Tuesday, June 30, 2009

We are experiencing technical difficulties again with the computer. Bummer!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer is here! We hit at least 105 yesterday - that was as hot as I saw it get. It may have been hotter - I just stopped looking at the thermometer. Instead, everyone went swimming! Even Ralph got in the pool, but he waited until the kids and I were out of it. Alex had a friend over, and they were having too much fun - cannon balls, water balloons,, etc. I think Allison likes it when the boys are making a ruckus - the waves move her around. Ralph prefers a nice calm pool, just so he can float around on it, which is why he waited!

I picked a gallon bucket of beans yesterday from the garden! I have been picking just what I needed for dinner, and the plants were putting out more than that, so I asked the neighbor if she wanted some, and she came over yesterday (at 3:30 - too hot!) to pick some. Between the two of us, we got her a gallon! Now, some of those are too big to cook, but they needed to come off the plants, so she got them anyway! I couldn't believe how much was there! The bean plants are happy! The tomatoes are happy too - they are all full of tomatoes. They just need more time!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

We had an uninvited guest for dinner last night! Larry & Pat came over for a BBQ, and Larry and Ralph were outside (now, why they were sitting outside when it was 103 is a different story!) and Larry noticed they had company. It was one of the smallest Preying Mantis I've seen! He hung out with them for a while, and then they put him over in the bushes, where he might find himself some dinner, as they didn't plan on feeding him any of theirs!

We had a lovely BBQ - with steaks, pasta salad, fruit salad and marinated veggies, and some green beans fresh from the garden. I tried to keep everything cool, and as much done in advance as I could. It was still hot and sticky in the kitchen (in the whole house, actually) The swamp cooler does cool it down, but it adds a bit of humidity to the house, too. Yuck! Still, it was better than outside. The last we checked, our temp was 102.7! Better than the 108 they were promising us, but it was still hot.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I must learn to turn the TV off and go to bed! Ronna and Joe came in last night around 9:00, so we stayed up and talked for a while, and when they went to bed, Ralph flipped through the TV channels, and Alex & I started watching Fiddler on the Roof. Ralph went to bed, but Alex and I stayed up until 1:30! I have not seen that movie in years - it is amazing what you see as an adult! I saw it probably when I was in high school, and remembered the story line - sort of - but mostly the music. (Of course that could be because Ronna played/sang it constantly when we were growing up!) It was worth watching, but.....Alli was up at 5:30. Not much sleep for me last night! Ronna and Joe are already off to McArthur - just a whistle stop with us. Maybe more coffee will help!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Alli was up this morning at 4:30 again. She has been pretty good lately to sleep in to close to 6:00, but not today! Oh well, that fives me time to update the blog and catch up on e-mails, etc. The internet is still iffy, but better than it was! We have someone coming tomorrow to look at the phone lines. If you call us right now, we probably couldn't understand you, since there is so much static on the line. It was working great up until a week ago, and now, we can't hear! The static is evidently affecting the DSL for the internet, too.

Rufus seems to be enjoying the new kitty perch Mom and I put together while she was here! So far, he is the only one using it, but the other cats are avoiding him still. Since he is chasing them when he can, I don't blame them! I think everyone will get along, once the newness wears off (and he stops being such a jerk!) He is definitely a people cat. He doesn't sit in my lap, but he curls up along side me, which is better. I get enough cat hair in my work now, and his hair is still short! It is beginning to show some noticeable growth - he isn't quite so choppy. I have no idea how long it will take for his full growth to show, but he is going to be one puffy cat!

I finished a doily I started on vacation. It seemed to come together very quickly - probably because I had more time to work on it! I like the pattern. When it was blocked, it was about 16 inches across.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

We are having problems with our internet so I may not post much. This is from my phone and I am too slow!

Friday, June 19, 2009

We didn't make it to the end of the trail at Castle Crags - bummer! It was billed as a 'strenuous' hike, and it was! The trail gained 2,200 feet in elevation in 2 3/4 miles. I think AJ and I made it up almost 1 1/2 miles, but decided we had gone far enough. (The trail had leveled out by then, so we didn't quit because of the climb, really!) Mom and lunch were waiting back at the parking lot for us! Mom decided to turn around and head back, so AJ and I hiked for another 45 minutes up the hill before we stopped. Our main problem - there was no good view of the crags from the trail! The last picture is from the trial, and we never got a good photo op!

This is Castle Crags and Mt. Shasta from the Vista Point - about a 1/4 mile from the parking lot - an easy walk

Mom going up the trail

A leaf we saw

One of the hills

The view from the trail - not as good as the ones from the Vista Point!
It was a good day anyway, though I am a bit stiff this morning! My calves need some stretching out!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

We had a visitor yesterday! I don't think I have ever seen a dragonfly this color! I noticed the hummingbirds dive bombing him, so when he settled down on the pool fence, I took his picture!

Since I was out there, I took a picture of the flowers out in the pool area. They are doing well so far, too! Of course, they are petunias and dusty miller - both of which are hard to kill (though I have manage to do it before!)

We switched to DirecTV yesterday, and since I had to sit around for a few hours while the guy was installing, I made myself an apron for my clothespins, since I now have a clothesline! I picked up a 'simple' pattern and dug through my extra material, and was kicking myself for not paying enough attention to the pattern when I picked it out. I could have made one from scratch easier! It wasn't that it was a hard pattern, but it had all sorts of 'pretty' techniques, like it finished all the the edges with seam tape - including the pockets. Since I wasn't 'that into' making an pretty apron (the material was pretty enough - I didn't need to use contrasting tape, etc.), I did everything the old fashioned way, which meant I didn't follow the pattern directions at all. Even the pocket was different - the pattern had two pockets in front, and I needed one large pocket. Since it has been quite a while since I sewed anything but my mending, I was pretty happy with the finished product! I even got my mending caught up!
Rufus has undergone a name change. Since he is Ralph's cat, Ralph decided he wanted to call him TS Elliott, so...a new name! Just in time, too. Elliott went to see the vet yesterday and came back a changed cat. I don't think he hid under the couch at all last night! He must have decided that we 'rescued' him from the vet's office. He was very friendly last night, and wanted lots of petting. For the first time, he lay down in my lap while I read! (of course, he was still on drugs and couldn't walk a straight line!) This morning, he is still pretty active - including attacking poor Lucy. I thought neutering was supposed to make them less aggressive!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I hate the first day of school! It is always so unorganized! (Especially when there is a child involved that can't talk!) Yesterday was Alli's first day of school, and, even though I am on vacation, I decided to let the bus pick her up and take her to school, just to get the routine started. Her teacher has worked with Allison before, so I wasn't too worried about Alli. I had even talked to her teacher the week before. The one thing missing - transportation. I had talked to the head of Transportation a couple of weeks ago. The 'orders' that she had for Alli did not mention her daycare, and she knew that Alli was usually picked up and dropped off at daycare during the school year, and called to confirm that I did want Transportation to stop at daycare. (I wrote specific instructions on her summer school application about the daycare pickup/drop off!) We both thought things were handled! On Friday, I had not heard about the drop off/pick up times from Transportation, so I called. They had no record of Alli even riding the bus!

I refused to panic, since the person I had talked to early was not in, and she usually has everything under control, so.....I waited until Monday morning (before 6:00 a.m.) to call. There was a reasonable explanation - Enterprise High School Transportation was picking Alli up, so the department I called had no records. Another girl at Alli's daycare will be in Enterprise High School next year, so the busing was for her, but since they were going to the same place, they would get Alli too. Except they didn't. I called at 8:30 to see what time the bus picked up, and found out that Alli was still waiting at daycare. Sandy already had everything under control, since she knew the whole Enterprises Transportation system personnel, it seems. Her husband was taking Alli to class, and she had already called out the Marines to get the bus problem fixed. She evidently has had problems frequently through the years with her daughter and EHS Transportation. Thanks to Sandy (she pulled in a few favors, and it helps if you know the department manager!), the whole thing was resolved, and Alli has a bus to pick her up. I hate the first day of school!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Vacation is here! I actually slept in today, too! Alli didn't get up until 7:100 this morning, so I got to sleep in! Of course, she didn't go to sleep last night until around 11:00, so I still got the same hours of sleep, it was just psychological that I got to sleep in.
I got my first 'harvest' from the garden yesterday - green beans and two cherry tomatoes. (Yes, they are green beans, they turn green when they are cooked.) If you look closely, some of the beans are just a bit green already. They were resting on the black plastic I have down in the garden area, and were a bit hotter than normal! There was just enough for two small servings, and I sauteed them in butter with garlic and onions. Yum! I'll be tired of fresh beans (and tired of picking them in the heat) by the end of summer, but the first batch is always special!
We had another thunderstorm come through last night - not as much rain, thunder and lightning, but we have gotten 2.8 inches so far this month - and we are usually very dry in June! Weird weather!
Rufus is still not used to all of us, and he spent all day hiding under the couch. Last night, before dinner, I tried to talk him out (with a couple of kitty treats for bribery) and Ralph took a picture with his phone of me - lovely, isn't it? Rufus still didn't come out then, but the kitty treats must have whetted his appetite, because he came out by himself a little bit later to eat.

He seems fine once he is out - talking to us and everything. He just hides most of the day, I guess. That may be 'normal' for him, we'll see. I have tried to get him to play with some toys, but he doesn't seem interested. He is only about 10 months old, so I thought he would be more playful.

Friday, June 12, 2009

What odd June weather we are having! We are getting afternoon thunderstorms, and rain every day, at least in Redding. The house isn't getting a lot of weather, but in town, it is definitely pouring at times! Yesterday, I ran Alex in for a haircut, and got drenched getting in and out of the car. What a difference from our normal 100+ degrees summers before!

Alex decided it was time to go short with his hair!

The first swipe with the trimmers

Dodging the camera - cut it out, Mom!

Halfway there....

The final cut!
As soon as his tan line catches up with the hair cut, he'll look great! We decided it makes him look older (which does not make me any older, thank you!)
Rufus is fitting in well so far. He is out from hiding and visiting with us now, though he is still a bit skittish when the dogs are running around (I don't blame him there!) I thought it would take longer for him to join the family, since it took Lucy two weeks before she would come out from under the bed when we first got her, but he seems pretty darn sociable. Sandy said she thought he would be a year old in August, so he is younger than I thought. He still needs to make a trip to the vet's office though, to get neutered. I hate to do it to a purebred, but I don't want to raise kittens, nor have a male cat around!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

We have a new kitty! So far, his name is Rufus, and he is a pure-bred Persian. His original owners decided that keeping indoor, purebred cats was a little more than they wanted, so they let Rufus and his sister become outside kitties. Our daycare provider adopted the sister, and we got Rufus. It was Ralph's idea, really! He has a really bad haircut right now (no laughing!) but should be quite handsome when it grows out.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Finally! a finished project! I loved doing this doily, but....I had to do the last few rounds several times each. Just one slip of concentration, and I made a mistake. It is about 19 inches across, and a light pink color - the photo doesn't show the color well!
Another early Sunday! Alli took a 3 hour nap yesterday afternoon, and then didn't go to bed until after 10:00 last night, so I thought I might get to sleep in today. No such luck. Bright and early, at 5:30, Alli was up! If only I had used this time to clean something, but no - I played on the computer!

I need to seriously clean today, and hopefully get some more yardwork done. Since it rained the last couple of days, the weeds should be easier to pull out, right? I have a couple of sections left to clean in the front yard, and I need to spend some time in the front flower area. That may not happen today, as I also am planning on taking the dogs and cats to the vet's for shots today. Good thing vacation is coming up soon! (Not that I want to spend my vacation pulling weeds, but somebody has to do it.) Here's a picture of the front flower area - the hollyhocks are beginning to grow just a bit!

The dogs and I took a walk yesterday, and the recent rains have filled up the swimming hole out in the dirt area.

The clouds were gorgeous yesterday afternoon!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

What a change! Last Saturday, I boiled in the sun watching AJ play soccer, and this Saturday, it is cool and raining! It is a nice solid rain, too - not the dreaded thunderstorms that come along with lightning! June 20th, last year, is when the major thunderstorm came through that lit the whole world on fire. I'll take this any day! It looks like a good weekend for staying inside and crocheting! I have a ton of things to finish up, including a crochet exchange that needs to go in the mail this week.

Allison is out of school, and AJ is bummed. He doesn't get out until the 10th, and next week is finals for him. Getting the new phone is some compensation, but all the other schools are out now, as far as I know. He is the only one still in school, poor thing! Of course, he had a week off in February, and everyone else just had two days off, but that's different! Alli has a week off, and then starts summer school. That will run for 4 weeks, and then she is off for the summer.

Friday, June 05, 2009

What a week! I have been running behind all week. I think I may be catching up now though! Work was super busy, and we were shorthanded, so I am still trying to dig out from that. Home seems to have been busy too, but it shouldn't have slowed down because soccer was over, right? Probably not!

Yesterday, we upgraded our phones, and I am the proud new owner of a BlackBerry Storm. (I think Alex is an even prouder owner!) Now to figure out how it works! I am having a terrible time with the touch screen. The sales person said the phone will start to get used to my 'touch' and will start to be easier. I hope I don't toss the phone before that!
Here are pictures from earlier in the week of the garden area. The black plastic is doing pretty good! I obviously still have to go out there and weed, though. I'm just glad it is not the whole garden that I have to go and weed! I have little baby beans and cherry tomatoes as well! Yippee!