Followers

Monday, July 31, 2006

Mmmmm

In case you thought this was going to be about something yummy....its just the next letter in wordplay!! If you want to know more about it or would like to play along, just click the link above or the "wordplay" button on the right side of my blog and you can learn all the details.

And I goofed up by posting my "N" words before I posted my "M" words!! I wrote this list and saved it, but forgot that I hadn't posted it. I really thought I did but I went back through my archives and couldn't find it anywhere. So I'm probably in big trouble with my kids...see the first entry below!!

M - is for both of my kids. They each have all M's as their initials.
M - is for mom....that's what they call me, and also what I called my mom.
M - is for Maryland. Never been there but my dad served aboard the USS Maryland during WWII. He kept a painting of the ship in our living room so I grew up with it.
M - is for married. I've done that three times, and they're right, the third time is a charm!
M - is for macroni and cheese. NOT the kind that comes in a box with neon colored powdered cheese but the kind made from scratch, baked in the oven, with the cheese all bubbly, and the top nice and browned and just a bit crusty.
M - is for maid....oh, how I wish I had one!! The live-in kind. Then I could just "live" in my workroom and the house would never be a mess.
M - is for Mary, a name very prominent in my family. One of my great-grandmas, my maternal grandma, two of my aunts, and a cousin all have the name Mary.
M - is for marshmallows toasted over a campfire. I like them burned on the outside and all melted on the inside.
M - is for Manzanita, my oldest granddaughter. We call her Manzi....she is named for the tree.
M - is for mystical, mythical, musical....all words I love.
M - is for margaritas. One of the few alcoholic drinks I can say I really enjoy. I don't think Mexican food (another M word) is complete without a good margarita. I like them blended ....or on the rocks....salted rim....or no salt....but I don't like them pre-mixed. I want the real deal, made individually and preferably with Grand Marnier and Jose!
M - is for Montana. Beautiful, big sky country. HB and I thought about buying land there and building a house but there's just too much snow and cold weather for me.
M - is for mountains. Being a gal who grew up in the flat Midwest, I love mountains....love to be able to see mountains all around me, love the majestic quality they have.
M - is for musicals. I grew up with movies like South Pacific, Guys and Dolls, My Fair Lady, etc. and I loved them.
M - is for meat....something I don't eat. My paternal grandfather was a cattle rancher and I grew up eating good range-fed beef but the stuff in the stores today is not for me. I'll just stick to veggies, soy, and some fish once in awhile.
M - is for mangle....something I do with the English language and punctuation! Sorry I'm just lazy about all that. And on the grand scale of things it is way down on my list of things to worry about!
M - is for middle-aged and according to the Oxford American Dictionary, I still qualify!
M - is for Mayberry, that TV sitcom place....small-town America where everyone is friendly....I'd like to live there.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Flash from the past...What's your sign?!

Here is the latest blogthing to make the rounds. I saw this on Deb's blog. She always finds good things like this and I always grab them!!

Your Rising Sign is Libra

A total charmer, it's hard for people to say no to you.
Irresistable and attractive, you have no shortage of love interests.

Totally competitive, you tend to thrive in stressful enviroments.
A peaceful soul, you avoid conflict at almost all costs.

Sometimes you try too hard to please those around you.
But you have a great inner strength that helps you bounce back easily.



I'm not especially competitive and I don't think I thrive in stressful environments but I do try to avoid conflicts....and I do try to please the people around me. But I've had plenty of people say "NO" to me....and about that "no shortage of love interests" part....sshh! let's not tell HB about that!!

I'll have some w(h)ine with my breakfast!!



The heatwave is over....for now anyway. Friday afternoon was almost enjoyable! And by evening the temperature was into the 70's....a range that I can endure. Saturday was a pretty mild day, too.

Now for the whining....the temperature dropped and the wind speed rose. By the time I went to bed Friday night the wind was blowing at about 20-25 MPH with wind gusts of eleven-teen hundred! It was really blowing!!

If it ain't (I know it isn't a word but sometimes it just works!!) one thing it's another. Wind and I don't do good either. It just seems to burrow into my brain and whirl around inside throwing everything into chaos. Sometimes I think of it like fingernails on a blackboard....eewww. Irritating!!

We actually had to close some windows (it was cool enough to have them open!!) because the wind was just ripping through and everything was banging and clanging. But we were still able to sleep comfortably with no a/c. So I guess I shouldn't be whining!

I must be related to Goldilocks. I don't like it too hot or too cold. I don't like it too humid or too dry. I don't like it too windy....I like it just right!! Do y'all know anyplace like that?? 'Cause I'm ready to move there!



No wonder these wind powered thingies are all over the high desert! We could probably power half of downtown L.A. with the wind that ripped through here Friday night! And it's blowing pretty good on Saturday night, too.

Whine....whine....whine!!! Could you please pass me that wine....I think I need a drink!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Today I'm graduating!!!

We're going to traipse down memory lane again!! If you're new here you may not know that I have kept some things for way too long and am trying to rid myself of this bad habit.

Today I'll share with you my high school graduation. I went to a very small school in the Midwest. I think there were about 65 in my graduating class. There were five of us who started first grade together and ended up graduating from high school together. By contrast, HB tells me he had about 340 in his class!

I was not part of the "in" crowd. I wasn't pretty enough, my family wasn't "connected" and I wasn't in any after-school clubs or groups. My dad felt that school was for the three R's (readin' - writin' and arithmetic) and anything else was unnecessary. That meant no band, no sports (I wasn't athletic anyway), no extracurricular activities. So that pretty much made it a done deal that I wasn't going to be one of the popular kids. Plus I was very shy! Believe it or not, I could identify most people by their shoes because I walked around with my head down most of the time!

My grandma in Kansas sent me graduation money and I bought a white dress to wear for graduation. She also sent me a multi-stranded pearl necklace, and my mom got me a rose corsage to wear. My dad was barely part of the family by this time but he actually attended my graduation!

Here I am all dressed up and ready to go....



My dad worked in construction and did painting on the side....so naturally our house always needed paint!! Isn't that always the way? But there I am in all my finery!!

I bet you think I saved the dress and you would be right! But I bet you didn't think I also saved the necklace and the corsage!!! You would be wrong! Here they are today....



And here is a close-up to show you how small the dress is! When Molly was in middle school she tried this dress on and it wouldn't zip on her!! She is tiny! I think she wears a size 2 or 4 right now! If you aren't able to read the tape measure, it measures 11" across making the waist 22"!!



I still have that 22" waist today....I just keep it protected with a few more layers of me!! It's in there somewhere!

Friday, July 28, 2006

I'm leaving my calling card....

I've been thinking about blogging. I'm still fascinated by the whole concept. In some ways we are becoming more and more isolated in our homes....we watch movies at home rather than go to a theater, many people work from home rather than going to the office, we buy items online rather than going shopping at the mall....

Families are, many times, spread all over the country. We just seem to live in our own little space with one huge exception. The internet.

I can sit here in my home, stark naked if I want to (rest assured, I'm not!) and communicate with anyone, anywhere in the world as long as they have a computer, too.

Each day I visit several blogs. It's a bit like in the old days when women used to go calling on a certain day of the week. They would leave their calling card. I did a bit of searching and came up with this site that gives a little information on the custom.

When bloggers leave a comment its their way of leaving a calling card. We're all hoping we will get a return visit and maybe make a new friend.

Being fairly new to blogging I've been confused about some of the etiquette. And don't run screaming....I'm not really that much of an etiquette person but I do like to know how others do things. So when DebR did a post about how she would handle replies right there where everyone else comments, I thought that was a good idea. She thought that most people wouldn't mind taking a peek back at the previous post to see her replies.

So most of the time if anyone leaves me a comment, I try to go back to that post later in the day and reply right there. I do have the comments sent to my email but so many times people have theirs set to "no reply" so it doesn't make any difference....I couldn't reply to them anyway!

The other grey area is, some people don't mind getting emails from other bloggers but there are some people who don't want to be bothered. Personally, I don't mind....as long as it really is a blogger and not some spam or something like that. I usually don't email too often because I don't want to be a pest!! But if you want to email me it's perfectly ok with me....and I will respond.

Since this is all such a new form of communication between people, the "rules" (I hate that term!) are still pretty sketchy. So if I make mistakes along the way just chalk it up to inexperience! I will continue to make my replies right on the comments section of my blog but if you would prefer an email just let me know. I'm happy to do either.

And now I'm off to leave my calling card....

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Who knew....

Here's another fun blog thingie. I got this one from Kathy.

Your Boobies' Names Are...

Dixie and Daisy



I agree with Kathy that at least one should be named Droopy!! Maybe Droopy and Droppy!! Sometimes gravity is not a good thing!

Life Path Number

When I don't have anything to write about I always fall back on the fun things. I recently saw this on Beth's blog and also here. So I had to try it myself!! Here is my result.


Your Life Path Number is 11

Your purpose in life is to inspire others

Your amazing energy draws people to you, and you give them great insight in return.
You hold a great amount of power over others, without even trying.
You have the makings of an inventor, artist, religious leader, or prophet.

In love, you are sensitive and passionate. You connect with your partner on a very deep level.

You have great abilities, but you are often way too critical of yourself.
You don't fit in - and instead of celebrating your differences, you dwell on them.
You have high expectations of yourself. But sometimes you set them too high and don't achieve anything.



HB says this fits me pretty close!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Doing something good....

One of the main topics for bloggers lately is the heat!! It seems to be bad just about everywhere. I'm going to give you something else to think about!!

Yesterday while cruisin' the web (and trying to stay cool) I came across something that I think is a great idea for anyone who knits or crochets. For quite awhile I have been aware of Warm Up America where you can crochet or knit squares to be made into afghans for people who need them. I've participated at my local Michael's store and put squares together. I also send squares to Drew for Heartmade Blessings.

Well, now the Warm Up America website is also asking for little caps for newborn babies. And who can say no to making something for a new baby!! If you are interested here is the website that gives all the information.

I have tons of yarn and lots of time so I know I will be making these little caps. Hopefully little babies all over the world will soon be sporting a jkbees original!!

Now for something else altogether....back in June DebR had this challenge for her readers. I entered my suggestion and on Tuesday mine was one she picked!! She did an incredible job and you can see it here. If you haven't visited her blog, I can highly recommend it. She does some amazing photography and photoshop work plus she's a quilter. And that's also where I get most of my meme ideas!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

No more nectarines....

Do you remember me telling about the nectarine tree in the backyard? How it always had soooo many nectarines on it every year but they really aren't good to eat.... Well, I don't think I'll have to worry about them any longer!

Late yesterday afternoon I was sitting in the family room gazing out the corner windows as I often do because its so green and peaceful outside. But something didn't look quite right. There was more green than usual in my view.

I walked over to the window and saw a terrible sight. One huge branch of the nectarine tree had cracked and the limb was just holding on by a little bit! It had to have happened just moments before because HB had just been in the back yard doing some yard work. Neither of us heard any noise to indicate it snapped but it sure did!

Hb waited for the sun to go down a little and then he went out to begin the process of chopping the branch into manageable pieces. By the time I got the camera out it was already getting almost too dark to take a photo but I got a few.

This shows the broken limb and HB working away at getting it cut down.



From another angle....



It was almost too dark to photograph here but I managed to get one more....



After looking at the situation, HB thinks we may have to get the tree removed completely. I'll hate to see it go because it provides shade and a certain amount of privacy but I guess safety is the first concern.

The swing set was here when we bought the house and we just left it. We have family who visit with small children and it gives them something to do, but just recently we have decided that we will probably take it down. Thankfully the branch didn't do that job for us! We will probably sell this house in the near future and so the process of sprucing up will soon begin.

I guess the tree decided to give us a jump start in that direction! Now we're forced to get busy!! At least in the backyard.

Monday, July 24, 2006

You asked for it...

Just so there's no confusion, this entry was written and waiting for posting today. I usually write entries ahead of schedule when I actually have the time. And since it has been so hot I write them very late at night. So this has nothing to do with The Bad Hair Day theme that is happening on some blogs....although I do like that idea. This is about my good hair....my easy-care, wash-n-wear hair. Some of you may think it's bad hair but that's ok....I love it.

This is my new hair cut....well, it isn't really a new style but just a new stylist. And she got it just right. I'm not a nice-tidy-hair-kind-of-gal!! Even if I am a little old lady don't expect me to dress like one or style my hair like one. I like "messy" styles....nothing neat, nothing laying flat, nothing that takes more than 5 minutes to do. I don't even blow-dry my hair most of the time. I just put some holding gel on my hands and rub it into my hair, pull it straight up and that's about it. No muss, no fuss.



When Angel (the new stylist) did my hair it looked much better than when I do it but I still like the results. Messy but in a good-messy-kind-of-way! Sorry I had to do the old camera in the mirror trick but I was home alone. (No, I didn't have two guys break-in and wreck havoc while I played tricks on them!! But that might have been fun if it was like the movie....happy ending!)

On another subject....I recently saw this on etsy and thought it was just perfect for me. From the time I was 18 years old until I was about 40 years old, I had blonde hair. (Ssshh! It came from a bottle but don't tell anyone! It will be our little secret!) And now my hair is grey.

So I bought the pin, received it a few days later and have been wearing it ever since. It is so cute! Kim, the crafter who makes these buttons (plus many other things) has a brand new blog. You can visit her here. If you go, please tell her I sent you.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

A Little Bakersfield Trip Humor

I will continue my previous entry and share a few more photos with you.

I couldn't resist this one that I saw on a restaurant.



Is it just me or do these foods just NOT go together!! This is not a sign for two separate places....this was for one restaurant.

And this is a road sign just outside of Bakersfield. Everytime I see it, it just makes me chuckle.



In case you aren't able to make out what it says, it is Weedpatch Highway!

I love road signs and business signs when they are funny or just don't make any sense. It seems that I never have my camera when I see most of them but this time I came prepared.

This next photo was on our way home. Big thunderheads were starting to form in the afternoon. But we didn't have any rain.



From time to time I will photograph the area where we live. It's just been so hot that I haven't wanted to get out much! I'll do better once it cools down a bit. We had a few drops of rain yesterday afternoon and it didn't get as hot as they had predicted (111º was the last prediction I heard!!) and for that I'm thankful.

HB and I got out early in the day to run some errands. On our first stop, we finished our shopping, came out to the truck that had been sitting in the sun, so was hotter than blazes....and it didn't do anything when he turned the key! Not a click, not a eeerrrr, nothing!

So there we were, in the sun, and the truck was dead....it's our 2000 Ford Ranger pickup. We originally bought it (used) for me to drive when I was selling books but later HB kind of took it over and I went back to my little Honda. The truck has never once not started on the first turn of the key, and has given us no problems at all.

HB got out in the sun and messed with things under the hood (???) and finally said we would just call a cab, go home, get the Honda, come back to get our groceries out of the truck (we had a cooler with us) and then see about getting it fixed.

Which is what we did. While HB was looking under the hood he discovered that the battery in the truck was the original one put in at the factory (!!!) so he bought another battery, we took it over, and shezam!....the truck started right away.

So after much delay we finished our shopping and went home. (We lead such an exciting life!!) The part that we're really thankful for is that it happened that day and not the previous one when we drove to Bakersfield!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

On the Road to Bakersfield

If anyone who reads this is familiar with Bakersfield, CA then you know that to choose to go there on one of the hottest days of the summer is....well, downright crazy!! But choose, I did....guess that means I'm crazy!

HB had to go to Bakersfield on business and asked if I wanted to ride along with him. My first thought was "No, do I look crazy" but then I reconsidered and said I would go. It can be a bit boring to make a drive over there all alone so I decided to keep him company.

Plus a few people have expressed an interest in photos of the high desert area so I figured it would be a good opportunity to possibly get some photos.

The thing I forgot was that I would be speeding along the highway at somewhere around warp speed and to get a photo out the window would be next to impossible! But I tried. And here are a few of my attempts....the first three photos are taken about thirty miles from our home, along Highway 14 heading north.





These tawny colored hills remind me of suede draped over rocks. I love the colors of the desert and unfortunately they don't really show in my photos. But if you think it all looks beige then you would be wrong! There are so many colors but they are very subtle and they all just seem to blend into one another in such a beautiful way.



The next one is a photo of just a few of the wind driven power generators (otherwise known as windmills!) that dot the hills between Mojave and Tehachapi along Route 58.



There are quite a few cattle in this area but these were the only ones we saw.... I guess they were all seeking shade somewhere else!



This is such a beautiful scene near Tehachapi and my little camera doesn't do it justice.



For those of you not familiar with this area, we live about 100 miles southeast of Bakersfield. We prefer not to use the I-5 but take the "more scenic" route using the smaller highways.

Since we were in the a/c most of the day while traveling back and forth, it wasn't too bad, but when we had to get out for anything the heat was just like a heavy, damp, wool blanket surrounding me....too much!

Friday, July 21, 2006

My First Big Purchase....

Today I'm going to drag out another item from my closet of "saved everything my whole life!" You would not believe some of the things I have held onto over the years. I look at some of them now and think "Why on earth did you keep that"....but I guess I'm just a "keeper."

I can remember as a child reading books about people who had family heirlooms or things that had been handed down through generations in their family and for some reason that idea appealed to me. I often wished for things that had belonged to a distant relative, long gone. My mother kept some things but not a lot. Her mother was the same. So I didn't grow up with a lot of items handed down to me.

Maybe that's why I keep so much stuff. But the truth is that neither one of my kids has that same gene. So I've saved all this stuff just for myself. And that's ok. But now I'm in the process of trying to sort through it and rid myself of some of the excess baggage.

This brings me to this photo of myself when I was about 12 or 13 years old. I don't particularly like this photo but it shows me wearing the first outfit that I purchased with my own money.



I got an allowance....I think it was about 50 cents in the beginning and then it moved up to a dollar later. So in order for me to buy a dress I must have saved for quite awhile.

The outfit was a two-piece knit top and skirt in a raspberry red purchased at J.C. Penney's. I can still remember going into the store with the money and knowing what I wanted to buy. I probably saw the outfit earlier and decided it was for me.

And here is the outfit....saved all these years!!!



Please excuse the busy background. I photographed it on an afghan with close to the same color in the hopes that the dress would show up a bit better. Not sure it worked!

Sorry about dragging you down memory lane again but it's just too hot to get outside to take any photos.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The "In" List

Once again it's time for wordplay. I hope you decide to play along because it sure is fun. I usually do one of these and then a few days later think of all the words I should have included!! When I sit down and try to think of words beginning with a certain letter my mind goes blank!! But in all fairness, that happens often no matter what I'm doing! So here we go......

N - is for NO....I hate that word!

N - is for noggin. Sometimes I fail to use mine!

N - is for nest. I am a nest-er. I like to make my surroundings comfortable.

N - is for Nevada, the home of Las Vegas....or as HB says, Lost Wages. A fun place to visit.

N - is for Nikola Tesla is someone HB admires. If you don't know who Tesla was, you might want to check here and learn about him.

N - is for nebulous. For whatever reason, I like the sound of this word!

N - is for nugget, as in gold. HB and I owned an old mining claim near Cripple Creek, CO....it's where we were married. We found lots of very small bits of gold but nothing big. Darn!!

N - is for Thich Nhat Hanh. One of my favorite people, and you might like to learn more about him here.

N - is for Bob Newhart and David Niven. Two very different men but I enjoyed both of them when I was younger. I loved Newhart's phone skit about King Kong. And David Niven always seemed so suave and sophisticated.

N - is for Naveen Andrews, Sayid on "Lost"....OMG is he gorgeous or what!!! I hope HB doesn't read this!!

N - is for non-fiction. When I sold books online my inventory was mostly non-fiction. And my own personal collection is mostly the same. I read novels but don't keep too many of them....even my favorites.

N - is for Native Americans. As a child I was fascinated by Indians (the name we used way back then before we got PC) and liked anything having to do with them. I still enjoy their art and writings.

N - is for nuclear....and I know how to pronounce it correctly!!!

N - is for nectarines and noodles. No, not together!! Nectarines are one of my fav summer fruits....too bad the ones in the backyard aren't good to eat. And noodles are also one of my fav foods. My grandma used to make noodles and dry them on a clean dish towel hung on a broomstick placed between two chairs. That's an image, isn't it!

N - is for nocturnal....something I am a lot of the time.

N - is for nutrition. I don't know a lot about it but I think most of the stuff we Americans eat is just plain junk.

N - is for nice and nutty. Two words that I think describe me.

N - is for nostalgia. I can be nostalgic at times but I don't want to live in the past. I'm having too much fun right now!

N - is for negligee. (Sadly for HB) I'm not a fancy nightie/negligee kind of person! I know....too much information!

My photo collage isn't very detailed this time. I'm going to blame it on the heat! I just didn't want to sit here too long at the computer!!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

It's just too darn hot!

It is just too hot to even think right now! So hopefully you will understand if I don't have anything interesting or exciting to say today.

About the only exciting thing I can tell you is I found a new hair stylist and I LOVE her!! She did my hair this morning and it looks fantastic. And she's within walking distance of where I live....if it wasn't so freakin' hot!!!

I'll get HB to take some photos of my new hair cut (not much different from my old one) and I'll get busy and change my profile photo. But it will have to wait until it cools off a little. Maybe later tonight.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Living in the High Desert



One of the surprising things about living in the high desert is how many plants actually grow here! When you look at the photo above (which was taken just a couple of miles from our home) all you see are Joshua trees and scrub vegetation. No one would think that anything much could grow here. But lots of plants do!! Those are the San Gabriel Mountains in the distance. And this photo was taken less than a mile from a huge Wal-Mart!

When we first bought our house we were surprised to see grape vines in the back yard. And we also have beautiful roses that grow in both the front and back yards....with very little help from me, I might add!! About the only thing I do is trim off the dead blooms.

We also have two apple trees in the back yard as well as a very old nectarine tree. Right now the nectarine tree has lots of fruit on it but sadly it usually isn't very good eating. It stays rather hard and it has a bitter taste. So we spend a lot of time picking up the fallen fruit and tossing it away!



One summer I tried making jelly with the nectarines but it wasn't good. Could have been because I didn't know what I was doing!!

The other thing we have that I really love is the almond trees in the front yard. Now I'm not crazy about having them out front....I would much prefer them to be in the backyard but they were here when we bought the house. And we do get almonds from them each year.



We have two almond trees....



Each Spring, here in the Antelope Valley, they have a Poppy Festival. The hills all around this area are usually covered in brilliant orange poppies. I do not have one of my own photos to show you but this was taken in this area....



The contrast between the first photo and the last one is one of the reasons why I love this place....it has many faces. There is the stark, dry desert with cactus and Joshua trees and then there are the hills covered with lush flowers....all within a few miles of each other.

In the next few weeks I will try to get out and about and take some photos of the surrounding area since some people asked for photos of the high desert. I must warn you I'm not a photographer and I don't have a fancy camera but I will do my best to show you my little corner of the world.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Old Leather Yard Sale Find...

I could spend hours in a good thrift shop. Notice I said "good"....something my area sadly lacks. I also love a good yard sale where I occasionally come across something really interesting.

Such was the case a few years ago when Molly and I were out doing some yard sales. She was looking for specific items so I let her roam ahead of me most of the time plus she has an excellent eye for things.

We were at a sale in the L.A. area where she lived at the time. Just a regular house. Probably your typical family. But....

I spied something that looked rather intriguing. A bit like a leather pouch or something like that.



I picked it up, opened it and saw pages of neatly handwritten entries. I decided it was worth a possible buy, depending on the price. By this time Molly had gathered up her items and we both approached the person in charge. The woman looked at everything, as one lump purchase, and gave a price that was very low for all the stuff we had. Molly said "ok", we paid and left with our treasures.

Upon further, and closer inspection, the book appears to be some kind of ledger. And it is all handwritten with the most precise writing I think I've ever seen. And here's the interesting part....I think it is either written in Italian or maybe Latin or some language like that!

This is what it looks like inside....



And the opening page has 1786 written at the top! The date, maybe??!!



I went to one of those online free translation sites and tried to have the title translated....not much luck. The title on the front of the book says "Libro di Grasce per Vitto (the next word is faded and parts are missing) per i Lavoratori della Fattoria di Capalle"

If anyone out there in blogland can translate this I would love to know what it says. I think it looks authentic but then again I'm not an expert on old books!! The leather does appear to be very old and is beginning to separate. I don't have any clue as to how to preserve this. Any suggestions?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Hot Damn!! or was that Damned Hot?

Have I mentioned that it has been HOT here!! And the wildfire is still burning but as of 9 PM Saturday evening it was 50% contained.

I took a photo of my kitchen clock Saturday afternoon (at about 17 minutes to one).... Edited: Not sure why the color is all wrong on this photo. My wall is actually a gold color!!!



And here's the temperature at that time on Saturday....



Notice that the thermometer is in the shade! If it had been in the sun it would have been soooo much higher. The official high was 107º!

HB spent yesterday morning putting the finsihing touch on a new mist system all around the patio. It makes such a difference if you want to sit outside....the mist is just enough to cool the air and make it enjoyable. I do love a handy man!!!

And speaking of handy...nice segue huh!!....here is a project HB just finished.



All redwood and copper. I love it!! Don't I have a talented Hubby Bubby!!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Saturday Sky....again

I'm cheating just a little bit today! Sshhh! Don't tell anyone. I actually took my Saturday sky photo Friday evening! In case anyone doesn't know, we live in Southern California in the High Desert just north of Los Angeles. On a good day with not much traffic we can drive to the area around Los Angeles in about an hour and 15 minutes. That will give you an idea of where we are located.

Right now there is a big wildfire burning about 75 miles from us. We are not in any danger from the fire....but I just wanted to let you know how far away it is because last evening we could see the smoke from that fire!!



This was taken just before sunset (sorry about the bad angle...I had to climb up a bit to get this photo) and that is smoke in the sky and not clouds! I took this over the back fence looking east southeast. I tried not to get too much of the neighbor's house in there.

If you would like to read more about this fire, referred to as the Sawtooth Complex, here is a link to one of our L.A. news stations.

And just one more little weather-related tid-bit....they are predicting a high today of 109º where we live with humidity higher than usual! Needless to say, I'll be staying indoors most of the afternoon!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Ramblin' along....

This being Friday, I'm a bit behind on everything. And, just tell me, what else is new!!! Too many projects....nothing new. Too much time spent on the computer....nothing new. House is a mess....nothing new. Need to buy groceries....nothing new. I think you're beginning to get the picture!

In just about every other way, I am a creature of habit. I've said that before. But its true....very true. I don't do well with change, at least not big change, so I'm perfectly happy to do the same thing, the same way most of the time.

But that also means I get into ruts and find myself doing things I don't even enjoy doing....but I've been doing it so long that it has become a habit. I guess like people who smoke or drink too much or anything like that. And then things that I would really like to make a habit are just so darn hard to keep with....like daily exercise!

I've never been an athletic person. Nope, grew up in the times when girls were supposed to play with dolls and boys were supposed to play sports and be 'rough and tumble' Oh, don't get me wrong, I was a fairly active kid. I rode my bicycle, ran around outside, liked to climb trees, and all manner of things that weren't exactly girlie. But I never got into that habit of daily exercise. I was never on any kind of team unless you count when I got picked dead last for any team we had at school!

I used to tell people that I went through six years of PE classes, playing baseball every year....and never once hit the ball! And I'm not exaggerating! I was terrible at just about every sport we were forced to play.

Now, years later, I'm still that same person. About the only thing I enjoy is walking. Living in the high desert means that if I want to walk outside in the summer I better get up at 5:00 AM!! Or walk after dark....not gonna happen!!

I have a treadmill in the family room (!!) so I can walk and watch TV. Hey, don't laugh! It kinda keeps it all from being too boring! The only problem is I always forget to turn one of them on! Can you guess which one!!

All of this is to tell you that I recently read this blog entry about walking 10,000 steps per day! Earlier I also read about it here but couldn't connect to the exact entry because I wasn't able to find it. (I wanted to give her credit for it though.) Gerri also had some information about a pedometer that would keep track of your daily mileage! I think this is the one....maybe not the same store link though.

I think I will commit to trying this out. Ooops! I put it in writing! And I put it out there in blogland where everyone can read it! And I'm sure those millions out there surfing the web right now will see this and hold my feet to the fire if I don't succeed!

Seriously, I would like to try this out. I'm sure I fall somewhere in the 1000 steps a day category so this will be a big change. And until the little pedometer actually arrives here at Chez Bee-cause I'll have to just estimate.

Wish me luck!!!

And just bee-cause, here are some flowers that are still blooming in the backyard.


This first one is agapanthus (I think) up close.....



This is a shot along the fence....



And here is another shot of the agapanthus....they also bloom in lavender but the ones here are all white.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

It's so hot...I'm in a bikini!!!

I bet you never thought you'd see that title....huh? And I also bet you're sorry you did!!! But never fear....I wouldn't subject any of you to me, here and now, in a bikini. It just wouldn't be a pretty sight!

What I will share with you though is me at about 2 - 3 years of age, in a two-piece (hey, that's close to a bikini) swimsuit. Now folks, this swimsuit is made of WOOL!!!! How insane is that!!! Here is a little kid forced to wear an itchy (and it is) hot, wool swimsuit in the middle of summer in Central Illinois. Think hot and humid and you'll have it. No wonder I look so comfy....



Don't you just love that sexy pose? I was just a born sexpot! And the hair! What's up with that? Apparently it was a problem even way back then!

Now some of you may be thinking that isn't that amazing I still have a photo from the dark ages!....taken way back....I can barely believe it....before digital cameras! Heck, it was before Polaroid! Maybe just after the invention of film!

Well, not only do I still have the photo....you guessed it....I still have the swimsuit! Granted it doesn't fit me anymore, and it does have a few moth holes but I still have it! And here is the proof....



This is a close-up to show I wasn't kidding about the moth holes....



But considering that this swimsuit is older than dirt, I think its in pretty good shape! What do you think???

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

This and That....

One phone call sent chills up and down my spine....was it true??....how could this happen?? Now before anyone gets all stressed out, no one is sick, injured, or has died. But I did receive "tragic" news yesterday. My gal who regularly cuts my hair (just the way I like it) has gone on maternity leave! And here I am with straggly hair and no one to cut it. Oh what to do....woe is me!!

I'm sure there are some of you out there who know just what I'm talking about. Why does hair have to be such a big deal? Mine is difficult to tame because of all the cow-licks so when I find someone who knows how to cut it so the cow-licks don't stick out all over my head I'm thrilled.

So now I'm on the search for a new person to take on my unruly hair. Until I find that person, look out! My hair is out of control!!! This could get ugly!

Here's a little update on the black and white afghan....I'm still working on it! I have to admit to taking some time away from it recently. I know I shouldn't do that but I just had to look at something other than black and white. I craved color. I wanted Technicolor not film noir!!

All in all I've made fairly good progress on the afghan even with taking some time away from it. The center circles and partial circles are over half done, and the end panels are just straight pieces that shouldn't take too much time. It will be the putting-it-all-together that will be time consuming.

HB has suggested that it might make a great wall hanging if I were to put some kind of backing on it. But I think Molly wants it to use as an afghan or bed cover. I would show photos but they would just be of a pile of pieces so not too exciting.

Since I don't have a lot of exciting stuff to share with you today I thought I would give you some links to people who have actually been doing something!!!

I like the lino blocks at Red Instead ....she has lots of other interesting things, too.

Deryn Mentock does some fantastic collages. You can visit her here.

And just for good measure, one more....Carla Sonheim has some interesting fabric horses that I just love. You can see them here.

No photos today....blogger is still playing games with me.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Being influenced....

Due to the influence of some blogs I read, I have found myself reading and ... DON'T FAINT ... enjoying some poetry!! In my younger days I dabbled in poetry and even wrote a few things but as I got older it just seemed to fall along the wayside as so many things do.

I think I've mentioned that I used to sell books online so I have a ton of books that aren't all things I would normally have for myself. I occasionally go through them and find something interesting to read rather than make the trip to the library.

Such is the case a couple of days ago. I was drawn to a book "Cries of the Spirit" It contains the work of many women writers and as I flipped through it several poems caught my eye. This is one of them....

Eagle Poem

To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you
And know there is more
That you can't see, can't hear
Can't know except in moments
Steadily growing, and in languages
That aren't always sound but other
Circles of motion.
Like eagle that Sunday morning
Over Salt River. Circled in blue sky
In wind, swept our hearts clean
With sacred wings.
We see you, see ourselves and know
That we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.
Breathe in, knowing we are made of
All this, and breathe, knowing
We are truly blessed because we
Were born, and die soon, within a
True circle of motion,
Like eagle rounding out the morning
Inside us.
We pray that it will be done
In beauty.
In beauty.

by Joy Harjo

I'll be interested to know what you think of this poem. I find it just amazing that deciding to have a blog has already changed my life so much. It has only been a few months but so many new, wonderful people have come here to visit, and I have gone to other blogs and the whole process has opened my eyes to many things that I just didn't think about before....like poetry. I'm having new experiences almost every day and I believe it is mostly due to having the blog and putting myself "out there" for everyone to see and read.

I find myself always thinking and searching for something new and interesting to write about or some funny tale to share with everyone. I'm sure that many times I'm the only one entertained but that's ok too. Besides meeting all of you out there in blogland, I'm also discovering things about myself.



photo from www.hickerphoto.com

Monday, July 10, 2006

Countdown....

It's Monday so I'm being a bit lazy and doing another list!! Got this one from Deb at Red Shoe Ramblings. She called it a Countdown Meme. So here goes.....

10 Favorites
Favorite Season: Fall
Favorite Color: How long have you been reading this blog?? PURPLE!!!
Favorite Time: Dusk or very early morning.
Favorite Food: Fruit....just about any of them.
Favorite Drink: For years I would have answered Pepsi but no more. Water with a slice of lemon. And if its an alcoholic drink, make it a margarita!
Favorite Ice Cream: Coffee or butter pecan
Favorite Place: Yosemite or the central coast of California
Favorite Sport: You must be joking!
Favorite Actor: This changes all the time but currently I like Robert Duvall.
Favorite Actress: This is a toughie....maybe Meryl Streep???? As a kid I liked Susan Hayward....don't ask me why but she was the one I liked!

9 Currents
Current Feeling: Antsy....I guess that's a real word.
Current Drink: Water
Current Time: 8:13 PM on Sunday evening
Current Show on TV: I think HB is watching Dateline
Current Mobile used: Cingular
Current Windows Open: Bloglines, Blogger
Current Underwear: Yes, I'm wearing some but I won't discuss that with anyone but HB!!
Current Clothes: Said underwear, jeans shorts, t-shirt with Palm Beach Florida logo, and I'm barefoot! (But not pregnant!!!)
Current Thought: "Wonder if HB is going to bring me some strawberries and whipped cream?" I can hear him whipping the cream right now.

8 Firsts
First Nickname: Jenny, later in high school it was Jake
First Kiss: Mike something....at a free movie when I was about 12 or 13, I think.
First Crush: I think it would have been Elvis.
First Best Friend: Emma Jean Covey....she lived down the street from me when I was very young, and she and her brother taught me to ride a two-wheeler.
First Vehicle I Drove: 1960 Rambler
First Job: Babysitting....first "real" job was with Illinois Bell. I was an operator....way before there was such a thing as direct-dial!!!
First Date: It was so significant that I don't remember!!
First Pet: Cat named Socks

7 Lasts
Last Drink: Water
Last Kiss: HB
Last Meal: Dinner tonight - turkey medallions on the grill, potatoes, green beans (and HB just brought me some strawberry shortcake!)
Last Web Site Visited: flikr
Last Film Watched: does one on tv count...."The Princess Bride" this afternoon. I love that movie!!
Last Phone Call: Molly
Last TV show Watched: Rezoned on HGTV

6 Have You Evers
Have You Ever Broken the Law: Yes
Have You Ever Been Drunk: Yes
Have You Ever Kissed Someone You Didn't Know: Yes
Have You Ever Been in the Middle/Close to Gunfire: No unless you count hunting.
Have You Ever Skinny Dipped: No (I can't swim!)
Have You Ever Broken Anyone's Heart: Don't know....

5 Things
Things You Can Hear Right Now: Kids in the pool next door, the tv, the sound of the air chiller (swamp cooler), the wind outside the office, the clicking of the keys as I type.
Things On Your Bed: Pillows, sheets, a crocheted cover I made, a book, and later me!
Things You Ate Today: A crumpet with lemon curd, banana, some veggie chips, the dinner I mentioned above along with the strawberry shortcake. Oh and one small piece of dark chocolate!!
Things You Wouldn't Want to Live Without: HB, my family, my own computer, a bathroom(!), books, and art/craft supplies. I know I cheated....that's 6....so kill me!
Things You Do When You Are Bored: Read, watch HGTV, surf the internet, discover and read blogs. That's only four so I'm borrowing that one extra from above! Now we're even.

4 Places You Have Been Today
Trader Joe's
Upstairs
Downstairs
Outside (as you can probably tell, I stayed home most of the day!!)


3 Things On Your Desk Right Now
My empty strawberry shortcake dish!!
A soft, fuzzy little bear Molly gave me a few years ago
Photos

2 Choices
Black or White: Black
Hot or Cold: Cold

1 Place You Want To Visit
I'm not a good traveler but I would love to see England and Australia.

That's it for today....blogger wouldn't let me post a photo!!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

How I spent my Saturday evening....

Today was a bit warm and we had more humidity than usual. It was a good day to just sit quietly in my workroom and bead. At least that's what I thought. Instead I spent the afternoon and most of the evening on my hands and knees crawling around on the floor.

This is what happened....



I knocked over an entire container full of teeny tiny seed beads! And as you can see in the photo, I have carpet on the floor (which I hate, by the way!!) Its slate blue (color doesn't show very good in the photo) and the beads are green so they show up a little bit. Actually the beads show up much better in the photo than they do in the room! Plus that is the corner of my workroom away from the window so its not as light as the rest of the room. And when I'm bending over picking up beads I create a shadow over the area....so (NOT) helpful. I had to pull the floor lamp over to that area and turn it up as bright as it would go so that I could see each and every one of those little beads that somehow managed to roll into crooks and crevices I didn't even know existed in that room!!!

And I haven't finished yet! It got dark and I really couldn't stand it any longer. I have to pick them up one at a time because I don't want them to fall down into the nap of the rug....I would never find them all!

To top it off, there were all kinds of things stacked around that table. So I have to go through all that stuff to find if any beads are hiding in any of those things. Here, little beadie, beadie, beadie....

Ain't beading fun???? (I know....don't write me....that's not a word but sometimes its the only one that fits!)

And I had thought I was going to have something else to show you....other than a floor covered in beads!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Once again....Saturday Sky

As promised, here is my Saturday Sky photo....



And just for good measure here is another one taken a little later....



These are the blue skies of the high desert in Southern California

Unfinished Business

Recently I began to list all the unfinished projects I found in my workroom. So far I've filled the equivalent of the Encylcopedia Brittanica!! Just kidding....but I do have quite a long list.

So one by one I'm trying to finish some of them. Today I managed three. I didn't take a photo of the first one....kinda boring! I had crocheted a scarf for charity and just never added the fringe, so this morning I cut the fringe and put it on the scarf. One down. Then I had started a felt needle holder quite some time ago. I finished that next. Two down.

Here is my needle holder:



And here is the inside of it....the stitches don't really look that bad! I don't know why they look like that in the photo! And it is even around the edges!



I'm using it for my beading needles. I had them in a tomato pin cushion but they're so thin that they just disappear right into the pincushion!

Next, I only had to add the buttons to some crocheted cuffs I made several years ago!! I made them but just never got around to adding the buttons! Does anyone else do things like that?....get 99% of something finished and then just leave it!

I thought the cuffs might dress up a plain sweater or something like that....and of course I made them in....what else....purple!



Hopefully I will continue this process of actually finishing projects. What a concept! I have one needlework project that I know I started back in the 80's!! And I still have all the instructions (the diagrams/pattern) and the yarns and threads. I think it might be crewel embroidery or something like that. Maybe I'll finish that one and give it to Molly for the store....it would surely qualify for vintage!

I will post my "Saturday Sky" photo later in the day.