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If you would like to leave a comment to tell me what you like or if you would like to share an experience you have had, have suggestions for new adventures, or would just like to share what's on your mind, please feel free to do so! I would really, really love to hear any feedback you would care to offer!

When you click on the comments link at the bottom of the post, you will be presented with choices for logins, if you do not already have one of the accounts listed, or you do not choose to login with that account, you can always choose the anonymous option, in which case your name would come up as Anonymous! If you choose to use one of the other log in options, your name would appear as the public name you list for that account. For example, mine would appear as Willow's Quiet Corner, and, of course, your email would not show!

Thanks! And, again, thanks for stopping by! I really hope to hear from you and to see you again soon! Let me know how you think I am doing! :-)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Snow, Lunch and Welcome!

We have snow in our back yards, too!  This is a vintage
photo I took several years ago - since the clouds robbed
me of a good view of them for this post!  Sorry for the
washed out quality!  It was just too faded to get all
the richness of color back in it!  But, I did try!
First of all, I would really like to welcome and thank Rosemary over at The Summer Porch for stopping by for a visit and for following my blog!  I scooted over to take a peak at her "Porch" and just loved her photos and blog and quickly signed up as one of her followers.  It looks like we both started our blogs right about the same time!  I know I am looking forward to having a glass of lemonade or sun tea while spending a little more time on her porch and hope you will take a moment to visit with her also!

Secondly, I would like my dear cuz to see that we, too, have snow here in our back yards.  (She was kind enough to share her snow pics from her little 9 acre farm.)  This is just to the north of us.  See the tops of the mountains?  They are being a tiny bit shy and are trying to hide behind all those clouds.  Go ahead, look a little closer.  Ignore all that green stuff in front.  Just there, right above the clouds.  See them?  You can just barely see the very tippy-tops of the mountains and that they are blanketed in a nice thick layer of white, like a fluffy down comforter to snug them all in.  The snow report for our local mountains says they just got an additional 6" of powder on a 2' base.  Mammoth is showing an additional 2" on a 13' base (and they were all the way down to just a measly 11' base just a couple of days ago!).

Ok, here's another shot.  This time we are looking eastward, towards Idyllwild, hidden by the clouds up there at the top of the mountain (on the other side of these mountains, you will find Palm Springs).  Again, just ignore, and look behind, all that green stuff we have on the ground here (you know, you might remember them - grass and leaves and stuff?  :-).  Ju-u-u-ust above the green and ju-u-u-ust below the clouds.  See? The snow level came down very, very low!  Br-r-r-r-r-r-r!

One last shot.  This one is to the west, above the hills behind my friend's house where the clouds are trying to push their way over the hills at the end of the day.  She lives around Corona, and just a short 45 minute drive beyond these hills you will find my house.  The snow rarely falls on these hills, but they got some yesterday!  I know, it is rough, but somehow we manage to struggle through it!

I took these shots from near my friends house today (Sunday - but by the time I will actually get this posted, this should probably say yesterday!).  We have been trying to get together for lunch for the past few weeks, but things just kept getting in the way.  But, today, we finally were able to make it work.

Conventionally grown in the pinkish wrapper at
the top and the organically grown ones in the
whitish wrapper at the bottom!
I started the day with my weekly trip to the Farmer's Market.  The stand I always buy from seems to consistently have the best berries and I somehow was under the impression they were organically grown, but today after I had already purchased my basket I found out that they are conventionally grown.  So, I gathered up some strawberries we could do a taste test on.  I had just bought the conventionally grown berries, so I also searched out and bought a basket of organically grown berries.  I do not know which varieties they were, and I know that would have more to do with taste differences than organic versus conventionally grown, but . . .  I decided I would have my friend help decide which were actually better.  While they were both very, very good, the organically grown ones were unanimously chosen as the winners.  Unfortunately, they are not always available!  But, as long as they are, those will be the ones I purchase from now on!

Then we had mimosas by her pool, just relaxing, fanning ourselves (oops! what I meant was . . .) being fanned by her pool boys, and soaking up some of that lovely sunshine!  Just kidding, cuz . . . while the sun WAS out, it was actually way-y-y-y-y too cold for that!  We actually had to wear our heavy jackets while we took her sweet pooch for his constitutional before we left for our girls day out.  I think it must have been down in the low 50's, maybe even as low as the high 40's, but to us it felt like it was in the 30's!

Our first stop was the theater.  We went to see 127 Hours.  If you don't know anything about it, it is a movie based on a true story about a guy who goes hiking alone without telling anyone where he is going, and of course, disaster strikes.  He falls into a crevice, miles from anywhere/ anyone and out of site of anyone walking/flying around above, and ends up getting his arm pinned between a rock and the canyon wall and after several days and no hope of being rescued, all his water has been drunk and he begins drinking the only other liquid he has available, which he described as being "No slurpee", he frees himself by breaking the bones in his arm and then cutting his arm off.  This is exactly where being so squeamish can be detrimental to movie-going.  There were, needless to say, parts of the movie I could not watch.  

The movie shows the range of emotions he went through and the thoughts and hallucinations that were running through his mind throughout the ordeal.  He handled it with humor, videotaping messages and his goodbyes to his family and friends, with extreme frustration at times (who wouldn't? ? ?) and grace and a level-headed concentration on not losing it.  It really makes you think about the lengths one would go to stay alive.  Could you drink your own urine?  Could you cut your arm off to survive?  Could you do it without bleeding out?  He is a tough guy and is still out there hiking and even climbing, but apparently, he now always leaves a note as to exactly where he is heading!  It was very good and I am glad we went!  Just don't plan on going out for steak and Bloody Mary's afterwards!

My Australian Violets - just because they are
so cute and I love them, even though they are
desperately trying to take over my ENTIRE yard!
After the movie, we stopped back by her place to take Champ out for another little walk.  He is getting up there in years and has a very difficult time, so she has to take him out fairly frequently.  He is such a sweetheart, he is totally worth it!  But, it also gave us a little breather between the movie and lunch so I could get the movie firmly out of my mind before we headed out for our lunch.  

For everyone else, these may be called violas, but growing
 up, we called them violets, so they will forever be violets to me!
They are one of my favorite flowers because they look so sweet!
We had a nice long, leisurely lunch at Macaroni Grill.  But, since all I had eaten for the day prior to that was the strawberries, I was so-o-o hungry by the time we got to the restaurant, I forgot to snap a pic of our delicious lunches!  :-(  Sorry!  We started out splitting a Caesar Salad and snacking on the freshly baked rosemary bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  For my entree, I had the Fettucini Alfredo with a nice glass of Chateau St. Michelle Riesling.  It was just yummy!  My dear friend had the Pasta Milano and the Riesling also.  She says that is her absolute favorite dish there.  She likes it so much she can't quite make herself try anything else!  I know exactly what she means!  Once I find a favorite, I don't want to take a chance on anything else! 

It is like a little mini-vacation to be able to sit, relax, talk, laugh and catch up on all the events in each other's lives.  Good food, good drink and good company!  A day well spent!

So, back to my regular life, one of the things I am working on is this scarf.  I am trying to teach myself to knit from a book.  It is slow going and I am not nearly as comfortable with knitting needles as I am with a crochet hook, but I am hoping it will get easier as I do more of it!  I still can't tell what exactly constitutes a row by just looking at the work!  How lame is that?  :-)  It seems so much easier to identify and count rows in crochet!

Things I am "reading" are Sophie Kinsella's books: Twenties Girl, Remember Me? The Undomesticated Goddess and Can You Keep a Secret?.  Her books are the perfect antidote to stressful days!  My friend introduced me to her through her Shopaholic series.  Love, love, love them!  I would love to get the entire series on CD!  I absolutely love being read to!  I love books on tape (CD) for that reason!  At lunch, I can pop out my ipod and break out the knitting needles and sink back into my seat to be transported to another world for 45 minutes or so!  And, since Sophie usually gets me laughing out loud, I can go back to work feeling a little more refreshed and a bit more able to get through the second half of the day!  If you haven't read her yet, please do!  You'll be glad you did!  I promise!

If you want to test out whether you would like books on tape, you can listen to Miette's Bedtime Stories online for free.  She reads short stories and has rather an eclectic selection from which to choose.  If you have a favorite author, you can check out the listings she has on the right side of her page to see if she has "read" one of their stories and take a listen.

I am also working on a story for this "Dinner Party" game one of my epals told me about.  (Thanks, John!)  I'll share a bit more of that in a future post.  But, it is something that has held my interest for quite some time.  I have thought about it frequently and I am very anxious to do it up right and would like to share it with you someday!  I'm afraid I am going a bit overboard with it, but that is what is making it so much fun for me!

One of the other things I am working on is painting the inside of my house.  I tackle one room at a time.  This long holiday weekend, I am painting the bathroom.  Why does it always, always, always take so much longer than I think it will?  But, I have to admit, it is turning out to be so totally worth all the hard work!  I am really loving the way everything is beginning to look!  This project is long overdue!  I only have the living room, dining room, laundry area and all the closets to go!  Then I get to start decorating! ! !  Yayyyy!  One of these days, once I have everything done and all back in order, I may try to share some pics, but that is going to be way, way, way down the road yet!  I am sooooo slow!

While doing a little surfing, I happened to run across this article, and it piqued my curiosity, so I googled the Wagon Teamster's blog.  It is a fascinating read and I thought you might enjoy it, so I am sharing the link.

Before I go, since this post is a little short on pics, I thought I'd share a pic of the blossoms on the new peach tree I told you about in one of my previous posts.  Aren't they adorable!  I was surprised to see they have no scent!  At least, not that I can detect!  My mother has the nose of a bloodhound, so she might be able to detect something there, but I sure can't!  My lemon trees and orange tree are another matter.  The lemon trees are loaded with blossoms about to open, any day now!  Soon the air will be perfumed with their scent.  It is so intoxicating, I wish they had scratch and sniff screens so I could share it with you when they do finally open up!  It is so difficult for one pair of lungs to sniff up the whole thing alone!

And a shot of the grape hyacinths that have popped up in the last week or two.  The paperwhites have already come and gone without me documenting their existence this time around, but they'll be back! 

And finally, a shot of the orchid I bought a few weeks ago paired with a maidenhair fern.  I also recently purchased some air plants.  I still haven't decided what to do with them just yet, but will figure out something soon, I'm sure!

So, what are you working on, reading, creating?  Let me know!  See you next time!  TTFN!

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