Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Fine Spring Day

These are "file" photos from my yard, taken last month. Today is supposed to be cloudy and cool, a good thing if you are working in the yard. Jerry and I have busy days planned, but we are working on different projects. He has hired some help and rented a "sod cutter" to remove most of the grass portion of our yard. Around here "grass" is something of a euphemism, mixed as it is with all varieties of weeds. The cleared area will be the new home of some garden paths and beds of drought tolerant plants, our effort to use less water in our arid region.

My projects, for today at least, are indoors. I will be doing a quick house clean, throwing together some crock pot chilli and setting up sewing tables for a group. We are doing a family wedding quilt since another nephew will be getting married in June. A few years back we started this tradition and it is always fun. Since it is hard to know how the bride wants to decorate her home, we do a "Christmas" quilt. This seems to have worked out well. So far, we have all the blocks made and up on a design wall. Today we will do the quilt top assembly, add borders and piece a backing. I have lined up my friend Barbara to do the quilting on her longarm so we can have it ready by April 19th (the shower date).

In case you were wondering, my trip to San Francisco last weekend was fabulous. I didn't do any shopping, but I had a great time walking the neighborhoods and some of the parks with my son Andy. I got a good feel for how he is living, and now when we talk I can picture him in his new environment. Lots of good quality family time with some of the other relatives too. Our weather was just perfect, made to order. It really could not have been better. San Francisco has such a good system for so many things that are lacking here (good public transit, better and easier recycling for EVERYTHING). We make every effort, but it is nice to see "green thinking" as part of government.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

San Francisco Here I Come

Right after I blogged about our early "summer" weather, things cooled off considerably and we even had some rain. Although there is no rain in the forecast right now, this was probably good preparation for my trip to San Francisco. I am leaving tomorrow for a long weekend in that lovely city, and I am especially excited to spend time visiting with my son Andy. He has been home to see us, but this is the first time I will see where he lives. He has lots of plans for us, and I am looking forward to them all. This is not my first time in San Francisco, so there will be no need to do the usual tourist things. Instead I can focus on his neighborhood (Haight). More family will be visiting at the same time, so we expect to have a lot of fun together and a very special Easter celebration. I only wish Jerry were coming along, but he will be stuck at home babysitting the elderly pets. Sadly, I think we will be travelling one at a time as long as they are still with us.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Get Ready For Summer

I thought I'd show you the great quilt my friend Kathy made and shared at our last quilt group meeting. What a hoot! (This is all applique and not a panel.) She made it for a dear friend of her mom's, but unfortunately I think I can see myself in this picture.

In most parts of the country Spring is just getting started, but here we are gearing up quickly for summer. Inland temps are going to be up near 90 today. I love the sunshine but not the heat, so I don't look forward to those triple digits that are sure to arrive when summer really gets here. On the coast it will be much milder. I have to spend most of the day indoors at work so I won't be seeing much outside until very late in the afternoon. I love that we have daylight savings time again and have so much more time for our evening walks at the lake.

I have been working like mad to get everything together to submit to the "Voice Great Within Us" show. I love the piece I made for it and I think I have a good chance to get in. I can't share it here just yet though. I only have a day or two left to get some better photos since I'm not happy with the ones I've taken so far.

On the family front, we are also working madly to get a quilt together for the next wedding shower to be held in April. We have a family tradition of making a quilt for each wedding with all the women participating. The men would be welcome to help us too, but so far none have shown an interest. To tell the truth, I think it is more fun with just the girls. My sister in law Diane and I cut all the pieces and made "block kits" to pass out to the participants. We will have an assembly day at the end of the month. I will share pictures when we get it all together.

In the yard we have a mammoth project to remove the turf and make a drought tolerant garden. What a lot of work! We clearly are going to have to hire some help for this one. We visited the Cuyumaca College gardens to get ideas, and we found that we already have many of the plants they are showing. Jerry is changing out most of the irrigation in the yard to drip now. We have had the orchard on drip for years but we always had the typical grass lawn up near the house. I hope this isn't one of those projects that drags on and on. Wish us luck!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Big Fun

Since I need some visuals, here are more pictures from the yard. This last one is my sweet old girl Nikki taking her sunbath. She will be 14 in May. We have been having a few challenges with her lately, mainly with her confusion and quirky behaviour. The vet gave me some new medication that is supposed to help with cognitive function. Nikki has good days and bad days, much like a person who has dementia. We jolly her along, sing songs to her, and gently guide her where she needs to go. We coax her to eat and give her lots of affection. It's the least we can do after she has given us a lifetime of devoted companionship. She still has a mostly good quality of life, so we will continue on until that isn't true anymore.

Today will be a day of BIG FUN for me. This is the start of the San Diego County Quilter's Run, and I am meeting 9 of my quilter girlfriends for a shopping day marathon. Looking around at my stash I see that I really have no business going into quilt shops, but I wouldn't miss a day of fun with my friends for anything. We will start early, carpool from shop to shop, and laugh all day long. We will finish our day with a a nice dinner out and maybe a glass of wine. When I return home I will be happy and exhausted, and maybe I will even have a few treasures.