Sunday Landscaping


Each year, we do a little bit more landscaping around the new house.  Last year it was installing the solar system and the huge stone entrance gates.   This year, we are focusing on installing some sprinkler sytems to add some grass to the back lawn.

sprinker-system1 sod

Yesterday, Joe finished installing the sprinkler system and today he is laying down some sod.  You just gotta love a man who can do it all- he is the perfect husband when it comes to fixing and installing things.  Plus he brings me coffee every morning (see yesterday’s post) and cooks, too!  He has a successful career, is a wiz with finances, built me my dream home, really, I could go on and on about what a nice man and husband Joe is.

Oh course, I am admittedly biased when it comes to Joe.  Next month, we will have been together for 27 years!  My only complaint is that time has gone too fast….. and that he could show a bit more enthusiasm when I drag him to quilt shows.  LOL!

My sister, Yvette, also married a very nice man, too.  We were both very smart this way.  Speaking of Yvette and Dave,  Yvette sent me more details on the upcoming trip.  In case you are curious, we are going on the new boat the owner has, and not on his larger vessel.  I went to the website of the boat manufacturer and saw pictures of the “little” boat.  Of course, I say this completely tongue-in-cheek!  The new boat is beautiful with stunning lines!!lazzara

The boatbuilder is Lazzara Yachts, and the new boat is an LSX  75 called “Odyssey.”  I wonder if it will have a new boat smell?  LOL


If we are lucky, maybe we will see snow once a year.  Every few years, it will snow enough to cover the ground.  Snow started falling yesterday morning  and it snowed for hours.

Here is the view out my front door, my back door, and the side:






As you can tell, I have a pretty nice view where I live!  The snow didn’t last, but maybe we will get more tonight!

And oh yes, before I forget:


Happy Valentine’s Day!!  Tonight we are celebrating by attending a fund-raising Crab Feed with Rancher Ed and neighbors down at the Veteran’s Hall.  If that sounds like small town Americana- yes, it is.  LOL!

What are you doing tonight?  Carla

Wire work

In preparation for turning in my metal portfolio for the semester, I have been finishing a few more items.

After my wire crochet experiment the other night using 28 gauge copper wire, I decided the weave was actually a knit, similar to a viking knit, but different.  Here it is using a 24 gauge wire, before compacting it using a wooden drawplate:


Then I finished 2 more chain maille bracelets out of copper wire.  Thanks to Faith, who made me the copper jump rings used to make these:


My last picture features a leaf that is a wire formed design. You then press a sheet of metal over the wire using a hydraulic press to create the design.  Here I have it temporarily on my previous wire knit:


Hope your December day is beautiful where you live.  Check out my sunset last night from out my front door:


Hugs, Carla

Weekend Events

With Dad and Doris here visiting, we really wanted to do something special with them.  The first night, we went out to our local little Mexican Food Restaurant.  I figured that is easier than cooking, right?  LOL

Gold Rush Site: Yesterday was a great day!!  In the morning, with the sun shining brightly, we drove to the California Gold Discovery site park to spend some time.

sutters-mill suttermill2

Look how pretty the American River is:


While we were visiting the park, my favorite place was the blacksmith shop, where they had a female blacksmith docent giving a demonstration.  Hmmm…   I could really get into blacksmithing, it looked so much like what I’ve been learning this year, only on a huge scale.

Welding Tank: Then we drove to a welding supply store to pick up my birthday present from my father.  I know I’m strange, but I really wanted an acetylene tank for my soldering torch.  I’m setting up a metal art studio in my garage right now.

State Capitol Building: Then it was on to see Jack and the kids.  Unfortunately, baby Jack was sick with the flu, and DIL Aimee was coming down with a virus, too.  This was my dad’s first visit with Jack since his birth so he could see how cute he is.

Jack’s dad, which is my oldest son, works down at the state capitol as Chief of Staff for a state politician.  This meant we got to visit the state capitol after hours, when it was basically empty.  Here are some nice photos from this trip:


the rotunda (above)

Check out the quilt design on the rotunda floor:



And, in case you don’t know whose office this is, here is a hint:



The annual Christmas Tree was being set up for the future tree lighting ceremony.

After our tour, we strolled over a few blocks to a very nice restaurant here in Sacramento,  Morton’s Steakhouse.  This is not your usual steakhouse, dinner for 5 was about $700+.   Service was wonderful, food was fantastic, and my dessert was thier famous Hot Chocolate Cake… YUM!

Today is a Bar-b-que get together at our house for family.   Joe is smoking some ribs, and I’ll make all the rest.

Hope your holiday was special, too!  Hugs, Carla

PS: Tomorrow, I need to finish the quilt I have loaded on my machine table… keep watching!

Featured Quilter

I am the featured quilter over on a wonderful machine quilting site called Machine Quilter’s Resource.  The site owner, Suzanne, asked her interview questions via email, and of course, I was happy to answer and send her pictures.  Only one problem….  seems that I was supposed to only send 5-7 photos and of course, I sent about 20+!!   LOL    Good thing that Suzanne is a good sport and ran them all!  Also a good thing that I can laugh at myself!

Trip: I’ve been making last minute preparations for my upcoming trip to Kauai!  Need to arrange the pet and house sitter, plus clean and pack.  All that is left to do is buy a hat to keep the sun off my face.  I can hardly wait… just a few more days left to go!

Organized Traveler: I always make out an itinerary for Joe and I.  In a nice, neat packet is our day-by-day itinerary, behind which is all our reservation documentation, including mapquest maps, flight and car rental info.  Does anyone else do this?    It must be hereditary because my older sister also does this, too.

Pumpkin Field Outing!

After my class yesterday, Joe and I met up with our oldest son, Stephen, our DIL, Aimee, and our grandson, Jack.  The goal?  Introduce Jack to a pumpkin field.  The sun was shining bright, the wind was blowing, but here are some lovely autumn images to treasure:

Joe and I thoroughly enjoyed this outing!!  Being a grandparent is the best!!

Hugs, Carla

Turkey Love

My son and I heard some noise in front of my house, so we went to investigate. Imagine our surprise to see 2 male turkeys courting 2 female turkeys!! It was pretty hilarious to get a front seat view to some turkey mating rituals!!

The 2 male turkeys consisted of an adult and a teenager. They had 2 totally different methods for attracting the ladies. The adult male would fan his tail and puff himself up in a very handsome manner. All the while he would make sweet cooing noises and slowly creep over to the women. He was a Turkey Don Juan!!

Contrast this with the inexperienced teenager male: His M.O. was to chase the female and dazzle her by annoying brute force. He had absolutely no finesse and honestly, he was just irritating the females. He was certainly fueled by turkey testosterone, and at one point he even chased one gal into the air. I kept wanting to ask him, “Is this working for you??” LOL

The display was comical and very entertaining for my son and I. We were too busy laughing to take a picture, but some male turkeys are now back and on the prowl, so I grabbed my camera to show you:

Who would have thought that Turkeys would be so much fun to watch? LOL!

That it from the ranch…. Hugs, Carla

Let’s Catch up!

Time to catch up with all the goings on here on the ranch.  First up is the ever present, “Woody-Gate.”  In case you are curious about the history of this gate, see here .  My favorite Redneck Contractor, Woody, is taking his sweet time in finishing this gate.  That’s OK when Life is on “Woody-Time.”  LOL!

We saw him and the stone mason crew for a few days, then they have disappeared once again.  Here is the progress made:

Not sure when we will see him again, he called yesterday to say that the rock facing and stone cap were now on order, also that we need to cut a check.  I already have my lights for the gate pillars, they will go on top of that stone square shape above.

My own Power Plant!!   The solar is finally in, connected to the grid and turned on!!  Here is a picture of the solar panels on my roof:

Next up is the animal life here on the ranch.  These guys come by my back door about 3 or 4 times per day.

It wouldn’t be life on the ranch without the cows.  Being springtime, there have been lots of new baby cows including this pair:

And, while the “aaaaahhhh” factor is high, here is another visitor to the ranch this last Sunday:


For frequent blog readers,  that is baby Jack above, now 11 weeks old.  He continues to be cute as always!

Enjoy your day!!  Hugs, Carla

Shopping for …

Today, I’m taking my DD to get fitted for bilateral hearing aides. Yes, it is time to do this… she gets frustrated not understanding what is spoken to her, especially is she can’t see their lips. Thanks to Fran at ArtsyFran for her email support and education. Fran wears a BAHA hearing aide system.

While we are out and about, I also need some new furniture for my home on the hill. Off to look some more at furniture stores. I did have a decorator come in and give me a bid, but I just can’t bring myself to buy a dining room table for over 8K!! Especially in this economy! My last dining room table was a french country find at a consignment store for $350! LOL I’m a bargain shopper at heart!

Big News Alert: It looks like there is another yacht trip in the works for later this year!!! Woohoo!!! Longtime blog readers know I love LOVE to help out on yacht trips with my Dear Sis and Captain Dave!

Here is a picture from my many yacht adventures:


and here:


Thanks go out to my sis for thinking about me yet again!!!

Thank you for all the sweet comments about my grandson, Jack! He is squeezably and kissably cute!! Next Jack alert is this weekend when they come up for a visit.

Enjoy your week! Hugs, Carla

Sedona Trip recap

Arrived home safely last night from our travels. The stop for turkey supplies on the way home was successful, so the family doesn’t have to eat tofurkey for Thanksgiving dinner now.

The colors of Sedona were brilliant- no,make that beyond brilliant! Sunset quickly became my favorite part of the day, here’s why:


No retouching or photoshop enhancement were performed on my photos. Amazing colors in the sky at sunset:

sedonasunset2.jpg sunset3.jpg

I highly recommend the place we stayed- Las Posadas Luxury B&B. The staff and owner were extremely nice and welcoming, the suite and breakfast were amazing. Be sure to check out their website.

Jessie, our concierge, was kind enough to book reservations for dinner and activities. Our favorite fine dining experience was The Silver Saddle at The Cowboy Club. Be sure to get reservations ahead of time and be sure to order their cactus fries appetizer! Joe ordered buffalo filet mignon and I had the buffalo flank steak. The chef also sends out complementary items for you to try. It was a memorable dining experience. Oh yes, the Silver Saddle also had a fine selection of wine, plus they make a delicious prickly cactus margarita. Cheers!

We also booked the Ultimate Tour from the Red Rock Jeep Tours. This was a sunset tour, we were able to see scenery off the beaten path. Our cowboy tour guide was very funny and entertaining.

Another favorite diversion was the Verde Canyon Railroad ride. Joe is a train fan, so I booked 2 first class tickets on their afternoon train. The scenery here was spectacular, plus we got to see a pair of eagles soaring above their cliff nest.

One day was devoted to geology- so we drove out to Meteor Crater near Winslow, AZ. If you stop here, be sure to take the geology tour and hike along the rim:


We also stopped near Flagstaff to hunt for fossils, then again near Winslow to obtain specimens of jasper, agate, and calcite. Joe then sped back to Sedona so we could take more sunset photos, including the first one above.

Our next stay was in Phoenix at a golfing resort, though we didn’t golf. Instead, we visited Taliesin West, which is Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture school in the outskirts of Scottsdale:


This was an interesting place, I highly recommend taking a tour if you visit. The school spends half the year in AZ and the other half at Taliesin in Spring Green, WI. I especially love the idea of student living in experimental desert shelters that they build themselves.

I cannot finish my travel recap without mentioning all the shopping that I did. I did hit two quilt stores- one in Sedona and one in Chandler. I also found a wonderful yarn and bead store in Jerome, AZ. Lots of galleries and other shopping, too.

It was a great trip! Thus said, it is always good to be home again. Last night, I lit the fire in my bedroom, jumped into the jacuzzi with a good book and snuggled into my feathered bed with wonderfully soft (high thread count) sheets. Yes, it is good to be home.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving! Hugs, Carla