Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Long Road Home

This morning Mr. Squash and I are all snuggled back in to the Squash House.  We haven't been away from home for this long in quite some time, but we both really enjoyed ourselves!
This was the view from Robert's backyard on our last morning in Napa.  If you click on the photo you'll see a colored blurb sort of in the middle, back in the distance.  It was a hot air balloon making a landing and deflating! The sun was out, but there was frost on the car as we got ready to leave!
When Robert bought the house 15 years ago, he paid a little more than he wanted to, but in retrospect is glad he did.  What was a grazing field for cows back then was later turned into a permanent wildlife refuge that borders the Napa river.  Nothing can ever be built here, so Robert has a wonderful piece of paradise!
One night while in Napa we went to a charity dinner at the Napa Horseman's Assoc.  It was an all you can eat Dungeness crab and spaghetti feed to benefit adult's with special needs.  There were over 200 in attendance and the crab and spaghetti just kept coming!  It was absolutely wonderful!  I took photos on my phone but can't seem to get them off!  Anyway, Mr. Squash sat next to a fellow who is a welder.  He said if we drove home via Hwy 97 to check out the gate, which he made, at Collier State Park Logging Museum.  Sure enough, we drove right past it and had to stop!  Here is one side.
And here is the other side.  What a true craftsman.  He was so proud of them, and rightly so!  We wandered around the parking lot trying to get a look at some of the exhibits.  The snow was too deep to really get very close to most.
Check out the little bear carved into the wood here!  If you looked closely, you could see bear carvings all throughout the woods.
Mr. Squash is surrounded by the most friendly bears we've ever seen!  Are you wondering about all the snow?  We worried we might get caught in a big storm headed our way, but the only snow we saw was an inch or so that had fallen during our stay in Klamath Falls, OR.  Even in Bend, our last night on the road, we dodged a huge storm!
I just loved all the wood carvings around the logging museum!
If you enlarge this photo you'll see more bears.
This piece of machinery was so pretty against the snow!
One of our many shopping expeditions in Napa was to our favorite spot - the Oakville Grocery.  I can now begin my mornings with a new mug and my favorite, homemade latte piled high with foam!

Next post I'll show you and interesting market we went to in Napa.  Stay tuned.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Squash's and Wild Oak's Meet!

Many of you who have been with me since the beginning (and I do thank you!) know that I got started blogging because of Pam Kitty Morning!  I heard of her through Alex Anderson's web site and got curious.  Once I read her blog (my first ever), it was all over!  I started my own blog and the rest is history!
Before I continue, I forgot to show you this picture of Mr. Squash at the Culinary Institute of America - Greystone where we had lunch the other day.  I love the sign!
Since I began blogging I've had the good fortune to meet quite a few other quilt bloggers.  Today I had to good fortune to meet Lynn Wilder of Sew'n Wild Oaks.  I've been reading Lynn's blog for quite a while now and she is one of my favorite designers.  I knew the town where she lives is only about an hour from Napa, so I emailed to ask her if she would be available one day.  Sure enough, today was the day she works at the quilt shop where she also teaches - In Between Stitches!  We set off first thing this morning and arrived right in front of the shop just after opening.
As soon as we walked in the door Lynn immediately recognized us!  We felt like we'd known each other for a long time (and in a way, we have)!  She made a point to bring her recently completed new design - Butterscotch Baskets so I could see it in person!  Here we are wrapped up in it!  Check out Lynn's recent post about the quilt for more photos (Mr. Squash was a bit challenged with my camera).
While Lynn and I chatted and I also shopped, Mr. Squash was busy snapping photos of the wonderful shop!  My thanks to Melissa, the shop owner, for allowing Lynn and I to chatter on while she was working!
This is truly a wonderful shop - they have a wide variety of fabrics to choose from and it's so bright and cheery!
Here I am making my purchases with Lynn!  I mentioned how I got started blogging via Pam Kitty Morning and Lynn said she used to work at the shop.  When she left, Lynn was her replacement!
I loved the cutting table toward the front of the store - big and spacious for all those fabrics!
Sadly, we had to leave before the holiday traffic in the Bay Area got too bad.  If you look closely, you can see Harley the shop dog saying goodbye to us in the window!  It was so much fun to meet Lynn and I know we'll see each other again!
Livermore is a darling town.  Those trellises were all up and down the wide sidewalks - when the grapes that grow on them are in season it must be spectacular!
I know you're all dying to see what I got!  Lynn has spread the word about plaids in your quilts and I've listened!  I spied four here that I didn't yet have in my stash.  I also couldn't resist a fat quarter pack of  Jo Morton's Sweet Emilie and another Collection for the Cause!  I think I may need to look at more storage options when we get home.

Tomorrow is our last day in Napa.  There's a big snowstorm coming in tomorrow on part of our route home.  We thought we'd wait until after the storm (Wednesday) to drive back.  Hopefully there will be another post along the way.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Timeless Log Cabin

Our second day in Napa has been fun!  The weather is still in the upper 60's but threatens to go downhill after today!  We started off with a stop at Oakville Grocery.  From comments I know quite a few of you have been there.  We loaded up a bag of salsas and tapas and other bottled goodies we can't get at home.  Then it was on to lunch at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.  Of course that wouldn't have been complete without spending a few extra dollars in their incredible kitchen shop!  After that we wandered around Calistoga and then headed back to Napa via Dean and DeLuca where again a few dollars seemed to fly out of our wallet!  Mr. Squash usually benefits greatly from these purchases ;>)

Robert's sister Carolyn is a quilter in addition to being a professional wedding cake maker!  I think she started quilting before I'd ever even thought of it!  I had to show you this log cabin she made for him some 30 years ago!  
Check out the incredible hand quilting!  Her stitches are so even and perfectly spaced!  You can click on the photo for an even better look.

He has it in one of his wonderfully decorated guest rooms!  It's always a treat to stay here - one of the best B&B's we've ever been to!  I just love how a Log Cabin quilt stands the test of time and still remains a favorite of many quilters!

Tomorrow we may drive to Sonoma for the day depending on the weather.  I haven't really taken much in the way of photos because we've seen so much here more than once.  I'll try tomorrow, though.  You never know what's out there that we haven't seen!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Sunny California!

Mr. Squash and I are in sunny Napa.  It is so nice to get away from the cold and frozen fog of our town for a bit!  We arrived today (we drove) and will be here until the middle of next week.  
On our way down the highway yesterday we were met by this awesome view of Mt. Shasta and Vista Point.  I had to pull over to get a photo.  I am amazed I managed to get one without a semi rolling down past it - they are everywhere!
The mountain got larger and larger as we rolled down the road.  I had to pull over again to get this great photo.  Suprisingly we ran into no snow on the road anywhere - even going over the Siskyou's!  So far we're charmed travelers.
We're staying with our friend Robert in Napa.  He has a wonderful home with a view of the wetlands out his back door.  And for those of you who don't believe men iron - here you go!  Thank goodness Robert is a good sport!

Tomorrow we plan to go to the CIA's restaurant for lunch (Mr. Squash fondly remembers a dish of Sand Dab he had there many years ago) and tomorrow evening we are going to a Crab Feed at the Cattlemen's Assn!  After that we plan to tour around the valley and see the sights.  One day there might even be a blog-friend meeting!  Stay tuned!