Saturday, June 3, 2023

Back From Vacation

Why are vacations more work than staying home? LOL. Packing, traveling, (having fun), traveling back, unpacking, loads of laundry. 

Bruce and I attended my Cousins Reunion last week in Colorado, hence no blog post last week. We are a small family, so there were only us 4 cousins and two spouses (my DH Bruce and my cousin Julia’s DH David). Julia and I each have a younger brother (Steve is my brother, Dan is hers) which rounded out the group.

We spent a huge amount of time reminiscing and catching up. We cousins probably bored our spouses to tears with tales from when we were kids growing up in California (Los Angeles/Hollywood, Covina, Thousand Oaks). One afternoon, Julia and I spent at the little local park just walking, then playing on the swings and jungle gym, and talking. 

Julie is 9 years younger than I am. But at age 69 (me) and age 60 (Jules in October), we’re not too old to get out and play! The pictures aren’t the most flattering, but it’s more important to have fun than to pose gracefully, wouldn’t you agree?

And here’s a (mediocre) picture of all of us eating barbecued hamburgers outdoors.

L-R: Cathy, Bruce, Steve, Dan, Julia, David

We’re planning to do this on an annual basis from now on, and next year will be at our place here in Salt Lake City. 

At my Weight Watchers workshop and weigh-in after the trip, I lost 2 pounds to bring me to a total of 50.8 pounds lost. Yay me! I have another 13 pounds to get to goal, which is the top end of my healthy weight range. As for now, I am officially out of the obese category for what that’s worth. Once I get to the healthy weight goal, I plan to knock off another 10-12 pounds beyond that to stay in the middle of the weight range. There is no time frame for the continued weight loss - I’m eating well and enjoying the journey! 


So, you’re going to be greatly disappointed in my (lack of) sewing output over the last couple weeks. 

I did layer up and quilt a big quilt for Cousin Kim, which we’ll photograph once she binds it. And I quilted and bound two more community quilts from Jo Kramer, which are being added to two other donation quilts I finished in May. They’re all headed to the Salt Lake chapter of Quilts for Kids, and I’ll be doing a post to show them off mid-week, so stay tuned.

For the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, I did finish off my Orange May scraps by sewing five Crumb Candy blocks, unfinished size 8.5” each. 

I also finished sewing together my International Sisters top. The backing will be fabric that I bought in Kenya five years ago. For now, here is the finished top, untrimmed.

As usual, it looks a bit wonky because my design board isn’t large enough; the top is half pinned and half hanging where there is nothing to pin it to. The measurements are approximately 54x72”. I plan to baste it this week and begin the quilting.  Currently I’m in the process of sorting my medium- to light-blue scraps for Blue June in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Nothing to show yet on that front.


I do have some more garden pictures to share again. We have so much in bloom now, that I plan to go out, do some cutting and make a couple floral arrangements. 

In the backyard, we have the Chihuly rose blooming simultaneously with an apricot-colored iris. That’s an odd pairing, timing-wise. 

I just planted the white “Sugar Moon” tea rose where I removed an old root-stock rose bush. We have rain forecast for the next several days, but I hope to get the white wrought iron railing painted in the next week or two. It’s a chore I do every third year. 

Here’s a close-up of the apricot iris. We’ve had so much moisture, you can plainly see mushrooms in the ground!

The garden beds are off to a slow start. The don’t get their first weeding until we can differentiate the sprouts from the weeds, so this time in the beds looks a bit wild. The end-of-the-month picture for June, assuming we ever get some summer heat, should show significant progress!

Some fun things from the east flower bed along the driveway:

One of two peonies I have. The other was just planted and has dark pink buds about to open soon.

And here is the rose bush - picked out by my daughter for its unusual color - that I’ve long since forgotten the name of. The blooms are a bit weighted down from the rain.

The new plantings in the front garden beds and pots are loving their lives. I’m hoping that as they grow and fill in over the summer and subsequent years, they cover the mulched ground more fully. 

Yellow foxglove, lilies awaiting bloom time, purple pincushion flower, coneflower and alyssum waiting for warm weather to thrive.

The trellis columns provide support for the delphiniums, the hydrangea really needs to be transplanted to get more sun;  lilies and supertunias awaiting their time to shine, and some blooming Veronica. 

A rose bush just beginning to open its buds and a pincushion flower. Some of the Talavera pots on the walkway are visible.

An iris (standing right in front of the unblooming delphinium in the below picture) is about to open. In June instead of May, as usual! This is the lupine’s second year, and it seems very happy. I looooove lupines! I can’t remember what the green thing on the left is for sure, but I believe it’s goldenrod. 

The Daybreak rose at the corner of the driveway and front walkway is very happy. Can you tell I took advantage of the soft light (in the drizzle) to photograph my flowers? Much easier than fighting with the glare of the bright mid-day sun.

The raindrops on roses make what I call “fairy swimming pools”. It’s one of my Favorite Things, lol. What about you?

The potted snapdragons were picked up from the half-price bin at Lowe’s garden center. I knew they’d flush out again. So pretty! The foreground pot is beginning to grow, too. With a regular water supply from the drip lines (to say nothing of the rain) and the regular fertilizer routine, I expect great things from the pots this year. 

Oh! that tag in the center left of the photo below reminds me that I still have a couple dahlia tubers to plant. 

Another miniature rose, this one in the planter under the living room window. I believe I have twelve roses bushes (climbers, a standard - tree rose, two miniatures, etc etc) altogether. 

Have a great week! I’ll be back on Wednesday to show the latest batch of four community quilts that I finished for Quilts for Kids. 


  1. What a week! I love the Sisters top and all the flowers. Oh, those roses! I am so jealous. Plenty of time for sewing to come. Family first, you know. (ps-- you look great and at least 10 years younger than you said!)

  2. your flowers are all so pretty! raised bed gardening is the way to go isn't it - it makes it so much easier. I think that is wonderful that you are still close to your cousins. I have a lot of brother's and sisters but few cousins and not close to any of them. In fact I haven't seen any of them in years 7 cousins and have not ever met a couple of them, no longer have addresses of all but one and he is the only one I even chat with on facebook. But I have 8 brothers and 3 sisters so I guess that is what matters.

  3. I don't think I have ever seen such full lush rose bushes, and you have such pretty color roses too. I don't have the patience to work with them so I will enjoy yours. I wish I could send our 90s to you and have you ship us some rain.

  4. Oh my goodness, Cathy, your roses are just gorgeous! I really enjoyed all your garden photos. Glad you had fun with your cousins, too. Have a great sewing week!

  5. My husband has a cousins reunion coming up just before July 4th, but there are a LOT of them - over 30 still living, plus spouses. I'm looking forward to it even more than he is. My own cousin group (paternal) did the same last Labor Day weekend. We're all getting older so it's more important than ever. My maternal cousins have never ever ALL been together at the same time which is sad.

  6. Family, quilting and a glorious garden. It is a treat to get a peek into your life. As a fellow WW in maintenance mode for 4 years I applaud your continued efforts.

  7. So pleased your Cousins Reunion went well. You can see the family likeness between you and Julia. Keeping up with family is so important. My cousin has just stayed for a few days which was lovely. Great photos of your beautiful garden. So many blossoming plants, well worth all yours and Bruce’s hard work! Looking forward to seeing your midweek post showing your Jo Kramer quilts. Have a good week.

  8. Ooh, I envy you the roses (especially liked the close-up of Daybreak). I gave up on roses because of the deer, aphids, Japanese Beetles, and black spot. How nice that you and Julia let your inner child out to play. Sounds like it was a successful visit. No rain here since May 20. We've gone from frost to almost 90 and back to the 60's all withing 2 weeks.

  9. Wow! You have a beautiful garden space. We should have been planting perennials all along! I love your reference to Your Favorite Things! 🙂 I loved the picture of you and Julie at the park. So glad you had fun! And also glad to here you will make it an annual event. Family is forever!

  10. What a wonderful catching-up post, Cathy! Great family meetup, good news on the weight loss (you are inspiring me, you know), and the beautiful flower and vegetable gardens. Love your version of the international sisters block.

  11. Yes ! Raindrops on roses.. one of my favorites as well. Thank you soooo much for the trip through fantasy land! love all those blooms and blossoms. So jealous. Its good to see everyone so happy.


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