A Monday Ramble ~ 18 March 2013

Just a few rambles for this March Monday ~ 18 March 2013

I decided to finish my Denyse Schmidt quilt I started a month ago. Started out with a pile of charms I received from a Denyse Schmidt Charm Swap and with a few cuts from my own stash I went from this:

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To a 60″x72″ quilt top ready to be sandwiched, quilted and bound.

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But first I must wait to spring my new machine out of layaway prison (should anyone have any money burning a hole in their pocket…she’s sitting at Windy Moon Quilts! 😉 ).

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Last week on Facebook I saw this MEYER LEMON LOAF recipe on Mennonite Girls Can Cook.

Oh My Word! It’s very tasty! My husband and I have almost polished off one loaf…I stuck the other on in the freezer.

My loaf isn’t as pretty as theirs…the pan I used was a bit bigger than what they suggested. Use the smaller loaf pan, it’ll look bigger. LOL!

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Over the weekend we went to SWAN LAKE, in Lemmon Valley, to see if we could spy any birds. I walked along the Marsh boardwalk, but it was sorta of disappointing. Besides the sparrows and finches…we saw Mallards, Northern Harriers and Canada Geese. That’s it. I’ve been there before when there were quite a few swans and other water fowl.

Canada Geese

Canada Geese

Such a pretty birdie.

Such a pretty birdie.

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

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Headed up to Frenchman’s Lake too…we like the little day area below the dam.

Creek below Frenchman's Lake.

Creek below Frenchman’s Lake.

Slushy ice behind the dam.

Slushy ice behind the dam.

Older guy fishing.  Looked like everyone was pulling out some fish that day.

Older guy fishing. Looked like everyone was pulling out some fish that day.

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For Today ~ 14 March 2013 ~ Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY … 14 March 2013

Outside My Window… High grey clouds, birds on an empty bird feeder, huge (10′ high 30′ wide) pile of mulch.

I am thinking… a certain vindictive family member really needs to reflect on who it is that actually has the anger problem.

I am thankful for… once again and always…my friend April.

From the kitchen… I steamed artichokes last night…not really sure what I’ll make tonight.

I am wearing… Jeans, tennies, olive green cotton shirt.

I am creating… I have all 30 blocks of my Denyse Schmidt quilt finished and 20 of them are sewn together (top four rows). I have two more rows to add before the quilt top is complete.

Top four rows all sewn together...have 10 more blocks to sew together into rows.

Top four rows all sewn together…have 10 more blocks to sew together into rows.

I am going… dig through a few more of my craft books and put them up onto ebay.

I am reading… All Roads Lead to Austen: A Year-long Journey with Jane by Amy Smith…still reading this. Up to chapter nine now…am enjoying this read.

I am hoping… that the neighbor who left on Monday morning comes home soon. He left his alarm on so it comes on EVERY MORNING at 3am and doesn’t go off until 4:15am.

I am hearing… the traffic outside. Train going by.

Around the house… the trees are starting to bud out. We set a record high yesterday (77F).

One of my favorite things… Pretty fabric. New music. Old books. Good friends.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… Keep on quilting. St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Here is a picture thought I’d share with you…

Truckee River in the McCarran Ranch Preserve.

Truckee River in the McCarran Ranch Preserve.

The McCarran Ranch Preserve ~ Nature Conservancy in Nevada with slideshow

Last Saturday we drove a few miles east of Reno/Sparks to the Patrick Exit on 80 to the trailhead of the McCarran Ranch Preserve. I saw online that the trail was now open to the public!

The McCarran Ranch was homesteaded in 1862 and encompassed approximately 2600 acres in the Truckee River canyon east of Sparks. Many, many years ago the Corp of Engineers straightened the river out…luckily for us, The Nature Conservancy has been rectifying that. In 2002 they created wetlands and riffles and started revegetation and invasive weed control on 20 acres. In 2006 they added another 100 acres. Last year they opened up a stretch of the river to the public between Lockwood and 102 Ranch (USA Parkway Exit).

A third of the way through our walk we came upon a bunch of people working on a wetlands project near the river…planting willows and grading the slopes. Met Martin, Volunteer Coordinator for the Nature Conversancy in Nevada, he said the volunteers were from Truckee Meadows Community College’s Natural Resources class. After crossing a bridge to the north side of the river we met up with Martin again at the Ranch House’s amphitheater where he fed us lunch, gave us extra water and lots of information on the project! They couldn’t have picked a better person for that job! Thanks, Martin!

We continued east on the north side of the river where we crossed the train trestle where I prayed I wouldn’t end up like a flatten penny on the tracks…but the fishermen where doing it, so I ran across the plank way. I’d probably loop back the way I came the next time I’m there…which will be as soon as the trees start leafing…and in the fall when they start to change colors. 🙂

Birds spotted on our walk besides the sparrows and finches were Kingfisher, Bald Eagle, swallows.

I took lots of pictures so I put them into a slideshow. Hopefully it plays for you…and with the music too (which, if you hear it, is The Roan Inish Theme from the movie Secret of Roan Inish).

LINK TO SLIDESHOW ~ ncn_mccarran

The Nature Conservancy of Nevada ~ River Fork Ranch

Wanting to escape Sparks for the day, I picked out Minden/Gardnerville for our drive destination last Saturday. The plan was to have a picnic at Genoa (Mormon Station State Park) and antiquing in Minden/Gardnerville. Heading south on 395 we always turn off at Jack’s Valley Road for the scenic route to Genoa. We got there a little too early for lunch so we headed into town for the antique shops…that’s when I spied a trail head! I asked if we could stop there for a walk and eat our lunch there.

It ended up being The Nature Conservancy’s River Fork Ranch land! Had no clue it was there.

River Fork Ranch trails.

River Fork Ranch trails.

“In 2000, the Conservancy secured the long-term protection of key wetland, meadow and riparian habitats along a two-mile section of the Carson River by purchasing the River Fork Ranch.

Located at the confluence of the east and west forks of the Carson River near Genoa, NV, River Fork Ranch is both a nature preserve and a working cattle operation. The ranch’s 805-acre patchwork of pastures, meadows and wetlands have supported cattle for more than a century and are one of the only known nesting sites for sandhill cranes in the Carson Valley.”

We parked at the ranch house/Whit Hall Interpretive Center and started walking south along the West Fork trail then back-tracked to the East Brockliss loop trail to head back to the car. Would love to go back once the snow melt-off starts! We only saw a few ducks, meadowlarks, and some sparrows while there…I imagine once April/May rolls around it will be teeming with birds! I especially would love to see the sandhill cranes.

Just a few pictures of the area…

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For Today ~ 4 March 2013 ~ Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY … 04 March 2013

Outside My Window… Blue sky…not a cloud up there (at least facing north). Sparrows and finches on the bird feeder. People going to work.

I am thinking… Why can’t it be nice and sunny for the weekends?

I am thankful for… For not being sick this winter…hopefully I didn’t jinx myself for spring.

From the kitchen… I made a Buffalo Chicken pizza last night (chicken, Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce, gorgonzola cheese, celery and green onions). Tonight I’ll probably bbq some chicken and have a salad with it.

I am wearing… Jeans, tennies, grey long-sleeve blouse.

I am creating… I have three quilts I’m working on. I’ve been hand-sewing hexies for a week, but had to take a break for a few days as my wrists are killing me. I have 31 flowers finished now.

Batik Grandma's Flower Garden

Batik Grandma’s Flower Garden

Yesterday while it was raining I was working on a quilt with my Denyse Schmidt fabrics. I have 12 finished blocks and 8 more blocks 3/4 way finished.

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((Had a question on that mug…we bought it when we stayed at the Featherbed Railroad Bed & Breakfast that I blogged about HERE.))

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I am going… resize some pictures I took on Saturday down in Genoa area for tomorrow’s post.

I am reading… All Roads Lead to Austen: A Year-long Journey with Jane by Amy Smith.

I am hoping… That the coming snow stays up in the mountains…and that we’ll have a nice weekend.

I am hearing… Someone walking really really loudly out in the hallway.

Around the house… The condo is cleaned. Kitchen was cleaned, floors vacuumed, laundry washed and put away, clean sheets on the bed…CLEAN!

One of my favorite things… Hearing it rain while falling asleep.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… Keep on quilting. Hopefully pick out a movie that my husband and I both want to see…we still have movie passes.

Here is a picture thought I’d share with you…

Mule deer in Genoa front yard.

Mule deer in Genoa front yard.

Tree blossoming out at the Mormon Station State Park in Genoa.

Tree blossoming out at the Mormon Station State Park in Genoa.

Kitty pin cushion that I bought for $3.75 at a Minden/Gardnerville antique shop.

Kitty pin cushion that I bought for $3.75 at a Minden/Gardnerville antique shop.