Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Look Back At Giddiness

I was a bit early with my fall giddiness. The new fleece jacket I ordered in early September was not worn until yesterday. We had many 100+ days that were made more unbearable because I was really ready for cool weather.

But it finally happened yesterday when we woke up to a cold wind blowing through the house. It wasn't cold by Midwest standards, but it felt lovely. My sister was shocked that it was that cold. People never realize that we do have all four seasons in California; they are just more moderate than theirs.

Also, I saw my first white-crowned sparrow foraging for food under the bird feeders. They always visit for winter. He/she must have gotten the memo that the heat was gone. The Northern Flickers won't be far behind. Their rat-a-tat-tat on our eaves is their seasonal hello. That loosens up the insects for a Flicker meal.

I have five quarts of beef stock in my new freezer so I'm set to make soup for those cold nights that I am anticipating with glee.

The photo is for you cat and dog lovers. It's Harleen and Nora cuddling. Taking Harleen to the dog park today for the first time. As a service dog in training she wasn't supposed to go, but now that she's a "pet" she gets to go.
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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Puppies and Visitors

I'm a bit behind in blogging. We've had lots of overnight visitors and other distractions that have kept me from my keyboard. Lia, a puppy raiser and breeder caretaker for CCI, and her son Isaac came last Saturday on their way to Santa Rosa to turn in seven adorable 8-week old lab puppies at Canine Companions for Independence. She had the pups mom, Darlan, with her as well as Harry, Harleen's brother. With Harleen that totaled 10 dogs.

The pups were so much fun to snuggle with. I could sit and watch them play for hours. Harry and Harleen, as you can see, had their own special way of playing. Harry is the brute in the red collar. He is due for turn in to advanced training on Nov. 21st this year. Lia took him to Santa Rosa for hip x-rays to see if he has the same problem Harleen has. I sure hope not.

They all left on Sunday morning (9 dogs and two people in one car) and on Monday my sister, her husband Neil and son Adam arrived. Today we are headed for Lake Tahoe where it promises to be a lot cooler than here. It's been in the high 90s and low 100s since they got here. Neil and Adam fly home Saturday. Vicky gets to stay an extra week. Yippee.
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Friday, September 18, 2009

Where I've Been For The Last Two Days

Her name is Rose Hughes; she created the piece pictured here. If you want to see more of her wonderful works of art go to

This piece is entitled Pathways I and it's 30" x 30".

I can't even begin to explain her process for doing this. It looks more difficult than it is.

She has a book out called "Dream Landscapes" which tells how she does it. If you are a quilter and are thinking about art quilting, her book is the place to start. Or better yet her class. She's teaching a painting on fabric class next year at Sisters, Oregon. I intend to be there.

You have to let go of your inhibitions and forget everything you learned about quilting. Just go for the gusto. I had so much fun. And she is a great teacher.
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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Our Freezer Is Full

Here it is in all its 7.5 cubic foot glory. Beef on the top two shelves. Then pork and then chicken and beef bones on the bottom. Lamb on the door. Our ice maker in the refrigerator freezer is turned on for a change. There is lots of room to make tomato sauce and stash it in the refrigerator freezer. I'm a very happy locavore today. All that meat is pasture raised from the surrounding area.
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Friday, September 11, 2009

A Small Freezer For A Locavore Family

We have been thinking about this purchase for quite some time. We have a wonderfully larger freezer drawer on the bottom of our refrigerator. But as we get more and more into eating locally, we were fast running out of space. In fact, we had turned off the ice maker to make room for pasture-raised meat from the meat club. We don't need anything really big. The one pictured here is from Sears. It's 7.5 cu. ft. It's about 46 inches tall and 25 inches wide.

We will not have boxes in our freezer as the picture shows. This will probably be where the meat goes each month. I'm tired of pulling everything out of the current freezer to find what we want.

Sears had a sale so it was $303 before tax. I thought that was a pretty good deal. We pick it up on Tuesday. Another big step into the locavore world.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Kentucky Reunion

I've been struggling with how to write about the reunion. The food was fabulous, the setting (as you can tell from the pictures) was fabulous and the people were so friendly and warm. So what do I write about?

Here's the link to my photos. Paste it into your browser.

Answer: The fact that I am jealous of a family that cares so much for each other that people travel many miles to be there once a year to celebrate the fact that they are related. No bickering just lots of love and joy. I don't think it's just southern hospitality. I could tell by the way they interacted that they really like each other.

No wonder my brother loves his in-laws so much. They love him warts and all.

That's what I wanted from my family. My parents did not set a very good example. My dad stopped speaking to his older brother in 1948 over a disagreement about $400. They died on the same day of the same horrible disease, emphysema. So we never really saw that part of the family. I have cousins I've never met.

Kerry has the type of family that I wanted; they really love each other and have fun together. So my brother and I both found great families. I wish that for everyone.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


I felt an excitement this morning when I woke up. At first, I couldn't figure out why. But then it hit me, it was the second day of September; once again we had made it through another northern California summer. Not that the heat is over with entirely, but we are closer to the end than we were a month ago.

Summers are tough for me. The heat can be nearly unbearable (not Phoenix unbearable) but unbearable enough to make me feel like a prisoner in my own home. We close up the house so it feels like a tomb; that saves on the electric bills.

I worked hard to make the best of it. Quilting really helps; I get focused on a project and I forget that if I got outside I would practically melt. It's weird, but my sweating is mostly confined to my head, especially behind my ears. Very weird.

But here I sit on the precipice of fall. I'm ready.

To celebrate I ordered a new fleece jacket. We keep the house pretty cold in the non-summer months so fleece is the way I dress. I'm getting a beet red, zip up polar tech fleece. It should be here some time late next week.

I can bring out my soup recipes soon and get ready to go for evening walks without fainting from the heat. And pretty soon the rain will turn the hillsides a lush green.

Meanwhile we are off to Ohio and Kentucky tomorrow for my sister-in-law's family reunion. Never been before and really looking forward to it. Back on Monday. See you then.