Jim took the day off today and we...or rather he.......woke up with the idea of a hike in the canyon. I woke up thinking....I don't need to walk on the blasted treadmill today! A differing of day envisionment! After I whined around abit this morning he got the clue that I wasn't so into a hike.....I wanted to do something more "fun".....as in no effort required! Being the wonderful man he is..he came up with the great idea that we would do something besides hiking........imagine that!! We first stopped at the feed store and got a bag of chicken feed, stopping to admire the new chicks they'd just gotten in. Then on to the new Home Depot in Auburn....where I took my time admiring the flowers they have in, Jim checked out lumber prices for upcoming projects we'd someday like to build. It's a very nice store and had a really big ladies restroom....bonus points from me!! From there it was a leisurely drive up to Grass Valley and our favorite old hippie haunt,Peaceful Valley...an organic growing supply store you've heard me mention before. We got some organic fertilizer,which Jim is unloading in our barn in above photo..... blue potatoes to plant, bok choy , lettuce and watermelon seeds. The watermelon looks awesome....it's called Moon and Stars watermelon and it's dark blue on the outside with yellow "stars" and one "moon" and kind of pink inside.......should be a trip if it grows. A trip to Grass Valley wouldn't be complete without a stop at Paco's Tacos....it did not disappoint.....so good!!! And......on the way home Jim stopped and got Chinese for dinner tonight!! I guess maybe a little whining now and then doesn't hurt!
Finally!!!! I got to the library.....I feel complete again! I really dislike not having a current book that I'm invested in.....kind of panic stricken! I finished the book Denny and Joanie gave me at Xmas...."Animal,Vegetable, Miracle", highly recommended.....anyhow, I finished it a couple of weeks ago and have been bookless every since! I am so a book person....I sometimes confuse my life with some character in a book that I'm reading.......does that make me certifiable???? Well, I must be feeling my age today because I picked out three books dealing with ancient times......maybe it's all the huddling around the fire I've been doing lately! A bonus of the library up here is that I get to catch up with my friend Robin, the librarian.....always good for a how-does-your-garden-grow discussion, along with a few laughs. By the way....you may notice a new title in the "Blogs I Follow" list on the right hand side of this blog. The new one......Mamas,Trains,Trucks,Prison and Getting Drunk....is Molly's boyfriend Ross'. I take no responsibility for the content,but knowing Ross it'll be entertaining! I also recommend.....Look to Norway....it's my Jilly's blog, full of photos of my beautiful daughter and her beautiful sons! Just click on the blog titles and they'll take you right to them. By the way , the 3rd title....The Token Hippie"...is not for the faint of heart or the politically conservative, but I think it's a hoot!
Her she is......the transplanted little Banty from Elverta! Seems that she's settled in nicely with Cookie Jar and before too long they'll be joined by the five little chicks. The new little hen is a feisty little thing....as all small hens must be.......I don't think she's had much human contact, or if she has it wasn't the positive kind. I'm sure she'll mellow out soon......Jim and I seem to have that effect on most creatures that find their way into our care. Today Mom had to take her car in for a unexpected repair so I headed down to do some errands while we waited for her car. We headed to WalMart..I'm somewhat embarrassed to say......I really don't like what they do to small town America.....but, I must say, it's a pretty fascinating store to wander around in......I think next time I'll bring a picnic lunch....it's THAT big. I think I saved some money on the few things I bought....I know it's tempting to buy a lot of " made in China" junk that I don't need....but I resisted......Hurray for me! It was pretty sunny and warm down in the valley.......still pretty cloudy and cold up here, but no rain today so I've been wandering around outside taking it all in. It doesn't really feel like winter any more even though it's still cold. I guess it's the light....very different than even a few weeks ago. I haven't had a fire all day....none in the morning because I was working around and knew I was going to be leaving, but I think I'll start one now.....and then guess I'd better start thinking about what to cook for dinner......any ideas??
Although I'm aware there are some people out there who consider manzanita to be a horrible nuisance....I am not one of those people. I adore manzanita because it processes traits that I admire in all living things......ruggedness, adaptability and of course beauty,,,remember beauty is in the eye of the beholder! But, really....just look at this photo......luscious , unusual...even pretty pink...blossoms , which show up like clockwork in the latter part of February, brightening the whole property up. My wonderful friend Pam and I used to make the most gorgeous wreaths out of the branches......we even used to sell them! It was a beginning of Spring ritual that I miss. I could make some myself, but somehow the task calls for companionship. Speaking of companionship....Molly and Ross just left to head back down to Davis and as usual we had a fun weekend with them. Yesterday we headed down to the valley, picked up Mom and then headed off to pick up a new little Banty hen I got off of Craig'slist.......but more about her another day. Anyhow we managed to make it into a real fun day......even working in a hamburger somewhere along the way......Mom,me,Ross and Molly.....guaranteed laughter! Today was cold and rainy so while Molly graded papers and Jim wandered the "back forty'...Ross and I battled at Cribbage and Backgammon all afternoon. Ross is an awesome player...but I stayed close!......let me qualify that.....kind of close! Oh....we also had a lot of music and I'm diligently practicing to become one of the "band".......I'm a long ways off, but I do love playing my new toy. It's quiet here now and getting dark......probably a burrito Sunday night dinner and then get ready to switch into weekday mode......early to bed and really, really early to rise!
Look what came in the mail today........my mountain dulcimer!! I ordered it a couple of weeks ago with the money my Mom gave me for my birthday and I've been so excited for it to arrive! Needless to say..I've been trying to learn how to play it all afternoon and got very little else done!......but, it's so fun....if not somewhat impossible for me! Jim's been patiently helping me out .......we just played a duet.....me on dulcimer,Jim on fiddle....of "Old Joe Clark" and we both actually ,occasionally hit the same notes at the same time! Molly and Ross are due to arrive up here any minute......they're sure to be awestruck! I'm sure I'll be wasting way too much time on my new passion this weekend, but, hey........music feeds the soul!
I've been meaning to introduce these young ladies to everyone sooner, but just haven't gotten around to it! Jim and I went down to the feed store a few weeks ago and got four little Rhode Island Reds. They were only two days old when we brought them home.....very adorable. However.........a couple of days later we noticed that one had suddenly died. Such is life...er , death...in the world of chickens. Several days later...the day Seth moved into his apartment, we stopped and picked up two more chicks. It was a miserable cold day, snowing clear down in Auburn and the poor hapless little chicks were in a paper bag. While we moved Seth's stuff from his storage locker to his apartment I struggled to get the little ladies warm.......they were some confused , cold chicks! Finally, we headed back up here so Seth could pick up his car. The road was a mess......deep snow, cars slipping all over...long story short....it took us about two hours to get here.....a trip that usually takes about 20 minutes. After a very long day the chickies at last met their new roomies and snuggled in their cage by the woodstove. Everyone's been doing really well since that day.....they're no longer fuzzy little things....they now have actual feathers. I almost undid all the the hard growin' that's been going on today when I tried to get a good photo of them......I opened a the cage door, the better to see them and out they poured! So I spent close to an hour chasing the girls around the family room.....hoping someone wouldn't find a hiding place that I couldn't find! At last we were all exhausted....they were safe in their home and I headed for the fridge and popped open a Diet Coke!
Lemons in the snow.......about sums up this crazy winter here in Northern California! Yesterday I mentioned getting the crust for my lemon tart done before the power once again went out........well, it never did go out ....a whole 24 hours with full power! I did somewhat power down by afternoon and so opted for a hard fought game of Gin with Jim rather than making the lemon filling for the tart. Today, however, I was inspired to finish the tart. So......I walked out into the snow on the deck and picked some cheery yellow Meyer lemons.......instant mood upswing! The finished product sits on the kitchen counter and promises a wonderful, mouthwatering end to the evening.
February 14......a day of love! Also, it appears...a day of cold and snow! We woke up to about 6 inches of new snow ......making a total of over a foot and they're saying the fun has just begun! We're expecting more snow for the next week along with winds approximately 20-40 mph. Alas Jim and I are cozy and warm......the fire's blazing and I'm about to go in a make him some chocolate covered almonds for his Valentine. I made all the heart cookies in the photo yesterday.....I'd planned to take some down to my Mom and a couple of her friends, but I couldn't get down the driveway yesterday.....or today. Maybe they'll still taste okay sometime next week. The power's been out at least once everyday for the last few days, but our trusty little "genny" is all gassed up ready to go. It does effect how I go about my day.....everything that requires electricity I try to take care of early in the day......even partially cook dinner so it's easy to finish up on the wood stove. For tonight I've started twice baked pototoes that I can wrap in foil and finish in a dutch oven....and as soon as I'm finished here I'm going to make a ginger snap crumb crust for a lemon tart......Jim's favorite....for dessert. I got the recipe from Jack and Donna, my favorite adventure cooking people....they're always coming up with surprising and delicious taste combinations. Sooooo......Happy Valentine's to all of you.......love the one you're with!
Weird winter.......sunny and warm, flowers blooming.......now, Bam........a week of snow! Picture above illustrates one the more frustrating aspects of snow.......somebody has to go out every 1/2 hour or so and hose the snow off the satellite dish in order to watch the blasted TV! Even worse...tomorrow I'm supposed to take the 4-Runner down to help Seth finish moving in and Jim may have to take the 4-Runner in order to get to work......hopefully there won't be so much snow tonight and he'll be able to use the Subaru. I hope to get to the grocery store tomorrow also and "lay in supplies"......the power's already gone out once and I'm sure we're in for a few more outages.......so if you don't hear from me in a while.....I just don't want to waste the generator's power!
Well...we celebrated in style! Even Tess-Megan showed up for the party. Molly, Ross, and Seth were also there.........of course along with Jim and our hostess-with-the mostess, Granny! The house , as always, was beautiful....even fresh flowers and the dinner amazing! We feasted on chicken fried steak, aspargus and Ceasar salad. I felt honored and very loved the whole evening.......I am such a lucky woman! So many wonderful gifts from everyone there and from those far away. Thanks so much to everyone for thinking of me. Jim gave me a nifty little video camera, called an IFlip.....and I'm going to try to download a short little video from the party. Wish me luck.......otherwise this will be a boring little blog!
Today is my 59th birthday and the year got off to an early, great start last night! Jim had gotten tickets ,as I mentioned in my last post, for the King's game where they retired Chris' jersey..........it was such a fun night!! First we had dinner at our favorite Japanese restaurant in downtown Sac......mmmmm, so tasty! Onward to Arco arena where we found our seats up in the nosebleed section, but we had a great view of all the action. The picture I took of the arena was way before the game started and it looks pretty empty, but it turned out to be the first sold out Kings game in a long time. We were playing Utah...one of our arch rivals.......and Josh's home team! We were up by 10 points at the half and then the tear-jerking started!! Chris' jersey retirement was a wonderful ceremony.....my tears were flowing freely! And the truly awesome part was that all "my boys" were there......Vlade, Doug and Scott Pollard. When the game resumed Utah began to take over and after a very exciting finish they beat the Kings...............but for a little while the magic of the old Arco was there.....there was yelling, stomping and cheering......I couldn't have asked for a better send off to my 59th year!
Well, here they are ....long awaited photos of "Bubba's Lair"! Of course, this photos don't do justice to the awesomeness of his place. I should have taken some pics of the outside also. It's a quaint little 4-plex....sort of a country feel to it....lots of trees, open space, etc., but it's also very close to town [Auburn]. He's still house sitting at his boss's house so he won't be moving in until at least the early part of next week. We'll make him have a "house-warming" party.......I can't wait to see Seth play host! I stayed home all day today and made a pot roast on the wood stove......it smells so good!......it's been cooking since about 10:00 this morning. I haven't made one for a long time and had forgotten what an easy meal they are....everything in one pot! Tomorrow Jim got tickets to a Kings game. They're a horrible team this year, but tomorrow night they're going to retire Chris Weber's jersey........Chris is one of my all time favorite King's players and I know I'll be teared up most of the evening and not just because the Kings are stinkin' the place up!
This photo represents the steady decline of our Super Bowl party last Sunday! Actually we had a very fun time ....even though Ross' team won...not the more deserving team, the Arizona Cardinals! I had red candy set out everywhere, but it just didn't do the job! Alas....we had lots of great food, wonderful guitar and fiddle music and ,as always, a whole lot of laughter! Yesterday I spent the day with Seth as he searched for an apartment in Auburn. He found an awesome one and signed a year lease! It's a really great place......very bright, very clean ......just perfect!!! I'm so happy for him. Granny came up to Auburn today and we went to Target and got Seth a few things he'll be needing.......and he needs a lot!!!! Tomorrow I'll post some photos of his new "pad". Sounds like our Spring-like weather is over......cold and snow predicted for the whole weekend starting tonight. I keep telling myself......we NEED the rain!