Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Fruit Salad

At last! It's done. Quilted, bound, labeled and washed. I still love it! When you spend more than a decade bringing a quilt to completion, that's a good thing.

It's a shame the quilting doesn't show in these pictures. The professional quilter did a rock solid job of using just the right motifs to make it sing. Thank you Betty!

I dropped it off Thursday for the Long Valley Quilt Show. Working against a deadline is a such a great motivator! The week before the submission date, I worked on it daily for hours at a time. It felt creative and productive on the one hand, but a bit like a second part-time job on the other.

But I know from experience the time, effort and frustration that goes into creating some quilts completely fades once it's done.

Sunday, August 07, 2016


I completely missed blackberry season last year while I was visiting my Mom in New England. So you can bet I made a point of picking this year.

I used to go blackberry picking with my sons when they were growing up. Those have become fond memories; filling our individual bowls and then pouring the berries into one great big container. We compared our blue-black finger tips and the scratches we'd gotten in the process, making sure we avoided the poison oak that grew thick among the brambles. I often  got so absorbed in my picking, I'd forget to watch where I was stepping.

This year I picked berries at my neighbor's, by myself in the cool stillness of early morning. There wasn't any calling back and forth - "Hey there's a great, unpicked patch over here!" Just the call of a mourning dove and a quiet that I noticed for some reason. The berries hung in clusters over her fence and there wasn't any poison oak. I picked 13 cups, enough for two pies, in less than a half an hour. It didn't seem right somehow. It was singular and too easy.

But there's nothing that says summer to me like blackberry pie and ice cream.

I recently received an e-mail from my son, who has moved to the Seattle area. He and his wife had gone blackberry picking. He sent me a picture.

It made me smile. I guess the tradition continues.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

We Be Jammin'

It's that time again. Fruit is ripe and available and my neighbor is asking me if I want plums.

The tree was laden, so I picked about 13 cups in 20 minutes. I could see why she asked if I want some. I didn't even make a dent.

I simmered them for about 20 minutes and then put them through a sieve to remove the skins and pits. Then I added a half a cup of sugar to every cup of juice and simmered until the spoon test showed it was thickened.

Adding less sugar makes it taste more like cranberry relish than a sweet jam.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

July Flowers

I stopped at the Brooktrails Community Garden to water and Frank took some quick pictures.



He does like to take close ups. I love the honeybee on the left, flying toward the hollyhock. Bzzz...

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Pudding Creek Day Trip

This is the closest we come in Mendocino county to having a beach. Most 'ocean access' is to a bluff or a craggy foot path down to a rocky inlet.

When we arrived there was a formal wedding being set up on the sand. It was a beautiful setting, but the wedding party and guests were having a hard time walking in the sand in their finery.

We picnicked, Frank took pictures while I knitted. We escaped the heat for awhile. A perfect day.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Summer Bouquet

Cosmos, bachelor buttons, clover, flowering oregano.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Birthday BBQ Bash

The grandson's birthdays are (two years) and two weeks a part. This year we had a great combined birthday BBQ. And it was a bash!



DS2 and his wife were with us on Skype.
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