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Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I was surprised to hear the forecast of a freeze this week. It is even earlier than last year's unusual snowfall in early December. I hope this isn't an indicator of the Winter yet to come.

We did take precautions to protect the citrus and avocado trees. It's a stretch the say that we put our Christmas lights up early, but it does add a festive air to the yard.
The view out the window this morning was filled with frost. The zinnias were edged with sparkly crystals. The thyme and sage also made an impressive showing. Even the little succulents had a light coating.

Today's goal: stay warm

2010 Mandarin Crop

This is our complete harvest for this year (minus 3 that we already ate). It is a decent improvement over the 13 we had last year. We were hoping to leave them on the trees to fully ripen, but we are having a freeze over the next couple of days, so I picked them all yesterday afternoon. This morning, here is what I saw when I woke up:

Apparently, even the green ones were tasty.

Monday, November 15, 2010

My First Sampler Quilt

First, I need to start out with a little history. My husband gave me a sewing machine for Christmas in 2006. I had never used one before, so I started out slowly with a simple patchwork rag quilt. Over the course of that first year I made a total of 5 quilts:

In 2008, I made another baby quilt and a few other small projects. We moved to Loomis this year, so sewing took a backseat to other activities.

In 2009, I did not make any quilts. Being the first full year in our new home, I spent a lot of time on other projects.

At some point over the course of this 3 year period, I came across this sampler quilt. It was for Debbie Mumm's 20th Anniversary. I had bought and cut all the fabric, but had only managed to assemble three of the blocks. This summer, I decided to pull it out and finish it. Here is the finished product:

Each block is 12.5 inches with the log cabin style strips bordering two sides of each block. Here are close-ups of a couple of blocks. I tried some freehand machine quilting as you can see on the left borders.

Overall, I am very pleased with this quilt. It is the most challenging I have completed thus far and I was able to learn some new techniques. I am already planning my next one!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

More trees

My dear husband has officially become a tree-aholic. Over the last month he has purchased the following trees (granted some were to replace ones that didn't make it through last winter):

5 Olive
2 Asian pear
2 Peach
2 Cherry
1 Fig
1 Pomegranate

These combined with the original orchard and Mandarin grove, brings our total tree count to nearly 50 since we moved here in August 2008. I am glad we like fruit.
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