Monday, December 22

Comin’ Down the Home Stretch

Stuff has been happening!

We went to a Teddy Bear Party. It’s kind of like Toys 4 Tots but everyone brought teddy bears to be donated to the local children’s hospital. Terrific idea! And a really fun party, too.
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We are coming down the home stretch for Christmas, too. We are done with everything except Christmas Eve dinner. I’m making a standing rib roast with creamed spinach and cauliflower/potato mash. And a decadent chocolate dessert, courtesy of Becky B. All low-carb. Pretty much… Thank you, Becky B.

Outside, the landscaping is also nearing the finish line. Rico worked on the barbecue all day, by himself. He is such an artisan…you don’t find real artisans often these days.
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Here are the fruits of his labors—pretty nice, huh. Way more than I expected.
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And we have fountain! Coolness!
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The plants have been arriving, too. We are doing succulents because of water concerns in southern California. Plus, we like them. I don’t know where they’ll go, I’m leaving the artistry up to Landscape Guy. He gets us.
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Last but not least, the spa. It’s a wonderful thing. It’s the smallest one they make, but it fits, which was really iffy when there was no margin for error in the plans. 1-IMG_1518

Happy Christmas/Hanukkah/Festivus everyone!

Thursday, December 18

Kibbles ‘n Bits

Today’s post is a variety of things, a real bowl of granola. Which is something I miss, come to think of it. I have been eating low carb for nine months now and, while I weigh nearly thirty pounds less and feel ten years younger, I miss things like granola and potatoes. I do have a taste now and then when the opportunity presents itself; I seem to be able to do that without going completely off the rails. I ate a big fat brownie at my book club’s holiday party and I felt like crap for a whole day.

We have had a good soaking (rain), and we are all gobsmacked by the green hills around here. We don’t see a lot of green, and we’re all amazed by how quickly the hills turned green. This is the view out my back “yard,” taken through the fence.1-IMG_1499

We got a delivery yesterday…what is it! 1-IMG_1497

It’s my new hot tub! Yay!! Thank you, Santa! Jim watches from a safe distance. We both wear droopy drawers around here because our clothes are too big. And these used to be his tight ones!  1-IMG_1501

I haven’t shown you the finished pavers and walls. Looks nice, huh. You can see the walls and the house are really wet from the rain.1-IMG_1492

After that we went to Savannah’s Christmas recital. The kids, all first-graders, were so cute. Savannah is the blonde in the center of the photo, but check out the kid in the blue hat. Priceless! Taken with my cell phone because we had to hurry and I forgot my camera.
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That evening we went to Newport Beach to see the Boat Parade of Lights. We ate at this restaurant, The Harborside, which was surprisingly pretty good.
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As we dined we watched the boats pass by. I brought my camera this time but didn’t take a picture because we were inside, so I stole this one.boatparade

Because Savannah was so hopped up on sugar (I don’t think she ate anything but ketchup, chocolate milk and ice cream), we cruised around the Fun Zone for a while. Remember “Big?”1-IMG_1504

Savannah wanted to do the bungee jumping thing. 1-IMG_1508

Here’s what it looked like with the flash.1-IMG_1511

Sunday, December 7

Piecing Artistry

These guys knock me out. You don’t see many true artisans these days.
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I know you’re probably sick of looking at this. They pieced the ribbons (borders) and the walkway down the side of the house yesterday. I was fascinated with how they do this. I mean, look at these cuts in the stone! 1-IMG_1478

Below, the finished path. They still have to fill the cracks with whatever they fill them with. I LOVE IT! I am very happy with how everything looks so far.
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Continuing with the piecing theme, here is a little “Beauty” I pieced about a decade ago. I made it for a specific bedroom and then we moved. It’s finished, but I never quilted it. Maybe someday.1-IMG_1485

Wait, there are more piecing stories. If you’ve been following along you know they have replaced some floorboards because some moron rolled a bathtub over the newly-laid floor. Well, they replaced a bunch of the boards (and missed several) and many of the ones they “fixed” are uneven. There is like a dime-thickness difference between these two boards, the edges are sharp, and you can feel them with your bare feet. They return again to re-do the job next week. Will it ever end? Sigh…
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Finally, I finished piecing Prickly Pear. It’s square, I just didn’t get a very good angle (it’s on the floor). I just have to put on the facing and hanging sleeve. But it’s done.
 
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I looked everywhere but I couldn’t find my beads so I made French knots. And then I found the beads. 1-IMG_1484

Lastly, I got some giftwrapping done. All this was yesterday. I hit the wall about 7 PM. I made the best pot roast we ever had and I did it in a Dutch oven in the oven. I did not use the Crock-Pot. It was light-years better, just sayin’.
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I find this rather amusing…I am not in the shot. I took the picture, but you can’t see my reflection. Uh oh, this can’t be good.1-IMG_1488-001

A very busy week ahead!

Thursday, December 4

The Week in Review

We had rain! We got a good soaking. We need rain desperately and we don’t get much, so it’s a good thing.

So we hunkered down and I made pot roast. See that light in the lower left? That’s the one that shines in our bedroom at night. Bastard. 1-IMG_1465

I did get a chance to play golf before the rain came. I went with a neighbor who said she wasn’t very good, and boy was she right! It made for a tough day on the links. We got paired with two Japanese women…at the risk of stereotyping, those little Asian ladies can hit the hell out of the ball! Man! I’ve never known one that couldn’t, and I don’t know how they do it. They were very patient with my friend, who really didn’t belong out there. I’m going to take her to a smaller executive course next week. At least I’m getting some practice in—I re-upped my membership in the ladies’ league and I’m going to start playing regularly again, so I need to get some semblance of a game back.

Here are a couple pictures of the tree: It’s small, but then we have a much smaller house now. It goes up real fast, I like that. 

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I want to get some gold sparkly garland. It needs more gold. 1-IMG_1461

The landscaping is going well, it doesn’t look terribly different so I didn’t put up a photo. It occurred to me that I never showed you the front of our house, which is a staging area for the stone—they gotta put it somewhere. This is Pedro. He’s a cutie. 

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Inside, I have been quilting the cactus. For the life of me I couldn’t come up with an idea how to do it and then I spied a real prickly pear cactus on the hill and there was my answer. You may notice a hole with the batting showing, a big flower will go there. Big.

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That’s all, Folks! Have a good weekend! Christmas is only 3 weeks away…yikes!