Wednesday, April 28, 2010

When life hands you lemons...

Make lemonade!

My two not-so-little buddies,
Aiden and Ashton came to visit on Sunday

I always look forward to visits from my grand-nephews

They came ready to be farmers!
All dressed up in their overalls,
Aiden immediately said,
"Aunt Dittie, we have our farmer clothes on
so we can work in the garden!"

How cute is that!?

So I put them to work with shovels,
and they did a pretty gosh-darned good job
digging the weeds along the edge of the garden.

After that, the treat!


They filled every available pocket the the golden jewels
from our Lemon trees

They squeezed them all
and had a refreshing drink after all that hard work!

Ahhh.... the life of a farmer!


Then there were my big boys!
Nothing warms my heart so much as watching
the comradery of the group of best buds
that my boys went to high school with!
A handsome group of great young men,
I'm very proud of them all.
The friends are all like our own kids,
so when they all come home to visit
I'm in heaven!

They are all out of college and into their careers now,
but when they're home, they become boys again,
and all we do is eat, gab and laugh!
There are 12 of them in all,
(only half of them here...)
They still get together for each of their
birthdays, graduations, and any other big event.
I suspect this will continue until brides and babies come along! LOL
But even after that, I know the boys will be friends for life.

Love you boys!

Spring is in full swing for me,
and I'm swamped with it all
so if I haven't gotten around to all your blogs
quite as often...
you'll know why for now,
but as soon as the season turns into
the lazy hazy days of summer,
things will slow down a bit and I'll visit more often.

Until then,
make every moment of life count,
and have a great day~

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New Baby & a Surprise

We're back from our new baby's birth
He's such a sweet little doll
(what else could a grandmother say?)

I don't know how our son and DIL got so lucky,
but they now have a second very good baby...

He sleeps well
...has no tummy aches
is so calm and observant,
He just looks around,
checking out his new world.
He's a sweetie!

His big sister looooves her new baby brother!
I think Max is a lucky little guy
to have such a loving sister.

She brings diapers to momma

...and listens to his heartbeat!

Notice the dirty mouth?
Every now and then she gets to have M&M's

She teaches Nami how to listen too! (:

What fun!


And a most lovely surprise came in the mail today!
all the way from my dear friend Dzintra
over at Queen of the Armchair

I love the Koala on the envelope!

...and inside...
these gorgeous Handmade-by-Anna gifts!!!

Thank you Dzintra!
~You have the perfect touch~
I love them!


And next up...
planting in the garden,
care-taking of 8 new baby chicks
(who will join Hana and Putt-Putt
when they get big enough!)

The first two are big girls now,
and stay out in their new chicken coop.

Wishing all of you a lovely spring
or fall (Australia) day~

Monday, April 12, 2010

Rain Rain Sew Sew

Its been a rainy 2 days

I don't know what got into me ...

But, since its been rainy for two days...
I've been SO restless.

And everyone in the family knows
that I have a strange sort of "lack-of-sun-disease"
in spring and summer

If the sun is gone for more than ...
oh say...

24 hours...

I start to get a little neurotic

Anyway, I have soooo many things that need "doing" out in the garden. Way too many to be waiting for the rain to stop!

For one thing - hubby had to leave on a business trip this week ... before getting the ramp done for the chickens to get in and out of their new coop. I have to leave them this week to go for the birth of our second grandchild ... and I immediately realized that this leaves an extra job for me to do ... before I leave too.

I've done plenty of fix-it jobs around the house, and I'm not afraid of most machinery (in general) ... but running a chop saw is just one of the things I don't feel super confident about... but something about that large loud saw makes me a bit nervous.

I'm pondering the issue.
Maybe a handsaw...

So it was raining raining...
and I have lots to do...

but still,
as I'm putting some things away in the closet,
I got the wild hair-brained desire to sew!

and voila!
...there on the shelf
sits all my unfinished sewing projects...

The one that caught my eye was
all cut out and waiting to be sewn up

It had been cut out for...

...hold onto your chair now...

8 years!

Does it get any worse than that?
(and that's not the longest waiting project I have...
but we won't go there)!

So there it sits... a garden dress!
Its a pattern that I drew up for myself years ago...
(because nothing I bought was just right for working in the garden)

...back then I had pulled out my garden journal,
and put my creativity cap on

...and doodled
until I drew out something I thought would work better in the garden.

You know...
something with BIG pockets
(to hold all sorts of doo-dads I need while working)

...something sleeveless
so I could wear my choice of long-sleeved,
or even tank-top blouse underneath,
(depending on the weather)

...something plain-ish
because I get dirty in the garden,
(and don't want to worry about messing it up)

...but kinda cute-ish too

...something that looks great
in either plain or patterned fabric.

I used butcher paper to draw out the pattern.
I fudged a little by using a McCalls pattern for the full skirt part.
(to make sure I got the measurements right)
but the rest was a free-for-all, and then

Ta Da!
A garden dress pattern was born!

I sewed one up with muslin,
just to get all the kinks out of the pattern,
and finally came up with a dress I loved.

Over the years I've sewn up numerous dresses
that I've worked in,
used up,
and tossed into the rag pile.

But I needed a new one for this year...

so there it sat...
...waiting for ME!

and besides that...
a few weeks ago I had found
a lovely little embroidered table runner
at the flea market.

I thought of it immediately...
and realized that the colors go well together
(I'll show you in a minute, but first I sewed up the dress)

It took all of about an hour

But now I have a dilemma
and a few questions...

to throw out there into the wild open spaces of blogland.

The ends of this table runner have lovely
hand embroidered hearts, butterflies and ribbons

...which would go great on the big wide pockets of the dress!


Would it be practical?


Would it be TOO CUTESY
for (shall we say) an "older" woman?

I mean,
it would look great on Dottie Angel
the cute Miss Merrick over at Apple A Day

...but know what I mean?

The completed dress

The dress with the table running hanging above

and with the table runner hanging from a pocket

So tell me what you think?
Be honest...

and thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, April 8, 2010


Its been a totally crazy couple of weeks around here!

How's it been for you?
I've missed reading around my favorite blogs,
and haven't had a moment to myself

On Easter Sunday my nephew brought his precious
family over to hunt for any surprises the Easter Bunny
might have left, have dinner and spent a little family time.

I love when they come over,
because that means my two favorite little buddies,
Aiden and Ashton come to play!
They are just the cat's meow to their Aunt Dittie!
(that's me... Aiden named me that
when he couldn't pronounce my name)

Here's Aiden
He's turning into such a big boy...
I'm kinda sad about that
He's 4 years old
And here's Ashton
Isn't he a doll?
And his little personality is just like his face!
Joyful and always smiling
He's 2 years old

We always have a great time,
and now they are joined by a baby sister,
Autumn Dawn.
She's just as precious as the boys!

Isn't she just a Cutie Patootie!?
Those chubby cheeks are irresistible
As you can see!

She gets lots of kisses...
and she deserves them too!

How could anyone resist those chubby little cheeks!?


And in the chicken world
Hana and Putt-putt are turning into big chickies
Hubby has been racing to get their coop finished...
we leave soon for the birth of our second grandchild,
and the girls must be safe while we're gone...
(or I'll worry myself silly... which wouldn't be a good thing)

Out in the garden...
things are growing beautifully,
but more slowly this year.
We've had a very cool and wet late winter/early spring.
It has slowed things down a bit

~The apple trees are in full bloom~

~I can't wait to put the onions into food~


~Sugar Pod Peas~

~Tomatoes will be ripe for eating by May~

And this is my latest experiment
I saw these hanging tomato pots a the garden nursery
They intrigued me, and I just had to get one.
You plant the tomato down at the bottom of the hanging pot,
and water it from the top.
Its called the Topsy Turvy Tomato grower
We'll see if I get tomatoes that look like the ones in the pictures!

Next to go into the ground will be,

Aubergine (Eggplant)
Zucchini Squash
Green Beans
... and much more

Our gorgeous California State Flower,
the California Poppy

This time of year there are fields of them
I love their cheery faces,
and mow around them on the property

Its evening now,
and as the sun sets over the Monterey Bay
I think of everything that's precious in my life...


A roof over our heads
food on the table

...and being lucky enough to sit in front of the Big Blue
out there on the western horizon each day.

During the hectic days,
its important to take time
to count the blessings in life;
to live in the moment
and to not take anything for granted.

~Thanks for stopping by dear friends~