Sunday, June 28, 2009

Refreshing Cool Salad...

We have been very busy of late since the days are longer and there is much more energy so lots of everything to do.
I don't have a picture of the salad because we ate it too fast before I could remember to take a photo. It is super easy to make and very cool and refreshing.
This recipe was clipped from Sunset magazine long ago and was submitted by Roxanne Chan of Albany, California. Thank you Roxanne.
Yummy with roasted pork or pork chops.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Makes 6 1/2 cups; 4 to 6 servings
2 tart green apples (such as Granny Smith, about 1 lb total) rinsed, cored and quartered
1 pound jicama, peeled and rinsed
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 Tablespoons chopped green onion
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
2 Tablespoons minced candied ginger
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon honey

Step 1. With a mandoline or a knife, carefully cut apples and jicama into matchstick-size 2 inch long strips.

Step 2. In a large glass bowl, mix all ingredients to coat.

Serve immediately or chill up to 3 hours.

Per Serving: 118 calories, 3% (3.6 cal) from fat; 0.7 g protein; 0.4 g fat (0.1 g sat); 29 g carbo (5.7 g fiber); 8.3 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Simple and yummy. How is that for a summer salad. And not to worry about spoilage at a picnic as there is no mayonaise to keep chilled.
I hope you enjoy this as much as we did. Happy Sunday lazy afternoon.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bike Races...

On Fathers Day each year our little town, Nevada City, holds bike races. They have been happening for many years. In the past few years the crowds have dwindled even though the racers continue to race to the fullest.
Well, this year we had the fortune to have Lance Armstrong and two of his team mates agree to race in the main event. This is in preparation of hopefully having Nevada City be on the California leg of the bike races that go through Sacramento.
I am no bike rider, let alone racer, but this course is grueling. We have lots of hills and elevation changes for the riders.
So this year Mr. Hubby and I spent from noon until about 6:30 pm on Sunday Fathers Day enjoying the excitement of our little town. It was a beautiful day and the weather could not have been more perfect. It was definitely cooler than in past years so that helped a lot. We walked the entire course at least four times in total. The crowds were well maintained and cheering on each and every group of riders. We enjoyed local food and even a libation in the local "Mine Shaft" saloon.
I must say I am not a groupie however it was spine tingling to be so close to a living legend...Lance Armstrong. Yes, he did win his race and he and his two team mates are in the first photo. Lance is wearing black and yellow and his number is 2. They rode so well that they almost immediately ran ahead of the group of 130 racers in that heat and that is why the photo is only of them.
The middle photo shows a group of racers heading up a rather steep hill (I know the picture does not show it well). The third photo is of a racer who was not in the lead but never gave up and kept grinding it out all 45 minutes of his race. The race Lance and team were in was 90 minutes with a lap consisting of approximately 2 minutes. Whew! I got exhausted just watching everyone.
It was a wonderful way to spend Fathers Day with Mr. Hubby as both of our fathers are long passed away.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pond Reflections...

Sitting here at the pond and reflecting on daily life is pure joy. I love this pond.
Welcome to our pond. Mr. Hubby actually went to "pond college" and built this from our land that was completely overgrown and scruffy. He built it to be a still water pond and all of the plants are special water plants that perform duties which keep the pond natural and ongoing.

He also thought of the many critters who would wander in and possibly get stuck so he built this shallow end beach for them to access a drink and be able to get out. We have numerous critters such as skunks, racoons, dogs, deer, herons, ducks, birds, squirrels and chipmonks who all enjoy this wonderful body of water. I love the lilly pads and flowers and my favorite is to see frogs sitting on the lilly pads. We have beautiful iris flowers however I missed photos this year as they come and go so quickly. It seems a shame to wait an entire year and then only have blossoms for such a few short days.

This year we had lots and lots of little frogs and they serenaded us day and night. Even our remote neighbors enjoyed the sounds. Then we had hundreds of tadpoles. Now the tadpoles are morphing into little tiny frogs and I am amazed at the transformation. I truly enjoy watching them for hours at a time. Unfortunately the tiny frogs seem to be moving on and the pond is missing them sitting on their lilly pads...or more aptly I should say I am missing them.

I think this picture is pretty good taken with my wonderful new camera I got earlier this year. Isn't it wonderful that tadpole and frog-pole both posed for me so well?!
I hope each of you enjoyed seeing a bit of our pond and the wonders of it all. The hard work was more than worth the hours of enjoyment we have now. Of course each year brings new and interesting challenges for keeping the pond healthy and sustainable. That is for Mr. Hubby to deal with. I am merely the one who watches the many colors of dragonflies as they soar over the water and the plants as they re-grow after winter and the birds who take their precious little baths in the edge of the water...
I know I am very fortunate and I am eternally grateful for this wonderment.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


If you haven't seen or heard of Nathan Sawaya, Lego artist you must check out his amazing work.
Mr. Hubby and I took a Sunday drive to Downieville, Sierra City, Graeagle, Quincy, Lake Almanor, Chester and on to Red Bluff to visit friends for a couple of days. While visiting we went to Turtle Bay museum in Redding and were fortunate enough to see an exhibit of Nathan Sawaya's work. The pictures above are fine but to see these and many more in person is truly inspiring. The photo above is titled "yellow" however my friend Ginny and I both agree it should be "pouring out my soul". I personally have never owned or played with Legos however my daughter did have some but they were much larger and certainly never sparked any artistic ability in our household. Mr. Hubby was amazed by the incredible works of art. Before we paid and went in he definitely was not interested in a lego exhibit however once inside he was really engaged and interested and quite amazed by the ability and clever use of such simple plastic pieces. We all left the museum with a new appreciation for such creativity using such a basic medium.
Our weather was beautiful and not too hot. Actually it was 68 degrees in Chester when we stopped for lunch at the Cotton Candy Diner (great food and friendly people) about 1:30 pm and within 5 minutes it dropped to 58 degrees and rained. We did not mind the rain as it was very refreshing and I really like the smell of rain. It was only 85 degrees for us in Red Bluff and Redding so that was quite pleasant. I believe it will be 95 the rest of this week so it was a good time to leave and come back home via Granzellas which is rebuilt after the bad fire they had.
So today it is back to reality and scrubbing bathrooms, fixing meals, watering special plants and enjoying daily life. It is always so good to get home.
P.S. Our friends Herb and Ginny have two of the cutest brand new calico cats. A white calico girl and a black calico girl but not litter sisters. I had so much fun playing with them and watching their antics. Now I am enjoying my beloved Sasha BooBoo kitty who patiently waited for us to return. She was entertained and cared for by her Aunt Lorraine.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


No photo for this blog. And I must make it quick because the day is short and I have much to do. I just wanted to post my day of...
I volunteer for our local Chamber of Commerce in this historic town I live in. So today I spent the day hosting the chamber office which is also the visitor center. It was also the first Saturday for the local growers market which is held on the street right in front of the chamber. I love to watch people and listen to the live music so what a treat I had today. As for visitors it actually was very slow for a Saturday...only about 41 people and 19 phone calls. Unfortunately I had to do a lot with maps and directions for people. For anyone who knows me (Mr. Hubby) I am the worst at directions. Especially here where it is so easy to get on the wrong highway since we have two separate highways each with the same number but going in very different directions of the compass. And it never fails that someone comes in or calls with a question I have never gotten before (after 11 years of doing this) and I of course do not have the answer and no matter how hard I try to find it I just cannot come up with any info for the question asked. I find it frustrating and I am certain the person who needs the answer finds it frustrating. All in all the day was beautiful weather wise and I met lots of very nice people. If you ever watched the Hallmark movie "The Christmas Card" you have seen a bit of our beautiful and wonderful town and area as it was filmed here a few years ago. I still get people come in and ask about certain locations they saw in the movie.
My days at the chamber are always interesting and rewarding. I try to bring a smile to each persons face.
Thanks for "listening" to my day. Enjoy your Sunday and new week ahead.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Take a break...

Is it merely me or is this world spinning ever faster and it is already June 10th tomorrow?!! I know I am getting older however my younger friends are also commenting on how quickly the days are flying by.
So to reflect on a small vignette I have in my kitchen corner of a counter...take a break and enjoy a spot of tea and maybe a nice herbal bath. I actually love lavender and how soothing it can be. I think a soak with epsom salts and some lavender is just the break I need to relax.
It seems I never accomplish all the tasks I would like to in a day. And why is it that domestic chores like cooking and cleaning always come first before crafting and creating? And of course at this time of year the outdoors is a constant pull for weeding and picking up and pruning broken branches or spent blooms except mostly for my yard it is repairing damage done by the voracious deer who think this is their private buffet. Luckily Mr. Hubby does the lawn mowing and washing of the vehicles (I do try to help with this but not the lawn which involves power tools).
Let's see if tomorrow I get crafty at all. SCL is supposed to come over and maybe we can both be productive. We are taking a break from the fabric sorting and organizing as it is quite the huge job and could easily take a week or more. I spend most of the time going down memory lane on each fabric...why I bought it and for what project or outfit (I used to sew all my clothes and my daughter and granddaughter's clothes).
I hope everyone has a wonderful Wednesday and do take time for a break and a spot of tea.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Fabric photos...

Okay. After closing the door last evening on this fabric inventory, sort, reorganize project that myself and my Saucy Chick partner Lorraine (SCL) began yesterday and then blogging about it last night I decided to open this sewing room door this morning. YIKES!!! I just had to get the camera and record this mess with photos. This doesn't even include the six bins of fabrics that are currently in the studio under the desk.
When I said I have a lot of fabrics it must have been an understatement. As you can see in picture 2 the stack of fabrics is definitely larger than the size of each shelf in picture 1. What magic shrink technique can I use to fit the two together? I do have some labels that need to be removed from some fabrics so that will eliminate bulk and allow more space. :o) lol
I just had to post these pics so you could put the previous post into perspective.
This project is going to be continued Monday...
Until then have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your creative spirits. Our weather here in NorCal is less than summer warm. We had an incredible lightening and rain storm two nights ago and now it is rather cool and breezy. I think I hear my name being called. Yes, the lovely weeds outside are awaiting my attention. At least with the rain the ground might be a little less stubborn and let me have all of the "weed" and not just a portion of it as usual. Yes, I hear you calling me and I will be right out...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Oh My Friday again???

This picture has nothing to do with anything other than the fact that I love butterfly everything. This week my Saucy Chick partner Lorraine (SCL) and I spent more time in the studio and sewing room sorting , organizing and disposing of items. SCL is fantastic at doing these tasks and I am not. I begin and then find myself traveling down memory lane or sentimental avenue and then can't seem to make any progress. Today we began - and I specify began - the overwhelming process of sorting and organizing our fabric stash. We really need to inventory our fabrics so we know what direction we are going to make items for our etsy shop. Well...I have a ton of fabrics along with all the fabrics SCL and I have acquired together. As always space is limited and when Mr. Hubby designed and built my sewing room he specifically built shelves for fabrics. His instructions were, "What ever fabrics you organize and can fit on the shelves you can keep...the rest you get rid of!" Oh dear! What was I to do? I immediately began to think of what my dear grandma would have done. Hmmm. Upon reaching a workable solution to my imminent problem I began to stack fabric very neatly on those shelves. Then I continued to stack (read cram) until my fingers wouldn't fit in or out of each shelf. It worked and I survived without having to dispose of any fabrics. Except that through the last couple of years and pulling out fabrics to use or see if they would work for a specific project you can imagine how nothing got put back neatly or properly. I merely just kept cramming until I could still close the doors and my room looked neat. Ha!
So today SCL and I began to take out each fabric piece from each shelf and sort them into managable piles...big picture. Hopefully next week we will complete our plan and refold and re-shelve the fabrics with a clear idea of what we have to work with on future projects. Oh by-the-way we also have 5 large plastic bins under the studio desk that contain fabrics so we must include those in our inventory and restocking and organizing.
I must admit it is fun to "find" that special fabric I purchased years ago for a specific need and just knew I had it somewhere but never could locate it. I really do have a lot of fabrics and of course I love them all. It will be so nice to have them organized again.
Thank you SCL for your expertise and patience once again and for all of your help. Yes bloggers this is the same very special lady who just spent weeks putting my kitchen in order after the remodel.
We also spent time this week helping SCL learn how to crochet. She instinctively knew from her youth and merely needed a refresher course. We both had purchased some hand dyed alpaca yarn from some local alpaca ranchers and thought we would crochet scarves. I prefer crocheting to knitting even though my grandmother did teach me both. She was a fabulous knitter and crocheter however I never liked knitting as it was too hard to fix my mistakes. SCL's mother was also an extremely accomplished knitter and crocheter so that is why we each learned in our youth. I have pretty much kept at it through the years as I find it to be quite an effective stress reliever and in the end I have a nice gift to give to someone. We'll post pictures of our scarves one of these days.
Happy Friday to all.