Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ready, Set, Go...

Hello, I bet you were wondering where I've been lately. This last week has been very difficult indeed and it's no where near over for my dear sweet friend and her family. I appreciate you keeping them in your prayers. I haven't felt much like being online at all.

We have also been busy here at Half Acre preparing for our long trip and Rachael's move to the U.K.  I can't believe we are down to the very last few days. This summer so far has gone incredibly fast and extremely busy. Shopping, packing, cleaning...... to name a few.

Cleaning and prepping for Rachael's Jewelry party took a lot of effort, especially as it has been very hot, 104ºF/40ºC. Not fun cleaning while it's so hot.

The canvas in the back is a print of a collage Rachael created. 

People showed up on a Thursday evening and again on a Sunday afternoon.

All the wire work Rachael does herself.

 It went well although I wish a few more people turned up to support her as she had cut her prices drastically. But so many people were on vacations. Still considering how few showed up she did quite well.
I love all her designs, but she will tell you I'm a little bias. She also helped people who wanted to make their own designs out of all her extra beads and created some pieces for others right on the spot. It always amazes me at her talent and creativity.

I have been busy in the evenings, while Bryn and I have been getting in the mood for our Brit Trip, watching Doc Martin. Who knew it was on Netflix.

One little jacket finished! Remember I started it earlier. All I need now are two cute little buttons.

I also started something else, it's new for me as I've never made anything quite like it before.

It kind of looks like a large potato doesn't it. :) I wonder if you can guess what it might be!
More photo's to come soon. ;)

Sunday we went to the beach, Rachael's last visit for quite some time to a So. Cal beach. We couldn't leave early because Miss Abbey was on the worship team at our church. She was singing and playing guitar. We left right after the 2nd service and got down to Huntington Beach close to 2pm. It was already so busy most of the parking lots were closed. I don't think I've ever seen it quite so busy before. We couldn't get anywhere close to the pier or the town, where the girls like to go to BJ's Restaurant for their Famous Pazookie's, so they were a little disappointed.

BBQing hotdogs and a little sand was on the menu instead.

Rachael's favorite thing to do on the beach! Taking a nap.

Lots of Frisbee action!

 Fun in the Sun!

Finished off with a nice warm fire!

We enjoyed our day at the beach!

Thank you for joining me today. I'm off to iron and pack more suitcases.
See you all soon. xxxx

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fallen Hero.

My dear sweet friend lost her son this week
and two wonderful young men lost their brother.
My heart breaks for this very special family.
Please keep them in your prayers.

 R.I.P. Josh, you will be greatly missed!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Busy Summer

We had a busy weekend as usual, in fact we have spent the last several weekends early in the morning before it gets too hot weeding our newish lawn. It has been hot here this week and temperatures reached 103ºF today. Look below, the lawn is not doing so well except for around the edges. I think it's a combination of the weeds, heat and over watering. There was a little moss in areas and little tiny mushrooms. A sure sign of over watering.

This is one of the many culprits, suffocating our new grass. It starts out so small you can barely pick it up, but if left unattended it can spread to the size of a large dinner plate or larger.

We put more seed down and a sprinkling of soil and although you can't see it, we have a net covering it so the birds can't eat the seed. It's starting to grow again, at least on half the lawn. We shall see what happens. Maybe we will be buying sod in September.

I finished the hat for Miss Rachael! Doesn't it look great on her? Rachael always looks great in hats. Making the hat went quite quickly and I didn't use one full ball of yarn, so I decided to crochet some fingerless gloves for her..... I found the pattern here by way of Pinterest. Don't you love that site?

Although I wasn't prepared for how many gloves I was about to make!!! I think I made about three   pairs by the time I was happy with how they looked. Luckily the pattern was very easy and I probably could have made them in my sleep by the time I was finished. The first one I was pleased with but it's partner was too big and my tension was too loose. So I started on my 3rd glove.... I liked that one, but the colors didn't look right.... Number 1 glove was too grey when Number 2 glove was more green..... So both got ripped out and made all over again, mixing the colors up a little. Not the best thing I've ever crocheted but Rachael was happy with them and they will keep her warm and toasty come winter.

Remember the other yarn that I showed you a couple of days ago??  Well I started to crochet something with it..... It's going to be a gift for a little person at home (aka Wales)! Yes we still refer to Wales as home.

Can you guess what it might be?? It looked kinda strange to me when it said shape! Usually I knit things like this!!! All will be revealed soon.

So yesterday morning I had an early start, Miss Abbey had to be at an orientation for college at 7am. Which meant I had to get up at 5:30am. I let the dog out and she went crazy nuts, barking and growling at something out front. When I finally gave up trying to call her back so she wouldn't wake the neighbors, and was now awake enough to think to look out of the front window....Imagine my surprise, we had just be TP'd (Toilet Papered)! (It was new to me 20 years ago. It's something teenagers do when at a sleepover. Usually to friends.) Toilet paper was everywhere, in the trees, bushes, lawn porch chairs and mailbox.... I was not impressed at 5:30 in the morning. I had a full agenda of cleaning that needed to get done. But luckily it didn't take me long to pull the TP down while I waited for Abbey to be ready, when I was more awake I finally saw the funny side of it. I forgot to take photo's of it though to show you!

In the midst of my cleaning frenzy Miss Rachael decided to start her painting. Our church asked her to paint six canvas's that was 36ins x 36ins last October and she did a wonderful job. So they asked her to do four more. By the time the canvas's arrived there is just 3 weeks left before her big move.  These canvas's are 24ins x 48ins and she has another two that are 48ins x 60ins. I'm not sure how she's going to finish them all in time. But she's certainly working on it.

The above pic is of Rachael in action! (I had to sneak this pic when she wasn't looking!) I love watching her paint, seeing it all come together slowly. When I saw her sketch in pencil, I never imagined it looking like this!

Still not finished but it's defiantly taking shape. Jenny came over to help her paint some of the fill in colors. She said it's Rachael's version of paint by numbers. I will post pictures when she has finished them all. I did manage to get a lot of cleaning done and a lot of laundry despite the paint studio being in my kitchen area. More light Mom, she tells me.

Miss Abbey has returned this evening from her over night orientation at college, tired but excited to start college life. I still can't believe my baby is ready for college. 

Twenty One more days till Rachael moves to Wales and our month long vacation. 
I have very mixed feelings!! Excited for our vacation, and excited that Rachael will be starting a new life, but sad that we won't get to see her very often. It's going to be hard to fly home without her.
Time to start putting stuff aside and start thinking about packing. 

Rachael's Jewelry party will be this Thursday night and Sunday afternoon. Did I mention my creative daughter makes jewelry too. I will post photo's soon.

Hope you are all having a blessed week.

Liebster Blog Award

What a surprise I had when I checked my email yesterday morning and found out that I had been nominated for this award. Thanks to my lovely friend from Greece Sexta Feira for nominating me! I feel very honored to have been chosen along with Eternity of Dream and At Home with Sofia

But it also left me a little puzzled until I looked at The Blooming Times who gave the award to Sexta Feira in the first place. From what I understand looking at this blog is that  I now have the privilege  to choose 3 blogs that I follow and pass this award on.

My choices are....
1.   Attic 24

Lucy at Attic 24 where I got started and who inspired me in the blogging world.
Kimberly at Camp and Cottage Living for offering me tips and advice on how to get started. 
Patty at Lemon Lane Cottage for giving me advice on plants for my Half Acre.

Wish I could have chosen more people for this award as so many of you gave me little tidbits of advice in the last couple of weeks.

Congratulations to all of us and a huge thanks to Sexta Feira!

I hope you are all having a wonderful week and able to enjoy some sunshine wherever you are.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Little Late

Our Forth of July....A Little Late, but here it is as promised 
for my new found friend in Greece sexta-feira
I've been a little under the weather the last two days with a headache. But feeling much better today. :D

Our Flag flying proud on the front porch.
My girls have always wanted to fly the Welsh flag too, but I thought we might get kicked out of the country haha, or at very least get our house egged especially on Independence Day.

Food being prepped. Steak a little well done, but still tasty, hot dogs, and salami to go with the dogs.
Miss Hayley, preparing the deviled eggs.

A yummy potato dish prepared by Mrs Jenny and a vegetable dish, requested by Miss Rachael,  (I cooked it the other night for a vegetarian friend who just had a baby,
 and Rachael thought it was delish).
I can't find the recipe card now, but it was a two large potatoes sliced, 2 zucchinis sliced and a large steak tomato sliced, layer potatoes, zucchinis, and tomato and sprinkle a mixture of dried onion soup and parmesan cheese in between each layer of veggies. Cook on 375ºF for 40 minutes, then cover and cook for another 10 minutes until veggies are cooked though. Voila!

Deviled eggs all finished. They didn't stay on the plate for very long. :D

Home Made Ice Cream prepared by my Son in Law, Scott. That was delicious too, with malt balls crushed and added into the ice-cream.

A beautiful center piece for the patio table.

This year we decided for the first time to sit up on the roof to watch the fireworks. Above are two of the girls spreading blankets and beach towels to sit on.
Last year we went to our local baseball field, but didn't see very much as we were sitting under the overhead cover. Plus fighting the crowds....

Our roof top view of the city. It's kind of a bleary picture,  I couldn't find the 
night time thingy on my camera.

The kids sitting on the lower part of the roof eating the delicious ice-cream.

We saw some fireworks in the distance, in two different directions, 
but I think the best part for the kids was sitting up on the roof. 

Well I hope you enjoyed a peek into Half Acre's 4th of July festivities.
I'm off  to join my hubby who is pulling weeds in our new lawn, that isn't doing too well. 
But more on that another day.
Happy Saturday everyone.

Blessings, from Half Acre!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sunday Culture

Sunday we visited The Getty Center, it sits on a hilltop in the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles. It offers spectacular views of Los Angeles's landscape—the Pacific Ocean (on a clear day), the San Gabriel Mountains, and the vast city spread out below. Apparently architect Richard Meier designed the complex to 
highlight both nature and culture. (an excerpt from their website)

The buildings are built with Italian Travertine which was imported 
all the way from Italy. 

The inner courtyard is beautiful. 

There are all kinds of art work and some very famous artists. 
The exhibitions change all the time.
Miss Rachael wanted to take one last look.

They don't exaggerate, the views are spectacular! 

I thought this was Downtown Los Angeles, but that was further in the distance again, 
the above view is Culver City.

Bryn with two of his girls. Rachael and Abbey.
We met up with Hayley afterwards for dinner.

Sculpture is all around the museum.

The 405 freeway stretches out before us.

My Favorite place below.... The gardens. It makes me smile just looking at it.

Eventually after touring around all the exhibit halls, it was my turn.....
I was so excited, it's been quite a few years since we have visited. 
The girls sat on the grass lawns while Bryn and I wandered around the gardens.

The top of the waterfall into the pond below..... 

There is such a beautiful contrast between the harshness of the wall where the waterfall pours down and the formal hedge maze in the center to the softness of the cottage like gardens on either side, 

with the towering architecture in the background.

The structure that contains the beautiful bougainvilleas is made out of builders re-bar.  

I loved this little purple flower.... anyone know it's name?

This trumpet plant, (not sure of it's name) was talking to me....... 
my husband the puppet master. LOL!
It looks so pretty, but Rachael thinks it's poisonous. 

I just did a search online and it is called Brugmansia-angel’s-trumpets
and Rachael is right it is very poisonous.
It's a shame, because I thought of putting it in my garden. 

Such pretty Black Eyed Susan's.

I love the color on these beautiful bright red roses.

Beautiful white Clematis.

Another trumpet flower tree from the same family. 

Little blue-ish/purple-ish daisies. 

We sat afterwards in the shade of the bougainvillea tree sculptures for a rest before heading up to the bookstore and meeting Miss Hayley for dinner in Santa Monica.

I hope you are having a great week. Celebrating July 4th tomorrow. We will be BBQing. 
Happy Independence Day to all my American Visitors.