Friday, May 15, 2009

How does my garden grow?

The efforts I've made with this garden just might be paying off! I took a walk up on the slope this evening with Karen and look at what there is to see:

And the other direction:

And here's some fun pix:

If you embiggen the picture, you can see the bean vine has reached out and wrapped itself around the pole. These were supposed to be bush beans (pole beans were planted in another area) but whoops! I mixed up a few!

Baby beans!

And look at this baby squash! It's about an inch long! Won't be long before that one's in the pan!

This one is a mystery.... It may be a watermelon. I have some plants that got separated from their labels while they were seedlings.... Its going to be fun seeing what shows up!

Today I added some honey dew melons, cantalope, watermelon (a different variety as I am not sure if I ended up with any planted from seedlings or not... I was seriously mixed up by the time transplanting was done!), and some celantro!

I am coming to the conclusion that I truly overshot on the zucchini. I didn't have enough last year, but this year, I may have enough to feed several families! Yay!


Orange Quilt Bee!!

I have been most remiss in not blogging about this sooner! Our much anticipated new Orange_Quilt_Bee store opened last weekend!

Karen and I went over early to hang out and chant "open! open! open!" while waiting. We were not alone! We met Ellen and Karene and more arrived very soon! Look at all of us peeking in and driving Pebbles and Lisa nuts as they rushed around with the rest of the staff, getting ready!

We could see our Teacher Extraordinairre inside bustling about with a vacuum.... Lisa scurrying back and forth wearing Bee Slippers! And even from a distance we could tell the fabric was drool-worthy! While we drooled, the line was growing!

Right before they let us in, Pebbles and Lisa came out for a quick picture! We were cheering! Then they stood back and the horde (that's us quilters!) descended on the new store!

Karen and I found a few fabrics we think we may "have" to go back and check out further..... ;)

And guess what I got for Mother's Day, the very next morning?! A gift certificate for Orange Quilt Bee! Apparently Michael was in the store a few hours after we were! Sneaky!! I'm looking forward to spending it!

Let there be cake....

Michael had a birthday celebration last weekend. It was a surprise. He was out in the backyard with his puppies enjoying the afternoon when his friend (also named Michael) stepped out of the patio door into the yard with him. I think I managed to surprise him this year. He and Michael had not seen each other in over a year. They worked together for years at Disney.

They caught up on people, events, politics, everything. I'm so glad they were able to enjoy an evening together!

Our "adopted" son Patrick, his better half TiJae (also Karen's best friend - I love the way my world is getting smaller!) and TiJae's son Cage were to have joined us.... but at the last minute, the plumbing backed up all over the entire home they are renting... Per Patrick, they could not shower, shave, poop, brush teeth, etc! They had to wait for the plumber to come and solve the mystery. So they missed the party and TiJae entertained us with her "twitters" regarding the joys of teaching Cage to pee outside on a slope, and how the neighborhood was being entertained by the antics of Bobby, the tiny Asian plumber as he extracted hair clogs from the plumbing line in the front yard! Her final twitter of the evening announced their new resolutions to avoid such a back-up in the future: Eat more fiber, and haircuts!

Jason was able to join us and we were glad to have a chance to catch up with him, too. Here is everyone digging into birthday cake....

And here's a picture of the cake Karen decorated for her dad.

We've decided that if this economy ever gives us a break, we would like to take the Wilton cake decorating class together. Michael's loving that idea: he gets to eat the homework and class projects, and we would never EVER pay $20.00+ again for a decorated cake for a celebration. He likes this cake just fine - it is the same recipe that was used for our wedding cake! - but I think he'd like it even better with piles of sugary flowers on it.... just say'n!

Happy Birthday Michael!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Dear Santa

Today I tackled a project in my sewing room that I've wanted to get to for a while. Every time I attempt to straighten it up or organize it, I find more stuff I fell in love with, bought at a quilt store, and then forgot I had when it became buried in my sewing room. I'm trying very hard to sew from stash, what with this Stinking Economy and all. I decided to see if I could utilize wall space and not spend a fortune.

While I was painting the picnic table and had out the drop cloths and plastic, I painted some pegboard and some 1 x 2s. I used the same color as the walls they will go on.

Tonight, I attached the pegboard to the 1 x 2s. If you imagine the letter H made of those 1 x 2s, and then cross the top of the H with another piece of the wood, you would now have a flat-topped A. I initially tried to hand saw the 1 x 2s with the little hacksaw we just got a supposedly new sharp blade for. That lasted about four strokes and then I got out the Big Bad Boy.

As I mentioned to Karene earlier, I do love me some power tools. They get the job done! Impresses the neighbors too, as it screams through the wood!

Now plop the pegboard on the frame you have made and screw it in.

Dear Santa,

Please bring me a corded variable speed drill for my stocking this year. I know, cordless drills are all the rage, but I am old fashioned and I would like to KNOW that after I work all day, hustle my butt and all my tools up to the sewing room and industriously begin to screw 4,592 small screws into a project, that I will be able to complete it...... without the cordless drill battery going dead on the first screw.

This caused spiritual and physical distress for me today, as my bad language turned the air a tinge blue, and after I finished the creative cursing and sputtering, I was still mad, and I screwed all the screws in with my trusty flowered screw driver (thank you Daddy) and my carpal tunnel syndrome lost no time in surfacing in a big way. Ouch. I'll keep working on the language, but hopefully, mentioning this so early in the year will insure that you can put one in my stocking in December.

Yours truly, kiss, kiss, and yes, we'll leave out the usual dozens of cookies,

Joy Denise


I got the frames made, and used the rest of my "mad" to fuel the effort to move tables and get the frames propped against the walls, and then 3M'd them along the wall. No holes in the wall.

I will see how it feels tomorrow and if necessary, locate a stud in the top of each frame and use a single nail into the stud to reinforce/hold them up. These will hold patterns, rulers, thread rack (so Max the Wuss does not annihilate it again during his next panic attack...... ....don't ask!) and other gadgets.

Pegboard, 1 x 2s, screws/washers, and multipack of hangers, approximately $25.00. Not Bad!

Yay! Me likee! :)

"Open, open, open"

I cheated and went to the Orange Quilt Bee last Friday.... I was hoping to peek in and see FABRIC and maybe wave at Candy or Janet, or see Pebbles or Lisa in there, directing shelf stocking with luscious, new FABRIC, etc...

Yep, I'm at the right place!
(Here, my partner in nosiness strikes a pose for her own camera!)

I knew they had had to move the date back a week for the opening, because of unavoidable last minute glitches....

But alas.... It was still pretty bare. I peeked in....

And I have only one question.

What the heck is the tire for?!

Patio Spruce Up Done!

I think I shall put up a few short posts... easier to deal with on Blogger!

The patio project has continued, and is pretty much done. The table painting is complete, and the umbrella is installed.

Next was the chair project. I got these chairs right when we moved here, so they are 15 years old. I was ecstatic to find them at Costco or Sam's. I think I gave $15.00 a chair, and I've never seen any resin chairs like them, since.

But they are Le Tired. (Click to see Just.How.Tired.) Yuck. And that is how they looked AFTER they were scrubbed with a brush and detergent! I priced new ones, and could only find mostly this style.

I could have those, for a price ranging from $33.00 to $39.00 apiece. No way, Jose! The chairs I have function perfectly; they are just ugly.

Home Depot, the home of the Boyz in Orange Aprons (one of my favorite Toy Stores) had paint designed specifically for resin chairs. And for $7.50 per chair (roughly 1-1/2 cans of paint per chair, at $4.99 a can).....

I have 'new' chairs! (Some white and some beige.) Way better than $33.00 apiece!

How are we looking so far??!?? :)