Saturday, December 20, 2008

White Christmas!

It's a winter wonderland here right now! About a foot of snow with more on the way through Christmas. Jenny is loving it .......she's a snow dog at heart, like her "Mom".
Molly and beau, Ross came last night and Josh and family will be here today. I can't wait to see's been about 6 months since we've seen them. Seth just called from a rock climbing expedition in Bishop and will be coming home this evening before more snow sets in. Sooooooo... the house is starting to fill up. I broke open the mega 80lb coffee sack this morning!!!!! And we'll have a side of beef defrosting for tomorrow nights dinner!!
As it's going to be a hectic week I may not get a chance to wish you all a very Merry Xmas. So consider yourselves wished! I love Xmas.......the excitement, the hustle and bustle, the music and the food. I become quite the traditionalist at Xmas time ........I hope you all find time for your favorite tradition.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Xmas!

The lights are up, the tree is trimmed! I spent the day wrapping presents......Xmas must be just around the corner. It's even supposed to snow all maybe a white Xmas. Hopefully this weekend the kitchen will start smelling like spiced walnuts and cranberry bread, with a little Rice Krispie Treat scent thrown in for good measure!

As you can see from the photo we've decided to use manzanita again this year for our Xmas tree. It's so nice just to cut off a few branches and not destroy a whole tree......not to mention the money saving aspects of just walking outside and picking out "tree". We have quite a few firs, cedar and pines on our property and some year we might cut one of those if they seem to be in a "no win" growth situation.

Tomorrow I'm headed down to help my Mom finish her shopping......I LOVE Xmas shopping......especially if I'm just a consultant and don't actually have to buy anything!

I hope everyone reading this is cozy and warm......getting ready to soak in this wonderful mid-winter season.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I love this time of year , but since undertaking this little business it's lost some of it's allure! I'm sick of sitting up in my little "sweatshop" I've moved my operation downstairs for the day makes me feel a little more a part of the household! What a mess I have down here, but I have gotten quite a bit done this afternoon. My last sale of the year is this Saturday...however, it's a huge one with lots of inventory needed. I'm actually in pretty good shape...I've gotten all my large orders done......such a good feeling! If I wasn't so greedy I wouldn't feel compelled to have so much to sell.......but greedy I am!

I'm just feeling a bit guilty about not doing more this weekend.......Molly, my Mom and I had way too much fun doing the Xmas shopping thing........but I'm willing to pay the price now........I wouldn't trade the fun times this weekend for anything.........even cash!!!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday!

I didn't remember to capture the fun on "film" yesterday so I offer you leftovers!

This truly is about all that's left after yesterday's feast and tonight's dinner in front of the TV. We all enjoyed the day very much yesterday.....a rather small crowd, as crowds go up here.........I think there were only 8 of us, but we all possessed hearty appetites. The afternoon was very mellow, the dinner conversation very lively and then a rather sleepy dessert session! Everyone left by around 8:00 and I was ready to crash by 9:00.

Molly and I did a few errands today....braving the crowds and finding a few bargains. Tomorrow I think we'll go down and meet Granny for a few more deals we can't resist.

I hope you all also are having a great much to be grateful for.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Molly's Belated Birthday!

Well, yet another group portrait and not a very imaginative one at that! This was taken at Granny's house the last weekend when we got together to celebrate Molly's 23rd birthday. My littlest baby girl!!!!! Molly .......sweet from the moment she came into this darlin' red girl! Anyhow.........we had a fine time and of course a great dinner. The "men folk"......Denny, Jim and Ross set up Granny's new big screen while us women saw to dinner. After dinner , while Molly opened her many presents we enjoyed Freeport bakery's legendary Carrot cake. WE finally said our goodbyes around 11:00.........way past my bedtime!

Since the party I've been sewing and selling with a bit of Xmas shopping thrown in. I'm doing pretty well.....but my brain threatens to explode sometimes trying to keep everyone and their wants and needs straight. Santa must always find just the right item!!

Molly's been up here for a few days and today we had a fun day that brought up a lot of memories past. We just went down to Auburn a few things at Target and then joined the throngs of people at Raleys to get groceries for Thanksgiving........something Molly and I have done together since I've been lucky enough to have her. I have so very much to be thankful for.........and you folks get ready for another group photo in a day or two...this time we'll be gathered around the old dining table!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Cozy Sunday!

Wow, a quiet Sunday with a nice warm fire hardly gets any better than this!.........but then I'm a really boring kind of person. I feel a little guilty that I don't have my sewing machines humming along......I was going to bring one of the machines downstairs so I could work at the coffee football and keep warm by the fire, but laziness took over and I'm only using the coffee table to keep my Candy Corns on! Well, tomorrow I'll be back to my workroom making magic!!!!!

Yesterday Molly and I headed to Roseville to do a little Xmas shopping......and I actually made some headway......I pretty much got Jilly's family done and so I can start sending those off to Norway this coming week.

We're inheriting my Mom's 32" TV since she bought a new 42" set and so yesterday Molly and I also went to junk shop and bought a sweet little table to put the bigger TV's a drop-leaf style, with a solid oak top, but it needs to be sanded and I'll paint part of it.......kind of a funky style. I also got a really cool old oak desk chair.......pictured in above photo. I never liked the modern fake leather one we had....isn't really our style.......I LOVE this one, so much more character than one made in China. Most of the furniture in our house shows some history of previous owners or it's furniture that Jim's made.........funky is for sure our style of preference!

Molly and Seth went up climbing with some friends today...they must be freezing!

I'm cooking a big pot of chili for dinner......I think I'll make it extra "hot" to help them warm up!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I woke up this morning feeling a little it is Halloween, which used to be the most exciting day of the year.......and now it's kind of just another day. When the kids were little it was a day full of witch hunts, ghostly visits, rummaging through the "dress up" clothes for possible costumes. For dinner there'd be pizza or mashed potatoes made to look like a pumpkin and for dessert a special ghost cake. But the best part would be tromping around in the cold with the littlest member , who ever it happened to be that year, going door-to-door with them as they bashfully uttered..."Trick-or-Treat"!

I probably was too busy in those days to really value all those precious minutes and I know someday I'll look back on the days I'm living now and realize I should have been valuing every minute's a beautiful Fall day outside, it rained all night, but now the sun is out....the air smells so fresh and I live in such a beautiful place.

Jilly just called and I talked to each of the boys.....full of Halloween excitement.....and guess what !! They're having a Halloween pizza and Anders said a witch was going to visit them! Happy, Happy Halloween!!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Paintin' the Pickets!

Our latest project around here is refurbishing the picket fence. I always wanted a picket fence kind of place , but right now I'm not so sure! Yesterday I counted and we have 586 pickets to paint.......that is after they've been sanded and primed! Jim and I have been sort of a tag team.......with me being more of the tag and Jim being most of the team.......the man works like a possessed person! I try to do my painting early in the's quiet and still outside....I actually find it very soothing. It's my kind of don't have to worry so much about staying "inside the lines" and thank goodness for latex paint, it eventually comes off my hands!

Today I taking my Mom down to Sacramento to see her friend Pearl who just had a hip replacement......then hurry home to yet more sewing.

Friday, October 24, 2008

October Bash!

Gee, it's seems it takes me longer and longer to get things posted this time of year.........too much sewing......not enough fun!!! Well, catch up time again.

On Saturday Lupine Hill Farm hosted the October Birthday Bash.......celebrating family members whose birthdays are in October.............Granny, Jerry, Jack and Denny. Jerry and Barbara weren't able to make it this year as they were on DC. Tess and Ryan couldn't make it because they live too far away and Seth wasn't here because of it was a smaller than usual version of the "Bash". Still, a good time was had by all.........good food......broccoli salad and birthday cake.........present opening and after dinner political talk. I remembered to record the event with my camera just as Jack and Donna were leaving....hence the above photo.

On Monday Granny and I went down to Davis to hang out with Molly .....always a good time. Other than that I've been upstairs sewing, with occasional breaks to work in the garden , or as I did today.......make some Halloween cookies! Oh yeah.......Tessy called this morning a we had a great visit. She's doing fine and sounds happy. I miss her........haven't seen her for about a month, but she and Ryan and Maddie will be here for Xmas......I can't wait!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Autumn Bounty!

I think the season of food preservation is over for this year! Pickles, relish, chili sauce and a baskets and baskets of squash and a freezer full of hot and Bell peppers. We'll be eating well this Winter......with lots of help from the local grocery store! Every since I've been a little girl....many eons ago.....I've been like a squirrel in the fall, I like my food stores to be full. I guess I played "pioneer" too's a great feeling to have food stored up for the coming Winter. I always thought I was born in the wrong century!

However, since I am here now, I'll let you know what's happening around here the last few days. Well, actually not so much! Seth and I did some work on the picket fence this morning and then I put some of the new knobs on the cabinets in the laundry room. Slowly, but surely we're getting things done that we've thought about doing since we moved in about 12 years ago. I love this house and this property......I can't imagine a more "homey" place.........easy to say in this most wonderful Autumn weather......ask me again in the dog days of August!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Granny's 86th Birthday!

Yesterday, October 10, was my Mom's 86th birthday......and as usual we celebrated in style! We had the big "party" the night before , as Denny and Joan were going out of town the next day. Joanie and I supplied the food and Denny barbecued ......and a delicious carrot cake to boot! It was a wonderful meal,as always, filled with laughter. After dinner we gave Mom her present ......a laptop! She was beyond surprised! We spent the next couple of hours showing her the ropes.......I think she's got Solitaire down pat! About 11:00 Jim, Seth and I headed up the hill.

Yesterday I went back down to take Mom out for a birthday lunch and then spent the afternoon getting her signed up for Internet service and give her a Solitaire refresher course. Once she's online I plan on setting up a blog site for her.......I'll let you all know when she's up and running with her e-mail address........she'll be thrilled to hear from everyone!

It's cold and windy here on Lupine Hill today.......we've got a big fire going. Guess I should be getting upstairs and start sewing, but maybe I'll curl up with a book for a few minutes!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Soggy Eggplant!

I finally got a photo of me and my little "store"! When I apply for new shows they always want a photo of me........why I don't know! NOW I have a relevant photo to send in. This photo was taken this weekend at the Loomis Eggplant Festival. I almost didn't go because of the weather. The night before it was windy and rainy. Even when I woke up Saturday morning it was rainy and cold here, but our weather is so different than down in the valley that I decided to head on down and try to salvage my $70 "rent" at the festival. By the time I got there the weather had improved dramatically and so I got busy setting up. By mid-morning it was a beautiful day.

Molly showed up about noon and spent the afternoon with me.......a great help as well as great company! She snapped the above picture for me.......thanks, Molls!

I did fairly well, money wise........the wet night didn't keep too many people i started a little Xmas shopping with my Mom yesterday. Now I'm broke again........oh well, there'll be another show soon!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Debate Watch Party!

A much anticipated event here on Lupine Hill Farm.......the Biden- Palin debate. Many of you know how I feel about Sarah Palin.......I think she's dangerous, bogus and mostly brain dead! Anyyyyyyyhow........I guess the "mean Janet "surfaced in the last few weeks because I really wanted her to be humiliated last night . I must admit I don't feel she actually humiliated herself, but I do feel she humiliated the Republican Party, who condoned that farce of a debate! Wow.....she IS made for Hollywood...she can memorize lines and deliver such adorable smiles! Needless to say the thought of her anywhere near the White House is so scary to me.

On a less partisan note........Granny, Seth, Tess, Jim and I had a great little party!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Obama in Reno!

Big excitement here! Yesterday Seth, Tess and I made a trek to Reno on a beautiful Autumn day to see Barack Obama!! He was speaking at the University of Nevada. There were so many people! All ages, colors and gender.....everyone totally stoked to see Sen. Obama. After snaking through a long, long took about an hour.....we finally got through security. We worked our way up toward the stage and found a pretty good observation point. I think we were about a couple of hundred feet ........I suck at distance estimates....from the podium. However, there were masses of people in front of us and so a clear view of him speaking was often hit or miss. He gave a very stirring speech.....sprinkled with a clear sense of humor. He spoke for approx. 30 minutes....keeping the majority of the crowd spellbound. When he was done speaking we headed over to where his car was waiting and it was there that Tess got the best photo......we were about 50 ft away. Before he got over to the car however Seth noticed that Obama had moved down into the crowd and was shaking hands so he headed over there . He didn't shake hands , but got a close up view! .

We finally headed back to the car ......a long hike back......among the throngs of happy supporters!

We had a beautiful drive home ......the foliage is amazing right Ipod controlled the air waves........I couldn't have been happier!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Guess Who's Getting Married!!

Yep, my little blue-eyed girl! She called this morning and told me Ryan had proposed this the romantic! He really did have a romantic day on the beach planned , but I guess he couldn't hold out! Anyhow Tess is thrilled and we're very happy. I really like Ryan a lot. They plan a Fall wedding, next year...probably at our house. Tess plans to move up to Humbolt County soon and start Grad school up there soon. As a bonus....we gain a new Granddaughter, Madeline Rose [Maddie] Ryan has a 3 year old daughter.

Gotta' go now ...just wanted to let everyone know!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Lunch With Grunky!

I had a very nice afternoon yesterday.......having lunch with my Dad! I don't get to see him too's too complicated to explain here........but yesterday was a day when I did see him!! We had lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, PF Changs............we had spicy eggplant and rare Ahi.......oh, so good didn't disappoint! Visiting with my Dad.......who is called "Grunky" by my kids, thanks to a very young Jill............well, having a chance to talk to him was great. At eighty-five years old , he is awesome. He remains extremely sharp and very involved in the goings on of the world.......his curiosity has not diminished at all! I'm very lucky to have both my parents.

When I got home it was out to the garden to water some very thirsty veggies........when will it rain????? I talked to Josh in Salt Lake City and I am very jealous of the rain they've received. Like I've said before, it's unnatural to go so long without rain.

Today I went down to get some groceries in'm glad we still don't have a household full of kids to feed! Just a couple of "weekend warriors".......this week , Molly and Seth! But I must say I love having the kids me crazy!...and i think Jim does!!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Feels Like Fall!'s cooled off a lot today, was actually chilly this morning. I don't know how long this weather will last, but I'm hoping until the first rain. I'm really sick of watering the flowers, and veggie garden.....sick of wearing summer clothes, sick of summer food......I can't wait to cook soups, stews and apple pie!

My trip down to Sacramento last weekend was successful. I sold quite a few aprons and kitchen towels to a store down there. I like doing this wholesale thing......much easier than sitting somewhere all day. The profit margin isn't as great as when I sell my things myself, but the ease of having someone else sell for me makes up for a lot. After dropping everything off at the store I met Molly at IKEA, she bought a few things for her new home. As always we had a really nice afternoon together. When I got home Tess and Ryan where still at the river, but got home soon after I did. We had a fun dinner out on the of the best parts of Summer.

We all just hung out at home on was opening day for the 49er's.......San Francisco's football team. They lost of course, but we all ate barbecued sausage and pretended we were tailgating! Tess and Ryan left later in the afternoon and Jim and I had a few hours to ourselves .

I was grumpy and hot yesterday and then I woke up this morning to a cool breeze............instant mood improvement!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Movin' Molly!

Well, it's certainly been a while since I've visited my blog site! Let me catch you all up a bit. Last Saturday I spent the day.......a very hot day!......helping Molly move out of her old apartment....a second story apartment! We actually had a few laughs in spite of the task.......Molly and I are weird that way! We were done about 5:00 and were rewarded with a delicious dinner at Mom's house.....along with Jim and Denny and Joan. I thought I probably wouldn't be able to move the next morning, but I suffered no ill effects at all. Most of the time I love my body's capabilities, just not so in love with the size!

During the rest of this week I've been gearing up for the Xmas season.....way too hot upstairs in my workroom to imagine Xmas, but sew -on I must! Tomorrow I'm taking a bunch of stuff down to a store in Sacramento ........they want to buy my products. Needless to say, I hope they buy a lot........I'll let you know!

On Tuesday, late afternoon of another very hot day, I went down to help Molly move IN to her new little house. Seth, my Mom and Keith were there to help out this time. We made pretty quick work of it...... although at the time it really didn't seem like it! I can't wait to go back down soon to see what Molls has done......I'm sure it looks very cool!

Oh......yesterday I had my first eye exam ....ever! The doctor pronounced my eyes, "Clear as a bell".......but my over -the- counter reading glasses just aren't doing the job any "real" glasses will be here in about a week. I'm pretty excited......they're green and really cute! I'll take a self-portrait when I get them so you can see me with them on!

Friday, August 29, 2008


Wow.....I'm still digesting that awesome speech last night. Senator Obama was amazing! How refreshing it would be to have have someone of this intelligence, this insight to run this country. Imagine!! I fought tears through most of the speech and give in towards the end.......I want to give back to this country.......I want to be proud of our standing in the world.......I want to be able to believe in our President. I plan on heading down to Obama headquarters next week to see if I can be of use.........perhaps they need a few dozen kitchen towels!!........I've felt isolated and out of the mainstream in this country too long, I'm so grateful for this.........fingers crossed.........change. I've donated $25 from my last sale to the campaign and plan on donating a like amount from all upcoming sales until November 4. A drop in the bucket needed to run such a formidable campaign, but I couldn't live with myself if I didn't do all I can to get this man elected.

It most definitely is time for a change............long overdue.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

August Garden

The garden this year is out doing itself......Jim discovered a new organic fertilizer and it really seems to be doing it's job! As I've mentioned before the tomatoes just keep coming at an amazing rate....and now the peppers and eggplant are beginning to catch up. The winter squash are growing bigger day by day and are the most beautiful shade of orange. I have a more intimate relation with the garden this year. It's usually Jim's "thing", but he's been working so much this summer I've taken over a bit of the garden chores. I see why he's so smitten with the garden.......besides all the great veggies it produces!'s so lush out there, so full of life and probably one of the most peaceful places I can think of.

I've had a lousy cold the last few days......I've been eating raspberries, tomatoes, cucumbers........anything to try to help my body fight it! I feel better today.......probably just the cold has run it's course..........but maybe our garden did it's part too.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Best Part of Summer!!!

Yummmmm....the tomatoes are piling up! They are really lovin' life up here this year....a bumper crop! Tomatoes have always been one of my favorite foods and at last I live in a warm enough climate to be able to have all I want! I eat them in the noon and always for dinner. A big blue bowl that I use full of tomatoes, homegrown cucumbers and often green peppers if there are any ripe ones. I sprinkle with garlic salt and lemon pepper and then mix with a bit of seasoned rice vinegar.........if you have access to good tomatoes try this summer ambrosia!

I saw my Mom today and brought her a big bag.......she's for sure where my tomato loving genes originated. She actually attributes her good health and longevity to eating so many tomatoes.............I sure hope they have that effect on me!

Yesterday I made 4 jars of Sweet Chili sauce with the tomato overflow......oh, I wish you could all taste some. I think it 's one of all the kids favorite foods, served over egg noodles. It's a common request for birthday dinners. I'll probably get a least 4 more jars canned before the season's over..............we'll have enough to enjoy all winter long.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Birthday Day!

Today is August 7th......a very special day in my life. Thirty- nine years ago a very precious little girl came into my very young and confused life. She single handedly changed my life for the better. Happy Birthday,'ve been a joy to me from the first moment I held you.

Also born today, 25 years ago, Daniel Ethan came into this world. Although I wasn't there to "enjoy" his birth .....the last 13 years I've known and loved Dan are so special to me. I lucked out when I became Dan's "Mom".......Happy Birthday, Dan!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

It's Raining ,It's Pouring!

Rain in California! A rarity in this part of the world for sure! It was a brief , but beneficial shower. We've seen no rain in these parts for about 3 months ....with another 2 months to go before the storms start rolling in. I imagine it was just a tease to all the trees and shrubs of these mountains, but hopefully has given them hope to keep on truckin' until Fall gives them a good quenching drink.

In the smells so incredibly wonderful......surely will help me hang in there until the storm clouds hang low in the pines.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Guess What I Just Found........

It's early Sunday evening here and I was just out wandering around over by the trolley that runs between two of our oaks....I looked up to the trolley loading platform and there sat Johan's hat. The rush of emotion was intense and really unexpected.........I miss all those little guys so much. I shouldn't be so surprised....every year after they're gone I find some little item they've left behind and every year some tears are shed. I always think .....Hey, it's okay.....I can talk on the phone to them all, maybe make an Internet connection with them...and it won't be ALL that long before they're back. But then just some random thing left behind triggers a heart breaking sadness. I cried awhile into my sweet Jenny's face and then cried some more in Jim's arms and then into my computer to watch...yet again...the amazing video made by the kids this summer.....Billy Goat vs Billy I'm back on track with laughter spreading across my face and already looking forward to next Summer!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Newest Family Members!

Guess what came home with Jim the other night........four new egg producers!! The newcomers created quite a bit of excitement around here when they showed up!! Jenny and I were having a real quiet day ......not expecting much to happen. Jim drives up the driveway and all of a sudden we had something to "uh and ah" well as bark at!! Two of the chicks were about a month old and already looking very "chicken" like, but the two younger ones were still fluffy little chicks. We're keeping them in the garage until they're old enough to fend for themselves out in the coop with the grown-up ladies. I wish for them and long and productive life......and hope the electric fence continues to do it's job against the bears!

I had a pretty productive day myself!! I loaded up the truck and headed down to the recycling place. It's been a couple of months since I've I had a truck full!! I made about $40.oo.......worth the trip down! While I was there I stopped at the grocery store and did the weeks much for the $40.oo...and then some!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Fresh Cookies!

Today was a little out of my routine.......I left early this morning to attend my Aunt Emma's funeral. It was not such a terribly somber event as Aunt Emma was 96 years old, but more truly a celebration of her spunk and amazing baking skills! She has always made the most incredible coconut cake......from scratch WITH boiled frosting...........the world will be a less delicious place without Aunt Emma's cake.

When I got home I had an urgent need to bake something.......I'm not so good at cakes......but cookies I can do! Molly's here to help me eat what the heck..........

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks butter 1 1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup white sugar 1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup brown sugar 1 bag chocolate chips

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

Cream together butter and sugars. Add peanut butter and vanilla.

Beat well and then stir in eggs.

Add flour and baking soda, stir in well . Finally stir in chocolate chips.

These cookies are soft and melt in your mouth...........

a fitting tribute to you, Aunt Emma.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

New Designs!

It's that time of year again.....time to become productive and somewhat lucrative! Soooo......I'm upstairs in my "workroom", two fans aimed at me and my two overheated sewing machines......trying to get the creative juices flowing. What will the mood of my customers be this season..........whimsical....cynical.....foodie or social conscience? I never know what's going to can really vary from season to season. I've kind of created a niche ......not traditionally crafty.....more green, left wing........seems to be the right time.........I really picked up steam toward the end of last season. Since it's my natural bent I guess I'll go all out this season. I'll still include some more traditional designs, but I really do hope I can continue to be just a little different in outlook than most of the people I work with. We'll see........I'll let you know come December!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Season of the Cucumber!'s here again..that time in late July when the garden threatens to overwhelm me! I start to dream lovingly of swarms of locust.......anything to slow the steady march of veggies needing attention! This photo is what my stove will look like until the middle of the ready to whip up a batch of pickles.....jars of relish and tomato sauce! All of which I crave and appreciate during the Winter months, but boy....sometimes I long for time when I have nothing I feel I "should" be doing! I about spoiled!!! I'm sure I'll live an extremely long and healthy life consuming all of this great organic produce........if the stress of it all doesn't kill me!!

I do wish I could get a taste of a warm ripe tomato straight out of the garden to each of you....I think it's the taste of Americana......goes along with warm apple pie, fried chicken....and my personal favorite Diet Coke!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

belated....Fourth Of July!

It was too crazy around here at the time, but here's a late taste of our Fourth of July here on Lupine Hill Farm. It started, as always, with a trek into town for a truely old fashioned 4th of July parade. It's held on main street in Foresthill and I think the whole town turns out for the event. It only lasts about a 1/2 hour, but at least twice in that time frame my eyes tear up at the unique small town feel. The kids love it because many of the parade entrants throw out candy..... all the kids bring bags to which end up full of goodies.

We then came home and soon Jack and Donna.....Jim's sister and her husband.....and Granny and my brother, Denny showed up. After some visiting, the sandwich fixin's came out and then a few rounds of THAT game.....Catch Phrase. When we'd had enough of that the musicians got warmed up........Dan and Denny on the guitar, Josh on the electric bass and Jim playing his fiddle.....but soon we got out the basket of instruments and soon Johan was playing the spoons, Tia the accordion, Taige the egg beater, and Anders the margarine container drum! It all was music to my ears and so much fun!

Veggie enchiladas for dinner and 2 types , cherry and vanilla, of homemade ice cream with homemade cup cakes for dessert. Soon it was dark ...and since we can't do fireworks up here we had glow-sticks and stayed up well into the night enjoying their magic and the joy of being together.

Blow Out Water Fight!

A final California summer better to spend it than an all out water fight! Tess's boyfriend, Ryan started it and it tool on a life of it's own! No weapons were off limits and the water flowed freely........apologies to the Foresthill PUD for imprudent use of water! Total craziness ruled and the fun continued for several hours....until the first tears inevitably started caused by an overzealous big brother! Soon everyone was dried off and we sat down to a hearty pasta dinner, followed by raspberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream.......yummmm!

And now my wonderful daughter and her three awesome boys are probably asleep in their beds in Norway. It was a fun filled, busy, and cherished visit........I'm already looking forward to next summer when the house will be full, the kitchen hot and the swimming pool full of laughing, giggling kids!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

On the Rocks!

Yesterday the whole crew headed up to beautiful Donner Summit......about a 45 minute do a little rock climbing. At least all of those under 40........which disqualifies me!!! There are some benefits to being old! I must admit, however, that it seemed they were having a whole lot of fun. The youngsters, Espen, Anders, Johan, Taige and little Tia had a blast and much to Uncle Seth's joy all seem to be naturals at the sport of rock climbing! Maybe not so much..... Seth's older siblings!

As always it was incredibly beautiful up there, although smoke from all the fires blew in off and on all day. We left about 5:30 in the evening and stopped by the great little mountain store in Soda Springs before we started for home.

It was a pretty quiet trip home....I think we may have actually tired them all out!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Gang's All Here!

Must be 4th of July time around here.....the pool's full of little rascals, the table's full of sweet watermelon and the house is full of people! Josh and Melanie got here this noon with their two kids Taige and Tia.....even though they live in Utah...not so far away's been a year since we've seen them.......and what a welcome sight they are!!! Jill's boys are so thrilled to be able to play with "the cousins" and so far they've made the most of the day! Already a big "bear hunt", lots of swimming, a few video games and general running around being wild kids!

Grunky, my Dad , made a rare appearance was great to have him up here to reacquaint himself with his great-grandchildren. I think we all enjoyed seeing him and I hope he enjoyed being here!

Tess and Molly are also here and yesterday Jill and I and "the girls" went down to the Folsom Outlet Mall.......I don't think I've ever laughed so much! It was quite the shopping expedition!

Supposedly Seth will be dropped off somewhere in down in Auburn tonight...after getting a ride from Idaho. The boys can't wait until "Uncle Bubbba" arrives......then the goods times really start to roll!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Doom and Gloom!

We're still on fire up here.......not that we're in any danger, but it seems the rest of mountainous Northern California is still burning and we're breathing all the smoke! Visibility is less than a mile and sore throats and burning eyes are all the norm around here. They've canceled the famed 100 Mile Western States Run ..........the trail runs near our house and the run is from Squaw Valley to Auburn...100 miles in all. The smoke is so thick however and fires so near that,as I said, it's been canceled sad for people who've come from all over the world to compete.

I can't imagine running in all this a matter-of-fact..I thought I would choke to death walking down the stairs this morning......I craved a deep breath of fresh air. They say it may clear up a little this weekend, but if it does it also means the breeze will carry in a storm system that will result in more dry lightning..........the cause of all this smoke in the first place!

On the bright side...Jill made her famous pizza for dinner was such a pleasant evening eating veggie pizza on the deck! In spite of the smoky, fuzzy landscape ..once again we managed to laugh, solve most of the world's problems and be so grateful to have each other.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Surrounded by Fire!

Only June and already forest fires are burning all around us. The closest one, I'm looking right at the smoke from it in this photo, is only 3 miles east of us. There's another one across the river from us, about 5 miles away. We always live in a threat of fire, but it seems awfully early this year. I'm not so into this global warming and dry is not my preference.......I fear for glorious Northern California!

The smoke from the fires was so bad today that we had to seek refuge down in the Mall.......where the air conditioning is so effective at filtering out smoke and heat! We just had to put it completely out of our minds that driving the 40 miles down there was one of the reasons for the deteriorating global climate............well , it was for the kids sake, conditions up here right now are so bad for developing lungs! Since we were there anyway Jill helped out the ailing American economy.......I just know the GAP is suffering.

We'll all sleep well tonight spite of the smoke......knowing we saved the kids and supported US consumerism.........all in one day!