Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Apricots and memories

Its that time of year again in California when the fruit of summer is ripe and abundant. In our yard we have a treasured Blenheim Apricot tree, weeping Santa Rosa Plum tree, Asian Plum tree, Peach tree, 5-fruit tree (grafted with plum, apricot, peach, ...I can't remember the others), Meyer Lemon tree, strawberries, blueberries, other assorted berry bushes, and grape vines. Lots of fruit!!! My favorites are the Blenheim Apricot, Santa Rosa Plum, Meyer Lemon, and berries. Additionally we have quite a crop of tomatoes and other vegetables.

It has been fun watching our fruit arrive especially on the Blenheim Apricot tree because I have a perfect view of it from my kitchen window. The anticipation that I felt while waiting for the fruit to turn orange - sort of felt like waiting for the holidays to arrive. Then the ripe fruit arrived (apricots and plums) in abundance and my husband and I kept very busy enjoying it and preserving it by canning, and making jams and cobblers.

The apricots bring back fond memories of my growing-up, where my childhood home had a Blenheim Apricot tree in the backyard. The tree was left over from the orchard that existed before our neighborhood was developed. I remember years and years of picking apricots in the summer and helping my Mom with canning, jams, and making cobblers and pies. At the time I didn't appreciate all the apricots and the work associated with them, but I am sure glad now that Mom taught me how to process all of the apricots. I've always loved my Mom's apricot cobblers and pies! I also remember picking up the rotten apricots that fell on the lawn and patio - icky clean-up. You had to pick them up because you didn't want the apricot pits to get in the lawn mower! I sure learned that it was much better to pick the apricots off the tree before they fell.

The Santa Clara Valley used to be full of Apricot orchards and other fruit orchards. In fact the valley earned the nickname the "Valley of Heart's Delight". Very few of the orchards remain as the valley has been taken over with businesses (including high-tech) and residential areas. I feel lucky to have my own Blenheim Apricot tree in my backyard!!

Are you enjoying the fruit of summer?

P.S. I've been away from my blog for a long time, but I hope to start posting images more frequently.  

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Ah so ...... ah shucks!

Friday night .... after a long week at work, I was looking forward to a relaxing evening at home with a great glass of wine. I ventured into my stash for a bottle to open, and picked out a bottle of Petite Sirah. Just as I started to open it with my trusty "Ah so" wine opener there was a surprise snap!  One of the prongs of the cork puller snapped off, leaving both the cork and cork puller still in the bottle. Dang! Frustrated and disappointed, I handed the bottle to my son and he calmly got out the old-fashioned screw-cork-puller. It did the job, but I prefer my "Ah so" and I'll miss it! I guess nothing lasts forever!!

What is your favorite type of wine opener? and have any of your favorite tools bit the dust lately?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

I wish you all a day filled with sweetness. 

I've been away from my blog and my artwork for awhile, and I'm really missing this creative corner of my life. I'm pushing my internal 'restart button' and looking forward making time for some art in my days again.  I've missed you all......!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spring flowers!!

Wishing you sunshine and spring flowers!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Spring is on its way....

At the end of February I wanted to work in my sketchbook, but I was at a loss for what I wanted to do. I didn't want to take on 'too much' so I had an idea. At the time there were 4 more days in the month, so I drew 4 small squares on the same page and made a deal with myself that I only had to fill one square each day. That way I wouldn't feel so overwhelmed either at coming up with ideas or doing all the work to fill a whole page each day. Just one little square...  This is what I came up with for the week...

Was it one of my best pages? No, but it did let me 'dip my toes in the water again' and I had fun. That's what its all about anyway... Happy sketching!!
P.S. Get out and enjoy the arrival of Spring!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Coral Blossoms of the Flowering Quince

A delightful sign of Spring is finding some vibrant coral colored blossoms of a Flowering Quince. My first encounter was while walking on a nearby path in the winter. The vibrant coral blossoms against the barren winter landscape along the path really caught my attention. What a delightful discovery! 

What signs of spring have come along your path?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Another Kitchen Boo-boo

About 30 years ago we bought our first “Microwave”. They were very expensive at the time and there were some health concerns about using them. Anticipating having a family, we thought that the convenience would help us out. Over the years our microwave saw more and more use. 

Probably about 10 years ago the simple handle on the door broke. It was a mechanical button ¾” by ½” that broke off – it just fell to the counter. The rest of the microwave was still functional, but we couldn’t open the door without the button. I waited a few days thinking my husband would fix it. But, then I had an idea…. I went upstairs and came down with a “Bandaid”. I secured the button to the handle with the Bandaid which allowed for the push in/out action. Bingo – it worked and it lasted several years. When the Bandaid finally wore out we replaced it with another. Finally a couple of years ago the motor for the microwave bit the dust and we were forced to buy another. 

Fast forward to last week… with our newer microwave we suddenly had a familiar problem. The larger “button” to open the microwave fell to the counter. This is a much larger button, about 3” to 1.5”. I chuckled when I saw my husband disappear upstairs and return with a couple of Bandaids… This larger button is now held in place by 2 Bandaids. 

Who would have thought Bandaids would be so useful in “home repair”…..    

P.S. The use of "Another..." is a follow-on to my previous post ("Oops") about another kitchen tool. What will it be next?