Saturday, June 30, 2007

After the Birthday

After the relaxing birthday I celebrated with friends and family. My best friend from high school came down from Washington with her family. They were really here to check out a college for their daughter, but the bonus was that we got to meet up for dinner and a few visits. We had a great get together at Chevys with both my sons and Therisa and Nathan and my sister. Philina. A great time was had by all and alot of years of catching up was done. The best thing about best friends is that you can pick right up where you left off whenever you get together. Have to love that!

After all the visiting was done and I downloaded all the pictures I realized that I didn't get pictures of my friends, Jana, Dave and Kristen. I was seated in a spot that was hard to capture them with my camera and we were so busy visiting that time just slipped by and I forgot the whole picture thing. Sorry guys! I promise you will all make it on my blog next time and there will be a next time! I got pictures of the boys because they were all right across from me and looking just so cute don't you think. I am mostly posting these for my Mom in Florida so that she can see her grown up grandsons and little Nathan.

The birthday is not over little sister is taking me to Hawaii in a few weeks for a 'just the girls' trip...she is the queen of planning. I must have taught her well because she has lists and an itinerary and not a detail has been missed. I am really looking forward to you can bet I will have more pictures to share. I really have to learn how to do collages with my photoshop program so I can show more in less space. There are lots of great tools out there to show slide shows on your web page and all sorts of things. Guess I will have to figure some of these out.

I also spent a day at the garden recently and am working on a collage for my next post because I did get some great pictures of my future tomatoes. They are all green , but ripening up. I got some nice Black Cherry tomatoes, but I ate them while I was gardening. I can't wait for the day when I can actually have my garden right in my backyard. Now I am gardening in a community garden and drive about 5 miles to get there so I need to stock my car with lots of carrying containers for my future harvest because it looks like there are going to be a lot of tomatoes. Peppers just don't get very big in this plot for some reason, but the tomatoes and basil do well and those are my favorites anyway. I'll leave you with a peek at my favorite juicy tomatoes basking in the sun, Giant Red Zebras.

Just one more note for any of my blogging friends with an opinion about sewing machines...I am thinking about getting a new machine and am feeling soooo confused about which one I want. I have owned a Singer since I got out of high school...about 30 years ago now. I have loved it and sewn many projects on it including my own wedding dress. But, while it still sews fine there is a lot it doesn't do and it may be time to upgrade. I want to be able to make buttonholes with ease and a few embroidery stitches would be good. I need a machine that I can sew some thick layers of fabric together since I have taken up a little quilting and am always having to hem jeans (I am a little short), Anyway, I am looking at this Singer Quantum CE200. I love the shape and for the money it does more than I was looking for. It can embroider designs from my computer which I didn't think I wanted, but it could open up new doors for my sewing projects.

I will stop rambling and wait for opinions. Thanks!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Fun and Relaxing Birthday

Well, it is official I have turned 50 and had the most fun and relaxing birthday. It was at 91 degrees here at 9:30 the morning that we left for Fort Bragg. The weather in Fort Bragg was a nice cool 70 something. The fog sat out a bit from the coast most of the time we were there coming in to cool us off a little more in the evening, but leaving by early morning. It was a perfect birthday. We spent 2 days digging for treasures at the Glass Beach and walking around the beautiful Mendocino Botanical Gardens. I took way too many pictures to post here but, I will throw in a few and then save some for later! I love plants and flowers and am trying to identify some of the ones I took pictures of in case I ever come across them again. Michael was trying to document my day so here it is in order:

I can't believe that I put this on, but he was working hard to make this project I am waking up, coffee in hand and an iron nearby...funny since I am known for not liking to iron unless I am sewing.

And now a little more awake putting on some earrings to go digging on the beach. I always wear earrings can't go out without them. We all have our quirks...and some of us have more than others.

Here I am digging for treasures at the beach. Such a beautiful place. The whole beach is covered with many colors of glass that has been washing back and forth in the ocean with the rocks and sand then washing up on shore. It is really amazing...and to think this was trash years ago. Well, I am doing my part in recycling and thinking of things to make with sea glass. We brought home lots of it.

At the end of the day we watched the sun set...then ate pie (no picture of that).

Friday, June 08, 2007

Success in the Kitchen and the Living Room

Anyone who knows me knows that I can cook, but I am not a chef. Most of what I cook is good, but not usually a Wow!. I am always trying for a Wow though and don't give up easily. I am much more successful at baking than cooking. I met a special lady last week who needed some help with her squash plants. She is elderly and not able to drive so I took some things over to her after work. She met me with some delicious Ginger cookies she had baked. They were Wow good! She had a little cottage that was going to be available to rent so a few days later we went over to see if it might work for us. It was too small, our apartment was bigger, but she wouldn't let us get away without taking something home. She picked a few little baskets of kumquats while we were pondering and measuring the cottage. I did a search for kumquat recipes and found plenty at a few websites. I made 2 of them with great success! The first was a kumquat cake with a kumquat glaze over the top. The second was this Kumquat Meringue Pie which I have to say turned out beautifully and tasted just as wonderful. It was not as tart as lemon meringue, but still had a nice citrus flavor. My favorite part was that it looked perfect! I am so glad that I have a blog with which to document this success in my kitchen!

I have also had some success in the living room! I have pretty much finished the covers for my couch cushions. I still have to work on the closures on the back side of them, but right now I am so busy that I haven't had the time to finish. I do have it figured out though so it should be simple and I'll get it done asap. I am very happy with the way that they fit though and especially happy that I figured out how to do the piping. I had a mental block against this for the longest time and I don't know why, it really was fairly simple. So much success!!! I hope I can keep on this successful role I seem to be on. I was even successful at figuring out how to create this little picture with Photoshop Elements 5.0. Now I hear they are making a new version and I haven't even had a chance to learn all that this one does. I really need a few more hours in my days...maybe ones where I am not feeling too tired to move or think.