Friday, July 31, 2009

..................August Already????

I can't believe that tomorrow is August. School will be starting soon and I simply do not know where the summer went. I guess it is better than having life drag on slowly, but this is getting ridiculous. It really hasn't felt much like summer either. Our weather has remained quite cool with foggy mornings. Our normal heat shows up in September and October so it may still come. I read about so many having extreme heat or rain and cool weather situations. Who knows what is happening, but it certainly doesn't feel like glo*bal warming here.

We enjoyed a delightful visit while my cousin and his family were here. Their children had so much fun with our grandchildren and, once again, we had the use of the pool next door. It is such a delightful way to spend the day and the children positively love it. We get to "babysit" the pool again next week too. Yeah! It's a tough job, but someone HAS to do it.

Iowa guests.

The one big disappointment was that the sewer line backed up while they were here. With house guests it is always an inconvenience, to say the least. The plumber snaked it and things appeared fine. The following day, after company had left, I started the gazillion loads of laundry. After three loads I walked through the entry and the wood floors were under water. Apparently, the water from the washer came back up through the guest bath and flooded the place. Needless to say, the wood floors are badly damaged and will need to get attention.

The real issue of the backup could not be assessed until Tuesday when our regular septic guy could come out. With camera and mirrors, he discovered that we have a "tweaked" pipe heading from the house. It will need to be replaced which cannot be done until the beginning of next week. I just love "camping out" in my own home. He powered washed out the pipe and it is now okay for liquid only so at least I have running water. Ahhhh....the simple joys in life.

On Monday we had the "thrill" of babysitting our son's lab. Look at this peaceful, happy dog. Is this the perfect picture or what??? Grandpa's found slipper and a good nap......

What you don't get a picture of is what this dog did when we slipped out of the house for an hour on Monday evening. The dog turned into the "beast" and took the bedding off every bed, removed all the pillows on the sofas, walked on top of the dining table, scratched up the front door and chewed the wooden blinds off two of the windows. Don't ask me why as she has been to our house a million times and has stayed with us before. My thoughts immediately turned to the possibility of perhaps the mountain lion had returned. I really needed a little more chaos and cleanup in my house. Fortunately, her family returned early from camping due to an encounter with bears eating all of their food.

Our wild animal stories continue. Tuesday morning I let our other dog out. She was enjoying a nice nap in the sun on the door mat when out of nowhere a large coyote came right up to the door. I was sitting right there and leaped from my chair. I opened the door and let the dog inside. ( I should say she "flew" inside.) This thing was not at all intimidated by me and stood there staring at me. I finally decided to grab the camera. What else would a blogger do? When I came back to the door it had walked away. I pursued it until it finally jumped the fence. The poor dog was just shaking like crazy. We have only just this week managed to get her to walk out onto the grass to do her "duty" from the mountain lion attack.

I'm not sure you can spot the coyote, but it is right behind the volleyball pole.

There was also a large article on the front page of the paper this a.m. about the repeated mountain lion attacks. Thankfully, folks will FINALLY be advised of what is going on around here. We have lived here for twenty years and have never experienced such behaviors. I am thinking it may be due to the lack of rains for the past few years.

So........if you can't clean due to limited use of water, what does one do????? Sew....of course. I have been playing around a bit with the machine embroidery. One of the granddaughters, Ms. H, had her ninth birthday this week and loves her horse. I added a pillow case to her package and she loved it.

Ms. H and Ms. M in the arena with Gracie and Rudy.

I also did a really cute embroidery on a little romper that I made. On my next one I will merge the name a little lower because this one is too close to the cute embroidery design. These are little bug bottles where vinyl is used to make it appear like a jar. Very cute designs.

Any of you sewers out there need to check out Tonya's blog. She is doing a Q-U-I-L-T Bingo game and it sounds like fun. You play for fat quarters. There is still time to sign up.

The garden is doing great and we have been enjoying everything there is to do with tomatoes - salsa, herbed tomatoes, gazpacho, sliced, BLTs, etc., etc., etc. I love this time of the year for the fresh produce.

I am hoping that we have had enough excitement around here to last for some time. Another normal week would be most welcome. Pipes will get fixed, repair projects will get done and life will resume to the everyday "stuff" that I love. Meanwhile I will continue to rejoice in the fact that my mother continues to do well, the children and grandchildren are doing great and we remain healthy. How much better does it get? Life is good.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Good Week

For some reason blogger is not allowing me to move my photos to where they belong tonight so I guess you will have to see the pictures first and use your imagination as to where they belong.

The past week has been a good and normal week around here. Both are greatly appreciated after the past ten months or so. I like boring for a change.

We were blessed to have nine grandchildren spend some time with us while their parents were on vacation in Hawaii. We were also fortunate enough to have the use of our neighbors pool while they were out of town at the same time. Many hours were spent enjoying the water with the children.

I also attended a daylong seminar on machine embroidery this week which was fabulous. It was so much fun to see the new products available and the work that folks are doing. I just wish that I had about 40 hours in each day and that I did not need to use any of that time for sleep. Perhaps I could get a couple of the things done that I would love to do.

We have discovered so much information on the mountain lion that attacked and killed our dog last week. While we did not even know there was one on the loose, we have since learned that our dog was the seventh large dog killed by what they suspect is the same animal in our neighborhood lately. Of course the concern is for other pets, but also for children who live here. We have made sure that there are now signs posted throughout the neighborhood so that folks are aware of the situation. I would frankly like to see the animal trapped and relocated. Others say that we are in their territory. We have lived here for twenty years and have never heard of them here before so I say they are moving into our territory. I can't even begin to count the number of fences that thing had to come over to reach our back yard. I just don't want anyone else to loose a pet or worse, a child.

Later tonight my cousin, his wife and three children are arriving for a few days visit from Iowa. We are all looking forward to sharing some good times together. is boring....and ever so welcome.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Good...The Bad...The Ugly

Since my last posting a lot has happened around here. I can hear you all saying, "What else is new?" Trust me, life is always exciting around here. First the good news.

Our July 4th celebration was wonderful. We all had a great time with good food, fun games and warm friendships. We look forward to the event each year and this year everything was perfect....not too hot either.

Smoking hot!!!!

First sparkler.



Double fisted fun.

The bad ............

My mom had to return to the hospital ICU when she developed a pulmonary embolism ( blood clots in the lungs). It was touch and go for awhile, but she seems to be doing much better now. The doctor was not very optimistic when the ambulance arrived, but once again, she has rallied and is now in a regular room and eager to get home. I am fairly certain that the extended bedrest of two months contributed to the condition but there were no other options to finally close the septic hip. She continues to inspire and amaze us all.

The really ugly......

The night before last our beloved dog of 16 years was attacked and killed by what they suspect was a mountain lion. Needless to say, we are devastated at loosing him. He was one of those dogs that was a perfect puppy and a delight for all sixteen years. He was just a "pound puppy" and seemed eternally grateful that we had rescued him. He was a good sized dog at around 50-60 pounds and it frightens me to think there is an animal out there who could take him down so easily and in our own fenced back yard. The Department of Fish and Game tell us that this is the fourth pet kill in recent months and they, too, are very concerned.

In other news, the peaches and apricots have kept me busy with canning for the last few weeks. It seems as though they always ripen at the "wrong" time as there is so much else to do. It, however, is well worth it come winter and those fresh pies, cobblers, jams and fruits are begging to remind you of warm summer days.

Our #3 son, his wife and their recently graduated son are enjoying the week in Hawaii before our grandson heads off to college. They have a sitter for the other nine children half of the week and then we will have them until they get back on Sunday. We are both looking forward to the stay.

Many evenings lately have been spent at the baseball field as we enjoyed watching our grandson play on the All Star team. The park is beautiful and the weather has been so pleasant. The park happens to be where many of the old western movies were filmed. It is also about a mile from the old Spahn Ranch where Charles Man*son and his family were living forty years ago. As kids we used to ride horses up on the ranch and always laughed at the weird "hippie" people living there. Little did we know.......

Another memory from forty years ago this week was the Americans walking on the moon. I can still remember it so clearly. We were living in Pensacola and were at the naval base for a BBQ. We all rushed to be home in time to watch the moon walk. Did any of us ever look at the moon the same way again? It was so exciting. It did seem like it was forever from when they landed to when they opened the hatch to descend the stairs. I wonder if they will ever return to the moon again. I wonder what the flag looks like after all these years. Hmmmm.

There has not been much time for sewing lately, but I did manage to sew all of my nine patch blocks together. That's about all I have done in my sewing room the last few weeks. Sigh!

I did finally get the pictures from our anniversary party. They are on a disk and I just have not had a chance to upload them onto the computer yet. I will post them when I get a chance. It seems like the party was ages ago.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sew Busy

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!!!!!!!

Since I haven't received the photos from our anniversary party yet, I cannot share them. I am sure they will be coming soon. Maybe the party was only in my dreams?!?!? I am told they are coming so I will post some once I receive them.

Meanwhile, I have been very busy having some fun. Things have settled down with my mom and I have made a promise to myself that I will manage to find at least 15 minutes a day in my sewing studio. Even if I just sit there and get inspiration from looking at fabrics and threads, I feel a lot better. fifteen often minutes turns into much longer periods and the housecleaning has gone with the birds. Hmm. Is there a fine point where the line is drawn?

Then again, look what I have managed to accomplish.

1.) A small red, white and blue quilt to hang on the door for the July 4th celebration.

2.) Several outfits for one of my granddaughter's eighth birthday this past week. Happy birthday, Ms. B.

3.) Finished all 70 nine patch scrap blocks for the summer sew along. This was a great way to use up a few of my scraps.

4.) Finished the top to the Panda quilt along with AJ Quilts. Again....more scraps.

5.) Completed two tooth fairy pillows for some special little girls.

So, I ask you, does it really matter that the house is not spotless? I have been having sew much fun.

The grandchildren completed their enclosure for their tortoise and have settled her into her new digs. She is loving all the attention (and food) that she is getting.

My mother was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday and is now home. She still has a lot of ground to make up after being in bed for two months, but she is such a trooper. She currently has a gal who is staying with her during the day until she is a little more steady with her transfers, but she is excited about being home. One can only imagine how good it must feel. The best part, I am certain, was to finally get a real shower after so many bed baths.
For all of you who love kitties, there is a blog giveaway for some cute kitty fabrics. You can see it at .

This week has been spent shopping and preparing for our annual July 4th party. Although it is only immediate family, there will be close to ninety people here. It is always great fun with games, conversations and food. How much better does it get? For those in the USA I wish you a wonderful day of celebrating the Independence of our country. Please remember to fly your flags.