Tuesday, June 24, 2014

We Be Jammin!

Someone at work was giving away bags and bags of plums and asked if I would like some to make jam.  I have not made jam in years, and happen to love homemade plum jam, so I was totally up for it.  I had to pick up some new jars and opted for the ones with designs.  I spent a couple of hours this weekend and realized that I had forgotten how much fun it is to can.  I started to eyeball the fresh raspberries and strawberries in the fridge and then realized I was out of control. 
I do not like jam on my toast, rather, I still love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  When I take them for lunch at work, I look forward to it all morning!  There is something really happy about a PB&J.  The only thing that is better is a Fluffernutter.  For some reason, my fellow Californians do not seem to be familiar with the great wonder that is the Fluffernutter (peanut butter and marshmallow crème.)  When I try to describe the wonder that is this sandwich, I get quizzical looks and remarks of "I don't get it."  They are perfection, that's what they are!
So a couple of weeks ago, someone had posted a beautiful photo of their cross stitch work in progress on a Facebook site.  It was absolutely gorgeous.  She posted that the particular design was from an issue of Just Cross Stitch in 2009.  I immediately got bummed and thought how hard it was going to be to find that issue.  I started do a little research, when I found something even better!  Just Cross Stitch has DVDs of every page of every issue (including ornament issues!) in ten year increments.  This particular issue fell within the 2001-2010 DVD.  The DVDs are only about $42 at 123stitch (or about the same as a couple of years of subscriptions).  I am super happy about finding it.
I will take photos of my stitching this coming weekend.  It is going splendidly.  It is a fun stitch and the colors are just beautiful.  It is nice to be back in the stitching mode again.  I am still taking some pretty intense classes right now for work, but realized that I need to make time to stitch and be creative.  It puts me back in balance. 
Have a happy week!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

I am happy to say that I have actually gotten a little stitching done lately.  I am almost done with this first motif for my Autumn Quaker.  I am so loving the colors and stitching with the Valdani floss.  It is great to be stitching again although it is just in small bits since life is a bit hectic.
We had a super great weekend.  Just in time for summer, the barbecue is now ready and in the yard.  My sweet baboo has been looking at the reviews, shopping, online shopping, etc., for months trying to find just the right one.   After much deliberation and consideration, a copper colored Weber Spirit is the new addition.  He has now cooked the last two nights' dinners and they have been stellar!
 We had a pretty nice Father's Day around the cozy cottage.  Liesl had me pick out a Happy Father's Day from the Dog card (available at Target) for her awesome puppy daddy.  He is a so good to her and sometimes I think spoils her more than I do, if such a thing is possible.  She also got him a book he has been wanting.  A couple of days ago, one of his patients brought him two flats of fresh strawberries (our area is one of the state's top growing areas for strawberries.) He shared one flat with the office, and brought the other flat home.  We shared a couple of quarts with our two favorite neighbors and still had six quarts left.  He mentioned earlier that he would love to have strawberry shortcake.  So this afternoon, I made a quick shortcake and surprised him for dessert, with fresh whipped cream.  He was super happy and said it was the best Father's Day gift he could have asked for. :)  I also have several bags of hulled strawberries in the freezer, ready for more treats! 
We are continuing to work on the yard and make it into a nice little retreat.  Liesl so loves her grassy yard now.  I looked out the window the other day, and she was just laying down in the grass, smiling and surveying her queendom.  For some reason, she has been taking her two favorite stuffies out in the yard with her in the morning.  She will get Ladybug and Lampchop, and put them on the lawn.  We have to rescue them in the evening.  This is a new behavior, so I am wondering why she does it all of the sudden.  I guess she wants her friends with her.  In any case, we have found several gorgeous rose bushes, which I am so thrilled with.  My favorite is Mr. Lincoln.  It is the most beautiful color, almost velvety and has the most amazing fragrance.  If you can find one of these, I highly recommend it!  PS: the photo does not do it justice.
I had forgotten how hard yard work can be, and I will share that as a result of unloading the truck of fifty pound bags of top soil and doing several tasks in the yard, we both have the Frankenstein walk going on.  So sad, LOL. 
So now it is quiet, with only the ticking of the clock.  The weather is very cool.   Bill is reading his book and drinking a cup of hot cocoa, Liesl is snoozing on the sofa between us.  It is a very cozy evening in the cozy cottage.  I wish I could keep a snapshot of this moment because it is so very lovely.  Priceless and such a blessing.
Wishing you many blessings in the week ahead.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Wow! Whatta Weekend!

What great weekend!  Although I must admit, I am totally exhausted. Yesterday the sod went in, finally, into the backyard.  I have been thinking about it, talking about it, dreaming about for two and a half years since I bought the house.  Last week, my sweet baboo said that he got the quote, and made the appointment for the landscaper to come.  It was just the kick start that I finally needed.  Prior to this, the groundcover was mulch and we were getting splinters, Liesl included.  Yesterday, we got an instant change.  It was so worth it!  There had also been a really ugly stump that stood about 3-4 feet high and had grass growing out of it.  It was hideous.  The landscaper had it dug out in about twenty minutes.  The yard looks amazing.  I think we will be spending lots of time in it. 
Liesl loves her yard and keeps deer hopping out into it.  This afternoon, she ran and chased her ball and just looked so happy.  When she was done chasing her ball and her parents, she laid down in the grass and savored the moment.  We also sat down in the grass, thinking that we had done that so easily when we were kids.  But then you grow up and worry about your pants getting dirty.  What a shame.  My sweet baboo then laid down in the grass for a while and watched the sky.  It was a happy afternoon.  Next week the raised bed boxes go it for veggies. (I love to grow tomatoes!)
We had to order two pallets of sod, which we needed to help carry from the driveway to the backyard.  Don't let anyone tell you any differently-sod is HEAVY!  One roll was probably over 30 pounds.  My muscles are aching.  We could barely move last evening and have been exhausted. 
I ended up making some snickerdoodles for my honey today.  He got up yesterday morning at six am to make sure that we got our two pallets of grass ordered and on the truck.  He was such a sweetheart to make it all happen so I wanted to do something nice for him.  He loves cinnamon, so he is super happy that he has 4 1/2 dozen cookies all for himself.  
While we were unloaded the truck yesterday, the postman showed up with my order from 123stitch.  I can not wait to get started.  The colors of the Valdani threads are so beautiful and so rich.
In addition to my Autumn Samper, I also ordered the pattern and fabric to make ornaments for Christmas.  I have wanted this one for a while.  It is nice and simple.  I am hoping to get started on ornaments early this years so I am not in last minute crisis mode.  

Well, I am off to get some rest.  Tomorrow is the first workday of the month, so it is time for accounting fun at work.  Have a great week!