June 2007

finally, the awning is up and i can stop  using those awful blinds!  dear bobbie came over to lend me a hand with the ‘fabric’ part – i had already wrestled the frame up before she happened to call.  well, actually, i was on the ladder doing same when she called.  everyone laughs at my awning – it is something i built myself – no, not from wood or metal.  it is the black plastic ‘abf’ (i think that’s it – it’s not the white plast pvc, this is the one usually used for ‘outgoing’ water/waste).  had to use this and not pvc because pvc doesn’t come in the “Y” shape i needed.  guess i should have taken a picture of just the frame, before we put that ‘fabric’ on.  it’s not normal fabric, it is the insulating stuff that is silver on one side and something like quilt batting or fleece on the other.  the silver makes a great heat reflecter!!  the window is about 10 ft long, i think.  one of those very old ones with the large pane in the middle and the sliders on either side.  old, single pane, metal frame, etc.  makes for a great view, but murderous sun/heat in the summer afternoons!!

as i was reinstalling/repairing (lots of duct tape) the frame it occurred to me that a real awning would be ever so lovely.  something that would roll up into a tube and thus be somewhat protected under the roof overhang, when not in use.  what came to mind was the awning that i have on the rv.  sooooo, i am going to check out my camping world magazine the next time it shows up and see what kind of price range we are talking about.  probably more than the whole cottage is worth!!

ok, my frozen pizza is done, so i will go take a quick picture and get this posted.

awning1.jpgnow isn’t that just grand! ^_^  hey, it feels cooler in here already!!  and look at all those plums – and here’s how the other tree looks – loaded!!

plums.jpgthey need at least another 4 weeks, then will be very sweet and juicy!!

love and beauty

ok, about the close call first.  for those of you who consider these critters to be docile and harmless – trust me, not always the case!  this lovely lady who is looking at me because i am talking to her cause she is just outside my bedroom window – was, just prior to this picture being taken, doing her best to cause bodily harm to ms mocha – the chahuahua who pretends to be a great dane. i guess any ‘being’, who imagines itself to be threatened(or is protecting its young) – is dangerous!

i had seen the deer just outside the studio window and encouraged her to leave – so she kind of strolled to the back.  i then heard mocha barking and went to the door to call her inside – that’s when i heard the rustling of leaves – a sound caused by something large moving quickly around.  yep, there she was again – and not at all happy with that dog bugging her!  there was an additional encounter before i managed to get mocha inside – and the deer moved to the back and into the vegetation – tho not far away.  i kept an eye on her, and sure enough, she worked her way back into the yard – and that’s when i took the picture.  after the picture, i pointed my finger  and again asked her to leave.  i thought she had.

deer.jpg and so i left to attend to errands, tho with some concern for the wellbeing of my flowers.

about being pissed!

well, sure enough – she really had NOT left – and given her earlier aggressive behavior, could be there were youngins also in the vacinity.  when i returned home i found this plant ‘carnage’.  damn!  i plum forgot to purchase that liquid fence smelly stuff – to at least give those poor flowers a fighting chance!

half-done.jpg  a kind of ‘before and after’ since she only ate half of this box. the scond box is totally leveled.

begonias.jpg useful info – begonias don’t seem to be on her menu.  and i guess she also doesn’t care for those little purple flowers.  guess i can count on a little color remaining.

no-safe.jpgand these poor petunias didn’t even have a chance to get planted!

on-table.jpgeven one small impatiens in a pot on the table!

as for the mound garden – not one petunia blossom left.  the plants will survive – guess she knows that and will come back another time.  by then i hope to have sprayed – and hope it helps.  oh, she also didn’t touch those other plants whose name i do not know.  you know, i didn’t check out the flowers up by the  big house.  hmmm.

love and beauty,


there is hot water, at last.  took most of tom’s day and two trips to h.d.  the little ‘house’ the tank sits inside also has a new (plywood) door with a latch – not two pieces of plywood nailed on that had to be removed each time access was required.  guess i need to get some kind of paint on it before the rains come back this fall.  i will use whatever i can find around here – not like it has to match anything!  i am really looking forward to going to bed all squeaky clean and not having to trek up the path!

i did get 4 more bags of river rock and have now enlarged the rock covered space outside the door.  hoping to cut down on the amount of debris that gets carried into the house on various feet – both furry and shoe’d. ^_^ 

 other than that, not been a real productive day, for me.  been working on that mini for the opp quilt.  have realized this design will not work as a published pattern – not as drawn.  some of those ‘stamen’ pieces are just too small.  i have been able to do them, but only because i used a very stable fabric that also is nearly covered in metallic gold.  i discovered, as suspected, trying the same thing with ‘normal’ fabric did not work.  there are similarly small pieces on the petals – the ‘beard’, if you will.  the one i tried just about totally shredded – so i ripped it off and found some of the metallic in the right color.  soooo, i will either have to enlarge or otherwise modify those pieces, or just enlarge the whole pattern and make it one of the larger ones.  we shall see.

well, as soon as i pinned the bugger up to take this picture, i realized why i was having so much trouble.  because it is a mirror image that includes leaves, each flower is much smaller than the other two mini iris designs (all done to fit inside a 6 inch circle)!! duh!!  don’t know if you can see those tiny pieces i was talking about – the things sticking up in the middle and the one on the petal on the right.  yikes.  yes, we will definitely have to reconsider this one, and see how it looks enlarged.  my only other concern is that i know this is one of the crest designs that geri has done.  that’s why i didn’t want to do it as one of the 13-14″ blocks. hmmm  maybe it will just be a one of a kind on the opportunity quilt!

mini-iris3.jpg  that piece pinned at the upper left is the center petal.  the color here looks a little too orange.  i didn’t turn on the big lights for the picture, just used the flash and the lightening it up also turned it orange.  it’s more rust (as in more brown)

love and beauty,


i mean, how do they do that???  when i was younger, if you bought a pink petunia, well, it gave you pink flowers – right??  i don’t know if you can see this clearly, but that one plant has both pink and purple blossoms – one of each!  amazing.


it is hot – i am hot – and tired.  did take a short nap, but was awakened by sophie barking and then the sound of a man’s voice outside my bedroom window.  now, it’s one thing to find this place from the front.  i mean, you have to know where you are going to know it’s here – but at least the walk is ‘civilized’ – yes, a dirt path, but clear.  coming into here from the back – now that’s a whole different story.  a very steep climb thru nothing but wild stuff – lots of blackberries and who knows what else!  turned out to be an employee of one of those companies pg&e engages each year about this time – to check for trees interferring – or even THINKING about interferring – with power lines.  been the source of more than one fire, i guess.  drives me nuts.  hate people cutting on the trees.  this guy followed the line up – he was definitely as surprised as i was!  i don’t have a back door – so i had to talk with him out the (unscreened) bedroom window.  ^_^   well, try to talk over sophie’s loud barking.  she was not about to stop!  there really should NOT be anyone out there!

ok, i am definitely tired.  it was a very short nap and it has been hot and i have done a good bit of work.  did drag myself to the store – needed coffee. ( that would have been a real problem in the morning.)

and it is now the next morning.  this old computer has its problems and i was unable to complete the posting last night – so, here ya go.  and i must be on the road again now – ta ta for now.  have a great day!

love and beauty!

i have now completed everything i said i wasn’t going to do today – in addition to the things i DID plan to do – and when i sat down here to fire up the computer, it was just after 11:30!!! 
had one of ‘those’ nights – awoke about 1:30 and finally gave up sometime after 3:00.  by 5:00 i had finished the remaining work work i needed to do to be ready for the class.  the birds were beginning to awaken and there was a hint of light – i considered going back to bed, then just made my coffee, fed critters and sat down to journal instead.  once i had finished that, i read for awhile.  still not sleepy. soooo
headed up to begin the screen door project.  now i have to tell you, my screen door was just plain disgusting shabby.  (no ‘chic’ about it!!)  there was more packing tape and open space than screen, i think.  yes, mr pepe thought it was done just for him (actually mostly done BY him!)  my buddy erv had come over yesterday to build the platform for the new ‘shelter’ in which the extra refridgerater is going to sit – but that’s another story. ^_^  he took the door off for me.  the hinge pins were not ones that could be removed, so had to remove the hinge from the doorframe.  we carried it up to the big house so i could use the flat surface of the carport when i got ready to install the new screening.
well, when my son came home, he promptly moved it to the ‘junk pile’ – all the stuff removed from the old kitchen, etc.  just go buy a new one, says he – only $38 at h.d.  hey, nothing wrong with this one – butt ugly, yes.  but fits right in with everything else about this cottage!  and fully functional (with new screening), latch fits strike plate, board at the bottom discourages lizards, etc.  ^_^
so, up i went while it was still cool – even verging on chilly, then.  got the old (what was left of it) screen out and discovered the new, pet strength screening was thicker and neither the spline i removed nor the new stuff would fit in the slot.  aaarrrgh.  off to h.d. – in dirty t-shirt and flannel pj-type pants.  hey, i’m workin’ here!  don’t look any worse than those contractors!  back home (whew, didn’t see anyone i knew), and on the third attempt, managed to get the first edge in straight enough to keep going.  carried it back down and reinstalled it – all by myself!!!  a few minutes ago, i went to hang a rag on the raling to dry and came close to slamming my hand into the screen – i really was used to that big hole there! ^_^  i wish i had taken a before picture, as it would make this one so much more impressive – but, for the sake of posterity – here it is anyway. ^_^

door.jpg  no, it doesn’t lean,  guess i didn’t have the camera level.

i also got the first coat, actually whole can, of paint on the plastic chair. been wanting to try the new krylon fusion paint i’ve seen advertised.  yes, it does look a little chartreuse at the moment.  need at least one more can!

green.jpg  i will let you know if it turns out as advertised.

as for the hot water heater – here is the progress

progress.jpg  well, it’s out of the van and CLOSE to where it belongs.  it’s all relative, ya know! ^_^

love and beauty!

i decided to spend this day in preparation for the class in tracy on saturday.  all of the tubs were in their usual state of chaos after the last show.  plus, i don’t take everything when i go for a class – try to keep the hauling in to a minimum, while still having enough product – just in case. ^_^  so there is sifting ans sorting to do.

however, i also thought i would allow the day to flow on its own to some degree.  that resulted in (first) my heading out with the oleander drawing to make some changes.  when i did it, the first blossom i chose had 6 petals.  i didn’t even think about it until i moved to the second one.  IT only had 5 petals, and it seemed that everywhere i looked, so did all the others – except for that one i had drawn.  i kept checking, thinking i had mistaken a folded over petal for two different ones – on that day, i was convinced there were 6.  so i left it.  however – today, as i looked at them from in here – i had doubts.  i went out to check and could not find ANY blossoms with 6 petals. hmmm  so, decided to ‘edit’ the drawing.  i erased that blossom before heading back out.  so, here is the next version – added more leaves and a half-open flower.  this could, or could not, be the final version.  we’ll see what happens when i do the tracing to have a nice clean drawing – and attempt to number the pieces, etc.


i will probably have to ‘roll’ the framing circle to the left a little.  this will be an addition to the nearly nouveau series.  there is also a cyclamen drawn and awaiting finalization.  it may get enlarged on the copier before i retrace it – am thinking i would like the flower to fill the circle more.

and here is the chair – i did sit in it to have my breakfast this morning.  still have to paint the plastic green one.  too hot now and i decided i needed to attend to ‘real’ work today.


it’s a happy place to be, under the shade of the (very ‘pregnant’) plum tree and next to the flowers. ^_^  the plum brances are so heavy they now hang down like an umbrella.

love and beauty,


trying to drag myself back to home depot – and this time i will purchase that hot water heater.  tom thought about it last night and decided to just bite the bullet and redo whatever plumbing he must in order make it fit.  that decision made while he was going back into the new dishwasher (in the new kitchen) installation to find and correct a leaking fitting somewhere.  poor guy.

well, the chair now has two coats of yellow – it may even glow in the dark. ^_^  i’m glad neither of my brothers can see the paint job i did.  they would be ‘agast’, to say the least.  several runs/drips  – oops.  and i even forgot to sand the top side!!  i realized it as i was applying the primer and said – oh, heck – will do it before i apply the yellow.  need i say my memory worked about the same as usual these days.  so, you can see the little hairs all covered with paint (a result of the power washer).  c’est la vie.  i’m certain i will enjoy sitting in it just the way it is.

i did manage to do a couple stitches on the mini for the opp quilt.  one piece on, a second started.  not exactly progress.  and some time today i need to work on the class sample.  i’m thinking it should be just a little more complete for the class in tracy this saturday.  just checked, i do have enough patterns for a class of 20.  if i get myself to office max, perhaps i will go ahead and get more anyway.  have another class in two weeks – in scotts valley, near santa cruz.  that one is in judy’s sewing center and open to the public – if you’re in the area. ^_^

did go use the shower up there – in deference to the employees at h.d.  no sign of life other than critters.  it wasn’t noon yet – too early for teenagers! ^_^  what a luxurious life kids lead these days – at least ‘mine’.  my mother would have had me up and working for hours by now!!

well, that was interesting.  i tried to download a picture of tom, just because i’m always dropping his name here.  it was a picture taken with my cellphone and wordpress wouldn’t let me download it – didn’t meet security standards.  do i feel safer?????  do you? hmmmm

love and beauty

that has to be one of the brightest yellows i have ever seen ^_^  love it – pure sunshine.


 that’s only the first coat, and on the underside.  not been a greatly productive day.

i took this picture the other day, and it’s still blooming, so thought i’d go ahead and share the picture.  these are 3 little cacti that belong to the woman my son was with when i first moved out here.  (we are still friends)  when she left, she asked me care for these.  that was several years ago.  i think this is the second time this one has bloomed.  late last year she moved into her own apartment – no roomie of any kind, for the first time.  so, i bought a redclay pot (about the shape of the bread pan they are in) to put them in.  first problem, h.d. didn’t have the cactus soil when i first went for it.  second problem, i have now never gone to visit her.  she is a busy person also.  guess i will send her this picture also!


just returned from h.d. – without the water heater i went to purchase.  the new ones are 8 inches taller than the one i have.  soooo, will have to discuss this with tom – can’t fit it under the pipes that are there, that’s for sure.  he’s probably going to suggest i go back to that same hardware store where we bought this one.  i suspect it has more to do with the passing years than the particular store!  aaaarrrrggghhh  maybe i will call and see if they are still open and ask them to check the dimension!

feeling grungy again – was planning a shower in my own place tonight at some point.  too many people up there now, what with all the teens being ‘at home’.  guess i should have just done it earlier today – don’t think those girls get up much before noon!  so, will do it while adults are watching tv, later. grrrr

love and beauty! ^_^

ok, we give up!  today i will be purchasing a new hot water heater.  could have saved time and money if i had just done that to begin with.  but, replacing parts has worked before – and eliminates the next problem of what to do with the dead one.  yes, take it to the dump – and pay the fee, and requires a licensed vehicle capable of carrying it, etc etc.  it’s always something, indeed!

finished priming  the chair – except for one side of one piece, grr.  noticed it as i was walking bobbie back up the path and we were checking out what i had done.  kinda was wishing she had noticed and commented – oh well.   sometimes friends just can’t be everything you’d like.  some of it ya just have to provide for yourself.  i’m learning.

ok, i am on the laptop, so no pictures in this one.  maybe later i’ll get one of the chair.

love and beauty

it is 3rd monday and so i will be going to high sierra quilters to hang out and be there for dropins who might be looking for some help with applique.  or, sometimes folks come in and take the actual class i normally teach there each ‘semester’.

well, all the teens are ‘home’ – brittany showed up yesterday and said she is here for the summer.  so, it being father’s day, we all went out for dinner last night.  to the tune of $102 and change. yikes.  i split it with tom and handled the tip.    so, cassie did come home, just not in time to make it to summer school.  says she will do the second session.  i have my doubts.  hasn’t kept her word about anything lately.  wade is not actually living here – is sharing an apartment with 2 other guys.  and working as a dishwasher in a very nice restaurant downtown (placerville).  all those brains and talent washing dishes.  oh well.  he is just not ready to fully be ‘in the world’, so to speak – as in having to interact with people/public so much.   they will all find their own way.  in the meantime, they are taking advantage of their last opportunity to be non-responsible.  do nothing, eat and drink whatever and whenever, etc etc.  i can only trust, as i did with their father, that somehow we have given them what they need to succeed and they will step into being adults eventually.  my concern is that the counter influence from the other side of the family may not be the best for them.  BUT – that is my very biased opinion!!

i took some pictures of the yard – mind you, this is not a yard in the normal sense, like clearly defined and manicured. ^_^  it is a somewhat clear and somewhat defined space at one end of an equally loosely defined yard in the middle of two completely ‘wild’ acres.  and believe it or not, it sits in the middle of town.  a very rare find, and i love it!  total privacy and still only 5 minutes from necessities!  how divine!! ^_^

the first one includes the chair i am going to paint – yellow!  i started to just sand it, and then decided to borrow the new air compressor to de-bug it.  however, there are no nozzles for the compressor, so tom suggested i use the power washer.  well, that stripped that puppy good!!  course then it had to sit in the sun to dry.  this chair is a ‘dump rescue’ from the days when by brother and i would make regular visits to the petaluma dump.  it was our ‘outing’ when i would go to visit.  we found lots of good stuff, did lots of fun projects together as a result of our finds! ^_^  in the cage behind the chair is my ‘red’ flower collection.  besides the two ‘normal’ lillies, there is a hybrid tiger lily (posted earlier) and a ‘flowering maple’.  IT is usually towering over the others, but it  got severly frosted in january and is a mere shadow of its former self – still, now blooming again.  oh, and that’s the ginko tree behind the chair.  i think i will see if i can get it planted in the ground this fall – when it might be possible to dig a hole in that rock hard ground.

this one is taken from just in front of the door/front porch and shows the area under the front plum tree (the area where the chair usually sits) and the mound garden beyond (used to be a pile of debris!  it finally decomposed enough and i found enough dirt in the composter to cover it all!).

the last picture is of the still non-functioning hot water heater.  grrr. yes, i did take a shower, finally.  had to go up there, but it had reached emergency status!  we (tom) will switch out the heating elements, again.  found out we could have possibly fried the new ones by not having the tank completely  ‘air pocket’-free.  sounds a tad unlikely to me, to burn them both – still, we shall see.  and we now have two sets of all parts required – maybe there is a magic combination??  geeeezzzz  lovely setup, don’t you think. ^_^waterheater.jpg

so, with this lovely picture, i will wrap it for today. (that is the second plum tree, also heavy with fruit)   time to get ready to go be professional again.  yeah, right! ^_^

love and beauty!

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