Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tomato Tarts/Lemonade Pie

We subscribe to a great magazine called "Cuisine At Home". It is full of great hints, tips, suggestions, and best of all a lot of really great recipes that are delicious and easy to make. When I saw the Tomato Tarts in the August 2010 issue I knew I had to make them.
I'm not going to give the recipe here because I think you should subscribe to the magazine and mostly because I don't feel like it right now. (Sorry, but I'm tired from all this cleaning and painting, etc.) Basically it simply involves puff pastry, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, herbed goat cheese (I used Rondele because I don't care a lot for goat cheese).
From the same issue I also made the Lemonade Pie.
This pie is an easy ice cream pie with a Nilla Wafer crust and a berry swirl on top.
Absolutely perfect for a hot summer day!
These were just two of the many easy and yummy recipes from one issue. If you're into cooking at all I really recommend this magazine. Maybe I'll share the recipes another time, but not right now...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Busy Day

Today was a busy, busy day for me.

When I woke up the first one hour I spent on the computer and then reading the paper.

Then I went out to feed the animals. Their water was really low so I started filling their troughs. I knew that would take some time so I started mowing the far back yard. While I mowed I had to stop twice to change the water to other troughs.

When I was done with that I picked up the dog potties, which wasn't too bad because there weren't a lot.

After that it was time to give Gus his bath because this was our day to visit the old folks' home.

Then I got on the treadmill for one hour.

When that hour was up it was 12:00 and time for lunch so I cooled off and had a light lunch for about thirty minutes.

Then it was time to start working on the wet bar area. It had a mirror with gold flecking (very 70's!) on the back wall and the those walls had never been painted. I had carefully removed the mirrors yesterday and found they had been glued with some sort of black tarry substance. The sander didn't work on those blobs so I ended up chiseling them off. In spots where the blobs stuck to the mirror they ended up ripping some of the wallboard off. I had some light spackle and attempted to fill the holes with that. After sanding I did two coats of primer. This morning the wall didn't look very good and I decided I was going to fix it like I originally thought I should have, which means giving the whole thing a coat of joint compound. But by the time I was ready to start I knew it was too late to go to the home improvement store so I spent the next two hours painting the trim, corners, and edges.

At 2:30 I stopped painting and cleaned everything up.

Then it was time to clean myself up. I took a nice bath and started getting ready for Gus and my visit. I left the house at 3:35, went on the visit, and got back home right around 5 pm.

Then it was off to the home improvement store to get the joint compound. And of course while I'm there I can't just get one thing so I browsed a bit and got a few more things. I got home around six and started right in on spreading the joint compound over the back wall. I finished up about 45 minutes later when my sister called.

I had forgotten that after my visit I was supposed to go to her house to taste some cheese we had made a few weeks ago. I went over to her house for the cheese and stayed and talked for a while. I left at eight, came home and fed the animals, then fed myself and here I sit typing.

Whew! I'm done for the day!

Tomorrow I'll sand the wall, prime it again, and then paint. Hopefully that won't take too long and I might even be able to hang the new "modern" mirror by evening.

And just changing the subject a little bit...

Here's a picture of our model baby sporting the latest in trendy diaper fashions.

Pretty cool, huh!

Monday, June 21, 2010

New Baby!

My niece had a baby this afternoon! She had a boy, if I heard the message correctly he was 10 pounds, 11 ounces, 20 1/2" long. That's one big boy! It was by c-section which is no wonder. Congratulations, Kari, and look what you have to look forward to!!! (And you too, Grandma Patti.)

That's a load in them thar pants.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Big Mess

I've been feeling really anxious about getting the house cleaned up before July. That is my self imposed deadline to get everything done so we can put the house on the market. I've been going slowly but with June half way gone and July almost here I realize I can't dilly dally any longer.

This week I started painting the living room and dining area.
Of course in order to get to the walls the furniture has to be moved towards the middle of the room. This makes the house a mess and difficult to move around in. And it makes me crazy! I dislike disorder!
I find it absolutely amazing how dirty everything is when you really start looking at things you tend to ignore in your everyday life. Yuck.

I talked to a realtor who is going to come over on Monday so we can talk about our plan. And maybe she can give me some pointers as how to best present the house. I'm open to just about anything; it's my husband who doesn't quite understand the concept that people in general don't want to see how WE are living in this house--they want to envision THEIR stuff in this house.

I've also been thinking about selling Ladysmith and her calf, and possibly keeping Waneata, to make the eventual move a little easier. (I'm really trying to be positive!) Ladysmith is getting older after all and if we had the property I wanted now #1: we probably wouldn't be moving and #2: I would be able to just retire her to a field. I feel kind of bad about thinking of selling her but I'm trying to be practical.

Tomorrow the dishwasher repairman is coming in another attempt to fix it. He came out last week but the part he brought did nothing. I hope this time it works. The kitchen is a constant mess because of dishes drying on the counters, dirty dishes in the sink, and the painting brushes and rollers and other paraphernalia either in the sink or on the counters. It's all adding to my stress!

Yesterday I had my second adjustment for the lapband, something I should have done at least a month ago! I've been stuck at 180 for about six weeks. I need to be a loser again!

So that's it for this week's goings on.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Glennville-Posey-Balance Rock-Poso Park

This weekend my daughter was at a business conference in San Diego and my husband and I had charge of the baby. By Sunday he was feeling a little stir crazy so I suggested we head up to see some Big Trees and maybe collect some pine cones. We packed some essentials (snacks, wine, diapers, wipes) and the baby, of course, and headed towards Glennville.
I was surprised at the amount of wildflowers that were still out (click on the picture and you can see all the purple in the hills in the background).
They were still all along the road. Very pretty!
As we got into Glennville we realized it was the Glennille Rodeo weekend. We weren't really there to see that so we continued on our way.

We passed through Posey and kept on going.

We passed through Balance Rock (where we saw the sign from yesterday's post--is that "be careful of drinking pedestrians"?). Then we saw a sign for Poso Park and thought that might be a good place to stop for our snacks.

Once we got there, however, we discovered that "Poso Park" was not a public park, but a private residential community, open to residents only, and at the end of the road. So we turned around and parked at the side of the road about 50 yards from the gate.

Poso Creek at the Poso Park entrance

One thing we noticed were the swarms of ladybugs flying around. The camera didn't pick them up in the air but a few landed on us. There must have been a "nest" somewhere nearby.
There really were a lot more than these two!
We walked down the creek and found a little spot to have our snack and a little photo op.
Interesting textures and pretty scenery...

There were three different kinds of trees in the area: pine, cedar, and alders.
Some peculiar flowers or fungi?
We took another route on the way home (hwy 155). There were lots of blooming buckeyes.
A whole valley of them!
I don't blame her. I slept a little on the way back too!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Looks Like My Kind Of Place

We took a drive up through Glennville today and passed this sign right before Balance Rock.
More photos from our drive tomorrow.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Two More Mosaics

I recently finished two more mosaics. One is a stepping stone, and the other is another cross to hang on a wall.

For the stepping stone I decided to do a lizard with an extra long tail. I wanted to do him in an unusual color so that he would really stand out from the background. Originally his stripes were more diamond shaped but that was proving too hard to do on the smaller work space. To do what I envisioned in my head I would have had to make it at least three times as big to get the detail right. So I ended up ripping those tiles out and starting over with regular bands. The background is multiple shades of blue and I like how it really sets off the lizard.
I received a compliment on my crosses not long ago. To me that was a perfect excuse to make one for the lady (but she doesn't know it yet). Once again I took three pictures in different light.

This first picture is without a flash and just lit by a lamp in the garage. The colors are a bit washed out but I do like how the glass border tiles are sort of glowing.
This is basically the same shot only with the flash on. The colors are more like in real life here, except the gold edging isn't really shining much.
This final photograph was taken outside. It's almost too shiny now!
The middle piece is a large glass piece that came in a bag with a bunch of half marbles. I think it adds a little extra interest because it actually sticks out from the back by about a half inch.

I did have one problem with this board. I like to grout the sides if it isn't in a frame. On this board the grout didn't want to stick for some reason. I redid the portion that fell off but it still crumbled off a bit. Oh well! It's hardly noticeable. I may fiddle around with a simple frame before I give it away, but more likely than not I'll leave it as is.

I hope Roberta likes this one. ☺

Thursday, June 10, 2010

When My 19 Year Old Son Cleans His Room

If you have ever heard the jokes or seen the cartoons about teenaged boys and their impassable rooms then let me assure you they are absolutely the truth! I rarely ventured into my son's room because I literally could not see the floor. And besides that it didn't smell very good in there. That's another phenomenom that I learned about when we picked my son up from a summer boarding school many years ago.

For some reason he decided to do a deep cleaning of his room recently. It may have something to do with the fact that he has a girlfriend now. I don't know...

But in any case this is just some of what he brought out.

I knew I was starting to miss some of my cups, dishes, and silverware. They were in his room. Here they are soaking to help remove the crud. (Oh yeah, my dishwasher is broken until Saturday, when the repairman will be fixing it after two weeks of waiting for the part!)
And here is the laundry pile that came out of his room.
Just one of the reasons I will not be having "empty nest syndrome", if that ever happens.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Harmony Headlands State Park

Late Wednesday afternoon after we walked the San Simeon Creek Trail we were relaxing at my friend Vicki's cottage. There was a knock on the door and I looked out the window. It was my husband!

He had come to spend the night and had taken the following day off. What a fun surprise!

Vicki's friend Sue, who had come with us on the first walk, had to go back home early Thursday. We remaining people decided to try a new trail, as in new to Vicki; a trail she had not been on yet. It was called Harmony Headlands State Park, just a few miles from Cambria.

To access the trail we had to cross an ancient stone bridge. Underneath were a whole mess of little turtles (click on the pictures to enlarge) and a bunch of swallows that were flitting too fast to photograph.

The scenery on this trail was quite different from the previous days' trail. It was mostly pasture type land with just a few trees and bushes here and there.
The main trail was actually a nice hard-packed dirt road.

Off in the distance at the bottom of the "v" you can see the ocean. That was were we were headed.
The trail goes by those trees on the right.

And just like the previous day a deer suddenly sprang up before us and bounded up the hillside. (Look at the top center of the hill.)
And suddenly we were at the ocean.

We figured from the map that the trail is about three miles long. The trails are all beautiful and very lovely walks.

The worst thing about each walk was that we later found a few of these on us! Icky ticks! But that's mainly because this has been a wet and mild winter. I'm sure glad we don't have to worry about these all the time!