Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lookin' Ahead!

Jim had the day off today and here he is digging up the ground to be better able to plant more daffodils........in October!!! The way his mind works is a mystery to me.....I have a hard time dealing with the next 10 minutes! I guess it works out well...one far-sighted person and then a short-sighted, semi blind person!
This evening we're going to a King's game where they'll retire Vlade Divac's jersey......similar to the Chris Weber thing we went to in February. Tonight,however, we're going with Granny, Seth,Ross and Molly. I've already shed a few tears just watching the ads for this game......I Love Vlade! It's sure to be a super fun night.

Monday, March 30, 2009

March Madness !

We had our own little basketball tourney here this weekend. They were wild and woolly games.......Horse, Around-the-World, and a little One-On-One! Molly and I represented the female population of Lupine Hill , while Ross and Seth upheld their gender's responsibility. I think Molly and I each won a game of Horse ......much to our surprise.......but, then, of course, the boys had to assert themselves! By Sunday morning Molly and I had enough of the hoops experience and so we cheered on and refereed Seth and Ross' hotly contested One-On-One. I honestly don't remember who won what that day........Molly and I were laughing too hard at their antics! I'm sure it's but the first of many such tournaments.
I also wanted to let you know what a great party we enjoyed at my Mom's house on Saturday night. Wonderful people, great food, even live music! ..........you can't ask for more. Sorry I don't have any photos...Molly had my camera and it seems she only took pictures of Ross! Imagine that!!!!
Today I spent the day cleaning the garage.......after I donned my heavy gloves to guard against Black Widows! The garage looks way better and now I can walk through it without closing my eyes.........and when you're accident prone like I am...that's a really good thing!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Rite of Passage!

I'm so pleased to tell you that Little Black Hen is now.........well, she's a woman.....of sorts!!! She's become a bonafide egg layer! I'm so happy for her because it seems she's finally relaxed and feels at home enough to...you know...lay an egg! Little Banty eggs are so sweet.......you can gauge it's size in above photo as it's sitting next to a regular size egg. I'm sure the waffles this weekend will taste extra sweet.
Earlier today I drove down and cruised Costco with Mom......I loaded up on their whole-grain bread....the best, as well as the cheapest, I've had. On the way home I stopped in to Seth's and said "Hi". He was working away on his thesis so I didn't stay too long. I think he'll be coming up for dinner tomorrow night....as well as Molly and Ross. I think it'll be a shrimp linguine kind of night. For dinner tonight I made a chicken tortilla soup.......I've never made it before but, it sure smells good. I'm also cooking some huge artichokes with lots of garlic..........they smell heavenly!
I was able to dry the clothes on the clothesline today, but it's really starting to cool off so guess I'd better head out there and retrieve them.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Make A Wish !

Here's a little part of my home that most of you haven't seen.........my wishbone box! It's true.....I always save all wishbones that come through this house. What made me think of it was that I was taking all the meat off the bones of the roasted chicken we had the other night and that we're finishing for dinner tonight and of course there was the wishbone............SCORE! So...with regards to the wishbones......I dry them on my windowsill for a few days and then stash them in my box to save for ....................well, to save for whatever seems appropriate! Most of the time I dole them out to my grand kids........much to their wide - eyed delight!!! I think all most all of their wishes come true.......especially if they share those wishes with me! I hope the whole experience doesn't scar them for life.......I think they're alot tougher than that and I like them to see me as just a little bit off center.........probably not so very hard to do!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Part One!

Here's the "after" photo of the front flower bed! The Lavender and Rosemary all snugly planted in their new home. I think it looks so nice ......so far it's staying orderly and neat. I didn't think I'd be able to deal with those two attributes.......being naturally disorderly and kid of fond of chaos......but it seems peaceful to me. I don't look out there everyday and all I could think of was.......it's a mess...what should I do? So...maybe I found out something about myself......no matter how hard I fight it...I'm beginning to appreciate calm and order. After raising all the kids with all that energy and spontaneity ......calm and order are acquired attributes!
By the way... I also cleaned my cookbook shelves in the kitchen today......again something that's bothered me for a while. Watch out......I'll be cutting my hair and ironing my levis before you know it!!!!!
Jilly called this morning a we had a nice long visit........I can't tell you how wonderful it is to talk with her. I can hardly wait until they're all here in June.
I spent the rest of the day working on a few designs. I'm going to be making bathroom guest towels this year so I've been trying to think up designs other than the typical flowers and seashell kind of things.
Easy dinner tonight....leftover spareribs with baked yams and salad. Hopefully Jim will get home before dark so he can enjoy a little time outside before we call it a day.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary.......and Snow!

The snow held off all day yesterday, but this morning we woke up to several inches of snow and more coming down steadily. So after morning "chores"....ie. clean the house, feed the animals, eat breakfast....we settled down by the fire, got out our books and had a nice long read.
By mid-afternoon the snow had stopped and we felt pretty sluggish! Sooooo....we ventured outside and got a few things in the garden done........and spent some time playing with Jenny in the snow........Jenny LOVES the snow! Now I've retreated inside with cold hands and wet feet , but feel invigorated by the cold fresh air. I imagine Jim will follow me in shortly.
The Kings play once again tonight.......they actually won a game on Friday.......now we're all high on the Kings again! Dinner will be leftover Chinese.......I 'll probably sneak in more book time now for an hour or two!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Green Toes!

What a difference a day makes..........no longer Spring..we're back to Winter! It happened quickly, as weather is apt to do these fickle Spring days. This morning I was out mowing the lawn......as witnessed by above photo.......it was sunny and pleasant out, now it's freezing and while it's still rain it seems we'll be in the snow soon. Well, at least we got a beautiful morning out of the day, even got a few things done in the garden. But since then it's been a curl up by the fire kind of day......I've got a great library book to read so I don't mind a bit!
We've got ribs and baked potatoes cooking in the oven.....I made a lemon pie earlier in the day and the pancake batter is all made for tomorrow's breakfast.......snug and cozy here on Lupine Hill!

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Day of Spring!

The day lived up to it's billing.....it was indeed a very merry Spring day! It must have been in the upper sixties up here and as you can see from the photos blossoms are starting to bust out all over. These pics are of one of the peach trees......aren't these blooms the most delicious shade of pink. If you all come up in a few months I'll make peach short cake for everyone!
I met Mom again today and we spent the day checking out various nurseries.....I didn't buy anything today, but I was of some use to Mom helping to load her purchases in her car. She got some beautiful plants and as always we had a great time "browsing". She's able to plant flowers at least a month before we can up here......so for the time being I'll live vicariously through her!
It's actually supposed to snow a little up here this weekend.......but I can feel it all around me.......Spring has sprung!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lovin' the Lavender!

This about all the lavender I have left from last summer and later today it may be gone as I plan on sewing up some more herbal pillows. The scent of these dried flowers are the essence of warm, sunny days and around this time of year it is a smell I can't get enough of. I'm so glad I bought all those new plants yesterday......there'll be no end to creating with them!
Last night Seth came up for dinner and we watched the Kings lose yet another game......unbelievable! As always it was great to see him and of course Jenny was beside herself with joy when he drove up!
I've got a big pot of spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove......I figure the days of simmering pots is almost over for the year as the barbecue takes center stage for a few months. When the rains hit this weekend I may take that statement back....but right now it seems feasible!
P.S. A very Happy Birthday to Ross ........we're glad to be a part of your life!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

One More Look !

Such a beautiful day I just had to share some of my daffodils with you again! I just drove up the driveway and they were so welcoming , so very cheerful.
I also had a very cheerful day with my Mom......we went to a nursery down in Roseville....our favorite thing to do in the Spring. She got some very pretty flowers to plant in her backyard and I bought some Rosemary and Lavender to plant in our front yard. I use both of those when I make herbal pillows to sell and since I'm tired of fighting the deer in my flower gardens we've dug all the flowers up and replanting with........you guessed it...Rosemary and Lavender! We saved a lot of the flowers and I'll be planting them in half barrels and setting them around various spots for color. It'll be so much easier to do deer damage control!
Hope you enjoy the little mini tour......I'll try to continue to work on my camera skills! At least I got it the right direction this time!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Boil That Cabbage Down!

A little jig music!! Also defying gravity!

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

I just scored the corned beef and cabbage and I can already smell it cooking....I can't wait to slather it with a ton of mustard and dig in! I have a very real love for St. Patrick's Day....such a mellow holiday....doesn't disrupt everyone's life, just creates a bit of gaiety.....everyone seems to smile a little more. I can't believe my hands have not touched a bottle of green food coloring all day........Jim doesn't share the "kids" love of green mashed potatoes, or green refried beans.......he doesn't even like green waffles.....well maybe SOMEDAY I'll have a locally grown grandchild and we can eat green things all the live long day!!!!
I did get to spend a little time with my little red-headed Irish lass Molly Q. today......I met her and we strolled around Target and she picked up a few things for Ross' birthday which is on Thursday. Molly's been so busy with school and teaching that we haven't had much time to get together lately ....so it was a very nice afternoon indeed!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Such a Disappointment !

This poor struggling Quince was planted a least 10-11 years ago and this is the most flowers it's ever produced! I don't know what's wrong with it......I see them all over around here , virtually growing wild with no care what-so-ever......huge bushes, blooming their heads off! We moved it once a few years ago and managed to save it's pathetic life......but let's say it hasn't thrived. I actually took this picture so I can remember what color it is ....so I can replace it some day. But, being a child of the sixties.....it's very hard for me to end it's life.......I struggle with the dilemma most every day..........I would love a big, healthy red quince, but I just can't bring myself to dig this one up as long as it's "trying". Wow.....I know my kids will get a big kick out of this paragraph!!!!!! Well.....I think a couple of them might understand!.......you know who you are!!
On to more pleasant topics.........last night Jim and I headed down the hill and took in dinner and a movie. We went to a sort of new Chinese restaurant , which was very good......and the best part....we have enough leftovers for dinner tonight. Then we saw the movie "Taken"........very action packed and fast paced. Not really a "chick movie", but I was never bored!
Tomorrow is Jim and my anniversary.....lucky number 13......but, more about that tomorrow!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Local Food!

Seth is on his way up to watch a King's game this evening and so I thought it was time to fill up the old nut bowl......everyone in this family is nut-addicted! As I was pouring them out onto the cookie sheet to roast it occurred to me how fortunate we are around here to have such abundant and diverse locally grown food. Almonds like these grow up and down the Sacramento Valley...along with most fruits you can imagine ....even most of the rice sold in the U.S. comes from here. The local food movement is one that I feel is a worthy one........besides saving all the resources used to ship food....there's something so satisfying about eating food that comes from land you know and food that's in season. Local strawberries will be the next epicurean delight!! I know...this is easy for me to say ...living within 100 miles of some of the most productive and diverse farmland in the world but, most if not all, places have a fairly large selection of locally grown food.......you just have to figure out how to preserve it so it lasts throughout the year. I recommend a book Denny and Joanie gave me for Xmas...."Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver........you'll never look at your food quite the same way again. I don't know....maybe that's not such a good thing!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Out of Tune!

I actually just about got up my nerve to post a short video of me playing a little tune on my dulcimer.......a REALLY little tune......but as I sat down to play it sounded really horrible! Not just my playing.....but the dulcimer itself was out of sorts! It needs a good tuning.....badly! I tried using the piano to find some kind of tuning.......didn't work. I just kept getting the poor instrument further and further from tuning perfection. After about an hour of frustration I looked to Amazon..........I now have an electronic tuner ordered and on it's way. I promise once it arrives and I figure it out...I shall play for you!
Other than instrumental frustration the day went well......how could it not!....it was a beautiful day .......sunny and getting warmer every day! I went down to Auburn, scored a few groceries......played around outside with Jenny.....ironed some of Jim's work shirts.......a productive mellow day.......just the kind I like!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cowboy Junkie!

I guess it because it's so nice today and I've been hanging around outside a lot, but I really miss having some youngsters around today. This little "horse" looks so forlorn and in need of a serious ride! I think homes like this in the country are meant to enjoy the squeals of children and all the energy they provide. Even though my kids were raised in some of the most beautiful places in the U.S.....everyday I wish I they been able to live here as children....so much to explore, such a welcoming house, no neighbors to disturb and , not to mention, the fresh veggies from the garden. Well, before too long the grand kids will be whooping it up around here and I know the memories that they have of this home will never be forgotten. I just can't wait until I hear the screen door slamming followed by cries of excitement at the sight of deer, a trick Jenny just did, or the huge carrot Grandpa Jim just pulled out of the garden!

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Daffys Are Here, the Daffys Are Here!

We may have to rename Lupine Hill to Daffodil Hill.....its seems the daffodils are everywhere.....and they're shouting "Spring" loud and clear! I guess I must agree, even though it's freezing here today,by the end of the week it's supposed to be in the 60's up here! The "daffys" seem extra vibrant this year, I guess all the rain and cold weather agrees with them.....and the very best thing about them....the deer don't touch them!!! I wish you could all come and see them.....they really are a sight to behold.
I went down to Auburn this afternoon and met my Dad and Seth for lunch. My Dad looks great and seems to have made peace with his new financial status. He'll be here in California for a few weeks before heading back to his home in Hawaii.......yeah, don't feel too sorry for him!!!!!!
We had a wonderful weekend.....it was sunny all weekend so we had some very nice outdoor time. Saturday I met Mom and Molly in Roseville and as always we had a fun afternoon.....Mom's knee seems a bit better , with the help of Aleve, so she's able to get around a bit more. Molly , Ross and Seth came up here later that day and stayed until Sunday evening....so the weekend was full of fun!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue.....

Good morning! I just wanted to share these dainty, sweet little violets that are springing up in the shade of the house. It seems to me that the ground where they're thriving is still frozen, but it must feel perfect to them. If we were ever to move from this house it would be all the little semi-hidden things that I would miss the most, such as knowing where the Violets bloom , where the Forget-Me-Nots hide and the sound of the frogs on a summer evening.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Here a Chick...There a Chick!

Just a little update on the youngest members of the family....today, as you can see, they got to hang out with the big girls! Cookie jar was very curious and Little Black Hen not so much. It was all very exciting...no one knew exactly how to act and when Jim and I started to ruffle our feathers and make odd sounds we decided we should go find other forms of entertainment! So.......we headed down the hill for more vegetable seeds....even though we KNOW it'll still be awhile before it's safe to plant much up here.
As if that weren't enough excitement for one day we then headed to the lumber store and I was transfixed with all manner of pine boards. Jim made the appropriate choice for the shelves he's fixing to build for his record collection and off we went! Next stop was lunch at the locally owned Taco Tree......Ryan, eat your heart out!....where they serve a delicious veggie burrito for $1.82.
When we got back up here it had turned cloudy and was so cold.....so now we've got the fire cranked up and, for the time being, dreams of a lush vegetable garden will have to wait .

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I know we need the rain......but...rain,rain go away! It has poured up here for the third straight day..... along with a stiff breeze for good measure! I guess the reservoirs are beginning to fill...I'm sure that when summer rolls around I'll be glad we got this deluge......I'll probably even look back with longing to these cold wet days, but right now..on this particular day...I've had enough!
Veggie tacos for dinner tonight.......another rousing [NOT!] Kings game on the tele....and later catch up on last night's "24"...hurray for DVRs!

Monday, March 2, 2009

When Life Gives You Lemons!

A bumper crop....particularly for a fruit that's not supposed to grow in the mountains!! Mind you ...I'm not complaining.....it's just a dilemma about what exactly to do with all of them! A person can only drink so much lemonade. I guess...after much conferring with my google search bar...I've decided to juice them and freeze the juice in ice cube trays, then transfer the little lemon juice cubes into plastic bags.....there by being able to easily retrieve them for any purpose! Lemon puzzle solved!
I actually reduced my "problem" by a little this afternoon by making a lemon-poppy seed cake....it smells delicious........we shall see!
The rest of the day was spent sewing and contemplating what the market will be like this year. Business was down about 20% last year and I imagine it may be worse this year. Will people be looking for light-heartedness, soberness, or just looking not to spend money! Time shall tell.
I think it's actually stopped raining this evening.....if this keeps up I may even venture down the driveway tomorrow!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Blank Screen!

Well, we're finally back "on the grid" after 15 hours without power. The electricity was actually turned off last night by PG&E ......they've installed some new equipment designed to be more stable.....possibly resulting in less power outages, but I'm not convinced! I don't think either Jim or I slept well last night....even though it's always extremely quiet up here...last night was different. There's always kind of an electrical buzz in the air with all the electrical contraptions in the house and it's absence last night was conspicuous. Tonight I guess the LEDs will be glowing and the electricity buzzing and we'll probably sleep like babies.......how utterly sad!
It's a stormy day outside and neither Jim or I can muster much energy. I've finished half of one of my library books....Jim's sorted out his vegetable seeds...and not much else happening. Oh...and we've been eating a lot of peanut brittle .....so there!