Spring is here. One of my favorite things is to watch the garden explode with color. This bed of iris starts off with one or two iris blooming. Then a little after a week it just pops into full bloom. Truly spectacular.
Tonight we're going to see shakespeare in the park. the company we're seeing will be doing anthony and cleopatra. a couple of weeks ago we saw the same company put on a midsummer night's dream. they did a fantastic job. we're going to have dinner in the park before the show so i have big plans. i was inspired to go out back and pick plums, tomatoes and basil. i just love these heirloom tomatoes. the plums are pluots which are my absolute favorite. i made a simple puff pastry tart with them yesterday and will be doing the same for tonight.
i think i'll just slice some of these and make a chiffonade of basil to garnish. maybe a little red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. we all love pesto so a pesto pasta salad with some vegis added.
this is the second basketfull of pluots i've picked this week. hoepfully i'll get my act together and make preserves.
this pumpkin is gong to make someone happy this halloween. we've got pumpking plants growing all over the yard. allison saved seeds. several months back, she and my dad planted them in many different places.
these are tiny little plums on a very short tree. almost more like a bush. the fruit isn't more than 1 1/2 inches across. mild flavor with red flesh. not sure what to do with them other than make preserves. the chickens like them.
this little guy is one of four new chick we got back in june. i've got an in with the second grade teachers at our elementary school. each year they have a chicken unit where they get eggs that hatch. we've been lucky enough to be the recipients of said chickens every year. the eggs are wonderful. the new ones wont lay for another several months.
here's a shot of our fruit orchard at the back of our property. we've had wonderful summer fruit all summer (peaches, apricots, nectarines and plums). we're down to the last two trees giving us fruit. summer fruits are my favorite.
we just spent a great 5 days in palm dessert. the weather here at home as been puney - cloudy and cold (for southern california). i couldn't wait to get there. the weather gods must have been looking out for me. it was 85 every day. nice occaisonal breeze just when you needed it. pool side service (very fancy). great kids indoor arcade next to the kid friendly pool area. slide and water spray park and all. we found out before going that several families we enjoy were going to be there at the same time. all with kids approximately the same ages. lots of fun for the moms to hang out. only two dads came. my husband and another woman's. they got lots of golf in. i didn't take many photos. having too much fun drinking summer blasts (like a blended pina colada with a rum floater on top) or mojitos. these pics of the girls were taken on the last day. they were wanting to be in the shade more. just a little bit sunburned. my younger girl (the one laying down) has an appointment to see the dermtologist tomorrow. he's be impressed with me with her being burned. i've got quite the tan going as well now so i'm expecting a bit of a lecture.
on the drive home we encountered a pretty strong wind storm. really pushing the car around a bit. fortunately we drove through it in about 1/2 an hour. i loved having the navagation system my dh got me for christmas. i was able to find and make an emergency stop at in n out. it was not on the side of the road so i never would have found it otherwise. it even got me back to the freeway. i never get lost anymore.
this was what i was greeted by this morning. beautiful climbing roses. grey cold day but nice roses. the color always looks more brillian on a cloudy day i went out in my socks to get this photo. here's a close-up
i love the colors in them. they were absolutely glowing. pinky peachy colors. someone should dye some yarn with these colors.
i took this a couple of days ago and have made several inches of progress. i've got four more to go. that the equivalent of about 36 rounds. each round is a bit more than 250 stitches. i had to order more yarn from knit picks because i'm running out. allison is just so tall. i also had to order two circular needles to finish off the neckline. my order should be here by thursday so i'll have it finished for saturday for my dad's birthday party. i've stopped doing any dishcloths or any other projects so i can finish it. i usually like to mix things up a bit by having little things to do here and there but allison is insisting that this be done by saturday for the special occaison. i'll finish the skein of yarn i have left this evening and then i'll make the slip while i wait for the new yarn to arrive.
i love the colors on this hydrangeia bush. it makes me think of colors that someone should make up into a beautiful yarn. maybe my cousin at elliebelly will be inspired by the sight of them. here's a shot of a bloom that has dried out on the same bush. i fascinated at how the green is still green but there is also some brown. i'm wondering if this is just part of the natural process or if it's from the freezing at night.
one of our peach trees is already in full bloom. i'm hoping that this year it produces better fruit. last year the fruit was sort of mealey. i love the way the tree looks all full of flowers. it speaks to me of peach cobbler and preserves. yum.
leaf buds on another fruit tree in our orchard. i'm embarrased to say i'm not sure if this is a plum, an apricot or another peach. i love the little green buds. our blood orange tree has enough fruit on it for several batches of marmelade. maybe some blood orage curd. we'll see. i still haven't made anything with them yet though. too much sickness has been in the house. all is well now though so once i'm feeling back on track, i'll get busy with the canning.
i love the color and pattern of this camelia. this is a very old bush that was planted by the previous owners of the house over half a century ago. i prefer this variety over the ruffley type. it has more of a japanese feel to me. these are wonderful floating in water in a glass bowl. my mom always used to float them that way when i was a kid. so simple yet beautiful.
so i decided to change the name of my blog today. i was on the way to a lys talking to my sister on the phone. bemoaning how i had to go get more yarn. my son is going to an outdoor science school for a week. it's going to be rather cold and he doesn't have a scarf. it's listed on the "need to have" list give to us from the school. if it's on the list, he's GOT to have it. i was just going to buy him one but i couldn't do it. i found this wonderful tonalita yarn. i just love it. it's turning out to be a really soft loose scarf. it's knitting up really fast. i may have enough to make myself a hat. the good news is that he like it too. he's quite particular. i was afraid it wasn't going to be dark enough for him.
here he is, in all his glory. he's been sick with the stomach flu and now a bad cough. he's missed quite a bit of school but fortunately his teacher are making accomodations on the due dates for his reports from this week. he's listening to jimi hendrix on itunes. deciding which one to burn onto a disc to take to class for his biography presentation. i just love listening to the old tunes. it reminds me of my childhood. my brother and sister are 5 and 8 years older than i am so when they were teenagers listening to hendrix and the like i was pretty young
here is my finished january mid-month kal dishcloth. i had started it and was really liking it. it was a bit challenging for me to keep track of the stitches. after looking at pictures of there group members completed dishcloths, i realized i was doing something wrong. i was slipping the slipped stitch over both the knitting stitch and the yo stitch. i made the cloth have a stripe of yarn rather than an open lacy pattern. i frogged the whole thing and started over again. i took me re reading all the posts about how to manage the pattern and go to knitting helping and watching a video to really get what to do.
this close up shows the pattern a little better. i think one in a solid would be nice but i'll have to wait until i finish allison's dress. it's bad enough i've take a break from it with the scarf for her brother but he leaves for camp on monday and it's a must. i have until the weekend before valentine's day to complete her dress. we'll se how that one goes.
i had to run outside this morning to get some things from the garden before it started to pour. i've got to make more lemon curd with our meyer lemons. not sure if the color on the blood oranges shows up well enough. i though i'd make marmelade with them. my daughter and i made lasagna tonight but darling dh has to have his swiss chard. doesn't it all look too yummy?!?
my husband is obsessed with having a garden that sustains us. i just love the way this part of our garden looks right now. the lettuces he planted and filling in and just looking so pretty. i don't know what lettuce is in the foreground the right behind it is butter lettuce. then romaine, spinach, swiss chard broccoli and brussels sprouts. each season, before he plants, he has a truck load (yards and yards worth) of soil ammendments delivered and dumped on our driveway. the kids love to run around and play in it. then the weekend comes and he (along with a little help from our son) take wheel barrow after wheel barrow full and distributes it all over the yard in the different beds. that takes an entire day. sometimes two. it may sit there for a weekend or two but when he decides he's going to work the ammendment into the soil ... watch out. he works it in with just a shovel. it's hard dirty work but he gets so much out of doing it. our our vegi beds produce well.
my only wish is that i was not so put off about having to wash it so thoroughly. i've gotten spoiled by the prewashed lettuces that come from the market. i've been better this year though. it tastes so much better than what comes home from the store. it's worth the extra effort.
i took these photos this morning right after i took the kids to school. dh was with me. i told him i had to get an angle that showed how straight his rows are. the insisted that they weren't that straight. i certainly wouldn't be getting mine as straight as his. i think it made him feel good that i was taking pictures of "his" garden.
one of the things that i love about southern california is that we always have a few rose bushes producing flowers in january. we usually wait 'till the end of the month (or beginning of next month) to do the pruning. my mom, who shares the property with us, does most of the pruning though. i enjoy it as well but she's "the master". even though she taught me how to do it when i was quite young, she still has to come out and make sure i'm doing it right. so cute. this bust got overgrown and bushy last year. i cut it back while taking cuttings this year and it has definitely improved. i think after being pruned back this year, it will be even better.
The is our Meyer Lemon bush in our back yard. I took this photo back in November when they weren't really ripe enough to use. Now is the time though. The fruit is a deep yellow and they are perfect for picking.
I made a big batch of Lemon Curd with some of the lemons off the tree for my dad. He lost a lot of weight after being in the hospital and recovering. I decided to make a Lemon Curd Tart. So simple and delicious. it needed a little dressing up, i thought.
I had a box of beautiful strawberries. Raspberries would have been prettier but it still looks nice. I used all the curd that was left after people enjoying it on other things. I'll have to make some more this week. It's so easy.