Saturday, March 18

St. Patrick's Day

They had a special Irish dinner and music thing at the golf club where we play. So I got some neighbors together, and then some more people joined us, for a total of 16. It was outside and the heater was woefully inadequate so we didn't stay too late. The fog rolled in and fog brings cold. You can see the 18th fairway to the right of the band. I like this joint on warm summer evenings. Early spring, not so much.

JJ with a couple of our neighbors, Steve, Barb, and Cliff. I am blown away at what good photos the iPhone takes in low light. No more schlepping my heavy SLR!

JJ managed to get a good photo of me, despite the spotlight. Photography is not one of his strong suits.

In other news, I planted an herb garden. I'll see how these do and maybe add some others. But these will grow and fill out the pots. Hopefully. Gardening is not one of my strong suits.

I made a couple of quiches for our annual Del Webb Spring Brunch tomorrow. Lorraine on the left, spinach on the right. I am the captain for our street, which is assigned to bring egg dishes.

I finished piecing (fusing) the Heron. I like how it turned out. I haven't had time to do any stitching on it yet.

I enjoyed the process...more than I thought I would, I usually turn my nose up at fusing. Now that I have gotten the hang of it, I am thinking of doing one of a golf scene to be a prize for my golf group's annual tournament this summer.

Here is a close up. The tail (and beak) extend beyond the border, so they are backed already and not fused to the background, which will get trimmed down when the quilting is finished.

Monday, March 13

Around Here and Great Blue Heron

It was a beautiful morning Saturday and I got out for a walk. Wildflowers are sprouting up.

We don't often get to see blue lupine in these parts. But the rain... And it's seriously lush. Lots of rabbit food here.

No orange poppies yet, but they will come. I have no doubt. As I neared the top of the hill (pant pant) I saw some landslides on the neighboring hillside. Also thanks to the rain.

Some big ones, too. These were not here before the big storm. You can get an idea of their size when you look at the house on the top of the hill. I'd be concerned if I lived up there, what with real estate prices being what they are. The hill in front of our house (the one I am standing on) has drainage culverts and plenty of plants, so no danger of it sliding down. Pretty much. No guarantee, though.

At the top of the hill (pant pant) I turned around and took a photo of our house. We're crammed in here pretty tight, but it's terraced so we really don't feel like sardines. We have a champion view.

Got the car washed. Our neighbor has a guy come every Saturday to wash his cars and if I want mine done I just have to put it in the queue. Is that great or what! And they do an amazing job.

Speaking of cars, they took JJ's Beemer. He didn't make the payments. Nah, I made that up. The real story is actually worse--he took it in last week for a checkup and they bled the brakes. Now he has no brakes. None. Fortunately the only place he went was to the bridge center, 2 miles away. Thank God he didn't get on the freeway! Holy shit!

Back inside, work is progressing on the Heron. Geez there are a lot of tiny pieces! At least 300, I think. It's somewhere between a paint-by-number and a jigsaw puzzle. I made a mistake and fused part of the background to the paper drawing. I highlighted the warning on the instructions but I had already done it. So I had to make replacements. Good thing I have similar fabrics around, but it cost me a whole day. Do they even make paint-by-number kits anymore? I looked it up. Yes they do.

But the detail is incredible. That brown background fabric will get cut away after I sew it down. The instructions say to sew EVERY piece. Great. What would one do if they didn't have the experience I have?!

I was complaining to my sister that my back was killing me from all the hours of bending over doing the fusing and she said, "why don't you lower your ironing board and move the chair up to it?" Silence. Duh. Never thought of it.

So I'd better get to work!

Friday, March 10

Signs of Spring

And we geezers are coming out of hibernation. The calendar is filling up, and there are things going on.

I have been golfing...yeah, so what else is new. But I have some nice pictures of some of my golf courses. The grass is really lush right now because of all the's usually not quite this nice. In fact, it's so lush it's hard to hit out of if you get into the rough.

This is #16 at Tijeras Creek, a short par 4. It's possible to make par here. You get a nice look at Saddleback, which dominates the landscape around south Orange County.

This is #1 at Arroyo Trabuco. Another look at Saddleback. The guys in front of us are just leaving the tee and we'll hit next. It's a fairly easy par 4, easy to make bogey. Hey. Bogey is good for us old gals.

This is #2 at Talega. Impossibly long par 5, all uphill. You might as well mark down an 8 and move on. Look at those sand traps. Seriously.

This is #9 at Talega, approaching the clubhouse. Par 4, not too difficult if you stay in the middle of the fairway.

Some of the gang cooling their jets at the 19th hole. Notice the guys aren't paying much attention. Every one of them is hard of hearing.

We went to see the Beach Boys at the new Segerstrom Center. They had the orchestra to back them was so cool. They were terrific. The only real Beach Boy was Mike Love, all the rest are gone. Except for Brian Wilson, who does his own thing. But they sounded perfectly Beach Boys.

This is Joan and me. We had box seats. Sounds more glamorous than it was, you pretty much had to hang over the railing to see the stage.

Here is another picture of Joan. With Steven Tyler, can you stand it? I am jealous! She says he's delightfully dear.

Here's a nice photo of the Basilica at Mission San Juan Capistrano. The original chapel inside the mission was very small so they built this one. We happened to be there on a Sunday when the bells were pealing. We only live 3 miles from here. The swallows are due to return very soon on March 19, St. Joseph's Day. But, just between you and me, they don't arrive en masse on that day, they just come when they come. And not just here, everywhere. The story is a romantic myth. Sorry to burst your bubble.

I have started working on this. It's a kit. I said once I'd never stoop so low, but we both liked this picture for the niche in our bathroom. I'm enjoying the process, which is different from the way I usually work, so I'm learning something new. I could never do such fiddly work with my technique.

Just look at these pieces. They are laser cut, but you still have to cut them apart. Lots of precision cutting! But it feels so good to be back in the studio again.