Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

It's time to be jolly.   So here are

my bedecked halls.  Fa la la la la......

Notice anything about my living space?    Do you see any beige?  Any grey?      Nope, I'm a yellow, red and green kinds gal with a few touched of aqua here and there.       I do love color.    And for this season more than the usual amount of clutter!    LOL

Merry Christmas.

December 2013

This has been a fun and active month despite a few days staying in with a cold.   The weather has been brisk and dry.    Too dry.    But the sunny days are wonderful and make the cold temperatures more pleasant.      A few of my really good friends went to see Pat and Char in Folsom.    We went to put together a necklace for Pat, she had seen one and fallen in love with it.   So, Rosemary is the one that dug in and did the hard work.     Here we are in Folsom.
 Char is wearing an eye patch due to a detached retina.   Patch was removed a couple days afterward, thank goodness, and all will be well.    With us older ladies, it seems there is always one of us who has something wrong.
Pat is modeling the necklace which is almost done.   


 Another day, Rosemary and I went to Modesto to see Pamela, who I had not seen for awhile.  It was the day after her birthday, so that was a good excuse.   

 Before we went to lunch at IHOP, Rosemary and I spent some time in Manteca looking at her new house which is almost finished.     The front landscaping was in.   The interior shots are of the model home, which has the same floor plan as hers.     

It's a lovely home.    I am sort of greenish with envy.   Look at how spacious it is.   You could have a  hoe down in the open spaces.       I'm sure she and Jerry will have many happy years enjoying making it their own, and enjoying the community activities that are offered there.

The family celebrated Candis' birthday this nonth.     That's a lot of candles.    She has her first job now at the mall taking photos of the kids with Santa.     Today is the last day.   She's enjoyed the experience and the paychecks.

The gallery had a post luck dinner and white elephant gift exchange on one of the coldest afternoonw with no heat on.       Nice gathering, but cut short so we could warm up again.

I saved this picture til last.   Bobbi (on the right) has been quite ill for some time and this is the first outing with the "girls" she's been on for over a year.    It was good to have her back in our midst again.   

I'm so grateful for my wonderful family and friends.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Guys gone fishing

Doug and Bob's oldest son, Loel went fishing  on the Delta and caught a whole lot of sturgeon.  They said all the boats around them were also bringing them in that day.      We used to fish for them more than 40 years ago and they were very hard to find.    So, this was a big treat for the guys.      Doug got one keeper and is anxious to go back for more.  

Sturgeon are the oddest looking fish in the Delta.    They look like something prehistoric.   

But, odd as they are, here is something even odder, a rare green sturgeon my nephew pulled in and then released.     A green sturgeon.      
I have seen pictures of sturgeon over six feet long.     It was always our hope to get one, back in the early 1960s, but our biggest was 47 inches, and at the time the legal limit limited was over 48 inches long.  Otherwise they had to be released.  

I'm too old and cold to fish now.     I leave it to the guys to break the family record and land a whopper soon.  I kind of think Doug said his was around 47 inches too.     He can do better - or Loel can, so we can have a new benchmark.

It's Winter.        Wow.   Cold in Stockton, nights in low 20s.   Highs in mid 40s.     We are not used to this.     Deck and steps were blanketed with diamond glaze of frost that glittered in the sunlight this a.m.      I do not go down those stairs until it's melted, and even then I creep down carefully, hanging on to the railings just in case.      Dogs, once they understand they have to go down, just make a dash for it and are soon right back up again looking for a warm blanket to snuggle in.        

I check the snow at Timber Trails.       So glad to enjoy it online with web cam.    I'm not the least interested in being there this time of year, although it's very beautiful.       Reminds me of  a time about 15 years ago when little Candis and I made a trip up to see the  snow.   We stopped and bought a big gallon jug of hot spiced cider and she hugged it while we rode along and then as soon as we were back to the car after tromping around in the snow a bit, she again used it as a hot water bottle.      We didn't open it until we got home to share it with the family. Can't you just smell the cinnamon?

We replaced the furnace in the house this year.    Just in time for this cold snap.      It sure feels good to have an improved heating system when it get's this time of year.           Hope you are warm and cozy in your own homes.   

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fall flowers

Fall leaf color has just passed it's peak time in the CentralValley.    It's a cold, sort of gloomy day outside.   Feels like rain is on the way.       I picked some of the Mexican sage which is in full bloom right now.   You can just see it through the birch leaves down below in my garden. 

    The blooms are nearly 7 feet high at the back of the plants.   The front is spilling out over the walkway, so I trimmed it back and brought some inside.    Outside they can hold their color until the first of the year unless we have a hard frost, or heavy rains to knock them down.      Aren't they pretty?

Right now on my deck I have mostly herbs and greenery.      Still pretty, still delights me each time I see it.   The fountain is solar, so it trickles away whenever there is sunlight.       

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Checking in again

My goodness, this poor little blog has been neglected for too long.       I took on another blog for the Lodi Art Center and so three blogs takes more time than when I only had this one.        I have had some changes here at home, and want to post some pics.   

New furniture.    New to me, that is.   I found a little apartment sized sofa in a cute little shop in Lodi and decided to get it for my living room corner.     The past few years the seating in living room has been very uncomfortable.      When I changed the rooms around, we took the drawers of the old bed and made a corner unit surrounding the super table.     It worked welll for the dogs - and for my sewing.    I seldom open out the huge table for entertaining, so I figured I'd prefer to have comfortable people seating and move the table away.    This way I can curl up with the dogs in the morning sun.   That's why they love that corner.  Plus they can see out of the window and watch the neighbors cat!
This is how it looked the day before the change. 
 This is the new sectional with my quilts to protect the seats from the pups.   You can see they are making themselves at home on it.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A special day

My second son , Doug, came over from Nevada - just passing through.   He has not been here for many years, so it was very special.     I set up a lunch in the garden for him and for Matt's family.     It felt good to fuss over a family feed for a change.   Here are two of my "boys".

Monday, August 5, 2013

August = time for the annual White Pines Flea Market.

Yes, it has come and gone.   One of the highlights of my summer.    My brother and sister in law came up driving the Rialta.  They had a campsite not far from my 5th wheel.     We could walk back and forth so that was fun and convenient.     Phyllis came to stay at my place .  Jean was planning on coming too but she got bronchitis so had to cancel.   But that left her  home so she was able to dog sit for her daughter while we were checking out the bargains.

Cat and Gene were there too, and Frances - although we only ran into her for a quick moment.       We were all lined up by 7:30.  They open the doors at 8 and everyone rushes forward eagerly.       Before it opens there are alot of booths in the parking lot that are already open.   I rarely even look there.   There is enough in the community center to keep me interested. 

Cat, Phyllis, Kris and I dashed for the linen department room first.     Not as much as other years, but plenty of good things.     I got a wonderful new bed quilt for $8.00 and a classic woven spread for ten.   

 I found 5 good audio books for a dollar apiece, a strainer for 25 cents which I  will fill with planting mix for succulents and put in the garden.    Oh yes, a beautiful pottery tile for the garden.     I picked up an Ann Landers game which Phyllis and I played in the afternoon.     Every one of us found some treasures.   My brother got a good tree saw and a few other things in the hardware dept.   I barely looked there as I have a  fondness for metal things and could think of nothing I wanted to find.    Or tools.     I love old tools.     Oh yes, I did find a little notched ruler in the linen dept.      Made for quilters I think.   It will be very handy in my studio.     I also got a package of transparencies for a dollar.     The last time I bought a box it cost $50 and I'm still using them.  Now I will feel much freer to experiment with them knowing they costs next to nothing.   I'll be saving the best ones for the finished works.

I just loved this painting on glass.   It was beautifully done, and look at that 2 dollar price tag.    How could I resist?    No more wall space.  No where to hang it.    I took a photo of it instead of dragging it home.     But now, I'm kinda wishing I had snapped it up.    LOL

This is the first year I didn't buy anything at the bake sale.      I baked cinnamon rolls to surprise my brother, so thought that would take care of my sweet tooth, and Phyllis brought one of those chocolate orange things where it separates in slices - and she shared it.      yummy

One of my favorite times was when we shared breakfast on  my deck.     Scrambled eggs, juice, the rolls and  other pastries, a huge compote of fresh peaches, bananas, raspberries, blue berries, grapes, nectarines = yummy.    There were 6 of us enjoying the fresh mountain air and each other's company.  It was lovely.     Originally we expected a much bigger crowd, but one by one  people had things come up that kept them away.     Too bad.  But this was a time to cherish.     And be thankful that we all made it through another year and raring to keep going.

Here is Jean with Shelby.    Spoiled?     Really?   Wouldn't you?


A lot of things happened in July.     One of the hi lights was a trip to beach with friends.     There is something about the flowers along the coast, with the fogs and cooler temps.   Inland where we get over 100 degree heat during the summer for often a number of days in a row, our things never look so fresh and sweet in the summer.    These flowers were in the nursery section of the grocery store we shop at in Rio Del Mar.     

I could only peek in the window of this little shop in Capitola, as the fragrances were so overwhelming I knew I'd soon be coughing and sputtering if I spent any time inside breathing.   I could have held my breath!    But, not worth the trouble.      This adorable little plant was outside on this great colored stand.    That would look good in my garden.    Hmmmm......

 Here are my friends aroundthe table in the beach house.     Jean, Judy and Debbie had never been there before, so it was a real treat showing them around and enjoying their company.   

The last evening we were at the Santa Cruz wharf.     It was so calm and peaceful there.   There was enough breeze to have the sail boats out .      
Up in Ben Lomond, my old haunt in the 50s - I spotted this great red screen.     Yummy.     I really had to take a picture.     

I have another trip planned for later in August with other friends.        Can hardly wait.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Soap Opera memories

A few of my friends were talking about our childhood memories of our moms, and it seems most had moms who were glued to soap operas on the radio.     My mom grew up on a farm.   She knew that wasn't the life she wanted, so she went off to college and became a teacher.     By some odd twists of fate, she met my father, a miner, on a trip to Nevada.     They were married soon thereafter and she settled into life in a little mining town.    It's probably then that she learned to enjoy soaps.    

I grew up listening to them with her.    And in my early married life, I too, passed the long days while hubby was off at work listening to my stories while cooking and cleaning and hanging out the clothes.        Here is a quote from a favorite soap.    I just found it online this morning.

"Once again, we present Our Gal Sunday, the story of an orphan girl named Sunday from the little mining town of Silver Creek, Colorado, who in young womanhood married England's richest, most handsome lord, Lord Henry Brinthrope. The story that asks the question: Can this girl from the little mining town in the West find happiness as the wife of a wealthy and titled Englishman?"

It serves to reason I'd expect to one day marry a titled Englishman.   Right?   I was from a little mining town called Silver City.   Close enough?    LOL      Little girls have impressionable minds.       Can this girl from the little mining town in the West find happiness?     Yep.  She can, with or without a wealthy and titled Englishman.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


Here it is May.  The lusty busty month of May.     Weather has been so warm this month that our Spring came and went in a blink.   We now are having weather in the 90 degree range, and it has taken a big toll on my spring flowers.    

I took a chance and invited some close friends to a little garden party.   We were so lucky that particular day was neither too hot, too, cold, or too windy.   The days prior to the party date had howling winds.   Good fortune calmed them for the time of the party - but within an hour after my friends left the winds returned, turning the umbrella upside down and scattering leaves and pollen everywhere.      Friends were able to see it at it's very best.     Fresh and blooming like mad.
 Since then the heat set in and things grew and bloomed so quickly, they needed to be cut back.  I've spent last couple evenings out there with my pruning shears and little stool, so I can cut close to the ground.    I had been unable to get around the side of the studio since the flowers were tumbling across the path.    Now, it's all cleaned up and I can circumnavigate again.      Our weather has been very dry this spring.  We hardly had any appreciable amounts of rain since early winter.     I have to water often, and  ( bad news) our water costs are rising.    The city is trying to pass another raise in water rates, following a big one last year.      Some people are talking about letting their lawns die as a protest, and to cut their expenses.     I'm not giving up my garden though.   Some plants may need to be repositioned to spots where there is more shade mid day 


Monday, April 1, 2013

April Fools day

Here it is, a new month.   A day for jokes and pranks around here.  My son Matt has always been able to "get" me on this day.   Even though I'm forewarned.      He's pretty sly.

We had thundershowers last two days and more to come today.    Partly cloudy, then bright sunshine.   It smells so fresh outside, the air is so clean for a change, and the plants are drinking it all in.      I love spring rains.     They help wash the pollens down and clean off the leaves and flowers.       Here are some pics I took a few days ago.     
 Lulu loves to follow me around while I putter in the garden.    She's a good little companion.    Nikki is stretched out on the patio in the sun.
I love the oxalys that blooms this time of year.  The pink blooms for months on end, but the yellow volunteers for about a month.    I brought them from my mom's garden 20 years ago, and they have made themselves right at home.  I know they are considered weeds, but I consider them one of the first signs of spring, with there cheery bright blooms and the beautiful green of the foliage.    Soon, I'll be pulling the all out secure in the knowledge that they will return again next year.  
 Pamela brought some little starters she took from her larger forget me nots.   They looked half dead by the time I got them planted, and now they have taken root and are producing some blooms.   I'm so tickled to see the, they are such a sweet soft blue.     It's fun to share plants with friends.  

I bought this little chimnea  a few years ago for my deck.   Now it found it's way down to the spot beside the base of my stairwell, with the old windows I bought from one of the original farmhouses in Salinas.     They were painted yellow, but the paint's mostly gone now.    I like the diamond shaped panes and the shadows they cast under the stairs, where I have other plants growing in pots.   Oxalys is growing in the pot that came from Watsonville with the pottery fish from Moss Landing a rock I painted years ago, and some succulents from La Selva Beach.    There is a tiny voluteer birch tree trying to grow here too.   I'd better dig it out and put it in a decent size pot.   There is hardly any soil in this flattish green pot.  

I hope you enjoy visiting in my little garden.    Wish you could come and relax there and explore a bit.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

March in the garden

We have hardly had more than a few drops of rain lately, but have had many sunny days, and some blustering spring delta breezes.    They call them breezes, I call them   wind.     There is pollen everywhere, and I have had to water several times.  This is not the normal for this month.  Well, the pollen is.    And allergies.   The garden is looking pretty good, as it starts into the spring season.   I will soon need to transplant the swiss chard.     You will have the first peek at the little storage/display unit I retired from the studio into the garden for starting succulents.     I decided to sacrifice it to the will of the weather.    I like how they look in it.      My blue bottle garden is waiting for the blue borage to bloom there with them.     Here are some pics.