Sunday, March 31, 2013

A rainy Easter Day here - good thing we weren't planning on an Easter egg hunt today!  I don't think either of my kids was ever really 'in to' the whole Easter thing - with the exception of AJ wanting his basket to be full of chocolate candy.  Dad always wanted us to come up to Susanville for Easter, and he always wanted to go hide eggs for the kids to find (Easter in Susanville was always iffy - snow or no snow?).  We had to bribe the kids to go looking for the eggs so Dad wasn't disappointed.  For AJ, we put loose change in the plastic eggs and for Alli, it was jelly beans.  Luckily, Dad didn't feel the need to hide a lot of eggs - Alli was happy with a couple of eggs full of candy, and I always ran out of change for AJ.  I should dig up some old pictures of them - they were so cute back then!

Ralph got all of the garden boxes put together yesterday, and 1 - 1/2 lined.  The plan was to finish up today - we'll see if the weather cooperates. It should at least be a little cooler today for him working out there!  I found myself looking at seeds yesterday at the store - it is time to plan what I'm going to plant and where each will go.  I always get carried away with the planting stage.  I want some tomatoes, some green beans, some cucumbers, some zucchini for sure.  Then I thought about some eggplants, some peppers, and..... there are so many options! (and only so much room)

I finally made it to my nest goal on the afghan - I'm over 2/3rds done!  There are only 50 rows left to do (and the last 8 are all the background color - no color changes).  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  My problem now - I'm already looking for my next project - I have to force myself to finish this one first!  There are so many cute things out there to make!  I would like to focus still on baby things - some more booties, a sweater, a rattle, etc.  Reminder to self - focus!!!

AJ had a few friends over last night - two that he went to school with at U-Prep that I hadn't seen since probably the 7th or 8th grade, along with Jeff.  Since the weather was so nice, they ate outside on the patio, which gave me a chance to eavesdrop a bit.  I love listening to the 'kids' and seeing how much they've grown up!  (And how much of a 'kid' they still are!)  Dallas was in for the week, but I didn't see much of him.  He showed up in Redding sick, and was pretty quiet when he was here.  It turns out he has mono - no wonder he was so quiet.  Poor baby!  I will miss having all of these guys around when they all grow up and go their separate ways.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Progress so far:

Alli didn't have school today, but she did go to Sandy's house.  She then promptly fell asleep pretty much as soon as she got home - and I picked her up early.  The bank closed at 1:00, so I ran a couple of errands and then picked her up.  Poor baby - she still isn't 100%.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

I think Alli is feeling better - she was standing in the kitchen looking for breakfast this morning.  She didn't eat at all yesterday (unless you count the angel food cake that she stole off the kitchen counter while Dad wasn't looking - angel food cake isn't real food, doesn't count!)  She didn't seem to be hungry at all, though Ralph kept her hydrated with juice.  But this morning, she woke up hungry.  I think she's on the mend!  (Note - she didn't eat all of her breakfast, so...maybe not completely well yet.)

I have to admit, I've enjoyed the extra hour of sleep the last couple of days too.  Proof positive that I need to go to be earlier in the evening, but....I just never seem to do it.  Spring Break starts tomorrow for Alli, so I'll have a week that I don't have to get up at 4:45 - unless Allison does.  It's a nice break for me, too.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My dirt is here!  Now - to get it moved from the front yard to the gardens.....I have hope that it will be done by 'the boys', but I don't know that I'm counting on it.  Ralph doesn't have the gardens ready yet, and 'the boys' are on Spring Break right now.  Dallas will be going back to Drexell this weekend - so he won't be 'helping'.  I may still be able to get AJ and a couple of his friends to move it.  I mean, they are going to the gym every day to work out - they could just do this either first, last or in place of, right??  We'll see!

It has been nice having Dallas here him a hard time - even if he is only showing up at meal time.  I was giving him a hard time that the only time I see him is at dinner - they spend most of their time in AJ's room.  I forgot this morning and turned the light on in the computer room - he was sleeping on the couch.  Of course, since they woke me up multiple times last night, it serves him right!

Speaking of waking up in the night - Alli got me up at 1:00 and 3:00 Tuesday morning, so I was a zombie all day yesterday.  Then, when I got home, there was a message on the phone that she had been running a temp and coughing at school.  She ate a decent dinner, but fell asleep in her chair right afterwards.  She slept through the night, but woke up coughing.  Poor baby is now out for today.  She is the zombie now - still running a slight temp with an occasional cough, but she is definitely not feeling herself.  Luckily, Ralph is staying home with her today.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Progress on the garden(s)!

This year, I'm giving up on my garden area in the corner of the property.  Maybe if I spray roundup on it for a few years, I can kill the grass, and then can use it as a garden area.  No matter what else I have done in the past, the grass always grew through.   In the mean time, Ralph is building me some raised beds - on concrete so I only have to pull the weeds that come in the soil.  What a thought!  He got one bed completely ready to go yesterday, and the bases set up for the other two.  The soil is being delivered today, along with extra to add to my flower bed(s) up front.  AJ and Dallas are on Spring Break this week, so they might even get the soil put in the beds for me!

Tank was checking it out too.

In the mean time, Picot was 'helping' again.  Every time I turn around, she was on my afghan.  Good thing Kandis has her own cats - she'll never notice a little extra kitty fur!

And it's official - I'm halfway through!  I think the second half will go a lot faster than the first half.  I corralled my yarn (now that I only have a few colors) in a bag so it is easier to change directions, and the top half has a larger area of unbroken color - much faster to crochet.  I'm really liking the afghan - I can hardly wait until I do those eyes - they look so cute in the picture!

This week should be a little calmer on the home front - last week I had after-work activities on Tuesday, (scouts) Thursday, (nails) and Friday (wedding shower).  In between, I had to get stuff ready for the shower, since I was a co-hostess.  I also had a ton of meetings at work - on Thursday alone I had three separate meetings - not a lot of real work got done that day, I assure you.

I did get most of the things on my to-do list for the weekend crossed off.  Since I woke up with a migraine yesterday, I was impressed!  The only thing that didn't get crossed off was to wash the RAV.  Since it is supposed to rain this week, I'm okay with that.  (I think that means I didn't put enough on the list to start with.)  And, yes, I compromised - I had on my list to work on the garden - I didn't actually do anything - Ralph did.  I also wanted to go out and clear an area in the 'real' garden for some tomato plants, but...didn't happen, and I wanted to do some work in the flower beds, but...didn't happen.  Maybe next week.  Maybe not!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

It's official - my bedtime needs to be 9:00 p.m.  I was up later than usual last night (company over for dinner - fun!) and Alli was up at 5:00 a.m.  I'm tired!  I got a lot done on my to-do list yesterday, but there is still stuff left - more laundry, quilting, wash the RAV, work in the yard, etc.  I think I'll take a nap!  (Probably not, but....I have sat around this morning and don't have much to show for it.  That's almost a nap, right?)  The house still looks clean, that's a good thing!

I think some of the things I did get done yesterday made more things to do for later.  I did pick up material to finish my quilt, but...I don't have any batting.  I was hoping to pick some up at Walmart in Anderson, but they don't carry it.  I really wish Joanns was open now!  I will go this week to the quilt shop and see if they carry it (and if I can afford it!)  I also got some more pansies yesterday and got them out.  I think I am set with  flowers until time to replace the pansies with some petunias.  Ralph picked up the wood for the garden frames yesterday and the dirt is being delivered tomorrow.  Maybe next weekend I'll have a garden ready to plant!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Progress so far on the afghan:

It's coming along nicely - not quickly, but nicely.  I got a couple of rows added last night - after no rows added for two days.  I hope to get quite a few rows added this weekend, to-do list is growing for this weekend already.

AJ is off on Spring break next week, and Dallas will be home from Pennsylvania.  I hope to get some yard work out of them - we'll see!  I really want to get the box gardens started. And, get the house clean, get some of the empty boxes out of the garage and re-arrange what is there, and work on my quilt, go for a bike ride (or two) plant some more flowers, and .....I think I just ran out of weekend already.  I think next week will have fewer activities after work, so I can work on some things during the week.  As I said before, we'll see!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I finished the edging of my quilt - at least as much as I have the material for right now.  I need another row of edging - 6 inches wide - but I don't like the color that came with the kit, and the then backing.  I need to pick up some fabric, but not today - I won't have a car.  I hope to get it at least by Saturday so I can work on it this weekend.  I would really like to wait until Joanns re-opens in April so I don't have to pay $15/yard for material, but...I also want it done before then, too.  Oh well.  It's only money!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

We got our first bill since we went 'live' with PG&E with the solar panels.  Drum roll please ..........$19.29 (without the taxes etc.) for 5 days before they switched us and $24.00 for the 15 days after they switched us.  The billing is odd for solar - we don't have to pay the $24.00 until the end of the year (a 'true up period') or we can pay each month - odd!  I am very excited to see the bill cut by that much - about $120.00 more last month.  Of course, it has been raining the last two days, so we haven't made electricity, so it is a trade off, but....I happy!  Now, to lower our gas consumption......

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

It was a drab and dreary day here yesterday - the weather was warm(ish), but overcast.  When I got in from work last night, I took a few pictures of my sunny flowers - just to cheer me up - I love pansies!  (Too bad they don't do well here in the heat - these will only last the spring here.)  These are flowers I planted a couple of weeks ago.  I planted a few more this weekend, but they aren't quite so cheerful yet.

And Koori had to come see what I was doing. (And - do you notice in the background?  The lawn was mowed this weekend too!  Yay!!!)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Progress so far on the baby afghan.....I'm on row 52 (out of 149).  On the left, I've started work on the cookie!  I really like how it is turning out - I just need to figure out how to do it faster!!  I still have time before the baby's due to arrive - the last time I figured it, if I do one row a day, I will have it done with a few days left over for the border.  That's IF I do one row a day - some days I don't get any done, so I have to play catch-up (like this weekend at Mom's - I didn't get any rows done, but at least Alli didn't decide to rip out MY afghan!)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

So....who do you think was into Grandma's afghan????  Clue - the cute little black dog was with me....I hope she didn't rip out too much of it.

Friday, March 15, 2013

This week went whizzing by - where did it go?  

Tuesday was Alli's IEP - which went pretty well.  She met several of her goals this last year, which is a change (but....they were the same goals she has been working on for quite a while, too!)  They had to laugh at themselves - one of their goals backfired on them.  They wanted Allison to open the classroom doors by herself - the intent was that she would be 'helping' the teachers.  The reality - now that she opens the doors all by herself, she got upset in class the other day and walked out.  Not that she was ever unattended, but now they really have to watch her.  She just took a nice long walk (with the teacher) the other day - which calmed her down and she was great the rest of the day.  No one was sure what set her off, but she was definitely mad about something.  

Wednesday was book club.  The bookmarks went over well.  I had made a couple of 'extras' in purple - and they were the first to go.  Here they are, all pinned out.  I do like the purple ones.  I had one left over (which might go to Dawn, if she wants one) so I may make me a purple one!

Thursday was also a birthday/potluck at work, so I was baking a cake Wednesday morning, decorating it Wednesday night, and getting shredded pork ready on Thursday morning.  By last night, I was tired!!! All is good, we got through the week with everyone happy.  Tomorrow, Alli and I are off to Susanville for the weekend.

Monday, March 11, 2013

I got one project done over the weekend that I wanted to finish - always a plus for me!  I picked up the next set of material for my quilt on Saturday, and got the center portion of it put together.  Now, all that is needed is the edging strips (and the backing and the actual quilting, etc.).  I have the material for two of the strips to add - one strip of the yellow and one of the pink.  The 'finishing' strip that came with the pattern is a dark blue that has the other colors in it, but.....I don't like it as the finishing strip.  My 'plan' is to have it ready as a wedding gift, so I will do that last wide strip and the backing in a color more fitting to the bride's color scheme.  We'll see!  For that, I have to go to the quilt store and pick out a fabric - out of the hundreds they have!  Indecision 'R' Us! 

I talked AJ into a bike ride yesterday - not too long, just around the big block - along Churn Creek and Meadowview.  I tried to talk him into a longer ride, but he had plans.  (Watching the Walking Dead with the Fishers)  I did manage to ride up the hill all the way - no walking this time!  My next goal is to do a double loop (easy!) and then just keep expanding on that until I feel like a real bike rider!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I lost my 'morning time' last week, so no posts.  Pretty much as soon as Alli was on the bus, I was in the shower and getting ready for work - no lingering at the table enjoying my second (or third) cup of coffee, nothing, just quick, gotta' go!  The first of the month at work isn't usually as busy as it was this week, but I had one employee out on vacation.  Next week should be back to normal - what ever that is.  

I'm making headway on my baby blanket - I'm on row 41 (out of 149) - and you can see the picture starting to take shape.  I added a few rows after this picture was taken.  A lady in my Yahoo! crochet group posted pictures recently of several picture afghan she has done using the afghan stitch, and they turned out beautifully.  I'm hoping this one turns out too!

I tried an experiment the other day.  it was an abysmal failure.  I was trying to hand dye white cotton thread to get a variegated great thread for my mountain bookmarks. I started with some white thread:

Added some green dye:

Let it sit over night as the directions called for:

And then rinsed it it the morning.  The results:

A beautiful sky blue.  There is no doubt that it is pretty, isn't variegated green, it's not even green.  Bummer!  I have a feeling that my thread wasn't exactly 100% cotton.  Since it was an experiment, I had grabbed some thread from my stash with no label, and I have no idea if it is 100% or not - it feels like cotton, sure didn't take the yellow dye.  I also got too much dye on it to be variegated.  Maybe next time (if there is one??) I'll do better.

The guest house is one more step to being done!  Actually two steps.  The cabinet guys came and put the doors on the cabinet and the granite guys came and put the top on it.  Now.....all we need is the sink (and the plumbing) and we will be done.  The original 'accident' was December 30.  We might just be done in under 3 months, what do you think?  I do like the new top!

The mountains east of us had some weather the other night.  We had, once again, beautiful blue skies, and the sunset lit up the thunderclouds over the mountain with a beautiful pink light.

This is the same shot as above with a 'filter' on the camera.  It comes a little closer to the true color of the sunset.

Monday, March 04, 2013

No bike ride for me yesterday - just too lazy (and AJ was busy)  I did take the dogs for a walk - such a beautiful day!  The wild fruit trees out in the back field are blooming.

And a nice shot of a slimmed down Tank:

Over in the mountains - it looks like a different story.  Those clouds look a little ominous.

Here's the baby afghan so far.  I'm not quite 25% of the way done according to the row count - on row 35 out of 149.  It is going to be longer than wide, I think, but still a good size.  My luck, it will have supposed to have been done in double crochet instead of single!  (The pattern included generic instructions for single crochet, double crochet and afghan stitch instructions, without specifying which one to use - not too helpful!)

I also got my quilt blocks (almost) finished for the next class.  The sewing is done, I just need to trim them to 8 1/2 inch blocks, and I would like to get a different cutting ruler before I do that.  It is on my list of shopping for the week.  

Sunday, March 03, 2013

I played lazy yesterday and didn't get too much done of importance.  I did get some pansies planted in the containers out by the pool, and a few planted on the walk by the front door, if that counts!!  I also played with bookmarks for the book club this month.  We read "Wild - From Lost to Found" by Cheryl Stayed, which is about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail for about 1,000 miles (and finding herself in the process).  Not an adventure I would want to do, but it was a very good book.  The bookmark I came up with:

(Just in case you couldn't tell - they are supposed to be mountains!)

I also whipped up a small, coaster sized doily, playing with color just a bit.  I was hoping for a spring-like look.

For some unknown (to me at least) reason, AJ decided to clean and rearrange this room this week.  It took him two full days to clean it up (and a box of tissues - the dust and fur made him sneeze!)  It looks much better!!!  He brought me lots of 'treasures' that he didn't necessarily want in his room, but also didn't want to throw away.  (I have no idea how much he did throw away - hopefully it wasn't anything really sentimental to me!)  Mom will be happy to know that he corralled all his electrical cords and tucked them away so they don't get tripped on.  (I know I was happy - it was dangerous in there!)  I think this is the first time he has, of his own volition, cleaned and rearranged his room.  Maybe my baby is growing up!

I'm still feeling pretty lazy today - on the agenda is some quilting and some crocheting, along with the normal laundry, cooking and cleaning.  If the weather holds, maybe a bike ride?  The weather looks iffy, but I don't think we are supposed to get any rain yet.