Thursday, April 30, 2009

I did it! I finally finished the doily I have been working on for close to a month! It is over 23 inches across, which explains part of the reason it took so long, but the main reason was that I kept making mistakes, and ripping out two or three rows at a time. I had a hard time blocking it so that it was even - my blocking board is only 24 inches across.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A nice quiet weekend! Yesterday was less hectic than I thought it would be - Ralph helped out by running kids for me! Allison had a baseball game in Shasta Lake City at 8:30, and Alex had a soccer game at 10:30 at the Soccer Park, but he had to be there at 9:45 for pictures, and then he needed to go out to the Camporee for scouts. I lucked out, and only had to go to Alex's game. Ralph took Alli to her game - the first one he's made it to this year, and I took Alex to his game. Ralph ran Alex out to the Camporee after the game, and I took Alli with me to the grocery store. It is about a 30 minute drive to the Camporee from here, and he is less than two miles away as the crow flies! That two miles is across the airport from here, and there is no direct road, hence the 30 minute drive (mostly on dirt roads)

Alex's team won their game by 4 or 5 goals - I stopped counting. They lost their game last weekend by the same amount. Some of the kids on the opposing team were kids he played with last year, and from school. I sat with one of the mom's I met last year, so it was a disappointing game to be so one sided. I know the other team was missing at least one player because of scouts - he is in Alex's troop, and he was already at the Camporee. It was good for our team's spirit - they were pretty set back by the last game. They did practise hard between games, with lots of coaching in 'playing together' and did play well together, they were just running circles around the other team yesterday.
After running to the grocery store, I started cleaning house - yuck! I did do one chore I had been putting off for far too long - scrubbing the frig! I pulled everything out and washed shelves, etc. Today is laundry day, and maybe....a little work outside? I didn't get out yesterday. I spent most of the day cleaning! Ralph has put drip lines in to water all my plants in the front flower bed, and my beans are coming up nicely. My cucumbers, though - it doesn't look good. I only saw a couple of sprouts yesterday. More should be coming up than that. I may see if I can get plants and transplant them, if the bugs are going to eat my seeds and sprouts! (I'm blaming the bugs - not my gardening skills, okay?)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The beans are up! It's official - I have a garden! (At least for the moment!) The cucumbers have a few plants popping up, but not enough yet to call them a success. This is about the time that the bugs eat all of my plants - while they are young and tender! The weather has been good for the garden too - heat in the 90's, and humid. We are supposed to cool back down this weekend to more normal weather - mid 60's to 70's. I'm not ready for the heat yet. It was 95 degrees on Monday!
Even the roses are happy right now!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Back to work today! Bummer! I did get quite a few things on my to-do list done, but not nearly enough. The kids are still out of school today, so Alex spent the night at Dallas, and Alli will go to Sandy's for the day.
Saturday's baseball game went well. Alli's team only had 5 players show up, and since the inning is only long enough for everyone to bat, we finished up early. I still missed the last few batters from the other team, since I had to go down to Anderson for a meeting, but we caught most of the game. Alli is really improving! She is actually breaking out into a run between bases (sometimes) and she actually hit the ball off the T all my herself this time. Usually, I stand behind her and hold her hands on the bat and make her swing. Saturday, I just put her hands on the bat, and let her swing it herself. She didn't really swing the bat, but she did poke the ball off the T. As one of the coaches said, each year she improves a little bit, and this year she seems to really be having fun out here. We'll take it!
Alex's game on Saturday wasn't quite as good. They lost by quite a bit (6-2??) and it was hot! The thermometer in the car had 86 degrees, and they play on artificial turf, which is hotter. Alex hurt his ankle in the tail end of the game. It's recovering pretty well, but it acts up if he rolls it or steps wrong.
We made our flying trip up to Susanville. Dad seemed to like his new blanket I made (believe it or not - I forgot to take pictures!) It was a fleece John Deere blanket. He shared with Allison while we were there. Dad still isn't getting around much, but he's 'better than he was'. His home nurse (checked in once a week) is going away this week, and so will his in-home therapist, so he will have to start going in to town for therapy. He wants to start driving, but Mom and my brother won't let him - his reflexes are not up to speed at all.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Busy Saturday today! Alli has a baseball game in Shasta Lake City at 8:30, I have a Trustee's meeting in Anderson at 10:00, Alex has a soccer game at 2:30, and then we are headed up to Susanville to catch part of Dad's birthday! We won't catch much of it - by the time we get through Alex's game, and he showers (I'm not driving for two hours with him after a game without a shower!) we probably won't get out of here until close to 5:00, which puts us in Susanville close to 7:00. Luckily, none of the items are high stress things. Alli's game is fun, because she really doesn't care if she is there or not. It won't upset her, and will probably make her happy, when we have to leave early for me to get down to Anderson by 10:00.

Alex and I got the front flowerbed planted yesterday. We put in the border, and petunias and allysum (spelling? - not much better than last time!) The border involved a bit of digging, especially around some big tree roots, but Alex took care of that part for me. Ralph is supposed to run some more drip line out for me to water the new plants I put it. If not, it may be time for Alex and I to figure out how to do that! I got replacement tomato and pepper plants yesterday, too, but they have not gotten planted yet. That is on my agenda between my meeting and the soccer game today. (I had Alex take the plants out to the garden as soon as we got home, and out of sight, out of mind - I completely forgot about them until last night!)

I even talked Alex into a bike ride yesterday! I am doing good with getting out more! That will probably come to a halt as soon as I go back to work, but it was fun this week!

Friday, April 17, 2009

I'm not a happy camper right now! Doesn't Willey just look so sweet and innocent, curled up on Alex, sleeping?
He just killed one of my finches! (Willey, not Alex) Bad Cat! Life was running quietly this morning, just Allison and myself up, and I had just started checking e-mails when I heard Willey hit the cage. The poor little bird was dead by the time I got in there. I didn't see any marks on him, nor feathers flying around, so I think he just scared him to death, or scared him enough to make him fly into the side of the cage and break his neck. Poor baby! I've stopped replacing the finches when they die now, mainly because of the cause of death (Willey!) so I am down to two. Bad Cat!
Speaking of killed - here is one of my brand new tomato plants I put out - killed! I put them out on the 14th, and the 'local folklore' is that you shouldn't plant until after the 15th in Redding. They were right - it got down to 32 degrees on the night of the 14th, and I lost two tomato plants, and two pepper plants - almost half my garden in one blow! Since it is supposed to be in the mid 80's this weekend, this was probably the last freeze of the year, and I had to plant that day!
Alex and I took Alli for a bike ride yesterday. It wasn't a great success, mainly because I think, the seat was too low on Alli's bike, and she couldn't move her feet. She did okay for the first half of the ride, and then started crying, so we walked the last little bit home (from the corner of Bonita). She still cried part of the way home while walking, but was pretty cheerful by the time we got to the house. She even turned into the right driveway, with no prompting from me - I was very happy to see that! I think she forgave me, as she was pretty good all day for me. Prior to the bike ride, she even walked a mile on the treadmill, so she got some exercise in yesterday!
Here is a picture of my shopping booty from Wednesday! I spent part of yesterday rearranging my closets - putting winter stuff away and bringing spring/summer stuff out. Quite a bit of my closet went to a box for either a garage sale or to Goodwill - depending on whether or not we participate in the local neighborhood garage sale - set for May 2nd this year. If we want to have a sale, that is the best time - the neighborhood is filled with people.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Yesterday was a better "Alli" day. I won't say she was a perfect angel, but it was a better day. I didn't get much accomplished around the house, but I didn't try to either. I did go shopping - just for me! Alex and Dallas watched Alli for a couple of hours, and I hit a couple of stores. I didn't do too bad! For under $120, I got one dress, one top and skirt outfit, one pair of dress slacks, one long sleeve shirt, two short sleeved dress shirts, and a new purse! True to form, I ran out of patience shopping before I got everything I wanted to get. (Shopping is not high on my 'to-do' list to have fun - a little bit goes a long way!) A few items I still want to get - new shoes, including sneakers. Mine are old with no cushion left. Not that I do a lot more than just walk around in them, ones would be nice!

Today - the agenda calls for work in the front flower bed. I have edging for the front border to put in, and then new petunias, and some allisum, (spelling? little white flowers, good for edges) to put in, along the new border. Alex has a soccer scrimmage today at 5:30, so I think I'll get out of making dinner. (Probably not - I'll just make a casserole or something for Ralph to put in the oven!) Not too ambitious, but...we'll see if I even get this much done!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Yesterday reminded me of why I don't do daycare. Alli and I were at loggerheads all day! I'm guessing it was mainly because of boredom on her part - Spring vacation has been going on since last Friday. We went through three changes of clothes because of things she got into in the kitchen. Well, one change was because she scraped her elbow while jumping on her bed and needed a blood-free shirt, but you get my drift. She was getting into things she has never gotten into before - as soon as I turned my back to work on something. And this was all before noon! I went to pick up Alex at noon, and after that, she was better about not getting into things, but her temper! She had a huge temper-tantrum, and I don't even know what started it. I was more than ready to go to scouts last night and leave her to her Dad. Of course, she was a perfect angel for him!

Here she is, pouting in her corner - something new I've never seen her do before. She has really been doing a lot of 'new to me' things lately. Little things, like pouting in the corner, but they are new! Her bed is a mess because she was bouncing on it, and I had to wash her cover, as she was bouncing on it with a bleeding elbow. Poor thing!

Alex and I did get the rest of the garden put in yesterday. I still need to go stake down the plastic some more, but I ran out of stakes. I have 5 tomato plants - only one cherry tomato! - and 4 pepper plants, though I may pick up some more of those, and two rows of 'purple' green beans, and lemon cucumbers and Armenian cucumbers. All done for now! The fun starts when everything starts coming up. I really hope the plastic will keep the weeds down a bit this year, and kill off the nut grass. I am a lazy gardener, and the weeds take over my garden by the end of the season. I always have good intentions, but no follow-through! Maybe this year will be better.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I'm still working on my list of things to do on vacation, but...I got one crossed off! Alex and I went for a bike ride on the river trail yesterday. It was a beautiful day - sunny, but not hot. Alex was taking pictures for me. That gave him a good excuse to stop for a minute and then race hard to catch up with me, I am a bit of a plodder on a bike, and he has a lot more speed in him! The trail we took is about 6 miles long, and I only walked up one hill. The truth is - I always walk up this hill, even when I rode there before the kids came along. It's a killer! I told Alex I should have taken the camera from him at that pint, so I could have made the excuse of stopping for a picture, instead of stopping to catch my breath!

Here's a shot of the trail - nice for riding!

The scenery along the river is beautiful The trail wanders away from the river a bit here and there, so you get different types of flora. When they first put the trail in, they had sign posts describing different types of landscape/plants/items of interest along the trail, but they have become unreadable over the years.

This is the 'ribbon bridge' at the halfway point of the loop.

This is the view from Diestlehorse bridge - I don't think I've seen the river this smooth before! The swallows were also nesting on it, and something got the all flying about.
I also got half the garden planted yesterday. Alex decided to stay overnight at David's house yesterday, so I didn't have a 'helper' for either plating or for watching Alli. She did take a nice nap for me, but since you never know how long the nap will be, I came in and checked on her every 5 minutes. It takes a while to get anything done that way! I got two rows of beans planted, and 5 tomato plants out, and 4 pepper plants out. I did not get the cucumbers planted, or the rest of the plastic spread out. I may have to do damage control today. Since I didn't finish planting, I didn't get the plastic staked down completely, and it is windy this morning. It is supposed to be cooler today as well. Since I still don't have a 'helper', at least until I go get Alex, I may not get much more work done out in the garden today. It may be a housecleaning day instead. (Or maybe, just sitting and reading a book!)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Vacation means being able to still be in your jammies at 6:45 on a Monday, and not be having nervous breakdown! It feels so nice to be drinking my coffee, cruising the internet, etc. and not have a deadline for the day! I do have plans, don't get me wrong, but they are pretty fluid. AJ and I are going to go for a bike ride on the river trail, and I want to get my garden planted. Somewhere in between, I need to do more laundry, clean the bathrooms, etc., but....they can wait!

Alex gave the puppies their Easter presents - the stuffed toys have lasted longer than I thought, but the flying discs didn't last long enough for me to get a picture. When I went to church, Alex and David took the dogs for a walk out in the back field, and the dogs shredded the discs. I guess they all had fun - David fell in the mud/water and the dogs were wet and filthy, so a good time must have been had by all!

Alli's favorite from the basket was a pez dispenser. Not only does it give you candy, it is fun to play with even when it is empty! (Though the candy part is best.)

Here is the set of baby sandals - complete with ladybug buttons. I think I am done with baby things - for now! I need to get these packaged up and ready for giving - I'll be coming in late to the party, so I need to be able to drop and run. The party is prior to a meeting, and I will be cutting it close to get there before the meeting starts. One thing about presents though, even if it is late for the actual party, they are still presents!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter! I had to rearrange my Easter Bunny plans - AJ had a friend spend the night last night! Instead of my normal 'after the kids go to bed' to set up the baskets, I had to do it this morning. I wasn't going to stay up as late at those boys! The baskets are low-key - no one really cares about them anymore (my babies are growing up!), but I just have to do something! The puppies even got a basket! (The stuffed toys should last about 15 minutes, I think!)

I started on the garden yesterday - just to see if I needed more plastic. I do! I need a little bit more than one more roll - which means two! Oh well, at least I will have some extra if I need it. I hope this works - if it becomes a problem this summer, I will just run it around the edges of the garden where I have the most problem with lawn grass and nut grass. I hope to get the garden planted tomorrow. I have my seeds (lemon cucumber, Armenian cucumber, purple green beans) but I need tomato plants and pepper plants still. I know not to buy them until I am absolutely ready to put them in. Otherwise, I will let them die while 'getting around to planting'! I did get some planters planted with petunias last weekend in the pool area! They are even still living! (Yes, I have a black thumb, but I still try!)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I finished the little pink booties - and tried taking pictures of the hummingbirds. There were 6-8 flying around, but as soon as I picked up the camera, they all disappeared!

Friday, April 10, 2009

I found the cutest buttons at Joanns today! Here is one of them added to the hat. The others are smaller, and I will use (or at least try them) as buttons on the baby shoes that are on my list to make.
April showers bring May flowers! We had about 1/3 of an inch of rain yesterday from this storm. Better than nothing, I guess! We are a lot drier here than in town. I am sure Redding proper got more rain than we did! Still, it was nice to get something. Last time I checked, we were 10 inches below normal for the year. I'm sure I will get more details from Ralph when he gets up and looks at the weather station data.

Today is a short day at work - we close at 1:00. My original plan called for taking Alex out for lunch, but since he missed two days of school with the stomach flu, I'm not taking him anywhere! He feels much better now (hmmmm - coincidence that he is out of school for a week?) but I still don't want to take him out for something heavy! Maybe I will try to get some Easter shopping done. I haven't done anything in the way of Easter Baskets this year - and I probably won't do a lot, but...I will do something. It is just hard to find anything to put in a basket for Alex. Alli is easy - candy! Alex may get the same! I may add some i-tunes or something to it, we'll see what I can find!

I finished the baby hat last night, but I still need a button or something to put on it to decorate it. That's on my shopping list for today too. My list is growing! I started making a list of things I want to do while on vacation next week - I think I need more time off! There just isn't enough time to do everything! (Though I usually run out of enthusiasm before I run out of time!)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

An early day today - Alli was up at 5:00! Luckily she was happy about being up at 5:00, if only I could say the same for myself! Only a few more days until vacation, and even if I don't get to sleep in, I don't have to get up and get ready for work, get the kids up and ready for school, etc. I can fiddle around the house, drink my coffee, etc. I do have a ton of things I want to do on vacation - just not starting at 5:00 a.m.!
I finished up a fun little doily. This was done in cotton yarn, and is about 11 inches across. If I had used thread, it would have been smaller than a coaster, I think! With the cotton yarn, it should make a pretty hot pad.
I have started work on baby stuff, since I need a shower gift by next weekend - and I am just now getting around to starting it! (Bad girl!) I don't think I could get an afghan done, so I am making a hat and booties. I'll post pictures (of course!) when they are done!

Monday, April 06, 2009

It's official - Spring is here! AJ and I went for a bike ride after work/school today. It was a long one, too! Okay, it was probably almost 5 miles, but more than I have ridden in a long time, and I will be hearing about it tomorrow from all those muscles I haven't used! I even managed to ride up the whole hill on Meadowview into the subdivision! I was very impressed with myself! AJ has decided we need to do this every day he doesn't have soccer practice. That would work for me, but...who's going to fix dinner? I barely got dinner ready and on the table tonight before 7:00 after the ride!

Here are pictures from our walk on Sunday - the field out back is all flowers! They won't last long. It was over 80 today, so summer is just around the corner!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

My little brother has been a life-saver! Dave came down last Thursday to help me out with a couple of projects I didn't want to handle on my own, and he ended up helping Ralph with one of his projects as well! I don't think Ralph could have gotten his done without help! He got a new weather station, and the installation was not a one person job. (Dave said it almost wasn't a two person job!) It is up and working, and Ralph is just tickled!
Dave did get my projects done as well. My garden has been rototilled, and is ready for planting next week, when I'm on vacation. He also hauled off to the dump my piles of green waste that have been hanging out (for a very long time), waiting for me to get around to it! He trimmed back a bunch of stuff for me, and....I have a listed started for his next visit! (Just kidding Dave! You can come back to visit, and I won't make you work!)
I even got to go out and work in the yard a little bit yesterday - and, of course, I paid for it! Dave and Ralph were still messing with the weather station, and I left AJ in charge of his sister while I went out and worked in the front flower bed. Bad idea! I did go in and check on her myself frequently, but I evidently got distracted (probably when I was taking pictures!) and waited too long between checks. Allison helped herself to the coffee creamer in the frig. I ended up mopping the kitchen (again!)

I was surprised at the plants I did have left in my front flower bed. This is the bed that I just put in last spring, and....even with my neglect, some of the pants are still alive! The bees were quite happy about that, too! I got it all cleaned up, raked up the leaves, etc., and am ready to set out some petunias and other annual color out there. That is on my list of "things to do while on vacation". I think I need more vacation!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Spring is here! Lovely sunny weather, with lots of pollen everywhere! I thought Alli had a baseball game this morning, and was very happy to note on the schedule that she didn't! That gave me time to run to the store this morning before Alex's soccer game at 10:00. Just as I got back from the store, I got a call from the Scout Leader. It seems I forgot about getting a cash box ready for the snack bar today at the Pinewood Derby. I had to run to the bank and get cash and take it by the school. Ralph had to take Alex in to his game and drop him off, and I went to the game after dropping off the cash box. The morning was busier that I thought it was going to be!

The boys won their soccer game, and Alex actually scored a goal! Since he plays defence, he hasn't scored a goal in years! We were all pretty excited! (He played well on defence, too!)

Alli was watching TV this morning, and her hair looked so cute - all curly! She looks so grown up here!

Using up the extra yarn is paying off - here are two more dishcloths I made - and all the yarn that was left over!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

One of my many 'projects' is to clean up/use up some of my stash. No matter how much I sort them out, re-stack them, or rearrange them, I still have boxes of partial skeins of yarn/thread. My latest idea - since I am sitting at soccer practice/games and scouts meeting so much, I am going to use up some of the cotton yarn that I have, and make up some washcloths! It is working! The green/multi washcloth shows all of the yarn I had left out of two partial skeins. I made up another one - different colors, and gave it away (at a scout meeting) before I took a picture of it. I made two others before this, but started using them (and they are in the laundry to get washed) before I took pictures of them too!