Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Brilliant Countdown

It seems like all my favorite parodies are Beyonce-based.  All the Wrinkled Ladies  had me ROTFLMAO. Knowing that I too could have finally been a backup dancer was possibly the highlight of my year.

This is the latest one I ran across and it's mesmerizing. Who knew that Snuggies could be a fashion statement in a music video?!
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!  Don't you think he did an amazing job?  I wish I was that clever/bored/talented/motivated.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summer Morning

Are there two lovelier words?

I wake up reveling in the need for a light blanket as well as the fresh cotton sheet over me since our weather cooled a bit.

The windows are all opened wide. All the better to hear the cooing of the mourning doves and the busy twittering of myriad sparrows as I lazily watch the sun rise over the Virginia Range and illuminate the valley.

Outside my window the white birches cast dappled shadows on the porch roof and I know that when I step outside, the lawn (finally a lush green) will be damp and cool on my toes. It's Trash Day and I need to ensure the dog gifts deposited the night before make their fragrant way into the garbage. It's (almost) a privilege to wheel our cans past stripey daylilies, a third crop of golden raspberries and the sprawling strawberry plants to park them near the apricot roses blooming profligately near the curb.

The last handful of Black Tartarians from our cherry tree are waiting in the fridge to kick off breakfast. But first a brisk walk with my usual companion to exercise our glutes and our jawbones. We never run out of items to discuss be it our grown children or what's for lunch although we hike day after day, month after month, year after year.

Our walk produces baby quail sightings. Seemingly every quail in Reno has hatched their clutch within twenty-four hours of one another. None is bigger than an apricot which is appropriate since we also wander past a fruit tree that's ripened since we last strolled by. The windfall apricots provide the best surprise yet with their intense sweet flavor. Possibly the best apricots I've eaten in years, but then this year is producing a bumper fruit crop due to either the mild winter or a spring without severe frosts.

The tiger lilies, which love the heat, started blooming a week earlier than usual and I'm collecting bulblets to share with a few neighbors who also love to garden. Tiger lilies are my "Dad" flower. He collected the plants growing wild in the mountains of Tehama county and our family has grown them ever since. They grow as well in the New Mexican monsoons as the high desert or along the California coast or even the cool Pacific Northwest summers.  I see that the hummers are out early for their morning nectar.  They love the tiger lilies.

Comtesse de Bouchard in her sunny spot on the back fence is responding to the necessary severe pruning with a bounty of pale lilac flowers. 
I'm grateful since Nelly Moser had fewer than usual due to a much-needed thinning.  I think that clematis is most reponsive to proper pruning of any plant I have.

I'm happy to see the newest dianthus are settling in well and continuing to bloom.  The waterlilies have new flowers that will open later in the noontime sun.  Three goldfish play hide-and-seek under the lilypads.  I miss the sound of the waterfall--the pond pump needs some troubleshooting that I've been putting off.

I decide I like the bush beans planted amid petunias.  The pumpkin plants are just now beginning to sprawl and I make a mental note to channel the vines in front of the beebalm and mini-roses.  The snap peas are appearing as quickly as I can eat them on my nightly salad.  I consider using the rampant purslane in salad too instead of just tossing them in the compost heap and wish my Heavenly Blue morning glories were as aggressive as their bindweed cousins that are twining through the Scentimental rose. It's a pity that some chicken escapees scratched in my newly-planted veggie bed.  All the pole beans now need to be replanted. 

A monarch butterfly, the first of the year, is floating through the gloriosa dailies looking for a place to settle.  I wonder if, just maybe, a female might lay eggs on the milkweek plants I keep around specifically for the butterflies.  Little striped caterpillars and gold-dotted chrysalises would make my year.

I'm not sure that there's anything better than the start of a day in mid-July.

Wishing you a lovely morning, many flowers and not too many chores in your yard.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

My Guideposts -- Week84

Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing. 
Denis Waitley 

Okay, risk brings broken bones and empty wallets.  But it also brings weddings, births, first homes,  backyard ponds, city chickens, new puppies, painted walls, teal-green toenails, refinished antiques, and a sense of having lived.  Looking back, I'm happy with all the risks I've taken that've paid off.  And that makes me anticipate the risks that lie ahead.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Our little jewel is officially one month old today!
Sierra Rose is no longer just a sweet newborn lump of deliciousness, she's a baby. Growing and changing daily.  While we'd like to keep her small, it's exciting to see her become her own little person.

Her daddy just celebrated his birthday and it was so wonderful to contemplate all the joys that she'll bring him in the year ahead.  That first smile and all the milestones like rolling over and crawling and babbling to her daddy.

Thank heavens for Skype.  What did long distance grand-parents do before the Internet?

There's nothing quite as magical as a new baby.


Saturday, July 07, 2012

My "Summer Stars" Wallhanging

I just hung my new summer wallhanging above our mantel! 

"Summer Stars" has been perking along in my brain for a while now and there's nothing as satisfying as seeing your idea come to life.  (Except Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.  Or peaches warm off the tree.  Or holding the grandbaby.)  I stepped off that stool, turned on all the lights in our north-facing family room and grabbed my camera.

I started collecting fabric with the idea of a red, white and blue version of my "Christmas Star" wallhanging.  But the reds would be cherry reds and the blues would be a medium clear bright tone that I mentally catalog as "soldier blue."  They've been waiting for me for a few years now.   (Don't inquire as to the definition of a "few", please, because I might have to fib a bit.)

As I sewed, I quickly realized that I'd been including some patriotic flag material in soft tans and they weren't fitting in with my vision at all.  I think I was getting too influenced by the Fourth of July when I really wanted something brighter, more summery.  Subconsciously, this jigsaw puzzle that I liked enough to frame was inspiring me.  

Not a bit of tan in sight, is there?  It's pure summer! 

I tossed out the drab tans and pulled bright whites, strong yellows and medium greens from my stash.  There are strawberry and butterfly and bunny fabrics to add to the summery feel of the patriotic flags and stars. 

My dining table has been piled high with material for a week while I've been cutting out three-inch squares and piecing the star blocks.  Why does quilting take up some much more time than a major project involving wood and power tools?  I can't express how nice it was last night to gather all the fabric into neatly folded piles and carry them up to the craft closet.  Because I'd sewn the last of the twenty-five blocks sometime after eleven p.m.  Hallelujah!

I love auditioning the individual blocks and figuring out a pleasingly random arrangement.  (And then changing ten times because my least-favorite block was in a way-too-prominent place that was going to annoy me for years if I left it there.)  I always take a photo before I sew them together since I'll never remember what goes where otherwise.

Good thing too because even though I chant things like "green block on the upper outside," I get sidetracked by making sure the star points stay pointy and the seams match.

It's not perfect, but it's DONE.  Well, not done in the sense of batting and backing and binding--but that's the easy part now that the quilt top is finished.  I'm one happy camper!

Off to style the mantel and then shop the stash for backing material.

Relieved, happy, satisfied,