Thursday, June 30, 2011

Almost There To The Weekend!

Oh, my goodness. Can you believe tomorrow is the first of July already?! I have to say that I am looking forward to the three day weekend. I am still tired from Sunday and could use at least one day to sleep in. It is supposed to be gorgeous here this weekend, so it should be a fun one!

As you can see, I have finished the words! Now on to the border and backstitching detail on the star. It should go quickly. The words were harder because I had to pull, several rows out. It is all in alignment now, but I was pretty bummed when it happened. I was not sure who to be mad at, the pattern or myself. In the end, I just decided to fix it. Lesson learned.

Okay, so I have a new love. Last week, I set up the downloadable Netflix. I do not watch a lot of movies so I never felt the need to have Netflix. As one of my friends said at knitting tonight, "Two hours is a big commitment." I tend to like to do a lot of things in the evenings and putter or read, as do my friends. So a television show or two fits my entertainment needs. Well, last weekend, since my daughter was puppy sitting, I said that I would set it up for her, since I have the most basic of cable. Everyone at work is always talking about the shows on Netflix. Several people have told me that they have not had cable in years because Netflix has such good stuff on. They are always talking about the shows and documentaries.

I felt with the free 30 day trial I had nothing to lose, so I set it all up. It has all the shows like Glee and Lost that I have been meaning to watch. Being an accountant and linear in my thinking, I can't watch shows out of order, so now I can watch them from the beginning. Plus it has British comedies and all sorts of interesting shows. I am hooked on a British comedy called, "The IT Crowd" about two guys who run the IT department of a company in the basement. It is totally hilarious and a bit absurd. Right up my alley. I may end up just getting rid of cable like my friends.

Well, I am off to go to bed early. It has been a long week!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Race Day, Part Deux

After all of our walking around, we made our way to our seats. One of the nice things about this track is that they let you bring in your coolers of soda and such. (In fact, there are a lot of helpers on golf carts driving around to assist older people and those who need assistance walking. While we were bringing our cooler up the hill, one stopped and said that he was not driving anyone at the moment, so we could hop in and he would take us up to the track from the parking lot since we had a big load to carry!) It is a long time in the sun, so having water and soft drinks on ice is a good thing. They also let you bring in snacks, sandwiches, etc. The crowds are generally families so it is safe to leave your cooler and seat cushions at your seats. We were in one of the tight turns, Turn 7, and were glad to sit down and watch the Blue Angels perform their aerial acrobatics. Breath-taking!

It was very cool to see the driver introductions. First they are introduced on the Jumbo-trons, and then they are driven around the track for the crowds. Tony, Jr, Jeff Gordon, and Jimmy Johnson are huge crowd favorites and get huge cheers. Kyle Busch, not so much...LOL So here are Tony and Jr during driver intros. I think Tony saw me in the crowd and made sure to wave.
The next thing on the agenda was the Invocation and National Anthem. The posting of the colors was done by driving it around the track while everyone was standing.
The Star Spangled Banner was next, during which we had our fly over. It was so cool!
Then John Ratzenberger (Cliff from Cheers) got to say the most famous words in motor sports, "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!" and it was time to race!

Here they come with the pace car in front:
And there they go!
Here is Smoke leading laps. Unfortunately, it was short lived. If you watched the race you know that Tony got wrecked and had to sit and wait for his car to get pulled off the wall. His crew tried to restore the car to finish the race but it was not to be. He made another lap and almost barely made it out of our turn. He did wave to us in the crowd, which I thought was pretty awesome of him, given that he had to not be very happy at that point.

Kurt Busch ended up winning the race. The cool thing about NASCAR fans is that you do not see them walking away mad because their guy did not win. They put that aside and cheer for the winner. Everyone stood and clapped as Kurt made his victory lap. Here he is going the wrong way with the checkered flag.
The race was cool and we had such a good time. But it was not over yet. There was still tailgating! Infineon (the old Sears Point Raceway) has one road in and one road out. If you get into your car afterward, you are just going to sit for an hour or more without getting out of the parking lot at all. So make the wait fun!

This year my friends had just bought a new travel trailer so they brought that with them. After sitting in the sun and heat, it was so nice to go into the air-conditioned trailer and relax on comfortable furniture. We barbecued, and ate a wonderful dinner that we had all contributed to. It was the perfect way to end the day. We talked about the race and waited out the traffic so comfortably.

It is about a 3 to 3 1/2 hour trip back to the Monterey Peninsula. I got in at 10:15 (and my head hit the pillow at 10:20!) I have to say the very best part of the perfect day, was coming home to puppy kisses and cuddles. (for those who wonder how Liesl spent her day, you can read about it on my daughter's blog. She took some lovely photos of Liesie, too!)

If you have ever wanted to go to a NASCAR race, I encourage you to do so! The prices are actually quite reasonable in comparison with other sporting events. NASCAR is a family sport so they keep the prices down so the whole family can go. There are lots of packages. I still have to save for several months for my ticket, but it gives me something to look forward to. It is a full day of activity, too! It is so much fun and great to share with friends!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!!!!!!

Yesterday was up there in one of the best days ever! It was my second trip with a group of friends from work to Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA to see Tony Stewart and the other racers of NASCAR drive the road course there.

My day started at 3 am, waking up and getting ready for my 4am carpool to show for the first leg of the trip. We met up with the rest of the party at 5am and arrived at the racetrack at about 7:30am. If you have never been to a race, there is almost a fair or carnival feel to the place starting early in the morning. We got parked, and headed out to where the trailers are where you can shop, get info, or meet a driver if you are lucky. Here is David Reutiman, driver of the 00 car, signing autographs for the fans:

One thing that totally impresses me about a visit to the racetrack, is that fans are treated really well. From the moment you enter the parking lot, you are treated with respect and courtesy, and people are really nice. I have to say that they do everything possible to make it a good experience. The prices on souvenirs and food are low and reasonable.

Here is Tony's trailer. (That is a random person posing in front of it and not a part of our party.)

Since we went in a group, we had a package that included a Q & A with Jeff Gordon that started at 9 am. He is so down to earth and such a gentleman. He is a total class act. You can not help but be a fan of his.

Afterwards, we all wandered over to watch the cars undergo inspection. It is amazing to see those famous cars close up! The colors are so bright and amazing. Here is Carl Edwards' car being pushed out by his crew:

We just happened to be in the right place at the right time, because we were standing in the right place as the driver meeting got out and we had the legends of the sport passing withing 4 feet of us! Unfortunately, my shutter speed is too slow on my camera so my photos are sorta sad. Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. walked right by me!!!! Here is a photo of Jr walking away because my camera was not fast enough:

Here is one of the greatest drivers ever and five time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson. He was looking right at me, and my camera was again too slow. Oh well... Anyway, we said hi and he gave us a friendly wave, which I thought was pretty nice.


We figured that we had better get our sodas and snacks from the vehicle and head to our seats. On the way, I stopped at the Sprint tent where I got to see this! The actual Sprint Cup! It is awesome!

I realize that this post is really long tonight and since I did not get home until 10:15 last night, I am going to sign off for now and go to sleep. Tomorrow night I promise to post photos of the actual race! It was such a cool day!

Friday, June 24, 2011

It's The Weekend! Yay!!!!

Well, my power drill is a chargin'. Apparently, I did not purchase Adirondack chairs that build themselves, so it is time for me to cowgirl up and assemble them. I bought them Memorial Day weekend, and figure that I had better get them put together before the Fourth of July. I have the paint and everything so I am ready to roll. I can't wait to sit and stitch in one. I have visions of sipping lemonade with my feet up, sitting in a red Adirondack chair.

Okay, so my yogurt was a big hit this week. I just grabbed a yogurt container and fruit in the morning for my mid-morning snack. It was so delicious and I found out that a certain mini schnauzer loves yogurt. She kept sitting licking her puppy lips whenever I was having some, so I ended up giving her a small serving each time. She was pretty happy and I figure it is probably good for her, too. I have to make some more yogurt tomorrow. I may have to try cheese-making, next.

After work I was able to get a couple of hours of yard work done. I have one really stubborn area that I had to take a shovel to to weed. But it is all clear. It has a great deal of shade under trees and I happen to have some extra impatiens. I think that they will go perfectly there. The impatiens that I planted last week in another shaded part of the yard are growing like crazy. They are spreading out and already have more flowers and buds. They are obviously happy where they are. They are happy flowers and really give a burst of color, particularly in a dark part of the yard.

I have to "hill" my potatoes, too. They have enough leaves that I have to create hills of dirt around them so that the potatoes have room to grow. I start with two inches of dirt hill around each cluster of leaves and keep building upon the hills over the next few weeks. I can not wait for my first harvest!

I am off to do a little stitching before heading off to dreamland. Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Back In The Saddle Again!

Whoohoo! I feel so much better! I was happy to be back at work today with all of my work homies. I love going to work. Firstly, I am grateful that I have a job. Secondly, I am happy that I have a meaningful job that I really enjoy doing. I feel like I am missing something if I miss work.

I did not want to take the chance of sharing any germs with my knitting circle, so I stayed home tonight. I have a busy weekend ahead, so I figured I would just clean the cozy cottage and stitch. After knitting ended, my dear daughter over at texted me to let me know that my awesome friends had put together a care package of yummy food from dinner tonight. She says she will deliver it tomorrow. I am lucky to know such nice people. What a thoughtful thing to do.

I stitched and finished another line of the Star Spangled Banner. Two more to go. The border is easy. It is just a lot of color changing. So I think I will just load three needles with red, white and blue. That way I do not have to keep stopping to re-thread.

Well, I think it is time for me to drift off to sleep to the sound of soft puppy snores. She has had a full day of catching up with her friends and acting cute for treats. It must be exhausting work...LOL

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Flu At The Cozy Cottage

Whoa, Nelly. Despite all of us having flu shots, with the exception of two people in my office, all of us have fallen to a rotten flu bug. Today was my turn. I had gotten up and was nearly ready for work when I felt totally flush with fever. Even my toes felt hot. I love my job and really hate it when I have to miss work. But I knew that I had to go back to bed. I actually slept until noon, which is totally crazy to me, and the only reason I woke up was because a certain schnauzer was alerting the whole neighborhood to the fact that the garbage people were "stealing" the garbage.

Mostly I watched really bad daytime television this afternoon, but I did stitch a little. I just have a few more words to do, then I can move on to the red, white and blue border. I think it is lovely. I have already picked out my next project, a blackwork project, so I will be glad to have this one done. I included my little hand painted pumpkin needle minder at the bottom. I finally found this again after a couple of years of looking for it. Apparently, it had attached itself to a metal bobbin in my thread drawer and had just blended in, I had to make a repair to a pair of black pants this week, and stumbled upon it in my search for black thread. I am so glad to have it back. It is so cute. I had bought it in a little shop in Carmel, which has long since closed. It makes me happy.

I am often reminded of how truly fortunate I am and I count my blessings daily. Today I just feel so fortunate for my friends and all of the great people in my life. I had sent an email to my knitting group, which is comprised on old and new friends, letting them know that I will probably have to miss tomorrow night's gathering. I do not want to spread germs to someone else's home. I immediately received emails offering to bring anything I need, including ice cream. I truly have amazing friends, who are just so kind, caring, funny and awesome.

I am so grateful for all of the love that I am blessed with. I have a great family, a beautiful little dog, wonderful friends, awesome co-workers, and a loving church family. I feel fortunate to be able to share good times and bad with each of them. I think that in general, you may find one or two truly good friends in a lifetime. I have been blessed with more than I can count, and the circle continues to grow. Life is truly good.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Super Sunday

Just a quick post tonight, I am aching and tired from gardening this afternoon. I got so much done and it looks beautiful. But I am totally paying for it!

Today was a perfect day. We are really having wonky weather here. It rained here again last night. We normally do not have any rain past March or April. It is wreaking havoc with allergies! It was gray and cold as I was getting ready for church, but while I was in church the beginnings of our heat wave started. It was the first sunny weekend day in about a month. It is supposed to be really hot here this week. Oy vey!

I really just want to share that my yogurt turned out perfectly! You basically let it sit in the warm unit for about 11 hours, then refrigerate. I had to taste it and it was better than store bought. Great flavor and smooth texture. I will have to make Liesl's pupsicles tomorrow. With the heat wave in store, this will be perfect timing. I am just going to make a half batch to make sure she likes it.

One last happy note of the day. I had to go to Target today to buy a gift. I was also picking up a few other items. I must have taken a short cut through the soda aisle (because I generally don't drink soda.) I had to put on the brakes and stop because my eyes fell on one of my favorite treats ever-Mexican Coca Cola. It is a wonderful thing because it is made with cane sugar and comes in a glass bottle. It tastes just like the Coca Cola from my childhood in the 1960's before high-fructose corn syrup. It was a little pricey at $1.49 a bottle. I bought two bottles though to keep in the refrigerator as a special treat on a really hot day. I am a happy girl.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Super Fun Day!

I think I have shared in the past that Saturdays are the day that I really treasure. It is the only day of the week that totally belongs to me. So I keep Saturdays as my day that is totally fun. Sometimes it is my alone time, and sometimes it is my day to enjoy friends and family. Many times it is a day to play with my stitchy toys, read, garden, and take naps with Liesl.

Today, as with most Saturdays, started with our weekly trip to the dog beach in Carmel. It is a leash free beach, so Liesl gets a two mile walk where she can be free to run and play with other dogs. This tuckers her out and leads to a quiet day for both of us! Afterwards, I did my grocery shopping and headed home to give the furgirl her bath. All of this got done by 11 am so I had the rest of the day to putter.

I truly love puttering around the cozy cottage. Today, since I needed to clean out the fridge, I decided to make minestrone to use up all of the veggies that were coming close to the end of their life span. I even put the Swiss Chard from my BFF's garden into the soup. I used up pretty much all of the leftover veggies and the soup came out beautifully. Yum. I have about four quarts. I was in a cooking mood, so I also boiled eggs for the week and baked a lovely cranberry-orange bread, so I could use the frozen cranberries from the holidays.

By this time, I was out of control. I decided to make yogurt. I have never made yogurt, and I am embarrassed to admit that I have a yogurt maker that I have had for 10 years that I have never ever used. I had read an article this week about groceries for $4 a day, which talked about not buying processed foods and making a lot of the extras yourself. This included yogurt. I got all inspired. I make a lot of smoothies for breakfast. They are delicious, filling, and I have 3-4 servings of fruit first thing in the day. I have been wanting to add yogurt to them, but I have been out. It is super easy to make.

To top it off, I get these daily dog tips emailed to me from I get really great tips from them. They had a recipe for doggie popsicles that included yogurt. So now I was super inspired to try making yogurt. I like making some of my own dog treats. One of the guys at work talks about the fact that we should read the labels on dog treats like we read labels on people food. He pointed out that many dog treats are high in sugar and salt, and really not good for dogs. So I like when I can have a little more control over what goes into a treat. These are pretty pure and simple!

Here is the recipe from Dogster for doggie popsicles:
2 mashed bananas
1 cup strawberries
1 cup organic apple juice
2 cups plain yogurt

Puree in blender, pour into ice cube trays and freeze for at least an hour.

Well, I am off to read my book. I washed the sheets today and I believe that clean sheets are one of the best things in the world! A perfect end of a perfect day!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Today was a crazy day. I had an accounting software upgrade and training, a couple of meetings, I was busy every minute of the day but felt like I got nothing done. We are also back to cold weather. By the time I got home tonight, I just wanted to crawl into bed with my book. Since I had other responsibilities which included feeding a small, hungry dog, I had to put book readin' to the side until a few minutes from now.

After I got the responsibilities taken care of, I sat down and stitched. I feel like I am so close to being done. I like big projects a lot. In fact, I prefer them. However, I will be glad when this one is done and I can move on to another project. It was nice though to sit down and watch my news shows and a rerun of Deadliest Catch and get some more work done on it.

I have a very cute Liesl story to share: Liesl's very most favorite game is hide n' seek. She loves to hide and she loves when I hide her cookies and let her hunt for them. Yesterday morning, we were on our morning walk before work. She was walking behind me on the leash, as usual. Liesl tends to dilly-dally in the morning, smelling the p-mail to find out the news in the neighborhood. All of the sudden I felt a tug on the line, meaning she stopped. Usually this is because she has stopped to go potty.

I turned around to see why she stopped and I see that she is standing behind a pole. The pole was the typical pole that speed limit signs or street signs are posted on. Then I see that she is standing perfectly still. Her little head is totally hidden by the sign but her body is sticking out on either side of the pole. That is when I realized that she was hiding from me in a "if I can't see you then you can't see me" kind of way. I started laughing and then said, "Where is Liesie? Where could she be?" which is what I say when we play hide and seek. She came dashing out with a big smile on her face, like she thought she was hilarious. Then she continued off in a happy little trot.

Mini schnauzers are known for their sense of humor (and drama.) I think Liesl may be the funniest one around though...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Another Awesome Day!

It was another warm and sunny day. Work went well today and I got a lot accomplished. Best of all, the book I have been waiting for forever at the library came in. I got my little email from them to come pick it up. Yay. After work, I jetted over to my favorite library in Carmel to get it. I feel the need to make the trip extra worth the while, so I always pick up several weeks worth of books in one trip. I had my little shopping list ready to go. I must be living right because I found a parking spot right out front, which is actually pretty impossible with it being tourist season right now.

Walking out of the library with a bag full of books pretty much feels like Christmas to me. It fills me with a joy and giddiness that I just can not explain. My happiness carried me all of the way home. I played in my garden for a little while and inspected how my last weeks planting is proceeding. My lettuce has little tiny sprouts. So cute. Some time ago, one of my friends at work gave me purple potato seeds. He said that they make mashed potatoes that look like they are from outer space. I planted them last week and I am happy to report that they have green sproutings. Yay! I can not go out into the garden without making plans of the next five things I want to do. LOL. I make myself tired just thinking about it.

After playing with Liesie and giving her the nightly rinse off (It is working great! She slept through the night last night!) I puttered around the cozy cottage and then settled down to work on the Star Spangled Banner. I think it is looking great! It will really look fantastic when I get the border done. There is still a lot of detail work to do on the star, but all in due time. Right now the focus is on finishing the letters, which I hope will be done by the end of the weekend.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What A Great Day!

Today was beautiful! The sun was finally out and it was so warm. Four days ago I had the heat on because it was so cold. Tonight after work I had on shorts. Go figure.

I think Liesl's little allergy issue may be coming under control, thankfully. She spent a lot of yesterday sneezing, so she got another Benadryll last night so she could get some sleep, the poor thing. I also rinsed her paws really good in the bathtub before she went to bed. It seemed to help. She chewed on them quite a bit less today. I also had an epiphany today when we were on our morning walk. She was nose to the ground, as usual, and dragging her beard. That was when it hit me that she probably picks up a lot of pollen in that beard in the yard. So I got a warm washcloth and washed her face before we left for work. I made sure I got her nose and corners of her eyes, too. She did not sneeze very much today. Yay! One of the guys at work said that he just saw an article on dogs and their allergies so he is going to pass it on to me.

Today was one of those amazing days at work when the day just flows. I got a lot done and felt really good about it. I even had a few different people tell me that I am awesome today. That felt so good. I work with really wonderful people that I have so much respect for, so to have them say such wonderful things really feels nice. The other cool thing that happened was that my friend at work just got back from Charlotte, North Carolina and brought me a bag of goodies from Tony Stewart's shop there, including a little cardboard cut out of Tony for my desk. She got to go to the NASCAR Hall of Fame there and said it was so cool. Someday...

So I am stitching tonight. I was looking forward to gardening after work, but I was so tired. I tidied up the cozy cottage, gave Liesl her rinsing off, and sat down with needle and thread. I will post a photo in the next few days. Doing a craft that I love is the perfect way to end a beautiful day. I am so grateful for every minute of it!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Quiet Sunday

It was yet again another cold and dreary day. Until 7pm, that is. I kid you not. After a weekend of cold, wind and drizzle, the sun came out at 7pm. We are supposed to have a heat wave this week. Oy vey. We are dealing with some weird weather.

I was watching the CBS Evening News about a month ago, and there was a story about how this has been the worst year in a long time for allergies. They went on to say that it has also been a horrible year for allergies in dogs. I can attest to this myself. Poor Liesl has had a horrible time recently. Her front paws are stained from her licking them so much. Her wonderful vet said that front paw licking is allergies, probably pollen related. Last night she had a horrible night of sneezing and paw licking. I even got up and held her for a while. This is a sign that she was not feeling well, because that is just not her thing. She sees herself as a big dog who should not be held on a lap.

I had gotten ready for church this morning, and I saw her just noisily licking and chewing her front paws. She just looked so uncomfortable and pitiful. I knew I could not leave her and had to do something to make her feel better right away. The vet and I have an agreed upon dosage of Benadryll (never give medicine to you dog without talking to your vet!) It seemed to help her and she was able to sleep all day. She seems to have perked up this evening. I think I will rinse her little paws off at the end of each day going forward. Maybe that will help with the paw licking.

I stayed put on the sofa with her today. I knew that she needed to get some sleep, plus if a dog has Benadryll in their system you are not supposed to let them jump on and off furniture or get on the stairs, because they can seriously injure themselves. So I moved as little as possible so she would rest. This was not a bad thing since I got to read my final Philippa Gregory queen book about Mary Queen of Scots. I love her books. I have learned a lot about British history.

I also got to stitch a lot today. I only have about four more rows to do of the lettering and I will be able to move on to the border. This piece is really large. I am already thinking about the framing. I have an idea in my mind of what I will do. I have to start looking for frame molding.

I am actually at that point in stitching where I am starting to think about what I will stitch next. I have so many ideas going through my head. I still have to finish my pillowcases, but at the same time, I am wondering if I should so something small. I really love big projects like the one I am working on, but it would be nice to get some smalls done, too.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Okay, it has been seriously cold, windy and drizzly here. It is the middle of June and I am running my heater to keep warm. Enough, already. To top it off I have that sore throat, headachey thing that is going around. I guess that it was okay that I had to spend the day on the sofa under a blanket.

Today was Liesl's day to go to the groomer. I had been letting her hair grow out because it has been so cold. Putting a sweater on her would only bring on a full dramatic episode complete with terrier Greek chorus, so I had to wait. She was starting to look like a ragamuffin, so I had to take her in today. She looks so dramatically different when she is groomed. She looks stout when she is all curly, but looks kind of fragile and really small when she gets all shaved down. Because she gets to live an active doggie life doing things like going to the beach, running around on my friends' ranch, and digging for gophers in the backyard, the groomer gives her a little tiny skirt and hardly any feathering on her legs that can get all tangled.

There is always a little bit of a hole for me when Liesl is at the groomers for five hours. She is with me pretty much all of the time. She goes to work with me everyday, she vacations with me, gets invited to most of my friends' homes when I am invited over, and basically just trots around to where ever I am. So when she is gone I feel a little lost. I did give the house a really good vacuuming while she was out though. She usually attacks the vacuum (it is growling at her.) So this was my big chance to really clean out the rug. My groomer said that all of her clients say the same thing. LOL

After I picked Liesl up she was exhausted from her day of beauty and I was sick so we snuggled on the sofa. She slept all afternoon while I stitched. It ended up being okay that it was so yucky outside, because we got to rest inside. I was so glad to have her back home. She is just a precious little soul.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Knitting Circle Bacon Festival

It started innocently enough last week. We always have a little potluck dinner before every knitting circle on Thursday. It is a tradition and we all love having a nice meal together on a Thursday night. Last week we somehow got on the subject of the Denny's Festival of Bacon, which led to a member saying that she would make her bacon potato salad for this week's dinner. Then we decided that we should have BLT's, too. This led to careful consideration of other bacon delicacies and before we knew it we decided that tonight was going to be bacon night.

Oh, my goodness, the meal was incredible. My daughter made yummy homemade sourdough for the BLTs. The bacon potato salad was so good we could have wept. Everyone had seconds! I made a fancy cole slaw because we decided to break up the bacon thing just a bit. The best part though was that our newest member, who joined us for the first time last week, made chocolate dipped bacon. This was the biggest hit of the party. It was so delicious. She used thick, very crisp slices of a good bacon. Then she did the perfect ratio of dark Ghiradelli chocolate and refrigerated it. It was the perfect balance of salty, sweet, crunchy, and smooth.

Tonight was fun as a really special treat. No one even took out their knitting, we just ate our dinner and talked and laughed. It is such an awesome group of ladies and my neat friend Heidi did such a great job bringing us together. We have so much fun Thursday nights, and as Heidi says, "We aren't even using up our weekend hours yet." This girl time is crucial and is a great way to usher in Friday, whether we knit or not!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Call Of The Wild...

It was warming up all day today. I was pretty excited about coming home and putting my impatiens into one of the beds. It is in a really shady spot and last year the little flowers just flourished until the frost came. Impatiens are such happy looking little flowers so they really brightened up a dark corner of the yard.

I had been looking forward to this all day. Unfortunately, when I made it to the coast where I live, it was foggy, dark and COLD. I was just not feeling it for being out in the cold, so Liesl and I stayed inside for the evening. I was kind of bummed about it. My gardening friend and I at work have been talking about the fact that it is such great exercise. It helps me to de-stress at the end of the day and I sleep really hard at night.

I am sorta proud of myself. I was looking at my roses and thinking that they look like they need a really good feeding. I know that chemical plant food is not environmentally friendly and I am trying to reduce my carbon footprint, so I started thinking about natural foods for roses. I remembered coffee grounds, but I only make tea at home. Then I remembered that we make pots and pots of coffee at work. So I spoke with the super nice gentleman at work who makes the coffee and he is saving the grounds up all week in one can for me to take home Friday. Yay! Between this and egg shells, my roses should be gorgeous! My roses are not in a spot that is easily accessible to my furry companion so we should be okay with this alternative.

The nice thing about not gardening is that I did get to stitch tonight. It was nice and relaxing. Now I think I will go to sleep and dream about my next patch in my garden that I want to conquer. I sure miss the smell of the dirt today.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Der Klompen!

I had an interesting find today in my yard. Although I got home pretty late today, I decided to do some gardening tonight. I wanted to plant some lettuce and felt it would do better in a pot. I remembered that there was a stack of really large pots under a ledge in my yard. So I pulled out the stack. When I pulled out the top pot, I saw that these full sized wooden clogs were in the pot underneath. They were really dirty and covered with dead leaves and spider webs. They actually look like they would fit me.

Okay, here is the cool part of this story. My great grandmother was Dutch. For the past several years I have found Dutch items in really odd circumstances and places, like these shoes. I figure that is the Dutch side of the family sending a hug and letting me know that they are watching over me. Last year I made contact with my Dutch third cousin while do some genealogical research. His grandmother and my great grandmother were sisters. I had the pleasure of speaking with him a couple of times on the phone. The story that I remember the most is that he told me that when he would visit his grandparents, they would never go through the front door, they always entered through the side door. Next to the side door, were always a pair of der klompen, Dutch clogs. I think I will honor that story by keeping these clogs next to my back door (I don't have a side door.)

It always gives me a warm feeling when I come across something like this. I gave the shoes a really good washing and as you can see, they look so pretty. It will make me feel good to see them when I go in and out the back door.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Liesl and The Bees

One of us just can not seem to learn our lesson about messin' with bees. I found my little bee hunter out in the nasturtium patch snapping at the bees this morning. Luckily, I caught her in time and made her get out of bee dive bombing range. In the past, Liesl has inevitably gotten on the business end of the bee and ends up with a sting on her puppy lips. This will lead to my having a dog loopy on Benadryl the rest of the day. Luckily the storm was averted today. (PS: The only reason she is not wearing a collar and tags is because she had her bath yesterday, so I let her go overnight without the tags. They get itchy, particularly if she is still damp when I put it back on.)

It was a good day. The rain did not manifest as expected, but it was muggy all day. I was out of everything, so I had to do one of those ugly Costco runs for bread, milk, eggs, Liesl's favorite dog treats, fruits, veggies, etc. I got all of the staples I needed, and even found two gorgeous silk blouses on clearance for $5 each. I am always surprised when I see clearance at Costco. As I was unpacking the groceries, my best friend called and invited Liesl and me over for lunch. Yay! It was a nice surprise. Liesl got to play with her dog buddy over there and I got to see and chat with my friend. It was perfect. Liesl came home and crashed.

By 4:30 the rain had still not materialized, so I decided to go work on a patch in my garden. I have been wanting to plant my herbs. So I cleared the patch of some ugly weeds and got my herbs in. I also fed my citrus plants although I had a small schnauzer head in my way while I was trying to do it. Schnauzers feel the need to be up in the middle of whatever you are doing. I have learned to go with it, and actually, truth be told, I like it. She makes me laugh when she feels the need to be involved in my tasks.

It was a really great weekend. I feel like I got lots of rest and feel really good. I got everything accomplished that I wanted to get done. So it has been a nice balance. I am going to spend the last hour of my weekend stitching.

Have a happy Monday!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Serene Saturday

We are going through a period of unseasonal rain here. Luckily, I had run all of my errands on my home from work last night. So today Liesl and I had a wonderful stay at home Saturday. It rained really steadily all morning, so it was a really good time to clean the cozy cottage. My little bungalow is all sparkling clean now. My best achievement of the day though, was that I got my craft room cleaned up and organized. I filed all of the papers that have piled up, organized my fabrics, and re-arranged a few things. I really dis-like clutter, so it feels really comfortable in there now. Whoohoo. I am looking forward to spending some evenings this week in there.

It was still raining when I finished up my chores, so Liesl and I decided to take a nap. She had taken her bath and eaten her lunch, and had a good sleepy going. I stretched out on the sofa and snoozed. I love naps. They are so decadent. When Liesl sees me settle down for a nap she always looks at me like "Splendid idea!"

Tonight is a good night for stitching. We are gearing up for more rain tonight and tomorrow. So it is a really good night to stay in. I am going to work on Star Spangled Banner. I am hoping to be done in the next two weeks with the lettering so I need to stay on schedule. I will post a photo in the next few days of my progress.

I am off to thread my needle!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wonderful Wednesday

Okay, is it just me or is everyone else having trouble telling what day of the week it is. The holiday messed me up. Tomorrow can't possibly be Thursday, can it?!

Today was a good day. Liesl and I both woke up in good moods and hit the ground running. It was a busy day, but a good day nonetheless. I got out of work late and was coming home trying to figure out what to make for dinner, when I saw my packages. Somehow, I had forgotten that my lamps were coming today! Whoohoo!. The bronze lamps by Ott-Lite are HEAVY! Oy vey! Two of them were in one box and I had to drag it inside.

I had to assemble the lamps and I am proud to say that all but one are in the spots where they will stay. My favorite is the one with the glass shade and it really lights up the room. It is in my little stitching/reading corner. I am so thrilled with my budget purchases. These will last forever, too!

I am looking at my craft room/office and I am seeing that I need to do a major organizing project this weekend. We all have that one room where everything accumulates and this is the room for me. I need to go through the papers, fabrics, and odds and ends, and clear my desk. I also think I may rearrange the furniture a bit. I have to think about it.

Have a happy Thursday!