Sunday, August 28, 2016

Book club went of with only minor glitches this time, thank goodness.  It was my first real BBQ with me being the BBQ'er....and I think I'm getting hang of it!  Last night, I did a tri-tip roast, and it came out great!  Since it is jut Ralph and I usually for dinner, I see french dip sandwiches in the near future for dinner, too.  With Ralph attending AA meetings at night now, it's usually just Alli and I at home now during the dinner hour, so I'm in charge of the BBQ'ing now.

I had 11 people here for book club - 12 if you count  Nicholas.  He was Luna's favorite thing about the night - he's just the right height for her to clean his face.  

Just too cute!

Alex came in for the weekend for laundry and food restocking, and to help me with some projects around the house.  Of my list of projects, he got two done - he took a load of cardboard to recycling for me, and got the other two cameras set up for the Allison Monitoring System (aka Piper).  I can now monitor Alli on my phone, from anywhere I have a connection, in the living room/kitchen, her room, and the bathroom.  (Yes, I will disconnect the bathroom monitor if we have company - it is only for Allison, really!)  Too cool!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Check out the vanishing leave pile!  Alex came home this weekend specifically to help me do a green waste run (or three...) mainly because we ran out of time last weekend.  Here's the pile before....

And after....

Of course, I've already put more stuff there, including a big pile of cardboard that needs to go to recycling, but it was empty for a minute!

I also cleaned up (almost) Alex's room, since he's pretty much moved to Chico for a while.  I should have taken before and after pictures of this as well....

I had gotten a valence rod to hang a quilt with in my hallway, but hadn't gotten around to putting it up yet.  The reason was two-fold, one was to display the quilt that Ronna quilted for Mom, and the seconc was to hide the wires that will eventually be there - if I ever get the camera project finished.  Ralph didn't think too much of my rod, and 'went shopping'.  

He came out while I was working in the yard and told me that he had found a really nice Amish-made cherry wood quilt display.....for $150.00 (not including shipping)  He wasn't really happy when I told him that I didn't want to spend that much money, and started to list all the ways cash was flying out of the house right now (AJ's rent, Ralph's truck's check engine light came on and has an appointment this week with a mechanic, I just had $300 in car repairs to the RAV, AJ's laptop just took a dump, etc.)  Maybe checking in with me while I was working out in the heat of an August day in Redding made me a little cranky.....

Ralph went back to his shopping and I went back to my yard work. When I was finished outside, he went to town, and came back with:

The quilt display is really cool!  The quilt slides into the top, and is held in by marbles (and gravity) so no need to sew on anything to put a rod through.  The total cost was $50.00, and he had parts left over.  Not quite enough to put up my project board, but close!

Ralph and his handiwork:

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Allison survived her first day of school with only one melt-down - 'her' computer wasn't working, but they didn't realize that until they had her all ready to go, and then they had to fuss with it, but still couldn't get it going.  That didn't go over well, but they said she recovered pretty quickly.  Day 1 - not too bad......Day 2 - different story.

I think the day went well enough, but I had picked her up from school on Monday, so Tuesday was her first day on the afternoon bus - different bus, different route, different driver.  Too many differents - and add one more.....someone else was in 'her seat'. Since she is usually the first on the bus in the morning, she has her 'usual' spot all to herself.  Tuesday - not so much.  

According to her driver, she walked up to the girl in her seat, and smacked her.  Not hard, but still.....she smacked her!  The driver moved the other girl to a different seat and sat Alli down in her 'usual' spot.  Alli sat for a minute, got up and walked back over to the girl and smacked her again!  And, she smacked her therapy dog!  ("I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too.....")  I don't think she meant to hit the dog, but it was pretty clear that she wasn't happy with the girl.  Sigh.......
And the quilt top saga continues.....different cat, same problem. Too much 'help'.  I was trying to lay out my rows so I could sew them together (in the right order - that helps!) and Picot decided to 'help'.

Here's the finished top:

Monday, August 15, 2016

First day back to school for Alli today - AJ starts next week.  Yes, the summer flew by, but I did get out and about more than usual.  I want another camping trip before it gets cold.....but when and where.....

I'm working now to get the yard into shape for a BBQ next week.  I pulled out a bunch of overgrown plants and put in new ones, cleaned out old leaves, etc., and tried to tidy up everything I can. Next weekend, I'll hit the house!

One of the new plants I put in is a Lantana - and one of my resident frog seems to enjoy it....

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A boy and his dog.......

AJ came in from Chico Saturday - just to go kayaking with me! (Okay, he has a doctor's appointment on Monday, but he came in early, just for me!)  We had talked about going kayaking with Ralph's kayaks (sit-ins, rather than the sit-ons that we usually use). Then AJ decided that Jasper needed to go kayaking.  Okay - if you say so!  We will definitely take the sit-ons then!

This was Jasper's first kayaking trip - and she'll be 13 this fall.....what's that line about old dogs and new tricks???  She and AJ went swimming a few times before they got the hang of it (and if you've never tried to guide two kayaks from the top of the water while someone is in the water trying to pick up a 50 pound swimming dog and put her in one of the said kayaks you are trying to guide, you just haven't lived!!!)  AJ finally got her to settle down by making her sit right next to him and he gripped he with his knees to calm her. One problem - it's hard to paddle with a wet Labrador in your lap.  I think she got the hang of it pretty well.   

We kayaked over to the shore and let her out on relatively dry land. She wasn't that impressed - the wakes from the ski boats (they were everywhere on the lake yesterday!) sent waves up on her even when she thought she was on dry land.  We rewarded her for her bravery with some crackers and peanut butter.

I think she's a convert.  When the wake/waves were really bad, she tried to get back on the kayak.......

We did see a family of ducks swimming around too - this was the best photo I got.  Those waves/wakes made it hard to focus on anything! I'll be glad when it gets colder (for many reasons) and we can have the lake back to ourselves.  So many of the boats were ignoring the no-wake zone that kayaking just wasn't that much fun (except for the Jasper part).

Monday, August 08, 2016

Ralph got me a new present last Friday - a battery powered leaf blower.  (The old old is a backpack gas powered blower, and I have issues getting it started.)  I put it to good use this weekend!  Here's the pile of leaves from the front yard:

And the front yard after the leaves were removed - most of the leaves came out of the rock areas, so the yard itself didn't look too bad.  I also discovered that the yard was bone-dry - the timer on our sprinklers had an issue.  Not a good thing for August in Redding!

started a new quilt this weekend, too - I found out Friday that a friend that was in our original book club group is pregnant. Unfortunately for me, she's due in a month!  Oh well, baby gifts can be late, right??  And I may be a bit slower than usual - I had some help....

 Here's what Indy was sitting on - it's about a quarter of the quilt:

I would have put it up on my design board, but it's already full!

This is about half of a quilt I'm working on - I need to get busy and finish....and get some actually quilted, too.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Another first for me - using Ralph's grill!  Ralph has started attending some AA meetings at night, and he needs to leave before I get dinner ready, so....I get to BBQ on those nights!  After careful instructions from Ralph, I ignored them all, because nothing he told me said anything about this:

The grill was a bit warm for dinner was even further delayed, but delicious when done!  Margene was down, and she finished up the veggies while I cooked the steaks.  Yum!!!

I had a conference last week in Los Angeles, and a co-worker and I took advantage of a shuttle to the beach from the hotel.  For $5, we had round trip tickets to Manhattan Beach!  

The hotel was under construction, which made the actual conference 'interesting' - jack hammers hammering during the presentations.....but it meant that the rooms were bright and fresh and brand new!  The staff was also great.  The construction was not in the area of the rooms, so I only heard it during the actual conference.

Manhattan Beach was amazing - the weather was great - low 70's, everything was clean and bright and amazing.....

We walked out on the pier

The area has a competition volleyball area that was just a bit south of where we were - we saw it while driving up, but they had a ton of courts set up where we were too.