Succulents, summer, and sunshine wishes….

So, we made it back from Lodi unscathed. Much jam was made and much wedding talk was had as well as time spent with friends and family. I don't think I ever want to pit another cherry ever again...well, at least until next year... For those who don't know, my parents and most of my family lives in Lodi, California. A little farming and winery town in the central valley about 45 min's south of Sacramento. Lodi is a quaint little town and is the town of my youngest childhood memories as we lived there until I was 9 years old. We moved to Oregon in 1990 and I still consider Oregon my true home, but Lodi has many fond memories as well.

Nick and I arrived in Lodi at my mom's friend's house to pick all of the cherries for the jam. I wish I had thought to take pictures of that process as Martha's cherry orchard is truly awesome! But anyway, she also has the most fantastic front and back yards complete with millions of succulents growing all over the place, bay trees, and lemon and other citrus trees. We picked lemons and I collected some bay leaves to take home to dry for cooking and such. Martha also sent me home with my very own collection of succulent plants which I potted the first thing when I got home this afternoon. So excited to have a little succulent garden. They are the perfect plants to grow in Reno's arid high-desert environment. I someday dream of having something like this beautiful Succulent Art from Sunset's April 2010 Issue:

But for now I will have to settle for this little collection on my front porch and inside near the window: One awesome thing that we managed to find this weekend was at a local estate sale. My mom and I stopped at the sale thinking we might find a few mason jars to add to the collection for the wedding. Well, not only did we find a few, but I think we may have found all of the jars we need for the entire wedding! Only in Lodi could you show up at an estate sale, see a box of jars tucked away and ask if there were anymore that you could purchase for your upcoming nuptials only to have the folks running the show tell you that there is a whole shed full in the back and that they will just GIVE them to you free of charge! This would NEVER happen in Reno as canning has had a resurgence here in recent years and Mason Jars are like gold. Anyway, we were so pleasantly surprised as we hauled our 12 or so boxes full of jars home to clean and store for the wedding.

I also cleaned and brought home my Robin's Egg Blue beauty of a sewing machine. So excited to get her set up and start making all kinds of cute new summer clothes! My mom found this machine for me at a garage sale a while back and the owner told her that it had only been used a few times and then stored for years. Crazy! My mom recalls these gems from the 60's and swears that this version was the best machine Singer ever made...what a find! I am so happy to own this little beauty and i'll have to report back on all of its charms. a

That is all for now. Happy Memorial Day everyone...let's hope for sunshine and fun summer days to come...Reno needs all the sun it can get right now!