Sunday, March 29, 2015

Palm Sunday at Crystal Cove Beach

I just wanted to write a short post today to say "hello" and share with you some photos of a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  We spent the afternoon at Crystal Cove State Park.  It's located off the Pacific Coast Highway between Newport Beach, CA and Laguna Beach, CA.

Our little grandson was in a church procession today and after church we headed to the beach for lunch.  There was quite a crowd since the weather was so warm.  Here's some photos I thought you might enjoy...

 We had wanted to eat here at the Beachcomber but the wait time was so long so we climbed back up the stairs to Ruby's Shake Shack...

The view was even better and the waves were really kicking up today..

We ventured back down to the beach after lunch...

Crystal Cove is a historic beach community dating back 100 years.  It is now a state park with lots of little, old, quaint cottages that you can rent..

Here's a peek inside of one that set up as a type of museum from with furnishings from years you see that large flowery print fabric?  I once lived in a home that had drapes made of pattern....

This is the little inlet from the you see the beautiful nasturtiums in bloom?

Some seafaring artifacts from long ago....

The view from the other side of the little inlet....

I stayed in the shade while they walked on the beach....

And, I so enjoyed looking at this little succulent garden.....

I hope you had have a great weekend wherever you may be.  All is well here at Lilly My Cat.  I look forward to writing again soon.

With my best wishes to all of you,

Pat :)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

♫ ♪ ♬ comes Peter Cottontail with a Knit Rabbit Pattern Link

Easter is just around the corner.  For the past two years, I have knitted a bunny rabbit for my little grandson, Oliver.  Here's a link to last year's bunny.  This year, I wanted to do something a little different.

Meet Mr. Bunny.........

 He insisted to sit at the table.  I'm having a dinner party this weekend and I had so much fun setting up the table.

Mr. Bunny was made from some leftover worsted weight yarn.  
 This is such an easy pattern to knit.  You will need the following:
* leftover worsted weight yarn in color of your choice
* size 4 DPN
 * stuffing for his body
  * large tapestry needle and small scraps of yarn for face

Now for the pattern, it can be found  here on Ravelry.  It's knit in the round on double pointed needles.  You can knit it in any color you wish. Note: I knit his ears in two separate pieces since I wanted a contrasting color for the inside.

I love his little cottontail!

I'm afraid he thinks he's the guest of honor.....

He's getting I had better go and fix his dinner.

It's not too late to knit this for someone's Easter basket.  

As for dinner, here's a peek at my menu:

You may like a little explanation of the menu:
Sanbusak is a meat filled pastry.  It's popular in the middle east.  I used to make the dough but now I buy it ready made.  I saute ground beef with onion and season with salt, pepper, allspice and pine nuts.

My recipe for kabob hala can be found here on my blog.

My recipe for vegetarian mousakka can be found here on my blog.

I'm excited to make this recipe for Magic Cake as I just found it this week!

For my fruit salad, I'm using strawberries, banana, mango, oranges, pear, and grapes and I add a little bit of orange blossom water (middle east specialty) along with some coconut.
It's always a joy to hear from you.  Feel free to comment if you wish.  Until next time, happy crafting everyone!

my best to you,

Pat (& Lilly, too!)

(I just couldn't resist this picture of Lilly sleeping with her head on the pillow!)

I'm linking to the following:
Handmade Monday.... 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Needles & Nook

Greetings my dear friends.  Spring is almost here but I feel as though we didn't even have winter as we just got over having a heat wave with temps in the 90's!

I want to thank everyone who read my reflections during lent.  Your kind comments really warmed my heart.  Speaking of warm, here's the scarf that I'm currently knitting......

It's a Churchmouse Yarn pattern.  At first, I really didn't enjoy knitting this pattern but since it's a two row repeat, it goes by very fast. The pattern can be found here.

As for reading, I am so enjoying this book:

It's a non fiction book about the Essex whaling ship that set out in 1819 from Nantucket on a whale hunt.  A few years ago, my husband and I visited Nantucket and saw some stately old homes that once had belonged to whale ship captains.  It's a fascinating read into history of long ago.

I am joining in at:
Frontier Dreams  
Create with Joy....
Yarn Along with Ginny...
Happy Friday at Planet Penny...

Please don't be shy to stop by and say "hello".  And, you are most than welcome to click on the buttons to follow along and see what is happening here at Lilly My Cat.

Have a wonderful day,

Friday, March 13, 2015

Reflections During Lent

Hello my dear friends.  Today I thought I would share with you something a little bit different since we are in lent.  It's a season that is near and dear to my heart.  So, I'm going to share a history story that takes place in my wonderful parish in Tacoma, Washington.
 Holy Trinity today
The little photo above is a picture of Holy Trinity Church that is located in Wilkeson, Washington. (Do you see the blue onion dome?  It reminds me of the churches in Russia.)   Wilkeson was a coal mining town and sits in the western foothills under the backdrop of beautiful Mount Rainier.   Back in it's day it used to be quite the town due to coal mining.  But, like many things, all that changed.

Holy Trinity was consecrated back in 1902 by Bishop Tikhon*, who was head of the Russian Orthodox Church in America.  It originally ministered to a variety of parishioners including Uniates (Byzantine rite Catholics), Greeks and Slavs.  As the years went by and the membership declined, there was not a full time priest for this parish.  All that changed when Fr. John Pierce was assigned as the parish priest in 1985.  At that time, I don't think there had been a full time priest for over 60 years at Holy Trinity!   Fr. John was a newly ordained priest.  With his help, hard work and dedication, Holy Trinity was revitalized from a handful of parishioners to a vibrant, growing church.

Holy Trinity now is on the Washington State Register of Historic Places.  It has been conserved throughout all these years to retain it's original character.  And, it is under the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church of America.

Above is a photo of the interior of Holy Trinity.  It's a very small church.

Below is a photo of the original flooring of Holy Trinity:

After Fr. John arrived in 1985, he was able to breath new life into this parish and as a result, his ministry helped establish another parish in Tacoma, Washington. This new parish was named Holy Resurrection.  Holy Resurrection grew so fast that Holy Trinity church is now used for special holy days only.
The church bells outside after a beautiful, wintry snowfall.......
 This is the interior of Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in America located in Tacoma, WA.

I came to Holy Resurrection as a convert to the orthodox faith.  My family and I had attended services at a liturgical church for years.  We loved the formal church service and it was a great place to raise our children.  But, after many years, our church started to change and we did too.

Every year our local Greek Orthodox church held a Greek Festival. It was a fun event to attend every year; listen to Greek music, eat delicious Greek food and buy all kinds of goodies.  One year it caught my attention that they offered "inquirer's classes" for those interested in the Orthodox faith.  My husband had been raised Coptic Orthodox.  So, I started going to the classes. It was so enjoyable and I learned a lot.

When it came time to think about joining a church, I had an acquaintance who attended Holy Resurrection.  I didn't know her well but I knew a little about her church since I had donated some funds to their building fund years earlier.  My husband and I first attended services at Holy Resurrection in May of 2004 and we were hooked so to speak.  We had found our new church.

Throughout those years, I grew in my faith journey. Holy Resurrection was so unique in that everyone was the same; whether you were rich, poor, young, old, any background, any ethnicity, everyone was treated equal.  And the parish consisted of both cradle orthodox and converts like me.  We did everything together as a parish.

One winter, a member of the parish was working on a thesis for his masters.  He came across a story concerning a priest who had ministered at Holy Trinity during the early 1900's.  His name was Father Andreades.  There was a story of him riding horseback from Wilkeson to Tacoma and taking a boat over to Gig Harbor to give communion to a sick parishioner from Croatia.  There was large group of Croations who had immigrated to Gig Harbor (it was known as a fishing village back then). After all those many, many years, Fr. Andreades grave was discovered in a tiny graveyard in Gig Harbor.  Our church held a memorial service for him like 100 years after he had served.  It was so touching that Holy Trinity's lifeline was still alive and progressing.

This is a photo of the Narrows Bridge connecting Tacoma with Gig Harbor.  This bridge(s) did not exist when Fr. Andreades headed off to Gig Harbor.  They had a ferry service back then.

(This picture was taken from my home in Gig Harbor)

*Bishop Tikhon returned to Russian and became the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1917.  He was against the Bolsheviks and the harm they were inflicting on the Tsar and the church.  He granted autonomy to what became the Orthodox Church in America and to other Russian churches that had been established outside of Russia due to the revolution.  One of these churches is the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia or ROCOR.  ROCOR was not in communion with Moscow for over 70 years.  In 2007 the canonical link was restored between these churches. Metropolitan Tikhon died in 1924 and was canonized in 1981.  It's amazing to think that this is the same priest who consecrated Holy Trinity over 100 years ago. 

As I said, those were great years.  I moved to California in 2010 and had to leave my church.  I thought I would continue on my journey but I could not find another Holy Resurrection.  I have tried and tried but to no avail.  I still have my faith but right now my church going is in limbo.  But, I do have these wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.

As my son told me, "Mom, maybe you just had a few years of total bliss and now you will go on to something else".  It's hard for me to let go and move on and change.  So, this lenten season is a bit different for me.  I know the Lord has not forgotten me and that there is a church out there somewhere, sometime, that I can once again be a part of.  Until then, I can reflect and enjoy the many years of wonderful memories I had at Holy Resurrection.

I hope you have enjoyed this little bit of history.  I hope I have not offended anyone writing about "church" since this was not my intent.  I love history and this is a little snapshot of that.

Have a great weekend!  It's suppose to be in the high 80's/90 degrees here the next few days!  That's a bit too warm for March.

Take care and I look forward to hearing from you when you have the time.


I'm linking up at Planet Penny's Happy Friday
and....Handmade Monday
and...The Art of Home Making Mondays.....

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Ripple Blanket with a Twist

Hello my friends.  I hope you've had a good week?  Everything is going well here at Lilly My Cat.  I can finally sit back and relax my brain a bit.  My problem is that I anticipate my work that is to come.....and it seems to get worse with age :(  and this was one of those weeks.

My husband and I have rental properties.  We've always had rental properties for almost 38 years.  It's just the norm for us over all these years.  My husband taught for years at a university before taking a job managing a large plant but his hobby is real estate.  I worked too but also I took care of the rentals.   It meant painting, cleaning, and the never ending bookkeeping.  When we moved five years ago to California, we hired a manager. The first time ever in all those years.  But, it's hard to let go and I still want to micro manage.  Anyway, one of the rentals that became vacant was here in California and I had the honor to take out my paint clothes and wear them for two days!  Yah...and I still remember how to paint.  I really enjoy painting - it's the cleaning I don't like.

My husband told me I was crazy to do this myself as he said we should have hired to have it done.  Yes, we could of, but would they have done it to suit me?  I don't think so.  But now that it's over, it gives me a feeling of satisfaction.  And, hopefully the new tenant will appreciate our work.

 I wish I could be like Lilly.  Nothing disturbs her!

But on a fun note, I want to share with you a blanket I completed a couple of weeks ago.  It's called Jacob's Ladder and the link to the pattern can be found here.

I purchased the yarn in Istanbul when I was there last year.  I used 13 skeins.  It was a fun blanket to crochet.

I bought 13 skeins; 1 skein for border, four skeins of dark gray, four skeins of light gray and four skeins of blue. (this is what I had leftover at the end)

And, here is the finished blanket.  As I was crocheting along, I "twisted" the ladder as I went and secured the ends with some scrap yarn.

 You can see the "twisted" columns running the length of the blanket.  These are made by the "chain 10" that you do throughout the pattern.

Here's a close up of the "twist".  I twisted one of the chain 10 loops to the left and twisted the next one to the right, etc. It's gives it an interesting pattern.

Here's a close up of the border.  I just designed my own border.  I would have made it a bit more lacy but it's for my son-in-law and I didn't want it to look too frilly.

It's a fun pattern to make and it really goes by quite fast.  I know the colors I used are not bright but they do look nice when it's finished and you can see the whole blanket.

What am I working on now?  I'm knitting with a beautiful pink yarn for my little granddaughter who's expected to arrive this summer.  And, there's a pair of socks in queue, too!

Thank you to everyone who read my crazy post from last week.....I hope you have a fabulous weekend and I will be back soon.  Lilly sends you her best meows!

Enjoy your day,

Link Parties:
I'm joining Happy Friday at Planet Penny and Handmade Monday at Lucy Blossom Crafts and....Frontier Dreams and Yarn Along

Friday, February 27, 2015

Liebster Award

My friends at Winwick Mum and LL Farm have nominated my blog for the Liebster Award.   Winwick Mum sent me a list of questions to answer.  So, here they are.....

1.  If you were down to your last $5.00, what would you spend it on?
Maybe I would buy a cup of coffee and pass it on someway.  I worked at a bank for over 25 years.  Back in those days, people would come in and withdraw their last $1.00 to buy a  couple of gallons of gas (I'm sharing how long ago this was).  It was a sad situation and it's still sad.
 This is the bank I worked at.  It says Bank of America but it was originally Seafirst Bank......

2.  What is your favorite thing to eat?
Oh my, I think I have lots of favorites but I love eggplant and potatoes of course (that's the Danish in me)...

3.  What was the first film you ever watched at the pictures?
I recall it was a circus themed film and performers with a trapeze act.  My father was a policeman and the police station was right next door to the movie theater.  My dad could take my cousins and I to the ticket window (he was in his police uniform) and they would let us in free!  It was an old theater with a huge seating area, balcony and those beautiful old style velvet curtains across the stage.
This is an old photo of the street where the movie theater and police station were located.

4.  If your house was on fire, what one thing other than family members and pets would you save?
I have lots of stuff in my house - maybe too much stuff as my sons says I should become a minimalist....but I would probably take my wedding picture.

5.  What other than your children, is your greatest achievement.
It's not proper to be proud, but I am thankful for the family unit I have been a part of these past 39+ years.  I will have been married 40 years this June to a wonderful, kind, perfect husband.  And, I think we have been blessed with two wonderful children.

6.  What did you want to be when you grew up?
Well, I probably wanted to be lots of things.  But, I am most happy being the housewife and mother that I've been for these past 35+ years.  It's a perfect match for me.  My mother worked - so I was one of those kids who came home to an empty home.  I had wonderful, loving parents but I never got over that my mom was not at home like the other kids.  I chose not to have a career - as my job at the bank was more part time due to my choice.  But, to answer the question...I had a Barbie doll growing up.  One of her outfits was a beautiful long black evening dress with a flounce at the bottom.  She had a microphone and it was her singing outfit.  That's what I wanted to be - a singer.  I would love to be able to sing like Susan Boyle.  But, I can't sing.  So, it's only a dream.

7.  What word would other people use to describe you?
I hope they would say polite and kind.  My children would say I'm eclectic.

8.  How many  WIPs do you have at the moment?
Easy question - three.  A doily, scarf, and another scarf...Here's the link.

9.  What's is your favorite yarn?
Recently, I discovered 6 ply sock yarn.  I love it as it works up so fast.  I love a bargain and I'm a bit of a yarn snob sometimes.  I order all my yarn online and I get some great bargains and get to create items with beautiful yarn.  There's not one particular brand I like.  But, sorry, I'm not a fan of the big box craft store yarns....

10. What tool could you not do without?
That's easy - my vacuum.  I vacuum almost every other day.  I'm a bit fanatic about keeping my floors clean and I hate to see anything on them....especially with my big, beautiful, fluffy kitty Lilly in the house!

11.  What was the last magazine you bought?
If you mean a magazine I actually have in my possession then it's Molly Makes.  I bought it in London in November 2013.  But, I recently subscribed to Taproot Magazine.  I haven't received the first copy yet.  I discovered this great magazine through another blog.

That's it.  I've answered all the questions and I've probably bored you to death.   But, there's more....

I'd like to pass on these questions for the next group of Liebster Awards.
Here they are:
1.  Where would you like to live if you could live anywhere in the world?
2.  What would you like to change in the world?
3.  What's your favorite series on TV?
4.  What could you not live without (either food or item)?
5.  What's the most precious thing you have?
6.  Do you like cats or dogs?
7.  Do you knit or crochet or do both or neither?
8.  What has been given to you that you can cherish for a lifetime?
9.  What is your fondest memory of childhood?
10. How did you start blogging?
11. What inspires you?

I nominate the following blogs for this award:
Misty Cottage Crafts
Camberwell Crafts
Morning Musings

The fun part is that this award is also given to anyone else who feels they would like to answer the questions I have posted.  I've recently discovered the blogs listed above and have so enjoyed reading them.  I'm sure you will too.

Enjoy your weekend,
Pat :)

I'm linking up today at:
Joy's Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Norwegian Cardamon Rolls

Hello my dear friends....did you think you would see another "sock tutorial"?  Just kidding, thank goodness I have completed the sock tutorial.  Thank you to everyone who followed along and encouraged me along the way.  Today I'm going to share with you a fast, easy, recipe for rolls.

Last week I attended my monthly lodge meeting at Daughters of Norway.  It's always a potluck and since we meet early in the morning, I find it's easiest for me to make some type of yeast bread that I can prepare the day before, let rise in the frig and bake the morning before the meeting.  So, here's what I made....

Norwegian Cardamon Rolls
2 cups milk (scalded and cooled)
1/2 cup butter
1 package dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon cardamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
6 to 7 cups all purpose flour

Place milk in pan (or bowl) and heat (or microwave) until milk just boils.  Remove from heat and add in butter.  Let cool until room temperature.

In large bowl, add warm water and sprinkle yeast over water.  Add in 1 Tablespoon sugar.  Let sit for about 5 minutes or until bubbly.

Now add in cooled milk/butter mixture, beaten egg, salt and cardamon, sugar and 2 cups flour.  Stir to mix all ingredients and continue to add remainder of flour as needed until you have a soft dough.  Knead well (I make mine in my Kitchenaid mixer with dough attachment).

Shape dough in a ball and cover with plastic wrap and a towel.  Keep in a warm, draft free place for approximately 1 hour or until dough has doubled.

Punch down dough and shape into golf ball size balls.  Shape into balls and place on a parchment lined (or greased) baking sheet and brush with egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 T milk).

Let rise until double and bake in a 375 degree oven for approximately 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oven and cool on a rack.

These can be frozen after baking or you can shape the rolls and place them on the baking sheet and put them in the frig overnight and bake the next day.

Serve with creamy butter. You may notice that the color of my dough is a bit darker - that's because I used half white all purpose flour and half Trader Joe's "100% white whole wheat flour"......

If you are of Scandinavian descent, you might want to check out and see if there's a Daughters of Norway lodge near you.  It's a fun non-profit organization that preserves and promotes Norwegian culture.

It's been a busy month here at Lilly My Cat.  We spent a wonderful time with my dear son. And, my dear daughter and her husband are expecting their second baby!  So, I'm going to be a grandma for the second time.  I'm so excited as is the whole family.  It's going to be a little girl.  I've already ordered some pink yarn to make a sweater for the little one.  My little grandson, Oliver, is so excited to have a little sister.

And, that means Lilly will be an Aunt, again!  Doesn't she look like a real person sitting there? (she's sitting on my  Coast Ripple Blanket but she likes to "wrestle" with I placed a towel on top)

I'm linking up to some great parties this week.  Here they are:
Wordless Wednesday
Oh My Heartsie Girl
Planet Penny

I'd love to hear what you've been up to.  Free free to comment and say "hello".  I will see you again soon.

bye for now,