8 years ago today…..

My dad turned 78.  It was Thanksgiving Day.  He passed away that morning.  I cannot believe it was 8 years ago today.  We went ahead with our dinner as my oldest daughter’s boyfriend’s family had come from the Bay Area to meet us and spend Thanksgiving.  I treasure the time we had with the Barlow family that Thanksgiving and the wonderful memories.  They were a comfort to me that day and helped me to realize that life truly does go on.

12, oops now 11 days of freedom…..52 weeks!

DH has left for his annual convention and from San Diego is flying to South Carolina to visit our middle and youngest daughter along with her husband and our dear sweet granddaughter. 

I have such a long list of things to get done, but cannot push myself too hard because of my fibromyalgia.  The fibromyalgia, by the way, has been better in the past month or so, I think due to the dreaded word……EXERCISE!  Yes I have regularly been on my treadmill 45 minutes a day along with stretching.  This along with my vitamin/supplement regimen and prescription meds have enabled me to feel much better and do a little more around the house and outside of the house.

Yesterday I sewed all day on my youngest daughter’s quilt, which of course, I am not sure is as cute as I would like.  I am this way on most new quilts so I just need to continue and usually at some point I start to like it and by the end don’t want to give the quilt away (but I do). 

Here is my list:

  1. Paint kitchen cabinets.
  2. Put garden to bed for the winter.
  3. Clean and prepare guest room for guests the last weekend of the month.
  4. Clean bird poop off the north side of the house.
  5. Finish youngest daughter’s quilt top, start another?
  6. Lose 20 pounds…..okay okay I know I cannot do that.  But I would like to maybe lose 2?

Okay those are the big projects.  I have lots of smaller projects too. Like clean and organize the entire house!  Seriously I am trying to get back on track that started in January following Laura over at http://orgjunkie.com/

Head over and read the posts, the comments and the accomplishments.  It is inspiring.  Sometimes, however, life just gets in the way.  In my case, after coming home from visiting oldest daughter DH and I had our 35th high school reunion.  We were in the same graduating class and we had the very best time ever.  I think the older we get, the more fun it is to reconnect with our old friends.


Then I finally talked my 82-year-old mother into redecorating.  That involved 2 weeks of furniture shopping, carpet and paint shopping and helping get it finished.

Here is the before:

Notice the 25 year old ugly brown carpet and the early 80s style couch.


New carpet and pain, DH hanging curtains that were dry cleaned. I’m trying to figure out how to ditch DH’s favorite grey cotton knit shirts while he is gone….I hate those things!  That is his post-work outfit he puts on every day when he gets home.

and after:

Updated and beautiful.  Really it is.  Not sure the pictures do it justice. 

I also finished this:

which has been a monkey on my back.  I was just not excited about this quilt for great-nephew, but apparently he was when my sister took it down to the Bay Area last week.

I also found this:

and was so excited to see this:

I was so excited to see one of my favorite bloggers had arrived at my local nursery.  Imagine my disappointment when I found out they were talking about bulbs!

I did have a small organizing project in that I had to make space for the several items DH brought home for our anniversary.  I made the mistake of cruising Pier One with him one day and he went back and bought every single thing I picked up and said “This is cute”.  It did not mean I wanted it…..but I know he had fun doing it and I acted like I wanted them all.  This took some rearranging and adding back a glass shelf into our dining room cabinet.  I also had to reposition and clean out doggy treat area.  Let’s face it I don’t need an entire shelf for one dog’s treats!

Here is the before:

Behind the door:

No wonder Landon is a little chubby!

Here is the after:

The two right bottom shelves were my gifts which were a teapot and 2 matching cups and next row 6 pastel individual quiche/dessert dishes and a darling measuring cup set that look like cups!

So okay back on the wagon I go!

Tuesday Garden Party


Well I brought my basket of most used gardening tools and my Webster, along with my sewing machine, lots of fabric, books and quilting/sewing gadgets to my daughter’s house here in Reno, Nevada.  I figured maybe her yard would need work, but it doesn’t really.  Instead I used my breast cancer kneeler to clean her refrigerator!

I went to a growing garlic and onion seminar Saturday and at least now know why my first attempt at growing onions did not work.  So I am ready to get on the garlic/onions at the appropriate times for Humboldt County, CA (zone 9).  Garlic should be planted in October and onion sets in January.  Boy was I off!  No wonder those onions never really grew.

In talking with the teacher about blight, a real problem I have had with my grafted tomatoes, she says she has only watered hers once and they are doing great.  So obviously I overwatered my tomatoes.  We have gotten a few, but the blight is spreading through the plant.  I thought for sure DH would not want to try again, but he does, so at least now I know even more! 

Miller Farms Nursery in the town where I live gives seminars throughout the year.  I am going to be attending as many as I can.  My 82-year-old mother likes to go with me too. 

So I will be home Saturday.  Hopefully DH waters tonight before he leaves for hunting tomorrow.  My flowers usually last through October.  I try to move my pots from around the front porch and will again decorate like last year.

For inspiration, be sure to check out the participants at the garden party at www.anoregoncottage.com.



52 Weeks….Where Am I??

Spending such a long time gone from home really screws one up.  Add that to the fact that I am only home 2 weeks and off I am going again to visit my oldest daughter who lives in Reno, a good 6.5 hour drive away. 

I finally decided I must get my car looked at because when starting, sometimes it would go right back down to 0 RPMs and other times it would be fine.  But it happened at my doctor’s office the other day and it took forever for it to be normal without dying.

So after having my mother drive me in to pick up my car (please Lord, don’t ever make me ride with my mother again), I pay our beloved mechanic $600.00 and hear him tell me I must have new tires before driving to Reno.  Great didn’t I just put new tires on this dang car.  Oh that’s right, YD lived with us for 7 months and drove back and forth to San Diego how many times (12 hour drive).

So today’s organization is this:  Make a note in  my new Stephanie O’Shea planner to rotate my tires in 3 months or 6,000 miles.  Or maybe I will put a sticky note under the oil change sticker in my window.  SOMETHING.  How much money did I waste never rotating that last set of tires??

This week was DH’s birthday, his colonoscopy and then yesterday our 33rd wedding anniversary.  So this was not a normal week.  So I will entertain you with a shot of my new planner and my darling granddaughter at her 3rd birthday party, wearing the darling dress that I made her:

Oh yeah that’s my new gardening journal too!  Need to be able to remember what worked and what didn’t since my brain is not holding that information very well anymore.  Also I am on the shower challenge and doing well this week.  Thanks Stephanie!

Yes I know, too cute.  I cannot believe it is the first dress I have made my granddaughter.  Her baptismal gown was purchased by her Godmother, my oldest daughter….and not made from her mother’s wedding dress….but I did buy a pattern for one.  Maybe the next grandchild??? One can only hope…..and try to plan…..

So I need another week or two to get fully back into the swing of things.  Next week I will be sewing, sewing and sewing in Reno while OD is at work.  I am hoping  to get a few things done and maybe I will start my own pinterest.com boards….am I the only one who did not know about this fabulous site?  Saw my daughter on it one day and FELL IN LOVE.

I am raising my glass (of lemoncello, vodka and pelligrino with a twist of lemon) to all the participants who are keeping me at it and to Laura for hosting us each week from www.orgjunkie.com!

Tuesday Garden Party, September 6, 2011….Happy Birthday DH!

Wow I have been away so long.  3 weeks in South Carolina…the hurricane just missed us, then getting back and having so much to do!  DH watered  and my 82-year-old mother came over and deadheaded along with my sweet BF neighbor who greeted me when I got home with the yummiest oreo cupcakes.

I am overall disappointedwith the performance of our garden….well I should say the tomatoes.  In invested so much in them after attending a seminar this year really hoping, but let’s face it, here in Humboldt, on the coast, it is just darn hard to grow tomatoes without a greenhouse.

Getting back into the swing of things includes today is DH’s birthday along with his precolonoscopy day.  He did not plan that very well.  I spent a fair amoun of time ouside and probably need to pick more zucchini.  I think I will go check. 

In the meantime, here is what awaited me when I got home:



Taking a break…a long one…52 weeks.

I should say I am taking a break from my own house.  I am here in sweltering South Carolina, about as far from Northern California as you can get.

I will be here another 3 weeks and so far have done a few jobs around the house because my daughter is gone to a photo shoot that is taking her on a 4 day trip.

I hope to get a table and set up her sewing area as a surprise for her birthday August 24th.  I am itching to go to the Dollar Store for some baskets for above her washer and dryer and her pantry (from ideas here at www.orgjunkie.com.  Her house is new and she is very busy with my granddaughter and her photography business.

So I don’t have any pictures, just want to say hi and I will be back!  Right now I am enjoying every minute with my youngest daughter’s husband and son-in-law.  This is my first visit to South Carolina and it is lovely here on the coast…..just too hot and humid for me to do too much.  No wonder life is slower in the south!

Quilting makes me happy!

I was unable to keep up with the other quilters at the mini-retreat (we went home to our own homes at night).  Lots of people stayed until 10:00 pm or more each night.  Me…I left about dinnertime, and in lots of pain with that.  So I am not close to having the quilt top done because I ran out of the fabric in the center of each square.  I love this pattern, but it does involve scraps…lots of scraps…enough that I am going through the scraps to see if I have little pieces that will fit #5 in the pattern from the square I used to sew it on in the first place. 

Wow that looks weird!  This is how the back looks:



But then you trim it off.


The trimmed back looks good, but the front is even better:



Put 4 blocks together with the red in the middle with 1-1/4 inch strips between each 1/4 block and you get these:

Love them, that is why I am obsessively keeping every little piece because of the possibilities running around in my head:


Or I will save them for Ally and friends to make wonderful art such as this:


Okay back to sorting fabric while running out to change the hoses watering my garden.


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