter edge. Then place a marker to show where the edging ends and the main body starts.  Then K2tog.  The central pattern section always begins and ends the right side rows with a K2tog.  This is what creates the half-moon shape of the shawl.  Every right side row the shawl is 2 stitches narrower than the last right side row.  After the edging and the k2tog you will begin making the pattern, placing markers as it tells you to.  I recommend putting a loop of brightly contrast-colored yarn on the 2 edging markers so you can tell them from the "between the repeats" markers.  At the end of the row you will have the last k2tog and the 4 edge stitches.  As the stitches gradually decrease,  you will find that at the edges you do not have enough stitches for a whole pattern repeat.  These partial repeats are worked in stockinette stitch (knit 'em on the right side and purl 'em on the wrong side).  As the edge decreases continue the partial repeats will gradually disappear, only to make a new partial repeat when the next repeat begins to disappear.  Extra markers can be removed as they are no longer needed. Toward the end of the shawl there will only be a few stitches left and it will go very fast indeed.

Be sure to make the nupps very loose so that you will be able to get your needle under all 5 loops on the purl row.  If the nupps are too tight, use a very small crochet hook to pull the stitch through all 5 loops and then put the stitch on the right hand needle as if you just knit it. 

When you wet block your swatch, you will see how it pulls out to make lovely lace.  I always find this to be magic, no matter how many times I do it.  Just wait until you block the shawl!!!  The transformation will positively amaze you!

Please feel free to email me if you have any other questions.  I'm so glad you are working my shawl, it's beautiful!
Kind regards,

Lilo is hating the rain tonight.  She says a grumpy "hello" with her ears laid right back.  "Rain, rain, go away...Pretty Lilo wants to play...outside..."

Seeee ya,

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Hi, Everyone,

It's a lovely Wednesday night after a hot day in San Diego.  March???  I feel OK, I thought I had a cold, but it left quickly, yeah!!  No music right now.

1. open::
2. bull::
3. knit::
4. cat::
5. think::
6. karma::
7. love::
8. happy::
9. baby::
10. Momma::
Here are some new words. Please post the list to the comments of my blog and add the first thing that comes to mind for each item.  Then, after a few people post, we'll see how differently people think.

My answers are below, in the comments.

I finished the 4 quarters of the quilt top I'm working on, but I have now decided on the best way to join them yet.

Meanwhile, I'm knitting on baby stuff for the new grandson and socks for various people in my life. And Evva's lace.

Panda Express sent me a coupon, so I went, but never again.  Greasy, sweet, awful after taste and not that cheap.  I kept burping the taste of bad grease all afternoon.  Never again.

Lilo is nowhere to be found.  It's such a lovely warm night, she must be out taking a tour.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ready to connect?

Hello, Everyone,

It's a coolish rainy Sunday late night, I'm knitting a powder blue baby jacket, listening to the rain fall at home.  I feel ok, a little stiff.  Listening to Debussy.

We had a nice dinner with Dare at Kabob Shop in Mira Mesa.  I had a Doner Kabob like this:  It was really good.  I'd go again in a heart beat.  They have vegan options.

I found this word game at Claudia at Unconscious Mutterings. Lunanina started it.  I can't make the link work, so just google her if you want to see the original.

This is how you play:  You just copy this list into my comments and after each word prompt type the first word that comes to mind.  Then post it.  It's fun to compare with what others have posted.  Different minds....  do not think alike...

1. Ugly ::
   2. Shed ::
   3. Contrary ::
   4. Yellow ::
   5. New Jersey :: 
   6. Point ::
   7. Actually ::
   8. Endeavor ::
   9. Blondie ::
  10. Speck ::

 Maybe we can play this from time to time.

We had desert a few days ago at Donovan 's Circle of Fifths. Banana crepes Foster.  Now, Donovan's is a famous steak place in the Gaslamp district, known for excellent meat.  It took them longer than 40 minutes to bring it out and then the caramel on the Foster was badly burned, dark and stiff.  The whole thing was bitter and not really edible.  When we mentioned this to the waitress, she was sorry but charged us $9 for it anyway.  Shame on you, Donovan's.  I will not be back for the steak, ever!

Walking from our car we saw a very funny busker dancing for tips.  He had boots on both his hands and his feet, fake arms along his sides and two heads on his back.   When he bent over and danced to the music from his boom box, it looked like 2 small marionettes dancing.  The jackets of the dancers swung down like skirts to hide his head.  Very funny.

Lilo came to help blog and sez Hello.  All her answers to the word game were the same for every word. Like this: 1. Ugly :: feed me yummies. ...10 speck:: feed me yummies.  Maybe an occasional ":: scratch my ears" just for variety. 


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Heather finished her shrug

Hello, Everyone,
It'a a lovely sunny warm winter Tuesday afternoon in San Diego.  I gotta run, I'll edit this later with the details, but I'm not giving up a post where blogger allowed the photo, LOL.

OK, I'm back. I'm listening to Chris Botti's Italia. The man really understands the trumpet.  Like it's part of him. 

The pix above are Heather wearing the new shrug she just finished.  It's for Yvonne, who is smaller than Heather, so it should fit her loosely. 

Nice yarn with gradations of gray.  

My daughter sent me a present today.  A sewing machine.  I guess she thought it was too hard to sew all the baby stuff we're planning by hand.   Youza, what a great pressie.  Thank you, Amber!!!  Dan just brought it in so I'll have to go and unpack it.

Lilo sez, "Hello, to all the many beautiful people who are my admirers."  She can always tell when I'm blogging and comes to help.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Yeah! Photos coming across

Hello Everyone,

It's a cold, clear late Monday night at home in San Diego and I'm feeling better.  No music right now.

Blogspot is having a better day and I was able to upload another couple of photos of the baby quilt.  Here is the backside.  Lots of Sesame Street figures.

and here is the new sweater...

Oops, blogspot blocked that one again, big sigh.  Well, I'll show you when I can.

Lilo is helping me blog and sez a very gracious howdy-do to her fans.  She's being so good these days.  Dan says it's because it's too cold to go outside at night and she wants to be welcome in my bed.... maybe....


Sunday, February 20, 2011

the second quilt of 2011

Hello, Everyone,

It's a cold Sunday night after the storm has blown out.  I'm listening to Latin jazz on Iceberg.  I'm feeling better after a crazy night and day of painful muscle spasms. No idea why, but they're gone now.  We had a great dinner with Dare at Amarin Thai.

The Mambo-Mambo Chicken is still the best ever.  As are the Thai beef salad, Tom Kha soup. chicken satay, beef padthai, and spicy fish cakes.  Never had a bad dish there.  Amarin Thai rocks.

I got the quilt for Brad's grand-baby done.  That's Heather's new sweater, too.

On the top left corner you can see there is some writing.  It says,
"JL 2011 Sleep tight... " with a figure of a bug with a loopy trail to show movement.   
I hope Tiffany likes it.  Heather sent me several pics, but blogspot doesn't like the others and won't post them.  I wonder why?

Taking us home is a pic from Nate's party.

Cake is good.


Monday, February 7, 2011

International Dragon Sailboat 1M paint shop & test tank

Hello, Everyone,

It's a lovely spring San Diego Monday afternoon in winter. Sunny, bright, calm, about 77 degrees.   I had a good night's sleep and I feel great.  I'm listening to Nestor Torres play his happy flute in "This Side of Paradise".  Next up is his "Talk to me".

My brother-in-law, Ron, sent more photos of the boat.   It has been painted and then was tested in the tank.  He sez,  "We have news and good tidings.  A crack team of engineers, mechanics, and boatwrights have managed to bring the Solana Dragon Project to an important milestone.  On Saturday, February 5th at around noon the one meter model was graded a complete success by all observers in the fresh-water tank testing phase.  

It was obvious to all that on first contact with water  the INTERNATIONAL DRAGON 1M SAILBOAT needed no further trim or ballast whatsoever.  Hull #101 was quick to stabilize in fresh water on the design fresh water line.  We are now on the way to be under sail in salt water by the Ides of March.   Multiple wood varieties were used in the hull design including Minnesota Bass Wood -- of the type used in making decoys."

Here it is drying in the paint shop.  That's Ron "shopped " in so it looks like a full size boat, LOL.

Here's the hull test in the jacuzzi.

Proud designer.

Here's his blog:

Everything is A-OK.  The boat looks really nice.  Holds the right position in the water when it floats, so they got the weight distribution right, too.  Nice. 

I finished the baby quilt top for Brad's new grand-baby.  I basted together the 3 layers and sewed the binding on.  Now I have 12 squares that are waiting for me to hand quilt a motif in them.  I'm currently auditioning motifs.  I think I'll make a few quilted potholders with the short list motifs.  They have to be not only pretty, but doable.  I think some of the ones I'm looking at are too complex for the size of the block.  The blocks are only 6" x 6", so I can't go too crazy on the quilt motifs.  Hopefully I can send pics soon.

Lilo is being Miss Lovey-dovey today.  Love you, too, Lilo.

Dan just made a French press full of really strong coffee and the wonderful smell has me jonesing for a cuppa joe.  Gotta go.  Lunch is calling my name.  Toasted cheesy kaiser rolls to dunk in the great coffee. Yum.

Julie and Lilo.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Hello, Everyone,

It's a lovely, bright, sunny, warm Superbowl Sunday afternoon.  A little flash of spring in this silly winter.  I'm listening to David Maldonaldo play Spanish Guitar.  I used to work with him when he had to have a "day job".  Then his gigs took off and he quit his day job.  We had a department potluck and he brought his guitar.  He asked if anyone had any requests, and I asked for "Memories of the Alhambra".  His eyes got big but he played it. 

I feel great emotionally, having a little trouble with my silly old legs, but that should be OK, no long walking planned for today, and I can always use the chair if I need to.  Just having a chair is a great relief, because I know I can never be put in a too-difficult-to-handle-with-canes walking situation.  If my legs won't work I can always use the chair as a backup plan.  It's a great relief to have "Plan B" in the closet, although I only use it from time to time when there is now way to arrange things so I do not have to walk far.  I'm so glad I live in an era of grocery stores having electric carts.  At the recent birthday party, the staff called for their guy with the electric cart and he took me around, wasn't that nice?

My brother-in-law, Ron, sent me some pictures of his boats, including the new one under construction, which is very exciting.

Ron is the designer, he's in the middle.  Brad and Kevin are to the left, they are the actual hands-on craftsmen, mostly Brad.  Kevin is a bit tied up right now building full scale things for aerospace!  You may remember Brad from the wedding last October to Shannon, blogged here.  Shannon is the one who wore the hand knit bridal veil I made.  If you want to knit one, the pattern is on Ravelry, just search on Shannon.  A handful of people are trying to knit it right now.  Just a "little" something for hardcore lace knitters.

Here are some other boat pics. from Ron 

This time it let me rotate it, go figure.

Lilo is sleeping in the sweater drawer.  Nice and cozy.  When I walked past she reached out a paw to pat me so I would know she is in there.  Silly Lilo.  So, that's where you have been.

See ya,

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Happy Birthday!

 Hello, Everyone,

It's a coolish Saturday night after a coolish but very busy day.  Tomorrow I have 8 calls to return, big sigh.  Today was just crazy busy.  I'm feeling ok, but my legs are not cooperating at all, so no running for me tonight, lol.

I'm listening to Mozart again.  Cheerful guy, ain't he? Next up is Metropolis, Love Kills, a little darker, lol.

OK, now let's talk about the recent birthday.  Warning... lots of pics...

Number 7 as you can see.

We had cake. A football theme.  And cousins...

and more relatives...

and more...

and more... some complete with silly noses...

and we opened presents...
 Lots of presents...  New silly flip flops are very nice...

More silly noses...

Cut the cake...  Licking excess frosting is a very important job...

Played a little football...

More silly noses...
And some more football.  Heather was the photographer, so no pics of her.  Next time we'll have to remember to "turn about" and get one of her. 

A great, fun day was had by all, despite the pouring rain.  Happy Birthday, Nate!

Lilo sez, G'nite, Fans,  I'm not going out.  It's nice and warm in here. 


Friday, February 4, 2011

It's raining babies

Hello, Everyone,

It's a warm (70 degree) Friday morning after a very cold night in San Diego.  This year you just can't tell what you're going to get.  I'm listening to Mozart.  I got a good night's rest and now I feel fine.  Good-by bug.  Don't let the door hit you in the ....  I don't know if bugs have them, haha.

Today I have so much I want to show you that I'll have to choose one thing or this post will be a book.  Let's talk about the pretty baby quilt I just finished. 

 Unfolding, now wait for it...

 Here's the front.  It was made from a baby print panel I got on sale many years ago (like maybe 20 years ago) and somehow it never got made into a quilt.  It was washed and preped several times to make a baby quilt, but it never made it all the way to a quilt.  Finally I used it this time.  From so many washings it is soft and flexible, so I like it better this way.  It was a little narrow for a crib quilt, so I added some cute teddy bear print panels to the sides. That narrowness (and the need for side panels) is probably why it was not used before.  I found the side panels stored with the quilt, so I had gotten that far last time.

This is the back, a cute teddy bear playing in toys print.

The front and back are seamed to each other and then the quilt is turned right side out.  No binding this way.  I'm not sure why, but I do not like sewing binding.  It's not that it's needle and thread hand work, because I pieced the whole thing, seamed it and quilted it, all by hand.  100% hand made.  No I'm not crazy.  The sewing machine was on the fritz.  We were organizing in the craft room and Dan was helping me move things and he dropped the sewing machine on it's face and the tension knob shaft is broken.  Hmmm, sounds expensive.  Actually, it's Heather's machine, so someday I'll get it fixed for her.  But until then, you can see I am not stopping at all, I just do it all by hand.  Very meditative.  Makes me feel a connection to my grandmother who sewed everything, even men's long sleeve dress shirts for her sons, all by hand. 

I wish we had gotten a close up picture of the little label I affixed to the front with my signature and the date embroidered on it.  

Notice the softly luminous quality of the light in the pictures.  We were under an awning because it was raining cats and dogs.  But we just ignored it and went ahead and had a good time.  We were dry.

The rooster came over to inspect the quilt. Pretty boy.

Lilo is sitting here helping me post.  She is not used to morning blog posts, but she is doing her best to help out, with a pained expression. 

See ya next time,