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!

Friday, June 20, 2008

They're Herrrrrre!!

Here they are ...fresh off the plane in San Francisco!!!! What a welcome sight they were.........although tired and a little bleary eyed! All the tears at seeing each other didn't help the eye situation!

After we located the car....we were off to the mountains. A few stops along the way however..........first stop, as always In-and-Out for the first taste of the season of good old American fast food! Another 2 1/2 hours to Granny's house in Roseville ....another teary reunion.....and more food!! Finally.....another hour to get home to the "farm" where we were warmly greeted by our dog Jenny. Everyone pretty much crashed......with much anticipation of a wonderful visit lying ahead of us!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Trip to Costco!

Off to the great and mighty Costco today! Yesterday I went down to Auburn and spent about $200 on groceries, but today was the really big event! It was remarkably uncrowded...I wonder if it's Tuesdays or the economy. At least I did my part for our recessive economy today......what you see in this photo is just a small fraction of what I bought. I figure it'll last about a week and a half since there'll be between 6 and 16 people here for 3 meals a day the next month or so! Anyone with any great huge quantity recipes ...please email to me!!

Of course, it'll all be a labor of love.......I'm so thrilled to have everyone here!

I'm pretty much ready for Jilly's arrival on's beyond exciting when I see them come through the customs door at the San Francisco airport. I'll try to remember to snap a photo of the weary travelers at that moment.

Tomorrow I'll try to get all this Costco bounty'll will drive poor Jill crazy if I leave it in such disarray!

Monday, June 16, 2008


Well.. the big day finally arrived...Seth and Molly graduated!!! Graduation was at 2:00 pm on Saturday, June 14. We all met at their apartment and from there over to the campus and the hordes of relatives on the same mission as we were. We settled in to some semi-comfortable seats and soon in marched the graduates.......among the first Seth and Molly....both graduating with Honors! Speeches were short, but with over 1500 grads, just at their ceremony, reading all those names took forever!! Jim had a book to read and Tess had her IPod....but Granny and I just had each other and soon ran out of exciting gossip!! A little over 2 hours later the last name was read and out they marched! We met outside and these are the photos we snapped.

We quickly headed back to Roseville to Granny's house just in time to greet the guests at the party we'd planned. It was such a fun party, mostly much laughter..some sentimental tears.......lots of food and champagne!

We were a weary group as we stumbled home.......but had such a memorable day!

Congrats, Molly and Seth....I'm so proud of you!!!!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Muffin Day!

Since Jim leaves for his office....he's an environmental scientist for the the very early morning time of 4:45 am.....way before he feels like eating and WAY before I feel like cooking, so I offer homemade muffins and tea which he eats on his hour long commute. I usually bake a large batch of muffins every 2 weeks or so, then freeze them until I pull them out in the morning for his "breakfast". The muffins usually coincide with whatever is ripe in the garden....berries, squash, carrot , apple's variety are applesauce left from last Fall that I want to use up since it looks like a great crop of apples this year on our trees.

Applesauce Muffins

1 cup butter 2 eggs

4 cups flour 2 cups unsweetened applesauce

3 tsp. cinnamon 2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. sea salt

Cream together sugar and butter. Stir in eggs and applesauce.

add dry ingredients and stir well. Bake in greased muffin pan 350' oven 15


MMMMM...they're just out of the oven and smell so good. Now on to dinner fixin's!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Come for A Swim!

The pool is open for business! Jim and I spent Monday getting the pool "de-winterized" and now it really seems like summer with the hum of the pool filter running! It seems awfully quiet out there right now, but in just about 9 days when Jill and family arrive the place will be a hoppin'! This pool is my savior during the summer months......I always have a place to cool off. Since we're such good stewards of the well as being somewhat cheap...........we don't run our AC hardly ever and it can sometimes get very toasty up here! Some of the most peaceful moments of my life have been spent floating around in "big blue"......some of the most serious money I spend is spent on a big cushy air mattress which I jealously hide from the kids when they're here. As well as being a comfort necessity around here the pool also serves as a possible fire hose.... we can pump out of it if ...heavens forbid.... a forest fire sneaks up on us.

It's turned warm enough today for the berries to start ripening......I can almost see the plants growing. I need to harvest the lavender soon...last year my little eye pillows stuffed with my lavender were big sellers........but it's a fickle market out there and I never know what will do well year-to-year.

Monday, June 9, 2008

No, We Didn't Grow This!

Molly's been here working on her LAST paper all weekend and it's been a wonderful summer-like couple of days. And what's better on summer days than a juicy watermelon at your beck and call. Just set it out and let people slice off what they want. The sink is close by .....perfect for standing over with a slice in your hand. So much less formal than asking people if they want any...than getting a plate out.....then washing the plate when they're done. Anyhow it worked for us this weekend.....not so sure about when the grand kids are here.......might be a tad sticky!
By the way I would love to be able to grow watermelon, but it just isn't warm enough up here ...........some days that's hard for me to believe!!!
However the tomatoes are really starting to take off and it looks like a bumper crop of blackberries and raspberries!

Farmhouse Berry Cobbler

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 cube butter

Heat fruit and juice to boiling on stove or in microwave. Melt butter in

9x13" pan that you're going to bake cobbler in. Mix flour, sugar, water and baking powder to

make a batter. Pour batter over melted butter, then pour boiling fruit over batter. Bake

in 350' oven until done......approx. 15-20 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream if you're

really bad!!!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Graduation Quilt!

Something exciting today.......Jill graduated from college.....for the second time!! She graduated from University of Utah in Linguistics.....way back in the '80's and now after 4 years at a university in Norway she graduated as a teacher today!! She already has a job at a school in Oslo....starting this Fall. I'm so proud of her.....and I'll be able to hug her in just a couple of weeks.

My thing is to make quilts for the kids as they this one's for you, Jilly! Hope you liked it!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

One More Thing!!

When I made this bumper sticker and stuck it on my car about a year ago I never believed he'd be the presidential candidate.........but as of yesterday he is,kind of, perhaps, the Democratic candidate ..........I'm feeling pretty proud of this country right now........after a long 8 years!!

Always a Bridesmaid Never................!

Another update concerning last weekend! Not that it was SUCH an amazing couple of days, but considering I usually spend the weekends on the deck.......the fact that I was out and about is unusual! So...........on Sunday Granny and I witnessed Tess as a bridesmaid! And she was demure and didn't trip!!! Yea, Tess.........those 15 years of ballet did pay off!! It was the wedding of her old friend from Davis, Jennifer. The wedding was a wonderful low-key affair, just my style. AND......they had the most delicious coconut shrimp at the reception.

Another bonus of the wedding was I got to hang out a lot with Tess' beau, Ryan.......since Tess was busy with her maidenly was a blast......I'm happy to report he's a great guy!

I got home to find Seth on our sofa struggling to complete his thesis before this Friday......I provided some comfort our family, bean burritos........then took a shower and headed up to bed.

Maybe something exciting will happen tommorrow and then this blog will be back on track !

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Empire Mine Trippin'

I finally got my camera back!! I'd left it at my Mom's this weekend, so down to the valley I went this I'm back in business! A little catching up to do>>>>>>>

On Saturday Jim and I drove over to Grass Valley, an awesome little town near by. First we went to Peaceful Valley Farm Supply for some organic fertilizer......Jim bought 10 bags as the price is set to almost double, along with everything else in this country! Peaceful Valley is a great trip even if that's the only place we go........all the old California hippies kind of congregate there......I suddenly become a flower child once again! Saturday...however....we had a full day planned.

Next on the agenda was lunch at Paco's delicious, so cheap. It was a beautiful day so we sat outside and discussed what to do with our lives........still weren't able to figure it out! Maybe a hike !!!!! We headed over to the Empire Mine .......a huge gold mine that was active from 1850 to 1952. There are a lot of cool old buildings and equipment........I wish I could have played "pretend" there for a day when I was a kid! I think we still had it in us to do it even now, but there were too many sane people we headed for the nearby forest.

We enjoyed a lovely 4 mile hike....even meeting a few pleasant people along the way. Soon we headed home.....never tiring of the amazingly beautiful road home.