Saturday, May 31, 2014

I hate that feeling when you think you are all finished with something, and then realize ...... not so fast - you forgot something.  I've been working on the crocheted stackable animals for the last couple of months, and finished (I thought) the last part while watching the Giants play today.  I dug out all the pieces for a photo, and.....guess what - I hadn't finished one of the animals.  The giraffe was only partially done.  I had started it and gotten sidetracked, and, thinking I had finished it, I had moved on to another animal.  So what to do.....

Since the Giants had lost the game by the time I found this out, I scrolled through the TV channels and found Mulan, and then the Little Mermaid on TV.  Alli and I watched Disney movies and I crocheted.  I was able to finish up the giraffe this afternoon, so....all the parts are done!  (Except for all of the leaves for the tree - I have a bunch of those to do still, but I knew that, so it doesn't count.)

Here's the 'parts' for the animals and the tree.

Some assembly required I think.

I picked the first zucchini today - we had it with dinner tonight - a chicken stir fry.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Monday, AJ and I hiked to Whiskeytown Falls.  I can't remember if we made it up there last year or not.  The weather was nice - mid to high 80's - so it was warm hiking, but not too bad.  You could sure feel the difference when you were up by the falls - so nice and cool.

The wild lilac was blooming up a storm (can you say "Achoo!"?)  There were both white and purple blooms along the trail - Pretty!

Since it was a holiday weekend, there were quite a few people on the trail, and up at the falls.  No chance to get a shot of the falls without people in the picture.  The dogs behaved themselves though - they weren't too friendly with everybody.  They were pretty rambunctious at the beginning of the trail, but poor Koori was walking slower than I was near the top of the trail.  She perked up after a nice rest where she could wade in the creek.  (I just needed the rest stop - no wading in the creek for me - that water is cold!)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Yesterday was such a nice day - AJ helped me clean up some of the yard - it looks so much better - and then he and I took a quick swim to cool down. We got Alli in with us as well.  The temps were up in to the 90's already!  I even got some housework done (mainly because I needed to clean the floor!)

I got my quilt put together, ready for quilting.  I found another batik print for the backing (using my 40% off coupon at Joann's - sweet!), taped the material to the floor (which is why I had to do housework!), and used the spray glue to get every thing together.  Now for the hard part - quilting it!  The quilt kit came with a nice pattern for quilting it, I just have to 'get it done'.  The wedding is at the end of June, so I still have time - but not enough time to procrastinate too much.  I got the material cut out for the next set of blocks for the civil war quilt yesterday as well.  Those I should have done for the next club meeting, which is three weeks away.  Not much tine there, especially since I am walking in Relay for Life one of those weekends.

More pictures from last weekend.  This is the first time that the whales were migrating when I was in Ft. Bragg.  Ronna suggested we go see what we could see - she and Joe had seen quite a few the day before.  For a while, we thought the trip would be a bust - no sight of any whales for the first hour, but - I got some nice pictures while we were waiting.

Alli was having fun spinning around.  She had her Elmo Alphabet toy, and was pushing the buttons while she was spinning.  We got more than one 'look' from people trying to figure out what they were hearing.  Once they figured it out, they just smiled at her - it was an odd noise to hear at the beach, I'm sure.

There are a couple of geese floating in the tide pool below.  Who knew they swam in sea water???

The egret looks white here, but he was a blue-grey when he wasn't against the dark rocks.  He was more patient the we were - he hung out in the same tide pool far longer than we hung out looking for whales.

The whales were right off the bluff - one of my better shots of them here....

A close-up of one

After a set of the whales had moved up the coast, one of them decided to leap out of the water a few times.  We saw it breach three times - the third time I managed to catch it with the camera.  (I forgot my 'good camera' for the trip and was using my cell phone camera.  I was more interested in watching the whales than making sure I caught a photo, so I just had my cell phone out and hit the button every time someone said "there's one!" - I got lots of pictures of nothing!)  If I had my 'good' camera (with a smallish telephoto lens) I could have had a better picture, but....I did catch the whale breaching - it just isn't large enough to see.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

We had book club the other night - a small meeting it turns out - several people couldn't make it.  The book this month was The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls - a memoir of growing up.  Very disturbing in many ways, but a very good book.  The bookmarks were, of course, castles.  Here's the finished ones.....

The next book is The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, which I've read, but now I need to read again and figure out a bookmark for.  Any suggestions would be appreciated!

I also checked out my garden - wow!  I have flowers on my zucchini, beans, and tomato plants.  Everything is growing great!  We've even eaten some of the lettuce and spinach.  Not bad!

Alex and I have started a list of things to do before he leaves - both fun things and things that need to be done that might not be so fun.  He's already bored - his last final was Wednesday.  He's applied for his passport, and checked out flight schedules, etc.  The other person going is someone he knows - he was in Choir with him, may not be Jeff and Michael, but it is at least someone that he likes.  On our "list" - canoeing on Whiskeytown Lake, hiking Whiskeytown Falls (actually on our list for tomorrow) a trip for him to see his cousins in Vacaville, lots of shopping for 'new' clothes, backpacks, etc. - most of his stuff is pretty worn out by now, and a camping trip at Hat Creek/Manzanita Lake area.  A full summer!

I think we have all the dogs healthy again.  When Mom, Alli and I got back from our trip, Koori hurt herself somehow, welcoming me home.  She cried out if anyone even walked near her (especially if that someone happened to be Alex).  I think she must have wrenched her back or something - she was very protective of her left hip - silly dog!  Every time I looked at her, she was favoring a different part of her body.  By morning though, she seemed fine.  Jasper made the trip in to see Susan on Wednesday for the growth on her eyelid.  Turns out Susan was fully booked, so Jasper saw Dr Corriea (who I like, as well - we see him more often that Susan I think - my dog's emergencies don't always coincide with Susan's days at work) instead, and $600 later, has eye drops three times a day, and her eye lid looks much better even with stitches in it.  She had  rough evening of it right after surgery, but perked right up by the next day.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Ronna's little kitten Simon is just too cute for words (not that that will stop me though).  When we first got there, we wore him out holding him.  He was in Mom's lap, cleaning himself, and fell asleep mid lick.  And stayed asleep....just like that.

And....he was playing around with a box (what is it about cats and boxes and bags?)

Then, of course, he had to help me crochet....

And help Alli watch her movies on the laptop......

This is how he sleeps at night - when I got up in the morning, I almost didn't see him.

Such a curious kitty - he seems to really like playing with Alli, and, surprise, surprise, she seems to like him too.   Not enough to stop watching her movie - but nothing says she can't multi-task.

This is the most that I've seen Alli interact with an animal before.  Usually, she completely ignores them  I guess nobody can ignore Simon!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

It's official - Alex is going to South Korea for Study Abroad!  He got the confirmation text on Sunday.  The bad news - he's the only one of his 'buds' that is going.  There were 13 people from Shasta College applying to go, and only 2 were selected.  He doesn't know who the second person is yet, but he know it isn't Jeff or Michael - the guys he hangs out with.  He's excited, but bummed, if you can be both at once.

We had a great trip to Ft. Bragg - the weather was good, no rain and only light wind.  Ronna, Mom, Alli and I spent a couple of hours on the bluffs watching for whales on Sunday, and....we saw quite a few!  They were a lot closer than I thought they would be - I had a hard time spotting them at first because I was looking in the wrong area.  This time of year it is the mommas with babies coming through, and they hug the shoreline.  Too cool!  I have pictures, but they didn't make it through the editing process yet.

Ronna also has the cutest kitten.  Simon is about 4 1/2 weeks old.  The mom had to be put down (they though she might have gotten into some poison) so the babies were farmed out, and Ronna's been hand raising him.  He weighs just over a pound, and....I have pictures of him too.  He is just a handful of kitten now - just wait until he's older and still thinks he's the little baby that needs to be hand fed!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Mom, Alli and I are off to Ft. Bragg for the weekend.  It should be a bit cooler there, though Redding is cooling down for the weekend, too.  It was over 100 last week, and the air conditioner wasn't working in my department.  It's fixed, but it's going to be a long summer, I'm afraid, since it's only the middle of May.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I'm almost done with my quilt top!  I have 4 strips of 3 blocks each - ready to sew together to make the quilt top.  ?Here are two of the strips....

And a close-up of a couple of the blocks

My goal is to have it ready to quilt by next weekend....we'll see.  The quilt kit came with a suggested quilting pattern, so I will give it a try.  Nothing too fancy for me yet, but a bit different than my normal "stitch in the ditch" style.  (Which doesn't work too well if all the corners don't match up.)  This quilt is so busy with the fabric patterns that no one will see the few corners that don't match up, I'm sure.  I also know that Steve and Randy will appreciate a handmade gift, even if it isn't perfect.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Allison made me a plate at school for Mother's Day, and either they've gotten good at 
forging Alli's work or she actually helped make it.....what do you think?

Here's the cards from the kids (sorry - I couldn't flip the phone photo over)

From Alli -
 "Mom, you made me the person I am today....

Blame, Praise....your call"

From AJ....
"Mom - put down that silly dust mop! 
Leave the dishes in the sink!  
Ignore that pile of Laundry! 
(So who care about the stink?) 
If the living room needs vacuuming, Don't worry - let it be!  
In other words, for this one day.....

Just pretend you're me!"