Thursday, April 30, 2009

Remember this?

video

Would love to know what ever happened to this little girl! She was so full of talent! And wasn't she adorable? If her dimple was any deeper, she'd be inside out!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Honey

I was thinking about my brothers this morning. Actually, one in particular. This is the brother that is closest in age to me.


I've mentioned before that I am the last of five kids, and the only girl. He he he. I'm telling! You are going to be in so much trouble! Yeah, that was me. But hey, they deserved it. Sometime I'll share what tortuous, teasing brothers they were! Hmph!

Anywhoo, when he was barely 20, and we lived quite a ways from him in another state, I started getting letters mentioning this girl, Marcia. I think they went to school together as well. Hers was a family that actually had fun together, got together for picnics on the weekends, and welcomed him with open arms. I was always so happy that he found his "family."

So years go by, they get married, and along comes Nick. So cute, so quiet, and absolutely adored by his parents. Our family is not prone to getting together on any kind of regular basis, but maybe once a year we'd see each other. Sometimes not that often.

Years go by and "all of a sudden" Nick is a teenager. We all had gone out to lunch and were talking, catching up. He turned to his father and said, "Honey, what are you going to have?" HOW CUTE IS THAT? Melted my heart on the spot. My brother and his wife don't call each other by terms of endearment. They are wisecracking, funny people. I guess that's what struck me so about what he said.

I've always been kind of curious about why he called his Dad honey that day, but I'm afraid it would be a joke or something and I prefer the thought of him just saying it because he loved him.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ahhhhh....


I've been in a sad, depressed, ugly, havin' a hard time livin' in my skin, type place over the past few weeks. I couldn't get into doing anything. Just a lump. I couldn't bring myself to do the things I truly enjoy doing even. I'd start and just kind of lose track and drop it. I was stuck. Whatever I did, someone would not be happy. There didn't seem to be any way out of it.

I prayed every day, and tried to turn it over. It was obvious that I wasn't going to be able to figure it out myself.

And then it came to me. The perfect thing that would have something for everybody. I am so thankful. I feel like a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It will still take time, but at least there was an answer!

Prayer works!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Merle


I stopped counting the Kleenex, and let the tears run down my cheeks.

As anyone who has truly loved a dog knows,
it’s always inevitable,
and it’s always worth it.
Truly, a love story.
Not many people, or dogs, have the opportunity to live as these two did. It was a life of absolute respect and consideration for each other.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Just think how many people she made smile throughout the day!

I am one of those people that doesn't give a once over in the mirror before leaving home. Yes, this could happen to me. Although, I am not an owner of happy panties.

Do you suppose anyone told her? I doubt it. She doesn't seem to be worried about it. Was it on purpose?

I remember being in a bus station in San Francisco many years ago, and happened to see a man walking around with TP, yes, toilet paper trailing out behind him...and not on his shoe. Here was a confident business man walking through the center in a suit and everyone snickering at him. Yes, I did go up to him and quietly tell him he was trailing paper and I tore it off. Certainly I didn't want to pull it and perhaps REALLY embarrass both of us!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, long, long ago...


I spent every evening embroidering. I mean for hours! It was just my daughter and me back then, and I'm sure she remembers these nights as well. We'd sit at the dining room table watching tv, well, I'd be sitting at the dining room table, she'd be sprawled out on the carpet in front of the television.

I can't remember how long it took me to complete this...

But it was a long time. It measures 18" X 18". I loved embroidering! I mean "loved" it. It's one of those things, like books and writing, that take you to another place, where you are so engrossed (if it's a good book) that the stresses of life don't have anything to do with you.

I always intended to have it framed so it would stay clean and dry. But back then it would have cost $60 to frame it, and I sure didn't have that kind of money back then.

So the years went by, and I kind of forgot about it. And when I did discover it again, I was so disappointed that, not only was it stained, some of the yarn was actually disintegrating!


So very sad.


The yarn I can probably replace, although it has been so many years since I've done anything that I don't know that I'd be able to figure out how I did it. Ha! But the stains...would I just make it worse by trying to get them out? Any ideas?

For now, I think I'll just hang it on the wall, as is, and try to overlook the ravages of time.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Police: Mom ordered daughters out, drove off
Partner in Manhattan law firm reportedly upset by kids' bickering


WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Usually, it's an empty threat: "If you kids don't stop fighting, I'm going to stop this car right now and leave you here!" But a mother from an upper-crust New York suburb went through with it, ordering her battling 10- and 12-year-old daughters out of her car in White Plains' business district and driving off, police said Tuesday.


Have you ever threatened that? Have your constantly arguing, teasing, picking-on, screaming kids ever pushed you to the very brink???


Mine have. My hand is raised. I admit it. I never did it, however, but boy how I wanted to! I did sometimes stop the car in the middle of the street, and being totally embarrased, they would stop whatever they were doing.


I think more than wanting to dump them out of the car, I wanted to get out. Just take a short walk and take a deep breath. I never did that either.


Absolutely, I understand how this woman was driven to do what she did. But I could never have driven off.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Do you ever feel guilty about getting up and going into another room because "they" feel like they have to follow you?

I'm up and down alot between my office and Hubby's. I try to tell her she can stay right there, all comfy under the table by the window. I'll be right back. But no. She does keep a good eye on me!

Monday, April 20, 2009

MEME

Go ahead, do it!

What is your current obsession?
Absolutely, blogging. Writing my own, and reading those I follow. It’s necessary right now.

Good fika place? (That would be coffee to us non-Swedes)
Oh wait, I am a Swede! And then some.
Gayles Bakery in Capitola, CA. There is plethora of breads, baked goods, cakes, salads, and deli items. The tables are made of broken plate mosaic, and the curtains are vintage table cloths. To go there early on a weekend morning, take a number, and shuffle on to the patio to eat an orange/olallieberry muffin, drink a strong roasted cup of coffee, and feel the ocean breeze on my face is heaven!

Do you nap a lot?
We usually try 4 or 5 times a week, but I usually end up reading. The joys of working at home!

Who was the last person you hugged?
Hubby. I think it’s important to have that physical contact. A quick connect. It’s a reminder that I still choose him.

What’s for dinner?
Salmon crepes from Cuisine at Home. They are so delicious! If you’re interested, I’ll post the recipe!

What are you listening to right now?
The occasional whir of my computer, a sweet bird song from outside, a swish of dog foot on the carpet as she runs in her sleep, but mostly quiet.

What is your favorite weather?
On an ongoing basis, sunny, 85*, slight (and I mean slight here people) breeze. But I also LOVE a good thunderstorm! I enjoy watching the rain pound, and jumping from the crack of close thunder!

What’s on your bedside table?
Lucky for me I cleaned it off recently, before I had to answer this! Ha ha ha... Usually it’s a bottle of water, 2 or 3 books, glasses, lamp, alarm clock, another more decorative clock (I told you I was clock crazy!), and a branch of silk ivy tucked into a little vase that one of my kids made me when they were little.

Say something to the person/s who tagged you.
I wasn't tagged, I saw this on Scriptor’s blog, Rambles from my Chair.

If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be?
I wouldn't necessarily choose this area, but when we moved here, we had a house totally paid for, fully furnished, but what do you suppose we did? Yes. That’s right. Mmmm hmmm. We sold it and bought another house with a mortgage. Brain surgeons we are not!

Favorite vacation spot?
So far? That would be on Kauai, Hawaii. Perfect weather (when we were there), not much in the way of city life, and glorious beaches. Water is all important.

Name the things you can’t live without. .
My family. Dogs (also my family), smiles, books, trees, and a computer.

What were the happiest two years of your life?
When my kids were younger, without the problems that adolescence brings, and a new love with Hubby.

What would you like to get rid of?
Clutter! It makes me crazy. That being said, I have a hard time getting rid of stuff too. You know, I may need it some time.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
I’m thinkin’ to Gayles Bakery. Now that its in my head, I’d love some of the Christie’s Coleslaw with the cashews!!!

What did you want to become as a child?
Stewardess, veterinarian, mother, smart, pretty.

What do you miss?
All three of my kids! Terribly. I miss being able to see them, hug them, and just hang out with them.

What are you reading right now?
Merle’s Door, story of a freethinking dog. I’m really enjoying it right now, but I’m also a little afraid that something bad is going to happen. You know, like in all the Disney movies!

What do you fear the most?
Something happening to one of my kids. I can’t think of anything worse. Truly.

What designer piece of clothing would you most like to own (new or vintage)?
I saw a pair of jeans that had some flowery fabric on the back pocket with one corner of it covered in crochet. Evidently, the designer that makes them comes out with a new pocket every year, so I’d never be able to find that exact one. Besides that…I could never bring myself to spend $75 on a pair of jeans. I should try to make my own fancy pocket! Hmph!

What did you last watch on television?
A documentary movie, Amargosa. It was about Marta Becket, a dancer in New York, who ends up in Death Valley dancing in an abandoned theater to an audience she has painted on the walls. Fascinating.

What do you hope for?
I hope for each of my children to find fulfilling lives.

If you’d like to do the meme, here’s how it works.
1. Answer the questions on your blog, replace one question you dislike with a question of your own invention; add a question of your own.
2. You may tag others or leave it open to anyone who feels like giving it a go. (I love that phrase...give it a go!)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunny Sunday

What a gorgeous day today! As soon as I let the dogs out first thing this morning, I could feel the difference in the temperature. I swear, it was inspiring! And not just for me. Hubby found himself out back much earlier than he normally would.

He was so inspired that he pulled off the old pool cover and began cleaning the pool!!! Of course, it's not heated. It's not like we could jump in or anything, but it was full of leaves and little pieces of the cover that had begun to crack off. No. No before pictures. It'll probably be sometime in June before it's warm enough for me to get in!
That got me all fired up and I actually wanted to clean off the potting bench! Again, no before pictures. I would be wwaaaayyyy too embarrassed for you to see what it looked like!
My roses have begun to bloom! So after I strolled around the yard picking up dog poop, I took some pictures of them.
Since they were cut down to nubs last fall, there have been long stalks shoot up on them that the gale force wind has broken off. I'm frankly surprised that I have any roses at all.
You can't tell from this picture, but this white rose is HUGE!
One more rose, then I won't make you look at them anymore! Well, until some of the others start to bloom. Hehehe.
How nice it would be if we could sit on that clean patio together with a nice glass of wi...I mean, ice tea!

Here's hoping you had a lovely Sunday as well!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

YOUR AGE BY CHOCOLATE MATH

This is pretty neat. DON'T CHEAT BY SCROLLING DOWN FIRST! It takes less than a minute .Work this out as you read. Be sure you don't read the bottom until you've worked it out!

1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to have chocolate (more than once but fewer than 10)

2. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold)

3. Add 5

4. Multiply it by 50 -- I'll wait while you get the calculator

5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1759 .If you haven't, add 1758.

6. Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.You should have a three digit number

The first digit of this was your original number(i.e., how many times you want to have chocolate each week).

The next two numbers are YOUR AGE! (Oh YES, it is!!!!!)THIS IS THE ONLY YEAR (2009) IT WILL EVER WORK, SO SPREAD IT AROUND WHILE IT LASTS.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday High Five

Angela, over at Angela's Adventures and Minor Mishaps, is hosting Friday High Five. Mosey on over and you can link up to join in. It's all about listing 5 things, anything, have fun!

Here's my list of 5 words that I happen to like. I'm not sayin' they are my absolute favorite words, but I like them all the same.


5. ubiquitous yoo-bik-wi-tuh –adjective
existing or being everywhere, esp. at the same time; omnipresent: ubiquitous fog; ubiquitous little ants.
My kids are probably rolling their eyes at this one. I implemented a "word of the day" when they were younger, and they had to come up with a sentence using it by dinner time. So mean! Ha!

4. Diaphanous dahy-af-uh-nuh s
Variously described as meaning "so thin as to transmit light; sheer; transparent or semi- transparent; or filmy and floating".

3.Ethereal i-theer-ee-uh l –adjective
light, airy, or tenuous: an ethereal world created through the poetic imagination.
extremely delicate or refined: ethereal beauty.
heavenly or celestial: gone to his ethereal home.
of or pertaining to the upper regions of space.
Chemistry. pertaining to, containing, or resembling ethyl ether.

2. Veracity vuh-ras-i-tee –noun, plural -ties
habitual observance of truth in speech or statement; truthfulness: He was not noted for his veracity.
conformity to truth or fact; accuracy: to question the veracity of his account.
correctness or accuracy, as of the senses or of a scientific instrument.
something veracious; a truth.

1. Love
a word I use as often as I can, but probably not as often as I should!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dreaming BIG

I saw the picture of Susan Boyle on my internet homepage yesterday, but never clicked on it. It had a catchy title, something like, "47, and never been kissed." Still wasn't enough to pull me in.

This morning, as I was going through the blogs I follow, I noticed on Marion's blog, Meryl's Musings, a link to the video of Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent, singing "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables..

Lyrics:

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high,
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving.

Then I was young and unafraid
When dreams were made and used,
And wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, No wine untasted.

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hopes apart
As they turn your dreams to shame.

And still I dream he'll come to me
And we will live our lives together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms We cannot weather...

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living
So different now from what it seems
Now life has killed
The dream I dreamed.

When she first walked on the stage, her mere appearance caused a bit of skeptisism. But when she opened her mouth, she was judged even more harshly.

And then she opened her heart, and sang. A paradigm shift overtook the crowd . It was palpable. People jumped to their feet, they cheered. This woman had a dream, and she had the ferocity of belief to make it a reality.

When she finished singing, the first judge actually said to her that "when you were standing there with that cheeky grin, and said that you wanted to be like Elaine Paige, everyone was laughing at you. No one is laughing now." The second judge said, "I am so thrilled, because I know that everyone was against you." How very sad is that?

How many of us have huge dreams for ourselves, but because we don't fit someone else's idea of what that dream should be, we never have the guts to put it out there? Fear of someone judging without even knowing?

I love that she went on that stage and sang her heart out, in spite of the eye rolling and the laughter. What an inspiration she is!!! That is who she was meant to be, her God given talent.

It's like that saying...what would you do if you knew you could not fail? Anything! Everything! I do have dreams, but I admit that I have that fear of not being good enough, judged. Or am I too lazy to work hard enough to make it happen? How bad do I want it?

What is your dream? How bad do you want it? Bad enough?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Merle's Door Excerpt




The book, Merle's Door, is the story of a freethinking dog. I'm only about halfway through the book, but I'm finding it charming.

Merle loves music. He seems to especially love radio show theme music. I just had to share this part that made me laugh out loud, as well as choked me up.

But no radio rendition of coyotes, no guitar or banjo music, not even a dozen human voices singing "Happy Birthday" could compare to what became Merle's enduringly favorite piece of music. The first time he heard it he was lying by the Christmas tree. As its opening bars sounded, he threw himself to his feet, eyes stunned with wonder and disbelief. Tossing back his head in the most energetic demonstaration I had yet to see of his musical passion, he caroled along to the "Hallelujah Chorus" of Handel's Messiah, his mouth nearly coming unhinged. He did not stop: "King of kings, and lord of lords." "Yow, yow, yawoooo."

He accompanied every "And he shall reign forever and ever," every "Hallelujah," until the monumental final chords when--voice cracking and tail lashing so hard that I feared it might break off--he looked up at me with an angelic and spent expression, as if to say, That is the most sublime music I have ever heard."

I'm with Merle. Sublime.

I will have to reconsider when Willy is in the south 40 at night, barking, barking, barking at who knows what, and then breaking into a soft soprano howl. Is he singing? Or is he just so upset over the fact that nobody has come out to see what he is barking about, that he tries a new tactic. Willy sings the blues? I don't know. But it always works. We stop what we're doing, and listen, then laugh. Then we go out to see, because it is so darned cute!

The Talking Centipede

A single guy decided life would be more fun if he had a pet. So he went to the pet store and told the owner that he wanted to buy an unusual pet.

After some discussion, he finally bought a talking centipede, (100-legged bug), which came in a little white box touse for his house. He took the box back home, found a good spot for the box, and decided he would start off by taking his new pet to church with him.

So he asked the centipede in the box, "Would you like to go to church with me today? We will have a good time." But there was no answer from his new pet. This bothered him a bit, but he waited a few minutes and then asked again, "How about going to church with me and receive blessings?"

But again, there was no answer from his new friend and pet. So he waited a few minutes more, thinking about the situation. The guy decided to invite the centipede one last time.

This time he put his face up against the centipede's house and shouted, "Hey, in there! Would you like to go to church with me and learn about God?"


........................YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS...


This time, a little voice came out of the box:
"I heard you the first time! I'm putting on my shoes."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Deadlines!


So tomorrow is the deadline to send in income tax returns! We usually don't procrastinate about this. And it isn't because we were necessarily procrastinating this year.


2008 was the first "real" year of the advertising agency business. The only income. Hubby had his recording studio in the house for 20 years, but it was on the side. Throughout the year I knew there was something wrong in the way the computer accounting program was showing income and expenses. I had a couple of different people help me with it, but it never cured the problem.


By October, I took it to my accountant because he thought it was a simple fix. That's what they all said. But no. By January this year I had found someone locally that had been trained by Quickbooks and even she had to take it back to the company itself! She did get it straightened out though.


All last year we didn't really know how much we made. Very frustrating, but it paid the bills and I was just grateful for that!


We're waiting for Fed Ex today to deliver our return from our accountant so we can get it in the mail. I sure don't like waiting until the last minute for anything, and this is no exception.

Monday, April 13, 2009

I Love Lemonade!

Look what Kelly (Septembermom) over at My Voice, My View gave me!



A Lemonade Award!

Thank you so much!

Most of the bloggers I follow already know all about her! We all laugh at the antics of her kids and how she deals with them. Other days she'll share how a song or a poem makes her feel. It's always entertaining, and I appreciate her.

How will I ever manage to just pick SEVEN??? I follow so many blogs because they're all amazing, and talented, and show great attitude & gratitude! I'll try.

So, here are the rules for the Award...

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.

2. Nominate 7 blogs that show great Gratitude and/or Attitude.

3. Be sure to list and link your nominees within your post.

4. Let them know they have received this award by leaving a comment on their blog.

The first person I would like to give this award to is this wonderful woman, at Simply Heather. Talk about someone that shows gratitude every single day. She must know that by her own testimony, she helps so many others. She's an inspiration, and her blog is always a joy to read.

Next, I would like to award Proud Mom at The Life and Times of Lisa. She posts a gratitude journal every day! I just feel more peaceful after I read her blog, and I think to myself, Oh yeah, that makes me happy too!

Then there is the Oh so talented, Kim at Endless Possibilities. She has so much on her plate that she won't even have time to play this game, I'm sure! Dealing with 4, yes folks, four kids and some medical issues surrounding a couple of them. I swear, I don't know how she does it, but she does, and she does it with the greatest attitude! Check out her paintings!

Then, of course, there's Julie, at I Live Here: SF. What I love about her blog is that she will go around taking photographs all over San Francisco; the good, the bad, and the ugly. When you read back through her posts, you'll see that, no matter the circumstances of the people she takes photos of, she has absolute respect for them. That, my friends, is a great attitude!

I have to include Scriptor Senex, over at Rambles from my Chair. So many of us know his as a talented photographer, writer, and a prolific blogger! From all of his comments on other blogs, as well as my own, I believe he is a kind, gentle, and supportive friend. That is a great attitude!

Chelle, at The Value of Cheerfulness, is absolutely in love with her family! We have never communicated, although I have commented on her blog. I think I found her blog on Blogs of Note over a year ago. Not only is her little Annabelle adorable, but I was drawn to her gratitude at being a part of that little family. It's like she is in a state of wonderment at her luck of finding herself in her life.

And last, but definitely not least, is my dear friend Janice, at And Another Thing... She is one of the funniest people I know. Truly. And this funny stuff will come spilling out of her mouth and her face is totally blank. It just makes it that much funnier! She is a soft hearted woman who is everyone's friend. If you are lucky enough to be her friend, you are blessed. Her incredible attitude is one of You can do it! support.

I feel so fortunate to have found these people on these blogs. There are certainly more. Next time!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!

A friend sent me this picture of these cute chickies. It just made me smile.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter!






A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM MST THIS EVENING ABOVE 6000 FEET FOR SNOW.A STORM SYSTEM ENTERING ARIZONA WAS BRINGING VALLEY RAIN AND MOUNTAIN SNOW TO THE AREA THIS MORNING. SNOW LEVELS WILL CONTINUE TO LOWER TO NEAR 5000 FEET BEFORE LIFTING SOME THIS AFTERNOON. AREAS ABOVE 6000 FEET COULD SEE TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 4 TO 8 INCHES BY EARLY THIS EVENING.PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW ARE LIKELY WHICH WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES... AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

Wha...whul....wait...what happened to spring?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Tornado

I am absolutely ignorant about tornadoes. I have no experience with them and have only seen the aftermath on television or online.

I admit that I love the blog The Big Storm Picture! He has incredible photos of these huge, bigger than life storms that I cannot even fathom! And he goes looking for them!

My only experience with a really bad storm was when I lived in the Santa Cruz Mountains in CA. It was the "storm of '82", it did not involve a tornado, but it ended sadly for many people. But that's a story for another day.

The idea of tornadoes freak me out. An earthquake, no problem. Lived with them my whole life. I was in the Loma Prieta earthquake too. Another story. But the idea that a tornado can wipe a town clean of everything is hard to wrap my head around. How frightening for those people! And the fact that you don't have a whole lot of warning. And you can end up across the street in a tree! I'm not trying to be funny here. That is scary! And imagine trying to keep not only yourself safe, but your children!

Here's a question that I have. Living in California we got used to the fact that storm after storm can keep coming through the same area, sometimes for days. I know that these areas in the midwest have storm after storm come through with tornado watches and warnings for far longer than a day. Has it ever happened that a town got hit by a tornado more than once in a season? The same place? I know I'm showing my ignorance here, but I'm wondering if after you go through that, can you at least relax enough to deal with the devastation.?

After the weather tornadoes sweeping through Arkansas, Tennessee, and Oklahoma today, I thought I'd go to my teacher, the internet, and find out about what happened, and tornadoes in particular.


What causes tornadoes?
Thunderstorms develop in warm, moist air in advance of eastward-moving cold fronts. These thunderstorms often produce large hail, strong winds, and tornadoes. Tornadoes in the winter and early spring are often associated with strong, frontal systems that form in the Central States and move east. Occasionally, large outbreaks of tornadoes occur with this type of weather pattern. Several states may be affected by numerous severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.
During the spring in the Central Plains, thunderstorms frequently develop along a "dryline," which separates very warm, moist air to the east from hot, dry air to the west. Tornado-producing thunderstorms may form as the dryline moves east during the afternoon hours.
Along the front range of the Rocky Mountains, in the Texas panhandle, and in the southern High Plains, thunderstorms frequently form as air near the ground flows "upslope" toward higher terrain. If other favorable conditions exist, these thunderstorms can produce tornadoes.
Tornadoes occasionally accompany tropical storms and hurricanes that move over land. Tornadoes are most common to the right and ahead of the path of the storm center as it comes onshore.


Before thunderstorms develop, a change in wind direction and an increase in wind speed with increasing height creates an invisible, horizontal spinning effect in the lower atmosphere.

Rising air within the thunderstorm updraft tilts the rotating air from horizontal to vertical.

An area of rotation, 2-6 miles wide, now extends through much of the storm. Most strong and violent tornadoes form within this area of strong rotation.

My heart goes out to those people who have lost their homes, their belongings, and their sense of peace. You'll be in my prayers tonight.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sumner/Marlatt

Around 30 years ago I happened by an art show being held in a grocery store parking lot in South Lake Tahoe. I love to stop and browse these shows. So much unknown talent out there.

That was when I found my Sumner painting. A very young George Sumner stood there hawking his paintings.



I fell in love with this one on the spot. Well, actually, with quite a few of them. I wasn't even sure this one would fit in my car! I'm still crazy about it to this day. It's a moody picture. I can look at it and see a fresh, misty, new day, full of hope. Or I can see a storm brewing. Angry skies decending on the quiet shore. Or, a storm clearing, leaving radiation fog along the cliffs.


George Sumner went on to be very well known for his environmental paintings. I just remember him as a young, bearded dude who got a kick out of selling his paintings.


In the same parking lot, next to young George was, an equally young, Tom Marlatt. I bought two of his that same day. Call me crazy! Also, I had a very good job at the time. His were smaller but had a bit of moodiness about them as well.



This one is my favorite by him.

I went online recently to see what he'd been up to over the last 30 or so years. Can this be the same artist???

We all change, don't we? The changes in me all these years have probably been equally as drastic! :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

PPP

Today on Pictures, Poetry, and Prose was a beautiful picture by Dan Felstead. The more I looked at it, the more it spoke to me. Do check out his blog, it is full of really wonderful photographs, as well as thoughtful narratives!

Here's my contribution over at PPP:

He set the steaming cup of coffee down on the table, and then went back for the sweet roll. He placed it lovingly next to the coffee and took a seat across from it.
He looked around the little coffee shop that used to bustle with the sounds of talk and laughter, and sometimes held the seriousness of a couple deep in conversation.

Since he’d lost her that day, he hadn’t been able to bring himself to come here. It was all he could do to drag out of bed in the mornings. Two months. Two months of loss and tears, of emptiness, and of a lock on the door of their lives.

He wasn’t sure when he turned the key in that lock this morning if he would be able to stand it. As he walked in, old habits unconsciously kicked in. Mindlessly, he mixed the flour, sugar, fresh fruit, and put it in the oven. As the coffee brewed, he unpacked the satchel he’d brought from home. Those things she loved; her things. Gently he placed them in the window where the light of day could shine on them.

The shop smelled of sweetness, and the deep roast of strong coffee. As he sat across from his offering to her, he thought he just might make it after all. Tomorrow he might even be able to turn the sign to open.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Gardening 101

A couple of years ago, Hubby got his wild hair to plant a vegetable garden...out here in the desert. Uh huh. That's right.
He spent a rather large amount of money on things like a pre-emergent to cut down on the weeds, soil treatments to buff up the dirt, top soil, chicken wire to keep out the critters, ran irrigation tubing out there, and an emmense amount of time to get it prepared and planted.
That was okay because it kept Mr. Type A occupied and excited. That always makes me happy. It did fairly well, but we decided we had too many things planted & they over ran each other. The tomatoes kept splitting, which drove him crazy. Too much water? I don't know. We talked to as many people as we could to try to figure it out.
There are people that live a couple of blocks away that have a "garden tour" every year at the end of the summer because their back yard is so lush and pregnant with all sorts of veggies, trees, and flowers. We actually knocked on their door the next spring so we could pick their brains about what we may have done wrong. It's true, I have no pride!

The next spring, "Mr. A" was more determined than ever! Of course he was. He reworked the garden plot, used wire caging that is meant for pouring concrete pillars, and expecting that the tomato plants would be gargantuan, just like the garden tour people, and planted less in the same space.

I don't have pictures from last year, but the tomatoes did start to get really big, and he was thrilled. Until one morning, we walked out to the garden and the tomato plants were stripped. They were so well camouflaged, we almost didn't see the, the, I don't know what they were! About 5 inches long, exactly the color of the plant, and about an inch around. Disgusting, I tell you! I hear some people eat them. They were almost big enough to rope and ride!
So guess what we're doing this year???

SEVEN BUCKS!!! It comes with everything you need! A hanging pot, seedling tray, two types of seeds, coconut fiber pith as soil, and an instruction booklet that is less than instructional. The coconut fiber comes in a 4" x 2" block, but when you add water, it becomes a bucket full of soil. That was fun.

So we planted the seeds and waited a few days, and look what happened!!!

I'm seein' tomatoes in our future!

So here's the deal. When they get to be about 4 or 5 inches you push the larger tomato roots from the bottom of the pot through the hole in the bottom of the hanging pot, put some soil inside the pot to hold the roots in place, then plant the grape tomatoes in the top of the inside of the pot. We'll see. And he is still busy moving them around from room to room, wherever there is sun! So he's happy, which, in turn, makes me happy.


Hmmm. Let's see. These look alot like salad sprouts, or, or, coconut palm trees! Heeeeyyy!

Monday, April 6, 2009

An Update

Update on Mama Bird:

I've watched her build a brand new nest in the rolled up shade, since a cactus wren pulled the old one out. She's been sitting in there for a couple of weeks. She is a very devoted House Finch. Even during the winter, she slept in there.
It's a bit hard to see her in this picture, but I didn't want to get too close and make her nervous.


Yesterday evening as we were sitting outside, we saw both Mom & Pop land on the shade, and this teeny little head bobbing back and forth while being fed. This will be a hub of activity from here on out through the summer. I think last year she had three batches of babies in there.


And here begins my anxiety. I feel responsible for them, checking on them, worrying about them. I hear it's good luck to have them nest around your house though. :)


This lovely apartment has not been occupied as yet this year.

We've had many babies born in here in years past. I'm not completely sure what the story is this year. Except...

I remember last year, the baby ended up on the patio, healthy, chirping under the potting bench. He spent the night under there with his parents feeding him through the slats on the bottom. The next morning I noticed the baby huddled up against the house, obviously sickly. Who knows what found him under the wood. Could have been anything around here. I sadly watched as mom & dad tried to get the baby to eat, putting their beak into the baby's. He just couldn't. Later that day it was obvious that he was gone. So sad.

I send them so many good wishes, and effort from afar! But sometimes it just doesn't result in that baby growing up. After that I noticed that mom was gone and dad sat on the branch of that house for the rest of the summer, calling her. She never came back. I swear it broke my heart.

This year, I think it is the same male that guards the house, waiting. No new nest. No female checking it out. But he's still on the house everyday.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

New Neighbors...

We were invited next door for coffee and treats this morning by our new neighbors. Evidently, they have owned the house for over 5 years, but have been traveling the country (our dream) in their motorhome.

A week or so ago, we were walking the dogs, noticed that there was gobs of activity next door. Painters mostly, I think. The house had been rented out for years, and needed a good clean up before the owners felt good about leaving the wanderlust behind and moving in. They saw us walking and came out and introduced themselves.

The usual, small chit chat ensued; how'd you end up here, where are you from, that sort of thing. I've mentioned many times that this is a relatively small town. 40,000 people. A mall that most would chuckle at. And almost exactly 1000 miles from where we used to live. Well, how weird is it that they are from the same general area that we lived in CA? And they end up living next door???

They had laid out quite a nice spread of various fresh fruit, orange juice, a heaping helping of doughnuts, and a big pot of coffee. What I really liked about them was how down to earth they seem. No pretense, at all. This could round out to be a lovely neighborhood. (It was before too.)

We shared names of dentists, vets, feed stores, and they shared stories of living on the road. It was great! So, we're gabbin' away and she says, "My dad peddled fruits and vegetables back in the day." So did Hubby's dad. Different cities though.
We continue talking and notice that they have a picture on their wall by the same local artist from CA that we have. Hmmm.
Yak, yak, yak, birthdays...yeah, says Hubby, September. Oh really? Larry's too. When? The 12th. Huh. What year? You have got to be kidding! The same birth day, the same year.

I mean it was weird. What are the odds of that. All in all, maybe not so weird, but to move in right next door?!? Now that's weird! (Insert Twilight Zone music.)

I thought, if there was just one more coincidence I'd have to go home. Too
scary.
All in all, I'm very happy with our new neighbors, and plan to have a happy hour get together in a couple of weeks with our other neighbors to introduce them.

Friday, April 3, 2009

What the???

Does anybody have an idea of what this might be?

It almost looks like it has chambers inside. Maybe something ate it's way out? I have several of them attached to my concrete block wall. It's kind of interesting, but it also kind of gives me the creeps!

I told you this was a strange place!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

A few days ago, before wind, I saw the biggest, most beautiful Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly I've ever seen in my life!

This, of course, is not a picture of the one I saw. It fluttered by so fast that I just could not catch a picture. I thought it was a little early, but obviously not.


The Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus) is a common Swallowtail Butterfly of western North America, frequently seen in urban parks and gardens as well as in rural woodlands and riparian areas.

It is a large, brightly colored and active butterfly, rarely seen at rest; its wingspan is 7 to 10 cm, and its wings are yellow with black stripes, and in addition it has blue and orange spots near its tail. It has the "tails" on the hind wings that are often found in swallowtails.

We have a riparian area that runs through the county here. During the winter, when everything looks dead and barren, you can see the green of the river for miles away, winding through the desert.

The San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (NCA) contains nearly 57,000 acres of public land in Cochise County, Arizona, between the international border and St. David, Arizona. The riparian area, where some 40 miles of the upper San Pedro River meanders, was designated by Congress as a Riparian National Conservation Area on November 18, 1988. The primary purpose for the special designation is to protect and enhance the desert riparian ecosystem, a rare remnant of what was once an extensive network of similar riparian systems throughout the American Southwest. One of the most important riparian areas in the United States, the San Pedro River runs through the Chihuahuan Desert and the Sonoran Desert in southeastern Arizona. The river’s stretch is home to 84 species of mammals, 14 species of fish, 41 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 100 species of breeding birds. It also provides invaluable habitat for 250 species of migrant and wintering birds and contains archaeological sites representing the remains of human occupation from 13,000 years ago.

This is a fascinating place to live. I guess that can be said for most places, but the fact that wildlife thrives, and rivers still flow in this heat, and wild flowers abound in this unforgiving habitat is amazing to me.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Whoooooshhh!


I have been so happy to see spring this year for many reasons. It really is a joyous season for me. What I forget is that spring also brings the winds.
Not just a soft breeze to cool me as I clean out the garden. Not just the romantic picture of a gentle wind fluffing my hair in the sun. No. March and April bring sustained 25-35 mph winds with gusts to 50! There is nothing soft or romantic about that!
Nevermind the fact that I would like to have a hair "doo" once in a while. I am really not into spending much time on my appearance. I get "cleaned up" in the morning, and might even brush my hair a time or two during the day, but that's about it. And truth be told, most people in this area all look just like I do in the grocery store. Windblown. Harrassed by the wind.
I will say that I like to listen to it when I'm all snuggly and warm in the house. And I particularly like to listen to it at night, while lying in bed.
When I was reading the other afternoon, I could hear the wind building over about a 45 second span. It got so strong that I just knew something had to give. It was my marble table outside on the deck. It's now in about 10 pieces and we're trying to figure out what to do with the pieces that are left. Bummer.
I guess what irritates me the most is the constancy of it. It wears at you. I think it's crazy making. If I had to live with this kind of wind year round, you would see me on the 6 o'clock news, and it wouldn't be good news! Ha!

Flora & Fauna

Books I have known & loved

  • Life of Pi
  • A Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Kite Runner
  • The Way the Crow Flies
  • Fall on Your Knees
  • Poisonwood Bible
  • East of Eden
  • Shantaram
  • I Know This Much is True

Illegal Immigration