Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Wine Cellar

In these difficult economic times we find ourselves in, we are all looking to cut back on our spending and looking for good deals. This 2007 Gaetano D' Aquino Pinto Grigio Delle Venezie is one of those great deals. Available at Trader Joe's for just $3.99 this wine imported from Italy is light gold in color with a full, dry flavour and pleasingly bitter aftertaste. It's perfect served with hors d'oeurves and fish dishes and forms an excellent accompaniment for soups and white meats. It's just plain good drinking wine as well. Serve chilled, opening the bottle just before serving.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dinner With Sarah

Sarah flew into Sacramento late this afternoon on a business trip and we were able to get together for dinner. We choose the casualness of Brew It Up! which is near her hotel to catch up with one another. It was great to see her as always but the time together too short.

The sunset on the drive home,. I snapped this just a few blocks from the house.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mind-Body Sisterhood

Tonight the Mind-Body Sisterhood got together for dinner to catch up with one another at The Sheepherders Inn. Simply, we shared ourselves in a small class a few years ago that bond us together in a very special way. We do not get together often enough as we say each time we are together. Our goal is to get together once a month.

From the left front that's Karen, me, Ginger and Julie.

In case there is any confusion: Karen, Ginger, Me, Julie
Our waiter tonight Matt, was terrific. He not only served us, helped us, gave us space and entertained us but he also became our photographer. These are truly wonderful women and I know we are all blessed to have one another in our lives.

Okay Julie this picture is for you. You know why. :-) Love you ladies!

One of My Favorite Days of the Year

I love the spring day that David gets the fountains cleaned fromt he winter months, filled with water and running. I can hear the sound form the fountain on the patio in my kitchen and family room which I love. In the hot months the ound of the water makes it seems cooler somehow as well.

I am not the onlyone who was happy to have the fountains going again.
This big fat Robin was in the water minutes after the fountain was filled and running.

He was having such a great time and he was so much fun to watch.

He was having a bath of a lifetime it seems!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Garden Related Afternoon with Theresa and Shawn

Theresa and I made a trip out to Capitol Nursery yesterday to look for a few more tomato plants and fruit trees. We kept saying we were going to have someone take a picture of us out there together but we never did. We had a lot of fun deciding on what to add to the garden next. We ended up buying 4 more tomato plants, and she bought a Washington Navel Orange and I bought a Clementine Mandarin both for the shared garden at her house. Afterwards we went to OSH where she picked up wire cages for the tomato and Japanese cucumber plants and I bought David a new watering wand. We had 4 chages at our house to add to the mix.

The raised bed above is filled with seeds. There are a total of 4 rasied beds this size.

Above are Orange, yellow and green bell peppers and Japanese Cucumbers.

Some of the rose bushes that were in their yard when they purchased the house. They all have turned out to be gorgeous roses.

A springtime surprise in their garden; Iris popped up.
Hula tuckered out and trying to stay cool on the hot day.

Theresa planting Italian gourmet radish seeds.

Shawn had just finished mowing the back and weed whacking the edges.

Shawn is planting one of my very favorite tomatoes, Purple Cherokee. I can;t wait to bite into one of these!

Theresa is in the back there planting lettuce seeds: Iceberg, Romaine and Loose Leaf. Shawn is continuing to plant tomato and squash plants.

Here is Shawn planting the spaghetti squash. I love this stuff topped with marinara sauce.

I learned a lot of tips from Shawn on the proper way to plant tomatoes to get the best root growth.

One of the radish seed packets. We also planted Crimson Giants. Other seeds that went into the ground are 1/2 long narrow carrots and Danvers half long carrots, and green onions.

Theresa and Shawn cutting the tubing to add to the drip system. It doesn't look like it from the pictures but I did help Shawn with this. When you are the photographer you usually do not end up in any pictures!
Running the drippers out to the newly planted veggies.

The last thing the three of us did was put the cages in the ground around the tomatoes and Japanese cuc's. David and I had 4 at home that he ran over there after I returned home. It was a fun-filled afternoon. Here is a list of other things in our garden: Tomatoes: Cherokee Purple, Pineapple, Beefmaster, Green Grape, Black Prince, Paul Robeson, Big Rainbow, Black Krim, Black Russian, Golden Jubilees, Pearson, Watermelon Beefsteak and San Marzano Roma. Moat of our tomatoes are Heirloom. Other things I have not mentioned yet: 2 watermelon plants; one regular and one Sugar Baby, 1 zucchini plant and 2 poblano chile plants.

When I am there next I will snap pictures of the citrus trees Theresa and I bought and the other fruit trees they have in the garden that were there when they bought the house. As far as we all can tell there are nectarines, apricots, pears, plums and I believe peaches. I also noticed another citrus but until it bears fruit we will not know what it is. It does not have thorns.

Views From the Front Yard

The front yard is coming to life as well now that spring has sprung. Below is a miniature rose that didn't grow at all last year. It really took off this year. There are still 2 others planted next to this one that are almost as small as when I planted them.

Asiatic lilies that my dear friend Donna gave me for my birthday quite a few years ago. Each spring the bulbs come up and bloom again, always reminding me of our long-standing friendship.

The coral climbing rose is doing well again this spring.

The bird bath and stone benches under the oak tree in front of the house.
We planted this long row of yellow carpet roses a few years ago. They are finally starting to grow together in the long hedge of rose bushes we had hoped for.

Front side of the yard.
The rosemary, bushes and crape myrtle tree were planted by the builders. I would like to remove the bushes and plant more crawling rosemary so it becomes one patch of rosemary in that area of the front.

Some of the azaleas growing in the flower bed in front of the porch. It's hard to get things to grow in this area because of the very old oak tree that is in the front.

Another azalea. Donna also sent me one of these. The front garden is filled with reminders of my friend.

and one more......

Garden Happenings at Home

Thursday we ran errands and one stop was at Capitol Nursery to get more tomato and veggie plants for our shared garden at Theresa and Shawn's house. Of course we had to look at other plants too, though refrained form buying any which was hard.

Does anyone know what tree this is below? It's blossoms are like paper. I couldn't find the name of it anywhere on the pot and it is the only one in the nursery.

Here's what we picked up: In tomatoes we got Paul Robeson a Russian Heirloom, Black Prince, Big Rainbow which the tomatoes are huge growing up to 2 lbs each, and Super Marzano Roma's. We also got zucchini, spaghetti squash and butternut squash plants. In seeds: Italian Gourmet Blend Radishes and Sparkler Radishes.
Yesterday morning the weather was gorgeous starting a trend of temps in the 80's and 90's for a while, so David got in the yard and started spring clean-up type things. Read: Weeding and Pruning.

He did most of the work, though I did help him weed a bit and haul trimmings to the green waste can. The sage had grown out-of-control crazy.

Hauling off Potato Bush trimmings.

The lilac-like climber on the arch had grown so thick you could not walk under it. David pruned it back into shape.

David's garden pal.

Following are snapshots of flowers blooming I took while wandering through the garden.