"Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning." Psalm 30:5

Thursday, May 27, 2010

North to Alaska!!!!

Nothing exciting today!  I enjoyed my drive to Bellingham and did a little shopping, etc. along the way.  Even stopped and had my nails done:)  Bellingham is a lot bigger than I thought!!!    No cabin for me on the ferry.  They did call today and had one cabin available but it was a 4-person cabin on the outside for the princely sum of $470.  I decided I would pass on that and sleep in the lounge with the rest of the peons.  I have to be on the ferry tomorrow by 3:00 p.m. and it arrives in Juneau at 4:30 a.m. on Monday.  That's pretty early even for me:)  I do have the key to the sublet so am ready for the next part of this adventure.  The ferry goes up the inside passage like the cruise ships so there should be some awesome scenery.

Next post will be from Alaska!!!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Portland, Oregon and Columbia River Gorge Area

This morning I got a late start and drove a couple hours to Portland, Oregon.   First stop was at one of the fabric stores that I have heard about for years.  The Fabric Depot is huge and is where Palmer/Pletsch teach their sewing classes.

I have thought about taking teacher training classes from them for
several years and just might be able to do that in September!  I did buy one piece of fabric and some buttons for whatever:)  Probably a funky shirt:)    Next fabric stop was The Mill End Shop.  It was another huge store with lots of sewing goodies but I am limited on space so just looked around.

The Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area was a must see for me.  It was about a 40 minute drive from Portland to the scenic road by the Multnomah Falls.  Incredible!!!   I did walk up to the bridge in the picture but not all the way to the top.  It was a mile hike in the rain so I wimped out.   I really enjoyed this drive and may have to do some camping when I come back in the fall.  There were several falls in the area but the Multnomah Falls were the most outstanding.  Also, lots of hiking trails and camping areas.  There were also signs indicating this area was part of the Lewis & Clark Trail.  After I enjoyed the falls, I continued driving in the scenic area along the Columbia River and then drove back to the Portland area.

Eugene, Oregon and PR Friends

After meeting Doug and Leigh Anne for one last breakfast at the Guerillia Cafe on Monday morning and some assistance from Doug in getting my bike in the car, I headed north to Eugene, Oregon.  For some reason, I wasn't expecting such a gorgeous drive along the interstate route.    Beautiful!  But some road signs do put the "fear" in this flatlander!!!  A couple that caught my eye were "highest elevation on I-5" and "runaway truck lane ahead".  Great - besides trying to see the scenery, watching the road, etc,  I had to watch for the "runaway trucks":)

Tuesday I met two of my Pattern Review friends IRL (in real life).   Doug thought this was a little strange but we have all been on the same sewing website for several years and "know" each other online. Oddly, Patti and I missed meeting each other in Amsterdam by just a couple of days last summer.  Leah used to live in Corpus Christi and we tried to meet also but it never seemed to work out.  So, I just drove to Eugene to make it happen!   Patti picked me up at the hotel Tuesday morning and we met Leah for breakfast.  While Leah was at her voice lesson (sings beautifully!!), Patti took me for a walk along the Willamette River.  It was beautiful and one of the places I wanted to see.  This walk is frequently mentioned in one of the series of mysteries I like to read.   We also stopped in at a really nice local fabric store before meeting up with Leah again.  We visited several other local spots and stopped for coffee and cake.  It is spring in Eugene and the flowers are blooming.  Patti dropped me back off at the hotel later in the afternoon.   Ball games were cancelled for Leah's boys because of the rain so we met again in the evening for pizza.  The boys played while Leah and I discussed patterns and fabrics and all kinds of other stuff.  

Leah turned around and took me back so I could get a picture of this sign!

This was my first visit to Oregon so I checked another state off the list.  I want to visit all 50!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Final Fun Days in California

My brother, Maynard, came for his first visit to the San Francisco Bay Area since we were children.  I think he was about eight the last time he was here.  We picked him up at the airport Thursday morning and went straight to the Golden Gate Bridge.  It was so much fun to walk across it again - and, he is a bigger chicken than me!!!  After our walk, we drove through Sausalito and went to a restaurant on the water for lunch.  Muir Woods is a must see on a visit to the area so that was our next stop.  The trees are just gorgeous and we went for a short hike.

  On Friday morning, Maynard and I drove into San Francisco for the day.  After spending the morning in the wharf area, we took a boat out to Alcatraz and toured the island and prison.  We are both history buffs so we both thought it was very interesting.  The last time I was there was 35 years ago.  Yikes!!!  After that, we WALKED to Chinatown and had some great food at a local restaurant before we returned to the wharf area.

  Saturday, Doug was the designated driver on our trip to the Napa Valley.  We visited six wineries and had lunch.  It was a beautiful day and Doug and I came home with several bottles of wine.  Maynard had a list of several wines to get from his local wine shop.  Sunday we toured the University of California-Berkeley and went to the top of Sather Tower  and the Berkeley Marina before taking Maynard to the airport.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

. . . and the WINNER

Thanks everyone for entering the giveaway.   It was a lot of fun collecting all of these souvenirs.   I really enjoyed reading the comments - it was like a trip down "memory lane" and you were very creative.   Doug printed all the comments this afternoon and we cut just the names of  the commenters and put them in a Longaberger basket.  Leigh Anne did the honors and drew out the winning name.    And the winner is . . .NITA CROW!!!  Congratulations:)

Nita - email me your address so I can get this in the mail on the way out of town!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Blog GIVEAWAY!!!!!

I am having my first blog GIVEAWAY!!!!  Since I left Texas, I have been picking up souvenir type items for a blog giveaway.  Since my time in California is rapidly coming to an end, I thought now would be a good time for the first giveaway.

Rules are below but I hope I have lots of entries - I know there are some lurkers out there!!  Besides if no one enters my feelings will be hurt:)

Rules are:

1.  One Entry Per Person (all you have to do is make a comment)
2.  Must live in the United States (sorry Rhonda:)
3.  Everyone is eligible - except for Doug and Leigh Anne.  If I eliminated the rest of my family, the entries would really be scarce:)
4.  Post a comment by Sunday, May 23rd at noon, Pacific time.
5.  Most items are in the picture.
6.  Doug and Leigh Anne will pick the winning entry on Sunday evening - winner gets it ALL!!
7.  Goodies will be sent Monday morning so check early so I can get your address!!!

p.s.  There is CHOCOLATE!
p.s.s.  We'll put all the names of commenters  in a basket and they'll draw one so don't be intimidated by these creative types - but I like the creative entries so far so keep it up:)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Celebration Continues!

Saturday the festivities continued in the Napa Valley!   Leigh Anne arranged for us all to meet at a winery with the great name of Punk Dog Winery.

We all tasted and snacked and some of us purchased a bottle or two (or three)  of wine.  We divided into groups and headed to the next winery on our list - "The Imagery" in the Sonoma Valley.  Great place!  We tasted more wines and had a great picnic on the grounds.  There were several rogues in the crowd that popped the top on a beer or two!!!!  There was a place to pitch horseshoes, etc.  We had a group of 14 today with the addition of some friends of the Browns' so the winery gave us a small tour.   After we divided into cars again, we headed over a really curvy, windy road to the very popular V. Sattui Winery in Napa which was our final stop of the day.   Another fun place with lots of activity going on.   More tasting and purchasing of goodies and then most of us headed back to Berkeley.  We finished off the day with dinner at a Thai restaurant.  I was a "designated driver" this weekend but I did manage to come home with one bottle of wine.

Sunday the group split up and did different things before heading home.  Sarah headed to Houston bright and early.   After treating Nick, Janet and I to breakfast at the Guerilla Cafe, Ardell met our cousin, Sharon, and Sharon took her to the airport after they visited.  Janet and Nick took my car and went to watch the SF Giants beat the Houston Astros and then walked across the Golden Gate,  rode the cable car,  and visited Chinatown.  Doug, Leigh Anne, Mark and Peggy shopped and played some more in the Napa Valley to the extent that Mark and Peggy barely made their flight back to Houston:)  Richard went to Yosemite National Park where the sun was shining this weekend.  I got to stay home and collapse!!!   Sunday night everyone that was still in town went out for sushi and ice cream (what a combination!!!)   Monday after breakfast everyone else headed for home.  It was truly a wonderful weekend and celebration.  Great fun for all!!!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Graduation Day!!!

                                             Douglas Chance Lionberger, J.D.

Today was truly a special day.  Doug graduated from the University of California, Boalt School of Law, at Berkeley. He has wanted to be a lawyer since he was about four years old so this was the fulfillment of a dream for him.  After all the graduation festivities, he starts studying to take the New York Bar Exam which will be given in NYC the end of July.  He and Leigh Anne have a celebratory trip planned for the month of August before Doug starts working for the law firm of Vinson & Elkins in New York City in October.

Congratulations, Doug!!!  I am so proud of you!!!!  (those were happy tears!)

After the extremely fun commencement program (who would have thought???), we had a family picnic at the Berkeley Marina hosted by Doug, Leigh Anne and Mark & Peggy Brown, and later in the evening a dinner celebration at "The Rivoli".  It was a great, great  day!!!

                                                   Doug & Leigh Anne


Sarah, Nick, Janet, Ardell

Richard, Peggy, Doug, Leigh Anne
(proud parents!!!)

Mark, Doug, Leigh Anne & Peggy 
(Leigh Anne's Parents)

Sarah's Visit to San Francisco

My daughter Sarah flew in from Juneau, Alaska on Wednesday night.  We had one day together to sight see before the rest of the family arrived for Doug's graduation.  We started our day with breakfast at the Guerilla Cafe.  Yummy!!!  Afterwards, we rode BART into San Francisco and walked around the wharf area and to the end of Pier 39 to see the harbor seals.  Sarah doesn't do "tourist areas" after living in Juneau!!!!  After a couple hours of wandering, we ate once again - seafood this time.  Riding the cable car is tradition so we hopped on and got off and walked over to Chinatown.

 This was a whole different Chinatown than I saw a couple of weeks ago with Leigh Anne.  This was the "real deal" and Sarah loved being away from all the tourists.  (almost as much as she loved the sunshine)  We saw amazing things - poultry markets, fresh produce markets, dried ginger and spices of all kinds,  clothes, trinkets, woks and other kitchen goods, and all kinds of stuff about which we were totally clueless.  Before we headed over to the BART, we stopped for  "refreshments" at the local happy hour.  The rest of the day was spent catching up with other family members as they arrived for the weekend.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


When the weather betrayed us in Yosemite, we headed for Monterrey.  We were lucky and got a room with a beach view for a great price -

not too hard to do late Monday evening.  Best of all the sun was shining:)  Doug and Leigh Anne took a morning jog on the beach and then we headed to the Monterrey Aquarium.  It was amazing!  Honestly, I did not know there were so many creatures in the deep blue sea.  We spent several hours there and saw all of the exhibits. We watched them feed the otters in one tank and a little later in the day saw the tuna fed in a huge tank.  There was also several informative shows during the day - we saw one on "jellies" (jellyfish) and another on how they did scientific experiments.  Another exhibit I really enjoyed was the one on seahorses.  They also had real pink flamingos!!!  We had a snack and sat and watched the waves and the ocean - wonderful:)

After we left the Aquarium we walked around Monterrey for a short time and headed to Carmel.  Carmel is a unique little town and a fun place to walk around.  Lots of pricey boutiques.  The one I was headed for was Timeless Clothing by Loes Hinse.  Besides this boutique she sells patterns and fabric remnants from her workshop.   I know, I know but I only bought two pieces of fabric!!!!  I was really glad I got to see the shop as she is closing it at the end of the month.  Unfortunately, I did not get to meet her as Tuesday is her day off.

We made it home in a couple of hours and got to face the unpacking of a carload of wet camping equipment:)

Yosemite National Park

Saturday afternoon Doug finished his last final!!!!   He and I started getting ready for the much anticipated camping trip to Yosemite National Park.  We grocery shopped and bought all the food and did as much chopping, etc. as we could before time.  Loaded up my car to the hilt - just enough room for the three of us to squeeze in.  Doug checked the weather report and we left early Sunday morning - to supposedly 60 degrees and sunny!!!  Can we just say the weather report was WRONG!!!!    As in WAY WRONG!!!  When we got to Yosemite it was raining and in the 40s.  We walked around and had coffee, etc at the Ahwahnee before we headed to our campsite to put our tents up in the rain.    During the process, my car was invaded by a squirrel after a food wrapper.  I was not pleased but we did get it out:)  There are lots of bears in Yosemite so all food stuffs and anything with a scent went into the bear box.   Plans for cooking dinner were shelved and we went and got a pizza instead - it was great!  We then drove up to see "Tunnel View" which was absolutely gorgeous.  My pictures don't do Yosemite justice:)  We saw a group of photographers up there with some "heavy duty" camera equipment.  I stood by them with my little green point and shoot:):)  I'm sure they were impressed!

Monday morning the weather looked a little more promising.  Doug went for a run and then cooked us a great breakfast before we set out on a hike.  After a hike up to some falls (with breathing stops along the way for me) and a picnic, we stopped by the Ahwahnee for a cup of coffee and to sit by the fire before we spent the afternoon hiking.  First thing we saw was a sign about the "Major Winter Storm Warning in Effect".  Whoops!!!  The weather prediction for a winter storm warning with snow and temperatures in the high 20s put the fear in Leigh Anne and I.  Doug would have been happy to stay but we really didn't have the clothes, etc. for those kind of temperatures so we packed up and headed for the beach:)  Even though our camping trip was cut short, I am so glad to have experienced seeing part of Yosemite.  Truly beautiful!!!  I'll post more pictures on my Flickr site in a few days - too many to post here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Kitchen on Fire!!!!

Saturday was a "very Berkeley" kind of day:)  First on the agenda was a cooking class entitled Farmers' Market Fresh  at Kitchen on Fire.  We met at the Berkeley Farmers' Market (organic, of course) and wandered around the market looking at all the fresh vegetables and learning about the different varieties of produce available.  Next we headed back to the school which is located in the "Gourmet Ghetto" section of Berkeley to prepare all the things we bought at the market.   This was a "hands on" class so everyone got to help cook.  Some of the dishes were Spicy Garlic Broccolini; Frittata with fresh vegetables and organic eggs; swiss chard; fresh peas; salad; and for dessert we had strawberry shortcake.  Everything was delicious and it was a lot of fun!

One of the young women I met was quite interesting and just fun to have in class.  Amanda moved to Berkeley to get her doctorate.  She now teaches part time at  UC Berkeley and also works with the "cannabis for medicinal purposes" organization:)  Great sense of humor!  When one of the other class members commented on how "zen" it was to whip the cream by hand she just looked at me and said "very Berkeley"!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ladies' Day in Sacramento

Leigh Anne and I drove to Sacramento Friday to spend the day with Margaret and Penina (from Kenya).  We had been planning this but it was hard to find a day we were all available.  First up, were manicures for all!!!  Margaret and Penina had never had one before and had great fun picking out their nail polish colors.  They each even had a cool design put on a couple of nails.  We caught them sneaking peaks at their great looking nails throughout the day:)

Next we headed over to Old Town Sac to be tourists for a few hours.  Old Town Sac is in downtown Sacramento right on the river.  There are tons of stores to wander through, museums, etc. in this old part of Sacramento.   There were an abundance of candy stores!   We then walked through a tunnel under the freeway into the mall area in search of a Rite Aid to get one of the cameras checked out.  Along the way we stopped at a Tex-Mex place to introduce Margaret and Penina to the goodness of fajitas!!!  The food was great and the first Mexican food I've had since leaving Texas!

Once we were back at their house and settled in with a delicious cup of Kenyan tea, they shared more of what life was like for them in Kenya.  Leigh Anne and I found it so interesting.  I am truly in awe of my daughter-in-law!!!  She has done so much research in helping these women find educational programs they can attend while they are here.  She also worked on the computer they have been given and talked to AT&T several times to arrange internet service.  A tech will be at their house TODAY!!!!   Have you ever had that much success talking to AT&T??  Truly amazing.

We waited for Mercy and Anthony to get home from school - very late and the mothers were getting worried about them before driving back to Berkeley.

Fun, fun day!!!