Monday, October 04, 2010

Birthday Recap and WMHB

Wow, thanks so much for all the birthday greetings! I'm officially mid-30's. How in the world did that happen?!

Friday morning began as a grey, cool day in my neck of the woods. The kind of day where you kind of need a kick in the tush to get moving or you'll stay home in your jammies all day if you're able to. My sister called me to wish me a happy birthday and then asks me why I'm still home because you know, I should be on the road by now. So I got ready and began my journey to Santa Rosa to go to the Charles Schultz Museum. I've been wanting to go here for years but when your a grown adult and you tell people you want to go to the Snoopy Museum, you get a lot of odd looks. So I did what I wanted to do on my myself. Because in the end, no one's going to plan it for you. Charlie Brown welcomed me once I got there!
And more of the gang
And don't you feel like this a lot of the time? I know I do!
Gorgeous mural at the end of the hallway
And when you get closer to it, you realize that the mural is made out of a lot of these
This plaque goes on to explain that the tile mural is made up of 10 years worth of daily Peanuts comic strips!
And if you got tired and hugry during the museum visit, Snoopy was willing to share a cookie with you.
The museum visit was great! They change out the exhibits so it's not always the same. It was fun to walk around and learn how Schultz changed things around whether it be characters or formatting throughout his career. Every once in a while, you'd hear someone laughing at whatever comic strip they were reading. It was a nice change of pace.

After the museum, it was time to head to Sonoma. I wanted to treat myself to a late lunch at The Girl and The Fig. Just the name of the restaurant is charming and then there's the fact that it's been well-reviewed for years! The few people I asked who actually have been there had two words to confit! I arrived about 3pm and it was quiet...perfect. I hate being a solo diner in a crowded restaurant. I feel like all eyes are on me. I got a quiet corner table seated next to a four-top of southern tourists. I couldn't figure out where they were from. Atlanta, Alabama, Tennessee? Either way, they had the accent to prove they were from the South as well as the lingo. It was entertaining to be seated next to them...I tend to eavesdrop when eating makes things more interesting.
I didn't take any pictures of the food because I'm not going to pretend to be a food blogger. Plus, I was sitting near the Southerners. I didn't want them to think I was some crazy California girl taking pictures of food like it was going to be the last meal ever eaten! I started with the roasted fig and arugala salad with toated pecans, pancetta and chevre. Technically, I'm not really supposed to eat cheese but it's my birthday and I made an exception. The salad was ridiculously awesome. Peppery + sweetness of the fig + creaminess of the cheese + salt/fat of the pancetta and crunch from the pecans. Such awesomeness...yum! Then I had the small portion of the duck confit and I now know why everyone else was drooling while reminiscing about duck confit. Fall off the bone, tender, cooked in it's own fat. It was heaven. I finished off with a pear tart which was good but too crumbly for my taste. The wine pairing for the duck was steller but the fig cocktail fell slightly flat. I just don't like that much ice in my drinks. Overall, it was once of the best meals I've ever eaten and it's a good thing The Girl and The Fig is two hours from home. Otherwise, my waistline and pocketbook would be in a whole lot of trouble! After lunch, I took a walk around the shopping square before making the journey back home. I treated myself to a nice birthday outing. I would totally recommend The Girl and The Fig if your doing an outing to wine country!

Despite that, I'm struggling with hormones around a birthday. Never a good thing. Besides getting older, I'm reminded of the fact that because I am always the planner...I also have to be the planner for outings revolving around my birthday. A time when I think I should be exempt. I complain about always doing the planning every year and each year, I'm forced to do it again. I get a lot of responses to my complaints...I'm so good at it...I know where everything is...I'm the google queen. I love my friends...I just wish they'd surprise me. Of all the invitations, only one person didn't make me pick...Mr. Octopus. If feels like it would be easier to just stay home...and then there's the feeling of I wouldn't get treated for my birthday unless I planned it. I suppose I should be happy because at least this one forgot. I feel much better celebrating others' birthdays over my own.

But enough of that...the day after my birthday, I had a great dinner with Claire. We tried a new to us restaurant in the Mission called Garcon. Awesome little french bistro with the cutest (kinda hot) french waiter ever. We started off with the tuna nicoise which was sooo delicious and I had the steak and frites. We were stuffed so we took a walk in the neighborhood. Something I haven't done in a long, long time. I miss that. Taking walks at night with no real purpose other than to talk and see what was going on in a neighborhood. A lot has changed in the Mission...more places to add to my "to try" list. Garcon is on the new *love * list. Not as good as Nopa...but close.

Two wonderful meals in two days. Time to hit the gym to keep those calories off my thighs! If only I could find the motivation...ugh.

And the stitching update for the week. I have really been enjoying stitching on Where My Heart Blooms. I'm finding the autumnal colors really soothing. I think I've completed the upper half now but it's the lower half that has the most stitching!
I'm doing a lot of firsts with this project. It's the first time I've stitched in hand. I kind of like it. And the first time there's more than a couple of smyrnas or eyelets. I like both! Now I know the trick for nice eyelets and I really like the effect. They are time consuming but I think it's well worth it!
I'm on the over 1 portion. I'm not liking it as much. Over 1 on 40 count is hard! do you do it?! I'm wondering if I should be doing tent stitch/half cross stitch because full crosses seem kind of bulky. I'm not sure I like the H I've stitched. What are your thoughts on over 1 on 40 count?

And Vonna did some quick finishing for me! This is my contribution to the Attic Auction.
Didn't she do a great job?! It came out superbly...I'm tempted to keep it for myself but I did agree to send an ornie to the auction and this is the only ornie I've managed to stitch all year!

Carol and I postponed our SAL a few days so I should try to sit down a bit tonight to start the Traveling Stitcher. I'm hoping to have an hour to devote to it. I probably won't get far but at least I'll have started.

Until next time...


Margaret said...

That museum looks fantastic! I love Charles Schultz/Charlie Brown! That restaurant looks wonderful too! Good birthday planning -- although I hear you on the planning thing. Glad you got to go out the next night too. Love your WMHB -- so pretty! Your ornament too -- such a nice contribution to the auction.

Over one on 40ct. If it's just letters, I do full cross. Just make sure it's fairly tight on the stitches. When it's a dense pattern to stitch, I admit I'm a failure and I go to tent stitch. lol! Just can't squeeze all those stitches in! Hope that helps. Where is the over one??

Katrina said...

Well you know I am the planner in my circle too. I've just accepted it, and add to it I like the control so it works for me, LOL.

Sounds like a perfect day to me!!!!

Love your BBD piece, it's so gorgeous. I like to complete the cross on my over one but I've seen pieces where a half stitch was used and that's nice too.

Shelleen said...

sounds like you had a great birthday. I also love going to museums like that.

Beth said...

That sounds like a fantastic birthday!! Charles Schultz has been my favorite for 50 years!! When I was in High School (oops I am indicating my age) we studied a book called the Gospel according to Peanuts. It was a really clever book about how caring he is as a writer!! I don't know if you could find it now, but it was an interesting read.

You are doing wonderfully on your WMHB piece - over 40ct is an awesome accomplishment! My eyes have long since told me to forget it!!

Glad you did enjoy your birthday even if you did have to plan it.

Melissa said...

I'm glad that you had a great time. I would have loved that Charlie Brown museum. It looked great. The food sounds good too.
Your progress picture looks great!

Jackie said...

The museum looks like a ton of fun! I would have LOVED to go with you. I think it's really important to enjoy things like this.

It sounds like you have some really great restaurants in your area. I need to take the time to explore my city a bit more. Thank you for the inspiration.

Lisa said...

The Snoopy museum is a lot of fun. We have visited several times, typically when one of the boys have had a hockey game at the rink that is next door. Did you get a chance to go in there? There is a table set by the fire place in the little cafe there that is resevered for Charles Schultz. Originally from St. Paul, MN he built the ice rink when he moved to Santa Rosa. The restaurant sounded wonderful - but it has been a long time since I ate a savory meal like that. Unlike you, I'm in my mid-40s and lots of "yummies" just don't agree with me much :(
Your stitching is all beautiful- your ornament is wonderful and will be a great contribution to the auction. 1over 40ct...never have tried.
Take care!

Anonymous said...

What a cool bench. I want to sit with Snoopy!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I would so have gone with you to the Snoopy Museum! I adore Snoopy and had a Snoopy doll when I was younger (with little dress up outfits - so cute!) I still subscribe to the daily comic strip through my Google Reader :)

Glad you had a good birthday and some yummy food! Your WMHB is looking gorgeous, I love the colours in this one!

Hazel said...

Looks like you had a great time. Food sounds delish. x

Anonymous said...

How Fun!!! What a great way to spend your b'day. I love Peanuts!
thanks for entering my pumpkin giveaway. I've discovered new blogs and I love that!!!

Giovanna said...

Thanks for sharing the pictures of the Peanuts museum - I'd love to go there! And gorgeous stitching on the BBD, well done!

Blu said...

Thanks for sharing the pictures of the Snoopy museum! I'd never heard of it before but it seems so much fun.
Glad you had a fun birthday~

Carol said...

The Snoopy museum! Who knew!! It looks like such a fun day, Valerie--good for you for treating yourself to a special dinner--you deserve it :)

I love stitching in hand, too--there is something very soothing about just the feel of the fabric against your skin, isn't there? WMHB looks great--it is definitely on my "must-be-stitched" list!

Daffycat said...

Oooo, the museum looks wonderful and your meal sounded very yummy!

Your stitching looks great. I always stitch in hand. If I tried to use a hoop or frame, I'd be so confused!

Laura said...

Glad you had a great day on your birthday. That museum looks like a lot of fun.

Loraine said...

Hi you cute thing! It was such a pleasure to meet you at SB. I had mentioned our meeting on my first blog post that was lost in cyber space. On my rewrite I just tried stick to the basics as the other one was just wayyy too long. It gives me something to mention on my next post, which hopefully won't be 2 months from now!
Happy Birthday, and many cyber hugs to you. I wish you had still been in Utah so we could help you celebrate, although it sounds like a fun day was had. I'm thinking of taking Jolene to San Fran for her birthday in December. Would you want to meet us somewhere? I think we should go to Wicked and see the city. She has never been to California.
I've got you on my blog roll now. Keep in touch, and thanks for your sweet comments. Your post on your trip out was just fantastic! Love all your fun projects.

Julie said...

The museum looks a great place to visit, a have a friend who is snoopy mad

Sounds like you had a lovely birthday, shame you had to plan it yourself though, perhaps you and your friends shouls all take a turn at planning, that way you can pass your 'ggogle' skills to others then maybe your next birthday will be planned for you

Great progress on the WIP, i've only stitched on 40ct once, way too tiny for me!

Anonymous said...

What a fun birthday trip!

I would tent stitch the letters. My Sarah Woodham piece has the whole verse on 40 over one. It's too bulky to do a full cross stitch, but that's just me.

Michele said...

What a wonderful way to spend your birthday! My mom would have loved that museum .. she was a huge Peanuts/Snoopy fan.

I love your BBD :)

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that you had such an enjoyable birthday! I too am in my mid thirties and I would have loved to go to the Schultz museum. Lucky you! That sounds like a lot of fun. I'm jealous of the duck confit too ;) That sounds so yummy!

Natasha said...

Valerie, sounds like a perfect birthday. Sometimes to get want you want you gotta do it yourself. I want to got to the Jelly Belly Factory one of these days something DH is not a fan of so I will probably drag MYSELF there soon :)

I did not even know there was a snoopy museum, how awesome is that. Charlie Brown makes me happy :)

Your discription of lunch made a puddle of drool on my desk. Good Gosh the duck sounds so good a nice duck cooked in her own fat YUMMO!!!

Your BBD is coming along great you have made such progress since you were at my house :) And WOW I love that ornament. What a great job Vonna did finishing it, sometimes things I stitch to give away are so hard because I want to keep them for myself.

Okay well I better go I will be in touch with you via email soon
Take Care girl!

Siobhan said...

The Schultz museum looks like so much fun! I hear you on the planning thing. I like the control but would love one time for others to put the same amount into something for me that I do for them.

On over one on 40 ct, I do a tent stitch. Your WMHB looks great!

Xangles said...

Happy belated Birthday, Valerie! I would have enjoyed visiting the Charlie Brown museum with you as they are my absolute favourite comic characters. Your Christmas ornament is gorgeous!

Natalia said...

Valerie, sounds like you had a great B-Day, in spite of you having to do the planning. Sometimes that is good, as you get to do what you really want. :-)

I love your BBD !!! I've just finished the little tray we got at the SB retreat... So cute !

Sorry girl, I am way behind reading all the postings, so I know this comment comes way too late, but.... better late than never !!

Pumpkin said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful birthday :o) That mural is SO COOL! Glad you were able to take pictures. LOL!

Your auction ornament is fantastic! Thank you Valerie :o)

Meari said...

Sounds like you had a great birthday. Happy Belated Birthday!