Monday, January 30

Little Gifties

I have been playing a lot of golf and not doing a lot of sewing. I’m trying to lose weight, so exercise and toughing out hunger are my world these days. Golf is great exercise.

Meh. I mentioned recently on Facebook that I was in a tournament and we came in one stroke out of second place. Considering the hundred or so participants, that ain’t bad. I wish we’d have won a prize, but that’s the breaks. More importantly, we had a great time and I made a new friend. Sandra invited me to play in the Valentine’s Day Invitational, and I said yes. So I thought I’d give her a little handmade giftie when she comes to pick me up on V Day. It’s a potholder. Cute, huh.

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My friend and neighbor Janice, whom I golf with a couple times a month, is having a Chinese New Year themed ladies luncheon Wednesday. I will get to meet a couple more of my neighbors (I’m always networking for potential golf partners), and just hang with the gals. So I made Janice a little giftie, a square potholder and a hot-pad thingie.

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I had this fabric on hand, and, being that 2012 is the Year of The Dragon, I thought it was the bomb. One Christmas I gave everybody (including myself) the above round “trivets,” and they are very handy. You can put a pitcher of ice water or a hot casserole dish on a wood table and the heat or water won’t go through.

Everything is lined with Insul-Bright, although I think maybe aluminum foil might work just as well. The trivet has two layers of Timtex and the fabric is fused on, not quilted. The potholder is quilted.

In other news, life just clicks along. Kind of boring, actually. The weather is perfection. Cereal for breakfast, chicken for dinner. I’ve lost a few pounds, although I wish it was more. I played golf three times last week, although I wish it was more.

Thanks for stopping by. Always nice to “see” you.

Tuesday, January 24

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

I wish I could say that. Alas, my team did not win the tournament today. But we came in third (we were off by one stroke), which was pretty good. It was very exciting to play "The Nick" today (named for Jack Nicklaus, who designed the course), because just three days ago Bill Clinton, Greg Norman, and Phil Mickelson (among others) played there. It is a beautiful course but very, very challenging.


We went to the Humana Challenge Saturday and watched Clinton play. He hits a decent tee shot, but he hit it into the lake on hole #10. He dropped another ball and took a mulligan. The second shot screamed over the lake and landed a respectable distance in the middle of the fairway. We walked ahead to where he would be taking his second shot, and they (Bill Clinton, Greg Norman, their caddies and the secret service) stood around for a long time. Then they all marched back toward the lake.

Were they going to make the President hit it over again? I mean, he's the President, he can do what he wants. Plus, it's "his" tournament. We decided to go over to #17 to watch the pros play the difficult par 3. Bill would be coming through there in a couple hours, so we'd wait there, where we could sit in the gallery. When we got there we learned that they had called a weather delay for wind.


Huh? They're calling the game for wind? Oh, come on. I play in wind all the time, this is nothing! Well, it was something, because back at the grandstand, which you see in the lake above, the very lake that Bill hit his tee shot into, the wind had suddenly gusted 60 miles an hour. Whoosh! The leaderboard went into the lake. The tents blew down. The umbrellas went inside out.


So we walked home, and we could hear the announcer saying, "All persons evacuate to the driving range immediately!" We still had no idea what had happened, we were up against the mountain (top photo) so didn't feel much wind. We would watch it on TV when we got home.

Who said golf was boring!

PS: Lest you nongolfers think I whack the ball from the same tees the pros (or even the men) do, I don't. I play from the forward tees (AKA Ladies Tees although we're trying to get away from calling them that), which are a LOT less foreboding than those other tees. For us, the water doesn't even come into play on #10. Just keepin' it real. Golf is hard enough.

All photos shamelessly lifted off the internet. They did not allow cameras into the tournament.

Thursday, January 19

Postcard from the New Year

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For lack of a topical photo, This is a picture of the dining table after the New Year’s Eve festivities. I neglected to get a before shot because I was way too busy. Several people said they took photos of the table that Holly and Michelle decorated so beautifully. Somebody send me one, k?

Yesterday we finally got all the sheets and towels laundered, the beds put away, and the studio put back in order. Tomorrow the Ladies (that’s what I call ‘em) come to clean. They will do the shower scrubbing and floor mopping. I can no longer do those things. Well I can, but I don’t want to, and it takes me a week to do what two of them can do in three hours.

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I played the Norman a couple days ago—last time out I shot a 99—but this time I shot 108. My putting has improved a lot with the new putter and lots of practice, but I got into a few sand traps and couldn’t get out. I had to pick up. Twice. When you get down into some of them you can’t even see the pin, they are seven feet deep. Well, no matter. Janice and I got paired with a delightful couple and we had a terrific time. We all cheered for every great shot. It was a whole bunch of fun.

Now that the fam is gone, we have started dieting. I put on a fair amount of weight with all the travel in 2011. I managed to keep it to a dull roar until October (Africa), and it was like everything suddenly caught up with me. Ka-boom. It didn’t seem to do a lot of good, but we maintained a low-carb lifestyle when we were home. No bread in the house. Potatoes? Evil. But this time I’m doing Weight Watchers. I need bread and cereal in my life. Need. The woman who cuts my hair lost 40 pounds last year on WW and she has inspired me. I like the program because you can eat anything you want, you just have to count it. All the points values are there for you online and I can look up/track points from my smart phone. The high-tech aspect appeals to me. And the points make sense to me—which means I stand a fighting chance of being able to remember them. I never could wrap my brain around the concept of exchanges, or that fats or carbs have certain calorie grams per ounce, because I could never understand it or remember all those numbers. On the new WW plan, it’s very easy. Even I, the most number-challenged person, get it.

Ah, but in a few short weeks my sister and her family and a friend are coming. Now—how to feed a group like this: One [strict] vegetarian, two picky teenagers that eat mainly processed food, a friend who is like us and enjoys wine and eats anything and everything, and us—dieters. I want to try to keep to our plan.
So here’s what I came up with: One night we’ll have Greek. Tzatziki, hummus, pita. Chicken souvlaki, rice pilaf, and a Greek salad. Even weird-food hating teeny boppers can handle grilled chicken ka-bobs The second night we’ll have spaghetti—marinara sauce with meatballs on the side, salad and garlic bread. Everyone can make their plate how they like it. For brunch one day, and I did this for New Year’s and it was a huge hit (we had a vegetarian then, too), make your own breakfast burritos. I just put out the ingredients—tortillas, machaca, scrambled eggs, cheese, beans, etc. It got raves. Everyone loved it. Cuz not everyone loves eggs. And weird-food hating juveniles know their way around a burrito. It's familiar territory.

Today we are going to the Humana Challenge (formerly Bob Hope Classic), which is being played here at PGA West. Bill Clinton will be there. Looking forward to it.

Okay, that’s all for now. Over and out.

Sunday, January 15

Brand New Day

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We took the troops to the airport yesterday at the crack of dawn. We have our house back to ourselves. We promptly took up residence on the sofa and slogged around all day. We didn’t have to be “on,” so we caved in to being exhausted.

First up is to tackle the refrigerators and pantry. The fridge is full of uneaten appetizers, doggie bags, and leftovers. The pantry holds candy, crackers, and kid cereal. Out it goes, all of it! Because we start our diets today. We tried to be semi-good the first two weeks of January, but that’s as far as we got.

Then there are sheets and towels to wash, beds to make and fold away, and then I can return the guest house into a studio. There’s so much to do! It’s a lot of work!

I was invited to play in a PGA West golf tournament next week so I need to practice. I want to do well. It’s important, since the last time I played I was sick and I was awful. Shamefully awful. I’m playing one of the PGA courses tomorrow with Janice and really looking forward to it.

But, even more than that, I’m looking forward to getting back into the studio! Now to find that muse…

Wednesday, January 11

Rian’s Guesthouse

My o my, we’ve been busy. Doing things like swimming, bike riding, and roller skating. I wish I could have had a cool bike like this when I was a kid.

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We’re doing touristy things. We took the Palm Springs Aerial Tram up Mt. San Jacinto.

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It’s 8,000 feet above the desert floor and there is snow on the ground.

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Chris (my son-in-law, on the right) loves to cook so he has been doing a lot of it. I’m very content to sit there with a glass of wine and watch him. Yesterday he and I went golfing and he beat me. Now he wants to squeeze in one more round before they leave and he is thinking about how he could shave a few more strokes off his score. He has been bitten by the golf bug. I know the feeling. It would never have happened if I didn’t lift my head on every fricken fairway shot.

JJ and I are babysitting tonight while Chris and Michelle go out to some of the happening nightclubs in Palm Springs sans child. They leave on Saturday at the crack of dawn. But wait—we’re not done yet—Saturday afternoon the Browns are checking in! It’s a revolving door around here (but we love it). The Browns don’t play golf, but they play bridge, and that’s what we’ll be doing while they’re here. The studio will have to wait.

Tuesday, January 3

Starting a New Year

I don't have a lot to say about sewing because my studio is a guest house and will be for a while.

But I did play on some gorgeous golf courses last week.

First we played Heritage Palms. Nice course, in perfect condition.

Next we played SilverRock. It's a tough course. Humbling. The sand traps just about killed me. But what a drop-dead gorgeous place. The picture doesn't begin to do it justice.

On the third day we played Eagle Falls. One of my favorites. 

Here's the Greg Norman Course at PGA West ("The Norman"), where I practice. I like to play this course, too. It's tranquil. Serene. Beauty all around. Can you see why I love this game?

And here is where I am playing this Saturday with Janice. This is the Jack Nicklaus Private at PGA West. ("The Nick") Another drop-dead stunner beauty.

Lastly, here is Indian Springs, my "home" course (not the one I live on but the one where my handicap is kept). It's a friendly course and the women I play with are all very nice. I'm the secretary for my club.

I hope you enjoyed the show.