Saturday, April 15, 2017

What Makes You Happy?

Happy Saturday evening from the rancho!

Super busy all week.  The budget review finally cleared at work, so I finished ordering food for our fourth quarter feeding.  Wow...I was pretty sure I would run out of food before someone made a decision!  LOL Every year costs go up...and every year budgets are SURE that we can make do with less.  Sigh.  I love my job, but really?

Hubby stopped by to visit my favorite heifer.  She is on a "date" in a friend's pasture.  We like to keep some genetic diversity in the herd, so she's been spending time with her new boyfriend.  Isn't she sweet? Love her black nose and feet.

My rose bud opened up this week.  HUGE!  And I wish you could smell it...delicious...just like a real rose should smell.

I got the finishing bug, so worked on painting and waxing a box for my small cross stitch finish.  The golden chenille is hand dyed.  It wasn't quite thick enough, so I gave it a quick twist.  I'm not sure what I will do with the top where it ends.  Maybe just a knot?  I added the three buttons to balance out the bird. It doesn't look quite so crooked in real life.  LOL

One of the Taco Bells in our town just remodeled their dining room.  I ran into a giant taco sauce packet out on the sidewalk. It (not sure if it was female or male, didn't talk, LOL) had a great attitude and was happy to pose for a picture.  Check out those sneakers!

Sooooo...last January when my son visited, I mentioned that I was getting a tattoo.  I gave it a lot of thought.  I wanted something that meant something special to ME.  My son and I decided that the overwhelming guide to our life is kindness.  Originally I wanted a watercolor flower, then realized that the perfect answer was right in front of me...a picture that my son painted for me about three years ago.

I had just the yellow bird put on...and was not as happy as I thought I should be.  I realized that my skin has a distinct yellow tinge to it and my little bird did not "pop" the way I wanted.  So, headed back to the tattoo shop and asked for some more shading.  Since I was there, I added another bird. Love, love, love it!  I know that tattoos are not for everyone, and I'm sorry if I offend anyone, but I look at mine and it makes me smile.  It reminds of my son.  He is my heart...

Here is a picture of my son's tattoo. He really didn't want birds, LOL, but he did want the same sentiment.

Honestly, even the watercolor parts of mine were a bit uncomfortable.  I cannot imagine the full color that he had done.  I appreciate that the tattoo artist gave me the tattoo that I wanted, and not one word about whether she thought it was silly or weird.  When I asked if it might be better to put a line around the birds to make them pop, she said that she didn't want to lose the integrity of the original picture and could do it with shading. I knew then that I had chosen the correct artist.  I'm not planning on joining the circus and becoming the tattooed lady, but this is a decision that I made for me and I am happy.

I wish each of you a special Sunday and enjoy it in the way that makes YOU happy.  Be kind to one another.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Rounding the Corner...and More Flowers

Good morning from the rancho....

Here it is Sunday. Sigh.  Where does the time go?  It was a tough week at work.  I was incredibly busy and it seemed like every day was a Monday. It changed my whole attitude and I feel like I am on a never ending trek. Wake up, go to work, take care of Dad, do chores, go to bed.  Wake up, etc, etc, etc.  I know that there is an end, and am terrified, but I am just so tired right now...and it's not a physical tired.  Sigh.  Enough whining.  I have a break coming on the 20th, so I need to just pull up my big-girl panties and deal with it.

I have lots of blooming going on.  The roses bushes next to the house are loaded.  Here are two blooms just waiting to open.

This flower came out of the same pack as the bright yellow one from last week.  I still don't know what they're called.

My irises are in bloom.

On the stitching and crafting front, I worked on my Cherry Hollow a bit this week.  I'm rounding the second corner...

I finished-finished my box.  I double waxed the outside, added a padded bottom, and filled in the edge with black chenille.  I'm happy with how it turned out.

Wishing each of you a wonderful Sunday and week.  Be kind to one another.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Stitching, and Punching, and Waxing...

Good morning and happy Sunday!  I know, I know, two posts in a week...enjoy it now, it will probably be another year before I do it again!

It is a beautiful weekend with lots of sunshine.  I spent yesterday doing a bit of watering outside the house and bit of finishing of projects inside the house.  Hubby took care of Dad for the day, so I could putter in my craft area.  It means a lot to have a few hours to myself.  Hubby wanted me to leave, but it was so nice to just do some handwork without worry about feeding and changes.

I finished-finished a little punch needle heart that I started, oh, about six months ago.  It took longer to get out my supplies that it did to finish the punching.  I had already painted the heart, but had to give it a quick wax.

In its new home...

I sealed this box, thinking that I would do a chalk paint and then wax.  I may just leave it like this and do simple wax.  Usually, the wooden boxes you get from Michael's look cheap and are much better painted. This one has an interesting wood grain.  What do you think?  Paint or no paint?

I worked a little on my Cherry Hollow stitching.  If I could just stay focused I might actually get it finished. LOL  

I leave you with a beautiful flower from my garden.  I planted these a month ago and for the life of me, cannot remember what they are called.  Old age is not for sissies.  Sigh.

Be kind to one another...

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Middle of the Week Surprise...

Happy Thursday, peeps!!  I seem to have napped through last Saturday, a little fuzzy about what I did on Sunday, and POOF!, here it is Thursday morning.  LOL

I finished a project.  Please, no applause, really...well, maybe just a little. My little bird sampler is done. These buttons are a bit larger that in the original pattern, but I think they look okay.  Yes? No?

I am going to take it with me to my finishing retreat and make it into a drum.  Or not.  Who knows what I'm going to do.

The pattern is starting to show on my throw.  It is going to be nice and heavy.  It is slooooow going.  I thought it would go faster since I'm using a bulky yarn.  Nope.  Once again, I've misjudged the time necessary to complete a project.  Though I'm pretty sure that I'm not the only one to make that little mistake.  LOL.  I was going to do stripes, but now I'm leaning toward BIG blocks. The other two colors are cream and teal.  This is a deep black.  I'll see how this first skein goes.

My roses are so happy, they cannot contain themselves.  They keep growing and growing and growing.

My first rose.  Love this color!

I have a baby oak tree that is growing under some bushes in my yard.  It is on a growth spurt this year. These leaves look so tiny and perfect.

Okay, it's after 5 am, I am off to work.  Today is my Friday...tomorrow is a state holiday.  A three day weekend will be nice.  I've always got "stuff" to do.  Have a wonderful day, be kind to one another.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Flowers, Flowers, Flowers...and an Unknitted Shawl

Good morning, peeps and peepettes!!  Happy, happy Sunday!

The weather here continues to be beautiful.  It gets down to the 40s at night, but hits the low 80s during the day.  My flowers are going crazy.  I've got orchids out on the patio, freesias and lilacs out front.  And my irises are so tall and sturdy, I'm hoping for lots of blooms this year.  There is more rain on the horizon, this week or next.  That would be great, I don't want to have to water...

My double-whites...the first picture shows how many blooms I've got waiting to open.

My patio cymbidium.  I only have one spike, but I'm hoping for more next year.

And here are my grape irises from Wisconsin.  Waving to Vickie!!  They're looking very healthy.  I love these irises.  They smell so good!

My freesias have lots and lots of blooms.

I picked a few to enjoy inside.  I love this color.

On the stitching front...NOTHING!!

I started working on my wrap/shawl last night.  Got all of the yarn into balls, settled down on the couch. Pulled out a very simple pattern. I just want to do a rectangle and have it be warm.  Here are the directions:  K1 *YO, P2tog* K1.  Hmmm.   Looked easy enough.  Except somehow, I completely read this incorrectly.  What did I do?  K1*YO, P2tog, K1*.  After three rows, it looked more like a moth-eaten blanket than a beautiful wrap.  Read the instructions again...and again...and again.  The holes did not seem to match the picture.  Oh, darn, I think I figured out the problem.  So, pulled it all out and went to bed.  I will be trying again today. Absolutely NO pictures were taken.

My dad continues to lose weight.  His eating has become erratic.  Some days are good, some are not so good.  Last week, the nurse told me that his lungs sounded a "bad".  The diagnosis was possible aspiration pneumonia.  I know that the time with my father is getting shorter.  It is very odd.  I know that it's time, but this life on hospice with my dad is MY normal. My father would have never wanted to live this way, but the end still scares me.  

So I am off like a herd of turtles.  I did most of my inside chores yesterday, but I need to take a trip to town this morning.  Hug your loved ones tight, be kind to one another.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

This and That....

Good morning from the rancho.

I am on my second cup of coffee and am still waiting for the caffeine to kick in.  I didn't sleep well last night.  Between my ancient bladder and the dog and cat wanting to go outside every hour, not much rest went on.  I know that the clock says 9:30 am, but my body is saying "Oh heavens no, that can't be possibly be right".  I see a really long day in my future...

The past week has been so beautiful here.  It's been in the 70's and 80's.  This is my favorite time of year. Everything is so green and shiny.  My irises look like it is going to be a bumper year for blooms. Amazing what some rain will do!  Here is a picture of my patio cymbidium.  I've had it for a few years, but this is the first time it's bloomed for me.  LOL

I've been super busy at work.  By the time I get home, all I want to do is sit in the chair and let my mind rest.  We have my old job out to hire, so hopefully we can get someone in the next two months.

I finally finished my Brach's Candy scarf.  I've got it washed and am blocking it now.  I hope that my hubby's friend likes it....

I am off and running.  Wishing you all an amazing Sunday.  Be kind to one another.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

This and That...That and This

Good morning from the rancho!!

It was a long, long week...even though it was only four working days. LOL  I'm settling into my new job. All that really means is that I've moved my stuff into an office about 20 feet away and changed my title on my email.  I'm still doing the same work...ordering all the food for next quarter.  To give you an idea of how much food we order, we are given $3.80 a DAY to feed our group of 91 days, that's $1.4 million! Sometimes I feel like I'm running my own little city.  LOL I always get a bit nervous right before I hit the "save" button on the computer when I finish the purchase orders.

I'm back on the treadmill, but only 15-20 minutes a day.  My hips are still bothering me, but with the arthritis, I expected that.  At least I'm doing something.  I think that as I get back into my walking program, I will get more comfortable.

Here's the update on my cross stitch.  Not much, but I've got the alphabet almost done.  I have to get this finished soon if I want to take it to the stitching retreat in April.  Must stitch, must stitch, must stitch.  LOL

I'm moving along on the scarf.  All the color is done, so now it's just finishing with the black tweed.

The first phalaenopis has bloomed.  I think I've found the secret...just ignore them.  LOL

We had a nice lunch last Sunday and topped it off with dessert from the Brown Butter Cookie Company. This is a bakery in Cayucos...very tasty.  And, I love their sign!  You can pretty much change the word "cookie" to anything...chocolate, ice cream, pie...definitely my kind of sign. LOL

Okay, peeps, I have to get this show on the road.  We only got a little sprinkle of rain last night, so I need to do some outside work today, as well as the usual chores, chores, chores.  LOL

Have a wonderful Sunday, be kind to one another.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Rain, Rain, and More Rain...And an Afternoon Off

Good morning from soggy California!   This is a quick "what I've got going on" post.  LOL

The rain keeps coming and coming and coming.  We had four inches in two days with another storm moving in tonight.  We are fortunate here in Central California.  A few areas have flooded, some road closures, and a 12 hour black-out on Friday.  Nothing too scary.  I was more concerned about the lack of electricity than anything else.  My dad's bed has a special mattress that fills with air to keep away bedsores.  We are lucky that we have a generator for emergencies.  No lights, but we kept Dad's bed going.  

I've been working on a new scarf.  It will be a gift for a friend of my husband.  After I took the picture, I realized that it looks like a Brach's Neapolitan candy.  It's not really as crooked as it looks. I took a picture of my cross stitch, but somehow got a horrible shadow and am too embarrassed to post it.  LOL

My little fishies have been very busy.  After looking closely, it appears that I have more on the way. Lots of chubby moms in there.

My poor neglected orchids have once again rewarded me with blooms.  I've had this orchid for at least three years, first time that it's re-bloomed.  LOL        

I'm trying to root some geraniums from the patio.  I don't see any roots, but it's been a week and they are still alive.

I'm busy, busy at work.  I'm still doing two jobs, but hopefully we can get someone hired in the next month. I talked to my boss last week and asked if I can keep my hours the same.  It is hard to get going at 4 am, but it gets me home before 3:30 pm, so I can take care of Dad.  She agreed, as long as the department doesn't suffer.  My cohort doesn't mind covering for me, so it will work.  LOL

Dad is exactly the same.  Sigh.  I am trying to stay upbeat, but some days make me so tired.  My sister called out of the blue yesterday and asked if we wanted the afternoon off.  Hmmmm...YES. Since hubby promised me a special date to celebrate my promotion, we've planned a drive and an early dinner.  It will be a nice break.  The rain isn't supposed to hit until later this evening, so it should be a nice afternoon.

I am off to get beautiful!  Not really, but I should get out of my jammies and brush my hair.  LOL Have an amazing Sunday.  Be kind to one another.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

One Inch, Two Inch, Three Inch, MORE!!

Happy Saturday from the soggy rancho.

Our days here are like some crazy Dr. Seuss inch, two inch, three inch, four, five inch, six inch, and here's some MORE!  Don't get me wrong, I am so thankful for the rain.  My trees are happy, the birds are happy, and the weeds are really, really happy.  LOL  I'm afraid to weed.  Every time I pull up a big weed, I get a big lump of soil.  At this rate, I will have to bring in dirt and backfill the entire acre.  LOL We are over 17 inches of rain for this season.  Considering that we have only been getting 6-10 inches for the last 5 years, we are doing well.

There are some areas of California that are over-watered, to the point that their reservoirs are starting to break down.  Here, we are still only between 40-85% full for the two large lakes close to my town. That really shows how bad the drought has been.  Considering that most of that water is drinking water for our county, no complaining.

I finished my baby quilt...before the baby got here!  Yay!!

I ended up using both skeins of my contrast yarns, but it really added to the look.  I got a big thank you from Mom and Dad.  SMILE.

Soooo....drum roll, please...I am now a Food Manager II...and scared.  LOL  I have basically done the job for the past several years as my boss was dealing with his wife's passing and his own medical issues. BUT, there is a big difference in "doing" the job and being "responsible" for the job.  LOL  I am still working out of my old office.  Too much work to finish and my staff want to have my office painted.   Personally, I don't care what color it is, but they want me to have a brand new office to celebrate my new job.  Very sweet...I am so fortunate to work with this group of people in my department.

Dad is still hanging in there.  I was a little concerned this past week.  Seemed to be coughing and groaning a bit more than usual, but last night and this morning has not been too bad.  Is it the weather?  I just don't know.  Sigh.

My coffee cup is empty and I am off to start my morning.  I can hear the laundry baskets calling my name...LOL

Have a wonderful weekend, be kind to one another.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Life at the Speed of Light...Or...Zoom-Zoom

Good morning and happy Saturday peeps and peepettes!

I completely misplaced about a week and a half.  I remember doing yard work, cleaning house, going to the chiropractor, and then things get really fuzzy!! I opened my eyes on a Monday, went to bed that night, the next day was Friday.  Zoom-zoom...LOL

Completed my first two weeks of hip and spine adjustments.  My bones and muscles are feeling pretty good.  No pain, so I think this may work.  LOL  I feel a little like I'm in training for a beauty pageant....stand up straight, no slouching, tuck in that chin, keep your stomach sucked in, shoulders back and square...Someone asked if I was losing weight...nope, just moving it around and I've got better posture. LOL

Finished my roses just in time for the next rain.  Of course, had a little accident.  While minding my own business, a rose bush reached out and grabbed my jeans, and I took a little tumble.  I was worried that I had hurt my hips again, but all was fine!  My neck was a little tight, but no damage. Either I'm getting better at falling, or I'm getting tougher when I do fall.  LOL

I participated in my promotional interview on January 26th.  Still no news one way or the other.  The other assistant food manager (she did not interview) went up to see if a choice had been made.  She was told that the form had been submitted for hiring, but was incorrect, so needed to be redone.  I won't ask since I do not want to be accused of trying to promote myself.  Sigh...  The waiting is making me tired.

I've been working on the baby blanket, but really need to get this finished!!  My goal was the last day of January, but that was part of the week that I lost.  Supposedly, three skeins of yarn would be enough. Hmmm...nope.  So, I picked up a contrasting color for a few double crochet rows and a shell to finish it off. I HAVE TO GET THIS DONE!!

Here is a picture taken last week while we were waiting for the next storm to move in...I love the way that the silver clouds look against the blue sky.  SMILE

I checked my rain gauge.  Another three inches.  It's still coming down or two inches a day, soaking in, no flooding.  My husband and a neighbor worked on the road yesterday.  It is a dirt/base road and was starting to get a lot of pot holes.  They put in EIGHT truck loads of base and got it spread before the worst of the rain.  It is supposed to be dry today, so if they do a couple of passes with the tractors, it will be really nice.  We have a road fund and managed to collect quite a bit of money this year, so were able to buy the extra road base.  This should hold us for a couple of years.

On the Dad uncle and cousin came to see my dad last weekend.  It was hard for my uncle. He looks at Dad, his baby brother, and you can see that his heart is breaking.  Dad is not able to communicate, but I know that he recognized both of their voices.  He had his eyes open all the time that they were here and was awake for another hour after they left.  My uncle hasn't been to visit for about a year, it is just too hard for him.  But, I am so glad he came, even if it is the final time.  I talked to my uncle last night and told him that I know that Dad is in there and that he knew them.  It seemed to soothe him a bit.  We are almost at the four year mark for Hospice. Wow...never thought that this journey would be so long and twisting. Some days are hard, some are harder, but we will do what needs to be done until the end.  Sigh.

Off to start my day.  I am having coffee with a dear friend this morning.  It has been quite a while, so we have a lot to catch up with. 

Have a wonderful weekend, be kind to one another.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Maybe It Happened When I Jumped Out of The Tree...

Happy Saturday from the rancho.

Wet week here in central California.  We are getting the rain we need at a slow and steady rate.  Love it!

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was having some problems with my sciatic nerve. Several people told me that a chiropractor might be able to help.

Soooooo....went to a chiropractor to see how my bones were doing.  First thing she did was have me stand and lift each of my knees...hmmm, why isn't the left side of my pelvis moving?  Don't know. She had me do some stretching, she didn't think that it was a ruptured disc.  So far, so good.  Off to x-rays.

Good ruptured disc.  Bad news, missing a disc.  It appears that the last vertebra (L5) of my spine has fused to the top of my tailbone.  Good news, I can stretch the ligaments to create a straighter spine.  Bad news, this is gonna take a few months. LOL

Good news, no nerve damage, they look great.  Bad news, I have arthritis in both hips, with a calcification the size of a lemon on one side.  Sigh.  I have less than the usual 45 degree angle at every curve in my spine.  It will take three appointments a week for two weeks to try and get the movement back and the curves into the normal range.  But, I am a good candidate for chiropractic care.  We'll see.  I have so many things I still want to do, I don't want my body to break down now.

She was extremely careful to explain each and every x-ray and the treatment she would like to provide. After my adjustment, she called me at home at 8:30 pm to check that I was okay.  She said that if I was in more pain than usual, please call and she would come into the office and do a quick adjustment this weekend.  Wow.  So far, I'm very impressed with her bedside manner.  LOL

I asked how I could have missed a ruptured disc.  She said that based on the amount of fusion, this could have happened when I was very young, or is cumulative from 40 years of working in food service on cement floors.  She asked if I had been in an accident or taken a fall in my childhood.

Well, let's see...maybe it happened when I jumped out of tree when I was about 6 years old.  Of course, I had a pillow case in hand, and of course, it was going to open like a parachute and of course, I would float to the ground.  It was a long 15 feet to the ground and NO, the pillow case did not open. LOL  Blame it on my youth and too many cartoons...

Or, it could have been when my cousins and I turned a 10 feet water tank on it's side and used it like a log to roll back and forth across the field.  I think I lasted about 5 minutes before I fell off.  I hit the ground hard enough to knock the air out of me.  LOL

Either way, she and the MD she consulted with, are more worried about the arthritis.  I'm good with that.

On to some pictures.  DH and I went to an outlet mall to pick up some stuff for him (not a yarn shop within 15 miles, LOL)  And, what did I find?  Another cow for the cow parade!  Here she is, the Moo-Monarch Cow... Our area is a known stopping place for Monarch butterflies on their annual migration. Isn't she pretty?

I'm still working on the companion piece for my little bird.

Feels good to be doing some cross stitch.

I'm off like a herd of turtles.  Lots to do before my nap.  LOL  Have a wonderful weekend and be kind to one another.

Monday, January 16, 2017


Good morning and a-little-sad Monday.  Sigh.

Dropped Baby Boy at the airport last night.  Miss him already.  Sigh.

His visits always go fast.  We try to pack as much into the day as we can, but sometimes, we just sit and talk.  I think I miss that the most.

So, our blow-out family day was Saturday.  Took a trip over to the beach.  My son loves the diversity of our state.  He likes Iowa, but misses our hills and trees.  And the ocean?  Of course...

It was an absolutely beautiful day.  Not a cloud in the sky.  This is the boardwalk in Cambria, California. The sky was so blue!



Due to the storms, lots of driftwood.

The all-important family portrait...

My son is so patient when I am on a photo hunt...

Driving around, found another cow from the cow parade.  Love the colors in this one.  It is named Moo-n Drops and Moo-Maids.  LOL

And a picture head-on...isn't this color luscious?

No real knitting or stitching while Baby Boy was here.  Once I finished the scarf that was going home with him, set everything aside to spend time with him.

I know that I will be feeling up in a few days.  I go back to work tomorrow, that will keep my mind occupied.  LOL

A wonderful week to all, be kind to one another.