Happy Birthday to my blue-eyed girl!!! Today, 27 years ago, I was presented with one of my life's biggest challenges and one of my life's greatest joys........my lively and precious girl....Tess-Megan! I love you , Tessy, and am so happy for you and all the great things that lie ahead in your life. I think this is the first of Tess' birthdays that I haven't spent with her........sooooo...here's a great big hug , a sloppy kiss and some reminiscing laughter. Pretty quiet Sunday here today......my allergies are really acting up so unfortunately I've been hanging around inside most of the day. I haven't gotten everything done that I wanted and intended to do, but that's what tomorrows are for!
For me the official start of Summer began today. This morning was the changing of the quilts, from the heavy down comforter to the light summery quilt. The whole bed is stripped.......mattress pad, dust ruffle, blanket and comforter and the bedroom curtains, then we flip the mattress. Everything is washed , hung in the sun to dry and then the bed is made back up after everything is dry......only instead of the comforter I put on this beautiful quilt. I guess this day is one of my favorite days of Summer.......I love the quilt , the bed is so easy to make up .........and I don't have to keep hitting down the fluffy comforter in order to see the TV!!!! Already though I'm kind of looking forward to the quilt -to- comforter transition in the Fall........it feels so cozy........well..... more about that come September! I went down to visit Mom this afternoon and Molly was there also.......we had a nice lunch up at the Lodge and a wonderful visit on Mom's patio. Molly and Ross........mostly Ross......are cooking dinner for Mom tonight and I'm quite jealous.....the menu sounded delicious. Alas......Jim and I will have to make do with grilled steaks and a big salad! Also I promised Jim I'd make more cookies this weekend and there's no time like the present!
Early this afternoon I drove down to Auburn to meet my Dad for lunch. We went to his favorite restaurant in Auburn...the Monkey Cat. It was delicious as usual and it was great to visit with him. He's headed back to his home in Kauai on Friday and will be gone until July. Anyhow.....when I left to drive down it was sunny and getting fairly hot.......on the way back up I noticed the amazing thunder clouds building up. They're so beautiful right now.........very thick and fluffy. I hope we get some rain out of them, but I so enjoy them even if no rain is forthcoming. More snow peas from the garden to use tonight.......chicken stir-fry and brown rice coming right up! Seth is up here this afternoon.......we're all eager to watch the Lakers-Denver Nuggets game tonight. They're all been amazing games......of course we all rooting for Denver!
Heavenly, heavenly Sweet Peas........the colors and the scent......I can't get enough of them!!! They're just starting their bloom and the garden fence is becoming alive with them. My wonderful husband makes sure that I always have my Sweet Peas this time of year. They seem to love growing up here and we do our best to make them feel welcome. I spent the day with my Mom down in Roseville and today I even got her out of the house ..........we went to Panera for one of her favorite Chinese Chicken salads. It was really good, as always, and I think Mom enjoyed getting out and about. Her leg looks better each day and I think the more she moves around the less it swells. After lunch we once again sat our on her patio and enjoyed the beautiful weather. I've got some of our artichokes cooking.......we're also having artichoke ravioli and of course a salad.........we have lettuce running out our ears!
I guess one of the last things I ever thought we would grow up here are artichokes........I always picture them growing in a lush coastal valley around Monterey........just goes to show we shouldn't let our preconceived ideas limit our lives! Every year we enjoy at least a half-dozen of these west coast delicacies. Our favorite way to enjoy them is to steam them with a whole lot of garlic ......then dipping them in seasoned rice vinegar with black pepper. Makes even a dinner of mac and cheese a dining adventure! This afternoon I headed down to Roseville to keep Mom company during her recovery. We had a nice visit out on her beautiful patio and I'm happy to report and she's still progressing really well. Jim and I have the house to our selves tonight......grilled ribs and baked potatoes for dinner......always Jim's favorite. I know Jim's really enjoyed his four day "vacation" up here and is dreading the return to work.........the least I can do is see to it that he enjoys his dinner tonight!
I have the most gorgeous Peony blooming on my front porch steps. Tess gave it to me for Mother's Day about 4 years ago and every year it comes back from nothing to give me these sweet, fragrant blooms. The blooms last about a week and then it's all over until next year. The foliage is beautiful throughout the summer, but after just a few cold nights in the fall it disappears completely until around the middle of April. Sorry, not to have written for several days........like you really care!!!! I have a great excuse, however .......as I wrote in my last post, my Mom had her surgery on Thursday and so I've been spending some time with her in Roseville. I'm happy to report she's doing great and just about back to her old....er, young ....self. She's bounced back easily and is already eying the golfers who go by her backyard with a competitive gleam. An unexpected surprise this weekend ....my Tessy-Meg paid us a visit. It was wonderful to see her and get to hang out on the deck with her. We did an early Birthday celebration last night , as her 27th birthday we be next Sunday. Molly and Ross also came up so we had a nice little party. Today I spent at home..........wonderful weather...about 70 degrees. Tess just left, but Ross and Molly should be home from their hike soon and maybe bring Seth with them. A real Memorial Day dinner tonight..........barbecued hamburgers, grilled corn-on-the-cob, pasta salad and watermelon. Maybe I do like Summer..........just a little bit!
What a wonderful day today was.........home all day, working in the garden, talking to Jenny, and picking these beautiful snow peas that Jim grew. Some I'm planning to cook for dinner , others I'll take down to my Mom's tomorrow. Mom's having her knee surgery tomorrow and so Denny and Joanie will also be down there with her. Her surgery will be an arthroscopic procedure and so it should be a quick recovery. I know she's anxious to get it over with and maybe be back out hitting golf balls around before Summer's end! Molly just called and she and Ross will be up on Saturday ........as always we'll enjoy having them. The weather is so perfect the last couple of days and it's supposed to stay this way for the rest of the week and all of the weekend. Up here it's about 75' and gets nice and cool in the evening........good sleeping weather! Jilly called this morning........always wonderful to talk to her. Only about 4 weeks until she and the boys arrive. We're all getting pretty excited!!!! I guess a stir-fry's in order for dinner tonight with the abundance of snow peas. We also have a ton of mixed greens from the garden........soooooo, possibly a salad as well!
We had such a wonderful time in Salt Lake visiting Josh, Melanie, Taige and Tia ! We.......me, Molly and Mom....left about 7:00 am on Friday. A little later than we'd hope to leave , but pretty good for us! We drove through to Utah without a hitch and actually had a very merry time of it. About 7:00 pm we pulled up to Josh's house and were soon greeted by his family.........and what a great family they are!! None of us had seen his new house and we were so pleased to see what a lovely place it is........the yard is amazing, built out over a beautiful little canyon with a stream running through the bottom. The house is just perfect for them......everything has been remodeled and the layout of the house is wonderful. Sooooo, we all sat out on the patio enjoying the view of the lake , the sound of the birds and the bowl of chips and salsa! We were joined for dinner by Heather, Melanie's sister. I love Heather ...what a great personality! Soon dinner was over and it was time for cake and presents since it was Taige's 9th birthday! What a treat the evening was for me.......Tia and Taige are so precious. The next morning we were up early and after a breakfast of delious muffins we headed out the Taige's Tai Kwan Do.....spelling??????......and watched him test for his orange belt. It was pretty fascinating stuff......I've never seen much marshal arts stuff. As you can see in one of the above photos, the test was successful and he broke another board, this time by kicking it......he's one step closer to his black belt! Now we were on our way to the Dinosaur Museum, but first we made a stop at an old favorite of mine which they don't have in California........Taco Time!!! All my kids know what I'm talking about!........the best crisp bean burritos in the world!!!! The museum was pretty fascinating......and very entertaining watching the kids reactions to the exhibits! Of course, my crazy son ,Josh, added his own brand of humor to the situation! Since it was Taige's birthday weekend he got to pick a restaurant for dinner , as my Mom wanted to take everyone out. He chose Sizzler.........Sizzler????? Actually, it was very good, but the conversation was even better. We snuck out early .....4;30am....the next morning and drove practically straight through to home. We got to Auburn about 3:00 pm. It was so hot when we got out of the car.......around 102' down in Sacramento. Jim drove down and picked me up so Mom and Molly could head on down there! It was quite a bit cooler up here, but still felt really warm......but there really is .......no place like home!
I know things are usually a little screwy around here......proudly offbeat.......but my poor Xmas cactus seems to think it's late November! I appreciate it's zealous zest for glory , it's ability to transcend mere pages of a calendar........however, I don't know if I can deal with watching it's confusion this weekend as the temperatures climb into the 90's. Actually, I guess I won't be here to witness it.......I'm heading to Salt Lake on Friday to spend Taige's 9th birthday with him! As of this moment....my Mom, Molly and Ross are heading out with me. I haven't been to visit Josh's family for a long time.........it's SO time to go! Been home all day today......it was perfect weather and my allergies actually were a little less obnoxious. I made some bran muffins for Jim's lunches and then cooked up some dinners for Jim to eat while I'm gone. Jim would tell me not to bother, but I like to take as good of care of him as he does me.
A day at home , a lot of it spent out wandering the garden and communing with the chickens. There's so much pollen blowing around it's kind of a toxic environment for me, but I can take it in short doses..........after about 30 minutes I need to go inside, shut the doors and think happy thoughts! However.........during my last foray into the garden I became fascinated by our resident bumblebees. I tried a few weeks ago to get a good photo of one, but they're pretty active little critters and I couldn't get one to stay still long enough to get a good shot. I tried again this afternoon, but didn't have any better luck. Maybe if you click on the photo you'll actually be able to see the sweet little guy. I love the bumblebees up here, they're sweet and industrious and make living up here just a little more rewarding.
Yesterday was a wonderful day.....perfect weather, perfect company and perfect mimosas!!!! We just did our "usual" thing visiting outside on the deck for most of the day. We decided to come inside for the musical entertainment.......very enjoyable! We had a small enough crowd we were able to sit at the dining room table for dinner instead of our usual sit-anywhere dining. Everything wound up about 7:00. Four of the "kids" spent the night so I stayed up a bit longer with them, but soon gave in and headed to bed! Today Tess, Granny and I headed to IKEA and spent a productive....for Tess.....afternoon. Boy, was I glad to pull up the driveway.......everything looked so inviting and it was a good 15 degrees cooler up here, as it had been about 87 degrees down in the valley. Thanks to everyone for the phone calls, cards, and presents! I love you all so very much.
The iris held off until just the perfect day to open .....almost in unison....for the perfect touch for our Mother's Day celebration tomorrow. Like everything else they're extra lush this year because of all the recent rain. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's gathering.......we'll have a house full. Tessy and Ryan are here and Molly, Ross, Granny, Denny, Uncle Ken and Aunt Bonnie......and hopefully Seth won't be working and will be here also. I love having family close by and always enjoy our get-togethers so very much. As far as the days menu......dinner will Teriyaki, brown rice, grilled peppers, greens from the garden and homemade strawberry ice cream for dessert. It's supposed to be in the seventies tomorrow......perfect "deck" weather! This morning I drove down to Uncle Ken's in Roseville where they hold a wonderful brunch for "Mothers". His golf group puts it on and every year he invites me, Aunt Bonnie, Granny, my cousin Bev and her daughter-in-law Lynette. We start with Mimosas and graduate to french toast! It's always a fun morning.....I look forward to it every year. Molly Pie......actually Tamale pie, it's a long story!......for dinner tonight. I think there's going to be seven of us for dinner tonight and Ross has been anxious to try the Molly Pie! Hmmmmmm!!!!!! Soooooo...all you Mothers out there, Happy Mother's Day!!!
This is the final lilac bush to bloom every year......but so worth the wait. Hard to tell in the photos but, the blossoms are a beautiful cranberry pink and they have an even stronger scent than any of the other varieties. When we planted the bush it was in a prominent place in the yard...however now the cedar in front of it has grown so much it pretty much hides the lilac. As the cedar gets even larger we will trim the lower branches and let the lilac shine once more! Still cloudy today,but a bit warmer.......my allergies are loving the tall grasses all this rain has created. Thank goodness for Claritin.....with a healthy dose of Benedryl at night! I don't think I'd be able to live in California if it weren't for the modern allergy meds. Tessy just called and said she and Ryan won't be here until Saturday afternoon......instead of tomorrow. That will actually work out better for me.......but whenever they get here I'll be so happy to see her....it's been a couple of months.
The rain has stopped! Not that it's actually sunny, but at least it's dry. I've spent pretty much all day outside hangin' out with the flowers......Once it gets warm and sunny I think they'll all burst out all over!......the anticipation is palpable. I planted a few more plants in the new barrels....they were ones that we'd dug up before when we were "reworking" the front flower bed. I hope they enjoy their new home and make me proud! These photos are of one of the Dogwood trees growing in the front yard....they've really enjoyed the cool, wet Spring we've had. In the wild they grow in shadowy, damp places and usually where they are in the yard is a bit toasty for their taste........I SO feel their pain! Hmmmm......May 5th.....guess I'll come up with something Mexican for dinner tonight.......I'm always up for any excuse to eat Mexican food! I got some great looking uncooked tortillas at Costco...it'll be a perfect night to make a taco salad with them. I only wish I had some of the salsa Ross makes to go with them........can you hear me Ross??
This afternoon, before yet another storm is due in, I finally got my whiskey barrels planted. Since I've done away with so many of my perennials in the flower bed I've planted three of the barrels around the front yard.......that way I can have my daisys and eat them too!.....or something like that! We came up with all these great plans when we thought Tess and Ryan were going to get married up here......the location has changed, but we're still implementing our plan. Maybe they'll change their minds when they see how beautiful it looks, but probably not. I headed down to Costco this morning and met my Mom there. We did a fairly speedy walk through, but we did seem to beat the crowds and got all the essentials. I stopped by and saw Seth on my way home.......gave him a few bagels and V-8 juice. Hopefully he won't have to work this weekend and can join us on Mother's Day.
As I mentioned we were going to in the previous post we headed over to Sonoma County yesterday for a little out -of- character ........for us....people time. We got out of here about 9:00 and immediately encountered heavy traffic on I-80......I don't know where everyone was headed....it was a cold rainy day, not the sort of day you'd head to the beach. Anyway....we jumped in a middle lane slot and had a pretty smooth cruise. I'd filled up my Ipod .......Jim couldn't wait to hear what new tunes I'd added........lots of songs he's heard hundreds, if not, thousands of times before!.........hey!....I'm a traditionalist!!! When we reached the outskirts of Sebastopol we made a stop at Stella's house. Stella is an old friend of Jim's who's taken up the fiddle and so we stopped and Jim and Stella had a mini jam.......I particularly enjoyed it because .....Stella being somewhat of a beginner......I saw her exhibit the same frustrations that I exhibit trying to play my dulcimer........phrases such as...."Wait!"......"Damn"......"Just a minute".....along with various physical reactions, stomping of feet, fidgeting with hair and generally a lot of squirming! Besides our beginner's kinship I liked Stella and she promised she come up and visit us soon. A short hop up the road and we pulled up in front of Jack and Donna's. They greeted us warmly.......we all love each other. We were hungry......what, me????.... and soon they laid out some delicious snacks we enjoyed while catching up. Jack mentioned he'd recorded the Kentucky Derby so we headed up stairs to the "media room" and enjoyed a great race on their beautiful new 52" HD television. Even Jim was impressed.......keep your fingers crossed, perhaps a new TV will join the Lupine Hill family before too many moons! We also watched a National Geo show about an amazing Chrystal cave in Mexico. Downstairs Donna presented us with a most wonderful dinner....... salmon cioppino , orzo and sweet little green beans.......everything was delicious. By the time we finished is was about 8:00 and time to head home. Thanks again Jack and Donna........we love being with you guys!
I got up fairly early today........for a non-working Jim day......and headed outside before the forecast rain began. I was snapping photos of the glorious Lupines.....which thanks to the cool, damp weather are amazing.......anyhow, as I snapped away I noticed a gathering around the camp fire pit. Some sort of organizing party......perhaps a strike in the makings! Maybe the cheap dog and cat food doesn't cut it anymore.......maybe we're not giving them their fair share of the eggs.....could be that the sleeping quarters need redecorating.......I don't know what they have in mind, but I sure hope we we can all work it out!!! The expected rain is here now......once again the fire is blazing. Guess I'll finish up the last batch of jam...maybe put together some sweet-and-sour shrimp for dinner. Oh!!!...tomorrow we're headed to Sonoma County to visit Jack and Donna....I hope to remember my camera!