Wednesday, June 29, 2016

What's Up Wednesday

I was starting to blog more regularly but it's slowed down a bit.  Ooops!
So, here's an update from the last week....

I turned my cucumber harvest from last week into a big jar of refrigerator pickles.  I made sweet pickles and they're delicious!  I'd like to figure out how to make the next batch a little less strong though.  I'm wondering if it's ok to add a little water to the vinegar?

Here's my harvest from this morning...more cucumbers, and a couple of Meyer lemons to flavor my water today.  The cucumbers are growing like crazy!  The vines are loaded with tiny ones that'll be big in no time!  I may need to learn how to do canning!

The pumpkin plants are exploding in size!  Here's what they look like this morning...

A couple of tomatoes are just about ready to pick!

We now have three baby eggplants.

It's been pretty hot lately.  But, one of my friends and I decided to go to a winery one day last week.  We found a nice spot to sit in the shade and the misters kept us comfortable....along with a cold glass of one of their delicious white wines!  We enjoyed relaxing and knitting so much that we have another outing planned this week and more of our knit friends are going to join us.  That should be a lot of fun!

On Sunday, hubby and I took our tandem bicycle down to the Carlsbad and went for a long ride along the ocean.  It was wonderful!  The temps were in the mid 70's, the sky was clear, and the ocean was calm and gorgeous!  We stopped for breakfast at one of our favorite places in Encinitas, The Potato Shack.  It's been there for a really long time and has great food and friendly service.  They even have gluten free pancakes and French toast!  Yum!

After breakfast, we headed south a few more miles.  We stopped to take in the views and snapped a photo of our Tandem.  We've had this awesome beast since our daughter was little.  Hubby and our daughter and hubby and I have even used this in mountain bike races!  He pulled it out last week, tuned it up, we took it out for a spin, and we're in love with it yet again.

On our way back north to Carlsbad and where we parked, we stopped at a place I've been following on Instagram for a while and was anxious to try, Lofty Coffee in Encinitas.  They roast their own coffee beans and make their own almond milk and hazelnut milk!  Not only were our drinks delicious but they were also pretty.  Here's my hubby's cappuccino with hazelnut milk...

And, here's my latte with almond milk.  They treated us to a homemade goody (not sure if it was a cookie, a muffin, or ??) that was gluten free, vegan, and yummy!  Their coffee grinder was acting up and delaying our coffee.  So, they brought the treat out with an apology.  How nice is that?!

We sat outside right along Pacific Coast Highway / Highway 1 and enjoyed the cool weather and our treats.  So nice!

These beauties were in the parking lot.  Plants love it down there and grow so well in that awesome weather!

What have you been up to this last week?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Harvesting and a Happy Kitty

We're starting to get veggies from our Summer garden!  Woohoo!

Here's my harvest from this morning...a couple of Patty Pan squash and some pickling cucumbers...

I picked our first three cucumbers a couple of days ago.  I plan to make some pickles today.

Penelope got her staples out on Tuesday.  I think it felt a little funny and starting driving her a little crazy as she kept whipping her head around and trying to get to the area they'd been.  I distracted her with her new mouse toy.  It worked!  She had so much fun playing with it.  And, she even wrapped her paws around it at one point and laid her head on it.  So cute!

She's a much happier kitty now that those staples are gone!  She's able to relax a lot more.  Here she is hanging out with me this week as I worked on trying to finish up some old WIPs.

I caught her looking in the mirror.  So cute!

I can't believe this week is almost over already!  Seems like it was just Monday!  How's your week going?  What have you been up to?

Monday, June 20, 2016

Finishing and Flowers

I was going through things in my craft room recently to simplify and organize.  I got rid of some stuff I didn't think I'd ever use.  That felt good.  However, I found that I had more projects that I'd started and not finished than I had expected.  So, I'm on a mission to finish them up.  I've slowly been chipping away at finishing them.  Here are the latest two projects that I've finished...

I started knitting a necklace at least a year ago.  I have no idea why I set it aside.  But, I finished it yesterday and it's ready to wear!  Yay!  I made a long I-cord and added some beads with big holes in them (I searched and searched to find them....large hole beads are tough to find!).  I made it into three strands that weave alternately through the beads.  It's adjustable to make the strands even or some longer and some shorter.  I don't remember what this yarn is called and the tag seems to have gotten lost.  But, it's a yummy, soft, cotton yarn that I fell in love with a few years ago on a trip to the Central Valley of California.  I always search out yarn shops when I travel and this one had lots of great yarns.  I think it was "Creekside Yarns" in Visalia, CA.

I found and bought a cute set of charms last year to make set of wine glass markers.  I wanted to buy some beads for these in colors to match my decor but I hadn't made it to the bead store (about an hour away) and decided it made more sense to use beads I have.  That helped with de-stashing and cost.  I love the woodland theme of them.  These work great to help everyone keep track of which wine glass they're using.  Plus, it's fun to dress up the wine glasses.  ;-)

Over the weekend, we got started on installing the new knobs (that I bought recently) onto our kitchen cabinets   We  realized that the knobs mounted very close to the cabinet and made them hard to use.  We searched for something to space them away a bit.  We found a small jewelry box knob that my husband drilled out so it would fit over the bolt.  It spaced it out perfectly and it looks like they were made to go together.  We love how it looks.  We got just one to try it.  Since it's such a success, I went back this morning to get more.  Here's a pic of the before (right) and after (left).  

We were at my husband's parent's house this weekend and a cactus they have was still blooming.  I had to snap some pics of these beauties.  Aren't they gorgeous?!

They reminded me of those sugar Easter eggs that have a scene inside.  The hole at the top beckons a closer look at the magical little world inside.  So cool!

The weather has been so nice here with temps in the 70's and 80's during the day and 50's and 60's at night.  But, it took a turn this weekend with the daytime temps around 110 and the nights not cooling off much.  Hello, Summer!  Hello, air conditioning!  Looks like much of the country is in a heat wave.  Stay cool, everyone!  And, have a fantastic week!

Friday, June 17, 2016

A Crazy Week!

Wow!  It's been over a week since I posted and what a crazy week it's been!!!

Penelope was off to a good start for the first night after her surgery.  We just had to take her back to the vet the next day to have a staple fixed that had come out on one side.  But, other than that she seemed fairly okay.  I did ask if they had a pain/itch relieving spray or something that could numb the incision a bit though because I noticed that she was starting to scratch it a little with her back feet.  They said there wasn't really anything that would work and recommended putting baby socks on her feet and wrapping them to keep them on.  It seemed crazy because cats don't put up with stuff like that.  We tried it the next morning and I was right.  There was NO way we were going to get them to stay on.  Then, we tried another thing they recommended, a baby shirt.  That made it worse because it pressed on her staples.

The itching and pain became so bad that she wouldn't leave it alone.  She was so upset that she'd look at us and complain and hiss.  She ended up making it bleed and she completely freaked out!  She was screaming in pain!  We took her back to the vet and they wrapped both feet, put a cone on her, and sold me a spray that stopped itching.  I with they'd sold me that spray the day before because it would have saved her a lot of pain and an additional vet bill!  Sheesh!  Luckily, it worked!

She got one foot unwrapped by the next morning but hubby was able to re-wrap it.  We kept her feet wrapped through the weekend and kept applying the spray.  By Sunday evening both wraps were off and she refused to let us put them back on.  But, luckily, the swelling and itching had gotten a LOT better.  Whew!  We've been keeping a close eye on her all week and she's doing better and better.

Here she is with the last wrap that stayed on.  It was just enough to throw her off balance if she tried to scratch and kept her safe a little longer.  But, as you can tell by the look on her face, she was DONE with all this craziness!

When both wraps were gone, she was so happy and finally started getting some sleep.

A friend of mine surprised me last night with hand knitted and felted mouse she'd made as a get well gift for Penelope.  That's SO sweet!  Penelope loved it so much that we had to hide it for the night so we could all get some sleep.

We got the results of Penelope's tumor and it's benign.  YAY!  Such a relief.  It was, however, an unusual (for cats) fatty tumor that was right next to her microchip.  So, I can't help but wonder if the microchip may have caused it.  I'm happy the tumor is gone and the microchip.  She now has a cute, flowery collar, and a shiny ID tag with our phone numbers.  Hopefully, she'll never get lost to need it though.  I'll put it on her after her staples are removed next week.

My daughter came home for a couple of weeks to escape the extreme heat in Arizona.  I was so happy to see her and to have her company through the Penelope ordeal!  We also enjoyed some craft time together.  She even went to stitch night with me last week!  :-D  

While I was there, I finished up my fourth gnome!  Yay!  This one was a gift and I made sure to snap a picture that night before I sent him off to his new home.

I also did a little more work this last week on a free form crochet project I started a few weeks ago...a bikini top.  It's challenging but fun.  I added the bottom band.  I still have straps and the t-back to figure out.

My daughter crocheted a free form halter top while she was here.  It's super cute!  We didn't get any pics yet though.  And, she headed home this morning to take care of some things before she heads back here again in a few weeks.  She was going to stay a few more days but it made sense to travel before it gets really hot this next week.

Stay cool!  Stay Safe!  And, have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Penelope's Home / A Little Decorating

Penelope's home from her surgery.  It turned out that the microchip was right next to the lump.  I had them remove the microchip just in case it was the cause.  I figure it's better to do that just in case.  That way, I won't have to subject her to another surgery later to try to remover it.  Besides, they said it can normally be pretty hard to find.  The test results will take three to five days.  I still have my fingers and toes crossed tightly that it's all good!

She has 15 staples in a line about two inches long.  I can tell it bothers her and it sure looks like it would.  Eeeek!  She's been in pain and, luckily, the pain meds do seem to help.  She can't reach it to lick it.  That's good!  But, she can reach it with her back foot to scratch it.  She hit it slightly when scratching this morning and screamed out in pain.  Poor girl!

Here she is last night curled up on some quilts while we waited for a new dose of pain meds to start working. 

Sh'e been hiding under the bed a lot.  But, I was able to lure her out this morning with some food.  She was SO happy she could finally eat again!

I stayed busy yesterday so I wouldn't worry so much.  I've been wanting to change things up a bit around the house and do a little decorating for summer.  I got even more inspired yesterday when I visited the blog, Art and Sand.  She's always having so much fun arranging, re-arranging, and decorating her adorable cottage by the sea.  She made some fun arrangements yesterday that inspired me.

I started off by clearing the old arrangement that was on the antique buffet in our entry area.  I gathered up some different items from cupboards and around the house and created a summery arrangement.  I went out and bought some little pots of ivy to put in this cute wood basket and give a little life to the whole thing.  That's the hat I wear when I go out somewhere that I'll be in the sun a while.  It'll be handy since it's right next to the door now.  That's my little collection of flower frogs.  The doily is one that I bought recently when we got some for making dream catchers.  And, the birds were moved from another spot in the house.

I got some sunflowers while I was out buying plants and stuff.  I put them in a pitcher on my kitchen table.  I took off the table cloth and pulled out this crochet doily/table topper for a splash of color.  The table looks so bright and cheery now!  :-)

That was fun and I love the results!  It's always interesting to me how rearranging a few little things can make everything seem new and fresh.  :-)

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

What's Up?

I missed posting yesterday.  So, here's an update of my weekend and what's up.

My sweet Penelope went in for surgery this morning.  I'm trying hard not to worry about my sweet girl.  I found a lump where her microchip normally is.  I Googled to see if tissue can grow around microchips or if they can cause tumors.  I was shocked to see that tons of stuff came up about microchips causing cancer and lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies that manufacture them.  YIKES!  I took her in to have it checked yesterday.  The good news is that the lump doesn't seem to be attached and can be moved around.  And, her lymph nodes seemed to be fine.  They're going to remove the lump today and send it in for testing.

Poor baby was so scared this morning.  It was so hard to take her in for this but it seems to be the right thing to do.  I don't want to wait and take a chance of it being bad and spreading to the point of not being able to do anything.  I love this girl SO much!  She's the sweetest and most loving kitty we've ever had.  She's so attached to me and wants to be with me almost constantly.  She comes to me often for snuggles and looks at me with ooey, gooey, loving, eyes and always has lots of kisses for me.  Fingers crossed she'll be just fine!

I snapped this pic over the weekend of her enjoying the morning sun.  Looks like she's meditating.

I bought a crock over the weekend that I'd had my eye on at my favorite antique shop.  They were having a sale, it was still there, and I got it for less.  Woot!  I put my antique rolling pins in it.  I love the rich color of it.

Hubby and I went to Oceanside for a bike ride on Sunday.  It was a cool, cloudy day with temps in the mid to high 60's.  Ahhhh!...a nice break from the heat wave we had for a few days at home.

These gorgeous Matilija Poppies were growing near where we parked.  The bushes were about five feet high and loaded with these beauties!

Our garden has some veggie babies!  Yay!  I snapped a few pics this morning.

A volunteer butternut plant seems to be doing well...

More tomatoes!  I'm so excited for these tasty treats!


We have an eggplant blossom!  :-D

I plan to stay busy crafting and working around the house today to stay really busy and keep my mind from worrying about my sweet Penelope.  I get to pick her up sometime this afternoon.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Garden Update

Our garden is growing!  In fact, it seems like it's growing so much that it looks different every day!  It was especially surprising when we got back from our long weekend away and saw that small seedlings had exploded into large plants!

The Patty Pan squash are growing the fastest!  I'm excited for them to bloom and start growing yummies!

Here's another raised bed with zucchini, a couple of tomato plants and a pepper plant.

The tomatoes have grown a lot.  And, every plant has baby tomatoes!  A few of them have some yellow leaves.  We need to look it up and see what that's all about.

Here's a bunch of baby yellow pear tomatoes...

And, one of the many tiny chili peppers on our one little plant.  We need to plant some more of these!

It turned out that the gorgeous purple cabbage I posted recently wasn't edible.  The plants had gotten a bad case of aphids early on.  We treated them with Neem oil and the bugs went away.  However, when I harvested it, the heads had brown buggy stuff throughout.  I kept tearing away leaves in hopes of finding an edible head inside but the brown went all the way through.  Such a bummer!  Like I said before, gardening isn't easy!  But, we're trying to stick with it and, hopefully, get more and more successful.

How's your garden growing?

Have a wonderful weekend!

P.S.  Are any of you who use Blogger having trouble with your posts not showing up on the feed for hours or not until the next day?  I've even noticed that the feed of blogs I follow has only been showing posts from hours ago and not keeping up too.  I don't see everyone's posts until almost a day later.  I've searched settings and haven't found anything.  It seems to have started about a week or so ago.  If anyone has had this problem and has found an answer, let me know.  And, let me know even if you haven't found an answer because I'm wondering if it's a Blogger problem.  Thanks!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Cool New Find

While we were in Tucson last week, I saw several bike riders with large brims around their helmets.  I was immediately intrigued and had to see where I could get one.  I searched Google and found out what they were called, went to a couple Tucson stores, and got one!  Woot!

I tried it out this morning and I'm in love with it!

It's called Da Brim and it comes in a wide brim version and a "sporty" version that's not quite as wide (for better safety and visibility).  I got the sporty one.  It even comes in sizes for horseback riding helmets, and visor versions.  It slips easily over the helmet and has a strap to cinch it tight.  There are straps at the front and back to adjust the position of the brim to raise or lower if necessary.  It's even rated up to 35 mph to stay on your helmet.  Cool!

As I get older, I am more thoughtful about protecting my skin.  Especially, since the doctor found a questionable spot on one ear and a couple on my cheek.  I hate sunscreen but I'm wearing it more and more.  I have a cute, wide brimmed straw hat with a bow that I wear when I go somewhere that I'll be in the sun for a while.  I also wear brimmed hats when I hike and when I work in the yard.  But, cycling helmets do nothing to protect ears from the sun.  Bike rides leave the ears and face exposed for long periods of time.  Not to mention those rays of sun that somehow make their way between your sunglasses and face and straight into your eye!

I was excited to try my Da Brim this morning and very pleased with how great it worked!  I never once had the sun glare in my eyes and I was able to ride without worrying about my ears being exposed.  I also love that it shades my neck and a lot of my face.  I never had any problems with visibility.   I even think it looks pretty cool!  I've never seen these in California but they seem to be popular in Arizona.  Who knows?...maybe I'll help start a new trend in California!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

How was your weekend?

I hope ya'll had a wonderful weekend!  We sure did!  We decided to head to Arizona for a long weekend of camping and visiting with our daughter who moved there last year for grad school.

We packed our camping trailer and brought our furry kiddos with us for a weekend of fun!

Salsa always loves to go bye-bye!  And, she loves her boots!  They protect her feet from hot pavement and keep stickers from getting stuck in the fur and between her toes.  That makes it so we don't have to spend long amounts of time picking stickers out with tweezers!  We've done that!  It's not fun for her or us!  Here she is happily resting by the trailer after a walk...with her boots on.  Such a cutie!

Our daughter spent the entire weekend with us camping.  We loved that!  And, so did Salsa!  She's always happy to have everyone together.  And, she cherishes every bit of time and attention she gets with our daughter.  Just look at that smile...

Our cat, Penelope, is becoming a great traveler!  I'm so proud of her!  And, she loved the warm weather on this trip.  She's so often cold.  So, this trip was great for her.  It was for us too.  It's been a bit chilly at home.  Especially for my hubby who works down by the beach where it's been cold, damp, and gray.  It was great to thaw out!

The campground was surprisingly uncrowded for a holiday weekend.  That was nice!  It was quiet and made it better for seeing wildlife.  And, we saw a lot of wildlife this weekend!  One of the first things we noticed when we got there was hundreds of tiny Arizona Round Tailed Ground Squirrels!  They were everywhere!  They're super tiny...about the size of a little chipmunk.  They're really cute!

We saw a couple of coyotes and we heard packs of them every night.

We were hoping to see Javelina and we were lucky to see two of them on an evening bike ride.  Unfortunately, they ran away so fast that I didn't get any pictures.  We didn't see any more of them the rest of the weekend.  But, we did hear them at night a couple of times.

We saw a mountain lion one evening.  At least, that's what it looked like.  And, the rangers said one had been spotted and reported the week before.  It was crouching down in the grasses a couple hundred feet from the road.  I only had my cell phone with me for pictures.  I snapped a couple and tried zooming in for a better look.  The pics were super blurry but the coloring and ears looked like it was a mountain lion rather than a bobcat.  I've never seen one before and figured I never would.  So, this was a little exciting.  It was a little scary.  And, it was also a little sad because being that close to people is unusual and could mean something is wrong with it or it could end up needing to be moved or something if it keeps going that close.  I'm hoping for the best...that this was just unusual and that it will stay away from now on.

There were a lot of birds....Roadrunners, doves, bright red birds, tiny birds....and lots of pretty singing.  There were lots of quail too.  They're SO plump compared to the ones near our home.  We saw this one watching out for his flock in the riverbed.  It's a little blurry because he was far away.

As always, I was on the lookout for wildflowers.  I found some beauties!  Check out the blooms on this cactus.  Gorgeous!

There were lots of these on big bushes/trees...

The weather was quite warm in the afternoons.  But, the early mornings were nice and cool and we made sure to get out to enjoy it.  We went on a couple of bike rides along part of "The Loop".  It's a series of connecting bike paths along riverbeds and roads that run through and around Tucson.  It's very impressive!  I love riding and walking on The Loop because there are no cars and the views and wildlife are a lot of fun to see along the way.  The Loop is very popular and busy.  I wish we had such a thing where we live!  This is my daughter riding onto one of the bridges that crosses over the river...

There was a little surprise along the portion of The Loop that we rode on....a little labyrinth.  Of course, we had to walk it both days that we rode by.

Our daughter has gotten into archery and had just gotten a new bow.  We went with her to a range to see her shoot.  We also tried shooting.  It's surprisingly different than my husband and I ever would have imagined!  It takes a lot of strength and it's quite complicated!  Hubby loved it.  I'm not sure yet if I like it or not.  Here's hubby shooting alongside our daughter.  I love this picture!

We ate at camp most of the time.  But, we did go out a couple of times for lunch.  We tried a new-to-us restaurant one day.  It had great reviews and their website sounded like it was great.  We drove up and it looked like a dive!  But, it's popular and we couldn't even get a parking spot the first time we tried to go there.  The next day, we went right after they opened and had no trouble getting a parking spot.  It was very good!  It's called Tacos Y Tequila.  And, that's just about all they sell is tacos and drinks.  The tacos are interesting, unique, and delicious!  Their house margaritas were quite good too!

We enjoyed lots of relaxing, reading, knitting, and, most of all, being together!  It was such an awesome weekend!