Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ohio Bound...

(Written last night on an airplane... But not posted until, well... Now....)

Today begins a week of vacation/family reunion in Ohio... A trip that requires 8 hours in the air (ok, some of that is a layover), and I am currently hurtling above the earth at an alarming speed somewhere between Nashville and Columbus.

(Which makes it sound as if I have a fear of flying, but I don't... I just like the idea of hurtling through the air at an alarming speed.)

But, what really prompted me to blog from 30,000 feet is this story.

On the first leg of this journey - the almost 4 hour flight- I pulled out my thread and crochet hook, thinking that I might as well make some pebble sweaters. Although, I was not so silly as to bring a pile of pebbles with me, mind you. Seemed a little bit much, although the thought DID occur to me.

So... I'm working on a pebble sweater, and Flight Attendant Julie stopped by with a, "Ooh! That's pretty! What are you making? A doily?"

I'm sure I blushed bright red, because it sure felt like it, as I was trying to figure out just how to phrase my reply so that I didn't sound like Miss Havisham or someone equally certifiable. I think I did say something like, "Well... I... ummm... I make little sweaters for pebbles, then I leave them on the beach for people to find..."

At which point she called over Andrew, Flight Attendant #2, and thus I was compelled to launch into a full-blown explanation.

Julie is looking at me, smiling, half amused, half unsure if what I'm saying is true, so I fish into my bag and pull out one of business cards (no, TWO cards, because by this point, Andrew wants one, too). She is properly impressed.

Andrew (who seems also to be duly impressed) says, "That's so Random!" in a very nice and lovely way, and, well, it IS, isn't it?

Julie hints that, Gee! She sure would like to find a pebble like that! To which I sadly note that I didn't bring any pebbles with me... that I'm just making the crochet bits... and she giggles and tosses a bag of peanuts onto my tray and jokingly suggests I try making a sweater for that tiny bag of peanuts.

It was a little too floppy... Not impossible, of course, but not the best of subjects.

But it DID give me an idea.

I glanced at my water cup... And, YES! The crochet bit that I was working on JUST FIT the rim of the "glass"...

So I summon Andrew when her back was turned and asked him to bring me a clean cup, and told him that I was going to crochet a cover for it. I'm not sure he believed me. He doesn't know me like you guys do.

But I'm glad it was such a long flight, because I was able to finish the weirdest thing I've crocheted to date.

And Julie couldn't believe that I'd done it. I do believe she said she loved it, in fact. And she was ever so sweet about it.

Kind of sad to put that much work into a plastic airlines cup.

Or not.

Not if it made someone happy.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The World According to Pia

Photo by Pia from The World According To Pia

Last night, as I was performing my evening ritual of catching up on my favorite blogs, I was stunned and amazed to see one of my absolute favoritest blogs ever blogging about MOI!


The backstory on this is that I found the darling Miss Pia by chance, when she was featured on "Blogs of Note" awhile back. I don't always check those out, but I'm so glad I did in this case... I immediately fell in love with her photo essays about life in Sweden, her little "loaf dog", an obsession for the types of shoes I wish I had more of, all things baked and delectable, a penchant for castles and meadows and other assorted bits of loveliness.

In short, the one blog I look forward to reading every evening, even if only a picture of the loaf dog sunning in the backyard or a photo of whatever adorable pair of shoes she wore today.

A few weeks ago, she had a sweet little giveaway, and somehow or other, my name was pulled. As a little thank you, I sent a few pebbles her way.

Well. Gee. Didn't expect such a gorgeous write up about it, but here it is.

The World According to Pia- it's a pretty sweet ol' world after all, and it just gets smaller and smaller by the minute. I love that.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cardiff State Beach - Seaside

There was a birthday party.  At the Beach.  And friends.  Old friends and New friends.  And a really nice afternoon.  Not to mention crazy-tired kids eating several bowls of oatmeal after quick showers and before falling into bed.

And, of course, there were pebbles.  5 of them today. 

If YOU found one, please sign the guestbook and tell us about it... we'd love to hear from you!

The day in pictures.....


Left on the bank, just before the tide pools...

Like SO... disappeared pretty quickly.  Did YOU find it???

Black... also left near the tide pools...

And also gone pretty quickly.  Did YOU pick it up
I must apologize to the finder of this one... It got caught on
my camera strap and I think one of the stitches
broke - which will likely lead to an unraveling.  Boo.


He was hidden for quite some time...

But found!  If YOU found it, please sign the guestbook!


Doesn't he look nice right there on the beach?

Hope he didn't get washed away....

And a Yellow one!  Also left on the beach...

... and I think picked up.  Sign her in and tell us what you thought!

OH... and there should be new pebbles in my shop soon, for those of you who like these odd little creations but don't live near enough to my beaches to find one for yourself! 

Psssst... the one's in the shop are a little nicer... and the one's I've just finished and haven't yet listed are nicer still.  I'm just sayin'. 

Until next time, my friends...


Friday, June 17, 2011

Overflowing Bowls

So, we've talked about "The Nest" before - more than once, I'm sure. 

Last night, a dear, dear friend came for dinner - I had been watching her daughter while she endured the most horrendous thing I can think of.


F*&%#ing Chemo.  Yeah.  I know.

BUT!  She came for dinner and to hear how her daughter had fared during her three days away, a day that entailed not only the last day of school for said daughter, but also a pizza party and a Mexican Fiesta at her after-school program.  It was a quite a wild couple of days for a 7-year old.  And we aren't even talking about the two-day sleepover at MY house with MY kids.  That was entertainment in and of itself.  Oh, boy.

She came to dinner!  I got to FEED her (the sort of thing that makes my Italian heart positively SING), and I got to see her for more than 5 minutes, which is about the extent of how long I've seen her since the Big F*&%#ing "C" reared it's Ugly, Foul head at her AGAIN (That's right.  I said AGAIN.  See why I'm SWEARING????).

So she came.  And we talked and we talked and we talked.  We did NOT, however mention the horrible-ness.  No.  We did NOT.  She and her husband (who is also lovely, by the way) stayed for three whole hours... that's THREE WHOLE HOURS that I got to bask in her beautiful sunshine self, albeit a little clouded at the moment, but STILL.  I could SEE it.

She's the one I wrote this song about.  Listen.  It's lovely.  As she is.


-Grilled Tilapia brushed with melted butter, parsley and lemon.
-Fresh Green Beans from my Wee Garden (and a few Yellow Wax Beans) with Garlic and Olive Oil
-a simple Cucumber Salad (also from the Wee Garden) with Pineapple Vinegar, Celery Seed and  Tomatoes
-toasted Bruschetta with Olive Oil, Pecorino Cheese and fresh basil and tomatoes
-Cut Apples (Suffice to say there is a least ONE simple, cut up apple at every meal I serve.  It just IS that way.  It's probably my mother's fault.)
-Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream with some Sprouts Market brand Vanilla Wafers.  Because I just ran out of steam...

And my friend.


OH WAIT.  I forgot what I was writing about....

So, my friend came last night, and I cleaned up the NEST.  That's why.

In doing so, I realized that oh, heavens, yes, I need to take some photos and get those pebbles posted on my etsy shop, because they are seriously about to overflow the bowl.... see for yourself.  I'm thinking of grouping them and selling them as sets of 3 or 5...

What do you think?

Look!  It's (sorta) CLEAN!

I really need  prettier bowl... or two... Although they would have to
be UBER special to complete with those lil' baby faces behind them...

I've moved from double crochet stitched to half-double crochet on this batch.
They are much more elegant and all-around nicer-looking than what I've been offering.
Takes longer.  Will cost more.  But so worth it. 
Probably won't be putting any of these on the beach, though...



Ummm.... So I opened the paper the morning, and staring me smack in the face on the front page was the headline, "THE PLAN FOR MORE SAND".

Innocuous little headline for most, but for ME... and my pebbles... GAH!

In a nutshell, there's a city-wide effort to dredge up sand from a few donor sites off the coast which they will then deposit on area beaches that have eroded over the years (read:  Beaches currently covered in pebbles.  Pebbles I NEED). 

Here's the actual article from the San Diego Union Tribune.

They seek to do this a.) because we're a tourist county, and tourists need wide, sandy beaches (and some of us locals kinda like a bit of sand, too), and b.) because it DOES help to provide a bit of a buffer between the ocean and the land during a storm.  That ain't nothin' when you're building restaurants half an inch from the shore line (aHEM).

While I AM quite environmentalist about such things, and am loathe to mess with the plans of mother nature, in this instance, that's not really where my issues are... in fact, I'm pretty comfortable with how they've crossed their t's and dotted their i's on this one.  They will be protecting the weirld Grunion fish that spawn on local beaches by NOT dredging and depositing during their spawning season (see, after the Grunion eggs are laid on the beach, they hatch and the Grunion make a spectacular RUN for the tide... it's awesome and entertaining and a pretty wacky spectator sport.  Check this out).

So MY problem, is of course, concerning a potential lack of pebbles following the re-sanding.  Or not?  I have no idea. 

I'm trying to imagine calling City Hall to find out and how that conversation might go....

ME:  "Hi.  My name is Julianna and I have a few concerns about the planned dredging and redepositing of sand on our beaches?"
UNDERPAID RECEPTIONIST: Yes?  To whom may I direct your concern?
ME:  I haven't a clue... I have a sort of weird "found art" project going, in which I create crocheted sweaters for beach pebbles....
UR: CLICK!  dialtone...

I think I might have to rent a truck and maybe a small storage unit.

Yeah.  My husband is going to LOVE that.....  Oh, geez....


Friday, June 10, 2011

North Ponto Beach... Again... :)

Just a few pebbles left on the beach today... A lacy white one that I placed pretty close to where we were sitting, and that mysteriously moved while I wasn't looking... Someone had picked it up, and then left it on the way back up the slope, here:

And so, this is where I left it. If you found it, make sure to log it into the guest book! A close up:

The other one today, was a red peace pebble...

And where I left it....

A bit of a gloomy day, but lovely, with a pod of dolphins close to shore, my little girl dancing in the waves as the hit the shore and my little boy collecting sand crabs.

Hope you found one, and if you did, sign the guestbook and tell us what you thought!

Have a lovely afternoon...


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Oh! I LOVE these!

Have been wanting to make some Peace Pebbles for awhile, and FINALLY figured it out!  Yay ME!  I've put the first three in my etsy shop, because...well... share the joy, right?  :)


Friday, June 3, 2011

Wee Garden Update...

I'm conducting an experiment.... just HOW HIGH will a lettuce grow?  :)
No-- actually, I'm just letting them go to seed, and then I'll plant it again. 
Gotta love the continual growing season in Southern California!

And, of course, while I DID think to add supports for the tomatoes, I didn't get to the tying
them to it in time, and they're a little bit out of control.  But, as yet, no tomatoes are hitting
the ground, so I think we'll be fine. 

The Butterfly garden is filling in... The purple Buddlea is flowering and the
lavendar had some honey bee vistors this morning (they were a little camera shy).

Lisanthus in bloom.  So nice.  A little more shocking pink than I generally
go for, but what they hey... it's for the hummers and the butterflies. 

Lion's Tail about to bloom.... I can't WAIT to see it! 

How's YOUR Garden progressing this year?  Hmmmm?  :)