Falling Leaves

I finished the top and I began to cogitate the quilt design. Something didn’t feel right. The ginkgo leaves looked like they were floating up. Leaves don’t float up. Plus, there was just a little too much “white” space at the top. Not over the moon with this.


So I flipped it upside down.


And I like it better; in person the leaves look like they are coming toward you. I can always change my mind again. The one yellow fabric is a little too bright, it grabs my attention too much. I can change it out, it is possible, but it involves careful surgery with a tiny scalpel to remove the teensy stitches without cutting into the fabric, then making a freezer paper template of the removed piece. Doable, but I think I will just paint it with tea to take the “scream” out of it.

I won’t start the quilting until late next week, we are babysitting our grandchild (age six). The kids are going off to Las Vegas for a solar energy conference.

This weekend we went to Whittier for Jim’s 50th reunion (college). The reunion dinner party was held in the courtyard at the president’s mansion (below). Very nice. The view was incredible, especially if you climbed up to that turret, which I did. In heels.

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We had a great time as always. The young people on campus were so nice. They always spoke to the alums and said things like “welcome back.” After the party we went to a nightclub [of sorts] and the DJ played some sets of music from the 60s in our honor. I had the foresight to bring comfy shoes for the after-party and I danced like a crazy woman. I loved it!

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There will be more pictures to share as people email them to us. I didn’t take my camera. Sometimes I just don’t want the hassle.

I ate some bread at the party. There were what looked like artisan rolls on the table, with pats of butter. I know “eating some bread” is not of vital importance, but in a way it is; I just ate a little of the top crust, and oh was it heavenly. I now know, for certain, having not had any bread (or any wheat) in six months, that it fires up your dopamine receptors—I was happy, happy. Another revelation was that two hours later my chest tightened up and I was wheezing. Of course I didn’t have any asthma meds with me because I’m done with those, so it was a little worrisome for a while, but it cleared up overnight.

I am so glad (thankful) that I finally know wheat’s effect. Even just a little bit will affect me. But sometimes it gets into things you wouldn’t expect—like the beef short ribs I had at Cedar Creek Inn. My body knows it’s there, even if *I* don’t.

On the home front:


Landscaping…I should say the demolition of our lot…is progressing. They are digging many more trenches and taking away the real estate by the truckload. The ground is SO DENSE (this is a good thing—less settling) that they have to use a jackhammer. It’s like concrete. The neighbors must love us. That’s okay, it will be their turn very soon.

We got a hot tub! Woohoo! It’s a small one because there’s no space for anything larger, but it’s just for me anyway. I can’t wait—I love a hot tub and I miss it. The Jacuzzi in the desert was nearly impossible to get out of…I feared for my life sometimes…I could get in but I could not get out without help. Now if that doesn’t make you feel old… “Honeeeee, come get me….”


Annnnd, we bought the barbecue. Bill the landscaper will build a “surround” for it. It’s also small, we don’t need a big one. Not to mention there ain’t much room back there.


Here is one more picture. I honestly could not remember why I took this photo, but…


This is the hill in front of our house. It’s what I see when I look out my studio window. I like the way they landscaped the hillsides…they planted patches of various things, like a patchwork quilt…it will be much prettier when it fills in and after the winter rains. You can see the coyote fence, this runs completely around our development…keeps the riffraff out in addition to the coyotes.

ANYway, the reason I took this photo in the first place is because every afternoon, just around sunset, ravens (crows) fly in a westerly direction from one side of the valley to over that hill you see beyond. I’m not talking 20 birds, I’m not talking 200 birds. I’m talking 2,000 black birds, flying overhead EVERY evening, like they are going home from work or something. It’s the strangest thing. Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you, there are no crows in the picture. They all dropped to the ground to poke around for whatever just as I snapped the photo. But I’ll be ready for them next time.


  1. Love those ginkos, any direction! Can't wait to see the finished yard. What will you be planting? Crows are strange; they do that here,too. Coming home to roost or something like that. Did you know their "group" is called a murder? Happy Weekend, what's left of it.

  2. Upside down is good. And maybe it is only that one yellow leaf. I am sure you will do whatever. It is lovely as is too.

    Hot tub and a bbq. What else do you need?

  3. Catching up with you Rian....love the new quilt...I agree with flipping it...do not mind the yellow but trust your judgement on that.

    I miss my hot tub too...may have to look into one again next summer. I too have the jacuzzi tub though and still can get out ...luckily I am tall!

    Really interested to see what you are doing with your landscape and your view is very very interesting.

  4. Before I scrolled down far enough to see, I thought to myself, "She needs to turn the piece upside down!" That's the way I think of Gingko leaves--and tightly clustered. LOVELY work, as always.

  5. I love your gingkos. I find your work so distictive - I always know it's a Rian piece - and I mean that as the best possible compliment. Your work flows so beautifully. We had some new stonework installed this summer, so I hear you on the noise and the dust. We had to have the house powerwashed when they were finished, but it was worth it in the end, and yours will be too.

  6. Love your upside-down quilt. Agree that the yellow could be toned down a bit. Eye went right to it and I thought of a slice of mango!

    We take off a week from tomorrow, NOLA for 3 days, then on to Miami for a 7 day cruise, back to Ft. Lauderdale for an overnight with my BFF and DH from elementary and high school. Going with friends from Phoenix!


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