Hot off the press...

This just in: Collin passed the National Registry test for his EMT class.
He is now free to work for the local ambulance company as a driver, and this also meets a requirement for applying for the fire academy this winter. Way to go Collin! Wooooohooooo!

Girl's Night Out

If you must know, we call ourselves the Hungry Heifers. At the time of the 'naming' we were unaware that a 'heifer' was a young cow that had not borne a calf. We just knew that we loved to get together, gab, EAT, and let our many children play together. The name stuck.

Standing: Tammy, Kellye, Teri Seated: Kelly, Tracie, Tracie, Terri
I think we've been doing this for 16 or 17 years. All of us have known each other since the 60's, having grown up in the same neighborhood or through school. Others have popped in to play as well. Between the seven of us, there are twenty-two kids. Most are grown now, but that doesn't stop us from reuniting and picking up where we left off.



This trumpet vine is commanding your attention. It should, in fact, be a touch embarrassed that these are the only blossoms it's sporting. Thought I'd get proof before the deer come through.
I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Sun, soil, water, food? Three different plants in three different locations, and this is the reward. Maybe it's like a few other plants around here...I'm trying too hard; some thrive on neglect.


Seems like yesterday...

Well, almost. Phillip turned 23 today. Look how my baby has grown up! Where did his Hawaiian shorts, with his gray, plastic cowboy boots go? I just know he would be riding down our old steep driveway, on his red tractor, if he still had the chance.
He's still as crazy as ever. I'm thinking this must be the way firefighters blow out their candles.
Happy Birthday, my boy - I love you!


While the cat's away...

...the mice will play; and that we did. Meredith, Terri, and I went to Kellye's house to vacation for the afternoon, while she was away in Palm Springs. Pretended like we owned the place. (Look at the spectacular paint job by two certain painters, that shall remain nameless.)
Check out this view from the house. Not only is the yard a gardener's dream, the vineyard is beautiful and from another angle you can see the valley. Off to the right, away from the house and pool, is a winery that fits in with the whole lovely theme. (Another friend, Todd B., built it.)
It's always fun going to Kellye's, especially when she's there. Great hostess, funny sense of humor, and a wonderful friend - not to mention her plentiful snack drawer.


Is there a doctor in the house?

That's affirmative. I recently purchased a NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) from the 80's on eBay, along with some games...rather cheap. Years ago, I would stay up late, after the kids were in bed and play this game. All that practice made me pretty good; in fact I beat it. The boys weren't impressed with me then, but they are now. Just so you know, I still reign as champion.
(I can't play any of the new game systems - they have too much motion and make me feel carsick.)


I love these colors.

Years ago, these two were planted side by side. I deliberately wanted the yellow butterfly bush to stand out next to the flowering plum tree - a great looking contrast.


Wacky Weather

When it's only 61 degrees and sprinkling outside, in the middle of summer, there's only one thing to do: make cookies. I probably shouldn't admit it, but I like the dough better than the finished product. The fear of getting salmonella doesn't stop me. (Why is it called that? It doesn't come from fish.) I sense a food advisory coming from someone.
I usually use the Tollhouse recipe, no matter what kind of chocolate chips I have. My family prefers milk chocolate. One question - why do they sometimes turn out flat and other times fluffy? I chilled it before baking. Maybe I should add more flour or try another recipe. Suggestions?


What gives?

Any other suggestions as to what to do with bananas that refuse to ripen? Twice in the last month I've had this problem. I guess I purchase organic bananas for the sole purpose of replenishing my compost pile.

I did NOT grow this.

I crocheted this bath mitt with hemp. The pattern called for aloo yarn that I couldn't find locally, and the young lady that helped me thought this would have the same rough texture. (Nice for a little exfoliating.) She also assured me that the color wouldn't 'bleed'. If you don't know what a 'bath mitt' is, it's something you can use in the bath or shower, as a washcloth. In the space between, you can use with your hand inside, or as I have done, place a nice smelling bar of soap and give as a gift.
I'd give the original instructions, but I changed a few too many things. Here you go, if you're interested:
any type of rough feeling yarn - aloo, hemp, linen
10 mm afghan hook
size G crochet hook
Ch 16. Work Tunisian Crochet, alternating one forward row and one reverse row, until piece measures 11 3/4" from beginning. Fasten off.

Tunisian Crochet:
Foundation Row (pick up sts): Insert afghan hook through top loop of second ch from hook, yarn over and draw through a loop (2 sts on hook). *Insert hook into top loop of next st and draw a loop through, leaving it on the hook. Repeat from *, drawing 1 loop through each st, and leaving all loops on hook.

Reverse Row (complete the stitch)
: Yarn over and draw a loop through the first loop on hook to create 1 turning chain and bring hook up to the level of the next row. * Yarn over and bring the hook through 2 sts. Repeat from * to end of row, working from left to right and binding off 1 st each time you draw a loop through 2 loops on hook, ending with 1 loop on hook (counts as the first st of the next row).

Forward row (pick up sts)
: *Bring hook from right to left under the first vertical bar created by the first two rows and draw a loop through, leaving it on the hook. Repeat from * to end of row, drawing up a loop from under the last vertical strand. Work a Forward Row followed by a Reverse Row for a pattern.

Once you've reached the 11 3/4" bind off. Fold in 1/2 lengthwise, with the right sides together.
Stitch both side seams with a tapestry needle threaded with the yarn. Good time to slip those loose ends in the seam. Use size G crochet hook to single crochet around the perimeter. Bind off. Chain a length long enough for a drawstring. Weave it through the stitches, about 1/4" from the top. Tie ends together.

I got the idea from the book 'Oneskein'. It has 30 projects to knit and crochet that only take one skein to complete. Found it at the public library.

I love projects that can be completed in an evening. If I lose interest in that amount of time, I'm in BIG trouble.


Do you see what I see?

Take a close look:Here's a hint:
Why is it that once you see something, you can't not see it every time it comes into view? There's also those eyes in the wood trim, that watch me in the 'ladies room', and the mold in the shape of the big dipper above my shower.
Should I take the tree as a sign to go over the hill to do a little gambling? Or does it mean that it's time to repaint the bathroom?


Very Hungry Caterpillars

Here's my weeping cherry tree. At first glance, I thought the deer had been through, until it dawned on me that they don't have necks like a giraffe. Everything eaten was higher than their grazing level. Closer inspection revealed a couple of fat, juicy caterpillars and their siblings.
Tom was so brave to hand pick these ravenous red-humped caterpillars off the branches.

The woman at the nursery said, "Kill 'em." They're capable of doing a lot of damage. Options would be to remove them as Tom did, or spray with Spinosad. We're doing both.


Take a wok on the wild side.

It's all about the method. My parents showed me years ago how to make popcorn in the wok. Needs absolutely no shaking. Put the oil and popcorn in, turn up the heat, and let her go.
Tim and Michele shared their secret recipe with us around the same time. Sprinkle with Vege-Sal and nutritional yeast (found at health food stores). Enjoy.


Collin was concerned.

He pulled me aside and pointed to a sticky note I had put on the fridge - 'go online for weed' . Did he think I could find a connection that way? Time for intervention? In reality, it was a reminder for me to enter my 6'10" weed in the county fair.I've been a little lax in my garden clean up, and now it may pay off. Rumor has it, first place rakes in $5.00. Jeff P. says he can hook me up with some abalone guts that will work wonders, if he can share in the glory. I think I can split the money, but I get the ribbon.