Sunday, July 31, 2011

Back To Work!

Well, I think I have had as much fun as I could have on my week off. I am looking forward to going back to work and seeing my co-workers. It has been a fun week. Liesl and I had a lot of fun and took a lot of naps!

I did a bunch of cooking to get ready for the week. My BFF who is a busy nurse practitioner got me into the habit of doing this on Sundays. She told me that during the week we are tired, hungry, and more likely to eat something unhealthy or unsatisfying. So she cooks a bunch of basics to have on hand. Tonight I made a pot of brown rice (so I do not make the white rice when I am in a hurry) to go with an Asian style crockpot meal leftovers that I made yesterday. I made cole slaw to make sure that I eat some sort of veggies if I am too tired to cut up a salad during the week. I also made a pitcher of cherry Kool-Aid with Splenda. Most of all, I am proud of a recipe I got from Martha Stewart.

I love me some Martha. I have gotten some great recipes and ideas from her. I do not have any desire to reach the level of homemaking that she has, but I have learned some tips from her that make life a little nicer and cozier. She has a wonderful website with great recipes and inspiring ideas. One of her best recipes was for make ahead lunches. I am not a big fan of sandwiches, they get kinda boring, except PBJ. Yum! So I was thrilled when she had this recipe on her show for Soba Noodle Salad.

I love Thai food and this has all of the Thai flavors. I will admit that I am a total goober because the recipe calls for green mangoes. I took this to mean a certain variety of mangoes and finally had to Google to find out what they are. (Google is our friend!) Just means unripe mangoes with totally green skin. This is what it looks like. It tasted so great that I had two bowls for dinner. So many flavors but fresh and light! It was just delicious and healthy.
I just have to show off my bargain that I got the other day. I was at Trader Joe's and they had a shelving unit full of big hibiscus plants for $6.99. I bought this apricot colored one. It is still blooming so the flower is not open all of the way yet. I was so pleased with it that I went back and bought a red one today. There were only two left. The price was so low and the plants are large and healthy. Apparently, they had yellow ones, too. But I missed it. I have a couple of empty large pots so I am going to replant them. They are so pretty.
Well, guess I had better go finish getting ready to go back to work. At least I get to iron to Shark Week!

Have a great Monday!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Stitching Progress

It was a nice quiet evening around here. Liesl went to bed early since we had excitement around here earlier. It was also a cold evening, so I put on my sweats, warm fuzzy socks, and got out my stitching. I am getting close to the end. Whoohoo! Right now I am working on the border, which is a series of eyelet stitches.

We had fun this afternoon. It was my dear daughter's 28th birthday. She got off work early so we spent the afternoon in my nice, sunny garden together. It was nice to eat, have an adult beverage and catch up on all of the news. (We will have a family party next week.) It was very relaxing. Liesl was so excited to see her. All I have to do is mention her name and Liesl will run to the window to look for her, yawning really hard to calm herself down. Liesl got herself all worked up having company. She also felt the need to go bee hunting and snapping at bees. (Will she never learn?!) She was exhausted and went right to bed when my daughter left to go have dinner with her hubby.

I am a bit proud of myself. I love when back to school supplies are on sale at Target. I look for the great deals on pencils and stuff that I can't get so cheaply the rest of the year. So while I was perusing the school supplies at Target the other day, my eyes fell on those magnetic locker supplies. I realized that they would probably work on my refrigerator. I have a grocery list on my fridge but no pencil nearby, so I got a magnetic square pencil cup for about $2. My fridge also has a whiteboard front (cool, huh!) so I can store my pens there, too. They had all sizes and shapes. I am wondering what else I can use them for. I use mine on the side of my fridge so they do not get knocked around. I am thinking that they could be used in the laundry room for something, too. Perhaps as a place to put the change that I pull out of my pockets. Hmm, I may have to go back.

I just heard that there will be a couple of meteor showers this weekend. I love to watch meteor showers. They are magical. I may have to get away from the city lights so I can see clearly. I am such a goof, I still have to wish on each one, just in case...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


About a month ago, I was perusing the clearance case at the local Target. I love clearance sales. This necklace was in the case with a red tag for $7.48. The picture does not show it well, but the big pendant at the bottom is dark green, has a geode type edge and has kind of crude facets cut into it. It is quite striking. I originally thought that the stone was actually glass, but when I held it up to the light, I could see veins throughout it, meaning that it was stone. The necklace was absolutely ugly though. However, I figured the stone alone was worth more than $7.48 so I bought it. (The stone is about the size of the palm of my hand.)
I work with someone who does really fabulous bead work. I showed her the necklace to get her advice. She looked at it and said, "That is so wrong." LOL She said that the stone is so fabulous that I should just let it stand on its own by using a satin cord, so that there is some sheen to it, adding a touch of elegance.

I had to go over to Marina today where the local Michaels is located. I won't talk about the sad state of the shrinking cross stitch section...Anyway, they had the cords for $3.99 with the clasp already attached. It looks so much prettier now. I really wish I could capture the color of the stone for you.
They were having a 50% off sale on their Bead Gallery beads. So I picked up a couple of pretty things, too. There were so many nice pieces. But I was strong...

I am a tiny bit achy tonight. I sorta overdid it with my gardening today. The sun finally came out and warmed everything up. I took this as a sign that I needed to go play outside. I got out the electric hedge trimmer and trimmed everything that needed it. I also transplanted a bunch of plants. My arms are feeling a little bit rubbery. I have heard that ice cream helps. I should go try that remedy...LOL

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Stitchy Stash

Had a pretty good day today. Liesl got me up early this morning. Actually, I had woken even earlier in a pretzel position because somebody decided to stretch out across the foot of the bed. It never fails to amaze me how big a small dog can be on the bed. Anyway, she decided that we had slept enough, so I asked her if she wanted to go to the beach. She was very excited, so off we went for our two mile beach walk.

It was a cold, dreary, drizzly morning. We had a nice walk and Liesl played in the surf. I have to say that schnauzer parents are very loyal to the breed, and will usually drop whatever they are doing to check out another schnauzer and talk to the parents. I have had people call to me from across the street to say that they have schnauzers, too. There is something about the breed. (Mini schnauzers are the 11th most popular breed of dog in the US) Today, another mini was playing on the beach and his momma quickly ended her cell phone call to come say hello. She was very nice. One of the comments that I get a lot is that Liesl is very mellow for the breed. This lady said that she was surprised to see one so calm. Liesl is pretty secure and calm. She does not like anything that resembles chaos. I am pretty lucky. She is still barky and has a lot of energy, but she really goes with the flow.

After the beach, I wrapped Liesl up in a towel to keep her warm and I headed over to the Carmel Safeway to grocery shop. I have to say that I really do not like grocery shopping in general. I wish they had a service at Safeway like they do at Whole Foods, where you can place your order, they pick it out for you, charge your credit card, and you just pick it up all bagged up at the front. I have to say, though that it was nice to take my time grocery shopping for once. I needed to stock up on staples, and it was a calm shopping experience where I could take my time. I also got my Moose Tracks Ice Cream.

It was still cold when I got home. My thermostat read 64 degrees and I actually had to turn on my heater. Brrr. Liesl and I took a really good nap under a woolie blanket and by the time we woke up, the sun was trying to peek through. I headed out to work on my front yard.

As much as I love gardening, I am terrible about the front yard. It has several trees and is pretty dark and shady and as such, does not have a lot of color like the backyard. So I have to psyche myself up to work out there. It was out the point where I either had to take the weed whacker out to it or don a pith helmet, carry a machete and advertise Jungle Tours. I am happy to say, it took four hours but it is looking kinda nice. The crazy part is that even though it was cloudy and I was working in total shade, I still got a sunburn on my shoulders.

So, now I get to play with my stitchy toys. Yesterday afternoon, I received a package of stuff that I had ordered from Stitching Bits and Bobs on Fourth of July weekend. They had a big 25% off everything sale, so I got some nice deals. Kelmscott now carries cute little mother-of-pearl buttons, so I got a package of those. I also got the cute bee counting pins, a clearance pattern for $1 and a Permin pattern. I love the Permin pattern. It is so happy and totally Scandinavian in style. I think it will look lovely in my bedroom.

I am going to try to stay up late and stitch tonight. Whoohoo!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Quiet Monday

Woke up to an absolutely gorgeous day this morning. I decided that Liesl has been patient the past couple of days while I was out playing, so she needed a special day. Her favorite word is "beach" and all I had to do was ask her if she wanted to go. She was pretty excited and was running in circles and barely let me put my shoes on.

The beach in Carmel is a mile long each way and we walk from one end to the other (two miles round trip.) It is a very nice beach. That green lawn in the background is the golf course at Pebble Beach. The best thing about this beach is that it is a dog beach, which means that there are no leashes required. Liesl gets to meet and play with other dogs, and runs like the wind. She also splashes in the Pacific. This is a Disneyland for dogs.

Here is Miss Liesl running at top speed to clear the beach of birds. She considers this to be her duty and runs really fast. Here you can see that her feet are barely touching the ground.
She was exhausted when we left. But she had a huge puppy smile on her face. She could barely hold her head up in the car.

By the time I had gotten home from the beach, the weather had changed and it was cool and gray. This is normal here on the coast. I gave Liesl a bath and decided to just stay home and relax. She napped the entire afternoon on her pink blanket. I scoured my kitchen, cleaned my living room and bedroom and spent the rest of the afternoon stitching. I was actually glad to have some time to be domestic. I even got to cook myself a really nice dinner. I think tomorrow I would like to do a little gardening and baking. I thought about taking a little road trip south tomorrow, but realized that I would like to have another day relaxing at home.

Well, I have been thinking about Moose Tracks Ice Cream all evening. I may have to run out to the store...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bach Festival!

I think that I have shared some time ago that I am a huge fan of classical music. Above all composers for me though, Bach reigns supreme. I am so fortunate because every July we have the Carmel Bach Festival, which draws musicians from all over the world to perform. They are the best of the best.

A few of weeks ago, my friend got two tickets to today's performance of Bach's "Johannes" or St. John's Passion (BWV 245). Apparently, this was the hottest ticket in town, because it was totally sold out and people were trying very hard to get to tickets. I have to say this was the most amazing and remarkable performance I have ever been to. ( And I have seen some great concerts.)

St. John's Passion is a lot more emotionally raw than St. Matthew's Passion. This performance was remarkable in that it featured the orchestra and chorale in street clothes to give the feeling of a crowd. In addition, the Bach Youth Chorus was stationed in the front two rows of the balcony, so the audience had the feeling of being amid the crowd. We were surrounded by the voices. (We had great seats on the lower level.) The singers acted out some of the movements, which really brought more meaning. In addition, the English translation of the piece was on a screen above the stage.

It was so amazing that at several points I would gasp because I found myself holding my breath. I also found myself in tears. It was just so beautiful.

What made this even more poignant for me was that this piece was based on Martin Luther's interpretation of St. John's Gospel. As a practicing Lutheran, I heard bits and pieces of our liturgy and one of our hymns in the piece. It was intentionally interspersed with old Lutheran chorales by Bach. (Bach was a Lutheran, an organist and cantor in the Lutheran church.)

Johannes-passion was about 2 1/2 hours long, but I had no sense of time. It felt like it was over so soon. My friend and I both said that we were both emotionally wrought afterward. It was so beautiful. I do not think I will forget this performance as long as I live. The musicians were so absolutely amazing. It was remarkable.

Bach totally rocks!

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Well, it is here! I did have a plan for fun for after work yesterday, however, traffic was at a complete standstill because the MotoGP is at Laguna Seca. I guess it let out around commute time. As I sat totally stopped, I realized this was not how I wanted to spend the beginning of my vacation so I took the closest exit to take side streets home. I was pretty fried from trying to get everything ready for my departure and working a bunch of overtime to do it, so it was actually a good way to start. Even Liesl was tired and came home and went right to sleep without even touching her dinner. She has had a long week, too. She is such a trooper!

So, as my backup plan, I came home and made a healthy dinner. I asked myself what would make me the happiest as an activity and immediately decided stitching. It was so peaceful and I just stitched from the time I finished my dinner to when I went to bed. It was so nice to stitch with no concept of the time. I actually ended up going to bed early and slept for 11 hours. I was tired.

So here it is, Day 1. I puttered for a little while and now I am off to my first adventure!

Hope you have a fabulous Saturday!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Eight Sweet Hours To Vacay!

Eight more hours and Liesl and I will be playing vacation. I have big plans for Saturday and Sunday but forgot to make a plan for tomorrow after work. Liesl and I need to find a way to kick off the festivities. I know her idea would be cookies and new toys, but I will have to figure out a plan which goes into effect at 5:01 pm.

Tomorrow is the last day that my alarm goes off for a while. It is also the last day I will wear business attire for nine days. It is the last day I will pack a lunch, unless I am going on a picnic. It is the last day I will rush to get ready for nine whole days. There is a lot of fun to be had! I will miss the people I work with, but I will be glad to be playing for a while.

The deadline for the fair entries is drawing nigh. It is hard to believe that the fair is right around the corner. I have to finish my pieces and get them framed and ready for exhibition. I so love the fair. I think a group of us is going this year, which will be incredibly fun. I can almost taste the deep fried artichoke hearts and ice cream bars.

Well, I am off to rest for my last day of work. I am sure it will be a crazy one as I try to get things ready for my absence.

Have a happy Friday!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Here is my progress on the back-stitching on Star Spangled Banner. You can really tell the difference between the parts the are back-stitched and those yet to be stitched. The back stitched parts are bolder and crisper. As you can see, I have gotten a lot done.

Two, count 'em, two days are all that stand between me and vacation. Liesl has been kind of restless and fidgety at work this week so I think she knows that vacation is coming. Friday will be the last time that my alarm clock goes off for nine days. I am so excited.

I had to giggle earlier, because Liesl was "talking" to me. I talk to her a lot and she is a very smart and verbal little dog. So tonight she came running out of the bedroom and had to tell me something. She looks so serious as she is speaking in a low, kinda growley sounding voice. She is always a bit animated, so I really wish that I could understand what she is saying.

Liesl has not received the memo that she is a dog, and if she has, she probably ignored it. She totally thinks that she is people. She is the only dog that I know of that when a group of us meet up to go walking, not only will she greet the dogs one by one, she has to go say hello to their people, too. At the end of the workday, she does what I call her "farewell tour" of the office. We can not leave until she has walked the halls to say goodbye to each and every one of her peeps at work. I wish I could say that I am in charge, but really I am just holding on to the other end of the leash...

Off to dream vacation dreams...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Three More Days Until Vacation! Whoohoo!

Oy vey! I am really ready for vacation to start. I am a bit overwhelmed with everything I need to set into place at work before I go. I do not like to leave any additional work for anyone else, so I make sure that everything is taken care of in advance. But I will say that I am at the point where I am waking up tired and I am looking a bit worn out. I am looking forward to nine glorious days of playtime.

Well, the ladybugs seem to be doing their jobs. I see a few less of them which means that they have eaten all that is available and move on. I did not think this could be possible until I went and looked at my favorite rose bush. Up until a couple of days ago, it was totally infested with aphids. Today it was as clean as a whistle. Also, my lettuce is looking much healthier. Ladybugs are ravenous and each one can eat up to 50 bugs in one day.

My new books that I received last week are calling to me. On Saturday, I do have one unbreakable plan that I am looking forward to, but other than that I may sit in one of my Adirondack chairs with a glass of cherry Kool Aid and a small schnauzer and read these books cover to cover as my first order of vacation business. I am thinking that I might like to try my hand at designing a sampler and I would love to incorporate some of these sampler symbols and motifs into it.

If you are ever bored and want to spend some time surfing online, check out Better Homes and Gardens webpage at Wow! There is so much information and really great ideas that are simple and economical. I decided to check it out after reading one of their magazines recently. One of the nice ladies at work passes her magazines on to me when she is done with them. I had one sitting in the office for the past few months. I was without a book the other day and read the magazine cover to cover on my lunch hour. There were so many great things in the issue that I have it sitting on my desk at home because there are recipes and gardening tips that I want to try. Their web page is just as great!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ladybug, Ladybug, Fly Away Home...

Ahh, another great day! I am truly blessed and grateful. I had received a couple of really lovely invitations for today, but knew that I had to take today after church to get some important things done. I have five days of work before I go on vacation, so I have a feeling it is going to mean some really long days this week getting things settled at work. You know how that goes...

One of the things I had to take care of was going to OSH to get my ladybugs. There is something crazy about buying live creatures in what is essentially a Cool Whip container, but whatever. I had to wait until after sunset to release said ladybugs, since ladybugs do not fly at night so they utilize the time to set up camp and feast on the bugs feasting on my lettuce. I felt a huge responsibility for them in the house all day. Were they too hot, too cold? Did they have enough food, etc. All was well though and I am happy to say that upon release they all looked cozy and snug as...well, you know...BTW, I will say that I was a bit disappointed by the quality of the bedding plants at OSH. Home Depot's plants are far healthier and far more vibrant in color, for a lesser price, too.

I got all of my stuff done today, whew. Ironing, bill paying, a little bit of gardening, etc. Best of all, I got to sit and stitch for two whole hours. I finally got to see "The King's Speech." It was one of the best movies I have ever seen. Love, love, love Geoffrey Rush. He makes a really good Barbosa in the Pirates movies, too.

So all in all, a really good day. Except for the fact that I had just given a certain schnauzer a full bath. She made like she had to go outside to go potty and immediately stuck her head down a gopher hole. sigh.

As I mentioned earlier, this is going to be an incredibly busy week. So I am off to bed early. I will post a photo of my stitching update in the next couple of days.

Have a great Monday!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Having A Great Weekend!

I am enjoying a wonderful weekend so far! Last night I went to see the play, "Once Upon A Mattress" (the story of the Princess & the Pea) at the 101 year old Forest Theater in Carmel. Going to the Forest Theater is a local tradition. It is an outdoor setting, where you bring your picnic dinner, a bottle of wine, and your blankets. My friend picked me up at 6:30 with a wonderful picnic dinner of cheese, bread, fruit and a beautiful bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon packed for our dinner. We got to the theater, spread out our blankets and enjoyed munching on a yummy selection of goodies. Because this is a local tradition, I also ran into a lot of people that I know, which makes it really cozy. The play was a lot of fun. The singing and dancing was great. It was so much fun! A total blast! My friend dropped me off at about 11, and I was exhausted!

I got home and spent some time, hugging and kissing Liesl to make up for being gone all evening. She forgave me and we both went to sleep at around 11:30. It was so hard to open my eyes this morning. Liesl and I slept in and awoke to a gray morning. I decided to take it slow getting up and read my book for a couple hours. Liesl decided to keep on sleeping next to me. When I had read for enough time, I looked out and saw that it was a gorgeous, sunny day, so we headed outside.

It was so gorgeous all day and I got so much done in my garden. It felt good to do the work and see the beautiful results. I never fail to be amazed at how fast I can fill up the big green recycling bins with weeds. My flowers are blooming and it is just a joy to sit there and look at all of the beautiful colors. The only thing that is bumming me out is that little bugs seem to be eating my lettuce. No bueno. I am going to try to find some ladybugs to buy in hopes that they will solve the problem. Ladybugs are an ecological way to deal with garden pests. They have a ravenous appetite for little buggies. I don't use poison for several reasons--environmental, safety and most of all, because I have a little dog that enjoys the garden as much as I do and I want her to be perfectly safe.

No stitching today, but that was okay. My house is clean, my laundry is almost done, and I feel like I have accomplished so much today. I spent the evening playing with my little furgirl. She cracked me up because I had my grocery basket on the floor from unloading groceries earlier. She very purposefully picked up her stuffed ladybug, one of her very favorite toys and put it in the basket and then started to look for something else to put in there. She was smiling and looking very proud of herself. I wondered if it was because she sees me picking up her toys every day and putting them in her toy basket. She is something else. LOL She got lots of attention tonight and then insisted on her nightly tummy rub so that she could go to sleep. She is not spoiled, I am just well trained. LOL

Hope you are having a fun weekend, too!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I Love Thursday Nights!

Thursday is one of my very favorite nights of the week! It is knitting night and a time I get to gather with some of my very favorite people, including my daughter. Tonight the organizer, Heidi had her Mom visiting us. She decided to make us dinner tonight, complete with fancy napkins. It was delicious. Most of us had shown up weary, tense and stressed from a busy week, and by the end of the evening, we were all relaxed and comfortable. A yummy dinner, time with the girls, and really good conversation. We even talk very politely about politics, which is really rather cool. Tonight the 40's and up talked about all of the amazing things that have happened in our lifetimes - the walk on the moon, the fall of the Berlin Wall, etc. We have lived during an interesting time.

I only have one more week to go and then Liesl and I are on vacation. I am still finalizing our plans for fun and adventure. Liesl loves vacation. Schnauzers are fun motivated, so vacation is up at the tippy top of the fun pyramid. I will say that Liesl is actually one of the more mellow mini schnauzers that you will find. She goes with the flow, whether we are on a long car trip or just sleeping in late. She is a great vacation companion!

Well, I am off to sleep. I have a full day of work tomorrow and fun plans tomorrow evening!

Have a great Friday!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

This Book Makes Me So Happy!

I got my other book that I ordered today in the mail. This one cost me $.71 plus $3 or $4 postage. I love this book. It is a hardback and in basically new condition. It has lots of photographs and talks about the old kitchen linens, like the stitched towels on the cover. It also includes the vibrantly colored print towels, the souvenir dish towels with the map of a state with it's tourist destinations, or the knitted potholder. This book makes it clear that it is not about the fancy linen. It is about what it describes as the workhorses of the kitchen. It is so comforting to look at. I am going to be on vacation soon, and this is one of the books I want to be sure to read!

My BFF called me tonight, and I was telling her how much I love this book. She knows that I love all household things vintage. She said that she can totally see me in a totally vintage decorated little cottage and garden. There is something so comforting about pretty retro things.

Apparently, there is a company called Aunt Martha's that make iron on transfers of these vintage designs. I know I have seen them in my local craft store. They are in a bright yellow envelope. There are some very cute designs. I shall have to see if there are some schnauzers. Schnauzers and Scotties were used in a lot of vintage designs. It is probably the rectangular shaped head, pointy ears and beard that has a distinct design element. A lot of people get them mixed up, but the best way to tell in a design is that Scotties have shorter, thicker legs. Schnauzers have longer, thinner legs. Even in person, Liesl gets called a Scottie all the time by people who do not know her. BTW, if I am looking for a specific schnauzer item, I will usually search Scottie, and inevitably there will be a schnauzer in there somewhere...

Well, I have a huge presentation to make before all of the managers at work tomorrow. Wish me luck! So I am off to get my beauty sleep...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Oy Vey! What A Day!

It was not a bad day at all, just a cold one. It started last night. I had to wear woolie socks and put an extra blanket on the bed. Brrrrr. Liesl even slept on the bed all night. Usually, she gets hot so she will go sleep in her own bed during the night. I woke up this morning and she was curled up behind my knees.

I think the quick weather change caused me to have a big honkin' headache today, which fortunately is a rare occurrence. Add on top of that my being cold. (I hate to be cold!) My headache kept getting worse and worse all day. Around three, I decided that I should have a plan for how to make myself feel better when I got home after work, so I pictured a dream evening so I would have something to look forward to. Here is my plan and how I implemented it:

I decided to leave at 5, no staying late tonight, because I knew I could not be effective at my work. I thought that I did not want to cook when I got home, so I picked up comfort food on my way. Did you know Jack in the Box has Bacon Cheddar Potato Wedges? Nor did I! All of my fave food groups! LOL I got an order and a taco. I came home, put on my jammies and warm socks, turned on the heat, made some sugar free chocolate milk, put "Despicable Me" in my DVD player, ate my dinner and then stitched. Liesl must have had a headache, too, because she has been asleep all evening and did not even eat her dinner. She is curled up with her new stuffed bumblebee, sound asleep...

When I first arrived home, I saw that my book that I ordered last week had arrived. Yay! I have wanted this book for so long. It is the size of a typical craft book and about 100 pages or so. There are nice, color pictures in it. The diagrams are all in color. What I find really useful is the inclusion of some international symbols as well. It is a good value for the less than $10 I paid for it. For the original $35, I had envisioned something a bit thicker as more of a reference. I do like the history the motifs and why they would appear in stitched pieces.

So all in all, it ended up being a good day. My evening was like a perfect little mini vacation and I am happy to say the headache is easing up a bit. I will walk extra tomorrow to deal with the comfort food. I am grateful for the peace tonight. I am also thinking after watching Despicable Me, that I need cute little minions to do my housework. Just sayin'...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Gardening Sunday!

I was out of control this morning. I started the day thinking about lavender and how lovely it would look lining my driveway. Of course, this meant that a trip to Home Depot was imminent. Yay! There was not any Spanish Lavender available, so I got English Lavender instead at $3.33 a plant. I am actually glad that it turned out that way because the English smells so pretty. I think it will look lovely when it grows out. We actually get our hot weather around the end of August through early November, so I think it will grow pretty fast.

Across the aisle from the lavender were the bedding plants. There was a 6 pk of the happiest looking little yellow zinnias that I knew I had to have for $1.99. They are just so darling. So $20 later, I had a garden's worth of plants in the back of my PT Cruiser. I came home and put the lavender in right away. I have decided that gardening is addictive because I was having so much fun that I went ahead and cleared another bed and planted potatoes. I also did a little tidying up in the yard before going inside to stitch. I had a wonderful afternoon back stitching away.

I was doing okay until Liesl had to go out after dinner. I went out with her and sat in one of my Adirondack chairs, which gives a view of the whole garden. While I was sitting there surveying my queendom, I saw the perfect spot where the zinnias should go. They also needed some salvia around them as contrast. So I planted the salvia, too. This led to my wanting to get more lettuce started. I was on FIAH! LOL I can't just go out there and do one thing.

I am going to have to just close my eyes when I am watering during the week so I do not get started again. LOL I will say that it is really good exercise and I am starting to get muscly arms. I am actually getting to the point where the back of my legs do not hurt anymore. I am sure that the fresh air is healthy and it basically keeps me out of trouble. I am getting a nice tan and my hair is getting strawberry blonde in the sunlight. On the downside, my feet are always dirty and I have soil under my fingernails. Oh well, before you know it the rainy season will be upon us and I will stuck inside, missing it.

Enjoy your Monday!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I think the world is a much better place because of all of the wonderful women that I know that I get to call my friends. They are all just so lovely, smart, and absolutely true blue. Tonight I got to go have dinner with my best friend. She has been travelling in Europe with her hubby the last few weeks so I was pleased that we were able to catch up. It was cool to hear about their journey and the things that they saw.

The lace piece above is actually a tablecloth that she brought for me from Spain. It is so pretty and has a lot of embroidery as well. It came with four matching napkins and I said that we will have to have a tea party. It was so kind of her to think of me. This is something that I will always consider one of my treasures.

It is funny because we usually spend quite a bit of time talking at dinner. Tonight our conversations ranged from travel to religion, to shoes on clearance, to our dogs, to Christopher Columbus to the Ottoman Empire. It is pretty cool when you can have that range of subjects in a short span of time. We also laugh our heads off.

Thank goodness for friends! They bring so much joy to life!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Today was a wonderful end of a great weekend! I woke up to a gorgeous day and headed right outside after my cup of tea. I got to garden and got myself all inspired to get a bunch of gardening accomplished in addition to my full social calendar today. I weeded, cut plants back, and planted some bedding plants. It was looking pretty great. I knew a trip to the wonderland that is Home Depot was going to be in my near future.

I worked away with a small dog in tow, until before I knew it was time to clean up to meet my pastor/friend for lunch. We had planned a special lunch to celebrate the holiday. She is an absolutely wonderful person and really interesting to talk to. We both love classic literature and love to talk about books. The classic story line truly stands the test of time. We had a leisurely lunch and then I headed home, but stopped at Home Depot on the way. I love HD, and the people that work there are just so incredibly helpful. They have 6 packs of bedding plants for $2, which is where I usually stock up. I was looking at some individual lavender plants which were $3.33 each. I must have shown on my face that it was too much, because the nice lady told me that she had zonal geraniums for $1.50 each. Yay! I also got the color bowl above for a special price of $7.99. I could not make one for that. I got one for my neighbor, too.

I immediately got changed back into my gardening clothes when I got back home. I knew I had two hours until my next social fun, so I was eager to put my new flowers in the ground. I had to crack up, while I was working in a raised bed. A certain schnauzer kept coming up and sticking her head under my armpit so that I would give her a kiss on her head. She would pull her head back out and have a big smile like she was so clever. She makes me laugh.

I think that I have shared before that I totally love my neighborhood. It is kind of old school where we all know each others names and watch out for each others houses. My neighbors are all about my age. (Young! LOL) It is funny because if we want or need to talk to each other we do not knock on the door. We talk over the back fence. This is how we let each other know if there is a stranger in the neighborhood or racoons spotted in the yards at night, etc. Last night, I was watering my yard when my wonderful neighbor popped up on his side of the fence. They are a beautiful family and a joy to have as neighbors. Anyway, we were chatting about the holiday and he mentioned that they were having a big backyard barbecue this evening with lots of friends and that they wanted to invite me. I was thrilled. So I headed over with my flowers for them this evening. I had a delightful time and got to make lots of new friends. It was awesome. Such good food, too!

When I got home, my BFF called me to say that they were just putting hamburgers on the grill for an impromptu BBQ and could I come over. I told her that I was all partied out. LOL I would have loved to go over to see her, but I was super tired and figured I should probably get back into work mode. It has been a great weekend, but it will be nice to get back to work.

It was a good 4th of July. I am so thankful for such a great weekend. Tomorrow we will get back to talking stitching!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

First Tomatoes Of Summer!!!

Whoohoo! My very first tomatoes of the season! I did not see them until I was watering tonight. They are kinda buried down in the plant. They are so pretty! I was so excited when I saw them.

Today was yet another magical day! It started early this morning when Liesl decided to cuddle up to me in her sleep. This is kind of a rare event. She either sleeps in her own bed or at the foot of the bed closest to the door so she can protect me, I gather. So I really treasure it when she cuddles. It is comforting. It is like starting the day with a loving hug.

Last night I got an email from one of my friends from church. She said that her husband had gone to the races and had discarded NASCAR tires, and would I like one. Now I have to tell you, I have had a vision of a NASCAR tire table in my yard by putting a piece of glass on top. Her hubby came to check with me this morning to see if I wanted a tire. I told him that I would definitely appreciate it and that I was going to make a table out of it. He said that he was pretty sure he also had a piece of glass that would probably work, too. Is that too cool or what?!

By the time I got home, it was already getting hot. I figured it would be too hot to cook later so I made dinner in my crockpot. Then I headed out to my new chairs with a sandwich for lunch. It was so comfy and the wood in the chairs soaks up the heat. I took my book out there, but soon realized that my little bee hunter was snapping at bees. sigh. I decided to avert disaster and brought her inside.

I must have gotten a bee in my bonnet, (LOL) because I decided to move my furniture around. I love what I did, so it was good that I came in. My house looks so cute now. I also finally programmed my dvd player to my Comcast remote.

I was doing my daily surf of Amazon after all of that activity. I was looking for free books again, but nothing of interest today. While I was on, I poked about on the site. There is a book that about sampler motifs that I have wanted for several years. However, it is $35, and too much for me to spend. Well, today I happened to see that that one of their sellers was selling a used one for $9.73! There was also another book I have wanted about vintage designs which is normally about $14. Again, too much. Today, I saw that there was a used one for $.71! Of course, I ordered them. I can not wait for them to get here! I am so excited. I have had really good luck with their sellers (and have saved a bundle on used textbooks!)

So now the house is quiet. Liesl is asleep and I am off to read a good book by Amy Tan. I love everything she has ever written. It is a good evening for reading. Have a safe and fun 4th of July!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Awesome Saturday!

When we woke up this morning it was kind of a gray and bleak looking day. Liesl decided the best way to deal with this was to get up just long enough to fix herself up on the sofa to take a nap. I decided to putter. I had bought some cute things for the house at Marshall's this week, like cute little decorative shower curtain hooks for $4.99, so it was a good time to put everything in its new place. I love puttering around the house on a Saturday.

Finally, I decided that since I had mistakenly not bought the magical chairs that put themselves together, I should probably get to work. The boxes have been sitting in my entry way for over a month. This was not entirely my fault. We have had strange rain on and off during the month, so I did not want to put them out in the rain to warp. I was impressed that the instructions really made assembly easy and it only took me about three hours or so to get them both built. It was nice and sunny by the time the first one was done so I laid down in the sun for a while. They are super comfy and will be easy to doze off in. I got the all weather outdoor pillows on clearance at Target for about $5 each. Now I will paint the chairs red.

Okay, I am probably the last one to know this. However, I was doing my daily surf on Amazon for free books for my Kindle the other day. I happened to look to the left side of the screen and I noticed that Amazon is now giving their customers 5G of storage space on the cloud. This is totally cool. It is a great way to store your photos or music (obviously no confidential documents.) They say that 5G is 1000 songs. I am thinking of uploading photos so they can be kept totally safe in case of a crash or worse yet, if there is a natural disaster where I lost my backup drive. I thought it was pretty cool.

Well, off to my next adventure. Have a happy day!