Wednesday, May 28, 2008


We planted wisteria about 12 years ago on our back patio pergola. It just gets more amazing each year.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Pacific City Extravaganza!

It's become a Miller Family tradition over the past several years to spend Memorial Day Weekend at the Oregon Coast. We rented a beautiful house right on the beach. Our house was right next to my sister-in-law Ronda and her fiance Dave's house.

Down the road is a Thousand Trails campground where the rest of the bunch stayed. Grandma & Grandpa, Rick & Debbie and all of their grown kids and their kids. We had quite a group!

Playing on the beach with the kids and the dogs is really great, but it pales (just fades away...what kids...what beach...what husband...what dogs...???)when it comes to the annual garage and rummage sales the town has every Memorial weekend! There's something about the hunt, the anticipation of the treasures waiting to be found... This year I have a story...

We set off early Saturday morning in search of garage sale treasures. We made several stops finding great stuff along the way. Ronda scored on some great trunks and really cool old, handmade toys. Chelsea found some cool old albums (Van Halen & Simon & Garfunkel), I found cool stuff. Dave found a cool propane tank for $1. That's all great, but here's the real story...

Isn't it amazing how the decision to turn left or right can make or break history? (Okay, a little dramatic, but still...) Well, we turned left went up the road, parked, got out. I look up and my eyes go directly to some interesting looking quilt tops hanging on an old ladder. I am a quilter and I love vintage fabric and anything handmade. These quilt tops fit all three categories. They were beautiful. Treasures. I reverently touch the red and white hand appliqued quilt top first. Looked at the price tag $35. Then the next one,a yellow striped patchwork beauty, $45. And the third, a patchwork used as a table cloth $15. It had the greatest vintage fabrics. Chelsea helps me unfold the red and white quilt top. There are a few stains but it wouldn't be a deal breaker. Still, I'm just not sure. The lady who's garage sale we were at comes up and tells me these were her grandmother's. I listen, fold it up and hang it back telling her I'll have to think about it. Then she tells me she would take $25 for it. hmmm...

While I'm thinking about it Chelsea finds a gorgeous vintage dress. The grandmother also made this and she was a fine seamstress! She made it to go dancing in!

So we're getting ready to wrap things up and I decide to ask her if she would take $50 for all three. To my great happiness and surprise she said yes! Then she threw in three more quilt tops!
For me, this was a holy moment. I felt transported! Awestruck! Giddy! Wow!
Clutching my quilts, I floated back to the truck. I could hardly speak, I was teary eyed (get ahold of yourself girl). After driving away, I told Gary that we should turn around and go back so I could give that lady another hug. I think she knew what a treasure the quilts would be to me and they would be going to a good home.

Oh, and Chelsea got the dress...

Later that evening we had a potluck at our house and then a bonfire on the beach. It was a great weekend spent with a great family.

The best thing I heard all day was from my great neice Lily. I asked her if she wanted to go to the bonfire and make s'mores. That's when she very matter of factly said, "that's what fires are for"...

Now that's a happy girl!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Luke!

Yesterday was my nephew Luke's 6th birthday. The fabulous cake you see was made by his sister Faith and it tasted great! A good time was had by all!

You are great Luke! I love you so much! Happy Birthday!!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Great Weekend

This is how the weekend started. The coffee is Peets Anniversary Blend. Very good... Off to a great start...

Living in Oregon can be a little gray and soggy. But not this weekend, we had record breaking heat all weekend. It was great!

Did I mention how great it was?

This weekend there was gardening...

After all that hard work there was iced coffee...

Then there were all those garage and estate sales that my car kept veering off the road for...

Visiting Debbie...

This is my sister in law Debbie working on something very cool. She is getting ready for a flea market in June. It is called Flourishes . The market is in Washougal, Washington. The juried vendors have all kinds of great stuff. It's a fun atmosphere and there are alot of treasures just waiting to be taken home!

You should come!

Blake and Gary did a little target shooting...

Chelsea and Eric went to the Barack Obama rally...

The weekend ended my favorite summer way...

How was your weekend?

Friday, May 16, 2008

How to Make a Grocery Bag Keeper

  1. This is so easy. It is a 10-15 minute project! It's made from a kitchen towel (cotton or linen type. Probably not terry cloth.) So go pick out a really cute towel. You will also need about a yard of elastic, scissors, sewing machine, thread, iron etc.

2. Fold down 2 inches on each end and press.

3. Place the elastic along the pressed edge of towel. Put your machine on zig zag stitch. Take a few stitches then back tack. Now gently pull the elsatic as you stitch. This will allow the elastic to gather the end. Do this on both ends.

4. This is what it should look like.

5. With right sides together, pin along the length of the keeper. Then stitch, make sure you back tack at both ends. (and yes, those are my toes in the picture, just try to ignore them, I'm too lazy to go back and edit them out!) Remove pins and turn right side out. Stuff with plastic bags and you're finished!

With all the wonderful reusable grocery bags out there, this may not be stuffed quite as full, but you will probably always have a few plastic bags to store. Maybe I'll try to make my own reusable bags! I'll keep you posted.

Morning Run

Well, we did it. We had a good run this morning. For some reason we fell off the wagon and didn't run much the past two weeks. When I refer to "we" I mean my husband (Gary) and I.

When Gary and I run together the view I have is Gary's back. He's just faster than me. I've stopped fighting it. I used to make little goals to keep up with him for at least the first mile or two. But I've decided that I'm a penguin. If you've ever read Runner's World Magazine you'll know who I'm talking about. The Penguin is slow but he gets the job done and has a good time doing it!

I can't say it's always a good time, but I do get the job done! Which brings me to the next thing.

My sister is the one who inspired a running post today. She lives in the Columbia River Gorge and has great running options out there. So this morning she is running up to Crown Point, she turns the corner and here is this glorious view of the gorge and as if on cue her i-pod starts playing 'Morning has Broken' by Cat Stevens. Does it get better than that?

How about you? Do you have any stunning, running moments?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Quilt Day!

Quilt day is a great day! Once a month a group of us get together for a day of quilting. Or in this case, a field trip. We visited Cool Cottons on Hawthorne (in Portland) and went to lunch at a great little restaurant down the street.

I love this group of friends because we all share a passion for quilting, but more importantly, we share life. We have shared everything from advice on how to manage menopause (for some of us!), to raising our kids, to empty nest, the loss of loved ones, to what border would look best on a quilt. What makes our group work is the consistency. Quilt day is something each of us looks forward to.

Pictured clockwise from the bottom right is Jolyn. Jolyn was my very first quilt teacher. The great thing about her teaching style is that she teaches us not to fear mistakes! And if you make one, work around it! We have been friends for about 5 years now.

Next to Jolyn is Sherryl. She is the newest member of the bunch. She is an excellent quilter, I'll make sure to post some of her work. I met Sherryl while I was working at a local quilt shop. We didn't know each other really well but always seemed to connect when she came in. I didn't want to lose touch with her, so after leaving the shop I called her up and we went out to lunch. We sat and talked for four hours! ( I was really stepping out on limb calling her, what if she didn't remember me, or thought that I was weird). I'm glad I did, I feel like I've known her forever!

Next is Laurie, we have been friends since college and have shared many family vacations together with her husband and three kids. Our children have grown up together and are like brothers and sisters. Our husbands have known each other since high school! We share alot of history!

Next to Laurie is Cathy. I have known Cathy since young adulthood. We met at church and became friends. Cathy and her husband and three kids moved out of the area for about 11 years and have just recently returned. We're glad they're back!

Next to Cathy is Me (Laurie).

Next to me is Susan. Susan was my second quilt teacher and we have been friends for about 3 or 4 years. Susan is one of the most talented quilters on the planet! Her specialty is hand applique and she hand quilts her quilts! She even finishes them! I'll make sure to post some of her beautiful work.

Not pictured is my beautiful sister-in-law Debbie. We share a love of chickens, quilting, running, garage sale hopping on weekends and alot more! I am blessed to have such a great sister-in-law

So that's what quilt day is all about. We do celebrate birthdays too! More about that later...