Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tree Execution Day

This beautiful Blue Oak in the center of the photo is diseased and so must come down before it falls down. The arborist says it's at least 100 years old. It has a bacterial canker, which has invaded nearly all of the trunk. I hate to see trees cut down; I know this one has to come down but I'm still very sad. It's done a great job of shading people, producing acorns from which little oaks have grown, shedding leaves each fall which provide fertilizer for the earth and providing homes for birds, but now it's time is up. There is a big green bucket truck in our driveway. It's pulling a mulcher. Weapons of mass destruction. Kerry has found someone who will mill most of the wood so we can make something from it. Not sure how much wood we will get so what that something will be is undecided yet.

We still have one blue oak; it sits right in front of the house and is about 100 years old as well. The arborist thinks it's healthy but will be out next week to climb it and check out a few spots that worry him. This tree shades the entire front of the house.
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Friday, September 21, 2007

Catching Up

It's been one of those weeks that has just had too much going on. This is the first day since Sunday that I didn't have to get up and go somewhere. I really like to get up early, but I don't like to go out before noon. I had physical therapy (shoulder is healing nicely), had my final quilt class with Sheila, went to Girls Nite Out at a local wine bar, actually facilitated a meeting for a client (only one more to go and then I'm done), got my hair cut and colored, had lunch with my good friend Jan (going through a divorce and starting her own business; I can relate to that), divided and replanted my bearded iris so they will bloom better, and tonight we are going wine tasting at our favorite Lincoln produce store (we are tasting zinfandels tonight; some call it the state grape).

Best of all this week, it rained. We got .75 inches on Wednesday night which is a great way to start our rainy season. It has not rained here since May 3rd. Blue skies and bright sun get old after a while.

My friend Jan that I mentioned above is someone who is very organized; she has worked for Apple and Palm, been a wedding planner and worked for a wedding magazine selling ads. She's decided to put that good experience to use with an on-line business that helps those planning special events like weddings, anniversaries and anything else. Check out her web site: http://www.allaboutoccasions.weddingstar.com/ She takes credit cards and PayPal. Who knows maybe you might need something she has.

My quilting buddy Linda and I are already signed up for two more quilting classes: free motion quilting and binding. I've also been doing a bit of hand quilting on the two quilts I have finished. I'm not going to quilt the one I finished in class until I take the quilting and binding classes.

So now you know where I've been. Next Wednesday we go to Kerry's family for a visit. His baby sister is turning 60. They live just south of Bellingham, WA. We are going to spend one night at Crater Lake on our way up; we will come down the Oregon coast to visit our friend Charlotte on the way back.

Nothing planned for this weekend...aah bliss.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Final Quilt Photo

I wasn't going to do it but decided that I just had to add the border because I wanted to see what it would look like. So here it is.

Next steps are to add the batting and backing, which won't show, quilt it or have someone do that for me who has a long-arm quilting machine and then bind the edges. Once it's done I'm going to hang it in my office. I really, really like quilting.

My Home Ec teacher, if she's still alive, would be dumbstruck. I was her worst sewing student, and I started a fire in our cooking class. I guess the past is not always a predictor of the future. Thank goodness.
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Quilt Update

I finished all the rows and sewed on the sashing between each row and around the quilt. Starting from the top: friendship star, log cabin (the red square in the middle is supposed to represent the hearth), flying geese, nine patch, rail fence, and nine patch variation.

Next I have to add the border. That's what I've been doing today.
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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Google Cookbook

Did you know that you can type into Google three ingredients you have in your kitchen, and it will give you recipes you can make with those ingredients. Of all the high tech stuff around I think this is the best. I'm reading Thomas Friedman's book, "The World Is Flat." He mentioned this so this morning I gave it a try. I typed in venison (yes I have some but we didn't kill it), mushroom soup and carrots. I got back a whole bunch of recipes. I think I'm going to fix the slow cooked venison stew. So check out your kitchen, type in those three ingredients and hit enter. Who knows what you will discover.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Cats And Quilts

Top photo is Georgio playing with his favorite toy. The white ball cannot come out of the track so he spends a lot of time moving it around and then chasing after it. Pretty funny to watch. Nora likes to attack him while he's doing it. Sometimes he sits in the middle on the cardboard and bats the ball. When it hits him in the butt he jumps just like he was surprised something hit him.

The second photo is the quilt I'm working on for my new class. We are learning to make some of the basic quilt patterns. Top row is nine patch; next is rail fence; third is another nine patch; fourth is nine patch variation; and the last is friendship star. I need to make one more friendship star to complete the row.

Next Wednesday we will learn log cabin and flying geese. In the last class we will put it all together with sashing between each row and a border around it all. The strips are on a piece of flannel I bought. For some reason the fabric sticks to the flannel without benefit of tape or tacks. I learned this in the classroom at Cabin Fever Quilt Shoppe where all the walls are flannel. I've already signed up for two one-day classes that meet in October: quilting and quilt binding.
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Monday, September 03, 2007

Another Shoe From Albuquerque

Since I retired, my shoe collection has gotten quite a bit less mainstream. Before I was always trying to camouflage my size 9EEs, but now I've decided what the heck I'm going to wear what I want. If anyone points to my feet it will be because they are jealous of my shoes. I got these Kitsons for far less than they want on the Kitson web site. I have not worn them yet because I'm still wearing sandals (the temperature is still hovering right about 100). My friend Beverly in Albuquerque also introduced me to mismatched socks. You buy three socks that are all different in design but the same in color hue. I thought about it and decided I can do that without buying the special socks. Now I have a chance to wear one flamingo sock with one turtle sock. So that's my story for today. Here's the web site for the socks: http://www.littlemissmatched.com
Have a great labor day.
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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Wine Tasting In Nevada County

Six of us adventurous souls set out to wine tasting yesterday in near 100-degree heat. Luckily all the wine production areas at the wineries need to be kept cold so it wasn't too bad. They were very different types of wineries. All represented vintners who want to produce Italian-type wines. They get their grape stock from UC Davis. Imported grape plants have to go through a ten-year process before they are sold. The U.S. doesn't want to import anyone elses diseases or bugs.

All of the wineries were only in their second year of production. It takes five years for a plant to produce harvestable wine grapes. The first years they just cut off the grapes as soon as they start to form. This allows the plant to put energy into growing it's root and stem systems. We liked the first one the best, Montoliva. We bought a sampler case and then two extra bottles of Pinot Grigio (a wonderful wine for hot summer days when served really cold). The wine making area is in the basement of his house in his family room. The rest of the wineries were in just about equally small areas. Some of them make so few cases each year that they were out of many of their wines. Most will be harvesting in the next week or so. The vineyard at the left is at Avantgardia. You are looking at the one-acre of grape production they have. We really didn't like the wines but the people were very nice. The husband and wife team do the picking, crushing and all the other parts of getting the wine into the bottle. Wine making at this level is for those who want to work hard.

Then we headed for Tal and Alicia's house to rest a bit before we headed out on their pontoon boat on Lake of the Pines for a dinner of wonderful pork ribs, salad and a dessert called treacle. Kerry really got into the gliding over the water at a nice slow speed that produced enough of a breeze to cool us off so we could drink more wine. The two ladies are Margo on the left and Alicia on the right. Margo was our realtor when we bought our house. She and husband Rick have been our friends ever since. She organizes our tours, Alicia fixed the wonderful dinner and architect Tal skippered the boat. Rick, former Coast Guard, handled the anchor and lines. You ask, what did you and Kerry do? Be very appreciative of everything. Kerry finished off my plate of ribs and salad. I didn't let him near my treacle.

Alicia makes her treacle with lemon curd (yummy), baked yellow cake that has been crumbled and bits of fresh fruit like strawberries and peaches. You stir all of that together and then put whipped cream on top. Delicious!!

We got home by 9:30; I was in bed sound asleep by ten and didn't get up until 9 this morning.

It's another hot day here so we are heading for the movies this afternoon. I think we will veg tomorrow.
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