Saturday, July 31, 2010

Quiet Saturday!

Liesie and I woke up to a gray, cloudy, cold day here on the Monterey Peninsula. I could not seem to get moving. It was just too darn cold. I got out my warmest blanket throw and snuggled onto the sofa. Liesl thought this was a splendid idea and jumped up onto the sofa and cuddled up to me. She promptly decided that this should be "Nap Day." I picked up a library book that I need to return by Tuesday. It was Louise Erdrich's new book. I read it cover to cover in about four hours. It was a total cry fest and now I have a crying headache. Oy!

I was able to accomplish a couple of things from my perch on the sofa. I was able to order my used textbook for my class that starts in late August. I am very excited about it. I have taken a class with this professor before, and his class was terrific. He really makes it easy to learn the difficult subject matter, so I am really looking forward to it. I was also able to register online for my fair entries. Today is the deadline and I had to decide if I felt I had done anything suitable for entry. I came up with three, but they are not the best things I have ever stitched. This year's entries are not in pursuit of ribbons, but rather because I do not like to see the number of cross stitch items dwindle every year. I feel an obligation to the art form to do my part to have cross stitch represented.
I finally got up and moving late in the afternoon. There was yard work to be done and by then the sun was peeking out from behind the clouds. I got the yard raked, the flowers watered and one of the beds semi-weeded. I shall have to do more tomorrow, but at least I got a good head start on it.

Here are a few more photos from my trip to visit my friends earlier this week. My friend is a very talented watercolor painter. Her paintings are amazing! She wanted to show me the grounds at a beautiful wine estate and take some photos to paint. The name of this winery is Chateau Montelena and it is built to look like a castle. It has the most beautiful grounds, complete with a small lake with swans. We were not interested in going inside to do wine tasting, choosing instead to admire the amazing grounds. I am eager to see my friend's paintings when she finishes.

A Week Off!

What a wonderful week. I had originally planned on just having a staycation this week, (reading, stitching and gardening) but when my girlfriend, Wilbur, came to visit a couple of weeks ago, she invited me up to visit her and her hubby at their beautiful home in Calistoga. (They welcomed Liesl too, which made it even better.) Liesl loves vacation!

We had such a great time together! It was so good to see both of them. We laughed alot and had some really good talks catching up. I am so appreciative that they made me feel so welcome. My friend is an amazing cook and we had some nice meals sitting in their lovely backyard, talking and laughing. So nice.

On Wednesday, my girlfriend showed me around. One of the places we stopped to look around was the Culinary Institute of America, pictured above. The size of this building boggles the mind! It is huge! We both love to cook, so it was really neat to be in a place that trains some of the best chefs.

This is the Napa Valley Hall of Fame Barrel Room. It is a massive room filled with large vats that contain the names of some of the most important winemakers and founders of the Napa area. You can't really tell here, but the lighting is very dramatic and the vats are huge! Of course, Robert Mondavi is the first name as you come into the room.

This is a view from the staircase of the main hall of CIA.

Again, it was such a great trip and a great vacation. I also got to attend out inter-generational vacation Bible school at church a couple of days this week. It was so much fun. Lots of food, Bible study and fun. We also got to have 'smores. I love 'smores! As my friend at church said though, smores are a social food. It is just not the same if you heat up a marshmallow over your stove. You have to have other people around. So true.

It has been such a great week. I will share a few more photos of my trip in the next few days.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Oops! Posted Wrong Photo Last Night

It was a little past my bedtime last night and I am afraid I was in a bit of a rush. I ended up posting the wrong photo. This is in fact, the correct one.

Have a happy day!

Monday, July 26, 2010

'Tis Done!

It is finally done! I have not ironed it yet so it looks a little wonky here. I saw online today that there is actually a special frame for this. It actually looks quite reasonable, pricewise, but still something I will have to save my pennies for.

I am really proud because it looks like I have actually tamed the mess that has been my craft room. It had been getting really out of control. (We all have that one room...) Now I am down to a small pile of papers that I have to file. Yay! I may actually get to craft in that room. I will be livin' the dream, baby!

I am really missing my dear friend right now! She is off on a trip to England and Norway. She asked me for a shopping list for hardanger supplies for while she is in Norway. We usually talk 2-3 times a week. She cracks me up so I am missing chatting with her.

We had our first night of Vacation Bible School tonight. It was so much fun. We start with dinner together, then singing, then Bible study. We finished up with s'mores around the campfire. It was only my second time in my life having a s'more. It was so perfect and so delicious. Hmm. I have a gas stove. I could be having smores way more often. Anyway, it was a perfect evening with my church family. They really are wonderful people that I really love a lot.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stay At Home Saturday

After a couple of weeks of being on the go, I am happy to say that my furgirl and I are staying home today. It is another gray, cool day. We slept in, and are both reclined on the sofa. I have my cup of tea and I am having the great internal debate, "Stitching or Housework." Stitching while staying in my pajamas all day is fun and relaxing. On the other hand, I have been on the go for the past couple of weeks, and my humble abode could possibly have a little visit paid by the health department if I do not clean today. If they show up in the biohazard suits, I would be so embarassed in front of the neighbors.

Anyway, it is a good day to be home. I think I may turn on the classical station, stitch for an hour, then putter. My house is really very tiny so it does not take very long. I do need to wash the windows as it seems to be getting darker and darker in here from the dirt build up. LOL

I have to try to get a photo of Liesl today. She went to visit the groomer yesterday and looks beautiful. I let her get pretty fluffy, usually between visits. She looks cute either way. She just looks so small after the fur comes off. It is supposed to be warmer here this week, so she will be happier with less hair.

Well, I think I will pull out my stitching for just a little while. I would like to finish the top of Dog Lessons today. Then I will be a cleaning machine, unless of course, my book starts calling to me...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I am posting early tonight because I am heading to bed early. I want to read my book and get a little extra sleep. It was a bit of a long day as I had to go to a training. The class was really good and I am really glad I got to go. However, I am a bit sleepy.

I came home and started on my weekend cleaning. My housekeeping has been a little lacking for the past couple of weeks, so I really needed to get a head start on it. I also had a little light gardening to do. I started some seeds to sit on the windowsill of my laundry room. It is really warm and sunny in there. It is a pretty good greenhouse. The only problem is that it is super small so I have to keep moving things around.

I have the cutest little stool that was my son's when he was a toddler. I need to run by the fabric store this weekend and look at the clearance bin to see if there is a cute fabric in a red tone that I can cover the stool with. I think it will look really cute in my kitchen, which of course, is red. (The stool is covered with blue pleather.) I love this little stool as I have such good memories every time I look at it.

I am hoping to take a couple of good hikes this weekend with Miss Liesl. We need to get a little more exercise and the weather is supposed to be beautiful. Yay!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I got home around 8:30 tonight after having dinner with one of my dear girlfriends. It was so nice to sit and talk and not be in a rush to get dinner eaten so I could do my chores.

When I got home, it seemed so nice and quiet without the television on, so I just sat down under a throw, with just my Daylight lamp on, in the otherwise dark house. Liesl is sleeping next to me, only opening her eyes briefly if she hears a noise outside and is deciding whether or not to go bark at it. The only sounds in the house is the mantle clock ticking, and the refrigerator humming. It is so nice.

I am trying to make a concerted effort to not to turn on my television all of the time. There is very little that I actually watch on television. Usually, it is on if I am stitching as my primary activity. I will say that I do love to watch mostly Discovery, Food Network and HGTV. However, my guilty pleasures are Cake Boss and Real Housewives of New Jersey. RHONJ is really junk food for the mind, but all in all it makes me appreciate my boring life. I am not sure I could handle all of that drama on a personal level. LOL

Well, I must go tuck in the furgirl and read my book. I hope you are having a nice, peaceful evening, too.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Random Thoughts

Finally. I have been on the waiting list of holds at the library for the book, "The Help." Everyone has been raving about this book and I think I may be one of the last people on earth that has not read it yet. Today, I got my little email letting me know it was my turn. Whoohoo. So I braved the crowds that are currently in town for some upcoming event at Laguna Seca and went and checked out my book. I can't wait to start it.

It is actually good reading weather right now. It was cold, gray and drizzly all day here. Usually, this kind of weather burns off early in the day, but not the past couple of days. It has just been cold and I find myself pulling out my sweaters. I miss the sunshine.

About a week ago, I was vacuuming and I accidently caught the plug of my Ott-Lite, yanking it out of the wall. When I picked up the plug itself, the little prongy things fell into the little black box. I was sad. Tonight I mentioned it in our little band at church and a couple of people said that it is actually an easy fix. Yay. I thought the lamp was ruined. I now feel much better. In fact, they said if I bring it to church, someone would look at it for me. I actually got the lamp at Big Lots for a major discount, and I just love it.

Well, I am off to read my book and cuddle my little furbaby.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Making Progress...

It has been a nice evening. I had big plans of coming home to weed-whack the back garden. By the time I got home, though, it was gray, misty, and a wee bit chilly. Suddenly, I was not feeling it for working in the yard. Instead, I made a nice dinner, put on my jammies, and sat down to stitch and watch a mini marathon of Cake Boss. I totally love this show.

I finished the top line, and now I have to just stitch the title and a couple of paw prints at the top and then bada-bing, bada-boom, it's done. (Okay, maybe I watched a little too much Cake Boss. LOL)

I am thinking about making a log cabin quilt wall hanging for my bedroom wall. I am borrowing my daughter's sewing machine in hopes I can get it pieced by this weekend. I have to go through all of my fat quarters and get to work. I have a certain color palatte in mind, so we'll see how close I come.

So many crafts, so little time...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Blessed Day

Today was wonderful. The day started at church. Then I met two of my oldest friends for lunch. It was so good to see them and it was fun catching up on all of the happenings in our lives. They are a special couple and I was so happy to spend some time with them.

I got home and tried to catch up on my chores. I have some work being done on my house this week, so I had to weed-whack some of the weeds that were getting a bit disorderly. Then I did my watering and washed my car. The day had arrived that I needed to put the Tony Stewart license plate holder on my car. It is looking good. I also had to remove the schnauzer nose art from the inside of my co-pilot's window of my car. LOL

After the yardwork, I came inside to tidy up, although the living room floor is covered with a certain someone's puppy toys. I also got to play with my little furgirl. She loves to be chased. So I chased her around the yard until she was too tired to play anymore. Okay, I was also too tired.

I did not finish my chores on my list. In fact, I barely got them started, but I am so blessed for the weekend I had. Relationships are way more important than anything. Thank goodness for my wonderful friends. I was so glad for the time I got to spend with all of the people that I did this weekend. The sharing of our stories, the laughter, and warmth made me feel so happy. Life is indeed good and there is so much to rejoice about!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Awesome Saturday!

What a great day. It started out kind of gloomy but the sun came out big time! What a gorgeous day!

I got the most wonderful surprise this weekend! My dear friend of about 20 years, came for a visit. She texted me yesterday that she was coming into town. We were able to get together this morning, and I really came to understand how much I miss her. It filled my heart with such joy to see her! The past few years have flown by since I last saw her and we can not let that much time pass again in the future! She is an amazing person and a truly wonderful friend.

After such a crazy week I am embarassed to admit that the dirty dishes and dirty clothes had stacked up. I came home this afternoon and got right to work. I am happy to say the kitchen is clean and free of counter crumbs and salmonella. I am also proud to say that the clothes I wear this week, will, in fact be clean and Downy fresh. Yay!

I got a call this evening from another of my close friends. She asked me if I wanted to bring Liesl and join her for a walk. We got to take a really nice walk and Liesl was happy to be out smelling the smells on the trail. My friend is leaving for an amazing vacation and said that she had to get rid of some things in her fridge before she leaves. So she gave a me a huge bag of lovely, yummy things, including some awesome ice cream. She said that I also needed a flower to take home so she went out and snipped the pretty roses above. I wish my camera could do them justice, because they are a deep red and look like velvet. They are also huge (about the size of my hand.) I have such beautiful friends. I am so blessed!

On the no fun side of things, I had to go pay my doctor a little visit this week. He ended up doing some bloodwork for me, including testing my cholesterol. Ahem, it appears that my good friends bacon, cheese and butter and I are going to be estranged. :( If you could see me right now, I totally have a boo boo lip.

Hope you had a beautiful day too! Call an old friend tomorrow. You will make their day!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Today was a totally busy day, but I am happy to say that I met my most critical deadlines. I still have a lot to get done, but the most important things are done.

Tonight was fantastic. We finally were able to get together to celebrate my son's 22nd birthday. It was a couple of weeks ago, but today was the first day that all of the schedules worked out for the whole family. So I was able to get together with my daughter, son, son-in-law and my son's adorable girlfriend. This was the first time that we finally got to meet my son's girlfriend and she was delightful. We met at our favorite local burger place and just had a wonderful time. Plus, we got to have cupcakes. Delish!!!!!!

We came home to finish talking. Liesl loves having a house full of people. Of course, they are here to visit her. My son's girlfriend is also loves terriers, so we got to talk about terriers, and Liesl had to go play with her. Now Liesl is exhausted from her play session.

I am looking forward to the weekend. Liesl and I want to sleep in, first and foremost. Other than that I have some business to take care of and work to be done in my garden. I am pretty tired from being on the go, so right now all I can think about is sleeping. I am looking forward to getting things done and hopefully, stitching!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Couple More Flower Pictures

Just a quick post tonight since it is late. I had a few more photos that I took last evening when I was watering. The top photo is Lantana. I see this in a lot of front yards in my neighborhood, so I am thinking it probably grows well here. It looks like such a happy flower.

This plant is dianthus. I am thinking it is in the carnation family as it has a similar leaf structure. It also has that lovely milky smell that carnations have. What a lovely flower.

It was a good day. I got alot done at work, which made me feel pretty good. The day was very productive.

After work I met my daughter for one of our weekly walks along Monterey Bay. My daughter has been falling in love with Liesl and her antics lately. She kept commenting that Liesl is such a happy little dog on a walk. She just trotted along, acting like she was one of the girls. Liesl does something on walks that cracks up everyone who knows about it. She tries to poke people in the back of the leg with her nose. We have not been able to figure out her selection criteria for who she wants to poke in the leg. All of the sudden she will pick up the pace of her trot, then her nose stretches out, at which point her momma usually tells her to knock it off. Then she will turn around with a mischievious schnauzer grin that says, "Pretty funny, huh!" Anyone who has a schnauzer knows this smile and can attest to the charm of it.

No stitching tonight as I had a choir type practice. Then I ran home to catch up on the latest episode of Real Housewives of New Jersey. (OMG! That show is crazy!) So now I am off to say my prayers and get my beauty sleep.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Manic Monday!

It was another tremendously busy day today. I ended up working late again tonight, but was able to complete a couple of really important tasks, which made me feel good. This is a week of some pretty tight deadlines, but I feel like I have a good running start on all of them.

I have to laugh now, but it was maddening today that I had a miniature schnauzer that was not feeling it for Monday today. She wanted to go back to bed from the time we got up this morning. She was happy to see her puppy friends at work today, but really wanted to go back home and snuggle back into her blanket and be hand-fed cookies and have scratches behind the ears. LOL I think she enjoyed the domestic weekend a bit much.

Liesl and I were glad to be home tonight, particularly after such a long day. I made a good dinner (I LOVE the eggplant cutlets from Trader Joe's! Yum!) It was still lovely outside and I wish I would have thought to eat dinner outside. After I did eat, I went out and watered the yard. The light was still so pretty on the plants so I got to take some photos of the stars of my yard.

Pictured above is my 9 foot tall trumpet plant. I love the apricot color of the blossoms. Each blossom is almost a foot long and are so pretty. They have a gorgeous scent that makes me happy to smell.

This is my white trumpet plant. It is only about 4 feet tall and not as prolific, but still so pretty.

As I said in yesterday's post, I have plants that pop up in the yard. Here is a patch of lobelia that sprouted up in a shady plot of my yard. I love the vibrant color of lobelia.

There is a down side to plants popping up, too, I now have two large dandelions growing out of my rain gutters on the front of the house, which is not so visually appealing. sigh. It looks like this weekend, I will be getting out the ladder and cleaning out the gutters well in advance of the rainy season. I have never done this before, so I hope I do it right, once I get over the yuck factor. LOL This does not seem like as much fun.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Domestic Sunday

Today was another lovely day. When I went to church this morning, it was cold and a bit dreary. However, when church got out, it was a pretty nice sunny day. I cuddled my little schnauzer girl for a couple of minutes then headed outside.

The weather was just right for gardening today. It was not too hot and not too cold. I got a bunch of work done in the garden and filled the green recycling bin again. My garden tends to give me a lot of surprises with different plants that just pop up. So, I had these plants with a woody stalk that popped up, so I let them grow. They grew to be about six feet tall and were producing little flower pods. I got very excited about what the flowers were going to look like. Um, dude, they were dandelions. Dandelions like I have never seen before, but dandelions none the less. sigh. They are now in the recycling bin. I can't believe I watered the darn things. LOL

I planted some flowers today that are really pretty. I had some dianthus, kalanchoe, margarites, and a drought resistant plant. I have a lovely friend that has received several flowering plants as gifts and she is kind enough to donate plants to my yard. I also bought a couple of cheap and cheerful plants at Target for about $2 each. So the yard is looking pretty. I also planted some more herb seeds that I had. I planted purple basil, and flowering thyme. I am really interested to see how the purple basil comes out. Right now my chives, parseley, oregano and dill are going like gangbusters!

After dinner I was really happy to sit down and stitch. I am almost finished with the top line and then I get to stitch the title line. It was so peaceful, and it was nice to sit and stitch. I am not sure what I will stitch next. This takes very careful consideration. LOL

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Lovely Saturday!

It had been an incredibly busy week last week. I had worked some long hours last week, and as a result, a lot of my housekeeping and chores went by the wayside. Today it was so nice to sleep late, and clean up the house. Liesl even got a bath after our walk, much to her chagrin. It is always amazing to me how much dirt is left in the tub after washing a small dog.

I got to help a friend hang pictures in her new place today. We had a lot of fun. I had watched HGTV all morning while I was cleaning so I was in a decorating mood. Now I am kicking myself for walking away from a $7 picture in Target yesterday that would look great in my kitchen. I am also thinking that I want to make a small quilted wall hanging for a wall in my bedroom. I think it would be really pretty in pastels and off white so I may have to go through my fabric stash.

I have not had much of an opportunity to stitch in the past few days. I was hoping to have finished Dog Lessons for People by now, but alas. I am hoping tomorrow afternoon after church to be able to both work in the garden and stitch. I also have some cookie dough in the fridge that I need to bake. I love domestic weekends. Liesl loves them, too. She gets to take puppy naps all day and play in her yard. It is fun to watch her do both.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Note To Self: Do Not Stitch When Tired!

Wow! It has been a busy, busy work week so far. I think someone at church last night said it best when he described yesterday as a Monday on steroids. Today was just as swamped, but it feels really good to work hard and get the new fiscal year set up. Plus I am so grateful to have a job that I love so much! I had a lot to get done and ended up staying a little late. Liesl and I both came home tired. I changed into jammies as soon as I got home, heated up Liesie's puppy dinner, and made myself a super healthy and yummy dinner. By the time my supper was ready, Liesl was already stretched out and on the way to dreamland, although she was able to lift her head just enough to beg for and eat some of my chicken and rice. Okay, maybe it was not begging as much as it was a pleading, guilt inducing, laser like look in the eye that clearly indicated that I should remember to share. LOL

I foolishly pulled out my stitching thinking I would get a little done before I turn in early tonight. This was not such a bright idea. I was too tired to try and ended up miscounting on my first stitch! Argh! So I pulled out my work and put it away. Oh, and a shout out goes out to Natasha! Yes, in fact, it is by Lizzie Kate. It just called out to me and, other than tonight, has been a fun stitch. The colors are pretty and it calls for good ol' DMC floss.

Just a quick note, my blog looks a little different tonight. The background provider I was using had really pretty backgrounds. (I loved the bees.) Unfortunately, something has happened and they are not able to link the backgrounds at this time. I feel badly for them. Anyway, I did not find out until too late this evening, so I put up a temporary background with another provider until I have some time to play with the layout. So, please bear with me, it may be a few days.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Back To Work Tomorrow

Just a quick post tonight since it is already past my bedtime! This is my WIP, Dog Lessons for People. I am almost done. I have two lines to do at the top and then I can frame it. I think it will look darling in my office.

I hope that everyone had a great weekend and enjoyed the holiday!

Have a great work week!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

A quick message to say have a fun and safe 4th of July! If you are travelling in the next couple of days, I wish you safe travels (don't forget to take your stitching with you!) If you are staying close to home, enjoy your backyard barbecues and fun with family and friends!