Friday, April 29, 2011

Hey, Beautiful!

Look at you! Aren't you the prettiest?! I thought you were a goner, but no! There you are, in all of your luscious yellow splendor!

I'm glad that you were willing to bloom in a vase, as you tipped over and were lying on the ground when I found you. I promise, this summer? I will plant you in a more agreeable spot. Don't worry, I will take care of you!

Sometimes I wonder what I'd be like, without my flowers and my kitties for conversation... ;)

Nevermind. Pretend I didn't say that. :)

For those of you who have asked, my heart has been declared "quite healthy!" The next rabbit trail to chase is that of asthma. *sigh* Strange, as my son has asthma. I can spot his need for his inhaler immediately, but with myself? I act nothing like him and I sound nothing like him. I don't wheeze or sneeze, I just huff and puff. This getting old stuff? I like the wisdom, but I'm not so sure about the aging... ;)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Let Me Introduce...

"Native Daughter," at least I think that's her name. Her written description says, "NATIVE DAUGHTER bi-tone – standards pinker than falls. Falls have whitish area in center; Beard – yellow/orange"

Whether I've correctly identified her or not, Edgar gives his approval.

For those of you who have inquired, yes, I do share irises. However last year I thinned them HEAVILY, giving away literally hundreds. It will be a while before I thin again, but when I do, I'll let you know...

And I'm not prejudiced, see? Dutch iris are also welcome...both dark

and light..

Someone snuck out the door when I wasn't looking. Malcolm is a strictly indoor cat, and KNOWS that he is not supposed to be out. Look at that glare, as he challenges me to shoo him inside.

"I don't care, I think I'll sniff the light and rub my face on it."

"See? I don't care, I'll sniff the chair, and rub my face on it."

You should have seen his look of pure panic when I said, "Really? You don't care? Watch this!" and I walked in the door and left him on the outside.

Sniff away, kitty cat, you've got all day... ;)

(He is closed in the backyard, so he shouldn't be able to get into TOO much trouble...)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Zoom, zoom!

How have you been? Did you have a wonderful Easter? Ours was more quiet than usual, yet the fare was more exciting than usual. Our oldest son doesn't care for pork, so ham was out. "What would you like?" "Lobster!"

I've never cooked lobster in my life, but my friends, Costco, and the internet assured me it's not so difficult. Had I known I could do it successfully, I might have cooked it before 2011!! We also had turf, as a backup. ;) Here is a behind-the-scenes look at our

and turf...

sauteed mushrooms,
and spinach salad with tomatoes, artichoke hearts and feta.

We also had some of that fresh-baked clove-in garlic bread, from Costco.

On Monday I got up early for a one-day road trip. Zoom, zoom!!

I've already driven an hour north, now I'm headed west. Past barns,

Past the alfalfa harvesters,

No, not to San Francisco, I'm still headed west...

I've never taken a picture of this dam. I don't know how many times I'd seen it, before I realized it WAS a dam. I must have thought they shaved off the top of the hill? But there's the terminus building, at the base of that "hill."

The San Luis Reservoir is FULL. It's been years since I've seen it this full, almost decades even. But I do remember, it's been this full before. What is truly amazing is how much water it received just this year. Last year, it looked like the tide had gone out, it was so low.

This year it's even spilled over to the other side of 152.

As in the previous pictures, most of the hills have already turned "golden." But near Casa de Fruta, they are still green.

I've been up and down and back and forth more than once this year, and the only "wildflowers" I've seen have been mustard. I guess it's been too cold and rainy for anything else...

zoom! I'm still on 152, headed towards Gilroy...

I love the old barns gracing both sides of the highway.

But I'm not on my way to see hills or old barns or the dam. I'm on my way to see Penelope (and her folks). ;) When I got there, she was dressed up in a pretty little hand-me-down from her Mama. :)

While there, I got the chance to accompany them to the pediatrician. Five weeks old, and 13 lbs, 9 oz!! :)

I have one more picture for you, taken after the appointment. Isn't her outfit cute? I think she was wearing yet another before I left. It was a busy diaper day, doncha know? :)

And I guess that's about it. I'm back home this morning, thinking about getting my house in order before rushing off again. No sewing, but you know? This might be almost as much fun...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Walk through the Walnut Garden

First, I will share with you the shocking orange iris that bloomed in my yard this morning. Oh my!! I've never had an orange iris before! I looked back at the rhizomes I bought a few years back at the Sutton Iris Garden, and sure enough, I bought an orange one called "Gratuity." This is the first time it's bloomed for me. I was not only shocked, I am thrilled! :)

I hadn't been by the walnuts since Monday of quilt show week, which was April 4. A lot has happened since then, in terms of growth. Just look at what greeted me as I walked to the front door! I don't have this pale purple iris at my real house. :)

As I walked around back, my son pointed out his new neighbors. One is on this ledge,

The other on this one. He says they are VERY noisy, and chatter and carry on all night long. "If it was one sound, I would get used to it, but they sing, scream, scold, and chirp incessantly." *yawn.*

You'd think Mr. Cat would do something about the intruders, but he likes his cat chow. Apparently he is now retired.

Chupa is still plugging along, although she's been a bad dog this week. She ran out the open gate, so she spent the morning locked on the wrong side. Now that she's been allowed back in, I hope she stays put. Running off through the orchard when her owner is on his way out the door to work is NOT the way to endear herself to him. Foolish dog. I think she knows she's never had it so good, because she kept trying to figure out how to get back INSIDE the yard. I think that's a first for her...

Two of these Dutch iris bloomed. I planted dozens, but they're in a bed that I thought would be flowers and Chupa claimed as hers.

Here's a look at Andrew's garden. He has carrots and radishes and turnips and beets. He also has some spinach, lettuce, and potatoes. His tomatoes don't seem very happy. His weeds are abundant. I spent some time helping him weed. When he asked why, I told him, "I don't want the weeds to win!"

The mystery tree from a few months back now has peaches. mmmm. I can't wait.

A second tree, on the backside of the yard has them as well.

Have you ever seen such a monster of a grapevine? The arbor is overgrown, as is the dog run. Little baby grapes are everywhere. mmm. :)

A different kind of flowering vine is on the backside of the shed.

When asked what it was, I told my son, "I don't know, but if I post a picture online, I will probably have an answer for you within 24 hours!" :)

Beneath that white vine are these irises. I don't have any like this at my real house either. :)

Remember the mystery plant, that I had pictures of here? This is what it now looks like. I still don't know, is it a friend or a foe? Anyone? Can you ID it for me?

And that's what I've got for you today. I spent several hours out there, first mopping the floor and straightening a bit inside, then outside, pulling weeds and doing some general puttering. It's grand fun to see what each season has to offer, and even more fun to know that we will actually be able to consume the fruits of our labor. :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

More Stitching

This morning was a play day for the Itty Bitties. ChiChi LOVES Itty Bitty Play Day. I pulled out the camera, so that I could document her cuteness for those of you who love dogs.

It took multiple attempts to get her facing forward.

Finally I resorted to making bizarre noises...


Maybe I got a bit carried away...

Later this afternoon, I worked on some belated birthday cards...

They'll go in tomorrow's mail. Hopefully the recipients don't read the blog regularly...

And that's it for now...The rest of my sewing time has been spent madly beading...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Back to the Studio

The hiatus has been too long, let me tell you. I haven't finished cleaning up quilt show details, but I've done enough that I could justify some quality sewing time. Quality time, not necessarily quality sewing... :)

My oldest little sister turned 50 this month. I finally made time to put together a card for her. It's actually yellows and honeyed colors, not the drab display set before you. I bought the wooden button at the quilt show, especially for her birthday card.

I also sat down and made my flower cards for the Postmarkd Art exchange. Let's hope they get delivered. I mailed my snowflake postcards last week, and haven't heard from a single addressee. Did they get to their destinations? Or did they not? I have no idea...

Here's the entire group. I pieced green strips for the background, then raw-edge appliqued the flowers. I then quilted some detail, then added orange highlights with a Fabrico marker. I was pleased to finish them in a single day, as my original idea was a bust.

Finally, I've begun posting some of the winners from Best of the Valley on the show's blog. If you're interested in seeing some beautiful quilts, click here.