Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Just when you think you have everything under control.......you check your calendar!  What?  I have to go to Oakland today???  I thought it was tomorrow!!!  Oh well, it's all good. I has most things ready to go already, since I just got back from Sac.

When I went in to work on Monday. I spent the first half hour catching up and checking e-mails.  I knew I had a conference in Oakland on the 30th,  but until I checked my calendar, I didn't realize that Monday was the 29th. I had planned on driving down Tuesday night for the conference on Wednesday. Oops. Now I was driving down on Monday instead. I hadn't packed. I hadn't dowloaded an audio book to listen to on my 4 hour drive. I hadn't done anything yet. Bummer.  On the road again.....

So I'm in Oakland, ready for my conference. I had a nice drive down that only took 3 1/2 hours, but looking at the traffic going the other way. It will be a longer trip home I think.

Monday, April 29, 2013

All of a sudden, I have a ton of pictures that I've taken.  This blog entry will be more photos than typing (both because of the number of photos and because I need to get ready for work!)  I did speak with my friend Cindy yesterday - she fell on Saturday and broke her arm in two places!  She had taken her daughter and a friend skating.  Poor thing - I offered to have her come down here and I'd give her a shower - I'm pretty good at giving someone a shower - though she may not like me using the same phrases I do for Allison!  She declined my offer - I really do wish we lived closer - there are so many things that you need two hands for.  Her daughter is helping a lot I know, but.....still - it would be nice to be able to help!

I finished the afghan for Allan's baby boy.  Elija was born 4/17, I think - I finished it this weekend, now I need to box it up and send it off.

The pattern is alternating 5 dc shells and 5 dc's.  It went together very quickly, and I like how it turned out.

I have most of the quilt top done - I'm not very happy with it, but not unhappy enough to rip it all out and start over again (though I may rip out the last few seams I did and see what I can do with them.)  I think this one will be a keeper - not good enough to give to anyone.

I now have a ton of zucchini seeds sprouting.  Even the ones that didn't sprout the first planting decided to grow this time - so I have double the amount I originally planted.

Here's my garden - peppers in the back, an eggplant in the middle, and beans in the front.

The box on the left has the peppers, beans and eggplant.  The box on the middle has the zucchini and Armenian cucumber, along with a Lemon Boy and yellow pear tomatoes.  The one of the right has the Early Girl and Sweet 100 tomatoes and yellow squash and lemon cucumbers,

My eggplant is blooming:

Ralph took out the dead peach/nectarine tree for me yesterday - yippee!!!  That area has been cleaned up - now to find something to plant there!

Yesterday, I posted a picture of Jasper and Alli sharing the couch - today you get them both sleeping on a pillow.

Here's a leftover picture from Sacramento - The Delta King - a restaurant on the river.  We should have eaten there!

I made a baby cocoon for Kandis - this one buttons up, so you can get the baby in and out (I could never see how they got a wriggly baby in some of the others!  I was really tempted by a mermaid pattern though.)  I don't have buttons for it yet - that is scheduled for lunch today. 

 I dragged out my old Cabbage Patch doll for this picture - it looks much cuter with a baby in it!!

Here's a close up - you till can't see the details very well.  The pattern is here, and they have a better picture (of course!)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

What a good dog!  Jasper was sleeping on the couch, and Alli climbed up and joined her.  They stayed this way for quite a while, too.

Here is a picture of the blossoms on my tomato plants - and I even caught the small tomato growing, too (bottom left of photo) - I didn't even see it until after I took the picture.

Here's how far I've come on my quilt - this block is not sewn together yet - I have four smaller blocks done that I put together for the picture.  I'm getting there!

I don't know what kind of parties Ralph throws while I'm gone, but this was what I found when I got in yesterday.  When questioned, his response was "Indy needs to go on a diet."  Evidently, Indy jumped down from the window onto the table in the middle of the night, and the table top disconnected from the base.  Now, we did get these tables in 1988, I admit, but really?????  They were working just fine until Indy came along.  Ralph said that Jasper was sleeping on my side of the bed, and he couldn't tell who was more startled - Jasper or himself.  Needless to say, EVERYBODY took off out of the room at the time.  I bet it sounded like a real stampede on the carpet.  And I bet nobody had traction on the hardwood floors!

And yes, in case you were wondering, I'm procrastinating   I have a list a mile long of things I need to do, but I'm being stalked by a headache.  I don't want to do any of them.  Luckily, there's always tomorrow for chores.
A few pictures from Sacramento - the wagons that took us to dinner at the California Museum.

Just a few of the woven baskets displayed at the museum.

And - in just a few days, I have a garden!  When I left, the beans were just beginning to pop up, and now, the beans are up and thriving.

The eggplant is blooming (I think that one plant is going to be good - it looks like there will be quite a few blooms on it!)

I did have one seed sprout!!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Another fun evening - but much earlier - last night. We joined up with a group from Mississippi for a walk down to Old Town for dinner. (A walk of about 14 blocks!). Their bank is very similar is size to ours and we have a lot in common. A fun evening with lots of good conversations.

Tonight is a dinner and reception at The California Museum, complete with dinner and entertainment.   The conference has been great so far. Lots of contacts made at other banks and I learned a few things to bring home to ours!

The weather has been great. Many of the participants were scraping ice off their windshields to go to the airport for the trip. They are loving our California weather. It was 90 here yesterday.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Forgive any typing errors. I'm blogging on my phone. It was a good trip to Sac yesterday. We weren't sure we were going to get out of Redding. I5 was closed - a propane truck rolled south of Cottonwood around 8:30 am. The road south opened just as we were leaving so we made it fine. The north lanes were still closed when we went by.

We spent the afternoon at our Roseville office. They just finished a major remodel as it is beautiful. There were 6 of is on the trip and the meeting at the office was for 4 of them. It was  bit long for me since I know nothing about the new accounts platform etc.

The evening was fun. We had a reception for the conference - a potato martini bar - an odd idea that tasted great. Martini glasses and mashed potatoes and then tons of garnished. Yum!  Then we were wined and dined (and desserted - the molten lava cake was to die for!) by a company that wants our business.   I'm off to the real conference today!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What a difference a day makes!  Here's my beans now!

I should have a full bed of beans.  I also need to remember to plant more seeds in a couple of weeks so I can get beans longer in the season.  I always forget.

I'm off to Sacramento today for the rest of the week.  We are leaving the bank this morning at 9:30 and going to our Roseville Office, where some of the group actually have to work.  We have a conference starting tonight with a meet and greet at 5:30.  The actual conference starts Wednesday at 8:00 and runs until Friday at 12:00.  I think there are 5 of us going from Redding and two meeting us from Roseville.  It is the annual Cardinal User Group's (the main banking program we use) meeting - my third, so there will be some familiar faces there this time.  As usual, I'm stressing over what to pack.  It is supposed to stay warm this week, and I haven't really gotten my summer clothes out.  Oh well - it will be the usual - freezing in the hotel conference rooms and warm outside.  I'm staying at a different hotel than the conference, so I will be walking a couple of blocks, so....shoes are important!  I think I'm ready.....

Sunday, April 21, 2013

I have beans!  (Barely - but they are sprouting!)  It looks like most are going to sprout, so I should have quite a few bean plants this year.

Not so for the squash seeds.  Neither the zucchini nor the yellow squash sprouted.  I think it is because I did it the traditional way - in mounds.  Ralph put a drip around the mound, and the top of the mound got dry (lots of wind lately) and the seeds didn't stay moist.  So.....I switched them around and put a wall around the seeds - they are now lower, and hopefully they will stay moist enough to sprout.  If not, next weekend, I'm getting plants!  I did pick up another lemon cucumber and Armenian cucumber plant today, and a yellow zucchini plant.  My garden will be full!

Today was Alli's first day swimming.  She wasn't too sure about it - the water is still cold, but...AJ talked her into it.  Actually, he just picked her up and took her out into the deep water.  She played a little bit, but she isn't quite ready for the water yet (I don't blame her!)

I did very little today - so much for that horoscope saying I would have lots of energy.  I did work on my new quilt, and I am almost done with the baby afghan for Allan's new baby.  (Allan is Dallas's older brother.)  Elijah was born 4/16, and I was busy with other projects, and didn't get anything started in time.  I'm making the edging now, so will have it finished up tomorrow night (I hope.)  I'm off to Sacramento on Tuesday, and will be gone all week.  I would like to finish it up before I leave.
I usually read my horoscope at the end of the day just to see what the stars had in store for me (and how wrong it was!)  I happened to see mine this morning, and it make me tired just reading it:

What's next? Your energy is too magnificent to be wasted, so get to work on something new and exciting. It could be work-related, home repair or some deeply personal project that means a lot to you.

I, once again, stayed up too late last night and Alli was up too early (to bed at 11:15 and Alli was up at 5:15)  I don't think I have the "magnificent energy" they are talking about - not today!

Malorie's wedding was yesterday - a lovely day!  She was a beautiful bride.  She (and her mom) hand made most of the wedding (which meant she was very busy and very stressed) but everything came out beautifully.  She had asked if AJ could come by and help breakdown the wedding 'set' and haul it to her mom's house after the wedding.  No problem - he could even bring our truck (rather than having him drive someone else's car).  Perfect plan......except........nothing ever goes to plan.  They had actually rented a U-Haul truck, and AJ should have brought a friend.  I ended up helping him haul (the wedding party helped break down - and haul the small stuff, but they were in 'fancy' clothes), and AJ can't drive a rented vehicle - he isn't 25.  It all ended well, and they make a beautiful couple.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

It's the weekend!!  This was one of my busier weeks - choir concert on Wednesday, nails and dinner out on Thursday with 'the girls' and then 'dinner in' on Friday night for Ralph's boss.  In between - lots of meetings at work, a Relay for Life hot dog sale, and everything else that goes on around here.  Whew!  

Dinner Thursday was fun - I left work a little bit early for my nail appointment and then met up with Veronica, Meredith, and Annie (Ralph and Veronica's boss) for dinner at View 202.  They were having a 'show and shine' at the restaurant, so there was NO parking anywhere close to the place - and I was still in work clothes, including high heels.  It was 6:30 by this time and I had been in high heels since 6:45 a.m. - I didn't want to walk anywhere!  But - it does give you a chance to look at all the beautiful cars that were parked there - wow!  I also ran into Phoenix - a boy that had gone to school with Alli from kindergarten through 8th grade.  (and I think Alli has grown - he is 6'10'' at 16!!!  Yes, I meant 6'10''.  He is a gentle giant.)

View 202 is one of the 'nice' places to eat in town - a beautiful view of the river and upscale food.  Everyone else had gotten there before me (probably because I was walking in high heels!!) and had ordered drinks.  It took them 40 minutes to bring me my drink when I ordered it.  Really??  It wasn't even anything extremely fancy (not fancy for them - it was fancy for me - I ordered a martini - very fancy for me!!)  Needless to say, the service wasn't the best, but.....the servers were all cute - and 'so very sorry' that it took so long.  We were almost accosted by what I assume was the manager at one point.  She came barreling up tho the table and very abruptly asked how things were going, etc.  Not the normal approach.  All in all - the food was excellent and the company was great - and lots of entertainment from the staff (not that they were meaning to be entertaining, but it was better to be entertained than annoyed!)

Friday night was the official 'cruise' on Churn Creek, and people start setting up chairs on the sidewalks and grass areas around Wednesday.  Our Relay for Life group decided to sell hot dogs and chips etc. for lunch to raise funds.  'We' got all the food items donated ('we' meaning I had nothing to do with it - the other ladies worked very hard!) and started serving at 11:00.  One of the ladies even wore a mustard suit and stood on the corner carrying a sign announcing the lunch.  That's dedication!!!  Dawn and I worked a shift from 1:00 to 2:00.  The plan for the group was to keep selling until we ran out of food - 300 hot dogs.  They were still open when I left at 5:00, and they looked like they were doing a booming business!

Ralph had mentioned Thursday night that maybe we could invite Annie to our place for dinner on Friday (since he didn't get to go out for dinner with her!).  He texted me about 2:00 on Friday - dinner was on!  I stopped by the store after work and picked up some steaks, some spinach, asparagus  and some angel food cake, and Ralph had picked up some fresh strawberries (the first of the season from our local beds!) and that, along with the potato salad I made last weekend, was dinner!  It was very tasty, and went together pretty quickly - good thing, since by this time, I was pretty pooped!  Good thing it is the weekend!

I got so busy this week I didn't even get the pictures off my camera.  I remembered them this morning.  I took some of 'the guys' moving my dirt for me last weekend.  If you notice, in every shot, AJ is leaning on something - I think he will eventually be working for CalTrans!  Most of the dirt that I need to have somewhere has been moved.  I want to use what's left in my front flower beds that fun by the house, and then just pile the rest int he old garden area.  I think I will add it to the garden beds as they settle in.  One more project for tomorrow!  Mom is supposed to be bringing me all the plants to put in my flower garden, so....I'm done there for now!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The week has once again slipped away from me - I really mean to post at least every other day.  Sometimes, life just doesn't cooperate!

AJ had his first chorale performance at the college last night.  The concert was "a Gospel Concert", and covered a lot of history as well as music.  They had a power-point presentation running before the concert started with photos and facts about gospel.  Veronica is in town for work, so she and Meredith joined me at the concert, and we had a nice chat.  We are meeting up for dinner tonight, along with Ralph's boss.  Should be fun!  (Ralph gets to stay home with Alli!)  It's been a while since I've had a chance to chat with Veronica (and with Meredith to be honest!)  The concert was fun - they had a guest performer Dr. Diane White-Clayton.  She has a phenomenal voice - not my usual style, but very fitting for the style of the concert (jazzy/bluesy, etc. - too much improv for me - I admit, I'm a purist!)  I got a kick out of watching the accompanist for her - he was having a great time all by himself, and watching him watch her for his cues - amazing.  There was so much talent there - not just the guest performer - the local soloists were great!  AJ has one more concert this year - sometime in May, I think.

AJ had a meeting with his guidance counselor on Tuesday - he needs 5 more classes to get his AA. His counselor is having a hard time figuring out what his AA is in - I think they ended up with
Humanities with an emphasis on life sciences.  Usually, kids with a Humanities background don't have the Chemistry and Physics classes that he has.  He is planning on applying to Chico State for the Spring Semester next year, with the goal of a degree in communications (hence the AA in Humanities), emphasis on broadcasting.  He is also checking back in with my friend that works in Public Radio for possible (volunteer) experience.  I even broached the idea with Veronica last night for him to stay with her and go to Chico.  I'm not sure tht is going to work out, but....it was an idea!

Tomorrow, the Relay for Life Team from the bank is selling hot dogs and sodas from 1:00 until we run out.  Tomorrow is "The Cruise" on Churn Creek and Hilltop for Kool April Nights.  Dawn and I have the 1:00 to 2:00 shift.  The bake sale they had a couple of weeks ago raised over $1,000!!  Hopefully, we do well with this - all the foods were donated, so it should be a good fund raiser for us.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Now that the sun is up - here are pictures of the garden (including one of the likely culprits - Koori wouldn't get in the picture!)

The garden is in!  Ralph went out yesterday to finish the drip system, and called me out to take a look before he started.  It looks like 'someone' has been having a good time in the beds since we set them up!  The only one not a suspect is Tank - I don't think he could jump up there if he tried.

I haven't been out yet this morning to see if they bothered them last night.  I'm thinking they will leave them alone while we are here - Monday will be the true test.  To protect the plants, I put up the tomato cages already, and then used some to cover the other plants as well.  Hopefully, they will be enough of a discouragement to keep the dogs off.  Since Ralph got the drip system in yesterday, I really don't want to have to re-do it.  The first spring we had Koori, she 'attacked' the drip in the garden - we assume the sound of it coming on scared her and she 'killed' it.  After that, we watered over-head so she didn't tear it up.  Since she is now a few years older (and wiser?) I'm hoping she will leave this alone.

I ran over to Wyntour Gardens yesterday to pick up the plants, and it looked like all the cars on the road were going there.   Seriously!  I waited for two cars to go by on Airport Rd. before I pulled on, and they were both turned into Wyntour.  The car that was behind me pulled in, and there were two cars going north on Airport - they pulled in as well.  Inside, it was just as busy as the parking lot.  The staff were going crazy trying to keep track of what was still in stock.  "Let's see - you wanted XXX?  They were right here.....Oh wait, there's a whole new selection coming in right now - if she can get through the crowd with the cart, we'll be restocked in just a minute..."  

I'm trying very hard not to get carried away with planting the garden.  Since this is the first time I've planted the beds, I'm trying to be cautious.  I picked up 4 tomato plants (Early Girl, Sweet 100, Lemon Boy and yellow pear) 12 pepper plants - 6 bell and 6 jalapeno (I could only get 6-packs!), one Japanese eggplant, 1 lemon cucumber, and 1 Armenian cucumber.  I planted one hill of straight neck yellow squash, one of round zucchini (they were out of seeds for regular zucchini!) and two packages of green beans.  I may end up wishing I had planted more, but I figured this was a good start for the garden.  These are all veggies we will eat, and if they are too prolific, I can probably give the extras away (not too sure about extra zucchini - I think everyone is looking for a place to get rid of extra zucchini!  Judging by the fact that Wyntour Gardens didn't have any seeds for the regular ones left, everyone is planting them!)  I'm thinking about going back and getting more cucumber plants......

There were some interesting items I would have liked to try out, but....I didn't want to over-crowd the garden.  Jelly bean tomatoes?  Hillbilly tomatoes?  Fun!!!  Wyntour also carried some heritage tomatoes that I was tempted by.  Maybe next year, once I see how much I can cram into the garden!

Yesterday was my quilt club, and I took in my finished quilt - one of three that were completely done from the group.  All I need to do now is put a label on the back.  I had high hopes of making a heart shaped label, but....I think I'll be better off with a rectangle or square - I'm not too sure of my abilities to applique a heart on the back.  If I'd been planning ahead, I would have put it on just like I did the applique on the front, but.....I wasn't!  I'm also thinking I'm going to pull out my Sharpie and write out what I want on the label rather than embroider it.  Is that cheating????

I got the fabric for the next quilt, and.....I'm scared!  The instructor had problems with it, and couldn't get the points to match up.  I'm pretty sure if she couldn't do it, I am going to have some serious issues.  Oh well - this one probably won't be a present for anyone.  Another learning experience, perhaps??

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

I have the quilt ready for sewing the binding down!  I'm still not too happy about the tension on the thread, but....it will do.  Now - off to tackle the yard!

The good news - I'm not as sore as I thought I would be after moving all that dirt yesterday.  The bad news - I still have one more box to fill, and then move any extra dirt over to the flower bed in front of the house.  My forearms are the worse for wear - I was afraid it was going to be my back!  (I know - strong back, weak mind!)

I faced the 'dreaded swimsuit shopping' yesterday.  It wasn't planned - I just thought I'd stop by Ross's (and avoid digging more dirt) and see what they had new and exciting.  I found quite a few cute dresses to try on, and on the way to the dressing room, I saw the swimsuits.  Why not?  If I can find a cheap suit  for just swimming with the family, I can save my 'good' suit for company.  My 'at home' suit needs replacement - chlorine was not its friend.  I definitely do not have the standard shape for swimsuits.  I hate paying to have a custom suit made.  How to live with the disconnect between the two?  This year I was lucky - I found a suit that fits me - and is cute!  I could do without looking in the mirror while trying on all the suits, but....I'm done for a year at least!  I even picked up a cute little work dress while I was there too.

Monday, April 08, 2013

My first day of vacation - definitely successful in one area, and not in another.  I got one 'box' garden filled with dirt all by myself  and a second filled when AJ came home from school.  It went a lot faster with the two of us.  I had to unload the wheelbarrow with a shovel as well as load it - it took a while!  When AJ got home, we could lift the wheelbarrow and dump it, so we only had to fill it with shovels.  My quilting project was a different story - the tension was messed up on the machine, so I spent 45 minutes sewing and about that ripping out.  Bummer.  I gave up on the quilt and went outside to work.

Here is my first box - it took me a couple of hours to fill it.

And here is the mound of dirt - minus one box worth.

Jasper spent most of the morning trying to get me to throw the toy for her.

The rest of the time, she spent paling with Koori and the toy.

Tank stood back and watched.

Here's the second box done:

And Koori looking for a little attention - or maybe her picture taken??