Color EXPLODED in Long Beach Yesterday!

So ... I spent the day yesterday at the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach. With friends. Some, medium new. Some, brand new. All ... gooooood ... new. The quilts? Spectacular, colorful, and almost mind boggling when one considers the time put into each one.

The food? Meh.

The Stuff to Buy? Salivatingly good.

Of course I came away with some dots ... and some heavenly varigated aqua King Tut thread ... appropriately called Angel Teal.

And some very sore feet.

Thank you Long Beach for the spectacular fireworks. And thank you ... my new friends.
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~ Proud Nanny strikes again ~

So ... today is Miss Dub2's Birthday. Her second birthday. The fact that she will tell you she is 4 1/2 is of no consequence.

And in true "Dub" fashion she lives up to her name. As you can see in the picture above, she is indeed ... Wonderful.

She is also a Wizard of many talents: making you laugh, getting into trouble, and telling you ahead of time that she plans to get into trouble ... which can only make you laugh. "Don't watch, Mom. I'm gonna be naughty."

And ... Wuving. Miss Dub2 is very, very ... wuving. As you can see, she cares for her young cousin as if there were actually more than just over a year between them. Someday they'll be roommates in college and that 1+ year will make very little difference.

Happy Birthday my sweet Dubster!!

May you have your day in the sun before your mom pops out that new Dubster.

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Sea. Food.

So ... I cooked. Well ... "cooking" may be pushing the definition a bit, but let's just say that food was assembled in my kitchen. As finger foods to be served at my Book Club. Last week.

I went with a coastal theme, no surprise there. The cheese ball above is a recipe I have made for over 30 years. (The cheeseball itself is not 30 years old, just the recipe.) I have formed it several times into a pine cone shape at Christmas (using whole almonds to create the look) but let's face it, I have mostly shaped it into balls and logs. No one seems to care.

The recipe is this simple and this good: Take one softened 8oz package of cream cheese. Mix that with 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and one can of deviled chicken spread. (Strange, but true.) Add about a tablespoon each of dried minced onions and parsley. Shape it and put the nuts on. Refrigerate it. Eat it. Love it. Eat more. Hide some for later.

These sand dollar cookies are even simpler and you could probably just figure it out by looking at them. Just slice up a roll of sugar cookie dough (from your grocer's refrigerated section ... or with much more time alloted to make your own recipe, Martha.) Take a package of slivered almonds and place five on each cookie to form the sand dollar pattern. (Hint: If using store-bought refrigerated dough, cut it while it is still very hard, but then let the slices soften up just a tad before you apply the nuts so you can "sink" them a little bit.) Bake as directed.

I was thrilled with the outcome and our Book Club was a resounding success. This was partly (all right ... largely) due to the fact that the author of the book we read, Ms. Riley Noehren herself, was with us online to answer questions.

All good.

(I know you thought I was never going to use my huge kitchen, but you were wrong.)

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~ How I am Spending my Summer Vacation ~

So ... using the term "vacation" may be a bit misleading. As the above collage will testify, I am indeed one year older. And slower. And less agile. So spending my summer with a bevy of toddlers and 4 year-olds is testing the limits of my waning agility. The cake only has one candle on it because ... well, because the Gees were wary of catching their house on fire. But spending my birthday with them (and attending L'il Mr. Gee's soccer game) was a summer delight.

Then ... just when I thought I couldn't be any more excited, the Dub Girlz showed up (all 3.75 of them ... and they are all girls) and we promptly spent a day at the Magic Kingdom. And it was magical. Hot, but magical. (Yes, my AZ friends ... it was in the upper 80's and I had the audacity to complain about it. Sue me.) What can I say but yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life fer me. One of my very favorite sentences in the entire English language.

The Fourth was a Fun-Filled day from start to Finish. The 4 year-old's had a "sleepover" at Nanny's the night before and that was just the beginning of a day Full of Festivities and Food and Fireworks. We attended my first Fireworks in my local community and I cannot begin to describe how heavenly it was to basically walk there and back. We also walked to the pool and back. And to a picnic gazebo and back. I love my local community.

Could we smile any wider? I don't think so.

Hope your summer is as swell as mine is.
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