Friday, June 23, 2017

City Hike - San Diego

Our 52 hike challenge is tough to keep up with lately because of the extreme heat wave going on right now.  So, my daughter and I decided to bend the rules a little this week and hike in the city...a cool city...San Diego!

I love San Diego and I'm always so excited to go there.  It's only about an hour south of where we live.  There are so many things to see and do in the city and the surrounding areas.  It wasn't difficult filling our day!  And, the temps were much better!  It was about 105f at home but 69-75f throughout the day in San Diego.

We started with cappuccinos at Lofty Coffee in Little Italy.  Yum!  Afterward, we walked around a bit.  We found an awesome art supply store named, "Blick".  They had so much cool stuff!  I bought a couple of Tombow brush pens to play around with.  My daughter bought a really cool map/poster of California to frame.

Next, we headed over to Old Town San Diego for lunch.  We tried a new-to-us restaurant, Miguel's.  It was delicious and the service was very good.  After lunch, we walked around Old Town.  I've been there many times but I always seem to see things I things I've never noticed before.  It's a fun place to visit.

Heritage Park is nearby and we made sure to walk around the beautiful old Victorian homes.  I think this one is my favorite...

We did a little shopping after that and then we went to find the famous Spruce Street suspension bridge.  It's a walk bridge in a residential area that spans a deep ravine.  It was a little nerve racking to walk across because of the movement.  I didn't think it would bug me but it did...a little.  It was cool to see though.  It's amazing they'd go to this much work and expense to make a way to walk to the neighborhood across the ravine!

In a neighborhood on one side of the bridge, there was a tiny library.  So cool! 

One of the things we'd planned to do was to go to an African drumming class at World Beat in Balboa Park.  Unfortunately, it was cancelled.  But, that was ok because it just gave us more time to walk around Balboa Park.  Even though the museums were all closed, there was a lot going on.  There were concerts ending, being set up, a big one about to start, and various musicians performing throughout the park.  And, the weather was absolutely perfect!  It was a perfect evening!

I love Balboa Park so much!  It's a gorgeous and magical place!  Here's sample of the amazing architecture...

We sat down and listened to this concert for a while.  It was 50's 60's and 70's music.  This is the organ pavilion.  They regularly have pipe organ concerts here.

I took a stroll around the fountain before we headed to the car to go home.

I have no idea how many miles we walked on our city hike but my step counter said we did over 21,000 steps that day!   And, we had a wonderful time!  We're actually thinking of doing another city hike but this time we'll head to downtown Los Angeles.  Stay tuned!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Latest WIPs and FOs OR Creating with Deals and Stash

Since I'm behind on posting, I'm behind on showing you what I've been up to with my Create 52 challenge.  So, here are some photos of some things I've been working on over the past few weeks...

I love thrift shopping and found a little package of tiny, unused bottles with cork lids and loops to hang them.  I think the cost was twenty five cents for both of them.  I recently filled one with lavender buds and made a necklace out of it.  I thought it would be fun to fill the other one with teenie, tiny sea shells.  I went through a jar of shells I have and found just enough tiny ones that were small enough to fit.  I crocheted a triple cord to hang it by and I have a beachy necklace.  :-)

I also like going to rummage sales and found this huge table cloth for a couple dollars.  It's in perfect condition and I thought it would be fun to crochet a fancy edge on it.  That's when I realized how HUGE it really is.  It took quite a while to stitch around it!  I made it around twice with crochet thread I had in my stash.  I had to buy a new ball of thread to keep going to make the fancy edge I had in mind.  Even though the new ball seemed to match when I bought it, the colors were really different when I started crocheting.  The new red really didn't go with the fabric at all.  It was a cooler, more blue red.  So, I ripped out the start of that third row and decided that this was enough trim.  It did fancy it up a bit.

You may already know how much I'm in love with cotton yarn and that I have a weakness for Sugar N Cream.  Especially when it goes on sale!  I've had some ideas in mind for the ever growing stash of colors I have but when it went on sale a few weeks ago I just had to buy a few more colors and get started on one of my ideas.  I'm making a bunch of the "African Flower" motifs to sew into something.  I figure I'll keep making them until I'm tired of them.  I'll make a blanket if I end up making a lot.  If I get tired quickly of making them, I'll use them to make a bag.  There are so many great ideas on line for this versatile little motif.  It's fun playing with all these colors!

I often long to knit or crochet just for the sheer pleasure of it.  It gets frustrating when I want to stitch but just can't find a pattern I love.  I end up spending a lot of time pattern searching.  I thought I'd found one last weekend and got started.  It was SO nice to just work on a simple pattern of double crochets.  It was like meditation and was SO relaxing.  Ahhhh!

However, I soon realized that I wasn't going to be very happy with the result as it was so bulky that the shawl I was making wouldn't hang nicely.  So, I ripped it out!  After searching for so long for a pattern to use this leftover yarn in my stash (another yarn I've fallen in love with and it comes in SO many pretty color combos!), I decided to just make up something...a scarf.  So far, I think it's working up nicely.  And, I still have something relaxing to work on in between other projects that take more concentration and brain power.

I usually have several projects going on at the same time.  That way I can switch to something different if I need a break, want to work on something easier, or feel like tackling something more challenging.  Since I went through that finishing frenzy a few months ago and finished up so many projects, it's seemed a little weird to not have several projects to go to.  So, why not start another new one?!  I've been wanting to try to move beyond shawls, scarves, cowls, hats, and other simple stuff and learn to make garments.  I finally decided on a top pattern last week and got started using some stash yarn.  It's a bit challenging because the yokes require some lace knitting....something I'm a bit challenged at.  But, I'm figuring it out.  Yay!  I hope this project works out because I have several things in my wardrobe that would work great with this orange top.

This post seems to have developed a theme of budget shopping and de-stashing!  Here's another project that started with a deal.  Over the weekend I found a skirt at a thrift shop for just $2.  It was a gathered, mid shin length, size 18 skirt.  With a little cutting, stitching, and use of parts from a pattern I recently bought, I transformed it into a knee length (just below) wrap skirt.  I like the colors and pattern of the fabric and thought it would look so much cuter this way.  I think I'm happy with it.

I have so many things I want to create!  If only I had more time and I could finish them more quickly to move onto the next!  But, these projects and my small accomplishments are fun!

What have you been working on lately?

Monday, June 19, 2017

Hiking Challenge

Thank you to everyone who left such sweet and caring comments on my last post.  It meant a lot!  I'm still missing our sweet Salsa a lot but it's getting a bit easier with time.

I've always tried to respond to all my comments via email but I've been having trouble lately with most of them coming back undeliverable.  I've thought about posting replies under the comments but, if you're like me and generally just visit a post once, you'd never see any replies posted there.  So, I hope ya'll see this just in case my emails don't go through.  Hugs!

For today, I thought I'd post a few pics of the most recent hikes in my 52 hike challenge.  I've been keeping up pretty well.  The heat has arrived though and that will make it more challenging.  I think I'm behind by a week right now and we're supposed to have weather around 105+ this week and next.  We're planning to head down to San Diego one day to do a hike near the ocean where it'll be a lot cooler.  An idea I have for another hike is to leave before sunrise and get to the mountains very early to hike before the heat arrives.  We'll see how it goes.

My daughter moved home and that provides us both with a hiking partner for our challenge (she's doing  the 52 hike challenge fact, she was the inspiration for me to do it).  We took her adventure cat, Sonora, on a hike with us a couple of weeks ago.  My daughter has trained her to walk on a leash.  When Sonora gets tired she rides in the backpack.  She seems to enjoy taking in the scenery from there as we hike along.  She's a unique and amazing kitty!

We had some "May Gray" days and took advantage of the coolness on this hike.  We hiked in and out through the fog and watched it blow by.  It was beautiful!

This hike is uphill to the top of a hill with amazing views where we can often see the ocean.  Some sections are quite steep as you can see in these photos.  It makes for a great workout!

We do this hike fairly often and it's interesting that there are always flowers blooming but we never know what kinds we'll see next because they're always changing.  Here are some we saw on this hike...

We had weather cool enough one weekend to do the Eagle Rock trail again.  It was so much fun to take our daughter to this beautiful area.  And, that she got to hike a part of the Pacific Crest Trail! There was a creek, huge old oak trees, and expansive views. That's me in this photo.

A couple of weeks ago, we took our daughter to hike around a beautiful mountain lake that we discovered last year.  It was so pretty that we were excited to share it with her.

It was so full this year from all the rain that the trail on one side was closed.  It was awesome to get so much rain this winter.  We needed it SO badly!  I hope we'll be as lucky next winter!

I found some wild iris' on this mountain trip!

We hiked the Santa Rosa Plateau again last week and were surprised to see large patches of purple flowers where the vernal pools had been just a short time ago.  Beautiful!

We saw bushes with brightly colored berries along our hike.  Some glowed in the sun like jewels!

There was one spot on the trail with a few flowers I'd never seen before.  They're so interesting with their freckles and fuzzy edges!

What's the weather like where you are?  Are you having to work your plans and goals around heat or rain or even tornadoes?  There sure is a lot of crazy weather these days!

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sweet Salsa

I was doing pretty good at getting more regular with blogging and then life got crazy again!  It's been good and sad.

The good is that our daughter graduated with her master's degree in May and has moved back home.  We're so proud of her!  She's working hard now to find a job.

The sad is that our sweet dog, Salsa, left us just over a week ago.  Her health (kidney disease) had been declining and took a sharp turn downhill to the point that we had to let her go.  There was nothing that could be done to help her and it was obvious that it was time but it's been so much harder than I'd imagined.  She'd been with us for almost 12 years and, since I stay at home so much, she was an almost constant companion.  It feels like there's a hole in my heart and in our home.  It seems like she should still be here, or on the back patio looking sweetly through the window, playing with her toys, and just being the sweet, smart, happy, and beautiful girl she always was.

I've cried and cried.  Late in the afternoon of the day we let her go, I thought it might be better to put our sad energy into a hike rather than just sitting at home and crying.  So, that's what we did.  Hubby, our daughter, and I hit the trail.  I hiked in honor of her and thought of how much she would have enjoyed it.  We made a heart around a flower that was sunshiny like her.

She was the sweetest, smartest, happiest, and most beautiful dog I've ever had.  She was even adorable when she needed a haircut!

She was even more beautiful after she'd been groomed.  She was so cute!  People often said she looked like a stuffed animal.  We even experienced people stopping their cars when we walked her so they could ask about her.  She was a great girl!  This picture was from a camping trip.  She always loved to go bye-bye!  I miss that beautiful face, sweet eyes, and her smile!

She loved laying her her little cot/hammock when we went camping.

She loved going for walks and hiking.  We got her some boots a couple years ago.  It protected her feet on trails that had lots of rocks or gravel.  And, it kept her from getting hurt on all our Arizona trips when the pavement was blazing hot.  She walked funny with them in the beginning but soon realized they were great and didn't mind wearing them.  Adorable!  There's that smile!

She was my walking partner at home.  She walked great on a leash and rarely pulled.  I could tell that she loved going for walks because she'd nose bump my hand and look up at me like she was thanking me and telling me how much fun she was having.

She knew a ton of tricks...she could, sit, lay down, shake, high five, hit something (like the bell we hung by the door for when she wanted to go outside), weave through our legs, cha cha (go back and forth between our knees like dancing), spin, rewind, and so much more.  She was awesome!  And, she is SO missed!