Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Look at what has been going on among all the plays, concerts, (we were thrilled by Rhapsody in Blue twice in one day - and a flugelhorn concert) lunches, dinners,  leaves turning and falling, rain for days (finally),  snow in the mountains, gale warnings on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and overall good life.

 These are called hardy kiwi.  Look like grapes but taste like kiwi and make super freezer jam. 
 That's because I'm too lazy to make Miss Wikerink's home ec jam.

 Our Danish neighbor is kind and generous enough to share his crabbing skills.
  These guys were in the water about two hours earlier.  What more could you ask for?
 Al's stream is making slow progress.  He spends about an hour a day playing with his rocks, moving them from the big pile that was noisily dumped in the yard to the growing stream. 

 While he's getting all that fresh air and exercise, burning fat and building muscles, I choose to sit around with more ladylike (hard to imagine, right?) endeavors, getting plumper and more languid.  These are for the grandsons to commemorate their annual trip to England.  Oh, the poor boys. 

 All of that extensive dirt toiling produced some very yummy veggies. 
  If only the tomato crop had been as successful.  Maybe next year. 

We made a quick trip to San Francisco to pick up the table saw so that he can get to the serious stuff on the honey-do list.  We were the envy of all the city sophisticates as we headed toward the highway.  Granny was on the roof when we left town, but she must have blown off somewhere around Redding. 

Sunday, October 11, 2015


Yep.  Al has been working on his stream and pond. 
 It's important to have river rock.  Apparently.

 The stream bed was dug, the pipes installed and covered, then it all got lined with old carpet,

 Then covered with pond liner,

 And more pond liner.  I hope the power cord to the RV got moved before he sealed that. 
 Maybe I should go look.

 I learned how to do this double quilt binding so that it looks like piping but isn't.  It's my first time, so let's hope that practice will improve my technique.  Stand back.  It looks much better from afar.

The Santa is stitched, but what will it become?  I'll think about it for a couple of years before
tackling that part of the project. 

That's all.  Just going on about normal life, enjoying the change to autumn and waiting to see 
what will pop up next.  Isn't it fun? 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Now look what he's done

 He built a fence at the back alley to keep the deer out.  It used to have white tape above the lower chain link part to keep them from jumping over, but now they just don't have a chance.

 Then he hauled off (oops, hauled in) and got four loads of gravel to fill in his new enlarged driveway.

 You know that I avoid the great outdoors so kept myself busy inside.  For two years I've been waiting for inspiration for a valance on those windows.  I actively dislike mini-blinds, but Al likes them, so I've given up on that battle.  For now.  All the scraps, pockets, waistbands, zippers, etc. were jamming up the sewing table when creativity struck and now they are wrapped around foam insulation boards, at least hiding the mechanism of the hated blinds.   
(This picture was taken before the pillows were cozied in place.)

 Then the heaping basket of leg seams called out to be woven and became a pillow.
Same with the waistbands.
 One of the most annoying sewing tasks (to me) is inserting a zipper on the back to allow for easy access, washing, fluffing.  The pile of zippers jumped right up on the sewing machine and yelled "use me, use me!" Okay, Okay.  Pipe down.
 You can imagine all the chatter in the Patch with supplies yelling for attention.

  I'm now very pleased with myself because this has been one of the most interesting and fun projects I've ever done.  Can you see me taking a bow?  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Chain Gang in our Driveway

 This is Tom Dually's bed protector that Al built for hauling all the dirt and gravel as he
 remodels the front lawn.  Are you jealous?  Should he build one for you? Maybe he'll sell you the plans.

 There is going to be a driveway border but we don't think it will keep the deer out.

Here is Rhode Island - where there are now a couple of rhododendrons but soon will be many more.
  With a new border and tons of wood chips.  It smells like a broken Christmas tree around here. 
 Shazam!  The border looks pretty good.  What a guy can do with a hammer.

 Thank you, Nicole, for the chocolate sunflower seeds. 

The front walk now has a new border and a jillion more wood chips.  The septic tank lids are under the wooden islands.  It's like we're living in the tropics with all the islands.  I'll be the perfect fat queen.  Just bring me more tapioca pudding. The plan is to have lush plants growing everywhere, but that will obviously take quite a while.  Unless we get a visit from the fairy garden mother with her magic wand and a flock of cartoon animals to do the work while they whistle and sing.  I'll let you know.

 Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas in the basket, a few minutes old.
Straight from the bucket garden.  Ain't that somethin'?


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

So much mundane news

Well, it seems like every day has been lickety-split flying by but in an entertaining way.  Al has taken on the project of removing a ton of grass/sod from the front yard, under the pretext that it will be less to mow.  That requires loads and loads of rock to fill in the spaces that are now just a dirt factory.  Apparently the plan is to eventually get lots of plants but I don't see any trips to the nursery just yet.  Hmmm.  So apparently my job is to vacuum while I wait for the dust to settle.  Or just ignore it.

 He's so pleased with himself.

 Pat and Rhett visited the Chihuly Garden with us, 
Who could ever tire of it?

 We had some great meals,  which included salmon with goat cheese and blueberries.

Then waved good-bye.  No, stay longer!

Should everybody have a farmer like this around the house? 
Have you ever seen a guy prouder of a few peas in a bucket garden?
I have a picture of him in the same overalls in Petaluma, maybe in 1992. 
 Nobody can say Al doesn't get his money's worth from his fashionable wardrobe. 


 The apples are coming along like gangbusters.  See how the branches had to be propped up to prevent collapse.  These belong to the neighbor but he's a nice guy and we can reach them from our side of the fence.  Oops, one just fell into my hand.

 Here's a huge surprise.  We have a cherry tree that didn't bloom last year, so we didn't even know it was there, but look at it now.  Most of them are too high to reach even with a tall ladder but those we can capture are yummy.  The birds seem to be pleased with the higher crop.  If only we could train them to pick them and drop them in my basket.  They would probably just feed them to the deer.  

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Not Every Day

 So there I was, a normal Saturday afternoon, working away at the sewing machine, when I glanced out the window and there were two gorgeous peacocks!  Just wandering through our yard.  By the time I crept (I know, just imagine that) quietly inside to get the camera, they had ventured onto the rarely used front deck, then wandered off next door and to points beyond.  Now where, I ask you, where would two peacocks come from and where are they going?  I just had to share them with you.

What I did this week

 Nice blue denim cushion on one of the sunroom benches that Honeyhubby built, right?

 This is how it looked a couple of hours ago. 

A huge pile of jeans, cut apart and randomly put back together wherever the pieces fit.

 It was impossible, really -  impossible to jam the unwieldy piece of high-density foam into the finished cover so I wrapped it with a garbage bag and fiddled and finagled until it slid in there nicely. 
 Clever, ain't I?  

Oh, so country cute.  

Wouldn't the Grandmas be proud of the upcycling?  
Now for the zippers, pockets, seams, hems, and waistbands.