Saturday, July 28, 2007


Our friend John has a 10K run (I have been corrected: its TEN MILES not a 10K - sorry!) coming up next week so he asked us for a place to run. I thought yesterday's hike would have sufficed but noooooooo. So, up to the Red Dog canal we went. He ran. We walked. Omar did both including pestering anyone who came by. Thankfully, as a small dog people just look at him and go "Awwww! He's so cute!" and he says, "No, I am Fierce! Grrrrrrr!!!".

A lot of the canal is shady and some parts are hot and dry. The canal delivers non-potable water for irrigation etc. (though people do drink it). The canals were originally built to deliver water to the mines.

Afterward the menfolk went to the North Star Mine to ogle Pelton Wheels and I headed to Fabrics on Mill street because it was Sidewalk Sale Time!

Friday, July 27, 2007


My friend John (from Boston, smart, funny, employed and single!) is visiting us for the weekend. We took him hiking. We headed up Hwy 20 just before you join up with Hwy 80 and turned off on the road to Bowman Lake. We picked a hiking/camping area a few miles south of Bowman and after a fair amount of jostling along on a dirt road we hit the trailhead. The trail passes lake after lake (I can't remember all their names at the moment but "Carr" was one of them. This one had tadpoles swimming near the edge.

This one had small critters - frogs or fish underneath the greenery that would jump if you made a sudden move.

This one was just pretty. We could have gone on for a very long time and not run out of lakes but we were day hiking. My injured toe held up but was very happy to stop. At our turn around point we flopped down and took a little rest. I looked up to see Omar dozing off with John meditating in the background. I went down to the lake edge (3 feet away) and found a most wondrous sight. Hundreds of beautiful blue dragonflies hovering over the water laying their eggs. Some were resting on reeds out in the water just an inch or so from the water so the blue of their bodies were reflected on the water's surface. It wouldn't photograph worth a damn so it will be one of those precious internal memories. It really was incredible.
On the way home Omar took a snooze.

I knit on the way out and on the way back on the right front of Pebbles. I so love this yarn that I went and bought the last three skeins from Sundara. I will find a use for them. Perhaps a shell top.

My English cucumbers are coming ripe in fit and starts so I am making bread and butter pickles in very small batches. I just realized that I forgot to photograph the two 5 gallon carboys of plum wine that is brewing away. I spent hours chopping 25 lbs of very small plums. Both my thumbs have multiple cuts despite being taped.


A hyssop that I started from seed last year. I think it is called "Apricot Sprite".

Volunteer Cosmos.

Begonias in a hanging basket. A basket (there are actually two) which only grows begonias that are orange and sometimes the occasional red. I've tried other colors but orange is it.

I love having a banana tree. Childhood memories of Panama. It was a magical place for a child.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

HARRY Sat. afternoon brought Harry and I settled down into the couch for the duration. With minimal breaks and takeout pizza for dinner I finished at 2:55 am. No spoiler here. Suffice to say it was a whopping good read and an excellent finish to the series.

The yarn I ordered for my mitered squares came in. I was very strong and did not buy anything else. Having an under exercised dog on a leash helped a lot.

I continue canning. Yesterday I found plums just going to waste in a parking lot in Nevada City. I bagged up five pounds and made jam. I tossed in some orange peel and...well, YUM! I've also made peach-apple chutney which drove me mad for a while since the jars would not seal. I finally reprocessed using new lids. I think the decorative ones that came with the jars were sub par. The arrow points to the way cool scale that The Enabler gave me as a Christmas present a couple of Christmases back. I use it a lot. Next up: plums for wine.

This is Bailey with his mom. Bailey was the inspiration for my getting Omar. Black and white pooches are adorable. They spent their morning horseback riding and then house cleaning. They were ready to give it a rest.

Yesterday I bought a new keyring fob. Opie is modeling it for me. I also managed to whack my little toe on the end of the couch. It's Big. It's Purple. See Earin limp. Earin has company coming on Thursday who expects to go on long hikes. See Earin heal Fast.

Friday, July 20, 2007


It's a slow news day here at Chez Earin's. How slow you may ask? Look up. Yes, that is a shredded roll of toilet paper courtesy of our red headed cat, Otis. It's about the best I can do at the moment. Despite being fixed Some.Time.Ago he runs rampant over the household. It's not unusual to see Ollie running by and Opie dashing off in another direction any time a red streak appears. The little Terrorist weighs in around 10 lbs and the Brothers O each weigh in the range of 16 and 17 lbs. It's all a matter of personality I guess.

Otis also has a love of tp rolls (and yarn when he can get it) and knows how to open the bathroom cupboard to get at them. It is time for me to find another safer storage spot. It's like a deranged hamster hyped up on caffeine has been hanging out in my bathroom.

I've tried two dishes from the 5 spices, 50 dishes. One had substitutions so it isn't really fair. Both recipes show promise but I did some amount of fiddling to bring them closer to my desired tastes. Still, I am pleased. I also noticed that I dropped a few pounds. I think it is because there is very little fat and dairy in the recipes. I was strong and did not add bread of any kind to our dinners (and you know how good Indian bread is). How I suffer.

Pebbles is going very slowly. I seem incapable of knitting 3 rows of garter stitch then two rows of moss stitch THEN more moss stitches but increasing in select places. The "select places" elude me. Perhaps I should stop multi-tasking and PayAttention. Drats.

A parcel of yarn and pattern arrived in the mail (Along with some yummy honey from my friend Kate as a late birthday prezzie. I will not be proud. The honey will be put in a special place - Just For Me). The parcel is also a prezzie so it is Top Secret for now.

I am trying to get my podcast out but keep segueing off to other projects. Hopefully, it will be "in the can" by tomorrow.


Big. Bright. Golden. Sunflower.

Three roses. The red one on the left has an amazing smell. I am happy to say that all 9 transplanted bushes have survived and are making new buds.

Another sunflower. Different but still big, bright and beautiful.
Now the wait for Harry.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Hubby and his friend Eric took off for a few days to visit Burney Falls and see the back roads of Northern CA. I stayed home and tended to the home fires. The peaches are coming ripe so I made jam. Lots of jam. Pretty tasty stuff too. Otis is intrigued by part of the haul.

I have been knitting on Pebbles. The left front seems...odd. The drawing on the pattern shows a one-sided "V" - the front opening angles out and the side seam stays straight. This is not what I am getting. I have cast on the right front to see how that looks and then will make a decision whether or not to frog.

Sunset magazine had a little piece about this book. I love Indian food but am not proficient in cooking it. Toss in that I love garbanzo beans (which are on the cover) and I went for it. I will try a recipe tonight using some of my garden produce - a zuke and some French pole beans. I've liked what I've read so far but as a vegetarian I would have preferred much fewer meat dishes and a whole lot more veggie recipes.

5 spices, 50 dishes by Ruta Kahate.

Friday, July 13, 2007


I saw this lovely little book mentioned in Threads. On the rare occasions that I buy a piece of clothing and it 1) suits me and 2) fits like a dream I want to make it up over and over. This books tells you how. The current issue of Threads is about how to work with vintage patterns and I am eager to practice making keyhole pockets. As Suzy The Enabler said: "When did everything become so standardized? Harrumph!" Well said.

Lene, over at her blog, The Seated View, has a fun quiz to take about how well you would survive an attack by zombies. I scored a nice 63% which just goes to show you that at any sign of trouble I'm willing to off my loved ones. I would have scored higher if we had a gun in the house but sorry, no can do. We have a crossbow but that wasn't on the quiz. Go check it out. It's a hoot. Do you have enough canned goods?


A tree fern in the late afternoon light.

Ollie, looking amazingly color coordinated with our front door. He has such a dense pelt that he suffers so from the heat. This is a cat built for snow. Even his paws are huge and furry.

A daylily I have no memory of planting. Have a safe and fun weekend!

Thursday, July 12, 2007


We recently had some excitement at Chez Earin with the discovery of a rattlesnake by the pool (which is very near the cat door). I prefer to leave critters alone but this one did not wander off so I killed it. It turned out to have recently swallowed a rat (which is a good thing and don't ask me how I know) and was far too big in the middle to slide under anything. I did take photos and they are too graphic.

Something much prettier is the back of Pebbles which is nearing completion. It's been an easy knit but oddly I keep getting off by six. Six rows past where I should have started the armhole decreases, six rows past where I should have changed the number of decreases. I am even more in love with the color and the yarn. It just feels so good.

I recently had a birthday and well, wow. Suzy, The Enabler gave me one of her handmade bead rope necklaces. She puts each and every bead on by hand. The photos do not do it justice. The colors are so vibrant and lively.

My friend John, who lives in Boston gave me several books. Two were of knitting. (Score!) He's a very nice guy, 40, very smart and single. This description hardly does him justice. Single. Hint, hint. Anyone in the Boston area read my blog?

Hubby gave me an iPod knockoff which I have been lusting over for a very long time. Valerie gave me yarn from New Zealand made of merino and possum fur (photos in my last blog entry). What can I say? I was third out of six and I love it when it's my birthday.
Then there were the emails, phone calls, lunch with a girlfriend, a freebie massage, dinner out (I still feel full) and going to see the latest Harry Potter movie. It's a very good but dark.

My friend Kate recently made a very cool bag (crocheted) and has decided to do another. A look-see of her stash showed some deficiencies so I am trading her some handspun and dyed wool that I bought quite a few years ago in Marlboro, MA at the Farmers Market. I was there for the Marlboro Morris Ale. Bells, hankies and beer. Dem were the good old days.

Lady Bird Johnson died on my birthday. She was a woman I greatly admired for her love of wildflowers and the environment. While I was reading her obituary in the New York Times on-line there was a huge photo/ad of Madonna to the side. Now Madonna is someone I've never admired. I consider her to be well marketed but low on the actual talent end of the scale. It seemed such an odd contrast to me: not only because they are such dissimilar women but just what women are now taught to aim for these days. I also wonder when women started to make such an effort to look "preserved". They certainly don't look young. I am not against fighting against time to a degree but really folks. Looking like a wax model of yourself doesn't seem appealing to me. Now Helen Mirren...what a face.

Small orange zinnias. I just planted seeds for some large ones today. I need more colors so I've started up some Carmine, Lilac, and Scarlet.
Omar was chewing a bone this morning and I liked the way it looked. Toss in a little Photoshop and...

Last year I admired some agastache plants in my friend Lynda's garden. I thought the dead flowers might be too fresh for the seeds to be viable but I was wrong.

My Fourth of July climbing rose is putting out another round of flowers. See the bee on the bottom right?

Friday, July 06, 2007


Four skeins of Naturally Merino & Fur from New Zealand. 70% Merino and 30% New Zealand possum fur, a surprise gift from my cyberbuddy, Valerie. Valerie, you are Too.Much!! I had no idea that anyone anywhere did things with possums but apparently (at least according to a quick Google search) there is a whole industry "down there" involving possums which are considered, despite being incredibly cute, pests. Many, many thanks to Valerie for taking the time during her visit to Australia to pick me up something amazing and unusual. She even included a pattern for a plaited wrap.

I braved the heat today and made a quick trip to the fabric store where two people assured me that the very bright orange fabric in the back of this photograph went well with my new capri's. I want to make a summer blouse and put some of the fabric from the pants on the edges. The Enabler gave me a heads up that Hot Patterns was having a sale on their very cool sewing patterns and I immediatly bought four. Now I am pacing back and forth in front of the mailbox waiting for them to arrive.
I am making good headway with my Rowan pattern which is called "Pebbles" probably because it's done in a moss stitch which gives it a pebbly texture. The front will have cables going up the edges. I love the yellow worsted weight yarn from Sundara. I find myself stroking it and gazing at it with affection. Veddy.Nice.Stuff. So far the pattern makes perfect sense. I'm on a roll here - cinnamon to be exact.

Otis continues to be thinner than I like but he's full of spunk. Just ask Opie who never gets a break from being pestered. He wouldn't come in last night (we bring everyone in before dark so they don't become coyote food) but he insisted on staying out. He was at the door this morning looking tired and a bit hungry. An uneasy night along with the 101F heat and he was zoned for the whole day.


I get a lot of mileage out of this vase. I bought two of them (similar but not identical) when I visited Queensland many years ago.

My garden is rather "anti-formal". It's more towards the "jungle" side of things. I spent four of my childhood years in Panama which seems to have marked my tastes.

We continue to bake in 100F+ heat. The heat is very dry thankfully but we all are exhausted from it. Just a couple more months...

Powered by Blogger