Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Where Oh Where....

Where oh Where has the time gone?  My intentions of blogging were great, but the time was lacking somehow.  We really have been a tad busy.  With the days being longer one would think I could get more done.  Ha!

Taking advantage of the longer days.

The garden has been calling my name and I love seeing what is in bloom. 

Passion vine growing in with the Bougainvillea

Clivia that are offspring from my father's.

I love this Iris' color.  This is the first time I have seen it bloom.

Although this bank belongs to my neighbor, I had to share a picture with you.  It is ice plant and it blooms once a year.  During that time it is positively breathtaking.  The rest of the year it looks like dried up foliage.

We also have a new visitor to the bird feeder.  This guy can climb right up that skinny pole to get to the food.  Don't ask me how.

We've had birthdays to celebrate.

We've also enjoyed houseguests over the Easter weekend. 

A rather gloomy day on Easter did not stop us from celebrating the special day.

22 of the 23 grandchildren.  One is away at college in FL.

Even the big kids had fun with the inflatables.

Gotta love duckings with Mohawk headgear!!!

The mailman brought me a couple more "squishy packages" last week.  Those are always such fun to receive. 

Talin sent me a delightful little jewelry pouch "just because."  She does such beautiful work and I always enjoy her posts.  Thank you, Talin.

Joanne sent me a package that I won on her giveaway.  The gravel was just delicious and the fabrics are so great.  I know that I will put them to good use.  I love the Aurafil threads!!!

In between all of the fun, I did manage to sneak a little sewing in too.  Kate had sent me some pieced tops that she had done and wanted them to be donated.  I finished them up and will take them to our guild meeting for them to be put to good homes.  Thanks, Kate.  They turned out beautifully.  Check out her blog for some wonderful art quilts and postcards.

Aren't the blues fun in this one?

I added the blue border to make this one a bit larger before quilting it.

My Spiderweb continues to grow.

Finished the top of the Modern Siggy quilt

Some of my hours have been wasted waiting for car repairs.  In those hours I lowered my winning percentage on Spider Solitaire.  ;(   Does anyone else love that game as much as I do?

The grandchildren have this week off of school for Easter break so we will have several of them each night through Sunday.  It's always fun to enjoy some one on one/two time with them.

Here's hoping the next post won't be so long in coming.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Part Two and Some Fun as Well

The final leg of our trip brought us down the coast and an overnight stay at our #4 son and DIL's home.  They are only a couple of hours from us, but it is always nice to be able to spend time with them and the grandchildren at their home.

We all packed up and headed to the local Farmer's Market, did a little shopping and picked up some yummy food for dinner.  We are blessed to have some fabulous fresh Farmer's Markets in our area almost every day of the week since our area is basically an agricultural area. The weather, however,  was cold and we awoke to frost on the rooftops in the morning.  I'm thinking that cannot make the farmers happy.

Globe artichokes.

Lilacs - the smell was to die for!!!!

A variety of fresh goodies.  I loved the golden beets.

Buckets of Calla Lilies.

Nothing like a fresh strawberry!

Aren't these colors great together?  A quilt idea?????

Our glass elevator attendant!

Never one to sit with idle hands while driving, I had many small projects that I had packed for the trip.  I made several hats for the grandchildren, finished my Birdie Stitches block and did some tatting.

Of course the first few days back home is filled with catching up on mail and laundry.  Can someone tell me how does a house get dusty when no one is even living in it!!!

While we were away some wonderful packages arrived in the mail for me so coming home was just like Christmas.  I had won several giveaways in March and they made their way to my house. 

First was a "everything green" giveaway from Maggie.  It was just packed full of wonderful "green" goodies including a beautiful hand quilted tote.

An inspirational Art Quilt book arrived from Sherri.

A lovely fall book and fabrics came from Vicki.

As well I received some fabulous cards from Tracey.  Tracey makes her cards from her photos that she takes around her farm in Australia.  I love how she places her quilts on her animals for the photos.

My Civil War blocks that I missed while I was away gave me hair pulling issues.  If there was a way to do a seam wrong, I found it.  I took so many stitches out that I almost threw them all away.  In the end I figured I could live with my Little Blue Basket having tan bases instead of blue.  Grrr.

This week's White House block gave me no problems.  Thank goodness!!!

I really love scrap quilts and have started a Spiderweb quilt.   Thanks to Wanda for some fabulous scraps (her quilts are to die for) and some fat quarters from Marilyn, my quilt is growing by the day.

One wonderful thing about returning home is to see how much the garden has grown.  Everything is really blooming out and the warmer temperatures are appreciated by us and the flowers.

This orchid merely had buds when we left.  We came home to this lovely showing.

My new iris garden is popping out all over.

As well, the roses are putting forth their first big flush of color.

I love the lavender.

It is a beautiful weekend in the neighborhood and the kids and grands will all be coming for a BBQ to celebrate the April birthdays.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Home Again..Home Again... Part I

Did you miss me?  We took a week off and headed up to Washington and Oregon to visit friends and enjoy a little road trip along the way.

Heading up California we took our normal Rt 395.  This road takes you up through the Sierra Nevada mountain range and is always spectacular.  It is amazing how much snow is still there after their record breaking winter.  From there we entered into Nevada and spent the first night in Reno.  We had a great meal, played a little video poker, did not win my Royal Flush and called it a day.

The next morning we departed bright and early in chilly temperatures and blackened skies as we headed to Oregon.  The drive was beautiful despite intermittent rain showers throughout the day.  We even witnessed a calf being born.  Of course we had to pull over and watch the mother finally get the little thing up to nurse.  I have mentioned before how we love to take the backroads and this is one of the reasons why.  You really get to see so much more and can pull over at any time to look closer.

That night was spent in Sisters, OR - one of my favorite spots.  A little walkabout town and some shopping at the Stitchin Post was a nice break from the car.  It is an amazing shop.

We had a few snow flurries overnight and the next morning was the most "exciting" as far as driving went.  The pass took us up to about 4800 feet and the going got a little interesting as we climbed.  There were not many cars and one can see why from the pictures.

Doesn't look too bad....does it?

This was up a bit further.

The rest of the day was rainy and cold as we drove to Olympia and met our friend.  Tom led us from Olympia to his home on a beautiful lake.  His wife recently passed away and Tom has become quite the homemaker.  He greeted us with a true NW cuisine - raw oysters and champagne as appetizers, fabulous salmon done on the BBQ and a Washington berry compote for dessert.  It was all delicious.  All the while we enjoyed the view from his "glass" house. 

You can see how high the water is by looking at the docks. 

This bald eagle entertained us in the morning over our coffee.

Rain...rain...all day!

We departed his place in a continuous rain as we headed down the coast to Oregon.  That night was spent in Newport, OR - a stunningly beautiful town.  Perhaps it was because the sun finally shown that morning, but the beaches and harbors were glorious.

We continued our drive down the coast and crossed over into California and through the Redwoods.  We spent the night in the "Victorian Alps" town of Weaverville - a historic town.  Our accommodations that evening were fabulous.

Oregon coast.

The Redwoods.

Loved the crazy quilt at the foot of our bed.

The champagne tub...love all the linens???

The sitting room.

The rain returned the next day as we headed for another historic Gold Rush town - Murphys.  We were getting a little tired of all the rain and were relieved that the following day's trip was dry.  We found some fabulous roads as we headed south.  On this one we met one other car in a 60+ mile drive.  The green hills were the most luscious color and the flowers were blooming everywhere.  It was a fun time to travel despite the rain and snow.